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Stuttering Shell: July 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Let's get BAREFOOT {again!}

Earlier today I announced the winner of the Barefoot Wine giveaway - Miss Sweet Tea from Sweet Tea Diaries. I was so happy & excited for her...because she also won the very same giveaway at Chic & Pink today! My dear Angela - this is a sign! Go out & buy a lotto ticket because how often do you win - on the same day - the very same giveaway at two different blogs?!

Of course, being the gracious, sweet gal that she is, Miss Sweet Tea contacted me & thanked me profusely, but asked that I choose another winner because it just wouldn't be right to win the same thing twice. Isn't she fab?

So, my dear friends, I am here to let you know that I have chosen another winner for the Barefoot Wine giveaway & the lucky gal is:

Mrs. McB
{please visit her lovely blog}

Please contact me at shell {at} stutteringshell {dot} com - I will need your mailing address so the great folks at Barefoot Wine can send you your goodies! Congrats!

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Gettin' Barefoot - We have a winner!

Thank you all so much for the great entries!

This was a fun giveaway...I wish we could ALL get together & sip on some Barefoot Wine!

As promised, I have chosen the winner {thanks to - I assigned all of your entries a order they were left & chose the winning number at, well, random!}...

Miss Sweet Tea

Congratulations on winning the really awesome Barefoot Wine'll soon be watching your favorite television programs while sippin' wine from your new Barefoot Wine stemless wine glass {just ONE of the goodies included in the set}!
Please email me at shell {at} stutteringshell {dot} com to give me permission to send your mailing address along to the great folks at Barefoot Wine...because they will be sending your goodies directly to you!

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Random musings from that head of mine...

  • Today is the last day to enter my Barefoot Wine have until 11:59pm EST to enter because the winner will be announced tomorrow! Remember, you get extra entries if you refer people, so go tell everyone!
  • I took my daughter to the dentist this morning and read just about every People magazine they had in the waiting room - is anyone else out there sick & tired of the J*n & K*te drama? While it's unfortunate that their marriage has fallen apart, it's even more upsetting {to me} to know that these kids are going to grow up with all of this crap documented on television, in print, etc. That being anyone else the slightest bit curious to see how the show will be come Monday night when they return from their hiatus? I, for one, think that they really just need to give the show a rest...for their the sake of their children.
  • I hardly ever write checks & I really hate it when I forget about a check I've written - can you tell I've come to rely on online banking just a little too much??
  • Speaking of money, have I told you lately how much I despise what I like to call "the end of the month crunch?"
  • Frisco comes home next weekend {August 8th} and I cannot wait to see him! I ordered his collar from Katie & Olive and I'm super excited to receive it...he's gonna look so cute in his "beachy pup" collar!
  • And, speaking of next weekend, I'm very excited about the upcoming Dave Matthews Band show on August 7th. I've seen him every year since the late '90s...traditions aren't meant to be broken, right?
  • Ooooh...and how could I forget about tonight?? Wine, food, friends...and these ladies!

I hope you all are having a fabulous Thursday...what's left of it at least!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This lil' guy becomes a member of our family on August 8th. The kids are beyond excited...and so am I!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

She's simply the best!

That's a picture of my parents dancing at my sister's wedding last November
{click the pic for a close up...aren't my Mom's shoes sassy?}.

Happy birthday, Mom!

Needless to say, I think my Mom is pretty darn awesome. We didn't have the best of relationships growing up {but, then again, don't most mother-daughter combos hit a rough patch when puberty hits?}, but my Mom is the world to me. She's sacrificed so much for both my sister & I and she's one amazing grandmother to my children.

I also think it's pretty damn cool that she was carded over the weekend while we were at Wegman's buying some booze! If I can be half as amazing as my Mom is {and still get carded in my 60s}, then I will have accomplished something wonderful in my life.

Here's to you, Mom! Enjoy your day!

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Your tootsies will thank you!

If I were to meet Jules from Chic & Pink right at this very moment I would probably hug & squeeze her. Not only do I enjoy reading her blog, we are also both running the same giveaway {two chances to win, folks!}...AND, thanks to her blog, I'm finding more fun blogs to read & follow and more giveaways to enter!

If you're going to enter a giveaway, then you MUST enter this one. I have a thing for shoes...flip-flops, flats, name it, I want it!

And, I want need these shoes:

Ladies, this shoe, Paris Hilton's Senorita, is so sassy & naughty rolled into one...especially in - what I like to call - hooker red. Put these bad boys on with a cute black dress and va-va-va-voom!

Do you lusting for these shoes, too? Well, then you really need to head over to Savvy Mode and enter the Crazy for Bow shoe giveaway.! You have until August 5th to enter to win these shoes, Paris Hilton's Destiny:

If you spread the word, then you might be lucky enough to win a pair of Senoritas {in the color of your choice}...and, of course, if you enter the giveaway, you have a chance to win a pair of the Destiny heels {in the color of your choice}, too.

So go...what are you waiting for?

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INTERROGATION - You asked, now I'm answering (Part 3)

Don't worry, I didn't forget about the questions you asked...I just took a bit of a blogging break over the weekend. I'm back & I'm fully prepared to answer a question from Trent Family Life:

What are your biggest pet peeves?

Oh, boy...where do I even begin?!
  • Chewing with your mouth open - I cannot stand to hear "mouth noises" while people eat. I understand that something might be lip-smackin' yummy, but keep the noises to yourself, please.
  • Pen clicking - I've worked with & worked for more than one person who is guilty of this {my husband included!} it really necessary to "click" your pen during a staff meeting? That noise drives me up the wall!
  • Not saying "excuse me" - this has happened to me more than once & it just gets under my skin...don't walk up behind someone and expect them to just move out of your way. Say "excuse me" and see what kind of a response you'll get. I swear, women with carts full of groceries in Super Wal-Mart are the WORST offenders...not including myself, of course!
  • Not refilling the T.P. or the paper towels - I suppose finding an empty paper towel roll doesn't bother me NEARLY as much as finding out that there's no toilet paper left on the roll. It seems to me that it would be common sense to replace the empty T.P. roll with a new roll...especially if you used the last bit of it, but things don't always work that way...

I'm sure I could go on and on, but we'll keep the answer to four things. I don't want to make myself seem too petty.

I'll answer questions 4 & 5 tomorrow, but in the meantime, why don't you tell me what YOUR pet peeves are?

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Wine not?

Don't forget to enter my Barefoot Wine giveaway!

You have until 11:59pm EST on Thursday...a winner will be chosen on Friday, July 31st!

And, go ahead and enter yourself in Chic & Pink's Barefoot Wine giveaway as well...two chances are always better than one!

Friday, July 24, 2009

PRODUCT REVIEW & GIVEAWAY - Barefoot & Bubbly!


I am not going to lie to you all...this product review has been - BY FAR - the most favorite one I've done thus far. Why? Because it involved wine...or, as I like to refer to it...Mommy juice. If I had to pick a poison, wine would be it {followed very closely by Seagrams 7, but that's a different post}.

I'm sure there are many of you out there who - like me - enjoy having a glass {or three} of wine. I mean, it's a serving of fruit, people! I was very excited when Barefoot Wine contacted me. I've had a couple of their wines before - Pinot Grigio & Chardonnay. I've even tried their Moscato wine. Can you tell where I'm going with this? Yes, I'm normally a white wine drinker only. However, Lauren at Barefoot Wine has forever changed me because she graciously sent me not one, but TWO, bottles of Barefoot Wine to of which was some bubbly! Yes, not only does Barefoot Wine produce some great & very affordable wines, but they also produce bubbly wines!

Imagine my surprise when I came home from a weekend away to find a big box on my front porch from Barefoot Wine. Forget about dirty laundry & unpacking...I HAD to get that box open! Inside - for me to sample - was a bottle of Zinfandel & a bottle of bubbly, Brut Cuvee. Like I said earlier, I'm more of a white wine girl. And, surprising to many of my friends, I do not like champagne or sparkling wines at all. Seriously.

Now, before I begin my review I would just like to say that I am in no way a sommelier by any stretch of the imagination. I am merely an over-worked, under-paid, heavily occasional drinking wife & mother of two. Got it?

I opened the Zinfandel first.

I'm not going to lie...I was very skeptical as to whether or not I would even enjoy it. I've had merlot here and there and, to me, red wines are bitter, dry & hard for me to enjoy. Well, all of you red wine lovers who are screeching in horror should be quite happy because I loved the Zinfandel! There's no more left. I mean, drinking two glasses upon opening the bottle?! Yeah, that says something right there. Barefoot's Zinfandel is not dry, not bitter and it's heavily laden with hints of cherry. It is a smooth drinking wine and, being the classy girl that I am, brought out some peppery notes when I paired the wine with some heavily salted & peppered popcorn!

I finally opened the bubbly last night. I stashed it in the fridge weeks ago with every intention on breaking it out last weekend during our cookout & I blame my forgetfulness on the sangria that a friend brought {we'll discuss that in yet another post}. I stated earlier that I don't like champagne or sparkling wines. I never have. Never, ever. I suppose that most of my experience has revolved around extra dry wanna be sparkling wines...but, in my defense, I've also had fancy champagne - Dom Perignon - and I didn't like that either {I guess that really does classify me as simple & cheap, then?}.

When the hubs popped the top off of this baby, I honestly didn't know what to expect. I had already drilled into my head that I would not like it. It's sparkling. It's going to be dry and too fizzy and too disappointing. I was wrong, wrong and WRONG! Barefoot's Brut Cuvee surprised me and my taste buds. It was perfectly chilled & the bubbles tickled my nose as I drank it {I'm ashamed to admit that I don't actually own a proper champagne flute or fluted type of glass}. The Brut Cuvee was tart - it reminded me of granny smith apples - and was not dry at all. It had a smooth finish and I'm seriously considering having a mimosa for breakfast {although that wouldn't be a good idea since I do have to go to work}.

I am forever grateful to Lauren & everyone at Barefoot Wine, not just for allowing me this opportunity, but for expanding my wine horizons and turning me onto TWO types of wine I would have never, ever thought I would enjoy.

Here's where the fun comes in for you all...

Barefoot Wine has graciously offered my LUCKY readers the chance to win a Barefoot Wine "Summer Essentials" pack:

Included is a Barefoot Wine tote, beach towel, stemless wine glass and bottle opener...all that's missing is a bottle of your favorite Barefoot wine!

Get yourself familiar with Barefoot Wine. The motto behind their wine is to "get barefoot & have a great time!" Barefoot Wine recently launched a new website & they also have a great online community called Barefoot Republic. Barefoot Wine is a strong community supporter & is actively involved with other organizations like the Surfrider Foundation. So, not only does Barefoot Wine produce some amazing varieties of "the good stuff," but they also share my love of the beach. Could the relationship be any more perfect??

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY, this is what you need to do:

  • MANDATORY - Join Barefoot Republic and leave me your user name in a comment below {when you join, you can use me - maliasma - in the 'referrer username' the end of the form} - and don't worry, Barefoot will not fill your email with spam!
  • Tell me, in a comment below, how you plan on spending the rest of your summer.
  • MANDATORY - Go to Barefoot Wine's website and tell me, in a comment, which wine is your favorite or which you would like to try
  • Tell me, in a comment, what you like to pair your wine with...cheese, fruit, seafood, etc.
  • You can also get additional entries by blogging about this & following my blog
  • I'll give you THREE bonus entries for referring people to this giveaway...just make sure they mention in their comment who referred them!

This giveaway will be open until 11:59 est on Thursday, July 30th and a winner will be chosen on Friday, July 31st. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents ONLY and, PLEASE, you MUST be 21 or older {I can't be contributing to the delinquency of minors!!}.

Good luck!

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INTERROGATION - You asked, now I'm answering (Part 2)

In keeping my promise to answer the questions you all asked me, today I will answer a very important question from Sarah at Classy & Fabulous...

What's your favorite drugstore beauty purchase?

Oh, boy...this is gonna be a long answer, folks, for two reasons:
  1. I am a beauty product junkie.
  2. love to shop.

So, without making you wait any longer, I've comprised the following list {with the most favorite purchase being in the #1 spot}:

  1. Alba Botanica Green Tea sunscreen - finally...a sunscreen that keeps me protected and doesn't make my skin all wonky after using it {with any other kind of sunscreen...OK, something that isn't organic/natural, I break out in a rash from head to toe...seriously}.
  2. Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara - I won't lie to you...currently in my makeup bag there are five, yes FIVE, tubes of mascara...actually six now that I think about it. I've got mascara by Lancome, Cover Girl, Tarte, Bare Escentuals and Benefit...but Maybelline's Great Lash is my "go to" mascara and has never let me down.
  3. Cetaphil moisturizing cream - seeing a dermatologist two times a year to get a shot of Cortisone in the butt is not a fun way to keep eczema under control. Cetaphil lotion really helps, though.
  4. St. Ives apricot scrub - no, I don't use this on my's too harsh! Instead, I use this stuff to scrub my keeps my feet smooth and calloused heels at bay. Trust me on this one.
  5. Goody hair claws - I have these bad boys stashed never know when you're gonna need to use one. I have fine hair, too, and they stay put.
  6. Vaseline petroleum jelly - Such a classic drugstore item...but so useful in so many ways. I've slathered this stuff on my feet & covered with a pair of socks to wake up in the morning with silky soft tootsies. I've used this as Chapstick. I've used this to tame chapped {facial} cheeks...gotta love windburn! I've even used this to take off eye makeup in a pinch.

I couldn't just pick one because I have all six of these products in my bathroom ready to go at any given moment. Hmm...that reminds me, I'm low on the apricot scrub. Guess I'll be heading to Walgreens this weekend!

Remember, you can keep on asking questions...don't be scared!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tiny Bubbles

I opened the bubbly tonight {last night I opted for ice cream instead of the bubbly} and I'd just like to say that it's the bubbly's fault that my next review-slash-giveaway is NOT being posted tonight.

I'm no lightweight {*hanging my head in shame*} but all I wanna do is lay down!

Anyways...hang tight my loves and I'll get the next good thing going tomorrow morning. And, yes, it does involve the bubbly!


There's a sweet surprise in store for...


Chelle at Creative Momma is the lucky recipient of a surprise from moi. You know, a little something special I've put together as a way to say thank you for being one of my 105 followers!

I carefully & methodically chose a winner last night while watching "Top Chef Masters" (I'm rooting for Rick Bayless!!!).

{OK, OK, so I printed out everyone's names, cut them out into little rectangles, folded them up, put the names in a bowl and drew a name.}

I wish I had something for everyone, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve so don't fret. me at shell {at} stutteringshell {dot} com with your snail mail address and I'll get your surprise in the mail!

I totally love how it's a Chelle-Shell thing!!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Wallet

We went out for burgers on Tuesday night before going to see "Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince." As we were paying for the bill, Aidan made a comment about Adam's wallet.

Aidan: "I wish I had a wallet like yours."

Adam: "Why?"

Aidan: "So I could fill it with monies...monies for food, groceries, restaurants..."

Me: "Well, then you had better find a job soon because you're not going to fill a wallet with money just by talking about it."

I love how carefree children are and how, for a lack of a better word, clueless they are about how money indeed makes the world go 'round.

Oh, to be six years old again.

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It all started at the dentist...

I needed not one, but TWO, shots of novacaine this afternoon at the dentist. I'm ashamed to admit, but I needed a filling. Like I told my kids {thank you, Dr. Heff, for the dental lingo}, "Mommy has a sugar bug that needs to be moved out and replaced with a silver star." But, yes, it took two shots for me to finally NOT feel any pain while my dentist was a-drillin' away at my molar. And, ew, can I just say that the smell of freshly ground tooth is nasty?! Yuck.

So, after the dentist, the boy & I ventured on over to Wal-Mart {affectionately known as Wally World in our home} for some random things like frozen veggies & ice cream. While in the checkout aisle, I fell victim to the Coca-Cola laden freezer that was at the end of the aisle. I grabbed a 20 ounce soda and put it on the counter to pay for it. The cashier, who knew I had just come from the dentist because I told him so, proceeded to tell me that it probably wasn't a good idea to have a soda if I had just visited my dentist. And, he kept on talking about how soda was bad for me and that I must be having a "fat day" judging by what I was buying. Had I not had my child in tow, I would have gone {forgive me for my potty mouth is numb, I can't control it} apeshit ghetto. I suppose I should have asked to speak to a manager, but I wasn't feeling up to making a big scene about it...besides, this guy kid was a good 10+ years younger than me and probably only working there for summer break.

Oh, you want to know what I bought at Wally World {you know, since I'm having a "fat day"}??

Sliced turkey, provolone cheese, whole wheat rolls, frozen brussel sprouts, orange juice, organic 2% milk, canned veggies (peas & green beans), frozen sweet potato fries, Edy's Rocky Road (oooh, so scandalous) and a couple frozen pizzas.

There were some other things, too, but it was just a DVD for the boy and a placemat for the cats. "Fat day" my ass.

Nevertheless, since I was having a "fat day" I decided to go to Sonic for something cool & refreshing {and easy to consume since a half numb face isn't conducive for eating solid food}...the boy got a chocolate shake & I got a cherry limeade chiller. Of course, my time at Sonic wasn't without some irritation.

Let me preface this story by saying that I live in an area that takes great pride in the military. I live 10 minutes away from TWO naval bases - one of them being Oceana. I might also add that I love jet noise. And, it's a good thing I do because jets are flying around all.the.time.


I pull into the drive-thru at Sonic. The guy comes on the speaker, "Welcome to Sonic...would you like to try a blah-blah-blah? I can take your order whenever you're ready." I barely heard him because a jet was flying overhead. I proceeded to order and he says to me, "Can you wait until the jet flys by?" Um, weren't you already speaking Mr. Sonic Order Taker Man??


I give up, y'all. It's been one of those days. I'm irritated beyond all reason...and for no reason...and everyone is just getting under my skin today. The hubs says I need to just relax. I think I need to open that bottle of bubbly in my fridge.



There are 105 of you out there who are 'following' me.

That's pretty darn cool.

So, I've come up with a little something & tonight I will chose {ok, so I'm going to make the boy pull a name out of a dish} one of you lucky gals to receive a little surprise from moi. It's not much. But, it's still fun to get a surprise package in the mail...right??

You'll find out who the lucky duck is tomorrow...I promise!

Oh, and I have another product review/giveaway to post about tonight {after my dentist appointment...ugh!}...just make sure you're "of legal age" to participate. *wink, wink*

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Meatballs & Monsters

Before the movie started last night, we sat through what seemed like a ridiculous amount of previews...but, there are two movies coming out that I am absolutely excited about and I cannot wait to take the kidlets to see them...

And, both movies are based on two books that, I'm sure, are quite familiar to you all...
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" comes out on September 18th {my birthday!} and will be shown in 3-D in some locations. I love a good animated film...I'm not gonna lie!


"Where the Wild Things Are" comes out on October 16th. My kids really enjoyed "Bridge to Terabithia" and this movie has that whimsical fantasy atmosphere about least from what I could tell from the previews.

Are there any movies coming out soon that YOU'RE looking forward to?


INTERROGATION - You asked, now I'm answering (Part 1)

Last week, I invited you all to ask me questions {and, don't worry, you still can...just visit the blog post & leave a question in the comments section} and I figure that today would be a good day for me to go ahead & start answering them one by one!

If you are anything like me, then you're a bit on the nosey side and are curious about people. When I meet someone new I swear I feel like I'm playing "20 Questions" with them because I want to know ALL about them! is the first question to be answered in this 'series'...

Jen and Rob said...
We share a love for the beach. Robert, our friends and I can spend hours and hours out there snacking, playing and listening to music. Then we always meet out for a nice dinner. What's your perfect day out there?

I know that if Jen & I were to ever meet in real life we would become friends so easily and I'm certain that our first meet up would take place either at the beach or somewhere darn close to it, don't you think? She's exactly right in saying that she & I share a love for the beach {can't you tell from the awesome blog layout that Danielle made for me?!}.

To answer Jen's question:

Our family LVES the beach. If you want to get technical about it, well, we live at the beach {in a sense}. We're actually within short distances from a few beaches in our area - we live in Virginia Beach, VA - but...and this is the honest truth...very rarely do we go to our local beaches. Nope. Instead, we pack up the truck and take the back roads to the North Carolina border and head south to Hatteras Island. We don't even bother with the beaches in Nags Head, Kitty Hawk or Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks {to us it's too similar to being at home}. When we get to our destination - Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras or Ocracoke Island - we unload the truck and get ourselves ready for a long day of fun in the sun!

A perfect day on the beach for us is no beach restrictions, low tide, warm {but not too hot} weather & a slight overcast. If the waves are chest high and glassy, then that's a bonus because the hubs loves to be in the water. However, he's more interested in whether or not the flounder are biting {if we happen to be on the sound side rather than the ocean side}. We set up a canopy for shade, get the beach chairs out, take the cooler off the truck {yes, we're spoiled because in North Carolina you can drive onto certain beaches}, get the kids & ourselves covered in sunscreen and then we're off. Adam's usually headed to the water with a fishing pole. Our son is skipping through the waves and my daughter & I get a big bucket and begin combing the beach for seashells.

We are on the beach all day long. Seriously. We grill on the beach - we've been out on the beach so long before that we've managed to have breakfast, lunch & dinner with our feet in the sand! We nap at the beach. We relax at the beach.

We honestly & truly love escaping to the beaches of Hatteras Island, NC and we stay for weekends at a time. We camp {in tents} at one of the NPS campgrounds and, all weekend long, we are at the beach & in the water - whether we're digging for clams and searching the grass beds for scallops on the sound side or looking for a perfect Scotch Bonnet shell on the ocean side. To us, life couldn't be more perfect than when we're at the beach!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me. Tomorrow, I'll answer the next question on the list. In the meantime, don't be shy...ask away!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


That blasted curse {thanks Severus Snape} will be all I hear these next few days.

We saw "Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince" tonight {don't worry...there won't be any spoilers here}. We were supposed to go see it on Sunday, was just easier to be lazy on Sunday.

Aidan asked a zillion questions the whole many that the group of 'tweens sitting down the row from us kept saying, "Sssshh!" That group of kids sorta aggravated me, but I also remember being their age and going to the movies, so...

At any rate, my six year old son knew more about Harry Potter than they did {there WAS a kissing scene involving Harry and one of the 'tweens proclaimed, "Oh, it's Harry's first kiss" to which my son promptly replied in his loud whisper, "No, he kissed Cho Chang in "Order of the Phoenix!" That's my boy!}.


I'm a bit disappointed with the movie I have mixed feelings about the movie & I feel kind of guilty for admitting that. Don't get me wrong...I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but it wasn't what I was expecting & it didn't really follow the book entirely {and I've read the book quite a few times}. But, nevertheless, my appetite for Harry Potter has been satisfied and I'm looking forward to the two-part ending {ya know, since they're splitting the last book...Deathly Hallows...into two movies}.

For those who have seen "Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince" please tell me what you thought...

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Monday, July 20, 2009

The pitter-patter of {four} little feet?

The hubs declared last weekend that he wants our family to have a dog. A few of you out there know my husband...and I'm sure you're just as shocked as I am.

Part of me is excited. Part of me is skeptical.

Mind you, we already have three cats. But, a dog would be such a welcome addition to our family & it would be so much fun {and responsibility...but the kids are older now & can help out a lot!}.

I haven't said anything to the kids yet...but I am researching breeders in our area. Our heart is set on bringing home a Boston Terrier.


Starting the week on a SWEET note...

Remember that product review/giveaway from last week? Yeah...the one about cake?! Well, we have a winner, folks, and I believe this person will be very happy to find out that she will receive a sweet treat this week.

As usual, I put the entries into an Excel spreadsheet and used to determine the winner of a Triple Chocolate Enrobed Brownie Cake from Bake Me A Wish. And, the winner is...


She said...
The peanut butter mousse cake sounds phenomenal!

Mmm...the peanut butter mousse cake DOES sound phenomenal, but I think you'll be happy, too, with this sinfully delicious brownie cake {trust me}.

Please email your mailing address to shell {at} stutteringshell {dot} com so I can get your information to the kind folks at Bake Me A Wish. Congratulations & enjoy!!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

2 Things

Don't forget to read my latest product review & enter the giveaway...I mean, who wouldn't want a chance to win a Triple Chocolate Enrobed Brownie Cake??

Also...interrogate me! Ask me questions...any questions...this should make for some fun blog posts!

Have a great weekend y'all...I'll be back on Sunday with a new product review/giveaway, pictures from our crab feast and, hopefully, my thoughts on the newest Harry Potter movie.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Master

" of God's masterpieces."

We have this quote on the wall near the front door so that you can see it when you walk into our home. This afternoon, Aidan asked me what it said, so I read it to him.

Aidan: Mom, uh, what's a master?
Me: You mean a masterpiece?
Aidan: No, master.
Me: Well, it's someone who is in charge, takes care of God your master?
Aidan: Yes.

Awww...bless his heart.

He also noticed my newest wall art and told me, after I read it to him, that those were his rules to live by.

Needless to say, my is swelling with joy.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009


I suppose that I am fortunate because due to my {preferred} method of birth control - Mirena - I am most like a woman who has gone through "the change." Of course, I don't have the hot flashes, mood swings {wait...yes, I do} or the crazy hormonal thing going on...

If you haven't already guessed - and, yes, this may be TMI for some of you - I don't get the regular monthly visit from Aunt Flo. I haven't for the last five years. Are you jealous?? I'm sure you are.

BUT...and there's always a big but...the lack of Aunt Flo's visits have not done SHIT for my freakin' P.M.S. I guess I'm one of the unfortunate IUD users {or is it wearers?} who still gets a raging case of P.M.S. ever y month. Of course, in my case, P.M.S. does NOT stand for premenstrual syndrome. No, no...instead it stands for...


I swear I have eaten nothing but trash for the last week. Trash, I tell ya! Cokes for breakfast isn't healthy. Neither are marshmallow cookies. I went to Trader Joe's with every intention on getting healthy stuff for lunch...I came back with a smorgasbord of crunchy, salty things. I've been binging on wine {but it IS a serving of fruit} and if I can put hot sauce on it, I will. I found the stash of Halloween candy's terrible & sad all at the same time.

This is ridiculous.

I almost wish Aunt Flo would just visit so then maybe my glutton-like ways wouldn't seem as scandalous. OK, no, I really don't. But, seriously, somethings gotta give...besides my waistline.

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So close I can hardly stand it...

I've got 97 followers. 97! Wahoo!

I know some of you have about 3023953496734 followers, but this is ME we're talking about. Little 'ole me. I was tickled when I had 5 followers and now look at me!

I'm so close to 100 close. Just three more to go!

Hmm...perhaps I'll have a fun little 100 follower giveaway?!

I guess we'll all have to wait and see what happens!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I'm totally stealing this idea from Miss Sweet Tea!

It's time for YOU to interview ME. Yes, YOU! Ask me questions...I'll try to tell you no lies!

Seriously...ask away. Whatever you wanna know about MOI. Questions about me, the hubs, the kidlets, work, fun, what makes me tick...anything!

This could be fun!!

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Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned something about a SWEET little package sitting on my front porch?? Some of you guessed it was chocolate...some of you guessed it was a cake.

Well, guess're both right!

Right before the 4th of July holiday, I was contacted and asked if I would like to try a cake from Bake Me A Wish. In all honesty, I had never heard of the company. But, I was definitely more than happy to do a review on a cake...what's not to love, right??

Bake Me A Wish is a gourmet cake business that specializes in delivering birthday cakes. The company is run by an award-winning family run New York bakery...not only do they deal with the delivery of gourmet cakes, but they also supply goodies to some posh restaurants in Manhattan! So, you know you're going to get a top-notch product...there's no question about quality! Another great thing about Bake Me A Wish is their involvement with the military. They have a program called "Operation: Birthday Cake" and 5% of every cake purchased is donated to purchase soldiers birthday cakes every month (they do this in partnership with Soldiers' Angels). You also have the option to send a cake directly to a soldier. For more information about "Operation: Birthday Cake" please click here {and have a tissue handy}. Another neat feature is The Freedom Cake...for every Freedom Cake you purchase, Bake Me A Wish (along with Soldiers' Angels) will send a Freedom Cake to a soldier serving overseas!

After reading so much about Bake Me A Wish, I was quite pleased & excited to find a box on my front porch from the company. The company ships fast - like overnight fast - and each cake is enclosed within a styrofoam package complete with cooling packs to keep the cake chilled & fresh. I'm sorry to say that I didn't take any pictures of the packaging, but this is what your cake will look like when shipped:

Each cake also comes with a gift card:

I had the pleasure of trying the Triple Chocolate Enrobed Brownie Cake. All I can say is, "Mmmm!" I took the cake into work with me and the girls & I had so much fun "testing" the cake. I work with my husband and he even joined in on the fun and had not one, but TWO slices! The Triple Chocolate Enrobed Brownie Cake is an 8" round cake that is full of chocolatey goodness. It's rich and it's sinfully satisfying, yet it's not overly sweet {at least not in my opinion} and certainly tamed my sweet tooth. I think what is so perfect about this particular cake is that it wasn't cake. It definitely had the smooth, chewy brownie texture & consistency going on and that was A-OK in my book!

Here is a picture of the cake:

Can you see all of the chocolatey goodness that I was talking about? My mouth is watering just looking at the picture! Taste testing this particular cake has only left me with wanting more and I cannot wait to try more of their products.

I truly feel that Bake Me A Wish makes a great product & the premise of their business is perfect...especially for those with family far away, those who don't care to bake or those who are just "stuck" in a gift giving rut. The prices are fairly reasonable and shipping charges, while they seem high, are to be expected for the nature of the business.

Here's where the fun begins...

Bake Me A Wish has generously offered one of my readers a Triple Chocolate Enrobed Brownie Cake!

We're going to keep this contest simple...and fun! Here's what you need to do in order to be entered to win the Triple Chocolate Enrobed Brownie Cake:
  • Visit Bake Me A Wish & leave me a comment telling me which cake tickles your fancy the most

For extra entries:

  • Blog about this
  • Follow my blog
  • Befriend me on Twitter (@maliasma)
  • Twitter about this

That's a total of 5 entries...and all of your entries can be in the same comment or separate comments. I will export all entries into Excel and use to choose a winner. This giveaway will be open until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, July 19th and a winner will be chosen on Monday, July 20th. The winner will receive their cake shipped directly from Bake Me A Wish.

Good luck!!

(pictures are from Bake Me A Wish)

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Cover Up!

I live in an area that relies heavily upon the tourism industry {well, that & the military and this isn't a post about the military, but...for what it's worth...I DO lve jet noise!}. When the weather starts heating up, the beaches get crowded, the traffic gets terrible & you come to loathe shopping for groceries at Super Wal-Mart {or any grocery store within a 10 mile radius of the oceanfront} on a Sunday afternoon.

That being said...

If you DO happen to go grocery shopping & you DO happen to be a tourist, please take heed of what I'm about to say. It's pretty simple & straightforward. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Are you ready??


No, I'm not talking about covering up the dark circles under your eyes...I'm talking about putting something on to COVER UP your bathing suit. This is especially important if you are going into a store or restaurant. It's one thing if the store or restaurant is right across the street from the beach. But, if you're standing in the produce section of Super Wal-Mart manhandling the cantaloupes & wondering why people are staring at you in your ugly one-piece bathing suit, maybe it's because us locals know that the closest beach is a good 15-20 minute DRIVE from the store. Really, since when is it OK to walk into a store wearing only a bathing suit?? It's just really unnecessary for you to show everyone in the store exactly what your momma gave ya, but then again, this is only my humble opinion.

I'd just like to add that after I saw this bathing suit clad woman yesterday in Wal-Mart - yes, this is a true story & she really was touching the cantaloupes - the store managers kindly asked her to put on a pair of shorts. Seriously.

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Oh, to be by the sea...

This gig called life {you know, work, kids, bills, cleaning...} keeps me from just picking up & heading to the beach.


For a quick escape I can just stare at my beautiful, NEW blog layout! It's perfect. It's so beachy. It's so ME! I absolutely, positively cannot thank you enough, Danielle!!!

Last month, I won a blog makeover and it's been a lot of fun & a real pleasure working with Danielle on creating my new custom layout. Please, please, PLEASE go check out her marvelous designs at The Design Girl.

AND, while you're there, please check out & ENTER her H-U-G-E giveaway extravaganza. Trust me, you'll kick yourself if you don't. I mean, FIVE giveaways with a total of EIGHT prizes...we're talking everything from a monogram to a blog makeover. Yeah, you really need to visit The Design Girl. Go. Now.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Exciting Times!

The big change is taking place soon & I'm super excited about the new look...I can't wait for you all to see it!

Also, it's gonna turn into GIVEAWAY central around here so be ready to enter, blog & win!!

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

SMALL TALK SIX - I Wanna Be A Rockstar!

It's been a long while since I last participated in Momdot's Small Talk Six. Small Talk Six is a way to spark conversation and creativity & help beat the weekend blogging blues (there is a different topic every Saturday). OR, in my case, it's just a way to avoid an early morning trip to Wal-Mart & Target and the impending yard work.

So, let's get on with today's Small Talk Six topic, shall we??

6 things you think would be great about being a rockstar (or just famous in general)

This should be fun...

  1. I would live in a BIGGER & CLEANER house...miraculously, there would be enough room for our crap because the house would have 329857436 rooms (enough space for me to rekindle my pack rat ways) and I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up all the crap because I could afford to pay someone to do it. Bonus!
  2. I could dress like a ragamuffin (because seriously people, you know there are some famous guys & gals out there who have NOT ONE SINGLE CLUE when it comes to fashion...if you don't believe me, open up a People magazine) and people would think I'm fashion forward and hip...not a hobo.
  3. I'd have a personal chef. Wait, I already have one of those...the hubs! Ha ha ha! (Although I'm sure he feels more like a short-order cook & not some gourmet chef)
  4. Free shit...I mean, stuff. I suppose those on the up & up call it SWAG. Whatever. I mean, when us "normal" people have parties we put out goodie bags (usually for the kidlet set), but not the rich & famous...they get SWAG. Forget the party hats, cheap candy and high bounce ball, the rich get Gucci this, Prada They can afford it...WE should be the ones getting it for free! (Sorry, I haven't had my morning coffee yet!)
  5. Paparazzi - I would NEVER have to remember to take my camera anywhere to document what I'm doing, where I've been, what the kids are doing, where the kids have been, etc. because I'd have a throng of crazy people following me with their cameras! I'm sure it would get old (and sometimes those paparazzi people are psycho!), but I'm not gonna lie...I am all for letting someone else do the work for me. (Yes, I'm lazy.)
  6. I would drive a car that's a whole lot cooler than my 2001 Nissan Altima that has no car payment, bird shit on it constantly and scratches in the paint.

What do YOU think would be cool about being rich & famous - rockstar or not? Go to Momdot and participate in Small Talk Six and be sure to link your blog post with their Mr. Linky!!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Don't forget!

To enter Whitney Caroline's summer stamp giveaway!


You have until July 14th to enter.
Stamp photo from Whitney Caroline Designs

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The sun & the sand...

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air..."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pictures are from our 4th of July weekend in Hatteras, NC and Ocracoke Island, NC.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I am painting this quote on the wall in my kitchen this weekend...

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I lve Jennifer Weiner.

I lve her books.

I lve that on July 14th I'll be able to purchase this:

If you're not already familiar with Jennifer Weiner and her books, then you MUST get yourself acquainted. It's chick lit at it's least that's my humble {and honest} opinion!

I think I'll rent "In Her Shoes" tonight, too...just 'cause. There's nothing like a good cry & a good glass of wine on a Friday night.

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Three's Company

I had a phone conversation with a friend yesterday that started like this:

Michelle, have you tried "Ménage à Trois?"

There was a bit of a pause....and then it dawned on me ~~ she's talking about the

Duh...geez...what a silly girl I am! I really need to pull my head out of the gutter from time to time, too.

Oh, and for what it's worth, my friend raved about this brand of much so that I feel compelled to go out and purchase myself a bottle.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tears, Tantrums & Treats

It's been a while since either one of my children has had a full-blown meltdown and I suppose the hubs & I were long overdue for one because we were blessed yesterday afternoon.

After picking up the boy from the sitter, Aidan & I headed home for a quick pit stop. My plan was to turn right back around and head to Target. I pulled into the driveway to find Adam loading the fishing poles & tackle box into the bed of his truck. I knew he was going fishing. Aidan did not.

Let the whining commence...

Aidan followed Adam into the house. It all started with "I want to go fishing" and it escalated from there. The fishing chant continued. Aidan followed Adam throughout the house like a little duckling following its momma. Adam kept telling Aidan, "Next time. Next time." OK, no problem...or so I thought.

We get outside and it's time for us to leave {besides, Adam needed to back down the driveway and I was blocking him in}. By this time, Aidan is crying. Really crying. He had big ole tears running down his face and he kept saying over & over, "But I want to go fishing!" Adam promised him that he would go next time. {Side note: Adam was going fishing around dusk and into the later evening hours...Adam wasn't being mean...we just don't take the kids fishing on the boat at night.}

Adam hugged Aidan...squeezed him, loved on him, kissed him...and got him into the car. Instantly, Aidan arched his back and his whole body stiffened. Get ready...because here comes the tantrum monster rearing it's ugly head! {Any of you parents out there know that the arched back/stiff child combo is NOT fun...and it's especially not fun when trying to buckle your child into his carseat!} Aidan would NOT sit in his booster. Not.At.All. This whole time I was - and I'm almost ashamed to admit it - letting Adam deal with it. I was just sitting in the driver's seat breathing slowly & trying to keep calm. Adam shuts the door. Aidan's still not buckled. Aidan rolls down the window and proceeds to yell, "But I want to go fishing!" He kept screaming it. His tear-stained cheeks were red from frustration, but at least he was finally buckled.

We set off for Target. By this time, I don't even remember why I needed to go. I even second-guessed my reasoning for even going because:
  1. It's never fun going anywhere with an angry child.
  2. He will probably fall asleep during the ride there (because crying & yelling is exhausting, ya know) and
  3. What was supposed to be a quick "in & out" trip could possibly turn into something longer.

The WHOLE way to Target - OK, so it's only a 10 minute drive from the house - Aidan's in the backseat crying and chanting, "I want my Daddy!!!" Bless his heart. And, in between sobs & catching his breath, he started to yawn.

As we pulled into the Target parking lot, I quickly found a parking space near the building and I did what any desperate mother would do...I reduced myself to bribery!

Me: You know, Aidan, if you stop crying I just might buy you a treat when we get inside - that is if you are a good boy while we're in the store.
Aidan: But...{sob sob sob}...I can't stop crying!
Me: Well, just try. Wipe your tears and catch your breath. I know you're upset but you know Daddy will take you fishing next time.
Aidan: {more crying} But I want my!
Me: Oh,'s going to be OK. Let's go in the store and see what we can find for you.

Yes, I'm not above sir, not at all. We got out of the car and walked into Target. Our first stop...the snack bar. It's amazing what a cookie and an Icee can do for the upset soul! Our next stop...the $1 section {which some of it was half off!} for an Ironman paddle ball set. After that, the rest of the trip was a breeze. Not a single tear was shed and Aidan quickly forgot about Daddy and fishing.

OK, so I know some of you are probably out there cringing because I've just reinforced a behavior that perhaps should have been handled in a different way. But, to me, his fit was over something that WILL happen and his behavior wasn't ridiculously out of line. Besides, desperate times call for desperate measures.

And, you know how I rewarded myself (because, YES, I felt I deserved to be rewarded after an afternoon like that)?? Two glasses of Barefoot Zinfandel after the boy went to bed (stay tuned for a Barefoot giveaway this weekend!).

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Goody Goody Gumdrops!

I have been an awful blogging friend because I haven't posted any of the sweet things I've received from fellow bloggers!

I participated in a summer swap at Sweet Tea Diaries and was paired with Kate at Nautical by Nature. I also won a giveaway at Life with Lulu and Pete.

First up, the great package I received from Kate during the summer swap:

The box was full of nautical goodness!

  • A whale dip bowl & matching whale spreader
  • Whale & sailboat table cloth weights
  • Too pretty to use "beachy", I wish the Atlantic was that shade of blue!
  • Too pretty to use starfish plates done in a mosaic theme - hmmm...could this be inspiration for my kitchen table?!
  • A little blue tin bucket for catching things
  • A whale brag book
  • An embroidered key fob with a sailboat & lighthouse - cute!
  • Yummy handmade soap from her travels overseas
  • And, sidewalk chalk for my kidlets!

Thank you, really spoiled me!

Next, I won the first of two follower giveaways over at Life with Lulu and Pete (head over there now because the 2nd follower giveaway is going on right now!).

I was quite surprised & oh, so happy when I found out I won. The package was sitting on my doorstep when we returned from our beach trip over the 4th of July holiday weekend. When I opened the box, this is what I found:

  • A Vera Bradley Tic Tac tote in Raspberry Fizz - so bright, so colorful...I love it!
  • A note cube made out of handmade paper
  • Baking goodies - pretty cupcake liners and floral picks - I'll use these when Malia gets home because she's gonna love them!
  • A pretty key chain (forgive me but I don't remember what the quote says...I'll edit this post later!)
  • R.I.C.H. {Relax, it's cocktail hour!} cocktail napkins
  • Yummy smellin' lotion from Bath & Body Works - Butterfly Flower
  • Pretty note cards

Thank you, B!! You're awesome!

It's always fun to receive something in the mail that isn't a bill!!

Can you tell that my kitchen counter is my #1 place of choice to photograph things?!

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Hello Mother, Hello Father...

Greetings from Camp Po Po & Gung Gung!

(that's Cantonese for {maternal} grandmother & {maternal} grandfather, respectively)

I am missing a child. Missing in every sense of the word. She's not home. It's quiet without her. It's kind of weird just having one child when I'm so used to two.

But, she's having the time of her life. Her days are consumed with swimming lessons, roller skating lessons, cooking classes at Young Chef's Academy and trips to Wegmans.

I actually think I'm jealous...this work thing is for the birds!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Honest S-crap

My lovely friend, Becca, has given me this:

Yes, the Honest Scrap award. Thanks, Becca!!

So, here's the deal...I gotta tell you all 10 things about me that you may not know {and, yes, they need to be 10 truthful things} and then I tag five fellow bloggers with this same award. Sweet. Let's begin, shall we?

1. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii at the same hospital that President Obama was born at, Kapi'olani {or at least that's what I read on the 'net once}.
2. My daughter's scrapbook comes to a screeching halt at her first Christmas - she's now 8 years old {I'm such a bad mom!} - and my son's scrapbook...well, let's not even go there, OK?
3. It does not take much to stress me out - yes, I sweat the small stuff & I really need to learn NOT to.
4. I absolutely despise cleaning know, sweeping & mopping. I'll run the vacuum all day long if I have to, but don't ever hand me a broom or a mop. (Don't worry...I DO keep a clean house.)
5. Back when I was 14, I was on a swim team {actually, I swam for many years}. I met a 13 year old boy wearing Speedos. I ended up marrying him.
6. I am half Chinese - my mother is from Hong Kong.
7. My Daddy is from Mississippi...Water Valley, MS to be exact...and I am really missing my Mamaw's cooking right about now.
8. I love vacationing in Playa del Carmen, Mexico even though I don't speak a lick of Spanish.
9. I color my hair...from a box. And, the best part is that my stylist doesn't give me any smack about it...I love her!
10. I can be a really prissy girly-girl...but I can also hang with the boys if need be.

Whew...that was H-A-R-D! Who knew writing about yourself could be so difficult??

So, the five fellow bloggers that I bestow the Honest Scrap award to are as follows:

Lis Loves
Mel Tells...
Quotes from the Queen
Pink is My Signature Color
The Delima Dilemma

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Eff Frosting

Yeah. I said it.

Eff frosting.

Frosting sucks. Well, not really. But, if you're like me and you're incompetent when it comes to any & all things frosting then it sucks. I can't frost a cake worth a darn. And, I learned this morning that I sure as heck can't make proper frosting.

Maybe it's because I used a new recipe that I've never tried before. A friend kindly suggested that maybe I should stop trying new recipes. Ouch.

To bring you up to speed...

I baked a cake for my FIL's birthday today. It's a cake that I've baked many times over the last few years - Black Magic Cake. Normally, I would just use a store bought frosting for the cake, but I'm trying to curb that habit. After all, store bought frosting is not worthy enough to be put on a made from scratch cake. At least not in my opinion. I've made cream cheese frosting in the past. I've made chocolate butter cream, too. But, what was so hard about that ridiculous vanilla butter cream recipe?!

I made it twice. Yes, twice...this morning. The issue wasn't the cake. It was nice & cool. The frosting just wasn't up to par and I followed the recipe {word for word} both times. Needless to say, during my drive to work this morning, the top layer of the cake slid off (thanks to the crappy frosting), broke into three pieces within the cake carrier & I deemed the cake beyond salvageable and unfit to serve. The hubs - yes, I work with my husband - graciously accepted the top layer {I lve my garbage gut!} and the remainder of the cake was taken to the dumpster.

I suppose it was funny to see the cake in all of it's broken up glory. Sure, I laughed about it...I mean, it's not every day that a 2-layer cake falls apart on you. However, it's never happened to me before and it seriously bothered me. I know that had I given myself enough time to chill the cake while frosting that maybe this incident wouldn't have happened, BUT I've never had to do that in the past. I suppose I'm just mostly disappointed with my inability to make proper frosting because upon closer inspection the frosting was just icky looking -- is that a sign that I SHOULD be using store bought frosting on my lovely cakes??

So, dear, sweet BAKING friends of YOU have a go-to frosting recipe that has never let you down? If so, please share it with me...I need a good one. An idiot proof one. A frosting recipe that will give my baking pride that extra bit of "oomph" that is clearly missing from my spirit...yes, that's what I need.

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So much catching up, so little time!

I've got lots to share with you...I just need time to share it all with you!

I've got swap goodies to show off, a giveaway win to show off, a cake recipe to share, giveaways (yes, that's plural) to announce...meanwhile, I'm sitting here and I should be in the shower getting ready for work. I still need to frost a cake, too!!

Where does the time go and why does it have to go by so quickly??

Forget the "easy" button, I need a "slow down" button.

Oh, and a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a special man in my life, my father-in-law!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It Figures

Why is it that during the summer months 'good nights' and 'good mornings' are so much easier with the kidlets?? WHY?

So far during this summer vacation we haven't had any issues with bedtime {OK, so we're letting the kids go to bed a teeny, weeny bit later than normal}. We still deal with the occasional complaint about having to brush teeth {good dental hygiene is important}, but after that it's, "Are you going to come tuck me in?" And, in the mornings, I wake up sometimes to find both kids already dressed and on the couch eating cereal and watching TV. Mind you, this is before 7am.

Never, EVER would this happen during the school year.
Oh, no.
Bedtime is always a fight. Someone wants to stay up to watch something or they need to stay up because they didn't have enough time to play. And, don't even get me started about mornings...I guess getting up to get dressed & ready for school seems to be more of a hassle than it really is {of course, I do feel that way about work...sometimes}.

I do remember that it was always like this for me as a kid. However, I could never pinpoint why. It's not like we're off schedule because, well, I do work so the kids are still following a somewhat similar routine as the one during the school year. I just don't get it.


I will enjoy every second of it and cherish these "easy" moments because September will sneak up on us and soon the kids will be headed back to school and the 'good nights' and 'good mornings' will cease to exist.

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100th, WELL, 101st Post Giveaway at Molly Lou Gifts

Molly Lou Gifts is having a HUGE giveaway blowout in celebration of her 100th, uh, well, it's more like 101st post! You MUST check out the giveaway goodies because this one is too good to pass up -- the chance to win $100 in Molly Lou Gifts products.

Head on over to the Molly Lou Gifts blog and enter by clicking sure to tell her that I sent you!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Stamp Giveaway

(Picture from Whitney Caroline Designs)

Head on over to Whitney Caroline Designs and enter the Summer Stamp Giveaway. All of the newest stamp designs are posted and they are fabulous! I personally love the one pictured above - I love Adirondack chairs!

Be sure to tell her that I sent you!!

And, hurry...the giveaway ends on July 14th!

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Ideas, Projects & Wants - Not Necessarily In That Order

I should have never gone to Pottery Barn's website today. NEVER. Because now my bank account is in trouble I am doomed. I am doomed because now I must fight against the urges to order everything I am currently longing for from Pottery Barn. I'm telling you - it's a hard battle to fight. Trust me. I know this.
Here is what I need want:

Under the Sea Snack Bowls - Sadly, the sea urchin one is sold out. That's the one I really wanted. On a good note, I DID find something that - while it wasn't THE exact same thing as the clam shell above - is a good compromise and I bought it tonight. Michael's had a ceramic shell bowl on sale for $ could I pass that up?

Crab Place Card Holder - What in the heck do I need place card holders for? I don't know, but these are damn cute and so crabby...I love it!

Sea Urchin Salt & Pepper Shakers - I MUST have these...too bad they don't ship until mid-September. But, that gives me time to redo our kitchen table {more about that later} and these will look perfect on the table!

Under the Sea Salad Plates - Cute, cute and cute! These beachy themed salad plates are so me. I love that they are neutral - the color of sand.

Starfish Charger - Rattan with a hint of red...fabulous! I don't have any red in my kitchen {these would go on our kitchen table} but a pop of color would be nice {and would contrast nicely with my turquoise walls}.

Starfish Embroidered Pillow - I've been coveting these pillows for a while...and I just can't make myself pay for them especially considering I must have three of them. But, I have something in the works - something that I am very excited about - and I'll share that info with you soon. I promise.

On another note, I've been dreaming of a new computer desk. I currently have two desks, so it seems silly that I want a new one. But, the one I'm currently using has bad juju and the other just doesn't "go" with this room. It's cherry. Why I even got it in the first place and NOT the one I really wanted, I don't know. I suppose I COULD refinish the cherry computer armoire, but the task is daunting and I wouldn't know where to begin or even how to begin. I mean, tackling the outside is no's the inside of the armoire that scares me. There are a lot of nooks & crannies in there!

So, these are the two desks I'm dreaming about:

Both could work with the room I'm TRYING to refashion in order to make it more practical and not so much like a catch-all type of room. Both are armoires which I like. Both don't offer a lot of desk space, but that is fine. I need to end my pack rat ways anyhow. The black one is a bit smaller than the white one and probably wouldn't fit my 21" computer screen. But, the white one is considerably more expensive than the black one - at least on Wal-Mart's website. Perhaps if I sold both of my computer desks, I could justify the purchase of the white desk. Or, I could be a good girl and take on that nerve-wracking project of refinishing the cherry armoire. It scares me to even think about it.

And, speaking of refinishing...I have decided to spice up our kitchen table and lay mosaic tile across the top. We have just over one box of mosaic tile left over from doing our kitchen backsplash, so I've got some tiles to work with. Now, I just need to decide if I want to actually inlay a picture/design or just add some color with regular tile. I actually thought about doing a monogram of our initials at our "spot" at the dinner table - would that be too corny and too personal? I mean, I don't think it's a bad idea because we have matching initials in this family...the boys have "A" names and the girls have "M" names. I also thought about trying to put a mosaic starfish or sand dollar in the middle, but that is a task that I'm not sure I want to tackle just yet.

I suppose the possibilities are endless, huh? If only I had an unlimited budget and all the time in the world to get done what I have swirling inside of my head.

(Pictures in this post are from Pottery Barn & Wal-Mart, respectively.)

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