Kohl’s Ate my Mashed Potatoes

I had to go to Kohl’s this morning.

There are a laundry list of stores that I always try to avoid based on a series of important factors:

If the store smells like mashed potatoes and a freshly waxed linoleum floor, or if their lighting makes my skin appear greenish,and super gross, or if I get accosted by in-your-face-sales tactics and a barrage of papery crap handed to me after I make a purchase, chances are I hate that store.

Kohl’s is all of these things, so I especially like to NEVER go there. But my family thinks otherwise. Apparently they enjoy having a greenish tint to their skin tone as they shop for discount bras and salad spinners, whatever, it’s not for me to judge.

Christmas was awesome, we got lots of good stuff, and most importantly we were reminded of Jesus’ love in our hearts, but least importantly we got some crap from Kohl’s. Crap from Kohl’s has no place in my home, so I returned it this morning.

My brain doesn’t know what to think when I walk in the store. Is it a department store? Is it a discount store? Why is everything in Spanish? Should I have brought coupons? Why is the elevator 17 degrees hotter and smell like cheese? Where the frick do I return this snowman sweater? Does anyone work here? Does Vera Wang know that Kohl’s sucks too, or does she just see pretty jewel-encrusted dollar signs? If I was a high-end wedding dress designer, would I sell out to Kohl’s too? How much money do you think she makes by slapping her name on this tunic? Should I buy this tunic? Oh look it’s on sale! Do they have my size? OH SHIT! I just got sucked in. See how easy that was? Damn you Kohl’s! I shake my fist at you. How dare you suck me in like that.

After I returned my snowman sweater, I got store credit for precisely 23 dollars and 46 cents. What the heck am I going to buy? The store is filled with endless possibilities. I can get a candle that isn’t a candle at all, but merely a light disguised as a candle that flickers just like a real flame. That has value in my home, right?

Or maybe I should buy a beef jerky maker. I love beef jerky. Bobby Flay thinks I should buy it. His face is plastered all over the thing. Nothing makes me think of beef jerky quite like Bobby Flay.

Apparently Kohl’s and Food Network are in a committed relationship.

AHA! I just came up with another reason I don’t enjoy the Kohl’s: celebrity endorsements.

Vera Wang, Lauren Conrad, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, they all want me to shop here, and I’m not comfortable with it. Are they watching me right now? Stop looking at me Rachel!!

Let’s just get one thing straight, Lauren Conrad would never wear this:

It looks like movie theatre carpet, and I think my grandma has this exact top but hers is in a size called 4Xs the Woman.

LC would never.

Finally, I decided on a purchase: a gravy fat seperator and an Eric Carle book.

I tried to find a check out counter, I was almost ready to leave when I noticed a grocery store-like check out at the front of the store: 7 rows of check out stands just like at my local Albertson’s.

Do they have cute 16 year-old baggers that help you to your car too?

After I bought my fat seperator and book I was given no less than 4 pieces of paper. 2 coupons, a survey, and my reciept.

Thanks Kohl’s, you’re basically awesome, and I don’t mean that at all.

Everytime I seperate my fat, I’ll think of you.

Compulsive liar

I feel like I should say something to you.

Like I should tell you secrets. Interesting dark secrets.

Mainly because I haven’t updated this blog in a while, and I’m starting to feel guilty and monumentally uninteresting.

I keep pausing throughout my day thinking, this could make an interesting blog post.

And then I’m like, no. No one wants to know about my nightly cuddle sessions with my pug where she lets me spoon her, and I let her lick my eyelids.

So then I end up back here, at my computer, with my thinking face on. Which coincidentally, looks a lot like my opening a-hard-to-open-jar-of-peaches-face and also my-drinking-hot-liquids-face.

But I don’t have any interesting dark secrets.

Although I used to be a compulsive liar. That’s mildly interesting, right?

I remember when I was in 2nd grade I used to watch TGIF like a crazed junkie. I even named my hamster Balki Bartokomous.

That’s a lie. I never had a hamster. We were an average family with average pets. We never even had a fish or a bird. Just cats and dogs. But the point is, If I was allowed to have a hamster, I would have named him Balki Bartokomous.

So, 2nd grade I remember standing in the lunch line to get my second sloppy joe and telling everyone around me that Candace Cameron was my cousin.

As you could imagine all my lunch-mates were captivated. I heard many gasps and the shuffle of tiny feet inching closer to me so they could hang on my every word.

I told them that she would pick me up in her limo and we’d go to her house and swim in her giant pool.

Some fat kid in the back of the line piped up, “So that means you’re Kirk Cameron’s cousin too, because they’re brother and sister.”

“Yeah, obviously,” I snorted. “I didn’t mention him before because we’re in a fight right now. He wants to take my hamster Balki for a sleepover, and I won’t let him. So, he’s mad at me.”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

It seemed to make sense to my 8-year-old classmates that my bond with my fictitious hamster outweighed my bond to my fictitious cousin.

And so it went; the giant lie I told all my friends in 2nd grade about being related to the biggest stars on television in 1988.

At one point it got a little out of control. People wanted to know if the Camerons could pick me up from school so they could see their limo, and possibly take them swimming too. Teachers were curious if Kirk Cameron was single, and if I could give him their number. There were too many lies to keep up with, so one day I just stopped answering their questions.

School friend: Hey Beckey, what kind of sandwich does Candice Cameron eat at lunch time?

Me: ((Silence))

School Friend: Do you think she’ll kiss her boyfriend on tonight’s episode?

Me: ((Looks down))

School Friend: Don’t they live in San Francisco? That’s far from here, huh? Must be a long limo drive to her house then, right?

Me: ((Walks away))

There was a lot of pressure involved in being related to famous people.


I’d like to think that I like surprises. Who doesn’t like the prospect of bright and sparkly surprise? The idea that someone out there cares about you so much that they’ve wielded some popsicle sticks into the shape of a trivet with a glue gun and sequins just for you. SURPRISE!

Or SURPRISE, perhaps they think you are so neat that they’ve chartered a private gondola ride along the back bay for you complete with crooning Italians.

Maybe you have a lover that loves you so deeply that  SURPRISE they’ve tattooed your name on their forearm in comic sans. Swoon.

But for me, I like the idea of surprises. I like the gentle nudge of a surprise, but don’t you go doing something that I don’t fully approve of.

I probably don’t want to spend a day SURPRISE!! painting my own pottery.

Or SURPRISE! We flew your best friend in from out of town. But no one told you that we haven’t spoken in 3 years, but I’m pretty sure that I read on Facebook that she was involved in some shady-ness, and I don’t think her parole officer wants her to leave town. But super, now I have to spend 4 days with her and pretend to agree when she says, “it wasn’t mine, I swear. You believe me, right? It was this guy’s that I met at a disco-jam party, where we all wear pajamas and pretend we’re characters from 90′s sit-coms. I went as the original mom from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

And I have to do that sympathetic head-noddy-thing where it looks like I’m agreeing, but really, I’m just planning my escape. Now, if I could just create a distraction…

Not a fan of surprises.

Here’s what I do like: I’d like you to go ahead with your surprise, but then I’d like to secretly find out what it is.

Like if you want to plan a surprise party for me, you should accidentally leave the guest list some where I can find it. For instance, in the back of your pantry where you stash your chocolate.

You’d be on the phone (talking to the caterer of course, wink, wink) and I’d be searching for something crunchy and sweet, and I’d find your list, I’d take a picture of it, and replace it, all while shoving my face full of chocolate macaroons (they’re the new cupcake, and clearly you got the memo).

So not only is my belly full of warm chocolate, but now I’m prepared for a surprise. I know just enough information to still be semi-surprised, and that’s just how I like it.

Because I know that I have to spend at least an hour on my make-up and hair everyday before I leave the house, and I’m certainly not going to wear my unflattering minky kelly green sweatpants, that I lovingly refer to as my leg-socks.

And I’ll stop picking my zits in the middle of the day just in case I get a surprising knock at my door.

It’s pretty much a win-win for both of us. You get to show me how much you love me by thinking that you’re surprising the crap out of me, and I won’t be so surprised that I actually crap my pants.



My kid sucks at eating: A post about how my daughter hasn’t eaten dinner in roughly 2 years.

My daughter is almost 4. And she’s really good at lots of things. Like pouring mommy’s hot coffee in the morning and not scolding herself. And folding certain pieces of laundry; the square shaped kind to be exact. She’s all thumbs when she tries to fold the T-shirt-shaped or baby-shaped laundry.

We all have things to work on, right?

But to make up for it, she can make one hell of a martini with 2 blue cheese stuffed olives.

Mommy’s little princess.

I say all these nice things about her, because I’m going to bring up something constructive.

Isn’t that how it works? Say three nice things first, then say something mean and nasty, and nobody gets pissed off?

It’s like if I were to say to you, “has anyone ever told you that your hair smells like nacho cheese? It’s like a baseball stadium exploded on your head. I mean that in a good way. But you knew that because you’re so intuitive, that’s why I like you, you’re intuitive and you’re very good at parking your car inside those white lines too.”

Stealthy complements, no? It’s like you have no idea that I’m complementing you, instead it’s just a treasure trove of awesome words, and you pretty much want to write them all down, but you don’t know why. So you search for your pen and paper, and as you’re doing that, I say, “Those jeans are incredibly unflattering on you. They make you look like a potato. A short and dumpy potato. Flair is out, and tapered is in.”

And you’re like, “Wow. You’re right. and I’m so not pissed off right now for you calling me dumpy.”

And then we hi-five each other and split a bagel. Because that’s what friends do. They share the truth and bagels.

So all this to say, I’m being a friend to Berlyn by saying some nice things, before I bring the heat. But since she can’t read, I guess it doesn’t really matter, huh?

So here it goes: she’s really bad at eating.

She’s very closed minded and won’t try anything.

She won’t even lick or smell something new.

I guess all kids are like that at this age, right? This is what I tell myself to help me cope. So please keep it to yourself that your child munches on kale chips and fava beans when she feels snacky.

I can’t help but feel this is my fault. I feel as though I’ve failed her in some way.

Was it because I let her eat too many crackers as a toddler, and now she has developed a taste for the bland and dusty?

I try to offer really good snacks now. I stay away from the processed business despite her pleas, and her saying, “But Kara has pirate’s booty AND Cheez-Its AND chocolate milk in her lunch.”

“Well honey, when Kara gets type II diabetes and has to prick herself with insulin everyday you’ll be glad you’re drinking regular milk.”

But dinner is the worst.

She’ll come up to me while I’m at the stove, and ask what I’m making. I’ll tell her and she’ll immediately declare, “NOPE. Not gonna eat it.”

“Well, then I guess you’ll be really hungry.”

“Yup. I guess so, Mom,” she’ll say with a shoulder shrug.

By the time I plate the food and set it on the table, she goes into a frenzy. She’ll run around the house with her hand placed firmly over her mouth shaking her head ‘no’ repeatedly. As if I was chasing her around the couch with a pot full of chicken livers.

“NOPE. Not gonna eat it.” She’ll continuously say, and then put her hand back over her mouth.

Do carrots haunt her in her sleep? Does a chicken breast tease her? Do peas burrow themselves into her hair? Why is food so intimidating to her?

I tried to think back to a time when I was a little girl. I remember HATING  hamburgers so much that I would take a bite, chew it for a split second and then spit it into my napkin. Then I’d take that regurgitated-hamburger-napkin and shove it in my pocket. I repeated this until I ate an acceptable amount of my hamburger, and then would excuse myself to the bathroom and flush all my hamburger bits in the toilet.

I’m totally making you crave a big juicy hamburger right now, huh?

I also hated eggs, onions, pancakes, hot dogs, and pizza. Basically if it was good, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I finally decided that onions wern’t the devil in disguise. And I’m still skeptical of hot dogs. I always give them the squintity eyes and a slight turn of my head. I don’t fully trust hot dogs. But how could you? they’re all bits of cow pee pees and eyeballs. I don’t want to eat pee pees and eyeballs.

So I can relate to her. But just because I can relate, doesn’t mean I’m going to give up.

One of these days, that girl will eat dinner.

Resolving: Gas

It’s the new year.

And everyone is talking about resolutions.

I’m going to loose 15 pounds.

I’m going to recycle more.

I’m going to have way more sex with my husband.

Those are all fine and good. And if you stick with them, you are a superb person and I commend you and all that skinny sex you’re going to be having. Because honestly, nothing kills the mood like some jiggly bits wagging around when you’re trying to get it on, am I right ladies?

But I’m not interested in that stuff.

I’m not going to resolve to take more pictures, or write more poetry, or use less plastic, or communicate my feelings more, or perfect my dinosaur when I doodle while I’m on the phone with my mom, because she’s boring me to tears, and I have to do something with my hands, because if I don’t distract at least 34% of my brain, I might start to disagree with her, and I don’t want to fight in front of the children. Because that would lead to me shouting inappropriate words, and then “EARMUFFS!!” EARMUFFS Berlyn! Mommy is having an adult conversation about with Mimi and it’s making me all sweary and hostile!”

And I just don’t need the mom-argument right now.

It’s the new year. New beginnings, and new adventures.

So instead of all that I’m relegating to resolve my gas.

You heard me right.

I’m going to try to fart less.

We all do it.

Don’t give me that look. I can tell you’re doing it right now.

You’re not fooling anyone when you lean over to pick up something you accidentally dropped.

If you’re a lady, you’d prefer people to think you don’t fart. And you certainly don’t want to talk about it.

But I’m going to talk about it, because it’s starting to impact my social life.

Farting at home is all well and good. but when you’re out and about, it’s down right rude.

Like when i was at Ikea the other day and I was hungry and decided to eat Ikea food.

This was my first mistake. And the way my body handled the situation, was just plain offensive.

I tried the “walk-off”

You know, when you fart, and then walk around really fast and hope it doesn’t follow you.

And then when that didn’t work, I tired to blame it on my kids when other people were within ear (and nose) shot.

“Oh Berlyn that was stinky!”

But Berlyn is smart.

“Mom, that was YOU! You TOOTED!! HA-HA-HA MOMMY TOOTED!!”

Not only was my tummy mildly upset, but I was also being publicly humiliated by a 3-year-old.

So this year, I’ve decided that enough is enough, and I’m not going to fart.

Which means I’ll have to stop talking and eating legumes.

And I’ll probably have to cut out dairy and certain types of meat.

And I’ll probably have to stop eating whole grains and broccoli.

And I’ll have to stop drinking wine.

So in an effort to preserve my resolution and the noses of those around me.

I’ll just going to eat white rice and not say a word.

But like most resolutions, I have a feeling that this one won’t stick.

New Year’s Eve (in photos)

So this is what we did last night:

We put the kids to bed early, and made steak au poivre for dinner. Which is fancy and French for steak and fries.

First I started with this:

Which I used for this:

And later topped with this red wine sauce which tasted like the Queen herself picked only the finest shallots in all the Kingdom, and carmalized them with the utmost of Royal care.

Then I fried some of these:

With some of this:

Then I made some of these, because we needed a little green food.

And I couldn’t leave out the cheese course:

Then there was some of this:

And this:

Then we did this:

And finally this: