Monday, June 22, 2009

Farewell Blogger

Turnitupmom is moving!  Blogger . . .thank you for gently introducing me to the blogosphere, and now, for setting me free!  

For a sneak peek, please visit me at

Thank you to all of of my readers who have jumped on board to crank up the music and dance! The best is yet to come . . .

P.S. Congrats to "Groovy Baby Blog," winner of the Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Gal Pal: Every Woman Needs One

I'm staring down at my toenails right now, speckled in remnants of "Oh So Glam" from the last wedding I attended.  Seriously, these nasty nails need some TLC.  Come to think of it, I could use a little TLC too.  

What's a girl gonna do?  Regis, I'd like to phone a friend.  A gal pal.  That friend who you call when you need a break and a little something to jazz up your day- a new pair of shoes, a foot massage, a cup 'o java.  At the beginning of flip-flop season, I always call my friend Ange: "It's pedi time!"  

It's the best of both worlds: girl bonding and pampering.  And the pampering begins with a "big" decision: Which color will define you for the next few months?  The search for the perfect shade is no small task, as it's never confined to mere color; the actual name is key.    Here's me over-complicating OPI nail polish colors: 

Makes Men Blush. Yeah, not feeling "hot" today. 
Room Service.  Forget room service.  How about a vacation?  A vacation would be nice.  
It's a Doozi, Says Suzi.  Sounds like this afternoon's diaper.
No Room for the Blues.  Like that name, but it's blue.  Can't look at that all summer. 
Twenty Candles on my Cake.  Dream on, honey.  
Kiss on the Chic.  Okay, that's sweet.  Hold that one. 
Senorita Rose-alita.  Oh, reminds me of that Phil Vassar song I love, about high school sweethearts.  Possibility. 
Your Villa or Mine? Villa.  I like that word.  Villa means vacation.  I'm noticing a trend here.  

And so it goes, until I'm forced to choose or Ange shares her polish (yet another reason why I love her).  Then, for an hour, I shirk my mommy responsibilities, sink into a sumptuous leather massage chair, and undergo the transformation to "Senorita Rose-alita." Meanwhile, my gal pal and I dish the latest news- in our lives and in People magazine.  Every woman needs one of those friends who she can call for a little escape- whether that's chatting over a cup of coffee, or under a nail dryer.  


Monday, June 15, 2009

Strawberry Picking

Last Saturday, we hopped in the big bad Subaru and headed out to the "country" for some strawberry pickin'. It started out like this: Daddy lead the way to an untouched patch of ripe, juicy strawberries. Two little feet followed close behind.

Then, we parked ourselves in a section of one aisle (notice the overalls are blue and white). We squatted down and inspected the berries, plucking the bright juicy fruits from their vines and plopping them into our basket. Well, sort of.

Note to self: Ripe strawberries are unwrapped candies to a toddler. Delayed gratification has no place in a field of fresh fruit.

The brim of her hat says, "Life is Good." I mean, really, does it get any better than this?

Click HERE for a pick-your-own farm near you! Some even follow organic farming methods.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Celebrating an Anniversary: Quality Time

Just the other day, I opened the fridge to find an anniversary card curiously propped up against the milk.  The front of the envelope read, "My Girl."  After eight years, my heart still flutters when I read that, especially now that I have to compete with an irresistibly cute toddler.  

When it comes to celebrating anniversaries, my husband and I don't buy each other extravagant gifts.  Instead, we do two things: spend quality time together over a delicious meal (that someone else has prepared) and support Hallmark.  

Last Tuesday night we celebrated at an Italian restaurant. We nestled into a corner table and gorged ourselves with antipasto, spinach salad with bacon and mushrooms (and you know how I feel about bacon), homemade pasta with ricotta and bechamel, and chicken parmigiana smothered in cheese.  Italians know how to do it right!  And they always send me home with leftovers. 

The conversation during our date was light and fun, even superficial at times.  But all the while, I felt a deep sense of connectedness.  It's easy after eight years to say, "Oh, we don't need to go on a date.  We know that we love each other.  Been there, done that."  But for me, it matters that we spend this quality time together, even if there are moments where we sit in silence, stuffing our faces.  

A few years ago, someone offered me this simple advice on marriage: "Nurture your love like you would a baby."  It stuck with me.  Babies need nourishment and attention to survive and thrive.  So do our marriages.  I'm no expert on relationships, but it makes sense to me that we need to "feed" our marriages and take care of them, especially when we feel pulled in so many different directions.    

After eight years, Tim and I laugh about each other's quirks and finish each other's sentences. We still fail miserably when it comes to managing household tasks, but at least that means we're lucky enough to have a roof over our heads.  Our marriage isn't perfect, but it's ours.  And I wouldn't want it any other way.  

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Smell of Fun

Every now and then my husband will say, "That smell reminds me of Grandma's house up in the country." It's amazing that sometimes even mothballs elicit a nostalgia. But studies show that smell is strongly linked to memory, and thus to our emotional responses to life experiences.

Have you ever thought about the smell of FUN? Revisit your childhood for a moment. What smells, fragrant or foul, instantly take you back? Ah, those were the days:
  • a charcoal grill with a splash of lighter fluid
  • fresh-cut grass
  • the ashes from fireworks
  • a mixture of seaweed and saltwater
  • Big League Chew bubble gum
  • plastic inflatable inner tubes
  • the middle school locker room
  • cheap, movie theater popcorn
  • a new can of tennis balls
  • a homemade ice cream shop
Wouldn't it be great if we could just bottle up some of these and take a whiff when we get bogged down in the trenches of parenthood? Or better yet, why not head off to the park, the movie theater, or the beach? And oh, don't forget to stop for ice cream on the way!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Avocados: The Forgotten Fruit

Looking for something different to feed your growing baby or picky toddler? Try avocados, the forgotten fruit (at least by Gerber). Here's what's great about avocados: They are loaded with unsaturated good fats, vitamins, and minerals for growing bodies and strong bones. Here are a few ways I've incorporated them into my daughter's diet:

  • Create an avocado and pear puree (to add a little sweetness)
  • Blend avocado and plain whole milk yogurt
  • Mash avocado with chicken (creamy consistency helps the chicken go down easily)
  • Spread homemade guacamole (made from avocados) on your child's favorite cracker for a nutritious on-the-go snack.
Avocados are the "cool kids" when it comes to fresh produce. There is actually a site devoted to them: The Amazing Avocado. (After all, this is the internet.) You can visit for some meal planning ideas for the whole family: main dishes, side dishes, salads, and more!

Photo courtesy of Raw Food Nation.

In Memory of Gladys: Breast Cancer Awareness Jewelry GIVEAWAY

On May 22, my family lost a dear friend, Gladys, to cancer. Gladys was diagnosed with breast cancer as a young mom and fought for nearly 20 years; yet, she never let cancer dictate her life. She was an amazing woman with an unwavering faith and a heart of gold, a model of strength and hope for all who were lucky enough to know her.  

Amy, creator and designer of Our 2 Peas in a Pod, has graciously offered to join me in honoring Gladys and all the women affected by breast cancer, with this beautiful Ladies Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet giveaway.  This piece is handcrafted with Genuine Swarovski crystals, fiber optic beads, and sterling components.  It makes a wonderful gift!

Our 2 Peas in a Pod is a mom-owned boutique, specializing in custom-designed jewelry for infants, children, and adults.  Each and every jewelry piece has been handcrafted using only the finest quality crystals, pearls, beads, and wiring components. Items can be personalized or custom-made to celebrate a Special Occasion or to accessorize with a favorite Disney Princess.  

Amy has even designed jewelry Made to Match kids' clothing lines, like Gymboree (my personal favorite!)  Here, the color palette matches Gymboree's Palm Springs collection:

You can also find jewelry to celebrate your favorite Holidays, like this sweet necklace and bracelet set for Valentine's Day:

Our 2 Peas in a Pod offers FREE first class shipping to mailing list customers.  So head on over and introduce yourself!  

And now for the GIVEAWAY: Please visit Our 2 Peas in a Pod. Then, come back and comment about which piece of jewelry (other than the ones pictured above) is your favorite.  Be sure to include an email address where you may be reached.  

This is an extra special giveaway for me, and I sincerely appreciate the loyalty of my subscribers and followers.  If this includes you, please indicate so in a separate entry (after you have completed the mandatory first entry) to increase your chances of winning. 

On Sunday, June 21, one lucky winner will be randomly selected by  You must be a U.S. resident (18+) to enter. Good luck!