Monday, January 28, 2008

A Scrapbook Solution!

A page for Christmas morning 2007 made with "Amy W. Designs" digital template #18
(sadly this was one of the best and only photos we have since I was sick with the flu that day.)

I love to digital scrapbook. (If you want to know all the reasons why, you can read about it here.)

I am far from superb at the art form, but I think it's fun, and I've enjoyed dabbling in it over the last year and a half. I have however, been frustrated with one element of it- the printing. I want 12x12 inch prints that look great and don't cost me a ton. ( such as at Shutterfly where they will charge a hefty $6.99 per page! That is so ridiculous!)

I tried an on-line service that was priced right, but when I got my pages I was really disappointed.- the coloring was way off and it made everyone in the photos look like lobsters, as if we had spent four hours in the hot July sun well after our sunscreen had lost it's potency.

I have also read many comments from other scrappers who have had success at their local Costco. Unfortunately for me, the photo-people at my local store seem to have a very limited education of sorts... so I have been frustrated. What's the fun in making pages if you can't display them in albums?

But, I have good news. Last week I found another website called that specializes in printing digital pages. I was excited to see their prices, (about 99 cents for a 12x12 print) so I crossed my fingers and ordered some. They came in the mail today and I think they are terrific!

So my excitement for scrapping is back. I can't wait to print the next batch!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If You Need a Really Good Laugh...

This is so funny, you have to check it out!

(Thanks Denise- I am spreading the enjoyment)

Funny Fish

My boys are talking about fish, and since I think they are about the easiest pets to care for (and the least traumatizing when they die--- because I didn't care for them) I am thinking about it.

We've been surfing online for fish we like, and came across the one above. I'm not sure if it's supposed to look like that or if he suffers from pollution/global warming/disease, or maybe it's some sort of temporary mating ritual....but I think he is great! What a fun look! I definitely want one of them. I would put him in the kitchen because he could make me smile everyday.

Way to stand out from the crowd little guy!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Butter and Bosoms!

When I get an inkling to make cookies or any other treat that requires "softened butter" I am often frustrated with the wait. I like instant gratification and winter weather in New York does not lend itself to quick butter softening. ( I've tried the microwave, but the results are never consistent and usually it melts the butter a tad too much, thus I end up waiting for it to harden again in the refrigerator, which means even more waiting.- I want my treat now!!)

A few weeks ago I expressed this dilemna to my good friend Denise, and she shared a very interesting tip with me....

....When you need cold butter to be softened, stick it down your shirt (still in the wrapper people!) and let it rest for a little bit between your skin and your bra. It will quickly warm up to the perfect temperature!

Now I admit I was doubtful. I do not consider myself to be all that well endowed, so I wasn't sure my anatomy would have quite the warming power of some other women's. But, I am always willing to try new tricks. So today, when I started to make cookies, I put it to the test.

I kid you not, by the time I was done mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl, the butter was ready to go. It was awesome! I just stuck two sticks of butter right down my shirt and rotated them every few seconds and Wha-Lah! I will never wait around for butter again! I love boobies!

Thanks Denise. Your great wisdom has done it again!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thank You Elmo!

As of two days ago Laura, my 3-yr.-old, had absolutely no interest in using any other receptacle for her "business" than the all too expensive "Pull-Ups." I had given up hope and was looking for a way to be at peace with my load of never ending diapers.

Then a miracle happened. His name is Elmo.

Friday, Laura sat down to play some computer games and happened upon the Sesame Street website where Elmo has a little video all about "using the potty." This little video is repetitive and somewhat annoying, but I will love it forever, because it was the magic my daughter needed to finally become a "big girl."

We are now wearing panties and I'm so happy about it, I think I could cry!

Now, if I could just get my six-year-old night trained, I could finally be diaper free! (If any one has any tips in that area of my parenting life I would greatly appreciate it. I've given up.)

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Re-Usable bag

I hope none of you are too offended when I say that I have never been into recycling. It's not that I don't care about the earth and our environment, it's just always seemed a little bit counterproductive. Let me explain...

I grew up in Southern California where "Water Conservation" was always the big message taught in our schools. (Considering the horrible run of wild fires there this past year, it is easy to see why lack of water stresses the locals.) Water is not a replenishable resource. You either have enough rain/snow/water- or you don't.

Now, as an adult, I'm being told that I need to save my bottles, cans, and jars for recycling. This is all fine and good, but I've also been informed that it takes an obscene amount of water to wash these said items in order to prepare them for reuse as something else. Does this worry anybody else out there? I can live without glass jars and soda bottles- but I can't live without water!

Hopefully I am ill informed, because as of next month I am required to recycle all said items by the local village government and if my trash collectors notice that I have not complied, (such as I try and slip a few cans of Dr. Pepper into my trash bags), they will refuse to collect it, and I may be fined! (Somehow I think this has got to go against the Constitution and my rights as an American citizen- but that's a whole other story.)

So this brings me (in a very round about way) to my point- reusable shopping bags. I swore I would never buy them and be one of "those" people, but I take it all back. I suckered up and bought a few the other day and guess what? They are awesome!! I could care less about the land-fills, (I know, I am a horrible person) but these bags are so sturdy, and they can hold a ton. No more rolling cans of peas and chicken soup all around my car- or the dreaded plastic handle that breaks under the strain of a gallon of milk.

At least in one area of my life I can claim that I am "going green,"-- even if it is for all the wrong reasons.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No more Guitar Hero for us!

This is a cartoon impersonation of the "visitor" our house had while we were on vacation.

We arrived home late Saturday night, and everything appeared normal. We were gone most of the following Sunday, and then came Monday morning when a police detective knocked on my door to announce, "Excuse me ma'am, but we believe your house has been robbed."

"What!?" Of course I assumed there was a mistake. How could my house have been broken into and I not know it? So- the officer explained that they had been following a man whom they believed to be guilty of burglarizing homes in the area- and that they lost track of him in our yard where they also believed he had entered our home. So we went on a scavenger hunt to see what may or may not have been taken.

First-- we found that two of our screens had been slashed and that, lucky us, one of our kitchen windows was not actually been locked as it should have been.

Second, our home security system control box, ( which we have never used before- and as of tomorrow will become fully activated and set at all times due to the fact that I am now a paranoid freak out!) was ripped off the wall and hanging by all it's wires.

Third- One of Stanton's beloved Leatherman multi-tolls which I think cost way more than they should, was missing from our bedroom drawer. ( ewww! he was in my bedroom going through drawers! What if he slept or showered here? Just the thought makes me want to remodel and buy all new furniture- which if I'm being honest I wanted to do anyway.)

And fourth- and most sad for our family- he stole or Wii PlayStation! No more Dance Dance Revolution! No more Guitar Hero! No more bowling, tennis and boxing with little animated figures!

My entire house is now tainted. I used to think, "Gee our house is small and the walls are closing in on me, but at least we live in a good neighborhood." Whatever!! All I can think now is that I live in the hood and have to get out!

All the things that used to bother me about the house now seem to overwhelm me. It's not just that the counter tops slope and the tile floor is old and dingy, it's that my neighbors are on drugs and likely to break in and steal my old decrepit TV at any moment so they can pawn it for quick cash to buy their crack!

Deep Breath......... It could be worse. He didn't take anything of real value. ( well actually, I don't own any "things" I would put in that category anyway.) Thank goodness I was not at home, because that would have scarred me permanently and our house would be on the market this very day.

And the the best news? They got the "perp" that same day. (As he was climbing out the window of another neighbors home.) Also, They found our stuff ( although we've been told that it's "evidence" and we may never get it back). The boys were very excited to spend a few hours at the station talking with all the cool cops and looking at their neat things. And now I feel quite close and bonded with our local police authorities, which was NOT the case a few months back!

So all is well that ends well, and I'm hoping that in a few months I can laugh about this and not wish I could escape these now tainted walls.


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