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Entries in birthday (15)


Fashion Friday: Shopping for Mexico

Things I simply MUST HAVE for a weekend in Mexico

My college girlfriends and I are heading off to Puerta Vallarta next week for a girls getaway to celebrate all of us turning 40 this year. I'm soooo glad to have had this trip planned after I spent my 40th birthday in the dark.

Today (tonight by the time I finish this post) I want to shop for a few things to take on my trip.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Wayfarers are back in my friends! And, since "Risky Business" is one of my all-time faves and still has a good bit of MoJo (even if the star has since lost his) I simply must have some.

image via Amazon

I may opt for the tortoise shell color rather than classic black but that's simply because I look better in brown tones.

Fabulous SPF 50 Sunhat

I know what you are thinking... 'fabulous' and 'SPF 50' simply cannot be used in the same sentence. Right? WRONG! Have you checked out Coolibar yet? I bought girls great hats for the beach and pool from Coolibar a few years ago and they were great.

This is the one I'm eyeing for me:

image of Shapeable Poolside Sunhat via Coolibar

Travel-worthy, shapable, and UPF 50+, this hat is chic and will protect my scalp, face and neck from the Mexico sun.


Bright-colored Sundress

After spending the past 4 months buried in my brown, puffy down coat I need some color!!!

Thankfully Fresh Produce sent me a beautiful cafe wrap dress in the Fall to review. This will be the first time I get to wear it and I am so excited!


This one is in 'sunrise' but mine is the bright 'Sangria' color. The fact that I chose a color that shares the name of a terrific vacation drink is pure coincidence!


Summertime Clutch

I love to clutch and this bright orange Julie Apple Flip It Convertible Clutch is going to look great tucked under my arm at the pool in Mexico and at the pool this summer back home. Plus, with the right outfit, it can convert easily to an casual evening bag with a sundress or jeans.

image via Amazon

What else do you think I need to buy?


Disclosure: some links are affilate links


When the power goes out on your birthday, the strong will survive... one crank at a tim

If you follow me on Twitter you've probably seen me complain about losing power. We lose power a LOT. Apparently our power company has received the worst rating for any power company in a major city.

I had to celebrate my birthday without power!

Recently I celebrate a major birthday milestone. MAJOR. This is not a birthday milestone to mess around with. This is one where you definitely want to be around friends (not isolated in your home) to manage the emotional ups and downs, and to celebrate (preferably with the lights on).

Alas, it was not meant to be.

Thank you Pepco.

5 Tips for Surviving you Birthday When the Power is Out

1. Breakfast in bed

I certainly was NOT expecting this when I woke up on my birthday to a house barely maintaining 50 degrees. But the smiles, hugs, and love that came delivered with this cold birthday breakfast were enough to warm even the coldest heart.


2. Coffee on a DIY camping stove

It is IMPERATIVE that I have coffee on my birthday. I don't think I can live without coffee and if I had to on my 40th birthday I would have been curled up in a ball in the corner and rocking myself until we were plowed and someone could go out and get some for me.

Here's how I made it:


Do-it-yourself camping stove materials


Glass loaf-size dish

Roasting or baking rack you don't mind scorching

Instant coffee


Note: The glass loaf pan was perfect for keeping the Sterno flame contained. The sides of a loaf pan are higher than other glass bakeware too so it provides a perfect distance between the flame and the bottom of your pan. If it's too close, the flame will go out. If it's too far, the pot will take longer to heat.

3. Crank it

Luckily I invested in two key items over the summer when we lost power. For the 17th time. In 2 years.

A Hand crank LED lantern is key for light and sanity. I was going nuts with the girls running all over the house with my flashlights that having a large lantern light up the kitchen was great.

The little Solar Hand Crank radio flashlight is really useful. The radio lets you listen to music or, what I like to do, listen to WTOP who tells you how many 100s of thousands of Pepco customers are without power and that the majority of them won't be restored for DAYS. But it can also charge a cell phone! Not easily, but at least to keep it charged for a few calls.

4. Respect the Generator

Not only did I invest in crank technology this summer, but I drove over 600 miles for a 25 year old generator. Hey, it was free! And boy did it come in handy.

Lucky for you they make the much smaller, more powerful, and truly portable:

It did cause a minor spat with The Mister over when to kick it into gear. We had a limited amount of gas for it the first night the power went out and he thought using it to watch Harry Potter was a good decidsion. I had a small fit because I had no idea how long it would take us to get plowed and I knew the house would be freezing by morning.

5. Love for the iPad 3G

One good thing that came out of that argument was that I used that time to charge my Apple iPad Wifi + 3G and cell phone. If you don't already have an iPad 3G and you live in an area where the power goes out frequently, get one.

Once charged, the batter lasted for nearly 2 days and even though the wi-fi was down, I could play on the internet using the Apple iPad Wifi + 3G connection! This came in handy as I complained about Pepco. They love me. I'm surprised my power hasn't been shut off just because I'm such a whiner.

Do you ever lose power? What are your favorite gadgets to help you get through?


Disclosure: some links are affliate links


10 Things You Might Not Know About Me as I Turn 40


Somehow I turned 40.


Let me roll that one around on my tongue for a bit.


Since I refuse to sit and cry I have decided to share a little more about me. You may know some of these things. I honestly have a terrible memory and can't remember if I blogged about any of them. If you have questions, let me know. Otherwise, enjoy this little window into ME.


1. I did not have a middle name until I got married

For a brief time, in 6th grade I believe, I toyed around with the middle name, Victoria. The problem is that Victoria was the name of my dad's stepmother which would have left my other two granmother's really PO'd. Plus, not having a middle name minimized the impact of the you're-in-trouble-now yell that many parents do when they hollar out their child's full name.


2. I have a tattoo


It's a star with angel wings and it's on the inside of my left wrist. It's in honor of my dad. Whenever the question, "Who's your hero" comes up my answer was and still is My Dad (although my Mom is now my hero too). So the star is because he's my hero AND because he was a Marine. The angel wings you can figure out.


3. I have been inside the Pyramids in Egypt, awed by the Taj Mahal, helecopter skiing in New Zealand, scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and on safari in Africa...twice.



Me hanging out at the Treetops Hotel

Much of that I did before I even graduated high school. I still have the travel bug. But life, kids, and reality has scratched that 'itch' for now. Whenever I'm asked what I would do if I won the lottery I always say, "TRAVEL". Maybe I'll get that PowerBall ticket today.


4. I'm addicted to hand cream

Rarely will you find me without a small tube of cream, Aquaphor, or something I can use on dry skin. I HATE the feeling of dry skin on my hands. In a pinch I'll use chapstick. Sometimes I think the more I use, the more I need.


5. I am very trusting, and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if someone burns me, I'll never forget.

I'm not vengeful, but I will keep that little piece of history in the back of my head...forever.


6. I was an extra on an episode of Sex & The City

I had just had the girls and my hair was really short. It's a restaurant scene where Kim Catrall has pasta spilled onto her by a little kid, and if you blink twice you'll miss me. But the best part was getting a tour of the set, hanging with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) at the food craft table while he was dressed in a hospital gown, and watching Kristin Davis (Charlotte) and Evan Handler (Harry) rehearse the 'tea-bag scene'...clothes on.


7. I like to swear...a lot


Classic Jon Wye belt and comic buckle. Be jealous.

I don't swear on the blog and I rarely cuss on Twitter but sometimes a good four-letter word just FEELS so good rolling off the tongue.


8. I have a flawless British, Australian, and Southern accent

OK, not flawless but if a big Hollywood type is googling "flawless Australian accent" this post will surely be on page one! I have always been able to mimic accents well, and then when I was 30 (gulp, 10 years ago) I took a few acting classes at Studio Theater in DC and one required that I listen to an Australian accent CD over and over. I got pretty good. It would take some refreshing but I bet I could head down under and survive.


9. My most famous quote, "It's not who you know. It's what you know about them that counts."

That landed my photo on a giant screen in a huge ballroom during a work conference in the 90s. You know, one of those conferences where there was a LOT going on outside of the conference sessions? People were giving me funny looks the rest of the weekend. Truth is, I'm always the LAST to know anything. Just ask my friend Linda.


10. I like airplane food


image via Wikimedia Commons

I always have. All the salt and fillers and preservatives. MMMM. Not that I get to eat airplane food anymore what with cutbacks and all. But I loved it all. The salsbury steak, the pasta, the little cherry pie dessert you had to scrape out. It was like TV dinners but everything minaturized. First class and business class are of course the bomb. But I'll take a cafe sandwich with my own little salt and pepper packet any day.

OK, that's it. So is there anything I didn't cover that you really wanted to know? Leave me a comment and maybe I'll answer it!

For now, thanks for helping me celebrate turning 40!



A letter to my daughters on their 7th birthday

Twins in Christening Gown

Dear E & E:

Seven years ago today you made me a mom. It was a dream I was not always sure would come true. I'm so glad it did. I'm happy for every day we've had together these seven years. I know how precious life is, and every day since the day you were born I've given thanks to have you in my life.

I have watched you grow from curious, and very different toddlers to bright, articulate, brave, young girls. You are good friends to each other and to your friends. You are loving, caring, smart and savvy. And you are still very different.

I hope this next year is filled with lots of joy, exciting things, and most of You have the rest of your life for all the other stuff you have to deal with when you grow up. Enjoy this time just as you are. Daddy and I will enjoy experiencing it with you.

Happy Birthday.

I love you very much.



Carnival Birthday Party (aka: Why didn't I think of that?)

This is a great idea for a birthday party.

It was inside BUT if you knew the weather would cooperate you could definitely head outdoors.

There were tons of activities, cool games, and loads of prizes to fill each goody bag.

Plus, popcorn and caramel apples!

Here are some images (not great but you get the idea) from the Carnival theme birthday party The Twofer went to last weekend:

Cute banners ordered online and customized with peel & stick alphabet letters:



Handmade Bean Bag Toss (see goody bag in front)



Basketball "Hoops" game (how many can you sink in 1 minute?)



Muffin Tin Toss (if your ball lands on a cupcake liner then you win a prize) and Knock Down Cans in the background



Face Painting

Caramel apples and Old-Fashioned Popcorn (of course!)


Tell me if you've done a carnival party and what other games you had. Or, give me an idea for a great 7-year old birthday party. We've got ours coming up in May!

Or maybe I should just hire my friend...


Disclosure: links to Amazon products are affiliate links.