ShabbyBlogs - Must be Maddie

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

I woke up to a sweet, whispered "Merry Christmas Eve Baby."  It was the perfect way to start the day, let alone a weekend.  See, Husband and I decided to take off the whole week between Christmas and New Years.  I get to spend 10 uninterrupted days with him - and I am SO looking forward to it.  

It was a warm Christmas Eve, like 50 degrees, but a beautiful day.  It started off with a quick trip to the In-Laws during which time MamaH invited me and my mom to the movies. I gladly accepted because Husband was planning on making sausage - an all day event.  Thankfully my brother was in town and was able to play sous chef leaving me available to go see The Decedents with the girls.  

After a quick trip to the gym and a quick shower, we headed off to the movie theatre.  The theatre was surprisingly empty and Margaret (sis-in-law) and I sat smack dap in the middle of the theatre, feet propped up on the seats in front of us and started to catch up.  

I love Margaret.  I am SO SO SOOOOO thankful to have such wonderful in-laws.  I have always wanted a sister and Margaret is perfect.  Seriously the perfect sister.  I love the girl.  Did you know she was accepted into Americorps?  She's got the sweetest heart.  

Anyway, the movie started and we settled in...

...It was an interesting movie.  Not quite what we were expecting, but good.  My advice, wait to rent it at Redbox.  

While I was admiring all the pretty Christmas lights on the way home, I saw a streak of light flash across the sky.  It couldn't have been a plane because it moved really fast and then disappeared.  It was a shooting star!!  Which actually turned out to be the Lovejoy comet.  

It was a wonderful day.  That evening we went to church and then headed to the neighbors afterwards for cards and a night cap.  It was a wonderful beginning to the holiday break. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Everyone has their 'quirks.'  For me, it's my feet, more specifically my toes.  I must be able to wiggle my toes and feel like they have room to breathe.  I need the wiggle room.  It puts me at ease.  Not being able to move my toes is one of the only things that will make me panic.  

I remember sitting in Econ class in college one Fall day, cursing myself for wearing such thick socks with my boots.  I had tuned out the professor with thoughts of trying to make room in the toebox of my boots.  I think I was a Freshman or a Sophomore and I was doing everything I could to get my toes to move without losing my cool and running out of the classroom...wiggle violently in hopes my socks would compact and give me some room; not move my toes at all and try to focus on my geeky professor (obviously this one failed immediately), taking deep soothing breaths to slow my racing heart.  Finally I couldn't take it any longer and unzipped my mid-calf brown boots, pulled my foot out just enough and then all the panic faded away as I wiggled my little piggies.

This craziness is not something that set-in in college.  No, this started in elementary school.  I remember sitting on the floor of my baby sitter's house one morning fiddling with my socks to get them just right so that I would have breathing room when I put my foot into my shoe.  But I couldn't get the socks to stay in place and the socks would suffocate my toes as I gingerly slid my foot into my shoe.  I was frustrated and it's very possible there were tears.  And I almost missed the bus that morning.  Seriously.

So when the subject of toe wiggling came up in conversation last weekend I felt like I had met a long lost sister.  Immediately this girl and I started swapping stories about our crazy need to have wiggle room in our shoes.  Pretty soon we had another chick joining in our convo with her quirky tendencies.

Isn't it amazing how the things we find so unique and quirky about ourselves can be the catalyst for making connections with new people?  I love it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A steal

About a month ago, my manager told me about a Groupon deal where she got a beautiful pearl necklace for $80.  

Well she texted me last night and said Groupon has the deal again!  For $80 you get an "18-inch pearl necklaces in eight color choices with pouch, shipping, certificate of authenticity & two $50 vouchers for future purchases" 

I feel like I should mention this 18" necklace is regularly priced at $450!?!  Crazy - who in the world would pay that?  So $80 for the necklace and $100 towards another purchase is a STEAL.  

I think I am going to get the multi-colored strand with white, lilac and peach pearls. 

I also have my eye on this lovely: 

Definitely head over to Groupon.  If not for this deal, there are bunches of others.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 ended up being great

Husband and I headed to the Charlottesville Pavilion to see the Trey Anastasio Band play.  After a disappointing dinner we were looking forward to musical awesomeness.  =)  

After a drink or two, we were definitely in a better mood.  

When Trey and the band came out, the crowd roared with excitement.  As soon as they started playing, suddenly everyone was on their feet.  Husband describes them as a 'jam band' with lots of solos and improv and I think it's a great description.  The band's talent was very impressive.  Such incredible control and understanding of instruments and music.  I couldn't help but sway and dance with the music.  

I LOVED that the band had a pianist, trumpet and trombone player!  On top of being showered with fun, upbeat music there was a killer light show.  Lots of pinks, purples and greens.  Oh my!

That's Trey!  SO talented! 

Something I love about music, is how it brings people together.  It's a common thing people can talk about and relate to each other about.  As usual, I made friends while standing in line for the ladies' room.  

It turned out to be an awesome night.  During intermission we met up with Husband's cousins who were at the concert.  We danced, we laughed, and just enjoyed the evening.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

It can't always be perfect

This past weekend Husband and I had a quick trip to Charlottesville.  We were in town to see the Trey Anastasio Band play downtown.  Some of you may not be familiar but he is the lead singer of Phish and incredibly talented.

Anyways we got to our friend's house Saturday afternoon with just enough time for the boys to play a game of chess and drink a few beers.

{my iPhone pic}

Early afternoon, 4:30pm or so, we headed downtown looking for food and drinks before our concert.  We  stumbled into this little Italian restaurant, Sal's Italian cafe/diner.  We looked at the menu, then looked at each other and immediately wondered, 'do you think we can get up and leave?'  The menu was over priced and we weren't impressed with their offerings.  But for some reason we stayed.

Husband ordered mushroom ravioli and I ordered pomodoro fresco.  The Caesar salads - not great...their homemade dressing was poor.  We hoped our entres would be better, but our hopes were trampled.  My pasta needed to be cooked 2 minutes longer, the garlic bits were still bitter, and the tomatoes were no saving grace.  The mushroom ravioli didn't look any better.  We ate quickly and left as soon as we could.  If you find yourself in Charlottesville, steer clear of this place.

Sal's left us with a bad taste in our mouths...literally.  Feeling cheated and deceived, we looked for a bar in hopes of washing away the failure we just ate.  We ended up at Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar - an open, second floor bar over looking the main strip of the downtown mall.  Thankfully yummy beers helped.  We snagged a corner seat and ordered fries.  Strike 2 of the night.  Our "fries" were not potato as we assumed, they were yuca; a "starchy tuberous root." It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what we wanted.

We laughed and realized every place has its ups and downs, and we were experiencing the "other" side of Charlottesville that day.

Around 6pm or so we headed to the pavilion and found seats.  We hung out waiting anxiously for the concert.  I hoped this would not be a third strike for the night...

Monday, October 10, 2011


Dear Running,

I never thought you and I would become so intertwined.  That my sanity, let alone my health, would rely so heavily on you on such a daily basis.  You allow me to process my thoughts at my own speed without interruption.  You help me to free myself from the emotions that sometimes feel like they are choking me.  You have strengthened my body and my mind.  You're a tricky S.O.B. with the mind games you play, but I have to admit I love it.

Unfortunately you have worn me a bit ragged, specifically my shins.  The sweet, endearing feelings I have for you will never change.  I will always want you.  But right now my shin scream, plead and beg for me to stop.  For about 10+ years they have worked so hard, and I think they need a hiatus. I'm sorry I cannot ignore their burning any longer.

So I'm incredibly saddened that we need some space.

This weekend, I thought I could squeak in a 6k race.  I had hoped that I would be able to run with you, but my shins won and I resorted to being a walker.  I can happily say I finished the race.  I got that cute reddish pink shirt and I even made a friend during the race.

But I can't lie.  I felt a bit of resentment toward all the other running ladies.  It was nothing against them, and I'm sure they too have experienced this struggle, but for the first time in my life I really feel like you were doing more harm than good.  It's been a lot tougher than I thought, staying away from you.  But I think it's for the best.

Please don't forget me, and do not by any means, think you have won.  Because I will be back.  I will be back with a vengeance, strong and healthy and ready to make even more progress than I ever have.

Until next time,


Friday, October 7, 2011

Scatter the dew

The person who doesn't scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs.
Hunter S. Thompson

Seize your day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Believe the hype

I was skeptical.  I had seen the commercials and celebrity endorsements but it seemed too good to be true. It wasn't until a good friend of mine told me to believe the hype...Proactiv works.

She didn't have "bad" skin.  In fact I thought she had pretty good skin, not many break outs,  and her skin tone was fairly even; I didn't think she really needed much improvement.  But when she told me instead of wearing full coverage foundation (like I have always known her to do) that she was only wearing concealer and powder, I knew I had to give it a try.

EarlyAugust is when I got the Proactiv 30 day starter pack: the cleanser, toner, and repairing treatment.  With my pack came a little refining mask.  Like I said I was skeptical.

Pinky swear, I saw a difference within 1-2 weeks.  That is lightening fast when you are talking about skin.  My rosacea has calmed down.  I have not had any break outs.  My skin tone is more even than it has ever been.  And my skin is softer than ever!

My initial questions were answered immediately.

Isn't this line really harsh? No.  Not at all.  The cleanser has teeny tiny micro scrubbers.  We're talking the smallest exfoliators I have ever used.  I think the small granules make this cleanser much less irritating compared to other exfoliating cleansers.

What about drying out your skin?  No, this line does not do that either.  The cleanser and toner is much gentler than I expected.  Honestly I was expecting the toner to sting after washing my face (because I know it happens to us all), but it didn't at all.

I do have a few caveats to add.

I do use make-up remover before washing my face.  I hate to admit this, but I wasn't using make up remover and I think that was part of the problem.  I really needed to get all of my make up off in order for any cleanser to really do it's job well.

I only use Proactiv once a day partnered with a non-exfoliating cleanser.

So this is my routine (and this is probably over-share but I'm going to do it anyways.)

Mornings:  I use Clinique's Liquid Facial soap in the mornings, followed by Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion.  I've been using a combination of these two products for years and I didn't want to completely surprise my face with too many changes, so I'm keeping them in my routine.

Evenings:  I remove my make up and then use a little bit of Clinique's face wash to get rid of the oily residue the make up remover leaves on my face.  Then I use the Proactiv cleanser.  I probably don't need that pre-cleanser cleanser, but it works for me.

So after washing, I use the Proactiv toner to clean up anything the make up remover and cleanser left behind.  This is when I feel really clean.  My skin is not tight or overly dry at this point, as you might expect.  I feel like my skin looks really good too, clean and happy.  

Then after washing and toning, I use the repairing treatment.  I think of it as a protecting layer between my skin and the rest of the world.

Another plus of Practive - $20 for a 30 day supply.   Since I'm only using it once a day, It's early October and I am still a couple weeks away from needed to re-purchase anything.

I don't need nearly as much make up as I used to.  Instead of wearing a solid layer of full coverage foundation, I now only use a sheer layer of liquid foundation for work days.  On the weekends or after work, I only use powder.  It's a truly wonderful feeling not to stress about my face anymore.

I was skeptical, but believe me, it works.  And if you have questions, let me know.  I am happy to answer!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Wish List

I am reassessing my Fall/Winter wardrobe.  My style has changed since last year and I'm over my American Eagle sweaters.  I'm taking the one-in and one-out approach to purchases.  If I want something new, I have to give away something old.  Unfortunately space is not on my side right now.

This is my Fall/Winter wish list.  I'm looking for...

Black, probably straight leg pants that can be hemmed for flats.  I want to wear them to work and to date night w/ Hubby.  These pants are from Banana, $90, and I like that the leg is straight which I think might work best for a shorter hem.

Some corduroy pants might be nice too.  The ones below are from Jcrew, the skinny vintage matchstick cords, $80.

Update my sweaters.  I am not even sure where to start with this one...suggestions?  

I want to embrace the pleated skirt trend right now.  I feel like a pleated skirt paired with a simple top and blazer would be good for work, but could also be spun around for a sweet date night outfit too.  This beautiful blush one is from Ruche, $43.

Refresh my hosiery.  Last year I wanted polka dot tights, but I think I may have to go with these.  The "dots" are actually little hearts!  I love it!  They're from Asos and only $13.  I think so.  

I am always on the hunt for outfit-making-tops.  Always.

What's on your Fall wish list?  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Key Lime Pie

This summer, for the first time, I made key lime pie.  It's one of my dad's favorite pies.  After reading some recipes I settled on this one by Emeril from the Food Network.  It's a good, easy to follow recipe that makes a scrumptious pie.  It is so tasty!  I ended up making this pie four or five times this summer.  


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk - I like Eagle Brand
  • 1 cup key lime or regular lime juice - 8-10 limes 
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (depending on your oven) and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  (Side note: sometimes I baked my pies for 30 minutes.  I baked them until they were no longer jiggly in the middle.  There was a little movement but it didn't jiggle like jello.  Another test is inserting a knife and if it comes out clean, the pie is done.)
Once chilled, combine the sour cream and powdered sugar and spread over the top of the pie using a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the whipped cream sour cream and serve chilled.
So the original recipe calls for a sour cream topping...personally I didn't like it.  Call me crazy or a Yankee, but I wanted a sweet topping.  I substituted good ole' whipped cream for the sour cream, and it was delicious.  

This is a recipe I am locking away in my arsenal.  It's a good pie recipe that yields happy tummies.     

Sunday, September 18, 2011

BBQ Recipe

Husband & Peaches's Recipe for a good BBQ

-Grilled meat because people like to eat

-Roasted veggies, because roasted anything is good

-Good friends & good conversation

-A game of as$hole to keep things interesting

-Of course libations go hand in hand with food and games.

-Don't forget the sweets!

When you mix all these things together I guarantee you will have a memorable evening.

Farewell summer BBQs, it's been fun, but we're ready for Fall get togethers full of chili and stews, spiked cider and football.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So proud

My younger brother graduated this Spring.  He is all grown up.  He is making decisions.  He is living his life.  

As his big sister, I will always remember little Bubba standing in the kitchen and devouring whole cookies in three bites.  Laying under the dining room table reading with me.  Using our imaginations and playing with empty boxes for hours.  

This is another one of those memorable moments.  Graduating.  I am so proud.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Public performance

Back in July, Husband and I went to Charlottesville to escape northern VA and to watch one of our guy friends pole dance in public.  When we heard he was going to pole dance in public (!) we could not miss it.  We made sure to bring the camera.

This is our friend Drama Drew, the one with his own personal training business, our big, sometimes goofy friend.  You do not look at him and think "yeah that guy probably pole dances."  I have to say he impressed me!  He worked that pole.

Up side down

Swinging around 

Legs up

Not too shabby for such a big guy, right?  Rest assured, he did not wake up one morning and just decide to pole dance.  His girlfriend (the girl in the pink shirt) is an "exotic dance instructor."  And I feel like I should mention she does teach other kinds of dance too...but she is good with the pole.  

When the performances were over, we met a nearby bar for dinner and drinks.  While we were eating and drinking, Drew mentioned going to the beach in August.  My ears perked up.  Then I heard, "yeah my pops invited you & Peaches to come with us."  Say what?!  Apparently Drew's dad invited Husband and I to Drew's annual family vacation at the beach.  What a sweet gesture!  To be invited on someone else's family vacation was just so touching.  

We were heading to the beach in early August.  And I was so. excited.        

Monday, September 12, 2011

Catch Up

I am such a bad blogger.  But I do have LOTS to catch you up on...

a trip to the beach 

updates on new purchases!  (Fun!) 

a trip to the west coast 

a trip to another country!?  

a birthday 

food eaten 

down time 

family time

realizations about my future 

Life has just been really busy.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  

I miss you all terribly.  

Love & Hugs.   

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chocolate chip day!

Did you know it's national chocolate chip day?? That's what CNN says.

So in honor of the day I'm giving you my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's one my Godmother (I call her Aunt Terry) gave me along with her wedding gift to me and Hubby. It's a delicious and easy recipe.

Aunt Terry's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 sticks of butter (room temperature makes the cookies fluffy, but if it's melted, the cookies still turn out delicious)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts
1 12oz package chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the sugars with the butter until fluffy. Beat in the eggs until fluffy. Add the vanilla. In a separate bowl - mix baking soda, & salt with flour (I use a whisk). Add the dry ingredients to the sugar/butter mixture. Mix in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

They are SO yummy. Happy Baking!

It's a female thing

A few weeks ago I was at a farewell party for one of my favorite girls who is going to grad school. Hubby and Bubba, my brother, came along with me. We stood around drinking and chatting. At one point the door opened and there was a girl who went to my alma mater with a sleeping baby curled up and wrapped on her chest. She came over and we all talked and I couldn't help but rub the sleeping baby's back.

What is it with women and babies? Do your ovaries have baby radar?


Hubby was right. As soon as this chick walked in the door I automatically wanted to go talk to her about her & her baby. I wanted to rub it's back and know how old it was. I wanted to know if she was using disposable or fabric diapers. I wanted to know if she had read Nurture Shock.

Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's because I'm married. Who knows, but he called me out.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New hair cut

As you can probably tell, I'm craving change. A change in glasses. A change in thinking. A change in hair!

The salon I had been going to for the last ~2 years for some reason is closed. So by the suggestion of my BFF, MK, I went to Allure. Knowing the trials and tribulations I've had with my hair, I asked for a curly hair specialist off the bat.

Friday after work I went to this new salon a little apprehensive. Going to a brand new stylist is kind of a big deal for me. I tend to stick with the people who know how to cut curly hair, my hair in particular. But I was in need of a change, so I went in with positive thoughts.

I explained my hair to my new stylist. I learned that she had been cutting hair for over 25 yrs (big plus) and she her self has a head of curls.

So I sat and held my breath and she cut away. Snip snip snip. She fixed me right up. By the end I was a happy girl. I guess I ended up with a bob-sort of hair cut...a style I hadn't really tried before. I like it!

The real test comes when I wash my hair and wear it curly...

Happy Tuesday!
Love & Hugs!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

“Men do make passes at girls who wear glasses - but it all depends on their frames”

“Men do make passes at girls who wear glasses - but it all depends on their frames”

I'm in the market for another pair of glasses. I like my current pair but a girl needs choices. Especially considering I wear glasses every day (at some point). And I've had the same frames for about 7 years!

A while ago I discovered Warby Parker glasses from Nicole on Making it Lovely. Here's some quick info about them.

-Cute, vintage looking glasses
-Prescription glasses & frames for $95, hello affordability
-You can try on glasses virtually by uploading a picture of yourself
-They're an online retailer but they send you up to 5 glasses to try on at home...for free!
-You get to try on the glasses for 5 days, and you send them back...for free!
-"For every pair of glasses sold, they provide one to someone in need"

Now my dilema is deciding which 5 pairs to get for the home try on. This is what I was thinking:

Colton (below)
Finn (below)
Japhy (below)
Nedwin (below)
Webb (below)
Zagg (below)
I know they all look similar but what do you think?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

balancing act

I can't seem to find the balance in my life right now. I'm either doing too much or not doing enough. Some days I feel like I'm making progress in changing some of my bad habits and other days it feels like they are set in stone. I know I'm not the only person who struggles with this balancing act...but boy do I wish I could a better handle on it.

Friday, June 10, 2011


After doing some research I took the plunge and bought a couple things from my wish list. And I used Ebates for all my orders. Give me back my money honey!

I ordered the Kenneth Cole striped tank today. FUN! The details set it apart. I think it will be a fun play shirt and could be used for work tucked into a pencil skirt with a blazer.

I ordered the red VS pants. I found a coupon code which took the price down to less than $20 - so I had to get them at that price. I've never ordered VS clothing so we'll see how this plays out.

And I got the Nautica chambray shirt. I found a coupon code which took the price down to $27 and got me free shipping - another deal I couldn't pass up.

The chambray shirt and red pants should arrive on Monday. My fingers are crossed they fit!

This week flew by, which is great because I am so happy the weekend is here. No major plans. Except tonight I'm going to see Third Eye Blind play! I've been a fan since high school. I hope they're good.

Sunday MamaH is hosting a bbq for the cousins in the area and I'm making my Aunt Terry's chocolate chip cookies. Mmm they are delicious. I'll have to post the recipe.

Other than that Hubby and I will probably go to the Farmers Market and just hang out.

What are your weekend plans?


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wish list

I'm pinching my pennies so Hubby and I can save for a down payment on a house. This means I really have to think and 100% love any clothing purchase. This is my latest lust list:

Stripped shirt - I've been looking for a good stripped shirt (preferably navy & white) for a while.

Jcrew tank, on sale $30

Ella Moss tank, Nordstrom, $85 (pricey for a tank in my opinion)

Gap tank, $15 (top contender)
Looks like I'm diggin' the short sleeve stripes...

Chambray shirt - enough said.

Jcrew I heart chambray, $70 (love the heart pocket!)

Nautica chambray, on sale $35 (seriously considering getting this one)

Colored pants - This is a trend I feel like I could pull off pretty easily. Especially considering in college I owned pink and green pants. =) It's time for adulthood colored pants.

Zara has a bunch of colored pants ($40-60)! I must go soon.

Tory Burch Reva flats - classic, high quality that I expect to last for years. Yes they are pricey. But I can save up for these puppies!

Do you have any suggestions for where I can find my wish list items?
What's on your wish list for this summer?