Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We wish you all a safe and happy "Trick or Treating!"

Love the Happy Yellow Witch, The Wise and Good Purple Wizard, The Powerful Blue Wizard, Jessie the Cowgirl, and the Busy Pink Butterfly Princess

This was my 'new' costume for the year (everybody wears anything I make or buy two years in a row... that is the deal.  Otherwise it isn't worth it)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pink Saturday, Memories from Las Vegas circa 1970s

So while I was in Las Vegas we went golfing one day at the Red Rock Course and on the way home I googled "Helen Marie Smith" which was the name of the elementary school where I attended Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade.  My First Grade teacher was Mrs. Azanares (at least that is how it sounded) and my Second Grade teacher was Mrs. Brandon.  Everybody wanted Mrs. Brandon because at the end of the year she had a pool party for her students at her house.  I still remember her telling us that one April 1st there were ducks swimming in her pool.  We all believed her.  Ducks.  In Las Vegas.  Riiiiight.  Mrs. Brandon also took kids out to lunch.  She and another teacher would pick two kids in the class and take them out to Pizza Hutt.  I was sooo stinking excited when I got to go.  And she told us about growing up in Kansas, and her 4-H steer, and "I before E except after C" and she would rap her knuckle against the chalk board as she said this and I was fascinated by that for some reason.

So anyway, I found my old school.

and I "walked home" to my old house

Dad was military.  We moved away when I was 7 and went to language school in Monteray and then to Spain.

On Saturdays I enjoy linking up with Bev at "How Sweet the Sound" for her Pink Saturday Blog Party. This week the Pinky group has been invited to add Halloween into the mix - I'll be posting my Halloween things tonight or tomorrow though-

In the meantime, please stop by Pink Saturday and join the fun.  We are a friendly group and we enjoy visitors!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Life Points

I was trying to explain to my eight year old - well I guess he was seven at the time - about my energy level and that I run out and I found myself saying:

you know how when you are playing an XBox game and you have life points?  and at first, we have lots of life points so if your guy gets destroyed its okay because you have another one?  and then, you get down to your last one and you will do anything to stay alive to get to the next level?

yeah, says my boy

well, I start off the day with 4 life points if I get a good night sleep.  Sometimes somebody is sick so I only have 3 life points.  And usually by lunch time your preschool aged sister has used up 2- and so by the time you get off the bus sometimes I'm down to one...

it was like a light bulb went off in my son's head.  He looked at me and nodded seriously.  The next day he got off the bus and instead of hollering and running through the house he simply gave me a hug and looked at me with big black eyes and said, "hey mom.  how are your life points?"
I smiled and said "getting low.  thanks for asking."
"How about I give you a power pack," he said with a smile.
a power pack?
"I'll take the two little ones outside to play for a while so you can get something done in quiet."

wow.  God Bless that kid.

It has been a busy day.  Fridays are never ending because my kids have a standing date to watch "The Clone Wars" with their buddies.  I just looked at my now 8 year old and said, "alright kiddo.  Mom is running out of life points and needs to get to bed."  He downed his water, gave me a quick hug and said "have a good sleep" and took off for his bedroom.

Life Points - he totally gets it.

My baby is 4!

Bitsy turned 4 today!
and so it was a busy, busy, day.
Per Eitelbach tradition we had homemade (yes from scratch- no bisquik in this house!) waffles with ice cream and we did frozen blueberries instead of strawberries (mymother AWLAYS did strawberries)
and presents- we open presents at breakfast.  It is the ABSOLUTE best way to start your birthday- and my mother always comes over.

and then we went to preschool- and participated in the Halloween parade.  There is a little shopping center near our pre-school and they give out candy to the kids.  So cute!

AND THEN! We made a spaghetti casserole and potatoes to take to Great Grandma's house.  Great Grandma, and also Grandma & Papa, want to be a part of birthdays too but this week has been too busy to have them here- so I said we'd go there.  Bitsy wanted orange cake, so I made a basic white cake with orange peel and a bit of orange juice and then 1/2 butter cream 1/2 cream cheese chocolate icing.  Lucious.

And when we got there- with dinner and cake in hand- we found out that great grandpa was in the hospital.  No one told us!  They decided it would be better for grandma to have the distraction- it was a bit of a circus.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Mama's laughing at me 'cause I brought home soap

So, I've been writing bits and pieces about last week in Las Vegas at the Venetian-

And here I am, a wanna be fashionista (I had aspirations of going to design school when I was in high school) surrounded by all these amazing shops and the shop I get excited about is:

Basin White at

It is a soap store.  Really.  And I love it!  I found it one Tuesday.  I had gotten up early to hear the opening remarks at the conference (quite good really) and been to two seminars, and done my time on "the floor" (I hate the floor.  You stand out by your booth and talk to people.  The few people who actually want to talk to us I can't talk to because I can't talk technically about anything, and the rest of them just want to collect freebees.  Our freebees were golf tees, and if you talked to someone a water bottle stuffed with a golf towel and golf balls, both with our logo.)  Anyway, it was Tuesday night and I was FRIED and I was supposed to be at Demo Jam but I was FRIED- so I wandered around the canal shops instead.

And I found this:

Okay, can you see?  It is a bar of soap with little black bats in front of a full moon, it smells citrus almost lime-ish, sweet but a tiny bit tangy too.  Delightful.  So I bought two, one for the guest bathroom and one for the bathroom the kids share.  My kids loved it!
Here is the link to bat soap

and who can resist a little Rudolph at Christmas?

and I bought a lovely blue soap, sort of turquoise blue (my girls love turquoise) filled with little white tree shapes.  So Rudolph will go in the guest bathroom for Christmas and the Trees will go in the kid's bathroom.

And I bought a gorgeous Lilac soap because it reminded me of my mother, cutting white Lilacs in Cape Cod and taking them home to put into a blue ceramic pitcher that I think my Aunt Chris made-

I gave my mother her Lilac soap and we were laughing: other people go to Las Vegas and come home with glitz and bling or a high fashion label.  I come home with soap!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas NV

Driving to the quarry trail head, Red Rock Canyon.  Las Vegas Nevada.

This post is linked to OUT DOOR WEDNESDAY at A Southern Daydreamer

I have some of the best childhood memories of scrambling over red rock in red rock canyon.  While we were out there for the TechEd last week we spent a free day hiking one of the trails.  I didn't know there used to be a quarry there.  I have photos on the quarry rocks but those are on the other camera and I haven't downloaded them yet.  I am impressed with the people keeping up the park, they are doing a good job on the trails and visitors are doing a good job respecting the boundaries.  I was hoping we'd see some wild sheep but we didn't.  A storm rolled in on our way out, dark skies and rain with the occasional roll of thunder.  It was really beautiful.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Las Vegas, The Wynn

I haven't stayed at the Wynn. But I love this building. I love looking at it from the outside, the design, the reflection, the signature across the top... and look at that row of stores. Flagship designer shops- all of them. And the interior is quite something, folds of fabris along the ceilings, and chandeliers, and these riduculous richly colored, richly textured lamps that look like something out of "Alice and Wonderland" and this garden again of fancifal trees and balls larger than my head of flowers and there are twinkly lights...
do you see them?  Chanel, Dior, Louis Veton, Oscar de la Rente, Graff... 

These are over a circular stair case, and outside is a waterfall with a patio and there is dining- I expect to see the Cheshire Cat at any moment.
This is taken looking up, at the 'tree' over my head with the large floral ball.  On the floor are mosaics of a vine with flowers set against ivory colored tile.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Las Vegas, the Venetian

The Venetian, Las Vegas Nevada. 
Inside, these huge, wonderful, leaves, floating as if frozen mid-fall, over this huge atrium.  I am standing on a balcony and directly beneath me is a waterfall surrounded by fall foliage and oversized pumpkins.

There is a "canal" with shops on either side, connecting the Venetian to the Palazzo.  I get confused which building I am in.  

I took this photo outside the Venetian in the morning.  Tim and I got up at 7 or so 'Vegas time for a run.  People were in the Casino going strong.  Girls in evening dresses and four inch heels were stumbling home.  It is all a bit surreal.  

I am forever in awe though, of the design and detail in these buildings.  The knocking down and rebuilding of casino hotels must keep craftsmen and designers in good business in Las Vegas.  The tile work.  The facades.  I find it fascinating.  How much does it cost to build one of these places?

But the shopping is intoxicating and the dining.  Oh- scrumptious.  We did eat at the Tao, but not the night whats-her-name Kardashian had her birthday party there, and in the lounge not the night club.  (Seriously.  I have no idea who these people are or why People Magazine thinks I care.  Actually, since I don't read People Magazine I guess they know I don't care.  But seriously.  Who ARE these people?)  There is a sweet little Mexican place just outside the elevators.  And then there is my favorite: Trattoria Reggiano.  Oh MY!  The food is superb and the staff is wonderful.  We ate there twice in one week and I could eat there every night.  The gentlemen are so fabulous, professional but casual.  You really feel like family.  The wine selection was good (perhaps not fancy but good!)  The pizza was divine, the salad had thin slices of parmesan on top, we had calamari and I had baked ziti and it was all just really yummy, comfy, cozy, good food.

So anyway, that's the Venetian.  

Monday Morning, Coffee and a Book - Little Bee

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave is the current book for my book club.

I read it on the plane on my way to Las Vegas.  I could not put it down.  It is a shocking story.  Sad.  So very sad.  And as I caught my breath and asked myself, "What would I do?" and looked at my husband sitting next to me on the plane reading his Vince Flynn book and wondered "What would he do?" and I wondered: How much of this is true?  How much of this is written based on stories of survivors?

Do I recommend this book?  I do.  I recommend it because it does remind us in our quest for "it" that we are so very fortunate.  That we (collective developed nations) really have no idea what atrocities are to be found in other parts of the world.  And while each of our own nations has moments, individuals, that horror  that drives people to stow away and sneak across borders at any cost is something that we just do not understand.  I recommend it because it will push you the reader out of your comfort zone and it will ask you to consider another point of view.  If only for these pages.

It will be interesting to hear the book club discussion.  It will be interesting because Jen will hate it because once again it is depressing.  We know Betsy won't read it.  But I am interested to hear what M, Lisa, Amy, and the other Jen have to say.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pink Saturday Mashed Potatos

I love that Pink saturday forces me into something - anything- and sometimes I pull off a nice one and sometimes I just throw something out there-
tonight is a just throw it out there kind of night
I just got home 2 hours ago from Las Vegas.  My kids are in bed and I am sort of catching up on various things and certainly one of my most favorite things is what is happening in the blog world and so here I am...
(note the pink outfit, so it counts) 

This was taken 2 summers ago.  Thankfully she has outgrown this stage in life :-)

Please visit Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for more Pink Saturday fun!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


have been taking silly photos of 'Vegas - the interior at the Wynn.  It looks like something out of Alice and Wonderland.  Much lighter in feeling than the older buildings - there is a waterfall outside and you can see outside in so many of the old buildings they seem to purposefully hide the outer world from view.  Not to say that the Wynn isn't still creating a false reality, it is, it is just prettier than some of the old ones.  Less dark, less scary.  I really find 'Vegas to be creepy.  I don't like the casinos and the darkness and the neon and the falsehood and the baseness of it all.  Pleasure Island for grownups crawling with nastiness...
anyway -
so I took pictures of the Wynn...
and some of the shops...
I love the shops.  I love that you can go into a store that is all flagship Oscar de la Renta - wow!  Like really, there are real clothes!?! not just photos in a magazine?  And Alexander McQueen.  My friend Amy and I went into his store the other day.  So outlandish and over the top.  A collection of little clutches with elaborate clasps but one gold one, hard bodied little clutch, with brass knuckles as the clasp and then adornment atop the knuckles - like a row of rings.  I love things like that!
And we poked around the Chanel store.  I was hoping to see those cuffs that I keep seeing advertised - they look like something Wonder Woman would wear to stop bullets with-

it is fun

Las Vegas!

I am at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas Nevada.  It is a tech conference for SAP users and those associated with SAP users.  I personally am not an SAP user but I work in marketing at DataXstream and so there you go- I am here.  Attending sessions on Green IT - and it is quite affirming actually.  DataXstream offers virtualization to clients and as I keep hearing over and over again in these sessions; Data Centers eat 2% of this nation's power and they eat between 30% and 40% of their respective company's power usage.  That is a LOT of electricity.  SO if you can reduce that it matters.  And virtualization does reduce it.  And so, I can go to bed feeling good about what my employer does.  Yay me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pink Saturday, Football & Breast Cancer Awareness

I rarely watch televised sports - my husband loves a live game but doesn't turn on the T.V. for sports and I grew up in a house without T.V. so it is pretty much the last thing I think of... but occasionally I catch a bit of a game and I'm loving the pink gloves and the pink cleats.  I think it is very cool that the "man" sport of American fall is supporting this cause in such a big way.

Last Saturday my husband took my oldest to Indianapolis to catch the Colts playing the Chiefs and to check on the new building his business partner wants to buy.

It was the first time my husband noticed all the pink on the field.

My man is a big fan.

And here is my girl - covered in silly string that went off at some point.  After the TD? After the win?  I don't know.  But I am glad she got to have some one on one with her daddy.

Happy Pink Saturday to all of you.
I am traveling this weekend- so once again I will not get to visit too many of you.  But many thanks to Beverly for hosting Pink Saturday and allowing the link up.

And I'd like to suggest you visit A Garden of Threads, one of our pink ladies from Canada.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So I've been tracking what I've been eating with a website a friend of mine, Chris Hochman, told me about.  Chris is a personal trainer and looks fabulous!  So the first time I used the site, about 2 years ago, I was flabbergasted to see how much FAT I ate daily.  And I actually lost a bit of weight by simply paying attention to that one little detail.  Recently I've been frustrated with my inability to wear my clothes comfortably or at all in some cases and so I've been tracking again.


Oh my goodness I am eating a TON of sugar!
It is 11:56 AM and I have eaten TWICE the daily allotment of sugar.
Where is it all?  In prepared foods and in milk.  Milk.  Go figure.  Plain old skim milk has 12.5 grams of sugar in it and I'm supposed to eat 35g a day.  One cup of milk is nearly 1/2 of my sugar.  Add cereal (oh my!) and a grapefruit and an apple and I'm a gonner.  I hate having to watch sugar.  I went on a Candida diet when I was 25 to get internal yeasts and psoriasis under control.  It is really hard.  You have cravings.  I get mean.  It is hard.  And yet - here I am staring at my sugar intake.  Ugh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dress Up Time!

Bitsy is all about the dressing up these days- I LOVE it.  Last week I was 'snack mom' at preschool so I took photos.  Here she is, dressed up and working in the kitchen!

Friday, October 8, 2010

For Pink Saturday

As I write this I am trying to wrap up my night and head to bed- I am getting up early in the morning to take Dragon to his grandmother so she can get him to his baseball game, and then Tiger, M-Lyons, Bitsy and I will head up to Richmond - Tiger has a soccer tournament.  He'll play twice Saturday and once on Sunday.  He is only 9.  I tried to hold off on this 'till he was 12 but he is really stinkin' good... and he loves it.  K and her Dad fly out to Indiana for a business trip and a Colts game.

So, It is October.  Breast Cancer Awareness.  I am going to offer a shout out to two of my friends and the companies they rep for and the products they are offering to support Breast Cancer Awareness this month.

First is Kim Eldge.  I went to Jr. High with Kim (then Kimmy) at Helen C. Cannon in Las Vegas.  She sells candles with Gold Canyon.  They are a cool company.  I've drooled over many of their products.  The Pink Sugar Cookie Candle looks pretty and sounds lucious... I just may have to try it...

Second is Katherine Coggin who reps for Stella and Dot.  Stella and Dot is featuring the Pink Boutique collection for Breast Cancer Awareness... A % of sales of the jewelry in this collection will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Many Thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound who hosts this Pink Saturday Party every week.

And I special thanks to Marydon at Blushing Rose who checks on me regularly and leaves such kind comments.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It is a surprise...

So I was dying to blog about it - and I was so pleased with myself that I didn't - just in case.  But since AUGUST I have been planning a party for my husband - we had it on Saturday the 2nd.  He turns 40 this year, and not until November.  But Bitsy's birthday is October 29th, and then there is Halloween, and then his birthday, and then Tiger's Birthday on Nov. 13th... I tend to let his sort of slide by you know?  So I decided for his 40th to have a real party.  

I got his coworkers involved and they helped me spread around evites to all the right people- His college roommate flew in from California even!  And I sent him out golfing with friends which gave me 4 hours in the house with out him!  His parents came and picked up the two little girls - so the older 3 and I ran out for decorations - we kept it simple, balloons and a banner - 

I did hire help to get the house cleaned up to sparkling Friday, and I did have it all catered.  We have soccer practice and field hockey practice and baseball games - there was no way I was getting dinner for 40 people pulled together!  So Florimonte's catered and they are good and reasonable.  And there was a chocolate cake and a carrot cake from the Carrot Tree bakery - uummmm good!  And then - remember I was at the "Beyond Boobs" gala for breast cancer awareness?  I won "Field Musick" in the raffle.  Two fifers and a drummer came to my home dressed in Colonial Attire and played "Yankee Doodle" and "Happy Birthday" half way through my party.  (Friends of Tim's who had just moved to the area came and wer leaving a little early and they ran back into the house "Cailin, there are a bunch of guys dressed in Colonial clothes in your driveway!" she said)  At which point I brought out the cake and we all sang Happy Birthday to our Birthday Boy and he blew out his candles.

It was a fun time.  He saw people from when we were dating, and people that he is just getting to know at work, and neighbors, and friends, and maybe 50 people came through out the evening. 

So Sunday we mostly recovered and cleaned up.  M-Lyons has a new friend from Kindergarten who came over with her dad for a few hours.  Sydney, the daughter, is very cute and fun and she and M-Lyons get along really well.  The dad was also very nice and it was good to all hang out.  I think now I'm okay with letting M-Lyons over or having Sydney over after school.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prince Charles in Vogue

So I love Vogue - which is silly.  If I make time for my morning run (I'm really trying to be dedicated lately - I've gained way too much and have to do something!) Then I'm in sweats and runners while I make the kids breakfast and pack lunches and send them off on the bus and then its on to check email for work, and then take the 3 yr old to school (I'm still in sweats and runners) and then clean house and do a little work and pick up the 3 yr old (still in sweats) - you get the not so glamorous picture right?  I used to adore clothes.  I loved fabric.  Just touching fabrics got me excited-

yes I took this photo from the Vogue article but I don't see whose it is...

ANYWAY - I do get Vogue and for 5 or 10 minutes at a time I sit in a corner and just pretend... and here... on page 600 something is an article entitled Royal Green.  And I believe HRH wrote it himself (or an aid did in his voice.)  Wicked cool.  I am a fan of Prince Charles.  I remember being a 10 yr old school girl in Spain and running to the neighboring apartment where our British neighbor and her Swedish husband had the T.V. showing his wedding to Princess Diana.  I thought he was so handsome and I was in awe of the whole thing!  I thought he got a rather bad rap in the 80's and 90's.

Sometime ago he was featured in a magazine - because he was advocating organic and sustainable farming on his acreage.  And I remember thinking - how cool is that?

Anyway - I got carried away with googling and running my typing fingers - and now the kids are home from school.  BUT - please check out the Vogue article here He is openning up his gardens for a sustainable living fair and including a fashion show.  Wow.  I wish I could go!

And a quick google search reveals he helped to author a book on the subject: Harmony please see the article by Stephen Bates here

Bates quotes Prince Charles:

"I have tried for 25 years to encourage social and environmentally responsible business; to suggest a more balanced approach to certain aspects of medicine and healthcare; more rounded ways of educating our children and a more benign 'whole-istic' approach to science and technology. The trouble is that in all these areas I have been challenging the accepted wisdom; the current orthodoxy and conventional way of thinking, much of it stemming from the 1960s but with its origins going back over 200 years.
"In those early years I was described as old-fashioned, out of touch and anti-science; a dreamer in the modern world that clearly thought itself too sophisticated for 'obsolete' ideas and techniques, but I could see the stakes were already far too high ... Even back at the end of the 'swinging 60s' the damage was showing through and I felt it was my duty to warn of the consequences of ignoring nature's intrinsic tendency towards harmony and balance before it was all too late."