Saturday, December 22, 2012


We started making these for Kya teachers Holiday gifts Wednesday nite.
By Thursday, Kya was kinda bored with it but I tunneled through, found something small to add on that wasn’t edible and wrapped them up to go.
I tagged up some Mentos gum (with this free printable) for my coworkers and we were all set to fill some lives with cheer on our last day of work before Christmas break.  Mine went off without a hitch.  Kya, not so much, she forgot all of her gifts.  1-2-3-4-5, all of them.
On top of that, since Friday was Pajama day at school, she finagled Dad into letting her wear different jammies (they were floods) than what I’d left for her to wear.  And all she wanted to talk about on the 5 minute ride home from daycare was, “Is it the weekend, can I watch TV?”
When I came home and saw the gifts on the island after witnessing the too short jammies, I just crashed.  I was so heartbroken.  ALL MY WORK – MOOT.  I couldn’t find the words, but I was not happy, it was not good.  It was a rough week, jacked up report cards, hurt babies, it was a rough week. 
So, I went to bed to keep my attitude to myself.  I woke up around 7, better.  I realized it wasn’t intentional, and then I actually felt kinda thankful that Kya is ok with too short jammies.  Why should she care what other people think? 
I made it through the night, without yelling once and no hard feelings. (Full disclosure: I did have two glasses of wine gifted from a coworker)
Today I’m all set to make some new memories, with lots of delicious recipes from pinterest and the notorious P-Dub. 
I don’t know about you, but my attitude typically sets the tone around here and if Momma ain’t happy, nobodys happy.  So, here’s hoping you’re EnjOyiNg! the holiday spirit and minimizing the holiday stress.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Give a little bit.

On Saturday, I looked online for a clip from the Steve Harvey talk show about a heartwarming story Haikeem had shared with me earlier in the week.  I wanted to see it myself and thought it was the perfect time to share some goodness.

But I couldn't find a good clip of the whole storyline.  #Ugh. 

Then today, I'm quick running through my Reader and I see, "Be the Good" I click and I watch this video over at  And it was just the light my little heart needed to see.  

Give it a go, it might warm you up a little too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Most delicious vanilla frosting ever. (The recipe calls for vanilla paste? I use vanilla extract and my family loves it).
Trust me, your cake will disappear, more than half the first night and it will be gone when you get home from work the next day.  Gone.
Kya’s actual birthday was yesterday and I am still feeling the effects of the party.  Parties have pros and cons.  After her little shin dig on Saturday, I made an executive decision, that friend parties will be every other year. 
Having strangers over definitely pushed me to get some things done around the house that I’ve been dragging my feet on, but the pressure I put on myself was heav-eee. 
I was still in a jeans, a messy t-shirt and slippers when the first guests started to arrive.
It was difficult making sure the girls were playing nice.  “Kya open my present first”  “Can we go play dolls” “Can we go to your room”
Let alone managing the party while hosting, greeting guest, escorting folks out, passing out goodie bags, attending to children with no parents?!?  Forget about taking pictures.  I didn’t have enough arms, ears or feet.  And honestly, I felt like it didn’t go over well at all. 
But fortunately, I did get some pictures (and my neighbor helped me too).  So when I got to see her expressions captured that made me feel a lot better – she had a great time.  This also helped me realize that picture perfect parties is a joke, there is absolutely no way to pull that off without extra hands around. 
I couldn’t have done it without help, so I was sure to thank the kiddos who cleaned, played DJ, just full on came to Mommas rescue without complaint.  The big spender in me gave them each a tub of gum…
these goobers counted them one-by-one. Who does that? My kids.
I must know, do you have big birthday parties every year?  Is there a secret to their success?  Dish…

Monday, December 10, 2012


My baby turns 6 tomorrow, we had a party for her on Saturday.  She was surrounding by lots of friends & family.  C’mon in, I’ll show you.
Celebs were in the building.
Raise your hand for cupcakes, vanilla?
You should maybe rent Just Dance 4 for entertainment, expect the girls to choose Call Me Maybe over and over and over and over and over…
You can also decorate faux gingerbread houses where you provide the d├ęcor, m&ms, pretzels (good windows), peppermints, mike & ikes and gumdrops of course.
These houses were held together by hot glue, this was discussed with the children and the parents.  This activity was more of a craft than a lunch.

She really had a good day, she was a great little hostess for almost 6.  Excited, humble, grateful, happy and that made me so happy.  My heart was full and my feet were tired.  Whew!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Since You've Been Gone....

I haven't been right since Sandy.
I've just been off kilter, unable to find balance.  
All first world problems...I know. waaa waaa waaaa.

In the past few weeks:
I just made it to get coffee and I was rear-ended at the light, in hubbys car. 
My Eagles have been suckyyyy, 3-9.  I never hear the end of it.
We went to a party 74 miles away, my middle son went to a school dance and missed his ride home.  A teacher drove him home. And the best parents award goes to....
Kya has strep. Ugh.  
Dying Keurig coffee brewer.  
Dog needs shaving but freaks out at groomer.  Dog hair dust bunnies - everywhere at home.
Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Retreats, more Birthdays,  Sometimes it's all just too much. 

{insert silver lining}

There are so many things to be thankful for and to look forward to:
New year, woot woot!
Kya's birthday! woot woot woot!
ABCfamily's 25 Days of Christmas, last night was a family favorite.
Holiday break, I get to be home with my fam, 11 free days for 3 days of PTO.
Seafood dinner and movies for Christmas Day, our little family tradition.
Enjoying the Season of Giving without expecting a thing in return.

Yea we really are blessed beyond measure when you take the time to count them.  

This year we are planning to do a charity, I always think it but never make time and or put away the money.  2012 MUST.

I'm gonna let the kids vote.. between Operation Christmas Child and Water for Christmas.  They will keep me honest.  

What are you most looking forward to?  c'mon, I know I forgot something.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday!

Seriously folks, that's a throwback for ya.  
Kadir is a little over one years old in this picture.  So it's 15 years ago.  Carazy.  Haikeem looks so young!
I have braids and baby fat cheeks, don't u just wanna squeeze 'em?

New parents. New everything.
Could the picture be any more cheesey.  I still love it.  

Haikeem's nephew sent this to him a few weeks ago.
This same nephew called me on Saturday night out of the blue, for no reason at all.  Just to say, "Hi Aunt Tiffany"  

That's about all he gets to say, cause then I ask 100 questions so he never feels awkward for calling me and knows it's always always welcome.
How are you?
Where are you?
Whatcha doing?
How much do you miss me?
How's school?
Do you like your teachers?
Whats your favorite subject?
Where's your Mom? 
When are you coming up?

Haikeem was pretend jealous.  He wants to be the cool family member but I seem to be winning.  He called his nephew back and said, "Man, you can't be calling my wife!"

That's when he found this picture in his phone from his nephew. 

We are still cleaning up from the week with no power.  I was hoping to do something festive for the mantle, but was just happy to be able to get clean laundry.  

No excuses and definitely not complaining, just being honest.  

Here and Here are two very pretty free downloads if you need some extra pretty at your home for Turkey Day or something to keep the kiddos busy.  
So much to be Thankful for, sometimes I well up when I think about  it.  I've been blessed. 

Thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The lights are on inside, but nobody's home.

So the power outage somehow zapped our fridge. 
Lights are on inside, but it won't get cold.  
Very odd and hopefully repairable. (Is that a word?)

We still had the coolers around so I promptly had Chalana run to our local Wawa (convenience store) and grab ice.

Quick look through the fridge and I moved all the raw meats, milk, mayo, creamer.  Moved the cooler out to deck for the coolest cool.    
And we're good.  
We're ahead of the game. No more waste, food is saved. 
Yes.  I'm a local hero. 

The next morning, Haikeem calls me at work.  

"Hey, the fridge is still not cooling.  We can just put stuff in the garage fridge until they schedule someone to come out."

Yep.  I completely forgot about the garage fridge.  I only see it practically everyday.  It's 8 feet from the kitchen, in front of my car, in the garage. It's older than 2 of my 3 children.  It's from my first home.

How many of you keep an extra fridge, just in case?  I'm still shaking my head, can't believe I messed this one up.  Only $5 cost in ice...but it's the principle.  Don't you agree.  

But let's be honest, how many people have an extra refridgerator?!  Apparently we do.  None of it makes sense to me.  I think mentally I planned on selling it, or giving it away to someone who needs it.  

And now Haikeem's argument will be - But she's earning her keep!

What say you?  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Voting is a right denied to many.  
I hope you exercise your right today.

Thanks for dropping in.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The little engine that could...

That my friends, is the generator that helped make living with no power tolerable. 

It brought us hot water and some electricity.

On Friday, our neighbor came over and lit the pilot for the fireplace, which helped dramatically.

So really, it wasn't that bad, inconvenient but not extreme.  Not everyone has those advantages.

Our electric was restored at midnite on Saturday (into Sunday).  My faith never waivered and today our area is 99% back in business.  Due to some hard-working individuals, that I wish I could have over for dinner.  

We spent most of yesterday settling right back into our spoiled ways.  TV, cable, tivo, wifi, lighting, computers, microwave, stove, washer/dryer, all those fabulous amenities.  

And as a further treat to myself... 

This guy.  Good God.  Man they don't make 'em like that everyday.

Flight. See it, I was speechless, on the edge of my seat intense.  
It both is and is not (hard to explain) what the previews lead you to believe.  

And Thank you Thank you Thank you - for thinking of us, we are all well, humbled and thankful.  There are so many still without, keep your thoughts and prayers going.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Last nite marked 48 hours without power. Ouch.

But somehow, I can't bring myself to complain when I had off work for 3 days with pay and most importantly my family is all safe and sound. 

I have everything I need and I hope you are yours are fairing the same.

Be safe. 

Monday, October 22, 2012


love me

I feel like this proverb describes my marriage, except at the end I would change it to say, “…because that is when I need it the most.” 

I would love to know how Haikeem tolerates me without whining, I would honestly see if he had extra so I could bottle it up and sell it – it’s gold.  I am grateful for our love, however wonky, it works. 

Listen.  It ain’t always rainbows and unicorns ‘round here, in fact, it’s never rainbows and unicorns.  But lately, I find that we are at this stage in life when love is either sticking or it’s not.

I had Kadir, almost exactly 9 months after I got out of college, so many of our oldest friends don’t have kids his age and everyone we meet nowadays has small children.  What makes it even more difficult is when a family in our circle breaks up.


It’s hard on everyone, especially when all you want is for everyone to just be happy.  Together or apart, whatever works. 

Everything I thought I knew about LOVE keeps.on.changing, it keeps right on challenging and teaching me at every turn.  I have had to eat my words in my own relationship a lot, with no regrets.  I’ve learned that everyone has a different tolerance for pretty much everything but you have to do what works for you and go with your gut.


Sunday, October 21, 2012





could the sky have been any more perfect?


hayrides, a rite of passage.

free to pumpkin to patch.  you pick your pumpkin, they weigh it and charge you by the pound.






Pennsylvania is a big farm town, lots of red barns and lots and lots of corn stalks, at every turn.  I’m so used to the corn now, I forget they are not an everywhere kinda thing.


That’s your 2012 ABE tour.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I craft’d a fair and I liked it…

This past Saturday, my friend and I braved our first craft fair.

Did I sell out. no.  Did I sell anything?  why yes.

photo 1

sign at home

I named our table, xo. handmade

My main product was rice warmers and I didn’t sell any, boo.  (good thing they make great gifts)   Earlier in the week, I released myself from the pressure to sell a certain amount and that allowed me to have a good time.  Which I did.

We were next to a table that sold seasonal flags for outside your home, not hand crafted but they get 10 bonus points for knowing their market.  The flags were 5 for $20 and she sold a TON!  It was the running joke of the day for us, that she was kicking our arse in sales. 

Slow sales made for a loooooooong day, but it was a great experience. 

full table

I couldn’t find my phone before we left at 7:15am (!!!!!)  so I had zero pictures.  I don’t know how to describe the feeling of being vulnerable to the world,  “Oh please like my stuff, please world please.  Not only like it - buy it, too, please”

Oddly enough, customers wanted to buy what wasn’t for sale – the chalkboard, the “HEY” pennant, and that feeling was BOSS!  It was like a pat on the back for having style.

We even had some people ask for our card, they wanted to know if we owned a boutique/shop. HA! HA!  It was our first time, so I took it as a compliment.  We were both pleased with our table of one of a kind goodies.

I earned enough to cover the cost of the table and I really want to try it again.  I will definitely do it again.

2012:   Try a table at a craft fair.  Check.

I talk about sending/receiving happy mail and This is why!


My nephew turned 3 today. 

I took a chance on Captain America at Marshalls.   Can you see the HAPPY and JOY in his smile!!!  Money well spent, his joy lit up my afternoon.

Who doesn’t like receiving a little love from Mr. Postman?