My Kids Love Me Because I Let Them Have Bubble Gum

My kids, with the help of their pretty awesome Dad, shared all the reasons they love me in this video. Apparently “Double-Bubble” was high on my son’s list.

A Tribute To Mom


Making the Most of Leftovers – Sweet Potato and Black Pepper Biscuits

I love, love, love Thanksgiving leftovers! The turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce all smushed together, melts in my mouth as I ascend into a warm, dreamy haze before the tryptophan has a chance to kick in.

But, after your fourth turkey-hash induced coma in 48 hours, even the most devoted Thanksgiving Dinner disciple needs to find a way to spice it up. This year, in my quest to use all of our leftovers in new and exciting ways, I stumbled on this recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Pepper Biscuits. I’m not known for any sort of baking prowess, but these were pretty simple. I had just enough leftover sweet potatoes for a healthy-sized batch, and they were a perfect complement to my savory turkey pot pie.

My First Try at Sweet Potato and Black Pepper Biscuits
My First Try at Sweet Potato and Black Pepper Biscuits

If you want to try these for yourself, check out the recipe from the Green Crane at

100 Years Young

Earlier this week, my great-aunt, Marie turned 100 years old.

She is an amazing woman. She came from a rather small family. She never married, nor had children of her own. She had one nephew (my father), and one niece. They in turn provided her with 15 great-nieces and nephews, and even more great-great nieces and nephews.

It’s hard to fathom living for 100 years. Just think, she was 5-years old on Armistice Day, and she remembers it. She also remembers that when she was very young, they spoke German in her home, but her father forbade it once the U.S. entered World War I.

She worked for decades for Metropolitan Life in New York City. During the era of TV’s “Mad Men”, she was one of the “girls” in the office pool. (Though I doubt she was ever up to any of the antics portrayed by Don Draper’s girls.)

She traveled quite a bit. While she traveled to Germany and Ireland, she treasured her trips across the U.S. – to Pike’s Peak, and the Grand Canyon.

When we were young, she drove a 1974 Green Dodge Dart. I loved that car. It took us on countless trips back and forth from our home in Vermont to my grandparent’s home on Long Island, New York. She would always take me, my siblings and cousins on little jaunts to Manhattan during our summer visits. She took me to the Museum of Natural History for the first time – where I was in awe of the big blue whale hanging from the ceiling. She and one of her friends took me to visit Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, with a side trip to Gettysburg, PA when I was twelve. I will always remember that trip (in part because I came down with a nasty case of the Chicken Pox on the way home).

Last weekend, those of us who still live in the Northeast came together to celebrate her 100th birthday. We had a lively lunch (everything in our family is lively), and somehow managed to get Aunt Marie to wear a 100th birthday crown while we sang Happy Birthday. She laughed, and was a bit embarrassed, but she blew out those candles with no effort at all.

I’ve attached a little video photo album we put together for her.

100 Years of Aunt Marie from Mary McVeigh on Vimeo.


Aunt Marie – Happy Birthday, and we love you!!

Why Parents Must Speak of Unspeakable Things

My 7-year old started summer day camp this week. With the recent verdict in Pennsylvania as an unfriendly reminder of the small number of real-life monsters out there, ready to prey on children, I made sure I revisited an uncomfortable discussion with my little boy. When it was done, I felt only a little relief, and a lot of sadness at having to peel away at yet another layer of his innocence.
This blogger captured my feelings exactly. Read her post about uncomfortable but necessary discussions with our kids.

A Big-Family FAQ

So, like most people (at least I think like most people), who I am today is largely the result of a precise blend of nature v. nurture. I definitely inherited plenty of traits from my parents and grandparents, but my perspective on life was certainly shaped by my childhood, and the boisterous, hectic, big-a$$ family of mine.

Mind you, we’re not as big as the famous “Duggars”, but we give them a run for their money. I have the honor of being the oldest of 13 (yes 10 + 3) children. It was a wonderful way to grow up, and though this surprises some, we were downright normal. We played Little League, went to public school, had family vacations, and though we might have been on a tighter budget, we didn’t suffer.


Often I am asked “what was it like?” (All 13 of us get this question, and many others.) so, my witty and eloquent brother Dan posted the following: “Since You Asked: 20 Things You’re Dying to Know About My Huge Family.” Head on over to his blog “Speak of the Daniel” and check it out!


So I Am Cheating on This Blog…But It’s All Good

I apologize to you, my blog, for abandoning you these last few weeks. I admit it, there is another. I have been cheating on you, neglecting you, but it had to be done. While I was away, I gave birth to a brand new blog, a bit different than this blog, but I love it all the same.

So, today dear readers, I am making an unabashed plea to you to pretty-please check out this new blog o’ mine, Pink Hat Sports. Unlike my Odds ‘n Ends blog, which has become a wonderful journal of sorts for me, and still is, Pink Hat Sports has a bit more focus. As you can guess by the name, Sport is at the core of the blog, but it will not grow into your typical sports blog. I hope to make it a well-rounded and informative, the perfect resource for the casual fan to know what’s going on in Boston Sports, but also a place for buzz, gossip, and commentary on women and girls in the world of sports.

Like I said, this blog-baby is brand-spanking new. It’s barely let out it’s first weak cry, but I hope to see it grow and mature, and I hope you can come along for the ride.

To start, let me share a post that tells you a little about my thoughts on being a sports fan, and wearing a pink hat….

We Can’t All Be Diehard Fans

Celebrating My 100th Post

 At the beginning of 2011, I began this blog, and joined the WordPress “Post A Week” Challenge. Nearly 14 months have come and gone, and now WordPress tells me that this is my 100th post!

Hmmm, how should I commemorate this important occasion?

Should I revive some of my more memorable posts (memorable for me, anyway)? I could bring back the one I wrote about my mother last Mother’s Day – 13 Things You Should Know About my Mom. Or I could remind you of the love story I told about my grandparents around Valentines Day – Step One: Get the Girl. I could even resurrect the blog post that somehow managed to hit the Freshly Pressed Radar,  Mom, I Know Lots of Words,  about my son learning to read. Dear God, I was gushing with pride then, I’m almost a little embarrassed by it now.

Kindergarten Homework
Kindergarten Homework













When I look back at my posts, I realize that there is a lot of variety in my blog. (Translation: I have no direction!) I’ve shared some sappy stories about my kids, and family, as well as one or two Bad Parenting Moments.

Bad Parenting Moments Logo







I’ve thrown in a few travel posts, mostly about my family vacation. I tried, once or twice, to give some advice on SMART goals, and business skills…as if I know! I’ve even shared a few recipes, like the one for my Kahlua Chocolate Chip muffins. Those things should be illegal!

Maybe I should use my 100th post to give you a list of my blogging resolutions, or some of my plans for upcoming posts (as if I have some).

However, what I should really do is come up with some fresh material.

My Favorite Way to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage – No Crockpot Required

I cannot wait to revive this recipe this weekend. This might be the way to prepare the tastiest corned beef, ever!

Odds 'N Ends

Using my oven as a slow cooker.

I know that for all you culinary experts out there, this is probably a pretty elementary concept. But for me, it was like getting the super-secret password to big-batch cooking!

Last week, I had a cooking quandary. I was planning a Paddy’s Day corned beef and cabbage  dinner for about a dozen adults, and another 1/2 dozen kiddies, all stemming from my quaint, far-from-commercial kitchen. In the past, I prepared it on the stove stop, or in my slow cooker, but those were meals for 4-6 people. This weekend, I was planning on a houseful (and I was kind of hoping to have some leftovers to boot.) There is no way that 14 pounds of corned beef would fit into my little crock-pot.

Near panic, I decided that there is no conundrum that the Google Search engine cannot solve. Sure enough, I found several sites…

View original post 225 more words

Keeping Dinner Easy With “Happy Turkey Taco-Pizzas”

Dinner just isn’t the same when Daddy’s away. It’s hard to muster up the motivation to make a big “family dinner” for just me and the kids (especially when one of them takes the prize as a picky-eater).

Nevertheless, we still have to eat but the kids still must eat right? So, I try to keep it simple, easy, and kid-friendly. Tonight’s dinner was the perfect blend of their favorite foods –  I call it Happy Turkey Taco-Pizza.

Happy Turkey Taco Pizzas
Smile - It's Pizza Time

Here’s the super-simple recipe:


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 jar of salsa
  • small can of corn
  • 8-10 flour tortillas (fajita size)
  • 1 package of shredded Mexican cheese
  • 12 grape tomatoes (cut in half)
  • Salt & Pepper (a pinch of each)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Brown the ground turkey with a bit of salt and pepper, and drain off any fat.
  3. Stir in the salsa and corn, and simmer until liquid evaporates. (No one wants a soupy pizza!)
  4. On a foil-lined cookie sheet, lay out 4-5 tortillas.
  5. Spoon a bit of the turkey salsa mixture onto each tortilla.
  6. Cover the mixture with cheese, and then top with tomato-halves (in the shape of smiley faces, of course!)
  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes in the oven, or until cheese is thoroughly melted.

Voila! A happy dinner with the kids.