Friday, June 27, 2014

Walk to End Alzheimer's Kick Off-Krewe BB

Last night we had the Kick-off party for the Walk to End Alzheimer's here in Charlotte. It was a great opportunity for Team Captains to come meet and chat with people in the industry and learn about good fundraising tips as well as see where we are as a city in terms of fundraising. I also love the people that work for the Alzheimer's Association. They, along with several members of the Industry, (My ladies at the Ivy and Regency) have become close companions as we navigate this disease with my Mother. I just met the new CEO last night and she is GREAT. I could spend hours with her talking about ideas about getting people in my generation involved. You see, I am not the majority. People still have the stigma that this is an old person's disease so while many friends are experiencing this with grandparents, not many are experiencing this with parents.

That being said I have been contacted by at least five people in the past few weeks that are seeing the symptoms in their parents and are coming to me for advice. I'm not sure how to describe how I feel when I get one of these emails. I am brokenhearted for anyone that is getting ready to experience or already experiencing Alzheimer's with their parents. But I also feel empowered. This little blog is mostly silly and my journal since I don't think my husband listens to 79% of what I blab on about. If my stories are helping anyone, and in return, sending them to me for advice; I feel like I need to do more. There is almost a period of time, maybe called the gray area, where you know something is wrong but don't know what to do about it. My father and I sat in that gray period for almost two years. There has to be an easier way for caregivers to move from this phase to a diagnosis of some sorts with the least amount of embarrassment to the patient as possible. Because that was what held us back. How do you tell someone that they are having memory issues?

The new Alzheimer's facts and figures data this year primarily focuses on women. Almost two thirds of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer's are WOMEN. Women are also the typically caregivers. Do you see the issue here? 
At last night's kick off. Also happened to be my halfway through pregnancy mark. Thought it would be fun to also note what I was up to at that moment.

While this is nothing to smile about I love thinking of ways for us to spread the word about the disease. I would love to get a shot of my Mom and I behind this poster at the walk. Maybe a photobooth of some sorts. 

Have you seen Seth Rogen's wife, Laura Miller's, campaign in magazines? 
What if we could all make a page like that for ourselves with a simple upload? Laura is an inspiration in her battle against Alzheimer's in the name of her mother and if you want to follow a pioneer in fundraising you should follow her and Seth's Hilarity for Charity group

I would also love to sit down with Lauren and pick her brain. We both use humor to help us through this disease and I think we (after a few bottles of wine) would be BFF's.

It has been three years since my Mom was diagnosed. And while the disease continues to progress I feel that through the Alzheimer's Association, Memory Care, Support Groups, and Seniors Helping Seniors we have been tossed a few life rafts of sorts. I will do a full post on what we have changed and how we are helping mom soon for my group of friends that need that advice.

Whew. Sorry for the long post! I know you get requests for fundraising all the time so I will try to only send out my bulk emails twice as I begin my Walk to End ALZ donation begging.


You can donate here:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sun Protection for Moms and Kids

My son and stepson last summer. Exactly the same skin tone difference as my husband and I.

My son and I have fair skin, blue eyes and light hair. Pretty much an excellent candidate for a sunburn or skin cancer. My father has the same skin and I have him to thank for being a speckled trout in the summer. If you see us at the beach you will see three poor souls on the deck lubing up with Sunscreen while "Team Brown" are already on the beach. (Brown was my mother and sister-in-law's maiden names)
My niece and pale little guy last summer

 My combo is Vanicream for my face, No Ad 50 on my chest and arms, and No Ad 30 on my legs. And I make sure I reapply every few hours if I'm in the water or covered in sand. My son gets the Neutrogena stick on his face. There is probably a safer hippie-approved version available like Badger, Blue Lizard or Honest but we have been using this the past two summers and have had no burns and he likes to put it on himself.

The rest of the family is brown brown brown. My mother has always been dark and my brother has her and his father to thank for his bronze skin. He married a bronze goddess (i'm not kidding) so their kids are super dark too. 

And have you met my husband? He's Brazilian (and Swiss, but looks like the Swiss Army only won the height with him) and his son (my stepson) is just as dark as he is.

So for the 3 pinkies we have to be super careful about our sun exposure. My Dad has already had many things removed from his face/ears/neck and had to do a peel back in 2007 that burned all the pre-cancerous spots off. 

I have always been a good sunscreen user but when my favorite party planning friend told me she had basal cell carcinoma I realized I need to get real about my seriousness. I typically also wear a baseball hat and a cover up of some sort. 

For me Lands End has the best Rash Guards. 
They aren't crazy expensive (You can usually find a coupon code) and have great patterns. Here is a 5 months pregnant me in the Blue and White stripe in an XS Petite. 
They are a tad boxy which I prefer so you don't feel like you are in a wet suit.

For my son I LOVE SwimZip
They asked if any bloggers wanted to collaborate and I said YES! I plan on taking tons more pictures but how cute is this top? This is the Prepster top and swimsuit and it is all SPF 50 for $29.99. 
YES, you get the top and suit for $29.99! You can never have enough protection when it comes to the sun with your kids. 

Plus, the zipper is PURE GENIUS. Try wrangling your sunscreened child out of a non zipper top. No fun! I hope to order one or two more of these sets before our beach trip. The 3T is a tad big on my little guy so I bet he can at least wear the suits if not the shirts too next year.

And don't even get me started on the Girl's outfits. The Daddy's Little Girl

I also love how their products don't have huge tacky letters saying Lifeguard or a hideous plastic neon shark and Sting-rays plastered everywhere. This shark is pretty cute though.

Any tips out there? Are the Badger/Blue Lizard/Honest products better? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Freckled Trout K
My dad, son and niece last year. Bronze goddess I tell you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CeCe Dupraz Monograms

My very talented friend from College, Marion Greely, posted a teaser picture from her new monogram company and I was immediately in love!

She has started Cece Dupraz Monograms out of her home in Marblehead and I have a feeling she is going to do very well! And I know a certain soon to be Mom of a little girl that is going to be in trouble...
From Marion:
My brand is a combination of my daughters names, the joys in my life and also the reason for launching a brand, Catherine Crimmins (affectionately known as Cece) and Elisabeth DuPraz.  The name also is a nod to both my mother, Nancy Crimmins, and my husband's late mother, Claudia DuPraz.  I wanted to combine my skill set of design and all things pretty from my days of working for Brunschwig & Fils, as well as my sales and buying experience from my days owning and operating a boutique, as well as creating something that I could do from home so that I could *try* to create a work/life balance with a creative outlet and being a mom...and Cece DuPraz came to be quite organically!  I'm loving every minute of it - and am hoping everyone can see that through the designs that are being created! 

The designs are classic and beautiful with a special twist that only she could dream up! Take a peak for yourselves!

These cocktail napkins might just be everyone's Christmas present this year. LOVE!

Congratulations Marion on your launch and cannot wait to see all the gorgeous creations you come up with!
To contact Marion you can email her at

And like Reese says...


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tired on the Wrong Side of the Bed.

Ask my stepson. I'm not letting him eat Skittles for lunch, making him put his wet towels in the washer, and forcing him to read. I'm No.Fun.

There is no Weekend Report because there really is nothing to report. All the boys were sick (boys = husband included) so I put on my Wonder Woman cape** and went to work. 
I'm going to pat my own damn back for a minute because sometimes it doesn't get patted. That's probably b/c I'm a huge blob of pregnant hobbitness right now and the only pat on the back I get is from my 3 year old when he interrupts me on the potty and says, Good job Mommy!!

And don't disagree with me. My Instagram pic was cropped and covered. Me in a maternity suit is awful. I'm going to make my family sign a photography disclosure form for the beach that they cannot instagram/hashtag/facebook/tweet any pictures of me without my direct approval or some amazing photoshop skills. FAT HOBBIT.

How I want to look/feel while Pregnant:

How I look/feel while pregnant:

Last week I got in 30 minutes of cardio every day and stuck to my most basic (not exactly clean eating) but protein shake in the morning, toasted turkey with reduced fat swiss sandwich on whole wheat, and healthy dinners regimen during M-Th. But Friday....oh Friday. Someone kept me up hacking up a lung all night and 2 bathroom breaks for peanut so I ate McDonalds. 
And then it just went downhill............I knew I had to be up late Friday night so I bought Raisinets, Pretzel Pizza Combos, and a Twix to snack on. Klassy.
Sweet Jesus I would eat all of this.

I worked until Midnight (2nd or 3rd Friday in a row) Friday night and then up at 6am for our "Yard Sale". HA! We only made $38 which I spent quickly taking the two boys to get haircuts. Then lunch, then naps. Then activities in the yard/running errands/picking out carpet for upstairs. Then bed.

Then all again Sunday. The doctor said the little guys only had colds and I knew I needed to get a psycho 3 year old to nap so we went to the pool Sunday. He didn't have a fever, and wasn't snotty so don't judge. Then naps. Then more errands, then house cleaning. Then dinner for me and the boys then some work. then bed.

I know this isn't anything super awesome to blog about. You moms with 2+ kids do it ALL the time. And probably feed your kids organic dinners. Off Non-BPA plates. While breastfeeding. I cannot even imagine 3 little ones. I just can't. I don't think I meet the height requirement to handle that. But this heat + pregnancy + sick husband and I'm POOPED. I'm also up most nights from 8-11 working to get in extra hours before maternity leave. But I am thankful one of these kids is 12 and can help out. I know, I hear you laughing. How is she going to handle two!? I've thought the exact same thing. WINE. That is how I will handle two.

So all that said and I really want a Diet Coke. 

With Bourbon. (Or Tennessee Whiskey)
But I'm trying to cut back since M swears that is why my son is short. Um.....have you seen pictures of my family? He obviously got his genes from us and I hate to tell you this but it wasn't the caffeine. It was the Braselman genes. *Cut back on caffeine...I'm not drinking bourbon while pregnant. Just maybe a sip. Once a month. 

So no awesome post today. I have some tear-outs I'll try to post by this afternoon. I DID however match all my socks yesterday and put away t-shirts that i can't fit in...and in this process found ALL my sorority t-shirts. What do you guys do with those? Keep? Toss? 
I hate to toss them....won't they be SOOO badass for my daughter to wear when she goes to 2032? GULP.

**I am by no means a Super Mom. I consider not ordering Pizza Hut and buying a Pizza from Trader Joe's, cutting up some bananas, and sitting at the table with the two younger boys for dinner major success in my book. 

PS-And I'm STILL craving cake. Damn you Instagram and your cake pictures. I have yellow box cake in my pantry and only the image of my hobbit ass in the pool bathroom mirror is keeping me from eating all of it.

xo and thanks for letting me bitch,

Friday, June 20, 2014

Alzheimer's Association-The Longest Day

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice meaning it the longest day of sunlight in the year. Check out this infographic from USA Today:

This also means it is the Alzheimer's Association's Longest Day Event. I mainly participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's as I already feel bad asking for donations once a year but tomorrow is a great event if you are interested!

Click Here for more information but the main purpose is:
On The Longest Day, teams around the world come together to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer's with a day of activity. Held on the summer solstice, June 21, 2014, this event calls on participants to raise funds and awareness to advance the efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
I won't be completely sitting the day out though as our proceeds from our Yard Sale are going to be donated to our ALZ Walk!

Let's hope we sell it all!

Have a wonderful weekend and remember to drink lots of water and wear your Sunscreen!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yard (Blog) Sale to Benefit the Alzheimer's Association

Our Neighborhood is having a yard sale this weekend and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to clean out some JUNK stuff from the house and kick-off my fundraising for this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's!

We aren't going all out but will have a table in the driveway from 7am-9:30am Saturday morning. Here are some of our items! I'm letting Max and my stepson keep $20 each so they can go to the movies Saturday night. Let's hope we sell it all! I might end up putting some of this stuff on ebay if my research shows I can get more there.

If you have any items you are wanting to get rid of let me know! You can drop off anytime Friday at the house and I promise not to hit you up for an Alzheimer's donation this year.

Some of our items (All are OBO-Or Best Offer)

Huge bolt of Pierre Deux-esque fabric $35
I bought this at the Tobacco Barn in Asheville for a steal and we used it for stools and a dog bed in the Kitchen but otherwise I don't think we will be using it going forward. (Unless we buy a house in Provence, HA!)

I realized this was going to arrive after I wanted to make our news public and since I was showing sooooo early I had to get the news out Stat.

Xbox360 Video Games $8/each
I hate that these are the reason the legos listed below were never built.

Brand new in Box Halo Toy $??
Ebay = $99. DUDE.
Guess we bought the wrong stuff that Christmas.

Lego City Bank Transfer $80
Okay, this is on ebay now ranging from $65+. This set is retired. Boy moms...should I save this for my 3 year old? Cannot believe he didn't even open it.

 More Unopened Legos...$20? 10? 
Do I save?

Opened, could be missing pieces. Grrrrrrr.

Opened, never put together. Grrrrrrrr.

 Fake LV. $5
A gift from a boss when she went to Mustique. Beach Sign with Arrow $2

DVD's $3/each. 
Burn Notice is Season 1 and 2. Maybe those get $5? I'm clueless. Maybe I should just leave these up in the Mountains for rainy days.
And don't worry....we kept Shag, Van Wilder, Thomas Crown Affair, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Goonies, Labyrinth...and some other classics.

Broken Teak Table. We finally replaced ours! Somebody will grab this for $5 right?

Console Table from Pier 1 (I think) $20
This is a great console table but we are just out of space! It isn't super duty so you can't stack a ton on it.

Lamp $5

Paperback books, $2/each

Candle Holder from Crate and Barrel (I think) $5.

Set of 4 Wineglasses $5

I'm sure we will add more junk as we find it!

If you don't want to shop and still want to donate you can right HERE for Krewe BB!

We will be walking near the Southpark Mall in Charlotte on September 27th! Let's hope I don't have to be pulled in a Radio Flyer!