Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This weekend I watched two movies...The Blind Side and The Invention of Lying. Both were good movies.

Sandra Bullock is brilliant and frankly the whole cast is brilliant in The Blind Side. They did a good job of casting the movie. As I watched The Blind Side I was amazed by Leigh Anne Tuohy's faith and willingness to help someone. As I sat there and watched the movie and saw how the family was impacted by Michael it amazed me. Here is a family that could have walked away so easily as many would have been prone to do. But they didn't they took in Michael and treated him as part of their family. The movie had many great lessons including judging people by the inside not the outside, going with what you want not what everyone else wants, realizing you can change your outcome, sometimes by helping others...you'll help yourself, and many more. It was a great movie that I think everyone should see. (J liked it too which is saying something because we don't always agree)

 We rented The Invention of Lying because we thought it would be funny. It turned out to be a bit more thought provoking that we thought. It started out somewhat humorous because frankly everyone telling exactly what they think all the time has a humor to it. I'm glad we don't live in that world. But as the movie progressed and he lied to make his mother feel better as she was dying it took a more serious turn toward topics like the afterlife, religion, and even genetics. It is a good movie that gets you thinking. And at the same time has almost a tongue and cheek smack against the way we currently run our lives.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trying a new breakfast

Tried a new bar for "breakfast" the Kashi GoLean Chewy Cookies N' Cream it isn't bad but it isn't my favorite. It  is a tad drier than I like. I admit I'm spoiled by Luna bars. But I like to try new things from time to time.

Trying to get back into the habit of breakfast other than McDonald's which is costly both money and calorie wise. I need to restock my kitchen because I love a whole wheat English muffin with egg beaters, bacon (or Canadian bacon)  with a slice of cheese. But we are out of those right now so...time to go to the store.

What are some of your favorite quick breakfasts?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clingy? Who Me?

As I have mentioned before I have a degree in Communication. I had to take classes in healthy ways to express your feelings. I know what you should do and what you shouldn't do as far as communication. (In theory) But I admit every now and then (probably more often if I admit) I have a break down in my communication skills. Last night was one of those nights...

First the background...
Since I began dating J I have changed in my desires...I used to go out with friends all the time. I used to never be at home. I would eat out a lot. Now if I have the option to stay home with J (or do something with J) vs going out without him...I usually pick doing something that includes him. I understand time with girlfriends is important but I enjoy spending time with J.

And because he is on shore duty I have been spoiled. I have him home almost every night. With the exception of a business trip on his part.

Current day...
He is out of town this week...he left at the unmentionable hour of 5:00 AM Sunday morning and won't be back until Saturday night. And I got a bit misty at the airport after I dropped him off. This is unusual for me. And I think part of it is that work is kicking my butt lately so my weeks are long and tiring and I don't have the energy I need.

Sunday when he arrived in San Diego it was afternoon there and evening here. We texted for a bit then he went to lay down for a nap before dinner. We talked a little bit more later that evening. Monday after his work he went for a run...called me for 5 minutes...and then got ready to go to dinner. Yesterday he got back to his room and wanted to nap before dinner so I got about 5 minutes of texting. And that is when it hit the fan...I told him that I felt like I was getting squeezed in, in between them. And he didn't take it well. (Both of us were tired) We talked about it but the resolution didn't seem to be coming because both of us were arguing but not listening. He felt that 5 minutes was sufficient because of the time difference and I felt 15 minutes wasn't unreasonable. He finally determined that he wasn't really seeing it from my side of view and I acknowledged that I needed to have some flexibility. So we compromised...

It is amazing to me how two adults can communicate around each other. And I admit I didn't handle it well and there are a million ways I could have handled it better. But I'm a bottler and when the cap comes off...the cap comes off. And I think a few things were in play...
  • We were tired
  • I admit I'm a tad jealous of him being in sunny and beautiful San Diego while driving a Mustang convertible (I want one so bad it is sad)
  • I think him being away is a vivid reminder of what's to come
  • Work is killing me
  • Hormones are at play
  • Our dogs were going nuts
Do you ever have days where you snap? Over react? 



My inspirations...

My Marriage...
My husband...

My friends...

My co-workers...

My puppies...

What inspires you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shoe love

I live in flats because I spend a lot of time on my feet at work. And sometimes I have to climb ladders, climb into an attic, and even move tables which are not things to do in heals...easily. Well my beloved dog Ares destroyed my beloved black flats and my brown flats died of old age so it was time to replace them. I searched and searched...either they had my size but wrong color, right color wrong size, or the cost was more than I wanted to pay. The other day on Famous Footwear I found these beauties...on sale. So I bought them... 
Unlisted Women's People Person Flat
  Me Too Women's Nyle 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Branding Yourself

We brand ourselves in a number of ways...

We brand ourselves with clothes. By the "brands" we buy, by the style of clothes we wear, by the colors, are they ironed and clean, or wrinkled and dirty. When I worked in clothing retail for a high end store I was amazed by my fellow sales people who would overlook someone because they were in grubby clothes. Their snub was usually my gain. I think about that now when I go out...what message am I sending by my clothing. Some days I care others I don't just depends.

As bloggers we brand ourselves by what we write...and what we don't write. We brand ourselves by the blogs we follow. And we brand ourselves by the look of our blog. Our blog is our online wardrobe of sorts it sends a message of who we are.

As I get ready to start my own business my biggest stumbling block has been my branding. I labored long and hard to come up with a name for my business. Thanks to a late night brain storming session with my husband my business will be called "Labors of Love." But now to brand it...for my store front on Etsy, for my business cards, for the tags for items, for packaging, etc. So I've been looking at a multitude of sources for inspiration. It will come to me...

What about you...how do you brand yourself? How did you decide what your blog or business would look like?

Office Supplies aka Things I Can't Live Without

When I was little like most little girls I played school or office often. And I liked making little notes, etc for people and leaving them around the house. Initially I used scraps of paper and tape. Then one day I was given Post-its. Oh how I loved them. And frankly I still do. I use them at work and at home often. So much so I have contemplated the Post-it Calendar. I like all the sizes and I love the bright colors. The newer lined ones make work notes even easier for me. I wouldn't work with out them.

Now I have a new office love. When we were at the bank one day the lovely teller loaned me her pen. It was wonderful. It wrote well and smoothly. And made my handwriting look better. I could tell she loved it too because she was watching me making sure she got it back. I returned it because I try really hard not to steal other people's pens because I hate that. But I knew I had to find them. So next time I was at Office Max I bought some. I currently use them on my paper calendar and love them.

I admit I have a weird love of certain office supplies...I think it goes back to childhood.

What do you love as far as supplies? Is there anything you can't live without?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Transition...

I am currently in a transition period...

my blog...
I'm currently working to move my blog from Blogger to Wordpress. I'm hitting a few bumps but ultimately I know I will like it better. When I move I think my followers will go with me but you may have to re-follow I'm not sure. When I'm all set up at the new site I'll let you know.

my home...
J leaves for Japan for three years in July. We've known it was coming but now it feels formal. And so we're dealing with that...getting the house ready, getting paperwork in order, etc.

my career...
I've been at my current place of employment for almost 10 years. It is the longest I've worked anywhere and it was the first official job after college. And it has served me well but I'm feeling the need for something else...something more fitting to me. Now part of this may come from a job transition here...or me doing something part time in addition. I ultimately would love to have a creative home business making beaded jewelry, sewing purses, and maybe baby quilts. We'll see...  

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Review

I like to have things to do on the weekend but I like to have some downtime too. This weekend had more to do and less downtime. But that is the way it goes sometimes...

Friday was a pretty standard day followed by an evening of running errands...in the rain. We have an annual St. Patrick's Day dance that we go to with friends. One of the local Catholic churches hosts it to raise money for their school. So it is a lot of fun and a good time. We went and found tons of St. Patrick's Day stuff to get and bring. We went grocery shopping. Not too bad other than the fact it rained (the windy hard kind) the whole time.

Saturday we were up early thanks to our pooches so we got up...put away our mounds of laundry. We are really good about washing laundry but then it sits folded in the baskets in our bedroom for days and days. The pooches "helped" always fun! We ventured out a little later for some lunch, a trip to the bank, and then back home for nap time before our big night. Every year for a while I've gone to the Annual St. Patrick's Day Dance at the Knights of Columbus. When J and I started dating it was one of our early dates. And now we look forward to it. You BYOB and they provide heavy appetizers and the mixers. There is a DJ who usually does a great job but this year seemed a bit off. But we danced, drank, ate, and had a great time. It is a good group of people that normally goes to this event. And it wouldn't feel like St. Patrick's Day without it.

Sunday brought Daylights Savings time (why do we still do this exactly?) and relaxing around the house. Then we were headed to Mom and Dad's for dinner...Corn Beef, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage of course. Well I decided to make Brownie Pudding Cake for dessert. (I didn't think this through) You are supposed to serve it warm so I decided to mix it up at home and bring it to Mom and Dad's to bake. Hot chocolate liquid doesn't travel well in a baking dish. I ended up with chocolate goo down my leg, on my shoe, and all over the floor of my car. Yeah I was happy. Needless to say when we got there...J cleaned my car and I put my clothes in the washer. (Borrowed sweat pants from Mom) and had to remake part of the chocolate goo. Well I made a whole other batch of chocolate goo and then the cake didn't bake right so we had really gooey hot brownie fudge with ice cream. But I heard no complaints and people went back for seconds. Lesson learned: Bake it at home or make it at the destination...lol

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fun New Patterns

The end of February I went to a quilt show being held locally. I love going to it because it inspires me to make things. And I bought some more patterns...and it inspired me to buy a few more...here are some of the gems I've purchased.
  • The Potato Chip Bag just looks like it will be fun and easy.
  • The Anna Maria Multi-Tasker Tote looks fun and useful.
  • In the summer I live in a skirt and a nice top/tee so the Favorite Things Cute Skirt Pattern will get used a lot between now and then.
  • See above for the too cute Stella Strip Skirt  and the Anna Maria Study Hall Skirt
  • I haven't bought the Feather Your Nest  but it looks like it has some neat patterns for your bedroom so when I get to redecorating I'll look into that.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wonderful Husband!!

I came home yesterday to find this on my kitchen counter...just because...

I am a lucky woman!!

What's Cookin'?

I love...love...love to cook for other people. For myself I could live on Romen noodles and Kraft Mac & Cheese. And I love Weight Watchers recipes. For the most part they are easy to cook and don't take a ton of time at least the ones I make.

My husband's favorite Chinese Take-Out is General Tso's Chicken...but of course the traditional version isn't so healthy. I made a Food Network recipe that I wasn't so fond of because it was time consuming, high in calories, and the sauce was runny. So I made us a Weight Watcher's version the other night and it was wonderful. And easy...you mix soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, white wine vinegar, and ground ginger. Then in a pan you heat oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes for a few minutes. Then you toss in the cut up chicken to cook...until brown then stir in the other sauce mixture and cook until it thickens. So yummy!! Definitely a keeper.

Another favorite that I'm making this week is WW Chicken Fried Rice. I love this recipe too. The first picture is while it is cooking and the second is on my plate. It tastes yummy!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Changing Blog Sites...

As you know I currently use Blogger for my blog but I've heard some good things about Wordpress so I'm thinking of moving over there because they have some features I really like. But I also know that Blogger has more features than I'm using. So I'm debating do I stay with the familiar and make it do what I want...or do I go over to Wordpress and learn a new way. Also I'd have to transfer all my content over there.

One thing I really like with Wordpress is that they have an email space in the comment section. I would like to respond to comments by email and currently I don't have that ability.


Paper vs. email

We are a very technology based society to the point that we often cast off age old customs in favor of ease.

When it came time to print my wedding invitations my husband and I picked very different invitations but they fit us to a tee. But for RSVP instead of a traditional response card I chose to have people call me or email me to RSVP for a few reasons...a) it is more environmental, b) I am not a fan response cards because I'm horrible about returning them. I will tell you that I did receive some grief from older family members but everyone else loved it. Would I do it that way again...yes for a second wedding like ours probably not for a first wedding. We also had a wedding website to give everyone information about the wedding, about us, about VA, etc. People liked that too. Some people suggested I send an email invite. I couldn't do that...I didn't need formal but I couldn't go that relaxed.

My sister-in-law is getting married and the woman in charge of her shower asked about sending evites instead of mailing. I've been to many showers that used evites and I think it is fine. Although she made a good point...it is nice to get a note, a card, or an invite in the mail. But in my house it is also possible for it to get eaten by a dog or lost on my kitchen counter for a day or two.

My Granny sent us a card for every holiday from St. Patrick's Day to Christmas and I admit I still think of her when I'm in Hallmark looking at cards. And I loved getting the paper card in the mail...it wouldn't have been the same to get an email.

So how about you...you ok with an email or do you want a written invite?

Getting Healthier

I am trying to get healthier again. Ultimately it is to lose weight but it is also to be healthier because I just feel drained. I am working on cooking and eating healthier items. And I need to get back to the Y because it is a waste of money right now.

My husband is a smoker...he has been since he was 17 he is now 34...he knows it is a bad habit and wants to quit but it is a habit/addiction and it is hard to quit. I initially worked hard getting him to quit but I've come to the conclusion it has to come from him if it is to work. And I find myself judging his habit from time to time but then I remember that I have bad habits too.

Much like my eating habits...someone else can't tell me what to eat and have it go well. So currently I'm debating what plan to go with...I've been on a few
  • Weight Watchers (I've lost count how many times)
  • Weigh Down Workshop
  • Prism
  • Lose it for Life
  • Weight Loss Forever
  • South Beach Diet
  • Dietitian 
I've contemplated a few more...
  • Jenny Craig
  • Nutrisystem
  • The B-12 Diet
They all have pros and cons...I don't like food group restrictive diets because I think your body needs some of all food groups. I like Weight Watchers but according to my dietitian they don't give me enough to eat but I like their easy to follow plan. So I'm not sure what to do. I guess I'll make my pros/cons list and go from there.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Laying the Foundation...

In all things there first has to be a foundation...

When you build a house you don't just throw up walls and a roof without first putting up a solid foundation to support them. When you are making a necklace you have to pick proper stringing material to support your finished design or you will end up with a faulty necklace. When working with youth in church work you have to realize you are laying the foundation.

This past weekend a group of seven crazy brave adults took 20 middle school youth on a weekend retreat 8 hours away at a Methodist retreat center called Lake Junaluska. It was an experience. Middle schoolers are a tough bunch...they aren't children any more but they aren't adults. They aren't even teens in many cases. They were a good group of youth but they are middle schoolers so we had moments.

There was one youth who caused us some trouble because they (I'm trying not to identify) thought they were too cool to be there. But on Saturday night after the worship service we took all of them on a "hike" (walk up the hill) to the cross in silence. They did a good job. And it was meaningful to all including them. It is moments like that they make it worthwhile.

We may not see the impact this trip made on them until later but I know from personal experience that a good foundation leads to a good adult...even if the road is a little bumpy along the way.

Nail Polish Swap

I have to admit I'd never participated in a swap before so I didn't know what to expect. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of Patricia from Preppy in Pink she sent me a wonderfully packaged box of goodies. I opened by box to find a green box wrapped in a white ribbon. I opened that and found...

A Ped Egg, a pedicure kit, two adorable post-it pads, and a bottle of OPI polish in a wonderful dark pinkish/purple color. I can't wait to try the different parts of my gift. I love giving myself at home pedicures so these will get lots of use.
Thank you Patricia!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Etsy Love

I think Etsy is a wonderful site! I love browsing through to see what is out there and to see the really amazing ideas other crafters have. Here are some of my current favorites...

Peace Dove Necklace

Mediterranean Sideswept Stacking Set

Handmade Hairpins

The New Yorker Wristlet Pattern


Chocolate Addiction NECKTIE HALTER TOP
by Glamarita


My first experience with an earthquake was at age 2 1/2-3 right after we moved to Alaska. I remember this like it was yesterday. I was in the living room and my mom was in her bedroom. In our house both of those were on the second floor. And the house started shaking...kitchen cabinets started banging...noises that I'd never heard before...so I did what any child would do and ran SCREAMING to my mom. She grabbed me and we stood in her bedroom door until it stopped. Or so we thought that is the day we learned about aftershocks. The earthquake we experienced was about a 4.0 and the aftershock was about a 2.0. But they were scary for me then and frankly I'm still not a fan of the earth shaking.

I cannot imagine what the people of Haiti or the people of Chile are going through having gone through such big earthquakes. I imagine there is a lot of confusion, fear, uncertainty, chaos, etc. And I truly feel for the people there and what they are going through. In the United Methodist Church we have a wonderful method for helping people in situations like this. The United Methodist Committee on Relief a church or individual can make a donation of money or of kits to help people.     


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Confirmation Retreat

In the United Methodist Church confirmation is a big deal. It is the time after baptism (usually decided by your parents) where you as a youth get to make a decision to join the church. As a church it is an exciting time because youth are learning about Methodism and are excited about  joining.

This weekend as part of their Confirmation process we are taking a group of them to Lake Junaluska. They have weekend retreats for the spiritual growth of the youth. My hubby and I have been asked to chaperone. And although we will be partially responsible for 19+ youth it will be a neat experience for us too.

There is worship, history, workshops, free time, and other fun stuff that will keep the youth busy. Last time I went the girls in my room and I had a "mini-slumber" party each night before bed. This time the arrangements are such that we can't do that. But I will tell you that discussing faith with 6th-8th graders helps you look at your own faith.

My ex was agnostic. And I fully believe that you should believe or not believe whatever you would like I'm not going to force my beliefs on you. But I am a Christian and I want to be with a Christian because it works better. The day my hubby and I got married we made a commitment in front of God to each other. It meant something to us. As part of our journey we go to church and participate in church related things. I'm glad that he enjoys and is willing to do things like this with me.

"But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord."  ~ Joshua 24:15b

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Creativity Striking

This weekend I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival XXI in my area. It was wonderful you could feel the creativity oozing from the place. As I walked around I wasn't the overwhelmed novice I was the first time I went but I was inspired. And relatively well behaved I bought a few fat quarters and three patterns. I love to sew purses, baby quilts, and on occasion clothes. I also love to bead. Ultimately my goal is to have a business where I sew things and bead things (possibly combined) and sell them for people to enjoy.

I really love mixing interesting color patterns together to make people go wow...I wouldn't have thought of that.

I'm following absorbing wonderful information from m.writes Blog & Business Workshop. Thank you Marta! I'm learning a lot. Please come on over there is a lot of great information. I think this is the sign I've been waiting for...

Another Wonderful Give Away!!

 Nilsa over at SoMi Speaks is having a wonderful giveaway thanks to Christyn at Bead Up. Christyn makes beautiful jewelry and there are three ways to enter the give away on SoMi Speaks so go check it out!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wonderful Give Away!!!

The very talented Becca over at Lovely Yellow Ribbons is giving away this beautiful print personalized just the way you want it to look. You can see her other items here. So hop on over to her site and enter to win!!