Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm trying to catch up with laundry, cleaning and such today but things are keeping me from getting my To Do list done.  Words With Friends.  It's scrabble for the iPhone and my friends have gotten me hooked. It's like a class 4 narcotic.

Hello. My name is Stacy and I'm a Words With Friends addict.

I have 2 games going on right now- both with girls who claim they are my friends.  I say "claimed" because in my little world no friend would intentionally make another feel like a complete verbal loser.

 I even resigned a game with my husband after I GAVE him a word suggestion that ended up being worth about a million points.  I'm a giver.

Back to my other two games....both of these friends have obviously played before.  Or they cheat. Or a little of both.  I can see them now, getting ready to email or FB me that they most certainly are NOT cheaters and that the words they are using...words like "QI" and "GLUG" or "FOH" are completely real words that they have heard and used before.   I'd like to see  them  use these crazy words in a sentence multiple times a day, wouldn't you?

Just for the record, I looked up the word QI and it means "energy flow, breath".  So when I run fast, I'm out of qi?  Um...ok.

My words are things that the normal person would recognize as part of the English language..."Like", "Every", etc etc.  No need for me to use them in a sentence since they are REAL WORDS.

I suppose the  reason I'm addicted to this particular game is my competitive nature. I like to win and this game is doing a great job of making me feel completely inferior to my 2nd grader.  I don't like feeling inferior...I'm getting spanked by more than 100 points in these games. I'm pitiful.  I just need to delete it from my phone. But I can't. I want to win once. Then I'll delete it. (See?? I'm addicted.)

So to my dear friends out there who have hooked me on this game...thank you.  And BONUS!  Because I'm playing multiple games at once, I can feel like double the loser at one sitting.

I'm feeling your love.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I'm a morning person. Monday mornings for me are not the beast they seem to be for some of my friends.
Monday's provide the opportunity to start fresh.

This week I will NOT eat the entire box of Cheeze-Its in one sitting.

I do my grocery shopping on Mondays. So the week begins with opportunities to try new recipes in the kitchen.

Look at this pantry. Exactly what can I use that requires 6 cans of green beans? Green bean casserole, anyone?  Note to self:  Let's expand the veggie selection today. 

I also try to get the house straightened up on Mondays.

*This is just one spot where we've stacked the stuff from the rooms. I'm thinking the draped shower curtain adds a certain j'ne sais quoi to the area. *

Try to get the house straightened....doesn't mean it happens, but I do stand and look at the mess with the best of  intentions.  Especially this week. The girls' rooms are painted, but I've been too lazy to put them back together.  We are loving the color though.

The walls in the bedrooms are "Spud" from Martha Stewart paint colors.

* Let's all take a moment and notice the toilet bowl brush on the chest at the end of the bed.  Nice. Real nice. **

The bathroom is "Ballet Slipper" from Martha Stewart paint.  I can't remember what color the cabinets in the bathroom are. It is another Martha Stewart color in the same family.
I am changing the faucets and door pulls to a darker bronze. That will happen later this week.

We get furniture today for one room and are pulling things together for the other room.  Hopefully I can get it together before the girls graduate from high school.  No promises, though.

So while I go and get this week started, I wanted to share some blogs that I visit.  I look forward to their posts on Mondays...some are funny, some creative and some just cool.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe is a great resource for recipes that encourage "real" cooking. If you're trying to get your family back to basics and off of processed stuff, this is a super site!

Nesting Place is a site that is the way I want my home to be- comfortable, livable, classic. I'm haven't gotten to that place yet, but we're on our way!

Holly Mathis Interiors is my new favorite place to visit.  I'm not a decorator, so finding a decorator that can make things look put together in an effortless way is always impressive to me.

Happy Monday, Y'all!

Friday, September 24, 2010


My kiddos and I went to my high school's homecoming game this weekend. Our neighbor's daughter was on the homecoming court, so we had a vested interest in this particular game.   Plus, 20 years ago, I was homecoming queen and I like to go back and see who is carrying on the tradition.

Homecoming was the same as I remember.  Kids seeing and being seen, walking in those familiar packs.   Parents in the concession stand cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, teachers selling tickets and the band playing the same songs in the stands.

We ended up getting to the stadium a few minutes after kickoff.  My posse and I ended up standing behind the fence at the end zone.  This wasn't the best place to see or hear, but the stands were packed and I didn't feel like swimming upstream to the 2 seats our friends had managed to save us.  There were 4 in our party and my "seat" is, after 3 kids, a bit larger than it was in high school.  I'd need at least 2 spots  just for me.

 I guess I could have had a seat (or should I say seats?) and  left my kids in the throng of high school students at the fence.  Keep in mind this was the end of a long day- a loooonnng week- so the chance to sit with other adults was reeealllly tempting.  

Oh, my kids? They're over there, about a mile away,  in that huge crowd of rowdy high school kids. I'm sure they're not being crushed into the fence.  Just hand me that Mom of the Year award...pass it right on over here.

So we didn't sit, we couldn't really hear anything and some fool kid had one of those crazy horns from the World Cup (remember- they sound like angry wasps and are completely annoying?). He'd blow that thing at the most inappropriate times.  As an alumni of the school, a parent and normal citizen, let me tell you that there was a moment, however fleeting, that I felt the urge to wrap that horn around his neck.   Lucky for him he was quiet while we strained to hear who won Homecoming Queen.

Our neighbor didn't win.  We were disappointed but still proud that our friend was nominated.  Plus she looked amazing and waved to the kiddos on her way to the field.  The Little Man was thrilled.

We left after halftime.  The kids were dragging and I was feeling lots older and much more dorky than my 38 years. (yes, gasp! I'm 38.)  Did I always look this old?  For some reason, the high school kids look lots older than I did at their age.  And if they look so much older, wouldn't it stand to reason that since I know I didn't look that old when I was in high school that I'd look lots younger now?   Right?  I know, I know. My logic eludes you.  It eludes my husband most days too.  Just nod your head in agreement and lets move on.

I'd love to share pictures of this night with you, but I have failed nighttime photography. They all stunk.
So let me go read my manual on taking pictures at night and perhaps by next year's homecoming, I'll be an expert.


I have 3 kiddos. Punks. Rugrats. Offspring. Sweetie Pies. Sugar Pigs.

On any given day I can refer to them as any or all of the above.

They grow up quickly.  The Oldest is 11.  The Next Oldest (she doesn't like to be called The Middle) is 8.  The Little Guy, who isn't so little, is 4.


My daughters are getting room makeovers. I've had this planned for about a year. I had grand dreams of re-doing their rooms while they were away for sleep-away camp this summer.  Yeah. Not so much. Turns out I can find lots and lots of other things to do other than paint, move furniture and paint.  I'm not so good at the painting.

I'll post pictures as we go along.  Keep in mind that I'm not a designer.  I don't even play one on tv. I can hardly pick out my clothes for the day...maybe that is why I end up in my workout clothes all day??

 The Oldest's room. Don't knock the ceiling fan...where we live it is still in the mid-90's and humid. That fan saves us from baking!
That purple color is Tinkerbell something....the name escapes me.  It was fine for a 4 year old. Not so much for the 11 year old.

The walls are called Cinderella's Ballgown. How perfect a color for a little girl?? And we had Cinderella painted on the ceiling--along with the castle, the mice and fairy godmother. It was precious.

My 8 year old is NOT into princesses. Bye bye Cinderella.

A close up of Cinderella and the Prince. No, I didn't paint it, but the lady who did was fabulous.  I'll miss her.  Cinderella, I mean.

Okay. I take full responsibility for the hideousness of this pink. It actually glows when the lights are on. Tragic.  This is being rectified today...still pink, just a really really light shade of pink. Hopefully the girls won't feel like they've entered Pepto-Bismol land in the new and improved bathroom....

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Has this ever happened to you?
You're at home, you've fed the kiddos something reasonably healthy and now it's later and you're hungry.  And par for the course,  the pantry is full of canned peas and green beans.  Yeah. Yum. 

In honor of my amazingly stocked pantry and the fact that I'm starving right now, I'm sharing some things my kids use to haul their food to school that you might like.  

These are my son's snicky-snack bags for school.  They were made by an amazingly creative mom at our preschool. There are 2 sizes of baggie- one fits a sandwich, the smaller one for snacks and one large drawstring "lunch" bag. These are fantastic and are along the same lines as happy sacks. They have velcro closures, nylon liner and are super fun.  Plus you're taking a baby step to reducing your use of the oodles of sandwich bags we moms go through in a year. (stepping off the miniature soap box)
 I'm sure if you're so inclined you can also make your own.  They don't seem that complicated. But that isn't saying much coming from me since I can't sew on a button.

This is a lunchbox that one of The Oldest's friends told us about. It is a version of a binto box from a company called LapTop Lunches.

It's insulated and the binto box is inside. There is room for a drink box next to the binto box. It actually comes with a water bottle that fits inside, but that is long gone....we can't keep pieces to anything together here.

Here's the inside--the little compartments usually match, but, yeah. You know. Of course the other little pink compartment is gone. Welcome to my world. That one blue piece really bugs me.

Moving on....

Now what to put in these cute little boxes?
I have found the CUTEST and most creative site for inspiration.

Melissa is the creater of this site and honestly, she's so creative. So accessable. So cool. I don't think I can like her.

But I do and I've never even met her.

How can you not like her?

Look at this

And this (in the words of my favorite Rachel Zoe, "Mah-Jor"!)

I have nothing to do with these companies or sites. I like them and think they are super cool. And anyone who can make a lunchbox lunch look this fun is my hero. 

I leave you with the coolest way to send a sliced apple to school that I've ever seen. (also from Another Lunch site...)

The 411 on this apple is great. So is the story behind it. 

Happy eating! I'm going to heat up a can of french cut green beans and pretend it's a hot fudge brownie sundae.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First Day of Fall

That title is deceptive. Where I am it is still in the mid 90's. No rain. My yard is crunchy. I don't dare plant "fall" plants in my pots for fear they won't make it to Halloween. (wait, they probably wouldn't make it to Halloween regardless of the weather, but I'm wandering...)

I got it in my head last year that we were going to go on a family outing to the mountains to pick apples.  I had visions of me being so "Martha Stewart" and making homemade apple pies and homemade apple butter.  I had such plans.  Sounds good--  Sounds like fall.

I had grand ideas- we'd  take a tractor ride through the orchard, pick some apples, enjoy the outdoors. Get back to nature.  A living Hallmark card, if you will.

No one said it would be  110 degrees with 100% humidity on that day last year at the end of September.  That made it super fun!

We had just gotten on the tractor.  Fresh from our air conditioned car, the heat hadn't had a chance to really hit us yet. Look. They're still happy.

The tractor dumps you off at the pig races.  I don't think they took bets, but the way people were yelling and carrying on you'd think they'd bet their last dollar on Little Miss Hamhock.  Yes, the piggies were painted different colors. I don't know if they liked it, but they sure didn't seem to mind.
And by the way, someone passed out from the heat. That added to the excitement! (they were ok...I'm not sadistic!)

Finally, after the tractor ride, pig races and various other kitchy things to do/look at, we're actually at the trees picking apples. That expression on The Oldest is "Mom, hurry up and take the darned picture because I'm hot and sweaty and there are bugs everywhere."

I don't think she picked one apple.

Here's The Middle. She's hot, sweaty but man, she was into the picking. Her dad and I were seriously thinking of pimping her out to the orchard to earn some extra cash.

When it was all said and done, I think we'd picked two small bags worth of apples.

We sweated about 5 lbs of water weight that day as well.

And I ended up not making one thing with those apples. Martha evidently stayed up in the mountains and didn't make the trek back to my kitchen.

The end of our day. Sweaty, tired.  But nothing a good Hello Kitty cd player and some Veggie Tales couldn't fix.

Oh yeah. We are so doing this again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My parents always encouraged us to write Thank You notes when we received gifts.  Growing up it seemed like such a chore....I didn't see the inherent value of writing a note saying "thanks" when I had most likely said those exact words to the person when I had opened said gift.  In my little mind it was, in a word, redundant.

Fast forward....now that I'm a parent, I want and expect my children to write these notes.  I listen as they moan and groan and belabor the same points I did when I was growing up.  I also do just as my mother did and impose my stern visage upon them in order to get the job done.

That handwriting had better be neat!

Seriously, can you please start that sentence with something resembling a capital letter?

How about trying some punctuation in there...let's not have one gigantic run-on sentence, ok? I mean, I do pay a lot for you to go to that school of yours.

The Oldest is in 6th grade. Around here that is when you can do Cotillion. This is our town's version of Finishing School. To me, it sounds simply wonderful!  The girls wear dresses and GLOVES! The boys are in jackets and ties. Manners are taught. Basic dance steps are taught. Manners and behavior are practiced.  There is homework (introducing yourself to an adult properly, phone etiquette, sitting properly).  And the teacher---she is right out of a Southern novel.  Proper, sweet,  soft spoken.  Not quite Mom....which is why I'm "Some Sort of Southern Belle" and not simply a Southern Belle.

This class requires the students to learn how to write a proper Thank You note.  Because of this, each child needs to have their own stationary. This has sent me on a quest to find something perfect for The Oldest.   I wanted to share some sites I've found in my search.

These make me want to write more snail mail...

From Sweet Bella Cards. The pinwheels make me think of summer. And of being young...wait- I am young! It makes me think of being young and not having laundry to do.

Oh Louise designs is another I've found. Look at this:

I'm having major owl moments right now. This may be the one I order for The Oldest. If she likes it...
Or I'll just order it for me!

The last site I have fallen in l-o-v-e with is saratams
Maybe it is my former life as an elementary school teacher. Maybe it is my love for things vintage- well, not vintage, maybe I'll call it "things traditional", but these cards are going to end up in my possession soon!!

I mean, shut the front door! She has lots of silhouettes to choose from, background colors, different folded cards- the sky's the limit!

So let's all make a promise to each other. Let's try to write more notes- and not just the Thank You kind.

Pull out that pen with the feather on top. You know you have one. We ALL have one.  Think of a friend and start writing.

If we're writing on something this cute, how can it not be fun?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Every 6 weeks or so the guy who has been cutting my hair since college drives to my house and cuts my hair.  And the hair of my husband, kids and a few neighbors.

I'm spoiled. I know. I don't splurge on a housekeeper, but hair? Yeah. I'll pay for a good haircut.   I don't have inherently "good" hair. It's not thick, wavy or long...it's pretty thin, fine and stick-straight. My poor hair guy. But he earns his money and makes me look presentable no matter what I ask him to do. Right now I'm in the throes of growing my hair out. For those who have trod the road I'm on, you know it's f.u.n.-NOT!  Since my hair grows at a snail's pace, it will be 5 years before I'm back to the basic bob I had before I decided to jump on the pixie-cut bandwagon.

No one told me I look nothing like any of these lovely ladies. And I don't have The Hair Guy to fix my hair every day. You'd think my real friends would tell me these things. (You know who you are....)

So you can see that when The Guy comes to cut hair, my house becomes the meeting point for all those waiting to be seen by our friend with the magic scissors.  During the course of the day (which starts before lunch and goes until late afternoon) I'll have my family and the families of my neighbors in and out of my house...and being the good Southern hostess I am trying to be, I'll want to have some sort of yummy thing for them to snack on. This is my dilemma this morning.  I realize in the scheme of things in the world this isn't the most pressing matter I could be dealing with, but in my little world, this is it.

I believe that since The Hair Guy will be here over lunchtime that I should have something made for lunch that he can help himself to when he takes breaks. Chicken Spaghetti from The Pioneer Woman is a particular favorite in my house--easy to make, makes lots, everyone eats it (recipe is here. ).

My husband thinks opening a bag of potato chips and store-bought onion dip is really doing something. Obviously he knows nothing about being a hostess.

So here I am. Morning of the day I know I'll have visitors in and out for most of the day and I'm looking at day old pizza.  I'm visiting recipe sites looking for inspiration and happened upon this one.

The pictures above are from a blog called Half Baked- The Cake Blog. It is terrific! Now I'm not planning a birthday party, but how adorable is this train birthday? I'm hoping The Boy will want a train party so I can do this!

So you go peruse this site while I try to make a grocery list.

Friday, September 17, 2010

We The People

Today is Constitution Day! On this day in 1787, 39 men who had been working together for months in the hot Philadelphia summer, in true closed-door sessions emerged with one amazing document.
Most schools won't mark this day at all.  My children's school is mentioning it in passing, so I'm going to have mini-school this afternoon. LUCKY THEM! I know they'll be thrilled beyond words. They will sing my praises, "Oh mother, you fill us with such wonderful information. We delight in the sound of your voice and eagerly open our minds so you can impart your knowledge upon us."  Wouldn't that be great if that was what they really said? It will be more like, "Do we have to listen to this? I'm tired. I want a snack. Can't I go see if Jane/John/Sally/Anyone can play? I think I need to go scrub the bathroom."

In spite of what I know will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I am going to share some stuff about the Constitution with my kids.  Here's what I'm sharing...

I got this book when my best friend and I were in Philadelphia for a Bon Jovi concert. We were there less than 24 hours--fly in, see the best sites of Philly, eat a cheese steak, swoon over Bon Jovi, fly home.
I found the book at a shop near Independence Hall. It is a cleverly illustrated book on the Preamble to the Constitution...perfect for preschoolers who can understand the need for some rules, and students up to about 3rd grade. By third grade they can start to discuss certain aspects of the Preamble and the pictures make it that much easier.

I'm also attaching two links- one to an old favorite, School House Rock. Those were the best! I wonder why they aren't on tv any more?
The other link is to a site called "Constituting America".   Jeanine Turner is one of the founders and her daughter, Juilette, is on the site a lot. They organized a reading of the Federalist Papers as well as a contest for kids to do poetry, speeches, artwork, songs about the Constitution. It's a neat site.

The links will follow- until then, Happy Constitution Day!!

Constituting America site here

School House Rock here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bag Lady

I'm no slave to fashion. My friends will tell you that. Now, let it be said I like to look cute and try to dress in the latest fashions, but shopping is NOT my way to spend a day. I am a great Internet shopper, though. Does that make me a good shopper?  I mean, I can look at the trendy sites, click, click, click to find the who/what/how much for the things I like and wham bam, input my credit card number in the little box....

Amazingly enough, a few days later these little "surprises" arrive at my door. Boxes of all shapes and sizes with wonderful things in them. I can try them on in the privacy of my own bedroom--no top-lit-who-knows-who-has-done-what-in-here dressing rooms for me. And if the stuff doesn't fit, doesn't make me look like a supermodel or doesn't take at least 5 years off  I can simply put it back in the box, slap the handy dandy return label on it and send it back from whence it came. And I did all of this in my jammies.

I digress. I did venture out into the world of the living and bought some new things.

My first piece of camouflage anything. I was feeling pretty tough when I bought this. It's big enough to stuff all the things that 3 kids need when we're out--race cars, pens, trash they hand to me like I'm the mobile trash compactor.  AND it's camouflage. That is one thing the magazines said would be "in" this season. So yea! When I carry this while wearing my usual cropped workout pants, workout top and basic cardigan, this purse alone will make me look one step closer to Cindy Crawford. That's what I'm telling myself.
My bargain find! This cross-body bag was only $28 at a local store. Honestly, it is a store that caters more to high school students than their mothers, but the store windows looked especially cute and I got sucked in. I love the fall colors and the pockets!!  Two on the front, one large one in the middle and a smaller one on the back.  I can hide stuff everywhere.  Plus I will look "put together" since this bag has colors in it that won't look hideous with my standard mom uniform of (say it together and with FEELING!) cropped workout pants, workout top and cardigan.

My 11 year old daughter was so excited when she saw my new purse. She told me that her best friend had one just like it. *Great* now I'm following fashion trends of middle-schoolers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We've Got Spirit

 My kids' school sponsors a little football team for 7-8 year olds. How cute do they look busting through the run-through? And how clever are we that we have a reusable run-through? It tapes together afterwards, we roll it up and BAM! ready for the next game. I must admit that I was especially impressed with this bit trivia. And it's so green. Didn't expect football to be so environmentally friendly, did ya?

My middle daughter cheers for this team. There are no try-outs for this cheer squad. Instead it is just something fun the girls can sign up to do. Her coach says the goal of each game is for the girls to clap together.

I like that. Let's set the bar really really low and there's no way to disappoint unless you trip on the bar!
Seriously, I do love that. The girls seem to have fun and it is really cute to watch.

My daughter has a naturally loud voice- the megaphone provides the crowd the opportunity to enjoy her vocal abilities.  She loves that megaphone. I'd like that megaphone when I'm trying to get her attention at home. Hmmm.....
What the picture doesn't show is the rest of the family. In the south it is still summer. Hot, humid, no wind, summer. This picture doesn't show the temperature reading 95 degrees. It doesn't show the parents and siblings of the cheerleaders/players sitting on cement bleachers that raise the temperature a good 10 degrees melting away and getting blistered.  It doesn't show the trees standing completely still due to lack of wind.
It also doesn't show mom working the concession stand in the shade with a fan blowing air...warm air, but the air was MOVING. This was a plus.  Mom ain't no dummy.

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a cheerleader.  This is as close as I'll get. See the crazy legs? Yeah. She's about 3 inches off the ground trying to do a "hurdler". This is a jump with one leg straight in front of you and one leg bent underneath. Too bad she's not even looking at the crowd. Is she making sure her legs are still there? Worried she's too high off the ground?
 Good arm placement, though. I'll give her that. She is her momma's daughter. I can't jump either. Poor thing.

She goes with gusto when she likes something. That is what I admire about her. She's the one to rub blisters on her hands trying to get across the monkey bars. She'll turn try and try and try to get up the hill by our home on her bike until she can do it without stopping. And she'll say these cheers till we're all just about sick and tired of them.
But she's got spirit. And that's a good thing.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I live near my family. Did I tell you that?  I live less than 10 minutes from my parents and about 10 minutes from my sister. My in-laws are about 15 minutes away. The big traveler is my brother-in-law who lives just over an hour from my home.
I tell you all this to help you understand that having houseguests is a very uncommon occurance at my house. But we did have a visitor last night. Her name is Sadie.

Sadie is my parents' dog. She started out as my dog. I rescued her from the animal shelter when she was about 6 weeks old. I was just starting my career as a teacher, so my parents said that Sadie could stay with them during the day--- I had doggie day care waayyy before it was cool.
Come to find out that Sadie thought my parents' house was much more fun than my duplex.....short story even shorter, 14 years later, here she is.  Luckily she gets along great with our dog, Cameron the Golden Retriever. That makes these spend the night parties so much more pleasant.
When I adopted Sadie the shelter workers told me she was a beagle/cocker spaniel mix. Look at this dog. She has a mohawk for pete's sake. Do you see any evidence of either dog in the above picture? She truly is a pitiful looking dog. But being the good hosts we are, we didn't mention it in front of her, bless her tiny little heart.  We did provide her a comfy bed (It is actually a down feather bed topper folded in half with old Ralph Lauren beach towels on it.  Cameron usually sleeps on it, but she gave it up for our guest. And hey, she is sleeping on Ralph Lauren. Can't be that bad), yummy food ( she got scraps of steak) and the love of our 3 kiddos--never mind that the 4 year old thinks "loving" on her is holding her head in his hands, putting his face right next to her and saying "LOVE LOVE LOVE"! 
Sadie is a sport. She takes it all in stride. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cute on a stick.

Here is the reicpe for the cutest pie pops ever. Ever. And I want to make some.

Photo from Lexirare.com

Friday, September 10, 2010


Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing that fateful day in 2001. As this weekend arrives, let's remember how we felt on September 12. Fly your flags. Talk to your neighbors. Respect each other. And Remember.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kids and Summer Vacation

While summer isn't officially over until the end of September, I find myself looking back at my family vacation photos and wishing we could do it all over again. That's odd coming from me since I am a freak about my kids behaving in public. Taking them on an airplane across the United States? In a confined space for 4 hours?

Excuse me TSA agent, exactly how much food am I allowed to bring on board?

We took the kiddos to the Grand Canyon and San Francisco this summer. We went in July.  So we were at the Grand Canyon with the rest of humanity when the daytime temperatures at the base of the canyon were well over 115 degrees. Yes. We were that smart.

I'll spare you the photos of that part of the trip except to say that if you stay in Las Vegas and want to do the Grand Canyon thing, pay the money and take a helicopter.  Borrow, save, search the sofa for loose change---just do it.  You'll appreciate the air conditioned ride, the beautiful views, but most of all you'll appreciate the simple fact that you and yours will be arriving at the canyon rim in about an hour instead of the epic 6 hours you'd spend on the bus. On a bus sharing that tiny bathroom. Yuck. (I have a thing for public bathrooms.)

What I really wanted to tell you is to take your family to San  Francisco! It is a great place for families. Tons to do, great restaurants that are fine with kids, lots of neat hotels...did I mention that while we were there the high temperature was 72?  In late July. This was heaven.

This is the Fire Truck tour we took. In a word, Fantastic! We sang through the city, went across the bridge and learned a lot about the architecture of San Francisco. This is a lovely couple and the kids, all of them (and the parents) had a great time. You can learn about them here .

Muir Woods. About a 30 min drive from the city, this is a stand of Redwood Trees. Beautiful, amazing, quiet. Even the 4 year old got into the groove...he would have stayed here for hours walking the paths.

No trip to SF is complete without a visit to "The Rock".  Highly recommend getting the headphone tour as part of your ticket (but I think everyone gets them). Neat tour and everyone- the 11, 8 and 4 year old- listened to the tour and followed it. Full disclosure time- my 4 yo did end up using the audio headset as a pretend laser gun, but he kept it on and stayed interested the whole time. The boat ride out was great for all.

So I didn't put you through a complete slide show of our family vacation- just the high points. So run out and make reservations for San Fran! You'll love it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kitchen Help

Last year my mom, sister, two good family friends and I had a girls' weekend in St. Simons, Ga. We were celebrating the graduate school graduation of the friend's daughter (whom I babysat from the time she was 1.  Yes, I'm that old).   Anywhoo, we took a day trip to Savannah where we walked the city, shopped and ATE. And ate and ate and ate.
And then we shopped. And ate.
Then we drove back to St. Simons and went to bed. Amen.

 While we were in Savannah, we went to a great store called Kitchens on the Square.  You can visit their site here.  I highly recommend this fabulous store with all things kitchen-y and kitchy.  They even have cooking classes right in the store. Of course we did the class.  Our menu was chicken fingers, mac-n-cheese, salad, and banana pudding. To die for, I tell you, to die for.

I picked up a few odds and ends for my own kitchen, but these tools I'm sharing with you were bought for me by my mom. They are great and they work.  I hope you like them too.

Thanks, Mom.

How funny is this?  If you're anything like me, licking the bowl after making a batch of brownies or a cake is the best part. Now here you go- a spatula/finger all in one.

Here it is in my hand to show you the size. My kids are especially in love with this. I only have one batter finger, so they either share (gross!) or I'll need to order more.  You can order them here.

The other gadget is for those who like real whipped cream and are willing to put forth an effort to get it.

Meet the Rapid Whisk. This was used during our cooking class. All 8 of us were memorized by the instructor while she literally whipped the whipped cream right in front of us. Old-fashioned style. It was crazy and cool all at the same time!  Don't ask me exactly how it works, but it has something to do with the handy-dandy little metal whisks inside the silicone one. I had a bowl with about a pint of whipping cream in it. It took about 5 minutes of good whisking to get the cream to get stiff. It's a workout, don't kid yourself, but it is so cool to make it by hand that I think it is worth it.  You can order it here.

Now go use those crazy kitchen gadgets that are collecting dust in your cabinets and make something yummy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

For those who are creative and those that wish they were. Check out this site.

And this one...Click here to watch the Bakerella Cake Pop Video on Amazon.

This is from Bakerella. I'm sooo trying this in the very near future. Have a sweetly creative weekend, y'all!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I love this time of year.  Sunshine, low humidity and the beginning of college football. Bring on the Saturdays spent organizing the day around the games to watch....do we DVR Auburn and watch  Georgia Tech? Or maybe we watch Florida and tape Tennessee? And who is coming over to watch the game with us? Just be sure they are bringing a snack to share.
I am a Yellow Jacket fan. (full disclosure here- I didn't graduate from Ga Tech, but I did attend for 3 years before changing my major and transferring to another university. My allegiance belongs to Tech.) I'll also cheer for Tennessee, Auburn and Florida because I know people who have attended those schools and I feel like, in the great scheme of things, the extra spirit I throw to those teams may help them pull out a win in a tough situation. I'm a giver like that.
I also cheer for anyone playing University of Georgia. That comes from my years at Tech. I don't hate UGA per se, but there is no love lost for them in my home. I'm sorry if that offends you. I'm usually a really nice person. This is simply one area of my life that is black and white. It  *is* the one thing I know for sure and there aren't many of those things in my life so let me just have this one, okay? We good? Good. Let's move on.
Fall also brings the craziest convention to our town. Dragon Con. It is a huge 3 or 4 day convention of Sci Fi, gaming, and comic book fans. There are discussions on how to make costumes, computer programming, and question/answer with actors from some of the most popular shows (Buck Rogers, anyone?) One of the best parts of the convention is the parade that goes through the heart of downtown. My family and I had never gone, but we have friends who have and each year their descriptions of the parade participants is so crazy that we finally decided to pack up the kids and head to the big tall city to have a look for ourselves.
In a word? I can't sum it up in a word. One word doesn't do justice to the amazing costumes we saw. One word wouldn't convey the interesting (or crazy) things people will do, say or wear at a specific moment. Let's just go with this: A picture is worth a thousand words.
Ok. No idea here but the costume was amazing.

This guy was part of a group who were into Steam Punk. Google it. They looked like they were from the 1800's, but the stuff they had was pretty cool.
Sleestack from Land of the Lost. I never saw the movie re-make, but I remember the tv show. That dates me, doesn't it?
Right off the set of some scary movie. I mean, look at the costume! Oh my. 
I must finish with Gingerbread Man from Shrek. There were some cute characters, but they were in the minority. 

So this was the first day of our long weekend. Crazy, a little cool in a geeky sort of way, and really fun.
Tomorrow? Who knows. It will be hard to top this.