Thursday, January 31, 2013

What The What!?!

So some how my daughter has out "cooled" me in even in the blog world!  Sweet Family Sweet Life was kind enough to let B guest post in a way. Sis was stuck home sick and mom had to work so Sis spent the day making duct tape bows. And man did she make a ton!

Sis, we hope that you are feeling better! And I might say that I am beyond jealous of B.  My own daughter had a "guest post" before me!!!

I Could Not Help Myself

I think that it is safe to say most gals enjoy fresh flowers. So it should be no surprise to you when I confess my love of flowers. All flowers! To me different flowers are unique memories. Blue hydrangeas remind me to fun filled summer days at my grandparents beach house. Irises remind me of the huge bunches of flowers that my father brought home to my mom for no reason at all.  Belles of Ireland were a sweet gift from BK, who was not known to be sweet. Mums remind me of the corsages my Pop had made every Thanksgiving for all his "best girls". 

One flower that never seems to be "in-style" is closest to my heart. The overlooked daffodil is very close to my heart. They were the very first flowers that Hubby ever bought for me when we first started dating. Over 16 years ago a bunch of daffodils were delivered to my dorm-room and I was over the moon!

I am sure that there is some sort of Southern rule about not buying yourself flowers, but I hope you will forgive me.  I simply could not help but buy some daffodils this week.  How can any gal walk past a sweet memory and not put it in her shopping cart!?!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Wonderland Follow Up

As you may remember B and I spend a lazy morning cutting out snow flakes for the new Sandy Hook school building in Connecticut. The CT PTA was asking for students all over the world to make paper snowflakes to decorate the new school building and turn it into a "Winter Wonderland".

The CT PTA was so overwhelmed by all the paper snowflakes they received that they had to ask that people stop mailing them in. But instead of wasting the snowflakes, each school was asked to decorate their school with the paper snowflakes and take pictures for the Sandy Hook children to see.  

Needless to say, I was more than happy to spend my time hanging paper snowflakes.  The time passed quickly as three of us taped up so many pretty flakes.  Everyone that walked by; children, teachers, parents and staff all remarked on how pretty our entry way now looks. I personally cannot remember a time that it was this filled with decorations.

While my heart still breaks for all of those in the Sandy Hook community I was happy that so many of our grammar school children took the time to make these paper snowflakes.  

You might also notice all of the shoes on the school floor. The student council decided for the month of January to donate to Soles to Souls. The goal was to line shoes from the front door to the library.   As of yesterday the shoes line all of the school's hallways!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is There Nothing Duct Tape Can't Do

Yesterday was a "snow day" for us.  See, flushing ice-cubes really does work!  So B took the time to do a demonstration: how to make a duct tape bow.  It was not until B signed up for a after-school class that I had any idea how many crafts one can make with duct tape.  

First B cuts three stripes of one pattered duct tape and three same sized pieces of a different pattern. Then she cut two small and skinny pieces of the second pattern.  B likes to line them up on the table as pictured above.

B starts attaching the first three stripes as shown above.  She takes her time lining up each strip.

Next B takes the other three stripes and carefully lines them up.  She places "sticky' side to "sticky" side so that it forms what is called duct tape fabric.  (Who knew there was such a thing!?!)   B says you should take your time placing the top layer.

B then trims all four sides.  This forms a clear rectangle that she will begin to fold.

Then B folds the duct tape 'fabric" as though she was making a paper fan.  After she finished making her fan she trimmed off any extra "fabric" and then folds the fan in half to find the center. B takes a small piece of duct tape and wraps it around the middle of the fan.

B uses more than one piece to wrap the "fan" which will soon be a bow.

Then B pulls apart the fan at its ends.  This will form the bow.

B feels as though turning down the "ends" really makes the bow look big and pretty!  She added clips and hair ties to her duct bows so she can wear them.  

B would also like to let you know that you can make a bow tie this way too.  No need for the boys to feel left-out!!!

Linking up with Kelly's Korner

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Search Continues

After failed attempt after failed attempt to find a dress for this Friday's CC Ball on-line and at the mall, I decided to look at the outlets. The outlets closest to our home tends to have a ton of full length gowns and there are lots of great deals to be found. This should make it a win-win except for the fact that most gowns are "final sale" only.  So I did what any woman would do, I forced Hubby and the kiddos to go dress shopping with me!

They were all great sports despite the cold and snow. We made sure to make some stops that were fun for the kids. And unfortunately this trip just confirmed that B is a tween, not a little girl anymore.  Not sure who is more heartbroken; Hubby or myself.

After trying on what seemed like a million dresses, I finally let Hubby and the kiddos pick for me.  The dress is not like any I have ever worn to past Balls plus it will be easy to dance in. (I'll be sure to take lots of pictures Friday once it has all come together so tune in next week!). Which is just what I needed since I plan to dance the night anyway!!! (Hubby's note- My family on the dance floor rocking out to "Don't Stop Believin'" after a few libations is a yearly highlight for all of us. We tragically re-enforce every stereotype about white people dancing but we do have fun.)

And what should I spy at J. Crew on our way back to our car but a perfect sweater!  I told Hubby that I just "need" this lobster sweater.  I am not sure he sees the need like I do.  But don't you agree that it is just calling my name!?!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Very Superstitious

Tonight the skies are clear and the moon is shining but that may not be the case for tomorrow morning. According to our local weather man we will awake to a icy mess. Naturally, as soon as we heard this we started our night before a hopeful snow day ritual.

Step One: PJ's must be worn inside out.  It does not matter what your age is, this is a must!
Step Two: Flush ice cubes down the toilet.  Weird I know but it works!!!  

If all goes well the kids and I will enjoy a relaxing morning.  Hot cocoa with marshmallows for the kids and coffee for me!  Do you have any pre-snow day rituals?

Friday, January 25, 2013


If I am not totally wrong we live about 60 to 70 miles below the Mason Dixon Line. Growing up if you lived above the Line you lived in the North; if you lived below the Line you lived in the South. (Hubby's note- And to some of her family the South may as well be a foreign country. When I started coming to Thanksgiving dinner with her family I asked for sweet potato casserole to keep a bit of my family's traditions. You would have thought I asked for some exotic foreign dish.)  So by my calculation I am safely living in the South. And if that is true why has it been so cold here in NoVA this week!?!  Below 20 degrees for more than one day is not what I had in mind since it means that we are all getting cabin fever.

So I can not tell you how happy I was when Hubby started "shaking" a new drink from his January Julibox. Last night's recipe was for "Winter Side Car" with Xante Cognac and Disaronno Liqueur. I thought it was a great drink on a cold winter night but not Hubby. I think that it simply boils down to the fact I love Disaronno and Hubby does not like it at all. Since this was one of Hubby's Christmas presents I would have felt more guilty about liking his drink more than he did but each box comes with two drinks and I did not like the first. So by my count it's all good!

 Cheers to staying warm and the weekend my friends!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coffee Talk

I had been looking forward to 9am Wednesday for weeks and weeks.  We were all supposed to meet at X-Blogger's house for coffee on the 9th of January, but that was just when the flu hit our town so we rescheduled for the 16th.  But the flu was nasty and would not leave!  So we had to wait until yesterday to get together for some treats and coffee.

Man was it worth the wait!  Our sweet hostess had pumpkin bread, blueberry muffins, fresh fruit, coffee and tea to greet us on this cold morning.  (At times I do feel like X-Blogger is related to Martha Stewart ) Everything was delish!  

But I would be lying if I told you food and coffee were the only reasons why I showed up.  I showed up for my girlfriends!!!  I love how we can chat and it feels like minutes have gone by not two hours. I love how the four of us yesterday could have solved any issue whether it was PTO related or world.  Really people if we had been in charge we could have fixed anything and everything!  

The best part of the day was that those couple of hours had me giddy and smiling for the rest of the day.  I just love the power of good friends!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Candle Light

Thank you all so much for your feedback on the desk!  M and I decided that I will paint the legs of his desk navy blue and stain the top.  The only thing I need now is warmer weather!  And unfortunately I have no control over this very cold spell we are under so today I worked on an "indoor" project.

I just love scented candles. I think that my love of them started at Providence College when BOP ran a free shuttle to the mall. A candle was a cheap way to instantly reinvent a cold dorm room. I was a big fan of Yankee Candle back in the day.

Now I favor two brands; Nest and Bath & Body Works.  High and low-end I know but I can't buy Nest candles all the time and not blow the household budget. That is why I have started wrapping B&BW's candles in burlap and twine for a cleaner look.

Simply peel off the sticker on the candle   I use the candle sticker to measure the width of my burlap.  Cut a strip of burlap that will wrap all around the candle with a little extra for overlap.  Then I secure the burlap to the candle with two "glue dots".  (I love those things!)  

Then I cut a piece of twine long enough to wrap around the candle and make a bow.  Lucky, I had B to help me tie the bow.  I am such a lucky mom to have a daughter who likes to help with DIY projects and crafts!

An easy and simple upgrade for any candle!  I lit ours last night for the warm smell and glow.  It is so cold here in NoVa.  I hope that you are all warm and toasty wherever you live!!!

I am linking up with Savvy Southern Style and Kelly's Korner

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project Procrastination Update

What I really thought was going to be a quick DIY project has turned into quite the undertaking!  It became painfully clear that this was not going to be a quick sand and paint project so we had to upgrade to paint-stripper. For some unknown reason, Hubby founded great humor in letting the neighbors know that I was going to be "stripping" all day. Why do boys never outgrow college humor!?!

The paint-stripper that I used was spray-able. This sounds like a great time saver but if I were to do it again I would buy the thick and messy regular kind.  My sweet neighbor was kind enough to give me her leftovers when I ran out of the spray-able but did not have the energy to get in the car.  Do you ever get into those moods, the "I want to finish this tonight but I have no desire to drive to Home Depot right now" kind of mood!?!

I was totally in awe of all of the layers that were under the white paint! White, red, yellow and two different green paints plus what must have been ink from a pen explosion. Not to mention the gum and tape that people had just painted over through the year!!!  I am happy to report that the gum was no match for the paint stripper.  Gum - 0 Me - 1

So after much backbreaking work I called it a day.  A very long and painful day!!! The next day I got out the good old Murphy's Soap and washed the desk with a brillo pad. Then I left it to dry all day and night.

Finally me and "mouse" tried to tame this beast of a desk again. Man did things go better this time!!!  

After about two hours of sanding I was able to get whatever was leftover from my first attempt at paint-stripping.  It was not perfect by far but I have learned a lot with this project. Hubby might not like to hear this but I think that I need to spend more time in antique stores. (Hubby's note- I tried to insert more college humor here but I was shot down. Still, I am very proud of how hard she worked on this desk.)  

So my friends, we are at a crossroad.  Do I just polyurethane the desk, imperfections and all?  Do I paint the whole desk after all that hard work?  Or should I just paint the legs and polyurethane the desk top so I can vainly remember how hard I worked?  

Decisions, decisions!!!

I am linking up with Savvy Southern Style and No Minimalist Here

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Heart Long Weekends

As a student I always loved long weekends and I thought that no one looked forward to them as much as students. I was wrong! I cannot tell you how much I truly enjoy them as a SAHM!!! All five of us just seem much more relaxed on this Friday. We knew that we had dinner with friends planned, DIY projects to do, shopping and a family date night. And extra sleep!!!

B was kind enough to help me with a little dress shopping this weekend. (Unfortunately, the dresses that I ordered did not fit well at all.) I was not very happy with the dress we found this weekend.  B did love this red number but I think we need to keep looking. I have been known to find "the one" just two days before the Ball but I hope not to be that last minute this year.

I also spent more time on M's desk than I thought possible. After all my research on sandpaper and grit numbers I still needed to use paint-stripper this weekend. I promise to give you all the details this week.

Finally last night after a trip to the mall for some returns and lacrosse cleats we went out on a family date-night. We went to a Mexican place that we have been to many times but unfortunately this was not our best trip to date. We got there early, on purpose to avoid the dinner rush, but it still took over two hours for our dinner. Big bummer! But I have to say I was beyond pleased with our kiddos!  They hung in there and did not melt down. Might have been because the boys found something to entertain them but any port in a storm right!?!

Now my sweet Hubby is enjoying a drink while watching the Ravens vs Patriots game. Who to cheer for since his beloved Redskins are out of the running?  Ravens all the way!  Even after college and grad school in New England, Hubby is going with Old Bay's team!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Great Mayo Debate

I have been a believer in mayonnaise for as long as I can remember. And by mayonnaise I mean Hellmann's. That was the only mayo I knew growing up. It was not until my sweet MIL gifted me with a subscription to Southern Living my first Christmas living south of the Mason Dixon line that I even knew there was "another" mayo.  It was the SL's Test Kitchen notes that clued me into this other mayonnaise brand, Duke's.  It seems to me that the South is just head over heals in love with Duke's.  For them there will be no other mayo!

I have seen Duke's next to Hellmann's at the store but old habits die hard so I just kept on buying the Hellmann's.  It was not until last week when I "pinned" a recipe for Come Back Sauce  that I saw that there was a great mayo debate.  People are really fired up on the interwebs over which mayo is the best!

I love a good debate so I felt I needed to try Duke's so I could join the discussion. This week I made my favorite sandwich with mayo: toasted whole wheat, turkey and lettuce.  (Yes I know a tomato would have been nice but we all know winter tomatoes are just not right!)  I spread Duke's on both slices of toast like I normally do and then took a bite.....

I have to be honest I could not tell that much of a difference. Although it does have more spices than Hellmann's does I did not feel like the the spices took away from or added to Duke's. That being said, Duke's was definitely "real" mayo not like that super gross Miracle Whip stuff. And in all fairness I think that I would have to make my pimento cheese with Hellman's and Duke's side by side and see if there was a clear winner.

I am looking forward to switching out my Hellman's for Duke's and seeing if I notice a difference over time. Once I have a firm feeling one way or the other I will be ready to join the great mayo debate!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winning Bid

As you may remember, B placed a bid at her school's Winter Wonderland last month.  The lucky gal won a place on her assistant principal's floor hockey team and she was just over the moon.  To say that she has been looking forward to yesterday's game would be an understatement   She might have let the AP know that she was concerned that they had not had a a single team meeting.  One might say that B is a little competitive!

It was such a fun event to watch as a parent.  The kids and adults were all laughing and having a fun time.  I will be honest, despite having played varsity field hockey and gone to a ton of my brothers' hockey games I really was not clear on the floor hockey rules. Really what game lets those on the sideline take a shot during the game?   Nonetheless I cheered on!

The only time that I might have had a mini heart attack was when B was in goal.  It was not only that fact that someone might forcefully fling a puck at my daughter's face but also the fact that she looked like an extra in a horror movie. But I digress...

Even L got in on the attraction at half time.  I have a feeling B will bidding on this item at next year's Winter Wonderland. With Hubby's money of course! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spring Already

Sounds crazy but we are already planning for the kiddos' Spring sports. We had to sign M up for lacrosse before Christmas if you can believe it. Sounds nuts I know but I am glad we have them all registered since there are already wait lists for some of the age groups, including M's!.

This is going to make me sound old, but I am ok with that.  Did you all have to sign up for a Spring sport before Christmas?  Just crazy if you ask me!  I have more than enough things on my plate around the holidays much less time to worry about Spring sports.

Alright, I will get off of my soap box now since M is over the moon to play his first season of lacrosse. Time will tell how this goes but at least for now M is thrilled at the idea of getting to wear pads and hit other kids with a stick. Boys will be boys! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another One Bites The Dust

I tried and I tried not to get the flu too but to no avail!  The flu got me this past Saturday and it was not pretty.  So I kindly thank you for letting me take a sick day yesterday.  After spending the weekend either on the sofa or in bed it was nice to take Monday slowly and ease back into things.

With Hubby's help the kiddos got off to school and we attended a quick meeting at the grammar school.  I even folded some wash.  But I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was wiped out!  So I did change into one of Hubby's cozy race shirts and leggings and got under my old fleece "Grands!" blanket from my Pillsbury days to enjoy a cup of red zinger and a good read.  The little rest was just what I needed and I feel like to tomorrow will a better day.

Dear readers, no matter where you live - don't walk, run your doctor for a flu shot!  And stay healthy!!! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Feel Pretty

What does one do when they are stuck in the house with sick kiddos?  Shop online of course!  I was such a lucky girl this Christmas that I received not one but two gift cards to Sephora.  While it is not the same since I could not test any of the makeup, I still had a fun time shopping.
So decided to go with Urban Decay's "Naked 2" palette and a Stila lip-gloss set.  I have had my eye on both of these products for awhile now and can't wait for them to arrive.

North or South, what girl doesn't like a little "pretty" delivered to their front door!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Type A

I so wish I was talking about the Myers-Briggs personality test!  Unfortunately the only "type A" we are worried about in our home right now is the flu.  Poor M is as sick as can be and it really breaks my heart.  Luckily we caught it quickly so he was able to get Tamiflu.  M also asked for a prescription of Gatorade and hot-cocoa - our kind pediatrician was nice enough to write him a script for any fluids his heart desired.

Sorry, wish I had something clever to say or preppy to show but there isn't anything clever or preppy about the flu. I hope that you and your families stay healthy and flu free!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What To Wear?

When I am not busy eating bon-bons all day I like to volunteer for different causes that are near and dear to me and my family.  One of these causes is the Catholic Charities Ball which I have been volunteering for since 2006.  Each year the Ball is the biggest fundraiser for the Arlington Diocese's Catholic Charities.

Yesterday I was bummed to be home with a sick kiddo while everyone was at our final "full" meeting before this years Ball.  (Poor M has a fever and horrible cough.)  So while I was of no help at all to my committees I did ponder a very important question: What am I going to wear to this year's CC Ball?

Last year I wore the dress in the photo above with my beloved Kate Spade Charm slingbacks.  I felt like the glittery shoes made up for the fact that my dress was not full length   But now I really feel like I need to go back to a full length dress this year.

I really like the flow of this dress by BCBG.  I have worn two BCBG dresses to the Ball in years past and I know that their dresses will fit well. Plus I love the black waist band/belt for some reason.

I also just love this dress from BCBG too.  Pockets!!!  I can not tell you why but I just adore dresses with pockets!  But I am not sure how I feel about the leg slit.  I don't want to have a weird Angelina Jolie leg slit moment at the ball.

Last but not least, this number also caught my eye.  Love the color and the flow of the dress but once again I am just not sure about the leg slit.

What do you think?  What have I not seen that I must?  I would love some guidance!

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