Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Bringin' Sexy Back...

Went shopping with Michaela Byrd today. (It is SO much easier to shop with only one child!) We headed out to DSW to check out the kicks. I wanted a really sexy pair of shoes to wear to the brother-in-law's wedding this weekend. I wanted to find something that would make me feel better about myself, as the dress I found at Macy's obviously did not do wonders for my self-esteem. I was hoping that the perfect pair of strappy stilettos would jump off the shelf into my eager arms, but no such luck. I didn't see anything strappy enough, if that makes any sense. So I settled on this pair from Steve Madden. Not bad. I like the sparkly sequins that are actually pretty subtle. They only shimmer when the light hits them in just the right way. Michaela Byrd approved them, but I think she was only in a hurry to get back in the car and stare at her baby mirror mobile. We shopped hard! All in a good day's work, right?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Have you been BOO!ed ??

No, I'm not talking about the kind of booing one would receive after a particularly bad karaoke performace, or an Obama t-shirt at a McCain-Palin rally....BOO!ing is a fun Halloween activity that got started recently in my local Mothers of Preschoolers group.

I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, but I do let my girls dress up, and next year we will go Trick or Treating for the first time (see my wedding post for the reason why we won't be this year). We don't decorate for Halloween, save for two really cute Jack 'O Lantern signs in my front flower pots. I prefer pumpkins, gourds, leaves, etc. But I always enjoy fun seasonal activities, so when another mom from my group secretly left a little Halloween goodie bag on my front steps, I knew I had to give BOO!ing a try!

Along with a few treats, there was a note that said this:

You've Been BOO!ED
The air is cool, it’s time for Fall! Soon sweet treats will come for all. Table leaders are planning things to fact, a MOPS mom brought this to YOU!
The treats that came with this short note are yours to keep. Enjoy them both! But what makes this fun is when friends like you copy and make it Two.
We’ll all have smiles upon our faces trying to figure out who BOO!Ed our places. Just be sure that you don’t tell-Keep it a secret and hide it well.
Please join the fun, the season’s here to spread the goodies, BOO!s, and cheer.
Lots of Love, A MOPS Mom

This could be edited to fit any neighborhood or group. The most fun was picking out the goodies for the people that I would be BOO!ing. I had a crazy crazy week, so I knew I wouldn't be able to make anything homemade. to Wally World I went (closer to home and I had only so much time before the girls woke up and my husband would be required to get off the couch and watch them). This was the note that I sent along. I retyped the one that was dropped off at my house because it was a little wet and hard to read. I used Publisher and found a cute font that looked like I cut the letters out of a magazine. Add a cute pumpkin graphic, and you're set! The "take out" box I found at my local AC Moore. I loved the fall colors, and they were 2 for $1. The little doorknob "BOO" signs I got at Wal-Mart in a little BOO!ing kit. It also came with a little black bag that said "Boo!" on it. I layered the tiny Halloween cupcakes with a piece of wax paper, and I filled in the cracks with miniature chocolates. After that was packed up, it went into the little black "Boo" bag and I dropped in some Reese's peanut butter cups. Perfect color coordination. Talk about chocolate overload!
There's still time to give BOO!ing a try. The hardest part was dropping off the bags. I went to two moms' houses that I had never been to before. Add in the dark, a slip on wet grass when I almost lost my $$$ glasses, and one of the husbands almost catching me, and it was a freaky night! Tons of fun. If you do this in your neighborhood, be sure to ask people to put the little signs on their door or window so no one gets BOO!ed twice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Always a Bridesmaid...

Here is a little-known fact about me. I do not like going to weddings. I don't mind watching wedding shows on TV, I enjoy seeing people's pictures, and I love wedding dresses, but I always dread receiving those 4 pound envelopes in the mail with the RSVP cards inside. It just seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through to throw a big party for 200 people that will forget all about it the instant they go home and start perusing their TiVos to see last Thursday's episode of The Office. Do the guests care that your dress has 967 pearls on it that were hand-sewn by French nuns? No. They want to drink as much as possible at the open bar and then head home to watch Dwight throw a baby stroller from the top of a pile of tires. Really, how can you compete with Steve Carrell and Rainn Wilson?

Did I have a wedding? Yes. Did I wish for a big extravagant party complete with a band and sit down dinner? Yes. Did I get it? No. My mom gently (read, not so gently) explained to me that she was not going to spend 40 grand on a big fluffy party. I was not thrilled to hear her explanation at the time, but now I find myself wishing that we had used the money she did end up spending on our wedding for something more practical. Like a new water heater. Or a deck.

So you can imagine my reaction when not only did my brother-in-law's fiancee, K, ask me to be a bridesmaid, but asked me to be a bridesmaid at their wedding all the way up in Pennsylvania...or was it China? Who knows? Might as well be China. All I know is that it is going to require a two to three hour drive up with two cranky girls in the back seat. Joy.

Yes, I realize I am being a wee bit self-centered here. But it's my blog. I can be self-centered if I want. I would never begrudge anyone her big day, but I guess I am just over the whole big white wedding phase of life. Most of my friends are married with kids, which is a whole different ball game. Parents of the bride can complain about money all they want, but they've had 20+ years to save up for their daughter to have an ice sculpture of the Parthenon. (For the record, K is not having an ice scuplture...that is just the first extravagant thing I could think of) It's the groomsmen and bridesmaids who really suffer.

Well, you say, why didn't you just say that you don't want to be a bridesmaid? That excuse might have worked for my brother's wedding last summer, but it would never withstand my mother-in-law. She loves weddings and planning weddings and showers. She is just so darn nice that I hate to upset her. Really. I'm not just saying that. I honestly didn't want to stir up anything, so I agreed to be one of K's bridesmaids.

So not only am I having to pack the family up to head to Pennsylvania for this wedding, did I mention that I also have to lug up Halloween costumes since the rehearsal is on Halloween night? I'm not big into Halloween, but I was looking forward to taking Natalie and Michaela Byrd trick or treating for the first time. Now I guess Dorothy and Glinda will have to make do watching a bunch of old people stand around. This, of course, will be after we drop all our junk off at the $200 hotel room and drive another half an hour to the ceremony site. Gee whiz. And don't forget the winter coats- because the wedding party (and I am guessing my children) will be sitting in a covered porch during the reception in Pennsylvania November weather. But, don't worry...I think they are using canvas to cover the walls. Yay.

Maybe today this is just about blowing off a little steam. I just hate to spend so much money on gas, hotels, clothes, and gifts so close to Christmas. Wedding plans are very personal. But sometimes it's nice to think of other "persons" when you are making your wedding plans. Next time, I will learn to just say "no" to the whole bridesmaid thing. Speak now, or forever hold your peace, right?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Then I Had a Taste, Now I'm a Believer!

I had a sample of a most wonderous new (for me) Starbuck's beverage last night: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Ambrosia, Manna, Nectar of the it what you like, it was amazing! My friend M mentioned how great it was, but I was pretty skeptical. I even gagged a little bit when the barrista described it to me, but I decided to give it a try. Wow! If you haven't tasted it, it's worth the $15 or however much Starbuck's is charging these days for drinks. I am a new convert, and I will follow M's beverage advice to the ends of the earth. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is a new addition to my beverage lexicon. Thanks, M!
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