Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mission Cutover

Well, here we are at the jetBlue call center. Today is the big day, the one we've been prepping for for over 12 months ... countless hours of training, programming and troubleshooting. Today is the day. We're all on pins and needles in the Center waiting for headquarters to actually flip the switch. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds and what the media review will be later.

I've been here since 5:30am and am working a heavy load of overtime today and tomorrow. The rest of the week is a little up in the air at the moment. My week in review should be up tonight sometime ... still playing catch up here and so glad I've got my iPhone camera with me at all times.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Honesty 101: Tell It Like It Is

I'm having a hard time understanding why this is such a hard principle to teach my children. Don't they want people to believe them? Do they really think we're that stupid? I've explained time and time again that, "If you're doing something wrong ... you're already in trouble, mister (or sister for that matter). Now, if you top that off with a big fat whopper of a lie, what exactly do you think is going to happen?" But somehow, they still end up going through these phases where they must truly think we are complete idiots.

Just tell it like it is. If you wet your pants in the middle of the night or broke Mom's favorite vase, just tell it like it is. If you lost your hat, forgot your homework or left work to run an errand with an 18 year old boy that we've told you not to associate with ... just TELL IT LIKE IT IS. Why make it so much worse by trying to pull the wool over our eyes? I promise I will always know if you brushed your teeth, washed your hands or went to a party you shouldn't have.

And now the task of coming up with our latest and greatest, logical but painful punishment? Where do I even start on this one? How do you handle honestly issues in your house? I'd love to get your advice., feel free to leave me your 2 cents ... or 20 bucks, your choice.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Few Etsy Favorites

Just a few things I have my eye on these days.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart - Let the Magic Begin!

It's that wonderful time of year again ... One World One Heart. For those of you who aren't familiar with this event, you're in for a real treat. It's a massive, worldwide blogger giveaway event. Last year there were 911 participants from 28 different countries. We're talking HUGE! I can't wait to see how big this year's event will be.This is my first year participating and I'm thrilled at the opportunity. I've put together a fantastic giveaway package for you too. All items in the photos above will go to one lucky winner, to be announced on February 15th. The only thing YOU need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. Easy-peasy. Just make sure I have a a way to reach you if you're the 'chosen one'. (ie: email is probably best, but a linky-do to your blog, etsy or other works just fine) This fantastic collection of wonders are all from my personal 'storehouse' of crafty goodness. They are all handmade, mostly upcycled and absolutely one of a kind. Altogether the package is worth over $75 and it could be yours, ALL YOURS. ;)

Item details:
  • 3 white hanging luminaries for a sexy Arabian evening
  • 2 night lights to brighten dark and spooky places
  • 2 adjustable resin-dipped button rings to fancify your fingers
  • 4 ice cube magnets for magically holding things in place
For more details about this hugely successful, wonderfully inviting event, click on the Magic Carpet Ticket below. Be sure to visit all the other ticket holders in the sidebar while you're there to meet new people and win beautiful gifts.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Music Inspiration ... KS Rhoads

I find this song completely haunting and inspiring at the same time. It soothes my soul on the dark days and makes me want to write poetry. KS is amazing to see live, I highly recommend it if he's ever in your neighborhood.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Week in Review 1/21/10

Lots and lots of hours at JetBlue training to be a trainer, ha ha. I will be a teacher's assistant for 5 whole days, which required 5 whole days of training. Interesting. It's refreshing to be doing something different though. I can't wait to meet our class tomorrow, of course this means more long ... LONG nights and less time with the fam. At least my paycheck will show a substantial increase. It will be nice to have a little breathing room for a change.

I was able to actually finish a book this week too, The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner. It was for book club, which I've never attended and missed this month too. (I'm working on it, at least I read the book this time) I got to see awesome cloud formations as a storm rolled in on Monday, witness a good deed as I drove in to work, got a surprise package from Whimsy Love and made delicious Pork Medallions with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce. (Recipe to be posted later)

Now, I'm off to bed ... and even before midnight. Yay me!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Loving Shape Collage!

Alright, I admittedly spent too much time in front of the computer today, but I needed a creative diversion before heading back to JetBlue for another 8 hour session of training. Blech. Now, I'm running on very little energy and even less sleep so my new toy offered the most fun with the least effort.

These were all created from the same batch of 200-ish photos of my oldest girly-girl. Processing time wasn't too bad, except for the last one with the background. I'm still deciding if I like the idea of a background or not, there's something about it on a clean white area that I just love. Anyway, I've discovered that you can preview as many times as you want and it will rearrange the photo spacing each time, which is nice. Oh! And plan to walk away from your computer while it's creating. This program definitely takes a lot of juice to run, so hands off is better or everything will slow waaaayy down.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Toy, New Toy! I Have a New Toy!

Photojojo absolutely rocks! I love getting their newsletter with fun how-to projects and photo tips. They are always a treat and today was no exception. Today they introduced me to Shape Collage, a magically fantastical program that will takeyour own personal collection of photos and arrange them into a glorious collage in the shape of your choosing. I've only had limited time to play in it this afternoon, but it is soooo much fun! Make a custom image for your sweetheart, parents, grandparents, sister, boss, etc.

The first image I sampled was a double heart I found online. The pictures aren't the best, I just grabbed the first album I saw ... Izzy, and named it Puppy Love. (oh the cheese factor!) I love the shape though and will definitely make another with a better grouping of photos. This one only took about a minute to create and has 125 photos in it. Not bad.Then I did one with a red velvet background just to see how the program would output it. Yuck, but this was my bad. The fabric photo is too detailed, too close up. It overpowers the photos and makes them look too flat. A field of grass way off in the distance or a nice patch of blue sky would've looked much better. This one took about ten minutes to create.The last test for today was a doozy. I'll be the first to admit that under some circumstances I just love to push the limits as far as I can, so I through over 600 images into this one from different family activities over the last 3 years. I wanted to see how the program handled a really detailed, full 'shape' and had a great brainstorm of making a photo family tree. This beauty took a little over an hour to create ... and I'm wishing I'd bought the upgrade so I could edit it and push a few things around in PhotoShop ... maybe after payday. It's also the only way to get rid of the watermark.Next time around I want to try some custom text ... oh, the possibilities. Go download it yourself and have a blast! So many ideas brewing ...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Rule Book

I'm sure this picture was taken just a few weeks ago. I'm sure that this little girl is only about 5 years old and is sweet and funny and just wants to pal around with me all day long making crafts and painting pictures. Where have the last 10 years gone? How is it that now dear Hubby and I have to come up with some kind of rule system regarding how much time she is spending with senior boys and where she is and isn't allowed to go with her best friend who just got her driver's license? She can't hang out with boys who look like this! No way! Look at her. She's just too little. Too young. Too ... my little girl. You know it's funny, when my kids were younger and I was single, I sat them down one day and we had a long talk about how each child is different and none of them come with their own instruction manual. I wanted them to realize that just as I was figuring out all the in's and out's of whatever stage they were in at the moment ... that in almost that same moment they were moving on to a new, unexplored stage and I had to start the figuring all over again. Sometimes it feels like parenting is just that - writing the rule book over and over again. I just love the fact that Hubby and I are always on the same page, so much that I can actually phrase questions to him like, "How do we feel about this?" without us both cracking up.

For the moment, we're trying to be reasonable and responsible. I think that's fair to all the kids. What are the hardest things for you to make clear-cut rules about?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jamaican Me Crazy!

Warning: Be advised, this recipe is sure to bring many corny jokes told in poor taste to your dining room.

After a long, hard day of being the meanest mom on the planet, it was nice to throw a few ingredients into the blender, slop that onto some meat and grill up dinner to feed the 'beasts'. The whole process was just quick and violent enough to soothe my frazzled nerves.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kidlets, each of them, very much. I've just come to the conclusion that they all cycle through lovely, unpredictable phases where they are alternately angelic or demonic. I'm not sure if the shifts are based on cycles of the moon or weather, growth spurts or their pH balance. All I know is that just when I think everyone is in their happy place, myself included, one of them falls off the wagon. I do my best to keep my cool but I'm only human, and yesterday I lost it. It was short-lived and everyone is back onboard for the moment. So, for those days when you feel like cooking in a mad frenzy, here's a great recipe for you.

Jamaican Jerk Rub

1/2 C coarsely chopped onion
2 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, quartered

Put all ingredients in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Spoon evenly onto chicken breasts, turkey breast tenderloin or pork chops. Rub in with your fingers. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Grill or broil meat.

This is one of the recipes from The Sonoma Diet book by Dr. Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD. So far, it's my favorite of all the library books I brought home. I even omitted the allspice and thyme since I didn't have them on hand and it still turned out great. Even the little monsters raved about it as they gobbled it up. Since all their halos were beaming, the slew of jokes that came with the recipe's name were at least bearable.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Week in Review 1/14/10

So, somehow the week came and went and you haven't heard very much from me. You should know that I think about writing here all the time ... it's just hard to find the time to 'get her done' some days. Things here are busy as always, but things are getting done and there are new projects in motion which is always fun.We have #4 in an after-school art program for the next six weeks. He's chosen the drawing/painting class ... and #1 is a high school volunteer for the program helping in his classroom. Since they've never been in the same school together this is a treat for both of them. I attended my very first Geography Bee that #4 was a contestant in, very exciting. (I would have failed miserably) I've drilled over 100 night lights that need to be cut. We're still on track for eating healthy. (New recipes coming soon) My toes are painted and my leg is healing from a classic Lisa moment in the icy school parking lot ... and Izzy is cuter than ever!

Oh! And get this! We've received a formal invitation by mail to attend the Love You Dinner at hubby's parents' house in February. They are the sweetest people I know. What a great idea. I'll have to log that one in for future dinner dates with the kidlets after they move out. It was such a treat just to get the invitation in the mail and it almost made me cry when I read it. Pass this one on and host a Love You Dinner for your family members too. I'll try to be better about posting next week. I'm shifting jobs at JetBlue for a smidge and will train in the evenings all next week so my days will be free! Yay!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Starting Small

So far ... so good. Just reminding myself publicly that sometimes we need to find success in the little things because, over time, they'll add up. So today I accomplished the following:

Started/Finished 5 loads of laundry
Completed 1.5 hours of JetBlue training
Researched online Driver's Ed courses
Had a great lower body work out
Cooked a healthy dinner the whole family loved
Poop-scooped the back yard
Taught #5 the < and > signs for his math homework
Gave myself a pedicure and finally repainted my toenails

Not earth shattering, I know, but things I can remove from my to-do list. Now I just need to make a shopping list and hit the grocery store tonight. Fun. Tomorrow I'm hoping to clear out the 4 boxes of cans in the living room so I can cut a nice big batch Wednesday. It's been way too long since I've lit up my torch.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week in Review 1/7/10

I'm doing my best to learn from all the creative people around me. Sometimes, it take a while for things to sink in. This is the first installment for a new project inspired by my gal pal Nikki at Whimsy Love. She is one crazy energetic craftster that I stay in touch with in the blogosphere. (She even has one of my cupcake night lights in her kitchen! I love this girl.) Anywho, we both started Project 365 last year and both quit at some point, but she revamped it into something that really worked for her, the Week in Review. She made a photo collage every week for the entire year. Genius. It was great to 'follow' her and be a part of all her crazy crafty adventures in 2009 and seeing the compilation of all of them finally made something click. I can do this.

Now, this was a pretty uneventful week, so the photos are less than stellar. The highlights included Izzy's first haircut, starting a new fitness program, cross-referencing recipes from several different schools of 'diet theories' to find what works for our family ... and prepping oodles of cans for cutting. It was a pretty messy week, but not exactly exciting. That's my life, welcome to it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blueberry Vanilla Oatmeal

Here's my new favorite breakfast for you to sample. It's quick to make and will keep you satisfied for hours.


1/3 cup Bob'sw Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal
1 cup water
frozen blueberries
vanilla protein powder
skim milk

1 - Combine the oatmeal and water in a microwavable bowl. Cook on high for about 2-3 minutes. This will vary depending on your microwave. Watch it the first time to make sure it doesn't boil over.
(very messy)

2 - Remove bowl and stir thoroughly, breaking up the clumps on the bottom. Add a dash of cinnamon and 1/2 a scoop of the protein powder. Mix well and let sit for a couple minutes.

3 - Add a small handful of blueberries and stir. Microwave on high for one more minute.

4 - Remove. Stir. Add a dash of milk and enjoy a hearty/healthy bowl of yum.

If you want to really mix it up you can try it with chopped peaches or mangos... mmm.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Music Inspiration ... Matthew Perryman Jones

I'm loving this song right now. It's available on iTunes from his album Swallow the Sea.Watch and enjoy.