I’ve noticed a new trend popping up all over my Facebook newsfeed lately…No, it isn’t some new nail art or a cute Pinterest craft. It’s something that, as a parent, actually kind of terrifies me.
It’s the good Samaritan.
Yes, I’m one hundred percent serious. In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen no less than three stories involving someone calling the police to report a parent. Now generally, these headlines of Parent Goes to Jail for blah blah blah are the kind that make you shake your head and feel better about your parenting tactics. I mean, you wouldn’t think of letting your kid run around in a days-old diaper while you go on a heroin binge (bender? What is the correct term?), so you can pat yourself on the back for being a better parent than that asshole.
But today, I was scrolling through Facebook during my brief moment of peace (also known as mommy quiet bathroom time) after having put O down for his nap, when I saw this:
Florida Mom Facing Felony Child Neglect After Letting 7-Year-Old Walk to the Park Alone
I thought, “Well, the park must be miles away… or maybe the kid had walked there and then told someone about living in deplorable conditions…” Upon reading the story, though, I realized that I was wrong. This poor mother simply allowed her child to walk to a park (about half a mile from their home) to play. According to the story, a stranger noticed the boy walking along and started asking questions. The boy got spooked (uh, as he should have been) and took off for the park. The stranger called to report the “neglect”. Next thing you know, a police officer picked the boy up at the park, then took him home and arrested his mother.
Arrested his mother.
Sweet baby Jesus, for letting her kid go to the park. And this isn’t the first time a “Good Samaritan” has nosed into someone else’s business and gotten them arrested. Recently, a Texas mom was arrested for letting her kids play outside. Another mom was arrested (and then fired from her job) when she allowed her child to play at a nearby park while she worked.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!
Guys, out of every little thing that scares me about parenting, this is the thing that frightens me the most. I mean, yes…I’m raising a child that knows no fear, only moves in one speed (fast), and unfortunately seems to have inherited his father’s grace. O seems to think that catching himself with his face is the best strategy when he falls, and trust me, he falls a lot. Still, all of the emergency room trips we may end up making in the future are small potatoes when I think about the horrible impact one “well-meaning”
jerkwad stranger could have on my family.
Ridiculous isn’t even the word.
Last week, my mom and I took O to lunch after having my phone looked at. He was playing with the crayons when he decided to start throwing them on the floor. While I picked them up, my mom patted him on the hand (mostly to get his attention) and told him not to throw the crayons. An older woman sitting near us apparently gave my mom the stink eye because clearly my child was being abused. Or maybe we just don’t believe in letting kids get away with being little turds in public? I don’t know.
Anyway, when I read stories like the ones above, I can’t help but shiver a little over that indecent. What if Ms. Incapable of Minding Her Own Business had gone outside and called the police? What if I was the one getting cuffed in front of my kid because she saw something she didn’t approve of? No thank you.
What with Facebook and reality tv, I can see why some people might think that the lives of others is everyone else’s business…But NO. Not even close. I vote we all start minding our own business unless someone is without a doubt in some kind of distress. For clarification: Kid playing on the swings at the playground? He’s probably ok. Kid yelling for help while running down the road? Well maybe you should get involved.
How do you feel about this recent trend? Share your thoughts in the comments!
It’s no secret that I love snacky foods… Some nights, I find myself eating a really tiny dinner so I can eat some Naan with hummus, or popcorn, or some sort of snack after O is in bed. I try to stick to the healthiest stuff I can (let’s not talk about the blueberry pie and ice cream I ate after dinner last night…Or the cupcake I ate before bed), so when I had an opportunity to try Graze I jumped all over it.
I got a certificate for a free Graze box when I ordered our Journey tickets and I signed up on my phone right away. On the website, you can browse the list of snacks that are available and let them know if you have an allergy, or mark foods you won’t like. You can also mark snacks that sound good, increasing the likelihood that you’ll end up with those items.
I don’t have an allergy, and I didn’t see anything that seemed super gross, so I left mine up to chance. This is what my box looked like:
The portions are pretty small, so you might want to order two boxes if you’re sharing. I got two salty snacks and two sweet ones…I’m not sure if this is generally how it’s done. Here are some close-ups of my snacks, in the order I tried them:
My favorite part of this box was Garden of England. Those mini strawberries were amazing. I wish I had saved it for the end, and I was super sad when it was gone. Key Lime Pie was a little disappointing since they had to go and stick raisins in there. Yuck. Still, it was pretty good, even with the
rabbit turds raisins.
The Tomato Basil Pizza was yummy, and I was actually glad for the small portion… If I had a whole bag it would’ve been gone in one sitting. I also loved the pistachios because, duh. Pistachios are awesome.
I really love this idea… I think you’re supposed to eat just a little at a time, and not the whole box at once (like, ahem, I did). They will deliver your boxes to your place of work, so if you’re chained to an office desk five days a week this might be a little ray of sunshine.
Here’s another happy little ray of sunshine:
I have a discount code for you! Just pop this handy little code in at checkout and you get your first and fifth boxes for free. Hooray!
Go to http://www.graze.com and use 3Y3VDWM3B when it asks for a friendcode.*** If you order a box, let me know what you think!
***The lovely people at Graze don’t know me, and this is not a paid review. I DO get a discount on future Graze boxes for every friend that signs up. Mostly I just thought it was a super neat and tasty idea and I wanted to share it with y’all!
It might be the Irish in me, but I love potatoes more than I probably should. Baked and topped with salt and butter? Wedges with Sriracha mayo? Au gratin? Mashed? Yes, yes, yes, and YES. Gimme, gimme.
One thing I love about potatoes is their versatility. There are a million (probably) ways to prepare them and you can be as plain Jane or fancy pants as you like. I generally tend to be a fan of simple taters, because you can easily load them up with toppings that both render them unhealthy and cover the flavor of the actual potato.
I was browsing the produce department last week when I found a bag of little bitty red potatoes called Rubies. Thinking they would be perfect for roasting, I threw them in the cart.
I made these to go with the Greek marinated pork chops and Panzanella a few nights ago… They turned out crispy on the outside and almost creamy on the inside…with a slightly sweet, potatoey flavor. I made them again last night to go with our giant steaks
and they turned out just as perfectly as the first time. Ladies and gents, I may have discovered my new favorite potato.
But not for long, because I’m fickle.
Sea salt and cracked pepper roasted potatoes
6 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half (or enough to fit in a single layer in your skillet)
Coarse sea salt
Heat oven to 375°. Cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet with oil and let heat in the oven. Make sure to remove the skillet when the oil is hot, because burnt oil is no good.
When the pan is hot, add enough sea salt to just cover the bottom of the pan. Arrange potatoes cut side down in a single layer on top of the salt. Pour a little more olive oil over the potatoes, then sprinkle with a little more sea salt and crack some pepper over them. Into the oven they go, then set the timer for an hour. They will probably be cooked through before that, but you want the outside to really crisp up.
Once they’re out of the oven, I transferred them to a paper towel lined plate to soak up some of the oil and to help keep them crispy.
Pure, simple, potatoey yumness.
If you consult Wikipedia, you will learn that Panzanella is basically tomato and bread salad, lightly dressed with olive oil and vinegar. If that sounds weird to you, well…It does sound a bit weird, but I assure you, it’s actually quite delicious!
This is a great way to use up any stale bread (the crustier, the better) you have. I wanted to make this for dinner Friday night, but because my kid’s two favorite lunches are both sandwiches (peanut butter and grilled cheese), bread doesn’t generally have the chance to get stale around here.
I ended up using some store-bought croutons and they worked perfectly well for this. You could also make your own, but I was feeling lazy. Plus, a big bag of croutons was cheaper than a loaf of French bread, and I love a good bargain.
If you are lucky enough to have ripe tomatoes in your garden, use them in this recipe!
And share them with me?
Seriously, this recipe is so simple that the freshness of the ingredients will really matter. I ended up using Romas from the grocery store and they were a bit bland.
BUT. This is still a great way to eat tomatoes when you’re tired of the same ol’ thing. My sweet boy loved it (though he mostly ate just the tomato chunks and bread), but The BF didn’t eat much of it… His loss, really.
So here’s what you need to make my version of Panzanella:
For the salad:
Tomatoes (any variety that looks best, really…I used 6 Romas) cut into big, but bite sized, chunks
A handful of Basil leaves (or more if you love Basil). Chiffonade it up!
Thinly sliced red onion (as much or as little as you like)
About 1 to 1 1/2 cups croutons
Optional: arugula/baby spinach mix
For the dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 small cloves garlic, finely minced or smashed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toss all salad ingredients together in a big bowl (preferably one with a lid). In a seperate container, combine dressing ingredients and shake the daylights out of it. You’ll want to make sure the lid is on tight, otherwise you’ll be cleaning dressing splatters up for a while…
Or so I hear…
Pour dressing over the salad, give it another toss, then stick it in the fridge for a while. I think mine was in there for a couple of hours before dinner. You want the croutons to soak up the dressing, so it needs time for everything to just hang out and mingle.
It’s a perfect summer treat just the way it is, but you could also add some Parmesan or feta cheese. I wanted to add feta, but I forgot to buy some. SO SAD.
Go to your garden (or your farmer’s market, or your grocery store, or steal from your neighbor’s garden…wait, no, don’t do that), gather your ‘maters, and make this salad. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
You guys remember when I used to cook tasty things and then post a recipe so you guys could do it, too? Yeah, well things were a little crazy around here for the last couple of weeks, but now we’re back to normal. Thank God, because I was really starting to feel like crap from all of the junk I was eating. Last night I was really excited to get back to cooking, and I made some pork chops that are so super delicious that you’ll want to run out and get what you need to make them rightnow!
This marinade, bee tee dubs, can be used on chicken, too. It’s yummy either way!
Greek marinated pork Chops
1 cup plain yogurt (Greek is fine)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (or more, to taste) Greek seasoning
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
Boneless pork chops (I used three, this recipe could probably marinate 4)
Mix all marinade ingredients and pour into a gallon plastic baggie. Add pork chops, seal (get as much air out as possible), and then I like to smoosh ’em around to make sure they’re all coated. Refrigerate for NO MORE THAN 30 minutes. Seriously, because of the citrus you don’t want these to sit longer than that.
Preheat your oven to 375°. I like to add a smidge of oil to my cast iron skillet and let it heat in the oven for a bit. When it’s hot, add pork chops in a single layer, then pour the marinade over them. Bake for about an hour, or until the internal temp is 160°. My chops were on the thick side…If yours are thinner they may need less cooking time.
I served these with roasted potatoes and panzanella for a fairly healthy and easy meal.
Judging by the lack of food on the floor (or hidden in his high chair), I’d say O liked it… He polished off half of a pork chop, some salad, and three potato halves.
I think this might also be to try on a grill pan, so if any of you attempt it please let me know how it turns out!
…Well I didn’t…
Yesterday really could’ve gone either way. I had to have my phone looked at because I thought my charging port was busted…The customer service rep I talked to said I could have it repaired under warranty (fun fact: I dropped the ‘insurance’ for the first time ever when I bought this phone) and directed me to the nearest store with techs. My mom agreed to ride with me, so after O had breakfast and I had a shower we were off to Lafayette.
I had to wait about half an hour to talk to someone. It was no big deal, because O was sleeping in the car (mom was with him). While i waited, a woman leaned over and whispered, “I hope you packed a lunch…I don’t know why it takes so long.” I knew she wanted me to share a bitchfest about the wait, but i wouldn’t have it. I smiled and explained that I worked for Sprint for years, so i was prepared to wait. She clammed up pretty quickly and i was free to finish my game of Dots in peace. Once I talked to a rep, I found that the problem was the charger and not my phone…So I just needed to call Samsung and have them send me a new one. Problem solved, and for zero money! That’s worth celebrating!
O was awake when I got back to the car. We decided to grab a bite to eat, so we stopped at Friday’s. Mom and I had salads and O gobbled up his grilled chicken, pita, and fruit. He even used a regular fork successfully, and didn’t get anything on the floor. Who was this kid?!
After lunch, we ran to the mall to use a couple of Bath and Body Works coupons. The candy store next to B&BW sucked me in with their Grumpy Cat display, but I made it out without buying anything.
It took me forever to decide what i wanted in B&BW. I managed to narrow it down to three scents…Lucky for me, there was a killer sale happening. Plus, I could still use my coupons. High five!
Since I never, NEVER (ok, hardly ever), pay full price for stuff, I was really happy. We stopped for coffees on our way out of the mall and I even got one of those iced froo-froo coffees I usually wrinkle my nose at. I think mine was a Milky Way, with cookie dough flavored whipped cream…And since I couldn’t leave him out, O got an iced sugar cookie and milk.
Before we could head home, I had one more stop to make.
I grabbed a dozen donuts from Mary Lou’s before we left Lafayette. I had promised the BF I’d pick some up for his grandpa, and I thought we needed some too.
O and I had a maple glazed for breakfast this morning. Delicious!
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here, so yesterday was a nice change of pace. I made it home with plenty of time to make beef burritos for dinner while O played outside with daddy.