Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm surprised there aren't more "Sangrias"


Kirsten over at The Norwindians posted this fun little tool called Wordle that picks out the words you frequently use in your blog and posts them in a word bubble.

Wordle: Untitled

All of the Dexatrim and meat references are disturbing.

Wrapping up the week

Let's take care of some housekeeping business first, shall we? After all, I don't do that around my own house so I might as well do it here.

We've got contests going! First, don't forget to leave your comment here on to be entered into the Olympic paint giveaway. Second, my friends Thom Flicia and Kimberly-Clark are still hosting the Room-A-Day giveaway, so keep entering for a $25,000 room makeover!

I've been busy this week in between trying to get Jessie strapped in her car seat without rupturing my spleen,and interviewing a bunch of interesting folks which I will post next week. One of whom is the fabulous Pim of Chez Pim, who discusses all things foodie related. I was in heaven.

The agenda for the weekend? Right now we're negotiating who is going to the Harlem Globetrotters tonight and who gets to stay home. It's a silent argument since Sean is in bed from his 411th mouth surgery in the past 2 weeks.

Which probably means I'm going to watching the Washington Generals tonight.

I wonder who wins...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ah, Michigan...

So now that I've had this Ash Wednesday to get organized, I can tell you about our trip to the lovely and completely forgettable, Midland, Michigan.

No, I'm kidding. We really had a great time, it's just an odd vacation destination is all. But we went there to see my Grandfather and so he could these great-grandchildren of his. Jess did not disappoint and gave him one of her nonsensical diatribes across the breakfast table complete with hand gestures and finger-waving. 90 years separate those two, and I cannot help but dwell on all of the love and life in between.

Much to Sean's gastric chagrin, we began our Michigan vacation with a trip to Big Boy--that culinary wonder.

He does not care much for this pleasant peninsula classic, but as I bit into that Slim Jim combination, I was taken back to many a day of my youth, and I swear I could smell my Mom's Cachet perfume sitting next to me.

After, we finished the drive up to our luxurious accommodations--the Holiday Inn. Now you know that I am admitted hotel snob, but I have to tell you, I was impressed. Not so much with the paper thin bed sheets, but for the mere fact they had a game room, indoor play place, pool and racquet ball courts. We had some fun getting our back-to-basics freak on with pinball and Ms. Pacman.

That night, after a quick visit with Grandpa and a not so quick trip to 37 different stores in search of boots and mittens, it started to snow. And snow. And snow. It was beautiful.

By the time we woke up the next morning, there was about 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground, and still coming down.

My Dad and Mary Anne came up, and we spent two days playing inside and then out. We tried sledding for the first time,

catching snowflakes on our tongues and generally figuring out this whole snow thing. Colleen came up on Sunday and we did the whole thing all over again with her. It was big fun.

I think after the kids had 36 hours of snow the consensus was that it was a great natural phenomenon to visit, but we wouldn't want to live there.

We ended the long weekend being almost late for the return flight because we had to make a stop at Bronner's and turkey jerky.

I wish we were going back this weekend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Make Your Dream Room Come True with Olympic Paint and Exterior Stains!

Maybe your dream home doesn't include 6 to a bathroom and avocado green couches and macramé, but everyone sure can have a bunch of fun coloring our individual castles. For two lucky readers who share their dream indoor and outdoor spaces, Olympic paint is going to help make that happen.

Simply leave a comment on, here, or and you could be eligible to win enough paint or stain to transform a room in your house or an outdoor deck.

Leave those comments by midnight on Sunday, March 1, 2009 and we'll announce the two winners on Monday.

Use the tools on to help you get inspired. Paint a virtual room with different color combinations and find tips on how to make all of your painting projects look beautiful.

Let's hear all about your dream rooms.

With or without the Astroturf.

The Biannual Brady Bedroom Shift

I've been trying to take my decorating cues from Carol Brady.

Not necessarily the pane-less sliding glass doors or the orange Formica countertops, but I'd really like to be able to fit six kids in two bedrooms with a half a dozen single beds made perfectly everyday.

Actually, I'd settle for two kids in one bedroom and an Astroturf back lawn.

Because this weekend marks the biannual bedroom shift--that event in which I believe that I can successfully redecorate and transfer the kids' stuff from one room to another and somehow pick up 200 square feet and clutter-free dressers in the process. I have never been exactly successful with this pilgrimage, but we attempt it regularly nonetheless, much like playing the lottery or remembering my recyclable bags when I go to the grocery store.

To fit two kids in one multiple-age appropriate newly-decorated bedroom is no small task. We will make untold trips back and forth between the two rooms. Argue about paint color. Donate several dozen bags of outgrown clothing. Compromise on who gets the right side of the room and who the left. Conduct dicey negotiations on who gets the top bunk. And no doubt reinstate the "No food in bedrooms" rule after cleaning up a cereal-aisle's worth of Froot Loops under the bed.

But I do think ultimately it is a necessary exercise. Not only to redistribute the clothes in the drawers and the furniture impressions on the carpet, but it changes up the dynamics of the house a little and gives everyone a chance to stretch their quickly-growing limbs and even faster-growing imaginations without leaving town.

So unlike my Brady Bunch inspiration, hopefully, we'll be mixing it up a little more than Greg moving into the den or sharing the attic with Marcia.

Anyone know where Cousin Oliver slept?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Off to snowier pastures

I'm not quite packed yet, but bright and early tomorrow we're heading to Michigan for a long weekend of snow and family.

This also means I will have to board a plane with the whole crew, something that does not make me at all comfortable, but I hope to amply self-medicate on Dramamine to get me through.

Next week is going to be crazy fun and busy, and we'll have lots to discuss via blog, but for now my worthless, tired fingers will leave you with some green projects to keep you busy while I'm gone. I love the crayon thing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's playing?

You all owe me mad 21st century props.

I have seen two non-animated movies this week and it's only Tuesday. First, I saw "Juno" on Sunday, and while I know it isn't exactly a poppin' fresh new release, I did see it in the decade it was made so that's progress.

Second, I saw a movie in an actual theater tonight. And while it certainly wasn't the screenplay genius as Sunday's film, it did not star Woody or Buzz so I think "Mall Cop" counts in my thin cinematic resume.

Go me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our Valentine's Day

Last night we braved the 72 degree elements and Sean's aching mouth from oral surgery and headed downtown (Safety Harbor) to the Italian Festival.

Usually I love these Safety Harbor outings--it's a party-loving little town we live in, it seems we Safety Harborites loves us festivals for any occasion.

However I don't think this was 100% authentic Italian. Sure, there were green, red and white Mardi Gras beads as you walked in, but by the time we got down to the zeppoli booth, they were out. Of zeppoli, cannoli and wine.

I've never been to any establishment of Italian descent that ran out of food. Or wine.(?!)

Somehow the gyros and french fries that were aplenty just didn't seem as appetizing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Okay you crazy readers, I've got the envelope right here to announce our Valentine's Day winners...

First, our generous friends at Hallmark are giving the five recordable cards to Jodi, Kathy T., Kirsten, Chris and Natalie. If you don't live within a 10 mile radius from my house, please email me your address and I'll send you some recordable love!

Next, chocolate...The See's Valentine's chocolate heart will go to Marcy S, from Michigan. Marcy, the entire divaverse is soooo jealous right now.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Monday, February 09, 2009


How about some chocolate to go with those Valentine's? My favorite chocolate supplier has some Valentine's Day chocolates for you!

See's Candies is going to give one random reader a pound of their yummy goodness if I don't rifle through the box before we draw a winner on on Wednesday.

Divamail me or leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.

I heart you, See's.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I kid you not

Inspired by the theme, "Denim and Diamonds," Sean made his own outfit for the auction last night.

I know people will think that this is a sure sign that the retirement/hiatus project is taking a new and disturbing turn, but I think it's more that he's a Dad who loves his kids and has some more time to show it.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Strange Days Indeed

We're getting ready for our school's annual auction tonight.

Sean is bedazzling his jeans.

Will post pictures later.

(Keep entering the contest below!)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Valentine's Giveawy from Hallmark

I blog. I Twitter. I am Linkdin and my Face is Booked. I shop, bank, connect, learn, and am entertained online. I can even write my own basic HTML code. Even though I don’t know what that stands for nor can I figure out the remote control, I am pretty technologically savvy comparatively speaking.

However, there are just some things that cannot be replaced by technology, and one of them is getting a good, old-fashioned card in the mail.

But maybe they are not so old-fashioned. Hallmark has introduced its new line of recordable greeting cards that allows the sender to record a 10 second message in their own voice that plays when the recipient opens their card. No plug-ins, no websites, no codes to enter to retrieve. It’s absolutely awesome.

For Valentine’s Day this year, my kids recorded a special holiday greeting to their great-grandparents. A simple message, but the fact that it was in their own sweet voices made it extra special. It’s something that can be played over and over again.

I can see this making any occasion that much more special--a thank you more thankful and Happy Birthday more sincere. At $6.99, it’s an affordable way to give a smile to your special someone.

I’ve got 5 of these cards to give away to YOU. Leave a comment that could be recorded into a 10 second Valentine’s wish, and you can win one of these fun cards.

Wish someone a Happy Valentine’s Day the new old-fashioned way.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I found the keyboard!

Today I'm going to rehab.

Doemstic rehab, that is.

After weeks of home renovations, parties, guests, crazy schedules and general insanity, this house is unfit for higher functioning humans.

Not dirty, just disorganized to a point of handicap. We have clean clothes, they are just not in the drawers. Today, I couldn't find M's school shoes and S. left his homework on the counter. J-Dog hasn't slept right in days. We just need to not only clean up, but clear out.

So I'm putting all of my other stuff on hold for the day and getting to work on the house.

Maybe I'll find some inspiration underneath the pile of towels.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Interview with a winner

Have you seen any of the wonderful Generation Huggies videos yet?

Amanda L, one of the winners from Florida, offers this piece of advice for new moms: “When you are a first time mom bringing home a newborn there will be good days/nights and bad. Just know that you are not alone! Everyone goes through hard times when you think you just can't do it, but you can and you will!”

Amanda is “a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I have a very active 2 year old little girl and I am currently 5 months pregnant with a boy!” She, along with 29 other moms from around the country will be featured in an upcoming national ad campaign for Huggies talking about their experiences as mothers.

So take a minute to watch, and think about your answer to that timeless question, What does motherhood mean to you?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog's Day

I am absolutely useless today.