Happy New Year!


I gave the all my old lists a new friend: my “Best Of 2015” list.

You know the lists: a new year or a new season brings new lists: honey-do projects, yet another To Do list, dreams, grand plans. I have several lists, most of which are hiding under other, more important paperwork on flat surfaces in my home.

Enjoy these things I remember from 2015. Mostly, these are things I wanted to blog about and never did. I’m taking the time now because I’m putting off holiday unpacking and taxes.

So, now you get my 2015 picks, so to speak, all wrapped up like a belated Christmas gift. May your 2016 be…well, the best.


Best Stocking Stuffer I Got for Myself:

Best of List from Captain Mom for 2015

A lanyard. Not just any lanyardSpecifically, this lanyard, (rustic color: pumpkin) which is made of a strong fabric & lace strap and with a mother hook possibly capable of holding a small child. If I could attach my mind to it, I could. Because when I’m running the show while The Pilot is gone, my keys get lost in every transition and shuffle. I bought it from the Etsy store of Burly Chic Marketplace, mostly for my keys but also for other things. #hookthis


Best Impulse Purchase:

Captain Mom's cooler bag

A cooler bag. Found this at a Walgreens kind of close to Gulf Shores, Alabama last summer on our first family vacation. Those stores near the beach really do have everything you need and anything you forgot to pack (the store was maybe 20 minutes from the beach, the prices were pretty much the same as I see the stores where I live). (See, we had packed a medium-sized cooler full of water and snacks. It’s a cooler we’ve had for a long time that is quite hand because it ROLLS ON WHEELS. Which can’t really be done in the sand.) #midwesterner

I keep the cooler bag in the car and use it All. The. Time. for restaurant leftovers and short trips to the grocery store. Handy dandy.


Product I Most Want Attached to a Wall in My House:

Best of 2015 by Captain Mom

A mirror, mirror on the wall. One of the hotels we stayed at on our trip had this dandy thing in the bathroom. I can’t really explain how great this is or what a relief it is to have a mirror with a cool expandable arm that comes close to my face, rather than the other way around. I might even shave time off my four-minute face. #superpower


Concept I was Most Asked About:

Quiet time in our house. You can read about it here. It’s a magical routine enacted during every weekend, summer break, or holiday vacation. The short of it: all children in their own space for a designated amount of time with no hollering or coming to Mommy or Daddy for any reason. It’s sanity. #shhhhhh


Best New Kitchen Tool:

Captain Mom's new Tramontina Pan

This Tramontina pan. I am a lover and user of cast iron. I am also a daily eater of eggs, and I’m tired of cleaning it off iron (Yes, my pan is seasoned. No, I do not use soap on it. Yes, I leave a coat of oil on it and wash it as little as possible.)


Anywho, I checked out this pan, which is ceramic nonstick, but supposedly not the same nonstick that is full of chemicals or something. So far…so very, very good. I’ve cooked eggs multiple times, and sautéed vegetables. I’m using my Christmas gift money to buy the bigger pan, because we eats a lot of eggs (and other foods) around here. #domesticchef


Best Food I Started Putting in My Slow Cooker:

Potatoes, for baking/steaming. Scrub, rub (with oil), and salt. Pepper, if you want. (Don’t forget to pierce with a fork so those spuds won’t ‘splode.) Wrap each potato with foil and set a bunch in the cooker on “low” for the day. I don’t add water. I use my small slow cooker to warm chili at the same time. Lay out salt and cheese and chives and butter and whateversome else your family likes. Potato bar! #easybutton


My Best Captain Mom Post of 2015

My pick is this: Unconventional Advice for Graduates. But you’re the reader, so you be the judge.Unconventional advice for 2015 graduates, life lessons for graduates