Monthly Archives: October 2010

Happy Halloween

Ok, let’s get this out right away I am not a fan of Halloween.  My earliest memories of Halloween date to 1983/1984.  I was Smurfette and Jennifer was Papa Smurf (the family always thought it was ‘cute’ to dress us in a theme).  I absolutely hated the mask and the wig.   I also remember getting frightened by MJ’s classic “Thriller”, slamming my grandparents bedroom door shut (and our house was so old that the slightest bit of humidity would swell the doors when shut) and it got stuck.  I screamed like Marion Crane in ‘Psycho’ swearing that the monsters were coming out from under the bed to get me. To the present day, I still hate Halloween.  I get skeeved by the sight of candy corn, dry heave at the smell of costume makeup, and sweat nervously in Halloween superstores seeing all the creepy dead babies oozing blood/guts out of their mouths. 

Every year our good friends Ryan & Kelly host a Halloween party (in costume).  Ed tries to get me amped up for Halloween and costume searches/ideas, but I have a very hard time with it.  I am not creative, but in order for me to do anything Halloween-ish, I have to do something funny and non-threatening.  Two years ago at the initial party I was a pregnant nun and Eddie was a priest (sorry for all you die-hard religious people out there – I did pray and repent afterwards).  Last year Ed was a rock star and I was a groupie (see pic above), but I’m having difficulty coming up with something. In an effort to be creative, here were my options:

(1) I’d be a prisoner and Ed would be a dog (hence a prisoner and its Bitch) – yeah, Ed didn’t like that, but he’s always such a good sport so I was disappointed

(2) Ed could be Norman Bates and I would be Mother (from the movie Psycho – I love, love, love that movie) – again, Eddie shot it down

(3) I’d wear an American Asphalt Shirt and be an Asphalt Laborer – Ed said it lacked creativity

(4) Angel of Death

There were a few other options, but I’ll keep them secret for potential future use.  I ended up being none of the above and was some sort of 50s Pink Lady (I’d say Sandra Dee meets Rizzo).  I felt like it was a total cop-out, but it was something (bonus, I got to bust out the old class ring to wear!).   Here we are – my favorite wiener and me (sorry about the poor image quality – iPhone)

Now it’s time to go spend time with some of my favorite goblins, my niece Makenzie and my nephew Colton.  We always go trick-or-treating every year and with these two cuties around, it makes it a little easier to get into the Halloween spirit!

 

 



Texas Invasion/Vacation

The Texans are coming!  The Texans are coming!  Ok, so doesn’t have the historical significance of Paul Revere, but still interesting! Over the last weekend, my dear Aunt Edna and my cousin Stephany came to visit from Texas.  I had a few days off from work, so I made sure they got the most out of their trip to Jersey/Philly.

As soon as they got off the plane, I took them to Geno’s for the classic Philly staple – a cheesesteak.  You can’t go wrong being greeted by a warm piece of steak, on a good roll, slathered with onions and cheese whiz – YUM.  Afterwards we went back to my house and had a nice home meal of lasagna, salad, and bread.  Jennifer and kids joined in.

Sunday, we went to Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, home of TLC’s Cake Boss.  It was awesome.  Sadly I didn’t meet Buddy, but we did meet his older sister Grace and got some delicious goodies (of course Grace’s eyes are closed in the picture I had with her).  I got a 1/2 lb of cookies and two red velvet cupcakes.  I’m not much of a sweets eater, but this was delicious.  Afterwards we went to a nearby pizza shop for lunch and then headed home (side note, I can’t wait to go back and visit Hoboken – looks like an awesome town!!).

Monday we headed to Atlantic City.  I lost $30 playing, but at least Aunt Edna and Stephany came home ahead.  Since I’m not much of a gambler to begin with (I hate losing money), I went to the outlets and did some shopping.  We had a delicious dinner at Carmines (if there is a Carmines restaurant, you can be sure I can sniff it out of anywhere!)

Tuesday we went to Philly and did a lot of historical sight-seeing.  We started with a tour of Independence Hall followed by the Liberty Bell.  Afterwards we headed the National Constitution Center.  We watched the show “We the People” and walked around learning about the early developments of the Constitution and how we have moved forward as a nation. Aunt Edna even got sworn in as President!  We also saw the Art of the American Soldier Exhibit. It was completely moving to see art from the front lines for wars in the 20th and 21st Centuries.  I highly recommend it. We ordered lunch from Carmens Deli in Bellmawr and then I dropped them off at my Aunt Lillian’s for the remainder of the week (sadly, I had to go back to work).

I’d say it was a successful vacation – we covered a lot in 4 days (including eating all local staples – Italian food, cheesesteaks, pizza, and hoagies).  I completed two more tasks on my 101 things in 1001 days challenge.  We laughed a lot, enjoyed listening to my Aunt’s stories about the old days!  I’m looking forward to getting to Texas soon (another item on the list) and seeing all that Houston has to offer!

Check out my vacation pictures on Snapfish (to be uploaded soon on Facebook as well)

Week 2 Update

Welcome back kiddos for the weekly update.  Still maintaining the blog, so #1 is obvious.  Here’s the current standings:

#16 Refinish a piece of used furniture for spare bedroom. I still haven’t finished the dresser.  I’m looking forward to working on it this upcoming weekend.  I didn’t have time with the “Texas Invasion” (more on that soon).  I just want it done and put to use already!!! 

#17 Carve a pumpkin for Halloween I haven’t carved a pumpkin since I was a little girl.  It was nice to actually do something that’s somewhat creative.  I’m definitely not the creative type and my cousin Stephany is.  At her urging to help me complete a task, we carved two pumpkins for Halloween.  I’d have to say that they aren’t all that bad!

#57 Go to Carlos Bakery – home of TLC’s Cake Boss On Sunday, October 24, I went to Carlos Bakery with my Aunt Edna and my cousin Stephany.  After waiting in line for almost an hour (which moved rather quickly) we got in.  Unfortunately, we did not meet Buddy, but I did meet his older sister Grace!  She was super nice and came out to greet all the fans in the bakery. I’ll get into it more when I blog on my recent vacation/Texas Invasion.

#59 Get at least 3 people to do the list I think I have this settled.  So far my sister Jen, friends Chance and Val are on it.  Funny story about Val: When she checked in with me on 10/19 she sent the following text “I spent the better part of my afternoon thinking and can only come up with 72 things, can I pro-rate my 101 days to 720”.  This cracks me up because I remember back to our younger days in Gateway when she used to try to tempt me to cut the internal (our 1 mile run around the school perimeter) by offering money or food (Val – if you send me some goodies from Texas, I’ll consider your 72 in 720).  As of today, she has since updated to 80.  I can’t wait to see what Jen and Chance come up with as well.

#82 – 24 hours without a sarcastic comment.  It’s like pulling off a band-aid!!! . On Wednesday 10/20, I decided it would be the day starting @ 8:00 AM.  I failed by 8:19, when I referred to someone as a “short bald guy running round nervous” – I thought I was being descriptive.  My co-workers disagreed and decided that I should have a 3 strikes rule.  I think I’d be cheating myself.  So we agreed that from 8AM to 9AM would be my “warm up for the big game”.  I have been challenged quite a bit during this 24 hour period, but I did it!  Some of my challenges include:

(1) Eddie texted me with “The way things fly out (of your  mouth), you’d be better off being quiet” (Thanks for the support babes!)

(2) When someone said “Can I ask you a question” (my personal favorite) and I had all I could do to stop myself from saying “You just did”

(3) Eddie brought home a coffee machine (mind you he just bought one a few months ago).  He said “I can buy the coffee from Bed Bath & Beyond.  Ted (his boss) told me they take coupons.”  I really had to bite my tongue with this one.  I physically removed myself from the room just prior to saying, “You are taking lessons on being cheap!?!?!” (side note – there’s a long running joke about Eddie being very, very cheap).

(4) Ed (being sarcastic) said “I like you better this way”

(5) The last two hours of the challenge (7:00 – 9:00 on 10/21) were the most difficult.  I was training Chrissy how to process some paperwork (since I’ll be on vacation) and everything she was saying was sarcastic and I had to bite my tongue not to say anything!!  xoxo if you are reading this Chrissy!

Hope you had a fantastic week.  I still have one more day of vacation left, can’t wait to enjoy it!  Take care and I’ll update the vacation soon!

Week 1 Update

Ok, so here I am after the 1st week of the challenge.  I’m pretty excited that I made some progress already:

 1 Create (and maintain) a blog – which will keep updates on this bucket list among other life happenings.  Clearly you are here, and I’m updating (a teensy sarcastic comment – I swear that #82 will be the toughest part of this challenge – no sarcastic comments for 24 hours – YIKES).  This will definitely be an ongoing process and I plan to update this at least weekly (unless something good comes up that I can barely contain my excitement to share!). I’m glad to have started this and glad you are here to share in my journey!  

16 Refinish a piece of used furniture for the spare bedroom.  I found this little gem out on the side of Kings Hwy in Mt. Ephraim with a sign that said ‘free’ – I just couldn’t resist.  Thankfully I have brute strength and put this dresser into my Pathfinder (I LOVE my SUV).  So far I have stripped the paint down to the bare wood.  I was hoping to paint it this week, but I’m sidetracked by out-of-state visitors this weekend.  Hopefully I make some progress before next week (& I will devote a post just to my little thrifty find!)

22 Write a list of 10 things I’m thankful for and hang it up on my refrigerator and cubicle to remind me how lucky I am.  I saw a friends post on Facebook about how people post a lot of negativity and I just had to do this.  I’m a blessed gal.  Read all about it here.

57 Go to Carlos Bakery – home of TLC’s Cake Boss.  I have family visiting from Texas (I keep calling it “The Texas Invasion”) and this is planned for Sunday, October 24th.  I want to meet the Buddy’s Mom – she is the best!

65 Donate Blood.  We had a blood drive at work on Wednesday, 10/13/10.  I have not donated in 10+ years, so I felt good about it.  Looking forward to my next donation (Note: if you are interested to donate or volunteer for the American Red Cross, click here)

Hope you have a fantastic week!

Feeling Thankful – pass the pie

Ok, so it’s not Thanksgiving yet, and I’m not rushing the holidays (although I love Christmas and I’m one of those idiots that gets insanely giddy seeing Christmas decor in September).  A friend on Facebook posted her status commenting about other statuses being negative and people should focus on the positive.  I felt this urge to complete # 22 on my list: Write a list of 10 things I’m thankful for and hang it up on my refrigerator and cubicle to remind me how lucky I am

(1) My husband Eddie – he’s the best person (and possibly the funniest) I know.  **Love you babes**

(2) My family – I’d be lost without all of you, and not to sound cliché, but we put the ‘fun’ in dysFUNctional

(3) My mom – even though she did not see me grow up, I know she’d be proud of me and I do my best to live my life for her too

(4) My little furbabies – Mario and Mia

(5) My home (or my sanctuary)

(6) My friends – especially Val & Megan.  These two have been through thick and thin with me and I love them dearly!

(7) All of my experiences in life so far – no matter how great or how terrible, they have shaped me into the person I am today.  I must say I’m quite proud of myself

(8) Alone time – as silly as this may sound, there’s nothing like some down time to think about what’s going on, be thankful for what I have, etc.

(9) My childhood – although not typical, I couldn’t have asked for a better upbringing. (Extra special thanks to my Grandmom & Aunt Kelly for being awesome female influences and helping steer me in the right direction)

(10) My DVR – yes, I had to put one ‘material’ item here.  The idea of watching commercials seems so foreign to me now.

101 things in 1001 days challenge

Ok, so my cousin had talked to me about this 101 goals to complete in 1001 days.  I started Monday, October 12, 2010.  Here’s the basics:

 The Challenge: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

 The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities

For more information, click here.  So now I’m challenging you – who else is up for this?? 

Start 10/12/10 finish 7/10/13

1 Create (and maintain) a blog – which will keep updates on this bucket list among other life happenings) – in process and will be the entire time I’m doing this list

2 Stop a soldier out in public and say thankscomplete 07.03.11

3 Write& mail 3 thank you cards to 3 people I feel blessed to have in my life

4 Run the Broad Street 10 mile run in Philadelphia – fail for 2011; Completed 5/6/2012

5 Finish cleaning out and organizing the basementcomplete 09.05.11

6 See the Statue of Liberty

7 Go see the Mets in Chicago (bonus if Val/Meg comes with us!!!)

8 Spend a day volunteering at either Gloucester County/Camden County Animal Shelter – started researching on 10/31, sent an e-mail to Camden County; waiting on their response; 11/9/10 update – shelved until after the holidays

9 Plant a perennial garden in my yard – Complete Summer 2012

10 Have a picnic with the hubby at Red Bank Battlefield

11 Take a cooking class – Complete – 2/25/13

12 Become 1st Aid Certified

13 Keep a swear jar for 2 weeks.  Every time I curse, I deposit$.25 and will donate the amount to a charity of my choosing (I’m thinking if I do this @ Christmas, I will buy toys for the ‘Toys for Tots’ program)complete 11/22/10; raised $30.25; toys purchased and donated

14 Watch the sunrise from the beach

15 Be part of a studio audience

16 Re-finish a piece of used furniture for the spare bedroom (in process; shelved until after the holidays)

17 Carve a pumpkin for Halloween Done 10/24/10

18 Take a picture for every day of the month and blog about it – Done 2/15/13

19 Put up some wall décor in my living roomdone 9/10/11

20 Cook for a whole week; no take outdone 9/17/11

21 Find my birth father

22 Write a list of 10 things I’m thankful for and hang it up on my refrigerator and cubicle to remind me how lucky I am done 10/17/10

23 Take a sewing class and DIY a project (pillow, quilt, etc)

24 Color an entire coloring book

25 Get a family photo at Christmas – Fail; did not get one in 2010, 2011, or 2012

26 Write a letter to Eddie for him to open on our 10 year wedding anniversary (8.17.12) – done 8/17/12

27 Bake a pie from scratch

28 Take a road trip to the Brooklyn Brewery

29 Spend a day at the art museum in Philadelphia

30 Put change in an expired parking meter for someone else

31 Have my picture taken with Santadone 12/3/11

32 Visit Holocaust Museum in Washington DC

33 Organize my pictures into albums

34 Host a cookie exchange

35 Pare down and organize my favorite articles from magazines in my hall closet – done 1/9/2011

36 Cycle out old photos in frames and put in new ones

37 Have one weekend a month for an entire year without any commitmentsdone 12/10/11

38 Spend a week in Texas visiting family and friends

39 Play basketball with Eddie

40 Go see ND/UM football game with Eddie in 2012 – Complete; Went to Chicago 10/4/12 – 10/7/12

41 Learn how to make fajitas

42 Visit Renault or Tomasello Winery

43 Watch all Godfather Movies – I’m 2/3 as of August 2012; need to see part III

44 Watch all Rocky Movies

45 Go see a Broadway show

46 Eat Indian Food

47 Run Ben Franklin Challenge – Complete 11/4/12

48 Run ½ Marathon – Complete 9/16/12

49 Paint ½ bathroom – Complete 11/24/12

50 Update the laundry room with new paint/flooring/sink

51 Take a week off from work and have a ‘staycation’ where I either just relax at home, do road trips or a combination of both

52 Go see 5 movies in the theatres – 3/5 ‘No Strings Attached’; ‘Hangover 2’; ‘Horrible Bosses’

53 Go a full day without text/e-mail/internet (work related is excluded if a Monday-Friday)done 1/8/2011

54 Try 10 new recipes Complete 2/17/13 (7/10 Val’s Feel Better Soup 11.13.10, chicken & dumplings 11.21.10; homemade mac & cheese 1.2.11;  Creamy Pesto Chicken and Bow Ties 9.15.11; Shepherd’s pie 9.25.11; Spinach Ravioli Bake 10.11.11; chicken noodle soup 10.12.11; Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup 1/5/13; Santa fe turkey stuffed peppers 1/28/13; Parmesan Chicken 2/17/13)

55 Eat lobster – Complete 8/17/12

56 Read 5 books

57 Go to Carlos Bakery – home of TLC’s Cake Boss done 10/24/10

58 Get involved in a community service activity – Complete 8/4/12
59 Get at least 3 people to do this listDone 10/26/2010

60 Paint Dining Room complete 11/14/10

61 Make homemade Christmas decorations for tree

62 Give up social networking for 1 week (i.e. Facebook)Done, completed 11/12/10; may do again for fun of it 🙂

63 Go to see Mets in Pittsburgh

64 Go to see Mets in Washington DCComplete 7/31/11

65 Donate Blood  Complete 10/13/10

66 Take a spa day (facial/massage)

67 Find a local boot camp workout and complete it – went to my first class last night 12.21.10; it’s weekly at my gym.  I won’t count it complete until I’ve completed 10 classes – completed 3 as of 1.4.11

68 Run a sub 29 min 5k (I’m working towards this.  I’ve been running with Road Runners Club of Woodbury.  1st Race (Broad Street Run, Woodbury 10/2/10) 30:02; 2nd Race (Pancreatic Cancer Run 11/6/10) 29:18 *unofficial, no clocks, but timed myself on my iPhone)

69 Host Thanksgiving Dinner – Complete 2010 and 2012

70 Cut my hair short (meaning between chin/shoulder length)

71 Save $1 for each completed task 

72 Pay off remaining credit card debt

73 Organize office; shred old bills and set up a yearly expand-a-file for all current bills, med receipts, etc – bonus if we can go paperlessComplete February 2011

74 Set up a compost bin in the backyard

75 Change all lightbulbs over to CFL bulbs – most energy-efficient; In Process

76 Create a will

77 Write a letter to myself early in this challenge and don’t open it until the last day complete 11/1/2010

78 Go see Mets/Rangers in Arlington June 2011 (and yes, I will be indulging in garlic fries!)FAILED

79 Go to a political rally

80 Host a brunch for my girlfriends complete 3/27/11

81 read my camera book and learn how to actually use it (w/o the triple flash – mildly annoying)

82 Go 24 hours without a sarcastic comment – completed 10/20/10

83 Invest in good china

84 Upgrade remaining Ikea living room furniture – complete

85 Clean out and organize iTunes Library – Done 2/2012

86 Paint Living Room

87 Decorate Spare bedroom on repurposed finds from Yard Sales/Thrift Shops

88 Have a yard sale for the stuff in basement/garage that is not being used –  Complete 09.17.11

89 Clean out garage  complete 3/2011

90 Paint MB Closet & Bathroom doors white

91 Renew wedding vows in NYC and follow-up with a delicious dinner @ Carmines – fail since we went to Boston on 10 year anniversary

92 Go to the shore at least 3 times in summer 2011Complete; All to Atlantic City 5/29/11, 7/16/11, 8/5/11

93 Do a Christmas club

94 Learn how to properly apply makeup

95 Read a book series – done May 2012; Read “Fify Shades of Gray Trilogy”

96 Paint a piece of pottery for display in my house – complete 1/12/13

97 Learn how to make guacamoleComplete 9/12/11

98 Buy a new pair of Coach Sunglasses (I’m overdue)complete; purchased by Eddie for Christmas 2010; thanks babes!

99 Keep a journal for a month and write down at least one thing that makes me thankful every day (bonus if updated periodically after the month expires)done 10/24/11 – 11/24/11

100 Private

101 Donate $1.00 for each task not completed

Introductions……

Hi!  I’m Shannon.  It’s very nice to meet you and I welcome you to my little place in the world.  I’m a pretty simple person.  All I really want is to laugh and enjoy life. 

I have a husband (who I often refer to as ‘babes’) and two little yorkies, Mario and Mia (or as I call them Hoover and Bissel – wow can they clean up dropped food like no one’s business).  We have a nice home in S. Jersey that’s a constant work in process.  I also have several family and friends that I adore.

I decided to get into this whole blogging thing thanks to this journey I’m doing called “101 in 1001”  (more on that soon).  I thought this would be an interesting way to (1) track my progress in the next 1001 days to see if I complete all 101 projects and (2) use this as my ‘diary’ of all things I find interesting.

All I can say is “enjoy the ride”!