Tuesday, June 29, 2010




I absolutely LOVE strawberries!  And summer is a really yummy strawberry season ... its finally summer and the strawberries are out in full force and lookin' mighty fine.  (Sam's Club and Costco seem to have the biggest and juiciest strawberries.  Soooooo yummy!) 

A chocolate covered strawberry just might be one of my favorite treats.  LOVE!  And it really is a "treat" because I don't get to have one too often.  (Although I can admit that there have been times when I have been sitting at my desk, crave one, decide I need a break right then, jump in my car and drive to the Chocolate Cottage and get a few.  The problem with that is, since I've made the trip, I don't just get the strawberries.  I also get a few chocolate covered grapes and raspberries.  And a few mint chocolate truffles.  And usually two or three peanut clusters ... all of those are some of my favorite treats too.  And I don't usually share.  Not because I wouldn't share, I just don't make it home with anything.)

It would frustrate me when I would bring home strawberries from the grocery store, set them in the fridge, and then within just a day or two they would start to get old and I would end up wasting several.  (Not happy about that.)  So now when I bring home a basket of strawberries, I rinse them, cut them up into a bowl and sprinkle sugar on them.  That way, sitting in the fridge, all fixed up and ready, they get eaten up - still mostly by me.

My son told me he doesn't like strawberries.  I know that, but I still ask him every single time I'm fixing them if he'd like to have some.  And every single time he says, "Mom, I don't like strawberries."  (Okay. It is probably just a matter of time before he just stops responding altogether - sometimes he is just too fun to tease though and I can't resist.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Painted toes ... ?


I rarely paint my toe nails - almost never.  In fact, I can't even remember the last time they were painted.  I know it is such a girlie thing to do and its so summery and fun but I just don't do it. 

My friend Vicki always has her toe nails painted - always.  Actually, I am sure that lots of girls do, I just don't happen to be one of them.  (Haven't I mentioned that I am pretty low maintenance?)  I did used to get my finger nails done for about five years prior to leaving California, but no one here could match the quality and quickness of Peter, my Korean nail guy, so I gave them up. Well, Vicki has a really fabulous nail girl she loves in California too.  And due to some VERY fortunate circumstances, she still gets to go to California every month and didn't have to give her nail girl up after they moved to Utah.

Vicki is very creative and artistic when it comes to her toes.  She comes up with her nail ideas and the salon comes up with the talent to do it.  For example:  Since the 4th of July is coming up, Vicki will have her toes painted to look like an American flag.  When her son was coming home from Brazil, she had them painted like the Brazilian flag.  If a wedding is coming up, she has them paint them pastel colors with flowers.  I remember for a special Disney event she had Tinker Bell painted on her big toe nails ... it is actually quite impressive.

The reason for my recent toe painting isn't nearly as festive or fun.  I worked so long and hard in my yard on Saturday that even after two showers I could NOT get my feet and toe nails clean enough!  So rather than be completely embarrassed by what looked like a lack of cleanliness, I painted my toes - kind of like a disguise.  Then this morning when I got out of the shower and was drying my feet, I said, "Oh yeah!  Hey, my toes are painted ... I like that."

And I should maybe be a little embarrassed by my less than perfect toes in this picture and extremely veiny feet ... but I'm not!  And I decided to have my adorable Claire Murray rug as their backdrop, because it is one of my favorite things in my house.  Isn't it so cute?

I had been to Nantucket Island a few times and every time I was there I would go into the Claire Murray rug shop (which is so darling) and drool over her rugs.  I really wanted one.  But they are really expensive.  On one of our trips there, I think it was my sister, Spring, who said, "Polly!  How much money do you spend on little this's and that's that when all totalled up would probably be around what a rug here would cost?  Just buy one if you want one so much and don't buy anything else."  So I did.

I kept it rolled up for awhile too.  I wanted to put it in the kids bathroom but I was worried that it would get ruined too fast.  Then one day I thought, You know, this rug would look so perfect in front of my own tub - its girlie, I won't ruin it, and I will look at it everyday and it will make me happy. 

So I put it in front of my own tub and I look at it every day and it really does make me happy to see it.  I am in LOVE with this little mermaid.

(Yes, it is also my flip-flop-tan-line season.)

Friday, June 25, 2010



I knew when I first started this blog that I would eventually post this picture. It is one of my very favorite pictures that I have taken - ever! This is McCall and her closest friends from high school on the day of their graduation ... it was a great day. They called themselves L-7 which stood for Lucky Seven, and I think they were.

Girlfriends are the best, for so many reasons - but today my reason is because I have girlfriends who missed my blog while I was away. And you don't even know how sweet that is and how much that means to me.

I have a lot of really wonderful friends. Some I have known for 30 plus years and BOY have they shared a lot with me. Some others I "acquired" as a young mother and we shared a lot of joys and sorrows as we raised our little ones together. Some have become close friends in more recent years and whose love and support I have desperately relied on as I faced some rather trying challenges.

I consider my sisters some of my best friends too. As my own daughters have grown, they are some of my closest friends as well and I consider that a blessing in my life.

And now as I have become a blogger, I have blogging friends, and that is really a sweet thing. Because as women we know how important it is to support and encourage and give shout outs to each other when we need them.

So today is my big shout out to all of you friends of mine, young and ... um ... not so young:

Thank you for being there, really.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Deep fried treats.


It was really hard to come home after my trip to Tennessee. I was talking with a friend this morning and he said, "So what made it such a great trip?"

It was a great trip because ... even though I arrived in Nashville at 11:00 pm and had stood in line at the Alamo car rental counter (with my free one day car rental coupon in hand) for 30 minutes, and by the time I reached the clerk and was told all they had left were luxury cars and SUVs - I scooted over to the Enterprise car rental counter (where there was no line) and said to that guy, "I need a really cheap car." He said to me, "Well let's see what I can do to help you out."

We chatted a little bit. He asked me where I was headed. I told him I had two daughters who were in a variety show in Pigeon Forge. He perked up and talked about how he had discovered the theater when he was 19 and loved doing community shows and how awesome it was at their age to be getting paid to do what they love to do. (As we visited the cost of the rental car kept coming down.)

He wished me well, said to have a safe, fun trip and I was off to find my car ... in space #50. When I walked out of the airport at midnight, and into the hot 90 degree, damp air I looked at space #1 right outside the door and thought, Really? Space 50?

And then even after I got myself lost trying to get on the right freeway for my 3 1/2 hour drive to Pigeon Forge, having stopped twice for directions, it was actually a nice drive ... because the day before I left, I had switched my Cricket phone plan to their new nationwide coverage and I was able to call my girls numerous times to let them know where I was and how soon I'd be there without having to worry about running out of roaming minutes.

And then when I stopped for a bathroom break (3 hours into the drive) I took a minute to figure out how to plug in my iPod, which was two years old but had never been used, and realized how many great songs McCall had downloaded for her mom so I would have music I liked to listen to on my long car ride. (Sometimes I forget how thoughtful she is ... and then I remember, and it makes me happy.)

It was also a really great trip because ... Haley and Chloe had waited up for me and I didn't arrive until almost 5 am their time - and because their rooms were nice and cool and my bed was nice and comfy and we slept in as long as we wanted to. In fact, we slept in until lunch and then we went with the other two dancers in the show to eat and had a really fun time even though it poured down rain in the heat and soaked us as we went into Appleby's.

It was a really great trip because ... when I walked into the theater that night and was introduced to the show's cast I felt like the belle of the ball. Everyone was so excited to meet me, because my girls had been so excited to have me come.

It was a really great trip because ... Haley and Chloe didn't tell me that they sang "One Night Only" from Dreamgirls together in the show, and it was pretty amazing. And I was really proud of them as I watched them perform that night.

It was a really great trip because ... the girls were dying to show me "the cutest McDonald's ever Mom" in Knoxville. (We did cut our Knoxville tour a little short because Haley and Chloe felt we needed to hurry back to Pigeon Forge so we could get some deep fried oreos before the Funnel Cake Shop closed - a treat they felt I wouldn't want to miss. And as we watched the girl dip the oreos in batter and drop them into the oil, she said, "This is the south, we deep fry anything. We deep fry twinkies and zingers here too. We can even deep fry your favorite candy bar for you." I grinned pretty big after that one and thought it was a dang good thing I was only in town for a few days because those deep fried oreos ... Mmmm, mmmm GOOD!)

And as we were walking back to our car (which was a really nice, new, black Ford focus - btw) we also happened by a t-shirt shop and I bought Libby a baby pink tee that says, Grandma's little princess, Pigeon Forge, TN - and how could buying a corny cool t-shirt like that NOT make it a really great trip?

(I just really wished that I could have stayed with them and been their roomate for a while ... I sure enjoy their company ... LoVe.)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tennessee Shindig.


I leave for Tennessee tomorrow. I'll be seeing these crazy girls.

And I'm really looking forward to Show Time!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Drive thru.


Don't you just love a drive thru? And although it has been made extremely clear on my blog that I am a burger and fry kind of girl ... I don't just mean the fast food drive thru.

I also mean the wonderful convenience of the drive thru at the really smart establishments who get the fact that we are generally lazy by design and don't really want to get out of our car if at all possible when we are running our errands.

You know, places like the dry cleaners and the market and the car wash, and the pharmacy. I mean even having a Red Box sitting outside now makes renting a movie practically like a drive thru, right? And the last two times I got my vehicle registration renewed it was at the DMV drive-thru. Can you believe that? Our DMV has a drive-thru ... now that was smart thinking on someone's part.

Sometimes when I'm out with my kids we will really be in the mood for something (back to food now) but if they don't have a drive thru ... we pass.

Some Subway's have one and we love that. Still waiting for a Panda Express to get one though. (There is a Panda Express by my work and I went there for lunch the other day. Parking at that particular row of restaurants during lunch time is kind of ridiculous. But once I did find a spot a few hundred yards away, I walked in and walked out within 3 minutes - I said to the guy at the register, "Wow, that was super fast." And he replied, "Faster than Wendy's!" But then I had quite a hike back to my car ... see, I might frequent their place more if there was the convenient drive thru window.)

Now just so you don't think I am a complete lazy-daisy, I still walk into Costco, my office and church. (Just joking ... I just really like drive thru's!)

After thought: This just reminded me of a time when I was supposed to meet this guy for a date. Only, in my opinion, it wasn't going to qualify as a date. (Online dating has sort of changed the rules I think.)

Since I really enjoy talking (not just me doing all the talking, but having a conversation with someone) I prefer to meet for dinner at first. That way, there isn't usually a time restraint on when the date should end and you can usually spend some nice quality time getting to know the person.

But see, that's exactly why guys (I have found) say they prefer lunch dates. If it isn't going well, they can cut it short and get back to the office or get to that appointment.

One time a guy wrote me and said that on a first date he likes to meet in a park for a walk or to play frisbee. (What?) And then he told me we could maybe get some ice cream, his treat. (What?)

So, another time the guy I was supposed to go out with, suggested that since I lived in Draper we should just meet at Barnes and Noble for a drink (aka: soda or latte?) Okay, when I heard that - a drink? Not even lunch? I seriously was tempted to write him back and say, "Or we could just do a drive by and see how that goes."

I didn't ever meet either one of those two ....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pom pom balls.


(image from martha stewart.com)

I am totally in LoVe with these tissue paper pom pom balls.

And I am beginning to see them EVERYWHERE ... on blogs, at parties, at boutiques.

I think I need to make some for Sophie's room ... maybe for Libby's room too.

I cut some of my white peonies yesterday and brought them inside.

As soon as I arranged them I thought they looked like tissue paper pom poms.

Or maybe the tissue paper pom poms look like peonies.

I think I'll start calling them peony pom poms!

Either way ... they really are so much fun ... talk about a happy little thing!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Toy Story.


On Saturday night I was sitting on the couch with my 17 year old son, Elliott. I sat down for a little "rest" from my chores, in between loads of laundry, and the first Toy Story movie came on the Disney Channel. So we watched it.

The last time he and I were watching a show together I was full of comments .... he said, "Mom, really? Do you talk this much to the T.V. when you're alone too?"

Hmmm. I had to think about that for a minute. (It was one of those questions like, When a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?) I said, "Maybe. I'm not sure. Sorry, is it annoying?"

He said, "Kind of."

So as we were watching Toy Story, I had to make a conscientious effort not to make comments out loud. It didn't work that well. Like when I said, "Hey, did you notice Andy's mom's hair? It looked brown when she was on the stairs and now in his room it looks blonde with dark roots."

Elliott looked over at me and didn't even have to say what I knew he was thinking.

I said, "You know your mom would be a really good continuity director for the movies. I always notice things like that." (Like recently, in Letters to Juliet, when Sophia was walking out of her office building in a white shirt and pants. Her shirt was tucked in as she walked out of the building, but untucked when she came around the corner in the next scene. I really do catch stuff like that ALL the time.)

He kept reaching over and patting me on the leg saying, "It's just a cartoon Mom, it isn't real life."

I asked Elliott if he remembered wearing Buzz lightyear jammies when he was little. He didn't.

He said, "This movie is just so creative." I had to agree. Pixar is amazing. I'm in love with the toys!

When the show ended, Toy Story 2 came on ... and we sat and watched that one too!!! Good times - now we can't wait to see Toy Story 3! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Letters to Juliet.


One of my favorite things about the movie Letters to Juliet was the beautiful Italian countryside. It definitely made me put a visit to Italy on my bucket list. Another was these two beautiful actors.

When Vanessa Redgrave first appeared on the screen I was actually a little taken back by how beautiful she looked. She almost appeared to be a younger woman who had been aged for her role in the movie ... I think because of the way she carried herself. I thought she was radiant.

And then, much later in the movie, came her Lorenzo.

My, oh my, oh my.

As soon as they showed that handsome face ...... and then he recognized her as his Claire ... be still my heart. (Were you crying, or was it just me? And weren't you so thinking that he better be single????)

Well did you know that Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave had the same thing happen in real life? With each other? I just read this in PEOPLE magazine. (I love this story!)

In 1967 Vanessa Redgrave was cast to play Guenevere opposite a very handsome Italian actor named Franco Nero in Camelot. (This is so romantic.) At the time, Vanessa was 29 and a mother of two. Franco was 24.

When he saw her on the movie set dressed in blue jeans with holes in them, no makeup and glasses, he asked the director, "Are you sure you made the right choice?"

Then Vanessa sent him a note in Italian asking him over for dinner. Nero said, "A beautiful lady opened the door and I told her I had been invited by Miss Vanessa Redgrave ... then this beautiful lady said, 'I am she.'"

So began an affair that led to the birth of their son, Carlo, in 1969. But shortly afterwards, the relationship ended. Franco moved to Italy, Vanessa stayed here. They lived their separate lives .... sigh.

Until 30 years later. They revived their friendship, which later became something more.

"I feel like I've been married to Vanessa since 1967 ... When you rediscover love, it's even stronger."

Vanessa says, "You're not impatient to turn somebody into something they're not. You just love them for who they are."

(Now that is a beautiful love story ... it happens.)


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One pale pink peony.


I have several bushes of peonies in my yard. They are definitely one of my favorite flowers. I am always anxious for them to bloom so I can put an arrangement in my kitchen. They smell soooooo good.

Yesterday, as I drove into my driveway after work, I noticed one lone bloom. One glorious pale pink blossom on just one of the bushes. Isn't it stunning?

Here is the weird thing about that - I don't remember having pale pink peonies before this one. I remember the bushes in the front yard being a really deep, dark, rich pink and the ones in the back being white .... hmmm?

Did you know that after several years, all tulip bulbs will eventually turn yellow or red? Even if you have had a nice array of glorious colors like pink and white and purple and orange? Because yellow and red are the only true tulip colors.

I wonder if my peony is changing from its deep dark pink color to a pale pink hue on its way to white. (Or it could be just one more reminder that I am slowly losing my mind and just thought both bushes in the front were dark pink.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mmmmm .... mini's.


My neighbor had a graduation party for her son this weekend. She invited us over. She served cupcakes. Really insanely yummy cupcakes. From a place called "Mini's". They were only 2 1/2'' high. They could possibly be the best cupcakes I've ever tasted ... really.

This one is called "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

Oh, my.

Mmmmm ... mmmm ... mmm ... mm ... m.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Cute old couples.


Not too long ago, I was driving with Elliott and he said, "You know what I think is just so cute? When old couples are together and the man is so sweet to his wife, like when he takes her arm and helps her. It's so adorable."

I had to agree. There really is something so precious about a couple whose love endures the test of time. When they get to a place of serene contentment and joy.

I think this cute little couple is the epitome of that ... Gordon B. Hinkley and his cute wife Marjorie.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Decorating advice.


This is the winter side of my closet ... um, can you say monochromatic? I have been thinking that I need a little boost toward the pattern department, what do you think?

Believe it or not my summer side is only slightly more diverse. Still mostly browns, blacks and beiges but with short sleeves. (And I even heard some fashion expert recently say that NO ONE should wear beige. Excuse me? I LoVe beige ... and I'm gonna wear it.)

I was reading my May issue of House Beautiful yesterday. (It's a really good one.) They called it their "Big Advice Issue ... what nobody ever tells you about decorating" and in it, they did an interview with a designer named Vicente Wolf. Here is some of his advice:

First I make sure there's a flow. Like water flowing down a river. There might be a little rock here and a little bit of rapids there, but the river never stops flowing. See how the white flows through these spaces? Walls, floors, ceilings, all white ... And the same linens and cottons turn up everywhere, lots of mercurial grays that are very pale in the day, darker at night. That's the flow ...

You'll never get tired of a white room ... White makes a strong foundation. It creates stability. Too much color and pattern feels nervous to me ... I like my backgrounds clean ... I don't like pattern, I never have ... I keep everything to a minimum.

People might call my rooms stark, but I think they're like when you have a mint in your mouth and you breathe in deeply- there's a freshness, a crispness.

I got to thinking that maybe it's okay that my wardrobe doesn't have that much color or pattern in it ... after all, it might make Vicente "nervous" should I ever run into him. I decided that if I were to be translated into a room it would be one of Vicente's rooms, and I actually do like his rooms.

(And maybe as I walk around in my browns and grays I need to remember it's like when you have a mint in your mouth ... a mint Vicente????)


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big toothless grins!


I can hardly stand it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Really green grass.

I have a slight obsession with really green grass, just ask any one of my children. We can be driving down the street at any given time and a typical outburst of mine might be, "Oh my gosh! Look how green that grass is!!!!" And they may or may not care, but I say it outloud anyway (they're use to it now).

Another of the great things about early Spring is that most everyone does have green grass. For those of you who are thinking, Duh people would have green grass, that is what color grass is, when the heat of summer rolls around, not everyone's grass stays green. And then there are the dreaded brown patches where your sprinklers don't hit, or you have those neighbors who may be trying to go green and save the planet by not watering (which is an oxy moron in and of itself when it comes to the grass), who let their lawns go completely dry and brown ... oh, except for the random green weeds that pop up - why they stay green with or without water is truly a mystery of heaven - yeah, that's when those really green lawns pop out and you can appreciate the care given.

One of my best Springs ever, I had two neighbors who are also a little obsessed with their lawns knock on my door and ask what I had done to get my grass so green. I was so proud! My secret that year was that I had remembered to put a late fall fertilizer on and an early Spring one as well. Good stuff!

My sister, Leslie, has always had a really nice green lawn and she shared her secret with me years ago - for her, just plain straight ammonium sulfate. She said it was really cheap and greened up your lawn in just a few days. (The first time I used that on my lawn I hadn't bought a spreader yet, so I took handfuls of it and walked up and down my yard throwing it out like birdseed. Within just a few days, sure enough, that grass was nice and green ... well, some of it was. Apparently I wasn't as efficient as a spreader and it was striped - literally, striped. Dark green and light green. I bought a spreader.)

Leslie also made the comment to me once that she thought green must be God's favorite color. And I think she might be right - with blue as a close second.