Saturday, January 28, 2012

i've never been so great at saying thank you

or maybe i do an okay job with it, but i just never feel like i am adequately conveying HOW thankful i am and how lucky i feel and just how very, very blessed.....because i am...but the words just don't ever seem to be enough. or right.

i've felt this way ever since i was little. i never wanted to open my birthday presents at my party. i think i didn't feel worthy or something? and opening the gifts was almost embarrasing to me...like really? me? YOU got this gift for ME?

not much has changed. i still don't like opening gifts in front of people. i'm a much better gifter than i am a giftee. but some occasions just call for a really extreme amount of THANKS. and this is one of them.


last week, one of the sweetest people i have ever had the honor of calling my friend and one of my FAVORITE bloggers ever, ashley from hudson's happenings hosted a giveaway to celebrate 500 followers to her blog. first of all, i want every single one of the 7 of you who are reading this to go to her blog right this second and follow it. that is really important to me. i would never lead you astray. she is magic.

Hudson's Happenings
look how pretty she is. look at her sweet little boy. honestly. my heart, these two.



anyway, so she hosted this giveaway for this gorgeous dress from shabby apple and cross my heart hope to die i never in a million years thought i would win. first of all, she has FIVE HUNDRED FOLLOWERS so, as if i had a shot, and really, i only entered so she would know i was celebrating with her and cuz... well... cuz also, the week before she held her giveaway, she posted this picture and i kept getting hysterical every time i thought about it....



not that only 12 people would ever enter her giveaway....it just kept cracking me up thinking about it....i reserve the 12 person giveaways for ME!! wait till i hit 100 followers people....it's on!

anyway, so i entered, cuz i loves her, never thinking i'd win....but guess what?


i won!!!!!


this dress is so pretty. i needed to feel pretty so badly. i have been feeling like a real pile of poo lately in my janky sweats and my husband's pilled up fleece half zips.

basically? i love it. and "thank you" just doesn't even touch it...


sweet ashley, you made me feel pretty. for the first time in a long time. and i love you for it more than these silly little words can say.....

and more importantly, HAPPY 500 you little rock star MINX you!!!!


p.s. shabby apple is fantastic. have you shopped with them? they contacted me the day after i won and my dress was shipped a day later! the quality is amazing. it's lightweight, but still elegant and more gorgeous than pictures could ever do justice...

p.p.s. speaking of pictures....sorry for this ridiculous myspace style photo collage hot mess. i tried to get my husband to help me with this photoshoot and.....no. just no......so....it was just me and my iphone. i apologize. a lot. believe me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

That January THING

Did I whine about this already? I’m pretty sure I did….but I just can’t shake it. it’s been unseasonably warm here, but like an ungrateful little brat, that’s not enough for me….i need 80 degrees, brilliant sunshine and tradewinds…and it’s not just about the weather either. It’s about the clutter. And the dust. And the piles of mail on my kitchen counter taking up valuable space and the coffee table in the living room that is always just a few degrees askew and drives me totally batshit and then when I think I have it perfectly straight, the couches look crooked and the vicious cycle begins again. 

My theeeeeeeeerapist told me when I am feeling this way, my assignment is to stop and ask myself “what do you need? What do you want?”…


So…

To that, I say, I don’t know. I want to say I just need to whine about it, but that has never solved anything and just sort of keeps my angst company. Do vacations help most people? Because I usually come back from them more depressed than when I left, having tasted the good life and then getting it snatched so rudely away from me just as I was getting all comfy and settling in on a floaty in a lazy river with a giant margarita. Do I need a cleaning lady? It’s nice to have a clean house. When I came home to a clean house for my birthday, it honestly was the happiest I had felt in a long time….but it got dusty and cluttered again pretty quickly. too quickly to justify what it probably cost. And maintaining it with a crazy toddler, a full time job and a 2 hour daily commute just isn’t all that feasible. Do I need 4 hours a week at the gym? Yes. Yes I absolutely do. But sacrificing what few, precious hours I have to spend with my boy just to work out is not something I feel okay with. And that’s not an excuse to avoid going to the gym either, because I want to go there, but I want to be with my boy more. I mean, he hardly sees me as it is...aaaaaand cue mommy guilt….

As they say on House Hunters, I guess I have some thinking to do…

I can turn any topic into a rant, see? Wind me up and watch me go.

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to swing by and say January blows, balmy weather or not. I need sun on my face, a BBQ on the deck, a day on the north fork at the wineries, a tan. I need something on the horizon to daydream about…

Am I the only one feeling this way right now? I mean, blech!

Speaking of BLECH….Courtney last night on The Bachelor. Seriously. If he doesn’t get rid of her soon, I am going to have to stop watching. I mean it. I was getting irrationally pissed off last night. I wanted to reach my hand through my tv and smack that twitchy mouth thing she does right off her face. Sorry. that’s ugly, but it’s how I feel.

Ok then….rainbows and puppies…



Monday, January 23, 2012

startin' him early...

On Saturday night, after our "big" snowstorm, we all got bundled up and headed out to the Nassau Coliseum for Benny's first Islander's game.




We got there early, had a quick dinner in the Club Room, rubbed paws with Sparky the Mascot, made friends from one end of the coliseum to the other….got down right at ice level for practice and Ben even managed to charm one of the NHL officials out of an actual, official, NHL game puck! Still cold from the cooler! Did you know they keep the pucks in an ice cooler until they are put into play? Me neither!





Also, did you know a 1 year old could keep his eye on the game and actually cheer on his team all the way from the cheap seats?? Me neither! An Islanders fan is born…God help us all….



It was a really awesome night. I am so thankful I got to be a part of it, and watch my two boys sharing something for the very first time that is going to be such a big and important part of their lives together. The first of hopefully thousands of games they will get to share, cheering on their team, hollering like fools and just being boys. It filled my heart with a pretty cool kind of happiness. Nights like Saturday are what it’s all about.



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Thursday, January 19, 2012

sock monkey birthday party...the details



The little guy's birthday falls smack dab in the middle of Christmas and New Years... this year I discovered that’s a pretty crapola time for birthday parties…my poor baby…but anyone who knows me will tell you I wasn't about to let that stop me! 

I guess I have a serious Martha Stewart complex and I LOVE nothing more than torturing myself brainstorming party ideas, menus, signature cocktails….perusing pinterest and making ridiculous boards full of insane and impossibly perfect ideas…stalking the heck out of etsy sellers who must think I have lost every one of my marbles….

The thing is, like lots of things in my life (just starting to recognize this pattern actually….uh oh…) I have a bit of a problem with the execution. Maybe I peak too soon? Maybe I just can’t handle the pressure? Maybe I just need more vacation days? But crazy me scheduled this part on a Saturday with no day off before it to prep….will I never learn?








Well, thank the baby jesus and my bottle of crazy pills because, with the exception of a few minor hiccups, things went noticeably smoother than they have at any of our cinco de mayo parties, where I typically go BSC* and wind up in the fetal position under the kitchen table chewing on used up lime peels and jalepeno stems and crying into my dos equis.

I didn’t take as many pictures as I had hoped…the lighting in the basement was downright awful…had we known it was going to be a freak gorgeous 60 degree day in January (?) we would have set the whole soiree up outside on the deck! The kids (and some of the adults) spent most of the party out in the hottub and running around the yard in t-shirts….it was crazy!




Poor little Ben had some sort of horrible…I don’t even know what….THING going on. He was super whiny and wouldn’t eat anything and the diapers he was putting out? Not of this earth. Poor Sweet Boy definitely had a virus from hell BUT he pulled through like a champ, as best as he could…..he wanted nothing to do with the cake I slaved over, or my famous macaroni & cheese (ok fine. It’s Martha’s macaroni & cheese….damn her!) but I didn’t hold it against him...his family and friends all got to shower him with love and kisses and presents, hang out together and party, stuff their faces full of yummy food and celebrate a very, very special day!






The Menu

Spinach dip & tortilla chips
Ruffles & onion dip
Crackers & blue crab dip
Pretzels, cashews, chocolate covered pretzels, banana chips

6’ Italian hero
6’ mozzarella, tomato and basil hero
The world’s yummiest chicken fingers
Ranch * BBQ sauce * honey mustard
Caesar salad with homemade ciabbatta croutons

big, crunchy, garlicky, buttery croutons! yum!!!

Fruit skewers
Brown sugar sour cream dip
And

The heros, chicken fingers and most delicious honey mustard you ever tasted were catered from Lombardi’s Market which was such a pleasure to work with and has the most amazing food.



Not sure if you can really tell in these pictures, but our friend Matt is a total blast. He tied balloons to the birthday hat...just enough weight so the hat would float around the room in mid air....hysterical...you had to be there....I wish you were!

thanks, Nana Lou, for my AWESOME tiffany & co. fireman set! so cool!!



The crazy-awesome sock monkey wrapping paper and adorable striped paper straws are from House 8810 which i am so excited I discovered. They have the coolest stuff! And they include your packing slip tucked in this preciousl little cloth bag that looks like a manila documents envelope! I'm a sucker for details like that. I will definitely be ordering from them again!

The printables, including the world’s cutest return address labels, favor tags and door sign which are sadly, not pictured, all came from stylish celebrations on etsy and I can’t recommend them more! She was fantastic to work with, so sweet, patient and accommodating even when I was clearly about one pinterest idea away from a nervous breakdown and seriously, without her, this party would have just been a red polka dot tablecloth and me, in the fetal position under the table, chewing on banana peels and crying into a cheap bottle of cabernet.


The next day, Ben slept in until 11am…then crashed out again for his longest nap ever from 1pm until 4:00! Safe to say, between his wild birthday party and his tummy bug, this little birthday boy was knocked out!!


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* = Bat Shit Crazy....cuz, obviously.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

how's about a list?

1.
i really need to make something with citrus before the citrus season is over....specifically, meyer lemons which are adorable and smooth and delicious and like little oblong balls of happy, squirty, puckery sweet sunshine. mmmmm......meyer lemon curd tart....


2.
i "save" posts in my google reader. i follow a lot of blogs but i do play favorites. the problem is that i also like to save the best for last, and sometimes, usually on mondays when i have 96 unread items and a stack of shit on my desk from the weekend, i sort of "skim" through some posts and "save" my favorites to read last...Ashley, I'm talkin' to you....but then i run out of time, and i have to leave work (you know, that place where i shouldn't be tackling my google reader in the first place?) and my favorites get saved for the next day....and sometimes work gets busy and then i go days without my fix and....it's sad. do you do this too or is it just me? it's dumb. i want to stop, but it is also my little glimmer of something to look forward to. i don't know. i have issues.


3.
i think i'm falling in love with Michael Buble. it's pretty ridiculous. it started creeping up on me during the holidays with his absurd christmas special. i mean it's not like my obsession with mr. david cook, which is actually practically dead. that's the saddest thing i ever wrote, but it's the truth. i don't know what happened there. in the words of the great adele, sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead. but this is about my new boyfriend, Buble. you know, now that i'm typing this out, i'm realizing it's pretty insignificant and not even worth mentioning. Michael Buble. how very adult contemporary of me.....


4.
i really want to get a whippycake. i think they are so insanely cute, but i have serious problems with accesorizing and i am afraid i am going to look like an idiot. i am just not one of those girls who ever looks pulled together. it all looks cute in my head but in 3-d, i am always a major disaster. you can imagine why whippycakes and me might not be such a smart combination. but i want one. do any of you guys have one? which one should i get?



i know i'll get the most use out of the black one, but really, these things are not meant to be worn everyday anyway and the other one is so fun. i love them all.


5.
can we talk about the bachelor? am i the only one who was kind of excited to see shawntal show up again last night? bachelor ben really is a dud, but i still find myself rooting for my top 3...

emily...jennifer...kacie b

and now i'm that girl, blogging about the bachelor...i can't help it!!! it is television crack!!!!!!

i love a good list. i feel so cleansed....
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Monday, January 16, 2012

his very first.

The monkey turned one on a Wednesday.
The day started with presents and kisses and hugs. We ate pancakes from Maureen’s Kitchen that were bigger than his head and took a drive out to the Long Island Aquarium to pet the stingrays and celebrate with some tropical parrots.







I wanted so much for this day to be special for him….as special as he is. Obviously, that would be impossible, but I wanted to try. He was overwhelmed and spent the day, I think, in a fog of confusion and bewilderment, his blue eyes as wide as saucers, rarely cracking a smile. He loved the stingrays most of all and he fearlessly reached right into the pool to pet them gently, because that is his nature, my Gentle Ben.








It was a bittersweet day for this mama…thankfully, more sweet than bitter. Seeing my tiny baby, looking so grown up on his first birthday, trying to absorb how much has changed in his inaugural trip around the sun I realized the answer is everything. Absolutely nothing is the same as it was before he joined us on this ride, and while it has been a brutal fight at times, I am nothing less than thankful and humbled by this tiny person with the big blue eyes. I am, and will forever be honored to be the one he will call mommy.

It was a Happy Day, indeed.


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