Wednesday, December 31, 2008

project 365 - day four

Being New Year's Eve, it seemed appropriate that my photo today captured something of either an "ending" feeling, or a "new beginnings" feeling. For those that aren't sure what they're looking at, this is a time capsule. I think it's kinda both. We'll plan to open it again next New Year's for a little walk down memory lane.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

project 365 - day three


Project scrap room is firmly underway, so today's photo turns our attention to Owen. Specifically his teeth, though frankly you can't really see that there are any missing in this picture. His top two front teeth have needed to come out for WEEKS. They've literally been sticking straight out of his head that long. Driving me insane. Seriously. We've had him wiggling them and wiggling them and they wouldn't come out, and it skeeved me to wiggle them and/or pull them myself so I've been waiting and waiting for nature to take it's course. Finally his coach asked him if he wanted him to pull those teeth out and Owen said sure, so he came home with two teeth in his pocket. Overjoyed isn't even the word.

Monday, December 29, 2008

project 365 - day two

Being the spontaneous kind of girl that I am, I decided rather impulsively today that I needed to completely reorganize my scrapbooking space. So I figured it would be fitting that today's photo be a "before" shot. With luck, after will only be a few days away, as the destruction remodeling has already begun.
The photo here shows about 1/3 or 1/4 of my scrapbooking stuff, and doens't nearly convey the level of disaster that I operate in around here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

project 365 - my day one

Well, based on the comments on the Becky Higgin's blog it seems like today is the day to start on project 365, because the kit runs Sunday-Saturday so it makes the most sense to start on a Sunday. So here I am. Woohoo. I put ink in my photo printer (though I am still contemplating getting a new one, cause even with fresh ink it's not looking fab). For my first pic, I decided to do the Christmas tree. It's always a little sad when Christmas is over but the decorations are still up. It's just not as magical after the 25th. Oh well.

I would have made this a portrait, but the photo slots in the kit are all for landscape, so I guess all my pics will have to be landscape.

goals/resolutions for 2009

alright, I've been thinking about the seven key areas, and here is what I've come up with:

  • career
  • financial
    • pay off all debt besides house (target date Feb. 09)
    • save at least one month’s expenses in the bank
  • spiritual
    • work on my own personal character flaws
  • physical
    • continue working out with my trainer
    • cardio at least 3x a week
  • intellectual
    • read something non-fiction at least every other month
  • family
    • get back to using the keys to recognize the kid’s achievements
    • get back to scrapbooking
    • get back to following the flylady principles
  • social
    • continue to meet new people through Heart Link
    • continue blogging and expand my online social network

Saturday, December 27, 2008

40 tips for a better life

I'm trying to catch up on email and I had this one from my mom. Worth repeating. And I should note that I could probably do better on pretty much all of these than I currently do.

40 Tips for a Better Life - 2009

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'
5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2008.
7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake..
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants. Eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, or issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the negative blues away.
18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
26. Forgive everyone for everything.
27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
28.. Always remember that God can heal everything.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends wi ll. Stay in touch.
31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
33. The best is yet to come.
34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
35. Do the right thing!
36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!)
37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
39. Enjoy the ride.. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
40. Share this with as many people as you can.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Since I don't know that I'll have a chance to get on the computer tomorrow, I wish you all a very merry Christmas! And I leave you with a couple last minute ideas to make Christmas even more memorable for your little ones:

  • Reindeer food - if you're not already doing this tradition every year, you simply must start! We've been doing this since Owen was a baby and it's SO easy and cute. You can make Reindeer food out of just about anything (oats, cereal, etc.) but I like to use birdseed. If you don't have birdseed, pick something else. There are no rules, really. Well, except that you need glitter. Ya know, since they're magic reindeer and all. Mix it up in a baggie and let the kids sprinkle it in the lawn right before bed, so the reindeer have something to eat while Santa is inside leaving his presents.
  • Santa photo - If your kids are starting to doubt that Santa is really coming to their house and leaving them gifts, check out this site, it just might keep the magic alive another year - http://www.capturethemagic.com/.
  • While you're at it, how about having the kids write thank you notes to Santa to leave with the milk and cookies?

Okay, I need to do some work for a few hours before my mommy gets here for the weekend. Hope that Santa is good to you all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

project365


My girls over at Hilltop Memories posted about this today, and I am honest to God thinking about doing it. Am I crazy? Perhaps. Let's see, an entire two years behind on pics (Oh. My. God.) and I am truly contemplating taking a full 365 more in 2009? And let's face it, it'll be more than that, cause there will be events at which I will want, no need to take more than one pic in a day. Guaranteed. So is it wise to bring this into my life? Honestly, I don't know, but MAN that kit is cute. Really thinking about it. If there was a pre-order I woulda already done it.

merry merry merry

We went to watch the lightshow at Wiregrass mall tonight. Since using the video feature on my camera is beyond me, especially when holding a small blonde who no longer wanted to walk on her own, I decided I'd hunt a down a video on youtube to share the experience with those of you in blog-world. It was cute, well done, and it's nice to have something like that right here in our little neck of the woods. It makes it feel a little more festive here, ya know, given that it's been in the 70s and 80s and when you grew up in the north that doesn't make it feel too Christmasy sometimes. So fun light shows are a good thing.

In other news, I bought my work fishies one of those 10 day feeder things so I'm officially not going into the office until 2009. Woo. The downside of that is that I had to haul both my laptops (Dell and Mac) home today so I could work from home for the next couple weeks. Not light. But we'll just go ahead and count that as my strength training for the day. ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

unmotivated

Not sure what my deal is, but I can't seem to get inspired to do much of anything today. Granted, it's almost 1am now, but it's pretty much been like this all day. Lots of wasting time, playing around on the computer. I did just scrapbook four pages, but they are nothing spectacular. But at least that's four more done than I had before. Being almost two years behind, I'm now going for quantity over quality. Oh well. I would take pics of them, but I can't seem to find my camera. Oops. I hope that I can pull it together more tomorrow and actually get something accomplished. To do: groceries, home depot (blinds for my master bedroom) and clean master bedroom. Oh, and laundry. Ugh. It doesn't seem to matter how much laundry I do, there are always at least five loads more. I simply don't understand how that can be.

Friday, December 12, 2008

clean and fresh


Gretchen with Rover Done Over came over tonight in her kick ass dog grooming mobile. My doggies are freshly bathed, and nail trimmed, and Jasper is even de-fluffified (anti-shedding treatment). What a beautiful thing. I met Gretchen through my Heart Link meetings and she's a complete sweetie. Her boyfriend helps her out in the van, esp. when she's doing large dogs like mine that can be difficult to get into the tub, and he seemed like a very cool guy, too. So if you're ever in Tampa with a stinky dog, give Gretchen a call!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

setting goals

There is so much out there about goal setting. I'm sure you've heard it. Goals should be specific and measurable, etc. A very long time ago I heard something on Dave Ramsey about setting annual goals in seven different categories. I did that last year, but quite frankly I didn't do very good follow-up and I am not sure I even know what all my goals were, nor if I met them. So with the new year fast approaching (three more weeks!!) I figured I need to start thinking about my goals for next year. I guess these are similar to resolutions, in a way. Though maybe really resolutions are typically thing you're not going to do, whereas goals are things you want to try to do. I don't know, whatever, semantics. Anyway, here are the seven categories, in case anyone else wants to play along at home and better yourselves for '09, as well:
  • career
  • financial
  • spiritual
  • physical
  • intellectual
  • family
  • social

I don't know what my goals are going to be yet in these areas, but at least this gets me started. I can actually think of a few off the top of my head, maybe more than one in some areas. Apparently I have a lot of work to do.

Friday, December 5, 2008

blog content

so I don't forget it, this is an awesome blog about blogging, courtesy of Chris Brogan, specifically about creating awesome content. Wonder how many of these rules I break. lol.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

big list of things

saw this in a post on Hilltop Memories and thought it looked fun. Things that apply to me are in green.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a day off work when you were not sick
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Sunday, November 23, 2008

did someone say free?

If you're like me, you can't pass up a deal. Well, part of that might stem from my shopping addiction, but ANYway, here's the scoop. We're running a promotion right now that anyone who purchases our new happyhome book here and then joins the happy home club online has until the end of March to post just SIX times about activities they do with their family to create fun memories and new traditions. Do that, and you automatically receive all of the following products, completely free:





doggie genius

Alright, so I was following a couple random links today from emails (time on my hands so I was trying to clean out my inbox) and one of the links led me here: http://www.poochiq.com/sc1_products_iqkit.php to a dog IQ test. A little pricey, but I am SO tempted to buy it. If for no other reason than to prove to Perry that Rico is not an idiot. Perry calls him Rico Retardo, which I think is so unfair. He's not dumb, just enthusiastic about a lot of little things.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

what I'm coveting now

The new HP Mini. How cute is that? It's bitty - just a 10.2 inch screen and just over 2 lbs. I think this would be perfection to use as my "check email and surf the web" computer down in the kitchen. The laptop I use down there now is aging rapidly and getting slower by the day, so it would be nice to have something that didn't take forever to boot up, etc. Therefore I covet. 60GB hard drive, 1GB RAM. What more could a girl ask for? I've decided I don't need to be able to design from downstairs, when I have an awesome desktop upstairs that I can use. So this one can be strictly for playing around on the web, maybe hitting popcap, posting on the blog, etc. Perry was the one who originally sent me a link about it, so I've decided it's his responsibility to buy it for me for Christmas. His duty, even. Because I've been a very good girl this year. ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

growing old


I had to take Jasper to the vet today becaues he is having trouble walking. Jasper, aka Jazz, aka Jazzyfur, aka JJ, aka Big J. Apparently he's got arthritis pretty bad in his back knees and hips, particularly the right one. It's odd to think that he's getting old. Since Calvin died last year, Jazz is pretty much my last tie to my "old life", before marriage, before kids...so it's bizarre to think that he may not be around much longer. He's a good boy, a bit of a grump with other dogs, but so very loving to people and oddly accepting of cats. Poor old guy. Hopefully the meds the vet prescribed will make him more comfortable in his old age.

got bra? yep.

The sets that I ordered from my previous post a couple days ago when Victoria's Secret was having an awesome promotion came in. Woohoo. See, just that easy. I truly do love a deal. Makes me want to surf some of the deal of the day sites to see what other wonders await me. =)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

$850 worth of prizes!

Enter the Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza, sponsored by Moms United in Business LLC, http://www.momsunitedinbusiness.com celebrating the launch of Resources for Work at Home Moms, http://resourcesforworkathomemoms.com! Come celebrate with us, and enter for your chance to win an awesome prize package, just in time for the holidays! Over $850.00 in prizes! You will NOT want to miss this! Enter at http://tinyurl.com/5b7hvm.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

giving thanks



So I'm sitting here sending out my monthly newsletter, and I really loved this idea. Well, I really loved it all, but this is the one that stuck out as something I wanted to share with you all.

So, what are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 3, 2008

fall leaves

no, we don't have them here in FL. Palm fronds don't quite count.

Those of you that have been to one of my celebrations know how much I adore this story. So in honor of the time change, and it being fallish in most of the country, I'm sharing.

"On my birthday in October, we had always raked huge piles of autumn leaves with the kids and then jumped in them, stuffed them in our shirts, threw them in the air, and just generally had a wild time. We thought as the kids got older, their interest in such a frivolous activity would fade. On the contrary, when they were teens, the leaf piles just got bigger.Finally, one year, four of our children were away at school or living abroad. On my birthday, four birthday cards arrived. As I opened the first, a leaf fell out and a note, 'Dad, I honored your birthday tradition. Here’s a leaf from my jumping pile. I love you.' Through my tears I opened the other three — and a leaf fell from each." ~ Richard Eyre

Wow, right? That STILL gives me chills every time I read it.

So your mission for the day is to go create your own leaf story with your family.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Got Bra?

My dh sent me this awesome deal, that he read about on another friend's blog, so I'm sharing. You can get two Victoria's Secret bra and one pair of panties for only $19.07, including shipping.

Follow these instructions:

1. Go here and choose any TWO of the 2/$44 bras.

2. NEXT, click on Panties in the top nav, select the VS Cotton Classic Bikini, and select ONE panty in white, ivory, buff, pink, or black (cotton). ONLY THESE COLORS (in cotton) WILL WORK.

3. NEXT, go to your shopping bag and check the box at the bottom that you have offer codes. Continue the checkout process as normal for your shipping address, etc.

4. FINALLY, on the offer codes page, enter these two offer codes:
FA813789 for $10 off any bra
25PTY for $25 off any two bras, and a free panty.

I JUST did this and it worked perfectly. I'm debating if I should go do it a second time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Getting Boo'd and the Great Pumpkin

My Once Upon a Family newsletter this month had a very cool idea of starting a Getting Boo'd Halloween tradition. I'm posting that here so you guys can enjoy it, as well.

A new Halloween tradition is spreading rapidly grass-roots fashion throughout the culture. Called "Getting Booed," it involves a family making a Halloween gift basket and leaving it anonymously on a neighbor's door step with a sign "You Got Booed." The receiving family's job, then, is to make up another gift basket and play the trick on another family in the neighborhood who doesn't have a 'got booed' sign on their door. Here is a poem you can use for your "got booed" sign.
The air is cool, the season is fall, soon Halloween will come to all.

The spooks are after things to do; in fact, a spook has brought this to you.
"BOO" is a shield, from witching hour, Just hang it up and watch its power.
On your front door is where it works, it ward off spooks and scary jerks.
The power comes when friends like you will copy this and make it TWO.
We'll all have smiles upon our face. No one will know who Booed our place.
Just one short day to work your spell or a big ZAP will strike your tail.
And don't forget a nifty treat, like something cute or something sweet.
Please join the fun, let's really hear it! Spread some Boo's and Halloween spirit!

I thought this was very cute, and it brought back memories of something I started in my neighborhood a few years ago and somehow had lost it along the way. This tradition was called being hit by the Great Pumpkin, and I had a poem for it too, which I am sure I can't find anymore. But around the beginning of October, I went to three neighbors and left them each one of those plastic jack o lanters with a couple bags of candy in them, and left them as a surprise, with instructions to each hit one new person with a jack o lantern and leave the jack o lantern on their front porch so everyone knows they've been hit. It was very cool to see more and more jack o lanterns on the porches as the days and weeks went by. I might just have to revamp this this year, and if I'm going to do it I guess it's about time to get going on it!

If you'd like to read the rest of the newsletter, go here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Heart Link

My first Heart Link Networking meeting was last night, and it went wonderfully. What an amazing group of women to have all in one place. It's so awesome to see all these women with such a passion for what they do and such an interest in helping others achieve their goals. I would definitely count it as a success. And through the raffles of some very cool products donated by these women, we were able to raise $120 to support the Florida Boxer Rescue Group. Wow! I am already looking forward to the next one, on October 21st. I am sure we'll get an equally fantastic line up of women. Woohoo! Women working together towards a goal can be so very powerful.

Friday, September 26, 2008

finally friday

Long week. SO glad it's the weekend. I came home from work, worked out, cleaned some, and worked on my Heart Link roster. We're at 19 people attending this month, which is awesome. I'm very pleased and I hope that everyone has a great time and makes some awesome connections. This weekend I need to make up the folders and name tags, and create the flyer for the October event.

Tomorrow is our fifth football game of the season. We're 3-1 right now - the kids are looking great. Tomorrow there will be a professional photographer out there getting action shots of the players. Not sure if he'll be getting the cheerleaders, too, or not. I'm very excited about that, because he got some awesome shots last season. One of these days maybe I'll even get around to scrapbooking them! lol.

The debate is on right now, but I'm not really paying that much attention to it. You know what I find so interesting, it seems like no matter which candidate you're for, you can find some website somewhere that makes them look awesome and makes the other guy look bad. It's very odd, because doesn't that by default have to mean that half of those things are untrue? Why can't we all just be presented with actual facts, and make intelligent decisions that way, based on fact and what is best for our own personal situation?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

every toy known to man


My son had his 7th birthday yesterday. We now own, I believe, everything there IS to own that might at all interest a 7 year old boy. He still has a bunch of gift cards to the video game store to use, too. The big hits today (in addition to the DS games, which are always a fave) have been Spike the remote control dinosaur, and the very large remote control Jeep. Both of these scare the crap out of Rico, which I guess is just a side benefit. ;)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

shopaholic

Friday at lunch I went out and bought a new family room set. I told this to my girls at our Live Laugh Love Club meeting this morning and they said that was crazy, to go out at lunch and just on a whim buy a whole new room of furniture. lol. But in my defense, dh and I had been kicking around the idea of getting new stuff, so it wasn't TOTALLY out of the blue. Anyway, I'm super excited! It's a couch, loveseat and two recliners, all dark brown leather. SO cushy and comfortable. Right now we have a big micro-fiber sectional, but a couple of the bolts that hold the sectional together underneath have broken, so we're constantly having to push the pieces back together (like when the kids or one of our giant dogs launch themselves at the couch and send it sliding across the wood floor - lol). So it'll be very cool to have a new one. Tuesday I've got a company coming to haul away the old one for donation, along with a futon up in the loft (and then we'll move our current recliner loveseat up to the loft, cause it's still in good condition) and a giant TV that's been sitting in the garage ever since we replaced it with a flat screen in the family room. Then Wednesday my new stuff comes!! Woohoo! I can't wait. Here's a pic of the sofa from their website:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Heart Link

I just began planning my first Heart Link Networking event. For those that aren't familiar with The Heart Link Network, it's a national networking organization for women. I am so very excited to be the first Tampa Area Coordinator. I think when women get together they can accomplish anything, and I think this organization is going to serve as fantastic proof of that. Not only will we be networking with one another...caring, sharing and help one another grow our businesses, but we will also be supporting a very worthy cause in the process. Each month I will be featuring a different non-profit group that will be the recipient of the raffles that will take place during the meeting. This month I am thrilled to be featuring Florida Boxer Rescue. Anything that helps doggies is right up my alley. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What would I do with $300,000.00

Over on another blog that I was reading, http://theglamorouswahm.com/, she posed the question "What would you do with $300,000.00". I don't think that's a very hard one for me to answer, actually. We follow the Dave Ramsey plan for finances, so we'd pretty much follow his baby steps with any extra money we got. We are almost out of debt, except for our house, so the first $5000 would be used toward our misc. debt. Then we'd put $50,000 in an emergency fund to save for a rainy day. The next $208,000 would go to paying off our house completely. That would leave me with $37,000. Of that, I'd take $15,000 and do some things around the house (rescreen the lanai, do the upstairs floors) and the remainder I would put in a retirement account and let it grow. =)

Friday, September 5, 2008

The mind of a 5 year old

My beautiful little girl Nicole and I were driving in the car the other day and she asked me “mommy, how come God made daddies big and mommies little?” And I said “I don’t know.” Which is my cop-out answer to a lot of these types of questions, honestly. And she said “I wish daddy was really, really small.” And I asked “Why would you wish that?” Her answer – “So we could put him in a little jar and say ‘ha ha, that’s my daddy in the tiny jar.”

Yep, she’s all mine. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not the target market

So for awhile now I've been receiving this magazine in the mail called Tampa Bay Illustrated. I don't typically read it, as I don't much have time to sit around reading magazines (seriously, I have the best of intentions but just recently had a wake up call and purged some old ones from 2006 that I hadn't quite had time for yet. Ugh.) But I happened to flip through this one, and it struck me very quickly that I am not the target audience for this particular magazine. I started to grasp that from the myraid of plastic surgery ads, and the real estate listings solely comprised of homes over $10,000,000.00 drove the point home. Honestly I don't have a clue how I got on their mailing list. At first I assumed that it must be a free publication, but in looking up their website to post it here, I see that an annual subscription costs $24.95 per year. I can only wonder how many other "regular" people like myself are receving this mag monthly. I imagine that the prices the advertisers pay is steep enough to cover the costs of sending this thing all over Tampa Bay.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kid's Artwork Ideas

For those of us with little kids in school, what to do with all the masterpieces that they bring home can quickly become a challenge. This month, my Once Upon a Family newsletter had some awesome ideas on re-purposing that artwork, so I thought I would share them with those of you that don't receive my newsletter. To see the full newsletter and the other awesome back to school tips in it, go here.

Things to do with your child's artwork:

1. Postage Stamps: Can you believe you can turn your child's artwork into real postage stamps? Check out PhotoStamps or PictureItPostage to see how easy it is!

2. Greeting Cards, Calendars, Postcards, T-shirts, etc: You can turn the masterpiece into an actual greeting card! You can do almost anything now digitally! Cafepress.com offers a wide variety of products that can show off the artwork, and family and friends can purchase what they like for themselves! If you have a Mac, use iPhoto to create cards, calendars, postcards and more. Online photo albums will also have these features.

3. Online Photo Album: Create a special website to display all the kid's artwork for everyone to enjoy. Before you think you can't possibly do that, there are easy ways to have an online photo album without knowing all the technical stuff.

4. Turn the artwork into a business: If your child is producing a ton of amazing art, you may want to consider creating a business by turning the art into products others can enjoy. Again, with CafePress.com you can set up your own store. The possibilities are endless--journals, mugs, t-shirts, cards, magnets, stickers, bags, and so much more!

5. Stationery: Who wouldn't love to get a fun piece of mail? In fact, you and your child can create different stationary sets for family and friends so they too can share the artwork with others. Your child can also use their artwork for thank you's, invitations, journal entries, or a simple hello.

6. A Year of Art: Choose 12 pieces of art and turn it into a calendar for your family to enjoy or for other relatives who want a piece of your child in their home. You can do this several ways: buy a calendar and paste the artwork over the picture page, scan the photos into the computer and order a calendar with the artwork online, or make it completely by scratch!

7. Snap Shot in Time: Take a picture of your child with the art piece and place it in a scrapbook, memory box, or online album. Can you think of a better way to capture the age of your child and their masterpiece? This suggestion works especially well with larger than life projects that take up way too much space or would require crazy storage solutions.

8. Artwork Portfolio: Contact me about purchasing our Artwork Portfolio on special this month for $30. Regularly priced at $45.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Live Laugh Love

We had LLL Club today. This month’s theme was generosity. Some of the reading material struck me as interesting. It said that just giving something away because it no longer fits or no longer suits your purpose isn’t truly generous. True generosity would be giving away something you love because you knew another person needed it more or could benefit from it more. Huh. That really hit home with several of us in the group, because I think that’s what we all kind of tend to do – get rid of things that we no longer use and then feel good about giving them to Goodwill. Which of course is still a good thing, too, but really isn’t much of a sacrifice on our part, is it? In fact, it’s helping US out, because we’re getting rid of clutter in our homes that way. So I guess what I would challenge each of you to do, and what I’ll be trying to do with my own family, is think about ways that we can be more intentionally generous with our things (and with our time) rather than just being “generous” when it’s convenient for us. I truly am not sure how I’m going to do that yet, but I suppose like with anything that is worth doing, it’s not something that will come easy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dream Board

I have started making a dream board. For those that don’t know what that is, I got the idea initially off a blog post from Jenn and then started reading more about it on various sites on the web. It seemed like a cool idea, and right up my alley. I chose to do mine on a bulletin board and use thumb-tacks to hold the words and pictures in place. I am not done with it, so no pics to post yet, though. If you've read the book The Secret, then you'll likely be familiar with the concept. I think that book opened a lot of people up to the idea of the power of positive thinking. I believe that there is truth to that concept, that if you think about and want something enough, you can cause it to manifest. My dh thinks that is all a bunch of new age mumbo jumbo, but then he's a much more "grounded in reality" type of person than I am. Always has been. In any case, I don't see what it would hurt, so I'll continue working on my dream board and we'll see where it takes me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Art?

I am always looking for new ways to decorate and accessorize my home. Some of my ideas come from magazines, some from displays in stores, and some are more of a brainstorming session with myself or others. I often have people ask to see what I've come up with lately, and rather than email out pics, I guess from now on I will post them here from time to time.


This piece is one that I have hanging in my family room. The idea was come up with by my friend Jason and myself over sushi one day. He was talking about wanting to paint a wall of his house with circles, and I said rather than doing a whole wall, what about doing canvases so that when you wanted to change them out it would be easier. So I decided to do that for my family room as a focal point on one wall after Ravi and I repainted the room.

This was done with three pieces of blank artist's canvas from Michael's, about 11.75 inches x 34 inches each. All three canvases were painted off white and then laid out on the floor about an inch apart. To make the circles, I got three each of three different sized circular quilter's rings, and three shades of green paint. Each ring was painted and then pressed onto the canvas. I had created a mock-up design in Photoshop first, so I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted the circles placed before I got started. I'm happy with how it came out, though I wish I had gone bigger. There is always the possibility that I'll go back later and add additional canvases, but for now it makes a decent conversation piece in my home.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wax On, Wax Off

Let me preface this by saying that I’ve been getting bikini waxes for a good long time now, without incident. I don’t even particularly think they hurt. Now, before you waxing virgins go thinking it’s a good idea to run out and get waxed, you should know it DOES hurt, at first. The first two or three times you get waxed it hurts in a shriek out loud, tears in your eyes kinda way. But once you’ve suffered through those first few trips to hell, it’s not bad at all. I’m at the point where I can easily carry on a phone conversation while being waxed (and now those of you who I speak to on the phone regularly can wonder if I’m having hair ripped from my body while we’re talking. You’re welcome for the visual.)

Today, however, was an adventure in waxing unlike no other I’ve ever experienced. I was at my usual salon, with my usual woman. And I should note that I do NOT go Brazilian. That scares that crap out of even ME. But I do let the tech pretty much dictate how much she’s going to take off. I’m not terribly picky in that way. As long as I don’t look like Sasquatch in my bathing suit we’re all good. So today my girl went a bit lower on the top edge than usual. Which was fine, not really a biggie, just odd cause she’s pretty predictable. But then she came father in on the sides than usual, too. Now…girls…these are sensitive parts down there that frankly aren’t really meant to be man-handled in this manner. But still, all good, a little bit of “ouch” but survivable. Until what should have been her last application and tear strip. I’m not even sure what happened, exactly. She put the wax on and I guess it cooled too quickly or something, but it got…stuck. In the longer part just off center. Not cool. Not. Flippin. Cool. Partially my fault I guess, because I didn’t “mow the lawn” before having her do the edging. Not a mistake I will make again. Bottom line is I spent about 20 minutes with her cutting this wax off me and picking it out with tweezers. That is a 20 minutes that will feel like an ETERNITY, in case you were wondering.

9 Things You Should Know About Me

  • I’m a huge procrastinator. I make list upon list of things that I should do. Most of it doesn’t get done, but to be fair, most of it probably never warranted making the list to begin with.
  • I love to plan parties. My girlfriend Ravi and I are party planner extraordinaires. Most notably for our annual summer luau and our Christmas parties. All must involve jello shots, color coordinated to our d├ęcor, natch.
  • I’m a huge TV junkie. Biggest faves are LOST, Big Brother, Grey’s Anatomy and Deadliest Catch (I heart Captain John!). But those are really just the tip of the iceburg.
  • I’m a list person. I have lists of stuff to do, stuff to clean, stuff to buy, stuff to remember, emails to answer…It’s insane. It doesn’t all get done (see point 1), so I stress over it.
  • I can’t sit still, like EVER. I am incapable of just doing nothing, because I feel like I should be doing something productive. I am a very antsy person like that. DH, not so much. He’s quite content to lay on the couch, until I come bouncing in and entreat him to “entertain me.” He doesn’t often care to do so, btw.
  • I love to shop. I would probably go so far as to say I’m a shopping addict. It just makes me so happy. Ravi challenged me once not long ago to go a week without shopping. I am pretty sure I caved day one. Though I did pretty well at restraining myself to internet purchases, if that counts at all (she said it didn’t.)
  • I’m extremely indecisive. In most cases, I would much rather have someone tell me what to do, than to actually make a decision for myself. I think I always worry that I’ll make the wrong choice (think restaurant choices, plans for the evening, etc.)
  • I’m a huge geek when it comes to numbers. I literally adore running numbers, stats, budgets, future earnings projections, etc. Something about looking at all the what if scenarios really entices me. I’m hooked on YNAB and Dave Ramsey.
  • I chew pen caps, big time. At work, at home, sometimes even in the car. It’s gross and silly, but I love it. Oral fixation issues I guess.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Alright, let's get this party started

I am, apparently, the only person on the planet not blogging. I've tried to blog. I have. Way back before everyone was doing it, but inevitably I get distracted by life and forget about it, and then don't post for months and months. So I just abandon that blog and go without for a year or more until I get the blogging bug again and sign up somewhere new. So here we are. It would seem that blogger is the place to be, so we'll give this one a shot and (fingers crossed) maybe I'll get past the first few posts and not give up. :)

About me - I'm 33, married, mom to two, and live in Tampa, FL. My son Owen is almost seven, and is into sports. He's insanely smart and I'm sure that will somehow spell trouble for me down the road. My daughter Nicole is five and into cheerleading and gymnastics. Right now we're in football/cheerleading season so life is even more hectic than usual between all their practices and games. Busy but fun, and they both are loving it. My husband Perry will be 41 next week, and is working on getting his private pilot license (lessons were a gift from me for his last birthday). You can reach his main blog here, if you're interested.

I work full time as a user interface designer for a healthcare company, Gentiva, but my main passion is my side business, Once Upon a Family. You've likely not heard of us yet, but we sell traditions products, products to help teach family values (think responsibility, respect, courage, etc.) and heirloom quality memories products. I describe the products as "stuff that makes you want to be a better mom". lol. I've also recently launched a local chapter of a nationwide women's networking group, The Heart Link Network.

What else you should know about me - I'm an avid scrapbooker, though I don't have a lot of time for scrapbooking lately, with all of the other stuff above. I'm a huge animal person - I have two dogs, two cats, two turtles, and assorted fish. The dogs are Rico, a 1 year old Great Dane mix, and Jasper, an 11 year old German Shepherd/Chow mix. The cats are Sherbert and Lily. All four animals are rescues and I love them to bits.

Alright, so that's pretty much the basics on me. I guess I'll go figure out how to post this and I'll be back (soon?) with another post...