Friday, December 23, 2011

2 Days!

As I type this, my boys have been up since 6:50 a.m. and are currently wrestling/squealing/whatever-they-do at 8:47 a.m. WOW! I laugh every day that God blessed me with BOYS!
Otherwise, I might cry.

The plan today is to meet Mr. Pink for lunch and then home for some sugar cookie baking and decorating. Because they need more sugar in their bodies. Then I think we'll watch Naria: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Or The Polar Express.

But first, I must clean up my bedroom as it is a holy mess of wrapping paper, boxes and ribbons. I think I am finally done with the wrapping and this mess needs to disappear!

Love this photo taken in the courtyard of Paris' Palais Royal. I once stayed in a nearby hotel and loved people watching while sitting in this courtyard.

Enjoy your day. Get it all done. Be safe. And smile. I keep reminding myself to do this more!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I love them. I love them.

My kids. Really I do. But being on day #19 with them is driving me a little crazy. Today I dragged them to the gym, to Wal-Mart, to an orthopedic surgeon appointment and to the mall for a "simple" Santa visit because it is, afterall, Dec. 21 and we had not done this yet. I'm tired. They're getting bored and we'll be lucky if Santa even shows up around here due to all of the silly bickering.

Anyway, we went to 5 parties (4 parties and a "Ball"), threw one dinner party, celebrated Mr. Pink's birthday and visited one great grandmother over the last 19 days. I think this is why we are tired. The next 3 days are nice and calm though. Thankfully, it's just our family of four. We'll drive to Charlotte Christmas afternoon to see my parents, my brother and his wife who is expecting their first child, a boy, in April (in Sweden though!).

As to the orthopedic surgeon, it was for mini#1. What we thought could have been a big deal, wasn't. And we're so thankful! Apparently he fractured his big toe back in Sept after an injurgy we thought was "nothing" and just has a little joint swelling. The doctor isn't even going to do anything. We'll just monitor it.

And enjoy my Paris Christmas photo above. Wish I was there right now. Seriously. Without the minis. I'd bring home some croissants for them. Maybe.....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

There's ONE in every neighborhood

This picture doesn't even seem to do it justice because the displays, lights and projected images on the side of the house aren't visible. It really is a mess during the day, but every single kid in the neighborhood ADORES this house and looks forward to the visual overload every year. And Christmas IS for kids isn't it? (Plus it's far enough from my house...) Do you have ONE in your neighborhood?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feeling it

STRESS!! Do you have a child changing or adding to his Christmas list daily? I do! Being out of school since Dec. 2 contributes to this. And my response to his latest "wants" has been, "That's too expensive if you already want (insert any item he has listed)." But his response continues to be, "Mom! Santa doesn't have to BUY it, he MAKES it!" OH MY! And, believe me, I'm really pushing the true meaning of Christmas, God's greatest gift to us, it's better to give than receive, so many others have less than you, etc. etc. But, to a 6 year old, it doesn't seem to be sinking in! And, thankfully, Mr. Pink reminds me that we have one salary and I better not give in to said 6 year old. Luckily my 10 year old is more in tune with the true meaning of Christmas.

I just thought of something. I think next year, instead of letting them help me buy clothing and toys for the child from the angel tree, that I will make them save money from allowance throughout next year specifically for this cause next Christmas. Maybe then it will mean more to them!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tasty Tuesday- Eggnog Martini

I realize you either love or hate eggnog. I happen to love the stuff. Growing up my dad and I were the only ones in our family of four that drank it. More for us! Now that I'm all grown up (when did that happen?), I can throw dinner parties and decide what to serve as a refreshment. I found this recipe and am going to try it out next week when two friends and their familes come over for a Christmas dinner party. It sounds delicious. Maybe I'll give it a trial run this weekend.


2 1/2 oz Eggnog (I always buy light/reduced fat)

1 oz Vanilla Vodka

3/4 oz Amaretto

Nutmeg or ground cinnamon for dusting

1- Combine eggnog, vodka and amaretto in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.

2- Strain into chilled martini glass and dust with grated nutmeg or cinnamon.

What do you think? Sound good?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quick trip to Charlotte

Saturday we drove to Charlotte to meet a college friend, her mom and kids for lunch. We ate at Brick Tops near Southpark. My friend ordered the fish tacos and I ordered the steak tacos and we shared. Both were yummy! Afterwards we all headed downtown to see the play "Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells Batman Smells!" at the Children's Little Theater. I used to go to their plays as a child so I knew the kids would enjoy this. We've read all of the Junie B. Jones books at least once. Our seats were third row. Perfect. The boys liked it a lot. Great way to kick off the Christmas season. We'll have to look into going to more shows. I hope my friend doesn't mind me posting a photo!

We got back home and bought a tree Sunday and decorated it and the rest of the house. Today the kids get to go with me to the gym, a trip to the library and a few other errands. Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

He won.

He wore me down and I let him wear his pj's last week when I said I wouldn't. He's drinking "wassail" aka apple cider.

Look at the cute pine cone Christmas trees they made and decorated. I had to help them with the glitter. Glitter was everywhere, but I had a blast because it wasn't in my house. They really enjoyed this activity.

Friday they finished and are out of school until Jan. 2. WHEW! This is the long break. I'm actually glad to have already finished with teacher gifts, parties and music performances at school though.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-This prayer helped!

I snapped this photo pre-game Saturday. Awesome! NC State was down 41-14 at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. We came back and beat Maryland 56-41! Talk about an exciting crazy game! I love my Wolfpack! That #1 is the conerback (David Amerson) I mentioned in another post who leads in NCAA in number of interceptions- 11. Was named runner-up for defensive player of the year. And, I know, this wasn't exactly a wordless post. Oh well!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So over it!

Am I the only one out there that really DISlikes pajama day at school? Mini#2 is having Polar Express Day tomorrow and he just informed me he has to wear pj's. I informed him he is not. They just had a pj day about a month ago! Ugh! I'm going in their classroom tomorrow to volunteer for their integrated holiday centers. I had this cute outfit picked out for him to wear tomorrow. That's probably the main reason I'm pouting. He's in first grade and I know the holiday themed attire will, most likely, be a thing of his past next year! I'll probably compromise and let him wear pj pants with the shirt I bought him. And yes, we are a wee early for these holiday celebrations at school, but with good reason. My minis track out of their year round school on Friday and do not return until JAN. 3. Lord help me. I mean it. I'm praying out loud.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Go see it!

HUGO was so awesome! We all went to see this film on Friday because mini#1 was begging to see it. I LOVED IT! It's probably more for kids 6 on and I was surprised to see couples older than me in the theater- without kids! The 3D was worth the extra cost and the story was just fun and heartwarming. Johnny Depp produced it and Martin Scorsese directed. We loved Sasha Baron Cohen as the train station policeman and Ben Kingsley is always a favorite of mine. Adults, you will not mind taking your kids to this one. AND I've already ordered the book (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) on Amazon for mini#1 for Christmas. He loved it that much... It was a great family movie!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eventful Saturday

Yesterday we went to Raleigh's Christmas parade. The grand marshall was "your American Idol" (and local resident) Scotty McCreery. In the middle of the parade a group of little girls across from us started squealing. I looked down the street and saw that his float was approaching. He definitely got the most cheers!

After the parade we went to a downtown Irish pub for lunch and then on to Pullen Park's much anticipated reopening. Below I'm on the beautiful 1911 carousel. It's now fully enclosed and the crowds seemed to enjoy this special bit of history. The last photo is of my kids on the tip top of this new rope-climbing play equipment. There were so many kids on that thing and it made me a nervous wreck to watch them on this. Thankfully, they made it down on their own and not by falling! Lastly, we watched our NC State conquer the #7 Clemson Tigers. Such an awesome game for our struggling PACK, but I did learn a stat I'm proud of. We have one player that has made 11 interceptions....the second closest TEAM in the country with the most interceptions is Georgia at 7, but that's with multiple players! I think our team record is at 16- #1 in country. So I'll take that...if we can't take a title. :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I can't wait...

I am so excited to go see this new Martin Scorsese movie, "Hugo." It's looks so good! It's about an orphan boy in 1930's Paris who lives inside a train station's walls (filmed at former train station Musee D'Orsay perhaps??). Looks magical and I won't mind paying for 3D this time. My oldest is excited to see it, too. We'll probably drag mini#2 along with us. It starts Wed, Nov. 23, but we'll have to wait until the weekend to see it. Is this on your list to see?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tasty Thursday- Cranberry Streusel Pie

I've been making this pie more Thanksgivings than not since I found it in my November '98 Southern Living. It's very simple and has a sweet and tart taste that has made it Mr. Pink's favorite! Since Thanksgiving is one week from today I thought I'd post this option to add to the standard pumpkin and pecan pie staples.


1 refrigerated piecrust (I've used a frozen crust as well)
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1/4 butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose sugar

-Fit piecrust into 9-in pieplate and crimp around edges.
-Stir together cranberries and next 4 ingredients and spoon into piecrust.
-Whisk together egg, butter, 1/3 cup sugar and flour and pour over cranberry mixture.
-Bake at 400 degrees for 20 mins. Reduce temp to 350 degrees and bake 30 mins.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I went camping last weekend with the cub scouts. 6 adorable, eager little boys. My husband is their den leader. I have avoided all campouts for 4 years (when mini#1 started). I would go out to the campsite for ceremonies, dinner, etc and then come home to my warm bed. And for 4 years I have heard "Mom, will you go camping with us?" So this was mini#2's first campout and I gave into the pressure. However, on my terms. Of course! They went to the lake park on Friday night when it got down to the low 30's! Brrrr. I went at lunchtime Saturday to drop off sandwiches and watch a cute game of kickball and ultimate frisbee. Then I left for 3 hours to Christmas shop and I returned at 5:30. I ate dinner, watched skits and made s'mores by the campfire. We made it until 9:30 before all these tiger cubs were literally going to sleep in their camp chairs! SO cute! Luckily it was a few degrees warmer on Saturday night, but it was still chilly as I changed into an old sorority sweatshirt, red and white polka dot pj bottoms and warm socks for bed. Mini#2 and I shared the air mattress, warm blankets and two sleeping bags zipped together. Mr. Pink slept on the floor of the tent in a warmer sleeping bag...but only after I kicked him out of the air mattress. He really thought three of us could sleep on that!?!? None of us could move that way. I was perfectly warm and snuggly when it was the two of us but could not sleep! Mr. Pink, since flat on his back, snored while mini#2 ninja kicked me in the side every 10 mins! It was a long night, but I survived without harm (if you exclude ninja kicks), discomfort or gas heat. Truth be told it's the outdoor showers, bathrooms and hiking to / from the campsite to go to the bathroom that I don't enjoy. The first thing I did when we got home Sunday morning was take a long, hot shower. Then I spent the day doing all kinds of laundry from the trip. Mini#1 was at the same park camping on his own with the Webelos...first time no parents with each kid. He survived, too. Notice this post lacks photos. Nobody really wants to see Mrs. Pink in old sorority sweatshirt, no makeup and a slightly frozen smile. But trust me. All the events mentioned in this post did happen. And it may happen again...possibly.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Do not buy this product...

...unless you plan to eat the entire bag in 2.5 days by yourself. Just saying....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some observations.

1- Duggar's announce #20 is on the way....seriously? After what they went through the last time?

2- Dr. found guilty in Michael Jackson's death. Does this really make anyone feel better about a talented yet addicted and troubled man's death? Afterall the doctor was on MJ's payroll at his request.

3- Asst coach at Penn State molesting boys. Now this is so disturbing to me. It was reported years ago and swept under the rug? REALLY? How horrible! Get rid of all of those involved (fire) and prosecute this sicko.

4- Nancy Grace's cartwheel on DWTS last night. I beg the networks to please stop showing this 53 yr old woman (in a short sequinned dress!) do this.

5- The whole Herman Cain situation. I dread this next year and all of the ugly politics. But why didn't this latest woman come forward years ago?

Ok, had to vent. Feel a little better now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Family Hike

It was a great weekend here in NC. Firstly, my beloved NC State Wolfpack shut out the UNC Tarheels (and it was our 5th win in a row against them). Awesome! Secondly, we went with the cub scouts on a 3 mile hike starting at the NC Museum of Art. It was beautiful weather (60's). We did come across a copperhead on the trail. I am so thankful someone else saw it first and rerouted us so they could get him off the path. I would have screamed or either wet my pants if I came across him first! Yikes!!

The thing I liked about this hike is that there was outdoor artwork along the way. There was even an outdoor hut that the kids went into and a small hole in the ceiling helped reflect tree images on the walls...or something like that. I stayed outside. It looked a little too claustrophobic to me! Plus who wants to be trapped inside with that many cub scouts and possibly more snakes! Anyway, I'd definitely do this again. I love getting out this time of year when it's not too hot and not too cold.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five on Friday-My "wants"

1- A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Haven't had one yet this fall. A tall, non-fat, non-whip comes in at 200 calories and is worth every calorie!

2- I want Nov. 18th to hurry up and get here! Twilight Breaking Dawn! Can't wait!

3- I want the new Coldplay cd. Loving "Paradise" right now.

4- I want Santa to bring me this watch. Love it!

5- I want Thanksgiving dinner. I just don't want to cook it all. Alas, I'm hosting, but my parents are good about helping bring anything I want them to and my dad always makes the pies.


Monday, October 31, 2011

It's the big day!

No, not Thanksgiving (yet!). But that's how we dressed for a costume party Saturday. We had a lot of laughs with the neighbors. Great costumes this year! We had Forrest Gump and Lt. Dan in his wheelchair. Loved it! I hope you and your little goblins have a Happy Halloween. I'm hoping the showers they're calling for hold off until after 8 when the minis are back home loaded with candy. At least we didn't get snow over the weekend like in the north. How crazy is that?! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Last Friday Night

We celebrated our anniversary at the famed Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach. It's been featured in a lot of movies. It's a 1500 room hotel with multiple buildings, pools, bars and restaurants in the heart of Millionaire's Row. Our hotel was very closeby, but less crowded! However, we were able to take advantage of all the Fountainbleau had to offer. We ate a delicious meal at Hakkasan. Our dessert was fabulous. The prawns were huge. Everything was perfect!

After dinner (about 10:15) we moved to the Bleau Bar (pictured above) in the hotel's main lobby. We met a lot of fun people, some of which were there as part of a convention. The crowd was gathering and awaiting the opening of LIV, the main nightclub that opened at 11. Later I learned this was voted the #2 nightclub in the world last summer! Stars and atheletes pay high dollar to buy tables and bottles at this club. We settled for a high cover charge, expensive drinks and standing room only! We met a couple from Texas also celebrating their anniversary so they became our new friends. It was such a fun experience. This club was hoppin and we were so surprised when Foster the People took the stage at about 1:30 a.m. My kids and I always sing along to their song "Pumped Up Kicks" so I had to quickly find my camera so I could record it to show them later. I was so close to the stage, too! After they played confetti fell like a snow storm from the ceiling.We left around 3:00 a.m. but that place stays open until 5 I believe! It was a memorable anniversary to say the least!

And we met up with our new "club" friends the next night at Joe's Stone Crab restaurant in South Beach. No, it's not the chain Joe's Crab Shack as my mom thought! We stepped out of our cab to see a Rolls Royce, Astin Martin and a few Porsches flanking the curb in front of the door! It's a favorite in South Beach. Stone crabs just came back "in season". Joe's cracks them for you and serves them with a mustard sauce (but I had drawn butter!). And we saved room for their key lime pie. Oh so yummy!! All of us late night party people got to bed much earlier this night.

Sunday we slept in, hit the hotel gym, got out on the beach and then shopped/dined in South Beach. We both hated it when Monday came and we had to go home and back to the craziness called parenthood! But we sure enjoyed a fun weekend being without kiddos. And because we are back that's why it's taken several days to get this posted!

Enjoy your weekend! We're off to a costume party tonight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our trip.

Avoiding the water above. Ha! Miami Beach was amazing! We needed this time together so badly. It had been entirely too long for us taking a trip on our own. The weather was in the upper 70's/low 80's and no rain. Perfect. The afternoon we checked in we took a walk on the beach and were pleasantly surprised. Today I'll just post a few photos of the things we saw. I'll get to the exciting evening at the famous Fountainbleau Hotel tomorrow! There had been several stormy days prior to us arriving so someone told us that's the reason for all of the sea's treasures we spotted in the sand. And the first photo is the view of the bay from our room. We had a corner room and were able to view the beach AND the bay. Loved waking to this view every morning!

After our walk, back we went to our room to get ready for our anniversary dinner at Fountainbleau. Stay tuned...