Category Archives: lists

Confessional on a Tuesday

I’ll admit, I really like it when bloggers write out their confessional posts. Confession really is good for the soul and while confessing little bits about yourself in a blog for the enjoyment of your readers is NO MATCH for the Grace that flows from a true Reconciliation for someone is a true state of Sin, they are still a little fun. We all have our idiosyncrasies and sometimes you have to talk about them.

Without Further Ado:

1. I really enjoy Young Adult novels.
2. I have never read nor seen a Nicholas Sparks book/ film inspired by a book.
3. Last month I ate cooked peas for the first time.
4. I schedule out my days.
5. Red Wine contributes to my migraine headaches, but I still have a glass here and there.

6. “Breaking Dawn” was the first Twilight film I saw in the theatre.
7. I enjoyed the Twilight books.
8. I tend to dress in neutrals because I am too lazy to match colors.
9. I let the 4 year old leave the house dressed in what she picks out.
10. Usually it’s a hot mess.

11. I am considering wearing a head covering outside of the Mass.
12. Yes, I am serious.
13. In our house we have 2 iPads, 1 iPhone and a MacBook… and a Blackberry
14. 90% of the time, DH and I are in the same room whilst on computers.
15. I like Shamrock Shakes.

16. I realize that writing is narcissistic work, and I see the irony in being a Catholic blogger trying to work on her pride.
17. I love eggnog lattes.
18. I hate stuffing/ dressing.
19. When my girls pretend play, coffee is always involved.
20. I’d take Alan Rickman over Hugh Grant ANY DAY.

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Thursday’s List: Ten Things I love to do while in Door County

Good Morning! I am writing to you all from beautiful Door County, Wisconsin. Since baby Cazimir arrived this past Sunday, I was able to join the rest of my family for this impromptu trip “Up Nort’.” We are quite blessed in the regard that my In-Laws live up here year-round, which makes for easy, comfortable, family-centered lodgings. We try to make it up here at least once per year, sometimes more, and with each trip there are things that I love to do and am sad if I miss:

Ten Things I love to do while in Door County


Rootbeer Floats at Wilson’s in Ephriam. 

The claim to fame here is not the ice cream (I believe it’s Blue Bunny) but it is the Root Beer, brewed and crafted in house. In the summertime, this place can be quite hoppin’, so either get there early in the day or be ready for a patient wait, overlooking the water.


Hands On Art Studio

I am one of those crafty girls and this is the place to be for crafty people. They have paint-your-own pottery and craft-your-own mosaics, among other artsy deals. Make sure to get there early in your trip as the items do take time to fire and cure.


The Shops on Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay

If you like to shop, these are shops to check out. They are cute, unique and have just about anything that you might be looking for. And if not, it’s still fun to walk downtown.


Peninsula Players Theatre

We don’t get to do this every visit because the play season is limited. Peninsula Players Theatre is a theatre in a garden and therefore, kind of hard to attend in the winter time, but it makes for a great evening out. Pack a light picnic, enjoy your snack by the water and watch the sunset and attend a play in the glorious outdoors.


Friday Night Fish Fry

OK, I am a Wisconsin girl through and through and I love my fish frys. (yes, that is the plural of fish fry.) Some people here will swear by fish boils (think New England Clam Bake style) but for me, fridays are characterized by fried fish, french fries and beer.


Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard in Fish Creek

First of all, custard and ice cream are two different things. Custard is rich, decadent and chock full of eggs along with the cream and other goodness of ice cream. Not Licked Yet does have some indoor seating but is mostly outdoor, where you can enjoy your custard among the gnomes.


Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay

Goats on the Roof. Servers in Dirndls. Swedish Meatballs. Swedish Pancakes and Lingonberries. Yum.


Village Cafe in Egg Harbor

This was one of the first places that we ate at when I started coming here with my husband. Village Cafe is not just food, it’s a shop and an art studio all rolled into one. I always tell myself I am going to branch out and order something new, but I always end up with the bagel with veggies and sprouts and cream cheese. Delish!


Door County Coffee and Tea

I’m a Caffeinated Catholic Mama and they sell Espresso. Good espresso.


St. John’s Catholic Church in Egg Harbor

This is where The Mister and I were married. It’s the cutest little church and it’s special for us.


I think it speaks volumes about me that most of my favorites revolve around food…

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Thursday’s List: Things I am waiting for that I have no control over and it’s driving me batty!

The title pretty much sums it up.


Friend’s baby to be born. Labor and delivery is such a funny thing. How awesome would it be if we had those turkey buttons on our abdomens that let us know for *sure* when labor was imminent. I don’t believe in induction or scheduling labors because I believe it leads to too many additional interventions thereby leading to the increase in Caesarians, but the waiting game is nerve-wracking and I am not the pregnant one!


We have been waiting for a few months to hear about a possible job promotion for my husband. On Tuesday (Aug 2) night he was told that there would be a conversation on Wednesday (Aug 3.) That convo didn’t happen. So we wait.


I know that the YMCA is calling my references for the swim instructor position I interviewed for, but I don’t think I have ever waited this long to hear about a possible job!


In what is proving to be the WORST KEPT SECRET (because I can’t keep secrets,) I recently took a leap of faith and signed on to be a consultant with Thirty-One. I am so excited about this because I love and believe in the product and I am a bag and organizational addict. But, my first parties aren’t scheduled for another two weeks! (We had to plan around Back-to-School start dates.) So, I’ve been doing a lot of practicing in front of mirrors and the girls, talking my husbands ear off, and visualizing!


In continuing with the Thirty-One theme, I can’t wait to see how I will succeed with this. I have only done direct sales once in my life and it wasn’t pretty. So I have that cloud hanging over my head, but I have faith that this time will be different. I will succeed at this. I will help my family out of our debt and I will have fun doing it! How’s that for personal affirmation?

For my local readers, I am scheduling September parties now! Head to my website to check out the catalog and we can chat. For my out of state readers, I currently have two internet parties running… Just a thought…

Pax Christi!


Filed under family, finance, lists, Thursday

Thursday’s List: Ten Ways your Toddler is kind of like a Gremlin

This post is dedicated to my little gremlins, The Bear and the Dragonfly.

10. They look super cute, but are capable of dastardly deeds.

9. Somehow they sneak the treats off the counter without being seen.

8. Two words: Sharp. Nails.

7. When words don’t work, they resort to primal wails…

6. and when wails don’t work… they bite.

5. If they are having a “moment” and you try to pick them up to console them, they somehow wiggle out of your grasp.

4. Have you tried to get an unwilling toddler in the bath? Yeah…

3. If you feed them solid foods after midnight, bad things happen

2. They come into your room, in the middle of the night, and all you hear are shuffling feet until you open your eyes and they are staring at you.

1. They are cuddly and snuggly and sing the most beautiful songs.

Hope you enjoyed the giggle!

Pax Christi!

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Thursday’s List: Top Ten Signs you might be a (Caffeinated) Catholic Mama

When people hear my blog name, they can’t help but giggle a little bit. After all, it’s fairly descriptive but at the same time, I am pointing to one of my biggest vices, Caffeine. My love for caffeine is such that when I was pregnant with my children, I couldn’t give it up all the way… so I cut back. I used to think of myself as less of a person because of my coffee addiction but then, one Sunday, one of my favorite priests admitted his caffeine addiction as well and then I realized I was not alone. He is much better with his crutch that I am… in fact, I believe he gives up coffee for all of Lent. Wednesdays and Fridays are traditional fasting days and it would be wise of me to consider fasting from my coffee on Wednesdays and Fridays…

A friend posted on FaceBook a list of things that indicate a certain level of Catholicism and it kind of got me thinking, what characteristics are indicative of a post-modern Catholic Mama, like me? So without further ado:

Top Ten Signs You Might Be A (Caffeinated ) Catholic Mama

10. After morning prayers, you sit and make your list of things to do for the day because you have the attention span of a squirrel.

9. When your kids fall and scrape their knee, you inspect the wound and then tell them to offer their physical pain up to those poor souls in purgatory.

8. Your idea of abstinence is unplugging the coffee pot (or hiding the French Press) for a while.

7. You would be aghast at the thought of taking your kids to the market in their PJs but if it means getting to daily Mass on time, they are going in those footies! (that was me in February.)

6. Your baby’s first words are: Mama, Dada, Amen and Coffee

5. Your toddler has no clue what Adoration is but she knows that she should whisper when in there.

4. Your kids play Mass with the food in their kitchen set rather than “cooking” with it.

3. Religious Art depicting The Blessed Virgin lactating isn’t “weird” to your kids.

2. Your preschooler treats “StarWars” as a call and response. (Film: “May the Force be with you.” Little Voice: “and also with you.”)

1. The folks at Starbucks see your red Swagger Wagon after Sunday Mass and they have your order ready when you walk through the door!

ETA: One more… let’s call this #1a: Guest lists to family parties are not complete unless one or more Priests or Deacons are invited!


The iced coffee that now resides in my ‘fridge comes from The Pioneer Woman. Thanks to Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy and Suzanne for introducing me to this recipe for heaven in a cup. Personally, I sweeten with simple syrup (a 1 part sugar to 2 parts water ratio.) Yum.

Pax Christi!


Filed under breastfeeding, Catholic, family, funnies, lists, Thursday

Thursday’s List: 10 ways to tell someone is from the Milwaukee Area

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually in a suburb of Milwaukee called… South Milwaukee, but we didn’t move there until I was ten, so I am SE Wisconsin through and through. It’s funny, when people think of Wisconsin, they think of cows and cheese and beer and the Packers, and all of those are true, but then they also think of the heavy “Yooper” accent that you hear in the movie “Fargo.” Now that we live in St. Louis, I do get jabbed a bit about my accent… usually it’s on words with long vowels, “motorboat” is one that comes to mind, but other than the supposed accent there are other ways to tell if someone is not just from Wisconsin, but from Milwaukee.

Are they from the “Cream City?” They might be if:

10. They can recognize the smell of yeast from years of smelling it on I-94 W.

9. The Freeway in “The Blues Brothers,” The Stadium in “Major League” and most of “Transformers 3” look really familiar.

8. They refer to any tied arch bridge as looking like “The Hoan Bridge.” (little FYI, this was the bridge and freeway that was used in “The Blues Brothers.” The “Illinois Nazis” didn’t fare too well on the unfinished project.)

7. They get a wistful look in their eyes if you mention “SummerFest” and remember when Ernest Borgnine was the Grand Marshal and a fantastic clown in The Great Circus Parade. (Ahem, 4 years of marching in that parade with the “Patriotic Band” does make me hold the Circus Parade close to my heart. But not “The Washington Post March.” After 5 miles of playing ONLY that song… oy.)

6. They know the words to “Roll Out the Barrel”… and they know that it’s about beer. (After all, the song is called “the Beer Barrel Polka.)

5. They know what Alewives are and how they smell.

4. The word “Ambrosia” makes them think of Chocolate… or Dahmer. (Seriously, he worked there.)

3. They are sad that every Major League Baseball game DOESN’T include racing sausages unless it’s at Miller Park.

2. They pronounce the word “Milwaukee” thusly: “ma-WAU-key” and the words “Kinnickinnic,” “Wauwautosa,” or “Oconomowoc” are no problems at all. (For more Wisconsin pronunciation fun, check out: Miss Pronouncer!)

1. They know that’s it’s called a “Bubbler” and aren’t afraid to prove it!

**ETA: It was brought to my attention that I forgot one very important Wisconsin/ Milwaukee-ism and it’s one that I still use quite frequently and I still get crazy looks for: The Tyme Machine. And I don’t mean a TARDIS.**

Today is the last day to enter to win “The Invisible World!” Click here to find out how to enter. I’m drawing the winner TODAY!!

Pax Christi!

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Thursday List: 10 uses for Avon Skin-So-Soft (other than what the bottle says)

Scents are powerful things and can evoke memories from the past. One scent that always takes me back to my childhood is the scent of “Avon Skin-So-Soft.” My mother used it for everything, and I mean everything. SSS is just mineral oil with some extra stuff (just like baby oil is mineral oil with fragrance.)

However, the deal with mineral oil in any of it’s forms is that it is petroleum (oil) based. This property lends itself to many of it’s other uses. (If you remember your basic Chemistry class… like dissolves like.) But the fact that it’s petroleum oil does make people think twice before using it in excess. OK, without further ado:

Ten Uses For Avon Skin-So-Soft (other than what the bottle says)

10. Insect Repellent (Mosquitos from skin, Ants from home, Bees from Hummingbird feeders)/ Insecticide
9. Makeup Remover
8. Rub in on wood to condition wood surfaces
7. Use it to remove lime or hard water stains
6. Sticker or Adhesive Removal
5. Loosen stuck zippers
4. Unsqueak a squaky door
3. Kill Head Lice
2. Remove paint or ink from skin or natural bristle brushes
1. Remove Crayon from surfaces

Don’t forget! You have one more week to enter to win “The Invisible World!” Click here to find out how to enter.

Pax Christi!

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Top Ten Things to say to encourage a nursing mother

It’s Time for another List!! Part of me is thinking about making Thursday my “List Day.” My post about breastfeeding this week kind of got me thinking about some of the other “booby-traps” that moms run into, and negative comments tend to be right up there. Honestly, I think it’s because people just don’t know what to say to a nursing mom. Here’s an idea: Just talk to her like you would any other mom. The fact that she is nourishing her child with breastmilk shouldn’t sway your conversation (and that applies if she is nursing right next to you or just nursing in general.)

Top Ten Things to Say to Encourage a Nursing (or Any) Mother

10. You are doing great!

9. What can I do to help you out right now?

8. Can I make you dinner tonight?

7. Would you like a glass of water?

6. You been nursing for (2 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 months, 3 years)? Congratulations!

5. Nurse where ever or how ever you are most comfortable.

4. Your baby looks very happy/content.

3. Any amount of breastmilk your baby receives is fantastic for his health.

2. Formula and Breastmilk can work together, it doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing.’

1. I am here if you need me, even if it’s just to listen.

I know that it sounds kind of counter-intuitive, coming from a self-professed “lactivist,” but I have really been thinking about why I began breastfeeding and why I wanted to help other mother’s breastfeed. I believe that breastmilk is superior to formula but I am also a realist knowing that not all moms will make the choice to stay home with their children (or that it is financially feasible.) So if I mom decides that pumping her milk for while she is away is too much of a hassle and would rather use formula when she is away, that is what works best for their family.

But there is the flip-side, I do believe that more should be done to remove some of the barriers that impede the efforts of nursing mothers. I mean, you figure if a mom wants to nurse her child exclusively for 9 months and goes back to work when the baby is 3 months old, she’s requiring time to pump for 6 months. When that comes up, all of a sudden there are calls about how it’s not fair that this mom has to have:

1.) time to pump

2.) a private location to pump that’s not her car

3.) storage for the milk (optional)

I think back to when I was working (before teaching) and our workplace was smoke-free, when the smokers could go out willy-nilly to have a “smoke-break” in addition to their mandated breaks. Did I think that it was fair that me, as a non-smoker, didn’t have that luxury? No, I didn’t think that it was fair, but to be honest, I was happy that I wasn’t saddled with a nicotine addiction, so it was a wash. But we have to remember, fair does not mean equal.  When I was teaching, I used an easy way to illustrate this: Is it fair that I have to wear glasses while my BFF has perfect vision? No. Should I stop correcting my vision or should she wear corrective lenses so we are equal? No.

When my DDs were little, they both wore a cheeky one-sie that we bought in Chicago. It read:

” Thank You for not giving my parents unsolicited advice.”

I think new parents are so bombarded with advice, that they forget to follow their God-given instinct. Mothering is hard enough as it is and we make it harder by always wanting to either out-do each other by being the “better mother” or by thinking that somehow we are doing something wrong because we are not following the latest expert advice to a “T.”

But I think the best thing you can say to any mother is:

You baby/ children is/ are beautiful and you all look very happy.

And that’s music to any mother’s ears.
What’s the best or worst advice you received as a new mom, nursing or not? Share below!!

Pax Christi!


Filed under breastfeeding, family, fathers, feminism, lists, mothering, Thursday

More things to never say to a woman with children: Military Edition!

From Mama Clementine, a non-government issued wife of a career soldier:

…I was thinking that for me, being such a Counter-Culture Mama, the lists of random rude questions and offending comments from those that it just does not concern, could go on and on…ad infinitum. So, I thought for fun, I would make a small project out of several lists of obscenely annoying Questions and Comments that I have gotten from strangers, all neatly compiled into categories. 🙂

     What follows is a list of my TOP 25 way too personal, yet oh so popular questions and all to common comments, that I have received during my husband’s Deployments.
You can read the rest here.
Just to warn you, some of her pictures might make you choke up a little!!


Pax Christi!


Filed under family, lists, manners, mothering, political, sunday

10 things to NEVER say to/ ask a woman with children

There seems to be an influx of nosiness and just a plain lack of decorum out there lately. I don’t know if in this age of “over sharing”, via Twitter and FaceBook and the like, that people just feel that it’s OK to interject opinions and ask very personal questions without thinking about how the receiver of said question feels. For your entertainment, I present my personal top 10 questions no woman should hear:

10. Your baby is cold! Where’s her hat/ socks/ jacket/ pants?
9. Your children are so adorable! Do they have the same father?
8. You know, Benadryl is a good way to make them sleep on a flight.
7. You’re feeding her again?! Didn’t you just feed her? Something must be wrong with your milk.
6. Oh, two girls! I’ll bet you’re hoping for a boy next.
5. Isn’t it time to try for another one?
4. What a great contraption! (motioning to the babywrap) Does her mother mind you carrying her in that manner?
3. She’s almost a year and you haven’t started her on solids yet?
2. Is that really your kid?!
1. Are you expecting?/ Do you have some good news to share?/ When are you due?

Just so you know… all ten of these items have been said TO ME in the almost four years that I have been a parent. No joke. No exaggeration. I am sure that all of the questioners were well-meaning, but still, there is such a thing as “too personal.”

Do you have any favorite “too personal” questions? Please share!!

Pax Christi!


Filed under lists, manners, Thursday