Friday, April 30, 2010

First Batch of Beer is In - Welcome Octoberfest in April!

Yes Helmut and Fancy have cracked open the first batch of brewed beer from REd Barn Brewers and we are now tasting Octoberfest. It is actually not too bad. I am pleasantly surprised that it is drinkable. Here's to good times, tonight is kind of special....the Beaver Creek Lounge is open! Fire is burning and beer is cold. YEAH!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This is Norman. He is my most favorite husband. I call him Gas Man...since that's what he is. He makes sure houses don't blow up. Sometimes, like when I ask him to hang molding around the blackboard I painted in my office and he just laughs, I call him Butthead. I am NOT calling Norman lazy, he is not. He just has a certain way of prioritizing projects around the house. Things that are flooding, sparking, crumbling or crying get first priority. Followed by anything that involves using a chainsaw, axe or his log splitter. Next comes anything that requires buying a new tool or a trip to Harbor Freight. Then there are projects that are fun, make him look cool in front of the kids, can be done while drinking beer, or require other men to come over and stand in the yard and drink beer while discussing a project, the list goes on. And somewhere on that list, so far down that if you stood at the top of the list and looked down you would get that queasy feeling in your stomach like when you stand on the edge of a cliff, down that far would be where 'Heidi's projects' are.

So I decided that I would make a frame around my blackboard wall myself. I measured, purchased, cut WITH A MITER SAW, hammered, set the nails deep into the wood, patched the holes and painted.

Sandy was there telling me 'You know you shouldn't touch that' with her eyes. I was going to call Norman during this project just to ask him stupid questions and make him nervous that I was touching all of his toys. But, I didn't want him coming home to check on me.

BTW...The slide show at the top is Norman getting into his GAS MAN jumpsuit. It's a little snug...and fireproof...and ORANGE! I have posted it purely as punishment for putting me at the bottom of the list!

PFD Ep 7: Stalking Squirrels, Strawberry Socks and Sleeping Sanctuaries

Join Julie and Heidi as they share Tee Ball stories and their issue with coupons, as it seems you can only save money if you really like eating salad dressing and Dinty Moore Beef Stew. City girl Julie can't handle all of this suburban wildlife and Heidi is sporting a new 'finger in the light socket' hair do. Julie can't find ice nor finish her headboard project. All this and more happens on Episode 7.

Download MP3 (Right click or option-click)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What's for Dinner?

The weather is looking cold and Grey over the next few days. My house seems to have gotten away from me and every room needs some major cleaning. We have all of our regular after school activities and golf lessons start this week. Plus, we all seem to be suffering from allergies. I would like to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible! So, I am declaring this the week of the slow cooker.

Links to the recipes here.


Saturday, April 24, 2010


Our house was renovated a couple of years ago. As the contractors were putting up new Sheetrock in the Master Bedroom, I noticed a space that was about to be sealed over forever. It was not a big was eve, much lower on one side and not very wide...maybe 4'. Anyway, I called everything to a stop, declared this space mine and ordered a door.

The room started off as a craft room...but, I don't really 'craft'. So, it became a storage room. It was a mess and I never really used it. However, out of envy of Julie's office where we record the show, I have decided to makeover my space and put it to use as an office. I'm actually posting this from that room right now! Here is the 'before' picture and I will reveal the 'after' once Norman puts some molding around the blackboard wall I created. Keep in mind that THE TOILET PAPER HOLDER IS STILL NOT Norman may not get this project done anytime soon.


I love Trader Joe's. They have some great products, and I fall deeply in love with them dangerously quick. But sometimes, Trader Joe and I need counseling. I try to be understanding, really I do....but Trader Joe's discontinues product I love with NO warning. And I get angry. And I call Trader Joe's names. I slam the door behind me and say I will never come back. Why did you get rid of Peanut Butter Jo Jo's Joe??? But a couple weeks later, I have forgiven Joe and I find myself strolling down the aisles finding new products I love as much as the old ones. Then I have to hug Trader Joe's and say: "Why do you make me hurt you baby?"

I thought we might be broken up for good when they stopped selling my favorite Grapefruit body scrub. HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO GET MY SCRUB ON IN THE SHOWER NOW JOE? See...anger, I can't control myself!

Anyway, while trying to heal from the betrayal, I thought, 'I bet I can make that'.

First time around I tried it with Kosher Salt...OUCH! Too rough. So, then I tried it with sugar. Perfect! Good scrub and its tasty! Easy, cheap and scrubby...I'm hooked.
1 c. white sugar
Essential Oil - I use 12 dropped of Grapefruit. You can use any smell you like.
1/4 cup Olive Oil
I throw everything into a glass jar with a lid and shake it up. It may be wise to use plastic in the shower. I like the glass.

Also, when you use an oil product like this, it will make your shower floor slippery. If you are planning to redo your bathroom...I'M LOOKING AT YOU should use small stone tiles on the floor of your shower with some texture. That's what I have and even if they get oily you don't slip.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Truth About Passwords... that I hate them. Yes. I hate having so many passwords that I can't remember any of them. I just spent the last half hour trying to remember the new password for my work laptop. I had to change it because it was going to expire in 10 days. What I don't understand is why I had to really reset it. Seriously, trying to get into my work laptop right now is like trying to get into Fort Knox! There is already so much security in the darn changing my measly password every 60 days really going to stop someone from gaining access? Plus I really hate it when they try to give you tips on how you should create your password. I end up actually creating something that I won't ever remember - you know what I mean - the password will have a bunch of letters, numbers, and strange characters that you don't even know what they are jjstlf%^%87. Ugh, I hate it!  I don't remember half of my passwords anyway.  Why haven't they (not sure who "they" are but if you are reading this you know who you are!) come up with something easier like my fingerprint or an eyeball scanner.

I've tried other clever ways to create passwords like variations of a certain word or number changes but even that can get confusing since I don't always remember which password I used for what site. Seriously everyone wants you to have a user ID, password, user name, security phrase, security questions (and answers), security pictures. I get why, doesn't mean I like it.

Anyone else hate the whole passwords thing?

Thursday, April 22, 2010



If you are like me then you have multiple to do lists - one for your kids, a "honey do" list for your husband and birthday gifts to buy, etc. Sometimes my to do's are a running list of things I need to tackle over time e.g., house projects.  However, my problem is that I go back and forth between keeping them on a piece of paper and making notes on my iPhone. I have not been very good about putting all of these to do's in one place...Until now. 

I now use the 2Do App - 

Check it out here at iTunes: 2Do App  

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Second Night of 'What's for Dinner?'

Check out night two:

Monday, April 19, 2010

First night of 'What's for Dinner?'.


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Julie forgets if she has called home while she's away. Heidi's son learns that you need more than 15 minutes to wash and dry your laundry. Julie's kids find snake-like worms and Heidi causes a security breech at West Point Military Academy. All this and more happens on Episode 6.

Download MP3 (Right click or option-click)

What's For Dinner?

Find recipe information here.


Seriously, there isn't a day that doesn't go by that I am using it for one thing or another. Today, my favorite are my recipe Apps...specifically Whole Foods and Epicurious (which can be found on iTunes).  Heidi's "Join Us for Dinner" post inspired me to cook today, so that while I am away (again) the kids and hubin have something decent to eat besides cereal (which is alright don't get me wrong).  Anyway, on the Whole Foods App I made the "Old Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole" and it came out delicious.

I am also making the "Slow Cooker Hoisin Beef Stew." I just loved the idea of using Hoisin sauce.

Friday, April 16, 2010



Meal planning sucks. Its boring. Its not the way I like to cook. I like to shop for what looks good, totally wing it, try new ideas. In my mind this works. In reality, I spend way more money that I should, throw out far too much food and even though I've spent the weekly grocery budget, I don't actually have anything for dinner. So, I'm back to meal planning, and I'm going to share those plans here.
I really do find that when I have a plan for dinner, I spend way less on groceries. Now that I am home, I am really trying to stick to a grocery budget.
Here's what I'm going for:
5 meals a week (I don't want to be tied down to a plan on the weekends)
Generally healthy meals that everyone in my family, and hopefully yours if you are joining us, will like. I promised my husband no more Lentil Loaf!
Meals that are pretty easy to make but require more effort than just adding a can of soup to meat. I like to at least pretend I'm still a chef!
I will either get all of the recipes from one cookbook - I'll try to pick books that you might find in your local library. Or, I will post links to recipes that I find online. I'll post a picture of my blackboard with the meals on Sundays along with links and maybe a grocery list? I'll have to see how that would work.
If you have any favorite recipes that fit the bill, send them too me!


As many of you know, I am a working mom. I happen to travel a lot (lately anyway) for work. While my kids are somewhat used to it, it doesn't mean they always like it (nor do I). But in today's economy you can't always be choosey about what you do for a living. Anyway, to make matters worse my kids teacher is aware of my traveling and helped him write this note below. Ugh, like I don't feel guilty already...

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Ok, so if you listened to Ep 3 of our podcast you learned that Heidi believes I do not own a proper sponge. While that is not entirely true (I have one of those sponges on a handle for my dishes), I did not own a proper sponge to clean my stainless steel pots and pans. Often my pans would just sit on my stove waiting for me to figure out how to clean them without scratching or damaging them in some other way. So out of the kindness of her heart(???), Heidi bought me a proper sponge to clean my pots and pans. Thanks for looking out Heidi....


On episode 5 of PFD I mentioned that my husband was out buying a new faucet for our kitchen without me. I expected it to be much like the time we got the advice to let our 7 year old help name the new baby as a way for him feel involved.  He picked the name 'Hulk'.

So, when I got home from recording and was greeted by a shiny new working faucet, I was kinda disappointed.  There's no story here folks!  My husband managed to pick the Vanilla Ice Cream of plumbing fixtures.  Middle of the road, no way to be offended by, standard faucet.  Boring but functional.  I would have picked something with a bit more funk factor but, other than that, the faucet is fine.  And my husband fixed it in one night so there isn't even a story there.  I could tell you about the fact that our toilet paper rolls have to live on the floor since he hasn't hung up the holders....since last November.  I could do it myself, but then who would complain about the toilet paper rolls on the bathroom floor?

Monday, April 12, 2010

PFD Ep 5: Taking Parenting to a Whole New Lazy

Join Julie and Heidi for their 5th episode. PFD in Progress is in full effect, so visit the website for pictures, and feel free to send us your PFDs. Julie recovers from a cold and learns what is really missing from her life. Heidi brings parenting to a whole new lazy and confesses that she irrigates her nose.

Show links:
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Hemlock Hill Farm (Where Heidi buys most of her meat)

Download MP3 (Right click or option-click)

Sunday, April 11, 2010



Until very recently, if you had asked me if I was going to allow my oldest son to get his learner's permit at age 16, I would have said 'NO'. Not just a polite 'NO', an ALL CAPS NO, along with a request that you sign a petition asking our state to raise the legal driving age to 18. Truthfully, if they had a petition to make the driving age 21, I would have signed. I was not totally unjustified in my fear of this child getting behind the wheel. This child? He can't find a hook in the bathroom to hang up a towel...there are FIVE. He can't remember to walk the dogs. If I ask him to load the dishwasher, the finished product looks like the dishes have been dropped into the washer from a high distance, with a backhoe. I just didn't think he would be ready for the responsibility of driving in just a few short years. There is too much attention to detail, and the consequences are so much bigger than pee on the rug or broken dishes.

PFD in Progress

Welcome to our new feature "PFD in Progress." As often as possible we will post photos of PFDs - or Potential For Disaster. If you have any photos you'd like to submit, just contact us and we will be happy to post.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

PFD Ep 4: Guest Kelly Auriemmo, Special Education Teacher and Early Intervention Specialist

Join Julie and Heidi as they welcome their first guest to the podcast! This week, Special Education Teacher and Early Intervention Specialist, Kelly Auriemmo, gives us the inside scoop of how to work with your local school district when you believe your child is in need of extra support. Kelly tells us how to spot some 'red flags' and how to trust our mom (or dad) instinct when it comes to our children. Kelly gives us some great information on what services may be available through your local school district, how to get those services, and the courage to speak up if those services are not working.

Thursday, April 08, 2010



Back in Episode 1 of PFDPodcast I mentioned that, while I WOULD NOT get a forehead tattoo, I was thinking of a magnolia tattoo on the top of my right foot. Well, here is why:

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


During last weeks spring cleaning blitz, I came across a box of items that were given to me when my grandmother passed away. One of the items was her sewing box. I remember this box so well from visits to her house. Sometimes it was by her chair in the living room, sometimes in her bedroom next to the table that held her pink ashtray with the black specks to make it look like stone.

Monday, April 05, 2010


I have a bit of a cookbook obsession. It may be an addiction. I have been collecting them since I was a kid, seriously, like as a 10 year old. But of all of my cookbooks, I do have a favorite. The Gourmet Cookbook. This is my all time favorite. If I ever had to pick only one cookbook, like if my husband and I ever really do buy that RV and travel the country, this would be it. It is my go to for all occasions. If I'm cooking for a block party, cocktail party or dinner party, this book has a recipe for everything from soup to nuts. So, if you are looking for a cookbook to cover all of your bases, this is it.

Happy Easter and the maximum occupancy of my kitchen.

Yesterday was Easter. The day started with early morning egg hunting, continued with all day candy grazing and ended with the need to change into sweat pants after a too big, but completely delicious, dinner! Thank you to Julie for hosting and cooking dinner...YUM. I made the pie, again sticking with my strengths.

PFD Ep 3: Breaking all the rules with religion and politics; No Mold Means No Mold! and our kids eat a lot!

Join us this week as we recover from the kids being off of school for a week, and by recover we mean drink Margaritas.  Julie lets us all know that when you say 'NO MOLD' you better mean it. Heidi's son tries to scam food by convincing people that his mother doesn't feed him. We all learn that Julie still owns all of her Barbie Dolls...but, does not own a proper sponge.  And we break all the rules by talking about religion and politics.

Download MP3 (Right click or option-click)

When did Easter become the new Halloween?

The kids (and Heidi's dog Sandy) had candy for breakfast. I suppose there are worst things. Heidi's son did a great job hiding all of the eggs - and there were a lot - for the Easter Egg hunt. We only lost a handful to the squirrels and birds.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

PFD Ep 2:Boob Tape, Projectile Vomit and the 2010 Census

Join us as Heidi discovers Corrado's Market, Julie explores the plus and minuses of invisible boob lift tape and Heidi describes what a "unaboob" is. Julie shares her travel woes about smelly hotel rooms and Heidi misses winning AFV's 10.000 prize by NOT capturing the projectile vomit during her son's concert. Lastly, we talk about our issues with the 2010 Census.

Download MP3 (Right click or option-click)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I can't believe I am sharing this with you, part 2

So this is what happens when you travel every week for your job and have no time to go to the store. This is was my disgusting shower curtain and bath mat.  Apparently, neither of them are mold resistant like the labels stated. Well either that or I just should have been washing them I have time for that. But this isn't my fault. I buy these types of products so that I don't have to worry about this nastiness happening. I also have someone clean my house regularly (sort of) can I blame her? No.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I can't believe I'm sharing this with you!

Okay, so on last weeks show, I mentioned a love affair with my Hoover carpet cleaner. Well, this week, with some BEAUTIFUL weather in the Northeast, I was inspired to do some spring cleaning. Here is a shot of the filthy water being poured down the sink by my son, who thinks his mother is NUTS for getting a thrill out of the no longer in her rug dirt being poured down the drain. Incidentally, he is also probably accountable for at least a third of the dirt!


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pad Thai Is No Longer A PFD For Me

I love Thai food.  Spicy, Sour, Sweet and salty all at once, its like a day at the spa for my mouth.  I just can’t ever make it successfully at home.  I think it’s just a general unfamiliarity of ingredients and the fact that I typically don’t follow a recipe.  Thai night, for me,  has always lived up to its potential…for disaster.
Last night I tried again…after scoring a package of Thai noodles from Trader Joe’s yesterday.  All the rice noodles I have tried previously were, gummyweird, just not right.  But these noodles were just what I was looking for.  I used ingredients I typically always have on hand and, guess what?  Everyone ate it!  Some of us even ate it for breakfast, Ahem.
- Heidi
P.S. Next time I will remember to take the picture BEFORE we eat it all.

PFD Ep 1: I Took Out The Vacuum, Snob Tops & Forehead Tattoos

Ok. So this is our first podcast so please be gentle. We had a ton of fun doing it and we hope you will enjoy it as well. We've even coined a new term "Snob Tops."

Download MP3 (Right click or option-click)