Recipe – Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad

Ok, these recipes are ones that I have made up on the fly. They are the ones that seemed to go over well with the family and I want to try to remember how I made them. I am sure that they are similar to someone¬†else’s¬†recipe, probably your great-aunt twice removed on your dads side. ūüėČ

I don’t claim to own the recipe, I just want a way to keep track of what my family likes.

Maybe you will like them too!

Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad

1/2 store bought rotisserie chicken Рshredded (save other 1/2 for dinner tomorrow)

1 C sour cream

1 red pepper, diced

2 tbs Franks Wing Sauce

1 pkg dry ranch dip mix

4 slices bacon – cooked crisp, chopped

1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Mix sour cream, ranch mix and wing sauce in a large bowl until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix. We served this with warm tortillas for the family, and wrapped up in a lettuce leaf for me. I could also see it working very well on bread or even mixed with cold cooked pasta for a quick salad. 

Water towers and off days.

I admit it.

I’m having an off day (week, month…). Things seem much harder than they really are. I have no energy to be creative or even friendly. I would actually just like to stay in my yoga pants, curl on the couch and watch a marathon of An Idiot Abroad.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere.

Like I said, I’m having an off day (week, month…)

I just spotted something on Facebook that brought back a flood of bittersweet memories.

Two words.

Water Tower.

Many moons ago, we lived in the tiny town of Smithfield VA. Known for Ham, History and Hospitality. (…and for the reek of the slaughter houses a few miles up the road….but you didn’t hear that from me.)

The two years we lived there were pretty darn rough. Hubby was¬†deployed¬†most of the time and Faith was sick quite a bit. Not like “cough, cough” sick. I mean “first name basis with the PICU nurses, inpatient for weeks at a time” sick.

It was also during this two year stretch that Faith was diagnosed with autism.

With 6 years between now and that moment….

…..the time standing still, I know she’s a little quirky, and for the most part only repeats lines from TV, and spends a lot of time¬†flapping¬†her hands and rocking, vomits when she touches anything with the texture of yogurt, and she poo paints, a lot, but what the heck do you mean she has autism moment?

Anyway, looking back, I can finally see some humor in our time in Smithfield.

Faith has had some pretty interesting obsessions over the years. Some memorable ones have been a spatula, a bar of soap and water towers.

Oh she loved water towers. Any size, any shape. Water towers were the highlight of her day. Luckily we had one right by our house.

When she would spot a tower, she would begin flapping her hands and making “Eeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeeee!” sounds. She would smile so huge that you couldn’t help but smile with her. She was 3. She had almost no communicative speech. But she could make everyone in the car with her laugh at how excited water towers made her.

During the time we lived in VA, we became water tower experts. We could plan a trip anywhere in area making sure we passed at least 3 towers each way.


The time we lived there I was miserable, depressed and always felt like a black cloud hung over my head. I was so happy to leave Virginia. I just plain did not want to ever look back on our time there.

Yet today I did. When I spotted the words “water tower” on Facebook.

Not only did I look back, I looked back and felt a flood of good memories.

The girl, she loved those towers. And she was so damn cute when she spotted one.

So maybe, just maybe, at some point in the future I will look back on this time fondly also.

Brush it off – who knew?

A few posts ago, I brought up Faith’s aversion to having her hair washed.¬†

After trying¬†everything¬†I could think of to get through this problem, I threw may hands in the air, saying aaayooo, I just don’t knooooooow.

And I took Faith to her pediatrician.

Let me back up a moment and explain a bit about Faith.

Faith does not express pain. She may say an “ouch” occasionally, but not reliably.

She may have a double ear infection and the only way I will know is she will have more meltdowns than usual. Maybe.

Being Faith’s mom means trying to figure out what is wrong without much help from the normal cues.

So just on a long shot I took Faith to the doctor.

Ummm. Yea. I feel like a momfail.

It turns out that she actually has a massive yeast overgrowth on her scalp. It’s¬†official¬†called Tinea Versicolor.¬†¬†It is also painful and shampoo can hurt when applied.

No wonder she was freaking out when I tried to wash her hair.

It is treatable with a special antifungal shampoo.

Oh, she also had an ear infection.

Total momfail.


Fun in the (no) sun – Beyond Coastal Review and Giveaway


I really have not given it much thought.

For our family, it is not something to be used only while engaging in outdoor activities. Lupus is made worse for many sufferers when exposed to UV rays. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But I’m not about to chance it. Anything I can do to help keep my lupus quiet, I’m going to do it.

I put it on. I go about my day.

But¬†recently¬†I have begun rethinking some of the things I bring into our home. There are so many yucky icky chemicals in….stuff. After cleaning up my cleaners, I started looking at other items in our home. My sunscreen caught my eye.¬†Aminobenzoic acid?¬†Dioxybenzone?¬†Phenylbenzimidazole? I can’t¬†pronounce those. What are they? Why am I rubbing that¬†on my skin?


I was recently given the opportunity to try Beyond Coastal sunscreens.

All Beyond Coastal products are: Gluten Free, Cruelty Free, Fragrance Free, Oxybenzone Free, Paraben Free, Oil Free

A quick glance at the ingredients and I knew this might be exactly what I was looking for. I could actually pronounce them! Larch Tree Extract? Coconut Oil? Comfrey Plant Extract?

When my sunscreens arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh they smelled. Not fake or chemicaly, but just fresh. As I was playing with each sunscreen my family picked their favorite and disappeared with them. The following is their impressions.

Andrea, 20, ¬†liked the¬†Active¬†Face Stick SPF 30.¬†She says that it goes on very smooth, smells slightly citrusy and feels very light on her skin. She felt it would be just as nice under makeup as it is on its own. She liked the fact that it was a solid stick and not a liquid. She will give it a real workout when she heads to China next week for a study¬†abroad. It’s already packed up in her carry on. :)

Jon, 18, grabbed the Kid’s Natural Sunscreen.¬†As a redhead with very light skin, he knows that¬†sunscreen¬†is¬†important. His impression of this was favorable. He liked that it didn’t smell girly. He also liked that it was easy to apply and disappeared quickly.

Faith, 8, liked the Active Lip Balm. No real review here, but she asked for the “Lip soft stuff” several times. :)

I grabbed the Natural Clear Sunscreen. This comes out of the tube white but blends to clear with no effort. It has a very soft fragrance. It is not greasy at all and feels very light on my skin. I can see this becoming my favorite sunscreen! 


I wish I could give a review regarding the effectiveness of the sunscreens, however I live in Washington state and during my review period, the sun did not really show itself. LOL

The awesome people at Beyond Coastal would like to give one lucky reader the opportunity to try their sunscreens! You know you want to!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Mommy Rambles was provided a sampling of sunscreens to review. Opinions are my own}

Something is Rotten Pt 2 – Pepsi Pups

Last week I touched a bit on the Pepsi Refresh Grant. I mentioned that it was basically a contest where people vote, and the idea with the most votes, wins funding. Actually, to be more specific, the top 10 ideas in each category win funding.

So it’s a big popularity contest.

If you want to support an idea, you may vote online once per day, and via text once per day, for a total of 2 votes per person, per day.

M’kay. That is simple enough.

In a household like mine, with three people eligible to vote, that means we could vote 6 times a day for our favorite.

But wait…..have you heard of Power Votes?

On each Pepsi product, there was a single code. So, on a 20 ounce soda, you would get one Power Vote code. On the box of a 12 can pack, you would get 1 Power Vote code. On a 24 can case you would get one power vote code. You get the idea.

The Power Votes are pretty darn important because each person can enter up to 10 Power Votes per day. TEN. So in a household such as mine, that would be 30 additional votes per day.

But wait it gets better.

Each Power Code, when entered, was actually good for UP TO 100 VOTES. If you are keeping track here, that means that in my household, there was the potential for 3000 votes a day.

You read that right. Three Thousand a day. Or if you want to be all picky about it, 3006 votes per day. Over the 30 days voting took place, that is 90,180 possible votes.

But, that is assuming of course that a family was to purchase 30 Pepsi products a day in order to obtain the 30 codes needed to Power Vote.

That’s a lot of Pepsi.

Lea Kaydus, acting as an individual and not an organization, found a way around that pesky problem.

I am not sure exactly how she found a way around that problem, but she did. Like a miracle floating down from the sky, every single day during the active voting of the Pepsi Refresh grant, there were 30 Power Vote codes emailed to us. 

Along with the magically appearing codes came the warning – You must use different computers to use each 10 votes. Each 10 votes must come from a different IP address.

And like dutiful sheep, we used those 30 Power Vote codes, every day, and we Power Voted for Lea Kaydus.

At that time I¬†didn’t¬†question it. I should have, but I didn’t. We were just so gosh darn happy to be helping the awesome founder of Animals For Autism win a grant to fund the training of 10 service dogs to be placed with deserving children in spring ’12.

Not to build a “facility”…..¬†but I digress.

So somehow, every single day Lea Kaydus came up with codes from 30 Pepsi products. Just for my family, she somehow got the codes from 900 Pepsi products during the month of May. Just for MY family. 

That would sure be a lot of potty breaks!

Now, what if I told you that she was sending even more codes to other families. Lots more. Some households were receiving 70 Power Votes a day.


Math on that one…. 70 codes x possible 100 votes = 70,000 votes A DAY x 30 days…..2,100,000 votes possible.

Did I mention she was sending these mysteriously obtained Power Codes to multiple families?

The couple of times she was questioned about where she was obtaining all these codes resulted in two different answers.

Answer 1 – Why, they are being donated by the sweet people in her community.

Answer 2 – Gosh golly, her local Pepsi distributer thinks she is so amazing that they are giving her all the codes.

So, uh…where did they come from?

Shades of problems past eh?

Thursday Tirade

(I know, I know….It is supposed to be Thursday Thinking)

(But I’m riled up.)

(When¬†I get riled up, it’s better for me to come here and vent instead of eating Cheetos.)


Morning Rant:

While trying to subscribe Faith to a monthly craft service, I had to lie about her birthdate in order to have the developmentally appropriate items sent.

How about instead of relying strictly on birthdate, allow parents to choose the level?

I feel like I’m denying Faith all the amazing progress she HAS made when I have to lie and say she is only 4 in order to have the proper items sent.

Rant Over.

Tillamook Light Yogurt. Really.

Mornings in my house are a wee bit crazy.

Ok, that may be an understatement.

My breakfast often resembles coffee.

Maybe because it is coffee.

I know, I know….I need to eat in the mornings.

I love yogurt but have you seen how much sugar is in a serving of flavored yogurt?

26 grams of sugar in a single serving of a leading blackberry yogurt.


I was recently given the opportunity to try a new yogurt.

Tillamook Light Yogurt.

A serving contains 15 grams of sugar. That is much better


Light? Ewwwww. Have you tried light yogurt? It always has a chalky taste and a yucky mouth feel. Right?

My samples arrived – vanilla and strawberry¬†– and well….it’s light yogurt. I put it in the fridge and avoided it for a few days.

Because it is light yogurt.

But….I love all things Tillamook. Cheese, ice cream, sour cream, butter? Yummmmy!

Finally, I knew I just had to take the plunge and try it. Even if it is light yogurt.

When I opened it, it smelled pretty good. Consistency was nice Рnot watery like some other light yogurt I have tasted.

And this made me smile.

You can see the little vanilla bean specks in there….. nice touch Tillamook.

I’ve never been a big fan of plain vanilla yogurt so I added some fresh berries.

You know what? It is awesome. No chalky mouth feel at all. It is smooth, creamy and delectable. Vanilla is a huge hit!

I actually looked forward to trying the strawberry!

But it disappeared.

My kiddo says it was fantastic. ūüėČ

I will be adding this to our shopping list with no hesitation.

{Mommy Rambles was provided a sample of Tillamook Light Yogurt. All opinions and yummy yogurt are mine. Except when stolen by my kiddo.}