Friday, May 28, 2010

It's 2a.m. . . . Do you know where your blogger is?

This one is in front of her keyboard...regretting the two glasses of iced tea (realizing now, it was NOT decaffeinated) she had with a late dinner. That's what she gets for opting out of the red wine.

Enough of the third person....

Thanks to all who noticed my absence, missed me and told me so. This time, it was not so much a purposeful distancing as it was a literal distancing. I truly have not been able to sit in front of this screen and spend any quality time in Aleighopolis. It's true. Ask my facebook friends. I've been MIA there, as well. It started with a four-day trip "home" for a family affair. I returned just in time for my kids to begin a four-day weekend, during which my parents arrived for a week long visit. They left Sunday, and here comes another three-day weekend celebrating the unofficial kick-off to SUMMER!

What happened to May?

What happened to this school year?!?

As my friend recently reminded me. "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans." So what lifey things have interrupted your best-laid plans? I'm hoping all good.

Ooh! Let me guess!

I'm thinking a third of you finished a chapter, were signed by an agent, or have a book available on amazon; a third of you just finished a mini-marathon, the 26.2, or are training for a triathlon; a third of you are still pissed off because Crystal Bowersox lost on American Idol.

Am I close?!?

I'm thinking we're on the same wavelength, because other than visiting and being visited, this is what I've been up to:

Contemplating a book idea that a friend suggested I author (can you imagine?)

Updating Zumba routines as I branch out on my own, renting space at a local dance studio

NOT watching American Idol

Sorry, I lost interest after Andrew Garcia was voted out. He had THEE BEST rendition of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" and Chris Brown's "Forever." I'd stick a link to youtube here, but alas, I still don't know how to do such a thing. And, it doesn't matter anyway....the polls have been closed for a few days, right?

Today should be Flashback Friday. With that in mind, how about we flashback to the Project 12 Rooms in 12 Months?



It's a good thing you're all holding me accountable.

I'll go get started now.

Scratch that.

I'll get started later today. After a little shut-eye.

Good morning.

And good night.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There's an App for That

Six of the most annoying words in the English vocabulary:


I am unabashedly, unequivocally IN LOVE with my iPhone. That's right, iHeart my iPhone. Despite what that "other company" says about AT&T's dead zones, or lack of service area (or whatever they're calling it in their ads this week), I rarely have issues connecting to the server. And my phone is now over a year old, rendering it antiquated and nearly obsolete in the world of cellular electronics.

That, my friends, is what makes the last hour of my time with my beloved smart phone so completely frustrating. I was away from my PC for a mere hour and a half, and felt completely lost (that kind of says something about me, doesn't it?). Don't get me wrong, I can float away from cyberspace (with only slight detoxing side effects) for hours and hours, but this weekend, I will be leaving Big Daddy and the kids to fend for themselves for four days, so there are many a plan to be finalized and all that. This is no time to be unplugged. Unnecessary anxiety has set in.

What's wrong with my phone? What if it's broken. What if I don't have a phone over my weekend away?

I have tried to connect no less than 1,000,000,000 times over the past hour and five minutes, with those same God-awful words popping up every time.

Let me try to distract myself with something else.....

You know how, "they got an app for that?" Most (all) of my apps are FOC, just because I don't have time or $$ to invest in the fancy stuff. Many would accuse me of not fully reaching my iPhone potential. Call me a simpleton. I still have my favorites. Here are some top-billed (free) apps in Aleighopolis:

Words Free (Words With Friends) - my new favorite. My Sis-in-Law got me started in this virtual scrabble game, and now we're in constant battle - me in Philly, she in Ft. Worth. She and my nephew are the only people I engage in wordplay with, and I have yet to win a game. Although, I have to say, I WAS winning one round, and mysteriously, it disappeared. Never to be heard from again. I smell hijinks (which would make a kick-ass triple word play).

ESPN ScoreCenter - most fervently used during the fall to keep track of the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Phillies post-season play.

Shazam - musical voodoo at the touch of a screen.

Notes & Voice Memos - great for quick citations. Remember when we used to have to write notes on paper?!? How archaic!

I realize these aren't the most titillating of iPhone applications, but they serve me well on a day to day basis (and I suppose I would be remiss to leave off facebook mobile for obvioso reasons). If you want apps that would incite a riot (or at the very least, make a middle-aged mama squeal with delight), how about creating one of these:

The Carpool - At the tap of your screen, coordinate with your entire contact list to determine who could drive whom when and where, thus avoiding endless emails, texts, and phone calls with said network.

Copperfield Dinner - type in your random on-hand ingredients (mine would read 2 cans of chicken, a sleeve of saltines, a jar of green olives and ranch dressing), and feast your eyes on a delectable gourmet recipe, complete with calorie, fat, and carb count.

Personal Trainer (from Hades) - This app would work on an interval training schedule, alerting you to various cardio and strength-training feats throughout your day. One may find themselves shopping in Target, when "Personal Trainer" demands they "drop and give him two sets of ten!"

Extraordinary Excuses - Keep this one on page one for quick reference when asked to chair the next fundraising event at your child's school.

Grocery Getter - This app acts as a liason between you and your favorite, local supermarket. You input your grocery list and debit card info, and the store has everything grabbed off the shelves, bagged in recycled totes, and waiting for you curbside as you do a food drive-by.

And how about one more....

Because I'm the Mom! - this would be random comebacks to your children's most annoying questions and requests.

Tween Daughter: Mom! Why can't I go to the Katy Perry concert?

Because I'm the Mom: Because I said so!

Wait - I could create that one myself on my voice memo app!

So what's your favorite app? What's your dream app?

By the way....crisis averted. Very few iPhone problems CAN'T be fixed by simply turning it off and turning it back on.

Kind of like Big Daddy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Down. Eleven to Go.

Wow! My mind is 1/12 freer. Not kidding. I am on my way to a clutter-free cranium!

My apologies for not being much of a motivator for the Project 12 Rooms in 12 Months, but BIG THANKS to all of YOU for motivating ME to complete my first project in the first month. Accountability, people. I made you a promise, and I kept it. And here is my reward:

You know what I love? I love when one of my kids tells me they need a blue erasable pen for school and I can say, "mudroom, bottom right drawer" without hesitation. That's power, my peeps. Check out the big "OM" on my unitard - "Organized Mommy."

If you're wondering what's in those boxes up top, the answer would be, from left to right, top to bottom:

Fancy present toppers
"Extra parts" for "stuff"
Bows & tissue paper
Gift bags

The biggest accomplishment in the laundry room was getting all of the clothes upstairs in the proper closet. Claustrophobia cured! My itty-bitty laundry room now feels cozy instead of cramped. Note that I still keep the kids' team uniforms hanging here on the right. Again...

Them: Mom! Where are my baseball pants/shirt/vest/belt/socks?
Me: Laundry room. Hanging up on the right.

Organized Mom saves the day AGAIN!

You know what else feels roomier? This petite little mudroom closet. The over-the-door shoe rack is still filled with all kinds of things - from hole punchers to screwdrivers to fancy empty boxes to packing tape. I find no reason to disturb the organized chaos happening here. But check out the closet innards.....

And now, the piece de resistance....

Surprise! I had my powder room turned into a little jewel box! Isn't it adorable?!? I have a love/hate relationship with wallpaper. I hate "their" wallpaper, but I LOVE MY WALLPAPER! Actually, this is only the third time I have had wallpaper slapped up in my house, and one was a neutral textured paper, but I was looking for a bold, modern floral and this is it!

**DISCLAIMER: Project 12-in-12 is not about spending money on redecorating; however, if it is on the to-do list, "git'er done." **

Voila! So there you have it! My first of twelve rooms (which was actually three rooms rolled into one), is complete! And for my next trick - the living room:

I get a lot of compliments on this room, and at first glance I can understand why. It's trendy, but tasteful...well-balanced...warm and inviting. But, as the owner of this living room, trust me when I say it kills me (that's right, my LIVING room KILLS me).

Look at those 25 cubbies. Shelving units are our best friends and our worst enemies. Three words: Purge. Purge. Purge. And even though this room has been put together over time...pieces purchased for other rooms in other homes, brought together here, it still feels a little "Rooms to Go" to me. I need to edit and add in order to produce a more eclectic vibe, which is more my style.

This corner has always posed a problem...since moving in. It's a great hiding spot behind the foyer closet.

I have a bad habit of this, too. Propping "soon to be hung" items up against the wall. These were "soon to be hung" when we moved in 2 years ago.

And this closet needs the same TLC I showed in the mudroom...

One more thing. Take a look at what used to be a fabulous second-hand find for the "I love me some vintage furniture" shopper girl.

It's a liquor cabinet. Check out how it becomes a server bar. This little number has seen many a wild party in it's heyday.

Why is it lopsided, you ask? That happened Saturday night. No joke. Just two days ago.

Big Daddy was out of town this weekend. ZuZu had a friend stay over Saturday night, and the boys asked a couple of neighborhood friends to spend the night, too. As they were all having a dance party via Comcast On Demand videos in our family room, my neighbor (the boys' mom) was graciously inviting us all down for Belgian waffles and bacon the next morning. Lovely. We continue our chat, which suddenly veers a little off topic.

She: Do you guys have a hamster?

Me: Yeah. (she doesn't read my blog, but I thought she knew this)

She: Is he black?

Me: Yeah! WhyyYY?!? (escalating with realization) IS HE OUT?!?

She: Yeah, he just ran under the couch.

Me: ZUZU!!!!!

At this point, I do a vertical leap somewhere between 6 inches and 6 feet, and my bum comes crashing down on top of this liquor cabinet, which proceeds to make a crunching sound as the wheeled leg is forced through 60-year old rotting wood and slams onto the foyer floor (me, sliding off, running into the kitchen and jumping onto sturdier, more stable Quartz countertopped kitchen island).

The kids have made a barrier across the room, and my friend urges ZuZu to go get the hamster. She's frozen with fear. I JUST NOW find out that Scooter bit my son on the first day we had the stupid hamster, and ZuZu has been afraid to hold him ever since (TOLDYA SO! TOLDYA SO! TOLDYA TOLDYA TOLDYA TOLDYA TOLDYA SO!)

My neighbor's son finally captured the rodent without further incident, and he was placed back in his cage with the non-secured hole NOW taped closed. You all told me it was just a matter of time. Luckily, he was lost & found all at once. In fact, he was kind of found first. He was found, before we knew he was lost.

Freakin' hamster.
Freakin' ZuZu.

p.s. Mudroom Before & Afters will be in an album on my Aleighopolis facebook page.