I’m sharing a PSA from my hubby today.

Got a dirty dishwasher?  Dishes coming out dirtier than when they went in?  Go get some oil. Yes, oil.  Cheap veggie oil, or whatever oil you might have on hand.  Well, don’t use motor oil.  😉

Pour 2 cups of your chosen oil in your empty dishwasher and then run a wash cycle.  No soap, no heated dry. Then, when that is done, take 2 cups of vinegar. No, this is not a salad recipe.  Take those 2 cups of vinegar and put it in the dishwasher.  Run the same wash cycle as before.  When that’s done, run a regular wash cycle with your usual detergent. 

When that is all done, open it up and stand back to marvel at how clean it is.  Then fill it up with all the dishes that have piled up in your sink while you were cleaning the dishwasher out. 


Mary–Master of all things…….

My baby graduated with her Master’s degree in social work this past week.  When referring to her, she is now Awesome Mary Clement, MSW.  Oooohhhhhh yeah!

I flew up to Chicago on Thursday for Friday’s graduation.  The girls stayed with my friend Noelle while Alex was working.  I hear they had a blast.  Smile  Thank you, Noelle!! 

Mary and I stayed downtown at the same hotel we stayed in last year.  If anyone is going to Chicago, I highly recommend the Hilton Garden Inn.  They rock!  There’s even a Starbucks in there and they have soymilk!

Friday morning we had to be there at 7:45.  Well, she had to be there at 7:45, I just followed along.  And froze.  OMG – it was cooooold!  So much for shorts and flip flops!

Here are some graduation photos.  I did not use my flash and realize that I probably should have.  Oy.




Will you look at that!  That’s my girl down there!  Red heartDSC_0026

Hey look, there she is….slightly blurred.DSC_0032


I know you can see her now!  She was easy for me to spot since she was the only one wearing a red sash.  Hmmm…..I had no clue why, though.DSC_0039






Cute – we were both taking pictures.DSC_0043


This graduation was much shorter than last years’; thank goodness!DSC_0044


I loved watching the interpreter, though I understood none of it!DSC_0046


Hi Awesome Mary!DSC_0048








I snuck down to get a few photos.  This is where I should have put on my flash.  Ugh.DSC_0065


She found me.  Winking smile  DSC_0067




Please don’t ask me to remember their names.  Sad smile  I am awful when it comes to names.  I’m so sorry.  DSC_0077


It was fun taking photos in the building (and the heat was an added bonus!).  DSC_0078


Aweome Mary Clement,  MSW.  That’s my girl. Open-mouthed smileDSC_0080

So, while we were taking photos in the social work building, Mary said she had a gift for me.  She took off the red sash that she was wearing and put it around my neck.  She had gotten it for me and wore it during her graduation.  Then she handed me a bag.

I can tell you that I cried like a baby.  A lot.  This gift means the world to me.  My children mean the world to me.  I take no credit for the awesomeness in Mary; that is all from her.  I’ve learned a lot in my 22 years as a parent.  I’ve failed miserably – a lot – and it took quite a while for me to learn my lessons, but I think I have.  This beautiful gift let me know that maybe I’ve learned a lesson or two.  DSC_0084


I am so thankful for my children and thrilled that I get to be their mom.  This is priceless and I will treasure it forever.  I love you 10, Mary.  Winking smile  DSC_0085


Stay tuned for the rest of my Chicago trip!

Kali is 10!!!!!

Margaritas for everyone!  Happy Cinco de Mayo…… baby is 10!  Well, okay, it is technically “’seis de Mayo,” but you all know what I mean!

I cannot believe my baby is 10.  TEN!  She is my favorite 10 year old in the entire universe!

We had lots of fun yesterday. Smile  Of course I have lots of pictures to show you; why thank you for asking!


Good morning beautiful birthday girl!DSC_0002


Good morning beautiful birthday girl’s sister!DSC_0015


I wonder what’s in the bag!?DSC_0006

Daddy made vegan/gluten free french toast.  OMG.  Sooo very good!  I topped mine with some strawberries.  The girls did strawberries and blueberries.DSC_0020


She got an Ariel music box from Hannah.  Smile  Mary sent her a gift card for the movies!  Hmmm….I wonder what she’ll want to go see?!DSC_0028


I wanted to go take a nap with this pillow  Smile  She used the money she got from Grandma and Grandpa to buy a much-wanted digital camera.  She’s been wanting one for a few years now..DSC_0033


This is the cutest little light I have ever seen!DSC_0039


Kali said she wants an underwater themed bedroom, so Dory and Squirt came to hang out here.  SmileDSC_0046


Mine.  Mine.  Mine.  (Bonus points if you know what movie I’m talking about)DSC_0061


Kali said she had to go lay in a hammock.DSC_0062


So off to the Polynesian we went!DSC_0067


She could have stayed here all day!DSC_0069


I made sure she had a birthday button.  Smile  (though this may have started the spiraling down we experienced later on in the day.  Poor girl.  Too much going on at once and it’s just too much for her.)DSC_0081


Hannah was chillin’ out in a lounge chair.  Yes, she has a jacket on.  It was cold!DSC_0090


Building sand castles – Kali style.DSC_0092


This one is for you, Mary!! Winking smileDSC_0103


Checking out the glass artist in Downtown Disney.DSC_0106



I WANT THIS!!!!  I think it was ‘only’ $2,500.  Wish they would have had this in a smaller reprint.DSC_0119


Then we took a ride over to Animal Kingdom Lodge to see if any of the animals were out.  DSC_0123












This little one kept trying to reach the tree and was missing it by mere inches.  It was so funny to watch.  In the end she ended up getting a bunch of leaves.DSC_0159






My gorgeous birthday girl.  Think Disney would miss a chair???  DSC_0179


Who is this man?  I do not know him.  lolDSC_0184


Hannah famous red shoes.DSC_0187






I swear he was rocking those girls in the chairs.  Lol.  Divas.DSC_0208


We went in the store and the girls started playing tic-tac-toe.  Kali won.  Again.DSC_0209


Then off to Ethos for dinner!  MmmmmmmmmmDSC_0220


And then finally back at home for some birthday cheesecake!DSC_0233


Do you think she was excited about this?!DSC_0236



Happy 10th Birthday to my amazing Kali.  I am so very happy that I got to be your momma. ♥  I love you!

The Container Store

AKA – the store I have been waiting for since I moved down here 14 years ago!

Today was the blogger preview over at The Container Store in Orlando.  My friend Carolyn sent me the information about it, and after I emailed them, I was lucky enough to get in.  I was also able to bring the girls along with me, which was really cool.

I know I haven’t had a lot of pictures in my posts lately, so I am about to make up for that here!

I will tell you that I was giddy when I finally saw the store.  Like I said, I have been waiting 14 years for them to get to my neck of the woods!DSC_0007

We were some of the first people inside.  Smile  Better to be early, I always say!DSC_0012

Look at this organizational wonderland!  There are 5 aisles dedicated just to kitchen stuff.  It’s like Disney for your house!DSC_0010

After everyone got there, lunch was served.DSC_0017

While lunch was going on, Elaine told us all about the company’s history (this is their 60th store!).  I was really interested in how they decide who to hire and how much training they get!  Go ahead and guess how many hours of training they get in their first year….I’ll give you the answer at the end.DSC_0018

Then we started the store tour.  I feel some huge organizational projects being started (and completed) in the near future!DSC_0019

Yes, I’m sure right now you are thinking about all of the things you can do with just these few items, right?!  I know I am.  I see a closet shelf full of those awesome window boxes – they have drop-down fronts!DSC_0021

There is a hanger for every need or want.  Hannah is just happy they have red hangers.  SmileDSC_0024

How many things can you think to hang from one of these gorgeous butterflies?  DSC_0026

Tie Rack, schmie rack……one of these is going to come home with me soon and be part of my new running medal holder!DSC_0027

Most likely it will be the one right at the top of this photo.  DSC_0028

Every time I saw anything orange, I had to stop myself from yelling out “Go Gators!”  lol  DSC_0030

Bamboo everywhere!  Tonight they’re having a preview party, so they will be serving food by using Container Store items.  Too cool.DSC_0032



I love this desk set up.  I think the girls would love this for themselves, too!DSC_0036





The travel aisle was one of my favorites!  OMG.  Soo many things I want to go back there for!DSC_0045

I thought of my Awesome Mary instantly.DSC_0043

She is a Minnie addict and I know she’d love one of these.DSC_0044

I am definitely going to have to go back there ASAP.DSC_0042

Something else that may follow me home shortly.DSC_0047

For those of us that love paper goods……DSC_0048

This all looked like amazing stuff.DSC_0050

We were told that this was recently featured on Shark Tank.  These are all magnetic and you can stick them anywhere on the magnetic wall pieces.  I need to win the lottery now.DSC_0052

One of these by the front door would be cool!DSC_0054

I want this red garbage can.  Honey, do you see this?!?!?  I want this.  Winking smile  No, wait….I NEED this.DSC_0057

Got a gift that needs a box?  You have come to the right place!  Giftwrap, ribbons, whatever you need, it is here.DSC_0058

It might be fun to do the laundry after you shop here!DSC_0063

I can think of a million uses for one of these.  Or two.  Or three.DSC_0064

I love these pull out organizers.  I’m going to have to work a lot more to replace the money I could spend here!DSC_0067


I can not be trusted down this aisle.DSC_0070

And I most certainly cannot be trusted here.  They had me at ‘glass jars.’DSC_0072




Okay, if I thought I would have trouble in those other aisles…..that is nothing compared to these.DSC_0077

These aisles could very well do me in.DSC_0079

I have a huuuuuuuge weakness for all things lunch-box related.  I need a 12-step group.  Oh wait….no I don’t.  Then I’d have to admit that I have a problem, and I do not think that lunches packed in cool things constitutes a problem.  Carry on!DSC_0081

I think I drooled here.DSC_0082

Definitely lusted over these.DSC_0083

See.  I almost looked completed glazed over at this point!  Like a drunk woman in a liquor store.  Be still my heart.DSC_0084

We left with these awesome Container store sweater boxes filled with super-cool goodies. DSC_0091

Want to see what’s inside?DSC_0092


This was packed full of the coolest stuff!DSC_0095




The erasable food labels are freezer safe!  And that Eagle Creek mini cube will be coming up to Chicago with me soon.DSC_0101

We even got something to weigh our suitcases with!  Too cool.  Though I think I was more excited about the cable turtle.  I want more of those!DSC_0102

See….a sandwich container.  *sigh*DSC_0103

Those magnets are really cool!  So many uses for those little things.DSC_0104

That i-cloth is awesome!DSC_0106

Here’s a fun Container Store fact:  You can order online, drive over to the store, and they will bring your purchase out to your car for you!  No getting out of your car, no nothing.  Just show up and get your stuff.  Oh yeah!  Though if you want to go in, there is 24,000 square feet of organizational goodness just waiting for you inside!

The answer to “how many hours of training does a sales person get during their first year?”  263 hours.  Yes.  263.  These people know everything about their products!  Have a problem?  They will find a solution for you.

Here’s a group shot of everyone at the end of the tour.  I know you can see us back there!  container store group

Thank you, Container Store, for having this blogger preview.  It was really fun.  Even my girls had a great time (thanks for letting me bring them!)

If you’re in the Orlando area, or anywhere with a Container Store, hop in your car and go!  It’s a great store, with great people, and more than 10,000 products to organize your life with.

Especially that red garbage can.  Honey, remember that red garbage can!!!!  I NEED THAT!

Stay tuned!

I get to do something really cool tomorrow (many thanks to my friend Carolyn for sending me the info for this!).

I am going to the brand spanking new Container Store in Orlando for the blogger’s preview day!  Oh yeah!

I’m sure there will be lots of fun things going on and I am currently charging up my camera battery to catch it all.

I’ve been waiting for years for the Container Store to come down here.  It’s about time!  Smile


I’ve held off writing anything about the Boston Marathon tragedy because frankly, it has all been a bit overwhelming and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all of it.

Is that possible?

How does one wrap their head around the senseless acts of last Monday?  The death, the injuries, the devastation, the total panic that ensued afterwards.  And, if you’re a runner, I’m sure you’ll understand the frustration of the runners that were thisclose to the finish line and never made it.

I am a runner.  I will most likely never qualify for Boston, (unless I can run the 80-year old qualification time, and I doubt I could do that!) but I am a runner.  Running is my sport of choice.  It’s my outlet, my peace, my zen, my sweat, my hard work, and my determination.  It’s my ‘me time,’ my church, and my place to zone out.

Someone violated that.  It doesn’t matter who did it, why they did it, how it was done, whether or not we ever hear the entire story, (and you know we won’t.) or know all the truths of what we have heard.  It doesn’t matter.  It happened.  It happened to those who were physically there and to those whose hearts were in Boston that day.

Does this make me think twice about signing up for races?  Sure it does.  Does it make me want to tell my family not to come and cheer me on?  Hell no!  I love seeing them at the finish line, and I hear they like being there.  Now I want to do even more races.  And I will.  I will always run first for me, second for my family, and now I will run third for Boston.  (Look up #run3rd – it’s great!)