Friday, July 31, 2009

I will not be blogging for the next few days. D's uncle passed away suddenly last night and we will be travelling home today to be with his family. We would appreciate your prayers.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

another party : )

Last week I told you about the 60th anniversary brunch that I was helping to decorate for D's grandparents. Well it was a lovely party. I will admit that I was bit frazzled up until the very moment of the party but my hard work and frizzy hair payed off. Check this out:
The tablescapes. I bought sage green and brown toile from Hobby Lobby for $12. My mother-in-law cut them like table runners. I think they add a lot of impact to the table for a very reasonable price.

Next, my personal favorite project....centerpieces. I adore flowers. I adore beautifully arranged flowers. oh it just makes me happy! First I will show you the centerpieces we used for all of the tables except the headtable. I used Esther roses, pale green hydrangeas, daisies, various greens, and hypernium berries. I wrapped the vase with a brown ribbon and a sticker that said "Happy 60th Anniversary." Around the vase I placed wedding pictures of the couple of honor's wedding and candles.

For the headtable I incorporated more (and brighter) roses.

As a final detail, my dear friend and preferred caterer, Dee Myers of All Things Catered tied our napkins with a coordinating brown ribbon. um...who could ask for anything more?

If you are in the Cincinnati area and are looking for delicious homemade food. I implore you to contact Dee. She catered my bridal luncheon, wedding, my sister's graduation party, and this party. She never fails to impress....and I'm a tad picky. ; )



Meet baby Jacob. I was praying for his mommy last Friday. Guess what? My prayers totally worked. Check him out:

Isn't he darling? I got to visit him and hold him and coo over him and love him on Monday.

I want one....someday...his momma and daddy seem pretty tired.

In the meantime, I'm going to soak in the joy from this little family:

Congratulations M and D3!!!


dirty little secret

I have a confession.....

I LOVE LOVE LOVE frozen dinners. particularly Lean Cuisine's. yum.

You must be thinking, "Now, Halley, you love to cook, adore entertaining, and heart eating...really? frozen dinners? That's very unlike you!"

I know!!

About a month after we got married D and I were grocery shopping. As we approached the frozen foods section D looked at me and asked what I planned on buying frozen. I told him Lean Cuisine's of course (honestly what else was I supposed to eat for lunch?! listen, I survived on Lean Cuisine's during college. seriously. I bought like 20 at a time).

Well my new husband blanched. He made me promise that now that we were married I would stop buying frozen dinners and eat real food. uh...D...reallly?...

Well I have kept my promise. I only broke it once when I was super duper sick and only wanted Stouffer's mac and cheese.

Until now....

D is out of town till August.

Last night I went to WalMart (it was early evening and still safe) and bought not one, or two, or four, but 10 Lean Cuisine's. I was in paradise. Garlic Chicken Pizza, Mac and Cheese, Cheesy Broccoli and Potatoes, Penne... oh my!

I must have looked like I was on crack. My cart was loaded down with Lean Cuisines and I was happy as a clam.

Today I prepared a pot roast, roasted veggies, and homemade mashed potatoes for a dear friend who just had a baby. I delivered it to her house with warm crusty bread and butter. What did I eat for dinner? A Lean Cuisine. happily. :)


Friday, July 24, 2009

weekend plans

I'm headed back to Findlay today!! Only to turn around and come right back to Hamilton!! ha ha

Today I am keeping M/D3 in my prayers. They are the couple that I threw the baby shower for the first weekend in July. M sent out an e-mail that D3 went into labor yesterday afternoon!!! How exciting!! I have not heard any news since...I'm imagine they are busy....but I hope and pray that D3 had or is having a quick, easy, and safe labor and that their baby boy OR girl is healthy and happy.

Friday: I am traveling to Findlay to repack my bags and wait for D to get home from a business trip so we can both get back into a car and travel back to our hometown. whew! That's alotta driving....

Tonight, if we make it home in time, we are headed to D's hometown parish festival. Oh it should be great!! I love love love festivals. AND THERE WILL BE INSTANT BINGO! (I forgot to budget for that. big oops!)

Saturday: I will be waiting in the Costco parking lot for the store to open at 9am, so that I can pick up roses for centerpieces for my grandparents-in-law's 60th anniversary brunch. Upon selecting and paying for roses, I will get back into my car (again!) and drive 40 mins home to assemble the centerpieces and meet my mother-in-law at the venue to decorate.

Next I am headed to my family reunion....which could be super fun or interesting.....

D and I will probably end the night back at the festival or at his cousin, N's house.

Mass @ 10:30am

Brunch @ 12pm

Bridal Shower @ 1pm

Visit with family and then head home.

This is going to be one crazy (and fun!) weekend!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

MORE party planning!

This weekend my grandparents-in-law are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. wow. 60 years!

The family is celebrating by throwing them a brunch on Sunday. My mother-in-law and I have been working non-stop since Tuesday to put together a slideshow, centerpieces, a menu, and place settings.

I am exhausted!!

........but the party is going to be great! : )

I will show you pictures this weekend.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I normally like to keep my blog posts cheerful and funny, however something very scary happened to me tonight that I want to share with you.

Those of you who know me well know that I am addicted to Diet Coke. So much so, that at 10:30 this evening I decided to make a quick run to Wal Mart to pick up a case. I have never ever given any thought into dashing out alone late in the evening. I have never ever felt unsafe doing so, and tonight was no different.

I got to the store and instead of getting my Diet Coke and leaving I decided to look around. A man was sweeping the floor (without an employee shirt or nametag). He looked up at me and said "Hi." In an effort to be polite I nodded and greeted him. I went about my business and headed to the craft section of the store. I looked up and the man was just across the aisle without his broom looking at me. I will tell you that my first thought, was "Really? Me? It is raining and I'm soaking wet, wearing bleached yoga pants. I am not that cute looking."

I felt odd about the situation and proceeded to move away from that part of the store. I got my Diet Coke, noticed the man again, and quickly headed for the car. As I was walking to the car I observed that the man was following me. My stomach dropped. I put my thumb on my alarm button and pressed my car keep between my fingers. As I approached my car from the rear, he approached my car from the front.

He put his arm against the driver's door preventing me from opening it (or at least it very much felt that way.) I was extremely panicked. He asked me if I was married, why I was out so late, where I was going, etc. In an effort to keep the situation light and calm I replied in an upbeat manner, finally telling him that I had people waiting for me at home, wondering where I was. He said "ok" and walked away.

I got in the car, locked my doors, and drove home all while watching to make sure no one followed me. I got home, safe and sound, and called the Manager of WalMart. I described the man and the situation. He was apologetic, offered to call the police, and said he would look into it.

I wanted to share this with you as a warning. Ladies, do not go out alone at night. I never would have given a late night trip to the store a second thought. Never in my wildest imagination would I, of all people, have thought I would be in danger of this type of a scenario. If you sense that someone is behind you or you are generally uneasy...follow your gut. Speak to the manager. Get an escort to your car. Just be safe.

I am feeling incredibly shaken to the core, but I am ok.


Monday, July 20, 2009

baby names....

nope..still not for me! ha

I was getting my hair highlighted on Friday and causally chatting with the hairdresser. Our conversation went something like this:

Hairdresser: I am going to apologize in advance for checking me phone like a maniac, my sister was is in labor and was just taken to the hospital!

Me: Wow! That's so exciting! Check your phone as much as you want, I would be too.

Hairdresser: Thanks

Me: So does your sister know what she's having?

Hairdresser: Yep, it's a baby boy.

Me: (insert squeal) yay! Does she have a name picked out?

Hairdresser: His name will be Cain. I don't think they've picked out a middle name yet.

Me: ............. How are they going to spell that?

Hairdresser: C A I N, you know like in the Bible

Me: (insert jaw drop) oh......that's a lovely name.....

You know, it's been a while since I was in Sunday School but Cain from the Bible murdered his brother right? and then he had to wonder alone, aimlessly in the wilderness, right?

uh.... great Biblical baby name

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A fairy tale....gone wrong...

Friday was a douzy. It was one of those days that happen rarely and is/was a comedy of errors.

Once upon a time, there was a happy hostess named Halley. She was happily preparing to entertain guests at the end of a long work week. These guests had just moved to her kingdom and she was looking forward to wowing them with a lovely dinner and introducing them to new friends.

Hostess Halley thought she had her Friday all planned out. She would meet a friend for lunch, touch up her highlights, tidy her home, and prepare a scrumptious dinner. easily. oh poor Hostess Halley. Little did she know that there were numerous forces working against her on that particular Friday..

Lunch was lovely, her highlights were bouncy, she was off to the market to gather her supplies for a scrumptious dinner. Upon arriving at her market of choice, Hostess Halley realized that the chickens were not looking quite right... Hostess Halley decided to visit another market...again the chickens were not quite right. Hostess Halley finally opted to visit the farmers market (which was a bit more expensive) where the chickens were juuust right. She ordered 6 chicken breasts and asked to have them "pounded" into cutlets.

When Hostess Halley arrived home and opened her package of chicken, imagine her surprise, when she found GROUND chicken. "This will not do!" cried Hostess Halley. She loaded up her car and ventured back to the farmers market. "I need chicken cutlets! For the grill! I have $19 worth of chicken that will not do!" She purchased for more chicken breasts to the tune of $12, double checked them, and then hurried home.

Ah! Home sweet home! Time to tidy up. She opted to tackle the bathroom first. While cleaning the commode she accidentally clipped in 4 cleaning wipes instead of 1. While wiping the mirrors she dumped the Windex. When she moved onto the kitchen she moped the floors without any cleaning liquid! oh my!

While preparing the scrumptious dinner Hostess Halley knicked her pointer finger with a large sharp knife. She cut jalapenos without kitchen gloves (causing her fingers to sting and consequently anything her fingers touched-eyes!! tongue, etc-to sting). She went to marinade her chicken and realized she was missing an ingredient!

What is a hostess to do?

Turn up the Spice Girls and some good 'ol Britteny Spears and C H I L L!

The guests ultimately arrived, they ate, they drank, they were merry. The house was tidy. The food was scrumptious. and the guests were unaware of the crazy day that Hostess Halley endured.

The moral of this story is to not let a few....20 of so...mishaps get you down! To wear kitchen gloves when handling jalapenos. and To be specific at the butcher....otherwise you will spend a gargantuan amount of money on chicken and you will have 5lbs of ground chicken breasts without any ground chicken recipes in your repertoire. oops.

The End.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Traverse City: Day 2

Saturday morning D and I rose from our drunken...I coma. D braved the continental breakfast, while I (braved the snooze button) opted not to look, touch, or even think about food.

The two of us got ourselves together and headed to Leelanau State Park. I will teach you how to pronounce Leelanau: Lee Lan NAW, like tylenol with a but starting with LEE instead of TY. get it? Now, let me provide you with examples of how not to pronunce Leelanau: leeleena (like hellena with a "l"), layluna, lalalala....if you can't catch my drift, I struggled with this pronunciation all weekend long.
Anyway, we made it to the park and headed to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse.

Our next big idea was to see the sand dunes. The park ranger directed us to the hiking trails, and told us it was just a "short" jaunt to the dunes....little did we know....

.....That 2.5 miles, a sundress, and a pair of $3 Old Navy flip flops later we'd arrive here:

Where we'd enjoy this:

We made it! yay!

It was still early in the day so, undeterred from our unplanned hike, we decided to drive along the lakeshore and catch a glimpse of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. We were driving along, enjoying he sights, minding our own business, when we saw this:

I literally gasped, and said, "D look at all those people!! They are climbing that MOUNTAIN of sand! They're crazy!!" So what does my dear husband do? Pulls into the parking lot. Up we go!

1st time I ploomped myself down out of exhaustion....

2nd time.....

Finally.... H E L P!!!

just kidding, that was fun!

ouch, check out my pink face! ha ha

Next we went straight back to our hotel for much needed showers and water. After we rested and cleaned up we went downtown for dinner and fireworks! D and I had a great dinner at a restaurant with a deck overlooking water. We drank....ate...and enjoyed the atmosphere. The fireworks were a great way to end a long day.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My name is Halley, and I have a magazine problem...

Oh boy am I excited!! I love love love magazines. It is a shameful addiction. I came across some splendid news: has Real Simple Magazine subscriptions (for a year!!!) on sale for $5. YES you read that correctly. 12 issues for $5. That is a $45 savings.

I already ordered mine. I am even thinking of giving these subscriptions as gifts.

ahhh, this made me so very happy. I thought I'd pass it along.


I have not fallen off the face of the planet

I've neglected my blog this week. Sorry!!
Here's a super fast update: Yesterday, I spent the day in the basement of Cleveland Clinic. The doctor sent me for a CT scan of my belly. I drink gargantuan amounts of neon yellow fluid and had the most painful IV of my life. Today my belly hurts and is sore. I have to give a shout out to my friend and neighbor R who volunteered to go with me so I wouldn't have to ask D to take another day off or go alone. Thanks!!

Now...I want to recap the awesome weekend I had in Traverse City, MI. I think I am going to do a post on each day of our trip. So today's post is about Friday.


D and I spent Thursday night in Saginaw, MI. We woke up early (I'm talking 7am. Hello! This was supposed to be vacation!!) and hit the road. The drive to Traverse City only took about 3 hours. Our first stop in town was the local mall. ha ha It was cold, windy, and rainy. I jumped the gun and declared I needed a sweatshirt. Well we bought the sweatshirt and the skies immediately cleared. After the mall we went straight to the National Cherry Festival. Oh my gosh! Cherry overload! wowza! We made a B-line toward the food tents. We ate Koegel hot dogs, fries, cherry lemonade, and a cup of fresh cherries. We sampled cherry bbq, cherry peanutbutter, cherry jam, chocolate covered cherries, cherry salsa, and cherry butter. yum! yum! Clearly we ate our way through the festival.
We spent about 2 hrs exploring the festival and then decided to walk up and down the main street of Traverse City. Much to D's relief, I was in a hurry to see everything there was to see and did not spend much time seriously shopping. whew!
Finally it was time to check into the hotel, nap, and get ready for a fine dining experience. D and I had made reservations at Trattoria Stella a European restaurant in the basement of an old insane asylum. We figured it would a once in a lifetime experience. I mean how many people can say, "yeah I ate roasted duck in and wine in the cell of a retired insane asylum." Oh boy, the food was incredible. We had a five course meal with wine pairings. I ate (and drank) so much I thought I'd be sick. I highly highly recommend this restaurant.
Following dinner we went back to the hotel where the only thing we could do was take some Cherry Pepto and sleep off our lovely meal.
p.s. my camera died on Friday, so I apologize for the lack of pictures!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sorry folks, I lied.

Didn't make it to Frankenmuth. No Christmas OR Chicken Dinner for me! Instead I got needles in BOTH arms, provided the doctors with a 'sample' (those of you in the know will know what that means, if not you can guess) and have to go back to Cleveland on Tuesday for a CAT scan! boo! double boo!

D and I made the best of it. Today we are headed to Traverse City where I WILL drink wine. Lots of it.

In the mean time, let me provide you will a few motel sign translations (because obviously I'm on the up and up of trucker lingo)....

"Cheapo Rooms and Free Porn"

Your sheets may or may not be cleaned. Just sayin'

Truckers Special = more cheap rooms but no free porn. perhaps hookers? live entertainment?

Oh, and if you are unsure of what "un thru wed" means let me tell you: "Monday through Wednesday" duh! The "M" on "Mun" fell off!!

D is chastising me as I type. eh, whatever. He keeps saying "Oh, Halley!" However he did participate in turning around on the highway to drive back and take pictures of these signs so he can't say anything. ha ha

Have a good day friends, and avoid establishments like the ones shown above. : )


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

catch a glimpse of my Thursday

First I'll be here: Cleveland Clinc in Cleveland, Ohio

Then, I'll be drinking these...both of them...don't judge.

Next, D will drive us here:

Where I will visit this:

And eat this:

Apparently this Bavarian Village (Frankenmuth) is known for fried chicken dinners?!

Whatev, I'm eatin' it.

And finally I will sleep here:

I'll be in touch!



"Life's difficulties are intended to make us better, not bitter."
-my Chinese fortune cookie
Aw man! The even the Chinese restaurant is onto my bitterness!! uncool.
I don't want to whine...but I'm stressed. and frustrated.
Tomorrow I am headed to Cleveland Clinic for a Salmonella second opinion. I'm nervous. I do not want more bad news.
I'm also feeling job pressure. Remember that blog post about my new job? um...the budget was no job for me! I have applied all over. I am a great substitute teacher. Heck, I'm a great teacher. I continually go above and beyond and still no phone calls or interviews. boo! I am trying to trust the Lord about this issue but it is so very frustrating. I just want to be the best person I can be. To my fullest potential.
alright, ok, enough belly-aching.
Tomorrow after I see the doctor. I'm getting a glass of I'll tell D to keep 'em coming because I am going to relax this weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

my *big* plans for the week.

D & I have been going non-stop.

We celebrated the holiday weekend by camping with friends. Tent camping. In a tent. And it was a blast! I surprised myself and my husband by enjoying myself! haha

Today I am spending some time poolside and making/eating homemade pizza with my girlfriends. Listen, if there is an upside to not having a full-time job....this is it. I truly enjoy my free time. It's also handy that my friends don't have full-time jobs either, so with a quick phone call I have lunch dates and shopping buddies.

Thursday I am headed to Cleveland Clinic. boo!! I am getting a second opinion about Salmonella and it's repercussions. In an effort to make the trip half way fun we are headed to Frankenmuth, MI after the doctor's appointment. D & I are going to take in the sights, visit Bronners, and eat a famous chicken dinner.

Friday morning we are packing up and leaving Frankenmuth for Traverse City, MI for the National Cherry Festival. D has been travelling to this city for a year for work projects.... little did I know that it's a tourist town, famous for cherries! Finally it's my turn to go! I am pumped about the festival ( know how I love a good festival!) and am excited to visit the local wineries and Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.

It's a busy week. yay for D and his 3 day work week! : ) horray that I get an extra day of vacation for going to the doctor (it's kinda like getting a happy meal after you get shots @ the pediatrician! but I get a chicken dinner and to visit a giant Christmas store!!!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Best. Baby. Shower. Ever.

There are no words to explain the hilarity of these pictures or the amount of pee they caused in my pants.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

oh baby!

haha no, not me!!

I'm hosting a fourth of July themed baby shower on Thursday! : ) Everything is red, white, and blue and All American Baby themed.

Here's a sneak peak of what I've got in store:
The invitation. Wanna hear my nifty poem? "It's our country's birthday, but it won't be very long....before Baby P comes marching along. Let's celebrate Baby P's upcoming 'Independence Day with a party for Diana." Cute huh? I like the envelope/backing because it's like opening a present from the mail!

Party supplies all ready to go!

Silverware...well it's plastic-ware...wrapped and tied in a bow.

Silver/Plastic-ware in a basket. I love details.

I thought it would be fun for our guest of honor, aka, baby mama to don something special. So she's going to wear a festive red, white, and blue lay.....because she got lame I know but it made me laugh.

I bought these beads for all the other guests so that our guest of honor, aka, baby mama won't feel out of place.

Favors!!! Red, white, and blue sippy cups filled with, you guessed it, red, white, and blue candy!

And I couldn't throw a party without gussying up my front porch!

....right down to my half dead flowers!

I am so very excited for this party. Many more pictures to come! I am baking red, white, and blue star cookies today and preparing chicken caesar pasta salad. yum!