Burger King Thursday Rundown

Spring is here! The weather is warm and the forecast for the weekend is nothing short of gorgeous. Let’s get going with tonight’s Thursday Rundown…

Burger King > McDonald’s – Would you believe that Burger King is now more affordable than McDonald’s? Last week we ate inside the Burger King restaurant on Sprague (which is in desperate need of a remodel) and got way more food for $20 than we would at McDonald’s. What’s not to like about $2.99 kid’s meals, options galore for adults, and free crowns?! Although Sloan and Beau are loyal to McDonald’s, we will try to shift that allegiance ever so slightly 😊

Sloan and Beau chilling at Burger King last week.

Mario Nostalgia – Who needs the Super Mario movie when you can watch a series based on the Super Mario 3 Nintendo game? If you have a Paramount+ subscription you can watch the show and instantly get a jolt of retro thunder. The show begins with elements directly from the video game including music and the Mario Land game map that shows the level you are on. It kept Beau occupied as well as his daddy.

The Super Mario 3 TV show is actually a thing!

A Fun Time of The Year to Reminisce – At this time each year, I fondly remember an epic road trip that I took with my dad. This week in April back in 2014 was when my dad helped me move across the country. We took a U-Haul from western Montana all the way to the very eastern end of the United States. It was an incredible experience and the towns of Spearfish, SD, Council Bluffs, IA, Paducah, KY, and Camden, SC, will also hold special places in our hearts (well, maybe not Council Bluffs) as those were the towns we spent the night in as we navigated across the United States. Tomorrow will mark the 9-year anniversary of when our U-Haul rolled into Myrtle Beach. By the way, here are my tips for taking a cross country road trip

My dad and I took a celebratory picture after turning in the U-Haul.

Waffle House – I think I have an early contender for my annual “Brent’s Top Songs of the Year.” Two thumbs way up for “Waffle House” by the Jonas Brothers. Not only do I really enjoy the unique 80’s vibe, but the Waffle House reference in the chorus brings back fond memories for me (🎵No, don’t get stressed, it’s goin’ get figured out, oh, deep conversation at the Waffle House🎵). When I lived in the South, I loved finding an excuse to eat at the Waffle House and I would say some pretty epic conversations went down over those meals. Out of all my dining experiences there, I still vividly remember Sidney and I pulling over at a Waffle House restaurant in a small South Carolina town as we neared the end of a long trip coming home from Baltimore. We were tired but so happy!

Shameless selfie photo of me eating at a Waffle House in 2014.

Navigation – I want to end tonight with a meme from Lindsi, my good friend and frequent idea contributor to this blog. It is funny, I look back on the MapQuest era as tough, let alone the period from just a couple decades ago when you used maps and asked for directions from convenient store workers to get where you wanted to go. Needless to say, it is hard to fathom that even those options used to not exist. We are all so spoiled with navigation on our phones and even with such a remarkable tool, I still manage to screw it up on a frequent basis. Props to our ancestors!

Our ancestors are the real MVPs!


Thanks for joining me tonight. Without loyal readers like you, this blog wouldn’t be as fun. I hope you have a magical weekend and I will look forward to touching base next week. Don’t Blink.


It was two years ago that I came clean about one of my many quirks. On National Ballpoint Pen Day, I admitted to my 20-year habit of carrying pens in my pocket.

I explained that not only did hauling the pens around prove useful to me, it also proved useful to others. I became addicted to the brief heroic status I would receive when someone was in desperate need of a pen and I could swoop in and provide them a writing utensil during their time of need.

Up until last week I still carried pens in my pocket. But things have changed. You see, shortly after I wrote the Thursday Rundown that mentioned my pen habit, I made an upgrade. At work they had these fancy ballpoint pens from Office Depot. They were night and day compared to the branded cheap ballpoint pens I would pick up at a restaurant or hotel and slightly better (okay…much better) quality than my personal Don’t Blink pens that proved to be such a sensational hit. These Office Depot pens wrote so effortlessly and legibly that I started buying them myself.

It was a big deal when I got my branded Don’t Blink pens.

But about a year ago I had my first incident. While wearing a new pair of khakis, I looked down at my pants and gasped in horror when I noticed the left pant leg was covered with a dark substance. It took me a moment to realize the mess was from one of my Office Depot pens that exploded. I removed the pen, covering my hands with ink in the process. My keys were also covered in ink as they share a pocket with my pens. Despite Sid’s best efforts with stain remover and our washer, the pants were beyond ruined.

These are the Office Depot ballpoint pens that I have used for the past 18 months or so.

You think I would learn, right? Sadly, it has taken three other pairs of ink-drenched pants to get to this present moment where I am not carrying pens in my pocket. In my opinion, this discontinuation of a tradition is even more scandalous than when I stopped eating peanut butter sandwiches on a daily basis. But I simply can’t continue to ruin pants, right?

This is a pair of jeans that survived a less extreme explosion. Nonetheless, it still has a permanent stain.

My plan is not to have this current hiatus last forever. I needed to take a break and assess things. What I came to grips with was that the pens exploding in my pocket was not random. The incidents occurred when I would do a physical activity that I usually wouldn’t do in pants…like this past Saturday at our retreat when we went on a short hike. Sure enough, that stroll triggered an explosion. Once I start carrying again, I need to be much more cognizant of removing any pens if I do even the slightest of physical activities. I have also come to the conclusion that I need to revert to carrying just the basic ballpoint pens instead of the fancy utensils I have grown so fond of.

Regardless of what it looks like on the exterior, most of my pants are covered in dry ink in the left pocket.

If you see me in the near future, please don’t laugh at the noticeable ink stains on the exterior of my left pocket that many of my pants now sport. Are the pant stains worth my moments of heroism when I bust out a pen for someone who really needs it? Nah, I don’t think so. Don’t Blink.

The Agony of Defeat

Sloan likes to get into Trouble. And by “Trouble” I mean the board game. Our family received the game for Christmas and have played it countless times over the past few months. It joins Sequence for Kids, Guess Who, and Candy Land as board games our family plays frequently.

We got Trouble for Christmas and immediately started playing it. Sloan gets pretty competitive!

But back to the “Trouble” part. Sloan likes to win and when that doesn’t happen, she can become unglued. She will tense up, pout, and raise her voice. A common recourse for her is to beg that we play again so she has another chance at glory. If her wish isn’t granted, she gets angrier.

Although the behavior doesn’t impress us by any means, we also recognize it as age appropriate. Sid and I hope that tasting defeat now and expelling her bad behavior as a 6-year-old will prepare her so that she will win with class and lose with grace as she gets older.

Sequence for Kids is a great game for young children that introduces strategic thinking.

This philosophy was challenged last week. While returning home from dropping Sloan off at school, I was listening to a Sirius channel I enjoy. A certain advice program was on at the time. The two hosts, who have child psychology backgrounds, took a call from a grandma. This particular caller mentioned that on Easter her family played a board game. Her 5-year-old grandchild was not victorious and could not be consoled for the rest of the holiday. The grandma expressed shock at how intense this child’s lack of sportsmanship was and asked the hosts for advice.

To be honest, I was surprised when both hosts agreed that children under the age of 7 should not play “win/lose” games. The hosts main reason for this recommendation was that children Sloan’s age and under can’t properly put the results of a board game in proper perspective. Young kids, the hosts explained, almost view the outcome of a board game as life or death, thus creating unnecessary stress on them.

Sloan playing Candy Land outside.

Additionally, just the concept of a child competing against everyone else has negative connotations, according to the hosts. It causes isolation and a diminished sense of self.

As for solutions, the hosts recommended “collaborative games” instead of “win/lose” games. The concept wasn’t backed up with examples (at least during the time I was listening) so I don’t really know what a “collaborative game” entails, but in this day and age I am sure a lot of them exist. Also, they suggested that if a win/lose game must be played, that teams are made and a child is paired with an adult. With this arrangement, the weight of defeat doesn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of the child. Furthermore, when the loss occurs, the child can commiserate with a trusted adult in the agony that is felt.

I am having a difficult time accepting the advice of these radio hosts. In my mind, I feel like tough lessons about losing should be taught and experienced at a young age. With that said, I do recognize the anguish that losing a board game has on Sloan so perhaps they are on to something? I am turning to my readers for advice. What is the proper approach? To play or not to play? Don’t Blink.

Our Spokane Valley Young Adult Retreat

What a blessed Saturday it was! Yesterday, Sidney and I traveled to the majestic Clearwater Lodge near Newport, Washington, for a special retreat. But what made this particular Catholic retreat so “special,” you ask? Well, two reasons…

1. This was a retreat sponsored by our Spokane Valley Young Adult Catholic Group, the same group that has meant so much to our family over the past 2.5 years.

2. The retreat was my wife’s idea and she served as co-organizer alongside Hailey Eames, the chief go-getter extraordinaire of our group.

Our retreat took place at Clearwater Lodge, an area near Newport, Washington, that is situated right on Davis Lake (photo courtesy of Fidela)

By 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, 20 of us showed up inside the Creekside Pavilion for a day of sacramental nourishment, spiritual growth, and fellowship. The retreat would be based on the theme of living in the world, not of the world. As we gathered and took our seats, it was obvious that Sid’s idea, Hailey’s tireless work, and God’s will had positioned us for a faith-filled experience.

While at Clearwater Lodge our group was assigned to the Creekside Pavilion.

The day started with mass. With the scenic Davis Lake as a backdrop, Fr. Jeff Lewis and Fr. Kevin Oiland, the two priests who started our young adult group, presided over a makeshift altar. As they processed in and our talented young adult singers proclaimed the entrance antiphon, I tapped Sidney and showed her my arm…goosebumps. Fr. Jeff set the tone for the day by delivering a homily that encouraged us to turn to God for all things—big and small.

Everything set just prior to mass. As the mass went on, the fog you see over the lake would burn off and a spectacular morning view would take shape.

When mass concluded, we ate breakfast and then Sidney was up! She outlined the day’s itinerary and then spoke from the heart. Using the Beatitude of Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Sidney challenged us throughout the course of the day to recognize our spiritual bankruptcy and embrace the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t help but admire my wife. After just three years since becoming Catholic, Sidney was already organizing retreats and delivering reflections. Thanks be to God!

Sidney delivers the opening talk at our retreat. I was so proud of her!

After Sidney finished, it was time for our retreat headliner. Sister Christiana Marie was kind enough to spend her day with our group and impart her wisdom upon us. Challenging us to humbly recognize that God establishes our identity while our earthly circumstances merely shape it, Sister Christiana reminded us to be full in spirit and dependent on the Lord. We then broke into small groups and discussed how Sister’s principles of identity, humility, and fidelity fit into our own lives.

Sister Christiana Marie delivers the keynote address at our retreat.

The next phase of the retreat took us outside where we gathered for Lectio Divina, a type of prayer that focuses on examining scripture in an in-depth and immersive manner. Hailey masterfully led the exercise as we prayed through St. Luke’s account of the paralytic who was lowered down to Jesus into a crowded room through the roof. With the lake in front of us and the birds chirping above us, it was a soothing and reflective experience.

Hailey leads us in Lectio Divina.

Next up was adoration and confession. We went back inside the Creekside Pavilion and spent a holy hour in front of the blessed sacrament. As adoration took place, Fr. Jeff and Fr. Kevin took their places outside the pavilion to hear confessions. It was my first time ever confessing outdoors and it felt so freeing to be “one with nature” while receiving this holy sacrament.

This cross was at the top of a rocky cliff area and was visible from the Creekside Pavilion at Clearwater Lodge. We would hike to it later in the day.

At lunch, Sidney and I sat at a table with Sister Christiana. She possesses such an engaging personality and it was such a pleasure to listen to her speak about her life and vocation.

Our group enjoys lunch in the Clearwater Lodge dining hall. We shared lunch with another group who was also on retreat.

The afternoon portion of the retreat started with a talk from Fr. Kevin Oiland about spiritual warfare. He took a refreshing approach of teaching us ways to be preemptive in our spiritual battles. For a topic that is mostly discussed via an “in the moment” situational context it was interesting to hear a perspective that was more preparative than reactive.

Fr. Kevin Oiland delivers his talk on spiritual warfare as Fr. Jeff Lewis (left) looks on.

Fr. Kevin was followed by our friend and neighbor, Dylan Perry. We had the honor of listening to his testimony. It is not my place to discuss specifics about what he talked about but it did center on how he has grown with evangelization and how we can too. I admired his courage to stand up in front of us all!

Dylan had the guts to stand up in front of us all and deliver his testimony.

With the content portion of the retreat starting to wind down, we broke into small groups for prayer. In these groups, we each took different roles in fostering a collaborative and holy session as one person would express their intentions, another person would pray for them, and the third person would call upon the Holy Spirit.

What a blessing it was for us to all get together for our retreat. I didn’t have a photo from our small group so you get a second photo of Sidney presenting in the morning 🙂

Once our prayer groups concluded, it would have been perfectly understandable for people to head home. However, we all wanted to extend the time we had together. While some stayed in the pavilion to chat, I joined a group that toured the premises of Clearwater Lodge. We took a short hike to a cross that was erected on top of an elevated rocky area that overlooked the lake. Much respect and admiration to Mother Kathryn Joseph for making the hike with us!

Members of our retreat group pose for a photo after completing a hike. Mother Kathryn Joseph was such a rockstar for keeping up with us! (photo courtesy of Fidela)

We also explored another rocky area with scenic lake views that required us crossing a shaky bridge. While admiring the water on the beautiful day, we took time to talk and laugh as a group.

A photo I took of some of us just having a good time after our second hike. What a blessed time this whole day was!

By 4 p.m. we re-convened in the pavilion and said a closing prayer. We promised to do the retreat again next year and commented on what a fulfilling day it had been. I am proud of Sidney for pursuing the retreat and grateful to Hailey for doing so much work to make it happen. I am also thankful to Fr. Jeff and Fr. Kevin for the time, prayers, and guidance they consistently devote to our group. The Lord is at work and I am blessed to be around people who are answering his call and challenging me to do the same. Thanks be to God for our Spokane Valley Young Adult Catholic Group! Don’t Blink.

A Bear Of A Thursday Rundown

If you came here for marijuana jokes you came to the wrong place. Yes, this humble blogger does recognize that it is 4-20 but you won’t see me…umm…celebrating? Okay, let’s get going with my latest Thursday Rundown…

Library Crafts – Most of you know that I am a fierce advocate and loyal customer of local libraries. Not only do you have unrivaled access to books, but the social and STEM-related opportunities that are offered make the library the perfect spot for families. An aspect of the library that Sloan enjoys is the craft table they have at the Spokane Valley County Library. Each time we visit, Sloan creates whatever featured craft is offered and always manages to do it much better than her daddy would. Last weekend she made the below spring-themed flower.

Sloan and Beau create art at the Spokane Valley Library. On the right is Sloan’s final product.

Sloan > Pyloric Stenosis – In a couple days, we will mark the sixth anniversary of Sloan’s successful corrective pyloric stenosis surgery. I have documented this traumatic event in Don’t Blink before (and with this video), but as a newborn Sloan could not keep her food down. Each time she ate something, she violently threw it up. In addition to his permanent spot in our nightly prayers, we send Sloan’ surgeon a note of thanks/update each April. This year, Sloan was able to write the card to Dr. Robert Cina herself. Thanks be to God for Sloan’s health!

This photo was taken on April 22, 2017. This was moments before Sloan went in for surgery at MUSC in Charleston, SC. Both of our parents were there for support.

Other Memories – I have a couple much less significant memories from this part of April that I documented in blog form. First, 11 years ago I got to meet Dierks Bentley. What a nice guy! It has been a pleasure to follow his incredible career since our meeting. Second, 8 years ago I completed an ice cream eating challenge. I surprised myself by both deciding to attempt it on AND by actually completing it. I got the t-shirt to prove it 😊

Dierks and ice cream. Not a bad combination.

Cocaine Bear – Last Sunday, Sidney and I sat down to watch “Cocaine Bear.” As the title suggests, the film is about a bear that ingests cocaine and goes on a rampage. I really liked the music throughout the movie and the genuine 1980s vibe that was conveyed, but overall I would give “Cocaine Bear” pretty low marks. Too unbelievable and subpar special effects for me. Sidney, on the other hand, liked the film more than I did. Perhaps I just have bad judgment on what constitutes a good movie because critics actually agreed with Sid. Yep, those who review movies for a living gave “Cocaine Bear” strong marks. Although I would tell you to pass, you can catch the film on Peacock.

I wasn’t impressed with “Cocaine Bear”

National Look-Alike Day – In addition to that other holiday, today is also National Look-Alike Day. Believe it or not, I have been told before that I resemble a couple celebrities. I am actually proud of my comparison to Russell Wilson. But my comparison to Dory? Not so much.

I would like to introduce you to my double, Russell Wilson.


That will wrap things up for this week’s rundown. Let’s pray for surgeons around the world that they might have steady hands, strong confidence, and compassionate care. Don’t Blink.

The Art of Brevity

Recently, Sidney took a trip down memory lane by reading some of my blog posts from a long time ago. We are talking 10-11 years in the past. As she went through some of these writings, she howled at how long they were. Yes, some of my blog posts went on and on in such a manner that the only way to deal with the absurdity was to laugh.

Sometimes it is best to be brief.

I didn’t learn the art of brevity overnight. My issue wasn’t necessarily realizing that “less is more.” I think it had to do more to do with just possessing the skills to write short and succinct. On the surface, someone might think it takes more talent and hard work to write a 5,000-word piece over a 500-word piece. However, that is not always the case.

Sometimes I will listen on the radio to daily mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Because it airs on the Catholic Channel (SiriusXM Channel 129), the mass must be contained entirely within a 30-minute time block. Because of this, Cardinal Timothy Dolan keeps his homily to around 3 minutes. As we know, preachers can be long winded so I can only imagine that this is difficult for him—but you wouldn’t know it. I have benefitted from listening to Cardinal Dolan deliver his homilies in a bare-bones manner. Although you do have to focus and listen intently so you don’t miss anything during those short 180 seconds, I find these condensed sermons to be very impactful.

Those who can express a point without the need for fluff or diversions—whether orally are written—are effective communicators. Although I think I have made strides from some of my train wreck blog posts in the early 2010s, I still have much learning and perfecting to do. After all, this blog post is probably already too long. Don’t Blink.

Vanity Tipping

On Sunday evening, Beau and I stopped at Papa Murphy’s to get a pizza to bring home. I ordered a family-sized pie (half pepperoni, half cheese) and before the pre-made crust was even unwrapped to go down the ingredient line, the dreaded prompt was already flashing on the payment screen: How much did I want to tip?

Full disclosure: I have never worked in the service industry before. With that said, I know I might come across as sounding ignorant, cheap, and ungrateful. However, I think the pandemic trend of adding a tip to every single food transaction needs to go away.

I am a big proponent of giving my Olive Garden server 20% for her efforts. The re-filling of soda glasses, the attention to detail, the initiative to grate cheese on everything, and the hustle to always have a basket of hot breadsticks at the table is appreciated. All these things encompass a service that goes beyond just the price of the food. I feel it should be rewarded with a gratuity.

But let’s go back to the Papa Murphy’s example. On the payment screen, a 20% gratuity option was wedged next to other gratuity percentages. Before making the final purchase, I had to navigate this tipping prompt even though I had not received any type of special service. Was I really supposed to add the same percentage of gratuity on a take-and-bake pizza that I usually reserve for someone who waits on me hand and foot? AND, even if Papa Murphy’s did wait to ring me up until after they topped the crust with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni was that 30 seconds of labor worthy of any type of tip, let alone the 10%-20% range?

Perhaps the gratuity prompt on the payment screen is just the modern day equivalent of a tip jar. After all, I didn’t let the glass container with a handwritten plea for loose change ruffle my feathers. But maybe the requirement to make a gratuity decision as part of the transaction under the watchful eye of an employee is a little more obtrusive.

In my opinion, solicitations for tips where little-to-no service is rendered equates to nothing more than a money grab. It’s not just Papa Murphy’s—everyone is doing it these days. Let’s not dilute the significance of a tip. People can spend their money how they want, but I do feel a tip should be applied for quality service rendered and not an obligatory tax levied on every sandwich, pizza, and smoothie sold at the counter. Don’t Blink.

The Ice Cream Fruit Roll Up Hack

**Click Here To Watch Us Make Ice Cream Fruit Roll Ups**

Well, we got sucked into another TikTok hack! This time we decided to experiment with the wildly popular ice cream Fruit Roll Up recipe.

Ice cream Fruit Roll Ups require just two ingredients. Can you guess what they are? 🙂

After watching countless videos of people creating the treat on TikTok, I was drawn to the unlikely pairing of ice cream and a Fruit Roll Up. I also couldn’t get enough of the “crunch” that is produced when you bite into it.

On Saturday, Sloan, Beau, and I went to our neighborhood grocery store for the minimal ingredients—a tub of ice cream and a box of Fruit Roll Ups! We arrived home and after letting the ice cream harden a bit in our freezer, we made the treat.

For just $8, you can have a fun afternoon of making ice cream fruit roll ups.

The first step is to unwrap a Fruit Roll Up. I guess I forgot over the past 25 years (since I last ate one) that it takes some patience to unfurl the snack into a perfect square. You then drop some ice cream right in the middle of the unfurled Roll Up. It is probably better to error on the side of a small amount of ice cream as opposed to a large amount of ice cream.

Place ice cream in the middle of your Fruit Roll Up. Don’t go overboard on the ice cream.

Now comes the most challenging part of the ice cream Fruit Roll Up hack. You need to fold the treat so that the Roll Up envelopes the ice cream. This is why it is important not to overstuff the Roll Up because otherwise you will have a messy deteriorating shell. If you watch enough of the TikTok videos you will see a variety of folding techniques but I used the method of folding each side of the Fruit Roll Up square to meet in the middle.

One of the ice cream Fruit Roll Ups that I made. The folding process requires some finesse.

Once your treat is folded you have two options: either eat it or freeze it. We did both but even if you don’t freeze it, the Fruit Roll Up will already be hardened and you will get that trademark “crunch” when you bite into it.

Sloan loved the ice cream Fruit Roll Up hack!

The only thing better than the “crunch” is the taste! I was skeptical about how an ice cream-filled Fruit Roll Up would taste but the fruitiness and lightness of the Roll Up is really brought out by the ice cream. The combination actually works! We used vanilla ice cream but a lot of people on TikTok use mango ice cream. I thought I would just take a bite to say I tried it but I ate most of it (until my kids took over).

I am an adult in my 30s but I still enjoyed an ice cream Fruit Roll Up.

This is an easy, inexpensive, and tasty hack. If you have kids and are looking for something to do, an ice cream Fruit Roll Up might be your best friend! Don’t Blink.

Red Panda Thursday Rundown

Happy Easter season, friends! I hope this blog post finds you well. What do you say we just jump right in this evening? Alright, let’s go with my latest five topics…

T-Ball Season – Earlier this week, a certain 6-year-old reported for the 2023 t-ball season. After a successful 2022 debut season, she is back on the field for another couple months of fun. This year she is on the Red Pandas, a team that five of her St. Mary classmates are on too. With two practices now in the books, I think this squad has talent!

Sloan started her second season of t-ball this week.

Stolen Youth – This week, Sidney and I watched an extremely interesting three-part documentary series on Hulu called “Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence.” The documentary tells the story of a group of close-knit college friends who live together in a campus housing dorm/apartment hybrid. One day, the dad of one of the female residents randomly moves in. The students are sketched out at first but then he starts to win them over one-by-one. From there, he maneuvers them completely under his control. It is a unique look at a non-traditional “cult” and you will be amazed at how this “dad” is able to manipulate these bright and ambitious college students.

“Stolen Youth” was a fascinating and sad documentary.

National Scrabble Day – I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to mark National Scrabble Day. Scrabble was my family’s favorite game growing up as we played many intense, competitive rounds. When we moved back to Spokane three years ago, I was delighted to dust off the board and play a game with everyone for old times’ sake. Another fond memory I have of Scrabble is from the sixth grade. My teacher, Mr. Jared Hoadley, took our class to a neighboring rival elementary school to play its sixth grade class in a Scrabble tournament. We might have mobile apps like Words With Friends and Wordle, but the ultimate word game will always be Scrabble!

A look at our Scrabble board from the “homecoming” game we played three years ago.

Mike & Mike Memory – One of my favorite career memories was when I covered the Monday After the Masters event on this date 8 years ago. A fundraising showcase for Darius Rucker, the event included the live broadcast of Mike & Mike from the golf course where the event was held. At the time I was working for CCU and our mascot and spirit squad attended/appeared on the Mike & Mike broadcast. I went along to document the moment for social media and had a blast. It was so cool to see Mike Golic up close along with countless other celebrities. It also served as a “reunion” of sorts between me and the man who allowed me to play a small part in his most recent music video at the time. This was the blog post I wrote about the awesome experience.

This was a fun day! Follow the link for many more photos.

Spa Date – On Sloan’s birthday, she received a coupon from her Aunt Carrie and Uncle Glen. It was good for a spa date followed by dinner. Last Wednesday, Sloan redeemed her coupon. Glen picked Sloan up and took her to the salon where Carrie was at. Sloan got her toes done and enjoyed the pampered life. The trio then went to Outback (Sloan’s choice) for a nice dinner. What an evening!

Aunt Carrie and Sloan at the salon receiving pedicures.


That will wrap things up. Keep rejoicing and living with purpose…I will catch up with everyone next week. Don’t Blink.

I’ve Created A Monster!

“I’ve created a monster!”

By the end of Easter Sunday, my wife was about ready to knock out her mad scientist husband as I had ceased to stop using that line. I was so thrilled with my Easter dessert that I found every opportunity to enthusiastically exclaim the phrase to anyone within earshot.

First, a quick backstory: Last year at Easter I introduced my funfetti dip to the world. It was met with so much acclaim that I decided I would make another dessert dip this year. Sidney sent me a link with 27 different sweet dip ideas that I had too much fun scrolling through trying to find the perfect recipe for Sunday.

After much deliberation, I opted for MONSTER DIP. The idea of the recipe is to replicate a batch of homemade monster cookies in dip form. Well, I am always up for a good challenge!

Only it really wasn’t that much of a challenge at all 😊 The recipe is pretty straight forward. I started by mixing peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter. I then added powdered sugar, flour, brown sugar, and oats. After that was thoroughly mixed I dropped in chocolate chips and pastel-colored M&Ms. It took a single sample to know I had created a delicious treat that Frankenstein would love. I put the dip in the refrigerator until it was time to bring over to my parents.

This was the MONSTER DIP I made.

The refrigeration of the dip seemed to make it come alive even more as it tasted even better once we got to my mom and dad’s house. I paired the dip with vanilla wafers but to be honest they were kind of unnecessary. Although MONSTER DIP is branded as a “dip,” it is so thick and sweet that the best way to consume it is by the spoonful.

If I had to make a tweak, I would probably add more oats. I think it would improve the texture just a bit and make it resemble a monster cookie even more. With that said, I still think the dip receives a “chef’s kiss” rating.

I paired the MONSTER DIP with vanilla wafers but they really aren’t needed.

We still have MONSTER DIP left and I have made refrigerator raids on it every day since Easter. I am sure Sidney wishes I just hurry up and finish it off so I no longer have an excuse to exclaim, “I’ve created a monster!” Don’t Blink.