Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blustery Week

Well it's been a windy week in the Bay Area. Leaves all over the streets, branches falling off the trees. The darn wind even blew Boney's hand off. It cause Gavin a great deal of distress but I assured him we would be able to reattach the severed limb.

Of course, this weather calls for some serious cookin' and bakin'. I have been in the kitchen all week whipping up some goodies for the family. I made brownies yesterday and today a lovely pasta fagiole and pumpkin bread. The house smells fantastic and the kids are munching away. I was a complete dork when I made the bread and doubled the recipe (which I usually do) but I used a different recipe. Of course, I didn't realize until I had already mixed part of the ingredients together. When I got to the 3 1/2 cups of sugar I was like, oh crap. Yep, 7 cups of sugar, 6 cups of flour, 8 eggs. My Kitchenaid was smokin'. Needless to say, I ended up having to transfer everything into a much larger bowl and mix the remaining ingredients by hand. The end result was fabulous but I ended up baking for over 3 hours. I think I'm done baking for a couple of days.

Halloween is just a few days ok and the kids are so excited. I'm looking forward to it too. Our neighborhood is fantastic when it comes to Halloween. It's such a safe, family friendly area and I love the opportunity to take the kids out.

I had the amazing opportunity to see Donna Downey teach at Scrapbook Territory a couple of weeks ago. This lady is so amazingly talented and I love all of her work. She was a kick to watch and so very nice. And her work is incredible. As for Scrapbook Territory, if you haven't had a chance to venture out, it's in Berkeley and it is a fantastic store. If you want it, she has it. The store literally has just about everything you could think of.

I replaced my dead camera and am gearing up for some shoots. I took pictures at Miss Pickle's Pilates class last week and it was so much fun. Never been to a pilates class before but guess where I'm going tomorrow night? You got it. My butt is getting back in shape and who better to help me than the lovely Miss Pickle? Isn't she freakin' adorable?? Check her out at: MissPicklePilatesAndFitness.Blogspot.Com

OK, well I'm updating at Starbuck's and Vinnie is bugging me because the Warriors game is on. WHY?? So I better go before he bites my leg off. Stay warm, don't blow away in this wind and I hope you don't have to take the Bay Bridge because it looks like it will be closed tomorrow also. Have a great one!!

Monday, October 12, 2009


See, I said I'd keep on top of this and I am trying!! Well we had a very busy 2 week Fall break. It was fun spending time with my boys and being a mom. Took Kieran to his first SF Giant's game. He was thrilled and excited to be at AT&T Park for the first time. Had to get him the big giant finger and he wore all of his Giant's garb, some inherited from his big brother, Vinnie. I was so happy to take him to his first major league game and at such a beautiful stadium made it all the better. And to top it off, the Giant's totally kicked butt so it was great all around.
Next up: baking and cooking. I went to see Julie & Julia with the fabulous Nancie Fancy Pants a few weeks ago and it inspired me to pull out all those cookbooks and whip up some good fixins. If you are like me, I have like 40 cookbooks that I just HAD to have yet have not made one thing out of them. Hey, they look super fancy sitting on my counter. I LOOK like I cook. Fooled ya' huh? Well, my family has been fat and happy because I have been whipping it up for 2 weeks. Made chicken with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms, portabella mushroom risotto (first attempt at risotto was successful thanks to Jim), Bobby's Goulash from Paula Deen's sons' cookbook, and the list goes on. For dessert, Jim's fabulous cookie bar with chocolate chips, coconut, walnuts, graham cracker crust and sweetened condensed milk. Heaven. Can I just say, homemade is so much better and more satisfying than take out. And with the holidays coming up I will be a baking fool. Be prepared for our favorite pumpkin bread. I can smell it now. YUM!

Made a trip out to Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was much cooler there than in our neck of the woods so it was very refreshing. The kids loved seeing all of the different animals there and even got to touch a stingray!! Pardon the crappy picture. My camera is out of commission but a new one should be here shortly and I will be back in business. In the meantime, I am stuck using a crappy little Olympus point and shoot. Literally just point and shoot me because it SUCKS!!!

But just look at those faces! These boys love the ocean. We took them on 17 Mile Drive which was amazing as always. It is so beautiful out there.
And we actually decorated for Halloween this year. The house is all creepy and we have lights up and a lovely full sized skeleton on the porch that we scored at a garage sale for $10!!
So that's it for now. Interested in any recipes, let me know. I'd be happy to post them with pictures!!! Enjoy this fabulous Fall weather!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Really? Has it been that long?

Apparently, yes. I know, I say it all the time. I'll write more, I'll do better. But seriously, I suck. But I have a perfectly good excuse for not posting. Ok, let's see um........ OK, I went to 2 Giant's games with my boy Vinnie. Yes, I still love the Yankees but home, I love the Giants. Vinnie has converted me. Besides having an amazing stadium, they have some great players and they are so much fun to watch. See? Lincecum, the boy pitches his heart out. And the food. Remember when you used to go to a game and they had the standards: hot dogs, pop, beer, Cracker Jacks, peanuts. The basics. Now: garlic fries, Doggie Diner, chowder bowls, hot chocolate. The list goes on and on. Needless to say, I'm hooked.

Enough about the Giants. I did have the busy schedule of keeping the kids busy during Summer break. Of course, it was a billion degrees out here and I am the menopausal mom so going outside was un-freakin-bearable. Thank God for air conditioning. I mean, can you imagine what it was like when there was no AC? UGH!!

OK, so what's going on in my little corner of the world now? Well, I am back to being a full-time mom and loving it. No more spreading myself too thin (as if that's possible). All of the boys are in school now so I have a solid 3 hours on my own daily. Bliss. But that also means I am forced to go to the gym now. Which is actually good because I'm pretty sure I was pushing maximum density. It ain't pretty. So I'm sore but I feel good.

I am trying (still) to get this photography thing going. I swear, a big thing is my lack of confidence. I don't know why but I get that whole 'I'm not good enough' crap in my head and it drags me down. So I have no excuses now. I need to quit being a big baby and just bite the bullet and put myself out there. What's the worst that could happen? And when I see pictures like this:

I just KNOW I'm ready for the big time. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE that my husband is as dorky as I am? He's the best. By the way, he is demonstrating that bling is not just for paper. Oh no baby, just add that to your grill and you're lookin' real fine. Don't steal him, he's mine and I'll fight ya' for him.

Soooooo, I will try to be a better blogger. I WILL. Seriously. Oh my, just realized my Patrick is on. YAY!!! I have waited so long. And can I just say how much it totally SUCKS that we already know George is dead and Izzie survives? What the hell happened to a good cliffhanger? Like Dynasty and stuff. I mean, you literally didn't know for MONTHS if Fallon died or not. Now THAT'S a cliffhanger. Alas, no more Aaron Spelling so we are stuck with lame cliffhangers. By the way, I loved George.

I must go watch my man. It has been too long and I am missing him in that lovely white coat even if he is with Meredith. Have a great weekend!!

OHHHH! Thanks for the blog plug by my awesome friend Daniela. YOU ROCK GIRL!!!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Big BIG Slacker!!

Wow has it been that long? Darn Facebook! I swear, it's like crack. Not that I've smoked crack. But I imagine if I did, Facebook would be like that.

So what's going on? Well, the McIntyre boys and Gigli boy are getting the school year wrapped up. Last week and it is Summertime! Woohoo! Granted, it's a short one but it's Summertime nonetheless.

I have been a picture taking fool and loving it. Last weekend Vinnie, Brittany, DeAnne and I took a drive out to San Francisco and walked around North Beach, Chinatown and Ghiradelli Square. I just can't get enough of the city. There are so many amazing things to take pictures of and I was so happy that Vinnie finally agreed to get in front of the camera. Thanks to some coaxing from Brit!! Aren't they cute? Just friends, so don't get any ideas!

This was a really cool art gallery we found down an alley that was in a basement. San Francisco has so many amazing places like this.

Me and my boy. Can you believe he's 16??

Still working part-time at the Diva. Life is just so busy now that I can't devote as much time as I'd like but I am happy to still be a part of the store. I am on this massive creative kick now and have been making cards for the boys' teacher's for the end of the year.

One thing we are all looking forward to is my brother coming home for a visit in August. Then he's off to Iraq AGAIN. Prayers are needed for his safe return. God willing, this will be over soon. It is just scary how long this has dragged on and how many young men and women we have lost.

On a local note, if you live in the Brentwood area, please stop by and eat at Lumpy's Diner. This family owner restaurant is fabulous and all 50's. The food and service is great and my kid's love this place. Address? 5891 Lone Tree Way, Suite A in Antioch. And on Saturday, June 6th they're having a car show from 10am until 2pm. Gotta love it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hug Your Kids

If you haven't heard, there was an 8 year old girl named Sandra Cantu that was kidnapped a couple of weeks ago. She was subsequently found dead and the suspect is a Sunday school teacher who lived just 5 doors away. This is so incredibly disturbing on so many levels. The little girl was my Jamie's age. I look at my boys and wonder how anyone could hurt a child in such a horrible way. It was late at night when I heard she'd been found and I went upstairs and looked at my boys, grateful that they were home safe and sound. And prayed for that little girl and her family. Having lost a child, I understand the grief they must be going through. However, losing them to such violence is unimaginable. So take a moment today to hug your children. Keep an extra eye on them, thell them when they do well, don't forget to tell them you love them every chance you get.

We had a very nice Spring break, spending lots of quality time with the boys. Vinnie went to Oahu with my mom to see my brother and they had a great time. My brother will be heading for his 3rd tour in Iraq mid-August and while we are not thrilled, we are grateful he isn't going to Afghanistan. If all goes according to plan, this will be his last tour and he will be retiring in the next few years. We are anxious to have him closer to home or at least not being sent into a warzone.
I am finally starting to create again. It seems like I've been stuck in this funk for months now. Oh sure, I'm still accumulating stuff at record pace but using it? Heck no. I have piles and piles of paper and more embellishments than a scrapper should be allowed. But last week I pulled out a pile of pictures, a box of supplies and miraculously created 4 layouts. Woohoo! Now if I can just keep up the momentum....
I'll keep it short. Just take a minute to hug your kids. Go on. If they're not home, do it when they get home. I'm going to hug mine right now. If they're lucky, I'll let them go.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

What a beautiful St. Paddy's Day we had here in the McIntyre house. Unfortunately, Jim had to work. At least until they make it a national holiday! But the kids and I had fun. They are trying to learn to skateboard. I, of course, am useless as I haven't been on a board in like 25 years. But I get a kick out of watching them.

Vince and my mom left for Hawaii yesterday to visit my brother. They were so excited especially Vince. He is very close to Beto and loves to spend as much time as possible with him. Before he left, we took a day trip out to San Francisco with Brittany and had so much fun. We hit every spot we could get to including the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point, Golden Gate Golf Course, Ghiradelli Square and Pier 39. It was fun showing Brittany all of our favorite spots. We even got lucky and found our favorite, Lucca's Delicatessen. So yummy!

After lunch at Lucca's, we headed to Ghiradelli Square and found a fantastic cupcake shop called Kara's Cupcakes. They had the most beautiful, delicious cupcakes I have ever had. And after tasting these I don't think I will ever make cupcakes out of a box again. What a difference between scratch and boxed cake! What have I been missing out on all these years?? Heaven I tell you. Sheer Heaven. And look at how pretty they are!!

So I was inspired to run out and gather all the supplies needed for good, homemade cupcakes from scratch. Did you know that they make Madagascar vanilla? And it is REALLY hard to find? I went to 4 stores before I found it. I told you I was on a mission. Oh, in case you're looking, Raley's/Nob Hill carries it. It's pricey at $9.99 but I think it will be worth it.

So this is the newest addition to our family. Pip was a Christmas present for the kids but he is definitely MY dog. He is the sweetest thing and so smart. We got him at the local animal shelter and he is about a year old. He is attached at my hip most of the time. Now, I love dogs but I am not one of those my-dog-is-my-life people (no offense) but this little pup stole my heart. And he is wonderful with the kids. And isn't he gorgeous? He's a long haired chihuahua mix.

Work is keeping me busy and I still love working at the Diva. So much fun working at a place I love and get to be creative. At least when I have time. With mom gone for the next couple of weeks I am off and it feels weird not to be there. Plus with Jim working so much I don't spend as much time there as I used to.

So whether you're Irish or not, celebrate this fine holiday and be happy. Take some time out to tell the ones you love you appreciate them and have a great week!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


So Jim and I just joined a local gym to start working out and we love it. It's been literally ten years since we worked out together. In fact, when we first started dating we joined a gym together but once I got pregnant with Jamie we quit. Then came the fifty other kids (just kidding) and of course, the gym has been non-existent for all this time. ANYWAY, they set us up with a trainer and he was interviewing us about our lifestyle. So he asks, on a scale of one to ten, what is your stress level? And I sat there thinking and realized for the first time in our marriage our stress level is almost zero. Amazing. A moment of clarity at a gym. Who'da thunk?

So I'm on track to get my butt back in shape. Now I'm not aiming for bikini shape because, let's face it, I will NEVER squeeze my lumpy butt into a bikini ever again. Not that I ever did before. I was more of a one piece type of girl. But I want to at least to be able to wear the cute clothes I have from my somewhat skinny days. And Jim looks fantastic when he's in shape plus it just ain't right looking like this. Plus I am feeling great since I started working out. Hopefully next time you see me there will be less of me.

So I'm sure I blogged about CHA but can I just say how much fun it is getting all the new goodies at the store? This Saturday we are having our second 3rd Anniversary crop. The first one filled up so quickly we had to add a second one. So we will packed with over 30 crazy scrapbookers and 16 hours of fun. I can't wait.

Spring break is in a couple of weeks so the kids are excited about getting 2 weeks off. I am loving the schedule out here because we get these little breaks to spend time together. And with them growing so darn quick we need that time. I can't believe my Gavin is starting kindergarten this year. Time just flies by way to fast. Vinnie is at career day at school today. Career day! I'm like, he's 16 already? Where did the time go? And he is growing like a weed. Everyday I look at him and see him looking more like a man than a boy and it is scary.

So all in all, life is good. I am loving life and my family and my awesome job. Ok, I'll stop. But get out there and find your happiness. Do something today that puts a smile on your face and a leap in your heart.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


DeAnne, Brit and I made the long drive down to Anaheim for the Craft & Hobby Assoc. trade show a little over a week ago. And what fun we had!!! It was so much fun to see all the new product for the comng year. There was so much to see we didn't even make it to every booth there. DeAnne had been before but I never had so I was blown away by the largesse of it. Hundreds of booths and vendors to see. Everything from fabric to yarn to (of course) scrapbooking supplies. We were on overload from all the creativity and beautiful stuff on display. Needless to say, we have returned with hundreds of ideas and ready to create some fabulous stuff.

We met Tim Holtz and he was very nice. He did a demo of a bunch of his products and they were awesome as usual. We also met Heidi Swapp, Melissa Frances, Jenni Bowlin and a few more industry 'celebrities'.

It was 4 days of walking, taking tons of pictures and absorbing as much as we could. The best part was I got to see the twins. And they are soooo beautiful. Frank and Jim are amazing parents and they all look so happy. That was definitely the highlight of my trip.

As much fun as we had, I am so glad to be home though because I couldn't stand being away from my boys. They were actually good while I was gone but that is the longest I've ever gone without seeing the little knuckleheads.

Vinnie just took the high school exit exam. It is so nerve wracking because you just want to get it done and over with. Now we just wait for the results. As for the other boys, they're a handful as always.

Can I just say how excited I am that Nip/Tuck is back on? AND Lost? The best. Nip/Tuck is weird like it always is and Lost, well can they confuse me any more? But I love it. Besides General Hospital & Grey's Anatomy there's not a lot I watch but these two are fabulous.

So tonight DeAnne and I are going to do a 14 day trial membership at a local gym. I have been running moderately and walking a lot but it just doesn't do a darn thing. So I am stepping it up because I am just way too darn chubby. I wanna wear cute clothes again and not feel like I'm gonna keel over if I walk a flight of stairs. I'm on a mission! Wish me luck!