Mome reads Mommy, My daughter's way to spell it when she was younger... It stuck. My son calls me Mome... just like it looks. I now sign all my notes to them "Love, Mome". It's our inside secret and makes them smile. I always want them to smile.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Branding~ I'm just not into it

Bloggers talk all the time about owning their brands.  Creating a profile for your business (blog) and sticking to it.  Being recognized by potential advertisers is key and they want to be recognized by their business not by the person behind the business.  Social networking screws this up for me.  I am not a writer that happens to be a person.  I'm pretty sure all writers are people.  I am a person who happens to enjoy writing. 

My profile pic on Facebook changes almost daily.  I do not have a fan page for any of my blogs.  My posts all feed to FB but I'm there to connect with people.  I'm a people person.  I love to meet new friends.  I make friends easily and the blogging part is secondary on the social networks.  I have bought more stuff from complete strangers who happen to be "friends" because I love to support crafters and have enjoyed everything I have received.  I dont expect them to visit my blogs in return.  I don't keep track of who visits/comments back in the blogging world.  I don't keep score of favors in my real life so why would that be different in my online endeavor?

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to be a brand.  I want to be a person who has a brand.  Is that so bad?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July 4th Strawberries

I saw these on Facebook yesterday and just HAD to make them.  Thank You DealiciousMom for this simple recipe.  I modified it a little so I'll give you the recipe we used.  These are so easy.  I melted the chocolate and the 5 year old did the rest.

You will need:
White Chocolate (we used the candiquik)
1/2 C sugar
blue food coloring

Was and thoroughly dry strawberries.  Keep on stems for a handle to dip.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave (make sure to stir every 30 seconds if using microwave)
Mix together sugar and 4 drops of food coloring either in a baggie or bowl with lid.  Shake well until all clumps are gone.

Once chocolate is completely melted and creamy, let cool for two minutes.  Dip strawberries 2/3 of the way in chocolate, let excess drip off. Dip tip in blue sugar.  Put in fridge to set. 

Took less time to make them than to type this post.


Monday, June 27, 2011

How do you make it work?

Recently rejoining the work force, I was amazed at how quickly the kids and I adjusted to the new schedule.  Granted, I was working at Puddin Pops school so it only required that we leave 10 minutes earlier than usual and we dropped Handsome off first instead of 2nd.  It did, however require making two extra lunches (for PP and I) and me to be ready to actually be seen in public rather than kicking the kids out of the car and speeding off.

I am reminded how lucky I am all the time.  Watching shows with female professionals who balance home and work with much more vigorous schedules than my own amazes me at the strength some women have and the tenacity to get-it-all-done.  I'm fortunate to work within the kid's school schedules so don't have the added stress of day care or late night homework.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am a big fan of The Closer (with Kyra Sedgwick).  Brenda Johnson is married to an FBI agent who surely gets her rigorous schedule and yet he is often disappointed by her always on the clock scheduling and often gets saddled entertaining her parents while they are visiting.  I wonder if children will ever be added to the story line?  I can't imagine all the juggling that would require.  I know it's just a television program but I'm sure there are women in similar careers who actually juggle it all.  How do they do it?

Pre-order your copy of The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season on DVD here today!

If you're a fan of the show, tell me...

Do you think Brenda and Fritz will/should have kids?

I have recently read of other bloggers rejoining the workforce to make ends meet.  How is it working out for you?  Are you adjusting?  Are the kids?  How much has it changed your routines and what sacrifices have you had to make?

I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote The Closer Sixth Season on DVD.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PSA for Families Heading to Water Parks this Summer

I posted this picture on Facebook on our last trip to Water Country.  Let this serve as  Public Service Announcement.  My kids did this last year but...I guess they forgot over the Winter.  If you have plans to visit a Water Park this Summer be warned.  These spouts attract children and if you see your child/ren standing or (even worse) sitting on one of these spouts, start packing up your stuff.  The kids will come, cheeks clenched, demanding a trip to the bathroom.  It's no joke.  We are fortunate to have Family restrooms near and head off to find one unoccupied.  Once the kids spend 10 minutes shooting the water back out of their bodies I stick them in the shower these restrooms have.  Then back to the water we go.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alex Elman and her Wines

A couple months back, before life got hectic with full time employment and all the end of year school stuff, I was offered the opportunity to try this Alex Elman wine collection AND the chance to interview The Blind Wine Chick (her words, not mine).

I jotted down a couple of questions and waited anxiously for my 7:45 time slot.  I dialed her number at exactly 7:45, the phone rang 2x and then disconnected.  Thinking something better came up (for her) I tried one more time to at least leave a message so she didn't think I was blowing her off.  She answered.  I introduced myself, asked if there were any topics she wished not to discuss (she said there weren't) and I asked my first question.  With notepad in hand I ferociously tried to keep up with her amazing story and how she became a lover of wine and eventual Winepreneuer (my new title for her).  It didn't take long to realize that her story was edge-of-seat exciting and there was no way I could listen and take notes.  I wanted to hear every word.  I put away my notepad and we just talked.

It was like reconnecting with an old friend after years apart.  We chatted about wine, her travels, her assist dog Hanley, relationships, food and everything in between.  I had planned on 10 to 15 minutes but the call lasted more than an hour.  If it weren't for the kids needing to be put to bed, I could have talked to her all night.  Check out her story...

*from Alex Elman Wines

Born in New York City to an American oenophile and a Brazilian chef, Alexandra Elman was exposed to wine and food at an early age. Both her parents encouraged her to experience the world and develop opinions, so she became her mother’s chief taster and helped her father study for wine society entrance exams. She spent her youth in Brazil, France and New York and this early exposure to an array of food and wines honed both her palate and passion for high quality wines made without manipulation.

As an adult, Elman went to work for Perrier-Jouët Champagne in Epernay, France, where she learned about wine production at the Chateaux level—she worked in production, packaging, storage and sales. Upon her return to the U.S., Elman began to work for her stepfather, Basil Winston, trading wines from all over the world, including many California cult wines. When working for Sherry Lehman, Elman was exposed to some of the lesser-known wines of the world, and found them to be more compelling and honest—or truly reflective of their sense of place—than many of the larger labels.

In her late 20s, due to complications from diabetes, Elman partially lost her vision and after various eye surgeries, lost her sight completely within a year, at the age of 27. She credits her first seeing eye dog, Hogan, as the reason she was able to move forward with her life. Elman never stopped working in the wine world, and soon discovered that her palate had become even more focused. Her passion for wine grew, and Elman developed a reputation as someone who not only had an intricate knowledge of fine wine, but an extraordinary sense of what might succeed.

In 2002, Elman embarked on a venture to import small production, hand crafted, artisan wines to the U.S. In 2009, Alex decided to create her own label of wines, and began working with Beverage Alliance in order to form Alex Elman Wines, which released its inaugural portfolio in November 2010. Elman’s wines are honest, focusing on the sustainability of the vineyards where they are produced, as well as truly representing the wine’s terroir.

Today, she travels the world with Hanley, her seeing eye dog, in order to find the best wines that the earth has to offer.

The Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes

This Cabernet is forceful and well balanced with notes of red and dark
berries, and a hint of pepper. The tannins are not overwhelming and have
a soft edge. This wine is a great partner to lasagna, game, eggplant dishes,
Beef Bourguignon and hard cheeses and truly beyond comparison when
pared with a piece of chocolate cake.

2010 Chardonnay Tasting Notes

This unoaked Chardonnay allows the buttery-ness to come through. It
has notes of vanilla and green apple with well-balanced acidity. This
jovial wine is surprisingly pleasant and bright. A wonderful compliment
to tangy salads, scaloppini based dishes, soft cheeses, lightly spiced
fish and fruits.

2009 Malbec Tasting Notes

This unoaked, delicious, cozy, well-balanced Malbec is ruby in color and
texture. Notes of cherry, candied apple and caramelized onion mingled
with great tannins to make this a perfect wine for hearty stews, smoky
mushrooms, spicy sauces, sausages, tomato based pastas and steaks.

2010 Torrontes Tasting Notes

This luscious, refreshing, lightly floral wine has notes of orange
citrus, honeydew melon and maintains a well-balanced acidity. Its
notes of honeyed fruit leaves a long taste in the mouth. This wine is
great to sip all day and is a perfect match for salads, citrus accented
foods, light fish and semi soft cheeses.

Alex's go to wine from the collection is the Torrontes.

The entire collection will be available at Target nationwide in the near future with a SRP of
 $12.99-14.99.  It is already available in some locations other than Target.  Check here to see if it's available close to you.

When you find it, buy it.  Follow Alex's motto...

 "Don't think.  Just drink!"

Alex has promised to call me if she ends up in my area.  I hope she comes soon.  I would love to visit some local vineyards with her and Hanley and share a bottle.

Cheers! to my new friend.

My Job is Done

One week and one day into Summer vacation and I received the best compliment from the kids.  Its hard to listen to the cries of boredom which settle in shortly after school schedules end.  I made a promise to myself to avoid hearing that this summer by keeping the kids busy.  We've been to the beach, Water County and Busch Gardens.  Handsome has spent two nights at a friend's house and Puddin Pop has spent one night away.  We have had friends spend the night here on two different nights and have been up late catching fireflies and enjoying the company of our awesome neighbors on the nights weve all been home. 

The compliment?

I asked the kids what they wanted to do today as I served them pancakes and sausage for breakfast.  They both looked at me and asked...

"Can't we just stay home today?"

Mom's job is done...

until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Closer. Season 6 NOW Available on DVD

I'm so excited for Summer programming to begin.  In the past couple years some good shows have come out that only air during the Summer.  I don't remember this type of programming when I was a kid, or even 10 years ago, but it gives me something to look forward to when the other shows go on break and my DVR gets empty.

The Closer is one of my favorites.  I've watched since the first season and haven't missed a show (Gotta LOVE DVR's).  Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) is a tough but soft Deputy Chief that always gets her "guy".  The ability to pretend to understand where the suspect is coming from in whatever crime (murder) they've committed makes her the person you want on the job to get justice.  The entire cast is awesome and it's a team like no other.  We also get a glimpse into their personal lives and see how the job affects it. 

I've been hooked since the beginning and look forward to Summer to check in and see what The Closer is up to next.

Does that clip have you intrigued?  Of course it does!
Pre-order your copy of The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season on DVD today!

Order all 6 Seasons if you've missed one!

Are you already a fan?  Tell me about your favorite character or episode.

**I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote The Closer Sixth Season on DVD.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Finally Here...

Oh Summer. How I have missed you so.  I no longer have to make lunch with breakfast.  I can make all the appointments we've missed.  Birthday parties, Busch Gardens and Water Country are all on our list of things to do weekly.  We can stay up late, sleep in... although no one will, and just go. with. the. flow.  I love that. 

We have accomplished so many things.

Puddin Pop completed Preschool and is reading and doing addition problems with a new love for learning.

Handsome completed 2nd grade (first year of letter grades) with straight A's all 4 Semesters.  Poor kid has no idea what kind of expectations he's earned himself but that conversation can be tucked away for early September.

Mommy (me) has worked (almost) full time since April and never even had to look for a job. (Karma)

We are all adjusting going from a foursome to a threesome but have made the transistions with little effort and lots of love.

To my children:  I love you both more than life.  I am proud of all your accomplishments and am elated that you are mine!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer can't get here quick enough

We're so close...

I want it to be Summer vacation RIGHT NOW.  8 days left for one kid (with he last 4 being half days) and 7 days left for the other kid and me.  I want to be done with making lunch alongside breakfast.  I want to be done with bedtimes and schedules.  I want to spend long days at the beach, Busch Gardens and Water Country.  I want to do it NOW!

I'm stocked up on sunblock and am happy that Puddin Pop is over her fear of spray on sunblock.   Last year she would only let me put the lotion on her and taking the time to dry her first so it would stay on (after being in the water) was a PITA.  Now we're using Neutrogena.  Their new collection includes a 70 SPF for kids that can be put on while they are wet.  I'm confident in the brand and love that it's easy to apply while running from one water slide to the next.  The other SPF's can be put on wet as well making it easy to protect myself as well.  If you order online you can save $2 on all Neutrogena skin care products.

We had plans of spending today at Water Country but the weather had other plans.  I did buy the annual inflatable pool and set it up Friday.  We also had some friends come and sleepover and that was a blast.  We will definitely be doing more of that.

What are you're Summer plans?  Are you ready for it to begin?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Neutrogena and received sunscreen and other Neutrogena products as a thank you for my participation.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blah, Blah, Blah

I've been working 5-7 days a week for the last month and trying to take care of everything else on my off time.  I haven't been here but I did manage to cut my lawn.  For the first time ever.  I wasn't allowed as a kid.  Mom thought it was "boys work", and since I had two brothers... I got to do the weeding.  Weeding sucks.

I'll be back soon.  Feel free to talk about me until I get back.