Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Thankful on this day for...

1. My Granny Philip, who earned two purple hearts defending our great country and who was the most wonderful crazy cajun' I have ever known and loved and still miss every day...
2. The successful completion this morning of our first neighborhood summer swim team meet, always a great (hot, long, loud, chaotic) time with friends and some amazing kiddos... GO GATORS!
3. A teenage boy who is not too embarrassed to still bring his mama his ribbons after his races...
4. Our entire family getting to take a N.A.P. this afternoon... seriously, that NEVER happens.
5. Watching Handsome Hubby and our crazy big dork poodle hanging out swimming in the pool all by themselves...
6. Grilled corn so sweet you should really eat it for dessert.
7.  This beauty sitting on the deck, picking flowers and putting them in everyone's hair (including the exceptionally patient 16 year old big brother)...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Maxi for Me?

Has there ever been a clothing trend that you just L.O.V.E. but can't seem to make work?  That's me and the Maxi Dress.  I see them everywhere... flowy, cool, comfy... just picturing myself wearing one walking barefoot on the beach at sunset with a glass of wine in hand.  AHHHHHHH... but alas, it is not to be.

I was genetically blessed (thank you Mimi and Big Daddy) with good legs, they are strong and thin but shapely without me having to do one single thing to keep them that way...but don't hate me, because on the flip side, I despise my arms.  Not only are they wimpy (could not do a pull-up if my life depended on it), they are attached to broad shoulders and have no definition no matter the amount of stupid bicep curls I force on them.  Now... put those two together in a maxi dress, and no matter HOW CUTE the dang dress is, they all hide the legs and show off the arms.  BOO.  I found this one yesterday at Kohl's, which I LOVE because
1. it's black
2. it has wide enough straps to wear an actual bra
(I'm genetically blessed in some other areas that make spaghetti straps a bit tricky) 
3. it's a great fabric
4. it is on sale
SCORE
Or not... because when I try it on, even though it fits perfectly ALL I SEE ARE ARMS.  

Daisy Fuentes Crochet Maxi Dress

So, I'm trying to talk myself into stepping out of my box... add some cute turquoise jewelry, a fabulous pair of shoes and ARMS BE DAMNED.  Do I dare?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Birds of a Feather...


School is almost out, and we are getting ready here for the BIG 5th Grade Graduation Party... In preparation for this much anticipated pool party extravaganza, Dear Daughter has jumped on the latest trend with the addition of some fabulous feather hair extensions.  How cute are these?  They can be washed, brushed, curled, pony-tailed, you name it... all just like your own hair.  What a fun accessory for summer!  We have a friend who is making this her business, but with the right supplies, 
you can certainly to do it yourself.  
Go score yourself some  FAB FEATHERS!

Bliss Collection Feather Hair Extensions

DIY Feather Hair Extensions

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vacuuming in Pearls?


Look who is BACK and better than ever!  WOO HOO!  As some of you may remember, Mr. Microwave was a little under the weather.  He has thankfully returned, only to have spread his insidious illness to his friend... 


Seriously... would someone please explain to me what I have done to tick off the Appliance Gods?  The only thing I hate worse than cooking?  Hand-washing dishes.  When we got married we didn't even register for the really fancy Henkel knives Handsome Hubby coveted because he said I would just ruin them in the dishwasher. While my talents are many and varied (hula-hooping and go-cart racing come to mind), June Cleaver I am not.

50's Heavy Metal Housewife Business Card Holder Wallet

Monday, May 23, 2011

On My Honor...

Giraffe Bling Monogrammed Flip-Flops


Summer is here, so please ladies take the pledge with me... I'm sorry to say I do not know the original author, because they certainly deserve credit for bringing attention to this very serious matter.

Open Toed Shoe Pledge... 

 Please raise your big toes and repeat after me:
      
MY SISTERS (The Open Toed Shoe Pledge)
       As a member of the Cute Girl Sisterhood, I pledge to follow the Rules when I wear sandals and other open-toed shoes:

       I promise to always wear sandals that fit. 
My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, 
nor will my heels spill over the backs.  
And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out
between the straps.
      I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, 
intact and chip-free.
I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.
       I will sand down any mounds of skin before they
turn hard and yellow.
       I will shave the hairs off my big toe.
       I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend,
coworker, mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.
       If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back into place hoping it will stay put.  I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.
       I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on 
my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him.
       I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes.  This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat and I would hate to take someone down with me 
as I fall and break my ankle.
       I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages. If I have been privy to the magic that is Foot Soup, I will share that knowledge and experience with the non-initiated.
       I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals.  Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good.
       I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide
or drag my feet while wearing them.
      I will promise to go my nail shop at least once per season and have a real pedicure
(they are about $30 and worth EVERY penny).
      I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear...nothing is yuckier than dirty white sandals...
In the name of eternally cute feet, this I  do solemnly swear.

Vintage Strappy Stiletto Heels

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ballerina Girl...


Off this morning to watch Dear Daughter perform on pointe for the first time... 8 years of ballet to get to this moment.  Took this pic at rehearsal yesterday with my iphone and the Hipstamatic app, so cool, it makes me feel like a professional photographer!  Now, time to apply make-up and create that perfect bun... 
Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Don't Want to be the Mommy... At Least Not Today.

Room Decor Art Print

Posting late today... actually, I wasn't going to post at all.  My mind has been swimming with those thoughts parents have when they just aren't sure they made the right decision regarding their child.  No reason to bore you with the details, but I am having trouble focusing on anything because all the negative "what if's" are streaming through my head like a bad reality TV show marathon.  

Our family is having to make a decision regarding Dear Daughter that I wish we didn't have to make... it's nothing earth shattering, but it IS something that is very important to her and the chain of events and decisions that have finally come to a head are haunting me.  I wonder if we could have done something different, made a better or smarter choice so that she wouldn't be put in a situation that has had her in tears and made her so sad.  

These are the days that I wish I were not the Mommy... there is no easy way to handle your child's disappointment.  EVER. EVER. EVER.  It makes my heart hurt.  Of course, the greatest thing about kids is they are able to move on so much quicker than the adults... here she is headed out for Nerd Day at school this morning.  If I look at this picture long enough... at her big goofy grin and sassy strut, it starts to drown out that nasty marathon episode of "Loser Mama"...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Regrets Only...


I am sitting at the computer this morning catching up on my blog reading and printing invitations... approximately forty invitations that must be hand-fed through my color printer. URRRRGGG...  It is a slow and agonizing process, but one I will not complain about because I am about to reveal one of my greatest pet peeves.  EVITES.  Ok, I know we are in an age of technology, and I myself am on the computer probably way more than I should admit... but seriously, some things should not be relegated to a quick push of the "send" key.  Blame it on my Southern upbringing, but I want some pretty paper with a fancy font in an envelope with my name printed by hand on the front.

Dear Daughter and I are helping host a little "graduation" party for a group of her girlfriends...  they are heading off to big bad junior high next year and we wanted to give them an opportunity to celebrate their friendships before the spoils of middle school cliques cast their evil shadow.  Instead of the standard pool party or melee at a jumpy emporium, we decided to host a good ol' fashioned ice cream and cake social.. a "big girl" party of sorts where they will be wearing dresses and acting like they are somewhat mature.  I think that requires a real, bona-fide, printed, stamped and sent through the US Mail invitation.   There are so many cute, inexpensive ways to make invitations at home.  For this party, I found a kit at Hobby Lobby which included everything right down to the pre-cut ribbon.

I'm sure it makes me sound outdated, but I want my kids to learn some social graces... seems there aren't too many left but that doesn't mean they aren't acknowledged and appreciated just the same.  So, back we go to feeding, printing, assembling, stuffing, licking, stamping and addressing...

Birthday Party Invitation for Kids or Adults

Printable Party Invitations

I Design, You Print Invitations

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mourning My Microwave...


This lovely BIG GAPING HOLE in my kitchen is the place where my microwave normally lives.  It is sick.  NO. BUENO.  I am not a cook... or I guess I should say, I do not ENJOY cooking.  If I have to do it, I am more of the Sandra Lee variety.  Sadly, I come from a long line of great cooks... Aunt Orangie's fried chicken could make a grown man cry.  It's just not my thing, and thankfully for my children, Handsome Hubby put himself through college by cooking in restaurants.  He is good at it, AND he enjoys it.  He cooks dinner for my book club and bunco group.  He and my mother (a.k.a. Mimi) plan and cook all of our holiday dinners while I set a BEAUTIFUL table.   And yes, most of my friends and family hate me for it and remind me regularly it is NOT normal.  
But it is, happily, MY normal.

That said, I am in charge of breakfast during the week.  Mimi worked full time for most of my childhood, but RARELY put a bowl of cold cereal out for breakfast.  Even if it was just a bowl of oatmeal or grits (my personal fave), we usually had a hot breakfast.  Wanting to be an equally good mommy, I continued this tradition with my kids... which is great, unless you are a Sandra Lee cook with NO MICROWAVE.  I can make a mean microwave scrambled egg taco IN MY SLEEP (with a competitive swimmer who leaves most days at 5:30 a.m. for practice that is truer than you know).  Because I have spoiled my children with my stellar taco nuking skills, if I put a bowl of COLD CEREAL in front of them I get the "mom, you have just grown a third head" look... complete and utter disbelief and disgust.  SO, I have been getting up for a week now and actually COOKING breakfast. ON.THE.STOVE.  

Just asking, and I know it is beyond shallow... 
could we all say a little prayer for the a speedy recovery for my dear friend, Mr. Microwave?
This Sandra Lee Wanna-Be Mommy is getting crabby.

Fridge Magnet

Monday, May 16, 2011

One of THOSE moments...

Pointe shoes are ready...

Over the past week I have been to no less than 10 stores looking for one stinking package of these...

Why on earth am I searching for hair nets, you ask?  No, I have not been hired to cook bad cafeteria food... Dear Daughter has her dance recital this weekend.  Since she was three years old I have made the annual trek to Walgreen's to purchase a package of these very hair nets because they are required to wrap their perfectly coiffed buns to keep the hair from popping out during their dance.  I was not a dancer, so this was all new to me... but we receive a 4 page packet of detailed hair, make-up and costume instructions and being the rule follower I am, I am not about to argue.

So, off I go to get my stash of required recital make-up and accoutrements when I discover Walgreen's is no longer carrying the hair nets... nor is Target, or CVS, or Kroger or even WALMART.  What is the world coming to if Walmart is not stocking hair nets, for grief's sake?  The amount of stress, time and gas I have spent on the quest for one stinking 59 cent hair net... well... we won't go there.  And yes, Sally Beauty Supply has them, but they are some terrible off-brand and just DO NOT work... we've tried.

Just as I was about to get online and PAY for EXPEDITED SHIPPING to order them last night I was getting ready for bed and opened one of my vanity drawers to find this staring back at me...

I.HAVE.NO.WORDS.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Belly Up to the Bauble Bar... A Saturday Steal!

Hey friends... a quick post today because it's SATURDAY and at my house that means we are running like crazy nut jobs from soccer to swimming to volleyball to basketball.  Not that I'm complaining, because I KNOW the day will come when Handsome Hubby and I are watching the paint dry and debating where to go for the best senior citizen's discount dinner.  


But since we are not quite ready for the AARP, here is a quick deal we can all get can get now that I just had to share with my loyal readers... check out Bauble Bar, which has some completely awesome high quality costume jewelry.  You get a your choice of a great piece of  FREE jewelry just for signing up, and if you also invite your friends to earn 'points' they can be redeemed for bigger, bolder baubles... or you can just buy what you like because their prices are equally awesome.  Cool, cool stuff... can't wait to get my free bling!  Here are a few examples of some of their sweet swag...


Bauble Bar


Go check out the Bauble Bar  and score yourself or someone you love a free gilded goodie... and now, back to my regularly scheduled insane Saturday!

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Baby Brother...

This was supposed to publish yesterday, but about the time I went to finalize it I discovered Blogger was down... and down... and down... and here we are 24 hours later and it has FINALLY come back.  WOO to the HOO!  Since I am pretty much in the same condition in the same spot on the couch hacking up the same lung as yesterday, I'm going to go ahead and publish it anyway... so just pretend like it's Thursday when you read this... okie dokie?

Little Philip and his Sissy

I'm posting this WAY late for me, because I have the C.R.U.D. and have been pretty much laid out on the couch in Handsome Hubby's boxer shorts and and old gray t-shirt since this time yesterday.  However, I am going to rouse myself for a quick post because today is my baby brother's birthday!  Ok, "baby" brother might be a stretch, as he is a good 9 inches taller than I am, but I can still take him down if necessary.  Oh, and he will probably NEVER even see this, as he is the most computer illiterate thirty-something man I have ever known.  Nonetheless, I feel the need to publicly acknowledge his greatness whether he sees it or not.

I was six years old when he was born, the first and ONLY grandchild on both sides of the family (can you say SPOILED) until that day.  Although I suppose I should have hated him for stealing my thunder, it was nothing but complete adoration from the first time I laid eyes on him.  He was MY baby... the cutest (chubby) little thing I had ever seen and to me he was just my own living baby doll.  He adored me right back, at least until he was about 10 when we had a few years of him thinking he actually had a mind of his own (silly boys)... once all that was sorted out, it went right back to a mutual admiration society and that is how it has stayed ever since.   There is just nothing quite like the bond between siblings, good or bad, you always have a shared history and family dynamics that no one else could ever understand... and probably wouldn't want to if they could.

He is handsome and smart and wickedly funny, I like to think I raised him well.  This past year has been rough for him personally, and unfortunately he lives MUCH too far away... I would give anything for him to live down the street where I could occasionally go stretch his face (weird little backseat game we liked to play on long car trips) and help him take care of his beautiful baby girls.  Since I can't, I just have to hope he knows his Sissy is always here for him and that I am wishing him a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


Phil surprising me with a visit at my 40th birthday party...
cute little photo creeper in the back!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Tooth Fairy...

Needle Felted Tooth Fairy Pillow

Didn't come last night... Mama was not feeling so hot and went to bed at 7:00 and was informed by a long faced Dear Daughter this morning that somehow the Tooth Fairy failed to make her magical appearance.  AHEM.  I mean, I know Mama is not supposed to get sick, but is it really possible for the Tooth Fairy to be sick on the very same night?  And on the off chance that the Tooth Fairy is too sick to rise from her tiny little fairy bed, don't you think the Tooth Fairies' husband could have helped her out for just one night?  I'm sure he would make a handsome and capable replacement... just sayin'...

Mr. Tooth Fairy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Helping the Home of the Blues...

Memphis 4x6 Photo


Thinking about my Memphis friends this morning... I spent a major part of my childhood in Memphis, Tennessee and they are literally drowning right now.  The grand ol' Mississippi (yes, I still have to do the "M I crooked letter crooked letter I crooked letter crooked letter I hump back hump back I" to spell it correctly) is overflowing it's banks and it is causing a flood of catastrophic proportions.   Although I haven't been to Memphis in 20 years, through the magic that is Facebook, I have enjoyed reconnecting with many of my childhood friends.  Gotta love that social network!


The Red Cross is providing shelter and supplies to those who have been hardest hit. They have more than 400 volunteers on the ground.  To make a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief, visit its online donation page .  You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.  I think it is SO cool to be able to text a donation... how easy can it possibly get to help our neighbors in a time of need?


Beale Street Bike Rally Print

Memphis Bridge Print

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thankful...


My beautiful mom (aka Mimi) and Dear Daughter

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only 
four pieces of pie for five people, 
promptly announces she never did care for pie."
-Tenneva Jordan

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kickin' Queso...



HAPPY Cinco De Mayo!  I know this day has lots of great historic significance, but in Texas it is also just one more good reason to enjoy some yummy Mexican food... frankly, I have never needed an excuse to eat Mexican.  As my family will tell you, if I don't get it at least twice a week I am NOT a happy mama... and you know what they say about mama being happy.

So, in honor of this day I'm going to give up one of our secret family recipes... actually, it's Handsome Hubby's recipe and I didn't ask if I could give it up so I hope he doesn't mind.  I'm sure you all have made Queso with the old tried and true Velveeta and Rotel. It's good, but it can be SO MUCH BETTER with just an couple of added ingredients...

Handsome Hubby's Kickin' Queso
1 small box or 1/2 large box of Velveeta (I prefer the 2%)
1 can Original Rotel Diced Tomato with Green Chili's
1/2 diced SWEET onion... should be a 1015, Vidalia, etc. 
1/2 block Cream Cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
Optional:  Pickled jalapeno slices

Throw it all in a big bowl and heat and stir and heat and stir until you have a big bowl of gooey goodneess... grab some Tostito's and go crazy.  If you decide to use the entire large box of Velveeta, just double everything else.

The CREAM CHEESE is the secret ingredient... I will not make it without cream cheese.  It gives it such a smooth flavor and texture, your guests will not even think it is Velveeta.  We make a bowl sans onion for our neighbor, since she is not an onion girl, but let me say my kids are not onion eaters either and they inhale the regular version.  The sweet onion is so unoffensive and adds great flavor... HH likes to throw in some jalapeno's, I usually prefer mine on the side.

Now, whip up a batch, grab some chips, pop open a Corona and come celebrate with me!  Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Sombrero Chip and Dip Bowl

Recycled Corona Glasses

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Super Sandwich...

Peanut Butter and Jelly Superhero Art Print

Yesterday was  PB&J for lunch day... which got me thinking.  Should a woman of my age still be eating peanut butter and jelly for lunch?  Shouldn't I be eating some more refined, healthy, MATURE sandwich?  Something with hummus, or cucumbers (NOT a fan, btw), or arugula?

Yesterday I didn't even use the reduced fat or natural peanut butter, rebel that I am (NOT), I went for the full fat loaded with sugar creamy peanutty goodness.  And I had it on Whitewheat, which is really no better than good ol' white bread... with chips (ok, they were at least baked) and a real NOT diet Coke.  I may be struck by lightning just for writing all that, much less for eating it.  But let me just say, someone better bring me a PB&J when I'm in the HOME... and I prefer apple jelly, thank you very much.

PB&J Fine Art Photo Print

Peanut Butter Jelly Time Pendant



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Makeover Madness!



First let me start by saying I was so very thrilled to be featured on one of my favorite blogs Monday, Shrimp Salad Circus.  They featured our little desk and chair makeover I blogged about several months ago... Everything Old is New Again.  Check out Lindsay's blog, it really is fabulous!                         

And in other makeover news... my floors are finished!  WOO HOO!  As I mentioned in Part One and Two, we decided to trash our 10 year old carpet and replaced some of it with wood and the rest of the house got new SOFT carpet (as my kids call it)...

Dining Room BEFORE... 
Dining Room AFTER!

Living Room Before... 

Living Room AFTER... say Hello to my photo bomber, HOLLISTER



And my absolute most favorite part of the entire project... the spot of many future photos of Dear Daughter in dresses I will probably have spent too much money on... the STAIRCASE.

Staircase BEFORE...


Staircase AFTER!!!

For all the dust (OMIGOSH, the D.U.S.T.), chaos, disorganization and general headache this caused, I am completely in love with these floors.  We recarpeted our upstairs and master bedroom, but pictures of new carpet are just not that exciting.  The outside has been repainted and my front door refinished... it was like getting a new house, except I got to keep the good neighbors and didn't have to deal with packing or any annoying mortgage companies.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Violet...


Today is my grandmother's birthday.  Six years ago she laid down to take a nap and never woke up.  Just like that.  I was devastated.  She never really got over the death of my grandfather, and I think she was ready to go see him.  If you like a good love story, my aunt wrote about them awhile back... Smitten.  Violet (she was 40 when I was born and thought she was too young to be called "Grandma" until she turned 50, at which point I was not going to STOP calling her Violet... silly) was just about my favorite person in the entire world.  

She spoiled me rotten and we loved every single minute we ever spent together.  She taught me to drive (I think I was about 10 when she started letting me sit in her lap and steer... EEK!), to crochet (ok, I admittedly failed at the crocheting), taught my son how to sew and to garden.   She always had my favorite baked beans and peach cobbler ready and waiting for me, or a big bowl of her famous oatmeal.

As much as I miss her, it is never in a sad way.  When I think about her it is always about how she had to take off her glasses and wipe her eyes when she laughed because she would laugh so hard it would make her tear up... or how she would hide me from my daddy in the mornings so I could enjoy a big ol' lump of raw biscuit dough for breakfast (YUM)... or how she would "whip" her crazy little dog with an ENVELOPE (I'm sure he was VERY scared... NOT).   When I had kids, she was always worried about someone kidnapping them because "they are SO PRETTY, Sissy!"  I had to remind her they kidnap ugly babies, too...

We can all only hope to leave our children and grandchildren with as many happy thoughts and memories.  Even though we lost her MUCH too soon, the years we had with her will live with a smile in my heart forever.  It is the gift she left for me.  Happy Birthday Granny (the Granny part is courtesy of my kids) Violet!

Granny with her "pretty" great grandbabies

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count.  It's the life in your years.
~Abraham Lincoln
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