Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tales from Direct Sales

Kat was pontificating, earlier this week, about the misery of being a direct sales hostess without attendees. Boy, have I been there. I've also been on the side of a consultant who shows up for no attendees, and that's no fun either.

Let me begin by saying that I have sold for 6 different direct sales companies over the last 11 years. I know, I'm nuts. I've been mildly successful in some endeavors and REALLY successful in one venture, but boy have I got some stories from each one. The good, the bad and the REALLY ugly.

Today's story will be about my venture into the world of cooking with Pampered Chef. PC was the 3rd company that I signed with. My reason for joining? I love Disney World. My upline told me about the fabulous vacation to Disney World that PC paid for, so like the sucker that I am whenever Disney is mentioned, I asked "where do I sign?" Forget the fact that I already owned pretty much EVERYTHING in the catalog. I didn't have the cookware and I didn't want to pay full price for it. Problem solved, right?

I suckered a good friend into hosting my very first show for me. We talked about which 2 recipes she wanted me to demonstrate and we decided on Skillet Chocolate Cake and Shrimp Wonton Cups. So, I gave her the shopping list and arrived at her house for the show a week later. She had all the ingredients laid out for me, which I set on my card table. Yes, I was wielding kitchen tools on a card table. I like to live dangerously.

Her guests sat down and I dazzled them with my witty kitchen banter. I explained what we would be cooking tonight and set out to make the Shrimp Wonton Cups first. And then I set out to work my culinary magic. That is until I realized that my hostess hadn't bothered to purchase the wonton wrappers I needed for the Shrimp WONTON cups. Completely mortified and panicking, I asked my hostess about this minor little detail. She turned beet red and confessed that she had forgotten and was going to get them right now. And she left. Yes, here I was standing in the middle of her living room with a bunch of people I didn't know, while she ran to the grocery store (for 40 minutes) to purchase wonton wrappers. In that time, I whipped up the chocolate cake, baked it and was serving it, when she returned.

The show took way longer that a normal show should, but the guests were thankfully sympathetic to the blathering idiot that I became once our hostess left. Sales were decent, but (not surprisingly) no one booked a show. After that performance, I wouldn't have invited me to my home either.

Upon telling my upline about my show woes, she told me a story that made me feel so much better. She once had a hostess who wanted to make a chicken dish of some sort. Instead of providing chicken breasts or tenders (or even canned chicken) for her consultant, she purchased a whole chicken. So, my upline had to completely dismember, debone, and boil a chicken while the guests watched. After that, she insisted on providing the ingredients herself. I can't blame her.

Join me next time for Tales from Direct Sales - The Candle Company edition.

Dreaming of You

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful emails and comments yesterday! It was a miserable day and I'm still working on controlling the tears, but honestly, it was so comforting to know how many of you were sending good thoughts our way. You guys rock!

I have had some strange dreams this week. It's no secret that I'm a little enamored with celebrity and I'm certainly a fan of big screen and small screen film. When it starts invading my dreams twice in one week, I know I've been spending too much time in front of the t.v..

Earlier this week, I dreamt that I was driving with hubby through a neighborhood in a yuppy part of town. All of a sudden, I stopped and insisted that hubby go with me to the 3rd floor penthouse of a dumpy looking building. I knocked and my friend, Julia Roberts answered the door. LOL! Her real hubby was there, but they only had the twins, Phineas & Hazel (again with the silly baby names). She invited me in and gave me some stuff from her FAVE store Harry & David's (how random is that?). Then she took off to run laps in her backyard, you know because she can't run on the street like a normal person (those pesky paparazzi and all). And then I woke up. How would you interpret this dream?

And then last night, I dreamt that I was Anne Hathaway and I was running off with my future hubby, James McAvoy. He wanted to get me a proper ring, so he dressed up in all black and broke into Jared the Galleria of Jewelers (is anyone else subjected to these horrible commercials constantly?), where he was caught by police and taken off as I watched in horror. And then I woke up. I know how I would interpret this one, but I'm curious to your thoughts. (I think this one's a no-brainer)

And that concludes our trip into Angie's subconscious. Join me later today when we take a stroll into Angie's past with Tales from Direct Sales. Guaranteed for a laugh or two.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

Before I get to the sad part of this entry, I need to take care of a little business here. Due to the fact that I'm DROWNING in comment love this week (thanks so much you sweet readers!), I wanted to answer one of the hottest questions that I've gotten in the last 24 hours.

The book that I read was "Bitter is the New Black" by Jen Lancaster. And I loved it. More on why I loved it when I post my Spot's Sunday Entertainment Roundup this Sunday. In the meantime, here's the scoop on my depressing day today.


I have been a lover of German Shepherd Dogs (GSD's) for as long as I can remember. I had one as a very small child and then hubby & I obtained a puppy the DAY after we moved into our first house. (The house just wasn't home until we had a GSD pup running around ruling the roost) We added another GSD a couple of years later that we rescued and we had a Boxer as well. It was a huge & happy family. And then we added 2 kids of the human-kind and our house was really bursting at the seams. And then in the course of 13 months, we lost all 3 of our dogs to sudden illness. Just as it seemed that we were starting to feel normal again, another passed away, until we were dogless.


In April of this year, we decided to rush into getting another GSD into our home. Hubby could see how miserable I was without my GSD's and he just wasn't having it anymore. We ended up adopting a brother/sister pair from a local shelter. We kept Chloe and ended up adopting out her brother to a great home. The story of all that is here, if you're interested.


Everything was going along swimmingly until I left to go to Maine with my mom for a long weekend at the end of May. I got a frantic call from hubby on my 2nd day away saying that Chloe was growling at my kids. For no good reason. Thinking that it was probably because I was away and hubby was now home 24/7, I kind of dismissed it. That is until I got home and she started that behavior towards my kids while I was present.


So, for almost 2 months now, I've researched training methods, tried to talk with professionals and contacted multiple rescue organizations to try and fix this situation. The growling has now escalated to full on teeth baring and voracious barking anytime my kids come remotely near her. It has to stop.


With a VERY heavy heart and a lot of tears, I'm taking Chloe this morning to a brand new shelter that just opened up near my house. They have a behaviorist on staff and plenty of room to make sure that they find her the perfect home (with no small children). I feel so awful about this. I really feel like I've failed her as a dog-mom. I know many people don't have this kind of connection to animals, so I'm sure there are at least a few out there rolling their eyes and saying "good grief woman, get it together, it's JUST a dog". The problem is that I've never seen any of my pets as "just a dog". No matter how much they angered me or got under my skin for whatever reason, they were part of my family and I loved them.


So, be thinking of us today because although Chloe will no longer be in my home, she will always be in my heart.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Day After Christmas


How I can possibly sum up yesterday? There are so many words. I'm simply STUNNED by the ups and downs that I experienced, so let's review a few, shall we?

1. I was featured on SITS and was completely dumb-founded by the response I got here at the spot. At last count, I had well over 300 visits and well over 200 comments. AMAZING.

2. After dragging my kids down to my local cable/internet provider, retrieving my new modem and then spending an hour on the phone with tech support, I realized 2 things. First, they hire snide know-it-alls to work the tech support desk who probably love nothing better than to mess with the heads of highly agitated moms who simply want to be back online checking their blogs for precious comments as opposed to dealing with the snotty attitudes of wannabe smart-mouthed geeks. Secondly, mother nature apparently hates the cable/internet provider as much as I do.

3. Hubby was so impressed at my site numbers yesterday that he threw me quite a compliment. He again asked when I'm going to start writing my book. And folks, I'm giving it serious consideration. Again. Until tomorrow, when I dismiss that silly notion. Again.

4. I am back online, however, I was very dismayed to discover that the weekend storms took out my router and my desktop pc's network card. Sounds to me like mother nature better get a second job to pay me back for all the cheddar I have to dole out to fix this mess.

5. I finally had to bite the bullet and make the decision to remove our dog Chloe from our house. It's a long story, that you guys will no doubt hear about tomorrow. Lots of tears are coming, so be prepared.

6. I read a book. I know this seems ridiculous, but I haven't read a book cover to cover (in 2 days no less) in almost a year. I'm really trying to reignite my love of reading and this was the 1 side-effect of having no internet for 48 hours that was great.

And so, that was my day in a very small nutshell. I'm going to spend today catching up on the many blogs that I follow, beginning to respond to the MASSIVE amounts of comment love that I received, and get some of my "real work" (translation: work I'm actually paid for) done.

Have I mentioned how much I love you guys? Seriously. Not in that creepy, weird way, but in that sisterly way. You guys are the best.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Monday Morning Eye Candy...the SITS edition!

Welcome SITS friends! I am so thrilled that my day to dazzle has arrived and it couldn't have possibly happened on a more appropriate day. Mondays here at my spot are very special and eagerly anticipated because we have a little tradition around here that you're just in time for. So, grab your favorite beverage and a drool cloth and welcome to this week's edition of Monday Morning Eye Candy! And for the guys out there, I'm including some lovely ladies, just for you. You can thank me later.

One last thing. If you can't live without your Monday Morning Eye Candy, please feel free to grab my badge on the right side and put it on your blog as a reminder to come back every week for more hotness. And without further ado...


Patrick Dempsey - This was my future husband, that is until I saw Atonement this past weekend. Sorry Patrick, but you'll just have to pine for me from now on.





Jon Bon Jovi - Oh my, he just gets better with age. I've loved him since his hair was longer than mine and he was belting out such classics as "Livin' On a Prayer" and "Bad Medicine". He's a classic.





Megan Fox - Ok guys, supposedly she was voted the hottest female by FHM magazine. So, here ya go. She wears too much makeup.






Joaquin Phoenix - I fell in love with him before he got all "serious actor" and dropped the name "Leaf". Yeah, remember when he used to call himself Leaf? This cutie starred in Parenthood (one of my all time faves) and dazzled in Gladiator and Walk the Line, among others.




Daniel Craig - Oh my, someone pass me a cool rag please.






Jessica Biel - Another one for the guys. Now, I do think she's very pretty. I loved her in the t.v. show "7th Heaven", but I've not seen any of her movies. Apparently, most of America hasn't either.






Drew Fuller - Does anyone recognize him? He's in a great little show on Lifetime called "Army Wives". And there goes the guys that might have still been reading up until now. The quickest way to lose a guy? Mention Lifetime.





Russell Crowe - So hot. And a GREAT actor. Another cool rag please.








Penelope Cruz - Guys, are you still with me? Anyone?








James McAvoy - And saving my personal favorite for last. My new future husband. I now have ALL of his movies in my Netflix queue. You don't think my current hubby will notice, do you?




And that wraps up this week's very special MMEC installment. Thanks again to SITS for featuring me this week and I hope that many of you will come back regularly! I'm here every Monday with your dose of hotness to get the week started off right.



Don't Mess with Mother Nature

Yesterday I talked about how much I enjoyed the movie "Atonement" and how I was going to spend the day "atoning" for anything in my life that needed some attention. Well, apparently, using the internet too much was on the list (much to my chagrin). We had a pretty nasty storm blow through here yesterday afternoon and it fried my modem. So, no web access at my house now! I'm over at the 'rents house letting them babysit while I steal a few moments to prepare for my big SITS debut tomorrow. Yep, it figures that the weekend before my big debut, my link to the bloggy world disintegrates.

Anyway, I took advantage of the misery free time last night and this morning to get some much needed cleaning done around my house. It also gave me the opportunity to see 2 more movies. (Netflix is going to lose money on me this month)

I can highly recommend "Enchanted", especially if you love Patrick Dempsey. I don't know anyone like that. And can I just say that Amy Adams is great! I saw her in "Junebug" a couple of months ago and she was great in that also.

I also finally saw "Brokeback Mountain". Hubby flat out refused to watch that one, so I flew solo. That was a great movie. I was very hesitant to watch it because of the subject matter, but I'm so glad I looked past it. It was a very sad love story that goes far beyond the controversy of homosexuality. And for anyone who appreciates really great cinematography, the scenic shots in this movie are breathtaking. And so is Jake Gyllenhaal.

And so, I've decided to launch a new weekly (I hope) segment at the spot called "Spot's Sunday Entertainment Roundup". Since I am a connoisseur of all things entertainment related, I'll be reviewing movies, music, books and t.v. here each Sunday. So, if there's something entertainment related out there that you're looking for a review of, email me and I'll see what I can pull together for you.

Now, I must take my leave of you. Sounds like the girls are about to put the 'rents into an early grave. Not good. If I can sneak back over here later tonight to check in, I will, otherwise, come back and see me tomorrow for Monday Morning Eye Candy: The SITS edition and for more of my witty repartee! Ciao!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Atonement

Have you seen this movie, Atonement? Oh my stars, it's wonderful! I had the pleasure of seeing it last night (because I just couldn't bring myself to tackle my massive "to do" list).

**Warning Movie Spoilers Ahead. Stop reading now if you don't want to know key plotlines.**

First, I want to touch on a couple of observations about this film.
1. I apparently have a hard time understanding English (despite it being my ONLY language). If I could've figured out how to turn on the subtitles, I would've. I missed several lines in this film because the accents were pretty thick at times.
2. James McAvoy is my new future husband. That would, of course, require he & I both to divorce our current spouses, but I'm just sayin'. That guy is H-O-T.
3. Keira Knightley needs to eat a meal. Or a hundred. That aside, she has perfected the icy glare. She uses it several times in this film.
4. I love the English countryside. There is some GORGEOUS cinematography in this film.
5. I hate movie endings like this one ends. Ok, yes, I'm a romantic comedy genre kind of gal and I like the ending all tied up in a pretty red bow with the happy couple riding off into the sunset. This movie does NOT end like that. Bummer.

So, the plot of this movie got me thinking about the burden that Briony carried for a lifetime over the choice that she made as a teenager. Did she really get any resolution from her attempt to make things right? She really couldn't after all because the 2 people she hurt the most were gone forever. Wow, to live with that kind of guilt until you die. Awful.

And so, today I'm going to reflect on if there's anything in my life that I feel I need to "atone" for. I can think of a couple of small things that I need to apologize for and I'm definitely going to take care of that today.

Have you seen this movie or read the book? What are your thoughts?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta: The Night I Met River Phoenix

**Candid Carrie hosts the Fx4 extravaganza each week! So after you read my story, go check out her site and the others who join in with their cool pics!

It was a Friday night. March 1, 1991. The spring of my sophomore year in high school. I had spent years prior to this night combing magazine aisles for the latest issues of Bop! and Tiger Beat. I had collected pictures, decorated lockers and notebook covers and drew many a "River" with a heart dotting the "i" in his name. I saw his movies, watched all his t.v. interviews and even begged a movie theater manager for a poster of his WORST movie, all so I could have that gorgeous face to look at all.the.time. I was in lust.

My friend "G" & I set out for a local club downtown to see River's band "Aleka's Attic" perform at a benefit concert for our local food bank. The anticipation on the ride over to the venue had me in tears. Yes, I'm a crier. I was actually WEEPING at the thought of meeting my dream guy. That's a 15 year old for ya!



Here's "G" & I outside my parents home. I'm the one on the left rocking the tie-dye and acid washed jeans. Nice. What was up with my hair? I'll tell ya. My hair gets really light in the summer and I was growing it out, so there's a couple of inches of dark winter roots. I've never colored my hair. A decision I maybe should have re-thought back then.

Anyway, the happy look on my face is not only that I'm about to meet my dream guy, but that my parents have NO IDEA where I'm going tonight. Ha ha.





So, we make it to the venue and there are people EVERYWHERE. Not suprising because this event was well publicized and (imagine that) I'm not the only fan of River Phoenix in my town apparently. The nerve of some people. So, I elbow my way into the cigarette smoke-filled room and try to get a place to stand, remotely close to the stage. The venue wasn't huge, but nevertheless, it was hard to see the stage. The concert began and we were delighted to hear the very unique style of music that they performed. They had your typical guitar and drums, but they also featured an electronic violin and a trumpet. All the musicians were GREAT!


Here's River and his sister Rainbow singing a tune. River played lead guitar. Swoon! He was dressed so grunge that night. It was hot.









They performed several songs and then I watched while River was interviewed by a blonde reporter from the BBC. They sent a film crew all the way to my little town from England, just to film this little concert. I was SO jealous of that reporter. And she was totally macking all over River. Bleh.


This musical note is a sticker from my scrapbook that I couldn't remove. See, I had to pull these out of my scrapbook just to share them with you. I'll do anything for my readers!

This was a shot of the whole band with the bimbo reporter. And they were eating pie. Don't ask me why. I remember it being for some stupid publicity something or other. I just knew River was staring right at me. Delusional.

So, after the concert, River came out into the audience to be with his stalkers peeps. I knew this was my chance! Carpe Diem! It was now or never. I had to go talk with him.

I made my way through the droves of people and spotted him sitting at a table fawning all over a girl who was 2 years ahead of me at my school. I know I turned green with envy as I saw him taking a drag off her cigarette and laughing close to her face. How could that hussy steal my man? I marched over to him and stuttered a "Hi! Great concert!" He looked up for 2 seconds and shot me a smirk. And then, I held out a piece of paper and asked for his autograph. He looks up again and says "I don't do autographs." As the tears started to well up in my eyes, I know that a look of horror must've come across my face. Did he really say that to me? But, I'm his future wife biggest fan.

I guess the look on my face and the thought of dashing the hopes and dreams of an innocent starry-eyed teenager were just too much for him. He took the paper, scrawled his initials and handed it back to me and that was it. I walked away, somewhat disillusioned, but with a piece of my guy forever.


The picture isn't good, but I wasn't ripping the paper out of my scrapbook to scan. If I ruined it, I would cry all over again. But, there it is. His autograph. Sigh.

And so, was it all I thought it would be? No. Am I glad I met him in person. Yes. Do I miss him? Terribly.

And that was the night that I met River Phoenix.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii

Ok, ENOUGH with the ridiculous baby names!!! I came across an article this morning about a little girl in New Zealand who apparently has parents who have nothing better to do than wreak havoc on the happiness of their child. They actually named their child "Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii". The 9-year old little girl is so scarred by the teasing from others that she asks people to call her "K". A family court judge has finally stepped in to fix the situation. You can read all about it in the article.

I know that odd baby names is nothing new and "odd" is in the eye of the beholder. However, I think with celebrities these days getting such huge press for names like "Apple", "Banjo", "Kal-El" & "Pilot Inspektor", the rest of us apparently are feeling the pressure to one up these people.

And I thought my mom was crazy for wanting to name me Myrtle Agnes. (She didn't by the way). I guess I'm just lucky that she didn't name me "Flapjacks" and my brother "Homefries".

Thursday Thirteen

Happy Thursday y'all! It's been another crazy week around my house, which resulted in my not posting yesterday. I hope everyone is enjoying my new look! I know that I am. If you scroll down on the right side, you'll see my new Monday Morning Eye Candy badge. Feel free to put it on your blog if you're so inclined. I'm working on next week's installment already and it's going to be fabulous!

So, I'm feeling very inspired to do a Thursday Thirteen today because of all the interest that was generated regarding my encounter with River Phoenix that I mentioned here. You'll have to come back tomorrow to read the actual story of that encounter, but here's something to tide you over until then.

Thirteen Facts About River Phoenix


1. We shared the same birthday month. August. When I was growing up, I hated having an August birthday because it always conflicted with back to school. Hence, I NEVER had birthday parties growing up because the parents were too busy with getting ready for school stuff and my friends were always on the final summer vacations. I figured River probably felt my pain and suffered the same misfortune.

2. He played the guitar. I don't know what it is about guys and guitars, but it's hot. He was a good singer too.

3. He was in the first rated-R movie that I ever saw. A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon. Now, this was not a cinematic achievement (actually it's a pretty crappy movie), but he looked so good in it.

4. His name is actually River. His parents were hippies, so this isn't too surprising. His siblings include Summer, Rainbow & Liberty. And let's not forget his little brother Joaquin. I could do a whole list on why I love his brother too.

5. The hair. When he grew it out, he had the most gorgeous hair. Sandy blonde and kind of wavy. Kind of like my hubby's. Hmmmm.....

6. He stars in one of my all time fave movies: Stand By Me. If you've never seen it, you simply must get it TODAY.

7. He was an environmentalist. He actually bought up acreage in Costa Rica & Brazil so that it would never be developed.

8. He was an animal rights activist and a staunch vegetarian. He once told a reporter that he wouldn't eat a hamburger even if you paid him $40,000. I, on the other hand, would eat the whole cow for $40,000.

9. He claimed that he had a vision of his future wife and carried around a sketch of her in his wallet. Sadly, he died before the year he thought he would meet her in.

10. He spoke Spanish fluently. I love bilingual guys.

11. He was good friends with Michael Stipe, the lead singer of R.E.M. I love that band. R.E.M. album "Monster" is actually dedicated to River. He died the year before it was released.

12. Two of the acting gigs, that River had lined up prior to his death, were ultimately given to Leonardo Dicaprio. There are many times that I see Leo acting and get this weird chill like I'm watching River.

13. Despite his movie star status and his soapbox for clean living, he was deeply flawed. He was a chain-smoker and a drug addict, as it turns out. He died from a drug overdose in 1993.

So, there are some interesting tidbits about River. Come back tomorrow for the story on how I met this guy and what he was ACTUALLY like in person.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some Perspective on Clutter

When I put Little A down for her nap this afternoon, her bed looked like this.
Inventory of bed before naptime:
(10) Stuffed Animals
(1) Pillow
(2) Blankets

When she awoke from her beauty rest, this is what I found.

Inventory of the bed after naptime:
(1) Little A
(10) Stuffed Animals
(1) Pillow
(2) Blankets
(1) Unopened package of 44 pull-ups
(27) Loose pull-ups
(6) unopened refills of baby wipes
(1) unopened container of baby wipes
(2) unopened bottles of baby lotion
(7) story books
(2) clean pajama dresses
???????????????????????
What is truly amazing to me is that I never heard her open the 3 drawers necessary to relocate all of this stuff into her bed. That, and the fact that she actually was able to sleep with all that in her bed. Here's my interrogation upon seeing this mess.


video

A New Look

Ok folks, it looks like today will be the day that my new look is debuted. I've been working with Cyn at NW Designs and she's fabulous! She's planning to install my new template this afternoon sometime, so you might see some construction mishaps for a day, but all should be well in a day or so. I'm so thrilled!! A new look and I'm a Saucy Blog this week too! My heart can't take all this excitement. LOL!

And for my regular readers reader, yes, you've noticed that the music isn't playing anymore. I decided to take a break from the automatic start up of it. I will still be updating my queue on playlist to coincide with my entry for the day and all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the page to start it up. So, it's not gone, just hibernating.

So, I want all kinds of feedback on the new look. And there will be an official "Monday Morning Eye Candy" badge that you're welcome to put on your blog. I think it's very fitting of my little weekly tribute and hope you'll enjoy it too!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Morning Eye Candy

Do you know what time it is? That's right! It's Monday Morning Eye Candy! Grab your cup of coffee and enjoy.

Brad Pitt - I'm hot and cold with this guy. Sometimes I just think he's totally drop dead gorgeous and other times, not so much. However, his stock has gone way up since he hooked up with Angelina and her brood. I'm telling ya, it's the whole devoted dad thing that gets me everytime!




Casey Affleck - The cuter (and better actor) of the Affleck brothers, in my humble opinion. If you've not seen Gone Baby Gone, rent it...immediately. Warning though, it's got a LOT of bad language, so don't rent it if you're easily offended by such things. And Casey is married to River Phoenix's little sister. Ah, River Phoenix. Boy do I miss him. I actually met him once, but that's a story for another day.



George Clooney - I think I can just leave it at that.








Matthew Goode - I'm throwing this one out there for my BFF, Angela. This guy is another Brit hottie, which I'm always up for. He played the romantic lead to Mandy Moore in Chasing Liberty. Apparently, a movie that I need to see!





Timothy Olyphant - This guy has been in several movies, but he looked amazing in Live Free or Die Hard. He plays a bad guy really well, but is a totally devoted family guy in real life. Ah, those devoted dads! As a side note, I saw him in a season 1 episode of Sex & the City. He played the 20-something conquest of Carrie. Very cute. It's the smile.

And there's this week cuties. Enjoy and come back next week for a whole new crop of cuteness!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Amusing Weekend

Having a toddler and a preschooler has its perks. There is NEVER a dull moment and frequently, those moments are just friggin' hilarious! Here's a couple of musings from this weekend.

I spent the better part of the day yesterday, scrapbooking at my friend Lisa's house. (Thanks again for a great time Lisa!) On my way home, I called hubby to get dinner plans resolved. He sounded perturbed and informed me that he was in the middle of cleaning up poop. Apparently, it was all over the bed and floor of Little A's room. And it wasn't the gross smeared variety, it was "rabbit pellets", as hubby referred to it. Now, here's the funny part. Apparently, when Little A awoke from her afternoon siesta, she had a pull-up full of yuck and decided that she didn't like it. So, she removed her pull-up, emptied it, and then PUT IT BACK ON. I was almost in tears from laughing so hard. I had to give her credit. She identified the problem and resolved it to the best of her ability. That's my girl!

Big A is obsessed with the size of houses. We live in a small house and it works fine for us, but Big A has begun to notice that not everyone lives in the same size house. We were on our way to a friend's house for a playdate, when we turned down a street in their subdivision. As we turned the corner, a very large house came into our view and Big A said, "Is that the library?" I had to laugh because the overly ornate outdoor decor of the home lent itself to the look of a library in a major metropolitan area, which is not at all where we live. I explained that it was someone's home, but Big A reiterated that it still looked like a library to her. Sounds good to me.

My Bucket List

Hubby & I watched this movie the other night and it got me thinking. What would be on my bucket list? Dying is not something that I think about too often. I guess it's being young and having that feeling that you've got your whole life ahead of you that negates the thinking of "kicking the bucket". However, the reality is, everyone leaves this earth at some point. So, what would I hope to accomplish before that reality sets in?

1. See a whale swimming free in the vast ocean

2. See an aurora borealis in person

3. Visit the Great Wall of China

4. Do the Bridge Climb in Sydney

5. View the rolling hills of Scotland

There are of course, many more things that I hope to accomplish before my life on this earth is complete, but these are 5 that rank pretty high.

And, just in case you were wondering, the reason I didn't include things like "seeing my girls get married" and "playing with grandkids", it's because those are things that I have no control over. I truly hope that I'll get to experience those wonderful moments in life, but that destiny is not in my hands.

So, what are some things that are on your bucket list?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

So far, this weekend is off to a great start!

Since many one of you was interested in how my hideous "to do" list was coming along, I decided to share my good news! Let's review the list and check to see what's been marked off so far.

1. Cleaning my whole house. And by cleaning I mean, picking up and vacuuming. Expecting to get anything else done is merely setting myself up for failure. (No progress yet, but expect an update tomorrow)
2. Finishing Little A's baby scrapbook. I made tremendous progress last night, thanks to my buddy Lisa!
3. Organize all of my scrapbooking supplies. This is going to be a huge job, but I know I can do it. And it will help me scrapbook more efficiently, which is so much fun! (in progress)
4. Fix an awesome dinner for my family on Sunday. (planning is underway)
5. Catch up on my google reader.
6. Upload the remainder of my photos to Shutterfly. (almost complete)
7. Clean out my inbox's on all 4 of my email accounts.
8. Hopefully put a stamp of approval on my new blog design. Oh yeah, I'm super excited about this! (i've approved the majority of it. woo hoo!!)
9. Get in 1 workout. (maybe tomorrow?)
10. Get stuff tagged for next week's consignment sale. (maybe tonight's project)
11. Get photos taken for my friend's eBay auctions.
12. Balance the checkbook.
13. Get some rest. (need to move this to next month's list)

And I almost forgot to share my great news with you. Remember when I told you here, about my little decluttering project? Yeah, I realize it was 3 months ago, but let's just pretend that we don't notice that. Well, my master bedroom is FINALLY CLEAN! Here are the after pics. It's not perfect, but it feels a whole lot more like a sanctuary now than it ever has before!



So, if I ever get the chance TO REST, at least I have a lovely place to do that in now. Yay for me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta


Candid Carrie is hosting the Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Here's my entry this week.
Little A is quite a monkey. She LOVES to climb and swing on anything that she can get her hands on. This picture was taken last November when she all of a sudden decided to test out our kitchen chairs. I'm just glad she's light, because she was completely hanging and the chair never moved.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen



So, it's been a VERY busy week. The old blog has been suffering a bit on witty commentary and I feel bad about that. I'm hoping to get back on track this weekend. Anyway, since I'm keeping with the "harried housewife" theme this week, here's this week's list.


Thirteen Things I'm Hoping to Accomplish This Weekend
1. Cleaning my whole house. And by cleaning I mean, picking up and vacuuming. Expecting to get anything else done is merely setting myself up for failure.
2. Finishing Little A's baby scrapbook. I made tremendous progress last night, thanks to my buddy Lisa!
3. Organize all of my scrapbooking supplies. This is going to be a huge job, but I know I can do it. And it will help me scrapbook more efficiently, which is so much fun!
4. Fix an awesome dinner for my family on Sunday.
5. Catch up on my google reader.
6. Upload the remainder of my photos to Shutterfly.
7. Clean out my inbox's on all 4 of my email accounts.
8. Hopefully put a stamp of approval on my new blog design. Oh yeah, I'm super excited about this!
9. Get in 1 workout.
10. Get stuff tagged for next week's consignment sale.
11. Get photos taken for my friend's eBay auctions.
12. Balance the checkbook.
13. Get some rest.
Ok, so #13 might be hard to accomplish with everything else on the list, but a girl can hope, right?!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Day at the Aquarium

When it's pouring down rain outside, what better way to spend a morning, but wandering around some of this city's finest attractions. My city is the site of the Tennessee Aquarium. This fabulous place was opened at the tail end of my junior year in high school. I can still remember working as a volunteer during opening weekend. It.was.crazy.

The first building that opened was River Journey. It's all freshwater fish and mammals. Ocean Journey opened a couple of years ago and it houses the really exciting penguin exhibit! Here's our morning out in pictures. And the morning I'm referring to is this past Sunday morning.

This is a Hyacinth Macaw. Gorgeous blue feathers and master imitator of voices. He was saying "hello" and "goodbye", which was amusing, but then he started to imitate the different laughs that he heard. That was hysterical!









Ocean Journey has a touch tank that's full of sharks and sting rays. The kids had a ball with it! The rays were hilarious because they kept swimming up on the glass and seemingly waving their fins at us.




Big A LOVES the butterfly garden. This trip she was determined to catch one of the many butterflies on her hand. After many failed attempts, she finally lured one (with daddy's help) and was so excited!









The ever popular penguin exhibit opened last year and it's a HUGE hit. I could watch those penguins for hours! The Gentoo and Macaroni penguins in this exhibit are very social and love to interact with the humans on the other side of the glass. Little A and nephew were enjoying this penguin's diving show.



This penguin loved Little A. He kept swimming up to her and looking at her. She was hypnotized and very amused.











This was my proudest shot of the day. I'm still trying to get used to my "big fancy camera" and finally managed to turn the flash off and use a manual setting. VERY SCARY. Anyway, these are some jellyfish that I captured. Big A was enjoying watching them move in an underwater ballet.



The kids loved the dive show. The divers actually talk to the audience and interact with us while telling us about the fish and sharks that live in this exhibit. My favorite is the elusive sea turtle who occasionally makes an appearance.








We finally made our way over to River Journey where Big A found something to climb on...finally. This is the top of the River Otter exhibit. Gorgeous waterfall! The otters were being shy this day.









This is something that I just found to be too funny. Apparently this alligator and turtle have grown up together. So, here they are, taking an afternoon siesta. The alligator is actually resting his head on the turtle's back. This is something you probably wouldn't see in the wild.



Before heading to lunch, I wanted to grab one last pic of this fountain in the courtyard. Hubby & I were photographed in front of this fountain just before our wedding reception. If I can dig out the photo, I'll post it here. It was VERY cool. Here's nephew enjoying the view.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mommy's a little stressed

Good Tuesday morning everyone! Please excuse me this morning because I'm really not myself. You see, somehow I went from Sunday to Tuesday and I'm not good when I miss an entire day out of my life.

As I mentioned, we had company this past weekend and those 2 days went by in a blur of activity. Fun activity and thoroughly exhausting. I was looking forward to a somewhat low-key Monday, but that's so not what happened. Here's the rundown. Try to keep up.

1. 7am - Overslept & woken by Big A who announced that the "sun was awake, so I needed to get up"
2. Threw food at kids while I ran through the house trying to locate bathing suits
3. Threw kids in car and sped to swim lessons
4. Arrive 5 minutes late for swim lessons
5. Had to swim with Little A with my glasses on because I forgot to put in contacts
6. Dried my glasses off 15 times in 25 minutes because of Little A's uncontrollable splashing
7. Threw kids in car to run back home for quick snack
8. Bribed kids with playground time if they ate quickly
9. Dragged kids into post office to locate boxes to ship 13 ebay auctions with
10. Dragged kids into mall playground where they played happily for 30 minutes
11. Dragged kids kicking and screaming back to car when I refused to take out low interest loan to pay for motorized ride on toys located just outside play area
12. Dragged kids to grocery store where I spent twice as much as I planned to
13. Arrive back home where Little A almost discovers enormous wasp nest on far side of our carport
14. Feed lunch to the restless natives
15. Pay the wonderful handyman from next door to clean up my "trailer trash" looking carport
16. Unsuccessfully attempt to return 13,290 phone calls & emails from the past week
17. Do work for 1 of my "real" paying jobs
18. Give hubby quick run down of miserable day and run to liquor store
19. Try not to purchase the entire store, despite my mood
20. Arrive at my mom's house to prep food and drink for a party
21. Spend next 3 hours drinking, eating and entertaining some wonderful friends, while looking at very pretty jewelry
22. Arrive back home after 10pm to feed hubby
23. Give up staying awake to do more "real" paying work and go to bed at 11:30pm

And now, it's Tuesday. And here I sit blogging instead of doing the reports that are due at 3pm this afternoon. Hello, my name is Angie and I am a procrastinator. Which is how I end up with Monday's like yesterday.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Morning Eye Candy

It's another dreary Monday morning, but you've come to the right place for a pick-me-up! Welcome to another installment of Monday Morning Eye Candy! And for your viewing pleasure...



Christian Bale - Yet another one of my hottie Brits. I fell hard for him when he starred in Swing Kids and have been admiring him ever since. I might even go see the new Batman movie, but only because he is the star. Hubby will be so thrilled.






David Beckham - Ok, I know this has been all actors up until now, but I must pause for, quite possibly, one of the most beautiful guys to EVER walk this planet. And he's an amazing soccer player too.






Jason Lewis - Most famously known as Samantha's boy toy from Sex and The City, but absolutely hunky. He did a short stint on the show Brothers & Sisters this past season, which made me very happy.






John Corbett - I loved him in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Raising Helen and was delighted to see him in Sex and The City. He's got some classic good looks and he's a good singer too.





Kiefer Sutherland - This guy is like a fine wine...he gets better with age. He's always had the rugged good looks, but as he gets older, he just smolders.





And there's this week installment of Monday morning hotness. Enjoy and check back next week for the place to get your week started off right.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Ten Pin Shuffle

**Can I just say that I hate the formatting in blogger. I've tried to fix the spacing on this entry for 30 minutes now and the only thing I've done successfully is raise my blood pressure. Sorry the spacing is so messed up!
We are entertaining family from out of town this weekend. Hubby's Dad and nephew came into town and we've been having a ball visiting. The girls love their "Pappy" and he loves them right back. They get to see him a few times a year, so each visit is quite special. We decided to take everyone for a spirited round of bowling. Little did we know that we were all going to have way more fun than we could have imagined! This was the girls first visit ever to the bowling alley and they were ready to take on the lanes.

Big A, Nephew, & Little A - Supervising the ball return
Daddy assists Little A in lining up the perfect shot

Little A watches the ball head down the lane to knock down 9 pins. Wahoo!


Nephew strikes a pose. A tae-kwon-do pose it seems.


Big A is adamant about babysitting the ball return. I don't know where this Type A behavior comes from. Ahem.


The bowling alley all of sudden turned on their cosmic lightshow in the middle of our game. It also came with the typical party reception music, such as The Chicken Dance and the always popular, YMCA. Please enjoy Big A's quick rendition of YMCA.


video

The scores for the first game were pretty darn good.
Little A = 117
Big A = 123
Nephew = 99
Me = 136
Hubby = 156
Pappy = 175 (a big come from behind considering his first shot of the day was a gutter ball)
The second game wasn't finished by everyone because we ran short on time, but I would like to point out that I did get to finish my game and I scored a rather impressive 222. Six strikes in a row baby! I kicked those boys tails and loved it! Seriously though, we all had an AWESOME time and can't wait to return. Actually, Big A informed me that she now wants to have a Backyardigans themed bowling party for her bday in October. Gee whiz, if the venue changes 1 more time, I'm giving up and having this party in our backyard.
 

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