Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Awakening & The Struggle [Review]

**4.5 Stars**

#1 & #2 in The Vampire Diaries series (2-in-1 volume)
500 Pages [Paperback]
[2-in-1] Published 26 June 2007
ISBN: 006114097X
Find on Goodreads 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Design: Hated on the Playground

One of my friends, Jessica, from my Cafemom days contacted me about a blog design - it was awesome to catch up with her and also see her jumping into the blog world :)

After gabbing for a bit, we got started on her blog. Jessica wanted pinks, greys, and turquoise incorporated into her blog. I used Sketch Block and Janda Stylish Script for some of her main fonts.

My favorite part of her blog design was the about me blurb that we originally had up. 
How adorable is this?!

Although due to some html issues, we had to move the icons up to her header. I actually had to change my blog because the same issue happened, even though it was previously just fine. I'm hoping it'll work itself out and we can install her original about me blurb.

Either way, I loved the final result of her blog design and was happy to see a new friend join the blog world - make sure you stop by and visit her:  



Don't forget to stop by and say hi!
Hated on the Playground

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer [Review]

#1 in Mara Dyer series
466 Pages [Kindle]
Published 27 Sept 2011
ASIN: B004IK988I
Find on Goodreads

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Update & TPP Most Clicked

A little bit of news, Amber, Melissa, and I were talking and we have all gotten a little overwhelmed with blogging and TPP. We didn't want to do away with it, so what we decided is to do away with the voting. We don't feel that anyone is really motivated by that and the free ad space isn't as great now because you can get it everywhere now. Until we have more link ups we will just be choosing to feature the most clicked and then each of us will also share our favorite from the week. We don't want to get burned out because TPP is our baby and we love it!

Most Clicked:
{from The Amateur Librarian}

My Favorite: 
 {from Scrappy Day in Paradise}

You can find Melissa and Amber's favorites on their blogs {Lulu & Sweetpea & My Three Bittles}

Grab a button if you are featured!
The Pinspiration Project

I had a really crazy week. Tuesday - I ended up waking up, taking Matthew to school, coming home for about 30 minutes, going to an hour long training, going grocery shopping, coming home and heating up lunch and finishing half of it before running to pick up Matthew from school for a dentist appointment. Wednesday was spent at Nick's work trying to get stuff done for the FRG. Those two days kind of made my whole week seem insane.

I realized I'm kind of a crazy cat lady. 
My cats in bed with me while I read and ate cheese and crackers.

I babysat for a friend Saturday and Sunday - baby Taylor is so sweet. 
She's a little over 2 months old.

 Our friends came over on Sunday since they had a 4 day weekend for MLK's birthday.
 The boys brewed beer...

 We also got Amanda to play Pokemon Red on the Super Nintendo because she had never played any of the Pokemon games before and we thought that was unacceptable. LOL

 ...and we had some wine and played some Kings' Cup after the kids went to bed.

Some other fun stuff...
My recipe was featured on Circle of Moms!

And Firmoo used my picture again for Facebook promotion :)

And lastly, what I shared on my food blog this week!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Holidays 2012

I have meant to do this for a while.

It's almost February...

We got home on the 5th and it's been go-go-go since then. Oy!

So here's how our holiday went:
We left New York at midnight on Friday the 14th. We got to my MIL's house in Tennessee at 2pm. One car, two kids (one of whom gets carsick), two cats (one of which is AWFUL on car trips), and two luggage to last us 3 weeks and presents.

We made perfect time. No car issues. No Cami throwing up. No kitty freaking out, thanks to some meds. No poor weather. No bad traffic. It was a great trip. Probably the best I've ever done. I drove all of NY and down to an hour past Scranton. Hubby drove from somewhere in PA all the way down into Virginia. I want to say around 150 miles in. Then I drove the rest of the way.

Now on to a ridiculously picture heavy tale of our actual time spent in Tennessee...

Our kitties adjusted very quickly and there were no issues this time with my in laws' kitty, Tut.
Usually he freaks out the first few days. All three kitties played, like, the whole time we were there.
So cute. #crazycatladyfreakout
Tut is on the left, Muffin is on the right.

We went to see Santa on the 22nd.
The kids were so freaking excited. As always.
My kids look like twins. In all seriousness, they really do.

Auntie Leenie came over and hung out with them

The boys dove headfirst into the infamous Lego collection that they pulled down from the garage attic. Zack (hubby's little brother) joined in too when he got in from Georgia.

No pictures for this one. But hubby and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve Eve by seeing The Hobbit. OMG. Best. Movie. Ever. Although I didn't realize they were doing a trilogy. I'm so excited for the next installment. It was totally worth the almost 3 hours it played.

On Christmas Eve, Mimi helped the kids and their two cousins paint sugar cookies.

The tree after Santa visited!

Hubby had gone on and on about how he didn't get me a new Kindle for Christmas. I kept telling him I was going to be mad if he didn't. {That sounds so bratty, doesn't it?} It's the one thing that I really wanted and he was GOING to get me one, but he gave it away when he was asking how much money he could spend on me. Then he said that I knew and couldn't get one anymore. LOL. But I knew he was just pulling my leg and that he did get me one. When midnight hit, after much begging from Nick to let the wifies all open a gift, I opened my present from him: A KINDLE.

I am absolutely in love with it. He got my old one.

 On Christmas morning, Cami straight up refused to wear pjs to open presents 
and had to be in her Christmas outfit. She is SUCH a girl.

Zack, Casey, and their doxie, Daisy taking a nap after opening presents.
Tell me that is not the most obscenely precious thing you've ever seen?!

We promised Cami we'd go to IHOP. She's been obsessing over this for months.
After we finished there, we headed over to the county building and Zack & Casey got married.

Unfortunately on Christmas Eve and what would've been her 75th wedding anniversary, Great Granny Stanaford (my mom-in-law's grandmother) passed away. I had the pleasure of meeting her and being able to see her a few times even though we are all the way up in New York. She was 92 and had the sharpest mind ever. She reminded me a lot of my late great grandmother, the life of the party, the center of attention, the wise, but witty epitome of what a lady should be. On New Year's Eve, her service was held in KY. Although they were sad circumstances, we were able to see the whole family. My husband's two aunts came in with their kids and grandkids, my mom-in-law's cousins came in and I got to meet them and their kids and grandkids. We all went out to eat at the Cumberland Inn where Great Granny had her 85th birthday dinner after her funeral.

We got some family pictures in, since it'll be rare to all be together and dressed up, especially since Zack is now also in the army. Here's the siblings! L to R: Emma, Kathleen, Zack, and Nick.

The siblings with their momma :)

And all of us! 
Emma, Kat, Nick, Zack, Mom, Erich, Me, Casey, and the kids 
(who are making ridiculous faces in the picture LOL)

We came home and promptly got the NYE food started.
We let the kids stay up for the first year and we streamed the ball drop via my laptop via an hdmi cable to the tv. Because we're high-tech like that. LOL And don't have cable.

Mom's birthday is actually on the 30th, but we celebrated on New Year's Day with a steak dinner with asparagus gruyere tarts and steamed lemon-garlic broccoli. One of her favorites, German Chocolate Cake was for dessert. Here's hubby helping me make dinner:

I go a little animal crazy at my in laws' house. Usually Zack & Casey bring over Daisy and I am in love with Tut. He's been around as long as I've known the family - he had just been born when I met my husband. He's sweet and pretty much my bff. When I lived with them, we were inseparable. Daisy is my little snuggle buddy. She cuddled with me the WHOLE time she was at the house. Let me just tell you...she is a personal space heater. I LOVE when she would snuggle with me because she kept me warm and I'm definitely missing that now that I'm home. The in laws also have a black lab, Peyton, and two pot bellied pigs.

Cami had a ton of fun playing Just Dance Kids. She never really took interest before then...She's really good at it too. She does a lot of shaking of her little tushy :P I got Just Dance 4 from my father-in-law..she's been patiently awaiting to play with me.

We left on Friday the 4th at almost 9pm and got home around 11am on Saturday. The ride home was a lot harder. I got really tired driving. I drove 2/3rds of the trip and hubby drove the middle third. We got home and shoveled...a lot. I talked about it [here] and shared some pictures of the lovely snow we came home to. Did I mention we had NONE when we left??

How were your holidays? 
Did you get a super awesome gift or two?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cherry Cheesecake Murder [Review]

#8 in Hannah Swensen series
352 Pages [Paperback]
[Paperback] Published 1 Feb 2007
ISBN: 0758202954
Find on Goodreads