High Five for Friday


My Top Five Favorite Things Happening Now:  

  1. I almost have 1,000 views on my blog. I turned off my own views, so I know this is legit and it makes me do a happy dance! (it's so little, but yet, so big!) Also I'll have a sponsorship  up at The Daily Tay in September, which is  BOSS. Man I love her blog. Speaking of bloggers, my other fav blogger,  Life Of Bon retweeted me this morning. I know, I know, I a, such a dork but I just love those girls! 
  2. One of my dearest friends got engaged yesterday! Bring on the showers, bachelorette party and wedding Pins!
  3. R2 is practically potty trained. I think it was the Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse "big gurrls" as she calls them. Once she had those, she never wanted to wear Pull Ups again!
  4. It's the freakin' weekend! PLUS a day off work on Monday.
  5. I drank a bottle of wine last night. and a couple margaritas-in-a-can. Kids were in bed, Big R was golfing and bam, there I was, readin' blogs and chuggin'. I couldn't help myself and it was so much fun. Is it okay to get tipsy by yourself? If not, then, ugh, just disregard numero 5, k? 

Ode to Etsy

Today I want to write a love note. 
No, not to Big R, even though he deserves one at least once a day
(I'll getcha later, babes)
But to my shopping mecca, Etsy.
Gurl loves her some of that shop.
Sometimes, when I am feeling dumpy, I just go there to look, browse and wander
Then hit myself on the forehead because there's no way I'll ever be cool or crafty enough to have a shop there.
Sometimes, I wonder if anyone will know 
If I bought things off there
and then tried to pawn them off as my own.
"Oh, this old thing, I just threw it together..." 

Yeah, right.
So here, Dear Etsy, are my favorite purchases I have made since
our love affair began in 2009.

R3's outfit for her 2 year pics from tamra & tricia

Felt from sweetemmajean that I use to make my wreaths:
She has a great selection of colors and the felt is awesome quality!
This vinyl chalkboard calendar from Vinyl Designs by CJ
I have one at home and one in my office and people are always giving them the jealous eyes :) I use these Chalk Ink Markers on it. 
Perpetual Blackboard Chalkboard Vinyl Calendar - Awesome Product

This cute personalized stamp
I put on the backs on my handmade cards and tags for my wreaths from StampOut Online : (mine says Jen in the middle)
Custom  stamp for the back of handmade Cards projects and crafts  Self inking --2364

And then there are the things that I haven't bought that 
I desperately want! 
10% SALE - Memoirs Book Locket Necklace, Aqua Glass and Key - Vintage Style Brass

RETRO 16" cushion/pillow cover, pillow sham ,pillow slip in a modern,contemporary  designer fabric

Distressed Table Top Black or White Wood Magnetic Message Center

Bright Green Owl Cute- Owl Collections-Owl Figurines- Vintage Owls- Vintage Decor-30% SALE

Hand Sewn Colorful Lace Leggings

Le Jardin - Bird and Flowers, Decoupaged Reclaimed Wood Wall Decor - Key hooks, Wall hook, Cottage Chic\

You're The Key To My Heart - True Love Dictionary Page Book Art Print - DPTL002

So there you go! I feel like I just binged and purged and
didn't even spend a dime.
Phew, I am exhausted!
(someone forward this one to Big R, doesn't he know that Christmas is only
116 days away?! 

She Goes To Book Club

I packed my bag and took a picture so you could experience it with me:  copy of Kitchen House, my Smash Book for taking notes, my Kindle Fire, my bottle of Rex Goliath Mascato (cheap ass wine don't care) and a copy of "A Bottle for You, A Bottle for Me" by my FAV blogger, The Daily Tay. The last one was my show and tell for the night. It's a hysterical book that gives us mommies a funny inside look on how our family members must feel about our kids. I lol'd.
Book club was last night.
Is there anything better? 
I wouldn't call our book club conventional,
even though I have no idea how other book clubs work
For some reason I envision all these women stylishly dressed
sitting around overstuffed stripped couches 
situated comfortably around a coffee table 
in a quiet living room
with petite fours and tea on silver trays.
Well if you think that's what we got goin' 
You best be movin' on. 
We didn't have petite fours but we did have these yummy snacks

I made my book clubbies book marks with their intials 
Picture a living room with baby and kids toys (this will occur no matter which gal is hosting BC)
No impeccably dressed girl for me. I rocked a sports bra. (obvs)
There is spit up on the rug and a 3 year old running around with no underwear on
And this is how we like it :) 

So we talk about the book for about, oh, I would say 20% of the time.
This month's pick was Kitchen House.
This is the first time in 2 years I didn't read the book o' the month.
I don't know what came over me.
I felt so left out when they were talking about this book
especially when they all totally loved it. 
Sounds like it was about an Irish girl who came to the US on a boat and her parents died on the boat. The captain took her back to his plantation to work in the kitchen house with his slaves. 

And then a lot of stuff that I could not follow.
Sounds like this book as it all:
love, murder, miss-communication, heavy issues, family relationships...

One of the bookies said
 "I couldn't put it down and I stayed up reading, even though I needed sleep..."
And she's one of the new mommies so it must have been good for her to give up those precious minutes of shut eye!

Then we moved on to more important stuff
Like marriage, in-laws that drive us crazy and sex.

You know, the usual...

Next month's pick:
Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

1. What is the first website you log on to each day?
My blogger reading list 
2. Give us some funny websites you visit that we need to know about

3. Pinterest or Facebook? Why?
I always start with Facebook and get bored really quickly so then switch to my blog list or pinterest
4. Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Twitter because I am shameful and don't have instagram :(

5. Favorite youtube video...post it!
ly: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">

5. Biggest online pet peeve?
Ugly food pictures. Sure I get it if you go to a nice restaurant and the food looks beautiful and artistic. But a picture of Kraft mac and cheese, a pork chop and a pond of Ranch dressing? Not cool. 

Whirly Farts, aka "Date Night"

Something big happened earlier this year with Big R.
We bonded over a book.
Huge deal.
We were looking for ways to "reconnect" 
And since he knows me so well, he took up my numero uno hobby and said he wanted to read a book.
I hooked him up with a copy of The Hunger Games.
Death. Apocalypse. Kids Killing Kids.
He basically lived it himself in his pre-teen years.
His mother still talks about those years with disdain.
Anyway, I was excited to see that he enjoyed the book so much 
that he continued the series and even went to the library 
and got his very own "libary" card.

So I not only scored in giving my husband and I something else to talk about
(besides soybeans, potty training and bills)
writer's note: after reading this, Big R said I made us sound boring. We aren't (we kind of are) but he is right. We do lots and talk about other things beside what I've claimed...)
I scored us a real life date night when the movie came out in theaters. 
That was a huge deal.

So last night, we rented it on dvd to watch again. Cause we are nerds like that.
The movie wasn't as good as the book. (Shocker) 
But we still enjoyed it.

I'll never pass up an opportunity to bond with Big R over a movie, book, etc. 
Except when he pulls a stunt like he did after the movie.
All that combat and killing must have inspired him
Because as we got up to head to bed after the movie
He came up to me and karate chopped me
Then twirled around in the air...
and farted.
Then named his new special move the "whirly fart."
And thought he was the funniest damn thing.

That was our date night.
Stay back girls, he's all mine. 

Give A Ways!

 Hey so I have to tell you about a couple of great give a ways I have seen in my little blog world lately. A couple I am even giving  things away at!
Here's a fun one, which is probably pretty popular right now because of  this ;)
Jen over at Everything According to Jen is giving away this.

Everything According to Jen

Here, you can help Ashley @ Oh Wells Instead of What Ifs celebrate her birthday: 
And win a copy of Gone Girl from yours truly! 

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Also, check out a gift card give a way at my girl Katie's blog, Girl On A Mission. I may be giving away something here too! 

She Gets Out Of The Funk

Today was not a typical day. I was off work due to working this weekend. So I took R2 to daycare and hit the road for retail therapy. I have to drive an hour (in any direction) just to find something other than a Wal-Mart, but when I am kid free, it's fine with me. 

If I have the Rs with me, that means that I sweat the entire time and spend more money on toys and drinks to keep them quiet than I do on myself...which is fine...but not really. 

Also, whenever I take them, I end up sweating profusely and breathing heavy in the check out line. I get a lot of stares...so my trips shopping with just me and the Rs are few and far between...the next one usually doesn't happen until I've somehow forgotten how awful the previous one was. 

So before I hit the road, I went to the library and immediately spotted this book. 

Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham. 
Her first book, Roses is one of my all time favorites.
 I loved it so much that when I heard she was writing another, I just knew I would love it too. 

All I know is that it's about 3 friends in Texas who were all adopted, thus forming a friendship based on having that in common... 

I started reading it this afternoon waiting for my mom at a restaurant. Does anyone else love reading in a public place? I don't know why but I love it. Restaurants, lobbies, whatever...It makes me feel like an out of the closet bookworm...I am a huge dork who just wants people to think I am intellectually cool..which I am totally NOT. 

So anyway I didn't get very far but I know I will like it. It spans the characters' entire lifetime, which I always love. 

So on top of that book, I also picked up an audio book at the library. I can listen to less involved, more "chick lit-y" books on audio so I picked this one because it seems like a pretty easy listen. A 32 year old lawyer is working on the bad side of the law. Her job is to field claims about contaminated bottled water and defend the company that sold the water. She's not satisfied with her job or her marriage. So in typical chick lit fashion, she gets in her BMW and escapes to her hometown, where secrets from her past, including her first boyfriend, lay where she left them 10 years ago. Like I said, it'll be an easy listen. 

Also on my retail adventure I went to Hobby Lobby and filled that tiny little cart to my heart's content. Why in the world do they make those carts so sticking tiny?? I need one of those boats you get at Sam's Club or Costco, people! 

So I got some cards, cute little paper flower embellishments and ribbon adhesive, which I actually exclaimed, "Wow, cool!" (out loud, to myself, because I am that uncool). I always want to use ribbon on my handmade cards I make but can never figure out how to attach them. So voila, problem solved! 

I also grabbed that big 64 box of Crayolas because who wouldn't?! 

Speaking of whoooo, I picked this little guy up too: 
Where is your favorite place for retail therapy? 

Book Funk

Remember that one time I wanted to start a blog about the books I read and then got in a reading funk and couldn't get into a book?


Yeah so do I. 

My next book club meeting is a week from this Monday and this is the first time in 2 years that I haven't finished the book of the month. I feel like a loser. 

So, I have the book and I am going to hunker down and read it. This weekend. 

It's called the Kitchen House. 

But for some reason I just can't pick this book up and read it. Don't know why, it never did anything wrong to me. Poor little book.

Some book club picks are like Catch-22s. The whole reason to be in a book club is to read books you would not otherwise pick out...and then I don't want to read it because it's not something I would typically read...see the problem here? 

Ok and let's face it. You join a book club because you love to read and you want to talk about books but....
You know how that goes! 

My book club is amaze-balls. We laugh, we cry, we confess our deepest secrets...and and sometimes we even talk about the book of the month. 

I cherish them as if they were like, rare precious jewels. Or breast milk. 

Speaking off booby juice, I should also tell you that at least one member of our 5 person club has been preggers since we started in Dec. 2010. That's a lot of sex and babies. (one of them is a self-proclaimed Fifty Shades of Grey baby. Watch for a world wide boom around Christmas) 

So I guess the point of this post is just to say that I think this blog may end up being 70% books and the rest just stuff. 

Which is great with me! 

I do plan on writing a book club follow up post every month. I can't wait to tell you about all the things we talk about. Some of it is pretty insightful. And then we drink 2 gallons of Sangria and shit gets real.

Oh yeah, and I am linking up! Check it out here: 

If I ruled world

  • If I ruled the world, Diet Pepsi would make my hair shine, my skin glow and my waistline thin. (I drink that stuff like I should be drinking water. If this rule went into effect, I would be golden.)
  • If I ruled the world, the words I said out of anger would evaporate into the air the second they left my lips. That way, I could still say them to get them off my chest, but no one would be hurt by them.
  • Reruns of Friends, Wonder Years and How I Met Your Mother would always be on. But IN ORDER, so I would always know where the relationships of the characters stood.
  • Every time something scary or frustrating happened, you’d get a fortune cookie delivered that would give you an inspiring and reassuring quote saying everything would be okay. (Let’s make that fortune cookie a fudge dipped Oreo.)
  • There is always someone to take your side, even if you are wrong.
  • There is always someone that breaks it to you gently that you are wrong.
  • Where my kids have a set volume of 3.5, and only get past that volume when one of them is seriously injured. Or lost.
  • Where if you ask someone if they are pregnant and they are not, you have to wear a huge “I’m an ass” sign around your neck for a day.
  • Husbands can see your mood swings coming from a mile away and plan accordingly. (Meaning they go for a long drive. With the kids. And come back with a 44. Oz Diet Pepsi and a white chocolate chip Hershey bar.)
  • Boys were born with the knowledge that taking a girl on a real date, opening her doors and liking a girl’s mother were always one way tickets to her heart.
  • Every girl would grow up with a self made esteem that chanted “You are awesome” inside her thoughts every morning when she woke up.
LINK IT UP HERE I was so inspired and enlightened by these ladies’ “If I Ruled” posts, so check them out too: 

A Letter to my 15 year old self

Dear Fifteen-Year-Old Jen

Hi There. 
You've got great hair. 
Couple things I want to talk to you about, just because in a perfect world 
you could have actually received a letter like this when you were just fifteen,
warning you of the mistakes you're about to make and 
enlightening you on your future.

Okay first things first.
You know that thing you are thinking about doing
because everyone else is doing it?
Do not do it.

Also, stop staring at your stomach in your mirror.
That, my dear, is not a fat roll.
It's called a curve. Embrace that shit, babe.

Listen, the next couple years are going to fly by.
Enjoy them. 
You'll meet a really nice boy soon,
so soak that up and bask in the sunshine that is young love.

You have amazing friends.
One sad thing I have to tell you is that after college, 
you won't be close with hardly any of them and
that will cause you great, great
sadness when you are older.
Make sure you try hard to stay in contact.

I don't want to make this too long,
because if I remember correctly, you have 
a very short attention span.
Which doesn't get better with age.
I wonder if oldnavy.com has any thing new....
See what just happened there?

Couple more things: Your life is not that important right now.
You just need to worry about a couple things:
a) keeping your self esteem up
b) discovering a career choice that won't rack up a lot of student loans
but will still make you a lot of money (good luck with that one)
c) trying not to make an ass of yourself.

In less than a year, you are going to be diagnosed with
a blood disease that will force you to give up drinking alcohol
for like, half a year.
You'll be fine.

Also, write more thank you cards.

All of your teens are nothing compared to the 
sure joy, completeness and accomplishment
you will feel when you meet a couple new little people
in 2007 & 2010. 
(after meeting a pretty awesome guy in 2004)
Those three people are going to make you feel 
more important and loved than all of the 
15 years behind you.

So just try and practice being a good-hearted person
so by the time you meet them all,
You'll be ready. 
Me, on the far right, somewhere around
fifteen years old
(see what I mean about the hair)

Linking Up

I am trying this whole blogger world out and one of the ways to dive in is to discover other blogs!

So I scour the blogosphere looking for blogs with topics that interest me and I found Messy Dirty Hair and Lose the Cushion.

AND I found this awesome give-a-way:  I am hoping to not only !win! but also it's a great way to introduce myself and my blog to others! 

Here's to Starbucks and blogs!! 

Movie Time

Gone Girl’s Hollywood Homecoming to Star Reese Witherspoon
Just saw on the View that Reese Witherspoon has been slated to play Amy in Gone Girl

I am excited for lots of reasons. 

One: She's fricking awesome
Two: She's never played an character who is not sunshiny, happy and good hearted. How cool will it be to see her as the twisted, mean girl, Amy?

Also, Gillian Flynn said she pictured some one blonde and handsome playing the role of Nick. Matthew M maybe? He would be absolutely perfect! 

To my dismay, Gillian is not a tweeter, so I can't tweet her that idea...Who should I send a letter to?? 

A "Wild" Excerpt

I just had to share this excerpt from Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I am listening to it on audio in the car to and from work.

It is by far one of the most powerful and gripping descriptions I have ever read (heard, in this case). It stopped my in my tracks. I had to rewind and listen to it again. And again.

Cheryl is describing her father who wasn't in her life for very long. This is so poignant, so riveting... 

He was like a home movie that played in my head, one whose narrative was broken and sketchy. There were big dramatic scenes and inexplicable moments floating free from time, perhaps because most of that I remember about him happened in the first 6 years of my life. There was my father smashing our dinner plates full of food against the wall in a rage. There was my father choking my mother while straddling her chest and bagging her head against the wall. There was my father scooping my sister and me out of bed in the middle of the night when I was five to ask if we would leave forever with him, while my mother stood by, bloodied and clutching my sleeping baby brother to her chest, begging him to stop. When we cried instead of answered, he collapsed onto his knees and pressed his forehead to the flood and screamed so desperately I was sure we were all going to die right then and there. once, in one of his tirades, he threatened to throw my mother and her children naked onto the street, as if we weren’t his children too. We lived in Minnesota then. It was winter when me made the threat. I was at an age when everything was literal. It seemed precisely like a thing that he would do. I had an image of the four of us, naked and shrieking, running through the the icy snow. He shut Leif, Karen and me out of our house a couple of times in Pennsylvania, when my mother was at work and he was left to care for us and he wanted a break. He ordered us into the back yard and locked the doors, my sister and me holding our barely walking baby brother by his gummy hands. We wandered through the grass weeping and then forgot about being upset and played house and rodeo queen. Later, enraged and bored, we approached the back door and pounded and hollered. I remember the door distinctly and also the three concrete stairs that led up to it, the way I had to stand on tiptoes to see through the window in the upper half. THe good things aren’t a movie. There’s isn’t enough to make a reel. The good things are a poem, barely longer than a haiku. There is his love of Johnny Cash and the Everly Brothers. There are the chocolate bars he brought home from his job in a grocery store. There are all the grand things he wanted to be, a longing so naked and sorry I sensed it and grieved it even as a young child. There is him singing that Charlie Rich song that goes “Hey did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world?” 

JDub strikes again

The Next Best Thing 

Do you have a favorite author you love so much that you don't even read the description, you just automatically know you'll love the book? Thus is my love for Jennifer Weiner. My favorites include Good Night Nobody, In Her Shoes & Little Earthquakes

She's like an old friend. Whenever I hear of a new book coming out, it's like an old friend is coming to visit and I anxiously await her arrival, watching out the window while tapping my foot and checking my watch.

So naturally I dove right in to The Next Best Thing. I read it in less than a week. In fact, I read most of it during a 10 hour round trip over the weekend and tweeted a pic to Jennifer Weiner, praying for a retweet. To no avail, but I know she's super busy out there being her girlpower self...

Who: Ruth, her Grandma and a slew of other rainbow hued.  Some dark brooding indigos, people of the tv "network" and other sparkly yellows like Dave. There is so much more to Ruth than just her ambitions. She survived a car crash that killed both parents when she was just a toddler. She is left with several scars on her face and body, so naturally her self esteem and image comes to you totally broken and confused. I think she's such an interesting character because she's a ball of her own contradictions. She knows she is loved by her grandma but at the same time, she hides behinds hats and hair because of her scars. Throughout the book she wants to burst out and then her insecurities instantly grab ahold of her and she shrinks back underneath her hat. It made me sad. She is one of the most endearing characters I have ever met. 

Her grandmother is a great literary character. Here's a smidget about her: 

She  is "a dirty joke spouting senior who was something new, a lady of a certain age with heart and a history and a genuine sense of humor and a sex driver that wasn't a punch line, a quirky woman with demons to conquer and wisdom to share."

What: Ruth is a 23 year old whose dream is to be a screenwriter for television. She's been writing scripts in her head since she was young. She moves (70 year old AWESOME grandma in tow) to Hollywood to pursue her dream. What follows after her show is green lighted is a  play-by-play of what I imagine happens in Hollywood all the time. People taking dreams in and spitting them out like an automatic revolving door. 

You see the changes being made to her television script before she does, probably because she's so innocently charismatic and doesn't believe manipulation and mind games really exist in a professional world.  She keeps believing in it though and you will stay proud of her, even when you think you might be mad at her. 

There are a couple scenes in the book that caused me to gasp. Not because they were huge issues or climactic plot turners but because they were so....me. I've been that girl. The one so insecure she went to embarrassing levels to get attention. And the shame that follows...*shudders.* 

Here's a smidget. It's Ruth describing The Golden Girls and why that show was a influence in her yearning to write a television show: 

“The weather was always warm and the skies were always sunny, and no crisis could not be managed in twenty-two minutes plus two commercial breaks. In that happy land, not everyone was beautiful, or young, or perfect. Not everyone had romantic love. But everyone had friends, a family they’d chosen. It was that love that sustained them, and that love, I imagined, could sustain me, too.”

When: Present day. I love the juicy details and gossip nuggets about the Hollywood characters because you just know they are based on real people! I always love non-fiction tid bits mixed in with my non-fiction.

Why: Why did Jennifer Weiner write this book? I read an interview with her about how this is actually based on some really situations. The author was actually a part of a show on ABC Family. If the two stories are intertwined and J-Dub (I envision us someday meeting, becoming besties and giving eachother nick names) actually had a similar situation happen to her, I would want to write about it too.  

Ruth's script is about a girl just like her. Daphne has insecurities and dreams. And what happens when Daphne's character, a normal, healthy size 10, is lypo'd down to a size  0 because the actress cast to play her gets a weight loss deal she can't refuse? Do the people at the network go to bat for Ruth and let her fight to keep the integrity and message of the script in tact? Of course not. Skinny is as skinny does. Basically, what the tv network does for Ruth's script is the exact OPISITE of a Kelly London and Clinton Kelly special. 

I can't really give this book justice. I know if I write too much I will lose your attention. So I will just say this. J Dub tackles some big emotions in the book (love, loss, ambition, insecurity, to name a few) and it's spun in a creative flow that is so easy to follow I might as well be watching a chick flick on t.v. at home. 

Read it.