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100 Things to do before Christmas

4 Dec

Better start now. ūüôā




25 Days of Christmas

2 Dec

Or make it the 24 Days of Christmas, since I had another blog to publish yesterday.¬† And a flight to catch! ūüôā

Happy Saturday.  Drink hot chocolate today, as well as call an old friend.




Happy Thanksgiving!

23 Nov



Happy Thanksgiving!

Love and Blessings to you,


Eat, Drink and Be Thankful

17 Nov

We are upon my most favorite week of the year!¬† Let’s Eat, Drink and Be Thankful.

The perfect pre-meal appetizer platter!



Holiday Mule

1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
2 oz chilled ginger beer
1 rosemary sprig
orange slice, for garnish
sugared cranberries, for garnish

Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin. Pour over ice and top with ginger beer. Serve garnished with rosemary, orange wedge and sugared cranberries, if desired.

My wine of choice for Thanksgiving.

For those overachievers…of which I am not.¬† Well not in wine-pairing, anyway.



I started a Top 10 list of things that I’m thankful for…then realized, I’m going to reach out to the people today that I’m thankful for.¬† I then realized that not everything I’m thankful for, should be published.¬† In a blog.¬† A blog with closing in on 2 Million views…

My Top 10 List – the “A” list

  1. I’m thankful for my children and thankful for my family and friends.¬† That goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.¬†¬†
  2. I’m thankful for in-laws and out-laws…Of course they’re family, but I know I’ll get questioned about that.¬†¬†¬†
  3. I’m thankful for waking up every day and getting to do something I love with people I love in a home that I love (most of the time ;)).
  4. I’m also thankful for Happy Hours and brunches.¬†
  5. I’m thankful for having a son who will drive 2 hours just to meet his mom for dinner…¬†
  6. I’m thankful I get to see all the seasons.¬† While it would be nice to live on the beach, for now, I’m good with snow, Of course, we’ve yet to get any measurable snow this year, but I’m sure that will be coming.
  7. I’m thankful for my parents and the values they instilled in me, which I’ve tried to instill in my children.¬† ¬†And they’re mostly Great values! ūüėČ
  8. I’m thankful for the people who always take my calls.¬† Always.¬† Also thankful to those who did not make the pictures in the blog and who won’t hold it against me!¬†
  9. I’m thankful for my memory…It can be a blessing and a curse, but it’s mostly a blessing.¬† And those who have been there along the way!¬†¬†
  10. I’m thankful for my health and the realization that if you don’t care of your body, it can’t take care of you.¬† Of course, I should have learned this earlier, but beggars can’t be choosers.¬† ūüôā

And then I realized that there is not a Top 10 list of things that I’m thankful for…because I wake up thankful every day.¬† There are literally hundreds of things I’m thankful for.¬† Possibly thousands of things.¬† So I decided I needed a “B” list.

My Top 10 List – the “B” list

  1.  A sense of humor that has gotten me through some tough times and has made days much brighter and much funnier.  
  2. A very naughty puppy whom I cannot imagine our life without.  
  3. My love of chardonnay and dirty martinis which makes my sense of humor so much better!
  4. The Chicago Cubs winning the world series…and that’s gonna be something on my list for a very long time.¬†
  5. My dimples…as I’ve been told, numerous times that I’ve gotten pretty far in life because of them.¬† And here I thought it was because of my sense of humor.¬†¬†
  6. Shows that I binge-watch, because I can literally lose hours in my life…and I’m okay with that.
  7. My favorite tree, which has just recently lost its leaves…I get to look at this tree every day when I look out my bathroom window.¬†
  8. My ability to let things go…or not, depending on my mood and the infraction.
  9. The wisdom to know who and what is not worth my time and to gratefully move forward.
  10. The realization that it is not all about me…and that’s good by me!¬†¬†



And I’m thankful that I am basically “on vacation” for 10 days!¬† Hip, hip, hooray!

I’m thankful to have a blog that people read and that I’m getting paid for.¬† Getting paid is good.¬† ūüôā¬† While I’m officially on vacation, there will be a blog, or two, next week.



Live life in the front row!


Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

When a teenager comes to your door, please give them candy without saying, “Aren’t you too old to be doing this?” They could be out doing much worse. I would rather have them knocking on my door than have them engage in dangerous/destructive behaviors. Let them be kids as long as they can. They are already growing up too fast.
Also, please don’t refuse a child candy because they aren’t dressed up. Some children have autism or sensory issues that make dressing up highly uncomfortable, if not unbearable. And some families might not be able to afford costumes at all…
One last thing, size doesn’t always determine mental age or special needs.

Mer asked what am I going to wear while passing out candy?¬† Do I need to wear a costume?¬† Have I ever worn a costume while passing out candy?¬† Nope!¬† And that isn’t going to change this year…but I will have a very special puppy with me.¬† More at the end of the blog about Maxie’s costume.

Rules Written by a 7-Year Old

Safety Tips

It’s a Dog eat Dog Halloween…I present, Dog Costumes

BRB, running out to adopt a puppy.

1. Harry Potter


2. Where’s Waldo?


3. Woody from Toy Story


4. French Fries


5. Bumblebee

6. Ariel from The Little Mermaid


7. Spaghetti and Meatballs


8. Marilyn Monroe


9. Robin From Batman

10. Weiner Dog


11. Boiled Lobster


12. Martini Glass


13. Pumpkin Pup

14. Elephant


15. Seal


16. Squirrel


17. Beanie Baby

18. Michael Jackson and his girlfriend in “Thriller”


19. Max From How the Grinch Stole Christmas


20. Pretty Princess


21. Spooky Ghost

22. Hula Dancer


23. Olympic Gymnast


24. Little Lion


25. Ballerina

Maxine is a Beanie Baby.


Happy Halloween!





Happy 4th of July!

3 Jul

A repost from a past Fourth of July post, with some edits, some additions and some subtractions. ¬†ūüôā

4th of July Outfit Ideas

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flag board shorts


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4th of July Party Poppers



These are cupcakes, btw…with the frosting in the middle, as “condiments”.


Hot Diggity Dog Bar



S’mores Bar




Love the fruit tray, in Red, White and Blue, with the Fruit dip in White

Mini hamburgers with American flags on wooden table. 1fd828c813ae957e5e1f341c69043c35




Red, White and Blue Sweet Trable… Where are the Twizzlers?!




I’m not a Sangria gal, but this does look yummy…and festive!

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And I have those exact glasses!  I am obsessed with this dessert!

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Super easy fruit kabobs!  My specialty, btw.

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Seriously, mason jars are the new black!

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inslee 4th of july


Song of the Day: Soak Up The Sun, by Sheryl Crow.  Gearing up for Friday night with my #SoleSister #LoyalBlogFollower

I’m gonna soak up the sun
I’m gonna tell everyone
To lighten up (I’m gonna tell ’em that)
I’ve got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I’m looking up
I’m gonna soak up the sun
I’m gonna soak up the sun



Have a happy and safe 4th and God Bless America!!








Best of My Easter Posts

13 Apr

I have been blogging for seven years. ¬†Shocking, but true. ¬†I have probably posted about Easter and baskets, peeps, decor, funny peeps-related jokes for six years and probably touched upon Easter at least ten times. ¬†In researching about new Easter ideas, I don’t think I can improve upon what I’ve blogged about the last six or seven years…so I present, The Best of My Easter Blogs! Something for everyone. ¬†No worries, LAP, just skim and maybe you’ll find something you like! ¬†Food, Decor, Clothes, Jokes, Peeps! ¬†Best. Easter. Blog. Ever! ¬†IMO.


Unique Easter Basket Ideas

As a parent I often get confused about what to put in an Easter basket¬†that is fun, Eggcellent, ¬†the¬†kids will enjoy and at the same time unique, so I’m not always filling them with the same items year after year….or just Cash, as this is what¬†both Mer Mer and¬†Paddy crave, as they feel Cash is King!¬† ¬†Jelly beans, DVDs, Peeps, ¬†iTunes cards¬†and Chocolates are the usual, but there are also other ideas out there. ¬†The kids usually get some of the same, year after year.¬†¬† So, when looking for some Eggcellent new ideas, ¬†I found some of these , and thought perhaps some of You can also try the following Easter basket ideas to make this year’s baskets¬†more unique and memorable.

Unique Easter Basket Idea with Books
If your kids¬†love to read¬†or you would want them to make books their new¬†best friends, you can try a cute Easter basket idea with books. Little children will enjoy books with Easter story themes and older kids may enjoy Harry Potter or Twilight-type books. Whatever¬† their reading preferences, you can gift them Easter baskets with books and help them discover the hidden reader in them…and buy yourself a wonderful new book as well.¬† Girl with the Dragoon Tatoo is on my reading list.¬† You can start a tradition by gifting a favorite gift, each year, in the baskets.¬† Wish I had started that 19 years ago.¬† And in working with my “If you give a Mouse a Cookie” theme…may I suggest,¬† “If you give a Moose a Muffin?”

Unique Easter Basket Idea with DVD and CD
This is a great idea to be given to teens as their Easter basket gift. You can fill their basket with the latest movie DVDs or music CDs. They will enjoy their Easter basket gift and will look forward to see their favorite movie. You can make personalized CDs for the recipient, with all their favorite music!  Along with gifting your favorite books , you can gift your favorite movies and music.

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

You can get creative and make the Easter basket ideas for toddlers fun. These young minds are looking forward for fun and play and you should gift them just what they expect. You need to add some colorful Play Doh dough or fill it with toys like bath toys, sand toys or add in some character toys like Bob the Builder, Elmo, The Wiggles, etc…

Easter Basket Ideas for Kids

The Easter basket ideas for kids should include paints, colored pencils, stickers, coloring books, plants, bird feeder kits, gift certificates from the local burger or pizza parlors. You can  fill their baskets with temporary tattoos, fake fairy dust, or flower seed packets. You can even fill their baskets with food goodies like chocolate bunnies, Peeps, bunny shaped cookies, and candies of course. If your child is musically inclined, you can place a small musical instrument in the basket surrounded by plenty of candies. Girls will enjoy cute jewelry and lip balms and boys will love baseball and football cards. Stuff toys are always a hit and you can always place tickets to the theme park as a surprise.  Take it a step further and put baseball or basketball tickets in it.

Vintage Candy filled basket

Easter Basket Ideas for Teens

While many teens might declare they‚Äôre too old for Easter baskets( Easter is one of Mer Mer and Paddy’s favorite holidays!), most won‚Äôt say no to a basket full of their favorite goodies.¬†¬† These can include movies and video games, music or books.¬†Funky socks or a T-shirt may bring a smile , along with favorite treats, from candy and gum to energy drinks to anything Chocolate!

Other ideas for Easter baskets for teens include gift cards for gas, iTunes cards or shopping at a favorite store, movie tickets, and coupons for one night’s later curfew,  or skipping a least favorite chore one-time.  Patrick would enjoy not having to take out the garbage.

Easter Basket Ideas for Adults

Easter is a family celebration and not only the children, but adults too look forward for their Easter basket. Easter basket ideas for adults includes coffee packets and coffee mugs for those who cannot survive without their hot cup of¬† Joe. Or you can even try Easter basket ideas for adults, like filling the basket with cigars surrounded by other goodies. A person who loves golf can be given an Easter basket filled with golf tees, golf balls, glove¬†and a mini book. ¬†Or you can gift your “gal pal”¬†an Easter basket filled with assorted creams, lotions, bath soaps and candles, perfume, nail polish,¬† and Spa gift cards.¬† Oh, and don’t forget the “Pink Ladies from Fannie May”!¬† ¬†Couples can¬†fill each other’s baskets¬†by adding heart-shaped¬†candles, candies and perfumes and cologne. ¬†Or you can¬†show your love¬†with an Easter basket filled with the choicest wine bottles, special wine glasses, and sassy napkins.¬† That would be the world’s perfect easter basket!¬† Oh, and don’t forget the Nordstrom gift card! ūüėČ

Easter Jars

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Ghiradelli-Chocolate filled Cable Car

Jelly Bean Filled Ice Cream Cones

Double-use Easter basket ideas Рin lieu of easter baskets, fill some of these, for a fun-filled, memorable Easter treat.  Aside from the obvious, a large, Fabulous Handbag, try these:

Baseball Cap
Dump Truck
Dress-up Hat ‚Äď fireman; army; hard hat, etc.
Doll stroller
Shopping Cart
Pillow Cases
Sand Pails
Beach Bag
Sports Duffel Bag
Batters Bag
Flower Pot
Make-up Container
Decorated Paint can
Storage Containers
Back Pack
Fishing Tackle Box
Jewelry Box


Up with Peeps!!



Some people have, in my opinion, an unhealthy obsession with PeepsPeeps are marshmallow candies, sold in the United States and Canada, that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals (such as ducks). There are also different shapes used for various holidays. Peeps are used primarily to fill Easter baskets, though recent ad campaigns tout the candy as “Peeps – Always in Season”, as Peeps has since expanded to include Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. They are made from marshmallow, corn syrup, gelatin, and carnauba wax. (Wikipedia).

I have to admit, I have NEVER eaten a Peep. ¬†Never. ¬†The thought of that much sugar coming anywhere near my teeth, gives me the Heeby Jeeby’s. ¬†However, with Easter upon us…Peeps are Everywhere. ¬†And they’re not just for Easter baskets anymore. ¬†Instead of a long-winded blog, I thought I’d let a few pics tell the story. ūüôā

The Ultimate Peep Show

Exhausting…I know. ¬†They do look harmless, don’t they? And to think people ¬†spend countless hours making these…and notice how many, many of these ideas are Non-Edible. ¬†What does that tell you? ¬†Peeps…Pleasing to the eye, with their lovely yellow, blue and pink colors…but it’s Not necessarily a taste that the masses would like crossing their lips. But they sure are lovely to look at. ūüôā ¬†The Easter Bunny has provided Meredith and Patrick with Peeps every year for Easter, and I can tell you that NEVER have they been eaten.


Easter Ideas…a Pictorial, if you will. ¬†Featuring everything from basket ideas, to centerpieces, to egg decorating, to Easter frocks and bonnets and other Eggcellent things I’d love to share.

FROCKS –¬†not sure everyone still dresses in Easter dresses and suits, but, just in case…Pretty sure Mer Mer and I will dress up accordingly, though not sure about Kevin and Paddy. ¬†Men! ¬†Boys! ¬†So, here are so lovely Easter attire options:









I own this dress… love, love, love it! ¬†When it’s chilly, I pair it with a denim jacket, and usually pair it with silver chunky sandals.


Back in the day…not my day, but back in the day. ūüôā





BONNETS –¬†An Easter Bonnet represents the tail-end of a tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter, in harmony with the renewal of the year and the promise of spiritual renewal and redemption. (Wikipedia). ¬†Women, will wear a hat/bonnet at the Kentucky Derby, or a derby party, but you’ll be hard-pressed to see anyone wearing one at church this Easter. Or, I should say, you’ll have a difficult time finding an Easter bonnet. ¬†Derby hat, yes. ¬†Easter bonnet, no.



Back in the day…this is more my day. ūüôā






Fill a Mason jar with pastel-colored M&Ms, and peeps…


Fill a baggie with gold-fish (crackers not the real deal), and tie top with green ribbon.


S’Mores…with a Peep, graham cracker and mini Hershey bar


Unravel the Cinnamon Rolls, and shape into a bunny…I need to find something else other than slivered almonds for the teeth, to accommodate my boys nut allergies.


Dip a pretzel rod in melted white chocolate, and add pastel-colored sprinkles


Dip marshmallows in melted chocolate, and add sprinkles


Easter Egg Dyeing Guide



Glittered Eggs.  So pretty.


Glue on colored confetti. ¬†I believe this would take lots of patience…at least for me. ¬†I have not been blessed with the gift of patience.


And throw a little vodka in there and you have Jello Shots for Easter brunch! ¬†Lora…read up!


Egg Cake Pops!


A fun way to frost a cake… makes my teeth hurt to think about eating it…but looking at it, is all I need, quite frankly. ūüėČ


Fruit Tart, topped with Fresh Fruit…you can fill with pudding or custard.


Arrange cupcakes in the shape of a bunny!  Love this, and will do this myself.


Just another cute idea on how to decorate your cake for Easter…Of course, this would be a total Grand slam, if they used Coconut, and not the white sprinkles…but the white sprinkles would still rock.


For your Vegetable tray…slice carrots, and use broccoli at the top for the stem…I’m bringing this to brunch. ¬†Best brunch guest ever.


I love this centerpiece (one above), made with decorated eggs, and flowers…I’m thinking this can be done with hollowed out eggs, and silk flowers, and you have it for many years to come.


I’m absolutely Obsessed with these “floral” decorations. ¬†They appear quite easy to do…it’s almost like I could do one myself! ¬†Almost. ūüôā


Fill the plastic Easter eggs with Privileges and coupons, instead of candy… or perhaps half with coupons the other half with candy. ūüôā

Funnies not necessarily about bunnies



Happy Easter!




PS – Speaking of Jelly Beans, my favorite, are Hands Down, Brach’s Jelly Beans…and NOT the spicy¬†kind either.¬† These are far better than Jelly Belly, Mike and Ike, or Starbursts.