Pinch me… Summer Can’t Be Over!

29 Aug



A Summer of Lobster Rolls

Cannot believe our summer of fun in the sun is coming to a close… Where in the world did it go?  San Francisco and Newport Beach, that’s where.  Don’t hate us, it couldn’t be helped.   And during our travels and back at home base , we became obsessed with Lobster Rolls.  Not low-cal, light sushi lobster rolls, but the sandwich kind, with lumpy pieces of lobster, smothered in mayonnaise, plopped inside a warm buttery roll…and usually served with a side of fries.  Not great if you are on a diet, but great if you forget you are on a diet.


Because we spent much our summer on the west coast, and not the  east coast, where they truly are known for their lobster rolls, I’ve decided to mention where we have found our favorites, in the 3 cities in which we spent our summer.  I’m sure my friends in the NE will beg to differ, so we plan to do a trip to Maine, in the not too distant future, to check out their lobster rolls and hopefully one-up this blog.   Cannot wait!

Santa Monica Seafood – Costa Mesa, CA

Recommended by a dear friend… Fabulous.  Finding a great lobster roll in Orange County was easier said than done, so we had to rely on the advice of a local.  We were not disappointed.



Shaw’s Crab House – Chicago

Meredith and I like to split one of these with 2 dirty martini’s.  Best Happy Hour Ever!!  Oh yeah, the lobster roll ain’t bad either.

home_lobster_roll shaw's


San Francisco Fish Company – Ferry Building on the Embarcadaro

This was the first lobster roll we encountered…we came across this little deli, and decided to split a lobster roll, as a little snack.   We promptly ordered 3 more.   And this is where our obsession started with lobster rolls.  And dark chocolate toffee as well.  The Ferry Building on the Embarcadaro is also where we take a ferry to Tiburon, to our favorite Mexican restaurant; where we sit outside for happy hour with the largest platter of a seafood appetizer known to man, enjoying carafes of not too terribly bad wine;  enjoying lattes and frozen yogurt, as well as fresh fruit from the farmer’s market on Thursday and Friday’s.  If you are headed to San Francisco, don’t miss the Ferry building.


So, we decided we also wanted to make lobster rolls at home, so I searched high and low (or just googled best lobster rolls) and found a few options.   We tweaked the recipes, getting rid of the onion, lessening the mayo, and basically making them our own.  Oh, and we decided to come up with a lower cost version, since lobster can be upwards of $25 – $30/LB… which gives you almost No lobster meat.  So we found a less expensive option. Langostino lobster tails.  Found at Costco, for $23 / bag.  The bag makes about 6 good-sized lobster rolls.


My Favorite Lobster Roll Recipe

1 LB package Langostino lobster meat (I get mine at Costco)

2 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

3 tablespoons melted butter

4 New England Style hot dog rolls, ones with a split top (you can use regular if you can’t find New England style, which we have never been able to find in Chicago)

4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Chop the lobster meat into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk the mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss the dressing with the lobster meat and set aside.  Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  We like the lobster filling, cold.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add two tablespoons of butter. Toast the outside of the hot dog roll in the skillet until golden brown. Flip and toast the reverse side. Repeat with remaining rolls.  Be careful not to burn the buns, as I tend to do more often than not.

Open each roll and fill with 1/4 of the lobster salad. Drizzle 1 tablespoon melted butter over each roll and top with 1 tablespoon chives. Serve immediately.  Doesn’t get better than this, unless you use real lobster meat, but this langostino version is pretty darned tasty!



Our summer in review - featuring not only pics of us, but some of our favorite haunts and views.


And the summer started with a girl graduating from college.


Two girls, one Prom.  And not, we were not his date.  #spoilsport



I have the Best story of patrons behaving badly, and ripping to shreds the restaurant manager, all over a baby buggy, which was blocking everyone’s path, and the German patrons had no intention of moving it.  #noclass


This is Patrick’s happy place.  Mine as well.





Still not over the Blackhawks not winning the Stanley Cup.



Awkward family selfie.

mer's first day of work


Mer Mer’s first day of work…




Dirty martini and seafood ceviche…happy hour of champions!


view in laguna


My favorite view in the world.






We can do it!




Cakebreak Cellars. The happiest place on earth!  And September starts my wine club with them!  #pinchmeIamsogiddy


terry and kevin donna's wedding




Zack visited twice!


Only thing missing in this picture is me!



One of my favorite pics of the summer…with my high school besties.



Combining pleasure with some work with some of my favorite people, ever!  We insisted on seeing the pictures the photog was taking, and had him delete the ones we didn’t like.  #controlling


First day of Senior year!  But it was still summer!


The girl likes to pose.


Another angle of our favorite view.


Enjoying some wine at lunch overlooking Fisherman’s Wharf.


Just a girl and a boy in a bucket hat, enjoying the beach.  :)



Arlington race track… lots of laughs, not too much in winnings.

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Murph does enjoy lounging on a lounge chair.


AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco.  They service Stella and Napa Valley wines.  What’s not to love?!



View from our home away from home, overlooking the Bay.  We left our hearts in San Francisco. <3


Song of the Day:  Why Can’t I, by Liz Phair

Happy 2-year anniversary Murphy. She came to live with us 2 years ago today and has brought an additional element of  joy and love into our home.




It’s gonna be a great fall!

Go Bears!!  Go Bronco’s (Barrington Bronco’s)





Oh cabana boy!









Life is Short…

22 Aug



casual friday


No blog today, because it’s Casual Friday, and I’m traveling…but just a reminder that Life is short.  Make the most of it.  It’s the only one you got.  Unless you’re a cat…and I’m not a fan of cats…so this is the only one you got!

because life is short


tomorrow is nevefr promised


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Life is short…buy the shoes. :)




Brain Trust Society

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The Ice Bucket Challenge…Raising Awareness for ALS

19 Aug


“I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for” – Lou Gehrig

The Ice Bucket Challenge, has gone viral…with hundreds and thousands, and hundreds of thousands of people doing the ice bucket challenge to raise money for ALS awareness, a cause that is close to my family’s heart.  As a matter of fact, I’ve actually had to edit this blog, with current information about 6 times, to try to keep as current and accurate as possible.  #journalismmajor

The Ice Bucket Challenge:  People make a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads, post it on Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites, and then challenge friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS. (Many do both).   “In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally ‘soaked’ the nation,” the ALS Association said on its website. Between July 29 and Aug. 12, the association and its 38 chapters have received $4 million in donations, compared with $1.12 million during the same period last year.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or motor neuron disease (MND), is a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing and generally, complete paralysis. In most cases, while the body continues to deteriorate, the mind remains unaffected. The disease does not discriminate, striking any age, gender and race. In the US, someone is diagnosed every 90 minutes, and approximately 35,000 people are living with ALS at any given time. There is no known cure for ALS and once diagnosed, patients typically live only three to five years.  Right now, there is only one FDA-approved drug to treat the disease, and it only extends survival by a few months.   That’s right, a Few Months.

I am aware that there are many nay-sayers regarding people doing the ice bucket challenge…and I am not going to give them any blog time.   What I would like to say is, the ice bucket challenge, which admittedly did not Start with creating awareness for ALS, seemed to go Viral when it was Tied to ALS.  And correct, perhaps many people are doing the ice bucket challenge and not actually donating to ALS, (, but they are still creating awareness for this disease.  The true win-win is to dump the ice water on your head, and donate to ALS.

Just like Katie Couric taking a colonoscopy on the air helped raise awareness and research dollars for colon cancer, and Susan B. Komen and the pink ribbon  has helped with breast cancer research and Robin Williams’ sad and untimely death, is helping raise awareness for depression…the ice bucket challenge  is helping raise awareness for ALS.   While many people may have heard of Lou Gehrig’s disease,  many people are unaware of the specifics regarding this devastating and deadly disease.  Statistics show that only half of the general public understands ALS, and the viral challenge is making a powerful push toward informing the public about the need to fund research for a cure.    Hopefully, since the onset of this challenge, more people are educated about this horrific disease and the influx of research dollars will help bring us closer to a cure, as well as a reversal for those who already have it.  #hope


According to the New York Times, People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, (updated figures) the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors. (With a spate of celebrities and business executives joining in over the past few days and pledging contributions, that number is expected to rise.)

I first became aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge, raising awareness for ALS, when Julian Edelman, of the New England Patriots did it on July 29th.  Julian did the ice bucket challenge, in honor of Pete Frates, a Boston College baseball player, who is bring credited as being a Leader of this movement.  Pete Frates has ALS, and he is 29-years old.  This is his story:

The story of Pete Frates

I shared the video of Julian Edelman, (shown below)  with one of my dearest,  Cathy Friedman, who is as much of a Patriots fan, as I am a Bears fan, so she up and did the ice bucket challenge.  My favorite line of hers after she dumped an entire bag of ice into the water bucket,  and poured it over her head, “This is nothing compared to what people with ALS have to endure”.  So True. Love that girl, btw!

Mr. Pete Frates said in a video Last December: “The story right now goes: You’ve got ALS, have it for a little while, a long while, but either way, the end is always the same. ALS always wins. So in order to rewrite the end of it, we need to raise awareness, money.”  And raising awareness and money seems to be happening.




And yes, my family and I have participated as well…Thankfully, I have been unsuccessful at figuring out how to post the video to this blog,  that is not via Youtube, so here is a snap shot of me dumping water on my head.  And, I’m wearing a half zip, because it was 60 degrees out, and I had on a white t-shirt, which you do not want to show “wet”, so I threw on the half zip.  Thanks to Amelia for calling me out, and thank you to my high school friends, Kevin and his hotel, and my Dallas CVB alumni gang, for continuing with the challenge as those that I’ve called out.  #family



Then lucky me, I got nominated twice.  Thank You Steven! xoxo .  And gladly did it twice. :)  Shouting out a nomination to Lora, NKO, and my siblings.


POB ice bucket


mer doing challenge

Mer Mer

A few more of my favorite Ice Bucket Challenges from my favorite peeps…this is only a sampling,  (pictures, not the actual videos) of those who did the challenge while I was penning my blog, and those who either challenged me, or I challenged them.  I wish I could feature everyone.  Perhaps one day.  #longestblogever  #sobbingwhilewriting



















mark bice


joy doing ice bucket



Some others doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, that aren’t as famous as those just featured above.  These are the actual links to the video, while the above were just a snapshot picture.

Bill Gates doing Ice Bucket Challenge



The Kennedy Family doing Ice Bucket Challenge

ethel kennedy


The Chicago Blackhawks doing Ice Bucket Challenge



Charlie Sheen



My family is doing a walk for ALS on September 21st at Soldier Field…which happens to be my birthday.  I cannot think of a better way to spend my birthday, than walking with family and friends for such a great cause, and doing so at my favorite place, Soldier Field!  Join us, Team Kourage, to help raise more funds for this very cruel disease.  To date we have raised almost $5000.  Comment on this blog, or get in touch with me if you want to be part of this great cause and very fun day!  There will be snappy t-shirts provided for Team Kourage, and for all that participate, as well as a post-party.  #bribery




Song of the Day:  Wind Beneath My Wings, by Bette Midler.  Featuring my very favorite beach from the movie, Beaches.  #beachshack.  Ice, Ice Baby, would have been too obvious. :)

Best quote of the week from Meredith:  Watching the many videos of  the ice bucket challenge for ALS, is the new watching soldier’s coming home.  You can’t get enough of watching either.

Someday we’ll be able to name a cure after Lou Gehrig, instead of a disease.  ALS…it’s more common than you think.






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Sources:  PCMA; New York Times

50 simple ways to transform your life…for the better

15 Aug



I was looking square into Friday, and really didn’t have a specific blog penned that tickled my fancy, and was headed to a girl’s night out with Mer Mer to the Bears game, so time was of the essence…And I pondered, what in the world should I blog about… and just like that…this appeared on Twitter.  #karma.  I love this and would have blogged it even if I wasn’t in a time crunch.  And yes, I still have to blog about a summer of lobster rolls, the Ice Bucket Challenge raising awareness for ALS and upcoming Fall fashions (eek), but I’m liking this blog for today.  Enjoy!

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50 Ways to Transform your life for the better…as if I’d ever post something about transforming your life for the worse?!  However, that could be fun, and I could site some stellar examples.  #beafraid  #beveryafraid  #power

A few comments by me are in italics.  Because I cannot help myself.

  • Everything isn’t always as complicated and messy as we have come to believe. Sometimes, life is simply about happiness and the small ways we choose to engage in the beauty of being alive.  Choose Happiness.  
  • Cling to your moral compass. Believe in the values that compose who you are and never allow others the power to strip that from you.
  • Make pancakes whenever possible.  Except on Christmas morning, because Patrick doesn’t handle this well… Boys!
  • Go follow @pugsofinstagram and laugh a little at those goofy freaking dogs.  Murph doing Happy Girl!

happy girl

  • More importantly, don’t hold back your laughter in life. Smile at the silly antidotes that make life amusing. Laugh loud and genuinely. Give those bursts of joy all you have because you only have so many.
  • Don’t forget your hobbies, they will save your soul one day. Try to set aside a little time for the little things you love.
  • Have an open mind. Let the walls of your brain be temporary and kind to the existence of new ideas.
  • Play. Play with your friends. Play with your pets. Play with your family. Play.
  • Retain a hunger for knowledge. Let life teach you and understand at the core of your being that there will never be a day that you don’t need to continue to learn.

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  • Exercise forgiveness. Let your heart release the evil that weighs it down.
  • When with your significant other, take a second to really look at them. Follow the curves of their body and study the pigment of their eyes. Watch the way they light up with a smile. Melt a little when you see them. Appreciate the beauty of those you love and let it captivate you.
  • In addition to actually seeing the people you love, touch them. Give strong hugs. Lay on a long kiss that makes you ease into it with your whole body and forget everything else. Feel and physically exist with others.
  • Blast a song in your car like you did when you first landed your driver’s license and the stereo was essentially the best part. Let the music consume you and vibrate life through you.



  • Cuddle.
  • Go outside.
  • Seriously, if there aren’t any hazardous weather conditions outside, get out there as soon as you can. You can take five minutes from the day to just breathe in the air and let the sunshine warm your face.
  • Don’t be afraid to fall in love.
  • Love who you are while still constantly working towards self betterment. Know that you’ll always have room to grow.
  • Share your funniest stories.



  • Explore. The world is filled with unimaginable beauty if you take the chance to discover it. Traveling can be expensive, but you would be surprised by how many amazing places you can uncover in only a short distance from your home.
  • Give yourself “me time” whenever life gets too overwhelming.
  • Be completely enthralled by the people you are with. Put away the phone and emails while you are trying to have a conversation with someone. Half-hearted interactions are disguised failures.

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  • Be humble.
  • Be imaginative.
  • Be brave.
  • Search for the positivity in your life and share it with others.


  • Exercise your body as you do your brain. Train it to be healthy and strong in a way that supports you and all of your dreams.
  • Look at the stars.
  • Give real meaning to the phrase “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” and actually try to understand the perspective of others. It is so easy to judge or be angry with others without taking into consideration why they behave or feel the way they do.
  • Recognize that no man or woman carries the same burden as any other, and that is a beautiful obstacle we all must work to overcome and learn from each day.


  • Express yourself freely.  One word.  Blog. ;)
  • Take road trips.
  • Dance.  I dance every day!

don't walk dance

  • Let yourself be vulnerable and share your deepest thoughts.  This is why I blog.  
  • Show yourself to the people around you and allow them love you for all that you truly are.  What’s not to love?  :)
  • Indulge in a few Netflix marathons when you are feeling down.


  • Let yourself have a good cry if you need one.  The above movie will allow you to do just this.  
  • Be healthy while still understanding that it is still OK to go for the extra cookie every once in awhile.
  • Cookies won’t kill you, I swear. I’m a firm believer that they may actually be saviors in some ways.


  • Try to do the things that scare you.  This would have to do with rodents.  
  • Take photos.
  • Play games. Anything from shooting hoops in the drive way to a deadly game of Go-Fish can do wonders for your overall happiness.  May I suggest a game of Apples to Apples?
  • Learn to love the beauty of the mini-conversation with the office janitor or check-out lady at the grocery. Too often we walk through our days ignoring the little opportunities we have to influence others.  Consider this Done!


  • Spend more time with animals. Cuddle with your kitty. Throw the ball with your dog and laugh at all the funny ways he tries to grab it from the air. Love them for their innocent companionship and let them love you.
  • Keep a list of goals and work towards them.


  • Stop passing judgements. The condemnation of others will never make you better and won’t ultimately make you feel better either.
  • Take a few cat naps.
  • Create. Use your imagination and talent to create anything from a superb batch of brownies to a DIY Pinterest creation for your new apartment.
  • Laugh at yourself.  I do this every day.
  • Engage in the activities that cause you to be sincerely proud of yourself. These are the moments where you can feel in the pit of your stomach that you are doing something solely because it makes you feel accomplished, happy and meaningful. Keep feeling that way and working towards those moments.


  • Make a difference. Make a difference with your work, with your smile, with your bare hands, or with your heart. You are alive; live each day understanding what an incredible opportunity that is. You are an opportunity for greatness, so seize it.


Song of the Day:  Follow You Follow Me, by Genesis (another one of Kevin’s favs)


Great time at the Bears game last night (Yes, Steph, I was at the game ;) )… and as I posted on FB, “Weekend at Bernie’s meets Clueless (all grown up)”.  yes, this man is passed out…and yes, the Preppsters  above him were truly the “beautiful people” in our section.  The handsome man was wearing a very light cream suit…to a Bears game.   I felt like I was in When Harry Met Sally, because the entire stadium did the Wave.  9 times.  Yes, 9 times.  #excitinggame   My favorite part of the game, (other than the win and the wave) was befriending the couple next to me…who for 3 quarters did not make a sound, say a word, cheer or crack a smile… I showed them the above “selfie”, and we became fast friends.   They rooted, they cheered and they laughed throughout the entire 4th quarter! #makingfriendsinfluencingpeople


Girls night out!  And, we got a W!  Even if it doesn’t count in pre-season, it’s still a win!  Note how we are not wearing Bear’s jerseys, but sporting Bears colors.  #options.  This picture is approved by Mer Mer…which is easier said than done.  :)

Size does Matter…in regards to the size of purses allowed in NFL stadiums.  Two weeks in a row, we have seen hundreds of women (yes, mostly women, and not men carrying the man-purse), being turned away from Soldier’s Field, because of the size of their purses.  Hundreds.  Maybe even a thousand gals.  My goodness…do these people not watch the news, or read my blog?  Ladies…you are not allowed to bring a purse into an NFL game, that is bigger than “the size of your hand”.  This would be a small clutch purse.  You can put all your belongings in the “stylish” Plastic tote sold by the NFL, (or mine given to me by D) and put your small clutch inside, along with your jacket, hairbrush, camera and allowed snacks…but no beverages or water bottles.  Or just bring a small clutch purse.  Of course, you could put mace or a knife in a small clutch purse, and probably a few small bottles of vodka, similar to those you get on an airline, but as long as they are in this small clutch purse, you are good to go.  Super policy, Mr. Goodell.  Go Bears!

Here is my bag, packed for the game, with my white denim jacket, wristlet and sunglasses.  #savvypacker



Last weekend of summer before school starts and I go to DC to see some of my very favorite peeps.  #shenanigans.  Gonna make this the best weekend ever!

Happy Friday…now be a love and pass the wine. :)




who ties your shoelaces








What a Guy Should Pack for College

13 Aug

This is a Reprint of my blog:  What a guy should pack for college…because I am an equal-opportunity blogger, and posted what girls should pack for college last Friday.  So, here it goes…and a few new tidbits and sassy cards at the end of the blog. ;)

It has been almost a year since I was helping get Meredith ready to leave for college…and since that little turn of events is basically what started this blog, we know what a girl packs for college…EVERYTHING…I think the guys deserve equal time.   And here is a flashback of some of Mer Mer’s clothes she had set aside (only half of them, as there were no jeans, pants, skirts of shorts here).  And this is a Packing DON’T, btw…

So… you are going away to college, and going to live in a dorm?   The college kids are extremely excited, while the mother’s are secretly crying themselves to sleep every night…so let’s try to make the packing go as smooth and efficiently as possible, to lighten the stress load on your poor Mom…and I’m not saying that Father’s aren’t upset either, but speaking from our situation, I don’t think Kevin was crying while going for a morning run the day we were heading to take her to school (of course I could be mistaken, but I think not).

Going away to college there are a few staples that every student should have. There are tons of checklists for the obvious things.

But I asked some friends for their overlooked essentials, and came up with the following list:

I am aware that some of these items depend on your dorm’s policy.

Pack your clothing.  Bring only three weeks of clothes since you won’t be able to fit everything you own into one dorm.  ( Of course, don’t use Meredith as an example as it was like shoving clowns into a phone booth).  Also, make sure you have at least one nice outfit. Two nice outfits are best, especially if one is more conservative and the other outfit is more funky. You never know when you will have to  go to a job or internship interview, a fancy restaurant, or a religious service . Don’t forget clothes hangers .  Meredith’s room did Not have a dresser.  I found that really strange, but we bought 2 sets of plastic 3-drawer carts from The Container Store, which were a god send!  If possible try to rotate seasonal clothes back and forth from dorm to home.

A Microwave/refrigerator Combo
You can rent one of these combo models, or you can buy one at Target.  This is a necessity.  You will not always be able to get a snack at the cafeteria, whenever you wish.  Your meal plan is either very expensive or very limited, and you will not feel like walking to a store at 1AM. Do yourself a favor and pack some Easy Mac or some lean cuisines (:) )to heat up.  Microwave Popcorn is always a crowd pleaser, and basically the simplest thing to prepare.  Just make sure you know how to nuke popcorn without setting off the fire alarms.  Many colleges offer a refrigerator/microwave rental…It’s up to you if you want to rent it for $75 and have the luxury of having it waiting in your room (my recommendation), or buy it at Target, for $150 or so, then be responsible for getting it to and from.


Laptop, Printer, Paper, School Supplies

And make sure you have everything backed up on an external hard drive!  This…is extremely important!




XL Twin Sheets, a Blanket or Comforter, Mattress Pad and your pillows.  And bring an extra set, because it’s my experience that guys did NOT change their sheets…As a matter of face, it’s also my experience that girls did NOT change their sheets either. :)


Toiletries – I’m not going to elaborate here, because you know what you need…But make a list, and make sure you bring everything you have on your list.



Medications – and have copies of your prescriptions.  And make sure you have your own insurance card.  Making a First Aid Kit to go for a college student would be a great gift!

Aspirin; Tylenol; Advil; Pepto Bismol; Allergy Medicine; Cough Medicine; Cough Drops; First Aid Kit




iPod/iPad; Chargers; Batteries; Alarm Clock; TV; iPod speakers


Flip Flops/Shower Shoes ;Towels

Clearly guys will not wear “Shower Shoes”…but you really should wear flip Flops into the shower.  These are essential.  Do not walk around barefoot in a public washroom.  I have 2 words for you:  Athlete’s Feet.  I have 1 word for you:  Gross!  Wear flip-flops.  And I’m aware (based on feedback from my friends) that guys will probably not wear flip-flops into the shower, but it really would be a good idea.


Cleaning Supplies/Laundry Supplies

Clorox Wipes are the bomb!  I used them to clean Mer’s room when we packed her up to leave.  Bring 2 containers.  And if you can, a small hand-held vacuum will be handy.  And you will be doing laundry, so have laundry detergent, a laundry basket or bag, and fabric softener sheets.  When we were going through orientation at Indiana, someone asked about the “laundry service” for the students.  One of the student aides, suggested skipping the laundry service, as  “doing laundry is a good skill to have”.  I couldn’t agree more!



You can buy a great fan for $25.  Money well spent for keeping cool, as Not all dorms have air conditioning.


More Tips:

Try and buy your textbooks on eBay or Amazon, and not through the student center.  If you can get the list of books required prior to school, you can save loads by getting them online.

If you cannot “Loft your beds”, you can buy bed risers, to raise your bed by 8″ to give you more space to store your things.


A great way to make some extra money for college, is to offer to help others move, and charge $10/hour.  I would have happily thrown a “hundo” to someone to help load, and unload the large laundry cart we were using to move Meredith into her dorm.  And think ahead to next year, put out some flyers with your cell phone and e-mail , and schedule yourself for the entire week.  I’m sure it will More than pay for the pitchers of beer. :)

Please remember to call home.  With cell phones, laptops, iPad, and Skype…you have No reason Not to stay in touch with your family.  Your family will miss you, and you may (or may) miss them as well…Even if you don’t, tell them you miss them and love them.

And here are Moving Tips, courtesy of Mayflower:

  1. Be realistic and clutter-free: Let the size of the space you are moving into, not your emotions, determine what to bring.
  2. Think ahead, buy green: Most of the new stuff you buy before school will be thrown out when you move out in May. Purchase green items such as organic sheets and natural material furniture to reduce your carbon footprint. Donate your used items to local nonprofits.
  3. Roommate basics: Coordinate with your roommates before the move. Share decorating ideas and plan what items each roommate should bring, so you don’t waste money and end up with duplicates.
  4. Priority packing: Organize your belongings in boxes by priority. The most important items, such as medicines, toiletries, valuable jewelry and paperwork, etc., should be packed clearly marked boxes.
  5. Survival kit: Pack a clearly marked “essential trip kit” that includes items that you will need for the first night in case you arrive late or are too tired to unpack. This will save you from rifling through boxes to find your toothbrush or pajamas.
  6. Wrapping: Save time by NOT using newspaper for wrapping like your parents did. The ink can rub off and damage or dirty your valuables.  Use clean, white newsprint which you can get from moving companies or at office supply stores.
  7. Label it: Whether you move into a dorm room, apartment or house, label boxes by location, so you know where each box should go.
  8. Decorating essentials: Pack a small toolkit with items like a screwdriver removable adhesive strips to hang pictures and decorate your new place without damaging the walls.
  9. Function first: Personalizing a new space is important, but make sure furniture is moved before unpacking personal items.
  10. Take a break: Take short breaks throughout moving day to avoid burnout. Meals and sightseeing on campus are great ways to stay refreshed throughout the day.

And for those of you who are saying to yourself (Cinda)…”Yeah, when I think of someone to ask advice on what a guy should pack for college, I automatically think of Terry O’Brien…since she has had One girl go to college, and she totally over-packed”.  This blog was based on “research”, not personal experience…and for those of you who are saying, “I’m sitting here with her, and two of us have had two sons go to college, did she call us”?   No I did not.  Again, Note to self…don’t publish a blog while sitting with a group of girls on a girl’s weekend. :)

Oh, and here’s another Tip…when developing a taste for beer (as I’m sure you never partook in high school), try to stick with a cheaper beer…aka, Keystone Light, Coors Light, and other more inexpensive beers…My recommendation is Not to develop a taste for “Chimay” Ale.  This is the beverage of choice, of one of my all time favorite people (former, actually, but that’s another blog).  A case of this will set you back $141.99.  A case of Keystone Light (which is the beer of choice for beer bongs) will cost you $15, and probably for 30 cans.  You’re in college now.  You do the math.

Enjoy!  You are about to have the time of your life!  I’m jealous!!


How lucky was I to hang out with my two favorite college graduates at Friday’s Bears game?  Probably should have worn more sunscreen, from my day at the beach, with one of my favorites, Joy!  #lessonlearned  #greatdayregardless


Coming up Friday?  I have No idea!  This should be interesting.

Song of the Day:  Bruises, by Train (feat. Ashley Monroe)

“Someday we’ll be able to name a cure after Lou Gehrig, rather than a disease”.

Creating a world without ALS.




Be kind…




This is for you, Mer Mer!


This, happens to be true. ;)

good hair day

Again, true. :)


Girl’s Guide to Packing for College

8 Aug

Now with Pants

Four years ago, I started this blog…and started it with the blog, What does a Girl Pack for College?  Everything was my response.  And this was not a “how to”, but rather, “how Meredith does it”. Here’s the link to that blog, which is still my most favorite blog: What Meredith packs for college.  We learned, by trial and error, what you really should pack for college.  I even published blogs about what Guys should pack as well sa those traveling abroad.  I will repost those two versions next week.  I have found, a great, zippy little guide, from a Preppy girl’s perspective, and thought I’d share.  I also have links to my other college packing blogs at the end of this blog.  #peoplepleaser



Detailed & organized packing list for college.  The things that you want/need along with the little things you might forget all organized by category into a single list! Keep in mind this is just my suggestions! Your list may vary to fit your personal needs & wants! Please leave comments with anything you think is essential that I have forgotten! Enjoy!
*I would also suggest that you communicate with your roommate so you don’t spend more money than you need to. For example, one of you buys the rug & microwave & the other buys a fridge & lamp!


  • Sheets
  • Comforter or duvet with cover
  • Mattress protector
  • Mattress pad
  • Two pillows & one body pillow
  • Decorative pillows
  • Risers (If needed)
  • Throw blanket
  • Bed carry/something for things next to bed


  • One washcloth, one hand towel, two bath towels, two hair towels
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes
  • Tissues
  • Robe
  • Toiletries
    • Shampoo & conditioner
    • Deep conditioner
    • Body wash
    • Shaving cream
    • Razor (& refills)
    • Feminine products
    • Face wash
    • moisturizer
    • Makeup
    • Deodorant
    • Bobbi pins
    • Hair ties
    • Hair spray
    • Nail polish & nail polish remover
    • Lotion
    • Hair brush
    • Cotton balls & q-tips
    • Toothbrush & toothpaste
    • Tweezers
    • Perfume
  • Hair dryer, straightener, curing iron, ect.
  • Brushes


  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer sheets
  • Stain remover
  • Hangers (felt)
  • Laundry bag/basket
  • Lint roller
  • Steamer
  • Mini fridge & microwave (If not already provided by your college)
  • Microwave safe plates & bowls
  • Spoons, forks, knives
  • Keurig
  • K cups
  • Cups & mugs
  • Brita water filter
  • Ziploc bags
  • Dish soap
  • Snacks


  • School supplies
  • Lamp
  • Desk Calendar
  • Something for pens & pencils
  • Mirror
  • Agenda
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • Tape
  • Post-its
  • Clear post-its
  • Paperclips, pushpins, ect.
  • Scissors
  • Index cards
  • Glue
  • Bulletin board


  • Makeup drawers
  • Makeup brush holder
  • Pallet holder
  • Shoe hanger for closet
  • Something for keys
  • Drawers for under the bed
  • Hot tool holder
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Air freshener/wallflower (with refills)
  • Trashcan
  • Paper towels
  • Phone charger
  • Computer with cords
  • Tv with cords
  • Dvd player
  • Apple tv
  • Mouse
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Flash drive
  • Extension cords/surge protectors
  • Headphones
  • Desktop cord holder
  • Alarm clock
  • First aid kit & medicine
    • Bandaids
    • Neosporin
    • Pain reliever
    • Airborne
    • Cold medicine
    • Allergy medicine
    • Sleep aid
    • Tums
  • Small umbrella
  • Rug
  • Fan
  • Flashlight
  • Safety pins
  • Batteries
  • Command hooks
  • Duffle bag
  • Step stool
  • Decorations


Source: Preppy Girl packing list





10 Most Forgotten Items…from


1 | Full length Mirror- Take my word and get one before you get there. This is one of those conveniences that you don’t realize how much you love it until you don’t have it anymore. Flashback to my month in New York City this summer. I was staying in a dorm that lacked a full length mirror. My suitemate and I decided it was worth the money to spend, so we made the 11 block walk to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought ourselves a full length mirror and hauled that thing 11 blocks back to our dorm. Talk about the looks we got. Save yourself this hassle and buy a full length mirror before. I have to say though, we were the popular room because we were one of the only rooms with a full length mirror. Girls would flock to our room in the mornings before work to just take a quick peek at their outfit before hitting the city streets.

2 | Umbrella- We can only wish that classes got cancelled when it rains, but unfortunately, they don’t. Not only don’t they cancel class, but your professor probably won’t allow the excuse of rain when you walk in tardy. Keep an umbrella in your dorm for those rainy days where you have to trek all the way across campus in the nasty weather. No one wants to sit in class soaking wet.

3 | Flash Drive- I use my flash drive so often I have it connected to my wallet. Bottom line: get a flash drive (or 2). You never know when your printer will stop working and you frantically have to get over to the library to print a paper!

4 | Dust Buster- As much as I don’t like to thing about it, dorm rooms get messy. I however am not to into this whole dirt thing. A dust buster will be so convenient when you quickly want to suck up crumbs (or hair in the bathroom)!

5 | DVD’S- You may not have a lot of free time but when you do it’s nice to be able to chill out and watch your favorite movie. My friend recently moved into her dorm room and texted me and told me to ensure that I remember to bring movies! Not only are they good for you, but they are great (and easy) way to make new friends the first week. Turn on a chick flick and leave your door open and you’ll be surprised how many girls will end up lounging in your room!

6 | Air Fresheners – It’s nice to have a yummy smelling room. Simple as that.

7 | Batteries- You’ll be surprised how useful these are! Although not too many things run on batteries any more it’s nice to have them “just in case”.

8 | Duffle Bag- Make sure you bring a duffle bag that is able to be folded and is small to store. A duffle bag is perfect for long weekend where you are headed home and only have to bring a small amount of clothes!

9 | Water Bottle- One of my goals for this new school year is to drink more water! I found that if I always have a water bottle sitting on my desk filled I am more likely to drink it!

10 | Door Holder – The first week is crucial. You’ll find yourself sitting in your room and you may be tempted to stay in and just watch Netflix by yourself because, well because it’s easy. Keeping your door open the majority of the first week will help you meet all the kids on your floor!

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(Source:  10 most forgotten things)


Are you ready for some football?!!!!  Tonight…first pre-season Bears game!  Cannot wait…and to remind everyone, here is a picture of what to carry, and what not to carry into your NFL game, because size does matter when it comes to carrying a purse into an NFL game.  #ridiculous

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My favorite…a large plastic bag!  Ha…like I’m going to carry a gallon baggie into Soldier Field!  I think not.  Check out my previous blog on Size does matter…what to bring into an NFL game:  Size does matter.   I have to say, it’s a great blog! :)

terry and kevin donna's wedding

Just an old married couple heading to a wedding. <3 <3 <3

Song of the Day:  Come on Eileen…by Dexys Midnight Riders…because this is one of the best songs to dance to at a wedding, or just around the house!

So excited to bring Zack to his first Bears game…we will turn that young man into a Bears fan!  At least make the Bears his second fav team after the Colts!  :)


And some great karma…Last night Brian’s Song was on TV, so Meredith and I watched it…twice.  We cried  7 times.  Best. Night. Ever!

“I love Brian Piccolo. And I’d like all of you to love him too. And so tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him”.  Movie quotes don’t get better than this!

Go Bears!















Related Posts

Timeless Life Lessons we’ve learned from I Love Lucy!

6 Aug



I saw this article this morning, and thought, “my goodness, I Must blog this”!  Especially after this weekend, being with my life-long friends, laughing, giggling  and crying… Totally resonates with me, so, I am reprinting this article I originally found on the Huffington Post!  And while I haven’t featured all my dear friends, critical friends, BFF’s and BFFL’s in this blog, they’ve gotten previous mentions (at least most have), and certainly will get mentions again.   <3 <3 <3


Life Lessons from I Love Lucy

Lucille Ball was born on this day in 1911, and though we lost her long ago, her legacy as America’s favorite redhead lives on through the timeless classic, “I Love Lucy.” People of all generations still enjoy Lucy’s antics as much as they did over 60 years ago when the show first premiered.

We can always count on Lucy to make us laugh, but the show taught us some memorable life lessons as well.

1. Never give up on your dreams.

Not one to be confined to her status as a housewife, there was nothing Lucy wouldn’t do to get what she wanted, whether it was scheming her way onto Ricky’s performances at the Tropicana, finding a job to make an extra buck, or learning French to dine at the fanciest restaurant. Lucy’s confidence and persistence were purely inspiring. She never let anything get her down — even if she’d had a little too much Vitameatavegamin.


2. Funny trumps pretty, any day.

Sure, Lucy had her looks going for her. Lucille Ball actually started her career as a fashion model, and with her porcelain skin, long legs, and that unforgettable hair, it’s no surprise. But it’s not her looks we remember her for. Lucy was one of the first female comedians to gain popularity, reminding us that women are far more than just pretty faces.



3. A best friend is simply priceless.

Like Batman has Robin, like Sherlock has Watson, everyone needs a sidekick. Yes, a good friend will be there to catch you when you fall, but a great friend will be right there, falling with you. Ethel and Lucy’s friendship is one all women wish they had. From enrolling in charm school together to get their feminine wiles back, to teaming up to prove their husbands wrong, no task was too big for the dynamic duo — and their shenanigans were guaranteed to flop spectacularly. It only made us love them even more.

images (1)

This, happens to be very true.

4. Laughter is the best medicine.

OK, maybe this is one lesson we learned at Lucy’s expense. “I Love Lucy” never fails to cheer us up… and her antics, though ridiculous, are strangely relatable.

tracy terry robert 2

Tracy…#SoleSister.  Never have I met someone who, without fail, makes me laugh, every single day!  Love this girl…and there is a chance, albeit slim, she’s actually funnier than I!  And did I mention, she’s also younger?  Still love her!

5. Be yourself.

We loved Lucy no matter what sort of trouble she got herself into, but if there’s one thing she can teach us, it’s that no good ever comes from pretending to be someone you’re not. Literally. Like the time when Lucy dresses up like Superman, only to be shown up by the real deal. Or when Lucy’s feigned illness ends up scaring her more than anyone else. Or the time when she pretends to be Ricky’s agent and accidentally gets him released from his movie contract. Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do.


This blog is dedicated to my life-long friends, two whom I’ve known since kindergarten. Carolyn, Donna B, Donna R, Kristy and Shari.  You’re never too old to go “Gangsta”… or “surfs up”, as my kids told me I was doing.  #Clueless. To my favorite girls…always  there for each other, through thick and thin, in good times and in bad.  Don’t know what I’d do without you!  #Priceless.



We are missing Donna, the bride, because she didn’t go gangsta with us, as she was busy playing the role of the Bride at the wedding, so here we are with the bride.  #Bridesmaids2014

donnas wedding

Song of the Day:  Build me up Buttercup, by the Foundations…Yes, this is the 4th time it’s been featured, but it’s really that great of a song…Plus, at the wedding, I missed dancing to it, as I was otherwise engaged, and every one of these girls ran up to me, as I came back into the room, “You just missed Buttercup”.  Nothing like friends who know your fav song!  Not even Kevin knew to mention that! ;)

Peace, love and fun in the sun!




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