The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2009-08-16

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weekly Blog Tiara

blog tiara

There are a lot of blogs I like to read. Some are the usual famous suspects...Like Dooce and Pioneer Woman...but others maybe you haven't heard of and I thought I'd write about some of them from time to time.

I've decided to call it my 'Weekly Blog Tiara' although I can't promise it will be weekly.

Or that it will just be one blog a week.

Or that a guy won't end up with a Weekly Blog Tiara.

So, my apologies in advance to any man who get the girly Weekly Blog Tiara.

I'm going to give my first BLOG TIARA to Retro Renovation. Pam's got a great site with TONS of pictures, hints, tips and anything you could want to know and drool over if you love mid-century modern.

From Retro Renovation:

Whether you own a mid century home or simply love the retro look, you’ve found your place for: New product recommendations for your home renovation projects … inspirational vintage images … stories of other readers’ homes … quirky info about the 40s, 50s, 60s & 70s design ethic… and a community of homeowners dedicated to cherishing their postwar ranch, cape, colonial, contemporary, split-level and bungalow homes. Welcome — and here’s a roadmap to help you get started.

Take a look at the galleries too. You could sit and explore Retro Renovation for hours, I have.


Retro Tuesday and a 1/2

I planned to post this on Tuesday, but got distracted by my shorts (here).

Than I was going to post it with my Weekly Weight Watchers Weight Loss Wednesday Post but I got distracted by the Peta billboard thing (here).

So I'm having Retro Tuesday and a 1/2.


"Tricks and Treats with Bread and Cake" came from Good Housekeeping, April 1954. I'm posting small clickable thumbnails for you so this post doesn't become ridiculously large.

The article is a series of pictures and recipes; things to do with breads and cakes to transform them or save day-old products. I want to interject that I know some of you didn't like some, or any of the recipes from Retro Tuesday in the Kitchen (here).

I posted those Depression-era type recipes more as a time-capsule and springboard. Those kinds of recipes get me thinking and provide perspective. I'm posting these in the same spirit. Some of these recipes would stand on their own, some are more a method and some really don't apply today.

The other thing I like to mull over is this; collectively my family talks about saving money. We all know on an intellectual level that a lot of our disposable income is spent on food. We have scaled back eating dinners away from home to the point that we rarely do it anymore. Even take-out is infrequent.

My son eats makes his own money and spends a lot of it eating elsewhere. It's up to him; it's his money. I have made a lot of suggestions that are deemed too painful. In my family pain is apparently not getting a favorite soda if it's not on sale or eating several meals of the same food in a week (or day) because it is.

I think people talk a good game about wanting to save money in the abstract but when push comes to shove if it involves change they truly aren't hurting enough to make the changes necessary. Even the simpliest things like forgoing soda.

These recipes are from times when having enough to eat was difficult. So you made what you had, and did the best you could. I kind of admire the effort.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Way to kill a moment, Ma...

I really love you, Ma.

I really love you, too.

You know...You're way cooler than you think you are.

I couldn't possibly be.


Way to kill a moment, Ma.


What is Radical Parenting?

Radical Parenting is an entirely different kind of parenting
blog and I get something from it each time I go.
Kids have a lot of insight, I know mine does.
And they want to be heard and feel heard.

Like we all do.

These articles are by Vanessa Van Petten who runs a parenting blog written from the kid's perspective with 20 teen writers. Their goal is to give parents a secret view into the world of kids and youth.

Teacup Parenting: Is your Child too Fragile? Here I delve into the four different types of kids I see today and what their pitfalls and strengths are!

Cotton Candy Friends How social networking, IMing, texting and the Internet are changing teen’s friendships

10 Rules Kids Wished Their Parents Lived By Here are our radical parenting principles put together by Vanessa and our Teen Team of how we wish parenting would be.

50 Best Mom Blogs Parents always ask us “which websites should I read?” Here we did a complete overview of our favorite mommy bloggers across the net with reviews, favorite articles and descriptions.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My effort to not be on a PETA billboard or...

My Weekly Weight Watcher Weight Loss Update in a minute but first a word from our sponsor.


Before I say anything about this week's weight loss update I want to say something about the comments I made yesterday about Peta's new Go Vegetarian Campaign. (But if you want to skip to the weekly weight loss moment just scroll on down to the bottom...way, way, way down there.)

Here it is from yesterday so you don't have to go back.

By the way, have you seen Peta's new campaign?


This came off Peta's website. Their theory is that if you stop eating meat you will have a "killer beach bod". Their words.

And I wonder why I never owned a pair of shorts?

Let me be clear about my feelings, lest you think I am anti-vegetarian. I was a vegetarian for seven years and posted about it here. I didn't detail everything in that post but at some point during my pregnancy I started eating meat due to a vitamin deficiency. I know that doesn't always happen and there are ways to prevent it; I just wasn't careful enough.

As to losing the blubber by going vegetarian? Well. Do I really need to tell you how much weight a pregnant vegetarian, with nothing to do because she's on bed rest, can gain eating soy burgers and entire wheels of cheese?

And lest you think I'm anti-PETA, about nine or ten years ago I was on PETA's website and went to their kids section. It might have been PETA kids but I'm not sure, it was a long time ago. My son loves animals and always has so when I saw that they had information available for children, I sent for it in my son's name. The kid's info is MUCH lighter. It's not like PETA's regular mailings and my son liked what he got.

But what happened next was PETA dumped his name into their regular charity mailing list and he started getting their regular information which is ...Well, have you seen it? It's very sad and much harder hitting and much too much for a sensitive eight year old. Even PETA knows that and didn't intend for him to get it. Exactly.

That's what they said anyway when I called to say, How could you cull names from the children's area of the website? And than send out requests for money with nickles showing through the mailer? Of course, my son opened it! Do I have to tell you how upset he was by the pictures of suffering lab animals?

And it took many months of grabbing the mail first and many calls to try to get him off that list. There were many clerical-type excuses about how often the list is updated and how they couldn't possibly get it done before the list is updated.

Which I was beyond uninterested in.

The saddest thing about all of this is, I get what PETA is and my feelings about the ad campaign has more to do with my profound disappointment in them and what I feel is a breech in their own ethics.

For me, I think every animal I've shared my life with has been from a pound or sanctuary or rescued in some way. I know some of what they do has been shocking, sometimes overtly, sometimes not. They have strong feelings about what they do but even the shocking didn't poke fun. Whether or not you agreed with them they weren't poking fun, that is for damn sure.

On their website there is quote from the book, Animal Liberation:

"It is an implication of this principle of equality that our concern for others and our readiness to consider their interests ought not to depend on what they are like or on what abilities they may possess. Precisely what our concern or consideration requires us to do may vary according to the characteristics of those affected by what we do: concern for the well-being of children growing up in America would require that we teach them to read; concern for the well-being of pigs may require no more than that we leave them with other pigs in a place where there is adequate food and room to run freely. But the basic element—the taking into account of the interests of the being, whatever those interests may be—must, according to the principle of equality, be extended to all beings, black or white, masculine or feminine, human or nonhuman."

Well, except what, overweight people? And children?

No, see actually they know that because in the same reference they say:

"we must face the fact that humans come in different shapes and sizes;"

I'm going to end this by saying I expect this was a lapse in judgment and a profound lapse in sensitivity. I think PETA is heartfelt about what they do and hope they come to see this campaign as offensive.

If you want to link to this post, or copy parts of it I'm good with it. Maybe I can call it my Anti-anti-blubber-peta-meme? What do you think?

And on to my own anti-blubber meme:

In keeping with this week's theme, instead of doing my weight loss in total loss so far will be represented by a large bag of dog food. A very large bag.


I'm bringing a giant bag of this to the Somerset Regional
Animal Shelter
. Right now. For real.

I picked that brand because, even though I make Ginger's food she likes Pup-peroni... and I think they are made by the same company.

My loss is the shelter's gain.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I bought my first pair of shorts, ever...No matter what PETA says...

So today, this afternoon I bought my first pair of shorts. I've never bought a pair of shorts before. I'm serious. I just twittered that and someone asked me if it was a religious thing.

I had to admit that no, it was just a stupid thing about how much I hated my body. I haven't worn shorts since that boy called me an elephant when I was 10.

So yes, I know I'm normally pretty light and fluffy with the topics here, and forgive me, but weight isn't all that light and fluffy a topic for me. And how odd a choice of words anyway, light and fluffy on the subject of weight.

And this post is sort of a cathartic thing I need to do and I have a feeling I'm going to delete it anyway.

I spent a good part of my life overweight to some extent. The thing is I spent quite a lot of that not all that overweight just feeling really, really fat. Or maybe just really, really big? And is it the same?

I'm tall, I was either the tallest kid in my class, or almost. Thinking back to those beginning of the year horrifying height and weight checks in school there were many years I was within 10 or 30 pounds of thin.

So why? Why all the angst?

The only thing I can look to is my family. Not in a blaming way, exactly...but listen. My mother was 5' 3" tall and never weighed more than 110 pounds in her life. My sister is no taller than that and I don't think she's ever broke 100 pounds. Neither of them had much of an interest in food. They would forget to eat, were picky... I don't know. Food just didn't do it for them.

Than there was me. I was taller than and outweighed my mother by the time I was 10. Food was a comfort for me. A friend. My mother simply didn't know what to do with me. Her plan, and I'm guessing here because she certainly never told me this, was to buy the things my sister liked to get her to eat and not buy the things that I liked to hopefully keep me from eating. And getting bigger.

But you probably know the end of that tale because that kind of thing never works. It makes you feel deprived. It makes you feel unloved. It burns the fat identity into you.

And it really does take many years to undo that stuff..

But I guess with a little introspection, and some effort you can come out on the other side of it wearing a new pair of shorts.

At least that's the plan.

By the way, have you seen Peta's new campaign?


This came off Peta's website. Their theory is that if you stop eating meat you will have a "killer beach bod". Their words.

And I wonder why I never owned a pair of shorts?


Retro Tuesday in the Kitchen

retrotuesay stamp

My original thought on seeing that stack of vintage magazines at an estate sale back in June was , I bet there are a lot of old Pyrex ads. The weird thing is, there weren't. I mean weren't any. At all. I've gone over and over those magazines, and while I found a Pyrex thing or two placed in a kitchen-scape here or there, I didn't find a single ad for Pyrex.

Last week I bought a few Good Housekeeping magazines from the 50's - 60's and was looking at them this morning for my Retro Tuesday post and Our Lady of Pyrex must have been watching over me because look what I found!


And her little sister!


I call these juice carafes but seems they are called beverage servers. I've never seen these in person or seen anything in this patten. I don't know if it was limited to beverage servers or if it was on other things? Any one seen this before?

The other thing I found was an ad that allowed you to buy one place setting of silverware at a time. It is something that seems so spot-on during a time before people put everything they bought on credit cards. Maybe companies should reconsider that approach.


And I absolutely love this pattern.


If I could find this at a sale, I would so buy it.

I have one more thing this week. One of the Good Housekeeping magazines was much earlier than the others, coming from 1943. While the ones from the 50's and 60's had money-saving tips and tricks there were a lot of things to do with your disposable income as well. A lot of the focus was on new homes, new things, convenience foods and a general attitude of tossing out the old.

The magazine from the 40's was really different. A lot of ads centered around the war effort (world war 2) and rationing and the cooking was quite a bit like the depression era cooking I'd seen in books and on websites. This was a two-page food bulletin on how to use your food rations wisely. To me, the recipes look a little more interesting than pure depression era cooking from twenty years prior; which had almost no spices.

I'm including it, not just as a time capsule, but because times are tough and while, yes, these recipes are dated, some could be a springboard for something that might be tasty and thrifty today. I know these meals don't have the complex flavors people are used to but the truth is most kids don't like those flavors and might just be happier with some of these. With a little modern tweaking.

I made these images small but if you click them you will get large, readable views.

If you want to use any of the ads I post I'm cool with that but please link back to me
The Crazy Suburban Mom


Want to trade some technorati Link love?

If you have claimed your blog on Technorati and want to exchange some link love?

Contact me at

mom at crazysuburbanmom dot com

I will list your blog here if you do the same.

link love

Mama Lynn Mama Says Blog

Based in Atlanta, Join Us In The Kitchen features musings from the Mama Says team — including recipes, favorite things, gift ideas, travelogues, restaurant and product reviews, insights (and laughs) into family life along with fabulous guest essays.

Not the Rockefellers
I've been following her blog for months, how can you not follow a blog sub-titled,
My view of life from the cheap seats? It's poetry, I tell ya.

My Messy Paradise
Where the wild things grow! lol, love that... Her latest post tag is, I'm complaining again. Where we separated at birth, perhaps?

When you get, give. When you learn, teach.- Maya Angelou's grandmother

I re-write my posts. I add pictures. I do bad things in the dark. Sometimes I peek in your windows and steal your underwear off your clothes line, wear it, then put it back.

Mommy's online garage sale

I've been following mommy's online garage sale for
months now! Check it out!

The Self Love Project

Yesterday's style today. Moon Doggie's blog is retro love!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's been raining in New Jersey so much my van needs a diaper...

Okay, see, I know what you're thinking.

Yeah right, you're thinking...


She's just being dramatic.


Her van is not "wearing" a diaper, per se. She's using a diapered van as a metaphor,an allegory, a written image to portray her frustration with the almost constant, droning, endless rain in New Jersey.

To that I say...



And to anyone who thinks I bought adult diapers to write a funny blog post?

Son of HA!

There is a clogged drain by the driver's side windshield wiper leaking, leaking, and leaking onto the driver's side carpets, which haven't been dry since June. (Post is here.) I brought it to the service station and the first suggestion was to let the van dry out. And I have no idea how to do that with no garage and sunny days coming so infrequently.

To the horror of my family, I got the most brilliant idea. I covered the flood-prone intake areas with gigantic adult diapers. Pretty much, unless I'm driving, Depends stay on the hood of my van like sentries because who knows when it's going to rain again? It rains every freaking nine or seventeen hours, I mean how I can risk taking the diapers off?

I'm all over the idea as Einsteinian, while my family is ready to buy nose glasses and only leave the house in the dark. Or when I don't have the diapers on my van. Which is never.

The life of a genius is so lonely.


The winner of the Wanchai stay-at-home giveaway is...

Tazzy picked the winner of the Wanchai Ferry giveaway and it's comment number 1, Stephanie Reed writer of the Clear and Shining After the Rain blog.

AND guess what? She is the author of the books Across the Wide River and The Light Across the River, an Underground Railroad series based on a real family.

AND... she thinks I'm grammatically correct, bless her heart. I plan on allowing her to continue her blissful unawarity.

Although the rest of you seemed to have alot (just kidding with the alot...) a lot of grammar peeves and it's scaring the crap cakes out of me.

I'm going to try, I really am...

I've even made a new little tag to prove my new love of grammar.



Stephanie contact me at

mom at crazysuburbanmom dot com


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