Mending Fences or Arms… Same Difference.

29 June 2012 | 16 Comments

If you’ve been reading So Wonderful, So Marvelous for any length of time, you’ll know that my husband, Dave is always doing something ridiculous.

My least favorite was the time he cut off the tip of his thumb.

So you know, when I tell you that he jumped our neighbor’s fence that there is a story coming…

He jumped our neighbor’s fence.

First, let me say, that we love our neighbors.  They are wonderful and funny and some of our favorite people in the world.  Bea called and asked me to look across the street for any signs of weirdness because she had gotten a call that their alarm was going off and she was out of town.  So, I glanced, didn’t see anything and told her I’d ask Dave to run over and give it a quick look.  Sometimes their dogs manage to trip the alarm.

Dave walks over there in sandals and without a bat.  Now, I’m no Spiderman and neither is he, but those seem like two highly unintelligent moves if you’re potentially going to be fighting a masked dog bandit.  Right?

He peeks at the front door, nothing out of the ordinary.  He peeks at the side door, nothing out of the ordinary.  And then he takes a peek at the backyard for good measure where he can’t fully see the back door.

Now, a little digression if you will allow it, there is a pool in the backyard, so the gate on the fence is padlocked at all times.  To keep out neighbors like Dave.

So what does my 32 year old husband do?  He decides to jump the fence.  Just to check it out.




And proceeds to go over the fence in a manner unbecoming the 18 year old that he believes himself to be.  His shoe goes flying.  And he lands, for all intents and purposes, on his face.   He claims that instead of breaking his fall with his hands, he decided to pull his arms into his body, you know… so he didn’t break anything.

Clearly, that worked.

Dave is Broken.

My favorite part of the whole mess is the stares and comments he gets when out in public. There was the grocery clerk who told him he should have the sling on the other arm, until he explained that both arms were broken. There was the old man at the farmer’s market who asked him if he was playing hockey and told him about breaking his nose seven times when he was about Dave’s age. And let’s not forget the four year old who kept pointing and telling his grandma, “look at HIS boo boo!”

The stares, people… dear God the stares.

Good Day.

28 June 2012 | 5 Comments


As first birthdays go, I think it was pretty darn good, full of picnics and cupcakes and swimming.  I wish birthdays in your thirties were made of the same.

Today, we’re hiding out in the air conditioning while the temps top 102, a rarity around here.  I had intended on scrubbing out the baby pool and going for a dip, but I think that we’d be better off just avoiding the heat altogether.  Is it awful hot where you live too?

Tate… a Year in Photos.

27 June 2012 | 16 Comments

Tate 109 Tate 114

Tate 137









cedar point 041

tate first birthday 253

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Girl.  You were worth every little {and big} thing we went through to get here.

I Like You Too. A Giveaway.

26 June 2012 | 51 Comments

First, thank you for putting me over 600 ‘likes’ on Facebook.  Especially those of you who have been hanging out with me and participating since the beginning.  Especially Bridget, Bunny, Cheryl, Erin, Tawny, Amy, Heather, Nikki, Meghan, Susie, Erica, Stacy, Jessica, AND to Sarah T who was my 600th. 

I don’t often say it, but I’m really thankful for all of you who read and comment and email… even you quiet mice over there in the corner.  You make me laugh, you make me {sometimes} cry, and you touch me with your stories.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

So thank you.  And enough of the mushy puppies and rainbows.  Gag.

On to the good stuff.

I’m giving away a big ass box of summer fun.  {That’s what she said.}  And actually, if we’re being honest, it’s really a small ass box just loaded to the top with good stuff that happens to be small, like gift cards.

Mostly, it’s going to be surprises, but I will tell you that it’s GOOD and it’s *thisclose* to $75 worth of fun things.  I just may buy another small thing to put it over.   EDITED TO ADD: If you scroll in the comments, my mom is putting the giveaway over $100 for you if I stop asking for shoe sizes on the internet.  I will accept her $30 in the name of adding to the awesome box of stuff, but um… don’t forget to still add your shoe size even though I’m *technically* not asking for it.  Also, I will NOT be including a Venus Fly Trap even though she will probably want to buy one for you.

I have no doubt that you will like it.

To enter, you need to like So Wonderful, So Marvelous on Facebook, then just leave a comment below telling me your shoe size.  What?  Yep.  Your shoe size.  If your email isn’t linked to your profile, be sure you provide an email address so I can get a hold of you.

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored solely by So Wonderful, So Marvelous {aka: the Davester’s wallet, just don’t tell him, ok?} and runs from 6/26 – 6/29 at 11:59pm EST.  The winner will be chosen by random draw and notified via email and announced on Facebook.

winner summer box

Safe T City

25 June 2012 | 6 Comments

The police department in our city has a great community outreach program for kids entering kindergarten.  This is the 35th year it has been running, that is a whole lot of graduates.  It is a week-long summer program {they have several sessions and you choose either morning or afternoon classes} where police officers and teachers cover everything safety related.  The kids get to talk to officers, learn a special wave, and learn everything from fire safety, to gun safety, to what you should do if you come upon a stray animal. 

Finnegan and his bestie, Oliver, attended the program last week and came home excitedly talking about fire engines, calling 9-1-1 in an emergency, and teaching us how to safely cross the street.  On the first day, they got to run the siren in a police car, if that doesn’t start the week off right, I don’t know what would. Finn’s favorite part was that they drove ‘cars’ in a mock city they have set up complete with streets, rail crossings and mini buildings.  At the end of the week, they have a graduation ceremony where the Chief of Police presents them with a certificate for completing the program.  Each child also receives a Safe T City badge, t-shirt, and a new bike helmet. 

All of it, completely free of charge to any child in the city.

It is one of the things Toledo is doing right.

tate first birthday 017 tate first birthday 054

tate first birthday 040

tate first birthday 063 tate first birthday 082

tate first birthday 092

tate first birthday 104 tate first birthday 103 tate first birthday 101


20 June 2012 | 8 Comments

Someone ‘like’ me please!  I mean, there is something in it for you, besides my daily astounding wit… but really, isn’t that a gift itself? 

I’m doing a giveaway at 600. 

Tell me… if you were giving away a big ass box of summer fun, what would be in it?  It might just have your name on it!

No Cook Strawberry Vanilla Freezer Jam.

Unless you’ve delved through the archives or you are my mother, you likely haven’t been reading long enough to remember the great strawberry jam adventure of 2008.  One night we went strawberry picking and ended the night with 16 jars of freezer jam.  Honestly, I read that post and wondered where all of that energy went.  We don’t really do anything in small doses at our house, we’re a little ridiculous.  It was the first I had heard of freezer jam and after making it, Dave and I vowed never to go back to store bought again. 

It is that freaking good and so worth it.

This year, the strawberry season is short.  Super short.  So instead of picking them ourselves, we picked up eight quarts of homegrown strawberries at the Toledo Farmer’s Market last weekend.  We are talking some seriously delicious, perfectly ripe, sweet berries.

Trooper that the Davester is, he helped me pull the stems off and get them ready for jam.  Before you go thinking that he’s just such a sweet husband, you’d have to taste the jam… he only helped because he wanted the good stuff.  My friend Susie happened to post a couple weeks ago that she had made some strawberry-vanilla, strawberry balsamic black pepper, and strawberry jalapeno versions of jam.  I love all things with fruit and vanilla, plus I have a secret stash of the best vanilla beans ever, so I had to attempt my own version for the freezer jam this year.  {Pssst… if you want another awesome vanilla + fruit combo try this fruit salad with vanilla lime simple syrup!}

This time around, I made a SUPER simple version of freezer jam using liquid pectin and it involved zero cooking.  No cooking + jars of yummy jam to last the rest of the year?  You can’t beat that with a stick.  Who likes easy?  I do!  I do!

strawberry vanilla jam

No Cook Strawberry-Vanilla Freezer Jam

  • 2 cups, washed & de-stemmed strawberries, slightly mashed
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1-2 vanilla beans, depending on size and how vanilla-y you like it
  • 2 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pouch of Certo liquid pectin from Sure Jell

Wash five, one cup freezer jars.  These are plastic jars found in the canning section of any grocery store.  You can also use glass canning jars or different sizes if you like.  You’ll end up with five cups {ish} of jam, so plan accordingly.

**Be sure to measure all ingredients accurately so that it gels properly.**  I’ve fudged numbers here and there and it results in a softer set… not that it is any less edible, it’s just less jam-y and more ice cream topping-y. 

Wash, de-stem, and slightly mash the strawberries.  I know I probably don’t need to say this, but use fresh local berries for this jam, it will make all the difference.  The berries in the stores just won’t compare.  Measure out two cups of the mashed berries + juices and put them in a bowl.  Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using the back of your knife, scrape the seeds from the pod.  Add the pod and scraped seeds to the strawberries.  Add four cups of sugar and stir, using the back of a spatula to break up any clumps of vanilla beans.  Lots of sugar crystals will remain even after stirring, this is normal.  Allow to macerate overnight, or if time doesn’t permit, at least one full hour. 

Remove vanilla pod from the strawberries.  Stir.  Put the liquid pectin in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.  {Be sure to get all of the pectin out of the pouch.}  Add pectin/lemon juice combo to the macerated strawberries and stir until all sugar crystals are completely disolved, about five to seven minutes.

Fill jars allowing space at the top for expansion. Put lids on and allow to sit on the counter for 24 hours to set. Jars can be stored for 3 weeks in the refrigerator or six to eight months in the freezer. {We’ve had good results up to a year in our deep freezer.}

strawberry vanilla jam 009 strawberry vanilla jam 038 

strawberry vanilla jam 001

I’m Your Venus.

19 June 2012 | 3 Comments

Saturday, we made our usual Toledo Farmer’s Market trip.  Incidentally, if you are local and haven’t been there, do it!  And also, say hi to me, but pretend I don’t look like hell and I’m not fighting with the Davester because it’s early and I haven’t had my coffee yet and I don’t have a stitch of makeup on.  Oh and, my clothes may or may not be from the night before, but not for any fun reason like in college, but because I have given up on trying to look pretty early on Saturday mornings.

So, we’re at the market and my mom hands my husband, the Davester, a bag. 

I should also tell you, we fully take advantage of the fact that my mom will take Finnegan shopping and leave us to meander through the market alone.  Saturday, he was dressed as Captain America, so you can see why we’d want to pawn him off to someone else and then laugh and point at the kid wearing a costume and pretend it wasn’t US who had warped him. 

They have a routine, those two.  They hit up the cookie lady, who we’ve been buying from for years… I should really ask her name and stop calling her the cookie lady.  Then, they walk down and get a lemonade.  And then, while Finn eats and drinks, they do my mom’s shopping and pet the rabbits or touch things or smell things or sample things. 

Sometimes Usually all of the above.  You can see why he likes walking through the market with Gigi.

Back to that bag…

My mother informs us that inside said bag, is none other than, a Venus fly trap.

Finn has been admiring them and coveting one for the last few months.  He has to wander over and make a little visit with them every Saturday since he found out what they were.

Because they’re cool, Mom.

Apparently, this week my mother felt it necessary to buy one for him.  Because every five year old needs a carnivorous insect munching plant, right?  Don’t you just want a fly trap buying Gigi for your very own, only replace fly trap with something expensive and less maintenance?

Out in the wild of the Carolinas where they live, they just catch any old thing and eat it.  But at our house, we have to feed it a {preferably LIVE} bug every other week.  Did I mention that Finn screams like his Mama and tells Dave to get any bug that crosses his path?  Guess who is going to be feeding her? 

We shall name her Audrey.


Thankfully, the Davester has never seen Little Shop of Horrors…


18 June 2012 | 10 Comments

Remember my last post?  It involved baby shower planning and invitation sending for my sister in law Meg who is having her first in August?

Followed by almost a week of radio silence.

Well, we’ve had some excitement around these parts.

Apparently, baby Reece decided that since a party is being held in his honor, he wanted in on that.  Or maybe he just wanted to wish his daddy a Happy Father’s Day.

He’s very impatient. 

And very cute.

And very tiny.  Four pounds and ten ounces of tiny.

His Mama has already grounded him until he is eighteen for showing up before the nursery was done.


We’re all a little in love. 

So, what excitement crossed your path this weekend?

Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh.

12 June 2012 | 9 Comments


My sister in law is expecting her first in August.  Her sister in law Heather and I are furiously shower planning right now and I can’t wait to show you all of the fun things we’re doing to celebrate her little man.  Eeeek tiny baby things!  

What was your favorite baby shower gift to either give or receive?  Are you a shower games person, or no? 

PS.  You are totally welcome for the Bieber ear worm.


11 June 2012 | 2 Comments

When I met him, I knew that one day he’d be a good dad.  He’s just that kind of man.  But I didn’t realize just how good a dad he would be, nor the fact that witnessing it would make me fall for him even more. 

Good parenting is hot.  Who knew?

cedar point 039

Book Club.

08 June 2012 | 6 Comments

Once a month my girlfriends get together for Book Club.  Now, we call it book club and indeed, there ARE in fact, books that we sometimes read.  Let’s put it this way though, if you haven’t read the book, we promise, it’s the one time that faking it is ok.  We have a standing date on the first Thursday of the month, so everyone knows.  {Lest you think the boys are missing out… their night is the first Wednesday of the month.  They don’t even bother to pretend it’s anything but Drink Beer + Smoke Cigars Club.  They are clearly not as fancy as us.}   

It’s not about the reading. 

We leave the kids and the husbands and the partners and the parents and work and all of the other stress at home and we get together to hang out.  We all come from totally different places, there are kids and no kids and husbands and divorces and never been marrieds and all ranges of education and backgrounds and careers.  There are friends from childhood, there are sisters in law and people who’ve only met because of book club.

And it works. 

Because they are awesome.

They are so welcoming and open and so easy.  It is never the same group twice, if you make it, you make it.  If you don’t, well, maybe we will see you next month.  No one cares that there are last minute decisions about where we’ll be meeting.  There are smiles and laughter and re-introductions when names are forgotten.  Adrienne doesn’t roll her eyes too much when we give her totally obscure book questions because seriously, she’s read everything in the universe.  And poor Kate gets all of the English teacher questions but she still rocks a Hunger Games discussion.  They laugh about 50 Shades bringing p0rn to the masses.  They don’t make {too much} fun of you when you take 10 pictures of their cocktail de camerone in a dimly lit restaurant with two phones serving as backlighting.

Not that I know anyone who would do something like that.

Next up… Bossypants.


06 June 2012 | 6 Comments

I have visions of these five when they’re teenagers and frankly, it has me frightened. 






This is why she’s my favorite draw-er in the world.



03 June 2012 | 2 Comments

Dave:  Do me a solid and look up what is in cherries jubilee.

Me:  Cherries.

Dave:  Well I know that.  All this diamond jubilee talk is making me wonder.

Me:  Cherries and liquor, usually served over ice cream.

Dave:  Yeah.

Me:  Oh, hey… this is interesting….

The recipe is generally credited to Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations, though it is unclear whether it was for the Golden Jubilee of 1887 or the Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

There have been many variations on the idea of flambéed fruit since Escoffier's time, the most famous being Bananas Foster. Other variations include Mangos Diablo and Pêches Louis.

Me:  So THAT’s why it’s called cherries jubilee.  Huh.  I didn’t know that.

Dave: mangos diablo.  *said with a ridiculous voice kind of like that guy that does the Old Spice commercials*

Me:  It’s mangos flambéed with tequila.

Dave:  I hate tequila, but I could get on board with that.

Me:  What?  Really?

Dave: Yeah.


Dave:  Except when they’re good.

Me:  What does that even mean?

Dave:  I do hate mangos except when they are good.

Me: There is something wrong with you.


02 June 2012 | 5 Comments

Mud Hens Game.

New ‘Do.  {It is only 10 months overdue.}

Exercise.  Exercise.  Exercise.

Brother’s Birthday.

Book Club {aka Girls Night where we don’t even pretend to be intellectual.}

Playdate with Friends.

Birdhouse Auction.

Cedar Point!

Father’s Day.

Party Planning.

Safe T City for Finn + His Bestie.

Mom’s Birthday.

Tate’s Birthday. {HOW is she ONE??}

Summer Concert + Lunch Date with Friends.


What do you have in store for June?

Sautéed Red Cabbage.

01 June 2012 | 4 Comments

I don’t remember if I have ever told you guys this, but when Dave and I went to Ireland for our honeymoon, I tried coleslaw for the first time. 

I was 29 years old.

Then, I proceeded to eat coleslaw twice a day for the rest of the trip. 

I know, right?

I think it was because I didn’t like sauerkraut and I thought coleslaw was mayonnaise-y or something.  Or because I get something in my head and I am an idiot?  Anyway, once I pulled my head out of my ass, I’ve discovered a serious love for cabbage in all of its forms.

This is my favorite version of sautéed red cabbage.  We choose to cook it outside on the side burner of the grill so our house doesn’t smell like a carnie for two days.  It is simple, and takes just 20 minutes to make. 


You will need:

  • A bag of red cabbage
  • 2 TB bacon grease, you can substitute olive oil if you don’t save bacon grease in the fridge, but I think the bacon grease gives it a little flavor
  • salt + spices + red pepper flakes, to taste.  I like to use spice blends {this time it was Kick’N Chicken}
  • 1/2 to 3/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 T of balsamic vinegar, you can substitute apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 T of butter
  • 1.5 T of applesauce

First, heat up the bacon grease on medium high.  Add your chopped red onion and sauté until you cook the raw out, about 3-5 minutes.


Add the bag of red cabbage, salt, and spices.


Cook down until the cabbage is crisp done, about 10 –12 minutes.  {This means it is cooked through so it doesn’t taste raw, but it still has a little bite to it.  Don’t overcook.}  Then, add in the vinegar, butter, and applesauce.  Stir in, and cook another 1 –2 minutes, until everything is incorporated.


Serve with grilled pork chops for a great summer meal.  It also reheats surprisingly well.


Related Posts with Thumbnails