My new favorite snack..

A couple of weeks ago Mom and I brought my son to California for a very short trip to see family.  It was a great trip and deserves it's own post so I won't go on and on but I got a couple of great snack ideas from my Mom and Aunt while we were there. 

The first is great for a healthy snack that you can take on the road.  Snyder's Pretzel Snaps..for some reason I only really like Snyder's pretzels.  The Rold Gold are too salty I think.  Anyway, pretzel snaps and the Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedge. You just scoop the cheese with a snap and you're getting a filling snack and adding protein. My mom prefers the French Onion, which I like, but I get the swiss to use for this or to spread on an apple.  These cheese wedges are great for everything and are only 35 calories a wedge! Click here for nutritional info.  And don't worry about keeping them refrigerated..we brought them on the plane and they were still good a few hours later!

Another pretzel snack that my Aunt got me into was Pretzel Crisps and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  Since I've been home I've tried Cedars and Joseph's which I typically love but for this snack Sabra makes the best Roasted Red Pepper Hummus hands down. The hummus is also great for carrots/veggies too so just keep it around the house.

Do you have an easy, healthy go-to snack to share?


My Love/Hate Relationship with Facebook...

This has been building for awhile so I assume this post will likely resemble a full on rant. But I'll start with what I love..

I love that I've reconnected with so many people from my past - whether I was close to them or not, whether we post back and forth or not..  I love it.  One girl, I can't even remember how friendly we were in high school but she is one of my favorite facebook people.  She posts the funniest quotes from her son and I look forward to them.  When she posts about him being bullied in school I tear up and get so angry for her...or about her youngest making major breakthroughs as he grows up with autism I get soo excited for him, for them. We learned early on that we both love True Blood and message each other about it throughout the season.  I don't ever see her, and with our schedules, probably won't unless there is some big high school event for everyone that brings us back together, but when I took a break from facebook..I missed her!  I know..sounds crazy.  I just I love that facebook keeps me in touch with so many people and lets me know how they're doing and that they're happy, they're married, they have adorable kids etc.  My life is very busy (like everyone elses!) and I'm lucky to have a great group of close friends that I see as much as I can, and facebook helps me stay connected on some level to the people I enjoy but I'm just not so close to.

What do I hate about facebook?  Or, I should say, about how facebook is used? First the obvious..I hate the constant complainers..  "It's soo hot." "Why is it so cold out?" "Great it's raining again!" "I hate the snow."  Really? They're called seasons and YOU LIVE IN NEW ENGLAND! Has it ever been any different?  And I get it...I do..but goodness shut up! So then I hide those people from my newsfeed and move on.

But the biggest thing is that I think people become lazy in their (myself included) friendships and I think facebook makes that worse.  When a friend is really sick or even has a baby..and a CLOSE friends simply writes, "how are you?" or "Congratulations" on their wall. I think, was that for the person or for everyone to see it?  Cause you could have called, emailed or text them. It takes away that personal touch and creates space in the relationship.  Maybe this is just me going through changes in friendships and not liking it... or maybe it is just me resisting that everything is moving to facebook..  I even hated when friends started messaging through facebook instead of the gmail account they had used for me for years..  I guess maybe I'm just not ready for facebook to be the center of things.. but I probably never thought texting could replace a long conversation with a friend and, in this busy time, it certainly has.

Am I the only one that feels this way? 


Artimus Art Review - Guest Blogger Johanna

During the school year my boys bring home tons and tons of artwork.  Of course, I think they are mini Picassos and I have a rotating gallery on my fridge but at the end of the year I am faced with the “what the heck should I do with all this paper?”  I feel guilty throwing it out, and of course the ones I try to sneak into the recycling are always found and met with the “Mom, you don’t like my butterfly, car, etc?”, which breaks my heart and ups the Mommy guilt meter. 
So, with the basket on my kitchen counter overflowing (yes, that's my actual basket)

I set out to find a storage solution for my kid’s art.  Originally, I was looking for some sort of file or flat storage box.  But, I found something even better, a custom book of my children’s artwork from Artimus Art.  Here’s how it works.  You go to Artimus Art’s web site (www.artimusart.com) and create an account.  You choose your book (24, 50 or 80 pages) and pay the fee.  A few days later the big art box is delivered to your home. 

You put your child’s artwork in the box and mail it back.  Then the team at Artimus Art photographs your child’s artwork and uploads it to an online gallery.  Once the art is in the gallery you can arrange it the way you want, add titles, pick your cover art, book color and create a dedication page.  The whole process is very easy and the turn around time is quick.

I ordered a 24 page book and sent 12 pieces of art from each of my children.  I admit, it is pricey, but the hard cover book is durable and the photos are printed on professional quality photo paper.  You may be wondering if you could do this yourself using one of the many online photo services, and you probably could.  I don’t have a good quality digital camera or scanner and I don’t have a creative bone in my body so this option was best for me.  I involved the kids in the whole process so they were so excited when the book arrived! Another thing I love about Artimus Art is it is a local company run by a mom.  


Keratin Treatment Review

I've been talking a lot about the Keratin Treatment and here it is, my review and pictures.

First the stylist washed my hair then blew it completely dry.  After that she painted on the treatment and covered my head in it completely.  I had to sit with the treatment on, wearing a plastic cap for 20 min. When the 20 min was up she blew dry my hair again and then flat ironed really small sections, going over each section 8 to 10 times.  

In total it took 3 hours.  My butt was KILLING me. 

Ugh.  No washing, no wetting, no elastics, headbands, bobby pins, tucking behind the ears...nothing.  It felt so greasy and heavy.  When day 4 ended and was so happy to wash finally.

I HATED the first 4 days, hated them.  And at first, even after washing, I still wasn't sure.  First, I thought this was a smoothing treatment.  I thought that my hair would dry with it's natural curl/wave but just softer..NOPE.  Pin straight.  I have to blow dry just to add some body to it.  AND, I used to be able to go 4 to 5 days without washing it - now 2 days tops, maaaybe 3 with a ponytail on the last day. I don't like that.  What do I like?  I like that its supposed to last 4-6 months. I like that my hair dries really quick.  When it rains, my hair stays.   When it's humid, my hair stays.  When I sweat, my hair stays!  I love it.  Check out the pictures below.
One more thing..  no need to buy the keratin shampoo and conditioner.  I use L'Oreal EverPure Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner. They're about $6.99 each at CVS or Stop and Shop. 
$175 + $70 tip = $245
My biggest tip...subscribe to all the Groupons... Groupon, BuyWithMe, Eversave etc.. and then jump on one that is in driving distance.  Other tips:
 - when you see the coupon..check the salon on yelp first, then call the salon and see when they have appts.  I bought my BuyWithMe and then called the salon and had to wait a month for my appt.

The keratin is a little like childbirth....a painful process but then you love the result so much you forget about how bad the process was.  ;-)


Lookin' for advice - Guest blogger: SWF

So, one of the unintended consequences of this whole adventure in online dating is that it’s quite a shock to the system to go from a complete and utter lack of romantic potential to winks, emails, and multiple dates over the span of one short week.  But, this is what I wanted, right?  Now, I’ve never been a serial dater, even in my younger, wilder, social-butterfly days.  Most of my previous relationships started slowly and blossomed from friendships - we were already buddies and one day realized we both kind of wanted to see the other person naked.  Sure, there were times where either the gentleman or I attempted (sometimes successfully, sometimes painfully not) to court the other in the traditional dating sense, but those were the exception. 

I distinctly remember a conversation with an old (male, non-romantic) friend of mine about how he was actively dating 2 or 3 women and how strange that was to me.  He was by no means cheating on any of them; he was legitimately dating them, by which I mean he asked them out for a specific activity, made arrangements, provided transportation, paid, and behaved like a true gentleman.  He eventually went on to marry one of those women, so I guess it worked.  That sort of experience is pretty foreign to me, so I’m struggling a bit with how to manage dates with multiple guys.  I mean, on the one hand, I have this mild fear I’ll end up in a Jack Tripper situation juggling two different dates on the same night – constantly excusing myself from one date to the other as I maneuver secretly from one end of the Regal Beagle to another. 

And on the other, more serious, hand, what if I really like someone?  Do I continue to go on other dates?  What if I go out with someone and the date isn’t spectacular, but we have a decent time and the source of our lackluster experience is probably due more to first date awkwardness than any fundamental mismatch?  Do I go out with that guy again?  What if he thinks I’m leading him on?  I’m not sure I’m ready to handle rejecting someone.  And I haven’t even begun to think about being rejected by someone. 

“Oh, SWF”, you’re probably thinking, “you’re getting way ahead of yourself, just enjoy this for what it is – getting yourself out there and meeting people”.  And you’re right, gentle reader, I am getting ahead of myself, but I wouldn’t be my charmingly neurotic self if I didn’t entertain these thoughts.  I just need to keep a level head, temper my atrophied romantic muscles from over-exertion, and, above all, enjoy myself.  But still, I ask you, dear internet, those of you with more experience in dating (online or otherwise), what advice can you give to this gal who has plunged herself headfirst into this new world?



Slowing down...

That's been my goal lately...as you can see from the lack of blog posts.  We're constantly booked due to work, social obligations or..well...me..  I'm a "planaholic".  If there is an open weekend coming up you can bet I'll have us booked everyday of that weekend in no time.  If we start talking about my "girl's nights"..well let's just say I've cut myself back to one a week and it's been tough!  I sound like a jerk when a friend asks to meet for a drink and I try to book them 3 weeks out. 

I realized I was never present.  I had filled my life so much that I could never concentrate on what I was doing, I was always planning in my head.  In meetings I was thinking about what blog topics I could write about that week, making me less effective at work.  At home, I was constantly interacting with people via text or facebook, just being in touch or booking up my nights.  This resulted in my husband staring at me with a "helllooo?" look on his face and sometimes me missing some of the short time we get to spend with our son before bed during the week.  Then, once the little one was sleeping, I'd sit on the couch and write blog posts or, again, interact with friends, making plans or just keeping in touch. 

I realized I was really missing out on life by never just being in the moment.  I had to prioritize first.  What matters most to me in the world?  My husband and child.  Having the best family we can and enjoying every second of each other. Not booking our whole weekend so that we actually have time, just the 3 of us.  Then, our family and friends...but I realized I put so much time and energy into, even just thinking about some friends.. and not that they did anything wrong by not being that way back, but I think I realized I just don't need to do that.  Our close friends are our close friends..  they love us for us and don't let small things get in the way of our friendship.. we're all busy and see each other when we can and be in touch when we can.  This is a big one for me that will just have to be another post because it'll get long.  Next was work.. It's important for me to be successful in my job.  I needed to start really focusing at work.  Oh, and exercise and eating right are sprinkled in there too.

So now what used to be 3 - 5 blog posts a week will likely be 1 - 3.  And my typical immediate response to texts or emails may not come for awhile.  When I'm with my family, I'm WITH them..not with my phone or my laptop.  This is a learning process for me..to slow down.. but I'm trying.   


Lookin' for love - Guest blogger: SWF

Online dating…the phrase kind of makes my lip curl.  Not in the sexy Elvis way, more like the reaction one might have to taking a tentative whiff from a milk carton you’re not quite sure has turned sour:  this could be really bad, but maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised and actually get one more breakfast out of it.

OK, that was a weird analogy, but online dating is kind of a weird experience for me.  I mean, love should just happen, right?  Isn't finding romance online only for losers? Well...what happens when you wake up in your early 30's and realize you're not meeting people like you did in college and you realize the last place you want to be on a Friday night is a bar trying to meet people? What happens when the thought of dating anyone at work is just awkward and you've reached that point in your life where you don't really want to expand your social circle but you're ready to settle down?  You join Match.com, that's what.

So here goes.

I've halfheartedly browsed Match and eHarmony a couple times in the past, but always, ALWAYS, find something not to like about potential guys.  I'd create Rules in my head looking for ways to eliminate them:

* that one listed his income and that's just gauche
* this one listed that book I hated as one of his favorite things, so obviously we'd never get along
* that one doesn't know the difference between your/you're/their/there/etc, and no, we're not all perfect, but show some effort, right?

So, this time, instead of finding reasons to dismiss guys, I'm going to make an actual effort to go on some dates and at least get out of  my solitary comfort zone.  It's been a little less than week and I've emailed with two guys so far, and have a date scheduled with one of them in a couple days.  The other one?  Well, he might have broken a Rule in his last email, so we'll see if I email him back.  Hey, don't judge...I'm taking baby steps. ; )



Cowboy Caviar Recipe!

A great alternative to salsa if you're looking for something new and it's healthy!  Bring it to a 4th of July BBQ this weekend!

Click on the picture of the recipe below to print:


Happy Father's Day - My Dad

Father Maguire Park in Lowell
I remember my Dad showing me how to tie my shoes; letting me sit on his lap and "drive" while he pushed the gas/brakes (YES..that is true.  the good old days); "closing" his eyes and letting me tell him which way to turn while he was driving (he's sounding like a dangerous man! haha). I remember when he was supposed to give us a bath and instead let us bring soap outside in the rain to take a "shower".  I remember him helping me with my homework; playing dodge-ball, catch, basketball - every night after work; telling my Mom and Me that we looked beautiful EVERY TIME we got ready for anything (still happens!).  I remember him writing me a very thoughtful card, only from him, for my 16th birthday. I remember how he clipped every newspaper article when my brother was mentioned for football or tennis; or when he taught me to drive a stick shift. I remember when he gave me advice on what direction I wanted to go in while I was in college; and when he helped me get ready for my first interviews. I remember his face when my brother got married, how proud he was to be the best man, and how happy he was to bring Katie into our family. I remember when he started buying me Christmas presents just from him; I remember when he gave me my "last" piece of jewelry before I got married and it was no longer his "job" ;-), I remember when he walked me down the aisle and how he got choked up giving the speech at our wedding.  I remember how he fell in love with my son the second he saw him..and has been obsessed with him ever since.

My Dad showed me that raising kids and taking care of a house is an equal partnership.  He cooked, cleaned, and did laundry..and when we were big enough, made sure we pitched in too. He taught us that you had to work hard for anything we wanted.  He taught me how to pack a suitcase..I can now fit 5 days in a carry-on.  He just taught us...whatever he knew, he took the time to teach us.

I watched him get so excited as my little cousins were growing up..taking time to teach them how to turn an old wrapping paper roll into an amazing sword, or use an acorn top to whistle; I watch him now do all the same with my son.

I wish my Dad the best Father's Day ever and love him with all my heart.


iPhone Accessory - Must have

If you have an iPhone you need this!  The pocket-sized backup battery goes in your purse/man-bag ;-) and it's great when you're out, away from a charger and your battery is going to die. You just connect it where you would typically put the charger and it'll boost your battery. Runs about $32 at amazon.  I bought the car version which is the item to the right in the picture to the left. It allows you to attach a charger cable and charge both the backup battery and your phone at the same time.  Then I throw the battery in my purse. They both have that functionality but I think of grabbing it more often when I see it in the car. 

Check it out at Amazon here.


Southwest Chicken Stew

I made this on Sunday and I've been bringing it to work for lunch.  It's low in calorie and filling.  Recipe below:

Southwest Chicken Stew

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.5 lbs)
1 14.5 oz can College Inn Chicken Broth - Fat Free & Low Sodium - Chicken Broth
1 bag Frozen pepper and onion stir fry vegetables
2 medium potatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp oregano
Hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste
optional - crushed red pepper

Use a large pot to cook the chicken.  Next, add everything else (except hot sauce, salt and pepper) and let simmer on medium to high heat for about 60 min.  Add hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

I like things hot but if this stew is feeding other mouths it's best to leave the hot sauce/crushed red pepper and let people add it to their own bowl if they want it.

Let me know if you try it!  Enjoy!


"I swear he isn't usually like this."

Dr. Jekyll - throwing himself on the floor at the end of our trip last week.
  We all know our kids have both Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in them.. why is it that the Dr Jekyll side comes out at the worst possible times?!?

Will is usually a very good kid.  Pretty chill..listens great most of the time and is very social (after an initial 2 min bout of shyness).  Well a very good, old friend came home from Denver for a visit this weekend and I was so excited that she was finally going to meet Will!  I couldn't wait for him to talk her ear off and drag her around the house showing her all his toys and how well he "shoots the basketball!".
Mr. Hyde - laughing and hiding in his built in with his basketballs.

When Lauren arrived Will started crying and yelling "I want Mommy!!".  I laughed it off and told her that "sometimes he does this... in 2 min we won't get him to stop talking..".  She chuckled gracefully and we went on with catching up. He was quiet because I was holding him.  Well... I tried to put him down so I could finish making the guacamole I had started and he'd have none of it. Started crying so loud. "I want Mommy I want Mommy!!".  I just put him down and told him that was enough, I just needed to finish in the kitchen before we'd come sit with him.  He proceeded to stand there, leaning up against me, wailing.  I was mortified.  This is not my kid..why is he doing this right now??  What the heck is Lauren thinking??

We finally got some time to talk as he ate lunch and then I put him to bed.  The whole time I'm saying, "he isn't usually like this.", "He's just been so out of routine with us going up north for a couple of days and then his Papa stayed with us and he just hasn't had a normal day in a while.", "Poor kid, he's so tired..", "Not sure why he's not falling asleep..he's soo tired.  That's why he's acting like this."  Excuses excuses.  Most of them are probably actually reasons he was so off but why did I feel the need to keep giving excuses to a friend that was obviously not even phased by his behavior?

Maybe because we want our friends and family to see the best of our kids.  We put so much hard work into teaching Will good behavior and good manners and we have so much fun with him every day - it was killing me that his one meeting with Lauren was going to be like this. 

Thankfully after he rested he was a lot more friendly and she had an opportunity to see a little bit of the Will we know and love. I'm sure Lauren was just happy to be here, spending time with us. It was probably more annoying for me to give an excuse every 5 minutes than it was for Will to cry to sit with me.

This phase ends soon right??


What does your guy want for Father's Day?

I reached out to the Dad's I know across the country and polled them on what they'd want for their special day and got some great responses.  At first I was feeling bad that I got started on this post so late as I wanted you to have time to shop...not to worry.  What they want, you don't need to buy...unless you want to hit Victoria Secret to spice it up. ;-)

Yup, you read that right...  I have to keep these anonymous but just as I did for Mother's Day, I'll share some of my favorites and then give you the list.  I do, however, need to change some of them to protect the innocent.  hahaha!

OK.. my top four favorites:
1. Sorry, but I'm going to take the 5th. 
2. My answer is x-rated
3. How clean do you want this?
4. A crazy night of good loving and a flat screen T.V.

Awesome.  Ladies, looks like you need to step up here.  haha!  OK, just kidding, but now you can certainly save on shipping costs.  Just grab a bottle of wine and..well...you know.  C'mon Father's Day comes once a year!  hee hee..

Enjoy reading through the guys responses!

1. I always want to spend some time with my kids and wife. After that, I would love a fishing trip with the guys. That would be fun.
2. A day at home with my family, where i can putz around my yard, and drink beers out back
3. A quiet day without a deadline to meet and nowhere I "had to be" at a particular time. Also, a pair of Spinners tickets and a new Red Sox shirt.
4.  I expect nothing and I'm not upset if I get nothing. However, I would be a liar if I said I would not be thrilled with a crazy night of good loving and a 46 inch LCD TV.
5. No presents.  Just a day without plans made by anyone else and a promise of no looks, sighs or guilt inducing comments/actions once I decide what I want to do or not do.
6. Golf in the morning, lunch/drinks with the boys after golf, Nap time on the couch with my daughter, A Filet Mingion on the grill with a caprese salad with a 05 Duckhorn Cabernet Savignon with the wife, and an outdoor fire with a fine cigar - after that it gets x rated



Sleeping Will...

I've always been obsessed with watching my 2 yr old sleep (best invention: video monitor) and sometimes he sleeps in the funniest positions.  I started taking pictures when I see it, flash (sorry buddy) and all.  Here are some classics..(I included some baby sleeping pictures too for fun)..

New baby Will

macho man

snuggle doggy

Yup..that's right.  Sneakers.  My friend was babysitting him and he cried that he wanted to wear his sneakers to bed.  She thought, "what's the harm in that?" and "Sarah is going to think this is hysterical." She was right.

Keeping Rex and Doggy warm

No description necessary


Some help getting your toddler to have their veggies

 Will used to eat whatever we put in front of him, it was great.  As he got older and he started to assert his independence at dinner.  It wasn't that he didn't LIKE the food, it was that he wouldn't even try it.  No rice, no pasta and green beans were the only veggies he'd try.  But he'll eat an organic veggie souffle?? Yup.  Oh, and if the pasta was in the shape that he liked, he'd eat that.

Point is I felt like he wasn't getting the veggies he needed in his diet and was worried that he was going to turn into a green bean; then a friend introduced me to Ella's Kitchen Veggie Pouches.  They're great and Will devours them.  They're a mix of vegetables and fruit blended with no other added ingredients to the consistency of applesauce. Some of the blends don't sound like they are appetizing at all but I've tried a taste of every one and they are good! You can find this brand at Target for around $1.80 per pouch but you can order them online, a pack of 7 for $12.80. 

They are also super convenient.  I keep a few in our diaper bag so when he needs a snack he can eat one and I can get him his fruit/veggie servings.  Also very easy to just hand it back to him while I'm driving.

You'll see this on the site:

Inside me you'll find:

  • NO added sugar, salt or water
  • NO additives or thickeners
  • NO E numbers or GM 
  • NO gluten, wheat, dairy or lactose 
  • NO lumps or bits and nothing artificial 
  • JUST yummy organic food for babies
  • Contains naturally occurring sugars


Chicken Enchiladas

I've mentioned in the past that I'm trying to use my cookbooks more often.  Recently I decided to make the Hungry Girl 1-2-3 Chicken Enchilada Casserole. I really like the Hungry Girl in general for light versions of my usual favorites! Check out her site www.hungry-girl.com

One thing you should know about me is that sometimes I can be completely anal and OCD and type A about things...and other times (mostly since I had a baby!) I'm super flightly and unorganized.  So, I started to make this recipe and for some reason  forgot it was a casserole.  I know..it's in the title, shut up.  So I put the canned chicken in the bowl and then dump the entire bag of vegetables in too.  Something strikes me at this point and I look back at the recipe and see that I was only supposed to use 2/3 cup of vegetables.  Then I started thinking about how a casserole didn't even sound that good to me.  I called a recipe audible and just made enchiladas with all the same ingredients. I mixed the ingredients and filled them into the tortillas and baked them at 350 for about 25 min. They were delicious and low cal!  My husband wished that I added more chicken but I liked them as is.
 Here is the original recipe:
  • 10 ounce can of 98% fat free chicken breas
  • 10.75 ounce can 98% fat free cream of celery condensed soup
  • 2/3 cup frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • six 6″ corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese, divided
preheat oven to 350.
in a large bowl, combine chicken, soup, veggies and salsa.  mix well and set aside.
spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick spray.  break tortillas into pieces and layer half of them along the bottom of the dish.
top with half of your chicken mixture and spread evenly.  sprinkle 1/2 of your cheese on top.  lay remaining tortilla pieces on top, then the rest of your chicken mixture and the rest of your cheese.
bake for 35 minutes or until brown and crispy.
let cool a few minutes to allow sauce to thicken.
serves 4

PER SERVING (¼ of casserole):
260 calories, 4g fat, 1,166mg sodium, 27g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugars, 27.5g protein

Is it just me?

I have a crazy thing about toilet paper.  I'm not kidding.  I need it a certain way at all times...no, to a crazy extent.  Like if I'm in your bathroom and it's the "wrong" way - I change it.  I mean, not in a public bathroom or some random person's house (ok, maybe then) but NOT a public restroom.

Which way do you put your toilet paper? 

I'm an option B girl!  And funny enough..as I was looking for pictures of toilet paper (I'm just starting to realize how weird this post is. ha!) I found this....

....which clearly shows that I am right.  I'm just saying.


Will's 2nd Birthday!

This post is so late - but better late than never.

I kept saying I didn't want to have a big birthday party for Will's 2nd birthday..I, however, am an event addict and just couldn't help it!  We decided the week of, very last minute, to see if people were around for a cookout.  We ended up with a great turn out and Will had a blast! 
I think my favorite thing is seeing the little ones playing together. They used to just play around each other but now they're constantly looking for each other to play with.  You can hear, "Hey Will, come play over here!" or "Jimmy and Carter! Come on!" and they all run to do something new.  I look forward to watching these boys, their siblings (Jimmy's sister Maggie was born last week!!  She's going to give them a run for their money!) and all our other friends children all grow up together.  :-)

Now my favorite topic - food. I followed my own advice and let people bring things when they asked! We're close enough to some friends that I just tell them to bring something..I know, sounds horrible..  but Chris makes the most ridiculous italian calzone you've ever eaten and Jim throws together wings and shrimp like it's his job..  Sometimes I feel like Joe Mayo from Seinfeld, just assigning people jobs at the party.

I made my feta and broccoli calzone and dill dip and burgers etc.  My mother-in-law made her delicious cookies and a tortellini salad. This tortellini salad is legend at our parties.  My sister-in-law introduced me to it years ago and I haven't stopped making it since!  Recipe later in the week.  Point is, everyone brought something which made our last minute decision party very successful.

The star of the party? Was it the birthday boy or our beautiful neice Calla or my little cousin Jack who thinks he's the host at every party (he totally is.) or the margaritas that Laurie made? Nope..the stars of the party were the cupcakes!!!  There were RAVE reviews.  Seriously, people walking around saying, "these things are addicting!!", "so light and fluffy and the frosting is perfect!".  Woohooo!!! 
An old friend started her own cupcake company in the area - Whimsical Little Cakes -  and I've used her twice so far.  Both times the cupcakes were delicious.  A couple of months ago I saw she posted pictures on her facebook page (click here to Like her facebook page and keep up with her new creations) of the Dr Suess' The Cat in the Hat cupcakes that she had made and I put in an order right away.  See the pictures below.

All in all a great party.  Can't wait until the next one. :-)


Buffalo Chicken Roll

I mentioned in my BBQ Must Haves post that I make these calzones/rolls with all different stuffings.  Well this is a favorite with my friends and maybe the most delicious treat I've ever tasted.  OK, not the MOST but CLOSE!!!  If you like buffalo chicken it's a must try. Just click to save/print!


I love JoJo!

I have to share these with you...  I almost don't want to because I love that I don't see them everywhere but here I go anyway.

I LOVE JoJo loves you earrings.  My obsession started when my fashionista friend Reagan bought me a pair of the BLING earrings in Hazel. (Pictured below).  I usually wear big CZs as my staple but I switch out with these all the time.  They have the best sparkle. 
I love scouring the site for my favorites..I look all the time; however I am so bad at letting myself buy any!  Soooo...I just started buying them as presents!!  Pink pair for Sarah, clear and black for Katie..clear pair for Mom..  Such a fun little sparkle present!  But I do currently have a pair of clear, navy and flamingo pink Bling earrings in my online shopping cart!  There is a sale this weekend and I AM getting them!!!!

Her Party Bling earrings are awesome too! I mean everything they have is so pretty!

Bling earrings are $30, mini Bling $20, party bling $35 and mini party bling $25.

Check out the site - there really is something for everyone!