Archive | June, 2011

Painting Party

30 Jun

Last weekend, PoppaNut and I hosted a painting party at the gym. Well, it was less party and more painting, but the result was the same.

PoppaNut painting

It started a few weeks back when PoppaNut handed me a collection of one-million paint swatches. I took on the challenge of figuring out the best color for the gym with flying colors … pun intended. In the end, we pitched a soft blue and a light gray for the gym space.

With buckets of paint, rolls of blue tape and every size paintbrush you have ever seen, we got to work. We painted and painted and painted until all the pre-existing orange was gone. Our arms were cramping and our feet were swelling by the time we painted the last stroke.

There will be more painting and decorating in the future, but I wanted to share the progress with you.

And that’s life in a nutshell … watching PoppaNut see his dream come true was a dream come true for me too.


Girls’ Day Out

27 Jun

When was the last time you spent some much-needed time with the ladies in your life? Really … it has been THAT long? I had the pleasure of spending a rainy Sunday morning with four lovely ladies over the weekend, and we had a really good time.


MommaNut, Stephanie, Ashley

My sister was dropping off her three children at the airport, and us gals organized a girls’ morning to immediately follow that. We created a caravan with four cars, lead by all women drivers, down 275 in Tampa, FL. With the rain beating down, I balanced the GPS gadget in my right hand as I drove with my left.

Now, I’m not saying this is the safest way to drive, but it got the job done. I spotted the First Watch in Downtown Tampa, and the search for parking began. I can’t parallel park for the life of me, so I knew this was going to be a challenge. I was lucky to find a space very close to the restaurant that I could just pull right in to. GLORIOUS!

With umbrellas and jackets in our hands, we all managed to make it inside. It was Stephanie, Aunt Debbie, Ashley, Miss Madison and I. Once we sat down at the table and wiped the rain off our faces, it was time to enjoy some good company and some great food.

MommaNut, Stephanie

We talked about Ashley’s upcoming wedding and I showed her the bridesmaid dress! We talked about the blog (Debbie, I hope you get a notification for this one!!!), and we talked about public nudity in the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa. I’m not even getting into the details of that one, but it was hysterical. We talked about a whole host of things, while we laughed and ate our breakfasts.

If you haven’t been to First Watch before, you have to try it. I had the cheese omelette … I always get the same thing every time I visit First Watch, and it is still my favorite. PoppaNut loves it too. He usually gets the Killer Cajun omelette and the Floridan French Toast.

So, I’m encouraging you to make plans with the women in your life. Life can get busy, and you can get wrapped up in the errands and cleaning and work and whatever else is on your plate. But a girl has to eat! So, make plans and head to breakfast with your girls for some girl talk.


It’s a Guessing Game

21 Jun

That’s right, folks. We are going to play a bit of the game today. There are two reasons for this: 1. is that I want to share some great photos from the Father’s Day dinner I made for PoppaNut, but I don’t have them downloaded yet. 2. I’m crazy obessed with a song.

So, today we are going to play: Guess that Song! I’m placing a few photos down below that represent the lyrics of the song. Send me your guesses and I’ll tell you who wins!

Good luck!




Any guesses? Send in those posts!

And that’s life in a nutshell … giving your friends a brain-teaser just for the fun of it.

I wanted to say happy birthday to my amazing sister-in-law Stacy today! She reads my blog and comments from time to time. Thank you for your support.

And hello to Dustin, my cousin that has been living in Germany forever it seems! He recently told me he is following the blog as well. Feel free to share the blog with others!


Happy Father’s Day

17 Jun

In honor of Father’s Day, I want to take a moment to thank the fathers in my life. GrandpaNut is my dad, and he has had a lot of names over the years: Tambo, Mr. T, Hoosier Daddy and Dockside Dave are a few of my favorites, but I have just always called him dad.

GrandpaNut, GrandmaNut, MommaNut, PoppaNut

You couldn’t believe how much those three words mean to me. My dad has always encouraged me, always supported me and always loved me every day of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better father. I have some amazing memories over the years with my dad. He used to take me on the job site when I was a little girl, and I would practice how to use a hammer … I still can’t quite master that, but it wasn’t about mastering the hammer back then either. It was about spending time together.

He took me fishing, and I actually caught a fish. We used to play music on the back porch in Indiana, him on the guitar and me on the clarinet or singing when I was brave. While I’m sure we didn’t sound great, I remember it differently. We were a great country band, playing our hearts out for all of Granger to hear.

GrandpaNut and MommaNut

My dad took me to get my first car, a pretty painful process when you have a daughter that expects the world. 🙂 I’m sure I was difficult, but I don’t remember my dad complaining at all. In the end, we had purchased a green Sunfire, and I couldn’t have been more excited.

My dad used to bring me hot chocolate when I was a cheerleader in high school. It would be so cold out at those games, and my lips would be chattering away. I would see my dad leave the stands while the game was still going on just so I had hot chocolate waiting for me at half time.

And I could go on and on about all the amazing things my dad has done for me over the years. So, Dad, if I haven’t made it clear before, I love you very much. Thank you for supporting me and loving me over the years. I’m proud to be called your Mookie.

My Father-in-Law and MommaNut

And now that I also have a few new family members thanks to PoppaNut, I have two more fathers to appreciate on Father’s Day this year: Steve and Anthony. Thank you both for welcoming me into your family with open arms and treating me like a daughter.

And that’s life in a nutshell … appreciate the fathers in your life this Sunday.


Jordan, Anthony, Kayla

Misconceptions about Facials

14 Jun

PoppaNut recently went in for a deep-tissue massage at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, and he signed us up for the membership package. Basically, you can get a signature facial or massage every month as part of this membership. If you forget to get your treatment during the month, you can get two treatments the next month. GLORIOUS!

My New Face Wash

I immediately made my appointment for a facial. I’m turning 30 soon, and I think I should be taking better care of my skin … and the facial expert seems to agree. Here are the five lessons I learned during my treatment.

1. There Is a Decade Effect: Whatever you did to your skin in your 20s shows up in your 30s and whatever you do to your skin in your 30s will show up in your 40s. Man, can a girl catch a break? I wasn’t thinking about my skin in my 20s! I could literally go to bed with a face full of makeup, touch it up the next morning and head out of the house. Now, I need a skin-care regime.
2. Pillowcases Are the Devil: My esthetician asked me how often I change my pillowcase, and I said once every two weeks. You would have thought I told her that I kill small children for fun by the look on her face. She was mortified! She said, “Think of all the filth that comes off your face when you are sleeping, and you wait 14 days to change the pillowcase? You have got to start changing those more frequently.” Needless to say, PoppaNut and I slept on freshly cleaned sheets that very night.


3. Sunscreen Is Not Always Good: When asked what type of moisturizer I use, I said some generic kind with SPF, and I wear it every day. I was actually proud sharing this fact, because I thought I got this one right for sure. No one can get down on me about my skin, because I wear sunscreen religiously. I was wrong. I had failed this question too. You should never wear sunscreen at night … duh! Whatever is in the moisturizer to keep your skin healthy is basically destroyed by the SPF (I’m not a dermatologist so if you want the real meat and potatoes of this, you’ll have to seek out a professional). So, get a good night cream so you won’t embarrass yourself during your facial.

My Aveeno Moisturizer

4. Don’t Touch Your Face: I have heard this rule before, but I didn’t take it that seriously. Do people really take it to the extreme and say they can never touch their face again? Apparently, they do. My esthetician said to use a knuckle if I needed to touch my face. Oh, that looks so natural … I’m sure no one at work will give me a funny look as I dab my face with my knuckle or the back of my hand. I’m still resistant on this one, but in the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to pass the tip along. Do what you will with it.

5. It’s Time to Upgrade: I’m a sucker for a sales pitch, because as soon as I heard all the things I was doing wrong with my skin, I headed to the nearest Walgreen’s to stock up. I got new cleanser, toner and moisturizer. I’m going to get this right if it is the last thing I do. After all, what you do in your 30s catches up to your skin in your 40s, and I want to be looking good! I learned that my old Clean & Clear is full of alcohol so it was actually drying my skin out. My new products are working GREAT, and I think I can tell a difference.

And that’s life in a nutshell … learning that getting a facial is a lot like getting a cleaning at the dentist; they tell you everything you are doing wrong, but you feel good after you leave.


O-Cedar, I Hate You

9 Jun

I was looking through some old emails today, and I ran across this funny email I had sent to O-Cedar. O-Cedar is a company that makes terrible mops, sold at Walmart. Anyway, PoppaNut had bought this mop (not knowing how bad it was) and couldn’t wait to clean, but that dang mop was the worst piece of junk we had ever bought. I was so mad about the mop, I wrote an email to their customer-service department. I found the letter … I hope you find it funny too.

The mop we bought was similar to this.

“My husband purchased your roller mop yesterday from Walmart. Upon opening it, we both tried for about 30 minutes to attach the mop head, to no success. The package claims that it is easier than ever. Then why was I left feeling that I would have to live with Lou Ferrigno in order to get this product in working order to clean my kitchen floor. We tried to attach it while standing, while sitting and we even rolled on the living room floor trying to get the leverage needed to attach this completely insane mopper head. Next time, I’ll bring Andre the Giant with me to make sure it is actually possible to use your products. Actually, I think we will stick with the Swiffer pads. Thank you.”

And that’s life in a nutshell … knowing when to laugh when a mopper head really makes you want to cry.


Reading Rainbow

9 Jun

I’m an avid reader. Call me a book nerd if you want, but I just can’t get enough of the written word. Maybe it is because I love to write so much, maybe it is because I love finding a typo or grammar mistake in something published, or maybe I just can’t get enough of really interesting stories. Books keep my brain active and make me see things in a new way.

I had seen eReaders come out that allow you to read a book digital. At first, I was completely against this. “Nothing can replace the feeling you get when you have a book in your hand,” I thought to myself. I loved the way you flip the pages and the smell a book gets when you have had it a long time … don’t judge me.

But that all changed last Christmas when PoppaNut gave me a Sony Reader. This thing is amazing. You can download books, newspapers, magazines, audio books and more. It has a dictionary built in, so you can look up unknown words as you read, a feature this book nerd happens to appreciate. You can place notes in it or bookmark a page. It’s like a normal book on steroids!

And the best part: NO GLARE! I can read on the beach with no problem at all. In fact, I have taken it with me to the beach and read while PoppaNut took out the Jet ski. I’m obsessed!

The first book I downloaded was called “Barefoot.” I had never heard of the book before, but Sony graciously suggested it to me when I was on the downloading site. Brilliant, Sony. You are right. I do love this book. How do you know me so well?

Next, it was on to Bethenny Frankel’s “Place of Yes” book. Now, when I downloaded this one, I had no idea that it was a self-help book. After reading my comment about loving the smell of old books, you probably think I need a self-help book, but I beg to differ. Anyway, I love watching Bethenny Frankel on “Bethenny Ever After” and “Bethenny Gets Married” on Bravo, so I gave it a read. I loved this book too! She was funny while offering some advice. And I love that she didn’t pretend that she had everything figured out, something you know about her if you watch the show.

Next up: Tina Fey’s “Bossypants.” Now, funny is not even the word for this book. I could literally pee my pants reading this one, and you know that can happen in my family. It is about Tina’s life growing up and how she made it to SNL as a writer. I’m only about half way through so I don’t know how it ends … well, I know she becomes wildly famous, because it is based on her life … but I don’t know the rest of the stories she reveals. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

I’ve already downloaded the next book I’ll be reading. It is Shirley MacLaine’s “I’m Over All That.” I caught Shirley talking about her book on Oprah, and it sounds like she had one wild ride in Hollywood. I can’t wait to read that one. I also recently saw James Frey on Oprah (when Oprah was still on). He is the author of “A Million Little Pieces” who was put through media scrutiny when it came out that his book was not a true story as he had promoted it as. With all the press attention around that book, I have always wanted to read it to make up my own mind about it. Perhaps I’ll read that one after Shirley’s book.

And that’s life in a nutshell … curling up with a digital eReader is even more amazing than those smelly library books. You should try it too!


Happy Hour Meets Dessert Hour

6 Jun

Can anyone tell me what is better than sweets? I could spend every Sunday making peanut-butter pie, Texas sheet cake and cheesecake bars, using my beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer until the motor blows. I could wear my custom-made apron and say things like “It’s a good thing,” with a Martha Stewart-like tone. I know PoppaNut wouldn’t mind one bit sampling all the delicious things I would bake up!

But now baking just got so much better. The secret ingredient: LIQUOR! That’s right … Cheesecake bars, please meet Bailey’s Irish Creme. You guys are going to get along just fine. And in honor of such a partnership, I have added a list of liquor-loving desserts that you just have to try. In fact, I’m thinking about whipping up one this week. Which one should I make?

Strawberry Daiquiri Cake

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs (including yolks)
1 box (4-serving size) strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1 to 2 teaspoons rum extract
Lime Frosting
1 container (1 lb) Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
8 fresh whole strawberries
  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13×9-inch pan with shortening and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs, gelatin, 1 tablespoon lime peel and the rum extract with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
  2. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  3. Stir 2 teaspoons lime peel into frosting. Spread frosting evenly over cake. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Just before serving, cut each whole strawberry in half, leaving leaves on. Garnish cake with strawberry halves.
Makes 15 servings
Pina Colada Cupcakes
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
3 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped vanilla frosting
3/4 cup shredded coconut
  1. Heat oven to 375°F (350°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. In large bowl, beat cake mix, oil, water, 1 teaspoon rum extract, the pineapple and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  2. Bake 14 to 19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir coconut extract and 1 teaspoon rum extract into frosting. Spread frosting on cupcakes. Dip tops of frosted cupcakes in coconut. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
Makes 24 cupcakes

You can find more at And that’s life in a nutshell, giving happy hour a whole new meaning is just priceless!


Crazy about Chi

1 Jun

So, I’m literally in love with a flat iron. If you ladies haven’t heard about the Chi yet, get ready to have your hair world turned upside down! But to really understand my love of a hair product, you have to understand all the pain of the past. Chi

I have weird hair. It’s wavy in the back, even less wavy in the front and never wants to do anything. I bet most of you reading this blog doesn’t even know how long my hair is because I always have it up in some kinda contraption. I’m secretly jealous of all the girls with that perfect straight hair. I know I can’t be the only one with a couple of waves in my hair, so PLEASE tell me how to get my hair straight! Thus, these girls don’t say a word.

Well, the answer comes in three little letters: CHI! It’s the most glorious thing I have ever bought. I had heard about these instruments and even seen them at the salon. I looked all over for one, but it was nearly $150. I just couldn’t justify that kind of purchase … until I started thinking about cutting my hair.

I have been thinking going a little shorter. I’ve pulled two pictures to see what you guys think. Anyway, I knew with short hair, it would be even harder to get it straight. If I was ever going to splurge on it, now was the time. I logged on to my trusty eBay account, and I snagged one for only $60. What a steal!

Hair Option #1

Hair Option #2

This morning, I ran my freshly slept-on hair through the tongs and just like that, the hair heaven opened up and bless me with a great day of hair! It was beautiful … I felt like a movie star. The texture had changed, the color even looked better. I think the Chi changed my hair DNA!

And that’s life in a nutshell … sometimes money can by happiness, especially when eBay is selling Chis!


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