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Stuttering Shell: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

WINNERS: shutterfly holiday cards

it's getting to be that time of year...again.  i know today is halloween and we all have kit-kats, sweettarts & almond joys on our mind {or maybe that's just me}, but we kind of have to start thinking about the holidays, too.

not long ago, i wrote about photo cards from shutterfly. i also mentioned a pretty sweet giveaway. as promised, here are the THREE winners of 25 cards {of their choice} from shutterfly:

JulesInTheNo



thank you to all who entered & a big congratulations to the winners!! 
winners, please be on the lookout for an email {from me} containing your shutterfly code.

oh, at some point last week i passed the 900th blog post mark. yeah, 900 posts. so, i guess i should have another giveaway in honor of that, right?? 


psst...as per usual, the winners were picked using random.org

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Friday, October 28, 2011

WINNER: someone's gettin' her nails did...

first of all, THANK YOU to all of the entries for the orly polish giveaway!

i wish i could give ALL of you some pretty polish for your fingertips, but today there is only one winner...


before i reveal who the winner is, i just want to let you know how i chose the winner. i typed out each entry into excel. if you lumped your entries into one comment, that's cool. i just typed your name however many times you "entered." for this giveaway, you had the possibility of entering up to six times. there were 53 comments on the giveaway post, but when i typed everything out the number jumped to 58 {make sense?}. then, i used the random number generator at random.org to pick a winning number.

now that all of that mumbo-jumbo is out of the way...



CONGRATULATIONS TO KASEY!!
{go check out her blog, domesticated hygienist}

kasey, please email your mailing address to me: shell {at} stutteringshell {dot} com

again, thank you to everyone who entered. don't forget i have a shutterfly giveaway that's about to end...don't y'all want a chance to win 25 FREE photo cards?!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

the weekend i ate...in boston.

one: the pictures are from my craptastic phone. i had my big camera with me, but i never used it. go figure.
two: we will not even discuss why - when i uploaded the pictures to my computer - that i labeled the folder 'boston november 2011.' um, the trip happened in october & it's not even november...yet.
three: enjoy!


earlier this month, my parents asked me if i wanted to visit my sister in boston. duh. of course i would! i love my sister. i love boston. {i would totally move there in a heartbeat if a) we could afford it & b) i could ever convince my husband, a.k.a. mr. "my body wasn't built for the cold"}. fall break was upon me. it was also columbus day weekend so my father had a long weekend, too. so, we loaded up their escape, said good-bye to my husband & kids and headed north. {mind you, this is only the 2nd time i've gone out of town without adam or the kiddos.}

{a view - overlooking the charles river - of downtown boston. it's not in the pic, but m.i.t. is to my left.}

i've been to boston quite a few times. the city never gets old. last year was my sister's first year living in boston. we visited her during the crazy post-christmas blizzard. it was a good time. she lived in fenway then. she lives in jamaica plain now. her neighborhood is so cute & i'm still thinking about the coconut almond chip ice cream i had at j.p. licks, but i digress...

boston. whether you get there by air or by car, there is so much to do & see.

if possible, my family almost always travels by car. good thing we do because we would not have been able to stop at plan b burger. plan b has nothing to do with boston {well, there is a location coming to boston soon}, but if you're going to be anywhere near central connecticut, then you must stop for a burger. seriously.



we got off the interstate in glastonbury to fill up the car & get a bite to eat. the buildings looked familiar to me {my sister used to live in both west hartford & wethersfield which are all within minutes of glastonbury}. i said to my parents, "plan b is around here somewhere." sure enough - after a quick phone call to my sis to confirm that we were indeed by the whole foods that was indeed across the street from plan b - we arrived at our destination. yes, my family uses restaurants & grocery stores as landmarks while traveling. to sum up plan b burgers in one word? YUM.

the rest of my trip was, of course, filled with food. and family.

my sister was in andover, nh with her husband at a high school football game {he works & coaches at a prep school in andover. my sissy lives & works in boston. yep, they have a long-distance marriage}. while we waited for them to arrive, i worked on some school stuff.  on saturday night, we ate a late dinner at basho. the steamed bun sandwich on the hot appetizer menu is to die for. {we will recreate that because a) we love pork belly and b) adam knows how to make the bao.}

on sunday, we got up & ate again! this time, we headed to chinatown and bellied up to the table for some yummy dim sum at our favorite dim sum spot in boston: china pearl.


after brunch {if you want to call it that}, we did some walking & shopping on newbury street. i never made it to the longchamp store {i'm sure adam's happy about that!}, but i did manage to try pinkberry {finally!}, browse in anthropologie, and do some shopping for my pups at audrey's and the fish & bone. also, no trip to newbury street is complete without a stop at newbury comics.

{hot. i know.}

the remainder of our sunday afternoon was spent at hmart where we - meaning me, my sis & her hubby - somehow convinced my parents to buy us $90 worth of korean {and other asian} junk...and a coca-cola.

on sunday evening, we had a reservation for dinner at koreana. my kids were NOT pleased that i was having dinner at koreana without them. my kids are little foodies and nothing toots their horns more than korean barbeque. so, being the good mom that i am, i texted pictures of all of the yumminess i was eating with captions like, "neener, neener, neener!" yep. sure did.


{yes, that's raw meat.}

korean barbeque is quite the experience...and quite tasty, too. if you're ever in boston, head over to the cambridge side & have a bite to eat at koreana. you won't be disappointed. promise.

so this trip wasn't filled with sight-seeing or exploring the city. instead, i ate, slept, ate, slept & ate some more.  it was quite relaxing and two days just wasn't enough. honestly, i wanted to stay longer.

if you find yourself heading to boston for any reason, definitely make time to see the sights. 

go see old ironsides at the charlestown navy yard. get pastries on the north end from mike's pastry {although i hear modern pastry might be better}. walk through boston common. follow the freedom trail. visit quincy market & faneuil hall. take your picture in front of cheers. have a sampler at the samuel adam's brewery. sit on the patio at the barking crab. stroll through chinatown. hitch a ride on the water taxi. go shopping at prudential center & copley place. navigate the t. visit the universities. visit fenway park.

seriously, there is so much to do in boston. you know, besides eat.


psst...just so you know, all of the places & things i linked? i've been there, done that. none of the businesses, services, etc. asked me to pimp them out or write about them.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what's better than a brain dump?

a photo dump!

why? because not only do i get to ramble, but i include pictures, too. you know, because sometimes the whole "words with no pictures" thing just isn't appealing...

let me preface the dump with this: the pictures are from my phone and, no, it's not an iphone. {yes, i have cell phone envy.}

{orly's nite owl}
speaking of orly, did you enter my giveaway yet? hurry. i choose a winner on friday!

{cake pops}
i made them for the cake walk at the fall festival at my kidlets' school.
when i dropped them off they were sized up by another mother.
"did you make them?" she asked.
you're damn right i did.
{for what it's worth, there was more than one tray/display of cake pops at the cake walk & mine were the first to go.}

{coconut macaroons}
hubby LOVES them.
malia may or may not have gotten in the cake walk line about ten times trying to win
MY macaroons back for her daddy.
she succeeded.

{pumpkin spice bagels

{pumpkin pie pop tarts}
i need another pumpkin obsession like i need another 
hole in my head.
but, seriously, both are delish. stupid delish.
{and i don't even like pop tarts!}

{oh, hello, nutella in a 'to go' pack!}
damn you, wal-mart, for having this ish in the check out line!
i had to have these.
{too bad the kids ate them.}

{frisco's new up country collar}
i bought frisco a new collar while i was visiting my sissy in boston.
this collar couldn't be more perfect for him.
he loves his mom!

 {two-stitch knit necklace}
i spend too much time & money at a.c. moore.
last time i was there i bought some of martha stewart's mambo yarn.
{me likey!}

{rag ribbon wreaths}
i'm late to the game, i know.
the little one is a teacher gift. the big one is a family gift.
i'm also making a holiday themed wreath for my door.

 {your eyes do not deceive you...}
yes, there are "swirls" in my mani.
how?

{this}
sixteen freakin' dollars at sephora, but so neat.
{and i'm pretty sure my mom took it with her...since she paid for it and all...}


psst...these pictures are mine. don't steal them. i'll cut you.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

holiday greetings...and a giveaway!

THE GIVEAWAY PORTION OF THIS POST HAS ENDED. THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!

halloween is less than two weeks away, so it seems a bit silly to think about holiday cards, right? no.

choosing the perfect card to give to family & friends can be a daunting task. there are so many themes, styles, and designs to choose from. should you include a photo? or, should you keep the card simple? these are decisions that can make even the most organized person sweat. if you're not familiar with shutterfly, you need to be. why? because not only is shutterfly a great website that offers photo sharing, but you can also create photo giftscalendars and beautiful cards, too {cards for all occasions, i might add}

creating a holiday card on shutterfly is easy. how can that be? deciding on the perfect design might be difficult {it's hard to choose just one favorite!}, but shutterfly breaks down the card creation process into three simple steps:
  • card theme: christmas, holiday, religious, or story
  • number of photos: one, two, three, or four {or more}
  • card format: flat, folded, or high-quality photo paper 

uploading & editing a photo to create the perfect card could not be easier! the possibilities are endless & the prices are affordable. in addition, shutterfly also offers address labels, gift tags & even thank you notes to round out your holiday needs.

i've been a fan of shutterfly cards for years, especially during the holidays. here are the holiday cards i've ordered from shutterfly in the past:





i love knowing that i'm sending my friends & family a beautiful, high-quality card . . . it's not your average greeting card. instead, i'm giving the people i love an item that can be cherished. 

and, yes, the third card down is totally from the erin condren collection at shutterfly. that particular card style is no longer available, but shutterfly does offer many cute designs by erin!

are you a blogger? want a chance at 25 free holiday cards this season? if so, then register here:  http://goo.gl/DDw7Q



now, about the giveaway mentioned in the title...

shutterfly has generously offered to give THREE of my readers 25 free holiday cards.* 
seriously, this is an amazing deal! 
all you need to do is comment on this blog...that's all!

you have until 11:59pm on sunday, october 30th to comment.
i'll choose THREE winners on monday, october 31st {halloween!}.


*please note that you will be responsible for the shipping charges

the fine print: in exchange for this post, shutterfly gave me a promotion code for 50 free cards. all opinions are my own. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

as my uncle alfred says, "it's okay!"

it's thursday. 
you know the deal.
{if not, you better recognize.}
get your booty over to a complete waste of makeup {neely has a new domain so make note of it!} OR brunch with amber and link up for...

Its Ok Thursdays

it's okay...

...that my algebra professor was fired. the new professor is fabulous {and now i actually understand the material}.

...to feel a bit stressed about school. not only am i trying to juggle my work load, but i'm also helping my husband jump through all of the paperwork hoops so he can start taking classes in the spring.

...to listen to "brass monkey" by the beastie boys while your kids are in the car {seriously, my minivan was thumpin' & bumpin' down the road}.

...that the only reason your kids recognized the beastie boys/song is because a) your daughter watches just desserts and remembers when ad-rock was a guest judge and b) your son says, "oh, that was the name of the beer from the just desserts pantry!" {i guess there goes my chance to win mommy of the year...}

...to think to yourself {while rocking out to "brass monkey"}, "how neat. i was their age when i first heard this song." {the "licensed to ill" album was released in 1986. i was nine years old. and, yes, i had a copy.}*

...to want to say, "yo baby, wassup?!" {i blame brass monkey.}

...that i've been spending a little too much money lately. at least some christmas presents have been purchased. in addition, material to make some christmas presents have been purchased as well.

...to feel defeated after spending hours on what seemed like the worst assessment i've ever taken. seriously, y'all, the midterm for one of my education classes {an assessment class, no less!} was brutal. brutal because it sucked, not because i didn't know the material.

...to be excited for saturday night's girls night. we get together every october to celebrate our friendship. click here to read about our first date. click here to read about our first anniversary. click here to see how our group has grown.

...to feel kind of nervous about wearing a dress to girl's night on saturday. y'all, i'm almost always in jeans. but, my sweet friend & partner in {shopping} crime yanked me out of my comfort zone. how? we shopped at forever 21 where i not only purchased a dress, but leggings, too. {and i don't ever shop at forever 21.}

...that i miss my long hair. not gonna lie about this. i miss wearing a pony tail. 

...if you haven't entered my orly nail polish giveaway yet. you still have time. the winner will be announced on october 28th.

...that i really should be working on homework instead of writing this blog post.


*before you get all cray-cray on me, my parents were pretty relaxed about my musical choices growing up. i was a good kid, made good grades, didn't cause trouble or get into trouble. they really appreciated the fact that my sister & i had very eclectic taste in music and did not censor our choices. i am the same way with my children. there are some groups, songs, etc. that i prefer them not to hear or listen to, but for the most part they listen to what adam & i listen to. music is a form of expression. it's an art. i want my children to appreciate it and all genres of it.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{semi} wordless wednesday: our little gremlin?

{a picture of buxton from april 2011}

i needed to find a picture of buxton with droopy ears.

why?




{via}

yes? 

no?

sometimes, i think we should have named buxton gizmo...or mogwai.
um, yeah, maybe not mogwai. 

don't worry.
bright sunlight doesn't hurt buxton. water does not make him multiply. and, feeding him after midnight will not turn him into this...

{via}

i may or may not wake up feeling {and looking} like spike sometimes, but this post is about buxton, not me. 


did you enter my giveaway? no? well, what are you waiting for: orly nail polish giveaway

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Monday, October 17, 2011

{giveaway}: fun fall colors for your fingertips

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED...THANKS!

i hate mondays.
you hate mondays.
we all hate mondays...
so why not kick off the week with a giveaway, right??

first things first...i'm a nail polish nut. seriously. it's an addiction i've had for a long time. i don't have a favorite brand. if it looks good, goes on good & wears good, then i'm hooked. i also owe a lot to blogging & the twit because my enabler friends often share their favorite colors, trends, etc. that word of mouth thing? it rocks.

anyways, about this giveaway...

i've been talking about this for a few weeks & i'm very excited to gift to one of my readers two of my favorite fall nail polish colors. both are by orly. i would have never tried orly polishes had it not been for mrs. wasp {coincidentally, she also loves qvc & has a love-hate thing for ulta...just like me}. mrs. wasp had tweeted about orly's birds of a feather collection. i took one look & i was hooked.

only two colors called to me:

{sea gurl}

&

{fowl play}

i don't usually get compliments about my nails, but since wearing orly polishes, people ask me about my manicure all the time! and, just so you know, orly polishes are dbp, toluene & formaldehyde free.

i want you to have fun nails & get compliments about your nails, too, so i'm giving away - to one of my lucky readers - a bottle of sea gurl, a bottle of fowl play AND a small bottle of orly's bonder {the best base coat ever!!}:


here is your mandatory entry for the giveaway:

  • what is your favorite brand, color, manicure type, etc. when it comes to nail polish? do you like following the trends? do you keep things classic? are bold colors your thing? all you have to do is tell me what you like about nail polish!! {please leave an email address with your comment if your blog comments are not set up to automatically link to your email.}

for extra entries {please leave each extra entry as a separate comment, thanks!}:
  • follow stuttering shell via google friend connect {it's found under the beachcombers tag. it also sometimes disappears for no reason, so refresh your page if you have to}.
  • like stuttering shell's facebook page.
  • follow me on the twit. {tweet me a shout out if you do!}
  • tweet about this giveaway. {please leave proof in your comment!}
  • blog about this giveaway. {please leave proof in your comment!}
that's SIX chances to win!

this giveaway will be open until 11:59pm EST on thursday, october 27th & the winner will be announced on friday, october 28th!!


in addition, this giveaway is for u.s. & canadian blog readers only. sorry, international friends.

the fine print:
orly is not affiliated with this giveaway.  they neither provided me with product or asked me for a product review. all opinions are my own. all products for this giveaway were purchased by me & will be shipped by me. all pictures used in this review are property of stuttering shell.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

i confess...

...that i have no earthly clue who nicki minaj is. i don't even know if i spelled her name right.
...that i don't watch glee. nor do i watch dexter.* or modern family, parenthood, or any of the other sitcom shows on television.
...that i don't watch college football. acc, sec, um, they have no meaning to me.
...that i sometimes feel like more of a mother than a wife to my husband {despite the fact that, years ago, during a very heated argument he told me he wanted me to be more like a wife and less like a mother to him}.
...that i have control issues. i also have a tendency to micro-manage. just ask my husband.
...that i don't keep a spotlessly clean house. my shelves might not pass the white glove test, but my home is certainly far from filthy & uninhabitable.
...that there is a picture frame in my bedroom with no picture in it. i love the frame, but i hate the frame color. i need to repaint it.
...that i often have great blogging ideas in my head, but i usually fail to write them down or type them out. hence, this cheesy, list-style post.
...that i'm not very trendy when it comes to clothes & accessories. hell, i just recently became obsessed with scarves as an accessory!
...that i don't read as often as i probably should. i blame grad school.
...that i'm nervous as hell about finishing grad school {read: student teaching} & finding a job.
...that i would pack up & move out of this city {and maybe even out of this state} if we could.
...that i do sometimes think about what my life would be like if a) i were single or b) if adam & i didn't have children. i think it's healthy to wonder about these kinds of things.
...that i love, love, LOVE the allstate mayhem commercials. this one is currently my favorite:

{the look on mayhem's face as the car spins...i die!!}

...that blogs that play music drive me bonkers. they may or may not be the reason my computer's volume is always on mute.
...that i have a love-hate relationship with wal-mart. some days, i love going there {read: in the early morning}.  other days, i avoid it at all costs {read: sundays, before a holiday or any time during the summer}.
...that i will watch clueless, 50 first dates, steel magnolias or the notebook any time they are on television.
...that the reason my head hurts is probably because i need to get my eyes checked. i don't even remember the date of my last eye exam. terrible, i know.
...that i have spent entirely way too much time trying to come up with this list. seriously.


* my sister wants me to borrow her dexter dvd collection. why? because she knows that adam & i will like the show and apparently i laugh like one of the characters on the show. don't believe me? just ask rachel.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

it's been one week.

a blogging hiatus here & there seems to be the norm lately. ah, well. c'est la vie!

before i start to ramble, let me remind you that erin condren goodies are still available at one kings lane.  the gift cards are sold out, but you can still get labels, holiday cards & her fabu lucite tray. click here if you wanna see the goods.  

and, since i'm doing a little housekeeping...

i stumbled across julep by accident. okay, maybe not. i mean, my partner-in-crime friend {aka everyone's favorite beach bum} emailed me about it. and, i drank the kool-aid. i totally canceled birchbox in favor of receiving nail polish & hand products once a month. i got my first shipment yesterday. i die. i'll post about it soon, but here's a link to julep if you're interested in seeing what it's all about. scour the net for coupon codes, too...they are out there. promise.

oh, and here's a great site for you if you're interested in organic, eco-friendly goodness: abe's market


abe's market is described as "a blend of etsy & whole foods...and features bits & pieces from amazon, groupon & home shopping network to connect buyers seeking amazing natural products with the people who make them." i've browsed the website & it's pretty awesome. i plan on doing some of my holiday shopping at abe's market. and, for my sweet readers, abe's market has offered a one-time only discount code for $10 off a $30 purchase: ENB-6543s4 {expires november 11th}

okay, on to the nitty-gritty...

i went to boston over the weekend. my mom called me last wednesday & asked if i wanted to visit my sister. my father had a long weekend & it was fall break for me, so i jumped at the chance to get away for a few days. this is only the second time i've left adam & the kids behind. fortunately, the house was in one piece when i came home. i'll blog & share a few pictures soon. promise.

i love my new {to me} car. well, except for the fact that i catch myself looking for my altima in the parking lot when i leave a store. i did this yesterday leaving wal-mart. seriously.

judge all you want, but i'm pretty stoked that wal-mart is bringing back layaway for the holidays. i'll be able to check off quite a few things on my kids' wish lists!

speaking of wal-mart, let me share with you the best $2.50 i've ever spent there:




i don't know the variety, but these dahlias were part of a pink ribbon collection for breast cancer awareness. they looked like crap when i bought them, but now they are crazy beautiful. {we had to put a tomato cage around the plant to keep it from drooping.}

school is plugging right along...sort of. my algebra class is kicking my behind. a lot of my classmates are frustrated. i am, too. so far, quite a few students {myself included} have contacted the math department in hopes that something will get better.

i bought my first pair of toms. kids-sized toms, to be exact. they are the black sparkle & are so cute. of course, it's still flip-flop weather here. oh, who am i kidding?? we wear flip-flops all year long in the 757.

OH! i'm going to do a nail polish giveaway...soon. i'm not certain if i want to time the post to coincide with my 900th blog post {this is number 893 if you're wondering} or just go for it. i'm thinking i should just go for it. keep your eyes peeled. it's going to be good. i'm giving away my two favorite orly fall colors. want a hint? click here.

well, that's about all for now. just wanted to catch you up a bit. i've been bouncing around on the twit, but it's time i stopped neglecting my little slice of the internet pie.

what's new with you???

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

tamale pie.

y'all know i love recipes on labels. seriously, what's a better source of inspiration than finding something to try on the label of a product that you keep stocked {or should keep stocked} in your pantry??

case in point? tamale pie. well, it's really called southern tamale supper...at least that's how you find it on the tendabake website.

i made this for dinner this week. it's super easy & super yummy. i had to tweak the recipe a bit in order to use what i had available and it still turned out great. if you'd rather print the recipe, you can click here.

ingredients:
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1-1/4 pound ground beef or turkey
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp of chili powder
2 tbsp of tendabake white self-rising corn meal mix
tendabake southern cornbread {for the recipe, which is found on the back of the bag, click here}


heat oven to 400*f. coat a 9x13x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. {i used a large casserole dish & i didn't spray it. whoops.}

cook pepper, onion & ground beef {or turkey...i used turkey!} over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.



drain the meat/veggie mixture & return to pan. {i just tilt the pan and spoon out the grease...do you do that, too?}

add tomatoes, chili powder & two tablespoons of corn meal mix. simmer for 15 minutes & then spread into the baking dish. {i didn't have a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes so i used a can of ro-tel mexican & a can of margaret holmes' tomatoes, corn & okra. worked just as well, in my opinion, and totally upped the veggie factor of this dish! i also added a dash of garlic powder & a generous squeeze of ketchup...the turkey needed some color!}






mix tendabake southern cornbread using the recipe on the back of the bag {or just click here}. pour batter over tamale mixture. {we drink almond milk & the unsweetened worked just fine!}


bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. top with cheese, sour cream & salsa as desired. {we had some green onions left over from the weekend so adam sprinkled some over the top of my serving. he said it needed some extra color since i was photographing it for my blog. awww.}




this is the second time i've made this recipe. it's super easy, super fast & super yummy. my kids love it & i love eating this for lunch the next day.

and, just so you know, tendabake, rotel & margaret holmes didn't ask me to write about them or this recipe. my only incentive? a full, happy tummy. i hope you make this for your family and enjoy it as much as we do!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

boobs.

i'll be honest. part of me did not want to write {what seems to be} an obligatory breast cancer awareness post. we all know that october is breast cancer awareness month. 


well, what about the other eleven months in the year? shouldn't every damn month be breast cancer awareness month? after all, november {back in 2006} was the month that changed my mother's life. she found out - on my sister's birthday, in fact - that she had breast cancer. thanksgiving that year was pretty solemn. thank goodness i was dealing with a stubborn {and very constipated} three year old at the time. aidan's poop issues took my family's minds off of my mother's condition. having to deal with suppositories & potty battles was certainly more entertaining than having to think or talk about the implication of my mother's fate.

yes, i said fate. 

you see, my mom's sister {an aunt that i barely knew} had breast cancer, too. she died. she was young, too, only in her 40s. 

let me back track a bit and say that my mom's diagnosis only came about because my mother insisted on a second opinion because her routine mammogram was not very clear. my mother's primary care physician agreed. a better mammogram was done. one that screamed, "you've got some funky cells infiltrating your boob, lady!"

my mother had options. it was detected early enough. the cancer had not spread. chemo? no. radiation? no. wait & see?* oh, hell no.

my mother had a single mastectomy three days after christmas. go big or go home, huh? clearly, my mother knew from the moment of her diagnosis that her left breast was a goner. sayonara, sucka! the first time i saw my mother's scar i pretty much lost it. it ran from the middle of her left armpit down across where her breast used to be and onto her chest. it was big. it was ugly. but, it was filled with hope. 

my mother eventually opted for reconstruction. {she had a prosthetic boob...that was pretty awesome. seriously, it was a detachable boob.}  her new left breast is pretty . . . and cancer-free. so is her right one and, well, so is the rest of her body. i'm very thankful that all the cancer took was her breast . . . it spared me her life.


so, in the spirit of all things pink & booby-related, please check your girls. raise awareness for the cause. get a mammogram. and, definitely don't think that you're immune because you're young, you have no family history or you're generally in great health. it's cancer, yo. it knows no boundaries. 


*there was no wait & see option for my mom...i just needed to add that for some dramatic effect. promise.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

the 10th month.


i love warm weather, tulips, cookouts, sandy beaches & flip flops, but . . .

i also love crisp air, cool breezes, cardigan sweaters, dark nail polish & pumpkins.

it's fall, y'all. 

to say this is my most favorite time of the year is a big understatement. i love all things fall. well, except for the scary movies & ghost stories that go hand-in-hand with halloween. mama doesn't do scary, y'all. 


oktoberfest-related beers. pumpkin everything. cooler weather.
early sunsets. dark mornings. falling leaves.
hearty stews. changing colors. mums.
scarecrows. halloween candy. jackets & windbreakers.
pumpkin spice lattes. apple everything. the scent of cinnamon & cloves.


what do you love about the fall?

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Monday, October 3, 2011

so it's like this...


andrea's post got me thinking.

envy & jealousy have once again reared their ugly heads {i'm totally convinced they are in cahoots with that witch, aunt flo}. i'm honestly not sure why because i am happy. my life is certainly far from perfect at the moment, but content is - indeed - a great word to describe me.

i suppose some of the coveting & yearning comes from the fact that i'm not at the level of certain people. i probably won't ever be. no, scratch that, i know i won't ever be. why? because that's not who i am.

money seems so disposable, doesn't it? well, maybe if you have a crap ton of it. when you're making it work on one income, you come to realize that money is precious. it seems frivolous to spend it on mortgage-priced purses and designer shoes {that will give you designer blisters}. but, do i still want those things? you're damn right i do.

why? 

because i'm human and being envious is part of human nature. but, i know that it's not good to covet. i should be happy with what i have . . . and i am.

if there is something i've learned over the last few years, it's that less really is more. my life may seem like a struggle from time to time {because, let's face it, folks, we're currently living the life we should have been living ten years ago*}, but i've never been happier. my children are getting more of me {and their father, too, for that matter} than they've ever had. we're more of a "family-centered family" instead of a "keeping up with the joneses-centered family." 

*my life is certainly NOT where i pictured it to be. i had a clear vision of how i wanted things to be by the time i hit my mid-thirties. never, ever did i expect to be in grad school, living off a single-income, still paying off debt . . . all the while rooting on my husband who closed a painful chapter in his life & is moving on with honor & integrity {oh, that's so coach wade of me!}.

money doesn't buy happiness. i've seen first hand that money really is the root of all evil. alas, money does make the world go 'round. and, i will always fight off fits of jealousy and urges of "want, want, want."

while my life isn't where it should be, it's certainly getting there. and, here's a refreshing though, i bet there are more people out there who can relate to MY kind of life than there are people who can't.  i also know, too, that somewhere out there somebody might even be jealous of me.

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