Thursday, October 29, 2015

Looking forward to...

It's that time again, Thursday, one of my favorite days of the week.  There are two shows I look forward to every week and both are on tonight (thank goodness for reruns and on demand).  The first is Project Runway, the second is How to Get Away With Murder.  

Tonight we also clean the kitchen and the dining room and put out the trash.  Not that I'm looking forward to that... but our Annual Halloween Party is Saturday, and I AM looking forward to that.  So the rooms need to be cleaned.  Tomorrow night, we'll finish shopping for the party and decorate the dining room.  Kayla will make the treats, I'll make the chili and dogs.

Sunday, Elliot will go visit his Dad, Mom will go to Bingo, Doug will go play hockey and either Kayla will go with him or she can go with B&N, to sit, and look at magazines and drink lattes.  That's up to her, but that's what I'm looking forward to.

What about you? What are you looking forward to this weekend?

'til tomorrow,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Furniture!! (it's been at least 15 years!)

After about 15 years, I bought a new sofa and loveseat.  The color is black.  I thought I was getting brown.  But I'm okay with the black.  It's beautiful, big and comfy.  I'll just get gray or black carpet. Elliot and the girls had to try them out right away.  Kid tested, kid approved.

K also got a new bed - queen size, takes up a good portion of her room.  Less for her to get messy. Yeah, right.  Anyway, I'm so happy to have had the new sofa and loveseat delivered before our Halloween party this Saturday.  I've also made a list of what's next . . . new fridge, dining room set, bedroom set for E . . . 'cept I better make some money first.  Back to work.



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Movie Night - 10 Great Movies/Cartoons to Choose From

After the trick and treating is over, pop the corn, roast the seeds, whip up a batch of apple cider and settle the family in for a not so scary movie night.  Our top ten picks include:

1.      It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

2.      Hocus Pocus

3.      Hotel Transylvania

4.      Beetlejuice

5.      Coraline

6.      Monster House

7.      Little Monsters

8.      Toy Story of Terror

9.      The Nightmare Before Christmas

10.    Mad Monster Party – 1967 (a true classic; I can remember seeing this at the Saturday Matinee at the Regent Square theater, and I still love it!)

Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Weekend Reviewed

Zoo Boo was this weekend.  Elliot was a real treat - really, he was so much fun.  He did not, and I repeat, did not care for the Haunted House.  Nope. Not a fan at all.  BUT, the Polar Bear - a most awesome moment!  The whole weekend was pretty darn good. (Thanks, Mom!)  I had ordered a new bed for my granddaughter (its what she wants for Christmas) and while I was at it, a new sofa and love seat for the living room.  All to be delivered tomorrow - exciting!  Mom and I did a little Christmas shopping, while K and Doug were at his grandfather's birthday party and Elliot was off to a Harvest Festival with his Dad.  Sunday, was the Zoo.  Here's the photo recap:
Singing pumpkins
Sharing his candy
The Voice of Authority
A Polar Bear Hug
Watching the seals
The bear's nose is stuck in Elliot's candy carrier
While Elliot did not find this humorous, at all, we loved every moment of if!

Helping the bear get his nose out of the candy carrier
Flying high with Big Bird
Catching bubbles
After a nice breakfast at Eat-N-Park, the remainder of the day was spent readying the house for furniture delivery.

How was YOUR weekend?



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Countdown to Halloween, Week 4 - IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

This is it.  The final week of Countdown to Halloween.  By now, all of the shopping should be done, the invitations sent and the RSVP’s rolling in.  This week is basically the “finishing up” week.

Finish Up: decorating the house, making the costumes (if that applies) and putting together the treat bags.  Finish any crafts in the making.

The Housecleaning:

          This week clean the bathrooms and the kitchen.  Either the day before the party or the morning of, give all areas a once-over.

The Cooking:

          Besides the breads, cakes or dishes that you made and froze in advance, this week make the popcorn balls, candies and taffy apples.

          Start making ice.  I fill a gallon size freezer Ziploc bag and have four trays in the waiting.

The Night Before:

          Set the table with all the pretty party stuff you purchased.  Put on the tablecloth, set with the punch bowl and cups, the napkins, the plates, forks, spoons, the candy bowl.  Don’t forget your centerpiece!  Blow up the balloons, hang the streamers, stand back and admire your hard work.  Take pictures.

          Prepare the vegetable tray. Cut and wash the veggies, arrange on platter, cover with Saran Wrap, and store in refrigerator.


          Finish preparing the food.  I’ll get up early and get the chili started in the slow cooker.  About twenty minutes before the guests arrive, I’ll start baking the pizzas and cooking the hot dogs and Kayla will make the punch.  We have a three container warming tray, so I’ll whip up three different types of dip (OH, thank you Tastefully Simple) and put out a tray of crackers.

          The last thing we’ll do is hang the donuts from the ceiling (fun game) and fill the bucket (on the front porch) with water for the bobbing for apples contest.

          Once the guests begin to arrive, join in and enjoy!!!!


Friday, October 23, 2015


Having just looked over my 2015 Goal List, I am super disappointed in the fact that I haven’t accomplished much.  So, here and now, with you as my witness, are my year end resolutions:
1. Today, I will begin my weight loss journey.  Why? For many reasons, number 1 being health, having more energy, looking better in my clothes and just the overall feeling of lightness.  Number 2 – being asked to Florida in March 2016.  I want to wear shorts and a bathing suit.  I want to look good. Starting weight is 168.

I want to look like this again >>>>>>

2. Today, I will begin to exercise by walking 1 mile every day.

3. Today, I will organize the kitchen (a place for everything and everything in its place). 

4. Today, I will work toward having no or little debt by December 31, 2015 (0 balances on utilities/credit cards/loan payments/taxes)

5. Today, I will strategize how to save money in November; I will keep a record of it, save receipts and deposit the saved money into a separate account at the end of the month.

6. Today, I will continue to learn something new every day and document it.

7. Today, I will set a schedule and follow it.

8. Today, I will make a list of each giftee and begin crafting Christmas gifts.

Checking in: October 30, 2015, we will see what a difference a week makes.

With good intentions,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Looking forward to...the Weekend and a Whole Lot More

... Zoo Boo;
Zoo Boo 2008

... Shopping for Christmas presents;

... Finishing the cleaning and rearranging of the dining room;

... Baking pumpkin bread; and

... Some creative time.

That's what's on my list for this weekend.  What's on yours?



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It’s That Time of Year – Let the Present Making Begin!!

This is the time of the year when I feel the most creative. The air is cooler and we are indoors more.  After the dinner table is cleared, the kitchen is cleaned, the baby has had his bath and is playing contently with his trains, this is when I want to sit down with a cup of tea, a Disney or child-geared movie on the tube and create.  As I never finished the snowflake garland last year (ahem), I am picking up where I left off and am determined to complete that project to hang from the mantle.  I want to get this one done quickly as there are quite a few other projects that I would like to get to before Christmas Day.  If you are new to crocheting and/or knitting (or if you are a veteran of this hobby) be sure to sign up for Red Heart’s 12 Weeks of Christmas. The projects are fabulous!! You can sign up for the 12 Weeks of Christmas here.

Other crochet projects on my too do list is a tree skirt, two scarves (as gifts); and hopefully a poncho/sweater (another gift).  Hmmmm, I guess I better get busy. 

What's on YOUR creative to do list?

Oh So Crafty,


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Favorite Book Series - When Being Entertained is Good Enough

Lucy Stone is a busy Mom, who started working out of the office nights at a mail-order company, and later graduated to reporter at the local newspaper.  Along with raising children, baking cookies, helping others and pinching pennies, Lucy also helps solve the occasional murder.

I love to read.  I love the smell of new books.  When I was a teen, I worked as a page at our local library.  Besides babysitting, that was one of my first jobs.  Lately however, I have been purchasing books on-line from B&N and downloading to my Nook (iphone).  So much more convenient when traveling by bus to and from the office and more room on my bookshelf, though you will find a pile of favorite Christmas books (I adore Christmas theme stories) and all of the Shopaholics books put out to date, on the shelves.  I also like “series” books.  One of my favorite writers is Leslie Meier and I adore her Lucy Stone Mysteries.  Light and often humorous, these little mysteries are fast reads and I always look forward to the next.  I am currently re-read, MAIL-ORDER MURDER (first published as “Mistletoe Murder”).  I first read this book years ago and it just stayed with me.  I am so much further into the series now and working my way through.
So, if you are looking for something light and enjoyable, nothing too deep or heavy, check out this delightful series.
Do you have a favorite series?

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Family Picks - 10 Most Scariest Movies

Last year I polled my family for their opinions on what are the scariest horror films.  You can see the 2014 results here.  I thought it might be fun to see if anyone changed their minds about the scariest since a few new horror movies have come out since then.  Here are the results for 2015, followed in parentheses their number 1 picks from last year: :

This year, The Conjuring came in number 1 as again, Kayla and I both chose it as the scariest for us.  Although her number 1 pick last year was The Exorcist.
This was followed by:

28 Days Later -  Joey
Cabin in the Woods – Cammi
Evil Dead -  Jade (Saw)
The Exorcist – Amanda (The Exorcist)
Halloween – Mom (the original Frankenstein)
Jeepers Creepers 2 - Jake
Orphan - Kaileen
Poltergeist - Brendan
The Shining – Tina (The Exorcist)

Amanda’s response was the funniest.  She chose The Exorcist because it was the only movie that was scary enough to make her pee her pants. 

So there you have it. 

What is the scariest movie YOU ever saw?


Sunday, October 18, 2015

a little bit of Arthur

‘Tis the night – the night
Of the grave’s delight
And the warlocks are at their play,
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they – it is they.

~ Arthur Cleveland Coxe

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Countdown to Halloween Wk 3

Okay, it’s that time again.  Time to get your planner, and review last week’s list.  (You can see Week 2 here).

By now, your calendar should be filled with fun things to do.  Especially this time of year.  In fact, you may have even done some of the activities that you booked in your planner.  So far, we have visited the pumpkin farm.  Today is the Zombie Fest and next week we will go to Zoo Boo.

Getting ready:

          1.       This is the week we mail out the invitations to our annual Halloween Party. 

Shopping and Cooking

          2.      With the menu finalized, finish shopping for your nonperishables this week.  Also, begin making and baking any food items that can be frozen ahead of time.

Think Decorations

          3.      Finish buying or making any decorations and begin adorning your home.  So far we’ve decorated mantels and side tables.  This week we will decorate the windows, and front door.

Think Costumes

          4.      Is your costume bought (or made).  To prevent last minute anxiety of what to dress up as, decide this week and buy/make your costume.  Last night we made a quick stop at the Halloween store and picked up latex (for scars), a bone (for a cavewoman’s hair, a necklace and scathe for a Michonne (The Walking Dead) costume.  Elliot is going to be a Minion, we bought his a few weeks ago. 

Think Favors

5.       Are you making or buying favors (or a little of both)?  Put together your little goodie bags and hide from the kiddies.  (But don’t forget where you’ve hid them…)

Don’t Forget the Table

          6.      With your theme in mind, purchase the paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, plastic ware.  The Dollar Store is a great place to start.  But don’t wait too long as they tend to sell out fast of the seasonal goodies.

The Housecleaning

          7.       This week, begin cleaning (and decorating) the dining room and living/family rooms.  Give the foyer/entry areas a once-over.  



Friday, October 16, 2015

HAPPY BOSSES’ DAY (and 7 Tips for Being a Great Boss!)

1.  Do not micromanage.  Once you give an assignment, trust that we will get it done.

2.  Get to know us.  We have a staff of eight administrative assistants.  Get to know each of our strengths.  My personal strength is in litigation, it’s the field I excel in.  Please do not assign me to an attorney who is strictly corporate.  We have admins that excel in the corporate field and know nothing about litigation.  So again, GET TO KNOW US.

3.  Be flexible. Most of us have families at home.  Unforeseen emergencies sometimes arise.   A little understanding and compassion goes a long way.  In the end, the task at hand always gets done. 

4.  Tell us you appreciate us.  Tell us how valuable we are to your business and not just once a year at our reviews.  Everyone needs to hear they are doing a good job once in a while.  It boosts morale.  Happy Employee, Happy Boss!

5.  Voice your concerns immediately.  Do not, and I mean DO NOT wait until our reviews to tell us we did something wrong, or you don’t like the way we do something, or anything negative for that matter.  For me, and I let my people know up front, you tell me the moment I do something you do not like, or are having trouble with, whatever, DO NOT wait until the yearly review when nothing can be done about it.  That harbors resentment and sets a negative tone for the upcoming year.

6.  Listen to us.  We see and hear what goes on every day.  We may have a great idea or insight on how to fix a problem, boost morale, make the wheels turn smoother, that you can use.  It won’t hurt to listen.  

7.  Treat us as your equals.  This is not a hierarchy.  We are people, too. Smile, say hi, be nice.

So, those are my tips and I must say that I love my job and the firm I am employed by.  I’ve been here for fifteen years now and that says something.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Looking Forward To...

... tonight's episodes of Project Runway and How to Get Away With Murder (Thursday is the only real must watch tv night in our house).
... dinner out tonight
... date night tomorrow (get ready Mister!)
... Zombie Fest on Saturday
... tons of laundry and housecleaning and spending time with the fam.

What are you looking forward to??



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5+ Reasons to Love October!

Autumn is here and it’s definitely in the air.  Here in Pittsburgh, one day you will be wearing shorts, the next - pants and a sweater.  Here are 5+ reasons to love October.
1.         The falling leaves, vibrant in color – reds, oranges, yellows.  It’s breathtaking.
2.         The scents - logs burning in fireplaces to ward off the chill, dried leaves, pine cones, mulled cider, candy apples and maple syrup.
3.         The food – big pots of chili and homemade soups, baking bread, oatmeal with butter, brown sugar and milk, apple cider and pumpkin pies.
4.         Football games, stadium blankets, hot chocolate.
5.         Pumpkin farms, corn mazes and hayrides.
6.         Warm boots, cozy sweaters, leather jackets and wool coats.

These are just a few of the reasons I love October.  What do you love about October?


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Pumpkin Farm in Pictures (and a few words)

We took Elliot to Schramm Farms & Orchards on Saturday.  The weather was glorious, the sky so blue, the sun shining brightly.  It has been a tradition in our family to visit this pumpkin farm since my own were little and now we carry on the tradition with a great grandson.  Here is Elliot's visit, which he totally loved.
Hiding in the corn maze
Riding horses (which he did twice)
Jumping off haystacks
Picking pumpkins
Going for a hayride
"Driving" the tractor
After the pumpkin farm visit, we needed to stop at the grocery store.  This Shop n' Save is a bit of a drive, but it might be worth the trip as it had children sized shopping carts.  Usually, grocery shopping with Elliot is a real task as he doesn't want to sit in the cart, wants to run all over and loads the cart with items we do not need.  Here, with his own cart, shopping was a breeze and, actually fun.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Columbus Day, 2 Shout-Outs and a Sneaky Peeky


If you are one of the lucky few that do not have to travel to an office, or school today, ENJOY!  For the rest of us, Stay Calm and Carry On.  For me the Courts are closed today and that's a huge plus - NO last minute court filings.  Hopefully, today will be a stress free day.

SHOUT OUT NO. 1: To Mike and Jolene, Congrats!!! Looking forward to meeting your new bundle of joy in April, 2016.

SHOUT OUT NO. 2: To Laura, for passing the Bar.  Now the Esquire is legit!!!


Yep, Elliot's dressing as a Minion this Halloween.  He is so darn cute!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, ENJOY!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A little bit of William

Sonnet 73
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

William Shakespeare

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Grab your planner, review last week’s list.  If you missed Week 1, you can find it here.   

Have you filled your calendar with fun things to do?  Finalized your guest list? Made or bought invites? Decided on holiday decorations?

Getting ready:

          1.       Finalize your guest list.  With your made or store bought invitations at hand, begin addressing, stamping and stuffing those envelopes.  We will be mailing ours this week.

Start Shopping

          2.      Finalize your menu, gather your recipes and create a master shopping list.  Begin picking up listed items whenever you visit the grocery store.

Think Decorations

          3.      If making your decorations, begin this week. 

Think Costumes

          4.      Decide on your costume.  Buy or make?

Don’t Forget the Table

          5.       Make a list for setting the table.  Don’t forget paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, plastic ware.  A centerpiece.  The table is

The Housecleaning

          This week, begin cleaning (and decorating) the foyer/entry areas.  This is the area your guests see first so you want it to be tidy.  Our entry area is forever filled with shoes, paper goods, keys, mail and laundry (the basement is off the entry area).  But when it’s cleaned, it’s beautiful.

The days are going so fast! and there’s still so much to do!!



Friday, October 9, 2015

It’s Friday! Time for a treat and a Halloween Story!

Here in Pittsburgh, PA, the leaves are beginning to change, the air is getting cooler, the days shorter.  Time to curl up with a good book and a yummy snack.  Luckily for us, Elliot loves being read to (he’s even repeating the sentences and following along with his pointer finger).  Currently, his very favorite book is Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type.  We do not go to bed without reading this book first. 

However, being it’s October and Halloween is right around the corner, we took him to B&N to buy a few Halloween themed books and then his Aunt Tina and Uncle Jayme bought him one and then we culled the Halloween theme books from Kayla’s childhood bookshelf and we now have quite a pile of delightful trick and treat filled stories. 

Today’s book is “Where’s My Mummy,” by Carolyn Crimi.  An adorable book about a Baby Mummy who, in avoiding bedtime, plays one more game of Hide and Seek with his Big Mama Mummy; and today's treat is Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie.

Toll-House Chocolate Chip Pie
2 Eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
one 9" unbaked pie shell (we used Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust)
Pre-heat oven to 325.
In large bowl, beat eggs until foamy.  Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar.  Beat in butter. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pour into pie shell.
Bake for one hour or until a butter knife inserted hallway between center and edge comes out clean.  Allow to set for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or all by itself.
Note: We doubled the ingredients and baked two pies, one for now and one to freeze for our Halloween party.

Oh yes, Elliot helped.