Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SAG Awards Fashion Wrap-Up

I'm afraid that for me, the red carpet for the SAG awards was filled with more misses than hits.  There were a few bright spots, but I had to narrow down my worst dressed list to five.  (Believe me, I'm sure I could have included at least ten!)

All of these determined via Internet research, of course.  Missing my cable TV...

On with the list!

Ashlee Simpson in Jenny Packham.  I just adore the ornate beading and the sheer overlay on this gown.  Her simply parted hair completes the beauty of this flapper-style look.

Emma Stone in Alexander McQueen.  The SAG awards being a little more laid back, a tea length gown was a perfect choice.  The peep toe shoes complete this cute as a button (yet incredibly high fashion) look.

Michelle Williams in Valentino.  What an improvement from the Golden Globes!  This red is amazing, and the lace cap sleeves are nothing short of perfection. 

Busy Phillips in Simone.  I believe she was going for the "Boho Chic" look, but she ended up looking like she was wearing an ill fitting bag.  Even if she were headed to the beach, this look would be unacceptable.  She is just a mess. 

Kaley Cuoco in Romona Keveza.  Yikes.  I'm not sure what is the worst part of this look- the mint color, the overly frilly skirt, the matchy-matchy bag, or the Heidi-style braid. 

Kristen Wiig in Balenciaga.  She almost had it here.  The gown, albeit in a boring color, fits her very well, and even has some style.  But pairing a halter neck gown with that HUGE choker completely ruined the look.  (I mean, seriously?  Who wears chokers anymore?)

Shailene Woodley in L'Wren Scott.  Where do I begin?  Oh, wait, I know exactly where to begin.  With that absolutely HORRID print.  I can't think of any occasion, anywhere, EVER, where this would be considered a fashionable choice. 

And because I love to pick on Angelina Jolie, whom I do not enjoy- this dress is no bueno.  Is it just me, or does it look like it's made of thin, cheap, pleather?  I guess it's supposed to look metallic, but it's just not quite coming off that way.  Also?  The cut is BORING. 

I may love these looks, but I may hate them.  I can't tell.  Opinions, anyone?
Lea Michele, one of my usual favorites, in Versace.  I really love the bodice of this gown, but the color isn't great, and that slit might just be a little ridiculous.

Rose Byrne in Elis Saab.  Yes, folks, that's a jumpsuit she's wearing.  Love or hate?  I can't decide!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Aging Sucks

Today, I celebrate my 29th birthday...again.
I'm not exactly sure when it happened- the year that I began to hate having birthdays.  I think it was maybe at 28, when I knew 29 was next, and then 30...

Or maybe it was 30, when I was already bummed about saying goodbye to my twenties, and then we had a terrible snowstorm that cancelled all of my birthday plans and left me in bed with a bottle of wine?

I'm not sure about when it happened, but it happened.  And I just can't help it.

I confuse even myself on this one.  I have an amazing husband and a beautiful baby.  Life is really, really good.  And although they were so much fun, I wouldn't want to go back to my twenties.  That is a chapter in my life that has passed.  The ship has sailed.

And yet I can't help but feel sad about turning another year older.

Age is just a number, it's how you feel that really counts, so they say.  Well, I feel like I'd like to remain at 29 forever.  And so I will.  I will carry on with my life and move through the changes that life brings, all the while putting the 2 & 9 candles on the cake, year after year.

What can I say?  My mother taught me well.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


This morning, not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR sweet kindergarten girls told me as they passed me in the hall this morning that they really liked the dress I was wearing.  From now on, I shall wear it every day.  Okay, not every day, but still, what a way to start the day!
Remember back when I wrote this post about birds?  Well, this morning, as I was driving to work, I had another quail sighting.  This time, there were probably fifteen or twenty of them!  And I spotted them in the same yard as the last time!  Are they pets, perhaps?  Does one keep yard quails like they do yard chickens?  Or are quail simply drawn to this particular lawn for some reason?  What does a quail eat?  Maybe it's found in abundance on this particular property?  Inquiring minds want to know. 

I actually did an Internet search for a house cleaning checklist today.  I just feel like there are things that I am missing when I clean the house.  Lately I've been thinking about odd jobs that I need to do, like cleaning the vents that cover the air filters, scrubbing the grout in the kitchen, and removing excess lint from the surfaces in the laundry room.  What is wrong with me?  I am actually trying to find more things to clean.  (And J is cringing right now as he reads this...)

There is your dose of randomness for the day.  AND, I almost typed Happy Friday.  Joke's on me...it's only Thursday.  Boo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Holy Wow- An Update

J looked into his Amazon orders from 2011.  He had a whopping 27.

I feel shame.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Holy Wow

Just for funsies, I decided to generate a report to see my Amazon order history for 2011.

I placed 121 orders last year.

Whoa.  That's a lot.

To be fair, I order diapers and wipes on a semi-regular basis (meaning whenever we run out of the stock my wonderful MIL continuously supplies).  And becoming a mom for the first time meant we had plenty of other baby goods to purchase.

But 121 orders?!  Wow.  And the sad thing is, this doesn't include the orders that J placed using his account.

I think I may have an addiction.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ah, the South

Teaching phonics to children who speak with a southern accent is a real trick.  For example, there is absolutely no difference in pronunciation between 'pin' and 'pen' here.  They are one and the same to many of my students.  Using 'pen' as a spelling word was a favorite mean teacher trick of mine when I taught first grade.  At least 80% of students would spell it p-i-n.  That's what they say, that's what they hear, that's what they write.

Today, my kindergarten groups are reading a book about looking outside to see the weather.  One sentence reads "I can see the hail."

At the first read through, one student immediately YELLED out "THAT'S A BAD WORD!  YOU SAID A BAD WORD!

And try as I might, I absolutely could not convince this child that hail was not, in fact, a bad word.  Because to a southern child, hail is the place you go if you don't make it into heaven.

We have to continue reading this book for the rest of the week.  Oh, hail.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gabe- Eleven Months

Now entering the last month of his first year- where did the time go?

Q: How is the big boy?
A: GREAT.  He is a walking, talking marvel.

Q: Walking and talking?!?!
A: Well, walkingish and talkingish.  His first word, as previously reported, was NO.  He uses this word occasionally when he is unhappy about something, and very frequently when we tell him not to do something.  If we tell him no, he repeats.  Fortunately, he usually follows our directions and stops whatever no-inducing activity he was enjoying.  He also seems to say "Oh no!" when particularly dismayed about something.

Since then, he has finally said Mama with meaning.  This usually happens when he is crying, as he crawls toward me saying "Mama, Mama, Mama" over and over again as my heart is breaking.  Somehow, when you add the "Mama" to the cries, they become so much sadder!

He has also put his two words together.  On the weekends, J usually gets up with him in the mornings and lets me sleep in.  Yes, my husband is THAT awesome.  Unfortunately for him, Gabe is in the Mama phase.  So when J gets him out of his crib, Gabe's reaction is typically "No.  Mama."  At which point J lowers his head and cries a little.  Okay, not really.  He knows this is just a phase, and that someday he will be Gabe's super hero.

As far as the walking goes, the little man has begun to take some steps.  When he doesn't realize what he's doing, he lets go of the furniture and takes a step or two here or there.  I expect him to let go purposefully and with confidence any second now...

Q: How is eating going?
A: Another success.  Big boy has completely given up the baby food.  He no longer has any use for pureed anything.  Give the kid some meatloaf or macaroni and cheese, and he's a happy camper.  Other favorites include NutriGrain bars, yogurt, and pears.  Basically, he's seating most of what we're eating.  He is enjoying chewing, as the case may be.

With his new found  love for food comes an increasing disdain for his bottles.  We dropped his nighttime bottle once we settled back in at home after our holiday travels.  I was forced to say goodbye to my last hope of baby cuddles, as that bedtime feeding was the only time my son would snuggle in with me.  Sniff, sniff...  I am quite sure that dropping that bottle was significantly harder on me than it was on the nugget.

Q: What are Gabe's current favorites?
A: His two favorites are being on the move, and making noise.  Hmm, can you say LITTLE BOY?

His Lightning McQueen walker is in constant use.  He will walk it from one end of the house to the other, and then move himself to its other side and walk it back.  He loves this.

He also loves banging things.  His hands on the coffee table, his rattle on the floor, one toy on another.  But his favorite is banging a wooden spoon on the dog bowl.  J gave him the spoon and taught him this trick.  Lucky me.

Q: How could he get any cuter?
A: I'm glad you asked.  You see, he has finally realized that the world thinks he's cute.  And when he wants his admirers to be particularly enamored of him, he does this.

Yes, he puts one arm up, tilts his head to the side, and cheeses.  This started out as raising both arms above his head, which he will still do if we say "Touchdown!"  Then it morphed into this people-think-I'm-so-cute-that-they-giggle-whenever-I-do-this gesture.  It really is just too much.

Well, friends, wish this mama luck as we sail into the boy's last month of babyhood!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Betty!

Betty's character Rose Nylund once said "Mother always said the older you get, the better you get...unless you're a banana."

How true.

My beloved Betty White turns 90 today.  In honor of her birthday, I think I'll watch several reruns of The Golden Girls tonight before bed.

Oh, wait...

I do that every night.

Golden Globes Fashion Recap

So the truth of that matter is, I didn't really watch the Globes this year.  Partly because we don't have real TV upon which to watch such network frivolities, and as such had to rely on dodgy Internet streaming.  Also, partly because I had some form of crud which left me feeling like death, and therefore I chose sleep over said Internet viewing.

BUT, because I am a slave both to fashion and awards show season, I have done my homework.  I have scoured the Internet and reviewed my Live from the Red Carpet app (yes, of course there's an app for that, and of course I have it) in order to come up with my best and worst dressed list.

So for those of you who expected this yesterday, and have most certainly have been anxiously awaiting this list, here ya go.  And for those of you saying "I don't give a flying fig about awards shows, red carpets, or any of the surrounding hoopla!" well- what can I say?  Tune in tomorrow for a new topic.  And also, why do you read my blog again?  ;)

Charlize Theron in Dior.  I love the color, I love the cut,.  Her hair  is an amazing accompaniment to the look.  Bravo.

Emma Stone in Lanvin.  I adore this flowing, Grecian look.  Its rich burgundy tone compliments Emma's fair skin and red hair so well.  A+.
Amber Riley in Badgley Mischka.  This girl has never looked better.  Plus sized women everywhere  are most certainly applauding Amber today.  The sweetheart neckline and strategically placed ruffles and ruching bring out the best of her figure.
Madonna in Reem Acra.  Oh, Madge.  What were you thinking?  The top half of the dress is stunning, but  I'm afraid you lost me once I got a peek at the explosion of green satin squares below the waist.  Fail.
Lea Michele in Marchesa.  I'm not gonna lie- this one hurt me a little.  If you recall, Lea almost always makes my best dressed list.  I adore her and her sense of style.   But this time, she got it wrong.  This severe, silver mess looks like it belongs on an evil sorceress or something.  Ick. 

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Monique Lhullier.  First of all, I CANNOT BELIEVE that Monique Lhullier designed this gown.  She normally creates such delicate, beautiful pieces.  But this is just a tie-dyed monstrosity.  SMG said that she let her 2-year-old daughter choose her red carpet look.  I'm all for being a supermom, but BIG mistake, Sarah.  HUGE.  
And there you have it.  My faves and my not-so-faves of the Golden Globes 2012.  Stay tuned for the upcoming SAG awards wrap-up at the end of the month!  AHHH!  I love awards show season!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Being a Sick Mama SUCKS

I think I have officially suffered my first real illness since becoming a Mama.  And it sucked.

Maybe strep throat, maybe just a virus.  All I know is that I had a fever (thankfully, now broken), I was tired and achy, and my throat was positively on fire.  And it sucked.

I did not feel like spending half of my weekend at Urgent Care (because that sucks), so I stayed home, either in bed or camped out on the couch, ingesting copious amounts of fluids and ibuprofen.  THANK GOD it was a weekend, and J could handle the little man.

I am on the up and up today, feeling like about 75% of my normal self.  J is back to work, so I am back to parenting.  I am very glad about this, as I really missed my nugget!  I didn't get to hold him or feed him or play with him all weekend.  And it sucked.

I am also back to moving today.  And I am desperately trying to convince myself not to overdo it.  But after an entire weekend of laying down and neglecting my house, I feel the urge to clean.  Like, I really can't wait to get my vacuum cleaner going (it sucks- teehee).  And to do some laundry.  And to clean my kitchen.

So that's how I spent MY weekend.  Hopefully all of you enjoyed a weekend that didn't suck!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Back in the Saddle

J and I have recently dusted off the elliptical and started exercising again.  (And just so you know, this happened in December, before the new year, so it is not the result of a New Year's resolution.  I'm not doing that this year, remember?)

We are both slightly competitive people.  (Okay, if I'm being honest, I am very competitive.  I want to be right all. of. the. time. and be the best at everything.)  When it comes to exercising, this trait really works to our advantage.  We want to outdo each other.

So recently, as we've both been complaining about how our pants fit (even though I completely blame pregnancy and childbirth for my current issues), we knew what we had to do.  And we knew that it would only take one of us to make the first move. 

J got up early one day and logged 20 minutes before work.  I knew that I had to do the same later that afternoon to stay in the game.  And so I did.  The next day, we both did it again, only I upped my time to 22 minutes.  The next morning, J did the same.  And so it begins.  I think we're both up to 25 minutes, and working at a faster pace than we started with.

As I've been ellipticalling away, I have noticed that my "Workout" playlist is a little crusty, moldy, OLD.  I am in need of some new inspiration.  The music is absolutely what keeps me going during a workout, and I need to refine my list.

Suggestions, anyone?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Little Reader

Being an early intervention literacy teacher, seeing a youngster pick up a book and enjoy it is a moment that brings nothing but happiness to my heart.  So imagine my joy when I saw my little child genius, carefully sounding out each word of his Winnie the Pooh book.

Okay, so maybe he's not reading it, but he sure is enjoying it!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Party Planning

I've often said to J that in another life, I would love to be an event planner.  You see, I enjoy being the hostess with the mostest.  I like planning a theme, a menu, decorations, and logistics. 

Planning our wedding was a DREAM COME TRUE.  In the beginning, both J and my mom encouraged me to hire a wedding planner, but I refused.  I wasn't going to waste a dime of my budget on someone who would only do the same things I could do myself.  I just knew that wedding planning would be my cup of tea, and I was right.  I found it to be exciting and enjoyable, not full of stress and angst.  I truly loved it.

Planning events at my home, though clearly not as elaborate as a wedding, is also something that I love.  However, I sometimes lose sight of the simplicity that a home event should be.  I tend to- well- overdo it.  Always.  I strive for loveliness and perfection, even if it is just having friends over for dinner.

At this moment, I find myself looking ahead to a certain someone's first birthday party.  And while I've told myself and others, several times, that it will be small and simple, no big deal, it turns out that I can't convince myself that this will be true.

A first birthday is special, no?   

Also, between Pinterest and Etsy, I have suddenly found the possibilities to be endless

I think I'm in trouble.

Stay tuned to see what extravaganza unfolds for the wee one's big day.  Yes, the one that is not really for him, but more for me.  The one that he will not remember.  But the one that he will hopefully look at photos of someday, and realize that his big day was a big deal to those who love him.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Review: Explosive Eighteen

Yes, I finished this one quickly.  If you have ever read any of Janet Evanovich's "number" books, you'll know that they are quick, entertaining reads.

Explosive Eighteen was no exception.
Bumbling bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is at it again.  This time, she has not one, but three crazies after her.  Her arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt is squatting in her apartment.  Her hair is inadvertently dyed "Route 1 Sunrise"- a vibrant mix of fire engine red and school bus yellow.  And, per usual, she's just trying to stay alive.

Her faithful sidekicks are ever present.  Lula gets indigestion and accidentally ingests a love potion.  Grandma is considering becoming a cougar.  And the men- Morelli and Ranger- well, the love triangle remains.

Explosive Eighteen was quintessential Janet Evanovich.  I laughed out loud several times- and I LOVE when a book can make me laugh out loud. 

Four stars out of five.

And for you Evanovich lovers- "One For The Money", starring Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum, hits theaters later this month.  Exciting stuff, no?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


No, not grey hairs.  (I've got plenty of those- nothing noteworthy there).  My time off afforded me the chance to catch up on Grey's Anatomy.  And OMG!

Once upon a time, I had given up on this show.  When Izzy started sleeping with dead Denny, I lost interest.  Too cuckoo for me.  Of course, I found out later that the craziness was due to a brain tumor.  Oops.  I had forsaken one of my favorite shows prematurely.

So I caught up.  Before the cancellation of cable, I watched reruns.  God bless Lifetime.  (And that season finale a few years back with the shooter on the loose?  Quite possibly the most dramatic thing I've seen on TV, EVER.  Whoa.)  Post-cancellation, I asked J to do some downloading for me.  There are probably a few episodes here and there that I've missed, but I've got the general idea of everything that has gone down at Seattle Grace over the years.

Last week, I caught up on the current season.  And by caught up, I mean watched all nine episodes that have aired this year.  And when I got to the end of the most current episode, and realized that I'd have to wait to find out what happened next?  I let out a loud "NOOOOOO!"  Seriously, out loud, in my living room, to no one in particular.  Well, maybe to the TV Gods.


How could Henry have died?????   AAAAHHHH!  I'm not a happy camper about this.  I need Scott Foley in my life.  (Remember that he played Noel on Felicity, and you all know that I loved Felicity.) Also, I liked happy Teddy.

And how can Meredith and Derek NOT be getting Zola back?  They desperately need to get that baby back and get back to being a happy couple, because I can't take much more of their angst.

AND, how can Meredith and Alex be stranded out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by dead people?  Okay, that one I can actually let slide, because I'm sure it's going to lead to some good TV that ends with both of them still alive.

Basically, I am just shy of peeing my pants with excitement over tonight's new episode.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


With all the craziness of the past few weeks, the new year sneaked up on me.  I was busy Christmasing, then party hostessing, and it never occurred to me to look ahead to 2012 with any resolutions in mind.

So I said to myself, "Self, what should your new year's resolutions be?"

And the answer that I came up with?  I don't wanna make any.  It seems like every year I come up with a list of things I'd like to accomplish in the coming year, and inevitably, I fail to meet my goals.  I set unreasonable expectations for myself.  So this year, I'm just not going to do it.  Instead, I will say that there are some general lifestyle choices that I would like to keep in mind. 

I think it would be good to try and live a healthier lifestyle.  Try to get a few more veggies on my plate, and be more active.  I WILL NOT resolve to give up dessert, to spend four hours a week on the elliptical, or to lose x number of pounds.  

I would like to make it a priority to spend quality time with my family.  I WILL NOT resolve to spend hours making sure that there is an exciting craft, outing, or activity planned for each weekend.  Sometimes, quality time can be playing on the floor with our boy, and watching a movie together after he goes to bed.

I would like to do a good job managing our money.  Ideally, this means spending responsibly, in such a way that there is some extra money to be saved at the end of each month.  I WILL NOT resolve to keep my grocery bill under $100 each week, to never eat at a restaurant again, or to live a spartan existence.  Responsibility is all I am asking of myself.

I'd like to read books, laugh often, build things with blocks, not sweat the small stuff, bake a terrific cake,  go on dates with my husband, make memories with my son. 

I want to love life.

Looking ahead to 2012 with these ideas in mind- not resolutions- makes me smile.  I am positive that the year 2012 will be a happy one. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

This Is What It's Come To

Overheard in my kindergarten class today:

"You can use that letter that looks like a candy cane to spell 'facebook'." 

Yes, friends.  He could not identify a lowercase f, or tell me what sound it makes, but he knew that it's the beginning letter in facebook.


Book Review: The Shadow of Your Smile

Long ago, I was a Mary Higgins Clark super fan.  Every time she published a new book, I snatched it up and devoured it immediately.  (That was back in the days when I had the free time to devour a book immediately- now, I need some time.)  I loved her mysteries, mixed with just a touch of romance.  I liked the "whodunnits" that she came up with.

As a matter of fact, I read her books so frequently and so voraciously that I figured out her "formula."

I have always been impressed with my mom's ability to figure out who the bad guy was in books and movies.  But maybe this is how my mom does it- she figures out the formulas.  Turns out, I've picked that skill up, and it sucks.  It takes the fun out of reading a story when I already know the surprise ending.

MHC always writes a strong female main character.  She always has two love interests to decide between.  And you always like one just a little bit more than the other.  Turns out, this is a good thing, because that one you like a little bit less is the bad guy.  BAM!  Mystery solved.

After making this discovery, I gave up on MHC.  I didn't want to waste my time reading a mystery when I already knew whodunnit.

But recently, I found myself without a book to read, and the desire for something mindless.  (I realize that MHC's books will never be shelved with the classics.)  I decided to give her another try, and hope for the best.  So I downloaded "The Shadow of Your Smile" onto Katarina the Kindle.
 I am happy to report that in this particular book, MHC strayed from her formula.  Huzzah!  I managed to read the entire book, and be surprised at the surprise ending- well, kinda.

I did not figure out whodunnit.  But I also didn't really care by the time it was revealed who did.  The build-up to the end was entertaining, but the ending itself fizzled.  The declarations of never-ending love after one date were absurd.  The "woman scorned" routine was not exactly ground breaking.  And all of the packages tied up with neat little bows were boring.

But all in all?  I got what I was looking for: a mindless read.  If you have ever been a fan of MHC, I say give this one a shot.  But if you're looking for something truly exciting, thought-provoking, or intelligent?  Maybe skip this one.

Three stars out of five.

And just so you know how I roll?  After finishing up this mindless read, I've got two more on the docket.  I'll take a stab at some more serious literature once I finish "Explosive Eighteen" and "Kill Alex Cross."  Maybe. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Back To The Grind

Whew!  These past two weeks off have been a complete whirlwind.  Celebrating three Christmases and a New Year was thoroughly exhausting, and I now need a vacation from my vacation.  Alas, work has beckoned, and return, I must.

I left my little man with the sitter this morning.

I must say that aside from the craziness that the holidays inevitably bring, I simply adored soaking up every minute that I could with my little sweet pea.  (As did his extended family.)  Did I suck a blogging?  Yes.  Did I instead spend that time playing on the floor with my boy?  Yes.  Regrets?  Not so much.

But, since I have been neglecting you, dear readers, let me catch you up on the goings-on of late.

The Nugget: Since his ten month post, he has completely given up on baby food (the real stuff is so much better!), begun standing up while playing, dancing, watching TV, or any other time he pleases, taken one step unassisted, and officially spoken his first word.  Mama?  No.  Dada?  Not it, either.  What could it possibly be, you ask?  No.  That little ginger of mine just might turn out to be the feisty type that redheads are rumored to be.  His first official word is NO.   

The Husband: J began a new job.  An opportunity for bigger and better things came along, and J seized it.  We are very excited about good things to come.  And as a side note, the company has free soda for their employees- need change for the vending machine?  Not J.  Coolness.

The Wife: I have been busy holding down the fort, playing the role of stay-at-home-mom and loving every second of it.  (But that's no surprise to any of you.) 

I think that about covers it.  You're officially caught up.  And now that we're all settling back into our routines, post-vacation, I'll bring back my blogging A-game.  Bring it, 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Gabe is awfully excited about 2012- and this cool balloon.  Hope the new year brings nothing but joy and goodness to you all!


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