Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Give Aways & SWAP

Check out the fun give-away:


Preppy Paper has some cute things in her Etsy shop. T-bone is going to need some thank you cards for graduation and some stationary to take to college. I like the flat note cards with the dragonfly design. Very classy, simple & elegant and appropriate for a young lady.

In other fun Kappa Prep Pink Swap news, my package is being mailed to my Pink Swap partner as I type. I hope Kristin enjoys all the fun pink goodies!!!

10 on Tuesday

Back to Ten on Tuesday! These questions were provided by Kara’s Chatter.


1. What’s your variety of apple? Is "apple pie" an answer?

2. Do you prefer Long-English or Field cucumbers? I like just a regular, garden variety cucumber.

3. Tomatoes – Delicious or disgusting? So so delicious. I luv, luv, luv tomatoes and slice them up like an apple with a little salt. Such a great snack!


4. What’s one fruit or vegetable that you can’t stand and why is that? Anyone who knows me knows I can NOT stand banannas. The smell, the texture. Blech.


5. What’s your favourite way to prepare veggies? I eat most, if not all of my veggies fresh (with the exception of corn, potatoes, green beans or asparagus). I love fresh carrotts, cukes, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.


6. Sweet potato pie: Love it or hate it? Hate is such a strong word. Hope about "intensley dislike??".


7. What’s your favourite “style” of French fry? I can eat any type of french fries / tator tots / hash browns. You name it. I do like potatoes!

8. What’s your favourite fruit-pie filling? I like a hot apple pie with cool-whip. I also like key-lime pie and lemon meringue. And hot blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.


9. When you were a kid did your parents make you sit at the table until all your veggies were eaten off your plate? Ugh! Yes. It was awful. I refused to do that to my kids.


10. Do you drink veggie & fruit juice blends (such as V8, etc.) or make them yourself? I don’t drink veggie or fruit juice blends (and I've never had a Bloody Mary, either!)


Link up @ Roots & Rings.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Breaking the Huddle

I can NOT believe I missed the SAG awards Sunday! It was such a crazy day and I totally forgot they were on! Our little emergency room visit kind of threw us all off kilter but we did watch two incredible documentaries on HBO when things finally settled down.

The first documentary was on Integration in the SEC (football). This was all a little before my time and, being a "Yankee" I will admit what little I know about the Civil Rights Movement I learned in a high school class or from news snippets. This documentary was a fascinating look at how sports played an important role in the movement. There was a lot of pressure on these young men to represent their race in a positive light and each victory on the field was considered a victory for all African-Americans. These were very brave young men (and women) and I had absolutely no idea that Alabama had an all-white football team until 1970. 1970! Insane.

The following article doesn't not portray Bear Bryant in a positive light and accuses him of not using his power as the head coach of Alabama to do more for African-Americans (simply amazing to me that the masses look to their sports heroes to be their moral compasses -- i.e., Paterno. But that's a rant for another day.). That is the writer's opinion and I am in no way, shape or form trying to smear Bear Bryant's legacy. I only post the link because it details the HBO documentary better than I can. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I think Bear Bryant did the best he could based on the political temperature in the South at the time. I think if he had just went out and recruited a bunch of African-American players and threw them onto the playing field he would have had a race riot on his hands. He needed to introduce the concept in such a way that Alabamaians thought it was their own idea. Baby steps. And that's why he invited USC to Legion Field.

The next documentary we watched was on Joe Namath. Interestingly enough, while we were watching the Integration documentary I asked Cosmo if Namath was at Alabama while all this was going on and quickly did the math in our heads (1969 NY Jets Super Bowl victory minus a couple of years for college). Namath does talk about when he first arrived at Alabama, how his teammates gave him a hard time because he was a "Yankee," how he didn't understand what segregation was all about, and about the history making day when the two black students tried to register for classes. You could just hear the pride and excitement in his voice when he talks about Vivien Malone walking into the building. He was rooting for her. I think this was an excellent story about a simple kid from Beaver Falls, PA and they did not hide from his alcohol issues. He was from a broken working class family, he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed (couldn't pass the entrance exam @ Maryland), caused a lot of mischief when he was a kid and just lived his life to the fullest and went along for the ride. My favorite part of the whole 90 minutes is when his older sister referred to him as a PIA --- Pain in the Ass.

One for the Money

One of my favorite series of books is the Stephanie Plum books from Janet Evanovich http://www.evanovich.com/

These books were suggested to me years ago by a friend at the pool one day. Since the books took place in NJ, she thought I'd like them. At the time, I think there were only a handful of books published, not the 18 books+ out today. They are a funny, light, easy read. The heroine is Stephanie Plum, an unemployed lingerie buyer, who applies for a filing job with her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman. The position has already been filled but Connie, Vinnie's assistant, talks Stephanie into becoming a bail bondsman. As the series progresses, several characters are introduced: Joe Morelli, vice cop and onetime sexual acquaintance of Stephanie, Lulu, a prostitute; Ranger, Grandma Mazur, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanie_Plum

I am definately one of those people who read a book and automatically think who would portray each character in the film version. Having said that, I'm not really sure how I feel about Katherine Heigl in the Plum role (please pardon the pun!). I've read all 18 of these books and all the "in-between" books. I've definitely thought of Heigel as more of chick-movie, rom/com kind of actress. Not a tough cookie from Trenton, NJ.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1598828/

However, I do like some of the other actors/actresses in the movie and think they are a good fit. The guy who plays Morelli looks like I imagined him. Good-looking, blue-collar, man's man (I always thought the guy who plays the plumber on Desperate Housewives would be a good Morelli -- the one who is married to Terri Hatcher's character Susan). The actor cast as Ranger looks good, too. Daniel Sunjata was one of my favorite actors in Rescue Me (I envisioned Benjamin Bratt in this role while reading the books). Sherri Shepherd plays street-smart Lula. I'm not a Sherri Shepherd fan but I think she'd be a sassy Lula. Debbie Reynolds plays Grandma Mazur. I always envisioned Estelle Geddy from Golden Girls as the Grandma (but I think she may be deceased???).

The next book-to-movie I'm looking forward to is The Hunger Games!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

Whenever I haven't seen someone in a long time I think back to how long it's been and how much can change in a year (always makes me think of Seasons of Love from Rent).



Some of the lax mom's got together the other night for dinner and it's so funny how you can not see someone for a long time but pick off right where you left off. And, it's amazing what can happen since the last time you've seen each other . . . divorce, re-marriages, engagements, illnesses and in some cases, births and in others, unfortunately, death.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

As long as I live . . .

. . . I will never get used to seeing images like this:








It's All in the Genes. And the Jeans.

Thank you God for blessing me with good skin! He didn't give me height, he didn't give me a stick-thin figure but I am truly blessed with sweet little feet and healthy skin!


When I had both of my girls I suffered horribly from Melasma (also know as "pregnancy mask" or hyperpigmentation). It was terrible and lasted for several years after each of the girls were born and I was very concscience of it. When we moved to the south during my pregnancy w/ KJ, I was diligent about applying sunscreen daily. After she was born, I did a series of microdermabrasion and glycolic treatments and that seemed to kick-start my skin back into shape. I am also not a sun worshipper and although I love a healthy tan as much as the next person, I usually protect my face at all times w/ either a hat or copious quantities of Clinique City Block. I also drink a lot of water at work and I've been taking vitamins regularly the last year or so. I haven't had a professional facial in years and should probably get one soon (just a matter of finding the time!).


I guess my efforts are paying off because twice in the last two weeks I've had complete strangers ask me my age. KJ & I were at Chili's a couple of Saturday's ago and our server asked for ID. #daymade!!! Then, last night during my pedicure, the nail tech and I were making small talk and she asked if I had any kids. I told her I had two girls and my oldest was a senior in high school. She stopped what she was doing, looked up at me and said, "Wait. What?? Aren't seniors in high school like 17 or 18???" I said, "yes, my daughter will be 18 in July." She said, "Oh My God. You don't look old enough to have an 18 year old!!! How old ARE you???" Now, I don't know if she was just being sweet or fishing for a big tip but it still made me feel good!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is that Al Bundy???

I am the proud parent of two beautiful daughters. The youngest is 12, the oldest is 17. A senior in high school. About to graduate and move away to college in a few short months. Like all parents, I think my girls are wonderful. Perfect in fact. The younger one is a sassy handful but that's what we love most about her. The older one is a typical first born . . . mature, responsible, studious, conscientious, etc. I think she is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. She is such a different person than I was at 17 years old. She is confident, she's secure. She is kind. She is smart. She is important. (Sorry! couldn't resist throwing that in there!!! :-). She has goals (I'm "40-something" and still don't know what I want to do with my life!).



Daughter #1 will turn 18 in the summer. Fortunately, she's always made good decisions and has followed her heart. She has pretty much always done the right thing and we've never had to question her choices. Now, I know this may not always be the case but hopefully, Cosmo & I have instilled the values and morals she will need and use the rest of her life.


Do these girls have any idea what these are going to look like after a couple of kids??? Can you imagine your 85-year old grandma walking around with a freakin' Hello Kitty tattoo on her chest???

Several times T has mentioned she'd like a tattoo. A small, meaningful tattoo. Not a tramp stamp or on the wrist or shoulder where everyone can see it. But something discreet. While I'm not crazy about this idea, I'm glad she's discussed it with us. Cosmo, naturally, is not happy (keep in mind this is the man that cried like an absolute baby when his girls got their ears pierced!!!). She has a couple of friends who have already turned 18 in the fall of their senior year and have gotten tattoos with out telling their parents. One friend has a tattoo on her ribcage. Her mom is going to be in for the shock of her life come bathing suit season. And I think that's precisely why she did it. Her mom is a controlling pyscho and this was her way of saying, "screw you." Oh God! Please don't ever let my girls want to say, "screw you!!!"

Exciting Blog News

Love Twitter. Love Pinterest. Used to love Facebook, too. Luv, luv, luv to blog. I was so excited to have Munchkinland re-design my blog for me a couple of months ago and luv, luv, luv the results! It's a true reflection of me and who I am. Although sometimes I worry that the header makes me look like a drunk (I'm not. So far from it. Yes, I do enjoy an occasional margarita with the girls but that's about it. Very, very rarely drink wine. I probably have a beer once or twice a year. The title is a play on our last name. Nothing more. And, I was looking for a sassy graphic.). Anyway. I digress. I luv my blog but never really liked the Cos4.blogspot.com thing. I mentioned the other day to Cosmo that I'd like to look into a domain name but really wasn't sure what that was all about. He e-mailed me today and said, "Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of www.MakeMineACosmo.com" Yay!!! Luv my hubby, yes I do! Isn't it great when someone looks out for you and does small, wonderful, meaningful thoughtful things for you???!!!


I do have one small, teeny weeny confession to make. I luv, luv, luv other people's "buttons" on their blog. I always feel guilty if I don't copy it and paste it on my blog. I feel like if someone has gone to the trouble of creating a button and posting it on their blog, the least I could do is copy it on to mine. It just seems like the right thing to do!

Have I mentioned . . . ???

Have I mentined lately how much I love my job??? I feel truly blessed and fortunate to work with such an amazing group of people, I work in one of the most beautiful places in the state of Alabama and we start Tuesday mornings with a dance off. This morning I did the "Pencil Sharpener," Megan did a lame rendition of a "Jersey Fist Pump" (girl can't help it; she's from Selma, AL and has never been on an airplane) and Jill did the "Egg Beater." I think she's saving the "Dental Floss" for next week.)

It really doesn't get much better than that! Well, I take that back. It does get better. We have regular associate meetings with incredible food and lots of fun prizes, I get great discounts and I love pulling into the parking lot each morning. Yeah. I'm pretty lucky.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Putting the Fun in Fundraising

Forgot to post these pics from last week's Lax @ Saks fundraising event! The GBYLA hosted a wonderful event at Saks and, hopefully, raised a lot of money for the local teams! They had several players walk the runway, one of the Hoover boys DJ'd the event, there was a silent auction with tons of great items up for bid and we had cocktails and light hors oeuvres. There was a great turn-out and we had a lot of fun!
T's outfit doesn't look like much but I believe her top was over $300. I can't remember how much her shoes were and I forgot what brand jeans she wore. Her make-up looked amazing and I loved the MAC lipstick they used on her. The color was perfect on her. The kids had a good time and I think some of the boys were more into modeling the clothes than the girls were!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

dance + dig deep (and delete)

Great weekend of dance and volleyball! We're were all over the place but somehow to manage to be there for both of our girls.

Saturday T had a dance competition at Spain Park HS. This is a HUGE state-wide event and Spain Park's basketball gym doesn't hold a lot so you have to get there pretty early to secure your seat. T & Tins competed in the solo division and both girls placed (T was 8th, Tins was 7th; last week it was opposite. T finished slightly ahead of Tins.). Very proud of both girls! Seven seniors on the Buccanettes and they were the only two to step up to the plate. T loves to set goals and push herself. She welcomes competition and isn't afraid to put herself out there (whether it's dance, lacrosse, a pageant, whatever.). Tins's dance was very elegant and graceful, T's was a bit more contemporary and energetic. The Bnettes totally rocked their hip-hop dance and their jazz routine was the best I had ever seen them perform it.

Meanwhile, Cosmo & KJ were headed to Montgomery for KJ's first volleyball tournament. Her team did great and finished 3rd overall. I left Spain Park and hauled ass to get down to Montgomery and although I missed her 2:30 PM games, I was still able to catch her 4:30 games and her 7:30 games Saturday night. Saturday night she was the clean-up server. We were behind by a bunch, they put her in and she finished off the game and we won! All the parents thanked her after the game because if we had lost, we would have played at 8 AM on Sunday instead of 9 AM. Sunday was single elimination. They played at 9 AM and 10 AM and as soon as they lost that last game we were able to leave. We went out to lunch afterward at Wintzell's with a couple of the other girls and their mom's. It was a very nice weekend because we also got to visit with some of our friends on other teams and we all watched each other's games and cheered the girls on.

We can't escape lacrosse however. In between games Saturday evening, we were in the lobby heading up to our room at the Renaissance when a guy in a tux runs over to Cosmo yelling "Coach! Hey Coach!" It was a Mt Brook parent there for a wedding. His son plays on BamaLax. Then, Saturday night we went to dinner at SaZa's and ran into one of Cosmo's mens lax teammates and his wife.

So last week I had decided I had had just about enough of the negative, obnoxious, judgemental, sanctimonious comments on Facebook and decided to delete my account. It was a hard decision to make because I love keeping in touch with friends and family (especially since we are so far away from our loved ones!). Holy Cow was my family mad at me! Last night Cosmo, T & KJ all told me how disappointed they were that I had deleted my account. When I explained further, they all agreed that I should just de-friend some people (which I think is just awkward and uncomfortable) and I should just totally and completely block others. My 12-year old actually looked at me and said, "Mom. When you deleted your account, you let those idiots win."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paula vs. Anthony

Let me start this entry off with a disclaimer. I do not like Anthony Bourdain. I do not like Paula Deen. And I have no favorites in this argument. However, the Libra in me can easily see both sides of this story.

VERSUS


Paula Deen recently disclosed that she suffers from Type-2 Diabetes and has suffered for some time now (insert snarky "What? Water is Wet?" joke here). However, she didn't announce her diabetes until AFTER she landed a paid endorsement with a diabetes medication company. That doesn't sit very well with me.

"Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later," Bourdain tweeted earlier this week. Last summer, he trashed her cooking and approach to the business, saying, "She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations, and she's proud of the fact that her food is f------ bad for you. ... Plus, her food sucks."

I understand Bourdain's point entirely (about the leg-breaking, not about if her food sucks or not). It's like a a big tobacco company who's made bazillions off addicted cigarette smokers switching gears and now making bazillions off smokers trying to quit using the patch.

I am not saying that Paula Deen has diabetes because of her own cooking. However, she's been hawking her cook books and recipes for years now and is quite proud of the fact that her recipes are rich in butter, fat and sugar. Will folks with diabetes see her as a "fellow traveler" -- or an enabler who helped America get fat and still insists her favorites are fine "in moderation?" True, we're all adults here and perfectally capable of making our own wise, healthy decisions. No one held a gun to anyone's head and forced them to make/eat her recipes and I do agree with her when she says, "Honey, I'm your cook, not your doctor."

Have You Read Any Good Books Lately???


Last year I read a couple of Lisa See's books, Shanghai Girls and its sequel, Dreams of Joy. I really liked both books and decided to check a couple more of her novels. This year, so far, I've read Peony in Love and Snow Flower & the Secret Fan. I enjoyed the Snow Flower book, Peony in Love, eh. Not so much. http://www.lisasee.com/books/

I also read The Island by Victoria Hislop this month (one of my mother's recommendations) and think I will look into her other books. Last night I started reading A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith (yes, I'm back to historical novels) and I've also got The Leopard by Jo Nesbo qued up on my Nook. I read one of his other books, The Snowman last year and the style of writing was reminiscent of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The Millennium Trilogy). Haven't seen the Dragon Tattoo movie yet. The book was so graphic and I don't know if I want to see that stuff on the big screen.


I'm always on the look out for a great book! Please share any titles / authors!

Swap



Yay! I "met" my Pink Swap Partner! She's a busy mom to 4 beautiful children and we are both married to our high school sweethearts! Check out her blog at:
http://www.dominicandkristin.blogspot.com/



Last year I missed the deadline and was bummed! Really looking forward to participating this year. I mean, who doesn't love shopping for all things pink & girly and then receiving all things pink & girly in the mail???

Monday, January 16, 2012

Miss America Recap

Miss Louisiana
Miss Wisconsin
KJ & I had fun watching the Miss America pageant Saturday night. Everyone has their favorites and it's always fun to see who makes it to the end.

Miss Texas

Miss Tennessee

Miss New York

The pageant seems to be breaking from tradition and trying to focus on a more natural, all American, all around girl. But the entire show felt really rushed and chaotic. I didn't like the way they tried to interview the girls between categories. And, what in the world was Kris Jenner doing as a judge??? I think former Miss America contestants should be judges. Girls who have been through the pageant system would be much tougher on the girls rather than some reality TV mom-ager.

I really liked Miss New York and thought she was a natural beauty but did not like her evening gown. I thought Miss Tennessee, Miss Louisiana and Miss Texas were all gorgeous. I also thought Miss Florida had a really cute haircut. One of the contestants described her gown as being similar to one of Brittney Spears outfits (Miss Texas). I thought that was kind of weird. The dress looked good on her and was one of my favorites up until she made that comment in the voiceover. Another one of the contestants (I think it was Miss California -- she was wearing white) said something about her dress being "hot." I didn't think that was very appropriate. Especially when you have young, impressionable little girls watching the pageant. Miss Wisconsin's black lace gown was reminiscent of Kate Middleton's wedding gown and was very elegant.

Miss South Carolina's weight loss story is amazing but when they interviewed her after elimination she did not come across as very gracious. She mentioned that she's been asked to do reality shows or books or something regarding her dramatic weight loss. I wonder if she had won, would she have been able to perform her Miss American duties or would she be focusing on advancing her career? (plus she had really, really weird hair. I couldn't concentrate on anything else!).

And now let's talk Miss Alabama. She seems like she's very sweet and I thought it was wonderful when the girls rallied behind her and gave her a second chance (but really? did they really need a group of accountants on stage to count how many contestants were standing behind her versus the other girls???). Then she came out in formal wear. The gown looks much, much, much better in the publicity photo above than it did on stage. I don't know if it was the camera angle or what but all you saw was that massive bow. Cosmo said it looked like a crow sitting on her shoulder and I thought it looked like one of those deco-mesh bows people put on their mailboxes at Halloween. KJ looked at me and said, "Well. She won't be back. She just blew her second chance."

Golden Globes Recap

I didn't watch this year's Red Carpet which is very unusual for me. I love that kind of stuff! KJ was with a friend, Cosmo was on his way back from the Lacrosse Convention in Philly and Tbone was working. It was nice and quiet in the house, just me and the dog. I was really into my book and just enjoyed some "me" time.

I finally got to watch The Help last week. I had read the book when it first came out but just hadn't gotten around to seeing the movie.

The Ladies from "The Help"





I think Madonna stole this from Lourdes's closet
Is it Just Me or Does She always Look Mad???

How to Dress Appropriately for Your Age Yeah, I know. I've got Diane Lane on here twice. She can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.

George's Girl (love the hair!)
The Girls from Glee (proud to say I'm "Glee Free")




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