March 29, 2022

That Time I Saw A Therapist

 So I decided to seek therapy about a year ago for the first time ever. I wasn't in a good head space with a lot of different things, and around the Fall, about six months prior to seeing a therapist, I *think* I experienced a slight depressive state.  Thankfully it was short lived,  but that just proves that being a human is tough and feelings are real!   So i decided to choose someone locally, and luckily this therapist lived 7 minutes from me!

 With covid, I still wanted to see someone in the flesh vs virtually, but during my session I wore a mask even though I was vaccinated.  The first visit went okay, it was more of an introduction from the therapist, from me and a small tour of the place.  It was small and quaint old farmhouse that the woman rented out. The problem was, my first session was screwed up because she mixed up the times.  I text her and left her a voicemail a few days prior confirming our appointment and she still got our meeting time wrong.  Strike one for her! I had to see her the next day after we spoke on the phone discussing her error.

I was not amused.  Once I finally got there and knew we had the correct meeting time, I walked around the place for what felt like eternity in silence until I heard people talking upstairs, very muffled sounding though.  I felt like I was in a horror movie.  I could just see myself peeling back a cracked door and noticing a rocking chair by the window with no one in it.  In reality, this all lasted about ten minutes and I was able to get a feel for the place and grab some water.

I eventually met up with the therapist, we'll call her Sharon. She was older, late 60s I'd guess. She was finishing up her session with another patient. She was very nice but VERY calm in demeanor.  A bit too relaxed for me.  She's been doing this a long time so I will say her style was probably a bit out of touch date. Again, the first briefing was fine and okay.  We chuckled at her mistake about the time of our appointment then moved on to talking about any childhood trauma. I'm very lucky to not have had childhood trauma.  I had quite the opposite experience.  I truly had a wonderful childhood and great parents.  But nothing was in that department for me so we moved on.  Next we discussed my family, my life, what I wanted, what I'm doing, what I did. It was a wide range of various topics.  And I am assuming this occurs during a first therapy session.

I could be wrong, but it doesn't matter because I gave Sharon FIVE good ol' tries, $200 dollars later and nada. Very long story short, I just didn't feel any connection with her.  Her style of breathing techniques and listening to ocean sounds didn't appeal to me.  But hey, I tried.  FIVE times I tried. As I understand, in the world of therapists, it's just like dating,  You have to shop around a few times before you meet "the one".  After that, I was thankfully in a better place and head space.  I didn't feel like jumping into therapy quite that quickly. Skip to January of 2021 and I started experiencing my typical comparing issues ( my own life vs others, comparison is definitely the thief of joy, friends). And in reality, I was just in an overall funk.  Some could argue it was Winter and seasonal depression is a real thing but I don't really experience the different seasons in that sense.  I just felt not myself for about 6 weeks of Winter I'd say. It could be a seasonal thing too.  I don't have all the information about that though to give you an evidence-based answer.

I was and am currently still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and in this almost new decade of life when I turn 40 in October. Can you tell I'm only slightly freaked out by this?  eek! On the same token, I am trying to embrace my life as it is right now!  I'm trying to go with the flow, but I still feel like I need to make an important decision and soon!  Before I turn 40.  As I've talked about in my stories on my instagram account, I';m tired of applying to jobs that in reality, I do not want.  They aren't serving any purpose or make sense to try to get.  Income is never a bad thing, but I have to be picky.  I don't want to just pick anything.  I love talking about nutrition.  Nutrition has been the topic of discussion with me for the past three years- after I tried honing in on what I enjoy/what I am passionate about.  I'm still on this subject, and I am still trying to figure out what I should do and what I want for myself.

When it comes to trying therapy again, I'm not opposed to it, but I'm currently in  a better head space, but that ebbs and flows of course.  I think I want to discuss this exact topic with a professional.  But time will tell.  If you're thinking about giving therapy a shot, I say go for it.  It's an important step to take.  Never be ashamed. Pride is overrated. Do you.


Let's pretend we are all here right now. :)



March 28, 2022

The Accidental Stay At Home Mom

 Okay so, I want to start writing more.  I enjoy it, so why not begin again?  I wanted to create a new account on instagram dedicated to the true struggles of being a stay at home mom- accidentally. This means you were working, but then something stopped it all in its tracks, and now you are sort of screwed.  I wanted to write about and share my experience as an accidental stay at home mom.  If you follow me on Instagram, the handle is Dana_asahm. I posted a bunch of long-winded videos on my stories as a general intro, but below I wanted to expand on my thoughts.  Enjoy!

This wasn’t how I expected my life to turn out. Wait, that’s not what I mean. I wasn’t supposed to be a stay at home mom. Let me back up for a minute. I misspoke. I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom?  I didn’t plan to be a stay at home but it sort of happened.  Yeah, I guess that sounds the best.  I guess I should blame the status quo or society norms, OR the shitty system in America that is public education. They are definitely half to blame, but I still blame myself too.. There’s not just one single thing that makes my being a SAHM accidental, it’s a lot of little things. The most important one to me is that I thought I’d have a career by the age of 39. Isn’t that what we ALL assume?   I thought I would have discovered something I love, have it magically become my passion and that it would be as easy as pie to turn it into a wonderful career.  I have a ton of hobbies and other interests that I enjoy doing and that make me feel good, but I have yet to turn them into something.  I truly thought that’s what was supposed to happen. I thought everyone was chasing their dreams and that they would eventually catch them. I don’t know about you, but I was brought up and surrounded by folks who believed that life is supposed to have structure and go in a perfect straight line. Something about ducks and rows.. Weird.  But that’s not how my makeup works (biologically speaking) and that’s not reality.  My life had so many squiggly lines of confusing uncertainty until this point, that you would think it would resemble something out of a Jackson Pollack Painting.

 And so here we are.  I’m thirty-nine and have been an accidental stay at home mom since January of 2017, if you care for specifics. And of course with a few bullshit jobs sprinkled in between. This was the month and year that I got laid off from my job, my dog was attacked by a neighbor’s dog, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  Shit, where do I begin?

I guess I should begin with a bold statement and a belief I feel very strongly about: College isn’t for everyone. Agree or disagree, these are straight up facts my friends. My college story isn’t anything revolutionary; it’s actually quite the opposite.  It’s mundane yet millions of high school grads heading into a four-year university have experienced this, no matter what stage of the college process they’re in.  And if they had what appears to be a seamless four years and know exactly what they want to do once they  have graduated and say they are doing great and feel excited and seem to have all of the confidence in the world for being just 21 years old, I’m going to have to burst that bubble.  They’re lying to you.    They’re scared shitless for the real world. The education system in the United States does not set students up for the real world…like, AT ALL.  I think I would have enjoyed a class on basic survival skills for camping or hiking, or how about a class on changing a flat tire? Or even better, a class called, How to Deal with Assholes: A Real World Guidebook  to Life. Real. World. Shit. According to, an online article entitled, “How American Schools Set Students Up To Fail”; written by Matthew Biggins.  He breaks the topic of education down into three parts, which I agree with 1000%:

What is the purpose of education?

1.       To get good grades?

2.       To get into the best universities?

3.       To get the best jobs?

And the answer would be none of those.  Biggins says, “The purpose of education is to inspire action to better the world and lead us to personal fulfillment. Yet you wouldn’t know it by looking at our education system today. ( Biggins,  Amen, Matthew.

After I graduated high school (because God forbid someone doesn’t earn their high school diploma since there are plenty of successful people in this world who never even graduated high school).  I went straight into community college because that’s where my bff and her sister were looking to go, and right out of the gate I’m appearing like a follower! Gah! But at age eighteen, yes, I was one.  I was young and naive, so sue me. I couldn’t tell you what my friends wanted to go to school for but at the time; Special Education was all the rage. So naturally, as a follower, I jumped on that bandwagon without knowing squat about the major or that field. In case you weren’t aware, Special Education is teaching kids who have special needs and/or are possibly disabled in some way.  It’s a more individualized teaching approach which I do think I would have enjoyed. But if you were to take a wild guess, that didn’t pan out. Also, after having a kid of my own, I can’t imagine being a teacher, in any grade or form.  Teachers are pure saints. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

So, why isn’t college for everyone?  I’m getting there.  Community College didn’t go as planned but I do know one thing; I wasn’t there to make friends this time. I went back to college later, around age twenty-four, to Rowan University, formerly Glassboro State College and finished my undergrad in the most generic major ever.  B.A. in Liberal Studies, minor in Marketing. I couldn’t tell you what liberal studies is nor do I care.  I can tell you that choosing that major didn’t require five or more math courses and no other bullshit courses that I didn’t need. I started out as an English major but turned that over real quick since there were like seventeen poetry and Shakespeare courses that were required. Also, my Shakespeare professor was pushing 100. I was having zero fun and so was he. It was a win-win to vacate thy class. With the liberal studies major, I recall taking one math course in probability which I actually sort of liked and I was able to choose tons of electives like Astronomy and lots of creative writing courses. Choosing liberal studies was a no brainer for me.  I worked really hard and studied my ass off but only because I had to. Which to my point, college isn’t for everyone. I’m not a studious student.  If I want to understand something, I need to take my time, practice and study really fucking hard. I’m a hands on learner; I need books I can flip actual pages with.  I like tangible things.  If I wanted to pass a test, I needed to study extra hard. There are students who don’t have to study one word and they pass their test and graduate college with flying colors. We call those people assholes or just studious students. College may have been for them, but can we all agree they are not street smart by any stretch of the imagination?  I needed to pass all of my courses because I just wanted that piece of paper, sorry, degree. [Insert eye roll]. I didn’t enjoy the college experience, and maybe I would have under different circumstances but I’ll never know. This was just my journey. It was just something I had to do.  Kind of like that time I just had to eat an entire pint of Ben n’ Jerry’s Phish Food.  The only difference was that I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

So when I finally graduated college, I remember spending almost every single day job searching. I spent a good portion of the day on job websites, reaching out to temp agencies, messaging people on Linkedin and directly emailing companies on their website.  You know the drill. I was obsessed with finding a 9-5 which sounds sad now, but back then, it’s what I wanted. It may have taken me a whole damn year to find something, but I did it!  I got the temp job, for one year at an Engineering firm in Philadelphia. I remember meeting my husband for lunch one day in the city when I got the call from the temp agency.  I had gotten the job! The interview went well and I started crying ­because I worked so hard to find something and it finally felt like someone was taking a chance on me!  It felt really good. I worked there for one year as a temp and then came on full time with the company; working there for six more years. It was a decent paying job where, in a very tiny nutshell, I did data entry and tedious work for architects and engineers and collaborated with various subcontractors.  I enjoyed it for the first couple of years, that is until I got too comfy there and in hindsight, probably should have began job searching again.  The company merged with a bigger company and things went downhill fast. About three months before my department got laid off, I saw it coming. It made sense to let go of the document control department, which was our department. There were only four of us and if I’m being honest, the job was unnecessary.  Business is business as my husband loves to say. Companies need to save and make money at the same time. Who would have thought?  Engineers were let go first. Architects and some administrative staff as well were getting the boot. My department was next and I did nothing about it.  Shoulda-coulda-woulda .  I was working from home one day when I got the call that I was laid off.  I cried, I was mad at myself and also took it out on my husband, who knew it was inevitable. I somehow refused to get in touch with reality at the time. I still don’t believe that going back to college and getting that piece of paper was worth it, but did it help me get the job?  Maybe a little.

So if you despise college so much Dana, why did you still go?!  I had zero direction about my future and therefore it felt like I had no other option at the time. A degree was so important. Yeah well so is exercise, getting enough sleep and eating a vegetable once in a while.  If you’re anything like me, or don’t want to go my route ( which I don’t blame you but hey, this was my journey),  but still want to give college the ol’ try, I’d tell you to go for it! But I’d also tell you to really hone in on whatever you’re truly passionate about and make it work for you! Work your ass off if this is something you really want! College shouldn’t be a have to or supposed to. Do what works for YOU. And stop trying to match up with society norms because that won’t work and they suck.

Being laid off on the 3rd day of the New Year appeared to be a blessing in disguise.  So when I said “this wasn’t how I expected my life to turn out,” it wasn’t. Or put more simply, life is hard and 2017 can suck it. It was not my favorite year by any means. So on that day in January, I became an accidental stay at home mom who was trying to figure out, essentially, this new life I had.

 I'm still trying to figure some things out.


October 28, 2021

Kids Bento Lunch Boxes (small)




I came across these cute containers  on Amazon for my kids' lunch back in the summer.  I have three bigger size ones as well, but I prefer this size. Each day as I started packing her lunches, I was noticing a pattern.  It's that they don't have too much time during lunch to actually eat everything and they get too distracted anyway. If they are hungry, they'll eat whatever is there ( for the most part).

 When my daughter first started school this year, I didn't over pack her lunch, but I was giving her a snack bag with either graham crackers, popcorn , pretzels or goldfish- her favs. Her class does snack time at 11am. I don't really understand the whole idea behind snack time and I personally think it's silly and the time should be 10am, not 11am, which is one hour before their lunch time.  It's obnoxious, especially as the kids get older. So I noticed with giving her an applesauce, ( the only fruit she will actually eat these days) AND a snack bag, and then her lunch mainly consisting of the above photo, she was barely eating most of what was in her bento box.

 So recently, I've changed things up and I'm seeing a considerable difference.  She's eating most of her lunch and better now because there is less food!  Let me explain.  Again, kids' attention spans are so small these days, even for 2nd graders. And as my daughter has gotten older, I have been waiting for her to tell me when she is hungry.  I mention a snack here and there after school, or lunch over the weekends, but these days, that's really it.  Kids will eat when they are hungry, I promise. So besides her lunchbox, even at dinners, I have been giving her smaller portions than our meal, or one slice of pizza instead of two on pizza night. And guess what, like clockwork, after she gobbles up her first slice, she immediately asks for another one.

 I hate wasting food, and that's what kids do. They're pretty wasteful.  Start on the smaller side with whatever meal you are giving them and I promise shortly after they are "finished", they'll be asking for more.

 So now, I've ditched the snack bag and put a crunchy component in her lunchbox instead and guess what!? the lone applesauce pouch that barely ever got touched because of the other snack, is now gone everyday.  Stick with a protein ( salami/ham/turkey + a cheese they like or yogurt) a carb ( any crunchy snack like goldfish, crackers or pretzels) a fruit of the child's liking, and something sweet. I always add a few candy pieces or mini oreos, especially around Halloween time! 

 I hope this was helpful!  Good Luck and Happy Halloween! :) 



September 27, 2021

Whole Wheat & Chia Blueberry Muffins

 OK!  Hi there!  It's been a while. I wanted to share a delicious and super simple muffin recipe that's so damn good for you too!  These beauties are packed with fiber and protein, along with some natural sweetness from the blueberries.  These are moist, yet dense, which helps keep you feeling satisfied. Add a little peanut butter too while they are warm!  


I thought I'd get going with the recipe instead of writing a novel that keeps you scrolling seven times before getting to the thing you actually want...the RECIPE!


So, I said hello, I hope to be back soon with another fun blog post and recipe.  In the mean time, enjoy! 


 Whole Wheat & Chia Blueberry Muffins

Bake @ 375 for about 20-25 min. Insert a toothpick inside a muffin.  If it comes out clean, they are more than done!

*Butter or spray a muffin tin or use liners. Make sure to spray the liners if using liners.


Dry Ingredients:

 -1 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

- 1 tbsp chis seeds

- a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, I usually go with a tsp. 

-1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder 

-pinch of salt


Wet Ingredients:

 -1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted.

- 2 eggs

-3 & 1/4 cups brown sugar ( I used Truvia but regular ol' brown sugar, preferably light, is fine too) 

-dash of vanilla extract

-1/3 cup milk  (I used skim and just sort of eye balled it)

- 1-2 cups of fresh blueberries



1. Combine the dry ingredients together on a medium bowl.

2. Combine the sugar and melted butter together in a different bowl.

3. Add the vanilla and stir.

4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mix well.

5. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredient bowl and stir well until combined.

6. Add the milk.

7. Mix everything together until combined well. 

8. Fold in the blueberries.

* optional: add a little more cinnamon on top of your muffins before placing in the oven.

*Allow to cool a few minutes. Can be eaten warm or room temp.

* These freeze well- at least 6 months! Take one, wrap in a paper towel, microwave one minute. Pure joy!




 Enjoy!! these are seriously so damn good!!  

These make great snacks, quick breakfast or sweet treat before bed! 



March 29, 2020

Quarantine 2020: Things I've Noticed

1. What is makeup anymore?
2. You must move your body, some way, some how.  Get those steps in. Get fresh air. Mental health/sanity is number one.
3. Hot showers at 4pm are my new normal and they feel amazing after what feels like a 17 hour day.
4. The insatiable hunger is real and it's SO EXTRA right now.
5. Maybe put locks on your pantry doors.
6. Honor your true appetite.  Eat if you truly feel hungry.  Now is NOT the time to cleanse or diet.  Chill.
7. It's time to get creative in the kitchen. Bake something.
8. Eat the chocolate, ice cream or nachos. at any time.
9. Time is on our side right now,so no need to stress and try to get everything in on one day.  Spread it out!
10. People wearing jeans.  Stop it.  That's not a priority right now. and I can hear the uncomfortable-ness.
11. Our children do not have a routine right now, so that means their eating habits will be a little off , as is ours.  and that's okay.
12. You will hear "i'm hungry" every hour from your child.  If you don't, you may be doing this "homeschooling" wrong.
13.  Your child will refuse to eat pretty much anything they DID eat when you packed their lunch and sent them off to school.  Weird, but very true in my case. Also make sure they're having regular bm's. it's important.  At least once a day bm's.
14. Don't force any school work. it doesn't work out well for either people.
15. DO offer them a choice so they do some work, and make it sound fun even though it feels corny. "we can do this math worksheet right now with the cute bears on it or this sentence story where you can also color in the crayons at the bottom."
16.Make a big deal about coloring their work, using markers or crayons.  Any chance my daughter gets to color AND do some school work is a win in my book!
17. Bring their work outside on a nice day. Fresh air always helps!
18. SIDEWALK CHALK!  Amazon Prime that shit!
19. You have already seen this everywhere but GoNoodle is great to get their bodies moving and CosmicKids Yoga!  Catchy songs too that will be stuck in your head all damn week.
20. Try to video chat in some form with family/friends and your kids classmates at least 2-3 times/week.
21. I find it to be tiresome, (video chatting) as I'm not a huge fan of talking on the phone or even sitting down to video chat , but it's good to do right now and obviously good for your kids too.
22. Skyping with your kids' classmate really just means you and the mom are interviewing one another and catching up on this crazy thing we call LIFE right now.
23. The kids will just say "hi and goodbye", out of the entire 30 minutes of video chat but that's okay.
24. If you have a dog, walk it a lot more simply because you have the time to. It's great exercise for you both.
25. It's okay to rest and not have a productive day too. Go with how you feel that day.
26. Feeling exhausted by 3pm?  I am.  that's normal.  We've been going nonstop with little ones since 6 or 7am.  Don't be hard on yourself.
27.  Feeling bored times?  Make a list!
28. Have that cocktail you REALLY want. Destress. Enjoy.  Just go easy. Remember, the kids are home 24-7 with you.  Hangovers will not be enjoyable the next day.
29. Call your grandparents at least once a week to catch up.  I miss my 94 year old grandmother like crazy and just want to give her a big hug!
30. Remember to keep laughing. Watch a comedy and lighten up about things, as hard as it can be certain days.
31. You may need to cut your spouses' hair. I did tonight and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. He's lucky.
32. Give your dog a bath. I may need to cut his hair soon too.  Eek!