Sunday, March 23, 2014

My life as a background blur on tv

Banshee season 2 just wrapped up on Cinemax this month.  I made my way onto set a total of 5 times during the season.  It would have been more if I hadn't of been pumping milk for the first half of filming.  In the above frame, Rebecca (played by the lovely Lili Simmons) is snooping around the dressing room at the strip club.  I was sitting down in the background, putting my makeup on.  In the montage below, I am the gal walking out of the dressing room in the red shirt.  Clay Burton (played by Matt Rauch) is seen bypassing me in the club.  He is one of the funniest people that I have ever encountered while on set.  He is incredibly boisterous and loud, lol.  I got the honor of him singing the song "Brandy" to me.  Love him!  I hope he continues to be Kai Proctor's henchman in the future because I would hate for him to ever leave the show.  
I love my new hobby!  There were 2 times last year that I got asked to be on set directly by the casting director and I had to turn both times down though.  That royally sucked.  I was asked to be in Banshee's season 2 finale but I was on vacation in Orlando at the time.  The other gig was on the new movie that Kevin Smith filmed in Charlotte (Tusk).  I was in Raleigh to see Bon Jovi that day.  It was my only shot to be on Tusk so I was super sad about missing out.  Oh, and one time I got asked to be on Homeland but had to back out due to being sick.  Not cool.  Anyway, I can't wait to see what is in store for me this year.  I look forward to many more opportunities to be on set.

BTW, I got to take part in two other projects last year, The Novice (new series on USA Network) and Captive (a movie about the Atlanta court case where Brian Nichols shot a judge, fled, ran into a woman's home, and then had a change of heart when the woman read "The Purpose Driven Life" to him).  Clayton was also in Captive with me.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Hayden has been bugging me for some cool plaid shirts to layer over his tees.  I have to say that the look suits both boys.  Even though I captured H making a funny face, they are both quite handsome. :)
I accompanied Hayden's 5th grade class on a STEM field trip at the Charlotte race track.  It was incredibly dull, I have to admit.  The kids had to do all these tests for balance, speed, etc.  It sounded like it would be fun but it wasn't.  The highlight for all the kids was the 2 laps we got to take via van around the track.  It was really neat to feel how high the inclines are.  The driver stopped on one of the turns and we all freaked out.  It felt just like our van would fall over.  After the track, we went over to Hendrick Motorsports to browse the museums and to talk to an engineer that worked there.  The engineer just happened to be a mechanical engineer from NC State.  He was in college at the same time Clayton and I were there.  We reminisced after he was done speaking to the kids.  It turns out that he almost applied to work at my husband's company but the Hendrick job popped up at just the right time.  Very cool dude, I must say.  
Hayden is on the right, behind the kid in the purple pullover.
Oh Molly, you crack me up!  She loves boxes and laps.  I don't know how she curls up so tight.  She's so cool. :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meow Monday

Molly asleep beside Emerson (I swear she isn't trying to claw his eyes out, lol)
She loves our heated blanket.  I wish I could relax as easily as she does.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

Homemade Almondine Sugar Cookies with Lemon Buttercream Icing

Clayton adores sugar cookies so I made sure to make a batch for V-day.  The icing was too hard to pipe though so I only decorated 3 cookies before giving up.  Clayton decorated mine for me but I didn't get a photo.
My boys munching down on our traditional chocolate fondue dessert

I made some homemade cracker-thin crust pizzas.  The boys didn't even notice that the pepperoni was placed in a heart shape before Clayton cut it.  I had to show them the photo to prove it, lol.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Snow Day (Well, Days)

The week of Valentine's was full of white stuff.  The kids had a half day on Tuesday and then got out of school for the rest of the week.  It was crazy!  Considering it was 75 degrees yesterday, it is hard to imagine that the ground looked like this just a week ago.  
We were one of the few homes in the 'hood to actually own a snow shovel, lol.  Clayton doesn't miss having to shovel the driveway in Colorado.
This was measured while it was still snowing.  There was probably another inch of snow by the time it stopped.  I measured it on our backyard table and no, this wasn't in a snow drifted area.

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Recipes

Porter Caramelized Onion Dip, Jalapeno Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms, Chicken Enchilada Pinwheels

Clayton and his beer brewing buddies got together in our garage to brew a Kolsch style beer back on 2/9.  I  love when they brew because it gives me an opportunity to try new recipes on them.  I made an onion dip with the porter that they brewed together and it was pretty tasty.  The chicken enchilada pinwheels were really good too.  The real star of the show though was the mushrooms.  Ahhh, the mushrooms.  They were slighty spicy with a great smoky bacon undertone.  The cheese and buttery panko crumbs made it all come together so well.  I was afraid that they wouldn't eat them but they LOVED them.  Here are the tried-n-true (TNT) recipes if you want to give them a go:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Random Stuff---Catching Up

My awesome friend and neighbor, Jessica, gave me this awesome monogrammed scarf for Christmas.  Her mom made it for me.  Love it!!
Emerson had a marketing PBL (project based learning) for school last month.  The kids had to make up a product, create a store sign, set the cost, and sell their goods at a market fair.  Big E sold out of his cute Fuzzy Buddies and was able to buy several products from his classmates.
I have been so slow in getting the house painted.  Hayden's back wall was my most recent project.  The other 3 walls will be painted a light blue and the curtains will be changed to orange or navy chevron ones.  Whenever I get it all done (which won't be anytime soon), I will post a completed pic.
This is how we found Emerson on the evening after the boys' recent sleepover.  Unfortunately, he got sick.  We suspect it was Norovirus.  He puked 6 times that night.  I got it the next night and puked 5 times.  Hayden got it the next night and he puked 7 times.  Clayton came home from work the next day and didn't feel good (though his lucky butt never threw up---so not fair!).  It was atrocious.  The bright side is that I lost a few pounds, though that is not my preferred method, lol. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Stitch Fix #17 Review

I know, I know.  It has been a while since I did a Stitch Fix review.  The past few have been great but I was just too lazy to blog them.  Today was #17 and it was a lot of fun.  I was styled by Alexandra for some reason though.  Jackie is my regular stylist.  Anyway, I will go ahead and apologize for the mediocre photography but there is only so much I can do when using an iPhone and the mirror in the guest room.  

1. La Made-Weaver Mixed Knit Cowl Neck Top $28---{KEEPER}
This is the pretty blue top shown in the top photo.  It is super soft, cheap, and such a gorgeous shade of blue.  I paired it with my Lansome Houndstooth skirt from my last fix.  It also looks great with my black Banana Republic cardigan.  The arm holes are a little bit long (you can see my bra peeking out in the big photo) but I will likely wear a cardi anyway so it won't matter.

2. Loveappella-Baltimore Chevron Striped Knit Shirt $48---{KEEPER}
My favorite shirt EVER!!  I am sick of the chevron trend but this shirt was just too pretty to pass up.  It is so soft and the colors are gorgeous.  It perfectly matches the Kut From The Kloth purple cords that Clayton bought me for Christmas.

3. Pomelo-Westin Embroidered Henley Knit Shirt $58
While I adore the gorgeous colors of this top (and how well it matches my teal skinnies), I had to sadly send it back.  It was a bit big in the shoulders/underarm area.  It is hard to explain but the fabric would fold on the sides of my chest.  Bummer!

4. Under Skies-Marian Elephant Print Split-Neck Blouse $38
I have 2 elephant print shirts pinned on my Stitch Fix board on Pinterest, so it was no surprise that I got a shirt with elephants on it.  Unfortunately, this one is not even remotely close to being as pretty as the ones I want.  I want lots of color and this was a total miss for me.  The elephants are cute but I do not care for them in bright yellow on a black background.  The shirt was also HUGE.  It says it is a small but I have to wonder.

5. RD Style-Frenando Airy Knit Open Cardigan $68
This cardigan is nice but I have no need for it.  I have enough brown/neutral items in my closet.  I want color from now on.  Even if I was in the market for a brown cardi, this wouldn't be it due to how boxy it is.  It makes me look pregnant and that is not a look that I desire when I am indeed not carrying a child.

If you are interested in giving Stitch Fix a try, I would love for you to use this link so that I get a small credit to use towards my next box. Every little bit helps. Thanks!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Hayden's 11th Birthday

Hayden got his birthday wish of not going to school.  On 1/28 (Tues.), they got out of school at 11:30am for an early dismissal.  A possible snow storm was in the forecast so the school system decided to go ahead and get the kids out before anything happened.  We ended up with about 1/2 inch of snow that evening.  Pathetic, I know.  That 1/2 inch of snow got school canceled for the next 2 days and a late start that Friday.  That is insane, in my opinion, but whatever.  My birthday boy was thrilled to wake up on Wednesday without the worry of going to school.

Hayden wanted some snow cream that morning, so I scraped up what I could and obliged.  I admit to making myself a bowl also.  That stuff is so good!
That night, we went out to Bonefish Grill for H's favorite, Bang Bang Shrimp.  My parents joined us.  After that, we went back home and let Hayden open up his gifts. 

That Friday, we had a little sleepover.  The boys had their best friends stay over.  Hayden had Tucker and Emerson had Jacob.  I reserved making cupcakes until that night so H blew out his candles then.  They had a great time with their friends.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Banshee---Season 2, Episode 1 (1/10/14)

See that brunette in the bottom right corner of the screen?  Yeah, the one with the word "Banshee" on it?  That would be me.  I sat in the last row of this funeral scene, trying my best to not be seen on camera.  I was dying of heat stroke in a wool suit from my college days.  It didn't help that it was a size 0 and I was only 4 weeks out from having my last surrogate baby.  Yeah, there was no hope of buttoning the jacket.  My chest was humongous.  No one told me that that I would have to sit outside forever with no way to go pump milk in the car.  My boobs exploded multiple times while sitting there.  Between the excessive sweat and lactating bosoms, I was a complete mess.  This is all gross, I know, but I feel it necessary to set the stage on just how uncomfortable I was.  I knew after that experience that I could not possibly return to the set of Banshee until I quit lactating.  It was just too hard to work around.  I quit in June 2013, so I returned for episode 6 shortly afterward.  Hopefully, I will get some screenshots of my Amish and stripper characters.   

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Our stockings

My parents

The boys and their new toys

Christmas jammies (taken on 12/24/13)

Christmas---12/25/2013 (continued)

letter from Emerson

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our 14th Anniversary Dinner---12/15/13

Happy 14 years of marriage to us!

We did something completely nontraditional for our anniversary this year by including the kids.  It fell on a Sunday this year and it just wasn't worth the logistics of getting someone to babysit them.  Our first pick was to go to Choplin's in Cornelius but we got turned away due to the place being shut down for a holiday party.  I was very disappointed.  Clayton called our second choice, Epic Chophouse in Mooresville, to make sure that they were open.  He asked if we needed a reservation and the girl said it would be no problem.  Well, she lied.  We had to wait at least 30 minutes before being seated.  As soon as the boys started looking over the menu, they freaked out over the prices and said so loudly.  We were so embarrassed!  We never take our kids to really nice restaurants so they weren't acclimated to the atmosphere or the sticker shock, lol.  It turns out that they didn't really offer a real kid's meal but they could whip up just about anything for them.  Hayden chose his regular chicken fingers, but Emerson was thrilled to get his own steak  E devoured his before I could even begin to eat my fish.  Clayton shared some of his with him so he was in steak heaven.  This place is known for great steaks and it didn't disappoint.  I will not be ordering fish next time, that's for sure.  Oh, I forgot to mention our delicious appetizer.  We had cheese toasts.  They were divine!  For dessert, the boys opted for the Epic cake (the cake was humongous-the pic does it no justice) and I had the creme brulee.  Everything was remarkable and we will be going there again.  

Strange thing to note: This place happens to be a block away from where they film the tv show Banshee.  I have been on set in that area before but didn't notice this great place.  The Cadi, Miles' Diner, and the meat processing plant are all one street back from the restaurant.  

Sorry the pics are terrible but they were taken with my iPhone in low lighting.

Molly was happy when we returned.  She is completely smitten with my man.  I don't blame her, lol.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Yearly Ornaments, Colorado Spruce, & The Novice---12/1, 12/5, 12/10

On the 1st of every December, the elves ring the front door bell and run.  All we ever see is the bag of ornaments that they left for us.  I got the cute owl, the boys each got a penguin, and Clayton got a cool Santa.  This is a fun tradition for us and it will be good whenever my boys move out.  The thought is that they will have a collection of meaningful ornaments to start their own trees with.  Their grandma Christie sends them yearly ornaments also so they will definitely be able to decorate an entire tree by adulthood.  

When I got this unexpected gift in the mail from Lowe's, I cried.  It totally touched my heartstrings when I saw that it was a "Colorado" blue spruce.  I miss that state so much (though I love being near my family and I hated the long winters there).  I hope that we move that way again and that my parents follow us.  We shall see.

I have been doing a lot of background acting lately and it is so much fun!  On this day, I was working on the set of a new TV show called "The Novice".  I had already worked on the pilot the week before but got to return since I wasn't seen.  Unfortunately, I wasn't really seen this time either.  I was in the far background as a pedestrian during a scene where there was some action on the streets.  Clayton's car (the silver Corolla on the street) was left all day to serve as a vehicle waiting at a traffic light.  The people working in uptown Charlotte weren't too happy with us being there as this was a busy intersection that got blocked off for filming all day long.  Egad.  Considering that the show messed up the morning and evening commutes for many people, there were a lot of bad things said online, lol.  Anyway, this show will be on USA and is made by Fox.  It looks to be a pretty decent show.  The lead guy is a cutie named Shane Coffey and his father is played by Alan Ruck (Cameron from Ferris Bueller).  

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Meet Molly---Adopted 12/8

This rotten cat has rocked our world.  She is the sweetest thing!  I had planned to get a cat next Christmas but Molly just kinda happened.  On our neighborhood app, someone was looking for a home for her.  I couldn't resist.  I just had to meet her and see if she was the cat for us.  Sure enough, she is the bomb diggity.  Though Clayton is her favorite person, I won't hold a grudge. ;)
Attached to my hip (literally!)
These bottom pics are grainy because I took them on my iPhone without a flash, but check out this cat's crazy way she lays on our bed at night.  She LOVES the heated blanket.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Week Events-11/26, 11/28, 11/30/13

Clayton and a birthday cookie skillet from Afton Tavern

For Clayton's 37th birthday, we went out to Afton Tavern to celebrate.  The Stewart family joined us.  We gave him some new shoes and golf pants but the coolest gift came from his mom.  It was a 1983 coffee bean roaster, lol.  Yes, I know that it sounds like a crappy gift but you have no idea.  CJ has been roasting his own coffee beans for a while now using a popcorn machine from the early 80s (he had to do some conversions to make it work).  If you want to know how, google it.  Newer machines don't work as well as the old ones so there is a marketplace on ebay for old popcorn poppers to be used as roasters.  Seriously.  They really do work! We have a nice Jura espresso machine and it serves the homemade roasted beans well.  Anyway, his mom managed to find an actual vintage roaster from the same time.  It has been interesting comparing it to his rigged up version.  His sister sent him some green Kona beans to roast and they are soooo good. 

I have been hosting Thanksgiving almost every year since we started dating in 1997.  To say that I have this down to a fine art, is an understatement.  You should see my crazy turkey day spreadsheets.  Heck if I will ever just wing it.  As long as I follow my plan, everything turns out perfect.  I go big so there is usually enough to feed a small army.  This year, I changed up the sweet potatoes, fruit salad, and corn.  These dishes were so much better this go round.  Here are the new recipes that I used:

My parents came to spend Thanksgiving with us and ended up taking the kids back home with them for the weekend.  We took advantage of our alone time by heading down to Matthews.  I had been wanting Clayton to experience the Carolina Beer Temple for some time now.  I had discovered it with my friend Jessica a while back and knew he would love it.  We were hungry when we arrived so we went to Royal Cafe & Creperie next door first.  Our first crepe was a delicious Philly cheese steak one followed by caramel apple pie crepe.  The one shown in the pic is the dessert one.  Both crepes were so big that we split them both.  At the Carolina Beer Temple, CJ had a Mexi-Cali stout from Bird Song in Charlotte and I had Cold Mountain from Highland Brewing Company in Asheville.  Yum!