Friday, August 30, 2013

It's Off To Work I Go

I am a glass is half-full kind of a gal.  Always have been and I pray I always will be! This kind of personality is what I think has made me a perfect fit for the wonderful world of sales. I have worked in the sales business for what seems like forever.  My first job after college was as a Pillsbury sales rep. That's right, my first boss was the Dough Boy!!! While I love working in the sales world it was never a good fit for my family. 

That is until I discovered Rodan + Fields Dermatologists. Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the creators of Proactiv® Solution, launched Rodan + Fields Dermatologists to extend their vision of bringing dermatology based skincare solutions to everyone. So I could not have been more overjoyed when FedEx delivered a package that I have been waiting for all week - my Rodan + Fields sales consultant kit!  I could not be more happy to be a part of their team. 

I promise that I will not turn Lobster Meets Peach into non-stop R+F commercials.  But I would be honored if you visited my R+F website....  And please let me know if you would like me to host an R+F give-away!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Back-To-School Must Have!

Back-to-school lists. Some people love them, others hate them. My daughter is over the moon just thinking about fresh pencils and notecards. My son...not so much! But if you have grammar school children you too are labeling an unreal amount of glue-sticks and notebooks right about now.

There is one all important back-to-school must-have for two out of our three children that is never on the list...Epi-Pens. Since B and L both have severe allergies they need to have Epi-Pens at all times. And it is up to me to make sure that their meds have not expired, which is why I call our pharmacy every August and order new Epi-Pens for the school year.

Since B carries her Epi-Pens at all times I was so happy to figure out that a two pack neatly fits into the "brush and pencil" bag by Vera Bradley. Both B and myself use these bags to keep our need Epi-Pens at the ready. 

Now all I need is for Vera Bradley to make a camo-print for L next year when he starts kindergarten! Because I have feeling that he will not love the colorful prints that B and I do!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's All In The Rub

I hope that you will forgive me. I promised to share with you the dry rub recipe that I used for my barbecue ribs and I totally spaced. I am so sorry! I hope that you find it to be worth the wait since I really think that this spice rub would work well for so much more than ribs!

Dry Rub (adapted from Southern Living 2009)

Ingredients :
  • 8 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar 
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar 
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • Stir together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container up to 1 month.
This recipe will yield you about 4 tablespoons of dry rub which I personally feel is more than enough for two racks of ribs. When I made the ribs the first time, I followed the recipe which had me use 2 tablespoons of rub twice per rack. Next time I will only use the rub once. While I loved the overall favor I thought seasoning the ribs once would be more than enough. But stay tuned and I promise to keep you updated....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Last Hurrah

 We have yet to sit down and write a formal bucket list yet there are things that our kiddos count on doing.  They know that they will spend countless hours swimming at the pool and playing into the night in our cul de sac. Spending time on the Cape is always something they can count on too. But last year we added on another family summer event....a trip to the water park!

Last year was the first time we went and we had a great time. But really this year was so much better! L really has taken to the water this summer. And to say that this has made our lives easier would be an understatement! 

As much as I love the lazy river I find it so much more fun to watch M try to make sure he was hit by every water feature along the way!

And as always B proved that she was the strongest girl around by making it across the "lily pads" in record time. Forget boot-camp, I just need to do whatever B does and I will be the toughest mom on the block!!!

Just like L, I would give this family outing thumbs up!  I only wish I knew where this Summer went so fast!!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fun With Moonshine

Hubby has been waiting a long time for Catoctin Creek Distilling Company to open the doors on their new facility. CCDC is the first family-owned distillery in Loudoun County since before Prohibition. So this past weekend I lined up a sitter for the kiddos and told Hubby that I was more than happy to be his chauffeur for the evening. 

In CCDC's new facility you can see a working distillery in production, including a 400 liter custom-made Kothe still and condenser. CCDC also holds tours which highlight the process of making distilled spirits, including fermentation, distillation, aging and bottling. While Hubby was impressed with all the technical "stuff", I was impressed with how they renovated their historical building. CCDC was able to make this space look new while retaining the character of the old building.

Hubby here and now I get to take over since Eileen was kind enough to play DD....

When you visit CCDC you can either try three small straight shots of their Mosby's Spirit (unaged white whiskey, essentially moonshine), Roundstone Rye (their aged whiskey) and Watershed Gin or try the three in a small cocktail. I was mostly interested in trying the Mosby's Spirit because I had the Roundstone Rye and the Watershed Gin before so I went with the three small shots. I enjoyed the Mosby's Spirit and I definitely plan on trying a larger glass next time we are at a restaurant where I can get one. Those moonshiners were on to something!

Friday, August 23, 2013


We spent all day yesterday running an unreal amount of errands to make sure that the kiddos are ready for their first day back to school.  And it got me thinking....moms need a back-to-school list too!  

1 {Cardigan Sweaters}
Classic merino long cardigan

When the kids go back to school it will too warm for many of the new Fall arrivals. But if your children's school is anywhere as cold as my kiddos' is then you need a cardigan. A classic cardigan like this one from J.Crew would go with so many tops and fit neatly in your purse.

2 {A New Handbag}

large image view

Don't you think that your new cardigan would look great tucked into a new purse?  A mother's handbag does just as much work as a child's backpack, if not more. So I say a bag that has classical line and quality is the way to go. And I think this Tory Burch Satchel fits the bill perfectly!

3 {Travel Coffee Mug}

I am so not happy about having to start setting my alarm clock but I know that coffee will help me get through. I will ground my fresh bean the night before and set the coffee pot as always but I think this travel mug will brighten my mornings.  And I am so grateful to April for letting me know that World Market has such cute travel mugs!!!

4 {A New Planner}

image of Simplified Calendar Pages - Undated Monthly AND Weekly

I know that most people get their next planner at the start of the new year but I find it best to get one at the start of the new school year. That might make me sound like a silly Stay-At-Home-Mom but really my children are my "business" and this is the start of our "business year". This year I went with a new planner and so far so good!

5 {A Reward}

After you have been running all over town trying to get every item on your child's back-to-school lists you are going to be wiped out.  So I say that we all deserve, no need, a relaxing reward! A mani or pedi, a new dress, new slippers or maybe a new piece of bling. Whatever speaks to you....I say go for it!!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wake-Up Call

While the kids do not start school in these parts until after Labor Day, my PTO duties have already started for the year. (I am super excited that I will hold a Board position that oversees all of our fundraising for the year!) So this morning the kiddos and I actually had to set an alarm in order to be at our PTO "Welcome Back Staff Breakfast" . 

Too say that it was not fun for all of us to get this morning would be the biggest understatement ever!  Thank God we have more than a few "alarm-free" days left this summer!!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BBQ Ribs

I know what you are thinking could gal who has only lived in the South for 11 years possibly make bbq ribs worth blogging about!?!  First off, my father traveled a bunch to Memphis for business when I was young. He was the first one to let me know that there is a big difference between barbecue and a cook-out. If you ask me that was an important life lesson although I am not sure my mother would agree. Secondly my kiddos and Hubby were obsessed with Food Network's Barbecue Pit-Masters. I mean they were obsessed!!! 

So when double packs of ribs went on sale at Wegmans I didn't think twice when I put a pack in my cart. Then I started my research. I knew that I had to cook the ribs "low and slow" but I also knew that they needed to be seasoned well from the very beginning of the cooking process. I was so happy when I came across a recipe that Chris Lilly had used on a Food Network show.

2 slabs of ribs
3/4 cup your favorite dry rub (recommended: Big Bob Gibson Seasoning and Dry Rub)*

1 cup apple juice
1 cup grape juice (I did not have any grape juice, so I used another cup of apple juice)

Finishing Glaze:
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (recommended: Big Bob Gibson Championship Red Sauce)*
1/4 cup honey**

Preheat a grill or the oven to 250 degrees F.

Pull membrane off of the back of the ribs. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of rub over each slab, front and back. Place ribs, meat side up, on the grill or in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove and place each slab on a doubled aluminum foil square, meat side down. Combine the marinade ingredients. Pour 1 cup of marinade over each slab while wrapping tightly in foil. Cook for 1 more hour at 250 degrees F. 

Remove slabs from foil and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of rub. Cook an additional 1 hour, uncovered, until ribs are tender.

Mix together the BBQ sauce and honey. Remove ribs from the oven and paint with finishing glaze, and cook for another 15 minutes. Cut and serve

*I found a recipe for a dry rub and red sauce that I will share with you later this week.
**I totally forgot to add the honey, but no one seemed to mind.

I may or may not have felt quit smug after I served these ribs for dinner. Dare I say I get a little bit more Southern everyday!

You can also find me at No Minimalist Here

Monday, August 19, 2013

Field Trip

The weather was not the best this past Sunday so we loaded the kiddos up in the car and headed for the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Center near Dulles Airport.  The Center is a companion facility to the Air & Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Center has two huge hangars — the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar — which display thousands of aviation and space artifacts. 

The design and lay-out of the two hangars really is something to see in person. I imagine the person who came up with the layout had tons of model airplanes hanging from their ceiling as a child. Planes not only are displayed on the floor of the hanger but they are also suspended at different levels from the ceiling as if flying. None of my pictures due the space justice!

Poor Hubby spent most of the time reading.  But Hubby was a history major so I don't think that he minded reading all of the info stats to the boys. Secretly, I think he would be over the moon if all three of our children were history majors some day! (Hubby's note- I'd be thrilled while they were in school and then sad when they were all unemployed and living back home.)

The boys were so into this trip! M especially loved all of the planes from World War II. He has a book illustrating the different planes that were used during WWII and it was clear to me that he had memorized the book.

We also spent some time in the Observation Tower, which gives you a 360-degree bird's-eye view of Washington Dulles International Airport and the surrounding area. It was fun watching all of the planes land.  

And leave it to me to find hand-painted plates on display at the Air & Space Museum! 

If you are ever in the NoVa area and looking for something to do I would definitely recommend spending some time at the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Center.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What Would You Like To Know?

I have to admit that I simply love to read blogs! There are so many wonderful blogs out there that I could totally neglect my family and read all day long. And I just love it when a fellow blogger holds a Q & A. Maybe I am the only but since I love them so much I thought I would hold one here on my blog.

So do you have any questions for me? Do you want to hear more about how I make our dinners allergy-friendly? More gluten-free recipes? Does anyone really care about the clothing I buy for the kiddos and myself? Or would you just like to know more about me? Would you like a house tour?

Ask away friends!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Silly Summer Monkeys

I know that you have heard this a ton of times and that it is beyond cliche but really this summer is just flying by! I think part of the reason why this Summer is going by so fast is because the kiddos are getting older and we can do so much more. The simple fact that we finally do not have to work around nap times is earth-shattering!

We only have two weeks of Summer left and we plan to make the most of it. Long live Summer! And long live monkey business!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not My Normal Bed-time Read

If you have read another of my book reviews you would know that I love "chic lit" books. They are the perfect "forget about your troubles" reads that I need before falling asleep each night. But recently I gave a "how to" book a try and boy am I glad I did! Bruce Feiler's The Secrets of Happy Families was fast yet insightful read on raising a family today. While not all of Bruce's suggestion are for my family, there where many tips that really made sense. 

Amazon says - In The Secrets of Happy FamiliesNew York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler has drawn up a blueprint for modern families — a new approach to family dynamics, inspired by cutting-edge techniques gathered from experts in the disciplines of science, business, sports, and the military.
The result is a funny and thought-provoking playbook for contemporary families, with more than 200 useful strategies, including: the right way to have family dinner, what your mother never told you about sex (but should have), and why you should always have two women present in difficult conversations…
Timely, compassionate, and filled with practical tips and wise advice, Bruce Feiler’s The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More should be required reading for all parents.

I thought this book was so insightful that I even ask Hubby to read it as well. I can happily report that Hubby liked the book and many of the suggestions. And when the new school year starts we will be using some Bruce's strategies. I will let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh Yes We Did!

When one of your besties sends out a group email to all of your best friends suggesting you all go to a concert together you just say yes.  The idea of a night dancing and giggling with friends before the Fall rush starts sounded too good to pass up!

Tickets were purchased and car pools were formed.  Blankets and picnic baskets were packed.  (We might have over packed food since we had a whole blanket buffet!) I may or may not have eat my weight in peanut M&Ms but in my defense we can't have them at home due to L's allergies. 

We took plenty of photos. Each and everyone of those photos were filled with huge smiles. As I looked though all of our Facebook posts of the night I felt very blessed to be part of this great group of women!

Oh and we might have been at a Ke$ha concert. I might have only known two of her songs and was a little lost at times. But that is neither here nor there!  Hanging out with your besties is what matters...and dancing the night away!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quick Quiche

Summer seems to be going by way too fast this year! I feel like we had barely gotten to see my brother in-law before he headed back to school. So I was so excited when he could join us for brunch last weekend.  Since I was still getting us unpacked from the Cape I decided to go with tried and true recipes. 

One of those recipes is what I call "quick quiche". All you need is a ready to use pie crust, milk, egg, cheese and whatever else you have on hand.  Quiche might not be a trendy dish but it is so easy to make and people always ask for seconds!

Sunday's Quick Quiche

One "ready to use" pie crust (I always use Pillsbury)
3 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups of whole milk 
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 box (16 oz) of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 medium tomato, diced
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  And prepare 9 inch pie-dish with crust according to manufactures directions.

2. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.  Add the spinach and diced tomato and cook all in evenly heated. Let veggie mixture cool. (This set can be made the day before and stored in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the quiche.)

3. In a small mixing bowl beat the eggs and combine with the milk.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4.  Arrange cooled veggie mixture evenly in the bottom the pie-dish.  Then top veggies with the cubed cheese.  Carefully pour in egg and milk mixture.

5. Place pie-dish in oven and cook for 50 minutes or until the egg mixture has set.

6. Allow quiche to cool before slicing.  Enjoy!!!

What are some of your "go-to" brunch dishes?

You can also find me at Savvy Southern Style and No Minimalist Here

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vacation Wrap-Up

We are finally back home after over two wonderful weeks at the Cape. It might have been our shortest trip to the Cape but is certainly was one of our best. Hubby and I did not get to put our feet up and read on the beach but we got to do so much as a family this year!

All five of us finally got to attend a Firebirds game.  The Firebirds are our favorite Cape Cod Baseball League team and they will be playing for the CCBL championship! Go Firebirds! 

We got to spend time with our best friends from college and their sweet family.  After all of our kids worked off a ton of energy at the park we headed to dinner at Chapin's in Dennis, MA. And we were super excited when we ran into even more college friends at dinner.  I just love how we always get to run into people on the Cape since that very rarely happens at home.

When we spent a day in Harwichport, B was overjoyed that she finally was tall enough to ride the go-karts alone.  All I can say is bless her heart!  I will never let her drive a car after what I saw this Summer!!!

Of course we made many trips to Sundae School.  The only mistake I made was that I agreed to split one of their famous hot fudge sundaes.  My waist might have benefited but I really wanted it all to myself!

It was a great trip filled with memories and stories that we will be re-telling for a long time.  Thanks for letting me share some of them with you!!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

On Right Now - The Next Food Network Star

I am sure that it just my family but we are all obsessed with "The Next Food Network Star".  It might have something to do with the fact that we all love food.  Or it might have something to do with the fact that the five of us are a little bit competitive!

Vote Now for the Next Food Network Star Season 9

And in case you were wondering we are all hoping that Demaris wins.  What is not to love about a charming Southern lady!?!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Really Want To Be A Serious Blogger But...

I tried to come up with a quick post last night but we were out too late at a Cape Cod league baseball game (Go Firebirds!).  I tried again this morning but we had to leave for swimming lessons at the dock.  Then we were gone all afternoon having a ton of fun but no time to write.

So I hope that ya'll will forgive me but we are having too much fun to blog! (Hubby's note- Child Protective Services please ignore the 8 year old wearing my hat for a beer company. I would note it is at least for a really good beer company. Thank you.)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Simply Charming

Whenever we come to the Cape we have always spent some time shopping in the town of Chatham. Chatham is filled with great locally owned shops and you can always come across unique finds.  One such shop that we love is Forest Beach.  Forest Beach is a working goldsmithing studio which makes charms of all shapes and sizes.

Each year we make a trip to Forest Beach so B can pick a new charm for her beloved charm-bracelet.  And if I was really being honest we make more than one trip.  First we go just to take it all in and try to narrow down her choices. Then we go back for a second time to make the final decision.  

This year B decided to get a kayak charm since that is one of her favorite things to do at the Cape. She also got a field hockey stick and ball charm as an early birthday present (her love of field hockey has been well documented on this blog).  B was so cute when they put her bracelet on her wrist this trip. She had a huge smile when she twisted her wrist. Turns out she enjoys "bracelet music" as much as her mother does!

Monday, August 5, 2013

VBS Wrap-up

One of our summer events that the kiddos look forward to the most is VBS on the Cape.  Our parish on the Cape has a wonderful Faith Formation Group that excites my children year after year.  The only difference this year was that L was old enough to join in all the fun.

And from what I heard L made the most of his first week at VBS!  He enjoyed every craft and snack.  Plus he raised his hand to answer every question...even when he didn't know the answer.  Once again he reaffirmed my belief that he is no shrinking violet!!!

It was also a big year for B too since she was L's personal camp leader.  Due to the severity of L's food issues it was thought that L would do best with a little bit of extra help from his sister.  B did a wonderful job helping her brother out all week.  And I am happy to report he did not get a single hive all week at VBS.  (If you knew L, you would know that this was a really big deal.)

One of the reasons I think my kiddos love VBS so much is that it wraps up with a family BBQ and dunk tank.  Not sure if it truly was the Christian thing to do but B had no problem dunking her brother, M, with one throw!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Milkshake VS Frappe

All across America you can go into an ice cream shop and order a "milkshake" with the expectation your server will blend milk and ice cream in any favor of your choosing. But that is not the case on the Cape! If you order a milkshake at Sundae School you would get a cup of favored milk. On the other hand if you order a frappe, you would be in heaven as you enjoyed a blended mixture of ice cream, milk and syrup. So the next time you are on the Cape and you are in the mood for a milkshake trust me and order a frappe. You can thank me later!

And if you are even in Rhode Island and feel like you need a milkshake give me a call!  You are never going to guess what they call a milkshake....
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