Jesus hold my earrings, because I JUST CAN’T with the world right now.

I struggle with cynicism. I have a condition that my friend Tara Livesay refers to as an “Overdeveloped Sense of Justice.” This isn’t all bad. It’s great for empathy. It leads me to care for others and take action to make things right. But it can also mean that I can easily devolve into feelings of frustration or despair when things are unjust. The tendency to fire up the outrage machine is not always ideal.

But this month, I’ve just about had it. And no amount of meditation or “positive reframing” is gonna help. Because the world is SERIOUSLY PISSING ME OFF right now.

First, we have the fact that Donald Trump is the presidential nominee for the Republican party. I don’t feel like I should have to say much about this one that hasn’t already been said, but it has to be one of the biggest “weep for humanity” moments in my lifetime. And not just that the guy is a racist blowhard douche. There are lots of those running around. But the fact that a large contingency of the general public want him to be our leader? I just . . . I don’t get it.


Then there is the auction for the gun George Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin. It went for $250,000. Apparently there is a hot market for guns that have successfully killed young black men. What a comfort, as a mom to two of them, to know that there are people gleefully bidding on a weapon that took the life of a young boy. Utterly disgusting.



And then there is the collective freak-out over allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their identified gender . . . a law that will effect very few individuals and that has been in place in California for over three years with no drama at all. Unfortunately, a number of Christians seem to have taken up this cause, apparently having forgotten a few key verses in the Bible about loving others and defending the least of these. I articulated my thoughts on this matter here, but have been so dismayed by the response of Christians. In particular, the behavior of Christians at this school board meeting in South Carolina, in which a group began singing Jesus Loves Me in order to silence an advocate for transgender youth, literally turned my stomach.



Alright, good people. Help me out of this funk. Tell me about something good in this world. Or at least tell me this crap is abhorrent to you, too.



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Easy gluten-free/paleo chicken nuggets that kids will love

I have two seriously picky eaters in my house. They are on the classic “beige diet” . . . they would prefer their food consist of some variation of flour and cheese. Pizza and pasta with no sauce are their staples. They’ve never met a green herb that didn’t provoke tears.

Simple gluten-free, paleo chicken nuggests that both adults and kids will love!

As such, I’ve worked hard at creating a chicken nugget recipe that I can make in bulk and keep on hand to provide them with some healthy protein. I also wanted something that was gluten-free (since my son is gluten-free), and that could work with my Paleo/Whole 30 leanings. I’m hear to report that I’ve figured out a recipe that my kids LOVE, and that is so easy to make that they can actually do it themselves. It’s simple. So simple.

Your ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 8-10 chicken tenders (or 4-6 chicken breasts, pounded thin and sliced like tenders

Simple gluten-free, paleo chicken nuggests that both adults and kids will love!

Place all of the dry ingredients in a shallow bowl and mix.

Simple gluten-free, paleo chicken nuggests that both adults and kids will love!

Dredge the chicken through the meal, pressing it to coat thoroughly.

Simple gluten-free, paleo chicken nuggests that both adults and kids will love!

Place a tablespoon of olive oil ( or the oil of your choice) in a non-stick pan and saute until browned and cooked through.

=Simple gluten-free, paleo chicken nuggests that both adults and kids will love!

This is definitely a meal kids can make themselves. Here is India showing you how:

 

Simple gluten-free, paleo chicken nuggests that kids can make themselves

My kids love to make these, and the love eating them even more. In fact, as I’m typing this, India (my pickiest eater) is looking over my shoulder and telling me, “Say they are chicken nuggets that kids will LOVE.”

Okay folks. You heard it from her.




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What I want you to know about therapy from a therapist

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Katie.



Going to therapy can be scary and intimidating. Too often I hear many of my clients report that they feel weak for coming to my office... But there are things you don’t know… things I, as a therapist, want you to you know.

What I want you to know is that sometimes when you leave my office I step into the bathroom and weep while washing my hands with burning hot water in attempt to center myself after hearing of the horrific trauma that happened to you and seeing the fear in your eyes as you recount that story.

What I want you to know is that I think you are the bravest person I have ever met.

What I want you to know is that you are teaching me to be honest and vulnerable and to be my most authentic self.

What I want you to know is that when I see a company that’s hiring, I immediately think of you because I know you are job searching.

What I want you to know is that even though my paycheck barely pays my bills I can’t imagine not sitting across from you each week.

What I want you to know is that when you tell me your most shameful moment, I see how beautiful you are.

What I want you to know is that when you come to my parenting support group for parents whose children are incarcerated I think you are the best mother that your daughter could ever have.

What I want you to know is that when you are weeping over the loss of your brother that my heart carries the heaviness as if hoping that even my small fraction of time with you takes away some of your burden.

What I want you to know is that I’ve never been in more awe, or more honored that someone has chosen to share their soul with me.

What I want you to know is that each day you, by shining your light of bravery and courage and vulnerability you are teaching me how to be a better friend, a better (future) parent, a better daughter, a better sister, a better partner and a certainly a better therapist.



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That's what SHE said: disciplining another's child, what kids lose when they grow up with more, Sheryl Sandberg on resilience, how to turn Tinder messages into art, Shakespeare in the parks and more...





Preach! A veteran mom explains the importance of discipline for her child and for yours..."That’s right: If your kid shoves my kid, I’m going to speak up. If we are at a PTA event and your kid is rude to me, I will call them on their behavior. If your child is being a monster on the swings and my kid has been waiting for 10 minutes for their turn, you better believe this mama is going to say something. I’ve spent too many years drilling good behavior and discipline into my kids that I’m not willing to sit by and watch them get trampled for following the rules. I will be polite and respectful when I speak to your child, and frankly, I fully expect that another parent would call my kid on their poor behavior too."


A call to all parents to let out children be children and relax with the helicopter parenting..."Today we live in a culture of fear—fear of pain, fear of loss, fear of strangers, fear of failure—and our children are the biggest victims. We want to protect them from everything, to keep them safe and happy and wonderful, but all that’s creating is a culture of helicopter parenting and a generation of children who can’t think for themselves."




A refreshing perspective on cancer not being part of some divine plan that God has tailored for each patient in order to provoke a perverse glory..."Sadly, there are many self-professed Christians who are convinced in their utmost being that the God does indeed give people cancer (while also intentionally inflicting every other imaginable form of evil on creation). Which means there are countless other Christians who walk into their first session of chemotherapy treatment or sit beside a loved one with Alzheimers or survive a brutal sexual assault only to be told that such unspeakable evil is all part of God’s plan. That God willed their suffering for his own glory."


As a kid who witnessed his family launch out of the lower class after his father suffered a freak accident helped pave the way for a healthy settlement, Kenya Barris grew up with the unique perspective of understanding the different rungs of the social class ladder. As a wealthy and successful father, he can't help but wonder what his children are losing by growing up with little struggle and plenty of abundance..."My mom went through civil rights; my dad went through civil rights. My name was Kenya because they wanted to give me an African name. Subsequently, my generation sort of took more of ... an intellectual sort of revolutionary approach. There was Public Enemy and The Autobiography of Malcolm X exploded; there was the Malcolm X movie; there was Spike Lee. We sort of became more of philosophical revolutionaries. Now, my kids and their generation ... [when the] Trayvon Martin incident happened and my daughter came in and I was like, "How do you feel about this?" and she was like, "We're really upset. Kids I know are protesting." I'm like, "That's awesome. What are you doing?" And she said, "Look, we're doing it on Instagram." And she shows me this Instagram picture and it's just a black frame ... and I'm like, "OK, so where's the protest?" She's like, "This is it. Look how many people are putting black on their Instagram." I realized, this must be the most low-rent protest I've ever seen in my life. I was like, "I can't get a small trash can fire? I don't know, like, anything?" It really showed me the generational difference."


A heartbreaking piece about the ones that let us get away.




The COO of Facebook and author of Lean In gave a commencement speech to UC Berkeley and how her husband's sudden, unexpected death taught her about the seeds of resilience and the three P's..."You will almost certainly face deep adversity. There’s loss of opportunity: the job that doesn’t work out, the illness or accident that changes everything in an instant. There’s loss of dignity: the sharp sting of prejudice when it happens. There’s loss of love. And sometimes there’s loss of life itself. The question is not if some of these things will happen to you. They will. Today I want to talk about what happens next. About the things you can do to overcome adversity, no matter what form it takes or when it hits you. The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days — the times that challenge you to your very core — that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive."


When a British-Kenyan artist moves to Sweden for an artist's residency, she cleverly keys in to the country's racism through Tinder..."I began to swipe a smorgasbord of Swedish boys, testing out who — within a couple of kilometres from my studio — would swipe back. Each day of the residency, I would choose one to draw, whether they swiped me back or not… So the project began with these drawings, and slowly, as conversations started to trickle in, I started to document those too.”It’s the conversations Boswell had with these men that added a new dimension to her portraits. Among the messages she received were: “You’d be interested to know there’s a really good reggae scene here.” “It’s a huge fantasy of mine to be with a black girl….it’s a compliment :)” “Wild thing, you make my heart sing….your hair’s cool, I wanna touch it.”

From the blog Southern Charm

THINGS TO DO & THEATRE TO SEE

Get your picnic baskets ready for some outdoor theatre. Mark your calendars for the FREE Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival starting June 25 with Richard III. With this year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, be sure to catch plenty of Shakespeare starting with Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum lineup Romeo and Juliet set in East Jerusalem will kick off its 2016 summer repertory season. Also for LA theatre, check out Gruesome Playground Injuries  at the Hudson Backstage in Hollywood, "pitch-black" comedy Dinner At Home Between Deaths at the Odyssey and be on the lookout for Eugene O'Neill's Hairy Ape  at the Odyssey and not to be missed, Lee Blessing's A Walk In The Woods at International City Theatre. Also, look for the Mini-Australian Theatre Fest this June at the Matrix Theatre. For a dose of historical fiction rooted in the hostile politics of the 1960s, Home Sick will premiere at the Odyssey Theatre June 9 - July 3. Interested in dance? Watch for  Royal Swedish Ballet's return to Segerstrom Center for the Arts with the West Coast Premiere of Mats Ek's Juliet and Romeo June 10 -12.

NYC theatre-lovers can pack your picnics for the 54th Annual Shakespeare in the Park festival at Central Park starting May 24th with The Taming of the Shrew or Socrates Sculpture Park's International Film Festival this summer. Be on the look out for Fountain Theatre's Citizen: An American Lyric to get its off-Broadway production at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Catch some fun new musicals like Tuck Everlasting or Cirque du Soleil's Paramour on Broadway. And be sure to check out the Hallett Nature Sanctuary - four acres in Central Park - reopening after a massive restoration project. The section has been closed since the 1930s. For  quick art fix, check out the vibrant hanging art installation in the lobby of the Jewish Museum.




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Friday Finds



1. Jojoba Bead & Bamboo Facial Exfoliant | Amazon 
2. Pediped Originals® | Jake Grey/Lime Shoes
3. ErgoPouch | Spring/Fall Sleepsuit Bag
4.My Shadow ( Picture Storybooks) | Amazon.com 
5. Lorena Canals | Washable Rugs
6. The Ollie Swaddle | The Ollie World 
7. Washable Sidewalk Chalk Paint Glitter Rainbow Roller
8. Once Upon A Farm | Carrot-y Coconut-y Quiona Baby Food
9. Super Simple Crafts: Sticks and Stones | PBS KIDS



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