Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reminiscing

Today, as I sit in my sweater, next to my space heater, I'm reminiscing.

A week ago:
Today:
A week ago:
Today:
A week ago:
Today:
If anyone with money to spare wants to donate to my relocation fund let me know.

The (cold, snowy) end.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Walt Disney World on a Budget



In January of 2014, I published my book, Walt Disney World Tips n' Tricks.  The ebook is also available online through Amazon and can be downloaded on Kindles and Ipads and all those other great gadgets. 

This post is now a Chapter Preview - Enjoy!

Chapter 5: Let's Talk Finances...


 Disney World is expensive. There is no way to sugar coat it, and no way to get around it. There are however, a few tried and true methods that take the “ouch” out of our Disney extravaganzas.
 Before I dive in, the cheapest vacation inside Disney World will be value resort, no dining plan, no park hoppers. You will need to bring food into the parks, share purchased meals and work within one park a day. We’ve done it plenty of times and the trip was always a hoot. Life is what you make it.
 Even if you don’t opt to stay in a value resort or bring food into the parks, there are plenty of ways to save and have a memorable trip.

Avoid “Peak” Seasons

 Disney World loves to jack up the prices during peak travel seasons. If you can avoid traveling the week between Christmas and New Year’s, as well as between mid-March and the end of April (think Spring break season), you can save money.
 Unfortunately, the best months to travel to Disney are when most kids are in school. If you can swing taking the kids out of school for a few days, you will be able to plan the most cost efficient trip. We prefer late February into early March and September through mid November. The weather is good, and the crowds are light. We were able to do this for many years, and it enabled us to vacation for much less than if we went during school breaks or holidays. Look at your school calendar and consider taking the family when the kids have a long weekend, such as for President’s Day.

The Money Jar

  The money jar is ongoing in our house, so there is no timeline for this little beauty. The money jar, simply put, is a jar of money. This jar is the home for all our lose change and dollar bills we have lying around at the end of the day.
 It all goes into the jar. 
When we have extra cash we toss in extra. The trick to the money jar is that money that goes in NEVER comes back out. Every day, tossing in change and a few bills will add up to more than you think. Just don’t go pulling out bills every few weeks to pay for pizza.
By the time our annual Disney trip rolls around, the jar usually adds up to anywhere between $150 and $400. If we don't do the meal plan, this money is used for our big vacation dinner. The dinner we plan with princesses or characters. We set this money aside for something we would cringe at paying with money from our checking account.  If we do the meal plan, this money helps pay some of the bill. It takes the edge off the price come payday.
 For all five great moneysaving and budgeting tactics check out my book on amazon - the ebook is a wonderful $4.99 and includes all of my packing, planning, saving, park navigating, toddler toting and staying sane tricks! 

Wishing you a very fun budget friendly trip!  Happy Trails!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Welcome Back to Home-Ville

We pulled into our drive last night around 8pm.  We left our hotel in South Carolina at 8am, which translates to we spent 12 hours in the car.  And seven hours in the car the day before.  And 19 hours in the car the week before.

If I never sit in the front seat of my car again it will be too soon.

Aside from one wrong turn in Washington D.C., which left us in an undesirable neighborhood for four long miles in bumper to bumper downtown traffic, the ride was easy.

And long.

One day I would love to wander off course and visit one of the hundred of towns we passed along the way.  Towns like "Coosawhatchie".
But with four munchkins we only stop when they cry to use the bathroom at least twice or the car is low on fuel.   

Munchkins can hold pee longer than they claim.

Today, back at home, I can't say I'm lovin' the 32 degrees outside my window.  Maybe one day we will muster up the nerve to move south.

To a town like "Coosawhatchie".

Until then, it's flannels and wigwam socks.  And space heaters.  And happy dreams of Florida sunshine.

Happy Sunday.  Make it awesome!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Disney Vacation Album


Our Disney World vacation is slowly coming to a close.  We had an incredible week, which makes saying good-bye mucho stinko.

During the next few days, Disney magic will fade into the distance and reality will smack us right in the face.  Home will bring brisk temperatures and fifteen tons of junk mail that will require careful sifting. 

Sifting through the mail just may be my least favorite post-vacation job.

The upside of returning to the northeast is that Spring is one week closer.  By the time I finish sifting through the junk mail the birds may be singing.

 Magic Kingdom
Ah, the parades.  Nothing beats hundreds of people waving to Mickey from Main Street U.S.A.
 LLG rides Splash Mountain for the first time.  He then rides Space Mountain for the first time.  I wipe a tear as another munchkin graduates from the "waiting with Mom"  club.

My mothership.  And my giant sunglasses.

Epcot
We walk the countries only to sit and eat in America.  The munchkins need to expand their horizons.

Me and the munchkins.  And Moopa's famous "cheeeeessseeee!"

Animal Kingdom
An underwater Hippo. We thought she was pretty snazzy.

LLG takes his first vacation picture while we wait for "big kids" to ride Expedition Everest with Dad.

Hollywood Studios
My most favorite cupcake in the world resides in Hollywood Studios.  I buy it every year and secretly eat it for breakfast while Hubby takes munchkins on Star Tours.

 The Pool
Moopa conquers her fear of the water.  And discovers goggles.

Rockin' the swimmies.

Dad. Son. Refillable Disney mugs.  Mug on right? Fountain soda.  Mug on left?  Mich Ultra.

Downtown Disney
We love Downtown Disney.  The munchkins shop their little hearts out. 

Tomorrow we begin our trek home....reality awaits.

See you Monday!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Walt Disney World: A Magical Place

I have long said that Disney is magical.  There is a "magic" in the air I have never felt anywhere else.  People are happy, customer service is unparalleled, and good things just happen when we are here.

It's tough to explain.  It might be the whimsical music that plays in every park, or that every employee smiles and waves when they pass.  It could be that Disney grounds are cleaner than my yard, or that every phone call to Disney is ended with "Have a magical day!"

They brainwash you with magical-ness.  It's everywhere.  And it makes people happy.  Which makes people pleasant.  Which makes for a great vacation.

There have been a few instances during our many vacations that have solidified our appreciation for Disney magic.  One was many years ago when we were vacationing with some of our best friends.  It was their first trip to Disney.  The first day, after riding Space Mountain, our friend Jeff left his wallet behind. We didn't know this until we stopped to eat lunch across from the Peter Pan ride hours later.

Immediately we were frantic. How would he board the plane home?  What about his money?  Cards?  Park passes?  We rushed to Guest Services, completely panicked. 

But his wallet was returned by the next rider on Space Mountain.  Every dollar still in place.

Yesterday, after a refreshing swim in the pool, Hubby couldn't find his sneakers.  We checked under every lawnchair.  Hubby was annoyed; he thought someone stole his shoes.  I tried not to laugh at the thought of someone eyeing up his Sauconys.  Who would steal sneakers from the pool? 
I was convinced they were taken by mistake.

Either way his shoes were missing.  Hubby asked an employee where they would be if someone happened to return them.  This employee asked our room number.  Hubby couldn't remember.  He gave nothing other than a description of the shoes and his name.

He then moaned all the way to our room, and wore his flip flops out to dinner. 

After dinner, we returned to the room.  Hubby's 10.5 Saucony kicks were right inside the door.

Hubby looked at me.  "All I did was give this guy my name!  I never even told him what room we were in!" 

Magic I tell you.  Magic.

Have a "Magical Day!"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tale of a 19 Hour Road Trip

Thursday evening we departed on our second road trip to Florida.  We live a short nineteen hours away.  Well, seventeen and a half if we hold our bladders, eat from the cooler and only stop for gas.

Hubby always takes the first leg of the trip.  We leave around bedtime and drive until munchkins wake and request breakfast.  I don't like to drive at night, and I don't drive well if I haven't driven the route several hundred times. 

I'm directionally challenged.

Hubby took a nap after work and I kept the house as quiet as four munchkins would allow.   The plan was for me to catch a snooze after we departed, which would get me ready for the post-breakfast leg of the trip I was responsible for. 

Everything went smoothly, and most everyone was prepared for the ride with the essentials.  Pillows, blankets, snacks, movies and drinks.  The only ill-prepared person was me.  I forgot a pillow.  This made my snoozer in the front seat near impossible.  I attempted to rest, curling into a ball, stretching legs out onto dash, and even stealing a stuffed animal from a sleeping munchkin to rest my head on.

Nothing worked. 

Sweet Hubby drove ten hours (nine plus the hour we sat in traffic because of an accident in Maryland), and after breakfast he happily took his place in the front seat.  Since all munchkins were now awake, he was able to use one of their pillows to rest.

He was fast asleep within minutes of me taking the wheel.

Unfortunately, without my nap and someone to chat with, I was holding my cold can of Red Bull to my forehead to keep me awake.  The South Carolina highway was gorgeously clean, and the sun was shining.  And my eyelids were heavy.  Very heavy. 

And Hubby was taking his well deserved slumber in the front seat.

After two and a half hours, Hubby woke up.  And he took one look at me and asked if I was awake.  I lied and said yes.

He asked me again ten minutes later.  I put down the fingers that were holding my eyelids open and I told him no. 

I was ordered to pull over and Hubby once again took the wheel.  I once again sat shotgun, but this time I rested my weary head on a munchkin pillow.  And I took quite a snoozer.

I did offer to drive again later on, but Hubby told me not to worry about it.

We were fifteen minutes from our hotel.

The moral of this mommyhood story?  Pack your own pillow first.
Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mommyhood Hits the Road


Clark Griswald: Roy; can I call you Roy? Have you even driven cross-country? 
 
Roy Walley: Oh, hell yes. Drove the whole family to Florida. Worst 2 weeks I ever spent in my life. The smell from the back seat was terrible.

We're road tripping to Disney.  The dog sitter will be arriving shortly and we are hittin' the road.

All six of us, in our giant "MOM I'm carsick!" SUV.  It's going to be a hoot.

Hubby can't wait.

I wonder if we'll still be married after 20 hours in the car?  We may just divorce ourselves 16 hours in and call it a day.

In the past, we have always flown.  I scoured the internet for airfare until my eyes fried out of my head.  I checked prices every day, all day until I could declare a victory.

This year that wasn't the case.  Victory was not mine.

We drove last year, and the ride down was a breeze.  The munchkins woke up in South Carolina, and with every few miles south the temperature climbed.  The way back?  Now that was torture.  We were tired.  Exhausted.  The weather declined with each hour and the Gymnastics Queen puked in the backseat.


It was interesting, to say the least.  I remember thinking I would rather stick needles in my eyes than drive back from Disney again.

To bypass ride-home misery we booked a room this year.  We shall not be traveling back to the frigid northeast without a stay-over to rejuvenate. 

Tomorrow, for 15 hours I'm going to stuff my face in the front seat with junk food and drive Hubby crazy telling him to watch the road.

And that he's driving too fast.

And ask really stupid questions like, What state are we in? Are you awake?  Do you think we're soul mates? Who killed JFK?

For the other four hours I'm going to pitch in and drive.  Hubby can only take me behind the wheel for four hours, and that's because he'll be sleeping.

It's going to be one hell of a trip.  Stay tuned...

Mommyhood Footnote:  This was a semi-edited-re-post.  In case it looked familiar.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dude, Where's My Car?

I've been a bit scatterbrained lately.  I need warmth and vitamin D to perform at optimal levels.

Yesterday, on my way to work, I stopped at a Sunoco to grab a Red Bull.  These little guys keep the mind sharp when seven tables all need soups, salads or Cosmopolitans.

I parked Hubby's compact commuter car right up front, grabbed $5 from my red purse, and locked the car.  I left my purse in the front passenger seat.  I knew I would only be ninety seconds, maybe less.

I moved swiftly, in my mommy daze, and grabbed my Red Bull.  I hurried out to to the parking lot, unlocked the car and got in.  I turned to put down the Red Bull, and noticed my purse was gone.

My heart jumped.  Oh my gosh, my purse was stolen! 

I looked around to see if it was on the floor.  Maybe it fell.  There was nothing. 

Frazzled and confused I sat there, looking around me.  This car is really clean.  Where is my purse?  

What's my name again?

And then it hit me, like a ton of bricks.

It wasn't my car.

It was a brown SUV, and I was sitting in the driver's seat ready to drive it to work.  I tried to look inconspicuous as I opened the door and hopped in my tiny Honda two spaces down.

I think only one concerned citizen witnessed my idiocy.  Thank heavens.

Have a fab Wednesday.  I'm glad Tuesday is behind me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine Morning

This morning we gathered for a Valentine breakfast around our Valentine table and we handed out Valentines.

There was mucho "Valentining" going on.

Here, in pictures, is a glimpse into our "love" themed morning.

My table.
Their breakfast.
My breakfast.
And the best little homemade Valentine's in the world.
Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Marshmallow Brownies

On Saturday, I had one of those monster playdates that aims to repay moms that have hosted my munchkins time and time again.  I grab a Starbucks, purchase extra snacks and let the kids run hog wild for an afternoon.
 
I thank my lucky stars we were able to (mostly) finish the basement after we moved in a few years ago.  It's a fab place for munchkins to have puppet shows.  And play school.  And rummage through all the toys I banished from my living areas.

Saturday afternoon, while our basement was being destroyed and belly laughs were being shared, I cranked up the oven and made marshmallow brownies.

Warm brownies are the perfect post belly-laugh treat.  They are the perfect post anything treat.

These brownies, like everything that begins in my kitchen, are rather simple.  You can make your life more difficult and bake your brownies from scratch, I let Betty Crocker take care of the legwork.

Either way, the marshmallow is what makes the brownie.  And these brownies are marshmallow-y to the max.

Top with strawberry marshmallows for a Valentine's Day treat.

Marshmallow Brownies

1 box fudge brownie mix (any variety), prepared**
1  1/2 cups mini marshmallows, (any variety. Jet Puffed makes mint, chocolate and other neat flavors)

**(Mommyhood Brownies is my killer, fool proof from-the-box-recipe.  Use it as needed.)

Prepare brownie mix.  Generously grease 9x13 baking pan.  Add brownie mixture and bake brownies according to package directions.  Remove brownie pan from oven with 5 minutes left to bake.

Sprinkle marshmallows over top of brownies.  Distribute marshmallows evenly.  Place brownies back in oven for 3-5 minutes.

Remove and use knife to gently spread marshmallow over brownies.  Let cool 10 minutes, cut and serve while warm.

From here you inhale and share.

These are also delicious after they have cooled.  Marshmallow works on just about anything in my house.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Houston, We Have Head Lice

I had an interesting afternoon.  To say the least.

A few days ago the letter came home that head lice was discovered in my son's classroom.  I get this notice every year.  And every year I disregard it.  I take the "it won't be my kid" stance and continue about my day.

I'm pretty sure I even used the back of the "Lice Letter" as scrap paper for the munchkins.  Far be it from me to waste good scrap paper.

This afternoon, the school nurse called.  I'm always eager to hear which munchkin is currently in "holding" and what the ailment is.  I like to speed guess in my head as she starts the , "Hi, this is the school nurse calling..."

LLG looked pale this morning...no, maybe Sports Fanatic fell during recess football...

"We have your daughter here..."

Gymnastics Queen? Please don't be vomit...she takes forever to kick that bug...I wonder if....ah man, did she just say LICE?!?!
 
"You'll have to come pick her up and treat her for lice.  It's not serious, but we did find the nits..."

Nits?!?!

In my ten years of motherhood I've never had to deal with nits, lice, Rid or seven hundred million loads of laundry awaiting a hot soak in the machine.

There is always a first time for everything.  And, if any of my munchkins were susceptible to bring home lice, it would be the one with hair to her waist.

I'm blessed to have a darling friend, "Miss Maria", who takes things in stride like I do.  She came to the nit rescue, arriving at my house armed with lice removal supplies.  We lathered the medicated shampoo, rinsed thoroughly and untangled my daughter's gorgeous head of waist long hair. 

This was just the beginning.

We sat her in a chair where the sun shines through the window, and examined her scalp.  With a super fancy "nit removal" comb, we got to work.  We combed.  And combed.  And combed until every little egg was extracted and left to die.

Here is my daughter inquiring about the tool we were about to use to remove nits from her head.  Forgive the picture quality, the cell was all I had on hand to capture the memories.

After two hours, the lice were running for their lives.  We showed them no mercy.

Once her scalp was clear, I sent her to shower and Miss Maria left to examine her daughter for lice.  The girls had just had a sleepover a few days before.  Isn't that always how the cookie crumbles?

I then spent my afternoon washing every pillowcase, bedsheet and comforter in the house.  I vacuumed the couches, pillows and the floors.  I boiled combs, brushes and clips.

And right before the school bus pulled up to deliver my lice-free offspring, the phone rang.  It was one of my daughter's classmates.  This friend was not at school today.  The next thing I heard was my daughter sharing, "I have lice too!"

Good to know I wasn't the only parent combing nits this afternoon.

I shall spend the next week checking all my munchkins for lice every morning, and giving my daughter a follow up treatment in ten days.

Lice are a part of life.  I'm sharing our experience because I thought it would never be our house dealing with lice.  But it happens.  No sense hiding or pretending or trying to find the source.  As with everything, we deal with it and move on.

And if you can laugh through the lathering, combing and house cleansing it's not so bad.  It's even better if you can find a friend to share in the experience.

Thanks Miss Maria.  I think all the head lice have officially abandoned ship.

Wishing all my lovely readers a fab, lice free weekend.

(You can stop itching your scalp now.)

For more information on head lice, click here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ugg Boots

What goes best with Ugg Boots?

Feet Pajamas.

Moopa's footsies have never been in such paradise.  Or more cozy warm.

If only we all could look so fab in this ensemble.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Valentine's

This morning, I perused Pinterest for some homemade Valentine's.  Pinterest never disappoints.  And if you care to follow me, I'm Jodiem22.

I'd be pleased to "pin" with you.

Today I share my current favorites, of the homemade variety.


This year, for convenience I have gone the generic $2.00 for a box of 32 Valentines route (gasp).  We went with 3D googly eyed wild animals and cutesy furry animal sticker puzzles.  To make these more exciting we added heart shaped lollipops.

We're packing for a trip to Disney World (more on this later), and this year Valentine's Day just crept up on me.

Little creeper.

Happy Wednesday everyone.  Make it as awesome as you are.  I get to spend hundreds of dollars on new tires this morning.  Yes, tires.  They are everything I ever wanted and more....grrrr....

Good thing on the way is a drive-thru Starbucks.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Girl's Birthday Party Idea: Jewelry Boxes


I'm always looking for different and easy birthday party ideas.  With four munchkins we can also toss affordable into that mix.

Just about two years ago, for my daughter's 7th birthday, I decided to have the girls paint jewelry boxes.  I was perusing Michael's Craft Store when I came across small wooden trinket boxes for around $1.00-$2.00 a box.

I couldn't resist.  I was suddenly seven years old again and these jewelry boxes were exactly my cup of birthday party tea.

While at Michael's, I purchased pastel paints, "jewels" to glue on the boxes, brushes and paint markers.  I also reserved the party room.

No clean up?  I couldn't resist.

A quick stop to Wally Word (aka Walmart) for plastic (or foam) cups, plastic jewelry (sold in sets in party aisle), fake tattoos (more on that later) and I was fully stocked for party greatness.

If you are hosting this extravaganza at your house, don't forget several cheap tablecloths.

Before the party, I personalized the boxes with each girl's name.  I painted the top center section, let it dry, and used the paint markers to personalize.

Once they were dry I covered the personalization with masking tape, so each girl could freely paint and glue around it.  I also carefully covered hinges and the front lock.  I rationalized that even if a girl slopped paint all over it (there's always one) once the tape was removed the box would still look snazzy.

It's all about preparation.

The day of the party, the girls decorated the jewelry boxes first.  The table was covered a paper tablecloth, and between each girl was a bowl with jewels, glue, paints and cheap brushes.  Using disposable items makes for very easy clean up.

The girls finished at their own pace, so to keep them busy we had a "tattoo table" with glitter tattoos. You can also set up a bracelet stringing table with string and beads.  This is wonderful for them to make jewelry for their new box.

Once all the girls were finished we had pizza, cake, and opened presents. 

Before leaving, each girl received a goodie bag with candy and play jewelry for their new jewelry boxes.

And then Michael's cleaned the mess.  Hallelujah.

I love this party idea because it's affordable and the girls leave with an item they created.  Goodie bags can include edible necklaces and ring pops, and decorations are simple and easy.  And it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to reserve the party room at a craft store.  Michael's charged $50, and this includes clean up and a "host".

I will forewarn here that having a "host" means having extra hands.  Don't expect to sit back and enjoy the show.

Happy planning.  If you are just reading because you read my blog, you're awesome.  And to you I say Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lickin' the Wounds

In case you missed it, yesterday was the Superbowl.  It was an incredible game.  Both teams made mistakes, both teams made incredible plays.

But the winner is the team who does it when it needs to be done.

My Patriots came up short, AGAIN.  I take comfort in a few things, one of them being I like the Giants.  Being a "New York girl", it's tough to go against the Giants.  They're hometown and they are in my blood.

I pull for the Giants the same way I pull for the Saints.  There are teams I enjoy and respect.  And they make football what it is.

But when I married Hubby, our first house was in New England.  We lived there when we discovered what marriage is about, and we lived there when our Sports Fanatic was born.  I guess that's where my Patriots love began.

I love many teams, they just happened to be the team that stuck with me.

But the Patriots made enough mistakes and missed enough receptions to lose the Superbowl yesterday.  There were many expletives that flew from my mouth in the fourth quarter.  Filth flarn filth.  It was a nail biting, adrenaline infused evening.

It was exactly what you hope a Superbowl to be.  It was a down-to-the-last-minute dogfight.  And my team came up short.

Dinglebutts.

I woke up in the middle of the night, confused and discombobulated.  And I had to think about why I was so out of sorts.

And then I remembered those dingleberries lost the Superbowl.  Again.  And I went back to sleep, grieving that football season is over.

Congrats to the Giants, it was a great game.  I'm not a heckler, never have been.  And I'm glad that if my Patriots had to lose, it was to good ole' New York.

I may have started my family in New England, but we reside here in New York.  It's almost a win-win.

Almost.

Is it pre-season yet?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Superbowl Craft: "Go Team" Tees!

A quick pre-game post for all my lovely readers.  I felt it necessary to move on from my previous post about poop.

I can only open my blog so many times and relive that horror.

For the munchkins, the Superbowl isn't the same as it is for all us "big kid" fans.  The little ones have to wait around all day for a game to start, and they don't really know what the fuss is about.

They know the food is plentiful, and they will be allowed to run amuck for a few hours, but most munchkins aren't placing bets and talking football.

Or are they?

Tomorrow, to give the munchkins a little "Superbowl Spirit", grab some old tee shirts.  Run to Walmart, Michaels or any craft store in the morning to buy some puff paints.  Or felt markers.  Or glitter.  Or iron-ons.

Spend $5 and grab anything to decorate a shirt.

And then tell your kiddos to pick a team, decorate as such, and get crazy.  I promise you they will Superbowl ready in no time!

Eat plentifully and have fun tomorrow!
(Last Year's Masterpieces)
(Gooooooo Patriots!)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hello Feces, GoodBye Dyson

Earlier this week I vacuumed a fresh pile of dog feces and it sprayed all over my Dyson vacuum.

It was certainly a new experience.  Have you ever vacuumed fresh dog sh*t?  It's interesting.  And disgusting.  And I'd probably rather stick needles in my eyes.

The "incident" occurred Monday morning.  I was minding my own business, vacuuming away when there was a small thump.  And something shot out from under my vacuum.

It was a chunk of poop.

After I threw up in my mouth and screamed at our dog, I called Hubby.  The plan was to make him clean the mess.  I don't even clean shoes with dog poop on them, let alone a vacuum.  My gag reflex can only handle so much feces. 

The munchkins have steadily filled my feces tolerance quota over the past 10 years.

Hubby agreed to attempt to clean out the Dyson.  I then left the vacuum at the scene of the crime and went to Starbucks for a coffee.  And then to Target for retail therapy.  I had no where else to turn.

But when I left for work Tuesday evening, I changed my mind about our Dyson.  I left Hubby strict instructions to dispose of our $500 vacuum.  I knew I could never look at it the same again.  I would forever see (and smell) the horrid morning that I neglected to see a pile of dog crap on my rug.

My beloved Dyson was forever tainted by feces.


I am now in the market for a new (cheap) vacuum.  Quality furniture and/or appliances belong no where near my residence.

Hubby and I shall live a frugal existence until everyone knows how to color on paper, crap in the yard or on the toilet and eat at the table.

I'm not holding my breath.

Here's to the weekend.  This Mama could use it. xoxo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Superbowl Fare

This week supermarkets all across the country are slashing prices on snack foods, soda and party platters.  There are football cupcakes in the bakery and cases of beer stacked sky high aside the registers.

I smell Superbowl Sunday.

Today I'm sharing my favorite Mommyhood recipes for anyone preparing food for Sunday's "Big Game".  They are palate tested and Mama approved.  You can also rest assured they are easy, because they were prepared in my kitchen.  

I'm not known for my culinary expertise.

Don't forget to comb through Pinterest, because hundreds of decorating, meal planning and dessert ideas await.

For an easy dessert, bake cupcakes and frost with team colors.  You can swirl frosting with knife of go the "1/2 and 1/2" style (think Black and White Cookie).

Hope you're looking forward to some excellent eats this weekend.
Have a fab Thursday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

(An Unsuccessful) Kitchen Update

With the start of the new year came my desire to "freshen" up the house.  Unfortunately limited funds only allow for limited updates, there could be no design overhaul at casa Mommyhood.

I walked from room to room, dissecting what worked and what didn't work.  Every room had definite possibilities, and I battled with myself over what I wanted to work on the most. 

After treating our oldest to new paint in his bedroom, I decided the kitchen was our room.  We could update the paint on the wood doors, make an accent wall and change the counters.  A new sink would be divine.  I had so many ideas in my brain it short circuited from information overdrive (and how I was going to find the money to make these updates).

Ignoring the money concerns, I went to Home Depot (or as Hubby calls it, "Home Cheapo") and brought home dozens of paint swatches.  I held them up to the couches in the room off the kitchen, up to the walls, the doors, the pictures, hubby's face and the dog.

I try to get a real feel for the paint.

I carefully selected what needed to be deep, golden "mustard yellow" to bring out one of the colors in my couches.  And to keep the change simple and understated.

The result was not "golden".  It certainly wasn't  "mustard."  We were lookin' at yellow.
The doors remained this shade of yellow for a few days.  I went back to Home Cheapo and brought home more swatches.  Hubby agreed we needed to go a completely different route, because choosing yellow shades can backfire.

As it did for us.

We went back to the swatches and chose cranberry.  Once again, I held up my selected swatch to the couch.  And the walls.  And the current walls.  And then I loaded Moopa into the car and bought more paint.

Last night while I was at work Hubby was kind enough to paint the doors.  It's safe to say, as with the yellow and the "mustard", this ain't no "cranberry".
These doors are r-e-d.  And Every time I look at my kitchen I can't decide if the final coat will make them just right, or if I hate them so much nothing will alleviate the pain.

It's a fine line sometimes.

And so today I am thinking I'll head to Lowe's. And if you hear a faraway scream from somewhere in the overpriced northeast, it's because Hubby came home to another can of paint.

Happy "Hump" Day (giggle)!