All the Things

Things I Know For Sure:

  • When they say that wrap-style dresses flatter every figure, they are lying.
  • Tea and toast can cure any number of problems.
  • These are a terrible idea.

cham

Things I Am Good At:

  • Reading aloud to my kids.
  • Keeping my calendar up to date.
  • Buying good/cool presents.
  • Being silly.

bfg

Things I’m Not Good At:

  • Owning plants.
  • Caring about/for my eyebrows.
  • Writing lunch box notes.
  • Decorating for holidays.
  • Meal planning.
  • Knowing military rank hierarchy.

Things That Make Me Cry:

wonderful

Things I Should Admit:

  • I try not to judge, but I might feel a little bit sad for you if you don’t vote, eat steak well done, or don’t read actual books.
  • I like the smell of skunk (from a distance of 15 feet or more).
  • I have never watched Titanic, or Casablanca.
  • I currently have 6,404 photos on my phone.  And 558 videos.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with all of those beautiful photos of kitchen renovations that don’t include upper cabinets.
  • I’m really tempted to dress my youngest in knee socks like Prince George.
Image from the adorable website "What Kate's Kids Wore" - click on the photo to go there.

Image from the adorable website “What Kate’s Kids Wore” – click on the photo to go there.

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Things I Love Thursdays

Stick-eez Clothing Labels by Oliver’s Labels

I have 6.5 years of labeling experience now and I can state with confidence that my favorite labels are the Stick-eez Clothing Labels made by Oliver’s Labels.  They are meant for clothing, but I’ve put them on everything.  They are tiny (a feature I prefer) and they survive the washing machine just as well as they survive the dishwasher. The designs are great and totally customizable.  We are currently loving the Eric Carle “Brown Bear” themed labels.  Plum was two before I figured out that if I put only my family’s last name on the labels I could use them for the entire family!  (Duh.)  They aren’t cheap, but they are worth it (says the woman who has recently purchased 3 replacement water bottles because she forgot to label the first two. Ugh.)

labels

 

One-Man Band Toy by Vilac

What a cool toy! I might even travel to France to buy a few of these for my nieces and nephews.  C’mon, what kid wouldn’t love this?!  I do think, however, that the parents of said nieces and nephews are probably glad this toy is so far away and so hard to get.

homme-orchestre-vilac

 

Casco Bay Butter Co.

I’m pretty sure good bread with good butter is one of the world’s most perfect things. Truly. Simple and indulgent. You have to try these amazing butters made in Maine by the Casco Bay Butter Co.  I’m a sucker for the traditional sea salt, but every one I’ve tried is excellent.  Blue cheese butter melted over a steak?  Garlic and herb butter stirred into mashed potatoes? Yes, please!

logo

butter

 

(Links are for your convenience only.  I don’t get any money – or free butter – for recommending this stuff, it is simply stuff I think is great.)

Major Award

liebsterawardicon

I am a slacker.

Alison at Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award. (Thank you, Alison!)  It has only taken me 7 months to get my rear in gear and acknowledge and respond.  Whoops.

The Liebster Award is kind of like a kind chain letter in the blogging world.  And I am a sucker for chain letters – and probably the only person who ever actually participated in the “panties” and “children’s books” chain letters.  (Please tell me that someone besides me recalls these chain letters?)

The award is basically intended to introduce readers to other good, small blogs they might otherwise miss in their interweb travels.  I am supposed to answer the 11 questions Alison has posed, provide 11 facts about myself and then nominate other blogs for the award.  Forgive me for not following the rules perfectly (does this mean my Liebster will be revoked?) but I figure something is better than nothing, especially after 7 months.  I’m not going to be nominating other blogs here, but I solemnly swear that I will link to and mention my favorites as it occurs to me to do so.

Questions Answered

1. Who is the person you admire the most, and in what ways have they influenced you?
First, let me explain… I think born and raised Yankees are reluctant to use superlatives. We’re often warm, but not frequently gushy. Terms like “most” and “best” are hard for me, so this is a tough question for me to answer. Example of my reluctance to name favorites? Even at 14-years-old I never hung up posters of any teen idols, athletes, or actors, because I just didn’t like any of them enough to do that. I’m weird that way. I admire lots of people, for lots of reasons. Here are a few:

Emily, who is so strong, and might not even know it
Betty, who never stopped learning
My sister, who makes me laugh and knows me best
My dad, for always being loving and supportive and saving the day
My mom, whose advice was almost always right
Mira, the most true-to-herself human ever
If I don’t stop here, the list will go on for pages…

2. If you could have one superpower – any superpower – what would it be and what would you do with it?
Flight, probably. Because it would be fun.
Or maybe I’d like to freeze time like Evie in Out of This World. I’d get a lot more naps that way.

Evie
3. If you could live out your life in a fictional universe (movie, television or book setting), which one would it be and why?
The Wonka Chocolate Factory (Wilder, not Depp). With the Oompa Loompas. I’m not a candy fiend, but I like the innovation, whimsy, privacy, and nifty singing.

91U0TwNG23L._SL1500_

 

4. What five music albums could you not live without?
I love music. I’ve seen Springsteen 50+ times, and a lot of his music has served as a sort of soundtrack to my life, so a few of his albums would be on the list. The Rising, maybe a live recording of a show I attended, maybe Born to Run or The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. And Paul Simon’s Graceland. I might add the “Stand By Me” soundtrack too.

btr

 

5. Do you think you’d survive a zombie apocalypse? What would be your weapon of choice?
Nope. Not a chance.

 

6. What is your favorite thing about the area in which you live?
I have so many favorite things. It is safe, beautiful, close to lots of fun things. It is home.

 

7. You’re an adult now, but if you could send a letter back in time – to yourself at age 16 – what advice would you give?
1. If a boy says he’s over you believe him.
2. Let yourself make more mistakes. Speak up.
3. Go abroad in college.

 

8. As a child, what did you want to be when you became a grownup? Did you eventually become that thing?
When it was my special week in 4th grade, I drew a life-sized picture of myself as a veterinarian. I was wearing a lab coat with a mouse in the pocket. I did not become a vet. I think I had changed my mind within a few weeks. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t.

 

9. What’s on your pizza?
I like most toppings, except hamburger. If I’m not sharing, I’ll choose sausage, onions and mushrooms.

Hot_pizza

 

10. What’s your favorite vocabulary word?
I don’t have one. I love a good pun or clever turn of phrase. And my favorite French word is “gaufre” (waffle). Also, I just read a lovely article about favorite lost words.

11. What is the thing you like most about yourself?

Oh goodness, there’s that “most” word again.

I like that I’m still learning and curious.  I like that I try to look for the good in people.  I like that I try.  I like that I’m silly.

 

 

I think this might just be long enough.  I’ll save the 11 facts for next time.  Again thanks to Alison at Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt!

Resolve! The August Edition!

I made some resolutions in January.  (Since even the word “resolutions” makes me turn and run the other way, I’ve decided to call them “Fluffies” – sounds much less daunting, eh?)

I revisited my Fluffies in July. The report card result?  NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.

So here’s a list of my (slightly later than) midyear Fluffies.

1. Read something

This one is sticking around.  I’m going to lighten up a bit though.  I’m not going to count catalogs  but I am going to count all other print media.  Because really, sometimes it takes the same amount of time to get through a dang New Yorker article as it does to get through a fluffy novel.  And since I tend to prefer my books to be of the fiction variety, a little nonfiction in the form of magazine or newspaper articles would do me some good.  I’m not going to count People though.

2. Date my husband.

I really like the guy.  He’s pretty fabulous.  But, as some wise woman once told me, when you have kids your relationship with your spouse can slide towards co-worker status.  And it does, because it kind of has to.  Heck, meeting the daily deadline of getting the family out the door in the morning takes coordination, collaboration, luck and managerial talent!  While I’m happy to have a great partner in this full-time endeavor, I don’t want to lose sight of who he is as a man, a husband and a person.  And I don’t want him to lose sight of me as a woman, a wife and a person.  Besides, if I call it “dating,” I might be motivated to put on some heels and a little perfume from my huge collection of tiny perfume bottles.

3.  Turn up the stereo.

I love music.  It is so very important to me for so many reasons.  It speaks to me.  It punctuates my life.  Most songs remind me of a place, a time, a person or all three.  Sometimes I’m happy to bop along with pop in the background, but sometimes I really want to listen to the music – to hear it.  I’m not sure how I’m going to make this happen with “Wee Sing Silly Songs” on repeat in my mom mobile – the main place I have the opportunity to listen to music – but I’m going to try to find a way to make it happen.

4. Move more

This one is hard for me.  Kudos to you mamas (and dads!) who figure out how to fit this in.  I have a lot of great excuses, and a busy life, but the movement is good for me, and good for my family if it means I will be more active, more fun, have more energy, and live longer.  I’m going to start very small.  I’m aiming for one good walk per week.  By myself.  I may have to get up at 5am to do it.  Can you already hear me whining?

I’m thinking I can knock out those four birds with one stone if I take my husband to the Y and we work out while reading and listening to music?  WIN! Okay, maybe a little overly-ambitious…

Meh.

I am suffering from a bad case of “meh”.

I’m not hungry, bored, thirsty, tired, excited, or busy.  Or perhaps I’m a little bit of all of those things.  I’m somewhere in the middle.  Somewhere where I can’t get motivated.  Somewhere where I start a bunch of little projects and finish none of them.  Somewhere where I feel like sitting on the couch doing not very much.  Or I feel like going out and doing something.  I just can’t make up my mind.  Meh.  That’s how I feel.  Meh.

Things that will probably help my case of “meh”…

1. Taking a shower.  What?  What is that you say?  It is 3 in the afternoon?  Well gee, you’re right. Shaddup.

2. Finishing the pots and pans project my husband started for me.  He pulled out ALL of our pots and pans (before I was quite ready for him to do so – thanks, Honey) and put them on my kitchen counters and dining room table.  The goal was to move a bunch of the lesser-used objects to the basement (popover pan?  bundt pan? collection of mini gratins?) and put the oft-used stuff in the front where it really belongs.  Plus, I got some brilliant All-Clad Stainless for Christmas, and I want to get cookin’ with that stuff!

(Aside: My father is an amazing cook.  But he has passed on his terrible habit/trait of cooking for 12, when only 4 are eating.  And I’m not a big fan o’ leftovers.  This is one of the reasons I got a freezer (currently plugged in and humming!).  But it appears a bunch of the cookware he got me for Christmas – which is lovely, incredible stuff – is sized for an Army Mess Hall.  I need bigger cabinets, for sure.)

3. Turning on some sweet tunes.  I played Christmas carols 24/7 during the holiday season.  And I grew up with speakers in every room, and music drifting upstairs in the morning.  I miss the tunes when they’re gone.  Silence is overrated.  Some music would be good for my “meh”.