with Lynne and Leslie

5 Things That Have Been Bringing Me Joy

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

Happy Friday! Here are somethings that have made me smile as of late. And I picked 5 of them, so I could be a part of “oh, hey Friday!”, a really cool blogging community thing we recently joined. You should check it out. And also adding to this another blog party sponsored by the folks at a blog called “Meet @ the Barre”.

So, here is my happy lately….

1. Corn Chex

I have written about it before, but it is till yummy, so there you go. Twin Sister Leslie and I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s as children of health-conscious parents and we had honey on the table instead of sugar, ate wheat germ (just no), and ate carob-covered raisins instead of chocolate ones. Chex was one of the cereals that they let us eat, and the best tasting one. I recently started buying it again, and it is still healthy and delicious. But I put sugar on it now. And Chex did not sponsor this post but if you guys want to, hit me up, Chex People!

 

Our sweet cereal growing up.

Our sweet cereal growing up.

2. Human kindness

So, what’s more fun than finding out you have a sinus infection? Going to get your prescriptions, but realizing when you look for them later that YOU LEFT THEM AT THE STORE. But what makes it all wonderful is when the store tells you someone turned them in, and you check your voice mail to see that the person who found them left you a message to make sure you knew. She didn’t have to do that, and she did, and I am less snotty, but also really excited that there are nice people around.

Happy me. Less snotty.

Happy me. Less snotty.

3. Our new Pinterest page

We have been trying to grow our blog and it seems like it is taking FOREVAH but I see all of the work it takes and I think we have something to share and whatnot, so we persist. And I saw a suggestion from a blogging friend on Twitter that Pinterest is a good way to grow your blog which for some reason I am just figuring out. But I am embracing it now so here is our page. Please follow it. Here’s a pin from our “Truth” board. I need to have this taped all over my house.

Don't Look Back

Seriously.

4. Toddler Selfies

Sometimes your kid finds your camera and then you find weird pictures that they took of their eye and their hand. And it’s hilarious.

I will translate. This is a palm.

I will translate. This is a palm.

This is an eye. Creepy. But funny.

This is an eye. Creepy. But funny.

5. Blankets

I think that all couches should have a blanket nearby, because it might be chilly, and you might need to curl up. Yes, it makes it harder to stay awake if you are supposed to be watching TV with your husband. But just sit up. That helps.

We got this one from a friend when we got married and we have been rocking this thing ever since.

We got this one from a friend when we got married and we have been rocking this thing ever since.

I hope your upcoming days bring YOU much joy!

 

 

 


On Hold Under Protest

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here.

I remember the days, and it was like not that long ago, when I had stamina. When I could be like “I need to lose 20 pounds”, and I would do Weight Watchers and hit the gym and voila. Hey, wouldn’t Voila be a pretty name?

So I have had it in my mind lately to be consistent with working out and being active, and although the weight and such hasn’t been falling off, it has been jumping at a leisurely pace. But it’s coming.

And while this mindful eating thing I am doing is going well, while it is slow, I have not been burning it up at the gym like I wanted. I do go. I do. But not as much as I thought I would.

Because I keep getting sidelined.

It is mid-September, and in the last few months I have had 3 rounds of dental work, at least 2 sinus infections, one really bad reaction to an antibiotic given to me for one of those sinus infections. and the latest: a headache that I attributed to my toddler son climbing on me and kneeing me in the head, when it turns out that most of the pain is due to…… another sinus infection.

And while I have been given useful legal medications which help (except for the aforementioned prescription that had me fatigued and aching, which is the opposite of what it should do), the most common suggested remedy for all of these is rest. And that is hard when you have a 2 year-old. And when you are trying to be MORE active.

So I write this feeling frustrated, feeling like I have the magic key of eating better and moving more, but that half of the key broke off in the door.

But I will move where I can, and I am thankful that this too shall pass, and that I might not be working out like a beast, but I can work out like a medium-sized dog. I don’t know what that means, but you get what I am saying.

2014-09-18 15.53.32

Discouraged. But wait!

See! Happy now!

See! Happy now!

I will get there. I will keep on moving as I can. You too. Here is some musical accompaniment.


Dear blogging model: Your dating life is not over at 30

by SweetMidlife
Taken from XOJane.com

Taken from XOJane.com

Leslie here!

If the woman pictured above thinks that she’s an old unlovable hag at 30 who should just stop dating because all the good catches want women younger, less demanding and “less impressive” (her words) than herself, then the rest of y’all might as well pack it in and back your UHauls up to the local pet shelter, because you’re gonna need some cats.

I came across an XOJane column titled “30 Is The New 50: ‘Old Age’ Is Killing My Dating Life” by model/writer Jenny Bahn and was intrigued, because I did a lot of dating between the ages of 15 and 38, when I got married and never, as Carrie Fisher says in “When Harry Met Sally,” never have to be out there again. But I needed to know why a gorgeous young woman living in New York would believe that her age is a problem. Of course, her experiences are her own, and who am I to say she’s making it up, but it didn’t make sense to me. I had to know more.

She tells the story of a disastrous conversation with a 38-year-old upwardly mobile dude she’d dated a few times, where he explained that he was also dating a 23-year-old because she was undemanding and wasn’t looking for anything serious, unlike 30-year-olds like Bahn whose biological clocks are ticking so loud that they’re harshing his fun buzz. (Boo-hoo dude.)

This douche that she calls Alex, who says douchey things about how Bahn is unloveable, speaks a sad truth – women who think they might want a biological family do face time constraints that men who can keep making babies into their dusty dotage do not. And sometimes those men do want to date younger women because they might not want those things yet, or because by the time those men do want kids, the women their age might not be able to. Boy that sucks.

The thing that struck me about Bahn’s reaction to this – that she’ll maybe never find anyone if 30 makes her too old to be desirable by the kind of successful guys she sees herself with in the “brutal” NYC dating scene – was that I kept looking at her photo, where she’s posed melodramatically in a nasty-looking bathroom in front of the serial killer-looking words “Love Me OK Don’t” and thinking “What the heck are YOU complaining about?”

That’s because she’s beautiful, looks five years younger than she is, and would appear to check all the boxes that the average dater, certainly the ones online, seem to be looking for. (I also get itchy because that’s a really nasty bathroom and I worry that she needs a tetanus shot, because if dating doesn’t kill her, them germs might.)

Again, her experience is her own, and I don’t mean to tell her she’s lying. But it made me sad that she seems to have given up at her age, because those of us who have never looked like Bahn and dated for a lot longer than the relatively age of 30 somehow found a reason to live. Bahn admits that she is looking for someone as successful as she is, and, I imagine, on par with her attractive-wise. What I started to wonder is if she’s only dating douches and might want to expand her dating pool. Like, out of Douchetown.

A lot of the comments on the site were from women like me who were older than 30 and didn’t deserve into Spinster Dust the minute the birthday cake was finished, who advised her to take a deep breath and move forward. She also got some nastiness from women in their 20s who took umbrage at her inference that their age automaticaly made them less smart, mature and impressive, as well as a few so-called Men’s Right’s Activists who lurk on women’s sites like this just to remind the readers that yes, they’re undateable hags and no one wants them. Oh, those guys.

I come from the demographic – black women – that is least searched for on dating sites ( ) by men of any race. And when your inbox is collecting dust stats like that can make you feel extra lonely, particularly when you are getting older and do want to have kids, and when you don’t look like Jenny Bahn, or Olivia Pope.

I understand that since I am not a model, whose career depends on people wanting to look at her and think she’s pretty, it wasn’t the end of the world to assume that I couldn’t get every man I wanted. But The thing that I want to tell the Jenny’s of the world is that a) Don’t waste time on people who don’t want you, because they’re not for you and probably dumb and b) you don’t have to be awesome to everyone in the world. Just the right someone.


Yeah Monday, The Beginning

by SweetMidlife

Hi! It’s Lynne!

So, my twin sister Leslie (we write this blog together) have been talking about ways to connect to more people with this here page (because we watch too much “Tombstone” we say things like “this here”), and we decided to do our very own blog party!! That is where every Monday, we will ask you guys to share your own posts from your blog, link them up below, and visit other cool writers and meet them.

And because I have had Usher’s song “Yeah” in my head on a loop, we christen this “Yeah Monday”! This is where we say “Yeah” to something positive for the week ahead. Read below for how to participate.

Here is my entry:

DSC02036

This week, I will be saying Yeah to spending more time with the person above, my little boy. Yes, there are times when I need to write, or talk to people, and he amuses himself with his drum, or a book, or my phone (I thought it was on Airplane mode, so I am sorry if he called you). But I want the time I do spend with him to focus on him as the main event, so he doesn’t feel like an appendage. Good times.

Now it is your turn!



PJs, tacos and and advice: An ode to my friend Chrissy

by SweetMidlife
This lovely lady has some wisdom for you.

This lovely lady has some wisdom for you.

Leslie here! (the one who lives in Florida)

Several months ago my brilliant sister put out a call for guest bloggers for this here Website, and we got an immediate “Heck, yes!” from one Chrissy Benoit, a longtime friend, chef, Food Network-featured restaurateur and dedicated supporter of the communities to which she serves food, laughs and love.

Chrissy wrote about the things that she wished she’d known about getting what you want, a pinnacle she’d seemed to have reached – working for Wolfgang Puck, opening several restaurants in South Florida for herself and others, and a local and national media presence. Her column was a funny, touching reality punch – written by an adult who knows her stuff -about unsolicited advice, the danger of mixing business and friendship and the facet that you might be forever chasing that feeling you thought “making it” would give you. Turns out that “it” is a journey, not a destination, and you never stop the pursuit.

This weekend, Chrissy closes her Boynton Beach restaurant The Little House, a cozy retreat from the ordinary featuring weekend brunches that were discounted if you wore your jammies, savory bread pudding, live music and adoration. She’ll be headed to the Tampa area to put her stamp on an established hospitality company, giving them her energies and ideas. And they’re so frigging lucky, because this is a quality lady. She “gave back” to her community by hiring local kids from that community, by being a role model to women and young people just by being her. She even gave an untested singer a shot to perform on her patio (and paid me in wine.)

Chrissy is testament to the trope that hard work pays off, although you don’t always know what the pay’s going to be. She left Havana Hideout, her successful Lake Worth Latin street food joint, where she cooked out of a food truck before that became the cool thing to do, to open the Little House and inject a bit of old Florida charm and “yumminess,” as she often says, into Boynton. It had a following but not the one it deserved. So she’s moving on, in the most non-bitter and positive way possible. Her biggest concern was not her ego but the staff she was leaving when her doors closed.

And that’s some good humble life advice for myself, who’s always half-joked that if I ever get fired, I’ll dress up in a satin gown like Bette Davis in “All About Eve,” stand on my desk with a martini and tell everyone off. I guess I’m writing this because Chrissy is an example of how you never have to stop wanting what you want, never have to stop working, never stop building on your reputation and never do anything, however temporarily emotional edifying, to mess that up. I’ll miss her. But I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Raising a glass to you, my friend.


Oh, Hey, Friday : Park-walking Edition

by SweetMidlife

Howdy, it’s Lynne!

So, we have been linking up with the blogs September Farm and The Farmer’s Wife for a Friday event called “Oh, Hey Friday!”, where you write about ANY 5 things. We are busy, but we can do 5 things.

Today, my toddler associate and I took a walk/run(mostly walk. And stopping to talk to nice older ladies and other babies) at a beautiful, beautiful park near our house. And here are 5 cool things we saw on our walk today…

1. This stick!  We found it on the way from the car and it became our companion for a bit…

DSC02021

2.  This tree that had fallen over. It added to the feeling of adventure and discovery and whatnot!! It’s the whatnot that makes it exciting. DSC02022

3. These steps on the way down to the water. DSC02026

4. The water itself! See the boat (or “beep”, as my son calls them)?

DSC02029

And our friend Mr. Stick went for a swim. See ya, Mr. Stick!

DSC02028

5. This viewer thing!! We didn’t look through it, but big metal things are exciting enough. DSC02035

It was a beautiful walk in a beautiful place, and hopefully, the start of a beautiful weekend! Have a good one, y’all!

 


Saturday Night Slow Jam/Dance Party

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!!

Your DJ tonight.

Your DJ tonight.

So, I am here on a rainy Saturday night, working on various things for next week (including prep for a kid show I am directing), and fueled by tonight’s lullaby selection for my kid, “You Are Everything” by The Stylistics (my mom used to sing it to Twin Leslie and I because it says “Today I saw somebody who looked just like you, she walked like you do, I thought is was you”, and we are identical twins. Ahh, Mommy is hilarious.), I set up a playlist of 70’s/80’s R&B songs on Spotify. And since I always wanted to be a DJ, mostly because I like to share but mostly because I would go to some parties and which they let me pick the music, thus making it a fun party, I decided to share it with you. If you are at home and still up, jam with me!! Or eat Corn Chex. Because that may be what I am eating.

Okay, if I had white pants and a spangly shirt, I would be up dancing. Even if you don’t have those, boogie. I really think this is one of the catchiest songs ever written.

Just as fine as she can be. That’s you. Even without your white pants, and with that Chex drool. Go on with your bad self. Wah-hoo!

Let’s slow it down a little

I can’t stand it. I can’t stand it. One of the prettiest songs ever. It makes me sigh. Go ahead and sigh. I won’t tell anyone.

Okay, so here is where you get up and make your significant other come downstairs and dance the Baryshnikov part of this song, where you dance like Gregory Hines. Now, if you are my husband, you will say no, and if you are us, it will look bad because we can’t dance like that. But if you want to try, move the cereal bowl and glide away.

And we will end with my favorite 80’s love song, by DeBarge, featuring the dreamiest of the dreamy, El DeBarge, on vocals.

Well, that’s it. Whether you are home by yourself, or with your friends, or your cat, or your spouse, I hope this was a nice little diversion and whatnot. Enjoy the rest of your night.


Five Upsides to Having Dental Work Done

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here!

We are linking up with the wonderful blogging folks at The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm for a Friday blog party called “Oh, Hey Friday!”.  You write about any five random things and link it up with a bunch of other bloggers and you meet them and stuff and wonderful.

I had a tooth pulled yesterday and I am in pain. Not fun, friends. However, in there with feeling like someone punched you in the gums, there are things you get to do when you have had dental work that make it  little more dealable withable. Yes, I made that up.

1. You get to eat soft things, and for me, that’s comfort food. On the way home from the dentist I was in pain, but that didn’t stop me from stocking up on more yummy things that wouldn’t hurt me.

Like this.

And this.

My son thinks that the tray for our toaster oven is called “Tots”.

2. You get to rent chick flicks that your husband won’t watch and hole yourself up with the pudding and laugh away. Yesterday’s selection was “The Other Woman” with Cameron Diaz and it was dang, dang funny. Bonus that I ran into a friend who works for Redbox, and who gave me a coupon for a free rental. I likes free.

3. People always tell moms of little kids that we should nap when our kids nap, but most of us are like, “Then when will I write/do laundry/clean the bathroom/wash my hair/watch “Project Runway” on Tivo?”  But when you have had oral surgery, you take that nap and YOU LOVE IT.

4. Your husband comes home early from work to take care of you, and hang out with the kid, and makes dinner!! Hooray!!

5. In a nutshell, you get a little break while you take care of yourself like you always should. Good times.


So, These 5 Things Happened Last Week

by SweetMidlife

Howdy!

Lynne here.

So, I have been checking out a new blog link-up called “Oh, hey, Friday”, where bloggers post links every week to like an online bulletin board, and it’s cool because it is a chance to read what others are writing, plus it gives you a chance to be seen, and create community, and all of those good things. This one asks you to write about any 5 random things, like your 5 favorite things that happened on vacation, or your five favorite TV shows, and post them to the link-up. Now, it is obviously Saturday, but I can still post this week, so I am gonna. Next week, I will be posting on time. I can have dreams and goals, right?

So, here are 5 things that happened around here last week….

1. I totally made jalapeno poppers. I wish I had pictures of them done, because we ate them. WE ATE THEM ALL. And then we ran out of jalapenos and I did okra poppers. Because cream cheese, flour and grease tastes good in most shells. Here is a picture of the peppers. I had time to take those. BECAUSE WE ATE ALL OF THE FINISHED ONES.

Fry it up!!

2. Our journey into potty-training continued. We had days where the potty was for everything BUT going potty (drums, usually). We had flat-out refusals, and some days he told us that he just went. AFTER HE WENT. But the week ended with some successes, rewarded with a Hershey’s Kiss. And when my kid can read, we will forget I posted this on the internet. Okay?

Artistic picture of a potty. Or maybe it is just out of focus.

3. My car hit 90,000 miles. I couldn’t take a picture of it because I was driving and trying not to kill people. But it was cool because I got this car because I totalled the last one (I was hit and flipped upside down!!!) AND it reminds me that 2 months later, my life changed when I met my husband. This car ushered in a new life, and I didn’t even know it.

My car is the big one.

4. My kid wore 2 diferent shoes out in public yesterday. He wanted to wear the canvas ones, but we couldn’t find them both, so I tried to get him to wear the sandals, but he insisited on wearing the 1 canvas one, and we did not have time to find the other, so that is how he rolled. And he was fine with it. So I was too.

This went down. And out of the house.

5. I continued to pray and worry for our country, and our racial divide. I know this one takes a serious turn. But this has been on my brain, and on my heart, and I can’t ignore that this has been a lot of my week, talking and discussing and hopefully adding something good to the dialogue. But I want to get past dialogue. There needs to be change. And that is where it starts. But it can’t end there. Because I want my kid, and all of us, to look outside and see better than what we see. And yes, I used those words so I could use that picture below. But I mean every word.

 

 

 


Cook ‘em if you got ‘em: Sweet potato encrusted snapper

by SweetMidlife

Would you trust this woman in the kitchen? Oh, come on.

Leslie here!

Those who know me well know that I enjoy cooking. They also know that I am busier than that proverbial one-legged man in the butt-kicking contest, and that I also eat out for work sometimes. So that means that I don’t always have the time to do the from-scratch meals I long to master.

Fortunately, every once in a while I get an ingredient in my paws that deserves more than the “stick it under the broiler and cook it” treatment. My husband took a surprise trip to Doris’ Market in Boca Raton, a specialty grocer with lots of good stuff inside. He came back with a good meaty filet of hogsnapper, which I’d never cooked but first had fond memories of tasting for the first time at Jupiter, Fl’s crazy delicious Food Shack. There, it was crusted in sweet potatoes and fried, which popped out a deliciously moist fish under a sweet savory crunch.

And when I looked at that little piece of fish, I knew I needed to try to recreate that experience. “Try” is key, as the Food Shack folks are genius and I’m just a pop culture writer with a fish and a dream. My goal was to try to get as close to that taste as possible, without frying it.

Ha ha ha ha bear with me.

I did a Pinterest search for recipes that were baked, and came up with a few, including this  http://www.sarcasticcooking.com/2013/03/08/sweet-potato-crusted-fish-sticks/

which is obviously for fish sticks. But this and a few other recipes suggested using sweet potato chips rather than cutting and cooking the potatoes yourself, and your girl is all about the shortcuts. I figured I would follow along and make it my own, as they say on the singing programs. So here’s what I did.

1) Meet your fish: I didn’t buy it, so I didn’t know that it still had the skin on it. But it was gorgeous – a big meaty piece of thing I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. Since it was just one piece, and because I am lazy, I decided not to cut it but just cook it as is. The issue is that I had no idea exactly how much fish there was, because I kinda threw the wrapping away. And I don’t have a scale. I am sucky. Go ahead, call Ted Allen on me. I ain’t scared.

 

2) Release the buttermilk! Obviously, the chips have to crust themselves to the fish some kinda way, and although my usual inclination would be to flour this thing up and fry it, I wanted to go healthy. For now. So I wanted to coat it in egg and buttermilk, the preparation I found on some recipe sites, and go from there. I didn’t know how to adjust the measurements as I had no idea how much fish I had (I’m a loser) so I just used a cup of low-fat buttermilk and one egg, coating the fish.

 

3) When the chips are down…You might as well crunch them up. I admit to having eaten some of the chips before I started cooking so I was hopeful there were enough left to coat this thing. So I punched the bag up real good to crunch them up, and then poured them on a plate for to coat and whatnot.

4) Next I rolled the fish in the chips (fish and chips! Hahahahfunny!) and put it all in the broiler on Hi for about 25 minutes.

5) So here’s the thing. I took that sucker out of the oven and it was beautiful. Really beautiful.

6) But it wasn’t what I was looking for. The crust didn’t really stick to the fish like I wanted, and when I flipped it over it fell off. Because it was a beautiful cut of fish, it was as buttery and flaky as I imagined it would be. But it wasn’t what I wanted. So…I heated up the grease.

7) And I got that above gorgeous thing. The chips had a beautiful crunch added to them, and the fish was juicier. You could taste the potato in the bite. And it was pretty.

Next time I’ll get my crust better. I would have preferred to not have had to fry it. But as my grandmother always said, there’s nothing you can’t fry.


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