Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Great Day on Tap!

Whoop! Whoop! Had another wonderful day and it's not over yet! Such gorgeous weather, although a little more overcast than yesterday. Had a great family breakfast, had our weekly catch-up session with Tbone and did some family housework. KJ hates doing chores but she still needs to do her share around the house. Obviously, I'm not asking her to do hard labor, just some light dusting, setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, etc. Someday she'll thank me for making her a responsible adult. Someday.
I ran a bunch of errands today, had the print of the girls framed and hung it up in the family room, bought a new doggie gate to block off the staircase and some doggie treats for Trixie, bought some steaks to put on the grill tonight and picked up a couple of things to finalize my Valentine's Day dining room table scape. Luv, luv, luv Valentine's Day.
Got to spend some time with a good friend this week. We don't get to visit much but I love her very much and value our friendship. She's in such a deep dark difficult place right now and I feel helpless. I wish I could make things better for her but I just don't know what to do or say.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


What a great day! KJ spent the night at a friend's house, T went out w/ friends last night and then after she came home a bunch of kids knocked on our door (and stayed until the wee hours of the morning). I didn't really mind, I don't think Cosmo was too happy though. He had been traveling, didn't get home until well after 10 PM and he walked into a houseful of kids. He and T both had lax practice this morning, KJ and 2 of her friends came back to our house so Cosmo could drive them to a b-day party and now T is at a b-day party this evening while KJ & Cosmo are at a lacrosse team party. Craziness but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I got so much done while I had the house to myself today. I started to go thru my closet earlier in the week and today I went thru my summer and winter pajama drawers, I went thru my yoga pants/sweat pants/workout shorts and thru away some things that were stained, shrunk, stretched or whatever. Also went thru my bras (I need to complain to Victoria's Secret . . . several of my bras have totally disintegrated! I wash them in cold water and NEVER put them in the dryer so I'm not sure what's going on there.). Got our bedroom dusted, T vacuumed for me, Cosmo cleaned all the mirrors/glass when he got home (he's so much taller than me and I can't reach a lot!). It was such a beautiful day so I had all the windows opened wide to let in all that fresh air!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the Challenger accident (not really sure that's the right word. Catastophe maybe?). KJ & I had the radio on this morning and she asked me about it. I tried to explained to her it was one of those generational / "where were you" kind of things I was at work (IBM, Montvale NJ) and Cosmo was still away at college. He called me and told me what had happened. I told KJ about Christa McAuliffe as best as I could. Looking at her smiling face in photos, I can't help but think how excited, hopeful and energetic she was. I remember thinking about her small children that day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daughter #1 Strikes Again & Chinese Mother's

Came home from work the other day and the little one was bouncing off the walls. She said Daughter #1 had a "surprise" for me but I had to wait until Cosmo got home because he wanted to see my face. I am easily one of the most impatient people I know and totally hate surprises. I can't handle the anticipation and build-up. This, however, was a lovely surprise. T had taken a photo of her & KJ and had it enlarged and matted. I was really shocked and touched! The print turned out GORGEOUS and I can't wait to have it framed! It's going right over the fireplace.

So there's been all this hoopla about the Chinese mother who wrote a book about raising children the "Chinese way" . . . no sleep overs, nothing less than an A on their report card, playing either the piano or violin, etc. The name of the book is "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Critics are calling the author "smug" and borderline abusive (I saw one interview where she blatantly admits to throwing away a handmade birthday card one of her daughter's made for her . . . it was subpar). So, what do you think? Mother of the year or Mommie Dearest??

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Good Kid

Today T & I were watching a show and the girl, about T's age, had a complete and total melt down, slammed the door, screamed and yelled and told her parents she hated them. T looked at me and said, "aren't you glad I'm a good kid?" My first reaction was a sarcastic "Pshhh! You have your moments." T's reply was "I have never done that to you." And then I thought about it. She's right. She has NEVER said that to us. Not when she was a terrible toddler, not when she was a sassy middle-schooler and never once as a teen. Although T can be mouthy (as my mother constantly reminds me, "she comes by it naturally"), she is a pretty good kid and Cosmo and I are very blessed. She's so dedicated . . . school, lacrosse, dance. She's so mature and is such a big help to me. Since I've gone back to work, she has done the household grocery shopping almost every week and is a huge help with KJ. Christmas was kind of convoluted this year because I had been in FL the week before for the "Event" (my dad refuses to admit he had a heart attack and refers to it as "the Event") and she did a lot of the family's Christmas present shopping and she did all of the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day grocery shopping. Give her a list and a credit card and she's good to go!

We are very, very proud of her and all her accomplishments. I love having daughters!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Today was the 2nd dance team competition this month and boy is my butt tired! It's a very, very long day for not only the girls but the parents/fans as well. Last weekend the competition was at Samford University, today it was at Spain Park High School. The girls did absolutely amazing but didn't place well at all. I love their Smooth Criminal routine and think their Bollywood dance is phenomenal! Two of the seniors on the squad participated in the solo competition both days did so wonderful! Several girls that T knows from either the studio or rival high schools also did very well in the solo portion (her BFF Caroline placed 3rd and Sammi placed 2nd!).
Since lacrosse season is now in full swing and occupies 99.9% of Cosmo's time, KJ came with me to the competion last week and today. She is so fidgety and gets bored so easily. She was driving me crazy! She was hungry, she was thirsty, she was tired, she had to go to the bathroom, etc. In all honesty, it was very hot in the gym today, very cramped and the bleachers were very uncomfortable. At least at Samford we sat in theater seats with cushions.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First Official College Visit Under our Belt

“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don't have. Drink 'til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does...” -- Tom Petty

After a really rough day of traveling back to Bham, Cosmo & T finally made it home!
They took the 5:25 AM (Eastern time!) subway from the hotel to the Philly airport for their 8 AM flight only to find out the flight had been delayed. They boarded the plane, de-boarded the plane, re-boarded the plane, etc. and ended up missing their connection in Nashville. Fortunately, the airline was able to put them on the very next flight. Unfortunately, that too was delayed and they didn't leave Nashville until 6:15 PM. T ended up missing Bnettes practice and her ACT prep class last night but had her ACT stuff with her and did some studying/worksheets while sitting in the airport.

T was exhausted last night when they finally got home but I was able to talk to her for a few minutes about her campus tour. She really liked the school, very urban. Liked the lacrosse program, liked the coaches. Cosmo joked around that T is not a scrimmager, she's a gamer. I guess she didn't look so hot in warm-ups but killed it once they started playing a little 1 on 1, etc. In all honesty, who cares what you do pre-game. It's what you do on the field.

They had a busy trip to Philly. Sunday one of Cosmo's lax buddies and his little daughter met them at the airport and they all went to a sports bar to watch the Jets kick some butt (whoo! hoo!). Our nephew, Travis, also met them for drinks/dinner that night. Monday, my brother and sister-in-law had off for MLK day so they drove down to Philly to spend the day w/ Cosmo & T. So jealous! T got to spend some time w/ Witch Face (that's what I call my 4-year old neice and she LOVES it! She tells everyone, "My Aunt Valerie calls me Witch Face."). After my brother and his crew headed home, Cosmo & T walked to the Hard Rock for dinner and explored the city a little bit on their own. So, all in all T had a good visit, she likes the school but is still keeping her options open. In any event, we're super-duper proud of her. She's spreading her wings and wants to fly. I just hope she doesn't fly too far away.

"A college is a place where pebbles are polished and diamonds dimmed." -- Robert Ingersoll

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Golden Globe Recap

I don't find this man even remotely attractive. Blech! He does absolutely nothing for me. Nothing.

Some of my favorite Red Carpet looks from this evening:

I like Michelle Williams gown; it's fresh, fun and youthful.

Love the mom from Modern Family. She's so cute and I like this color!

Not normally a big Claire Danes fan but I really did like this Calvin Klein dress. Very simple and classy.

Anne Hathaway can do no wrong in my book. I luv, luv, luv this glittery big-shouldered gown! She's always appropriate.

Amy Adams is another actress I admire. She doesn't do slutty and I like that. I hate when young actresses feel the need to be skanky.

I love having twitter during awards season! It's so much fun and everyone comments on the red carpet fashion. There was lots of pink, lots of people from the cast of Glee (don't watch so I had no idea who half of those folks were!), lots of emerald green (Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, Catherine Zeta Jones). The only trainwreck was Helena Bonham Carter and her mis-matched shoes. Just plain weird.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Miss Alabama

Miss America pagent is tonight. I don't think Miss Alabama made it to the top 15 or top 10 but I think she's a lovely girl and a nice representative of the state.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Couture Dreams

“Fashion absolutely matters, but it doesn’t matter absolutely.” -- Claudia Shear


I swear I was born in the wrong decade. I think I was meant to live in Paris in the 40's and 50's.

My Cottage Dreams

Be thankful for every heartbroken, every scar, every page turned, some bridges burned, for those were lessons learned.
(I realize this quote doesn't "go" w/ today's post but someone sent it to me so I'm going to run w/ it!)

Marriage is a compromise. I'm sure if it was up to my hubby, our house would be decorated in everything NY Jets....Jets couch, bath towels, kitchen bar stools, etc.

If it was up to me, the house would be decorated in some type of beachy / shabby chic / English countryside / Parisian fleamarket-find decor....lots of pale pink, lots of soft turquoise. Tons of pillows, soft faded fabrics, white slipcovers, chandeleirs in every room. Unfortunately, my big, burly hubster would look totally out of place in all of that girlishness. However, one can dream, can't they???

I love old, worn out things. Things that have history or a story to tell. I love old china teacups, a great book, a cozy blanket or quilt. Old pictures.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Auburn and Nailpolish

So unless you've been living under a rock the last couple of days, you know that Auburn beat the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship game Monday night. Congratulations Auburn! I know lots of my southern friends are very, very happy! Those that were able to get out of B'ham early and avoid the snow & ice sound like they had a great time in AZ. Unfortunately, I know of several folks unable to get out of town on Sunday and were extremely frustrated and disappointed.

So unless you've been living under a rock the last couple of months, you also know the controversy surrounding Mr. Cam Newton and his father, Cecil. When young Mr. Newton won the Heisman trophy a few weeks back, the sportscasters made several comments about the elder Mr. Newton not being in attendance at the New York ceremony. During Monday nights game several similar comments were made about the Mr. Newton not being in attendance at the championship game.

Well, now several pictures have "allegedly" surfaced of the two Newtons embracing Monday night after Auburn's win. So, the million dollar question is: was Mr. Newton there Monday night and if so, why deny it?

Wow. Sure does look like Mr. Newton's distictnive eyebrows/forehead, doesn't it?

Now on to more important news! Nail polish! My favorite, go-to color for my pedicures is OPI's "Cajun Shrimp." It looks great with my skin tone whether or not I'm tan and I've been wearing it year round for years and years. However, I will admit, a couple of times this year I have strayed and tried some of Essie's fall colors. I like Cheap College Chic's recent post about 2011 colors. Love the nudes and the grays, don't think I could wear the peach with my skin tone and I'm not crazy about blue on my toes (feels kind of Shrek-ish).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What's a mother to do???

I was perfectly comfortable last night on the couch snuggled up with the heating pad and my Nook (currently reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet). About 8 PM the doorbell rang and it was a couple of T's friends. They made themselves at home and we watched the 1st half of the LSU game. Next thing I know, the doorbell rang a few more times and a few more kids came over. I moved into the bedroom and fell asleep around 11 PM. One of the boys was hungry and proceeded to make himself some eggs over easy around midnight. No problem. I really don't care. I'm glad they are comfortable in my house and feel right at home. As long as they clean up after themselves, I'm good.

Next week Cosmo & T are heading up north for T's first official college visit. The lax coach at this university saw her play at the tournament in Tampa, got a hold of her recruiting video and invited her to "Junior Day." They only asked 25 juniors from around the country to attend and I'm pretty damn sure T will be the only one from Alabama. It's an incredible DI school in an urban setting with a great communications program. We're keeping our fingers crossed but T is totally going into this with an open mind. She hasn't made up her mind yet if she wants a large university, a smaller school, a suburban setting, etc. Even if nothing comes out of this, it will be a great experience for T and truly an honor to have been invited. We are VERY, VERY, VERY proud of her.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Don't put that Tree away!!

KJ begged me to buy a fake (obviously) pink tabletop Christmas tree this past year and now I wish I had. I came across these Valentine's Day photos and thought these fuzzy trees were so cute! Luv, luv, luv Valentine's Day and I can't wait to decorate. I've got some great ideas for my mantle and dining room!

Believe it or not, I still have some Christmas decorations to put away (I know! Shocking!) but everything is up in the guest room and out of the way. It just needs to be carefully wrapped and packed and put in the attic. I think there's some Thanksgiving stuff laying around up there, too.

Meanwhile, daughter #1 is slowly trying to kill me. She's been "talking" to a boy at Vestavia for over 2 weeks now and doesn't know if she should ask him to her Sadies Hawkins dance or not. If she's going to ask him, fine. Go ahead and ask him. I just don't want her to wait until the last minute because I don't want to be scrambling for a dress, shoes and accessories. She "thinks" she likes him but isn't really sure (they were together every night the last week of Christmas break). In all honesty, she'd really prefer not going to the dance at all. As much of a social butterfly she is, she positively HATES all the drama associated with these type of events . . . who's in which group, who's going to which after-party, blah, blah, blah. She said that crap totally sucks the fun out of the dance for her. It also drives her INSANE when girls ask the boys waaaaaayy too early (i.e., before Christmas) and then things change, there's a ton of drama, things are awkward and uncomfortable for everyone, etc. Aah yes. Those wonderful high school years.

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Some of My Favorite Quotes

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -- Dr. Seuss

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." -- Sophia Loren

"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." -- Sylvia Plath

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

If people are truly, madly, deeply in love with each other, they will find a way.~Gilda Radner

“Never judge a day by its weather. Sunshine is uplifting; rain, nourishing; wind, exhilarating; snow, cleansing; hail, stimulating. Any weather is better than none.” -- Author Unknown

"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti." -- Sophia Loren

"I know I'm vulgar, but would you have me any other way?" -- Elizabeth Taylor

"After thirty, a body has a mind of its own." -- Bette Midler

"Cherish forever what makes you unique, 'cuz you're really a yawn if it goes." -- Bette Midler

“I know I can be diva-ish sometimes, but I have to be in control. The nature of my life, the nature of what I do, is divadom, it really is." -- Mariah Carey

"I want minimum information given with maximum politeness." -- Jackie Kennedy Onassis

"I've been called a diva, queen diva, diva supreme, and I love it. However, that's really for others to decide, not me." -- Aretha Franklin

"No one loves a party more than I. I am a people person." -- Aretha Franklin

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." -- Jackie Kennedy Onassis
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