May Came. I Survived.

Wow….did May just happen? REALLY? It was a BLUR!

Quite frankly it was the month I have been dreading for years. The month I never thought I could get through. Yet, somehow, miraculously I survived. Barely. But I did.

I am dragging around the battle scars of my oldest’s 18th birthday, high school graduation, a house full of family staying with us, and a great trip with long weather delays to San Francisco. All wonderful things. All a lot on me physically and/or emotionally.

All so many things I have gotten through but haven’t processed. And I am not ready to quite yet. Not ready to put those feelings out there. Suffice it to say that I have always been dangerously close to my kids. Losing one, even if just for 9 months to Omaha, won’t be easy for me and each day that passes this summer just brings that closer.

This summer I plan to treasure a  healthy Carter (who is in a Lego Robotics class as I type this) and  Connor who is getting ready to leave my nest, while working at least 3 jobs this summer and trying to cram every last second with his friends at the gym.

I am immersing myself in travel and life and getting out there. I am also starting to concentrate more on me and my health . Figuring out what I am going to do when half my chickadees fly the coop. That’s the sucky part of having two kids.

San Francisco was a nice start to my travel and I gained quite a few tech tools for taking care of myself and making life easier at the Verizon Insiders Event. I had lunch with a great, old friend and hung out with so many of my like minded online buddies. Not to mention I received (free) so many great tech things it will take me all summer to tell you about. Tomorrow I will tell you all about how I am starting to use them. But today, I will just leave you with a happy May memory.

This was taken at the Baccalaureate Mass after Father Steele mentioned that Connor was recognized by his friends as being the kind of kid who could always lift their spirits and make them laugh. I am so proud of that quality in him. He has gone through a lot, that kid and if he can keep that attitude through college and his life, I will know I have equipped him well for being the man I always hoped he would be.




Samsung Note 3: My Personal Assistant & BFF

I have had a lot of phones. I test them for Verizon Wireless as a part of the #VZWBuzz team and love most of them to some degree or another but its rare that I love a phone in its entirety. You might remember I just compared my last three phones and ended up liking the Droid Ultra the best. But now a new heavy weight champ has entered the ring and I love, love, love it- the Samsung Note 3 Phablet.

What’s a phablet? Its a phone and tablet crossover. I admit it is big. Compared to an iphone it looks ginormous. One of the #VZWBuzz Insiders Tommy did a great video that shows you how the Samsung Note 3 stacks up to the other devices in the market


But even with it’s bigger than average size I can still easily slip it into the back pocket of my mom jeans (don’t judge) without its case. With it’s white leather and rose metal look it is simply the most beautiful phone I have owned and to be honest, I often go naked (the phone) with it because I love showing it off. But for those occasions when a case is absolutely required like traveling and going to sporting events or concerts I rely on my handy, sporty Spigen in orange. Here you can see both completely different looks.

samsung galaxy note 3

By the way, that screensaver is a picture I took in Jamaica with the Note 3. Pretty awesome, huh? The camera is great, has all the features I talked about in my review of the S4, easy to use and makes it super easy for me to auto upload all my photo’s to Dropbox and keep them safely tucked away in the cloud in case I lose my phone on vacation.

So what really makes this phone the BEST answer for me? Really its 3 important things:

  • Note 3 S-Pen Note sampleSize: I have been able to replace having to take both a phone and my iPad on trips.
    The 5.7 inch AMOLED screen makes it really easy to watch movies and read books on it. With the recent craziness of airlines starting to charge for carryons the less, and smaller, devices I can get away with that perform triple duty are essential.
  • The Pen. I write myself notes with it all the time. Often more serious than this one. It’s been great for jotting down phone numbers, quick to do’s and more.
  • Battery life and how it keeps up with me. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled to take it out of the box and find another, different looking charger. But then I did some reading and found out that the supplied charger is really just a super charger and the phone is backwards compatible with the regular android chargers (although slower) which leaves me with lots of options. I can easily make it through 24 hours of use without having to charge.

In short, this is my go-to device for just about everything. Many people on the #VZWBuzz already have the new Samsung S5 in hand but to be honest, I am a little bit dreading it coming my way because I just am so much in love with the Note 3. For those of you curious about the S5, Beth Levine is one of the first on the #VZWBuzz team to write about it here: Capturing Natural Beauty on the Go. But if you are a blogger, work online or travel a lot, I really think you need to get your hands on the Samsung Note 3. It is a workhorse in a beautiful package that does not disappoint!



Dead Rabbit Sundaes

chocolate easter bunny sundaesWhen my little sister and brother and I were young children, my single mother struggled to make ends meet and we didn’t have a lot of extra money for luxuries like sweets.  Her idea of a great dessert was a bowl of instant white rice with maple syrup poured over the top.  Or sometimes, Mom would mix powdered sugar with milk and a drop of red food coloring and spread it onto graham crackers.  But each spring, we looked forward to a very special sugary treat.

Our neighbor a few doors up the block was a traveling candy salesman.  Each year after the Easter holiday was over, he would present my mother with a big bag of leftover foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies.  Oh what joy!  We knew it was time again for “DEAD RABBIT SUNDAES!”

My sister, brother and I would sit at the kitchen table with a pile of chocolate bunnies in front of us and we’d begin carefully peeling away the foil wrappers.  The naked chocolate rabbits would be piled up into a large metal bowl. Mom prepared a make-shift double boiler of the metal mixing bowl propped over a saucepan of boiling water.  She gently placed our painstakingly peeled rabbits into the bowl and we all stood watching wide-eyed as the rabbits slowly melted and grotesquely distorted.  “They are dying!” my little sister would scream.  Of course it wasn’t all bad because we knew what was to come!

Mom used the spatula to swirl around the melted chocolate rabbit mixture until it was smooth and creamy.  When it was melted to perfection we’d dish up our bowls of vanilla ice milk (the cheap ice cream-like product they sold back then) and Mom would pour on the warm, aromatic chocolate.  Then it was time to dig in! Almost forty years later, my siblings and I still fondly reminisce with Mom about our “Dead Rabbit Sundaes”.   I don’t know if any other dessert could every measure up to that memory.Other ways to reach.

*This is another wonderful guest post from my friend Maryann. Maryann lives in Littleton, CO.   Her blog is




How to Fold a Towel into a Bunny Rabbit

I have always loved the little towel animal creations you find in your room during cruises. On our recent trip on Royal Caribbeans Allure of the Seas I attended a class on how to fold towel animals. I grabbed some quick video of the towel folding class so that I wouldn’t forget. Here is a snippet of the class that teaches how to fold a towel into a bunny rabbit. I thought this would be adorable for Easter this Sunday. For an even cuter look, put some sun glasses on your towel rabbit!


I know the video is shot at sort of a weird angle but the one thing you need to know is that the big towel starts off being rolled in opposite decorations and meet in the middle to create the two separate “tubes”. Then he folds those in half towards each other, pulling the corners to somewhat fold it out of itself. Does that make sense? You can see him do it really well when the kid struggles. If this one is difficult for you, I personally happen to think this bunny is adorable and has great directions.

Did you have fun? OK, do me a favor and pin the image below so that you can teach your friends how to fold a towel into a bunny rabbit and make them a hero this Easter too.

How to fold a towel into a rabbit


Burger Bite Cookies | Easy & Fun Cookie Recipe

Years ago my mother-in-law would send these adorable burger bite cookies to the kids. I was reminded of it the other day when talking to my sister-in-law and thought “I really should post how she does these” for my Real Moms of Pinterest people. It’s a super easy recipe that makes Mom look like a rockstar with minimal effort. No actual baking necessary. This is all simple assembly work and a little melting.

burger bite cookies

Ingredients for Burger Bite Cookies:

  • 1 bag peppermint patties
  • 1 box nilla wafers
  • yellow and red squeezable cookie icing
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • sesame seeds

Directions for Burger Bite Cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lay half of the nilla wafers round side down on a cookie tray.
  • Top each one with a peppermint patty.
  • Place the shredded coconut in a ziploc bag with a few drops of the green food coloring and a few drops of water. Shake it up until the coconut reaches a shade of “lettuce” you like. You can add more food coloring if necessary.
  • Melt the patties for about 90 seconds in the oven just until they are glossy.
  • Take them immediately out of the oven and top them with your coconut lettuce.
  • Use the yellow and red cookie icing to make swirls on the bottom (not round) side of the other half of the nilla wafers.
  • Press the iced nilla wafers onto the halves with the peppermint patties basically assembling the burger.
  • Rub a drop of water on the “top” of the “buns” and sprinkle a few sesame seeds over them to complete the look.

As you can see above my mother in law varied how she assembled the burgers with the icing and lettuce to make each one look original. Play around, be original and make it your own-get the kids involved and have fun.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Desktop Version | Switch To Mobile Version