Thoughts on life, love, food, and living with Lupus

Finding Joy April 4, 2021

Here is the new episode of my Home Ec Express podcast!–Finding-Joy-eu7vmf

I really was pondering what to discuss, as it is Easter weekend. Joy is a theme I have been focusing on personally. My girls and I have had some challenges, not just the last few years, but this was one of those weeks . . . in this week’s podcast I discuss that struggle and the little stuff to build that joy back up!

I hope you enjoy it! Feel free to share in the comments what you are joyful about!


Changes in our bodies March 21, 2021

Who would have thought this would be a topic I would write about. Not me! But it has become so pronounced the last few months due to changes, not only in lifestyle in the last year, but stress, hormonal changes- you know . . . all that fun stuff!

When the lockdown began last year, I never realized how much walking I did in a day. The building I taught in took up a city block, and I spent much of my time there. When all of a sudden you are told you can’t go to work, then we worked virtually, your body starts to talk to you about not getting the same amount of exercise each day. When the lockdown first started, the girls and I were thinking that we would be taking all these great walks and how we would have extra time to do X, Y and Z. Well, I could not have been more wrong, speaking for myself.

As the last year has progressed and I have lost significant income for our budget, I have had to pivot everything I do to make money, and it all involves being sedentary. I have never sat this much in my entire life. I have always been active. Between trying to work and homeschool- the aches and pains of my not-so-young body have made themselves known. As a single mom, throw in all the household everything- cleaning, cooking, and trying to prevent my house from falling apart! I had been trying to maintain my weight- a year ago, I was in a great place . . .

Let’s just talk about the last 3 months- the stress level of being there for a very depressed young lady (she is missing her old life and her outlet), and my other daughter breaking her arm (two surgeries!) , then my younger having a wisdom teeth surgery that ended up sending up back to the surgeon 3 more times, and that not nice girlfriend named Peri-Menopause knocking on my door way more than she is welcome to . . . it has become a bad combination!

I had to go in for a check up a few weeks ago for my annual visit and my doctor, who I have gone to for 23 years and I adore, took one look at me and my weight on the chart and said, “Oh Jaime, stress and cortisol is getting you!” So here I am, dealing with 3 months of weight gain, stress I never imagined and my body screaming at me for the changes of the last year . . . What is a girl to do? I have tried to sneak in hikes/walks when I can, lots of stretching, cutting back on certain foods, all the things I know, but desperately needing to get some kind of structure in my life. Routine. Routine is good. The last year has been about just going moment by moment and dealing with one crisis as it comes and of course putting the needs of my kids first and foremost as they have gone through so,so much in the last few years that no child or young person should.

My hope is that when Spring Break approaches the reset button can get hit and we get a fresh start. That is what Easter is all about, right? Renewal, Refreshing, letting God do His work? I need to refocus and get ready, I have a glimpse of what is coming at me in the next 18 months, and if I cannot get myself on track, the train is at risk of derailing. We can’t have that happen. There is some good out there on the horizon. . . I just want to be able to run into it without huffing and puffing . . . That is not too much to ask, is it?


Podcasting is fun! March 14, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Cooking,Home Ec Express,Life,Podcasts — PamperedJaime @ 7:09 pm

Hey there! I hope that you and your family are doing well on this first day of Daylight Savings Time! Throws you off, I know! We will like the extra light in a few weeks. One thing that is going is my podcast! I did not think I could do it. I love listening to podcasts, and of course, I am a radio show host 3 days a week . . . but this is different, this is my life work that I am chatting about. Little bits of what I do and what I have taught for decades.

It brings me joy to share my knowledge with YOU . . . To teach YOU to be self-sufficient . . . To help you find YOUR confidence to do things yourself . . . YOU can do it!

Here is Episode 3- all about the kitchen tools! Let me know what you think!


Until next time!


Podcast! February 26, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Home Ec Express,Life — PamperedJaime @ 6:19 pm
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I finally did it! I made the trailer to my upcoming podcast for Home Ec Express! Wahoo!

Take a listen to the trailer:

Share your thoughts and topics you would like me to discuss and teach about!

A new podcasts will be out every Sunday!


Starting Sourdough! February 16, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Cooking,Food,Home Ec Express,Videos — PamperedJaime @ 10:42 pm
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As promised, I finished my “How to Get Started With Sourdough” YouTube cooking class. I am still working on improving quality, etc. I am still a total rookie at this whole video thing. My daughter was just telling me this morning how much she loves having fresh bread at home- I am spoiling my girls!

Enjoy my video and let me know what you think!


Growing, Stretching and Re-Inventing February 15, 2021

Filed under: 2013 — PamperedJaime @ 10:30 pm

Life has thrown a few curve balls at me in the last few years- breaking up of family, lockdowns due to the Rona, losing 75% of my work and guiding my girls through it all. But here I am, trying to figure it out.

As life was in the beginning of 2020, I had my prom and wedding clients scheduled, new lesson plans written for my classes and looking forward to moving on with the new life that was being created for me and my girls. Hopeful. Then, on March 13th, it all changed. To this day, I am still here, surviving, and trying to figure out how to thrive.

The one thing that the Rona has allowed me is to try to re-invent myself and my business. I am on a time clock to figure out what my future will look like in 18 months. My girls most likely will fly to the next phase in life and I get to figure out what my life will look like. I am trying to put my vision into action. I think I can see it a little bit more clearly. The question for me to answer is- how to I use my skills and my experiences to recreate my business, Home Ec Express. I lost most of my business due to the lockdown. I got laid off from my teaching job. Now I re-imagine.

I love to teach. I love to learn from others. I love to share information. I love to help others create their vision of their perfect day or event with perfect fitting clothes or perfect menu. Can I put it all together? I think the answer is yes. I think I have been inspired. I want to re-invent the world of Home Economics for the generations that have missed out on the education I was blessed with.

Stay tuned. I think I may be on to something!


Life can be challenging . . . January 25, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life — PamperedJaime @ 9:55 pm

The last week has been . . . challenging . . . to say the least. My girls went to exercise last week, great right? My eldest daughter is down over 50 pounds, my youngest is staying in shape and getting her healthy mindset back (Rona has not been a positive experience, another story for another day)

You know that feeling you get when you see one of your kids call and you know it is not good? You look at the phone and tell yourself that the kids have not been gone long enough to be calling to say they are going to stop and get coffee or lunch . . . That was the call. They had left, maybe half an hour before, to roller skate in their regular spot with a friend. My younger daughter calls and simply said, “You need to come now, G fell and broke her arm. You need to come.” Click. Great start to my Saturday! I stopped the sewing machine halfway down the first side seam of a client’s skirt, got shoes on, and off to the skate location. I arrive and see younger daughter, shirtless, older daughter sitting upright on the ground with her sister’s shirt tied into a sling. I walked up, looked down at her S-shaped arm, and got her loaded into my truck.

Urgent care #1- we don’t have x-ray here- says the really snotty girl out front.

Urgent care #2- They have x-ray- fill out papers (all 3 of us in the completely empty waiting room) then kicked out to wait outside for the doctor, but G has to go in alone. By the time it is her turn, I have to take E home to get ready for her gig that can’t be cancelled. Enter phone call- “Mom, I am done already, they said to go the hospital, I need surgery.” Enter one of my best friend’s, Cathy. Thank God she was home! We would tag team my girls- I would take E to her 1 hour gig way out in Timbuktu, Cathy would take G to the ER and we would meet there. My sweet neighbor, Sara, was just coming home when she heard of the commotion and she and her son brought back G’s car from the school.

Hospital ER- Since G is 21, she has to go in ALONE due to the Rona. Keep in mind, she has never had to go to the hospital, except once as a toddler. No advocate, nothing. She was sedated and the surgeon moved her arm bones to realign with her wrist. When I say sedated, I mean HEAVILY sedated! She tried to explain to me what they were going to do to her, finally the nurse took the phone. She had already been given pain meds, and they were hitting her. So we all waited on the brick wall outside of the almost EMPTY emergency room . . . watched a prisoner from the local state prison go into the ER with 3 guards to stay with him. Gotta love California!

When she was finally released, I brought my truck around and got her discharge paper. The ride home was one of the funniest I have had in a VERY long time. The one thing I have had confirmed again, the other time was her wisdom teeth, is that G is very kind when she is highly medicated. The mention of any person, “Oh, they are sooooooo nice!” Then there was all the ways that bread is sexy- buttered, with olives, grilled, with garlic, you name it, she loves it!

Tuesday: G has been an absolute trooper, but so has her sister. G is a nanny and her sister went with her to work to help lift the baby. She had the week off of school so it was perfect timing. Talk about an amazing sister! I am such a proud mom! 3 days post-procedure, we went back to the surgeon, and he wanted X-Rays the next day and he would call immediately to schedule surgery for Monday if the bones did not set (50/50 chance!). Here is where the fun, anxiety-inducing times began.

Wednesday: G called in the morning to make the X-Ray dept. Doctor’s office had not sent the orders. Follow up, office had forgotten. X-Ray done. No call all afternoon, so we call. Nothing but “I forgot to show the doctor that it came in. We’ll call you back.” Nothing.

Thursday: Still no call, so G and I both made calls to the doctor’s office. No answers, just excuses. The woman on the other end of the line did tell G that there was no reason to be stressed out, it was not a big deal?!?!? Um . . . you can’t just drive yourself to and from surgery! You have to let your work know! Your mom has to rearrange her life to help!! 4 calls, no answer.

Friday: Oh this was an extra fun time!!! I had a long scheduled appointment for myself an hour drive from home (one direction!). Two and a half weeks before I spoke to the office and confirmed my appointment and made sure they took my new insurance. Yes, all good! Two nights before the appointment, I received the Robo-call confirming my appointment. Yeah! So, after I rearranged my work schedule, I got to my appointment 10 minutes ahead of time and the receptionist looks and whispers to another woman and they tell me the doctor was not in the office that day! WHAT THE ?!?!?!? After the week I had, I am not ashamed to say I had an alligator tear or two. So, now to reschedule. I have seen this doctor for 23 years, she is amazing, her office staff sucks! And the saga of the orthopedic surgeon’s office continued . . . A couple calls to see if surgery was going to happen in a few days or the bones were good . . . “Oh, I remember seeing those X-Rays! I forgot to send them to the doctor” Well, I made the second call of the day and I had to hold back from having my temper lose control. Finally G got a phone call after 6pm Friday night to tell her she needed surgery. Of course we ask if it was still going to be on Monday, and the answer was that they were booked up for surgeries on Monday, but (of course!) they will call us Monday and possibly set it up for Tuesday. Hmmm . . . Aren’t you supposed to have the darn Rona test and quarantine?????Who knows at this point!

The weekend: We got chores done and prepared for this coming storm. I sure hope it does come. It is really dry!

Monday: Hi! We’re calling to remind you that you have an appointment tomorrow at 4:30 with the doctor. Yes, but someone was supposed to schedule surgery. And then, she tells G- “Oh really? The person who does that isn’t in today”. Oh. My. God! Please help me! In the meantime . . . our lives are in limbo. E started back to school today and I am working hard to create income for our little family. Don’t forget to add the political drama of Rona, especially out here in Crazy California. So many friends and businesses have been devastated- Us too on a smaller scale. Not sickness. We have been healthy for years. Lay offs and the loss of the majority of my business I have had for a decade. Callers and guests at the radio station who have lost almost everything because the government deemed them non-essential.

Though I really want to scream in frustration, I am trying to find joy. Joy in the gorgeous loaf of sourdough I made for dinner (video and class to come!). Joy in fixing a work costume for E. Having coffee with G this morning before we got ready for work. Prayers to my Heavenly Father for protection and healing. I know God is in control, of the big stuff and the small stuff. I have to rest on that assurance. It is the only hope that we have. The arm will get fixed. So far the bills have all been paid. We have alot of work to do, and a surgery to come, of course, but we will make it.


Food and Disney go together . . . January 11, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Cooking,Food,Life,Videos — PamperedJaime @ 10:13 pm

My best friend, Cathy, and my daughter were talking recently about how much we have missed our annual trip to Disneyland with our two families since Disneyland has been forced to stay closed due to the Rona. We have an annual fall trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth” with lots of wonderful traditions!

Cathy decided to throw a Disneyland party, which I will share in detail at a later date. We made delicious foods that we love to have on our trips. So, as I am in the beginning stages of re-focusing and re-branding my businesses, I have made a cooking class for one of the recipes we enjoyed- Fantastia Cheesecake!

Enjoy the video and share your feedback. See what fabulous Pampered Chef products you may find!


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Starting Over . . . January 3, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 9:36 am
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Just the phrase of “Starting Over” feels like a contradiction of emotions- dark, dreary and impossible- hopeful and exciting. I am not sure which side of the emotional spectrum I call into. Like most topics and issues in life, I float, landing somewhere in the middle after much pondering, praying, researching. We shall see . . .

I find myself at the place in life I never thought I would be- a single mom, life turned up-side down, and just when you thought, “OK, I think the worst is behind us now, we can rebuild our lives”, throw in The Rona- loss of most of my business, switch to virtual teaching at my other job, then laid off. Moving eldest back home, youngest lost her entire extracurricular life (her whole outlet). Darkness has loomed for months of just trying to make it from day to day, seeing what life will throw at us next. And it keeps on coming.

The only thing that has been stable is my radio job, but that does not pay a fraction of the bills on its own. My side business weighed heavily on the events industry (weddings, proms, pagents), and that is gone for a long, long time (Thanks Dictator Newsom!). Secret weddings have popped up, thank God! Being laid off from my teaching job was a big financial hit for us. Add into it, I don’t appear to be eligible for unemployment and getting help and questions answered on that front has been next to impossible. So, what is a girl to do when you don’t want to supplement with savings forever? Figure it out, like I always have.

So . . . I go back to what I know and what I have done. I am trying to see where the pieces fit together and how to make things work with my life. My girls, especially my younger, need me, as they have no one else. They are my priority until they fly. I almost forgot I had this blog! I look back at all those years ago with twinges of sadness. I was so hopeful and excited to see where life was going. I did not think I would be here. With the alarm clock ticking with so many decisions to make (work, and way beyond!) My focus must remain on providing for the three of us and healing from all the darkness and abuse that came upon us.

So here is to fresh starts, right? That is what the New Year is supposed to symbolize. Or so we thought. It is the day two years ago that things changed. It is the symbol of when the darkness took over our house. But, this year, as we drove up the coast and I told my girls, “Throw it all in the ocean- the negativity, the bad thoughts- and let it all wash away. We deserve to be happy and not live in bondage anymore.” And we won’t. I will figure it out. Where we will go, what I will do (the girls are close to flying!).

I guess coming back around to this blog could be the beginning of something good. I need good. I need direction. I need fun.


Getting ready August 17, 2015

Filed under: 2015 — PamperedJaime @ 9:40 pm
Tags: ,

Hustle and Bustle.

It is such a busy time of year for most, that you would almost think it is a holiday, but no, is the start of school.  This year is different.  I will not be sending my kids off early in the morning and entrusting them to someone else for 7 hours of the day.  No, this is the year it all changes.  We start homeschooling. . .

We started Elizabeth abruptly in April.  Best decision we have made.  The school she was at was out of control and Common Core has become the nightmare we knew was coming.  The hardest part of bringing her home was overcoming her feeling of being inadequate and not smart.  Why?  The grading rubrics now include “Student is incapable . . .”  Math tests graded on a rubric . . . yes, you heard me right.  It is bad enough to have developmentally inappropriate curriculum, but now grading on a rubric.

Our oldest barely made it through the end of her sophomore year intact.   Horrible math instruction, crazy english teachers and another teacher who broke her down and almost destroyed her.  Only one teacher has been a huge blessing and she will take 2 classes from him this year.  We are forever grateful for his efforts in finding the perfect niche for her to excel.

So now, we rebuild our children.  We will help them to get excited about learning again.  We look to the future and choose to do it outside of the box of conformity.  We will find the areas where they need help help them to learn and soar.  Since I have already had a couple of months homeschooling one child, I am not quite as fearful with both of the girls being home.  Time will only tell.

For now, I am simply focusing on learning and making it as fun and engaging as I can.  And to make sure that my children are learning truth, especially in history . . .but that is a rant for another day!