Single life is the good life.  

However, life has changed more than I ever would have thought, I have said this before but it is nice to not have to check in with anyone... Any parent can probably relate to this but especially the single moms out there.
 Here is a list of things that have changed for me.  I am looking at five years from the time I got divorced, Thought I met the one that I thought was the one.... but that burned down like a single wide mobile home struck by lighting in the middle of Death Valley with a meth lab in it and storing barrels of gas.  
This list is just a fact of life when you are single!
 So enjoy this crazy list of things that have changed to one thing into another... 
Here is how it goes down for me...

1) Laundry night is the new Friday night (and Saturday night).

2) Online dating is the new dating.
3) Finding a single dad online is the new landing a hot catch who shares the same interests.

Getting “winked” at online by men who are your father’s age is the new getting hit on by the creepy guys a the club, bar, frat party, etc…

4)Running errands while your mom watches the kids is the new “Treat yo’ self” day.
5) Wearing a favorite tee shirt with a different pair of pants is the new outfit. 
black yoga pants are my very must-have item or to get dressed up throw on a 
maxi dress on they are as comfortable as sweat pants and you look put together!
Win! Win! 
6) Online shopping is the new black Friday shopping... Thank God for Amazon Prime... 
In this house arrest, I mean quarantine, I would have been lost this entire time. 
I certainly shop online a lot more then I have ever done. 
 I know all the FedEx, UPS, UPPS, Prime,  drivers by all of their first name!
7) Going to the gym to get a 2-hour break while your kids are at Kid 
Space is the new going to the gym to get a good workout and check out hot guys.
I of course go and get a coffee and sit in the cafe area, checking all of my social media. 
Enjoying my time of peace. 
8) Having a glass of wine with a girlfriend on a Wednesday night at a bar painting in the evening is the new multiple shots at a bar with friends all night long. 
Plus now when I get up from sitting for so long 
I waddle due to being sore and I need to be home by 9:00 PM 
or I am feeling my age the next day.  
When did I get so old!?!?
9) I hate going out most of the time but being forced into staying home
made me wish for nights out on the town with my girlfriends, I miss the paint nights, 
heck, I miss going out to see movies in a theater. 
I miss that big ass diet coke and the refills of the popcorn bucket adding extra butter...
I miss real life!!! .

10) Sleeping until 7am is the new sleeping past noon.
The boys are getting way better then they were before and now I get 
to sleep in some days till 7:30 :) 

11) Getting 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep is the new 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
By the time wheel of fortune is over I am about ready to fall asleep...

12) Yoga pants are the new sexy pajamas.

13) Sprinting after your kid who just bolted in a busy parking lot is the new training for a 10K.
14) Throwing on nail polish before a hot date is now the trip to the spa....
15) Shopping at consignment shops is the new trip to Nordstrom.
                                           What are some of your lists you do now that you are single??? 


So this Tuesday I thought I would give a recipe that we call Papa cakes.  My boys are so lucky to have my dad make these pancakes for them, just like my cousins and I were lucky we had a nana that made them for me!  If you haven't tried them without coming from a box then you have to try this super easy super yummy recipe!   It is a staple in our family after you make these for your loved ones it will be a staple for yours as well.   Like yesterday's post about my favorite breakfast, this takes the cake when you put warm syrup and peanut butter on top of each cake! Also, my boys love Bananas on the top with some whipped cream (homemade) and some chocolate chips!!! 

Here are a few tips!

Do not overbeat the batter, the more you do the chewier and tougher your pancakes, 
Let the batter rest, after you mix the pancake batter, let it sit for a while. It allows it to relax, 
making for pillowy-soft thick cakes. 
Use bacon fat or shortening to grease the griddle. ( Butter= sticky) 
Let them cakes breathe.  When you pour the batter leave space between 
your cakes so they have room to expand without running into each other. 
They'll stay nice and round!!

  • 1-1/2 cups (6.75 oz/190g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients. Set aside and grab another bowl and whisk. 

In the other bowl add all wet ingredients together. 

Mix wet ingredients into the batter just until there is no visible dry flour. Careful not to overmix the batter. 
Go and start your dishes or check on the bacon, warm up your syrup because your batter needs to rest. Ever notice the last few pancakes at the end are just perfect gold and fat and fluffy? This is because the batter has rested for 5 minutes.  

Pour your homemade pancake batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the greased hot griddle. Make sure to leave enough room between pancakes for expansion.
See those bubbles forming on top of the pancakes? Wait about 40 seconds, make sure you don't flip if you don't see bubbles start to break. Once you see that flip em' Do not fiddle with your cakes, this will take away the bounce and fluffy-ness of your cakes! 

Cook these babies until they are golden brown on the second side. So there you have it! This makes about 8 cakes and you can double the recipe easy. We always had so many pancakes for everyone when my Nana would make these and they are simple enough to do at the campground!  

Another week closer to the craziness of the 2020-2021 school year. I don't know about you but this has to be the one thing that has most given me the anxiety of the kids going back to school during this COVID crap. I wish I had a crystal ball or not very often to I wish this but during these times I wish I had a husband that was a partner who I would bounce ideas, concerns, and choices of life off of. This choice does not feel like much of a winning outcome. So with all that stress here are a few questions that make no one's life better for knowing about me. . 

                         What’s your favorite thing to have for breakfast?
I am not a big fan of breakfast, but I love pancakes that my Dad makes when he is home.  My boys call them Papa cakes, they have called them this for as long as they have been able to talk.  My dad got the skill to make them from my Nana. Her pancakes were the best especially from the skillet when we were camping. I can't make them to save my life.  You also must if you are doing it the right way you have to put peanut butter and syrup OH MY GOODNESS 
                               What is one word that describes you best?
If I can only pick one word only to describe me it would have to be Messy.  My life has never been neat and tidy, I am a self-described mess of a  person.   In my past ( I am working hard on this every day!) I haven't always been organized and often I took on way to many things to try and handle.  I did learn a few things from a friend of mine back home to follow through.  I use to cancel plans and not to tell people that I was overwhelmed or having some anxiety to leave the house that day, so I would come up with reasons why I couldn't go or follow through. Thankfully I am not that same person I only do what I can do and only take on what I can take on.  I stick by my word and I try not to let myself or my boys down. I try to always follow through.   It is something that I really put in hard work working through doing these things. I can say that I do push myself to not cancel, to get the boys into doing fun things, showing them truly that sticking to your word and commitments make you a good human.  Let's be good humans! 

Who was your first best friend?
That would be my mama, then my Grandma Aggie, of course then it is my Auntie Lisa... But if it is one person I didn't live with or wasn't related to... man that is hard because I believe you have several best friends to get you through life...In 1st grade, I was best friends with my mom's best friends daughter she was a year older than me, we were close until about the 4th grade. Then my next really self-made best friend was Marcy, we are still very good friends we were so close and nerdy but we thought we were so cool!  I have had amazing friends my entire life and about 8 truly best friends that have made a big impact on my life still today.   It is amazing that I have been blessed with them.  I wouldn't have gotten through my life without them. I will do a post in a few months highlighting all of them photos to be encluded. (watch out girls!) 
                        What was your favorite/worst subject in High School?
My favorite subject was Chior? Is that a subject?  In all seriousness, it was creative writing with my all-time favorite teacher Mrs.Tarner, she is where I knew that I wanted to be a writer. Her encouragement was always so true and honest. I was able to believe in myself because she believed in me.   
My worst subject was math and Mr. H. that taught it was an asshole, he creeped me out, the girls that did not get bothered by him or didn't say anything passed his class. I didn't take his shit at all and didn't let him touch my shoulders but called him a short Mother F@c*k#r and stormed out of his room... he was going to have me suspended but I moved classes instead and never loved math ever...The dick head of a teacher was not the reason I hated math but in a shit Sundae, he was the cherry on the top. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?
first I wanted to be a mama, then I wanted to be a country singer. I was about six when I decided that, I even had the perfect picture of me with a cowboy hat at my Great Grandparents farm, with a kids size guitar, boots on my Great Grandpa's old truck smiling like it was the best day of my life. I went on thinking that I would really sing country until I was in 11th grade, we got a new choir teacher and she told me I held no talent.  I quit choir the next quarter, heartbroken that I had wasted all this time on private lessons, and singing at church, privately and solos before she came on the scene at school, I even for a second sang in a local grunge garage band.  Now I look back wishing I wouldn't have given up on myself or a dream I had because of one person.  I wish that teachers realized what their words mean to a student.   I still sing to the boys and in the car, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder if I would have made it and where those dreams if they did come true, would have lead me? 

Winding the week of birthday posts down.  I have been thinking about what has changed in my life over the years for my birthdays.  I use to be a bit of a spoiled brat and felt like the 3rd of July was the blast-off for my birthday, we would do something special like going to the ocean for the week on vacation.  When I had the boys it was even more special but I still wanted to do things to relax and things I often don't have time for, a day of being pampered, dinner with my girlfriends, time out of being a mom for a few hours. Over the past two years, that has changed.   I want to be with the boys on my birthday, I look forward to the time with them and even though this year wasn't a year we could do much I enjoyed my time with them and my mom.  When I think about the best gift I have ever been given over the years it was my first birthday as a mom for sure. 

The best gift I have been given are not things that I can get at a store but what being given the boys to be a mom too.  The handmade gifts, the cards, and letters that they give me now.  The sweet little gestures that only they can do, trying to give me their money from their wallets they are saving to use on themselves.   I was looking at pictures of when they were first born that I thought I would share today.  They had a hard start in life, but they are fighters.  It is hard to even wrap my head around the idea that the two of them will be nine in just a few short months.  I think this new year coming is going to be one that will be even better than the ones before.  

I didn't understand when my mom said "don't blink." Well, obviously I did because the days might be long but these past years have flown by so fast.  

To say that I am blessed is an understatement.
Not one day goes by that I don't thank God for giving me these two beautiful boys that call me Mama. 
For the two true loves of my life. 

                                                                Little Man

                                                         The boys together 
                       Little Man                                                      B-Man 

                                       Little man on the left, B man on the right. 

                                                                B Man
The best gift of my life is doing this adventure of life with these two humans! 

 I had the pleasure of spending a wonderful night at this beautiful Inn right on Bellingham Bay. Upon pulling into the Inn you feel a world away with the beautiful fountain that greets you. There was no hassle at check-in - parking was easy and the entire staff was friendly. The gift shop right next to check-in is full of every little thing you could want or need! I bought a birthday gift and a few cards to send to friends. 
The suite was very thoughtfully decorated. It is extremely comfortable, with a grand twin-sized window seat overlooking the water, while reading my book the view of the bay and the Alaskan State Ferry loading up cars and passengers as they prepared for their Friday night departure from Bellingham Bay to Alaska. 

Fino wine bar showcases a graciously proportioned dining room with expansive views of Bellingham Bay. From the exhibition kitchen, the master chef will delight your palette with the most amazing local sourced culinary treasures and distinctive wines from around the world. The extensive library of wines is available by the taste, glass, or bottle.
Savor a glass of wine by the fireplace, entertain a party in the dining room, or share an intimate dinner for two on the outdoor terrace.

The Chrysalis balances an inspiration from nature with the sophisticated styling and technology that distinguishes our part of the little corner of our world in the PNW. 
 "We provide our guest with an intimate haven in which to rest and restore during both personal and business retreats." The chef said.

This place has an Expansive view of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. It also has a beautiful Waterfront location, with thirty four beautifully appointed deluxe rooms & nine luxurious suites with a Full service day spa, along with a nice
Wine bar & two different types of Meeting Facilities
With cozy throws and pillows, & the King size bed was so lovely with nice linens, with wonderful pillows and the most comfortable mattress. The deep oversized bathtub set beside the retractable wall, allowed for a peek-a- boo view of the stunning lights of the blood red sunset. To top it off, the plush bathrobes and inroom fireplace made this the ideal room for myself to reax and unwind free from the boys! 
I was able to truly disconnect and relax. 
The hotel thinks of the little details that you might never think of to pack for yourself, like leaving you a few paris of earplugs. You do have some slight noise when the train does steam through on occasion, the placement of the rooms make it absolutely more quiet then you would think of a passing train right under your hotel... Extra things in the room, a nice lounge chair, nice lighting, Complementary wireless internet, and a morning newspaper; a very nice flatscreen TV and a great channel selection, 
The mini bar items are normally high priced but the specialty snacks are outrageously priced- I can't imagine they sell many of them, which was sad because I always get a sweet tooth in the evening and always try to buy one or two things to try and sample for the sake of the review      Oh & the FREE morning breakfast was nice and fresh with a small variety of hot and cold choices for you to choose from. With a view of the bay that will have your writing home about.
Chrysalsis Inn and Spa makes this a nice and short walk from the train station to the hotel, for being about 5 minutes away by friendly taxi, or a easy 20 minute walk on the private trail that leads you straight to the Inn &Spa’s door.
the Amtrak station is in the beautiful downtown area of Fairhaven, with its wonderful book stores, restaurants, and a special toy store is .2 miles by a nice walking trail, and Bellingham is an easy, flat two miles the other way on another fabulous walking trail. This is a nice idea for you to come up from Seattle or even Portland. I love it because once you hit the Amtrak seat I’m in Relax mode, anyone that goes on the train trip will feel the same way so do yourself a favor and book your trip on the Amtrak when you come up to stay here.

A boardwalk runs from the hotel down across the water and into a great little park. At the end of the boardwalk is Woods Coffee shop. What a great afternoon stroll along the water all the while hubs was enjoying his latte & I a double scoop of Ice Cream.... The Dinner options were abundant and within walking distance as well. We hit the book store and got the new children's book, "Go to F*uck to Sleep" laughing the entire time, we also found a wonderful children's store and found my diaper bag!! There are trails that lead from the hotel into Fairhaven. 
What a cute town that I fell madly in love with.
Sadly I  didn't have time to enjoy the Spa, but all the guests that stay here are able to use the shower and steam rooms.

Check out their website at  The Chrysalis Inn and Spa by Hilton 
It offers a ton of packages for every occasion and a Military discount is offered. 
Make sure you tell them Stacey at Party-of-three sent you! 

Today is What are we reading Wednesday, this week I am trying to continue reading about racism to the boys. These books are helping to head into conversations that are not so easy to have with children.  Today I put a list together of the best ones for age groups that would be great to open up the way of communicating to our children at a young age that the color of our skin is not a reason to judge one another.  That all of God's children are precious in his sight.   I have sung to the boys " Jesus loves the little children." sense they were in the NICU and I would hold them.  I hope that I have shown them since birth that you love everyone equally.  If I have not I hope to get us more educated with help in the diversity of our peers around us.  Always being open-minded to each other's cultures and experiences.  

Kids age 0-2 Board books. 

Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison is a book featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history.  

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara. “This is a colorful alphabet board book that uses the language of activism. In the current climate of change, the whole family will enjoy reading and discussing these concepts.” 

Kids age 3-7 

All are welcome, by Alexandra Penfold. “A fun picture book which shows a school where everyone is welcome no matter their race, culture or physical ability. It helps imagine a world where everyone's unique culture is celebrated and valued.”

Let's talk about Race by Julius Lester. “This book does a great job of discussing the concepts of race and racism by utilizing the concept of a story. The author notes that stories are all around us but some stories are true while others are not. This book helps children become critical thinkers by not accepting every story they hear as true.”

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi  Eager to fit in upon her arrival in America, Unheie announces that she will choose an American name to use in place of her own.  Her class at school all get involved, ultimately, Unhei sees the power and joy of sharing a bit of her true self with her new community. Easy but effective activities and great promos for easy discussion with your kids   

Kids age 8-12
Black brother, black brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes. “This book is the latest from one of our favorite authors. In this book, she explores colorism in American society. The main characters are brothers, one dark-skinned and the other light-skinned, who can pass for white. As they live in a predominantly white environment the light-skinned brother is embraced, while the dark-skinned brother is shunned. The reader is given a glimpse into how difficult it can be for a young Black person to be all they can be when they are constantly being judged not by merit or character but by the color of their skin.”

The trouble with a half-moon by Danette Vigilante.  Vigilante's loving and nuanced portrait of life in a housing project, where she explores themes of guilt, forgiveness, and family, It is a great middle school ready and there is a series that features a public radio's "Being 12" It highlights young people on the stereotypes and racism in their own words. I hope that they end up doing a podcast.     

Kids over 12 
The hate you give by Angie Thomas.  The Hate U Give is a 2017 young adult novel by Angie Thomas. It is Thomas's debut novel, expanded from a short story she wrote in college in reaction to the police shooting of Oscar Grant. The book is narrated by Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl from a poor neighborhood who attends an elite private school in a predominantly white, affluent part of the city. I loved this book so much and it got a lot of talk when it became a movie.  I would encourage anyone over 12 to read this. 

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt De La Pena.  The child of a Mexican father, and a blonde, blue-eyed mother, Danny doesn't speak Spanish and isn't Mexican enough for some nor white enough for others, this is a great read for teens because they can identify with the longing for companionship and community.
This is a great converstation for all mixed races not fitting in on either side of their heritage.   

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