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Entries in She'sWrite (41)


She'sWrite: Being Brown in the Suburbs

I should have known by the look in his eyes. The middle-aged white man looked at my chocolate self, then to my light-skinned baby and back to me. “Excuse me,” he said walking closer. “But is his father white or Asian?”

Photo by Erica Lynn Hang.I paused. Did he just ask me that? Here? In the frozen-food section of the grocery store?

Inhale. Exhale. “He’s white,” I said, feeling my blood rise. Gathering courage to stand my ground for whatever racial onslaught was to come, I said louder, bolder: “He’s Norwegian.”

“Oh.” He responded and walked toward me, fumbling to pull something out of his pocket. Egad, what is he going to do? You know folks are crazy.

“The reason I’m asking is because this is my family.” He pulls out a picture of himself, a round black woman and two very tall biracial boys all smiling in their Sunday best. “The oldest is in college and this one’s in middle school.”

I melt.

“Let me show you my other son.” I whip out my phone and pull up a picture of Logan with his wildly curly hair and caramel skin.

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She'sWrite: My 30 Days With Jillian Michaels

Today our regular guest columnist She'sWrite updates us on what she's calling her "Blubber Battle."

Not too long ago, Jillian Michaels asked me to hang out with her. She said if I gave her quality time for a month, she’d make a difference. Well, maybe it wasn't like that really, but I did spend about 25 minutes with her each day for 30 days straight and she was right, I noticed a difference.

I just completed Jillian’s 30 Day Shred. It’s an exercise DVD that I’d do every day and it’s the same work out for ten days, and then you move up a level. Though I’m not “shredded,” I’m better than I was before. I lost about 5 pounds and 4 inches.

Unfortunately those aren’t “Biggest Loser” type numbers, but I’m telling myself: slow and steady wins the race. I’m breastfeeding and watching that my calories don’t dip too low so Ethan can still have enough to eat. For some nursing women it seems the pounds simply melt away at lightening speed, while for others of us, not so much, at least not without affecting our supply.

The big thing I gained from the workout was confidence from my commitment to not miss a single day for 30 days, regardless of my kids’ or my hubby’s needs. I prioritized Me. There were some workouts that took place right before bed, others I had to hit pause while I got Ethan back to sleep. And his big brother, Logan, even joined me in a handful of workouts.

There also were days where my whine gave my 3-year-old a good run for his money: “I don’t wanna wooooorrrrkkkk ouuuutttt. I’m tttiiiirrreeeedd.”  But then I’d do it. Very grudgingly.

The main thing is I finished it and I’m much stronger. I can see whispers of my pre-baby belly. I love that I can easily do 15 “man” push-ups now and impressive moves while holding a plank pose.

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She'sWrite Side Dish: Oven-Roasted Veggies

This week, in place of a “Weeknight Dinner,” we have a recipe for a side dish from our regular guest contributor She’sWrite. This one does require some prep and an hour in the oven, but it sounds delicious. Note that our columnist is fighting what she’s calling “The Blubber Battle.” You can read more about that here.

This is sooooo good and easy. I’m a closet finicky eater so I like that I can alter this Tosca Reno recipe by taking out some of the veggies that I don’t like. (i.e. beets) You of course could add more vegetables to this dish.

“Oven roasting brings out the flavor of vegetables like no other cooking method. The best part of oven roasting is its ease. ” - Tosca Reno


2 large spanish onions or sweet onions cut into chunks

4 large sweet carrots cut into chunks

2 peeled turnips cut into chunks

½ pound of brussell sprouts

6 small beets peeled

8-10 small potatoes (not idaho or russet bakers)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

4 minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon fresh marjoram

salt and pepper to taste

cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375. Peel all vegetables. Quarter potatoes. Toss all vegetables in oil, rosemary, minced garlic and marjoram. Arrange vegetables in a large roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Uncover and turn the vegetables with a large spoon. Add salt and pepper and roast at 425 for another 20 - 30 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are thoroughly cooked but the edges are not burned.


She'sWrite: Trying to Push My Kid Without Being a (Too) Pushy Parent

How do you know the difference between giving your kids a healthy push to get over their fears or whether you’re pushing them over the edge and into Paranoiatown? My hubby and I found that line can be fine when we had a recent hiccup at swimming lessons.

Logan at 10 months. He's always loved swimming.My 3-year-old Logan has been in swimming lessons at the park district on and off since he was six months. They are so much fun, you get in the water with your babe where through games they learn how to kick, stroke and use flotation devices.

Hubby recently enrolled him in swim classes at our gym, it was closer and cheaper, plus the class sizes were smaller. Sounds like a win, win, win, right? Well it wasn’t.

Hubby got in the water around 10 a.m. with Logan and our gym’s pool is apparently freezing, but the boys splashed on. After about 15 minutes no one else was there and Hubby began to suspect something was off. Just before 10:30 a.m. little tykes in swim gear started to show up with their parents, but these parents were fully clothed.

Turns out these kids were pros. They didn’t get in the water with mom or dad because they were miniature Michael Phelps. Poor Hubby, as he stood there all pasty and wet, the parents looked at him like who’s this half-naked fool?

The kids were given towers to stand on since the pool is so deep, but Logan refused to be in the water without his dad. Hubby just stood near Logan while the instructor worked with him on different techniques.

After the class they came home and though Logan said he had fun, he didn’t want to go back into the water by himself the following Saturday. Hubby and I began to wonder, how hard do we push him to do this? We both liked the idea of getting him out of his comfort zone to stretch as a person, but as the days went on, Logan turned more and more against swimming alone.

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She'sWrite: My First Missive Against the Bulge

Oh how I’ve dreaded writing this post. But I know I need to because it’ll help me accomplish my goal since talking about it will make me accountable. After all, my word is my bond.

Photo by iStockphoto.It’s time I talk about my post-baby weight. Ethan was born two months ago, and while I’ve got no Hollywoodish illusions that my body will make a Heidi Klum-like comeback (hell, I didn’t even look as good as her pre-baby!) I must drop the weight much faster this time than I did with my first kid.

After my first, it was bad in that I was still calling my jelly rolls “baby weight” when my “baby” was 2 years old. This time, things will be different.

With my first pregnancy, I gained about 30 pounds. With my second, I out-did myself. I thought it was a total 40-pound weight gain, but when I actually did the math, I discovered me and Kate Hudson had something in common for once. We both gained 60 pounds in our pregnancy. Wowzers.

In the month after Ethan was born, I dropped 30 pounds, but I’ve got 30 more to go. My plan? I want to do it the old fashioned way. Eating right and exercise. If I burnout on that, I’ll switchover to something like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, but I’m really inspired to do it “on my own.”

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