Lori V.

Jul 032014


So this edition of “Baseball Mama’s Must Have’s” is all about “What to Bring”.   Now, every mom is different, simply because her family is different.  For me, what I have to bring depends on whether I have 3 kids with me, or its just me.  Same with other moms…are you packing for a few or just you?

Thanks to the following moms for helping me get this list complete (moms from the Hanks are in blue!!)   , Julie, Amy Lynn, Sonia, Jen, Ellen, Christin, Janna,…

Let’s start with the basics…..



Bag – because you need a place to corral everything small.   I have a Metro-Retro bag from Thirty One Gifts and its HUGE.  This weekend, I had my 8×10 planner, 7 pens,  4 bottles of water, 2 bags of sunflower seeds, camera, cell phone, battery charger, sunglasses case and some other small randomness.  Note:  some families have a wagon they load everything in and pull it in.  This is great when (in Christina’s words):  ”the parking lot is 5 miles from the actual field”.

Sunglasses – bonus if they match the team colors.  

Sunscreen – for me, I prefer the spray kind.  It works great and quickly, and no one has to spend 10 minutes rubbing it all in.  Its also great for spraying on Patrick’s head (he keeps his hair super short), when he wants to wear a visor.  The sport kind is also great for when you sweat a lot (because like I’ve said before, its usually HOT when we are playing ball!)

Cooler – we have a large rolling cooler, and a smaller soft sided cooler we use.  The soft sided one is great because it fits in the wagon that Patrick has.  The only downside to this is that it doesn’t hold as much.   And inside the cooler moms have suggested:
          Water, Gatorade/PowerAde, Frozen Grapes (doubles as ice!), Wipes, Snacks, Ice Packs

Frogg Togg – for those super hot days, its good to have several of these!   When wet, you can just put them around your neck for them to cool you down.  When it dries, just rewet it and go again.  We keep it in the cooler too…get it extra cold!

First Aid Kit – I have a small one in the car, but need to restock it!   I found several great kits on Amazon.com as well!   In addition to the first aid kit, moms suggested:
         tylenol or ibuprofen, allergy pills, baby wipes, paper towels & clorox wipes

Umbrella or Pop-Up Canopy – the team that we are a part of has several families with pop-up canopies.  We line them up down one fence and spread out underneath.   A couple of the ballparks we play at are undergoing renovations and have no bleachers currently, so they come in handy along with chairs!

Chair - good if it folds up into a carry bag, and best if it has a mesh back (you get less hot this way!)

And of course, don’t forget:  sunflower seeds, gum, suckers (we like the sour apple blow-pops!)….


We will have to do another post on other “Mom Must Have’s” – but hope you enjoyed this one!



Jun 302014

Its a Monday.  That’s what Patrick always says when its a Monday (or Tuesday, Wed, Thurs..).  I need a weekend, to make up for the weekend.  I am so incredibly tired!   Most of it was spent, just like most weekends of our life – at the ballfield.  We had a great time, the boys did great and came in 2nd place!   


Ballpark selfies are the best.   She is totally rocking her little brothers little league team hat, which happens to have Bray’s baseball # on the back too.  I thought about finding her a shirt that says “I don’t have a life, my bubs plays baseball”.  She would rock it – especially if it had sparkles!

This was taken midway through the 2nd game on Sunday.  First game Sunday was at 9am, 2nd game was at 1pm.  It was hot ya’ll – and humid.  Notice the ponytail – on both of us!  I am sure I was sweating in places I didn’t know I could sweat.  Although, we southern girls don’t sweat we glisten.  

Saturday was also hot, and thank goodness for the awesome baseball moms on our teams who happily share a tent/canopy with me.   The heat really does take a toll on your body, even if you think you are getting enough water, you probably aren’t.   Just keep chugging.  

Other than baseball and a team pool party for Bray’s birthday, we did not do a lot this weekend.   Yesterday after ball was over, I came home and napped while the kids watched Netflix.  We did laundry, ate pizza for dinner and I watched a couple of episodes of Rizzoli & Isles while I folded clothes.   

Today will probably be another day like yesterday, except its work instead of baseball.  But home to finish laundry.  It is a short week, so that is something to look forward to!

Happy Monday Ya’ll!


Jun 262014

wantable full logo

A few weeks ago I was approached by Wantable.com asking if I would like to review their boxes.  Of course, who is going to turn down makeup, accessories or lingerie?  Certainly not this girl! I took a few days to explore their website, and their social media “stamp”, so see what kind of products they sent out before I committed to doing this review.  I was intrigued by the various options they offer for their boxes, and seeing the items on instagram & twitter (#wantable), I decided I wanted one now!

 As a curvy girl, the lingerie box didn’t appeal to me right now (maybe later), so I had a lengthy debate with myself over make-up versus accessories box. I finally decided that I have plenty of makeup for now, and I’m always on the hunt for fun accessories!   One of the first things that I found that I liked about wantable.com was the quiz you take to customize your box.  With the accessories box, there were some great questions – don’t like gold tones – tell them.  Prefer scarves over sunglasses – tell them!   


Here is an example of the quiz for the makeup!   You tell them what you do and don’t like based on a “love, like, dislike” scale.   You get more of what you love, and less of what you dislike.   For me, I love nail polishes, so that would get moved to love.  I am “ehh” about eye liner (my eyes are more sensitive the older I get”, so I may leave that as a “like”.  I have wonderful tools already, so I would move that to dislike (for now!).  

Wantable.com offers two options for purchasing a box.  There is the subscription option, which is $36 a month and a  one time purchase option for $40 a month.  Subscribers will receive one box a month, with the option to cancel or skip at any time. The box categories are as follows:

Makeup: 4 to 5 luxury brand items per personalized box
Accessories: 3 to 4 on-trend pieces per personalized box
Intimates: 4 to 5 premium essentials per personalized box

When you get your box, it is adorably packaged in individual bags, and has a tag with the retail price.  For the items I received, the prices ranged from $18 to $36.   

Here is my box!   I was very excited to get it in the mail, and it was waiting for me when I returned from my cousins wedding in Florida.   I received a beautiful watch, a set of silver dangly earrings, a pair of blue & gold earrings, and a pair of brown tone sunglasses. I was almost giddy with excitement over the brown sunglasses, because I can now say – my glasses match my shoes!  I have a brown pair and a black pair now!    The watch I have worn several times to work, and have gotten many compliments on it.  It has a rubberized band, which seems to be popular nowadays, and a crystal accented face.  The crystals make me happy – as I love all things sparkly!   The blue & gold earrings are pretty, but I don’t wear much gold jewelry.  They do however match a silky button front shirt I got from my sister in law, so I have worn them with that.  The silver “dangly” hoops I plan on wearing this weekend to a party Patrick and I are going to.  They have the right amount of sparkle on them, and are a great accent to my normal silver toned jewelry choices!



Jun 252014

Because Walhalla Wednesday sounded better than Wordy Wednesday, especially since I am going to talk about Walhalla.  =)

Walhalla is a small town in Oconee County, SC – in the “Upstate”, just past towns like Easley and Clemson (yes, THAT Clemson – but more on them later).   Patrick is from Walhalla, and on my first visit there he decided we should go visit Stumphouse Tunnel & Issaqueena Falls.  This was last Thanksgiving, when the average nighttime temp was about 20 degrees, and daytime was maybe 50ish.  It was cold!  


The Issaqueena falls are beautiful!   Legend has it that the falls is named for an Indian maiden, Issaqueena, who warning the white settlers of an Indian attack, was then chased by Indians and she appeared to jump over the falls.  By actually hiding behind the falls (or some legend-tellers say she hid behind a stump, hence Stumphouse Tunnel), she tricked her pursuers and survived. source: http://www.oconeecountry.com/stumphouse.html)

It was so cold that day, that the splash that the falls created was freezing onto icicles on the fallen branches & trees above.   It maybe hard to tell in this photo, but its there.  


The other part of the park is Stumphouse Tunnel, which is just that – a tunnel.  It doesn’t go anywhere, never actually did.  It was started pre-Civil War to connect the railroad between Charleston and Knoxville, TN.  Well, it wasn’t finished, thanks in part to the Civil War taking its funding away.  The tunnel was bought in 1951 by Clemson University, for the sole purpose of curing cheese.  Yes my friends – curing cheese (I cannot make this up), because the environment in the tunnel was perfect for curing blue cheese.  Apparently Clemson is famous for Blue Cheese  ??


Anyway, you couldn’t pay me enough to walk to the end of this tunnel, because well it was cold as heck outside, I had on my cowboy boots and it was muddy & wet.  Patrick said he once walked all the way to the end of the tunnel (no thank you!), and found the “cheese curing rooms”.   The tunnel itself is 17 ft wide, and about 25 ft tall.  There is an air hole that was bored down to create ventilation, and also contributes to the fact that the tunnel is always wet.  Due to falling rock hazards, you can no longer walk all the way to the end.  Against my better judgement, I’m putting this in writing that I’d like to go back.  I may go farther in with some assistance (and maybe some bribery) when its a bit warmer outside.   

It was a neat little visit, and I’d like to go back and spend some more time there!





Jun 242014

I love a good freebie, and thing one is pretty awesome!  Full color, printed maps from Disney, highlighting your favorite rides or attractions.  They are BEAUTIFUL!    They are great for planning a trip, or even decorating a room (which I plan on using mine for!)

You pick which parks you want (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom)


These maps usually run out quickly, so jump on this while you can!  Ours came in about a week, although I’ve heard of it taking a little longer.   It will give you the option to print out your maps, or you can click to have them mailed to you.  







Jun 242014

I used to be such a good couponer.  I had a binder full, I could plan out shopping trips, and get a ton free (remember the free boxes of Frozen Limades?).   Then….I got a full time job, and life happened, and kids got into sports and well – I did what I could, but not to the level I used to.

I miss being able to open my pantry and see a stash of paper towels I got for free, or go to my laundry room and see 15 bottles of detergent I got for pennies.   

Couponing has evolved from simply cutting coupons out of a newspaper on Sunday.  You can get them online, and even on your smartphone.  They come in the mail inside of magazines, and direct mailers from the companies.

Here are some of my favorite places to get coupons and or savings!

The obvious one – printable coupons from Coupons.com.  Cilck & print – super easy!!!

Next comes iBotta.  This one takes a little work AFTER you have done your shopping.  iBotta is an app on your phone that allows you to scan the product, and then upload your receipt and they will give you cash back for buying the product and doing things like sending a tweet (often worth 25¢) or liking the products facebook page.   iBotta allows you to cash out at $5 earnings, and use it towards cash (via paypal), or Starbucks or other gift cards! 



Next comes SavingStar.  This one is a “no brainer”.  Just sign on, add the coupons to your store cards (Bi-Lo, Food Lion, CVS, etc).  And it will add the savings to your account (it will NOT come off at the register).  For example, a few weeks ago they had a “Get 100% back when you buy a York Peppermint Patty”.  I bought one, and got 99¢ credited to my account.  Like iBotta, you can cash out with this one!

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CellFire.com – online coupons that allow you to add coupons to your Kroger (or affliate) store cards.  They come off at the register when you purchase certain items.  They often also have freebies to load to your Kroger (or affliate) store.

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51Checkout.com – another like iBotta, that requires a little work after the fact, but has good results.  They routinely have “get cash back when you buy milk” – any brand of milk.  Just scan the barcode on the milk and the receipt and they will credit your account with the offers you pick.  Currently, they have offers for milk, yogurt, Pledge & Windex, along with about 15 others!  Again, you can cashout with this one (at $20)

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Jun 202014

Oh five for Friday, its been awhile since I did one of you….I always have a ton on my mind, but lately its been stuff I just can’t (don’t) want to write about.

1.  Has this week been the longest EVER for anyone else?   I mean really…Tuesday I thought was going to never end, and now its finally Friday.  Watch the weekend be a bitch and fly by.  Anyone agree?   I thought Thursday was never going to end, because everyone was out of the office doing professional development training.   

2.  Have you ever just gotten this feeling that something just isn’t right?  In my case its my feelings about how much of an influence someone else has.  Yeah I’m vague, but either way has anyone ever just felt like something wasn’t right?  Maybe its a woman thing, I just have a weird feeling about one particular person, and their affect on my personal life.  I am sure that most people will say “don’t let other people affect you”, but I just get a weird vibe from this person.  I am sure at some point I will talk about it, but for now – *le sigh* enough with the heavy stuff.

3.   I want to binge watch OITNB (cause I’m still not done with season 1), and I am craving nachos with melty queso and chicken.  Yes, chicken nachos.   Or I want chicken tacos, or fajitas.  I guess I know what we will have for dinner this weekend.  YUM!

4.  My only plans this weekend are to darken my tan, and read a book by the pool (and #3 above).  We have no baseball events that require my attention, no places to be – it will be nice.  Of course, I have laundry to do and at some point grocery shopping – but the pool is calling my name.

5.  I am loving the fact that I can order books from the college library on their website, and they deliver them via campus mail to my office.  It is amazing, and I am certainly enjoying that new perk! 


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Jun 192014

So in my daily hopping around the blogging world via BlogLovin’, I have discovered so many new and amazing bloggers.  I saw this great post a few were doing and thought “why not”.  So here I am taking stock of what’s going on around me and in me currently!

Making :  a grocery list.  I wish this could be something amazingly fantastic with my craftiness, but its not.
Cooking :   fresh corn, zucchini and squash tonight with maybe burgers
Drinking :  about to drink some coffee, as soon as our office brewer finishes
Reading:  The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks, although I just finished “Lowcountry Summer” by Dorothea Benton Frank
Wanting:  date night with Patrick, trip to Charleston, a clean house
Looking:  forward to B’s next baseball tournament
Playing:  Bingo Blitz on my phone
Wasting:   time doing the above game playing

Wishing:  for a lot of things, but right now I’ll be content with what I have.
Enjoying:  the peace of a new book
Waiting:  for Patrick to come home from PA
Wondering:   what to make for dinner with the fresh corn, squash & zucchini
Loving:   the beautiful SC sunshine
Hoping:  for a date night soon (although this is the same thing as “wanting” for me)

Wearing:  black pants, black cammie, black & white sweater. Very monochromatic today
Following:    You’re Meaghan me Crazy
Thinking:  about the blog posts I need/want to write over the next 2 weeks
Feeling:  refreshed – quiet evening last night while the kids were at their dads, a good book & conversation with one of my besties
Giggling:   over the odd requests we get here in the history dept – like “how do I make something historical”

Have you taken stock lately?

Jun 102014

So the blog has been a little slow lately.  I’m OK with that.  I started a new job, its summer break, we are busy, life is busy.  But I have some confessions.

I am addicted to “Orange is the New Black” (#OITNB for short).  Its funny, on point, raunchy, and all around a show that makes you want to watch the next episode.  Raunchy as in, I would never let my mother, brother, dad or possibly even Patrick watch it in the same room as me (and note to mom, don’t watch it – you would NOT like it).  Martha Stewart did not make prison life look like that – although I once read she made tea out of dandelion leaves, and well the main character on #OITNB gets called Dandelion all the time.  Either way, its only on Netflix, and they just released the ENTIRE second season (brand new) all at once.  Bravo to you Netflix, for putting seemingly normal people into binge mode last weekend.   Meet “crazy eyes” and “dandelion” below:


I also confess that I got so pissed at baseball last weekend over a freaking cooler.  It was stupid, and petty but I was pissed.  Here I am lugging this giant cooler around with lunch for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids), and not once did someone offer to help me.  Like I said, it was petty and I’m sorry for being so angry.  I am still adjusting to “the new normal”, and well – it ain’t easy.  Apparently I just need to buck up buttercup.  And don’t worry if you don’t understand what any of this little paragraph means, its just something I had the need to type out to get it off my chest.

As a new pedestrian on campus; I routinely have to cross the road on my travels around campus, and to and from my parking garage daily. I also confess that I used to be a not good driver when it came to pedestrians.  If your car covers the entire sidewalk when you stop at a stoplight, you are an asshole.  Also, if you continuously creep up as the light is red and people are crossing in front of you to gain an inch or two – you are also an asshole.  And one of these days someone is going to get a little too close to me, and I am going to ceremoniously collapse on the ground in front of you like you hit me.   For now, you just get this look….


and lastly…..I must confess that I am loving the fact we have a coffee maker in our office.  And by coffee maker I mean, I make coffee every morning, and people drink it.  It is nice, and it even has caffeine (take that non-caffeine allowing athletics training table!).  However, the next person who leaves the pot empty on the hot burner will be subjected to random torture, as determined by the European Medieval history professor.



*gifs courtesy of giphy.com*