August 28, 2013

spinnnn spinnnn...

As my favorite time of year approaches (eeeeek!!) I'm sitting here knotting up into a ball of stress. Why? Because I don't know what color dishes to use at Scarlett's 2nd birthday party or what costume to buy her for Halloween. Yes, really. 

That is my M.O. right there. I love love love thinking about all the fun that comes with the Fall and Winter season yet I can't get my mind to shut the hell up for twenty-five seconds. (Here is where Gregg would say, Because you're insane. And he means that in the nicest way possible). True, I cannot stop my mind from spinning - False, that I am actually insane. I am, however, a super obsess-or infused with fanatic and sprinkled with perfectionist. And I will gladly make fun of myself for being all of these things. 

I realize nobody is going to give a flying crap that the cupcake toppers I made aren't my favorite colors or that the circles are too big. I know that people are going to use their dishes to pile food on and their napkins to wipe their mouths and they will not give a hoot whether they are striped or polka-dotted. But it's the aesthetic. I have a vision of 'all things pretty' and it matters most to me. Not to my family or friends and certainly not to Scarlett who would be happy with a cupcake and a balloon. I'm not trying to impress anyone (but myself I guess).

As for Halloween. WTF. I thought this would be the easiest decision ever. Why are all the costumes either super babyish or kinda trampy? The cutesy animal costumes just look like pajamas, the older ones seem TOO old - like knee-socks/mini-skirts old. And the in-between costumes either have clunky shoes or hideous garbage-bag-like outfits. I don't know. I'm a little stumped. Of course all the ones that I have loved so far are owls. Because Scarlett was an owl last year. Dammit. Also, I don't foresee a hat staying on her head for more than .09 seconds soooooooo we'll have to factor that in. This is going to be interesting to say the least. She may end up wearing a shirt and sunglasses... Risky Business style. Stay tuned.

August 22, 2013

end of summer ...

Ohhh September is so close I can smell it - actually that's probably because I bought the Fall scents from Yankee Candle and have been burning Apple Pumpkin every day. Either way - I'm excited!! The days ahead will be filled with jeans and boots and sweaters and chilly air and bright blue skies and colorful leaves and the smell of wood burning stoves and back yard fires ... ahhhh. And treks to the playground will be comfortable and more enjoyable as we say adios to the bugs, the sweat and the boiling hot slides! And our menu is about to expand into the comfort food genre with favorites like turkey chili, lasagna and kale soup! Mmmmm.

I'm not saying goodbye to summer just yet, however, there will still be a few good weekends for all to savor. I've missed my beach days for certain - it's just not the same with a toddler in tow

Here are a few "summery" pictures from the last few weeks. I am semi-disgusted that I have used different filters, fonts and frames on these but I'm sure you'll get over it more quickly than I will... 

 {sitting pretty on a stone bench at Brenton Point, Newport}

 {enjoying Aunt Carrie's clamcakes, clam strips and red chowda 
like a true native Rhode Islander}

 {um, yes, that is me doing a cartwheel as Scarlett watches with glee}

{a delicious summer din-din: turkey burger, tomato-cucumber salad and sweet corn}

{piggy back ride!}
 {the most colorful pinwheely perfection}

{I had one for breakfast and lunch one day and it was a glorious treat}

I am very happy living in New England where we get to experience all of the seasons. Just as we are getting sick of shoveling snow and wearing coats, Spring comes to the rescue with those first few days of 'crack your windows weather.' And when we are finally ready to hang up our flip flops we can pull out last year's boots for a beautiful Autumn season. We get the best of all four. Summer was sweet but bring on the FALL!!!!

August 19, 2013

we are so immature

It's funny how after so many years together (like eleven, and coming up on our nine year wedding anniversary in December!) Gregg and I still have our crazy, silly, make-each-other-spit-out-drinks humor and ridiculousness. You would think something so immature and fun would fade after a while. You would think that one would get sick of the snappy comebacks, the sarcastic responses to nearly everything, the toilet jokes. Nope. We still love it all. The good, the bad and the overtly disgusting. 

Here is one of my favorite things to do: While preventing my mustache with burning white cream (oh give me a break, like you don't treat your upper lip?? YOU KNOW YOU DO. And guys, can it. Your girl does it too - don't be so naive). I like to mosey over to Gregg - with my white cream mustache - and pretend I'm Wilford Brimley. I rattle off his famously gruffy-voiced, "I have diabetes" from that commercial. We laugh and laugh.

We like to make each other laugh by giving the dog hilarious names. Like Captain Murphy Saltwater. Irving Saddlebags. Jennifer Bropez. Chester Copperfot. Sheddy Kruger. Commander L.T. Higgleshitz. Ernest Gargoyle III. Etc.

We frequently break into funny walks or dances down the stairs or hallway and then hang our heads in shame when realizing our significant other isn't in the room to see our tomfoolery.

We pause the television for one another when one of those commercials is on with the black and white reenactment of some idiot unable to find the correct lid for their plastic container while everything flies out at them from the cupboard.

You know - your typical married couple nonsense. That's our glue. We've always enjoyed being foolish together. It wasn't just a honeymoon phase. I hope we will be that pair of idiots hiding each others canes and putting whoopie cushions on our wheelchairs. Taking things off the shelves in stores and using them improperly for a good photo. And forever laughing when we hear a horn of any kind. That's just how we live - like silly, little imbeciles.

August 16, 2013

The Guy

I keep thinking about this "encounter" I had yesterday with Scarlett at the playground. No, no, no, this isn't another post about some jerk kids and their jerk moms - this one is very different. Scary different. It keeps popping up in my mind so I figure I'd better write it down.

Yesterday I wanted to take Scarlett to a different playground - we frequent three but I wanted a change. I drove around through a few neighborhoods looking for a new spot for S to swing. After several misses, I came upon a big, open, sunny field and an oddly shaded playground. It was in the middle of a neighborhood with houses on all sides. There were big trees hanging over the actual play area. Figures. I can't explain it very well but I got this feeling... just a weird eerie feeling - but we got out of the car anyway. 

We walked over to the play area first - while I kept hearing myself say, "Let's go play in the sunny grass!" S wasn't falling for it - she wanted to climb. I noticed too many spiderwebs on the steps and slides. Vomit. Scarlett was having fun climbing through the long tunnel and shooting down the tunneled slide. Up and down we went. But I couldn't shake that feeling. We were semi-secluded. Why didn't I park further over in the lot? Why did I park RIGHT by the playground on the street? Why didn't I want to get out of the car? I managed to walk Scarlett away to the sandy swing area. Of course she wanted to sit and throw sand for a few. It was at that moment that I noticed The Guy. "Oh, you silly girl, you have to get filthy don't you?" I playfully asked Scarlett while taking her hand and guiding her further away. The Guy was now sitting on the bench. "Let's go run in the grass, come chase me!" I enthusiastically ordered her. That lasted about a second and she was headed back to say hi to The Guy. I was very hesitant. I said a nonchalant Hello and Scarlett took it from there. While I sized up The Guy- Scarlett told him how she was at the playground and how she had two sticks and how she went down the slide - he wasn't even looking at her. The Guy was about my age, heavy-set, with dark circled eyes and he just appeared to be "off." He seemed very odd, anti-social, quiet in a not-so-normal way. In this huge park with tons of benches why would he wander over to this area and sit right by us on that bench facing the playground?? He flat out gave me the creeps. At this moment, as my heart started racing, mosquitoes started to eat me alive! Mosquitoes at 10 am. I've never! I grabbed Scarlett saying, "Oh my goodness, Mama is getting eaten up by bugs - we have to go!" And we dashed to the car. I noticed a mail truck had pulled up by the fence and the mailman was sitting and watching us. Was he worried too?? As I buckled Scarlett into her seat, my back to the playground and The Guy on the bench, I kept thinking, Holy shit this guy could come up behind me right this second and bash me over the head or drag me away!! I am by no means a paranoid person but I was semi-terrified. We drove away and I said, "I didn't like that playground, did you?" and Scarlett said, "No."

I vow to you, friends, I will NEVER, EVER do that again. I will never put my child or myself in an unfamiliar area where I do not feel comfortable. I should have gone with my very first instinct which was to keep on driving. I should have never gotten out of that car. God only knows what could have happened. Those mosquitoes could have been a sign. Sure, The Guy could have been completely innocent and a perfectly nice person but that scenario woke my ass right up. Safety first, forevermore. 

I will absolutely stick to our top three playgrounds from now on. Scarlett has fun there every time and I feel safe. That's all that matters.

August 15, 2013

things I do before 9 am

I know there are people who actually believe that moms who aren't currently working or "stay-at-home-moms" have the life. Ya know, just lounging around the house, flipping through magazines and picking petunia's or whatever the hell flower carefree, lazy people pick. I also know that this story has been written a million times over in the form of essays, blog posts, articles - even tweets and Facebook statuses. So I'm not headed there. I'm going to type two sentences and then I'm going to give you a list of things that I do before 9 am. Sentence one: I never would have dreamed that being at home with a baby/toddler would be this consistently busy. Sentence two: It is a privilege to currently be home with Scarlett and it is also the most demanding, challenging and rewarding experience imaginable.

Now for the list. It's not like I do any more than any other parent. I realize a heck of a lot of people have more than one child - it's clearly not a contest. I just happened to step back the other day and realize - I get a ridiculous amount of shit done before 9 am.

SO, here's my routine -

Every morning I... 

Make the bed which includes folding a giant, white blanket which is no easy task and normally starts my day off on the wrong foot. 

Feed Brody and fill his water. This also includes stepping in his water-drool, swearing and wiping the floor, wiping my wet foot and putting on flip flops while cursing myself for not putting on flip flops immediately upon waking.

* Shower, put on makeup and dry/straighten my hair. This is done in stages between 6:20 and 8:30. 

Get my first cup of coffee, open the curtains and turn on the Today show.

Put away lingering clothes, towels and dishes that are out of place.

Prep/Figure out Scarlett's breakfast which usually involves cutting up fruit or making eggs.

Pack the daily on-the-go bag for the playground, park or wherever.  This includes adding a fresh snack and an appropriate change of clothes and number of diapers.

Swiffer the floors in the living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway and bathroom. (I cannot wait until Brody stops shedding his frigging seven layer winter coat, I'm not even kidding when I tell you it's making me batshit).

Catch up on my games of Words With Friends and Draw Something while my phone charges. Also see if I missed anything overnight on Facebook and make sure to get my Happy Birthdays out there.

* Catch up on email and blogs.

Get Scarlett out of the crib, open upstairs windows, fill the humidifier, change her diaper, get her cleaned up and dressed, bring her downstairs for breakfast.

Make and feed Scarlett breakfast, choose a playlist for the iPod and pour my second cup of coffee.

Clean up the mess, clean up the little hands and face, wash highchair tray and table. 

Update Scarlett's daily chart. We change the day of the week and choose the right card for that day's weather then pick two letters and two numbers to focus on.

Let Scarlett watch some TV while I wash the breakfast dishes.

Start some laundry.

Vacuum the living room area rug. (Friggin BRODY!!!)

Figure out what the hell I'm going to wear, iron it and throw it on.

Lather the sunscreen on S.  Put on her shoes.

Grab a water from the fridge and head out the door - usually to a playground.

Now, it may not seem like a lot but when you think about doing thirty or forty things - under the gun of an easily-bored-to-tears soon-to-be two year old - within three hours - it's actually pretty hectic and kinda impressive. (Also realize that was merely the start of the day and there are eleven more hours to go). Cheers to productive parents who never thought they could be 'morning people'. We've come a long way.

* On occasion, my hair doesn't need maintenance, I have showered the night before and I have no morning plans to go out - so I have over an hour to myself to read my favorite blogs and stock pile some of my own. I choose an episode of Roseanne from the DVR and sip my coffee like one of those flannel-clad jerks in the commercials. These are my most cherished mornings but they are few and far between.

August 14, 2013

Old School Blogging: The Fridge Edition

I haven't linked up with anyone in a loooong time so today I am joining some brilliant bloggers for Old School Blogging: The Fridge Edition. It appears the world wants to know - What's on your fridge? I saw Alison's post on Writing, Wishing and thought it was an interesting and quirky topic. I'm up for it ... so let's go! 

I never thought much about it but I guess the outer appearance of my fridge is semi-important to me. I like to arrange things a certain way - I never want it to look cluttery - even though, to me, it most certainly does. I keep my "favorite" things up for a while before deciding I cannot stand them a second longer and toss them into the trash can. It is not decorated with informative magnets, it is not full of important reminders - it is, in fact, a grouping of colorful nonsense. But most of that nonsense makes me smile on a regular basis so it does serve an important purpose... take a look... 


1. The Italian flag with a shamrock on top. 
I am half Italian and my husband is Irish so I added a little shamrock gel cling to my flag magnet and voila - best of both!

2. Mr. and Mrs. Claus decorating a Christmas tree. 
I cut this out from a card I received (I do that often) and I just love it because it represents my favorite holiday and time of year as well as my happy relationship with my better half.

3. Number for Poison Control. 
Yeah I didn't realize that was even there until I took this picture so should someone have swallowed Drano - I'd have dialed 911. 

4. Photo booth pix. 
My friends had a photo booth at their wedding last Fall and this strip is of Gregg and myself complete with purple sequined fedora.

5. Bunny head.
Sometimes I like to keep those little plastic rings from cupcakes. When this one broke I glued his head to a magnet and the rest is history.

6. Elf. 
Need I say more?

7. Everyone needs a mustache on their fridge.

8. More cutouts from cards.
A Valentine's Day doodle with foil hearts that I adore and a happy couple dancing in Paris in black and white. Sigh.

9. I still have my daughter's ultrasound picture on my refrigerator. 
She'll be two in September.

10. Strawberries. 
I just love strawberries - no real tale to tell.


11. Bird's Eye Tour magnet.
A souvenir from last summer's tour of Newport by helicopter and sail. An amazing birthday gift from my husband. 

12. Dwight Shrute's buisness card.
I love The Office!

13. Chococat notepad holder.
I once loved all things Sanrio/Hello Kitty. I have lots of leftovers. 

14. A list of recyclable items and non-recyclable items.
And yes, I still forget half of them.

15. My favorite newborn picture of Scarlett. 
I just can't believe my little spitfire was ever that little bitty baby.

There you have it! I noticed a few dental appointment reminders for my husband as well as random keys hanging - not sure what they open, start or unlock. I also have a couple of Ann Taintor magnets that I love and some random bottlecaps and nonsense. All in all my fridge is pretty sassy, upbeat, sweet, nostalgic and completely ridiculous. I kinda love it.

If you'd like to play along - make sure you link up with Elaine and Katie by the end of the week!

August 13, 2013

what to do with all that loot...

Alright so, last week we all held our breath as we checked our Powerball tickets - and then the majority of us likely sighed, frowned, growled and possibly kicked a trash can. The best part of that day was the millisecond before we read those numbers. But the night before was fun wasn't it? Dreaming of all that loot - the possibilities...


To help me cope with my loss I created a list of ways I would like to spend that ridiculously obscene amount of money, in random order of course. Enjoy ... 

I want a white and chrome SUV. I'm not all that particular about it - Mercedes, Acura, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, Range Rover - what have you. White and chrome, brand spankin new, warranties out the ass... 

I'd like a seaside home. A big, beautiful home decorated to perfection. Endless hallways. Balconies everywhere. Sheer curtains. (Okay a landscaper, chef and housekeeper too, why not?)

I want to give my mom an island getaway/retreat kinda place. My mom needs to be able to take a break from her life. She takes care of my father - who has MS and can no longer walk or even stand - and the past couple of years have been rough. My mother can barely leave the house anymore and hardly has any time for herself. Along with this wish comes the wish for twenty-four hour care for my father in his home rather than a nursing facility. He's only sixty-three, I'd hate to see him in a place like that already. 

I want to help my friends. My friends are just like most of us - they have debt, they have mortgages, they have jobs that barely pay the bills - they are always behind or just caught up but never ahead. I have friends who are in desperate need of money to help with medical bills and fundraisers for their ailing family. I would help as many friends as possible. Wouldn't that be a great feeling?? 

I would go out to eat all the damn time. Sounds like I should be able to do this anytime, right? Nah. It's something I don't like to splurge on. I love this quote from an episode of Roseanne, "Food is supposed to keep you alive - it ain't supposed to provide entertainment value."  That being said, Gregg and I love to spend an afternoon having a couple of drinks and some calamari. We just make it a "treat."

I would buy the most awesome new Mac and all the latest versions of design programs. In my free time I love to blog but I also love graphic design. I am not a brilliant artist by any means but I do love to create -daily, if possible. And I know only what I've learned (or taught myself) thus far so I'd like to take classes to nail it all down and be a pro. Maybe I would also start a design and printing company. You know, cutesy invitations and cards, banners and signs and stuff. This way I could print whatever I want whenever I want - high quality - ya know without the card stock getting stuck in my cheap ass printer.

I'd love vacation homeS. Yes, plural. One in New Hampshire, Vermont, South Carolina, Oregon, Colorado, California, Fiji, Hawaii etc. Just kidding, kind of. I would like to spend a few weeks here or there whenever convenient - which would really be anytime as I would be living a life of carefree happiness.

I want tailor made clothing for all seasons. I would love to have a wardrobe that makes me feel GOOD and fits like a glove. A well-fitting glove, that is. I know I have some gloves that are just too big in the fingers because I have stubby hands - but anyway I digress. I'd love to be able to throw open the french doors to my gigantic, naturally-lit closet and just marvel at the choices. Rather than opening my uncool-retro mirrored closet door and growling about whether to wear the gray shirt or the turquoise one. Both of which are ill-fitting.

It's funny because I really couldn't think of too many things to put on this list. Sure, I could look around and point out frivolous upgrades in every room but all in all I'm very happy with what I have. I could use a new car and would love to renovate our home but other than that - I'm satisfied. Funny how money really only matters to those who don't have any to spare. Root of all evil, source of most stress... blah blah blah.
It's nice to dream about being filthy rich though, isn't it?

August 8, 2013

spending a day with the queens

Dubbed "the four queens" in elementary school- Kim, Monica, Kristen and I have been lifelong friends. We met at the age of six -that's thirty years ago for those of you who are pretending you don't know our real age. (Nice try). Monica moved out to Colorado years ago and when she comes home for a visit we try to get in as much time together as possible. We finally introduced our children the other day during a festive play date that included our mothers. Sadly, Kristen wasn't feeling well and didn't bring her little sweeties. We also missed her dearly during our visit to Newport yesterday.

Kim and I picked up Monica and headed to the Newport Vineyards for a wine tasting and tour. The ridiculousness pretty much started the moment we stepped out of the car. As we were heading toward the entrance Kim said, "Mmmm something smells good"... (meaning food) and a dorky guy in short shorts and a Hawaiian shirt turned back with a flattered, creepy smile. Clearly thinking she meant HE smelled good - he said "Hi" ( oh FYI he looked like that sleazy guy from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead). Kim, simply being polite, said "Hi" back and we walked into our building laughing like fifth graders. Dorko went into another building. We started our wine tasting.

Our host/bartender/tour guide guy was super corny but very nice and let us have several tastings - as he was having plenty of tastings himself. We chose wine after wine, sipping and chatting at the outdoor bar where the breeze was phenomenal. Then the tour started. Snooze fest times eleven. Listening to a tour guide is always brutal for me, I don't know what my problem is. I definitely couldn't have cared less about the grapes, the seasons, the barrels, the birds, etc. I focused more on the wet spot on the guide's shorts - wondering if he had spilled chardonnay or pissed himself. Kept me occupied for the better part of the tour.

Inside the room that held those vats was as humid as an armpit. We were so warm and bored. Kim kept making me laugh - it was just like we were those little girls back in St. Timothy's Church getting kicked out by the priest.

Post tour (and bonus tasting session) we stepped out for some pictures. After ten minutes of trying to do it ourselves we asked a young couple to snap a couple of pics of us... while we laughed hysterically. Kim's hair was stuck on Monica's face, someone was tripping on rocks that had fallen off the stone wall, there was laughter-induced snorting and a few tears  - it was quite a scene. We gave that couple a good show. Here is the one picture that is remotely okay for public viewing...

We bought a few bottles of wine (I finally settled on Landot Noir) and hit the road. But what did we find tucked into Kim's driver-side window?

 Driver, I think you are cute - text me,
guy you said hello to

... Yup. That is a note from Dorko McShortshorts who apparently has never had anyone say hello to him before. We laaaaaaaaaughed and laaaaaaaaaughed.

Then we headed to Bowen's Wharf to pick up tickets for our sunset sail. We tried to get a bite to eat but by the time the food came we had just four minutes to catch the boat. The girls packed up their sandwiches, I took five sips of boiling - but delicious - chowder and we grabbed our drinks to go. We managed to get the three worst seats on the boat - natch. Got some semi-decent pictures though...

This last one is really crappy quality but still so pretty; I love seeing the lights on the water. The picture definitely doesn't do it any justice. I wish I could recall all of the things that we laughed about but I know they wouldn't seem nearly as funny to you - (like Kim nearly going blind on the boat due to her tearing eyes and the driving wind). We made lots of great memories and had a really good day and night. But we really missed our fourth "queen" - Kristen, you weren't forgotten!

Cheers to old forever friends. I love my fours.

August 7, 2013


I stepped in gum yesterday. I had forgotten just how instantly pissed off you get when you step in something like gum or...

I was simply returning a book at the library. I debated whether to even turn off my car; it was maybe a fifty foot walk to the return box from where I had parked. I strode back to the car happily, mentally checking the errand of my list when my flip flop hesitated to come off the ground. I knew immediately. And I was LIVID. I looked back and sure enough there it was... a bright orange blob of sun/concrete-heated melty bubble gum. It had stuck to the bottom of my shoe and flung up clinging to the back of my ankle. Frigging gross. My thirty second errand took a turn.

I don't even remember the protocol for wiping gum off random surfaces. I just knew that whatever works best wasn't going to be found in my bag. What was in my bag? Antibacterial hand gel and Wet Ones. I spent the better part of five minutes hanging halfway out of my door - flip-flopless, sweating and mumbling my distaste for the four young boys who had breezed past me earlier chomping their gum. The phrase Little Bastards may have come up once or twice. Sure, they were going to the library instead of tormenting elderly people but they still had the disrespect to chuck their gum in between cars in a parking lot. These kids today, eh?

August 3, 2013

society6 - my store is up and running!

Last week I decided to start selling my designs with Society6. It is a super easy process - in short: you upload your designs, they produce, package and ship. You can make your artwork available on several items such as tote bags, pillows, hoodies, shirts, iPhone cases and skins, laptop and iPad skins etc. The files just need to be re-sized for the corresponding product - which can be a little tedious and time consuming depending on the design. Think: squeezing a horizontal print onto a teeny vertical phone. But you don't have to make other items available - it's all up to you. However, the more the better.

Like I said I just started last week so I don't have many prints available yet but I'm hoping to post several each week if I can find the time. I started by posting some artwork from a few years back that I had sold when I had my etsy shop. My store is bare bones right now, I think I have two followers - ha! I have hardly any "promote" hearts which I'm noticing are very hard to get. You basically have to figure out prime time to post - when the site is busy and people have a better shot of seeing your "new" post. I'm not ashamed to ask you all to sign up and heart the hell out of my stuff. I won't be mad if you spend five minutes doing so. It's basically the ole "needle in a hay-stack" situation - it's very hard to be found. 

Here are a few prints that are up and available: 

... and while I love the skeleton key print - the pillow is my favorite, I may have to order one or two (working against myself here) - 

So, if you see something you like - go ahead and promote it or buy it, whichever. I want to thank my facebook friends for your support and I appreciate every shared link. It's not easy to be stumbled upon so I can use all the help you've got to give! Thanks friends!

Also, if you haven't "liked" Sheribloggins on facebook you may do so riiiiiight HERE.