Saturday, December 31, 2011

I Simply Resolve

Resolution - A firm decision to do or not to do something.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a New Year, a day when many people make a firm decision to drink more water, lose 10 lbs, go for a new job, pay off debt, and spend more time with friends and family. But for anyone who has ever made a 'resolution' like the ones above, we all know come March, if not sooner, that little thing called life gets in the way. Next thing we know, it's 4p and you realize that you haven't even taken a sip out of that water bottle, it's July and there is no way you are squeezing into that two piece you bought in January, and before you know it it has been two months since you called your best friend or your Mom.

Life happens. So this year I am keeping my resolution short and sweet. I am making it something only I can control. I am not going to let anyone mess up this decision, deadlines are not going to make me miss it, and chocolate cake will not be my down fall, for in 2012:

I told you; short and simple and easily attainable AND sustainable.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The $100 Dilemma

First of all, happy day after Christmas. I am going to go out on a branch here and say this past Christmas was my favorite! Baby E was at the perfect age and loved every single one of her gifts, I got to see everyone who is near and dear to my heart, I ate more food than I should have, and best of all, it snowed on Christmas day!! I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful weekend and got everything they hoped for this holiday season. Now on to my dilemma.

For Christmas I received a $100 dollar bill. Yahoo! One hundred dollars to spend on me, myself, and I. Sounds pretty easy right? Wrong! You know when I first opened it, I thought groceries, or maybe a Sam's Club card L.A.M.E. I know!! But then I thought, no, I am going to spend this money on something for me, all me. But what? I am toying with a few ideas, but none really stand out as a must have.

Here are things I am toying with:

1) A new pair of Dansko's (kind of lame),
2) Paint and a new light for the kitchen (but is that really for ME?),
3) A new camera lens (but do I really need another lens),
4) Shades for E's room (wait, that's not for me),
5) Christmas decorations that are probably on Clearance (and who exactly would that be for?)
6) A Sam's Club Membership (errr, read above),
7) A new purse (Amy, you already have 1,548 purses, 1,546 of them you never use),
8) A grill insert for the Jeep (not something I can really use, it will just look super cool to that one person, other than me who will notice),
9) New framed prints for the living room (for living room which is not ME)
10) Oil Change and gas for the car (okay, this is getting ridiculous).

As you can see this seemingly thoughtful gift is wreaking havoc in my brain. Why is it so hard for me to spend $100 on myself? Don't get me wrong, I am sure I will have no problem spending this money, two minutes inTarget and I assure you, the $100 and probably a little more will be spent - BUT will it all be spent on ME.

I am going to throw it out there: What would you spend if you have $100 to spend on YOURSELF??

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We have a winner!

Congratulations Paula Clark
you are the winner of a
$5 Starbucks Gift Card!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hugs & Shrugs - Holiday Edition

1) Hair tinsel; a wispy strand of tis the season strategically placed in my hair which makes me feel all Holla-day without having to wear an ugly sweater, 2) I was debating putting this one as a shrug, but if you think about it... it's a hug a really, super, great big HUG; Husbands who hands you cash and say 'go get what you want'; it is a sure way to avoid the disappointed look on your face when you open a gallon of windshield washer fluid... or ice creepers... or snow shoes... or a bar of soap... you get the hint, 3) Holiday shopping commercials and there are some super funny ones this year, like Wal-Mart's  "Ringadingding ringadingding Ring ME UP!!!!" gets me every time, oh and what about Best Buy's commercial where the women are out doing Santa - bwahaha!

1) People who wait to the last minute to do all their shopping and then complain because they can't find the time or the gifts people want, ummm HELLLO Christmas comes on the same day every year, every single year, so there is no reason to act all surprised when someone tells you Christmas Eve is tomorrow, 2) Strands of lights that choose to stop working after you have them up on the tree, really what happened in those last 8 minutes that made you stop working? 3) The possibility of NOT having a white Christmas, devastating to say the least.

Happy Holidays!

Oh and don't forget to leave me your comment on this post for a chance to win a $5 Starbucks gift card!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Search for the Best PML

Peppermint Mocha - the delectable combination of refreshing peppermint with smooth chocolate mixed with a shot or two of espresso and you have one flavor combination that could persuade me to do about anything. Usually, the only place (by place I mean a chain coffee shop in with a drive thru) that offers a Peppermint Mocha Latte (PML) is Starbucks. But this year, it seems like everyone and their brother is offering a PML. So what is a die hard PML lover to do? Try them all!

For the last four weeks I have been on a personal voyage to find out who makes the best PML. I have sampled PML's from the following institutes:  Tim Horton's, McDonald's, D&D, and Starbucks. I have singed taste buds, consumed extra and unnecessary calories, and with all the extra caffeine I have produced some of my most productive afternoon working hours, all in the name of PML.

So Amy, what did you find out. Well, I found out that two were a waste of coffee beans, calories, and a paper cup. Dunkin and Timmy let me down... hard! I couldn't even finish one of them ay' it was that bad. Mickey D on the other hand surprised me, in a good way. The latte was scrumptious, the flavor and texture were good and the price, well you can't beat it.

But I have to say the best of the best, the foam on the top of my latte goes to Starbucks. I don't know what they put in it, but you can't beat this PML with a candy cane!! I love this drink so much, I am going to give one lucky reader a $5 Starbucks Gift Card so you can buy one for yourself and let me know if it is not the best PML you have ever tasted. To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your beverage of choice is this time of year. The lucky winner will be randomly drawn on December 20th. Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bake, Cook, Eat & Repeat

I love to bake, cook, and eat! Here are a few recipes I must try before the end of the year... You know, before the New Year when I will falsely promise myself to drink a gallon of water, eat 17 vegetables, 6 fruits, and walk three miles a day. Yeeeeah, I have 24 more days to bake, cook, and devour things like THIS:

Photo taken from their web-site.

Photo taken from her website

(I made this last year, it was addicting! So consider yourself warned)
Photo taken from their website.

(super easy to make and a big hit with the kiddos!)

Photo taken from website

Photo taken from website.

Enjoy!! Happy Wednesday

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top 10 Annoying Things your Co-Workers Do on a Daily Basis

If you have ever worked in an office type setting with more than two people, you know that things are going to happen that just plain drive you NUTS. They will be small things which you brush off at first, but then they happen again, and again, and again and eventually you can' take it anymore and you being to resent the people, their careless actions, and inconsiderate habits in which you are forced to deal with 40 plus hours a work week.

With a little help from two friends, we have complied a list of the Top 10 Annoying Things your Co-Workers Do on a Daily Basis:

#10 – Lunch/Break Thieves – Nothing burns my bread more than hearing “I know you are on lunch, but it is just a quick question”. I just sat down, opened my magazine and bit into my sandwich, now all I want to do it bite off your head.

#9 – Slamming around computer equipment – I know you are born in the stone age, but hitting things will no longer help it to work.

#8 - Smokers - just because you smoke doesn’t mean you get longer and more frequent breaks than non-smokers. That would be like a coffee drinker getting a break every time they get a new cup and not coming back to work until they are finished.

#7 - Ask me if I am busy – “No, I have been here for two hours, but haven’t started any work yet because I knew that you would need my help”

#6 - Chew food violently at desk ALL morning long - you get a break eat then.

#5 - Eat while talking on the phone - I sure has heck don’t want to listen to it and good chances are neither does the person on the other end.

#4 – Put their food in the microwave and then go back to their office to do more work. Hey your Lean Cuisine has been sitting in the microwave for 7 minutes now and I know for a fact that Fettuccine Alfredo only needs to be in there for 3.5 minutes.

#3 – Don’t pick up printing jobs off the printer/photocopier. Really, you just printed 65 pages and you don’t want to come and get it?

 #2 – Don’t flush - yes fellas this happens in the ladies room too.

 #1 – Clip fingernails – at my house you do that in the bathroom OVER the toilet!

Ahhh, all three of us feel so much better now that we have these off our chest. Is there anything we missed?? If so, please leave them in a comment so we can all read it and go "OH I hate that!"

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I have to ask...

Despite having hundreds of TV stations, our TV rarely leaves what ever station Nick Jr is on. I have been watching A LOT of Nick Jr. over the last 6-8 months; my daughter loves their shows and other than dumping out laundry baskets full of clean, folded clothes, it is about the only thing that will hold her attention for longer than 2.6 minutes.
 I have to say though there are a few things about these shows that just doesn't add up for me. For example:

1) Why doesn't Dora's shirt cover all of her belly?

2) Where are Max & Ruby's parents?

3) How old are the Fresh Beats? They act like they are in junior high, dress like they are in high school, and look like they are out of college?

4) Why hasn't Dino Dan's Mom brought him to see a Psychiatrist? The kid "see's" dinosaurs'?

 5) Can someone please explain to me Yo Gabba Gabba? Anyone??

6) Do Olivia's parents fight? Ever? Three kids and Mom gets all dressed up to stay home all day and no one raises their vioces? And how do 4.5 pigs fit in that little car?

7) What is Uniqua?? Is she a salamander? Wait?! Is 'she' even a 'she'?

8) Why did they make Milli & Geo's heads so big? It just looks weird.

I could keep going... but then you would start to question my sanity. But I can't be the only Mom out there watching these shows and asking these same questions. Right? What are you kids watching that make you go "huh?"?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Family Photos

Ahh, the fall season has arrived. It is by far my favorite of the four seasons; apples, warm days and cool nights, and the best part of all, foliage! Lurrrve foliage; not only is it beautiful to look at, it also creates a beautiful backdrop when taking photos.

Unfortunately this fall, I have done little to no photography due to that little knee issue I had back in September, more on that later... But a few weeks ago I did photograph this adorable little family. You see Mom and I had tried to set a date for these pictures starting back in the Spring, one thing happened and another thing came up and we could never seem to sync our schedules. But a few weeks ago, with the understanding that I have only one fully functioning leg, we finally scheduled a time for a mini family session.

I had so much fun photographing this family. This little guy is really good friends with Miss. E.. They are sooooo cute together; I am not sure how 'cute' we will think they are together in 16 years, but for now he just melts my little heart.

Little man!


Deb - you are gorgeous!

Don't you just want to squeeze him?!?

Well, that would mean you have to catch him first!

Love, love, love these next two.

That little look right there will break a lot of hearts some day, as long as one of those hearts does not belong to my daughter - haha! No really...

I always enjoy the reaction I get when I tell couples I am going to have them make out. They laugh, and then I tell them I am not kidding and the laughter usually stops.
But once I give the order to start kissing - I usually have to tell them to stop!

Dad has my dream truck; an old Ford Bronco! When I saw it in the driveway I knew I had to get this little guy in there for some pictures.

I may be a little partial to the truck, but this maybe my favorite shot of the day!

I was looking through these pictures and I just had to include this series of photos in here. Photographing two year olds CAN BE challenging, trying to photograph parents alone while their two year old is running around IS challenging.

But with a little creative cropping of the camera, a photographer always gets her shot!

Deb - thankfully we were finally able to catch up! Thank you for all your patience and understanding over the last couple months. I hope it was worth the wait.
Happy Monday

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hugs & Shrugs - Adele and Pumpkin Coffee


1) Adele. I purchased 21 approximately 2.5 weeks ago and am pretty sure I have listened to it 2,578,661 times, LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! If you don't have it go to iTunes right now and download it, if you are not happy with it, well then we can't be friends anymore -haha! 2) My physical therapy girl; I say girl because I am sure she is at least a half decade younger than I am and now that I am 30, pretty much every female 0-29 is now a girl to me, anywho she is super nice, smart, and is helping me get this leg back into shape, 3) The flat frying pan my Mom gave me for my birthday. For years I have been grilling up two toasted cheeses at a time (you may call them 'grilled' cheese, but in this house that cheese melted between two buttery pieces of bread is TOASTED), that was until now! The other day I was able to toast up four, yes four sandwiches enough for the hubs, the babes, myself and one to spare.

1) D&D has never, ever, ever once made an appearance in this category, oh wait there was that one time about that really slow one, but never has a product made it on here until today. The new pumpkin iced coffee. I ordered one yesterday took one slug off the straw and wanted to spit it out all over my steering wheel. Some of you wait all year for this coffee... you must drink it hot because iced it tastes like *&%! 2) The return of weather that requires the one item of clothing I loathe... SOCKS! Anyone with a two year old and a husband can understand this one with no further explanation. 3) Not being able to drive the Jeep because it is a standard and I only have 32 degrees of bendage (yes that is a word) with my clutch leg.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Strawberry Coffee Cake

There is something in the fall air that makes me want to bake. And eat. The two definitely go hand in hand September-November.

Well this morning I was feeling like something different, something with no chocolate (WHAT?! I know...) something sort of light, and sort of out of my comfort zone. So I picked up an old cook book and found a recipe for Raspberry Coffee Cake, I looked through the ingredients, yep I have that, yes that too, I will have to look for that one... YES I have it. Luckily for me, I had everything but the Raspberries. So what was a girl to do? Improvise!

I am not a huge fan of Raspberries so the Strawberries were a welcomed substitution. I start assembling the ingredients on the counter and then I hear "Mommy, what ah you doin?" and entered my little 'helper'. Lately she is my little shadow, 'helping' me with everything I do from cooking, brushing my teeth, to cleaning and do my hair and make up, I always have a little 'helper' around where ever and for what ever I am dong and this morning was no exception.

We get all the ingredients for the coffee cake measured and poured and we all step back and let the mixer do it's thang.

Once everything is moistened, the recipe called for me to stop, so that is what I did. The dough looked like this.

I am not used to making much homemade, let alone cake, so I was a little skeptical on the consistency of this dough. But this was me stepping out of my comfort zone so I just folded in the berries and spread it in the pan like I was told.

I popped that baby in the oven for 25-30 minutes and then had to clean up after my little 'helper'.

After 30 minutes (I put timer for 25 minutes, but the cake was not set in the middle, so I popped it back in for another 5 minutes and that seemed to do the trick), I pulled the cake out of the oven and could not have been more happy at what I saw.

What could possibly make this look better?
Oh yeah, there is GLAZE!!

Now you are talkin'. Look at this mater piece. Not only is it pleasing on the eyes, but it also does wonders for your taste buds. Look at that big pile of berries. Now you see them...

Now you don't!!

And for any of you out there who would like to step out of your baking comfort zone, here is the recipe for this fabulous (HOMEMADE) Strawberry Coffee Cake!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Advantage

Have you ever been taken advantage of? I am sure in one way or another we all have. It doesn't feel good when it happens; especially when it is being done by those you love the most. In the last couple of weeks, I have been taken advantage of by more than my fair share by one person in particular and one other living being of the canine type. A.K.A. These two!

In this picture they look seemingly innocent, but what you don't know... is the story.

Once upon a time, there was a Mom, a Mom who had a really, really, really bad month which landed her with a bum leg and two super clunky, annoying, and loud crutches. This Mom also lives in a house full of stairs and let's just say that going up and down these stairs is a huge pain in the knee cap. Did I also mention that it is the beginning of hunting season so on any random Monday-Saturday night, Mom is left in a house full of stairs, a two year old and a yellow lab. One night the yellow lab was looking at the Mom with large brown eyes while circling the kitchen like an eagle circles dead fish on the ice. This is Dog for "lady, let me out I gotta pee". So Mom gathers her crutches and begins the 16 stair decent to the ground level. Dog pushes past Mom almost knocking her over. Mom tells the two year old to "wait there I will be right back" which prompts a "NOOOOOOOOO, NOOOOO, NOO" response from the two year old. So knowing she is already defeated, Mom sighs, tells baby to be careful and finally makes it to the ground floor. She opens the door to let the dog out and is surprised when the two year old pushes her out of the way and is now outside with said Dog.

Okay, okay, so what's the big deal? So the dog has to pee and your kid follwed him out. Okay, I see your uneducated point of view. Did I also mention that it is the beginning of October, it's cold outside, dog is peeing on the grass, which baby is running through with no shoes on.

After about eight minutes of watching them outside I do the whole "okay, come inside", but these two know that 1) I don't have any shoes on, 2) I have crutches,and 3) there is no way in in h-e-double hockey sitcks I can run and/or ever catch them if I decided to try it... so what do they do... they take advantage of me and my situation and refuse to come inside.

That's until I pull out the ole "want a snack" trick! Unfortunelty that only works on one of the culprits.

Orrrr did it....

Yep... it did...

So then I get all 'Mom' and yell her name and throw her the middle name, because we all know when that happens MOM MEANS BUSINESS!! Yeah... we can all see how affective that trick is on a two year old!

So I stand to the side to make her think I have left. To my surpirse that worked like a charm!!

At this point, now she realizes it's cold outside and that there is a snack involved.
 So she gets all cute on me.

I kid you not, this went on for almost 20 minutes. Phew! I know what they were doing, taking advantage of Mom! I could be mad, frustrated, or upset, but with a face like this how can I be anything but entertained!

Happy Wednesday

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stupid Phone

Smart phone, iphones, that phone, your phone, everywhere you looks its phone phones. Not real phones of course, I am typing about cell phones. There are certain things I refuse to buy generic or cheap; coffee, mac and cheese, soda, and camera accessories to name a few, but cell phones… I could care less.

I was in town a while ago and the ladies in front of me were each talking up their phones, I have no idea what kind of phones they were but this one had this and that one did that, it was like a sit down peeing contest, only we were all standing in line.

I have a cell phone, have had one for a number of years, however I have never had the latest and greatest cell phone. Today I make my outgoing calls on a Razr phone, remember how cool those were five years ago? Don’t lie, you had one and I bet it was red. My phone rings when someone wants to get a hold of me, charges in a jiffy, and it receives text messages… wait I have to rant about text messages for a second.

Call me prehistoric, but I do not have a calling plan that includes texting. Why? Because I hate to text! Probably because I don’t have a keyboard on my phone and it takes me over 35 button pushes to text “what’s going on”. But unfortunately for me, my thumbs, and my calling plan, everyone and their sister’s cousin’s co-worker texts. It costs me $.25 each time I send out a text, when in reality my carrier should PAY ME $.25 a text because it is that labor intensive. And why does everyone feel the need to text anyway? If you want to know what we are up to tonight or you want my recipe for chocolate chip cookies, CALL ME! I am not going to put that in a text!! Oh and what is up with you people who send you a text but then don’t answer your phone? Really, what happened in those 13 seconds it took for you to hit send and me for me to press call? Sigh…

I realize that my phone (and calling plan) is ancient, or as I like to call it Vintage, I know that 90% of the kids at my daughter’s daycare have cooler phones than me, I see you pointing and laughing at my phone and me while I try to text and I am cool with all that. In comparison to your Smart phone, mine is dumb, but it serves its purpose and I use all that money I save from my monthly calling plan and my initial super duper better than your phone purchase to buy all that name brand coffee, mac and cheese, soda, and camera accessories!

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Big Three-Zero

Today is the day I enter the third decade of my life. Back when I was 18 I would have shuttered at the thought of turning 30, but then again, I probably would have done the same at the thought of turning 25. Growing up I remember one of my Aunt’s turning 30; I remember her being so depressed that entire day, she made us kids pop all the balloons in the house and wouldn’t even eat her cake, I also remember a different Aunt hitting the high road to Florida the day she turned 30 so no one would have a chance to sing to her or have her walk into a Legion Hall just to have 130 of her closest friends and family yell “SURPRISE”. Funny I don’t remember my Mom turning 30 though.

A lot of people have asked me ‘what do you think of turning 30?’ A wise lady I used to work with always said that being able to celebrate a birthday always beats the alternative, so that’s what I have been telling them.

Every time I think of 30, I keep hearing that Tim McGraw song, In My Next 30 Years. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have had a lot of time alone lately to think about that… my next 30 years and here are just a few things I have come up with.

In My Next Thirty Years:

I will care less about the label on the inside of my purse and more about whether or not I actually have it with me,

I will not try to keep up with the Joneses; instead when I invite them over to dinner and ask them to bring the champagne,

I will drink more coffee and less Mt. Dew in the morning,

I scrutinize the circumference of my mid section less and what I put into that area more,

Instead of being the perfect wife, mother, and friend, I will do the absolute best I can and will not beat myself up if everything doesn’t work out the way that book, her Mom, or I said it would,

I will care less about what those who do nothing for me or my family think of me and put that all that caring into those who do,

I will pay more attention to the lives of people I actually know and less time on TMZ and X17online,

I may write a book, a children’s book or submit an essay for publication,

I will learn to say No,

I will travel,

I will learn to become a better baker and cook and depend less on Hamburger Helper and Betty Crocker for all things delicious that come out of my kitchen,

I will take the long way home, because some days that extra six minutes to me, myself, and I makes all the difference,

I will say Thank You more and truly mean it,

I will leap and find my net.

Happy Wednesday!

Oh, Oh, Oh, and we have a winner with the staple count: ASHLEY GOFORTH!! She guessed correct with 23 staples (I must confess I had a different number in mind and had to do a re-count this morning to confirm and yep there are 23 of them suckahs in there)!! Thanks for all of you who took a stab at it - haha!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Home, home again, I like to be here when I can. – Pink Floyd

After spending four days and three nights in my beloved Boston, I am finally home. Last Wednesday I was scheduled for surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital to have a Chondroblastoma (bone tumor) removed from my distal femur bone (that is your thigh bone, the end of it that is near your knee.) This is my third surgery on that knee, this one being the most serious, but none the less this is my third go around. Let’s hope what they say about the third time being true, because I am not as young as I was yesterday.

I am told that the surgery went well, no complications which is the best you can hope for. I had to stay in the hospital an extra night because my blood pressure was having some issues readjusting post surgery, but come the following day me and my distal femur bone were read to come home, thankfully all the Dr.’s and nurses agreed.

So now I am home. It is Monday, I am out of work for a few weeks, Miss E. is at daycare and the Mr. is at the end of road sawing lumber. It’s me, this computer, my passed down set of crutches, my new book The Help, the dog, and my first cup of coffee in almost 6 days. On a scale of 1-10, pain is about a 6, yesterday I thought I was Wonder Woman and made some banana bread and did a load of laundry and at 4p if you would have come to my house you would have heard the howls of a wounded Wonder Woman coming from my bedroom. Yes, Mom, lesson learned, I need to take it easy.

So over the next couple weeks I have no plans but to read, watch TV, probably do a few blog posts since this is about the only entertainment I can do for myself that doesn’t include the use of my leg, but most importantly I plan to heal.

And because this post is kind of a bummer and because I am almost done my first cup of coffee in 6 days let’s make it a little fun. If you can guess correctly by looking at the below picture how many staples are in my leg, I will send you a $5 gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts.

Rules – you have to leave your number in the comment section of the blog and you have to leave me some way of knowing who you are, like your name or leave me your e-mail address so I can notify you, if you enter the correct number! Once the correct number is commented the giveaway will be done. (Sorry in advance to those of you who may puke after looking at the below picture :o(

Happy Monday!