Happy Blogiversary to Me, Mommy Mishaps!

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Earlier today I was looking at the calendar in order to book an appointment for my husband and realized that this very day, March 13th, marks one year since my inaugural blog post.

I can’t believe I almost missed it. One year! There is no other venture (other than marriage and children, of course) that I have embarked on and been so committed. It truly has been a blast. The blog community has been outrageously supportive and the experience has been very cathartic as I searched for an outlet for my creative yet wacky brain.

Through this journey I have realized that my love language is “viewer response”. I know that isn’t one of the actual love languages, but it should be. I have been blown away by the response of people reading my blog. I check my stats obsessively and the high of having one of my posts go what I will call “semi-viral” was nothing short of intoxicating. Click here to read Friends don’t let friends take selfies over 40, which I will shamelessly say yielded 2,053 views and was shared on Facebook by 615 people! While those stats are simply peanuts for some of my favorite mommy bloggers I was beyond thrilled with that kind of response. And SO grateful.

And to you, yes YOU! You read this which means you’ve probably read one of my other blog posts. Without you I wouldn’t do this. Your feedback makes me smile. Your support makes my heart full. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Photo credit: Allwlpr.com

The Cronut Is So Yesterday: 3 Food Combos I Just Invented. Lattodka Anyone?

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Have you all heard of the Cronut yet? Named by Time Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Inventions” of 2013, this croissant-doughnut hybrid was invented by a pastry chef in NYC. Apparently these little suckers are so sought after that they are being sold on the black market for $100 a piece! Isn’t that insane? It’s hard to believe that there are still food combinations that have yet to be dreamt up that could create such a demand but this guy did it and he is making a killing.

This made me start thinking of what culinary combinations my kids and I would invent if we were to combine our two favorite things to eat. I like to cloud my mind with trivial stuff like this instead of worrying about more bothersome things like how we’ll put four daughters through college and pay for four weddings.

So my friends, here are my three new food inventions:

Food Combo for a Toddler

THE PLAYDARGER
(Playdoh + iPhone charger)

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I know what it takes to make my toddler happy. I know that she would rather eat a tiny piece of Christmas tree tinsel that I somehow forgot to sweep up than a well-balanced, home-cooked meal. This knowledge lets me know with complete certainty that the dream culinary combination that I have invented for her would make her head explode with excitement. It is the creamy white deliciousness of a new iPhone charger coated with a bright crunchy shell of dried playdoh. Her two favorite things to stick in her mouth all at once. Yummy.

Food Combo for Mommy

THE ICED LATTODKA
(Latte + Vodka)

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The other day I shared a dirty little secret with only two people on the planet (you know who you are and now you know how much I love you.) But I’m sharing it with all of you here because I seem to have no shame, nor a proper blog filter. The other night after a particularly stressful day I drank a cocktail of vodka mixed with orange Pedialyte because I had nothing else in the house to mix it with. ((GASP!!)) So there you go. If only I had my dream combo here, a scrumptious iced vanilla latte magically mixed with top shelf vodka, I could have avoided my questionable mix. Now I know some of you might be saying “hey mama there is espresso flavored vodka already” but that is not what I want. My combination would taste exactly like an iced skinny vanilla latte but it would have the added underlying benefit of making me completely forget the trauma of just having to help my toddler get a poop out, that my 3-year-old was crying because she doesn’t have the exact cat game that she wants on her iPad and a preteen who at that very moment needed two homework assignments printed out on a printer that is apparently not working. Ahhhhh….the Lattodka.

Food Combo for Kids

THE FISHGAR
(Goldfish + Sugar)

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My sweet, beautiful little girl, if provided the opportunity and very detailed instructions, would mainline sugar. She wakes up thinking about sugar, spends her days planning and plotting for sugar, and her nights dreaming of sugar. So if I could guarantee that she wasn’t destined for diabetes I would provide her with the magical creation of sweet sugar-coated gold fish. We already own stock in Pepperidge Farms and we might as well add C&H to our investment portfolio.

I would love to hear what your combinations would be for the members of your family. Please share away.

Photo credits: fstoppers.com, etsy.com, blovelyevents.com

Sesame Street Strikes Again – Because Little Kids LOVE Murderous Gangsters

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I have always loved Sesame Street. I truly believe that as a child the show helped me learn the alphabet, how to count and what a llama was, and it does the same for my own children. My kids don’t really watch it that often though. We are more likely to be watching Finding Nemo, Wreck it Ralph or Up at our house.

But this morning I turned it on for the little ones while they ate their pancakes and was once again shocked at a show that the writing team chose to mimic. This isn’t my first time being blown away by one of their episodes. For my previous rants on Sesame Street’s choices please see Debbie Does Disney and Sesame Street Strikes Again.

Today’s episode was “Birdwalk Empire” based on the uber-violent HBO gangster show “Boardwalk Empire”. Really? My husband and I watch this show and by my count 247 people were violently murdered this season alone (I’m making that up but it’s probably pretty close).

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The puppet version of the show featured Nucky Ducky & Mallard Capone going head-to-head at the boardwalk with Clucky Luciano and his gang to figure out who has the best bird walk. They ultimately decided to combine their walks in a compromise of song and dance. How beautiful.

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Well produced? Yes. Clever? Yes. I know Sesame Street has always used pop culture to keep lessons relevant. But I still feel slightly uncomfortable with such an innocent program choosing to commemorate the shows on TV that are based on murder, guns, sex and drugs. Seems a little dirty to me. Is it just me?

Watch Birdwalk Empire

MOMMY MISHAP ALERT! I blasted a picture of my kid on social media with an inappropriate word on it

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Usually my daily mishaps are fairly harmless. Like finding my toddler eating chocolate cake off of the kitchen floor and deciding to just let her go for it. Or spending hours running errands and then getting home and realizing I have a big blob of white puke on my shoulder. You know, those kind of things.

Every once in a while though I do a doozy of a mishap and this week was one of those times. As a stay-at-home mom and a self-professed iPhone addict there is not a moment that I don’t document through pictures and videos. So much so that my memory is full on my phone and my older kids actually demand a picture when doing something awesome.

This happened last week when my 3-year-old put on some orange hipster glasses and was posing on our deck while I snapped away. There were so many good shots that I did a cute pic collage and like every other annoying mother out there I blasted it everywhere: Facebook, Instagram, even an email to my grandmother.

Then a while later I got this text from an eagle eye friend of mine:

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When I read this I made a sound that I’ve never made before. It was kind of a combination of hysterical laughter and a gasp of horror. Can you imagine that sound?

And here is the guilty pic collage

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The word SEX is right above my sweet baby’s head! Nice work, mom. Of course I immediately thought how dare that app make such an adorable border and expect me to only use it for pic collages of people I want to, well…you know. And it’s so hidden! Or, am I blind to the word? All I saw was love, kiss, flowers & hearts.

Well, as with all aspects of parenthood I consider this a lesson learned. I need to be more careful when I post stuff about my kids. And by making this public I hope that you will do the same.

Assigning dollar values to my emotional wealth

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For many, many years I was blessed to have a position in the professional world that provided me with many rich experiences. I enjoyed first class flights, sitting in VIP tents at golf tournaments and private suites at sporting events, exploring cities I hadn’t yet been to, eating at fantastic restaurants, and pulling all nighters preparing for new business pitches. I’m not going to lie, it was really fun.

But here I sit…14 months into being a stay-at-home mom. Boy, my world has changed. I’ve traded tailored slacks for my husband’s pajama pants and don’t have a single regret.

I hear a lot of moms say “You just can’t put a price on the joys of motherhood” to which I say “Ummmm. Sure I can!” I used to somewhat frivolously spend money on lattes, pedis, clothes & yummy team lunches. And it’s funny how those things have been replaced by things far more valuable than I ever imagined.

I know someday I will have to go back to work again (Uggggggh!). For now though it is obvious to me after adding this all up that I am an emotional MILLIONAIRE!

Then: Starbucks morning lattes and scones
Now: Snuggling in bed every morning with my baby while she has her morning bottle – $275,320

Then: Lunches with co-workers
Now: Cutting sandwiches into tiny circles, squares and triangles and arranging tater tots into the letter “R” – $14,205

Then: Night out at happy hour with the girls
Now: Dancing around the living room with a toddler to “I’ve Got a Dream” from the movie Tangled – $52,975

Then: Mani/Pedis whenever the heck I felt like it, usually every other weekend
Now: Being the first one to hug my husband every night when he walks through the door – $97,200

Then: Dropping my sick child off at daycare when she is technically better but still not feeling 100%
Now: Resting, snuggling, watching movies, taking warm baths, eating good food and taking time to get better while being comforted by mommy and daddy every moment she is feeling yucky – $430,268

Then: Dry Cleaning everything I was too lazy to wash
Now: Wearing a daily uniform of pajama pants and t-shirts so I can use them to wipe something disgusting off my children if I need to and I’m comfortable enough to get on the floor and play airplane – $17,250

Then: Benihana once a week
Now: The joy I feel when I make a meal from scratch and my husband likes it so much he goes back for seconds – $15,590

Then: Drinking a glass of wine and watching the sunset with colleagues at the AT&T at Pebble Beach
Now: Not missing my daughter’s school music performance this year – $125,400

Then: New Years Eve on a rooftop in Vegas
Now: Counting down with my family and kissing my husband and kids at midnight under blazing fireworks in our suburban neighborhood – $25,678

So, what have YOU changed in your life and how is it contributing to YOUR emotional wealth?

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Please read my latest “Mommy Knows Best” article in Healthstyle Magazine

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My friends at Healthstyle Magazine have done it yet again. The just released Winter issue is packed full of wonderful health hints, lifestyle tips, recipes and more!

This time the article I contributed (which begins on Page 26 – click to read here) is about how participating in fun outdoor activities with your children can help both you and your kiddos burn calories while having fun and bonding at the same time. My beautiful stepdaughter Maura assisted me by modeling and participating in the activities with me. It turned out super cute.

Some of the other interesting articles in this issue:

– How to beat arthritis for good
– Delicious and healthy breakfast recipes
– 6 surprising energy boosters
– How a former Arizona mayor is helping change the healthcare industry

Thanks again for reading!!!!!

My Anti-Bucket List (12 things I DON’T want to do before I die)

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We’ve all heard of the bucket list. I have a dear friend from childhood that checked one off of her list this weekend by running her first half marathon. I was really proud of her and after I got over my initial jealousy I realized that much like resolutions bucket list items require action, discipline and follow through. Those 3 things suck for me.

So instead I made my Anti-Bucket List. This list is comprised of things which require no action at all. Only a dedication to spending my entire life making sure they absolutely never, ever, ever happen. I am committed to this list whole heartedly.

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My Anti-Bucket List

1. Do Sizzurp with Justin Bieber and his posse
Since I’m not 100% sure I even understand what Sizzurp is I think I should probably just steer clear of it. So I’m sorry JB, if I happen to run into you at one of the 3 places I go and you and Lil Twist are looking to party lean-style with a 40-year-old housewife you are out of luck buddy. Can’t do it.

2. Get a tattoo
I actually love tattoos. I think they are a beautiful, expressive art. But somehow I think a tattoo would look wildly ridiculous on me. Like that time in 8th grade I dyed my hair jet black for Halloween and it stayed that way for over a month. It just doesn’t work. Plus, I’m sure I would end up getting something silly like “I heart my Roomba” and regret it forever.

3. Break one of my children’s hearts
I know it is inevitable that my kids will have their hearts broken at least once in their lifetime. I just will make for damn sure it isn’t because of me. I’ve had my heart broken by a parent and I will not repeat the cycle. Period.

4. Be broke
Let’s face it, having money is awesome. I remember being young and struggling to pay my bills. It sucked pretty bad. So while I don’t want to put too much importance on having a lot of money, I know myself well enough to know I want to have lots and lots of it.

5. Have a saggy neck
This is a new obsession for me. It must be because I turned 40 but the other day I found myself googling “home remedies to avoid saggy neck”. No joke. And then I browsed the image library of saggy neck pictures. This one obviously requires a tiny bit of action except I’m trying to make it as easy as possible and find something in my pantry I can just rub on it so there is little commitment.

6. Get a shark bite
This just seems like an incredibly painful thing to have happen and I’ve been through childbirth 3 times! I think I’d rather just avoid open water as much as possible and let the sharks enjoy their home turf in peace.

7. Pee my pants
I’ve done this twice. 4th grade at my front door as I ran home from the bus stop (I almost made it) and 6 months pregnant when I sneezed standing alone in a shopping mall. Two times is enough for me. My accidental peeing days are over until I have an adult diaper on and can just go on about my day.

8. Have a wicked hangover
Hangovers are for the young. When I was 20 I could get up the next day and rally as long as I had a breakfast burrito. When I was 30 I could get up and rally the next evening as long as I had a breakfast burrito and a Bloody Mary. As 40 drew near though I realized that hangovers last days and I have too many children and too many responsibilities to dedicate that much time to being ill. I finally know my limits. And by limits I mean I drink a limited amount of booze all of the time.

9. Go to a Nascar race
I just don’t want to.

10. Break a bone or get a cavity
I have never done either of these and I want to keep this streak going forever. I am extremely accident prone so this one is a bit hairy to add to my list but I think I can do it.

11. Get stuck in a shirt in a dressing room
If this has ever happened to you then you know how terrifying it is. If you haven’t, well it’s freaking terrifying. There have been a couple of times where I literally felt like Houdini attempting to break out of a straight jacket. It’s awful and will never happen again.

12. Fall in love again
I am one of the lucky ones who has been blessed to find the love of my life and my soulmate. And as far as I’m concerned we will die very old in bed together holding hands like Noah and Allie did in The Notebook. Since it’s on my anti-bucket list and this is public, I expect that to be a confirmation that it will happen exactly as I wish.

So…..what is on your Anti-Bucket list? Please share in the comments.

QUIZ: How lazy of a mother are you?

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One of the most common comments I get on my blog and Facebook posts is that I say things about motherhood that other moms are thinking. I like that. A lot. I have no problem talking openly about where I excel at motherhood and where I gloriously and epically fail at it. With that said, I have developed this super-scientific 8 question quiz to help you determine “how lazy of a mom you are”. Keep track of your answers and I will give you a completely unqualified analysis at the end. Enjoy!

1. Someone is just about to come over to your house and at the last minute you walk by the couch, look down and notice 4 Cheerios that have been stepped on and crushed on the floor. You:

A. Grab a broom & dustpan and quickly sweep up the mess.
B. Point it out to the dog and let him lick it up.
C. Quickly kick the debris under the couch and tell yourself you will go back and sweep it up later.

2. How often do you shave your legs?

A. Every day. If there is a chance your partner might touch them you always want your legs to be ready.
B. 2-3 times per week. It doesn’t grow that much in a couple of days anyway.
C. Your razor misses you. It’s winter for god’s sake and you wear pants everyday anyway so who really cares.

3. There is a strange white goo on your baby’s cheek. You:

A. Go grab a baby wipe and gently clean it off.
B. Grab the paper towel that is sitting on the coffee table from last night and wipe it off.
C. Use your hand to wipe it off, smell it and then wipe it on your pants.

4. You are driving to the corner store to pick something up. It’s cold and the kids are bundled up. You do not have to drive on any main roads to reach the store. You:

A. Strap all of the kids into their 5-point harness safety seats even though you practically cut your hands trying to get the buckles done because their clothes are so puffy.
B. Put all of the kids in their seats but only strap the shoulder straps. You’re only going about 500 yards so that is plenty of protection.
C. You make sure the baby is properly restrained but the other kids get to sit wherever they want. You’ll probably be going a max of 15 mph and they are big enough to survive any catastrophes that might happen at that speed.

5. You are completely exhausted because you only got a few hours of sleep the night before. Your toddler wants you to read him a bedtime story and picks a book that is very long. You:

A. Read him the entire book. This is precious time with your little one and you can always sleep some other time.
B. Spend 5 minutes talking him into a board book with big pictures and little to no words because it is a “much better story”.
C. Read the book that he chose but completely make up pretend transitions so you are essentially skipping every other page. He can’t read so as long as what you say matches the pictures, this plan gets you to bed in less than 5 minutes.

6. Which chicken dinner would your family most likely eat tonight?

A. Roasted Asparagus and Swiss stuffed Chicken Breast seasoned with fresh herbs picked from your garden and rice pilaf.
B. Shredded southwestern salsa chicken that you tossed in the crockpot this morning served in flour tortillas.
C. Microwaved chicken nuggets with a piece of fruit and a yogurt.

7. Your ideal vacation is:

A. A four day all-inclusive trip to Disneyland with the kiddos complete with breakfasts with Mickey and princess makeovers.
B. A four day camping trip in the Pines where you sing songs and have s’mores by the campfire and teach the kids how to fish by the lake.
C. A four day tropical vacation to Hawaii alone with your spouse while the kids stay at home with your in-laws.

8. The contents of your car are most closely represented by which list below:

A. Phone charger, a few loose coins, Kleenex.
B. Phone charger, a few loose coins, Kleenex, a child’s jacket, a stroller, an empty bag from taking in your dry cleaning and 2 toys.
C. Phone charger, a few loose coins, Kleenex, a child’s jacket, a stroller, an empty bag from taking in your dry cleaning, 6 toys, 3 candy wrappers, an empty starbucks cup, 2 empty water bottles, an umbrella, a pacifier, a hat and something brown and sticky on the floor that you think was once a french fry.

NOW……Simply count up the total of A’s you answered, then B’s, then C’s. Which did you answer to most of the questions? Then read the results below to find out more about “how lazy of a mother you are”.

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If you answered mostly A: You are a supermom and are so rare that you rank up up there with unicorns and the Yetti. It is true that you and your entire family look gorgeous every time you step out in public but be cautious of how much the unneeded pressure to be perfect is putting on everyone including yourself. Give yourself a break. Lighten up. Don’t shower all day for just one day and stay in your pjs. It will not harm you, I promise. As much as our kids crave structure they also need to grow up knowing how to relax. So tomorrow morning pop some ego mini pancakes into the microwave instead of making homemade blueberry pancakes shaped like hearts for your kiddos. You can use the “saved” 1/2 hour later to take a bubble bath, read a chapter of a book or paint your toenails. You deserve it Momma! You know you do.

If you answered mostly B: Congratulations! You are completely vanilla. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with vanilla though. Vanilla is delicious. The best part of being vanilla is that you are level-headed enough to be excellent at picking your battles. You step up when you need to and are incredibly reliable. Everyone loves you. Just be careful to not get stuck in a rut by daring yourself to step outside of your comfort zone from time to time and either bake an apple pie from scratch or have a water balloon fight with the neighborhood kids.

If you answered mostly C: Wowza! You are a hot mess. And while I don’t have any data to support this I would bet money that a good 85% of us moms fall in this category at least 85% of the time. The good news is that the kids probably don’t even notice you are so frazzled because despite the hidden Cheerios and hairy legs they only see you as a great and loving mom. So it’s ok to feel good about what you are doing. And definitely don’t stress about not being supermom because instead you are a SUPER mom!

SOOOOOOO, which one are you? Please let me know in the comments section.

Photo credits: dreamstime.com, blogs.imediaconnection.com, littlewritermomma.com

Kimye’s Instagram Photos Recreated by a Suburban Housewife

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In order to create this post I first have to do the obvious and admit I follow the Kardashians on Instagram. Well, I do. So let’s all just collectively get over it.

I have no idea what it must be like to be Kim Kardashian. The angel in me hopes that she is really happy and fulfilled and is enjoying both marriage and motherhood to the fullest. The devil in me loves how out of touch she seems to be with the real world and I take pure joy in seeing the ludicrous things she posts on social media. I love it. I mean, I really love it. It is high comedy.

So, because I obviously have too much time on my hands I have lately taken to recreating some of Kim’s Instagram gems as reinterpreted by me, a suburban housewife.

Please enjoy the side-by-side comparisons below. And Dear Lord I sure hope you can tell which ones are hers and which ones are mine.

KimKardashian: #HandPaintedGeorgeCondo #HermesBirkin #OneofOne #ChristmasPresentFromYeezy

MyMommyMishaps: #BabySac #DiapersWipesGoldfish #OneofThousands #JustBecauseGiftFromMoInLaw

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KimKardashian: Like father like daughter

MyMommyMishaps: Like mother like daughter

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KimKardashian: It was an amazing year!!!

MyMommyMishaps: I guess my year was 1/15 as good as it could have been!!!

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KimKardashian: I have the best brother in the world! #BirthdayFlowers

MyMommyMishaps: Albertsons has the best produce section!
#WeGonnaEatThat

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KimKardashian: My new pet panther! #Cartier #TheDonStrikesAgain

MyMommyMishaps: My new rainbow loom bracelet from our 10-year-old and a yucky Hair Tie! #Homemade #HousewifeCouture

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KimKardashian: “I get em custom…you a customer”

MyMommyMishaps: “Am I a customer of Louboutin Paris? Um….no. But I got me some Nike flip flops and a pair of my hubby’s decade old fuzzy slippers.”

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KimKardashian: Truuuuuuuue

MyMommyMishaps: Truuuuuuuue

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KimKardashian: Gingerbread House!!!

MyMommyMishaps: Gingerbread Train!!!

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KimKardashian: Gold Rush

MyMommyMishaps: 4s/Leapfrog Rush

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KimKardashian: Just got all of our Khroma Beauty products!! Glam time!

MyMommyMishaps: This is literally all I own!! Cover the dark circles under my eyes time!

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KimKardashian: #NoFilter

MyMommyMishaps: #ALittleBitOFilter

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You didn’t think I’d take a photo of myself for that one did ya’?

*Thank you’s: I had to borrow a few things to make this post possible. First, thank you to @kimkardashian. I know about 30 people total so I doubt it would be worth her time to care that I used her photos in my silly little blog. But nonetheless, they are public so I thank you. I found that awesome kitchen cleaning quote at funny-pictures.feedio.net. Sooooo funny! And finally I would like to thank favoritefamilyfoods.wordpress.com for the gingerbread train photo. Since neither me, my mom, nor my sister thought the train we made this Christmas was picture-worthy and my 3-year-old started eating it before it was totally done, I had to search for a picture that was similar to what ours looked like.

**No barbies were harmed in the making of this blog. Well, not physically at least.

Friends don’t let their friends take selfies after 40 (a HOW TO guide for us slightly older people)

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According to USA today, Oxford has named “selfie” as the 2013 word of the year. If you are a participant on any type of social media be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can not avoid the selfie. But not all people should take these conveniently posed, over-filtered, fish-lipped photos.

I mean let’s face it, these pics aren’t usually a true representation of how we look yet I can tolerate that from a young 20-something because they are still hot. Where I feel a bit more uncomfortable is seeing Geraldo Rivera or the Pope taking selfies (they both do by the way). There needs to be a selfie age limit set and enforced by congress. But since that is not likely to happen, I am providing a step-by-step guide on how to take the perfect over-40 selfie so as not to embarrass yourself in front of your peers or for gods sake your children.

Step 1: Don’t get ready, you don’t have to. You will filter the crap out of your photo later so no prep is involved.

Step 2: Lay down onto your pillow on the right side of your face. No need to move any of the laundry piles or leftover holiday gift wrap on the other side of the bed. It’ll be blurred to oblivion shortly.

Step 3: Tuck your double chin under the right side of your face or into the neck of your shirt, whichever is more convenient and the least painful.

Step 4: Arrange your hair to frame your face. It is ok if your hair is dirty. In fact it’s ok if one of your children touched it with grape jelly hands 30 minutes earlier. It will not show once we are done.

Step 5: Grab your phone, stretch your arm up and to the left until you pull a muscle in your neck and snap a picture.

Steps 6 – 17: Continuously look at and reshoot the picture 12 times until you don’t look completely like death and you are happy with the Step 3 chin-tucking.

Step 18: Delete all of the pictures except your favorite one while pausing on each one first and wondering where your youth went, when you got crows feet and why you still get zits.

Step 19: Crop your picture so that your head is slightly off-screen.

Step 20: Convert your picture to black & white. Older people look better without color, don’t fight it…it’s science.

Step 21: Use a filtering tool phone app like Photoshop Express to filter the living hell out of the photo. Red nose from sinus infection? No problem, just overexpose the sucker and put such a massive glow on it so that your nose completely disappears. Who needs a nose anyway really?

Step 22: Sit back and enjoy your ghostly handy work. Make a cocktail. Drink it while you look at how youthful this picture makes you appear.

Step 23: Have your masterpiece blasted through social media and make it your profile picture so anyone searching you isn’t quite sure if it is you or not because they seem to remember you having a nose.

And here is a sample of this magnificent process:

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I hope that my fellow 40+ers have found this guide helpful and will keep it in mind next time you think it is ok to take a picture of your reflection looking back at you in your bathroom mirror making duck lips with a low cut shirt on.
Thank you.