And there comes a time…

21 Aug


And there comes a time when I have to say goodbye to my little boy and leave him at college.  This is one of those milestones in a child’s life…and for the parent, in this instance Me, I’m happy to say that I’m on the “other side”, of this milestone that has been looming over my head all summer. Oh, who am I kidding?   It’s been looming over me for 18 years.  :)


What does a boy pack for college?  Aside from his mother’s heart?  Lot’s of Vineyard Vines clothes!  He’s a very savvy packer. :)


A boy saying goodbye to his puppy…and his Mom, crying while taking the picture. :(


And we’re off!


Just hanging loose in his dorm.  Posing for his mom.  ;)



Those are not both Patrick’s closets.  Though they certainly could be.  Both Patrick and his roommate John, have the exact same taste in clothes.  A matching pair of salmon-colored trousers will attest to that.



Patrick and his roommate John.  Day one of the next four years of his life at Miami University!

Song of the Day:  Forever Young, by Rod Stewart

And when you finally fly away
I’ll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose
I’m right behind you, win or lose
Forever Young, Forever Young

Patrick, I love you.  Best of luck to you honey.  I miss you so much, it hurts.  But I am so excited for this next chapter of your life.

Love you!





Advice for College Students…I couldn’t say it better myself.

18 Aug


And sometimes, I come across something where I think, “I couldn’t say it better myself”.   Here is some good, basic Advice for College Students I found on Pop Sugar.  I didn’t write this myself, but as I said, couldn’t say it better myself.  :)

31 Things Every College Student Needs to Know

College is an exciting adventure — you’re moving away from home, meeting new people, and finally getting a true taste of independence (and lots of Easy Mac). For four years, you’ll be cramming a ton of knowledge — both academic and otherwise — into your head. In your eagerness to start this new chapter, make sure to keep in mind some important tips to making the most of your experience, which, in turn, will help you learn lessons that will last a lifetime.

  1. Build bridges, don’t burn them. Make connections that will benefit both your personal and professional life.
  2. Learn how to make coffee. You’ll need it.
  3. If there’s something going on at your school or in the community that you don’t like, change it. Action builds character (and résumés).
  4. Go to office hours! Spending time with teachers after class is no longer weird or embarrassing. In fact, it may be what makes or breaks your GPA.
  5. Just because you can skip most of your classes and get the PowerPoint presentations or notes online, it doesn’t mean that you should.
  6. Get an internship. Then get another internship. Get as much experience as you can, because when you graduate, everyone else will have a little piece of paper saying essentially the same thing yours does, so it’s important to do things that help you stand out.
  7. Use highlighters and note cards excessively.
  8. Grades are NOT everything. When you look back at these years, you probably won’t remember if you got an A or a C in Psychology 101, but you will remember that weeknight you stayed up until dawn, just because you could, making awesome memories with your friends.
  9. Find a balance between fun and work. Grades are not everything, but they are still important. Trust us, it’s possible (we didn’t say that it was easy).
  10. Accept that your college ID photo will be terrible, and know that you will pull it out in four years and claim that you don’t ever remember having that awful hair cut. Face it: everyone remembers, but you’ll treasure laughing at those photos later in life.
  11. Check in with academic advisors every semester to make sure you’re on track and in the right classes for your major.
  12. Don’t forget to use your student discount everywhere! Countless companies and stores — Apple, Verizon, and most movies theaters, to name a few — will often knock down the cost if you flash that college ID card. Most IDs don’t expire for several years after you graduate, so keep it around!
  13. Go to review sessions. Seriously, sometimes professors are essentially going over exactly what’s on the test in these sessions. Why would you NOT go?
  14. Take advantage of having a campus health care center nearby while you have access to it.
  15. Find a “spot” in the library and let yourself get attached to it. When you go to study for a huge test, it will feel more like coming home than like sitting down to do work.
  16. Make sure you know how to do laundry before you get to school, instead of waiting until after your favorite shirt goes from person-sized to baby-sized to figure it out.
  17. Accept the fact that you won’t ace every test or paper. It’s almost an inevitability. Embrace it, and learn from it when it happens.
  18. If you have the opportunity, study or work abroad. A semester or year experiencing a different country and culture, away from everything you know, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  19. Stock your dorm room with food from the dining hall. It’s not open 24 hours a day, and at some point you will definitely be awake and hungry when it’s closed.
  20. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule early classes. No matter how much you want to believe you’ll go, you won’t.
  21. Call your parents. You may think you’re doing them a favor, but you’ll be surprised how much good it does for you, too.
  22. Try and avoid the freshman 15. The all-you-can-eat buffets are easy to fall prey to, but you’ll be physically and mentally healthier if you find a way to add a fitness class to your schedule or take advantage of free access to university gyms.
  23. At some point, try to squeeze a good night’s sleep in there somewhere.
  24. Take advantage of anything free your school offers. Swag, free classes, free clubs, free food — take it all!
  25. Piling all of your classes on to Tuesday and Thursday so that you can have four-day weekends may seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s not. It means that all of your papers and projects will always be due at the same time, and if you miss just one day of class, you’ll get very behind.
  26. Be studious.
  27. Be spontaneous.
  28. When you’re working on a paper or project on the computer, press save — A LOT. Back everything up.
  29. Take care of your mental health. If you need something, don’t put it off until things hit a wall or spiral out of control. Ask for what you need, or seek it out yourself.
  30. Don’t miss out on the college experience by going home every weekend to see old friends, families, or significant others. It’s great to maintain ties with people you love, but don’t let it stop you from building a new life where you are.
  31. Allow yourself to change and grow. It’s mostly awesome, sometimes painful . . . usually a little bit of both at the same time.



To these great group of young men…most whom Patrick has been friends since he was 5, Good luck!  Be good! Make good choices! Call your Mom. :)


Hard to believe we are down to a countdown of hours, before this little boys goes to college…Sigh.  I”m doing just fine, as long as I don’t have to think about it…or blog about it.  :(






Dorm Life Tips and What Not to Bring

17 Aug


In a continuation of College Week, here are some tips on What Not to Bring, and some Dorm Life Tips.  Of course, at this point you have perused the plethera of College Packing Lists I’ve posted, and now it’s time to Edit… Editing is good.  We will be Editing some of Patrick’s items, and paring down.  He doesn’t know that yet.  Keep in mind, this is just a Guide… not everything works for everyone.  For example, I think white towels are the way to go.  If you must, mark your name with magic marker, to indicate ownership, but white towels are the key to happiness.  Or at least they are easier to keep clean with Bleach. :)



Dorm Shopping Mistakes from

1. NOT a School Supply List

My daughter’s college mailed a “What to Bring” list with seven categories and 82 separate items. My advice – do not treat this like the supply lists from your child’s elementary school where, scavenger hunt-style, you dutifully checked off each item while wheeling a cart through Staples. Instead, concentrate on basic needs. Anything and everything else can be ordered later online.

In fact, before you grab your credit card and keys, take a look at this post, first. We guarantee it will save you time, money and loads of aggravation.

Read: Dorm Room Shopping, 50 Questions to Answer First 

2. Dorms are Minuscule

Keep this mantra in mind…..Less is more, less is more. Dorm rooms are tiny and spaces, shared. There is minimal room for the necessities and no room for extras. Forget oversize.

3. Kids are Pigs

Ever seen a photo of a lived-in college room? Appalled? We were, too. The dorm room you help your kid set up will begin to deteriorate the moment you wave your tearful goodbye. In the next nine months, your son or daughter will welcome friends into that room where every surface will be treated as a chair. Some of the “dorm room essentials” you eagerly purchased in July will be stuffed in corners, unopened and collecting dust until they are rediscovered in May.

Dorm Shopping: Don't make these mistakes.

4. The Container Store Savings

Everything about college is expensive, and that includes dorm shopping so look for some great shopping deals. If you live near one of 70 Container Stores staging a College Savings Weekend, July 10-12, your son or daughter can attend with a 20% off coupon in hand IF they register in advance by clicking here. Missed it? You can still shop and ship free for most purchases over $75.

5. Underbed Space? You Have No Clue

This is the single biggest question mark that your kid may not know the answer to until move in day. Those bed risers you were convinced would be perfect? They don’t work with bunk beds and are unnecessary with many elevated beds. Resist the urge to plan for this space until you know the dimensions.

6. Be Careful with Meds

Stuffing a medicine kit for your college freshman can be dangerous. When at home and sick, our teenagers take the analgesic, decongestant, or antihistamine we dole out. We have decades of experience in understanding how over-the-counter medicines should be taken. Our kids do not and, if we send them off to college with all the meds and none of the wisdom, it is very easy for them to over medicate as they battle their first cold while trying to finish a paper and study for a test. So prescription meds, band aids, a thermometer, cough drops, Neosporin, and one analgesic – yes. But leave out multiple meds that have the same active ingredients. This is on the advice of none other than Dr. Travis Stork of the The Doctors so take it from him if not from us! (BTW, Target will give send you a free first aid kit bag if you purchase three items like band aids or headache remedies.)

We feel so strongly about this next tip because we feel equally strongly about hating waste. When you buy things that break apart before freshman year ends, it is maddening.  See what else made our list.

Read:Ten Commandments of Dorm Shopping

7. Don’t Buy Crap

Even the most careful kid will be hard pressed to keep their college possessions in good shape as they move in and out of dorm rooms and college apartments for the next four years. Fragile and dainty will become ripped up and broken. Whatever goes in your shopping cart must be judged for durability. Put it back on the shelf if it doesn’t pass muster.

8. Flying or Driving?

There is a fork in the road here and you already know which path you will take with your freshman kid. If you are flying, it will be impossible to bring much more than your child’s clothes, electronics, x-long sheets/comforter and prescription meds. Seek out the “click and pick up” services from The Container Store, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target. If you are driving your kid, you may still want to use this service and have a far more comfortable ride.

9. No Room for Luggage

As adults, we are accustomed to traveling with luggage but we also have closets wherever we land. College kids have minimal storage space, so consider the collapsible duffel bag that is hanging around in your basement as the perfect piece of luggage. When our son began to drive himself back and forth to school, he used garbage bags for luggage which meant he had a starter pack for the trash can when he arrived.

Dorm Shopping: Don't makes these mistakes. Everything you need to know about moving to college.

10. One Pillow is Not Enough

Your kid’s dorm bed will function as bedroom/living room/study and the pillow he sleeps on will not be enough to lean back onto as he studies. Bring a second bed pillow, a large square pillow in a sham, or a backrest pillow to cushion the hard wood or wall.

11. Power Struggle

Your kid will travel to college with a phone, maybe an iPod, a computer, possibly a printer or a lamp, and, if the dorm is not air-conditioned, a fan. Girls may also throw into their bags a blow dryer and hair straightener. All of this translates into a serious need for extra plugs. Do not forget a power strip with surge protection on a long cord. Some of these come with built-in USB port chargers, which are very handy.

12. Eating not Cooking

A mini-fridge is a real necessity and one piece of equipment that roommates need to discuss before move-in day. There may be space for only one so rent or buy, decide to share the cost or someone can own outright. Plan on helping your son or daughter get this in-house before you turn off onto the highway back home.

The summer before my eldest went to college, I had a powerful nesting urge, much like I did 18 years before when I prepared for his nursery. I poured over every dorm room essential, checklist and must haves at every store with a dorm display. This time my approach is completely different. I will buy two sets of x-long sheets and my daughter will pick out a comforter in a color that she loves. We have an egg crate mattress topper to add to the slim pad that is supplied by the school. She will pack her clothes, shoes and electronics. Fortunately, she knows the dimensions of the under bed space in her dorm room so we will buy heavy plastic storage drawers to fit. They will double as luggage for our drive. She will bring a poster she can stick on the wall (no nails in dorm rooms) with photos of friends, family and her dog. We know where the closest CVS is for stocking up on the generic supplies.

The stores all have college lists, but view them with a discriminating eye. Step stools? Paper towel holders? Lots of extra plastic boxes? Think twice.

Here is what will NOT make the cut:

  • Alarm clock – there is an app for that.
  • Furniture – there is no space for a futon or side table or anything decorative.
  • Kitchen – no toasters or blenders, no dishes, cups or silverware that must be washed after use.
  • Media storage – no need for CDs or DVDs, all media comes through her laptop.
  • Pictures in frames – ditto, just flip open the laptop.
  • Plants – guaranteed to die.
  • Cleaning supplies – in our dreams, sadly, college kids don’t clean, so no vacuum, no mop.
  • Desk Lamp – worth checking first if it is needed. Many rooms have adequate overhead light and computers are backlit.
  • Composition books, binders, dividers – some of these have gone the way of the dinosaur. Let your kid start class and figure out his own study methods. Many kids prefer to take notes online and have far fewer paper needs than they did in high school. Don’t rush to waste money on a bunch of dead trees.
  • Desk chair – be very careful here, most college provide a chair and you will just end up driving it back home.
  • Printer – might also be an enormous waste of money. Many schools have networked printers available to students and assignment are often turned in online. Desks do not have much room and the floor is a filthy place for an expensive piece of electronic equipment.

Well worth considering:

  • Shoe racks for the closet floor or hanging over the closet door. Shoe space is very limited and this creates a bit more.
  • Closet storage maximizers that hang from the closet bar provide a great place to put sweaters, sweatshirts or any bulky items.
  • Fan if the weather/air conditioning suggest the need for it. Compact fans can do a big job in steamy dorm rooms, no need to buy a big one.
  • Hooks that tape to the wall are handy for jackets, towels or jewelry to keep thing (wishful) off the floor.
  • Small rugs are worth considering but be wary this may not get vacuumed all year. Small throw rugs that can go into the washing machine might work best.
  • Shower caddy – first check what the bathroom situation is. If your child is using a large communal bathroom at the end of the hall, this might be a necessity. If the bathroom is close at hand and shared by few, a waste of money.
  • Mattress pad and bed bug protector, money well spent!
  • Trash can? Some rooms come equipped, others do not, worth checking first.
  • Is your child a coffee/tea drinker? A small electric kettle or the mini Keurig might be a big money saver if they are used to a couple of daily cups of caffeine.
  • Towels – consider monograming or a distinctive color.  Basic white are too easy to mistake for another’s towels.

One final thought about move in day. It will be crowded, it will be hot, and there will be lousy parking. You child will come face to face with her new roommate for the first time and you will also shake hands with your counterparts. Help her make up her bed and pull the sheets snug. Drive her to the nearest store for shampoo and her favorite body wash. Help her stock the mini fridge.

Finally, slip her a letter telling her how proud you are of her and how this day is one you know she worked hard to achieve. Tell her you love her. Hug her tight and know that it is time for her to take it from here.


The above comic could not be more True.  I have posted it before and will post it again.  #Truths

Song of the Day:  King of Everything, by Sara Bareilles – Back to the day when Mer Mer was heading to college and this was my “song of the day”, which meant I listened to it numerous times per day, and always while on my morning walk.  To this day, always reminds me of Meredith heading off to college…

Keep drinkin’ coffee
Stare me down across the table
While I look outside

So many things I’d say if only I were able
But I just keep quiet
And count the cars that pass by

Paddy and Mom


Throwing back to dinner in Malibu, when Paddy and I were living the dream and had dinner and Oprah was in the booth next to us. #HobbingNobbing

The countdown has began… no longer weeks till he leaves.  Now counting the days…Let’s hear it for me, as I have continued to get up, get dressed and function today and Not have a nervous breakdown…however, the week is young. :)


Making it a Marvelous Monday!






Laundry Cheat Sheet…for those College Students, you know who you are. xo

16 Aug


POB…This blog’s for you!



Because life is too short to ruin those Vineyard Vines seersucker shorts. ;)

Also, life is short, call your Mom.







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The “Ultimate” College Packing List

14 Aug


One would think that since I’ve been blogging for five years (Ok, that’s crazy as it feels like only four), and one of my first blogs was about What does a girl pack for college , that I would have some idea about how to help my child pack for college.  Not so much. Especially since boys pack differently than girls.  And Meredith left for college five years ago, and a lot changes in five years.  But I digress… :)  With Patrick heading off to college in the not too distant future, I thought it best to brush up on my college packing lists.

There are many, many lists out there, but what intrigued me about this list, is this gal was confident enough to declare it The Ultimate College Packing List.  I stand up and take notice when something is declared “The Ultimate”, and liked what she suggested, so here that goes:

The Ultimate College Packing List by The Blogging Brew






Laundry bag
Laundry bin
Drawer liners
Mini fan
Bedside caddy
Over the door mirror
Futon/comfy chair
Mini ottomans with storage
Trash/recycling bin and bags


Sleeping pillow
Decorative pillows
Pillow protector
Mattress protector
Comfy blanket
Mattress pad Be sure to check with your housing office for bed sizes, because your dorm may require Twin XL sheets!


Shower caddy
Face towels
Hand towels
Bath towels
Shower shoes
Bath robe
Mouth wash
Face cleanser/moisturizer
Shower gel/shampoo/conditioner
Shaving cream/razors
Hair products
Hair brush/comb
Straightening/curling iron
Blow dryer


Tubular hangers
Scarf hanger
Shoe organizer
Hanging jewelry organizer


Mouse/mouse pad
Pencil cups
Bulletin board
Push pins


Phone and charger
Laptop and charger
Printer, paper, and ink
Power strip
Surge protector
Network cable
Alarm clock
Portable Hard Drive


Cutting board
Coffee mug
To-go coffee mug
Microwaveable Tupperware
Microwaveable steamer
Microwaveable Ramen cooker
Microwaveable soup bowl
Basically everything microwaveable
Coffee maker
Mini Fridge
Kitchen towels
Dish detergent
Food (I’ll leave that one to you)


First aid box
Allergy medicine
Cold medicine
Pain medicine
Upset stomach medicine
Itch-relief cream
Feminine products
Cotton balls


3-hole puncher
Extra notebook paper
Post-It notes
Paper clips
Note cards


Disinfecting wipes
Brita filter
Laundry detergent
Dryer sheets
Stain remover
Lint roller
Lock (if your dorm comes with a lockable drawer, otherwise I suggest purchasing a safe!)
Storage bins
Handheld broom
Reusable water bottle
Tool kit
Hanging hooks
Weekend bag
Paper organizer


Because I think life is about choices, I am including numerous additional college packing lists.

Yet someone else confident enough to post, The Ultimate College Packing List



College Checklist


The “Ultimate” Freshman Packing List, yet another Ultimate list!



 The Mother of All College Packing Lists


Dorm Essentials Checklist



A Guys Packing List for College

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“My College Packing List”… and this is Not “My” List, but someone else who goes by “My”.

cb213809aff737ce5599da4e2d445a08 ca3d38d688407ebeadb69c129f01718dI think what’s best to do with these “lists” is to use them as guidelines.  Figure out what your college student needs (or You, if a college student is actually reading this and not my posse of friends) and create your own list.  I have found that perusing through these lists I have found things that I would have forgotten for Patrick.  Quite frankly, as of lately, I’d probably forget just about everything, but again, I digress.  What concerns me most is this time when taking my child to school, we are taking one car.  With Meredith, we took two cars.  That was two cars filled with basically All clothes!

Now with Pants

But, I happen to be a savvy packer and am confident we can get all of POB’s belongings into one car… As well as our overnight bags and electronics and stash of wine.

What’s keeping me calm (aside from a never-ending supply of Chardonnay), is knowing that I can ship anything that Patrick needs via Amazon Prime!  Free two-day shipping, on most items!  Seeing as freshman aren’t allowed to have cars, he won’t have a chance to run to Target, Walmart or other stores where he may need things.  And while I’m all about sending care packages, I’m also very happy to order from Amazon, and let them ship what’s needed for me!  Saving on shipping, which is a very good thing.  So if you forget to send something with your college young adult, you can ship it for free from Amazon!  As long as you have Amazon Prime…and I think Everyone should have Amazon Prime.  Students can try it for free for 6-months, via this link: Amazon Prime Free Trial for Students

Lastly…everything we got for college was from Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, The Container Store and Amazon.  That doesn’t include the preppy clothes and shoes my son likes, but all dorm-items we purchased at these stores…and mostly online.


Song of the Day:  Good Riddance (Time of your Life) by Green Day.

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don’t ask why
It’s not a question but a lesson learned in time
It’s something unpredictable but in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life



Life is short.  Kiss your kids! <3




Thanks NKO!  Love this!


This is true. :)


This is also true.


Better yet, I will write my screenplay!


Ain’t that the truth!



And so it Begins! A Week of College Posts!

13 Aug


Welcome to back to College Week… a fun-filled week, at least Thursday – Thursday,  of everything going back to college!  Of course I’ve already witnessed some friend’s children going off to school.  Hindsight being 20/20, should have started this last week, so everyone could take advantage of my posts.    But why live in the past?  My mantra btw.  So today begins posts dedicated to those going back to or going to college and their parent’s.

Today’s blog is short and sweet.  Just like this summer.  Shortest.  Summer.  Ever!




I am literally sobbing as I write this.  Thankfully, tonight is the Bears v Dolphins pre-season game, So I have been able to turn the tears of sorrow, to tears of joy!


Cannot wait!!  Best. Day Ever!  Go Bears!!




I am Hilarious!



But sometimes, vulgarity can be pretty darned funny!  But not everyone should try it.  When in doubt, don’t!

8 Fashion Fixes…and some Friday Funnies!

7 Aug




And Thank God It’s Friday… so I’m taking the day off, but posting about 8 Fashion Fixes from my friends at Pow Wow!

As a costume designer in Hollywood, Alison Freer has made a career out of making very attractive people look even better. And she’s no stranger to solving high-stakes fashion emergencies. (Broken zippers! Arm pit stains!)

In her new book, How to Get Dressed, she offers up industry secrets for making your clothes look and fit better… and for solving wardrobe malfunctions before they turn disastrous.

From taming pokey underwire to eliminating panty lines, here are eight of her most clever tricks.

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


Notice the pockets on your dress pants popping open when you sit or stand? Bring those puppies to a tailor and have the pockets sewn shut. (Who uses pants pockets anyway?)

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


We need to talk: Your cute little ballet flats smell like a middle-school locker room. To keep embarrassing odors at bay, fill a pair of old socks with baking soda, tie each one in a knot and stuff them into the stinky shoes in between wearings.

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


To keep a flapping belt end in place, secure it to itself with a tiny piece of Topstick tape.

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


Hemming your denim is a beautiful thing, but to avoid over-hemming, be sure to wash and dry your jeans at least once before bringing them to the tailor. This gets all the shrinkage out of their system so you won’t end up going too short.

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


Underwire sticking out of your favorite bra? Patch the protrusion with a bit of $5 drugstore moleskin. It’ll hold the wire in place and keep it from poking you in the boobs.

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


As a general rule, it’s best to buy shoes that fit. But if you must cram your feet into slightly too-small heels, take a cue from one of Freer’s celeb clients (she won’t say who) and spray your tootsies with cooking spray first. You heard us: cooking spray.

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


If you ever need to fix a VPL (visible panty line) stat, snip the seams of your underwear on the sides to release the pressure of the elastic digging into your flesh.

8 Easy Fashion Fixes


The best stain fighter for blood? Your own saliva. Just lick and rub the fabric for an instant spot-remover. (Note: We’re talking about a little bit of blood. Not horror-movie quantities.)

Song of the Day:  Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, by Phil Collins

You can run, and you can hide
But I’m not leaving less you come with me
We’ve had our problems but I’m on your side
You’re all I need, please believe in me

Song plays at 1:08



True, but looking to change that.

Happy Friday!





“My patience is worn thin”.  That it is.



Just imagine…



Ain’t nobody got time for that!





Admittedly, this has not happened in a long, long time.



I also love bacon


Brain Trust Society


But I do loan out my purses



Oldie but goody!  Random Shenanigans equates a solidly great day!

Source:  : 8 Easy Fashion Fixes | 8 easy tips for fixing wardrobe malfunctions | PureWow National


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