Happy New Year!

Who has big plans tonight? At home or out? We are gathering at my sister's house and we are dividing into groups for a Battle of the Bands! Wii Bealtes Rock Band. In my band there will be one of my daughters, 2 sisters and myself. Oh we have been practicing all week long and I am playing guitar in my sleep! We are so going to win, no kidding. Seriously? We even made costumes! Yep, you know I'll be posting pics of this mess for all to share.
Whatever you do tonight...have tons of fun and, most importantly, be safe. Happy New Year!


Wordless Wednesday

Thank you all so much for your well wishes for my Father. I passed them along and he sincerely appreciated each one. Dad made it home in time for christmas and doing a little better each day. I will continue to spend time with them as much as possible.
I hope everyone had a fabulous, family filled christmas! Ours just could not have been better as the entire family was together. As you can see, our Buggy girl had a great holiday. Here she is posing in the dress that I made her for christmas!


Happy Holidays!

My sincere apologies for being absent the past few days. Also a big THANK YOU to those who have continued to visit and drop on my blog! It seems life has gotten between me and my keyboard.
My father has been very ill and in the hospital. My parents live an hour and a half from me so it's a bit of a hike up the road. So between checking in with them and christmas prep, there is no time left in the day and time is flying by! Hopefully within the next few days I will be able to get back on schedule.
My wish for you all is for a very HAPPY HOLIDAY!


Wordless Wednesday


Book Review And Giveaway

Recently I received an email offering me a chance to review this book. When I read the title of the book, Uncommon Wisdon and Universal Truths from 10 Year Olds and 100 Year Olds, I knew it would be worth a read. I was not disappointed. Beginning at page 1, I was smiling and nodding my head and that continued through to the last page. The book is a compilation of stories, philosophies, beliefs from people all over the country and from both ends of the age spectrum. You will hear people that you know and love as you read these words and absorb the stories.

From the author, Roger Fishman:

My grandfather, Jacob Bloch, was my hero. From behind the cash register of his five-and-dime department store, Jacob collected stories and bits of wisdom that he would bring home to share with his family. His firm belief was that there is wisdom in every single person's life story....I was stirred to honor my grandfather's tradition....and so I set out to listen to and record life stories and wisdom from opposite ends of the life spectrum.

The author has been kind enough to offer a signed copy of his book for me to give away to one lucky person! So go ahead, enter now to win. You have 6 chances to win! Giveaway ends at midnight on January 5th.

To participate in the giveaway simply:

1. Leave me a comment for a chance to win.
2. Blog about my giveaway and leave me a comment with a link to the post. This will get you 2 entries.
3. Follow my blog for 1 entry and if you are a follower already then let me know.
4. Follow my blog via RSS feed for 1 entry.
5. Place my link on your blog roll for 1 entry.

*For each entry please remember to leave a separate comment and make sure that I have your email address.

Christmas Blog Hop!

For the last few years, decorating the tree has become so much fun. My Buggy girl is always around to help and she loves it. Her Aunt Jenn usually pops in to join in as well. This year, Buggy (because she is 5 years old now you know) pretty much supervised all of us, handing out jobs to each of us.
She first brought the tree upstairs, Poppy helped a bit with that. Then she tested each of the boards that the tree base rests on by doing a little karate kicking. She put the tree together and fluffed all of the branches. And the decorating began! She really felt like she had to place each of the ornaments and ribbons or at least tell Aunt Jenn where to place them.
I haven't rearranged anything yet, as I normally do, I might leave it as is. What do you think? It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Thanks to the host of this blog hop; The Frugal Housewife don't forget to visit her blog!
Next stop on the hop is The Frugal Kennedys you really want to stop by for some freebies, giveaways, coupons and all kinds of frugal fun!
Thanks for stopping today and be sure to come back tomorrow for a new giveaway!


Hanukkah Wishes

To all of my friends who are celebrating this week. I wish you A VERY HAPPY HANUKKAH!
For anyone wondering what Hanukkah is about or what some of the traditions might be, Kelly over at Speaking From The Crib has done a very nice post, with the help of Erin at The Mother Load, that explains it clearly and, yes, with lots of humor tossed in. Stop by and give it a read, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Need Extra Cash for The Holidays?

Do you find yourself a little short for cash during the holidays? Need a little help just until your next payday? In some circumstances, this is a great help and can get you on the right track. It could be for gifts, car trouble, medical emergencies? Certainly there are a variety of reasons to get a cash loans. Fast Wire Cash may be able to provide the extra help you need in a hurry.
Fast Wire Cash is a reliable state licensed lender. They will provide full disclosure of all terms and conditions. You need to be sure that you understand clearly what those terms are. There are several options for repayment, repaying the balance at your next pay is standard, or you may choose to stretch that out a little further. Either way, discuss it fully and understand clearly before finalizing your loan. Each state governs the amount of money that may be loaned against your next paycheck.
Fast Wire Cash offers the option of applying online or over the phone. The whole process can be conducted very quickly so that you may be on your way and taking care of the things you need.


I'm Not Going To Talk About That Anymore

I'm sick of it I say! Sick and tired of reading and hearing and talking about Tiger Woods. Not going to do it anymore! Nope, I don't care really, how many women he's slept with. Maybe we should make a list of who he hasn't. He's a good golfer, lousy husband and, yes, a lousy father. Look what he's exposed his wife and children to, the attention, the loss of any privacy. Tiger, you and I are done!
Climategate? I'm probably not quite done with that. Not surprised, I never bought into global warming. I have long believed that Al Gore is a self serving sham. Over the past several years my beliefs have been satisfactorily verified, to me anyway. I have had many discussions with a farmer friend of mine. A man who lives by the weather. He doesn't set any store in global warming, as I suspected. I do think someone (many someones) need to pay a steep price for using these scare tactics and lies on the people of the world. Shameful! But for now, I've had enough.
I think I'll put a movie on, something festive, White Christmas maybe. I'm going to wrap gifts, beautiful packages with glittering paper and fluffy gold bows. I'm a gift wrapping FREAK! The package must be breathtaking! If they aren't hesitant to rip it open then I did something wrong. It's almost time to start making cookies, some pumpkin rolls. I saw a couple of things I might try this year. I saw a picture in a magazine of a "partridge in a pear tree" which is made with cupcakes. Cupcakes decorated with green, leafy looking, frosting, then stacked. There was a partridge and several pears formed and resting on the cupcakes. I think fondant would work well for the pears and partridge. Really cute! I heard a good idea for serving fresh vegetables. On a platter, arrange fresh broccoli florets in a wreath shape, decorate with red bell peppers cut into whatever shape you like. I'm sure you can toss a few other things in as well. Cucumber slices would be pretty, also a small bowl of dip in the center of the wreath. Yep, I'm going to try both of these.
What are you planning for this year? Any special dishes planned for a gathering?


Gift Shopping Help Is Here!

Sometimes the most difficult thing is figuring out what to give to those on your list. I always have one or two people that are tough to buy gifts for. There are a couple of shopping services out there on the net and I've tried a couple of them but there is one that's a little different. It combines a couple of different things that make it very worthwhile.
The site is itsthoughtful.com and what they do is allow you to create your own homepage which can then be accessed by your family and friends to view your wishlist or your favorites. The site also gives recommendations based on the person you are shopping for. These recommendations are driven by the its thoughtful community rather than just one or two web managers. All of the products are submitted by members of the itsthoughtful community. Members are encouraged to vote for the products they like best. In this way, the products that are most popular are displayed at the top of the lists.
I'm recommending this site to Staci over at Just Bloggled as she is totally stuck on what to give to her sister for Christmas! It might help you out as well.

Wordless Wednesday

How many people does it take? I think our tree is too tall!


Random Tuesday Thoughts

Yesterday I was running errands, the usual, post office, bank, grocery store. The bank was first on the list and I couldn't just go to the drive-thru window, I had to go inside. I hate going inside the bank, I avoid it if at all possible. I have this fear that the bank is going to be robbed when I'm in there! Freakish? I know, but still. Well, all's well, no robberies yesterday at my branch. Everyone was very pleasant and the candy canes were abundantly displayed!
The next stop on my list was the post office....at christmas time. Indeed, the vision in your mind right now was the reality! I had to push my way in through the double doors to get in line. It looked like a Conga line winding through the whole place, except there was no music! I waited inside the post office for an hour to mail my package. But in that entire time there was not one ugly word, no hands thrown in the air in frustration, no one stomping out in disgust. People left the line and came back, the elderly folks were invited to set their packages down to ease their burden. People were sharing pens, stamps, and packing tape! It was such a nice experience.
On to my third and final destination with a very light feeling in my heart. It was getting a bit later in the afternoon and the grocery store was a little crowded. I picked up a handful of items and got in line behind several people. The gentleman in front of me was hanging back in line and was talking on the phone. He had a bunch of flowers in his hand and a few items on the counter. He decided to buy a couple of the poinsettias on display and he and I discussed the choice for a moment. As he put the plants on the counter I realized one was broken and changed it out for him. As he checked out he handed me the latest promotional coupon that the clerk had given to him (you know, buy 20 and get free milk) with a thanks for helping out.
I came home with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. Why can't we treat one another this way all the time?


Fabric Clothesline Bag Tutorial

Fabric Covered Clothesline Bag


As soon as I saw one of these bags I knew I had to learn how to make them. I think they are beautiful and useful. I also discovered that they are easy to make though they do take a little time. I can't give you exact measurements, I'm a seat of the pants crafter. Of course every bag that I am currently working on is intended to be a different size so measurements are difficult to gauge. I can tell you that you will need to purchase a bundle of all cotton 1/4" clothesline @ 100 feet. You will also need 2" strips of cotton fabric of your choice measuring 10 - 12 yards in total length. Fabric changes within bags can be as few or as many as you choose. This is a great way to use up your scraps.
To begin you need to cover the clothesline with your fabric using a straight machine stitch. See photos. As I am making several color changes on my bags, I cover several yards of rope with my base color then begin forming the base without cutting either the rope or my first color strip. When I feel like changing my color then I cut off the first color strip and add on the next one.
To begin forming the base for this bag, which will be a lunch bag, I began coiling a 5" strip of my rope. At this point you will keep the base flat and use a wide zigzag stitch to join the coiled rope. Don't worry about little imperfections, this project is VERY forgiving. When my base measured 7.5" by 5.5" I began forming the sides of the bag. To do this you must keep the bulk of the project to the left side of your machine and put your hand under the piece so that it forms a right angle to your table surface. See photos. You will sew the remainder of the bag in this fashion.
Continue changing fabrics, covering rope, joining strands to form your coiled bag until you are satisfied with the size of the bag. At this point you may attach any sort of handles that you choose as well as a closure if need be.


Let It Snow!

I'm looking at this out my back window as I sit at my desk this morning. Such a pretty sight, especially since I don't have to go out right now. Love it from inside the house! After my visits this morning I am going to work on a tutorial for the fabric covered rope bags. They are easy to do and all you need is some all purpose, 1/4" cotton clothesline, some fabric scraps and a sewing machine.
Enjoy the day and check back for my tutorial.


Christmas Crafting

Fa la la! There are some things about the holiday season that I always enjoy. Actually lots of things but one of the big ones is creating gifts for my friends and family. This year I think there will be even more of that as it can be pretty cost effective too.

My sister and I have scheduled several "crafting" days with my mom. That is where I am headed today so if you don't see me when you stop by to visit today...that's where I am. I have lots of projects going around my house but here are a couple of things we are working on today. One is a fabric covered clothesline bag and the other is a set of fabric bowls. They are beautiful and I think will make some nice gifts.

I'll be posting pictures when we are finished and I'll be visiting later this afternoon.


Wordless Wednesday


Thank You In November

To all of my fellow EC Dropaholics and to all of those who have taken the time to read and comment on my blog this month I want to say Thank You so much!

30 Drops Each

share free tutorial
body health information
Business Sphere
The Way I See It
Top Jokes
Stuff and Nonsense
Hugz Before You Go
Spy Camera Shop
Ann's Snap Edit Scrap
One World Realty

Top Commentors

Margo at Screaming Me-Me
Sharla at Beaded Tail
Ann at Ann's Snap Edit Scrap
The Bee at Read The Bee
Glenn at Man Over-Board
Lee the Hot Flash Queen
Mike at Too Many Mornings
Grace at Hugz Before You Go
Maria at Conversations With Moms
Jude at Mature Not Senile


Take a Memo Monday - Dr. Ted's Medicine Show

To: Dr. Ted-"Health Master"

From: Slightly Skeptical Woman

Re: Magic Elixirs

I caught you on the radio the other day, Thanksgiving day in fact. On my way to overindulge on turkey and mashed potatos. You were sharing your list of the ten foods we should NEVER eat. Pork was on the list, otherwise known as "the other white meat"? On the other hand you said that it's perfectly fine to eat beef, no problem. Hot dogs are ok in moderation, only ALL BEEF. Then a woman called in and said that her mom had been diagnosed with colon cancer which was partly due to beef in her diet. You changed your mind and suggested that we only eat beef once a month.
You said that the only kind of cooking oil to use safely is olive oil or grape seed oil. A few minutes later you told us NEVER to use grape seed oil as it is "toxic". OTC pain killers are also "toxic" and if you are healthy than you will never get headaches?!
I was confused after listening to your slightly evangelistic, fast talking, sales pitch. I decided to check out your website to clarify your positions. Imagine my delight when I discovered that you sell a multitude of "magical elixirs"!

* HGH Stimulate only $79.95 a bottle - but wait it increases energy, slows aging and melts body fat & cellulite like butter in a microwave! Who knew?

*Ultimate D3 $19.95 and this gem will kill viruses - swine flu, H1N1, tuberculosis and even the common cold! Wow!

*Cod Liver Oil $47.80 for a bottle full of health! Healthy heart, cholesterol, blood, immune system.

*7-Keto DHEA Cream $43.00 indeed a miracle in a pump spray! Decreases aging, lines and wrinkles, increases bone health, supports weight loss and sexual function. A magic cream!

Wow Dr. Ted, I think I'm going to sell my car and buy every one of your magic elixirs. I want to be younger and healthier with no lines or wrinkles. I definitely want to be skinnier and swine flu free. Certainly I want to have a good sex life! Who Doesn't? Let's see, I think that's about it on the old wish list. Oh, I didn't see a syrup for making tons of money? That seems to be the only irrational promise that you neglected to mention? Oh, right, you're already DOING that.


Fear Of Black Friday!

I have a fear of shopping on this day. I never, ever, EVER do it! Well, usually I don't. My sisters made me go this year. They talked me into this insanity in a moment of mellow comradery.
We were sitting around on Thanksgiving, about ready to pack it in and head home after a wonderful day. My sisters had been pouring over the sale ads and planning their shopping strategy based on a 5 am start time. We live in Maryland and they planned to go over to Delaware to some outlet malls for the deals. Delaware has no state sales tax! I found something in the Wal-Mart ad that I wanted and asked them to pick up for me. After another 20 minutes of planning, we (WE? What? ME?) decided to head out for the midnight openings and finish up at Wal-Mart for the 5 am. Does turkey make you stupid?
We drove the 2 hours into Delaware to a completely full shopping center. No sleeping in the car, we were hopped up on pie! Giddiness aplenty! We shopped in this center for 3 hours. We got some bargains, laughed, stood in line with lots of other jolly maniacs. All good, well, the Old Navy experience aside. That store was nuts! I walked through the door and straight into line. What is it with Old Navy? The place is always about 95 degrees and it smells bad, made me want to pass out! Apparently the shoppers were oozing gravy from their pores because most every store I went into was hot and stinky, yuck! Except for the Kate Spade store, that boutique smelled like leather and money, ahhh. No stink shall cross that threshold. I couldn't afford to buy anything but it gave my nostrils a delightful rest.
We stopped for refeshments at 3:30, laughed some more and on to the Wal-Mart! Ok, the words Kate Spade and Wal-Mart should NOT be in such close proximity but there you go, everything was a little zany!
We had to park half a block away (fa la la) walked over to the store and discovered that the line was halfway around the store. Wow. At 3:45 am on Friday, it was cold and very windy! We weren't wearing coats. You can't wear a coat while power shopping! Who asked that question anyhow? Silly. 45 minutes and we are inside. While still in line employees were walking along announcing some of the big ticket items that had already sold out. Of course the store wasn't supposed to open until 5 and it was about 4:30 when we heard the first sold out announcement. *sigh* Our first priority was getting hold of 6 of one item, a widget, doesn't matter it was in the sale ad. An employee pointed us in the proper direction (it was an electronic item but was in the hunting section??). This location was at the opposite end of the store and, no lie, it took us 20 minutes to get ourselves over there only to find it wasn't the right widget. We questioned employees who "went to look" we sent delegates from our group to other rumored locations. My BIL snagged a cart from some silly person who left it unattended for a moment (good job!). A group began to form there with us as we were all looking for the same thing. We did snag 6 of the more costly widget, just in case. Bil and a sister went off to find the store manager. They complained to said STORE MANAGER about ads item lost in store, searching for an hour. STORE MANAGER tried to blow them off but BIL followed and pinned him down again. STORE MANAGER said he would give us the higher priced widgets for the lower price. He said, just have cashier call me when you get up there. A big win! Off to get in line and wait for another half hour. We had a full cart, probably about $500 in merchandise. Our turn. BIL is walking point, I am his back up, 2 sisters are between us and a very long line. You know this did not go well. BIL told the story, store manager, yada, yada. We stood there for another 20 minutes while cashier gathered various Wal-Mart employees, one employee even flashed her badge at us (hello my name is Julie I am a support manager) yikes, I'm super impressed now Julie. STORE MANAGER finally answered her on her walkie talkie and refused to follow through on the promise he made to us! 10 more intense minutes ensued, rational pleas, fist pounding, anger and frustration as we would have been out of that store an hour ago if the STORE MANAGER had not lied to us. Finally, I refused to buy anything and directed my, formerly merry band, to vacate. There were 4 police officers quite nearby. This happened at the Wal-Mart on Route1, Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. Oh yes, I am writing a letter. Frustrating?
Having an adventure with my sisters, all night, on no sleep......priceless!
Trusting the integrity of this STORE MANAGER on Black Friday......worthless!

Car Travel

Traveling to new destinations is so much fun. New places, new people, new foods to try. So easy to do if you are traveling by car. You can stay on a schedule if you choose or be spontaneous from one destination to another.
While traveling in Portugal for, instance, you can go from the sea coast of the Atlantic through romantic valleys. Perhaps make an unscheduled stop to tour a beautiful winery for an afternoon. A stop at the river Tagus for some fishing or boating might be your preference. If the mountains are your favorite spot you can also drive to the peak of Serra de Estrela.
Do your comparison shopping from home on the company that will best suit your needs for a rental car. Reserve your car before you go pick up from many convenient locations.

Grandfather Time

Are you a clock person? I am and so is my husband. I enjoy the beauty and functionality of clocks in my home. I have several free standing clocks decorating various rooms in my home. The one clock I don't have, yet, is a grandfather clock. I have always wanted one and we have actually looked at them at different times, we just haven't bought one yet.
I suppose I find comfort in marking the passage of time and the metronomic sounds of a clock. There are so many different sounds to clocks and I'm not thinking of a cuckoo clock but the beautiful chimes of a grandfather clock. I find those sounds pleasant and comforting.
There are many different styles in clocks. You can get them to enhance nearly any home decorator style including many contemporary style clocks. I have looked at several that I love. I'm wondering if I could convince Santa to bring me this clock for Christmas? Oh, I've been good all year. How beautiful it would look in our home. We have a large, 2-story entry with a large empty wall just waiting for a lovely, chiming clock.
I think I'll need to leave some hints for Santa soon.


Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish all of you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Things I am thankful for:

1. My husband, he is strong and patient and I love him dearly.
2. My children, even the ones who blow off my phone calls (is the guilt working on you yet?) They are beautiful adults, all their own people and I love them.
3. Pumpkin pie, I seriously love it as Mike over at Too Many Mornings will tell you.
4. My parents, they taught us well and love us completely.
5. Dual control electric blankets! Snuggly, warm bed to climb into even if my hubs thinks we don't need it.
6. All of the women in my family. For many years it was "The Sisters" and I have three of those. Now it has extended to our daughters as well. This bunch of women are strong and funny and opinionated and talented and annoying at times and I am so proud and happy to be one of them.
7. Slide on shoes. Why wear any other kind really? It's all about the comfort.
8. My Buggy girl, I love her with all my heart. She brings me immeasurable joy.
9. Yoga pants. No, they are NOT sweat pants, far nicer.
10. I am thankful to be a part of this bloggy family and to have made so many wonderful friends here. To Lin, Staci, Mad Margo, Jude, Glenn, Grace, Stacey, Jen, Kathy, Mike, JD, Ann, Stacy, Jennifer, The Bee, Russ, The Jacobsens, Lee, Maria, Roschelle, Daisy, blueviolet, beaded tail, thank you and have a wonderful holiday!


Wordless Wednesday


Random Tuesday Thoughts - Adam Lambert Oh My!

Oh my GAWD he did Not! Adam Lambert was a favorite of mine right from the start of last season's American Idol. His music is not exactly my style but it's more like the whole package appeals. He is a SHOWMAN! In every sense of the word. When he gets onstage to sing, he sucks you in to the whole experience. His performance on the stage at the AMA on Sunday brought to mind a Michael Jackson style show. Ok, it was a little edgy, some say off the cliff especially for TV. But damn, that was some performance.

I daresay that Glambert does a Fred & Ginger production of 2009! Remember watching those old black & whites? The costumes, the moves, the stage set?

Did you see it? Do you enjoy his showmanship or is it just too much?

Randomness?! I have received several emails asking for a reprint of my Caramel Glazed Apple Cake for a Thanksgiving Dessert. Go here for the recipe and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Oprah Says "Fun Gift Card Idea"

Another very cool gift idea, along with a discount! When I read about this I thought it was very clever. I have always been a little reluctant to give gift cards to my family and friends. I always felt like it showed a lack of thought. Maybe it's just me because everyone loves to receive them. Well, now Visa is offering a way to completely personalize a gift card.

Gift Card Lab is a website that allows completely customizable Visa Gift Cards. Very much like the customizable credit cards. You may choose to use stock images or your very own photos to create gift cards for anyone on your list.

Yes, this does come with a small price tag. Prices of the cards start at $5.95 but if you use the promo code "pumpkin" you will receive a $2 per card discount!

I think anyone on your list would appreciate this very thoughtful gift. Just remember to use promo code "pumpkin" for your discount. Again, no Black Friday crowds to fight through.


Great Gift Idea for The Young Fasionistas!

Where Girls Create & Wear Their Own Designs!

I recently received this offer to extend to my friends and I thought it sounded like such a fun idea for a gift so I'm sharing it with all of you. Whether you are a mom, aunt, sister or grandma, you know how hard it can be to find a 'cool' gift for a girl between the ages of 6 - 12. This very cool gift allows you to enjoy Black Friday at home. One2One Network is excited to introduce you to a truly unique gift idea for your little fashionista this holiday season.

Just in time for the holidays. Introducing Fashion Playtes where girls create & build their own fashion collection complete with a personalized label!
Personal expression is so important to young girls and Fashion Playtes lets them choose from a collection of high-quality base garments (like shirts, dresses, skirts, jackets and even hair bands and bags) in various colors and then customize them with ribbons, ruffles, graphics, buttons, appliques and rhinestones.

FashionPlaytes.com is offering One2One Network members AND their friends & family this great deal:

*$20 off your first purchase by entering ONE2O at checkout.

*This offer includes $20 off of gift certificates too! Perfect for the holidays.

With base items starting from $12 and up, getting $20 off is a real deal. Give the gift of creativity and let your little one design her own clothing and wear it too!


Leggo My Eggo!

Stop whatever you are doing now and head to the store! Trust me here there is a catastrophe upon us! Yes, believe it or not there is an imminent shortage on Eggo frozen waffles. I know, how will we get by? The shortage is not expected to ease up until summer of 2010! What? How did such a thing happen in the frozen food world? How will we feed the children? What will I do with my apple butter in the morning? All valid questions. The answers, I'm afraid are dismal.

Get to your local wholesale club, tout de suite, buy all the Eggos you can fit in your freezer. Hurry, the word is out. If you end up with overstock, who knows, maybe you can make a little extra pocket money on the black market. Mums the word, I did not suggest that!

Apparently one of the factories (bakeries?) which produces Eggos is shut down temporarily for repairs. Another factory, in Atlanta, had a problem in September with bacteria in the process. Thousands of Eggos were recalled and the plant was shut down and put through a lengthy sterilization. Just as they completed the cleaning, heavy rains flooded the area and the clean up had to be repeated.

I read about one woman who has stockpiled 8 boxes of Eggos and is planning to ration them, hopefully she will make it through. Let us ignore for a moment that there is no nutritional value in an Eggo waffle (this coming from the McDonald's cheeseburger fan).

May I suggest an alternative? A little out there, but in case of emergency we do what we must. You can get this Oster waffle maker at Target for only $19.99! You could spend an hour making waffles, maybe using whole wheat flour, and stack them in the freezer. Since half the country is out of work anyway, it's a good use of time, more nutritious AND you'll save money! I know, I told you it was a crazy idea.


Wordless Wednesday


Random Tuesday Thoughts

I'm not having much luck on the job hunting, though I did have an interview yesterday. It went fine, people were quite friendly, laid back. The place was large, beautiful and seems financially stable. What's wrong you ask? It was a funeral home! Weird, huh? An admin position in the office....no DB's in sight! Three problems with it; pay is lowish, everyone must work every other Sunday and they don't close on holidays! Thanksgiving, Christmas, just another day in the death world. Hmmm. Love to work from home but I sure don't want to sell Avon or Tupperware! See my problem?

I was shopping several weeks ago and I offered a gift card to the clerk along with my debit card for the balance. I knew I had approximately $15. on that card. NOPE! Not any more. Apparently the balance had been eaten up by maintenance fees! I've heard about some of the problems with gift cards but this is the first time I have had a problem and it really burned me. Now during the big shopping extravaganza, I'm going to be very aware of what I'm buying and what kind of fees are attached! I guess you need to ask questions. Is there an expiration date and when is it? Is there an issuance fee and how much? Yes, an issuance fee, which I encountered once while buying a gift card of a major credit card co. Like the insane service fees when you buy concert tickets! Balance inquiry fee? Transaction fees if there is a high number of small transactions? Maintenance or inactivity fees? Crazy right? These practices should be illegal! It SOUNDS ILLEGAL for pity sake!

Here's an idea...how about if our elected officials stop playing solitaire and checking facebook and instead they can put a stop to the giant corporations finding legal ways to steal our money? What do you think? Should I call somebody and let them know how we feel?


Take a Memo Monday

To: The Matriarchs

From: The Martha Stewart of Pasadena

Re: The recent party at MY house

Yes, I do have lots of room at my house. It's a great party house. I do love throwing parties and I have done so, successfully, many, many times. When you called to ask if I would be willing to host a surprise birthday party, I was delighted to do so. Immediately after that phone call is when things started going south!

**Major eye roll...ouch**

I was looking forward to planning a party, the theme, the cake, the decorations. I was really enjoying myself for the 5 minutes that I felt I had some say in this party. Oh, I had such a beautiful cake planned, the crowning jewel in the whole theme! I had purchased some of the supplies I would be needing; a couple of new cake pans in the proper shape. This cake would make The Ace Of Cakes salivate! Well, that is until the phone call when I discovered that, no, I would not be making the cake because someone else was going to be doing that!?@#!*

**Ooohhh is that smoke coming out of MY ears?**
The few calls I received after that to check on progress were kind of silly. I did take it upon myself to assign small tasks to 2 people who called me and offered to help. Both of those assignments were followed by changes on the part of the Matriarchs. Because, as anyone knows, my 55 year old sil will "not know where to get" fresh fruit to make a fruit tray. Huh? But, of course, I was being a little b*tchy because I refused to make any more decisions.
**Ooopsie! I just felt my nostrils flaring, I think I noticed flames spewing forth.**
So basically, I made some soup, a ham, cookies and brownies. I bought plates and cups and cleaned the bathrooms. Oh, I also dusted and vaccuumed...because, I guess, I'm good at that at least.
An entire hour and a half prior to the party time the Matriarchs arrive. Bags and food and bowls in tow. Tossing orders to plug it in, make a space, get a bowl, find some spoons, put this in the oven, this needs refrigerating. I hadn't even finished doing my own prep and dish washing!
**Where's my damn ice pick? Self .induced. lobotomy.NOW**
Meanwhile, Buggy girl had spent the night and was excited about a party and playing with all of her cousins. We designated a room for the little girls and put some toys and fun stuff in there. When the first few guests arrived *sans kids*, I discovered that someone had designated this as "no kids"! Sunday afternoon! WTF? No one bothered to tell me that! Buggy was kind of upset, me too!
Buggy and I went out on the deck and stayed out of that kitchen for the rest of the day! I refused to go back in there, sue me!

60th Birthday Cake

Here is the cake I was planning to make. Instead we had a perfectly adequate chocolate cake of the "over the hill" variety. A bit overdone, especially for a 50th. Whatever.

Memo Monday came from Staci over at Just Bloggled, check out her blog for more.


Save at The New York Times Store

Just in time for the holidays, The New York Times Store is offering all of my readers 10% off any purchase of $99 or more. It's all about the savings on great products this year. As I mentioned here I have begun my holiday shopping and I took advantage of a couple of great items at NYT Store myself. Combine the simplicity of online shopping and a discount? Irresistable.
This offer is good through December 31, 2009 so there is plenty of time to take advantage of this great offer. The only exclusions apply on books, crossword books and gift certificates.
Simply click the link on my sidebar to browse the products and use coupon code: SAVENYTSTORE

The New York Times Store


Black Friday Burglary

Two years ago, on Thanksgiving Friday, something happened to me that "only happens to other people". At the time, my house was on the market, the realtor's sign in the front yard. My husband had left early that morning for a short, out of town trip. I spent the morning cleaning up from the festivities the prior day. Around noon, I left to go pick up my Buggy girl and we went out to lunch. Yes, to McD's for a happy meal of course!

We were enjoying our nuggets and happily chattering when my realtor called. He had just received a phone call from the county police and they were trying to get hold of me. Someone had broken into my house! I was only away for maybe an hour! What?? It was the middle of the day on a day when almost no one is at work! My brain was spinning. We packed up and headed for home. I sent Buggy with the neighbors to play while I met with the police.

Moments after I left 2 guys put a brick through my basement door window and helped themselves. They went up into my bedroom (my BEDROOM! Yuck!) and took our change jug. You know, the giant water jug that we all dump our spare change in. Let me tell you, I hadn't cashed that change in years, it was HEAVY!

They quickly discovered how heavy it was, they only carried it as far as my neighbors' driveway. They called their driver for a pickup. Well, my neighbor had heard the noise of the breaking window and called the police while she watched the thieves from her window. The police arrived as the scumbags were loading the money jug into the getaway car. BUSTED!

Repercussion for the thieves you ask? The driver got a slap on the hand. Thief #1 got 6 months and ordered to pay restitution. Thief #2, who was also carrying a concealed weapon, got house arrest (he had health issues!) which he blew off after a month, and he was also ordered to pay restitution. It took police several weeks to find him and put him behind bars for the second time. Prior to trial he agreed to plead guilty and serve 18 months. When this goes in front of a judge, the judge suspended 6 months of the 18 (why?) and gave him credit for some time served (yeah, at home shooting heroin).

I no longer save spare change in my house. I always keep my doors locked when I'm home, even during the day. There are certainly worse things to go through but having your home violated leaves you feeling too vulnerable. Have I seen a penny of the restitution from either of these lowlifes? I think I'll make a call on that today. Maybe ruin their holiday this year.


Wordless Wednesday

This is one of my favorite pictures ever. It was a beautiful sunshiny day spent with my Buggy girl and I wish I was doing that right now.


Random Tuesday Thoughts

In my wallet, right now, I have 4 grocery store "preferred shopper cards". I took the time at these different stores to fill out the little form, wait in line at customer service, ask the chick at the customer service counter to discontinue her gossip fest with her buddy long enough to laminate a card for me. All of this so that I can save a few pennies on my grocery bill. Saving money is good. EVERY time I am in line to purchase my groceries there is someone ahead of me who does not have a card, the cashier ALWAYS pulls out his or her dummy card to give them the discount anyway! Why do I bother? I thought I was special!

I do not get along with "self checkouts". They intimidate me, they never, ever work for me. Just give me a live cashier. Even if they are having a conversation with the cashiers on either side of them about the girl who has called out 3 times this week with a lame excuse, it's better than doing battle with a stupid machine.

Remember when gas prices were up around $4.00 a gallon? Remember that food prices went up accordingly? Understandable, trucking, hauling, consuming fuel. Gas has been down to under $3.00 a gallon for quite some time now. Has your food bill gone down?

Coveted Awards!

I am so far behind in passing on these fabulous awards that have been presented to me. Mainly because the first one requires some work. Because I'm lazy I kept moving this to the back burner but now I think I can probably come up with some answers to the questions. Please stop by these blogs when you have a minute. They are all fabulous and worth a visit!

Vickie over at Digi Vickie's Word Art presented me with the Best Blog Award! Thank you so much for this Vickie. You know there are rules: Post it on your blog with a link to the person who presented it to you. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you think are deserving. I know I only have 5 but they are 5 great ones!

Conversations With Moms

Daisy The Curly Cat

Mature Not Senile

Vanilla Seven

Superficial Gallery

This award was presented to me by Staci over at Just Bloggled. Thank you so much for thinking of me Staci! Now this is the one that caused me angst. The rules are: Post on your blog along with a link to the person who presented the award to you. Pass the award on to seven bloggers whose blogs you find brilliant in content and or design or who have encouraged you. Share ten honest things about yourself.

Too Many Mornings
The Peach Tart
Junk Drawer
The Screaming Me-Me!!
Headaches, Hotflashes & Hormones
I Do Things
Man Over Board

10 Honest Things About Me:

1. I resist change.

2. Love routine and organization.

3. Double cheeseburger and fries from McD's.....Mmmmm!

4. My glue gun is my friend.

5. I love to sew and I can't resist buying beautiful fabric.

6. Stand up comedy routines are one of my fav forms of entertainment.

7. I'm happiest when all of our kids are at the house.

8. I never say no to a donut.

9. A night of board games or poker is the best.

10. My kids (you know who you are) who blow off my phone calls REALLY annoy me

Stop The Raiders

Ok, it looks comical and it is, I mean it's an "As Seen On TV"! Anyway who doesn't love a shamwow? But I have to tell you my step son needs one of these! He lives in a house with several other male room mates. A little bit of a dorm atmosphere. You put a meatball sub in that fridge and it will NOT be there when you're hungry. Almost guaranteed.

I could see the value of it in the office fridge too! Wow, that is a perpetual problem no matter what office you work in! You know that it's usually that one person who is the culprit, right? Just keep the food safe from that one person and everyone would be happy.

You saw it here first! The Fridge Locker!

The Sound Of Music

Our Buggy girl is very musical, loves to dance, to sing and create music. This holds true for most all children. Buggys mother, as well as her Poppy are quite talented singers and I really want to promote any musical talents she has and encourage her as much as possible. At this point a music and movement class is the appropriate avenue for her, I think. Kids can gain so much by stimulation of music and dance. A toddler music program will help to promote early math skills in the patterns of the music. It can unleash their minds and creativity. Any program is going to allow your child a chance to further their social skills by interacting with other children.
Children will also be introduced to different musical instruments and they can explore playing music together. At some point soon I would like to get Buggy started on piano lessons but it's early yet.
I'm looking into a program for Buggy that will allow her to play and have fun, interact with other people, gain an appreciation for all aspects of music and dance. I want to give her every chance to explore a new avenue and express her talents.


Gift Giving

I don't know about you but my husband and I both have very large, close families. It makes holiday buying a challenge sometimes...ok all the time. Normally I start the shopping before now but this year I'm behind! No matter, I'll be doing the majority of my shopping online anyway so I really don't have to fight the crowds too much.

I just ordered a couple of things this morning from the New York Times Store! Absolutely perfect gifts for two of the people on my list. The only family members who read my blog are my sisters so I can talk here. My FIL is a crossword nut. He has a clipboard and pen within reaching distance at all times! I ordered a membership to the NY Times Crossword Society. Great Idea? He'll get like 6 puzzles every month for a year. He will totally love it. I also ordered a coffee mug for one of my nephews. He is a Yankees fan (don't know how or why) so I ordered a mug commemorating their 27th championship. I think he'll like it.

Normally I am an Amazon junkie but I guess I can branch out a little bit.

Two down only another gazillion to go!


Bathroom Re-Do

We made some changes in our powder room recently. Nothing costly, just my time mostly. Everything in the powder room was just 'builder grade', in other words, generic. We had already painted the walls a soft taupe color that I really like. Then I decided to give it some more personality and let's face it...I have time on my hands, I mean I can't iron every day! I had this picture of a painting someone else had done of a stone fountain in a fish shape. With some acrylic paint and clear glaze I recreated, to the best of my ability, that stone fish on my bathroom wall. I think it turned out pretty well.
We then turned our attention to the mirror over the sink. B.L.A.H. We went down to the Lowe's and bought some decorative chair rail molding along with those corner blocks.Hubs cut them to size, no mitered corners as we used the blocks instead. I painted the molding a rust color, then sponged on a dark brown paint to give it a weathered metal look. We attached it directly to the mirror with some liquid nails.
I have to say I am happy with the finished product and that mirror project was the very easiest thing we have ever done. You get a lot of bang for your buck on that project.
So what do you think?

Skin Care

Skin care is a very important topic to most women and some men as well. Women spend untold amounts of money on skin care and specifically facial skin care. There are so many products available today as companies vie for your loyalty and your dollars. It's hard to know which products are the best for you.
If you are like me you have a drawer full of bottles and tubes that didn't quite meet your needs. I have very sensitive skin and many products might reduce the look of fine wrinkles but cause a breakout. Of course a healthy diet plays a major part in your skin care regime. We all know that drinking plenty of water is a very important factor as well especially if you have dry skin.
Natural products might be the answer, at least some would prefer that route. I know for myself, I would like to retain a more youthful look without adding to my drawer of castoff products. I would like to find a source that would compare and evaluate the products on the market today. Wouldn't you?


Don't Forget The Cards!

Do you send christmas cards? Friends and family, right? That is if we have time after the mountain of other obligations. I'm a little haphazard with it. I almost always buy some cards, they don't always get addressed and mailed. I know, I know. I do think it's important.
I know many people nowadays have home based businesses. Large or small, those clients are very important to us as well. Making a point to remind these people how special they are to you is a smart business move.
Several times in the last few years I have used Brook Hollow Cards for my needs. They are so easy to deal with and the card selection is huge. I have always been more than happy with the heavy card stock and beautiful colors on the paper. They also have many printing options to make the whole process easier.


Wordless Wednesday

The House is in session to vote on a new budget....during their three day work week. Earning their tax free perks, lifelong health care, retirement packages. Let's not forget that they also vote in their own raises. Playing solitaire, updating facebook, checking the scores on a ballgame.

I know you have all probably seen this before but it is worth a reminder to all of us. What say you voters?

Christmas Poker Table

I found just the thing for my daughter and son-in-law for christmas! Over at My New Furniture Store they have a perfect octagonal poker table and chairs set! They have lots of beautiful furniture. The kids have recently emptied out their finished basement and want to create a game room. They have a standing friday night poker game with some friends and they play at the dining room table. Well, wouldn't this be the perfect thing? My New Furniture Store is a member of the Better Business Bureau and they have a good reputation. The very best part is that I can order online and all shipping is FREE!
I think it sounds like a plan. In the interest of full disclure, this is a sponsored post.

TV Online

Did you know you can watch tv online. Spreety TV provides lots of program possibilities. They have choices of comedy, sports news, classic, home & garden, movies, and even westerns. There is really something for everyone. Spreety is the most popular online tv.


Random Tuesday Thoughts

1. How do you put a giraffe into the refrigerator?

Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before reading the answer.

The correct answer is: Open the door, put the giraffe in, and close the door. This tests whether you tend to do things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say open the refrigerator, put the elephant in, and close the refrigerator? Wrong answer.

The correct answer is: Open the door, take the giraffe out, put the elephant in and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The lion king is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend...except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct answer: The elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator, you just put him in there. This tests your memory. Ok, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your ability.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct answer: You jump in the river and swim across. Have you not been paying attention? All the animals are attending the animal conference. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.


Traveling for the holidays? If you have little ones it can be a bit challenging. Did you hear about the woman with a toddler who was asked to leave the airplane recently? I was looking at a website this morning that eases some of the travel challenges. Baby Safe Travel can help you find and book hotels that are certified baby friendly. They also carry many baby items that will simplify your trip. They have wheeled carts to tote your car seats or straps to carry the seats on your back. I notices a very cute hard side suitcase with wheels that your child can sit on and scoot along in those airport lines! Give it a try, it might make that trip to Grandma's a little easier.


Halloween Fun

One of my daughters held a halloween party on Saturday night at her house which was tons of fun. Good food, good drinks and great costumes! Here is a picture of her and her friend in costume. My daughter is dressed as a greek goddess and her friend is a mythological minataur who wooed her away from her family. She and I made the costumes last week. We sewed and made a giant mess with paper mache! I walked away from the stove while the paper mache was coming to a boil! Oy Vay!! It took me an hour and a half to clean my stove. Anyway we had a great time doing it!