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We bought a house with a backyard, and all he wants to do is stare out the front window.


What gives?  All I know is that it makes me feel a lot better about living in a backyard-less apartment for the last five years.


Rise and shine.  Slowly. 


Of all my breakfast recipes, I think this one is in the Top 3.  Sweet Potato Pancake, but made with canned pumpkin instead of potato.


This wasn’t the prettiest SPP… it was still tasty though.


My highlight of yesterday? I gave an Operation Beautiful presentation to a group of 60 local 5th graders.  Although I’ve spoken to middle schoolers, I’ve never presented the concept to elementary schoolers, so it was challenging and fun.  I didn’t expect them to be entertained through an hour of my babbling, so I broke it up by asking them to write down two negative thoughts that they’ve ever had about themselves (or heard their mom or friends say about themselves), and then volunteers read their statements aloud… “I’m bad at math,” “My mom likes my sister more than me,” “I’m weird,” “No one wants to be my friend,” “I’ll never be good at soccer,” or “I’m ugly.” 


We then ceremoniously tore up our negative thoughts and fed them to my Girls on the Run buddy Negative Nelly.  They had a lot of fun with that.  I explained that we all have a Nelly in our heads that we can feed negative thoughts to whenever we experience them.  She’s always hungry!


Next, we wrote down two positive thoughts about ourselves – but I asked them to be sure they included at least one internal characteristic so we didn’t focus too much on appearance.  I asked the girls if they found it easier to think of positive or negative characteristics, and most said positive, which made me so happy!  Gems included: “I’m a really good friend,” “I’m awesome at science,” “I always help my dad with chores,” “I have shiny hair,” “I can trust my friends and they can trust me,” “I’m beautiful and unique,” and more.  We read a few aloud and then they swapped their cards with the girls sitting next to them so they could see what each other thought was valuable and awesome.


One of the girls had a really good idea – we should all keep a Positive Polly in our heads, too.  But Polly is filled up with positive thoughts.  When you feed Negative Nelly a thought, you should take one from Polly.


Kids… they are so wise. Smile



  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 24, 2012, 10:18 am

    Ahhh I love hearing about these girls! I was a camp counselor and really miss working with young women!

  • Justine @ Life With Cheeseburgers April 24, 2012, 10:36 am

    I’m a counselor so I love the Negative Nelly idea! I usually call that negative voice our “inner critic.”

    I love the pancake recipe idea too–isn’t it funny how sometimes the tastiest, healthiest recipes look a little funny on the plate? My husband teases me about my recipes sometimes because it takes a little extra care to make them look pretty for the photos I take for my blog 😉

  • Sara April 24, 2012, 11:13 am

    I like Positive Polly! Need to make more room for her in my brain. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 24, 2012, 11:19 am

    I swear, kids really can be so wise! I am going to start reminding myself to feel positive polly daily 🙂

  • Rebecca April 24, 2012, 11:26 am

    Positive Polly is a great idea!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) April 24, 2012, 11:51 am

    I LOVE positivity with kids! It just breeds happiness and self acceptance! Love this!

  • Jacquelyn April 24, 2012, 12:20 pm

    Positive Polly is a great idea! It’s so easy to get caught in a cycle of negative thoughts.

    As an aside, the first three photos are not at all working on my laptop – the only one I can see is the Negative Nelly box picture.

    • Sarah R April 24, 2012, 12:32 pm

      Same here, I thought it was just me. Can only see the negative nelly picture.

      • Caitlin April 24, 2012, 12:43 pm

        My blog is having serious issues… I’ll try to fix.

        • Caitlin April 24, 2012, 12:44 pm

          Is it fixed now?

          • Sarah R April 24, 2012, 1:42 pm

            I can see them now.

      • Carly April 24, 2012, 12:43 pm


  • Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition April 24, 2012, 12:27 pm

    I love working with kids! That’s so great you are able to speak about Operation Beautiful with them

    Kudos to you!



  • Nadine April 24, 2012, 2:45 pm

    James needs a little bed or pillow in front of that window. It’s important to be comfortable while standing guard. We call my dog Emma-Poopy the “Mayor of 12th Street.” She is monitoring the street ALL THE TIME. Squirrels, cats, neighbors and other dogs BEWARE.

    • CaitlinHTP April 24, 2012, 9:52 pm

      Hehe he is a very good guard.

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon April 24, 2012, 4:24 pm

    The girl who suggested positive polly is a genius!
    You should write a children’s book about the adventures of negative nelly and positive polly!

  • polly April 24, 2012, 4:57 pm

    hi there! I am actually a POLLY! 🙂 I used to have a blog, yoga is yummy, not sure if you ever read it, but hi! I am so excited for you and your hubby to bring a sweet pea into the world! Thanks for a fun blog and a place where you are not afraid to be you! I too, think young girls have way too much negative nellies in their mind. but don’t we all? I am 40 years old and i have to be careful not to be so hard on me. The world we live in sometimes likes to tell us what we are supposed to be and look like, and really i think that the stronger and more kind you are on the inside it shows up on the outside and the world no longer matters, ya know? God made us all so unique and beautiful, we just have to remember that. When my pie filling (pretend i am a pie for a second) gets too much crust (crust is worry, fear, doubt) nobody can taste (see) the sweet stuff on the inside.

    enough of my crazy analogies! happy day, sweet Caitlin. XOXO, Polly

    • CaitlinHTP April 24, 2012, 9:51 pm

      Hi Polly!! So nice to hear from you 🙂 How’s everything? How’s your little girl?

    • Jamie April 24, 2012, 10:25 pm

      POLLY! I miss your blog! Totally thought of you when I read Caitlin’s post, so funny to see your comment! I still hope your blog will come back someday! I hope you and your family are doing well!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 24, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Aww, I love this! I’m so glad you do presentations for younger girls too – it’s shocking how early negative thoughts start in girls these days. 🙁

  • Army Amy* April 24, 2012, 7:28 pm

    OB FTW! I bet you leave those presentations feeling so uplifted!*

  • Chelsea April 24, 2012, 10:45 pm

    I bet you just made those little girls day <3!

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd April 25, 2012, 10:26 am

    Wrigley our puppy likes to sit on the back of the couch and look at the window almost as much as she likes being in the back yard. We always say that’s how she “watches tv”.

  • Dental Management Consultant May 1, 2012, 2:55 am

    Wow I appreciate those little girls. They are thinking more positive and that is really good for them. Hope they will convince their friends who are negative thinkers, right?

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