Thursday, October 30, 2008

Listen to your Kids

Tip Junkie

Tip Junkie was kind enough to add my giveaway to her list of goodies available and give this blog a little more exposure. You know looking for things to win could be a full time occupation, couldn't it? so bless her for compiling those lists. Who doesn't like to win?!??!

Tip Junkie is also having a Mom-Preneur Shopathon over on her blog. I'm sure you don't have to be a mom to sell or buy, but you get the point. Lots of links to a lot of women who have their own businesses and it's even divided up by category.

If you have THOUGHT about selling what you create, have a look and see how other women make it real. And if you buy from one of the women listed you have made 3 people happy...the seller, you, and the recipient of your holiday gift. Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On My Desk... a giveaway

Trying to get a good clean up done, and wrap up any undone projects. And Finally, the giveaway for this post.

This is a fascinating book and Sebastian will do the drawing on Friday October 31st, so we can try and get it in the mail on Saturday. If you commented on the earlier post, you're in but there's still time. Yes, I will send internationally. Thank you for enlarging my world!

Kirsty of Kootoyoo manages the On My Desk... meme so click the button on the right that says On My Desk or that link at your left.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tell me..

Your favorites in Venice, Rome and Florence. (Italy that is!!)

I saw that Holly over at decor8 has a list of shop faves which I will certainly be checking out. (And by the way you may want to give her a shout-out for making Domino mag.) But I do need help with some limited free time - for this trip, week.

original by sp!ros
Tho this is going to be a quick trip, and organized by others, I am looking for places either to eat or to shop or to just dream.. in any of those three cities. As we don't drink, I'll have to pass on your best vineyards. But while I don't plan to do serious shopping, I DO like to look. And we do love to eat.

Any suggestions?!?!?

LetsDish Goes Pink

Breast, no, I don't have it but I have a mammogram scheduled for next month. Trust me, they are not that bad, and for the most part women don't hurt other women if they can help it. I've never had a bad or mean technician in over 20 years of getting mushed. It's worth it and you're worth it. Some of us will find the big C as a new part of our life but that's what we can then have...Life. Life as a survivor.

But here's a nice idea to contemplate if you live in the Greater Baltimore/DC area.

Local food prep chain Lets Dish! has a Pink Dish promo. I quote...

This year, Let's Dish! has expanded its commitment to increasing breast cancer awareness. The mission for our Pink Dish! Campaign in the mid-Atlantic is to do what we do best - provide meals to those who need them – in this case supporting families living with breast cancer through the donation of healthy Let's Dish! meals at no cost. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 2008, we plan to provide meals to even more families, and we’ve created more ways to get involved. Take a look around our site to find out how you can be a part of the Pink Dish! Campaign.

Thanks to Aimee over at SmilingMama one of the Blogher attendees that I didn't meet...I don't think...for this inspiration. ;-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is...

Something I'm surprised I like...Cleveland Ohio. Today's This is...comes from Victoria at Earl and Cookie and more players can be found over on Angela's button on the right column...the one that says This is. She's the hostess aka ThreeButtons.

taken on our March 2008 trip

I'm rarely surprised at food I like since I'm more surprised if I DON'T like a food. Shall we say I'm pretty much an omnivore.

But Cleveland to this East Coast snob was called The Mistake on the Lake. Puhleeze. But then DH booked us into a Residence Inn there on our way to Chicago, knowing I like a ResInn, and I was won over. Not just by the hotel, but the spaciousness of the city, the icy lake, the full moon, and oh yeah...the food.

On that March trip the Westside market was closed but I vowed that we'd be back for a shopping visit. Our first dinner in Cleveland was a Cambodian restaurant the small but uniquee Phnom Penh...again, who knew? This recent trip found us going to Little Italy and dining at La Dolce Vita, not once but twice. We went into a bakery first, to be sure of getting some pastry before they closed, but ended up getting free desserts both times at La DV. That's another story.

We each had our first taste of Sicilian olives and dh was won over to the olive camp. I had a Sicilian pastry, name escapes me, that sadly was only made on Sundays. No luck for more on our return on Thursday. So that too is for another trip.

original by crazy lembu
The Westside Market...oh yeah, we got there too. Check out that ceiling - very much reminded us of the market in Budapest. Pork up the gazoo and yes Judy, pierogis - tho not in the kind I'm used to. Occasionally there are small sacrifices to make in life. ;-)

Cleveland...try it, you'll like it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh Honey...they are so you!

Well I don't know who that honey might be but the designers must have had someone in mind, and that orange is so fall-colorish but...

TracyRusso saw them and now so did I. Let me see the designer having a prance in these first please.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I voted

If you are in the United States, don't waste your chance at democracy.


Mine is an absentee ballot.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

3 Beautiful Things

Today...three beautiful things for you.

1. Autumn morning
autumn morning

2.Mail from swap-bot partners
swapbot mail

3. A new Asian grocer not far from me with goodies like this
red jalapenos

On My Desk -sort of

Well I have a desk here in the hotel and I have a camera full of pictures, but no connecting cord to show you the two.

There's no real project in the works while we're here in Chicago but I did get some new pens from Dick Blick and a couple of Moleskine cardboard books for Little Books. The clerk ooohed and ahhed over the Staedtler thinline pens which she called top of the line. I agree with her re quality, and at US $1.09 for each of the individual pens I got, I'm thinking we get quite a bargain with these. How cheap are they in Germany?!?!?

Sorry to miss adding to this week's OMD and having time to Look At other desks. This is one of my favorite memes and it's all thanks to Kirsty so click over on the On My Desk button and you'll see what's going on round the world...on desks and project tables.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does this blog make me look old?

Well I'm 250 today! Posts that is, not years, not even dog years but maybe dog years. I don't wanna think about that.

When I get back to my own little studio there will be a giveaway to celebrate. Feel free to comment here and tell me how much you love me or where you found me, or how I've made you rich and successful and thin or just have suggestions for me. Lots of you have made me quite happy and I've loved every minute .

If we can wake Sebastian the cat up on our return, he'll do a drawing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Be a Good Citizen

I mean a good citizen in the blogosphere. I must say I have not been what I could be. Now I know better and promise to work on reforming.

Which of us doesn't love comments? We know from our stats we are being read but it's so nice when someone comes out of lurkdom to actually say something to us. To me. Yes, I love it. So why don't I take the time to respond, as my peers have told me, to each and every comment. Pure laziness, and I'd have to say some self-centeredness? (Feel free to disagree vehemently with me on that!)

Ms Stirrup Queens has a marvelous blog for anyone facing infertility and All That Follows. I've never btdt but she gave me some insights into what it must be like. If you or anyone you know is looking at this issue, Melissa has an absolutely tremendous blogroll of information on her blog. (Stirupp Queens is over on my blogroll if this has hit a nerve for you. Feel free to jump on over.) She's now linked here also

But as part of SQ's encouragement of good citizenry, she has a monthly Comment Week. It's just starting and you can check it out now and decide if it's a good fit for you in November. Lots of blogs to choose from here. Feel free to hijack that button and remember when I comment, we leave.

The Original Three Beautiful Things

Perhaps you know Clare of the original Three Beautiful Things. I didn't, but now I do.

I plan to try to do this in my morning journaling each day. As Clare says, what a wonderful way to remain grateful as the world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket.

And me? Just about to see that beautiful skyline. Chicago.

(on the road chatter over at the other blog which has been dormant for a few months0

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thi favorite film

Thanks to Hokey for this week's theme. First one that comes to mind is one that I've seen about 3 times...but consider the length - 227 minutes.

But then there was this one that got me pants-wetting laughing. (One of my sons worked in the convenience center round the corner and he got those ...Gotta come in and cover calls. )

Lately, I've love this series but have yet to see the last one. I'll rewatch #1 and 2 first.

Ok film buffs, check out the list over at ThreeButtons. It's also on that button that says This Is over on the right. You can have your own private festival du cinema today if you like.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crochet Obama to the White House

Lion Brand has this free pattern as a quick way to show your support. (I believe there is another person's finger puppet but then why would you like one of those???)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blogerfest Fave -Dance till you Drop

Favorite song?

Drewzel aka the woman of many blogs decreed it was a Blogerfest Fave day.

Ok, I looked for Stevie Wonder live WITH the intro to You are the Sunshine of my Life which is a an absolute l.o.v.e. of mine, but no luck with a good version. ( I need to get that intro as a ringtone.) That was the song I sang to my 2nd son after he was born. By that time in our marriage we had a kickass stereo something that was missing for chick #1 who didn't get music shaking the rafters till he was about 5.

So I debated between the strung out Clapton with Cocaine but decided on this one which always says Pure Addictive Passion to me. What else but Layla. Oh, and look at God smile at the beginning of this one. Be still my heart.

Dulce How Sweet You Are

Dulce de Leche is one of my absolute favorites. Yes, I could happily eat it right from the can and often do. I make it myself, and boiling it up in the can WELL covered is so worth it. Do 2 or 3 cans at once. You won't regret it. (Dulce instructions are in the bottom of the recipe.)

Now what can you do with DdL? in addition to eating it with a spoon? Well I've had some Linzer torte cookie cutters for quite some time, and while they're not bat cut outs, I think Autumn Leaves will do quite nicely. I think this will be my Halloween treat for me. The recipe is from Martha of course.


Makes 18.

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dulce de leche


  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg, yolk, chocolate, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 36 rounds with a 2-inch cutter, and space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Using an aspic cutter set, cut a triangle, point side up, in the center of half the cookies, and then use the half-moon cutter to make one "wing" on each side of the triangle. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Bake until set, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool. Top each uncut cookie with 1 teaspoon dulce de leche and a cutout cookie.

Dulce de leche is basically caramel that is very simple to make. Take a can of sweetened condensed milk and place the CLOSED can into a pot of water - cover at least by 3 times. Bring the pot of water to simmer(tiny bubbles)simmer your can for 3 hours. Turn off the heat allow to cool, remove from from water and allow to completely cool - even over not try to open the can before it has cooled.

*answer to Curlypops and other Australians. I gather you can buy spreadable caramel over there. Actually, if they are your cookies, use what you like as a spread... Dulce de Leche, caramel, Nutella, Fluffo (just thought of Fluffo last night) ...the point is spreadable and sweet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tag Tag I guess I'm IT

Taccolina tagged me for 6 things. Oh thankyouverymuch said Elvis I actually did this not too long ago, so if you'd like to read that one from April 08, be my guest.
MJB Christmas 1945

Here are the simple rules:
Link to the person who tagged you. (did that)
Post the rules on your blog. (done)
Write Six Random Things about yourself. (yep)
Tag six-or-so other people at the bottom of the post. (done)
Leave comments on their blogs, letting them know they've been tagged! (yes)
Let the person who tagged you know when you've written the post. (better check)

I'm in the process of writing my autobiography in 5 yr chunks for my Artist Way group. We are reading Julia Cameron's Vein of Gold and I balked at this exercise a LOT. Now that I've jumped in, it's not so bad and some things have come up that I've forgotten.

1. Sweet little me was almost expelled twice before I was 10 years old. It's a wonder I wasn't seriously scarred by the nuns I had at age 7 who told me I was going to have all my teeth pulled because I bit a girl. My mother was furious, and not at me.

2. I am an only child and my father died (ALS) when I was 28 and my mother died (cancer) when I was 35.

3. I've had a zillion cats in the past 20 years all but two ran away. Well the two did run away but got hit by cars. I KNOW where the rest are..but it's an unusual story.

4.I was elected President of my teen club at age 15. I never ran again...leave them wanting more. (Take that, Sarah!)

5. Sarah SixPack is NOT my Gal. Tanya Tarr is the cleverclogs behind this blog.

I'm gonna get this out tonight, so be warned...tagging will commence on Friday afternoon. The Wall of Tag will be up then. is up.

Stacyanne at zen and the art of typing

Melissa at Stirrup Queens

Stef at IronStef

Jen at Semi-Charmed Wife

Ashley at Strawberrykisses

Mercury Shift - I've been waiting

Not sure if you follow the Mercury retrogrades, but I really feel that this one has been a biggie. Being a Virgo, I have an affinity for Mercury and "my" planet finally hit the midpoint yesterday. I've been waiting for that shift.  

At 07:18 UT (Universal Time), on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008, Mercury the cosmic trickster turns retrograde in Libra, the sign of the Scales, sending communications, travel, appointments, mail and the www into a general snarlup! This awkward period begins a few days before the actual turning point (as Mercury slows) and lasts for three weeks or so, until October 15, just after the Full Moon in Aries, when the Winged Messenger reaches his direct station. At this time he halts and begins his return to direct motion through the zodiac.

Everything finally straightens out on October 31, as he passes the point where he first turned retrograde. Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, as a rule, but the effects of each period differ, according to the sign in which it happens.

I'm ready for the balance to be restored, aren't you? btw, the wordle is just me recently. Some days a wordle tells you what you've been saying. ;-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On My Desk...October 15th

Lord...I almost wrote August. It IS almost summer weather, the Indian summer kind of day in the mid to high 70s. Three desk areas to work with today.

Here the primary project is to get the dregs of some aerosol glue off the cutting board. Then perhaps some ATC work and finalize some postcards. One package to mail later in the week.

Here I have all the contacts from BlogHer to sort thru and my terrible notes to read. I am sooo out of notetaking practice, sigh, and wished I had taken a notebook of my own, other than the little one from my bag. I started to and then decided not to. Mistake. Also big reminder to make/get BlogCards...the mini Moos look great and feel great. I often forget how important the tactile is to me.

Finally...IRA rollover paperwork to finish and absentee ballot to fill in. The IRA stuff has been in progress for a while so it isn't directly related to the current economic crisis but I sure wish it had been finalized in June! I'm sorry we won't be IN the voting booth this year, but la dolce vita calls. ;-)

Now the rest of Wednesday's desks are over inside that On My Desk link on the right. Amazing how Kirsty can keep them all neat and tidy inside that button, isn't it...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Notes from the BlogHer Mavens

One of the interesting break-outs I went to was on Managing Information Overload: How to Find Your Blogging Community. I actually got into this one by mistake but figured that there are no accidents, so I stayed and learned.

First on the discussion was figuring your agenda, asking yourself why YOU blog - what do you want to get out of blogging. For some there is a cause centered goal (politics, autism, green children etc) for others it is about getting your art/business out before the buying public, and for others it can be a safe place to say your piece, voice things that you just don't want to say anywhere else.

Whatever your goal/agenda, and it most likely will be a mixture of things, you want your own community. You don't sell bathing suits to Eskimos...well unless global warming accelerates! While most of us are ok with civil discourse on ideas we present, we are usually looking for our own tribe. We look for and need people who resonate with us - somehow. You know the scan a new-to-you blog and immediately think...Yeah.. bookmark! Whatever the agenda is for my blog, what I'm doing IS marketing me and I want to find both my own niche audience AND people I want to read.
Geeze, most days still have only 24 hrs, right?

Below are some of the tools that came out of this session. Take what fits and leave the rest. It did get me to get back on Twitter. btw, I'll have to see if I ever got those Boulder pictures up on flickr....

Figure out your agenda
Use Google Reader
Stumble Upon
Use a kitchen timer to schedule yourself
Think of these tools as marketing tools
Firefox app to aggregate your social media -Shareaholic
Leverage knowledge: spread out the expertise in an organization
COMMONCRAFT a good instructional site to explain tech things

The whole session thread has so much more information. If you read it and still have a Huh? I'll try to answer any questions about points/places they mention.

Women Women Women

Original by scripsi_scriptum

Oh the fun of it all. BlogHer DC, I mean.

Sunday was dinner with dh in Bethesda at Jaleo on a mild fall night, a gorgeous full moon, and then a night by myself in a hotel (luxury is sleeping in the middle of the bed - sometimes). Monday, I crossed the street to the Hyatt and a day full of mostly local bloggers, around 250 of us, talking, laughing and Having Fun. Oh it was heaven. Noisy but heaven.

And did the sponsors feed us! But I'll get to that later and be back with lots more fun bits and ideas gleaned. I learned so much ...about blogging and about us as female bloggers from the presenters and my fellow bloggers. In addition, I think I finally have found some local community.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Does this look good to YOU

First of all, ignore the paint samples...

*I get dh a new (to us) pine bathroom cabinet.

*We agree on the placement.

*He asks if I mind if he drills a hole in the cabinet for a cord to connect electric shaver and toothbrush. I agree.


This is NOT how I expected it to look...decidedly not dark brown, and he thinks I'm the extreme critical fussbudget. Somehow I am having flashbacks to our renovation days....
Perhaps in the future, the outlet can be moved to be INSIDE the cabinet, something we did in the downstairs bath. The engineer looks for functional; the wife looks for functional AND good looking. Sigh....

If it's Monday the 13th

I'm at ...

BLOGHER in Washington DC!!!!!

If YOU are at blog-her....look for me and say hello.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This current reading material

We are a household of readers. Books here, books there, and usually no complaint from either of us about the other's piles. However, recently Dick did say ...We seem to be accumulating a lot of things around here. Hmmm...I thought. Most of those things are things to read, and most of those things to read are mine. Dear oh dear. I did make a start at ...putting things back where they belong, or dealing with what needs dealing, and what you see here IS a bit better.

the papers
today's papers

magazines and more papers
more papers and magazines
(Nov LIVING just arrived; I am not anyway thru Oct LIVING!)

bedtime pile
the bedtime pile

current book
the current 'read in bed' book - The Visible World, Mark Slouka. (misidentified in my comment)

More of my reading habits can be seen over on that Good Reads button, and thank you again Jaenaveve for your rec of that site. Three Buttons hosts the whole shebang of This is... while this week's theme is from My Champagne Dreams. As always, click the This is ...button on the right for more players. Loll away your Sunday!

12 Days of Halloween - Day 12

If you are still at a loss for ideas, there is always Martha with enough ideas to take you ahead several generations.

I do love this winner from the Great Pumpkin Contest. Could you have said no???

Finally, for those who ARE thinking ahead, how about next year's quilt?

The Quiltmaker is your source for this one.

I hope you have enjoyed reading these 12 days of Halloween as much as I have while making them. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays...even without the candy. Well, maybe not without ANY candy.... Spook on!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Icon your Blog

Gotta figure this one out. Don't YOU need an icon for your blog on your Iphone? The clever instructions come from Cynthia.

Celestina Carmen had it on her desk this Wednesday. Boy you never know what you'll learn!

I think Cynthia could be my bff if she lived closer!

12 Days of Halloween - Day 11

Getting to the big day, and yes, serious food now.

What would Halloween be without a good Pumpkin Soup? Nigel Slater has a bang-up one and his article is a quite good read as well. Vintage Slater. (I've longed for an Aga most of my life as well.) Then again, you may want to try this similar version from Bake and Shake.

Both recipes can be found here for comparison.

For dessert, something quite a bit more upscale, just food for thought. Design Sponge found these Mori-ex-Cacao from ValerieConfections.
They are pricey but one suggestion is the chocolate with chile. Sweet with a bite... just like a vampire bite.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Love Friday

Good so 8am Photoshop class at the Apple store, a bit of a cleanup at home, a nice catch up visit with a friend who does counseling at the local, now HUGE, hospital...and cool breezes coming in the window while I practice some of that Photoshop from the a.m.

This afternoon...

I finally get to see Episode one of MI-5, Spooks to the rest of the world. I had this one on request for about 6 months at the library and had given up hope of seeing the start of this series. I have been hoarding Season 5, loaned to me by ds, and now I can stretch it out a bit more. Oh when will Season 6 be released?!?

Personally, I am just glad to be home during yet another Mercury Retrograde in which dh and I EACH left our wallets somewhere. Both were returned immediately with no loss etc but this is so very out of our natures that it's amazing.

Have a happy weekend, and Monday, I'll be at BlogHer in DC! Woohoo!!!! (PS to Taccolina etal....I sooo wanted the t-shirt that said..I"m blogging this! wear but I forgot where I saw it.)

12 Days of Halloween - Day 10

I bet something else tasty would be good about now. Something healthy perhaps to get you ready for the candy fest to come? Well let's settle for a Pumpkin Risotto, comforting, and healthy if you don't eat the whole recipe. If you like risotto, like I like risotto, well that can be an issue.

The whole recipe with a lot of photo guides can be found at FX Cuisine. I am seriously going to see how I can adapt this to the Lorna Sass method of making risotto in a pressure cooker. Yes, I'm lazy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

12 Days of Halloween - Day 9

Serious thought should be given by now costumes, and I know if you have children, you have all theirs ready and waiting. You DO don't you!?!?? Since my children mostly grew up in lands where Halloween was not celebrated, this mom was off the hook usually.

But what about other family members? You know, the 4-legged kind?

Pinch My Salt didn't neglect the family pooch. What canine would not be happy with a skeleton coat?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On My Desk...October 8th

Some ATC cards have been sitting on the tall table for a couple of days. I hope to get them glued up today or tomorrow. These items came from a fellow swapper and I had to make the ATCs using her items. My inspirations were few I'm afraid.

in the making

But on my computer desk, a new printer. Old one was great but could be erratic in printing color pics/postcards. I decided to stop wasting ink and use one of the printers (full of ink!) that came with our new computers at Christmas. Why do the drivers always want to cause so much grief?!?! It's done, it all works, and I did it myself but feel that the machine was being very naughty in the process.

Each week, more desks over at Kirsty's button ...On My's over on the right. Go click and have fun!

12 Days of Halloween - Day 8

A decadent treat is called for if you have been the one preparing your household for Halloween.

How about Cheesecake Pops?

Originally these were made by scooping cheesecake balls from a cheesecake. Daring but sensible bakers decided squares were quite fancy enough. I have to admit I love any cheesecake frozen, but this idea can also be used without the sticks as I've read that you have to eat them quickly.

(Are there people who have to be told this? And are they wasting damn good cheesecake while standing around with a stick in the air? If you know some of these people, just give them a glass of gin instead. Save the cheesecake for serious eaters who recognize a Pop-Into-the-Mouth when they see it.)

Once you peruse the instructions, get yourself some sprinkles and nonpareils in orange and black and knock your socks off decorating those sweetie pops. IMHO, I'd forgo the sticks entirely and/or make some out of styrofoam just for pretty. Do the pops as petit-fours. Tell me how yours come out!

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