Sunday, February 28, 2010

My New Minivan

I've been thinking. Every time I have to go long distances in the car with my kids, it ends up being crazy loud. Someone is always yelling, crying, or complaining. Any of these things can be easily dealt with in the wide open spaces of your home. But in the car, they are magnified a gazillion times and it makes you want to jump from the moving vehicle.

My idea is genius. Why don't they make minivans like limos. You know how in the movies the driver is always putting up the privacy shield so they can have a little peace and quiet.

Why can't they do that in a minivan?

When the kids get a little rowdy you could just push the privacy button and a sound proof shield would slide up between the front and the back seats. Then you could enjoy a blissfully quiet ride in the car.

Let the kids hash it out in the back seat and you can have your own soft music playing soothingly in the front.

Everyone is happy right?

I swear, they should hire me as a car designer right now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Lucky Day

I am a hopeful fool. When I was I kid I loved these claw machines. I would beg my parents to let me try them. I was always convinced that I could beat the game and win a prize. It looked so easy. The stuffed animals are just sitting there ripe for the picking. Needless to say, I never ever won.

Fast forward a few years to today. I am still a hopeful fool. Yesterday in the mail I received a flyer with a key attached and a scratch code at the bottom. I usually throw these away immediately. But the scratch off peeked my curiosity. I figured I might as well scratch it off-- just in case. Well, scratch I did, and I found myself looking at a $25,000 winner ticket!

I could not resist this tempt of fate. I scanned through the rules and realized that I now qualified to win $25,000, a new car, a new ATV, $1,000 or three gold coins. It was right at my finger tips!

I knew that I was no longer able to make a sound judgement, so I called the mister. He made sure that it wasn't a scam and then humored me all the way down to the car dealership. The kids were jazzed and so was I. I made lofty promises of icecream and ponies if this indeed was the lucky winner.

After the typical schmooze of the salesman, he agreed to check my ticket and...

I am now the proud owner of three gold coins to commemorate my idiot move.



I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite authors. His name is Mo Willems. He writes with so much wit and fun-- his books give me the giggles. The author has been one of my kids' all time favorite.
The elephant and piggie series has quite a few books. It's great entertainment for early readers or preschool aged kids. Although, I've read these books to fourth graders and gotten a great response too. They are clever and simple. It's magic!
This one is my daughters' all time favorite books. She memorized it when she was 3. I've had to buy several copies because she has loved this book a little too much.
I have all of Mo's books. He rocks! If you are looking for some fun books to explore with your kids or grand kids, give Mo a try. You can't go wrong.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beauty Bargains

People are always stopping me on the street to tell my just how amazingly beautiful I am. They want to know just how I do it and what my secret ingredients are. So, here are just a few things that help me stay runway pretty.
This mascara is my all time favorite. It is Covergirl exact eyelights. I have a sensitive complexion and this mascara never irritates my eyes. It washes off super easy but it doesn't smudge one wink all day long. It never clumps up on me. It's always a smooth thick application. It has a hint of color to compliment your eye shade (it comes in several different eye enhancing colors). I am all about this magic tube of goodness.
I love to dye my hair. I've been around the block with every shade you can think of. I'm usually a salon snob and rarely do my own color (major problems with home color when I was in college). My sister suggested this brand and I was a little skiddish because of my previous mistakes. It turns out that this stuff is amazing. What's even better is it's under $3! I've been saving a ton on color for the last few months with this beauty. The best part is it doesn't make my hair all stringy and coarse. It makes my hair super soft and shiny. I've been rockin' light auburn #53 all winter long. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Something new for the crafting junkies

Look out crafters! My sister Cheri is a crafting machine. She loves to be creative and now she's going to share it with the world. You wouldn't believe all of the things that this girl is good at if I told you. Everything she touches turns out super swanky hip. If you'd care to be inspired by one hot mama, this is the site for you. Check her out here.
The mister has a new favorite saying that goes like this:

you can't shine a turd
(I know, classy-- right?)
Well, he has been inserting it in conversation all over the place to see how it will be received. So tonight we are sitting with the kids before bed and he says it.
Z Kid: What does that even mean Dad?
The Mister: It means that it's bad no matter what you do to it, just like a turd.
R Kid: Well, you could put googly eyes on the turd that would make it look better.
B Kid: Maybe a wig and some arms and legs. That would make it way cuter.
The Mister: But at the end of the day it's still a turd, stinky and gross.
Kids: Wow, you're right Dad.
The mister is our guru master. So mystical and mysterious. It's hot!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Saavy Girl's Guide to Budgeting

Yeah, that's about how I feel about budgeting. Every here and there the mister and I have a little talk about money. He talks, I pretend to listen. Since our relationship is rather traditional (he makes it, I spend it) these talks get slightly uncomfortable for me.

Here are a few of my finest moments after having "the talk..."

1. I just stop going grocery shopping. (total money saver) I'm currently working on week two of no shopping. Last night the kids wrestled over the last of our Pizza Hut left overs and tonight we are having breakfast for dinner. In another day or two he'll be begging me to go spend some money.

2. When in need of cash, I go to target, buy some toilet paper and get cash back on my debit card. This is valid "supplies" for the house with a little something on the side for me.

3. After coming home from the mall I tell the mister what the price was and how much I didn't have to pay for it. Coupons are my little red devils.

4. I offer to make the mister something nasty for dinner as an option for not eating out. That one gets him every time.

5. If all else fails, I tell the mister, it could be worse. I could have a serious yacht addiction or something. When taken to the extreme, I always look better.

Happy Budgeting!

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Freak Secret of the Day

I cannot pee with the door open.

There, I said it.

I have been married over 11 years and I still have trouble peeing with the door open. I get the stage fright. I don't like anyone infringing on my personal time.

When my kids were little, I would be forced to pee with the door open during the day because you just never know with kids. I liked to be within ear shot. Then, as the kids got older, I started closing the door. Now, my bathroom breaks go something like this...

Me: Running upstairs as quietly as possible so I don't draw any attention to myself.

Kids: They can feel my presence lift from the room. It's their sixth sense I swear.

Me: I make it to the door, shut it, and quick lock it for safety. Business proceeds.

Kids: They get an instant need for my attention.

Me: thump thump thump... I can actually hear them coming for me!

Kids: Moooooooom! I need to talk to you! Are you almost done yet? What are you doing in there? I really need you right NOW! Come on Moooooom!

This all happens within a matter of seconds. It never fails. So, my bathroom breaks are clipped to a minimum. It's no wonder I like a little alone time with the door shut.

Oh, uh wait... excuse me for just a moment, I need to use the little ladies room. Shhhhhh, pleeease don't tell anyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things that make me happy

1. A really good parking spot. I mean like almost in front of the door and everyone is looking at you with parking envy kind of good.

2. Target (I don't think I have to say more.)

3. When you are thinking about someone and then they call you.

4. Clearance items particularly those over 50% off. You hit 75% off and I'm in a discount coma.

5. Going to a restaurant with the mister and having him order what I want to try so we can swap dishes half way through the meal.

6. Gift Cards. They are like free money to me. I have zero guilt when spending a gift card. I just pretend that the store is giving it away to me. How fun is that?

7. Trying something fun that you used to be really good at, just to see if you can still do it. I recently tried a pogo stick again and I could still rock that thing.

8. Driving down a country road with the windows down, music blasting, wind blowing, and the kids singing at the top of their wee tiny lungs.

9. Getting the mail. It's a silly little thing I do everyday that brings me instant glee. I love the anticipation and possibility that there could be something amazing waiting for me in the mailbox. I have been known to go out in the dark late at night if I have forgotten to get it earlier. It's that good to me.

10. Lots and lots of comments. To a blogger, comments are the best form of flattery. I live for comments. I would go so far as classifying myself as a comment junkie. It's that bad but it makes me oh so happy.

What makes you happy?
I've decided to try to make spring come in my own way. On of my favorite things about nice weather is cooking out on the grill.

...and by cooking out on the grill I mean, prepping some food for the mister to grill for me. One of our family favorites is my secret burger recipe.

Freakishly Good Burgers
1 lb. hamburger (the good stuff)
1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp. seasoning salt
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
¼ C. real bacon bits

Mix the above ingredients and let sit over night. (If you get antsy, you can cook them right away.)Then form patties and grill to perfection.

I suggest serving them with toasted buns, lettuce, tomatoes and a zippy sauce. Try mayo and BBQ mixed together in equal portions. It’ll be a crowd pleaser.

If you want an easy side, here is my version of a classic.

Pasta Salad
1 box of twirly colored noodles. Boil and cool.
1/2 lb. cubed cheddar cheese
1/2 C. cubed summer sausage (peperoni also work)
1/2 C. diced cucumbers
1/2 C. diced red peppers
1/2 bottle of Kraft zesty Italian dressing
mix and serve
(This recipe is easy to tweak and make your own. Just put in your veggie, cheese and meat choice and you've got it the way you like it.)
I love a good cook out.

Do you think if we all grilled out at the same time and generated enough heat, the snow would melt? ...a girl can dream, can't she?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter Blues

I hate late winter.

When winter first arrives in Wisconsin, it's magical. I love to see the sparkly frost and the way the trees catch snowflakes in their branches. The first snowman is always the most exciting to make.

December comes and it feels comforting to have snow on the ground and stuck in your Christmas lights. Christmas without snow just feels wrong to me.

Then we drag ourselves through January and the temperature drops and a lot of the time it is too cold to snow. Yes, that is possible. Then winter turns into a cruel trick.

February comes and I'd be willing to trade my kidneys for some sunshine and a flash of green. I have mean and nasty thoughts about a ground hog who never seems to be on my side.
March acts like it's going to start letting in some good weather, but it's usually a tease.

April has been known to still have significant snow on the ground. That is just wrong.

May is full of surprises. I think this is the weather man's ploy to get us to watch him faithfully every night. I could send my kid to school in shorts one day and a parka the next.

Winter and I have a love hate relationship. Most of the time, I love to hate him.

I need a vacation. I'm not asking for much. Just a little sunshine and the ability to go outside without my coat on.

Stupid Winter!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine Winner

The Valentine's winner is.....

Karen who said:

Oh, come on, you don't really have to fit into the lingerie! It just ends up on the floor most of the time anyway, right?

She wins because she found a way to have her chocolate and eat it too while still using her lingerie (although very briefly might I add).

Karen please email me your information (to and you'll have your chocolate in the mail by the end of the day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Captain's Log: Attempt number 6,783,964 (and counting) This is my front room. You may have noticed that the furniture is rearranged and missing in some places. There is in fact an entire treadmill in the middle of my life.

This is my attempt at making myself exercise. I figure if I trip over the thing enough times, it might bring enough attention to itself to get used.

I have until the middle of April and then, if I'm really lucky, the sun will shine again and I can resume my usual walks outside. (Oh, and my house can go back to looking normal again.)

Curse you winter and the 10 pounds to add to my butt every year!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thin is the New Happy

I just finished this refreshing new book. It caught my eye while I was shopping at Target a few days ago. I couldn't help but feel for this lady on the cover (I've soooo been there sister!). I started reading this book and it was like she had stolen whole thoughts from my life. It was funny and very introspective for me. She took something that has over taken my thoughts at times and turned it into something I can rationally deal with. She takes bad body image and kicks it in the butt. I have yet to read any of her other books but she's got me hooked now. If you have ever obsessed about your fat before-- this will be food for your soul.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I am all amped up about my latest adventure-- facebook!

I know that this is an amazing haven for so many people. I joined to hopefully up the traffic on this site. I'll have you know that I am so not a facebook person.

(people who are desperately attached to FB please indulge me for a tinsy moment)

I think I was born to blog. I like to have a topic to rant on and I like to let people know about things in an orderly manner.

Not on facebook!

It's this hodge podge of people's thoughts and feelings updated by the minute. Ummm... I so don't care what you are doing in your spare time. I'd like to hear about something a little more lively than you letting your dog out. Where is the humor people? Where are the silly stories and the life lessons? Have a brain barf on someone else's time and quit cluttering up my page.

I'm not getting the connection that so many people feel with this crap site.

(I call it a crap site because apparently that's where all of the crap from people's brain collects.)

I am also a little freaked out by the sheer number of people who are there just yuckin' it up waiting for another person to join and so that they can pounce 'um. It's slightly disturbing.

Just so everyone knows; I'll still be a regular here.

Facebook, I'm not so sure about.

I got a little confused and frankly kinda scared. The only bonus of joining facebook was all the email I got in one day. I think I set my own personal record.

What can I say, it's the little things that excite me.

So for all of you FB nuts. Enjoy! I'm so not on your team.

However, can you please add me as your friend....

Hey, I still have my pride.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day Contest

I'm sure all of you are feeling the squeeze of Valentine's Day. I know I am. I mean seriously, a day where we are suppose to be showing our love and hot-ness to those closest to us.

What it boils down to is yet another day for our men to have an excuse for sex. Yeah, I said it... sex.

So, I try to put on my game face and tackle this Valentine crap head on. I suppose I need to hook up with some sort of "come get me" nightie or something.

I'll tell you what I'd really like to hook up with is a box of this.

Valentine's day has several traditional gifts, lingerie, flowers and chocolates. In order to fit into the lingerie, you have to skip the chocolate. This is feeling less about love and more about torture if you ask me.

What do you think?

Tell me about it and you could win yourself a valentine from me. Just post a comment before midnight February 14th telling me about your valentine's issues. May the best comment win! I'll post the winner on February 15th. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You know it's going to be a long day when...

... your kids' school calls to tell you that you have packed a peanut butter sandwich for your kid who has a peanut allergy.

... you go to get dressed only to realize that absolutely every pair of your underwear are dirty.

... your husband asks if you have or haven't showered yet today.

... the UPS guy comes to the door and you aren't wearing a bra.

... you find yourself running down the road with your garbage can to catch the garbage truck that has just rolled past your house.

... you are late for an appointment and you have -0 miles left on your gas tank.

... you have thought about chocolate in some form at least 30 times before 10 a.m.

... your child is sitting in a pile of their own stink smearing it around the bathroom like finger paints.

... your husband calls you to tell you to "take it easy" with the credit card while you are in the check out with your cart piled sky high.

Some days, I'm not even sure why I bother.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wonder Woman

Yesterday we had our family pictures taken. I was a little surprised to see the out come. It seems that my inner view of myself has been skewed for quite some time. This is how I envision myself... It turns out I actually look a little more like...
It's funny how a few innocent pictures take the wind out of your oh so confident sails. I suppose either way I'm still super. Damn camera...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Things you should know about me

1. I hate clutter. You can keep your old lady statues, stacks of paper and cups of pens. No thank you! I want clear counter tops and half filled closets.

2. Saturday mornings are a gift from heaven. I sleep in every Saturday. EVERY SATURDAY! That means if by some evil fate I cannot, I am not a happy camper.

3. I hate breakfast. It feels gross and wrong to eat something when you can still taste the toothpaste on your breath. I have tried many different solutions to this problem and finally conceded to the fact that I don't like it and I'm OK with that.

4. I love to eat. I do not know of another person on earth that appreciates food quite like I do. I love to cook it, eat it, smell it and think about it. It gives me great pleasure to introduce someone to something so amazingly tasty that they will be my friend for life.

5. Action movies are my secret obsession. If there is a movie with a super hero in it-- I'm there. I can't get enough of it. Most husbands have to find a guy friend to take to the movies. Not the mister. He and I put the release dates on our calendar and count down the days to movie bliss.

6. I like it when things are only about me. Granted, this has only happens to me twice a year. My birthday and my annual gyno visit. Twisted, I know, but still true.

7. I am addicted to paper towels. I like to know that whether I'm wiping off my hands or a table, I will never have to deal with those germs again. It's that simple.

8. Every January I get the itch to take a trip somewhere tropical. I scour the internet looking for deals and possibilities. After a week solid I usually cave and admit that we probably shouldn't spend our money on a vacation. At first this really bothered the mister. He would fret over how to let me down or how to pony up and pay for our circus to travel. Now, 11 years later, he is smart enough to let me dream and come around to this on my own. Evil genius!

9. My dream is to have a staycation in my house all by myself. I would like to have a good solid week. I would clean the entire house top to bottom. I would get to all of those cupboards and closets that I always mean to clean out. Then I would just sit and appreciate the fact that no one is here to mess up my newly cleaned house. I would float with that good feeling all the way up to my big tub and soak away all of my stress. I could read, cook, write and craft and no one would be here to stop me.

10. Remember career day in high school? Back in the day you use to be able to pick a person and shadow them for the day and see what there job is like. I want to do that. Only I'd like to have about 30 different days and just soak in lots of different things that I am curious about.

11. I really like to write. Even better than that, I really like when people read it. Thanks for indulging me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

I thought you'd enjoy a few fun things I've found.
I just love these lil' kinz (mostly for the price). My kids are in love with Webkinz and they are the same, only smaller. They have a line of valentines that feature a lil' kinz in a cutie bag. I bought mine at Target for $5. Easy simple valentines for your lil' ones.

This is a laser pointer. It turns out dogs love these things. We stumbled upon this a few months ago and it has become our dogs favorite pass time. He goes nuts over it. It's highly entertaining.
This is the most amazing toothpaste I have ever used. I am always a little nervous that I have kitten breath. This toothpaste blasts my mouth with a burst of foam and the teeth whitening doesn't hurt either. No more kitten breath again.
My kids are old enough to shower themselves but the concept of bar soap has too many complications for them. This foam has ensured us clean parts and no slips or residue.
This is one of my all time favorite winter wonders. Inevitably someone in our family is going to get a cold. This vapor bath is a mild soothing comfort for even your worst colds. I draw a hot bath and let the vapors work their magic. (For a more powerful punch try Vick's shower soothers.)

This peeler is genius. It slides onto your middle finger and transforms your palm into a vegetable peeler. It is very user friendly. I also found this at Target. I love the whole line.
This is my newest love in the craft room. It's by Fiskars. It's a self healing mat with a rotary cutter. It makes scissor cutting a thing of the past. I can cut and sew super fast. It's a small miracle.

Several years ago I would have told you that these crayons were not anything special. Then my youngest came into his writing years and I have given these a second glance. My son doesn't hold his writing utensils correctly. The triangle shape forces him to hold the crayon the right way. It's training him to use the right form. This is a small wonder for our littlest man. Thank you Crayola.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Swamp Monster

There are times when things don't work out quite as smoothly as they were planned. Case in point; This morning I was scheduled to go to Target and at the designated time I was not yet showered. I had been doing house work and had lost track of time. I weighed my options and it was either skip Target or go unshowered. I really really needed a few things from the store so I opted to just go and hope that I wouldn't see anyone I know. Right there should have been my giant waving red flag. If you hope to be anonymous at the store, the general rule is that you will see everyone you know. But, I ignored my intuition, grabbed a hat and headed out the door. My plan was to slink my way through the isles wearing my sweats with my hat pulled down low in hopes that I would not have to make eye contact with anyone. Inevitably it ended up more like that show, this is your life... Enter, stage left, old friend from high school that you have not seen in years. A few isles down is another mom from school who is looking particularly cute today. Then a friend of your husbands, an old acquaintance from church, or how about the nurse from your last doctor's appointment. You name 'um, I see 'um. Then comes the awkward moment of conversation when you have to choose to ignore the fact that you look like the swamp monster or acknowledge it. Never, NEVER again will I try to do a quickie run to the store unshowered. Although I already know that I will eventually do it again when the embarrassment of this visit has worn off. I have taken the kids to school in swamp monster mode and had to talk to teachers, parents and other kids. My child has announced in front of their class before that, "My mom is still in her jammies! She hasn't showered yet!" Thank you, wonderful child of mine, for out-ing me in front of everyone, just in case there was one or two people left who weren't sure.

And so I'm calling out to all of you overachievers who go to the store, school and other places fulled dressed, make-up on and smiles ready. Please have pity on the rest of us and avert your eyes when we slink by. We want to be invisible. We just need our ding dongs and toothpaste and we will be happily on our way.
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