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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Theme Thursday: Silhouette

It's Theme Thursday and this week's theme is silhouette.  We have a cool old elm tree in our backyard.  I've taken cool pictures of it in the fog and the snow so when I saw that the theme this week was silhouette, I knew I wanted to use the tree.

The problem this week has been the weather.  It's been cloudy and rainy and you need a light source behind your object..  It was finally sort of clear this morning so I headed outside with the camera and tried to get some good shots.  HA!

It was too dark so I tried adjusting my camera to no avail and then I went inside unloaded the dishwasher and came back out to take some more pictures hoping that the sun would be up a bit more or that the clouds would have parted.  And of course, by this time, it was too light.  I'm sure if I knew how to operate this camera a little better I could have gotten a better shot but here's what I got.

 Head over to Michaela's where I'm sure you will see some really nice silhouettes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Soup and naps and a pending birthday

It's been feeling like fall here this week.  Last week temps were in the upper 70s and one day it even made it to the 80s.  And I'm not complaining because I do love warm sunny weather but I have purchased some new boots and would like to eventually be able to wear them. So the fact that it's been in the 50s and rainy the last couple of days hasn't been too depressing but I am ready to see some later this week.

I've blathered on enough about the weather.  No one wants to hear about the weather but I was mentioning it because last night I made my Spicy Sausage and Lentil Soup!  It was so good I had to take a picture of it!  (But as usual, my pictures never do anything justice.)

Tomorrow night when Dan gets home from work, we are heading to visit his sister in Alexandria, VA.  Peter's birthday is in a couple of weeks and he requested another trip to Washington with a friend to celebrate.  We are doing it prior to his birthday because the kids only have half a day of school Friday.  I'm a little bummed because it's Visual Vocabulary Day and they are going to miss it.  They both had good words picked out but I'm sure they can use them again next year. 

The kids are extra excited about this trip to visit their Aunt Cathy because they will get to trick-or-treat in Old Town Alexandria.  There are a lot of houses in a small area which means lots of candy.  Peter wasn't even going to trick-or-treat this year because he's getting too old but when he realized we were going to be at Cathy's, he quickly changed his mind!

And speaking of Peter getting old - he will be 13!  I would say that I can't even believe that my baby is going to be 13 but, I can believe it because his feet are larger than Dan's, he's taller than I am, and his new preferred activity is sleeping.  I thought he was upstairs working on his homework the other day but he was in fact taking a nap!  And it used to be that when I would go up for bed he would still be wide awake but lately he is already sawing logs.  I guess growing boys need their sleep.

That's it from these parts.  I hope your week is treating you well.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Over and done - nap included!

Whew!  The weekend is over and I'm glad because I need a break.

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it or not, but I'm old and I like to basically sit on the couch all weekend and not really do much else.  And I'm lucky that my husband is old too and likes to do the exact same thing.

This weekend however, we had to act like we were actually under the age of 85 and go do stuff.  And here's what we (I) did:

Friday night was the school's Halloween Hullabaloo.  I spent the afternoon at  school helping to get everything ready and then rushed home to get the kids and Dan and we headed out to grab a quick bite before the fun started.  Then we rushed over to the school to set up our trunk.  The 7th and 8th grades had a trunk-or-treat for the rest of the school while the lower grades had activities and games in each classroom for all the kids to visit.

Here's my dollar store spooky trunk:

Dan had spooky music playing from the car.  It was a little spookier than it looks in this picture.  There were some really great trunks - and they were all creepy and spooky - just like Halloween should be!

I have no other pictures from the inside of the school because I was at the trunk for the evening but everyone said they had fun and I know I sure did!

Saturday evening found me having dinner with some of the PTO ladies before heading out to the parish Casino Night.  We were on a fact finding mission for our spring fund raisier.  I had a great time at dinner - these ladies can really make me laugh and I guess I'm a bad blogger and a bad 21st century person in general because we did not take one selfie at dinner.

After dinner we headed to the casino night.  We basically took notes the whole evening, planned what we should do differently, noted what we should do the same, etc.  I did not take my place on the couch until 10:30.  So that meant after church on Sunday, granny needed a nap.  And I never take naps, but I did yesterday.

And after mawmaw woke up from her nap, we carved our pumpkin!

Friday, October 23, 2015

7 Quick Takes

It's been a busy week and it's shaping up to be a busy weekend as well.  I've got a hair appointment this morning and then it's off to set up for the school's Halloween Hullabaloo and then we are doing a trunk in the Trunk-or-Treat at said Hullabaloo and then on Saturday night I'm heading to Casino Night at our parish with some other PTO board members on a fact finding mission for our spring fundraiser.

Whew!  I'm tired already and honestly busy is not my jam but it looks like it will be this weekend!

So, all that to say that this week's edition of 7 Quick Takes will be super quick:

1.  Last weekend Dan and Peter went camping with the Boys Scouts and they sent a couple of photos during the trip:

Yes, I'm aware that Peter's jacket is too small.  For some reason he grabbed his old from last year.  Luckily, he doesn't really care about fashion and no one on the side of Hanging Rock cared either!
2.  When we got the text, Sarah and I were doing what we do best, shopping.  So we sent them this photo in response:

Cute shirt and she loved that it came with a scarf!

3.  Just found this on my camera and actually don't hate how I look so, lucky you, it's Quick Take #3! that I've enlarged it and can get a closer look at it, I think I look a bit crazy.  Must remember to make less of a fake smile in future mother/daughter selifes!

If you follow me on Instagram then you've already seen this shot of my sweet old cat Grey Grey.  (The cat who's so grey we had to name him twice.  My husband and I love that joke because he's not grey at all...more black and brown but that's what happens when you let a 3 year old name your new stray cat.) Anyway, he loves to sit on the couch beside me and many times he will reach out a paw to touch me while he's napping.  It's so cute, I overlook the fact that I have to vacuum the couch.)

5.  The trunk we are doing for trunk-or-treat is going to be a spooky graveyard theme.  I literally dashed into a couple of dollar stores between trips to do PTO work at school, grabbed whatever spooky stuff they had and dashed out. Luckily this isn't a contest because we will not be winning any prizes.  I hope it turns out okay.  Fingers crossed. I'll try to take some award winning photos to post on ye olde blogge.

6.  Do you guys follow Humans of New York on Facebook?  If you don't, please head over there right now and follow him.  This site is heartbreaking, uplifting, joyful, depressing, sweet, and helpful all rolled into one.  The people he posts about are so honest and real.  And it always amazes me the way his readers come together to help the people that need help, to support the people that need support and to offer prayers and kindness to those in need.  It truly gives me hope for the human race.

7.  And if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you saw this shot of the kids actually doing their homework at the same table without fighting.  I was so shocked I had to snap a photo.  When the kids were in Kindergarten and 1st grade, I had images in my mind of them sitting at the table happily telling me stories of their day, eating freshly baked homemade chocolate chip cookies, and working on their homework while I oversaw things from my perch in the kitchen.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  That never happened.  Instead, there was always bickering, fighting, screaming, yelling, and ultimately the kids being separated to complete their homework.

And now that they are older, and in charge of their own homework, Sarah usually comes home, sits at the table and gets right to work. Peter usually unwinds a bit by playing on the computer or playing outside and then he will go into the office and do his homework.  Yesterday, however, the heavens parted, the angels were singing and this miracle happened.  Unfortunately, I did not have any freshly baked cookies but my parents brought over fresh Krispy Kreme donuts so it was all good. (Please note, the donuts had already been consumed by the time this photo was taken!)

Happy Friday everyone!   And don't forget to head over to Kelly's place for more 7 Quick Takes

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Theme Thursday: Same Photo, Different Angles

This week's theme for Theme Thursday, hosted by the lovely Michaela is: same photo, different angles.

I got some really beautiful sunflowers from Wal-Mart last week  (All these lovelies for a little less than $10!) and thought they would make a good subject for this week's theme.

So, here is my take on same photo, different angles:

The shots aren't as clear as I had hoped.  Once again I realize how little I know about my camera.  I'm hoping that by participating in Theme Thursday I will be forced to take more pictures and might actually remember some things about the settings. And don't forget to check out the better interpretations of this theme at Michaela's!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hot Mess Home Manicure

I know you have all been waiting with bated breath for my nail polish post.  Well, everyone except Randy that is.  (Hey, Randy!)

I was in Target the other day and decided to pick up another color of Essie since I was really digging It's Chinchilly In Here.

I felt the need to try a blueish hue so I picked up Essie's Bell Bottom Blues which is a new shade this fall. 

Isn't she pretty?  Yes, yes she is. She's blue with a touch of emerald green. However, I attempted a coat of polish and because it's got a bit of metallic vibe going on and it's very, very pigmented, I was not able to get it on without it looking like a hot mess. I had polish everywhere - my cuticles, my skin, the table.  I have no idea why I couldn't control this polish.  It was like a beautiful bluish, greenish monster with a mind of her own.

This polish was so very thick (it almost seemed old but it's anew shade this year so, it's not like it's been sitting on the shelves since last year) and I just could not keep it off my cuticles which are in and of themselves a hot mess anyway but that's another story for another day.  (Or maybe not because who wants to read about cuticles?  Not I.)

And then I tried to remove the hot mess from my nails and they were  already stained.  I literally had the polish on for 5 minutes and I had to use acetone to get all the color off.  In frustration, I abandoned the pretty polish and put on a nice boring coat of clear.

But I didn't let my frustration deter me from heading back to the store (OK, so technically I did not go to the store just to pick out another color.  I was at the store anyway, Walmart this time, and thought to myself, "Ooooooohhhhh, while I'm here I should try another color.")

So I grabbed CoverGirl's Sapphire Flare.  I figured I couldn't go wrong since sapphire is my birthstone.  It didn't have the metallic aspect that the other polish had and it wasn't quite as pigmented (even though it's pretty dark) so it's easier to remove.  But because it's dark, I still had a hard time getting it to look nice and pretty.  Seems like the imperfections in your manicure a less noticeable when the color is lighter.  At least, that's my experience anyway.

And here's the color on my fingernails:

Please disregard my cuticle situation and the whole manicure itself. Clearly I need to pay professionals if I want to run around with nail polish on my fingernails!

Overall I'm happy with the color but when it comes off, I think I'm going to give the other one another shot. I'm thinking that if I had just taken more time with the Bell Bottom Blues, I might have had better luck.

And Randy, be sure to check back for my update on that. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Theme Thursday: Sun Flare

Theme Thursday is back!  What's Theme Thursday you ask?  It's a weekly photo challenge that Micaela hosts at her blog.  Each week she gives out a new prompt and you take pictures accordingly and post on your blog. 

This week's theme is sun flare.  And here's my attempt at capturing sun flare.  Not bad but I'm sure there will be many better ones.  Head over to Micaela's blog and check out every one's take on sun flare!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Who's growing up? Who's growing out?

We've got lots going on around here. 

Sarah finishes her seasonal swim program next Tuesday.  She's a little bummed that she's not going to get to swim again until the spring.  I would like her to be able to swim year round but that's so expensive and consumes a lot of time.  This seasonal program is was a good fit for us because there are no swim meets.  It's just practicing for improvement.  The program is set up so that you could sign up for 1, 2, or 3 nights a week.  We chose one night and it was perfect.  I just wish we could keep on through the winter.  But the instructor is a high school swim coach and that season is about to start so his program will end until the spring. But I might let Sarah do two nights in the spring. 

Peter had his first basketball practice last night.  He will have practice two nights a week from 6:30 to 8:30.  He and I are both a little stressed about that.  I wish at least one of the practices was right after school or at least earlier than 6:30.  But I think this time works best for his coaches.  And these guys don't even have kids at our school any longer.  They just love Our Lady of Mercy and coaching basketball and I know I'm not willing to coach so, 6:30 - 8:30 it is!

And speaking of basketball, Sarah has decided not to play this year.  I'm a little bummed because I really enjoy watching her but she just really doesn't enjoy it the same way she enjoys swimming.  And if she doesn't enjoy it, then why are we doing it? 

Sarah just bridged up from Juniors to Cadettes and she just received her Bronze Award.  Here are a couple of less than perfect photos:

Sarah went to the fair with her friend Mia and came home with not one but TWO! goldfish.  And these things look pretty hearty so I've got a feeling they are going to be with us for a while.  We've never had much luck with goldfish before.  (That one only lasted a few months).  And WILL YOU LOOK AT MY LITTLE BABIES??????????

Now I'm a little weepy thinking about how small they were and how big they are now. Especially since I am in process of buying Peter a whole new wardrobe IN THE MEN'S DEPARTMENT because nothing fits any longer.  NOTHING! 

The length of the pants I'm buying him is 32 (which is the length I buy for Dan, although the waist size is a completely different story!) and his shoes are an 11 which is a size and a half BIGGER than Dan's.  But neither one of us is tall so I am assuming he will level off soon. 

In other riveting news, I purchased a new shade of nail polish, and if you play your cards right, I'll show it to you later on this week.

And now I'm off to clean out my closet.  I am getting rid of all the clothes that no longer fit me.  And unfortunately, it's not because I'm growing up...

Friday, October 9, 2015

7 Quick Takes

How about some Quick Takes?  Seven to be exact!

1.  So here's a random cleaning tip I discovered on Pinterest.  Do you ever get hard water stains on your toilet where the water drips down and leaves ugly brown marks?  Well, I don't.  I guess we don't have hard water but I'll tell you what I did notice in the kids bathroom a couple of months ago.  It was a urine colored stain about the size of a quarter in the toilet bowl.

I typically go into the kid's bathroom one a week (or sometimes less) to check out the state of the bathroom, remove trash, wipe down the counters, etc.  When I noticed this stain, I grabbed an old magic eraser and got to scrubbing.  I do love me some Magic Erasers.  But low and behold the stain did not budge.  I got out bleach and mutiple cleaners and nothing worked.  I tried on many occassions to remove this stain and had eventually resigned myself to having it there forever or at least until we replaced the toilet bowl which was not at the top of my priority list.

And then I stumbled on a cleaning tip on Pinterest for an easy trick to remove hard water stains in toilet bowls.  It was simple - a pumice stone!  So I dug out my pumice stone (one I typically use for scrubbing my heals right before sandal season) and I scrubbed on that toilet bowl stain for less than a minute and it was gone!  Just like that!  Your welcome.  (And don't worry - this will now become my toilet pumice.  I'll get a new one for my heels.)

2.  I just had the following conversation with my almost 13 year old this morning: "Mom, what's the weather like today? I need to know whether to wear long sleeved pants or short sleeved pants."

Y'all!  I can not tell you how many times over the years I have told him that sleeves are on shirts and shirts only! Pants do NOT have sleeves!

3.  And speaking of my 13-year-old he was reading something on my phone in the car on the way home from school when I received a text.  He read it to me and I told him to reply with a Thanks!

"T-h-x?"  he questioned.

"No," I replied.  "Put thanks with an exclamation point."  

"Mom it's silly to type out the whole word.  Why don't you abbreviate everything when you are texting.  It's so much easier than typing everything out."

"Because I'm not a teen slacker is why."

I just can't bring myself to text in abbreviations.  I guess I'm just old but I'm okay with that!

4.  My poor husband has just been in the grumpiest mood all week. He's had customers in town since Monday morning and he hasn't been getting home until 9:30 or after each night. It was 10:30 when he got home on Wednesday night and then this morning, he left at 6:00 because the meetings were going to start early to make sure they finished up in time before everyone heads back.  And he's had to wear suits and ties every day so that has made him even grumpier!  We are both very ready for the weekend.

5.  Random shot of my cat sticking his tongue out at me:

His tongue was hanging out of his mouth for a good 5 minutes.  Guess he was really annoyed with me!

6.  We get to see the Patriots play on TV this weekend!  They had a bye last week and the two games before that weren't televised locally.  :(  Go Pats!

7.  And Kelly, our fabulous Quick Takes hostess with the mostess is giving away prizes in October. For a chance to win just link up your Quick Takes.  And there's a bonus entry if you answer her bonus question.  This week's question is "How many 7 Quick Takes have you posted."  I just counted all the ones that I had labeled (there's always a chance I forgot to put a label on one) and I counted 51!  I would have thought there were more than that.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It's a little Chinchilly in here.

Last week I veered away from my normal clear nail polish to try out a new fall shade.

I chose Essie's Chinchilly.  I absolutely love the way the color looks.  It makes me happy and I think it says fall is here without being too in your face.

Sarah immediately spotted my new shade as soon as she hopped in the car. She was quick to tell me how much she loved it.  She's very observant.  And also very kind to her dear old mom.

It took Peter until later that evening to notice my new nail polish. His response was a little less kind, "I hate that color mom.  It looks gross."

When I relayed the kids comments to Dan, he shrugged.  Which I guess I can take one of two ways.  Option one - he didn't even notice.  Option two - he agrees with Peter.

Or perhaps, maybe there is a third option.  He didn't notice but now that it's been pointed out, he agrees with Peter.

Yep.  I'm going with number 3. 

No worries though.  The girl and I love it and I'm getting ready to slap another coat of paint on right now!  What do boys know about nail polish anyway? 

Friday, October 2, 2015

A lot of yum on that plate!

Last night we had meatloaf.  I tried the Pioneer Woman's Favorite Meatloaf and it was really good.

Because honestly, how can  you go wrong with bacon? (The meatloaf is wrapped in a little blanked of bacon.  Yum.  A bacon blanket.)

I served it with garlic thyme carrots (and I forgot to add the thyme, whoops!), mashed potatoes, and balsmic glazed Brussels sprouts.

Dan loves these carrots but he refused to eat the Brussels sprouts.  I tried to convince him to try them because the balsamic glaze makes them so yummy but he refuesed.  "I'm almost 50.  I've hated them every time I've ever tried them so I'm not trying them again."

I forced Peter to try them and he tried to use Dan's line, "I'm almost 13. I've hated them every time I've ever tried them so I'm not trying them again."  But we made him any way and, of course, he hated it.  "It tastes like broccoli.  And that glaze is gross." 

Sarah will eat broccoli so she gave it a try and said it was "pretty good".  She's my favorite.

Everyone agreed that the meatloaf was good and that my potatoes were extra yummy for some reason.  Want to know my secret last night? 

I added heavy cream to the potatoes instead of milk.  So, yes.  They were extra yummy! 

And I figure that eating the Brussels sprouts will offset the cream in the potatoes, right? 

At least for those of us that tried the Brussels sprouts.  ahem