Saturday, January 31, 2009

I feel so....so...special!

I just got home from volunteering at an art auction to benefit a local free health clinic. I felt like special because I showered, put on make-up, blew dry my hair, and dressed nice. They had too many volunteers, but I stayed til the end. I met some nice people and enjoyed having grown-up conversation. I even purchased a few ornaments that didn't get any bids.

I also got a new cell phone today. It actually arrived yesterday but I didn't get it activated until today. I got my # changed over but I still need to get the contacts added. This phone is VERY fancy to me. I can take pics, access the web, and other stuff. I took a pic of myself, but I have no idea how to get it off the phone...so I took a pic of it. LOL!!! (click photo to see the detail!)Special day...new phone and no sweats. I felt like a working woman!!

Thanks for dropping!

I want to say thanks to everyone who visits via EntreCard and recognize my top droppers for January. I will put your button on my sidebar. Jo & Robin rock with dropping EVERY day. Harriet is just a slacker! lol! Top droppers can grab the blinkie below!!
LifesPerfectPictures
CBD





Mommy's Idea

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Diana Rambles

Friday, January 30, 2009

FFFF #12: Chinese Zodiac

FamilyFotoFunFriday
This week's FFFF is going to be a little different. I want you to do a post about your Chinese Zodiac sign, the traits of that animal, and if you think you resemble that. The Chinese Zodiac is said to be very accurate, so it will be fun to see if you agree in your case. You may include a photo of yourself or your animal sign (I won't even require that it be a pic you took!) When you've done your post, please come back here and fill out the Mr. Linky with the direct URL to your post. Detailed directions for participating in FFFF and how to do get the direct URL to your post can be found here.

You can find out which animal year you are by looking at this site. If you click the pic of the animal it will give you a detailed description of your sign. You can find a brief description at this site (click animal names right below the zodiac) Please note: If you are born in Jan or in Feb, you aren't necessarily the animal posted for your year. The Chinese calendar is different than than ours. That first site I listed gives exact dates.

I am a horse (...although real horses scare me!)

People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much. The are wise, talented, good with their hands, and sometimes have a weakness for members of the opposite sex. They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.


I think there are some truths to that description. Actually it's all very accurate, but I don't think I am hot-blooded. Or not so much anymore. I am definitely impatient, independent, cheerful, perceptive, and I talk too much!! If weakness for the opposite sex can be defined as a flirt...then I am guilty!
For fun I am posting my kindergarten pic that I just scanned. Gotta LOVE that collar!!Now is your turn! Follow make a post with the directions above and add it to the Mr. Linky below. PLEASE put the direct link to the post in the Mr. Linky. Direct link is best so people don't have to scroll through your blog to try to find your post. You have until Thurs, Feb 5th to post your entry.
*Yes...some say they don't beleive in the zodiac or that the descriptions can apply to anyone, but let's have fun with it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

w00t!

Did you see that our state got a new governor today??? I watched the end of the senate deliberations and then the live vote. It was pretty obvious after seeing a few senators speak that the vote was going to be a land-slide. Good-bye Blago! I think he and Trump should market a line of men's hair care products.

From what I've heard of our new governor, Pat Quinn, he's supposed to be a good guy. I heard he's been outspoken about corrupt government for a while. Jake met him back in 2005 when he visited a few middle schools in Illinois to push a new technology program he was proposing. Jake was one of 4 students who was asked a question related to Illinois and was able to find the answer quickly. Jake's question was: Who is the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize? She is from Illinois. Do you know the answer? Jake ended up being interviewed by a few local stations. I was very proud that he was picked by his teachers and that he did a good job. (Yup...he had long hair back then!) Nearly a year later we discovered that our daughter was born on that very day.

Organization on the Go

We are a mini-van family. Almost a must with 3 children. I love that the back of my van comes with compartments that help keep groceries secure, but my big issue is securing the stroller. I did a search and came up with this awesome gadget called Stor-a-Stroller at KidSafe. It attaches to the headrest bars of the back seats and can be adjusted to hold an umbrella stroller above the storage area. Pretty clever.

While I was at KidSafe, I found lots of other great items to keep your children safe. Another gadget that I think is cool is the Giggle Bug Toddler Tracker. It works just like the finder on your cordless phone. You attach the cute little giggle bug to your child's clothing. Then if they run off you click the button on the fob and the giggle bug beeps so that you can locate your child. Why didn't they have this when Jake was a toddler? He LOVED to run off!! We did have a tether for him (similar to this harness) that we used when we were in traveling in crowds, but I would have loved a Giggle Bug for shopping trips and other errands. So in addition to your car fob, you can have a kid fob! LOL!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Valentines Out of the Box Sampler Giveaway

I am hosting an Out of the Box Sampler giveaway over at Sited and Blogged. Out of the Box Sampler is an etailer that combines the best of crafty handmade businesses on the web. This allows you to discover the best that handcrafters have to offer. Out of the Box will be sending one winner a Valentines Sampler Box. This box will be filled with 16-18 different businesses samples like melts, scrubs, bath, body, tarts, candles, gourmet foods, jewelry, coupons, discounts, handmade goodies and more, from some of the best etailers on the web.


You can find and enter this giveaway at the new Sited and Blogged blog. Entry deadline is Fri, Jan 30 at 11:59 CST. Winner will be announced on Saturday.

If you are a business interested in contributing to the March or April Samplers, please click here to contact Out of the Box Sampler.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Make Something Monday: Bird/Squirrel Feeders

For this week's Make Something Monday I am going to show you an easy bird/squirrel feeder that is fun to make with kids. I got this idea from my daughter's school.

You need: dried bread, yarn, peanut butter, and bird seed. First poke a hole near the top of the bread and string some yarn through so that you are able to hang the feeder. Spread peanut butter on one side of the bread and then sprinkle bird seed on it. Repeat with the other side. Then hang it outside for the birds/squirrels to enjoy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hey

I haven't rambled in a while. I have been keeping sooooo busy that I don't seem to have the time I want to do my personal blogging. But that is a reflection of my life. LOL! My crazy, chaotic, disorganized brain just doesn't keep up all the time!!!

This weekend has flown by! Not sure where it went!?! I did spend 5 hours at Panera yesterday talking with friends and then spent much of the afternoon in bed (on the laptop) cause it was just chilly. Today was taken up with church, emails with clients, on the phone, and then dinner at my sister's house. My computer-guru BIL (brother-in-law) showed us this awesome new laptop that he obtained that he plans on selling. I am thinking that since I got a great deal on this one from him, that I could recoup the costs and then buy that one. I am sure I'd be OK without the newer laptop, but the pretty shininess and widescreen sure got my attention. Eric said he would buy it and then give me his Macbook. Uhmmmm, thanks sweetie!?

My biz is going well. I keep getting more and more requests, which I feel like I am doing OK with keeping up with. No one has to wait more than a week or so, but I also have some clients that are in no hurry. Which just encourages me to procrastinate. LOL! Maybe it's not always procrastination. I am always juggling the kids and their activities, being healthy and working out, and regular household duties. Don't forget I have my Visitor of the Week giveaway over at my Custom Blog Designs site. I'm paying attention to who is spreading the love!

Speaking of blogs, since tomorrow marks the start of Chinese New Year I gave my daughter's blog a new look. Isn't this cute??? I used the Complete Chinese New Year kit by Lleilla Designs. I just love her stuff!! Click here to get to her shop. She has a Panda kit that I am anxious to use. Unfortunately I am only able to use the design on my personal blogs, not for clients. BUMMER!! Other than the blog, I haven't really done anything to prepare for CNY. We did got to a celebration recently, but we need to make some Year of the Ox ornaments and then decorate our xmas CNY tree tomorrow. I also buy Dori a stuffed animal each year, so I have to find an Ox anywhere. Hum....

Looking ahead at this week...Dori has school on Tues & Thurs, Parker has piano & youth group on Wed, and a few other little things here and there. Pretty typical for us. Tomorrow I need to contact the school and deal with an incident that Parker was involved with on Friday. I emailed the teacher & principal to give them a heads up, but I hope we can get it all resolved quickly. That has stressed us out this weekend.

I wanted to post some recipes I've tried recently, but I think I'll just provide the link to where I got them. The Newlyweds! blog is chalked full of yummy looking recipes. Last week I tried the Chicken Noodle Soup and Busy Day Lo Mein. I put in a little extra garlic on both and my guys complained a little about it, but overall they were a hit. I plan on making the Thai Turkey Tacos tomorrow night and the Smothered Chicken & Rice later this week. I'll have to alternate those with our salad nights!

Speaking of healthy, I've added stretching, some free weight exercises, and sit-ups to my routine. I've just done it 2 times so far, but I am surprised I am NOT sore. I doubt it's cause I am in great shape...I probably need to just push it a little more. I had a great little routine that I got out of Prevention mag, but I can't find the article...so I am just kind of making it up. LOL! I need to do the stretching and sit-ups daily, but I'll just do the weights every other day. I've noticed in the past that those have been the best way to tone up. Just think...if I am doing this in January...I'll be trim & sexy by swimsuit season. NOT! It just means my fat won't hang out of my suit as much! LOL!! I do wear a 2-piece....tankini with a skirty bottom. OK...we won't go there! Although wouldn't it be nice if it was WARM enough for a swim suit!!!!!

OK...I need to get some more work done and get to bed!!! Happy Chinese New Year!!!!

Looking for a New Car?

I know the economy is not the best right now and budgets are tight, but the best value for you is the new Honda Accord. I check out this review of the 2009 Honda Accord and I was able to find the MSRP a price quote from car dealers in my area. These Honda Accord Reviews were straightforward and thorough.

I was able to click on my favorite photo of a Honda and it's model came up. Then I put my cursor on the cool bar, different options come up and I was able to get all the information possible on the Honda Accord. Check it out and learn what a great value the 2009 Honda Accord is.

The reason I was looking for a Honda is because my parents have owned a few Accords over the years. I remember taking a trip in my dad's blue Accord for a college visit back in the 80s. That car lasted a long time. Now he drives a silver Accord. I really enjoy driving it when I go to visit. It's comfortable and holds a carseat/baby supplies quite easily. I feel like college was a lifetime ago, but that goes to show what a great car the Accord is.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Eating Better!

As I have mentioned in a few posts, we've are trying to be more fit. I started with exercising on our new elliptical machine, but when I noticed that I wasn't trimming down we started focusing on our food intake too. I've grown tired of many of the meals we've had year in and year out and dread making a meal plan and shopping list each week. So we've come up with some new meals. Our favorite is salad with grilled chicken strips. I've avoided salads because there seems to be SOOO much prep that goes into them, but now I buy those great Fresh Express bagged salads and dinner is a snap. Fresh Express has 2 new great varieties added to their offerings: Tender Ruby Reds and Sweet Tender Greens. Our favorite of the 2 is the Sweet Tender Greens. I went in search of some recipes to make with these salad mixes and came across the Phytolife.com website. It's chalked full of wonderful information about Phytonutrients and living a healthier life. I did come across a recipe for Ruby Reds, Feta, & Watermelon Salad that I look forward to eating. Their article called Get Energized-Naturally! really got my attention, especially the paragraph titled Make Small Lifestyle Changes. We know we can't change our health and fitness overnight, but we can take small changes that will go a long way.

And if you have kids, check out Phil Lempert's article about Putting kids in Charge of Produce. It suggests that you should have children under 13 pick out one fruit or vegetable that the family has never tried, but I am going to test that out with ALL members of our family.

Friday, January 23, 2009

FFFF #11: Sun

FamilyFotoFunFriday
This week's theme is sun. I picked this theme because the sunrise looked so beautiful this morning. Sun theme could mean a pic of the sunrise, sunset, sunbathing, or something else related to the sun. Please post at least one photo with a sun theme and come back here and fill out the Mr. Linky with the direct URL to your post. Detailed directions for participating in FFFF and how to do get the direct URL to your post can be found here.

Here is my submission. This is a pic of the sunset that I took a few weeks ago. Gorgeous!Now is your turn! Post your sun photo(s) with a link to this site then add the link to your post to the Mr. Linky below. PLEASE put the direct link to the post in the Mr. Linky. Direct link is best so people don't have to scroll through your blog to try to find your post. You have until Thurs, Jan 29 to post your entry.

Introducing....


What is Sited and Blogged?

Sited and Blogged is several things.

  • Sited and blogged features blog posts from a variety of bloggers. These bloggers are contributors to this site or bloggers who have submitted posts. (we are still recruiting contributors)
  • Sited and Blogged is a reference point of items of interest from around the blog world, either submitted by our contributors or readers like yourself.
  • Simply stated, Sited and Blogged is the best of what is of interest in the blog world.
I am one of the contributors of the site and I am also in charge of one of our first giveaways there. The giveaway is for a Valentine's Out of the Box Sampler, which is an awesome sampling of the best handmade etailers out there. There is also a giveaway for 1000 EntreCard credits. Both giveaways run through January 30.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today's the DAY!

I am so excited about inauguration day!! Only a few more hours of W!! BUT I won't be able to watch!! I was scheduled as the working parent at Dori's preschool today. I'll be busy helping with kids AND there is no internet connection at the school. THEN there is a potluck today. Grrrr! Part of my duties are to clean the class (it's a cooperative), which means I'll probably have to wait until after the potluck to clean. GRRRRR!! I have a few errands, but they are not pressing...so I'll put them off. BUT even then I probably won't get home until at least 1:30pm CST. Boo hoo!!!!!! DVR is set...but it's just not the same!!! BUT I'll soak in everything I can this afternoon.
Image borrowed from Around the Way Books

Monday, January 19, 2009

And we are back!

Today I came up with a game plan on getting the posts to show again. I ran it by a friend of mine (who also knows code) and she agreed that it would probably work. I wrote down the steps and went through systematically. Unfortunately I encountered some error messages with blogger (which ate up about 20 mins or so), but from start to finish it took me 80 mins. So without the errors it would have been right at an hour...which is what I guessed it would be.

So I learned a lot...mostly to preview and ALWAYS back-up. Thanks for hanging in there with me! Now I have to get my Mr. Linkies back up!

Make Something Monday: Paninis

Go Graham Go & Jolly Mom host Make Something Monday. For this week's Make Something Monday I am showing you how we've come to love sandwiches again by making them into paninis. It's super simple! First plug in your George Forman grill. If you don't have one...wait til garage sale season and get one cheap!! Then get your fav bread, meat, cheese, and toppings. Lightly spray the outside of each piece of bread with some cooking spray oil. Then put the sandwich together keeping the sprayed side out. Then you pop it into your grill (I usually apply a little pressure on the lid for a few seconds) and then a few minutes later you have a perfectly grilled panini! YUM!! Experiment with different cheeses & toppings!! My kids *LOVE* them!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Story, Again

In case you missed it earlier this month, the story of our adoption referral is featured at Mom Most Traveled today.
Photobucket

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Ramble

Hey all! It's a mellow Sat night around here. The kids are downstairs playing a game together, Eric is watching Battlestar online, and I am here. I am getting tired so I don't think I'll be up late tonight. I am doing much better with sleep the past few nights. Last night I was asleep by 10:30 and slept til 7am. Best night of sleep in 2009! w00t! I hadn't been feeling good last evening and was frustrated with some work stuff. When I got to the point where I had tears, I knew it was time to log off and go to sleep. Even today I wasn't my usual jovial self, but that's fine.

This morning I met one of my bloggy mommy (former band booster mommy) friend at Panera to talk blogs. It was nice to talk in person...not just emails. Then this afternoon we went to a Chinese New Year celebration at the local library. We've gone the past few years, but this year was jam packed with great performances. Dori really enjoyed them and even ventured away from us to watch from the front for a few minutes. She loved the lion dance!! I pulled out an quilted outfit that she wore a few years ago to see how big she's gotten and she wanted to wear it. Pretty funny seeing how small it was.
Speaking of funny, yesterday Parker & Dori took all the clippies & barrettes out of Dori's pretty box and put them in my hair. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves! LOL! Parker thought that he was getting away with something when he took pics of me, but I uploaded them to FB right away. Do you like how beautiful I looked?You might see the elliptical in the background of the last photo...I should probably update you on my fitness. Back in the first week of December I decided I was totally disgusted with myself. I started working now about 5-6 days a week on the elliptical, but I wasn't seeing any improvements. But that's turned around the past 2 weeks or so as we've been eating better. Eric is really rocking on it and increasing his time each day. I'm just increasing intensity, but I find myself less winded. I am starting to feel a little slimmer, but I am not taking measurements just yet. I want to wait until I know there is a big improvement. I actually took today off, but I'll get a good workout in tomorrow.

The kids had Thurs & Fri off school due to arctic conditions. It was actually sunny out (which was nice to have the curtains open), but wind chills were about 30-40 below. Outside of taking DH to & from work (so he didn't have to take the bus or pay for parking), I stayed inside. Today was a regular heatwave with temps near 30 above! They have Mon off for MLK, jr Day...so it's a LONG weekend!

It's 10pm and I can hear the kids laughing downstairs. They are having a great time goofing around. Not sure how easy it's going to be to corral them upstairs and in bed. Dori just came up and has 1 latex glove on, is carrying a small basket fill with a cactus pen, papers, silk flowers, and a duck whistle. Interesting combo and I am not sure where they got it all from. I can just imagine the mess they've created...but they are having FUN! Dori cracks up each time she blows the whistle. She told us she wanted night-night around 5:30 (which is too early for bed, but too late for nap) and we didn't know how we'd keep her up...but now she's WIDE awake!

I have to say that I was amazed this week with the story of the plane landing on the Hudson River. That pilot did an incredible job and is a big HERO. How the plane didn't break apart, I don't know. But I do know that when they make the 'in case of water landing' announcement from now on...I will pay attention!!

And I am looking forward to the end of the W era and the new presidency with Obama. I am schedule to be the working parent in Dori's class on Tuesday, so I am going to miss the swearing in. I have to clean the class afterward, but I hope to make it to a friends to watch some of the festivities. I will most likely record it and watch later. My weekly poll asks how you feel about the inauguration.

OK...I am getting tired...so I am logging off and heading toward bed. The kids are actually brushing teeth without our prompting, so maybe they are tired afterall.

Have a great Sunday!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

FFFF #10: Snow

FamilyFotoFunFriday
This week's theme is snow. I picked this theme because we finally got enough snow to shovel this week. I would think that nearly everyone has some kind of snow photo, even if they live in warm climates. Please post at least one photo of snow and come back here and fill out the Mr. Linky with the direct URL to your post. Detailed directions for participating in FFFF and how to do get the direct URL to your post can be found here.

I am posting pics of Dori enjoying the snow. The slide show is from Feb 2007 and the pics below are from yesterday. The storm in 2007 dumped 14". We only got about 2 or 3" yesterday.

| View Show | Create Your Own

Now is your turn! Post your snow photo(s) with a link to this site then add the link to your post to the Mr. Linky below. PLEASE put the direct link to the post in the Mr. Linky. Direct link is best so people don't have to scroll through your blog to try to find your post.