I survived. Barely.

It's almost done, folks. Home improvement projects, that is. I had no idea that my body would ache this much, that it would take almost 12 hours a day for 3 days straight, that I would love it as much as I do.

There are still an array of things to do. Crown molding, moving and replacing some of the baseboards, trim work around bath cabinets, rugs need to be purchased, artwork is needed in some places and some other small things. But the big stuff is done.

Ready for the before and afters? (Keep in mind my photography skills are lacking a little. Really a lot, but no need to point that out.)

This is the awful entry way. It was cluttered and stuffed with random furniture and crap that didn't belong. I got rid of a lot of this stuff or moved it somewhere in the house that made more sense. I hated walking in the door to see this disaster.

And here's the after. Oh how I love thee. I painted, replaced the flooring and furniture and accessories. Emma approves. To complete the look I'd like to get a rug eventually.

The next room is right off the entryway. This is the office/guest room. Let me say that I'm totally embarrassed at how horrible this room was. This was the room that all the random left over things got put to die. Crappy bed? Big over sized ugly desk? Shit that I didn't need? All in this one room. Friends and family slept in this room. No wonder they don't come back often.

Because that room was so bad I took a ton of pictures of the after in this room. I'm really proud of how it turned out. I'd be happy to accommodate a guest in here now.

The flooring is off color in this picture, but you get the idea. I replaced the shitty bed with a futon/couch from West Elm.

Because I am decorating on the cheap I bought a cute little desk, chair, filing cabinet, shelves and storage containers all from IKEA for a grand total of around $200.

The curtains look odd, I know. I need to trim the side curtains and throw the middle curtain into the dryer to get rid of wrinkles. This room is also in desperate need of artwork and an area rug. I love Flor tiles so I think I'll be getting those.

The next room is the living room. Gah, I hate these couches. They served their purpose, for my ass to have a place to rest. Other than that? They made me wanna cry because I hated them.

Now, I love my living room. New sofa and a chair, flooring, new paint and a rug. The curtains need something, I'm working on that.

I also replaced the floors in both bathrooms. When I bought the house I had one option, laminate flooring. It's gone now and I don't miss it at all.

This picture most accurately shows the flooring color. It's a warm cherry color. I'm obviously not done in here putting it back together. New rugs are coming soon.

The only rooms not pictured that got an overhaul are the guest bath and my bedroom. My bedroom is a snooze fest until I can decide on paint colors and bedding and curtains. Until then it's a white square with furniture and a pretty floor.

I don't think the pictures do the place justice at all, especially the guest/office space. But you get the gist. I'm super happy with the results and with a little tweaking here and there I'll be even more happy.

Up next, kitchen improvements! But that will have to wait till next year. I need to recover from this project first.

You can see more photos here on my Flickr page.

Now, I'm going to take a 32 year nap.


Fuckity Fuck

Sophie (my car) is totally pissed that I forgot how to drive momentarily.


I bid you farewell.

I'm leaving work for the day and won't return until Monday. I have a 3 day weekend. And I only worked one day this week. It's tough to be me, I'm aware.

Anyway! The reason I'll be away from the Internet and my bloggy friends is because I'm getting my brand new flooring installed this weekend! And tomorrow I'm getting a new garage door, it's all energy efficient and pretty. Oh and it's not bent right down the middle from an almost 13 year old and his friend. I love my kid, really I do.

I wanted to work on a lovely post about Derick turning 13, but I've been lazy and waited until the last minute. So please know that in 2 DAYS I'll have an official teenager. HOLY SHIT.

Happy weekend all and wish me luck and easy floor installation. I have a feeling I'll need all the luck I can get.


Oh, and a quick update about the going vegetarian. It's going swimmingly. I went to a BBQ joint for lunch today and didn't have a single piece of meat. Meat free since the 20th. Go me!


Whip it into shape

Now whip it - Into shape
Shape it up - Get straight
Go forward - Move ahead
Try to detect it - It's not too late
To whip it - Whip it good

You better know this song. Do you?

I have about 3 weeks to get my ass in shape for BlogHer. I've been really awesome at working out everyday for the last 2 weeks so I fully expect to WOW everyone.

If you are a woman you know that you have to impress other women. It's like a law or something. I imagine there will be 1.7 men there and I honestly could care less about them. I need to impress the ladies.

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about, right? I'm not the only one who wants to make a good impression on other women, right? RIGHT?!?!?!

I know it really won't make a hill of beans of a difference if I go down a dress size between now and then because, other than one person who'll be there, not one of these women has seen me in person. So it's not like they have something to compare to.

Regardless. I'd like to make a good first impression. And I know this is so prima donna of me, but I'd also like to get my hair trimmed, eyebrows tweezed (actually I'd like to try the threading because I hear it's awesome) a mani and pedi and maybe even wax a place or two before I leave. Of course I'd like to get an outfit or 4 and maybe a pair of shoes or 9. Hell, I won't even look like myself if I have my way.

I've been pretty good about going on my almost daily walks/jogs with Jackson. I've incorporated some leg exercises that Slynnro posted about recently. Now I just need some arm moves. I'm kicking myself because I donated a set of small hand weights recently and now I really would use them. Unlike when I bought them and told myself I'd actually use them and then they gathered dust and glared at me from across the room until I hid them in the closet. Shoot, I wish I would have kept them. Due to a bum elbow I can't do regular or even modified push ups so that's a no go. That and I'm a total girl and can't do a push up even if my life depended on it. It's pathetic, really. So, do you lovely readers have any arm exercises you'd like to suggest?

In all seriousness, I'm not really trying to impress a bunch of women I don't know. I just want to keep improving on myself for my own sake.

Although I wouldn't mind impressing a bunch of women with my adorable outfits and accessories.


Well, isn't that just a kick in the ass

(Warning, I'm about to get all preachy and righteous and shit.)

I enjoy the occasional hamburger and a grilled chicken breast with some barbecue sauce on the side. A pound of lean ground turkey is sitting my freezer right now. I even had 2 turkey dogs for dinner tonight. There might be a frozen sausage buried deep in the bottom freezer drawer and I have 2 different kinds of cow's milk in the fridge. A container of a dozen eggs, minus the 2 I used recently, is on the top shelf of the fridge, right next to a half empty container of yogurt.

Needless to say, my kitchen is filled with animal products. It's never really bothered me for more than a few seconds.

About 8 years ago I read a book that talked about animals and how they live on 'farms'. Farms that produce milk and butter and meat. I can't remember the name of the book and I've been looking for it online for ever. I remember it was a red and white striped book and I think it had the word America in the title. That's all I remember. Hold the phone folks! I found it. Diet For A New America. I literally just found it on the Internet. Anyway, I read half the book years ago and got to the part about how chickens are raised so we can eat them and I just couldn't keep reading. It made my physically ill to read and picture those poor animals.

I'm fairly certain that I reduced my animal eating intake a little after reading that book. But it never stopped me entirely.

When a PETA commercial comes on or I see ads for taking care of animals that feed us, I'm embarrassed to say, I turn the channel or flip the page or ignore the problem. Because it's not my problem. Nope. It sure isn't.

And I've been going along like this for all my life practically. Let those other people deal with it. What a shitty attitude I've had.

Today I'm making a change. (Note that I'm writing this on Thursday the 19th and will probably post this in a few days as I already have a post scheduled to post soon.)

Did you guys ever see Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me? Dude is crazy, but he's a genius. Well, I just started watching his cable show 30 Days. If you aren't familiar with the show I'll explain it. Morgan Spurlock or some random person lives, for 30 days, in a different environment or doing something different or learning new things. The first episode of this season, Morgan lived as a coal miner for 30 days. The second episode required a former NFL player to live in a wheelchair. The episode that I watched tonight had an avid hunter and meat eater living with a vegan family and helping protest with PETA.

Holy crap, I had no idea that I'd walk away from watching that episode with a desire to save all the baby calf's and give all the chickens a place to roam free, beaks intact.

I won't get all graphic but they showed some things that I just couldn't believe. I know this sounds stupid but I had no idea that momma cows are constantly pregnant to produce the milk we drink. I had no idea what was done with deceased baby calf's. You don't want to know.

I'm not quite prepared to go all vegan and stop wearing my adorable leather shoes, but I need to do something. Something that won't make me gag on my breakfast.

For the next 30 days I 'Pledge to Be Veg'. Fortunately I already have some tofu, soy 'meat' and lots of veggies on hand. I'm curious to see how I can do and if this feeling of horror fades after a day or two. Will I be all 'gung ho' and then fizzle out like I do with most ides that pop into my head? Or will I succeed and manage to live meat free and maybe even animal product free? Time will tell.

I'll update on occasion about my progress. In the meantime...tell me if you've ever gone vegan or vegetarian or know someone who has.

And, if you'd like to join me, click on the 'Pledge to Be Veg' link above.


Update as of 6/22:

I've been doing the veg thing for 2 full days now and it's going really well. I went to lunch with Eric and Jackson (for a late Father's Day celebration) to a Mexican restaurant and it was daunting to find something to eat. But the chicken fajitas didn't appeal to me at all, really. Jackson and I shared cheese quesadilla's and I had some chips and hot sauce. Not quite WW friendly, but I was well within my points for the day even after than lunch. I went shopping for veg friendly foods and was surprised at the amount of speciality foods available. I bought some veggie dogs, 'turkey' and 'ham' lunch 'meat'. Today for lunch I had a 'turkey' sandwich and I honestly couldn't tell much of a difference in taste. Other than the horribly off putting color of the 'meat' I was quite pleased.

In the future I probably won't buy the special veggie meats because they are fairly expensive for the amount you get. So I'm looking for alternatives.

I've done some more research into what's in cow's milk, too. EWWW. I doubt I'll go vegan, but I have already significantly reduced my dairy intake and replaced it with soy, which I already like so that's a plus.

I find it extremely interesting that I've made an about-face in a few short days. I honestly wonder if I'll keep it up.

Tomorrow I'm leaving, with Jackson, to go out of town for a few days to visit a mommy friend and her family so that will be my first test. I'll make sure I update on my success or failure when I return.


Gah! It's about time.

American Airlines has agreed to take me to San Fransisco for BlogHer 2008. They are only charging me $381.00. OMFG.

Serves me right for waiting for so long.

Anyway, I'm really excited to go to SF and need all you lovely people to tell me what to do and what to see and where to eat and where to shop and what not to do and all the advice and tips.


Also, I just learned that I should have business cards? I had no idea. So I got some super cute ones with a baby devil on them. I'm sort of excited to pass them out. See:
Lastly, I've decided that everyone going to BlogHer is a total nerd. I love it!


I'm fascinated by these and I have no idea why

I'm obsessed with going to Flickr and finding random groups of photos and looking at each one. They have a group for everything you could ever imagine. People who decorate with Ikea products, check. Humorous nude photos, check. People wearing Converse sneakers, check. All things pink, check. Seriously, if you can think of it, it's a group on Flickr. I'm obsessed I tell you.

A few weeks ago I was browsing a group that posts photos of food they've made with the recipes, which is one of my favorite Flickr groups, and I came across this adorable boxed lunch all decorated and packed tightly and looking just so darn cute. Odd word for a boxed lunch, I know. But seriously, these boxed lunches are adorable. There were decorated with colorful accessories, for lack of a better word.

Apparently this craze is nothing new, just new to me. They are called Bento Boxes. And I'm so intrigued with this way of making a meal. Some people spend hours cutting fruits and veggies to decorate their meals. This one is freaking cute. And OMG, this one is adorable. Faces on the food?! The options are limitless. I'm in total awe.

I'd love to give it a shot and try making some totally awesomely cute lunch's for myself and Derick. But I'll be honest with myself and say that I have no creativity when it comes to this stuff and no patience, either. But I think they are totally awesome and I'd love to at least attempt one someday.

Am I the last one to hear about these ridiculously adorable lunch boxes?


Do you ever wonder?

Do you ever wonder who's reading your blog that you don't know about? Maybe your bitchy Mother-In-Law or your cousin twice removed, or maybe your boss and your boss' wife. What about the babysitter that used to babysit you? Or maybe your ex boyfriend's new girlfriend. Maybe your banker reads your blog, or your coworker that creeps you out.

I wonder who read this sometimes. And then I immediately think of all the things I wrote that I wouldn't want those particular people to read. Like, ever.

But then I get over myself and realize that I'm not so important that people actively seek out my blog.

Most of you probably read the blog that talks about who was reading my blog posts and I wasn't aware of it. So I'm curious, have you discovered anyone reading your blog that you were surprised about?


I'm home!

This morning I was getting ready for work and decided to wear some of my MAC Lacquer in Fanplastico. It's a lovely shade of 'take my clothes off and violate me' red. I needed a pick me up today and boy did it ever work. I can't tell you how many construction workers waved at me and stopped digging their ditches to look at me. My head is quite large today and I'm a tad cocky. Sorry. And it wasn't only the sweaty dudes in the orange vests, either. A few business men took notice too. It was all sorts of awesome. Red lip lacquer is probably not entirely appropriate for work, but I don't care. So, ha.

Speaking of appropriateness. Let's talk about what NOT to wear to a funeral. A tight black pencil skirt paired with 4 inch black heels and a hot pink halter top made from rayon. Hello?! It's not a night club. It's my Grandpa's funeral. I can forgive the pencil skirt and heels, but a hot pink halter?! Come on. I'm still not entirely sure that this girl was related to me, but it didn't matter because I wanted to smack her for wearing hot friggin pink. How tacky.

And yet another segue.... Now, let's talk about tacky. It's so tacky when your ex husband asks you out on a date. It's even more tacky when you know he's married. Sleeze.

And now a bulleted list of happenings while on my visit to Missouri:
  • I got free beer. It was awesome. I drank my free beer while viewing horses at this place.
  • Ticks are bitches and I hate them. One was working it's way into my flesh on my neck. Another was walking around trying to locate a proper spot, again on my neck. The last one found a nice cozy spot, on my ass. Picture the throwing up smiley here.
  • It's possible to eat frozen custard at a place called Fritz's 4 times in two days and not get tired of it.
  • It's a bad idea to eat at Fazoli's, White Castle and Lion's Choice all within a 24 time period.
  • Sometimes you buy so much crap while out of town that it become necessary to mail yourself a package at the post office to make sure you are below the 50 pound weight limit for your checked luggage. (48 pounds, natch!)
  • I realized how some family members are assholes.
  • I realized that some family members are the best ever and I am proud to call them mine.
  • I had no idea how many options of ladies underwear that Walmart carries.
  • I only know this because I didn't pack any undies for myself.
  • Disposable diapers smell WAY worse than cloth diapers and I'm glad to get back to the cloth.
  • The last bullet was about Jackson, not me.
  • Which I hope you knew.
  • Because otherwise you probably think I use diapers.
  • Which I don't
  • Ok, I'll stop now.
  • Some people's devil horns come out when on go carts.
  • It's become a tradition for my dad to take us kids and cousins to ride go carts. It's one of my favorite traditions.
  • I've fallen in love with old Valentine's cards and acquired a few that were my great grandma's. Now I just need to decide what to do with them
  • Suggestions are appreciated.
  • Trader Joe's was not that impressive. They had some neat stuff, but nothing super fantastic that I couldn't live without. Although the one we went to was super small.
  • It's always lovely to come home after being gone for a while. I missed my bed.

And lastly! BlogHer plane tickets. MUST BUY WITHIN THE WEEK. If you hear of any good deals, please please pass them along. Otherwise my roomies might beat me if I didn't come.


A long string of incoherent thoughts.

On June 2 my youngest rag-a-muffin turned 16 months old. 16 months really isn't that much time in the whole scheme of things but I simply cannot remember life without him. Ok, I really can remember life without him, but I don't want to, that's for sure.

Just in the past few months he's amazed me with his abilities to just be alive. He walks! And he tries to run! He has habits and idiosyncrasies and irritating things he does I think just to irritate me. But he's all mine and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

One of my favorite, and truly annoying, things he does is right before he throws something or drops something he says "Uh oh" as a warning and then the object is gone. He makes sure to look right at me after he says it just to make sure I see him drop his cup or throw a toy. I can't help but think it's cute. Even if it does drive me insane.

Just in the last few days he's become my own personal parrot. He will repeat almost anything you say in his own baby way. Window is 'neeno'. Thank you is 'ank u'. Derick is 'dewee'. Car is 'kah'. I could go on and on, but these are the words he says most often. Sometimes I wanna say shit or motherfucker just to see what he'll say. Excellent parent material right here. I'm aware.

He is OBSESSED with balls. It's interesting that this is his first real item he's shown interest in. He sees anything that shaped like a ball and repeats baa, baa, baa over and over again. And because I'm excited that he has his first obsession he now has approximately 97 balls. Big balls, little balls, red balls, multicolored balls and everything in between.
Recently he discovered his, um, babyhood. That's much more appropriate than manhood. He's just a baby ya know. He just looked down and realized that something was there that he'd never noticed before. It sure makes diaper changes interesting. I have to move faster than his little hands do. He gets all sorts of pissed when I won't let him fiddle with his business. Fortunately, since I have the 12 year old, I know this obsession doesn't go away. Ever. What are ya gonna do?

He's a picky eater, too. I don't think it's because he doesn't like certain foods really, I think it's because they look different. The only vegetable I can get him to eat are freeze dried peas. Do you know how hard it is to find freeze dried peas? I stress about the nutritional value of freeze dried peas versus fresh peas. But then I realize that that those dried peas are probably the only veggie he will be eating that day. He loves all fruit and cheese sticks. He's a bread man and could eat a loaf if you let him. Atkins - be damned!

When he drops something he bend his knees and sticks his butt out and it's just about the cutest butt I've ever seen. He's also started climbing on things which I'm not prepared for. I know he needs to learn to do climb and discover but I'm terrified that he'll fall and stab himself in the eye or break a leg or something equally awful. I have to remember to stand back but stay close and man, that's hard!

Lately I've been debating trimming Jackson's hair. It's so long. But it's adorably curly in the back so you can't tell it's long until it's bath time then he looks like a little girl. I don't even want to cut his hair. In fact, I don't even want him to grow up.

I hate that as he gets older I won't remember these days with much clarity. I barely remember Derick as a baby and I don't want to forget. I want to remember when he started FINALLY calling me mommy and mimicked me blowing on his food and saying 'ot' for hot. I want to remember when he sleeps he still sticks his butt up in the air sometimes. I want to remember that when I go get him from his room in the morning or after a nap that he always gets a big smile and says 'hi!'. I want to remember when he hated walking on grass even with shoes on. I want to remember the day when he finally decided grass wasn't evil but ended up walking so fast that he fell and rolled down the slope in the yard and laughed. I want to remember when he learned how to give high 5's. I want to remember it all.

Hopefully just writing this will help me to remember these days a little better. Hopefully.


Who's brilliant idea was this?

I hate working out. I lack the motivation to get off my ass and just move. It's never been my thing. If I'm on vacation and there is a hiking adventure than I'm there, no problem. If I'm running late and I need to run to get to my destination, I will. It's not that I can't move, I just choose not to if I don't have to.

I always thought the people that laced up their running shoes and ran around their own neighborhood? INSANE. No one's chasing you! Why are you running? Look behind you, no one is there. Stop the insanity with your running. Sheesh. Especially this one particular woman that runs around in her bikini top (no lie), itty bitty shorts and tanning oil. It must be tanning oil because she glistens like I've never seen anyone glisten before. I don't like this woman in the slightest.

Insert the last week. I've been running while pushing a stroller. Around my neighborhood. Ok, really I just jog mixed with walking. More walking that jogging. And I wear flip flops. And I think I lean on the stroller more than push it. But still! I'm moving and jogging through my neighborhood and no one's chasing me. UNBELIEVABLE.

I've also been working out, too. I got these 10 minute workout DVD's months ago and I finally freed them from their packaging. I've been using the 10 Minute Solution: Fat Blasting Dance Mix. I can't follow hardly any of the dance 'moves' whatsoever and I thought I had some rhythm. Apparently not. But I try and dance along with the 3 ladies on the DVD and it's actually pretty fun. Although, the main instructor has this tattoo to left of her pelvis bone and it's pretty close to being near her goods and I fixate on it and it drives me insane. But her rock hard abs make me keep going.

But here's where I get all whiny and bitchy. I've gained weight. I know that muscle weighs more than fat and I wanna call no fair! You eat right, move your body and expect the scale to reward you with a pat on the back. But nooooo. The numbers go up. Bastards. I think that's total crap and I want someone in the netherworld to fix this. Please make muscle weigh less than fat. Is that too much ask?

In the mean time I'll keep running, er, jogging. I'll probably make the effort to wear actual lace up shoes to avoid injury and looking stupid. And maybe I'll stop leaning on the stroller. Maybe.


Your great great great grandson loves it, too.

Dear Great Great Grandma,

Hi, it's me, Kristie. Your great great granddaughter. I know we never met and I'm not even sure I've seen a picture of you, but I wanted to stop for a moment in this crazy life and say hi and thank you.

You see, a few years ago I visited my Grandma (your granddaughter) and she passed along a quilt to me along with a few hand stitched napkins and pillow cases. I used the pillow cases a few times but I was afraid I might damage the delicate stitching so I put them away. I see them on occasion and think about you sometimes. But that quilt was always shunned to the linen closet, collecting dust.

Over the years I've spent a pretty penny on nice bed linens. I have certain requirements when purchasing bedding. The sheets MUST be a high thread count and Egyptian cotton. At least 400 count or higher. The blanket that tops the sheets must have some sort of weight to it, but not be suffocatingly hot in the summer. And there must be absolutely no print on any of these items whatsoever. I HATE print on sheets, pillowcases and blankets. It's so 'traditional' to me and I'm not a traditional kind of girl.

My design style is more modern than anything. I'm not timid with color. I can mix and match colors with the best of them. And I always stuck with plain bedding that I could spruce up with accent pillows and paint colors.

But a few days ago my whole philosophy came crumbling down around me.

I decided I wanted a change on the bed. I was tired of the same sheets and blanket. It was so boring. I took the old bedding off and went to get a clean set of sheets in a different color this time. When I opened the linen closet I saw that quilt. The one I've had for years, just sitting there. I pulled it out and decided to see if it would fit on my bed and it did. And I fell in love. Instantly.

It's not my style at all. It's multicolored and bright and so traditional, in my mind. It even looks a bit country in a way. But I love it.

After I made the bed and stood back to admire the quilt I called my grandma and asked her to tell me who made this. I couldn't remember if it was her mother or her grandma. She was so pleased to hear that I was actually putting your handiwork to use.
I still can't believe it myself in all honesty. The only thing I can come up with is that I'm so proud that someone from my family made this with her own hands. I'm sure it took weeks or maybe even months to cut each piece out, assemble it and make the whole thing come together.

I don't have the time or the patience or the desire to make something like this. But I'm really glad that you took the time to make this quilt. I wonder if you ever though of what might happen to it after you were long gone. Did you think it would passed through several generations of your future family?

I'm truly proud to have this in my home. To show it off. To admire it. And I'll be just as proud to pass it along to the next generation when the time comes.
Thank you.
On a side note, I've made my bed every morning since I put this quilt to use. It must have magical powers because I never make my bed.
Oh, and, does anyone know a place that repairs quilts? There are a few places that need repairing and a few small water stain spots and I haven't a clue how to repair something of this nature. My great great grandma thanks you! Me, too.


Dress for success

I got dresses! And I have entire outfits planned for my out of town trip this week. Here's the first dress, above, from Ann Taylor Loft. My only criticism? I paid full price and the website says the dress is on sale. Must remedy this soon. This dress is a dark navy and I just love the fabric. It's a cool cotton material and has little all over slightly raised dots, if that makes sense. . I'll be pairing it with a pair of Carlos Santana bronze wedge heels that I've owned for several years but rarely wear for some unknown reason. (Photo found on Ebay).

Jewelry will consist of a necklace from Forever 21 that I can't seem to find. It's got a gold chain with a large square piece of 'amber'. To add more pizazz on top I'll be layering that necklace with another gold tone necklace that I got at Kohl's a few months ago.
To tie in the wood look of the back of the shoes I'm adding a wooden bangle that has small bronze/gold colored discs around the bracelet. My ring I'm going to wear is a vintage gold tone ring with amber colored stones.

The second dress I can't seem to find on Banana Republic's website. Boo. It's a simple black cotton dress with a v neck and short sleeves. It should be super comfy and easy to move around in (read: chase a toddler in).
The last dress is by New York & Company which I can rely on for some cute duds now and again. This is a simple empire waist dress that's also comfy and easy to move in.

I'm paring this dress with a turquoise belt that will fit nicely where the seam is on under the bust. I think the belt will add a jolt of color that the dress needs.
I'm skipping a necklace on this outfit but adding a matching turquoise bangle bracelet from Forever 21.
I can't find a picture, but the earrings are turquoise hoops with silver disk in the middle that I got from New York & Co. I'm going to wear simple black flip flops with this one and a black cami under the dress.

I think I did well for the very short amount of time I had today.

I'll be out of town starting tomorrow until next week. Since Blogger finally lets you schedule blogs to post at a later date I've set up a few. I'll be back next week and am already dreading the 9,534,882 blogs that I'll have in my Google Reader. Ha!

Be safe and have fun. See you guys soon.


In which I title this with 'In which' because it seems everyone else is doing it, too.

I want some dresses. Cute dresses that I can throw on during the weekend and be comfortable but snazzy looking. Work appropriate dresses that I can dress up or down. A date dress for all the dates I go on. (Can you see my eyes rolling?)

Here's my criteria:

  • Can be sleeved or with straps, but MUST have wide enough straps to conceal bra straps. My girls need support and not everyone needs to see that support. Spaghetti straps don't cut it for me. Strapless bras are a total joke.
  • No shorter than just above the knee. I'm 30, it's innapropriate. That and I've inherited the spider vein gene.
  • No longer than just below the knee. Longer than that and I look short and squat. And on my 5"4' frame I certaintely don't need to look shorter.
  • Must not cost an arm and a leg. I don't mind spending a good chunk if I love the dress, I just want to be able to make my mortgage payment. My mortgage company wants the same.

With that, any have suggestions or links?

My closet thanks you.


I too, am a Hungry Girl.

My youngest son's babysitter, and friend, Debi bought a cook book recently that I had heard of. I still can't remember where I heard about the book from, but I distinctly remember hearing about it. In the book is a recipe for low fat peanut butter fudge. Is that an oxymoron or what? That was all it took. I'm soooo there.

I went to my favorite online shop that carries practically everything you could ever want and placed my order for the cookbook. It finally came in the mail after a few days and I couldn't wait to crack it open and see what recipes were inside. Boy was I surprised to see that the recipes were extremely low in fat and calories and a lot of the recipes were insanely high in fiber. Weight Watchers people, you know that's a good thing. I was also surprised that these were simple enough recipes with just a few ingredients for most of the recipes. This pleases the 12 year old in the family because he can pronounce all the ingredients.
I made a grocery list and headed to my local store to stock up on stuff to make a few recipes for my family and a few things just for me.

My first recipe I made was Jalapeno Swappers. It's jalapeno poppers without the popping of the pants that become too tight because of all the fat and calories. Now, I'm no expert on jalapeno poppers at all because, honestly, I've never even had them at restaurants but that's neither here not there. I took photographic evidence to show you guys this recipe. The ENTIRE recipe is only 4 points for you Weight Watcher's fans. I could only eat 1/2 of it and was satisfied.

See the recipe book in the background? It's my new bible. In the front we have 5 fresh jalapenos, store brand fat free cream cheese and fat free cheddar cheese. The background shows my lovely pepper and salt mills, Egg Beaters and Fiber One cereal. Don't get all freaked out with the cereal part. I promise, it's not that bad.

In the recipe book it specifically says to be careful with the jalapenos. I've worked with jalapenos before and I should have known better. I think my eye is still stinging because I stuck my finger in my eye. I know.

This is the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper mixed together.

The Fiber One is the 'breadcrumbs'. Get it?! It's awesome and that's how you get all the good-for-you fiber.

Nicely ground. I just love my mini food processor.

Egg Beaters and 'breadcrumbs' ready and waiting!

Jalapenos stuffed and ready to be dipped.

Ready to be baked. See my much loved baking sheet? I really need a new one.

Hot out of the oven. YUUUUMMMMMY!
The only thing I would have done differently was to cook them longer because I got the hottest batch of jalapenos on the planet earth. My eyes were watering and my nose was dripping like a faucet. But they were so good, I couldn't stop.
Since I made this recipe I've made several more with many more on an upcoming menu. I made a low fat, low calorie version of an Egg McMuffin...only 3 points. A version of Rice Krispy treats that were only 1 point. And lastly, Chili Cheese Nachos aka OMG THESE ARE FREAKIN' AWESOME, at 4 points per serving! And tonight we had pepperoni pizza at 3 points pers serving. I plan to make Shepard's pie and 'fried' chicken strips sometime this week.
Is it obvious I'm in love with my cookbook? Maybe just a touch.
If you want your own cookbook you can get it at probably any book store. Here's where I got mine.
Also, you can sign up online to get newsletters and recipes sent straight to your inbox. How cool is that?


He's gone.

My grandpa Jack passed away last night. I got the call at 6:30am this morning.

He was a very sick man for the past few years. A stroke caused him to be a mere shell of who he was that I remember as a kid.

I tell you what though, I'm relieved. I hate death, but I hated his quality of life more. I hated that he could barely talk. I hated that he needed to be strapped into a wheelchair to prevent him from falling. I hated that he couldn't express his thoughts and feelings. I hated that he just wasn't him.

My grandpa was a magician back in the day and I hope he's chillin' in heaven pulling little foam rabbits out of the ears of the kids up there like he used to do with me.

Grandpa, I'm so sorry you never got to meet Jackson, but I know that you will know him in your heart. Please watch over us all and remember, a magician never tells his secrets.