Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloweeen!

Every year I swear I'm going to make these beautiful pumpkin topiaries! Hasn't happened yet!

However, I have decorated with mason jars for years & years and use the jars all year round. I don't just only use mason jars, either. If I find a jar with an unusual size or shape, I clean it up and use it! I line my driveway with mason jars whenever we have a party, I use them up the front steps, on the floor in the foyer, outside on the back deck, scattered throughout the flower gardens, over by the garden swing, on a tree stump (all the girls at T's homecoming afterparty said the backyard looked very romantic!). I've also wrapped wire around the collar of the jars and hung them from the trees. I luv, luv, luv candlelight and incorporate candlelight into every single one of my decorating themes.
Love the purple & green touches on this tablescape! Although I love Orange & Black (Go Bucs!), I do get a little tired of it by the time Halloween rolls around.

Looking forward to seeing all the neighborhood kids dressed up tonight! The party and parade at the clubhouse is so much fun each year and it's been amazing watching these kids grow up. It's kind of been in waves or stages . . . T was only 5 when we moved here and KJ had her first Halloween just days after being born (I sat on the front steps and passed out candy with KJ snuggled in her infant car seat right next to me. I think she was more of a novelty that year than the actual candy. I do remember it being very, very warm that first Halloween; like in the mid 70's). T was in kindergarten and I remember a big group of older kids (who have now all gone on to be married and some even have kids of their own). Then, there was the group just a touch bit older than T (we called the boys The Doberman Gang...Zack, Andrew, Rob and George's Kids). They are all in college now. Next was T's group (aka The Southpointe Kids . . . T, Kelsey, Cole, Molly, Jay G, Jay R, Callie, Jake, Emily B, T Keith, The Brown Boy. Then we had KJ's group . . . KJ, Conor, Cavan, Clare, Evvy, Sam, JP, Cam and Andi. And then of course, all the little neighborhoods kids that T babysat for. That's really weird for her. She loves when the kids come up to her at the pool with big hugs but she said it makes her feel old. Welcome to my world girlfriend.

Friday, October 28, 2011

So Wrong Yet So Funny on So Many Levels


I've seen this a couple of times on various blogs and was on the fence about doing it (I really, really don't want to offend my husband!) but here goes!

Disclaimer: Even though this exercise is "Eff, Marry, Kill" I really don't want to "kill" anybody. Maybe just have him disappear for a while but certainly don't wish anyone dead.

So I decided to go with Jennifer Anniston's ex-boyfriends. And let's be honest. There have been a lot of them over the years.

John "D-Bag" Mayer: I would like to see him disappear. The guy is the king of all d-bags and makes crappy music. You know you're a d-bag when poor innocent little Taylor Swift writes a song about you.

Vince Vaughn: Hmmmm. Had to think about this one for a minute. I think I would sleep with Vince Vaughn but not marry. I think he'd be fun for a while but definately not husband material. He looks like he'd be the kind to slap you on the ass after sex and ask you to go get him a beer.

Owen Wilson: Despite the jacked up nose (or maybe because of it???), I think Owen would be the one I'd marry out of Jen Aniston's ex's.

So, there you have it!

Senior Night

Last night was Senior Night during the BJHS football game. Having a Thursday night game really threw off my whole week for some reason. I thought Wednesday was Thursday and Thursday was Friday. I was wishing away the weekend and it was a terrible feeling! :-)

Senior Night was nice, the band parents were a little disorganized but there were TONS of us on the field and we just weren't sure what was going on. The Freshman Dance Team hosted a pre-game dinner for the Bnettes yesterday and gave them very nice gifts. During the half-time presentation the parents (i.e., me & Cosmo) gave our Bnette a beautiful bouquet of roses and I had to pin a a Senior pin onto her silver sparkley jacket. #1, "They" (whoever "they" are) told us we didn't have a lot of time and I had to get the pin on my child BEFORE "they" took photos. #2 T was not expecting the pin and I kind of came at her and scared the crap out of her and jabbed her. #3, the silver sparkley is very heavy and there was no way that pin was getting on that silver sparkley.

I thought I was going to cry and be emotional but I was OK. It's not the end of T's Bnette career nor is it the end of Senior Year. It's only October. We still have basketball season to get through, probably one or two more pep rallies and then we hit competition season. I still have a lot of time to cry and fuss.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Two fun links to check out today:
Used to luv, luv, luv Peeps when I was a kid. Back in the good old days when they ONLY came out at Easter. Now they have Peeps for EVERYTHING: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc. I'm a traditionalist and still only like the Easter Peeps (the bunny's are the best IMO). I like my Peeps really, really stale. I actually cut a slit in the plastic wrap and sit them on the counter for weeks. Not days. Weeks.

 As always, luv, luv, luv The Tablescaper! What a fun Halloween table!

Enjoy some miscellaneous Halloween photos. I've said it once and I'll say it again: I NEED A BARN! I'm going to have Cosmo get right on that!!! (after this weekend's grand-opening) hahahaha

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As always, a day late

1. What is the worst compliment you have ever received?
I would have to say when I was pregnant with T, one of the women I worked with said, "Oh My God! You're huge!!!" She immediately tried to retract her statement and swore she didn't mean it "that way." And yes, I was huge. She was a 9 lbs. 10 oz. baby. And KJ was even bigger. She was 10 lbs. 2 oz. And I'm 5 ft tall. So yeah. I was huge.
2. Did you/would you tell everyone the name of your baby before they were born, keep it a secret, or not choose until after they were born?
We didn't know the sex for T and we had picked a boy name and a girl name. However, when she was born, according to Cosmo, she "didn't look like an "Amanda Leigh" (I was too doped up and barely knew my own name to argue with him). When I was pregnant with KJ we found out at my ultra-sound that it was a girl and we kicked around a couple of names. T picked out KJ's middle name.
3. What is your favorite candle smell?
Depending on the season, my favorite Yankee Candle scents are: Sun & Sand, Vanilla Cupcake, Wedding Day (I think it's called something else now) and Sage & Citrus.
4. What is the best birthday/Christmas gift you received when you were pregnant or the best birthday/Christmas gift you gave a pregnant person that was really appreciated?
It wasn't a birthday or Christmas gift but I think one of the most memorable gifts I received at my shower was from my sister-in-law. Throughout my 9-months, she purchased holiday bibs and other holiday items (rattles, stuff animals, onsie's, etc) and present it to me in a large, white tub with rope handles (which we later used as a toy catch-all).
5. Who was your favorite teacher?
I don't think I had an all-time favorite teacher but I did have a few teachers I liked (not in a weird way, just liked them as teachers). I liked my one of my middle school science teachers, Mr. Lucas (he also owned the local hand-made chocolate shop). I also liked my middle school math teacher Mr. Trimble (he also owned a pizzera and a jewelry store). OK. I can see where this is going. I obviously have a thing for male teachers, chocolate, pizza and jewelry. I also liked my French teacher in high school. She was also our cheerleading coach. And I had a high school Enlish teacher, Mr. Barry, who had the richest, deepest voice and I loved to hear him read Beowulf or any other classic.
6. What is the best game/activity you have ever played at a baby shower?
I had so much fun at my friend Patti's baby shower last year. The host was great and there was never a lull in the activities. She removed the labels from jars of baby food and we had to identify the contents and we also played a funny game with string necklaces and safety pins (each time you said the word "baby" you had to give up a pin; guest at the end of the party with the most pins got a prize).
7. What was your major in college and did you end up using it in your career?
I didn't officially go off to college but did attend a business school in NJ that has since become an accredited college. And yes, I do use my business skills everyday. I even still think in shorthand in my head sometimes. Shorthand. What a dying art.
8. What is a beauty product you swear by?
I love L'oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black/Brown.
9. What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
This is so embarrassing. I was pregnant with KJ at the time. Cosmo, T & I were out running errands and ran into McDonalds for a quick bite to eat. I didn't have my purse with me and Cosmo only had the money in his pocket. We didn't have enough on us to pay for our entire meal and the manager said, "that's OK. It's on me. Next time maybe you can return the favor to someone else who needs it." Pay it forward.
10. If you could recommend one new baby necessity, what would it be?
Probably a baby monitor. I have no idea. It's been a long, long time since I've had a baby in my house. :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trifecta, Triple Threat, Hat Trick, Triple Crown

Whatever you want to call it is fine by me!

T got her 3rd acceptance letter in yesterday's mail. She applied to 3 schools, was accepted at all 3.

Monday, October 24, 2011

To Russia with Love

I love when Coach hears from former players. I hope he is the coach or the adult or the person that made a difference in someone's life somewhere along the road!

Dmitry Petrov was a foreign exchange student with the French family out of the Montgomery area. Montgomery didn't have a team so the 3 brothers drove to Hoover to play (Brye, Blake & Brayden). One practice, they dragged along Ditma. He couldn't speak a lick of English but was a good kid and practiced hard. There were definately some language barriers and in the beginning Coach usually just threw his hands in the air and let Ditma run around with the ball. Eventually things fell into place and he had a great season with the Hoover team and apparently took home a love of the game:

So, is "the fastest game on two feet" now the "fastest game in Russia???"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I do love me some weekend !!!

What a wonderful, busy weekend! This weather is amazing and I love the slight chill in the air! The windows are wide open and sleeping has been very snuggly & cozy!

T had her senior Halloween dance Thursday night (there was some really, really creative costumes!) and from there she & Cosmo drove to ATL to spend the night. She had a 7 AM (Eastern time) flight and landed around 9 AM. She was met at the airport by a grad student (who, on Sunday, met w/ producers of MTV's Real World for an audition) and met the lax coaches and her freshman host for the weekend. They had lunch and she was supposed to go to class w/ her host but it was cancelled. She practiced with the team that afternoon (they had snow flurries during practice!) and the coach took the whole team out for dinner. The football team played away this weekend so Saturday morning she somehow participated in a charity kick-ball tournament on campus and went to the soccer game with a couple of the girls. The grad student and her host drove her back to the airport and she landed in ATL around 9 PM Saturday night. She really liked the campus, she really liked the dorms and she really liked the weather. She called from the airport before departure and we had a really deep conversation about her expectations from college. She's got a lot to think about, the decision is entirely hers but she made some extremely mature observations about the schools she's visited so far and I think, in the end, she'll make the best choice based on her needs and her personality.

Saturday night KJ had her 12th b-day party and we celebrated w/ a tailgate theme. Cosmo set up the TV and the Wii outside, we had a roaring fire, we roasted hotdogs, we had the popcorn machine going and made s'mores. Her invitations were cute and had a poem about "let's see who cheers for who on game day" and everyone wore their favorite team colors / jerseys. All the kids were pretty into the Alabama game and afterwards played the new Wii dance 3 game. Friday she has a costume party to go to which is going to be a problem. She hasn't even begun to think about a costume which is very, very unusual for her. She usually starts thinking about her Halloween costume during swimsuit season. Looks like we'll be hitting Party City or Halloween Express this week!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's OK Thursday

Yay! Its Thursday which means tomorrow is Friday! Whoop! Whoop!

ITS OK....

TO have a ginger ale as part of your pre-bed routine.

TO recreate outfits you see on pinterest. I mean, hey, that's what it's there for. Right?

TO really enjoy my daily adult gummy vitamins.

TO have dipped into the Halloween Candy a little early.

TO really like the people you work with and look foward to your lunch conversations.

TO want to take your bra off the minute you walk into the house.

TO have no idea who Victoria Justice is.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A great big HUGE thank you to Munchkinland Designs for my new look! Jen was an absolute pleasure to work with and I am SO happy with the finished project! I had always been unhappy with the look of my blog and felt that it was not a good representation of who I am as a blogger. And, I'll admit, I had blogger envy. I admired other people's blogs from afar and was always amazed at their creativity. After coveting other folks blog designs, I decided to take the plunge and reach out to Jen. I liked the looks of some of her other work and decided she was the gal for me. Now I have a blog I am super duper happy with and extremely proud of!

Please check out Jen's website and update your blog as soon as you can! The world will be such a happier place if we all have pretty blogs!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I think I missed my calling

The big joke in our house is that we'll celebrate anything. Doesn't matter. Groundhog's Day, National Pancake Day, Star Wars Day (one of my personal favorites: May 4 -- get it??? May the 4th be with you!). For example, Did you know today is No Beard Day????

I luv, luv, luv to throw great parties and because I'm not a good cook, having a theme really helps me plan my menu and bring everything together. I came across these photos of a little girl's party and absolutely fell in love! This mom / event planner paid attention to EVERY little detail! Totally up my alley and I wish my girl(s) were still little enough for me to plan such a frou-frou girl party!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

All Good Things Must Come to an End . . . .

Yet another Cos Family Fun Festival has come and gone. And what a good week it was! My goal this week was to cook as little as possible. I think I succeeded.

Monday the girls & I met up w/ some friends for a little M&M (Mexican & Margaritas). The mom's all met through our girls when they were in kindergarten and we've all managed to say close through senior year. The girls have all gone off in different directions with various sports and activities but they are still friendly. We've got a new little addition to our group, LR, and we passed her around like a sack of potatoes. What a cuddly, snuggly baby!

Tuesday Cosmo & I celebrated 19 years of wedded bliss with a romantic dinner at GianMarco's. OMG. I'm still stuffed. Great bottle of wine, delicious appetizer, great entrees and Tiramasu for dessert make for a very happy Mr. & Mrs! T picked KJ up from volleyball for us and the two of them went to a karaoke fund-raiser.

Wednesday was Cosmo's b-day and I made shrimp scampi for his b-day dinner. It was a funny, funny night. KJ was in rare form and had us laughing with some of her stories and antics.

Thursday was KJ's b-day and we all went to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate. The waitstaff sang to her and T swiped a big glob of whipped cream and smeared it all over KJ's face. She got her pretty good!

Friday was the Hoover vs. Vestavia game kicked off with a pep rally. The Bnettes did their annual Halloween dance. It's always so creepy. The kids love it but it's not my favorite. The school surprised a brave little boy and his family with a trip to Disney World from their homecoming fundraisers and there was not a dry eye in the place. It was very sweet.

Friday was the first time I had ever chaperoned the Bnettes to one of their away games and it was a lot of fun. I got to ride the bus w/ the girls (I could get used to that! Police escort to/from the stadium, no red lights, didn't have to pay admission to the game either!) and sat w/ them during the game. Those kids in the band work SO hard and have a wonderful, supportive group of parents. It truly takes a small army to get those kids where they need to be. Even though I don't have a kid playing an instrument, chaperones stay after the game in the band room and help organize uniforms, gloves, hats, chickens (the feathers that go on top of the hats), gauntlets, etc. I didn't even know what half this stuff was.

Saturday KJ had 3 vball games @ OLV (she had the 9 AM, the 10 AM and the 11 AM games). The played the other POP team and lost both matches miserably. They played OLV and actually won both of those matches (very exciting!) and then went on to win both games against another POP team (it was a nail biter!). After KJ's games I treated her to a spa day for her b-day. She had been bugging me to get her eyebrows waxed and we both got pedi's. She also got a mani. T had to volunteer at the band competition during the day and then performed on field in the evening. She went out with some friends afterward.

Sunday the girls & I walked in the Buddy Walk with some friends. We walked out to the car and both of the girls said, "That was really fun!" I'm glad we went and were able to support our friends and their beautiful little girl. The weather was incredible and they had a great crowd out at Regions Field.

We weren't wearing our official Buddy Walk t-shirts because my friend left them in our mailbox and I guess we hadn't checked the mail in several days. So, when we got home I checked the mailbox (and yes, the t-shirts were in there) and T also rec'd 2 college acceptance letters. Unfortunately, she was at lax practice and still doesn't know she rec'd the letters in the mail. She will be very surprised and excited when she gets home! Whoop! Whoop!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. My current obsession is Pinterest.

2. Spending snuggly, lazy Sunday mornings with my family in our great big bed makes me happy.

3. My greatest strength is my optimism. Takes a lot to get me down.

4. Procrastination is my greatest weakness.

5. My life is awesome. I have a beautiful family, a job a love and I've surrounded myself with great friends. I couldn't ask for anything more!

6. In high school I was kind of like Ferris Bueller. I was a little bit of everything. I was a cheerleader, dated a football player (and eventually married him), I was friends with the geeks, dweebs and stoners and was a bit of a partier but still a good kid. Not an A student but not an idiot either.

7. When I'm super tired I get very silly and can't stop giggling. It's very obvious and everyone says, "Uh-oh, Valerie's tired!"

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"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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