Friday, January 31, 2014

YOU KNOW YOU'RE AN NFL WIFE WHEN...

It’s a good thing I like football.

Because when you marry a man who has spent most of his life playing the game – and nearly seven of those years in the National Football League – football is not just a game, it’s a way of life. So in honor of the most popular weekend in American sports, I give you: You know you’re an NFL wife when…


1. Your husband snaps, crackles, and pops upon getting out of bed in the morning, and he’s not even 50.

2. When watching a game with your husband, he is able to identify – and announce – a penalty several seconds before the referee does.

3. Letters arrive in the mail at random from fans who kindly request that your husband autograph his enclosed football cards, and then send everything back in the self-addressed stamped envelope provided…all so that said fan can sell the cards for profit on eBay:

4. Your husband may be 6’6” and weigh over 300 pounds, but you think his size is average.

5. Your son’s first football jersey…is his dad’s:

6. Your husband possess two names: The one he was born with – and the nickname his teammates bestowed upon him after he was drafted. (The latter is used so frequently, it may as well be added to his birth certificate.)

7. You never tire of hearing all the stories from his playing days.

8. Complete strangers will talk $h!% about your husband’s team, and then turn right around and ask for his autograph...or...wait for it...ask if you can hook them up with tickets.

9. Your husband’s 3XL-sized professionally-framed jerseys adorn the walls of your home, becoming mainstays of the décor. They’re like Lay’s potato chips: You can’t have just one because there’s the home jersey, away jersey, college away jersey, college home, etc. Here is one of three in the hallway leading to our bedrooms:

10. Football will be worked into your wedding day ensemble, some way, somehow – i.e. a garter belt (or cough, cough, thong) bearing your husband’s team logo, a groom’s cake, etc. Yours truly may or may not have had these items in her possession (wink, wink):

For the remix of this list, click here.

And for more on the NFL, check out 7 misconceptions about an NFL wife and 


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NFL by the Numbers: 2

Since this blog’s recent inception, I’ve received e-mails from readers (not a ton, but enough) inquiring if football has affected my life at all – or, more pointedly, how has it affected my life. The short answer is, yes it has, and the how is why I’ve started this new series, NFL by the Numbers. In this series, I’ll share NFL-related topics, including events Scott and I have attended, tailgating recipes, random NFL facts, and much more. (Please note that all posts in this series will be labeled NFL.) Each NFL by the Numbers post title will feature a number, which will be further explained in the post.

So for this inaugural NFL by the Numbers post I thought it would only be fitting to discuss something Super Bowl related. To many, it seems as if the Super Bowl is simply an excuse to watch football, indulge in libations, and see how many pounds of guacamole can be consumed in one sitting. And, if you think that, you are most definitely on the right track. But within the NFL community of both current and retired players, the Super Bowl actually brings with it a whole slew of events that most of the general public has no knowledge of. The NFL Players Association’s Smocksand Jocks Jazz Brunch is one of those events. The exhibit displays – and auctions – art work that has been created by both current and former professional football players, and the proceeds support the arts community in the city that is hosting the Super Bowl for that year.

Two is the number of paintings Scott created for the event back in 2006 when Detroit hosted Super Bowl XL. I wish I could show you Scott’s paintings – but I can’t because they were sold without us ever taking a photo of his work. (I know, I know; we should have taken photos, if only for the memories.) Here is Scott and I at the brunch, which is usually held on Saturday, the day before the Super Bowl, as well as a photo of the plaque his entries earned. (Don’t even ask me why I am wearing blush that is two-shades-too-light for me because I don’t know what possessed me to think that looked good.)

Anyhow, back to topic. This is a wonderful event, and Scott plans to participate in more Smocks and Jocks events in the future. Tickets are about $125 for the public and are 100% tax deductible, which is cool (just an FYI if the Super Bowl comes to a city near you). And the food is off the hook, by the way. Don’t – I repeat: Do NOT – buy a ticket to this event if you are counting calories.

In other football-related news, I’ve added more family photos to the About the Girl page. 

I’ll be back on Friday with yet another NFL-themed post, one that promises to be funnier and flirtier than this one. Thank you, as always, for reading.
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Young, childless, and well-rested


Last Friday was the North American International Auto Show’s charity preview, a la-di-da event around these parts, being that we are the Motor City and all. I traveled with the auto show for nearly eight years, so I know that, depending on where in the country you live, the auto show might just be a blip on your city’s social radar. Not so here in Detroit. The auto show – and more specifically, the charity preview, which kicks off the week-long auto show – is to Detroit what, say, Fashion Week is to New York…sort of. You catch my drift. Let’s just say it’s a big deal.

The photo above of Scott and me was taken at the 2007 charity preview, at the Jaguar exhibit where I was a spokes model. After watching this year’s charity preview on TV – yes, the event was televised; I told you it was a big deal – I dug up this photo. Look at it again. Look at those two smiling faces, faces that are clearly unphased by the demands of parenthood –
with eyes that are lively and bright, eyes that are bereft of bags and dark circles because Scott and I were sleeping through the night back then. Ahhhh, to be foot loose and fancy free. Scott and I weren’t even married yet; this photo was taken about five months before our wedding.

But as you have heard me say before: It is a different day.

Want to know how I spent last Friday night? Well, let me tell you how I didn’t spend it. I wasn’t swathed in a designer get-up, like I was in this photo…I was wearing my ratty old Detroit Lions flannel pajama pants; I wasn’t wearing a full face of perfectly applied make-up, either…no, I didn’t even shower that day; and I for damn sure wasn’t standing on top of a turntable waxing poetic about the merits of an $80,000 car…In fact, when the charity preview was on last week, I wasn’t standing on anything. I was on the floor wrestling with Scotty, trying in vain to put his footie pajamas on as Kennedy, who was fighting sleep like it was her job, screamed her face off in her cradle. Somehow, Scott managed to nap through all this on the couch.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

TRENDING: Brown suede ankle boots

I love fashion as much as the next girl, but I wholeheartedly admit to not being one who follows a lot of trends.

I leave the house so infrequently these days that, by the time I do wear the item out, it would probably be passé.

But there is one look that I’ve been wanting – no, itching – to pounce on for some time now: the brown suede bootie.

I love this shoe when paired with a skinny jean and chunky sweater, pea coat, or long, casual top like the celebrities pictured above.

But don’t ask me where I’d wear these boots.

To run errands?

Yeah, right.

Not with the snowfall we’ve seen around here lately. If I wore these out for a nanosecond, I’d end up spending the rest of the day rubbing the boots down with vinegar to get rid of the salt lines.

I could wear them when Scott and I take the kids for Saturday morning breakfast at our neighborhood diner, right?

Yeah…but I probably won’t.

Would I wear them to take Scotty to playgroup?

When I take Kennedy to the pediatrician?

No…and no.

Impracticality be damned, I bought these anyway:
I love how the leather was intentionally darkened at the toe and heel to give the boots that worn-in look…but I have yet to wear them.

They’ve only seen the light of day when I try them on for brief periods while the kids nap; moments I steal when nobody is looking – when I disappear inside my closet to try on the slew of footwear that I vow to wear…one day.

Until then, I’ll consider wearing them as I make the rounds to empty all the trash cans on the eve of garbage collection day.

Never mind that I’ll also be wearing flannel pajama bottoms and a breast milk-stained nursing tank...

(Alexandra suede ankle boots by Escote; Urban Outfitters, $40)


Monday, January 20, 2014

Nostalgia + Something else = A Twofer

What specifically about the past gives you nostalgia? Is there a period of your life that, when you reminisce about it, you get all warm and fuzzy inside? Tomorrow will definitely be one of those days for me: Last year on January 21, Scott and I learned that I was pregnant with Kennedy. (Of course, we didn’t know she was Kennedy, per se; we only knew that I was “with child.”) I can tell you the dates when both of my children were conceived – and the days I produced positive pregnancy tests with them. Those dates are tucked away in the corner of my brain that also stores their birthdays; those dates can never be forgotten.

And while I don’t necessarily miss being pregnant, I am nostalgic for the time that I was pregnant with them – Scotty and Kennedy. I don’t think I will ever forget how Scott and I found out I was pregnant with Scotty on New Year’s Eve, and I can still remember the giddiness I felt as I took down our Christmas tree as OneRepublic sang “Good Life” on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve. But, again, to be clear, I don’t miss pregnancy. I do not miss sleeping in my La-Z-Boy for the last trimester of both pregnancies because my big butt, big abdomen, and big everything else couldn’t get comfortable in our bed; I do not miss how the first time you use the bathroom after the delivery, it looks like a crime scene took place in there. Nope. I don’t miss that. Both of my deliveries were uncomplicated and surprisingly easy, but, no, I wouldn’t want to relive them again.

That’s the thing about nostalgia. It’s tricky; it does a little number on you because, sometimes, what we now look back at and call the good ‘ol days, really weren’t when we were living it at the time.

But, still, I know I will never ever experience Scotty and Kennedy growing inside me again, and so, for that reason I am nostalgic. I also have a sweet spot for the Filet-O-Fish sandwiches I devoured while pregnant with Kennedy; the nights I used to curl up on the couch and watch Mistresses; how I looked forward to receiving each and every ultrasound photo of both children (that’s Kennedy’s 3-D ultrasound photo above); and how Scotty would snuggle with me and place his hand on my stomach while I wrote on my laptop (really, he did this multiple times a day, and that photo was not staged.)

I miss all of this. What do you miss? Please share your nuggets of nostalgia in the comments section at the very end of this post…but before you do, look below…yes! It’s another post! I posted two today, so you know the second one has to be important.

The 30-Day Plank Challenge

It’s been a common refrain of mine for the last four months: I have got to do something.

I’m talking about my body. The snap-back with this pregnancy simply wasn’t what it was with Scotty two years ago. Yes, I ate more (and worse) during this last pregnancy; yes, it was difficult to muster the time and energy to pamper myself when I had a toddler underfoot; yes, I was two years older this time around. All of the above have conspired to make losing my baby weight a bey-otch. Yes, I’m making progress – I can see it. But I know that I am lacking in the exercise department. I know that taking care of an extremely active 28-month-old as well as a four-month-old day in and day out burns calories, but I miss being able to unroll my yoga mat at the same time every day, like I used to do when Scotty napped. Now, when Scotty naps, Kennedy is up and vice versa.

But, again, I have got to do something. Anything. So I’m starting with this 30-Day Plank Challenge. I found out about this on Friday night from fellow lifestyle blogger, Adrienne Shubin, who writes The Rich Life (on a budget). Saturday was my first day, and so far so good; but I’ve only had to hold the plank for 20 seconds, which is cake; today I up it to 30 seconds. I’ll post an update about halfway through the challenge, at which point, I’m sure I’ll be stifling curse words while holding the pose as the seconds tick by in slow motion.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Five signs you’re sleep deprived

I know I said I wasn’t going to post today, that I’d return on Friday. I really didn’t plan to post today. Really, I didn’t. But, then, I haven’t been in my right mind lately…

I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since September 23 because, when night falls, I’m the lone ranger here at Casa Conover. Make no mistake, Scott does what he can, but until he grows a set of lactating breasts, he can’t offer much in the way of a contribution.

Kennedy is a very good baby who’s had her days and nights straight seemingly since the day we brought her home.

However. She still wakes for feedings at exactly 2 a.m., 5:30 a.m., and 7:30 a.m., which, of course, is through no fault of her own. I read somewhere that until babies hit 15 pounds, they don’t have enough “fat” to stave off middle-of-the-night hunger pangs. Kennedy isn’t far off – I’m guessing she’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 pounds (I’ll find out at her well-visit next week). But this has been a bit of an adjustment for me because Scotty weighed a whopping 20 pounds by now and was sleeping, well, like a baby, straight through the night.

But it’s a different day. And I have reason – at least five of them – to believe that the sleep deprivation is getting to me. You might be sleep deprived if:

  1. You call your insurance company to submit payment for your spouse’s car insurance bill, and when the representative answers, you say without hesitation, “I’d like to place an order for carry-out.” 
  2. When in the midst of sub-zero temperatures, you’re backing out of the garage and feel the unfamiliar sensation of cold metal (the accelerator) against your toes. You look down, and that’s when you realize you’re still wearing flip-flops.
  3. You can’t find your favorite yoga pants, and you’ve searched everywhere. Finally, you find them in the washer…where they’ve been for several days…because you forgot to put the entire load into the dryer.
  4. You’re tearing the kitchen apart trying to locate your saltine crackers – they’re not where you usually leave them. No, that’s because you’ve put them in the drawer…inside the refrigerator.
  5. You’re at the kitchen sink rinsing dishes and rocking your baby’s cradle with your foot, when your toddler brings you an orange to peel. You turn off the water, peel the fruit, and then resume rinsing the dishes with your left hand, and at the same time, extend your right hand with the fruit in it. After a couple beats, you wonder why your toddler hasn’t grabbed the fruit. It’s because you’re actually dangling it in front of the baby.

Yours truly did all of the above in the past three days. Here’s to hoping my next move isn’t an attempt to brush my teeth with a stick of deodorant. What absent-minded things have you done lately? Please, God, tell me I’m not the only one. Share yours in the comment section below...and for even more signs of sleep deprivation, check out the list I penned for Scary Mommy.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

How I soothe The Hubs' aching muscles

Alright. So we already know I’m obsessed with my hair, children, and organization, but I’m also a little nutty about essential oils. I’m like our family’s holistic witch doctor. I’ve got in my arsenal a variety of essential oils that I believe to have the powers to heal a multitude of ailments: teething, sore muscles, eczema, you name it – and I always think I know the cure. A little later I’ll share with you my oil recipe for sore, teething gums, but now I’d like to share the massage oil I’ve drummed up for my husband, Scott.

Some background on Scott: In case you haven’t seen our photo on the About the Girl page, he’s kind of a big guy. Like, really big. You don’t spend seven years of your life blocking 300-plus-pound men in the NFL by watching your figure or holding the mayo on your burger. (For the better part of his football career, he subsisted on nearly 8,000 calories a day.) Here is one of my favorite photos of him taken in Pittsburgh by a newspaper photographer before a game against the Steelers:
As you probably already know, you don’t leave that profession without accumulating battle scars. Yes, some of these scars are easily seen, like how both of Scott’s pink fingers curve at the end from being broken several times by getting them caught in his opponents’ football helmets. But he has just as many ailments that you can’t see: arthritis, inflammation, etc. Add to the bodily stress that Scott now stands on his feet everyday as a professional chef. His muscles get downright sore. So here’s the massage oil* I make from scratch – I mix it all up in a little ceramic ramekin:

*Three tablespoons of unscented natural massage oil (mine is a mixture of safflower, grapeseed, sweet almond, and sunflower oils and vitamins E and A.)
*Add about five drops of marjoram oil. Marjoram has good muscle relaxant properties and the pain killing properties are useful for rheumatic pains as well as sprains, strains and spasms, as well as swollen joints and painful muscles.
*Add another five drops of lavender oil, which blends well with marjoram and is known to help “de-stress”

That’s it. Everything I mentioned above – in fact, all of my oils – are from a company called Fabulous Frannie based in California. (My “fabulous” collection is pictured at the top of this post.)

Fabulous Frannie sells products on its own Web site, fabulousfrannie.com, but I highly suggest buying from their eBay store because most of their items from their eBay store ship for free. I’ve bought from them for years, and I have bolstered my stash by taking advantage of their eBay listing in which they offer “choose any three oils for free shipping.” The company also sends a nice trifold that gives a brief description of the oils’ notes and properties.

Always consult a medical professional first in the event of an injury. Never use essential oils undiluted and be sure to test a very small amount on your skin before applying. It is also a good idea to read up on an essential oil prior to use, as some oils are not to be used while in direct sunlight, during pregnancy, etc.
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Here’s to losing the baby weight. Cheers!

I just don’t get it. I don’t understand how my daughter can weigh less than my son at birth, yet I gain way more with her during pregnancy. Wait. I’m lying. I know precisely why I gained more. It’s called going off the rails, which is something I didn’t do when I was pregnant with my son. It’s called sending The Hubs on late-night runs for the border for a Mexican Pizza. It’s called multiple – as in, sometimes more than one on the same day – trips through the Micky D’s drive-thru for a Filet-O-Fish. It’s called “It’s no big deal; I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight with Scotty after just six weeks of barely any exercise,” said the pregnant lady who reached for yet another container of moose tracks ice cream.

Yeah, well, it’s a different day around these parts. And I’m paying the price. Hell, I just, as in a few weeks ago, put away my maternity jeans.

Kennedy, my daughter, is 15 weeks-old as I write this. Enough said.

I could feel myself sliding into Frumpville – and fast. I had to do something. So I started juicing again. I’d love to tell you that all the innumerable health benefits are what lured me back, but if I told you that, I’d be lying again.  It was good old fashioned vanity, folks. My husband Scott bought me the NutriBullet for Christmas, and I’ve been starting each day with this drink – dubbed the “Greenya Colada” – ever since: One banana, a fistful of spinach, several pieces of fresh pineapple (canned will do, too), and water. That’s it. No sweetener needed. I add a tablespoon of chia seeds before blending, too. 

And although the impetus behind my juicing efforts was weight loss, I discovered an unforeseen benefit: More energy. Which, trust me, I need much more of these days, considering my responsibilities as a mom have doubled.

I’ll sometimes have another NutriBullet creation at suppertime, too, which gives a completely new meaning to the phrase “drinking your dinner.” Cheers!
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