Monday, June 27, 2011


Top 10 funny quips the little dude is saying these days:

1. “Look at THA-YAT!” in a girly-pitched, southern drawl, coupled with an ear-to-ear grin when an item is particularly intriguing to him.
2. “Cheeks, cheeks, cheeks!” while grabbing my face and patting them with such unconditional love it could melt any heart. Followed by a big ol’ kiss.
3. “No, no, no (friend/boy/girl). Don’t take my (insert object here, including “mommy”). Yah, he’s not much into sharing these days.
4. Singing: particularly “Old McDonald, Mulberry Bush and Happy Birthday.”
5. Wishing all he loves a happy birthday. Daily. Hey – every day is a reason to celebrate, right?!
6. “I’m scarruhd!” complete with a run toward your shins as he reacts to large noises. Generally followed with “Mommy take me safe” or “Daddy take care of you” as we live to prove we’ll protect him.
7. <”Description of action, Lawson.”>. A backward way of describing what he’s currently doing. Example: “Sit on lap, Mommy – LAWSON!”
8. “biCYCLE!!!” at any single one that passes – he can spot a motorcycle miles away, tucked in a forest. His Hot Wheels collection is up to six.
9. <”Insert person’s name has a boo boo – doctor make all BETTER!” – his recent run-ins with Grandpa in the hospital, his pup getting stitches and suffering a few cuts and scrapes from the ocean.
10. “Lollipop!” after each time he does anything well or follows an instruction. Complete with a cocked head and anticipating eyes – you’d think he was a puppy. This was our fault in creating a monster on two 14-hour travel days.

Sometimes, I wonder if I ever even experienced such joy, such humor and amazement before he came along.

Here’s to a growing vocabulary, hilarious sayings and laughing out loud for a lifetime together.

I love you little buddy.

PS: Bonus sayings I caught this morning: a) "Coffee's ready! Chicken nuggets ready!" and "warm it up!" all related to our microwave cooking b) "It's RAINING! It's cloudy or it's sunny" as if he's the weatherman himself c) "LET'S GO!" followed by the insistent tugging on my hand and a big ol' smile when he's ready to pack on an adventure.

Sigh - so much love. So much laughter.

Friday, June 24, 2011

HHI Bucket List

Top 10 Completed Items:
1. Catch my child’s first glimpse of the ocean, watching his eyes fill with wonder and delight
2. Score a Salty Dog tee after eating there
3. Wake before all other parties to meditate ocean side
4. Teach my son to build a sandcastle
5. Avoid sunburn
6. Rekindle romance with a date night
7. Kick butt at mini golf
8. Indulge in a massage
9. Get just the right amount of sunshine while also catching a sunrise and sunset
10. Consume crazy amounts of super tasty, mind-blowing foods (see above)

Top 10 Remaining To-Dos in 14 Hours (ok, or next time – ‘cause there WILL be a next time!)
1. Run on the beach
2. Dolphin Cruise
3. Parasailing
4. Super-bond with the bro’s fiancé and now my dear friend
5. Family pics
6. Drink too much wine one evening
7. Attempt to ride a bike…maybe even with a kiddo strapped on the back.
8. Catch up with my amazing parents in a relaxed setting
9. Bring home an exotic piece (art, jewels, etc) from the island
10. Sleep past 7:00 a.m.

With so many outstanding tasks, I think we should stay a few extra days, don’t you?!

Please note the following items were NOT on my Hilton Head Island bucket list, but still made the agenda:
1. Dog undergoes after hour surgery from a day care incident but is now recovering nicely with one of the most amazing gals in the world (shout out to Aunt Jennie!)
2. Kiddo gets sick for two days straight and only wants his Mommy, causing us to miss a bit of the magic but steal cuddle time, which likely trumps all the magic there is in this world
3. Plane ride ends up being two hours longer than anticipated, followed by a drive that is 90 minutes longer than planned for. Luckily, the kiddo was a super trooper.
4. Phones don’t get reception (this was a blessing and a curse).
5. Father-in-law is discharged from hospital – WOO HOO!!!

We’ve had amazing weather, even more remarkable memories and enough fabulousness to last a lifetime.

And that, my friends, is the greatest bucket item list of all.

We will miss you, Hilton Head. Thanks for a trip always worth remembering.

I'll Take You to the Candy Shop

Or in this case the doughnut shop. Then the cupcake place. All in the same day. Several days in a row.

I ponder what these little habits will lead up to when I come face to face with my trainer on Monday after a fabulous vacation on Hilton Head Island. Will she be able to tell I never unpacked the exercise bands or that the most cardio I did was deep breathing during my massage? If not her, the scale surely will. But you know what?

I don’t care. There, I said it.

And like “Fifty” said, I’ll take you to the candy shop, over and over again because it’s simply divine. I highly recommend it next time you’re on an island getaway. I mean, c’mon, customized doughnut menu where they fry on the spot and you walk away with flavors like Snickers, Dreamcicle, M&Ms and more? And cupcakes (Red Velvet, Wedding, Lemon, Deathy by Chocolate) so delectable you can’t help but poke at the frosting like a kid on his first birthday? Yes, please.

It’s worth every penny…and pound…

Did I mention the taffy and fudge too? Wait...

Never mind.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vacating the Premises

va·ca·tion noun, often attributive \vā-ˈkā-shən, və-\

1. a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission
2. a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended
b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
3: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation
4 an act or an instance of vacating

In other words, heavenly.

See you next week, my friends. We'll be off making every moment count and hope you will too.


Monday, June 13, 2011


One of Taylor Swift's songs. The age I was when I got in my first wreck...and fell in "love." And no, not at the same time. A sperm whale's brain (wtf Google?!). Peyton Manning's jersey number back in the day. Number of ounces in a pound, categories on the Myer Briggs test...

and the number of pounds shed from my figure.

Guess that wedding dress isn't just for vacuuming, hanging open in the back anymore...

now it's available for appearances at the playground?

Maybe not. But who cares: it fits again.

Here's to achieving wedding weight. Now onto college, then high school weight...but for now, let's celebrate!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Not Just Breakfast at Tiffany's

Lately I’ve been over the moon for what many call the color “Tiffany blue.” I can’t say they’re really off base as there seems to be no other color quite like it. Plus, there's a definition on Wikipedia, which we all know is totally and completely accurate. And couple it with orange, yellow, white and brown…swoon!

Incorporating these colors into my quite-traditional home has proven to be challenging, but I’ve taken the advice of those with killer taste and if I adore something, throw it up there and see how it works with everything. And so I have, adding items like these:

Kitchen towels from Crate and Barrel:

Vases from Anthropologie:

>Picture frames:

And on the side, I picked up these little numbers today…I couldn’t resist (note mine is Tiffany Blue vs. green, but I couldn't find the image). Plus, they’re handmade in Ecaudor from the acai seed by a darling couple that is working to pay for their children’s education. At nine bucks each out of my pocket (which still feels like a splurge these days), I couldn’t pass them up. Won’t they be fabu on my island getaway next week?!

So it’s not just about breakfast at Tiffany’s anymore, or begging for the latest piece I desire there, but more so about embracing any item that sports their signature color. I just know Audrey would’ve done the same, right?!

Man Date

Given a recent case of insomnia, I delighted in about 30 minutes of the film “I Love You Man,” marveling at the similarities the hubs and Paul Rudd share as he spilt his one-liners, played air guitar and attempted to have crucial conversations with his soon-to-be-wife. I will always remember that movie as one that was not only hilarious, but gave me a strange sense of peace with the amazing, albeit puzzling man I married.

Another thing that quick half-hour assured me is that the hubs would surely enjoy the man date I have set aside for him and my Dad as an early Father’s Day gift. Here’s their agenda tomorrow:

10:00 a.m.: Breakfast at Ingredient
11:30 a.m.: Hubs to receive a man facial and straight razor shave at The Gents Place while Dad receives a massage (the hubs is not down with the touchy-feeliness of massages; the dude is totally missing out)
1:30 p.m.: Guy flick at AMC (likely Super 8 or Hangover II)
4:00 p.m.: Happy hour at the Beer Kitchen in Westport (and yes, we’d taxi them if needed)

They’ve been apprised of the plan and seem giddy at the thought of avoiding yard work, toddler messes, holding the wife’s purse at the mall or listening to us nag.

I can’t wait to hand them their envelopes tomorrow morning with the gift certificates and cash flow. Because they truly deserve it, these remarkable, fantastic men.

Cheers to your man date…may it be all you’ve been hoping for and more!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bag Lady

Coach. Gucci. Target. Flea Market. Louis. Marc Jacobs. Now...

Emily Hamblin!

The super-talented, ever-so-fabulous, you-just-want-to-be-her Emily is creating an ah-mazing handbag for mwah that will rest on my shoulder very soon! Check out her progress by clicking on the pics and blowing them up below:

Having spotted her Mom's bag (we're colleagues), I reached out to Ms. Emily, sent her a picture of an Anthropologie vase I adored, she sent me a zillion options and wa-la...a one-of-a-kind, summery, eye-catching shoulder bag is soon to be mine! I'm so pumped to make that Tiffany-blue, made-with-love accessory part of my everyday.

Stay tuned for the final product...and don't forget to check out Emily's Etsy site very soon. If you're not a bag lady already like me, you will be!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tender Moment

Just when I thought an eight-hour road trip would be hell for a toddler (ok, and for his parents), he managed to steal my heart over and over and over again...

Light whispers, stroking my hair, clutching my cheeks and looking at me with glance that can only be understood by a Mother. The next second, out like a light, resting his pudgy little forearm against my head. And when he woke up nearly two hours later, still grinning, he said:

"Cuddle with MOMMY!"

And just like that, this tender moment swept into my heart like wildfire, never to be put out, but continued to be lit with patience, unconditional love, grace and kindness.

Being a Mom to you is the greatest gift my heart could have never prepared me for, my son. Thank you for for being so amazing on the car trip...I don't know how I ever got through one before you. In fact, I'd drive to Minnesota every day to get a nanosecond of this moment back with you.

I love you. Adore you. And thank you for this tender moment.

I'll never forget it...

A Sticking Situation

Around 6:00 a.m. each morning, I wrap myself in a warm towel fresh out of the shower, settle into my office chair and take 10 delicious minutes of silence to peruse through my blog list for the day. And once I hit the “F” section, I get excited, because Style Scout writes a column in our local paper has some seriously fun tips at all times, making my shopping list quick and easy. With her amazing taste, she does all the work, I check my budget, then try out what I can. After all, this is why we read blogs and columns, right?! Research?!

Recently she had posted on Sally Hansen’s nail strips and sadly I got so excited, I hit Target about 10 minutes from its 10 p.m. closing. Like a crazy person, I foraged through the nail products and found them at the top of the shelf and began inspecting the color selection. Hoping for a nude or something with a pop of pink or coral, I left with what appeared to be the closest thing and headed home to begin the experiment.

My hope: this would be easier, less expensive and just as long lasting as the shellac the girls and I have all become obsessed with. And I wouldn’t need an appointment, a black light or the scent of acrylic to create a hardy manicure.

The outcome: a Master’s degree student had to read the directions about six different times (to be fair, it was nearing midnight), mess up a few attempts, then finally get the hang of it only to discover that in the right light the tone was I’m talking 80s scrunchie color pink. And though a thin, tan blonde like SS could pull it off (note: it was not the same color she highlights in her article), this pale, office-bound gal was a not-so-much.

Bottom line: the concept is killer, but Sally Hansen needs to get on expanding her color selection from neons and zebras to something for the 30 and over professional crowd. So it's a sticking situation...

So next time you lunch with her, share my thoughts, will ya?

PS: they were pretty easy to remove with acetone. The whole concept is kinda remarkable…I don’t know how she does it but she has a lot to be proud of, that Hansen. You go girl.

For the Love of Sperry

It’s no secret I adore the things…and I don’t even own a yacht. But what I do own is a ridiculous seven pair of these in metallic purple, silver, berry, leopard, suede fuschia, waterproof bubblegum pink and nude sparkles.

And now this guy:

sports these:

The hubs thinks they’re ludicrous, and secretly, I think the little dude does too. After all, when you “poke your toe” they stay down instead of his Stride Rite tennies he loves to mess with. And who honestly spends that kind of money on impractical shoes? Wait…what? .

But me? Adoring them. Waiting impatiently for him to model them on vacation. And think every little toddler boy should slip into them and enjoy. Because owning a Sperry is just plain merry.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Car Trouble

I adore my vehicle, I really do. Yet another hand-me-down that still required payment with no interest (killer deal if you can score it), it’s just the right size SUV, handles like a car, fits a golden retriever in the trunk and a toddler and all his stuff in the back along with the piles and piles of “stuff” that just keeps accumulating as if I’m living out of the dang thing. Sure, it has it’s quirks like the glove box that won’t open, the stereo volume that goes up when you turn it down and down when you turn it up, the super security of locking within 30 seconds before you even get to your child’s door (without the keys) and a strange rattle in the steering wheel, but overall it’s one I never want to part with until it’s driven into the ground.

Which is why I don’t like when it needs a check up and words come out like “not driveable, going to be $2,000, needs new tires immediately, waiting for parts for two weeks, yadda yadda, yadda yadda.” You know how it goes…

So, once we sink that more than 2k into it and it’s driving like new again and life is good…

we visit a friend in Lawrence and her neighbor backs into it, smashing in the tail light, scraping up the bumper and removing of course that lateral panel or whatever that Toyota just never seems to have in stock and definitely not in it’s 2005 color because hey, that’s just prehistoric at this point.

This happened on Saturday and did I mention I was just pulled over on Friday for that same tail light being out, issued a citation and need to drive by the station to prove I fixed it?

Guess I’ll need to wait a few days on that…

And it’s nearly certain that same cop will pull me over because luckily, not much else happens in the way of crime other than tail lights out in western Shawnee.

So yah, there’s been some car trouble topped with all else that’s going on, but you know what? It’s all good. Because no one was hurt (hell, we weren’t even in the car), it’s summer, we all have insurance and life goes on.

Queue Ray Lamontagne’s “Trouble” song…

Saturday, June 4, 2011

All Suited Up

With places to go! The agenda is full this summer, with glorious trips planned for Hilton Head, Charleston, the lake and of course a few outings to the local pool to keep the little dude splashing and content. This fact, coupled with a few pounds lost and a set of “girls” that need some help after baby’s first year meant hitting local stores to find a swimsuit for the season. Definitely not a favorite hunting activity for any girl, especially for a woman of substance like me.

So where does a gal who adores tacos and chocolate, has a near-two-year old, recovering skin, a whole new situation occurring up front and a not-so-ghetto-booty anymore start?

Nordstrom, Target, Macy’s and Swimwear Solution.

And after hours of frowning in the fluorescent lighting, bringing along my harshest critic (Mom) and teaching her how to use her mobile camera, I’ve narrowed it to three:

What do you think – what’s your vote? After a short fashion show for the hubs, we’ve landed on number one for sure for the summer soirees. But perhaps I need one of the others to wear to swim lessons and other mommy-like events so as not to stir rumors of sassiness that frankly (ok and maybe unfortunately) just aren’t true.

Either way, I’m pleased that a whole two weeks before jetting off, I’m all suited up. And I’m extra pumped I’ve got places to go.

Cheers to summer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thirteen Pounds

A large house cat. A couple gallons of milk. Laptops in the ol’ days. Six bags of sugar. Super healthy twins, together. A bowling ball.

That’s the equivalent of how many L.B.S have fallen off this figure.

So thank you, TEAM and WW. For giving me renewed energy to chase after my rambunctious toddler. For not feeling so much like camoflauging who I am. For the chance to grab those “Long and Leans” a size smaller. To actually hear the word “skinny” come out of a friend’s mouth for the first time in my life (ok, she's simplify/exaggerating but hello, that's why we have friends). For making the focus on food a bit more like nutrition than an emotional bandaid. For a goal to focus on, work toward with gazelle-like intensity and make some progress along the way. And for whatever the final outcome may be – hopefully a lifestyle change.

Now, onto the remaining 15…

Black, White and Showered All Over

May 2011, Eden Prairie, MN

Invitation: Statements in Hawthorn Plaza

Flowers: Byerly's
Serving ware: silver borrowed from a fancy friend
Tissue "poofs": Martha Stewart; found at Michaels
Frames: Target; featuring the couple's engagement pics
Wishing tree: Statements at Hawthorne
Table runners: handmade gifts from a dear friend, given as souvenirs from her wedding to the bridal party
Monogrammed paper ware: Hobby Lobby

Beer: Pale Ale, created and brewed with love by the hubs
Custom labels:

Cupcakes: from Cupcakes Bakery in Minneapolis; wedding cake flavor with apricot jam in center
Monogrammed toppers: Hobby Lobby

Cheers to the happy couple!

And thank you from the thrilled hosts!

Congrats, Erica and Ryan. May this only be the start of all the celebrations life has in store for you, your beautiful marriage and remarkable lives.

Check out the rest of the pics on Facebook - these are just highlights!