Monday, December 26, 2011

Going Public

Now that the holidays are over,  and in the spirit of a new year, new beginnings, fresh starts and resolutions, I thought it was time I go public with some of my own stuff.

You ready for this?
Kind of like having a child for the first time - you are never as ready or prepared as you think.
But here it goes.

I have spent most of the last two years going through a divorce.
Yep, the D word.

Regardless of whose fault it is, who did or said whatever, really does not matter (at least not you).
It is hands down, the most embarrassing, shame filled, all consuming struggle I have ever had to go through.
I don't wish it on anyone.

For much of it, all the public saw was chipper-as-ever, smiling, laughing, me.
But as the complexities dragged on and on, I just couldn't keep the facade going.

I am sure it has been hard to watch.
I know it has been hard to be my friend.
I am eternally grateful to the few who weathered this storm with me, holding my hand, lifting me up.

To quote a holiday card from one of those cherished friends,

"A new year approaches, full of promise. 
I wish you joy, peace and the courage to make your dreams come true." 

And that my friends, is all I have to say about that.
I am more than ready to welcome 2012 and all the promise it holds.

Happy New Year.
Let's do this.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Give Thanks

This year, in particular, I am thankful, grateful, and reflective.

But that didn't stop my 24-hour advance holiday freak out.
I cooked for a few less people this year, but it didn't seem to matter.
I only know how to cook meals for armies. I was raised that way.

I love a silver gravy boat.
It makes your table feel special.

I don't really know many people who set the table with the good china.
And then put it all away.
Four hours before dinner.

This is my 'staging' area.
This is also that crazy mirror.
From my crazy day with Mackenzie Childs on her boat, I mean ferry.
If you missed that, read this.

The menu was pretty standard Thanksgiving fare...
You should know I am a huge Barefoot Contessa fan.
She is weird on TV (sorry Ina) but her food is freaking amazing.

On our table this year...(links included!)

1. Deep fried turkey (thanks Dad)

2. Sweet potato casserole topped with caramelized sugar apples

3. Homemade Stuffing (you know, the kind with sausage, apples, and cranberries)

4. Cranberry salad (old family recipe)

5. Macaroni & Cheese

6. Mom's homemade applesauce (if you are cute and nice, she will give lessons)

7. Kale (from Dad's garden)

8. Roasted Beets (don't make that face before you try them)
Really glad Ina took pictures of this one.
Cause I sure didn't.

9. Pumpkin Pie!
This chick is awesome too.
I recommend her food skills.

10. Fresh Lemon Mousse

The pictures I took of that one pretty much sucked.
And so did the google photo.
So I just have to tell you that it was delicious and you should try it out.

Happy Thanksgiving from our crazy, dysfunctional, but loving family to yours.

I am thankful for my three beautiful and precious children, my family who made me who I am today, and for the gift of a kind of friendship that I did not know could exist.
I am grateful for all that I have.

Just so you know I haven't gone completely sappy.
Stay tuned for the Nutcracker post.
You know that dysfunctional family I mentioned?
Yeah. You don't want to miss this.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Just thought I would share what working from home looks like.

My computer is on the back of the couch because it seemed easier to just work from there rather than the table I guess?

So far today I have:

Cheered for a one hour school delay, dressed, fed, and packed lunches for 2 of 3 children, taken said children to school, drove back home, worked on customer orders/follow up, cleaned up the house, cleaned the bathroom, negotiated with a four-year-old that if he insisted on wearing shorts he was going to at least have to wear long sleeves, worked some more on volunteer ballet requests, started making muffins, did a load of laundry, packed my daughter's ballet bag for tonight, was on Pinterest, oh I don't know, at least 12 times, forgot I was making muffins and working on volunteer stuff, realized it was getting late and finished the muffins (since I am working the children into a post-Halloween detox), boiled eggs (for the same detox), sat down to eat my lunch, noticed again how late it was getting, took a picture of my food and computer, wrote a blog post, and am now headed to the shower and then to pick my daughter up at 3:10 to take her an hour and 15 min each way to her ballet class (don't ask but just know we are very happy and crazy), take my own ballet class after that (really and for real) so that I can attempt to fulfill my latest volunteer request. Misty, please know how much I love you.

I don't normally do run-on sentences.
Seemed fitting for today.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Tart

The kids are pretty much allowed to pick whatever they want to be for Halloween. 
My oldest has NEVER wanted to be anything cute or sweet. 
She has been a witch (cutest witch ever at 2 years old), skeleton, vampire queen, you name it. 

Except for the year she dressed as the hooker version of Ariel. 

She was four, spotted this little number at Target and HAD to have it. 
I tried explaining to her that it was the toddler size and she needed to move into the "big" kid size. 
But the big kid size was a different design. 

Hysteria ensued. 

On the floor, in the Halloween aisle. 
So I did what every mother dragging a two-year-old and VERY fresh, also screaming, newborn would do. 

I gave her whatever she wanted.

That same year,
The two year old refused to wear his beloved Thomas the Train costume. 
He wore the dog's Vampire cape. 

And that sweet little newborn?

Imagine the fun I had. 

That marked the end of homemade costumes.
I could barely get a shower in those days. 

Fast forward four years. 
My oldest wants to be a Devil. 
I don't like it. I don't like it at all. 

And not just any Devil. 
The $174 costume she saw in a catalog Devil. 
Thankfully, that costume sold out (seriously??!!). 

We negotiate, round and round.
She announces her second choice is a $150 massive goldfish costume.
Guess who recommends we make our own version of the devil costume - minus the horns.

The goal was to be scary and a little glamorous.
And less tarty.
Oh, and warmer.

I actually enjoyed myself a little. 
The headpiece was my favorite.
Still scary. No horns. Everyone was happy. 

Let's not forget "Dark" Vader. 
And if the little one (whose personality has not changed from his Sebastian days) stood still for a second, there would be a picture of him. 

All in all, they had a great time. 
Shivering and hoofing all over the neighborhood paid off. 

Since I am not prepared to endure the preteen "does your mother know you are wearing that" costumes that are inevitably headed my way, I guess I better not complain so much about sewing. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Maybe I should be a Car Salesman

Here we are, October 31.
Again, the only post for the month comes at the end.
The reputation of a car salesman is not what I am going for here.

Moving on.
As always, I am still getting it together and finished in the wee hours of the morning of October 30.

Photo montage of the 'day before Halloween scramble'...

Every morning this week has started with some sort of costume stitching.
I used to make all her costumes.
She decided around 5 that I couldn't possibly make anything as cool as what Target sells.

But I hate to sew. Hate to sew.
I CAN sew, but that doesn't mean I LIKE to sew.
Please don't ask me to make anything.

Off we ran to Elmer's Market to grab the loot!
Because you see, we still needed Jack O' Lanterns.

When we were kids, we went to Elmer's every year.
Pumpkin people, wooden castles, and trains galore.
It isn't exactly the same since Elmer is gone, but whatever. We were desperate.

Did I mention the Pumpkin "people"?

She has taken to posing.
Staring down the barrel of tween-dom.

The Cast.

Here we go.
Just in the nick of time!

Boys like anything that resembles guts.

You might have to wait until Thanksgiving to see the costume photos. 
Because that is the end of the month. 

Have a great night!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All At Once

It has been one day over a month since I last wrote.
For a thousand good reasons, I have not had time.
But I am ready to update!

Let's make a list:

1. Hurricane = I don't do natural disasters.

2. I don't do natural disasters = weekend escape to visit fantastic old friends in Nashville!

3. While in Nashville, my youngest met his future wife. She's a pistol. Thank god.

4. School started again. Third grade (seriously??), Kindergarten, and Mr. Preschool are happily settled in. 

5. We made some changes in my kids' activities = I live in my car. 

6. My dream job has become accessible and available = OMG!

7. Dream job = have to make a decision about the store since I am apparently not 12 people. 

8. After long and careful thought, plus at least three hysterical crying sessions, I decided it was time to close the store for a bit and focus on the DREAM JOB!! (I will give more detail, I promise)

9. Closing the store = MASSIVE SALE!! Be there. You will be mad at yourself if you miss it. 
Fridays and Saturdays until....we say so? And then...well, I will let you know where you can still buy our cool finds as soon as I have more information!

10. I bought workout pants today. Armageddon is next.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It's so close you smell it.
Even my daughter put jeans on this morning.

Yep, ready for some of this.
Fires, candles, pumpkins.
Cozy sweaters.

I am totally a detail person.
As you all know, I LOVE a great bag and amazing accessories, cool house stuff and unbelievable furniture.
But seriously, these matches from Homart are one of my all time favorite little items.

I have been stalking this company for several years already.
There is just something about the wood and the pretty boxes they come in.
I don't mind leaving them out - and I never get burned trying to light something (Yes, I am a spas).

I mean, seriously, who can write an entire post on a box of matches??
But I love them. That much.
And wait until you see the Christmas boxes!

As you might have expected, you can buy them here.
For $4.50, they're worth a try!
Celebrate a little chill in the air.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time to Go Back to Work

While still in a morning coma (at 10:45 am) I found myself mindlessly eating these. 
I think it is time to go back to work. 
The kids have overtaken my brain. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pardon the Interruption

But...I am on vacation :).
(sort of)
Be back soon!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Downtown Milford...Part 1

Milford is my hometown.
I live here.
I have a business here.
I have children who are growing up here.

I left Milford as soon as humanly possible.
I moved to South Florida for 8 years, where admittedly, I might as well have been Amish.
But I adjusted. And I learned things. And discovered what else was out there.
I also discovered some men, Stuart Weitzman & Christian Louboutin, but that is another topic entirely.

Coming back here with a new perspective changed everything for me.
What I once thought was useless and boring now had tremendous potential.
I can now appreciate how valuable a historic downtown setting can be for a community.

I would like to take you on a little tour, from time to time,
so you can all see what might be special about what is right in front of you.

Easily, the most recognizable and well-known business in town.
Lou's Bootery has been here forever.

In case you didn't believe me when I said forever.
They still have the historic shoes to prove it.
I'm pretty sure my mom was fitted for her first shoes here.

And there's Skip.
This was not a pose.
This is actually what takes place multiple times a day from the corner of Walnut and Front Street.
I swear he knows every single resident (and their shoe size).

They have managed to stay in business for 60 years, through economic ups and downs.
And through the ups and downs of our downtown district.

Your hometown is like your family. 
Some days (or years) you can't wait to get away from it. 
But there really is no place like home. 

Take a second look at yours and come visit ours. 
We would love to have you! 
Skip will wave, I promise. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Perspective on Ridiculous

When you step out on a limb and open a store, be prepared for lots of "constructive" criticism.
I have been unbelievably supported and welcomed by the community.
 My harshest critic is myself. And I can be mean.

However, if someone ever says that something is crazy or ridiculous, I plan to pull out this photo.
A $24,000 Barbie foos ball table is both crazy and ridiculous.
Just saying.

Psst....End of Summer Sale starts tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Happy Birthday to the one who changed my life forever. Love you SB.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Farm in My Mind

Running a business is crazy.
Meant for crazy people.

Don't get me wrong - I love it.
I have wanted to do this for a very very long time and I am truly blessed to be able to live out my dream.
But it's still crazy.

Lately, I have become slightly obsessed with the idea of having chickens.
Not so much for the chickens, but for organic, colored eggs and THIS:

Thank you Country Living Magazine for permanently altering the course of my life.
I want this chicken coop. And the chickens to go in it.
I am realistic enough to know that it might end up being an American Girl dollhouse, but I want it anyway.

It happens to be Delaware State Fair week here.
Perfect opportunity to check out lots of farm animals.
For the farm I am going to live on, in my mind.

So, as it turns out, the kids know that we get milk from cows.
But they were slightly disturbed watching a cow actually get milked.

We entered a raffle to win a calf.
I've never won a raffle before.
How much do you wanna bet I win this one.

Showing sheep is serious business.

He thought the sheep were really cute.
He thought that making sweaters from their wool was gross.

They wanted to know why that sheep had a ballet leotard on.
To keep him clean for his show, of course.

They solved the world's problems.
Right there. At the fair.

They loved all the sweetness!

The kids have decided that baby Pygmy goats have to live on our farm.
We had goats when I was a kid.
They chased us.

My oldest was taking riding lessons for awhile.
She reminded me that she not only wants to take that up again, but also wants a horse.
Of course she wants a horse.

This little mister LOVED the horses!
Wanted to touch every last one.
Made for a long trip through the horse barn.

We ended our animal tour with a good old-fashioned Sno Kone.
It took us about 4 hours to make it through all the barns at the fair.
We had a great time!

I still have an overwhelming urge to move onto a farm.
Or at least a farm-like setting.
With a chicken coop. Even if it is for the dolls.

I told you running a business is for crazy people!