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See my new Widget???

The time has come….As most of my friends know, my family has been hit by the cancer bus. This deadly bus has picked up 4 of my family members… only one is still riding it alive. Troy Parke… he is my husbands brother. He has multiple myeloma and it is killing him. He is a husband, a daddy, a brother, a son, an uncle, a community caretaker, a get’er’done guy, a friend and an amazing mentor. Troy is a fighter and he wants to live. His chances are greater if he can have access to health that is off the charts un-afforable. I’m begging all who are listening to give anything you can.

I have a new widget! –> see it? A direct linky link to click and give. Even $20 will help a TON! Just think, if 10 people gave $20, that’s $200 towards treatment.

In the 5 years that my brother-in-law has been fighting this incurable cancer, he has NEVER asked for money nor had a fund like this set up for him. I remember there was a fundraiser for him once. That is it. Well, the time has come to help him fight!!!

He needs to walk his daughter down the aisle. She’s 13.

Please help. Please spread the word.

You can go to the above link and search for Troy Parke to learn more.


An Adventure Close to Home!

Our kids were gone for the weekend AND it just so happened to be my birthday! That was all the motivation we needed to pack a small bag and jump in the car. We convinced a couple friends to go too.

And off we went, to The Biggest Little City in the World, Reno, Nevada!

Biggest Little City

Just a short 4 hour drive from home, we pulled into the little city that never sleeps. We check into our hotel close to 11pm, and the activity buzzing around us made us feel like it more like 11 in the morning. It was a party from the second we walked in!

We stayed at The Silver Legacy.


You don’t even need to step outside…unless you dig those McDonalds Egg McMuffins, like we do, then you simply must walk across the street! Otherwise, since The Silver Legacy is connected to a few other casino/hotels, it was PERFECT. Everything we wanted was at our fingertips.

We didn’t need much. We wanted to have fun. It was my birthday for cryin out loud! Dancing, drinks, activity, food, games, prizes, live music, comedy shows, slot machines, craps, poker, spa, pool, hot tubs….it was all near us. Walking distance.

With no time to lose, we dropped our stuff in the room and headed back out into the action.



We found some band members from Three Doors Down. They ended up being SUPER nice!IMG_4468IMG_4469

These guys found a big chair.IMG_4477

Nicolle found a giant elephant.


I then had to save said elephant.IMG_4667


I found my happy place…IMG_4671


We made it until the wee hours of the morning. Then we needed a bit of sleep.

The next day was already here. I had BIG plans for the next day. Circus Circus. I am a grown up child. I would much rather play circus games than the slot machines, so that was the plan. Coffee, food and then GAMES!

One of us was WAY happier about Starbucks than the other.

Game time!






SUCCESS! Our loot!IMG_4674

YAY, MORE Friends joined us for the rest of the trip!

IMG_4677IMG_4675 IMG_4676

Have YOU ever had a BEER FLOAT? Holy MESS!IMG_4679 IMG_4680 IMG_4678

Comedy show time!IMG_4681

FINALLY, sometime around midnight…or 2am…or 4ish…I really have NO idea what time it was….I got some birthday cake! Mmmmm! IMG_4682

Annnnnddd….our trip was complete. Fun was had. Laughter was abounding.

Super SUCCESSFUL little get-a-way. We will do it again. Hopefully sooner than later.

Some of our best little get-a-ways have been the ones we hardly even planned…



Ahhhhh…..New York!

I recently visited the East Coast. It was cold. It was awesome.

Spent some time with my mom, sister, her fiancé annndddd his family. Seriously AWESOME people. No really, do you ever meet new people and think to yourself, REALLY?!?! Are these people really this amazing? Yep, really! Met some new amazing people. Glad they will soon be a part of my extended family.

They threw an INCREDIBLE engagement party for my sis and her man. See the happy couple below!



Me, my mom and my sisterMe, mom and sis


Teehee, its Aunt Linda!Aunt Linda and sister

Rob (or Robbie, the fiancé), Jaubrie (my sister) and Pam & Rob (Robbie’s parents) IMG_4090

Then….yes, then we skipped on over to the Big Apple to have a little more fun!

We pahked ahr cah in Jewsey….Jersey with NY in the background

We checked out Central ParkSis, Rob and Me

Obviously, we hit The Plaza. Had to see what sitting at the bar in the Plaza was like!
The tree at The Plaza

We found amazing NutcrackersGIANT Nutcracker

We were guest judges on The Voice….ok, maybe not exactly that…
I want YOU

We hung out with the NYPD…obviously…NYPD Yo!

Let me remind you all, NY knows how to PARTY…and in honor of our limited amount of time in The Big Apple, we kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning…yes, we were hailing a taxi at 4:30am to go back to our hotel.

Let me also tell you all, I am SOOOOO VERY THANKFUL that tattoo parlors are NOT open at 4:30am. Someone in our little party (no need to name names…MY SISTER…) was extremely insistent upon getting a tat immediately!

And although there was much, MUCH more to our trip….I don’t feel the need to bore any of you….EXCEPT….for our  visit to FAO Schwarts…

For you, MY FRIENDS….

This EXCLUSIVE video…. Only seen within my home prior to this….

Yes, I did get yelled at…and then ran away embarrassed!


No really!

I actually did!

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog lately, since I decided I was going to put some serious thought and consideration into my future. Not that you all aren’t my future….


See, contemplating….

Actually….this was the very photo I posted just after I took my California Real Estate Salesperson Exam.

Thats right people…..I’m a Real Estate Agent!


And today, yes, TODAY, I signed my contract with The Real Estate Group.


I am soooooo excited I can barely control myself…..

I do cartwheels everywhere. Oh wait…I did that before….

I still don’t know why it took me 20 something years to figure out how much I enjoy looking at other peoples houses….



Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

“IT’S DUE, my poster, it’s Dr. Seuss week, you knew”

So I draw, there’s a flaw, is that a paw or a claw?

It’s Yertle! He’s a turtle, not a girdle on a hurdle…


I wake, and I bake, and I cake,

and I decorate..

I dress, I’m a mess, no time to impress…

Its true, here’s a clue, my fingers are blue

I’m late, what’s the date, but wait, no time to exaggerate


I gotta run, gotta go, can’t miss all the fun

two places to be, but only one of me

The stuff is ready, the kid is done, his hair is blue, “KEEP THE CAKE STEADY”

Off the floor, out the door, I know I’m a bore,

It’s my last Dr. Seuss poem, I’ve got no more….





Happy Dr. Seuss Day! As my kids are getting older, I am sure this is the last time we will have a school function for me to have fun with.

Make’s me sad!

See my previous entries here:

We did it again, oh yes we did…

We Seussed up our day…did you?


Snowboarding…always an adventure!

Let's do this!

It was basically my first time. I’m a TOTAL newbie. The only other time I have ever put on a snowboard, it was SOOO long ago that I can’t remember if I even made it off the bunny hill.


I’m NOT that girl. The whiny one. The one who says “I CAN’T”.

Nope. I TRY so hard NOT to be that girl that I often FAIL to an EXTREME degree.

So, we DO this. We cruise up to the mountain to have an EPIC day of snowboarding. It’s me, my hubs, and our BFF’s Nicolle & Aaron.

We arrive at the ski park at 2pm. The ski park closed at 4pm.

The guys would have had to rent equipment and pay for lift tickets…so they opted out. This left me and Nicolle on our own.

No turning back now

There was no turning back now. First up, the bunny hill. Now, I can safely state that I ROCKED the bunny hill.


I know, I KNOW….I have ALREADY been yelled at for this picture….I promise, I didn’t have my weight on my back foot the whole time…I had basically JUST stood up for the first time here… It’s the ONLY pic of me in action!

We gave the bunny hill 2 good runs. Well…”we” is slightly inaccurate… Nicolle, who knows how to snowboard, but hasn’t been in many years, was having a bit of trouble with that testy rope tow.

Well….Go big or go home…right!?!?! Up the lift we gooooo….

The first run was a success. Minor falls. Lot’s of stops. Made it to the bottom, fairly unharmed.

AGAIN….AGAIN…. Feeling a bit proud and able to “do this”…we head up again, this time, using the lift time to take pics!

Up the lift we go!



Shortly after this pic was taken by Nicolle, I pulled out my phone….



My license was now sitting in a pile of snow directly below the ski lift. Somewhere between the top of the lift and the bottom of the lift. Somewhere….

Well…that’s inconvenient….

Let me remind you, I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SNOWBOARD, therefore, I am NOT even close to being able to NAVIGATE to a tricky location in order to locate my ID.

Well CRAP.

So, we sit at the top of the hill, trying to map out our route. We ask the 12 year old boys, who clearly have been snowboarding since birth if they are willing to go get it for me, since they watched the whole thing from the chair behind us….but they straight up told us they were trying to impress a group of girls, so they couldn’t.

So. I will spare you the long story. Although funny…here is the ending.


My snowboard ended up in a tree. Not connected to my feet. I found my ID. I had to walk halfway down the mountain. Nicolle had to climb into the tree to retrieve my board and then met me at the bottom of the hill with my board.

I can safely say, a few of “my moves” during that whole sequence of events weren’t well thought out.

But, you should also know, that wasn’t the end of our day. We went up the lift again, took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on the Freestyle run. Again, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SNOWBOARD.

BUT I HAVE VIDEO….of Nicolle! Click the link below!

Nicolle rockin the jump!

We made it down that run, again, fairly unharmed. Unless you count our stomachs hurting from SO MUCH LAUGHTER.

We got one more run in before the mountain closed. I actually had the snow patrol following me down on my last run. It was embarrassing. I even got stuck and he had to pull me up and push me until I got going again. Did I mention how embarrassing this was??

So, the day after blues….I’m sore. Everything from my neck down hurts. Especially my tailbone area (aka BUTT) and my knees. Oh, the bruises are amazing.

Oh, also, my ribs. You might wonder WHY my ribs are bruised…..


Do all ski pants go up to your ribs? Or are these just “special”? The zipper on these bad boys is at least 7 inches long. When I bend over, my ribs actually rest on top of the pants. After a few hours of this, my ribs were bruised.

I can’t wait to do it all again!




The number one goal of every parent is to keep their children safe. That involves identifying the potential threats that lie not only outside the confines of your home, but inside as well. The following tips will help make your home a safer place for your children:

Get the best safety locks to secure your home from intruder.

Install a home security system

Every home should have a home security system, particularly ones with small children. Many home security providers offer around-the-clock monitoring for a pretty decent price. Check out to see how you can take advantage of an ADT Monitored Home Security System for around $9 per week.

Keep medicines/dangerous household chemicals out of reach

More than 60,000 children visit the emergency room every year due to accidental medication poisoning. If you have young kids, you should be extra vigilant about stowing away medications and any other potentially toxic household chemicals. This includes antifreeze, paint thinner and ammonia-based cleaning products.

Instill smart safety habits

As a parent, the day will inevitably come where you won’t always be there to look over your son or daughter’s shoulder. It’s never too early to start teaching them how to recognize and respond to potentially dangerous situations. Encourage young children to always avoid talking to strangers, and set boundaries about where they can go, who they can see and what they can do. Tell them to always use the “buddy system” and to trust their instincts. These are habits that they will not only carry with them for the rest of their lives, but also pass along to their children one day.

Secure windows and blinds

Every year, approximately eight children age 5 and under die from falling out windows in the U.S., and more than 3,000 are injured, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fortunately, such accidents can easily be prevented by installing safety netting on all your windows. It’s also a good idea to purchase window blind cord wraps, which cost no more than a few bucks at your local Wal-Mart. This way, you can safety stow blind cords – a strangulation hazard – out of the reach of curious children.

Keep the kitchen safe

The kitchen can be a minefield of hazards for young children. Make sure to use a stove guard to prevent your child from suffering scalds or burns from touching a hot stovetop. Store all electronic appliances out of reach, and make sure there are no flammable objects, such as curtains, oven mitts and towels, near the stove. Finally, never leave a young child or burning stove unattended in the kitchen.

The Great Stairway Makeover of 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done a home improvement post. It’s probably because my home hasn’t really improved in a while. It’s a bit stagnant. Like the scary pool when we moved in. Stagnant. Remember what that looked like? Click here for a little reminder…..

One evening I was going through old photos. I decided it’s silly to only hang the newest, latest, greatest photos. I have some fabulous pics of the kids when they were babies and I was an actual heifer, errr….heffer… I have family photos from eons ago that belong on my walls. I also have all these walls with NOTHING on them.

Solution: Put pictures on walls.

Problem: All my old frames are from other houses with the color matching the wood in each house…oak or maple mostly.

Our current house, mostly old and moldy, doesn’t really have a “color” associated with it. I have however, painted many of the walls, mostly tan/brownish tones. Oh, and I painted the front door red. And I have painted most of the trim white.

So, in my garage, I have a plethora of paint.


I dug out all the frames, and went wild. I painted about 30 frames a variety of colors, all from the leftover wall paint.

I was so excited to have all these fun frames that now matched this house perfectly. I decided I was putting them all up in this massive collage type setting. I was torn on the location until I glanced at my UGLY barren stairway. PERFECT!!!

Then I glanced at the UGLY BARREN stairway again. EWWW.

I have avoided this area for a reason.


The walls were scraped and scuffed. The paint was old and dirty. The handrails were gross and 80′s…. UGLY.

This then naturally led to a complete stairway makeover. I had to borrow one of those fancy ladders that bend and fold and twist all about in order to accomplish this.

I also had ALWAYS wanted to write on the back wall of the stairway.

Though it is not complete, take a look at the transformation.

Old (from waaayyy back):

Dark green walls, old brown handrails











This is now such a fun central focus of the house. You can see this hallway from so many places in the house.

I love it. I can’t believe I waited so long to do it.

I am not completely done with the writing on the wall, but it’s a good start! In case you are wondering, I used chalk to lightly draw lines, then write the words. Fruit of the Spirit yo!

By the way, the red I used on the back wall is called California Cabernet. How AWESOME is that!

The Simple.

I painted my nails.

I NEVER paint my nails. My nails are like tools. I open things, I scrape things, I poke things…they are handy. Like having my own little Swiss Army Knife with me at all times.

The husband says I look more like a girl when I paint them though. I even added glitter. It’s like a party on my fingertips.

The Awesome.

Banana Cream Pie.

It is NO secret that I LOOOVVEEEE banana cream pie. So, I bought myself one.

It’s my birthday week.



No, I did not eat all that pie. Those other people in my house keep eating it.

This, IMG_1540 is my morning coffee. It’s also 11:45am. I JUST WOKE UP.

The kids went back to school today. I went back to bed.

I crawled out of bed around 6:45am to oversee the whole breakfast, lunches thing, hugged and kissed them and gently shoved them out the door in a super loving fashion to catch the bus.

I’m tired and unemployed, so I crawled back in bed around 7:15am.

Now I am drinking my coffee at noon and the kids get out of school in only 2 hours. Oops.


And….It’s my birthday week, so I really can do whatever I want. And make whatever I want for dinner.

Last night I was trying to combine 2 of my favorites to start out the week right. We only made it to the appetizers because it was BY FAR the BEST sushi I have EVER made at home.

Shrimp & Avocado Hand Rolls with Spicy Mayo


So easy!

I sliced up carrots, cucumbers, avocado. Made rice, which I can never find short grain sushi rice, so I just used a long grain and tossed it with a little rice vinegar.

Mix up the most amazing Spicy Mayo ever from my very good friend Marissa’s blog. I linked her recipe for Shrimp, Melon and Cucumber Salad with Spicy Mayo and that whole salad is divine. But, in this case, I only needed the mayo!

Lay the Nori (dried seaweed) out, place rice on first, layer other items & drizzle with spicy mayo, as seen below:

IMG_1538 - Version 2

Roll her up and you got yourself a heavenly little treat.


I couldn’t make them fast enough. The kids ate more than I did!

Tonight we get to enjoy what was supposed to be last nights main course. Teriyaki Chicken w/ Broccoli over rice. It will be delicious too.