Tuesday, April 30, 2013

R.I.P. Fat Pete (You were a good cat)...


Yesterday, at roughly 2:00 in the afternoon, we lost our mighty cat, Peter McFee (aka Fat Pete or Pete Pete Bo Beet). He was 13. He was gentle and loving. A scaredy cat. An old soul. We will miss him dearly. His decline was very painful to watch. His death reminded me that time has passed swiftly. Rest in peace, Pete. You were a good friend. ~:*( Alice


Monday, April 29, 2013

Foodie Goodies and Favorite Mistakes ...



Welcome to the Wonderland Hop #7!! Another place where you can link up those favorite posts of yours that inspire us and make us want to dig in and be creative, thoughtful, and smart - generally better people.  Every week, we feature our favorite links (since it's a smaller hop, you have a really good chance of being featured - extra clicks! Wink, wink; nudge nudge;)). Here's what we were loving this week (some foodie goodies and favorite mistakes):
Every eight-year-old girl's dream: A Hello Kitty Birthday Party from The Weary Chef
This post from Some of the Best Things in Life are Mistakes (Because I know exactly how she feels:))!
Dessert and wine in the afternoon?!?! Yes, please. This Plum Crostata from  BeBetsy.
And finally, because it seems to be a largely foodie week, this sweet sausage spaghetti from Mamal Diane,
a new favorite in the Alice house. 
If you were featured, feel free to grab a button:):

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We only have a few pesky rules (the usual suspects): 
  • Follow The Owl's Skull on some platform (GFC, Bloglovin', Twitter, Facebook).
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Follow on Bloglovin
  • Link up our blog in your specific post (grab a button; it's super cute;)).
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  • Drop me a line in the comments to let me know that you dropped by to visit so I can return the favor and follow you back. On that note, please click through the other links, drop the posters a line or two, follow the ones you really want to follow. 
  • Tweet or share the hop on Facebook/Google+ etc.; the more, the merrier!! I also tweet each post throughout the week as they are linked up. 
Peace, love, and link-up!! ~Alice

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ramped up ...


This past Saturday, my daughters and I hit the road and headed for the hills that straddle the border between PA and West Virginia. My dad was carving at the Mason Dixon Ramp Fest. Yes. Ramp Fest. As in an entire weekend designed to celebrate the super-smelly onion/garlic that tastes delicious but makes you a walking bundle of noxiousness for about a day after eating. Dad has taken up the art of chainsaw carving over the last two years, and he's good. We love to go and watch him work his magic with both the crowd and the giant pine blocks he turns into animals. This weekend was no different.

Pops in action on the beginnings of a rabbit. He says that the animals are "sleeping in the logs." 
Just a sampling of some of his critters/creations. You know I brought a set of the candle holders home, which would sell at Anthropologie for $100 smackers. 
We sampled the rampy goodness: ramp burgers, ramp taters, ramp hotdogs, ramp butter, ramp WINE (I feel like Bubba Gump). Needless to say, my husband told me I had to sit in a different room when I came home later that evening. 
We listened to some great bluegrass and soul music. Soph entertained the crowds with her hippie dancing. 
We came home with lots of goodies, my favorite being this hand-woven rug made by the ladies group from one of the local churches out of old t-shirts. $18 = a steal. 
Of course, I also like these little guys. 
All in all, a great day with some great family. Until next time. ~Alice

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All My Bloggy Friends

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surprise Day (Part II: A Tourist in My Own City) ...

From what I hear, I have inherited this whole Surprise Day bit from my maternal grandmother, whom I never met. Although by all accounts she was a difficult woman who was challenging to live with, the love of travel, exploring, and exposing her children to a world beyond their usual borders was important to her. Another influence: I also remember one of the most wonderful days of my young life was waking up to find out that we were off on that particular day to Kennywood, a much loved amusement park in the Pittsburgh area, with my Aunt Rita and Uncle Jim. I think the most delicious thing about being young is feeling like each day can be one grand adventure.

The other thing I've decided I really want to do this summer (our Spring semester is just wrapping up here at Duquesne) is to be a tourist in my own city. When I travel for conferences, I always love wandering around the cityscape, relishing bookstores, restaurants, shops, etc. I have realized, however, that I tend to stick to spaces I am already very familiar with when I'm in my hometown. Which is bo-ring.

So, on this particular Surprise Day, after I picked up my students' final papers, we toured the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh. We didn't see everything. But we had fun. Here's a pic-tour of our day.

We literally stumbled into this place, because we were staaaarving, and they had THE most amazing pancakes I have ever had in my entire life!! Ever (and I do not usually gush about restaurants. Usually, I'm disappointed because I feel like I can cook it better. These, I cannot).  They are a cross between crepes and pancakes, and the crunchy edges, fried in butter, are out of this world. You must try Pamela's Diner if you are ever in the Pittsburgh area (and especially if you live here). 
Next stop was the Shadyside Variety Store, which is filled to the brim with toys. Toys galore. I loved especially that the toys were all housed on vintage shelves, which the owner told me had been in service since her parents bought the store over 40 years ago (true or not, I like the romance of it). I also like this vintage cash register. And they blew bubbles in the store for the girls to pop. 
One of my favorite things to do is to browse a good bookstore. Kards Unlimited is a great one, where I picked up this book filled with ideas for Literary Tattoos and Soph was entranced by the mechanical merry-go-rounds. 
Since we had a little extra time before our next stop, we hit Hidden Treasures, housed in an old McCrory's 5 and 10 in Canonsburg, PA and found Soph these awesome leather ballet slippers for $1. 
The last stop was a Kiddie Dance Party. She be clubbin';). 
Until tomorrow. This weekend is jam-packed with goodness. Tomorrow, the Ramp Festival, where my Dad was chainsaw carving. Yes, ramps. As in really smelly, but super-delicious onions. ~Alice

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The gathering spot Manic Mondays at Serendipity and Spice

Friday, April 26, 2013

Surprise Day...

Every once in a while, I like to pull a fast one on my kids. I wake them up, they have no idea where we are going, and we go and do something fun. Today is one of those days. I'll fill you in later:)!! ~Alice

Via

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Poppin' Tags ...

And I had more than $20 in my pocket. 
This past Saturday was the first Saturday when I didn't have to be somewhere, at some point, in, oh, probably five years. I'm not joking. I used to teach Yoga on Saturday mornings, and just recently decided that I really want to spend that precious time with my kids (there will be time for yoga when they want to do their own thing on Saturday mornings:((). So, on this delicious day when we had nowhere we had to go, we went thrift shopping (which my oldest daughter has been really into lately. Thanks, Macklemore;)).

I really love to thrift. I love the thrill of the hunt. I love paying very little for something I know costs a hell of a lot more. This past trip, I got a ton of stuff for about $80. I'll spare you the rundown of everything we got (it would take a while). Here are a few of my favorite finds.

Snuggly sweaters, from French Connection and Kimchi & Blue (only $2.99 a pop)
Breezy blouses just meant for Spring ($1.99 each), some super-cool "thrifted" (aka most likely lifted) hangers ($1 for 3), and some new jeans (because my fat ass can't fit into my old ones, $10 for both). 
Goodwill is my bookstore. Each book cost $.99, except for the Warhol (hardbacks are $1.99). I was so excited to find Erma Bombeck's The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. I have realized lately that her writing was a huge early influence on me. I found this book at a friend's house when I was about 9 and read it at least four times. I thought it was hilarious. 

Last, but not least, this Banana Republic bomber, which I plan to wear over a long, flowy dress. Which I hope to find at a  Goodwill very soon;). $5.99 people. $Five.Ninety.Nine. 
Now, I have a lot of reading to do;). Happy thrifting! ~Alice

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prettiful ...


Sophia's latest word is "prettiful." And when you ask her why she is "prettiful," she says "Because I'm Sophia" (Sometimes, I feel like she should end her sentences with, "You idiot").

I love this word, "prettiful." The fullness of it. And I love that she feels beautiful just because she is herself. ~Alice

Natalie Wood's accent here is "pretty" awful LOL. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Wonderland Hop #6



"Curiouser and curiouser..." Welcome to the Wonderland Hop #6!! Link up those favorite posts of yours that will inspire us and make us want to dig in and be creative, thoughtful, and smart - generally better people.  Every week, we feature our favorite links (since it's a smaller hop, you have a really good chance of being featured - extra clicks! Wink, wink; nudge nudge;)). Here's what we were loving/mulling over this week:
Houston, I think I have a problem. The iPhone intervention via Busy Being Jennifer.
This Earth Day Round-up from the Sugar Aunts. Because it's Earth Day;). 
These yummy-looking cheesecake bars from The Stitchin' Mommy
The Dying Art of Snail Mail 
from Kate @ Another Clean Slate
A Mother's Loss: Chasing Rainbows
This post from The Wondering Brain really hit home with me,
since we experienced the loss of a child in our extended family. 
If you were featured, feel free to grab a button:):

The Owl's Skull

We only have a few pesky rules (the usual suspects): 
  • Follow The Owl's Skull on some platform (GFC, Bloglovin', Twitter, Facebook).
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Follow on Bloglovin
  • Link up our blog in your specific post (grab a button if you like; it's super cute and smart-looking;)).
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  • Drop me a line in the comments to let me know that you dropped by to visit so I can return the favor and follow you back. 
  • On that note, please click through the other links, drop the posters a line or two, follow the ones you really want to follow. 
  • Tweet or share the hop on Facebook/Google+ etc.; the more, the merrier!! I also tweet each post throughout the week as they are linked up. 
Peace, love, and link-up!! ~Alice