Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Evan & Tyler dancing to Lady Gaga...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wow...Snuggies must be hurting...LOL

Snuggies must be hurting to have to use the Macarena for their commercials.

Of course, it is pretty ingenius because it's absolutely ridiculous!

It got my attention! LOL...

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN_Ml4PKdVU

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Pics

Evan was a doggy for Halloween.

This is the first year he was happy to put a Halloween costume on! He even wore the hood the whole time while trick-or-treating!

Tyler was "Mr. Giraffe" for Halloween. He loved his costume so much that he left it on for a good hour after we returned from trick-or-treating! It did look like a comfy costume, though. He probably could have used it as pajamas. Of course, all the ladies fell in love with Tyler when they saw him. LOL...He's such the little player.

Tyler "Mr. Giraffe" Caskey 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Last minute Halloween To-Do's

My last minute Halloween To-Do's include:

  • Buy a pair of matching pants and long-sleeved shirt for my son, Evan's, doggy costume
  • Buy a pumpkin
  • Carve said pumpkin with the boys
  • Make some tasty pumpkin salted seeds in the oven
  • Clean house for our Halloween "Open House" (trying to sell our house, still)
  • Stamp some cute Halloween cards for family

Evan's Joke...

Evan: Knock. Knock.

Me: Who's there?

Evan: Banana

Me: Banana who?

Evan: Why did the man throw the pie out the window?

Me: I don't know. Why?

Evan: Because he wanted to see the caterpillar!

Simulated Rain & Thunder

Friday, October 29, 2010

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Car wrong-way on I-95

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Car wrong-way on I-95

What's on my bedside table

"More Than A Pink Cadillac: Mary Kay Inc.'s 9 Leadership Keys to Success" by Jim Underwood.

Good book so far.

I decided to start reading this book after I went to my first Mary Kay party at my friend's house last weekend. I was really impressed with the quality of the products and read a little bit about Mary Kay Ash's story in the information that the Independent Beauty Consultant provided during the party.

From what I have read thus far about Mary Kay Ash I am very impressed. She was able to build an empire and keep her integrity at the same time. How many CEO's could you say that about today?

She seemed to genuinely care for the welfare of women and wanted to see them succeed.

If I want to be successful in business (which I do), then I wouldn't do too bad than to emulate this strong woman.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Lover

As you may know...I love me some books!

So you tell me...What is your favorite book and why?

I'm looking to branch out from my current fare of financial, non-fiction reads!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ages...

Sorry it's been so long since my last post on here. It feels like ages ago...

Status update on my life:

I have NOT been working out at the gym like I had planned. However, I AM losing weight due to getting the house ready for sale. Yes, you read that right...S-A-L-E. We're trying to sell our house in Penn Hills & move to North Huntingdon. Nice area. Land. Can't beat it (except, maybe, the commute...but, oh well, nothing's perfect, right?).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1 Down...Only 54 More To Go!

I am on the weightloss bandwagon, again. But, this time I'm going semi-solo.

By semi-solo, I mean I'm not paying into a program, like Weight Watchers, this time. However, I will be relying on the education and materials gained from being a previous participant in such program.

With the help of this blog and its readers, I hope to remain accountable through this process.

Here's the deal...

You all know that I'm married. I have two adorable boys. My husband and boys deserve a wife and mother to be around for a long time. Some things I can control in that area and others I can't. Why not try to control the things I can? (Insert Serenity Prayer here.)

So, I'm giving it to you straight.

My weight is out of control (again). I know a lot of it has to do with emotional eating and lack of exercise (deadly combo, indeed). My portion sizes could use a major overhaul (again). And, I could drink A LOT more water (and reduce A LOT of pop drinking...soda to those of you not in the Pittsburgh area).

Why am I re-committing to weight loss, again?

The scale scared me...again.

195 pounds!!! 5 pounds away from 200?!? Is that possible?!

To get to my target weight goal of 140 pounds (a healthy weight based on my height & body type). I need to lose 55 pounds.

I joined my local Bally's Total Fitness gym. I've mainly been focusing on cardio for now (treadmill & elliptical).

And, I'm happy to report that I've lost 1 pound so far! Yay! Celebrating victories (no matter how small) is good. I'm now at 194.

On the food side, I'm gradually re-introducing myself to more fruits & veggies. I do love them. But, for some reason, when I'm not "paying attention" they tend to disappear from my diet.

Why broadcast my weight on a public blog linked to my Facebook?

Because I need accountability. I need my friends and family (and even complete strangers if they care) to realize how important this decision is to me to get healthy. This is not just to "look sexy" for a bathing suit type of weightloss. This is to lose weight so that I can make it to at least my 60th birthday type of weightloss. (Heart disease, obesity and diabetes run in my family.)

My husband does help, obviously. What kind of runner would he be if he didn't? His discipline astounds me.

But, sometimes you need your friends to give you that "swift kick" in the behind...so to speak. Or to give you that "atta girl". So, any helpful hints, comments on this blog or Facebook or otherwise are greatly encouraged!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Slow Metabolism

With a little over a month away from my 32nd birthday, I feel like my metabolism has drastically slowed down. It's much harder to shed the pounds now, especially after having two kids.

But, I must perservere.

45 minutes on the elliptical tonight.

It felt good. I purposely let the sweat drip down my face to feel like I was really getting a tough workout. I stuck to the heart rate prescribed by the machine. Slowing down when it indicated I was going too fast for my target heart rate.

I have a food and exercise journal I haven't used, yet. I'll start that tomorrow. It will keep me accountable. Accountability is a good thing for me. Weight Watchers worked for me I think mainly because of the accountability it offered. Once I went off of WW, I started getting lax, again, with portions (my true downfall).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...On Vacation!


Rachael, Evan & Tyler on the porch of The Casselman Inn
Well, sorry to all my loyal blog fans for not posting regularly lately.

I had a week off from work last week. You would have thought...perfect time to post, right?! Um...not so much...Busy with the boys, who both got sick (my luck) during my week off. Tyler with an earache (due to teething) and Evan with a summer cough/cold. I do have to say, though, that I enjoyed playing my Mommy role and taking care of them!

We did take a family trip to the Deep Creek Lake, MD area the weekend before last. We stayed at a wonderful little hotel/motel called The Casselman Inn in Grantsville, MD.While there, John bought me a gorgeous turquoise sterling silver ring as an early anniversary gift from Sacred Ground, a jewelry shop that sells authentic Native American turquoise jewelry. Going to that jewelry shop piqued my interest in how turquoise is valued. So, of course, I did some research online to look up information on turquoise mining. I found a couple of really good resources. One is http://www.skystonetrading.com/. Another good resource is http://jewelry.about.com/cs/turquoise/a/orvil_jack.htm. Apparently, the value of turquoise goes up if a mine has closed or if the turquoise is hard to find. The turquoise on my ring came from the Blue Ridge Turquoise Mine in Lander County, Nevada.

John, Evan & Tyler in front of the Casselman Bridge.
Our anniversary is September 18th. We'll be celebrating 6 years married! Technically, we've been together 8 years. We met November 2002 at Matrix dance club in Station Square. He actually asked me to dance. And, well...the rest is history! A house (with a mortgage) and two babies later...Here we are!

This past weekend we took at day trip to Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, OH where we visited Lanterman's Mill. What an absolutely gorgeous view! It's one of the largest "urban parks" in the country. I love how it weaves in and out of residential areas.

The Casselman Inn
At the Lily Pond in Mill Creek Park, we saw turtles sunning themselves on logs in the middle of the pond next to ducks. And, we met THE FRIENDLIEST squirrel alive! I'll post pictures later...You won't believe how freakin' cute this squirrel was. It came right up to us! Apparently, someone is feeding this squirrel. LOL ;)

Tyler playing in the sand at the lake in New Germany State Park (Maryland).
Evan is "King of the World"!! Tyler could care less...hahaha
Chillin' with my homie, Tyler! :)
Me @ The Stanton Mill near the Spruce Forest Artisan Village
Kayaks @ Deep Creek Lake (Maryland)
Friendliest Squirrel Award goes to...
I've never seen this many turtles in "the wild" in my life!
Lanterman's Mill, Youngstown, OH
Another view of Lanterman's Mill
Flowers in a tree stump...pretty!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Longhorn's

Evan insisted that Daddy pick me up at work yesterday.

So, we decided to go to Longhorn's Steakhouse for dinner since we had a gift card and a coupon.

Wouldn't you know it...when John was parking the van some elderly guy and his wife bumped bumpers with us?!? John turned to me in an incredulous tone, of course, & said "How long have we had this minivan?!"

Anyway, no harm, no foul. Neither vehicle had any damage. I mean it was such a small bump that I literally thought that the stroller just shifted in the back of the van. LOL ;)

Dinner at Longhorn's was tasty. I had the half-rack of ribs with a loaded baked potato & a side salad with balsamic vinegarette (yeah...I know...why didn't I just go for the ranch or blue cheese at this point...lol).

Apparently there were at least 3 birthdays at the restaurant last night because the staff kept coming out, clapping and singing their version of Happy Birthday. (I couldn't quite make out all the words but I think they sang something about steak...my kind of birthday song...LOL). Anyway, Tyler gave me a quizzical look the first time they came out. The second time he started getting into it. He started clapping and laughing. It was too darn cute! Evan, stoic that he is, didn't even notice (or pretended not to).

On the way home from Longhorn's, Tyler kept saying something and pointing up at the little TV in our van. We figured out he was saying "Caillou"! Boy...he sure is a fast learner, huh?! LOL...So, we turned off my compilation of love songs and popped in the Caillou DVD for the boys.

We took a walk afterwards at the Woodland Hills High School (as if I could walk off all THOSE calories...). John stayed behind and walked with Evan since he was taking a leisurely stroller and let me walk ahead to get a real "work out" in pushing Tyler in the stroller. This time it didn't rain. So, my regular stroller didn't turn into a "jogging" stroller this time. ;)

Tyler went down for bed as soon as we got home (actually he fell asleep in the van beforehand). Evan asked if he could play outside a little longer. John decided to ride his bike around the neighborhood for a little while. So, I made sandcastles with Evan in his sandbox. Then, I had to carry him in later to give him a bath (yes...I know that's not good for my injury from the accident...but Evan wasn't giving in on this one...). My next-door "neighbor" (if you can call him that...he's essentially abandoned his house and comes back to check on it every so often) startled us during our "bath" argument in the backyard. He said he heard us in the back and wanted to hand me the $20 bill to pay John for cutting his grass for him. John's been doing that for him for the past couple of months now.

John had just gotten back from his bike ride in time before the rain came pouring down last night. He covered the sandbox for us (because I didn't get to that part during our "bath" struggles). Evan watched some of his shows on the Sprout channel before we convinced him to go to bed.

I ate a few marshmellows, drank some water and read some more "Twilight" before heading to bed.

Fast forward to today...

My mother-in-law calls me today at work to tell me that Tyler's sippy cup is missing. She couldn't find it anywhere. I even had her check the van in case we left it in there. Sinking feeling...We probably forgot it at Longhorn's. I called them. No luck. Time for a new sippy cup for Tyler. I think this time we're going to attach it to him on a leash! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's on YOUR Bucket List?

So, I recently read online that Bill Clinton has a bucket list. Honestly, my first thought when I read that was "Ew". LOL ;)

Moving on...

I have some things on my own bucket list that I feel like I'm actually working towards accomplishing. I've always wanted to own my own crafts business since I was little. Technically, now I do. I just need to start PRODUCING products for sale. Easier said than done as a full-time employee, Mom and Wife...I know. But, I aim high! ;) Everytime I lament my busy schedule I just remind myself that others have accomplished amazing feats facing much harder circumstances. By most accounts, I live a blessed life.

Owning (and running) my own crafts business is just one of many items on my bucket list.

What's on yours?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Twilight

Yes, I've caved.

One of my friends lent me her "Twilight" paperback book.

What can I say? I'm curious what all the hype is about.

I was curious about all the hype surrounding the Harry Potter series, too. But, I actually was not curious enough to want to read the books (blasphemy in some circles...I know!).

Anyway, I'm not too far into the book and can understand how people can get sucked into it easily. The problem I have right now is that I'm realizing I'm a 30-some-year-old married mother reading a vampire/love story between TEENAGERS. That's the hard part for me to get past. LOL ;)

What's funny is that people act like this whole "fascination" with vampires is a new phenomena for teens. Come on! Truth be told...I already went through my vampire craze phase as a teenager. Can we say "Anne Rice"?!?

So, I DO understand the draw. Been there, done that. Although, what's interesting with this "new" vampire craze these days is that the characters are actually age appropriate for teenagers whereas I used to lust after older actors such as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (apparently, so did Katie Holmes for the latter...LOL) a la "Interview with a Vampire" movie.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

That just ain't right...

The Economist
I went downstairs in my building to get some pop (that's soda to those of you non-Pittsburghers...LOL...) from the "rip-off" shop (nicknamed convenience store in BNY Mellon Center by my co-workers because of its expensive nature...but there in a pinch).

Before I grabbed my pop (and a King Size Peppermint Patty...yes...I have no willpower), I eyed up some of the magazines on the magazine rack.

Check out the picture on this cover of the print edition of The Economist.

All I have to say is "That's just wrong!"

I love France. So, of course, when I saw the Eiffel Tower it piqued my interest. Then, I read the headline. Wow! Seriously? The Economist must be hurting for readers to have to resort to phallic imagery to get its point (pun intended) across...

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy reading The Economist. (Yes...you heard that right! I'm weird like that..)

But, this just ain't right...

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