Cute or Hideous?

25 October 2008 | 8 Comments

It's not like I need these, but I really want them. And they look black here, but they're really deep brown. Totally impractical? Maybe. But they're only $34.

My funny gift to you!

23 October 2008 | 3 Comments
Laughing my ass over here... you need sound so turn it up!

Did you laugh?

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 17

Today, this little cutie patootie is getting SWIM lessons for next session!
Mr. Myles,
I hope you enjoy even though your stupid dad is involved.
Love, Auntie Michelle

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 16

22 October 2008 | 4 Comments

Well. Well. Well.


So Yeah, I was going to post tonight that my gift today was to myself. I went and bought three luscious caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

But then. I fell when I was going in the kitchen to take photos and broke our very pricey camera lens. Awww hell. I think karma just kicked me RIGHT in the ass for being cheeky regarding the giving. So... now I am currently looking for something to really give today. I have 2 hours left to figure it out.

Dear Karma,
Sorry for being a selfish bitch today. Thanks for the reminder. Next time, maybe a little less expensive reminder? I'll do better next time.

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 15

Yesterday, I waited for a bike rider to pass the intersection rather than making him stop and wait for me to pull out. Dave also wants me to point out that he brought Jordan a coffee in the morning. He said that even though he isn't doing the challenge, he's helping me do it. So even though he did this and is a McCain voter... at least you know he's nice sometimes.

House Party!

At the urging of my friend Noelle, I signed up at the House Party website. It is kind of a fun concept. They host a thousand parties on a single date to promote products sponsored by all kinds of companies. You fill out a survey to host whatever parties might interest you and your friends, then you are selected based upon your answers. The first party I signed up was the Arm & Hammer Go Green and I was selected to host! So today, a 22 pound box with all kinds of goodies arrived on my doorstep in preparation for the house party on November 1. I'm so excited about the products they sent that I would have told my friends about them anyway, but now they get to try them for themselves AND take home coupons and other freebies as well. The parties range from kid stuff, to a screening of Sex & the City on dvd, to Barilla pasta, to Xbox games. Go on over and check it out for yourself... and invite me to the party you get to host!

27 Degrees!

That was our overnight temperature. FAH-reezing.

So wouldn't these be nice and toasty? And at only $10, they're completely affordable as well!

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 13 & 14

20 October 2008 | 13 Comments
Yesterday, I gave my dad lots of compliments on Lyndsey's (millionth) 30th birthday dinner. We have a silly competition going on for everything we cook, so he may have been a little scared that I was actually complimenting him!

Today, I am giving a gift to you! Me?? You say. Yes you! Please go over to and check out loads of AWESOME posters supporting Obama.

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 12

18 October 2008 | 1 Comments
Today, we're celebrating Lyndsey's birthday with a big dinner hosted by my mom. So most of my gifts for today are to Lyndsey. I can't share what they are just yet in case she sneaks on here before tonight. I'll be sure to have pictures though.

I do want to share with you a gift from this morning though. My first to a stranger! We were in Costco this morning and I spilled my coffee when unloading my cart. The man behind us seemed a little surly and asked the cashier for some paper towels to clean it up for me. So then he is joking and laughing with us about how you can now get kids at Costco (Finnegan) and how they really do have everything. Well, I thought he was so nice that I got an extra $10 out from our debit card and paid $10 of his bill! I hope that maybe it made his day and that the cashier got a kick out of telling him. It made me feel really good, I have to tell you. So then, we went out to the parking lot and Finn let the wind grab hold of our receipt and this very nice lady went chasing after it for me. I felt re-paid by the universe immediately. Anyway, I think I am going to try to get a few more gifts in for strangers before the 29 days are over.

I also want to mention that you should watch Meet the Press tomorrow morning. Colin Powell is going to be on, the word on the street is that he is set to endorse Obama if you can believe it! So watch with me!

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 11

Last night's gift was a doozy. Dinner for 15 people! I'd say that was quite the gift.

On the menu:
  • Sesame dip, Onion Onion dip, & Spinach Herb dip all from Tastefully Simple. YUM. If you want to order some for yourself, you can email Noelle Christ at All you have to do is put Tastefully Simple in the subject line, tell her what you want, and an invoice will arrive in your inbox for you to pay via credit or debit. Those dips are worth every penny. I also recommend the Wahoo Chili & Fiesta very highly.
  • Annie's chili dip & cream cheese
  • Organic Tomato Basil soup in shot glasses. I cheated and went with some that I picked up at Costco. Worth every penny for the convenience factor.
  • Grilled veggie pasta with fresh herbs from the garden.
  • Grilled chicken
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Pumpkin dip
  • Caramel fondue!
  • Copious amounts of WINE! Jackie, one of the bottles we drank was your Oregon Merlot and it was a hit.

Dinner was a hit. I don't have any pictures because we were running around visiting with our guests and in general having a grand ole time.

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 10

17 October 2008 | 2 Comments
{cake image courtesy of Pink Cake Box}

This one is two fold. First, I called my sister with a VERY happy 30th Birthday "operatic" song. She enjoyed it thoroughly and has threatened to add it to my blog when I least expect it.
HaPPy 30th BirthDay LYndsEY!!

Second, Monty got a belly scratch and a treat last night when we got home.

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 9

15 October 2008 | 6 Comments
Mom, what IS that little bald guy doing in my spot??

Today's gift was a tiny little gesture for a friend that is going through a rough patch. We had a potluck dinner tonight and I brought my stuff and something for my friend. She's got enough going on, so I'm glad I could help in any small way. Heather, I hope that you had a good time with your crazy "internet" friends! You know we're here for you, no matter what you need, no matter what time, no matter how much you need us to do.

Lori, if this doesn't stimulate your ovaries... I don't know what will.
Thanks so much for hosting.
Baby... TONIGHT!

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 8

Sorry this one is a little late in getting posted! We had a really busy day yesterday, capped off with me being a little sick to my stomach last night. I feel much better this morning though... and no, I'm not pregnant!

On to my gift, this one is a little bit lame-o, but my gift yesterday was a back tickle for Dave. Sounds cheesy, I know. Brent and I were talking a couple weeks ago about who is the massager and who is the massagee in our respective relationships. Dave always is the massager, so I thought it would be nice for him to be on the receiving end for once.

I'll post today's gift later this evening.

If you ask me... the whole night was about giving.

13 October 2008 | 6 Comments
Disclaimer: Most of the comments in this post are from AM. She is much more amusing than I. She would like me to point out that at the end of the night, she gave away two tickets... also a gift! Because the night was about giving you know.

We gave money to Make A Wish Foundation. That is who Octoberfest benefitted. We gave some money to Sam Adams too... I mean really... we were stimulating the economy! Apparently, some of us stimulate in different ways.

Brent gave his wife love and support by holding her purse all night like a big girlie girl. I'm not sure he had a choice in his gift (notice the finger?), but he gave it nonetheless. I hope he got something in return for that one. If not B, she owes you one to be sure!

I peed in a porta-potty for you, my friend. If that isn't a gift, I don't know what is. Mostly it was because you called me Powder (I do look like death here) after taking this picture, I was laughing so hard I thought I might pee my pants.

These chapeaux wearing idiots gave us ENDLESS amusement. And it didn't take much coaxing, I must admit...

To get them on stage in front of 1,000 people to enter a potato pancake eating contest. Yes, that's right. POTATO PANCAKE EATING CONTEST. My friends, it was the highlight of my night.
They blamed me for talking them into entering.
I wish I were that persuasive.

OK, I am that persuasive. But it was all in the name of Ann Marie's birthday. And that my friends is an EXCELLENT excuse.

And the best gift of all. A night out with my girls.
It was very much needed.

Incidentally, the man who won the potato pancake eating contest is a friend of one of Dave's co-workers... apparently he earned his $50 gift card with burning the shit out of his mouth. Cheers!

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 7

Today, we had some visitors. Annie and Ben stopped by to drop off two jars of yummy chili sauce AND brought me two gorgeous flowers. Now that is a suprise that I'd like to have daily! It made my day.

So on to my gift for today. A good friend of mine & her family are going through some tough times right now. So, I put together a big box of food and household items as a small way to help out. I know it's just a small insignificant thing to do, but maybe it will help ease their financial burden just a little bit. And it seems as if lately, every little bit counts.

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 6

12 October 2008 | 2 Comments
I need to get more creative with my gifts I think. I need to do something for strangers or something that is a bit more thoughtful. If YOU leave me a comment of something spectacular in the way of gift ideas, maybe something will come your way!

Today we went apple picking, except the apples were VERY much picked over so we got a refund and called it a day. My gift of the day was frozen apple cider slushies for Amy, Brent, Lyndsey, and Emily. We also snuck in a bag of fritters for us to enjoy.

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 5

11 October 2008 | 1 Comments
Today is Ann Marie's BIRTHDAY! Happy happy happy birthday to you my wonderful friend!

So my gift of the day was an astrology reading for her. I hope it was insightful and thought provoking and interesting and fun!

We're celebrating at Octoberfest downtown this evening so anyone that wants to join us is more than welcome!

And if I was half as amazingly talented as Mr. Off the (Meat)Hook, I would make you this for your birthday... but I'm not so, it's the thought that counts right??

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 4

10 October 2008 | 5 Comments

Wow. Day four has been a fun one. You know, I feel like the more I give away, the more I am receiving in return! I know it's supposed to be about the giving, but the receiving is fun too.

Finnegan's friend Max at the zoo!

Dave mailed off some cds for a friend of mine this morning... you should have them tomorrow! I hope they help you as much as they helped me!

Today, I took Finnegan to the zoo for his Strolling With Strollers program. When I walked in to meet my friend Valerie, I ran into a very old friend of mine from high school! Amy and I went to Paris together and it was so much fun connecting and catching up on the last 10 years! Her son Oliver is just a month older than Finn. So, thank you to the universe for bringing me this fabulous gift.

Then, we went to lunch with my mom, Dave, and Annie. I had some business cards printed up for Annie's fiber art and gave her those as a little incentive to keep it up. She is so amazingly talented! My mom bought lunch, so another gift came my way.

And then I mailed off a bunch of photos to my great aunt Margaret. She is my grandma's older sister and at the ripe old age of 90, she LOVES to get pictures and updates about Finnegan.

Then, I got a House Party! I am totally geeked about this. They send you a huge box of stuff. This one is for Arm & Hammer's new Essentials line. The idea is that they have one bottle you re-use over and over and add water and a small little cartridge of plant based concentrate rather than wasting all of that plastic over and over again. I'm excited to try it and for my friends to get lots of freebies and try it too! I have also asked them to bring a canned good with them to pass on to the local food bank to keep the giving going!

So that has been Day 4 and it's only midday! This challenge is making me smile a lot so far.


I just got the mail and my awesome friend Emily sent me something! First, I am obsessed with meal planning because I am a great big freak... so that is the explaination for the gift. It has spots for each day's meal and a shopping list. You are so sweet Em! Especially since you have so many other things going on in your life right now. Thank you!

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 3

09 October 2008 | 0 Comments
I gave two gifts today. The first was being there to listen when my friend needed me today.

The second was kind of a cyclical gift. My Meme gave me this HUGE bunch of basil from her garden. Her thumb is much greener than mine! It was an entire grocery bag full coming out of the top.

So I turned the basil into PESTO and gave it back to her! I made the pesto on Sunday and froze it last night into ice cube trays to keep the portions small, then I popped them out when frozen, and put them into ziploc bags. Now, when she wants some pesto pasta, all she has to do is pull a cube out of the freezer and pop it into some hot pasta or she can pop a cube into some sauce.

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 2

08 October 2008 | 6 Comments

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, my in-laws' poor sweet cocker spaniel, Mindy passed away. She was a spoiled rotten, 14 year old, pampered pooch and much loved in the family. When they brought her home, she fit in the palm of my father in-law's hand. She was a good girl and she will be terribly missed.
My gift today was to bake the world's easiest peanut butter cookies and send them over as a small little ray of sunshine for a very hard day. I'm also giving this recipe to you too! Use it well.

World's EASIEST peanut butter cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix 1 egg, 1 cup of peanut butter, & 1 cup of sugar. Just mix it all up with a spoon.
Roll into balls and do the criss-crossy thing with a fork. Bake for 12 minutes.
What? No flour? No baking soda? Only THREE ingrediants? Yep. They are that easy. My Meme's best friend, Elanor passed this recipe on to my Meme about oh forty or so years ago and it has been a staple ever since. It's not difficult to memorize this one.


Guest Blog: Childhood dreams fulfilled

I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting this guest post, so before Michelle decides to stop speaking to me until I write it, here it is. I promise it’s not going to be a bunch of Libertarian ramblings, vegetarian propaganda, or pictures of my dogs in their Halloween costumes (however cute they may be!)

Getting to the point:

I’ll admit, I’ve had a pretty exciting life up to now. I’ve lived abroad, and traveled pretty extensively, graduated college, worked about every type of job imaginable, gotten married… but something has always been missing. Until Saturday, that is.

In 1991, a certain, special band was embarking on their European tour. Alas, my mother decided a loud, crazy concert, two hours away was not the place for a couple of seven and nine-year-olds. Seventeen, yes, SEVENTEEN years later, my sister and I were finally able to realize our childhood dreams, and attend….


I know what you are thinking.

And trust me, as someone who readily admits to having attended concerts by Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson and Hanson, I don’t care. It was an AMAZING show. My hearing will never be the same; my vocal cords are still strained; and I still can’t believe I spent $8 for a beer. It was all worth it though, especially when Jordan ripped his shirt off to serenade me with “Baby I Believe in You”.

Sister: AMY! He has his shirt off!! Why aren't you taking pictures??

Amy: ::drool:: er... OHH!! OK!!!

I am also happy to report, that while the “Kids” are rapidly approaching 40 (except Joey, who is 36 – totally within an acceptable age range) they are still hot, and can still sing. Their new songs are catchy, and they played all the classics (albeit, in some cases, at a lower octave). Their comeback felt like old friends coming together, not a bunch of washed up old men who need to do one last tour to pay for their blood pressure medication (which was how it felt when I saw Vanilla Ice perform a free show at the Great Inland Seafood Festival in Newport, KY in 2005. I wish I were kidding.)

Joey even broke out the original smiley face jacket.

Hangin' Tough - no knee replacements here!

The concert was everything I hoped it would be, and it was the best feeling to forget about being an adult and all the fun grown-up problems of the world for a few hours. Plus, admit it. You were a fan too!

Economy-schmonomy... we're going to see New Kids on the Block!

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 1

07 October 2008 | 0 Comments

Today, I am giving my mother a well deserved apology for my shortness on the phone last night.

I am also giving some snail mail encouragement to my friends that are in need of it right now.

Just small giving today, I know, but it is conscious giving nonetheless. What will you give today?

Challenge: 29 Gifts - Day 0

Lately, things have been going very wrong. Very (painfully, heart wrenchingly) wrong for some of my friends. Very wrong for our economy, for our country. I have a small medical issue that is also going very wrong. There is not a need for you to worry, it is being handled. My sister is turning 30 in 10 days and we all know that means that the world could explode. Not really, but she does have notoriously explosive birthdays. The Finnster has been sick. Just in general things have been very wrong. I will say that in the midst of all of this wrongness, my husband received a very well deserved promotion, and that is a very right thing that I am incredibly grateful for.

So, ever the one for putting goodness out into this world, knowing that not only does it make me happy, it begets more goodness. And lets face it, we can all use some goodness right now. If you would like to join me on my journey, watch the following video and head over to to sign up. Then, post it on your blog or you can leave a comment daily on my blog sharing what you did that day.

Find more videos like this on 29-Day Giving Challenge

So. There you have it. I'm going to try to remember to post my giving daily, but even if I don't post, I'll be giving. What would YOU most like to receive? What giving ideas do you have for your family? Your friends? Total strangers? Your spouse?

Won't you join me?

Please be on the lookout.

06 October 2008 | 2 Comments
For a very special guest poster.


04 October 2008 | 1 Comments
Heck yes Buckeyes!!!!! I super puffy *heart* you boys.

As if that weren't enough awesomeness for tonight... the Finnster is spending his second night ever away from us and staying at his J-ma's house. He's keeping her company since Papa is out of town tonight. We are pathetic in hoping that we can just sleep in till 9 tomorrow morning. We should be out partying it up, but we're old. Old, I tell ya!


02 October 2008 | 1 Comments

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