life is always about the journey...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What's in the box?

What is in the box?

Yeah you all know that's a Tiffany box...have you gotten one before?  
I have not in my almost 39 years so I'm thinking this is a great year for one right?
So I think on my birthday this Friday I should get one...from the hubby...he's been notified ;)
I'm not big into fancy, expensive jewelry...I have a nice watch, my wedding rings, diamond stud earrings and a diamond-white-gold necklace that I wear everyday.  Then I just like costume jewelry most other times especially for trendy items (say hello to Charming Charlies for those goodies).

But seeing that this is my LAST birthday in my 30's I want something to commemorate my 30's.
I have loved my 30's...the past 9 years have been amazing to me.  I've traveled, made new friends, started a business, started blogging, watched my kids grow, fell in love with my husband again & again and just enjoyed life as much as I can.  I've grown as a person, I really like myself LOL...I like who I see in the mirror and I like who I am inside.  So I can only hope that the next 10 years bring more of the same.

So I'm asking hubby for these to commemorate my 30's--

Tiffany Sterling Drop Earrings...not too fancy...something I can wear daily or dress up.  You won't ever see me with big jewels hanging off of myself...not my style.  I like simple, classy & that is always in style.  Plus these remind me of small globes...I always say I'm part gypsy and I love nothing better than to the new people...try NEW things!  So I've done a lot of that in 10 years and these remind me of those good times!

I've been emailing the link to these at Tiffany's to my hubby for 3 weeks think he got the hint yet?????  We shall see on Friday if he did LOL!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday!

17th Birthday Wishes for Alexa

Today is my daughter Alexa's 17th birthday!  She was the first born and was born 17 years ago at 6:50 pm in Maryland.  She didn't cry for the first 2 weeks...she just mewled like a kitty. She was a great baby...always happy, playful and super smart.  She started sleeping thru the night at 10 weeks but never really liked to go to bed....or nap...oy vey LOL.  She was one that just didn't need a lot of sleep much to her parent's consternation!  She STILL doesn't sleep much but she will go up to bed if she's super tired...but most nights she can be found sneak-reading her Kindle after her 10:30 pm bedtime ;)

My wishes for you my darling daughter:
-be happy in whatever you do
-do things that make YOU happy
-do things to help others be happy
-enjoy life & live it the best you can
-believe in yourself & follow your dreams
-don't let anyone tell you are less than you are
-respect yourself, your family, your world & your future
-find true love, the kind that will last forever
-travel & see the world
-make friends and spend time with them
-don't let anyone hold you back
-laugh, giggle, snort and act goofy everyday
-mind your manners & stay classy
-be strong & self-confident in who you are
-don't ever stop learning or loving
and follow that rainbow wherever it might take you & enjoy the ride!

**NOTE: She may kill me after she sees this post ahahaha...but she knows to expect nuttin' less from her bloggin' momma :)!!!!

One of her first words was "NO"...we shoulda known then she was gonna be a bit of a hell-raiser hee hee!  And from the moment she could talk...she never stopped...still that way today.  She will talk and talk and talk and sometimes I start to tune out....then she'll yell "I know you aren't listening" and she will KEEP TALKING LMBO!  She talks to herself in her room...she talks to her friends via Skype...she texts...she just talks and talks.  She always has something to say!  I remember picking up her and her brother from private school when they were younger and they would FIGHT over who got to talk first...ay yi yi!

She has always loved school and excelled in school.  Her kindergarten teacher told me if she had to run to the bathroom she would leave Alexa in charge....she said "that girl can run the class all day" ahahaha...a born leader!  She is a straight A, AP class taking, serious student with her eye on the future and her goals. She has known since she was 5 that she wanted to work with sea animals, marine biology to be exact.  She's never wavered from that...ever...never.  She has chosen her colleges to apply to based on marine biology.  University of SC is her first and most favored choice.  For her 9th birthday we went to Disney & SeaWorld in Orlando and got to have dinner with Shamu and she got to chat with the trainers.  That really cemented the deal then AND this summer she will intern at SeaWorld as well.  And the story continues.....

She danced ballet for 11 years...she was a natural...beautiful dancer and on pointe early for her age. 
She danced 15 hours a week and then decided that she wanted to do other things.  So she did gymnastics and then cheerleading in high school.  And she has always loved to sing...she's been in chorus since the 3rd grade.  This year she is in the A capella Chorus at the High School.  She has never had a fear of being on stage...having a fear.  She has so much more self confidence than I did at that age and I'm HAPPY for her.  Being a girl is hard...going thru life as a girl can be gotta believe in yourself when you think no one else does and be confident in who you are.  I have no worries that she KNOWS who she is and I'm PROUD of who she is!

Her favorite color is blue...aqua to be exact although it should be RAVEN PURPLE.  She's a big sports the rest of the family of course.  And the Baltimore Ravens are her football team.  She has a teal and white bedroom but there is so much Raven stuff in there I swear we picked the wrong color ;)  She loves the Baltimore Orioles AND the Washington Nationals baseball teams. She loves the Washington Capitals (I think cuz she thinks they are all cute ahahaha).  And her Homecoming dress was purple too this year!
In fact she is such a fan that we are spending her birthday evening in BALTIMORE eating MD crabs *yum* with the Baltimore RAVENS while watching the NFL Draft.  She's super excited to meet her fave Raven Torrey Smith!

 She loves Disney...well I would say obsessed...she would go there everyday if possible.  She possibly thinks she is a Disney Princess...ahem...I think NOT LOL!

Oh and she's obsessed with Harry Potter...she's read the books multiple times, seen the movies multiple times and last summer we were able to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter...she pretty much ran thru the park to get there LOL!

She shares a GREAT LOVE for Luke Bryan and country music in general with her momma (and grandma too)...yeehaw! And we can count a lot of concerts we have traveled miles to see, waited for hours in line and put out some late nights!

Grace, Alexa & Sophia

Grace & 5th grade & today above!
She's had the same BFFs since we moved to Virginia when she was in 5th grade...the Three Musketeers...crazy girls...but good girls! I believe they will all be here AGAIN this weekend ;)

She has an odd & crazy sense of humor...she MAY have gotten some of it (ahem) from her momma...just sayin' and we love to goof around.  Life should be get one life, live it well I always say!  And I've taught my kids that too!

She's diligent...intelligent...sweet...compassionate...funny...crazy...beautiful...witty...studious...amazing...loving...
competitive...loud...talkative...friendly...STUBBORN...energetic...and just plain wonderful!!

She is my Partner in Crime....hear my hubby groaning...that's right dear there are now TWO of us in this world....WORLD BRACE YOURSELF!!!  We have a lot of fun together....I'm blessed with a daughter who is my heart, my friend, my everything!  She is a fellow Taurean and a bit stubborn like her momma too ;)

She's a Daddy's girl...she will admit it...she knows how to work him and he's been wrapped around her finger since the day she was born!  I'm lucky to have a husband who is involved with the kids (from day 1) and loves to hang out with them...who loves them wholeheartedly period!  He may groan at her girly outbursts, roll his eyes at her "wants" but he loves her more than anything...that makes her a very lucky girl indeed!

I can't quite believe that the pigtailed little girl is going to be 17 and off to college next fall.  My how time gotta pay attention to every minute, every moment, each hour...because before you know it those babies you brought home are off on their own.

Happy Birthday couldn't be loved more!!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Bust a Move!

 Week 4 of Workouts

So I'm on week 4 of my workouts...its been tough..I won't lie.  I'm not gonna lie about how easy it was to get back into the routine, how much I love working out and blah blah blah cuz its just all not, period.  I am sore most days STILL...I push myself on each workout a little more than I did the day before...I want to make sure I'm getting all the BANG for my BUCK if ya KWIM LOL!  **NOTE:  On my water drinking...I'm actually doing amazingly well I say...I am drinking 5-6 glasses of water a day, one juice and then a Cherry Coke every other day.  I'd like to cut back to just 1-2 sodas a week period but in time.  And for those that miss the caffeine...well you can buy caffeine pills...yes you can and they work.  So if I feel like I'm dragging I will pop a caffeine pill although I've only taken 2 in 4 weeks so far, but its a good alternative without turning to soda or coffee.

But I will tell you that I am feeling stronger and healthier.  My muscles always do better and feel less tense when I lift weights and get stronger...I also sit up straighter and feel my abs pulling in a bit.  I will say I do enjoy lifting body responds to it pretty quickly and its nice to feel strong again.  My stamina is slowly picking up and I'm able to do more each workout and even though I'm sweating buckets AND cussing out the TV and huffing and puffing, I know its all worth it.

So how do I do my workouts?  Well I will tell you I'm not a big gym junkie...I have nothing against them but I feel I can do just as much at my house....making it easier to fit in workouts when I can and not have to always plan a trip to the gym.  I'm also TERRIBLE at classes...I'm the girl in the back that isn't too coordinated, that's probably talking to herself and huffing LOL.  So I prefer to do DVDs down in my rec room where no one can see me...then if I am off a count I'm not messing up the whole room of feel me?  Plus I can go longer if I feel like or take a 5 sec breather if need be without everyone lookin at me thinkin' I'm a wimpy-woo LOL.  So you don't have to be a member of a gym to get a good workout.  My "gym" has bands, hand weights (2 lbs, 5 lbs & 10 lbs), a Bosu, a Step, a Bar and then I also have a treadmill and elliptical machines.  So I always do Jillian Michaels DVDs...they work great for me, I get in shape quickly and then I'm able to add on as I want.  Then I might start adding on more treadmill or elliptical time after I do a workout.  And here's a note for TV downstairs is 80" yeah Jillian is life-size...she's SCARY hee hee!

These 2 videos are my standby's...the ones that I know work and are tough enough to get me in shape but enough variety that I don't get bored.  I don't like to do 40 or 60 mins of just ONE thing...ugh.  So these are 25 min sessions each, 3 sessions total.  So I do Level 1 for a week, then Level 2, then Level 3...then I switch it up and do Levels 1 & 2 together or 2 & 3 together.  And I alternate between these two videos...its a great mix of weight lifting, abs & cardio and it WORKS if you  are consistent with it.  And come on...everyone can fit in at least 25 mins a few times a week.  I do my workouts later in the day...I'm not a morning I usually work out between 3 and 4:30. That way I'm finished up before the teens get home and I can get a quick shower before dinner.  But some days I wait for Alexa to get home at 4:30 and we work out together, it just depends.

Then once I start feeling stronger I start adding in some kick-boxing routines to amp up the stamina and calorie burn.  This is 3 sessions on one DVD...each session is HARD...but once you get thru one session it gets easier to add on each time until you do the whole DVD.  And yes you will lay on the floor in a puddle of sweat, face bright red and cussin' Jillian out....errrr well at least I am LOL!

And then when you want to add some more moves to your routine, you can add this DVD in.  My problem child is my abs....after 2 kids and multiple stomach surgeries its extremely hard to get it toned and I don't want any muffin top over my jeans.  I may never have a stomach that looks like Jillian's but I do want a stomach that is strong, no layer of fat and that will carry me through each day well.  A strong core helps a multitude of body problems including keeping my lower back pain at bay. 

And I'm no seller of Jillian's stuff...I don't get any commissions LOL...I'm just a gal who has done them and had success and they work for me.  Its all about what works for YOU to make it work period.  But dammit...I plan on being around this earth a darn long raise as much ruckus as I can I gotta be healthy as I can be! :)

I have a cardio dance and Zumba DVD coming to me courtesy of shall see how I do with those.  NO hidden video cameras puh-leeze ;)

So what kind of workout works best for you?


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Big Flavor Recipes for Short on Time Cooks!

Some Tummy Nummies For You!

I have been cooking up a storm lately.  Not that I don't most weeks but now that the kids are older and more willing to eat different things I've been trying to cook a lot of new recipes or create my own recipes.  I'm also trying to get away from all processed foods...nothing out of a box or frozen bag as much as possible.  Plus I get bored with the same old, same old...which is why we would eat out a lot at restaurants so kids could get boring food and adults could have new stuff LOL.  But I've cut our eating out A LOT and now I cook 6 times a week sometimes depends on what we are doing that week and where we may be on the weekends.  

So I thought I'd share a few recipes with you each week that I've tried and loved OR created if you are looking for something new to ya go!  These recipes got 2 thumbs up from the hubster and BOTH the teens :)


Man Pleasin' Chicken
(its Woman Pleasin' too I assure you, lol)

{not my pic, I forgot to take one when I made LOL}

Literally this chicken was so good I had to strap myself to the table to not eat another piece.  It was just slightly crispy on the outside and moist inside...and sooooo flavorful.  And not a whole lot to it which is nice and easy during the week when you may be pressed for time.  I got this recipe HERE but tweaked it a bit for my liking!

-1 pkg Chicken Thighs
(I use organic chicken and I did 2 pkgs because I have 2 teens)
* 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard 
(I used Jack Daniels Dijon mustard cuz I love the flavor)
*1/4 cup Maple Syrup
*1 TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
*Salt & Pepper
*calls for fresh Rosemary but I didn't include that on mine


*IMPORTANT....line your pan with foil and spray it good cuz the maple syrup will crust a bit and be a PIA to clean me...I know these things ;)

*Whisk the dijon mustard, maple syrup and rice-wine vinegar together in a bowl

*salt & pepper your chicken thighs and put in foil lined pan (don't forget the FOIL)

*then pour the mixture over the chicken, then flip each piece of chicken so its well coated

*I let my chicken sit in the sauce for 30 mins in fridge to really marinate it a bit

*cook at 450 degs for 40 - 45 mins or until chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 degs (do not cover it while cooking)

*baste chicken after 20 mins or do it the lazy way like me and FLIP the chicken in the pan LOL

*let sit for 5 mins after done, then serve...I drizzled a bit of the leftover sauce from the pan onto each piece as well.

And let the Yummmmmmms hit your Tummmmm


Mini Monkey Bread

So I love I mean I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some good bread.  I however don't really enjoy making it...but I'm REAL good at eating it...yeah...slathered with butter and/or honey...mmmmm good stuff to my tum-tum.  I can cook anything...but making bread never appealed to me even though both my mom & dad excel in it and make it every darn day.  Guess God made my tummy to like it but my hands to not make it LOL!  So when I came across this recipe originally on Pinterest I was intrigued.  

The recipe HERE originally uses Rhodes Dough....I'd never heard of Rhodes I looked up online where you could buy it and low-and-behold Wegmans sells it.  Its in the freezer aisle and comes in rolls, loaves or a ball of dough...AWESOMELY COOL!  So I immediately went and got meself some and this recipe is super easy to make and OMG soooo good....really good....I won't tell you how many I ate...BUT I did a double workout the next day, so you feel me yes? LOL  
Now if you are ambitious and love to make bread...then go right ahead!  If you don't like to like me or are short on the Rhodes Dough...and you don't have to tell.  Peshaw...tell those folks you made the whole darn thing from scratch...yes indeedy :)   And the Rhodes website has other awesome recipes too for their dough so go check 'em out!!  Goooooo!


12 Rhodes™ Dinner rolls, thawed but still cold
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons corn syrup
(I used light corn syrup to cut calories)
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla


Cut each dinner roll into 6 equal pieces make sure you let the dough sit out for a bit and thaw out.

In a bowl, combine butter and corn syrup and stir until well mixed. 

In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well. 

Take each of the 6 roll pieces in the butter mixture and then in the sugar mixture. Place 6 pieces in each well sprayed cup of a 12 muffin pan. Repeat with remaining roll pieces.   So literally one roll dough gets cut into 6 pieces and those 6 pieces go into one of the muffin slots ok....took me a min to get that at first LMBO!

Cover pan with sprayed plastic wrap and let double in size. 
Remove the wrap and bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes. 

Cool 3-4 minutes before removing from pan. 

Combine icing ingredients and mix well to a thin consistency with no chunk-a-loos ok. Drizzle over monkey breads if desired but duhhh why wouldn't you want the icing..mmmm its literally the icing on the cake...errr monkey bread LOL!


So I hope I helped you with some tummy-nummies this week!  I will share soon a few other recipes that were off the charts good too...and easy to make...whoot!

Do you have a top recipe that is easy to make but BIG on flavor?  Let me know, I love to try new recipes!!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Themed for Black & White!


So my favorite color is other fave color is BLACK and I love me some black and white clothes, accessories and home decor items.  And guess what?  Its super IN this I think this combo is ALWAYS in style and elegant to boot!

I'm a big fan of zebra print and black and white.  So I had fun putting this collection of items...all attainable if you wish..and some I have meself!  Enjoy!


I have that gorgeous owl bracelet..I ordered it while on Spring Break and I adore it!  So fun and quirky but still stylish!  I also have a black and white striped shirt and zebra belt...the ring and dress are on my "WANT LIST" ;)  Print shorts are all the rage right now...I will have to try a pair on to see if I like them...I'm just not sure.  But I do like these print shorts because the pattern isn't too large or bright and you could pair many colors with it.  The shoes I love but alas a bit outta this gal's price range although I'm on the lookout for something similar but much easier on the budget KWIM!  And those earrings...aren't they gorgeous?  You can find the best stuff on Etsy and things that none of your friends have...they quilled paper to make these earrings..and well I'm a papercrafter so they really appeal to me!

Dress & Shorts (Express)
Tank Top & Striped Top (Nordstroms)


Home Decor

I love having black in my home decor...its even if its not the MAIN color, having a few items with black help tone down everything and class it up a bit.  My color scheme in my great room is terracotta, butter yellow and sage green BUT I have black accents everywhere and black Windsor chairs at my farm table.  So lots of ways to include it.  My studio is Tiffany Blue, b&w toile and a bit of zebra thrown in the mix...I LOVE IT!  In fact I have those glass balls on my hutch currently and some black wire baskets as well.  I'm so digging these pillows from Etsy and you know about my dish obsession...yeah I want these accent dishes from Target REAL bad LOL!  And how fun is that lantern may be coming home..yeah to my home...I think it would look fab on a bookshelf, hutch or accent table...just so interesting and different.



I'm always looking for interesting art.  I still have some walls in my basement that need art including the stairwell.  My basement colors are chocolate brown, light aqua, white and black and I have a lot of large art that features vintage travel posters framed in black down there.  But I need some more for the foyer in the basement..we are ripping out the floors and repainting that area and I want some large art.  PRINTS to the rescue...not too expensive on the wallet so that if you change your mind a few years later its not hard to let them go.  So these two are my picks and should be arriving soon so I can frame them...I love them!  When you can't find art that fits your theme or color scheme...check into prints...they make great art and come in many sizes..a nice alternative when you can't afford the REAL stuff!
Or you know what...take pictures yourself and convert them to black and white and print and frame.  I've done that with all our beach photos...looks elegant and they all go together nicely on the wall!

I picked these photo prints because they make me FEEL something...and think about things and I love art or photographs that just TAKE YOU AWAY for a moment or two...these speak to me!!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Pics!

Just some weekend happenings around the Dean household!!!

I groomed my furbabies...well the two doggies anywho LOL! Casey is on left and Baylee is on right...they are both Cairn Terriers and my babies!

Alexa got asked to the Junior/Senior prom by her good "friend"...ahem...friend hee hee Zach on Saturday.  He put a rose and note in the mailbox...note the YES and YES check boxes LOL! Then he walked down with the other bundle of roses for her.  Too cute huh!?

The weather continues to be Spring-like and beautiful!  We were able to get a ton of yardwork done and eat dinner outside on the patio.  We still have a lot of work to do and some trees to get put in, mulching, planting, garden widening and yesss the bar top has to be washed and never ends I tell ya!

We have season tix to the Washington Nationals so we went to our first game of 2013 yesterday...beautiful weather.  The game...well I choose to forget about the game cuz' it wasn't pretty LOL!  But there are over 140 games so this was #12 I think...I'm not at all worried....yet ;)

Winston...our latest rescue of October...scooted himself up on the dinner table last night while we weren't looking and cleaning up from dinner.   TO TAKE A NAP...oy vey...the animals I tell ya...good thing he's cute!

And the week begins again...hope its a great one for you!

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