Sunday, May 31, 2009

Everyone loves a girly girl!

Sophia thoroughly enjoys her Pretty Pretty Princess game that Aunt Meg gave her for Christmas. Here she is donning almost every piece of jewelry from the game, and then some.

The hubby refers to this as her "Mr. T. Starter Kit".

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Finds on Etsy: Laundry Day

Everyone has one. Some people (like myself) have more than one a week. It's the dreaded laundry day. I loathe it. The actual washing/drying itself is easy...just toss into the machine. But the folding, ironing and putting away? No thanks.

But with these treasures from Etsy, I may just be a little more into this aspect of being a domestic goddess.

First, here's a great vinyl cling for your walls from Empressive Designs.
Next is a gorgeous ironing board cover by City Chic Country Mouse. I really love this fabric. I'd even consider ironing more if I had this cover.

And lastly, for those of you who don't have a dryer or just like that fresh scent of line-drying outside, here's an ADORABLE clothespin bag from Turvys. Love it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jonah-isms: part 6

Jonah's done with the school year, a fact which Noah loathes entirely. Yesterday on his first day of summer break, he was quite the inquisitive child. He was asking all kinds of questions all day long. But my favorite went something like this.

Jonah: "Know what momma? Yesterday while we were playing outside we saw some lovebugs."
Me: "Oh yeah? I think love bugs are gross."
Jonah: "Momma, do lovebugs make people fall in love with each other? Because if they do, then I think they're gross too."
Me (trying my hardest not to laugh): "No baby, they don't make people fall in love. They just look like two bugs that are, erm...kissing. Yeah, two bugs kissing. That's why they call them lovebugs."
Jonah: "Oh. Then I guess they're okay."

Here's a lovely picture of these nasty bugs for those of you who don't have the "fortune" of seeing them on a daily basis.

As long as he doesn't decide to examine one up close and realize that they are, in fact, NOT kissing, we'll be golden.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A glimpse into the future.

Here are my boys, sitting at the bar at Dunleavy's Pub on Sullivan's Island a few weeks back (pre-haircut). They were watching baseball on the big screen. A note to their future girlfriends/wives: You have been warned.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering those who served.

This picture was taken by me last summer at Patriot's Point in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Being a military wife, patriotic holidays like today affect me in a different way than they did before. When I was a teenager, Memorial Day was just another excuse to have a day off and head to the beach, maybe hitting a barbecue after. But now, I realize that this day has huge significance. I will never forget all the men and women who came before me, who have sacrificed so much to keep our country free. There are a handful of veterans in my family, as well as a few who are still active duty. And of course we have so many friends in the armed forces I can't even count them all. Fortunately, all of our military friends are still alive. Sure, I know of people who have made the ultimate sacrifice, but I have never known them personally. But I also know that somewhere down the road, chances are I will be remembering someone close to me on this day.

So today I remember all of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guardsmen who have willingly laid down their lives for our country. I say a silent prayer for their families who have been left behind. I remember my grandfather who, although he passed away well after his service, fought in the Korean War.

Take a moment today and thank a servicemember. You never know how deeply it could touch them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Victory is mine!!

Well, technically the victory belongs to whatever sticky nasty piece of candy got stuck in Noah's hair. But because of trying to comb it out of his long shaggy mess, he decided that long hair wasn't worth it and said "Just cut it off mom. Make it look like dad's." Hooray!! I was really quick to break out the clippers and hand them off to the hubby. We asked Noah 3681684 times if he was SURE he wanted it cut, and he kept saying yes. So cut it we did. He no longer has the messy slob long boy-hair! I'm so happy!

Now if we could only get Jonah to give in to the clippers. Would I be a horrible person if I stuck some chewed up gum in there 'on accident'??

Saturday, May 23, 2009

They're Baaaaaack!

Saw these yesterday when I was at Target.

That's right y'all...the Smurfs are BACK!! The plush ones had DVD's with them...I'm so buying one for my kids!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Finds on Etsy: Teacher Gifts

Today is Jonah's last day of Preschool, so teacher gifts have been on my mind the last couple weeks. I wanted to make them something, but couldn't figure out what. I painted them mugs at Christmas, so I didn't want to do that again. And we're on a pretty tight budget, so it had to be something relatively inexpensive, since there's three teachers to buy for this year. I found this great handprint ribbon from one of my favorite ribbon suppliers, and knew right away what I would make. Teacher key fobs.

I let the boys pick out which backing color they wanted for what teacher, so that each one was a little different. Jonah picked the blue for one of his teachers, and red for the other. Noah picked green. I also have other color choices listed in my shop.

Then I decided to look around on Etsy for other ideas (getting a head start on next year maybe?) And found this great platter from Sweet Pickles Pottery. It's a little more pricey, but maybe you could collect money from all the parents and go in on this one as a class.
And then this awesome clipboard from Kute Klipboards By Amy. What a great idea!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I love the South. Part One.

There are some things here that you just can't find anywhere else. Like this:
That's me. In a rocking chair. At a BASEBALL GAME. How can you not love it here??

Monday, May 18, 2009

Silly Songs with Sophia

Man I love my kids! They do the funniest things, without even meaning to. Sophia just came up and asked me for some "chocka moke" (that's chocolate milk for those who don't speak toddler-ese), and while I was getting her some, she proceeded to dance in front of the fridge and sing this little diddy:

Chocka moke! Chocka moke! Choka moke!
Chocka moke is nummy nummy nummy!
Chocka moke!!

This entire song was done in a grovelly voice-think Cookie Monster saying "Mee loooove cooookieeees".

Yeah, that was a pretty pointless blog entry, but it made me smile on a yucky, rainy day so I thought I'd try to bring a smile to someone else ;)

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Mom's Macaroni Salad

I thought that since Memorial Day is just a week away (!!), I'd do a recipe that's a barbecue favorite. This is a recipe from my mother-in-law, which I'm positive she got from her mother, who had food prepared on the table almost 24 hours a day. All homemade, by the way. Anyway, I love love love this macaroni salad and it's always a big hit for get togethers.

Mom's Macaroni Salad
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced radishes
3/4 cup diced green pepper
3/4 cup diced cucumber
3/4 cup diced dill pickles (I've found it's easiest to use baby dills)
3/4 cup diced olives
1 lb elbow noodles
2 cans tuna
mayo to taste

Cook noodles, drain. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Serve chilled.

It feeds ALOT of people, and if you do happen to have leftovers, it is tasty cold OR warmed up!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Waterfront Park

The weather has been beautiful lately, and with our weekends free, we've been trying to get out of the house with the kids on Saturdays. Money's really tight so we're trying to spend as little as possible. Our usual routine is to hit the beach-we just spend money in the parking meter. But today we went to Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston, and for a whopping $0.60 for 45 minutes in the parking meter, we had a wonderful picnic lunch!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Finds on Etsy: Pinafores

I absolutely LOVE pinafores! They are just so versatile! And when you have growing kids like me, versatile pieces are a staple for their closets! They can be worn over long or short sleeves, or even worn alone in the summer. And some are even reversible! Wear jeans with it in the winter, or shorts or leggings for the summer. Seriously y'all- the possibilities are ENDLESS!
I bought this one (from Aliyah's Hope Chest) for Sophia last fall and got TONS of compliments whenever she wore it.
And here's a view from the back.

Here's some other super cute ones that I'm drooling over currently:

Bees (reverses to white & black dots on the back...way too cute!) from Engelkind Boutique

And these two beauties from Mint Tulip:

There are also sellers on Etsy who sell patterns. You can bet I'll be purchasing from them very soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Philly Beef-Stuffed Sandwich

This is a goodie from Pampered Chef. They suggest you use their 15" round baking stone, but a pizza pan would work just as well. This recipe is great for parties and get-togethers!

Philly Beef-Stuffed Sandwich
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, divided
2 pkgs (10 oz each) refrigerated pizza crust (in the tubes like Pillsbury rolls)
8 oz thinly sliced deli roast beef
8 oz thinly sliced America cheese
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400*.
Heat oil in a 10" skillet over med-high heat until hot. Press garlic into pan. Add bell pepper, onion and 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender. Remove pan from heat.
Unroll one pizza crust onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough out to 12"x9" rectangle. Cover with half the beef, cheese and veggie mixture, leaving 1/2 inch around edges of dough. Starting at the longest side of the rectangle, roll up dough (jelly roll style) and press seam together to seal. Repeat with the remaining crust and filling ingredients.
Place rolls, seam sides down, on baking stone/pan and join the edges together to form a ring, pressing edges together to seal.
In small bowl, combine egg white & water and brush onto the top of the ring. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

These three people are why I am who I am today. A mom.
And if it weren't for my mom, and my grandmas, I wouldn't even be here today. So thanks to my grandmas for gettin' it on with my grandpas and having my mom and dad. And thanks mom & dad for gettin' it on (eew!) and having me!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Finds on Etsy: Whipped Clean Body Wash

I found this outstanding body was on Etsy a few months back and I absolutely LOVE it. It is from GudonyaToo. There's tons more stuff in that shop, but this is my fave. It's called Whipped Clean Body Wash and it is amazing. I have super dry skin. Usually I lotion my hands and arms at least three times a day. But when I use this stuff in my morning shower, I don't have to use lotion ONCE. How awesome is that? And (not that it affects me much) their stuff is Vegan. So it's great for everyone!

It comes in lots of yummy scents like Chocolate Dream or Wild Strawberry just to name a couple, but my favorite is the Tahitian Vanilla. They come in both 4oz and 8 oz jars, so if you just want to sample some, grab a small jar. The 8 oz jar usually lasts me about a month.

Go check them out and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I couldn't just drive away.

Today I was running errands with the toddler (who, by the way wore undies-not panties-all day!) and I had an experience that I just couldn't keep to myself.

We were leaving the craft store and there was an older black man sitting in one of the rocking chairs out front. I didn't really pay much attention to him because I see people sitting in them all the time while they wait for their significant other to be done shopping. He saw Sophia and said "Hello there pretty lady!". She looked over and grinned, and again I didn't really take notice because she gets called cute and pretty all the time when we're out ( I've realized that old people love little girls with pigtails and big old bows). He reached into his grocery bag and held out a sweetgrass rose* and said "Here cutie-want a flower?" Immediately I thought this going to end badly, because he's going to want money for the flower and I have no cash on me, and Sophia's going to have a meltdown right here in the entryway because she wants the flower. She toddled her way over and he said "Ask your momma to purchase you a flower so I can eat tonight". She looked at me expectantly and I told him, my heart breaking, that I didn't have any cash on me, and I was so sorry. He said "Oh, that's alright. She can keep the flower." I asked if he was sure, and he looked at me with very earnest eyes and said "Positively." Sophia held on to that flower and showed every person we passed in the parking lot her 'pitty fower' and it was so sweet. I looked back at the man and he just grinned and rocked.

I got to the car, strapped Sophia in and went to pull out my ID to get into base housing, and saw the corner of a bill sticking out of my wallet. I looked and sure enough, I had $2 in there. I NEVER have cash, and couldn't remember why it was in there. I thought about it and realized that it was money that I was going to give the boys for offering at church on Sunday, but we stayed home because Jonah & Sophia had bad coughs. I was going to use it to grab a couple things yesterday, but my total always came to more than two dollars. This chain of events, coupled with that man's earnest eyes and his desire to just give up one of his precious, handmade sweetgrass flowers (that we've paid $5-7 for before to downtown basketmakers) brought tears to my eyes, and I felt a hand on my heart. I pulled around in the parking lot and put the car in park right in front of the store and the man in the rocker, got out and handed him the two dollars. "I don't understand" he said. I told him that he had given my daughter a flower when we passed him and I said I didn't have any cash, but when I got into the car I saw that I did, so I wanted to give it to him. I apologized that it wasn't much, but told him he could use it for a burger from the dollar menu somewhere. I couldn't just drive away having found that two dollars and knowing he just trying to eat. He thanked me and said "You didn't have to pay for it you know. I just wanted the pretty girl to be happy and have a flower. But thank you for being so honest. It's alot more than I can say for some people. I'm just trying to get by, and it's only because of people like you that I can." I smiled at him and wished him a blessed day, and drove off feeling very happy.

I thought about it all the way home, and told my mom about it on the phone soon after. She said that she maybe he was an angel, and God sent him to 'test' Christians and their hearts. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and she said that it was just too much of a coincidence that we didn't go to church on Sunday and we didn't use the cash during the week, and then this man needed to eat and that money was still in my wallet today. Those two measly dollars might be that poor man's only meal all week.

Things have been a bit on the stressful side for me lately and I've been worrying like you wouldn't believe. But since those fleeting five minutes earlier this afternoon, I've had a peace about me. And I feel like I did the Lord's work today, even in a small, small way.

*Sweetgrass is a tall reed plant that grows in abundance in the marshes all over the lowcountry. The blades of the reeds are wound together to create stunning baskets and wreaths. It is a beautiful art form that has passed down through the generations of black families in the lowcountry whose ancestory dates back to the slave era. They are painstakingly made by hand and take lots of time to complete...sometimes months. The pricetags on these items are not cheap, but it is a way of life for alot of the older generation.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Southern Banana Pudding

This is a recipe that I got out of a magazine (can't remember the name!!) a few years ago. Every time I made it, it was a HUGE hit! It's perfect for spring and summer get-togethers. And it's soooooo yummy!

Southern Banana Pudding

3 cups cold milk
2 pkg (4 serving size each) vanilla flavored instant pudding & pie filling
30 Nilla wafers
3 bananas, sliced
1 tub (8 oz) cool whip whipped topping, thawed

Pour milk into a large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat w/a wire whisk for about 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Arrange half of the wafers on the bottom and up the side of a 2 qt serving bowl. Add a layer of half of the banana slices, and half of the pudding. Repeat layers. Spread whipped topping over top layer of pudding.
Refrigerate for 3 hours or until ready to serve.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Can I see some I.D.?

Yes, Jonah is the youngest on his baseball team. I thought that the age limit for coach pitch was 8 or 9. This catcher looks ANYTHING but 9 or younger. I mean, just look at the height difference between him and Jonah.
Even when the catcher was kneeling he was taller than my little man (who is not a shrimp by any means) !!

It was all I could do not to walk over and have hubby-who just so happens to be one of the boys' coaches-demand to see that boy's birth certificate!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Why God gave me boys, I'll never know.

I grew up in a house full of females. I have two younger sisters, and ZERO brothers. My poor dad was the only male around. Even when we had pets they were girls. So I was not ready for the shopping trip we had a few days ago.

My boys are both playing little league this year, and Noah piped up during practice that he wanted to play catcher. The league rules state that anyone playing the catcher's position has to wear a cup (last year even the girls had to!). Off to Walmart we headed (thank goodness hubby came with) to look for a cup and a jock strap. We found one in his size and man oh man you would've thought the boy won a trophy. He was carrying that sucker around like it was the coolest thing ever. He and Jonah even got into a fight about who got to wear it first (we only bought one). Seriously?? A fight over who gets to wear the cup?! Some things I will just never understand.

Yesterday the boys were playing ball outside with hubby and Noah was "trying out the cup to get used to it". Okay son, whatever you say. Hubby said that as they were walking outside he heard "tink tink tink" and looked back to see Noah knocking the bat against the cup. Oy.

Today was the big day and I heard lots of gems come out of the male mouths in the house, like "Noah is Mr. Cup-man", "junk of steel" and "I have nuts of steel, mom!" I willingly accept all of the prayers anyone would like to send up for me. I'm going to need them.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Finds on Etsy: Analiese Designs

This is one of my favorite sellers on Etsy. Analiese Designs is the very FIRST shop I bought from! While I've been slacking in purchasing from her lately (sorry Rachel!!), I still love her things and wear my pendants all the time. I've given her pendants as gifts, and I always get compliments when I wear one of them out.

Rachel makes fabulous polymer clay pendants, like this one (my first Etsy purchase ever! :) ):
Glass pendants like this:

And tons of other great stuff, like magnets, custom items, and gorgeous rings like this one:

She is really great with customer service! There have been a couple of times that I found a pendant that I had to have, but wanted a different color, so I asked her, and boy did she deliver!!

And with Mother's Day right around the corner, a pendant/ring/magnet from Analiese Designs is the P-E-R-F-E-C-T way to show momma that you love her!