Friday, November 07, 2014

Something I'm NOT allergic to.

I have a lot of allergies.  I'm allergic to the outdoors, animals, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

But one thing I am NOT allergic penicillin.  I thought I was because I had been told once that I was.  When I saw a new allergist we re-tested myself ...and turned out I wasn't!  I found an article this morning about it...

Strange but true...and it happened to me!  If it's been years since you have seen an allergist, it's a good idea to visit and get an idea of how your allergies may have changed.

I keep my fingers crossed for my apple allergy to go away. :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Discontinued Products

Don't you just hate it when your favorite products get discontinued?
I know I do.

In the past few years they stopped making my favorite eye shadow AND my favorite mascara.

What's a girl to do?  I wish they still made my favorite boots...because I would be snagging up extra pairs of those boots as well.  How about favorite foods?  They used to make this long ruler sized strawberry jolly rancher...that was awesome. And what about when you finally find that perfect pair of jeans...and they go ahead and stop making that style.  Grrrr!

I just went looking for my favorite mascara to see if it was still discontinued.  And it is, but guess what?  There is this teeny tiny button that you can click to "bring it back".  Sounds good to me!
I clicked it!

If you wanted to do me the nicest favor could go to the website and click on the "vote to bring it back" button.  Thanks!

Monday, November 03, 2014

New Book from Gina Damico

I think I'm way behind in reviewing books...but I have read Gina Damico's series "Croak" and I absolutely disliked the main character.  But the story grabbed I kept going.
And I haven't been so satisfied by an ending in a long long time.  And the main character grew on me.

BUT...coming soon, from this same author is another book...and this one sounds...interesting.
And amusing.  Here is all the info:

Geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore only has one dirty habit: digging for fossils. One day, to his horror, his shovel strikes not upon a dinosaur bone, but a pit to hell—and out of it comes a devil. Specifically, the kind of devil who eats a lot of junk food, watches a lot of reality television, plays a lot of video games, and refuses to leave Max’s basement. But evil is still evil, no matter what form it takes. And Max has to find a way to comply with the demands of the big red menace, lest he lay waste to everyone and everything Max cares about.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max goes in search of a new abode for his unwanted guest. Finding a place where he can reside in luciferian luxury isn’t easy, but Max has strong motivation: his mother, whose terminal illness the devil promises to cure if Max gives him what he wants. Lore has her doubts about making a deal with the devil, but Max will stop at nothing to save his mom. And pretty soon, he’s doing things the good kid he once was would never dream of doing. Clearly, hanging around with a devil is a bad influence. But how can Max get rid of the guy without incurring the wrath of hell?

HELLHOLE is coming out on January 6th, 2015.  (that reminds me to get going on a new reading list...)

Here are the links to everything you need:

At the least you should sign up for her blog emails.  Because she is hilarious. And likes to share info about her books.  And about other authors.  Go for it. :)
AND....a book trailer!

*edited note...I just watched this trailer. I want to meet her and make her my friend. The world needs more movies made with dinosaurs.  RAWR!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween 2014

We are just about prepped and ready to go.

The dust in my house just adds to that whole Halloween feel right?  Like cobwebs right?

Our town celebrates Halloween on the Sunday before Halloween. In the middle of the afternoon. Chances are there is a football game on at the same time.  This stinks.

Last wasn't too bad. I got to meet all my neighbors which was nice.

This year we invited some friends over to watch the game.  And it will be fun to see all the kids in their costumes.  I still might have to do something on the actual Halloween night though.  Otherwise, after will feel like it's all over already.

So...are we ready?  yep!

1. Decorated the house with our least scary decorations.  Hey, my oldest is three, don't want nightmares. I like sleeping at night thank you very much.

2. Candy is sorted.  Wait...why do we sort candy before the fun begins?  We put our favorite candy in the bottom of the barrel. We do this so that just in case there is any leftover, we will have our favorites at the end. (we had none leftover last year....)

3. Small cheap toys are ready.  This is for the kids with food allergies. We are participating because I also have food allergies and it would suck if I went trick or treating and I couldn't actually get anything.  Want more information about this? It's called the Teal Pumpkin project:

4. Fruit snacks are ready for the wee little ones who can't eat candy.  We even have granola bars if anyone is feeling like a granola bar.

5. Costumes are ready.  I have a She-Ra t-shirt.  Easiest and Best costume. EVER.

6. Friends invited over to watch football game and enjoy the fun.

7. Football snacks, Halloween snacks....bring it!  We are ready!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Astrology! HA!

Whenever someone said to me "how can astrology be true?" I always said that certain factors absolutely must influence how someone turns out.  And if the things stated in this article are showing to be true...then why not the stars, moon, etc.

After all...we already know the moon affects the ocean.

For your reading pleasure:

There are exceptions to every rule of course.
What do you think?

Friday, October 03, 2014


I'm not really sure why...but people want to take over October.

October to me is about Autumn and Halloween.  That's about it.

But now it's about Boot-tober. (advertisement I saw online)
Or Brick-tober.  (Legos...okay, I kinda like this one.)
Or Crock-tober.  (mmmm....chili)

But really?  Can't we just leave October alone?

What other ones have you found?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

True Love

I wish I could bottle the smell of apple crisp baking.  MMMmmmm. Yum.  There's some in the oven right now.  If you are a frequent reader of my blog you know that I am allergic to apples.  Can't eat them at all.  I even carry an epipen for them.  And the worst part?  I can remember what they taste like. I KNOW what I am missing.  And what I am missing is something AMAZING.

So why would I bake an amazing dessert that I won't be able to eat?

Story Time!

Back in 2005 I started seeing this guy.  He found out I knew how to bake apple pie.  And he said "You're going to bake me a pie." And I laughed in his face because I made pie for no man.

I baked pies for friends and for family...but for a guy I was dating?  Uh uh. Never happening.
This independent female doesn't get in the kitchen and bake for a man.

But that Sunday afternoon he showed up at my apartment with two huge bags of apples. He had gone apple picking with his mom.  Since we had just started dating I thought it was really sweet of him to go apple picking with his mother. Little did I know....he had entirely selfish motivations for getting these apples.

He wanted pie.

He put the apples down on my kitchen table and I laughed at him.

He then said let's go for a drive. And the next thing I knew we were at the grocery store, walking down the aisles picking out the ingredients I would need to bake apple pie and apple crisp.  Back at my apartment I started on the pie crust while he started cutting and peeling the apples.

I can vividly remember this moment and can picture the entire scene in my head.  While I laid out the crust I was thinking "Why am I making pie for this man?"

Two pies and one apple crisp later I had a very happy guy in my apartment.
And I was one confused lady.

The following week my roommate said to me "You are going to marry him."
And she was right.

Because it's nine years later.  We've been married five years, we have a dog and two children.

And tonight, because I love him, I made him TWO apple crisps.

And he even still cut and peeled the apples.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


From my Summer Reading List...('s fall...I'm still working on it!  I'm in the middle of re-reading the first book so I can read the second book.)

Today J.A. Souders and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for REBELLION, book 3 in

the Elysium Chronicles releasing on June 5, 2015! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win

the books!  (Note from Dani...this is my favorite cover of the three!)

On to the reveal!


Author: J.A. Souders

Publisher: TOR Teen

Pub. Date: June 5, 2015

Find it: Goodreads

About J.A. Souders

J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the Elysium Chronicles and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and two children where she spends her time writing about the monsters under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing miserably at playing video games.


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive ELYSIUM and book REVELATIONS plus the e-shorts as well as ASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas.. If you have J.A.s books already, she will do an amazon or book depository  gift card of the same value.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Unless you are living in a bubble secluded from the internet, I'm sure you have heard by now that Robin Williams passed away.  It's appearing to be an apparent suicide.  This is incredibly sad.  And it's a great opener to discuss mental illness.

Robin Williams may have appeared on the outside to lead a charmed life, but he battled demons just like anyone else.  From what I have read he battled drug addiction, alcohol abuse, bi-polar disorder and more.

I hope that anyone reading this ....if you are sad or depressed, get help!
I know it's hard.  Getting help....admitting you need help.  That is the biggest hardest hurdle. Admitting your life isn't perfect.

But at the very least TALK to someone.

Please don't be another statistic.  And so that I'm not being a hypocrite, I promise to write soon about some of my own struggles.  The best way to get more people to be to be honest and admit your own problems. is not that day.  I'm in a really good place right now.  Life is....let's say life is WONDERFUL.
I have a lot to be happy and thankful for and I am both happy and thankful.

Instead I want to share how Robin Williams influenced my own life.

I wasn't really a big fan of his work. I found his method of comedy uncomfortable.  I didn't really see his serious work.  I just....wasn't a fan.

But there is one movie that definitely influenced me.  A big impact.
And since Robin was known for his ad-lib...he may have even come up with the quote I use the most in my line of work.  I frequently compare my work as an IT support person (Systems Administrator if you want to get technical) to that of a genie.  Specifically...THE Genie from Aladdin.

And it didn't hit me until I said that one phrase again I frequently do...

"Phenomenal cosmic powers!.....itty bitty living space."

Here is my post from Feb 2011, please enjoy!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Addicted Reader Confession

I have a confession to make.

I've gotten a little out of order on my Summer Reading.  You see...I got a phone call the other day from my local bookstore letting me know that a book I had pre-ordered was available.  Even though it shouldn't be coming out until...... (not saying, I don't want to give it away.)

I don't want this bookstore to get in trouble, but I might have failed to mention that the book doesn't technically come out yet.  BECAUSE I COULDN'T WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON IT.

And even though I am currently in the middle of the "Croak" series by Gina Damico...I immediately put that down and devoured the book.

And it was spectacular and everything I wanted it to be...and well ....worth the wait!

So where am I?  I finished my local library's summer reading and I'm back on to my own list.
I've finished the following so far:

The Selection Series - Kiera Cass
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Where'd You Go Bernadette - Maria Semple
Time Between Us/Time After Time - Tamara Ireland Stone

I still need to blog about my review for the Time Between Us series.  I was mostly happy with that one. And if I dig around in my messy bookshelves...I'm pretty sure I have a giveaway for that post.
I'm currently in the middle of Croak, so what else is left?

The Elysium Chronicles - J.A. Souders
The Cahill Witch Chronicles - Jessica Spotswood
Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna/Lola) - Stephanie Perkins
The Innocents, This Side of Jealousy - Lili Peloquin
If I Stay/Where She Went - Gayle Forman

I am going to be changing up the order on these books.  I'm moving The Elysium Chronicles to the end and I might be taking If I Stay/Where She Went off the list.  I mostly put that last series on there so that I would have more room if I ran out of books before the end of summer.  Or if I finished before final books could come out for Stephanie Perkins, Jessica Spotswood and Lili Peloquin.  AND...technically I read both of those last summer.  So I don't need to read them again.

Well, I want to read them again, I just don't HAVE to.

I'll have more giveaways at the end of summer, so stay tuned!
(And I still haven't worn jeans to work....and I'm down a few pounds, woohoo!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cahill Witch Chronicles Giveaway!

Follow this link:

It will take you to a blog with a sneak peek at "Sisters' Fate", the last book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood.

This is one of my favorite one of my new favorite authors.

AND...while you are there...enter for a chance to win an advance copy!

(And then let me read it.  Please. :))

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Quick Reviews


The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene
"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten."
My thoughts:
I picked this book because the movie recently came out.
And lots of people I "knew" (facebook friends, blogs I read, etc) were talking about this book and the movie.

I was told to get tissues ready.

I knew the basic story line.  A dying girl meets a boy, they fall in love etc.
And I told myself I was NOT going to cry reading this book.

And then the story went someplace I wasn't expecting.  And I got a little choked up. :)

Final thoughts?  It's worth a read.
And I'll probably watch the movie when it's available.  If I can remember I want to watch it. I think I need to start a "Movies I want to watch" list to go with my "books I want to read" list.


Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

"Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world."
My thoughts: 
I had a tough time getting into this one.  It's not written in the usual "telling a story" narrative. You are reading a compilation of notes, emails and correspondence to understand the story line.

But once it got going...(and Bernadette disappeared) I really wanted to know what happened and if they would be able to find her. Then...why did she disappear?  Is she actually crazy?  Will they ever see her again?  These questions kept me reading even though I didn't really like the format.

I also found the talk about the Microsoft campus, robots and even a Tesla notation very amusing.
I'm happy I read this book, but it probably won't end up in my "I'll read it over and over again" pile.

I'm thinking about doing a giveaway for these two books.  Any interest?  Should I give them away?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July, half done!

Is it already half way through July?

Yes it is!

I'm doing well with my summer reading though I'm a bit behind on telling you about the books.  Since my list this year was all books that I wanted to read, I decided to challenge myself.  Last year I had some recommendations of books that I would normally not read.  And I think a summer reading "challenge" should well, challenge you.

I joined the summer reading program at my local library!  It was only four books and right now I'm working on the first one.  My challenges are:
1. Read any book of short stories.
2. Read any book from our "staff picks" display.
3. Read one of our "mystery date" books.
4. Read a science fiction book.

Right now I'm working on "Good in Bed" by Jennifer Weiner, which is a "staff pick".  I'm not super into it, but the writing style is good and so far it's an easy challenge.  I already picked my "mystery date" book and I'll explain more about that later.

I'm taking recommendations for science fiction and short stories.  Technically my Time After Time series by Tamara Ireland Stone would fall under Science Fiction, but I was debating adding another book so as not to cheat on my summer reading.

What else have I been up to?  Well...I made three goals for myself this summer.
1. Finish my summer reading.
2. No jeans at work.  (doing pretty good at this far I have not worn jeans to work at all this summer!)
3. Lose 10 pounds.

I'm not doing so well on that last one. I keep trying to cut back calories ....and I'll do well one day, but not the next.  I'm hoping to do some grocery shopping and meal planning this coming week.  I'm hoping that will help.  I also joined a 30-day plank challenge this month.  We are half way through and doing great. I'm glad I am in the group though, because I think I would have given up by now if it wasn't for seeing everyone else post about their planks.

Plus they post about their meals and other workouts.  All I'm doing is planking for now...
Maybe next week I can do the reduced calories.
Then after that add more exercise.

But seeing what everyone else is doing is VERY motivating.
Anyone else working on losing weight this summer?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

Hey everyone - how goes your summer reading?

Mine is moving right along!  So that means it's time for me to start talking about these great books I have been reading.  The first series was "The Selection" series by Kiera Cass.

You can find all of her books here, on the Amazon page:

Or find all sorts of information and goodies here:

She is a very funny lady, I highly recommend you watch some of her videos.
I think my favorite part of living in today's time is that you can reach your favorite authors through social media. You can follow their blogs, get the latest updates and sometimes....even get cool stuff.

Check it out:

What you see above is a key chain that I got for having the final book in this series pre-ordered.

Okay, so if you didn't pick up these books yourself, what are they about?

In my words:
The story takes place in a future United States and there is now a monarchy ruling the country.  The country has a new name and there is very little you would recognize about this country.  The prince has come of age and it's time for him to get married.  Girls from all over the country are selected to live at the palace and eventually the prince will pick one to marry.  They get eliminated one by one until the new princess is left.
This is all filmed for the country's amusement.
And oh yeah, there's a rebellion happening because some folks are not happy about the monarchy.

There are three books in this series and there are a few short stories (novellas) as well.  I recommend reading in this order:
1. The Selection
This is told from the main character's point of view.  Her name is America and she wants nothing to do with the prince or the palace.  She enters the contest at the pressure of her parents and her boyfriend. He then dumps her. So she ends up at the palace heartbroken.
1a. The Prince 
The Selection (and a little before The Selection started) but with the Prince's point of view.  I really wanted to see a lot more from Prince Maxon's point of view, but I appreciate what little we get here.
2. The Elite
America is now okay with being at the palace...and now she likes the prince a lot more than she thought she would.  But there are a few complications.  And shocking twists to the story.
2a. The Guard
Remember that boyfriend who dumped America in The Selection?  This is his point of view.
3. The One
An incredibly well done conclusion to the series. I don't want to say too much here...but let's put it this way. I have now read this series twice. :)
And....coming soon, in December 2014 will be another short story about the Queen (Prince Maxon's mother) and her own Selection.  How did she fall in love with someone that no one else seems to like?

Did I tease you enough?  Did I give away any spoilers?
If you are really copy of The One has an extra chapter told from yet another character's point of view.  (I LOVE it when authors do this!!)

At this time I do not have copies to giveaway.  But I do have copies for those who would like to borrow them from me.  Please let me know!   Did you read The Selection Series?  What did you think?

Summer of Sequels - See the full list here:

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Win free books from two of my favorite authors!

Have a Happy Independence Day everyone!

If you get the chance, visit these author's websites and enter their giveaways for some free books!
(both are on my Summer Reading List!)

Jessica Spotswood:

Gina Damico:

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Life Expectancy

Quick post today.

I found this fun test the other day. Try it:

I think at the least it would make you think twice about some of your decisions regarding your health. According to this test...I may live until 96!

I hope that I'm in very good health until that ripe old age because I've always said once I reach 80 all bets are off.  I'm finally getting that tattoo.  And I'm eating and drinking whatever I want.  I might ski off a few cliffs, skydive and whatever else I want.

I might have to get my ears triple pierced and just dye all my hair purple.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Early mornings.

I am a morning person.

When I was younger I never realized that I was a morning person.  I do like staying up late but even when I stay up late, I have a fairly easy time waking up in the morning.  Especially in the summer when the sun is also up much earlier.

My mom is not a morning person. (at least not before that first cup of coffee) I have had roommates who are NOT morning people.  (here's a link to one of my best friends over at Alarm Clock Wars:

My husband is not a morning person.

Even my daughter is not a morning person:

These two photos were taken almost a year apart. When she doesn't want to get up in the morning she will put her blanket over her head.  She is "awake" in both of these photos, just refusing to get up.

Until I had my first child I thought that it was a choice to be a morning person or not. I didn't understand how my friends or family members couldn't just get up.  When my hubby told me that our daughter hated mornings (didn't want to get up...dragged her feet...took forever to drink her bottle) I didn't believe him. Then I had to start getting her up after we moved....and I realized something.

Some people are just not morning people and they were just born that way.

And I accepted it.  And then I got pregnant again.  And it was not a secret that I really hoped my second child would be a morning person like myself.  Because it's hard enough to have TWO people moving slow as molasses in the morning when Mama has to get out the door by 7am.  (really I need to be leaving the driveway at that time.)

And guess what?  I got my wish, my son is a morning person!

He smiles like that almost every morning.  He is also up with the sun.  Or just beforehand at 4:30am.
We are working on him being a slightly later in the morning person.  :)

So what prompted this post?  Well today I was lying in bed after I woke up almost with the sun myself. (around 5:30am) I was thinking about my day and things I needed to do.  And then I realized something. I could go to work early!!  (which means I can leave early!)

My parents have the kids and we will be meeting up with them later. I jumped out of bed and got ready for work as fast as I could.  I got in my car and I thoroughly enjoyed my commute with the radio as loud as I wanted.  There were less cars on the road.  Starbucks was faster.  Work was silent.  And I got a ton of stuff done to start my day.

Ahhhhhh.....I really miss my early mornings.   :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer of Sequels: The Final List

Summer begins this weekend...time to break out the final Summer Reading List!

Here you go, I'll be going in this order:

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Time Between Us/Time After Time - Tamara Ireland Stone

Croak Series - Gina Damico

The Elysium Chronicles - J.A. Souders

The Cahill Witch Chronicles - Jessica Spotswood

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna/Lola) - Stephanie Perkins

The Innocents, This Side of Jealousy by Lili Peloquin

If I Stay/Where She Went - Gayle Forman

You will notice that I changed it up a bit.  I've already read the Selection Series (twice!) so I might be a little ahead of you.  This weekend I'm starting The Fault in Our Stars.  You will notice I have that one and another that is not a series.  I decided to add these in because my list seemed short.  And I've wanted to read these for a while.  I took out the Divergent series because I talked to a few people who finished it and found so many unhappy people...I decided instead to try the movies and skip the books. I've read the first one and I was happy with how it ended, so I won't push the rest of the books on myself.  Maybe I'll change my mind later...maybe not.

I also took out the UnWind series.  There is a fourth book coming out in October and I'm going to shelve those until the Fall.

I also added "The Innocents" series.  I believe the third book comes out next week, but I'm still trying to confirm that.  That is the series I recommended at the end of the summer.  I will be moving this one up on my list if the last book does come out next week.

And at the very end of my list...a movie is coming out soon for Gayle Forman's "If I Stay."  I LOVED this book and it's sequel.  I've already read I added them to the end...just in case I need more.

The Cahill Witch Chronicles and Anna/Lola/Isla series by Stephanie Perkins both end in August...while I'm on vacation.  Camping in the woods!  How am I going to get my books?!?! what I did.  Head up your library and your local bookstores.  If you are local to me, feel free to borrow these from me.  A few of them I might even have multiple copies of....which you know what that means.  Giveaways!! :)

Happy beginning of summer!

(Today is also my FIFTH wedding anniversary.  I've been married that long....whoa.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer is almost here!

Summer is right around the corner.  I'm pretty excited.

I'm organizing our family vacation (camping) and weekend trips (Vermont most likely).

Planning out what we will bring to summer parties.

And gathering my books for my Summer Reading.

I'm hitting up the library (school and town) and then heading to an independent bookseller to get the rest. Why the independent bookseller?  Why not use my e-reader?

Well...I may just do a few more giveaways this summer, won't that be fun?  :)  I have a bit of swag (signed stuff!) from some of my favorite authors and I do love to gift a good book.

And I'll probably get the e-reader versions as well.

My final list will be posted this week along with the order I will be reading the books.  I'm also planning on joining the town library's summer reading program and I just found out that a bunch of my old books will soon be showing up on my doorstep.  So I might add a few extra throughout the summer.

What else do I have planned?  Well....I've had two kids.  It's now time to get back on that weight loss train and continue my journey from a few years ago.  I'm also hoping that if I'm blogging about it, then I will do it.

I hope to generate some good discussion on weight loss, reading and summer fun in the next few months.
Let's go enjoy this weather!  All too soon it will be September.

(gee...darn....Autumn and football?...I really do love every season. :))

Monday, June 09, 2014

Both kids napping

Right now both my kids are the same time.

I got caught up on the news.  Read all my emails.  Wrote a lot more emails that were needed...

And here I am at my blog.  Which I have missed a LOT.

Many cute things/moments have happened in the past few months with my kids and I wanted to write about them all.  But whenever I had a free moment, I found something else to do with my time.

Take a nap.  Clean the house.  Do a load of laundry.
Spend time with my kids, play with them, feed them.

A few days ago my parents took both kids for a few days so I could get some much needed stuff done at my house.  I managed to clean out my entire barn and create an office space for my husband.  I got about half the pantry done before my kids came back.

I probably could have finished the pantry....but instead I took my last peaceful shower. :)

More posts coming soon.  I can't wait to start my Summer Reading list this year!

I was debating adding "The Fault in our Stars" to my list.  Opinions?

Monday, May 05, 2014

Summer of Sequels

Remember my Summer Reading List from last year?

Here is the link:

I've decided to do another one this year.  I had a hard time finishing all of them last year. I unexpectedly got pregnant and I was planning my sister's bridal shower...and well time got away from me.

I did manage to get through most of them, but I decided to cut back this year...take it easy on myself.

What am I going to do this year?

This year....I'm going to read all the sequels or next books in the series of a few that I've been following.  I might get around to reviewing them...I might not.  I'll try, but I'm a mother of two now and I have a lot of plans for this summer. :)  Want to follow along?  Here is what I am going to read.

I'll update with the order I'll be reading them soon.  For now...start with The Selection Series.  I have been re-reading this one over the last week to prepare for "The One" which is out TOMORROW. :)

I'm only a little excited.  Just a little. :)

My Summer Reading List  - Summer Sequels!

The Selection Series
The Elysium Chronicles
Time Between Us/ Time After Time
The Cahill Witch Chronicles
Divergent Series - I'm debating this one.
Anna and the French Kiss series?  This one isn't a series..but the characters from each book do appear in each other's books which is kind of neat.
UnWind series
Croak Series

Anything I should add?  Let me know!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Thank you so much!


We met and surpassed our goal for our fund raiser for Cystic Fibrosis! Thank you so much to all my friends and family!!! 

One of my donations was done in honor of this little girl. 
She didn't have Cystic Fibrosis, but she passed away unexpectedly at only four months old. I can't imagine the pain her family must be experiencing. 

Her family created this page to share people's stories about their daughter and to also encourage people to do an act of kindness in their daughters memory. 

What a great way to honor someone...we should all try to do an act of kindness today!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Great Strides Walk: Last Chance!

Oooh...what's that on my kitchen counter?

Besides the gummy colas and Barbie book....and Kohls bag.

It's a baby announcement for my newborn son!
In addition to a signed thank you note from my daughter, I'm adding a birth announcement for my son to our thank you gifts for all of our donors to our fund for Cystic Fibrosis.

Need that link again?
Here's the direct link to donate:

And here is the link to my blog post that explains why our family does this every year:

Thank you to all of my donors so far!  We appreciate every penny donated to our cause.
I hope that someday this is a disease that my children will never have to worry about.

Thank you!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Back Seat Driving

Kids say the cutest things right?

My kid is a back seat driver.  It started innocently enough.

We talked about different colors we would see....including traffic lights.  And we learned that green means go, red means stop and yellow means slow down. (though I had a few people try to tell me it meant to go faster...)

We also learned that the orange hand means don't walk, etc.

And soon she was saying "Go!!!" when the light turned green.  And "Mama, that light was red."
(uh....sure it wasn't orange?)

But the latest thing she said to me, she was definitely right. And I laughed so hard I almost had to pull over.

I was bringing her to daycare the other day and I wanted to move into the left lane. The driver in that lane was coming up fast, so I put my blinker on so that I could move after they went by.  Then they just stayed in my blind spot instead of going past me (and the slow driver in front of me).  So I came out with "Hello???" and my daughter asked me who I was saying hello to. I explained that I was talking to the car.  She said "oh."

Then a few minutes later the traffic was coming to a fork in the could go right or left.
The driver in front of me started to go right.....then changed their minds at the last minute and went left, and cut me off.  So I came out with "Where are you going?"  (my language and statements have become a LOT less interesting since kids have started riding with me.)

All of these statements were in a conversational tone, I wasn't yelling at the cars.
Then my daughter says to me again "Mom, who are you saying "where are you going" to?".

I again explained that I was talking to the car in front of me.
There was a brief silence from the back seat and then she said:
(excuse the stutter, but this is what she said)

"Mom, you can't talk to the cars because because because the cars can't hear you."

Smart kid.  Guess I'll stop "talking" to those other drivers. ;)

Please don't forget to donate to my Cystic Fibrosis campaign if you are interested.  This is my last week collecting donations.  I'm getting my daughter to work on those thank you notes this week! :)
Click here to donate:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tacos for breakfast!!

Have you seen those new Taco Bell commercials yet?  The ones where they have all of these real life Ronald McDonalds talking about how much they like the new Taco Bell breakfast?

I got a kick out of this commercial...but I also got excited to try Taco Bell breakfast. I'm a fan of Taco Bell though I don't go often.  But I do love me some tex-mex food.

And tex-mex for breakfast?  That sounds even better!

The other day I made a swing into the Taco Bell drive-thru. (I'm pretty sure drive-thrus were invented for moms with newborns.  I need one at Walmart and Babies R Us please!)

I decided to try the new A.M. Crunch Wrap.  You get your choice of meat...I got bacon of course. I don't know how many calories are in it...and I don't want to know until I'm dieting again.  Because it was AWESOME.  In fact, if I could have one for lunch right now...I would.

I also got the Cinnabon Delights.  Do yourself a favor (if you are on a diet) and NEVER try these.

Trust me. They are so awesome. I'm drooling right now just thinking about them. Better than Cinnabon Rolls.  Better than donuts.  Better than anything with cinnamon and sugar.


Yep, you read that right.

I need to plan my next trip to Taco Bell soon....


On a side of my pet peeves is when someone hands you your change and they give you the bills or receipt first and then put your change on top of it.  That drives me nuts. It's the easiest way for me to drop all the change.  The proper way to do it is to give the change back first (in the cup of your hand) so that your fingers are free to grasp the bills.  It is also the correct way to count back change. (not that anyone does that anymore!)
The reason I bring it up is because the person at the window gave me my change back correctly and it just helped my experience be that much better.

Now...will Taco Bell breakfast survive? I don't know, I don't see too many people stopping at Taco Bell for breakfast.  Not with all the options out there.  I think they will need to get a superior coffee drink to really bring in the breakfast crowd.  Good luck Taco Bell!  I hope it works!  I love Tacos for breakfast!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Okay...forget what I said about spring.
Today I had to scrape ice off my windshield and there was snow on the ground.


My son is now about three weeks old.  He's reached a point where he is awake more during the day and I've reached a point where I'm wondering what to do with him.  I feel like if he's awake I need to entertain him.

So far the swing is doing that for me...but I am going to have to come up with something better than the swing soon.  Mostly because the music is driving me nuts...too repetitive.

If you haven't had a chance yet to check out my post about my walk for Cystic Fibrosis, please do! If you donate, you will get a personalized thank you note from my daughter Zoe.

Her signature is really cool...she does a pretty good "o" and "e".  And her "z" looks like a lightning strike.  Pretty know you want one!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring has arrived!


It's warm outside!  The sun is shining!  I'm not wasting any more time here....

Going for a walk.  Will post more later. :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Cystic Fibrosis: Great Strides Walk!

It's that time of year again!

Three years ago while I was on bed rest, pregnant with my daughter, I decided to do something with my free time.  I had never participated in a fund raiser for a charitable cause and I was a little worried it wouldn't go well.

But it went very well!  My friends and family have been such a great support for this cause.  And I'm asking you to support this cause once again.

This year will be our 4th year participating in the Great Strides walk at the Mendon Zoo to support Viver's Givers.  Why do we do this?  For two reasons.

#1. "Viver" is Vivian, our friends daughter who has Cystic Fibrosis.  This is her team of walkers to support finding a cure for this genetic disease.

#2.  My husband's family is a genetic carrier for Cystic Fibrosis.  I don't carry the gene for it, so our children will never have Cystic Fibrosis, but they may be carriers.  It's for THEIR children that I support this cause to find a cure.

If you can find it in your heart (and pocket) to contribute even a small amount, we would be very grateful.  This year my daughter Zoe is old enough to write her name (sort of) and we will be sending thank you notes from her.  As a bonus, you will also get pictures of us at the zoo, including a rare photo of my new son!  (he will be just over a month old, same age as Zoe when she went on her first walk!)

AND...we have something else for my top three donations!
(if you want them...feel free to say no thank you!)

What are they?  Kate Spade postcards!  I got them in the mail along with some stickers. And at first I was going to keep them.  But then Zoe asked if she could color on them.  And I was very tempted to tell her no.  Because I'm a huge Kate Spade fan. But it occurred to me that I never really send post cards.  So I let her scribble...and put the stickers on them.  And now this art work can be yours! :)

Thank you in advance for any donation, we appreciate it very much!

To donate to my fundraiser, please click here:

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

We are never ever ever....getting back together!

Just to put everyone's concern aside...I'm talking about my maternity clothes. :)

If you haven't found out yet.  I gave birth to my son 12 days ago.  And I'm able to put my "fat" pants back on. :)  And it FEELS GREAT!

So I'm starting to pack up my maternity clothes and that feels even better.  My husband and I have decided that we are not having any more children and so I will never wear my maternity clothes again.

And I have also vowed to never weigh that much again.

I didn't gain a ton of weight...and it was mostly baby weight...but it HURT to carry that much weight.

Thus...I've had the Taylor Swift song in my head as I gleefully pile up the clothes. :)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Asbestos Awareness Week

Did you know that this week (April 1st - 7th) is Asbestos Awareness Week?

I didn't.  This is something that I didn't think directly affected me....but now after doing a little research, I think it could affect just about anyone.  I recently had a reader reach out to me and ask me to share her story.  I was happy to do so.  I believe that educating ourselves about things we don't know is always a good thing.

Heather is a survivor of Mesothelioma.  Once diagnosed, most patients die within two years.
But Heather beat the odds and survived.

If you have a free moment, please take a look at her website and story, you can find them here:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Baby name....

I had a lot of great guesses on the baby name...not one person got it right though.


Then I accidentally gave too many hints to my mom...and she figured it out.
So we are "going public" with the name.  If you would like to know it, let me know.

I'll send it to you in a private message.

Now to guess when he will show up.....  :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Facebook: Another reason I hate it.

I've made no secret of my distaste for Facebook.

Unfortunately it's one of the only places I am able to connect with some they don't use email or the phone...or maybe it's just the convenience of Facebook? drives me nuts.  I hate that we now rely on social media to get information to our friends and family.  Family should NEVER have to rely on Facebook. They should at least get a personal email.  But better a phone call.  Close friends I can kind of understand maybe getting an email.

Maybe a text if you can't reach someone?

But some news should always be delivered by a personal phone call.
Which is why I won't be announcing my baby's arrival on Facebook.  Or Google+.  Or Twitter.

Instead...those that should be getting phone calls will get them.  Others may get a text message. And the majority will receive an email. (but only because it's faster than regular mail)

I'm sure in time I will post something on Facebook because I do have friends that only communicate with me through this medium.  (If it's two weeks past my due date...assume I had the baby...)

The reason for my sudden need to talk about it?  Recently I had a friend discover that a family member had passed away. She found out from a Facebook post.  Not a private message or even a post to her wall.  But random messages posted to her family member's wall about sending condolences.


THIS is the age we live in?  Where we find out that someone DIED via a Facebook message?!

When discussing it with other people (besides myself...because I was very upset on her behalf), the response was "well, that's just the way it is now."

And you know what? It's only that way because we accept it that way.  If we stop accepting it, put our foot down, then it won't be that way.  A death in the family (or birth announcement) should always be personal. Not something to be publicly discussed on a public forum. (at least not until after all the family members have been informed!)

I refuse to accept it this way.  I hope you will as well.

For the record, I also refuse to do Happy Birthday messages on Facebook as well.  At the very least take a few minutes to pen a nice heartfelt personal private message or email.  I would cherish those MUCH more than I would a "Happy Birthday" post because oh yeah....Facebook reminded you it was my birthday.  You didn't actually remember on your own.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tough Love.

I've got another kid-story post for you.

When I was around three years old, my mom had to send me to bed "hungry" because I refused to eat dinner. She told me how I cried in my room that I was hungry and it broke her heart to hear me that upset, but she stayed strong and I never refused to eat my dinner again. (something like that)

My own daughter can also be very picky (when she wants to be) and will sometimes not want to eat.  So I have been waiting for the day when I felt she was old enough to understand there would be no other choice of food to eat before I tried to do the same tough love on her.

She has refused dinner and asked for food later...and I have given in.  But she will be three at the end of this month and she's a really smart little I know it's coming.  Soon.  I will have to send her to bed "hungry" and stay strong when she cries and says she wants something to eat.

During my last few weeks of pregnancy is probably NOT the best time to try this...but I had my first test this weekend.  My husband had made us a great dinner.  We had fish, noodles and green beans.  My daughter normally loves noodles and we figured if we got her to try the fish she would like it.  But we knew the green beans were not happening unless they changed into cheese or bacon. :)

Instead of eating, she just stared at her plate and banged her fork on the table. She didn't want to try the fish and she didn't even want the noodles.  After about ten minutes of her doing everything BUT eating at the table, I ran out of patience.  I turned the chair towards me and I explained to her that this was her only option for dinner.  She told me she didn't want dinner.  I asked if she was hungry, and she told me she was not hungry.

So I let her be "excused" from the table while my hubby and I finished eating.

I fully expected her to ask for something else to eat.
She did not.

I expected her to let me know she was hungry before bed.
She did not.

I definitely expected some sort of "I'm hungry" when going to bed.
She did not say a thing.

And then I was convinced that I would be woken up in the middle of the night by a crying hungry child.
She slept through the night without a peep.

Go figure.  Either she's so smart that she listened to me about no other food options (not likely) or she truly wasn't hungry.  I was all ready to be tough this weekend.  Looks like I'll need to try another time.

This kid might be too smart for least she knows if she's truly hungry or not!  :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Name Game.

I'm about three weeks away from my due date with baby #2.

The most frequent question I get (right after "How are you feeling?") is:
"Have you picked a name yet?"

And the answer is yes, we have!  And I have to follow it up with "But we aren't telling anyone until he is born."  At first I had a really hard time with this as I wanted to tell EVERYONE.  But now it has started to become fun.  A lot of people are trying to catch me and trick me into saying it.

I even have one cousin trying to use his poker skills to find my "tell" on what the name is.

But even more fun for hearing the comments on the names that were on our short list. Some people love names...some people hate names.  But hearing the opinions and comments is starting to become fun for me.

So I have a game for you...I'm going to give you our short list of names.
Both the first name and middle name have been chosen from this list.

Let me know what you think the name is.
I want to see who can get it right.  If you don't want anyone to know your guess, send me your guess in a private message.

This is going to be fun...
River (this name is a middle name option only)

And while we are at it...let's take guesses on baby weight and when he will be born.  My due date is April 1st and as of right now we do not have a c-section scheduled.  Zoe was due March 23rd and was born on March 31st via c-section.  She weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces.

Give us your best guess!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Highs and Lows

Have you ever had a day that had some really awesome things happen and some really yucky things happen?  I guess they can balance each other out and you can call it a wash...

Today my day started well because a co-worker who hasn't been well is doing much better now.

Then as my day went on...I became increasingly annoyed and frustrated.  I fix computers for a living and I was having a very difficult time solving problems today.  I spent the majority of my day working on one person's laptop and account.  Very annoying.

It got to the point where I decided I should just stop trying.  Today was just NOT my day.

But at lunch a co-worker went to Panera and got me my favorite sandwich.  Which is 740 calories.  So guess the last time I had this sandwich?  Yep....three years ago when I was last pregnant.  (If you were curious it's the Tomato and Mozzarella Panini.)  I can't eat this sandwich when not pregnant.  Because I can't eat just half of it...and that's way too many calories for one meal when trying to lose weight. (which is my current goal whenever not pregnant.)

So lunchtime day was made.
Mid-afternoon I just wanted to give up.

Then I headed home, picked up my daughter (which always makes me happy) and then came home. Hubby was watching my daughter my cousin and I hit up the mall so I could shop.

Which again was AWESOME because I never get out of the house.  I had to do some shopping for a bridal shower and birthday party.  And I went to my favorite food court spot for dinner.

Which means food-wise, today was really really good.

Then I went to the grocery store to pick up some milk.  I am easily drinking two gallons a week right now at 36.5 weeks pregnant.  While there my cousin and I got into a discussion about fake sugars.  I don't believe in them, and she avoids them to avoid getting the headaches and migraines they give her. I was curious how many of my favorite packaged foods had fake sugar...because they sneak it in.  Even when not necessary.  (some things have sugar AND splenda...or aspartame.  WHY?)

I picked up a package of Strawberry Pop-Tarts (yum!) to see if they added fake sugars. I had never looked at the ingredients before.  And then my heart sank.  The "cherry" to my bad "sundae".  (Which is really fitting since I am allergic to cherries.)  Turns out that pop-tarts are made with some real fruit...of which I am allergic.  They have apples in them!! (And pears...yes my list is long).

That just sucks.

Monday, March 03, 2014


Anyone familiar with the song Timber by Kesha and Pitbull?


Here's a link for you.  It's safe for work...just not entirely rated G.

Okay, got the gist of it?

When this song first came out, I found it really annoying. I think it was the harmonica.  Whenever it came on the radio, I promptly switched the station. Fast forward and my husband and my cousin's husband have decided this is their new favorite song.

Haha, okay guys wicked funny.

Except that they had been playing it for my daughter. Who was now requesting it in the car. And LOVES the song.  Yay?  So then the song became funny. A sort of anthem for us cousins.  Then I had this conversation last week with my daughter:

From the backseat I hear:
"Timber! Mom, turn it up!"
(I'm she almost 3 or almost 13?)

Then she says:
"Momma, Kesha is the girl, and she's a princess." (awww)
"Pitbull is the boy and he's a prince."  (This is where I started snickering.)
"Pitbull dances with Kesha. It's nice of him to dance with her."

And since my daughter decided to turn "Timber" into a fairy tale....let's say yes, almost 3.

Now the best part?  She's started singing the song....sigh.

Time to start screening her music.  (You hear that Dada and Uncle James!?)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mamma's Sing-A-Long

Last week I told you about Zoe's request for Frozen songs while I trimmed her nails.  Well that specific nail trimming had happened a few weeks ago.

Then last night I had to trim her nails again.  Again I took requests for songs.  When she asked me to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...I asked her to sing it with me.  (this is one of the few songs I have caught her a year ago.)

And she did sing with me!  It was the cutest thing in the whole world.

We are also the world's worst singers.

My child may be obsessed with music (she can name the top 40 artists on the radio and she loves the most bizarre choices...Kimbra, Imagine Dragons, Bob Marley...Kesha and Pitbulls "Timber") but my child CANNOT CARRY A TUNE.

At least not yet.  I'll have to cut her some slack since she doesn't seem to know all the words either.
But still.  Totally adorable.  I couldn't get the grin off my face.

Then tonight as I was putting her to bed, I took requests for bedtime stories.  We read Frozen, My Pretty Pink Purse and Goodnight Moon.  Goodnight Moon has been her favorite for a very long time.
Did you know that when you read it, you should be looking for the mouse in a different spot in each of the colored pages?  I didn't know that until someone told me.

When we were all done, she asked me to sing her a song and cuddle with her.
It was past 8, but who could resist that request?  For the first song I sang "You Are My Sunshine".  I've been singing that one since she was a newborn.  I'm not the best singer...but I don't butcher that one.

After that I asked her if she had requests, and she asked me to sing the "Sven" song.  (that was the Reindeer song she wanted before) And she again giggled like crazy.  Then she said can we sing a song together?


Which song did she want?  She wanted to sing "Do You Want to Build a Snowman."
(this version is too fast, but now I have the words...)

Okay...I got this.  We started to sing it together ....which means I start and she's half a beat behind me trying to copy me.  Then I realized I didn't know all the words.   Because she won't let me sing along in the car!  I need to learn the words.

Then she kept going....she knows the words!!
But she stopped because I stopped.

So now I need to learn the words.  And practice when she isn't around.  Because she still won't let me sing in the car.  I was singing along to Katy Perry's song "Dark Horse" and from the back seat I heard:
"Mama...please don't sing."


Katy Perry's song:

Friday, February 14, 2014

It looks like Frozen outside!

Quote of the day (yesterday):

My daughter: "Mama!  It looks like Frozen outside!"

Very cute...New England has been experiencing a few snow storms this winter...and with the movie Frozen fresh on most kids minds, it's easy to compare.  The other day, coming home from daycare I had the following discussion with my daughter:

Z: "Mama...look, the lake is frozen."
M: "yes it is, it's very pretty."
Z: "I think I see Elsa out there."
Z: "I need to talk to her."
M: "Who do you need to talk to?"
Z: "I need to talk to Elsa.  When I get home I'm going to call her on my phone."
M: "Okay....."

I think she forgot about it when we got home, but it was still pretty hilarious.  I was contemplating having one of my friends pretend to be Elsa for her but I didn't want her to request to call Elsa again and again...or worse, ask to see Elsa on Facetime.  (video chat) Which is how she normally calls family members.

Want to know the best part?  I don't think Elsa is her favorite character from the movie.  I'm pretty sure it's Anna.  She will talk about Anna more and has asked me to make her hair like Anna's from the movie.  Here was my attempt:

I definitely need more practice.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Don't name your kid "Phone".

A brief break from Frozen stories.  (we watched YouTube clips from the movie for about 30 minutes before bedtime last night...)

Don't worry, I'm not naming my kid "Phone".  It comes from this video.  Super cute.

And speaking of what I'm naming kid #2...I'm debating a contest.  Or at least a fun game...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trying to get motivated.

I'm trying to get myself motivated to get back on here and write.

I really enjoy writing on this blog and I just don't know why I haven't been doing it.
One obvious reason would be that I'm a LOT busier than I was just a few months ago.

Another reason might be that I just haven't been feeling like myself.

But I want to do it.  So to start..I'm going to share some stories about my daughter.
We took her (all of us together as a family!) to see the movie Frozen back when it first came out.  She loved it...I loved it...Dada loved it.  It was a hit.

And immediately she started asking to watch it again.  And then she wanted to watch clips on online all the time.  There's a bit of an obsession here.

We have started listening to the soundtrack on the way home each evening.  There's no singing along.  We just listen quietly while my daughter occasionally gives feedback.  (example:  "Elsa's feeling sad here.")
She doesn't sing.  And she won't let me sing either.

The one rare occasion that my daughter does hear me when I trim her nails.  When she was a baby, she wouldn't sit still and I was always worried I was going to cut her.  My daycare provider recommended that I sing to her while I do it...and it worked!  She would sit very still and concentrate on listening to me.

So the other night, I'm trimming her nails and I asked her what songs she wanted to hear.  And she wants to hear "Let It Go."  (link here, in case you haven't heard this song yet:

Now...Idina Menzel I am not.  In fact, I should probably not be singing MOST songs. :)

So I told my daughter that I didn't know all the words because she never lets me sing it in the car. (hehe...I'm sneaky...)

So she gave me a second request.
"Mama...can you sing the Reindeer Song?"

Now that one I can handle:

She giggled like crazy and requested I sing it multiple times.  
Probably because I also do the reindeer voice. :)

More stories coming soon!