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Weekend Plans

Do you have any plans for the weekend?  We have set ourselves up for another busy one.  It starts tomorrow morning with my nephew’s flag football game at 9.  My mom and sister are taking my boys from there to go to a nearby town’s Fall Festival while I come home to clean the house and make a couple batches of chili.  Tomorrow night our group of friends from our old town are coming down to watch the Nebraska vs. Wisconsin game.  Out of our group of 9 only one of us is a Nebraska fan and NONE of us are Wisconsin fans.  But it was a reason to get together (btw- the rest of us are Iowa Hawkeye fans – GO HAWKS!). 


I have bacon wrapped turkey bites marinating in Italian dressing right now that we’ll throw on the grill for our ‘tailgater’.  I’ll also whip up a batch of pumpkin bars.  The other couples are bringing dips and snacks to fill in the gaps.

So after I get the house cleaned and chili going I’ll meet my mom and sister to pick up my kids, then the gang should show up.

Sunday we are going to a pumpkin patch about an hour away.  There are patches closer but this one is AWE-some!  They have a huge, orange jumping pillow (kind of like a trampoline but it’s a giant pillow – pictures will be posted), a barn with hay all over and rope to swing off of and land in the soft, cushy pile, another barn full of corn for the kids to play in, plus a bunch of other fun activities for the kids.  And to top it all off, a hay rack ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick our own.  I can’t wait!

So tell me, what are your plans for the weekend?


Books, Battles And Bren

Thanks for the kind words and concern for my dear Brennan.  He is doing fine, a lot  less coughing last night but still some coughing.  I called the dr. this morning and she decided a liquid steroid for 5 days was the way to go, so I ran to town this morning to pick that up. He is home with me now and I have given him his first dose.  I wonder how long until he starts going bananas!  He hasn’t felt bad through this whole thing, so that’s been a blessing.  Hopefully by Monday his coughing is 100% gone.

Are you a reader?  Of books, I mean.  I am.  I have always loved to read.  When I was younger I read Nancy Drew mysteries,the Little House on the Prairie series, the Anne of Green Gables series, Babysitters Club, Fear Street and a lot of mysteries.  Now as an adult I’m into smut books (what my sis, mom and I lovingly call romance novels).  Nora Roberts is one of my favorites. Yea, I might know exactly how it’s going to go – they meet, fall in love, have a quarrel and get back together – but I just love the romance of it all.  Last year I read Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah for the first time.  Both very good authors, but heavy subjects.  You need to be in a very good place emotionally to pick one of those up.

My all time favorite adult book is ‘Summer Sisters’, by Judy Blume.  Yes, Judy Blume from “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret'”.  She was one of my favorite childhood authors.  I have not ready any of her other adult books, but ‘Summer Sisters’ is amazing!  It makes me so damn mad every time I read it (probably 7 or 8 time now) but that doesn’t keep me from reading it again.  If you’re looking for a good, easy read check it out.  You won’t regret it!

On a bummer note, I am taking some time off from C25K.  I tried running this morning and I felt like my shins were going to snap in half.  I consulted the gals over on ML’s Fit Camp and received some good advice.  So I am going to take a few days break from C25K and pick it back up Tuesday. I will continue with 30DS every day so am not giving up exercise all together.  And I am going to try getting some walking in there, too.  I feel like a loser and failure, but if I don’t get this pain addressed and corrected I am never going to be a runner like I want to be.

I am guest blogging over at Fitness Unscripted today.  It’s the same post I did here last week about starting C25K, but go check it out anyway!  Fitness Unscripted is a very motivating and encouraging blog.  If I feel like I’m slipping or just need an extra emotional boost I hop on over there and read and re-read their posts.  It’s great that we can all help each other in the suck-ass journey called ‘weight loss’.

Love to you all!


Horrendous Hump Day


First, I have to say how sad I am that Andy Williams has passed away.  I have always wanted to see him in concert at Christmas time, and now I never will.   Let's all take a moment to remember one of the greatest entertainers of all time.  Here he is singing Moon River.  Lovely.


Wasn’t he so handsome?  If I haven’t said it before I should tell you now – I was born a couple decades too later.  That or I was reincarnated and still hold on to my previous life from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  I love everything from that time period.  I should write about that sometime.  Well, anyway, God rest Andy William’s soul. 

Okay, so Hump Day should be a great day, right?  Well, not this week.  At least not for me.  It started last night with Brennan coughing so hard he was practically choking.  He started in with that about 20 minutes after he went to bed.  I gave him some Tylenol to try to relax him a bit, but that didn’t help at all.  (I’ve been told by doctors that kids younger than 6 shouldn’t take cold and cough medicine.)  He kept up the coughing off and on most of the night.  Every time he gets a cold he does this for a few weeks after all other symptoms of the cold are gone.   So I told Andy enough was enough, I was taking him to the doctor.

This morning we got up like normal, got Aiden ready for school and picture day and out the door we went.  We dropped Aiden off then came home and called the doctor’s office for an appointment.  They could get us in at 8:45 (40 minutes away), perfect.  I threw on my makeup and out the door we go.  We get about 5 minutes away from town and I realize that I didn’t send the picture order form and money with Aiden.  At this point there is no way I can get home to grab that, drop it off at school and still get to town in time for Bren’s appt.  I hit the shoulder, whip a shitty in the highway (code for turn around) and bomb back home to get that order form, because at this point I’m sure poor Aiden is standing in line to get his picture taken and is worried because everyone else is holding an envelope but him.  I feel AWFUL!  So I haul ass to get home, grab the envelope and take it school.  Meanwhile I call the dr. office and am able to push our appt back to 10. 

When I get to school Aiden is in his classroom, they haven’t gone down for pictures yet.  Phew!  In the car we go, and head out again for town.  We get there an hour before Bren’s appt so we run to the jewelry store to get new batteries in the hub’s watches.  At this point we now have 45 minutes to kill.  You know when you rush rush rush, then don’t have to rush anymore and you feel all jittery and jumpy?  Well, maybe that doesn’t happen to you, but it does to me.  So we find a quiet street to park on to kill time and I decompress and calm down.  Then Bren tells me he has to poop.  Great.  Well, I guess it’s better to be 20 minutes early to the appt than 20 minutes late, right?  So off to the dr.’s office we go.

They actually get us in 10 minutes early because we’re there, which is great.  They take his temp, nothing.  Heart beat?  Right on.  Lungs? Sound ok.  Blood oxygen level?  In an acceptable range, but lets see if we can improve that.  So they give him a nebulizer treatment, then test his O2 levels again.  Improved, bingo.  So basically my poor little Pea Pie has irritated lungs, caused by a cold.  They act like they are asthmatic, even though he doesn’t have asthma.  So 24 hours of steroid nebulizer treatments, then call in the morning and let them know if the coughing is better.  If not we’ll do 5 days of treatments.  This will settle his lungs down and help them heal. 

In the meantime, holy hell, Batman.  Brennan on steroids is like opening Pandora’s Box (even though I don’t know what that is!).  He is usually a shy, quiet kid in public.  Not today!  He chattered to me the entire ride home (20 minutes non-stop!!).  He asked me every question in the book (what’s that?  Why does that do that?  Who was that??).  He bounced around in his seat as much as he could while strapped down.  And his poor little hands shook!!!  Wowser!  I asked the doctor about that before leaving the office to be sure he wasn’t having some weird reaction.  She said some kids react that way, nothing to worry about.  Holy smokes!  I laughed at first when he was spazzing out, now I’m just getting worn out!  And his tantrums are much more fierce, instant tears instead of building up to them.  Nice.

Even with all of this, I am glad I took him so he won’t cough his cute little melon off tonight.  I’m hoping the rest of Hump Day goes a little smoother for us. 

Here’s a picture of B-bug taking his neb treatment in the dr.’s office.  I was trying anything I could to get him to stop crying and let me hold that mask on his face (reading books, playing Angry Birds on my phone, taking funny pictures).  Ignore my goofy face in the background.  He cried for most of it, lets hope the next few treatments go better.


Little munchkin is now trying to take a nap.  I say trying because I can still hear him back there moving around (but not coughing!!!), those steroids are messing with the little guy’s head.  Hopefully he’s not coming into our room at midnight asking us to play!

Happy Hump Day, Dearhearts!


This, That And The Other

As I write this there are 2 repair guys in my kitchen looking at my dishwasher.  We have lived in this house for just over a year, and that thing has never really worked that great.  But over the course of the year it has progressively gotten worse.  It leaves my dishes cloudy, like really cloudy, it doesn’t get all the food off or deposits food from plates onto glasses, and during a certain cycle it hums SUPER loud.  For the last 6 weeks or so I have been hand washing all of our dishes.  Luckily I don’t mind hand washing the dishes.  So I finally called the repair man and he is here.  My guess is he will tell me I need a new one.  Great. (I’m secretly excited about this, who doesn’t love picking out new appliances??!!?)

Last night we went to the bank to sign closing docs on our refinanced mortgage.  Our appraisal came back higher than it was a year ago when we bought it (yay!!) so we got an super great rate (3.625%) for 30 years.  I’m happy to get that done, and it saves us $100 a month on our mortgage payment.

This morning was my W1D3 run for C25K.  I came up with a million reasons not to do it this weekend when I had planned to so now I’m behind.  I’m hoping to catch back up this week somehow.  This morning was in the 40’s when I headed out but I warmed up quickly.  I felt so much stronger while running today.  It felt amazing!  I didn’t get nearly as winded as last week, no side cramps, but my shins felt really sore.  There was one point where I wanted to cut it short but a voice inside me told me I could do it and to keep going, so I did!  During my most difficult point I composed a letter to Mama Laughlin in my head thanking her for the motivation she has given me.  By the time I was done ‘writing’ my letter C25k dinged her bell at me to start walking again, so ML helped me again without even trying!

Because of C25K and Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred I am already noticing changes in my body.  I feel sturdier, which is weird to say but that’s the only way to describe it.  I can already tell a difference in my chest (THANK YOU JM!!!), they are firmer, smaller and perkier (my husband thanks you, too, JM!!!).  *Side note: I am a busty girl.  I come from a long line of busty girls.  So to notice a better rack is huge for me! And, I should probably say, my husband doesn’t like the smaller part.*  So the pain and sweat is paying off.  I purchased JM’s Ripped in 30 today, looking forward to starting that.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to finish 30DS or just jump into RI30 for the Fit Camp challenge.  TDB.

(Repair man just left, sounds like a plumbing issue so will call the plumber next.  I guess no new dishwasher for me.)

Ok, ladies, time for 30DS.  Talk soon!


No School Day

Happy Monday, Friends!

How was your weekend?  We had a great one, and it actually felt like it lasted longer than 2 seconds.  We spent a lot of time with both of our families, something that happens more and more this time of year.  The weather was chilly, we had a freeze warning for early Sunday morning.  Frost was on the rooftops around here!  I don’t think it ended the growing season, but it was chilly!  Sunday it warmed up to the mid 60’s in the afternoon, perfect Fall day!  We spent a lot of time outside.  Saturday we divided a bunch of my mother-in-laws Hostas and brought them home so we spent over an hour planting those yesterday.  We also helped my dad pull fence posts from a new pasture he purchased this summer.  My sister and her 2 kids were there too.  Here’s a picture of Brennan with my niece, Nora, taking a break from the hard work.  (Nora is 10 days younger than Brennan, and she’s spitfire!)


The kids had so much fun helping and riding on Papa’s tractor.

Today the school is closed for a teacher in-service.  Andy’s brother gave them a little tent earlier in the summer and today we finally put it up.  They’ve been outside for over an hour playing with that thing.


Aiden is also taking the opportunity to teach Brennan how to play football.  Bren makes a cute center, doesn’t he? Winking smile


Have a stupendous week!


Love Languages

A couple of nights ago my husband, Andy, and I took a Love Languages test that I read about over on The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  Ree and I are besties (even though she doesn’t know I exist) so when she wrote about her and her husband taking the test I just had to do it!

I took the test first.  It’s 30 questions and only takes 10 minutes (or for me, 5.  I’m a fast test taker.).  My results came back right away (keep reading to see what they were).  Then I passed the laptop over to Andy and had him take it. We laughed together over some of the questions.  I think he was making fun of me. :)   Then his results came back. 

What did the test say about us? We were made for each other!  Our Love Language is the same!  Here are our results.

Andy       Erin            (highest score possible for each ‘language’ is 12)

6             6              Words of Affirmation

9             8              Quality Time

2             3               Receiving Gifts

3             2               Acts of Service

10           11             Physical Touch

As you can see, our Love Language is Physical Touch, followed by Quality Time.  And that is so true for us.  We are always holding hands, touching as we walk by, sitting practically on top of each other on the couch.  Nothing beats spending Quality Time together. (This picture is us dressed up for our 80’s party a few years ago.  No, my husband does NOT sport a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back folks!)

An example of our Quality Time: Yesterday Andy had the day off to play in a golf tournament.  It didn’t start until noon, so after we dropped the boys off at school we ran to our hometown to get some grass seed for a bare spot in the yard.  We laughed so hard the entire time, made stupid jokes and just had an all around great time together.  I joked it was the best date I’d ever been on, but really, it was!  Yea, we weren’t doing anything fancy, but we were together having a great time.  That’s us.  We always have such a great time together.  I used to say I never had as much fun with anyone else than I did with Andy, and it’s still true.  I love all my friends and family, but Andy takes the cake!  Sigh, I really love that guy!  He sure is special.  (And it would take a special guy to put up with all of my weirdness!  I’m so lucky I found him!)

McGuire Family[490]

I hope you all take the Love Languages test.  You don’t have to be in a relationship to take it, so see how you ‘speak’.

Have a fantabulous weekend, Friends!!!


Versatile Blogger Award!

Oh! My! Gosh!  Annie from Crazy Simple Mama nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award!  I am so honored she thought of me when she was nominated!  Her blog is so fun to read, and she’s on a weight-loss journey like me, so she motivates me by posting her before and after pics, plus some little things she does to help her daily (planning out meals and snacks the day before). So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Annie for nominating me!  Here’s the deal if you are nominated:


1. Nominate up to 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
2. Let the nominated bloggers know they have been nominated
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself
4. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post

The blogs I am nominating are:

Skinny Gal... Somewhere



Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally

I love every one of these blogs.  These gals are awesome!  I think they’d be instant friends of mine if we could meet in real life.  Go check them out and give them some love!

Ok, for my 7 random facts.

  1. I think of the characters on my soaps as my friends, because I know everything about them, see them every day, and talk about them like they are real. I watch The Young and The Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful.  I used to watch As The World Turns and Guiding Light and felt like someone close to had died when they were cancelled.  Those were sad, sad days for me.
  2. I got homesick on my honeymoon and begged my new husband to take me home.
  3. I hate bugs, spiders, rodents, snakes…I’m sure there’s something else creepy and crawly that I don’t like but can’t think of it right now.  Ew!
  4. I grew up on a farm with sheep, pigs, a dog, cats and crops.  My sister and I would build Barbie towns in the timber where the sheep ran and we used their beaten down paths as roads.
  5. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s the only holiday that is just about being with family WITHOUT exchanging gifts, candy, or baskets.  Plus the food is amazing.
  6. Green is my most favorite color, but the girly-girl in me loves pink too.
  7. I cry a lot.  Not just for being sad, but for being happy, too.  If you put emotions on a scale, 1 being super sad, 10 being super happy, the only time I am not crying is when I’m in the 4 to 7 range.  Commercials make me cry. Seeing my kids do something that makes them super happy makes me cry. Worrying about people in the path of a hurricane makes me cry.  I could go on and on…but I won’t!

Thanks again to Annie at Crazy Simple Mama for nominating me!!!


On a C25K note, I completed W1D2 today.  Man did my calves HURT!  Not burn, hurt.  Ache, hurt.  Badly.  It was worse when I’d stop running, but by the time I’d start running again it would calm down a bit.  Then I’d stop running for it to hurt all over again.  I have a feeling my lack of water consumption is partly to blame.  So my mini-goal is to drink water today.  And every day.  Honestly, drinking water will help me with a lot more than just the sore muscles.  So, mini goal today: Drink my hospital mug (32oz) full of water.  I know, I need to drink 3 of those in a day, but if I make that my goal I will fail, so slow goes it.

If you are C25k-er, will you tell me what week/day you’re on and any issues you had to overcome?  And if you listen to Pandora, can you tell me your favorite station to workout to?  Or your favorite song to work out to.  Thanks!

Taking it one day at a time,



Today was Bren and my lucky day.  We ran to town to donate some winter coats at my mom’s bank (they are doing a coat drive) and swing by Wal-Mart to pick up the kids’ costumes that I had shipped to the store (Darth Vader and Woody from Toy Story).  As we were leaving I called my dad who is deep in the heart of Harvest.  My dad works for a seed stock company and they pick, not combine, their corn early (even though this year everyone is combining now) so they can dry it themselves.  Why? I have no idea.  It’s some way of controlling something.  Anyhoo, so I called my dad to chat and he asked us to stop by the field he was in so we could ride for awhile.  HEAVEN!!!  Have you ever ridden in a combine/picker before?  It’s like riding a lawn mower to me, relaxing and lots of of time to think.  And special time with just my dad and boy.

We met my dad at the field and rode for about an hour. Today is beautiful, perfect for pickin’ corn!  And for spending some time with my dad -- he ties with my husband for the greatest guy in the world!  So Mr. Brenner-Man and I bounced and swayed along for an hour and had a great time.  Bren didn’t say a word, he just sat and watched and loved it!  Here he is with my dad.


Oh, and I have a favor to ask.  Don’t tell Aiden!!!  He will be so bummed he missed out.

Say an extra prayer for all the farmers out there working hard to bring in their crop.  There are injuries every year.  The yields are going to be low this year.  And they spend a lot of time away from their families to put food on your plate. 

Love to all the farmers out there,


Conquering C25K!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew, thanks for letting me scream for a second.  I just needed to get that out there, I DID WEEK 1, DAY 1 C25K WORKOUT START TO FINISH!!!!  Ahh, that feels so good! So did the sweat that came pouring out of me!  When I got started it was chilly.  Brisk.  Coldish.  And I’m a weenie when it comes to being cold, I don’t like it.  But I started out in my short sleeved shirt knowing that in no time I would be warmed up, hot and sweating. 

Let me back up a bit.  A week or so ago I downloaded the C25K app on my Android (it’s free, do it too!).  I sat in my living room and listened to it to get a feel for what I was in for.  Ok, I decided, I could do this.  But one problem, no music.  And I need music.  So I got on Mama Laughlin’s Fit Camp on Facebook (check it out!!) and posted a comment asking how I can listen to music and run C25K at the same time.  Those gals came out in force and helped me out!  So next I downloaded Pandora, figured out how to run that (sort of) and started listening to their station called “Workout”.  Ok, nothing holding me back now!

Fast forward back to me going out for my first run/walk.  I step outside in the brisk (and windy) weather and start off.  They start you off slow with a 5 minute ‘warm up’.  It’s supposed to be a brisk walk, so I briskly walked in the brisk weather.  (A lot of brisking going on here, sheesh!)  By the end of my 5 minutes my shins were burning.  Oh boy, I thought, this isn’t going to be good if I’m already sore from the warm up.  Ba-doonk, the bell dings and tells me to start jogging.  Okay, here goes nothing!  So I start jogging (thank goodness for a heavy duty sports bra doubled up with a regular bar, or I’d be black and blue in the face when done).  60 seconds later, ba-doonk.  Time to start walking for 90 seconds.  Back and forth, back and forth I go.  During the second set of jogging I started to get a little winded, but then that next set of walking came just in time for me to slow down a bit and catch my breath. 

About 16/17 minutes in my side started to cramp.  Oh boy, what am I going to do?? I don’t want to give up, I’ve made it half-way through this workout.  Ok, Erin, suck it up and keep going!  So I did!  I did!!!  I don’t know where the strength came from.  Maybe it was from me remembering a post I saw on a friend’s Facebook page.  It was one of those ‘e-cards’.  It said something along the line of “If you see me running you’d better run too. Something is obviously chasing me.”  And when I remembered that I thought, “yea, my ass is chasing me!”  Literally, my fat ass is chasing me and if I don’t keep going it’s just going to keep getting bigger and it will keep chasing me.  So I sucked it up and kept going.

I ran every set, and even ran a little into the walking set during the last 10 minutes.  It felt good!  The sweat felt good!  Yea, my calves were super tight by the end, but when I got home I stretched, then kept moving so they wouldn’t get too tight.  Oh, and when I was running towards the end I could feel the muscles in my butt tightening up. Yes!!!  What a great feeling!  Ha ha, weird I am! 

When I got home I took my first post-workout picture.  Here it is.

2012-09-18_10-30-38_339 (2)

I was so proud of myself for doing this and finishing it.  And I couldn’t wait till Week 1 Day 2!  I have hated running my whole life.  I was a cheerleader, not a basketball player or a track star.  So why am I starting now?  I don’t know.  There are a million other ways to exercise, right? But for some reason I just want to run!  I want to be able to throw on my shoes and head out the door (alone) for 30 minutes of just me time.  I want to feel good.  And, I want to LOOK good!  I read so many people’s stories saying they weren’t runners but they did it and they lost weight, felt better, and looked better.  I want that for me!  So, I am going to run.


Have a super fantastic day!


B-0-0 Project

As some of you know I am a Pinterest gal.  I have pinned so many ideas on there but have been a little slow in actually using those ideas. One of my pins was the words “Ho Ho Ho” cut out of paper and glued down onto holiday cardstock, then put into frames to set out. A couple of weeks ago I made these:


I have been patiently waiting to decorate for Fall so I could set these out.  I am so happy with how they turned out.  It was super simple project.  I found a 3 pack of black frames at K-Mart for under $5, then used Halloween scrap book paper that I already had and my Cricut cutting machine to cut out the letters.  Glue them down and voilĂ !  Done!  So simple to make.  If you don’t have a Cricut to cut the letters you could use a printer to make your own stencils or templates, just trace those letters on to fancy paper and cut them out.  A little bit more work but so worth it!

Are you working on any projects?  Or do you have a bunch of projects to make that you haven’t gotten to?

Happy Monday, all!


Super Hero's

Good morning, Friends!

Yesterday when I picked Brennan up from Preschool his teacher, Mrs. A, told me about how 3 mischievous boys destroyed the puzzle and game corner.  She was trying to pick up and separate everything when she remembered how good Bren is at putting puzzles together.  Insert our super hero, Captain Puzzle Builder!  Doo doot da doo!  She asked Bren to help and that little stinker went over and put together all the puzzles with Mrs. A!  And he earned a purple smiley face (their behavior chart method) and a sticker! He was so proud!

Here was the end result of all that puzzle building:


He has never fallen asleep on the couch before. Aiden does all the time, but not Bren!  He was so worn out!  (To be completely honest, though, he woke up with a cold today so that could have had something to do with it, too.)

Wednesday night Aiden made his first touchdown in flag football!  We were so proud of that boy, and you could tell how proud of himself he was, too.  He told me later that his feet were on fire at the game, probably because he had drank so much water that day at school. Hee hee!  I love the crazy things kids come up with.  But if that gets him to drink more water, awesome!   Here’s a pic of him playing a couple weeks ago. He’s the one in the background chewing on his mouth guard. 


What are your weekend plans?  We have a family wedding tomorrow.  It’s an outdoor wedding and they are calling for beautiful weather, I’m looking forward to it.  Also a craft show in the morning with my mom, and possibly hitting up some garage sales if I have time.  The preschool is asking for books for rest time, thought that might be the cheapest way for me to get a bunch for them. 

Happy weekend, all!



A web-tech I’m not.  Trying to spice up this page a bit, it’s obviously a work in progress.  Bear with me. Smile  I hope to tweak things some more over the next few days.  I hope for your sake it gets better.  In the meantime, Happy Fall, Y’all! (I figured if I’m dressing up my house for fall I’d dress up the blog too.)


Autumn Has 'Fall'en

I finally gave in and got my Fall decorations out today. It is chilly and rainy here today, it feels like Fall. This is our second year in this house, the second time I've decorated it for the holidays. In our old house I never put things in the same place twice, and I'm doing that again here. I like adding to what I have, making it look new, fresh and different every year. Because of that I'm always in a quandary (does anyone use that word anymore?). I don't have that gene, that decorating gene. I wish like crazy I did but I don't. So here's what I did on the mantle.


Is it wrong to add the purple lights w/ the rustic, country-ish decorations? I was hoping it would spice it up at night. I won't have the lights on during the day. What do you think? And don't look at the ugly wood floor on the wall above it or the ugly marble tile below. That's all going...eventually. One thing at a time around here folks!

On a different note, I had my haircut this morning by a different stylist. I LOVE IT!!! She did amazing! I am so happy she is so close and I found her! And the bonus is she asked if I'd be willing to help her out when she has a wedding party or prom hair to do! A foot back in the salon door for me! Weird to know it'll just be to curl and prep hair, not actually be the one to do it, but whatever it takes. I'm not ready to get back in the salon full or even part time, still have my little Pea Pod to take care of and possibly, some day, another on the way. So in the meantime I'll take what I can get.

Happy Autumn to all! And if you have any advice on the mantle situation please help me out!


Odds And Ends

I LOVE Ally McBeal! That show is so funny and witty. I have started watching episodes on Netflix in the afternoons when Bren is napping. I watched it back in the day when it was on FOX and it is still just as good today.


I washed windows today.  We have the kind of windows that have blinds in between them.  I hate them.  So I took the inside storm window off, washed those front and back, took off the blinds, washed behind them, and then put them all back together again.  Man alive did that make a HUGE difference!!!  I washed outside and in back in the spring but didn’t go between the storms. I didn’t know how dirty the insides were until I finally cleaned them today. Now, crystal clear!


We went and watched our niece play her very first volleyball game last night.  She is in 7th grade.  She is on the ‘B’ team but she did very well.  Back when I played in 7th grade most girls served underhand and we only bumped the ball, no setting or spiking.  Now it was all overhand serving, then bump, set, spike.  They tried, really hustled, but fell short.  I’m looking forward to her next game, though.  It’ll be fun to watch these girls as they grow.


I am going to put out my fall decorations tomorrow.  I keep putting it off because I don’t want to get sick of them – after all, they will be out until after Thanksgiving, which is eons away.  But I can’t wait any longer, I am anxious to get them out and get Fall here.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be a rainy, cool day, perfect for burning some Fall scents in my scentsy burners and decorating the house for Fall.


Speaking of Fall, I wish people used the word ‘Autumn’ more.  I like it better than Fall.  So Autumn it is.  And it’s Dinner, not lunch.  And supper, not Dinner.  Yep, I’m a Mid-West gal. Smile


Brennan told me he wants to be a scarecrow for Halloween a week ago.  I started planning out his costume, thinking how perfect it was that he had bib overalls to use already.  Yesterday he informed me he now wants to be Woody from Toy Story.  Back to square one.  Aiden still doesn’t know what he wants to be.


With Autumn comes craft shows. Do you go to any?  My mom, sister and I always go to our hometown’s craft show.  It is this weekend and I can’t wait.  I hope to find some fun things for the house. 


Ok, that’s all for now.  I just realized I haven’t posted any pics for awhile.  I love to scrapbook but just realized I don’t take very many pictures of the boys and our daily life anymore.  That will be a new goal for me.  Hopefully it’ll make this blog more interesting for you.  Have a great night!


A Day In The Life

I am linking up with 'Where We Can Live Like Jack And Sally' today. She is doing a 'Day In The Life' link up. Go check her and the other blogs out! Here's my day yesterday.

6:45 a.m. Brennan wakes me up while climbing in bed with me to snuggle.

7:00 The near-by church bells ring, telling me it's time to get my day started

7:10 I am dressed and making the boys breakfast.

7:28 I wake up Aiden (the boy never sleeps in, why on a Monday when we need to get ready for school?)

7:45 All 3 of us are brushing our teeth

8:02 Out the door, taking Aiden to school

8:10 Back home with Bren, now what to do? Oh yea, watch Matt Lauer. :)

8:35 Start a load of laundry

9:00 Remember I forgot to send a snack with Aiden for his class, haul butt out of here with it

9:15 Meet our friend Rachel, and her kids Will and Vivienne, at the park to play

11:00 Leave park, come home

11:45 Lunch!!! We had grilled cheese sandwiches, cottage cheese, Sun Chips, and pineapple

12:30 Let Bren watch 'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood' while I go to my room to watch 'The Bold and The Beautiful'

1:00 NAPTIME!!! Bren goes down and I sit down with a Mt Dew to read my favorite blogs

3:15 Bren toddles into the living room, we grab him a snack and head out the door to pick up Aiden

3:25 The appraiser calls to move up our appointment, but I lie and tell him I can't because I'm picking up Aiden. In actuality, I completely forgot and didn't clean a thing all day and have to rush home to clean, clean, clean!!!

3:45 Home from getting Aiden, start barking out orders like a drill sergeant to get the house whipped into shape

3:50 Husband gets home, I start barking orders at him, too

4:28 House is as good as it's going to get, now just waiting on Appraiser

4:35 He shows up

5:10 I sit down to watch the local news

5:30 I get up and start making supper (grilled hamburgers, fresh veggies, chips, applesauce)

6:15 Done eating, we all help clean up


7:00 Help Aiden study his spelling words, throw Bren into the shower

7:15 Aiden in the shower

7:30 Cuddle and reading time

8:00 Boys are in bed, grown up time! We watch 2 episodes of The West Wing

9:45 Bedtime

Whew, what a day! That darn appraiser really threw me for a loop! We are refinancing our mortgage to take advantage of these amazingly low rates. Have you considered refi-ing? Ok, now go check out the other blogs!!!


Recipe Collection

Hello, Friends! How was your weekend? What did you do? We had a busy weekend, like they all are, right? They just go by like a tornado, you get caught up in them and then on Monday they drop you back down to earth and you move on till the next one.

This weekend my mom, sister and I were talking about a wedding gift for a cousin.  She is actually my mom’s first cousin but we are the same age so I consider her a first to me, too.  Anyway, we are Catholic, which means we have big families (my folks didn’t get the memo, though, because it is just my sister and me).  Because of that we are always going to weddings and showers, gets pretty pricey.  So for my mom’s first cousin’s the three of us go in together to buy a gift.  When we are shopping and we see something that says ‘wedding gift’ we buy it and add it to a stock pile at my mom’s house. Then we go through it and put together an inexpensive but great gift.  So for this cousin, Stella, we are putting together a collection of cooking and baking items.  We decided to add to it some of our favorite recipes.  We didn’t want to just print them off and hand them to her, so we are going to type them up, print them off and put them into a homemade, scrap book-type album.   My sister gave one of these to my mom and me for Christmas last year with all of our Christmas cookie and candy recipes that we make together yearly.  It was a really nice gift and I think this one we make will be used often by Stella.

We decided that each of us will provide one recipe for each cookbook category.  So far I’ve come up with the following: Chicken Scampi, Fancy Shmancy Brownies, Buffalo Wings, Red Pepper & Corn Dip, Pumpkin Bread, and Rosemary Potatoes.  I think I’ll do a soup recipe, also, just have to pick one.  And yes, I have 2 appetizers (the dip and wings) but we all love dips so decided to make them their own category. Smile

So what do you think, would you be happy with this as part of your shower gift?

Stampin' Good Time

Last night my sister and I went to a Stampin' Up demonstrator's stamping party. We had so much fun! We used to belong to a monthly stamping club but that demonstrator moved away so we had to quite. This new demonstrator has been stamping for years and years and has a ton of awesome ideas! And she does a monthly card making class. We made 6 cards last night, and they are all awesome! And aside from enjoying stamping, Nicole and I just had a good time laughing, talking and catching up while being creative together. Bliss!


Here’s a picture of the 6 cards we made.  I love how they are all different, they don’t follow a theme (fall, Halloween).  Because Susie has everything cut and measured for you each card only takes 7-10 minutes.


This one opens really neat.  It has 2 flaps to open (the ‘jar flap’ and the flap with the gingham paper").


And this wedding one is GORGEOUS!!!  I took a close up so you could see the shimmer we sprayed on it to give it that extra ‘something’.

These have my juices flowing, I’m anxious to get in the basement to my craft room to get creative!

What are you plans for the weekend?  We are tailgating tomorrow, Sunday is our church’s annual Fall Festival.  Busy, busy!


Wet Pants

Around 3:30 this morning I woke up to the sound of rain slashing against the siding, lightning flashes behind my curtains and thunder booming above our house. I sighed with contentment, rolled over and fell soundly asleep.

Fast forward to 6:45 this morning. My phone rings, I roll over to answer it and it's my husband, just leaving for work. "Hmm, why are you calling me?" "Did you know it rained last night? (yes) Did you know you left your car out last night? (yes) Did you know you left your windows down and you have half and inch of rain in it? " Oh shit. That part I didn't know. Ugh. I never leave my car out, ever. So I woke up to the thought of knowing I had a car to clean out and try to dry out. And do you know how awful a car smells after it's carpet has gotten wet?? It's not pretty.

I took Aiden to school in the truck, came home and got the shop vac out to suck up as much water as I could.  Then I hooked up a small fan to sit in there and blow around.  Now my car is sitting outside in the sunshine, with a nice breeze blowing, drying out.  How long will this take?  And how bad is this going to smell??  I think I might need to get the car detailed and carpet’s shampooed.

On another note, did anyone watch the First Lady speak last night?  I don’t care what your political views are, you can’t say anything bad about this amazing woman!  She was wonderful last night.  I think I have a girl crush on Michelle Obama!

Do you watch the conventions?

Happy Hump Day!


Homemade Happenings


Homemade Happenings


Ok, this is weird, I just found a Windows Live Writer on my tool bar.  I am going to try using this and see if I have better luck posting pictures through this.  So, here goes.  It’s a little funny to work with so I thought I’d just share these 2 pics from Bren’s first day with a few words to see what it looks like. 


Bren’s teacher told him to find a seat and color a picture.  He sat down, grabbed a brown crayon and never looked back. Smile  I love that boy.  (That’s Aiden standing behind him.)

Ok, here goes nothing.  Be sure to read the blog I posted this morning already, below.


Icky Ick!

Oh boy, do I have a doozie for you today.  Saturday while my husband was watching our beloved Hawkeyes play NIU I was checking Pinterest.  I found a pin on how to clean your oven hood vent fan cover.  It was a super simple home remedy, you just boil a pot of water, add 1/4 c baking soda (a little at a time, it really foams up), then just soak your vent cover in that boiling water for a bit (I did 10 min).  I walked away from it, went to the basement to check the score of the game (we beat them, btw!) and came back upstairs to check the progress.  Holy Stinky, Batman!  Ew, my entire house smelled like the bottom of a frying pan!  Gross!!!  I cautiously walked up to the pot of boiling stench and saw clumps of nasty grease floating on the top!  OMG!!!  Bleck!  Gag!  P.U.!  I pulled the covers out of the water with tongs and rinsed them under the faucet to get the remaining grease off, then decided I needed to do them one more time, just to be sure I got it all.  I ran that stinky pot of boiling water outside, dumped it in the grass, and came back in and refilled it with clean water to do this whole process again.  The second time it didn't stink as bad.  And those vent covers looked brand, spankin' new!

So, notes to self (and you) about what I learned:
~ Don't pour the water in the grass, it kills it.  Whoops!
~ Do this yearly, before the build up gets so bad it'd be a better idea to just move to a new house
~ Do this when you first move into a new house so you don't realize that, after a year of living there, you've been living with someone else's scum
~ And last, maybe most importantly, do this on a day you can have the windows open so you don't gas yourself out of your house!

Of course I forgot to take before and after pics, but believe me when I say, this is a miracle remedy and really does the trick.  And thank you to the blogger who pinned this, I'm sorry I didn't actually pin this idea so I could go back and give you credit.  It started with a Mark who blogs.  I know, I'm shitty.

On another house note, we painted our bedroom this weekend.  Man does that make a difference!  I love it!!!  We bought 3 paint samples, lived with them on the wall a week before choosing, then made our final decision.  This is the first time we've ever done this.  We always pick up the color swatches, pick one we like and just buy a gallon.  Then I get it on the wall and realize it's not really what I/we wanted.  (Let's be honest here, it's really 'I'.)  So this time we took our time and it sure made a difference!  I bought curtains, I LOVE them!  And rearranged the room a little, which made a huge difference. So now I feel like we have a calming retreat to lay our heads down in every night.  I still want to get some shelves and pretties for a wall, will work on that over the next few weeks.  Why rush it? :)  I tried taking pictures this morning but the sun is coming in so bright that it washes out the photos. Will try again tonight so I can show your our handy work tomorrow.

What did you do this Labor Day weekend?

Here's Bren's first day of Preschool picture.  Sorry it's a funny color.  :(