30 March 2008

After 2-1/2 years... Blingtastic!

I have not had a new purse for more than two years! I figured it was probably time. So i have been looking, Two problems - I don't like to spend a lot of money on a purse. More than $25 is extravagant to me - more than $50 is just out of the question. I can't justify it, I also had a very specific idea in my head of what I wanted my new purse to look like.

Today - I fund my purse. At Marshalls - for $35. It is an $80 bag. I think I won.

Ron thinks I have lost my mind. That's how I know it is cool - he didn't like my new glasses much either when I first bought them... Sometimes a girl just has to go with her gut.

Oh - and I promise. This should be my last post abut shopping for a long while. THanks for hanging in there with me - I just had good shopping mojo this weekend and needed to share! :)

29 March 2008

Goodwill Goodness!

Today the Goodwill gods were smiling on me! I made a killin'! Somedays I can go there and walk out empty handed... today made up for that!

First up - I have enough plastic stemware to have a great time out on the patio this summer. At $0.50 a pop - how could I say no?!?!

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Next - You will remember that I have mentioned my desire to try to reduce waste... well I picked up these nifty plastic (read as: unbreakable) cafeteria-style trays for the kids at Yi's Summer Camp! We want to try to have more wholesome foods this year - less processed stuff - and reduce waste... I think at 2/$1 these were a great deal - I bought a dozen... (thank you to my handsome model!!)

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Even Ron lucked out this trip - not shown is the brand new (I swear - no one ever wore it - you could tell) work jacket by Dickies for $9. Shown is the $20 wallet I bought him for $4!

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Finally - I needed an outfit to wear on a sales call on Thursday - not sure why I am going, haven't been asked to go on a sales call for more than six years - but all of a sudden I have to drive an hour and a half to get to the main office and then another hour to get to the appointment. Yippie. But I digress - I needed something cute (read as: not frumpy) to wear so I found this adorable black sweater (NWT) with an empire waist and princess sleeves for $9 and an a-line skirt in black and white also NWT for $5. Pair these with my Prima Crocs (the ones that look like actual shoes, LOL) and I will be good to go. And Clinton and Stacy say no good can come of shopping at the Goodwill! Poppycock!

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THAT is some good shopping! YAY me!!!

What about you? What is your best thrift store find ever??

Bowling and Playdoh Fun!

Yesterday, William and I went to visit friends in Burlington, where we used to live... we went bowling. It was great fun, if not horribly embarrassing. Okay - maybe not HORRIBLY embarrassing, but damn close. I can't bowl to save my soul. I suck. No doubt about it... I don't so much care - but when a seven year old beats you with the bumpers up... well - 'nuff said.

Let's talk about Pat's van...



Here are some pictures (not of the van!)...

Fool's Journey

This week's prompt from Weekend Wordsmith is the April Fool. I have always felt the fool is one of the most misunderstood figures in history. Full of whimsy people often see them as nonsensical. There is a special kind of wisdom in being empty, a blank canvas. In being able to receive the lessons the world has to teach. Shouldn't we all strive to be fools??

I wrote about someone making a career change - leaving that which is "comfortable" if not always pleasant, heading toward the unknown, but following his or her heart...

Fool's Journey

Go ahead - call me a fool.
Leaving that which is comfortable
In exchange for the unknown.

My head is empty of logic
My heart is full of hope and expectation.
With a child's clarity I see the world in
new and different ways.
Fresh. Emboldened.

I see the path before me -
I see the cliff.
I know what you are thinking.
But you are wrong.

This fool's journey
Is a leap of faith.
Go ahead - call me a fool.

28 March 2008

Fight the Frump ~ Squeezing into shape.

Very controversial among the zaftique is the issue of shapewear. Maybe you want to call it a girdle. Some say it is best to let it all hang out - and you know what, if you are fine with that, that is great. Be natural - no problem. But my personal opinion is that some bumps are better left unseen. I don't so much mind the actual SIZE I am but there are plenty of ripples and lumpy bumpies that I could really do without. Makes it hard for me to wear a shirt without thinking about back-fat appearing every time I sit down - and a girl's gotta sit sometimes, right?

Incidentally, unless I am missing something - and y'all feel free to correct me here - SPANX is not really for fat girls. Spanx is for paranoid chubby girls at best. I am not talking about something that's largest size is an XL... waist measurement being 35.5 inches max. Sorry - that is lightweight stuff. Not the kind of serious body shaping we are talking abut here.

So - let's talk a bit about shapewear. Depending on your issues you may need (or want) more than one - some recommend having one of each - up to you (again - maybe you don't need or want any - Bravo!) You can learn about each type of shapewear at

I personally like a good body briefer - the one that sort of looks like a one-piece bathing suit. This piece is good to trim and define your waist, control the tummy - gives you an overall smooth shape. The cami and the biker shorts are just not options for me as they get swallowed up quickly by the bulk around my middle...
Worst part of the body briefer is the contortionist you must be when it is time to use the lavatory, ifyaknowhutimean...

Now you weigh in on shapewear (nothing better than a bad pun, huh?!?)... Do you use it or not? When and what kind?

In parting I leave you with an old (vaudeville-old I am told) joke:

A man was changing into his clothes in a golf-course locker room when he suddenly heard some loud grunting noises. Walking around to the other side of the row of lockers, he encountered one of his golf buddies squeezing himself into a woman's girdle. When the man had finished getting himself into the girdle, the first man asked, "How long have you been wearing that girdle?"

The man in the girdle sighed and answered, "Ever since my wife found it in the glove compartment."

27 March 2008

What to do when something sucks?? Recall it, of course!

We have had some interesting recalls lately - Everything from Aquadots to Dog Food... Generally speaking, we recall things when they are broken, have gone bad or are just flat out dangerous.

Well, the governor of our fair Garden State is doing a rotten job - he is broken, in some ways, and in many minds apparently, he is just dangerous. SO... a campaign has been started to recall him. For the first time in NJ history, a petition has been started to have the issue placed on a ballot - to oust our governor.

Jon Corzine disappoints me gravely. I voted for him because he was an "outsider". I thought that meant he would cut through all the crap - BOY was I wrong. He is just more of the same (increased highway tolls and decreased municipal aid), and while the sad truth is the alternative choices aren't really any better, perhaps this is a way for the people of NJ to make our point.

If you are a registered voter in NJ and if you feel so inclined you can join the effort at . If you are local to me, I am printing a petition, so you can sign mine - just ask me.

26 March 2008

Playdate XL

Today I had the privilege of watching William's friend Alexis and her sister, Hara while their father had surgery on his paw... well - hand, but we always call hands and feet paws here - that is another blog altogether though isn't it??

We had a great day! I wasn't sure what to expect - Hara is two and very active, they arrived at 5am. - might have gone badly, instead - we really had a great day! Hara and I spend some time reading together and playing on the computer (heaven help me I can NOT remember the website I found for her - she really enjoyed it.) Then they all played together outside, we ate lunch, Hara napped - truly a great day. I remembered why I love the age of two - but I also realized it was wise of me to stop at one child. Being nearly 42 with a two year old, especially when one has been up since 4:30 - is a bit tiring.

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It was fun!
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25 March 2008

Awww... isn't that sweet??

Turns out Ron and I both wear the pants... damn big pants apparently. I have always felt we have a very egalitarian relationship. It's a good thing, a relationship with your peer. :)

Both of You Wear the Pants

You and your guy seem to have stuck the perfect power balance.

It's not that you don't disagree - it's just that you've learned how to compromise well.

You're both mature enough to know that you can't always get your way...

And usually, you're both adult enough to reach an agreement - even if that sometimes means giving in a little.

Tanka and the nature of Longing.

Well - this week's Poetry Stretch at Miss Rumphius Effect is to write a Tanka. This minimalist form is like a Haiku - only longer. But by just a little bit. (Visit Miss RUmphius Effect for a more complete explanation.)

Hmmm - okay... So I started writing something - then Chris Botti's Venice (again, I know... what can I say?!?) began to play and immediately my tanka just sort of fell out. (sounds like a rather personal problem, doesn't it??). I always feel such a sense of longing when I hear that song, so I tried to find a picture for longing and then I realized that longing can be many different things to different people. A child at camp or a soldier stationed overseas might long for home, anyone who has lost someone may long for just five more minutes to say the goodbye they never got to say, Some may long to feel God in their lives, or lovers may long for the time that they can be together again. It is a very non-specific thing - or at least individually specific. All that just to say "No Picture", LOL...

Anyway - here is my tanka (they aren't to have titles I am told. Feels weird. I always do a title - helps me name the post too - not this time! LOL).

One measure.
My heart hears the words
My ears can't.
Velvet soulful notes
Longing, craving ache.

23 March 2008

Silent Dispatch

Our prompt from the Weekend Wordsmith this week is a vintage postcard - but my mind went somewhere else with that prompt. I will share it anyway...

Silent Dispatch

I write a postcard for you in my mind,
Speaking of the sensory delights around me-
Cool breezes in the trees, soft sands between my toes.
I tell you of the amber sunset and
Crisp white moon and
I wish you were here.

I don't send the postcard.
I don't even write it.
Instead - I ask the moon to make the delivery.
Half a world away
I wonder if you will perceive my silent dispatch.

First-of-Spring Camping Trip

Well - we spent the weekend camping at Yogi Bear/Tall Pines Campground. It was fun... okay - really - it was fun but really mostly for William. Ron and I have decided that our camper (a hybrid travel trailer by Jayco) is NOT suited for cold weather camping, And those beds are SO not comfy! BUT - William had a great time and so it was worth it. Here is a snazzy little slideshow showcasing some of the highlights. WIlliam took quite a few of these pics.

Incidentally - Fighting the Frump is an exercise in futility when one is camping. Maybe that is part of the charm of camping. I DID learn that the way to tolerate hours of "fun" at the playground is to bring an alcoholic beverage of your choice. Next time, I shall be better prepared. ;)

What My Name Means...

Saw this on Mindi's Blog...

Hmmm... I guess this is true?

What Jeannie Means

You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.

You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.

You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

21 March 2008

Choose the Face! (FtF for not JUST fat Girls)

First - let me begin by saying that I begin every FtF post with the premise that neither "fat" nor "old" is synonymous with "frump". If this is not a concept that you can wrap your brain around, then this is SO not the place for you. Okay, Luv Ya! Buh-Bye.

Moving on to the business at hand... While I have heard this little nugget attributed to many different people (Mae West, ZsaZsa Gabor just to name a few) and I am not sure who said it I think it is probably at least a little true - "At some point you must choose between the body and the face - choose the face". Look, what good does it do you to be completely ripped if your skin is like cheap leather? If the eyes are the window to the soul - do you really want them housed in a dried up crinkled mess of a face? Choose the face dahling! Choose the face.

There are some very definite ways you can help your face stay younger - and I am so not talking about strategically injecting poison into it to puff it up. Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It's the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. OOO - OOO - pick me! Where do I sign up?!?!


So okay - Let's talk about some inside-out face/skin care There are two HUGE things that you can stop doing that will help your skin. Not just the way it looks but its overall health. Stay out of the sun (tanning booths too!!) and stop smoking. Nutritionist Maria Middlestead tells us:

"Most visible skin damage is due to excess exposure to ultra violet radiation from the sun. Simply compare the parts of your body that get the most sun, with the inside of your arm or other area which gets little sun. Tanning may be fashionable to some (like foot binding or whale bone corsets once were) but it indicates that the skin's defences have been breached and – like a browned piece of meat - pre-burn destruction achieved. In time the epidermis becomes leathery with wrinkles, furrows, brown spots, perhaps pre-cancerous lesions and skin cancer, which is the most common form of malignancy. ...The next worst behavior for skin damage is to smoke. Both tanning and smoking increase the production of free radicals. The immune system produces these aggressors to destroy intruders such as viruses. But in excess they indiscriminately hang around the body and vandalize cells leading to disease and premature aging."

Tanning is, I am sorry, just flat out crazy. It makes me nuts to hear people prattle on about how much they care about their body, how they work out - and then they go plop down on a tanning bed. Hello? Are you kidding me? And smoking - shouldn't we all be over that by now too? I know it is hard to quit. I've done it (incidentally, loosing weight is about a million times harder) I get it, but it is truly a battle worth fighting. Please, if you smoke - do try to quit. There are plenty of places set up to help you!

That is what you SHOULDN'T do... So what can you DO to help your skin? You should fight free radicals... so antioxidants aplenty! Eat your five a day... hydrate your skin - drink your water. Quit whining about your water already - make it a habit (it takes an average of 21 days to make a habit - don't try it a few days and then quit! Keep working on it. You can do it - there are like a million reasons why you need to drink your water. Pick one you like, and do it!) You need to eat your protein - without protein your body can not build or repair a damn thing. That includes your skin. You don't need to eat meat to get adequate protein... you just have to include legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and some vegetables in your diet.

You need fats in your diet. Not the black sheep/damaged fats (hydrogenated) - good quality fats... Ms. Middlestead tells us:

"Top quality dietary fats are needed for smooth, soft, supple skin. The sensitive membrane surrounding every cell of your skin - and the rest of your body - needs a mixture of high quality saturated fat (such as from egg yolks, coconut oil/cream, grass fed meat), monounsaturated fat (olive, avocado, peanut and most nut oils) and polyunsaturated fat. The latter category is broken down into two types: Omega 3 (dark oily types of fish, seafood, linseed) and Omega 6 (most seeds such as sunflower, sesame, evening primrose). Some foods contain both types including pumpkin kernels, walnuts, pecans, soy products, hemp oil. Omega 3 and 6 sources also provide the two EFA. If everything else in your diet was ideal but you lacked EFA, your skin would be dry (plus eyes and other mucous membranes), or excessively oily and acne prone (EFA encourage slippery sebum and unclogged pores), and you would age prematurely."

And you need to smile. I would rather have smile lines any day of the week over those dreadful lines one can get from too much scowling. Lighten up. Smile!

Let's review... You need to take care of your face, your skin... so you need to

1) Stay out of the sun (wear sunscreen, wear a hat, use a parasol - whatever it takes. Stay out of the direct sunlight. AND the tanning booth!!),
2) Please stop smoking. Make a solid effort. It IS hard - absolutely - but worth it. Please try.
3) Eat your five a day of veggies and fruits!
4) Include adequate protein in your diet!
5) Drink your water... no whining. Just do it!
6) Choose and include good fats only!
7) S-M-I-L-E (and because you have whitened your teeth you will do this proudly, yes??)

Okay, ladies - Choose your face... and have a fantastic day!

PS: I am going camping this weekend, so no one go off all in a huff if I appear non-responsive. I shall return! Promise!

20 March 2008

Nearly Instant Gratification

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with William's second grade class. I was asked to do a spring craft - heaven forbid I just have them make spring chicks out of paper plates - nope - not me.

WE talked about the history of origami - and I read Lissy's Friends by Grace Lin to the class. The I taught them how to make a dog and a swan. I wasn't really sure what to expect - would the oh-so-sophisticated youth of today turn their noses up at the simple joys of making an animal out of a piece of paper? Would they thing the story too childish?

They loved it! I gave out so many extra pieces of paper and showed them how to make a square out of a regular sheet of notebook paper. It was so much fun. (BTW - I purchase my paper from Kim's Crane. I highly recommend it! Shipping was prompt, but they are moving across the country now and will be closed until the end of April.)

Are we coming up on the nearly instant gratification part yet??? Yeah - we're there - chill...

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Today my dear friend and fellow room-mom called me to tell me that her son has not stopped making swans since yesterday afternoon! This morning she woke to a room full of beautiful colored swans. This made my heart happy! I wonder what it is about the mind of a child that they will make a bazilllion of the origami animal that they have learned - adults usually make a few until we master the folds, but then grow weary of it - children will just keep on making them - I love that about them. They are not afraid of excess...

The Nature of Disappointment

"You disappoint me." Pellagrina to Edward in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Lately I have been giving a fair amount of thought to the nature of disappointment - why it happens, how to handle it and so on...

I think I have figured out that disappointment equals expectations minus reality. If you expect someone to act a certain way for whatever reason, perhaps your initial impression of a person was that they are strong and confident, intelligent and compassionate, and later you find that your first impression, as first impressions often are, was well, a little off - you will likely find yourself disappointed.

It isn't fair though - to form expectations based on first impressions. And honestly I suppose it isn't fair to have expectations of anyone other than yourself. People are who they are. Expecting them to be anything other than their authentic self is just not fair. Just as you would never expect a wolf to not howl at the moon, you must not expect someone to be strong and confident if that is just not who they are. It is not fair to them.

Someone once told me that the more painful something is, the greater the lesson to be learned. Big lesson here. BIG lesson.

19 March 2008

As Perennial as the Grass...

Rita's!!!! Anyone even remotely close to the Delaware Valley knows that the first day of spring brings with it one of the best gifts - and it is free... Sure, we look forward to bright crisp blue skies and fragrant flowers... who doesn't? But on the first day of spring each year Rita's offers everyone a FREE water ice!!! What have I said here before about loving things that are free??

Say it with me... Free water ice tomorrow?? HECK YES! Don't miss it!!!

Those of you who live elsewhere - well - sorry. ;)

16 March 2008

Lunch - in a box...

I can hear my grandmother's voice in my head "There is nothing new on the face of the earth" she would say. Pretty much this statement rings true. The idea of eating lunch from a box is certainly NOT new, nor is it unique to the American way of life. So after decades of the disposable being chic, we are finally headed back to sensible, ecologically friendly alternatives... Packed lunch from home - in a box...

When I was "asked" to return to the office for work I knew I had to do something about lunch. Buying lunch everyday was just not a feasible option - I just don't make that kind of money. So, I brown bagged it. But even though I brought my bag home and used it over as much as possible I still felt like I was creating a lot of garbage, and wasn't thrilled with the whole experience. So, I looked into it and decided to buy a "Laptop Lunch". Inspired by the bento boxes of Japan, this little treasure makes lunch - well - fun! And I am able to take an interesting variety of foods. The lunch featured here is a turkey sandwich with raisins (don't knock it 'till you try it), some watermelon, a granola bar and some yogurt (I am able to buy the big container of yogurt! Cheaper and less waste!) Along side is a 12 oz bottle which I fill with water or sometimes iced green tea. It all zips up in a nice little case - very snazzy. I chose pink, no surprise, but the offer many different color choices including a very sleek looking red and black. OH! And yu also get your very own special little fork and spoon!

By now you may have checked the price and suspect that I have have hit my head on something. Yeah - I know. It is a little pricey - BUT - I have to tell you - I have not one time since I have this, been tempted to skip packing my lunch and buy something. I eat healthy at lunch while so many around me are eating fries and burgers. There is something very satisfying about having everything all laid out in front of you in neat little containers - People are always checking what I have on any given day in my lunch box.

William is after me big-time for one of his own. I believe I shall get him one... Not sure how I feel about school lunches anymore... I think you all know what I am talking about.

So - think about it... good for the environment, good for you... probably can save you a bit of money in the long run too... Be sure to come back and tell me if you buy one!

15 March 2008

Family Bingo Night

Hi from bingo

Sent this from family Bingo night - William and Grandma getting ready for the game to start... We had fun - WIlliam won a styrofoam airplane - actually Grandma won for him. I have retained my all-time losing streak in Bingo, but mad a legion of Origami Swans out of the discarded Bingo papers! :)

14 March 2008

A plea from a Man's Woman...

"You're a man's woman. You hate women and they hate you." - Kramer to Elaine on Seinfeld

Okay - so maybe "hate" is too strong of a word. I don't hate women. I don't think they actually "hate" me either - more like "tolerate" me... Men are just so much easier to hang out with. They are usually more relaxed, and less concerned about how fat my ass looks in a pair of jeans or what I must have said to myself to make me think my hair looks okay on a day when clearly it looks like hell. I have always found it easier to be my genuine self in the company of men. Women generally find me too crass, too outspoken. I usually feel like I have to walk on eggshells in the company of women. I suspect most men feel that way too. It isn't relaxing and it damn sure isn't "fun".

As women we could learn a lot from men, if we could just put aside our smug sense of self-satisfaction long enough to really watch how they interact. You will never, for instance, hear a man hang up the phone after talking to a friend say "I wonder what he meant by that?". Guess why? Because his friend probably said something like "Hey. You wanna give me hand with some drywall on Saturday" to which he probably said "sure" and that was the end of that conversation. Nothing to read into other than the unspoken agreement that beer would follow said drywall manipulation.

As women, we KNOW that women usually have something else on their mind. Some hidden agenda. They want something else of us, expect it and heaven help us if we don't figure out what it is. Who has time for that? This is just one example of why it is easier to spend time with men. (Unless of course you expect them to read into what you are saying.) There are different rules in the man-universe. If you want to hang there, you have to follow them and understand that they are operating under the same assumption. Here are the rules... are you ready? 1) Say what you mean. 2) Mean what you say. That's it.

I have a few female friends. They are a rare breed. They are not demanding. They "get" me. They don't expect me to be sweet and demure. They understand that I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth. They seem to understand that I am not a very good girlfriend. Sure - I like girl things. I like a pedicure just like any other red-blooded American girl. I like to shop - a little - probably less than the average woman. I care about how I look. But at the end of the day, I would rather hang out with the guys, relaxing, shooting the shit and not afraid of a good dirty joke now and then and yes, I still find fart noises mildly amusing.

So what? You may ask. Who cares? In truth, no one should. But some have a problem with the idea that men and women can be friends. Usually it is wives or girlfriends of the men with whom I am friendly. Now look... Here is the thing. I HAVE a man. I actually have a pretty damn fantastic man - what in the name of heaven would I want with YOURS??? You would think that grown women would be secure enough in themselves to not fret about their husband having a woman friend... maybe they think it can't be done - perhaps they have seen "When Harry Met Sally" too many times and actually buy into that antiquated crap about men and women not being able to be friends...


Our friends at Psychology Today tell us ""The belief that men and women can't be friends comes from another era in which women were at home and men were in the workplace, and the only way they could get together was for romance," explained Linda Sapadin, a psychologist in Valley Stream, New York. "Now they work together and share sports interests and socialize together." This cultural shift has encouraged psychologists, sociologists and communications experts to put forth a new message: Though it may be tricky, men and women can successfully become close friends. What's more, there are good reasons for them to do so."

I write this on behalf of all man's-woman women (MW Women). Everyone has to ease up about this whole issue. Some of us just enjoy the company of men. That is never going to change. Does it mean we are out to accumulate a collection like you might collect plates? No. It most certainly does not.

Most of us already have a man. We don't want (or need) another. One is plenty. Some of us may not have one, that sure doesn't mean we want yours either. We just like to hang with the guys. We want to talk about cars or sports at the party, not spend our time whispering catty back-stabbing nuggets of gossip about the other gals or exchanging corn-bread recipes. Relax. And remember: MW Women are NOT out to get your man. We are just friends. Got it? Good. Now - let's move on...

12 March 2008

Inside Out

This week's Poetry Stretch at Miss Rumphius Effect is to write something inspired by this image (the image at Tricia's is viewable larger if you click on it... please do so - my poem makes more sense I think when you see the picture larger...)

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So - here is my effort...

Inside Out

Inside looking out
Dreaming, wishing, hoping.

Outside looking in
An outcast, a stranger
Unable to meet the
Vanilla sweet ideal.
Still dreaming, wishing, hoping.

11 March 2008

My First Meatless Monday

Yesterday was my first crack at Meatless Monday. It was absolutely painless, I assure you! I challenge you to give it a try - I bet you can be very creative with your meals. I have that luxury only with breakfast and lunch - my main meal is bound to be horribly boring since I can not cook like a normal person in my house without much weeping and gnashing of teeth. This one won't eat onions, that one won't eat mushrooms. This has to much salt. That has too much sauce. This would be better with noodles, I would be happier if we didn't have that ever again and so on and so forth. Those of you who enjoy cooking would only need to spend a week at my house and you would have that knocked RIGHT out of you.

Anywho - here is what I had yesterday:

Breakfast: Smoothie made of yogurt, skim milk, frozen fruit and a sprinkle of sf/ff chocolate pudding mix. Also an ooey-gooey crumbly and chewy granola bar. This is a surprisingly filling breakfast! William had the same thing - loves this breakfast.

Lunch: Pan-fried tofu sandwich with salsa and a bit of mayo. cereal and raisin snack mix (NOT the sweet one!!) Cream of Tomato and tortellini soup (leftover from Sunday - I made for lunch) and some pretzels.

Supper: Raviolis with marinara and mozzarella cheese. William and I were still hungry after that so we had some hummus and tortilla chips.

It was a good day. Now - you need to understand something - this is not a diet. This is an attempt for me to see what I can come up with to eat that doesn't have meat involved at all. I am no nutritionist but I THINK I had a pretty balanced day yesterday. That is sort of the point.

08 March 2008

Don't Forget!!

Spring ahead! Here in the United States clocks spring forward from 1:59 a.m. to 3:00 a.m overnight tonight. (Our friends in Europe have a few weeks to go before changing.)

Many fire departments encourage people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change their clocks because Daylight Saving Time provides a convenient reminder. Your chances of surviving a fire doubles with a working smoke detector. If that is not enough to convince you, look at it this way: If you change your batteries pro-actively you never have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to that relentless beeping and trying to figure out which detector's battery needs replacing. I found a COUPON for $1 off energizer batteries. You can print it once a month... Now you have no excuse.

07 March 2008

Fighting the Frump for Fat Girls - Big Beautiful Smile

A Beautiful Smile.

Let's face it - there is nothing that makes you look as good as a beautiful confident smile. It is the one thing that potentially leaves the biggest impression. People forget a lot of things about you, but if you have a great smile THAT is what they remember most. I recently ran into a friend who I haven't seen other than in passing picking our kids up from clubs after school. We worked together at the Book Fair last week. She always looks beautiful. I complimented her on her hair. Later, others began to compliment her on her having lost weight. 30 pounds this woman lost - I had NOT even noticed. I don't think I ever realized she had 30 pounds to loose - guess why? She has a disarming smile. I never got past that, Betcha I am not the only one. So...

Today we will talk about the best way to maintain healthy teeth to make sure we have the best smile possible.

Brush your teeth twice a day with a good toothpaste. Don't use a gross toothbrush. They say every three months you should change it. You know what? If it looks like something that you should be cleaning the wheels of your car with - keep it out of your mouth, Okay? Get a new toothbrush. At LEAST every three months. They are less than five dollars! Don't be a cheap-ass. Oh - and it is all about technique (isn't it always??). If you are not 100% sure you know how to brush properly, please check out this video:

Moving on - Floss your teeth. Now - I have to tell you - I hear a lot of people complain about this, but it is so SO very important. Please do not skip it. Let me tell you about an unfortunate procedure you can look forward if you fail. It is called root planing. You do not want to go there. It hurts. They have to give you novocaine or some other sort of local anesthetic. Floss. Please. Don't be stubborn about it. Don't whine about it. Wrap the darn wax-coated string around your little fingers and get to work. You can learn how to floss here (remember: Root Planing - don't let it happen to you.)

It is important to be sure to visit your dentist regularly. Now look. I know how scary that can be. Truly. Once you are hurt or humiliated in the dentist chair you struggle to go back. Please - just do. Find a dentist who will help you relax. I speak to you from my heart on this issue and someday soon I shall share my dental story with you - this is not the time or the place. But I promise to share. Please though - in the meantime hear my plea: Get your pretty self to the dentist twice a year. If you can't do twice a year do once a year - but just go. Consider it an investment. Believe me - pay now or you WILL pay later. Handsomely.

I also want to recommend trying a little tooth whitening. If you have sensitive teeth this may not work out so well for you. But otherwise - make them white as they can be. (So - duh - don't smoke. Watch the coffee and tea and cola intake... big duh, right??!) I can personally recommend Crest White Strips. I have tried the Rembrandt - they just don't cut it in my opinion. $30 or so every six months - not too shabby. What is that - like $5 a month (hey - I never said I was a math genius).

Finally - if you need braces, or dentures, or a bridge or implants or veneers or anything like that make the effort to get it. Fix your smile. You won't be sorry. You can light up a room with your smile - we all can. You will feel confident - and if you feel confident you will act confident. If you act confident THAT is what people notice.

05 March 2008

Is there a doctor in the house??

A psychiatrist. A shrink even. I stumbled onto this blog which has a few posts about pieces of the PA Turnpike that have since been abandoned, including some tunnels. Now - I am completely fascinated by this whole thing, but at the same time it makes my heart race and I feel nauseous. Soooo... Anxiety. Over abandoned roads and tunnels.

What on EARTH am I to make of that? It is just odd to me... Anyone want to do an armchair shrink diagnosis? Go on - I can take it...

Well-Versed Wednesday ~ Episode II

Welcome back to episode two of Well-Versed Wednesday... The object of the game is to use one, two or all three of the words that I provide in your comment - Feel free to be funny, cheeky, punny - even snarky...

This week's words are...
impressionable, explicitly, predaceous

Can't wait to read what you come up with! Thanks for playing!

04 March 2008

What sort of person...

...orders one third of a pound of lunchmeat? How does one come to the conclusion that one needs precisely one third of a pound of peppered ham? I was at the deli counter on Sunday - some bone-head tries to butt in front of me, never mind I was wearing a rather bright pink blazer - couldn't miss me... then when it WAS his turn, he ordered one third of a pound of peppered ham. Before I could catch myself my head snapped around and with my jaw on the ground I just gawked at him. I turned away of course, but I couldn't stop myself from laughing and I am certain he could see my shoulders moving as a result - but seriously!!! Who orders one-third of a pound of peppered ham???

02 March 2008

Today's Worm.

Today we learned that the easiest way to come even close to an enjoyable time at Chuck E. Cheese is to get there early. We arrived at 10:00 am (they open at 9:00) and had the place basically to ourselves. Allow me to say, at this point, that I loathe and despise CEC. It is loud, lights flash everywhere - it is crowded... but basically I learned today that they actually play music at CEC. I was never able to hear it before this.

AND I did not spend a lot of money. I downloaded a coupon for 100 tokens for $10 - bought two refillable sodas for about $3 - so for less than $15 we were set. Additionally - we still have at least half of the tokens left for next time.

SO: To make the best of CEC: Sign up at their website for coupons and GO EARLY!! Next time we decided we would go to breakfast first and then arrive at 9:00 AM when they open - allowing us a full two hours before anything even STARTS to get ugly! This is handy to know because there CEC is a powerful motivator; as much as we hate it, the kids seem to love it. This way - everyone wins.

As a Post Script: we were originally supposed to go to Johnson's Farm this morning, but were deterred by the cold weather and the fact that one little girl in our party is recovering from Pneumonia. CEC was our plan B - but we all had a great time anyway...