Friday, September 28, 2007

spt - *fall* into autumn!

it's here!! it's finally here!! even for you *pursists* among us, the date on MY calendar shows that fall has officially begun!!

how have you welcomed fall into your home? are you a pumpkin patch family, or do you pick up your big organge gourds at the supermarket? has the weather turned cooler yet? or are you secretly still running your A/C? is their an autumn-themed festival in your town? apple picking? cider pressing? pumpkin catapults?

some of us have been busy creating a fall scene on the front porch. others are crafting pumpkins. and still others have already carved jack-o-lanterns!!

have you *fall*en into autumn yet? take a deep breath, jump into a pile of leaves and enjoy the season!

disclaimer: i am not suggesting that you literally "jump into a pile of leaves" if you are currently pregnant, over the age of 37 or suffer from chronic or even semi-chronic back, neck, shoulder, knee or "self-esteem" pain. i also am not suggesting that you "jump into a pile of leaves" if that would involve trespassing into someone else's yard under the cover of darkness. or even the cover of noon when they might be at work. ALSO, it might not be a good idea to "jump into a pile of leaves" for about 26 other reasons too numerous to list. but, hey, if you wanna...

is it "officially" fall at your house yet?

(no, i did not get a new camera. photo courtesy of better homes & gardens!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


one of the things that blogging has given me is a way to enhance my love of journaling with photos and snapshots. in fact, i am more often drawn to blogs that feature pictures of accomplished craft projects, successful recipes, babies toes, and, of course, self-portraits.

my current frustration is born of the fact that i can create beautiful photographs... in my minds eye!! unfortunately, they very rarely look *on paper* the way i wish they would. this is due to the fact that during an intrepid search for the perfect spt post last spring (lights, camera, action!), my trusty point and shoot digital Nikon Coolpix hit the dirt, er, sand. since then, i've been *making do* with a dime store variety giveaway camera and the 6 year old digital camera we keep on property at the hotel.

they. are. awful.
my beautiful images turn out fuzzy, slightly green, hazy, you name it. i have a fear that when i look back on this year, it will look like we lived the entire year in grungy aquarium!!

case in point - last night, i came out from my bedroom to this fantastic sight:

i purposefully posted the image smaller so that you will focus on the subjects, and not the blurriness. rrrggghhh!! i'm almost ready to go back to my Nikon SLR (you know, the one that uses *film*...)

of course, the camera i would love to get is out of my budget by, let's say, oh... $700.00. actually, my current budget doesn't really allow for a new camera at all right now. so please, please, for the love of blogging, keep posting those crafts and recipes and babies toes!! a girl's got to get her fix somewhere!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


when i first dreamt up this spt challenge, i honestly thought i would get a lot more accomplished. goodness knows, i have about 14 different things to *do* that i just can't seem to get around to *doing*...

and? when it all came down to it, at 11:00 last night, i hadn't *done* any one of them!! what i accomplished, at 11:03 last night, was to organize my mail supplies. we had gotten a wonderful, beautiful stationary box as a wedding gift. only, the stationary wasn't, exactly, me. so, after i cleaned up 7 years worth of dust, i emptied out the stationary (packaged it up to use for business correspondence), and filled it up with good mail supplies!!

i've been meaning to do this for a long time. i'm so glad i finally got around to it!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

my sisters will appreciate this

You Belong in the Upper West Side

You have what it takes to be successful, but not snooty.

That's why you belong in the New York of Sex and the City and Seinfeld!

thanks, sandi

Friday, September 21, 2007

spt - insert photo [here]

so this week, i am going to give you the caption of your spt. all you have to do is go out and take the picture! easy enough, right?

the caption is

i've been meaning to do this for a long time. i'm so glad i finally got around to it!

have fun!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

holidays 101

are you hopelessly drawn to holiday images, websites, magazines?!? do you flip with the possibilities of decorating every nook and cranny of your house? does this image give you a warm, fuzzy feeling??

i am guilty of all of the above. and yet, i know that i will never *get around* to half of the projects or recipes that catch my eye this time of year.

but that doesn't stop me from looking!! every year i enjoy *100 days of Holidays* from Better Homes and Gardens. you can sign up for a daily email here. the countdown starts on monday the 24th (next monday). if you're not into the daily emails, you can always check out the daily inspriation through their website.

warning! TONS of cute info to take you through fall and Christmas. i am not responsible if your brain explodes from the cuteness potential!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


i wash my hands a lot, and encourage my family to do the same. maybe i am ultra sensitive after so many years of working in the food service industry. i know that it is especially important this time of year, as the kids go back to school and enter the germ-sharing population again.

jack is somewhat of a handwashing master. his Montessori school has done a fantastic job of teaching not only the benefits of handwashing, but also the various steps of handwashing. i thought i would snap a quick spt with him. it turned out to be a valuable lesson (for ME) on each of the proper steps. (he was insistent that i include a photo of each of the steps in this post!) he has not missed any school, due to illnes, in over 2 years. he could be a poster child for the benefits of keeping your hands clean!

if only we could have this much fun teaching all of life's important lessons...

do you wash your hands as much as jack does?

Monday, September 17, 2007

friday night lights

photo courtesy The San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association (i WISH i could take pictures like this!)

on friday nights, we head over to the local high school for football! matty, jack & i started going to games last year. now that we have a JV cheerleader in our family, attendance at the games has been pushed up the priority ladder!

i have always loved going to high school games. growing up on Long Island, we had Saturday afternoon games. everybody was there! it was coooold, too. they sold baked potatoes wrapped in foil at the concession stand. they warmed your hands while you were eating them - a great use of the *hot potato*!

in high school, of course, i was in the marching band. when you are in band, you get a very unique perspective of the game. i always felt very cool (a cool marching band geek?!?) marching into the stadium. touchdowns were important still, but not so much because of the score, but because it meant playing the fight song again!

our high school team is 3 & 0 so far this year, which means that friday night games are already humming with excitement when we get there. (two weeks ago, they beat their arch-rival, in a contest they have lost every year for the past 18 years!!)

jack has taken up with a group of young boys who run around on the far side of the bleachers, throwing around a football and looking up to the *big* players.

taylor sits with her squad and give us the mandatory wave, but then spends the rest of the game pretending we are not there (geesh, 16 year-old-girls... what? does she think we might embarrass her?!?)

matty and i stand near the fence. it's a great position from which to watch the game, toss a football with jack, and embarrass taylor from time to time. we can socialize with just about everyone from our community. and, of course, i do my fair share of cheering on the band. all of this for $10!! that's what i call a great family night out!

this week is homecoming. taylor went off to school in her PJs for pajama day. do you remember spirit week? she's also thrown her hat in the ring for junior homecoming attendant. not too shabby for a girl who is brand new to the school!

from now until november, you know where to find me on friday nights! do you go to your local games?

Friday, September 14, 2007

spt - national clean hands week

edited to add (for all you *rule breakers*): my original intent was to post an spt featuring you extolling the virtues of keeping hands clean. so that might be an spt of you, of you and your littles, of you showcasing a place where it might be important to wash your hands, etc., etc. have fun!! (and, as always, your personal spin on the topic is always welcomed!)

i come from a family of public health promoters. so i couldn't pass up the opportunity for an "spt public service announcement."

september 16 - 22 is national clean hands week!! according to the CDC,

"Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It is best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds. However, if soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.

When washing hands with soap and water:
Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend!
Rinse hands well under running water
Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet

Remember: If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based gel to clean hands.

When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
Apply product to the palm of one hand
Rub hands together
Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.

When should you wash your hands?
Before preparing or eating food
After going to the bathroom
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom
Before and after tending to someone who is sick
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After handling an animal or animal waste
After handling garbage
Before and after treating a cut or wound"

go here to learn some fun ways to get everyone around you to wash their hands!

do your family a public service, and spend some time promoting clean hands this week!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

dress up

i'm really thrilled that kristi opened up the halloween costume discussion now, because this topic came up in my house earlier this week. (it's never too early to discuss halloween costumes, is it??)

one of my very first posts was about how much fun i have making jack's halloween costumes. we had a tradition in my house, when i was little, of making our costumes. this is a tradition i have lovingly carried on.

just the other night, jack announced that he wanted to be a storm trooper for halloween. my mind began racing immediately: which kind of storm trooper? *original* storm trooper from episodes IV, V or VI. or a *new* storm trooper from episodes I, II or III???

and the challenge of making something with a hard shell, smooth sides? i sew, for goodness sakes. but this could prove to be a great challenge.

and then? and then, he said, "and i want to buy it at the store. so that it won't be itchy."

a store-bought costume?!? it's not even in my vernacular!

i'll keep you posted.

halloween 2006

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


i will come back to this post at some point, to jot down my "back to school memories."

but, for now, i believe the photos may speak louder than any words i could string together.

i am frustrated that the scanned images will not upload, and that the photo-of-the-photo option is blurry, but i believe the essence of elementary school in the late 70s has been captured here.


as awkward as she may appear, i LOVE that little girl!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

spt - childhood memories

the next challenge is going to send you back in time. i'm giving you an extra week, and a little freedom from the "self-portrait" guidelines...

just a reminder...

for tuesday, september 11, get out those family photo albums and really take a look at your old school portraits. what is your favorite childhood memory of going back to school? were those good times, or stressful times for the younger you? were you decked out in new clothes? did your mom give your hair a trim the night before school? did they still use chalk in the classroom then? did you have to walk uphill through the snow both ways?!?

i hope you will take the time to find those old photos! call your mom and ask her to send them along to you. ask your neighbor if you can borrow their scanner. take a few moments to get back in touch with your inner child!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


here i am, labor day, 2007. the summer behind me seems like it flew by in a heartbeat. and yet, if i take the time to think through each and every week, there were so many things going on.

i love that this photo shows my disheveled hair and ruddy complexion. it can only mean one thing: i've just gotten back from my walk!! i gave in to the heat and managed to let my walking routine slip by for the entire month of august!! aside from feeling sluggish, i've also realized how much i've come to crave that *me* time. so, here i go again!

i look more relaxed in this photo than i have felt in a loooong time. i am ready for my family to settle into the school-year routine. i feel more focused and more creative this time of year. more confident, too. (i'm not sure why that is.) but i'm gonna run with it!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

pumpkin spice, everything nice

i grew up in new york, and labor day weekend was definitely *the end of summer.* school started shortly afterwards, and i remember wearing sweaters and knee socks, eating baked potatoes wrapped in foil at the saturday football games, jumping in the most color-filled piles of leaves you can imagine.

i haven't lived in new york in quite a while, and the transition into fall must be one of the things i miss the most. more often than not, here in coastal nc, we are still pushing 90 humid degrees well into october. not much foliage here to turn into lovely yellows and browns and reds (we have too many evergreens near the coast.)

over the years, i have developed my own way of welcoming *fall* back into my world. i don't wait for the autumnal equinox. no, not me. september first is the day! the day i light the pumpkin spice candle for the first time!!

slowly but surely, i will bring out my fall decor: pumpkins and pine cones will begin to replace the stars and stripes of summer. the path through fall and into the holidays is stretched out before me. it is my favorite time of year, by far.

happy pumpkin spice candle day!!