Momaical is a humorous look at trying not to raise a flock of assholes. Cursing & copious coffee involved.

Momaical: [mom-mahy-uh-kuhl] = (Hybrid of Mom and Maniacal.)


My Hot New Addiction

"You look FABULOUS! There's something different about you....What's going on?"

I smile and wink. And keep doing it. I'm hooked. Before long, I'm doing it in public. At the pool. Grocery shopping. Can people tell? Do they know? What would they say? Will they judge? In fact - I'm doing it RIGHT NOW.....

Clearly I'm talking about teeth whitening.

A few months ago I received an email asking me to try out Smile Brilliant teeth whitener. And, because I am the lamest blogger in the history of time, I ignored it. Despite the fact that I'm addicted to coffee and really need to brighten up these chompers and had discussed a $1,000 tooth whitening procedure with my dentist.

Bryan from Smile Brilliant reached out to me a second time. And yet again, like a complete jackass, I ignored it. Because I'm in way over my head in my life right now which is why one of my favorite things to do (blogging, duh) has taken a complete back burner in my life.

Then, ever so persistent, Bryan emailed again and made me laugh. Somehow, I always cave to people that make me laugh. And, here I am. With whiter teeth. (and blogging about 3 months later than I had promised...).

I received a big package in the mail with all the fixin's for this process. It's no joke. At first I thought I'd be getting a mouthpiece like I was getting ready to get my ass kicked in rugby. But you actually get the materials to get custom fitted trays for the desensitizing and whitening gels like you'd get at the dentist office. You mush it all together and make play-doh to squish over your teeth. Then you send it off to Smile Brilliant and a few days later you get your very own retainer style package with the trays.

As someone who has a very difficult time with getting x-rays at the dentist, I was a little worried about having these trays in my mouth. But, they send you desensitizing gel that makes it completely easy. You just put the desensitizing gel in, chill for an hour or so (ok, I'm impatient so I kept these in for 20 minutes) then put the whitening gel into the trays and go about your business.

I noticed a difference in ONE session. Now, that's the kind of time I can commit to. Over the next few weeks I used the trays once a week. It was easiest to do when I had to be at swim practice for an hour and a half with the girls. My speech was slightly slurred - but otherwise no one could tell!

Before (random picture)

After one session
After a few sessions - WITH THE TRAYS ON! See how clear they are and how white my teeth are!
(And no foundation on. Eesh. The things we do for blogging) And I need to wear lipstick. 
Anyway - I've whitened about 7 times over the past few months. You can whiten more frequently, but like I said, I have commitment issues. In just a few sessions I can honestly see a difference. And, the desensitizing gel is great for those of you with sensitive teeth.

Here's the actual ad for real information. 

And this is their site. If you want whiter teeth, that you can fit into your busy life - here's a great (and very affordable) option for you. This is entirely my opinion. I was not compensated for the post - just given the trays and the gels.

You don't have to give up your love affair with coffee - but you'll look like you did!


Advice on How to Save on Your Heating Bills

Winter coming around can be a frightening prospect for some people - it's going to get cold, and to top it all off, you have to spend more to stay warm. Maybe you'll get lucky and it will end up to be a winter that's not so cold. Maybe you'll save just a little bit from having to keep your heaters and thermostats on for most of the day/night in order to stay warm, but there has to be a more reliable way. So what is it?

Let's Go Over a Few Tips

Sure enough, there are quite a few more ways of saving on your heating bills than hoping it isn't going to be a cold winter - a little prudence, moderation and a bit of a routine can keep your bills a little bit lower.

·         Lower Your Thermostat: Think about bringing your thermostat a few degrees lower than you think it has to be. Chances are you're setting it a little higher than it has to be, so dialing back just a tiny bit can help you save a bit of money. Also consider dropping it even further when no one's at home - if you're at work or out of the house and the kids are at school you don't need it as high to keep the house heated.

·         Bring Your Fans Out: Most people when they think of fans - they think of staying cool. However, if you use them wisely you might be able to get a different kind of effect. A fan that’s turned on can produce some warmer air into circulation.

·         Use Your Curtains: Leaving your curtains open during the day can cause the house to become naturally a little bit warmer than it might be without them. Closing your curtains at night can trap the warmer air inside of your home and thus further reduce your heating bill. This might be common sense, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people that don’t do this simple step.

·         Consider Insulation: A well-insulated home will prevent the air already in circulation from escaping. It's a bit more of an investment on your part - chances are you already have curtains and fans - but using the tips above combined with insulation supplied by a certified insulation agency like YBS Insulation, providers of insulation products can trap more warm air inside of your home; and more importantly, it can keep the cold air out. View this as blocking up the leaks caused by tiny gaps around the windows and doors in your home. It may not seem like much, but it amounts over time.

Full-time Mum around the house

For those of you who are full-time parents and spend a huge portion of your day in and around the house, cutting your heating bill will be even more prevalent. You certainly don’t want to be cold during the day, but you also don’t want to continuously over-spend when it comes to the heating. By following the above tips, you should definitely save money. 

Stay Warm without Spending a Fortune

There's a few other smart methods to saving on your heating bills - consider getting your windows winterized (a thin plastic film will do) to keep some more of the cold air out, or get a shower head that propels less water and flow (to save on your general water heating) can make sure you stay warm this winter without a huge hike in your heating bill. Don't work hard and make yourself miserable to save money this winter - work smart and remain comfortable in the warmth of your own home.


Fun Ways to Decorate a Kid's Room

When it comes to interior decorating, few places offer the opportunity for fun and whimsy that a child's bedroom does. No colour, no theme, almost nothing is too strange if it creates a comfortable space where kids can play and express their creativity.

A child's bedroom is so much more than just a place to sleep. It's a place to colour and imagine, to hide from siblings and to play with friends. With that in mind, there are many fun ways to create a child-friendly space with room to learn and grow. Instead of a bed, why not build a loft to put the mattress on, creating a play area underneath? The space that results is perfect for building blanket forts. Plenty of shelves or netting on the walls create a storage space for books and toys, and child-sized chairs or beanbag cushions make a comfortable place to sit down.

When it comes to painting, the options range from classic neutrals to fun brights - why not let the kids decide the colour for the walls? Older children can even help paint. Having a single accent wall that can be painted without moving everything around allows frequent colour changes as kids’ interests shift. Special effect paints such as chalkboard paint can really shine in a child's bedroom, creating a space where drawing on the walls is not only okay, it's actually encouraged. And speaking of drawing, why not hang some of the child's artwork in a fun frame on the wall?

Keeping a child's room clean can be a challenge, so make sure to find fun ways to design easy storage options that even small children can use. A simple duvet on the mattress makes it easier for kids to make their own beds, while kid-friendly hooks make it easy for them to hang up their own clothes. The laundry bin could become an animal that needs to be fed dirty laundry every evening, while under the bed storage could double as protection from the scary monsters that otherwise lurk there. Removable mattress covers and easy-care fabrics make clean up of spills and accidents much easier, and are available in a wide array of fun colours and patterns.

Whether following a theme or just keeping it fun and letting children pick everything out, decorating a kids room is an opportunity for fun and creative expression.


Holy Cow. I've Written Something.

It takes someone special to pull me from my writing hiatus. I never meant to actually stop writing - it just kind of happened. Life got in the way. Not an excuse, more like an explanation. Anyway one of my special friends with whom I had the pleasure to perform in the Listen to your Mother San Francisco show asked me to join her blog hop.  So, here I am.

I have been instructed to answer several questions about my writing (which hasn't happened of late). So, I am answering the questions that Francie asked on her blog Shoezle.

Here I am with Gina (center) and Francie (right)
 moments before we become super famous divas
on the Listen to your Mother tour stop in San Francisco.
Ok, not really "famous". But it's my story to embellish. 

My writing is EXTREMELY rusty but a promise is a promise...

Why do you write like you do?
Smart asses need a place to spew the comments that bounce around the cerebellum in a manner that won't lead them to jail or a slab at the morgue. I began writing because people kept telling me that they would read what I had to say because they enjoyed my snippets of life with my very active and loquacious children. Then people actually LIKED what I wrote - which was truly shocking to me. The vignettes of my life kept people returning to my blog - which fuels my inner narcissist like pop rocks in an energy drink!

Well then, why the heck have you stopped????
I went back to work in August. Teaching Spanish to 175 teenagers pretty much saps every ounce of my creative juices. That coupled with raising two children and maintaining status quo in life....well....nothing was left to put onto the internets that anyone would actually want to read. Pure drivel would have abounded from this corner of my world.

How does your writing process work?
Things make me laugh. I comment on them. That's pretty much it. There's no magic or mystery to the process.  If you know me, you tell me "Oh my gosh I can totally picture you saying that" because I write almost verbatim as to how I speak. No writing classes have ever been involved. No author groups or critique clubs or anything that would potentially improve my abilities. Just my whacked out brain and a laptop that doesn't really want to function with me these days.

What are you working on?
Honestly, I'm painting the bathrooms. I finally finished the school year and have a to-do list that's bigger than I can run and jump over. So I'm strapping on a pair of DIY shoes (courtesy of Pinterest) and am trying to brighten up my abode. Then I'm going to try to plan a killer year for my high school kids all while having a rockin' summer with my little girlies.

Dumbass, I meant with writing. 
Oh. Duh.  I have a few ideas for books in my gray matter. Other than that it's just lists about lists about what I need and want to accomplish before I go back to school in August.

Ok - enough about me. Here are some kick ass bloggers to get to know (if I was a good listener I would have included a bio for each of them. But that would have required prior planning and...yeah...I suck).

Dani @ Suburbia Interrupted. She's smart, sassy and far braver than I with her content. You will enjoy her stuff. Promise.

Molley @ A Mother Life. She hails from Down Under and lives the NYC lifestyle now. She's hilarious and brazen and I love her to pieces for it.

Gina @ SAHM's The Word She gave birth to the doppelgangers of my children. God help her....

Ok, thanks Francie for pulling me out of my writer's coma.  Hopefully I can get the muse out of her vacation mode and back into the blogging world.


Zelo Brazilian Keratin Smoothing System

My daughter has unbelievably gorgeous hair. She loves it long and wild - wild being the key word. Getting her to brush her hair on a daily basis is an exercise in futility. I'm always looking for some product to make this easier on both of us: leave in conditioner, detangler, small hacksaw and a flame thrower... So when Zelo Brazilian Keratin Smoothing System contacted me to try their product I was like OH YES! Sign me UP!

It was really easy to do! I just washed her hair with the Clarifying Shampoo, sprayed in the Action Keratin, washed her hair again, blow dried it and then set the product with a straightening iron. The hardest part was getting Lena to sit still for the 45 minutes for it to set.

I could tell you how gorgeous Lena's hair was afterwards - but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Right before we started the Keratin Treatment

These are the curls that quickly become dreadlocks.

Here we are. Waiting for the keratin to do it's magic. 
Drying this much hair always takes a LOOOONG time.

Then set the product with a straightening iron.

Gorgeous, right?
Here's Lena's hair a week later. Still beautiful and SO MUCH easier to deal with - for both of us!

I would have never considered a Brazilian keratin treatment at the salon for Lena - at upwards of $250 a pop - it's far to expensive. But this treatment is only $35! It lasts 30 washes. Check it out!
You can also get it at & (online only)

I'm trying it out on myself next - as soon as I find time to shower.....


Listen to Your Mother - San Francisco

Every once in a great while you are part of something spectacular. Something so special that you can't explain it adequately and you can't understand the emotion surrounding it until you're ensconced in it. And when you're in the middle of it - you can't even believe that they chose YOU to be involved. Well people, this is happening to me RIGHT FREAKIN NOW!

Listen to Your Mother performances began as a tribute to mothers around Mother's Day weekend. Over the past 5 years it has been gaining notoriety and adding cities to the roster - with this year total of 34 across the United States. Thousands of writers toss their hat into the ring with the hope that their piece is chosen for them to read. Only a few make it.

The writing world is relatively small and I "know" several women who participated last year. They raved about how empowering and amazing this experience was for them. So, I chose my favorite piece about parenting and was thrilled when asked to audition for a part in the San Francisco show. Over 100 talented writers tried out - 11 of us were asked to perform. I was mentally prepared for rejection; after all who knows what the producers were looking for with the show. But I felt good about my audition and was proud that I could cross this off my proverbial bucket list. A tedious week later I received the notice that I was chosen! (Cue the girlie screaming and jumping around and mentally shopping for just the right shoes for the occasion)

Last weekend we had our first rehearsal. All I can say is WOW. The emotion surging through the room was unbelievable. Lots of laughter, some tears and an abundance of admiration for my fellow cast members. They all have written powerful pieces that make you feel. We even have one brave Y chromosome among the rest of us ladies. 

Here I am, reading my smart ass piece. Shocker, I know. 
If you have an opportunity to attend one of these shows - do. For the record, it's not a tribute to vaginas everywhere. In fact, to my recollection the word "vagina" is not used once. Perhaps I should add it to my story or get on stage and yell VAGINA just to prove my husband right.

Or not.

Anyway - go. Be a part of something amazing. 

Here's the information for the San Francisco show I will be a part of on May 3rd at the Brava Theatre Center in SF's Mission District. It's at 7pm, tickets are $20 and part of the proceeds benefit Chicks in Crisis - a charity to help women in need. I hope to see you there! It truly will be a night to remember. Even if I don't sing Va-va-va-va-va-gina to the tune of La Bamba.... 

2014 San Francisco LTYM Cast Members

All pictures in this post were taken by the talented and gorgeous Kim Thompson Steel - Co-Producer/Director of the LTYM SF show. See more of her fantastic pictures here: 


Tooth Fairy Highway Robbery

Parents, it’s time we get together for a little tête-à-tête. So often people come together in the world of blogging to offer sage advice, hope, commiseration, and laughter about the foibles of parenting. I think it’s time we all arrive at a consensus on one topic: The Tooth Fairy.

Years ago, your tooth fell out, you slept Princess and the Pea style on it and woke up to a shiny piece of silver under your pillow. Maybe two if your fairy was high falutin’ (or slightly inebriated). You cheered at your good fortune and put the tooth fairy booty in your anorexic piggy bank. I even recall a few scheisters trying to fool the fairy with a corn kernel just to increase their scant bank roll.

Lately this bitch has been totally stepping on Santa’s coat tails. Kids are getting upwards of $5 a TOOTH! Not to mention additional items such as letters, pictures, and gifts. Some fairies even puke glitter all over the place when they arrive – like the Tooth Fairy is showing up all hung over after a night of ripping it up with the Fae folk. What the HELL?!? People, children are putting a body part under their pillow in exchange for toys. And we’re not talking an organ you can hock on Craig’s List to pay for said requests. Expensive gifts for dead tiny calcified chompers so useless that your body jettisons 20 of them on its own accord because it knows how totally lame they are.
I am required to not only REMEMBER when the tooth fairy needs to make her grand appearance – which is challenge enough for this brain cell lacking exhausted mother. The bar has been raised so high that mere change will not satisfy the current market price. I have to keep up with the parents whose daughter got a picture, an itsy bitsy handwritten fairy letter, and a TOY holding the cash!  Plus the added expectation for me to spray the herpes of the craft world all over the bedroom so it will look as if I stopped off at the Foxy Lady for legs and eggs en route to work. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

In fact, I kind of feel like that bitch should be bringing ME something. I mean, I’m the one who forced them to brush these stupid ass teeth that just fall out. Talk about a twice daily battle. I dragged them back and forth to the dentist and even paid for a few fillings for teeth for them to just fall out?!? I’m calling bullshit on this whole thing.

However, since it seems like TF isn’t going away any time soon, it’s time to come to an agreement about what the tooth fairy brings. Remember, this is around 20 teeth per child – so let’s not start the negotiation with a Fabergé egg or a trinket from Tiffany. I’m throwing out $5 for the first tooth lost, $1 for every tooth after that. What do you think is a fair price for an incisor?

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