Thursday, March 31, 2011


While writing my last post, I was reminded about how M gave up Target for 40 days last year during Lent.  Even though I'm about three weeks late, I've finally decided what I'm giving up for Lent.  For the next forty days (until May 10, 2011), I will forgo buying any pantry items.  My pantry is already packed-filled.  I literally can't fit anything else in it (although I somehow need to find a place for the 21 baby food puree pouches I couldn't pass up today at Target).  Need proof?

Yes, for the next forty days, I will get creative and finally find a use for the 12 unopened bottles of salad dressing and 20 cans/jars of fruit, vegetables, etc. taking up space. 

Wish me luck!

Hugs to our followers,

Target is Like an Old Friend...

Photo found here
 Isn't it wonderful when you see an old friend after a few weeks/months/years?  You can pick up right where you left off and welcome each other back into your life with open arms.  I feel the same way about Target.  I try not to go there often.  I'll walk in to pick up one or two things and walk out with a cart full of "essentials".  But every time I leave a Target, I think, "What a wonderful shopping experience!".  I love that I can shop for bathing suits, car seats, patio furniture, cooking gadgets, groceries and toys all at one place. 

I walked in to Target today to get Goosey triangular crayons for Easter (thanks for the recommendation, Melissa!).  Fifty-one dollars and sixteen cents later, I walked out with crayons (two kinds!), baby food (I was so excited to see these puree pouches for less than $1 each.  What a deal!!!), juice (cheapest place I've found V8 fusion), tea (only place I've found decaf Tazo Decaf Chai!) , infant ibuprofen (half the price as the grocery store!), and orange juice (I REALLY like OJ!).

I spent so long walking up and down the aisles that Goosey fell asleep in the cart (sitting up!)

Ah, Target.  You are wonderful!  Welcome back to my life!

Hugs to our followers,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let Me Entertain You...

Or rather, you continue entertaining me Mr. Tord Korsvik! (Side note: Why isn't there a younger version of Mr. like there is for Mrs. with Ms./Miss?)I found this video on the interwebs of an amazing 10 year old kid on “Norway’s Got Talent”. Check it out…

I wish they wouldn’t have cut away to the judge’s reactions so often because I NEED MORE TORD! That little dude is adorable and way cooler than I am/ever will be. The judge they repeatedly show scares me a little bit- he looks like he wants to murder Tord (see 1:01 and 1:13). Keep dancing Tord, when we get our own talk show from this blog you can be one of our first guests!!!


The Styled Ponytail

For years I have wished that I could pull off a classy ponytail but all of my attempts resembled the careless look of just returning from the gym.

So imagine my surprise when LC told me this weekend that my hair looked very a ponytail! And this compliment was for real because I didn't even prompt her with my normal cues like "On a scale from 1-10, how horrendous is this ponytail?" Perhaps my awkward bangs have finally proven their worth!

I may have to break Mean Girls, Gretchen Wieners', rule and wear my hair in a ponytail more than once this week. I think I just might...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Sunday Funday during mother/daughters weekend included a phenomenal brunch at Eden Resort which can only be described as inducing a party in your mouth. The pianist played Billy Joel which was an immediate crowd pleaser and with every bite, I kept repeating "This is the best thing I've ever eaten." LC would probably give her blue ribbon award to the silky peanut butter pie but the creamy barley risotto topped my list as the winner. Best. Thing. Ever.

Once I got back to the real world, I was sort of wishing I was relaxing in the villa and in the company of my mom and sisters. Here were some more highlights of our weekend:



Say Cheese for Cheese

Rarely do I make something that is picture worthy, but I couldn't resist with this cheese plate.  It consisted of parmesan, bleu, goat, cheddar and swiss cheeses, two types of crackers, three types of dipping mustard and salami, pepperoini, and prosciutto.  I bought the olives from the olive bar at the grocery store, but made the oven-dried tomatoes myself.  I also made no-knead peasant bread to serve with this cheese platter, but it wasn't picture worthy (despite the fact it took 3 days and a broken wooden spoon to make).

I'm sorry to say that this beautiful platter shattered into THOUSANDS of pieces the next day.  Luckily the food was happily packed away in my stomach. 

Next step, getting grown-up cheese knives, these cute cheese markers and these wine glass markers

Hugs to our followers,

p.s. Check out these wine lines, especially "Nutty with a Kick."  What a perfect way to describe the wine (or your guests) during your next party!

Monday, March 28, 2011


LC recently posted about traditions and we have a new one to add to the list! I just returned from the first annual mother/daughters weekend and can't believe it took us this long to start yearly girls trips like this. We had so much fun.

The cast of characters (from L to R): My sister, Ann, Me, my mom, LC and my sister-in-law, Shannon.

We met in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and I soon discovered the city has much more to offer than just Amish Country. In fact, I had to wait until Sunday afternoon for my anticipated horse and buggy sighting.

Below are some pictures from the Lancaster Central Market, which I loved.

More pictures to come...hang tight.



An Open Letter to Colin Andrew Firth...

Dear Mr. Firth,
        May I call you Colin? Good. You may call me “Melinda”, in your British accent it will sound delightful. (I tried to get Google translator to say it with a British accent but I was not successful. FAIL Google, major fail). After some time it may become quite annoying for you to continue addressing me by my full name since nobody calls me Melinda except for telemarketers and nuns, so let’s come up with an endearing nickname for me shortly. Now, where to begin… Ah, yes. I love you! I’ve been thinking it over and I’ve come to the simple conclusion that I do actually love a stranger I’ve never met and that stranger is you (good luck trying to tell my heart you’re a stranger- ha!). I’m not exactly sure when all these feelings started- it seems like you’ve been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I guess I first noticed you in “Circle of Friends” but you were not a very nice character, shame-shame, and your facial hair was confusing.

Indeed, I worried for your future had you continued accepting roles of that nature. However, you quickly stole my heart in your portrayal of one of my all time favorite characters. Of course I am referring to your performance as Mr. Darcy in the miniseries adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice”.

Be Still My Heart...

I saw the television event back when it first aired and I have since owned it on VHS and now DVD. It is watched in completion a minimum of 3 times a year (at least twice between Christmas and New Years- Happy Holidays!). The best part about the movie is your devilish little grin- let’s take a moment to soak that in.

There was one part of the film that concerned me and I’d like to address that now. For the past 15 years I’ve wondered about this…

First of all- you’re adorable. Second, can I borrow those boots? Third, so… Mr. Darcy arrives back at Pemberley and instead of greeting the household or getting his tired horse some food, he decides to dive in the lake just sitting in front of his house?!?! WHAT WHAT WHAT were you doing???

I mean, I know Darcy had a long ride from the city (ps- pretty horse!) but he had a gorgeous mansion with MAN SERVANTS waiting to make him a hot, clean bubble bath about 50 yards away. Instead you chose another option- you dove into some natural watering dish with algae floating on top, FULLY CLOTHED (always so modest), and opened your eyes under water without goggles (guess who though of the perfect Xmas gift for you!). Let me remind you that not 3 minutes later you tell Elizabeth’s uncle about all the great fishing you do there. WHY would you dive into a murky puddle filled with animals you later plan to eat and the remains of the dirty bait you used to catch them??? The only good thing to come of that horrible decision was this photo…

Work It

Look, this is a lot to take in. No need to feel defensive, I just wanted to point out the horrors I face every time I watch that scene. I think I will stop here for now, but have no fear- there will be more letters in your future. We’re only up to 1996 in your career and don’t even get me started about this year’s Oscars!!

Don't frown- you can sneak back to the pond later

Looking forward to our future correspondences!
Your loving friend and admirer,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On the edge of my seat...

For those of you that love basketball, you understand what March can bring.  In my house, it brings a lot of yelling, chearing, squeezing of pillows, jumping up and down, tears, and frustration.  I'm sure my blood pressure rises quite a bit this month but I love it. As my husband said the other day "it's the best time of year where you don't get gifts."

As I'm writing this I am waiting for the last game before the Final Four to be played. It's the UNC/Kentucky game.  I just watched my second favorite team (Kansas) get beat by VCU...I'm in shock. I'm unable to move from the couch but somehow I need to refocus so that Carolina has my full attention.

Go Heels!
So, I hope all of our readers out there are enjoying their Sunday afternoon whether it's watching basketball or not.  But, if you happen to be one of those basketball fans, please cheer for the Tar Heels. :)  I'd appreciate it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My next project...

I admit that I have a problem.  If you were to see the piles and piles of recipe books, magazines, and printouts of recipes, you'd understand.  I love organizing things so I try desperately to keep it all contained into well labeled binders....but it has gotten out of control.  I blame my mom. It's her fault that she introduced me to this world.  Ironically, the majority of my recipes are for baking (cakes, cookies, cupcakes, icings...yum) while hers are for meals and appetizers.  We compliment each other well. :)

Anyways, baking is my release. It's what I do when I'm stressed, bored, happy, sad, irritated, frustrated, excited...I can use anything as an excuse to bake.  But, my list of things I want to bake is rapidly outnumbering the days in the year. I don't have time to do it all (or eat the calories)!  Here are some of my current ideas for the next project to tackle.

1. Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter icing.  Totally not my cup of tea but my husband and his family LOVE this combination. I may test it out for them soon.

Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa
 2. Oreo Cookie Truffles.  Do I need any explanation?

Courtesy of Bakerella
3. Pretty floral cupcakes. I learned how to make this flower last summer in class but never did it again. I think I need to whip out my piping skills soon.
Courtesy of Martha Stewart
4.  Kate's previous post made me think of these pretty things. Don't they just look darling? It'd be great for a bridal shower or something in the spring time.

Courtesy of Martha Stewart
5. And look at that detail! I need to figure how they did this. What a fun way to make a cake look special.

Courtesy of Martha Stewart
6. And lastly, since Easter is coming up, these chocolate eggs are calling my name. 
Courtesy of Taste of Homes

What will I actually make and how long will it take me? Who knows?! I reserve the right to change my mind depending on my mood and current cravings!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I laughed in the rain.

{photo via flickr}

I had a delightful night with some friends filled with manicures, peanut butter soup and drinks. It was the perfect evening for my Wednesday Hump Day celebration.

On the way home, I got caught in a sudden lightening storm and found myself thinking of two of my favorite men: my dad and my grandfather.

When I was young, I would sit with my dad on the back porch during a storm, huddled in blankets, listening to the rain. We didn't talk. We just enjoyed the thunder and watched the rain fall. It's one of my favorite childhood memories.

One day in high school, I came home from a drenching field hockey practice and my grandfather asked, "How'd it go?" I responded, "Well, it rained so..." And he then told me a piece of advice I've never forgotten. He said, "Laugh in the rain."

So, that's what I did tonight. I smiled at the memory of my grandfather and his endearing goofiness. I was amused by my soggy shoes and dripping pants. I figured I was already wet, so I jumped in some puddles and giggled in spite of myself.

A good friend once told me "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." and so I laughed about that too. I thought about my life and how it hasn't followed my "plan". I laughed about how unpredictable things can be and how accepting I've become with the unexpected.

Wet and all, it was a very good night.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Looking for Emily

This story pulls at my heartstrings. A poor DC husband has been searching for his missing wife for two days. I'm hoping this post will help put the word out for district residents to keep an eye out.

Find Emily

More information is on the Facebook Page. A few extra prayers are being sent their way.


I know, I know, I know times are changin'...

I really have nothing exciting to report. I've been battling a sinus infection/allergy issues. My car is overdue for inspection. I think that Hines Ward was adorable on “Dancing With the Stars” last night. And today, I had a bagel from Panera for breakfast. (Please try to remain calm, these were intense revelations). The only thing of any substance to write about is the TRADGIC loss of my friend Lori Dean. No, she did not pass away (thank god), but she and her family moved back to Texas :(

I’ve been very lucky to not have had many friends move away (Full disclosure: one must have “many” friends to begin with for previous statement to apply, but still…). And I'm spoiled by the fact that, with one exception (Katie) all of my friend's parents still live near me so I at least see them during the holidays even if they live far away. But now one of the very best friends in the entire world is moving back to her home state of Texas, never to return to Pennsylvania again. I’m being slightly dramatic about her move, but it really is one of THE WORST THINGS EVER to happen to me. Lori is just one of the greatest people you’ll ever meet and she has been an incredible pillar of support for me. As she keeps saying, she is only a phone call away, but it will be sad to not be able to drop by her house and chat the night away. Plus, she gives some of the best hugs in the world and those don’t translate through the phone (Stupid cell phones can’t do anything!!) I’m going to focus on planning a super fun trip to visit her in Dallas as soon as I can. But until then, I’ll just keep listening to “Purple Rain” on repeat.

Me and my Little Mexican Love Dove

My lovely wedding date
Celebrating my birthday

 I miss you already Lori. Can't wait to come visit you, Perry and the kids in TX!!!

Favorite Songs

I'll be the first to admit that I have terrible taste in music.  I didn't realize this until 2007 when I was driving in the car with Kate (my own flesh and blood!) when she changed "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn for "Fergalicious" by Fergie.  I didn't say anything at the time, but in my head I was thinking "Who in her right mind would trade a 1991 classic for Fergie???"  As it turns out the answer is most of Generation Y. 

In an attempt to defend my taste in music (and convert some of my nay-sayers), here are my five favorite songs.  Listen to them.  I promise they aren't all terrible!

1.  Steve Azar--Sunshine (a big thanks to Ben and Carolann for introducing this song to me!)

2. The Corrs and Bono--When the Stars Turn Blue

3.  Mika--Grace Kelly

4.  Eva Cassidy--Somewhere Over the Rainbow

5.  Billy Joel--To Make You Feel My Love

Hugs to our followers,

Monday, March 21, 2011


I had a lovely weekend in Philadelphia with my siblings. In between my disgraceful performace during Mario Cart and watching many many basketball games, I hung around with these cute little guys:

1. Goo
2. Goosey
3. Patchy
4. Nols and Patchy

I loved every second of it but slept 10 hours last night in my very quiet home due to pure exhaustion. 

And this is my brother...very happy that we got four children under the age of four to eat at the same time. Nice work.



Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Cheer

I had a nice little celebration yesterday for St. Patrick's Day. Green beer was scarce but Guinness was not.

Clearly it was necessary to double fist to start the night. How did you celebrate the greatest holiday of the year?


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sugar Free

I gave up refined sugar for Lent and it's pretty much all I think about now. Well, yes, I did eat pie on Monday but c'mon, I had to celebrate Pi day. Had to.

I stumbled upon this gorgeous sugared fruit display (thanks, Martha) and I've become a little obsessed with crystalized goodies.

Sugared Fruit

And even more beautiful than that, are these amazingly beautiful candied orange peels.

They will be my first post-Lent indulgence.

And, I know what I'll be dreaming of tonight...sugar plum fairies.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yesterday Was Pi Day

I'll find any excuse to eat pie but yesterday was actually legit. March 14, or 3.14, is the day of days for this pie-loving girl. Cherry pie and I were best friends last night.

And now I'm reminded that The Life of Pi has been on my reading list for years. Ahhh, I'll get to it before next Pi day.

And my bangs are in an awkward stage.


Oh Vanny Boy...

As any good music nerd would be doing, I’ve been listening to a lot of Irish artists this week in prep-mode for St. Patrick’s Day. There are many lovely Irish acts pumping (word choice?) out of my ipod this week; The Pogues, Flogging Molly, Damien Rice, Swell Season/The Frames, Boomtown Rats to name a few. There is one musical leprechaun I can’t get enough of: Van “the man” Morrison.

If you aren’t familiar with Van Morrison then you might be an alien. (In which case, I have SOOOOOOOO many questions for you!!!)  Everybody knows his big hit “Brown Eyed Girl”, but I never loved it since I have blue/green eyes (Please refer to “Green Eyes” by Coldplay if you’re in the same boat as me). My all time fave of Morrison’s would have to be “These Are The Days” but lately I’ve been listening to “Domino” on repeat. Check it…

Another great song Morrison wrote was “Into the Mystic” with one of my most quoted song lyrics, “I want to rock your gypsy soul” (If I was a creepy guy, that would be my standard pick-up line). The Swell Season do a great cover which I hope to see performed live ASAP. Until then, YouTube it is…


Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Photo found here

Its a love/hate relationship.  I'm a little ashamed to admit that my DVR records all of the Kardashians' reality TV shows.  Sometimes I think they are so down-to-Earth.  I love how close they are as a family.  I love that they tell each other the honest truth (even if its not in the nicest manner), and I love how beautiful all the girls are each in their own way.  I love how Kourtney embraced motherhood during Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami (and how Khloe and Kim offered to babysit!).  I even kind of dig Kim's new song.

I don't love how the kids talk to their mom.  I don't love their NY fashion (what happens to them on the East Coast?), and I don't like that they wake up with perfect make-up (it IS a reality show after all).  Although, I do love that Kim wears those (slightly unattractive) striped VS pajamas.  

I think I could go on and on, but while watching Kourtney and Kim Take New York I keep asking myself, "Where is baby Mason?".  He played such an important part in previous seasons and now he is no where to be found.  In between episodes of Scott's walking stick and Kourtney's sky-high Manolos, it might be interesting to actually see them as parents.  In the meantime, does Mason stay with a nanny?  How do you think I go about getting that gig???

Hugs to our followers,