Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The other day I was coming out of a doctor's appointment and got stuck waiting as a long funeral procession  passed. I don't know if I'm strange, but whenever I see this, or see people piling into a funeral home, I always wonder what would happen if I passed away?

I mean, I know there's the uncertainty of the kids and I'm guessing that my husband would miss me... and my family, but I wonder about other people. I wonder about the students that I work with everyday at the school. Would they miss my "motivation speeches" and words of wisdom? Would my colleagues miss my input and my hardwork? Have I spent enough time with my friends while my life grows more and more hectic?

Would people actually take time out of their busy lives to even come and say a last goodbye? I know this sounds depressing and I'm not trying to be... I honestly think about this all the time. I think it makes me want to make a difference; an impact. I have so many things that I want to do. I have so many lives still that I want to change.

I still NEED to get to work on making it possible for all of the people who receive meals on wheels to get a card... a simple little card to say that someone cares, on holidays and their birthday. I want to help with the food pantries. I want to become a teacher so I have an even greater impact on some of those kids looking for direction. I don't worry about the ones who live in the guidance office, checking out the colleges they've grown up hearing about, getting their grades, earning their letters.

I worry about the ones who fold up their papers, put away their books, and pull their hoods on. I worry about the kids who are going to college for a major that their parents want them to get; knowing they will almost certainly drop out for lack of interest or motivation to continue. I worry about the kids who are searching for something to grab onto and can't quite find the rope.

It's funny. When I was in college or even in the early years of "Life"... married, house, job, dogs. I thought I knew what I wanted and where I needed to be to get there and then about 7yrs ago all of that changed. I found out that I was pregnant and for the first time in my life, I wasn't the center of my world. I feel like I need to make a difference to make my kids world better... to make my world better. To just make things better.

So sitting in my car, I wondered... have I made a difference?

Book Club!!

This is pretty much my WHOLE kitchen!!
I was sooo excited Monday... it was MY turn to host Book Club :) Now, usually what we do is the host of bookclub does the main entree and everyone brings something. The normal breakdown would be Salad, Bread, Dessert, and WINE!! Now, I have to mention that prior to starting this bookclub, I never drank wine. I thought it was disgusting and harsh... and well, I couldn't do it. But, thankfully, I've grown up and developed a taste for it. Don't get me wrong, I have no idea about flavor and pairings or anything like that, but I do enjoy a glass of wine with my ladies.

This time, I was craving Chinese. I don't know about you, but I love chinese food. I love sushi, seaweed salad, the soups, the sauces... mmm! Everything about it. So I wanted to make chinese food. I went searching the web and found the stuff I was looking for Egg Drop Soup, Shrimp Egg Rolls, and Shrimp and Veggie Lo Mein. These recipes were AWESOME!! I also grabbed some Seaweed Salad at our local Market Basket.

I have to admit though... I changed a few things. I don't buy regular coleslaw mix anymore because I am in LOVE with Broccoli Slaw. It has more flavor, color, and nutrients. It works amazingly in the egg rolls. The only other thing I changed was that I used egg roll wrappers instead of wonton wrappers because that's what I had in the freezer. I didn't make the dipping sauce, but I'm sure it's just as amazing :)

The Shrimp and Vegetable Lo Mein was awesome too... even though it was a WW recipe. I'm always a little nervous because sometimes their recipes can be bland, but this rocked! I think it was because there was oyster sauce, sesame oil, and yummy veggies. I took out the bamboo shoots and added about 8oz of baby bella mushrooms. Everyone loved it all so much that I really didn't even have any leftovers.

After we discussed the book a little, drank some wine and settled into conversation I was asked if we had any chocolate. I hadn't planned for dessert because of the bountiful assortment I was throwing at everyone, but thanks to The Pampered Chef, I was able to whip together a 12 minute Miracle Cake! hehe.

So we read "The Next on My List" by Jill Smolinski this month. It was my pick and I flew through it. I have to warn you, if you decide to read it... it's pretty much a chick flick within a binding. Some of the ladies had serious trouble reading it because of the ummm... lack of content. But I LOVED it. lol. To be honest, it's been a little hectic around here and it was nice to sink into something that didn't really make me think much.

The book is about a "Bucket List" that needs to be completed before a deadline. Now, there's a twist to it slightly, but that's all that needs to be said right now. It started me thinking and I realized that I've never created a bucket list. I mean, I've had goals for myself, but I've changed so much that those goals aren't even relevant anymore. So I mentioned this point and the ladies had me get some paper and a pencil and wanted me to make a list.

I will be 35 years old in less than a month!! Yes, in 20 days I will be 35yrs old and I have no idea where I am going?? What do I want to do? I could potentially be making a jump in careers, but that's not certain. I would love to be a teacher, or maybe a guidance counselor, or even an administrator... but I LOVE being an Athletic Trainer. I want to do more stuff for my community, the school, my kids, my family. They put a stipulation on the list that doesn't let me put any home improvement items on it... BUMMER!! That would have been easy. Remember a few posts back. And then. But no... I have to do 40 things before I am 40.

I'm working on the list now and will post it when it's done. But, as promised. Here are some more pics of my kitchen...
 So I took off the wallpaper to see what was behind it. Now I've discovered I have to change that little board behind the sink before putting on the tile, but I'm ready!! Isn't the sink huge? I love it :)

 This is my homemade pot rack. That was stainless steel flat hanger for a spice rack or cup for utensil, like over my stove below. BUT I added some cool shower curtain hooks and now it's my custom pot rack!

Monday, March 28, 2011

ok ok ok...

I DID take pics, but I don't have time to post them right now... I have to prep for Book Club tonight! Yes, that's our excuse to get together, drink some wine, talk some talk, and eat SUPER yummy food! Tonight's menu is Homemade Egg Drop Soup followed by shrimp egg rolls and shrimp and veggie lo mein... mmm mmm mmm. I cannot wait!!

So anyway, I promise. Pics of the house AND the finished rocking chair tomorrow. If the food comes out as great as the recipes sound, I will post pics and recipes of those too :)

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Adding to my list...

Am I the only one who will NEVER complete a "to do" list??

A little while back I posted a list of things that I need to do or finish. Well, since then I added a couple of things. I have been trying to figure out what to do with the sunroom AGAIN! Yes, I did reorganize that space a few years back and it's better, but still not "right".

The girls are getting bigger and they want to do crafts with me. Heck, they want to do crafts withOUT me!! lol So, the other day I was checking out Craigslist and I found a countertop - FREE!! It would have been perfect for those cabinets I missed out on the other day at Lowe's but, I'm not getting down on that... I'll secure it somehow. It's an L-shaped laminate countertop that's 4ft long on one end and probably about 8ft long in the other direction. Can you say PERFECT??? I can :) So I called Chef Hubby and begged him to pick it up. (He was at a meeting and it was about 8:30pm already - Have I mentioned lately how lucky I am to have that guy??) 

So, he brought it home - all 80-100lbs of it! lol. It's huge :)  Can't wait to set that up. Oh, and I mentioned my Lowe's trip... yeah, well, I figured that the cabinets were gone so I'd look around a little. Am I the only person who also LOVES to "just browse" at Lowe's? OK, well, it didn't end with browsing or my list wouldn't have grown, right?? wow... that was a lot of commas! lmao

Anyway, I a spot over my sink in the kitchen that NEEDS tile. It's seriously screaming for it. At least it would be if it could scream. I have an old double basin cast iron porcelain sink that's 3 feet wide. It would be perfect if it wasn't for the very old - VERY low countertops we have it. Anyway, behind the sink is currently wallpaper that is pulling up :( We put this wallpaper up about 7 or 8yrs ago and didn't even prime the walls first. It has to go. So i was "just browsing" the tile isle when I saw the coolest charcoal colored 1x1inch tile. Then I grabbed some pewter accessory tiles and the Tile Kit! 

It was close to browsing... the whole project cost me less than $50! I know, I know... it's not done yet BUT I want to do it NOW! I also have the... wait for it... PERFECT wallpaper to redo the room in. I swear I will post pics soon, but try to picture it... we have red laminate counter tops that are a whopping 17" deep, gray cabinets and chrome accents. The big porcelain white sink and a black stove. Did I mention it's a galley kitchen, so the fridge is actually in the dining room and the microwave... down the hall in the SUNROOM!! lol.

Ok, so there's a LOT of work to do! Well, there was a LOT of work to do on top of these new projects, but I'm excited... hehe. I have 2 projects almost done. My dad (my savior) finished sealing the chair that we refinished for my cousin and the Father Daughter Dance is next weekend. I have to make a BUNCH of mini cupcakes for that, but I can whip those out in a couple of hours - no problem! 

Do me a favor and say a prayer or two. Tell me what songs get you motivated (trying to create a new playlist) or tell me what projects you're working on. I PROMISE to post pics next time!! I swear :)  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feeling Calm

Any of you who actually know me, know that calm for me probably isn't what you might picture. It's not the breeze blowing while you're on the beach basking in the sun listening to the music. It's more of party (at least in my head). It's when I have a million projects going on, but they are all moving in the right direction. It's when I don't feel crazy if Chef Hubby tells me he has to stay at work late.

I have a pretty full plate lately...
Heading the Health Fair Committee for the kids' school
Helping run the campaign for city council for my husband
On the Dance Committee at the kids' school
Potential shift in career
Household issues - plumber has been here more than once in the past week :(
Trying to declutter/organize/complete unfinished projects - last post

But for some reason I'm not stressed out. I mean, I'm scattered and struggling to keep things organized and dates in line, but I'm happy. I can't remember when my husband and I have been closer. The kids are getting older and easier - not the attitudes or the strong wills, but they can get themselves dressed. They can feed themselves, and I have to mention - they go to bed at 7pm! Yes, that makes for a very happy mommy.

I turned off the heat and opened some windows today to air it out a little. I started going through closets and cabinets and bins and I have a HUGE pile of stuff to donate. I have paint and tiles and fans and almost everything I need to finish my list of projects and I have friends that I can call when I need a night out!

As sad as it might sound, I've never really had a "friends". I mean I've had my handful of ladies (3- that's it - sad, huh) that I hung out with and chatted but when I had kids I started getting closer to even them. Since the kids started school last year, my group has been growing and my handful has turned into a group. Instead of having my 3 close friends, I now have an entire support system. It's amazing how calming that is.

I'm going to get some stuff done now and I think I'm going to call some of those lovely ladies to see if someone wants to joint us for a playdate after school. I love playdates - the kids play and I get to relax and chat and enjoy the fact that things are just as they should be :)