Tag Archive: random

Party with a Purpose

me and foodAlmost a year ago I had an idea to throw a party and the theme would be that we would some-how give back during the party. In other words, my friends and I would get together and a choose a charity or a cause and support it while we ate, drank, and got merry. Well, it is funny how quickly 1 month turns into 12 months without following thru….

Friday night my delightful sister-in-law hosted a girls night in at her house. She provided food and too many drinks. The only catch was that everyone who came was asked to bring some non-perishable food items for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The boxes and bags piled up quickly! No one broke their bank, and we still managed to collect a decent amount of food to be donated. It was just how I imagined it.

food drive

We all get together with our friends, we all go to parties, we all host parties- why not turn them into a party with a purpose? One of the things I hope I never forget is that I am blessed. I grew up and had a lot of advantages. We were by no-means rich, but I lived in the suburbs and went to a great school and was far-removed from any danger or real risk. I always knew I would go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, etc. It is EASY to take all of this for granted. So many people are just trying to make it thru high school. So many kids are going to school hungry. So many people are out of work. So many people need a little bit of help.

There are lot of ways you can do your own party-with-a-purpose:

-Have a food drive like I mentioned above
-Have a birthday party but instead of bringing gifts for you, everyone brings a book to donate to a school in need
-Have a party and instead of bringing a dish to pass or a bottle of wine, everyone brings a donation for a charity (save a pet, food banks, cancer society, etc.)
-Have a girls night in and everyone brings 2 pairs of shoes to donate to the women’s shelter
-Have a block party where everyone in the neighborhood comes with an item to donate to the homeless shelters (they always need socks, underwear, tooth paste, deodorant, feminine products, etc.)
-Have a party where you play a bunch of games and do raffles where half of the money goes to a charity (50/50 raffle, bean-bag tourney, flippy-cup, poker, etc.)

Be creative. There are literally hundreds of ways to get involved!

***Did you know that summer is the time of the year when the hunger problem is the worst? Normally, low-income children can get a meal or two at school thru the various programs available. In the summer, when kids don’t have that opportunity, they are often hungry. It is very sad and very scary. Regardless of your politics, kids should not suffer. There are a ton of great organizations that help feed our most vulnerable. Do a little research in your area and see how you can help. Cereal and Peanut Butter are very hot-commodities that they always need.

Here are a few organizations worth donating to:

http://www.bbbs.org (matches at-risk youth with mentors, graduates 100% of participants, A+ rated, award winning charity)
http://www.solvehungertoday.org (feeds northern Illinois, has great ‘buying power’ and can provide 6 meals for every dollar donated)
http://www.hfa.org (promotes humane farming, very important to me)
http://www.projectchinelas.com (donates shoes to kids in the Philippines, a friend from high school started this organization)

There are so many out there, and so much good to be done. Be kind.

100This is my 100th blog post since starting Candys brain blog last year. (Bells…Whistles….Yahoos) I can’t believe it but 100 times now I have shared what is floating around my noggin. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your kind words. Thanks for sharing my posts. Thanks thanks thanks!

When I realized that my next post was going to be the big 1-0-0 I started to stress a little. I had no idea what I should write about. I guess it doesn’t really need to be meaningful or profound (Why start now?! Ba da bum). Still, I felt extra pressure to reflect on what I am doing and why I am doing it.

In the beginning, the reason I called this ‘candys brain blog’ was because I wanted to write about all of the things in my brain. Against the advice of every book, blog, article, and expert, etc. I did not want to specialize. I didn’t want to pick one topic. For example, I didn’t want to just write about being a mom. There is so much more to me than that. I love writing about food, but I also like books, and personal growth, and life lessons, and being funny, and a bit of a feminist, and…. You get the point.

But, what IS the point? Why do I do this? It is time consuming, no one pays me, I am already very busy. What is in it for me?

Well, it turns out this is my ‘zone’. When I am writing these little posts, time disappears. Life disappears.

Kids: “Look mommy, I’m playing with matches!”

Me while writing: “That’s nice sweetie…”

It is how I relax.

But that is obviously only half of it because- why would I share it with all of you then? If it is just for me, why do I care if you’re reading it? If I really sit and think about it, it is because I am happy and I want all of you to be happy too! Really, I am happy and I want to share those happy thoughts, ideas, recipes, laughs, advice, rants, etc. with you in hopes that you will feel some of it as well. I desperately want to make you laugh, and help you find health, and teach you something new, and to motivate you to make a change, and show you that you’re not alone!

I hope I have written something over the past year that has made you think, “at least someone else is as crazy/clueless/opinionated/whatever as I am”.

I hope I have written something over the past year that has made you laugh on a day that you didn’t feel like laughing.

I hope that I have written something over the past year that has changed the way you feel about yourself.

I hope that I have written something over the past year that makes you realize that you are not the only one who is apparently ‘weird shaped’ or ‘bi-polar’ or ‘feels bad about their boobs’ or ‘needs help deciding what to feed their family’.

Not sure what the next step of this journey is. Maybe I’ll find a way to do this as ‘my job’, or maybe nothing will change. Either way, I am going to keep writing and I certainly hope that you keep reading. XOXO

militarySo, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say about Memorial Day and was coming up short. I also have been trying to focus and honor my feelings lately. I noticed that when I thought about Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or just soldiers in general- I get a sick feeling in my tummy. It is an uncomfortable and almost queasy feeling deep in the pit of my stomach. Because the feeling is unpleasant, I don’t want to stay ‘in that space’. I want to move on and think of something else. Well, that kind of thinking will not lead to growth, so I stayed….

What I realized is that feeling is sadness, fear, and guilt all piled on top of eachother and wrestling in my tummy.

Sadness because I cannot imagine the loneliness and isolation of a lot of the families. I cannot imagine missing the birth of a child or the countless milestones that happen while you are away. I cannot imagine being the spouse at home, trying to hold it all together. I can’t imagine sacrificing years of your life for the greater good. I cannot imagine coming back to find that everyone else just kept living their life while you were gone.

Fear because I cannot imagine how I afraid I would be if I were in their shoes. Whether I were the soldier in the middle of hell, or the spouse at home, fear would run my life. I cannot help picturing what I would be like as a military wife. I think I would be crippled by my fear of losing my husband every damn day. It makes me cry right now just imagining that scenario.

And lastly guilt. Guilt because I didn’t do. Guilt because I wouldn’t do it. Guilt because I have the freedom to say that I wouldn’t do it. And, probably most importantly, guilt because I don’t do enough now. I don’t do enough to reach out and support our military. I don’t do enough to thank our military. I don’t spend enough time in this uncomfortable space honoring our military.

Here are 4 websites that you can check out:


Please use the comments section to provide other links that people can check out. Also, please share what you personally do to support our military and their families. Thanks!

The Promise of a New Day

I love mornings. Not in the way that some people do. I don’t spring out of bed; I’m not up early enough to see the sun rise. But, once I am up, I love the first 20 min. I pour my coffee, put on PBS for the kids, and get my head together. I think about my intention for the day. I think about my focus for the day.

I know that today I want to have a fun and relaxing day. And you may be thinking, “DUH! We all want to have a fun and relaxing day.” The difference is that I am consciously choosing this as my plan. I will not agree to run around and do a bunch of errands. I will not accept an offer of play dates. I will not get worked up along with my son if he is particularly sensitive. I will not get frustrated with my daughter who is sassy beyond her years. I am not going to commit to an overly complicated meal plan. I will not spend more than 30 min. in the kitchen.

super will<

I am going to go for a nice long walk with the kids. I am NOT going to worry about how slow we are going. I am going to play in the back yard with my kids. This is going to involve tag, hide-n-seek, ninjas/fighting/swords/super heros, bubbles (god-forsaken-bubbles), and maybe a picnic. Later on, this is also going to include mommy drinking a summer ale in the driveway while my kids fight over who gets to use the red scooter and who gets to use the green scooter. But, I know their fighting/whining is coming. It is inevitable. Today I am choosing to not let it bother me.

ellie scooter

Today I am choosing to have a fun and relaxing day!

Smart(ass) Cars

road rageWith the technology that exists today, I’m surprised there aren’t more options for ‘smart cars’. Considering all the yahoos out on the roads, I would like to suggest the smart(ass) car. You know, a car that will tell you when you are driving like a jackass. It would be just like a sarcastic GPS. Here are some phrases that would come standard:

1. “I know you saw that merge sign…speeding up and cutting over at the last minute does not make you clever, it makes you an asshole!”

2. “You are unneccessarily close to that car in front of you…why don’t you ease up a little, nobody likes that guy.”

3. “Okay Dale Jr…..beating that soccer mom off the line was not impressive or necessary.”

4. “Holy hell! It smells like you dunked your head in whiskey. Get out! Taxis are cheaper than DUI’s!”

5. “Nice moves slick! 6 lane changes and you’re still next to the same 3 cars. Idiot.”

6. “Sir, you can ignore that email on your phone. You’re not nearly as important as you think you are.”

7. “If you change lanes one more time without using your turn signal, so help me god, I will turn myself around!”

8. “Okay ma’am, time to parallel park….better turn down the radio, you suck at this!”

I think this would make the roads a little more pleasant. I’ll even provide my voice to the cause.

Oh, a holiday weekend

Time to run, run, runholiday couple

Worst parking spot ever!!

Isn’t this fun?


Don’t forget the teachers,

and the mailman and your boss

I’m blinded by the light

Of my neighbors neon cross


The kids are running crazy now

with tiny frantic eyes

Santa Claus is watching

so no more little lies


Dad hasn’t started yet

with two days left to spare!

Mom’s been out for months

and pulled out most her hair.


It’s great to be done now

Just need to sit and wrap

Son of a….forgot the stockings

To Target for more crap


Gained 7 pounds since Turkey day

Look like a Christmas ham!

Shit! Forgot my neighbor

Maybe I’ll re-gift this jam?


Griswolds on the TV set

makes the season bright

White Christmas is coming next

Ignoring husband’s plight.


Finally done with everything

Can’t make me go back out!

Mother.*@….! Cookies for Santa

Now mom is gonna pout!


Last time to the store I swear

Or so I’d like to think…

I’ll get some baileys while I’m there

At least I can have a drink!

Me, drunk

This weekend my husband and I were discussing how predictable I am when I am drinking. We were at a holiday party, but this could be weddings, birthdays, Tuesdays, etc. We were able to name quite a few behaviors that are pretty consistent. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, here is a little peek into my world when I drink.vegas pic

1. I LOVE YOU! I do! I love you. I want to give you high-fives and hugs and we should totally hang out more often. Why DON’T we hang out more often? Everyone is my best friend and we have a lot to talk about.

2. I LOVE THIS SONG! I do! I love that song and I haven’t heard it in years and I know every word. And, not only do I know every word, I will rap along and would like for you to shut up and listen. You should be impressed with my white girl rapping skills and you should tell me about it. I pretty much like everything from Jethro Tull to Too Short and everything in between (Except Pink, I really don’t like Pink. Or, Kelly Clarkson. Or, Taylor Swift. But everything else is my favorite).

3. I am easily offended! Don’t get me wrong, I love you, but “what is that supposed to mean?!” I can easily take an innocent comment and turn it into some kind of insult. Here is an example (made up for storytelling purposes).

Me: (singing along to some amazing song that I haven’t heard in years)

Brent (my husband): I don’t think those are the right words.

Me: What? You don’t think I know the words to Candyman’s Knocking the Boots?! What are you trying to say? What? Do you think I’m too drunk? You’re the one that’s drunk! Oooh, boy I love you so. Never ever ever gonna let you go. Oooh, boy I love you so…..

4. I dance! Now, I take great pride in my drunk dancing. I do the typical drunk white girl dancing with the arms in the air, eyes closed, woohoo, etc. But, I also like to prove that I have non-white girl moves so I am also trying to drop it like it’s hot, and demonstrate that my hips (much like Shakira’s) don’t lie.

5. I will beat you at that game! I am serious. If it is a game that can be done while drinking, I will win. And, if by some miracle, I don’t win- I don’t love you anymore. It could be bean bags, beer pong, darts, quarters…..Hell, it could be throwing wads of paper into a bucket- I will beat you. I have like a 2-10 drink range where I excel. Before 2, I’m not loosened up yet. After 10, all bets are off: I’ll be playing darts, having 4 different conversations, oooh, I love this song! Seriously, why don’t we hang out more?

Very Likely Bad Haikus

A haiku for you

You don’t even have to share!

What did you get me?


Music of our times

What a bunch of crap burgers!

I sound like my dad


Wind whispers to me

The secrets of her lost youth

I feel her pain


Haikus are the best

’cause they don’t have to make sense


It’s that time of year again… We are all focused on giving and making other

people’s dreams come true. We are all grateful for what we receive. Parents

especially forget about their own needs and just focus on what will make the

kids happy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. When it comes down to it, this is what I REALLY

want for Christmas for me and for my family.



  1. One date per month, planned out, with baby-sitters taken care of! This is different than a husband  agreeing to go out with me. This means: all planned, no loose ends, all I have to do is make myself pretty (done!).
  2. Personal assistant to do all the things I don’t want to do! I figure this is about 10 hours per week. He or she will be responsible for cutting my coupons, writing thank you notes (invitations, xmas cards, etc), handle any/all paper work in my life (bills, correspondence, program registrations, etc.).
  3. One goddamn minute to myself! (I can actually see the moms reading this smiling and nodding). I want to read a book, take a bath, pee alone….
  4. To be discovered! Whether it’s writing, or modeling, or…. Yeah, I guess those are the two things I excel at: the written word and being professionally good looking.
  5. Five things from Pinterest! Okay, maybe 10 things. I would love to actually have something that I have pinned. I have purchased 1 thing out the 17 million things I want. Wouldn’t it be nice to have just a few of those outfits, or the outdoor patio, or the vacation, or the dream house. Okay, 15 things. That’s it, I promise.
  6. Someone to lay out my outfits every morning! Maybe Stacy and Clinton? Anyway, I would love if I could just wake up and not have to think about putting an outfit together. But, if I can’t have that, maybe someone to just hang up all of the ‘out-fit fails’ that I put together and subsequently leave on my bed every day.

My Husband-

  1. A personal assistant to plan above mentioned date nights! Let’s face it, if this were a strong suit for (straight) men, we would have much happier women running around. He needs some help. No offense to my husband, offense is meant for all men in general.
  2. A ‘beam-me-up-scotty’ machine! I would love to give him this gift. He wastes so much quality time driving. All jokes aside, I can’t think of anything that would be more useful to my man.

My Children-

  1. NO toys that make noise! Thanks, we’re good. We have a drum set, a recorder, a harmonica, a tickle me Elmo, and a damn beat toy (like the vegetable) that signs ‘we got the beat we got the beat we got the beat’. I will cut you.
  2. Things that we actually need! You know what my 15 month old wants for xmas? Diapers, pajamas, shoes, money for day care… I know these things are not fun to buy, but that’s what we (I mean she) needs.
  3. Things that Mommy and Daddy need! I know this seems selfish, but it’s really not. We are the ones that spend every spare cent on these little free-loaders. We need money for school, day care, swim lessons, t-ball, student loans (oops, that might be me), etc.
  4. Toys that will keep them occupied for one goddamn minute! “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mama, mama” You’ve seen that clip of Stewie; welcome to my life.
  5. NO cheap plastic toys! No more crap made in China that will break in 3 minutes that fits perfectly into my running shoes. Save up the $3 for each crap toy and buy me a bottle of Vodka buy them a book to mold their young minds.

I think that about covers it. If you get confused, cash money son. I got bills to pay.

Lazy Hazy Dazey Sunday

Snuggled up with my boos, two

Work and nonsense surrounds us ignored


Slowing down time with my mind

Soaking up the now-ness of well….now


Grinch by the tree,

the Elf’s on the shelf

And the man I love’s in my heart