Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chef Meya

My niece, Miss E is turning 5 in November. She sent me an invitation to her birthday party next week.
It's the cutest darn invitation for a chef's party - all the guests are "making" their own pizzas and decorating their own cupcakes. Miss E loves to bake so this is the perfect way for her to celebrate with her friends.

It's only polite to RSVP in a timely manner, so I sent in my RSVP to her last week.  Here's what it looked like.

A pink envelope . . .

 with a pink pen . . .

and a pink word search!

Miss E got it!

The puzzle says:

Meya is flying to Phoenix for
Ellie's fifth birthday party!

I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

O' Sandy!

Well, Sandy called last week, told us she was coming so we prepared the house, bought extra food and some games to play at night while she has here and this morning she left quietly without waking us. She was a nicer guest than we had expected. We were prepared for the worst and really she just left us all wind-blown and wet.

Lancaster seemed to be spared from the worst of Sandy. Husband is still off work and the rain is still coming down but we never lost power or had any water damage. Just a town North of us though 80 homes were evacuated for mass flooding and there are many trees down in the surrounding area so we really are just very lucky.

Today we have to finish the 500 piece puzzle that Husband now thinks is the greatest buy of the Hurricane. I'm not gloating about that at all. Nope. Not one bit. We might even catch a movie this afternoon if the weather is calm enough to allow us to drive.

Goodbye Sandy. You sure did take a long time coming but we're glad you left quietly without staying too long!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy is coming

We woke up this morning to find out Sandy is passing up her trip through New York City and is heading straight to Philadelphia without passing Go! She's going to miss some great shopping in NYC but I'm sure she'll grab a Philly Steak on her ride!

Seriously though, Husband and I are one hour from Philadelphia so we're a bit concerned. We live in a brick home with a basement that we are told is "flood proof". I guess we'll verify that today. Husband received a phone call last night that his office is closed so we'll just hunker down here and wait it out together.

The skies are ominous and it's eerily quiet in Lancaster.  It's a strange morning.

We spent the weekend buying gallons of water, a kerosene lamp, and dry food. We decided we needed one bag of Doritos in case life gets unbearable. I also bought a 500 piece puzzle that Husband rolled his eyes at. The funny thing though was I couldn't get him to go to bed last night as he was searching for a piece of that puzzle to finish his little corner. I have a feeling that may be our life saving activity today.

We're off to shower as we may not see water coming out of those faucets for quite some time.

Say a little prayer for for everyone over here who may not have a warm house to hunker down. It's  going to be one heck of a day for all of us but for those people it will be just pure awful.

Hurricane Sandy off the US Shore (via

Friday, October 26, 2012

Storm Central

Apparently Hurricane Sandy and another weather front are supposed to collide right over Pennsylvania next week around Halloween. They are calling it "Frankenstorm" Phrases like, "epic proportions" and "unlike anything we've seen" and "huge wind forces" are being thrown around willy-nilly on the news.   I've never had to prepare for a giant storm before. I guess our quiet weekend of reading and movie-watching and cooking may now turn into Storm Preperation 2012 (you have to say that in your best news caster voice - it's cool that way).

Now, Janice on the news clip below will scare the Bageebers out of you. "Extensive and Catastrophic" are her favorite words - geesh!! She reminds me of a Catholic School principal. Scary but I will listen to her and do everything she says.

Off to buy some bottled water  . . . !!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Awesome Animal Art

all images via

I love having something furry on four legs in my house.  In fact, if I had my way I'd probably have more than one. But if you're not into having something furry in your house to clean up after, you may like these photographs in your house just to look at.

Sharon Montrose is a photographer who captures both the sweet and the beautiful side of animals. She photographs many different species of all ages and really brings their faces and features to life against a stark white background.

Check out all of her prints on her website, The Animal Printshop and you can read all about her and her many accolades here.

I have to show you some of her work in homes.  How cute are these? You can see more on her site here.

I think this little guy is my favorite! I wonder where he's going with his tail all curled up and fancy?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I heart Skype

Since Husband and I have moved to PA, we've gotten into Skyping with friends and family. It's such a fun way to chat and act like you're all sitting in one person's living room. With our friends J&H, we always drink wine when we Skype so we call it Wyping. It's like a virtual Happy Hour!

Last night my cousin, J was trying on wedding dresses. She knows I would have loved to be there with her so instead of flying 2000 miles to look at chiffon and tulle and taffeta, she invited me to Skype with her. It was perfect. She would try one on, I would make her twirl and show me the train and the back and ask her how it felt and then send in my vote. Her girlfriends were all in her living room drinking champagne and voting on their favorites and I was sitting upstairs in my office, sipping a bourbon and wearing my slippers. They each came up to the screen and said "hello" and we sat around, chatted and had a great time. And then, when it was time for bed, I just walked downstairs. It might be my new favorite way to join a party! Thanks for including me J!

Have you ever watched this funny Skype video?  Try not to laugh. I dare you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Members Only

Husband and I joined a club. It's the first club we've been members of as a couple. It's a wine club.

The cool thing about a wine club is there are no meetings, no secret handshakes or passwords, just a dues to pay and a box of wine show up on your front porch every couple of months. BEST CLUB EVER!

We were at a friend's wedding in St. Helena, California two weekends ago and Husband and some good college friends and I went on a little wine tour. It had been recommended that we try Elyse winery by some friends here in PA. They said it was small, family owned and had delicious wines. They were right. We loved the wine so much we tried to convince our pregnant friend, KJ* to name her baby "Elyse" in memory of our delicious experience! Guess we'll find out in December whether we convinced her or not!

*KJ: Thanks for driving us all through Napa as we sipped our wine! We owe you one post December.

College friends : Elyse Winery : Napa
photo courtesy of SAR

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dog Lover(s)

My parents were in Pennsylvania visiting Husband and me all last week. We had such fun showing them around Lancaster. We stopped at all our favorite shops and bars. We made homemade dinners, drank wine and sat by the fireplace and played Rumikub. It was a delightful week and so good to see them. We had to say good bye to them yesterday and we miss them already.

We weren't the only ones excited to see my parents. Penny, our dog, loves my folks! My parents were with us when we got her at 6 weeks and she just adores them. They too love Penny - in slightly different ways. Dad is a true dog lover (since birth) and Mom is a reformed dog lover (since about 1997). This week, Penny was so excited that they came to visit that every night she went up to their bedroom and SHE SLEPT IN THEIR BED! Penny slept in my parent's bed. She slept there. All night!!

I yell this because if you know my mother, in fact, even if you have just met my mother once, you would know that this is not something she would be in favor of. She likes clean. She likes order. She likes kids with combed hair and dogs that are outside. For years she has watched my dad and me stop in the middle of a meal and pet a neighbor's dog and then go right back to eating and the poor woman just cringes in filthy agony. I'm not sure what's happened since I moved to Pennsylvania. Maybe the Arizona heat has gotten to her. Or maybe Bill Cosby* is right . . .

image via

*Mom - you are not old. This is just a funny quote and it worked in this post perfectly! I love you very much.

Come back soon Mom and Dad. We ALL miss you!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


So last week on my way to a wedding in Napa, I flew home to Phoenix and surprised my family for a 21 hour layover.  SO MUCH FUN!

Brother had planned an evening out with some of our mutual friends to see Gaelic Storm. These guys are a great Irish band that we used to watch at a little pub in Santa Monica when we were in college. Once we even took my folks and the amount of Guinness consumed that night was remarkable, but I am digressing. The fact that my layover last week just so happened to coincide with their concert in Phoenix was pure luck (of the Irish)! It was a super fabulous evening with great friends, delicious beer and lively music. I couldn't have planned anything better.

Wanna hear them?

I have to say, one of the the best parts of the weekend was surprising Miss E & Mister P (niece and nephew).  Mister P's greeting to me was by far the best I've received in a long time. When my good friend, H drove me over to their house, Mister P just so happened to be standing at the door in his fire engine underwear (as you do). He saw me and ran across the yard in his underwear and yelled, "Meeeeee-yaaaaaaa!"


Now Miss E wasn't so sure what was happening and why her brother was running across the yard in his underwear (understandably) but once she figured it out, she ran up to me, grabbed my neck and would not let go of me. I hugged her tighter than I ever have.


I surprised my parents and my brother too but none of them ran out in their underwear screaming my name. That's probably a good thing though, right?

Ah, it was so fun to see them.

The next day, Brother let the kids play hokey from school. So Mom and I went over in the morning to pick them all up for a coffee date. Miss E decided that she should dress just like me. Here's how that looked.

Meya & Miss E : Matching!

How darn cute is that?

We had fun all morning coloring and playing tic-tac-toe and making noodles out of play-dough and just being Auntie and Niece and Nephew.

Surprises rock! I wish they could happen more often. Thanks to all my "friend"ly co-horts who were in on this with me and made it possible. You guys are the best!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Having Fun!

I have some seriously great stuff to chat about with you all but my parents are in town right now and I'm super busy drinking beers at 2pm with my dad and stopping in EVERY store with my mom.  I'll be back soon though and I've got fun stuff.  Hold tight!

To tie you over, one of my posts will be about this awesome little rubber dude!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Good Day

Yesterday was one of "those" days. Not for any big, terrible reason. Just some little stuff.

It happens.
It's life.

But, today will not be one of those days. I know it and I'm excited!

image via pinterest

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Today is my grandmother's 94th birthday!

I was lucky enough to be able to stop and see her on my trip across country this summer. She's in a care facility and she doesn't remember me anymore. We didn't catch up on old times. I didn't get to tell her all about my life now : Husband, my wedding and my move across country.

That's ok though because I knew how to touch her heart . . . I introduced her to my dog, Penny!

She and Penny hit it off. Gram liked to rub Penny's head and Penny liked to be rubbed on the head.  They were fast friends. It was like the grandmother I knew growing up was there with me, even just for a minute.

I rubbed her back a little and mentioned the words "ice cream" once or twice just to watch her eyes light up. Sure, I wish we could have chatted and caught up on life and gone out for a hot fudge sundae, but an hour with her just petting my dog was what I got. And that was just perfect.

Happy 94th Birthday, Gram!  I hope you get a double scoop of ice cream today!! I love you.

Knock Knock

I'm not one of those people who has a joke ready to go in her back pocket. Husband on the other hand carries a handkerchief, a comb, a swiss army knife and a joke in his back pocket. He's a real Boy Scout. I didn't make it past Brownies once I found out camping was involved.

Last night we FaceTimed with our niece, Miss E. (almost 5) and nephew, Mr. P. (very 3).  They are on a Knock Knock joke kick right now. From our conversation last night, I believe this one is their current favorite:

Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Interrupting Cow.
Interrupt . . .

(insert hilarious laughter here!)

What I was most impressed with last night was when Miss E. and Mr. P. came up with their own jokes.

Miss E's Knock Knock Joke
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Sunglasses who?
Move over, I've tooken your seat!

Now, if you think long and hard about this one - she's on the right track. At some point in her almost 5 years, she saw a grown up leave their sunglasses on a chair and then go to sit down. Startling themselves as they were approaching the seated position, the grown up removed the sunglasses from their chair and then made some huge sigh of relief probably involving an eye roll of some sort. If I was 5 and I saw that, I'd laugh too. Silly grown ups!

Mr. P's Knock Knock Joke
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Pancake who?
Pancake head!

Now, if you think long and hard about this one - you just have to laugh! He's 3. Everything is funny especially when it involves a head and a pancake. Or, maybe Mr. P. saw The Holiday when Jude Law plays Napkin Head. So stinkin' funny!

Did you know there are whole sites dedicated to Knock knock jokes? Just click here and here and here to see a few.  Maybe one of these will become your back pocket Knock Knock joke.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New York City Recap

Husband took me to New York City to celebrate my 34th anniversary on this earth. We had never been there together and had both had such different experiences when we were there separately. It was fun to enjoy a whole new New York with him. I will say though, I am not sure how the man got around that city on his own. He never had any idea where we were. Good thing my mother's honing pigeon directional skills came down my line or we would have been lost all weekend!

Here is a short pictorial recap of our weekend.

 Le Parker Meridian : view from the 32nd floor

Friday : perfect day to walk through Central Park

Saturday : 1st stop on my birthday

ABC Carpet & Home : I need this bowl in my house

 ABC Carpet & Home : these made me smile

ABC Kitchen : birthday lunch spot

Eatily : birthday wine & cheese snack

Birthday Gift from Husband : young local NYC jeweler

Birthday Gift to Husband : he needed this

Birthday Funnies 

That was the condensed version of the weekend. We did a lot more eating and shopping and laughing through the streets of NYC!  We even had "one of those" NYC cab rides you'll never forget! Such fun! 

Thanks for the great weekend, Husband. I'll never forget it. XOXO.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Celebrating Life

Three years ago, my birthday changed forever. One of my favorite people packed her bags and moved to Heaven. She didn't ask me if I minded if she got up and left on my birthday - she just did. At first, I thought, how rude! Today is my day. After many days of tears and a head swirling with memories of a good friend, I determined that I was the one being rude. If anyone on this earth wanted to share this day with me, I would be more than honored that that person be Sr. Peg.

Sr. Peg Dolan had a heart so big you could just crawl in and sit inside. We all did. She would welcome us to. She would laugh with us, cry with us, talk with us, and just be with us. She would even make us coffee cake while we sat in there with her. Her heart was one of my favorite places. It still is.

Sr. Peg and I met when I was in college at Loyola Marymount University. She was the Alumni Chaplin. You'd never know that she worked in the alumni office though, because the woman was everywhere! She was on the patio at lunchtime, she was walking the halls of the dorms, she was at 8:00pm Mass, she was on your retreat, she was at parent's weekend, she was in your classroom giving talks . . . she never stopped. Besides being everywhere, Sr. Peg knew everyone. She knew their name, where they were from, their parent's names, what year they had graduated, who they had married, all their children's names and quite possibly what they were doing at that very second. And everyone knew Sr. Peg.

I have never met someone who brought so much light and life to this world as Sr. Peg. You saw her and you smiled. Her presence brought joy to every individual in the room. I could go on for pages about Sr. Peg, but Fr. Lawton said it best at her funeral mass, "In Peg’s face we saw more than Peg. We saw God."   

So tomorrow, as I celebrate my life on my birthday, I also celebrate Sr. Peg's life; a life full of heart. 

Sr. Peg, 
          Thanks for opening that heart of yours so big that we all could fit in. 

My favorite photo
Sr. Peg, my niece, Ellie & me
LMU Alumni BBQ : 2008

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The First Debate

When I started this blog, I said I would never talk about politics. I will keep that promise but I want to talk about the debates last night without talking about politics.

I usually don't like debates. They make me nervous. I always feel like someone's feelings are going to be hurt or one of them is going to forget their point and feel dumb in front of millions of people. Nothing productive seems to come from them either. It's just two people shouting at each other from behind podiums. Debates make my teeth itch.

Last night was different.

What an impressive show. Two bright, educated, charismatic men debating the issues. That's all we asked for. We wanted to hear both sides discussed in a smart and respectable way so we can make an informed and educated decision on November 6. Last night that happened. Finally.

Thank you President Obama.
Thank you Governor Romney.

Another important note: The Tie Debate.

Obama wins on knot style. Romney wins on color.

image via:


I realized that never once have I written a post about Penny.  Shocking as she is one of the most important pieces in our lives.

Penny is our almost 3 year old black and white shih-tzu. She was my Christmas gift 3 years ago. Husband had never had a dog but you'd never know that today if you saw the two together. He adores her. Sometimes he brings treats home for her and I will admit, I get jealous. I know they are just chicken livers, but I still get jealous!

Just the other night, Husband and I were laying in bed with Penny, telling her how much we love her, scratching her belly, moving over so she could get comfortable and discussing how strange it is to us that some people would never want a dog in their bed. What's not to love? This little fur ball curls up right next to you, sometimes around your head on your pillow, sometimes under the sheets when it's cold and sometimes right on top of you when you're really lucky. How great is that? Apparently it's not for everyone. It is for us.

Penny spends the whole day with me. She wakes me up with a little wet kiss on the nose. She follows me up and down our 3 sets of stairs. She sits right next to my chair while I'm at my computer. She cries when I get out my keys or pack my bag. She sits by the door and waits for me to come home. She rolls over for belly rubs about 12 times a day. She curls up next to me on the sofa to watch The Voice and she lets me know when it's time to go to bed. She's kinda like having a furry shadow. I love it.

Husband and I are sold. We're giant suckers when it comes to our dog. We know it and we don't even care.

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of Penny. Isn't she the cutest?

Puppy Penny

Penny 6 weeks

Cute pillow! Cute dog!

Keeping my feet warm!

Scowl face!

Just enough room right here!

Penny and her Mamma!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Color of Rain Boots

It rained like crazy here yesterday. Being a native Arizonian, this was very strange to me. The whole day was just wet. As of one month ago I would have been very unprepared. Now, I am the proud owner of Hunter boots. Thank you, K for that suggestion!

Have you seen Hunter Boots? I put them on my birthday list but Husband got a pair for me early because, well I NEEDED them! Hunter is a 156 year old Scottish company that has become internationally known because of their strong tradition of marrying craftsmanship with design. They are very well made, using 28 separate pieces for one boot. They have some super fun styles (I personally like the Original Tall) and a great selection of colors. I had a very difficult time choosing the color(s) I wanted. Do I go practical or do I have some fun and wear something bright on a cloudy day? According to Hunter's website the green is most popular in the British Isles and the black is most popular in the USA.

I ended up going with these:  Love this latte color!

Original Tall : cafe latte

Here are some of my other favorites:

Original Tall Gloss : burnt orange

Original British : pewter

CeCe : black/milk chocolate

Regent Apsley : black

Oh, and you can also get these rad socks to wear with them. They keep your feet so warm and are long enough that they fold over the top of the boot and add some color or fun design to your whole rainy day outfit. My college roommate, M, gave me 2 pair as an early birthday gift. One black pair and one pair to remind me of how much she loves cats and how much I love to wear cats!

My new kitty cat socks!

Practical boot with some fun on top!

A sweater for your foot!