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Sunday, August 31, 2014

WIWS: Not the yellow wedges because they looked questionable.

It's Sunday and I know you guys are really wanting to know what I wore to Mass today.

Shirt: Kohl's
Pants: Kohl's
Sandals: Kohl's
Earrings: Kohl's
Necklace:  Do I really need to type it again?
I feel like I must take a minute to discuss my sandals.  These are not the sandals I wanted to wear with this outfit. I order a very cheap pair of yellow wedges online that I thought would look great with this outfit.  However, upon receiving them, they are super high and the pants don't work with them.  I think a tighter, longer pair of pants with a bit of flare at the ankle would work better than loose fitting shorter pants.

Sarah is very upset with me for not wearing them because according to her  the yellow shoes would be "perfect" with this outfit.  But take my word for it, with these pants, I would have just looked like an old lady in baggy pants with slutty yellow wedges walking down to receive communion.  Not exactly the look I was going for.  Thus, I stuck with the nude sandals.

With a different pair of pants and perhaps on date night (and not at Mass) , the yellow wedges will be perfect.

Head on over to Fine Linen and Purple to see what everyone else wore to Mass today!

Friday, August 29, 2014

What would happen if Amy Poehler and Greg Kinnear had a baby?

Dan and I are always on the lookout for a new tv show to put into the rotation.  This time of year is especially thin pickings but we recently started watching Welcome to Sweden.

Welcome to Sweden is created by and stars Greg Poehler who is Amy Poehler's brother.  Amy is also one of the executive producers.

It's a pretty good show.  Just the kind of show we like - quirky, minimal foul language, minimal sex jokes. I guess we are getting pretty old but it seems like lately a lot of shows start off really well and then quickly decline into down right filthy.  (I'm looking at you New Girl. You too, Happy Endings.)

Anyway, while I'm enjoying the show, every time I watch it I can't help but to think that if Amy Poehler had a baby with Greg Kinnear, the result would be Greg Poehler.

What do you guys think?

Amy Poehler

 Plus Greg Kinnear

Equals Greg Poehler

Am I right, people?  Or am I right?

 Even the name works!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Better late than never...

Peter is excited to be in middle school (although for him that literally just means being upstairs instead of downstairs) because he gets to change classes and has multiple teachers.  I think changing classes is good for him - being able to get up, going to his locker, moving to a new room - all help him to stay more focused.  (At least I hope that's what's happening!)

And Sarah is excited that now that she's in 5th grade she has the same lunch period as the middle school kids - which means she can now sit beside all her friends at lunch.  No more assigned lunch seating is making this girl very happy! 

And speaking of lunch, the first three days of this week have been half days so as soon as I picked the kids up from school we stopped somewhere for lunch on the way home.  Peter really wanted Arby's yesterday so I obliged.

We spread out in our booth, Peter and I on one side, Sarah and her kid's meal on the other.  She had taken the toy prize, which happened to be a small Mr. Potato Head and spread all the pieces out in the empty spot beside her.

We began to eat our meal when an older man approached our table.  I could tell he was eyeing the area where Sarah had placed her plastic potato parts and I got the feeling that if they hadn't been there, he would have made himself right at home.

He stood at our table for a bit, asked if the kids were brother and sister, asked if they were nice to one another, lectured them on brotherly love when I told him that no, they weren't always nice to one another, told us he had traveled the world and proceed to list all the many countries he had visited.

And then, he told us "ga-day" because that's how they say it in Austriala (one of his favorite countries) and began to turn around.

It was at that point that I felt like I really should ask him to join us.  I could almost hear God saying, "Just ask him to sit with you.  He's harmless, just a little lonely.  Do it."

But, in typical me fashion, I thought, "He's probably not lonely, just a little crazy.  And look God, he's already heading to that table where that other woman is sitting all alone.  He'll sit with her, they can chat and we can eat our lunch in peace."

And God just shook his head and sighed, "Beth, why do you always think you know better than me?"

I watched the man approach the woman at the booth next to us.  He asked her if she minded if he sat with her and ate his lunch and she responded, "Yes, I actually do mind."

At that point, I knew what I had to do - what I should have done in the first place.  "Sir, if you're looking for some company, you can sit here with us.  We've got plenty of room."

The kid's eyes got wide and they looked nervous.  We cleared the plastic toys from beside Sarah and he slid in next to her.

We ate our meals and he, Jere was his name, proceeded to tell us all about himself, the places he's been, what he did for work in the past, what he does for fun now that he's retired.  He was a friendly man who has lead a  fascinating life.  He even showed us the tattoo of Hawaii he got two years ago.

After he finished his small drink and order of mozzarella sticks, we cleaned up our mess and said our good byes.  He gave me his business card that listed  actor, photographer and author under his name, and we went our separate ways.

As we were heading to the car I could hear God whispering, "See that wasn't so hard, now was it?"

In the car, I told the kids that God wants us to be kind and to be friendly to people that might be lonely and that He was probably very glad we ate lunch with Jere even though we didn't really want to.  I told them that sometimes doing the hard thing means you are doing the right thing.

And then Sarah (my sweet little Sarah) said, "It's like how you are always telling us if we notice someone at school that doesn't have anyone to play with we should go play with them." 

Yes, Sarah, it's exactly like that!

Sometimes, you have to put your money where your mouth is. 

And most times, it's better to show your kids how to live, than to simply tell them.

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of School!!!!!!

It's the first day of school and you know what that means.....

Sarah - 5th Grade, Peter - 6th Grade

Gotta have a picture with dear old mom!

Photo bomb by dear old dad!

These kids always want to do a "silly shot"!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

WIWS: Throw a statement necklace on it and call it good.

Trying to get over the hump of looking like a postparteum frump at Mass.

Here's what I wore today....

Dress: Target (And yes, it's a maternity dress.  But it fit and it was comfortable so, I wore it. And honestly, I felt like I looked better in it than these pictures show.)
Necklace: Target

(Somebody spends a lot of time in Target.)

I love this statement necklace and think I can wear it a lot.  It really dressed up this plain black dress. 

I was going to wear my pink wedge sandals but Sarah said not to because the pink sandals weren't quite the right shade and it clashed with the necklace.

Yes, I take fashion advice from my 10-year-old because she's waaaaaay more stylish than her mama.  Just ask her.

And that's what I wore!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Is that Owen Wilson wearing my kid's gym shirt??

See this shirt that Owen Wilson was wearing in Malibu last week?

It's the gym shirt from my kid's school!?


This picture was posted on last week.

My husband thinks it's another Our Lady of Mercy but I'm not so sure.

Yes, there are many other Our Lady of Mercy schools but how many of them are the Mustangs?  How many of them have this exact mustang as their logo?  How many of them have light blue gym tee shirts?  How many of them have that exact same font on their gym tee shirts?

So I'm 90% sure that this is a gym shirt from my kid's school  in Winston-Salem, NC.  But now the question that begs to be answered is how the heck did Owen Wilson get one??

Edited to add:  My brother just informed me that Owen Wilson was in town last fall to film Are You Here which is actually set to release in NY and LA tomorrow.  He must have done some shopping at the local Goodwill!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What I Wore Sunday: The suck it in, suck it waaaaaaay in edition.

It's been a while since I played along with What I Wore Sunday.  As my husband snapped my picture he asked why.

Honestly, it's because I've just been wearing whatever fits...which isn't that much.  And nobody wants to see the same black tee shirt and white pants week after week...even if it is spiffed up with a different accessory.  (And since we are being honest, I usually don't even bother with an accessory.)

But this week, I wore an outfit that I bought at the beginning of spring hoping that as summer wore on, I might be able to wear in public.

Even though I'm still sporting 20 extra pounds, I decided to throw caution to the wind and a white shirt over the dress, hold in my stomach and call it good.

I even threw on an accessory.

And I felt like I looked pretty good at Mass today.

Photobombed by a cute 11-year-old!


Maxi tank dress: Target
Shirt (that thankfully covers lots of sins: bulging belly, back fat, bra straps): Target
Sandals: Kohls
Necklace: Charming Charlies

And there you have it folks!  Go check out what the other ladies were sporting today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

If you give a bored stay at home mom a giant basil bush...

The other day I posted this picture of our two basil plants on Instagram.

I would love to take credit for these two beauties but the garden is my husband's domain.  Occasionally I will water and pick things but only if he's out of town.

I had been eating a lot of this in an attempt to use up our tomatoes and this gorgeous basil...

...but while very yummy, this was going to leave a lot of beautiful basil wasting away on the bush.

Several people told me that I should make pesto, and low and behold, guess what the Pioneer Woman posted today?


And guess who had free time today and all the ingredients?

That's right!  Me!

So I set out to make a batch of homemade pesto.  And in honor of Ree, I took pictures to document the process.

I collected a load of basil and trimmed the stalk ends. It filled up my colander to give you an idea of the amount of leaves I used.  Probably about 5 cups.

Then I tossed it into my food processor and pulsed it a bit until the leaves were broken down.  And then I added two cloves of garlic that I grated on my micro plane just like PW did.  She said this allows you to have the garlic flavor but keeps you from getting big chunks of raw garlic in your mouth. Good tip!  I also added 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and several large pinches of kosher salt.

She only added 1/2 cup of cheese but she also used almonds.  (Most pesto has pine nuts or almonds or pecans but since Peter is allergic to all nuts, I omitted them and added extra cheese.  If I had had more parm, I might have even gone up to a cup but I used all I had).

Then I pulsed away until it was all combined and then I started to add olive oil.  I did as PW instructed and started  processing the basil while slowly drizzling in a 1/2 cup of olive oil.  After it was combined, it looked like this....

It was still a little chunk so I continued to add another 1/4 cup of olive oil until it looked like this....


PW added another 1/2 cup but I've got a feeling it's because of the almonds.  Since I didn't have any nuts, I didn't need the extra oil.  You'll just need to process and add oil and check for consistency.  It's better to have to keep adding that to get too much in there.

This stuff tasted so good!

And then, because I was hungry from all my hard work (ha!),  I had a nice little snack...

I can not even begin to tell you how good this tasted with fresh pesto.  It was wonderful!

And now I'm heading to the store to get more EVOO and more Parmesan cheese and some freezer containers so I can make mass quantities of this stuff!

Beth's Nut Free Pesto


5 cups of basil leaves, rinsed with the steam trimmed
2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated (not the kind in the green container)
3/4 cup of olive oil
kosher salt, several pinches


Place basil in food processer and process until leaves are chopped.
Add garlic, cheese and salt and process until combined.
Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil while processing.
Check consistency of pesto.  If it's too thick continue to slowly add more olive oil until it's nice and smooth.


Monday, August 11, 2014

She bangs.

There's only two weeks left until my kids head back to school.  But we've still got lots going on...

A swim team party, guitar lessons, Boy Scouts, basketball camp for both kids, sleepovers for both kids, doctor appointment for Sarah, eye doctor appointments for both kids, tubing trip for Peter, and the list goes on...

While we are busy packing it all in and trying to enjoy the last two weeks of freedom before the homework grind begins,I'm in the midst of a minor battle with Sarah.

She has been asking begging me for bangs.

I have told her several of my bang horror stories (one involving Great Clips so, enough said) and trying to appropriately describe the agony of growing out your bangs when you realize that your hair isn't right for bangs and quite honestly, neither is your face.

I finally ended the discussion last night by telling her she could get bangs when she's 12.  I'm hoping that she comes to her senses in two years and realizes that bangs are indeed, not the way to go. (This worked when she was 8 and was begging for pierced ears.  I told her she could pierce them when she was 10.  And true to my word, in June, I asked her if she wanted pierced ears for her birthday.  Her response, "No.  I don't want them any more."  So, fingers crossed for the same results in two years.)

In the meantime, lest you all think I'm an evil mother for not giving in to her bang desires, I'm going to present you with some photographic evidence.

Sarah's very first hair cut at the age of 14 months involved bangs.  And only because she refused with all her might to keep any sort of hair clip in her hair.  Before said haircut...

Please note the hair hanging in her eyes.  Please also note how thin and young I looked a mere 9 years ago.

And the results of said hair cut...

What a cute little boy.

And I think it must have been at this point that I realized my mistake. (I think Sarah realized it as well.)  And apparently I am trying to cast a spell on the bangs to make them immediately grow out.

The spell did not work because here is my darling little basketball head three months and several more trims later...

 Blissfully unaware that the bangs make her head look ginormous!

Or maybe not.   "Mommy, why you make my hair look like dis?"

Peter, on the other hand, seems perfectly happy with his super short hair.

Or perhaps he's just laughing at his sister's hair?

Anyway, I'm sticking to my guns.  She can have bangs when she's 12 if she still wants them.  And in the meantime, she's been checking out all sorts of Back-To-School Hairstyle tutorials on YouTube.

And I've been sure to point out to her that none of them involve bangs!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Prayers for Courtney

Today I'm asking for prayers for Courtney Lenaburg.

If you don't follow Mary's blog, you should. Mary is Courtney's mom and Courtney suffers from cerebral palsy and has grand mal seizures almost daily. Mary's blog details the daily challenges of being a caregiver for an adult child with many, many needs.

At a recent doctor's visit, the doctor told Mary that Courtney had only 1 to 3 years to live due to the effects these daily seizures have on her body.  Courtney has been having seizures since she was only a few weeks old.

Courtney will be celebrating her 22nd birthday on August 18th and they will be having a small gathering on the 16th.  Mary asked in an early post for any of her readers with kids to do a drawing in celebration of Courtney and send it to her to hang up as decoration.

I consider Mary a friend even though I've never met her in real life so I knew that we would be sending something.  Sarah has finished her masterpiece and we will be getting it in the mail in the next day or so.

When I got on Facebook this morning, I read that Courtney started having seizures around 10:00 last night and in less than two hours suffered from 5 of them.  By the time she was admitted to the hospital and hooked up to the drugs they use to control the seizures, she had 10 seizures.

For the first time (and they've had many hospital visits in the last 22 years), Mary and her husband signed a DNR.  I know how hard that was for us with  Rebecca and I can only imagine the struggle they had signing that last night.

As of now, Courtney has stabalized and they are waiting for the doctors to come on their morning rounds. 

Please pray for healing for Courtney and for peace and comfort for her family. 

And if you get the chance, please read Mary's Story from her blog.  I read this right before I had Rebecca and it brought me such peace and comfort knowing that no matter what happened with my girl, I could and would care for her as long as God let me. 

And that's exactly what Mary is doing.

Monday, August 4, 2014

We did all the things!

Did I really go out of town and leave you with a post about a tomato sandwich on a hamburger bun and a collage of my disappearing sandwich?

I guess I did!

And now, ten days later, I guess it's time to remedy that and give you what you've all been waiting for.....

vacation photos!

Wait?  You all weren't waiting for that?  Well, sorry, but that's all I've got for you today.

We did a lot on our annual trip to Cape Cod.  In fact, we did all the things!

We went to the Maritime Museum and on our way saw a train bridge being lowered and watched a train cross...
 And while we were at the museum we saw the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship.
And tried to avoid full body photos!  
 And we biked to the beach...
 And played in the water....

 And then we hopped a ferry in Hyannis and...
 sailed to Nantucket...

 And spent the day and then sailed home...

And we went to a Red Sox game...
(pretend my eyes are totally open please)

And we went to the Barnstable County Fair...

where Dan an Peter rode the higher faster rides....

 and Sarah and I stuck to the slower rides....this is our view from the ferris wheel...
 And the kids even got a camel ride...

And we ate a lot of really good ice cream.  (Massachusetts, Cape Cod in particulary, has a wealth of really, really good local home made ice cream shops.)

And in our normal Cotell style, we even toured an old grave yard.  Peter was excited to find a tombstone that dated to1698.  That's pretty old, y'all!

And we even managed to swing by the Captain Bangs Hallett House for our annual picture under the 200 year old weeping beech tree...

 And that pretty much sums up our vacation.

I was very thankful that Dan's work schedule changed so that we were able to go on our vacation after all.  He's back at work and he's in meetings all week.  But the meetings are here in North Carolina and NOT in the United Arab Emirates and for that, I am also very thankful.

And I'm not even going to show you a picture of the tomato sandwich I was eating while I typed up this post!