Thursday, April 30, 2009

Camp town ladies sing this song.....

And they're off!

We're leaving this morning for our annual trip to Louisville, KY and the Kentucky Derby!

I'll be wearing this:
And this:
With chunky silver jewelry & black flip flops - there are potential storms.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A little bit of Randomness

I won! I was reading through my comments last night with Mr. Potts & I yelped & told him "I won!!" He looked at me a bit blankly and asked what I won. "A giveaway, silly!!"
I was so excited, so I immediately took him over to Julie's page Wearing Mascara. Julie, he thought your page looked great. If you haven't been over to see Julie's new design, make sure you do. And if you're not a follower, you're definitely missing out!


Many of you know of my quest to become more healthy, lose weight and continue to improve my body. Well, I'm happy to report that I have lost 7 pounds. I expect much more to come off, but I know that is time - as well as an awareness of the fact that I have no self-control with food. I sometimes will find myself eating and am not hungry nor do I know how those damn Oreos got into my hand! (that would be the snack machine on the 1st floor)

So with this in mind, we're leaving for Kentucky and the Derby tomorrow. I'd really like a hat like this. We'll be driving up there - he'll be driving & I'll be working on my laptop with the wireless card.

For lunch, I mapped out where we'll stop. Yep, I found the Chick-fil-A in Tennessee which will be a half-way spot and the place where we will eat lunch.

You read it right. I mapped the chick-fil-a. All so I could eat their Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich. Yep, it's that good. Or I'm just that big of a dork.******

Emily over at From the Land of Cotton asked her readers recently (are you a reader of her's? If not, you should go check her out!) what they do for their hair in the humidity (all you Southern girls know that once its here, its here to stay!). Humidity does a real number on my hair. I can get it bone straight, but the minute I walk out the door, it starts to grow as if it had a mind of it's own. It sprouts curls on my forehead. I look like I've got a halo - which if it were Halloween I could try to say it's my angel halo. It kinks up in funky places. When we leave the lake in the summer, I'm a hot mess of hair.

I read in one of my magazines - I get so many of them - that there are several things you should NOT do with the coming weather change.
  • You should not try bangs (been there, done that, have the BAD pictures). You can never be truly sure of what your hair will do when you lose that much length.
  • You shouldn't go uber short unless you've done so in the past. Again, with the weather, you can never tell how your hair my rebel (sounds like a 13 year old girl).
Those are just a few of the things that I remember. One thing that stood out, was a recommendation to have your hair straightened for the summer. So I looked & bionic hair straightening is what Nicole Kidman uses to get her hair bone straight. If it would make my life easier (not to mention me less sweatier after I blow dry my hair), I may do it!

So I'm thinking of doing it for the summer. Anyone have any thoughts, feedback?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I don't know how he does it.

I went to dinner last night with one of my co-worker/friends. A is such a great girl! She let me vent just a little over everything that went on last week & she was also just as disgusted/disappointed/flabbergasted/etc. as I was. We had a great time & sat outside on a patio at 131 Main. They have a wonderful cornbread appetizer that comes served in a small (6 inch?) cast iron skillet & along with it, a pot of honey to drizzle over it. So yummy!

I had absolutely no qualms about leaving Mr. Potts to eat for himself - he had a stuffed pepper left over & we had agreed that he could have it last night for dinner. I wanted it for lunch, but thought that he should get it. No, I'm not selfless, I really wanted to eat it & tell him "Ooops!". But I didn't.

When I got home I asked how his dinner was. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: How was the stuffed red pepper?

Mr.P: You mean, the chicken?

Me: No...the red pepper. You know, the one I didn't eat for lunch today so you could eat it tonight.

Mr.P: It wasn't there. I had to eat chicken. :pouting:

Me: No. I didn't eat it today. Did you look for it?

Mr.P: Well, yeah.

Me: Ok, let me see.

At this point, I opened the refrigerator door and move the container of Dream Whip & guess what was hiding behind it? Yep, that red pepper that we both had wanted to eat at some point yesterday.

After I pointed this out Mr. Potts' reaction? "You HID it from me!!"

Yeah. Uh huh.

For those interested in the recipe - check here. The last time I made these, I added spicy Italian turkey sausage to the mix. Super yummy!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A little update

I have updated my blog roll to the right. I've attempted to update it with the bloggers who share their comments and thoughts with me that I read.

If you're following me & I haven't added my name to your followers list, please let me know so that I can do that!

There's no place like home

Last week in Maine was a really rough week for me. Not only was it cold there, but I was sick. Sick to a point that I didn't go eat at some of my favorite restaurants, but instead ate at Panera Bread every night. I really like Panera - I had soup & a sandwich two nights & salad & a sandwich the other. When you compare Panera to some of the great restaurants I had close by, however, it may give you a feeling of how badly I felt.

Not only was I not feeling well, I was also working with my co-worker. The same one who told me that people who smile too much are looked at as crazy in France. It was a rough week - she totally pulled the rug out from under me. Despite years of experience doing what I do and certifications for it, she wasn't open to even looking at the materials I developed, instead choosing to read from power point presentations - word for word - while they were displayed on the wall.

When I came home on Friday, it was such a relief to walk off the plane into the heat and realize that I was back in my own world.

Mr. Potts and I had a great weekend. I have the sweetest picture of my nephew with Hayden (Hade dog) as he calls her. I'll tell you more about that in the next post.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A little whining

I was up at 4am to make it to the airport.
I'm in Maine again.
It is raining - I'm tired of rain.
It is cold - I'm so over cold weather.
I'm sick. I kept fighting if off before we left for Key West, but it got to me. I sound like a 13 year old boy in the midst of puberty and have a cough that won't let me sleep.

And oh yeah, I had to call the front desk to let them know that my toilet was clogged.

Yep, just an ordinary Tuesday.

***Edited to add***
There was absolutely nothing that should have caused that toilet to clog other than the fact that it was previously clogged.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Me Monday - Recapping Key West

I decided to play along with Littlesack this week and use Not Me Monday to share my weekend adventures.

In case you haven't been introduced to Not Me! Monday, yet, here are a few details. This fun game originated with MckMama. There are rules, but in sum, you just list a lot of things you "didn't" (read: actually did) do this weekend/past week. All in the name of admitting that we all make mistakes and aren't perfect.

I did not immediately have a drink in my hand once we checked into the hotel & got up to the pool.

I did not call all of my besties to tell them I wished they were there (read: rub it in).

Mr. Potts and I did not proceed to have several drinks at the pool bar. No way would we go through 6 beers each in the sun!

I did not gobble up all the chocolate covered strawberries that a couple friend of ours surprised us with. Chocolate & strawberries?

We did not get up on Friday morning, walk to a place called Pepe's and proceed to drink mimosas with breakfast. Not me!

We didn't spend all day Friday drinking outside. Uh uh

We didn't go eat the best Cuban food while we were there. I didn't walk there with my mouth watering thinking of how wonderful my food would be!!

We did not spend Saturday afternoon watching drag races. Uh uh. No images of drag queens racing down the streets of Key West are stuck in my head.
Hope everyone had a great weekend. More pictures to come soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

82 is a perfect number

The forecast for Key West has said that it will be 82 and sunny while we're down there.

For everyone still at home I send you these wishes:

Thoughts of happy, lazy days

Thoughts of tropical, fruity drinks - especially shared with someone you love

Beautiful thoughts of sunshiny beaches

Thoughts of sunshine to brighten your day

Plenty of fresh good food to eat (isn't this picture amazing with the colors and all the freshness?)

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hair, Consultation

For the second time in three months, I've been to a new hairdresser. I mentioned a while back that I am very particular about my hair - call me shameful, but I'm vain about it. My hair is thick & heavy & makes me feel beautiful.

I went to a new hairdresser in February and I was happy with the color. She was uber chatty, however, when all I wanted was to sit in peace. She also "thinned" my hair. Now, I'm not sure about you, but I have a specific idea of what thinning out is & it isn't to give me a jagged layer on top that flips out & a layer on the bottom that flips in. I could deal with it - it involved wearing my hair curly & bouncy. Which is pretty, but there are times when I'd like to wear it straight.

I made another appointment and went back this past Saturday. I told her I was happy with the highlights, so she proceeded to foil me up. Now, I only do partial foils, but have to book the time for a full foil appointment. After she completed my foils, she sent me to sit on a couch while it finished processing. So I sat...and sat...and sat....for almost an hour. By this time I was antsy and irritated. She had been scheduled for a cut and blowdry with another client.

She finally pulled the foils out, roughly washed my hair (which was a HUGE disappointment - I mean, who doesn't love a good head massage?) and sat me back down in the chair. Sitting there as she combed my hair, I told her what I didn't like and what I wanted.

Me: I don't want you to thin it this time.
HD: No?
Me: No. I don't like the obvious layer that was left. Where I had one layer on top and one layer on bottom. The top layer flipped out and the bottom layer curled under.
HD: Ok, so no thinning.
Me: Right. I want my hair closer to one length with some fine, invisible layering. Really light, so it doesn't show, but enough to give me movement. I really don't like that really obvious top & bottom layer. Especially since I'm growing my hair out so it is a bit longer.
Thinking we were on the same page, I envisioned my hair like this since it was getting longer What did I walk out with? 2 layers. One on top, one on bottom. Yep, she did exactly what I told her I didn't want. So I called back on Monday - I gave myself a time to wash, dry & style it to see if I could "make it work". Not a chance.

So last night I went back. To a different stylist. Who immediately saw the problem and really worked with me to get it back in order. I walked away last night with hair looking more like this. See the difference in length? Now, I'm happy with it, don't read that I'm not, but the original cut was not what I asked for.

Since Saturday I have lost about 3 inches of hair, gained 2 definite layers, gotten another cut to even it out some, had a little texturizing done to lift some of the weight so I wouldn't have to go an inch above my shoulders and learned a valuable lesson.
Lesson learned: A great hairdresser is sometimes harder to find & hold onto than a good man.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Countdown to Key West

2 Days!

In two days Mr. Potts and I will be enjoying some of these:
Perhaps a sunset sail. How romantic.
A little snorkeling?
Enjoy the sunset from a pier - or Mallory Square.
Warm weather, blue skies & sunshine!
I'll be wearing some of these:

With white shorts I can't wait to get there & enjoy the warm weather and sunshine!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I smile, therefore I'm looney

I have a co-worker who is a bit passive/aggressive in most of her interactions with people - especially with me.

A conversation over lunch one day last week went something like this:

Me: "Hmm...seems like that server may not be very happy."
CW: "Why would you say that? He seemed perfectly fine to me."
Me: "Well, he barely acknowledged me or my smile."
NOTE: I'm a happy person. I smile. I grin, sometimes I even wink.
CW: "You know, when I travel, I take the time before I go to research the country I'm going to and their customs and norms."
Me: Thinking, "Wonder where this one is going?"
Me: "Well sure, to be a good traveler, you should always do this."
CW: "You know, like in France, I never smile in public. If you do, people think you're looney."
Me: "I guess they'd think I'm crazy then."
CW: "Mmmhmmm....probably."

I don't really like her, but every time I see her, I give her a great big SMILE!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Panna Cotta with Blackberry Zinfandel Compote

This past Saturday I got together with a group of girlfriends to have an Italian dinner. I've shared that I brought Stuffed Red Peppers and Panna Cotta. Both of these were such a hit that I had to share the recipes here as well.

Picture from
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 2/3 cups almond milk (such as Almond Breeze), divided
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 (6-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise and divided - I used vanilla extract since I couldn't find a bean
  • Cooking spray


Sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup almond milk in a small bowl; let stand 4 minutes.

Combine 1 1/3 cups of almond milk, half-and-half, sugar, and the vanilla bean (extract in my case) in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from heat.

Add gelatin mixture, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. If using a whole vanilla bean, remove vanilla bean. Pour mixture evenly into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

For the Compote, here is the recipe I used.
  • 3 cups frozen blackberries, thawed and divided
  • 1/4 cup zinfandel or other fruity dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
To prepare compote, place 1 cup blackberries, wine, and granulated sugar in a food processor, and process until smooth. Strain the blackberry mixture through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan, and discard solids. If you don't have a sieve, you'll be ok, it will just have the seeds in the sauce. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; add remaining 2 cups blackberries. Cool completely.

NOTE: For everything I substituted a Splenda/Sugar mix for the straight sugar.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stuffed Red Peppers

I spent this past Saturday evening with some girlfriends while our husbands were out of town on a bachelor weekend. We decided to get together to eat & have some wine, with the intent that dinner be Italian style.

I brought two dishes - Stuffed Red Peppers and Panna Cotta with a Blackberry Zinfandel Compote. I'll share the Panna Cotta recipe tomorrow, but following is the Stuffed Red Peppers - these were a hit!

Picture from
  • 3 large red bell pepper, halved lengthwise
  • 2 small yellow squash - peeled and chopped with end discarded
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 ounces Italian bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled plum tomato
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375°.

Discard seeds and membranes from bell pepper.

Finely chop pulp from squash; set aside.

Place bell pepper halves cut sides up, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Coat shells with cooking spray.

Place bread in a food processor (I used my blender since I don't have a food processor); pulse 10 times or until crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chopped pulp and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring frequently. Add tomato; cook 2 minutes or until tomato begins to soften, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and transfer into medium mixing bowl.

Stir in the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup cheese, parsley, black pepper, and salt.

Divide mixture evenly among prepared bell pepper halves; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup cheese. Cover pan with foil, and bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until shells are tender.

Preheat broiler.

Remove foil; broil 4 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Hope you'll enjoy! This was perfectly healthy & very filling.

Sometimes you just have to get it out

Thank you to everyone who read yesterday's post. Even if you didn't comment, I appreciate you reading it. I know there are many women who are in situations similar to mine or who are experiencing it themselves. We all need each other's prayers. I appreciate you!


On a MUCH happier note, make sure to go over to Good Gals Inc today. She is hosting a super fun giveaway sure to put a smile on your face!
Go and enter to help you gear up for summer!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Reason for my Prayer Request

One of my earliest memories as a small child are of my step-father, my brother's dad. The memory is not a happy one. It was my birthday and my mom had just finished putting together my big, pink Barbie house. I was so excited and played with it as long as she would let me. When we were getting ready for bed, there was a pounding on the door. It was my step-father, drunk and angry and wanting to be let in. My mother called the police - as did several neighbors. We had to leave the house to go to my grandparents, I think so my mother could feel safe. He appeared at the backseat car door, crying and upset.

That is all I can remember of that time. There were others and I know my mother protected us from the brunt of his anger, taking it all herself. She told him to leave and eventually he did.

Not only was my step-dad a drunk, but he was a mean, violent, selfish drunk. There were times when the only money left in the house was enough to buy a loaf of bread, a carton of eggs and some milk - food so that she could feed her two children. She came home too many times to find the money gone, replaced instead with beer. Usually with him so drunk that he passed out on the floor or in the shower.

He was eventually out of our lives. She requested no child support so that we would not have to be exposed to his drunkenness, his meanness, his violence.

Fast forward to today. My brother is an alcoholic. He is a drunk and would rather spend his extra money on beer rather than putting it aside for his children. He is a mean drunk and his rage is one of the most frightening things I've ever had directed at me. I can only imagine what it is like living with it - as my mom and my niece and nephew are. He has punched holes in walls, ripped towel racks off of walls, kicked doors in. You name it, he's probably done it.

My mom is so scared of him, because for a while, he was doing so good & wasn't drinking. That ended about a month ago. His girlfriend is probably leaving soon - which is best for her, because no woman should ever be scared of the man they love.

When she leaves, she then leaves my mom alone with the children and their violent, drunk father. And she is scared. Scared of how he may hurt her. And he might. She is scared to tell him to get out as it may end in violence. She is scared of what her grandchildren are going to know about their father. Not a loving, proud father, but a drunken, violent one.

She is also scared that my brother may hurt himself. Many of you know that alcoholism and depression go hand in hand. In this case, it is definitely true. My mom is scared that her youngest child who is so depressed may end up killing himself.

I'm scared for my mom. I listen to her. I try to take her away from the situation, but she hates to go home - to her own home because she is scared. She's never been good at confrontation, but this is one that she is going to have to face. I don't know how to help her. I don't doubt that if I confront my brother, I may become the target of his violence.

My Mr. Potts is so kind and gentle. He loves my mom and the children. He is kind to my brother when we see him, but he despises how he is tearing this family apart. He has even offered to have my mom & the children come and stay with us. Not that we have the room, but because he knows how scared she is.

So thank you for your prayers you sent up yesterday. If you think about us in the next few days/weeks/months, please send up more.

Monday, April 6, 2009

So much, so much!

So much is going on for everyone these days!

I'm heading to Portland, Maine for the week and will be back home on Friday.

Until I have more time to explain, could I ask those of you who pray to keep my mom and my niece and nephew in your prayers. Also my brother - I think he needs it the most.