Kid Friendly Halloween Party

31 October 2009 | 2 Comments
We had the best time tonight, the party was an absolute success.  We had good friends, yummy food, and loads of tricks & treats.  My favorite things of the night were the veggie skeleton, the adorable goodie bags, the bread coffin {Women's Day via Be Different, Act Normal}, and the Halloween dessert bar {which calls for a post of its own}.  Heck I didn't just have those favorites, I liked all of it... the mummy dogs, the BEWARE caution tape anywhere I could put it, the ominous black hand floating in the witches brew. Everything made me smile.  We printed off the spooky FREE tags for the bags from the ever fabulous Lolly Chops.    

Now that Finnegan is old enough to 'get' trick-or-treating, it brings a whole new vibe to Halloween.  He and his buddies were running from house to house at full speed, he didn't ask me to carry him {or his bucket!} the entire time.  Sniff.  He's getting so big!  They were delighted to yell "trick-or-treat!" and "thank you!" to each candy passer-outer, smiles on their faces as big as can be. 

I am sure that our little monkey will sleep well tonight after all of the activity, as I presume is the same for the penguin, the bumble bee, and Spiderman are as well.  I promise to get working on the Halloween Dessert Buffet post this week, it was a doozy.  For now, I wish you a Happy Halloween from our house!  I hope you're enjoying your sugar coma as much as we are.

Spooky Halloween Sucker Holder

29 October 2009 | 5 Comments
Preparations are underway for our fun scary, purple & green Halloween party on Saturday.  Finnegan and I went to Michaels yesterday to pick up a few last minute things and peruse the Halloween aisle in hopes of snagging a good deal or two.  Originally, I was looking for a piece of styrofoam to insert into a box that we're using for the dessert buffet, but then I came across this awesome styrofoam skull that was half off!   He had to come home with us.  Making this adorable spooooky sucker holder was so easy, directions follow.

  1. Mark the drill bit with a piece of tape to the desired depth of your sucker sticks.  I wanted just about 1/3 of the sticks showing on mine.
  2. Drill holes in the styrofoam being sure to check spacing and look by sticking the suckers in and getting a feel for the final project.  Initially I attempted to just stick the suckers in, but the holes would get too big, it was difficult to push through and it didn't go in as cleanly, so the drill is the way to go.
  3. All the suckers make it rather top heavy, so Finnegan found a rock {it's pretty creepy how perfect that rock from the garden really is!} and we glued it to the skull and let it sit overnight.  I tried hot glue first and that didn't work, so I ended up with my trusty Aileen's Tacky Glue, which worked like a charm!  Really you could use anything to weight it down, we also discussed using big heavy washers from the hardware store.
  4. Stick the suckers in & wait for Halloween!

Chocolate Halloween Cupcake Toppers

28 October 2009 | 4 Comments

I'm all about the easy things that look like I did a lot of work.  For our Halloween party this year, we're doing a fun scary, not creepy scary theme and I'm using purples and greens to keep it a little lighter.  So, we have a pretty fab dessert buffet planned and I wanted something cute for the cupcakes and I remembered these that I made last year.  PERFECT, so I decided to re-create them.

  1. Go to the store and buy a package of candy melts, I bought the white ones that are vanilla flavored.
  2. Melt in the microwave according to directions.  Stir.
  3. Add food coloring {I use Americolor} to achieve perfect monster green.
  4. Pour into piping bag {or a sandwich sized plastic bag} cut off tip of bag.
  5. Lay out a piece of waxed paper.Make an X.
  6. Make another X on top of that.
  7. Connect the lines, add a little dip in each connector if you choose.
  8. Sprinkle liberally with green sanding sugar if you'd like.
  9. Stick in the fridge until ready to use!
Could not be easier and they look rather fancy. 
Happy Halloween!

5 Movies to Watch Over and Over. Comments Shmoments... This Deserved A Post

So, normally I do a WFMW post on Tuesday evenings, but tonight I was catching up on my reader {as in Google Reader} and came across THIS GEM from Susan over at Friday Playdate.  Go on, go over and check it out, I'll wait...



Waiting some more.

You're back?  So now you know why she's a blogger superstar and fabulous right?  Why I was compelled to write this post?  Well, ok... she does have a slightly unnatural love for Jane Austen, much like Dave's 86 year old Oma, but Sweet Home Alabama pretty much makes it all better.  Plus anyone that can sit through terrible movies just to make their kiddo feel better rocks... I know the torture that this entails. 

So, I was reading her post and started filling out a comment, but then I thought wow, I totally want to find out what YOU have in your top five.  I put a lot of stock in someone's movie choices, it's such a personal quirky way to get to know someone.  I mean anyone who lists Year One or Gigli in their top 5 can not be my friend ever.  Nothing before the year 2000?  Unless you are twelve, that shows serious commitment issues and even if you are twelve, it tells me your parents are not helping your development by introducing you, at the very least, to the best of the 80s.   

Without futher ado... I give you my list of movies that can be watched over and over.
  1. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - SJP before Carrie Bradshaw, Helen Hunt as the funnest best friend a girl could ever want, a strict ex-military daddy, a dance show, and more hairspray than you want near open flame.
  2. Cookie - I made my sister watch this movie over and over and over again as kids.  {Don't worry she paid me back with watching Hairspray! just as much.}  I was obsessed with the ex-con mobster dad played by Peter Falk,   hottie Adrain Pasdar pre-Heros as the hunk boyfriend, and spunky Cookie Voltecki, who doesn't take crap from nobooody.
  3. The Parent Trap - Not the bastardized version with LL, though that was likely the last movie in which she wasn't effed up on drugs.  The ORIGINAL with Hayley Mills.  I wished as a kid that I would find out that I was a twin and meet at camp and sing terrible songs that stay in your head for days and become best friends and destroy the gold digger with a jaunty little plan and live happily ever.
  4. Sixteen Candles - Anyone over the age of 27, I challenge you to say you didn't want to be leaning over a cake {hello fire hazard!} with Jake Ryan.  Dude, even Anthony Michael Hall the dorky freshman got his girl and the undies.
  5. Old School - Earmuffs... This movie is fucking hilarious.  If you haven't seen it, please do so immediately.  You're my boy, Blue.  That reminds me... I need to have Dave do a post about Tito's 21st birthday because oil wrestling in the basement of your parents house with a stripper is a story that must be told. 

Honorable Mentions:  Mystic Pizza, Office Space, French Kiss, Sweet Home Alabama, Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist, Oceans Eleven, Bring It On, 40 Days & 40 Nights, Beautiful Girls, My Fair Lady

Your turn!

Dorm Room Clean Sweep

25 October 2009 | 7 Comments
I can't believe she's letting me post these pictures.  And maybe this will be a slight incentive to keep it clean{ish} because wow, the entire time we were cleaning I think all of us were hoping praying that crawly things wouldn't come out of anywhere.

Four hours, seven garbage bags of junk to the dumpster, two garbage bags of summery clothes and shoes to go back home, & three exhausted sisters later, here are the results...

{Before}                                                {After}

Elise didn't even use the desk area, except to dump stuff.  We put her books {after she told us it took her 20 minutes to find her math book} on the shelf above her desk for easy reach.  Her Ghandi poster that was wrinkled and falling off the wall with tape all over it got a new frame.  Even the drawers got a re-vamp with new organizers and her jumbled up cords were untangled and threaded carefully around things to get them out of the way.

{Before}                                                  {After}

Her closet was overflowing so we went and bought the space saver hangers instead of her old system of hanging 4 things on each hanger. I am soooo not kidding when I say I can't believe she ever found anything in that closet. Clothes got weeded out and rolled instead of folded.  A drawer was given to her hair products and appliances to keep them off of the floor & vanity.  We put her bags and extra towels in a bin at the bottom of her closet and put another one on top of that where she can throw her shoes. We used plastic bins at the top of her closet to hold all of her food and dishes.  We also washed, bought new hangers {the old ones had broken} and rehung the shower curtain to hide her closet. 

{Before}                                                    {After}

She was seriously sleeping on her mattress pad.  Ummm, ew.  After a quick wash of the duvet cover & throwing away half of the stuff on her bed, we were able to put actual sheets on her bed.  {Can you imagine?!?!} And though it looks similar, we cleaned off all of the shelves and re-organized everything.

{Before}                                                    {After}

So there you have it.  Elise's dorm room clean sweep.  Hazmat suits are no longer needed to enter.
{For now...}

Hazmat Suits Needed

23 October 2009 | 3 Comments
Sister (& Dave) weekend has begun... guess what we're doing tomorrow?  Vacation, I think not.  This is Elise's filthy gawd-awful who knows what is in there dorm room at UK.  Yay!  We're forcing helping her detox her room.  Here is the fabulous panoramic (from Dave's cell phone) for your viewing pleasure.  And if it's possible, this pic makes the room look not so bad.  Oh, and this one doesn't even show the garbage bag on the floor and/or the massive amounts of crazy junk littering the floor.  Be on the look out for a before & after shot after we do some bleaching and re-vamping tomorrow.  Lord knows it needs it.

As If My Brain Dump Weren't Proof Enough. Uhhhh ADD. Sucky Blogger Alert.

Yep peeps, I have nothing but sucksville for you this week.  The creativity has been captured and thrown out the window... perhaps THAT is the side effect of the H1N1 vaccine?  I personally want to blame it on my adult ADD {self-diagnosed and likely total bullshit excuse for my insane lack of focus on any kind of anything that might bore me and/or cleaning of any kind} or maybe it's just that I am going to visit my little sissy!  Or seeing Em's awesome new house and all I want to do is find great rooms to give her inspiration and I'm sad that I am missing Will's Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday bash because it is right up my party planning alley.  Or that I am watching Dave Matthews on Conan {repeat} and dear Lord in heaven I want to have his babies.  Dave's not Conan's.  Not my Dave, I already have one of those, but Mr Matthews', whew.  But because I am feeling guilty, missing you, don't want you to think I am knocked up, dead, and/or otherwise preoccupied, I give you more awesomeness than I can eeeek out this week from some of my faves.

I really have to have this book. {Design Mom}

Noelle, the most fab TS rep & friend in the world... don't hate me but, I have to try this!  {Short Stop}

She is a genius of epic proportions and I want one of these in the mail.  {Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone}

Ditto.  {The Cheap Chica's Guide to Style}

I'm going to attempt the fat girl version of this when we're in Cali because hello! how cute is this?!?! {Fashion Under $100}

Hope she doesn't care when I steal her house fabulousness because really, could these colors be more amazing together?  {Freckles Chick}

Yum.  {Good Things Catered.}

So there you have it.  Hope you enjoyed all of these posts as much as I did.  I'll be soaking up as much Kentucky Bluegrassyness and sister bonding time as I can this weekend.  Enjoy yours!

H1N1 Vaccine (WFMW) & Brain Dump Randomness

20 October 2009 | 9 Comments
OK, I'm likely opening up a whole can of Works for Me Wednesday worms here.  Please head over to We are THAT Family for more fabulousness.  If you choose to comment on the vaccine, I would ask that you are respectful of everyone's {personal} decision on this matter.  Onward...

Yesterday, we spent five hours waiting to get the H1N1 vaccine.  It was a last minute decision to get down there so we took off without having made provisions for waiting that long with a two and a half year old during what is supposed to be his naptime.  Yeah.  Aside from the excruciatingly long wait, the Ohio Health Department in Wood County did an amazing job of keeping everyone informed about what was going on, the levels of the amount of vaccines available {the mist was readily available, the shot was limited} and even brought out bags of snacks & tissues, etc... to keep hundreds of people comfortable during the wait.  Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day to be outside and the kids had a great time running around on the grass getting all of their energy out.  I wish I had thought to bring my camera to document the process, but sadly I didn't. 

We went with the mist even though we had the choice, it was painless, we've had zero side effects, and though it is a live virus, it's also thimerosol free.  There is a weird swing going on right now with negative information regarding the vaccine, but quite honestly I feel really good about our decision to vaccinate.  H1N1 seems to be rampant in our area of the country and knowing friends that have been going through it, it is something I'd like to take every precaution to avoid if possible.  I fully realize that the vaccine isn't a guarantee, but it is a precaution just like washing our hands {which we also do} on a regular basis.   My husband and I read a lot of information before making that decision and I would encourage everyone to do the same.

So what are your H1N1 vaccine plans?

And on to the brain dump randomness...
  • Why is it not possible to get out of Target for less than $40?  Ever.  Seriously.  And mostly it's well over that!  Target you crazy bastard of lovely items, please stop being so awesome and filled with wonderful things.
  • I am really considering purchasing the GoGo Kidz for our trip to California.  Though, it bugs me to no end when people spell things with a Z instead of an S.  I ask you... is this something that should preclude me from purchasing?
  • I have been dying to make quiche, so that is my plan for dinner tomorrow night if I can get my ass in gear.  I love serving it with a green salad & homemade vinagerette.
  • The "Balloon Boy" story really pisses me off.  Ummm great thing to teach your children, lying to get on a reality tv show.  And the whole alien abduction thing?  Sweet.
  • The husband is on a business trip this week & I sleep better when he's gone.  Is that terrible or what?
  • I am working my way through my 101 Things in 1001 Days list!  I'm also going to get the book The Next Thing On My List thanks to Katie's Random Post.
  • I can not wait to spend a weekend with my sisters... yep, that's right... I'm dragging along Lyndsey to Kentucky to see Elise.  I feel badly for Dave and the insanity he's going to endure with the three of us. 
  • Finn is obsessed with monsters lately and I'm not quite sure where he's getting that.  He keeps telling me that he's afraid of the bad monsters in the basement.  Not fun.  Right now we're telling him that monsters don't live in the basement and that they don't exist.  Any ideas on how to fix this?
  • Breakups suck, not only for the people going through it, but for everyone else who has to watch.  {Love you both tremendously.}
Whew.  Ifyou're still reading, thank you for letting me get all of that out!  I promise not to blog whilst waiting for the Advil PM to kick in ever again that often. 

Happy Wednesday!

Lyndsey Marie

16 October 2009 | 6 Comments

People of the internet, this is my sister Lyndsey.  She is hilarious and only yesterday laughed for 20 minutes straight while getting Finnegan to say things like "chill Mama" and "jive turkey" in between gasps for air from cracking up.  She is a total freak of nature.  And wonderfully lovely.  And beautiful.  And ridiculously fun to be around and just about the kindest soul I have ever met.  And if I had a million dollars or even ten grand to blow, I would take her back to this very spot {that doesn't even exist anymore except in our minds} and I would celebrate with her and dance and drink copious amounts of rum in that little shack on the beach in St Martin.  Because she deserves it.  Today she is 31.  Please leave a comment here to wish her all of the birthday amazingness she so richly deserves.

Happy Birthday Lynds.

The Lazy Caramel Apple

15 October 2009 | 3 Comments
Because it's caramel apple season & I am lazy.  I give you... the Lazy Caramel Apple, even my sister Elise can do this one.

Take one honeycrisp or granny smith apple, remove the core, but leave the skin on, chop into bite size pieces.  Chop up a handful of peanuts.  Open a jar of caramel sauce, spoon some on the apple pieces, top with nuts {that's what she said} and enjoy!

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Despite the carding {I was informed by the lovely woman at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that I was THREE days from having to retake my driving test.} incident, we had a fantastic time in Grand Rapids, Michigan visiting our good friends. The beach visit was freezing, but they are the hosts with the most and I hope they enjoyed the Two Buck Chuck and the $18 cupcakes that we brought as a small thank you gift.  I also hope they don't mind that I *just* realized that the oh so cute thank you card I bought at that great little shop in downtown Holland, in fact, is sitting right in front of me instead of on the dresser where I was meant to leave it.  {Popping it in the mail tomorrow!}  They richly deserve as many thanks as I can provide!  They were, after all putting up not only with a two year old with far too little sleep, but also the Davester was in rare form with the jokes.  Oh yeah, my husband is nothing if not the cheese devouring, Michael Scott of inappropriateness, when he has a few beers... did I mention we had dinner at the New Holland Brewery??  I really can't take him anywhere.  Ever.

Pssst.  Jen!  Next time, we'll do this again, though Dave might fight me on that since he had a great time talking to M in geek speak and carrying on like a lunatic.  Cheeeese fingers!
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