Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Gratitude

5 Things I am thankful for...
1. Being able to make a friend smile
2. Getting baking supplies - to bake Christmas goodies!
3. Wonderful packages from friends!
4. Hot Chocolate to warm me up!
5. Cute and pretty stationary to be able to send out notes to friends!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Friend for All Seasons

Michael and I have a friend that has just been so supportive to us personally and also with the business. She is amazing at tax information and with a business you know that is imperative to understand taxes and do that correctly. So she has been a remarkable wealth of information for the business. I told her many many times she should write a tax book - because Michael is a very smart man but some of the tax info confused them before he started consulting her. And she made it so clear that often I could understand it and numbers confuse me! I know she doesn't feel she has the right qualifications to write a book on it but I think she is amazing!

And also as I said she personally has been just a great friend. She has let me vent to her before, given me a new perspective and just been there as a good friend in so many ways. I am really blessed to call her my friend.

So Michael and I wanted to do something for her. At Christmas time my family sends us little packages to open each day before Christmas and I remembered our friend commenting on how neat of idea that was and that would be so fun. So I created "A Friend for all Seasons" package - 30 days of little packages covering all the seasons of the year. Also right now she is on bed rest as she is pregnant with her first baby so I thought sending it now would be fun for her since she is going a little stir crazy.

I wrapped each little package and then put labels on them 1 to 30 with little clues of what might be in them. I made labels in word with dingbats and different fonts. It was fun as I love fonts! My sister gave me some perfect little bags recently that worked out good for several of the packages. I stamped them with a rubber stamp, punched holes in them to tie them with ribbon. I wrapped other packages in all sorts of tissues, wrapping papper and ribbons. It was a lot of fun to make this package up for her.

Well she got it yesterday so she started on her first package of the 30 days. I think I am just as excited as she is in opening her presents!

Here is a print screen of the labels I put on them....clicking on it will bring you to a bigger view.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Business Cards

I ordered some business cards recently for my art. So I noticed on one of our chairs on the porch a little box. I was so excited to open the box to actually see the cards. I opened the box and Michael said the look on my face was priceless because the cards in the box weren't mine. I had one of those blonde moments with a puzzling look of why isn't my card in here. I got someone else's card. Michael contacted the company last night and they are printing a new batch and sending them out right away. But in my email box this morning there was an email from the gentleman whose cards I received - as he got mine. He said he would send me my box and I am sending him his too. So it is cool I will have 200 cards instead of just 100.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Golden Compass

Since I haven't had a book to read for several nights now I have been reading Cosmopolitan. Michael purchased something about 2 months ago and he got 4 subscriptions to magazines for very low price to free. Cosmo was free. I think Food & Wine was like $4 bucks and the most expensive one. So I got Cosmo because it was free. It has been years and years since I picked up a Cosmo. Was it always this bad? I remember reading it in high school and college but just don't remember it being this bad. The gal & guy confessions, the articles (if you can even call them that), the advice - it is all just horrible. I know I shouldn't be shocked it is Cosmo but I really don't remember it being this bad. The confessions I felt had to be written by kids and sent in because do people really do the things they "confess." Thank goodness I received email notification of the next book in His Dark Materials series is on hold and waiting for me. I think we might be picking that up today.

I am so excited for The Golden Compass movie to come out. I really enjoyed the book. Every time we see the trailer for it on tv -- I get so excited! Of course this movie is being protested just like the Harry Movies and other like movies. But I read a pretty good article about the movie. I understand Pullman critizies the Narnia series but I still like the Narnia series and actually thought of asking for that for Christmas as I would like to read those. I read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a young girl but none of the others. Although I thought we had them. I think my sister got them for a gift. But back on topic I really am excited to see the The Golden Compass.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sale! Sale!

I am a posting fool today....

I just got an email from Addicted to Rubber Stamps...

They are having a REALLY good sale so go check it out if you create - art, cards or scrapbooks it is a great sale! Plus 1/2 price shipping!

Christmas Decorations - Blogstyle

I made 3 Christmas themed banners for our blog. I think I will rotate between the three but starting out with the one posted right now. I can't wait to decorate the house for Christmas! I am listening to Christmas music right now too...Jewel's holiday cd.

Holiday Blues

I really get annoyed with myself though because although we had a VERY nice Thanksgiving I still got sad and down yesterday. I was missing time with family. I even thought of one particular Thanksgivings. As I said in my last post cooking Thanksgiving meal isn't my favorite for a crowd. I am always worried the turkey won't come out good. Why I worry about that...I am not sure as I have always had my turkey's turn out really good.

I remember the first Thanksgiving I hosted was when my parents, sisters and one of my Grandma's came...when I was married. I think actually it was our first Thanksgiving after moving into our house. I had at that point in my life never made a turkey so thankfully my Mom was right there to help walk me through it! Such as I was forgetting to pull the sack of giblets so she caught that! And she made the mashed potatoes because it took me years to master those...I always have had lumps. I finally can make mashed potatoes without lumps (well most of the time). But everything else I made turned out really good. I just remember being so intimidated because my Mom and my Grandma are amazing cooks. So here I am doing turkey dinner for the first time and they are my guests. Oh my the panic! I remember freaking out on before they got there in the morning - they had stayed in a hotel as our house had lots stairs and my Grandma couldn't take those. So it was just my sisters that stayed with us. I was told all would work out and of course it did.

I know I hosted Thanksgiving a few more times...once when my sisters couldn't get to Minnesota they came to our house at least Michelle did. I recalled some past Thanksgiving memories during my sadness although all the memories I recalled were good memories. It just made me a little nostalgic thus making me feel a little sad. But as I said it annoys me because I have so much to be thankful for plus I had such a nice day with Michael that I shouldn't have been sad at all. I just feel this year is going to be year of recalling old memories for me because of my mindset about being 40.

Well that is enough reminiscing for today. I need to work.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Gratitude

5 Things I am Thankful for in my Life...
1. A wonderful Thanksgiving spent with Michael!
2. Yummy left overs!
3. That I can play Christmas music now!
4. For being really productive this past week!
5. For family and friends!


Yesterday was lovely. I had cinnamon rolls raising before I went to bed on Wednesday so we had a few of those for breakfast on Thursday while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Michael talked to several of his family members while I got things ready for the turkey dinner. We don't eat until 4pm so I just prepped.

While we waited for getting things in the oven, we watched a movie. We watched The Prestige. We ate about 4:30pm as pop up timer on the turkey didn't pop up until then even though I thought just by poundage it should have been done sooner. Michael and I had a good wine and stuffed ourselves! After we cleaned up the kitchen, I called my parents. My sister just closed on a house so I knew they were spending Thanksgiving working on the house. We chatted a bit and then Michael and I rolled ourselves to the couch to watch The Polar Express. It was so nice to be snuggled up on the couch watching it...I get such a gleeful feeling when I watch it. Eventually we had pumpkin pie and watched Project Runway (I will probably do another post on that). We ended up getting to bed about 1:30am with the alarm set for 4:30am because we decided to be insane hit Best Buy and Circuit City on Black Friday.

Best Buy was packed packed. They had everything really well stocked. Lots of tvs and other merchandise out ready to just be carted off. They had lots of people directing traffic as well as arrows and balloon throughout the store so you could stop and ask where are ipods and they would say go to the blue balloon. The had a person at the cashiers to direct plus each cashier had bright orange signs with numbers to wave when they were done. It really wasn't a horrible ordeal. But.... Circuit City I am just so over it with them. Last week we went in to get a few movies they had in their ad. They had notice of the misprinted ad - the list wasn't just one or 2 movies - no it was a list of like 15 to 20 movies that shouldn't have been listed leaving the real list to like 10 movies really on sale. Then the ad online for today had some things on sale that weren't on sale in the store but the ad online didn't say anything about being web only...and of course their website was out this morning. Crashed at 2am or something like that. They had lines for everything so if you wanted the hot deal on the big tv you had to wait in a line and then see if they had anymore in stock and then after that if you wanted game system you had to go wait in another line. And then you had to get in the cashier line with a print out slip(s). Oh and they were only letting so many people in the store which was probably good for their store as we have a smaller Circuit City. But waiting out in the cold to get into the store that really didn't have many of the things we were looking for really wasn't fun.

It was a good Thanksgiving though so that is what matters! We had a really nice day! Michael and I had good quality time together yesterday. It was very nice and I am very thankful to be with Michael.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Eve

I haven't had much time for anything lately. I go from one project to the next, to the next...and so on.

Yesterday was shopping, working on a website and working on a Christmas present. Today I have cleaned most of the day, baked and then did a little bit of work the Christmas presents I am making.

It will just be us tomorrow...which is fine with me. Cooking for a large group on Thanksgiving isn't one of my favorite things to do...I would rather do Christmas dinner. We are having a pretty traditional menu this year. Roasted turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and I even made parker house rolls - something I haven't made in over 10 years.

Michael gave me a surprise the other day.....he said we will be putting up the Christmas decorations BEFORE his birthday this year so his parents can see the house all decorated. I am so excited! He usually likes us to wait until after his birthday...which I totally understand. But it does still make me very happy we get to have the decorations up a few days longer then usual! I am such a sap for Christmas.

I will be finishing The Golden Compass tonight (only have like 30 pages left). I really enjoyed it. I have put on request the second in the series. I am still waiting for the 4th in the Outlander series. So looks like I will be out of books for the next few days. I reached 50 books for the year though -- which was 50 more then last year so I am happy about that.

Well I better sign off and get some sleep.

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving full of friends & family and love & laughter!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bringing on the Busy...

I have felt kind of down this weekend. But today I finished up something for a friend and that actually helped me feel better knowing we will make her smile. I don't feel I accomplished much else though this weekend. I have 2 websites that I need to work on...changes to one and finishing up the other now that the client decided what template she wants. I also need to finish up an article. And then prep for Thanksgiving this week.

Michael's parents are coming for his birthday (Dec 6th) so I need to finish the autumn cleaning I started a few weeks ago (when I was steam cleaning). I would like to wash and press all the curtains and steam clean the hallway and Michael's office before they come (then all the carpet in the house would be done). I have bunches of stuff to go to Goodwill but I need to get it all together (one spot) and then typed up for taxes.

I started making our holiday card list today, got out the cards and labels so that I can try to get those out early this year. Maybe I will even get a letter done this year.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Gratitude

5 Things I am Thankful in my Life...1. Although I wish it was more like the first season, I am still glad Project Runway is back -- it is a pure guilty pleasure.
2. For getting Michael hooked on Project Runway!
3. New business cards about to be ordered!
4. Some work things that I really did good on this past week. Inspired me to want to redesign my website and also Michael's business site.
5. For having my 2nd try at getting some blood go well...tests came all normal. Just got general blood work up.

(image from a piece of my art)

Busy time of year...

And just like that -- we're in November...

Blink again -- we'll be after Thanksgiving...

Things have been very busy around here lately as we continue to bring in multiple projects and other assorted jobs.. Actually starting to say "no" to a couple of investigation offers because I simply do not have the time to do it.. And when I look at the calendar, I'm stunned that we're less than a week away to Thanksgiving and yet I feel like the fall and summer have drifted away..

But I'm loving this time of year -- being with Darby and the pussy cats.. I just wish I was over the cold.. I'm getting there -- but it's sure taking it's sweet time getting out of my system..

On that note -- back to cleaning and organizing!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project Runway Recap - Episode 1

Writing about my guilty pleasure. It is one of those things I never thought I would get hooked on. When season 1 came on, I rolled my eyes at it. And then after it finished for the season, Bravo had a marathon on while I was cleaning the living room it grabbed my attention. And....well the rest is history as I was hooked...a Project Runway fan was born. I ended up recording all of them I could find. And was axiously awaiting for season 2....and so on. I have been really anxious about season 4 as it took longer for this season to come out. But it finally did this week and I got a chance to watch it while folding clothes today. This contains spoilers to the first episode of Project Runway. So please move on...if you don't want to read them.

It looks like it will be a good season...with the clips they showed at the end looks like their will be some drama. The talent is okay. I am not with Tim in saying this is the most talented crew. But that is maybe because I also have my heart still with season 1 when the designers seemed more amateur. I mean one of these people works at Ralph Lauren, others have had their own lines and Rami the winner for this episode designed for Jessica Alba. Ummm YOU don't NEED to be on project runway. Jay....season 1....that is to me the ideal winner someone who was in their hometown wishing they knew how to make that dream of fashion design come true. That is what I want again. And it seems like they get further and further from that each season. It just annoys me. Of course it doesn't annoy me to the point of not watching, but I felt the show was really predictable. All the same "types" of characters. The ones that will be quietly designing, the one that is kind of the gossip whore, the whiner, the antagonist so on and so forth. Blah Blah Blah!

So I didn't like the winner's dress really. I agreed with Michael Kors comment about it too...the flower thing. To me the dress has been done. It wasn't flattering on his model at all, but I understand they didn't see them until they were done designing the dress. Alison of last season got outed because her model didn't look good in her fabulous design. Tim called the model a "zaftig" model although she was far from it in my opinion. Rami's "zaftig" model looks bad in a blah design and wins. I just don't get that logic. I bet Rami gets rid of that model. Being bigger model isn't the reason I would get rid of her. She just was so stiff to me. She didn't smile....really she just looked pissed off to me.

A lot of the designs to me had 80's feel to it (especially Carmen). My favorites were Jack's and Kit's. (go here to see a photo of all the designs click on it to get a bigger view -- Jack's is first row - 3rd one and then Kit's is second row - last one).

I liked Chris March - his personality (he might be a mixture of Jay and Kayne in personality). And his design I think looked really good on his model the colorings of the gown were perfect for her. It looked good on the runway. But I think it has been done before too. Loved the fabrics though...very fluid and rich. (pausing for a moment because Michael just came home and we just had a 5 minute conversation about project runway...I knew one day I could convert him to a project runway fan.)

Christian is going to get annoying fast but loved his line about spending his money on clothes instead of a bed. I also think he has talent. I think I am going to like his designs - just not him. I liked the one for this episode but I didn't like the colors totally. Elisa is going to be trip. And annoy me fast. Her on the grass putting grass stains on the fabric to ensue it with a natural element...oh umm okay. And then her being the dress form...again roll of the eyes. I loved Heidi's line about her dress pooping fabric. I liked Sweet Pea's dress okay but that wouldn't look good on a lot of people. And Sweet Pea herself reminds me of someone I know. Kevin's design was teenage-ish to me. Victorya's design I liked. I remember Steven's bio video from last year. And he is Emmett to me. (again see they are casting the similar parts as other seasons).

I know I am sure it will grow on me I just am still very attatched to the first season and wish it was more like that.

Off to make dinner.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Deep Thoughts...Okay not really...

I thought my day was going to go bad. Once a month my cooking skills go out the window. For brunch I burnt our turkey bacon and then the biscuits were more ummm blackish-brown on their bottoms then they should have been. Luckily Michael took care of the eggs or we wouldn't have had anything that was -right-. I forgot a few things that day too - like meds.

I did though get lots of work - coding websites templates - done. I really kicked ass on them actually. They look really good and I need to keep them in my portfolio because I might be able to modify them for another client. It really made me want to redo Michael's work website to though because I just was really in a groove -- so I jotted some notes down to redo his -- this will be version 3 now. I just redid his probably 6 months ago though. I need to start also working on a holiday banner for our blogspot.

Sunday night I think we went to bed close to 2am. And I read until 3:30 am and then got up fairly early so I was dragging ALL DAY. You would think that last night I would have slept soundly but I didn't. I didn't do a lot yesterday - some chores, laundry, a little graphic thing Michael needed me to do and that was about it.

It is only 12:45 and we have been really productive but just got home a bit ago. We left the house at 7:45am. I had to go get blood drawn. I have border line high blood pressure. Then I have white coat syndrome - meaning as soon as I set foot in the doctors office my blood pressure sky rockets. But because I am a big girl my doctor always worries it is just not white coat syndrome and that I have heart disease. So I get to go do blood test every so often for a lipid panel. It always come back in the acceptable range but I guess it is better to have her care enough to do it then not.

When we got there, I was freezing. I said to Michael I bet it will be a hard go on my vains today because I am so cold they all are shrunk up and hiding. He laughed and nodded his head like my girl is silly. I get back in the nurses chair and she is saying how busy it has been and everyone has been a hard stick. And I said you will probably have problems with me too. My doctor walked by as I was getting it done so came to see how it was going and both the nurse and I said not good. I said I am so cold this morning it is hard to get one to come up the surface. They both commented that my hands were ice. So I get to come back as she didn't want to stick m again...she only stuck me 2 times. Thursday morning I have to be back at 8:10am -- I told Michael that I probably should get up and get moving around more so that I warm up long before we leave the house. We woke up, showered and left so I know my body wasn't awake at all. Even my usual for sure place on my hand wouldn't pop up and that vain always springs right up with a few times of clenching/unclenching my hand.

Getting stuck this morning though reminded me of when I was getting married. I was having lots of asthma problems - in and out of the ER several times right before our wedding. I knew it was probably just stress of the wedding. Our honeymoon was going to be in Colorado...going to high altitude with the asthma problems - made me a tad bit worried. So I made an appointment with my doctor to maybe change my inhaler or do something to help me out while there. My appointment was 2 days before my wedding. And they wanted blood. The nurse stuck me once, twice, third time...I threw up. By the 6th time she knew I was on the verge of getting sick again she is trying to keep my mind off it by engaging me in conversation where I then tell her - I am getting married in 2 days. She went white and looked like she was going to get sick. She blurted out in a very worried tone.."omg does your dress have long sleeves?" Because after sticking me that many times I had bruises on both arms appearing before I even left. I told her yes it was long sleeves but after that she was so nervous she ended up sending me to the hospital lab...which they stuck me once - barely felt the needle go in. It actually was one of the best blood labs I have been too. Oh I guess the nurse in Cleveland too was good too but she had to stick more then once sometimes. But her attitude and energy were so great...she was funny and just so nice. She usually had me crying - not because of pain but from laughing so hard.

I guess back on track of daily had the lab appointment this morning, then after we went to breakfast, target, grocery shopping, library and post office. I am starting to stock up on stuff to make Christmas goodies. Library didn't have the next in the Outlander series ready for me yet. Someone was suppose to return it on the 8th but well that hasn't happened. I never read The Golden Compass before either so I requested that one and there is not even a waiting list on it. I figured there might be since the movie will be out soon.

I need to do some laundry today and I need to finish some work.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Gratitude

5 things I am thankful for in my life...1. Being able to request books online to pick up at the library!
2. Doctor appointment going smoothly this week and for the wonderful staff in my doctors office. They are all so good!
3. For the yummy comfort food I made on Sunday - Chicken and Dumplings
4. For Michael because he is so amazing
5. For airborne keeping the cold away from me

Sunday, November 04, 2007

November, already??

We were sitting down yesterday (I believe) when it dawned on me that not only were we in November, but my birthday isn't that far away AND that means Christmas is also very close -- which left me completely (and I mean completely) whiplashed into trying to figure out exactly where has our year gone?!?!?

Then when you try to break it down - it actually makes a little bit of sense:
July: Road trip to Minnesota to celebrate Bob and Sandi's 40th wedding anniversary
August: Denver for 3 weeks on a major project over there
September: Home for 2 weeks before leaving for Louisiana and out of town for another 3 weeks
October: Home for exactly 4 days before heading back over to celebrate Darby's birthday followed by a flurry of catching up, jury duty and getting sick......

And we're in November just like that..

A perfect whirlwind of a summer and fall -- with winter already staring us down.. YIKES!!

November looks to be just as busy in parts -- and Lord knows what awaits us for December.. Suffice to say though: we're very busy and in the middle of more projects than we can shake a stick at.. I love the idea of being busy - but it can be very overwhelming at the same time..

I did -- finally -- make the following observations: rest is good..

And I'm not talking about the type of afternoon break to watch a movie or something.. Thanks to being sick the past couple of days -- I walked away from all of the current project stuff so that I could just focus on resting.. That's when it dawned on me tonight that I'm actually feeling pretty jazzed about starting things back up tomorrow.. I'm not certain I'll be feeling 100% yet, but the drive is there to get things done and to be productive.. Which ultimately prescribes the following medication: if you don't rest occasionally, you will not work as efficiently as you expect yourself to..

It's only taken me over a year to finally make that determination, but hey -- better late than never..

Monday awaits and I think I'm ready.. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Last night I watched Elizabethtown. I put it on my netflix queue after seeing Orlando Bloom in the 3rd Pirate movie as I just really liked him as eye candy. Well I wouldn't say the movie was great but it did touch me. It had some really beautiful touching moment for me and some really good lines (I will put at the end of the post a few the lines). But then...what really pushed it over the top was the MUSIC! It is a Cameron Crowe movie and his movies usually have good music but this really seemed to even out do Almost Famous (which I have that soundtrack too because I love the music - icon is from it too).

In the movie Kirstin Dunst's character (Claire) has told Orlando Bloom's character (Drew) that he should take a road trip because he said he never done one. She makes him this really cool altered book with maps (including places where he should stop and why), pictures and then mix cds for the whole way to fit with where he is driving. And the music....oh the me shivers just thinking of it I was just so completely absorbed in it that I know I missed some of the feelings Orlando's character was suppose to be going through as I was going through my own emotions.

I immediately went to to see about soundtrack and of course there is the orginal score and then there are 3 more cd's the main soundtrack vol. 1 and plus 2 more. One just for when they (Drew and Claire) were The Brown hotel...that one I would really like to have but it wasn't available on amazon (which btw the hotel looks like an amazing place to stay!). So yesterday Michael had some reward coupons for Best Buy and he was going to look something so he said go see if they have soundtracks for Elizabethtown. They had the main one - vol. 1 and then vol 2. I picked vol. 2. But would like to get the other sometime too.

So I am sure I will be listening to Elizabethtown soundtrack for several days/weeks.

Claire: I'm impossible to forget, but I'm hard to remember.

Claire: Trust me. Everybody is less mysterious than they think they are.

Claire: Most of the sex I've had in my life was not as personal as that kiss.

Claire: Men see things in a box, and women see them in a round room.

Claire: Sadness is easier because its surrender. I say make time to dance alone with one hand waving free.

Hollie: All forward motion counts.

Claire [voice over]: Some music *needs* air. Roll down your window.

Claire: To have never taken a solitary road trip across country? I mean everybody's got to take a road trip, at least once in their lives. Just you and some music

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Gratitude

5 Good Things in my Life...
1. Elizabethtown soundtrack
2. Pumpkin Cheesecake
3. Phone calls from good friends
4. New book I picked up at Michael's that is giving me some holiday present ideas!
5. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander friend Carolynn suggested them to me and I am really loving the story! It is a page turner after finishing one book I am eager to get to the next