So I made the “Christmas Crack” recipe that’s floating around Facebook

It all started with an over abundance of saltine crackers from Wendy’s. Am I going to use these? They’re going to go to waste! Then epiphany. I should make that dessert that has saltines as the base.

Now that I have, there’s only:

It went together quickly. I’ll admit it was salty and sweet, but way too sweet for my taste even without all the toppings we added. If I had to make it again, I’d add more crackers or salted peanuts and lessen the butter/brown sugar layer.

Here’s how to make it:

Start with a layer of saltines on top of a foil-covered pan. I sprayed mine with no-stick baking spray as well. Preheat the oven to 425F.

Then, melt 2 sticks of butter and a cup of brown sugar together until it boils for a few minutes. If you understand anything about making candy (which I don’t) or have a candy thermometer (which I don’t), you should probably do whatever recommendation you know from another recipe for getting it so the sugar isn’t grainy. Here’s what it looked like before it boiled:

Spread it over the crackers and bake at 425F for about 4 minutes.

Then sprinkle chocolate chips, wait a few minutes for it to melt, and spread that out:

I was planning on only adding m&m’s on top. The mini marshmallows were calling my kids though.

So I broiled it until they were golden and popped them flat reaching the same satisfaction you get when you pop bubble wrap.

After that came the m&m’s and the freezer for 30 minutes. It didn’t “crack” it was more like forceful bending under the will of chocoholics– which makes me think I screwed up the butter and brown sugar part even more.

Finished product:

Pardon me while I slip into a sugar coma.

Happy accidents

So apparently I can’t timezone outside of work. I coordinate with coworkers all over the world just fine, but when it is just me — I goof it up.

I drive 12-16 hours sometimes to and from locations and stick within the Eastern timezone. Today on my way to Nashville, I didn’t realize this short 4 hour jump would take me into Central.

So now suddenly I’m multiple hours early for my flight to California. What to do? What to do? It took me an entire 2 seconds to decide and act on my decision. I’m celebrating my extra hour with a massage/pedicure, because this is my time.

Is it still a “Zen” Tangle with a 4-year old?

Every year at our all-company meetup we do Flash Talks – a four minute presentation on whatever you want.

This year I saw one about drawing zen tangles (I think by Kristen Symonds). ❤️

I can’t remember the complete steps from the presentation 😣 but have been trying a variation with my 4-year-old daughter who loves to draw. 

I’d like to put an emphasis on variation, because Zen and 4-year old don’t always belong in the same sentence.

We’ve been doing them together and just doodling our hearts out. She is intently focused on the drawing for the first twenty to thirty minutes before she runs off, I finish the drawing out, and then if I forget to put it away – she fills in designs with solid color when I’m not looking. Doh!

Madame Butterfly

I’m very excited to hear Indiana University’s production of Madame Butterfly tonight. I’ve been listening to this opera since I was born. (No joke!) My dad always sang the role of Sharpless. Hopefully it’s a night where a few of his opera students will be in the cast or chorus.

Here’s a preview of one of the dress rehearsals:

Pokemon Halloween

It all started when I had this idea of being   Pikachu for Halloween and asked my kids if they wanted to go as a theme. Of course my daughter didn’t want to be anything else other than Pikachu. :/

After much negotiation and surfing the pokedex in the Pokemon Go app, she is going to be, surprise surprise — Pikachu.

I thought I’ll probably be chasing her everywhere on October 31st anyway, so I’m going to be a trainer whose sole job it is to catch Pikachu. 

But when I asked my son what he wanted to be, he didn’t like anything he saw. I asked him if he’d rather be the trainer – nope. Asked him if he wanted to be one of the dragon-looking ones – nope.

Then it finally dawned on him and he said with stubborn enthusiasm “I want to be a pokeball!!!!” 

How in the world do you get that costume off Amazon???

Fast forward to a week later, my paper cuts are healed from covering an exercise ball each night in paste and newspaper. The holes have been cut out and initial coats of spray paint applied.


I’m feeling a bit apprehensive of trying to  tape-off the reverse and paint the black stripe in the middle, so black duct tape is going on tonight.

I hope he remembers twenty years from now that I try to be the cool mom.

Carving pumpkins

I don’t know about you, but I love carving pumpkins. There are so many possibilities and the process requires patience. 

I want my kids to have fun, but I don’t trust them with knives. Ha!

This is my compromise. I give them a list of options, they choose their favorites. I take off the tops, they take out the goop. I carve the faces they chose, they get to enjoy with ten fingers still attached.