Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Better Start

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Jimmy Dean, however the opinions and feelings expressed here are my own.

We are only days away from a brand new year--and every year around this time I find myself saying "I can't believe how fast this year went by!"

2011 is going to start with a running pace: I start a new job (yay!) O-man will be moving up to 4 days-a-week at preschool, Mook's birthday is in January, Oman's 2nd birthday is in early February! Lots of exciting things on the new-year-horizon...but I'm definitely spending the next few days being thankful for 2010...but ready to move on, especially due to the recent unexpected heartache.

And at the end of the year, as corny as it sounds, I look forward to the chance to press the "reset" button on life in general. I get a chance to do things a bit better than I've done them before--it's taken me many years of making resolutions to understand I am never going to reach perfection, but I can make a situation better so that's what I'm aiming for this year. I've already got my list (I told you I love lists!) of things I am going to be working on. By sharing my list, it will help hold me accountable and hopefully encourage some bettering in your neck of the woods, too!

* Better organization: my closet by color
* Better time-spending: letting go of things I can't control
* Better sleeping habits: my bedtime has gotten later and later...
* Better writing: as I mentioned, I didn't blog nearly as much this past year
* Better walking schedule: I've just got to do it, even when it's cold--after I'm done I feel so much better. Treadmill suggestions?

And my biggest betterment goal?

* Better eating habits: I've got an ace in my back pocket for this (I should say an ace in my freezer!) More on this in a minute...
He's a big fan!

So with all the new things I mentioned starting right along with the new year, I want to make sure and get my day off to a better start. My mom always, always told me breakfast was the most important meal of the day--I just nodded as I ran out the door to catch the bus with a pop tart in my hand. Then I'd be fighting to stay awake by 2nd period. I'm so excited that I've found a new breakfast meal that both Oman and I can enjoy before preschool and work: a Jimmy Dean D-lights breakfast! You can Visit the Official site  to see the full line of breakfast items. This is HUGE in our household--since I have an incredibly picky eater on my hands. And I'm not ashamed to say that one of our favorite meals is "Breakfast for Dinner", so knowing I've got options is a good thing.

I've tried multiple diets/exercise plans in the past, usually at the beginning of the year, so I'm really thinking positive about my attitude to just be better and not attempt to skip meals, go on a specific no-chocolate-ever diet. I do know that there are proven scientific ways of making smart food choices to keep me fuller longer, and not reaching for the bag of chips at 2pm: protein. So it's quite the win-win that I will be keeping my freezer stocked with the Turkey Sausage D-lights--and with 19 grams of protein to help give me energy. Yay!

So now that I've confessed all my better-me goals for next year, tell me what your resolutions are, or even if you don't make resolutions--share some of your ways to eat better and exercise--I'm open to suggestions!

The bonus of sharing with me? You could win $100 Visa Gift card, just by leaving a comment telling me about how you are going to be better this coming year. You can see other ways to win by visiting BlogHer, too! Think of all the shopping you can do for YOU with that gift card! So many great after-holiday deals will be out there, you will come home with quite a loot!

Rules for participating:

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  • Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  • Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  • Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  • Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.
  • The official sponsor
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

You can read the BlogHer and Jimmy Dean D-lights "Better Breakfast, Better You" official rules here.
The giveaway dates are 12/28/2010 - 1/30/2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Blind Spot

It's hard to focus on real life in the midst of wrapping, baking, rushing to and fro, family visits and stringing lights. It's like living in a fairy tale world for a month.

So when I woke up last week with heavy bleeding and feeling really woozy, I was annoyed that I'd most likely need to go in to the doctor--no time for unplanned appointments this time of year! But off I went--and the diagnosis: a few clots and low iron, and call us back if you don't feel better.

And the crazy holiday schedule marched on...but so did my heavy bleeding. So much that I had to make another unplanned appointment.

Yesterday as I drove back to my OB, I was thinking about how I was actually going to be OK walking into a waiting room full of bellies. I was in a mental space of "peace"--able to happily accept that I most likely won't have a pregnant belly again, but that we hopefully will be able to bring another child into our family through adoption. I was even tossing around girl names in my head--and I was smiling. It felt so nice. I drove along with a clear view ahead of me, and let out a respectful sigh about what is in "my rear view mirror"....

Remember that rule in driving school? Always pay attention to your blind spot. I neglected to pay attention to mine.

After further tests and an ultrasound, I was told I had an ectopic pregnancy. A total, major, jaw-dropping moment. The amount of emotions that ran through me in that moment is hard to explain. That clear view that was in front of me on the way to the doctor was immediately fogged up. It brought the desire for a sibling for Oman rushing to the surface, and what an ache to feel loss and hope all in one swift moment.

I appreciate sunshine-positive-optimistic thoughts, but before you even go there (because trust me, I did)--no, this does not mean I have a better hope of getting pregnant on my own. We just have a higher chance of producing abnormal pregnancies. But just so you know, I won't ever give up hope.

So as the holiday cheer marches on, I'm taking the time to heal from this blind spot--I am just thankful for family and friends who can surround me with love and hugs. I cherish the laughter and moments with Oman -- I am beyond grateful for his life. Also, I am so thankful that my tube suffered no major damage.

As the eve of Santa's visit approaches, I wish each of you light and hope for the season--I know there are dark moments for a lot of us even in the cheeriest of times.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

a list for my list

This is not your mind playing tricks on you.

There are really 5 lists* on my kitchen counter: color coded, broken into categories and all items need a lined crossed through it. It's funny how when one thing is done, another gets added. Lists really are never ending!

I knew this month would fly by--this time of year is so hectic, it takes effort to stop and remember to live life off the list(s) sometimes.

Are you a list maker? How are you tackling the mile-long-holiday-to-dos? I admire those people that keep a list in their head. But honestly? There is nothing quite at as satisfying as making a line and a check mark next to a completed task.

Now I can check writing this post off one of my lists. See? Progress!

*It may say Naughty, but it says Oh so Nice at the bottom of the note! I promise I've been good this year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past

I am not a big pencil-user...I feel like its smudges easy, and quite honestly reminds me of the less than stellar grades I got in handwriting class. Does anyone actually write in full cursive anymore?!

However, I do use a pencil in one spot in particular: my address book. I know that there are plenty of new-age ways to keep those important contact details of friends and family, but there is something special about keeping a handwritten account of street names and seeing how spread out our friends and family really are!

I really look forward to the end of every November when I grab my pencil and address book to take on the task of labeling the Christmas cards. I am doubly-productive, because I use this time to make sure all the We've Moved! notes have gotten proper attention and add in new additions to families--this is where a pencil comes in handy.

But I can't bring myself to erase those names that I no longer send cards to; those friends and family who have passed on. One in particular catches me off guard every time I get to the "C" tab--but it's bittersweet. I'm sad that he's gone, but I am reminded of so many fond memories. I'm always tempted to just address a card to him, and the others, and send it...hoping they will be placing it on their mantel, and hoping I'll open my mailbox and have one from them in return.

I think I'm going to start a new tradition and write one card to those who I'm missing, place it on my mantel and say a special prayer. Holiday's are such a joyous time that it's tough when we are reminded of those we wish were still celebrating with us.  If you are missing someone this holiday season, I am wishing you peace.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sweetly Versatile

Thanks to the lovely PCOSChick for giving me Versatile Blogger blog-bling! She and I got connected on twitter earlier this year, and she's just a fabulous blogger.

So here's rules for the award:
~Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
~Share 7 things about yourself.
~Pass the award along to 7 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous.

1.  I always have a tissue with me. I am allergic to air--seriously. My nose does not like when I go from hot to cool air, so this time of year I keep Kleenex in business.

2.  If there are two switches that control one light (my hallway for instance--one is at the garage entrance, the other is by the living room), the switch always needs to be in the proper position. You know--sometimes the switch will be in the "on position" but really be off, because it was turned on at the other switch. Am I making sense? I cant stand for them to be in the "wrong position" so I fix it :)

3.  My favorite color Christmas light (this year) is blue.

4.  I am about to completely redo my closet and organize my clothes by color. I feel like this will help me put more stylish outfits together? Wishful thinking. Anyone want to volunteer to help?

5.  I keep wondering when I'm going to have the guts to attend an adoption seminar.

6.  Im the definition of my zodiac sign through and through.

7.  I crave a McDonald's Big Mac every time I'm sick.

I am passing this award on to the following 7 lovely bloggers, because I would like to learn more about them.

Andrea at Are You Listening? 
Foxy at Someday
Jill at Happy Hopefuls
Amber at Bumber's Bumblings
Flucky Mom 
Searching For Serenity
AmyLynn at new year new ute

And thank you so much Miss Frenchie for giving me this very sweet blog-bling.

So now I am trusted with the task of giving the award to five bloggers who I love to read, who's blogs have that 'something extra', that little spark, that keeps me coming back.

Tara at A Run For My Money
Sarah at Bio Girl
Mrs. Higrens at Does this suit your copperosity?
Andrea at Entrusted
Suzy at not a fertile myrtle 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: Celebrations

The past few days, I've just had that feeling I was missing something--and then I realized what it was: blogging!

I'm so glad I participated in NaBloPoMo last month (and as always, thanks to Suzy for encouraging me to write for those 30 days in a row!) I looked over the month, and a lot happened--so it encourages me to keep up with writing more frequently to keep up with the goings-on of life here in the Jeans household.

And I didn't forget the wine! The lucky gal who gets to enjoy some real wine is......Jamie! Wish we could enjoy it together my friend, but enjoy it and thanks for all your support :)

I've also been looking forward to participating in PMM this week....I have two celebrations to share. First, remember that good juju I asked you for? You all rocked the juju because....I got the job! Woohooo! I really feel that this was meant to be in a lot of ways--so Im feeling very thankful. I will be able to remain part-time and not disrupt Oman's schedule too much.

Second is a moment I got to share with Oman earlier this weekend.

This ceramic tree is from the 1950's and sat in the front hallway of my grandmother's house for many Christmas holidays. When we would visit, I would spend hours taking the lights out and arranging them in all sorts of ways. It's one of those things that instantly takes me back to being a kid--those really crystal clear memories are pretty awesome, aren't they?

The Christmas I was pregnant with Oman, my grandmother gifted this tree to me. I was so overwhelmed and felt like that 8-year-old version of myself all over again. So this year when I got it out of the box, I wanted to show Oman the awesomeness of this tree. He was immediately excited about the lights and was very gentle putting them in their places. I immediately e-mailed this photo to my grandmother and told her again how much it means to me that Im now able to pass along this fun tradition to her great-grandson.

Be sure to head over to see other Perfect Moment's...they are always so uplifting.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rear View Mirror

Looking back over this month....

I talked about wine quite a bit.
I admitted I would never be president of a certain mom group.
I mourned the loss of my blue chairs.
I marveled over the cute little monkey I have in my house.
I told you I keep my brain active.
You now know that my feet are always cold.
I confessed my decorating traditions.
I revealed I had lost my job.
You found out that I unwillingly shared something with Oman.
I like donuts.
I  said Thank You to those who serve.
You know who my favorite Bond is.
I enjoy baking.
You know what food comforts me.
I talked about putting pennies in my piggy bank.
I realized I didn't post very much last year.
Oman went on a date.
You know that I am a blonde.
I asked you for good JuJu.
I took a free pass to spend time with Mook.
I tried to get Oman a scholarship.
I said a prayer.
I watched Oman go up and down.
Your good JuJu helped.
I gave thanks and ate.
I ran my first 5K.
I told you I toss my cookies in a plane, train or automobile.
I admited decorating is exhausting.
I had a brain fart.

And I shared all of it with you! Thanks for putting up with me on your computer every day this month. I do hope you enjoyed our Virtual Wine Club! I will be doing the random generator tomorrow for the wine GIVEAWAY!

So in honor of our last Virtual Wine Club meeting, please enjoy a glass of my favorite wine: Weathervane's Sweet Mountain Bliss.

A final big CHEERS

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Block

Wouldn't ya know..writers block with one more day in NaBloPoMo.

Just a reminder, Im tallying up all the comments from this month and doing a drawing for a bottle of wine in honor of the Virtual Wine Club this past month.

Lurkers and friends--this is your time! Just tell me one tiny little thing. Anything.

Tell me a joke.

Tell me a moving story.

Tell me you like my hair.

Something. Please? :)

I'll tell you something: I love that new HP Hit Printer commercial: "Iiiiiiiii got a brand new pair of rollllller skates, you gotta brand newwwww keeeeey"

I'll tell you something else: I will be having more than one cup of coffee tomorrow.

And one more thing: I hate when I plan to go to bed early-ish, only to realize I still haven't put new sheets on the bed. *ugh* (but I do love fresh, crisp sheets....Im off to make the bed!)

Enjoy a glass of Twisted Sisters Chardonnay for tonight's Virtual Wine Club!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fa la..la...la

Can you hearing me try to catch my breath?

Decorating for Christmas is a lot like moving--it's a lot of work! Don't get me wrong, I love it--I love the lights, the tinsel, the smell of the musty attic as you open each box.

But I'm pooped. I can never decorate the same way as the year before--so its all about planning out where each thing goes--and it all goes up somewhere--I have things that have been passed down to me that have a lot of sentimental value, and things that are only a few years old that have a lot of meaning.

And let's not start on the search for the perfect tree. I made Mook, Oman and our friend from out of town traipse to 4 tree lots before we ended back at the 1st one we visited, to get the 'perfect' tree.

And I think I will have a partner in crime in the years to come..he seems to be just as picky about the tree.

Now I'm sitting on my couch, gazing at my beautiful tree, enjoying a glass of Old North State's Spring House. Hope you'll partake in a glass for our Virtual Wine Club.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sign Me Up

I've always wanted to get a boob job. A reduction, not an enhancement.

I've always wished my feet weren't a size 10.

I wouldn't mind laser hair removal so I'd never have to shave again.

But the thing I want the most?


If there were a procedure to cure it, I'd sign up today.

I have been carrying around barf bags since I could walk and Dramamine is my dear friend.  I can't enjoy boat rides (I missed a freakin' whale in Hawaii because I was too busy hurling over the side), sunset or booze cruises, the backseat of a car on a road trip, and the descent on a plane ride makes me turn a lovely shade of green. 

I bring this up, because tonight we went to a fantastic holiday light show display near us that is set up in a park, so you drive around and stay nice and warm in your car. We had a friend in town for Thanksgiving, so I gladly sat in the back seat so I could watch Oman go nuts over the sparkly lights. Well---all the stop and go, the smell of exhaust and the fact I was in the backseat made me feel incredibly bah hum bug. I held in my leftovers, but I had to get out of the car half way through and breathe in a lot of fresh air.

It's so inconvenient. Why can I not enjoy a simple ride through a park in the backseat, going less than 2 miles an hour?

Is anyone else plagued by severe motion sickness? What are your tips and tricks? I've tried the bracelets, the patch behind the ear, etc. The only thing that really works for me? Is not doing any of the above. It stinks. 

I didn't enjoy any wine tonight because my stomach was still upset when we got home, but I am more than willing to enjoy a virtual glass for our Wine Club. Enjoy some Harvest Mango Wine (mango helps settle my tummy). 


Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers: post-turkey

This is my first Friday Night Leftover's post!

  • This week while watching the boob tube, I saw commercials for Mother's Day flowers and SATC 2. Seemed odd to me since I realized it was not May. Duh. I was catching up with shows on my DVR.
  • I misplaced my Netflix DVD. Like, could.not.find.it. Then I go to get a glass of tea from the fridge, and guess what was in the crisper? Apparently I got mucho distracted when grabbing yogurt earlier that day.
  • I ran/walked in my first 5K on Thanksgiving morning. I've been "training" since August, so I was very proud of myself for a) getting up and doing it, b) running more than half of it and c) not coming in last
  • I'm incredibly thankful for Mook's job-but tonight I wanted to go cry in the corner. It was a tough day. 
  • I did not go shopping for Black Friday deals--but I just ordered a free 8x10 and two 5x7 prints for FREE online. That counts, right? 
  • Why does printer ink dry out so fast?
  • We are getting our tree tomorrow--I love the smell of fresh pine in my house, even though I am allergic to pine. I just deal with the sniffles and sore throat for the next month--its worth it. 
  • My in-laws are coming tomorrow-they just told us this today. 
  • I feel like I have been in the kitchen for 72 hours non-stop. I am thankful I have food in my fridge and pantry that has allowed me to be in my kitchen for 72 hours non-stop.
  • I had a hoooorrriible dream last night that Mook decided to marry a girl named Anne. If your name is Anne, I don't like you so much right now. No offense. 
  • Cranberry sauce is delicious.
  • I put out the first dish of holiday candy--can you guess what it is? 
  • Oman will be 22 months old next week. So far, this is my faaaaavorite age. I know I will keep saying that, but he is so much fun. A lot to handle, but sooo fun.
  • It's time to start planning his 2nd birthday party. Hoollllyyy Schnikeies.
  • I am a left-side sleeper. I hurt my left arm somehow and it makes me sad that I cannot sleep on my left side tonight. 
  • Speaking of sleep--it's time for bed. Night night!
  • You can share your leftovers at Danifred's blog :)
Enjoy a glass of Sutter Home Merlot--a smooth, yummy red! We are almost to the end of our Virtual Wine Club! Don't forget--I'm going to give away a bottle of wine at the end of NaBloPoMo!


Thursday, November 25, 2010


So much to be thankful for...

Especially the fact that I can now listen to Christmas music without feeling guilty.

Enjoy those leftovers! (I prefer it to the actual meal)

Pour yourself a glass of Yadkin Valley Chardonnay for today's Virtual Wine Club.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: What I Got

Enjoy a glass of Placid Peach from Weathervane for today's Virtual Wine Club.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Up and Down

I've been up and down these stairs hundreds of times.

Running up to avoid being late to school.
Down to play Barbies in the basement.
Up to sit at the dinner table.
Down to watch a movie with friends.

I know the sounds of the floor boards; the steps to avoid as you attempt to keep anyone else in the house from knowing you're up.

Watching Oman learn how to go up and down on these stairs--the stairs I grew up on, is yet another thing that is so simple, but means so much to me. Loved being able to watch my mom guide him down each step--just as she did with me--literally and figuratively.

Are there stairs/floors/doors that you know are being occupied in your house/home you grew up in, just by the noise they make?

Enjoy a glass of Beringer White Zinfandel for tonight's Virtual Wine Club.


Monday, November 22, 2010

A Mother's Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep
How on earth did did I forget to eat?

Today was great
he even slept late
But why were grapes
the only thing he ate?

The toy of choice was a piece of plastic
when I took it away
his response was less than fantastic

The dog was kind
as he pulled on her tail
I'm pretty sure the neighbors 
just heard me wail
The dishes can wait
No need to fret
Who am I kidding?
I'd wake up in a cold sweat

Tomorrow is another day
I pray I'll be a better mom
Before I know it 
he'll be going off to prom

Wake him with the morning sun
but not too soon
so I can get things done

Watch him as he plays all day
and let me prop my feet up
at least once today

Love him and protect him all day through
and give me patience
when I'm feeling blue

The laundry can stay in a heap
I'm pretty sure I could write
lists in my sleep

All's quiet now
while I sip on my wine
There is nothing sweeter
than that precious boy of mine


A toast for all my IF sisters...for today's Virtual Wine Club, enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Rodney Strong Vineyards--for all the waiting, heartache, needles, tests, unknowns, joys, laughter, tears, and all else in between. 

It is purely place and character that matter the most.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

On the Lawn

Today, Oman and I spent a wonderful day with some family from the left coast. Some of you Virginian's may recognize this photo the quickest--it's on the ground of a certain university. They cheer silly things like Waaaah-Hoooo at football games, and I always cheer for them when they are playing against a certain school that has a turkey as their mascot.

I dressed Oman in preppy clothes--a cardigan sweater and loafers, and maaaaaan did he fit RIGHT in. I was hoping he'd get spotted by some recruiters and they'd offer him a scholarship right on the spot. No such luck.

We all enjoyed the afternoon just watching Oman run around...being with these family members meant a lot--they have been so supportive of us since the very beginning of our journey. Watching my aunt and cousin's playing "1-2-3 Jump" with Oman and hearing my uncle sing "Itsy-Bitsy-Spider" was a memory I'll hold for a long, long time.

Please enjoy a glass of Viognier from Jefferson Vineyards, right down the road for this evening's Virtual Wine Club. I'm toasting the special bond of family.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Free Pass

I don't want to break my NaBloPoMo writing streak, but I've only seen Mook for 24 hours in the past 2 1/2 weeks--so pardon my absence tonight as I take a break from the computer.

Please enjoy a lovely glass of Sangiovese for tonight's Virtual Wine Club.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Good JuJu

We play a ton of games at the beach during our family gathering each summer, but one of our favorites is the game called Scattergories. (Ms Calliope sometimes plays a blog version--super fun)

<------You roll this dice, and it gives you a letter, then you have to answer a series of questions based on the letter.

During one game with the letter "J" (my favorite letter!) my mom, sister and I all answered the same thing for the question: A type of candy.

We didn't pick the more common answers like: Jelly Beans, Jolly Ranchers, Jaw Breakers...

We picked JuJuBes.

Not that this choice might be uncommon but we were all amazed that we picked the same thing. And who doesn't love a dose of good juju? So whenever the three of us need a bit of positive pick-me-up, we remind each other of the power of JuJuBes :)

Today, I will roll the dice with J in mind again, as I go for a Job interview, and hopefully receive feedback on a grant I wrote for a contract position.

Should I stick a box of these in my purse, just for kicks?

As you raise your glass of J Pinot Noir today for our Virtual Wine Club, please send me a toast of good juju? Thank you!

My sweet friend LJ sent me a bottle of J wine for my
birthday earlier this year--definitely recommend it!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A blonde walks into a bar...

How do you keep a blonde busy for hours?

Scroll Down. ---->

<----- Scroll Up.

I've hesitated a few times about whether or not to share this little story. I've already asked you once this week to keep loving me, so I know it's asking a lot for you to not laugh too hard at the following true story.

Earlier this week I told you how frugal I am...and along with the fact that I am job searching, I am looking for ways to cut down on expenses.

So on Monday when I realized that my hair needed a pick-me-up in the color department, I decided to reach out to my girls on Twitter, do some Google research and then buy a highlighting kit, instead of going to the salon. I was quick to buy color-in-a-box back in my college days, but I'm more educated now on the dangers of frying my locks, so I wanted to be careful with my choice.

I took my time. Probably too much time--I debated over brands, colors, yada, yada. But I finally picked one, headed home and set it to the side to use after O-man went to bed. 

Got O-man tucked in, put on comfy PJ's, grabbed my glass of wine and headed to the bathroom. And wow, I forgot how un-sexy wearing a highlighting cap is. Yikes.

I began reading the directions, and made sure I had everything they claimed was in the box. Let me show you exactly what comes in the kit:

  • Highlighting Cap
  • Plastic Styling Hook/Applicator
  • Metal Styling Hook
  • Mixing Tray
  • Lightening Powder
  • Frosting Developer
  • Frosting Protective Creme
  • Conditioning Shampoo
  • Insert
  • Gloves

I had the cap on: check. I saw both of the hooks/applicator: check.

Here's the kicker.

On the directions it says, and I quote, "Combine lightening powder and developer in the tub. Mix well."

Hmmm, the tub? I thought about it, and while it sounded sorta strange, it made sense--"I need to mix this in the tub to keep from making a mess, and then I can just wash it away!"

I proceed to dump the powder and then the bottle of developer in my large garden tub. 

So there I am, bending over the tub, my back beginning to ache, when I turn to stretch and catch a glimpse of the Mixing Tray that the cap and hooks came in.

Oh. My. God. 

I'm sure you can imagine me turning beet red, yelling at myself for being such a BLONDE, and then the comedy that was me trying to get this mixture out of the tub and into the correct tub.

At least the highlights turned out fine, my hair did not fall out, and I saved $60, but severely embarrassed myself in the process. Worth the cost? I'll let you decide... :) 

Hey, blonde's do have more fun, right? Blonde or not, please share a "moment" were your brain just shut down. I'd love to hear some fun stories!

Please enjoy a glass of Buxom Blonde, a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc blend from Red Hot Mama Wine for today's Virtual Wine Club.

Fun and flirty with full figured fruit and easy to drink!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: It's A Date!

O-Man and his date, Miss Logan.

I get this flash before my eyes of a scene like this, only 15 years from now (who am I kidding, he's not dating until he's 30!) I will do my best to raise a little gentleman--he will hold doors open, pay the check and pull out chairs. He will be as sweet as his Daddy has been to me.

Enjoy a glass of Two Princes Riesling for today's Virtual Wine Club, in honor of my two princes. 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creme de la Creme '10

This will be my forth year participating in Mel's Creme de la Creme. Sounds like a lovely dessert, doesn't it? In a way, it sort of is....

Submitting a post to be listed in the Creme is all about celebrating words and the richness they can bring to the eyes that read them. I started my blog to connect with others, and also to chronicle the journey I am on--and some days it is hard to remember to write for yourself. 

There are trolls out there, haters, critics. Hell, most of the time we are our own worst critic. But more importantly there are supporters, silent lurkers, readers, friends. And as Mel says, there are blog posts that feel good to write: "The one that you felt really good about when you hit publish."

My writing has shifted from when I first started almost 4 years ago. We are no longer in the thick of treatments, I am not injecting myself with 5 needles a day, and I am not constantly thinking about crappy sperm. But those are the pillars from which this space was born, and I will always honor it--by writing and by connecting with others going through what I have been through and what I am going through now--parenting after infertility with a big question mark of: what's next?

When I saw Mel's post letting us know that the list was open to submit a post, I came back over here to read through my chronicles of 2010. I was sad to realize I only wrote a total of 56 posts (not including NaBloPoMo). 

That's not nearly enough.

Those are only my personal goals, though. I read blogs that post every day...some that post once month, some even fewer than that. It's all up to the writer, of course. But for me, I am looking back on my words as a way to chronicle my thoughts and feelings. That's the beauty of NaBloPoMo, too: the encouragement to write.

I am not interesting 24/7/365...but I write in my head all the time. So why am I not putting it down on "paper" more? Life gets in way--that's why. But I hope by this time next year, I will have a much better chronicle of memories; a much harder time choosing just one post to represent my year.

If you haven't submitted your post for the '10 Creme, be sure to get your post in the list. We all have words to share.

Let's all toast to writing: raise your glass of Argyle 2000 Brut for today's Virtual Wine Club.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Penny Pinch

All the talk over the years of making the penny obsolete makes me sad.

I've always been a fan of finding Abe Lincoln's face on the sidewalk, making a wish and promptly placing the coin in my piggy bank for a rainy day.

I was taught at a young age the value of saving, making the most of your money and being in control of the money that you have. My mom taught me how to balance a checkbook at 15 when I got my first job, and I'll never forget that first trip to the bank to open my very own account. I'm proud to say I still have that exact same account, and while it's had as little as $5 in it, I'll keep it as long as the bank is in business!

While I've met more frugal people than me, I must admit to you that I'm a stinker when it comes to spending money. Not that it's a bad thing--but I do wish I could be more care-free sometimes. But I love the hunt of a good deal. While my friends in high school were shopping at The Limited and Gap, I would take my babysitting money and shop at K-Mart and thrift stores to get more for my money.

Now that I'm an adult and have to shop for things like toilet cleaner, detergent, dog food, etc., my love for the hunt of a good deal hasn't stopped. I do use the good ole fashion way of coupon clipping from the paper once in a while, but there are so many good websites out there that keep you updated on deals.

Tell me: how do you pinch pennies? Any good coupon hunters out there? I love swapping trade-secrets, ideas and ways to keep Abe Lincoln in my piggy bank!

And I still love to hunt for non-household items, too. Just 'cause I'm a grown up with responsibilities, doesn't mean I can't shop for fun anymore :) 

So when my friends over at Who Wants To Know extended a challenge for us gals to go to a local thrift store and share what we could buy for $10, I was giddy with anticipation--I got to go hunting!

You MUST go over and see my wonderful finds--and check back all week for what the other ladies found. You will be amazed how much I saved.

To stick with my frugal finds, I must tell you about a wine that I picked up just because I thought: "How good can this wine be? It's only $2.99!"

Hey, it was good--no icky bitter suflite aftertaste--and even better? At my local Walmart, it's been 99-cents the past two weeks. Ya'll--thats a full bottle of decent Pinot Grigio for a dollar. A win-win in my book. Enjoy a glass of Oak Leaf Pinot Grigio* for today's Virtual Wine Club!

(Imagine a picture of wine here)

*At the time of uploading this post, blogger decided it didn't like me and won't let me post anymore pictures. Maybe it's all my cheap talk. (ha!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Comfort Food

When the temperature drops, my appetite goes up.

It takes a lot of will-power to not over-do it and keep my portions in control this time of year--something about that extra cheese on my bowl of chili just makes it sooo much better.

I definitely have comfort food in warmer weather, too--like ice cream. But the comfort foods this time of year are my faaaaavorite:

  1. Chili (no beans)
  2. Potato soup
  3. Lasagna
  4. Mac-N-Cheese: with hot dogs cut up and mixed in, covered in ketchup
Please say you will still love me after reading #4...I know its weird. But it's so good. And it's such a great comfort food for me.

So spill it (not your food!)--what are you favorite comfort foods? The weirder, the better. Don't leave me out here all alone with my hot dog mac-n-cheese combo.

And you know what goes great with all comfort foods?


Enjoy a glass of 2007 Hervé Azo Chablis for today's Virtual Wine Club. It's definitely a great comfort wine!


Saturday, November 13, 2010


What do you get when you put these ingredients together?

  • patience
  • chocolate
  • hot oven
  • patience
  • eggs
  • butter
  • top-secret family ingredients
  • patience
  • did I mention patience?

You get this:

Spent the day working on getting my little baking business some holiday orders. The house smells delish, the pans are clean, and I can now enjoy the fruits of my labor with a glass of wine.

Enjoy a glass of Desiree Chocolate Wine for today's Virtual Wine Club--a perfect pairing for this chocolate cake!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Double Oh Seven

I don't get to travel all over the world searching for the bad guy.
I don't carry a weapon. (although my mind is pretty freakin' dangerous--muahahah) 
I like my martini with lots of apple and 'tini. No olives.

But there are times in my life where I totally feel like I am Bond........JJ Bond.

You know--the times when you feel the need to be a total bad ass-take charge-butt whoopin'-shatter proof-crime solvin'-powerhouse.

Except my crime solving skills don't revolve around drug-lords: they are spent trying to figure out if the mud stain came from the a) hubby b) toddler c) dog

And my shatter proof resolve comes into play when I find out Oman has been sent to the "principal's" office at preschool for biting. Trying not to take it personally when I talked to the teacher, I wanted to be a diligent parent, while also understanding that he's not even 2 and has a hard time understanding what he did wrong. The hug he gave me when I picked him up was heart-melting.

I'm doing my best to take charge of the whole job search thing. I feel like my brain is in constant motion trying to think outside the box. Sometimes that box seems awfully small...

But Bond wouldn't give up the job hunt or let parenting challenges stop his suave ways....Bond stays bad-ass no matter what the circumstance.

Roger Moore as James Bond

Gonna keep channeling the Bond mentality. Roger Moore was my favorite 007--he was one suave Bond.  Mook laughs at my choice--his favorite is Sean Connery, which seems to be a common favorite.

Who's your favorite Bond?

For today's Virtual Wine Club, raise your glass of Hidalgo Alameda Cream Sherry--one of Bond's choices when he's not drinking a martini.

"Sweet flavors of caramel and crumb create create a seductive contrast"


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You

The words dont seem to hold enough weight for the thanks that we owe our service men and women. It's such an amazing thing to think about people putting their life at risk in order to defend our freedom.

I have always soaked up any information about the World War II era--I often say that I think I may have been reincarnated from that time period. I love so many things about it--the music, the fashion, the art of letter writing--but of course Ive learned there were definitely hardships and challenges.

I do not condone war by any means, but I'd like to think I am doing my part in honoring those who have fought, by learning something about what they went through. A sample of some of the things I've read/seen based on this time period:

The Greatest Generation written by Tom Brokaw
Saving Private Ryan
Band of Brothers HBO series
The Bedford Boys written by Alex Kershaw
Battle of Iwo Jima
The War documentary by Ken Burns

And just today, a book that a good friend (hi J!) recommended I read, finally came into my local paperback store--Ive been waiting a month! Good timing for today, though. I cannot wait to dive into it:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
written by Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece Annie Barrows.

To honor all of our service men and women, please raise your glass of 1940 Vega Sicilia Unico Proprietary Blend for today's Virtual Wine Club.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


You know what goes good with doughnuts?

WINE. (for grownups, of course)

Going high class today and pouring you a glass of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill for our Virtual Wine Club. Ohhh, Boone's Farm...what memories. I may have moved onto more "sophisticated" wine, but you will always be my first love.

If you are a Boone's Farm drinker,
Strawberry Hill was probably your first love and you'll never forget her.

Cheers. Enjoy a little junk food and spirits! It's good for you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not something I wanted to share

Every time I get a cold, it turns into a sinus infection. Bet your bottom dollar.

It's a real big pain in the rear. Apparently, small/constricted sinuses (sinus-i?...what is the plural of sinus?) is something you can share, and I may have shared it with Oman. So far, all of his run-of-the-mill colds have turned south as well.

The past two days have been full of two big S words (no not that S word): snot and screaming. And honestly, the snot has been constant for 3 weeks. One of the toughest things I have dealt with since becoming a mom is not over-reacting every time he's got a runny nose, or coughs. But today, I felt like I was about to do a bit of screaming myself and use that S word...so I knew it was time to head to the pediatrician.

Poor fella' has, you guessed it, a sinus infection. Lots of apple juice, tissues and TLC around here tonight.

Mommy's apple juice is a bit different...please enjoy a glass of Killibinbin's Shiraz tonight for our Virtual Wine Club. The wine label says it all. Being a Mom is a job I've always, always wanted. It's also the toughest job I've ever had.

The mild vintage conditions have resulted in a wine with a tight, powerful structure


Monday, November 8, 2010

Scenic Stress

Stop and smell the roses.
I try to do this every day: live in the moment!

Don't beat around the bush.
I lost my job.

Make like a tree and leave.
Really no tie to this post, but it's a little tribute to Biff--I cannot believe it's the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future. I love those movies!

So the "scenery" around the Jeans household has been...well...a bit stressful. Two days before we got on the plane to put our toes in the sand to celebrate our anniversary, I found out that my fantastically flexible part time job was kaput.

Remember that scene from "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie says: "Fuuuuuuuuuudddgeeeeeee" Yeah--not how I want to start a vacation. And, you don't want to be on a 6 hour plane ride with me when I am stewing about money.

I felt so guilty being on vacation that week--when really it had already been paid for since we saved for two years. I felt guilty not job searching--but my resume hadn't been updated. I felt guilty for being absent mentally during a time I was supposed to be celebrating my anniversary. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

I finally relaxed enough to put a hurtin' on the Mexican tequila supply and I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in guacamole.

But then it was back to reality. And reality was that: it stinks to be a grown up sometimes.

I'm in the thick of job searching now...wondering what will happen in the next few months. I'd love to be able to magically invent something that everyone needs--why did I not think of Silly Bandz? I mean, good grief, Charlie Brown.

And this little guy reminds me everyday to keep my chin up--we go outside every afternoon to look at the leaves falling (he's fascinated) so I'm doing my best to change the scenery around here from stress-city to zen-let-things-fall-into-place-city.

All good juju thoughts are much appreciated and if you know of anyone who wants to hire a super-duper-hard-working lady, I'm your gal.

Never mind! I just found TONS of jobs I can apply for right here! (I wish!)

Let's ALL raise our glass to less stress and good job juju--I know there are others out there crossing fingers for a job, a raise, promotion, etc. Enjoy a glass of Mad Housewife White Zinfandel for tonight's Virtual Wine Club.

Watermelon and strawberry combine with a
subtle sweetness in this pink treat.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Deck the Halls

How early do you decorate for the holidays?

How early do you wrap gifts?

When do you start listening to holiday music?

Do you have a unique holiday tradition?

We start decorating the day after Thanksgiving, Mook has already started wrapping presents, and I haven't listened to a Christmas song yet--but Im not opposed to it. And my funny holiday tradition? If it's not snowing, or at least raining/grey outside, the window blinds must stay closed. I think every Christmas should be a "White Christmas"--and if it's not--I'll at least pretend :)

Each year, I never feel fully prepared--but when are we ever prepared? But we just took down the rest of Halloween today, and I'm anxious to have things that light up and sparkle back in the living room. I'm resisting for a bit longer--not because I don't want them up, but I'm starting to realize what a challenge this decorating season might be--a certain little boy is into everything so no doubt, he will want to help me unpack the boxes.

To start the holiday cheer, enjoy Le Paradou Viognier for today's Virtual Wine Club

The pure, round taste is backed by ample freshness,
blossoming into fruits with an almond finish


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Frigid Digits

It doesn't matter if it's 90 or 15 degrees out--my toes are always cold. 

This works to my advantage in the summer time, since it helps keep me cool--but it's so frustrating when it starts to get cold. But oh man, what a great "weapon"--Mook gets quite a shock when I scoot my feet over to his side of the bed--hehe!

I have tried almost everything to help warm up my "toe-pops":
  • socks
  • toe socks
  • fleece slippers
  • warm inserts (the kind you put in the microwave)
  • blankets
  • sticking them in the fire (kidding, but Ive come close)
I've only been able to find 3 things that work:
  • hot water bottle/heating pad 
  • hot shower or bath
  • wine
Anyone else have any other suggestions? Do you have trouble keeping your feet warm this time of year? Speaking of--does anyone else get chilly after eating a meal? I've heard that it's your metabolism working. Or am I just a weirdo? (don't answer that)

Since wine is one of the only things that keeps me warm, you know I'll be keeping a glass nearby for the next few months. Today's Virtual Wine Club choice is Rooster Black from Weathervane Winery:

A Merlot, flavored with sweet blackberries, is perfect for sipping!

So as much as I love this time of year with the chill in the air, the colors, the holiday cheer--I dread not being able to feel my toes again until around May.