Archive of ‘Life Without A Manual’ category

Kitchen Capers

Something weird happened to me today.

I had some time to kill while waiting for Chloe to finish her spa treatment (a.k.a. grooming). I avoided the bookstore at all costs and decided to walk around a kitchen store instead. I figured I’d be safe here. I’m not a big cook. I am easily intimidated by small appliances I don’t know how to operate. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a grater and a zester. I have no baking skills whatsoever. And yet, I have a fully stocked drawer of measuring spoons and cups, a wide variety of peelers, strainers, and slotted spoons, and a plethora of dishtowels, pot holders, coasters, and trivets.

Basically, I went in to browse with no guilt, no culinary needs, and no clue. So, it surprised me to find so many COOL THINGS  in that store!

OMG! Where do I begin??!! I saw the prettiest multi-taco holders and a Taco Carousel with a matching set of spoons for Taco Tuesdays. Who knew there was a dedicated carousel for tacos? My mind was blown. I was drawn to the mortar and pestle bowls for the next time I make guacamole. Side note: I’ve never made guacamole in my life! But, now I want to so badly.

I found special glasses that promise only “tears of joy” while chopping onions Only $24.95. I passed, but they looked like the real deal.

And who knew there were six different kinds of peppermills?!

I considered buying a delicious whiskey peach marinade, but I decided to stick with my Lawry’s Sesame Ginger sauce instead.

Everything I saw looked so nice, and I wanted to start a registry for myself. Is there such a thing as one for empty nesters? There should be!

I walked over to the cookbook section, and started to recognize those warm feelings I have when I get to the bookstore. That’s when I realized it was time to get the hell out of there.

What sorts of stores do you get those warm feelings? How do you stop yourself from a little retail therapy?  


P.S. Okay, I admit it, I bought a cookbook.  🤦

For My Kids

Dear Jenna,
Thanks for making me a mom. Because of you, I’ve been a dance mom, a room mom, a cookie mom, occasionally an overprotective mom—cue the Jewish mom—and, so you tell me, a cool mom.

Dear Andrew,
Thanks for making me a boy mom. Because of you, I’ve been a scout mom, a swim mom, a water polo mom, a one-time stage mom, a working mom (to pay for all of your activities 😉 ), and, of course, a proud mom.

P.S. Thanks to both of you for giving me the gift of motherhood and endless content for my blog. (#bloggermom) You are the gifts that keep on giving. And you are such good sports! 😀

Dear Chloe,
Thanks for making me a dog mom, something I never thought I would be. Because of you, I’m the dog mom who stands out in the rain and snow waiting as long as it takes for you to pee, who worries about your little cough at night, and who has an “I love poodles” bumper sticker on my car.


Elisa (Mom)

My iPhone addiction

“You are on your phone too much.”

“You aren’t listening. Put your phone away.”

One might think these are the words of a mom fighting an uphill battle with their kids about screen time. But in my case, you would be wrong.

Recently, the tables have turned, and my kids have called me out for being on my iPhone too much. And they aren’t wrong. Even my husband has mentioned my slow response time when he needs me. I don’t have the heart to tell him sometimes that’s due to my selective hearing. 😉

Did you know the psychological term for this is nomophobia. While I’m not disagreeing with this diagnosis, I don’t think I need to seek professional help just yet.

My therapist and family may disagree.

While it is true that I am guilty of watching too many Reels, I also have a hard time unplugging, even for just a few hours. Something always sucks me back in. Let’s face itmy entire life is on the damn thing. There are so many things in life to juggle, and the nice thing about the iPhone is that so much of it can be managed at my fingertips. However, the iPhone tends to be super-glued to my hands, and I can’t shake it off no matter how hard I try.  Just look at some of the things I’m doing on my phone when I’m not watching clips of cute dogs being well….cute.

I start my day playing Wordle and Connections while drinking my coffee, and then I have breakfast.

I log my meals and calculate the Weight Watchers points in the app after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I check the weather before going outside to walk the dog. How cold is it? Does she need her little grey fur coat, or can she go without it?

I take several photos of her wearing her fur coat in the snow and send the best ones in the family group chat.

I answer all the messages that come through.

I read Facebook posts, scroll through Instagram to see what my kids are up to, and check LinkedIn for the latest job postings.

I post and then comment on other people’s posts.

I look to see what time it is even though I have a Fitbit on my wrist. Then, I check the Fitbit app to ensure my steps are synching properly with my device.

I text.

I e-mail.

I Google.

I Venmo.

I make grocery lists.

I track my StitchFix order that was supposed to arrive two days ago.

I read the reminders for doctor’s appointments and then log in to fill out all the forms.

I check my email for the passcode to verify it is really me.

I listen to podcasts.

I look up recipes.

I write notes to myself.

I set alarms so I don’t miss any appointments.

And the list goes on and on.

The point is that I can’t just put it down and walk away. I hate being so reliant on this device. I lost the Notes app this week and nearly had a conniption fit. And then I realized I had no idea what I saved there anyway, so one less thing to check.

On the other hand, I don’t want to miss out on conversations. I want to be present and notice the world around me. Books are waiting for me to read. Carving out time to exercise is essential. My list of 24 things to do in 2024 needs to be tackled.

These are the things I know my iPhone can never deliver.



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