Are you ready?

Not to scare you, but there are officially 6 days until Christmas, according to my Christmas countdown app, Walker and the constant e-mails I keep getting from companies wanting me to buy stuff.


Are you ready? What’s left to do? I have one more present to buy…then the wrapping party shall commence!


Video Christmas Card: Christmas Jammies

If you’re local to the Raleigh/Durham area, you may have already seen this, but it is just too good not to share once again. And hey, I’m all about helping this cute family continue their “going viral” status.

Couple of things to share related to this video:

1. I wish my family was this cool.
2. My son has watched this 15 times already and woke up this morning singing it. Specifically, he likes the part “My jammies fit me just right, but my daddy’s are a little tight.” I like that part too personally.
3. Which leads to this…I’ve had a crush on Penn Holderness for several years now. There, I said it.
4. But who can compete with that beautiful wife of his????
5. He’s a local Durham kid. Just another reason to love Durham.
6. They created a video Christmas card last year as well. You can check that one out here:


Almost Mid-life Thoughts

Do you get old because you stop doing things, or do you stop doing things because you are old?

My grandfather and sister

My grandfather and sister many years ago

It’s a question I posed to my husband last night because he was complaining about how late the Duke game was and how when he was younger he would stay up all night to go to a game. He was offered tickets for last night’s game but he turned them down because it was such a late start. I told him he should never use “staying up too late” as a reason to miss something he is so passionate about. Needless to say, he did stay awake until the end of the game, in the comfort of our own home. I fell asleep listening to him using not-so-nice words while screaming at the TV. Yes, it’s that bad.

I hate the thought of growing old, it’s better than the alternative, but I never want to be the person that doesn’t do things because of my age. Of course, that doesn’t apply to mini-skirts and leather pants, although I probably have a friend or two that could still pull those off at 40. The wrinkles around my eyes are starting to pop more in pics and since I’ve gone darker for the fall, my grey hairs seem to mock me in the mirror.

I noticed that lately I’ve started to think about the next phase of my life and what I will do. The last twenty years have basically been all about marriage, having a family, building a household. But what comes next? I don’t like the idea of retiring because I think I would turn into a worthless blob. And the day that Walker leaves for college is something I just find so hard to think about. But that’s ok because he’s going to go to UNC which is only 10 minutes away and he will live at home because he won’t be able to stand the thought of being away from mom that much either, right?

We recently visited Asheville and while out at lunch I saw a couple in their sixties with a little dog in a stroller. You would have thought that dog was their child. I told Walker that I guess when he goes off to college that will be me. I’ll have a little dog, my dream little car (a mini Cooper) and everything in my little world will be good.

I’ve also thought about where I’d like to move someday if I ever do retire. I told Mike I’d love to live in New York City. I think the energy of that place would keep anyone young. He looked at me with frightened eyes and replied, “But where will I play golf?” He’s definitely more of a beach/warm weather guy. Maybe we could retire to the Hamptons and visit the city when we get the urge…just like in Revenge…

I’m sure that many things will change over the next ten years and that includes my plans and dreams, but for now I’ve chronicled my thoughts. And we’ll have to stay tuned to see how they evolve.


The Queen


The queen looks on as I vacuum the floors.

As not to be disturbed during her resting hours, I was sure she approved of my presence before proceeding with my chores.

Clearly my next task must be to straighten those pictures on the wall.


How To Raise A Tar Heel

I’m a Carolina graduate (Go Heels).

But my husband is a die-hard Duke fan. I mean, we are truly a house divided.

So, naturally, when Walker was born, it was an immediate chase to see who could influence him more. Everyone always said that the boys typically follow the footsteps of their fathers when it comes to team loyalty.  So far, against all odds, I’ve been successful at keeping Walker a TarHeel. So I thought I’d share some tips as to how to make it happen for others of you that may be facing these keep-you-up-at-night challenges.

  1. Provide UNC attire and memorabilia for every size, every age. If they ask for it, buy it. This includes t-shirts, jerseys and balls.Untitled-1
  2. Never allow the below to happen, ever again. I’m just lucky these things didn’t permanently take. I’d stay as far away from these scenarios as possible.
  3. Hang out with Rameses.Ramese
  4. Drink from the Old Well as often as possible.oldwell
  5. This…1900_40095250673_7098_n
  6. Force your Dukie dad to hang out on the UNC football field to throw ball with you.Dad
  7. Have a mom that loves the Heels almost as much as she loves you.Mom
  8. Keep these books in the bookcase at all times for emergency Tar Heel intervention needs.UNCBooks

Got any other recommendations for how to raise a Tar Heel? Cause I think it’s going to be an ongoing battle. Especially if dad gets tickets to any Duke basketball games this year.


Just In Time for October

Yes, I know I’m a bit early this year, but the chill in the air and the fact that the leaves on my Poplar tree always start falling before any others in the neighborhood are all my cue to get going with the Halloween decor. I mean folks, I even beat Target this year.

True, I like to hit up the Target aisles for one or two new additions each year to my Halloween box of goodies, but this year since they were so late getting everything out I hit up Homegoods and The Dollar Store. Just as well – it’s all cute.

And now for the annual Halloween mantel. You can check out past mantels here, here  and here – but I think this is my most favorite Halloween mantel ever! I think maybe because I finally have three boxes of decor to choose from and clearly still adding each year (see above).

2013 Halloween Mantel

I found the fun Haunted House sign at Homegoods and the spiderweb at The Dollar Store. Everything else is from past years or pulled from other areas of the house because they look Halloweenie – is that a word? I got the sticks from the yard. Score.

And just because I couldn’t stop there…I taped another cute cut-out I picked up at The Dollar Store onto the mirror at the bottom of the stairs (also see black, white and orange new phone case I picked up to celebrate the season).

photo 4photo 5

And the Halloween wreath I made last year that I never shared!
So there you are – get into the spirit. October is upon us. Spooky times they are a coming.


What about Liam? And Other VMA Ramblings…

Yes, by now you’ve probably heard, read or seen all that was Miley Cyrus at Sunday night’s VMAs, twerking all over Robin Thicke and making sure you never look at a foam finger the same way again.

After all the articles and the posts today, I started thinking – gee, I wonder what the heck Liam is thinking? I mean, he signed up for the original Miley, but evidently is now the proud owner of the shiny new (but not improved) version.

Exhibits A and B.


This new version comes complete with an extra special wagging tongue feature and a stripper pole accessory. You can also purchase the Beetlejuice version of Robin Thicke as a companion piece.  Oh and evidently Jason Seaver approved of the evening’s performance, and his son thought the experience was “Dope”.


I’m just gonna say bless your heart honey, you’ve lost your everlasting mind.

You know it’s a shocking evening when Lady Gaga’s antics aren’t the top story – even when she successfully executes four plus wardrobe changes (including wigs) without missing a dance step and completes her performance as the R-rated version of the little mermaid with a blind makeup artist.


But the one shining moment (well maybe 16 minutes of shiny, beautiful, fabulously-choreographed and wow NSYNC may be a little out of shape moments) with JT…it was worth waiting through the crazies…


But what about Jessica? Where was she? And why do I care? I’m just gonna pretend he’s still single.

We also had Jeezus, Bruno and how I love some Macklemore. Darling cleans up nicely and was probably the classiest performance of the evening.


Roar was the closing, and although my local radio station plays it about 5 times every hour, I still start singing along every freaking time. Cool performance, respectable and she kept her clothes on. Well done. But I could certainly have made it through life without seeing this ROAR grill on the red carpet. Please, never again Katy.


Until next time MTV.

I do look forward to this event each year so I can actually hear music on Music Television.

Bye Bye Bye.

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500 More Days of Summer

Walker started third grade today. Before school this morning, I asked about walking into school with him:

Me: “Walker, do you want me to walk into your class with you?”

Walker: “No mom, I’m in third grade now, geez.”

Me: “Well, I didn’t think you wanted me to, but…

Walker: “Then why did you ask mom?”

On the way to school, I asked him if he was excited to start the school year. He responded with a disappointing “No way.”

I said, “Oh Walker, I wish you liked school – you do like school, remember? At least you used to.”

He replied, “Mom, I just wish we could have 500 more days of summer. That would be awesome.”

First Day of Third Grade

First Day of Third Grade

First Day of First Grade

First Day of First Grade

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More Monsters!!!

So as you may have seen in my previous post, our family loves some Monsters!! Even much so, Walker has seen the movie three times and can’t wait to purchase the DVD when it comes out months and months from now.

I finally got to see the movie last weekend and loved it as well.

Here’s something new in the shop for your little (or big) graduate from Monsters U.

You can purchase it here.


Monsters U Diploma



A Southerner Goes to Boston

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Boston for a work trade show and was able to fit in a little bit of fun between the work.

We ate at some great restaurants, saw some wonderful places and walked a million miles. So much that I didn’t even gain a pound from all of the wonderful food.

Our hotel was located on the water, close to the convention center, and I really wanted to see more of the city, so we decided to do the cheesy tourist thing – jump on a big old bus. Don’t laugh at me – that is the single most valuable resource I’ve found to learning a new city. I’ve done it in DC, NYC, London and now Boston. You can get on and off for two days and almost use it like a taxi around the city! And you’re sure to see everything in the city and not miss anything!

People in the north typically love my accent. This time was no different. They always ask where I’m from and then say they love a southern accent. I love to hear the Boston accent as well – especially the old guys that you can tell have been around forever.

We had some wonderful food at The Barking Crab (very touristy), Towne, Legal Seafood, Shojo in Chinatown, Mike’s pastry’s and some Italian joint in Little Italy that I can’t remember the name…but it was good.

I’ve gotten so I never really travel much with my big camera because I use my phone some much, but here are a couple of pics I captured on my iPhone. I also shared pics throughout the week on my Instagram account (Follow me here).