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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Gold rings, bracelet stacks, and lemon trees! What are you getting for Mother's Day?

Mother's Day is right around the corner!  Sunday, May 12th to be exact.  And since Dan is always traveling and not hyper aware that Mother's Day is right around the corner, and the kids are busy with work and school and their social lives, I thought it might be.... ummmm....helpful, if I listed out some things that would make perfect Mother's Day gifts for their favorite mother. And then I thought it might be helpful for anyone else shopping for their mother so I thought I would share it here. 

So let's jump right in and see what's on my wish list this year....

1. Any ring from this company would be a lovely gift.  They have some really pretty rings that would look perfect in a stack and they are great quality and super affordable. They also have gorgeous diamond and gemstone rings so make sure to check out their page.


I mean how cute would all three of these look stacked on my right ring finger???

2. And speaking of can never go wrong with an enewton bracelet stack.  I've already got a few in my collection but one thing I know about enewton bracelets  is that you can never have too many!

Aren't they so pretty?  And they come in silver and gold (even mixed metal options) and they come with pearls and some have gemstones and then there are also bracelets with colored beads.  There are so many different styles.  And I should know because we sell them where I work.  Everyone loves them!

3. The next item that I would love to see on Mother's Day is anything by Barefoot Dreams. In fact, they have a whole section of Mother's Day gift ideas. They have the best blankets, pajamas and lounge wear.  And this robe is so soft and so cozy!

4. Have you guys heard of Farm House Fresh?  It's an all natural and organic skin care brand.  And right now they have a Mother's Day special. If you spend $110 you will get a free cosmetic bag and card with your purchase.   You could choose several products and put them in the free make-up bag to make a really cute gift.  And don't forget their Bronze Fox tanning drops. You mix a few drops right in your moisturizer and you look glowy  without any makeup needed. And to make these drops even more magical they are enriched with hyaluronic and polyglutamic acids + an antioxidant cocktail of green tea, watermelon, cactus and acai. 


5. Have you guys seen this cute Heart Snapshot Mix from Minted? You upload 30 of your mom's favorite photos of you and they print it and frame it.  It's so easy to do that even your husband could figure it out. :) Minted has a whole selection of gifts that can be personalized with your own photos if you don't like the heart shape.

6. For the mom that's always burning candles, how about this candle warming lamp?  The halogen bulb softly burns down the wax without an open flame so you are never in danger of forgetting to blow out your candle! Plus it's really pretty!

7. And a tried an true gift that everyone loves is the Frameo Digitial Picure Frame! We gave one to my mom several years ago and she loves it!  Friends and family can link up to the frame and send photos to it in seconds. And then the photos are always rotating.  It's such a fun gift and I know my mom really appreciates hers.

8. Flowers on Mother's Day are an expected and appreciated gift but what about something that lasts a a lot longer AND produces fruit?  This Grow Anywhere Meyer Lemon Tree would be such a fun and unexpected gift. Put it in a sunny window (just needs 6 hours of direct sunlight) and pretty soon you will be enjoying delicious lemons.  And as a bonus, the white blooms (that eventually turn into the lemons) smell wonderful and are a natural air freshener.


 9.And last but not least in a list of great Mother's Day gifts is my favorite gift of all....time spent with my people.  Now that my kids are in college my very favorite thing (any time not just on Mother's Day) is to have everyone home.  I sleep deeper when they are home. Food tastes better when they are at home - even my cooking! Sitting on the couch watching a tv show is more fun when they are all sitting around with me.  Nothing makes my heart happier than being all together with my little family.

Gold rings are beautiful, bathrobes are cozy, pictures are nostalgic, but a hug from my kids is definitely my favorite thing on Mother's Day.

So....what's the best gift you've every gotten on Mother's Day?  What about the worst gift?  I'm sure there have been some vacuum cleaners gifted by some well-intentioned but not so bright husbands. If so, spill the beans, I want to know!


This blog post was created in collaboration with Responsival.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Dan and I are working and the kids are just living it up!

 Hellooooooo everyone!  Just checking in with you guys to let you know that I'm still alive

I recently started working 4 days a week and 2 Saturdays a month (as opposed to my previous schedule of 3 days a week and 1 Saturday a month)and while I appreciate the extra money, I really do miss having extra time to get things done.  The house is a mess, the laundry is always behind, and it seems I'm always running to the grocery store on my way home from work to pick up a couple of things instead of doing a real grocery trip.

Anyway, it's all working out fine because Dan is in Charleston - again.  He was home for a week so that was nice but now he's back.  I think it will be like that all summer - gone more than he's home. Heck, it's been like that for the last year. I should be used to it by now!  But I guess the upside is that if the house is a mess, there are no clean cloths, and no food to eat, no one will notice or care but me! 

I am currently in high stress mode for our trip to Italy.  We leave in exactly 19 days.  There's so much to think about, plan, do, etc.  I am very grateful we are going on this trip but a travel agent would have probably been the way to go.  We met with someone at AAA and he was odd and not very helpful...well, unless you consider it helpful that he found us tiny hotel rooms that cost double of what the AirBnBs we booked ourselves would have been. After that we just decided to go it on our own...and now I'm wondering if that was a mistake or not.  But I'm sure everything will work out and be just fine!

Sarah is officially a member of Delta Zeta now and could not be any happier with her decision to join!  

This is Sarah and her Big Sister at the Big Sister Reveal.  They bonded over The Bachelor hence The Bachelor themed sign and tee shirts. Her big sister's name is Natalie.  Sarah was hoping and hoping that her big sister was going to be Natalie so she was thrilled at the reveal!

Natalie and Sarah at the formal.

Sarah and Joe at the formal.  He was sweet enough to drive to Charlotte from Raleigh to take her.
Some of her new sisters.  

This week is Greek Week at UNC Charlotte.  They have events every day this week and the final big event is the Air Band Competition on Friday night.  All the fraternities and sororities participate in the competition.  Each group submits a team that competes.  Sarah will be performing for her sorority.  They have been working so hard on their routine.  Sarah's not a natural dancer but she decided to push herself and be part of the group that competes instead of the group that works on the sets and scenery. 

She said that this week is Polish Week, formerly called Hell Week. They will be having long practices every night this week to make sure all the routines are polished and ready for the competition.  

Peter has been in Hilton Head with his fraternity for their formal weekend.  He texted me on Saturday while I was at work that he got" bitten by a crab or something".  He said he was in a lot of pain and was coming off the beach. I was thinking that must have been some sort of crab pinch to elicit him coming off the beach. But it turns out he was bitten by a stingray!

He had a hole on the top of his foot that bleed initially and then started to bruise a little and swell and hurt a lot.  He said it hurt as bad as having his wisdom teeth out. After we realized it was stingray bite - (the hole is where the barb went it), and not just a crab, I googled what to do and  I instructed him to soak it in hot water.  Apparently the hot water pulls out the venom.  He sat with his foot in a bucket of hot water for about two hours.  His foot was still very sore but he managed to get ready and go to dinner with all the fraternity brothers and their dates.  Here is the only picture I got (other than a gross picture of his foot that I will not share with you.)


He said it was still swollen and sore Sunday morning but according to Google that is to be expected.  Now he just needs to watch to make sure there is no infection.  Also sometimes stingray bites can lead to necrosis if any part of the barb is left in the wound. I think he had a fun time any way though and said he didn't know anyone else who has been bitten by a stingray.  I've encouraged him to go to urgent care on Monday if his foot is still in a  lot of pain or swollen or red so we will see what happens and of course, I'll keep y'all posted.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A little bit about cars, Vegas, and basketball.

Only 3 weeks since my last post!  I'm quite proud of myself.

When we last left off, I was hopeful that Sarah's car was finally fixed!  But alas, after all that work it exhibited the symptoms two more times.  Granted, both times, it was very short lived.  Meaning the problem happened and then quickly stopped within a few minutes as opposed to taking 10 to 15 minutes to resolve.  However, when I texted my service advisor (which is the main way we have communicated) there were crickets.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip. Zero. Zilch. Zed.  

And the same when I contacted our contact at the Better Business Bureau.  Crickets. Nothing....etc.

So, I guess we are on our own at this point.  We purchased a lemon and had we started the lemon law buy-back  request 5 months earlier they would have purchased the car back from us.  Too little, too late on our part.  We were just so hopeful that each fix would be the last. It's just so disheartening...

In addition to Sarah's car issues, mine continues to give me problems.  It currently needs two new catalytic converters to the tune of over $3,000.  Guess what we are not going to replace?  The catalytic converters.  So now we are in the process of trying to find a replacement for my car.  We aren't in too big of a hurry though.  My car just passed inspection so we have a year...assuming nothing else breaks down on it.  It is 12 years old and has over 227,000 miles on it so I'm just holding my breath at this point.

In more exciting news... Peter had a GREAT time in Vegas with his friends for spring break!  

Here's a quick, choppy rundown of some of the things they did.  I was getting updates in the family group text as the trip progressed but since I wasn't on the trip, I can't list everything they did on the exact days they did it.  That's my preferred method for blogging about a trip but this is the best I can do...

They gambled as soon as they got there but quickly realized they didn't have the money for the big casinos so they eventually made their way  to the old strip and gambled in the old casinos there.  Apparently the tables are $5 there versus the $25 and up tables on the strip.  But this group of guys really enjoys The Sopranos and The Godfather and all those mafia type shows so Peter said the old strip was better because it felt like somewhere the mafia would have hung out back in the day (and they they probably did) versus the new casinos. He said his favorite of the old casinos was Binions. 

The boys were on the trip to celebrate his friend Cal's 21'st birthday and Cal's parents were there as well as some aunts and uncles and cousins.  Peter said it was great having Cal's family there because it kept them from getting too wild!  HA!  So I guess I'm thankful they were there too. :)

One night Cal's parents took the boys to an Hofbrauhaus which is an Octoberfest restaurant.  Peter said they had a great time there.  There was a live band and the waiters went around playing alphorns.  And then another night, they went to a different restaurant together and one of Cal's cousins order a ton of appetizers for the table to share.  Peter was very impressed by the quantity of appetizers he ordered as well as how tasty they were. (Not sure of the name of that restaurant.)

One evening they went to the Golden Knights hockey game because they all love the Carolina Hurricanes.  It's hard to get Hurricanes tickets but they had no problem getting Knights tickets. 

Among the many famous casinos they visited was the Tropicana.  I'm glad they got to visit there because it just closed it's doors yesterday.  It was the third oldest casino in Vegas.  It was built in 1957 and was operated by someone with close ties to the mafia.  They will be tearing it down to make way for the new Oakland A's baseball stadium.

One day they went to the Hoover Dam.  Peter was very excited to see the dam but no one else wanted to go.  He basically said he was going by himself if they didn't go with him.  So they caved and went.  Their original plan was to Uber there and back but they ultimately decided on a bus tour.  That ended up being a great thing because not only was it ultimately cheaper than an Uber, the tour guide was very informative and they got to see a lot of the dam up close. And they had lunch at the DAM Gift Shop!  HA!  We were making lots of DAM jokes that day in the family group chat. :)

Here are some of the pictures he texted us during his trip:
Boxing with Joe Louis at Caesar's Palace

Posing with a knight at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.

This group of guys really enjoys hockey so they went to a Golden Knights game one night.

Peter really enjoyed the tour of the Hoover Dam. He had to convince his friends to do it but he said they were all glad they went. 

View from a roof top bar.

In front of Hell's Kitchen.  No, they did not eat there.  They didn't have the budget for that!  :)

In front of Caesar at Caesar's Palace!

Peter with the World's Largest Gold Nugget at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino!
Peter got a DAM hat!  HA!  I can't stop making DAM jokes!  :)

Peter was excited to try In-N-Out burger since we don't have those here in NC.  He said it was delicious!

Peter's trip was awesome and I think he suffered from trip letdown when he got back to school.  It was such a great trip for him and his friends.  I'm thankful Cal's parents arranged the trip and paid for the hotel rooms (they stayed at the Aria) and were there to just be around in case the guys needed anything. 

But one of the most exciting thing that happened while they were in Vegas was the run that the NC State basketball team went on!  The boys watched all three games at the Aria at the Sportsbook. There were 200 220 inch TVs.  When they beat Carolina to win the ACC Championship Peter texted us that it was the best day of his life.  I was thrilled for him.  He has spent a lot of his youth pulling for very bad teams (Carolina Panthers and NC State Football to name a few.  And now that he's finally in to baseball and watching and pulling for the Red Sox, they are horrible too! ) so it was so nice to get that win.  Also if NC State didn't win the ACC Championship, they were not going to the NCAA tournament.  The only negative for Peter was that he wished he was on campus so he could storm the Bell Tower.

But alas!  NC State proceeded to the NCAA Tournament and has won 4 games to make it to the Final Four so he's been able to storm the Bell Tower a lot! Here's a couple of pictures:


And here they are after they beat Duke to make it to the Final Four!

Peter took this picture.  Whenever State wins they light the bell tower red.

And this is a screen shot I took of the live feed from the  Bell Tower Web Cam after they beat Duke.

Peter was wearing his NC State hat and a pair of jeans when he was in Vegas and they won.  So for the next two games in Vegas he went back upstairs before the game and put on those same jeans and that hat.  And guess what he's worn (without washing!) for all the the NCAA Tournament games as well?  Yep! Those exact same jeans and that hat.  And guess what he will be wearing on Saturday when they play number one seed Purdue?  I'm sure those jeans are probably able to walk on their own at this point! 

And I would also like to point out that the NC State women are also in the Final Four!  That's crazy to me!  

And don't just think it's the college kids who are getting excited!  This is a picture of my mom at her senior workout class the day after beating Duke!  There were quite a few Wolfpack fans working out that morning!

Look at my beautiful mom in the middle sporting her NC State gear! 

That's it for me now.  Looks like I'm basically blogging once or twice a month at best.  But honestly, if the kids aren't doing something, I've got nothing to write about.  I think I need some hobbies.

And for all of my blogging friends, I'm sorry I'm not getting to your blogs regularly like I used to.  I'm trying to get back in a schedule of sorts and I'll try to do better!