August 10, 2010

An Ode To The Big Chief

You are my rock.

You are my best friend.

You are my love.


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July 30, 2010

It’s a Start

As noted in my last post, I’ve taken quite a lengthy leave of absence from the blogosphere.  And so several weeks later,  I’m still contemplating my blogging fate.  But today I felt a teeny, tiny little spark.  One that came right after finally catching up on a month’s worth of discussions on my favorite mommy google group.  And right before I took a (long overdue) peak at some recent updates on blogs I follow.  It made me realize  that I do miss this….the writing, the connecting, the sharing.
And so here I am – posting.  Baby steps.

I’ll finish with a super cute pic to end your Friday:

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July 7, 2010

Decisions, Decisions


So, if anyone out there is still reading this little bloggety blog, you may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent lately (3 weeks to be exact, and even that last post was a simple Wordless Wednesday).  Truth is, things were crazy busy for a while - then the whole fam got sick, and then all hell broke loose (don’t ask)!  However, since then, I’ve had more than one opportunity to continue writing….more than one free moment that would have provided plenty of time to write a post.  But, to put it bluntly, I just haven’t felt like it…and I’m not too sure why.  It’s as if all of my drive & enthusiasm for blogging simply went ‘poof’.

Alas, I am now at a point where the idea of abandoning this little project I started almost a year ago has entered my brain more than once.   Aside from the somewhat snarky writing & opinionating, the frequent pictures & accompanying adventures of my little family, the random fashion advice, and maybe a recipe or two, what really is the purpose of all this??  That, dear Internet, is the question!

Stay tuned….

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June 9, 2010

Picture Wednesday

I’m all about making dinner as easy as possible (YES, I do on occasion prepare recipes that require multiple steps & preparations) and tonight’s dish was no exception.  Here’s a rundown of what we used: Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips, Bush’s Fiesta Grillin’ Beans, Perdue Grilled Chicken Strips, and shredded cheddar cheese.  A few minutes of baking in the oven, and voila: Fiesta Nachos!   We also added some fresh salsa and guacamole on the side .  Oh, and of course I can’t forget the most important piece – a nice, cold, refreshing Margarita (Jose Cuervo’s  mix is quite yummy).  Delish!

(I know, maybe not the healthiest meal….but it’s easy, quick & cheap – that count’s for something, right?)

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June 8, 2010

Becoming A Fashionable Frugalista

As a typical girly-girl who loves anything related to clothes, makeup & accessories, I could easily partake in some serious retail therapy every single day of the week.  Seriously!  That is, if free time was abundant and funds were unlimited.   So yeah, it’s mostly that last part relating to finances that has really affected my shopping style….not only how OFTEN I venture out, but WHERE I go.  Times are tough, money is tight – we all know that and I’m sure many of us have been hit one way or another by the floundering economy.  I mean, just in the blogosphere alone there has been a huge influx of coupon/sale/deal-finder type blogs over the last few years, all looking to hook us up with money-saving tips & resources.  And believe me, those sites are great because without a doubt there are some fantastic deals to be had out there.  I’ve certainly noticed many more retailers offering frequent sales, and at much deeper discounts.

So, as I’ve continued to adjust certain shopping habits, I’ve found myself not only making good use of coupons & sales everywhere from the LOFT and Gap to Sports Authority and Nordstrom, but also turning more to lower-priced stores like Old Navy, Target, H&M or Express for fashion.  And you know what?  You CAN find cute & stylish things there….you just have to look, as well as maybe set your expectations a little lower as to availability & quality.  But so what if that $8 tee from Target only lasts a season or two!

*I will add a little caveat in here to say that I DO still purchase higher-end items (like designer jeans) from time to time.  I think sometimes spending more money on a quality item does pay off, especially when you consider the years of wear or custom-like fit that can not be found elsewhere that you get out of it.*

Anywho, I have recently found some fabulous pieces to add to my wardrobe, all at discounted prices or using coupons!

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June 5, 2010

Friday Fun At Please Touch Museum

So, after receiving an invite for Mommy Bloggers Day at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, I finally decided to go to my first blogging related event and am so glad that I did.  Not only did the peanut have a blast at the museum (a totally amazing giant playground designed for little ones to explore & learn through interactive play), it was also great to meet a few local bloggy mamas and put faces to a blogs!   I’m so excited to become more active with some of the blogging communities I’ve recently joined and hopefully attend more meet-ups in the future.  And of course connect with some new & amazing bloggers! 

I have to say though, the whole ‘introducing-yourself-to-people-you’ve-never-met-but-recognize-from-online’ thing is a little odd….and even a little awkward.  Especially since I tend to be a bit on the shy & reserved side and it’s not always easy for me to put myself out there (I’ve been working on that though for the last couple of years and believe me, I’ve come a long way!).   But no worries, everyone was so nice and the ladies were all fabulous.  I already can’t wait for Bloggy Bootcamp in September and  look forward to any events that may come before then.  So fun!

Here are just a few pics of a fantastically fun morning:

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May 23, 2010

The End Is Here

And no, I’m not talking about ‘LOST’ here (although, I am a huge ‘LOST’ fan and could write many pages about my profound & overwhelming sadness on seeing it all come to it’s final conclusion tonight).  The end I AM referring to is my daughter’s last week of school.  My sweet, little peanut is about to finish her first year of preschool and boy did it go by fast.  So incredibly fast!  

We have loved watching her grow into this amazing, independent, smart “big girl” over the last 9 months.  We have loved her wonderful teachers, who have tirelessly given their caring devotion & nurturing support to these tiny tots.  And we have loved her fabulous school – an extraordinary community of educators that is based on simplistic values and fostering the joy of learning.

So now we have the summer, and what I hope from the bottom of my heart will be a fantastic & memorable 3 months, laying ahead of us.  Come September, we continue on at the same school.  Then, it’s kindergarten.  Then we head to first grade, and before we know it she’ll be asking for the keys to the car, right?  Phew, I can’t even wrap my brain around that.  I have a feeling I’ll be repeating the following sentence quite a bit to my little princess: “please, please, please don’t grow up too fast!”.

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May 21, 2010

Fawk You Friday #2


If you read last week’s post, you know the deal -  it’s time once again to vent, complain, bitch, and generally air out your frustrations for the week.
So here goes:

  • FAWK you to those unaware of their own near-sightedness
  • FAWK you blemishes that randomly take residence on my chin – as an adult I should not have to deal with you any longer
  • FAWK you to the economy that has caused so many of us to find ourselves burdened with financial woes 

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May 20, 2010

Our Puppy Is Fabulously Fashionable!

Since we first adopted our lovable pup Sam about 1 1/2 months ago, the fashionista in me has been on a mission to outfit him with something much more awesome than the standard blue collar/leash we initially purchased at PetSmart.  Now, before I continue, I have to state that I have no intention of making our little boy look like some sort of sissy in a paisley getup, who is secretly the laughing-stock of all his doggy friends.  And no, I do not plan on  purchasing any kind of coat/sweater/diamond choker/ribbon for him in the near future!  I just want something that’s a little more fun, yet still let’s him keep his studly status.

So, it seems if you want anything more than just the standard boring colors, you have to turn to online stores/boutiques for more fashionable accessories.  Initially, I was set on a blue & turquoise camo collar…..manly enough, right?  However, as we got to know Sam better, we realized he is without a doubt much better served by a harness.  He can pull with the best of them (which is totally the Dachshund in him), and since he’s a small breed, a collar could potential harm his fragile little neck. 

Sooo, after much searching, I finally found this SUPER CUTE  & oh so stylish harness online:

Not only is it totally functional (due to the adjustable & strong velcro closure and the ability to easily slip it on), but there is not ever any danger of choking since the d-ring is located further back than a lot of other harnesses.  Each item is handmade with superior quality.  And isn’t the blue & brown striping, along with the pewter paw accent,  simply dashing (without being too over the top)? Of course, I had to get the matching leash as well. LOVE IT!!

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May 17, 2010

Mothering Outside The Box

I’ve often said that I’m not your typical stay-at-home mama  and have no problem what so ever admitting to this (I proudly display this statement on my blog’s brief  ‘about me’ bio).  In fact, I recently discovered another ‘non-mommy mommies’ type (as she calls herself) blogger, and love her new shits and giggles feature that kinda embraces what I’m trying to say here.  So be sure to check out Ericka over at – trust me, you won’t regret it!

Since my daughter was born and I first gingerly dangled my toe into the murky waters of motherhood, I have always felt a bit out of  sync when compared to other moms (and isn’t that what we do best, continually compare ourselves to those around us?).  Of course, my bout with postpartum the first 6 months (or more) certainly did not help matters – especially as I struggled to find that connection with my baby that most new mothers glowingly gush about.  I’ve often thought of myself as not really fitting into that standard motherhood mold, which seems to require most if not all of the following actions: cooking for the entire family 7 days a week, meticulously cleaning every nook & cranny of the house on a WEEKLY basis (this includes baseboards, windows, blinds, etc.), laundering something/anything on a DAILY basis, sewing & mending as needed, and basically satisfying everyone’s needs at all times so that no one shall be left unfulfilled……and all of this is done with a giant smile, apron on, oven mitts in hand!

Phew, that’s one hell of a job description!  Not that I don’t do any of that, just maybe not as often or with as much enthusiasm.  So, in celebration of those of us who are more the anti-Betty Crocker kind, I thought I’d compile my personal list of  5 random yet awesome qualities that make me who I am  - a real mom, not afraid to admit my faults and sit back, eat some chocolate, and revel in my imperfections (ok, so I don’t often sit around and celebrate my inadequacies, but you get my point).
  1. I LOVE takeout (or carry-out, take-away, what have you) and have about 20+ menus in my collection that get used quite frequently.
  2. I tend to curse like a sailor, although never around my daughter if I can help it, and find it slightly cleansing to get out a good “mother******.
  3. Sometimes I’ll drive a little slower on the way to pick up the peanut at school, just so I can listen to Howard Stern for a few more minutes.
  4. I love my little girl with every fiber of my being, this cannot be stated enough, but praise the Nap Gods for my daily dose of  ME TIME over the last 4 years (knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood)!
  5. A good glass of wine (or a Margarita if need be) at the end of the day solves all problems.
So there you have it!  Now come on, aren’t you just itching to share some of your beautiful realness???

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May 14, 2010

Show A Mama Some Love!

Since my hubby is currently hogging the TV by watching the Phillies game (thereby causing me to miss my usual Friday night staple of  ‘Dateline NBC’….ok, so I guess I could head downstairs to one of our other 2 televisions, but that would require me to actually be motivated enough to get my lazy tush out of bed), I figured why not write a post wherein I kindly implore my fabulous bloggy peeps to throw a vote or two my way.

Where, you ask??  Why, over at Top Mommy Blogs, of course!   My little blog listed there, and I’d greatly appreciate if you showed me some love – I sure could use it.  Just click on the link below:

(if the link doesn’t work, you can also search by 'EllaBellaMozzarella' or find me
under 'Stay At Home Blogs')  

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Fawk You Friday!

So, I discovered this fabulous new blog hop while reading about some yucky stuff going on in another blog hop I previously participated in every so often (and will not do so going forward).  Since it’s really not my place to comment or judge the aforementioned “situation”, you can go HERE for the details.


Anywho, the minute I saw this new weekly meme, I absolutely LOVED it!   A place to vent, complain, bitch, and generally air out your frustrations for the week (weekend, here I come – wahoo!!).  Thanks to Jana over at Boobies, Babies & A Blog for such a fabulous idea.

  • FAWK you cancer
  • FAWK you to selfish people
  • FAWK you rainy weather for refusing to let us be
  • FAWK you to the sweet, yummy, deliciousness that is any and all baked goods – for being sooo good, yet oh so bad


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May 8, 2010

Pretty In Pink

Yeah, yeah….I know.  It’s once again been a while since I’ve written a post on my little bloggety blog.  I have no excuse, except that life has kept us busy…yada, yada, yada.  With pre-school nearing an end soon (OMG, still can’t believe how fast it went!), there has been lots to do as everything starts to wrap up over the next few weeks.  Plus, the peanut’s been going through a continuous whining/crying/temper tantrum throwing phase that unfortunately shows no signs of slowing down.  Add to that the puppy & all of his lovely teenage-like antics, and we’ve been simply exhausted.  I swear, between the kid and the dog, it sometimes feels like all we do around here is yell!  Oh, and let’s not forget the most important thing of all – ‘LOST’!  I am completely obsessed with this show and could easily spend hours perusing blogs & websites dedicated to it, reading up on popular theories and predictions of what it all means.  Truly, after 6 years of faithful devotion to this amazing hour-long drama, I am so sad that it is all coming to a permanent end soon and am not sure what I’ll do with myself afterward, lol .  And before you call me a complete loser, I have quite a few friends who feel exactly the same.  So there!

Anywho, hopefully I’ll be energized enough soon to once again fill these pages with fabulous & witty content!    For now, I leave you with a few more pics of the peanut.

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April 22, 2010

A Man And His Dog

I meant to post this yesterday for “Wordless Wednesday”, but never got around to downloading the picture from my camera.  What can I say, procrastination is my middle name!   When I told my hubby about posting the pic, his immediate response was “you mean the one where I look like a beached whale?”.   I totally predicted he’d say something like that too.  Right before I checked the calendar to see if it was time for his period again. 

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April 20, 2010

Old Navy – You Sorta, Kinda Suck!

I don’t know about you, but my shopping experiences have seriously been lacking as of late….instead turning into frustrating & annoying excursions.  Now, I must preface my forthcoming rant by stating that about 90% of my retail therapy is carried  out at mid to bargain-priced stores (i.e. Gap, Target, Old Navy, etc.) and the rest is done in places more toward the higher-end of the spectrum like Nordstrom, or with brands such as Juicy and Seven For All Mankind.  Of course, it goes without saying that my distress comes not from the latter, but from those that fall into that 90% realm.

Now, what I’m talking about here revolves around two main complaints:

1. a lack of inventory/size availability
2. a significant decline in quality. 

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed both of these issues all over the place and I gotta’ tell you, it’s starting to piss me off.  It seems no matter when I go, the styles I like are barely stocked and not available in my size….the few pieces left dangling from the rack are either a size “0” or a size “16”, with not much in-between.   And if I do come across something in my size, you bet your tushie I’m buying it, because chances are excellent I will never find it again.  I mean seriously, is it me or are these stores totally not re-stocking items once they sell out??  Whereas before a shopper could afford to come back weeks later to buy an item, now there really is no such freedom of time.  In addition, I’ve seriously noticed the quality of many clothes has taken a nosedive.  Of course, with bargain stores you can’t set your expectations too high to begin with and should be happy if a shirt lasts longer than a season or two.  But this is getting ridiculous, that even here they’ve managed to lower their standards and sell some flat-out crap!

All of this was none the more evident than during my weekend trip to our local Old Navy.  Now, they’ve recently renovated this location and the fact that the new layout is freakin horrendous certainly didn’t help matters.  Add to that that the store was completely DESTROYED (at about 2pm in the afternoon no less) and I was already ticked off before I even got started.  But, I had high hopes, especially since it was the first day of their “stuff & save” promotion and I was looking to find some great deals.  Alas, my dreams were dashed once I started walking around.  I was specifically looking for some new capris for summer.  However, there was hardly any selection whatsoever, certainly not what they should have had on the first day of a sale and for this time of year.  And what little availability they did have, of course wasn’t at hand in my size.  In fact, almost nothing I liked was!  GRRRRR!   Then there was the quality of some items, or rather the lack thereof.   Especially their standard t-shirts….they were way too thin and the fit was just really off, not flattering in any way.  Honestly, I can find better t-shirts at Target (and cheaper too).  And did I mention the inconsistent sizing??  One size definitely did not fit all, that’s for sure.

Needless to say, I spent like an hour and a half in that Godforsaken store, trying on everything in 3 different sizes and desperately wanting to make something work!  I ended up with this shirred, short sleeved shirt for a measly $6.99 and 4 items for my TODDLER.  Again, GRRRRR!  Dare I say that I think my long standing love affair with Old Navy might be coming to a sad & tragic end?!

Ok, enough whining & complaining (for now).  But, I must ask, does anyone else feel the same way??  Are you guys experiencing the same frustrations??  CAN I GET AN AMEN??

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April 15, 2010

Dancing Queen

A while back I mentioned that the peanut was taking dance classes (see HERE), which consist of both ballet & tap.  It’s been about 8 months now, and we’re slowly gearing up for the big finale that will showcase all these weeks of learning & practice – the RECITAL!  It’s been a long time coming (the date is set for mid-June), and a few weeks ago the little ones got to try on their costumes for the first time.  I had seen pictures of years past and was really expecting some sort of shiny, sparkly number.  Instead, the outfit is more about ruffles, lace and satin.  Wearing it, Ella looks like a munchkin-sized green & purple flower……almost a bit reminiscent of those adorable Anne Geddes portraits from years ago.  Honestly, I wasn’t very fond of the whole ensemble at first.  But, as I continue to look at the pictures, the dress is definitely growing on me.   And I have to admit, she does look awfully cute, no?

Costume aside, I’m still unsure of how she’ll do on the big day.  Back in December, her pre-school class performed a mini concert for parents & loved ones.  When she first entered the room alongside her classmates, she seemed genuinely excited & happy.  But as she slowly gazed around and saw the small crowd assembled in front of her, her demeanor changed literally in an instant.  From then on, our peanut stood up there with a sour puss on her face & refused to participate, much less actually sing any of the songs.  I honestly think it was all a little overwhelming and she simply got a bit of stage fright.  This is all to say, that she very well could get up on that stage in June and once again be frozen with fear.  Or, she just might surprise us and dance her little heart out.  Either way, we’ll be enthusiastically cheering on our little ballerina all the way and promptly congratulating her with flowers, hugs & kisses!

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April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – Fun At The Park

Decided on an impromptu trip to the park after school – as a way to make up for mama being a bit crabby this morning (and the chocolate doughnut we picked up on the way was in no way related, honest). 

Yeah, yeah, I know….mother-of-the-year over here!

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