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Wordless Wednesday: Toothless Wednesday

Her first!

© Eric Payne 2011. All Rights Reserved.

E.Payne Joins the eBay Parent Panel

I am happy and honored to announce my involvement with the eBay Parent Panel. As an ambassador of this program I will be helping parents --- you --- find extra money with items they already have in their homes – clothes the children have outgrown, tech gadgets and computer accessories, toys and more. I'll do this by showcasing my own experiences as a somewhat seasoned eBay seller looking to broaden and expand my reach as a seller.

Husbands how many times have you heard you wife tell you how much she wishes you would get rid of those things you hold dear? And how many times have you noticed some of those gifts you got for your wife are just sitting around the house are collecting dust? Well now can do both of yourselves a favor by turning those treasured but unused items into cash!

Stay tuned right here for my forthcoming eBay articles and videos...


Get Your Home in Order with the Brother P-Touch Label Maker

I'm a neat freak. I don't know if by nature, but definitely by nurture. Ever since college days as a fraternity pledge cleaning up the filth of other college aged boys (and some men) caused me to quickly develop a heightened sense of cleanliness and a distaste that borders on disgust for all things slovenly.

Maybe awareness even predates college. Maybe as a child I was being programmed to become neatness personified while I watched Odd Couple reruns with my mother. Felix Unger is alive and well inside me, particularly to my wife's chagrin, who prior to meeting me prided herself on being neat and clean. However when I get into cleaning mode, especially because I lecture while doing so, she's made it a point not to like me.

So when the good folks over at Brother offered, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a Brother P-Touch Label Maker.


Monday's With Michelle: How To Be The Host(ess) With The Most(est) - Part 2

Last week we started talking about the beginning of football season and all the eats that come along with it. This week, we are going to delve into Salsa and Guacamole. No, not the crap in a jar or the premade tubs of stuff in the produce section, I’m talking about fresh, homemade, can-I-get-some-more-of-that, famous Chef Michelle’s Salsa and Guac. The best thing about these two yummy dips is that they are super easy to make, but always impress a crowd.

Let’s get started, here are the recipes.


Last Minute Back To School Deals & Coupons

Go into the weekend strong with these deals and printable coupons. They end tomorrow so don't put off until next week what you can do right now.

This week's deals are being provided courtesy of The Coupon Diva.

Back To School Tips
Buy the kids what you know they need and make sure you get enough to last as everything dealing with school is at its lowest prices right now.


How To Be Rich While Living A Modest Life

Money 2Fret not if you live a modest life. Though you may want more, believe you need more and spend your sleeping hours dreaming of more, understand that once you embrace what you have versus what you don't, your life becomes instantly filled with the riches that come with appreciation and gratitude.

Dads and moms of modest incomes and pedigrees (I am included in this bunch), though you may feel as if you are on the outside looking in, as if your kids might not have enough, you live a life of less woe and less worry as the burden you carry is lighter --- should you choose to allow it to be so. As long as you are actually carrying the load you've been given...

Don't burden yourself with what you don't have. Until you are blessed with more, carry the load you are currently designed to with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. Then you will realize your riches are overflowing.

Photo Credit: dborman2


Wordless Wednesday Part 1: Blogalicious ATL Meetup

Krystal Grant On the Move.jpg

Krystal Grant on the Move
by Eric Payne © 2011. All Rights Reserved


Dream Big - Dream Crazy

I recently learned that dreams and goals are not the same thing.* Dream as big and crazy (not too crazy) as you are able. It will keep you young at heart, mind and spirit.

*Where I learned this.


Monday's With Michelle: How To Be The Host(ess) With the Most(est)

Football season is approaching us yet again, and with it, it brings potlucks, parties and gatherings. Every (wo)man should have their go to dishes that will woo their company. I’m not talking about wings and meatballs, let’s change it up (just a little) this year. On the menu this season we’ve got some homemade versions of some classic snacks, Mediterranean chicken skewers, Salsa, Guacamole and Spinach dip with Crostini to name a few.
Today let’s take a look at Mediterranean Chicken with Greek Yogurt dipping sauce.

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers

What You'll Need:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs Olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs fresh chopped Parsley
  • ½ Tbs Salt/Pepper
  • ½ Tbs fresh chopped Oregano
  • ½ Tbs fresh chopped Thyme
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Greek yogurt dipping sauce
  • 8oz plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cucumber seeded and finely diced
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • ½ tbsp salt/white pepper

What You'll Need To Do:
  1. Mix lemon, olive oil, salt/pepper, oregano and thyme in a Ziploc bag (large enough to hold the chicken).
  2. Add the chicken to the Ziploc bag mixing well to ensure it is completely coated and allow to marinade for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, empty the yogurt into a bowl and add garlic, cucumber and salt/pepper.
  4. Mix well and taste, add more salt/white pepper if necessary and refrigerate.
  5. Once chicken is done marinating, skewer down the center and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until done.
  7. Serve with Greek yogurt dipping sauce.

Printable recipe here.

Hope you all enjoy this recipe! Have a fantastic week!


A 2 Weeks Too Late MOVIE REVIEW: The Help

I watched an advanced screening of the movie, The Help, as a guest of a friend, New York Times best selling author, Denene Millner. As I watched I couldn't help but be taken back and angered over my own origins, or rather those who preceded me. Specifically my father's mother, plucked from school in the 6th grade to help raise the rest of her 12 siblings after her mother was run over by a white male driver. As far as I know it was an auto-pedestrian accident that ended right there in that street and became the endpoint of my grandmother's formal education as a twelve year old. By the time I came along she was long-since retired, the owner of a three houses on the corner lot of a street in Wisconsin that brought me to tears when I laid eyes upon it during a recent visit. My grandmother made the best biscuits on the planet Earth and introduced me to and enabled my only two addictions: soap operas (which I've overcome) and Frosted Flakes (which I will never give up). Thanks to her and her sisters and the strong men in their lives, I have cousins that range into the hundreds and many are old enough to be my parents. Thanksgiving was a grand event that was so large that the smallest of us ended up eating in the living room. But yet and still despite her land owner and landlord status, despite her grand matriarchal status, and despite having long and flowing wavy hair, able to "pass" for white but opting not to, every year a white woman named Helen would come every Thanksgiving to sit at the head of my grandmother's table. She was someone "Granma" told me was good to her. Someone her sisters turned their noses up to and even harassed in the case of one particularly fiery/crazy great aunt. I would soon come to understand that this woman was "The white lady Gladys cleaned up after." She was nice, so I didn't have a problem with her, but I never understood why my grandmother gave her the courtesy in her home that I know she never received in hers. But my grandmother was a great woman --- a greater and tougher person than I'll ever come close to being.

For starters I didn't read the book, The Help. We should all know by now that there is plenty of controversy surrounding it and the subsequent movie that has been spawned by the tome's popularity. After speaking to a couple of accomplished African American authors I do think I have a handle on the crux of the dilemma: people of color not being allowed (by the publishing gatekeepers) to tell their own stories --- to tell them truthfully and from their perspectives: the perspective of personal experience versus the imagination, interview or research-based, free of the mythologized sympathy of "the one Great White Hope". This is a fantastic wish however. One I'm not sure will ever be achieved in my lifetime.

This isn't to deny that key players in the majority haven't stood on principle, risked their lives and joined in civil rights' movements, but history has shown again and again that the under-served have served themselves --- mounted revolutions, set the world afire with ingenious ideas of equality and launched incredibly organized and peaceful movements to affect change. And for the record Change Doesn't Begin with a Whisper, as one of the movie's many advertising taglines reads. It begins with a thunderclap. You might be out of earshot or hardly paying attention, but nonetheless it does.

To quote a friend with 10 best-selling novels under her belt:

"I'd never be able to publish that. They (publishers + agents = gatekeepers) would tell me it wouldn't sell. It would die right there on an editor's slush pile."

As time passes and the desire mounts to be politically correct, there has been a steady softening short of muting of the actual historical facts of eras long gone. The fear is that the wrong message will be sent. It's just too harsh for our kids to be reading "this stuff" in the classroom. We are getting further and further away from our nation's past and refashioning one that actually didn't exist. If you don't believe me just look at what has been done to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. I'm sure in the not too distant future I'll tap my temple for the overhead projection of the news and read a headline stating that slavery in the United States never existed.

This debate with all of its many, many facets will rage on, seemingly forever, unfortunately. But all of the above isn't what this movie review is about.

The Help starring Viola Davis, Emma Stone, an absolutely devilish Dallas Bryce-Howard (daughter of a guy named Ron Howard) and Octavia Spencer showcases Jim Crow Jackson Mississippi that revels in being as backwards as it wants to be. "The Help," African American maids, presumably 2nd tier wage earners in their own homes after their husbands, go into the homes of Southern white women, run their homes like well oiled machines, keeping their lives nice and tidy so they can lunch and be social. This includes raising their children at the expense of their own. Seemingly no one that we are shown onscreen takes issue with this and if they do they are too spineless to go against the grain. All except for Skeeter, portrayed with likable indignation by Emma Stone, fresh out of college and painted as having graduated with Northern mores. We get she is suddenly enlightened and now freed of the mentality that has always ruled the town of her birth since the end of the Civil War.

Pursuing her own desires to be great, distraught over what she can no longer idly observe and tortured by the abject and mysterious dismissal by her own family of the maid/mommy who raised her, Skeeter launches her offensive: to write a book of essays about the Help, for the Help from the Help's perspective. If things go the way she plans everyone wins. She will get a legitimate job as a journalist, her friends in the maid/servitude community will have their stories shared with the world and earn a portion of the royalties to boot and the poison that fuels her Jim Crow town will be neutralized, at least a little bit. Let the bridge burning begin!

Like any goal/dream, things don't go exactly according to plan and get downright ugly along the way. Howard's character, Hilly Hollbrook has a chokehold on her way of life and views Skeeter's progressive attitudes as contrary to anything civilized. And it is great watching what happens when Davis' Aibileen and Spencer's Minny come alive. But I won't spoil the movie for you. It did well in it's first week and the usual Oscar buzz with movies such as these is beginning to swirl.

Is it worth a watch? Sure. Make sure you go out to dinner afterward. It is definitely discussion-worthy, no matter what your opinions may be of the book, the movie and the pre Civil Rights Era. The time and the people who populated it are also worth researching and learning about on your own minus the influence of New York or Hollywood.

The one thing I would try ignore is the following line:
"Frying chicken make me feel good about myself."

I don't know any self-respecting person of any complexion who would say this unless they were just plain dumb. Cooking maybe, but not frying chicken.

It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make you angry and it'll make you think. It has been seen before, but this is a worthwhile showing. Out of a total 5 Hollers based on the merit of the screenplay, cinematography, directing and acting, I give the movie a solid 4.

I'm the author of DAD: As Easy As A, B, C! - 26 Dos & Don'ts for Fathers. Click here for my story and the origin of Makes Me Wanna Holler. Do you Tweet? Follow EPayneTheDad on Twitter. Live on Facebook? Like Makes Me Wanna Holler on Facebook.


Back to School Deals ending 8/20/2011

Happy Hump Day! If your child just started school this week or last week, congratulations on making it to the middle of the week. For both you and the parents whose kids aren't yet in school now is the time to stock up on school supplies. For the former you might be thinking, Well I already did that, but you know kids burn through supplies. There's nothing wrong with a little surplus. If you're a benevolent citizen who likes to donate to your school of choice you can get in on the action too! Below are the deals of the week brought to you courtesy of The Coupon Diva.

The Coupon Diva here! This week is a great week to start or finish up on your back to school shopping. Below are a few tips about shopping in general.

  • Sales cycles are typical 12 weeks but in Atlanta the sales cycle is 6 weeks. Meaning is about 6 weeks before that items go on sale again.
  • Some sales items have a seasonal low price point. Meaning some items are the lowest price certain times of the year. Condiments are at their lowest point right now ( stockup).

HP Everyday Printer Paper, 400ct - $3.50

$1/1 HP Paper with COLORLOK Technology printable

Expo Dry Erase Markers, 4pk - $3.00
$2/2 Expo Markers
$1/1 Expo Dry Erase Markers or Cleaner Target

Crayola Washable Crayons, 24ct, or Markers, 8ct - $1.50

Elmer's Washable Glue Stick, Disappearing Purple, 3pk - $1.50

Pilot G2 Gel Pens, 3pk - $3.00

Scotch Magic Tape, 3pk + FREE Double-Sided Tape - $2.50

$0.50/1 Scotch Magic Tape Item Target
$1/3 Scotch Magic Tape Roll SS 08/07/11

Bic Shimmer Mechanical Pencils, 26ct - $3.50

$1/2 BIC Stationery Product SS 07/31/11

Avery Durable Binders, 1" - $2.00

Mead 1-Subject Notebook, Wide or College-Ruled - $2.00

Sharpie Markers, 10ct - $4.99

Crayola 24ct. crayons - $0.40

Crayola 10ct. Markers - $0.97

Crayola Colored Pencils - $0.97

Crayola Washable 10ct. Markers - $1.97

Elmer's School Glue - $0.40

Elmers 2 pack glue stick - $0.40

Fiskars Blunt and Sharp point scissors - $1.47

3 Pack Sharpie Markers - $1.47

4 pack Sharpie skinny highlighter - $1.47

100 Sheets Construction Paper - $1.87

Poly Folider - $0.50

Composition Notebook - $0.40

For more deals like these please check out The Coupon Diva.