Friday, February 27, 2009

Catch Ya Later, February!

I think I know why February is so short. Because we wouldn't be able to handle it if it were any longer!! I'm done with February. I know tomorrow is the last day. But I've already flipped the calendars to March. I've moved on and I'm ready for a new month. February was cold and dark. I'm ready for a little warmth and sunshine. March may not give me the full warmth that I'm looking for, but I'm hopeful that it will be at least a little warmer than it was in February.

It's the weekend and we have very few plans, which is just the way we like it. Our biggest goal for the weekend is to find some comfortable shoes. Eric and I are both in search of new shoes. I think we're going to hit the Early Bird Sale at Kohl's tomorrow and see what we can come up with.

I'm also thinking I might do some sort of crock pot dinner again on Sunday. Any suggestions?? My friend Beebs said he'd be checking the blog to see what we were having, so I'm feeling some pressure to make something really good! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fun with Facebook

Is there anyone out there who is not on Facebook? I mean seriously. Anyone? I don't remember exactly when I joined, but it was awhile ago. I remember thinking that the "Poke" and the "Super Poke" applications were fun. And occasionally I would change my status or email an old friend. But that was really about it.

Until recently.

In the last 6 months Facebook has multiplied by millions. And possibly billions or trillions of users. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating. It does seem like the Facebook trend has really taken off though. I love that there are so many people from my past and present that I can communicate with, with just a touch of a button. I love that my mom can follow my status whenever she wants, or that my best friend from 1st grade can post an old photo of me that makes me double over in laughter.

I think the thing I love the most is that I can follow the lives of so many of my old friends and family members without having to talk to any of them. Not that I don't enjoy talking to them, but you know what I mean, right? It's so simple to check on someone without having to bother them. I can log into Facebook and within 5 minutes, I am updated on the lives of every single person I know.

Some of the things I would not know if it weren't for Facebook:

1. Julia P. just got back from Florida. (And I saw photos too!)
2. Chad L. just ran a marathon.
3. Michelle G. doesn't like orange cheese. But Mike C. does.
4. Amy R. is sad that she's too old to sell her eggs for profit.
5. Gary R. owed 40 cents on an over-due library book.
6. Rebecca B. has a superhero steam cleaning her carpets.
7. Tim T. gave up Facebook for Lent.
8. Jason B. is on his way to Vegas to work the next Nascar race.

I think the best part of Facebook is that it makes me feel like I'm part of all these people's daily lives in some strange, tiny little way. And maybe that's what makes it so fun.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Aldi Initiative

Eric and I decided to do our grocery shopping at the local Aldi this past weekend. We spent $52 and bought most of the weeks worth of groceries there. (We did stop at Wegmans for some other items that Aldi didn't have, but the majority of our groceries were bought at Aldi.)

So far we are impressed with everything we have tried, with the exception of the Turkey Ham. Although we didn't hate the Turkey Ham, I just think we weren't used to it. Everything else has been great. From cereal and vegetables to boxed foods and frozen goods, we are pleased with everything that we purchased. I'm thinking we will definitely be trying Aldi again. We even saved our quarter from the cart corral to use again next time.

Does anyone else shop at Aldi? I'm just curious about your thoughts on it if you do. Or if you even have one near you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Photo of the Day

Jenny staring at a treat. Wishing she was eating it, but being a very good girl and waiting.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Birthday Princess

Last night we went to Rebecca's new house for her birthday party! She has such a neat house, we especially love the basement room... with the bar. (Pictured below...) A perfect place to host a party. I could see the wheels turning in Eric's head... wondering how we could turn our basement into such a fun entertainment facility...

We met lots of people we have only heard of through her blog, but we seemed to already know most of them due to all the photos and hearing the stories. It's kind of fun meeting someone you sort-of already know!

A very good time was had by all... well, except during an interruption that included a very bad scene in the downstairs bathroom. Let's just say the toilet somehow became clogged, and then every time the upstairs toilet was flushed, sewage remnants were regurgitated up through the downstairs toilet... and all over the floor... and into the hallway. Poor Rebecca!

If you'd like to see some other photos from the evening, click here. Thanks for hosting a great party, Rebecca!

Friday, February 20, 2009


You've heard of tumbleweed before. Dried up shrubs floating with the wind over wide plains. Well, that's what most people think. But the truth, however, is that tumbleweed are not dead, they are very much alive. The dried up shrubs, the tumbleweed you know, are just in a dormant state. They float with the wind over wide plains looking for a new place to thrive and grow, with an unused water source. In this state tumbleweed are just small trees, with planted roots, complete with its very own leaves. And when this new water source is used up and dry, the tumbleweed unhooks its roots, goes back into its dormant state, and floats with the wind, looking for a new water source, and continuing this little-known, amazing process.

* This was a guest blog post written by Alex. Thank you, Alex! Leave him a comment and let him know you read his post, maybe he'll do some more someday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


A photo from my favorite weather calendar contributor. Doesn't it make you cold just looking at it? I think this might have to go in the 2010 edition. I believe it's a shot overlooking Lake Ontario.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Serious Addiction

My name is Amanda and I am addicted to the Bachelor. Seriously addicted. At least this season I am. I 've watched an episode here and there in the past, but this season, I have seen every show. Aside from last night, but the hours of web surfing today to catch up completely make up for that.

Last season, I watched the final episode with DeAnne the Bachelorette. DeAnne had to choose between 2 men, Jesse and Jason. Everything I saw during that one show pointed to her picking Jason. And me, along most of America was stunned when she picked Jesse the snowboarding dude. Poor Jason was left heartbroken, but a fan favorite. This season, he became the Bachelor. And I have been hooked since day one. (BTW, DeAnne dumped the "dude" a few months ago.)

I got home last night just in time to see the previews for the final episode. They showed the Host giving a somewhat somber message about a new episode that was recently taped that will air after the final episode. Something must have happened after the final taping (which was done in November). But we don't know what... I have spent a good part of my day off surfing internet message boards and website regarding the Bachelor.

Sad, isn't it? Apparently I'm not the only one though. There are thousands of addicts just like me. There's even a man who claims to know the outcome and he's going to "tell-all" tomorrow morning. His name is Reality Steve. I have been going between his website and the ABC Message Board most of the day. Thousands of posters have theories of how it's going to end. Some are pretty far-fetched, others might be right on.

I don't know how the season ends, but I'm dying to know. And I have no idea why I have this need to know. I consider myself an intelligent person, why am I so interested in such a stupid show? I hate the whole idea of this show. It's so dumb, most of the women are crazy and mean.

So why have I spent hours of my precious time trying to figure this out? I don't even know these people! But I hope he chooses Melissa... and I hope he doesn't change his mind... or break her heart... I hope all those theories are incorrect.

Sigh. I think I need an intervention.

February Break

Due to the Digital Transition, (that ended up getting postponed, it was supposed to be today...) I was able to take some time off during February for the first time ever. February is usually a "sweeps" month, which means nobody is allowed to take vacations during this month. (Or May or November.) But this year, due to the DTV transition, sweeps was moved to March. So, I decided to take a few days off during the kids' February break. Yesterday the kids slept in, while I got up at 6:30... I did some cleaning and web surfing. (Much more web surfing than cleaning.)

Once they were up, we had some cinnamon rolls. Then I decided we should go to the mall. It's really the only thing they will both agree on lately: shopping. Alex got a new shirt from American Eagle and Kelsey got a new funky belt from Hot Topic.

We went back home to get dinner ready. I made peanut butter cookies too. We had ham steak and mashed potatoes for dinner. After dinner Kelsey and I went to a movie. We saw "Confessions of a Shopaholic". It was cute and fun. I really should read the book now, since I have it and never finished it.

Today Kelsey is going skiing with her ski club. Or should I say snowboarding. So Alex and I are going to have a little mother-son day. Lunch at Panera and then some more shopping... and hopefully some relaxing too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crockpot Sunday

Today we used a crockpot not only for dinner, but for dessert too. For dinner we had pulled pork and dessert was a tasty chocolate fondue...

I need to thank my friend Rebecca for the idea to make pulled pork. I've always loved the Dinosaur BBQ pulled pork sandwiches at the Fair, but I've never thought to actually try to make it myself.

I got a 2 1/2 lb boneless pork roast loin from Wegmans today. Then I boiled it in the crockpot on high for 5 hours. I used a mixture of water and Sprite. (I got that idea online.) Rebecca used beer for hers, which also probably would have been amazing, but with the kids eating it, I thought they might not like the taste.

After the 5 hours, I drained the liquid and then pulled the pork apart with a fork. It pretty much fell apart. Once I was done with that, I poured in about a 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce, mixed it up and cooked it again for another hour. It was amazing. I loved it. As a matter of fact, I think everybody liked it, there were 4 clean plates at the table. That's a very rare thing for us!

You can either eat the pulled pork on its own or put it in a nice roll. We also served baked beans and french fries with the sandwiches.

And for dessert, we had chocolate fondue! A new family favorite. We tried strawberries, bananas and marshmallows. The chocolate was made from 4 Hershey chocolate bars and some milk. I used the small crockpot for this and it only took about 20 minutes for the chocolate to melt. I just mixed it up and it was ready to go.

Sooo delicious!

The Pizza Maker

Last night we continued our celebration of Valentine's Day with heart shaped pizza. Eric was MUCH better at the shaping of the dough that I was. He tried to fix my mess, but it was too far gone. Below are the "after" shots of the pizza. His was the cheese, mine was the pepperoni.

It was very tasty. We got to share our heart pizza with Gary & Paula and the kids when they came over. Gary & Paula needed to go to Home Depot for a new sink, so they dropped the kids off with us for a little while.

Jenny really enjoys when they come over. They chase each other around the house and wear each other out. Here they're all hanging out on the couch watching Hannah Montana...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Queen of Hearts

We're having a great Valentine's Day! So far today we have had heart shaped pancakes for breakfast... with a garnish of heart shaped apples... the pancakes were made by hand, I used a small cookie cutter for the apples.

Then I made heart shaped cookies... using various sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters. (I love the Christmas Tree Shop!)

Kelsey brought home a pretty pink carnation that she got at school... which we put in a vase for her...

And Kelsey and I decorated all the heart shaped cookies... they are so very yummy! I wish I could share them with you all... Later we'll be having heart shaped pizza. And then maybe we should take a nice long walk to work off all these calories...

Heart Day

Today will be all about hearts. For breakfast, we're having heart shaped pancakes and heart shaped apple pieces... then we'll be making heart shaped cookies later and top the day off with heart shaped pizza! I'll take photos of all the fun... Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

50 States

I thought I would do a different sort of blog post. It's the middle of winter and I'm antsy. I would love to travel, but can't. So aside from surfing the internet looking for places I'd like to go, I can instead surf my brain and remember places I've been. Here is a list of all 50 states and some memories/experiences in each of them. Well, the ones I've been to anyway. I have not been to all 50. Maybe someday. Feel free to do the same on your blogs! I'd love to read about where everybody has been. It was fun making the list and remembering where I've been. And realizing all the places I'd like to go!


Alabama: I don't think I've ever been to Alabama. Have I? (* Update... my mom says I've been here a few times...)
Alaska: Nope. Never been. My friend Amy has been and she sent me a postcard, does that count for anything?
Arizona: I have an uncle who lives here, maybe I should visit. Because I've never been there before.
Arkansas: I can't say I recall ever going to Arkansas. Hmm...
California: I've been a couple of times. My grandparents lived in San Diego. We visited them twice, but one time I remember well was when I was about 6. I got my ears pierced that summer. I also visited Los Angeles when I was in my 20s, it was a work trip. But we did more sight-seeing than work. Did all the touristy L.A. things. Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood sign, Griffith Park Observatory, Venice Beach and we even went to CBS Studios to see a taping of Politically Incorrect and we got to meet Bill Maher.
Colorado: Hmm, I don't recall ever visiting Colorado.
Connecticut: I've driven through Connecticut a million times on my way to other places. Usually there were just pit-stops for gas and quick lunches. I did spend one weekend at Mohegan Sun Casino with my roommate from college and some other friends. I went home with $50 less than I went there with. Could've been worse!
Delaware: When Alex was 3 1/2, we were visiting my friend Jen in Baltimore and we drove to Delaware one day so her son could see the ocean. He was almost 2 and never been to the beach. So we went. We encountered the worst torrential rain/thunderstorms I've ever driven through. The good news though., the beach wasn't very crowded. I believe the beach we went to was Rehoboth Beach. We got lots of fun pictures and the boys loved playing in the wet sand.
Florida: I was born in Florida. I lived there for 2 years, but I don't remember it. Some of my best memories from Florida are from when I was a teenager and went to stay with my friend Debbie for the summer. She lived in Melbourne. We went to the beach or went bowling pretty much everyday. I've also been to Disney on a couple of separate occasions... plus Alex and I flew to Jacksonville a couple of years ago to board a Cruise ship. One of our ports of call was Key West. That was our favorite. I looovve Florida.
Georgia: Drove through it on the way to Florida one year. I don't remember much about it except wishing it would end so we would be in Florida.
Hawaii: Hopefully someday.
Idaho: I've never been to Idaho, but Alex visited last summer. I spoke to him on the phone while he was there. Maybe that counts for a little.
Illinois: I visited Illinois when I was little and don't remember much. However, 2 summers ago, Alex and I drove out to Chicago to visit Aunt Margi & Uncle Roger. That was such a wonderful trip. They were the most amazing hosts and tour guides. I have so many wonderful memories from Illinois now and can't wait to return! Cheeseborger, cheeseborger, cheeseborger... and deep dish pizza! All the museums... walking down Michigan Ave. Such a great place. And great hosts.
Indiana: Years ago when we lived in Kentucky, my friend Jen and I drove to Indiana just so we could say I'd been. We ate lunch at an Applebees across the border from Louisville. I've also driven through Indiana with Alex on our way to and from Chicago. We might have stopped for lunch.
Iowa: We were oh, so close to Iowa when we went to Chicago. Maybe next time we'll pop over to say we've been.
Kansas: Nope.
Kentucky: I lived in Lexington, KY for 2 years. It has to be one of the most beautiful states I've ever been. Horse farms with white fences blanket the countryside. It's amazing there. The people in Kentucky are the nicest people in the world. Southern hospitality at its finest.
Maine: I moved to Maine when I was 10. I lived there until I went to college. It's a peaceful, beautiful place. I have such fond memories of Maine. I couldn't possibly begin to list them all. I will say that I love lobster, I worked in Bar Harbor one summer and I even raked blueberries once. Classic Maine. Ayuh.
Maryland: Again, my friend Jen's name comes up. I seem to have done lots of traveling with her! She lived in Baltimore for a short time and we visited her one summer. We took our kids to the Baltimore Aquarium. It was also in Baltimore where I was first introduced to Krispy Kreme donuts. Mmm. Donuts.
Massachusetts: My dad was born in Winchester. His sister remained in the area. I remember visiting her often and going to Building 19. I also went to college in MA. And after Alex was born, I took him into Boston a couple of time to explore the city. He loved the Boston Children's Museum. And now, we take vacations to the Cape in the summer... I love The Cape.
Michigan: The summer we drove to Chicago, Alex and I stopped in Michigan. It wasn't exactly on the way, but it wasn't that far out of the way either. He wanted to add another state to his list (he's at 26 so far). We ended up staying the night in a town called Hillsdale. We played mini-golf, ate at a bbq joint and swam in the hotel pool.
Minnesota: Errr. Nope. Although I think I hear the Mall of America calling my name...
Mississippi: Never been.
Missouri: Yeah, again. Nope.
Montana: Wow, I've got nothing. (Alex has been here though.)
Nebraska: Where is Nebraska?
Nevada: Hmmm... nope, But I really want to go to Vegas someday!
New Hampshire: I lived and worked in NH for 8 years. Alex was born there. I again have far too many memories to list! Gorgeous state, no sales tax or income tax, great place to live. I have nothing bad to say about NH.
New Jersey: NJ on the other hand is awful. At least in my experience. Traveling the miserable Garden State Parkway was a horrible experience. Never again! The only good memory I have from NJ is when we went to see the Patriots play the Giants at the Meadowlands. 18-0.
New Mexico: Never been.
New York: I live in NY. My first memories of NY however are from visiting Aunt Peggy & Uncle Paul in Binghamton when I was younger. We also went to the Baseball Hall of Fame once. I loved that. Years later, my brother moved to NYC. I enjoyed visiting him and getting to go into the city. I did a girls weekend trip to NYC once with Amy, Maria and Sarah.We saw the Conan O'Brien show, the Statue of Liberty, the Today Show and all the other tourist things too. I have so many great memories of NY, I couldn't possibly list them all or even come close. I met my husband in NY. I heart NY. (Well, minus the taxes and the snow.)
North Carolina: My biggest memory of NC is driving through it. Seeing the signs for South of the Border every 10 miles.
North Dakota: Nope!
Ohio: Ah. O-hi-o. Lovely state. I visited Cincinnati several times when I lived in KY. It's only an hour and a half north of Lexington. Very nice city. I went to a Reds game and then another time went to Paramount Kings Island. Where I learned that I hated Roller Coasters. Also, last spring, Alex and I spent a few days in Cleveland and saw the Red Sox/Indians play. Sox won. Great trip!
Oklahoma: O-k-l-a-h-o-m-a, Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains. Never been to the state, only performed in the play.
Oregon: Never been to the northwest. Someday!
Pennsylvania: My parents live in PA. They moved there in 1998 from Maine. Until then, I'd only driven through PA on the way to KY or elsewhere. PA is a very nice state, lots of rolling hills and farmland. My parents live in a neat area, and we enjoy visiting... although we haven't been in awhile!
Rhode Island: One weekend in college a bunch of us went to someone's camp. I think it was near/on/in/around Block Island. I don't remember much more than that. I think it might have been the beer.
South Carolina: South of the Border! Pedro! (Very lame, btw.)
South Dakota: Is that the state right below North Dakota? Nope, never been.
Tennessee: When I was living in KY we went to Nashville for a day. Visited Opryland and Music Row. Went to Minnie Pearls house too.
Texas: Sigh. No.
Utah: What's in Utah?
Vermont: It's next to New Hampshire. I went to a funeral in Vermont once. Alex's great-great grandmother. It was a beautiful ceremony.
Virginia: I lived in Virginia for 5 years. When I was little. I went to Kindergarten twice there.
Washington: Never been.
West Virginia: Ooh. West Virginia. I learned what a "runaway truck ramp" was by driving through West Virginia. WV was on the way to KY from NH. We drove through it several times. It's very hilly. And that's an understatement.
Wisconsin: Say cheese! Alex and I had lunch in Wisconsin on our Chicago trip. It was only about 30 min. north of Aunt Margi's house. We ate at the Cracker Barrel and stopped at the Information Center for a photo op next to the "Welcome to Wisconsin" sign. I'd like to explore more of the state someday.
Wyoming: I had a penpal from Wyoming. I wonder what ever happened to her. She was the niece of my 4th grade teacher. We exchanged letters for years, but lost touch after High School. But I've never been to WY. Alex was there last summer though...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Must See TV

We did it. We joined the "people with really big TVs" club. If there is such a thing. Did we need a new TV? No. But we wanted one. And we're just doing our part to help stimulate the economy!

Here's Eric trying to figure out what all the pieces are for. We didn't have any extras, so that's a good thing.

And here he is enjoying the fruits of his labor. It's so big I can see it clearly from the kitchen. As a matter of fact, I think I took this photo from the kitchen!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Complaint Department

Every day on my way to work, I see this hotel being built. On this particular day this past week, it was 3 degrees outside. If you look closely, you will see a couple of people on top of the building. They are working. Outside. In sub-zero weather. Building a hotel. I glance over at this construction site on my way to my job in a warm cozy office with a skylight and a tv. I sometimes get cold in my office with the skylight, so I turn on my space heater or get another cup of coffee. After seeing these guys the other day when it was so cold, I'm thinking I have it pretty good, and I should never complain about my job again...

Speaking of complaining, I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. In this world full of complaints and complainers, I think I need to cut back on my complaining. Or at least if I have a legitimate complaint, then I should do something about it. But for everyday complaints, objections, criticisms, or other annoyances, I need to cut back. I found this quote online the other day and I'm thinking of taking it on as my new motto: "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Letter J

I read a lot of blogs and sometimes I get ideas from other blogs for my own blog. And today is no exception. Today I'm going to list 10 things that I love that start with the letter "J". It was a random letter (I asked Amy to pick it for me). And it was actually a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Just thinking of words that started with the letter "J" was hard enough, but then to think of things that I loved that started with the letter "J" was not easy! If anyone would like to take the challenge and post it to their blog, let me know, I'll send you a random letter. Fun times!

1. June - I LOVE summer. June is my favorite month of the year. It's warm, but not too warm. The trees are in full bloom, the flowers are fresh and I just love the smell of fresh cut grass. (Especially when someone else is mowing it!)

2. Jokes - Who doesn't love a good, funny joke? One of Alex's favorite jokes when he was 3: "Why did the tissue start to dance?" "It had a little boogie in it." That one still cracks me up.

3. Jenny - Jenny and I have a sort of love-hate relationship, but for the most part it's love. When she's not waking me up too early or chewing my curtains. But, she's awfully darn cute with those big ol' ears and tail-less little fuzzy butt.

4. Junk Food - I'm a junk food junkie. I admit it. Chips, snacks, desserts. I love it all.

5. July 31 - My new favorite date (aside from Oct. 6th, but this is about "J", not "O").

6. Jeff - My brother. Maybe we don't keep in contact as often as we should or get to visit as often as I would like, but hopefully he knows I love him. He's my one and only brother.

7. Jigsaw puzzles - I love to spend a day putting together a puzzle. It's something fun I like to do with Alex. We get to spend a little quality time together and it doesn't include a tv set or a video game or spending money.

8. Jelly Donuts - This might fall under the "junk food" category, but I love them and it starts with a "J". Raspberry jelly donuts from Dunkin' Donuts are my favorite.

9. Java aka Coffee - I'm so excited I could sneak my ever-so-favorite drink into this "Things I Love" list!

10. Japanese Cherry Blossom body lotion - From Bath & Body Works. LOVE it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


In the midst of this never-ending winter, I thought it would be nice to show an image of summer. Eric found this photo the other night. It's of me and Alex at Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, MA two years ago. The interesting thing is that where the arrow is pointing is going to be where we're staying this summer during our vacation. It's a different beach than we've stayed at in the past. And it was just a fluke that we happened to explore this area the last time we were there. 

You can click on the image to make it bigger. Don't we look nice and tan?? I can't wait to be able to wear shorts again... I'm so tired of turtlenecks and fleece!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Sunday

What a difference a year makes! I actually forgot it was Super Bowl Sunday when I woke up today. It really haven't cared as much about football this season, especially the post season. Sure we'll still watch the game so we can see the commercials and have an excuse to eat lots of food. But I can honestly say I don't care who wins. And that is a very a nice change from last year.

Oh and one bit of advice that I wanted to pass along, try to stay away from groceries stores on Super Bowl Sunday. Wegmans was a mad-house this morning!