New finds....

Every now and then I try something new. So I had been hearing about this "WEN" shampoo.

It's definitely different. It's a little expensive. It's a cream cleansing conditioner. That means you use one 'thing'. You use a number of pumps based on your hair length. And then you just massage. Doing this twice.

Hmmmm - but so far, I think I like it. I'm committed now (3 bottles and 2 travel size) so am going to definitely stick it out. I have heard lots of good things. Shine, body, thickness. I'm wondering how many people I know have tried it and what they think?!

Moving on to this - We haven't traditionally had complexion problems but with Chase being a 'boy' and heavily active in sports, he tends to have a small struggle. After trying a few things, Britt suggested this -

Chase seems to like even though we all know there's a period when it's worse before better but I'm thinking this just might do it, ha!

And now you have it!  That's what's new in this house.  Pretty boring, huh?!



IS FIVE!  Yes, FIVE and soo hard to believe -

Like Chase says....she's got the mind of a 20 year old.  She is such a sweet, smart, loving, perfect little Princess and ohhh how we love her.

Happy Birthday Kayden Brooke!  Have a great day and stay warm....brrrrrr it's COLD out there!




And Snowed -


So I worked and worked AND worked - but I feel like I actually accomplished a lot today.  I got my "real' job done then continued to work on Assignment #2 of my latest class with Jessica.  This is a really awesome class.  It's all about organizing the files and folders full of digital scrapbook papers, elements, word art and brushes.

If you are a digital scrapbooker, you MUST check this out.

Once I had dinner ready, I pushed the button -

and so far so good.  My update is finished and I really haven't experienced anything major.  I got an error message twice when I hit 'like' on FB but it seemed to clear itself up.  I hope, anyway.

Shew - been a long day.  Full of lots of snow, lots of work and now just chillin in where it's nice and warm.


Fun night with the Jacksons -

We were long overdue for a night out with Kim and OJ and we finally found a night that worked for both.  We headed to Valerie Hill and grabbed a bottle of Stone Chimney Red -

Sat by the fire

And talked, laughed and planned.  We did have someone take our picture together -

and posted to Facebook but not before OJ approved, ha!

We shared what we knew about this Civil War jacket -and of course 'the one and only' had to play around with the sensor =)

And of course Ronnie, the history buff filled us all in by reading the story on the back of the bottle - 

this place is sooooo full of history.  I just love it and we learn something new each time we visit.

We listend to Kipyn for a little bit -

but the 'guys' couldn't be quiet so we had to excuse ourselves and go in the other room (no surprise there!)

We called it a night -

but just had to check out the new room upstairs.  wow!

Love it already!!  (this place definitely has some cool ghosts)

Then we found another corner and began planning.  We went from Spring Break in Myrtle to New Year's Eve in NYC.  Gotta love fun nights and it's always fun with them.  

And who would have thought a morning that started out looking like this -

would end up so perfect because we all know we have had some very weird, wicked weather this winter.  Just have to love happy times with good friends!


Merry Christmas!

I know….it's January 14th but it's still kinda Christmas here.  See this face -

That's a HAPPY face - oh and here's another one -

That's because this -

turned into this -

Loud, colorful, and full of base, lol.

When I first saw this serious face I was worried but that was just his game face =)

I guess it was Merry Christmas one more time and he's pretty happy.  He loves doing stuff like this and helped some of his buddies install speakers and head units over the past few months.  It was interesting hearing him talk to two of the Best Buy installers on Saturday.  Who knows, maybe one day he'll be working there doing this for a living…..ahhhhhh


My 2 cents...

Not many people ask for my input but I decided to take a few minutes and give my 2 cents about two wineries we recently visited.   Keep in mind that this is strictly my opinion.

So we turned onto Tranquility Road -

Nice…well pretty nice until the good road ended and we were on gravel.  Rough gravel.  Pot holes.  Mud.  Yuck.  For about a mile.

But once we turned left -

Horses on our left (world class Hanoverians might I add) and vines on our right. Yep, we are here - Otium Cellars (keep in mind that Otium means:  leisure; peace; tranquility….perfect)

The the tasting room was beautiful -

We tasted all of their wines.  Pinot Gris seems to be their most produced.  We tasted 2010, 2011 and 2012.  Each very different.  One dry, one sweet, one in the middle.  Their Chardonnay was ok.  Not our favorite but ok.  

The reds were pretty good.  Several.  Some with a unique taste.  Different grapes than we were accustomed to but very interesting.  

Our 'pourer' was very good.  Fun, informative, very accommodating.  The owner came in at one point (we only knew because our pourer told us) and was soon out and about on a tractor -  

We chose the Cabernet Sauvignon - very smooth.  Very enjoyable.  So all in all, the wines were good.  

What I observed with the tasting room is that it's rather small.  It's beautiful but all the glass overlooks the other building and parking lot.  To me it seems as if it would be much more beautiful to face the mountains.  We all know Loudoun County is full of beautiful views.  When the weather is nice, there is plenty of space to sit outside.  There's a pavilion with lots of seating that overlooks the pond -

So….bottom line.  We will visit again but this is not a place we would frequent.  

Next we headed through Purcellville, into Hillsboro and onto Route 671 (Harpers Ferry Road) -

Pay close attention to the description…..wine CAVES =)

interesting.  very interesting (anyone remember the Tele Tubbies?  haha)

But once inside, we met Maggie and the wine keepers, ha!

 The wines were great!

We purchased two - a Cab Franc and Petit Verdot.  

My take - loved the wines and definitely someplace we will visit again when the weather is warm.  During the off season, there's really no place to sit and enjoy the wine.  Once outside, the view is nice.  Rolling hills with the mountain backdrop.  And Maggie…….she was awesome.  Full of energy and knowledge.  She started this as a project in her garage and after her friends tasted, they encouraged her to sell and share.  Good choice =)

Here's the view on the way out - 

Can't you just picture that in the Spring, Summer and Fall?!  

So there you have it.  MY opinion.  Happy Monday!


A birthday message for above…..

That's right, today we would be celebrating his 75th birthday.  There would be cake and presents (he loved presents) and candles for him to blow out.  But instead he's celebrating with his brothers and sisters flying high above us.

Happy Birthday Dad - I miss you every day but know you are watching over us.  Have a great day…..I LOVE YOU!



A few years ago I connected with a high school friend.  It had been 30 years. Neither of us had attended any of our class reunions. Both of us had remained in our hometown yet we had never crossed paths.

And then....Facebook evolved. So needless to say, our 30th class reunion was a blast. We have stayed in touch and over the past few years have spent many a night with cheeks hurting from laughter. And as with any friendship, we have shared a few tears, too.

We spent an evening together before Christmas full of holiday cheer but suddenly that cheer turned into sorrow and tears as her Mom departed this life early Christmas morning.

Wow. Definitely a shock. I know firsthand what it is to lose a parent and honestly haven't found anything quite like it. For your entire life you have someone that loves you unconditionally. Whether or not they agree with you, they are there. Always. They listen to you. They look at you. They pick you up when you fall.  You just know they are always there.  And then the inevitable happens and they are gone and NOTHING is ever the same. You are forced to find a new normal. Pick up the pieces. Live with regrets (if you have any) and move on.

My heart went out to her but even though I had experienced a similar situation, her pain was real. She had to learn to find that new normal. She had to hold those memories near to her heart and constantly remind herself of all the wonderful times. That my friend, cannot be discounted. It is a very, very difficult task.

I sat in the back at the funeral and observed. When she was weak, her husband was strong. When he struggled, she touched him and smiled.  It was very clear that as a team they would get through this.  They were helping each other in this difficult, sad time. That made my heart smile.

I listened as loved ones shared their stories. I listened as the words this daughter had written were shared with us. And that’s when I had to fight the tears. We are the same age which means we have shared the same time with our parents. She talked about all the fun times. How her mother had always been there for her. Had loved her unconditionally. How she would miss her so. And suddenly as I sat there, perspective presented itself.

Life is short. Regrets are much more difficult to live with than forgiveness and peace. I thought about what I would say (and remembered the words I wrote and spoke about my Dad). And from that pew in the back of the church, I made a commitment to try to do better. To work hard to not have any regrets. To understand people and accept what I cannot change. And talk about perfect timing…..it just happened to be 4 days before the new year would start and  I am NOT one to set New Year’s Resolutions, ha!

So my words here are really to keep reminding myself that God puts us in places for a reason. God brings people to us for a reason. And most importantly each day is a gift. Tomorrow may not come and I hope to not have any regrets.

My apologies for this being such a deep, emotional post but those of you that know me, know that this is where I share my thoughts. Mostly for myself but also for those that know and/or love me.

And on a lighter note, it's HUMP day….hehe

and tomorrow is Friday eve! Yay


On a cold winter's night…..

this comes in handy…..

We have come to love this.  It took a little bit but we finally got rid of the big pot and now strictly use this convenient brewing system!  AND even better, I had a cup of my The Coffee Beanery Hawaiian Coconut freshly ground -

Fill up the paper filter -

Well, you have to have the special container - EZ-Cup, too -

and YEP - a perfect cup!

Which means now that I have this figured out I can get all of my favorite flavored coffees.  Yay!

Oh and I do have another new toy that I love.  I had an 'older model' for YEARS and dealt with the crack for the past several until I got this bad boy for Christmas, ha!

No adjustment necessary……out of the box and woolaa!

gadgets…….cameras…….anything Apple and I'm good =)  Stay warm - xoxo