August 31, 2012

[Gurlee]Girrl Friday

Nothing better than a Friday before a long weekend!! Although I was on vacation last week, I so need a day off!  It’s just crazy that this marks the END OF SUMMER!  Time flies for sure.  Marking the end of summer, this week I chose a fun color for the first part of the week:

8-31 nails 2

I really liked this blue, I like that it was a matte polish, and it actually has a grittiness to it.  However, by the next day – it  was chipped up beyond repair.  That PEEVES me off big time.  To only get 1 day out of it sucked. This will now become one of my daughter’s colors.

For my second choice I grabbed a color that reminded me of fall:

8-21 nails 1

It’s a burnt red and I love it. It’s been a few days now and it still looks great. 

With fall being just around the corner, I would love some recommendations of some darker, bolder colors.  I have never been able to find the right “dark” color and if you have – please share!

Dear Pepperoni Cheese Bread:  I am counting down the hours until I can “snack” on you in the car.  You better not disappoint me.  I’m imagining you being heaven in my mouth. 

pizza bread

Dear Memphis, TN:  It was not in the cards for me to visit you.  However, I still got a little piece of Elvis to tie me over until we can meet.

Elivs Wine

Dear Weight Watchers Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese & Arugula:  After posting about you a few weeks ago, I could not resist having you for lunch this week.  You are as wonderful as I remember and I love you.

salad blue cheese

Dear Soccer Steph:  Tomorrow is your birthday and I’m excited that I get to be a part of your fun day.  We are for sure gonna whoop it up!


Dear Camp KesemYou took care of my babies and sent them home with their “awards” and stories.  It may have only been 6 days, but you somehow inspired both of them to push their limits and they cannot wait until next year.  To say I’m proud of them in an understatement.  Who else can brag that their kids are “Ladybug The Helping” and “Homerun The Super Camper”?  No one else can, just me.


Dear TrueBlood:  WTF?  Bilith?  Really??? Not cool.


And with that, I bid you a great weekend!  See you in the fall!

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August 30, 2012

You Had the Good–Now I Give You The Bad

I’ve shared with you a few of my favorite things from my vacation to Gatlinburg, and now I want to share my least favorite place visited while there - Ober Gatlinburg.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids would probably say it was one of the better places we visited, but it just was not my cup of tea.

To travel to Ober Gatlinburg you can either use the Aerial Tramway ($11.00 for a 2-day pass) or you can drive your vehicle on a VERY winding, steep climb road ($5 parking).  We did both.  I preferred to drive, as there was no standing in lines to ride the tram to and from.

Once you reach the top of the mountain, the attractions are plentiful:

  • Alpine Slide
  • Ice Skating (Indoors)
  • Wildlife Encounters (Outdoors)
  • Scenic Chairlift
  • (2) Raft Water Slides
  • Maze
  • Carousel (Indoors)
  • Chair Swing
  • Kiddie Land (rides & play area)
  • Mini Golf
  • Arcade
  • Souvenir Stores / Fudge Shop / Snack Bar

You could purchase a “Outdoor Activity” wristband for $22 for adults ~ $19 for ages 5 – 11, or you can purchase tickets for each individual ride.  Since my kids were planning on riding everything, we bought the wristbands. They repeatedly rode the Alpine Slide, both Water Slides and the Scenic Chairlift.  They golfed, beat the Maze in the 4 minute record time and of course had to hit the snack bar stand for some ice cream.  Thankfully the lines were short, so the kids could sprint from one ride to the other.  Even the parents got in on some of the rides (I even rode one waterslide which was NOT supposed to get me wet – but I got pretty soaked!).

Now you want to know what I didn’t like?  I guess I didn’t like the atmosphere.  Everything was OLD.  Looked rickety and out of date.  Everything needed to be painted, cleaned, etc. 

What did I love about it?  The VIEWS:






At the top of the scenic lift, a real Blue Grass band provides live entertainment.  That was pretty cool.


Would I go back?  Probably not.  It was nice to experience it once, but I don’t think it offered enough for a repeat visit.

August 28, 2012

Way Down Yonder in the Tuckaleechee

Although most of our vacation was spent doing fun things like white water rafting, going to amusement parks and of course hitting as many souvenir shops as possible, I also wanted to incorporate some activities that might provide a “learning experience” for the kids.

We had investigated some local caverns in the area, and found that Tuckaleechee Caverns were the highest rated.  The caverns are located in Townsend, TN, which is about an hour drive from Gatlinburg.  We chose the scenic route through the Smokey Mountain National Park and It was breathtaking! 

The caverns did not disappoint.  The temperature inside is a cool 58 degrees, which was a nice change from the 80 degree temps outside.  It was about an hour and a half tour, and our tour guide was awesome. He was extremely knowledgeable, included the kids in his discussion and allowed ample time to snap pictures.  There are quite a few stairs to maneuver, so if you have any elderly travelers, or if you have to carry small children, this might not be the best tour for you.



And my favorite photo taken:


Pricing was $15 for adults and $7 for kids 5-11 (under 5 is free).  There was a small gift shop attached, with well-priced items, but the selection was not great.  Unfortunately I have not mastered my “real” camera (Faith if you have please offer some advice), so all my pictures were taken with my iPhone.That iPhone is a lifesaver.

Since this cavern is “off the beaten path”, they survive on word-of-mouth.  If you get a chance to visit, I sure hope you consider it. 

On the way home, we were asking the kids about what they had learned, and I was SUPER shocked to realize they were actually paying attention – maybe even more than I was!!!

Overall, I’m so glad we found this little treasure and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to be amazed!

August 27, 2012

Vacation is Over But NOT Forgotten!

You may or may not have noticed my absence from blog-land last week.  I was on vacation in the beautiful city of Gatlinburg, TN.  Instead of boring you with picture after picture of my vacation – I’m going to share a few of my favorites each day. 

On our first day, we decided to hit up Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.  It was our first visit to this area and had heard this aquarium is a must see.  Take it from me – it was phenomenal.  The kids were in awe and had so much fun with all of the hands-on exhibits available.  It is a little pricey  at $24.99/adult – $11.99/children 6-11, however we spent a few hours exploring and felt it was worth the money. 

My son is currently obsessed with Sharks, and they just happened to have an amazing shark exhibit running.  Colton was excited and scared at the same time.  They have a “tunnel room” where the sharks are swimming above you, to your left and to your right.  He would get so excited and name off the sharks he would see – but getting him to pose for pictures was next to impossible because he was nervous at the same time.  The boy cracks me up.

Ripleys 1

Ripleys 3

Although Ashley isn’t as interested in sharks as her brother, she found the exhibits just as entertaining as he did, and especially enjoyed petting the sting rays.  She thought it was really cool.

Ripleys 2

Overall, I believe the kids enjoyed the aquarium and would say it was a highlight of their trip.  I was pleasantly surprised that their gift shop was not overly priced – and I was able to pick up a few souvenirs for each of the kids for under $10.  The aquarium also offers a snack bar, which was slightly overpriced, but for the area wasn’t too outrageous.  The kids enjoyed pretzels and pops about half way through. 

If I return to Gatlinburg, I will be returning to Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies

August 17, 2012

[Gurlee]Girrl Friday

Dear Essie Garnet polish:  I chose you from over the 100 available polishes at the salon, but I am not in love with you.  Not sure if it’s you, or just a bad manicure job, because you just fell flat this week.

Nails 8-17

Dear Blue Leopard Skinny Jeans:  Although several of the ladies at work were probably just making fun of me when they said I was the only person they knew who could wear you and make you look good, guess what?  I totally have rocked you today.  You may be my new favorites!


Dear Insurgent:  I am going to be done reading you tomorrow and you have been great.  I am looking forward to the third book next year!  I am now on the hunt for my next read, recommendations are appreciated!


Dear Brothers of the Sun Tour:  I am DEVASTATED that I will be missing you tomorrow.  I know the rest of my posse will be rocking out with you.  Maybe someone can at least pick me up a t-shirt??? Just sayin….

brothers of the sun

Dear Camp Kesem:  You’ve had my babies since Sunday – and although I’ve seem them smiling in every photo – I’m am beyond happy they are coming home today! 

Dear Vacation:  You are starting in 3 – 2 – 1

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August 15, 2012

What I’m Loving Wednesday


I’m Loving….

My new Strawberry Sorbet EOS lip balm.  This is hands down THE BEST lip balm I’ve ever used.  No exaggeration.  It’s the BOMB.


My Diet Cranberry-Raspberry Sodastream pop.  No other flavor can compete with it in my book.


The pictures I found of my kids at Camp Kesem this week, both being adventurous like I had hoped!  Mom is so jealous!!!

ash zip linecolton wall

The 30% off coupon I have from Kohls.  Guess who is going shopping tonight! 


That in just a few short days, I’m going on vacation and will be relaxing and having some much needed fun!!


What are you loving today?

August 14, 2012

Look Who’s Cooking Again!

My guess is that most of you are no where as routine oriented as I am.  When I say routine, I’m not just talking about how I go about my day (wake up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, etc.), I’m talking about when I find something I like, it basically incorporate into my EVERY day.  It becomes routine to me.

Since I try to eat somewhat healthy, I look for quick, but TASTY, lunch options.  For awhile (like 6 months), I was eating this Weight Watchers Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese, Arugula and Walnuts

pasta blue cheese

I would still be eating that salad every day if I could control my portion size.  Unfortunately I would eat entirely too much pasta, add way too much blue cheese and eat until I couldn’t take another bite.  Guess what?  Even a Weight Watchers recipe will pack the pounds on you, if you don’t follow portion size.  Lesson learned.

Next I created my own Chopped Chicken Salad – which consisted of canned chicken, arugula, chives, tomatoes, onions, red peppers and walnuts topped with an oil and vinegar dressing.  I ate this every day for months too. 


Then I moved on to my own version of a Qdoba Chicken Salad. So you see, when I tire of one, I move on to another.  Well, I found my next one:

bean salad


This is the tastiest salad I’ve ever had.  It just explodes with flavors in your mouth!  I kid you not. 

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Serves: 6-8


2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob

2 red bell peppers diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced shallots, from one medium shallot

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons sugar

9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lime zest

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 avocados, chopped


Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well.  Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight.  Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados.  Garnish with more chopped cilantro if desired.  Serve at room temperature.

I actually follow the recipe fairly close – but  – I also add a few pieces of chicken to my portioned-out serving.  I’m kind of a cilantro nut too, so I add way more than directed, but you can never really have too much cilantro, am I right?

bean salad 2

    My salad does not look as pretty as the one above, my avocado is a day old and browning slightly, but I assure you, it is just as tasty! 
    Well, now you know what I will be eating at least 4 days a week, probably for the next couple of months, although, after looking at the Pasta with Blue Cheese, Arugula and Walnuts, it is calling my name again!! UGH!

August 13, 2012

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a rare one indeed.  It was just what I needed.

Friday night consisted of a trip to Target to pick up a few last minute items for camp:

#1 – a new sleeping bag for Cole.  Apparently The Incredibles one that Grandma bought for him last year was too “babyish” for him. I can’t believe how different boys are from girls.  Ash could care less what her sleeping bag had on it or looked like.  She’d have taken The Incredibles one, but I let him pick out his own – he picked out a camouflaged one of course.

#2 – a Pirates of the Caribbean themed shirt.  Do you know how impossible it was to find a POTC shirt??? I of course found one “pirate” themed shirt at Target – it was CORAL – and it was not acceptable to my boy.  My boy does not think CORAL is a boy color.  I grabbed it just in case, but put it on my list to keep looking for one.

I picked up some small sample toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc., for them to take. 

I also grabbed two notebooks for them to journal in each day.  They will have one hour of “quiet time” each day, and I instructed them to write about their days, including the activity they participated in, what they had for breakfast/lunch/dinner, etc.  This is the only way I’ll know what Colton was up to.  Hopefully he gives a little bit of information each day – but I can see him skipping this task altogether!

Saturday was a great day – Ash and I went to get mani/pedis.  Of course I failed to take pictures of both of our manicures – but hers was much nicer than mine.  She had her nails painted purple and then they painted a white/pink flower on her ring finger.  Purple is her camp group color – so she wanted to represent.  She is just too funny.

We stopped for lunch at Noodles & Company – and it was nice to share a meal and stories with her.  It’s rare that it’s just the two of us.  She talked about camp, about school, about boys and just was chatty in general.  I loved it.

We mad a quick stop at Kohls to look for another “pirate” themed shirt for Colton, and luckily found a clearance one that was green and totally acceptable.  That boy is going to drive me insane.

Colton and I rounded out the day watching Harry Potter – The Deathly Hallows Part 1.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to get scared, but he surprisingly wasn’t.  I actually had forgotten a lot about it, so it was pretty interesting to me too.

I was glad I was able to spend quality time with each of them individually before they headed off for the week.

Sunday was upon me and I was dreading taking them to camp.  Drop off time was from 1pm to 3pm.  We left the house around 1:30pm and the entire time Ash was anxious.  She was very nervous about not knowing people, making new friends, having to climb the rock wall, having to go canoeing, and really her list went on and on.

Colton of course was cool as a cucumber.  I swear to you – it’s hard to believe he is the same little boy that wouldn’t go to pre-school for the first 4 weeks!  Now, he has no problem adjusting and enjoying himself in new situations.  He’s truly amazing to me.

Once we arrived and signed them in, “The Dog” took Home Run (Colton) to his building and “Cheerio” took Lady Bug (Ash) to her dorm.  I went with Ash to get her settled in.  Once we went inside, two girls from last year ran up to her and gave her the biggest hug and then they all danced about the room.  I could not have been happier.  She instantly lit up, got super excited and was basically pushing me out of the door.  I of course got my hugs and kisses in and left her with her friends to settle in for the night.  Daddy came by with Colton to check on her, but she wanted no part of that!  She gave us a wave and a smile and we were on our way.

We took Home Run back to his dorm room, and he too had been welcomed by his friend Wolfie from last year and was already in party mode!  He gave a quick hug – no kisses for mom – and then he chased us out! 

I will miss my kids terribly while they are gone this week.  I have already checked the Flickr account the camp sets up numerous times to see what they’ve been up too.  Of course there are about 100 kids there, so it’s not that easy to find them, but believe me, I will be checking on them often.  I know when I pick them up on Friday afternoon they will have stories of adventures, accomplishments and will have made new friends.  I CAN NOT WAIT!

August 10, 2012

[Gurlee]Girrl Friday

Dear Week:  You have sucked.  I’m really trying to make you better, but you need to cooperate.

Dear OPI La Paz-Itively Hot Nail Polish:  You are the perfect pink, pearlescent color, and the fact that you came as a duo with a nail clipper and file, that makes you even sweeter.

Nails Picture 8-10

Dear Fox Sweater from Target : People at work think I’m wearing Garanimals for adults, but I love you anyways.  I told Ashley that you were Too Cool For School, so that’s why you belong to momma and not her!


 Dear Camp Kesem:  I’m dropping my babies off this weekend.  Please, please, please take care of them.  Encourage them to push their limits and be adventurous.  Although my battle with cancer is behind them, they still need to vent to someone else and be around kids who have/are dealing with the same issues. 

Dear Monthly Bills:  I want to understand why every single one of you are crazy high lately including water ($300???), electric ($500???) and even gas ($4.20/gallon????) WTF?  This girly is NOT rich, and that won’t be changing any time soon.  I want to karate chop you all in half – that would make me feel much better.

Dear Dumbass Who Pulled the Fire Alarm At Work:  I did not appreciate having to interrupt my lunch to go and stand outside in the pouring rain.  So not cool.  I also didn’t appreciate having to listen to the alarm blare for another 20 minutes because no one knew how to turn it off.  That was REALLY not cool.

Dear 5:00:  PLEASE HURRY.

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August 8, 2012

Flat But Not a Flop

I’m certainly not a fashion blogger, not even close to being a fashionable momma, heck I’m even wearing BLACK nylons today (which I hear is a fashion no-no in the summer – EEK!!!) but I am a clothesaholic, and since I have to “dress up” for work, I normally hit up H&M, JCPenney, and of course my favorite stores, Kohls & Target.  I have 3 closets FULL of clothes, and have “racks” rigged in my basement to accommodate my overflow.  Along with my clothes obsession, I also own an unimaginable amount of shoes, and about 40 pairs of them are flip flops.  So when I kept seeing a certain pair of flip flops around some fashion blogs, I knew I had to add them to my collection.

I snatched me up these babies:

poeske cream

I bought them in Cream – since I was lacking a pair in that color.  I paid the FULL price of $14.99 for them.  At first glance I thought they were stylish, pretty and relatively cheap BUT extremely flimsy, super FLAT and not the type of shoe that would last more than a season of wear. 

Technically I am not supposed to wear this type of shoe to work, however, being the rebel-rule breaker that I am, I decided to give them a shot on casual Friday.  This particular Friday, my driveway was under construction (getting new cement), so I had to hike it across my front lawn.  I was trying to not get them soaking wet in the grass, because I knew the “cardboard” construction would not hold up too well if wet.  I was really trying to get into the car pretty fast, as every worker in my driveway was staring at me, and I just wanted to get the heck outta there.

I arrived at work and stepped out of my car and it felt like I was stepping on a rock.  So I try rubbing my foot on the ground to push the “stone” out from under my foot.  Well, it wasn’t a stone.  It just happened to be DOG DOODOO.  Yeah, and by rubbing my foot across the ground, and with the sole being so thin, I was scraping dog crap onto my foot in the process.  OMG!   At  this point, I was ready to cry and puke. 

I grabbed some napkins out of my car and started the cleaning process.  I just wanted to climb right back in the car, head home and bury my head in my pillow and cry for the day.  However, that was not an option.  I ran into the bathroom and had no choice but to full fledge wash my foot and shoe in the sink.  Thank goodness nobody walked in on that scene. 

Bottom line – these flip flops are still going strong – not poop nor water could take them down!  I say for $14.99, they are the bomb.

FYI – these are NOT the type of shoes to wear if you are walking any amount of distance.  The flatness is insane, and with my terrible clumsiness, I trip over them all the time.

After my phenomenal luck with the above, I decided to try another Tar-Jay flip flop special and bought these beauties:


Is it weird that when I wear these, I think my feet look sexy? Again, these shoes are really flat soled and not great walking shoes, but they are super cute.  I also love that they only cost me $7.50 since they were on clearance!! WOOT WOOT!!

I’m thinking about grabbing another pair, maybe in the metallic finish.  They are great with shorts, capris and even my skinny jeans.  Love them.

Have you jumped on the bandwagon and bought either one of these sandals from Target?  How many pairs of sandals do you normally buy in a season? 

August 7, 2012

August Blog Star!


Hi, I’m Heather, a.k.a. GurleeGirrl, and I’m a Blog Star!!!

Oh – and I love dessert.


When I’m not hanging out with famous singers:


Canaan Smith / Jordan Knight (NKOTB) / Adam Krier (AM Taxi)

I’m trying to teach My Little Miss how to be a Little Lady:


All she seems to get from me is her overly-dramatic way of texting (any my obsession of designer purses):


I’m also the mom to Batman:


Or is he Iron Man?


No, really, he’s just My Little Man:


Back in 2010 I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer.  It was scary and it sucked.  Since then, I’ve been trying to be open to new things, I have been on some adventures and just like to have fun.

I blog about my family, my friends, nail polish, movies, TV, music, food and anything that floats my boat.  I look forward to getting to know some new blog friends soon!