Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's the Simple Things

Oh, I was all that and a bag of chips. 21, just out of college and the first car that I bought with my own cold, hard cash. Look at that automotive perfection (gag). Yes friends, that's the 1990 Geo Storm, or as I like to call it, the "Stylin' Storm." (or on my even dorkier days, "The Jammin' Geo")

So in this season of thankfulness, I'd like to take a moment to remember the good old days and be thankful for the little things in life that I now normally take for granted.

1. I am thankful for intermittent wipers. While driving the sexy storm in a light mist, I would have to manually turn the wipers on....off....on....off....you get the drift. There were only 2 modes of wipers on this beauty - on and off - there was nothing in between.

2. I am thankful for cup holders. Apparently the manufacturers of the Geo assumed that the drivers of this particular model were either a)camels or b)people who want to sue McDonalds for the hotness of their coffee because they are forced to hold said coffee in their lap.

3. Finally, I am thankful for back seats that actually seat real people over 2 feet tall (without a booster) without hitting their heads on the decorative and streamlined sloped back window.

The scariest part? I had that little car for 10 years! It was pretty zippy!!

So what are some simple things that you're grateful for?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Out of the Mouths...


"What's Noah's last name? "
"What's Caleb's last name?"
"What's Bobby's last name?"
"Cox? Cox? I don't like Cox!"
"Your daddy will be glad to hear it." (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jonesin' for Josie

It's official. I'm reliving my childhood. This weekend Boomerang was having a Josie and the Pussycats marathon. I recorded all of the episodes "for the kids," but guess who was sitting on the couch with them, completely enthralled. Yup, you guessed it. We got to see Josie, Melody and Valerie rock out while the nasty Alexandra and Sebastian tried to lure Alan away from Josie time and time again. Of course Alan, who looks surprisingly like Barbie's man Ken, never falls for it. (Ok, I promise I did get the kids outside to play at some point during the day - only after the Josie hangover started to kick in).
The thing I didn't remember though, was the name calling. In every episode Alexandra calls somebody a ding-a-ling or a dumb dumb. My 3 year old has picked this up quite nicely and now thinks it's really funny to call people "dumb dumb." Fabulous. I'm already hearing the teacher reports from preschool in my head. Thanks Alexandra...first you break the number one girl rule and go after Alan and then you taint the mind of a three year old. UGH. (but I still have 5 more episodes recorded that I'll have to watch after the kids go to bed - it's like Desperate Housewives for the immature set!)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

New Name - Same Great Ingredients!

Yes, my blog has a new name. Since I'm not really working with Thirty One anymore, I thought the name didn't really make sense. Besides, considering the fact that if it moves I want to monogram it, I thought this new title was more fitting. It also fit more in line with the great new line I'm representing that I just absolutely love...Initials, inc.

End of The Season

Well, my little guy is ending his first season of playing soccer. He's 3 (turning 4 in December) and it was the cutest thing to see these kids out chasing the ball. Tomorrow he's getting a trophy - he doesn't know it yet. I'm sooo excited to see his reaction. It'll be funny to see if he thinks he's super cool like his big brother since he gets to have a trophy in his room too.

Last week was a BIG week - he scored a goal! I don't think he quite got what the excitement was all about, but we were pretty impressed. Watch out David Beckham, there's a new kid in town!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Big, Bad Blogger

I have been so bad at blogging lately. I have just been really focusing on building my business this month so I haven't spent much time in the blogosphere. Thanks to all of you who have still visited me even thought I've been pretty remiss in posting and in leaving comments on your sites. I'm catching up on all of them now.

As I was reading every one's blogs, I realized how long it's been since I've caught up and knew what was going on with everybody out there.

Anyway, I've been tagged by Belle-ah over at http://southerness.blogspot.com/. I'm so excited! I've never been tagged before. I have to give some info about me by using my middle name as a starting point. Here goes:

I changed my middle name to my maiden name when I got married so my middle name is now France.

F. Flag day - the day I was born

R. Raucous - I tend to be very loud. When I whisper, it's like a regular person's normal voice. I just get really excited about things and when I do, I'm just boisterous and dare I say...a little bit jolly.

A. Addicted - I cannot go more than 3 hours without a diet coke. It's very ugly - I shudder at the very thought.

N. Neurotic - Ya down with OCD? Yeah you know me! I'm completely obsessive compulsive. Hand washing, hair tweezing (there may be a stray witch hair on my chin or a pesky eyebrow hair that's getting out of line), fingernail picking,and the list goes on...

C. Christian - Every day I am thankful that Jesus is my Savior

E. Engaged - My husband proposed by having my dog wear a bow tie with a little jewelry bag around his neck. My other dog was also dressed in her finest, wearing a tiara and a garter with a helium balloon tied around her waist. This is why he and I get along so well. We have the same sense of humor.

Now it's my turn to tag - Nap Warden, Blonde Mom and Mother May I. Have fun!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My New Mantra......

Why? Because I do it so well.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cancel the Babysitter

You will not believe this - or maybe you've already seen it. The manufacturer of Hello Kitty is coming out with a robot that's $6,299.00 (I'm not kidding!) that has face and voice recognition. There aren't a lot of specifics yet, but it has little motion sensors so it can move it's robotic arms, head and legs and can chat with a child in three different personality modes: as a close friend, with the family and as a guessing game.

But, the creme de la creme....the maker of the robot has described it as, "This is a perfect robot for whoever does not have a lot time to stay with their child. Hello Kitty Robot can stay with your child to keep them from being lonely."

Ummm....instead of hello kitty it should be hello creepy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Have a Secret

What is it? Is it some deep, dark tale from a wretched past filled with gut-wrenching mistakes and disastrous decisions? Uh, not so much. But it's something that up until now, my friends, no one has known about except for hubby, J and C. I'm not proud...it's not glamorous, but I secretly love to burp. There, I said it. Big, loud, fraternity boy burps. I think it's hysterical to swig my diet coke as fast as I can and then either burp as loud as I can or do something ridiculous like burp the ABC's or the 123's. My kids think it's a riot, hubby - well, let's just say he's not quite as amused. But, I am also the one who taught them to toot (pass gas, cut the cheese, whatever you want to call it) while sitting on their Daddy's lap. Something I also think is just beyond funny. Juvenile, yes...gross, maybe a little....downright silly, you betcha!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Brand New Products

I'm soooo excited to announce that I'll be representing a new product line called Initials. The products are just fabulous. Among other things, you can design your own purse. You choose the style, fabric, trim, monogram style and thread color. When you see the bags in person, they have true "squeal appeal!" Click this link to view the catalog:


I'm really excited to get your feedback.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Good Time Girls

I've talked so many times about my close girlfriends on this blog I thought you might like to see those crazy kids. As you can see, we can't even keep it together to take one picture...it took 3 tries before we could stop laughing.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Oh What a Relief It Is

For the past 6 months I've been planning a surprise 40th birthday party for one of my closest friends. Her husband asked me to plan it and I was really excited to do this for her. This was a big affair and it has been sooooo hard not to talk about it!!! I got so much help from some other good friends - couldn't have done it without them (Peggy, Julie and Misty - I love you girls!). Well, it went off without a hitch. My friend, Karen, was flabbergasted. She had tons of friends and relatives fly and drive in from other states just for her which is very telling of her warm and wonderful nature. Anyway, I wanted to share with you the details of the party. It was so much fun!

Her favorite colors are blue, green and brown and she loves stripes and polka dots. Here is the style of the invitations that we got from http://www.partycat.com/:

My friend Misty made tablecloths out of this fabric:

and made a swag for the entryway out of this fabric:

We hung paper lanterns throughout the party:

We made centerpieces out of something called blumeboxes (you can find them at http://blumebox.com/ ): We used Martha Stewart ribbon around lime green candles and around the blumeboxes:

There was a custom made banner and crown from a fabulous artist over at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5031136 :

And for any of you in or around the Charlotte, NC area, we used the most fabulous caterer called Triple Crown. The food was unbelievable. Everyone was commenting on how fantastic the food was. Their website: http://www.triplecrowncaterers.com/about_us.htm We had filet mignon and roast turkey. Mashed potatoes with chipotle and montchego cheese. Roasted asparagus, penne pasta with a gorgonzola cream and walnut sauce, crabcakes, shrimp cocktail, baked brie and fresh fruit. And just too much more to list. But the best part...our birthday girl is a small town girl at heart. She loves comfort food and adores cream pies so rather than a birthday cake or traditional desserts, the caterer made banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate cream and boston cream pies for dessert. Yum!!!

We also used the greatest party service for the kids who attended. We had them separated from the adults. They had their own dinosaur hunt party that was provided by a company called Oogles and Googles (http://www.ooglesngoogles.com/birthday-parties.aspx) and they did such a fantastic job. If there's one in your area, I would highly recommend using them for your kids birthday parties.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Superbowl, Here We Come!

Sorry about being so bad about posting this week. We've been sooo busy! But guess what? J started flag football this week. Ya know how sometimes you think your kids are getting so big? Well, put them on a football field with a ball in hand and they look tiny. It was adorable.

Speaking of which I have to stop using that word...or as happy hubby would say "that word." What word? Adorable. I now have both of my sons saying it with great frequency. Yes, I have an almost 6 year old boy who will see something like a miniature version of a batman action figure and he'll say, "Oh Daddy it's just so adorable!" I don't even have to look. I think I can now hear the sound of hubby's face cringing. So at least now that he's playing football, he can tackle anyone who tries to beat him up for his lunch money when he does something like comment on a bully's "adorable outfit" (something that he's subjected to hearing his mother say with great regularity when I see other moms wearing really cute outfits).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fantasy Friday

Let's just focus on the dreamy kitchens. I never realized how much I love creamy white kitchens until I started looking through pictures and magazines. Almost all of my kitchen files have white or ivory cabinetry. I guess there's something just classic about it. I have a white itchen with nickel pulls and white appliances. We've got a really nice 12" creamy tile backsplash that was installed on an angle so it's in a diamond shape. Rather than a traditional kitchen light fixture, I found an old brass and crystal chandelier which I spray painted cream and hung over the kitchen table. At some point I'd love to add either soapstone or granite countertops. I just added red toile valances to the windows which I'm loving! Again, as soon as the digital camera is up an running, I'll post some pictures. Until then, here are some kitchens that inspire me:

This one is blurry, but I love it:

New Eye Candy

Check out my slideshow above. I've added new pictures from the fall catalog. We've got some great stuff!

An Apple for Teacher

Today I gained a different perspective. All this month I've been dreading the day that the kids go to school. J started kindergarten and C starts preschool in about a week. There is that little part of me, however, that has been craving some "me" time again. It's been 6 years since I've had consistent quiet time or days to run errands without car seats and snacks involved.

Today we had preschool orientation. The preschool director spoke to the parents about the school, the program, dropoff and pickup, etc but then she really caught my attention. She started talking about thinking about your "free time" in a different way. Think about the teachers while you're away from your kids. While you're running errands or typing at your computer or working, there's someone loving your child. Someone who is reading to them and teaching them how to paint with a sponge. There's a teacher who is giving them a hug when they're crying and someone engaging them in play.

I'm ashamed to say that I've never really stopped to think of it that way. I've always appreciated our teachers as J was going through preschool, but never really thought about the day to day engagement, love, patience and care they take to teach our children.

So as we start our school year, thank you teachers for all that you do and all you accomplish with our children. You are truly appreciated.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pimpin' the Blog, Yo

Anybody familiar Salt n' Pepa's song "Whatta Man?" LOVE that song! Well, to quote Salt (with just a minor change from me, "I give props to those who deserve it and believe me y'all she's worth it." Who should get all the glory and accolades? drumroll please.....
Why? Have you seen my new pimped out blog???!!! Nap Warden created the new header for me. Isn't it fantastic! When I showed my husband, he even said, "Hey, that looks like your new haircut!" (I just had 8 inches cut off - and had mega highlights put in - oh, but I digress!) I just think it's the cutest thing!!
So, Keeper of Naps and Sanity.....thank you sooooooo very much for creating this fabulous, kitschy, trendy and cute header for me. I absolutely LOVE it!!!!

McDonalds Meltdown

Ya know I was not so "lovin' it" at McDonalds last night. Yesterday we had kindergarten orientation and J and I were so excited. He got to dress up in his uniform for the first time, see his new classroom, meet his new class mates and see his teachers again. He did great. He was a little anxious, but for the most part he was truly over the moon.

To celebrate his new kindergarten status, we told him to pick any restaurant and we would take him and his little bro C there for dinner to celebrate. He chose McDonalds. Go figure. They do, however, have a fabulous indoor playland and a stacked stone fireplace. You kinda feel like you're in a ski lodge. But then you remember you're in the south, it's 105 flippin degrees and just the thought of a fire almost makes you spontaneously combust.

So we've finished our food, the boys are playing and hubby is at the register ordering apple pies. As I'm watching the boys play and I see J in his school uniform and the gaps in his teeth, I just started thinking about how he's not a baby anymore...not even a preschooler anymore. And then it got me thinking about how much I love the toddler and preschool stage and that it's whizzing by and I got really, really depressed. My husband walked back from the register and all he had to do was look at me and the waterworks started. At this point, hubby knew that something had seriously gone wrong in the 3 minute span of finishing his quarter pounder and then reappearing with pies in hand.

Of all places to have the kindergarten meltdown - the playland at the McDonalds ski lodge.

I do have to report, however that J officially started today. He (and I) did great at drop off. And when I picked him up, in his little lispy voice he said, "Mommy, I had sooo much fun today!!! Kindergarten rocks!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

I remember when I was 23 and living with 3 other girls in an apartment we all had very distinct personalities. Three of us were very close friends from college and the other was the older sister of one of the girls. One day out of boredom we created Indian names for each other (I have no idea why). My best friend was dubbed, "Me Drinkum Slimfast." She lived on the stuff and was about as big as your pinky finger. My other friend had the good fortune to be called, "Man Makeum Bitter."

And then there was me, "Lays on Couch." Was I lazy or what?! I would have to say that not much has changed. I think napping and sleeping-in is completely underrated. I think cleaning ladies' feet should be kissed at least once a day and I truly believe that the personal chef is an absolute necessity in any household. The only problem is that pesky issue of income. I would like to live the lifestyle in which I'd like to become accustomed. Imagine the day when dinner consisted of a well balanced, gourmet meal rather than spaghetti noodles and Ragu (and when I'm feeling crazy...frozen meatballs!)

So if you had an Indian name, what would it be?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Muwahahaha!!!! Can you tell I'm off my exercise routine and feeling um, a little bit bitter?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So who decided that a SAHM also has to be the maid? Now I know there are those of you out there who are neat freaks, and I truly, from the bottom of my heart, wish I was one of you. But somehow the clean gene has missed my DNA altogether. Now let's get this straight: there's nothing I like better than a clean house...I just don't want to be the one who does it.

I think it comes down to my "doer" nature. I want to do something, get it done, and move on. I've found that when it comes to cleaning, especially with kids, when you clean something within milliseconds (and I'm being generous) it's completely undone. This drives me nuts. So nuts that I've now gotten to the point that I don't even want to bother cleaning in the first place. So as I sit here, looking at my house which literally looks like a tornado not only swept through, but decided to hang around for awhile, I feel overwhelmed and a little defeated.

What? What's that you say? School starts in a week? Preschool starts in 2 weeks? I'll have 3 mornings to myself?! First time in 6 years! I think I might be starting to feel better. There's light at the end of the tunnel after all. Wow - imagine being able to mop the floor and being able to walk on it for at least a solid hour without feeling grit, slime or stick. Sheer bliss.

Eeek! I'm reading my own writing and I've decided I must have some kind of illness. When did the highlight of my day become the thrill of cleaning without my kids in the house. Wow, next I'll be scheduling minivan drag races in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot at midnight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why Are 5 Year Olds So Smart?

We were eating breakfast this morning when a funny thing happened. My 3 year old, C, was eating a waffle when all of a sudden, in a surprised voice he said "Mama, there's a wadybug (that's ladybug to you and me) on my waffle!" I looked and sure enough there was a wady, er, ladybug crawling along the side of his waffle. I picked it up and held it in my hand for the boys to see. My 5 year old, J, wanted to keep it in a jar. I told him we should put the ladybug outside.

"Why Mommy? I want to keep her. "

"Well, I think we should put her where God intended her to be. She's supposed to be outside in nature."



"Then why do we have a dog and he lives in the house?"

UGH. 5 year old - one , Mommy - zero

(By the way, as this conversation was happening, C went ahead and ate the wadybug waffle. I'm sure this is akin to the 5 second rule when you drop food on the floor. This just had a ladybug for 5 seconds - or thereabout.....)

And just as a side note, J lost another tooth on Sunday and he looks adorable! Now he's got one missing on the top and the bottom. He's got the little toothless lisp going. I love it! So he got $2 for this tooth. Is this in line with average tooth fairy earnings, or is she being overly generous with our child (or miserly for that matter)? What do y'all give your kids?

Big Summer Sale

We're retiring many of the products in our 2007 catalog (including the hamper above) to make room for our all new products in the fall/winter 2008 catalog. I wanted to share the sale flier with you in case you're interested.

Also, here's a link to our new 2008 catalog:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Break Out the Argyle

I went to the website below and found out that from now on I'll only answer to Kiki.

Your Preppy Name Is...

Barclay Heatherly Eckley the Third
But most people know you as Kiki

What's Your Preppy Name?

The funny thing is, when I entered my husband's name, he came out with a different last name and a nickname that's actually the name of a friend of ours. I can't wait to tell my friend Peggy that her husband is officially a prepster. She and I now have permission to buy the hubbies clothes exclusively from LaCoste or http://www.bermudastyles.com/

Your Preppy Name Is...

Pym Godfrey Osborne the Fifth
But most people know you as Tad

Here is a sampling of the 2 Tad's (my husband and Peggy's) new fashion look. I'm sure they'll be thrilled.

Wow...is it me or is one of those lobsters a little too close for comfort?! OUCH!

Soooo Tired

This has been a hard week. My little one has been fighting some super virus that has kicked his bum and mine. Fevers, throwing up, tummy aches - and most of it in the middle of the night. UGH! After projectile vomit yesterday, I thought we had finally reached the culmination and were hopefully seeing light at the end of the tunnel. He seemed so much better by bedtime. Yeah! Fast forward - 2AM - my five year old comes in with a raging fever. Here we go again.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Fantasy Friday

In this edition we're focusing on living rooms. I love cream/white furniture. That's what I have in my house. It goes with everything. You can change the accessories anytime, and it just looks fresh (until of course a sippy cup leaks - hate when that happens!)

I love the country, fresh feeling of this room. And check out the harlequin floors. At some point I would love to attempt this in my house. I'm a chicken though. If anyone would like to help me and is handy with a straight edge, give me a ring!

I've died and gone to shabby heaven:

I love the sconces above the mantle on the picture below. I have similar ones above our mantle, although they hold candles rather than bulbs.