Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Chelle's Baby Shower

Heather, Vanessa, and I hosted Chelle’s baby shower at my house last weekend.  The three of us made a great team: we each fulfilled certain roles well, we figured out how to plan this thing without any drama, and we prepped the day of easily and with minimal stress.  Wanna see how things turned out?

I had the idea to use pinwheels as décor, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to affix them to the wall without messing up my newly painted dining room. I have no idea what turned the lightbulb on, but I suddenly remembered one day that I had window inserts/grills up in the attic, including a big one for the bay window in the dining room.  I super-glued the pinwheels to the grill and, well, I think it turned out pretty well.  I mean, I had two people who wanted to take it home with them so I guess that means it looked nice.
We used Vanessa’s wooden crates plus her basket and birdcages on either side of the food table to support our mason jars and birds theme.
I want to thank Bianca, Heather's daughter, who helped fulfill my last-minute vision to add a pennant to the window behind the drink table.  Thank goodness for otherwise idle hands!
And we used my sideboard cabinet for dessert.  Our invitations had mason jars on them and we used those in other ways  in the décor but nothing made as big as impact as Heather’s single-serving chocolate éclair dessert in small jars.
Other than the scrapbook paper, our main decorations were fresh flowers and Vanessa’s “BABY H” frames on the mantle.  Oh, and the birdhouses belonged to the McMom.
 I know, let’s see the guest of honor, huh?
 Each of us had to get a picture with Chelle individually, of course.
 Chelle with her (very excited) mom.
And with Amanda, who was at the shower because she was still pregnant even though the shower date was her due date.  Spoiler alert: she had Baby Emma the next day.
A couple of crowd pics for posterity’s sake.
And no shower post would be complete without a few pics of the mom-to-be opening her adorable (and sometimes alcoholic) gifts.
Before everyone left, we had to take a group picture of everyone who was there to celebrate Chelle and her baby girl.
Kim had to leave early so she missed the group shot, but luckily we got a photo of her and Chelle together earlier.
And finally, we had to document Chelle and all her loot.
That is one lucky girl!  The baby girl, that is. (But Chelle is, too.)

Chelle and I have known each other since we were about 11 years old; I can’t believe that in a decade, our kids will be the same age we were when we first met.  I can only hope that their friendships (and we’re including Karis here) stand the test of time like mine and Chelle’s has.

We can’t wait to meet Baby H next month!

(Sorry for any strange formatting.  I'm having to use Blogger for this post as opposed to Windows Live Writer, which is kinda like Word for blogging - it just made everything so easy and simple, but now it's not compatible with Google.  I hope to figure out a good solution soon.)



Sunday, December 13, 2015


So frustrating!  I had Chelle’s shower post all typed up and then Blogger and Microsoft wouldn’t cooperate so I couldn’t publish my post.  Please cross your fingers  and check back tomorrow for a rundown of how things worked out and lots of pictures.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Pinterest win

The master bathroom in our new house is a good size.  The master shower is a GREAT size…except when it’s time to clean it.  Ugh, so many tiles, so much glass, so much surface area for soap scum to stick to.


Our bathroom is always the last place to be cleaned.  Not because it doesn’t need it, but typically because it needs it the most and that’s just no fun.  So I put it off and put it off until I just can’t anymore.  I’m hoping my new cleaner and method will help make the job a little easier and therefore I won’t dread it as much so it’ll get done more often so it won’t get as yucky.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on one little scrubber, but I think it’s up to the task.

I got one of those refillable wand sponge scrubbers like you’d find in the kitchen.  I used equal (to the best of my ability) parts blue Dawn and distilled white vinegar.  Then, I scrubbed.  I did the tiles first and because they weren’t pink or overly scummy, they didn’t impress me right of the bat.  I mean, I assumed they were getting clean, but it just wasn’t a jaw-dropping before-and-after experience.  What was noticeably different from when I use the bathroom cleaner is that I wasn’t being asphyxiated by the fumes and that was a major plus in favor of this simple cleanser.

Holding the scrubber by the handle was more comfortable, too, so there’re two ticks in the “pro” column.

Okay, so onto the glass.  This is where the scum showed up the most.  I’ve scrubbed it away as best as I could once, and we used the squeegee for a week or so afterward to help keep the glass clean, but I knew that wasn’t a habit that was going to stick.  When I cleaned the glass the time before, I swear I used half a bottle of that noxious mold and mildew bathroom cleaner and enough elbow grease to scrub off the top layer of glass.  But guess what?  The glass looked better, but not as good as I expected considering my efforts.

Fast-forward to Sunday.  I used the scrubber all over the glass, pressing enough to get the job done but I wasn’t bearing down more than necessary.  I rinsed the soap off and voila!  Perfectly clean glass!  I really was expecting to be at least a little disappointed, but this stuff worked!  Simple ingredients + a simple tool = a perfect combination.





I admit I’m not totally sold yet because I want to see how long the cleanliness lasts.  Is there something in the bathroom cleaner that keeps future scum at bay a little longer?  Honestly, even if that’s the case, cleaning the shower with these ingredients and tool was so much more enjoyable that I won’t mind having to do it more often, which means just doing it on a regular basis since I already admitted to going too long in between scourings.

{Inspiration site}

Monday, November 16, 2015

Our weekend + a recipe

Another weekend on the books and it was a good one.

We had the Fall Festival at Connor’s daycare on Saturday and unlike most Saturdays in recent memory, the weather was perfect.  Connor’s class and one other sat in a semi-circle while their teachers sang a song.  Connor had some performance anxiety but luckily the McHusband was there to help.



Other than those few minutes of unhappiness, Connor had a blast and we appreciated the school coming together on a weekend for all of their attendees’ and their families.

Connor’s school is only a mile or so from our house and since the festival took place at the same time as my normal Saturday-morning class at the Y, I decided to run home afterward.  It was a great afternoon for it and I was very glad it worked out for me to “do it all” that morning.

When I got home, the McHusband was talking to the buyer of the Magnum, who eventually drove away in the car.  He is on a roll with the sale of our cars since this is the third time the first person to look at and drive the car has bought it.

We went to a couples’ baby shower Saturday evening and were home in time to Connor to bed at his normal time, and then I pretty much went to bed at my normal weeknight time as well.  I was tired and looked forward to catching up on my sleep a little.

Sunday was our day to play catch-up from all the playing we did on Saturday.  Connor and I got groceries, then while he napped I tried a Pinterest tip for cleaning my shower.  More on how that worked out soon.

Connor has decided that his favorite snack – or “nack” as he calls it – is raisins straight from the container.  So, yeah, keep that in mind if you come over here and we offer you some. Winking smile


He had to fuel up for all his yardwork.  As soon as he heard the McHusband start up his mower, he got excited and ran to the door to the garage yelling, “Guide!” which is how he says “outside.”  Luckily the McHusband just so happened to be in need of an apprentice.



While the boys used the mower to move leaves off the grass and into the natural areas, I did some cleaning inside.  I don’t have good toy storage in the den yet so I am struggling with having them all just kinda piled in the corner.  I do have a basket, but what happens is Connor only plays with what’s showing. So I went through the basket and took some meant for younger kids out and put some others on a table in the den so Connor will see them and can easily access them.


Finally, we wrapped up our day with this Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole, which was very good.  I’m already looking forward to my leftovers for lunch today!


So there you have it, our weekend in a nutshell.  Hope everyone else had a nice one as well!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Who needs Duplo when there’s Alpo?

We had an interesting weekend with Connor.  I think whatever’s been bothering him hung around a little, plus he didn’t have a great appetite so I think he was probably hungry but wouldn’t eat so it was a vicious cycle.  Let’s just say I’m not sorry that I’ll be in the office tomorrow.

Finally, toward the end of the day on Sunday, Connor was a little more himself.  I was making cookie dough and Connor was toddling around the kitchen just making his own fun.  And making a mess but it was worth it.

I was scooping the cookie dough into a bowl and had my back to Connor.  I knew he was playing with some cans and other stuff but I didn’t realize exactly what he was doing to them til I heard the first crash.




It was so nice to see the little boy I normally spend my weekends with even if it was only in those final moments of the day.

PS  Happy Birthday, Kim!

Friday, October 30, 2015


I am home with Connor today since he was still running a 101+ fever through the afternoon and his 7:00-bedtime last night so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that he is feeling better today.  If he still has a fever around mid-morning, I will probably end up taking him to the doctor.

This was Connor at lunchtime just before his nap yesterday.  Poor guy obviously wasn’t feeling too well.  (The McHusband stayed home with him yesterday.)


I hate that C0nnor is missing out on the fun and chance to wear his costume, but he probably isn’t going to school at all today, not even just for the little parade this afternoon.  My plan is to still drop off the fruit cups; no sense those going to waste and everyone missing out on my snack o’lanterns.

Thank goodness I don’t get sick and have personal days to use for Connor.

Hope you guys have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Poor Connor.  He spent most of yesterday not feeling well.  I got the call from daycare around 9:40 and told them I’d head out at 10:00.  Of course someone needed my help so it was 10:20 before I left and I felt terrible for making him hang out that much longer without me.

Luckily, he was laying on his nap mat, kinda dozing, so he wasn’t outright miserable.  We went to Lowes real quick for the fruit cups for his snack o’lanterns (see the Instagram pic over there on the right) then on the one-mile drive home, Connor’s eyes were closing so as soon as we walked in the door, I put him in his crib for a nap.  He slept for 2.5 hours and woke up in a pretty good mood.  For a sick kid running a fever, he seemed pretty normal.

Connor ate a good snack, we played, and we even went outside for a bit.  He ate a decent dinner then we took Monte on a walk and that was pretty much all Connor had in him.  He was still running his fever so I changed him and put him to bed just before 7:00.  Fingers crossed that he sleeps great, which will hopefully fast-track his recovery from whatever bug has bitten him.

Other than a mild cold or two, Connor’s never been sick for real.  He’s almost 21 months old and this is the first time I’ve had to leave work early/not go to work because of how he was feeling.  I’d say that’s a pretty good track record. 

And thank goodness because that sick kid is terrible for this mom’s heart.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Our weekend

How about a little weekend recap without many pictures?  I know, that’s no fun, is it?  I’ll try to do better next Monday.

The McHusband was in Alabama for work on Friday and didn’t get back to the airport until after 10:00.  So that evening Connor and I had Mexican for dinner because it was too nice not to eat outside.


I made some cookie dough that night and went to bed early.  I baked the cookies on Saturday and guess what?  They were fabulous!  I highly recommend this recipe.  I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and toffee chips, and I sprinkled a little fine sea salt on top before baking.  Yum!

Saturday was my class at the Y, a long walk with my boys (all three of ‘em), then home for Connor’s nap and my shower.  I got the downstairs cleaned up because we had a new sitter coming over later to watch Connor while the McHusband and I had a belated anniversary date night with dinner at T.MAC then the 3D showing of The Martian.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  I don’t think 3D is necessary though.  We saw it that way because that was the movie time that worked best for us.  Sure, it had its perks, but I don’t think we would’ve missed out by seeing it in a normal theater.

Sunday was laundry, grocery shopping, a walk, playing outside, and cupcake making.  I want to surprise Connor’s class with candy corn cupcakes: yellow cake, orange frosting, and a white marshmallow on top.  Cute, right?


The not-even-two-year-olds are totally going to appreciate them.

Oh!  Connor learned a new word this weekend: cookie.  Or as he says, “kooo-keee.”  He doesn’t say many two-syllable words but he picked this one up quick.  Guess he just needed the right motivation. Winking smile  Also, we saw him use his sign for “thank you” a few times.  It’s so much fun to watch him developing and practicing his new skills.

All right, it’s Sunday night at 9:45 and I have to wrap things up. I plan to take advantage of what might be the last morning with decent temps tomorrow.  Being up and out around 4:30 in the mornings sucks no matter what, but it’s especially terrible when it’s freezing outside.  I’m just not strong enough to crawl out of my warm bed so I can go running when it’s 30-something outside.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How time flies!

Ten years ago, on a beautiful fall day, I became a McWife.

Bridal party

My car-loving McHusband searched for the custom-made Ford garter I had up my sleeve dress, and we partied the night away with our friends and family.

Reception_Garter kiss

The evening wound down, and we ran through flower petals to the fancy getaway car that the McInlaws surprised us with, embarking on what has become the journey of our lifetime so far.

Exit with petals

And there’s no one else I’d rather be traveling with.  Happy Anniversary, McHusband!  I love you!

Ryan and me

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Brain fart + pumpkin-picking pics

I went to DSW during my lunch yesterday to find some brown flats or kitten heels.  I lucked out and found some super cute shoes that are comfortable, too.

So I go up to pay and the cashier looks me up for their rewards points and tells me I have a $10 coupon I can apply.  Score!  She asks me if I’m still at my old address, which of course I’m not, so I take the opportunity to update my address.

Let’s say my address is 1234 Morgan Pond Circle.  I tell the cashier, “My new address is 1234 Morgan…”  I drew a total blank on the “Pond” part of the address!  I knew it was something to do with water, but I just couldn’t recall the right word.  I’ve been letting the computers do so much auto-filling of the address that it just slipped my mind.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s had something like this happen to them.

No sooner did I pull out my phone to look up my own address than I remembered the correct water word and was able to regain some small shred of my dignity.  Seriously, what mentally healthy person forgets their own address?  Let’s hope it was a one-time thing.

You know I prefer not to have picture-less posts so I’m going to throw in a few from our pumpkin patch adventure on Sunday.  We opted not to do the whole expensive corn maze-rides-petting zoo place this year and save it for next year when Connor can enjoy it even more.  He didn’t seem to realize he was missing out and was perfectly content running from one big orange “bah” to the next.




Connor is at a really fun age right now, and I am grateful for all these moments to make memories.  I sure love this little guy!

Monday, October 12, 2015

A little weekend recap

After a week of beautiful weather, Saturday was a mess.  It rained alllllll day.  I did get out to the Y for my class in the morning and it was a great way to start my day.  On the way home, I saw the sign about the Open House at the fire station so I got to the house, picked up the boys, and we headed back up the road to check out the fire engines.


From there, we got some pizza for lunch then got Connor a haircut – his fifth!  He had a Dum Dum while the lady snipped away so he wasn’t bothered at all by what was happening to his head.

Home for a nap (Connor) and a shower (me) then some house stuff like all the boys working on some items on the to-do list.  The McHusband sure is lucky to have such willing and obviously able helpers.


We woke up to sunshine and blue skies on Sunday.  What a nice change of pace from the day before.  Nothing too exciting for us yesterday: a walk, grocery shopping, laundry, yardwork, and Cooking Light’s Shepherd’s Pie for dinner.  All the ordinary things that we do on a normal weekend day but somehow they add up to something a little bit special: our day together as a family.

Sheesh, mushy much? Smile

Hope everyone else was able to find something special in their weekends, too.

PS  Happy Birthday to Owen today!