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

One of the hardest parts of being a mom July 20, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 6:03 pm

One of the hardest parts of being a mom is watching your children work, practice, work and practice in competitions, and other areas of life to not see the successes they work towards. When my girls were showing livestock, they were always ethical in their practices of raising their animals, putting the needs of their animals ahead of their own, helping other members of their club or chapter, and putting heart and soul in into whatever they do. In the case of showing livestock, they did not have tons of money, or professional trainers, or cheat with growth hormones or have their parents take judges out to dinner the night before the show. No, my girls worked for everything, but you could walk around the barn and the same group of kids, who played in the pro-world, were already the winners before the show started, with a few exceptions. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing your kids empty handed after many years- except the knowledge of knowing they did it all themselves.

Fast forward to today. BOTH of my daughters are running in the Miss California Mid State Fair scholarship pageant. They have worked so hard. Countless hours of practice at home, meetings, workshops and rehearsals. Today was the luncheon and judges’ interviews. As I write this, they are in dress rehearsal for the anticipated pageant/show tomorrow night on the opening evening of the fair. Nothing hurts more than messages of one daughter saying they did awesome and the other thinks they bombed it. The emotions, the discouragement, the guilt. Top it off with job issues that happened right before going into one daughter’s interview. Throw in hormones to make it even more challenging. Nothing I can say can make it better. Except to try to listen and encourage. I can’t fix it, I can’t change anything. I would NEVER be that mom!

So many people have asked me how I feel about both of my daughter’s competing in the same pageant. It is hard. I pray all the time that my mother’s heart will be honored, that they both earn crowns and have their final year together at home be shared with the responsibilities to the fair and just that they make memories together. Deepen their bond to each other. Deepen their ties for when they are on opposite sides of the country.

We will know how this will all play out in a little over 24 hours of the time that I write this. I may look calm on the outside, but I am a freakin bundle of nerves inside. I will just keep praying and encouraging my girls to give it more than 100% even if they are feeling discouraged. NEVER give up! This will make them into better women, stronger, more resilient women. They are doing something I could have NEVER done. I never had that confidence, or anyone to encourage me for that matter, but that is a different story for a different day.

No matter how this all plays out, I am the proudest mom.


A Rough Go . . . June 23, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 7:05 am
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How many of you thought on New Years’ Eve of 2020, “Nothing can be as rough as 2020? 2021 is going to be better!” That was me and my girls. It had to get better. We got through the end of my marriage and drastic, horrible changes to our family. We had to move my older daughter home after she lost her job and her school went online. Her sister lost all of her non-school life. I lost one of my jobs that was a big part of my income (scary for a single mom!) 2021 will be better! Yes it had to be . . .

Well . . . a few weeks into January 2021, not so awesome. Two daughters, 3 surgeries, 1 ambulance ride, and then . . . this last month of shock. About a month ago, there was a mass shooting in San Jose, CA. I am a Northern California girl and I was familiar with the location, but just heard about it in passing at work at the radio station. Until my Aunt called. My cousin Tim, was one of the victims. Murdered by a mad-man. He and 8 others. Just shock. Tim was a devoted husband, father, new grandpa, a son, a brother, an Air Force Veteran. My girls and I travelled to the graveside service at the National Cemetery in Santa Nella. My heart just broke when my Uncle saluted his flag draped coffin. Life is so short. My heart has just been so broken for his wife and family. For my Aunt and Uncle. Parents are not supposed to bury their child.

Last week, I found out the son of a friend, a little one who had been in several of my classes, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Leukemia. That was Wednesday. Saturday morning I received the call that he passed away. 10 years old. 2 weeks before he and his twin sister are to turn 11. The day before his younger brother’s birthday and Father’s Day. That fast. My little friend who always wanted me to create explosions in STEAM class. Life is so unfair. He was so young. I hate cancer. I hate what it brought to a young life and a young family. Shattered hearts. Parents are not supposed to bury their children.

With so much that has happened in my recent history, the message that is repeating in my mind is to spend as much time with my girls as I can, especially as they are getting very close to their turn to fly. To make sure that those around me know that I love them. To not give up on the future. Hug your loved ones. Don’t hold back on letting them know you love them. This last month has shown me how important this all is. It has been a rough go, but it will get better.


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!


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.