Monday, August 6, 2007


I have been tagged by my friend Kim. Can't get the actual picture of the tag to post on here, but here are my answers.

Four jobs that I have had:
Advertising sales rep for a newspaper
Advertising sales rep for a radio station
Pharmaceutical sales rep

Four films I could watch over and over:
My Best Friend's Wedding
The Godfather ("One", as Tony Soprano would say)
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (does that count as three???)

Four places that I have lived:
Buffalo, NY
Tampa, FL
Tallahassee, FL
Jacksonville, FL

Four favorite TV shows:
The Sopranos
Grey's Anatomy

Four favorite foods:
Home made guacamole
Parmagiano Reggiano cheese
My mother's eggplant parmagiana
Brenda's lemonade cake

Websites I visit everyday:
My blog
Kim's blog
Jenn's blog (post something, would you!)
Art and soul

Four Places I love to be:
In Manhattan
In Italy
In the Napa Valley
Blue Mountain Beach

I'm tagging:
Renee, John, Anne-Marie, Nina

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lazy Sunday afternoons

Just finished a class of Cabernet Sauvignon, some cheese and crackers and a glimpse through two of my favorite (scrapbooking) magazines out on our lanai. It is cooler this evening because it is cloudy I lit a candle that my friend Cori bought for me and had some chill time. Hub and little guy were watching Discovery Channel and I was so excited to carve out a little time to decompress before the activity of our week begins again. Hope that where ever you are you are enjoying some time for yourself, chilling, and resting and re-charging on this Sunday evening. I'm off to finish my "gravy" (the word we use in my Italian family for home made spaghetti sauce), boil up some pasta and feed my family. There's nothing like the smell of an Italian home on a Sunday afternoon...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, dear friend! And good luck!

Okay, so not the greatest picture (my camera shutter wouldn't open at the time and we had to prop it with a fork...) but wanted to send out a happy bday wish to my great friend, "Auntie Tray". And I wanted to brag about her a bit. Coz she'll never give herself any credit for all that she does and for all that she means to others. This gal is so amazing. She is a mother of two young children, a wife, a physician who works full time+ (full time plus = her days start at 5:30 or 6am and she doesn't get home in the evenings until after 7pm, she is on her feet all day and has the compression hose to prove it, and then she works every other weekend to pay off the family van) she cleans her own house, doesn't own a dishwasher (what's up with that, anyway) because she prefers to wash her own dishes. She makes chocolate chip cookies from scratch every weekend with her oldest daughter so that they'll have fresh cookies to eat all week. She has been the homeroom mom at her daughter's school. Okay, her hub helps out with the school stuff, but still, she volunteers to help despite not having much time to spare! She is medical director of her practice, and has been or is presently chair/president of several professional organizations. She is a caring, loving and interesting friend who always makes time for others. She is studying for her boards (in her spare time) and making some time to travel with her family this week. There isn't another person I know who has the schedule that this lady has. And she honors all of her commitments. She is not a canceller. She is there when she says she will be there and follows through on everything she commits to. I am proud to know her and she has been a role model to me in many ways. She is a great lady and I love her with all of my heart. So...Happy Bday, Trace. I'm thinking of you as you approach your "birthday and boards" week. And thanking God this morning for the gift of your friendship.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Loving all this stuff...

Okay, so what do you think? The boys rooms are brown, very rich and suede-ish looking. A great neutral color. Very of the moment. But not a color I would have selected without Renee's help. She gets the props. Check her out at: (And my friend, Afflack, helped, too! Thanks, Kim.) And "Dan the Painter Man" did a fabulous job. No tape. He cut in. Not one bit of taping-off. So awesome. He is my painting idol. Anyway, I love it! Thanks Renee and Dan! And I love the way the front door and shutters turned out. We had a black front door at our old house and we love the sophisticated look of black. And, just for fun, I had to included a photo of the new zebra rug from Pottery Barn. How much do I love this rug? Mucho. Grande mucho. Beaucoup mucho (a little mix of French and Spanish there!). The zebra rug makes me smile. A lot. many more times can I say "love" in this post? Must find another word. More pics to come, stay tuned. PS: spent more money on furniture than I could possibly ever imagine. Most of it won't arrive until the end of October. Total buzz-kill, but it's all gonna rock when it's finished. Can't wait. Loving (whoops, there we go again) our new casa.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Painter is "in da house"

So excited that our painter is here. (Our decorator) chose a brownish-tan for the boys rooms, a color called "peanut shell" for the sink bath area and a muted grey-blue (to appease Jack who wanted turquoise on his bedroom walls-gasp!) for the shower area. This guy is Speedy Gonzalez. He had one room done, first coat, in one and a half hours. He should have everything finished today! Too excited and had to share. I'll post pics when he's done. And the piece-de-resistance...the new black glossy front door. Can't wait. It's a surprise for my hub, he doesn't know that we are changing the shutters and front door. Although mostly everything was fabu when we moved in, I'm loving the chance to make my own choices on some of the items in my new home. Yay! I'm off to hang some shelves.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Which are more wild...these animals or our boys???

Our buddies came for a visit and we took them to the zoo. Jacksonville has a fabulous zoo. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, I suggest making the Jax Zoo a top priority. One of the highlights of this visit was feeding the birds. We purchased nectar in little plastic cups and then entered the aviary where these Lorikeets (?) and Lories were. The birds will drink from the cup and lick the sides of it. They come right up to your hand! So fun to be so close to these otherwise timid birds. Our boys really got a kick out of it. And how amazing are these giraffes? Love these gentle giants. We had a great time with our friends. Packed a lot into our visit. Our boys drove us absolutely crazy, but they had fun and got along well. The water photos were also taken at the zoo. There is a water "park" where the kids can play and run around in the water. Nice treat when it's 90+ degrees. Look at our little guys: riding the carousel, hanging out in the splash park, feeding the birds...looks like they are so happy and relaxed, doesn't it? You would never know how much we had to yell at them for being so wild and crazy. And whiney. And loud. Truly. We almost put them in one of the cages at the zoo and left them there! They would have fit right in!!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sweet Pea

Michael is my 17 year old step-son. I nicknamed him "sweet pea" when he was just a toddler because he was the most gentle, sweet, easy going kid you could ever hope to meet. Over the years his nick name was cut short and now I just call him "pea". He is coming over to spend another week with us for summer visitation. He is basically a really good kid, but we have had a tough year with him. It is true that once your kids get their driver's liscences you never see them at all anymore. They sort of drop in and out of your house at meal times and bed time. It has been tough on all of us as we adjust to his freedom and he adjusts to our rules. We never really had to worry about "house rules" before because he was always either with us or at school. But there is a certain freedom that comes with driving. I remember it well. A feeling of independence and of being in charge of your own schedule and how you spend your time. Then throw a girlfriend or boyfriend into the mix, a part time job into the mix, an after-school sport into the mix and HOCUS POCUS, your kid disappears. We have some fun plans for his visit. Hoping to get to the beach one day, cook out on the fourth and then the big boys will play golf one day. He's giving us attitude about coming over because he wanted to bring a friend and we said no. It's not because we don't like his friend or because we are opposed to him bringing someone over. It's just because we don't get to see him as much since we moved and we just wanted some family time to hang out together. Plus, having a friend = disappearing act. We'd never see them. And we miss him when he's not here. So, my little pea, you are stuck with us for the week. Get over it. We can't help it if we love you.

So this is where we hang...

We are having too much fun in our new 'hood. We can swim at either the front pool or the back pool which has the two rocking water slides you see above. One of them is a tunnel-like slide that is so fast it takes my breath away! And I'm always afraid of getting a water-wedgie or loosing my bathing suit top (a scary, scary prospect for those who might catch a glimpse) on the tunnel one. Jack opts for the safety of the other one, as well, so it's usually our guests who brave the "tunnel of terror" as we have now named it. The pools are managed by the YMCA so they provide the lifeguards. There are some rules, which I'm okay with because I'm all about the rules when it comes to water, and the life guards swim-test every child who comes through the gates. Then, depending on how well you did on the test, they give you neck band to wear; green for complete access, yellow for partial access and red for must be with a parent at all times. That is the system that the life guards use to keep track of the kids when they are in the water. Love it. Love the safety aspect of managing such a large group of children whose parents may or may not be as responsible as they should be. You know the ones I'm talking about...the mom has like, three kids all under the age of five and she's sitting in a lounge chair reading the latest issue of Cosmo and talking on her cell phone while her kids are (potentially) drowning in the pool so you end up watching them because you don't want her kids to drown. And she's usually skinny and has had some sort of cosmetic surgery that allows her to lounge at the pool in a BIKINI (gasp!). Yeah, that makes me crazy. Hate her. So anyway, that's why I'm all about the rules at the pool. If you come visit, maybe we'll take you there! And maybe, just maybe, you'll be brave enough to take on the tunnel of terror. Once. We'll see...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


So this is our new front door! Happy to say that we have had three of the greatest friends come to town to spend time with us already. Can't wait for more of the good buddies to pass through this door. C'mon, ya'll! Had a great time with Cori and Cade despite almost constant rain. Cori got to go to Sephora so I know she left us happy with lots of good cosmetics in hand. So what do you think: should we paint the door black? I'm just not "feeling" the jewel-toned green. There are two sets of shutters, so no biggie if we decided to change. A painter is coming to paint the boys rooms (which are now yellow, since the previous owners had girls) so he can just do me a little facade make-over (kinda like a trip to Sephora for the front door of my house!). What do you think? I'm thinking black. Mmm-hmm, love me some black.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cutest kid in the kingdom

Here he sweet baby boy. Not so much a baby anymore, though, much to my dismay. He lost his first tooth shortly after his sixth birthday and just before we moved, so this pic is about three weeks old. The other front bottom tooth is now loose and at five bucks a pop, the tooth fairy is going to have to start cutting back on those Starbucks lattes for sure. Should be cutting back on them anyway, due to the muffin top that is peaking out over my favorite summer jean capris. Going to start exersizing next week. Fo' shizzle.

Monday, May 28, 2007


So how odd is it now that my entire life (the "stuff" part, not the people part) is packed up, neatly labeled, wrapped in packing paper and on a moving van being stored somewhere in North Carolina? Very odd. And who would have thought that we would have been able to put our entire life's contents in three hundred ninety-nine boxes? Geez, my life feels much bigger than that! 399? That's weak. I was thinking a minimum of 657 boxes. Maybe 7oo-something boxes. But 399? That seems totally lame. Anyway, it occurs to me this morning that I'm kinda worried about my stuff. I like my stuff. I hope my stuff is doing okay up there on the Carolina coast. Do you think my stuff is missing me? (Kidding.) We are at the beach while we are in transition, waiting to close on our new house this coming Thursday. The beach is exquisite this time of year: emerald green water, sugar white sand, cool mornings, warm (but not too hot) days. We are relaxing and resting and reading and exercising and chillin'. It has been a glorious break. And it has us thinking...we should totally keep this place. Why not? We love it over here. This is a fantastic place for our family to spend time. Vic decompresses here. Jack plays and digs and builds sand castles and gets to see live alligators at Fudpuckers. And even I feel less pressure to be a human "doing" and become more of a human "being" while we are spending time here. It's a glorious place. And five hours is not a long drive. We're talking about keeping it. We're thinking about it while we're drinking about it (oooh, those left over Mike's Hard Lemonades are disappearing quickly). We'll see...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Calm before the storm

We have a routine on most Saturday mornings. Vic gets up with Jack and I sleep in a bit. Usually I need the extra sleep because I have had to evacuate the bedroom in the middle of the night due to my hub's snoring. And his twitching. Then I have to settle in in another bedroom in our house and it takes me a while to fall back to sleep. When I finally get up Jack is usually in his playroom working on his latest Lego creation and Vic is usually in front of the TV doing "finger homework" (I'll have to blog about that later). With Jack occupied, and after I make the beds, start the laundry, etc. Vic and I usually chill in front of the television for a while. It's a quiet time of the week when we don't have to rush around as a family getting ready to go somewhere. I really love our Saturday mornings with nothing to do and no where to go. It's the only time during the week that is totally unplanned and unscheduled. I was thinking this morning that today was our last "chill" Saturday morning in our home. Kinda freaked me out. Movers come on Wednesday to start packing us up and then we officially vacate on Friday. Big hectic week coming up. Oh, and did I mention that this is also the last week of Kindergarten for my boy? Yeah, I'm freaking out on many different levels. Hard to believe my baby is almost officially done with his first year of school. Again with the sniff, sniff. Anyway, I'm just enjoying this quiet time on Saturday before all heck breaks loose in a few days. Just chillin'. Feels good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

People make the place

My hub and I are in the process of relocating to another city. As Martha would say, it's a "good thing" for our family and we are all very excited about our upcoming move. But with that change comes good-byes. Today was a day of good-byes which got me to thinking about how difficult it is going to be for me to leave my home of the past 13 years. This realization kind of took me by suprise. You see, there was a time in my life when I couldn't wait for this day to arrive. I'm a city girl at heart and there were just not enough skyscrapers or options for me in this town. As our demographics changed, as we became parents, as I began the transition from career woman to at-home mom I began to settle into this place. You know what I mean-I became friends with the shoe cobbler, I am on a first name basis with the grocery store cashier, I know all of the shortcuts around town, the best place to go for sushi, etc, etc. You get the picture. And in the process, I made the most amazing friends. Somehow, over time, this place became my home. So now, just one week from the day that movers will come and start packing my life into boxes, I'm waxing a little poetic. Sure, I'll find a new favorite shoe cobbler. I'll learn to navigate my way around our new city. And it might only take me a couple of weeks before I memorize the name of the grocery store cashier at my new Publix (yeah, I'm a Publix girl, no Winn-Dixie for me). But what's hanging heavy on my heart tonight is the separation from my friends. Sure, I'll make new friends. I know that. But you know what? There's nothing like an old friend. Old friends that know all your history. And you know theirs. Old friends that keep your secrets. Old friends that know all of the bad stuff about, say, your husband, and can still be nice to him. Old friends that are always on your side. Old friends that you can call at any time to talk you down from the ledge. I had to say good-bye to two of my closest friends today (sniff, sniff). But, hey...three hours is not too far to drive. And these girls WILL travel. Some of these girls will be over to see me before we can actually, really start missing one another. But's not the same as being right there. And I'm just used to all of us just being right HERE. For a quick run to Starbucks, for a last minute lunch at Hopkins, for a "please come over and help me with this project I'm working on", for a "can I come over and see your new outfit?". So, while I'm very optimistic and excited about the novelty and discovery surrounding this move I'm feeling the first bit of blue about leaving the people of this place. My peeps. You know, "my girls". After all, skyscrapers are nice to look at and it's going to be so much fun to have lots and lots of dining, shopping and entertainment options but it's the people in a place that really count. It's the relationships that you have that help to give your life substance. It's the friendships that you make that help to make "a place" your home. So, tonight, I'm feeling a little homesick. You know...feeling a little blue. Really, truly going to miss the people of this place. This place I call home.