Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting to Know You

Alabama Women Bloggers

 
1. What part of the state do you call home? Hoover

2. How long have you been blogging? Since July 8, 2007 !

3. Why did you start blogging? A friend sent the link to her blog and I thought it would be a great way for me to keep our friends and family up North up to date on our shenanigans. 

4. What is your favorite part of being a member of the Alabama Women Bloggers community? The support!  So awesome to see a tweet mentioning my blog! 

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Wow.  That's a toughie.  5 years from now my youngest will be in college and we'll be empty nesters.  Hmmmm.....there's a lot of possibilities!

6. If you could choose an actress to play you in your life, who would you choose and why? I have no idea.  I don't look like anyone famous.  I've always thought Diane Lane and Elizabeth Shue have aged gracefully and beautifully so I'd probably pick one of them. 

7. Name 5 things on your Bucket List that you hope you’ll check off before you die? #1 Travel to Madrid, Spain (I was born there), #2 learn how to play the drums, #3 learn how to wear false eyelashes, #4 be a contestant on the Amazing Race, #5 have a private reading with the Long Island Medium

8. If you could be known for one thing, what would it be and why?  One thing, huh?  How about for being loyal? 

9. Describe the best moment in your life. I don't think I can pick just one moment.  I've been very blessed. 

10. If you could “be” anything (no consequences, no fear), what would you “be”? I would be the female version of Indiana Jones. 

11. What or who inspires you to blog? Current events.  My blog isn't about one particular topic.  I blog about politics, religion, fashion, my family, a book I've read or want to read, travel, sports.  You name it.  I'm kind of like the Seinfeld show.  It's a show about nothing. 

12. We’re headed to your neck of the woods… what restaurant would you recommend? My favorite restaurant is in downtown Birmingham -- 26.  I love the atmosphere, I love the menu, I love the beverages and the bathrooms are so flippin' cool!  We also love Gian Marcos in Homewood. 

13. What’s a southern tradition you and your family have? Definitely college football!  We were huge Alabama fans before we even moved here and on a beautiful fall night you can find my family on the back deck with a roaring fire going watching a game with friends.  Thanks to our daughter, we've also been introduced to the Grove at Ole Miss.  #hottytoddy

14. If you could pick your favorite blog post from your blog this year, what would it be?

15. We all love social media, tell us your links so we can follow you! You can find me on Facebook at Make Mine A Cosmo, @AlabamaValerie on Twitter and I'm also on Pinterest. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It works both ways folks

So by now everyone has heard about Paul Deen's recent troubles.  Allegedly, she used the N-word years ago and is being sued by a former employee for creating and fostering a working environment filled with racism and sexual harassment.  Food Network has chosen not to renew her contract, she was recently dropped by Smithfield's and her home shopping deal seems to be in jeopardy. 

Last night I heard about the tweets from one of the nation's top high school football recruits.  A young man from here in Hoover.  http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/06/top_prospect_marlon_humphrey_j.html#incart_most-read  Unfortunately, what the young man thought was a "joke" is quite harmful to the coaches, the students, the alumni and the fans of Ole Miss.  It was malicious, slanderous and libelous.  And, in a way, racist.  He showed his ignorance and publicly commented on a group of individuals and an institution he knows absolutely nothing about.  The young football player has since recanted and admitted he has never stepped foot on Ole Miss's campus. 

So, should this young man suffer the "Paula Deen" effect -- should he be tried in the media and convicted via social media?  Should any/all of his football scholarships be retracted?  Or should we just chalk this up to a youthful indiscretion the way some people have proclaimed Deen to be a victim of her Southern upbringing? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Reading Update

Couple of days ago I posted about Summer Reading (see blog post here: http://cos4.blogspot.com/2013/06/summer-reads.html

Update:  I finished the The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel as well as Divergent and now I'm on to Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns.  Yonahlossee was OK, it kind of fizzled at the end; everything was tied up in a neat little bow.  Not sure how I feel about Divergent.  As I read it, I couldn't help feel like it was a wanna-be Hunger Games.  I'll see the series through and will read books #2 and #3 (I believe book #3 is set for a 2014 release).  Interestingly enough, Entertainment Weekly just did a feature article on the movie currently being filmed in Chicago.  The article actually helped me understand the direction of the books and the characters a little bit better.  And the Prada sequel is all over the place and Andi is kinda psycho and really insecure.  I usually don't read Goodreads reviews before I purchase a book because I like to form my own opinion.  I kind of regret not doing some research prior to pre-ordering this book on my Nook.  So far, I'm not that impressed. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Cos Fam is On the Move !!!

This family doesn't sit still, I swear!  KJ barely unpacked from Cincinnati and turned around and flew out to Baltimore last night, hit DC running this morning and tomorrow she'll be nestled in Happy Valley at volleyball camp. 

She had a fairly non-eventful flight last night.  It was delayed about 20 minutes but no big deal. We sat at the gate and laughed because she said she felt like one of those kids from a divorced family who is visiting her dad for two weeks in the summer.  So weird to put watch her board the plane by herself.  She and Cosmo went to Annapolis last night for dinner at Buddy's.  We used to go there ALL the time with T-bone when she was little.  It's located right on Ego Alley and we used to watch the boats come in.  Today they went into DC and toured some monuments, went to the Museum of Natural History, had lunch in Georgetown and went to Georgetown Cupcake for dessert.  She can now cross it off her bucket list.  Cosmo said the line wasn't too bad, about 45 minutes. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A little Cincy, a little Baltimore, a little Liberty

“Cincinnati is a beautiful city; cheerful, thriving, and animated. I have not often seen a place that commends itself so favourably and pleasantly to a stranger at the first glance as this does.” ― Charles Dickens, American Notes: For General Circulation
 

Been on the go, go, go the last couple of days!  The girls and I got back from our wonderful visit to Cincinnati on Monday and KJ flies out to Baltimore tomorrow to spend the weekend with Cosmo and then on up to volleyball camp at Penn State.  My parents will pick her up and she'll spend some time with them in good ole Liberty, PA. 
 
We had a wonderful, relaxing yet fun-filled couple of days in Cincinnati.  I love that city!  There is SO much to do and I've just always felt at home there.  We left Hoovs Thursday morning, picked Cosmo up at the Louisville airport on our way and the Martins met us in Newport for dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.  Just so happened there was Italian festival going on, too!  Friday we hit Kings Island running and did nothing but roller coasters all day.  And I do mean ALL day.  Diamondback, The Beast, Invertigo, Flight of Fear (my personal favorite), Vortex, The Racer.  You name it, we did it.  https://www.visitkingsisland.com/  We had a super fun day w/ our favorite Cincinnati family and also met up with a bunch of Bamalaxers throughout the day.  Rick and his family also joined us on a couple of roller coasters! 


Saturday we spent the day at the fields for a ton of lax games.  I hadn't been to a Bamalax tournament in quite a while and I loved seeing all the little little guys running around.  They are just so cute and their little heads wobble around in their helmets.  The weather was perfect, a the U15 team ended up winning the entire tournament and I think a good time was had by all! 

Saturday night we took LT out for dinner.  She's the older sister of one of T's dearest friends and she just moved to Cincinnati 2 weeks ago.  It was so nice to visit with her and I think she was happy to see some familiar Hoover faces.  Sunday morning two of T's sorority sisters met her for breakfast and then we headed to The Great American Ballpark for the Reds game.  After the girls ran the bases, we took the big guy to the Melting Pot to celebrate Father's Day and got chocolate wasted.  Monday we dropped Cosmo off at the Louisville airport and kept driving until we hit the Ham. 
 

LCM is such an awesome, thoughtful friend and took such good care of us.  She spoiled us rotten and we had such a wonderful time!  We had some much needed, quality family time and had a blast with the Martins!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Reads

I'm not sure why summer reading or beach books are separated from other genres.  Nobody seems to make a list of "top 10 books to read this winter!"  I don't read one certain type of book based on my geographic location.  I read what I read when I read. 

But, since I'm always on the lookout for a good book and love a great suggestion, I have read or am about to read a couple of books off People Magazine's 2013 summer list: 
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/38269.People_Magazine_s_Must_Read_Books_for_Summer_2013

This past weekend I read The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel.  I've got The Engagements 

I'm currently reading Divergent (only a few chapters in). You can check out the author's blog here: 
http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.com/  Divergent is being made into a movie and this link gives a a quick review as to what this book is all about:  http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/05/14/divergent-tris-dauntless-exclusive/  And here's the IMDB link:   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1840309/?ref_=sr_1  It will be interesting to see if this series is as popular as The Hunger Games.  There also seems to be several discussion boards/forums dedicated to which is better:  Hunger Games vs. Divergent.  On a personal note, I loved the Hunger Game books but didn't really like the movie -- I thought some of the graphics were a bit cheesy and a little too CGI for my taste, however, I can appreciate a strong female lead and both books seem to have that in "Katniss" and "Tris." 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I think I just . . .

. . . I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.  http://youtu.be/gfw8pbhrbTY

http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/9362801/tim-tebow-signs-new-england-patriots (I always love it when people bring up Tebow's high school career.  Let's not forget Hoover beat Nease back in the day!  I was at that game and it was hot as hell!!!). 

Tim, I like you.  I really do.  I'm not a Tebow-hater by any means.  I want to see you succeed.  I think you're a great guy.  The kind of guy EVERY mom wants her daughter to bring home.  You are mature, you handle yourself well in the media (your season w/ the Jets was less than stellar but you displayed class and dignity at all times), you're spiritual, you're sensitive http://youtu.be/hVMV_fig6hM  you're easy on the eye and just seem to be an all-around nice guy.  But c'mon.  Tim.  Buddy.  Seriously?  The Patriots? 
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/eye-on-football/22385602/reactions-to-the-tim-tebow-news-vary-from-dismay-to-hilarity  My favorite Tebow tweet from last night was compliments of @_Happy_Gilmore:  The only starting Tim Tebow will do in New England will be Tom Brady's car for him on those cold Foxboro winter mornings.  And I also like this gem from @FSUSteve:  I was just thinking to myself that Tim Tebow reminds me a lot of Tom Brady. - said no one ever. 

Good luck Tim! 




Monday, June 10, 2013

Tablescapes

It's no secret that, other than reading, one of my favorite hobbies is to decorate my dining room table.  I love to get inspired by the seasons, a color palette, a theme, a holiday.  About this time I've usually decorated the dining room with a beach theme (see last year's post here:  http://www.cos4.blogspot.com/2012/05/lifes-beach.html)

This year, I'm thinking a little outside the box.  I'm thinking a little preppy maybe?  A little navy & pink? 
 
 
 
 


 
 
Or perhaps something a little more classic?  Some hydrangeas and toile?  My cobalt blue wineglasses?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

(minus the goofy bunnies -- a little too "Easter")
 


 
 


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy 50th Johnny!

(Depp, that is!)

Such an incredibly diverse actor.  I watched "21 Jump Street" from the very beginning and think he is one of the best actors of our generation (along w/ Sean Penn).  Johnny Depp has had some odd movies (Fear and Loathing, anyone?  Ed Wood??) and made some weird career choices but they always seem to work for him (Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Donnie Brasco, Cry Baby, Sweeny Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka and of course, Jack Sparrow). 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

House Hunters (International)

I luv, luv, luv House Hunters and House Hunters International.  Always so interesting and entertaining to see what priorities other folks have.  Especially International.  The European way of life is just so different from life in America.  The little closets, the little kitchens and fridgerators.  Those crazy washer/dryer combo things that sit in either the kitchen or the bathroom.  Americans love big -- big gas guzzling cars/SUV's, big homes, big backyards, big gulps, venti coffees, big department stores and impersonal mega super centers.  Europeans would rather stroll through a park or enjoy a latte at an outdoor cafe.  Or buy fresh fruits and vegetables every day at the market, pick up some fresh baguettes, some fromage, a couple of bottles of wine.  Stroll through the flower market.  Europeans walk more than Americans and public/mass transit is the norm.  They ride bikes.  Europeans are relaxed.  They enjoy their leisure time.  They take siestas and the pace is slower.  They don't stress over carbs or calories or exercise.  They enjoy pasta, olive oil and the typical European breakfast is some type of pastry or bread spread liberally with butter and a large cup of cafe au lait.  Europeans invest in classics . . . Burberry, Hermes, Dior.  A classic black pump, the perfect handbag, a cardigan, ballet flats, a pencil skirt that will never go out of style.  A trenchcoat.  The perfect red lipstick.  I'll never forget the stooped over, little old lady T-Bone and I saw strolling down the Champs Elysees in a classic bright red Chanel jacket.  She had to have been at least 80 years old.  And the coat was easily 30 years old but was still spectacular. 




I think most European women live by the "simple elegance'" philosophy - they are never "overdone" or "obvious."  Their clothes and make up look effortless.  American women spend hours trying to look that effortless and end up looking forced.  European women never look never forced but rather classy, feminine and naturally 'sexy."  European women are very confident and embrace their beauty and sensuality.  You don't see a lot of European women with big store bought boobs or inflated lips or brash blonde haircolor.  And most European women get better with age (a la Helen Mirren, Sophia Lauren).  European women understand the importance of hydrating and take care of their skin.  They use sunscreen  And they don't drink Diet Coke by the case. 



La Dolce Vita. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Living it Up

Time to start thinking about living rooms.  Since we don't have a formal living room in this house, our family room / great room / living room is on the casual side because it's our every day room.  I love being in this room in the late afternoons, the light is amazing.  I also like being in this room on a great rainy day.  I love our big comfy sectional and we've made a lot of great memories playing games on the coffee table, snuggling on the couch when the girls were little, and our great big sectional fits so many friends!  Sadly though, the couch is showing is age and has a lot of wear and tear. 

My dream room would be all white, shabby chic, girly-girl glam but let's face it folks.  I am married to a big burly manly-man and he would look ridiculous in a room like this.  And I have a dog.  And two kids.  And while I know everyone on HGTV talks about how amazing white slip covers are, I just don't think they would be practical in my house.  Maybe when KJ is grown and out of the house! 

 
So I'm probably looking at something a little more updated, a little more functional. A little more durable.  I'm thinking a combination of upholstered pieces mixed in with some vintage accent pieces.  I love burlap.  I love chippy things, I love pieces that have a story to them.  I love personal photos.  I love items that we've collected from various travels and evoke special memories.  I like soothing colors.  I like a French flea market look.  IDK exactly what you'd call my style  -- maybe more eclectic?  relaxed traditional?  modern vintage? 
 
Love a big comfy sectional!

I love the pops of color in this room; that chandelier is to die for!!!

Love the colors and accessories in this room and striped window coverings but we've outgrown the need for a cute chalkboard

 
I seem to gravitate toward greens. 

Um, a little "too" white, not enough shabby
 
Whoa!  I could do this!
 
And probably something like this but a little slightly less "rustic" (maybe a little less wood?)
 
the layout of this room is very similar to our family room set-up  -- open doorway leading to kitchen, fireplace on one wall and windows on the other -- not a lot of wall space!  and it's green!
 
 
 
 
 



Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Letter B

The "b" on my keyboard is sticking and it's super annoying!  You don't realize how much you use the letter B until you have to type Happy Birthday to a friend whose name starts with the letter B!

Having a great Saturday so far despite the weird weather / barometer changes giving me a bit of a migraine and a bloody nose.  So embarassing when that happens.  I feel like I'm having a seizure or some type of brain aneurysm. 

KJ's been keeping busy the last couple of days.  Wednesday she spent the night at GW's, Thursday her friend M invited her to the pool and she spent the night at her house and Friday she went to a b-day party and KandK spent the night at our house.  I took them home around noon today and then dropped  KJ off at another swim party.  I don't know what the going rate is for b-day parties anymore but we usually put a $20 in the card.  Is this appropriate for a 13 year old??

T and I had a nice night last night.  Poor thing was EXHAUSTED.  Getting up at 4 AM is tough but she does it with a smile on her face.  Who am I kidding?  I have no idea if she has a smile on her face.  I'm not up at 4 AM to check on her.  She really loves her internship and loves being a part of the Rick and Bubba show.  She's likes being in the studio and working the phones.  She says she feels so bad when people call up and ask for a shout-out and she has to tell them that Rick and Bubba just get too many requests for that kind of thing.  She's also been doing some work with the Sports Czars.  She went out with friends Wednesday night, worked at the lax store on Thursday, went to a concert with friends that night and had to be up at the studio by 5:20 AM on Friday.  She did a few things with the Czars after Rick and Bubba and then worked at the lax store helping with BamaLax orders.  She came home, took KJ to the twins house to get ready for the party and came home a took a nap.  We went out for Mexican and ended up staying in and watching a movie.  She picked up KJ and the girls and brought them all back to the house and is back up at the lax store today.  The kid is making bank and getting some wonderful experience to boot!  Next weekend she's got plans to visit some friends in Oxford. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dEJC28lf-g&feature=share&list=UUTIcArcyyUota03AUK06waA

Earlier this week Cosmo booked KJ's flights to Baltimore.  She'll be gone almost 3 full weeks this summer.  She will spend some time with him in Baltimore, some time with my parents and brother in PA and she'll also attend Penn State Volleyball camp this summer.  When she comes home from PSU camp, she'll attend UAB Volleyball camp with her 8th grade middle school team.  Just need to keep that kid busy and out of trouble and we'll be just fine. 


Make Mine A Cosmo
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