Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don’t) – 12.21.18

Here we are in the final stretch to the holidays, are you ready?  I actually mailed my Christmas cards yesterday, so I’m feeling pretty accomplished.  Still have gift wrapping left to do and a couple of small things.  The big black cloud hanging over my head is that I have to go to the grocery store.  I think I would rather have a root canal than go to the grocery store at this time of year.  Maybe I can get my shopping done online…

Let’s get on with this week’s Friday 5+1!  This post contains some affiliate links.

Quality Doggie Bandanas

Have you seen these dog bandanas where you slide your dog’s collar through it?  So smart and so cute!  Beaus and Bows Boutique has a great variety for you to choose from, and they also offer styles that have a snap closure in the back.

Beaus and Bows Boutique

They also have some adorable dog collars too.

Dog Collar - Buffalo Plaid

Fresh Tortillas

I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock or what, but I recently discovered fresh tortillas (that you can buy at the store) that are so delicious, I can’t imagine having tacos in anything else!  Talk about a game changer.  Just heat them up in a skillet and you’re done!  Perhaps I’m just late to the party on this, but if you haven’t tried them, add them to your online grocery list.

5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don't - Fresh Tortillas

Technology Gloves

Winter brings coats, scarves and gloves, but touch screen gloves allow you to keep your hands warm, while still being able to use your smartphone.  You can keep warm and look stylish all at the same time.

Touch Screen Gloves

Cookie Day

Each year, my girlfriend who is a baking Yoda and I try to get together to decorate Christmas cut out cookies.  We missed it last year, but we were both able to make time to get together and do it this year.  So much fun.  Although you can see from our cookies, who is the expert.  I’ll stick to painting. 😉

Christmas Cookies - Wreaths, Santas and Snowflakes

Ok, these are mine, but we worked on cookies for hours.  Since you kind of get lost in it, the time passes by so quickly, but boy, I was wiped out, and my cookies got progressively more simple as I worked.

Christmas Cookie Day

And then there’s my Pinterest fail…

Inspiration from Sweet June Bakery

Sweet June Wreath

And me…  I did add little red berries to it later, but it still was a major fail.  But I promise you, it tastes better than it looks. 🙂

Pinterest Fail - Wreath Christmas Cookie

Movie Recommendation – The Mule

My husband and I had the chance to go to the movies over the weekend and saw “The Mule”.  It was a good movie, good story, well done.  Amazing that Clint Eastwood produced and directed it, in addition to acting in it.  Worth adding it to your list for the holiday break.

The Mule Movie

My +1 for the week – Mean Girls

My 7th grade daughter has been dealing with some girl drama at school, and it has been breaking my heart.  Girls coordinating ways to exclude her for starters.  The psychological warfare that girls dole out to one another is just sad and hurtful.  Why are girls so mean to one another?  Particularly in the middle school years?  I remember it well, as I think all of us “girls” do.  And yet, it’s almost expected.  A rite of passage.  And it only seems to be getting worse – with plenty of new ways to exclude, gossip and plot against each other.  

Given that I only have one daughter, and she’s my youngest, this is uncharted territory for me.  Any suggestions from you moms who have been there, done that?  I love that boys just get their issues out in the open, deal with them and move on.  I wish girls would take a page out of their book.

Enjoy your weekend friends!



  • Reply
    cassie bustamante
    December 21, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Emmy is in 6th grade and has been dealing with some of the same… her friends who all came to her bday party did a secret santa and excluded her. She wasn’t there when they planned it so the day they were about to draw names she asked if she could join. One friend told her to ask so and so who was in charge and so and so, who has always been a mean girl, said no. (side note that she did not invite so and so to her party). Emmy was really hurt that none of her friends chimed in to say anything… I find that for me what works the best is just to be present, to not offer advice and just be here when she needs to talk and not to ask questions but tell her when you’re ready i am here. and that has worked like a charm. She opens up to me now and we do talk about what’s bugging her, and I just tell her I love her and I am sorry that happened to her. I’ve also said things to her like, well if someone had asked you if they could join, the nice thing would be not to bother to ask who was “in charge” but just say yes and then tell the person in charge, oh we have another girl joining. We’ve talked about how it feels to be excluded and how we never want to make anyone feel that way. It’s been hard for sure, but we’re navigating our way through it together. I’ve also told her about the times girls were mean to me and I think that lets her know I do understand and she can talk to me and I won’t judge her. My mom always tried to give me advice, and still does when I tell her about anything that’s bothering me and I have come to realize I don’t want advice, just an ear. So I try to be an ear to Emmy and only offer advice when she asks for it. Or I might say, “Do you want to know what I would do?” And if she says no, then I don’t tell her… Ok no problem. Wishing you luck as you work through it all- sorry about the long reply! From one mom to another, we’ve got this!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      Exclusion seems to be a common thread among mean girls, doesn’t it? I’m so sad to hear that Emmy is dealing with similar issues (although it seems to be EVERYWHERE). Not that it makes it any easier, or more acceptable for that matter. Kate also had many of these friends at her birthday party, so we’ve had conversations lately about the traits and qualities of a real friend, and those are the kinds of friends that you need to seek out and maintain. She did have one friend who actually defected from the group behavior to sit with Kate at lunch, which really warms my heart. But you’re right, listening is so key to all of this. I know I have to hold back sometimes, when you really just want to go into full Mama Bear mode!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Sadly, it seems to start early with the girls bullying. My daughter’s BFF was bullied in the middle of 4th grade – I can’t go into the details but social workers that were brought in said it was the worst case of bullying they had ever seen. My daughter is now in 5th grade and she knows to be kind to those girls but not to become friends with them. I told her if they can bully your BFF, they will bully you as well. We also do not allow her on social media and she does not have a phone as this seems to be where a lot of the bullying is going on. Our school has also been really good about nipping it in the bud very quickly when things start as a result of what happened earlier in the year. American Girl has a good book about bullying so I had my daughter read that and so far, that seems to have helped. I just make sure to keep the lines of communication open as I know the hard years are upon us.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      While my daughter has a phone, she is not allowed to have social media, so I’m holding off on that as long as possible. Social media seems to be a playground for bullying these days, and makes me even more thankful that we didn’t have phones when we were teens. Thanks so much for sharing. While I hate to hear how prevalent it is, it’s always helpful to hear how others deal with it. With her being my only girl, it’s like I’m learning to parent all over again!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    A must read: Queen Bees Wannabes. By Rosalind Wiseman
    We had a book club at my daughters school. Some of the moms had no idea their daughters were the problem. Great book

    • Reply
      December 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Barbara, you’re the second person to recommend this book to me! I’m going to have to pick it up!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I love your blog and learn so much from you. I am so sorry that your daughter is going through this. Mean girls seem powerful. I am 64 and still remember 7th grade as the most difficult year of my life. As a mother, I still feel upset over the treatment of my only daughter in 5th grade. Having a loving mother’s support makes all the difference in the long run. She is lucky to have you!

    • Reply
      December 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words Karen. I too, remember those years very well! I was the new kid in sixth grade, and it was probably my most AWKWARD year, EVER. When bullies saw me, they probably thought I was for the picking! Terrible. Hindsight, I can see that those bullies had a lot more going on in their home life that probably lead them to act the way that they did, but I certainly couldn’t appreciate it at the time.

  • Reply
    laurie z
    December 22, 2018 at 10:57 am

    I am so sad for Kate. My daughter was bullied by her best friend in the 4th grade. They had been pretty much inseperable from kindergarten on. Their teachers actually called each one by the others name sometime because they were that close. My daughter (sophomore in high school) still does not know what happened. I asked the Mom (who I was friends with) what happened and her daughter never said….just said she didn’t want to talk to my daughter ever again and her Mom was fine with that….at age TEN! The girl then got everyone in their group to pick her “side” and left my daughter in a puddle of tears most days. In fifth and sixth grade it continued and my daughter started to be feel physically ill most days and would beg to stay home. Her hair started to fall out from the stress. To make a long story short, we ended up homeschooling her for 7th and 8th grade. There is a nearby church who has a big homeschooling program for junior and senior high so she took math, science, spanish, and english there. There were about 500 kids so she made some new friends who didn’t know about the drama between her and B. I watched as her stress level was reduced and it seemed her little soul was being repaired before my eyes. As we approached high school she asked to be open enrolled into a neighboring district so that she wouldn’t have to deal with that girl or everyone asking why she left. She wanted to go to football games, prom, etc and didn’t want to miss out on all the high school activities. She is in 10th grade now and absolutely loves going to school. I can tell that the bullying is still in the fringes of her mind which I hope makes her a better friend to others. The remnants of the bullying is almost like PTSD and I hope someday she can put it behind her forever. I have to drive her to and from school everyday now but I love that time in the car with her to process the day. I don’t have any words of wisdom for you other than to be the great Mom you already are to her. Having you be “present” like you are is probably the best gift you could give her. I can’t understand why girls do that to each other but unfortunately it seems like it goes on to some degree into adulthood. When I was in corporate america I couldn’t believe the backstabbing I saw go on between women… really made me sad because I would think we would try and support other women rather than actively plot against them.

    Hang in there. I so appreciate your honesty on your blog. Lots of people can relate to the words you write and your authenticity is so refreshing. Merry Christmas to you!

    • Reply
      December 27, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience Laurie. Girls just make no sense to me, across the board sometimes. Sadly, this is part of growing up, but it just seems like it’s gotten worse rather than better. And I agree with you on the corporate America thing too. Many times I would much rather work with men than women in the corporate world. COMPLETELY agree with you on the backstabbing nonsense that goes on there. Just an adult version of some of the stuff girls deal with in school.

  • Reply
    Lisa Chaney
    December 22, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    I’m the mother of two girls who are now 21 and 23. The middle school years can be miserable for girls. We even watched the mean girl drama continue into high school with one of our daughters. You usually have one Queen Bee that seems to have the power and control because nobody stands up to her. That being said, talk to your daughter, keep communication open and try to help her understand that this will pass (even though she will not be convinced at the time). The upside? It will pass and she will move on and be fine. The downside? She’s learning at a young age just how mean people can be. If she’s in 7th grade, encourage her to get involved with activities that will open her to making other friends. My girls played sports year round (school and club) which gave them great opportunities for making friends outside their typical group. Tell her to hang in there. And just mom to mom, we never had problems terminating our daughters friendships if they were hurtful and unhealthy. They hated us at the time but amazingly have acknowledged that it was the best thing.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    No real life advice, but from I have read, it is important for your daughter to increase her friend group to give her options. Think church, music, or sports groups or wherever she has an interest. School guidance counselors also have experience with this. Good luck.

  • Reply
    December 26, 2018 at 10:00 am

    My daughter Ashley wasn’t bullied but she did have a situation in 7th grade where her best friend started hanging out with another friend of my daughters, excluding my daughter. Some very ugly things were said via text. In 12th grade Ashley’s best school friend became jealous of my daughters friend who moved back from another country. During the fall of her Senior year in high school the friend was nice to her face but essentially excluded her from any get togethers and sleepovers, football games. Cut to today, she is a Sophmore in college and has become friends again with the girl from 7th grade who attends the same university.

    Things I learned from this as a Mom: give your daughter the confidence and support to get through it on her own. My daughter joined a second soccer team and also started working so come up with creative, fun ways to keep her busy and new friends will come along. Try to not bad mouth the other girl and do not come to your daughters rescue. The end result is that my daughter has amazing resilience. Bad things still come her way and she still gets down about it but she picks herself right up and keeps moving on.

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