Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy HoliDAZE - Random Good Things about Christmas

It's crunch time. Christmas will be here in a blink of Santa's eye. Have you wrapped presents, sent cards, baked cookies, planned parties, decorated the tree, fa la la la la - ed? 'Tis the season to be busy, busy, busy, but it's also a time to sit back, chillax, and enjoy the many good things about the most wonderful time of the year. So, with that in mind, here are some good things about the holidays from us to you! Merry Christmas!

Characters from stop animation TV specials by Rankin/Bass

2. Clarice: She's the gentle doe from "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." She stands by her man, and has a sweet singing voice.

3. Hermey the elf, also from Rudolph: He's the little guy who wants to be a dentist, and he's brave enough to be himself. Spoiler alert: He saves the day at the end of the show.

1. Heat Miser from The Year without a Sants Claus: He's hot! He can sing and dance, and he has an awesome hairdo.

Holiday Parties

2. Dress Up: Celebrations call for donning festive clothing or an excuse to wear a really ugly Christmas sweater.

3. Small bites and tasty treats: If they are tiny and can be eaten without utensils they have less calories, right?

1. Libations and spirits: We're not talking about the ghosts of Christmas past, present, or future, so have a cup of cheer. Here's to you!


2. Festive wrapping paper: Topped with pretty bows, unless you're gift-wrapped challenged, then a decorative bag will do.

3. Twinkly lights: Sparkly or glowing, white or multicolored, but not over the top or obnoxious flashing.

1. Chocolate Santas: Solid is best, head first of course!

Bonus: The best EVER speech by a fictional character presented by the one and only Brian Atkinson! Please hold your applause to the very end.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The END . . .

it's near.

That's of course if you believe all the hullabaloo about the Mayan calendar. Believers trust that if Mayan predictions come true, the world will end on Dec. 21. Just 4 days before Christmas! In reality, the only thing that is going to end is this cycle of the Mayan long-count calender. It will simply roll over to a new calendar cycle. Here's what NASA has to say about it:
Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.

Some recent TV shows featured end of world scenarios. Check out the Dec. 11 episode of Raising Hope for a hilarious take on the topic or Glee's wacky Mayan wedding. FB comments also are popping up about the world's impending doom, like this status from my dear friend Ronda:
"Kudos to my very thoughtful hubby for presenting flowers early. If the Mayans are to be believed, the world ends on our 12th Anniversary!"
Happy Anniversary Ronda, but I do believe Sam will still need to take you out for dinner on your special day!

For the sake of this post, and because it's fun, let's say the world will end on Dec. 21. What 3 Good Things would you do before The End?' Here's what we at the Good Things blog would do:


2. Go out on the town with my hubby T: A fancy smancy date! I'm talking black tie, a formal dress with shiny high heels, a limo and driver, a gourmet dinner with champagne, the theatre perhaps - the whole shebang! Money would be no object!

3. A whole day of messy with the kids: That's right! Call the kids in sick from school, and take them on an adventure. Hike in the mud, jump in puddles, eat goopy, drippy, sticky foods in front of the TV, let them leave their stuff cluttered about the house, the cap off the toothpaste, and crumbs on the floor. Finger paint without putting newspaper down. Let them dye their hair bright colors, or roll down a grassy hill in good clothes. Just be silly and have fun! Don't clean up!

1. Tell all the special people in my life how much they mean to me: OK, that's something I (and y'all) should do regardless of what happens on 12/21! Say it in person, by phone, email, text, or note. Or by blog:
Dear Family and Friends, I love you! You mean the world to me! XXOO, Sue
Of course a post about the end of the world would not be complete without a little R.E.M.


I'd love to say that I've already done everything that I ever want to do before the end of the world. I know, however, that I haven't told everyone I know about Jesus. I don't have a bucket list or anything, but the things on my list would take more time than I have left before Friday. So, with that in mind, here are some little to-do items. Ok... mostly food.

2) Giordano's One more Giordano's pizza please!

Downers Grove

3) Steak I would want to eat one of those really awesome and monstrous steaks from Morton's or Ruth Chris' or some other way-high-end steak place. NOM!

1) She knows who she is. And it's none of your beeswax.

Other thoughts:

Since the Mayan calendar doesn't account for leap years, the world actually ended a few months ago.

If the world would end on Friday, the Jets/Titans game was the last NFL game anyone will ever see.
Now that's a shame.

Friday, December 14, 2012

There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays

That's the title of the song covered by many artists and groups, but my favorite version is the Perry Como one.

The lyrics go like this:
Oh! There's no place like home for the holidays,
'Cause no matter how far away you roam,
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
For the holidays you can't beat home sweet home!

I met a man who lives in Tennessee, he was heading for,
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie!
From Pennsylvania folks are travellin'
Down the Dixie sunny shore,
From Atlantic to Pacific,
Gee the traffic is terrific!

Oh! There's no place like home for the holidays,
'Cause no matter how far away you roam,
If you wanna be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays you can't beat home sweet home!

Take a bus, take a train, go and hop an aeroplane,
Put the wife an' kiddies in the family car!
For the pleasure that you bring when you make that doorbell ring,
No trip could be too far!

For me, the fun part this year is that I'm in the song!
"From Pennsylvania folks are travellin'
Down the Dixie sunny shore,"

I've been alone, with my friends, or with family in a variety of different places, but this year it's off to my parents' home in Gulfport, Mississippi. I love to spend time with them!

Some people find time with family stressful.

So, let's break it out... Wherever you're home for the holidays.

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays - The Good Things Version.

Brian (good things also come in twos)

2) Brothers: I have two brothers. I could count them each as good things, but then I'd have no room for more things. We are as alike as we are different from each other.
We enjoy each other's company and make each other laugh. I'm also putting my sister in-law in there. She's awesome. She's not "one of the boys" but she's awesome.

3) Nephews: I have two of those too! They are also awesome, and quite frankly much cuter than my brothers, and it's not creepy when they sit on my lap.

1) Parents: I have two of those! My mom and dad are precious to me. Yes, I could have just written "Family" instead of the pairs of good things, but then I wouldn't have this fun theme now would I?

Sue (Also sponsored by the number 2, or I'm-too-lazy-to-come-up-with my-own-theme so I'm rolling with Brian's)

2. Two cute kids : We've got 'em. They fill our lives with joy and happiness, and make Christmastime merry, bright, and expensive (especially now that they are tweens!)

3. Two sisters : We enjoy each other's company and make each other laugh. Wait, that's what Brian said about his brothers, but it's true. My sisters are awesome aunties who help me carry on festive holiday traditions with the kids like baking cookies*, and passing around presents from the youngest to the oldest or vice versa, which makes gift opening an epic event, or what my hubby T would call an all-day affair.

1. Two parents : I've got them too! They are "Nonnie and Papa" to my kids, and the inlaws to T. My mom and dad are the ones who started many of our family traditions like passing Oplatki around the Christmas table or the aforementioned gift opening ritual. One of my favorite traditions is when Santa (shh . . . it's really my dad) gives a special gift to each of his girls. This year's Christmas soiree will be at my parents' house, which is good because it takes just 10 minutes or so to get there from here. What's even better is that the day will be filled with eating, drinking, laughing, and love!

* Read my post about one of my favorite family cookie recipes and more in this free holiday ebook. Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Friendship Follies

Shhh . . . I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Brian and I are what I would describe as fairly good friends and writing partners. We chat, we laugh, we tease, and we give each other advice and support BUT ...

wait for it ...

Sometimes we just don't get along!

GASP! Perhaps it's hard to believe, but it is indeed true.

We discuss argue points big and little, blog related or not. We have our own opinions and we're not afraid to speak our minds. Once we had a heated disagreement about the use of the word "too." I am not making this up, we really did. I believe I won that battle, but I bet Brian would beg to differ. Recently we've had some talks about keeping up with this blog. Although we both agree on how often we should post, we vary on the amount of free time we have available to do so. In other words, I have have much more time on hand than Brian does as he is busy starting up his own consulting business. (My hubby T calls Brian the silent partner in this blogging alliance, but I sometimes call him something else, ha ha ha!)

Like characters in a movie, a TV show, or a cartoon, we tend to bounce back from our differences, work together, and remain friends in the end. That's all good. Even better is taking a close look at some famous fictional characters who, like Brian and I, sometimes seem like unlikely matches who deep down truly care for each other. Take these three good duos for example:

2. Will and Grace: To be fair, there is one notable difference between Brian and Will - Brian is not a lawyer. No, no, that's not it - he's not gay. However, Will and Grace are a quirky couple of friends. If once upon a time Brian and I were roommates, I think we would have been a lot like them. In this montage from the show, I like how Grace seeks Will's fashion advice and he doesn't hold back his thoughts. The very end of the clip cracks me up too!

3. Harry and Sally from When Harry Met Sally: If you take out the fairly tale ending to this story when Harry finally professes his undying love for Sally, Brian and I are a lot like this pair of friends from one of my favorite movies of all time. In fact, I can imagine us having a conversation just like this:
Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.
Harry Burns: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.
And for the record, we both disagree with the premise of the movie that men and women cannot be platonic friends - my take on the subject, and Brian's point of view.

1. Dory and Marlin from Finding Nemo: On his quest to find Nemo, Marlin meets up with Dory who joins in the search. They do not always get along swimmingly, and at one point Marlin believes he should continue his mission on his own. Of course, Dory and Marlin stick together in the end just like us.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Go-To Good Condiments

The other night for dinner, I made some fish fillets and fries, and lo and behold, we didn't have any tartar sauce in the house. We also didn't have the ingredients on hand to make homemade tartar sauce, so we turned to the number one condiment 'round these parts . . .

2. Ranch dressing! It's not just for carrot sticks or chicken nuggets anymore. My kids will dip almost anything into ranch dressing and eat it without complaining. We use it on tortilla wraps and sandwiches, and with those pillowy puffs of pizza dough goodness known as beer nuggets - an NIU favorite! Three out of four of us in the family will actually use ranch as a salad dressing. Which reminds me of a silly joke: What did the bottle of ranch say when someone left the refrigerator door open?
"Hey, close the door! I'm dressing in here!"

We discovered that fish fillets are not too bad with ranch dressing. Then, we discussed our other must-have-in-da-house condiments (Yes indeed, we have quite the intellectual dinner conversations.) Anyhoo, here's our other favs:

3. Ketchup! (or if you prefer catsup) No big surprise there. Who doesn't like ketchup?

1. Barbecue sauce! I love Sweet Baby Ray's the best, but we did bring some home from a BBQ joint in Toledo that was really tasty. We use BBQ sauce on grilled meats like ribs, for pulled pork or chicken, on mini-meatloaves, in chili, and as a dipping sauce of course.

What are your go-to good condiments? Do you like salsa?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I voted, did you?

Short and sweet, and mostly tongue in cheek.
Three good things about voting in today's election:
2. No waiting at my polling place.
3. No more political commercials on TV (I can now focus on the Christmas adverts that started before Halloween. Groan - I'm talking to you Target.)
1. I got a cute little red, white, and blue sticker as proof of carrying out my civic duty.
Here's to democracy in action!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh Snap! Goofy Good Pics

Just recently, I took a look at the overloaded memory card on my digital camera and came across some goofy good photos that I took with the intent of sharing them on this here very blog. Then, I invited Brian to join me in this endeavor, so here goes nothing:


2. One day I spilled some water on my kitchen counter and it looked like a bunny!

3. Some of the letters on my laptop wore off, and I am too cheap to pay $5 per key for replacements so I stuck on some scrapbook stickers. The missing letters didn't bother me so much, but T and the kids kept complaining!

1. Miss O's well-loved polar bear needed a bath, so here he is soaking in the a bowl of warm water. He's been her BBF (Best Bear Forever) for almost 10 years thanks to my good friend Robin who gifted Polar Bear to her when she was just a tot!


I on the other hand have selected pictures that I did NOT intend to share here. I had to go through my iPhoto pictures to find some that I have not posted on facebook or elsewhere. I'm not sure about these, but I think they are a public debut.

2) Uh Oh! Emergency Underpants. Who doesn't need these from time to time?

3) Is this a tiny dessert... or does my friend Steven have huge hands?

1) It's us! This is Sue and me - and Cindy... and a bunch of other people's hands... but I needed to use my own fingers for the rabbit ears. This is probably from our sophomore year of high school around Christmastime.

There ya have it - five goofy good pics, and one blast from the past that was posted without my permission (not really, I had the final edit) Do you have some photos stuck in your camera, memory card, phone, or a big box somewhere in your attic or basement? Post a comment below or send your photos to, especially if you have goofy good shots of Brian! Thanks so much! Happy Friday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Branching out to a Vlog

Brian kick-started the blog again last week, after we both took a bit of a summer hiatus. We hope you missed us! Now, we are in the midst of the autumn season, and before you know it - BOOM, winter will be here! With that in mind, we would like to share with you good things about fall. I know what you're thinking if you've been a long-time Good Things fan, they did that last year. You're right! We did. But if you missed it, you can read this ol' post. If you rather not, or you're just too lazy, you can simply watch these videos. That's correct, I said videos, or as they say in the blogging world - a vlog!


I will begin, but first a disclaimer: I am an amateur without fancy equipment or editing software and I'm camera shy. Just think of me a Howard's mother from The Big Bang Theory or Wilson from Home Improvement.

And now here's Brian's 3 good things about Fall:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Falling Into Goodness

Aside from the obligatory autumnal pun, I hardly need to point out to those of us in the northern hemisphere that the equinox has passed and we have fallen into Autumn.

Sue and I haven't written anything in quite a while. Sue posted last on August 15, and I haven't written anything on my own since Memorial Day. Apparently, I took the summer off. Oh I've been writing (check out the notes page on my Facebook) just not here. Recently however, I've had some stresses happen in my life that reminded me I need to write about good things. So, here goes.

I moved to a new apartment. Moving is supposed to be one of those top-10 stress-inducing things.

I lost my job. Yeah - that's no fun either.

I got a cold. But it's a Man Cold!

So, please allow me to use Scripture to turn that around a bit. My view of the world comes from this place.

We know that God's plan for us did not include brokenness; broken finances, broken health, broken lives, broken homes, broken relationships, and the brokenness of our own sins. When that brokenness occurs, we can be sure that he will use whatever happens to create something good.

We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose,
Romans 8:28 (CEV)

Paul wrote that from prison. Yeah... kinda helps me put my life into focus, don't you think?

Right! So, now let's talk about the good things.

2) I have a new place! I get to rearrange furniture, hang pictures, organize cabinets, and try new things. This is fun for me. It might not be your favorite thing to do, but it's really fun for me.

3) I'm financially OK - though I don't have a job right now. I have an amazing opportunity to explore what I want to do, and what I might do. I don't have to run out and get another job right now. That's a pretty amazing feeling and I know what an extraordinary opportunity this is. Please pray with me that I don't waste it. I'm exploring building my own Social Media Consulting business and doing more voiceover work than I have before. I can strategize about that all day - actually doing it scares the crap out of me.

Jesus looked at them and said, “There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything.”
Mark 10:27 (CEV)

That's just it, I may be gifted in certain areas and those give me some opportunities, but without God's intervention, I'm not going to be successful.

1) With my cold... I sound sexy... Like when Phoebe had a cold.

So, look for a Good Things About Fall post coming next week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Good Ol' Childhood Games

"With a dirty, dirty dish rag on your toe . . ." Sometimes random thoughts pop into my head. This ending to the IT-identifying chant came to me as I washed the dinner dishes a few weeks back. It's one of those childhood sayings that sticks with you for a gazillion years just like, "I'm rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me, and sticks to you" or "Not IT!" Of course in my mind, one random thought leads to another, and before ya know it, a Good Things post is born.

Well, it sort of works that way. In this case, I needed a little help from my friends, and Brian's friends too. With the magic of social networking, I recruited contributors to tell me one good outdoor game from their childhood. The graphic above is the product of their responses. Some games are familiar like Dodgeball or Hopscotch, others are not so well known like Dr. Tangle or Hunt for the Ol' Gray Woolie?!?

In this tech age, kids are most likely to be attached to something digital or electronic, rather than gathering up the neighborhood gang for a friendly game of Kick the Can, which by the way was the game mentioned more than any other in my unscientific poll. Wacky!

What was so good about these outdoor games from our childhoods? I'll tell right now:

3. Little or no special (expensive) equipment needed: A ball, a can, a flashlight, a stone and some chalk, a doorbell . . .

2. Mom or dad did not have to drive any kids here or there to take part: Go outside. Find some friends in your neighborhood on foot or by bike. Round them up in a backyard, an empty lot or field, or in the alley if you had one. Play a game or two, or more. There ya have it - no seatbelt required.

1. These games were actually fun despite the potential risk for injury. (I'm not a big fan of Dodgeball for that very reason) Good times were had by all, OK, maybe not by the kid who always was IT, but heck yeah, simple summertime fun!


Kudos to the following folks who shared their favorite childhood games with me, not in any particular order: Kevin, Deneen, Kristen, Jeff, Kelly, Joe, Beth, Donna, Joan, Narda, Marianne, Donna, Kim, Daphne, Greg, Ruth, Connie, and Dana. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now get out there, grab some friends, and go play!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh Snap! Summer Vacation Photo Fun

It's mid-July, and our summer vacations have come and gone. Me, T, and the kids recently took a trip to the northwoods of Wisconsin, about two hours north of Green Bay (that's right ~ Packer country, sorry Bears fans!) At the start of summer, Brian spent his vaca cruisin' in the Caribbean. A cabin in the woods vs. a cabin on the sea. Here are some highlights for your viewing pleasure:


2. Fish tales: You should have seen the next fish I caught. It was yay big! Actually, it was about the same size as this one which was much, much bigger in real life than in this photo. I think I might have hooked the same fish three times!

3. Just Beachy: If you give my kids a body of water and a sandy beach, they can play for hours.

1. Happy Trails, Happy Campers: T took the kids on their very first horseback ride . . .

and we enjoyed family time around the campfire.


2012 is the year of "free" vacations for me. I used points to book a cruise, and I'm getting ready to visit my family in Gulfport next month using airline miles. Not everything was free, but I'm getting rid of those points! So, let me bring you up to speed.

2) I put my feet up.

3) And put my feet up... on a cruise, and went to the highland games at a Celtic festival.

1) I went to a Cubs game in NY.

And ate a wonderful pastrami ruben.


* Hey, now it's your turn! Please send us a GOOD vacation photo, and we will post it here on this very blog. Please tell us a little bit about the photo, in other words, write your own photo caption and we'll take care it from there. You can email your photo as an attachment to and include you name, city, state or country, Please remember this is a family-friendly blog, so keep your Vegas vaca shots to yourself. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Free Good Things

No, Free Good Things is not Three Good Things with a speech impediment. Today, we're celebrating good things that are free. We could easily go down the road of smiles, air, sunshine and so on, but we're going for a little more commercial than that.

Here's mine:


2) Rita's Day - On the first day of Spring, free regular size ices at Rita's (Northeast chain).

3) Free things on your Birthday - I just had a birthday and didn't nearly scratch the surface of all the free things you can get. Here's the list: Birthday Freebies.

1) 7.11oz Slurpees on 7/11 at 7-Eleven - the annual free Slurpee Day from 11am to 7pm.


I'm going to go with two free things I've received recently, and one good place to find more freebies:

2. A small make-up bag with free samples of beauty products and coupons from Target.

3. A free iTunes download of the song "Beautiful You" by Trent Monk. Love it!

1. Just like a person wishing for more wishes from a genie, if you would like to find more freebies, browse the Frugal Girls website. I've scored laundry detergent, coffee, tea, beauty samples, music and e-book downloads, and more. Check it out.

Getting free stuff makes me smile, and of course smiles are free. So here's some for you, and Brian too.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Oh Snap! Father's Day Food Fest

My hubby T, super dad to our two awesome children, did not want anything for Father's Day. He had just one request for his special day: homemade deep dish pizza. He refused my offer to take him downtown for Pizzeria Uno pizza, his favorite. Too crowded, too much traffic, too expensive. He gave me all the excuses, so I gave in. Then, he suggested we take a trip to the Elburn Market for fresh Italian sausage for said pizza, and here's where the Father's Day food fest begins.

One does not make a special trip to a quality meat market and leave with just Italian sausage. Oh no! There's pork chops, ground beef, chicken, deli meats, and of course, steak - t-bone steaks. Change of menu? Nope! Because he is such a great father and loving husband, T had his deep dish pizza, and ate his steak too. And there were muffins - not store bought, not from a mix - homemade raspberry muffins accompanied by his fav hot beverage: chai tea latte. We are the best wife and kids ever! Well, at least in our minds we are.

So here in photos, is the Father's Day Food Fest featuring three good meals which actually started on Saturday night with . . .

2. Homemade deep dish sausage and mushroom pizza

3. Made-from-scratch raspberry muffins for Sunday's breakfast

1. T-Bone steak dinner with baked potatoes, grilled veggies, baked beans, and salad with fresh lettuce from our garden, with a Leine's Summer Shandy

Oh, let's not forget dessert - ice cream from Brenda's Frozen Custard in nearby Sandwich, IL. There's always room for dessert!

               Please pass the Tums.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fabulous Summertime Fruit!

Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in your fruit salad. - Miles Kington
But a fruit salad is a good thing, especially in the summer months with fresh, just-picked fruit. Not so good with bad fruit like the baby watermelon and a couple of pounds of cherries we bought recently at a nearby superstore. No taste at all. We ended up throwing most of it away, which really honks me off, as Brian would say.

Brian also said this to me on IM the other day: I'm eating a peach. They just hit the store this week. The local strawberries are done now. ohhhh... so good.
He was trying to make me smile during an otherwise serious conversation about my health. He succeeded.

Sweet, juicy, fresh peaches make me smile. They are a good thing. A few summers ago, we went peach picking in Michigan with the kids (that's them peach picking (or maybe eating) there in the photo) So much fun, and tasty too! With that in mind, today's post features our favorite summer fruits, and how we like to eat 'em.


2. Watermelon! My most favorite summertime fruit. When I was pregnant with Miss O during the summer, I couldn't stop eating it. I prefer slices or chunks, seedless please. It's also pretty yummy in a fruit salad especially when someone else makes it in one of those fancy carved watermelon baskets.

3. Cherries! BK, not Burger King, but Before Kids, T and I went on a road trip along Michigan's west coast. We stopped at a farmstand and picked up a pint or two of cherries. We ate them right there in the car without bothering to wait to get to our destination. As a child, my famiy would go cherry pickin' in Door County, Wisconsin. Good times! I prefer my cherries chilled, straight up, or perhaps in a pie. With vanilla ice cream.

1. Avocados! They have pits like cherries, peaches, or plums, so I'm calling them a fruit. I absolutely adore avocados. Remember when Brian came to my house last summer and he made his famous guacamole. Guacamole is my fav way to eat avocados, but I also like them sliced on sandwiches or burgers. Here is another excerpt from Bri and I's IM the other day, Me: We had some yummy bacon avocado burgers last night. Brian: mmmm, bacon avocado! As you can see, we enjoy talking about food - a lot! And now it's Brian's turn:


2) Strawberries: These beauties are what I ate for breakfast on Wednesday. Depending on where you live, you get local strawberries for a couple of weeks in the late-Spring or early-Summer. 20 Years in Michigan conditioned me to Strawberries near my birthday in early July. Here, near Philadelphia, it's the couple of weeks after Memorial Day. These are small, incredibly flavorful and not be be confused with the watery behemoths from California and Florida.

3) Peaches: To cling, or not to cling - that is the question! Whether 'tis preferable to have the flesh of the peach come-away easily from the stone, or to suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous clingy peach. But then, you get to suck the meat off the pit. mmmmmm

1) Blueberries: Blue on the bush, purple on the plate, there's no blue food! My fruit-picking experiences are not limited to blueberries, but they are a favorite. You have to be careful not to eat too many while you're picking. Let's just say that there are consequences. Dire. Consequences.

Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. - Oscar Wilde

Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Giveaway Winner

Just one good thing for today:

Leslie G. is the winner of the book, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms"

That is all, carry on.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Triple Good Friday

Today is the Friday leading into Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial day is when we remember our soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice and gave their lives for their country, a cause, and their friends. So, before I get to my Friday "Good Things", a moment of silence.


Now, the good things on this Friday - all work related.

2. Early release from work this afternoon. Done at 3pm. 'nuff said.

3. Wearing a new T-shirt for casual day in the office. You may know that I have a lot of t-shirts. I love a shirt that makes me laugh. I dislike shirts that are souvenirs from locations where I've never been... people give me those sometimes. This one is a souvenir shirt, from a place I have been, that also makes me laugh, and is awesome. It's the trifecta of t-shirts.

1. It's Grilled Cheese Monday (on Friday) - this requires a brief explanation. Everyone is supposed to bring some type of cheese, bread or something to add in the sandwiches. Some people bring George Foreman grills or other types of sandwich-grill-press-thingers. We all enjoy these together around lunch.

BONUS: It's International Towel Day (of course)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Sweat!

Life is often like making a movie, sometimes we need more than one take to get it just right. When we make mistakes along our journey through life, we can choose to have a "do over" if you will. We can learn from the err of our ways, stop looking back, and move ahead with a new attitude and a fresh perspective.

As a mom, I have made plenty of mistakes ~ yelling too much, losing my patience easily, and forgetting to live in the moment. Moments in mothering go by in a flash. Most special memories are often captured in photos and videos, but the little day to day things often go unnoticed. Unless of course, they are things that cause us to worry, fret, or question our decisions as a parent.

We need to let go of these nagging little worries, and we can do so with the help from a new book from the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms: Simple Ways to Stress Less and Enjoy Your Family More" by Kristine Carlson. Here at the 3 Things Blog, just one of us is a mom but that's OK because many of the ideas in the book can apply to anyone even my partner-in-blogging, Brian. Although he is not a parent, Brian is an uncle to two cute nephews, and a son to one awesome mom. Hmmm . . . maybe I should send him a copy of the book. Nah, he can get a sneak peak at the first chapter, and so can you. Just fill in this short form and if you read to the very end of this post, you will get the chance to win a free copy of the book. Now that's a good thing! No fair skipping ahead to the giveaway, first take a look at my 3 Good Things about this read:

2. Advice for all This book offers tips and suggestions for all kinds of moms - new moms, single moms, moms of tweens and teens, even empty nest moms and grandmas too. Carlson's advice is cultivated by her own experiences with motherhood combined with personal accounts from friends as well as information from experts. There also is an useful resource section at the end of the book.

3. Short Snippets Carlson knows moms. We are a busy lot, and might not always have the time to sit down for a few hours with a good book. She breaks the book into 100 brief, but informative, chapters for easy reading. This format suits my nighttime habit of reading a bit in bed before falling asleep. The format also allows the reader to select which chapters to read at random depending on one's needs, interests, or time constraints.

1. Imperfect is OK The very first chapter of this book is by far one of my favorites ~ There is No Such Thing as a "Perfect" Mom. I wholeheartedly agree! Carlson encourages moms to be authentic: to acknowledge mistakes, learn from them, and apologize for them if necessary. She writes,"When we make space for imperfection and mistakes, we give our kids a chance to deepen themselves and become more true to themselves and real as they grow up. Abandoning perfectionism is such a relief for us, and them."

Now that you've listened to my take on this terrific little book, it's your chance to win a free copy. How? Just leave a comment in the comment box below this post by Sunday, May 27. If you're not sure how to do that, check out the How to Comment section in the sidebar on the right. One reader will be randomly chosen as a winner on Memorial Day (Monday, May 28) - just in time for a little summer reading. Good luck!

Disclaimer: For purposes of this review and giveaway, I received a free copy of the book as part of the "I'm a Don't Sweat Mom" campaign.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oh Snap! Mother's Day Recap

Mother's Day has come and gone, and everyone and everything is back to usual around here as in someone needs help with this, someone needs a ride there, and someone (oh, that would be!) needs to prepare that for dinner! All in all it was a pleasant Mother's Day. I did not have to cook, I received some thoughtful and useful gifts, and I had the chance to relax a bit on a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes the day can be overrated as far as holidays go, but all and all it was a good day. Here's a recap:

2. Good eats!
T and Miss O baked some homemade scones for breakfast, and there were leftovers for me to enjoy for the rest of the week too! T also made dinner - a shrimp, tomato, and orzo dish, and a homemade chocolate cream pie for dessert. The pie was quite tasty, much different than this chocolate "fruit" pie Brian posted on his FB page the other day.

3.Good gifts from the heart! Cards and stories from the kids, and a really sweet necklace made by Miss O. I proudly wore it to church that morning, and the next day too.

1. The two best reasons to celebrate the day! Without these precious gifts from God, I would not be a mom today. OK, T had a little bit something to do with it!

You might be wondering what Brian did on Mother's Day (Hopefully, he called his mom) He visited a brand new mommy! His good friends welcomed an adorable bundle of joy earlier in the week. Congratulations ~ welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood!