Thursday, November 29, 2012

A New Blog Series

Hey All,
Just wanted to let you know about the new blog series my friend, Sian at "High in the Sky" has started.

Check it out here:

"So This is Scrapbooking" series is going to be a fun glimpse in to the lives of other scrapbookers. Be sure to visit!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beauty's Still Only Skin Deep

You may remember this post  from 2009---the Original "Beauty's only skin deep." Well, today I felt in need of another beauty makeover. Plus, I needed a few things. After all, it's been 3 years! I don't know if it's my age or what, but it seems that skin care gets more complicated every time I go in. My head was spinning as the Estee Lauder consultant was telling me everything I needed. I have a lot of stuff already---since I'm not so good about using it---so I only bought what I needed. The problem is that by the time I get home, I have no idea what I'm supposed to use when. As it turned out, the lady about freaked when she found out I was using something around my eyes that was only supposed to be for my face. She said that I was actually doing damage to my eyes by using the products incorrectly. Seriously---I may have made myself older by using skin care products? Figures. Right then, I stopped her and told her that I had to write everything down---which I did. I came away feeling on top of my skin care regime. 
Here's everything I bought. It added up to a small fortune.What it takes to be beautiful is expensive. I'm just hoping it's going to be worth it. And that I can get back on track with my skin care. I have to admit, lately, it's just been clean my face, done.
 When I got home, I pulled out what I had. Here are all of the assorted cleansers.
I decided to take a Sharpie and number everything in the order that they will be used.
I found some more cleansing creams. I marked them #1 too.
 I started numbering everything in the order that it's supposed to be used. Then I ran in to a problem. Some things are for morning and others are for evening. So I had to go back and mark everything a.m. or p.m.
 Some of the bottles were brown, so I had to mark them on the top. I ran into another problem with the things that are used day and night. I had to mark them appropriately. For example, the eye repair cream is used as #4 in the morning, but #2 at night.
 These are masks---which the Estee lady and I  didn't even discuss today. I haven't used them in years. I don't even know if they are still good.

 The marker would not work on the little bottle on the right. I was half tempted to just throw it away. But that would be money down the drain. Since I have a larger version of this, I put the little sample one next to it. Why does everything have to be so complicated?
These were other odd things I had. I have no idea when I'm supposed to use them, so I guess I won't.

Now that I organized everything, I started with my night time regime. I was pretty proud of myself until I forgot what number I was on. OMG! This is going to take awhile to get used to. I'm determined to get back in to a good skin care habit. I have made a vow to myself that I am not going to buy another product until I use up all of these.

As for the make-up---that's another story for another time. I just hope that the next time you see me, you  can recognize me. I'll be the young looking one in the crowd!

SNL Spoof

I thought this was pretty entertaining. Who knew the SNL cast were such good singers?

Just about finished with all of my shopping and wrapping. In fact, I'm "wrapping" it all up today!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Frist Holiday Weekend Comes to an End

As usual, the holiday weekend went by way too fast. I did get the last of the decorating done. Butch ran errands and picked up a tree for Mindy. Basically pretty low key. I made a roast with mashed potatoes and lima beans for dinner. That's the extent of my cooking for the week. I got out some soup to thaw and Sandy had sent some meatballs home with us. Easy cooking week. Wait, I must confess, ALL of my weeks are easy cooking weeks. Between the lunches out and other social events, we mostly have Lean Cuisines when we are home. Luckily, Butch doesn't care about food.

More photos:

 The Lapps Family---from left: Greg, Sandy, Elizabeth, Mitchell and Victoria. Don't be fooled---Victoria is not wearing stripes. The sun coming through the blinds played this little trick on her. I think it looks pretty cute.
 I forgot that I wasn't supposed to get Mitchell's red-toed socks in the picture. 
 I took this one a little closer up. Is there any doubt as to who's the tallest? Mitchell in his stocking feet on the bare floor vs. Greg with shoes standing on the rug. Greg has been insisting for a long time that he's still taller. I'm thinking "no." Victoria is growing up so fast. Ditto for Elizabeth. No babies in the f family any more.
This story is costing me dearly. It took me at least a half hour to convince Elizabeth to let me tell it. We negotiated hard. By the time it was done, not only has she agreed to let me relay this story, but also the one I wanted to tell the last time we were here.

I took the picture of Elizabeth in front of the drawer above, so you could picture the story. As you know, The Lapps' just moved in to their new house the first part of October. They have been unpacking boxes and decorating in preparation for the holidays. Greg is traveling 100% of the time for his new job right now, so that leaves little time for him to do the household things that Sandy can't.
Elizabeth, in her effort to help, peeled off ALL the drawer and cabinet protectors. She came to Sandy with a hand full and said, "look mom, I peeled all of these off for you!" I must mention, Elizabeth is 
a "peeling" kind of girl (not to be confused with "appealing"). If you need to have a tag peeled off of something, she's your gal. 

When Greg got home, he wasn't exactly thrilled to have to go back around and glue all of these back on. Sandy said that when she said, "Elizabeth, what did you do?" Her little face fell. She thought she had done a good deed. How can you be mad at something like that? As far as I'm concerned, it just makes for a good story!
Here's the picture I wanted to post the first time we visited. Elizabeth had these little notes sitting on her dresser. She's only in the 2nd grade and it has started already. Girls!! I love the one on the left that says:
To Elizabeth we are not tring to hurt your fellings. But it is ture. p.s. we are your friend 

I have no idea what the little "tiff" was all about, but it's over now---as quickly as most of these types of things go.

Elizabeth says that telling stories about her on my blog is embarrassing. For your entertainment, it is costing me an extra Christmas present. I plan to make a big deal out of it on Christmas Eve. That way, maybe she'll let me tell stories about her more often. 

It's really funny, everyone else "begs" to be mentioned on my blog---friends of Mindy and Steph's---and even friends of the "little" girls. Too bad all the people that actually read my blog don't "sign up" as followers. I'm always surprised when people say, "I love your blog." I had no idea.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Few Fun Things

Here are some of the pictures that I wasn't able to include in my last post. But first, let me say---I'm not so sure I love my iPhone camera. It's supposed to be a great camera, but I think it gives just about everyone "demon eyes." Even when I try to fix them, it doesn't always work. With that said, here goes:
 Last Monday, we went to Cinco de Mayo with my AYM group. Since it was Steph's birthday, they made her "don" the sombrero and smushed some of the dessert in her face. She was a good sport about it. Make that hat black and she could be a witch. Oh wait, the girls sometimes think she is! Teenagers!
 We left for Sandy's right after school on Tuesday. I'm not sure I've ever seen bobbie socks paired with tights. Quite a fashion statement. And it isn't even cold yet! Jordan says she's always cold.
Apparently, UGGs go with anything---at least in Morgan's book.
 Mitchell still sits in his "baby" recliner. When he was little, he had his sippy cup and the remote. Not much has changed.

His feet are bigger than his head!
Apparently, Mitchell forgot to call "place back." Nicky snatched his spot. It's so funny to see grown men sitting in that teeny chair.
 We hauled this rug all the way to Charlotte. I think it really finished off the room. I do love it when something old gets a new life. With all hardwood floors, they are in need of several rugs. Little by will get done.

 Morgan and Jordan
This was taken before all the kids went to the mall. We let Jordan take my car. I found out later, she had a near miss and a lady honked at her. I'm not surprised. She had trouble backing it out of the driveway. I got in to back it our for her and didn't do much better. I then confessed that I did the same thing earlier when I left to take Mindy to the airport. My car is just too darn big!

Elizabeth (and Victoria---not shown) love to hang with the teenagers. The teens are so good about including them.

More pictures tomorrow. I'm pretty tired. Every night we were up until well past midnight and then up by 6:30-7:00 a.m. In fact, last night, Stephanie, the kids and Nicky has all gone to bed. Sandy, Greg, Butch and I were still up. The laughing got to be too much for Steph and Nicky. He texted her in the next room and said, "what are we, OLD? Sounds like the party is still going on." They came back down and had another drink. I think it was about 1 when we "turned in."

We got home today at 2:15----7 1/2 hours with 3 stops. Sure beats the nearly 9 hours to Michigan! I drove the first 5 hours. Vivarin is my best friend on long car trips. I can't drive without it!!

We're watching Notre Dame while I blog, but I'm going to bed. Nighty night.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I'm Thankfull For

Happy Thanksgiving! We finished our dinner and the massive clean up about an hour ago. Now I'm just taking a breather and reflecting on what I am thankful for. I'm not getting good iPhone reception here, so my photos are not transferring to my laptop. That's what I get for not bringing my camera and relying on the "cloud." I'll have to post those when I get home over the weekend.

I can still be thankful without pictures.
1. My family--- of course. I would have to top the list with them. Even when we all disagree about the game we're playing, or how to play said game, I look around and marvel that we are all together. Not only are we together, but playing together---and that the kids/teens WANT to be with us. That's good.

2. Great food---surely at the top of the list. We arrived late Tuesday night (actually Wednesday morning). Sandy has been cooking all week. She had French toast casserole for breakfast yesterday. We had parmesan shrimp last night (fabulously delicious). For breakfast today we had pumpkin bread, and homemade cranberry orange muffins. Our Thanksgiving meal consisted of turkey, 2 kinds of dressing, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, yeast rolls, green bean bundles, carrot casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding and spinach casserole---2 apple pies, 1 pumpkin pie and mascarpone cupcakes. Lots and lots of food---but we're putting a pretty good dent in it. 12 people for almost 4 days takes a lot of food.

3. Nicky's bloody Mary's---he's the family designated bloody Mary maker. He makes a great one. I always say, with the celery, a bloody Mary is the drink that acts like a meal.

4. Sandy and Greg's lovely home---and so thankful there's room for all of us. The teens stayed up very late watching a scary movie and didn't even wake us. Of course, after staying up until 2 a.m. the night before and past midnight last night, we were probably dead to the world.

5. Morgan is on the mend---she had some sort of stomach bug. It seems to only have lasted 24 hours. With the exception of a little shopping yesterday, she hasn't missed anything.

6. Our jet setter was able to spend a couple of days with us. In all fairness to Mindy, she had her plans set before we planned this trip. She flies out of Charlotte tomorrow morning to Memphis. She'll spend the rest of the weekend there and drive to Oxford for the Ole Miss game.

7. That Mitchell passed his drug test. Apparently his high school does random tests. We joked with him about this. He's one athlete that doesn't use steroids!!

8. Gorgeous weather. It's beautiful here---warm and sunny. Sort of like home. But for the Lapps, quite a departure from their cold, often times snowy Thanksgiving in Michigan.

9. I brought everyone's poker money. These kids are killing me. I lost again last night---about $7.00. I don't think there will be a designer purse with my poker winnings this year.

10. That when I get home, my Christmas decorating will be nearly done---I did quite a bit of it last weekend. Tomorrow, the ladies that decorate the outside will be there. When I get home, I don't have much else to do.

I'm going to end with a gloat! You know how I love to rub it in about how I'm always so on top of things for the holidays? Well, don't hate me, but I've already wrapped some gifts!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Hate Crafts!

I can't tell you how many times I've said this. I think I burned myself out in the 70's with pinecone wreaths, crushed ice candles, macrame everything, candlewicking, clothespin ornaments, pretty much you name it, I've done it. But what can I do? No matter how much I protest, my girls insist on getting me to make crafts with them. Thank you Pinterest, thank you very much!! I can't say "no." Let me just tell you how our recent craft came about.

Stephanie and Mindy were telling me about the wreath that their friend Rikki made---inspired by one she saw on Pinterest. Rikki showed her craft prowess when we were together last fall to make Halloween shadow boxes.
Rikki told the girls how easy these wreaths were to make. Famous last words!

The plan was set a week ago Friday. This Friday, we were to go to Target after "happy hour" to supplement the ornaments I already bought from the Dollar Store. I told them that we would go to Longhorn for dinner after.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday. I had decided to surprise the girls and take them to Whitfields for dinner in honor of Steph's upcoming birthday. I had to tell a bit of a fib to explain why we had to go to a different Target. Mindy asked if we could go to J. Alexander's for dinner---she's all about the food. I said that was fine---knowing that I was still going to surprise them with the nicer restaurant. Little did I know that Mindy was going to invite her dad and Nicky (Steph's boyfriend.) I had planned to include them to further the surprise. I emailed Nicky and told Butch about our plan to go to Whitfields instead, and told them "mum's the word."

Wednesday night, I went to Outback with Connie and Nancy before going to the theater. It had been years since I'd been there. The food was so good and they had a steak and lobster special that I knew the girls would be all over. Sooo, I changed the plans yet again. I emailed Nicky about the change. I think I had the guy so thoroughly confused that when Steph was confirming plans with him, he texted, "Outback at 6:30---right?" Steph---a little on the testy side---texted back, "NO!! J.Alexander's at 6:15.

Alls well that ends well. After our Target run, we told the girls about the surprise. We all had a great dinner and set the plans for wreath making this morning.
 Dollar Store ornaments---$12.00 worth.
 Target ornaments---$48.00 worth. Wire coat hangers---free. Butch did the bending---also free.
First thing to do is to organize the ornaments. We got started. Within 10 minutes, Mindy started whining that hers didn't look as good as mine and Steph's. She always whines, not having much fun, then ends on a high note when her project turns out well. Here are the end results:
 This one is Mindy's. I didn't have a good place to hang the wreaths for photo purposes.

 Here's Steph's. Each one turned out so cute. Stephanie and Mindy made theirs very colorful.

 Here's the one I made. I stuck with all the traditional colors since I knew there were not enough of the blue, orange and pink ornaments for all of us. I'm taking this one to Sandy when we go for Thanksgiving..
I've been making bows for many years. You can hardly go wrong with wired ribbon.
Mindy's not really posing here---just holding her wire coat hanger up.

Can I admit that this was a fun project? Not really. There were some problems with the tops of the ornaments popping out. It didn't take too long, so that was good. Would I make them again? Only if Rikki agreed to come and be "in charge!"

PS Rikki, send me your photo and I'll post it here!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

NEVER Wake a Sleeping Baby!

That was my advice to Lauren----my friend, Pam's daughter. I know when you are a new mom, everyone tells you what to do. I try really hard not to do that. But this time, I couldn't help myself. Lauren wanted to wake up Parker Jane so I could hold her. I about freaked!! NEVER wake a sleeping baby. Seems she wakes her up to change her diaper too. Ahhh, new mothers. She'll learn...

Here she is in all of her precious glory!
Parker Jane was just hatched 2 weeks ago. This is what 7 1/2 lbs. looks like. She's wearing the freshwater pearl necklace I gave her. Every little girl needs a set of pearls.

There's just something so special about newborns. Welcome to your wider family little girlie!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Fight Breaks Out...

at the bridge table. I've mentioned before that I play duplicate bridge with a bunch of---well, there's only one way to put this---a bunch of old ladies. I have a lot of fun with them and they seem to appreciate my sense of humor. 

Today, it was the last hand of the last round of the day. My partner and one of the opponents were discussing the previous hand. Now, considering it was the last round of the day, the 20 minute time limit per round of 4 hands doesn't usually apply. It doesn't really matter if you take longer to finish as the director is inputting the scores in to the computer. 

This particular couple have been partners on and off probably for 50 years. They are both contentious and can be uncomfortable to play with. Today was no exception. As I said, my partner was having a conversation with one---lets call her Janie---when the other---we'll call her Ella, says, "we need to move on---we have one more hand." The other one says, "well, calm down, it's the last hand, we'll get to it." To which Ella says, "you know I want to go shopping." It went back and forth. Janie says, "I can't believe you're being so hateful when I've sold dozens of your yeast rolls for you today." Ella says, "I don't need your help!" Janie says, "just leave then." Ella slaps down her cards, "well, I will."

This is where I jump in---always the peacemaker. "Girls, girls, (the old ladies love it when I refer to them as girls)---you have been friends for a very long time, just stop this." Ella jumps up and says, "we were NEVER friends." My partner and I just looked at each other. We finished out the hand while they slammed down their cards and huffed and puffed. 

I decided to bee line it out of there when the round was over. On my way out the door, Ella caught me and said, "I don't need her to sell my rolls. I have dozens of orders without her." 

I got away as quickly as I could. I'd say this was definitely a partnership "fail." I'm pretty sure they won't be playing together any more and their semi-quasi friendship is over. It's really not all that unusual, but the fireworks don't usually fly at the bridge table. All of a sudden, you'll notice that a couple that always played together no longer are. 

If you have a temper, or are a sore loser, bridge is not for you. My partner and I get along just fine. We both make plenty of mistakes. We like to jokingly say that we play "no fault" bridge. We've been together for just about 25 years. I can't recall a single time that we've gotten mad at each other over a hand or how we played it. That's good. I don't need that kind of aggravation or stress. For crying out loud, it's just a game!! Plus it seems to me that at that age, you really can't afford to lose the few friends you have left.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Now I've Seen it All!

A redneck camper! I'd never seen one in person. I guess the door must open to the inside otherwise the handle on the left would be useless. You need that to hoist yourself up---that's one tall step. At least it has air conditioning. I'll bet it has shag carpeting on the inside. I shouldn't be making fun---it sort of looks like it belongs to a serial killer. At least if I'm called in for questioning, I have a picture.
Started my Christmas shopping a couple of weeks ago. As I was buying a few things in Juicy Couture, I thought these hairbands would be cute for the girls. Uhhh, NO, not at $36.00!! For crying out loud they're elastic bands! Okay, with some cute Juicy charms dangling off them. But still....
After shopping, this is what I saw when I returned to my car. Mine is on the right. This is what I'm talking about. People continually block me in. It's so rude. This time, I had a little room only because I left a lot of space on my driver's side. Don't think I blocked the person next to me as I parked on the end. I would never do that. It's just so annoying. Did I ever mention that I hate my "big-a**" car?
My favorite thing on my new phone. It's called "Passbook." One click and my Starbucks card pops up for easy check out. Basically, it's my gold card loaded on to my phone. Cool.
Here we go again. It's only been chilly enough for jackets a couple of times. Hence two jackets on "his" kitchen chair coat racks.

 Seriously, a week before Thanksgiving and the Salvation Army Christmas collecting guys are already out?
 Yesterday, my friends and I went to the Savannah Tea Room. After selecting your tea, you get to pick your teacup. I thought that was a cute little treat. I was unhappy about the paper napkins. When it comes to tea, cloth is the only way set a proper one.

Which reminds me. I've been thinking about Christmas which led me to think about A Christmas Carol. To my British friends out there---is a Christmas goose your traditional dinner? I've never had a goose. Actually, I can't recall ever seeing one in the grocery store. We do turkeys.
This is where you used to find me first thing in the morning with my tea and laptop. All cozy in front of the fire---we have gas logs in the living room. Since I've gotten back in to the tread mill routine, I only get an afternoon here or there. I still spend Sunday mornings here.

The gas fireplace reminds me of another thing. Once again, the Lapps have one of the gas type but you can't open the doors. Basically, it's like looking at a movie of a fire. It's been like this in their last 4 houses in PA, MI and now NC. Can you even get a real wood burning fireplace in a new house anymore? Plus, I don't understand why you can't open the doors. It would be pretty hard for something to catch fire. It only feels hot about 12" or closer to the flames. Sparks don't shoot out or anything. I don't get it. I like a good fire.

Seems like I had a few more thing to say, but I didn't write them down, so they are gone!

Here's the easy recipe I promised:

Chicken Cordon Bleu  Roll-ups
1 pkg. crescent rolls
fried chicken tenders (the recipe calls for Tyson-frozen. I used fresh from the grocery deli)
ham slices
swiss cheese slices
honey mustard

Separate the crescent rolls. Squirt a line of honey mustard (I used the hot style) on each crescent roll. top with swiss cheese, ham and chicken finger. Roll up. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. (My oven cooks quickly, so I checked them after 16 minutes and they were done.

These were so easy and good. I served them with potato salad and extra honey mustard for dipping.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Party Was Fabulous!!

We started the evening by meeting for 4:30 Mass. Mindy sat completely on top of my purse four times. I don't know why she was crowding me. I was afraid that my brand new iPhone was damaged. After Mass, I leaned over and said to her, "thank goodness I got the Apple Care plan!" It seems to be working okay.

From Church, we walked over to the school cafeteria where the dinner/auction was held. Stephanie, Mindy and I had a great time bidding on dozens of items. At one point, Butch came over and said, "you better make sure you aren't bidding against each other." Seriously? We're not that stupid! We snagged some really great stuff and a couple of things I didn't really want. I'll explain below.

 I snapped these pictures before it got too crowded. There were 250 people---a great turn out.

 A few of Stephanie's friends---Beth  here, Jimmy and Meg below.

 Stephanie and Nicky.
 The jury is still out on the camera on my new phone. It's supposed to be incredible, but not for me. I need to go take a class and see what I'm doing wrong. Of course, this was across the table in a dark room. I made the picture closer before snapping it. Still, I think it's pretty good of my girlies! Mindy, left and Stephanie on the right. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of David and Linda---friends of ours that rounded out our table. They were at the buffet when I took the pictures.
Just some of the "swag" we snagged. We got the gift card tree that had over $250 worth of gift cards. We only paid $100 for them. Great Christmas gifts for the teens. Stephanie and Mindy had a few things that are not pictured here. I'm tellin' ya, we made out!
 The wooden cross is from the St. Cecilia Motherhouse. When they added a wing and did a major renovation a couple of years ago, this wood came from the original floor dating back to 1880. The plates are another story. A friend from bridge made them. I felt bad that no one was bidding on them. I bid on the set in the back---they are some kind of foil decoupaged things. They cannot be immersed in water, plus there are only four of them. It was sort of a "mercy" bid. Stephanie and Mindy, thinking I wanted them, bid on the other set on my behalf. This set has a heart, club, spade and diamond. I'm thinking hostess gifts.
 The tailgate basket is pretty cute. That's going to be a Christmas gift too. Ignore the banana, that was breakfast.
 I forgot to add this handmade rosary to my collection above. It's really pretty with glass beads. I might give this to someone I think could benefit from it. I don't leave home without one!

Besides the fun things we bought, I was happy that the Cajun dinner that we, along with the Broussard's donated was in the live auction and went for $575. We've done many dinners with the Broussards over the years. They are our Cajun friends from Lafayette, LA. and are excellent cooks. Butch and I help with the prep work the night before and usually host it at our house. Bruce gives a little cooking demonstration. We serve before dinner drinks and wine during. It's a lot of fun.

That's about it. I made a new---very simple recipe tonight. I'll share it tomorrow.