Thursday, September 30, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Mom, if I can be a smidgen of the mother to my daughter that you are to me, Gillian Grace will be one very lucky little girl.

You have given me the best of everything without ever asking for anything in return.

Your spirit is kind and selfless, and an inspiration to others. Those that know you, can't help but love you. But there is no one, that can possibly love you any more than your sweet sunshine, your mini me, your shadow, Miss Gillian Grace. Just like she lights up your life with her smiles and laughter, time spent in your company does the same for all of us.

Happy Birthday to the world's best mother, grandmother, and friend.

We love you!

P.S. Gillian Grace sends lots of love and kisses to her Gammie!










Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday---Squeaky Shoes

One, two, three, one, two, three...

Gillian Grace loves sidewalk dancing with her shadow.

Watching Gillian Grace walk and dance around has always been fun, but now that she has a pair of squeaky shoes, it's pure entertainment.

So look out all you Dancing with the Celebrities and Wannabes Stars, my Sweet Bean's got some moves of her own!

Happy Wednesday!

{Giveaways- Love Stamped Jewelry and Pear Tree personalized Halloween Stickers}


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Miscellany Monday---Ummm, on Tuesday?

one. {boo!}

Pear Tree Greetings has recently added new Halloween photo cards and Halloween invitations to their collection of stationery designs. And this month, Pear Tree Greetings is giving one lucky Webbisodes reader their choice of 24 free Halloween personalized stickers. To be eligible to win, just include the name of your favorite Halloween sticker design in your comment. This giveaway will end on October 9th at midnight.



two. {temper, temper }

It seems that my sweet bean has inherited another one of my fabulous traits, a temper. Lately Gillian Grace has been asserting herself more and more, testing the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and, quite frankly, our patience. While I try my best to remain calm and composed, my flushed cheeks and profuse sweating, make it difficult to hide my total embarrassment from the rest of the world. Surely I'm not the first momma who's experienced a toddler's  Chernobyl like meltdown in a public place. So tell me, how do you handle it?

three. {copy cat, on the cheap}

I've been so inspired by some of the do-it-yourself projects I've seen on blogs everywhere in the past few weeks, that I've decided to try my hand at re-creating some of my favorites and call the posts: See It. Like It. Make It. First on the list, a hair bow organizer for Lil' Miss Priss. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!


four. {snikiddy snacks}

Several months ago, I was asked to do a review of Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries. Never having been able to turn down anything free, I agreed, but was incredibly skeptical of this funny sounding snack. Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries offer a healthy alternative to potato chips and are peanut and gluten free. But probably most surprising was that my own little picky eater gobbled them up and kept coming back for more. GG loved this snack and now Snikiddy snacks have quickly become a staple in our home.





(The first person to leave the word SNIKIDDY and their email in their comment will receive a free of Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries to try at home.)

five. {a sour note}

Back in August, Gillian Grace began attending weekly Kindermusik classes at a local church in town. Over the weeks, I've been delighted to watch as GG has grown and matured little by little with each class. For her first time in a structured social setting, Gillybean has surpassed my expectations. And though her Daddy may not want to hear it, she even has a boyfriend---a little guy a few months younger that follows her around and makes her laugh. And while I would highly recommend visiting the Kindermusik site to find a class in your area, I sit here with fingers crossed hoping that the adorable runny-nosed, coughing, and drooling-all-over-the-instruments-munchkin from last Tuesday, uses this week's break to get the rest he needs to fully recover from his obvious, to everyone else in the room but his own mother, summer cold.

Seriously lady, what were you thinking? Keep your cute lil' germ generator home!

First class, GG still wasn't too sure about it all! And believe it or not, ever since we've been too busy making noise music to pose for pictures!

six. {tag-a-long}

Link up and tag-a-long!

Tuesday Tag-Along

{Current giveaway information!}


Monday, September 27, 2010

Meaningful Monday

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself:


I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.


I can choose which it shall be.


Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet.

All Images

I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
--- Groucho Marx

After letting my no good, very bad mood practically ruin our Sunday afternoon, isn't it funny that I should come across this quote in my inbox just as dawn is breaking on a new week?

We already know that God works in mysterious ways, but apparently now He can email!

This is what makes me happy,




What will make you smile today?

Here's to a week filled with so much joy, y'alls' cheeks hurt from smiling by Wednesday!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Finally Friday

Thank Goodness It's Friday, y'all! The weekend is here!

Fun Phone Photo Friday

Although I'm not a huge fan of change, sometimes it's just fun to switch things up a bit! I have been busy working on some new ideas and a few surprises, so stay tuned. But for now, I thought I'd take a break from the usual Flashback Friday post and try something new---Fun Phone Photo Friday! With cameras now practically standard on most cell phones, snapping a picture or two to share each week should be a piece of cake, and fun to boot!

Look what we picked up at the grocery store!
They were running a special...
By one balloon, get an adorable toddler for free!

{Even if you're not a Florida Gator fan, you've got to admit that sweet bean's pillow case dress is mighty adorable! My friend, Jennifer over at Southern Living Preppy Style Designs, makes them along with a dozen other darling items! She'll even custom make a pillowcase dress for your lil' in any team fabric or colors, just ask! }

I'm tossing around the idea of creating a weekly Linky with the Fun Phone Photo Friday theme. Any thoughts?

Five Question Friday

1. If you could speak with a different accent, what would it be (i.e Australian, Scottish)?

Oooh, fun question! All accents are pretty nifty, but if I could chose to have one accent in particular, I'd choose to have an Australian accent. I'm pretty sure I've been enamored with the Australian accent since I first heard Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee all those years ago. And now with famous Aussie actors like Hugh Jackman, Simon Baker, and Nicole Kidman prettying up the screen, it's difficult not to be envious of their Down Under drawl!


2. Can you fall asleep anywhere? (i.e floor, couch, deck)

Yes! When I'm tired, nothing stands in my way of a little shut eye! I could sleep on the sidewalk during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade if I'm tired enough.

And with a squeaky clean conscience, I always sleep like a baby! (Wink, Wink)


Gillian Grace at 4 months old, sleeping like the angel she is!

3. Do you use public restrooms? If so, do you sit on the toilet?

Ummm, this question is bordering on the brink of TMI. But since my personality won't actually permit me to skip a question, I'll just say, when a girl's gotta go, a girl's gotta go!


4. If you were stuck in an elevator for 24 hours, what celebrity would you most want to be stuck with?

I honestly can't think of one person I'd actually want to be stuck with for 24 hours, let alone in a claustrophobic death box dangling several stories above the ground!  But, if made to choose, I'd say I'd want to be stuck with Martha Stewart. I'm thinking she could whittle us up a three course meal from the gum and cheese crackers in her purse, or whip up a nice cozy pillow from the pocket lint in my trousers. And with the skills I'm almost certain she picked up while in the clink, I'm thinking she might even know a thing or two about escaping from uncomfortable situations!


5. Where did you & your significant other go on your 1st date?

For our first date, Bret took me to Harry's, a seafood restaurant, in Gainesville during our junior year of college.


Enjoy your weekend and Go Gators!

{Yay for 5QF fun hosted by Mama M.! If you'd like to participate head on over to My Little Life and link up.}

There's still time to enter the Love Stamped jewelry giveaway! Click here!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a very picky eater! And as far as Gillian Grace is concerned, that apple didn't fall far from the tree. But there is one thing that neither of us allow to linger on our plates---carbs! Like Julia Robert's character said in Eat, Pray, Love, "I'm on a no carb left behind experiment." My sweet bean and I are nuts for noodles, bonkers for breads, and crazy for anything that would send Dr. Atkins or South Beach diehards into a tizzy!

One of my favorite pasta meals of all time is Dad's pasta, appropriately named for the master chef himself, my daddy! I'm not sure what it is about this meal that makes it so scrump-del-li-icious, but this pasta is pure comfort in a bowl!

And remember, if chopping and sauteing at the end of a long day on your feet doesn't sound like your idea of a good time (and let's face it, unless you're Rachael Ray, it doesn't),you can always prep all the ingredients the day before to make cooking a cinch!

Honestly friends, in true Vito Corleone (the Godfather) style, this is one Italian meal you can't refuse!


One large onion
One large red or green pepper (red pepper makes it sweeter)
One clove garlic, sliced
One pound Italian sausage, formed into small balls
One pound mushrooms, sliced
Two 15.5 ounce cans Italian stewed tomatoes
One small can tomato paste (for thicker sauce, add more tomato paste)
Fennel seeds
Cayenne pepper
Pasta of choice (ziti, shells, or twists)


Slice and dice onion and pepper.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil to large pan and cook pepper on medium heat until it starts to soften.  Add onion and continue cooking pepper and onion until onion starts to look transparent.  Remove onion and pepper from pan and place in bowl.

Add more olive oil, then add sliced garlic to oil and then add mushrooms.  Cook until mushrooms shrink and become soft.  Remove and add to bowl with onion and pepper.

Form sausage into small balls (if using link sausage, remove skin and then form into balls) and cook at medium heat until done.  Cut stewed tomatoes into smaller pieces using a fork or pastry cutter.  Then add stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, peppers, and mushrooms to sausage and simmer on low heat, stirring often.  Add ¼ teaspoon salt,  2 to 3 pinches fennel, 3 to 5 pinches each basil and oregano, and pinch of cayenne pepper (adjust spices to taste).  Cook for at least 30 minutes (longer is better) and then taste again.  Add seasonings as desired.

Cook box of desired pasta per directions on box.


Serve with green salad, garlic bread, and a good red wine.  Serves four adults


See, even Gillian Grace gets excited when this is on the menu!
Like GG's outfit? Want a pillowcase dress in your team's fabric? Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll tell you where to shop!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday---Discovering Shadows





Two down, two more days to go until the weekend. Hang in there! Happy Hump Day, y'all!

{Enter the Love Stamped giveaway here.}


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sweet Bean

Yesterday Gillian Grace turned 14 months old, and in the little over a year that GG's been a part of our family, our sweet lil' bean has taught us a great deal.

We've learned to enjoy each new day a little more than the one before, and to always remember the many ways in which God has blessed our lives.

And, in those times when life gets too heavy and we begin taking ourselves a little too seriously, she has a way of lightening our load, bringing everything into perspective and a smile to our faces.

GG fills our hearts with joy and the room with laughter daily.

In grandad's words, "She's a peach!"

And while we feel eternally grateful to call such an adorable child our own, I can't help but wonder if having us for parents sometimes makes Gillybean feel like going crazy!

What do you think?

{Enter the Love Stamped Jewelry giveaway. Click here!}


Monday, September 20, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{one} split decision
Note to self (or hubs), next time you hear your adorable daughter babble,"Bup! Bup! (GG's way of saying up), remember to pull up both legs of your pants before bending down to pick her up. Now you see why I've got to learn to sew!

And yes, Bret gave his permission for the bum shoot!

{two} wild kingdom
What's the best way to capture a raccoon terrorizing your backyard? Why with oreos, of course! Allow me to introduce Trey, a raccoon with an obvious sweet tooth. Trey is the third raccoon Bret has trapped in our backyard and then relocated in the past two weeks.


{three} must-see-tv
Yay, for the new Fall season of all my favorite shows---Parenthood, Modern Family, The Middle, Castle, Amazing Race, and Survivor, just to name a few! Plus with so many new shows debuting in the next few weeks, my DVR will be working overtime. And speaking of Parenthood, the premiere this past week was hilarious and classic. The mother-daughter driving lesson was spot on, bringing tons of my teenage memories flooding back. When I found myself identifying with the Kristina Braverman (the mom) in the scene, it was the latest in the long list of reminders that I have officially become my mother!

{four} bye bye bubbly
This weekend I purchased my last pack of diet coke. Once this 12 pack is finished, that's it for the soda pop guzzling---I'm going cold turkey! Though I'll likely still indulge in a bit of the caffeinated crack when I'm out, I am no longer going to keep diet coke in the house, I'm simply too weak! Keep your fingers crossed that the caffeine withdrawal headaches from the first few days don't send me running to the 7 Eleven for an emergency fix.

{five} made in china
I was surprised and extremely troubled to discover that the apple juice (Mott's Medleys) I'd been purchasing off the shelves of my local supermarket contained apple concentrate produced in China. Yes, China! With all the news recently regarding China and its questionable manufacturing practices, I was horrified to learn that I'd been unknowingly allowing Gillian Grace to consume juice not produced domestically. And apparently, use of Chinese concentrate is not a new phenomenon and has been used for years in many brands of juice. One thing is for sure, GG will not be drinking Mott's Medleys any longer, and I will definitely be paying closer attention to the labels on the products I buy, especially those for my child.

{six} fancy feet
She may not have 2,700 pairs like Imelda Marcos, but one thing is for sure, Gillian Grace loves shoes! At Babies R' Us the other day, we couldn't resist trying on a pair of Elmo, or "Mo" as GG calls him, slippers. If I wasn't so worried that the adorable slippers would be a tripping hazard, we definitely would've purchased baby a new pair of shoes!




How much are these? Think they'll take Cheerios?

{seven}love stamped
Have you entered to win a necklace from Love Stamped jewelry? If not, click here to read all about my latest giveaway and your chance to win!

Have a great Monday, y'all!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters