Thursday, October 16, 2014

Random Facts about Moi!

      Many of you have known me for years. I am always on Facebook and Pinterest.  After all social media is my job. I grace the world with my Internet presence everyday, whether it is for me or my clients. But do you really know me?? Do you know my pet peeves, likes, dislikes, my compassions?

      As I was pondering what I should write about today the song, Secrets, by Mary Lambert came on the radio.  It got me thinking that we do tend to keep a few things about ourselves not necessarily a secret , but omitted is a better word to describe this phenomenon. 

       My blog post was born! Here are some very random facts about me. 

1. I am mildly OCD.  I like to stay in the same lane while driving to a place I have been before.  Once I get to where I'm going (the exact same way and lane I always go), I have to park at or near the same parking spot. I have the same thing for breakfast every morning (bagel and tea). I have no earthly idea where that came from. 


That would just make my day!


2. I have gone to my neighbors house when she wasn't home to use her hose to rinse out the dye in my hair. Oh, YES I did!  Our water shut off in the middle of me adding color to my hair (never did figure out what happened to the water). I had no idea what in the world I was going to do. I actually tip toed across the lawn.  So glad no one saw that.







3. I am 100% completely gray. YUP My hair is all gray under all those low lights and dark hair. 

4. I am a HUGE nerd. I'm a Mac person. I didn't used to be . I was resistant to the change, but my husband didn't give me a choice. One day he came home with a Mac and told me this is yours. He promptly set it up for me and put my PC in our computer graveyard. I have not missed my PC at all! I love Sci-Fi (yes I am a big Dr. Who fan). 

5. I have always wanted to work for the CIA! Being a mom has made me super observant and sneaky. I can open a candy bar noiselessly, and tell my son not to sniff the dogs butt when my back is turned all at the same time.
    
                                  Go Ahead, Say it!
         
                                     I'm Talented!

6. I was born with a hole in my heart. Doctors used to say my heart was twice the size of a normal adult. Guess God had big plans for this big heart! I now sport a zipper scar from my navel to my chest. It's quiet becoming, if I do say so myself. 

7. I can't stand the sound of knuckles cracking. It makes my skin crawl. This coming from someone who used to crack her knuckles as a teen. I'm getting more finicky the older I get. 

8. I am the crazy gift bag, tissue paper, and bow hoarder your mother warned you about. I have a closet full of used gift bags, bubble wrap, tissue paper, and bows. If you need it, just ask I have it. You should see me at Christmas!



9. My name is Tiffanie Doyle and I have a Dr. Pepper addiction. The first step is admitting it. I'm doing good. I just can get past that first step. 

10. I am overweight. YUP, I have all those jiggly parts and extra boobs, and my triceps wave at you. I blame it on number 9. But in my defense, I am walking and exercising everyday. I actually have muscles in my shins! I'm getting there!!! 

11. I am a speed reader.  I can read a 400 page book in 5 hours . If I actually had five hours to sit down and read. Which almost never happens. 

12. I don't eat pizza. *gasp* I do not like pizza sauce.  Although you might catch me consuming one piece of white pizza. 

13. I'm not a huge chocolate fan. Unless it's Chocolate with Salted Caramel. 

14. This one is put here because I can't just leave this list with an uneven number. 

There ya have it! Random facts you didn't know about me. 






Friday, October 10, 2014

Food, Food, Glorious Food

I came to the conclusion a few months ago that menu planning makes life so much easier.   

              I know, I know, I'm a little slow to get on the bandwagon. 

Don't judge me. 

Not only does it save me from scrounging around at the last minute making "fake it" dinners, it also eliminates the wondrous question we all hear as soon as the man comes home. 

What's for dinner?

Or my personal favorite . . . . 


MOM, MOM, MOM, What's for dinner?!?!?!?! 
(repeat 50 times)

Mr. Right and I have vowed to keep our business paper free as much as we can. And in keeping with that theme, I like to keep our home paper free as well. Except for our big boxes of the kids projects and pictures). Because of that I don't keep recipe books in my kitchen. 

None. 

Pinterest is my best friend!

Can I get an AMEN??!?!?!

So, today, I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite go to recipes on Pinterest. 

Ready?

Set? 

GO!!!!

1. Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken by Six Sisters Stuff



2.  Mississippi Roast by Table for Two



3. Garlic Parmesan Chicken by Creme de la Crumb



4. One Pot Wonder by Apron Strings



5. Chicken with Red Thai Curry Peanut Sauce by Kalyn's Kitchen




6. Shepherd's Pie by Four Generations One Roof



All of these have been made in the Three Peas house and they are delish!!!

Do you have a favorite recipe you found on Pinterest? Share it below so we can try it out!!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Pearson Answer Keys - How Accurate are they?

So, as I was enjoying my decaffeinated tea this morning, I came across an article in the Washington Post about a mom who just happened to very quickly go through her daughters "Thursday's Folder" and noticed a problem on her daughters math test that she got wrong.  

After doing the word problem several times herself, she discovered that her daughter had actually gotten it correct. She then proceeded to contact her child's teacher as most of us would.  The teacher explained that the Pearson answer key was wrong and fixed the grades accordingly. 

This mother then brought up a valid point. If the Pearson answer key is wrong what other Answer keys are wrong?  The people who wrote this curriculum and tests spent a ton of our hard earned money to it's editors to to make sure that everything was correct. 



In a world where our kid's graduation is determined by these testing scores, those answer keys HAVE to be correct.  Teacher's don't do the grading of the high stakes state testing. How can we know if their score is accurate? They go by what's on the answer key assuming that it's correct. 

So it makes me wonder, are my children's testing scores accurate? Testing is not always accurate with special needs kids already. They may be
having an off day and they just don't want to cooperate. Instead of putting it off a day when they have noticed this, they mark it that my child doesn't recognize his letters or can't comprehend word problems. When in reality he does, he just doesn't want to perform that day. 


I'm all for being an advocate for my kids. I will stand up for them always. I can't check the state tests answer keys. That's just not possible. But I will be checking my kids school work just to make sure what was marked wrong is truly wrong and not a Pearson Answer Key error. 

What are your thoughts?






Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Risen from the Dead

My blog died . . . 

I doubt any of you have noticed. 

But it did. 

Life Called. 

For almost two years.

 There is a time in a mom's life where so many things are going on at once. You feel overwhelmed, burnt out, and tired. It was then I realized I needed a break. That it was OK to say "NO" and to weed out some items that were taking me away from my family.

Over these couple of years, my husband and I made a big leap of faith. He quit his job to start a Web Design/Development Firm. And with all big leaps we jumped in whole heartedly with both feet and our hearts. I handle social media management and he's the designer. 

Times were tough but we prevailed and God took care of our family. After that huge endeavour our youngest was diagnosed with Autism. Which absolutely floored me. If you have been reading my blog the past 7 years you know about that all of my kids have special needs and learning disabilities. 

Each one has a unique gift. I say gift because that's what Autism is to our family. It's not a disease, or a disability. For us Autism is a new way to looking at our world. And each child of ours has their own way of interpreting their environment. 

Some days it's very challenging. Those are the days I want to hide or never get out of bed. But most days, their discoveries of life astound me. They way they learn, the look on their face when they figure things out, the way perceive the world around them. It's truly amazing!

We have dealt with the Big C in our family. With lots of praying, surgeries, and chemo. Days that make you want to be angry with God and days that make you Praise His Name from the mountain tops. Days we needed to rally around my mom for support. To be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and arms to wrap around my parents and let them know how much they mean to us.  I'm happy to report that our family is Cancer Free now!!

There comes a time in ones life when we need to slow down. To really contemplate what is truly important. For the last two years, my family needed me. And I chose them. They are my world. End of story. 

Things are slowing down, we have learned a lot about our kids this year. They are doing awesome in school and have all come such a long way on their Autism journeys. 

Life is good and now I'm finally ready to join the blogging world again. 

Hello Bloggers . . . 

I'M BACK!!!!







Monday, October 07, 2013

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month






This month is Hispanic Heritage Month! I'm adopted . . not many of my readers know this. Once I found out my family background, I learned all I could about the culture, food, and language of part of my heritage.

Learning the language has always been an on going process. A quite enjoyable one at that. But what I really love is the food! Give me a choice on what to have for dinner and it will always be Mexican or Spanish food.  I crave all things full of flavor that is super colorful. 

Recently IMUSA teamed up with McCormick and sent me a Southwest/Mexican themed package containing IMUSA’s granite mortar and pestle, salsa dishes, a tortilla warmer and an assortment of McCormick seasoning packets and spices to try. There was a recipe mix for Tinga de Pollo ( Mexican Chicken in a smoky tomato sauce), Tacos, a box of Mexican rice , plus Oregano Entero(whole Mexican oregano), Garlic Salt, Chili Powder and Black Pepper.



My favorite go to snack is Pico De Gallo with Avocado. You can eat it with chips, on tacos,  or even add it to lettuce for a bit of added flavor and color to your greens, which by the way is my most favorite way to eat it!

Here's an easy recipe for Pico De Gallo . . . 

Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved,
  • kosher salt (a solid three fingers full), and more to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Juice from 1 to 2 limes
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 roma tomato, seeded and tiny diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Directions

1. Mash the garlic with the salt in the mortar till it’s a paste (or add it crushed or finely minced to a bowl).


2. Add the shallots and the juice of a lime and let it sit for 10 minutes or so, so that the lime juice can do its business on the garlic and shallot and continue to dissolve the salt.  Cut the the avocados in half.  Remove the seed by firmly tapping the blade of your knife into the seed, then twisting to release it from the fruit.  Scoop the avocado into the mortar or bowl.  Mash it with a fork or the pestle. 

 3. Fold in the tomatoes , taste, season with more lime juice (it probably needs it), the cilantro, more salt if necessary.


 Serve with tortillas or use it to top some tacos or a burger or my favorite, salad! 



In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month McCormick and IMUSA are kindly offering one lucky Mama Report reader a

  • CUBAN / CARBIBBEAN PACKAGE: : IMUSA Wood Mortar and Pestle, Caldero and Tostonera, & McCormick’s Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, Curry Powder, Paprika, Cinnamon, Oregano, Black Peppercorn Grinder, Chicken Bag ‘n Season, and Black Beans & Rice Mix.
Please note this contest is available to U.S. residents only. The winner will be selected at random using Rafflecopter and contacted via email. The winner has 48 hours (2 days) to respond. If the winner’s email is incorrect or they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. If a winner is selected, and their entries are found to be fraudulent, they are automatically removed from the list and another winner will be selected.The winner will be announced on this page.

Enjoy and Good Luck!!







Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Reading

Summer reading is so important for my kids. So when the publisher asked me to review this book. I thought it would be a great read for my 17 year old home schooler. 

I read it before she did and thought it was action packed and full of the colorful south. My daughter though it was super good (her words). I had a hard time getting her to put her kindle down long enough to do her chores!

We both can't wait to  get other books by D. J. Donaldson. This book is available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles if you want to read it for yourself!



Portly & Proud CSI Catches Louisiana Fever
Threat of Outbreak Drives Latest in Southern Suspense Series


“D.J. Donaldson is superb at spinning medical fact into gripping suspense.  With his in-depth knowledge of science and medicine, he is one of very few authors who can write with convincing authority.”

--Tess Gerritsen, NY Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels


Andy Broussard, the “Plump and Proud” New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food.  Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, Broussard forms a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.

Astor + Blue Editions is proud to release Louisiana Fever (ISBN: 978-1-938231-33-9; Fiction / Mystery & Suspense; $5.99 E-Book) the latest Broussard mystery by DJ Donaldson.

When Kit goes to meet an anonymous stranger—who’s been sending her roses—the man drops dead at her feet before she could even get his name. Game on.

Andy Broussard soon learns that the man carried a lethal pathogen similar to the deadly “Ebola”—a highly contagious virus, feared worldwide for killing its victims (grotesquely) in a matter of days. When another body turns up with the same bug, widespread panic becomes imminent. The danger is even more acute, because the carrier is mobile. The man knows he’s a walking weapon and… he’s targeting Broussard.

And when Kit Franklyn investigates her mystery suitor further, she runs afoul of a cold- blooded killer, every bit as deadly as the man searching for her partner.

Louisiana Fever is written in Donaldson’s unique style:  A hard-hitting, punchy, action-packed prose that’s dripping with a folksy, decidedly southern sense of irony.  Mix in Donaldson’s brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics, along with the sultry flavor of New Orleans, and readers will be fully satisfied with this irresistibly delectable mystery.
###


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.


Hope your having a great summer!








Friday, May 24, 2013

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Everyone dreads getting that phone call from their child's school. In our case it's usually because one of my boys is sick, or one in particular is asleep again.  But not this time. This time I was called by the Vice Principal. 

Oh Boy!!

Seems one little boy had spit his drink on two of his friends and was disrespectful all morning. 

Nice. 

After a brief but stern talk to said little boy he was sent back to class. 

Two hours later the phone rings again. 

Crap!

This time it was his teacher. Please come and get him. His behavior has continued and I can't do this anymore. This was 30 minutes before I was to pick him up from school anyways. 

I picked him up from school and his poor teacher looked like she was about to cry. Honestly, I have been there. I know that look. And I know those days. I really felt bad for her. 

But what does that say to my son. Was I rewarding him for behaving badly? Was I doing the right thing for picking him up early? Should he have just spent that last 30 minutes of school with the principal?

He lost privileges but he was the same way to me the rest of the afternoon. A little bit of background on him. This particular child has Moderate ADHD and other diagnosis. And we lowered his medicine in hopes of trying to figure out why he's sleeping so much during the day. 

 He has since apologized to the Vice Principal and his teachers for his behavior and is a different kid today.

Granted his behavior is unacceptable but he was in full ADHD mode and was having issues controlling it. What would you have done? Any thoughts?