Guest Post from Melissa at The Scarlet Cardinal

30 June 2011 | 4 Comments

The Scarlet Cardinal

Hi Everyone!  I am so thrilled to be guest posting for you today while Michelle takes care of her new little girl.  When Michelle asked me to guest post I couldn't believe it.  You see, I have been reading So Wonderful, So Marvelous for quite some time... waaaaaay before I ever had a blog.  And when I did finally create The Scarlet Cardinal, my blog about life in Philly and adventures at home, I finally came out of lurkdom and commented on Michelle's blog.  She was one of my very first bloggy friends, and continues to be a great support and hilarious confidante as I grow my little corner of the blogosphere. 

I don't need to tell you all how fabulous Michelle is, and so I felt a little bit of pressure to write a great post for all of you.  And so while thinking about Michelle and all the amazing people I've interacted with due to blogging, I was inspired.  I love my imaginary blog friends and they bring laughter and fun to my every day. In fact, I think they are way better than some of my friends that I have actually met in real life.

So without further ado, the top 10 reasons why bloggers make the best friends:

1. Your blog friends appreciate your quirky/snarky/goofy sense of humor and love you for it.  Or, at least you can't see them roll their eyes at your corny jokes.

2. You can know intimate details of their lives without ever having a conversation and that doesn't make you a creeper!

3. They will share your great recipes, tell you how snazzy your profile photo is, AND retweet that funny thing your dog did all in the same day. 

4. They will never judge the way you look.  Since they don't see you every day, they have no idea you've gained 5  10lbs and so they will always think you look fabulous. 

5. They love your mod podge obsession/glitter mania/curtain collection and probably have one of their own.  Therefore, you're no longer "the weird craft girl" in your circle.

6. They are always up on the latest and greatest and can help you find a great deal on it too!

7. They will always have the best ideas for that party you're planning, and won't judge you for using pom poms as decor, since even though they are so last season, none of us are really over that trend....right?

8. You can bond over a meal without fear that they will see the food in your teeth or the BBQ stain on your shirt.

9. You can learn from each other!  Learn about new cities or countries, great restaurants, how to make that whachamacallit all by yourself, how to deal as a parent, or just about anything else you can think of. 

10. Finally, your fellow bloggers support you-ALWAYS!  They leave encouraging comments, and helpful tips.  They might let you know about a possible sponsor, or sponsor you themselves!   They won't laugh at you when you say you have no clue what HTML is, and they will help you navigate and grow your blog.  And they DEFINITELY don't think it's silly that you write about your life and share it with "strangers" because let's be honest...we're all family here anyway. 

Thank you all for having me, and I hope we can become blog friends soon!  Feel free to visit me anytime!


Melissa is a Chicago girl transplanted to Philly.  She blogs about her fair city, life as a newlywed, and her Big Goals for 2011.  Get yourself over to The Scarlet Cardinal and say hello!

7 Pounds 10 Ounces.

29 June 2011 | 31 Comments
To say that we're all in love would be a mild understatement.  And she still doesn't have a name. 

Guest Post Meg from House Notes

28 June 2011 | 7 Comments

House Notes

Well hello there! My name is Meg and I am the proud owner of the blog House Notes. Usually I'm a cheap Goodwill diy makeover kind of girl, but in honor of Ms. So Wonderful, So Marvelous and her inspiration to me, I'm foraying into parties today.

Let me just say that I am no Michelle. She makes everything look so amazing and effortless. I, on the other hand, usually have grandiose visions that are above and beyond my capabilities and time constraints. And no matter how much I dream of classy and sophisticated, I usually land on raucous keg party.

This time around, I was determined to create an elegant setting using some of the inspiration I'd gleaned from Michelle. Here are a few shots of the space I put together for our Southern Soiree:

I wrapped the deck in twinkle lights and adorned the tables with tea lights and citronella votives to keep the party well lit after sunset and bug free. The temperature was surprisingly pleasant.
(The hurricane lamps at the ends of the table are my great grandmother's)









To keep my expectations in check, the total cost down, and my to-do list more manageable, we included a 'tapas cook off' as part of the festivities.

The top dishes were: coconut shrimp, dates stuffed with almonds and wrapped in bacon, bang bang shrimp and pecan crusted goat cheese drizzled in honey. I kept my contribution easy with a smattering of appetizers:

Now, I admit I got closer to classy and sophisticated than I have in the past, but the paper lanterns I purchased never ended up hanging from the trees ( silly I know, but I was stoked to find eyelet paper lanterns) and we all ended up hammered.
Plus, we all picked our nose...

I'm also pretty sure we probably infuriated the neighbors with our loud drunken singing at 3 in the morning. Especially when I kept screaming "white person party!" as we sang terribly to Bon Jovi.
But it sure was fun!
So, Michelle, tell us your secret! How do you manage to put together parties that belong in Home and Garden magazines but still have so much fun?
And can you do me one BIG favor? Cuddle and coo and kiss all over that beautiful baby girl for me! Congrats on your precious little bundle of joy! What a lucky girl she is!!

I am pretty sure that this post illustrates just why I love Miss Meg so much, she’s sweet, she’s from Georgia, and she knows how to have a good time.  She is endlessly creative and I am still trying to convince her to give me the fabulous red filing cabinet she made over ages ago, it’s just that awesome.  She can be found blogging {not often enough!} at House Notes, go over and fall in love with her style yourself or follow her on Twitter.

Last Weekend of Three.

27 June 2011 | 12 Comments

We spent our last weekend as a family of three. 

Baby Girl has probably arrived by the time you’re reading this and she still doesn’t have a name.  It’s crazy to think of us as a family of four, but it’s here. 

I am scared and excited and overwhelmed. 

But that post, it’s coming.   For the last weekend, it was just us three.

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I have a lot planned for you these next few weeks, posting will continue as normal.  Some of my favorites will be guest posting for you & I will be here also with a nauseating amount of baby girl photos and hopefully a name.  Hopefully.  I hope you’ll show lots of love to my guests and be patient as we adjust to life as four.  And thank you, so much for showing our family so much love from our infertility journey, to our big announcement, to finding out she has a vagina via Pioneer Woman, until now.  You’ll never know how much your kind words and emails mean.


24 June 2011 | 2 Comments

You all are probably sick of the Finnisms, but since most days they make me laugh my ass off I’m going to keep them coming.  Some day when he’s older, I hope he’ll go back through, laughing and reading.


Finn:  Mom, you wanna watch me fall from your bed?

Me:  NO! 

Finn:  Why, are you too busy?

Me:  No, I just don’t want you to get hurt Finna James!

Finn:  But I have this.  *Holds up his blanket.*  I’ll put it on my head and on my face and it will protect me.

Me:  I don’t think that is the way it works.

Finn:  Just watch.

Me:  Finn!

Finn:  *laughs, pretends to fall off the bed*   Ahhhhhhhh!  I did not hurt myself, I “tole” ya.  And on this one I’m even going to do gooder.


Finn:  Mom, who’s muscles are bigger… Hulk or mine?

Me:  I think yours are. 

Finn:  NO!  Hulk’s are!  Hulk got out of the silly putty because he is so strong!


{Dave was working from home.}

Dave: Hi *insert business associate’s name here* this is Dave at the Maumee office…

Finn:  {exaggeratedly LOUD “whisper” right behind Dave’s head} It’s Toleeeeeedo!

Dave: {attempting not to laugh and continue his message}


Me:  Finn, are you going to help me around the house today?  We have a lot to get done.

Finn:  Well, no.  First, I need to fight Venom and his brother.  They’re pretty tough and my Spider-senses are going off so it might take lots of hours.

Me:  You could fight the mess of toys in your room by cleaning them up.

Finn:  No.  But, I can play with my trains.


{Swimming at J & Amanda’s house with the cousins.}

Me:  Hey Myles, do you want me to hold your hand in the pool?

Myles:  No, I want Finn to hold my hand.

Finn:  I will hold his hand.

Me:  Finn isn’t big enough to hold you in the pool, My.

Myles:  He’s BIG!  He’s strong with big muscles!  {Putting his arms up like a muscle man.}

My Mom.

23 June 2011 | 11 Comments

You would think that by the time you’re 35 years old, you’re old enough to not need your mother anymore.  Oh sure, at 16 or 17 or 18, you’re SURE you don’t need your mom anymore, but really you’re a dumbass.  But at 35, it seems like you should be over needing your Mama.

I am not.

Sure, sure, she drives me absolutely nuts at times, to which Dave will attest.  She is an awful driver, but a champion {we are talking world class here} parallel parker.  She gets Finn maddeningly hyped up and gives him juice and buys him gifts at every turn.  She sometimes has to be told she’s overstepping bounds.  I know you’ll be shocked to hear this, but we’re rather blunt in my family.  Sometimes, frankly, she needs a kick in the ass.  But for every time I am crazed by something she’s done, there are 12 times that she’s done something wonderful.

A hug right when I need it.

Coming home to a spotless house after being in the hospital.

She hosts every family dinner and occasion without complaint even though I know the amount of time and energy it takes.

We go to the Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning and she takes Finn to get his lemonade and ‘breakfast cookie’ so Dave and I can stroll around together, just the two of us.

She calls me just to see how I’m feeling.

She loves Lyndsey and I equally, but differently.  A delicate mix to be sure, and something I hope to achieve with my children.

She is an endless source of laughter.  Belly cramping, people looking at us like we’ve lost our minds, tear inducing laughter.

She is there.  At four in the morning or in the middle of a meeting.  She is always right there if I need her.

She gives of herself every single day.  Fully.  To work.  To her family, friends, and strangers alike. 

She is a champion for those who don’t realize their own worth.

She is more than my mom, she is my friend.  I genuinely admire who she is as a person.

And today, she is old. 

Jan Bob, there would be an unmistakable void in our lives without you in it.

I hope you have the best birthday ever.  I love you. 

And so does Dave.  And Finn.  And Lyndsey.  And Richard.  And Meme.  And your brother and your sisters.  And every one of the friends you’ve had since you were twelve.  And the new ones you’ve made along the way.  And random strangers on the internet who read stories about the time you met Snoop or “that guy” from Nine Inch Nails.

Cars 2, I Think We’ve Done It.

21 June 2011 | 6 Comments

And it only cost us $28.

Finn’s obsession with Spiderman has been less than fun.  Mostly because people don’t understand when a four year old whispers under his breath, “reptiles must be freeeeee,” in a creepy low talker voice. 

Nor do they understand being shot at with “web” upon meeting him. 

Or that we’ve had complete tantrum filled meltdowns over the Spidey costume.  He only wants Spiderman underwear, on a good day Hulk or Captain America or the Thing will suffice.  I have to coax him into wearing one of his non-Spiderman t-shirts on a daily basis.  They conveniently “need to be washed” a lot in our house. 

Spidey in all of his many… so. VERY. MANY. plastic forms comes with us everywhere.  Everywhere, people!  Do you know what it is like to hear “spectacular, spectacular SPIDERMAN,” being sung 700 times a day?


Someone please remind me of this when I am bitching about stepping on Barbie shoes four years from now.

But Spidey, he’s sort of taken a bit of a backseat lately.  Sure, there is a renewed interest in Scooby Doo thanks to Dave’s mom buying Finn several of those books, but even old episodes on Netflix and Scooby Snacks aren’t enough to pull him away from the lure of the red and blue. 

What then has the gumption to pull him from the very claws of Venom, Black Cat, Spiderman, Sandman, and the Reptile? 

Finn McMissile. 


And DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN I will not even complain that you have to pay a premium for Pixar shit because the sounds in my house are no longer filled with evil laughter and disdain at the thought of Mary Jane being Spiderman’s girlfriend ewwww

Cars 2 is out this Friday, June 24.  Along with old favorites like Lightening and Mater, there are several new characters namely Finn McMissile, a badass British intelligence agent and his hottie partner, Holly Shiftwell.  Ahem.


My Finn?  He is beside himself.  We’ve been watching each new trailer as it comes out on the official Cars 2 site, he tells strangers about the new characters, we’ve gone and gotten the talking Finn McMissile car with the light up headlights along with Holly Shiftwell and a few old favorites that we didn’t have yet.  Believe me, I didn’t think it was possible, but we apparently didn’t have Guido or Luigi or Red. 

Spidey, who?

Money well spent my friends.  Well spent.

He doesn’t even know about the present from his baby sister yet… all of the bad guys.



Are you going to be lining up to see Cars 2?  What are the obsessions in your house lately?

Want to know a secret? I have NO idea what I am doing.

20 June 2011 | 6 Comments

Motherhood.  Dressing in something other than yoga pants... and I’m not just talking about “pregnant Michelle” here.  Being an amazing wife.  Friendships.  Carrying on an intelligent conversation with an actual adult.  Getting a good night’s sleep.  Exercising enough.  Being a good daughter.  Housekeeping.  Accomplishing my dreams.  Even figuring out what my dreams exactly entail can be a challenge some days.  Not yelling.  Cooking.  Being an innovative blogger.  Naming a baby.

Maybe once in a blue moon I’ll have a day where I feel successful in three of those at one time.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m doing great in one area and really fucking up the rest.  

Go on ahead and add ‘swears too much’ to the list.

If we’re being honest here, even getting a shower in some days is tough.

I sometimes feel like I know what I’m doing… but then, I realize I have no clue. 

None.  Zippo.  Zilch.  Nada.

Do you?  And if you do, can you fill me in on the secret?

24 Hours of Urine and Other Things I Shouldn’t Share on the Internet.

16 June 2011 | 19 Comments

I had my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, 37 weeks and 1 day.  The countdown to her arrival now stands at a week and a half away.

Here I am.  I get that I look like I am ready to pop any moment, but thanks for pointing it out random stranger. 

And then there is Finn pretending that he has “baby poop” on his hands while playing in his sand and water table.

We’re warped over here… just look what we do to our offspring.  We clearly should be doing this again, right?

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Tuesday morning, I wake up excited to start the day.  The weather is amazing.  I’ve had a good night’s sleep.  Finn is being awesome.  I have my OB appointment.  I have lunch plans with my friend Jordan.  I have a 90 minute relaxation pedicure scheduled with my friend Stephanie. 

It is going to be a great day.

I’m sharing all this with the prep nurse at my OB’s office.  She tells me I only gained half a pound this week.  This day keeps getting more awesome!

Then she takes my blood pressure.  And it’s high. 

Super high. 

But I feel fine!  It is a great day damn it!  She re-takes it and something screwy is going on with the cuff, so she goes to get another one.  Still high.  I should say too that my BP is always on the low end of perfect, so this was super abnormal for me.  I could tell by the look on her face that something was not good.

“Michelle, you need to lay down right now on your left side, do not get up from this table,” she gets a pillow out for me.  It’s also awesome because I am already naked from the waist down to be checked for dilation and Finn keeps asking me why I’m covered with a paper towel.


I lay there for 30 minutes, texting Dave.  Trying not to have a panic attack.

The doctor comes in, explains that I will be going to get a biophysical profile on the baby immediately and the midwife was coming in to take my BP.  If the bottom number was still over 90 I would be going directly to the hospital after the profile, so I would need to call someone to come get Finn. 

Um, ok?  Like that information wasn’t going to send my BP through the roof.

If the number is under 90, I was going to have a ton of bloodwork and pee into a jug for 24 hours straight.  I would need to be laying on my left side for as much of the day as I could deal with.  No stress.  Back in the office on Friday.  Also sounds like an intriguing and fun option, right?

Guess what I’ve discovered? Pee is the lesser of two evils.

  1. Collecting urine for 24 hours is not fun.  Especially in the middle of the night when you’re attempting to be half awake so you can fall back asleep and not stay up for 2 hours.  Let me tell you that didn’t work.
  2. Collecting urine gives you a complex that you indeed are not producing enough and OMG, WHY would they give me TWO jugs when I can’t even fill half a one?  Do people REALLY pee that much?
  3. Taking a giant biohazard bag anywhere will guarantee that people will look at you like a maniac and wondering what is in that bright orange jug you’re carting around.
  4. I really need to stop oversharing my tales of pee on the internet.  You people are going to stop reading aren’t you?


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And now, Dave won’t leave me alone.  Again

So uh, send good thoughts, won’t you?

Ombre Pedicure.

15 June 2011 | 7 Comments

In preparation for baby girl’s arrival, a pink ombre pedicure.


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It really is a shame I can’t see my toes.  {37 weeks, 1 day}


Take A Look, It’s in a Book. A Reading Raaaaainbow. Aka: A Giveaway.

14 June 2011 | 27 Comments

So when I gave away Two Kisses for Maddy the other day, I wished that I had a few more copies because y’all are quick and I got several emails in the first half hour of me posting.

Since we’re in major clean out mode in our house, we also gave a giant box of books to our friend who runs a used bookstore.  And then I thought, well… I have a few great reads that I’ve been dying to pass along to someone who will love them as much as I have, so I pulled out a few of my recent favorites.

Without further ado… here are some goodies that could be in a mailing envelope on their way to YOU by week’s end.

To win, leave a comment saying which color of the reading rainbow you’d like to have, and yes, you can choose as many colors as you’d like.  I’ll pick a random winner from each color on Thursday post them to the So Wonderful, So Marvelous Facebook Page and mail them out on Friday or Saturday morning. 

{you don’t even have to ‘like’ the page, you can just click the link to check in on Thursday, but dude we have all kinds of fun over there so you should ‘like’ the page, but if you don’t that is ok, you just won’t be hanging with the cool kids, but whatever if you want to sit with the band geeks like DAVE just go right ahead}

You will get extra points {and the points mean absolutely nothing, just so we’re clear…} for henceforth referring to me as LeVar.  Points will be taken away if you refer to LaVar as Jordy  like DAVE {band geeks are apparently also Star Trek geeks as well} stupidly did the other night when I was putting together this post and playing the Reading Rainbow song over and over.

And spread some good karma, pass this post along to anyone else that you know who loves to read because these are really freaking great books and let’s face it there are plenty to go around.

PINK – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This one is dark, I’m not going to lie.  It’s disturbing but very very good and really makes you think.  I wrote about it here.


RED – My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler

This is a hilarious, raunchy read about all kinds of one night stands that could only happen to Chelsea.  There is a midget in Mexico waiting for you.


ORANGE – Obsolete by Anna Jane Grossman 

Obsolete is a collection of items that have gone by the wayside yet live on in our memories.  You’ll be longing for a mixtape, phone sex, & a landline by the time you’re through.


YELLOW – Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer

I loved Seeing Me Naked, it’s chick lit at its finest.  The characters are fantastic and the dysfunctional family dynamic sucked me right in.


GREEN – The Know-It-All by AJ Jacobs

Read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from start to finish in one year and not become a pompous know it all asshole in the process?  See if AJ was able to do it and keep his new marriage in tact as well.


BLUE – The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Another year long quest, this one by Gretchen who attempts to find happiness in her day to day.  You’ll  be surprised by what she learns and it may inspire you to attempt your own Happiness Project.


INDIGO – I Love Everybody by Laurie Notaro

Laurie Notaro is one of those writers that make me laugh out loud as I’m sitting there reading, it’s only awkward when other people look at me funny.  This book chronicles her thirty-something years, her QVC loving mother is one of my favorites.


VIOLET – Shag’s Around the World in 80 Drinks by Adam Rocke

80 cocktails from around the world.  How to make them, how to garnish, and what to put them in… find your new drink of choice.  Shake.  And repeat.


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