Saturday, February 27, 2010

cheeseburger in paradise

My latest venture down to Key West was incredible (as always). The last time I spent a few days in the land of laid back was for my wedding (way too long ago), and Jonas was just starting to walk.

This time, not only were Tim and I traveling with both children (our first official family vacation), but we also were heading down to visit my sister (whose husband happens to be stationed there for the navy....lucky) and spend some time with my nieces (both adorable and the same ages as the boys).

As we were driving down Tim and I had a few laughs about the other times we had been in the keys during a whole different time in our lives. A time when we were getting completely obliterated and even crashing a scooter here and there. But alas, those days are far behind us, and now we party hardy with diapers and crayons.

There are although, some things that will never change...and those things are the attributes of the keys that bring us back time and time again. From the insane crazies roaming the streets, to the vintage homes and kitschy sights...we love it all.

To shed some light on the subject, I am going to break down a few of the things that make the keys so wonderful (I know, I know....not ANOTHER list!).

The Old and Colorful Houses

The Amazing Sunsets

The Beautiful and Hilarious Drag Queens

The Fun Places to Eat

The Cool Places to Stop on the Drive Down

The Crazy People Performing in Mallory Square

The Eclectic Colors

The Cheesy Tourist Attractions

And....a little cuteness to round it all out

Thursday, February 25, 2010

coffee mug inspiration

Today I had the pleasure of spending my lunch hour with my hubby. Our little rendezvous occur a little too rarely (especially since we work a measly 10 minutes from each other). During these lunches we really try to take some time for ourselves, since having a leisurely meal in a restaurant has become completely impossible with a 2 year old.

We decided that we were desperate for some sushi (at a restaurant we had a coupon for, of course), and settled on a little restaurant tucked away in a strip mall on the fancier side of town.

I ordered us a couple killer rolls to scarf down and some piping hot green tea to sip on (we have a tendency to eat like animals and drink like proper englishmen). As the waitress placed the tea kettle and cups on the table, something caught my attention.

Typically when you order green tea at a sushi joint you get a tiny tea cup to carefully nurse your tea with...not at this place. Instead, the waitress set down a full-size handleless coffee mug in front of us (which I was all about so I didn't have to worry of taking one sip before having to refill my cup).

On top of the "tea cup" being gargantuan, it held another attribute that caught my eye. On the side of the cup was a list that outlined "Ten Ways to Good Heath". As I read through them I couldn't help but smile to myself.

One by one, each of the ten steps sited logical, simple and honest tips to lead a healthy life. I was suddenly hit with inspiration! This little "big" cup truly made me stop to think of easy ways I am going to make myself healthier (it is about time I get off my ass and get rid of the remaining baby bulge that has had me hiding my body under layers of black is slimming, right?).

So I leave you with an image of my inspiration that i snapped quickly with my phone (it really took every inch of my being not to shove it in my purse before we left). If anything, maybe it will put a smile on your face.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Right now I am on my official first family vacation with Tim and the boys. Tim is my own personal Clark Griswold; he stops at nothing for us to have the perfect family trip (there will be more of that to come once I return to the land of mouse).

For now, I leave you with a few of our recent family trips that were held locally (the state fair and disney):

Sadly, I am Disney obsessed. No matter how many times we are here I always have to take a castle picture:

It was Dylan's first time on Pirates (my favorite part is the guy hanging his hairy leg off the bridge):

Tim found his way into this one:

I get just as excited to see the characters as my 2 year old does:

There is something I just LOVE about the fair, the smells (deep friers in every direction, animal poop and hay from the makeshift barns), the people (carnies, rednecks, farmers and families), and most of all the terrifying, rickety, insane rides:

Nothing beats a classic carousel:

Jonas loved the animals (the farm folk did scare me a bit):

These "super heros" hanging outside the comic tent were amazing (I think Super Man really believed he was Clark Kent)...we had to get a picture with them:

I forced Tim to take me on the ferris wheel (I had never been on one where you are sitting in one of those teetering seats facing forward...and it was SCARY!):

It was cloudy, but beautiful out:

An old fashioned ice cream maker:

Fair food:

Now back to forcing my children to take pictures at cheesy tourist attractions!

Monday, February 15, 2010

valentine wrap up

This Valentine's Day played out like a strip from the Sunday comics. One thing after another tested my endurance as I tried to be a "super mom." First, I severely disappointed Betty Crocker, then I moved on to lose my child's valentines, all while attempting the diaper-free potty training method (very messy and entirely unpractical when trying to save yourself from laundry duty).

Lets start from the beginning. Each holiday I try to be the coolest mom from Jonas' daycare. I muster up some kind of sweet concoction to win over the kiddies and get me one step closer to achieving the mom of the year award.

This Valentine's Day I decided to bake strawberry cupcakes with a little fudgey surprise in the middle. My intentions started well meaning as I mixed the batter and allowed Jonas to place the cupcake wrappers in the pan, but that didn't last long.

Now, being that I started making these little desserts at almost 8pm, I was already on the brink of falling asleep standing (bed time comes early these days). So, of course I was cheating and using boxed cupcake mix and store bought frosting to speed the process along.

I cheerfully placed a bit of batter in the bottom of each cup, scooped a dollop of fudge when about halfway full, then filled them the rest of the way with the remaining batter. These were going to be awesome!

The cupcakes looked perfectly fine as I pulled them out of the oven, but not until I had finished 3 rounds of baking did I even think to cut the cupcakes in half to see how they looked. FAILURE! All of the fudge had sunk to the bottom of each cup leaving a moist mushy muddy brown indent underneath each pink cupcake.

It was far too late to fix this mess, so I covered up by frosting them neatly and throwing some conversation hearts on top (voila!). Good enough! Next I was onto helping Jonas with his valentines. Before I could get very far I noticed my little guy suspiciously hanging out in the pantry.

"Jonas, what are you doing buddy?"
"I have to do something Mommy."
"What do you have to do?"
"I have to do something Mommy! Leave me alone!"

I knew something was up. I went over to check him and sure enough his pants were soaked from tummy to toes. I cleaned him up and went on the hunt for his valentines. I had bought the suckers a few weeks back and knew I had placed them somewhere funky. I searched high and low, in cabinet and corners, and even in the garage. Nothing. (What kind of mother am I!?)

All I could picture was every other kid at daycare bringing their cool little valentines for everyone and poor Jonas being the only kid without them. I literally searched for about an hour before giving up the pursuit. (damn it!....I was not happy with myself...he did have super cool pencils to give out with each one after all!)

The next day at work I forced my mangled cupcakes on my coworkers and plowed away at my daily tasks. One by one almost every girl in the office got surprised by their loved ones with delivered goodies. From flowers, to teddy bears, to potted fruit, I saw it all. I have to say that I am typically not the flowery gushy girl who cares about showing my goodies off at the office, but I would be lying if I didn't tell you that each time a delivery person came in I perked up like a little dog excited to see its master in hopes for a treat (no such luck).

On Saturday Tim had to work most of the day, so Jonas and I made valentines for him while Dylan babbled adorably (as he does best) from his quilt on the floor.

Jonas and I making heart valentines for daddy:

Dylan being super cute on the floor:

Tim did end up surprising me by having his dad come from Tampa to watch the kids so we can get a night out on the town (night starting at 4:30 in the afternoon). I was super excited! (I thought we were calling Valentine's Day off).

Of course he picked a day to tell me only an hour in advance when I had not even washed my hair or shaved my legs in the shower that morning, but I made it work (a curling iron and enough hairspray can work wonders).

That night we met some really cool out-of-towners ( a stamp collector from Germany was my favorite) and we just enjoyed each other's company. We had the best time eating amazing food and restaurant bar hopping until we admitted to being out way past our bed time (9:30 pm).

Tim and I at a cigar bar:

Sunday was spent recovering ALL DAY (having a couple drinks isn't as easy as it used to be), and hanging out in bed with the kids most of the day (they are super snuggly).

All in all it ended up to be a pretty great weekend with a few minor disasters, a ton of laughs, a jonas who got to have way too much sugar, and an exhausted mommy who, again, is up way past her bed time.

Jonas with his sugar:

P.S. I ended up finding Jonas' valentines as we were heading out the door to daycare!