Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My new FAV-O-RITE product!!

Oh.  WOW!


I have a NEW favorite product, y'all!!  And YOU will love too!!!  I'm going back for more colors tomorrow....

It's Chalk Ink---

This fantastic new item is just what I used to write on my chalkboard painted door know, those baskets.  And I LOVE IT!!  It goes on just like a magic marker.  Beautiful!! 

This stuff is wonderful!!  Smooth, easy and totally erases just like chalk.  Only better! 

I got mine at Michaels with a handy-dandy 40% off coupon.  Try them--I PROMISE you'll like  LOVE them too!!

Head on over to Kristen's for more WFMW tips and lovelies.  Always a great bunch of stuff over there!!  Enjoy!!!! 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Falling Into You

I spent the better part of Friday finally getting the house all glamourized for Fall. 

I really like LURVE (as my TDC friend says....) Fall!!  Except for the weather here in hot, steamy Florida!  It's still 92 degrees around here.....yes, at the END of September!  That's NUTS!  We are getting a 'cold front''ll be more like 83 degrees instead.  Sigh.

But at least in the house, it is all cozy, pretty and ready for the harvest.

Join us on Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch  and Rhoda's Southern Hospitality for more wonderful Harvest specials!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fantastic Fall Food

I'm jumping on board with everyone over at Life as Mom for some fantastic Fall Foods.

It doesn't get chilly often here in Florida. Rarely and not for another month or two actually. So jumping into fall foods at this point just seems, well, a bit premature.

However, it IS my favorite time of year. I've got the fall decorations out and am creating things as we speak...err, type. So I'm sticking this wonderful recipe into the crockpot today. It'll give us that wonderful fall feeling and terrific fall tastes. It is YUMMY!

Beautiful Beef Stew
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 pounds cubed beef stew meat
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
1 cup frozen peas
Combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Place the beef in the bag and shake to coat.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat; brown the beef in the hot oil and remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onion to the remaining oil and cook until browned. Pour the beef and broth into the crockpot. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients, except peas. Cook on slow for 6-8 hours. Add peas in last 45 minutes. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday! we've got 93 days until CHRISTMAS!

That's right folks. I said it. Christmas!

Have you started your shopping yet?

Are you one of those planners or are you the "wait until the day after Thanksgiving" or are you the last-minute, rush kinda person?

I'm a planner. Drives me absolutely nuts not to plan. Have to have an idea. Like two months ago.

SH on the other hand, likes to do all his shopping starting about December 23rd...IF he's planning ahead. Most times, he closes the stores on Christmas Eve.

Which drives me batty. I'm home cooking up a storm and he's running out and about for "just one more thing". It's an annual tradition at our house.

So I thought I'd pull out my favorite online shopping haunts to help you get started on your holiday endeavors. Here are some of my favorites that yield the very best bargains: This is probably my favorite. Start here to get tons of coupon codes, deals from all over the web, connections to all your favorite online stores and some really great bargains. I found Disney pajamas for the boys here 3 years ago and they are still wearing them today!! is another site that yields high bargains. They have a little something for everyone. And check out the info on Black Friday! They really do a great job of letting you know what is coming!! Check out their forums to find the very best info on bargains! It's terrific! Again--find the forums to get all the latest bargain info. All of the best deals are usually passed on from bargan shopper to shopper. Make friends!!

And if you are me, you always check to see if your list can be filled by someone else wanting to rid their attic of extra stuff.

So have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Where are your favorite bargain stops?? Let me know and then head on over to We Are THAT Family for great Works For Me Wednesday tips!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Sorry for the long delay in posting folks. Been a bit distracted And little time. Last week was B.U.S.Y! I really need to improve my "write a lot, post it later" method of blogging.....

I wanted to share some pictures of our birthday trip to Walt Disney World.

It's evident that the boys really had the MOST fun ever! And yes, we adults did as well! It truly is a magical place! More so when you get to experience it with your children, as they see things that you don't. It was a wonderful day, not too hot, a little rainy and overcast, busy but not slammed-packed. Make sure to check out Disney's WHAT WILL YOU CELEBRATE? It's full of great options on how to plan your trip to The Mouse--and celebrate any occasion! Big Boy got a button that stated he was celebrating his birthday! They wrote his name on it and honestly, all the park employees (and many strangers) would should out "Happy Birthday!" as he walking by! He felt like a King!! And Little Man got his own button that stated he was celebrating and those employees would ask him "What are YOU celebrating?". It opened up a lot of conversation throughout the day and made him feel so special as well!

We've decided Big Boy was truly born the right time of year for a great vacation!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A letter to Big Boy

Your 5th birthday has so quickly come and gone. Now, son, you are a boy. There is no denying it any longer. There is no baby left. Where I once cradled the fat little baby who emerged from my body, I now struggle to catch long enough for a well-deserved kiss or hug.

It makes me stop. I struggle to contain the tears. I struggle to stop the wave of angst that comes around when I think about the time that has passed. Friends and family have the same, well-meaning statement...."Enjoy them while they are young. They grow much too fast".

I do. I DO enjoy you. I've loved every.single.moment. since you made your first cry. I love every bit of you. When you were moments old, screaming in frustration of being thrust into the light. When you were four months old, and staring at me with the wonder of who I was. I loved it when you were two and you would babble on about everything and nothing at all. I loved it when you announced at three years old that "soon I be big like Daddy". I love it when I come home after being absent for a few hours and hear you scream "Mama!!!!!" as you run down the hall to greet me. I really love it when you talk about "last night, when I was little....". I love it all. I love you.

And as much as it tears me up in the knowledge that you are growing up, I'm unbelievably proud of the young man you are becoming. You are wise, son. You are kind. You have great love and great compassion for all things. I love how you wrap your arms around Max and claim the dog as yours. I am so touched at the love you have for your brother, in your already present guidance and protection of your younger sibling. I love how you boast at how you are so much bigger than him, relishing in the fact that you will always be the BIG BROTHER. You have a dry and practical sense of humor. Your quickly gaining in that smart sense of humor that I love as well. You are FUNNY! And you are emotional. You'll likely grow to hate that at some point. But I hope you embrace it. Face it son, you care....deeply. Much like your Daddy.

So as much sadness as I feel about losing my "baby", I'm amazingly proud of the boy you are. I thank God each and every day for you. I thank Him, that in His Infinite wisdom that He felt I was deserved to be your Mama. I don't know how that is entirely possible. But grateful, I truly am.

I love you son. I adore you. There are not enough words. Happy Birthday Big Boy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

It's Wednesday and that means that we have WFMW over at Kristin's blog.

My little tidbit for today has to do with where we are going TOMORROW!'s Big Boy's birthday on Saturday!!! Yes, my "baby" is turning 5 on September 12. Five years ago this little hurricane stormed into our world. And it's never been the same since! I'm so happy for him and honestly, kinda sad for me. As a mom, I'm overwhelmed all. the. time. with how much I love my guys. I'm equally proud that he is growing into such a wonderful young boy. But that's just it folks. He's a BOY now. No semblance of the baby I once birthed. He hardly fits in my lap, with his gangly limbs and pokey elbows and knees. He still tries. Just for a few moments here and there. For an "I love you Mama" and a quick kiss. Then off he goes.

Anyway...I'm diverging from the post of the day. It's WFMW right?

So we're headed off to a hotel stay for a couple of days and then a birthday celebration with this guy:

Because the guy up there will suck you dry of every penny in your savings account if you let him, we are going to pack up some things with us to make our trip...ummm, more frugal?! Is there such a thing? YES! We are making this trip as frugal as possible and this is how:

--Packing up food! We booked a hotel room that has a full kitchen. We're making all our food except for the day of the park. We'll take cereal and milk for breakfast, yummy deli meats/cheeses for lunch sandwiches, veggies and dip, fruit and dips, chips, etc... We are not planning on eating out at all with the exception of the park. I'm heading off to Sams today for drinks and other supplies so we'll be set.

--Hitting Walmart close to the Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom. I'm planning to stash some Disney related goodies for the boys. This will cut down on the amount of junk that we buy at the park. We'll have a few surprises so they can have trinkets and such and we don't spend $20 on a Tinkerbell slurpy cup! (BTW--the boys LOVE Tink! Sure hope we get to see that girl!!)

--We saved a few bucks already on the hotel because I have a friend who has a discount they shared with us. Thanks Karyn!!

--We'll have the cake and ice cream celebration at the pool, at the hotel. Because this birthday is such a big one, I didn't think a huge birthday cake celebration was necessary. So I'll head out to our fav bakery (thanks PUBLIX!)to grab a yummy little cake and we'll celebrate with a few friends by the hotel pool. Which leads me to my next point;

--Booked a hotel where we don't mind laying around for 2 days with no other plans necessary. That's because the hotel has all this:

Entertainment for two days...DONE!

What Works For Me is making memories...but not too huge of a dent in our budget plan for this year. We're pretty excited! We realized that this is not only Big Boy's birthday but honestly, the first family vacation with just the four of us that we've ever taken! We usually go to see family any time we have vacation. But this's just us and The Mouse! YIPPEE!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Triathlon Women ROCK!

We had a GREAT time at the Trek Women's Triathlon in Orlando this year!! A bunch of did the Tri as a relay team. Already, a few of us, myself included, are planning to train for next year's Tri and do the entire thing ourselves!! What a goal!

I have to say it was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life! There were women of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities! I was most impressed with a few women who had disabilities such as a prosthetic limb, who completed the race in outstanding time. It was empowering and awesome.
I would fully recommend participating in an event such as this. Whether is a Breast Cancer 3-day walk, a Trek Womens Triathlon or the Alzheimer's Memory Walk; they are all inspiring and very motivational. What a great event!!
Thanks to all my women colleagues and friends who completed this year's Triathlon with me! Y'all inspire and make me LOVE being a WOMAN! Thanks girls!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor Day?!

Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer (isn't that a great name for a blog?!! LOVE IT!) is hosting a Labor Day party, of sorts.

How about telling us a little about your labor? You know...the MOST IMPORTANT KIND OF LABOR you've EVER done!??!

Here's mine:

How long were your labors?

Big Boy: Extremely active all day since we were in the midst of a hurricane of sorts. I walked and walked and walked all day to see if I could speed things along and of course, nothing. So I tried to sleep. Slept for about 2 hours before I rolled over in bed and splash! Water broke! Off we went to the hospital. From there, four hours of nothing, 14 hours of chemically induced mind-blowing contractions, finally consenting to an epidural and na-da. zilch. zippo. No progress. 18 hours later, we finally consented to a c-section because, despite being maxed out on the chemical that induces the contractions, my body had no clue how to actually give birth and not a single centimeter of dilation had occurred. So, 18 hours of pain for NOTHING!

Little Guy: Gave him until 3 days prior to his due date to give me an indication he was coming. He didn't. So we opted for a second, repeat c-section. No labor. Yee-haw!

How did you know you were in labor?

Big Boy: I thought I was. Evidently not. It really stunk!

Little Guy: Never was. That second c-section, planned. Wow, it was amazingly simple.

Where did you deliver?

At the hospital. I would have preferred a birthing clinic but SH thought we'd stopped delivering babies "out in the wild" in this country. He would have none of it!


Many, obviously. And gratefully!


Yes, both.

Who delivered?

This really amazingly talented and wonderful physician whom I dearly respect. I felt completely cared for.

How about you? What is your labor story?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Storage boxes

Today over at We Are THAT Family, there are tons of brilliant minds giving you their best storage tips. What works. You know the's

Yeah Kristin!! Thanks for giving me a reason to sit here and just peruse your wonderful blog ALL. DAY. LONG!!! I love organizing but honestly, am always striving to get it together....just a bit more.

These are two of my FAV products for putting junk...err...important stuff away in our house:

I bought this wrapping storage center a couple of years ago after Christmas for next to nothing...less than $10! I absolutely love how it stores all my wrapping needs and I just grab it and head to the kitchen table to do my work. It can slide under the bed but we have no room so this is where I put mine:

This is why I have NO room under the guest bed!! We keep these storage containers full of everything from extra (dusty! jeez honey?! shouldn't you be taking care of that???) computer equipment, and extra sheets, pillowcases and out of season clothing:

I absolutely LOVE how they slide underneath, out of sight! That would explain why they are dusty....out of sight, obviously out of mind!!
I gotta say I almost love this solution as much as THIS one!! Check it out!

What are you FAV storage solutions??? These are mine!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Oh! Distraction!

It is where I'm at.

I'm at a crossroads. God is giving me plenty of time to think it through.

And boy am I thinking!

My poor brain cannot stop.

I toss and turn. Even wine fails to do it's job. One glass is not enough. More than one is probably too much.

What if? That is not the question these days.

Is God in charge of this? That is the question.

Is God leading me? Am I following?

Is this His will or simply my lowly earthly ideas of what is next in life?

Is this His Purpose? Is this His preparation?

UGH! There are no answers yet. It must be faith. Faith is what has lead us through other shadowing valleys. Faith is what we have leaned on when we had no answer from ourselves. Faith is our strength. Faith is our crutch. Faith is our wheelchair. It carries us forward. It allows us to sit there, wallowing in indecision. The answers will possibly, boldly, present themselves in time. Then we will be able to say it is meant to be. Until then, we allow our Faith to carry us, together, through the process.