3.30.2012

Five for Friday

1.) First of all, thank y'all so much for your kind comments on yesterday's post and sharing in Scott's good news. He's really looking forward to getting started next week and being among the busy workerbees again. The way everything has come together so smoothly for this new job, after a long patch of nothing, has definitely been a God thing. We are so thankful!

2.) This happened:
Oh yeah. It did. And it was so good.

We showed up, merrily, for the first showing Tuesday morning, and were quite stunned to see the price flash up on the auto-ticket thingie as $12.00 each. What in the world? We soon clued into the fact that the first showing was for the fancy schmancy XD experience. Meh. Since the next showing wasn't until 10:55 and we were already there, Scott gave the green light to blow $24.00 on an early bird matinee that should have cost us $11.00 for both. I don't know if the XD effects were all that special, having nothing to compare it to, but the theater was swankier, roomier and the seats were leather. So there's that.

But.

The movie totally rocked.

And may the odds be forever in your favor.

3.) Remember a few weeks ago when Annelise was all up in tracking the Iditarod mushers? Well, look what a sweet, sweet bloggy friend sent her in the mail!! Straight from Alaska!!
Those are ACTUAL sled dog booties (see their little paw prints?) from actual sled dogs that were cast off along the trail.
Along with the booties, there was an Alaskan grown t-shirt for Annelise, a moose nugget necklace (so neat, although I'm taking a leap and assuming the nugget is a fancy way to say petrified moose poo), a cool Ulu knife for me and salt water taffy, which the mushers snack on to keep their energy up while doing all the mushing.

Annelise was beside herself with glee and jumped up in the air squealing for at least several minutes when she opened the box. She could not wait to take everything to school and show her class (and share the taffy), which she did on Tuesday. Thank you SOOOO much Charity!! This was such a special treat!!

4.) We've been on a quest this week for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. For years I was a back of the Tollhouse bag faithful (remember the Friends episode when Monica tried to make Phoebe's favorite chocolate chip cookies?), then last year I was sure I'd stumbled upon the best ever chocolate chip cookie recipe, with the secret weapon being adding a box of vanilla pudding to the batter.

We made them on Tuesday.
And they did not disappoint.

But I wondered if a better chocolate chip cookie might still be out there, ever eluding me, just past my grasp. I remembered Edie claiming her chocolate chip cookies could not be beat, so I gave them a whirl on Wednesday. How could you go wrong with butter and oil? You can't. Although your arteries might have a little something to say about that. They turned out great, but they have more of a pecan sandie (chocolate chip sandie) thing going on because of the extra flour (I think). Still soft and chewy but crumblier. And they'll leave a grease ring on your napkin (remember that whole butter and oil thing happening?).

I like how clear and concise I can be, don't you?

So which ones were the best? Well, they were both good, I mean, hey, it's a chocolate chip cookie. I do think my people and I prefer the first batch (with the vanilla pudding). Not that we won't eat the second batch of course, I mean, hey, it's a chocolate chip cookie.

Do you have a favorite, tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe? Do tell. Please. Seriously. I'm slightly obsessed.

5.) Nerd alert:
Annelise and I popped into the library, AKA our happy place, the other day and popped back out with our hands full.

I love that.

Have a happy, happy Friday (and weekend), y'all!

(And don't forget to share your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe!)
(My sweet tooth thanks you!)
(My hiney and thighs...not so much, but they're a bit rude anyway.)

3.29.2012

Light. As it Turns Out There is Some at the End of the Tunnel.

After seven (or is it eight?) months of unemployment, many prayers and occasional feelings of frustrated desperation tinged with uncertainty and loss, Scott is among the gainfully employed once again.

(!!)

He starts Monday.

(!!)

I've been hesitant to say too much (or anything at all) too soon because, not that I'm overly pessimistic, but I was worried this was all a little too good to be true and would somehow come to a crashing halt before ever beginning.

I know, I'm a joy to keep around.

In something of a whirlwind during the month of February, thanks to the recommendation of a sweet lady at our church to her physical therapist, whose husband works in the oil and gas field and who was hoping his company could  tap into the experience of those engineers laid off from the space shuttle program, phone numbers were exchanged, resumes reviewed and meet cutes were scheduled.

Okay, not meet cutes so much as casual interviews over coffee and a few lunches.

An offer came in early March and, well...they lived happily ever after.

Fingers crossed.

3.27.2012

Project Life: The Big Catch Up

Apparently I'm the type of person that gets a little bit behind with Project Life, ignores this fact for quite a while and then finally gets herself together and comes back with a vengeance.

I apologize in advance.
This post? It's a tad on the longish side.

Prepare yourselves. As in grab your coffee and snacks.

Here's a peek at Week 7.
This week I used additional inserts of a Design B protector trimmed down & a plain 8.5x11 protector for Valentine cards.

Here's Week 8.
Mainly Instagram photos this week (printed through Postal Pix).
New this week: plain office supply shipping tags & Martha Stewart file labels for extra journaling (love!).
Week 9 overview.
Extra photos from speech meet included with flip-up adhesive pocket (so handy when you need them).
Week 10 overview.
Week 11 overview.
This week I used a 6x12 divided photo protector for extra photos.
I don't know how I managed to get so far behind, like five weeks worth kind of behind, but happen it did.

Recommend it, I do not.

(Sorry for spontaneous Yoda voice.)

Not that you can't catch up once you get behind, of course you can, but I don't like having that feeling of a month backlog hanging over my head. Once I sat down over week or so here and there to dig my way out I found myself just wanting to get 'er done and not worry about extra doo-dads or scrappy-ness. And that's okay. I think Project Life looks great either way, simple or with bells and whistles, it's all good.

It feels really good to be caught up again.
Well, pretty much. I'm now only one week behind.
I can live with that.

I'm linking up at The Mom Creative, be sure to pop over there for tons more Project Life inspiration.
The Mom Creative
Thanks for stopping by.
Happy memory keeping, y'all!

3.23.2012

Five for Friday

Sometime this week I blinked and BOOM it's already Friday.
Time. It sure does fly.

1.) I can not stop thinking about the roasted veggies I made for lunch yesterday.
The freaky thing was, I was starving for lunch after being out all morning and was highly tempted to hit a drive thru or grab something out of the pantry (cracker-y, chip-y) right when I walked in the door. I'm actually proud of myself for resisting that urge and grabbing the brussels sprouts out of the fridge.

(!!)

As it turns out, roasted veggies are not only yummy, they are quick to make (I knew this since it's our favorite way to eat veggies at supper but I've never made them for lunch--I don't know why). I just cut up some brussels sprouts, broccoli, the remains of a rather sad zucchini and some cherry tomatoes; arranged them on a stone baking sheet; sprinkled some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasonings, tossed everything around so it was all nicely coated and no veggie felt alienated; then baked them at 375 for 15-20ish minutes.

I sprinkled a bit of grated parmesan and then ate those delicious veggies on top of a bed of spinach with a side of a few Triscuits (cracked pepper & olive oil, my favorite crackers).

It was the best lunch.

Odds are I'll be repeating this whole roasted veggie party again today.

(Why yes, I do have an addictive personality, but I don't feel guilty about this particular addiction.)

2.) We've had a bit of an ant problem both in the yard and on an ickier note, here and there around the house. I know! After the exterminator came last week they got all kinds of fired up on some kind of death march or Custer's last stand or Trail of Tears. Okay, I'll stop. The good news is they seem to have surrendered (died? given up the ghost? pushed up daisies? met their maker?) and we cleaned out the pantry. That felt good.

3.) For the next foreseeable future Thursdays shall hereby be known as the longest days ever. Annelise goes to dance after school (4:30-6-10), now she also has soccer practice on Thursday nights from 7:00-8:00 and by the time we get out of the sport complex (it's huge and packed), home, showered (the soccer player), second suppered (soccer players get rather hungry) and to bed, well...it's late.

But she loves it.
And so do we.
Except I MUST remember to bring bug spray next week.

4.) Annelise has a school project looming on the horizon and while I'm excited about it, I'm also slightly dreading it because waaay back in August my big mouth and I proclaimed, "Sure sweetie, I can sew you a prairie dress and bonnet!" with gusto.

And now I actually have to figure out how to do it.

::squirms uneasily::

Second grade puts on a Wax Museum thing-a-ma-jig where they each research a famous person and then dress up and tell *visitors* about his or her famous person.

Annelise chose Laura Ingalls Wilder, and we're both really excited about it.

Except for the whole sewing of the prairie dress and bonnet thing.

5.) Scott actually turned to me the other day and said something along the lines of, "So have you heard about this new movie, The Hunger Games?"

I tried to keep it together, but he totally outed himself as only pretend listening last year when I went on and on to him about the books and the torture of having to wait for the last one to come out and then off and on occasionally this year when I would talk to him about the movie coming out this spring.

Hrrumph.

::flounces off in a huff::

Happy Friday, y'all!

3.21.2012

And In Other News

It dawned on me tonight that most of my posts of late have all been of the hodgepodge-y random, brain dump variety.

I'm sorry.

Did I used to have cohesive, organized, themed posts? Ever? Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but it seems like I occasionally did.
And yet. Still.

Here I go again with the random.

Over the weekend we had a wonderful visit in the country with Scott's sister, brother-in-law and brother.
I'll post more photos and notes from the trip soon, but I'll tease you with the one I took for Saturday's #marchphotoaday Day 17: green of the serene pond behind their house. Bliss.

Day 18's theme was a corner of my home. I was up working at my craft table on Project Life (yes, I'm trying to catch up, will be posting my progress soon) so I snapped a photo of one corner of my craft room. This side shows random craft projects that have been abandoned along with other junk that gets dumped there until a proper home is found (as if). The sad thing is that every other corner looks the same, though the other three have a variety of craft supplies/projects, storage boxes and Annelise's clothes that need to be sorted and passed on. It's pretty terrible. I think about dedicating hours or days to tackling it, and I know it could be soooo much better if I would just start, but I never do. I just clear a path and a semi-work area at the table and ignore the rest.
Another way I avoid de-cluttering and organizing is by escaping to the hair salon (heehee).
I'm still growing out my angled bob. At least I'm trying. I really, really, really miss my shorter hair but I miss ponytails and up-dos so I'm anxious to see how far I can get with this project. Today I just had a few foils done in the front to cover up a bit of grey and dark regrowth and then she cut some longer layers and texturized the heck out of my hair. Which is just what it needs. 
Now it's more of a layered bob. I think. But I like that it moves and swishes instead of just sitting on my shoulders like a shrub.

Once my hairs were all done and the Dish Network guy was finished* Scott and I went for a yummy late lunch at Genghis Grill. We had a coupon for 1/2 off one bowl, FTW.
*About that Dish Network guy, I know I just told y'all last week we were this close to canceling our service and scaling back our TV (I know!), and then in the end we (and by we, I mean he) just couldn't cut the cord. Well. Did you know that Dish Network came out (like this week) with a new DVR system that records up to six, count them SIX, different shows at the same time? Well. Scott has been waiting with bated breath for this *new thing* and could not wait to schedule an upgrade.

We now have a Hopper and a Joey and I have yet to figure out how to operate them.

But when I do, I can record up to six different shows.

(See, the old way could only record two things and if something was recording on TV1 (Heaven forbid!) then Scott was blocked (the horror!) from flipping through channels freely and randomly. Old way = terrible (here in the first world), new way = awesome (we'll see).

And speaking of books.

Oh wait. We weren't.

I finished reading The Paris Wife, and liked it. Some parts fell flat and Hadley came across as more of a dependent doormat to Hemingway than I think she truly was (not that I know anything about her), but I still enjoyed the book. Now I'm reading A Moveable Feast as a Hemingway-Paris in the 20s follow-up.

Waiting in the wings from the library are several books by Anne Lamott, which I'm eagerly looking forward to digging into, along with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. I started Death Comes to Pemberley last night and had a difficult time getting into it. I think I would much more enjoy spending my time reading Jane Austen than plodding through Jane Austen pseudo-sequels. So we shall see.

And speaking of health and fitness.

Oh wait. We weren't.

I've had two and a half (3/4s really) good days with both my food choices and exercises.
So, yay!

Then tonight I didn't eat supper but I did eat Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch after tap class.
And no, I did not stop at the halfway mark.

You win some.
You lose some.

And sometimes you just eat the whole dadburned thing.

3.19.2012

Monday...Monday

Can't trust that day...
Sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning
you gave me no warning
of what was to be...

Are you feeling a little mello yello now after a bit of The Mamas and The Papas?

Actually, my Monday, Monday has started out great (so far). How's yours?

Annelise be-bopped back on into school this morning after the best Spring Break ever (her words). Even though we were waaay low-key as far as *plans* and *organized activities* she still seemed to enjoy herself, so that's good. Last night after church and supper and a bath, while the clock ticked on past 9:00,  she *remembered* she had to make a quick 5-minute video as a reporter for the Iditarod sled race for extra credit. This is the same video I had encouraged her to make earlier in the week, and a few times as the week went on and she always had many more important things to do. Needless to say we crushed her small budget, edgy, indie-filmmaker spirit and told her no way, Jose and by the way, go to bed.

Scott is playing golf this morning. 

I've had the house to my little ol' self and it has been perfectly delightful, let me tell you.

After being increasingly frustrated with My Fitness Pal, and yes, I know I'm wrongly heaping blame on MFP's head when really it's my fault for said frustration. I resent when it cheerily informs me I've logged in for 75 days, yet I have not lost one ding-dang ounce. Truth be told, I've been rather willy-nilly about recording my food & exercise, as in I record stuff when it's good and stick my head in the sand when it's bad.

So this week I'm shaking things up a bit. I changed my settings some to increase my daily calories. I know that might sound like the opposite of what you should do if you want to lose weight, but I've been following the 1.5 or 2 lbs. a week (HA!) goal so that's been in the range of 1200-1220 calories and on the days I don't exercise, well...it's just not pretty. So I'll try the 1 lb. a week range of 1480 calories a day for a little while and see how it goes. At this point it can't hurt.

Oh, um...yeah. I'm committing to regular (I mean daily but am scared to jinx myself) exercise and much better food choices this week as well. You heard it here first.

This morning I: 1.) got up early; 2.) ran wogged 2ish miles; 3.) ate turkey bacon and a Shakeology shake for breakfast and 4.) plan to do a bit more cardio (TurboFire) or strength training/toning before I change out of my workout clothes. Of course this means I might be in my workout clothes all day, whichever comes first.

Over the weekend I discovered Kandee Johnson the make-up artist's tutorials on the YouTube and, of course, became obsessed with them. If you are a make-up junkie like me, well, watch at your own risk (heehee) because she has lots of application tips and tricks and you might find yourself clicking through her videos one after another and then wondering why it's suddenly 11:00 at night. Consider yourself warned.

In other news, I finally uploaded my photos from the sidewalk chalk party Annelise and I had the other day. Okay, it wasn't so much a party as we mixed up homemade sidewalk chalk and then painted on our driveway, but still...
All those colors, and even the random doodlebug, sure do make me happy.

And that, my friends, is probably enough random for today.
Hope your Monday...Monday is wonderful!

3.16.2012

Five for Friday

I had to think for a minute or twelve to figure out if today was truly Friday.

These spring break days have obviously started to blend together as they are wont to do.

1.) When you have low expectations for our spring break experience a short playdate with friends and even a mundane trip to Target (especially if you get to steer the cart), the bank and Taco Cabana can seem like the best. day. ever. Or if you are 8.
2.) Scott finished his jury duty yesterday.

(!!)

And he could finally tell me about it.

As it turned out it was not nearly as exciting as I imagined in my brian. More of a credit card/bank fraud thing that crossed state lines so that's why it was a federal case.

Yawn.

However I do think I will get a kick out of saying, "Hey! Don't make a federal case out of it!" for a while just for old times sake.

3.) This should come as no huge surprise to any of y'all that have been semi-regulars around these here parts, but I quit the red lip challenge on Day 3.

Stick-with-it-ness. I need to get some.

I wore one more lipstick in the red family, MAC Hot Tahiti, and I liked it, but neglected to take any photos. It's more of a glaze, so not too heavy, and it's a warmer, brown-y red, as to not be so shocking.

I learned: a.) I can wear red lipstick but it made me a tad paranoid; b.) I'm much more comfortable with the warmer reds; c.) red lipstick must be applied perfectly and can smudge or bleed (unless it's Maybelline 24 Hour) and can draw attention to flaws more than nude or softer colors; and d.) I am MUCH more comfortable with nude or soft pinky mauves for everyday. 

4.) Annelise had her first soccer practice this week. It's been several years since she played (um...okay, whoa...how time flies...she might have been 4) and has begged to play off and on ever since. Slackers that we are, we always seemed to miss the registration deadline or only think about it when we'd see kids playing. But not this year. Hip-hip-hooray! She'll have practice once a week (Thursdays at 7:00, right after dance, which kind of bites) and a game on Saturdays.

5.) This morning, the last day of spring break, Annelise and I got our craft on. She declared it the best morning ever (this is apparently a pattern when you are 8). We made our own sidewalk chalk paint. Oh yes, we did. It totally met my crafting criteria: easy and cheap. FTW!
(I took more photos but they are trapped on my big camera and showing you right now would require me getting up from my chair. Please forgive me.)

Painting on our driveway was highly relaxing, yet fun and the colors dried really bright and cheery. I was pleasantly surprised! Annelise, at first, declared she wanted to paint all day, and actually managed to sit still long enough for a few creations. In the end though the siren call of collecting doodle bugs, playing tennis against the garage and rip-sticking up and down the driveway was just too strong.

I predict more driveway painting in our future, at least in short periodic bursts.

Happy, happy weekend, my friends!

3.13.2012

Going Red: The Red Lip Experiment, Day 2

Okay y'all, I liked today's lips much better than yesterday's lips.

Well, they are my same lips of course, so I guess I should say I like this color a wee bit better.
These lips are courtesy of Maybelline 24 hour lipstick in All Day Cherry.

And they did not lie.

I do not know what's in this stuff (and that might be a good thing) but it lasts f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

I have eaten, sipped water and coffee, brushed my teeth twice and yet All Day Cherry lives on. For reals. I like this shade of red too, it's a bit warmer, not too pinky red and there's even a hint of sparkle. I've worn this 24 hour stuff before, mostly in much lighter shades, and have been scarily impressed each time by how well and long it wears. The secret is, and you MUST do this, is to apply the color and wait about 2-3 minutes for it to set (dry) and then you apply the clear glossy balm conveniently located at the other end of the tube. If your lips start to feel dry during the day just add more balm. The other thing I like about this brand is it doesn't smear (feather) or leave lip marks on your coffee mug, water glass, or the husband. I even wiped my lips after eating Pei Wei tonight and my napkin was not besmirched. Freaky, but true.

I don't know if it's the shade of this red or the fact that I'm now two days into this Go Red or Go Home challenge, but I didn't totally feel like my lips entered the room waaaay before the rest of me did.

And that's a good thing.

I've really appreciated your feedback, thanks for being honest.

Coming soon to a computer screen near you...Go Red: Day 3. Stay tuned, y'all.

3.12.2012

Hello Monday {& Day 1 of The Red Lipstick Experiment}

Hello Monday.

Hello first day of spring break.

Hello sleepover at Pappo & Grandma's house for Annelise.

Hello jury duty for Scott.
Hello texting (I'm in blue, can you tell?).

I had a slew of juror movies to text (annoy) him with but he swiftly shut me down.

Hello h8r.

Hello getting picked for jury duty (oh yes he did!) and having to spend what might turn out to be the entire week of spring break as a juror, wearing a suit (oh yes he will be, the judge decreed it so) and not hanging out with his people.

Also? He can't talk about it. Hrrumph!

Hello new feet (well, not literally, but still) (and my apologies to the lady that had to work so hard on my callous ridden parts, it was rather embarrassing to see the dead skin fly).

Hello to starting a new book! 

I'm already enthralled.
Hello red lips, day 1.

(Like really, really red)
Hello MAC Red.

Wow. You are some red. Something of a pinky red, not too matte (read dry) and not too glossy.

I like you, I think, even though you made me slightly paranoid today. Says the girl who has fully embraced the nude lip for well over two years and fears red lips are, well, not for her. You are calling into question not only my wardrobe and makeup, but also my hair. I feel like I need dressier, classic, timeless clothes to go with bold red lips. Or I need to go punk. Which I won't. I'm also not sure about the rest of my makeup, I felt somewhat washed out since I tamed down my eyes to balance the bold lips. I felt like my lips were out there and the rest of me was scrambling to catch up. These are not wallflower lips.

Do I have the confidence to pull this experiment off? Can I back up what my lips are selling? Am I a red lip girl?
I'm not sure.
Yet.

Stay tuned for another red test drive tomorrow...
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