Friday, November 28, 2008 | | 7 comments
My husband and I snuck away for an evening out. He invited me out to our favorite spot for sushi and then to the movies.It was such a nice and unexpected surprise after our hectic week. First off, I must admit my true love for popcorn ~ I should probably seek therapy. I paced myself at the restaurant knowing that a large buttered bucket was waiting for me.
This movie was amazing to say the least! I ate my popcorn one piece at a time that's how enthralled I was. I won't go into detail as I personally don't like it when a movie is spoiled by personal reviews. All I'll say is that my son did his senior thesis on the Holocaust and I edited his research. I've had many nights filled with this period in history. It's never been easy to read or try to understand ~ truly devastating! This movie not only brought me to tears, but kept me there. Thankfully, my husband is one of the few men in America that still carries a true (monogrammed) handkerchief, he passed it to me right on cue ~ what a guy!
I would highly recommend seeing this if you have the chance.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008 | | 5 comments

Thanksgiving Blessings

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | | 3 comments
Thank you
It has been a very busy week filled with travel, endless phone calls and emotions all over the board. I just wanted to say thank you for your comments, emails, prayers, and good wishes.
It's so nice to know that there are so many kind hearted individuals willing to pitch in for others.
Each of your comments have been very touching. This family has a long healing road ahead of them, but I know they won't go it alone.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008 | | 15 comments
With heavy heart

My husband returned from a business trip to Maryland late this evening and shared with me the devastating news.
His friends son has passed away. I shared with you this story in an earlier post. The death of a young man is always difficult to accept. He had such potential in his future as a Naval Officer once he graduated, but also growing into the man he would become. He had just begun to experience life as an individual, only to have it end far too soon.
I have a son the very same age, away from me for the first time. My heart just aches for this mother that has lost her son. The void she must feel, the pain, the questions of why her son, and the absence she will face this holiday season.
Our thoughts and prayers are with this family.

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Pumpkin Goodies

I found these cuties at Michaels on a wicked clearance sale. They needed a little dressing up so I showered them in Martha Stewart glitter. They are sitting pretty in my dinning room just waiting for Thanksgiving
Pumpkin Yummies
Pumpkin Cobbler
I made this for my family and they loved it. Make it the day before you serve it, the flavor is so much better.
4 eggs, beaten
15 oz. can pumpkin
12 oz. can evaporated milk
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1tsp. salt
1 package yellow cake mix
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. melted butter
Optional ~
vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, chopped nuts,
cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on top
Combine eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, spice, and salt. Mix well and pour into an ungreased 13x9 baking pan. Sprinkle cake mix and nuts over the top. Drizzle with butter, do not stir.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, testing for doneness. Serve with optional toppings if desired.

I'm holding on to the fall season for as long as I possibly can.

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If you have a moment

Saturday, November 15, 2008 | | 3 comments
Thoughts and Prayers, please
My husband just found out some devastating news.
The son of one of his friends from the Naval Academy is fighting for his life.
This young man is a Plebe (first year) at the Naval Academy.
He has his whole life ahead of him. He was thrilled (as was his father) when he was appointed to the Academy.
I had the pleasure of meeting him when we were in Maryland for my husbands reunion this fall. He was polite, kind, and a lovely young gentlemen. He spoke highly of his father's career and the goals he had for his in the near future.
He has been diagnosed with spinal meningitis. On Thursday he was transported to a hospital in Baltimore. As of this afternoon when we were notified, he has been placed on life support efforts and the prognosis doesn't look good.
I don't normally ask, but this time I will. If you have a moment, please pray for this family and the uncertainly that they are facing.
I cannot even imagine what this family is going through.
Thank you!

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You asked ....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 | | 8 comments
I've received several emails asking about what I do and use to stay looking so young
(these are your words, not mine).
To begin, thank you for your sweet comments. You are all too kind. Unfortunately, I don't have any great secrets.
From a young age (I think 14) my mother stressed using a quality cleanser and moisturizer. Up until about a year and a half ago, I used Lancome products. I'm not sure if they changed their formulas (I've received conflicting information) but I felt their products weren't working as well. The textures weren't the same and the prices were going up. In my opinion, the prices didn't justify my satisfaction. Currently I am using Aveda Botanical Kinetics. I love the Purifying Gel Cleanser and Hydrating Moisturizer. At night I also use the Tourmaline Charged Eye Cream ~ I'll do anything keep those wrinkles away. I love the products and how light they feel on my face all day long. I've used Aveda hair products for the past 15 years so I was thrilled when they introduced their skin care line. The prices are half what I use to spent and go so much further!
I wear very little make up. After I stopped using Lancome, I tried Bare Essentials. I thought I liked this line until the spring/summer weather arrived and I quickly realized that my face looked and felt oily by 10am. It also felt very heavy. I couldn't wait to wash my face the minute I got home from school. For now, I'm using Laura Geller Balance-N-Brighten and Berry blush pod. I like Aveda and MAC lipsticks - very creamy and stay on for hours. I just can't seem to find an under eye concealer that I really like or works very well - suggestions are always welcome.
I try to eat a healthy and balanced diet daily. We don't eat out very often nor do I serve my family prepackaged foods. I am very concerned about what my family consumes. I have teenagers so I like to know that they are getting at least one healthy meal a day ( I put my husband in this category as well, since there are days he is too busy to eat lunch). I really enjoy cooking, so this isn't an inconvenience. It's my way of relaxing and I am usually catching up with the children while preparing dinner and having a glass of wine - everything in moderation!
Along with a balanced diet, I drink several glasses of water daily. I always have a bottle with me where ever I go. I take a daily vitamins for women, unbounded energy (yes, it really does give me more energy) and extra vitamin C and folic acid. I have/had cervical cancer and have found this concoction to be beneficial.
*I am NOT a doctor or professional in the medical field. I worked closely with my oncologist when figuring out what worked best for me. I am not suggesting that you take any of the above. I was asked, so I am sharing amongst friends.
I try to work out at least 4 days a week. This is somewhat realistic working full time with children and volunteering on committees. We have a workout room in our home so I use the treadmill and weight machine in the evenings. However, now that it gets dark at 4:30pm here on the east coast I have to bribe myself - yes, I do talk to myself and sometimes even answer myself! I tried the morning routine before going to school but fell off the wagon quickly!
My greatest challenge is stress. I try not to create any unnecessary stress in my life (much easier said than done). I am Italian so when I'm upset, I vent, get it out, and move on rather than harbor it and let it affect my health ~ as I said, it's my greatest challenge.
See, I told you. No magic secrets. I honestly believe that diet, life style, exercise and state of mind are all encompassing ~ not to mention good genes.
Anybody still there? :)

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October in review ~ part 3

Saturday, November 8, 2008 | | 6 comments
This is a small sampling of my new affection for tassels.
No, I am not as talented as those that sell on various sites,
but I have given them as
gifts to friends and family.

(Carrie, this is the fun fall treat I shared with you)
They are so much fun to create!

I've given most of them away, and I'm ready to
create my new ideas for Christmas!

I love the idea of gifts that have been created
with love and talent for the holiday season.
At least for me,
that makes it all the more special!

This plump pumpkin was my favorite
for the Halloween season!

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October review ~ part 2

Thursday, November 6, 2008 | | 13 comments

* For those that have asked, the below pictures are of my son and I.  Nicholas is 18 years old. Thank you for your sweet comments!
A visit from my son!
Nicholas came home over fall break. It was so good to see him.
I haven't seen him since he left for college. We talk on the phone almost daily so I still feel very connected to him. When he left, I felt like a part of me was missing and went through a time where I just felt like I was in a funk.

This was taken one evening when we were all playing a board game. Nicholas was already away at school when we brought Bozely home. He immediately took to Nick and wouldn't leave him alone. It was just so sweet.
Please over look the facial hair ~ it's a source of pride for him and disgust for me :)
One of the first things he asked me was if I liked his "beard." Hmmm, nope not really
but I'm all about picking my battles and this isn't one. I was just thrilled to have him home!

 I must share that during his return, I noticed a softening, an appreciation and since of gratitude that I hadn't seen before he went away to college. It's a very nice addition to his personality.

No, we do not let Bozely on our furniture.
Both boys were caught red handed on this one.
After the picture, Mr. Boz was escorted off the chair.
Nice try Nicholas, you know the rules.

It was sad to see him leave but it's only a few short weeks until he
returns for the holidays!

Love you tons Nicholas,

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October in review ~ part 1

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 | | 6 comments
We had a very busy month and slowing by surly, I will get it all posted. I guess the best way is just to go backwards in events.
One of our favorite traditions on Halloween is stew in a pumpkin. I've been making this since my son was a baby and he is now in college.
Not only is it delicious, but the presentation is beautiful!
The stew bakes in the pumpkin for an hour and a half. This cooks the inside of the pumpkin so that it is tender and easy to scoop when you serve the stew. It's wonderful!
(the pictures are out of order, sorry)

For dessert I served pumpkin cobbler.
Not only was this wicked easy to make, it was incredibly good. I think I like it even better than pumpkin pie and will be serving it for Thanksgiving this year.

I tried to get a shot of our home but I'm not all that comfortable with our new camera just yet.
Hopefully the class I'm taking will help with that.
In the meantime, squint hard and adjust your head a few times until you envision a lovely entry way! : )

And lastly, our bulldog, Bozely!
Each time he heard the doorbell,
he would charge for the door and prance around
the foyer until we got there to open the door.
I'm not sure who was more excited ~
the trick or treaters getting candy, or Bozely who thought they had come just to see him!

By the end of the evening my arm was so sore from holding him back.
Hope your Halloween was just as enjoyable!

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A day in my life

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | | 2 comments
I did not have school today because my school is a voting sight.
I had my entire day planned out around voting.
My husband decided he would go first thing before he left for work ~ good thinking!
I had him call me to let me know how long of a wait was ahead of me. They were projecting a 2 hour wait in line. I was prepared ~ magazines were at the ready!
The call came ~ if you leave now, it will only take 10 minutes. Out the door I ran, and was johnny on the spot. It took longer to park than to vote!
I made "the right choice"
(this is a giggle to friends and family as I am always using this phrase!)
then treated myself to a trip to the commissary, jewelers, bank, tailors, and finally, lunch with my husband. This was a very special treat since we almost never have the opportunity to go out to lunch together.
It was at lunch that he broke the news ........ I have to go out to sea next week.
Me: What? I thought you said we were good until after the holidays?
Him:Well, I thought so but something came up.
Me:Your right, something is coming up. My birthday! You said you'd be home this year.
Him: Sorry, I promise to make it up to you.
Me:Hmmm, I think I've heard this line before ~ as in the past 3 birthdays.
I know, it's only a birthday,
but I was really looking forward to going out to dinner with him next week. He missed my big birthday last year.
Sometimes I envy the 2 year old who gets to have a temper tantrum and no one judges them. This is just a poopy moment and I will get over it. There are just times that I get tired of his travel and envy those that have their husbands home for the little things in life.
Oh well, I can always hope for next year!

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A New First

Sunday, November 2, 2008 | | 6 comments
I've hit an all time high today
(or low depending on your thoughts)
It's 2:45 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pj's
(hey now, at least they are my Victoria Secret flannels!)
and just poured myself a glass of wine.
Before you judge me, let me explain ...
I woke up at my usual 6:00 am this morning which was really 5:00 am due to our extra hour today. Yes, I know what your thinking. I try to sleep in, really I do. I try not to open my eyes, I think sleepy thoughts, turn off my brain and enjoy the fact that I have nothing to do ... but then it hits ~
The voices in my head start talking and before you know it, my two feet hit the floor and I'm off!
My husband has offered to pay me (I'm not sure of the form of payment and I'm not willing to ask) if I will just lay still and quiet until at least 8:30 on the weekends. See, I sorta like to wake him up as well, just in case he wants to enjoy the sunrise with me!
It all started with the master bathroom while brushing my teeth ~ the sink need to be cleaned, which lead to the thought I had earlier in the week ~ the jets in the tub needed to be cleaned. Next thing I knew, I had the entire bathroom in an upheaval.
While making coffee I looked around for my next victim ...
The master bedroom wood floors needed to be cleaned
(I found a great new cleaner from Restorations).
This lead to dusting, changing sheets, laundry started, and reorganizing the walk in closet
Once downstairs for my first cup of coffee, I realized that ....
Halloween decorations needed to be put away
which lead to
dusting, vacuuming, moping, cleaning the hardwood floors in the dinning, and formal living rooms
which lead to
cleaning the silver pieces in those rooms
which lead to
cleaning the kitchen
which lead to
cleaning out the refrigerator
which lead to realizing that we had one glass of chard left in the bottle from our last party.
I couldn't possibly let it go to waste in today's economy!
Well, after all the cleaning in our mater bedroom its only fitting to wash the dog since he does visit us in that room.
After that, I'm bringing out the Thanksgiving decorations.
We are suppose to be going to the neighbors this evening to meet their friends that are visiting from England. I hope I'm still awake at 6:30pm!
I should probably hit the shower sometime around 5:00pm!

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Saturday, November 1, 2008 | | 2 comments
This has been a fun filled month pack full of activities!
I've enjoyed entertaining, being entertained, weekend outing with friends, going out to dinner with friends, spa day with a dear friend, my son home for fall break, homecoming for my daughter, surprise birthday party for a girlfriend, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin party at school and finally ... Halloween!
(the good news ... I have a little break before the holidays hit!)
Words can not express how I am looking forward to an extra hour of sleep tonight!
I tried to take a nap this afternoon and couldn't fall asleep because I was just TOO tired!
(please tell me this has happened to you)
I'm going to bed. Yes, I realize it's only 8:30 but I still need to switch the laundry, let the dog out, start the dishwasher, call my sister in law, iron clothes for tomorrow, wash my face, and brush my teeth.
~currently my husband is asleep on the couch~
Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!

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