Thursday, January 29, 2009
They just told me last night that we were not charged - apparently that flier that sat out there for all to see was wrong!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I learned a lot about being a sales manager (of which I am not, but after hiring a couple of salespeople I found I am a lousy one) and about the sales process. I don't feel I know all there is to know (I can see more training in my future!) but am excited to get working on my new found skills.
One of my take-aways from the day was a list of books to read. One of my goals this year is to read more "self-help" type books. Some of these books sound great and they're definitly on my list so I thought I would share them with you:
- E-Myth Revisited (I did start the original one - but like all entrepreneurs, Jack sez, I didn't finish it yet! LOL)
- Nuts (really looking forward to this one - it's Southwest Airlines book on company culture)
- Master the Rockefeller Habits
- Managing by Storying Around (by David Armstrong)
- How to make a buck & still be a decent human being (by Rick Rose - heard this is a hard one to find)
- The Platinum Rule (by Tony Alessandra - think: The Golden Rule, revised)
- Creating a Competitive Advantage (by Jaynie L. Smith)
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sorry for not posting a picture...I'll have to do it some other time as I couldn't find one I wanted to use!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Today I want to highlight my brother. I could also post a photo...but then I'd have to go find one...and I'm just lazy that way. Anyway, my big bro won't care.
My brother is 3 years older than me. He was your typical big brother growing up - he hated me following him around (and I did that a lot), he picked on me every chance he got, he helped me through difficult times (it helps to share history) and he made me proud when he served our country. When we were kids and would fight like cats & dogs my Gma Sally used to tell me that someday I would miss my brother. I never believed it. What a crazy thing to say! But now that he lives in Texas and I'm in Illinois, it's totally true. Too many miles are between us - thank goodness for technology, because he's always just a text message away. I love you Bobby Bobby PeanutButter! ;o)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Step 1 - Chop up mushrooms & pepperoni into tiny pieces. I guess you could leave them larger, but then they wouldn't be as easy to eat in the end.
Step 2 - Saute the mushrooms in a skillet. No need to add or oil or anything - they have their own juices. After they start to cook down a bit - add the pepperoni.
Step 3 - Remove the cooked pepperoni & mushrooms and put them to the side. Now it's time for the flour tortillas!
Step 4 - Warm up both tortillas & then leave just one of them in the pan. If one of them is bigger than the other, use the small one first. Spread shredded cheese over the whole surface...leaving a little space between the cheese & the edge of the tortilla.
Step 5 - Spread the pepperoni & mushroom mixture over the cheese. Spread it on thick! Then spread some more shredded cheese on top - you don't need to spread the cheese on the thick because of the double dose - but you have to have it on the top & bottom in order for the tortilla to stick!
Step 6 - Place the bigger tortilla on top. Flatten out the pizzadilla with your spatula. Once the cheese starts to melt, you can flip it. And here's why you do the bigger one second - because if you did it the other way, when you went to flip - shredded cheese & filling could go everywhere!
Step 7 - Once the cheese starts melting, you're okay to flip. Disregard the fact that mine looks a bit toasted - it was taking me too long to flip it cuz I was taking pictures!
Step 9 - Enjoy!
Friday, January 16, 2009
For years I used to tell my mom that I wished I had a best friends like her. Especially like the friendship she had with our neighbor growing up, Barb. They spent loads of time together, learned from each other, raised kids right next door to each other, her kids babysat us, the list goes on. Well, Fran didn't move right next door, but after so many years of looking for a best friend, I finally found "my Barb".
Frannie and I share everything. And one of the great things about our friendship is that we can just sit next to each other and not do anything and we still have the best time (we're weird that way I guess!).
We do have our differences... she's a sports fanatic (I don't get it); I love John Cusack (she can't figure out why); she's now divorced (I'm not); she sweet & kind (I'm moody & lack tact). Just being friends with her makes me a better person. Thanks Fran - you rock!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I grew up in Ohio, just miles from the Pennsylvania border and Gma Sally lived right over that border. I got to spend a lot of time at her house. It was my favorite place to be.
Gma Sally never claimed to be an independent woman. When Gpa died in the early 70s, she was forced into becoming a "modern woman". My mom got her to learn how to drive so she could be more independent. When I was old enough to come stay with her she was living on her own and worked for a funeral home. I remember thinking how cool it was that she worked. I've had a lot of strong women in my life and she's one of them, not that she would believe me if she could hear me say that!
Gma always had a can of fruit cocktail in the cupboard when I came to visit. We use to make Chicken a'la King and play Gin Rummy. She let me watch whatever I wanted on TV (as long as it wasn't time for the news).
I was so excited that she was finally coming to live near me in the Chicago suburbs. She moved in with my aunt (mi Tia) in June 2006. Unfortunately we only had her for a few months as we found out in August she had ovarian cancer. Gma left us later that month. We just didn't have enough time.
I think about you often Gma and miss you terribly. I love you!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I love this thing! This wonderful invention brews tea instantly & then pours it into your cup. No more wasted tea in that forgotten pot - it's just one cup at a time! And my favorite accessory is the Reusable Coffee Filter. I use the base for my tea bags. Although "they" say you can't taste coffee when you change out the K-Cups, I can (but when you hate coffee flavor so much that you don't even like Tiramsu for dessert (gasp) then trust me, the flavor is still in that K-Cup holder!). But with this accessory that problem is gone. AND if you do like your special coffee, then you can use your own with this personal size filter.
I love my Keurig so much I had to get one for home too. We packed away our coffee pot and only use this thing at home. And when company comes to visit - we just stock up on all the different coffees that we keep at the office. So if you're in the mood for a cup of tea (or coffee) and you don't want to go instant or make a whole pot - this is the invention for you!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Step 1 - Turn oven on & set for to 350 degrees. I have a really small oven so this temperature might vary for you!
Step 2 - Mix 3/4 cup of sugar & 1/2 cup of butter (I use margarine because it mixes so easy). Never mind the fact that I have 1-3/4 cup of sugar in this picture - I'm a total dork. Fortunately I'm making a double batch this time so I only had to dig out 1/4 cup of sugar from the bowl after throwing these two ingredients in together!
Of course this meant I needed to double up my butter too so I had to do that in two steps...did I mention I was a dork (insert mental head smack here). BTW, I love love my Pampered Chef measuring thingie - it's liquid on one side & solids on the other...and after you fill the solid side you just slide the liquid part to push out the butter. Stir butter & sugar until it is well mixed - like the consistency of really soft & creamy peanut butter. Also love my PC scraper spatula which is just flexible enough to get stuff out of a cup, but strong enough to not bend when mixing heavy stuff.
Step 3 - Add two eggs. I like to break my eggs into a separate dish first. I'm a bit squeamish because one time I saw something in an egg that I didn't like...so I always like to "see" my egg before I use it. It's also handy to do it this way in case a piece of shell makes it's way into the mix (not that this ever happens to me!).
Again, I'm making a double batch so there are four eggs in the picture! And that's also my cup of tea in photo - I like to "drink" while I bake.
Step 4 - Add 1/3 cup of milk (we use 2% but I'm sure any old kind will do) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Here's where I deviate from the original recipe (and I'm told this is "my secret" to good banana bread), always spill a little extra vanilla. And you should always use "real" vanilla - not that artifical stuff. It's just not as tasty.
Step 5 - Mush up 1 cup of bananas - this is about 2 medium 'nanas. It's okay to go two-anda-half or three if you've got extras. In this case, we've got four (cuz we're doing the double batch, like I need to keep mentioning this??). It's best to use already smushy ones - if you want to use hard ones (read: not really ripe), then the mushing part will be more work. I like to dump these into a separate bowl and use a potato masher. This is also a good job for kids - albeit, I wouldn't let mine help today because I made it a requirement that they get dressed first - you can see how successful this request was.
If you're a nut-lover, you can also add 1/2 cup of nuts at this point (like walnuts). We don't because we have a nut allergy in our house...turns out, he's not allergic to walnuts, but I'm not about to change my recipe now!).
Step 6 - After all that other stuff is well mixed, it's time to add the dry
stuff ingredients. Take 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (this is apparently optional, but I've never done it without). I mix the baking soda & salt into the flour before mixing it into the wet ingredients. I don't know if baking soda ever goes bad..or if the age of your baking soda can make a difference in your baking - but our baking soda is really old. We bought it a (I don't know how) long time ago and put it in a stay fresh container and I just keep using it a teaspoon at a time. Lets just say we haven't had to purchase any baking soda for YEARS.
Step 7 - Always check the bottom of your mixing bowl to see that all the dry ingredients are completely mixed. It's really icky to be pouring this into pans and then find a big chunk of flour at the bottom (not to mention you'll have the wrong mixture at the end so the last loaf will be really flour-y...another technical term). See the white parts, that's the un-mixed flour.
Step 8 - Another (not so) secret step is spray cooking oil inside the pans and then sprinkle sugar onto the oil. Some people like to flour their pans - I like sugar (note: that's the rescued 1/4 cup of sugar) . Then pour the (well) mixed batter into pans.
Step 9 - Put filled loaf pans into the middle of the heated oven for 30 minutes. My larger mini-loaf pan needs 35 minutes and the regular size loaf pan needs 50-60 minutes total. To test to see if they're finished I insert a butter knife all the way into the middle and if it comes out clean - they're done. If it comes out gooey then I put them back in for a few more mins. Some people think a little gooey-ness in the middle is good - but I don't like raw batter.Step 10 - Once they're done, let them cool on a drying rack - you might need to let them cool in their pan for a few minutes - but don't leave them in there because then they will get stuck (whereas mine pop right out because of the cooking oil & sugar). You might need to take the butter knife & go around the edges to loosen the edges.
Step 11 - ENJOY!
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of butter (softened)
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla (use the "real" kind & spill it a little)
- 1 cup of bananas (about 2 medium ones - make sure they're good & ripe)
- 1/2 cup of nuts (optional)
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional)
Mix sugar & butter until completely mixed. Add milk, eggs, vanilla and smashed bananas. Mix well. Add nuts if desired.
Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients.
Mix well and then pour into prepared loaf pans (prepared w/ cooking spray & sprinkled sugar).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes for mini-loaf pans or 50-60 minutes for regular size loaf pans.
Let cool on a drying rack (not in the pans).
P.S. You're welcome to use a big mixer for this - but take it from me, it's not as good that way. It smoothes out all the lumps and it just doesn't taste the same w/out banana lumps!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
It snowed Friday night through (mostly) all day Saturday. The Girl wanted to go play in the snow but her snow pants were in the car. She set out to go get them but the snow was too deep. So then she took the shovel so she could make a path to the garage. It didn't take her long to claim that it was just too far (she didn't even shovel past the steps).
Later I shoveled my way to the car, then had to go out. My Man snow-blowed the walk (and the driveway) and it's amazing to see how high that snow really is! This photo is our front walk. I guess I shoulda put a kid out there to give perspective...but the snow is about 1.5 feet deep.
Love that snow!!
Friday, January 9, 2009
My Man thinks I'm nuts - am I the only one that thinks it's a good idea to put lights away like this so that next year they're a breeze to check & use? We have 3 strings of lights that we haven't used for 2 years because My Man thought they'd be okay wrapped around a stick. Of course - they're a mess now so I don't want to deal with them (and one of the strings is out & who knows which bulb is the culprit!).
Thursday, January 8, 2009
definitely - I think today is the first time I spelled this one correctly! Almost everytime I use it, spellcheck tries to turn it into defiantly (which is totally NOT the word I'm wanting to use!)
thanks - okay, so this one is not so much a spelling thing as it is a typing thing. Without fail, when I'm trying to type this word at the end of an email, my finger screw it up & type "tahnks" and for whatever reason, spellcheck doesn't fix it! grrrr
asthma - I can never remember where that "s" goes - thank goodness for spell check! I love that I can just start to type a word in my Google toolbar & it will pop up w/ (search) options that help me to figure out the correct spelling (I'm SUCH a cheater! LOL).
I know there are more of these...but now that I'm putting them down on "paper" I can't think of them all! Are there words that drive you nuts? That you just hate to use but find yourself needing them? Leave me a comment and share with me the ones that annoy you too!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
It turned out pretty nice this year - I used some of those great photos that my PMom friend took of us.
On another note - I came across Abby's journal this morning and read a few pages. Too cute!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I played outside.
I used the potty.
I played with Robert.
We sang songs and read a book.
I like miss Val and Miss Karen.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
"I wasn't living here long and I was taking a sailing class in the city and went sailing on a Wednesday Night..."
"when daddy sails?" he asks, "yes, when daddy sails" I reply
"did you sail on his boat?"
"no, I sailed on Lauren's daddy's boat" (Lauren is his Godmom & my cousin)
"I met a nice lady (whose husband sailed on that boat) that asked me lots of questions about where I was from and after the sailing was over I went to the bar and she started introducing me to everyone. There was no place to sit so I sat on daddy's lap..."
"you sat on his lap?"
"yes honey, I sat on his lap" (was a flirt or what?)
And then with his big brown eyes, he looks at me puzzled and asks...
"why didn't daddy just give you his seat?"
"hmmm, that's a darn good questions sweetie - you should ask daddy that question!" ;o)
I posted a job position on a website and specifically instructed the website to only have candidates contact me via the website. A few days later, in walks a candidate wanting to fill out an application. WTF?! Thank goodness it was for a position that is currently empty! I'd hate to think of the reaction one of my "current" employees would've had if they knew I was attempting to replace them!
And yes I noticed that I didn't blog yesterday, quit nagging me! (LOL, like anyone is actually reading my blog to nag me! LOL).
Sunday, January 4, 2009
So my next post (remember I missed a day?) was supposed to be another resolution. But given that I didn't even keep my first one...I guess two for the year will do. Goodness knows I need to exercise more (I'm not overweight, I'm just under-exercised) and my goal setting and time management definitely need some work....but whatever.
Hmmm, guess I am pretty random...but does that make me average as well? ;o)
So it's 11:30 PM on January 3rd. I've crawled into bed and realized "I forgot to blog today!". Do I get out of bed? Hmmmm, don't really have anything interesting to blog about (other than the fact that I forgot to blog and it's now 11:30 PM). Okay, forget it - I did warn that on the weekends I might miss a day.
So I was up early on Saturday (the 3rd) to take the boy to a 7AM orthodontist appointment. Then I spent the majority of the the day working in the warehouse and checked email a few times. The plan was to work on the computer when I got home, but just didn't feel up to it. Instead I vegged in front of the t.v. So is it any surprise I forgot to blog? Oh well.
So today I enjoyed a massage (bought a spa package thingie back in September with BFF Fran). I was SO disappointed to find out that it was only for 20 mins which means I had to keep all my clothes on and didn't get "lubed up" with lotion (my skin is SO dry and could really use a good massage). But any massage is better than no massage at all, right? Except this was like a tease. And the whole time I'm lying there getting rubbed & de-stressed, what am I thinking about? The fact that My Man gave me gift certificates in 2007 for a massage and I never took the time to make an appointment & then they expired!! I've been kicking myself the entire year about this one. And now that I've had my 20 minute massage tease, I'm really annoyed I never used those gift certificates! Unfortunately, after wasting the last ones he gave me, he swore to never buy them for me again. Bummer.
So after our massages (Fran & I did them on the same day), we went out for a cup of tea to catch up. We figured out that we hadn't seen each other for an entire month! Could not believe we went that long! Yes, we talked a lot on the phone, but I don't think we've ever done a month without a face-to-face visit! Consequently, we both have another reason to be glad the holidays are over.
So now I'm off to resume laundry detail. I am so behind in getting this stuff done. Actually, I think the last time I was actually caught up on laundry had to be last March when the pool table actually saw some play time for My Man's birthday. My domestic duties never end!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I've already started making great strides on this one. For a few months I've been working on being calm in the face of
I might should reword my resolution to just stop yelling at anyone...it seems the less I yell at my kids the more quickly frustrated I get w/ My Man so I seem to yell at him more! But hey, he's a big guy, he can take it. After all, he knew I was a moody woman when he married me (grin).
I have noticed a change in my son since I've started yelling less. Whenever he yells I calmly remind him that he doesn't need to yell (he seems to yell more at his sister than he does at me these days). I have also noticed that he has been much more polite and even nice to his family (sister included). He shows more concern and empathy than he used to. I guess there's hope for him yet! ;o)
Thursday, January 1, 2009
So one of the things I've always wanted to do was write. I'm a bit on the wordy side...and I write in run-on sentences...but ever since I could read and write, I've journaled, written in a diary, wrote stories and essays and loved the printed word. I was even a blogger before blogging was the "in" thing to do. But as I've gotten older I've found I just haven't had time. So I started a blog and still only wrote sporadically. So my first New Years resolution for 2009 is to write in my blog once a day. Pretty ambitious huh! Now there are days (usually on a weekend) where I am completely unconnected (it's true, there are days I don't even check email! gasp!). So if that happens, I guess I'll need to blog more than once a day to make up for it! But my goal is that by December 31, 2009 I will have blogged at least 365 times.
Now I do not make any promises that my blogs will be insightful, interesting or even worth reading - but at the very least it will be written! I'm always telling my son that if you want to be good at something, you have to practice. It's not enough to just have a talent, you still have to work at it. So I do not pretend to have the talent of writing, but I do think I used to be pretty good at it in high school and college, so maybe with practice I will improve (and by the end of the year, maybe my blogs will be worth reading! ;o)
So here's to a new year...and blogging...