Sunday, February 20, 2011

If You Take Me To An Estate Sale

If you take me to an estate sale,
I'll see some dishes I NEED to have.

If I see some dishes I NEED to have,
I'll buy them. (what did you think I'd write?)

If I buy them,  
I'll have to find somewhere to put them.

If I have to find somewhere to put them,
I'll end up seeing the pitiful state of my cabinets.

If I see the pitiful state of my cabinets,
I'll start cleaning them out.

If I start cleaning them out,
I'll see all the junk I need to get rid of.

If I see all the junk I need to get rid of,
I'll start to think about how to get rid of that junk.

If I think about how to get rid of that junk,
I'll forget to make space for my dishes and they'll stay on my counter.

If they stay on my counter,
It'll drive me crazy.

If it drives me crazy,
I'll wonder where I can put them.

If I wonder where to put them,
I'll think about new shelves.

If I think about new shelves,
I'll wonder where to get a deal on shelves.

And if I wonder where to get a deal on shelves,
I'll think about going to an estate sale.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My shoes.  Asics Gel Nimbus.  They rock and this is probably the 6th or 7th pair I've owned.  I LOVE these shoes. (Ignore the pasty white ankles.  Thank you.)
But they haven't been used to their fullest potential in the last two years.


I used to be a gym rat.  I was the one awake and at the gym at 5am and I loved it.  My husband and friends thought something was wrong with me--maybe something was wired a bit differently--but it was great to get up and out and done with a workout by 7am.  Then there was no excuse for missing a workout.

I guess sleeping in could count as an excuse, but I have a guilty conscience, so if I slept in, I'd feel horrible about myself until I did my workout.

"Was" is the important word here.  I haven't gotten up, on purpose, at 5am, for almost two years.

Today was my day to start back after a two year hiatus.  And no, I didn't get up at 5am.

Funny thing is that I've had a gym membership this whole time.  What a fantastic member I was!  I was THE perfect gym member...paying my dues every month but NOT using any equipment.  Getting my money's worth, I tell you!  Learn from me, friends......

Armed with my iTunes playlist filled with dance music, my awesome running shoes and dressed in workout clothes, I head in.

It must be the same feeling as the First Day at a new school.

"Will the kids like me?"
"Will I know how to use the equipment?"
"Are my clothes ok?"
"I hope I don't trip and fall on the treadmill and end up with road rash on my face." (This would totally happen to me...and has...but not the road rash on the face part. Falling off the machine was mortifying enough. )

I tried to be cool about everything.  I tried to have that "don't-talk-to-me-I'm-a-serious-gym-goer" look, but that fell apart as soon as I couldn't get the elliptical to start.  I'm doing the feet part, movin' and groovin', headphones in, music on, but the machine wouldn't come on no matter how many buttons I pushed or how hard I mashed them.  Classic.
For 5 of the longest minutes of my life and  after moving to three different machines, the gym gods smiled upon me and the machine started.  *Sigh* I can feel the coolness factor going down exponentially.

Why do you work out? Or not work out?  Honestly, I don't work out to be cool.  I work out to look better.  Let's just be honest here.  I'm 39 and I don't want to look my age.  Working out seems to help stem the tides of time just a bit and I'm all for building any kind of sand bar that will do that!

It also helps that I have friends who are in shape.  Take my friend in the picture.  I'm on the right, looking oh so lovely after the Muddy Buddy.
She's in fantastic shape all the time. 
She's my exact opposite (personality wise) and that may make her more of an inspiration.
She eats healthy food, finds time to work out no matter what and is one of the craziest and most fun people I know.
She looks fantastic in the above picture, I know, but look at this...

from Oxygen Magazine, November 2007
Awesome, right? And I can attest that the abs are NOT airbrushed.  Sweeeeet.  Plus,  I get to claim her as a great friend.  Now when she visits, she'll give me street cred at the gym.

When I grow up I want to look like my version of her.

I guess the Girl Scout cookies will not help me on this mission. Bummer.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monster Jam: A Primer


Aww yeah, baby! It's me, my family, and 50,000 of our closest friends and we all came together for a Monster Jam!  (Say that with the most extreme Southern Twang and it's like you're there!)

I've lived in the south my whole life and have never experienced the awesomeness that is Monster Jam.   Think huge arena with a concert-type vibe going on except you are cheering for grown men who are driving trucks with obnoxiously large tires...let's not even go to the issues these guys must have...and the trucks have even louder engines.  Testerone was flowing quite freely at this event.  Also flowing were the mullets.  And the camoflage.  It was a cultural event for the children. And for us grown-ups.
And I'm ready to go to Motocross next weekend.

Because I'm a giver, I want to share my experiences at Monster Jam with case you want to partake of fantastic people watching and extremely loud machines.  Here we go....

First is the Pit Party.  Basically a Meet-And-Greet for the drivers.  Since we didn't know who in the heck any of the drivers were, we pretty much walked around and wondered out loud why anyone would have the desire to drive these things.  It was super crowded
so the only way for the little guy to see was to take advantage of his dad's 6'9" height.

What to wear to an event like Monster Jam?  Let's look.  Do you like my shoes? Thanks.  They're my favorites and they are super duper comfy.  BUT they are absolutely THE wrong shoes to wear to a Pit Party.  Who knew there was a dress code?   Everyone else was in their tennies on that nice red clay.  Shoe selection for Monster Jam was off this night.  But I looked cute and that is what matters, right?

The start.  Lots of fireworks.  Trucks doing laps.  Ear plugs were firmly in place and a definite MUST HAVE by this point.   The whooping and hollering was oh-my-gosh loud.

The purpose of a Monster Truck race is for two trucks to see who can make it twice around a track, including jumps that you're seeing above, the fastest.  Straight forward.  Pretty cool.  Very loud.  Some guy in a truck called Grave Digger was the favorite in this part of the Jam.  The screaming and whistling from the fans was such that you'd think U2 was in the house.  Sorry. No pictures of him because yours truly didn't realize he was the guy until the end and by that time I was bored with taking pictures of trucks doing the same thing.  Sorry.  

Like hockey, the fans get most riled up when there is a crash of some sort.  This poor guy got himself turned over when he cut the turn a bit close.  The funny thing is that those yellow tow-forklift-crane-lifty-thing machines would race out there to right the truck.  The drivers who turned over always got out and waved to the crowds...causing the decibel level to rise to unholy levels.

Free Style:  When the drivers go around running over cars and jumping the hills.  No real routine, per se,  at least to my untrained eye.  It looked to me like the officials said "GO!" and they drove like crazy for a minute and a half.  It was cool to watch, but we were all a little wicked and were really waiting for the trucks to turn over or for one of them to lose a tire or something equally horrific.

Look how much the little guy is loving the trucks.  Lucky for us we were in a suite that had sliding glass doors.  Little guy and I could sit in the relative calm and watch the whole thing.  Nice.  Really nice.  Highly recommend the suite for the Monster Jam.

In the end, Monster Jam is a family event.  From the Pit Party (which I'd really skip next time) to the actual races, there is stuff going on that can entertain the kiddos for hours.  Plus, who doesn't want to reach down... deep deep down into the recesses of your soul and bring out the inner redneck?

It is fun for one night.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


We had a fab weekend filled with movies, Monster Trucks and Valentine prep for the big day tomorrow.
The marshmallows were my solution to a chocolate craving.  The remainder of the ideas are from hereover there yonder, and right down this way.  

Happy Valentine's Day, Ya'll.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I'm sure my husband wouldn't use that word to describe his day yesterday.  We were back at the hospital for a second pass at a procedure.  Nothing too serious, nothing too big, but it does require he actually take it easy and that doesn't go over very well with my guy.

6am and we're at the hospital for our appointment.  I'm prepared. Computer? Check. iPhone? check.  Money for the vending machine? Check.  What I wasn't prepared for was the creepy guy whose wife also had an early appointment.  

Lucky me.

Creepy guy starts chatting me up on all he hates laptops (which is what I was using at the time), has been married before, what his wife's procedure was, how long her recovery is going to be and how he is going to hate being the maid (his words, not mine) for that long.  Can I get a collective TMI??

Creepy guy was making quite the impression...actually I was wondering how he found someone to marry him in the first place...the nurse comes to take me back to pre-op with my guy and thinks I'm with Creepy guy.  What am I giving off that creepy people feel they can share intimate details with me? Ugh.  I need to scowl more. 

So I tell the nurse that I'm not with the guy and, sweet thing that she is, she offers to let me wait for my guy in the nurses' break room.  How great is that?  Then she gets me a Coke.  From the little fridge they use for drinks for the patients.  And she doesn't let me pay for it because she doesn't want me walking back out by Creepy guy to go to the vending machine.  So nice.  And it was repeated over and over and over from that nurse to the doctors and finally our discharge nurse.  Pleasant and nice.  

The nice-vibe continued when I went through the drive-thru to get lunch at Chick-fil-A.  If you're not in the South, you may not have had the experience we Southerners have on an almost daily basis.  The employees say "Please" and "My Pleasure".  They smile at you and will bring your food to you if something you ordered is still being prepared.  The employees are always great kids.  Maybe it is because it is a Southern-based, family-owned company, but if you're ever in the South and want some chicken, stop at a Chick-fil-A.  And don't forget the Chick-fil-A sauce.  It's the best.

Then the kids get home and nice goes right out the window. 

Just kidding.

But I was in the mood to make something nice for dinner.  So I made these.

"No you di-ent!" (Shake your head when you say that...)

Oh yes I did.  And we ate them and they were good, er, nice.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New York. Yeah Baby.

I just had the most fantastically fun weekend in New York with my girlfriend of over 20 years.

I don't know what is more amazing...that I spent a weekend in New York (that sounds so decadent!) OR that I am old enough to have a best friend for over 20 years.  Has it been that long??

Anyway, the weekend was a complete blast from the crazy weather that ended up putting us on the same flight into the city, to the show we saw on Broadway, to the pizza we ate at a hole-in-the-wall place just before we left.

Fun with a capital F-U-N!

What I'd like to share is what we learned on our trip.  Nothing big, just a few tips that may help the next girls' weekend travelers when they want to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

They are in no particular order.

1.  Only take yellow cabs.

Our first night we walk out of our hotel (a very very nice hotel, I must say) and ask the doorman to get us a cab to our restaurant.  They were chatting up some guy in a white cab and told us that this cab would take us where we wanted to go.
Unsuspecting, we hop in.
What we don't realize is that by getting into the cab we have essentially invited this cab driver to become our escort for the evening.  His escort duties (in his mind) included trying to make us dinner reservations for the next night at any one of the fine eating establishments where he knew "the guy in charge" (Yeah. Right.)
We make it to our destination, buddakan, and the cabbie parks the car, gets out and walks in with us.  Did you hear me? He walks in WITH us.  Like he's WITH us.  The hostess thinks we're a party of 3 (which we are SO not).  The little guy who takes us to our table thinks we're a party of three.  Meanwhile my friend and I are trying with our most polite Southern manners to pay the guy and get him to leave.  The last straw is when our waiter, who happened to be pretty cute, brings an extra place setting to our super awesome table for TWO and tries to add a spot.  Right there I pulled the Steel Magnolia out and said in my most emphatic voice that he most certainly was NOT with us, that we were a party of TWO and that he was leaving.  I paid him and he finally went away.
Dinner was amazing, wonderful, and oh-my-goodness good and we're still dreaming of tuna tar tare and short ribs.

2.  Take rain boots.  Trust me.

3.  Wear makeup.  And cute earrings.  Everyone seemed to have great makeup that stayed on even in the freezing wind and rain.  We were very impressed with its staying power and wondered if it was tattooed on?  Hmm....a topic for another post.

4.  Be sure to empty out your purse before you go to a super trendy bar.

Before the show. Before the cocktails. Before showing my true un-coolness.
We saw La Cage Aux Folles and it was amazing and wonderful and amazing and we decided since we were already out way past bedtime that we'd top the evening off with a cocktail at a trendy bar.  Enter the W Hotel Times Square "Living Room".  Picture the coolest living room with low sofas in white, low light, cool plants and even cooler people (I am not included in that description).  Backlit bar, great tunes...the quintessential NYC night spot.  Now picture yours truly at the bar attempting to pay for our drinks.  Here's the cool part..... as I reach in my wallet to pull out my money, half of my purse comes out too.  We're not talking the random receipt.  No.  We're talking wadded up Snicker's wrapper, a feminine hygiene product, hand sanitizer and any number of other things that, I swear,  jumped out of my purse to make me look like a huge redneck and just screamed "I'M A MOM!!!".  Yes.  That was me you saw raking my purse-escapees back to their dark home while trying to balance two of the biggest and most expensive drinks on record.
Step back, girls.  The southerners are in the house.

5.  They have little grocery stores in NYC.  They sell many of the same things you find at your local store.  There is no need to get excited about the mini-Nutella snack packs with cookie sticks included.  The poor man behind the counter probably had 911 on speed dial for people just like you. I mean, ahem, me.

6.  When walking blocks and blocks to get to a specific store, stop to check if the store will be closed for a tv film crew.

Here is Dylan's Candy Bar.  We walked miles and miles in the rain to get here.  It had closed early for filming of a tv show.
No, I didn't find out what show.  And no, we didn't see anyone famous hanging around.  I'm still a bit bitter about it.
Luckily Bloomingdales was across the street and they were open.  Yea! And they had the heat on AND they gave us bags for our wet umbrellas.
We ((heart)) Bloomies!

7.  Take the carriage ride around Central Park.  I've done it lots and it is still a fun thing to do.

8.  Take lots of self-portraits with cranky tourists in the background. Think I can photoshop her out of  this cute picture of my friend and me by the Wall Street Bull's bootie?

9.  Eat pizza.

10.  Go to New York with your best friend who has never been to New York.  Laugh, talk about high school and college and jobs and life and crazy people around you and the weather and stuff all without being interrupted one time by another person needing something from you.  It's refreshing and rejuvenating and recharging.  It was just what we needed.

And we look just the same as we did in high school....only better.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Legal & Other Stuff

Doin' a little happy dance around the homestead.

I won't share pictures.

I have pride, y'all.

I'm now legal in every sense of the word.

Bless your little hearts--I've got TWENTY-ONE followers!

Insert picture here of me doing the white-man's overbite while doing the Cabbage Patch.  Got it? Yeah baby. That's me.  

I'm still not quite sure about what the followers do per se, but hey, thanks nonetheless.  I'm thrilled, again, that 21 people have taken the time to go through the ordeal of following me.  Hopefully sometime soon my guy and I will figure out how to do a subscription thing and you can see my incredibly fantastic and amazing posts show up in your email.  Wouldn't that be great?  It would be like I stopped by to chat before you'd had a shower and you were wearing the same clothes three days in a row because who in their right mind would stop by your house without announcing themselves?

Well, it wouldn't really be like that, but it would be close.

And I really wouldn't care what you were wearing because I'd be wearing my 3-day old outfit too.

See? I'm not that bad.  And I'm not really a Southern my blog title says, I'm only kinda sorta like a Southern Belle.  No big hair here.  I don't wear pearls everyday (though I did in college) and more often than not I DO go out on errands with not a stitch of makeup on. (GASP!)

What are you all up to today?

I'm in the process of loving my Shark Steam Mop.

Loving it. Love love love love.
I have got to get out more.

Actually, I'm getting my house cleaned and laundry done in anticipation for a GIRLS WEEKEND WITH MY BEST FRIEND! I'll post more on that after the fact.  It will be wild and crazy, let me tell you.  At least as wild and crazy as two moms with no kids or husbands can get. Get Real Moment: We'll probably be in bed before 9pm and we'll be up around 6am.  That kid-alarm-clock thing is hard to turn off. 

I can't have my house dirty when I leave for a trip.  I'm strange like that.  Plus, I'd like to think I'll come home to a house that is kind of clean....sort of clean....OK, I'll take reasonably recognizable.

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The month of February in the mind of an elementary-aged child brings thoughts of red and white hearts, chocolate, flowers, Black History Month, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays (celebrated on the same day, oddly enough) and WINTER BREAK!  Wait. We just had Christmas break, right? Man. Kids these days.  They sure get lots of breaks.  AND I'm sounding more and more like an old fuddy duddy.  Let's move on.

Here are a few things  I find myself thinking about on this first day of the second month of the year.

How stinkin' cute is that?  If I had any talent at all, I would have made my own for sure.
No. Really.
I would  have made my own super cute Valentine Mailbags.
But I've long since realized my talents do NOT lie in the sewing room, so I went ahead and got some at Pottery Barn Kids.
I think realizing your limitations is a valuable skill.  Don't you?
I'm planning on putting notes and goodies in them up until the big Heart day.
If you would like to sew your own, though, here is a link to some super cute is the spot for over achievers.

Now I want you all to look at this picture.  Seems harmless enough.  Just a little block of wrapped chocolate candy.  From Italy.  A present my guy brought me from his most recent trip.  A trip without me...because someone had to stay home and be the responsible parent.  
But wait....

Look!!  Wafers.  Just a hint of cream.  And that cream has the slightest hint of coffee.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Love in chocolate.  

My guy brought back a box the size of a dictionary.  

I've eaten almost the whole thing by myself. 

Spring is coming?  What? What's that you say? I can't live in my stretchy yoga pants and big comfy sweatshirts all year? 

I am in no way a spokesman for any of these cookbooks.  I just love them and pull them out often.  I love their basic recipes that always turn out.  The crock pot cookbook on top works wonders for days when I actually do plan ahead! I highly recommend any or all of these cookbooks.  They will help you show the love to your families when you make yummy things for them for dinner!

But wait, there's MORE!!

I have found the most adorable site that I want to share.  It is called Gourmet Mom on the Go.

Just look at the edible crayons.

I know! Shut the front door!  You'll just fall out of your chair when you find out what they are made of.  She has great pictures showing step by step directions PLUS she offers lots of choices for the wrappers...I see these showing up at a class party sometime in the near future. 

Jac O' Lyn Murphy is a blog that is new to my list of links over on the side bar...I hope you all are checking out the blogs over there. They are all fantastically fun and are written by some incredibly creative people. 

Anyway, Jac O'Lyn Murphy's blog is all about her creative party/invitation/celebration ideas.  They are truly original and I'm going to go ahead and say that we are using some of her super cute Valentine ideas for the Valentines in our family.   I couldn't grab a photo from her jump on over there and check it out.

Finally, I wanted to share a site I've been sharing with my friends over the past few weeks. 

It's called A Holy Experience.  It's mainly written by a woman named Ann Voskamp.  It's sort of a mixture of a daily devotion/online journal/Bible study.  Her site is full of amazing resources and I've gotten lost in her site for hours.  

She has written a book A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are  and here is a video about it...

There are lots of free downloads on her site--but the one I'm doing this month is her month-long gratitude calendar for February.  Head on over to her site and look around.  You'll be glad you did.