Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving everybody !

Kitty, her Pilgrim friends, and the entire staff here at MBIAJ want to tell you all how thankful we are for all of our Blogland friends .... couldn't ask for a better neighborhood!!

.....and of course, we're thankful for family, old friends, good health, a nice place to live, good food, AND STRETCHY, ELASTIC WAIST PANTS !!(which Kitty and I will be changing into before we head "over the river and through the woods" to brother -in - law's house for Thanksgiving Dinner).

Have a safe and fun day !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Introducing ..... THE FLEECE POCKET SCARF ...


Good frosty Monday morning Blogland Neighborhood ! Well, there it is !!! Just in time for the deep freeze we've been having here in Pa "Fleece Pocket Scarf" !
The instructions to make it are posted today on Karen Gass's blog Cotton Spice as part of the Last Minute Gift Countdown she is having.

Now, you know what it looks like hanging on a coat tree's what it looks like hanging on an irritated 16 year old .....

......this modeling job occured only a short time after the Hello Kitty terry wrap incident and I think Evan's patience with his mother always needing a model had finally been used up!! So.......I happen to have a back up model, now you will get to see how the scarf looks if you happen to be wearing it while ......

.......sitting at the computer . (Matt, the college boy, has no idea he modeled the scarf ..... I said : Matt, let me take a picture of you wearing the scarf ..... Matt: no response .... I said: Matt, I'm gonna put the scarf on you and take your picture ..... Matt: no response ....) Oh well, that's pretty much the norm here at MBIAJ Headquarters .... I talk and nobody listens !

Anyhow, I hope you zip on over to Karen's blog to get the instructions to make this jazzy scarf (it really goes together FAST !! ) and keep checking her blog everyday because she'll feature a different gal's project everyday until Dec 4th!

If you have any questions about the scarf or my instructions, please feel free to email me or leave the question on the comments page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! Have fun!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Last Minute Gift Countdown !!!

Hi out there in the Blogland Neighborhood and happy Thursday!!! Have you heard about the "Last Minute Gift Countdown" ? Karen over at Cotton Spice is hosting this fun event starting today through Dec 4th. Each day she will feature a different designer's project and instructions to make it just in time for the holidays!!..... and, as hard as this is to believe, I'm actually finished with something WAY before Christmas !!!(are pigs flying????)......and Karen is nice enough to let me show it all to you (on her blog) on Nov. 24th !!! (but don't wait until then to visit her blog, because the "Last Minute Gift Countdown" started TODAY and there's a great project on there designed by Tammy Harrison of Quilt Therapy !)

OK, time for me to go write out the instructions to my upcoming project and then bribe one of the teenagers to help me email them to Karen ! (so, while I do that, don't forget to run over to visit Karen at Cotton Spice!!)

Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Purrrrrrrrfect !!!!!!

Well hi there Blogland Neighborhood! (and all visitors to Blogland, of course!) Well, just when you thought my birthday was FINALLY over ..... in rolls another PRESENT !!! Look at what my sister-in-law , Lori, and her daughters Katie and Stephie stumbled over while they were at Epcot last week (visiting Japan, to be specific) ......

..... a "Hello Kitty" terry wrap for after you get out of the shower, or I think it would also make a cute bathing suit cover up !! (cause, believe you me, there's stuff that needs covering up!!)

.....and guess who I bribed to model it for us (because, as you know, there is a serious lack of females , other than me and Daisy, here at MBIAJ Headquarters) ....

....EVAN !!!! (picture was taken seconds before the disgusted sigh, eye rolling and "come on, Mom !!" occured). Anyhow, Evan is 6 ft tall, so the "Hello Kitty" terry wrap is looking a bit skimpy on him ..... so picture it on his much shorter, and fatter mother. Oh, and how about that hairdo !!! He was in the middle of studying for his biology test, got bored and went into the bathroom and put a ton of hair gel in his hair to see how much he could get it to fluff out ..... hmmmmmm..... an interesting look .....

.....and here's another intersting "Evan look" which took place about a half hour after the hair gel incident .... also caused by boredom while studying ..... Evan dropped into my sewing room for a visit looking like ......

.....this. Now, I'm thinking that there's not a whole lot of biology studying going on (he might only get a "C" on his test, but he'll get an "A" for entertainment and procrastination !). Oh, and here's a good one .... both of my boys tell me they don't have time to clean their rooms (because they're too busy with school(that's a good one!) and work and dirtbike riding, of course ). Let's take a little stroll down the hall to .....

.....Matt, the college boy's room .... or as it is better known as "Chez Pig Sty"....and...

.....Evan's room .... or as it is also called "Chez Garbage Dump"

Now, you may think me crazy to post a picture of my kids' disgusting rooms on my blog ..... however, I've had a clause put in my contract that not only excuses me from having to sit through any tediously LONG sports event that is more than an hour's drive away, it also excuses me from any filth my little darlings (who are now 16 and 18) choose to live in .... I realize I run the risk of my future daughter-in-law's hating me .... unless, of course their CTL (Crud Tolerance Level) is equal to or surpasses my sloppy sons' CTL..... Anyhow, since my CTL is at a much lower threshold than any of the males here at MBIAJ Headquarters , I may just have to put on my Hazmat Suit and go in with a shovel and a garbage bag!

Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So....THIS is what 50 looks like !!!

Yes, Blogland Neighbors .... it's true, as of yesterday 11/14/08 .....and, Bethy, this is just for you ..."Nifty, nifty, now we're both FIFTY "...... GASP !!! (so far, I can only write it .... because it doesn't quite roll easily off my tongue just yet .... but give me just a little more time to adjust to the fact that I've now got a HALF CENTURY under my belt! ....another GASP!) Anyhow, I love this picture of Bethy and me (Bethy is the one with the tags hanging off her hat like Minnie Pearl, and I'm the one with a wad of gum in my mouth) .... my sister took it 2 weeks ago on our New York City Girls Only Birthday Bash Weekend at Saks Fifth Ave .... she took the picture only seconds before we heard the brisk click click click of the snooty saleslady's shoes coming towards us to give us a dirty look for fooling around with the hats .... which, by the way, cost more than my CAR !!!)

Now I must show you the fun presents from my sweet boys and hubby...

....a NEW CAMERA !!! (because the one they got me last year for my birthday I dropped off of the top of a 10 foot ladder .... ACCIDENTALY ....a few months ago ... I promise to try and take MUCH better care of this one!!!)

......ooooohhhhhh.......and GODIVA CHOCOLATE ..... LOTS OF IT !!!! (very helpful in stabilizing MOOD SWINGS !!) .....and , more OOOOOOOHHHHHHH..... a Kenny Chesney CD !!!! (I do love a cowboy in them there britches !!!! Yee Haw !!!)

So ...... thank you, everybody for your birthday wishes and nice comments about 50 not being so bad !!! BIG HUGS to you out there in Blogland!!

OK .... now I think it's time for me to change the subject !! I don't think I've posted any quilty/sewy things on here for WAY TOO LONG ..... so, I want to give you a little peek of a couple of projects I was able to work on a teensy bit this past week (and of course, they're STILL not finished!!)

....a new tote bag that I'm kind of making up as I go along (because I don't already have enough half started and unfinished stuff hanging around !!!)

......and, somebody's quilt ( even though she knows about it, I'm trying to just show a smidgen of it to keep it all a mystery ..... but now that she's 50 and her memory is going .....and considering the "speed" at which I get things finished, it'll really be a mystery to her when I finally finish it and give it to her .... cause she won't remember a darn thing about it !!!! ...our running joke is that it'll make a nice lap robe when we're both sitting in our wheelchairs in a nursing home ..... and my sister, who is a couple of years younger than us has the job of making sure our socks match and our tiara's are on straight .....after all, we can't be lookin' sloppy while we're sitting there!)

Well, nieghbors, time for me to sign off for today .... not that I wouldn't want to sit and visit with you all a bit longer, but this dang computer is REALLY coughing and wheezing ..... I was sweating it out trying to get this all posted today .....and actually, the FedEx guy came a few minutes ago and delivered the new computer tower? (is that what you call it?) .... so, hopefully, the computer fix it guy will be able to get the new thing hooked up and NOT mess with my Blog .... cause he wouldn't want to meet up with the wrong end of a mood swing .... oh, but wait, I have the antidote ....all that Godiva Chocolate!!

So, I'm gonna grab a cup of tea and a handfull of chocolate and my Kenny CD and head off to my sewing room to spend some quality time with my girls Betty and Elsie (my Featherweight and my Elna sewing machines) .... ahhhh.... sewing time .... a birthday present to myself!!!

Be back soon!!! (hopefully .... barring any major computer problems!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A birthday dinner from Evan !!

Good evening Blogland Neighborhood!! Tonight my 6 ft tall, sweet 16 year old baby boy cooked dinner for me for my birthday!! (which still isn't until tomorrow, so I'm not "that age" YET!!) ... Evan is working tomorrow night (it's his first night at his new job .... making sandwich masterpieces at the local Subway), so he made me a special dinner tonight.

Here's the chef consulting his recipe from Olive Garden. Not only do they give you the recipe, they also have videos for you to follow along step by step.

.....from garlic chopping ... all the way to .....

....loading up the plates with....

....Tuscan Garlic Chicken !!!!! DELICIOUS !!!!

Look out Emeril..... Evan just may be the next big thing that hits the TV chef biz.... and I think he just may have an interesting angle .... remember The Galloping Gourmet (I know, now I'm really dating myself ! .... my mother used to watch this guy, OK!!) ANYHOW, Evan could be ....

.....the "Dirtbike Dude Chef" (making a VERY NOISY and dusty entrance !!) (just a quick safety note here ..... Evan is NEVER allowed to ride without his long sleeve riding jersey, riding pants, chest protector and neck brace ..... so when I saw this picture I just about flipped !!! He tells me he only rode a few minutes in that UNSAFE getup.... long enough for his brother to take his picture for some goofy photo contest for a riding magazine, or so they tell me .... my indigestion and migraine overfloweth.....)

Anyhow, like I said, the dinner Evan made all by himself was AMAZING !!! and the thought behind it ..... melts my heart !!! (but don't tell him I said that .... can't have his mom messing with his tough dirtbike dude image!!!)

Be back soon ! ( I guess when I'm "that age" ..... in a few short hours .... UGH!!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A birthday cake from Mom !!

Hi everybody out there in the Blogland Neighborhood! Tonight my parents dropped by to help me celebrate my birthday (even though it isn't until Friday .... so I'm not yet officially "that age" .... YET!) Anyway, I had instant nostalgia when Mom walked in carrying ......

...this covered cake plate .... I haven't seen this in years!! There was a time , when I was growing up when this cake plate had it's place on the kitchen counter whenever it was somebody's birthday. My mom has made some pretty spectacular birthday cakes for my sister, brother and me when we were kids. There was the rocket ship cake for my brother .... who has since become an aeronautical engineer and pilot ..... then there was the ballerina party for my 6th birthday ....

.... see the ballerina centerpiece? .... however, unlike my brother's rocket ship cake leading to his career in the airplane biz, my ballet "career" ended badly following my debut recital/disaster at the end of first grade (some teensy glitch when my parasol got stuck in my tu tu ).... oh well... ANYHOW, look at that pretty cake mom made ....

.....all those pretty pink lollipops around the top of the cake (by now you know our MBIAJ Photography Dept stinks ... so, you know the drill ... if you click on the picture to make it bigger you might possibly be able to see it better ... maybe .... plus , I'm sure there is a better way to do this than to take a picture of another picture , which is an ancient picture to begin with!!)

.....and what kind of cake was in the covered cake plate from Mom tonight ?

....a lemon pound cake !!! YUM !! (she did bring a WHOLE cake, but we were so busy shoveling it in that I forgot to take a picture until it was half gone!)

So, now the covered cake plate is sitting on my kitchen counter .... and it feels like home .... but only temporarily because Mom informed me that it can stay here just until the cake is gone .... then she wants it back ...... which will be sooner rather than later because in about 2 seconds I'll be heading for a fork .....

Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New York ...part 3 ....SIMPLY FABULOUS !!!!!!

Good Saturday morning Blogland Neighbors!! Time for "NYC Part 3" ..... the conclusion of our Girl's Weekend /my Birthday Bash Extravaganza !!!! Now, if you're just tuning in , you need to catch up and first read NYC Part 1 and NYC Part 2. OK, here we go ..... at the conclusion of Part 2, we left our sophisticated group scarfing down cupcakes back in their swanky hotel room at The Crowne Plaza Times Square ......don't worry, we left the housekeeping staff a nice tip since a few blobs of icing kind of ended up on the rug .....

After the cupcake eating, there was that frantic 45 minutes where we were trying to get 9 females into 2 bathrooms in order to attempt to look presentable to go to "the theatah , dahhhling" and get there on time ....good thing we only had to walk half a block and cross the street to get to ......

....."Mama Mia" .... This was SUCH a fun show to see!!!! I wanted to take some pictures of us inside the theater , but you weren't allowed to ....RATS!

.....well, I can at least show you a picture of the program ....

....after "the theatah" we took a stroll to see "the lights on Broadway" .... the Big Apple at night ..... TONS OF PEOPLE and Activity ..... (remember, I'm a country girl .... we only have lights outside if you turn on the flood lights , and the activity consists of the bear pulling the bird feeder down, again....) Anyhow, we decided to zip into that Applebees and have a late supper and drinks (very "New York" ... and oh, so chic ) .....I inhaled everything so fast that I forgot to take a picture of my yummy spinach salad with shrimp AND my Mango Martini, as recommended by my sister Boop, the martini queen, and also by our waiter .....

.....the very sweet , accomodat-ing, and flambouyant James !! (Oops, I'm trying to keep my eyes open, and James has his shut) .... one of us has had too much mango martini !!! Wait, there's one more picture of me and James ...

.....OK, so James has his eyes open in this picture and I still look.....uhmmmm.........let's just say happy.....

So, after making poor, sweet James put up with us for way longer than he had to with that pleasant disposition of his, we dragged ourselves out of there and headed back to the swanky hotel .... thus ending Day #1 of our NYC weekend .... we were POOPED!!

But, on Sunday morning we bounced out of bed because we were meeting another good pal from Beth's and my college days at Temple University .... Robin !! Robin lives right outside of NYC and comes in and out of the city all of the time .... her daughter Leah was also meeting us .... she's a freshman at NYU. These 2 city girls didn't know what they were up against when they suggested taking the 9 of us "out of towners" on the subway to the "upper west side" of NYC for lunch. Trust me when I say it was a feather in Robin and Leah's cap that we all got on and off the subway at the correct place and at the same time!!! (Sunday was also the New York City Marathon and it was ending at Central Park in the same area as where we were headed for lunch..... so LOTS of people!) we are .... the college pals, reunited for lunch .... Beth and I on either side of Robin ..... she's such a good sport!! (and I'm using the excuse that it was windy for how atrocious my hair looks !)

Anyhow, that picture was taken outside of "Fred's" which is the restaurant we finally were able to get a table at (remember, with Robin and Leah, there were 11 of us AND the NYC Marathon was going on .... very crowded!!) ... anyhow, this was about the 5th restaurant we tried to get into for lunch and you'll never believe this ..... we were eating our lunch and applauding the marathon runners as they came into the restaurant when the manager of the place just happened to come over to ask us how we liked the food etc .... and he just happened to ask where everybody was from .... and when Beth said I was from the Poconos, he said "Oh, really? I have a vacation house in ..... JIM THORPE" .......and I said:" WHAT !!!!!! I live in JIm Thorpe!!! My husband runs The Inn At Jim Thorpe !" ..... now, I ask you, what are the chances of running into somebody in NYC who actually is a neighbor ? Of all the zillions of places to eat in NYC and of all the gazillions of people in NYC, we just happen to wander into a place where the manager has a weekend/vacation house a couple of miles from my house !!!!

Anyhow, after we stuffed ourselves with a very yummy brunch/lunch, we walked a couple of blocks to Central Park where the NYC Marathon was ending ....

.....lots and lots ....
..... and LOTS of people!!!! We only could spend a few minutes there because we still had to get back on the UNBELIEVABLY CROWDED subway and make our way back to the hotel because the Florida girls had to get to the airport and catch their plane home ..... and the scary part was that Robin had to stay in the Central Park/upper west side area for some charity function thing so she had to give us very detailed instructions on how to get to the subway and which way to go on the subway in order to get back to our hotel ..... she told us each individually and then had me take notes!!! I must say I couldn't believe how many people kept packing onto the subway .... it looked full to me and yet more and more people kept shoving their way in at each stop ..... SARDINES !!! Anyhow, all 9 of us managed to get off at the right stop and there we were hi-fiving each other on the subway platform .... we were so proud of ourselves!!!

So, back at the hotel we gathered up our stuff (Lori, Katie and Stephie had to figure out how to shove 11... yes ELEVEN new purses .... or pocketbooks, as Beth would say.... into their suitcases ), and Sam, the nice hotel guy, called 3 different taxi's and POOF ! our whirlwind weekend was over as we headed in 3 different directions to go back home..... and I'm happy to report everybody got safely home (even after the unbelievably CRAZY taxi ride ..... our cab driver drove like a LUNATIC .... ZZZZZooom, Screech, SLAM on the brakes .... repeat all the way to the subway.....SHEESH!!) .....oh, and the little incident of Beth and Jenny being on the WRONG train until they accidently overheard somebody mention that the train they were sitting on was headed to Trenton ....good thing the train had not left yet !!! Beth grabbed Jenny and their stuff and ran off that train, scrambled around for a few minutes until they found the right train.....PHEW !!!

ANYHOW ...... SMOOCHES and HUGS to all my SISTAS for the absolutely BEST Birthday Bash a gal could ever ask for !!!!! THANKS !!!! THANKS !!!! THANKS !!!! You gals are THE BEST !!!!!

WOW !!! and now it's back to reality ..... lot's of laundry (bleh) and back to bringing in a paycheck (bleh) .... and lot's of sewing to do (YAY!! at least that's fun and something I look forward to doing when all the other stuff is caught up)

OK ....gotta zoom!!! Be back soon (and hopefully my computer will continue to cooperate!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New York weekend .....part 2 .... FABULOUS !!!!!

Good evening Blogland Neighborhood! I'll start on "Part 2 " of my NYC Birthday Bash Weekend in just a minute ..... if you haven't read New York Weekend Part 1 yet, run along and do that right now .... go ahead ..... we'll wait.........OK, is everybody up to speed on Part 1? Good! Now, continuing on....after we all met up in the hotel lobby, we headed up to Lori, Katie, and Stephie's room on the 42ND FLOOR !!!! 42ND FLOOR !!!! That's 42 floors UP IN THE AIR!!!! (that's a teensy bit too high for this chicken!!.... so I was a little less nervous when I found out Beth, Boop , me and the kiddos would be on the 21st floor ... at least I didn't feel a nose bleed coming on at that height)
Anyhow, when we got WAY UP THERE to the 42nd floor to Lori's room, there were PRESENTS!!!

Stephie was bestowed her flowered bathing cap in honor of her 21st birthday on October 10th .... she is now an official member of the "Sisterhood of the Flowered Bathing Caps"! (and, just look out that window behind Stephie .... DO YOU SEE HOW HIGH UP WE WERE?!?!? Those are the TOPS of TALL BUILDINGS out there people!!)

...& here we have Maura and Erin modeling their new "Trainer Bathing Caps " (similar to a training bra) ....all white with just 3 flowers on the side .... they have to continue to work on their merit badges (i.e. complimenting and charming good old Aunt Mare ) to earn that full flowered version (of course, exceptions can be made .... usually that involves vast quantities of chocolate....) How do you like those fabo pink glasses Maura has on? those were part of the birthday gifties from my Sistas .....pretty snazzy, huh!!!!

....and how about this birthday card !!!!!(notice the BATHING CAPS !!!)

.....and Birthday presents .... FOR ME!! .... from my Sistas !!!!Pretty, cozy jammies!! a fun, crafty book "Bunnies by the Bay", dissolving flowers for the bathtub (they're made out of soap, I think), a pink t-shirt that says "Out of chocolate .... life is crap" (so true!) , a little sign that quotes Lucille Ball "The Secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age", AND a pretty recipe box ..... which, as the weekend went on , became a "suggestion box" (there's a little slit in the back just the right size to slide a piece of paper into the box with a suggestion on it .... and did they ever fill up the box with "helpful" suggestions!!!)

....oh look .... there's Beth jotting down yet another "helpful" suggestion....

....and putting it into the slot in the "suggestion box"

Anyhow, we did finally come down from the 42nd floor to look for FOOD .... so we went for lunch at Ellen's Stardust Diner. This place was GREAT ..... the waiters and waitresses not only took your order, and served your food .... they also belted out a song while doing it .... dressed in 1950's outfits of course....

.....there's a waitress standing on a booth and singing (oops, again with the lousy photography dept .... haven't figured out how not to take a dark picture ..... if you click on it and make it bigger, you can see it better)

.....and OF COURSE the Sistas just could not resist telling the singing waitress that it was (or will be in a couple of weeks) my ___ th birthday .... so OF COURSE she announced it and had everybody sing "Happy Birthday" to me .....I did get chocolate ice cream with a candle in it for my embarrasament .....

....So, we finished lunch and did what all good tourists do .... we went sightseeing!!

....and ,yes, that is a Christmas tree on Radio City .... on the day after Halloween.....

.....oh look! The Rockettes !!

.....St. Patrick's Cathedral .... we stopped in here for a six pack of Holy Water ....

Just when we thought we couldn't drag our poor tired tootsies another step, Beth spotted ....

....this heavenly place ...Magnolia Bakery" .....

...look at all those pretty cupcakes!!!

.....still tired, but much happier!!!

So, we headed back to our hotel for ....

....cupcake eating !!!

....and more cupcake eating ....

.....YUM !!!

..... Sharing cupcakes ...Life is GOOD !!

After our cupcakefest we needed a rest .... a little too much cupcake, a little too much sightseeing .... and a BIG night on the town planned ..... so, rest up and we'll continue with "New York Weekend .... part 3" tomorrow (or maybe the next day) ... but , come back because we're going OUT ON THE TOWN in New York City!!!! (and I'm hoping this computer holds up for Part 3 .... it's been kind of coughing and wheezing all night .....)

Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)