Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hello from Carmel by the Sea

This is the view from where I am blogging ...not bad! We are having a great time. Our host/hostess have been wonderful and so generous with their home and their time.
Yesterday, we went for a morning walk in a State preserve between Carmel and Carmel Highlands. I have never in my life seen such beautiful views.
Then off to lunch at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. MBM was for the first time in his life speechless. Just in total awe. This was the view from our table! MBM took these pictures with his phone. I have better pics but forgot the cord to down load them to the computer.
We went into Monterrey for a bit in the afternoon and dinner in Carmel.

This morning we drove down to Big Sur had lunch and then drove the marathon course up the Pacific Coast Highway. YIKES!!! MBM is a bit freaked out by the hills. Then to make matters worse he picked up his running bib and is seeded pressure. I am trying to convince him the bib numbers are random.
Tomorrow is race day, so MBM and I have offered to make dinner so MBM can get to bed early. He needs to get the transport bus down to Big Sur around 5:00am. UGH!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

See you later, Alligator!

Well, we are off to Carmel, California tomorrow. We need to leave our house at 4:45 am...YIKES!

I have all my clothes ready. Now shoes and accessories.

Here is a picture of little gifts for our hostess and her daughters. No, it's not fried rice! These are inside!

I'll take lots of pictures. MBM is running the Big Sur marathon while we are there! I'll be at the finish line with a big Margarita!
Be back on Tuesday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I will never learn!

Our flight leaves at 7:00 am on Thursday morning...I need to do laundry, go to the grocery store, get the girls stuff together , schedules, car pools arranged, clothes for school, clean up the guest room and put on fresh sheets for my parents, get the puppy stuff together, etc...

Here is what I did today. Up this morning, got the big girls off to school, answered some email, threw on "play" clothes head to Target. But, first I had to meet my uncle to give him hand me downs from Lulu for my niece in Virgina. Did I mention, I went through Lulu's closet in a matter of minutes to get some more things together to send down. The off to Target, just to get furniture for our deck. I went for this, came home with this....

We went for four club chairs. After a few other odds and ends I head to the check out. Did I ever consider how I was going to transport two HUGE boxes home 20 miles away? NO, of course I didn't!!! But, don't fret! As I was driving to the front of the store I saw one of my very best girl friends getting out of her very roomy mini van! So, I tracked her down in the store and she delivered the other box this afternoon! What would I have done if I didn't run into her?

Lulu stayed with MBM this morning, thank God, too or I would have had to tied her to the roof. When I got home we had lunch. I was itching to get the screens in the porch. Did that! Christened the porch with a Diet Coke sitting on the floor in the middle of the empty porch by myself! And loved every second of it!

The big girls came home from school, carpooled to CCD, home to clean up and continue painting the powder room. Dinner, thanks to MBM, homework, baths, bedtime and finish the powder room!

MBM and I both tackling the laundry. If we keep it going all night we should have it all done before we leave on Thursday! My Lord how does that happen?

Will I ever learn to prioritize?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday, Monday

No school for the girls today. They had a dentist appointment right smack in the middle of the morning. Our dentist is a 35 minute ride, so after the appointment, waiting to have lunch because of the fluoride treatment it just didn't make sense to bring them to school.

It was so beautiful this afternoon. The girls played outside while I painted.

I finally finished painting the porch. Tomorrow we are going to put in the screens...I can't wait! Now, we just need some landscaping and some comfy porch furniture.

I also decided to paint the powder room this afternoon. It is a pretty goldish yellow, I can't remember the name of the color. Caroline is going to call it Goldenrod. I don't know where she came up with it, but, she is right on!

Tonight, I am going to make the curtain. Hopefully, I'll finish up the painting tomorrow and hang the curtain. I need a new mirror and some new "stuff" like a shelf and accessories.

MBM and I are headed to California on Thursday...maybe I'll find some treats on the West Coast!

Here is a picture of some of the bags I brought to my "gigs"...MBM loves when I use the pool table to count inventory!

Friday, April 20, 2007


We have a full weekend ahead! I have 2 custom handbag gigs, that sound s so much cooler than parties/demonstrations. MBM had 10 yards of mulch delivered today. Uncle French Fry is arriving early tomorrow to help. The weather is cooperating, so hopefully we will get the porch painted this weekend.

I wanted to add a picture for fun. This is our family room, the second, Annemarie, my cleaning friend left! (I hate to say cleaning lady, because after 4 years we are friends)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fashion Police

The crime...outfit repeating! The arresting officer, Emma's, seven year old classmate. "You wore that the last time you where here!" Now in my defense, I wear jeans or J. Crew Favorite Fit pants with a long sleeve t-shirt or sweater... boots, clogs or loafers...denim jacket or vest....everyday. I have Favorite Fits in every color ever made. Same goes with the t-shirts and cable knit crew neck sweaters. I have 4 or 5 denim/corduroy jackets and 4 or 5 vests. I jazz it up with accessories, belts, bag, and jewelry. My husband calls it my uniform. It is boring, I know! But, it is easy, and most of my days are spent shuttling the girls, volunteering, running errands, and sewing. I like the fact that I am comfortable and somewhat put together looking. Of course, I was totally grown up in my response to her comment. I started to defend and explain myself to this little girl and she was just looking at me with a big "WHATEVER" look on her face. Then, I asked her, "What does your mom wear when she volunteers?" Her answer, "Sweats." That made me feel better, sort of!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Today, is my Granny's birthday. Nobody knows for sure how old she is...she changes the dates of things to keep us guessing. I'll tell you a bit about my Granny. Her name is Madge Veronica Mulhern McFadden. Her family calls her Maisie and her American friends call her Margie. She is amazing, strong, smart, brave, funny, and stubborn! Born and raised in County Donegal, Ireland. The last of her 8 siblings and the only one to leave Ireland. She married my grandfather, Charlie T, when she was 15 or 16 (this is where she changes dates/ages) and had her first of four children a year later.They were farmers and poor. They moved their family from Ireland to Scotland to Canada and then finally to America. My grandfather came over first as an indentured servant in the late 50's, leaving my Granny behind to move the rest of the family to Philadelphia, when he had saved enough for a house. Once they were settled in Granny went to nursing school and earned her R.N....she only went to school in Ireland until she was ten. Impressive, right? She worked as a nurse until she retired about 15 years ago. Then she volunteered!

As a little girl, I spent a lot of time with my Granny. We had many traditions, the two of us. My favorite, back to school shopping! A whole day of school dedicated to finding the perfect shoes, school bag, and lunch box! We did this every August.

Granny has 7 grandchildren and 8 great grand daughters, girls rule! When my oldest daughter was born she said, quite loudly, she has never loved someone as much as she loves Caroline! We remind her of it and she has never denied it! As babies, Caroline and Emma spent A LOT of time with my Granny we were sure they would speak with an Irish accent!

Granny is such a gift to our whole family. I feel especially blessed, having such a close relationship with her and having her be a part of my children's lives.

Happy Birthday Granny! I love you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Take a walk on the WILD side!

Here is how I redirected my energy today! Plus a diaper and tote bag in the same zebra print.

So much to say...

In the wake of the tragedy yesterday at Virginia Tech, I find myself to be sad, confused, angry, scared and so many other emotions. Since, I have been a stay at home mom so many horrible things have happened in our country, Columbine, September 11th, the Amish school shootings (which happened just 15 minutes down the road from my home and my children's' school) just to name a few. All of which I watched unfold on TV at home by myself with my children. Glued to my television for hours with each minute becoming more terrified and feeling more personally connected to the story. So today, I turned off my television , turned on and up my iPod in my studio. Focusing on my work and my family. Am I choosing to ignore or wave my white flag at all these awful things? Maybe. I feel like our hands are tied. How do we protect our families? Better gun laws? Metal detectors? Lock downs? A madman is a madman. None of things could have stopped him.

Friday, April 13, 2007

"I Surrender"

After two days of trying to pretend I am not sick, I have decided to wave my white flag! It is 8:22 on a Friday night...I am getting in my pajamas, climbing into bed with the remote control and a stack of magazines! Frankly, I can't believe it took me this long! Our weekend is packed with birthday parties and shuttling the clan to and from...let's see tomorrow's party is at a "GYM", rock climbing, gymnastics, etc...Sunday we will be bowling. Not just your run of the mill bowling, Cosmic Bowling! Today, I am grateful for Friday night pizza!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Next Life...

I am going to be a Westie named Theodore Roosevelt McCulley!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

100 Things

I can't figure out why the whole list is in the sidebar...I just want a link! So stick with me! For a minute! 100. I laugh all the time! 99. I get the hiccups a lot. 98. I love red wine. 97. Peanut m&m's fear for their lives around me! 96. I fell in love for the first time when I was 15. 95. My favorite movie is Titantic. I saw it in the theater 10 times. 94. My family goes to the Dad Vail Regatta Philadelphia every year. 93. My family is very close. 92. I love to be alone in my house. 91. I never miss Gilmore Girls. 90. I love "Derby Day"...for the hats, of course. 89. I am extremly clumpsy. 88. I cry everytime we walk down Main Street USA in Disney really is the most magical place on earth! 87. I have a Ball jar collection and use them for everything from cotton balls to dog treats. 86. I love Halloween. 85. Bedtime is my favorite time of day. 84. Roosevelt, is our Westie puppy. 83. I don't like long nails. 82. I consider myself to be shy. 81. I love Cinco de Mayo! 80. I was on the Student Council in highschool. 79. I am not a morning person. 78. I have seen every episode of Beverly Hills 90210 multiple times. 77. My birthday is in January. 76. I don't have a favorite color. 75. I never use my cell phone. 74. I love magazines. 73. Last Halloween I was Ugly Betty and my daughter, Emma, told me I looked beautiful. 72. Fall is my favorite season. 71. I don't like to promise anything...never have. 70. I really believe drinking Corona WITHOUT lime is uncivilized. Although, I've done it! 69. I have been pulled over for speeding countless times. 68. Flip flops are my favorite footwear. 67. I have to limit myself to one Diet Coke a day. 66. The first time I colored my hair myself it turned navy blue. I had to take 2 days off of work to have it fixed. 65. I talk to my mom everyday. 64. I have worn glasses since I was three. 63. I do everything last minute. 62. I fainted on the alter at my brothers wedding...the marriage ended 2 years later. 61. People tell me I am mother says sarcastic. 60. I am obsessed with my girls ears and finger nails. 59. My favorite place in the whole world is Sea Isle City, NJ. 58. I witnessed a drive-by shooting when I taught in the innercity. 57. I love fabric and have a huge collection. 56. I eat P,B,& J almost everyday for lunch. 55. I love T.V. 54. I am naïve. 53. My husband and I are extremely competitive when we play Scrabble. 52. I never take my self seriously. 51. I am inspired by women who take risks. 50. To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite book. I read it every summer. 49. Ice cream really does make me feel better. 48. I always wanted to be a mom. 47. I hope Lulu's nickname sticks forever! 46. I NEVER miss the Lilly warehouse sale. 45. I have had a bob most of my life. 44. Emma was the name of my doll when I was little. I named my daughter after her. 43. It took me 6 years of marriage to officially change my last name. 42. I thought I was going to marry Ricky Schroder. 41. I had a tumor removed from my breast when I was 23. Healthy ever since. 40. I am always cold. 39. My husband and I got married the day after Christmas! 38. I love hats and wear them whenever the oppurtunity arises. 37. My lucky number is 17. It was also my number playing field hockey in high school and college. 36. I cannot function without coffee. 35. I ran in the Penn Relays when I was 14 our team won first place. 34. I was a kindergarten teacher for 5 years. Three years in the inter city of Philadelphia an 2 years on the Main Line of Philadelphia. 33. I cannot tolerate smoking. 32. I have an unreasonable fear of my children and pools. 31. I play Bunko once a month with a great group of girls. 30. I've had the same beach chair for 13 years. 29. My first car was a honda civic hatchback. 28. My mother-in-law and I are friends...really! 27. I went to 12 years of Catholic School. 26. I buy fresh flowers everytime I go to the grocery store. 25. I am a terrible cook. Just ask my husband about the Skilet Lasagna of 1999! 24. I was a seamstress on a Trading Spaces episode in July 2005. I've never seen the episode. 23. I often talk about celebrities as if they are close friends. 22. I cannot keep a straight face when diciplining my middle daughter, Emma. 21. I got a tatoo when I was 23 and I still love it. 20. I hate to make the bed. 19. I secretly wished for a girl with my second pregnancy. I wanted Caroline to have a sister. 18. I am extremely patient...except in traffic. 17. I am 2 1/2 years older than my husband...he reminds me of that almost daily. 16. I have terrible insomnia. 15. My brother is the funniest person I know. And that makes my husband crazy! 14. I am the happiest when I am on the beach with my family. 13. I laugh when I am nervous. 12. My dad paid my car insurance until I got married. 11. My first job was at an Itailan bakery...I look like I just stepped of the boat from Ireland! 10. I hate my first name. 9. I am 4' 11" and hope someday to be 5 feet tall...I'm not holding my breath. 8. I love to sew. My mom taught me everything I know...about sewing! 7.I met my husband in a beach bar at 6:00 AM. I was trying to win a radio contest. I won him instead! 6. I love to paint. I painted every room in my house at least once. Some rooms are on their 2 and 3 color change. 5. I have always been preppy. 4. My husband and I introduce ourselves as Bill Buchner and Helen Quigley when on vacation. For no reason other than to amuse ourselves. 3. My favorite thing to eat is cheeseburgers. 2. I am the youngest and the only girl on my mother's side of the family. 1. I LOVE lists!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Three Things!

My first TAG...Thanks to Kerry! Three Thing That Scare Me: 1. Something happening to one of my girls! 2. Something happening to me before my girls are grown. 3. My children around water. Three People Who Make Me Laugh: 1. My brother. 2. MBM 3. Emma Three Things I Love: 1. The Beach 2. Fabric 3. Sewing Three Things I Hate: 1. When people take themselves too seriously. 2. Poor grammar. 3. Having to hem every pair of pants I buy. Three Things I Don't Understand: 1. Why people don't RSVP. 2. People who are afraid to be themselves. 3. Anything math related! Three Things On My Desk: 1. A HOT cup of coffee 2. My MomAgenda 3. Several custom bag orders, waiting to be filled. Three Things I'm Doing Right Now: 1. Making a grocery list 2. Watching Country Style on HGTV 3. Blogging Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die: 1. Give weddings to my girls! 2. Enjoy exercising. 3. Learn to surf. Three Things I Can Do: 1. Drive a stick shift! 2. Use power tools. 3. Participate in more than one conversation at one time. Three Things I Can't Do: 1. Cook 2. Accurately balance a checkbook. 3. Take a decent picture. Three Thing I Think You Should Listen To: 1. Yourself 2. Your mother 3. Your kids Three Things You Should Never Listen To: 1. Gossip 2. People who say,"You can't do that!" 3. Ladies on a "Witch hunt"...nasty! Three Things I Would Like To Learn: 1. To cook well. 2. To sail. 3. To dance with my husband without looking ridiculous. Three Favorite Foods: 1. Ice Cream 2. Peanut butter 3. Cheeseburgers Three Shows I Watched As A Kid: 1. Silver Spoons 2. The Facts of Life 3. The Love Boat Three Things I Regret: 1. Never living on my own. 2. The "Sienna Miller" haircut I tried last Spring. 3. My sixth grade school picture. And I am going to TAG...Suburban Momma...Workin' That Preppy...mcc! Today, I am grateful for all my new BLOG friends...this is fun and inspiring for me!

Our Beach House

I'll give you a brief background of how we acquired this little house. We had an investment property a few years back that we bought, fixed up, rented, and flipped for a decent profit. Timing is always on our side, we are very lucky that way! Sea Isle City is a very small beach town and we had made in known that we were looking for a single lot on the south end of the island, known as Townsend's Inlet. We heard through the grapevine that this house was going on the market in the fall. So we hopped on our bikes, knocked on the door and basically we made an offer. It was "gentleman's agreement" and a few months later the place was ours.
The house is tiny 102 years old beach cottage. Built just for plumbing, heat, insulation in this baby. The previous owners did put in a bathroom and powder room. They occupied it for just over 25 years and left everything behind! EVERYTHING!!!! Over the past two years we have cleaned it out and painted the whole house from floor to ceiling! We try not to spend too much $$$ as our plan is to tear it down and build a new house someday. But, we are kind of hoping it will just fall down all by itself!!!

I made this sign out of the old porch step and some left over paint. It will hang by the front door but, it was too windy to leave it this weekend.

The living area was quite dark and dreary. A fresh coat of white paint, new furniture, well old but, new slipcovers, and we took up the carpets (there was more than one layer) and painted the floors. It really brightened up the space! I am working on new curtains for the living /dining area.

Oh, the kitchen...we painted the walls a bright lime green and the cabinets a robin's egg blue! I made curtains out of a fun striped fabric! The girls made the "art" above the dishwasher.

The bedrooms...each got a fresh coat of paint and curtains. We had already taken the pillows from the beds, you don't have to leave renters pillows!

So that's it! Not, the dream house we want...but, a place to build it someday!

Home Sweet Home

I have never been so happy to be home and in my own bed! MBM and I both have been to the doctor and filled our prescriptions. So we are on the mend! I wish I could say the same for my black eye, which is now a pretty shade of purple. Caroline of coursed bounced back overnight. The big girls headed back to school toady. I am soooo ready to summer vacation! MBM headed to Princeton, I think, for some big meetings with his "inside guy from out west"...poor guy did not feel well this morning at all! Lulu is up to her usual stuff. Playing, snacking, playing, snacking, playing, you get the idea. I am very lucky, that child can entertain herself for hours! I am back in the studio. First, I need to straighted this place, I have another bride coming this afternoon for bridesmaid gifts. Before we left the shore yesterday, I ran into our house for a few pictures. I'll get them up later today! Today, I am grateful for the CVS drive-thru pharmacy.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

We are dropping like flies! Some type of flu has hit the house hard. It started yesterday with MBM. Fever, coughing, sneezing, aches...He was so nice to share it with me that today I could hardly move. I muddled through brunch and had to bail on the Easter Egg Hunt. By 3:00 this afternoon, Caroline had a fever and the chills. Poor thing, I know exactly how she feels.
We were supposed to head home tonight, but nobody could handle two hours in the car!

I didn't even get a chance to take a picture of the girls and they looked so sweet in their dresses. Of course they had to wear winter coats over their dresses.

I let the girls loose with the camera last night here are some of her pictures!

Today, I am grateful for Alka-Seltzer Cold Medicine!

Saturday, April 7, 2007


This is the view from my parents front porch. The sun is just starting to set, the whole family is here, dinner is ready to be served, life is good!

The Easter baskets are ready for the girls. They are filled with lots of goodies! A dress, an outfit, shoes, books, beach sweatshirts, Phillies hats, Color Me Mine gift cards, perfume (body spray)and a stuffed bunny! Oh, yes and some jelly beans!

Today, I am grateful for family.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Spring Break?

More like Winter Break...the forecast here in Southern New Jersey is 2-3 inches of SNOW! Can you imagine? Snow on Easter? My husband and I got married the day after Christmas (1997) and I was 65 degrees and sunny! Snow on Easter is a problem for a girl who only packed opened toe shoes for church and brunch!

Well, all four generations are counted for..we are waiting for a few more family members to arrive tomorrow, my brother and his girlfriend included. My brother is a collegiate rowing coach and he has the Cherry Blossom Regatta in D.C. tomorrow. They will drive here right from the race. Good Luck St.Joe's!!!

MBM and I worked on our house today. I made a fun sign for the front porch (picture soon) and the girls dyed Easter eggs with their great aunts and great grandmother.

After everyone was settled/asleep, I got the urge to create some cheap "art work" for the beach house...I think these flip flops feel at home in the kitchen!

Today, I am grateful for concealer, as I walked into the bathroom door last night, cut my eye opened and today I have a shiner! I look as if I was in a barroom brawl! (No picture of that soon)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Naps for everyone!

This was the scene at 4:00 today!

The house was complete in complete silence!

My mom and I took advantage, we slipped out undetected

for some shopping and dinner.

The weather here is so cold and windy we needed to

spend most of the day inside. The girls helped me with

some "art" work for our beach house. If all goes well,

they should be dry and ready to hang tomorrow!

My Granny and two aunts arrived this evening.

The girls will be in for major spoiling tomorrow!

Maybe tomorrow i can squeeze in a nap!

Today I am grateful for sleeping children and 40% off at the Banana Republic Outlet!
Sorry about the pictures and spacing...just couldn't get them to line up right!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Who says you can't go home again?

Technically, this was never my home, but, when I arrive at my parents' beach house, I turn back into a little girl again. Sitting at the counter talking to my mom while she cooks, usually with a special snack she has prepared for me. So, the milk and cookies have changed to wine and cheese but, the feeling of comfort has not changed a bit. The girls and I arrived this afternoon, MBM met us here after a meeting at Princeton. We are here through Easter. The whole clan will be arriving over the next two days. Four generations... we will have a big dinner on Saturday night and out to brunch on Sunday. The in between time will be spent putting the finishing touches on at our beach house, the girls would like to go to the movies, big lacrosse day on Saturday, and I hope to squeeze in some shopping! I loved Libby's gratitude list last week and thought it would be fun to list something I was grateful for each day.... So, today I am grateful for my mom!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


I am grateful for being the mother of three girls and no boys! As I had to take the three amigas with me to my spa appointment this morning. Waxing...brow, lip, and bikini! Oh, the questions! My favorite, do you have to do that when you get big? So, for a special Spring Break treat and to soften the blow of witnessing the "waxing" I let the girls stay up to watch American Idol. Apparently, they are the only two kids at their school that are not allowed to stay up to watch. Lulu, not a clue as to what American Idol is, but she was soooo excited. They were counting down the minutes! Lulu out cold by 7:30, Emma made it until 8:30, Caroline 8:35!

Web Guy

Web guy update...I used my meanest voice and left him a voice mail this morning! He responded this afternoon. Hopes to have it ready for next week! Keep your fingers crossed! More later!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Let's Paint!

Well, we painted this weekend! Then we painted and then after that we painted! The beach house is just about ready for our summer renters. MBM and I enlisted his sister, brother-in-law(B and B) and brother (Uncle French Fry) to help us get the house opened up! Luckily too, because we ran into plumbing issues that would have cost lots of $$$, if B and B hadn't been there to save the day! Although we worked all day Saturday we had a lot of fun, too! We don't get a chance to hang out all that often without the our kids and grandparents! Oh, I forgot to mention the most important part we painted!
I forgot to take'll just have to wait a little longer!

Today, the girls and I went to get our hair cut. Lulu and Caroline went with short bobs, love it!!!

Emma still holding out just got a trim! I was supposed to get color done but, there was an incident this weekend, my hair vs. paint! I lost! Anyway, I have to wash it with vinegar to try to get all the paint out! I ran errands all afternoon. Mainly for Easter Basket stuff! Picked up these dresses for the girls at Target!

The girls are on Spring Break this is what is in my MomAgenda for Tuesday!
... waxing, can't wait for that!...manis and pedis for the girls, by me of course...client in the afternoon, a bridal party... laundry....pack for the shore...pick up the house for cleaning lady on Wednesday...finish and ship/deliver a few orders... finish priming the pergola...order Caroline's First Communion invitations...

I better get to sleep or should I watch the train wreck that is on at 10, aka The Bachelor?