Archives for July 2010

The Laughing Cow – Giveaway #1

The topic is fitness-related mishaps.

The prize is a $150 Visa gift card.

And all you have to do is leave a comment right over here to enter.

You won’t even feel the burn.

Coming Up With A Title Is Far Too Ambitious

The little man and I are spending a few days in Memphis so that he can hang out with his cousins and I can try new and exciting cream cheese-related recipes with my sister-in-law. That’s what you call a win-win.

Monday night Janie and I were tickled that we were going to get to watch The Bachelorette together, and after the kids had eaten supper and headed back upstairs to play, we settled in for The Most Dramatic Two-Hour Extravaganza of Amazing Connections Ever. However, for reasons I have yet to understand, my brother decided to sit down and watch the show with us, and let me just say with some degree of certainty that NOTHING CAN WRECK YOUR BACHELORETTE VIEWING LIKE A MAN WITH SOME QUESTIONS.

Oh sweet mercy.

Because if you’re going to ask me to logically explain and lo, even defend the actions of the people on The Bachelorette, I have some news for you:

THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE.

You just have to roll with the reality television punches. Employ the willing suspension of disbelief. Realize that LOGIC HAS NO PLACE IN THE BACHELORETTE PROCEEDINGS.

And besides, in the end Ali wound up with the best two guys, though clearly – CLEARLY – Chris L. is the one she should pick. Because his family? And that bracelet? And the laughing? And the sincerity? And the absence of smooth talking and fancy words? He just seems like real life to me.

Anyway.

Yesterday we went to eat lunch at Corky’s (I’m convinced that God makes their barbecue sauce) and then took the kids to see a movie. Now, I typically try to talk about stuff that I like way more than stuff that I dislike, but I feel like it’s in the interest of public service for me to say that if you’re thinking of going to see a movie that rhymes with The Past Bearsender? You might want to re-think that decision.

Because IN MY OPINION, it was terrible. It was endless. And even my eternally optimistic child walked out of the theatre and said, “THAT WAS THE WORST MOVIE I EVER SAW!” And then he repeated himself about fourteen times. So needless to say, we will not be purchasing and/or renting the DVD for a second viewing. But the good news is that I didn’t understand even 5% of what we saw, so odds are the plot won’t be hanging out in my brain for very long. And there were some sah-weet kah-rah-tay moves to imitate, so that was totally worth the ticket price.

We’re heading home tomorrow, so we’re about to embark on our final Afternoon-O-Fun with the cousins. I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do, but you may rest assured that it will not involve The Past Bearsender.

However, a little bit more of God’s barbecue sauce is a very distinct possibility.

The Laughing Cow – Post 1

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and The Laughing Cow.

Last spring I was reading a friend’s blog and noticed that she’d issued a challenge to her readers: 30 Days of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. I was intrigued. I was also – dare I say it – inspired. And for reasons I have yet to fully understand, I immediately thought, “Okay. I’m in.” AND I SIGNED UP FOR IT.

CLEARLY SOME FITNESS-MINDED ALIENS SEIZED CONTROL OF MY MIND.

So I drove to the Target and bought the DVD and decided that the very next day would be Day One.

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OH MY MERCIFUL HEAVENS.

But in a delightfully unexpected turn of events, I found out that my friend Melanie had also committed to the challenge. I cannot overstate the importance of this discovery because HELLO, ACCOUNTABILITY, NICE TO SEE YOU. We also realized that we were both planning to set aside some time to “shred” in the afternoons, but we were sort of blase’ about it because the workout only lasts 20 minutes, and how hard could that be, right? I mean, I can do all sorts of things for 20 minutes: I can lift the fried chicken off of my plate and put it into my mouth, I can repeatedly mash the buttons on the TV remote, and I can also send and receive countless text messages while continually sipping an ice cold diet Coke.

You may be picking up on why the aliens seized control of my mind and convinced me to sign up for the challenge in the first place.

So on that fateful spring afternoon, when there was not another living soul in my house, I turned on the DVD and got ready to feel the burn. I even wore my brand new lavender leotard and hot pink leg warmers.

Oh, I kid because there was a time when I really did own a lavender leotard and hot pink leg warmers.

I will spare you all the details of my initial foray into shredding, but suffice to say that within the first five minutes of the workout I was thinking Not Nice Things about Jillian and her perky fitness compadres. It didn’t help that Anita – who was quickly becoming my new BFF since she was in charge of showing us the “modified” moves, aka The Moves For Those Of You Whose Primary Form Of Exercise Has Been Pointing Your Toes While Typing – had abs so defined that I thought at first they must surely be the creation of some subtle airbrushing, only to realize that OH, those abs are totally real, and MY WORD, they are spectacular.

However, I moved past my bitterness, soldiered through the workout (does it tell you something that I was actually relieved when it was time for the ab segments because that meant I got to LIE ON THE FLOOR?), and y’all, when those twenty minutes were over, my leg muscles were so exhausted that my very first thought was I’ll never walk normally again.

Sure enough, I spent the next forty-five minutes trying to figure out how I was going to walk without looking like some straight-from-the-boondocks contestant on America’s Next Top Model who is trying to impress Tyra with what she thinks is a fierce runway walk. The only way I could manage to keep my knees from locking up was to lift my the tops of my legs to a forty-five degree angle with my waist, then sort of kick out my leg until my foot hit the floor, and later, when Melanie and I were laughing until we cried about The Day Jillian Nearly Killed Us, I described my new walk as something along the lines of what you’d expect from a demented clydesdale.

In other words: it was very sexy and now.

And since I had absolutely no hope of being mobile for day two of The Shred since WHOA, NELLIE, LEGS WERE A-SMARTIN’, I figured that maybe I could track down some sort of beige marker and spend my twenty minutes watching Jillian tell me to WORK HARDER and PUNCH IT OUT while I drew ab muscles on my stomach in an attempt to replicate Anita’s rockin’ six-pack.

Certainly I was climbing to new heights of fitness!

Or at least I would have been.

If only I had been able to, you know, stand up.

So.

If you’d like to win a $150 Visa gift card, leave a comment on this post that answers the following question:

What’s a fitness-related memory that makes you laugh? It can be a family-friendly story, video, or picture – just post it in the comments!

Be sure to visit The Daily Laugh hub to read funny content each day and for weekly chances to win $100 at the “Play For Laughs” game. If you share something really funny, they may even use it in The Daily Laugh!

And don’t miss the other bloggers’ posts – you have 11 other chances to win each month!

Questions about the sweepstakes? Check out the official rules.

Happy Laughing, everybody!

This giveaway is now closed.

Big Fun With The Guys And The Music And The Funny

It’s probably not a big surprise that D and I don’t go out a whole lot. Both of us are total homebodies, not to mention that you can’t stick to the very demanding reality television schedule that I keep and have a busy social life, too.

Life is filled with difficult choices. And I seem to choose Bravo a lot.

OH, I kind of kid.

Anyway, a couple of months ago, when we found out that The Dave Barnes was bringing his comedy show to Birmingham, the husband made it known that it was VERY IMPORTANT to him that we attend. And I should probably point out that I just typed the word “bringing” as “brining,” and it made me laugh because I would think that comedy, like poultry, gets a good bit more tender and palatable once brined. It only stands to reason.

Now it is no secret that we love Dave Barnes’ music in our house. But his comedy stylings hold a special place in our hearts, too, mainly because of this. And this. And the time we went to his comedy show in Nashville with some dear friends and laughed until we felt like we’d been injured.

So.

I marked this past weekend’s show on the calendar, bought a couple of tickets to ye olde comedy extravaganza, lined up a babysitter and EVEN PUT ON EYELINER for our night on the town. We were extra excited about the night because we knew that Dave was bringing (BRINING) a couple of musicians with him to open the show, and Dave’s opening acts have never let us down (needtobreathe and Gabe Dixon Band, anyone?).

Well.

The two guys who opened were Steve Moakler and Ben Rector, and I am here to tell you that they are OH-SO-TALENTED. They don’t normally perform together, but on this particular night they took turns singing back-up for each other, and my goodness it made my heart happy. They’re just delightful. And I thought I would share a couple of video snippets of their music, but I forgot to ask for their permission, and since I don’t want to find myself in the midst of a copyright snafu, I’ll just link to their iTunes for the time being, amen.

Here’s a link to Steve’s excellent music.

Here’s a link to Ben’s excellent music.

Finally, in the interest of full disclosure: nobody asked me or paid me to blog about the show. I just love great music. These two guys are the real deal.

As is Mr. Barnes, of course.

Because for the record, Mr. Barnes’ comedy show was exceedingly and abundantly hilarious. Once again we laughed until we felt like we’d been injured. Or maybe even brined.

It was one of my favorite nights of 2010.

What did y’all do fun this past weekend?

My Goodness The Internet Is Helpful

So this morning we went to the pool about 10:30, hung out there until about 1:00, then went to the grocery store(s) and finally got home about 2:00.

This is all riveting information, right?

But my point is that I was away from the computer for a chunk of the day, so when I sat down to read all of your comments after I unpacked the groceries, my decorative wheels were a-turnin’. I just can’t thank y’all enough for all of the great suggestions. I read every single comment, looked at the links you left, gained a whole new understanding of the vast array of wall vinyls that are now available (I HAD NO IDEA) and learned what “quatrefoil” means.

The internet is just a wonder.

One of the first comments I read suggested a black and white print over the bed – maybe something with trees to mimic the leaves on the pillows. And since I am a person who is just a teensy bit obsessed with trees, that idea really resonated with me. So did the comments where people suggested that I add a third leaf pillow to the bed and maybe throw a little more brown in the mix. And I loved the idea of monogramming the smaller white pillows – I’d never even thought of that.

Well.

By the time I finished reading the comments, I was certain that a third leaf pillow was my destiny. So I grabbed my keys, told the young’un to hop in the car, and headed to Home Goods. Again. For, like, the 46th time in 10 days.

But do you know what? They had another leaf pillow. THEY DID. And they had a cute brown pillow that I thought would add some color and texture to the increasingly elaborate stunt pillow arrangement. (By the way, in the comments for the last post, Bailey’s Leaf asked me if stunt pillows were a Southern thing. I told her that, as a general rule, Southerners think that if you don’t have to WORK to get in your bed at night, you don’t have enough pillows on the bed.)

Anyway, after I got the (home) goods, I came home and introduced all the pillows to each other. They were fast friends. And see? It’s all very different now.

That third pillow was critical, y’all.

And here is my husband trying to figure out why in the sam hill a pillow would have sequins on it.

I’ve never seen him more perplexed than he was in that moment. He turned over the pillow a few times, then looked at me and said, “Really? REALLY?”

Yes. Really.

Finally, a few of y’all asked where I got the stuff for the bed. I got the comforter set at TJ Maxx (comforter, shams, three small pillows), and the leaf pillows are from Home Goods. If you look really closely you’ll see that the blues don’t match exactly – the leaf pillows have a little more green in them – but I loved everything together so much that I just couldn’t make myself care. It blends. I’m fine with that.

Hopefully I’ll get some more stuff on the walls this weekend, and I’m sure I’ll also spend some quality time obsessing over my black and white photograph options. The fun never stops!

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Stumped

When we moved in this house we put our bed in front of the windows in our bedroom.

I liked the set-up for several reasons: 1) you were facing the foot of the bed when you walked in the room 2) the leaves or branches or whathaveyou looked really pretty as a backdrop when the blinds were open and 3) I didn’t have to worry with hanging anything above the headboard.

Because here’s the thing: I’m no good at hanging stuff. It stresses me out. I feel like I never know what to hang, and then when I finally figure it out, I have no idea if I’m hanging it too high or too low or if the thing is too big or too small. Are the colors too bright or too subdued? Do I need a grouping or is the one thing okay?

The choices, they overwhelm me. Which is why I typically just stare at the wall for 15 minutes, then fix myself a diet Coke and some Cheez-Its and settle in for an episode or four of House Hunters.

And yesterday, I spent a good portion of the afternoon walking in the bedroom, staring at this, and then walking away.

The bed is on a different wall now, mainly because we can use the space in the room so much better when the bed’s not hanging out by the windows. But oh, all that wall space – it intimidates me. I keep thinking that maybe a grouping of plates would look pretty there (all my favorite home decor bloggers are wizards with wall groupings of plates and platters), but I don’t really have a collection of plates and probably wouldn’t know the right way to hang them if I did.

I know that I could get a big canvas and let everybody pitch in and paint it and then hang it there, but we’ve sort of run that route to death in our house. I love the clean look of the new pillows and stuff, but because they’re not quite as overtly traditional as what we had, I can’t seem to figure out my decorative direction.

So.

Plates? Platters? A photograph? Sconces? A wagon wheel? An old chair?

I’m only sort of kidding about those last two things.

Because I’m very desperate.

The end.