A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: just the tip (Page 1 of 2)

How to Look Fabulous for Your Age


Today is my birthday.

This is me 47 years ago, when I was a baby:

See that? Even then, personality PLUS.

Based on this photographic evidence,
here’s what I’m predicting I’ll look like in my golden years:

Which isn’t bad, considering he’s about 119 years old in this photo.

And that, my friends, brings me to my Just the Tip Tuesday tip of the week.

Always lie about your age.

I’m actually 41 today.
But I always tell people that I’m older,
so they will be dazzled by how well-preserved I am “for my age.”

I’ve been doing this for over a decade and it works like a charm.

Case in point: Betty White.
She’s not really 82.
That bitch lies like a rug.
She’s really in her fifties.
But she wouldn’t be nearly as hot as she is right now
if she told the truth about her age.

Try it.

It’s a lot cheaper and less painful than plastic surgery.

with love and white lies,


© Copyright 2001, The Bearded Iris.

The best, easiest, tastiest birthday cake EVER.

Did you hear it was my little guy’s birthday yesterday? You certainly did if you live anywhere within a 20 square mile radius of us, as Bucket Head told EVERYONE we met yesterday, “I the birthday boy. I four. Thanks Bob.” Purdy cute. He’s going through a phase where he calls everyone Bob. May all his phases be that entertaining.

Even Mini-Me, who is usually loathe to share any of the spotlight with either of her brothers, figured out that even though Bucket Head was the star of the day, cake and new toys for him equals cake and new toys for her. She ain’t no dummy.

"I four."

So look, let’s keep this brief. It’s Lent and I’m off the sauce, which pretty much sucks for both of us because all work and no play makes Iris a bit crankier than usual.

But it is Tuesday, and you know what that means… I have a tip to share with you!

Baking a birthday cake for each of your gazillions of children every time there is a birthday in the house can be a bit of a chore. Agreed? Especially if you are a spaz like me who tries to assuage an excessive amount of Mommy Guilt with over-the-top cakes at the 11th hour.

Breathe easy, Mommy friends. Courtesy of my friend Laura, I have the ace-of-cakes you need to be the hit of the party with a minimum amount of time or effort!

Introducing (drum roll please)….

The Krispy Kreme Doughnut Cake:

What, too plain, you say?


Aw, hell-to-the-yeah.

Two dozen Krispy Kremes, artfully arranged on a platter, and pimped out with a few Super Hero action figures on toothpicks. Any 4 year old boy’s dream come true. Plus, no utensils required. And no waiting for the cake to be cut and served. Just reach in and grab yourself some sugary love. Fabulous!

Happy baking! (I mean, buying!)


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

You better believe it.

I was wracking my brain to come up with a fabulous, life-altering tip I could share with you for my Just The Tip Tuesday feature today. And then I remembered this really charming motivational slogan and table scape I spied the other day at Kelly Is Inspired:

Check out the rest of her blog too! http://kellyisinspired.blogspot.com/

Cheese and crackers, I love those colors and textures together. Some people just have an eye for that kind of thing. And by some people, I mean not me. Sigh. I decorate like I parent… with a loud voice and a lot of apologies.

Anyhoo, those sassy pink Chucks reminded me of the very same ones my darling Mini-Me (formerly known as Klepto) wore and destroyed in less than 24 hours.












Which then got me thinking about what a passionate and intensely committed child my Mini-Me is, in every part of her life. We’re talking balls-to-the-wall, that girl.

And that’s when I remembered going through her school papers last week and finding this:

“I can Do it!”

It’s the back of her weekly timed math facts test. Just in case you can’t see the picture, it says in very neatly printed 2nd grader handwriting “I can Do it!” And it is circled for emphasis.

I didn’t teach her to do that. What, with all the shouting, and apologizing, and bad decorating – who has time to teach life skills?

So I asked her, “Honey? What’s this on the back of your test?”

And she said, very nonchalantly, “Oh, I just felt like writing it.”

“Where did you learn to do that?” I asked, thinking she must have copied it off someone else’s paper.

“Nowhere. It just came to me,” she replied.

So I enthused: “That is SO cool! Do you think it helped?”

“Shhhhya-ah! Look at my score! It was my highest ever!” (Like, duh Mom, totally.)

And I thought to myself: that is one awesome kid. At the tender age of eight, she already knows one of the secrets to the universe:

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.
~ Henry Ford

Hot damn, I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Just with cleaner shoes.

Believe and achieve! Your friend,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

List Making Love

“The more you do, the more you can do.”

I don’t know who said that, or where I found it years ago. I only know that it is true.

I’m sure it must be related to Newton’s laws of motion. You know… bodies in motion stay in motion, and bodies at rest stay at rest, yada yada yada.

My body prefers to stay at rest. But when I do get all hopped up on the French Roast, I can get some things done… if I know what to do.

Now, if you are a hot mess like me, you probably need some kind of a list to keep you on track. “You can’t hit a target that isn’t there,” right? My problem has always been that I lose my lists. Almost daily. And my lists are so long that I always run out of steam and am just no damn good at prioritizing.

But not anymore!

I have discovered Toodledo.

About two weeks ago I finally joined the ranks of iPhone owners. And it is seriously changing my life. And not just because there is a free app that makes fart sounds.

I bought the Toodledo app for my iPhone ($2.99) so that I could have a digital To-Do list with me wherever I go. Little did I know that it would become such an important part of my life and contribute so profoundly to an increase in my daily productivity.

Many years ago, I had a crazy co-worker named Francis who was such a burnout that he would put things on his daily T0-Do list like “trim toenails” and “eat lunch.” He indiscreetly left his list laying about for all the world to see because he was afraid he would lose it and not know which bodily function to address next. Unfortunately for Francis, once I caught a peek of his list, I could never look at him the same way. My husband and I made so much fun of that poor guy. We would add similar things to our own lists like “poop” and “breathe” just to rag on him.

But now that I have Toodledo on my iPhone, I am tempted to add things like this to my own list just so I can play with the cool options, set alarms for myself, and schedule repeating reminders like “Only floss the ones you want to keep!” and “Time to drink some water!” It’s becoming an obsession.

This thing is brilliant. Seriously. It actually uses a mathematical algorithm to order your list for you as you add new tasks, telling you what you need to do next based on due date, priority, starred items, etc. It can also manage notes, so if you have an errand on your list, you can type right in what things you need at that store. No more lost or forgotten lists!

You can even wirelessly sync it with your home computer so you never have to worry about losing your To-Dos and notes if you lose or wash your phone. Because let’s face it, if you wash your phone, you have bigger problems than also having to remember what you were supposed to do that day. Uh, hypothetically speaking, of course.

And now, I can check off my Toodledo list that I wrote my Just the Tip Tuesday post for this week! Yay me! An accomplishment! I’m on FIRE today and it’s only 9:30 AM!

Could this actually be the year that I get my taxes done before midnight on April 15th? Me thinks yes. Toodledo, I love you. Promise me you’ll never leave and I promise you I’ll never download the Stool Scanner app.

The beginning of wisdom, is the desire for discipline.
– The Wisdom of Solomon.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

The Mother of all Cures

You know that scratchy feeling you get in the back of your throat when you’re just starting to come down with a cold? Yes, you know the one… that dreadful little tickle that means “Batten down the hatches! You are about to feel absolutely miserable.”

Well, last Friday night, after I had finally gotten all the kids to bed, poured a(nother) nice big fishbowl of wine, and put my feet up… I felt that tickle.

Oh no. No no no no no. Not now. I absolutely cannot get sick.

My husband had already succumbed to the grippe a few days earlier, so, statistically speaking, I knew it was my turn. Even with all the hand washing and Lysol spraying and Hazmat suit wearing, I felt like the odds were not in my favor.

But I would be damned if I wasn’t going to put up a good fight.

So I hoisted my tired tuchus off the couch and went to the kitchen to whip up my favorite home remedy for stopping a cold in its tracks…

Best home remedy for stopping a cold by The Bearded Iris


  • one cup of water (cold or hot, your call)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s Organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • a teaspoon (or so) of honey
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (about 1/10th of a teaspoon)

I stirred it up and sucked it down. Then I went right to bed.

The next morning, I was right as rain. Okay, maybe acid rain on the outskirts of Three Mile Island, but still, the point is… I was NOT SICK. The scratchy throat was gone. My nose was not stuffy. My head did not hurt. Score: Iris 1, Cold 0! Booo-yah!

My poor husband did not drink my Witches Brew early enough in his little cold. He used the classic male cold remedy called “denial,” and it totally didn’t work.

As you surely know, I am not a medical doctor. But this is the second time this year I’ve used this little Witches Brew and it is the second time I’ve avoided getting sick. I’m not exactly sure why it works, I only know that it does. But the key is that you absolutely must drink it at that very first moment you suspect a cold coming on. Don’t delay.

Now, a bit of detail about the ingredients:

Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. I usually buy mine at Whole Foods, but I’ve seen it at the local Publix too, in the organic bump out section of the oil/vinegar aisle. This ingredient is the most important in the Witches Brew. Don’t just use regular old Heinz vinegar. The Bragg ACV is special because it is raw and unfiltered. It looks cloudy and gross. There are little brown strands of floaty goo in it. Just shake it well and don’t look at it and you’ll be fine. But I suspect that the brown goo is the magic. In fact, Bragg calls that part of it the ‘Mother.’ Look:

Dang, if it is called the ‘Mother,’ you know that sh*t is good. It can probably change a diaper, balance the checkbook, and auger a clogged toilet too.

Apparently, raw apple cider vinegar has been regarded throughout history for its many healing health benefits. Even as far back as 400 BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing natural cleansing , healing, and energizing health qualities. I learned about it from my crunchy friend Jennifer. She swears by it. Carries it around like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding with his Windex. Don’t go to her house with a rash or a zit… you’ll walk out of there reeking of ACV.

Cayenne Pepper.  I first became enamored of cayenne pepper when I did The Master Cleanser last fall. That is a story for another day, but let me just say, cayenne pepper is an absolutely amazing health booster. It is good for your circulation, your skin, your mental clarity, and more. Seriously. Just google it, amigo. Or here, let me save you a step.

Honey. Did you know that honey is actually germicidal? It is! Like ACV, the healing properties of honey date back thousands of years. I could go on and on, but just take my word for it, or google it yourself. I have to pay some attention to my 3 year old, Bucket Head, before he sticks a fork in the toaster. Oh, one more thing, if you can get it, local raw honey is much better for you than the mass produced store brands. In fact I think raw is probably better for you with most things, except pork, chicken, and sex, but again… that is a story for another day.

Here’s to your good health!

with love and Purell,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

How to Improve Your Health, Sex Life, and DMV Record SIMULTANEOUSLY

So I’m sitting there this morning, trying to enjoy my morning cup o’ joe and catch a few minutes of the news, when all of a sudden, I’m assaulted with two different television commercials about class action lawsuits involving victims of prescribed medications or medical procedures.

The first commercial was urging people who have taken the popular acne drug Accutane to contact Such-and-Such-Ambulance-Chaser-and-Son if they suffer with Crohn’s Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is frightening. I know several people who used that drug for help when they were teenagers. And what with my daughter, Mini-Me, on the precipice of puberty… knowing that she’s one fun-sized Kit-Kat away from an auto-shipment plan of Zit Buster Plus from the As Seen on TV store. Sigh.

And my heaven-sent but hypertensive husband, The Gatekeeper, wonders why I’m so negative about prescription drugs and big pharmaceutical companies. This is why. Because these magic beans may appear to lessen symptoms today, but at what long term cost? Who really knows? Certainly not that doctor who was taken to Ruth’s Chris for a big steak dinner last night by that Big Pharma Rep with the nice rack. I’ll pass, thank you.

Which brings me to class action lawsuit commercial number two, aimed at ladies who have had surgeries to correct a prolapsed uterus. That’s the fancy term for when your uterus starts to hang out of your hoo-hoo. This can occur for a variety of reasons including:

  • Pregnancy/multiple childbirths with normal delivery through the vagina
  • Weakness in the pelvic muscles with advancing age
  • Weakening and loss of tissue tone after menopause and loss of natural estrogen
  • Conditions leading to increased pressure in the abdomen such as chronic cough (with bronchitis and asthma), straining (with constipation), pelvic tumors (rare), or an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
  • Being overweight or obese and its additional strain on pelvic muscles
  • Radical surgery in the pelvic area leading to loss of external support
  • Excess weight lifting

Hey, it’s not as uncommon as you might think. Dr. Oz did a whole hour a couple weeks ago on “the hidden shame” associated with having your lady junk drop. In the spirit of Just the Tip Tuesday, I’m here today with advice on how to possibly avoid having this happen to you.

First let me just say, I’m not a medical doctor. I’m more of a domestic doctor… who got her temporary license through a non-accredited foreign correspondence course. But I do have a vagina and I did give birth the old fashioned way to three ginormous babies (the smallest was 8 lbs. 5 oz., the biggest was 9 lbs. 11 oz., the third was somewhere in between, but who can remember with all these babies underfoot.)  So, needless to say, I know a thing or two about war-torn lady parts.

I’m also a graduate of The Bradley Method and therefore I have logged many many hours learning about pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Having a strong pelvic floor (the “hammock” that supports the uterus) is integral to being able to push your baby through that ring-of-fire. I actually didn’t know that the first time I was pregnant and it was a very difficult labor and delivery. That’s why I went looking for a better experience my second and third time around and chose The Bradley Method. But I digress.

A strong pelvic floor is also critical for the rest of your life… not just for giving birth. Having strong pelvic muscles will not only keep all your reproductive organs from coming out to say hello, it will also dramatically improve the quality of your sex life (and not just because your husband won’t have to push your uterus back up in there in order to have sex). The stronger those muscles are, the more intense your orgasms will be. In addition, your male partner will benefit as well from the increase in muscle tone. In other words, the stronger your pelvic floor, the more jewelery you’ll get on Valentine’s day.

The good news is that you can do simple exercises that will keep your pelvic floor as fit as a fiddle. And they are free. You don’t need any special equipment, a gym membership, or a fancy legwarmers+headband outfit reminiscent of the Olivia Newton John Let’s Get Physical phase. You won’t even break a sweat doing these moves. But like any exercise, it only works if you do it.

It’s called The Kegel.

You probably already know what it is and how to do it, don’t you? If not, just google it. I have to finish writing this before Scooby Doo is over.

The catch is this: knowing about Kegels, and doing them regularly are two different things, aren’t they.

So here’s where my tip comes in and it is a winner! Ready?

Any time you are in a car (as the driver or passenger) and you stop at a stop sign or red light, do your Kegel exercises.

How easy is that?!

I like to do three quick one-second pulses at every stop sign… it actually helps me to be a better driver and not roll through stop signs. Isn’t that fabulous?! An exercise that can tighten up your tingly parts and help you be a better driver?! Whoot!

At red lights, I do the advanced version. It’s called “the elevator.” This is when you pretend your vagina is an elevator shaft and using only your pelvic floor muscles you move an imaginary elevator from the ground floor, slowly, up to the first floor, then to the second floor, and finally to the third floor, where you hold hold hold (while all the passengers hop out and a new group of passengers gets on), and then slowly lower the elevator back through all the floors to the ground floor. This is really hard to do; don’t kid yourself. Sometimes my elevator will crash to the floor and violently kill everyone inside of it. Other times, my elevator operator is like “Uh, sorry… they’re doing some remodeling upstairs… you’re gonna have to hold your conference in the lobby today, lady.”

In conclusion… do your Kegels. Do them when you drive, or ride in a car, or for you city gals, do them on the subway. Just do them. Your uterus will thank you, your partner will thank you, fellow drivers will thank you, and you won’t have to hire an ambulance chaser to get you your fair share of a class action lawsuit someday when there is a recall of the medical supplies used in the repair of your prolapsed uterus. Phew, that’s a mouthful. (That’s what he said.)

Slowly, and with hopefully improving pelvic control,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

« Older posts

© 2021 The Bearded Iris

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑