Monday, February 27, 2012

A Chest Bump for Me

Patience sure as heck is a virtue, one that I seriously need to put a radical amount of energy into improving/increasing, but tonight I made myself proud. I would have chest bumped myself if I could figure out a way to do it.  While at Megs Baby Shower (more on that later) we all chatted a bit about our challenges as Parents and it is no secret that getting Avery to bed at a reasonable hour and getting her to stay in her bed is at the top of my "Need to work on" lists. So tonight I took some advice from one of the Mom's there. After about 30 minutes of reading in the hallway, I got up, went downstairs and let Riley outside.  Avery followed me downstairs, I calmly picked her up, brought her back to her bed, kissed her head, told her I loved her and proceeded to walk back out of her room.  She quietly put her head down and went to sleep...NOT. Not even close, but the good news is, I never raised my voice, didn't threaten to "spank her bum" and got some exercise.  The exercise you ask? How did I get some exercise? Oh, that is easy, because I walked to and from my room and up and down the stairs 11 times.  Every time she made her way out of her room in search of me, I would pick her up, hold her tight, place her back in her bed, kiss her head and remind her that I loved her.  The second to last time I told her if she left her room again I would have to close her door because she needed her sleep and all this getting up was cutting into her sleep time.  She came out one more time, so when I put her back in her bed, I closed the door on my way out and she went to sleep.

True story, no jokes this time around, she fussed for a split second and then was out, the door is still closed, and Riley is downstairs on the couch while I am upstairs in bed, both of which NEVER happen. (her door is never closed and Riley is never downstairs without me)...

Any bets on whether we can reduce the trips back to her bed down to 10 tomorrow night?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five on Friday: 5 Things About Avery

In honor of Avery's Third Birthday I thought it would be fun to document the 5 things that come to mind when I think of Avery at this age and the 5 things I don't want to forget when I look back at this moment in time.

1) "A-V-R-Y -that's my name, me smell my name, A-V-R-Y" - Olivia has recently become a big speller of names.  She can spell at the kids names in her class and walks around spelling her own name like its a verse in her favorite song, so of course, monkey see, monkey do, Avery has joined in the spelling fun.  When she sees the letter A on anything, from a street sign to the brand name in my shoes, she thinks she is seeing her name, because she knows it starts with the letter A, but beyond that the letters are basically Greek to her, so when we ask her to spell her name, she rattles it off quickly and usually omits the E, but then goes on to say "that's my name, me smell my name" instead of "me spell my name", its adorable and I smile just thinking about her little voice saying those words.

2) Snacks at 6:30am - the second she wakes up she is talking about food. Usually I get an ear full at bedtime about her tummy not being full, but often times it is just a stall tactic, she isn't hungry, but being that this child isn't a big meal eater, it is likely that some nights she does go to bed hungry and of course then, wakes up starving, craving...wait for it....wait for it...what every 3 year old craves at 6:30am (better than 4:45am, but don't be fooled, the craving was the same at 4:45am as well)...Fruit Snacks, always 2 packages, Peanut Butter Crackers (picture the pre-made packages of 6 peanut butter crackers), Fruit Loops (the entire box, and a big one) and sometimes she craves a rather normal breakfast food, like a Fiber One bar or a Special K Fruit Crisp, but not often, almost always I find empty Fruit Snack wrappers in our bed.

Disney - December 2011

3) Mommy's Girl - I like to think that I have a close relationship with both of my beauties, but when we are talking about physical closeness I think that Avery takes the cake. We joke that if it was possible, she might attempt to crawl back into my womb.  I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I didn't share that at times its exhausting and very frustrating that Brad can't help her do simple things, or that Brad can't hold her when she needs to be held, I walk in after working a full day and I immediately have a toddler on my hip, but when I take a step back and think about how quickly these days go by, I find myself holding her a little tighter and asking her to come sit with me when we are watching TV on the couch, her days of needing her Mommy are likely numbered (in her mind of course, we all know that us gals all need ours Moms, far beyond our youth)

4) Me Do It Myself vs. Mommy Do It - Avery is very torn between being independent and being super duper needy. But not just needy for everyone, needy for Mommy.  And you never know which Avery you are going to get: Little Miss Independent (shout out to Kelly Clarkson) or Little Miss "I can't do a thing for myself, including climb on the potty and tinkle". One minute she is begging you to help her get her socks on, and then next second you are attempting to help her with her shoes and she is swatting them out of your hands screaming "Me Do It Myself". This is likely very driven by her age, but I imagine Avery's light switch changes are a little extreme, heck, it keeps us on our toes. And sometimes she changes her mind, for example, if she asks me to help her get dressed, I help her and then she changes her mind and wants to do it herself, she will proceed to remove all her clothes, stand there naked, scream "Me Do It Myself" and then will dress herself again. But often times the redressing part requires her to examine every single article of clothing in her dresser JUST to make sure she is satisfied with the outlet she is about to place on her body.

5) Brad: "No Running Avery" Avery: "Me hopping, me not running" or "me skipping Daddy, me not running". Her teachers have warned us that she is a rather bright bulb, and this child is very good at pushing those buttons, skirting around the scolding, and a perfect example is when you tell her to stop running, she will quickly respond, grin on her face with "Me skipping, me not running".  Or when you tell her to get ready in the morning, and you find her reading books in Olivia's room..."What are you doing, I thought I told you to get ready?". Avery: "me getting read books". You teeter between laughter and wanting to wallop her adorable little tush. Most of the time it cracks me up,  she is a witty little girl that Avery Emerson Turner.

Avery at 3 Years Old

As the clock strikes 1:53pm we will begin celebrating Avery's third birthday. Our little beauty is a fireball, she keeps us on our toes and she is a thrill a minute. She is funny and smart.  She is full of energy and exhausting.  Avery isn't a very good listener but the frustration with her poor listening skills fades away when she tucks her head into your shoulder, in fact, the instant she tucks her head and wraps her legs around your waist all of your worries fade away, her cuddling powers are just that, powerful! Avery loves fruit snacks and loathes brushing her teeth, a cavity just waiting to happen.  She can take down an entire box of Fruit Loops in a single week, yet getting this child to eat a vegetable is likely going to remain on the to-do list until she earns her college diploma. Our lives are richer because she is our daughter, she reminds me daily just how powerful unconditional love is, and reflecting on her introduction to the world gives me pause, just enough to thank my lucky stars each and everyday I get to battle with her at bedtime.  Because without that perspective I might forget how thankful I really am to have a little spitfire to fuss at 35 times a night.

1 Month Old

1. What is your favorite color? Yellow (pronounced Lello)

2. What is your favorite toy? A baby T-Rex

3. What is your favorite fruit? Peaches

4. What is your favorite tv show? Dora The Explorer

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? A Sandwich

1 Year Old

6. What is your favorite outfit? A dress

7. What is your favorite game? BINGO was his NAME-O

8. What is your favorite snack? Fruit Snacks

9. What is your favorite animal? A Monkey

10. What is your favorite song? Hark The Herald Angels

11. What is your favorite book? Dora Books

 Two Years Old

12. Who is your best friend? Mommy (be still my beating heart!!)

13. What is your favorite cereal? "The Tiger Cereal" (Frosted Flakes)

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play & Swing

15. What is your favorite drink? Milk

16. What is your favorite holiday? Trick or Treat day

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Books, Lamby & Monkey

 Almost Three Years Old

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Waffles & Pancakes

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Birthday Cake

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? "This Tall" - picture her holding her hands up to the sky...., precious answer don't you think?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We are having a PARTY

Our little one is almost three...can you believe it? Friday is the big day, and Saturday we will PARTY.

And of course this cute as a button invite was made possible by my uber talented gal pal

Book Report: A Wedding in December

I have had this book on a shelf for what feels like years, and I had been stuck on page 37 for at least 2, now that my darling Avery gives me a good 60-90 minutes of reading most nights I figured it was about time that I finished this one up.  I ended up having to start over because it had been too long and I didn't want to miss some context that might be necessary to put the rest of the story together.

A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve (don't forget, Bargain Pricing on Amazon right now, only $5.98) is a well written story about a group of forty-somethings who reunite at an inn in Western Massachusettes (holla!) for a classmates wedding.  Many of them had not seen each other in 27 years.  It hits home a bit considering my 15 year high school reunion is scheduled for Labor Day, also in Western Massachusettes and I missed our 10 year reunion because I was very pregnant with Olivia and couldn't travel, so I too haven't seen several of my classmates in a solid 15 years, (not quite 27, but you get the point).

I enjoyed this book, but note that I didn't say I loved it.  I had a hard time picturing the characters, at certain points I thought I had them figured out, a picture of them in my mind, and others I was starting from scratch again, so it was somewhat difficult to get into the story, I love creating an image of the characters so that it plays out in my head like a movie while I soak in the words on the pages. But with that said I am going to give this author another shot, (The Pilot's Wife) while I couldn't picture the characters physically, I did find myself getting to know them well, their voices were descriptive of their personalities and I came to count on certain characters for certain reactions and while I find myself attracted to chic-lit, this author makes me feel like an adult, and every now and then that is probably a good thing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A High-Five Gone Wrong

The mornings are always rushed around here, no matter what time I get in the shower or Olivia wakes up, we are always going 100 mph in the mornings, just seems to be the nature of the beast, I need to work on slowing it down a bit because when school hits in September I want the mornings to feel routine and calm, not frenzied and crazy.

Disney - December 2012

Brad was out of town one day last week, so it was just the girls and I getting ready. Imagine me running around, sans work attire, fresh out of the shower, hair in a towel, partially dressed standing in the bathroom, the girls are on our bed watching TV.

Avery: (coming into the bathroom) Mommy, LaLa hit me.

Me: (looking out into the bedroom for Olivia) Olivia, did you hit her?

Olivia: (giving it some thought), well....I tried to give her a high-five...but I missed

Me: (instant smile, but can't laugh out loud just yet, need to see how Avery reacts)

Avery: high-five on hands, not on backs, LaLa (and she stressed the Lala part like she was channeling Peewee Herman)

Me: (huge amounts of laughter are now spilling out of my torso, and I can't help myself)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Monday: Banana Bread

Olivia is a HUGE fan of all breads, Banana, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Cheesy - you name it, she loves it.  So when I spotted the rather ripe bananas on the counter I knew that it was a layup, put produce to good use and make my 4 year olds day!

I decided to pass on the Joy of Cooking recipe that I have remained loyal to for several years and ventured out into the world wide web to the always fruitful where I found the recipe for Cathy's Banana Bread.

Brown Sugar Mixture & Banana Mixture

I made a few adjustments to the recipe based on some of the reviews I read and it seems to be a big hit in the Turner Household. I substituted 1 cup of white sugar for 1 cup of light brown sugar, used reduced fat sour cream and also threw in a few shakes of cinnamon for good measure (and some sweet spice).  I could have made some additional adjustments to cut some calories, and might consider them next time, such as applesauce instead of margarine and egg beaters instead of 2 eggs. And wouldn't you know it, I forgot to snap a photo before the 2 loaf pans went in the oven and one loaf is already gone!! Next time I will take a photo of the finished product.

A day of thrifting fun...

One of the random things I spotted at Love of Jesus Thrift Store - I think I might have snorted at first sight.

but I am sad to report no finds for this thifting gal, Molly however did manage to snag a kids craft table and two chairs (I am patting myself on the back just a bit since I spotted them for her). 

Stop #1 - Midlothian Turnpike - interesting spot to say the least

Molly gave me the idea to capture all of our adventures on "film", so I attempted to take photos of some of the places we went and some of the more interesting finds I came across.

We need to frequent this place, their photos on FB tell me that it is just a matter of time before we score big here.

How funny are these chairs? We saw them at Diversity Thrift, they must have had 50 of them - we thought they were teeny tiny.
Several weeks ago we decided that we needed a day to ourselves, a day to take our time and browse the thrift and consignment stores throughout the Richmond Metro Area. We are always amazed by the finds people stumble across in blog land and even more so inspired by the ones our blog pal Richmond Thrifter seems to uncover, so we figured we owed it to ourselves to take a day and thrift until our hearts were content.

Mostly clothes, not likely to return here for thrifting, but we did see a few PBK crib sets here in case folks are in the market.

We did decide after the second stop that key to thrifting is likely being consistent and a regular thrifter, the occasional stop at a Goodwill here and there isn't likely going to score you the big ones! Oh well, we will get better at it, we had a blast so we are going to make it our goal to do it at least once every few months.

Mechanicsville - where Molly found the chairs!!

We started our morning at Panera for a little breakfast to fuel our thrifting energy, and then hit several stores before we broke for lunch, which was at Kitchen 64, which disappointed, sad to say. Molly had the worst plate of nachos we have ever encountered and my grilled cheese with bacon, which is usually good was ruined with soggy, undercooked bacon. WOOF.  We did enjoy each others company and our Diet Cokes were delicious.

My only purchase were these super simple, yet classic glass knobs from Feathernesters.  They were under $3.00 each and I plan for them to spruce up the refinished armoire, which I hope to share with all of you this week.

Neat place, cute things...prices are all over the place.

I loved this Coat Hanger, but I wasn't sure where I would put it, so I didn't get it, but once we redo the Entry Way something like this just might have a home.

Scariest Award - what in the world is this frightful thing and who would buy it?

We stopped at a few Salvation Army stores too, but found their pricing to be all over the price, some of those fake wood bookshelf things you can buy at Wal-Mart for $20 were $30 at the Salvation Army, it was very confusing. And we also hit up Class & Trash, but no luck there either. There is always next time!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Was that a Firetruck?

Quick funny Avery story before I head upstairs to bed...

Poor Quality iPhone image, but in PJ's, so it sets the stage...

Here is the setting: Avery is climbing into her bed, protesting, grunting and grumbling the entire way and as she reaches to pull herself up, she lets out a tiny little toot...I am sitting in the hallway in the doorway folding clothes, I immediately start to chuckle to myself, but I had no idea how funny the next few seconds were going to turn out to be.

Avery: What the heck was that?

Me: (laughing harder now)

Brad: (who is on the landing almost downstairs, clearly heard it) What was that?

A few seconds of silence goes by...but I am still laughing, just the silent laughter.

Avery: Hmmm, must have been a firetruck driving by

Me: (still laughing, still on the floor, but I now have tears streaming down my face I am laughing so hard).

This child is her father's daughter...if she had used the "I stepped on a frog" excuse I probably would have peed my pants.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five on Friday: Things I have too many of

Random, I know. But there are just some things that I just find myself spending dollar after dollar on, now that I have children and can/need to shop for them I have cut back quite a bit, but I still find myself drooling over certain things in stores...and these are things that you can use multiple of, but at one point in my life I needed to have a chat with myself about my obsessions, and I had to admit that I just had too many.

1) Lip Gloss - whether its fancy schmancy lip gloss or just regular ol' chapstick. I have an affinity to lip products.  I would have to say that Burts Bees is my favorite cheapstick brand out there, but believe you me, I have tried my fair share.

2) Markers or Special Pens - I would marry a Sharpie if I could. I love me some colorful markers. I would much rather write a thank you note in a special marker than a boring ol' Bic Pen. My most recent marker purchase was the Stabilo set shown above. I read about them on a blog and I procured them around the time that I bought my Life Planner from Erin Condren and they complimented each other PERFECTLY.

3) Calendars or Planners - this one used to be far worse than it is now, actually these days I have tried to stick to a main calendar in the morning room to visually track family plans, a written weekly pad near the phone, my Outlook calendar for work and then of course my Life Planner, but back in the day I used to have a calendar in every single room, a desk planner on every flat surface in our home and I would transfer all plans and birthdays into each and every one - it was so small task, I would spend hours doing it. Now I try and keep as much as I can in my Outlook Calendar at work, and I use my Life Planner to keep me organized week to week. The other two are just visually nice, but don't serve a huge purpose, but my Mom sure does love to snoop on our wall calendar, she is always asking me about our plans several months in advance, sneaky lady.

4) Purses & Tote Bags- I know, I know, a girl can't have too many purses, but I have found a way to cut back just a little bit, I used to pick up every cute purse I saw at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, in college I had more Polo Sport purses than bras and these days my purse tastes are a little different, so I rarely procure my handbags from the TJ Maxx, but don't you fret, I sure do stroll through the aisles in the hopes I will find a gem in the rough.  On top of purses I just love bags, all sizes, tote bags, beach bags, laptop bags, heck, I even love grocery bags.  I could probably order the Lands End/LL Bean Canvas Totes in every combination they offer, and I would find a way to monogram them all differently and they would be the key to organization in my home...that is if my husband wouldn't leave me. I believe the following phrase has come out of his mouth on more than one occasion "Babe, if you bring another tote bag into this house we are going to have a serious conversation about whether this house is big enough for both me and the bags". In my defense, for a wedding present he gave me a tote bag from J.Crew with my new monogram on it- sweet huh? These days I am digging the bags from Vineyard Vines, but holy smokes they are a tad pricey, but classy nontheless.

5) Flats & Flip Flops - I haven't done a good job on cutting back in this space just yet. I did however find myself purging several pairs of flip flops over the summer that I haven't worn since moving to Richmond almost 7 years ago, so while I have a few less pairs cluttering my closet, I have done a bang up job in the last week filling their void with some adorable $14 flats from the Target in a variety of colors.  I seem to think that flip flops and flats aren't huge shoe committments, they are generally on the afforable side of the price scale and therefor I rationalize having several pairs, however I am starting to think that it might be time to invest in a solid pair of black flats. One of my friends at work has a pair of Tory Burch and I adore them, but I just haven't found the courage to bite the bullet on a purchase like that. The most I have ever spent on a pair of shoes is $138 (shown above), and actually I didn't spend it, they were a present from Brad one year for Christmas.  I adore these shoes, I get compliments on them all the time, but the white stripes got white and they are starting to stain and the backs are starting to fray a bit.  My favorite flip flops happen to be Rainbows, but I love all the cute ones from Lands End,  Eliza B or Vineyard Vines.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Heart Breaks...

Cameron is the second from the left

For two families in our community who suffered great losses this week.  The first is a sweet little girl, Cameron in Olivia's Class. Cameron just turned 5 in early February and her Father passed away early this week, and her Mother isn't in her life. When Brad called to tell me this morning after he dropped the girls off I got the worst case of chills all over my body, if I wasn't driving I probably would have had to stop what I was doing and sit down.  Granted, her Father is older, but I didn't know that he had been sick, and it turns out that the treatment was going well, this came somewhat out of the blue. My heart aches for Cameron and her sisters. I so badly hope that she is able to stay plugged into our Pre-School. I would happily contribute to keep Cameron there, pay for 1 week a month or something like that, keeping her in her normal routine has got to help to some degree...I just hate not knowing what is going to happen to her, and of course it makes me sad for Olivia.  I can imagine tonight Olivia will have some questions because they plan to tell the classes today.  What a tough subject. Right now she knows that when people die they go to Heaven, but the comprehension at 4 years old of what that means is likely zip, zero, zilch. Heck, I struggle to comprehend it and I am almost 33 years old.

And the second, my dear friend Amy lost her friend Kelly this morning to a hard fought battle with Cancer (Cancer Sucks, btw), and Kelly has two daughters and she was their sole care giver.  Thankfully Kelly's family is very supportive and can help with the girls, but I can't imagine being in 5th or 8th grade and growing up without my Mom. So tragic and so unfair.

If you could, please keep these two families in your prayers as I can imagine the road ahead isn't certain and is likely going to be sad and scary for these young girls.

Book Report: Fly Away Home

I am seriously on a roll, this whole reading every single night while Avery is trying to fall asleep (me sitting on her floor, using the light from the hallway to illuminate my book just enough to bang out a few chapters) is really helping me clip through these books I have been dying to finish for over a year.  I have one or two more "already started" books and then I will move on to my very full bookshelf, at this rate I will be needing some new books by Fall, exciting.

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner is about a Senator's Wife who initially stands by her man after he cheats on her, her relationship with her two grown daughters, and in turn their relationships with each other. I think I was drawn to this book because I love stories like this, I love the TV Show The Good Wife that started out very similar, and I am (white I hate to hear they happen) fascinated with real life stories like this...

I also love to see change happen and see people embrace change. I am always frustrated by the phrase or mindset of "You can't teach an old dog new tricks", and this book really shows three grown women taking the time to reexamine their lives and they all end up in radically different places than they started, and far happier than they ever imagined.  One of my favorite lines from the book goes something like "Sometimes you have to go through something hard to realize you might end up in a better spot after all is said and done" or something to that affect. I am sure I didn't nail it, and I am sure it was more powerful the way it was written, but you get the point.

Next Up is A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve and it just so happens to be a Bargain Book on - it is only $5.98 right now.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Three Valentines

Monday, February 13, 2012

Highway Robbery aka Build-a-Bear

Brad & Greene the Koala
My goodness, by the sounds of my friends posts on FB when I was venting about the prices, I should be thankful that we just purchased our first Build-a-Bears, and Olivia is 4.5 years old.  Some of my FB friends were commenting that they have between 10-40 of them in their homes, are these things like Beanie Babies? What in the world is the draw to these expensive stuffed friends? I am guessing its the dressing and "building" that reels the kiddos in and the smiles on their faces just acts as a wallet opener, so the cash starts flowing and the bears done sequin purses before you can catch onto what is going on. It all happened so fast and to be honest, it wasn't until I looked at the price tag on the shoes that I realized how expensive things were.  The bears themselves in my opinion are actually reasonably priced, it is all the accessories that really do you in.

Brad's Parents were in town for the night to celebrate Avery's Birthday (Brad's Dad is having Surgery this week and won't be able to come up to celebrate on her actual Birthday - please keep him in your thoughts & prayers this week) so we all packed up and hit Stony Point so the girls could Build-a-Bear.  I was not prepared for how this store has grown over the last 10 years. I don't think I have really been in one since I made one for Brad in 2002. (for the record, it was cute and simple, and its name was Cakes, short for Babycakes)

It took the girls a little while to decide on the actual "bear". Olivia spotted this purple one covered in peace signs and I instantly threw up in my mouth. Brad did a fantastic job (like medal worthy) of redirecting her to someone a little less stroke inducing.  Olivia ended up with a brown dog.  Avery was stuck on the huge penguin for quite some time until Brad's Mom casually introduced her to the Koala, which happened to have been the animal Diego saved last night, so it was an instant him and the penguin went back in the bin.

The woman who stuffed the bears did a great job with the girls, and when we told her we were celebrating Avery's Birthday early, we all picked hearts and put them in Avery's Koala - so this Koala has 6 hearts in it.

I always kick myself after Brad's Parents leave when I realize I haven't captured a shot of them with the girls - I need be better about that.

Here we are stuffing Greene full of hearts...
The girls had a blast, despite the dent in our savings account (slight dramatization), and they are already asking when they can go back. My hope is we can hold them off until Olivia's Birthday, but there is no telling with these two beauties. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five on Friday: Jewelry Loves & Wants

I am a rather large fan of jewelry, I like most of it, from the fun and colorful to the classic and preppy, you name it, I love it. (small lie, there are some pieces I see people rocking and I think to myself, who on God's Green Earth thought that was pretty enough to buy). And so I thought I would pick out the top 5 things I am loving right now in the wide world of jewelry. I could have gone nuts with this one, it was hard to pick just 5, but I contained myself, however it was NOT easy.
1) La Coco Rope Necklace - by Stella & Dot, this beauty is $59 and would spruce up and any outfit. I can imagine wearing it with Navy, Black, White, you name it, I think I could probably make it work and it would add a little cheer.

2) Tiffany Blue Rosette Bib Necklace - again, a very versatile piece, can be worn with almost any color under the sun, and could make a cute black dress fun and summery. And hold onto your seats, this beauty is only $18, and can be found on - I have hyper linked it for your shopping pleasure.

3) Two Peas in a Pod pendant - this one makes me a tad sad to think about, and I am not certain I am at a place where I am ready to have Brad purchase this one for me (like how I worked that in there, "have him purchase this for me" - ha!), because I am not 100% certain that our family is complete with two peas, but it is feeling more complete as the days go by, it still makes me sad.  I have seen these several places, but this one happens to be from etsy and is being sold for $56 buck-a-roos.

4) Diamond Flower Earrings - these fall on the classic side of my taste, the type of earrings you could rock every single day and still look put together and classy. These can be found at Zales, but I know I have seen them several other places too. 

5) Primrose Post Earrings - these are from Anthropologie, and I happen to adore them, just the right splash of color, not super plain, but not feathers hanging from my ears either. I happen to love "dangle" earrings on other people, I admire their ability to pull them off and shop for them, but I find myself to be a bad dangle shopper/wearer, I just can't do it. I have a few pairs, and I feel rebellious when I do whip them out and rock them, but I just feel like a fashion failure when I try, it just doesn't execute for me like it does for others, I need some lessons in dangle wearing...oh, and these beauties will set you back a cool $28. And I also love that they come in orange and green - check em' out. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Be So Happy

Have you ever met a person that is just happy all the time or rather most of the time, right down to their core, they are just plain happy? I find myself in awe of the positive energy they put off, and down right envious, I often wonder if they are really that happy or if its an act, but over the last few years I have decided that it doesn't really matter, I am not saying be fake, and pretend like things are always perfect when they aren't, or when you are having a crappy day, but if you can make the choice to be happy, why not do it? Be happy for the little things even when the big things aren't going your way, choose happy whenever possible, because the outcome is likely that you will move someone else a little closer to happy along the way.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Report: The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

My dear friend Susan gave me this book to read light years ago, and I hope she knows that my inability to get through it has nothing to do with how I prioritize the "Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship", it just so happens that I misplaced the book for several months. Sorry Susan!! But I just finished it last night and I really enjoyed it.  It was good for my soul. I laughed and I cried, the usual for me!

This book reminded me of The Girls from Ames, which is one of my favorites, a great story about friendship and the bond between women as they grow up and their lives evolve.

I am fascinated by women and their relationships, I love reading stories about them. I try and figure out which character I am most like, which one I admire the most, and which ones remind me of my friends, it helps me stay engaged in the slow parts.  This book is about 4 close friends, and the days and months that follow after one of them passes away.  Rachel, the one who passes away leaves letters for the other 3 with her final wishes, and you experience her asks along with the other 3 characters (Sarah, Kate and Jo).  I am always the most envious of the grace certain characters show in the face of tragedy or disaster, I wish I had a little more grace in the way I handle my everyday life, but sure as heck hope I have it when faced with tragedy.

If you haven't read either of these books - I highly recommend them both,  TEAR WARNING: I highly doubt that you will get through either without some serious waterworks.

Still a Fan...

While the girls and I were a tad disappointed (okay a lot depressed) about the outcome of the Super Bowl  we are still Pats Fans and will be forever, and ever. We moseyed over to the Harris Compound for the game, I brought the Christmas Crack (needs a new name, any ideas?) and some Buffalo Chicken Dip and we all enjoyed some of Molly's good eats and great company while the adults watched the game (Brian and I were the lone Pats fans, except of course my loyal husband who roots for NE teams when his favorites are in the running).

The kids always have a blast when we all get together, but holy smokes it is game changing when we are inside, and are surrounded by walls that just bounce sound around, those five buggers are LOUD. And Olivia liked to stop right in front of the TV and check out what was going on. I imagine we yelled "down in front" or " you make a better door than a window" at her a handful of times, the poor thing didn't have a clue what we were talking about, but always responded "GO PATS" on command.

On Soap Box: I couldn't believe the number of "Giants Fans" that suddenly appeared out of no where. I would rather folks declare themselves as "rooting for the Giants because we can't stand the Pats" rather than play it off as though they have been Giants Fans for all of their years, give me a break. I know GMEN fans and I have a lot of friends that are legit Giants Fans, but the number of "Not-Pats" fans was insane. Off Soap Box:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Monday: "Christmas Crack"

First of all, this yummy goodness needs a new name, Christmas Crack, just isn't working for me, but I'll tell you what IS working for me, is the 4 simple ingredients you throw together to make this delectable dessert, it is easy-peasy.

1) 1 cup of Dark Brown Sugar (or light if that is all you have) into a measuring cup and transfer into a sauce pan on the stove
1b) Pre-Heat Oven to 350 degrees

2) Add 2 Stickers of Butter to Brown Sugar (located in sauce pan)

3) Line a jelly roll pan (which to me is a cookie sheet with tiny walls so liquid doesn't spill off the sides, I don't actually know what a jelly roll is) with tin foil and then put down a single layer of Club Crackers or Saltines (I used Reduced Fat Club Crackers - ya know, the ones in the green box that taste like buttery goodness?)

4) Boil Brown Sugar and Butter mixture for 3 minutes and pour over layer of crackers

5) Bake crackers for 10 minutes on 350 degrees

6) Remove crackers from stove and spread 12oz of Chocolate Chips over crackers, wait for them to melt a bit and then spread out so the entire layer is covered.

7) Place jelly roll pan in the freezer for 2 hours

8) Remove from freezer, crack into pieces and enjoy.  Keep in the fridge when not consuming.

1 cup dark brown sugar - packed tight (I used light, not sure how much of a difference is makes)
2 sticks of butter
1.5 sleeves of Club Crackers or Saltines - enough to cover entire layer
12 oz chocolate chips - I used more, but might not have needed to

I found this recipe on Pinterest, but more specifically on MadinCrafts Blog, I can't get enough of the recipes I find on Pinterest, the desserts just look amazing. I can't wait to start trying them, you know, when I lose 40 more lbs, acquire the metabolism of a marathon runner and free up some extra hours in my day...