From Frumpy to Fantastic.

Do you ever have those days where you just feel frumpy?  Fat?  You don't like your hair?  Or your face?  You wonder why on the day you begin your "new diet," you are hungrier than ever? 

Well, I am having one of those days.  I can't really figure out why.  Perhaps because it is a Monday?

Really, I have no reason to complain.  I just had the most amazing weekend with two of my best friends from law school.  

We shopped, sipped wine, ate all kinds of fabulous foods, and pampered ourselves.  It was a wonderful weekend of sharing sisterhood, memories, and lots of laughs.  And I also found out that I get to be a bridesmaid!  Woo-hoo!  Such an exciting time.

Maybe I'm sad because they had to go home.  Back to their own lovely homes and lovely lives.  I have made several good friends here in Memphis, but when my long-time friends visit, I realize just how much I miss the kind of "bosom buddy" relationship I share with a cherished few. 

I really treasure the friendships where we really know each other...our fears, our insecurities, our families, where we grew up, our core beliefs, our long strings of boyfriends.  That kind of knowledge really helps each friend be a better friend to the other, but that kind of knowledge only comes with time.

I have a couple absolutely precious friendships with people in Memphis.  I hope that they grow and flourish over time, but as of right now, those friendships are still comparatively new.  I am so blessed to have such good friends in our new home:


Anywho, I truly love it when my out-of-town friends come.  It may sound weird, but one thing I really love is the music we girls make when getting ready to go out - hairdryers blowing, the clatter of makeup brushes and compatcs, girly chatter, laughter, switching into countless outfits, swapping shoes, spritzing perfume and hair spray.  It is one of the sounds I miss most as a married girl.  It is a happy symphony of sounds and scents, and it signals a night of memories in the making. 

Man!  Just thinking about my blessed friendships is already making me smile!  I'm feeling better already.

I know it is a Monday, but I encourage you to reach out to your far-away girl friends.  A planned weekend visit would be perfect, but even a long phone call can hit the spot.  Don't let those bosom buddies slip away because of life's crazies.  They are too important to lose, and by losing them, you lose yourself.  But by keeping them, you find yourself.  

Here's to soul sisters, bosom buddies, and fantastic friends!

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Missing my grandpa today...

I can't explain why, but I have really been missing my Grandpa lately. He died last year on October 16th after a long battle with COPD and emphysema. The diseases completely crippled him, but before they attacked, he was such a strong, capable and wonderful man. He loved going to estate sales and auctions, and could fix/build/make anything. He was a sweet Grandpa, and would tear up every time we came to visit. He never failed to tell us how much he loved us and how proud we made him.

I miss him dearly.

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Served with a side of diaper cake?

A while ago, I alluded to the fact that I had made a diaper cake and at some point in the future, I would attempt to show you how I made one.

First, some of you may be wondering "What in the world is a diaper cake?"  To quote the Knight, "That sounds disgusting."

Until just a few months ago, I didn't know what a diaper cake was either.  Then, I went to a baby shower, and saw the cutest practical decoration I had ever seen.  It was a diaper cake.  Basically, a diaper cake is a bunch of diapers bound together and stacked in tiers to resemble a cake.  Depending on how elaborate the diaper cake maker gets, the diaper cake can be simply decorated with ribbons, or can be bursting with little treats, flowers, and all kinds of decor shee-shee-poo-poo.

Obviously, I am from the second camp - you know that I love my cha-cha and cutesy clutter.  So, to that end, let me show you what I did.  

First, you need to gather supplies.  You will need diapers, at least 3 thin baby blankets, safety pins, and things to decorate the cake.  I chose items that matched the nursery and tried to spend money on items that could actually be used (teething rings, pacifiers, books, frog bathtub faucet cover).  Also, you'll probably want some fun coordinating ribbon to tie everything together.

Depending on the type of decorations, you'll need something to tie the diapers with (I used yarn, but I think rubber bands would have been easier) and craft glue or a glue gun.

Take a diaper, cut your yarn (or get a rubber band), and roll up the diaper, fastening the roll with the tie or the rubber band.

Make 6 or 7 of the rolls, smoosh them together in a circle, and use a bigger piece of string to tie the whole bunch together:

This is your core roll for the bottom base.  Next, start adding diaper rolls to the core:

Once you think the base is deep enough (I think my base was 3-4 diapers deep), stick a dowel rod or two into the center of the base.  Continue with the rolls to make the second tier, shoving the center of the second tier onto the dowel rod (this keeps the cake straight and secure).  If you feel the need, add a couple extra dowels around the second tier, but make sure you cover them up with another layer of diapers!

If you have a little pet baby, you might find it amusing to try putting a diaper on her.

She will not like it, but will probably run around the house kicking like a donkey.  

It  won't speed up the process of making the diaper cake, but it might make you laugh so hard that you cry.  

Okay, back to the diaper cake.  Once you have created and secured your tiers (this will take a while), the real fun begins!

Take the first thin blanket, and begin tucking and wrapping it around the base tier.  I used diaper pins to secure the extra parts of the blanket underneath the diaper.

Once you have covered each tier with a baby blanket, plan where you put the various items you have to decorate the cake.  I tied coordinating ribbons on the items to jazz them up a bit and to make them look a little more color-coordinated:

I also used glue to layer ribbons of different thicknesses on top of each other.  I think that it really gave each tier a "custom" look:

Then, I added a strip of the ribbon to each tier and fastened them with more diaper pins (make sure the glue is dry on the ribbons so you don't ruin the baby blanket)!

Once you have added the ribbon and pinned on all the baby items, you are done!  Oh, and don't forget to put the entire concoction on a pretty cakestand.  It is a diaper CAKE after all!

So, what do you think?  Any suggestions from other seasoned diaper caker decorators?

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Country Music Monday

So, it is Monday.  Whoo.

Usually, at the beginning of the week, I buy a couple of songs on iTunes to get me through my least favorite day of the week.  This morning, I drove to work while getting in touch with my Nashville roots.  I heard this song, "Looking For a Good Time" and I knew I had to have it.  At first, I thought the song was a duet with Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, but no, I was wrong.  The song is actually by Lady Antebellum.  I don't know who they are, but I really like their song.  

Of course, I couldn't resist a few tunes by Ms. Lambert herself, so I ended up buying the whole"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" album.  
Who doesn't feel like a little "Gunpowder and Lead" on Monday morning?  

There's just something so likeable about Miranda.  She seems spunky, fun, with sass and grit.  I think she seems like someone I'd like party with.

Speaking of Nashville...have I mentioned that I am training for another half marathon?  Yes, it is true.  Come April 26, the Knight and I are heading to Nashville for the Country Music Full and Half Marathon.  
He is running the full, and I am running the half.  Apparently, we truly are gluttons for punishment.  The Knight seems to be enjoying himself.  Me, on other hand?  Not so much.  My knee is kind of bailing on me, and I'm just not having fun this time around.  I don't know why I insist on doing this to myself...I don't particularly enjoy the pain or the time involved in running such long distances.  I do, however, enjoy the way I feel when I'm done running AND the ability to lose weight.  So, I am a reluctant marathoner.  Maybe I should write a book - The Reluctant Marathoner:  How to run 13.1 miles...Grudgingly.

Doesn't that title just jump off the shelves?

I'll tell you what is jumping off the shelves...The Twilight DVD.  I was in Tarjay on Saturday, and the woman in front of me AND the woman behind me were getting their fair share of Edward that evening, that's fo' sho.  From the looks of the Twilight end cap, Memphians love them some Edward and Bella.
Seeing Edward and Bella's face all over Memphis got me in quite a frenzy, so last night the Knight and I watched Twilight via On Demand.  I have to say, I liked the movie the first time (when I saw it at the theater - Robert Pattison's face + movie screen = AFS drool).  I LOVED the movie the second time.

Every time Edward's smoking hot scowl/brood came across the screen, I clapped with glee.  Really.  I clapped.  
That is what his hotness has reduced me to.  A drooling, clap-happy, giddy crazy-pants person.  I should be admitted.  

I don't think the Knight minded my clapping/drooling/hot flashes so much, but a couple times he did say that in his opinion, he didn't really think that Edward was good-looking.  Puh-lease.  I think someone's a little jealous here.  Did I deny J. Simp's hotness in "Dukes of Hazzard?"  No.  Did I mind when the Knight paused the screen so he could check out her bikini bod?  Well, yes, but I didn't deny that she looked ah-mazing.  So, Knight?  Back off my Cullen.  Or I Keel U.

Anywho, after watching Twilight last night, I have decided to pay Amazon a little Twilight visit.  I will willingly forgo food money for these items, due to the requisite nature of the following:

Edward Anytime, Anywhere (aka, Twilight the DVD) (2 disc special - Can't. Wait.)

And when it is finally released, this book:
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I know I am playing into the marketing/commercialism of this whole thing, but let me be clear.  I do not care.  If I can't have an incredibly hot, educated, wise, and strong vegetarian vampire of my own, at least I can placate myself by reading about him.

Oh no.  I'm clapping again.  Someone stop me.
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