Friday, February 17, 2012

The weeks fly by....

Well, here we are. Friday all over again. I guess that our school system is trying to kill me, because not only did they have early release today, but they are out of school Monday and Tuesday. That's not to say I dislike having Ava at home. It's the Ava/Davis combo that kills me. They are in full on love-hate sibling mode these days. They can't stand to be apart from one another, but the bickering is nonstop.

In order to maintain my sanity, I have been doing some online shopping. Nothing huge....just some cute crewcuts stuff for Ava that was on sale. I've also been perusing Pinterest quite a bit. How addicitive is that little site? Geez.

Here are a few of my favorite things that I've pinned lately.

Love this green/navy/white combo for spring:

This e-card is great:
better believe it...

I  am crazy about this room, and particularly those curtains. Wowza.
striped drapes

If I ever redo Ava's room, I love this for inspiration:
Would be great in Ava's room.

I found a tutorial for no-sew  Roman shades. I'm planning to try this out on one of my kitchen windows as soon as I can find the right fabric:
no sew roman shade

I made these bars. If you  love peanut butter and chocolate, make these now. Seriously. Now.
Easy and Delicious! Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars:   1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix  1/2 cup butter, melted  1 cup creamy peanut butter  2 eggs  1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips  1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk  2 Tablespoons butter  2 teaspoons vanilla  1 cup coconut (optional)  Directions:1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.2) Combine cake mix,melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.3) In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars. 

And, lastly, I made this chicken dish. It is absurdly simple to make. 
I'm hoping I can find something to make for dinner tonight. Right now, I'm completely unmotivated to cook at all. In fact, after an early run and  Body Pump class at the gym, I kind of want to take a nap. Unfortunately, both kids are at home, and the youngest slept 20 minutes in the car, which he seems to be counting as a nap. Hmph. 

I'm excited about my weekend. I'm having lunch tomorrow with 2 of my college roommates. We don't live far from one another, but lining up schedules to get together is nearly impossible. 

We're also at T minus 6 days until we leave for Disney, so that's pretty exciting. I'm ready for some warm Florida weather. It will be Davis' first time on a plane, and to anyone else on the flight, I offer my apologies ahead of time. Especially since it's a commuter plane with only 14 rows. Again, people, I'm really sorry.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

My kids have been pretty much inundated with candy lately, so we decided to do small V-Day gifts this year instead of showering them with more sweets. Nothing big - Davis got a little stuffed Angry Bird, and Ava got a Rapunzel Barbie. 

Last night, it occurred to me that we had not purchased cards for them. Usually I think it's kind of a waste of money, especially for Davis, who can't even read. Ava is getting a little sensitive about such things, though. It was already 10pm when I realized I was card-less, though, so I tried to get creative and make cards for both of them. 

I have to tell you, I'm so glad I went this route. I had fun  making their cards, and I think they enjoyed getting something we had made. I took pictures of the you go:

 Ava's was paper hearts. It took me back to Kindergarten!

For Davis, I just glued some of his leftover Cars Valentine's that he had picked out for his class onto red construction paper. Fancy!

No big plans tonight. Morgan and I went out on Saturday, so we're just doing family night here. Ava has dance until 6:15, so I think Valentine's pizza might be on the menu. Good thing I had a salad for lunch.

Happy heart day, everyone!

Monday, February 13, 2012


So, last night I watched the Grammy Awards. As much as I love the fashion of the Oscars and the Golden Globes, the Grammys are my hands-down favorite awards show. You usually get some pretty good musical performances, and last night didn't completely disappoint.

Let's see. Bruce Springsteen opened the show. I'm not a fan at all. AT ALL. Like, I don't know if I would go to see him if you paid me. I just don't really get his music. But lots of people disagree with me, and I suppose that even as a non-fan, the performance was good.

Rhianna did a pretty darn good job. She is looking like she has been hitting the gym hard. I am super-jealous of her body and her dance moves. All the hours I've logged playing Just Dance on the Wii do not give me even an ounce of what Ri Ri has going on. Also, I'd never really been that impressed with her dancing before, but she brought it last night. 
Has her body always been that ridiculous? I need to know what she does, immediately.

Oh, and what was the deal with the Rhianna/Coldplay colloaboration? Unexpected, but not so good. I don't know....I like Coldplay alright, but I don't' think they're all that. 

(On a related note, my favorite Coldplay song is "The Scientist." Did you know that Willie Nelson just recorded that song? It's sooooo good. Find it on iTunes. I just noticed it's #26 in the top singles). 

Foo Fighters. Aaaahhh! My faves. I have had a major crush on Dave Grohl for a long time. I like to call him my rock star boyfriend. He is the hottest rocker around. They always play good, solid rock and roll.
Dave Grohl,center, and the Foo Fighters performs at the 54th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
 Plus, I was watching Taylor on the drums, thinking how good he is, and then remembered that Dave Grohl is even better on drums. Remember that little band called Nirvana? And for those of you who don't love his grunginess (I let him get away with it due to his rock star status), here is is all clean cut. Adorbs.

Then there were the Beach Boys. Besides the fact that Brian Wilson looked totally sedated and overly Botoxed, and the rest of the guys seemed extremely stiff, they  actually sounded really good. I just had to close my eyes while they played, though, because seeing them so old was just a little unnerving.

I loved Taylor Swift, but if I see her act shocked at the love she gets from her audience one more time, I may scream. We get it. You are surprised you're so popular. That was sweet a couple of years ago, but now you've sold millions of albums and won tons of awards. Modesty is a great trait, but I'm starting to think you practice the "oh my gosh! you like me!" look in the bathroom mirror at home.

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

Is Neil Patrick Harris giving her the stink-eye in this picture?

Oh, and her opening act, The Civil Wars, are topping my must-downloads for today. (yes, my musical tastes are much varied).

Katy Perry was pretty good, for her. I always have mixed feelings about her, but I find myself liking her better now that she ended things with that freakshow Russell Brand. Good riddance. I felt pretty certain she was singing "Part of Me" to him. That was quite an outfit she was sporting, wasn't it? I saw several Twitter comments about gold camel toe. Yuck.

Katy Perry Debuts New Song 'Part of Me' at Grammys | Katy Perry

Adele. What can I say about her that hasn't already been said? Girl can SING. She's soulful, she's got pipes like nobody's buisness. I love her. And that accent is the best. I actually don't have either of her CDs, but I think I'm going to have to download both. 

My BFF Gwynnie introduced Adele. At some point in the night, Gwyneth and Rhianna compared dresses and svelte figures:
PIC: Rail-Thin Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow Compare Sexy Dresses

One final note: I think Mark Anthony is super-creepy looking. Apparently, that doesn't hurt him in the least. He seems to be doing just fine post-J Lo-split, and had a little Venezuelan arm candy at his side last night:

WELL ARMED photo | Marc Anthony

Seriously. He looks like a corpse.

All in all, I enjoyed the show. Now I'm off to spend some iTunes dollars. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

No Alarm Needed

I am so annoyed this morning. Davis woke up at 4:55am ready to get up. Seriously. 4:55am. And it wasn't like he went to bed at 6 last night. This is the problem we have now. If he naps, his night sleep gets out of whack. And if he doesn't nap? He's falling apart at 4:30pm.

So, at 4:55am, I tried to be strong. I told him it was still night time, and to go back to sleep. That worked for maybe two minutes. Then I let him cry for a few minutes, but he was really loud, and Ava's was sleeping soundly in the room next door. So, I gave him the option of getting in bed with Morgan and me. That, of course, is one of those things I would have NEVER done before I actually had kids. I was completely on Team No Kids In My Bed.

After a little (a lot) of protest, Davis relented and decided our bed would be fine. Sleep was not on his agenda, though. There was some fidgeting. Then he tried using my head as a pillow. And at one point he tried smothering me with his Pillow Pet. He kept telling Morgan to stop snoring. He tossed and turned. My head started hurting because I was getting so annoyed with the whole scenario.

Finally, at 5:25, I gave in and we got up. I heard Davis' stomach growling, and it occurred to me that he had skipped dinner last night. And, lest you think I didn't give him dinner, I did. He just didn't like it. In fact, he took one look at his plate and immediately shoved it away. So, I figured he was hungry this morning, and I was right. He devoured a huge bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, and has since had two snacks.

I, on the other hand, am still pissed that he was up so early. This was the one day of the week I didn't have to rise at either 5 or 5:30 for exercise. I stayed up late watching that tragedy of a basketball game, and announced several times that I was so happy to not have to get up early today. So much for that.

I'm hoping that such an early wake up will mean a nice nap after school today. I think we could both use it. I have big plans to crash on my sofa and catch up on Real Housewives of Atlanta. Hopefully that giant pile of laundry won't interfere with my plans.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Kitchen After

Monday again? I'm already worn out. Davis doesn't have school on Mondays, and as much as I love him, he is really wearing me out lately. Luckily, he's having a little nap right now, so I'm getting a much-needed break.

I am so happy to report that our kitchen is all done. It was actually finished about 10 days ago, but it has taken me forever to get everything put away and take pictures. I'm thrilled with how everything turned out. It all went really quickly, and the project was just so well-managed. Maybe January is a good time to do work to your house since there don't seem to be as many construction projects going on. Whatever the case, it was a smooth project from start to finish for us. I certainly didn't like being without a kitchen, but I kept trying to remember the end result was going to be well worth it.

Let's start with a before, shall we? You remember this, right?

Granted, it wasn't TERRIBLE, but it was definitely in need of some updating. So, we knocked out the cabinets, removed the soffits, smoothed the ceilings, added new lighting, new cabinets, new countertops, a backsplash, new paint, and new stainless appliances (except for the dishwasher, which is fairly new and white, and looks fine for now).

Here's the result:

Now I'm looking for fabric for either a valance or Roman shade to go on the window over the sink. I may also have some seat cushions made. I need accessories, and my aunt suggested a big red bowl on the table, which I think would be really cool. As far as fabric for the windows, I'm thinking something kind of modern, like an Ikat, a trellis, or a trefoil/quatrefoil print. I have  found a few, but nothing that screams out The One.

Also, my photography skills are seriously lacking. Clearly, it's time to take a digital SLR class.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Girl Crush Continues...

My husband has advised me not to blog any more about Gwyneth Paltrow. He thinks I'm beginning to sound like a stalker. Never one to heed advice, here I go again.

Gwyneth is on the cover of February's Harper's Bazaar. I didn't know this, but apparently Harper's Bazaar has  been revamped, and the February issue is the unveiling of the new look. 

Not surprisingly, Gwynnie looks amazing. I think the looks they put her in are a bit of a departure. She's showing a LOT more skin than we usually see, and all of her workouts have obviously paid off. Here are a few of the pics from the magazine:

all images via Harper's Bazaar

She says in the interview that she works out 90 minutes every weekday. Clearly, the work (and good genes) have paid off. At 39, she looks insane.

Now, I know that a lot of people don't care much for Gwyneth at all. I know, I know. She kind of comes across as, I don't know, maybe elitist? Or snobby? But I kind of like that she doesn't try to cover up the fact that she leads a charmed life. It's her life, and she's embracing it, not apologizing for it. She seems to take advantage of the opportunities that a life of  fame and fortune have provided her. Clearly, we can't all cook with Mario Batali or be married to rock stars, but we can have fun seeing what that life looks like. Plus, I like a celebrity who says, "Yeah, I work my ass off to look like this," rather than the ones who deny exercise while claiming to live off cheeseburgers and fries. 

If you have a chance, read the article. In it, she comes across as very real, but still very Gwyneth. And I, for one, still think she's the coolest.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TV Time

It's been so busy around here lately that I feel like I've gotten behind on my favorite shows. Last night I caught up on this week's episode of The Bachelor. I know Courtney is the villian, and deservedly so, but the show would be so boring without her. I read on some gossip site that Courtney is rumored to be the Chosen One for Ben. So, we'll see. One question, though? What's the deal with that overbite?

Last night, I watched the wedding episode of Gossip Girl. That's right. I watch Gossip Girl. And The Bachelor. So yeah, lots of bad tv. Lots. So, GG has been pretty terrible this season, and while I've still been watching, I've been wondering where the show will go. I mean, how did these people go from being in college one season to all having "jobs" the next? And how is it that they all just happen to end up at the social event of the season at the end of every episode?

I'll steer clear of plot, though, just in case you aren't a fan. Talk about boring. What I'd like to discuss is how amazing Blair (Leighton Meester) looked for her wedding on the show. The dress was gorgeous:


And one thing they never do wrong on that show is makeup. The wedding face was no exception:
The hair could have been  better, but I'll let it go.

Now, I'm not a big Blake Lively/Serena fan. I think there's something annoying about her, and the fact that she constantly has her boobs on display drives me nuts. As a not-at-all-endowed girl myself, I take offense. It's not jealousy. Not at all. (well, maybe a little bit).

But when Serena had a dream sequence in which she portrayed Marilyn Monroe singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend", I almost felt bad  for Lively. It was terrible. Her dress was at least a size too small, and she just looked ridiculous trying to emulate someone as legendary as Marilyn. 

Blake Lively as Marilyn Monroe for Gossip Girl's 100th Episode

Now if I can only catch up on all the Real Housewives. And, just to throw in something seemingly more highbrow, Downton Abbey.