2012 So Wonderful, So Marvelous Favorites.

31 December 2012 | 4 Comments

January:  It’s funny because a year later, we’re still arguing about the dishwasher and yet, he’s still the one for me.

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February:  How to make GREEN eggs and that time I slightly blew up the espresso maker.


March:  Screw up your husband’s birthday every four years, it’s fine… celebrate his half birthday instead.

April:  Tate started walking.

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May:  Crockpot chicken tacos rock my socks off and Finn has the most excellent Scooby Doo party.

June:  Oh look, Dave broke BOTH of his arms at the same time.  Now that takes talent.

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July:  Tate’s first birthday party and yummy orzo pasta salad.

August:  Sea salt chocolate chip cookies, the Sandlot outdoor movie night, and the entire bloggers on marriage series.

September:   The day that all of you made me piss my pants reading comments, my brother, and sneaking off to Atlanta.

October:  I totally made this.

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November:  About that whole almost dying thing and chocolate covered Oreos with sea salt

December:  Give.

So there you have it, my peeps, a year in review here at So Wonderful, So Marvelous.  If there is something you’d like to see more of or a topic you’d love for me to cover in 2013, let me know.  Thank you for sticking around each and every single day.  You make blogging infinitely more fun and things would just not be the same around here without you.

Christmas Hangover.

28 December 2012 | 3 Comments

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10. Number of songs on the hot playlist I created for New Year’s Eve.

4.  Number of tiny razor sharp pieces of toys that the Davester has stepped on and subsequently yelled about.

90.  Number of sea salt chocolate covered Oreos I made.

207.  Number of Rolo turtles I made.

2.  Number of Christmas Eve meltdowns from a five year old, resulting in not being able to open gifts with the rest of the family.

3.  Number of baby dolls Tate received.

99.  Number of cents Dave spent buying Finn’s new Where’s My Perry app… also the number of minutes they each have spent playing it.

21.  Number of people coming to dinner at my mom’s house tonight…


How was your holiday?

Merry and uh, bright?

23 December 2012 | 5 Comments


Happy Christmas to you and yours.  I’m so grateful that you choose to spend some time with me. 

This place just wouldn’t be the same without all of you.


20 December 2012 | 10 Comments

Growing up, we didn’t have a ton of money.  I mean, we weren’t destitute by any means, but we didn’t have a lot of extras.  We were lucky, we have a very generous extended family who believe it takes a village to raise a child.  My aunts and uncle made so many things possible for us that we might not have been able to do otherwise.

Even though we didn’t have a lot to give, I still remember my mom giving.  Vividly.  There was time at the soup kitchen.  If there was a friend in need, she was there.  There were endless amounts of food baskets put together and delivered.  There were stray dogs who were found new homes.  There were plates of cookies and a visit with elderly neighbors.  There were babysitting swaps with her friends so they could have nights out.  There were lists of toys and clothes arranged as ornaments on a tree at church for children who didn’t have anything. 

Boy, age 7, wants shoes and a truck for Christmas. 

Girl, age 12, wants a coat and earrings for Christmas.

At the time, I don’t think I appreciated the value of exactly what she was giving me.  Not at all, in fact.  Do you know what it is like to deliver baskets of food and gifts to families living in the projects and watch a mother’s eyes light up as much as the three year old?  Because I do. 

My sixteen year old self didn’t realize what exactly a parent might feel just being able to have a gift for her child.  Or something as simple as a meal to fill their belly.

My thirty-six year old self does.

This morning, I was at the grocery and as I was leaving, a manager was walking outside to tell a man to stop bothering customers for money.  I get it.  Really, I do.  Something inside of me though, it was hurting my soul.  This gentleman was probably in his sixties, in a motorized wheelchair, one leg missing, wearing a spring jacket and a sock covering the hand operating the wheelchair because it was so cold.  The manager told him to leave and not to ask any more customers for money on his way out.  I put Tate in the car and watched him start to leave before sprinting across the lot to give him the few dollars I had in my wallet. 

Sunday night, Dave and I were introduced to Family House by my friend Casey when we were looking for a place to donate some board games and dvds.   After reading more about them, we made a quick call asking what else they might be able to use and made a trip to Sam’s.  Dave and Finnegan dropped off the items after school on Tuesday.  A little boy greeted them with a hello and asked if they were new.

That could have been the situation.  They might not have been dropping off items.  We might have needed a place like Family House.  Or you might have.  Or your mother or your brother or your best friend. 

It takes a minute, a second really, to smile and offer someone a kind word.  It takes a few dollars to pay for someone’s coffee.  It takes a half an hour to visit with an elderly person.  What would it take for you to clean out all of the hats and gloves you have in your closet and donate them to a homeless shelter?  Could you use your lunch hour to volunteer at your child’s school?  Could you buy that truck and pair of shoes for boy, age 7?  Could you donate $14.60 to feed a meal to ten people?

Please, give.  Let your children see you give, let them participate.  You’re giving them a gift too. 

And Mom?  Thank you.

Christmas. Balls.

18 December 2012 | 11 Comments


  1. I decided Sunday night that my wrapping theme this year {brown paper packages tied up with string} looked terrible when it came down to it.  I ask you… WHAT five year old wants to open a box colored present?  So, I unwrapped the ten or so gifts I had already done and replaced my theme with hodgepodge of colorful paper of years’ past.  I love it.  The Davester helped me even though he realized that he is married to a crazy person.  Keeper, that one.  
  2. I don’t know how much money to spend on Finnegan’s teacher.  Part of her gift is a heartfelt note of thanks, but also I want to say, here is a gift card because I know you are a saint and I want you to look past Finnegan’s constant talking in class and asking for band aids for things that aren’t really there.  Like his ‘broken’ leg.  But not, like I’m paying you for amazing grades because everyone knows you save up that money for when you’re getting letter grades and not just plusses and minuses.  Duh.  How much is appropriate for that kind of gift?
  3. I also want to know what you do when you have two kids who are far apart enough to know that Santa is bringing presents for Finn, why aren’t there a ton for Tate?  Because Mommy didn’t do anything for you at this age and I have zero good ideas about what might be fun for her since she just likes to take your toys anyway.  Bonus: When Finn stops believing, it will be Tate wondering why Santa isn’t bringing proper gifts for Finn.  If Mommy’s stupid ovaries knew how to cooperate, we wouldn’t be facing these four years apart issues.
  4. At what point in the day is it appropriate to start drinking egg nog? 

In addition to all of the pondering and ball juggling I’m doing, I’m also cleaning my house.  I’ll bet you didn’t realize I was swimming in glamour today.  Have yourself a happy Tuesday!

About Them.

15 December 2012 | 2 Comments

Today, my friend Amy and I got together for lunch and finishing up our Christmas lists.  Grateful for the time to catch up, we were totally unaware of the horrific tragedy unfolding 600 miles away in Newtown, Connecticut.  We talked about Christmas and the boys’ first months of kindergarten and how weird it is to walk into a school and realize that you are not a student anymore, but someone’s mom.

Those twenty mothers and fathers who lost their tiny little children, they were no different than I was this morning.  The struggle to get your child to school fully dressed, with breakfast in their belly, on time, and listening to them happily chatter about show and tell, it is one that every parent of a kindergartener knows all too well. 

That was me.  It was Amy.  It was twenty parents, 600 miles away. 

The only difference was that we were the lucky ones.  Our little kindergarteners walked out of their classroom with all of their silly little friends laughing and calling out goodbyes.  They jumped in the car and chattered happily about a secret little elf leaving a jingle bell in their coat pocket.  We will have another rushed morning, another stubborn moment, another hug, another night walking into their room just to touch them on their foreheads and pull the covers up to their chin.

Please keep in mind that all of the ranting, all of the talk of gun control, the asking of these tiny children to recall horrific events on national news, all of the speculation, the anger, the what ifs, every piece of negative energy we’re putting out there about this… these parents and the families who lost their adults as well… this isn’t helpful to them.  I can not imagine a worse fate for any of these families today.  And to have a thought about any of that bullshit, taking the place of the loving, amazing memories of their children laughing or playing or wrapping their arms around them, is criminal. 

Lift these people up in good thoughts, in prayers, in anything love filled, they need it.  Every last bit you can muster.  They are hurting.  And the rest, the rest can wait.

The List.

14 December 2012 | 10 Comments

Every year, I write the Davester a list.

A list of stuff I want. 

Call it partially a gift to him because shopping stresses him the fuck out.  Shopping for gifts is most definitely my job.  I like doing it.  I like finding fun creative things or items that I know people will love.  I also have zero problem with calling someone I’m not sure about and asking what is on their wish list.  I really think all year about what I want to get Dave for birthdays and Christmas and I keep a running list of things that he mentions stashed away in a note on my computer.

All year.

He is getting these awesome collar stays from Tesoro Jewelry for his fancy pants shirts.  {Oh hey, honey, you’re getting these but they aren’t arriving until after Christmas so I’m telling the whole internet and you at the same time!  Merry Merry Sucka.}  He lost one of his current favorite pair when we went to Atlanta in September and I made a note.  Plus, obvs he is a bad ass.


He?  Does not think that way and that is totally fine.  I don’t expect him to.  Not one bit. 

I used to think he should just know these things and then I ended up with a stocking full of nothing but chocolate when I was supposed to be watching my pregnancy blood sugar.  That, coupled with ridiculous hormones and I was a sobbing mess on Christmas morning.  And for what?  Because I wanted him to be a mind reader?  This man does the kindest, most lovely things for me all year long and I was putting all of this dumb ass pressure on him about one day. 

So, I stopped. 

Now, the list is just a bunch of wants.  He chooses whatever he likes and often goes rogue with his own ideas.  But, if he doesn’t have any ideas or he is too busy to sit down and think about it, he’s not wandering around the store aimlessly for an hour stressing.  Maybe this makes me a spoiled brat, but I think it makes me a good wife.  There isn’t any guessing sizes or freaking about whether or not I have a certain book or what was the name of that mascara I love. 

Some of it is housed on my Wish List Pinterest board, marked with an asterix if it is a current want, some of it is emailed to him with specific sizes and colors and links to the items online, and some things are just scribbled onto a piece of paper.

Do you give your guy a list?  Is he a good gift giver without one?  Ever had a hormonally fueled Christmas meltdown?  Spill it.

10 Reasons I’m Not Sending Christmas Cards.

11 December 2012 | 5 Comments
  1. It is already December 11th.
  2. I have PTSD from all of these Elf on a Shelf pictures floating around.
  3. I haven’t taken a Christmas picture of the kids.
  4. I’m saving paper.  Ahem.  Read lazy.
  5. I’m saving stamp money.  Ahem.  Read cheap.
  6. I am saving my sanity.  Ahem.  Read nutso.
  7. Writing for two hours turns my hand into the claw.  No one likes a Mommy with a claw.
  8. Santa already has me on the naughty list.
  9. Two words.  Paper.  Cuts.
  10. I’m all liquored up on egg nog.  Except I don’t drink the nog so much as the rum.


10 December 2012 | 6 Comments

Finn: I am going to do something and you have to write it on your blog. What the what?? Put two question marks, that means what, what!

Finn: OK mom, now read me that whole thing.


Me:  Did the tooth fairy see you in your underwear last night?

Finn:  No.  Are you kidding me? Tate’s doll was on my pillow and I had the covers on.  Well they were pulled up but my nipple was probably hanging out.


Finn: It’s Wicked Sour Bug Juice.

Me: How is it buddy?

Finn: It tastes like hand sanitizer and popcorn.

Finn: I am NOT going to drink any more of this.


Finn: I know why Aunt Lisey calls her car Black Beauty. Because it’s a beauty. But it isn’t really a beauty.

*a minute later*

Finn: It’s like twelve years old. It’s like SIX months from OLD! It is not a beauty.


Finn: Is that the outlet? That white thing.

Dave: Are you talking about the thing in the wall or the little thing that we put on to keep Tate’s fingers out?

Finn: Yeah.

Dave: The white thing that we plug things into is the outlet. The little plastic thing is the outlet cover.

Finn: So, what’s an in-let?

Dave: Good question.


Finn:  The air chuck and tough flying tape for the air chucks butt.

Dave:  What did you say?

Finn:  I’m going to help you with the air chuck and the tough flying tape.

Dave:  What?

Finn:  Tough flying tape.

Dave:  Teflon tape.  Teflon.

Shopping, Gifts, and Christmas. Oh My!

05 December 2012 | 2 Comments

Monday night, I sent the Davester to the store because I had $15 to use that expired that night and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  He wandered around for an hour.  An hour!  Why was it so hard to use up $15?  One, he’s a dude and is definitely not the family gift shopper.  Two, because we’ve been absolutely pitiful about our idea list this year.  The only thing I actually have covered is the Stocking Stuffers.

It is time to get serious.  Enter the BlogHer Holiday Gift Guides.  There are tons of ideas already and more being added throughout the month.  Need something for a coach?  A co-worker?  Fun ideas for furry family members?  They’ve got it.

One idea I am stealing for sure is to include a sincere thank you note to your child’s teacher, one I know Finn’s teacher richly deserves.

Want to splurge?  How about the new Galaxy S III for that techie geek in your life?  Believe me, I love mine.  It will have you saying, “iPhone? What iPhone?”

My favorite item and certainly the most unique?  Manure.  {Yes, really!}  Equally good for someone who has a sense of humor and someone who isn’t a favorite on your gift giving list!

This post is part of BlogHer's Holiday Gift Guides editorial series, sponsored by Open Road Media.

Favorite Christmas Songs.

04 December 2012 | 16 Comments

There is a radio station in our city that plays endless Christmas music from November through January.  It drives me nuts that they don’t wait until after Thanksgiving.  I never met a Christmas song I didn’t like.  I just like them after I’ve had my turkey and eaten it too.

Now though?  All bets are off.  I’ve got that sucker blasting Little Drummer Boy until the Davester can’t take it anymore.

The only thing I can’t listen to is the songs with the military “merry Christmas to everyone at home” dubbed over the top.  I was cooking dinner the other night and I started sobbing until Dave switched it.  I mean, our military members give up so much and all of those sweet wishes for friends and family back home, it really hits you what they are sacrificing. 

It turns me into an ugly crier. 

On to my favorites!

Chocolate Covered Oreos with Sea Salt

29 November 2012 | 0 Comments

The first time my sister saw these Oreos dipped in chocolate and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, she turned up her nose.  She’s not an adventurous eater, that Elise.  We finally convinced her to try one and a single salty, chocolatey bite later she was hooked.   This is by far, the recipe I get requests for.  Luckily, it’s also the easiest thing to throw together.  Anyone can do these. 

Almost three years ago, I was looking for a quick and easy Valentine’s Day treat and decided to make these Oreos.  That first batch had little red chocolate hearts on them, but what put them over the edge was the slight sprinkling of sea salt, it kicks up the chocolate flavor a notch and a half.  My mom fell in love with these and they are her favorite guilty pleasure.  I usually make them without the extras, but if you’d like, you can add pretty sprinkles like Emily at Jelly Toast did.  I make them at least once a month for everything from birthdays, to shipping them off to my sister Elise at college, to holidays, to just a batch for us to enjoy.  They are pretty enough and ‘fancy’ enough to put them in a little box and give them as a hostess gift or a little something for Christmas too.

And they taste really, really good.

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Chocolate Covered Oreos with Sea Salt

The first time my sister Elise saw these Oreos, she turned up her nose until Lyndsey convinced her to try them.  She’s not an adventurous eater, that Elise.  One bite later, she was convincing me box them up and ship a batch to her.   This is by far, the recipe I get asked to bring the most when we have get togethers.  Luckily, it’s also the easiest thing to throw together.  I can literally do an entire tray full in 15 minutes. 

Almost three years ago, I was looking for a quick and easy Valentine’s Day treat and decided to make these Oreos.  That first batch had little red chocolate hearts on them, but what put them over the edge was the slight sprinkling of sea salt, it kicks up the chocolate flavor a notch and a half.  My mom fell in love with them and they are her favorite guilty pleasure.  Now I make them without the extras, but if you’d like, you can add pretty sprinkles like Emily at Jelly Toast did.  Since that first time, I have made them at least once a month for everything from birthdays, to shipping them off to my sister Elise at college, to holidays, to just a batch for us to enjoy.  They are pretty enough and ‘fancy’ enough to put them in a little box and give them as a hostess gift or a little something for Christmas too.

They are really, really good.

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27 November 2012 | 7 Comments

Finn:  I’m like really really really hungry.

Michelle:  Well, if you’re really really really hungry, you can go get a Clementine, a banana, a Babybel, or a yogurt.  We’re going to eat lunch in an hour.

Finn:  How many hours?

Michelle:  In an hour.

Finn:  How many hours is that?

Michelle:  An hour is one hour.

Finn:  UGH.  Mom!  That is like THREE minutes.  It’s too long.


*Homework in our house.*

Dave:  If the word rain began with the letter T, it would change the word.  Listen.  T T T T T T-rain.

Finn:  Yeah, terrain. 

Dave:  No, listen.  T T T T T T-rain.

Finn:  I know, terrain.

Dave:  T T T T T T-rain.

Finn:  Terrain.

Dave:  TRAIN.  It makes TRAIN.

Finn:  Or terrain.



26 November 2012 | 10 Comments

I’m ready for these thankful posts to be done on Facebook.  I think people were supposed to go the whole month, but most of mine are already over it.  It’s a reach when you’re saying you are thankful for apple pie and coffee and naps and that your kids didn’t kill one another because of a 15 hour car trip.  I mean, duh we all know that.  It’s also too much when you write an essay each day, it makes me think you’re trying to talk yourself into feeling thankful about making beds or doing laundry.  I am not thankful for those things to be honest, if you didn’t have to do those things, THEN you should feel thankful.

I think the whole thing is bullshit and you should be happy and thankful for the good in your life most days without clogging up my Facebook feed. 

One thing I am thankful for?  My Buckeyes beat that school up north. The best thing about this is, I can finally go back to road tripping to Ann Arbor for shopping now that football season is over. It’s the end to my own little embargo.

Photo: Best day of football has arrived!  Let's go Bucks!

Thanksgiving was typical.

By three o’clock I was googling how to remove gravy from my gravy covered boobs, Tate had sweet potatoes in her hair, and we were rock paper scissoring who would tell Finn he needed to take a nap. 

The kids had a bottle of sparkling apple juice and real wine glasses so they were big time.  The food was great as usual except I think I screwed up my Meme’s stuffing, I blamed the old lady though so it’s fine.  Let’s all pray she doesn’t kick the bucket before next year because I can not be responsible for doing it on my own.  Finnegan got up on a chair in front of all sixteen of us to deliver the prayer, he called everyone to order with his duck call.  This is apparently how we do it in crazy town. 

Round two at Dave’s peeps’, we didn’t even make it to dessert before mutiny was declared and we packed up the car to put the beasts in bed.  Too much excitement and too little sleep.


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I went out on Black Friday, my cousins were here from Chicago and went with us… Morgan was dancing in H&M and I made her pose in her pajama pants with the half naked Abercrombie model just so I could send the pic to my aunt. Ah to be twelve again and out at two in the morning hopped up on soda.

I would like it noted that we waited until midnight to go because seriously, it’s crap this opening on Thanksgiving thing. The fun is being sucked out. The ads now come out a month in advance, the secret and mystery of opening that paper on Thursday morning and circling all of the deals before you with a sharpie. Now we’re opening ON Thanksgiving. The deals are even better for cyber Monday, so why trek out in the cold to shop? It makes me sad because black Friday is tradition and now I just feel eh about doing it next year.

Speaking of shopping there are oodles of stocking stuffers just waiting for you on my Pinterest board if you’re looking for the funnest ideas evah. 

What are you hoping for in your stocking?

Thankful It’s Over.

25 November 2012 | 2 Comments

Trust me when I tell you the secret to great leftover turkey sammies.  Cranberry sauce and Havarti cheese. 


We had a great weekend, but I’m ready for some quiet.  It was jam packed fun, mixed in with some epic kid meltdowns just in case that holiday spirit tried to make an early appearance.  We can’t have that, you know.   

A whole packed post filled week awaits you.

I hope you and yours had a great one too!  Who is ready for some quiet time?


20 November 2012 | 21 Comments

Two years ago, I was seven and a half weeks pregnant with Tate after a whole crazy fertility journey that took more out of Dave and I than I care to admit.  We had told a handful of people.  We were planning on telling our families on Thanksgiving.

I took my Meme to the store to shop for her famous stuffing ingredients.  I was happily making plans to put together the tables.  I couldn’t wait to hit the stores for Black Friday. 

The morning before Thanksgiving, I woke up and things didn’t feel right.  I thought it was pregnancy nausea.  Finn had crawled into bed with me that morning when Dave left for work and had fallen back asleep.  I made it ten steps to the bathroom before figuring out that something was very very wrong. 

I was on the floor seconds after having that thought.

A lot of the details are fuzzy after that and it is just now gotten to the point that Dave and I can talk about it.  Before, when I’d ask, he’d get that uncomfortable tone that meant he’d curtly answer my questions and he didn’t want to re-live any of it.

I screamed for Finn.  He was three at the time, he stayed really calm even though I could tell he was upset.  He brought me the phone and I managed to dial Dave. 

In hindsight, I should have just dialed 9-1-1, but I remember thinking they would have had to breakdown the door because Finn didn’t know how to open the lock and I didn’t know what they would do with Finn.  I don’t remember any of what I said to Dave on the phone, but he said that he knew something was wrong as soon as I started talking.  He left work and sped home, calling my mom and then my RE {fertility doc} on the way.

I either passed out on the phone with him or right after.  Then, I managed to crawl into the shower.  Again, hindsight that was the stupidest thing I could have done, but I thought icy water would prevent me from passing out again.  That wasn’t the case apparently because when Dave got home, that is where he found me.  The doctor’s office told him to get me to the hospital immediately.

Cranberry Sauced, Thanksgiving Drinks.

16 November 2012 | 5 Comments

My sister Lyndsey used to be a bartender.  I asked her to come up with a few fun Thanksgiving drinks, she also gave them fun drunken theme names because that is how we do it around these parts.  Believe me when I say that the testing has been fun.  Drunk in mid-afternoon?  A little bit.

The first is called Cranberry Sauced and I could see after two of these, hanging out with your mother in law might be a little less painful… of course, I mean your mother in law and not my mother in law.  Hi, Sue!


Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

15 November 2012 | 9 Comments

Dave will eat anything.  Anything.  I once saw him order and eat an appetizer of beef carpaccio.  Do you know what that is?  That right there is raw freaking meat, peeps.  Barf.  My point is, there are few things he won’t eat, but that doesn’t mean that he likes everything either. 

Vegetables are a sore subject because anything mushy he hates.  That part is fine, I hate mushy, stewed, overcooked anything too.  The part that is hard, is convincing him to try something he ‘hates’ prepared differently.  It happened with zucchini until we grilled it.  It happened with carrots until we roasted them.  It happened with mushrooms until we sautéed them into a caramelized masterpiece. 

Oh hi, Brussels sprouts, you’re next… I am going to cook you and make you delicious just to convince him that he doesn’t hate you.


Pear Salad with Pistachios, Bacon, + Maple Red Onion Vinaigrette

14 November 2012 | 2 Comments

I get put on salad duty a lot for family dinners.  It might be the homemade dressings, it might be the crunch of some kind of nut, and it might be the fact that I own a bowl big enough to accommodate salad enough for twenty.

It’s probably the bowl.

I try to make it match the season as much as possible.  Strawberries + sunflower seeds in the spring, grilled peach + pecan for summer, anything with apples or pears for the fall and a wedge or a cobb thrown in here and there to mix it up.

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For this one, I coupled my mom’s love of pistachios with fall pears, and crumbled bacon.  Then, I topped it all off with a red onion, maple vinaigrette… if you haven’t ever made your own salad dressing, this one has the blender do all of the work.


13 November 2012 | 4 Comments

Pucker up, it’s cranberry time.  I absolutely love cranberry relish with turkey.  Psssst… I also love canned shaped jellied cranberry sauce, make fun if you will.   It is even better on the ultimate leftovers sandwich.  Mmmmm.  Turkey sandwiches are almost better than actual thanksgiving. 

I always thought it was something super complicated to make, but it turns out it isn’t at all.  Everything gets thrown in the food processor and it takes care of everything.  It also keeps for a surprisingly long time in the fridge and the flavors just get better the longer it sits, so make this a day or two in advance.


Oma’s Corn Casserole

12 November 2012 | 7 Comments

Dave and I started dating the night before Thanksgiving.  If we’re being honest here it wasn’t so much as ‘dating’ {how he felt} as hooking up {how I felt}, but I digress.  This isn’t about us, it’s about food.  So, the first time he took me home to meet his family was a month later on Christmas. 

Yeah… no pressure there.

I described it to my friends thusly, Norman Rockwell.

Not kidding.

Oma sets the table with her china, everything looks like something out of a painting, we have a family prayer, everyone makes polite conversation, and the food is just as delicious as you might imagine it would be.

My family is loud and obnoxious and we have things buffet style because it’s too damn hard to do it family style with twenty people, there is usually loud boisterous talk and if we are being honest, probably an f bomb or twelve.  We also have had drag queens at dinner. 

First impressions and all.

Here is the thing, I’ve asked Oma for lots of recipes over the last ten years.  My favorites are all scribbled out on index cards, tucked away, because I think she still believes everyone has a recipe box.  The best is when I was looking for a great mac n cheese recipe and I asked for hers.  She looked at me with her twinkly smile, laughed, and said, “Here is my secret to great macaroni, don’t tell anyone.  I just buy Stouffers.”

It was then that I knew she was my kindred cooking spirit.  Mix things that are more complicated with simple, great dishes.

Corn casserole is one of my favorites.  I love the corner piece the best.  I like it so much that I’ve started making it at my family’s dinner too.  It could not be easier to make either, three minutes tops.

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Talking Turkey.

All this week, we’re talking Thanksgiving.  It’s seriously my very favorite time of the year.  Except that one whole almost dying thing.

Over on Facebook a whole mess of you shared your love for the sweet potato… I feel like I’m missing out, so I’m giving them a go again.

I have recipes for you!  We’re going to talk wine and cocktails!  We’re going to talk table setting and my ridiculous love for a pretty place card.  And FAMILY, of course.  The bigger and weirder, the better over here.

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?


Oh, Hi. People READ Your Blog.

08 November 2012 | 16 Comments

It is weird to find out that people read your blog. 

When someone mentions it in person, I kind of get that uncomfortable, sixth grade feeling that screams SOCIALLY AWKWARD.  I have zero idea why this happens.  This is pretty much akin to my online home and I’m having you all over to drink coffee and stay in your pajamas all day. 

I’m proud of it.

I just don’t want to talk about it. 

It’s like Fight Club.

A million years ago, I wrote a post about how we conceived Finnegan using Clomid.  My mother in law mentioned something to Dave about that post and I walked around for two days flabbergasted that she read my blog.  Like flat on the floor stupefied.  I didn’t even know she knew that I had a blog.   There were lots of “Oh my God, your mother reads my blog,” comments from me and nervous laughter from Dave.  I’m sure she loves when I talk about our sex life.


06 November 2012 | 4 Comments

I am thankful that I live in a place where voting is such a right that people actually take it for granted.

I am also thankful that the deluge of political ads and phone calls will come to a halt.  Ohioans are really over it.

Vote, peeps. 

{Tate and I did last week.}


05 November 2012 | 5 Comments

Our house is nearly a hundred years old.  If you ask Dave, he’ll generally mumble something to the effect of rooms not being square and something always needing work.  I, on the other hand, see the gorgeous real wood moldings on every window and door, the wood floors, the charm.  Of course, when something goes wrong, it is generally not me doing the fixing.  That’s neither here nor there.  Ahem.  We just had this discussion the other day {while painting, painting, oh and yet more painting} about whether our next house would be old or new.  I’m spoiled by the high ceilings, the huge windows, and gorgeous French doors that you just don’t find in new houses unless you have a shitton of cash. 

Oh, hi.  I don’t have a shitton of cash.

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Because the house is ancient, there are some weirdo quirky things.  CHARM, damn it.  One is our bedroom closet.  Now, if I ever get around to showing you our bedroom in its after state from the debacle that caused us to rip out walls in our bedroom when I was a million months pregnant, you will see that they put an addition onto our room.  God knows when this happened, I’m guessing sometime in the late 50s or early 60s, but they also added a closet, so we have the existing tiny closet that was sort of closed off, but attached to a normal closet.  So it makes for a normal closet, only you can actually walk into it on the left and there are shelves built in all the way to the ceiling and a little alcove where we keep our shoes.

When we re-configured our closet, we removed an ill placed extra clothing bar.  It freed up just enough space for the Davester to install two of these cheapie belt and tie racks for the necklaces, bracelets, and scarves I wear the most.  {He has one on the opposite wall for his belts.}  I am able to grab things quickly and I find myself wearing things that I love more often.  Who knew that a whole $10 purchase would be the favorite part of our closet?  Well, that and the blue wall.



Little Monsters.

01 November 2012 | 1 Comments

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It is so hard to plan Halloween costumes in Ohio, there are some years it is snowing and some years that you’re walking around in a t-shirt. Last week it was eighty degrees, this week it was forty. FORTY. Finn had planned to be Hawkeye for Trick or Treating, but it was so cold I gave him the option of being Spidey or wearing a coat over his Hawkeye costume. He chose Spidey. Tate wore two long sleeve shirts, pants under her tights, and a sweater, scarf, and gloves. It was cold.

Dave took them trick or treating with friends while my sister and I sat on the porch bundled up under blankets with Thriller and Purple People Eater playing on Pandora. Lyndsey requires music accompaniment for the serious business of costume watching and candy passing out, I’m pretty sure it’s because we owned the Monster Mash record as kids, we’d play Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini a million times and dance around the living room.

Tate spent most of the time bundled under a blanket in her stroller just people watching, but he did let her go to just a couple houses, our close neighbors and a few friends in the neighborhood. He said she was so excited walking up to trick or treat with her brother, carrying her little bucket with a huge smile on her face. She thought she was very grown up.

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Happy Halloween Suckas.

31 October 2012 | 11 Comments

Get it?  Suckas.  Because you get suckers on Halloween.  Ha.  Ahem.

Moving on.

My sister Lyndsey and I used to go trick or treating, then come home and dump our candies out and sort them into piles.  The sorting was serious business.  There was the premium chocolate pile, things like Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, & Kit Kats.  The fruity pile, Skittles, Sweet Tarts, and Starburst.  The miscellaneous pile had Milk Duds, Suckers, & Double Bubble.  I mean yeah, it wasn’t our first choice, but it WAS candy. 

Right after we had my mom check everything for open packages, RAZOR BLADES!  NEEDLES!  SCARY THINGS!  PENNIES! she always traded me anything with nuts in it for anything like Smarties or Sweet Tarts.  I could get like thirty snicker bars for a handful of Smarties and a big Chewy Sweet Tart. 

It was a beautiful thing.

This video made me laugh my ass off. 

Happy Halloween!


30 October 2012 | 5 Comments

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I will be painting for the rest of my days, but it looks so pretty that I don’t even know what to do with myself.  I can’t wait to show you all. 

It started on Wednesday night when we started taking everything out of the room, we started sanding the woodwork and painted some huge color swatches on the walls.  By midnight, we were exhausted and thinking that maybe this wasn’t the best idea.  Dave looked over at me and said, “HOW did you talk me into this?  I should know better by now.”  And we laughed because really, he should know better, but by then, we were past the point of no return.

Now we just keep chanting, “It’s almost over,” even though we don’t believe it.  Until that happens, you’ll find us covered in paint, back aching, and rocking out to ridiculous music.

The next time I get the brilliant idea to paint something, I want one of you sweet people to slap the shit out of me a la Moonstruck and yell, “SNAP OUT OF IT!”


DIY Peacock Costume.

29 October 2012 | 16 Comments

I wanted to make Tate’s costume this year.  Nothing like getting all of my crazy costumes in while she is still too little to object. 

I mentioned something on Facebook {if you don’t hang out with us over there, you really should, it’s a loud obnoxious fun bunch} and you all had tons of brilliant ideas.  My friend Susie is the QUEEN of costumes and she and I chatted about some ideas.  I settled on a peacock because it involved no sewing {famous last words} and it looked do-able enough for me to attempt.  Susie turned over more tulle rolls than I ever would need {in the PERFECT colors!} and told me to get to work.


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Susie gave me two different colors of turquoise, a navy, a lime green, an emerald green, and a light yellow gold.  I used the blues the most with the greens and yellows as accents.  I wanted the back to be huge like a real peacock.  I tied three layers of tulle, just grabbing three colors randomly.  Then I took shorter strips and tied them to the loop for extra pouf.  I picked up the peacock feathers at Michaels, they came on wire, so I just wrapped those into the loops also and snipped off the extra wire.  For the front, I used shorter strips and only used two colors at a time to make it less poufy.  There are tons of tulle skirt tutorials on the web, if you google you can find one.  A friend made one for Tate when she was younger, so I just copied hers and used ‘no roll’ elastic rather than the ribbon that Nikki used. 

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I was planning on making her a headband with a few peacock feathers glued on.  Then, we figured it might just be freezing, so my mother in law offered got conned into making a fleece hat for her to wear. 

I found a bunch of patterns online, but what worked best was taking one of her existing hats over for Sue to copy.  I found an ADORABLE knitted peacock hat at Pretty Prissy Baby and figured we might be able to do something similar in fleece for Tate’s costume.  I cut the white eyes out of glittery felt, then she sewed two buttons on top of each other for the pupils.  The orange nose was cut out of orange felt in a loose heart shape and I asked her to just stitch along the sides of the heart so it stuck out a bit.  Then, she added the peacock feathers in the top of the hat and sewed a little piece of felt on the inside so nothing poked Tate.  She absolutely outdid herself on this hat, she even made the feathers removable so Tate can wear it after Halloween.  

If you are a non-sewer like me and you don’t have a SueSue of your own, you could easily find a plain fleece hat and just use fabric glue to make the eyes and beak.   

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I picked up the turquoise long sleeve bodysuit and the stripey tights at H&M Kids.  For Halloween she has an orange stripey pair rather than the off white.


It looks so funny with her walking around, she gets the biggest kick out of it.  The tail is pretty big, but she has no problems wearing it since the tulle is so light.

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