Family

I’m Getting Divorced, and Learning I Have Value

I am Getting Divorced and Learning My Value The Laine List

In a matter of days the papers will be delivered to my mailbox. I will be divorced. My husband and I have been together for 17 years. Half of my life. My entire adult life. I’m not sad about the divorce. I’m sad that I feel like I missed out on so much of my life. That I spent so much time feeling like I had nothing to offer. That I had no value. I thought I had a pretty good idea of who I was and what I wanted out of life when I was 18 and we began dating. Let’s be real, people. … {CONTINUE READING...}

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Food and Drink

Crock Pot Meals Reloaded: Chicken Fajitas

Crock-Pot-Meals-Reloaded-Chicken-Fajitas-featured-image

Like many people, I'm totally into crock pot meals now that the cold weather has arrived. It's so nice to know that at the end of the day, you have a warm, and hopefully healthy meal to settle down to. When I cook in my crock pot, I tend to cook in large batches, using simple and budget-friendly ingredients. I freeze leftovers for another time, sometimes for a straight up leftover meal, say, if it is something like soup or chili. One thing I've been experimenting with is making a dish that is … {CONTINUE READING...}

Sauce Mornay, Basic Cheese Sauce

basic-cheese-sauce

One of the first things I ever learned to cook was a béchamel sauce. Make a roux with equal parts unsalted butter and unbleached white flour, add milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Soon after I learned how to make it into a delicious cheese sauce, also called Sauce Mornay. I think my favorite thing to eat it on, aside from pasta, was broccoli. This was back before we thought about roasting our vegetables or adding anything other than vinegar and salt and pepper to them. Which also holds a special … {CONTINUE READING...}

Luscious Acorn Squash Soup

luscious acorn squash soup featured image

When I was a little girl, my grandmother made the most delicious acorn squash. She would cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. A pat of butter, brown sugar, and salt and pepper filled the holes. Bacon strips were draped over the top. When they cooked the house smelled like fall. Earthy, baconny goodness. They tasted even better, served whole on the plate - a perfect side dish on cold, fall days. Every year, when the acorn squash arrive, I scoop them up like it's my job, and I cook them … {CONTINUE READING...}

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BlogHer Features and Syndications

5 WordPress Plugins for Increased User Functionality

5 WordPress Plugins for Increased User Functionality

Plugins are a great way to ease in the design of a WordPress website, and they also increase a site's functionality. Some plugins can help our clients when our job is done. While we designers should not render ourselves obsolete, I do feel like it is our responsibility to give clients increased functionality, and the confidence to harness it themselves. The five following plugins do just that. 5 WordPress Plugins for Increased User Functionality Black Studio TinyMCE Widget I’ve … {CONTINUE READING...}

7 Questions to Ask a Prospective Design Client

Prospective Client Questionnaire

When I am approached about logo and/or web design services, one of the first things I do is send the prospective design client a questionnaire, whether or not I've been hired yet. These seven questions help me get to know prospective clients better—which makes my job easier, and allows me to give each client the best design possible. My questionnaire is a mix of design and marketing questions that will encourage potential clients to think not only about what kind of design they want, but also … {CONTINUE READING...}

Top 7 WordPress Plugins for New Bloggers

Top-7-WordPress-Plugins-for-New-Bloggers

There is no doubt that plugins are a great way to boost WordPress functionality and versatility. They are also a great way to help clients learn to use their site effectively, and to help them increase their visibility and grow their community. Here are my top seven WordPress plugins to get any client who is new to blogging started with a bang. WordPress SEO, by Joost de Valk This is the famous SEO plugin by Yoast, and it is a must for new bloggers. It is a great way to help your clients … {CONTINUE READING...}