Her’s Day Thursday

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When I opened my internet this morning, I got a glimpse of today’s Google Doodle:

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Intrigued, I clicked on the picture and learned that today is Hertha Marks Ayrton’s 162nd birthday. Who is Hertha Marks Aytron? I’ll tell you!

 

Phoebe Sarah Hertha Ayrton was born on April 28, 1854 in Hampshire, England. The third of eight children, Hertha (as she was later called) helped her mother care for her siblings when her father unexpectedly died in 1861. Hertha’s aunts invited her to attend a school they ran in London, knowing that Hertha would need an education to gain employment, thus helping to support the family. Hertha joined her aunts’ school and quickly found she had an affinity for math and science.

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After completing her education, Hertha worked for a short time as a governess and then pursued a college degree at Girton College, Cambridge University. She passed all the necessary exams to earn a Bachelor’s of Science, however was awarded a “certificate” instead, as Cambridge did not give degrees to women at the time. Hertha went to the University of London, took the same exams, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree.

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Hertha continued her work in mathematics, even getting published in Educational Times. In 1884, she patented a line-divider a drawing device for engineers that divides lines into any number of equal parts. This invention was not only used by engineers, but also artists and architects. This would not be her only invention. Until her death in 1923, Hertha registered twenty-six different patents!

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Hertha was a pioneer in the field of engineering. She was awarded the Hughes Medal for her works in engineering–and, as of last year, is only one of two women to ever win the award! In 2015, she was named by the Royal Society as one of the ten most influential British women in science.

 

Go, Hertha!

Try It Tuesday

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I think I may be hitting the nesting stage about two months late. I didn’t really have the energy to get those nesting instincts during my pregnancy but I am feeling it now. Everywhere I look, I see something that needs to be scrubbed, organized, or de-cluttered (though, this could just be lie with two kids, ha!).

Even though I have a cleaning schedule and every room gets cleaned, there are still those stubborn spots that just refuse to get/stay clean. Like this:

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Its seriously EVERY. SINGLE. FAUCET in the house. They all look like that! It grosses me out and is infuriating. I’ve used Scrubbing Bubbles and other cleaners but nothing has helped! So, instead of curling up in the fetal position and crying, I consulted the interwebs. I saw that vinegar is supposed to help break up those mineral deposits. I decided to give it a try.

Here’s what you need:

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~vinegar

~a paper towel

~gloves (so your hands don’t smell like Easter eggs for days)

 

All you have to do is wet the paper towel with a little water and then drench it in vinegar. DO NOT RING IT OUT. Then, roll it long-ways and weave it around your faucet.

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Let it sit for about an hour. Then, remove the paper towel.

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Look how clean it is! Wooo! This is DEFINITELY a Try It WIN! (It should be noted that every faucet in the house has now received the vinegar treatment and my house stinks. But it was totally worth it!)

Mommy Monday

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Its been six weeks since I gave birth to Huff the Babe and I have been itchin’ to return to my workouts. I only have 10 pounds of the 30 I gained with Indy left to lose and I’m unbelievably ready for it to come of. However, since I’m nursing, my body is going to hold on to some fat stores making it dang near impossible to lose ANY weight.

But, I shall not fear! I know, in the meantime, I can work on strength training to build up muscle and endurance. But finding time for that? Now THAT’S dang near impossible.

Don’t believe me? This video perfectly sums up what its like to try and workout when kids are around:

Maybe I’ll get fit once the kids are away at college…

Fan Girl Friday

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Happy Friday, y’all! After the bad news that seemed to never end this week, I think we could all use some happy. Enter: Fan Girl Friday! I’ve got some fun finds that is sure to brighten up your day!

 

I’ve never been to WonderCon, but I’d really like to go! I have, however, been to San Diego Comic Con (aka, Mecca for Geeks) and I LURVE seeing all of the cosplayers in their get ups! One of these days I’ll convince Huff the Hubs to cosplay at a con so we can be like this awesome couple:

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They’re known as the “Cosplay Parents” and have a major internet following! The Nerdist reports:

“…they are relative novices to the con scene. But like most cosplayers, once they got started, they were immediately hooked. Their daughter spent years creating her own costumes and attending Anime Expo, but it wasn’t until the couple retired that they caught the cosplay bug themselves.”

How cute is that?! Click here for more of their a-DORK-able cosplays!

 

While I was scouring the interwebs for geeky goodies, I came across an awesome bakery website! Award-winning The Little Cherry Cake Company (in association with Black Cherry Cake Company) in the UK makes some nerdy nummies that fit just about every fandom! Just look!

Princess Bride Cake

 

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There’s even a Disney Tsum Tsum cake AND a Tardis cake! Click here to visit their gallery!

 

The day we have all waited for officially arrived last week! No, not tax day–season two of Outlander! Can’t get your hands on a burly Scot to snuggle with? Don’t worry! Keep yourself warm while watching those kilted cuties with this!

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Its an officially licensed Outlander fleece throw (complete with Fraser family crest!) from Think Geek! It’ll keep you toasty on those cold highland nights, yea kin?

 

One of those most celebrated days in geekdom is in just a few weeks! That’s right, get your Star Wars gear because May 4th is coming soon! Retailer Love and Madness has what you need! Like this cuff with the complete opening story to A New Hope!

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And this nostalgic hair tie!

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Have something you want to see featured on Fan Girl Friday? Share in the comments below!

 

Happy fangirling!

 

Try It Tuesday

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I was scrolling through my newsfeed the other day and came across one of those links that is obviously click bait. You know what I’m talking about. Its those headlines that read: “He Never Expected His Wife Would Do THIS” and you think its some crazy tale about how a woman left her husband to follow a rockstar she was obsessed with on tour or something, only to find out she cooked his favorite meal that his great grandma used to make and it made him happy. I hate crap like that. But, I also can’t help but click it.

Such was the case when I saw a headline that promised to make my nasty, dingy baking sheet look good as new. (I believe the headline was something along the lines of: “She Was Going to Throw Out Her Old Pans Until She Tried This Trick!”)

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I was intrigued! Of course I want my pans to look as good as new! I’m cheap and I don’t want to replace something that I can fix myself.

Here’s what you need:

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~an ugly baking sheet

~an old toothbrush

~dish soap

~baking powder

~aluminum foil

~water

 

According to the site, you’re supposed to scrub the baking soda onto the pan in a circular motion with the toothbrush. Never once did it say to mix the water and the baking soda or the dish soap with the water; I was totally confused! They said you needed those things but never mentioned them again! Sigh. I just assumed you were supposed to mix the baking soda, water, and soap. So that’s what I did.

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I scrubbed it into the pan and let it set (per the instructions) for 30 minutes.

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Then, I scrubbed it with aluminum foil.

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After that you’re just supposed to “rinse the grime away”!

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Yeah. That didn’t happen.

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It literally looked the exact same. Granted, it felt a lot cleaner, but it still looked like crap.

Maybe I shouldn’t have mixed the soda, water, and soap? I don’t know; the directions weren’t very clear. Either way, this is definitely a Try It Fail. Womp, womp.

Do you have any tricks to get your old bake-ware looking new? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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I don’t know about y’all, but most days I feel like I’m a complete failure. I’ll see other moms on Facebook, talking about how their kid achieved this or completed that, all while Super Momma was there to sew a dress, teach them Algebra, and bake cookies for their classmates in the shape of their favorite historical figure. I look at these women and I can’t help but think:

“That looks exhausting.”

and:

“Should I be doing more?”

But then I watch videos like this one from The Break Womb and realize I’m doing what I can and that is enough!

Ever been in situations like that? How do you deal?

Fan Girl Friday!

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It’s Frrriiiiiiddddaaayyy! Another end to another workweek! And what better way to start it off than with some geeky goodies?!

Would you rather spend your weekend wrapped up in a Snuggie, binge-watching season two of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix than out at a club? (Who wouldn’t? That sounds AWESOME!) Then I’ve got the soap for you, friend!
FGF 4-15-16 Introvert SoapWhiskey River Soap has an unscented soap made just for introverts! Their selection is catered to everyone: they have Soap for Awkward Moments (like running into someone at the grocery store), Soap For Bad Hair Decades (basically me throughout the 90’s), and Caf+Fiend (coffee-scented soap to help you get through those morning meetings!)!

 

ThinkGeek has a special place in my nerdy heart. But now, my affection for them has grown even more! In an effort to bring awareness to autism, TG is selling these Neurodiversity tees:

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According to their site: “Until the end of April of 2016, 100% of the proceeds from this shirt (after April $1 a shirt) will be donated to ASAN, The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. Their mission statement:

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as all other citizens. We work to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community, and seek to organize the Autistic community to ensure our voices are heard in the national conversation about us. Nothing About Us, Without Us!”

Awesome, right?! Go get your shirt now!

 

And, while you’re there, pick up a little something for the snazzily-dressed little hero in your life!

FGF 4-15-16 Kids Avengers TieSeriously, how precious is this kids’ Avengers tie?!

This week, the cast of Sherlock posted behind-the-scenes pics of season 4! Can’t wait to get your Cumberbatch fill until then? Fear not! The Dr. Strange trailer hit the web this week with our favorite British baratone!

SQUEEEE!!!!

Her’s Day Thursday

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Tuesday was one of my favorite author’s birthday and I didn’t even know it! I follow PBS on Facebook and it was until this morning that I saw an article stating that Beverly Cleary turned 100 years old!

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This woman, even though she has NO idea who I am, is near and dear to my heart. I credit her with helping me fall in love with reading.

Beverly Bunn was born April 12, 1916 in Oregon to Mable and Lloyd Bunn. Beverly lived on a farm with her family in a very rural part of Yamhill until she was about six years old and then moved to Portland.

Though she would become one of the greatest children’s authors, Beverly was not always a fan of reading. in fact, in grade school, she was placed in the lowest reading group–the Blackbirds. As she grew, she started to read more and eventually went to college to earn her degree in library sciences!

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Her first job as a librarian was in Yakima, Washington. It was there that a young boy approached her and asked, “Where are the books about kids like us?” This spurred Beverly to pen her first book: Henry Huggins. 

This book catapulted Cleary’s career which led to her writing over 40 children’s books! Most of them featuring the titular character of Ramona Quimby.

Beverly Cleary Books

As a kid, I adored the Ramona books. I always thought Ramona had spunk and wanted to be just like her! I even signed my school papers: Jessica Akers, age 8! (And then 9 when my birthday rolled around).

So happy (belated) birthday, Mrs. Cleary! And thank you for the amazing stories!

Try It Tuesday

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Before I had Huff the Babe, I put together a few freezer meals so I would t have to cook/Huff the Hubs would t have to leave me alone at the house with two kids to go get take out. Thanks to our amazing Lifegroup, family, and friends, we have only had to cook three times in the past three and a half weeks! And, thankfully, one of those meals was this freezer meal!

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Here’s what you need:
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6 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 jars alfredo sauce
4 tablespoons pesto
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 bags fresh spinach
2 lbs penne pasta (or 1 box)

First, cook the penne according to directions on the box. While the pasta is cooking, pour some olive oil into a pan on the stove and cook your chicken. This usually takes about 6-8 minutes a side, maybe more if they’re thick pieces. When they’re cooked, remove from the pan and cut the chicken into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.

In the same toss in the garlic and saute for about a minute. Add one bag of spinach and saute until its withered (it doesn’t take long; THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID! Ha!). Pour the garlic and place it aside with the chicken. Saute the remaining bag of spinach until wilted.

Your pasta should be done by now. When its drained, pour it into the large bowl with the chicken, spinach, and garlic. Add the alfredo sauce and pesto and mix well.

Then, spoon the mixture into two 9×13 pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Then, you can either freeze it or eat it then! I chose to freeze it. The night before, I took it out of the freezer and let it set in the fridge until an hour before dinnertime. Then, I popped it into the oven at 350 for an hour and dinner was served!

 

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Y’all, this meal was BOMB DIGGITY! I know it seems like a lot of work, but its sooooo worth it! It was DELISH! Even Huff the Tot liked it!

Mommy Monday

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This Saturday, Huff the Babe will be a month old. A MONTH! Already! I honestly cannot believe it. The past 3 weeks have flown by in a sleep-deprived swirl of poopy diapers, cracked nipples, and lukewarm coffee.

I’ve felt emotional the past few weeks, of course; when you give birth, all the hormones you’ve been producing leave your body when the baby does. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, and I’ve felt so happy and proud that my little family is growing.

However, there’s one emotion that I’m not proud of.

My anger.

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I know a lot of my annoyance and anger has been because I’m exhausted. I’ve been getting around 4 hours of sleep every night, my body is still healing, and I can’t do everything (though I tell myself I can). And, sadly, the ones who bear the brunt of my temper are Huff the Hubs and Huff the Tot. But mostly, its Huff the Tot.

I’ll start the day with the best of intentions. I want it to be a good day where I’m “Happy-Fun-Mommy”, not “Scary-Dragon-Mommy”. I tell myself, “You can do this. Just be patient and show Hermione grace.” And then, she throws herself on the floor because she doesn’t want to eat breakfast even though she’s hungry. Or she completely refuses to listen when I ask her to take her chocolate milk back to the kitchen (for the thirtieth time). Then, I flip out. I yell. Or I sigh and think, “Why is my child being such a brat?”

Neither of these are helpful.

And neither of these help me be the mom I want to be.

More often than not, I have found myself lying in bed after the kids are in bed, crying silent tears because of the way I acted earlier in the day.

Why did I react that way? 

Why did I say that?

Why didn’t I do A, B, C?

What if I never get control of my anger and I’m like this forever? 

I can blame it on the sleep deprivation or the fact that we’re still adjusting to this new life as a family of four (which, I believe are valid reasons to be under more stress). However, I’m reminded of the saying: “Who you really are is reflected by how you react under fire.”

And let me tell ya, having a newborn and a toddler is like trying to put out a fire with a can of kerosene.

I told myself as I lay in bed last night that tomorrow, I’d start anew. I wasn’t going to use the same old reactions and techniques (or lack thereof) because, obviously, they weren’t working for me. I don’t want to be the mom that flips out over a spilled cup of juice that could five minutes to clean up; because it will take years to build back the broken spirit of my little ones.

So I go ogled “How to be a less angry mom”. There were a lot of helpful tips, but the thing that stuck out the most to me was a blog post from a mom that said: “For some irrational reason, I tend to feel that disobedience is a personal insult. I say do this, they do that, and I want to get offended at their audacity. Then I remind myself they are children. They intuitively want to please their parents but they don’t intuitively know how. Unless you want to be nuts all day and night, you cannot take their behavior and choices personallyI can expect a good attitude, but not if I’m a sourpuss all day.” 

That hit me deep. I shouldn’t take Huff the Tot’s disobedience as a personal insult. She’s TWO. And if I’m frustrated and huffy and puffy all day, what example is that setting for her? I don’t want my children to be angry and rude. I want them to be full of joy and optimistic. They can’t become those people if they’ve never seen one in action.

Now, after reading, thinking, and praying over my new knowledge and mindset, I feel hopeful for the future. I’m sure there will be days when I still chide myself as I try to fall asleep because I raised my voice or over reacted to a small mistake. We live in a fallen world and no one is without sin, after all. But, for the first time in weeks, I feel like those days will be fewer and farther between.

Have you ever felt this way? How have you coped/changed your behavior?