Thursday, December 31, 2009

resolution recap 2009, what did I accomplish?

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.
I am sure that this is the common thought around New Years Eve and sadly I am no different than the rest.
I want to try and better myself in the new year.
Which made me think of what I promised myself in January 2009...

1. Save more money. I need to be dilligent about this. It is always ruined by car trouble, bills or a great pair of pants I saw that I needed to get. (I really didn't do this at all...if anything I am spending more now since after I wrote this post last January 2 I crashed my car and had to buy a new one!)

2. Take a couple of Florida trips. This seems to be the year of Florida for us. I won a free trip to
Naples Bay Resort and it has come to our attention that we are desperate to get out of Ohio, if even for a long weekend. We also may visit my moms new Florida house for the Christmas holiday this year. Which would be a fantastic change of pace for us, plus we would get to see the Florida side of the family, always a bonus. (This is one thing that did work out for us. We took two trips to Florida and at a minimal expense to us!)

3. Try out new recipes each month. My rotation of dinners got a tad stale near the end of the year as to be expected, since I didnt put much thought into it. I have too many recipes saved up to try to even begin to count so I am going to breeze through them this year, adding to my culinary expertise. (So I didnt stick with trying something new every single month...I really think I only missed 1 month now that I think of it. I am calling this one a victory.)

4. In keeping with the traditional 'I want to watch my weight and eat better' resolution I am goign to list a few ways in which I am going to do this. One of them is #3, another is limiting quick meals (frozen pizza, and other frozen meals to heat and eat) to only once per week - and less if we can do it, we both have hectic schedules so this will be a good one to work for. Another is to limit fast food to once per month. This one will be a bit harder and it will force me to plan ahead with my meals.
(This was a total success for us! In 2008 we would have at least 1 frozen pizza a week, sometimes 2! We cut this down to *maybe* 1 per month and we didn't rely on fast food or other unhealthy options! Of course there is always room for improvement.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

beating holiday weight gain is SO much easier when you have the flu to help you along the way

To celebrate getting over the flu last week and puking out most of my non-essential organs for 11 hours I had McDonald's twice in three days.

Besides getting over the kind of hangover where you want to punch baby river otters in the face because it may help you feel better, McDonald's is great when you need to load up on calories.

And for dinner when you don't feel like cooking.
And for late night french fry runs.
And for Shamrock Shakes.

We felt that after surviving my family in Florida for 5 days in extreme proximity to each other we deserved a treat. The kind of treat that causes heart attacks.

Spending Christmas in Florida with the family I never see during the winter was great. We had great food, quality time and I gave everyone a weak version of my flu!
Nothing like spreading the holiday cheer to remind us all why the Ohio relatives (me) should stay there.

While the snow was blowing and gusting in Ohio we were on the boat, frolicking on a sandbar in the Gulf, wearing shorts at Busch Gardens and seeing Avatar.

Totally worth it.

I mean Avatar was totally worth it.
Seriously, its a bad ass movie.
Go see it.

There is nothing like a blue alien species with hair that can communicate with their planet to make you realize how much you love your family.

So now I spend the week at work...bored and mostly without essential work to complete all so I can save up my vacation time in order to go to my only favorite girl cousins wedding in August in Telluride.
I think she promised we would see celebrities and be chauffeured by limos the whole week.
With lots of mimosas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I never doubed him for a minute...59 seconds maybe but not a whole minute.

Tangible proof that Jeff does indeed read my blog and even take my expert advice.

My Christmas gifts.

Exhibit A
My awesome new Puma's

Exhibit B
This beautiful new Tiffany ring (that is even more gorgeous on than in the picture)

Jeff is the best ever.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

To regift or throw it in the trash because it was ugly as sin to begin with?

Just over two weeks until the fat man in red squeezes down your chimney.
Or in a house like mine he walks through the back door.
Sure, this is what we told the kids since we do not have a chimney.
Santa has keys that open every door in the world and he comes silently through the back door and locks it when he leaves.
Very thoughtful.

Has Santa or your Aunt Gert ever given you a gift that would actually improve if you ran it over with your car?

We have all gotten the gifts that never should have been.
Do you throw it away?
Regift it?
Let it fester and rot in your house until 30 years from now you forgot who gave it to you and for what?

Throwing it away may make normal people feel bad about wasting something that was a gift.
The fester and rot method is rough because who wants to stare at a clock that plays accordion music at the top of every hour? Not me.
No fucking thank you.

So the regifting method seems to work for most.
We all have that crazy Uncle James who would just DIE for a clock that plays accordion music.
So you give it to him.

But there seem to be some common guidelines, rules if you must, to regifting.

Only regift when:
You are certain that Uncle James will like it, he does collect obscure clocks after all.
It is unused and still in the original packaging.
You rewrapped it.

Never regift:
If it is something that he 'may' like but you aren't certain
It has been used. At all.
If you want to give it to a friend in the same circle or another family member. Tacky.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WFMW: Inexpensive gift ideas-take 2

There are so many great gift ideas that are right under our noses that people seem to overlook because it isn't the biggest or best gift that could ever be given.

Think of the most heartfelt gifts from your friends and family...were they grandiose?

Okay...well sometimes.

Typically they are something made by hand or assembled out of love and the knowledge of what you love.

Here are some additional inexpensive holiday gifts; most under $10.

  • note cards and a book of stamps-perfect for that out of town friend or family member
  • specialty cookbook
  • copy your favorite recipes and family recipes onto recipe cards and put them in a recipe box. This is truly the gift that will give forever!
  • a new holiday ornament or decoration
  • make a bag/basket with an ice cream scoop and loads of toppings
  • make a bag/basket with cookie dough (or a recipe) and loads of decorations
  • buy a pretty frame and enclose a picture of the family, kids, grandkids or a favorite memory
  • remember that Aunt Cindy loves chocolate? Buy a box of Godiva or Lindt - still under $20 for a lot of them and its something that most people don't splurge on
  • Silly friends and family? Get them the gift that they will ALWAYS use. Toilet paper. Seriously. Great gag gift.
  • make a photo collage on snapfish
  • new CD or DVD
  • a poinsettia or other potted plant
Thats what works for me...find out what works for others here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

28 going on 76

The hovering feeling that I am getting older by the second is really starting to get ballsy and slap me in the face.

Today I was driving to Bed, Bath and Beyond and I strained a muscle in my neck.


Yeah, by turning it to look to the left.
Fuck that.
I did a typical 28 year old neck motion.
I do crazier the bedroom. And I haven't strained anything there!
Lets hope I don't get too crazy and attempt to look behind my car while I back up! Ill probably throw my back out.

Speaking of my body falling apart I have decided to join an elite club.

A group so few in numbers...and high in operations that it makes us...pathetic.

I scheduled to have my 4th knee operation.


Yup, I am only 28.

I had my first at 15.
I guess I just can't get enough?
Its not even anything cool. Its from an old soccer injury. I don't have any good stories or anything. Sad Sad Sad.

And even holding onto the mouse all day to navigate my way around the computer has left my right hand very scary and claw like.
Doesn't make things very easy at all.

So I think I may have another 15 years before my eyeballs fall out and I lose a finger or three in the jell-o salad at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WFMW: Inexpensive gift ideas

With the holiday season just around the corner you may be terrified at the thought of dropping large volumes of cash on gifts for your loved and liked ones. Or you are looking for cheap thrifty ways to purchase gifts for those on your list without ending up in financial ruin. Again.

During the next few WFMW posts I will include some great inexpensive gift ideas that are sure to go over with just about anyone.

Most of them can be purchased for $10 or under.

  • Bottle of wine or sparkling cider
  • Baked goods (and food in general) go over with everyone. Bake up some cookies or bread and include the recipe with the food.
  • Basket filled with crackers, bread and cheeses
  • Gift them a magazine subscription. Find oodles of them HERE for only $5-$8! Purchase a current issue of the magazine and let them know they'll get it for the next year.
  • Pancake or waffle mix and a bottle of real maple syrup
  • books
  • real popcorn and flavored salt or oils
  • holiday mug filled with candy or teas/coffees
  • locally made sauces or foods
  • movie theater gift certificates
  • movie rental gift certificates - with a basket of candy and drinks to go with the rental
Also give ANY gift this holiday season in a reusable shopping tote to promote having a GREEN holiday!
You can pick them up often for $.99 at your local grocery store, WalMart and Target.

This is what works for me during the holiday season. Go here to see what works for others.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

and we have a hat trick

To round out the holiday list I have included some great standby's that will get you through in a pinch.

Log onto goodreads and get anything from my to-read list! You know how much I love to read so you know this is a gift worth its weight in....paper?

Remember the awesome and amazingly chic fragrance sampler for men I got you last year that left you smelling irresistably sexy and delicious?
I think I want one too.
I love my current go-to scent but I am really dying to try some of these new scents.

I would also love to partake of a few spa-type services at the Beauty Bar. So a gift card would be ideal. You are the best.

Last and most certainly not least...a blog makeover.
Like, total overhaul kind of action.
And a new web address.

a hot foamy tornado like hurricane

Since I started couponing last spring I have stopped purchasing certain items entirely for the house.
Paper towels.
You get the general idea.
Anything that is shelf stable and free or damn cheap has been stockpiled into my two storage areas. I have tons of this stuff. I have given so much of it away and I still have oodles of it. I am not complaining or anything - its actually a great feeling knowing that I don't have to worry about these basics when I run out to the store.

When She Speaks asked me to try the new Aquafresh iso-active toothpaste I second guessed if I should try it out or not.

I already have 6 tubes of toothpaste at home that aren't going bad anytime soon. But the intrigue behind this new toothpaste had set in.
I received it last week and I have used it exclusively since then and I am extremely happy with it.
It is a gel that morphs into a foamy tornado like hurricane in your mouth when you begin to brush.
Word to the wise.....if you are a person who uses a lot of 'normal' toothpaste typically - dial it down with this stuff. My first encounter caught me with a full mouth of toothpaste. The foam is seriously impressive and with a normal brushing my teeth felt cleaner than they have since I started using my current tube of paste.
I highly recommend this new toothpaste it is just amazing~

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ideas for my beloved - #2

Same deal as last time...just with completely different things.

Crate and Barrel always seems to have everything that I would die to decorate my house with, especially around the holidays. This year they have something that I would be totally selfish with. Well, I suppose that I would share 1 of them with you. Although you do know of my obsession with smores so perhaps just a bite.
A small bite.
You can find these beautiful smores HERE.

And with my super human strength I broke the wire on my extremely well used cheese slicer a few months ago...I have been cutting cheese with steak knives into wobbly mis-shaped looking slices.
This one would come in handy.

Along the kitchen/cooking/baking lines I think that this mini-loaf pan is not only the cutest damn thing I have seen in a long would be integral in NOT over eating whenever I choose to make banana nut bread.
Because lets face facts...when I make some I eat the whole damn loaf.
Every time.
This *may* help to side track me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

you wanted ideas? #1

And so now you've got them.

It was so much easier just to post the links and pictures here so that you can refer back to this master list (under constant construction, naturally) at any time you need to.

These totally hot Puma Easy Rider III shoes. I am in love.
PLUS they are on sale HERE right now.
I wear a 6.5.

This absolutely stunning Tiffany & Co. Somerset Ring.
Size 5.

Or if you are feeling especially generous and wish to thank me for cleaning the toilets and other icky areas of our house each month week then this Paloma Picasso (at Tiffany & Co.) Love & Kisses Ring would be the absolute best way to do so.
Again, size 5.

Or if you were looking for earrings then these Tiffany Cushion Hoop Earrings would be the best for everyday wear.
The small ones.

I'll be back with part 2 of ideas sooner than later...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WFMW: holiday elves and Santa paper

As I have stated before, the holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year.
I have an obscene love of Christmas/holiday music.
I love buying gifts for other people.
I even wait until after the holidays when all of the holiday colored and patterned ziploc/hefty plastic baggies go on clearance and then I buy them all. Seriously, all of them. I STILL have like 5 boxes from last year. I like to use them year round...makes life more fun, right?
And I have a natural and healthy love of shopping that keeps me hopping.

I wouldnt even mind living in a Christmas know where everyday was Christmas. And it was acceptable to sing Christmas Carols all the time, where you can always taunt kids with the gift of coal if they act up and pout over nothing, and no one judges you for watching holiday movies everyday, and eating fudge everyday and cookies everyday and pies everyday... And there would be little elves around to do the dirty work like the dishes, clean the oven (you know, from all of the pies and cookies), and pester people to let me know if they want anything...b/c I hate guessing what people want and I hate forgetting people too. Little elves would be perfect at this. Plus, I would have them shave my legs for me - you know, just one less thing.

So naturally I have a slight tendency to sometimes go overboard during November and December. I have a few tried and tested tips that have helped me make sense of the chaos that can be the holidays...
  • buy your gifts early in the year during sales and clearances so you don't have to struggle at the last minute to find something - which always leaves me stressed out b/c there is no such thing as 'quick' when it comes to shopping with the masses during this season
  • get everyone in your office/group/club the same thing. You'll save money doing this, it makes it so much easier on you and no one will feel slighted in any way.
  • don't overextend yourself. Its perfectly okay to say no to parties and other invitations. Part of the joy of the holidays season is being at HOME...doing nothing...well maybe watching It's a Wonderful Life on DVD while decorating the Christmas tree...drinking too much wine and eating far too much of the pumpkin pie you made 'just to see how it would turn out'.
  • the one thing that has made wrapping gifts for the kids SO much easier is having 1 roll of wrapping paper from Santa - it is always covered with faces of Santa...this paper is available everywhere so I am not going to suddenly have an issue with this. Santa's wrapping paper has Santa on it - so we know its from him. And then I buy whatever the hell I want for our wrapping paper. But the kids always know which gift is from Santa. Stupid but means something to them. Plus it helps to even it all out and make sure Santa brought enough for both of the little boogers.
  • Have a go-to dessert or appetizer. You forgot that you are going to see your long lost ex-coworker who you really don't keep up with much but you feel bad you don't have a gift for comes your go-to dessert or appetizer. Make them up a batch of your super special holiday cookies and even if they are in a holiday ziploc bag it will be such a great gesture.

This is what works for me during the holidays...go HERE to see what works for everyone else!

Monday, November 2, 2009

the weird kid brought the flute again with three calling birds and two french hens

  • Last Saturday was one of the best days that Jeff and I have ever had. No, we aren't engaged (yet). No, we aren't buying a house (yet). No we aren't pregnant (yet). But it was absolute bliss. Oh, and we went to Biaggi's and it was good too. Oh, and my dream was even better in real life!
  • I jacked up my knee walking somehow. Just plain old walking. Not even running or skipping, just walking. Not sure when my knee started to self destruct but it is apparent that the process has begun. When did walking become such an adventure sport for me?
  • I heard a block of Christmas music on the local soft rock station today. This station plays 24 hour Christmas music from Thanksgiving through New Years. Seems they are already starting to sprinkle the good tidings and cheer on us now that November has landed. I, for one, am all for it. I am in love with the holiday season. LOVE. Big, fatty holiday season love. And the music is just one more way that I love to go totally overboard for the season.

  • Jeff is truly amazing. Seriously and wonderfully amazing. He is my rock. My comedian. My cuddly teddy bear. My strength. My other half. My reacher of things on tall shelves. My opener of containers. My lifter of heavy things. My own personal giant. I love you~

  • Best new TV show? Modern Family. Hands fucking down. Love that he broke it~

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

was Cinderella telling the truth?

People believe in some of the most random shit I have ever heard of.

Seriously, everyone...Miss Cleo wasnt real.
The random bologna sold on infomercials is more comical than helpful.

But most people do believe in a few old know the Golden Rule and the 10 Commandments and other mythical stuff (kidding! I am a lapsed Lutheran who knows her Bible speak)

I am a sap who believes in the following "a dream is a wish your heart makes"
Sound familiar?
It is from Disney's Cinderella.
I am a Disney whore. Can't get enough of the shit.
Disney is crack to my movie loving self.
And it is absolutely the stupidest piece of crap I have ever heard...but I am a sucker for it.
I love it.

Is it serious though?
So if I have a dream to be rich - that is an obvious wish your heart would make.
To fall in love - also a given
But what about those random and risque dreams you have? Do you really want those to come true? Okay, probably...

Yeah, this is totally confusing when you think too much about it.

Because I had a doozy of a dream last night and I dont know what to think of it.
Good things I hope.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm a slave...for the work website

Fabulous Friday.

First thing I see in my work email is a voicemail from the boss.
When is that ever a good sign?
Thoughts race through my head...shit, what did I fuck up yesterday? Maybe he's giving us the day off...okay not likely...shit what the fuck is it?

Turns out there are issues with the webpage.

Many issues.

Issues that he told me to clear my entire day for.

I am dealing with said issues.

So there isnt any much time to dilly dally part of my day away.

While I slave away to create the perfect alumni webpage for the U you can catch up on my amazing thoughts on playing candyland, drinking without having your kids judge you, watching tv and being a 'model' parent during Aiming Low's 3 Day Weekend HERE.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

look at the H1N1 on that one...he must work out

The youngest of the household received his flu shot today and it sounds so damn adult of me to say that I am jealous that he got his already. 3 more to least he is safe for now.

I have never gotten a flu shot I have totally been one of those people who feels that the flu will skip over them and attack all of my enemies (what did you think voodoo dolls were for?).

But I get sick every damn year. Very pukey and gross flu sick.

So this year I am going to be proactive and get the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine when it is offered for free tomorrow at work.
I have a friend who has 2 little boys at home with the hiney flu and I think this is the one instance that I do NOT want to be like her.

Yes, I think the lines will be long.
Yes, I really don't understand how a nasal spray vaccine works.
Yes, I am really getting into the show Flash Forward.
Yes, I am willing to kick unworthy college kids out of my way so I don't come down with pig puke disease. Those meningitis sponges aren't going to get me with this.
And seriously, these damn kids are like everywhere.
Sure, its a college campus and all, but can I not get 5 minutes of non-students being loud and annoying time during my work day? I don't even work with students in my job.

Think Ill take some pepper spray with me for safety sake.
And a burrito.

Update - I did NOT get the hiney nose misty shot like thing...people with asthma arent supposed to react well to it...back to the drawing board.

Monday, October 19, 2009

sex should be common sense at this point if their brain wasnt as small as a fun size snickers

I came across this ad in a magazine a few weeks ago and quickly realized that this was one of the funniest things I had ever seen.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Ugh, birds...always making things difficult.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ocober 14 - national Dessert Day...think Ill celebrate with a new shirt

It's no surprise that I like to shop.

Groceries, gifts, socks, deodorant, cars....I like to shop for it all.

Doesn't matter if it is in a mall, a drug store, thrift shop or online.

Shopping is shopping.

It also isn't a secret that if I want something I just go out and buy it.
Screw waiting until its my birthday or Christmas...buying it for yourself ensures that you have it (and have the correct size and color)
When I am out shopping and I see something affordable and in my size I'm all like "Happy Tuesday! Here's a new pair of pants!"

Tuesdays or (insert other day of the week or other ludicrous reason to purchase anything) are always something to celebrate.

And some people utterly suck at buying gifts.
Even when you supply then with a brand name, color and size of exactly what you want and exactly where to get it.
And some people always like to buy you 'things' when what you really want is to have a gift card so you can go out and shop for what you want.

Either way I like to shop. This is what makes me so hard to buy for I am told.
Whatever. That's your problem.

One of the ways that I am able to afford my shopping is by couponing and searching for sales. I rarely purchase anything at full price. I do pay full price when an item is truly necessary or when I am in a pinch.
Even at the Coach store I do not pay full price.
Yes, I openly admit it. I am a Coach bag-aholic.
I love them.
But that is an entirely different subject.

And one of my favorite things to do is to pre-buy gifts with said sales.
I already have all of my office Christmas gifts purchased and all for only $2 each. But it all retails for $19.
Instead of spending $133 I spent $14.
So I saved $119 by looking out for the best deals.

So, yes I randomly purchase items for myself and for my family...but it is done by seeking the best deal or saving the purchases for gifts later on.

Which I am hideous at...the waiting part...Once I have a gift for someone (and it rocks!) then I have a hard time trying to waiting a month to give it to them.

Its the thought that counts, not when the gift is given, right?

I have to get going...there is a sale on shampoo at Kroger I don't want to miss.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

best HC ever and the new me is far too busy to put the proper time into catching up on my tv viewage, so I watch at work

Homecoming weekend here at the U has come and gone...almost as if it never happened.

The only remnants that it even happened are the Homecoming banners that are still strewn around campus, the big L that went on the football teams record and my office continues to be littered with midnight blue and gold paraphernalia.

The weekend went off without a hitch. Everything was darn near perfect.

The Homecoming Gala I planned was amazing. People raved about the decorations and even paid to take them home with them. The boss's boss told us yesterday that this was the best Homecoming he has been to. Total kudos to me.
It felt damn good...not like I am a glory hog or anything but sincere compliments are hard to come by in this neck of the working world.

And I could totally be a glory hog.

If they ate pizza.
And diet coke.
On the couch at home.

The new work me has to be ready to fill in for the boss and be completely on top of things most of the time. The old me likes to read blogs and print coupons during the day.
I am trying to find a balance of the two that makes the boss think I am still doing a great job.
The new me has to fill in for the boss at a meeting of his tonight...and this cuts into my couch time.
My couch time is my ME time.

While I spent the weekend working I noticed that I am frightfully behind in my tv watchin'. I need a good weekend of drunken excitement, naps, DVR watching and laziness.
I am imposing a 'no family' rule this weekend. No dinners or lunches or trips to go anywhere with the extended family.
Only couch, beer, food and scrumping.

On another note I went for a 1 mile jog a few weeks ago and it gave me shin splints for 5 days after...I think I am still trying to psych myself back up to do it again. Unfortunately this doesnt fit into my lazy weekend plans and does go along with my idea to create a skittles, m & m's and marshmallow creme casserole for brunch on Sunday.
Either way Ill get my fill of the necessities.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

hell has nothing on homecoming

You hear the word homecoming and you probably think high school dances with your current boyfriend who you will 'totally be with, like, forever' and your dress you and your friends went out and bought with your saved up birthday money and an entire paycheck from best buy when you were a cashier there. It was going to be a magical night where you danced with your sweetheart and planned your future, all with your closest group of friends nearby...

Or you think of college.
You remember beer.
You remember puking in the backseat of your friends cousins girlfriends car and then being fine the rest of the night, but still getting the stink eye from her for the upchuck.
And you remember something about tailgating and then blacking out...

Now that I work for the U Homecoming takes on a whole new meaning.
I never thought of all of the behind the scenes work that it took to run those events.

Alumni see all of the hokey school colored bologna....they don't seem to remember that it probably took the staff MONTHS to plan the events.
This year we started the advanced planning in January.

No fucking joke.

My department heads up some of the biggest events on campus that weekend.
We have a Homecoming Gala, a large parade and an even bigger tailgate where we give away food for free.
And the staff member that typically handles them all is...on maternity leave.
So we chopped up her duties and we each have something new to tackle.

Mine = the Homecoming Gala.
400 people.
Seated dinner for all.
U President, U trustees and other various U important people.
Dealing with stupid alumni who have trouble understand simple instructions.
And its in two days.

15 hour days are calling my name...

Which means that, generally, in two days I will have some of my life back.
Exciting, no?

But in the meantime I pretend that I want the football team to win. I pretend I care how many people show up at the tailgate tent. And I also care that our alumni aren't happy. Even though I went to my U's rival school I pretend that I don't care what they are if.

I wonder what ever happened to my old high school dresses that I just had to have...they are probably a nest for some baby opossums up in my moms attic at this point. At least my hard earned 16 year old money is still being put to good use.
And at least they were not puked on.
By me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy 101st!

October 5...basically means nothing to you. It just reminds you that there are only 81 shopping days left before Santa shimmeys down your chimney.

October 5 is such a huge day in my family.
It is my Great Grandpa's 101st birthday today.


101 years old.

He still walks, talks in complete sentences, knows everyones name and where they work and their best friends hair color, remembers EVERYTHING, he understands politics better than I do and he is one bad ass mother fucker.

Albert Dwight Featheringill (he's called Dwight, he didnt care for the name Albert)
is a 5'4'' man with a stocky build.
He has always had a loving word for his family and used to grow the prettiest and most bountiful roses I have ever seen.

Last night we went to Smokey Bones for a 101st birthday dinner treat. I know he just wanted to go out to eat and I don't particularly know how we ended up there.
He wanted oysters. Yeah, they don't really specialize in the he got breaded shrimp.
One thing was for certain.
He was entitled to a drink.

A hard drink.

He had ordered an old fashioned before the waitress had even finished asking him what he wanted to drink.

I have played the role of horrible great granddaughter for the past few years...I stopped getting him cards and just doubled up on the hugs and kisses.
Which in great grandpa terms is probably just fine.
He can't really read the cards anyways.

My mom always gets him shirts or sweaters. And I guess she thinks my grandpa has to be all GQ in the assisted living place.
She bought him two Ralph Lauren Polo shirts. Yeah, and one has a HUGE motherfucking polo dude on it. She starts to explain to him what polo is. I quickly interrupted, mom...grandpa was alive when polo was invented. No explanation needed.

Either way.
Happy Birthday to my Great Grandpa!

He seriously thinks he will be around until 2020. Seriously.
He is the shit.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WFMW: recipe organization

Up until a year ago I would keep all of my "I totally want to try this the future" recipes in a huge pile.

A pile that never moved or shifted unless the dust bunnies made it left side heavy and then the whole pile would come crashing down coating the mud room floor in a carpet of unused recipes.

One of my 2009 new years resolutions was to try 1 new recipe per month.
I have stuck to this and have seriously weeded through this huge pile and made it much more manageable.

First things first...I had to organize that assy pile of cookie, cake, side dish and main course recipes that I hadn't looked at since I printed them.

I do have two recipe binders that I purchased at Hallmark that I have all of my 'must keep' recipes stored for future reference.

But wanting to keep it all super organized I bought a large accordion folder on clearance for only $.94 when a local KMart went belly up after the shopping season ended.

I made 5 simple titles for the sections of recipes I wanted to try out before adding them to the binder...

Other Desserts/Sweets
Main Courses
Side Dishes
Other foods

And now when I print off a recipe I want to try in the future I file it right away so I dont have to search then all to find that smores cookie recipe, I only have to search in cookies.

This is what works for me find out what works for others HERE!

Monday, September 28, 2009

by the way, you're a dumbass

Monday has reared its ugly head at me once again.

Not only did I have an almost perfect night of sleep last night (except for the snoring) (and I don't snore. Jeff does.)
I still woke up tired.
Like I had slammed two tablespoons of NyQuil kind of tired.

It was an insanely busy weekend with the kids and I ended up the one who was more run down in the long run.

So I have been dragging ass most of the day.

Today seriously seems like the fuck sticks came out of the woodwork just to mess with me.
Stupid question after ridiculous remark after befuddled faces have antagonized me all damn day.

On the other hand it is less than two weeks until homecoming is OVER and I get to stop spending my days hounding people about midnight blue and gold colored table linens and chicken options for dinner and other petty bullshit that most people don't really give two shits about.

I also ran/walked a mile on Friday.
On purpose too.
I wasnt chasing the ice cream truck for an end of season treat nor was a large rabid beast hurling itself after me.
I ran lack of a better word.

I did give myself a wicked case of shin splints in the process...which are still hurting three days later.

After my shins end their torturous existance I will continue to run...for fun.

It seems that I have also lost my mind and started doing things I would never do.
Running is the first step my friends. I feel like I am headed down a slippery slope.
Pray for me.
Rub your rosary beads for me.
Throw some salt over your left shoulder for good measure.

I thank you for your good vibes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WFMW: cheap coupon organization

During these unfortunate economic times everyone is thinking of saving money.

There are generally two types of people when this type of recession hits home.

1. Those who save their money by cutting back on the unnecessary. The cable. The air conditioning during the summer. Ordering porn off the naughty channels. The eating out at restaurants. You catch my drift. The 'unnecessary'. They cut back on certain things in order to continue their lifestyle in other ways. The ways that matter to them.

2. Those who go out and either get a second job or simply spend smarter. The second job funnels in the needed 'extra' money to keep life at home above or around the status quo. Spending smarter enables you to continue doing everything you were doing before...only by doing it a bit differently.

I am SO a spend smarter type of person.
No, I do not always spend smart...just smartER.

Well, to be fair our house doesnt even have air conditioning so we cannot cut that out.

But I am NO WAY IN HELL getting rid of my cable.
Ask me to cut off a finger or a couple of toes why don't you?
Yes, I feel that strongly about my tv viewage.

What else am I supposed to do at night?
How would I know what is buzz worthy?
How would I find out who is our resident murderer on Melrose?
Is Annie ever going to fit in and have friends again on 90210?
Will Dan still be a tool at NYU?
If I didn't have cable...I would never find out.

So in order to spend smarter I started at the place where I spend the most amount of money each month...the grocery store.

Couponing is such a tightly knit cult of people that those 'on the outside' have no clue that it even exists.
Its the fight club of the grocery realm.

Except the first rule of couponing is to help everyone who asks for it and sometimes those who don't ask but look totally lost and seriously don't understand how to stack coupons or take advantage of triple coupon events.

So what works for me is being super organized (surprise!) when it comes to my coupons.
I purchased this binder a few months ago and it has made a world of difference in my couponing.

It is the Dual-100 Dual Binder 2-in-1 Zipper Binder.
And they should say the word dual and binder again in that title.

I bought it for $18 at Target - in the normal school supplies aisle.
I keep my food items on the left side in different categories...frozen food, refrigerated food, baking aisle, breakfast foods, snacks (chips, cookies, crackers) and other.
The right side is the non-food side. I also keep my store specific coupons here. Such as Kroger, Giant Eagle, Meijer and Walgreens. They I have cleaning, baby, cats, bathroom, kitchen and so on.
This obsessively anal organization of my coupons has lead to some great deals that I honestly would have missed out on because everything would be laying in a pile on my coffee table.

I was at Target today and happened past the school supplies 75% off aisle and saw about 20 of these bad boys for only $4.98 each!
This is a frugal deal that I couldn't pass up!

"But wait...didn't you just say you already had one?"

Oh yes indeed.
But with it only being $5 I would beat myself up if I didn't pick up at least 1 so that I have a backup. A standby. A pinch hitter if you will.

Go to Target.
Purchase this awesome 2 ring binder for around $5.
Save money.
Don't cancel your cable.

What works for you?? See what works for others HERE.

Monday, September 21, 2009

rock star status? Check.

I was interviewed LIVE on our local ABC station. Unfortunately I cannot show it to you because it is no longer on their website.
All you need to know is I rocked the interview.
Which isn't as easy as you would was a 6:00am interview and I had been awake since looking chipper and happy about working was nothing easy.

My semi-boss had her baby making me the 2nd most important person in the office for the next three months. Perfect opportunity to prove how amazing I am to everyone...unfortunately it is generally through working late and busting ass.

Other than that my brain is still in pain from my 15+ hour day on Saturday so I am attempting nothing extreme today.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

welcome to fall. hand over your free time.

I blinked and an entire week was lost from my life.

I initially thought it was a drunken haze I was stuck in from my 28th birthday last Saturday.
I was wrong.
I just wasnt home much.

Lucky for me I was able to spend the entire week working away all of my free time.

I like to call this - football season.

I typically love football season.
Hot autumn weather...more tailgate catch my drift.
Its the bomb. (do people still say that?)

Once I signed my life away started working at the U I realized that any resemblance to a life I used to have was lost. Mostly in the fall.

I don't really want to say I hate the fall at my job...but it isn't as nice as a tub of ice cream all to yourself on a hot summer day.
Its more like licking an icicle in the middle of winter praying that your tongue doesn't get stuck to it because someone breached etiquette and skipped the double dog dare and went straight to the triple.

Exactly like that.

We work endless hours running events for people in town and out of town. We also are in charge of tailgates before home (and a lot of away) games.
Now I am not always complaining about this.
It was nice once.
I did get to go to a Michigan game last year for free.

To top it all off we are down two full time staff members AND one of our only remaining full timers is leaving for her maternity leave very soon.

So we are doing the majority of her work when she is off...probably sleeping in and eating bon bons all day watching Oprah.

So football season hasn't meant the same to me over the past two years.

Not to worry...that warm and fuzzy feeling always comes back to me.

After a few beers and a couple of hot dogs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WFMW: nightly prep work

I am a huge believer in prep work to make the next day run smoothly.

At night I can be found spending 15 minutes to prepare the house for the next morning.

Its almost a 4 letter word in our house.

But it has 7 letters.

So its a 7 letter word in our house. Probably in your house too. You can't change that I guess.

We have two non-morning people in the house. They like to sleep. If they don't get enough sleep they are cranky. I don't like cranky. I don't put up well with cranky.

Well, I like to sleep too. But if I didn't get up then no one would get up. So I have to get up.

At night during my 15 minute prep I can be found...

In the kitchen packing Carah's lunch for kindergarten...setting out Brady's and Carah's breakfast...packing my lunch and Jeff's lunch

In the kids bedrooms getting their clothing out for the next morning...

In the bathroom giving it a quick once over...

In the family room picking up any stray toys that didn't make it into the toy bins during clean up...

In me and Jeff's room setting the alarm, setting out my clothes for the next day...

And in the mud room setting out Carah's backpack and shoes (and jackets if need be) so they are ready to head out the door in the morning.

It takes constant prodding to get the kids to stop entertaining each other during breakfast and actually eat before they have to go out and face the world. But with these simple steps I take at night to prepare for the day ahead it makes the morning go a LOT smoother.

What works for you?
Check out what works for others HERE.

how do you wake up?


Slap the snooze button.



Ha ha, thank you Mr. Snooze button, I have 9 more minutes to close my eyes and pretend it's Saturday.

Two minutes pass.

Brady bellows from his crib...Na-Na! (his cute name for me since he cannot say Amanda yet)

I pull the pillow tighter over my head.
If I cannot hear him he isn't calling for me.


Only seven more minutes to sleep.
He can wait seven more minutes.

Na-Na! Poopies in there! Wet poopies in there!

Yeah. I am up. I am up.

I am questioning whether he is telling me his diaper is full or that the crib has poopies in it which means a diaper malfunction. Or maybe I am still dreaming and the crib itself has pooped.
Who the hell knows.

I stumble up the stairs and find that thankfully the crib has not pooped (imagine what that clean up would be like) and it turns out that the crib is clean.
I hate starting my day with disgusting laundry.

We just have a full diaper.

A full diaper first thing in the morning is always fun.

Especially when he tries to touch it.

By it I mean everything down there. His junk and the poopies.
Why not, right?

Ah, boys.

It makes it all worth it when he says Thank you Na-Na.

Two year olds...a gift from heaven.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Walgreens Glade candle deal

Buy 2 Glade Fragrance Collection Candles (2 oz.) at $2.50 each (this weeks sale price), Get a $1 Register Reward

Use 2 Free 2 oz. candle coupons from the 8/09 inserts or 2 $3/1 coupons HERE.

I did 6 seperate transactions and had to pay $2.04 in tax, which comes out to only $.17 per candle, and I received $6 in RR to use on my next purchase.

PLUS I have 12 candles that I can use for gifts that I got practically for free.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WFMW: repurposed items = organization

This themed edition of WFMW is all about organization.

When I hear the word organization I immediately perk up like a dog that smelled bacon in your pocked.

I know what to expect.

Folders and color coding and labels and new notepads and accordion folders!

This is the stuff that makes me hot.

But that's just when I think about the office.

In the closet my mind drifts off to dream of new hangers, sweaters all folded neatly according to specific and totally anal classifications, my shoes set in neat, straight rows...

I could go on like this for hours...organizing is one of those weird things that makes sickos like me endlessly happy.

When I walk into my favorite organization mecca, The Container Store, my pulse starts to eyes dart around looking at all of the gorgeous, shiny and new materials that I can put things in and on.

These are the items that fill my life with happiness. Family, friends and new containers to put things in. These are the things that round out my life.

My advice to anyone thinking about organization is to start with 1 small area and go from there. The feeling of accomplishment goes a LONG way, especially when you have a lot to sift through.

It isn't even necessary to purchase any materials to help you along the way. Use found items in your home. I religiously save shoe boxes, baby wipe containers and cardboard boxes for just these reasons. You can store damn near anything in them.
I am also especially lucky that Jeff wears a freaky size 14 shoe...this means extra large shoe boxes for me!
So you don't want to keep items in ugly brown boxes? Then cover them with wrapping paper, contact paper or whatever the hell you want. It will instantly transform your space by adding a pop of color and you wont be staring at a box of size 14 men's dress shoes each day.

But everyone has different organizational needs and goals so make each space your own using your creativity.

You aren't creative at all? Then head right over HERE to find some great ideas on the cheap.

Read the other organization tips HERE.

Did I just smell bacon?

Friday, August 28, 2009

this gift bites

Most people have a vision of the post office that includes smelly, half dressed people waiting in line to ship 4 bottles of bathtub moonshine to Uncle Zeek while the people behind the counter typically have as much enthusiasm to carry them through their day as I give a shit to hear about how someones cousin had a tooth fall out from eatin' some bad jerkey.
Not to mention that most USPS stations havnt been updated in any way since 1974. Not that they need to drop money into making it nicer than the Hilton but at least as nice as a HoJo would be great.

But somehow something as simple as a package or a small letter mailed from these typically seedy establishments can bring such joy to another.
And sometimes anthrax it seems.

I am not talking about bills or junk mail.
I am talking about cards from friends and family. Sex toys you ordered off of the internet. Coupons for free items at the grocery store. And birthday gifts to celebrate your life.

I have a group of friends who live on the corner of 3th and 5rd. We like to send gifts and goodies to each other.

I received this beauty just last night...

she made me a custom gift tag with a fork tied to it.
The fork reads...I heart Forks. Hehe...
Clever bhc, clever.

The magic inside was so much to keep inside that I screamed.
Loud enough that Carah came downstairs to see what hapened.

Here is said magic in all of its glory.
If you are not a Twilight fan of any sorts then this is all totally lost on you.
If you are a fan then you'll understand how awesome my friend bhc is to make me such an amazing gift.

The covers of the 4 books were adorning the white boxes...filled with m&m's.
And she even stuffed coconut m&m's in there. My new favorite.

She obviously loves me.

And a beautiful new label to a Jones Soda.

An apple. How fitting...
And a custom mix CD from all of Stephenie's favorite songs she listened to while writing the series.

Last but not least...bandaids.
To protect my precious, precious blood.

Thank you sofuckingmuch for my gift. I love it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WFMW: green cleaning with household staples

Vinegar is one of those items that almost everyone has tucked back in a cleaning closet or under your sink or in some place in the basement that you only venture to after you have bug bombed the area to be sure it is secure.

Once you locate it you can find out all sorts of green ways to clean with it so you dont have to buy overpriced and lethal chemical cleaning agents again.

Baking soda isnt so hard to locate for most - simply look near your spices, herbs or other baking agents.

Here are some of my favorite ways to clean with vinegar and baking soda.

**For sluggish or clogged drains pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain.
Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and cover the drain if possible.
Let set for a few minutes, Then pour around 5 cups of hot hot hot water down the drain to flush it. The combination of baking soda and vinegar breaks down fatty acids into soap and glycerin, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. I use this in my tub and in my kitchen drains.

**Use baking soda on a damp sponge to clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces

**Vinegar removes deposits which clog your metal shower heads and sink aerators. Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and one quart water submerge the shower head or aerators and boil 15 minutes.

**And of course the old volcano science experiment is a classic with these two household ingredients!

This works for me...what works for you? Look for all of the WFMW tips HERE.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the impending 28

Who says Alzheimer's is for the elderly...

Who said what?

What was Who?

And the next thing that I picture is fruit Loops.
With steak.
And a picture of a baby on a horse.

This has been my thought stream for the past few days.

I have been forgetting the simplest things and even the things that I am writing down so that I don't forget them...have been forgotten.

The one thing that has been on my mind a lot has been my impending entrance into the 28 club.
I know that many of my friends didn't have a coronary or sprout gray hair when they aged over 27 (which is really good news). But that doesn't change the fact that I don't want to have my 28th.

Getting closer to 30 isn't a big deal. People do it everyday. I am not scared of getting older.
I am just not particularly partial to it.

I do however like how crafty I have been getting with the grocery bills in my upper twenties. Free food throws itself into my cart and I happily take it home to share. I am able to supply my own family, my brother, my mom and even my grandparents with the staples for their homes...and mostly for free.

With my recent purchases of 14 4-packs of yogurt for free and 15 bags of Birds Eye frozen vegetables for only $3 at least we can round out our diet of cereal to fit in other food groups.

Fruit loops.
With green beans and vanilla yogurt.

Temping...but with the post-summer brain I am working with I will have forgotten this all by the time the work day is over and then Ill be viewing old Steamboat Willie cartoons in my head just to pass the time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cheetos is a food group in my house

When you have children in your life you learn a lot of information very quickly.

-That you'll never sleep again
-How to change a diaper without being covered by the goods that your babies ugly bits produce
-How often your baby spits up
-How much spit up covered laundry you do each day
-The weekends are no longer yours. Unless you have a sitter.

But the most important of that information includes...

-How much wine or beer you need to get through that last hour of Candy land
-The absolute earliest you can put your child to bed so you get some peace and quiet (or more time to drink without them judging you) without them waking up at 5am wanting to play
-How many days you can go without washing the dishes or laundry without your house smelling
-How to explain to them that No, they cannot watch TV...but you can anytime you want.
-How to explain that Yes, adults can have snacks whenever they want. You = cannot.
-How to do the least amount of work possible and still having your children think you are the do-it-all mom type parent they think you are
-That load of laundry will not fold itself, but it can sit there for three more days while you catch up on Gossip Girl and 90210 after work
-Peanut Butter & Jelly totally works for dinner. With Cheetos.
-How to work in that small amount of me time into your day while still 'paying attention' to the kids

Of course there are many more to round this list out.

But I am a fan of doing the least amount of work possible and reaping the rewards that come with doing 'everything right' in the eyes of the children.

The quality time with my children that we all love most is me sitting on the couch while they color and I watch a movie on HBO. Quality time is very important for the nurtured upbringing of happy kids.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WMFW: The 3/50 project

I was recently introduced to the 3/50 project.
I had never heard of it and the thought behind it is amazing.

They are 'saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.'

The information they pass along is quite it and pass it along if it is something you believe in.

3 - What three independly owned business would you miss if they disappeared? Stop in. Say hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around.

50 - If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. Imagine the positive effect if 3/4 the population did that.

68 - For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

1 - The number of people it takes to start the

Pick 3. Spend $50. Save your local economy.

Read the rest of the Works For Me Wednesday tips at We Are THAT Family.

Monday, August 17, 2009

wondering what to do with leftover dryer lint?

It is extremely easy to tell when we have a crabby and tired 5 year old girl on our hands.

She's awake. (rim shot)

No, no. She is typically a joy to be around and has a zest for life that is contagious.
She loves to play with others but has been doing so great at learning to play on her own over the past few years.

But as all almost 6 year old children do...she gets tired.
Then whiny.
And likes to stall and complain.
It is genetically programmed into children to go off about 20 minutes before bedtime and around this age marker.

Lucky us.

Saturday night was one of these nights.
She was brushing her teeth and then asked for 'some mosquito bite stuff' to help with the itching. The stalling took center stage.

I poked my head into the bathroom to find dad applying 'that mosquito bite stuff' to her back and she was crying (tired crying of course). So I tried to alleviate her complaints by throwing her off track.

It went something like this...

Me - Carah, your blood is just too tasty. Those mosquitos love to bite you. You have to learn to tell them no.

Carah - Ugh.

Me - Just start eating foods that mosquitos don't like.

Carah - Like what? (her mood starts to turn around drastically)

Me - Pickles and mustard.

Carah - GROSS!

Me - Okay, onions and garlic.


Me - (spent a moment thinking of an oddball combination) Aha. Ive got it now. Fingernail clippings and dryer lint.

Carah - (looks at me as if I just called her best friend Lucy the doll a whore and kicked the smile off her face) (I didn't) (this time) Um...what?

Me - Yeah, I think we have some lint in the dryer still! (grabbing her hand) Lets go!

We proceed to run to the laundry room where we make a large ball out of the dryer lint from the recent load of fluffy towels that just finished drying. Fluffy towels makes for super fluffy dryer lint.
Me - *whispering* take this and pretend to eat this in front of dad as a joke.

Carah - Okay!

Carah runs into the family room where dad was waiting for our nonsense to end and she pretended to eat the dryer lint to get rid of the mosquitos.

We learned this weekend that we need to work on our pretend eating.


She put the lint in her mouth.


I grab the lint from her hand and take a chunk off of her tongue. She then starts to cry, drinks everything in sight she can find and the 5 year old bedtime moodiness sets back in.
As soon as she had drank her body weight in water she was done crying and her mouth was lint free...and yet so dryer fresh!

I said my goodnight, told her to not eat lint anymore even though it would get rid of the mosquito bites and she looked at me and said...'what was the other thing you said?' 'Oh, yeah! Fingernails'...then pretends to bite her nails.

Only she didn't pretend.

Lordy be.

I can't wait to break her bad habit I helped her to start over the next few years.

The true test will be if the lint and fingernails actually helped repel the mosquitos this week. This just may become a weekly snack. And a green way to dispose of dryer lint.

you get to share a room!

What it feels like for a child to be told they are getting a new sibling...

Watch the hilarity HERE.

You wont be sorry.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free e-copy of The Full Plate Diet

Were you one of the lucky 20,000 people to receive a free, advanced copy of The Full Plate Diet? Great! Then you already know how amazing this book is! I tore through my copy in one evening. The information was easy to retain and really opened my eyes to the current state of my diet.

For those of you who missed out on it you can go here to request an electronic version of the of charge!

Starting tomorrow, August 15, sign up to receive your free copy. In The Full Plate Diet you will learn so many interesting and valuable facts about your food that you may not have known. You will learn that fiber is your best friend, which foods give you the most bang for your fiberous buck and amazing recipes that help you along the way.

We have already tried a few of the recipes since I received my book almost two weeks ago and wow! Everything I have tried so far has been delicous and easy to prepare.

lost at sea

Lately I have been feeling terribly lost.

Zigged when I should have zagged.
Turned left when I should have turned right.

My desk looks a mess.

The house looks a mess.
I cannot seem to get the cleaning under control.
Or I forget to clean something...and have no ambition to go back to do it.

Everything feels out of place and out of sorts.
Everything feels wrong.
My stomach is hungry (or so it tells me) but I am not in the mood to eat.

Just feeling down.
Life needs to kick its ass into gear and start making sense again.

Because everything lately has been reading as if it isnt an option at all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

inflatable corn? check.

Last Friday night we ventured out to my favorite Toledo festival...The Northwest Ohio Rib-Off.
Normally when you go you wait in 30 minute lines to claim your ribs and eat while standing because the place is jamfuckingpacked with people who you don't want to touch you b/c you already took one shower this week and you really don't want to take another. But the fear of scabies is strong so showering would be a necessity. But this must have been a gift from the Gods because there were NO lines whatsoever (it might have also been the hovering rain clouds).
I loved it.

We ate pulled pork, ribs, fried vegetables, slaw and we had beer...glorious beer. I saw people from high school who I didn't say hello to because I was scared (sorry Natalie!).
We people watched and saw some really interesting characters.

We did NOT have the chance to have some Farm Fresh Roasted Corn but the blow up corn man was just about my favorite thing there this year. He made my trip blog-worthy.

I did receive a free bottle of the best sauce ever...Pigfoot. Why did I get it free? No Fucking Clue!
Jeff and I were paying for our pork products and then someone I assume to be the owner came over and handed me this bottle and told me to enjoy.
He was wearing an angels of darkness t shirt with the sleeves cut off and swastika tattoos.
I took the free BBQ sauce gladly and squirreled it away in my purse.
I was sketchy at first thinking it was tainted with LSD or some sort of date rape drug...but then I noticed it was sealed. So I doubted the LSD.
Bummer, right?

When the heavens did finally open up and start raining we headed out to our favorite hole in the wall and enjoyed the standard popcorn and beer. Then everyone looked at me funny because I took a picture of the beer and popcorn and I decided I would call it a night with the camera.

And after being forced to take my second shower for the week it makes up for it that the Rib-Off is always a good meal in the making.
What kids of festivals/fairs does your city have?