Sunday, January 30, 2011

C-Monday

This weekend we made (and tasted) cookies:

Three legged Frankie was in charge of the neighborhood watch.
We played hide-n-seek.

Enjoyed the beautiful weather
And saw Wake Forest win a basketball game!
We also laughed a lot with friends on Saturday night, had a 'mock-tail' on Sunday afternoon with a fellow preggo and shared dinner with another group of friends on Sunday night. All-in-all one of those perfect weekends!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Few Things for Friday

1. Thanks for all the great comments this week! They made me really happy. I am also looking forward to heading to the book store this weekend to pick up some of your suggestions!

2. Speaking of books, I just finished The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Mullaney and o my goodness, what a fantastic read. It was an autobiographical account of a young man's journey through West Point, Ranger School, Oxford, Afghanistan and his last duty assignments state side before leaving Army after 8 years. There were several anecdotes that helped me understand more where my husband has been and what he has gone through. For example, we have had this conversation more than once:

me: If West Point sucks, why would anyone want to go there?
Kev: It is supposed to suck, it just is the way it is.
me: I don't get it.

After reading Mullaney's version, I understood it a little more. He is so good at showing how each experience helped him grow and fashion into the type of leader he needed to be. I like how he took the gruffness of the Army and made it poetic, understandable and insightful. I laughed, I b-a-w-l-e-d and I walked away from it eager to write more myself and to make sure I am capturing the important moments that are shaping my life.

3. Has anyone seen The Social Network? We rented it last week with very high expectations and I must say, I was disappointed. I think if I had seen it without the hype, I would have liked it better, but best movie of the year? I don't know. It was entertaining, and it is true that facebook has changed the way people interact, and if I were Mark Zuckerburg, I would not be happy (unless I really was kind of mean), but there was nothing about the movie that blew my mind. Am I missing something?

4. Hope you have a great weekend! We don't have anything planned- so nice!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Limited, Say What??

It has been a really, really long time since I've been into The Limited, but the other day, while C was playing at the train table at Barnes and Noble and I was taking advantage of not actually needing to spend money on magazines, I came across this dress in the latest issue of InStyle:
It is a strapless dress, but I love the way they styled it to be season appropriate. I was so obsessed with the polkadot dress that when I got home, I headed to their website to see what else The Limited has done since I was in there last. Look what fun:


Now, while I did find those cuties, their look as a whole has not seemed to catch up from their heyday. For example, is this shirt still relevant??
Remember when Coyote Ugly came out and for a solid year, it was really cool to wear pleather pants and snake skin tube tops? You know you have a picture of yourself dressed like this somewhere... just admit it.
O heeeey 2002!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Blogs, New Books

Happy Hump Day! How's the week going? Can you believe it is the last week of January already? I will have to round out how my first month of resolutions went next week!

And speaking of resolutions, one of mine was to read more, and I consider both blogs and books to be reading, so I need a few suggestions! I have been working on The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Millaney, but do not have anything lined up for next. I would love some insight on any good books you have read recently. My taste is pretty far and wide, although I do not like anything that is too fluffy (think Nora Robert or Nicolas Sparks).

I am also looking for some new blogs to read. I like the ones on my blog roll, but I have done some cleaning out recently and am hoping you have some good suggestions for blogs you enjoy. Again, I am not looking anything too specific, just entertaining. So if you have a favorite, or if you have a blog that I am not following, please let me know!

Thanks for the help :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

True Story

I am really happy that baby boy can talk now, however, his newfound vocabulary does present a certain mothering challenge. For example, after I picked him up from morning day care last week, we had this conversation:

Me: Hey buddy, what do you want for lunch when we get home?
Cullen: Chocolate.
Me: You can't have chocolate for lunch, what is your second choice?
Cullen: Choo-Choo Show.
Me: You can't watch Thomas until after lunch, you have to eat first.
Cullen: Chocolate.

O the joys of parenting.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

C-Monday: Boys Will Be Boys Edition

My big brother came this weekend. And this is what happened:
1. Cullen hit Joey up for 'money', which, it so happens is C's new favorite word.
2. C was so excited in the morning that 'JoJo' was still here, he insisted on sitting with him, even though poor JoJo was actually still sleeping.

3. Then they both woke up.

4. And so did Kev and Frankie

5. JoJo was a good sport who went down slides.

6. Exasperated, but still not giving up. After this park trip, C was so tired, he refused to eat lunch and opted instead for a 3 hour long nap.

7. After nap, they had cocktail hour. Cheers!

8. Chug!
Success.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Flowers

My bouquet from last weekend is still going strong! Isn't it pretty?

Thanks for all the sweet comments yesterday- I do love my sweet little family!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reasons Why My Life is Awesome

I'm married to this guy:
I just got to be a bridesmaid for this supermodel:

*Photo courtesy of Lisa Carpenter
This is the face I get when I tell Cullen to say cheese:

This is what I get to see every morning:


This is what I get to see every evening:

I'm telling you, it is some good stuff.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Little Award

Thanks to Kelly and Tyler who passed along this little Stylish Blogger Award!

Once hit with the award, you are supposed to share seven things about yourself (kind of like chain letters in middle school, but without the ominous threat that you will never find love ever if you don't pass it along). So here we go:

1. I am an Army wife to the most wonderful husband in the world.
2. I am the proud momma of Cullen and baby bean #2 who is due in the beginning of June.
3. I love anything creative: music, art, dance, decorating... and of course blogging!
4. I am a teacher. I started as a 22 year old teaching sophomore English and somehow ended up as a 27 year old teaching pre-kindergarten, but I have found that no matter what the age, it is my passion and there is no other job in the world I have ever wanted.
5. I hate cold weather. I like changing seasons, but I wish winter would last for a week.
6. My favorite place to go is the beach.
7. I am dying to go to Paris.


And now I will pay it forward to my friends at:

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Blues

Even though spring clothes are already adorning the windows of stores and Lowe's is putting out the pansies, it is hard not to notice that we are still in the throws of winter. I always get sad in January and February, when the Christmas decorations come down, but its still not quite time to put out flowers. So to brighten up my mid-winter living room, I took a cue from February's House Beautiful and fell in love with deep blues and yellows to spruce things up. First, a few inspirations from HB:
Love these blue glass vases on the mantel. I might be on a search for some this week!
I am obsessed with the traditional wallpaper and curtains in this room and then the uber modern high gloss dresser. So pretty! It makes me want to paint my hubby's wardrobe in our room for an instant makeover.
And within my budget, a quick and easy update with new pillows on the couch.
I went on a search for the perfect new (budget friendly) pillows and lucked out at Target. Don't they dress up my comfy brown couch? Sorry the picture is a little dark, I forgot to take a picture during the day...
And then a simple table scape change- crystal, white, blue and purple- bright, but still season appropriate.
Little makeovers make me smile! How do you avoid the winter blues?

C-Monday

Since I wasn't with my sweet boy all weekend (and o how I missed him!), you will have to jump over to my mom's blog to read all about what he did this weekend. While you are there, be sure to wish her a Happy Birthday! She will hate me for telling you that, but everyone loves some good birthday blog comments, right mom??

I want to share the details of LA's wedding with you, but I have to scavenge for some pictures, so it might not be until later in the week. Until then, I am going to enjoy having today off and catching up on some sleep- not sleeping enough when you are preggo is like having a perpetual hangover without the fun of drinking the night before! Hope you had a great weekend, and don't forget to check out the pictures of Cullen on Knit One, Raise 4!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How Cute Is My Kid?

Being snowed in for a few days makes for new, creative uses for discarded boxes :)

That is all I have today because I'm off for the weekend to see one of my beautiful best friends get married to a wonderful man in Greenville, SC. I am so excited to be reunited with my Auburn girls and be a witness for Laura Anne and Andrew's love! Have a great weekend, see you Monday!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Few Reviews

Over the past few weeks, I have had a chance to catch up on a few movies and have good reviews of them all! It is always nice when I feel like I am not wasting time watching a movie.

1. Inception. I had heard a lot of good things about this film last summer when it came out, but didn't get a chance to see it until Christmas break. It was thought provoking and the special effects were pretty amazing. My only problem with it was that I didn't realize how long it was and was distracted for the last 45 minutes expecting it to end. I will definitely watch it again now that I know the storyline so I can really figure out what's going on. If you like complex plot lines, a tragic love story, ambigous ending and a lot of action, this is a movie for you.

2. Black Swan. I saw this film with my little sister in law in the theaters a few days after we watched Inception. I can tell you one thing, watching these two movies back-to-back made me question my own sense of reality! In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays a seriously disturbed ballet dancer obsessed with her own perfection. The dancing in the movie was beautiful, but the movie itself was not a pretty story. My sister and I tried to describe it to the rest of the family when we got home, but couldn't find the right words. She found parts scary, I found many hard to watch, but neither of us could turn away from the screen. You absolutely don't leave the theater happy, but you will be talking about the movie for days. It is definitely not for the faint of heart and has a much deserved "R" rating.

3. The Other Guys. If you liked Stepbrothers or Talladega Nights, you will think this movie is hilarious. I pretty much giggled for 2 straight hours. I love Mark Walhberg and wasn't sure about him in a funny role, but he and Will Ferrell's characters foil each other so well, you can't help but laugh out loud. Husband and I were both pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this movie was!

4. The Town. We rented this from Red Box last night and loved it! You know when you want the bad guy to win, the movie is well done. The story follows Dougie, a bank robber who wants to get out of the game and start a new life, but is too caught up in everything to get out unscathed. You watch him battle loyalty to his childhood friends and obligations to the gangs of the neighborhood with a new love interest who found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Definitely worth the watch!

Have you seen anything good lately?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WAR EAGLE and Resolutions: Week 1 Update

First of all, WAR EAGLE! I'm exhausted. My beloved Auburn Tigers are National Champions and wow, what a game. And now you don't have to suffer through a week of silence from me- we won and I can continue with my everyday activities with a big smile on my face!!! Yay!

Ok on to those other things... so it has only been a week, but I figure if I hold myself accountable to my resolutions, there are certain things I will get better at. So a few observations from week one:

1. Wow, meal planning saves a TON of money. Last week, I made a chart with lunches and dinners on it for each day, then made my grocery list accordingly. I was in and out of the store in under $100 and the only lunch we had out was Baby boy and I for $5 at McDonald's Saturday afternoon. Then, when I made my meal plan for this week, my list for the week only had 17 items. I have a feeling this is really going to help us save more money! We are much less tempted to eat out when the 'menu' for lunch is staring at me from the fridge!

2. I didn't make anything from the freezer this week. Go me! I even passed up our usual Sunday night Chinese takeout and made my own at home. It was easy and much healthier than my friend's at Knowloon.

3. Sunday morning I cleaned out our basement. I threw away 3 bags of trash, got all my linens ironed, organized all my seasonal decorations into coordinating bins and arranged the shelves so now I can easily find gift wrap, paper products and serving dishes. It felt good!

4. I read You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. My friend Ginna sent me an advance copy of the collection of loosely intertwined short stories about military spouses and how deployment affects their relationships. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down, I ended up reading it in a day. Fallon's characters and situations were so real I felt like she was giving first hand accounts of the hardships military families deal with during deployment. I think even if you aren't affiliated with the military, this book is worth the read!
Hotel on the Corner came highly recommended and was another easy read. The novel was based in Washington State in the 1940s and 1980s (told by the same narrator at two different ages). I found the political aspect of the book really interesting, I wasn't as aware of the way Japenese-Americans were treated during WWII and felt like I got insight another side of history. The fictional plot added in was a sweet and heart felt love story, mixed in with family drama, traditions and conflicts. My only complaint was that everything seemed to 'work out' perfectly for the main character, in instances where in real life, it wouldn't have worked at all, but I suppose that is the joy of reading!

5. My windows are still dirty. Really dirty. Can I hire someone to clean them with the money I am saving on food??

Monday, January 10, 2011

WAR EAGLE!!

WAR EAGLE!!!!!!
It is finally game day: Auburn plays tonight for the National Championship against Oregon. I have been anxiously waiting five weeks for tonight and can't wait to cheer my Tigers to victory. So put on your Orange and Blue and hope for a win or else I will be so sad, I won't be able to blog for the rest of the week.



WAR EAGLE!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

C-Wednesday

Surveying his train land and planning the next move:

Making funny faces at dinner:

More intent train-ing:

I mean really, how much do you love him?


And a quick dinner recipe:

Beef Pinwill Steaks:
1. Wrap in one piece of bacon, coat both sides with EVOO and grill seasoning, cook for 4 minutes on both sides
Whole Grain Couscous with Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms:
1. Cook couscous according to package
2. Meanwhile, chop garlic, small onion and mushrooms.
3. Heat pan to medium, add EVOO, garlic, cook for a minute, add onions and mushrooms. Toss with a little worscherie sauce.
4. When they are almost done, add fresh spinach. Might need to add a little more olive oil. Spinach will wilt quickly.
5. Add a dash of nutmeg, it brings out the flavor!

And dinner is done is 20 minutes (but looks and tastes fancy)!

Have a great Wednesday!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Resolutions

Thanks for the sweet comments yesterday. We are very excited! And now that I have re-capped 2010, it is time to look forward. I have never been much for resolutions, but this year, there are a few specific things I need to get done.

1. Save. More. Money. Did anyone else overspend this holiday season? In the past two months, it seemed like every budget husband and I set was exceeded and then some and I really don't know how it happened! So starting this month, we will be trying to spend less, at least until we get caught back up and on a better money routine. Some simple ideas that will help us:
*Eating lunch at home instead of going out
*I enlisted the help of recently preggo family members for boxes of maternity clothes so I don't feel the need to go out a buy a bunch of new things for my expanding waistline.
*Meal plan and make specific grocery lists so I don't go crazy at Harris Teeter buying every VIC special I see because it seems like a good deal.
*Find fun, free things to do on the weekends. It is hard when it is cold outside to not spend money on the weekends, but husband and I are going to do our best. On Sunday, we spent an entire afternoon at Border's reading books to baby boy and talking to all the other parents who were hiding in the kid's section from the cold, rainy day.

2. Speaking of meal planning, hopefully it will help us eat better. Do you ever get in a complete cooking rut where you feel like putting frozen pizza in the oven is a lot of work? Yea, I've been there for the past 2 months. So this year, I am going to try and think ahead, try new recipes and use fresher ingredients. We are also putting more effort into eating as a family. Turns out, baby boy will devor a plate of veggies if he sees that Momma and Dada eat them too. Such a simple solution, wish I had figured it out months ago!

3. Read more. Remember how I mentioned I watch re-runs of How I Met Your Mother instead of the news? Well about 90% of the time, the TV remains on until we head upstairs around 10. I really love to read, but usually once by tired bum hits the couch, it is not coming back up until bedtime. So I am going to make sure a book it sitting on the end table from now on. Plus, since my day time vocabulary consists of "choo-choo", "No", "say please" and "did you poop?", I figure it will be good to be reminded of how normal adults speak.

4. Learn to use my camera better. I love my camera and I think I have gotten better at taking pictures, but I know I have not taped into my full potential. I want to get comfortable off of 'auto' and really use all the functions of my Nikon Dx3000. I also need to take picture of people other than C. My friend Martha pointed out yesterday that we didn't take a single picture on NYE. Craziness!


5. Clean it out! We are moving in 6 months. We have 2 and a half years worth of 'stuff' lurking in corners, the basement and the shed. It is time to purge. Luckily, with very few weekend events on the calendar this winter, we will have some extra time to move from room to room.

6. Wash my windows. This is more of a 'to-do' than a resolution, but every night as the sun sets, I get really annoyed that my windows are so dirty. I think to myself "man, I have got to clean those" and then immediately release the idea until the following night, when the sun sets, and the dirt stares at me through the glass. It is a vicious cycle that can be easily ended it I would arm myself with windex and get to work.

7. Be a better wife, mom, daughter, friend and teacher. I can be impatient, selfish, easily annoyed and rather judgemental. I would like to not be any other those things. There is always room to grow!

What are you resolutions?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: Our Year in Review

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year's Eve. We rang in the New Year with some wonderful friends and made ourselves feel incredibly old as most of us realized we had no idea who the performers were on Rockin' New Year's Eve (except for the BSB/NKOTB collaboration of course). And as we lazed around on the foggy morning of January 1st, and I got to thinking about 2011 and what to look forward to, I realized that first, I had to recap the events that shaped 2010.

*I suppose in this forum, it is important to first note that in 2010, I started this blog. Originally intended to share ideas and inspirations about the home, and even to refurbish some furniture projects of my own, the blog eventually turned into daily inspirations of my own life, from Mommy-ing to home goods, pictures, recipes and funny stories.

*Before I ran out of time, I did squeeze in some projects: the happy yellow bench, the cheery blue chairs and a friend's chair re-do. Hopefully in 2011, I will find time to create some more.

*Kev and I were blessed to take many mini-vacations, including the Daytona 500, Wilmington, Atlanta, Wine Country, Kiawah, St. Michael's Island and Bedford Springs. We are thankful my mom loves our kid so much that she basically volunteers us to go out of town without him, and happy that we had the time and resources to take a few family trips too.

*In May, we celebrated Cullen's first brithday!

*Our sweet dog George passed away in July. And surprised by how much we missed having a dog around, we brought Frank home in September.

*Auburn went undefeated this season and we are looking forward to winning the National Championship next Monday!

*After months of searching for civilian jobs and preparing for life outside the military, we made a life-changing family decision that Kev would continue his service as an Army Officer. Shortly thereafter, we found out he was selected to go back to grad school full time on the Army's dime for the next two years. We are now anxiously awaiting acceptance letters from UVA, Virginia Tech, The Naval Post-Graduate School or Auburn. Once we find out where he gets in and decide where to go, we will move early this summer. We are excited and at peace with this new life plan!

*Lastly, a few days before we found out about the grad school selection, we also found out that our little family will be growing from 3 to 4. Now that I am approaching the half-way point of this pregnancy, I thought it would be appropriate to share with my bloggie friends. Little Larrabee #2 will be gracing us with his or her presence in the beginning of June, right before we move!

So that is a quick snapshot of our life last year. We certainly have some big things to look forward to in 2011! Here's to life!