This Page

has been moved to new address

Stuttering Shell

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Stuttering Shell: August 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bound for Beantown

I'm headed to Boston this week, so I'll have some blog posts scheduled for your enjoyment {at least I hope so!} - mostly product reviews & giveaways.

Oh, and maybe a funny anecdote from one of the kids tossed in for good measure, too.


The addict.

As we walked out of Panera Bread, Aidan joyfully exclaims, "I'm addicted to girls & chocolate milk, Mom."


Friday, August 28, 2009

16 posts away...

From my 500th blog post!

Hitting the 500 mark calls for some celebration & celebrate we will...when I get there. ;-)


Thursday, August 27, 2009


So, the first book club meeting went well. Very well. There were just four of us, but we still managed to have great discussions about religion, a woman's role, motherhood, etc. Of course, we also relished every second of the wine drinking & snack munching, too!

September is nearly upon us & I will be hosting our next book club meeting. I'm looking forward to yet another evening with the girls. I am even more excited about reading this book:

The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
{picture from Barnes & Noble}

I am looking forward to reading this book and I am curious to see where our conversations & discussions will lead us.

If you were participating in a book club, which books would you suggest & why?

Labels: , , ,

He's a bad, bad boy...

Ziggy. Our black cat. The youngest out of the three kitties we have.

He may seem sweet. But, he's bad. Very bad. So bad that I'm at my wits ends with him.

OK, maybe not, but still...

He scratched the pup again this morning. Across the snout. This time, the scratch is right under Frisco's eye. His right eye. The 'good' eye. This all happened within a two minute span while I was in the laundry room taking the pup's bedding out of the dryer. Le pup & the kids were in the living room and - from what the kids told me - Frisco saw Ziggy, ran up to him and, before they could get the pup away from the cat, Ziggy swiped at his face.

Needless to say, I freaked out. There was hardly any blood. It wasn't a bad seems as if Ziggy merely grazed the skin. Frisco didn't yelp & wasn't in any pain. But, I needed to make sure that the scratch didn't INCLUDE the eye. Last thing I need is to spend some more $$$ on another eye surgery! From what I can tell, it looks as if the scratch goes right below the eye...but it's too close for my own comfort. I'm hoping that things will be just fine. He's holding his eye open & he's already on so many meds for the other eye {two of which are antibiotics} that I'm certain he'll be fine.

I know, I know...dogs will be dogs & cats will be cats. Cats scratch dogs all of the time. But...

My nerves are shot.

The hubs is ready to get rid of Ziggy. I can't. You don't do that. If anything, he'll get declawed, but even I don't want to do that. Frisco's a pup. Ziggy's a cat. Pups like to play. Ziggy does, too, but apparently he's not interested in mingling with a nearly three month old Boston Terrier.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

$how me the money!

We hardly EVER buy lottery tickets, but tonight's Mega Millions jackpot is $252 MILLION. The cash option - which we would prefer...if we won...over the annual payments - is $159.2 MILLION {not too shabby}. After taxes, that's still a nice chunk of change!

Of course, it's all about luck & hoping that you're the sole winner of the fortune - Mega Millions is a lottery played in twelve states - because I wouldn't want to share that kind of cash! I know, I's not nice to be greedy, but...

The hubs bought five tickets tonight. The budget isn't going to break if we spend $5 on lottery tickets. I just hope we get lucky...oh, the things I could do & WOULD do with that money...

UPDATE: No, I'm not a gazillionaire. I'm just up a little too early thanks to a pup that had to go pee. We only matched two numbers, BUT...the jackpot is NOW at $325 MILLION for Friday's drawing. Any clue as to what I'll be buying on Friday afternoon on my way home from work? No, not milk & bread...

Labels: , ,

He should have X-ray vision...

At least you would think so after that $$$ surgery le pup had last Friday. But, he does not.

We had our first post-op check up far, so good. The cornea in that eye is inflamed just a bit, so Frisco is on yet another med {this one is an anti-inflammatory}. His inflamed cornea is what makes his eye look so cloudy. But, whatever infection that was there is under control & the graft is healing well. We go back in two weeks for another check up.

But, enough talking about his eye...let's just "ooh" & "aah" at the greatness that is Frisco, shall we?

{Le pup & his's a pain in the, uh, neck, but it IS helping his ears
stand up...I'll try to get a pic of him tonight without it on so you can see.}

{No, the hubs wasn't holding his head in an awkward position...he was
scratching Frisco's ear for him. You can also kinda-sort see his's his
left one. Oh, and excuse the dirty jeans...the hubs has been getting out in the
field again. Such is the life of a masonry subcontractor!}

{Guess who has claimed one of our throw pillows? I don't blame him...
this chenille pillow from Target is extra super soft. I love how he fell asleep
with his arm around "Bob" - his favorite toy from Petsmart.}

Labels: , ,

Just call me Betty Crocker...

I've been doing a lot of baking lately.

I baked a carrot cake a couple week's ago.

Then, over the weekend, I baked this:

{I won the cake plate that you see from
Fancy Schmancy Designs a while back}

And, I also baked this {twice...a double batch on Saturday & a single batch just. last. night.}:

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread & Peanut Butter Cup's been baked goods heaven here in the Chissler household.

I found the recipe for the bread at All Recipes. I needed to use up some very ripe bananas {since I kinda-sorta fell off the green monster bandwagon}. The recipe calls for a cup of shortening, but I subbed with a cup of butter. Oh, and, yes, the recipe calls for some mayo, too. Sounds gross, but you can't taste it. Click here for the recipe - it makes two loaves.

As for the brownies, I have to say "thank you" to Katherine at Just Lovely because she posted a picture of them. She found the recipe here. The hubs took a tray of them to his fantasy football draft on Saturday & they were a hit. The kids lve them, too. OK, I won't lie...I'm quite fond of them, too. I used a store bought brownie mix...the recipe couldn't be any more simple!!

Are you salivating yet?

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Puberty - many years too early...

Yesterday, Aidan's concern was armpit hair.

Tonight, he informed me that his voice was getting deeper.

Sure it is...


Sunday, August 23, 2009


Frisco's surgery was on Friday morning. Everything went well. I left work just after 3pm to head to Yorktown to pick him up. The pup & I made it home just before 7pm on Friday {no thanks to the ridiculous traffic we have here in Hampton Roads} - for what it's worth, the drive is usually 45 minutes - each way - on a 'perfect' traffic day {whatever that is!}.

The corneal & conjunctival grafts were a success...well, as far as we can tell thus far. His eye is still cloudy & blue, but that will start going away as his eye heals. We go back to the veterinary ophthalmologist on Friday for the first recheck. It is my understanding that his lens was fine, so we're very happy that he'll start regaining better vision in his eye as it heals.

Right now, Frisco is taking an oral antibiotic as well as four different drops for his eye to fight off any sign of infection. He squirms & fusses, but he's been pretty good about the meds. Much to his dismay, he's wearing an e-collar and it has to stay on for who knows how long. I think he's gotten used to it, though. {I promise that I'll post pictures tomorrow...I'm too lazy to get the camera cord.}

We're still so sad that our little puppy had to go through so much. We still aren't quite sure what exactly happened to his poor eye to cause all of this. But, we are thankful that it wasn't any worse than what it was. We are definitely very grateful to all of the veterinarians we saw on Thursday & Friday!

Labels: , ,

So I can be a Daddy, too...

The boys shaved their heads tonight.

As the hubs was using the clippers on Aidan's head, their conversation became quite amusing --

Aidan: "That's a lot of hair. I can take some of it and put it in my arm pits. I can glue it with my glue stick."

The hubs: "Now why would you want to go and do something like that?"

Aidan: "So I can be a Daddy, too."

Labels: , ,

Mo' Money

It's funny how an emergency like, oh, an $1100 eye surgery can make you rethink your budget & reconsider any frivolous necessary expenses.

Today, the hubs & I will be talking about money. Our money. What seems like a lack of it. How to save it. How to spend it. How to pay things off. How to be frugal. How to correct all of the financial errors from our twenties. Basically, how to become tightwads - something both of us - clearly - are not.

We are following the principles of Dave Ramsey {we enjoy watching his show on the Fox Business Network}. We like his message, his Christian-based approach and his "non-judgemental" attitude. My mom absolutely adores Suze Orman and thinks that I need to read her book, but she scares the heebie-jeebies out of me {and she really shouldn't because she's got some very valid financial points}.

What are some of your budgeting tips & tricks?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What would you do?

If someone has made it perfectly clear that they do not care for you & that they do not wish to even acknowledge your existence, YET they still want your children to come over and play with their child...what would you do?

Not to get into *cough*family*cough* drama, but this is an ex-family member I am speaking of.

The hubs says that I'm being mean...that I should let the kids play because the kids are just innocent victims in this unfortunate situation. While I agree to some extent, I remain firm about my decision and I stand my ground. There have been a few times when I RELUCTANTLY let them go, but I absolutely cannot stand them being over there.

I don't think I am wrong. I don't think I am being mean. I don't think I am robbing my children of any precious moments. I believe that I am proving a point. I believe that I am "sticking to my guns."

As stubborn as I may sound right now {and petty, too} I truly feel that it's NOT in my children's best interest to be around someone who has made it blatantly clear that my husband & I no longer exist. Our family is one take us or you leave us. You can't have the kids without the parents. What you see is what you get and if you don't like it, well, tough.

Labels: , ,

A key to the house...

Malia asked me the other day when she would be allowed to:
  1. Have a key to the house, so
  2. She can ride the bus home {by herself}

Her request caught me off guard because it is a subject that I'm not ready to discuss nor am I even ready to allow it.

I was a 'latch-key kid' growing up. I was in the 4th grade, it was the late 1980s and my sister {who was in 2nd grade} & I were home alone for MAYBE an hour before my mother came home from work. Things were different back then...WAY different.

That was then...this is certainly now.

I'm not ready for my children to assume gain such a responsibility. I like knowing where they are once 3pm comes -- in the gym participating in the Parks & Rec sponsored after-school program! I, as a parent, am not ready to give up that "peace of mind."

So, what was my response to her? No way, Jose.

Labels: ,

Hail to the Redskins!

{source - you MUST check out Nate's blog}

It's that time of year again and the hubs is at a friend's house for the annual fantasy football draft. I passed on the festivities - of course, having a 9 week old pup at home who is recovering from a corneal graft reaffirmed that decision.

The kids & I are looking forward to a relaxing {and, hopefully, quiet} afternoon. I made these earlier this afternoon {the hubs took a big tray of them with him}. We will enjoy them during our date with Harry Potter this afternoon at 4:30pm courtesy of ABC Family. We may as well enjoy all of the television we can now because soon - and much to my dismay - the only thing worth watching {in the hubs' eye} will be football.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stress calls for Starbucks

I don't handle stress well. At all.

This morning was no exception. I dropped the pup off for surgery this morning and, while I was there, my mother was in surgery herself {nothing major or life threatening}!

Between all of the phone calls about the pup & my mother, I decided that before I headed back to work that I would need to treat myself to something lovely.

So, I drove straight to Starbucks and bought myself one of these:

The Banana Chocolate Vivianno - hello, it's like heaven in a cup! Yum! I also bought myself a fruit & cheese platter...oh, and a chicken cobb salad sammich. And, much to my delight, there was some money left on my Starbucks gift card to pay for some of the 'damage.'

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The blue eye.

This morning, we woke up to find Frisco's left eye crusted over. Thinking he had a mild case of pink eye {because dogs can get it} we tried cleaning his eye with a warm cloth only to find that it distressed him very much. Also, while cleaning his eye we noticed blood. The blood was coming from his eye.

After a frantic phone call to the emergency vet center, I quickly got myself together and dropped the kids off with our friend, Shannon. Adam headed to the office & I braced myself for a very long and expensive day. After two emergency vet visits & one visit with the veterinary ophthalmologist, we found out that he has a corneal ulcer that ruptured. We're concerned that it may be a puncture wound {we have three cats}, but the vet seems to think that it was just an abrasion gone bad.

At any rate, Frisco's eye will require surgery. Surgery to repair the ulcerated portion of his cornea. Surgery to clean the blood clot in his eye. Surgery to hopefully save his vision. We're not sure whether or not his lens has been damaged by all of this. As of today, he still had light reception in that eye. In the meantime, we have FOUR different medications to put in his eye every THREE hours. Surgery is tomorrow morning at 9am.

I am tired. I am sad & I am tired. My heart is broken. But, my little guy is still his playful, kissy self. The kids are handling the situation well, although there were many tears shed this morning when they did not know why Frisco was bleeding. Aidan & Malia named Frisco's hurt eye 'the blue eye' because of it's milky, cloudy appearance. Hopefully, after tomorrow's surgery, his eye will no longer be blue.

I'll post before & after pics tomorrow. Just keep him in your prayers, please.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dear Pat...

I don't know who you are, but I would just like to thank you for sharing your carrot cake recipe on All Recipes.

Your 'award winning' carrot cake is my GO TO dessert recipe and it makes everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - so happy when I bake one. I have tweaked your recipe...only because I like to add a wee bit of nutmeg, but other than that it is tres delicious!

Of course, carrot cake isn't carrot cake without the obligatory cream cheese frosting {made from scratch}. Your cake + homemade cream cheese frosting = NOM NOM NOM!

I absolutely, positively cannot wait to get home from work and enjoy a slice of this:

Having a slice of your carrot cake {baked to perfection by shame!} seriously takes the edge off of the 'work-to-home' transition part of my day {and, it's a way to get in a serving of vegetables, right?}. Suddenly, the housework doesn't seem so important, the laundry can wait & who cares what the kids are fighting about...when I lift that fork full of carrot cake to my mouth, everything around me ceases to exist. Only when I am scraping up the last bit of frosting do I snap back to reality.


Anyways, thank you, Pat. You are my carrot cake savior!

Labels: , ,

A pup named Frisco.

{the pics are from this week}

Labels: , , , ,



Due to our self-induced budget crunch {more on that later} I am in need of finding a facial moisturizer that is super good for my skin, easy on the wallet {say, $20 or less} & can be purchased - preferably - at either Target or Wal-Mart.

I have been using Hope in a Jar by philosophy for years and just finished my super-sized tub of it; however, the $105 price tag isn't budget-friendly {of course, I could go with a smaller tub of it, but still...this is about being budget-conscious}.

Therefore, I am enlisting YOUR help...

Girls, I need to know what moisturizer you use & why do you swear by it??

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Superior Scribbler

Yep, that's me!

Well, at least Brittany Ann thinks so {thanks, doll!}.

I have to display the cute award on my blog (see it?).

I have to grant the Superior Scribbler status to five of my bloggy faves:

And, anyone who participates {whether you're named up there or not because you all are Superior Scribblers} MUST add their name to the 'Mr. Linky' at the Scholastic-Scribe's blog by clicking here so they can keep track of everyone who has been given this award.

Labels: ,

Honest Scrap...again!

My dear, sweet friend, Rachel, tagged me with the Honest Scrap award {this is the 2nd time I've received it!}.

So, here are another T-E-N honest {but fun} facts about me...and, hopefully, they will be different from the first ten I posted:
  1. I have one sister. She's younger than I am, but taller than me. She's also a doctor, so her career choice is more fabulous than mine {of course, if you asked her, I'm sure she would beg to differ}.
  2. My children are 27 months the day.
  3. We live three houses down the street from the house that my husband essentially "grew up" in...well, at least whenever it was his weekend with his father.
  4. The hubs & I dated for 8 years before we got married & we actually got married on our anniversary.
  5. I love to bake, but I'm not really big into sweets.
  6. It's been just over a month since my last sip of ANY kind/type of soda...YAY!
  7. Politics intimidate me. I don't know why...they just do.
  8. I make hair bows...they aren't elaborate or extravagant, but they are cute & functional for little girls. Of course, I also haven't had time to sit down & really get into my craft lately, but maybe I will this weekend.
  9. I like watching QVC.
  10. I miss driving a minivan {we leased a Honda Odyssey a few years ago}, but I certainly enjoy my little Nissan and it's paid off status.

I am supposed to pass this along to other bloggers I feel are worthy of the Honest Scrap award, but I truly believe that all of you ARE WORTHY. So, if you feel like playing along, please copy the picture and post your 10 fun facts. Let me know if you do!

Labels: ,

Desperately Seeking Autumn

I am over the excessive heat.
I am over the ridiculous humidity.
I am over the influx of flies & other annoying bugs.
I am over sweaty pits (ew!).
I am over having to shave my legs all. the. time.
I am over running the air conditioner.
I am over {what seem like} never-ending days.
I am over the heat sucking the life out of anyone & anything.
I am over the traffic.
I am over the tourists.
I am over summer vacation {no, the kids aren't back in school...yet}.

While I will miss the impromptu cookouts, carefree schedules, camping trips & other random family fun, I am definitely READY for a change of seasons {a big change from this past February when I was ready for summer}.

I am ready for cooler weather.
I am ready to open the windows.
I am ready to put on a pair of socks.
I am ready to smell the crisp, autumn air.
I am ready to see the leaves change colors.
I am ready to go to the pumpkin patch.
I am ready for crock pot cooking.
I am ready for earlier sunsets.
I am ready to 'fall back.'
I am ready to put mums out on the front porch.
I am ready for nights by the fire pit.

I am desperately seeking autumn.

I realize there's still over a month of summer left, but I really hope we transition straight into autumn without any of the "Indian summer" ridiculousness.

Labels: , , ,

Why Be Normal?

Aidan asked the hubs a very profound question on Sunday afternoon:

"Dad, are we normal?"

It's now Tuesday & Aidan still has not received a proper answer to this question......and, I'm not sure if he ever will.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 17, 2009

You're such a meanie!

On Saturday, I asked Aidan to help me tidy up the living room. All he had to do was pick up the toys he had on the couch & take them to the toy box in his room. I must have asked him about ten times. Finally, the hubs intervened. Aidan got up, sighed and said...

"Now I know why they call you the mean mom."

Really? Who are 'they?' And, {OK, don't answer that last question.}

Labels: ,

People, Police & Prayers

Police cars everywhere. Sirens. Crime scene tape. Road blocks. Neighbors consoling one another. People wondering how & why.

Accidents happen all of the time. But, one has never hit this close to home.

There were two motorcycle accidents over the weekend. One of them took place in. my. {quiet} neighborhood.

The driver of the motorcycle did not survive. The passenger did. The news reported yesterday that alcohol was a factor. The driver was also not wearing a helmet.

My heart aches for the family that is grieving the loss of a loved one. I hope, too, that the passenger who was injured makes a full recovery & learns from the unfortunately hard lesson that took place over the weekend just a few blocks from my home.

And, like many other parents in my neighborhood, I am thankful that there were no children hurt or any other injuries or victims for that matter. The accident happened just after 6:30 p.m. on Saturday...the sun was shining, the weather was {finally} were outside playing, people were doing yard work...

I squeezed my children a bit tighter over the weekend. They don't know what happened, but driving by and seeing the broken mailbox was a very heartbreaking reminder of how quickly our lives can be taken away from us.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cheese & Whine

We met my parents at Cheddar's in Newport News last night. My lovely Malia was finally coming home {she swore it was because she missed her brother, but I believe it was Frisco she was secretly longing for}. By the time we got there - thanks to the oh, so lovely traffic in the Hampton Roads area - we made it just in time to find that my parents were pretty much finished with dinner.

No worries, though...

Well, maybe not for Aidan. The boy wanted mac & cheese. If the boy could eat mac & cheese everyday, HE WOULD. Seriously. No lie. And, you would assume {and you know what they say about doing that} that a family-type restaurant like Cheddar's would have mac & cheese on the menu for the 10 & under set. Nope. Again, seriously. No lie.

Can I just tell you that the 'mommy meltdown' I had yesterday after dinner was very much deserved & worth every darn tear that I shed in the car {as I chewed out my husband because, unfortunately, he becomes my punching bag every now & again...but, he did tick me off last night, too, so it was well-deserved}?! Any mother who has tried to eat dinner while listening to a child whine about cheese-covered pasta & then gets kicked in the gut because the whining child is throwing a tantrum because there IS no such pasta can probably sympathize.

So, guess what I'm having for dinner tonight {before I head to my book club meeting}? Yep. You guessed leftovers from dinner last night because I never ate it all. After two bites of Dijon Chicken I finally carried my guy outside, wagged my finger in front of his face, wiped tears from his eyes and loaded him in the car.

Next time, I'm bringing my own stash of mac & cheese.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Red Tent

Have you read this book?

I recently joined a book club & this was the pick for our first read. We meet tomorrow & I cannot wait to discuss this book.

Anita Diamant's The Red Tent had me mesmerized. At first, I was a bit skeptical about the book because I just didn't know if I would like it -- it's loosely based on the story of Dinah {who was briefly mentioned in the Book of Genesis} and religious-type/religion-based books typically tend to intimidate me {and can I just say that I feel totally ashamed just typing that?!}. However, once I started reading, I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down. I read the book from start to finish in just under two days. And, when I finally closed the book for the final time, I was left wanting much more.

Anyways, I don't want to discuss too much because I don't want to spoil my first book club meeting. But, if you've read this book, what are your thoughts?

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Frisco at play...

Here's a little video I took last night of Frisco playing. He was so frisky! His personality is really starting to show!

The fleece bone he's playing with is just as big as he is. He had so much fun! He also wore himself out - one minute he was slinging that bone around & the next minute he was snoozing on his side!

Disclaimer: I apologize for the really crummy quality of this video. I'm using my back-up camera {since 'Old Faithful' took a swim}.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Labels: ,

Mail Call!

The postman has been very busy delivering various goodies to my doorstep these last few weeks! I went on a bit of a spending binge and now I must share the goods with you all. Are you ready?

The Red Crab Stripe Platter from Molly Lou Gifts. I bought this and it arrived just in time for our blue crab feast last month. I absolutely LOVE this's so beachy, it's so US!

I have a lve affair with Etsy. I found these next two items by way of fellow bloggers thanks to a couple different giveaways.

This is the Large Personalized Monogram Decal Wall Graphic by Decal Monograms. I loved how the decal shown online was framed, so I framed ours, too! It's hanging by our front door and I love how it showcases our {being me & the hubs} initials intertwined with the big 'C' for our last name. Side-note: Our wedding cake topper was a heart {made of cake} turned on it's side and had our monogram on it - A C M - but, thanks to our wedding planner's horrendous handwriting, when we walked into the reception hall the 'C' looked more like an 'L.' I'll have to find a pic to show you. So, this wonderful piece of art completely makes up for that botched wedding incident!

And, seeing as how vinyl decals & lettering are pretty darn 'hot' right now, I just HAD to get this for the hallway in our home:

It is the Fruit of the Spirit Vinyl Wall Decal by Back40Life. I love this on our wall! The kids love to ask me to read it to them and my six year old son said these are his words to live by {and, sometimes, I need to remind myself of that, too!}.

And, just when my Etsy love affair seemed over...WRONG! I fell in love with baubles & goods from Polka Dot Moon!

{pictures from Polka Dot Moon}

The top row {left to right}: Sea Glass & the Lily Pad earrings and Cherry Crush Bobby Pin set
The bottom row {left to right}: Tide Pool earrings and Sea Glass Bobby Pin set

I'm so sad because I wore the Sea Glass & the Lily Pad earrings to the Dave Matthews Band concert on Friday and when I got home I realized that one of the earrings was broken! It was a sad, sad moment. My husband - who is MORE optimistic than I am - said that maybe the earring fell off in the truck. I hope so...

And, finally, while making preparations to welcome Frisco into our home, I just HAD to buy him a collar. Of course, it couldn't be just any collar. It had to be a collar by Katie & Olive. You may know the mastermind behind Katie & Olive - it's Erin from Everything According to Erin {aka The Prep-E Girl}. Erin creates pretty collars - for dogs & kitties - in the cutest fabrics Proceeds from all the collars she sells goes towards the Puppies Behind Bars charity. Please, please, please go to her blog to check things out.

For Frisco, I purchased the 'Beachy Puppy' collar...go figure, huh?

And, as a surprise, Erin also sent along the 'Crabby Puppy' collar for Frisco to grow into - because a dog can never have too many collars!

And, finally, the pup needed a bag {OK, OK, momma needed a bag} and what is more stylish & cute for the canine set than the Insulated Pet Travel Bag from Whitney Caroline Designs. Whitney is working with Erin on reaching her $3000 goal for Puppies Behind Bars and for every Insulated Pet Travel Bag purchased, Whitney is donating $10 to Puppies Behind Bars on Erin's behalf!

Here is Frisco's bag in all of it's orange & paw print glory...Whitney even 'personalized' it for me!

It's been a busy - spending - month, hasn't it? Of course, every last purchase was well-justified and so worth it! I hope this post piques your {shopping} interest a bit and that you check out these wonderfully talented sure to tell them I sent ya! *wink*


INTERROGATION - You asked, now I'm answering (Part 4)

Sorry for the delay...I forgot (gasp!) that I had more questions to answer!! I'm so sorry! My life has been kind of hectic lately and, now that we have a wee pup in the house, I'm sleep deprived even more so than I normally am.

I know, I know...excuses, excuses...but anyways...

Becca said, "oh, wow this is a toughie. but, it does sound like a great opportunity for getting post ideas. hmmm i may steal this one. since college is our connection, i'll go with one about college. and, i will preface it with i doubt the answer will include me, but since i got my reunion pic in the mail a few days ago this sort of thing is on my mind. what is your fave college memory?"

Good question, Becca!

My friend, Becca {go check out her blog, One Day at a Time}, and I went to the same college - Mary Washington College - of course, now it's known as the University of Mary Washington. The college is named - as if you didn't know - after George Washington's madre. Yep. Ferry Farm, you know, where he "will not tell a lie" after chopping down the cherry tree is not far from the school. Anywho...

My favorite college memory...this is a hard one because I didn't have the "typical" college least not in my opinion. First of all, I was on the 5-year plan. Of course, upon graduating from high school that was not my original plan, but that's how things wound up being. I mean, during my five years in college I managed to do fairly well during my freshman year, transfer to a different school my sophomore year, drop out of school during that same year only to return to school where I originally started...and then nearly flunk out of school during my first semester back. Whew. Oh, and sometime during all of that I changed my major, but only twice.

I had some fun times with Becca...I met her during freshman year. We lived in the same dorm - Virginia Hall - with a gazillion other girls. She and I reconnected when I came back to the Wash after my stint at Old Dominion University. I remember during Junior Ring Week I poured sand on her bed. It wasn't nice, but Junior Ring Week wasn't nice. She and I fish sat for each other, too. We took a fun trip to Charlottesville to visit my sister who was at school at the University of Virginia. Here is evidence of that trip (and, yes, I do have a tendency to act stupid in front of the camera):

Becca's a dear me, she had to put up with me!!

Another good, fun memory is the trip I took to Lancaster, PA with my senior seminar class. I majored in Geography, so we were in Lancaster to walk the landscape, take in the sights, mingle with the people and write about what we saw. It was a fun weekend. Of course, getting drunk & running through a corn field in the middle of the night was probably why. Thank goodness greasy eats the next morning at the restaurant near the hotel provided some salvation from the hangovers we all had. Besides, it was just neat pulling into a restaurant where horse & buggies were parked outside.

Tomorrow...I'll answer yet another question!! Stay tuned...

Labels: ,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Motherhood - all over again...

Lack of sleep? Check.

Dealing with a poopy behind? Check.

Soothing the whimpers & cries? Check.

Melting in those eyes? Check.

Covered in kisses? Check.

Loving every minute of having a puppy in the house? Check. Check. Check!

Labels: , ,

Green with Envy

Remember when I told you that I jumped on the Green Monster bandwagon? And, no, I'm sorry to all of you baseball fans, but I wasn't talking about the Boston Red Sox's mascot. Well, as it turns out, there's another fan of the 'green smoothie' in my household.

This guy:

Yes, that's my six year old son, Aidan, in all of his "hamming it up for the camera" glory. He actually refused dinner one night last week unless he had a 'monster shake' to drink. OK, so I know it's not right {as a parent} to let your children basically walk all over you & call the shots, but - HELLO - this was a six year old boy asking for a smoothie that is made from S-P-I-N-A-C-H! I immediately made him a green monster smoothie & he happily ate his dinner {which, coincidentally, also had spinach in it}.

Want to know what we had for dinner that night?


Rachael Ray's Spinach & Hot Ham Fake-Baked Pasta...the recipe can be found here. It's easy to fix, requires a few ingredients from the store {because, if you're like me, you don't have a well-stocked pantry} and is delicious! This casserole feeds my family of four for two nights...can't go wrong with that, right?

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two Step

Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We're climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change

{R.I.P. Roi}

Can anyone guess where I'll be tomorrow night?

Summer just wouldn't be summer without some Dave Matthews Band. I haven't missed a summer show in many, many years. It's always nice when the boys come back to Virginia & jam. Friday evening cannot come fast enough.

{the pics are some of my own from the 2007 pics from last year's show aren't as 'nice' and I'll just blame that on the wine}

Labels: , , ,


Thank you so much for your sweet words yesterday. Your words of reassurance & encouragement meant a lot. A whole lot.

I have a tendency to overreact and I sometimes do get a bit overly dramatic, but when stress & uncertainty starts encroaching upon my family & our state of well-being I feel fully justified in how I am acting.


Praise the Lord......He's definitely looking out for us...all of us.

Within the last hour, I truly feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I'm thankful. I'm appreciative. And, I'm hopeful.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting Needing to exhale...

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

It's been one of THOSE days. Driving down the road sobbing & having your eight year old daughter tell you that things will be OK is NOT how things are supposed to be. What happened to the happy-go-lucky family we were last week? What happened to my sense of security? Reassurance? Hell, what happened to my freaking sanity?!
No, nothing is wrong with 'us.' No, no, no...nothing like THAT has happened, but my world has been rocked just a little bit...OK, its been rocked a lot. Rocked in a nerve-wracking, "what the eff am I supposed to do" kind of way.
I know things will work out in the end {they always do}, but my stress coping mechanisms are shot & all I have left to give are tears. Because, seriously, if my hair keeps falling out like it has been lately, well, I'll be bald before my birthday {which is in just over a month}.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rock Bark the Vote!

"Logan and Moxie"


{the above takes you to the Facebook page for the photo
contest, but you can also click on THIS link to take you directly to
Logan & Moxie's page}

My sister, Monica, entered her two fur babies, Logan & Moxie, into a cover dog photo contest for Orvis. The contest is open until January 2010 and that is when the fine people at Orvis will announce the winner who will be featured on the Fall catalog cover; however, in the meantime, you can vote for your favorite dog or doggies {and I KNOW you will vote ONLY for Logan & Moxie}.

When you vote, you are asked to donate...I know it seems kind of an odd way of doing things, but when you think about those cute dogs & the fact that every donation is matched by Orvis & Eukanuba and all the proceeds are donated to the Canine Cancer Campaign, well, then it's worth it! The minimum donation is $5, but that's good for FIVE votes ($10 is good for 10 votes and so on & so forth...). And, your donation is tax-deductible!

So, what are you waiting for? for Logan the Golden Retriever & Moxie the Bernese Mountain Dog. And, if you really need some extra motivation, then do it simply for the fact that your donation aids in canine cancer research. Winning this contest would mean the world to my sister & her husband, James, but what's more important is the fact that all donations are given to the Canine Cancer Campaign. This is near & dear to my sister & brother-in-law's heart because Logan is currently battling Lymphoma. He has chemo every week. He's such a sweet boy & such a fighter, too.

And, of course, you can enter your very own fur baby, too!! But, definitely check out this contest, make a donation and, pretty please, vote for Logan & Moxie!

If any of the above links don't work, then please click here and type in "Logan and Moxie" {just as it's written minus the quotes} and vote, vote, vote!

Labels: , , , ,

I joined the movement...

The green monster movement, that is!

Read more about it here.

Have you tried one of these smoothies?
If so, what is your favorite recipe/blend?

For this morning's smoothie {I plan on having these for breakfast during the work week} I stuck with the Virgin Green Monster, but I did add a spoonful of peanut butter. It was - surprisingly - delicious and tasted nothing like spinach...the banana-peanut butter flavor totally came through! Tomorrow, I'm going to try a banana-papaya blend {because I gotta use that bag of Trader Joe's frozen papaya somehow!}. Oh, I did add some flax to it, but I think that maybe I should have just bought some flax seed and not the milled kind from the baking aisle.

We'll see how this all goes...I need to eat healthier & any way that I can get more fiber, veggies and overall goodness into my diet is KEY!

Oh, and on a side note {because I feel I deserve to brag just a wee bit}, I haven't had a soda in nearly two weeks. This is a MAJOR feat for me because I am, er, WAS, a Coke-aholic! Don't get me wrong, I'm still getting my fair share of caffeine {baby steps, baby steps!}, but at least it's not by way of sugar-laden, gut poppin' soda!

Labels: ,

Show Me Your ♥

The lovely Brittany Ann {who is in the process of moving & visiting family right now} tagged me a few weeks ago {I know, I know...I'm so s-l-o-w!} to "Show My Heart."

The rules are as follows:
"With as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, a poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess. If you want to join in, tag six more blogs."
So, as promised, here is my :

A picture:

It's no secret that my husband & children ARE my heart.

A poem:
i carry your heart with me by e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)
i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

A song (or piece of music):

A phrase (or quote):
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

An item of clothing:
I may absolutely lve the summertime, but I love cashmere just as much!

A place:
Playa del Carmen, Mexico...although this picture was taken just south of Tulum near Punta Allen, so maybe my place isn't so much Playa del Carmen, but the Yucatan as a whole.

A Disney Princess:


I'm supposed to tag six more bloggers, but I think anyone who wants to show us their heart is more than welcome to participate!

Labels: , , ,