Saturday, November 19, 2011 |


     Because I don't like to spend a lot of time on the Internet, and I am actually trying to wean myself even further off things like Facebook, I'm having a hard time catching on to this new Pinterest website. What exactly is the point of the website it's self? I have the "Pin It" button on top of my navigation bar and I have randomly "pinned" a few things that I have seen off of Facebook, but really what is this all about?
     Am I missing the boat? Am I missing the point? Am I just not trendy enough to keep up? What is it? Am I just supposed to accumulate "Pins" of things that just interest me? Things I want to do, make, places I want to go? Am I supposed to share those same things with others? What am I to do with all of my Pins?
     OK, well if anyone can enlighten me, I would really appreciate it.
Monday, November 14, 2011 |

My New Beep Beep

     I am so excited!!! I'm finally mobile again. Well at least mobile enough not to have to worry about driving into the next town. I'm not limited to just the surrounding area! My husband and I spent all day yesterday looking for cars. Not the funnest thing to do in the world. However, it really wasn't to bad. A little disappointed with one dealership. I got up, thanked him for his time, but told him that I wasn't going to waste any more of his or my time. They got me back in the chair to waste another 30 minutes of my time. Gees, what's up with that?! Really you were going to sell the car anyway!
     Anyway, went looking for mid-size trucks and got a small SUV, or to most saying SUV when it's a Jeep is an insult. So it's a Jeep Patriot. Finally found a 2010 at CarMax. I was in the very back corner of their lot and there was not a sales person in sight. I finally flagged one guy down and told him I wasn't leaving the car. Everything we were interested in already had sale pending or sold signs. He told me to lick it and stay right were I was at!! That was funny! Loved my experience with CarMax. I love the no haggle pricing. So if you can't afford it, you just keep looking. I think we were there from beginning to end under 2 hours! Wow!! That was perfect. Would recommend anyone looking for a used vehicle to go to them. So simple and the sales staff and everyone in there was super nice. They don't work on commission so you don't get that sales pressure either. Got the car for almost a grand under Kelly Blue Book Value too. So happy.......let me introduce you to Lola!!!

Yes, I name my cars. I have had a Ethel, Betsy, and a Stella which was a T-bird and that was the name of the lady that owned it before me! I love naming my cars. I don't know why, but I always give them girl names. I figured Lola was a perfect name for a red car, don't you? I'm going to love driving her!!!
Thursday, November 10, 2011 |

30 Day Challenge - Day #30 WHO AM I????

     Day 30, I made it!!! Today is the biggest question you can ask a person; who am I? Here is the song "I'm a Bitch" by Merideth Brooks. I know many women can relate to this song, but it's not all about being a "bitch" it's just show cases many of the things that make me, me!

     If you look up the astronomical sign Leo and read all about it, it fits who I am perfectly. I love attention, I am loyal, passionate, creative, strong, independent, a free thinker, and a leader not a follower. I am a fierce defender, or cut you to the quick in the blink of an eye. I am sympathetic but hate stupidity and ignorance and not only expect but demand respect. I am proud to call the lion my sign and I am a women, here me ROAR!
     I'm not complicated, I'm just complex and I wouldn't have my life any other way! I hope you have enjoyed these 30 days of me. I know it's been fun to write and think about and make my own. I hope this inspires you to do your own 30-day challenge, whether it's on a blog or a personal journal or even as a Facebook post. There are so many ways that you can create this challenge and make it your own. I think for anyone who may be a little lost and uncertain about the future, this challenge is a great way to re-connect with yourself and empower you to get back to who you really are. If you would like to go directly to all the posts in this challenge just click here.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 |

30 Day Challenge - Day #29 - What Have I Learned in the Past Month?

     What I have learned in the last month? As I am sitting here watching the sunrise over the houses I sit and reflect on the past 28 blog days. (Can't say actual days, because I have missed some days, but I have almost completed my challenge and in less than 40 days.) What have I learned? Most of what I wrote about was things that I already knew about myself, just didn't always share with the world because I didn't think it was interesting. Blogs are funny, you know there are a lot of "Famous" ones out there, and you often wonder, who's really going to want to read about me or the things that interest me.
     So I have learned that I am an interesting person, or that I can at least write to where my life sounds interesting. Are you ever in a group of people where there is one person or several who monopolize the conversation and it's all about them? What they do, what they don't like, what their problems are......and don't you get sick of just standing there thinking why should I speak up? You know, those days are over for me. I'm tired of being in a crowd of people and because they don't think I have something important to contribute they talk right over me like I don't exist. Well guess what, I am going to speak up, or I'm going to walk away. Plain and simple. Because I know that I have as much interesting thought, and sometimes more than those that I have kept quiet for all these years. Just so you know, it's no one really I personally know now that I have this problem with, but it's been a problem in large social settings, whether it's work, school, or other social events. Nothing is in reference to my close friends who know and love me.
     Funny, just a couple of months ago, Paul and I were planning on trying to re-locate to a different state. I really didn't think I would missing anyone, or anything here in California, but honestly I thought wrong. Writing this blog about me and my friends made me realize how much I would miss here. I really didn't think I had that many friends, but I really do! I have met some amazing new people, and I have really re-connected with some old friends. While we may not always be doing something or I may not see them from one week to the next, I do have friends, one's that I would miss very very much! I have an amazing circle of men and women who all contribute something wonderful to my life and I am so very grateful for them and would miss them if I were not here.
     I also realized that my purse, is not very interesting by all means. Remember the scene in the Breakfast Club, where Ally Sheedy dumps out her purse on the couch? That's an interesting purse! However, I learned that I really am just a simple girl. I don't need a lot to survive and I am can be very resourceful when I need to be. As long as I have some tissues, some lip gloss and a wallet, I can survive!
     I want to take the time to give a little shout out to Greg. According to Mandy, Greg reads my blog every time I post a link on my FB page. Thanks Greg for the support! Well, it's still early, but the trash cans need to be taken to the curb, so I will go for now. Stay tuned for day 30 where I sum up who I am. That should be interesting!
Sunday, November 6, 2011 |

30 Day Challenge - Day #28 - Why????

     Why am I doing this challenge? Well, good question, why am I doing it? I mean there is a lot of personal information on this blog now. A blog that was really supposed to be just about scrapbooking, entertaining, and decorating. I guess it's because a blog needs to be a reflection of the person that creates it and a blog can be anything you want it to be, and if people don't care for that, they don't have to read it.
     It makes me a real person out there in the world. I have fears, problems, and crazy relatives just as much as the next person. It makes the rest of what I say or do on here more real, and possible. I'm not Martha Stewart with a group of people that help prepare everything that makes my life comfortable and I look calm, cool, and collected, and come in from hours in the garden and cook the full gourmet meal, with ingredients pre-done. Whatever Martha, your not real!!!!
     I did this for me, to stretch the limits of what I think I am, or who I am, to perhaps have some type of public therapy over some issues that I do have in my life. I mean if you never talk about them, you never get over it, right? Most of all, I hope that I was able to entertain, inform, and enlighten someone out there in cyber land.
Thursday, November 3, 2011 |

30 Day Challenge - Day #27 What Do I Think About My Friends

     I have to say that today's topic almost feels like a loaded question. I mean if I didn't like someone they wouldn't be my friend; right? I personally believe that everyone is brought into your life for a reason. Sometimes people stay for a long time enriching your life with love, and laughter; while others may only stay for a short time but they still leave behind something to learn from or cherish.
     Some times you outgrow your friends and sometimes they out grow you. Sometimes they may not be good for you, but they still teach you valuable lessons if your willing to look for them. Over the years I have had all kinds of friends. Some were religious, some were over zealous, some talked to much, some are just fun to scrap with, some have lied, some have needed support, while others have supported me. Some times you have couples friends and sometimes they are just people you go to coffee with or e-mail or Facebook on occasion.
     Sometimes you have to learn when to step away and sometimes you hold on because you know that eventually things will work themselves out. Over the years my mother has had a big influence on how I view my friends and as I get older I have learned to not ignore what she says. I know that my mother wants the best for me, but I find that in her ignorance and often times elitist attitude she over looks the good qualities that I can see and I cherish in these friendships. I try and take away something from each and every relationship that I have. I have friends that teach me to be humble, less needy, to laugh more, to be stronger, to be more sympathetic, or just to have plain fun.
     I have had some friends that become so wrapped up in their self pity that I eventually have had to step away from all of their negativity. I have had friends that I have put on time out because their problems have become so overwhelming that I had to take a break so they can figure out what they are going to do with their lives. Doesn't mean I love them any less, it's just you can only do so much to help them.
     As I reflect on the people in my life today I see a group of strong, independent, family minded women. But I also see that these same women who are vulnerable, sensitive, and caring. All of the qualities that I have which gives us common ground. I can say that this is the first time in a long time I finally have women in my life who understand me and take me for who I am. They are not threatened by my strength of character but are not shocked and shaken when I let down my guard either. We are open and honest and for once in my life I can just really be myself.  
     I will say something here that I have walked away from friends because they are jealous. I am thankful to say that I believe that all of the friends that I have now at this moment are not like that. Now let me tell you what I mean by jealous. It's the jealousy of me having other friends. That I am not spending all of my available friend time in their company. Yes, we all have a friend that we can spend more time with than others, but doesn't mean that I love those other friends any less. So many things can make it easier to spend time with one particular person. In fact just to give you an example, I had a friend who I met through a scrapbook group. She thought that we were going to be the BFF's she had always longed for. I really liked her. Sometimes I wasn't all together sure which page she was on, but that's alright. Take the good with the bad, not a problem. We lived in two different towns so meeting up was always a little challenging. I have another close friend that lives right around the corner from me. Starbucks runs, grocery shopping, morning coffee, all these things easier to do when someone is that close. Well the distant friend was very jealous over this relationship and she did eventually try and like my other friend just so she could spend time with me. OK, two problems: 1. Don't try and be friends with my other friends if you don't want to. Be open and honest and say you know, I want things to just be the two of us. That's fine, not everyone likes everyone else and I would have respected that. 2. Don't try to force something that isn't there. Friendships and especially long lasting good friendships don't happen overnight. I didn't just wake up the morning after meeting my friend and say "we are going to be BFF's for life!" No, I didn't.
     A year later she is still questioning other people that are mutual friends of ours on what happened. I hate writing "the" letter, but I felt that someone who couldn't move forward needed a little help in doing so. I'm sorry that she felt that way, she was a really good women, but it was just one of those circumstances that apparently needed explaining and explain I did. I hope now she can finally accept what happened and move forward and I wish her all the luck in the world finding that one women who will make her the BFF. Like I said, I can't handle that jealousy factor. People do different things in our lives for us and to limit ones self to just one is a little sad.
     I have always wanted one of those groups where the ladies have been friends for 30 years or so. They always have a standing Thursday night engagement, or always together traveling, or doing something. I know that may never be in the cards for me, and I'm alright with that too. I'm very blessed to have the friends that I love each and every one of you. You brighten my life each in a different way and I love you for that. It's a little early to be giving a toast with liquor so I hold my coffee mug up and say "Cheers to all my girlfriends out there, thank you for being my friend, through thick and thin, good and bad, through laughter and the tears. May your lives always be blessed with love and happiness that you have given me!"

Pumpkin Seeds A Fall Tradition

     I love this time of year, if you haven't already figured that out and one of the things I look forward to is the homemade roasted pumpkin seeds. This year I had four pumpkins that I got to take the seeds from and roast them. I don't know if it is my imagination but I swear that pumpkins have less and less seeds every year. With 4 pumpkins though, I got a pretty nice little bunch of them.
     I love the pumpkin seeds, but rarely ever buy them in the store because they are to salty and make my lips pucker up real bad. So I look forward to having my own. It's so simple and easy!
      I first throw all of the pumpkin guts into a big colander and take the large chunks and separate the seeds from the pulp. I run the colander under the water and just start swirling and squeezing the seeds away from the other pieces of pulp while picking out the pumpkin. This process can take a while, but if your colander has some fairly large holes a lot of the pumpkin will slide out as your swirling.

      Once the pumpkin seeds are clean I lay them out on paper towels to let them dry off. You can leave them out for several days to dry or pat them down and roast them immediately. I do find that letting them dry for a couple of days makes them roast just a little faster. If your going to let them dry at least overnight or more, be sure to transfer them to a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. They tend to stick to the paper towels and it's harder to get them off.

     Once they have dried spread just a small amount of olive oil or you can use vegetable oil on the seeds and stir them around to coat. A little oil really does go a long way. Than I liberally sprinkle with sea salt. This year I actually used the Pink Himalayan salt for a little more salty flavor. A little of this salt goes a long way, but on the seeds I still used liberally to be sure that once the seeds have been turned that there is plenty on them.

     Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the seeds into the oven setting the timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes stir the seeds around. Repeat this process 2 more times for a total of 21 minutes. Cooking time may vary and it also depends on if you want them really roasted or slightly roasted.  Let them cool completely on the tray and than pack into storage bags or re-usable air tight containers for snacking. If you have a lot of seeds you may also want to divide them up to roast. you want them to be fairly flat on the cookie sheet and not all bunched up. This helps the seeds get an even roasting.

     Here is the finished product! It's simple, easy, and a great low calorie snack and a lot less sodium than the seeds that are sold in the stores. The hardest part is getting them separated from the pumpkin pulp, but I find that it's worth the extra effort for me. It's also just another way that I celebrate the joys of the fall season.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 |

Cookbook Scrapbook Project

     Do you have so many cookbooks that you don't know what recipe is where? Do you find yourself collecting recipes from friends, family, the Internet and have tons of printed recipes or cards? Well I know I do and man what a mess. Every Holiday season I am in a scramble to find the Asian Wantons, Maple Pork Chops, or the Magic Bars that everyone loves. I can't take it anymore! I also have to admit that I have been horribly lazy over the last year and have so many projects that I have saved up and are just sitting collecting dust. One of these projects is my scrapbook cookbook.
     Last Christmas Mom and I were shopping at Costco and I found this really cool scrapbook kit. Now I'm way past kits, but it came with the actual recipe book, paper, embellishments, plastic sleeves, and dividers. I have already spent hours here at my computer typing in the recipes that have been printed out from the computer, and numerous hours going through each and everyone of my cookbooks making reference pages to insert into each section of the cookbook. There are desserts, main dishes, side dishes, appetizers and snacks, drinks, breads, and soups. So as I find tried and true family favorites, I'm also documenting recipes that I would like to try and all I would have to do is go to my one book, look up the recipe and it will tell me which book and which page to find it on.

     On top of the supplies that came with the kit; I have also been collecting more papers, more embellishments to add to the book, because I know I will have way more than what they gave me in the kit. I want to say that I'm about half done with collecting the recipes, but honestly, I have five more Gooseberry Patch's to go through before I even start on the rest of the books. I thought this was going to be easy and it is to a point, I think it's more time consuming than anything. However, I know that eventually I won't need to look through hundreds of photo copies to find those delicious Asian Wantons, which will make my life so much easier in the end.

30 Day Challenge - Day #26 My Purse

Good Morning Bloggers, I just realized that I did Day 25 out of turn, but that's alright, I don't think it really matters. It's the idea that I hit all the topics, not necessarily in some specific order. So today is "What Will You Find in My Bag?" Lately I have been in the habit of switching bags to match or coordinate with my outfits. I can do that now that my stock of purses has been beefed up again, thanks to a generous donation from my Aunt, and I few really good clearance sales, again compliments of my aunt. I hate to say good purses go to waste. Used for one season or a couple of times and voila! They are in the suitcase, or in my case one of the numerous boxes shipped home because I couldn't fit it all in the suitcase!
I tell you that I have a bigger passion for purses than I do shoes. They are way more comfortable on me than most any shoe. I wish I could have a shoe fetish, and wear all the cute heels and styles that I see, but honestly, almost any shoe kills my severely flat feet, so I turn to purses for comfort and style. Now the Zebra purse pictured above is one that I had to buy myself, and I say it was worth every penny of the $19.99 I spent! I love this purse. Such a reflection of me, don't you think?

So there you have it all laid out on the table for everyone to see, and yes, that is EVERYTHING, that is in the purse. A couple of receipts, a wallet, my IPOD, my keys, two lighters, two mints, a container of Eclipse Gum, sunglasses, hand lotion, Kleenex, two lip glosses one tinted the other clear, and one solitary penny. I don't keep a lot in my purse and what's missing is a package of wet wipes, but I'm out of those. Since I change purses so much, I don't want to transfer a ton of things, but yet, I rarely ever fill the purse up either, and some of them are pretty large. My cell phone is missing, but it often finds it's way into a pocket of my pants for easy access. I hate trying to fish it out of the bottom. If the purse has a front pocket I will put it there, but this purse doesn't have one. So that's all there is to me. Not a lot, but enough. I used to have such heavy purses, and I'm not sure what used to go in those, but the family joke was that my mother was saving money for the inevitable shoulder surgery that I would one day need after lugging around bricks all day. Like everything else in my life I have tried to scale down the clutter and I'm glad I have.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 |

Flowered Hair Pieces

For Halloween my friend Mandy was going to be going to work as a little fairy. I whipped up these cute little hair pieces using my scrapbook flowers, bling, buttons and hair clips within minutes!

30 Day Challenge - Day #25 Picture of Last Year and This Year

Wow, what a huge difference between last year and this year in just looks! But so many things have changed. The picture that I took above is when I was working and it was my new professional wardrobe that I bought. My hair is longer and it's more red too. This year, I shortened the hair and I am no longer employed so that my look has definitely been more casual. I am also trying to use less makeup instead of putting so much on. I think as women get older you have to be careful of the amount of makeup you put on or you start to look caked! Anyway, even though it doesn't look it, I am a much happier person today than I was in that picture from last year. I was more proud of taking that picture for the way I looked that day, but that smile looks more forced than the one from a couple of months ago. Definitely happier!
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