Not long ago, I posted a list of kids’ books that help make bedtime a breeze. Once those kiddos are (finally!) in bed, it’s time to slide between the sheets with a book of your own—one that’s sure to make you gasp and giggle and keep you up way too late. Enter the talented Lela Davidson and her hilarious book Blacklisted from the PTA, a spot-on collection of laugh-out-loud essays about the crazy world of motherhood and marriage.
Blacklisted is Lela’s third baby (she’s a busy mom to two teens) and it’s turning one this month. I’m thrilled to help her celebrate Blacklisted’s first birthday—what’s more fun than a birthday party? Even better, this party includes gifts for YOU—comment on this post for a chance to win your very own signed copy of Blacklisted!
With smarts, sass, and wits to spare, Lela is a writer to be reckoned with. I met this petite powerhouse a couple of years ago through our mutual writing coach Christina Katz, who introduced Lela to me as a writing role model.
And what a role model she’s been: shortly after we met, I got to watch Lela launch Blacklisted to smashing sales. In the year that followed, she used her considerable social media savvy to promote her book, while ratcheting up her writing productivity to near super-human levels. How could I not be inspired?
With a writing track record that includes The Huffington Post, TODAY Show Moms, ModernMom.com, iVillage, and parenting magazines across the US and Canada, Lela’s name gets around. If you haven’t heard it already, you will soon. (And speaking of hearing, her adorable Arkansas accent is two parts sassy, a million parts adorable. Check out her podcasts for proof.)
But her story doesn't start with killer heels and Southern-belle social graces. Lela's many fans may not know that she hails from the laid-back, earthy-mama West Coast. She grew up in uber-crunchy Bellingham, Washington, a stone’s throw from my own hometown.
Unlike me, Lela moved away from the Northwest and learned how to accessorize and use hairspray. But you can’t completely take the Northwest out of a girl—she’s been known to foist kale smoothies on her offspring, after all.
I like to think her West Coast roots ground her work with a firm sense of reality and a down-to-earth dose of wisdom. A glossed-up, glammed-out version of down-to-earth that doesn’t shy away from five-inch heels. That’s Lela.
In honor of Blacklisted’s big soiree, here’s a birthday recipe that’s a big jumble of naughty, sweet, delicious goodness, just like our Lela. Sneak a big bowl into bed with you to savor while you read Blacklisted. (The dark chocolate might keep you awake, but you’ll have the book to keep you company, so no worries there.) Don’t share this grown-up treat with the kiddos—like Blacklisted, this one is all for you.
Glam Grownup Granola
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup whole almonds or walnuts
- ¼ cup dark chocolate-covered almonds
- 1/2 cup 72 or 85 percent cacao dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300.
Mix oats and almonds in a medium-sized bowl.
Bring oil, honey, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla to a simmer in a saucepan. Pour mixture over oats and stir to coat.
Spread oat mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes, until oats are toasty brown.
Let granola cool. Break into small pieces and toss with cherries, chocolate-covered almonds, and dark chocolate chips.
To win a signed copy of Blacklisted from the PTA, comment with your answer to this question: What’s your favorite thing to do before bed? Read? Exercise? Snack? Surf the Net? Ahem…something else? Does the habit help you sleep or keep you up?