2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Marine Corp Marathon 10K 2014


I successfully completed my second MCM 10K! I am really happy about it because it felt great and in the end I got a faster time than last year. First and foremost I had the best running buddy! Maria thank you so much for being a great pacer! I totally was going to run like I trained run 5 min walk 1, but it felt so good that day that we only walked for 1 min after every mile marker, except for mile 6.

I will be honest with you all, I was a big baby going into training for this race. My training plan had me training for 8 weeks and 140 miles. I think I ran 40 miles in the 8 weeks. My heart and mind wasn’t in it. I honestly thought about giving up running all together. Even on race day I totally wasn’t stressing it. We got to the metro 1hr later than we did the year before and when the race started we were still in the bathroom line ha ha ha! Once we started it felt really good. Starting at the right pace really made the race for me. I honestly think the big difference this year was that I changed my eating habits. My race experience pretty much reaffirmed what I have been doing since April. It really is all about what you eat. I didn’t physically train as hard this time around and I not only had a faster time, but I also felt much better doing it. I couldn’t really ask for anything more.


Maleficent Surprises….



As a little girl the witch in Disney’s Sleeping beauty was probably hands down the scariest for me. I don’t know if it was the horns or the dark high collared cape or the fact that she turns into a dragon, but whatever it was she terrified me! From what I recall about Disney’s animated version of Sleeping Beauty we never knew why Maleficent was so evil, other than  she wasn’t invited to the princess’ christening.

I really was happy when I heard that they were going to tell this villain’s story in a non animated feature with Angelina Jolie as the lead. I mean really who else could we see in this role. Angelina has a presence to her and I feel that she was perfectly casted. Without revealing too much, I was really surprised with the twists and turns Maleficent took. It was nice to find out her origin and why she turns so dark. In the end though it seems that the tale we have known all along leaves some important parts out. As a production the movie is FANTASTIC, the sets are beautiful, the costumes are amazing and the effects are great.   I didn’t take the boys I think some parts would have scared my 6-year-old, but I will probably take my almost 11-year-old if I get the chance. If you haven’t seen it I urge you to go see it. You will not be disappointed.

Gratitude and Thanks

On the last post I briefly mentioned how I had some of the winter blues, well they had hit me harder than I thought and that came known to me after 4 days of snow days for the boys. I know a lot of mothers feel this way. The truth of it is being a stay at home mom is at times a very unappreciated profession.  The decision for me to stay at home had many layers, but one of the main reasons is because I wanted to be with my kids full-time. I fully know that it was my decision and I don’t want to come off as being ungrateful with my gripes.  With all that being said it is not that I expect a lot of appreciation, but an unsolicited thanks or an evening at the dinner table without whining about the food I made would be fabulous.

This past Thursday I was doing my regular cleaning.  I came to the realization that I was picking up more than I was cleaning. I hate feeling that people in my household expect that I am going to pick up their socks, pencils, books  etc and put those items in their proper home. Well, that send me over the proverbial edge. Angry mommy came out and castigated every one in her path. Well, that evening I felt bad for my behavior (especially since not focusing on the negative is one of my monthly goals for February) but, instead of apologizing I just started feeling sorry for myself. I also had a birthday approaching on Feb 2 and I had an inkling that my husband hadn’t really planned anything for me. I am normally not a huge, “I have to do all this stuff for my birthday”, but I have really had a bad attitude for over the past year that I had to share my birthday with the Super Bowl.  So I am already feeling sorry for myself and then my hubby is being very flighty about my birthday… so I just lost it. I actually said, “In all the years we have been married I have planned so much stuff for you, but I can’t think of one time you have done considerable planning on anything for me.” Yeah, not by proudest moment, I had to get it out for whatever reason not really thinking on how that would make my husband feel. Selfish, yes, but I am glad I got it out, because I felt a huge weight lift.  The next day I vowed to put that behind me and no matter the circumstances to just have fun on my birthday weekend and to be nice to my family.

Friday and Saturday I was ok, I felt better. I knew I had to snap out of it and I was hoping that getting back into our routine would help. Since winter break we haven’t gone back to our regular routine, because each week since the boys returned to school we have had some weather delay and closure. Over the years I have come to realize that I am a creature of routine and when it gets disrupted so do I.  Saturday was a busy day, but as a treat to myself I had scheduled a 90 min massage  and  evening we were going to our friends Kate and Peter’s house-warming party. Click here to see what happened when we walked in……


My dear husband and the wonderful friends that I have in my life had been planning a surprise party for me for about two months. Not only that, but my sister-in-law Jo-Anne, Vanessa, Matt and Amy all came in from out-of-town to be at my party. That floored me!!! It was very humbling to know that so many of your loved ones took time out of their life to plan something for you. And that the person I was so sure was going to fail me, was the master mind behind it all.  Let me tell you how foolish I felt for having my episode a few days before. This was a huge wake up call for me. I need to really keep the positive in the fore front of my life. I need to be thankful for all the great things I have in my life and not worry about little insignificant things. Most importantly, we all have friends and family that love us and care a lot about us. When we are feeling down, we should refocus on that.  With all that being said I want to thank my loving husband for planning my surprise party. You really got me Jeff! I had no idea! Thank you to Kate and Peter for hosting, getting your house ready and cooking a delicious meal. Finally thank you to my friends that came, Matt, Vanessa, Jo-Anne, Amy, Jen, Josh, Tammy, Jen, Rachel, Corrie, Joe, Nicole, Mauricio and all the kiddos! You all made me very happy and gave me a wonderful memory that I will carry with me until my last day.

My Favorite Things: New Years Edition

I am not going to lie the bla-ness of January combined with this cold weather snap has really brought me down this month. I usually get a little bit of the January blues, but this year they have hit harder than normal. No worries, it isn’t anything I can’t get over. February is around the corner and I have so many great things in my life to be happy about. So chin up it is!

Here are a few things that have gotten me excited this month.


I recently picked up this book, it goes really well with my New Year goals. Instead of making resolutions this year, I have decided to do monthly goals.  That is exactly what this book is based on. The writer Gretchen Rubin decides she isn’t living her life to its fullest potential and realizes that can only happens if she takes a hard look at things in her life that needs change. Some are pretty big in scope, but other are simple. I am only on chapter two, but from the first chapter her larger goals were sleeping and exercising more. Her smaller ones were de cluttering and completing unfinished tasks that have been lingering on her to do list. My goals for January are to drink green tea everyday and to change-up my workout routine. I have done both and hope I can carry that on. What’s good about monthly goals is that if you take things little by little you have a better chance of incorporating these changes in to your lifestyle.


If you subscribe to HBO and have not watched the anthology drama series True Detective yet, I highly recommend you start watching immediately. The series chronicles two detectives Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and their 17 year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana.The acting is amazing by the two lead actors. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are nominated for their portrayal of their respective characters. I am not going to lie the crime they are investigating is very disturbing, but the writing and the acting sucks you in immediately.


This year I have had the pleasure to serve on my boys school PTA board. This past week we sponsored the Earth Adventure Earth Balloon to come to our school for a couple of days. What is the Earth Balloon you ask? Well, it is a 17 foot tall and 20 foot diameter model of our Earth made from high-resolution satellite images. The Earth balloon instructor gives a 30 minute grade appropriate program to each class. Some of the topics discussed are eco-systems, environmental issues, geography, earth sciences, history and current events. The highlight of the program is when the children go and learn inside from the Earth balloon. Our teacher and students LOVED this program, we got some great feedback. It is definitely something our students are going to remember for a long time. If you are an educator or on the PTA board, I highly recommend you consider the Earth Balloon as part of your cultural events. It’s a good way for kids to see that the world isn’t solely where they live.  There is a great big world out there and this is a great way for them to see that. If you are interested in learning more about the Earth Balloon please click here.

I hope you all are stay warm and enjoying 2014!!

2014 Awards Season Is HERE!!!

First and foremost happy 2014, I hope you all had a great holiday season and survived the polar vortex this past week. I am not going to lie, I have had a hard time entering into 2014.  We just had such a fun winter break very relaxed and filled with visits from family and friends.  One thing (other than sleeping in on the weekend) that has been getting me through the first week of 2014 is that one of my favorite awards shows is on Sunday. It’s the GLOBES!!!  We were lucky to catch up on some movies this past few weeks, but I do not feel prepared to make any predictions because, I haven’t seen some of the big movies this year like Gravity and 12 Years of a Slave. Hopefully, in the next month or so I can catch up.  Like always we will be having a Facebook viewing party with our friends. This is now  something of a tradition that we have done for the past few years. We always have a lot of fun. I think Amy and Tina will do a great job again as the hosts. I am thinking we will be laughing A LOT!



Here is a list of the nominees.

Best Drama
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips

Best Musical/Comedy
American Hustle
Inside Lleweyn Davis
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle

Best Actress in a Drama
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

Best Actor in a Drama
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo Di Caprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club

Best Screenplay
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope/Steve Coogan, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell, American Hustle

Best Foreign Language Film
Blue is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Past
The Wind Rises

Best Animated Feature
The Croods
Despicable Me 2

Best Original Song
“Atlas,” The Hunger Games, Catching Fire
“Let It Go,” Frozen
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
“Please Mr. Kennedy,” Inside Llewyn Davis
“Sweeter Than Fiction,” One Chance

Best Score
Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave


Best TV Comedy or Musical
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
The Big Bang Theory
Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Best TV Drama
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Masters of Sex

Best Actress in a TV Drama
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Best Actress in a TV Comedy
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Actor in a TV Drama
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, The Blacklist

Best Actor in a TV Comedy
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Best Miniseries or TV Movie
American Horror Story: Coven
Behind the Candelabra
Dancing on the Edge
Top of the Lake
White Queen

Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Rebecca Ferguson, White Queen
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake

Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Show, Miniseries or TV Movie
Jacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the Edge
Janet McTeer, White Queen
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Show, Miniseries or TV Movie
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Corey Stoll, House of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

What are some of your favorites? I LOVED American Hustle and would love it to do well.

I hope you all have a great Globes weekend! xoxo

Sweet Chili Lime Chicken

This recipe just showed me that I need to use my pinterest recipe pins more often. I am not a regular pinterest user, I go on there in spurts (usually on sleepless nights) and just pin pin pin on my boards. Today I was looking up another recipe that I want to use over the weekend and I came across this Sweet Chili Lime Chicken recipe. It looked easy and I had all the ingredients, so I made it for dinner tonight.  Well, it was a hit with my entire family. My boys can be hard to please sometimes, but they LOVED this and told me it tasted like a particular take out food they like. I was very pleased and I will definitely add this to my list of weekly meals.

Click here to see this fabulous recipe. I didn’t use cous cous as the recipe called I decided to use white rice and instead of soy sauce I used Lime Ponzu Sauce.


I also only added 3 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of red pepper flakes (if I wasn’t making it for the boys, I would have added more heat). Finally, I opted not to add the lime zest. I sprinkled some chopped cilantro over the chicken and rice and squeezed some lime on it.  It was absolutely delicious!! It was a perfect Boxing Day meal!



My Favorite Things: Pope Francis Edition

I cannot let this year pass without posting something about the new pope. If you are my facebook friend then you know that I am a HUGE fan of Pope Francis. Yes, I am Catholic and yes I believe this new pope Jorge Mario Bergolio is the exactly the right leader my church needs to move forward.

1) He is teaching acceptance. He had only been pope for 2 weeks and he went and washed the feet of 12 prisoners on Holy Thursday, which also included 2 women during this religious rite. When asked a question on the Catholic Church’s attitude towards gays and lesbians throughout history, he responded by saying, ” “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” On the topic of atheists he also gave a very similar jaw dropping (and by that I mean it is not the answer you’d expect from his position), God forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith,” the pope responded, “Given that — and this is the key point — God’s mercy has no limits, if you go to him with a sincere and repentant heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”(huffington post)

Italy Vatican Pope

2) He has scaled back on the pomp and grandeur: Our new pope is one humble man. Right after being named pope, he tried to pay his bill at the hotel he was staying at. He has rejected the red shoes and has opted for more humble vestments. The cross he wears around his neck is iron and not the traditional gold. He isn’t living in the lavish papal apartments, but had chosen to stay in the more modest Vatican hotel. He has also has chosen to be driven in a simpler car a Ford Focus rather than the Mercedes we saw his predecessor drive around in. This to me is a huge statement. It shows that he practices what he preaches. I have always been bothered by all the excessive ostentation the Vatican has shown in the past, especially when there is so much poverty in the world.

Italy Vatican Pope

3) He is approachable and kind: He has been known to make cold calls to people who have written him letters, because he is genuinely touched by people’s troubles (huffington post). He enjoys to visit with the crowds of faithful that visit him at St. Peter Square during the Sunday audiences, and we especially saw this during his trip to Rio de Janiero. He doesn’t pass up to kiss a baby, pray over the sick, or just give a smile. Who can ever forget how kind he was to that little boy who made his way up to the altar.


4) His commitment to the poor and sick: From the moment his papal name was announced as Francis, a saint that is well-known for his humble life and commitment to the poor, it was certain this pope was going to give importance to those less fortunate. Click here to read about St. Francis of Assisi.  One of the pope’s early tweets was  “The pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.” (huffington post). It has been rumored that he has disguised himself and goes out in the night giving food to the homeless. He has also invited homeless to come and dine at the Vatican. When a German Bishop was accused of using church funds on lavish spending for himself, he was suspended, and it is rumored his lavish residence will be turned into a soup kitchen. He has moved the world with his compassion for the sick. The images shown of him embracing the sick are just beautiful.


5) He is taking the Church back to the basics: He has instructed that pastors get out of their comfort zone and take their ministry away from the pulpit, but to the streets, “This is what I am asking you,” he said with emphasis, looking up from his prepared text, “be shepherds with the smell of sheep,” so that people can sense the priest is not just concerned with his own congregation, but is also a fisher of men.” (Catholic Telegraph) When asked what the Church needs today he responds by saying,  “I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. […] The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.” (aletiea).


It is quite evident that this pope is very special. Not only is he kind and humble, but he isn’t afraid to shake things up. His presence will not only bring positive change to the Catholic Church, but to the entire world.


My Holiday To Do List

It really has been one busy fall for our family and for the first time in a while it  looks like it will calm down this holiday season. For one thing we are not traveling, we are having family and then friends coming over for Christmas and then for New Years. This is a first for us, because normally we do make a trip somewhere during this season. I am so looking forward to my kids Christmas break. I am craving some quality time with my family. In the craziness of this past fall I have really felt that I have been distracted and disconnected from them. I was just going through the motions and really not enjoying the moment, because I was anticipating the next thing in our busy agenda. Fun mommy is coming back  for the holidays and I really hope she over stays  her welcome. With all that being said here is a list of what I want to accomplish with my family and friends this holiday season.


1) Play with my boys. I really want to keep the electronics at bay this break. I am not crazy we will all be connected, but I want to keep it to a minimum and this includes me as well. I am looking forward to extensive games of Monopoly, Clue, Nerf gun wars and even the possible jog around the neighborhood since both boys have had an increased interest in running. I feel like, it is these activities that make the memories that they will remember when they are older. We are due for some memories like these.

2) Try out some new recipes. Just from a quick search on Pinterest I have found a few new recipes that I do want to try out. Here are some of them:

Lemon Chicken Romano click here for recipe


Snowman Pizza click here for recipe


Rudolf Pancakes which are perfect for Christmas Morning!! Click here for recipe.


Beef Tenderloin, believe it or not I have never roasted a whole beef tenderloin before. I am not sure if I will make it with this port sauce or just make chimichurri sauce. I will be making this along with some shrimp, asparagus and my mom’s special Christmas rice for our Christmas Eve dinner.  Click here for tenderloin recipe.


3) I want to FLY!!! Our dear friends the Barsotti’s are coming to visit us to ring in the new year. They also have 2 kids around the same age as my boys. On one of the days they are here we are going to go to Defy Gravity. Defy Gravity is a trampoline sports arena, it is advertised as fun for the entire family.  I am pretty sure we are all going to have fun!!

4) Craft and Bake: I really want to make this wreath


It looks so easy and it’s something my younger son can help me with. Click here for directions. I also want to bake cookies I am by no means a baker, but my youngest enjoys it. So I think this year we will make Santa some sugar cookies. Nothing crazy, but just something that we can do together.

5) Go to see some movies. We haven’t gone to the movies that much this fall, but I for sure would love to go see The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Anchorman 2 and so many others, but those 3 are ones I am willing to pay theatre prices for. My oldest wants to see The Hobbit and I am sure I will take them to see Frozen sooner than later.


6) I want to be happy and merry! Most importantly I  just want be and enjoy the moment. School is out next Friday, presents are bought, the bulk of food will be bought next week, so there is no reason to just BE PRESENT and ENJOY!!


MCM Weekend 2013


This past spring my husband decided to start training for his first marathon. The lucky marathon chosen was the Marine Corps Marathon in DC. He had heard from so many people that it was a great first marathon to run. I also learned that there was a 10K the same day of the marathon. Being that I had resolved to take running more seriously in 2013, I thought that was an attainable goal. Along for the ride I decided to convince my sister-in-law Jo-Anne and one of my oldest and good friend Maureen to do the 10K with me. This race also worked for my husband and I, because it was in DC where I grew up and my parents still live there. So the weekend would be easy peasy, no airplanes, no hotel rooms, no worrying about a sitter for the boys.

Once we all started training the 3 of us ladies would keep tabs on one another via text when we ran. This helped me keep motivated throughout the year especially through the hot summer. During the boys summer vacation I would actually get my babysitter (thank God she is an early riser) to come at 7am while the boys were still asleep so I could log in my miles. Once fall came and the boys were back in school and the days got cooler, running was more pleasant.  As I have written before, running has always been a challenge for me and way outside my comfort zone. Slowly but surely I was starting to enjoy it a bit.

Race day rolled around pretty quickly Sunday, October 27th, 2013. The best thing about the race is that I ran it with fun people. My fondest memories of that day will be more of us during pre and post race shenanigans.  We were the crazy ladies hollering at people coming on the metro at 5:30 am, from their night out on the town (in costume no less).


If you are a runner and haven’t run in either the marathon or 10K, I urge you to put it on your bucket list. Nothing can describe the energy that this race has. There is so much support on the streets from Marines to loved ones looking for their people. It really is energizing. The 10K is the last 6.2 miles of the marathon. You start by the National History Museum on the National Mall and end up at Iwo Jima (that assent which is the .2 miles is steep, just a FYI). It is a very scenic course and also rather flat. We were very lucky that our friend Maria got a bib in the week leading up to the race and ran with us. She was our pace keeper. Normally runs can be very mentally challenging for me, but this race was so much fun, all the mental fighting I do on runs wasn’t there that day.  After we finished my sister-in-law was dead set on finding a handsome Marine to take a picture with us and of course she did!


After we finished and rehydrated and got some food. We went back to see my husband finish. Let me tell you that is an experience. It is so humbling to see runners that are approaching the end of 26.2 miles.


Seeing your runner approach the finish line is a marvelous experience. I cannot really explain it, but know that a few tears were shed by a very proud wife and a big sister.

Thank you Marine Corps for putting on a top-notch race. We can’t wait to see you all next year!