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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

{Trip Report} Venice, Italy

Ciao, ciao!! You guys are so great...thanks for your kind comments yesterday, and sharing your own travel nightmares with me. It's nice to know I'm not the only freak one! But because of that 'hiccup,' we unexpectedly spent the first night of our trip in London. I was bummed about losing a night in Venice, but it was a great chance to sleep and get acclimated to the new time zone. Which was a good thing, considering the remaining trip to Venice required a flight to Milan, bus to Milano Centrale train station, and 2.5 hour train to Venice. And from there, we took a boat to our hotel! Talk about Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

But it was all worth it to experience this....

Hi Sugarplum | {Trip Report} Venice, Italy

The train deposits you directly on the island, and the Grand Canal awaits just outside the station. The scene looks like a typical busy street in Europe, until it registers that the street is actually water, and the cars are boats.

Hi Sugarplum | {Trip Report} Venice, Italy

There is nothing but cobbled sidewalks, and canals...not even bikers and skateboarders are allowed. It's amazing to watch the locals go about every day life, by just foot or boats. Even construction crews worked out of boats carrying equipment. And these aren't barges either, since most canals are only 12-feet across and have low foot-bridges.

Hi Sugarplum | {Trip Report} Venice, Italy

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tales from Business Class

Happy Monday, my friends! How was your weekend? Ours was full of strep throat, baseball, and laundry...so there's no question the vacation is over. My body is finally back in the right time zone, so I started sorting through the hundreds of photos from our trip...I can't wait to share them with you, along with tips for each of the places we visited. Thank you for all the sweet messages while we were gone, and again in welcoming us home!! I missed you guys, and feel so behind on my long list of blogs.

Those of you who follow me on InstaGram, know we had a little 'hiccup' at the start of our trip. Here we are, finally on our way...

http://distilleryimage10.s3.amazonaws.com/d1684f98a48711e290de22000a1f97ef_7.jpg

Happy and excited couple, right? All looks well, no signs of trouble. So imagine our shock when 10 hours later it looked like this...

Travel

Yep, that's me...in an ambulance, hooked up to monitors, clutching a barf-bag, in a foreign country...and missing our connecting flight. But let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

{Home Depot Challenge} Patio Reveal!

I am currently buried in a pile of laundry and work, and can't believe I'm back to sitting in a cubicle, when 48-hours ago, I was strolling cobblestone streets, gelato in hand! I am so meant to be a lady-of-leisure...not sure how I veered off that path?! But the good news about today is I'm finally able to share our new outdoor room with you!

When we bought our house seven years ago, I could hardly believe we lucked out with a pool. I pinched myself every day that first Summer to be sure I wasn't dreaming. (If you've ever been to Texas in August, then you know what I mean!) But soon after, our attention turned to all the projects inside, and even though we still used the pool, the backyard wasn't an inviting place for lounging and entertaining.

Hi Sugarplum | Patio Progress

So when Home Depot asked me to take part in their Patio Style Challenge, I couldn't say 'yes' fast enough! Thanks to the Hampton Bay Woodbury 4-piece set, we now have a cheerful outdoor room, ready for Spring picnics and Summer pool parties!

Hi Sugarplum | Cheery Outdoor Patio

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

{20 Questions} Chris at Just A Girl

Well, today is bittersweet. Mr. Sugarplum and I are home, fatter and happier...and while our heads (and sleep schedule) are still in Italy, our hearts are happy to be back with the kids. It's also the last day of this fun {20 Questions} Series! *boo* I've loved getting to know my favorite bloggers...haven't you?!

Here to take the sting out of the final day, is the always funny, Chris. She may think she's Just a Girl, but that girl's got skills! Her son's room is my all-time favorite, and she always shares great, simple projects.

20 questions - Chris



What is your road trip essential snack?
Chocolate and coffee


You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going?
My husband and I will be going on an African safari, and he's not happy about it. Apparently,we can go to the zoo for the same effect.


What was your high school jam?
While there are a few embarrassing honorable mentions, it would have to be Ice Ice Baby. It still never gets old.

via



Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
Flawless Face--I'm the one who has to look at it all the time!


What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
I have impeccable taste in TV shows. Ok, fine. I used to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter.


What's your ringtone?
I tend to customize them by the person. My husband is the Darth Vader theme. He's the dark side. :)


How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?
6th grade. Jason Something. Is any kiss in the 6th grade toe-curling?


Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
I have a brother 5 1/2 years older than me. Needless to say, there were moments of torture.


What physical quirk were you born with?
I had a hole in my heart until I was 5 years old. Eeks! Wait...is that a quirk?


What was your first car, and did you name it?
A 1986 Chevy Nova. It was blue. We called it "Little Blue Car". My friends and I were really clever.


What would you request for your last supper?
A burger, fries, and the biggest chocolate shake available.
via

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
Oh gosh. The flu sent me there a couple of times. I guess that's what happens when you become dehydrated. Otherwise, just for my kids' births.


How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
5' 8 3/4" I've spent my whole life wishing I was shorter. Just remember the days before pants were available in lengths. It was a teenager's nightmare.


Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
Both. DIY definitely gives a sense of accomplishment, but sometimes ya just gotta hand it over to the pros.


What do you eat for breakfast?
Almost every morning, I have two pieces of cinnamon toast and a couple of pieces of turkey bacon.


What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
Maybe just blog? I'm one of those people who would be quite content never working another day of my life.


Finish this sentence: Every room needs....
texture! Without it, a room has no layers and is really cold.


How frequently do you wash your hair?
Every single day. Do you have any hair secrets or tricks? No. It is a flaw I was born with. I suck at everything hair related.

Will you leave the house without makeup? 
Yes--and do. I don't ever want to become one of those people who's unrecognizable without makeup. My summertime makeup routine is a smudge of eye shadow and lip gloss.

 
You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first? 
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. All day long.


What totally inane talent do you possess?
Man, I wish I had a talent! My husband says I could be a tracker dog because of my sense of smell. (That's weird.) I also rock at leveling things without a level! You said inane, remember?

***

Yep, it's confirmed, Chris is another blogger meant to be my BFF. Hope she's cool with that, because I just had tshirts made.

Thank you so much to all the amazing bloggers who played along! I loved every single answer. I think we need to keep the series going, what do you think? Oh, and guess what?! Tomorrow I finally get to show you our patio!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

{20 Questions} The Freckles Chick

I'm so excited for today's {20 Questions}! Freckles Chick is probably my most favorite person I've never met. She makes me snort-laugh every single time I read her posts, emails, and especially, InstaGram hashtags. If you don't know her, then you are missing out on an exquisite level of sarcasm, not to mention, her gorgeous house renovation and ingenious DIYs.

20 Question - Freckles

Hello, Hi Sugarplum readers!

It's always a fantastic time guest posting for my friend Cassie, so I was elated to get the chance to do so again. She always dreams up the most somber & profound concepts for guest posting; this was no exception {sarcasm font}.

I had so much fun with this! So here goes: everything you ever wanted to know about me & more (don't be scared).............


What is your roadtrip essential snack?
I've got a notorious sweet tooth so I'd consume a ridiculous amount of Swedish Fish & several vanilla lattes.

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going? 
I would take the husband to New Zealand.  It's always been on our bucket list.

{via}

What was your high school jam?
Jewel's You Were Meant For Me (so naive, so dreamy-eyed)

Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
Flawless face. I can buy strategic pants to fake a perfect bum.

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
Duck DynastyKourtney & Kim Take MiamiGiuliana & Bill

What's your ringtone?
Creative ringtones make me ragey. I've had the basic T-Mobile ringtone for ages. So not only do I not have a fun ringtone, I also don't have an iPhone. Still  friends? 

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?  
16 & it was meh (late bloomer?). To make up for lost time, I became a total slut very social.  #kiddingkidding #maybe

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?  
A brother who is 2 years younger than me. We're polar opposites in personality, but we always make each other laugh. 

What physical quirk were you born with?
My right foot is a bit larger than my left foot, so shoes never fit quite right.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
A burgundy Ford Taurus, dubbed Large Marge by my friends.

What would you request for your last supper? 
A boatload of sushi!! Nigiri, sashimi, rolls, the works. Creme brulee for dessert. Wine. Crates of wine.

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
No, thank goodness (unless you count recovery from a C-section)!

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
I'm 5'5, which feels just right to me. Though I wouldn't complain if I had longer legs & a shorter torso....hard to find tops that are long enough.



Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
DIY! Though it's so tempting to hire it out these days with a toddler tornado constantly wreaking havoc around these parts.

What do you eat for breakfast?
Coffee  :) happy  Occasionally, Greek yogurt topped with granola, fruit, a dollop of natural peanut butter & a drizzle of agave nectar.



What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
Lately I've been dreaming of writing/illustrating children's books. I know it wouldn't be as easy as it appears but it's such a magical niche, these storybooks for kids. It would be the ideal creative outlet for someone like me who loves the written word & whimsical illustrations (not saying I'm very good at either but we're dreaming right?). Books are a huge part of our day around here. And since we're pretending that I wouldn't need the money, proceeds would go to charities near & dear to our hearts.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs.... 
A dose of black. Used wisely, a bit of black grounds a room (in my humble opinion).

How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
I usually wash my hair every 3rd day (I do shower every day, I swear).  It's very dry here in Colorado & frequent washing would wreak havoc on my hair. I'm very low-maintenance with my hair as I currently don't color it & wait far too long to get trims. I just wash the night before, comb it to 'set' the side part in my hair, & pin it in a loose bun for the remainder of the  night until I go to bed. It usually creates some loose waves that last a couple days. My only 'secret' is that I've used Burt's Bees baby shampoo for years (gentle, smells good, sulfate/paraben-free).


Will you leave the house without makeup?  
I leave the house without makeup 90% of the time (even in my pre-mom days). When I do slap on some makeup it's just a dusting of Aveda bronzer, a curling of the lashes,  & a swipe of tinted lip balm.  Fancy. I have the misfortune of looking like I'm playing dress-up whenever I wear lipstick (have tried every color under the sun). I should probably make more of an effort since I can't really use the 'frazzled new mom' excuse anymore, HA.

You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first? 
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!!!!

What totally inane talent do you possess? 
I can peel a banana with my toes. I'm forever offering to do this at appropriate social gatherings (you know, like weddings) to prove that I can, but no one ever takes me seriously. 

***

Hold the phone...peel bananas with your feet?! Talk about a party trick! We need a video of that. I can't wait for the day I finally meet the adorable Miss Freckles...and send her into a rage over my ringtone. 



Check out the other {20 Questions} Players:
 Jamie, I Suwannee
Shay, Mix & Match Mama
Laura, Hollywood Housewife
Sheaffer, Pinterest Told Me To
Emily, Emily A. Clark
Sarah, Thrifty Decor Chick
 
 

Monday, April 22, 2013

{20 Question} Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick

Hey there, friends! Mr. Sugarplum and I have decided to sell the farm and move to Italy. I'm kidding, we don't own a farm. But I'd live on a farm if it meant I could wake-up here everyday. My pants no longer fit, but it's a price I'm willing to pay. We'll be back soon enough, and I can't wait to share all the cheesy details with you. (If you're following along in InstaGram, then you know I've eaten nothing but cheese. And gelato.)

But let's get back to this fabulous series, shall we?! Today we have the Grand Poobah of home bloggers, Sarah....the Thrifty Decor Chick! Who here doesn't already think Sarah is their BFF? No one, that's who. She writes her blog so real and genuine, that you feel like it's just the two of you, chatting it up on her couch. Not to mention she has the best patio, and a brand new awesome library!

20 Questions - Sarah

What is your road trip essential snack?
Well, it used to be a fountain Coke but I've given it up. (Sob.) Second would have been the Hostess Snoballs but those are gone now too...what the heck?? Sheesh...I don't even know anymore.

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going?
My hubby, and we're off to Italy -- the one place I haven't been that I want to visit. That or Hawaii, I'm dying to get back there sometime.

What was your high school jam?
Strawberry? I kid. Oh girl...you know it was NKOTB. We were fans of anything hip hop too, that's what we danced to at our garage parties. ;)

Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
I have to go with the face. Well wait...that's a hard one. You can use makeup on the face, not much you can do to hide a wide bum. No, I like my curves so I'm going with face.

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
Good Luck Charlie. There, I said it. (It's SO GOOD.)

via

What's your ringtone?
Boring.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?
Ugh. I was 16 (a late bloomer) and it was DISGUSTING. I don't think I ever kissed that boyfriend again after that. ;)

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
Yes, bunches. I am the oldest of seven -- one full sis, two half sisters, one half brother, a stepbrother and stepsister. I am the oldest and was also an only child for half of my childhood -- that should tell you something about me. Ahem.

What physical quirk were you born with?
My ears. They stick out horribly. I used to sleep on my side hoping they would magically attach to the side of my head. I now embrace them but it took a long time. And the ONLY physical trait my son got from me are my lovely ears. Poor child.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
My first car was a 1985 white Fiero my junior year of college. I did not name her but LOVED her. She was a blast to drive.

What would you request for your last supper?
Easy -- fried chicken and mashed potatoes. And a fountain Coke. ;)

via


Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
Only for the birth of my boy! Well I take that back -- I was in the hospital numerous times but it was all because of him. I went into labor a LOT when I was pregnant.

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
I am 5'9" and I LOVE being tall (hello...the pounds stretch out!) but I never wear heels. Hate them and feel awkward in them. That's the only part I don't like about being so tall.

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
I LOVE to DIY and will always do that if I can. But we are now able to hire out for certain things (like our basement remodel) and oh my, it is so nice to have someone else do it once and a while.

Sarah's New Basement


What do you eat for breakfast?
Usually not much. I have to force myself to eat in the morning. I try to eat at least a banana, some toast or a couple eggs.

What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
This. :) I have the most perfect job in the world, without a doubt.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs....
Something black. It grounds a space.

How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
Almost every day -- I can go every other but no longer than that or it's a grease ball. Last summer I think I used a hair dryer once -- can't wait for the temps to warm up so I can do that again. I HATE doing my hair so if I can take short cuts I'm happy.
Will you leave the house without makeup?
Heck yeah! Half of my Lowe's trips are without makeup. I do like to at least have mascara on -- it's the one thing that makes a big difference on anyone's face, I think.

You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first?
Anything gummy or peanut butter and chocolate. ;)

What totally inane talent do you possess?
Huh. That's hard! I can't do anything cool -- no rolling of the R's even. My sister can recite the alphabet backwards super fast -- she must have gotten all the freaky genes. I can still toss a flag or rifle perfectly 20 years after high school marching band -- does that count? ;)

***
I think tossing rifles with precision definitely counts! Good thing Sarah doesn't live in Texas, because that rifle would be loaded. I'm kind of kidding! Loved all of Sarah's answers...and do you know how hungry a person gets looking for pictures of fried chicken!? Go say 'hi' to Sarah, and blame her for your chicken craving!

Check out the other {20 Questions} Players: 
Jamie, I Suwannee
Shay, Mix & Match Mama
Laura, Hollywood Housewife
Sheaffer, Pinterest Told Me To
Emily, Emily A. Clark

Friday, April 19, 2013

{20 Questions} Emily of Emily A. Clark

Happy Friday, sweet friends! Hasn't it been a fun week getting to really know your favorite bloggers?! Is it just me, or are the random tidbits about a person the most interesting? I'm excited to close the week with one of my longest online friends...Emily A. Clark!

 If Blogland were high-school, Emily would be Prom Queen. She's gorgeous, sweet, funny, classy, honest...and crazy talented! And she's wearing that crown while raising five kids! I love her tips on Working With What You Have, and her Home Office is my all time favorite.


20 Questions - Emily


What is your road trip essential snack?
Candy--because it's obviously not fattening if you eat it while on the road. . . Sour patch kids, SweetTarts, anything that's pure sugar will do.

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going?
I really hate to fly, but if they gave me the two tickets plus a sedative, I'd take my husband and fly to Hawaii. I've never been, and the flight might cause me to never go.

What was your high school jam?
I'm a longtime New Kids on the Block fan. So, it was probably them. Or was that middle school? I can't remember.


Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
I'll go for the face. I could always cover up my behind with cute clothes.


What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
I should probably be ashamed of my Real Housewives addiction. I also DVR'd the Miss America pageant but still haven't watched it. . .


What's your ringtone?
The same one that came with the phone. I'm so boring.


How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?
Suddenly, I have amnesia. . . Strange.


Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
I'm the oldest of three. I have a younger sister and a younger brother.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
It was my Dad's Plymouth Sundance. There was no time to name it. I totalled it a few months after I started driving.


What would you request for your last supper?
My mom's lasagna.


Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
Just to have my babies.


How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
5'3. I'm good with that.


Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
Depends on the job--and, the cost to hire someone. If I had a money tree, I'd probably love DIY projects a little less than I do now.

What do you eat for breakfast?
Lately, coffee. And, sometimes, the rest of my son's smoothie.


What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
If anyone would listen, I'd be a singer.


Finish this sentence: Every room needs....
Lamps. I hate the feel of a room that just has overhead lighting.


How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
2-3 times per week. I've been using dry shampoo lately, which helps some. I also wear a lot of ponytails.


Will you leave the house without makeup?
Yes! Some days, there's just no time.


You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first?
Reese's peanut butter cups.


What totally inane talent do you possess?
I'm *pretty good* at drawing women's faces. And, I think I rock at Wii Dance. My family might disagree. . .

***
I finally get the chance to meet Emily, since we're both speaking at the Haven Conference this Summer. She doesn't know it yet, but we're total BFF. Totally. Wonder if I can get her to draw my portrait?!

 Check out the other {20 Questions} Players:
Jamie, I Suwannee
Shay, Mix & Match Mama
Laura, Hollywood Housewife
Sheaffer, Pinterest Told Me To

Thursday, April 18, 2013

{20 Questions} Sheaffer at Pinterest Told Me To

This {20 Questions} Series is all about getting to know the person behind your favorite blog. The funny thing is, Sheaffer and I have kind-of known each other for years. But it wasn't until we both started blogging that we became real friends! Now I stalk her online for her Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars recaps (totally hilarious!), the amazing sales she digs up, and the fun outfits she puts together using Pinterest as her guide.

20 questions - Sheaffer


What is your road trip essential snack?
A banana and a Smart Water.

Ha!
J/K
I MUST have an icy Dr. Pepper in a styrofoam cup with lots of ice....and then I need something super salty (think Funyons or Corn-nuts)....and then some Hot Tamales!
Yeah, I'm a total health nut.

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...
who are you taking and where are you going?
That is SUPER easy!  The hubby and I would head to these little huts on the water in Bora Bora (in the movie Couple's Retreat).  I MEAN, can you imagine?!?


What was your high school jam?
Okay.  I know this is weird.  But I don't think I had one.  And if I did, I don't remember.
I'm not really a music person.
In fact...here's a little tidbit for you...I have NEVER ever bought a cd, tape, record, or 8 track in my entire life.  I've never owned an ipod, and I don't download music anywhere.
I know. I'm a freak.
I do enjoy listening and singing along to the radio.

Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
No question.  No hesitation.  A flawless face.

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
None really.

I totally own the fact that I watch trash TV. 
:)



What's your ringtone? 
A regular ol' ring.  Yep, totally boring.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?
My first peck on the lips was 6th grade.  It was just a peck, so I would probably just say "meh".
I don't remember my first real kiss. (Which would probably make you think it was "meh"....but I have a HORRIBLE memory, so it might have been fantastic!)
I'm going to go ahead and assume it was probably toe-curling.

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
I have one sister that is 8 years younger than I am.  As my mom tells it, I didn't sleep through the night until I was 6 years old....so it took her awhile to decide she wanted another one.

What physical quirk were you born with?
When I move my eyebrows up and down, my entire scalp moves.
So like, if my hair is in a ponytail, you will see my ponytail move....
and all I have to do is raise my eyebrows. 
Oh...and I sleep with my eyes about 1/2 open.
I'm a total freak show.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
I got an Eagle Talon when I was 17.  It looked just like this.



It was a surprise when I got it, and I was thrilled!  I remember I got it the day I got home from church camp.  The year before I had to drive around my mom's Astro minivan.  Don't be jealous.

What would you request for your last supper?
My Mamaw's chicken spaghetti with my mom's green salad and crispy cornbread muffins.
For dessert, either my mom's chocolate pie or Apricot Fried Pies.
All of those things conjure up such great memories for me!

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
I had a seizure in grad school and I was hospitalized for 1 night. (The medicine I was on afterwards caused my horrible memory.)  At that time, Chris was loving in Norman, OK and I was living in Dallas.  He had just driven back to Oklahoma the day before, but when his parents called him to tell him what happened, he immediately drove back to Dallas to see me.  I was kind of loopy and don't really remember anything about the hospital.
Years later I found out that he slept on the floor in the hospital room. 
Cue the "awwwwws".

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
I am 5'3" and 3/4.
The fact that I included the 3/4" should tell you that I would love to be taller.

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
Hire. It. Out.

What do you eat for breakfast?
I have a glass of V8.
It keeps your diet straight.
(Please tell me you guys remember that campaign.)



What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
Hmmmmmmm.  I LOVE what I do.  I'm a speech language pathologist, and I work specifically with children with intellectual disabilities and autism.  I can't imagine liking a job more than the one I have.  Helping children communicate more effectively is so incredibly rewarding.
It's also pretty freaking hilarious on a daily basis.
The kids are amazing, and they make me laugh so hard!
I will say this, I could do without the paperwork.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs....
lamps!
Lots and lots of lamps!
And a little bit of black.  Black helps ground a room and make it cozy.

How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
Pretty much every day DANGIT!  I have friends that can literally go like 4-5 days.
Not me, if I go one day without washing it, my head literally starts to hurt.
It's like my follicles are crying out for help.

Will you leave the house without makeup?
Heck  ya.

You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first?
Almond Joy and Twix

***
Oh yes, the infamous 3/4-inch...I own it as well. And I need to see this moving ponytail, what a great party trick! Are you ready for your new girl-crush?! Go check out Pinterest Told Me To...you'll be in love with Sheaffer after just one post!

And catch-up on the other {20 Questions}
Jamie, I Suwannee
Shay, Mix & Match Family
Laura, Hollywood Housewife

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

{20 Questions} Laura, the Hollywood Housewife

Laura has one of the most well-written, thought-provoking blogs on the block, and every post is a real treat. I look forward to her brutally honest Mommy Mondays, and her hands-on Lazy Beauty Reviews. It's fascinating to peek into her glamorous life married to a Hollywood Hot-Shot. She may be red-carpets and spotlights, but that didn't stop her from sharing a basket of hot wings with me! I crashed the Blissdom conference last month just to meet her, and I don't think either of us stopped talking once. Let's get to know the goods on Laura!

20 Questions -  Laura

What is your road trip essential snack?
I go nowhere without a Dr. Pepper in hand. I mean to tell you I do not leave my neighborhood without a DP, unless I'm driving on the hunt for a DP. So, it's less a "road trip essential" and more of a lifeblood.

http://distilleryimage2.s3.amazonaws.com/4a4c7564930e11e2b1c622000aa8000f_7.jpg
via @hollywoodhwife on instagram

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going?
I'm taking husband and we're headed back to Tahiti. We went there on our honeymoon and it was amazing, but we weren't at a time in our life where we needed such a luxurious vacation. Two kids later on top of two very busy career schedules, NOW is when we need a sandy white beach.

What was your high school jam?
I was heavily into Aerosmith in high school. And also The Cure. Those are both great bands, but suffice it to say that my tiny Oklahoma town left a lot to be desired in the music department.

Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
Please. There's only one of those things that people see.

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
I should be horrified that every city of the Real Housewives franchise graces my DVR, but I'm not. I like to call it "research."

What's your ringtone?
I keep my phone on vibrate at almost all times. Talking on the phone makes me nervous. This is a strange phenomenon, as I'm not particularly shy.

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?
I was standing (thank you very much), so it wasn't literally toe-curling. But as far as firsts go, it was pretty much perfect. I was thirteen.

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
I have an older sister and an older brother. I'm the baby by nine years and seven years. It shows.

What physical quirk were you born with?
My elbows are double-jointed, so I can turn my arms all the way around. Inside out. It's fairly jaw-dropping.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
My first car was a brown Mazda 929. I didn't name it, but I was strangely proud of the oscillating air-conditioning vents. I showed them off to all passengers.

What would you request for your last supper?
Oh, goodness. Crab, maybe? Fresh, buttery crab seems like a sweet sendoff.

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
Only when I had my babies.

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
I'm just a hair under 5'7. It's very normal, not noticeable one way or another. I think that's the best thing one can say about height, really.

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
Hire it out, every time. I have the utmost respect for people who can do things themselves with only a can of paint and rubber band, but this is just not me. I have the disasters to prove it. I'm super adept at finding someone else to do it. It's a skill within itself.

Kitchen-remodel-2
Laura's Fabulous New Kitchen!

What do you eat for breakfast? 
Dr. Pepper. Have we already covered this? I also love a bowl of grape nuts cereal. With my Dr. Pepper.

What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
I would write. It took me a long time to give in to my biggest passion, but it's the only way I want to spend a working hour.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs….
Pink!

Living room after
Laura's Pink Living Room!


How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
I am baffled by people who wash their hair every day. This is akin to mowing your lawn every day. There's no need! Now, I probably stretch it more than I should. I wash my hair every third day. If I can get away with it, every fourth. Once I discovered the Dry Bar, this fed my philosophy. I don't know what they do to my hair, but it lasts (looking great) for days.

Will you leave the house without makeup?
Yes. I work from home, so I frequently do preschool pickups in my pajamas. Fresh-faced if you will. At 1pm. One of the bonuses of living in an enormous city is that you can be out and about for hours and never see a soul you know.

You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first?
Twix. Doesn't everyone? Sour Patch Kids don't last long, either.

What totally inane talent do you possess?
Since my first pregnancy four years ago, my sense of smell is keener than a hound dog. I swear, I can smell a spot of mildew on the second floor before I open the front door. This is mostly a curse, truth be told. I'm tortured by all smells all the time. I'm also ridiculously good bowler. Does that count as inane? 'Cause it's actually been quite useful when betting against my husband.

***

Since I already consider Laura a 'real-life' friend, her answers just confirm how much I love her! Small towns, pink and Twix...she's speaking my language. Go say 'hi' at Hollywood Housewife, but be prepared to stay awhile!

And check out the other {20 Questions} 
Jamie, I Suwannee
Shay, Mix & Match Family

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

{20 Questions} Shay of Mix & Match Family

Many of you know today's special blogger, but might not realize it. Shay writes Mix & Match Family...a great blog with beauty and fashion tips, thoughtful posts about marriage...and oh yeah, life behind-the-scenes as the cutie-pie big sister of a certain Bachelor. Shay was there when Tierra melted-down, and again when Sean sashayed across the dance floor...and she's spilled all the beans! She actually lives near me, so hopefully our friendship crosses the virtual line soon.

20 Questions - Shay

What is your road trip essential snack?
Trail mix (specifically Target's Monster Mix)

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going?
Iceland with my hubby!

What was your high school jam?
Anything N'Sync :)



Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
Flawless face!

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
Jersey Shore...I love it!

What's your ringtone? 
Carley Jepsen's Call Me Maybe

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?
14 and it was toe curling!

Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
I have one younger brother...his life isn't interesting at all...
via

What physical quirk were you born with?
I have fabulous calves. I get them from my dad...my daughter has them too.

What was your first car, and did you name it?
A red, two-door Saturn and I don't name cars

What would you request for your last supper?
Carbonara pasta with a big piece of wedding cake for dessert


Shay's Recipe

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
Yes.  I had cancer when I was 17 and they had to go in and remove all of the lymph nodes from the right side of my neck...thank the Lord that I was healed! (Editorial interruption...my gosh, Shay! That is awful! Thank God you are healthy now!)

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
5'3"...a wouldn't mind being 5'6"

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
HIRE OUT

What do you eat for breakfast?
Coffee and oatmeal with peanut butter and a few chocolate chips

What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
Be a foodie blogger ;)


Mix and Match Mama
Shay's Food Blog

Finish this sentence: Every room needs....
...a comfy place to read.

How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
Every two to three days.  My biggest hair tip is to embrace whatever hair you have...don't try and make your hair something it's not.

Will you leave the house without makeup?
Sometimes.

You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first?
Toffee!

What totally inane talent do you possess?
I'm an amazing shopper (yes, I'll consider that a talent...my husband would call it inane!)

***
 Yes, it's confirmed, Shay and I need to meet. We obviously share a love of travel and shopping, and I'm willing to overlook the fact that she likes toffee. Hop over to Mix & Match Family and meet Shay! 

And check out {20 Questions} with Jamie at I Suwannee here.


Monday, April 15, 2013

{20 Questions} Jamie at I Suwannee

Ciao, friends! I'm elbow-deep in pizza today, but am so excited to share my new series with you. Like you, I'm a huge fan of blogs, and bloggers. Many of them, I'm convinced we'd be total BFFs, if only we knew each other 'in real-life.' Bloggers share glimpses of their lives with us, but I wanted to know the real stuff about them. You know, the stuff your best friend from Kindergarten knows. So I asked! Thus, the {20 Questions} Series was born.

So how about we kick off this new series with one of the big dogs!? The Queen of the blogging and design world?! Jamie Meares needs no introduction. I've read her blog, I Suwannee, from cover-to-cover...and she's one of the few designers I'd let do anything and everything she wanted to my house. She's also super cool and funny. Oh yes, we'd be 'real-life' friends.

20 Questions- Jamie

What is your road trip essential snack?
BBQ Fritos and Wasabi Trail Mix from Trader Joes

You've been handed two free round-trip tickets...who are you taking and where are you going?
My friend Nick Olsen. Let's try Rio. We are both pleasure-seekers and prefer warmer climates. Only an hour ahead time zone so no jet lag (which I hate).

photo(177)
Nick + Jamie = Design Dream Team!

What was your high school jam?
This is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Remix to Ignition - r Kelly
Big Pun - still not a player

Would you rather have a perfect bum, or a flawless face?
Flawless face

What shows are you ashamed to admit are on your DVR?
I don't have many on DVR but Real Housewives of Atlanta is a guilty pleasure, CBS Sunday Morning bc I'm never awake to watch it in real time, and lots of people try to shame me for loving New Girl, I do. Unashamedly.
via

What's your ringtone?
Normal - avril lavigne - what the hell
Alarm- katy perry - wide awake
Special peeps- B.O.B - I've got the magic in me

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Was it meh or toe-curling?
Last day of sixth grade, I was 12. It was a quickie against the lockers. He was older and it was slimy.

via


Do you have any siblings, and if so, where are you in the birth order?
Just me. Hence I have an ego big enough to blog full time.

What physical quirk were you born with?
Really pale skin

What was your first car, and did you name it?
A white jeep with tinted windows and a sub-woofer in the back.  If it had a name it would be something ghetto.

What would you request for your last supper?
Strawberry cake. Eggs Benedict. Macaroni and cheese. French onion dip. An old fashioned. (Maybe not all together).

Have you ever been hospitalized, and if so, what for?
Last time was a kidney stone. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Other than that a few knee surgeries after a snowboarding wipeout.

How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller, shorter...or are you just right?
5'5". I'd take a few more inches. 

Do you prefer to DIY or hire it out?
These days I hire it out. But I still enjoy a good DIY if I have the patience and commitment.

photo(35)
jamie's grafitti art DIY

What do you eat for breakfast?
Yogurt, granola and fruit a couple of days, a breakfast burrito at least once a week, an egg mcmuffin no bacon once a week and Sundays are brunch out with Brian meares and friend.

What would you do for a living if you didn't need money?
Teach college English.  I'd like to sit in a room and talk about books I know just a little bit more about than everyone else in the room. 

Finish this sentence: Every room needs....
Layers

Jamie's Living Room *swoon*

How frequently do you wash your hair? Do you have any hair secrets or tricks?
I shampoo every third of fourth day.  Condition every day.  I don't dry it all the way but wrap the ends around two fingers while drying to give it a little wave.

Will you leave the house without makeup?
Yup.  I don't wear too much. In fact I just recently learned how to do it right.

You just unloaded your Halloween haul...what candy do you go for first?
I'm not a big candy person, but I'll enjoy a Reese's peanut butter cup or two.

What totally inane talent do you possess?
I can read really fast. I remember song lyrics.
I also know all members of wu-tang clan, and I can give you a rundown of the English monarchy from the 14th through 19th centuries. 

via

***

Are you and Jamie meant to be BFF, too? Can you name every member of the Wu-Tang Clan? Hop over to I Suwannee and introduce yourself!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ciao, bella!

Happy, happy, happy Friday!! Why are there extra 'happys' in my Friday, you ask?! (Oh, you didn't ask?! Well, I'm telling you anyway.) Because Mr. Sugarplum and I are flying this coop tomorrow for our kid-free, hey-I-remember-you, hey-I-still-like-you, take-a-break-from-life trip! In other words, the reason for all the frugal DIYs and Dollar Store shopping...saving up for what matters most to us.

Today I'm scurrying around prepping the house for grandparents (cleaning for in-laws to stay at your house is a whole other level of cleaning!), arranging kid schedules, and closing all the loose ends at work. Hopefully, I'll follow my own travel advice when I actually get around to packing. Here's a peek at where we're headed...

Cinque Terre

Venice

Florence

Yes, we're going to Northern Italy!! Can you hear me squealing, and my waistband expanding?! Have you visited any of these cities? I'd love to hear your favorite places, restaurants and tips. Since we're on mileage seats, the flight over isn't exactly ideal...so I'll have plenty of time to read and prepare! I've already got quite the list from Lauren's huge collection of travel posts.

But don't worry, I am hooking you guys up while I'm gone!! I dreamed up another little guest series, and invited a few of my favorites to play along, whom I'm sure you'll recognize....

20 questions bloggers

Trust me, you won't want to miss a single one! Ciao, lovebugs!


PS -- You know I'll have full Trip Reports when we return, but thanks to the wonder of free wifi, I'll have a hard time staying off InstaGram. Follow along (@cassiesugarplum) if you want to see how much food I inhale!


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