Dressy Casual or Little Black Exercise Outfit?

About a year ago I began exercising every day.

I also had a content-writing job, was room mom for my second boy’s class, volunteered in our church, drove the boys to martial arts in the evening, thought it was a good time to go to counseling for me and for me and the hubby, and …I’ll bet you’ve skimmed to the next paragraph by now.

Because exercising was the priority, I wore my workout attire until I actually worked out. Sometimes I was still wearing black stretch pants, a sweat-wick shirt (also black), and the natural musk of one who has not showered past the time the boys were all in bed.

I was one of Those Moms wearing workout clothes at the grocery store.


Yesterday, however, I was not. It was Sunday and I therefore put on a skirt and sweater and went to church. I was still wearing that dressy casual getup after the boys were asleep.

-“I said, ‘the boys are all asleep!’ Now, QUIET!”

As I was saying, I had a skirt on when Mom Time finally rolled around. I sat on my bed to type on my iffy laptop and heard a ri-i-i-i-ip.

I then realized an important fact about my choice of outfits: I need versatility.

Problem is, I demand versatility even when it shouldn’t be present. Last Memorial Day, my mother was shocked that I was scraping mud and weeds from a relative’s grave marker (again) in my church clothes. I accompanied my husband to the RedBox in Wal-mart in my socks Friday night. Anyone spying on my carpool activities will see me sporting house slippers at pickup.


In my defense, they’re the really nice slippers with hard soles.

Besides ruining a new shirt because I was bleaching the white clothes, wearing holes in my socks, and using jackets as bathrobes; I don’t really mind my casual approach to clothes. I mean, obviously. Part of that is that I value comfort, part of it is that I’m too lazy to change, and 83.6% is how many small hands wipe indelible substances on me.

Surely I can’t be alone in this. Do you wear white after Labor Day? Socks with sandals? Yoga pants to the store? What’s your go-to garb?

The Cheapest, Bestest Dinner Ideas VI

Good morning/evening/midnight snack time, everyone! This week’s recipe is Tuna on Toast. It is the best go-to on the super cheap, according to my father.


I think I’ve mentioned Daddy before, because we always knew his meals would be one of three options: Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches, Macaroni and Cheese with Hot Dogs, or this.

The only tricky part is making a roux at the start. Don’t laugh if you’re the gravy master; gravy and Jell-O have been my Achilles Heels for years, and I can make soufflé.

Depending on the current cost of canned tuna and how expensive of bread you purchase, this meal can have a total cost of $5. That’s right -FIVE DOLLARS for the entire meal! And that gives you extra bread and milk for your other food needs, afterwards.


Tuna on Toast


2-3 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 can chunk light tuna in water
1 can peas
Bread for toast
Butter for toasted bread
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Deep skillet
French whisk or spoon
Measuring cups
Can opener
Toaster or toaster oven


  1. Melt 2-3 Tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Turn off heat and add 2-3 Tablespoons flour with the whisk or spoon. Blend till smooth.
  2. Over low heat, cook the butter and flour till bubbly.
  3. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and blend well. Add more milk if too thick.
  4. Drain can of tuna and pour into gravy base.
  5. Drain can of peas and pour into tuna gravy base.
  6. Prepare bread in toaster, even buttering several pieces to taste.
  7. Tear toast into chunks on each person’s plate. Pour tuna gravy over toast pieces.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

I’m not a big tuna fish fan, especially regarding the canned variety. When you’re young and hungry and your dad only knows how to make a few dishes, however, you can’t be picky for long.

I’ve found that adding some chopped onion makes this more palatable. When I made it last time, I even sautéed the chopped onion with the tuna before adding them to the gravy. It was tasty enough that my picky son told me he loved it, and my second son had thirds.

So, when you need a cheap meal, an easy meal, or just a quick meal because you’re starving and it’s 7:00 already -try Tuna on Toast today!

No Encore, Please

Nothing shows real love like sitting through an hour-long concert of your junior high student’s boys’ choir.


I’m sure it’s great practice for when their voices finally finish changing.

Garbage Bag Vampire

Today is the day I realized that Halloween is next week. NEXT WEEK!!


Given my more lax (AKA lazy) approach to parenting lately, we don’t exactly have costumes picked out for everyone. My boys have talked about it, of course, but haven’t settled on anything. Our conversations have been more like:

Boy: I think I’ll be a knight.

Me: Well, you’re welcome to what we have.

Boy: Hmmm. Maybe I’ll be a ghost.

Me: There might be a clean sheet. Go for it.

While we were watching Casper as a family, I laughed at the father suggesting his daughter wrap up in tin foil and go as a leftover. Frankly, we’re at about that point. It’s probably a sign of how tired and laid-back (AKA lazy) I’ve gotten lately that I think, They can just go out in jeans and sweatshirts and our neighbors will still give them candy.

Heck, the kids will be warmer that way.


Besides actually needing to do work and feeling burned-out at that idea, I feel averse to yet another holiday that is picking my pockets for every last penny. An event that used to have old ladies handing out inedible peanut butter taffies to kids in toilet paper has morphed into full-on haunted houses, king size candy bars, and working Transformer costumes.

My husband’s childhood go-to was throwing a black garbage bag over his shoulders, digging out the previous year’s fake teeth, and going as a vampire.

Those were simpler times; times when society knew expensive costumes weren’t worth $60. Times when maybe the old lady with the taffies also gave out delicious scones and knew your name and where you lived. Times when families went out together and had a good time.

This year laziness (AKA -oh, I finally owned it) may just be the motivation I need to make the better choice: creativity and fun instead of store-bought and expensive.

Maybe all the boys will agree to be ghosts.

The Cheapest, Bestest Dinner Ideas, V

My son’s creation. I hope you all appreciate the designer plastic plate and cup.

Yep -today we’re back to breakfast. It’s been a hard week. Or, it’s been a pretty normal week and breakfast is the best go-to dinner I know of besides Take-Out.

As per my norm, my super secret pancake …secret is what you throw in there. I’ve included the basic pancake recipe from Betty Crocker ’cause that’s what I use (times four or so), but I often add stuff to mine to kick it up a notch and try to convince myself that I’ve made those syrup sponges healthier.

In college, pancakes were my everything. I bought the Wal-mart powdered mix and added applesauce or smashed bananas. I made, like, a gazillion and used them for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, and midnight snack times.



1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp pack brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
Dash salt
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp oil, melted butter, or applesauce
Toppings: syrup, cut fruit, jam, honey, cinnamon sugar, butter, whipped cream


Mixing bowl
Spoon or beaters
Griddle or skillet


  1. In the mixing bowl, beat egg with beater or fork until somewhat frothy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except flour and baking powder.
  3. Sift baking powder into flour, or shake it all over the batter as flour is added in a lazy fashion.
  4. Mix everything just until moistened. Add more milk if batter is too thick.
  5. Heat griddle or skillet to around 375°. Brush with butter or oil if necessary.
  6. Pour small amounts of batter onto heated surface using a measuring cup.
  7. When pancakes appear firm on the underside and bubbles have formed on the top, flip over and cook. Remove when both sides are golden brown.
  8. Serve with toppings.

We not only have a toppings fest when we make pancakes, we also like to do shapes. Sometimes I make a billion tiny pancakes or a few ginormous ones. The kids love it, and I love how quick and easy they are.


Seriously, pancakes are like manna. They cost very little and can be healthier if you stick to adding nuts and bananas on top.