I’m such a delinquent.


My apologies for not writing recently. It’s been ages. I’m a blogging delinquent. I’ve been given plenty of things to write about….it SNOWED in Charleston, for crying out loud and I did NOTHING to commemorate it. Until now.

This here converted, previous semi-yankee had quite the bad attitude about the whole affair. It just so happened that the very night it decided to SNOW in South Carolina, I’d planned to have a Launch Party for my new business. More on that to come. So, I was a little attitudinal about the whole affair. At school on friday morning during Circle Time, I informed my students that the people on TV were silly and that it certainly would NOT snow. If it did, it wouldn’t stick. Because this is South Carolina. I told them that if God decided to have it snow at their house, they could come in and tell me “I told you so!!!”. (Thank goodness the snow fell on the start of a long weekend away from school or I would have HEARD it!)

So, all that to say, in case you didn’t live through it yourself or if you didn’t hear about it when it was actually news a week ago, it DID snow. It DID stick. And I wasn’t all that thrilled. Brooks was though! He looked out the window and said, “LOOK! SNOW! It’s HUGE Mommy and Daddy!”. He’d had practice with snow in VA over Christmas, so he was an old pro. We put his rain boots on and let him stomp around the backyard while the dog repetitively ate and threw up massive amounts of the white stuff.

Cute little footprints. I didn't take a picture of the dog. You're welcome.

Throwing a snowball at Mommy. Check out the top left portion of the frame...you'll notice he's got great aim.

So, all in all, it was kind of fun to get the snow. There was no shoveling needed, no closed roads and it melted before it could turn into gross, dirty sludge. My apathetic attitude was a result of a Launch Party that I was hosting. I have signed on with Stella and Dot, the most amazing jewelry on the planet. It’s fresh, fun and like nothing I’ve seen before. Designers from Banana Republic jewelry, Anthropologie and Henri Bendel have had their hand in the Spring line. I took one look at the website (shameless plug alert!!!) and wanted in. All the way in. I signed on to be a stylist 2 weeks ago and 6 days after that I had my Launch Party. The night of the snow. See now why I had an attitude?!?  I still had a great turn out, regardless of the weather. I think this is a testament to how fabulous the jewelry is, schools had been shut down, people were buying milk and bread like it was armageddon, but people wanted that jewelry! I was so pleased with the results and since then I’ve been booking trunk shows for people like a woman on fire. Today, I was wearing my favorite S&D necklace, the Garden Party and a girl literally came up to me and said, “OOO! Is that Stella and Dot? I need to have a trunk show!”. Excuse me?  Um, okay! Let me help you with that!

The Garden Party, my favorite!



Launch Party display

Ready for another plug?!? Go to www.stelladot.com/hillaryg to see the whole line. Fall in love like I did. Call me when you’re ready for a trunk show of your own. And tell me what you think, I love hearing people’s opinions.

***In other news: Just put two and two together, Brooks now thinks James works with Bob the Builder. No wonder he’s his hero.



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Brown Paper Packages

Who’s heard of E-mealz? I’m in love! Basically, you go to their site, http://www.e-mealz.com, and choose a grocery store and a meal plan. They then (after you pay) supply you with a detailed grocery list, based off of what is on sale for the week and a list of 7 recipes. They say that you can spend between $70-$80 for 7 meals for a family of 4.

I decided to go with Publix, mainly for their superior spaceship shopping carts. I decided to go with a family of 4 meal plan vs. the other option of a 2 person meal plan. My thought was that Brooks eats a lot, sometimes more than I do and I was worried we’d be fighting over the 2 person offerings. Turns out, the 4 person plan is perfect for us in that we barely eat half in one setting. I’ve been freezing the leftovers, so…..WE GET 14 MEALS FOR $80!!!!! I think that’s great!

My one issue (which they quickly corrected) was the health aspect of the basic family meal plan. I was a little horrified when our first meal on the plan called for an entire package of bacon. WOOF. I was a little edgy all week as the recipes called for tons of butter, pork and beans and fish sticks. Just stuff I’d never normally dream of using. Thankfully, E-Mealz offers healthy menus-low carb, weight watchers points and low fat are all offered. I nicely begged them to let me change to the low-fat and they promptly obliged. After looking at the new, low fat menu for the week, I’m so excited! YUM!

Did I mention it only costs $1.25 a week? It’s Dave Ramsey recommended too. That’s what got James on board.


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Sibling Stand In.

Here Brooks enjoys his morning oatmeal while Elmo tells him jokes. James and I are thinking Brooks’ ticklish friend might buy us a year or two before we’re expected to provide a sibling.

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Go Brooks, it’s your birthday!!!

One week ago we celebrated Brooks’ birthday. What a shindig!!! His birthday fell on a Saturday this year, which meant we could take the whole weekend to celebrate.

The festivities began when Brooks’ Nana and Pops came on Thursday evening. He was so jazzed to see them. They took Brooks in to school late Friday so that he could share some cupcakes with his classmates.  The only thing Brooks knew about birthdays before going into this one was that people would sing “Happy To You!” He was so excited about that and wanted to make sure his friends at school sang to him.

The next day, his actual birthday, was just. so. fun! He’d been telling me he wanted “balloonts” for his birthday and, according to him, his favorite color is green. Before he woke up I slipped a bunch of green balloons into his room. It was SO fun to hear him in there running and playing with them when he woke up!

Surprise! You're 2!

We got him dressed and took him to “Mr. Joey’s”. Our neighbor owns Joey Bag a Donuts in Park West and it’s become our Saturday tradition. B’s picture is even on the wall there! James says when Brooks walks in, he’s like Norm from Cheers. I actually never watched that show, it was before my time, thank you very much. I am, however, familiar with the theme song and can use my imagination.

Blowing out the candles on his birthday donut!

Continuing with our “day of favorites” theme, we (James, myself, Mimi, Gaddy, Nana and Pops) headed downtown to the Children’s Museum. Yes, you read correctly. The birthday boy had an entourage of 6!, SIX!!, seis!!! following him around one of his favorite places in the world.

Painting with Daddy in the art room.

Playing the gongs outside. An obvious favorite, because, HEllO! NOISE!!!

When we got home, Brooks received a delivery!

Balloons! From his Florida constituents.

That night, we went to Brooks’ happy place, Palmetto Pig. My friend Casey’s dad and brother are the owners, so again, it’s a bit Cheers-ish when we walk in the door. So nice. Brooks used to eat a LOT of mostly EVERYTHING there, but now he just eats a LOT of the MACARONI. He goes nuts when we’re there, I swear he breaks into a sweat he’s so happy.

Ain't no thing but a chicken wing.

Brooks' ice cream cake, a surprise from our favorite friends at Palmetto Pig!

All his people.

Okay. Now. This was all before his party. The next day after church we had a small, verging on medium sized gathering. Just a lunch, the kids played outside, except for Brooks. For the first time in his life, Cheetos were brought into our home. He was beside himself about the fact that they were sitting, within his reach on the table, free for the taking. Right along side a bowl of ranch dressing I’d set out beside some lovely carrots that did nothing but gross him out.


As soon as he dominated the Cheetos bowl, we moved on to the cake.

He was so excited for everyone to sing "Happy To You"!

A better pic of the cake.

His cake was meant to be a “favorite things” cake. The bottom layer was covered in chocolate chip cookies to represent his favorite book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The second layer was Elmo, because…ELMO!. Firetrucks, airplanes and construction vehicles were above that, because we’re constantly on the lookout and I’ve been known to pull over in front of construction sites, airports and firehouses and let him bathe it all in. For the top, I printed out pictures of Yo Gabba Gabba characters, his favorite show. And two candles, of course.

He liked it.

Daddy did too.

After the party he was dunzo.

It was all a blast. If nothing else, that child won’t ever be able to say he’s not loved.

I just keep thinking, if this was for two, what will we do when he turns three!?!?!

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To my son on his second birthday.


Where has this last year gone?!? 1 year ago I was watching you eat your very first cupcake, calculating how many sugar calories you were ingesting. I was stressing over your Shark Birthday Party, nervous about my first event planning task in this gig called motherhood.

You’ve accomplished so much since then. You weren’t walking then, but baby, at two you love “doing tricks”, running, jumping, tumbling, sliding and climbing your way around this house of ours. You said some words then, but now we hold conversations with you. You know the alphabet, for crying out loud, and you sure had your Father and I laughing the other night when you quoted our favorite SNL sketch. Your manners are a testament to the great state you were born in, your wit a testament to the parents you were born of. We’re not sure how you got so smart…

Keep your confidence, one day you may meet someone who will tell you you’re wrong. Keep your defiance, one day you may meet someone you know isn’t right. And keep your sense of humor, if for no other reason than to entertain your Father and I. Keep singing Jesus Loves Me at the top of your voice. He does love you. Even if you never do develop a sense of pitch, you should still tell the world.

I know you’re anxious to grow up, but don’t do it too quickly. Yes, you absolutely can be anything you want to be. Glory, you’re certainly smart and confident enough to do it, but why not be like that neighbor of ours, you know the one that’s older and lives with his parents and never leaves the house except to walk his dog in a hooded sweathshirt, even on the hottest days? Yeah, doesn’t he seem happy? I bet his Mom is at least.

So. Don’t grow up too fast. We’ve hit our stride, you and me kid. You certainly give me a run for my parenting money, but we’re in a good place. I like you bubba. Of course I’m 10,000 kinds of crazy for you, but every mother loves their child like that. I could go into detail about how I love you. How you turn your heartwarming hater of a mom into a sappy mess when I watch you sleep on the video monitor every night. Or how I watch you play on the playground and think if any child ever gives you any crap I’ll take down both them and their Mom. I could tell you how the thought of you growing up and getting hurt one way or another makes me horrifically ill.  I could tell you all that normal “Mom” stuff, but not only do I feel that way, I also like you. Your Dad and I think you’re one bad dude and we have such a good time with you. You’re our favorite little pal.

I love you and I like you. You’ve ushered me into the role I’ve always been meant for.

All my love,



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Hair Apparent.

Well, it was becoming apparent that our little heir’s hair was getting out of control. On Sunday, James and I got one too many “Oh she’s so cute” comments.

I love his hair, but mostly am thankful he finally has hair. I also love his ringlets. They’ve just gotten a little out of hand. But I was just so sad thinking about cutting it.

I’ll never forget, a long time ago I was watching John and Kate Plus 8, and John (this was way before he got his ears pierced and rode around in that girl’s car and then became a tool box) said that it’s always sad when kids get their first hair cut because it’s the “hair they were born with”. Does that make sense?


We tried keeping a hat on him.

He didn’t like that. We thought about giving him dreads, but I don’t know how.

We finally decided to give him a LITTLE trim. I was worried if we took him somewhere, they would take too much off. I didn’t want it to look like he’d just gotten a haircut. More like, he just looks a little more polished than he did yesterday. Like he doesn’t have food stuck in his hair. So we plopped him on my lap and I set to taming his long, lush tresses.

He was NOT happy.

I think it looks great though.

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Does This Make Anyone Else Gag?

The cast of 'The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love'

I can’t get into this season. He’s cute, nice, but……

It’s giving me a stomachache. Maybe it’s him, maybe it’s the girls. Maybe the show’s cheeseball ways are finally getting the best of me.

But yet, here I sit, with the show on in the background as I type this. I’m probably not going to turn it off either.

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