Friday, October 31, 2008

We had tons of fun last night at our club's Halloween Party for the kids, despite the bartender attempting to kill us by adding some type of jetfuel to our martinis. (atleast, that's what it tasted like!!!) BabyGirl's "tiger dancer" costume went off without a hitch and BabyBoy's Anakin Skywalker was my easiest Halloween costume to date. Easy meaning I didn't have to sew it!

The kids had fun playing with their friends, getting faces painted and playing in the blow up maze.

Alas, by 7:30pm it became abundantly clear that BabyGirl needed not one more speck of sugar (as evidenced by her psycho eyes below) and we decided to head out. Mommy had lots of work to do to prepare for tonight's party!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Company Christmas

Just got my new Company Kids catalog and they have some really adorable ideas for Christmas! I'm always looking for things to give the kids OTHER than toys. We have enough Legos for an army!

First, I love these PINK and GREEN jammies for Mommy and Daughter...

They've also got matching ensembles for the entire family (if you really wanted to be THAT obnoxious wife or mom ;)).

Super cute aprons (even one for Thanksgiving!)

I'm really loving these kids' themed stockings. Wouldn't it be cute to hang one on your child's bedroom door? Also, love the cute red and green "mod" style stockings for my "kid" tree in the sunroom.

My absolute favorites, however, are the sleeping bags. Way less expensive than Pottery Barn Kids and I think these are more attractive to the children as well. And, you can't beat FREE Monogramming!!!

I was at the mall yesterday and they've already got the Christmas Tree up. What are they thinking? I guess the same thing I's never to early to start shopping!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nutty Fun

I hate mornings that end with me yelling at my kids before they walk out the door to the bus. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Always swore I'd never be that Mom. So for pete's sake, why can't my child put his hat and coat in the same place every evening so we don't have to run around like crazy people trying to find it every morning? Dr. Daddy thinks I should get up earlier and have everything laid out. Um, no dear, this is not Leave it to Beaver. Who's going to lay out his crap when he's 25? I guess we just need to wake up (even) earlier so he can get ahold of his stuff before the bus comes and has to wait on us. Sheesh!

Now for something fun! My chronic volunteer disease has torpedoed me to the status of room Mom for 32 JK'ers and 20 1st graders. Obviously, I needed an EASY snack for both Halloween parties. I saw these ADORABLE ghost/mummy cookies online and decided to go for it. Here's what you'll need:

Nutter Butter cookies (I believe they come 30 per package)
white candy melts (available at craft store or wherever Wilton products are sold)
Small tube black icing

The white candy discs melt very easily. I just put them in a glass bowl and microwave them at 50% power for 1 minute intervals until they're completely melted. Stir with a wooden spoon. Then just throw in four or five Nutter Butters and stir them around. Get them good and coated with the melted candy and then set them on a cookie cooling rack that's set on top of parchment paper. They will drip a bit. After they've hardened a little (a few minutes) take a fork and dip it into the melted candy to the point that the candy is dripping off the fork. Then just go back and forth over the cookies to make diagonal stripes (kind of like dangling a string over a cat). Repeat until you've filled your cooling rack and then put the whole thing in the fridge to set for about 10 minutes. Then take your black icing and make tiny little eyes. (I used the gel type of icing and I wouldn't recommend it. It doesn't really dry and if you're planning to put the cookies into any type of bag it will smear).

Now, you're done! How easy was that? If you have students in the class with peanut allergies you could use Milano cookies instead or even the vanilla flavored sandwich cookies that are oblong in shape.

I put mine in these adorable little Martha Stewart bags that I found at AC Moore. I also put a little candy corn in the bottom for color. I only did one cookie per child. These kids are sweet enough already, right?! (gag)

If your kids are in a school that doesn't celebrate worries! I had lots of fun last week making these Fall themed cookies for BabyGirl to take to Show and Tell. The theme was "something to do with Fall". We did leaves and pumpkins. Before you get too impressed, know that I did NOT make homemade dough. I use the tub of pre-made dough from Toll House. It's so just roll it out, cut and cook. They don't taste half bad, either! Then I use the Wilton Color Flow mix to do the icing. It's time consuming, but the final product can't be beat!


Couple quick things I'd like to clear up... all those (all anonymous, by the way) who have sent comments railing me about not teaching my kids to be open-minded or fair, etc. I appreciate your comments. Let me be very clear. I absolutely teach my kids the importance of humility, empathy and understanding. We have talked AT LENGTH about taxes, where the money goes (yes, I have explained that it goes toward building roads, infrastructure, supporting fire and police, the war and our troops, etc.) and how the money is distributed. Obviously, my kids are being raised in a home with conservative values. However, I have also preached tolerance (especially with regard to homosexuality since it is a subject that is very close to home) and explained that it is perfectly fine for a boy to have a boyfriend or a girl to have a girlfriend. The only reason I had to explain it was because my son came home from a friend's house telling me that boys cannot marry boys. I strongly disagree with that. I have encouraged my son to form his opinions based on what HE thinks, not what Mommy and Daddy think.
In regard to the insinuations that we are in some way selfish for not wanting to pay more taxes...well I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on that one. As I've stated before, I spend a good deal of my time volunteering in the community. I also have encouraged my kids to help when possible. They will always be expected to contribute a certain amount of their personal time to civic duty. We aren't preaching selfishness or insincerity. We're trying to instill personal responsibility and independent thinking.
Finally, with regard to the question of whether or not the term "jappy" is offensive, the response was about %70 NOT offensive, 30% offensive. Obviously, I didn't intend to offend anyone. It's not like I'm out here trying to talk trash on my blog. Puhlease. Personally, I think some people need to LIGHTEN UP. Seriously.
On that note, it's now time to make the formal announcement that I will no longer accept Anonymous comments. You got somethin to say, you say it to my face. I wouldn't say anything about YOU that I wouldn't say to your face. You may not LIKE what I say, but that's how I roll. Keepin it real and what not.
So, that's all. Back to the fun stuff...

XOXO Sippycups

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh, crap

I was just trying to moderate comments and mistakenly rejected the 30 most recent ones. Anyone know how I can get them back? They were really good!!!


In my earlier post today I used the term "jappy" to describe a type of person. The definition of the term "jappy" as I have heard it would be a woman/young girl who is of Jewish American descent and who might be considered a "princess". I've never actually considered it to be a derogatory term. In fact, I'm kind of jealous to be honest. I know for a fact that "the gays" as I call my brother and his adorable friends LOVE japs and think they're stylish, fashionable and sassy. That they have something of a "uniform" (ie: Tory Burch flats, citizens jeans, Vineyard Vines polo, North Face fleece, LV bag) is kind of endearing. I had someone comment that the term may be construed as offensive. Thoughts?

So, this probably seems like a no-brainer, but I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself for thinking of it. See, I've been wanting a zip up fleece for some time now and I've been trying to decide between the Patagonia or the North Face. I wanted to take Aaron's suggestion and get the Patagonia (because according to him EVERYONE had the North Face fleece and I wouldn't want to be too Jappy). Riiiiggghhht. Well, they didn't have the Patagonia in any color I liked. I decided to go with the North Face in all white. Love it. So I'm at Dick's and I'm looking at the $160 something price tag and thinking that's way more than I really want to spend on a fleece. I decided to think on it while I went to the kids' section to buy BabyBoy some underarmour long johns (like THOSE aren't the rip off of the century). While in the kids' section I came upon the North Face fleeces. Hmmmm. Why not try one on for size? The large, which is supposed to be a 14-16, was great across the shoulders and chest (and we're not talking about a small chest here, people), but the sleeves were too short. Do prepubescents really have arms that short? Anyhoo, I tried the XL and it was perfect. A little room in the shoulders, but what the heck? It's only $95!!! Quite proud of myself, I headed off to the check out counter with my $60 some odd dollar savings and high tailed it outta there before feeling the need to buy new tennis garb. Yay for me.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sippycup Snippets

***WARNING*** If you're not interested in reading anything at all political, might want to skip this one!


BabyBoy and I had an interesting conversation yesterday regarding the election. It went a little something like this:

BabyBoy: Mama, are Democrats stupid?

Me: No, they're not stupid. Maybe just a little confused.

BabyBoy: Daddy says they want to take all our money.

Me: Well, it's true that Democrats like to make people who have earned money pay taxes in order to give money to those who may not have earned as much.

BabyBoy: It's nice to give money to poor people.

Me: Indeed. It's nice to help people in need. But let's look at it this way: You know how you work hard around the house to earn your $6 allowance each week? Democrats would like to take $2 of your $6 and give it people who haven't earned that money. That would leave you with how much?

BabyBoy: $4!!! That's ridiculous! (his favorite new word) Then I just won't do my chores and I'll wait for my money from Democrats.

Me: (wanting so much to say it but only thinking it in my head)...that's exactly what they're counting on.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What to Wear?

First of all, a long overdue congratulations to my brother, Ryan and his fiance, Hayleigh, who got engaged this summer. They're planning an Ireland wedding and can't wait to find out when the Army might actually allow that to happen!

In the meantime, they have a wedding to attend in November and Hayleigh asked if I had any ideas about what she should wear. What DOES one wear to a November wedding? I haven't done a fashion post lately so I felt inspired!

Here are a few options I like:

Love this dress and these fun shoes from J. Crew

Also love this combo, although I'd have to see the actual color of the dress in person...

From ABS Allen Schwartz and Burberry

From Nordstrom and Moschino

From Nanette Lepore and J. Crew

And if money were no object...From Marchesa and Christian Louboutin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Delicious Recipe!

I tried this recipe last night. Fabulous. Dr. Daddy didn't love it, but I did! It has just the right combination of sweet and savory. I didn't use homemade pasta, just some extra wide "homemade" egg noodles from Fresh Market. Just be sure not to overcook the squash!

Ingredients:9 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 kabocha or butternut squash, 2 1/2 to 3 lb., peeled, seeded and cut into
1-inch dice

2 Tbs. sugar

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 Tbs. finely diced shallots

1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 Tbs. minced fresh sage

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 lb. fresh pasta sheets, cut into 2-inch squares (see related recipe at left)

1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

In a braiser (skillet) over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter. Add the squash in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until browned underneath, about 6 minutes. Stir the squash and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes more. Add the sugar, broth, salt and pepper, cover and cook until the squash is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the squash is dark brown and glazed, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the squash mixture to a bowl.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 6 Tbs. butter until light brown spots appear, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots, nutmeg and sage and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the squash.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the squash mixture and toss to combine.

Transfer the pasta to a warmed large, shallow bowl and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese alongside. Serves 4 to 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Reader Request

I got a great reader request this weekend...

From Susie:

I have a house exterior decoration question. We live in an adorable tall white Charleston single home with double porches. I need to decorate the outside of both doors (outside the porch and inside) before a girls whine and wine night. I love topiaries but 4??? $$$ Fall themed? Suggestions?

First of all...LOVE the idea of a Whine and Wine night!!! Definitely stealing that idea. I love decorating for fall. There is so much you can do. Problem's pretty limited in terms of carry over to other seasons. Once you hit the Christmas season, the whole orange and yellow theme just doesn't cut it. I definitely understand the quadary of not wanting to spend too much. Here are my thoughts.

I know we've all seen the infamous "Pumpkin Topiary". Now before you all start throwing up in your mouths let's reconsider this option. Yes, it's been overdone. Yes, it's been done very badly. However, I still think it can be done right. If you use the right container and don't OVERDO it, I think the pumpkin topiary can be killer.

I've made one before and the most important piece of advice I can give you is: use fake pumpkins. The real ones are a pain the youknowwhat and they rot before you can say Boo. Here's a neat little diagram from Lowe's and a link to their instructions for constructing your topiary...

Now, here's my take. Why not jazz it up a little but keep it preppy and classy? I LOVE this take with the harlequin painted on...

I also like the addition of the green moss. You could do one of these on each side of the door or just one on one side. I think I actually like it better with just one. Two might be a bit of overkill.

Other cute pics I found of pumpkin topiaries...

You certainly don't have to use three pumpkins, either. I have a large bowl in my dining room and I'm planning to take one large pumpkin, set it on top of the bowl with some moss underneath to pad and add a little color, and stencil our monogram in black onto the face of the pumpkin You could do that with an urn and one pumpkin outside your door instead of the topiary. Less time involved as well...

LOVE these pumpkin ideas...this link from Martha Stewart explains how to carve the pumpkins so they are translucent, and not cut all the way through.

I also found this cute pumpkin from Smith & Hawken. I'm not sure how big it is but you could group it with some other real pumpkins and mums. Plus, it's on sale!

And yes, let's not forget the power of mums. I've never been a huge mum fan, but I do think if you group them well they can be really pretty...this picture is obviously from a wedding, but you can see how cute the mums look in the metal containers...
I also love the idea of the pedestal with some pansies or other fall flowers on top. You could also find an inexpensive fiberglass bird bath and place potted pansies and some type of vine in the top with a little spanish moss hanging down.

An idea I love for the actual door is a simple square boxwood wreath hanging on a black ribbon. Add some fake spider webs and stick some plastic spiders in the web and voila! Simple, not overdone, but supercute.

I couldn't find a picture of the wreath I described so I guess I'll just have to make one myself! Pictures coming soon...

So, get creative, have fun and take pictures for me! Just please, please don't succomb to THIS...

I've been that girl...and I won't let it happen to YOU.


I've had a slight dilemma for some time. See, my girlfriend introduced me to a dear friend of hers several months ago. She insisted we had to meet because we were so much alike and would get a hoot out of one another. Can I just say....UNDERSTATEMENT? You know what it's like when you meet someone and you just know that the stars are aligned? Like you must have known them (and consumed massive amounts of gin with them) in another life? That's what it was. Kismet. Since that time, I've been longing for a reunion with News Readin' Wife. I even considered featuring her as my "new blogger of the week" but haven't been able to commit because I am secure in the knowledge that her undeniable humor would completely outshine me. Yes, I'm that shallow.

Alas, she's bestowed an award upon me. Well, News Readin', I heart you too. And, I'm hoping to see you this week! My abs need a good work out.

Here's the word answers to the questions below and then tag seven bloggers.
Here we go...

1. Where is your cell phone? dead in my purse
2. Where is your significant other? work, thank the Lord
3. Your hair color? blonde
4. Your mother? shaped who I am today
5. Your father? complicated
6. Your favorite thing? the way my kids hold me so tight when I carry them to the bathroom for the last pee of the night before I go to bed...they're so vulnerable and sweet!
7. Your dream last night? nada
8. Your dream/goal? happy, healthy, funny and respectful children
9. The room you're in? attic playroom
10. Your hobby? gardening, exercise, crafting, cooking, entertaining, reading
11. Your fear? Obama
12. Where do you want to be in six years? right where I am now
13. Where were you last night? home with the famiy
14. What you’re not? interested in excuses
15. One of your wish list items? a laptop
16. Where you grew up? where did I NOT grow up?
17. The last thing you did? send an op ed piece to the newspaper for Dr. Daddy
18. What are you wearing? Nick and Nora pajamas from Tarjay
19. Your TV? something I spend way too much time in front of
20. Your pet? adopted dachsund (meaning, I adopted her UNWILLINGLY when I married Dr. Daddy)
21. Your computer? hard to find through the mess on my desk
22. Your mood? happy
23. Missing someone? Jett
24. Your car? filthy
25. Something you’re not wearing? hee hee
26. Favorite store? Bergdorf Goodman
27. Your summer? so fun, but exhausting
28. Love someone? lots of love around here
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? this morning
31. Last time you cried? last week

I won't tag anyone cause I just don't wanna. So there!