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Daddy Days: A letter for Mother’s Day

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share a letter the 1-year-old wrote to my wife.

A couple weeks ago he pulled me aside and said he had jotted down some thoughts for a Mother’s Day card. He knew I had some writing experience, so he asked if I could look it over. This sounded reasonable, so I obliged.

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I had to polish it up a bit (man, kids can babble on), but here’s the finished product:

Dear Mom,

We’ve been close since the beginning. For whatever reason, we just seemed to click. I’m hungry, you have food. I want to sleep, you put me in bed. I need a clean diaper, and you detect this through some magical power — I’m convinced is hidden inside your nose — and give me a fresh diaper.

From vicious vacuums trying to eat me to loud noises coming from the radio, you’ve saved me so many times. I love that.

I also love that you understand how challenging walking can be. And how any shirt I’m wearing might as well be a straight jacket when it comes to me trying to remove it.

I love that you appreciate my prowess at climbing the two steps to the top of the 24-inch slide in the backyard. And also how you celebrate my slide down every time as if I just scored a perfect 10 in the high dive event at the Olympics.

I’m sorry about the whole splashing in the toilet thing and that “code brown” situation in the bathtub. I should know better. But I’m thankful you were there to handle it, because that Dad guy doesn’t know what he’s doing when it comes to bathroom situations.

(Just between us, he totally asked me if I could just “hold it until Mom gets home” the first time he was watching me while you were gone.)

I have to admit I was confused by people patting your tummy and saying, “the baby will be here soon.” I thought I was the baby. I did some research into the subject and it appears I’m going to be an older brother. I’m assuming this isn’t going to impact your ability to protect me from the vacuum.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about how wonderful you’ve been. No one has made sure I was more completely taken care of than you, and I know my baby brother is going to be just as well taken care of.

In the 15 months I’ve been in this world (and the two years we’ve been together), no one has more thoroughly shown me what love is than you. I love that.

I hope you have a great Mother’s Day. You’re certainly a great mother.

The midnight surprises in this basket will make a new mom laugh on Mother’s Day

Middle of the night diaper changes are no fun. This clever gift idea will keep new moms laughing at midnight.

At first glance, it looks like a regular gift basket filled with diapers and other necessities. But take a closer look, and you’ll see that each diaper is pre-stuffed with a little message. Use these tiny notes to encourage the new mom or tell her a joke. Even the silliest of jokes can be funny to someone who is sleep deprived.

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You can also include a little extra pampering for the mom like a pair of soft slippers. Anything to make those late night moments a little more enjoyable.

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Five facts about Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is here. Many will be celebrating the holiday with margaritas and Mexican food. Here are five facts about the Mexican holiday that you can use to impress your friends.

1)      Despite a common misconception, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. The holiday celebrates the Battle of Puebla, where, against all odds, the Mexicans made a stand against an invading French army in 1862.

2)      Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico, with the exception of the city of Puebla. Mexico holds more of a celebration on its Independence Day, September 16, than it does on Cinco de Mayo.

>>5 Cinco de Mayo deals and steals

3)      The holiday means big business for the avocado industry. The California Avocado Commission says that Americans consume around 81 million avocados during Cinco de Mayo.

4)      Chandler, Ariz., has a unique way of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It hosts a Chihuahua race every year. The event has been cancelled for 2016.

>>Quiz: How much do you know about Cinco de Mayo?

5)      The 2010 U.S. Census estimates that about 31.8 million U.S. residents are of Mexican origin. The largest concentration of Mexican-Americans is in Los Angeles, the city that holds the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S.

Don’t waste money on expensive gifts when these 5 DIY decorations will make Mom feel so special

With these easy DIY projects, you will have everything you need to transform Mom’s space into a beautiful wonderland of pretty flowers and thoughtful details.

Set the tone for Mother’s Day by surprising her with a decorated kitchen or dining room for the full effect. She will be so overjoyed with the bright happy transformation.

Floral initial

This pretty statement piece is easy to make with a few supplies from the craft store. Transform fake flowers and a paper letter into this gorgeous decoration by simply cutting the stems from the flowers and glueing them inside the letter. Paint the outside of the letter for a finished look. Find the full tutorial on LuLu’s blog.

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Mother’s Day Banner

A customized banner will brighten up any wall and make Mom feel super special. This one from Modern Beautiful is so simple to make. It’s designed to be printed at home. Then just cut out the circles, string onto a ribbon and hang.

Paper flower centerpiece

Make this pretty centerpiece for your Mother’s Day table from paper. Paper flowers are easy to make once you get the hang of it. They look beautiful and will last forever. Plus, Mom will appreciate the time you took to make them. See how to make these out of crepe paper on Creative Jewish Mom.

Painted Vase

After you’ve made some pretty paper flowers in Mom’s favorite color, you’ll need a vase to put them in. This gold and white striped vase starts as a tin can. Paint pretty stripes and voila you’ve got a centerpiece. Find step by step directions on Two Delighted.

Hand-painted table runner

Your centerpiece will look perfect on this colorful runner. The kids will have tons of fun making this one for Mom because its finger painted. Use brightly colored craft paint to make these polka dots in whatever arrangement you like. Mom will love the creativity of this one! HGTV shows us exactly how to make it.

Forget everything else, these are the 5 things moms want for Mother’s Day

Let’s not beat around the bush here. It’s Mother’s Day, but I don’t want flowers or crafts or a box of chocolates … all I really want is for someone to give me a break!

Show this to your husband. Show this to your kids. Show this to everyone … these things will help Mom even when it’s not her special day.

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What Mom really wants:

1. Do this one simple chore for her. (Hint: it’s laundry. Everyone hates laundry.)

2. Forget breakfast in bed, just make the bed. (But watch this video because you’re probably doing it wrong.)

3. Win your way to her heart through the kitchen … give her a night off and make this simple dinner surprise.

4. Leave her alone: Pack this spa basket and give her a nice morning of peace and quiet.

5. NO CRAFTS. Seriously, put down the paintbrush.

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Recipe: Breakfast casserole

In the Kitchen With ... Linda Roberts, Alpharetta From a special Atlanta Journal-Constitution feature in which readers nominate their favorite home cooks. Nominated by friend and co-worker Cindy Thompson: "Have you ever seen someone whose idea of relaxing is cooking a free breakfast for 100 or so friends? [Linda] learned at the knee of her grandmother and loves to share her down-home Southern cooking with everyone." See vegetarian option below.

Hands on time: 25 minutes  Total time: 1 hour  Serves: 12

    6 slices bread 1 pound breakfast sausage or 8 ounces of thawed and crumbled (uncooked) vegetarian breakfast patties 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1/2 large sweet onion, diced 1 cup broccoli florets 1 (7-ounce) can mushrooms, drained 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese 12 eggs 1 1/2 cups half-and-half 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and line the bottom with the slices of bread. In a large skillet, cook the breakfast sausage. Transfer the sausage to a large mixing bowl; drain the fat from the pan, and wipe it clean. Add the vegetable oil, and cook the onion until golden, about 5 minutes. Add it to the bowl with the sausage. In a small saucepan, cook the broccoli in a small amount of water until the broccoli turns bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the broccoli, and add it to the mixing bowl. To the sausage mixture, add the mushrooms, tomatoes and grated cheese. Stir to combine, and then spread the mixture evenly over the bread in the baking dish. Break the eggs into the mixing bowl, and beat well with the half-and-half, salt and pepper. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the sausage mixture. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until casserole is semi-firm and puffed in the center. 


Tester's note: To reduce the cholesterol and fat count, you can use reduced-fat cheese and leave out some or all of the egg yolks. You can also substitute 8 ounces of thawed and crumbled (uncooked) vegetarian breakfast patties for the cooked sausage. You can assemble this dish the night before and bake it in the morning, or you can cook it and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat individual pieces in the microwave.


Per serving: 391 calories (percent of calories from fat, 20), 17 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 30 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 244 milligrams cholesterol, 669 milligrams sodium.

How to make an Easter basket cake

To make the Easter Basket Cake, first mask the cake with a thin layer of icing and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a basketweave tip, alternately pipe a short horizontal line, then a short vertical line, rotating around the entire bottom of the cake, until you reach the point where you started.

Continue with another row above these lines, alternating the vertical and horizontal stripes with what is on the bottom. Keep adding rows until you reach the top.

Create a border by weaving the tip around the top of the cake's perimeter.

Bend a forsythia branch over the top of the cake and tuck the tips into the side for a basket handle.

Fill the center of the "basket" with toasted coconut that has been tinted green.

Place chocolate eggs and other candies in the center of the basket.

Black History Month - how it began

Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month." What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied-or even documented-when the tradition originated. Although blacks have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a respectable presence in the history books.

Blacks Absent from History Books

We owe the celebration of Black History Month, and more importantly, the study of black history, to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population-and when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.

Established Journal of Negro History

Woodson, always one to act on his ambitions, decided to take on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation's history. He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history.

Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. However, February has much more than Douglass and Lincoln to show for its significance in black American history. For example:

  • February 23, 1868:W. E. B. DuBois, important civil rights leader and co-founder of the NAACP, was born.
  • February 3, 1870:The 15th Amendment was passed, granting blacks the right to vote.
  • February 25, 1870:The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office.
  • February 12, 1909:The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City.
  • February 1, 1960:In what would become a civil-rights movement milestone, a group of black Greensboro, N.C., college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter.
  • February 21, 1965:Malcolm X, the militant leader who promoted Black Nationalism, was shot to death by three Black Muslims.

How to carve a pumpkin for halloween

Just in time for Halloween, here are some great ideas for pumpkin carving and some tips for making your pumpkin last longer after it's carved, courtesy of Howdini guru of fun Bruce Littlefield.

Recipe: Halloween truffles with candied walnut brains

Hands on: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutesMakes: 12No need for expensive white chocolate, white chocolate chips will work fine. Store the truffles in the refrigerator before your party and serve at room temperature.1 cup (about 6 ounces) white chocolate chips2 tablespoons unsalted butter1 tablespoon heavy creamPinch of salt1 tablespoon liqueur, optional2 tablespoons powdered sugarRed food coloring12 whole walnutsIn a medium saucepan over low heat, warm chocolate, butter, cream and salt until chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat and be sure everything is well mixed. If you're using liqueur, stir it in now. Set aside 1/2 cup.Transfer remaining chocolate mixture to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop, about 1 hour.While chocolate is firming, stir food coloring into reserved chocolate mixture until you have the desired color. Arrange walnuts on a wire rack over a piece of parchment paper. Spoon colored chocolate over walnuts to cover. Allow chocolate to set. Put walnuts aside until ready to make truffles.Use a teaspoon or small cookie scoop to make 1-inch truffles. Roll each truffle in powdered sugar, then top each with a walnut brain. Store truffles in refrigerator for up to 1 week.Per serving: 160 calories (percent of calories from fat, 72), 4 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 13 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 9 milligrams cholesterol, 20 milligrams sodium.

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