Saturday, February 6, 2016

How strong is your will power?

by Kris Mulkey

Don and I were watching tv the other night when he looked at me and said, "Please stop making cookies. Why did you start making cookies again anyway?" You could tell he was really struggling with keeping his hand out of the cookie jar. Or in our case, the Ziplock bag of home-made sugar cookies in the freezer.

" be nice. Because you like cookies." I said, kind of snickering. Which is mean really. I know he loves cookies and has trouble eating just one. So really, he's right. Why do I taunt him. But then again, where is his will power? Why can't he eat just one?

His will power to stop after one is non-existent when it comes to cookies and other sweet treats.

I can stop. I don't need to eat cookie after cookie. In fact I can go without cookies all together. I know they are in the freezer. But they are not calling me to eat them.

When I was working with Jump Start on the diet I did have sugar cravings a lot. Which is unusual for me because I usually crave salty snacks.

The dietitian I was working with told me that you should never crave anything. If you are craving food then your diet isn't balanced. I really found this to be true. When I followed the rules I didn't have those crazy cravings.

But following the rules is really hard. And keeping your hand out of the cookie jar is even harder - especially when you're married to a meanie like me. I guess!

What are your tricks to control your cravings?

Here's the recipe in case you want to make some cookies. I know. I'm an enabler. I can't help it.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 t. salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating thoroughly. Sift flour then measure. Add salt and sift flour again. Add to creamed mixture, mixing only enough to combine ingredients. Taking a softball sized ball of dough roll out on floured board or on the counter to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Or, just scoop and place on a cookie sheet like I did. Press with a glass (buttered and dipped in sugar.) and decorate with sprinkles.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a silpat.) Decorate with colored sugar or nonpareils. Bake 375 degree for 8-10 minutes. or until just brown on the edges. Cool on racks. Store in an air tight tin.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Our kids don't think like us

by Kris Mulkey

This past weekend I was trying to get Elli to understand something and she said "Mom, stop. I don't think like you."

It literally silenced me. I stood in her doorway looking at her and thought, you're right. You don't think like me. That's why you have not opened the spreadsheet I put together for you which will help you get your fundraising effort organized.

You're creative and a free spirit. Most of the time I understand you. But today I don't. You are a complete alien to me.

Why did I think she would want a spreadsheet? Why have I been banging my head against the wall trying to get her to understand my point of view.

She doesn't care.

She wants to figure it out on her own. Her way. Which of course in my opinion is all wrong. But then again. I'm not 14. I'm the mother of a very smart "I know everything." 14 year old. Just like I was at one time.

So how do we communicate with these alien beings? How do I get her to realize how hard it will be to raise $4,500 for an International Relief Mission trip to Fiji which she wants to go on this summer.

She made this announcement to me last Thursday night after I picked her up from dance. She was talking so fast with excitement that she could barely contain herself. She told me she has always wanted to help people in another country who have been affected by tragedy. Of course this was news to me. I've never heard her say this. Ever.
But, ok. I liked that she wanted to do something charitable.

"So my friend Sienna and I are going to FIJI for two weeks to help the people of FIJI!!"


Uh, what? FIJI? Was there a disaster in FIJI that we missed.

"Daddy wants to go to FIJI. Can he go to? Do the people of FIJI need help?" I asked.

"Mom, I'm serious. My friend Grace went on a trip last year to help the elephants." she said.

"The elephants in FIJI?

"No. They were somewhere else. We're going to FIJI."

"Ok..........She probably just shoveled Elephant dung the whole time." I said. "You won't even pick up the dog poop."

"Elephants just eat hay so their poop is less stinky."

I just started laughing.

"Elli, their poop is the size of our dogs!" I couldn't help myself. Who is she kidding here?

"Well, we're going to FIJI. So it won't matter." she replied.

"Ok. You have to raise the money. Dad and I aren't funding your trip."

"It will probably be around three thousand dollars." I told her. Only I was wrong. It's actually closer to $4,500.

I am officially the fun buster.

There was silence in the car.

I've done tons of fundraising in my life so I started thinking of things she could do to raise money.

I put it all in a spreadsheet so I could see exactly how many babysitting jobs, car washes, pizza parties, and donations from friends and family it would take to get her there. And then I emailed it to her. I really thought it was the best way for her to understand just how hard this was going to be.

I kept bugging her to see if she read the spreadsheet I sent her. And that's when she basically told me to back off  and said "Mom, stop. I don't think like you."


She seems to have it all figured out. She's very convincing when giving her sales pitch. Of course she doesn't completely understand what she'll be doing in FIJI. All we know is that it's the cheapest trip and the shortest plane ride from California. We'll get to the details eventually. I'm sure.

So there you go.

My little alien is raising $4,500 for a trip to help the people of FIJI.

And I don't know shit.

I'm sure I'll be hitting you up for a donation soon.



Monday, February 1, 2016

How brand loyal are you?

by Kris Mulkey

I was getting ready this morning and for whatever reason started thinking about my favorite products (make up, nail polish, etc.) and how loyal I am to certain items from select brands. I am not loyal to one brand - but many brands for different reasons. There are items I absolutely will not switch. NO WAY. Then there are other items where I am not loyal at all. Is everyone like this? How hard would it be for a new brand to get me to switch?

Most of the items I've bought recently (and have become favorites) I was able to test first. Either with a makeover or free samples. There is a reason there are so many freebies at the make-up counter. It works!

Here are my current favorites:

1. LOREAL VOLUMINOUS LASHES MASCARA WATERPROOF BLACK - I discovered this mascara after complaining about the price of department store mascara to the clerk. She suggested I try Loreal because it was the equivalent. She was right! It doesn't clump when you apply it and doesn't smear on my face. And it's less than ten bucks. I'm not sure she's the best sales person (because she got me to switch to a drugstore brand) but oddly, I do have a favorable opinion of that department store because of her honesty.

2. OLAY REGENERIST MICRO-SCULPTING CREAM - I love how this feels on my skin. I tried the generic version and it was awful (too heavy and had a horrid smell.) So I never stray. Controlling the wrinkles on my face is a daily battle. Not messing around with this one!

3. CHANEL VITALUMIERE FOUNDATION - I got hooked on a few Chanel products after getting lured with a free makeover in Nordstrom. I am so glad I did. This foundation has a great feel on your skin, it's not sticky, it smells divine and gives the coverage I'm looking for. Plus it has SPF 15.

4. CHANEL UV ESSENTIEL - this is the most amazing sunscreen for your face. It's spf 50 and is a total splurge for me. I treat it like it's liquid gold. The little container is $50. But it works amazingly well. I don't want my face sunburned anymore and it does the trick. Plus the feel of it on your skin is like silk. And the smell is just so yummy.

5. CHANEL LIPSTICK - it's silky on your lips, not sticky and smells great. (I have a thing about how things smell in case you haven't noticed.)

5. ESSIE AND OPI - this nail polish stays on the longest and they have the best colors.

What don't I care as much about?

1. SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER - I want it to clean my hair and not leave it feeling heavy. I can barely tell the difference from the cheap stuff to the designer stuff. So I usually lean more towards the cheap. Our bathroom looks a bit like the shelf at CVS - a mish-mash of products.

2. EYE SHADOW - I have so many different brands. They all seem the same to me.

3. BLUSH - I've tried a lot of different brands. I'm convinced they are all the same with different packaging. Except for the smell. If it smells I'm not going to like it.

So, do I try new things? Of course!! They haven't made it to the loyalty column yet. But a few are on their way.

1. BENEFIT - I've tried their fake up eye concealer, tinted lip balm, lip tint, powder foundation, eye liner, and tinted eyelash primer. I'm kind of a sucker for new stuff. Plus Elli LOVES make-up and they have a super cute shop in downtown Mill Valley. We probably need supervision when we are in there.

2. ORIGINS lip crayons. I got a set of three for a Christmas gift and I love them. They go on silky, have no scent, and look great. I layer them with the Benefit gloss for some shine.

So, as you can see, I'm not completely loyal to any one brand. I can definitely be persuaded to switch brands with a free sample. If only we could test drive all products!!! Wouldn't that be great?

What about you? Are you loyal? Or a free spirit always trying new things?