Wednesday, December 31, 2014

List: Realistic Vows for the New Year.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!
Here’s to a great night and an even more wonderfully memorable year.
*Cling*  Now excuse me while I sip some champagne…

Every year we all sit down and make a list of goals to complete during the next year of our life.
It’s very rare that we actually do any of the things on our list, no matter how good our intentions.
Instead of listing tedious goals that I know I won’t do, I decided to make realistic vows.
…and, no, I don’t vow to go to the gym every day for the whole year…

My 10 Realistic Vows for the Year 2016

1.  Wear My Clothes/Shoes/Pocket Books
I have so many expensive articles of clothing and accessories that I never wear.
I vow to change up my wardrobe and let my treasured beauties see some light!
I’m that obnoxious girl that doesn’t wear her shoes so the bottoms stay clean.  Sigh…

2.  Potty Train the Mushy
Mushy Face is creeping the two year marker (EEP!) in April.
I vow to try my hardest to get my Mushy to pee pee and poo poo in the potty!
Besides, diapers are so expensive and real yucky to clean up.  Bleh gag barf…

3.  Keep My Phone Charged
People can never, ever reach me because my phone is constantly dead.
I vow to keep my phone charged and be as reachable as possible.
You have an emergency??  Don’t hesitate to call me because my phone will ring in 2016!

4.  Be More Independent
I have gotten way too spoiled and rely on my future hubby to do all the things I used to do myself.
I vow to be less needy and to handle more things on my own.
Does that mean I have to pump my own gas now or actually drive myself somewhere?  Ug!!

5.  Be More Health Conscious
There was a time when I was all about eating smart, staying active, and just being healthy.
I vow to be more aware of my health, diet, and to be as active as possible.
Maybe I’ll even exchange my Cold Stone for green tea one night a week.  I kid, I kid!

6.  Slow Down
Due to my very hectic schedule, time has passed me faster than the speed of light.
I vow to slow down and actually enjoy all the little things 2016 has to offer me.
…and to take pictures!  I realized that I never do and now I regret missing those moments.

7.  Moisturize
My daily routine consists of me moisturizing my face, but I never moisturize my body.
I vow to make moisturizing my body a daily habit, even if it’s the spray and go by Vaseline.
Age is definitely creeping up on me and I definitely notice my skin is losing its vibrancy!

8.  Education
I finally got back on track to get my Bachelors degree in college this past semester.
I vow to continue to stay in school until I accomplish my goal and graduate!
That means added expenses and less time to enjoy 2016.  This definitely isn’t a luxurious vow.

9.  Stop Worrying
Worry is my middle name, and I have the gray hairs to prove it!
I vow to take a deep breath and distract my mind when I find myself obsessing over little things.
What do you mean that the creak last the night didn’t equal to a murderer hiding under my bed?!

10.  Make Some “Me” Time
Just because I’m a mommy and all wifed up, doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy some time for myself.
I vow to set apart some time for me, myself, and I…and maybe a girl friend…every week.
Hello my nook in Starbucks, a good book, and a peppermint mocha with no whip!


What are your vows for the year 2016?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Recipe: Hearty Beef Barley Soup



I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas filled with food and gifts.
Being the Sicilian that I am, the 7 fish feast on Christmas Eve is my favorite.  Yum!

Since we I have food on the brain, I figured I would share my favorite winter recipe.
There is nothing like a hearty bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day.
…and I’m so over chicken noodle…

Hearty Beef Barley Soup

(1-1/2) Lbs Beef Chuck (Stew Meat)
(1) Package Green Giant baby carrots
(2) Lbs Eastern Potatoes
(1) 16oz Can Diced Tomatoes
(1) Package Fresh Mushrooms
(1) Yellow Onion
(2) 24oz Beef Broth
(2) Cups Water
(3) Bay Leaves
(1) tbsp Lawrys Seasoned Salt
(1/2) tsp Dried Thyme
(1/2) tsp Dried Oregeno
(1) tsp Dried Parsley
(1) tsp Onion Powder
(1) tbsp Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper
(1) Cup Pearl Barley


With a cooking scissor, cut the beef cubes into bite size pieces.  Brown them in a sauté pan.  Drain the meat.  Dice the mushrooms.  Sauté the mushrooms until the water evaporates and set aside.  In a large pot, dice the onion and cook until the onion is transparent.  Shut off the flame.  Add the beef and mushrooms into the pot.  Dice the carrots and potatoes and add to the pot.  Add all other ingredients and stir until well mixed.

Bring to a boil and then cook on low for 2-1/2 hours.

In a separate pot, boil the barley for 45 minutes. 
For more of a stew, boil the barley in the soup itself.  The barley will soak up most of the juice.

This should make enough for (2) meals.
That means your freezer will get full and you won’t have to cook one night next week.  Score!


Will you try this winter recipe or do you have a different one you want to share?

Monday, December 22, 2014

List: My Christmas Wish List.

This week is filled with all things  C H R I S T M A S.
…and I can’t lie.  I totally love it…

On Sunday, Sis and I did our Christmas baking.  We made cookies and red velvet cheesecake brownies.
Monday is my company’s Christmas lunch where they will spoil us with catering.
Tuesday is our annual Christmas reunion with my old co-workers friends.
Wednesday is my favorite holiday of the year, Christmas Eve.  Fish, wine, and family?  Yes, please!
Thursday is the big day.  I can't wait to see Mushy experience Santa Claus!

My Christmas Wish List
Maybe I'll even give you last minute shoppers a good idea.  :)

1.  Calvin Klein Euphoria
Can be bought at macys.com.


2.  COACH Samara Black Snow Boots
Can be bought at zappos.com.


3.  Halo Diamond Earrings
Can be bought at kay.com.


4.  ULTA Baked Eye Shadow in Pink
Can be bought at ulta.com.



5.  Threshold Cookies & Milk Santa Set
Can be bought at target.com.


6.  Oliver Gal, Solid Kiss Painting
Can be bought at onekingslane.com.


7.  Bath & Body Works Cranberry Woods 3-Wick Candle
Can be bought at bathandbodyworks.com.


8.  Dooney & Bourke Pebble Small Flap Wallet
Can be bought at macys.com.
9.  Bruno Mars Unorthodox JukeBox CD
Can be bought at bestbuy.com.


10.  La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir
Can be bought at lacrema.com.

What is on your holiday wish list?

**Due to a hectic holiday schedule, R&W will be going on a quick Christmas Break.  I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays!  See you all next Monday.  Enjoy!**

Friday, December 19, 2014

List: How to deal with anxiety.

Recently I have been extremely anxious over silly things.
Most of my anxieties have to do with health or death.
That's when I decided to take my own advice and take control of the situation like I used to.
Just because I have mommy anxieties now, doesn't mean that I have to be pathetic!
Since reading my old post seemed to help me, I figured I'd post it to help you too!


This morning I woke up and stretched. I heard a crack and immediately thought that I broke a bone.
I walked into the kitchen to pour myself some OJ and noticed the expiration date was in a few days. I immediately thought I would spend the day hurling up sour juice. Classy, huh?
After freaking out that I would be late to work and worrying about whether or not my eyes would bother me around 3pm, I put my glasses into my bag and got ready to run.
That's when I wrapped my scarf around my neck and started to get nervous that a spider had crawled into my scarf during the night. I shook that bad boy out like a pro and went on my way.

I guess it's safe to say that I am a very anxious person.
What I should be anxious about is having a heart attack from stressing over nothing all the time!
The good news is, I'm not always this way.
Most of the time I can take the pressure of anything and then some.
I actually prefer to be under pressure because then it lights a fire under my ass.
The bad news is, when I get anxious, I get really anxious!
When I start stressing, I realize it right away and try to relax.

I know that we all stress out, get anxious, or freak out over different things.
Here's some tips on how to r e l a x...

1. Breathe.
There's supposed to be a special technique for this, but I just try to breathe deep.
Don't do that labor breathing exercise. It doesn't work for stress. Just saying...

2. Clean.
For the love of God, put the bleach down!!!
I find that if I clean or organize something around me, the anxiety starts to subside.
It could be the change in my focus or it could be the order around me making me feel less cluttered.

3. Bye Bye Google.
I'm famous for googling meaningless nonsense and then diagnosing myself with some rare, fatal disease.
Stay off of Google!
Unless you're looking up Aaron Hernandez pictures. Then go right ahead. That should be #4...

4. Chit Chat
If I feel myself getting anxious over something silly, I'll call a friend or family member and yap about nothing until I calm down. 
Poor Peaches and Madre...hahaha

5. Read
Pick up a Glamour and glow while looking at all the pretty clothes, shoes, and make up.
Pick up a book and focus on a fictional life.
Reading is a great way to get your mind off the silly things running through it.

6. Robert Downey Jr. Movies
This one's my favorite...

7. Shopping
Shopping is great therapy for stress! New things can make anyone smile.
Just set a limit for yourself. Don't spend $3,000 on a pair of shoes and say Jax told you to so you can relax. When that bill comes in the mail you'll stress harder than ever!

8. Wine
The alcohol stops the shaking after hearing about a tornado that killed 12 people in 7 different states.
Yes, I even worry about the weather.

9. Green Tea
It may not have the same effect as booze, but it's great for relaxation.
The Japanese I work for swear by it. I call it the miracle tea.

10. Vacation
If time and money allow, go on a vacation.
Leave your worries home and dive into something you really enjoy. Go see a place that you've always wanted to. Make memories that you can laugh about when you're stressing all over again.

11.  Project
Dive into a project that you have been putting off.
Maybe you can organize those pictures that are all thrown around or go through your old clothes for donations.
Hello effective and productive way of distracting your mind!

12.  Music
Being stressed is a green light to take off your clothes and sing as loud as you can into a piece of fruit.
Yes, it’s even a green light for men to blast Britney Spears and get their groove on!!! 

What are your relaxation techniques?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jax Seal of Approval: Lechat Nobility Gel Nail Polish

First off, my apologies for not posting on Monday.
My final was due yesterday and I wanted to make sure my focus was on that.
I know how much all of you were looking forward to one of my wisdom filled posts.

***********



I am a creature of habit.
I find a brand that I love and I stick to it.
 I will forever love Dove and I will never stray from Clinique face make up.
My manicures are no exception.

I always go for a short nail with a square shape.
I never, ever put on tips or anything else that’s fake.
The one time I did put on tips, I dropped a quarter at the bakery and I could not pick it up.  Embarrassing!
Since a regular manicures chip within a day, I always splurge for a gel manicure.
The gel manicure might cost an extra $15, but it’s almost guaranteed to last me 2-3 weeks.
See how I saved money there?  That’s called thinking ahead!

It’s not just the type of mani that I’m particular with.  I’m just as particular with the brand I use.
I will only use CND-Shellac gel nail polish.
It lasts the longest and has the nicest finish of all the different brands that I have tried.
My only negative critique for them is their small selection of colors.  Other than that, perfection!

In an attempt for some alone time last week, I went for an early Christmas manicure.
I knew that I wanted red, but I wanted a very deep berry-red to compliment my skin tone.
That’s when my favorite nail technician recommended a new brand of gel polish.
My eyes automatically narrowed in skepticism, but I had to let her speak her mind out of respect.

She painted a sample nail so I could see the color, and let me tell you it was exactly what I wanted.
Since I was swooning over the color, I gave her the green light.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jax stepped out of her box and tried a new brand of gel polish.
It’s now a week later, and the polish is just as vibrant and as chip free as CND-Shellac.
I may just have a new favorite.  Well, a new second favorite.

The new nail polish is Lechat Nobility.
It has sexy new colors and just opens a whole new door for my nails!
Roll out the red carpet, because Jax just gave her seal of approval.
No worries, Shellac, I still love you too!


Will you try Lechat Nobility gel nail polish, or stick with your favorite brand?

Friday, December 12, 2014

TV: The Walking Dead

I finally gave in and started watching The Walking Dead.
...and by starting to watch, I mean that I'm in season 4 after 2 weeks of binge watching...
This show is completely and 100% addicting-ly good.
When I first heard people talking about, I was all like "Nahh, it's a zombie show. Ew."
Then another year passed and everyone was watching it.
I put it in the cheesy, fan-overly-obsessive category along with Twilight and High School Musical.
I take pride in the fact that my eyes never laid on ANY of the above.
Boy, was I wrong.

First off, this show is not a zombie show.
It's a show about an almost-apocalypse and survival.
It leaves you curious about the main character's past lives.
It is filled to the brim with juice about the characters relationships amongst each other.
It makes you jump when you least expect it and it has just the right amount of action.
It can make you cry, laugh, and hang on the edge of your seat all in one episode.
Can you tell that I'm hooked?

My favorite part about this show, is how you grow to really love these characters.
Psh, I totally call Maggie on the daily.  Duh, girl talk!!
Each character has their own place, and they fit in it really well.

So, let's play a Jax game.

The future hubby and I were arguing about who our favorite characters were.
I took a guess and went with Maggie since she's smoking hot and kicks ass.
Yea, well, I was wrong.
His favorite character is Glenn Rhee.
He said because he's smart, funny, and quickly advanced to a key player.
...and, yes, he gives him serious credit for getting the hottest girl on the show...


Then, he tried to guess my favorite character.
He took a swing at it and picked Rick.
Yea, well, he was just as wrong.
Then he picked Michonne.
She does run a close second.  She's one kick-butt lady that I totally admire.
My favorite is Daryl Dixon.
I picked him because he has one of the biggest set of huevos on the show!
He hooked me the first time he gutted a zombie to see if Sophia was inside.  Swoon...


So, those are our two favorite picks.
Mushy picks the walkers.  She loves to imitate them and then giggle after her performance.
I think you guys should play right along with us.
And, if you agree with Mushy, you must send a video of your zombie imitation!

Which character is your favorite on The Walking Dead?
If you have never seen it before, will you watch, or is it just another Twilight?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wedding: 8 Month Marker

I haven't mentioned the wedding much since the nine-month post.
I haven't really done much planning since then either.  Sigh...
It's amazing how a whole month goes by and you don't even realize it.

Just to recap:  At nine months we already booked the catering hall, saved our date and time at the church, picked our colors (ballerina pink and gold), wrote an estimated guest list (140 people, EEP!), and made our budget.
The catering hall only holds 120 people, so I will not be sending save the dates!

We are officially at the Eight-Month Marker!



Invitations:  I finally hired the person I want to make them.  The invitation style and the envelope I want has been chosen.  I picked the font I want them written in and the colors I want them to be.  I wrote out a count of how many people I'll be inviting and made a final decision of the amount of invites that I will actually need.  All that's left is to pick the wording that I want and to place the final order.  I'm hoping that we are on schedule the have these out by May.
This was surprisingly complicated!  You want a dot?  Ok, just pick WHICH dot out of these hundred.

Bridal Party:  We finalized our bridal party.
This is an accomplishment, right?

Honeymoon:  My future in laws surprised us with booking a flight and a hotel to a fancy place on the beach.  We aren't allowed to know the exact destination, but they let us know that we don't need to plan anything.
Just because I didn't plan this, doesn't mean it isn't an accomplishment, right?!

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping:  We went to Macy's Bridal and tried on a bunch of dresses.  To go with the ballerina pink and gold theme, they are rocking real pretty pink dresses, with hot gold shoes.  The ladies officially know what they will be wearing.  The dresses have been ordered and should be here in 4-6 months.
This is at least one huge CHECK off the to do list!  Woo hoo!

Groomsmen Tuxedos:  While they didn't pick out the exact tux that they will be wearing, they did finally decide on a color.  I really wanted white, but they all fought this.  We settled on a very light gray to compliment the ballerina pink.
But, white totally would have been sharp!

Wedding Dress:  At Macy's bridal, I was prepared for war.  I was ready to try on 100 dresses and not be happy with any of them.  Boy, was I wrong!  I tried on one dress and fell in love.  I knew it was the perfect one for me, and I felt no need to try on another.  I said yes to a dress!
My family and friends were disappointed with the short show, but the dress was perfection.  :)

This is as far as we have gotten.  We still need to look at flowers, book a DJ and photographer, order a cake, book the limo, get Mushy a flower girl dress, buy the wedding rings, collect all the addresses, make the donation in lieu of the favors, and do a million other things to make this day rock.
Whew, I'm tired just thinking about it!

Where do you think a couple should be at the eight-month marker?

Friday, December 5, 2014

List: Family Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is swiftly approaching.
Oh, how I don't want the season to end.
I'm excited to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and window shop at Macy's on 34th st.
I live for the cheesy Life Time movies, the yummy fig cookies, and the mugs of hot chocolate.
I get happy when I wake up to a decorated tree and a house filled with red and gold.
Not to mention all those extra days off from work...
This is just overall the best time of year.

The hardest part of the holiday is picking out all the clever and tasteful, yet inexpensive gifts.
Luckily for me, I started early.  Like 6 weeks ago early.  Go me!
Mushy will wake up to an obnoxious amount of toys, clothes, and a potty with big girl panties.
My God son will get a few toys, a portable DVD player with a car holder, and clothes.
My baby cousin will get the game Battleship, a Hello Kitty Karaoke Player, and clothes.
Well, the kids are easy...They don't have everything yet, like us adults.

***********
Christmas Gift Ideas for the Family

1.  Madre
ILoveGradma Picture Frame, Chrystal-Design Vase, and Sonoma Vase Filler

Bought from Kohls.com.


2.  Future Mother-In-Law
Ralph Lauren Flats

Bought from Macys.com.


3.  Daddy AKA The Viking
ILoveGrandpa Picture Frame, and a Media Stand
I usually don't splurge this much, but he does a lot for us and he recently moved.

Bought from Target.


4.  Future Father-In-Law
Nautica Shirt and Pants

Bought from Macys.com.


5.  Grandpa AKA Papa
Croft & Barrow Polo and a Heated Ice Scraper


Bought from kohls.com.


6.  Nanny
The I Love Lucy: Colorized Christmas Special


Bought at Target.


7.  Cousin
Slippers and Sterling Silver Family Tree Pendant


Bought at Target.


8.  Brother
Old Navy Outfit and Joe Name It Party Game


Bought from kohls.com.


9.  Mushy's School Teachers
Ghiardelli Latte Mug Gift Sets


Bought at Target.


10.  The Future Hubby
A smart phone, Puma sneakers, and a Shutterfly Photo Album from Shutterfly.com displaying this year's family highlights.


Purchased from amazon.com.

***********

Have you been inspired by these ideas?  If so, which one?  If not, share some new ideas!


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