Thursday, May 29, 2008

They Have Arrived

It was discovered on Sunday, we have two twin baby birdes outside our back door. I mentioned we had a mama bird in a nest earlier this month and now we welcme the babies.

In less then a week, they have gotten so big. They went from little wet feathered babies, to teenagers. I noticed this morning the mama bird wasn't sitting on her babies and I'm assuming they did something to make her mad. Then this afternoon, I heard these little chirps coming from our back porch. I peeked out the door and sure enough, it was those itty-bitty birds calling for mama.

I was able to snap a photo while mama bird was out looking for supper. I can't believe how big they got. I'm just amazed at all the animal interactions we have living in the city. I'll share another time the weird animal encounters we've had here. But for now, I'm tickled to be able to look out my back door, stand on my tippy-toes and see mother nature at her best taking place right before my eyes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Um, sure I'll try it!

I tried the Apple Martini! I did, I did! I ordered it at my cousins wedding and actually started a trend with the wedding party. After I ordered first (since everyone was shy to order), everyone took my lead.

The drinks arrived, took my first sip and woe-wee it was strong. I wasn't the only one thinking so either. I finished the drink, but I didn't enjoy it. I'm not sure if it was the brand of vodka or maybe too much, but I will try it again at another location. I will not give up on the Apple-tini!

So, I ordered a few Kahlua and Milks that evening after my experimentation with the apple-tini. While I was sitting at the head table with my new friend, Eva who was in the wedding party too, she asked if I had tried a Scooby Snack drink. I slowly shook my head no thinking back did I ever try one, but to my knowledge I haven't tried one or even heard it. So, she told me what was in it and I said, bring it on.

The recipe for "Scooby Snack" is -

Serve in a Collins Glass

1 oz Malibu Coconut Rum

1 oz Midori Melon Liqueur

1/2 oz Pineapple Juice

1/2 oz Whipped Cream

Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until blended, pour into a rocks or old-fashioned glass, and serve.

While Eva explained to the waitress what was in it, she requested that all three liquids be equal amounts (instead of 1/2 oz pineapple juice, make it a 1 oz) and we didn't have whipped cream.

Well, the first sip had a kick too it and a little getting used to all those different flavors together, but overall, it is definitely something worth trying. I might order it out sometime, but I wouldn't put it on my lists of drinks that I have to have when the moment is right. But, maybe you would enjoy it. I thought it was interesting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Christina & Marks Wedding

My cousin Christina had her fairy tale wedding take place on Sat 5/24. The weather was fabulous, she couldn't' have ordered it better out of a book. The sky was clear (there was times where clouds rolled in, put they passed right on by) and the sun was out. There was a breeze in the air, which added to the sunny day.

She had 16 people in her wedding party, not including the 3 flower girls and 2 ring bearers. The maid of honor was Christina's sister Toria and the best man was Mark's (the groom) brother.

The wedding took place in a Polish church which is pictured below. The church was beautiful. The mass was given in English & Polish since his side of the family still speaks fluent Polish.

The two ring bearers did so well during the ceremony. They marched down the isle with no problems. The handsome little devil on the left is my cousin Mylo and the other adorable gentlemen is Tyler, the grooms nephew.

All 3 flower girls are my cousins. They are from left to right, Molly, McKenzie & Felicity. All 3 girls did wonderfully while walking down the isle. They stole the show. Aren't they adorable?

My cousin Christina and her new husband Mark, just minutes after they were married. They rented their own vehicle while we had our limos (the girls in one, the guys in the other) to whisk us away for pictures. The pictures were taken at Stanley Park, about half hour away from the church in the flower garden.
I just have to tell you one quick story about the pictures........the photographer lined the entire party in front of a fountain that was in the flower garden, the girls on one side, bride & groom in the middle, then the guys on the other side. We were all standing there and you remember that breeze I told you about earlier? Well, that breeze had shifted the spray from the fountain and sprayed the backs of all the girls (including me). All of us sighed so load at the same time and it was so cold. I wonder if the photographer caught the picture right then and there? I can imagine what our faces looked like!

I love this picture of the newlyweds! This is inside their special vehicle before heading off to pictures.
All the lovely girls (including Mylo) lined up at the reception waiting for a dance to start.

Oh, look at that! The best looking couple in the place! Hey, I had to put this on in there! Its me and my husband of course.
I think this was the best part of the wedding (well, besides the stuffed shrimp). My cousin Marissa, as a present, danced her Irish step dance for the bride and groom. I thought it was a wonderful gesture. The grooms side was showing a lot of the Polish traditions and I am happy that Marissa wanted to show some of our traditions as well. She kicked ass. I never got a chance to see her in competitions because of schedule conflicts.

The bride & groom are off on their honeymoon in Bermuda or the Barbados (forgive me, I can't remember exactly where). I hope they relax and get much needed R&R since they have a little boy on the way!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Zack's May Visit

Wow! What a weekend. I'm so glad it was a three day one too! I have so much to talk about and I'll start off with our visit with Zack.

He arrived Friday afternoon and his daddy whisked him off to play some golf. I didn't get a chance to go since I was doing my last minute errands before my cousins wedding the next day. But I did hear Zack beat his dad by one point....nice!

Then it was off to visit my niece, BIL & SIL before they headed off to their much anticipated vacation since the next time they will see each other will be in August. Too much time if I say so myself, but its not up too us (ok, that's all the complaining I will do this time). So, we visited, had some pizza and played outside. My niece is always asking for him when we do not have him, so it was so nice to see them play together.

On Saturday, he went to the wedding with his dad. I honestly didn't get to see much of him that day except for right after the church ceremony, here and there during the reception (since I had to do wedding party stuff) and then about an hour after the reception at home (since he ditched us and went back to our house with Grandpy). But I know the boys kept themselves occupied with video games when they weren't participating in the festivities and where able to have fun.

Zack sleeping during the wedding.

Then Sunday, we went out to breakfast, did some Walmart shopping for a new PSP game and some Transformers (its so scary to see the toys from your childhood come back around). After our morning shopping, it was back to the house for some relaxing and last chance to catch up on some visiting. Then he was off.

The time went by so fast. I know I was busy, but I feel so bad for my husband. You just get into the grove of the visit and then its done. Our next visit with him is the end of July during my husbands company's mandatory shut down for two weeks. Its going to be a long stretch.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A good book, cup of tea and a cozy blanket!

I have been thinking of my favorite book list for some time now. I have been adding, removing, putting books back on the list and now I have finalized it (well, for now anyway). My list of favorite books (not in a specific order since that would have taken me longer to organize it) is.......
  1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  3. Something Blue by Emily Griffin
  4. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  5. Wish Club by Kim Strickland
  6. My friend Leonard by James Frey
  7. Dog Handling by Clare Naylor (its not about dogs, its about guys)
  8. The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
  9. The Secret Life of Bee's by Sue Monk Kidd
  10. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

I love to read. It takes me away into my imagination, far, far away. Sometimes I can't get enough. I am so passionate when it comes to a good book, its hard to put it down.

When I walk into a books store, weather it be Barnes & Noble or a used book store, I am like a kid in a candy store...I want it all. I get a sugar rush just being in the store. The other day when I walked into B&N, I couldn't get past the first table in the store without picking up 3 books before I actually walked into the store. Of course I put one back since I found different book further into the store, but hey at least its a good obsession right?

So, do you have any favorite books? Any suggestions that I can add to my B&N wish list?

Should've Seen It Coming!

Do you remember seeing that commercial with a guy (this guy to the left) giving out his social security number, challenging identity theft scum to us his information since his SS# was protected though his fraud protection company? Well, it backfired on him!

News out today that Todd Davis's company, Lifelock, didn't work & his social security # was compromised. He should have seen it coming! I bring this up with my recent post about my personal experience with identity theft.

His company is being sued by some people stating his company did not protect their identity. According to the associated press, Todd's social security # lead to 20 attempts to people applying for a new drivers licence, which was ultimately rejected because of social security match-ups in their administrative offices. But the attempts were made.

Also, there were 87 other attempts to steal his identity and one succeeded. Someone in Texas used Todd Davis's information for a $500 loan using his Social Security number.

If you have this company protecting your identity, maybe its time to rethink the company you are paying to provide this task. According to the article, Todd knew his identity was compromised, but he still went along convincing people that it worked.

So again, be careful with your personal information. If you want to read the entire article, check out - ID Protection Ads Bite Pitchman

I guess the best way to protect yourself is to review your credit card statements, check your credit history, answer the phone if you see your credit card company calls (since it could be the fraud dept) and make sure to shop online with secured websites.

I practice these actions since my identity was stolen, but its too late for me since my information is out there. I just make sure to comb over all my information to help prevent any more issues. Just be careful!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Apple Martini

I can't wait to try an apple 'tini! I have wanted to try one for some time now and I hope this weekend I will be able to check it out.

If you have any other fancy beverage suggestions, please let me know. I am always open to trying something new and yummy. I am not a fan of beer, so I like to try new beverages. I love Midori Sours (thanks Sarah) but, I like to try other drinks too. I would like to expand my personal list in the event the bartender at a party doesn't know how to make certain beverages.

If anyone else would like to try it, here is the recipe for the Apple Martini -

Click here to view a larger image.

1 oz. vodka
1 oz. apple-flavored liqueur
1 oz. triple sec
Splash sweet-and-sour mix
Maraschino cherry

Pour ingredients and ice into a shaker and shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Remove cherry stem and drop cherry into martini glass so it sinks to the bottom.

If you have any other fancy beverage suggestions, please let me know. I am always open to trying something new.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Macy's Dept Store Tip

The other day while I was in The Big Apple, my mom & I discovered a tip while shopping in Macy's in Manhattan.

While we were ringing out our merchandise, the associate who was at the register was making conversation. When she found out we were from out-of-state, she had asked if we had our out-of-state customer coupon. Um, no I replied since I had no idea what she was talking about.

The women explained that if we make our way to the main floor (luckily we were on the 2nd floor of the store instead of the 8th floor) and go to the visitor center and show our ID, we will receive a 11% coupon for the store.

Well, me and mom asked her to hold our items and made a bee-line to the visitor center. And yes, it was just that simple, we showed our ID's and each received a coupon for 11% off our purchase, good for 5 days. So wonderful!

When we returned to the counter and it was our turn to check out again, a women in line mentioned that Bloomingdales has the same program. Fabulous! That will be our mission to find out if its true or not during our next visit!

So, I'm not sure if this is only in the Macy's store in NYC at Herold's Square, or if it occurs at the malls all over the country if you are from out-of-state. But, I wanted to pass along my new savings tip! Hey, everything helps!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Big Apple

What a beautiful day we had this past Saturday in Manhattan. My mom, husband, his friend & me went on a bus trip with the college.

The first picture is the view from the highway of Manhattan. The second is just a view of the city as we make our way to the departure location.

Jeff & his friend started off on their own to shop and people watch. They went into every electronic store they could find around Times Square and then went in to the ESPN Zone for a beer and appetizer. Then they met up with us.
Times Square

My mom & I started off shopping at Macy's (for my mom's outfit for the wedding this Sat). After that was taken care of, we headed uptown and found ourselves in Bryant Park (near the library) and decided to sit and enjoy the sights for awhile.

Before my husband & his friend met up with us at the park, I got hit on by a homeless man. Yeah, not my proudest moment. The situation went like this....I am sitting at one of the outside tables behind the Library Cafe, my mom is off getting a coffee at a vendor at the other end of the park & I see this gentlemen talking to a couple at another table. Next thing I know he is approaching my table and asks me how I am. I responded fine and you? Then he said good and asked me for some change to do something (I really don't remember what it was) and I told him my mom has all of the spare change (I didn't want to pull money out of my pocket, being by myself). Then he said he'd be back and I said ok. Next thing I know he asks me what I was doing later. Um, OMG I said to myself. I told him, Um going home with my husband.....he starts chocking and walks away never to be seen again. Phew!

Bryant Park
Then after everyone meets up at the table we head up a few more blocks to eat. We decided to eat at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. I wasn't impressed, but the food was ok. The music was playing so load and the waiter didn't hear my order correctly and brought me what he thought I said. No matter, I wanted a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger & I got a Bacon Cheeseburger. At least I got something almost the same rather then ordering a burger and he bring me chicken figures.

After we ate, we split up in groups again and did some more shopping. Mom & I went to Barnes & Nobles (I stocked up on books!), American Girl and Crabtree and Evelyn all on 5th Ave. The boys went to Best Buy and ended up in Starbucks.

Rockafeller Plaza, off of 5th Ave

So, overall it was a lovely day. The weather was gorgeous too!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Everyone together - ITS FRIDAY!

It hasn't been a bad week, just a busy one! I am just happy its Friday! Yeah!

This past Tuesday, I brought my FIL to Boston for his 6 month follow-up(from his liver transplant). He is doing great! His medications are working the way they are designed to do, he is working 50 hours a week, active & *TRYING* to eat healthy. So, his next apt is in November.

Then Wednesday was my hair apt. It's the normal scheduled one, but this one was a little different since its right before the upcoming wedding. She colored my hair a little darker red (deep auburn) and no trim so its a little longer for the up-do.

Yesterday evening was the make-up run through (yup, for the wedding) with a bonus facial. Oh, the facial felt great! As a bonus, I even learned some make-up tips from the Mary Kay rep. I'm not a huge make-up person (just the basic eye-liner, mascara and lip gloss), but I learned some tips, *NICE*.

Also, thrown in there were my tanning sessions. Phew! It doesn't seem like much, but it's a lot of running around.

Then tomorrow I am the trip coordinator for my college's NYC bus trip. I'll have pics to share next week!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Disney Alter Ego?

Did you ever want to know what Disney character you resemble the most?

Well, thanks to my page-a-day calender, you are only 40 questions away from finding out! Check out to find out!

My results ended in a tie. I had to answer a tie breaker question to determine who alter ego was & when I found out, they were at opposites ends of the spectrum.

But before I jump ahead, the answer is........

My Disney Ego is -


"You are fun and great to be around, and you are always willing to help others. You aren't worried about embarrassing yourself, so you are one who is more willing to try new things."

Now for my runner up ego, which may I may remind you tied with Goofy-

Cruella De Ville

Now there was no explanation with her answer, just the percentage of my answers that related to her, the villane who wants to skin puppies for fur coats. Um, I guess that means don't piss me off? I don't know, but to go from Goofy to Cruella in an ego test, out!

They give a list of runner ups & this is how I found out about Cruella, so at least I have a little princess in me too (according to the list)! The rest of my list (in order) is - The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Snow White, Ariel, Pinocchio, Donald Duck.

So what's yours?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Whats in a Name?

The other day when we were all trying on our dresses for the upcoming wedding, my cousin Christina was called 4 different names in a period of 20 minutes. I called her Christina, my aunt called her Missy, her sister called her Tina and her nieces called her Auntie.

So, this got me thinking off all the nic-names I've had throughout my 28 years. Yes, there are some I am not proud of & definitely will not mention. But I wanted to share some of them with you (well, the ones I can remember). I will also try and match them with the family member who game it to me too for some added fun.

My official name was almost Mandy. My parents decided to name me Amanda so I can have an option to either be called Amanda or Mandy.

My official name is Amanda
My family calls me Mandy
My dad used to call be Beeper
My dad STILL calls me Mander
My grandpa has called me Maggie all my life (it started as Magnolia Blossom when I was born, and now its just Maggie)
Some friends call me Manda
Aunt Virg still calls me Ladybug (no idea why, but I think its cute)
My niece calls me Auntie Mana (and I hope it doesn't change because I love it)
My husband calls me qt (by text of course, cutie for those who don't read text)

So, if you are around and you hear someone call out one of these names, it could be for me! Hey dad, did I miss any?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Here Comes the Bride; Dum, Dum De Dum

My cousin, Christina, is getting married in less then 2 weeks, on Saturday 5/24. She is so excited! She even was nice enough to ask me to be in the wedding as a bride's maid. I felt so honored since there are so many of us in my family to chose from & she picked me. Her sister, Toria, is the maid of honor.

Last Saturday was our first dress fitting. Christina looked like a princess, she was so beautiful. Here is a peek at her dress from the bridal collection magazine-

I wish I was able to snap a picture of her while she was trying on her dress, but the tailor shop was so small & crowed I didn't get a good opportunity to do so.

Here is a peek at my dress from the bridal magazine too-

The maid of honor dress is the same as the brides maids, but its the same color pink as in the one in the brides wedding dress.

Here are our shoes too-

I think Christina did a good job picking everything out, nothing to flashy or hideous. I think everything has been tastefully chosen.

I have a growing check list I have to get done before the the big day. I have tanning to finish up, and all the beauty stuff I have to squeeze in. I'm sure it will all get done, its just finding the time.

I will share pictures after the big day. My mom is using my high-tec camera and Zack will use my other camera, so I'm sure I will have some interesting photo's!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers, step-moms and mom's at heart. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Here are some cute quotes I had found in honor of mom's.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
~Tenneva Jordan

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love.
~Mildred B. Vermont

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. ~Oprah Winfrey

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~Chinese Proverb

100 of Em!

This is my 100th post, wow! I can't believe it. When I started posting, I didn't even think of 100, I was thinking more of....can I come up with at least 50 things to talk about?!?!

But, thanks to all my family, friends (new & old) & anonymous readers. I know this blog is somewhat a record of my life, but its always nice to know there are wonderful people out there reading up on your adventures.

So, here's to another 100 posts with everyone on board for the ride!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Idenity Theft Sucks!

That's it in a nut shell. If your identity is stolen, you feel violated and never truly recover. Oh, let me tell you from experience its a scary thing!

My story started a couple of years ago when we noticed money was moved from our joint savings account to my husbands checking account that neither one of us did. When a large amount of money is moved all by itself, you freak out.

After the money was transferred, the person on the other end wrote out an e-check to be sent to an address we of course have never heard of. Also, happening at the same time, I couldn't sign-in to my online banking website since my password wouldn't work. What!?!?

We contacted the bank to tell them all about the issues. It was discovered that someone had called the bank to change the password on our online banking, then transferred the money using MY social security number and name. It defiantly wasn't me. So, the next business day we went to the bank branch to change our account numbers. Oh, and they couldn't tell us the identity of the person who did this to us, but they did stop payment on the check.

About a week later, after we had swapped everything over to our new account numbers & new passwords my husband called me and told me it had happened again. I couldn't believe it! So, we went back to the same bank branch & had to explain to someone else what had happened. He laughed at us, like we didn't know what we were talking about! Um, this is serious and he was acting like it was all a mistake! I wasn't happy. Finally we got through to him because that very moment, it was being attempted again! So, it showed this fool that it wasn't us and it was actually some bad person out there doing this to us.

After the third attempt (and poor customer service), we decided to switch banks! It was such a hassle, aggravation and scary thing to happen!

We almost were free & clear without any issues since our bank incident, but on the Saturday before Easter I received a phone call from one of my credit card companies. The fraud department was calling to see if I wanted to transfer $5,000 from my credit card to a bank account that was known for fraudulent charges. Um, no! I told her what happened in the past and explained to her most likely who ever this was found my SS# & was trying to do some tricky business, again, with my information. Thank goodness for fraud protection!

So, I guess my lesson for today would be to protect your personal information as best you can. Its tough since everything is electronic, but just beware of where your information is going. I am always combing everything over with a fine toothed comb now just in case it happens again.

To this day, I don't know how my information was found or what was out there, but its out there and there is nothing I can do!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Neighbor

A few weeks ago I noticed a morning dove flying in & our of a hanging basket that I left outside on our side porch from last year. I didn't think anything of it, I was still happy that it was beginning to be more spring like outside.

About a week ago, I noticed a nest was built inside of the basket. I thought it was pretty neat, but I didn't see any birds around it so I had assumed the birds were scared off since it was so close to our back door and driveway.

On Saturday, there were now two birds in the basket. They would each fly away when we would approach the porch so we didn't think anything of it.

By Sunday, the female bird would remain in the nest while the male would fly off. Wow! I was amazed how brave this bird was being. I was assuming she had an egg that she had to keep warm & protected, but there was no proof.

On Monday, it was confirmed one egg was in the nest. This had confirmed why the mommy bird would wait until the last possible second to fly off. She hasn't flown off when I'm around so it take something pretty scary for her to fly away (it must have been the kids next door playing to close to our back stoop for her to fly off when it was determined how many eggs were in the nest by my husbands sister).

Now I am so protective of the nest. Any large object coming in or out of the house, it has to go through the front door. Any fast movements around the nest are prohibited. I need to help out my new neighbor. I am pretty excited to be able to be so close to mother natures magic! I will let you know when we have a new baby birdie in the nest!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I heard it!

I heard the new single from New Kids on the Block on the radio yesterday! Its called Summertime and if you missed it, you can listen to it on their website

I like it! I had my windows down driving home reminiscing about singing along & dancing to the songs that are now classics (yikes). It reminds me of when I was is *LOVE* with the boys when I was 13 years old.

Of course they had listeners call in after the song and give their opinions. All the young girls called in saying how much it sucked and they didn't understand the hype.....well, they weren't around the first time around. We were!

I think the boys are even hotter now then years ago and I'm going to buy the new CD when it comes out. I hope they come around MA during their tour (they better since they are from Boston). My husband doesn't know yet, but he is so going if my cousins can't go!

Who's with me!?!?!?!

MeMe Tag

I was checking out other blogs & I can across this tag. I guess the object is to answer the question using one work. So here it goes...

In a Word

1. Where is your cell phone?

2. Your significant other?

3. Your hair?

4. Your mother?

5. Your father?

6. Your favorite thing?

7. Your dream last night?

8. Your favorite drink?

9. Your dream/goal?

10. The room you’re in?

11. Your hobby?

12. Your fear?

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?

14. Where were you last night?

15. What you’re not?

16. Muffins?

17. The last thing you did?

18. What are you wearing?

19. Something you’re not wearing?

20. Your mood?

21. Your summer?

22. Person(s) you tag?
anyone who reads my blog

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Circus is in Town

We went to the circus today! It was me, my husband, my BIL, my niece & my FIL (my SIL had to attend to other family business, sorry Sarah). Thanks to my husbands company, we got free tickets to go. His company donates money to the Melha Shrine Circus (the circus is part of a children's hospital in our area) and in turn he receives tickets to hand out to his employees.

As we were driving to the circus, I let my niece use my camera. Here is the people she rode with in Auntie's van through her eyes.

Her Daddy

Uncle Jeff (my husband)

Auntie Mana

Ally (my niece) & Grandpy

My niece had no idea where she was going, only that a surprise was waiting for her. When we walked into the arena, she really didn't say anything but was looking around at all the people, food, animals (there was elephant and horse rides before the show, but we were too late to participate) and all the other sites to see.We made it to our seats just in time for the show to start. Here are some more pictures that she took during the show.

The elephant act

A self portrait

Grandpy (the guy in blue)

Her daddy

Intermission Horse Rides

Setting up for the Tiger Performance

The show was great! It had a trapeze act, clown shows, a tiger performance, balancing acts, roller skating performance, elephant acts and so much more. It was really a great time. Also, the cotton candy and popcorn were a treat too. It was fun watching my nieces reaction to all the different things. We all had a wonderful time.