Friday, June 27, 2008

Seriously, Y'ALL have to try this stuff...

Ummm, yep-that's what you think it is...Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and it's made right here in Charleston. This stuff is absolutely the best liquor I've ever had. If you ask for it with water and a splash of lemon (and on the rocks), it tastes just like a glass of sweet tea. Not too sweet though and you can't taste ANY alcohol-NONE, zip, zilcho- so they are dangerous. Sip slowly!! Last night we had MOM's night out and a few of us ordered one and I think I quite possibly have my favorite cocktail now. Unfortunately right now they are only sold in 6 or so states and they are literally flying off the shelves in S.C., but hopefully they can keep up with demand so everyone can sample this stuff. Makes me proud to be southern I tell ya, I tell ya.

We are off to my cousin's wedding tomorrow night. It should be a blast. I feel like it's going to be like a reunion. So many people I haven't seen in a LONG time (since high school) are going to be there and then Dan and I are off to Vegas on Sunday. Can't wait to share details about our trip! I'll be back online next Thursday-have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

She got $91 worth of WHAT?

Dear Regal Cinema Workers,

I thank you so dearly for offering the free summer movies during the week. It's been a great way to escape the sizzling heat and enjoy cheap popcorn and a drink. I love it when you tell me that it will be $2 for a popcorn and drink at the movies, instead of $80,0000. But anyway, I digress...the real reason I am writing you this letter is because of your lack helping the people waiting in line, instead focusing your efforts on filling the order of the lady who spent $91.00 for her concessions, yes $91.00! I know, I know I should be thankful that the movie was free and the food was cheap, but do you know how hard it was for me to get 3 young children dressed (myself included) and out the door to get to the theater by 10:00 to see the movie, only to have to wait in line for 20 minutes to wait for snacks? I saw you looking at me, me with my double stroller and 3 anxious children, patiently waiting to get in to the movie so my 3 year old could have his popcorn and drink in peace and my 16 month old twins could have their sippies and Annie's crackers. But did you help the others, did you try to hurry up the woman with the ginormous order? No, you took your sweet little time which made us 30 minutes late for the movie. My children didn't care because quite honestly the movie was not that good. In fact, it had what I felt was a scary part (which is when my son told me he did not like the movie anymore). So, we scooted out with popcorn and drink in tow. I now need another shower because I was drenched in sweat just trying to make it to the movie in time...just thought you should know.

Yours truly-
A very tired mommy just trying to show her kids a good time in this blazing, blazing heat
Steel Magnolia

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer is flying by...

I feel like we have been so busy these last couple of weeks. Harrison had camp every day last week and loved it. It was a week all about dinosaurs. This week we have some activities planned during the day (free summer movie, open play at My Gym, playgroups, playdates, pool, errands) but primarily getting ready for my cousin's wedding on Saturday night and then leaving right after that for our trip to Las Vegas on Sunday. I.Can't.Wait! I'm so excited just to be able to read a book or magazine on the plane, sleep in, eat dinner without having to cut food up into little pieces, people watch to my heart's content-you get the drift. I LOVE my children deeply, but sometimes everyone needs a little break, even if it's just to appreciate them that much more.

We had a great, low-key weekend. It rained A LOT here (which we so desperately needed), but we did manage to hit the beach on Saturday morning. After this past weekend, it gets really packed with tourists here, so I really wanted to get to the beach before it got too crowded. On Sunday, I had a Charleston Junior Woman's Club Board retreat, which lasted most of the afternoon, but it did get me excited about our upcoming year and the charities we are supporting. It was held at a member's home (which was an incredibly beautiful home downtown Charleston-it was like a museum). All I kept thinking was my kids would destroy this place...she even had a child (granted a 3 year old girl, but still). Anyway, it was a potluck and I made Paula Deen's Better Than Sex was pretty good. Here's the recipe....

Is it Really Better than Sex? Cake
1 18.25-ounce box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 3.4-ounce box French vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup flaked, sweetened toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 13x9x2-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. While cake is baking, combine the pineapple, 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Remove cake from oven and using a fork, pierce holes into cake. Pour pineapple mixture over hot cake and set aside.
Prepare pudding according to package directions. Spread pudding over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Whip heavy cream and remaining sugar until stiff. Cover top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle toasted coconut on top.
Yield: 16 to 20 servings Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Ease of preparation: easy
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Silly boys and a dog...

The boys and Bailey were being silly the other night after I thought I'd capture the moment with my camera...
So Bailey doesn't LOOK very silly in this picture, but she really was being silly. And yes, Bailey is a girl-there needs to be another female in this house besides moi! She is so great with the boys-she actually spoils them a little, allowing them to climb all over her and not really caring at all. Please say a little prayer for her, we found another lump, this time on her leg and are taking her to the vet tomorrow. For those of you who don't know, she survived cancer last year and our vet has deemed her the miracle dog. She had 5 teeth and part of her upper jaw removed and she's still a trooper (she had an osteosarcoma in the mouth, this is usually lethal in dogs). Bailey-girl, we hope you will be OK and we love you very much.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bathroom fit for a king....or 3 little princes

I have recently re-done the boys bathroom and am so excited how it turned out. We still need to paint it...but that will come. Here's the picture from the Pottery Barn Kids website of the shower curtain, bath mat and towels...their's are the blue and green, of course!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A new running partner?....NOT!

Saturday morning I got up at 6:00 am for my run. I was only going to run 6 miles because we had to drive to my sister's house in the morning and we had a party that night, so there was a ton of stuff to do around the house....I felt really good during the run and said, "What the heck, I'll just go ahead and run 9 and be done with it". I was plugging away, running my usual loops-when I turned the corner and saw what I believed to be a rubber tire in the middle of the street. I thought, "Hey, that's weird, but oh well". As I got closer "the tire" moved. Well, it wasn't a tire, but an ALLIGATOR people. That's right...I panicked! I was about 6 feet away from it (it was about 6-7 feet long)when I screamed and quickly turned around and ran back the other way. I was looking for someone to tell, but couldn't find anyone. At this point I was running so fast I couldn't catch my breath. My Garmin said I was running at 4:58mm. When I felt it was safe to slow down I did...but at this point I was done. I ran home and clocked in at 7.2 miles. We have alligators all over the ponds around here, but this is the first time I've ever seen one on the street before. I was a little freaked to say the least. My neighbor and I ran down that same street this morning and I have to say I was a little scared, but Mr. Alligator was no where to be seen. Hopefully, he will stay in his little pond and will not want to greet me on the street ever again.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day to the greatest dad and husband around. We love you so much!

Love, me, Brady, Jack, Harrison and Bailey the dog

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summertime's a callin' me....

I've definitely turned into a dress wearing girl. I've always loved dresses, but when I started staying at home with the boys, I started wearing shorts more and more. Moving back to S.C. where it's hot more than it's cold...I started to realize that dresses are way cooler than shorts-DUH! Plus, I feel cuter wearing them. When I'm home with the kids, I usually throw on a simple knit dress or a tank and skirt. I'm all about FUN fashion, I love wearing different pieces and making a fun statement with my wardrobe. My neighbor (who is not all that friendly-don't worry she doesn't read this) asked me where I was "going" the other day because I had on a knit dress, I replied, "Not going anywhere, we just got back from the beach and I'm showered and clean and felt like throwing on a dress". Do you have to be "going anywhere" to wear a dress? Anyway, the top dress is one of my favorites and I'm wearing it to a party tomorrow night. It's super-comfy and keeps me cool in the humidity. I've also included some of my other favorites....from J Crew, of course! However, these are not dresses that I wear everyday around the house...just fun summer dresses-either to a party, cook-out, dinner, etc....

Thursday, June 12, 2008're it!

This is for you, Slacker Mama-

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
Newly engaged, finishing up grad school in S.C., packing my bags to start my new life in Alexandria, VA-had never lived outside of S.C. before, so I was ready for my new adventures with Dan.

2. What are five things on your to-do list today?
Work out, take the boys to the free summer movie, fold laundry, run errands, make dinner

3. Snacks you enjoy?
Pita chips and hummus, chips and guac or pico, greek yogurt, dark chocolate squares

4. Places you've lived:
Manning, SC
Clemson, SC
Columbia, SC
Alexandria, VA
Herndon, VA
Bristow, VA
Sterling, VA
Charleston, SC

5. What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?
Buy a beach house in Hawaii and a chalet in Switzerland, travel (all over Europe, South America, Hawaii), take my family and friends on a vacation, start a charitable organization, donate money to help find a cure for cancer

6. People you want to know more about?

The people I tag...
Junebug and Sweet Pea
Two Boo Boos
Pinot and Pacifiers
Magnolia Mama

and anyone else who wants to play....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vegas Baby!

Dan and I are off to Vegas in a little over 2 weeks for a couple of days. I CAN'T WAIT!! Special thanks to my mom and dad for watching Brady, Jack and Bailey (our golden retriever) and to Debbie (Dan's sister) for watching Harrison-it means a lot!! So, for all of you who have been to Vegas, where do you recommend we eat? What shows are good? Dan's been there a couple of times with work, so I'd like to go to places where he hasn't been before...(he's going for work again, I'm just tagging along with him). I'm really just looking forward to flying alone, sleeping in and spending some quality time with my husband....the rest is just a big bonus!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Some kids have a blankie, some kids have a teddy bear....

but my sweet little boy has THIS to keep him warm and snuggly at night....

So cute I had to share...the boy loves his new truck and shovel set for the beach. We had a great weekend. First off, the bacon wrapped watermelon rinds were a hit-I even made them for another party on Sunday evening. Harrison had a blast running around with the other kids. I ran my 9 miles on Saturday and it was pretty hot-not a dry spot on my body! It was well worth it though-I felt great afterwards! We hit the beach later that morning and it was hot-even on the beach. We stayed in the water most of the time. Naps are always nice and long after we get home, so it's worth all the time it takes to pack the car, lunches, apply sunscreen, walk to the beach, set up, clean up, shower, bathe 3 kids....etc, Is it making you tired yet? Believe me, it is pretty tiring.

Later that afternoon, I did a photo session for a very good friend and her family. It was fun, but my car said 99 at 5:00 pm. Luckily I was able to get some good ones of her kids, but we will definitely re-shoot when the weather cools off a bit. A friend of mine and myself are in the very beginning stages of starting a photography I am very excited about that! It's so much fun to capture children and families in a candid way. We hit Jack's Cosmic Dogs for dinner which Harrison had been begging to go to...he doesn't really like hot dogs though, but loves the atmosphere and the soft-serve ice cream (which we all indulged in) and it really hit the spot. He kept referring to the restaurant as Brady's Cosmic Dogs...because he is REALLY into opposites and thought it was so funny the restaurant was named after his brother and wanted to name it after his other brother. Oh, they have also started selling their sweet potato mustard, so I just HAD to buy some-that stuff is so GOOD!

Sunday we went to church and did stuff around the house during the day while the boys napped, then it was off to a pool party in the afternoon. The boys literally crashed when we got home. I think the true sign of a great weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

First Friday Happy Hour AND Fluffy Friday

I am so happy it's Friday! I've started a new summer tradition with the boys on Fridays...for lunch we have "Fluffy-Friday" sandwiches-basically peanut butter and fluff sandwiches! I love fluff-especially strawberry fluff. I know, I know-it's not the greatest stuff around, but something about it screams childhood to me. I usually feed my kids healthy meals and snacks, but every now and then, I offer them they don't crave it all the time. Besides, how bad is a pb and fluff sandwich if it's made with 100% whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter? It actually has less sugar than some jams out there too. And look at these faces, can you tell they liked it?

Tonight, our neighborhood is having it's very first "First Friday" happy hour. Basically, we are getting together on the street around 6:00 pm-everyone brings chairs, their own beverage(s) of choice and an appetizer to share with everyone. The kids play and the adults fun is that? We are hoping to do this every first Friday of the month. Should be good times for all? A few weeks ago, I posted about my friend K's bacon-wrapped watermelon rinds...I am telling you, these are the bomb. These watermelon rinds wrapped in bacon...they're sweet and salty, how good is that? This is what I'm contributing to tonight's festivities. The watermelon rinds are sold at our local Publix grocery store. Don't knock it until you try it....Here is the recipe:

Jar of Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rines (top shelf in pickle section at Publix)
Package of Bacon (regular or center cut)

Cut bacon in three pieces (each slice) I cut all of them at once – two slices with the knife and you’re done
On a cutting board, pour out jar and cut into smaller pieces.
Wrap one rine in a piece of the bacon stick a toothpick in it
Put on a baking sheet on Reynolds wrap
Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes
Watch.. you want it just before it burns

As for my beverage of choice...well, I must admit I'm somewhat of a beer-snob. But sometimes you just have to drink the cheap stuff, especially when it's HOT! I was also craving something light. I came across this in the store so I picked some up...sounds very summery and refreshing.
I picked up the orange-grapefruit-flavored one. I've had the pomegranate one before at another gathering and it was surprisingly tasty. I really wanted the lime-cactus one, but they were out. The bottle says it's all naturally-flavored. It's low calorie and low-carb-after all-I'll be running 9 miles in the morning. YIKES! I'll keep you posted. Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The power of a partner...

-a running partner that is! I am usually a solo-runner. I actually enjoy running alone because it is one of the few times in the day that I'm actually by myself. HOWEVER, the past couple of days have been terribly humid and I've really had to dig deep to push myself to keep going. The thermometer reads 73, but the humidity is no joke! This morning as I was heading out for my 5 miler at 6:00 am, my neighbor Jen was heading out for a run at the same time. She asks if I won't to run with her....I agreed right away, but was a little hesitant at first. First of all, Jen is in the best shape of anyone I know and she's got 3 kids....she's done several marathons (all under 3:30!!), triathlons, races, you see why I was hesitant? It ended up being the greatest thing I've done. I didn't think I'd be able to talk and run, but it turns out I can. She said she was not running slow for me and that we were doing a great pace. My Garmin had us at an 8:10 pace. It was brutal towards the end with the humidity. I think I may need to be up at 5:00 am for my 9 mile run on Saturday. Not.Looking.Foward.To.That.!! All in all, I have changed my tune on running with someone...the run flew by and we have made plans to run together a few times next week too.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bottle it up...

The past couple of days I've heard some not so good news about people I know. A dear friend from high school, Drew, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is having surgery tomorrow. Drew is an old friend and a really neat guy. He is on the sports team for WIS-TV in Columbia and is married and has 21 month old son. Please click on his name to read the story about him. Drew, we will all be praying for you and your family tomorrow and wish you a speedy recovery.

On a sad note, the assistant principal at the school I used to teach at in Northern VA just lost his son to cancer today. He was only 8 years old and has lost his 2 year battle to cancer. I can only imagine the pain and sadness his family is going through right now. I remember just 4 years ago when I was teaching his two boys, then 6 and 4 at the time, were just little boys running all around and having a great time. His youngest son, Parker, was the almost the same age that Harrison is now. I am just devastated for his family. You can read about his story here.

Hearing news like this makes me want to squeeze my family a little tighter. I know that they wear me out and I am tired at the end of the day, but I love them so much. I just want to bottle my love and their youth up and save it forever and ever....

Please pray for both of these families.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Goin' Private...

OK everyone, I'm going to be going private soon. So please send me your emails if you'd like to be added to the list. I will not publish anyone's email. It's something I've been thinking about for a while and have finally decided to do it. Just leave me a comment if you want to be included-I'll set it up in about a week or so. Like I said, I won't publish your email....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Girls just wanna have fun...

I went and saw the Sex and the City movie yesterday with a group of girls and I must say it did not disappoint. I actually LOVED it! The shoes, high fashion, and hair-styles were all to die for, as well as the music! I think I'll be putting the soundtrack on my Ipod soon. I so relate to Charlotte in the movie....but no spoilers here. Go see it for yourselves and grab a couple of girlfriends... Anytime a movie can make you laugh out loud and cry, it's good for me. It was a great movie about girlfriends and the bonds we have...I highly recommend it. Afterwards, we all went out for dinner and cosmos. I hadn't had a cosmo in a long time and it was so good, not to mention that it was PINK and GREEN!

We had a great weekend here. Hit the beach yesterday morning...the temp is creeping up there though. The car said 99 on the way to the movie yesterday afternoon. The beach felt good! The boys and the van were covered in sand. I still saw a lot of sand in the van this morning and it actually made me smile...thinking about how much fun it is to live at the beach!