Thursday, March 28, 2013


From the vault! I found this on my phone and realized it never made it up. Between BIG LOVE and basically everything on TLC, polygamy seems to be all the rage. It got me thinking about the topic of Sister Wives...

The mountain of laundry has finally been tamed to an anthill. Partly through my own efforts, but mostly due to a weekend where Jeremy was left home alone. I mean, Hub 'o the Year Award or what? The girls are gone for 3 days and instead of watching reruns of Wipeout and wacking off to Alyssa Milano, a man does laundry. Alyssa Milano? Vanessa Manillo? Whatevs. Point being: my laundry's done.
Several monthsago when the pile seemed literally insurmountable, everyTuesday eveningafter mommy and me ballet my friend Jen would come over and "sit on my stool." She'd help unload and reload my dishwasher while I chisled away at folding and we'd gab while our girls played in a post pizza haze, memorized by a two year old's answer to Justin Beiber: Buzz Lightyear. Getting my daily chores done with 2 under 3 seemed impossible. Well, to me anyway. Everytime I'd leave for a few hours and my mom was there or Jeremy I'd come home to clean dishes and wiped countertops. How was this possible?! When I'm home alone these girls hang on me like monkeys. Literally. Up in my shit and screaming for tit. But somehow, on Tuesdays, I could get it done. Just having Jenn there, even if she never lifted a finger (though she always did) made it all better. I could breathe. I could fold. We started joking how she was my sister wife. Our friend Jess agreed: "sometimes ya just need someone on your stool. " she says. Sippin' tea in your kitchen. Another body to you rinse plates. Or darn socks. Or whatever it is we do. Another woman there who knows what you're going through and offers her warm body as support. Now I sound like I lez out with my friends. Deal with it. Please, at this point, a spotless kitchen feels as satisfying as any sex I could imagine.
I've talked about competitiveness amongst women, specifically moms, in the past. It's just too gross. Mothers have enough problems combatting the onslaught of Disney princesses and celebrity post baby bodies. We don't need to be against each other. And when we ban together. Support one another. Beautiful things begin happening.
If someone offers you help, TAKE IT. A busy mom wouldn't offer if she wasn't sincere. And if she WAS just "being nice"that's her problem. And if you see another mom struggling, HELP HER. It will come back around. It always does. I know I live in NYC and freaks are everywhere, but it always BOGGLES my mind when mothers won't accept help when I offer it. On the subway. On the street. And since when are you not allowed to smile at someone else's kid when you have a kid with you? People are so paranoid and weird. But now I'm rambling. Help. I was talking about help. If you need it and it's offered, TAKE IT. If its not, ASK FOR IT.
The more I think about it, the more an idea of a sister wife makes sense! I feel like i just "do better" with other women around. I'm more productive, more motivated. I don't really know why. Well, let's be honest, besides squeezing my pores and eating chicken wings there is almost nothing that I don't do better in front of an audience. Maybe its the distraction of a friend? The "whistle while you work" theory? Perhaps. Maybe instead of weekly playgroups (or in addition to) we should start a weekly chore group. You grab 3 girlfriends, and each week you get together and fully clean a house. Scrub it. Organize. That way you just have to upkeep with tidying and wiping! I like it! Then afterwards you could celebrate with wine and snacks. Perfection. Now, imagine if those three girlfriends lived with you all the time. Like in a big giant farmhouse?! Amazing! And you wouldn't even have to look super cute all the time. Just throw your hair in some sort of braid, add a turtleneck and a long denim skirt and you're good to go! This idea is starting to sound better and better by the second. (Except we'd be in lululemon or Target lougewear and messy buns.) Once you get past the jealousy issues and the concept of another chick boning your husband, a little help with baths and lunches and laundry while you place yet anotherSoap.comorder sounds like Heaven. I mean, at least someone's always there so you can take a quick shower. Or poop. Or just cry alone in the bathroom for 5 minutes. A capable adult always on call, allowing you to chug a Chardonnay during Fireman Sam without feeling like a complete irresponsible mess. For better or for worse, "I do."

Im not a huge recipe follower. I'm more of the kind of cook that gets inspired and makes stuff up. By, when I saw my friend Kelley post this dish, I had to swipe it. Another potential advantage to having a sister wife. Inspiration! And I never use a slow cooker.
There just so happens to be one here in the house we're renting. So the stars were aligned and i decided to try it! This recipe is so amazing and so easy. You can serve it as an entree over chips, as I did. Or, you can bring it to a party with chips on the side and it's a ridiculously delish, hot and hearty dip. It's basically fool proof and you could add or omit anything you like. Adding frozen spinach would be awesome, or maybe a flavored cream cheese. So good!

I lb chicken breast
1/2 c frozen corn
A handful or so of grape tomatoes
1/2 jar of salads verde (the green stuff, sometimes it'll say tomatillo salsa)
6-8 oz cream cheese (so either a full brick or just shy of one. I used light, use what you want. If you like it extra creamy or bringing it as the dip I'd use the full brick. Otherwise, six oz is fine.)
Cilantro, for garnish. About 1/4-1/2 c chopped
Blue Corn tortilla chips (use what you want. The blue corn just look super pretty)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Throw in crock pot. Add tomatoes, corn and cream cheese and a little more salt and pepper on top of that. Cover and turn the crock pot in low. Don't touch for 6 hours. Turn it off and stir. The chicken will magically shred itself. Ladle over a plate of blue corn chips and garnish with cilantro. Pair with my Firecracker Margie and you're in business, baby! Perfect girls night with your sister wives. Real or honorary.

PIX: 1) Me & Abby enjoying post playground firecracker margies. Just cause. 2) Me & Jenn at a schmancy Broadway opening. Ignore my boobs if you can. I forgot my pump that night. Mooooooooo! I'd be proud to have either one of these gorgeous gals as a sister wife! The best! 3) Miss Kelley and her gorgeous daughter AJ. If she didn't live all the way in Milwaukee...I'd be all over that sister wife style. 4) Chicken Mc Dreamy! YUM.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Listen up: NOBODY IS MORE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL BEING OF MY CHILDREN MORE THAN I AM. Got it? Just as I've wrote before about nobody wanting them to "Shut the F up more than I do," this rings just as true. I don't want them to be cold. I don't want them to get sunburn on their face. I don't want them to fall off the top of the jungle gym and crack their heads open. Really. I don't. So you can put your copy of "Happiest Baby on the Block" back in your Bugaboo and mind ya business. Living in NYC we walk a lot. I guess because I'm out in public with my kids so much it gives people free reign to start vomiting opinions at me. A little sun is good for people. We're not on the equator. Or in Jamaica. But thanks for your concern. My child is naturally hot all the time and gets unbearable cranky when she sweats. And she speaks. Actually, she rarely STOPS talking. She will tell me when she's cold. And my 2 year old? She's thrown her hat out of her stroller 5 times already and I'm  only 2 blocks from home. And if I have to pick it up yet again I'm going to have a nervous breakdown on the corner of 155th Street and Broadway. And that would be very very sad. And PS- its 50 degrees. But thanks. And I know you've perfected your helicopter parenting skills, but I can see my kids from over here. I WANT them to learn how to climb the big slide. I WANT them have a go at the "big girl" swings. I want them to experience things and be independent and I'll step in if I FEEL they're in real danger. It's not my fault that the one time your kid took a header and knocked out a tooth it was because you were checking your email on your phone and now you feel like you have to be on top of every kid at the playground. Look, if a child is truly in harm's way, of COURSE any and every sober adult should do whatever they can to help. A child's LIFE is more important than the bruised ego of a distracted mother. But, a little rain is not going to kill anyone. That's my favorite. The kid is stuffed into the stroller a la Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," umbrella, plastic wind shield, sunscreen, canopy, hat, boots...and is chowing down on a packet of Fun Dip. Fun Dip! Sheesh. But, I mean, he's protected from the DANGEROUS poison rain that falls in Harlem. So it's all good. And you're looking at ME cause my kid isn't wearing a hat. I mean, do you KNOW the fight we just had trying to brush that rat's nest? No hat. Mind ya business. (Now, I know there are COMPLETELY clueless people out there who happened to create a child through basic biology that posess ZERO knowledge or instincts when it comes to parenting. I hope, in these extreme cases that are beyond my expertise, child services are involved. That's a horse of a different color.)

I general, as much as I may dislike it at times, I can handle whatever people throw at me. I've always been able to. I can take criticism as easily as I can take a compliment. Ya know, it's not to always FUN to be criticized, but it doesn't break me into pieces. Not in public anyway. I also feel like I know when to accept help and recognize that I didn't know EVERYTHING. I'm always wanting to learn how to be...better. For myself and my girls. There's definitely a time to listen. I find it very important to surround myself with mothers and everyday humans with whom I can have a candid conversation, where we can express our opinions and give advice and take it. When it's comes to my "core," often words aren't even needed. It takes but a raised eyebrow from my gals Jenn or Abby when they catch me giving Pats a "fake timeout" or using the microwave when I don't REALLY need to. I know what they're trying to say. And I appreciate it. It takes no more than a deadpan stare for me to know how my friend Craig feels about a performance I've given. On stage or off. So yeah, it's vital to be able to accept praise and words of encouragement and also a little tough love from those you really trust. It's also important to know when to keep your mouth shut. To strangers and friends.

I've become obsessed over the past few years with baby wearing. The proper carriers, holds, etc. Through my research and advice I've gained from EXPERTS, I've found my two faves. (In case you're wondering: MOBY WRAP and BABY HAWK If expectant to new moms ask me about carriers, I give them my opinion. As much as it makes me cringe, I do NOT go up to every woman (or man) carrying a 5 month old front facing in a Baby Bjorn and tell them they're "doing it wrong." I don't classify improper hip placement as a life or death situation. I also don't consider consumption of straight up sugar from a paper package life or death. Well, it kind of is, but I choose my battles case to case on this one. If I see the child choking on said vibrant colored sugar, I will step in. And I've still not been able to figure out a way to confront mothers who are smoking while pushing a baby stroller. It makes me so crazy I could never eloquently address them. I welcome advice in this arena.

Kids or no kids, here's the deal: Other people will never, ever stop bringing you down. Or trying to. And the more successful you become, the worse it gets. The people that are doing it and don't realize it, are stupid. The people who are doing it on purpose are assholes. Neither of these people are worth your time or tears. And most of the time, we KNOW what our shortcomings are, right? I'm not a professional writer. When I become one and I have books or articles published I assume I'll have a capable editor. Until then, I may have grammatical errors and misspelled words from time to time. I KNOW THIS. I'm short and I have thick thighs. I KNOW THIS. You see, "Constructive" implies building you up in some way. This takes very careful delivery and tact. The right forum. Most unsolicited criticism or "advice" from peers is not constructive. It's just pointing out your flaws. And, its usually done passive aggressively by people who are your "friends" and not your FRIENDS.

Look- I love Joan Rivers and Fashion Police and US Weekly and all the celebrity gossip I can handle. Guilty pleasure. But the way our society is so quick to judge and pick apart people we don't even know is out of control. Yes, most of the time it's all in good fun. It's entertainment, I get it and I love watching. But a poor girl who's on the red carpet at her first Golden Globes, glammed out from horn to hoof in the best duds money can buy - well, borrow- and there's 5 different networks criticizing her lipstick shade?? It's truly nuts. So it's no wonder with this type of blatant judgement we see and hear everyday that we, the peasants, start following suit. Maybe it's just "the way things are." But I've said it before and I'll say it again: Being a mother is HARD. I've always been a proponent of women sticking up for and building each other up, but ESPECIALLY mothers. Don't judge, don't be shady, and don't talk shit. HELP. ENCOURAGE. LISTEN. UNDERSTAND. This WILL work. And eventually it will all come around. It will.

And before I button this, let ME offer a tidbit of "advice": PUH-LEEEASE teach your children to chew quietly and with their mouths closed. That way, they don't grow up to be the asshole I have to listen to while I'm in the "relaxation room" at the spa waiting for the ONE massage I'm able to get each year-smacking their lips, shoveling almonds and dried apricots into their gullets like barbarians. It's annoying. And rude. And not at all relaxing. Theenks.

A dish EVERYBODY has an opinion about: ribs. BBQ. I am neither a BBQ nor a ribs expert by any means. But, I know what tastes good, I know when other people think something tastes good, and I know when something is super easy and no fuss. This recipe is that. I'm on a slow cooker kick, so get over it or get on board! My new lifestyle practically demands it. So here we go!

KICKIN' [me in the] RIBS
4 lbs pork back ribs (this was two full racks at the Farmers Market)
1 bottle of Thai chili sauce (in Canada I use President's Choice Memories of Thailand Fiery Chili sauce, in The States I use Trader Joes.)

Season ribs with basalt and pepper. Place in crock pot up and down (as opposed to laying them flat. Dump the whole bottle of chili sauce over the ribs. I kind of massaged it in a little bit. Turn on LOW. Cover and let sit for 9 1/2 hours. Remove ribs and set aside on serving platter or baking sheet. Pour the drippings from the crock into a small saucepan. Whisk in Wondra on Med-High heat till you have a BBQ sauce consistency. Serve on the side or directly over the meat. Jeremy likes his without extra sauce, so I always serve in the side. Eat alongside potato salad and veg, or your favorite BBQ staple. These guys are so absolutely scrumptious they will shut up even your most outspoken dinner guests!

1 lb waxy little potatoes (new, red skin, fingerling- that's what I used. They cook quick and you don't have to chop them up)
2 small hard boiled eggs (if using large or extra large eggs, maybe just one)
2/3 c mayo (I use low fat, use whatever you like)
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp spicy brown/deli mustard
2 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Handful of flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped- about 1/4 c

Dump potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with water. Liberally salt. Boil for 10 minutes, then drain. Boil eggs**
While you wait...make the dressing. Whisk together mayo, sugar, mustard and spices. Then stir in the celery scallions, and parsley. Add the potatoes, once they're drained, to the dressing while they're still warm. This way they absorb the max flavor. Refrigerate right away. The longer the better, but prob not longer than two days. You have to wait for those ribs, anyway...

The ribs and the potato salad fed 4 adults plus Jeremy for lunch the next day.

***OK. Hard boiled eggs. This method never fails. Perfecto every time. Place eggs in sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. The remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes. Drain the water, then fill with ice water for 5 minutes. Drain that water. Peel and enjoy right away, or refrigerate with shells on.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Can we really have it all? Can we be mothers with gorgeous well behaved kids AND be smoking hot wives, AND live out our dreams in out chosen profession? Can we really juggle these things without anyone or anything suffering in the process. My first instinct is to say NO. No we can't. Something at some point has got to give and that "something" will suffer, causing a trickle down to all areas of your life.

Example (from several months ago):  Over the past few weeks, maybe twice a week, Nora would complain about her butt.* On a dime just FLIP OUT. Squealing and screaming at the top of her lungs. Clenching her little tuchus as tears streamed down her face. This mysterious butt disease was magically cured by ice cream, me laying in bed with her, or an extra episode of Strawberry Shortcake. I know it was at least a LITTLE bit physical, but definitely was seasoned heavily with manipulation. A few days ago, it was...BAD. I came home from work for my two hour break to give the sitter a breather. Nora was screaming non-stop about her butt. Of course it was a Saturday. Should I take her to the hospital? Jeremy arrived home too and I figured she'd chill a bit. No suck luck. It just got worse and worse. Finally it was 6:38. I need to leave by 6:40. She was standing naked in the living room screaming bloody murder. And I just...left her there. To go to work. I was devastated. I left my baby suffering and could think of nothing else during the show, and therefor, my work suffered as well. Ultimately the whole situation ending in Jeremy and I have some ludacris fight. So Nora suffered (and I'm sure Pats, too as it trickled down), my marriage suffered, and my performance at work that night suffered because I was completely fixated on Nora and how she and her butt were doing. The night was made better-slash-worse when I got a txt from my sitter (who's AMAZING, by the way) saying that 5 minutes after I left she was fully clothed, laying on the floor calmly watching a movie before heading to bed without a fight. Um...SERIOUSLY? If I had stayed home from work would the night have gone the same? Or, would I have been ripping my hair out as she wailed until 11:00pm when Jeremy could relieve me. It's so heart wrenching. So frustrating. This was not a situation where I felt that "having it all" was all its cracked up to be. If this was having it all, I wanted absolutely NOTHING. Then, I started thinking about the word "all." Ya know, in regards to "having it all." Who decides what that means?? What's the measuring stick? Does Angelina Jolie have it all? Beauty, respect, arguably the sexiest man alive. Toting her brood all over the world on private jets throwing her endless income around on mansion  in France, all the while managing to sustain her Academy Award-worthy acting career. Um, her kids still eat McDonalds. Or does Halle Berry have it all? She still has a strained situation with her baby daddy. Sarah Palin? Healthy kids. Loving husband. High profile. She has the utter disrespect of half the nation. Oprah? OWNs the world. No husband. No children. So maybe it's time to stop measuring our lives against others and redefine the word "all" for ourselves. And maybe that definition changes from year to year. Hell, maybe it changes from day to day. One day simply having a shower, remembering to brush your teeth, throwing in ONE load of laundry, and feeding & keeping your kids put of traffic might be having it all. The next day, getting everyone dressed for a holiday picture without a fistfight i having it all. Another day, a killer job interview and a quick spin around Trader Joes is having it all. And maybe another day you have a breakfast meeting, hook up with your glam squad, give the kids a home cooked meal, get them bathed and diapered before you head to the Emmy red carpet. It's all relative. Honestly if you're able to keep your children clean and healthy, your husband relatively content, and keep your own head above water before another night all too quickly turns to morning, I'd say: that's having it all. And if you can do all this without heavily self-medicating, more power to ya. I, however, say pass the Pinot Noir. And the leftover chocolate birthday cake frosting. All of it. And a spoon.
Having it All in various forms: Prego while performing in the Broadway hit, JERSEY BOYS.
Celebrating my 21st Bday in Vegas (I was actually 30 1/2).  Xmas morning cuddles with the babes.
Nora reading the Arts Section of the NY times. With me on the cover.
If I had any documentation of me make-up-less, yet ALIVE, after a subway ride with a double stroller after
getting groceries trust me-I would've included it.
This recipe defines "Having it All" for me! Right before and right after Jeremy and I got engaged we were living in Las Vegas. He was working there and I was a kept woman for 5 months, consistently tanned to a golden shade not unlike the most delicious roasted chicken you've ever seen. When I was bored or we had late night plans, I'd drive down to The Strip and meet him. If I had extra time to kill, I'd always stop off for a glass of Cava at Emeril's TABLE 10 at The Palazzo. And there, is my favorite restaurant meal of all time. I would order a side of the lobster mac and cheese and a side if the grilled asparagus. It's good! Shortly after Nora was born, I was craving it like nobody's business. Thats when I came up with this recipe. So easy. So affordable (well, certainly in comparison to Table 10), and just as delicious! 

Creamy, rich goodness. Have it all, lady!

I lb box of medium shell shaped pasta
2 cups milk
Wondra (In Canada you can find Robin Hood Easy Blend Flour-I just found this. So happy.)
8 oz havarti cheese, grated or finely cubed
4 oz havarti w dill, grated or finely cubed
Panko (Japanese Style) read crumbs
Grated parm (freshly grated from a chunk is best, but if the can is all you have no prob)
Salt, pep, old bay
I pound large shrimp, cleaned, deveined and shelled. (I buy the bag in the frozen section that's already cooked and all you have to do is thaw and remove tails. So easy.)
Zest of 1 lemon
Olive oil

Boil pasta according to package directions. About 10 minutes. In another large pot, heat milk till its almost at a simmer and start whisking in the wondra. Bit by bit until it becomes thick. Like shampoo consistency. Yummy. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Havarti.
add in the drained pasta and stir until evenly coated.  Cut the large (fully defrosted) shrimp into thirds. Use your eye depending on the size of the shrimp. The pieces should be about the size that they could for into one of the cooked (pasta) shells. Fold in the shrimp and transfer entire mixture into a greased 9x13 casserole. Top with Havarti with dill, then panko, then lemon zest, then grated parm, then chopped parsley, then drizzle w olive oil. Bake at 400 for 15min then put under broiler for 3-5min depending on the strength of your oven. And KEEP YOUR EYE ON IT! I have a wicked strong oven and burn Mac & cheese about every 3rd time I make it. Pair this with some bubbly and a green salad- perfection. Or if you wanna try my asparagus: 
Asparagus, olive oil, montreal steak seasoning. Toss. Spread on baking sheet. 400 degrees. 15-20 min. Boom. Done. Easiest ever.

A 3 year old. Teaching me what LOVE is. On the daily.

Just an afterthought post LOVE DAY...
1) a gal who turns a snowman into a snow diva to help curb her extreme hatred for winter play in an effort to not extinguish the joy her child receives from such activity. 2) a woman with the ability to relinquish control in the area of confection presentation. And, the ability to recognize that it's ok if it looks like a 3-year-old made the cupcakes when indeed a 3-year-old DID make the cupcakes. 3) a chick who can get through any ordinary day with any number of squealing children without beating them, developing an illegal substance abuse problem, or completely destroying her mani.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY SUPERMOMS! You are LOVED! May you stuff your face with drugstore chocolate like nobody's watching. Cheers!

*We did take Nora to the doctor. There is nothing physically wrong with her butt according to a physician's opinion. It did, however, flare up yesterday and was instantly cured by playing on my iPad. During a trip to see the Rockettes this Xmas, "The Magic of Santa's lap healed [her] butt." Direct quote. Ringing through Radio City Music Hall. Not awkward at all.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Political and human rights issues aside, I've decided to adopt the new mantra:
KEEP QUIET and CARRY ON. Unless someone is directly out to physically harm or psychologically take down your children or member of your immediate family, smile and ignore them. "Seriously? Just leave it? Someone's being a complete dick to me and I'm not supposed to retaliate or even stand up for myself?" Exactly. That's what I'm sayin. nice. Sounds easy right? It IS. Those who just can't seem to do it, that's their problem. There are sad sad people out there, that unfortunately some of us deal with on a daily basis, who some how get off on just being...miserable. Creating drama. Making others feel like shit to make themselves feel better. It's gross. And the best way to keep clean and come out looking like the honor student is to KEEP QUIET and CARRY ON. It's as insane as entertaining a two year old's tantrum in a grocery store. You can't reason with a child in the midst of a fit. The same way you can't reason with some grown ass woman who's trying to bring you down. And NEVER forget this: You can't reason with crazy. Someone who is a legit Wack-a-Mole is never gonna really realize that they are one. Even if they've "admitted it" by seeking help or taking Trust me, tread even softer around these folks. Cause when push comes to shove, you'll end up getting so frustrated you'll freak out and they'll start crying about their horrible mommy or absentee daddy who made them this way and then -POOF- you're the bad guy.

My homegirls circa 2001 are reading this right now in UTTER SHOCK! Jenny Lee??!! "But wait. No. That sounds like I'm being fake. And if there's one thing I can't stand its a fake bitch who's nice to your face then gossips behind your back. Ugh!" That's what I used to think. For a long, long time. I took pride in the fact that I spoke my mind no matter what, and that people ALWAYS knew how I felt about them. Good or bad. If someone was pissing me off I nipped it in the bud right then and there, regardless of awkwardness or anyone else's feelings. I was the bass ass chick who told it like it was. And ya know what? Ya know what I got behind closed doors from every guy I ever dated who was on the outside looking in on my relationships with other women? I was MEAN. "MEAN?! No. Well, I don't care. At least I'm honest." Ah! Right. Cause that's what the world's been waiting for, right? MY opinion. MY 

judgement. How egotistical, selfish, and...disgusting. Cause guess what folks? NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR THE TRUTH. Not when it's negative. Why do you think the wife to husband exchange "does this make me look fat?" is such a cliche? What good does it do if Mr. speaks the truth and says to Mrs., "Yes. It makes your ass look huge. Ya know why? Cause you have a big fat ass and  nothing is gonna change that babe." Um...just mean. Look, when it comes to my core of bessies it's a different story. My few really close, good girlfriends. Of course, IF ASKED, I would tell them. Because we have a history. A relationship. A trust, an understanding. And even then...unless I felt they were REALLY out to embarrass or hurt themselves...I still probably wouldn't say anything. Unless it was a real eye-to-eye-tell-it-to-me-straight moment...bottom line: its just none of my F-ing business. Example: mother of two under two asking, "Is my husband boning his supervisor?" TRUTH. Mother of two under two asking, "Do I look exhausted? Does my hair look like shit?" LIE. Smile and lie. Well, no, smile and help her fix her hair.

A few years back, I worked with a gal. She was just..SO NICE. To everyone. Well, to everyone's face. She always had a second or two for everyone in our company. A seemingly sincere, "How are you?" or "Great sweater!" Now when she was with us girls, her co-workers, she was...normal. She rolled her eyes about the people she had just taken time for in the hall, and chatted cattily about whoever. It annoyed me SO MUCH. (I was in my "If I don't like you, you'll know it" phase. Hardcore.) Ahhh! It seemed so fake! And I couldn't stand it! And then...she died. She got very sick. Very suddenly. And just...died. And ya know what people remember about her? Her smile. Her joy. Her zest for life and kindness to everyone she came in contact with. THAT's what people remember because thats what they saw. Thats what they felt. And this CHANGED ME. Big time. At this point, Nora was about 5 months old. I remember getting the news of Lindsay's passing and looking into my baby girl's innocent eyes. I didn't want her to be hard and tell-all like me. I didn't want her to ever be viewed as mean. Even if it was "funny." I wanted her to be like Lindsay. Kind for the sake of being kind. Always with a smile because it takes no more effort than a frown, so why not. I now say, it doesn't matter WHY you're being nice. Just do it. People who are nice just to get things out of others? I really don't care. Do you think your going to get what you want out of people by being nasty? No. I've decided there's no such thing in my mind as "artificial kindness." From here on out, there's no suspicion. If you're nice, you're nice. Done and done.

Here's the real deal: I've recently been in the presence of a person who was/is...mean. Almost all the time. To me. To others. Just an angry and sad human being who I assume feels better by being nasty to people. And ya know what? To be on the receiving end of that feels like shit. If you knew me in the recent or distant past and ever fell victim to my "truths" or "jokes" or just bottom line mean girl behavior and you happen to be reading this: I am so, so very sorry from the bottom of my heart. I probably thought I was doing you a service by being straight up and candid with you (that's how blind I was), but that is in no way an excuse. I hope you can accept my apology. That's all I really want (but don't need) in return. For this sad and disgusting bully to open their eyes to their behavior and apologize. To apologize and to know:  I don't care how hot or pretty you are (or think you are) it's ugly behavior. And ugly behavior makes you an ugly person. Mirror Mirror on the wall, much? Eek. Wait. Did that sound mean? Haha. But seriously, I used to have a reoccurring dream where I would lose it 

Me and Linds. My Earth Angel.
 I only wish
I had the chance to tell
her sooner how she changed me for good.
Thank you, gal. See you at The Seabreeze.
and tell this person off and wake up feeling horrible and guilty. Awful. And in my dream I always came out looking like the villain. But still, I would fantasize about retaliating. Then, I took a moment. And I would think of Lindsay. And I would think of Nora and Pats. And ya know what? It's just not worth it. And it doesn't make me weak. And it doesn't make me fake. It makes me better. Its not my job to educate every D-grade wanna be bully. So I'm taking it off my to-do list and taking the high road. And somewhere, sometime in the murky future these meanies will cross the line with the wrong person and they will be taught a real lesson. Or better yet, they'll meet their Lindsay.

So what have we learned? KEEP QUIET and CARRY ON. And then bitch and vent to your true friends in the privacy of your own home over a bottle of wine while stuffing your face with amaze balls Spinach-Crab dip. It's perfection with pita chips, veggies, whatever. Leftovers would also be ridiculous atop a burger for a decadent switch up! Ooh! Fancy surf and turf with truffled fries! OMG. I'm getting starving. Ok, here we go--

1- 8oz block cream cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c + 1/4 grated parm
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Old Bay
I lb frozen spinach, thawed & drained
8 oz lump crab meat*
8oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

Beat together cc& sc in large mixing bowl with spices until well blended. Stir in 1/2 c of the parm. Fold in spinach & artichokes then crab. Spread into sprayed glass pan. What you might make lasagna in. Top with reserved parm and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve with pita chips, crustini, your fave crusty bread or veggies. 

*if you're vegetarian, just not feelin it, wanna save a couple bucks... leave it out. No biggie. It's just as delicious without!
Dig in!
Not the prettiest pic of uncooked dip, but here's a great tip:
When taking this to a party, pack in a bigger tray with dip to one side.
That way you heat and fill up with chips when you get there and don't have to bother your hostess for an extra bowl!