My Life of What Ifs

Monday, March 29, 2010

Music Memory Monday

The Wall (Deluxe Packaging Digitally Remastered)

There's always a first time

Growing up I was a good girl.  My Mom put the fear of God in me with hopes that I would not make the same choices she had made. I started drinking on my 17th birthday and stayed away from boys in the biblical sense until a few months shy of graduation, both being much later than the majority of my friends.  The last few months of my senior year were filled with so many things.  I was struggling with depression, although it was undiagnosed at the time.  I had trouble getting up for school and only with the fear of not graduating placed in front of me did I make an effort to show up and do the work.  I had my first boyfriend, although I was still flirting with a guy I worked with as well.  I had a great group of friends and on the weekends we were always together.  Whose house it was just depended on whose parents were out of town at the time.

I had a fear of the unknown.  I never wanted to look dumb, or inexperienced and that kept me from trying some of the things my friends were doing.  I knew that when I drank, I usually ended up drunk, and sick, so I was careful about what else I tried.  But there's a first time for everything and the first time I "inhaled", Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb was playing in the background.

Think what you may, but it couldn't have been more perfect.  I didn't know what I was doing, but it didn't matter.  All the anxieties that I had been experiencing disappeared and nothing seemed that bad for a short while. Come on now, I hear you're feeling down... We were sitting on the sun porch off my friend Sean's upstairs bathroom, there was a full moon, and people were in the backyard talking.  I can ease your pain...  Honestly there were people in every room of this old city house just hanging out, enjoying the drama of youth. There is no pain you are receding...  I don't even remember who was out there with me, but I remember thinking that I would remember that night for the rest of my life and so far that's very true.  I have become comfortably numb...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coming soon... a case of baby fever!

Oy Vey!  The baby palpatations are starting just from looking at the movie poster!  I can't even imagine what seeing the whole film may do.  Probably cause a baby boom!
This new documentary from Focus Features arrives on May 7th just in time for Mother's Day and I think it's going to warm everyone's heart.  Just look at those faces.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Things I've been given to try... for FREEEEEE!!!!

It's pretty exciting these days waiting for the mail to arrive.  About three days a week I have something waiting for me that's fun, sometimes unexpected too.

There are a couple of groups I've signed up for in my internet travels.  One is Pssst! which partners with General Mills and many of their other brands.

Not too long ago a box showed up on my front porch and lo and behold, what was inside but a box of Chocolate Cheerios and several coupons to save $1.25!

Chocolate Cheerios is low in fat, heart healthy (diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Chocolate Cheerios cereal is low in fat, saturated fat free and naturally cholesterol free), has 100 calories per serving, contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving (at least 48 grams recommended daily), and is a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Made with real cocoa, Chocolate Cheerios can help your family start the day off right with a delicious and nutritious breakfast that is sure to make you smile!

You can find Chocolate Cheerios with a touch of delicious chocolate taste in every bite in the cereal aisle next to other great-tasting Cheerios varieties.

I really like Chocolate Cheerios and so did my girls.  I have always been a fan of Cocoa Puffs but find that Chocolate Cheerios don't leave the after taste.  They were also very filling.  I will be using those coupons and trying them again.

And to go with my chocolate...

I'm also a BzzAgent...
BzzAgent Badge 
and I was recently chosen to particpate in the Starbucks Pike Place Roast BzzzCampaign.

Starbucks Pike Place Roast is made with a unique blend of arabica beans, which give it lighter body and smoother finish.  I've always been more of a phoo-phoo coffee drinker.  Espresso with chocolate, loads of flavored creamer, etc.  But, with one of my Christmas gift cards I bought my first coffee maker and since receiving this 12 oz. package I have been thoroughly enjoying Starbucks Pike Place Roast.  It is smooth and doesn't require an entire 32 oz. container of Vanilla Caramel creamer to get me to drink it down.

As a BzzAgent I also received a 5 oz. bag of Caffe Verona, but I haven't cracked that one open yet.  But I will.

Most of my friends, family and regular readers know that I am a Starbucks snob.  I can sniff one out, and now I can drink it at home and I really enjoy the taste of Starbucks Pike Place Roast.

So see, blogging has its perks.  Stuff you can try for freeeee!  Well, it works for me.

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary box of Chocolate Cheerios and coupons to share from General Mills, I offer this review on my own terms.  As a BzzAgent I was asked to join the Starbucks Pikes Place Roast campaign and received two packages of coffee to try and coupons to share in exchange for my review.  All of the thoughts and opinions in this post are mine and mine alone.  I was not influenced at anytime by anyone.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Music Memory Monday

This one, in my opinion, is HILARIOUS!!!!!  I hope that if my friend Heather is out there that she will comment on this as she did on my JamsBio account.  She was in the car that day and I think she still has nightmares about this song.  I added a youtube at the bottom so you can sing it all day too.  Enjoy!

Sending All My Love (LP Version)

Senior Skip Day

In my late teens as my interest, or obsession rather, in music grew I would listen to songs I liked over and over again. I had volumes of mix tapes that I was beyond proud of, and would play them for my friends in my car whenever I had the chance.

For our senior skip day it was a fairly common thing to drive to Sandusky, Ohio to go to Cedar Point. I had my own car and volunteered to drive myself and 3 friends. It was roughly a two-and-a-half hour trip and to this day I have no idea who was navigating. I'm not sure how we made it home.

But I vividly recall my friend's lack of enthusiasm for one song on the "Cedar Point" mix tape I had made for the the trip. It was "Sending All My Love" by Linear.

We left Cedar Point quite late that night and I had managed to miss the highway and get us lost in a less than stellar area. Once we made it to the turnpike and everyone else could relax they all fell asleep. I figured if I was going to stay awake and drive, that I would enjoy my mix tape, and apparently I would enjoy it more than once. An hour or so later my friend Mike awoke to see where we were. The first words out his mouth were "Holy Shit! I fall asleep and this freakin' song is on! I wake up and it's still on!"

Needless to say I was on the receiving end of many Linear jokes. Luckily they were one-hit wonders and the novelty wore off. I still have those mix tapes and on the rare occasion I hear this song I think of senior skip day and Mike.  I hope he has recovered.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another chance to win a Red Gold tomato kit!!!!!

If you REALLY wanted that Red Gold vintage tomato tin with all the goodies inside but you didn't win it here, then click on over to and enter to win one there!  You do not have to live in Detroit to enter, that's just the name of the site :)  So go enter!!!  Now!!!!

Tomato Basil Pizza recipe and Red Gold Tomatoes **GIVEAWAY**

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's MY house, and if you don't like it...

No, no, I am not kicking anyone to the curb.  But I AM wondering. I'm wondering.  What if?

What if we hadn't moved to Brighton?  What if we had stayed in Jackson near family and friends?  Well I can tell you!  Our lives would be A LOT different.  But these are the things I wonder when I feel I am living in the Money Pit.

Sure, things seem good to the untrained eye.  But even the untrained eye can see we need a new roof.  We plan to get started on this new roof as soon as we are reasonably sure it's done snowing in these parts.  So, hopefully in June we will start that project.

There is also the hole in our shower.  The one where the tile caved in as I leaned on it.  Nice.  That project is still in the planning stages.  Do we retile the shower?  Do we remove the tile and buy a simple enclosure.  Hmmmm decisions.  And money.

The funny part is how untrained our eyes and ears have become in our house.  For instance every single door hinge in this house makes a noise of some sort.  Every time my girls open and close their doors, whether in sweet serenity or complete anger, there is a squeak, a squawk, or something that screams through the house.  After all this time we have simply gotten used to it, but really, let's invest in some new hinges or at least a nice can of WD-40.

Another annoying problem in MY house are that many of the door handles have minds of their own.  Some knobs must be pulled before turning and opening.  The bathroom handle had to be removed so that we could enter said bathroom.  Let's not forget the door knob that works the best, the one that requires the least effort.  Of course it's the one on my... I mean our bedroom door.  Yeah, how convenient is that?

It's always something isn't it?  I guess I am just happy that I didn't fall through the floor into the basement while showering, luckily I only bruised my elbow.  Little things or big things, there are always things that need to be done.  So don't come here looking for perfection, no sir.  This is MY house...

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome Home Mo!

I am so excited.  My dear friend Maureen is moving home from Amsterdam this week.  I have not seen her in person in almost six years!

Mo and I worked together at the first advertising agency I was employed by after college.  In fact she was hired to be a talent peep with me when I was on maternity leave for my first born.  So I come back to work with a new person in the cube next door and I liked her, I really, really, liked her!

I liked her so much that when I accepted a new job about a month later, I brought her with me as soon as there was an opening.  So, I think you get the picture.

Right before I had my youngest drama queen, Mo left me.  Yep, she up and moved to Minneapolis, which is where I last saw her.  And being the jet setter that she is, three years later she moved to Amsterdam!!!!  Her illustrious career has left me in the dust, but that's ok.  She younger, probably wiser, and has now seen the  WORLD.

This week Maureen is returning Stateside to start a new job in Portland.  Talk about one side of the world to the other!  She is stopping off in Detroit so that we can hang out and I can pretend I am young and can hang on a Thursday night :)

I chatted with her earlier this week after the movers had come and cleaned out her apartment.  This is no ordinary endeavor.  This isn't hiring New York movers to move you four blocks north and three blocks east.  This is, "OK pack up my worldly possessions in your truck, load them on a boat (or do they use planes now?) and maybe, hopefully, I'll see them again in a month. Or so."

With a corporate move you generally have the backing of your company so you are fairly safe with who you choose, and not too worried about what is cost.  But if you're moving to escape the economy chances are you are footing the bill.  At least during this recession you have the internet to see what other peeps have to say about Two Guys and their Truck.

When we moved 55 miles in late 2001 we employed all of our friends and family to help us.  We had just survived Christmas and closed on a new house, there was no money for movers.  Now, all these years later, like everything else on the internet you can go to CityMove and see which movers suck and which ones will wrap your Faberge Egg with the most care.  You can also post your own move and let movers bid on the job!  I will readily admit that I check the internet before I do just about anything anymore.  You just. Never. Know.

Anyway, let's all wish Mo a safe trip back to America, and let's all say a silent prayer that her Fabrege Egg arrives in one piece.  Then let's all agree to make a road trip to Portland to see her bad-ass-self.  Personally I will also selfishly wish that her next move is back to Detroit, or at least Chicago, so that I can see her more often.  I know a cool place she can find some movers.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Some Gave AllIt's funny how long it took me to remember that I had a cassette single of Achy Breaky Heart somewhere in my "storage".  But as I folded laundry with my first born and watched the episode of Hannah Montana where Oliver is sick, and Miley can't make it back for Lily's birthday.  You know the one, the one where Robbie Ray talks about his failed rap career as "Ludagrits" or something like that?  Well anyway I remember that I have this cassette single.  Yes, cassette single, and they are in fine condition, let me tell you.

So I wander down to the "storage", find my treasure and take it to my daughter.  I naively thought she was rant and rave about how cool it was, after she asked how you listened to this contraption with tape inside of it.  But no, she looked at the picture, read the name and said "That is not him."

"Yes honey, that is him.  From about 18 years ago.  Pre-Miley."

She would not believe it.  "It doesn't look like him!"  Ok, well, age and parenting a Hollywood Superstar will add some lines to your face, but I think he still looks a lot like he did "then".

She went to show her Dad and get his opinion.  After my husband recovered from the reality we have been avoiding- our daughter is a fan of someone who is the offspring of someone from "our day".  He assured her that it was in fact Miley's dad on Mama's "kuh-set" not CD.

I still don't think she believes me, but her denial isn't as disturbing as what I predict happens next.  At some point she is going to want me to play that song.  And then she will want me to play it again.  And her sister will want to hear it.  Then they will both want to hear it again.  And soon they'll be line dancing their Achy Breaky Hearts all over my house. *sigh*

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Red Gold Giveaway **Winner**

So you checked out my post about Red Gold tomatoes, and you viewed my Whrrl about Tomato Basil Pizza, and some of you were interested so you left comments.

In fact, there were 14 comments- and guess what?  We have a winner!!!!

And the winner is Cheryl!!!!!  And yes she did promote the giveaway on her facebook page.  I checked :)

So shoot me an email Cheryl and I will have your package sent to you!  Congrats!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Music Memory Monday

My music memories, since listed chronologically, are drifting into embarrassing territory.  But they're real, and they're mine, so why wouldn't I share it all here?  Because some of these memories will never make me ask "what if?" I am who I am because of them, and that is just fine with me.


Make me who I'll be someday

"You look good with a tan."

I sat across the table from him and absorbed the compliment to its fullest extent.  He didn't offer them up much.  We were in the cafeteria at the grocery store where we both worked.  He was working the 3 - 11 shift that night and I, of course, had stopped in and agreed to sit with him on his dinner break.  Something I did often, and he never returned the favor.

"So are you going somewhere for spring break?  Is that why you're tanning?"

"Yeah, 3 of my friends and I are driving down to Daytona for the week.  We have reservations at the Thunderbird"

"No shit? Really?"

"Yeah why?"

"'Cause that's where we're going too."

I honestly didn't know that's where he was going for spring break too.  I knew he was the reason my boss wasn't thrilled to let me have the week off.  He had already requested it and it was spring in the garden center.  She needed us high school kids to get things set up full time that week.  Needless to say I was bursting on the inside but trying very hard not to let my excitement shine through.  I had to maintain my cool.

"Cool, maybe we'll run into each other..."

Then he asked me if I liked Van Halen.  I was a fan, but I was about to like them a lot more.

"Yeah, they're alright."

"You should listen to Cabo Wabo off of OU812.  That could be us, only in Daytona of course."

"I'll check it out."

This relationship, if you could even call it that, was so one sided and damaged.  We went to Florida and while there I allowed myself to be used, and it happened a few more times when we got back.  Hell, I even took him to my senior prom.  There's always a little piece of me that thinks he really thought I was a great girl, but his reputation wouldn't allow it to become anything other than what it was.  But he helped me realize what I deserved from a guy and it made me who I am today.  For that I am grateful. He may not even remember who I am, but I think of him and our Cabo Wabo adventure in Daytona from time to time.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Red Gold Fresh Tomato Basil Pizza and a **GIVEAWAY**

I like to try new things and I like to be surprised.  I also like to tell people about new things and about when I am surprised.  So when Red Gold sent me a note asking if I would be interested in giving away a Red Gold kit that looked like a vintage tomato can, that was also full of Red Gold goodies, I had to say yes!

They also sent a recipe for Fresh Tomato Basil pizza which you can see me make in that Whrrl widget down below.  It's a very simple recipe and very tasty.  It's great for a party where you can cut it into small pieces, since I felt it was very rich tasting!

To enter to win your very own Red Gold Vintage Tomato Can of Goodies you must do the following:

1.  Leave me a comment telling me your favorite way to eat tomatoes!!!!  Sliced with salt and pepper?  In a dip?  On a salad?

You can also gain additional entries by subscribing to my blog by way of the RSS feed, blogger follow, networked blogs or google friend connect, or following me on Twitter @Swanngirlz.  Leave a comment for each one you do telling me you did so.

So go check out my Whrrl!  Leave me comments!  Win fun stuff!

No purchase necessary to enter. Winners will be selected randomly through Entries that do not follow all of the entry requirements will not be considered.  Open to participants in the US and Canada 18 years and older. Contest ends March 16, 2010 at 11:59:59 p.m. EST.

Disclosure: Red Gold provided me with this tomato kit and one to give away free of charge. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone and are not influenced in any way by anyone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Space

 After a year and four months of floating from the kitchen table to the living room, to the recliner, to the end table, and cleaning up and moving my stuff every night I am proud to announce I finally have my own office.

All of the crap....ummmm.... very important items to the man of the house.... that you see in this picture used to be in the room you see below (I forgot to take REAL before pictures.)

This is a room in our basement that you get to before you get to Cory's workshop and it was a catch all.  It was very hard to see any potential in the room because of all of the stuff, and how high it was stacked.

Earlier this year Cory won an awesome slate-top pool table at an auction at his work.  It was the perfect addition to his man-cave but we were going to have to do some rearranging to get it to fit.

We have a sectional couch in the basement that after 6 years looked brand new because we have spent so little time down there since the big screen TV died. (No worries we have another one upstairs).  So, short story long, we moved our "newer" furniture upstairs with the good TV, and put the "older" furniture downstairs to make room for the pool table.  During all that moving, and removing- of the couch legs- with a saw- to get the damn thing down the stairs- we discovered that this little nook in our home was perfect for My Space.  My office that I so desperately needed and wanted.  All it took was a little imagination on my part and a lot of moving stuff, and this is what we have now.

I admit, it's not worthy of Architecture Digest, but I love it and I can leave all my work notes spread out.  All. Over. And no one is going to touch them.  I used material on the walls rather than paint and bought an area rug for the tiled floor.  My mother-in-law had a bookcase to dispose of and it matched the one I already have.  So I moved that down too and now I have a library :)

The only thing left to do is make a folding room divider to block out the look of the furnace, water heater, and workshop entry that is to my right.  The less clutter I have to see the better.  But I am so proud of my space.  It has increased my organization and productivity immensely in the short time I have been down here.  I love that I can put my kids on the bus, come home, make coffee, and go to my office.  I am usually "at work" by 8:45 and it feels great.  So great, I just had to share.

Hey, one more thing!  Come back tomorrow!  I'm going to show you how to make some awesome Tomato Basil pizza and I have the coolest giveaway from RedGold tomatoes!!!!  Did you know that RedGold tomatoes uses all midwest growers including many right here in Michigan!  So please come back!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This week on The View!

Coming up this week on...

Tuesday, March 9 – Andy Garcia and his daughter Dominik Garcia-Lorido (“City Island”); Elissa Stein and Susan Kim (author, Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation).

Wednesday, March 10 – Forest Whitaker (“Our Family Wedding”); Jesse Ventura (author, American Conspiracies).

Thursday, March 11 – Sir Elton John will be sitting with the women at the table and partaking in “Hot Topics”; plus Eric McCormack (“Who Is Clark Rockefeller?”).

Friday, March 12 – Co- Host Kate Gosselin is back and will join the women and the return of “The View: Fashion Friday” with designer Carolina Herrera.

I missed Monday's Oscar recap, but honestly I missed most of the Oscars for the first time in about 25 YEARS!!!!!  Let's not even talk about how many of the films I have not seen.

I hope not to miss Susan Kim or Sir Elton, but if Friday at 11 a.m. comes along and I have to clean a toilet then I will just have to clean a toilet.  I'm not sure I can handle an hour of Kate Gosselin.  Sorry to those who love her ;)

I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Music Memory Monday

Ah yes, the inspired class song story.  Seems appropriate since its been 20 YEARS!!!!!!  Oy!  **slaps forehead**

Bette Midler - Greatest Hits-Experience the Divine

The First Class of a New Decade

I think the choice for a class song ranks pretty high on the list of significant songs in our lives, that's why when the choice isn't great it's hard to stomach.

The two classes before ours had common, yet appropriate class songs, Don't you forget about me by Simple Minds- very Breakfast Club and expected for 1988, and Never tear us apart by INXS for 1989.

I know we had a few choices to vote on, one of which was Thank you for being a friend also known as the Theme to the Golden Girls. I'm not sure what it says about our other choices when all I can remember is that and our winner, Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings.

IIf you only listen to the chous, it's inspired in its message, but if you read the other lyrics the choice seems odd. Does this really represent our class?  Someone voted for it, because it won, but everyone seemed to complain about it.  It's about being overshadowed by someone, and how after the fact that person who was shining bright decides to acknowledge the other.   I've always been embarrassed by our class song. Don't get me wrong, the song is lovely, but a class song it isn't. At least it gives me a nice chuckle whenever I hear it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

**GIVEAWAY** Win tickets to Rosalind Wiseman's Girl World Tour 2010

Parenting is no easy task and we all know that already.  But parenting girls and hoping that they have better self-esteem than we do, that they're independent yet loving, and strong-willed but not bossy is a tall order.  Rosalind Wiseman had an idea about that and that is why she is hosting the Girl World Tour 2010

Wiseman, the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World is traveling the country talking to Moms* & daughters (ages 8-14) about confidence, friendships, sweat-inducing moments and common mother-daughter challenges. This fun-filled evening of mother-daughter bonding will celebrate Rosalind’s latest books, feature an interactive discussion Q&A session and a book signing will follow. The two-hour event is sure to get mothers and daughters talking, laughing and connecting.

Detroit's Girl World Tour 2010 stop is this Thursday, March 4 from 7 - 9:00 p.m. at Hillsdale Middle School 775 N. Center Street, in Northville! 

I have been invited to attend this event with my nine-year-old Ryann and I have two sets of tickets to giveaway to two lucky readers!

You may also purchase tickets by visiting Next Chapter Books located at 141 E. Main Street, Northville MI 48167, by calling 248-465-0010, or on their website.  Tickets are $40 per pair and additional tickets may be purchased for $20.

Each pair of tickets includes: admission to the event, one copy of each of Rosalind’s latest books, and a gift bag featuring free samples of Dove go fresh deodorant! The admission price also includes a one year subscription to Family Circle, (valued at $6.13). Offer details and Rebate information will be available at the event.
Parents will receive Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World and daughters will receive Rosalind’s debut young adult novel Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials.

*Any adult with a young girl in their life is welcome to attend the event. Fathers, big sisters, Girl Scout troop leaders, aunts, etc. are all welcome! Attend with the 8-14 year old girl in your life and share important conversations about her friendships, growth, and development.

To enter simply leave one comment below stating how old your daughter is and what you hope to learn at Girl World Tour 2010.

You may earn additional entries by following My Life of What Ifs on Network Blogs or Google Friend Connect, both of which are further down on the right sidebar. Just leave a comment stating you are a follower. If you comment anonymously please remember to include your name and email in the comment!

Because this event is only three days away...

This giveaway ends Wednesday, March 3 at 11:59:59 a.m.  The winner will be notified by email and must respond by 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 3 to claim their prize.  You must be 18 years or older to enter and from the U.S. or Canada.  Only entries following the above requirements will be considered.

Disclosure:  I was given complimentary tickets to this event.  The opinions above are mine and mine alone.  I was not influenced by anyone at any time.