Monday, December 31, 2007

Finished Living Christmas Tree

Here is our finished living Christmas tree with all the ornaments I created out of the paper cards we got. The photo cards are on the fridge, but for the ornaments cards I cut out the part of the picture I liked and then cut out where they signed their name and glued it to the back, hole punched the top and ran some yarn through & tada! we have ornaments.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Published Photographer: Our Friend Tim

Our dear friend Tim has recently published a book of his photography. It is called: Documenting Life: 100 Images of Humanity & Nature. He is a wonderful & talented photographer. Check out the link to his book and buy a copy. I don't think you will be disappointed if you appreciate looking at the beauty of life & love in print.

Puppet Projects

I was watching Martha Stewart Crafts again and she made these bug finger puppets that were very cute. So, I searched her site to find them and found lots of other puppet directions as well. As soon as I have my sewing machine with me again, the bug finger puppets might be fun to do.

In the meantime I could make these felted finger puppets because no sewing is needed, just felt & fleece, soap, water, & glue.

And these origami puppets seem kinda fun to do. Although, I really think she would destroy these now. It might be better to do when she gets older (with her.)

And here are some cute paper bag puppets.

Fun, Fuzzy Sock puppets seem kinda cool.

She did have a few other puppet instructions, but I didn't care for them as much.

There was one pattern on her site that used the leftover mitten/glove from a missing pair, but it didn't make them permanent. I thought it would be neat to actually have mittens that were puppets. She might think those are fun. So, I started a search online to find something.

This pattern turns store mittens (or you could make your own if you wanted) into puppets by knitting pieces to add to them to make them into a dog, cat, girl, boy, or mouse puppet mittens. I was thinking I should try to convince my mom to make these for the grandkids next Christmas. She reads this blog, so if she likes this idea, maybe she will think about doing it. I was trying to find something that was all knit or crocheted, but I was unable to find a free pattern online for that. But the one I did find was cute and less labor intensive.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Winter Holiday Traditions

I just thought I would blog about some of the litte traditions we are doing as our own family.

* Advent Calendar - neither Andy nor I ever did this growing up, but I thought Isabel would really like it, but we don't just open the little door & get candy every night. Before we do that we say what we are thankful for that day. Although, when Andy did it one night I heard him say they were thankful for chocolate.

* St. Nick - Neither of us had this growing up, although I did it for my siblings for a few years. I hated going to school the day after St. Nick came and hearing about what the other kids got. St. Nick is pretty big in WI, and even bigger in the Mke area. We didn't give her much, but we used it as the time to leave Santa her letter and told her that he would come & get it and check on her and if she was being good she would get treats in her stocking. Although, the next day after the she opened her treats she did want to check again.

* Christmas pajamas - every year we will give each other new pajamas to wear. This wasn't really a tradition for my family, but I remember getting some in my stocking a few times and how much fun is it to wear new pajamas to bed. I thought it would be nicer to get them before Santa came so that we could wake up & open our stockings in our christmas pajamas. We started this last year already.

* Santa - Santa brings stocking presents for all of three of us, not just the child. But Isabel will get one big present from Santa. I know some people think that Santa should be bringing all the toys & fun things, but I'm not working like that. See, there was this winter when I was in 8th grade & my mom asked me on the way shopping if I had written my letter to Santa yet. Yes, 8th grade. I finally had to break down & confess that I didn't believe and neither did my brother or middle sister. My mom asked me why we didn't say anything and I had to tell her it was because we were afraid that we wouldn't get as many presents. She told me they would, but they would say that they were from them instead of Santa. Although, my youngest sister still believed that year yet, so Santa still came. I actually stopped believing in Santa when I was about 5 or 6. I came across this list in my mom's handwriting that said presents that my parents were getting each of us and that Santa was getting each of us. I saw the list before Christmas, adn what do you know - on Christmas that is what we got from each of them. Now, how would my mom & dad know what Santa was getting each of us?
Oh! Santa also brings a gift for the family to do/play together and share. This was something Santa did for my family and I thought it was nice. Some years it was a video to watch together and other times it was a game to play, etc. I just thought it was nice to do something together rather than just playing with your own gifts.

* Meals - Well, our Chrismas tends to take a good 10 days. My in-laws take the weekend before and my parents take the weekend after, and as long as xmas falls in between we are good to go. If it falls on a weekend, then there is some negotiation as we don't want Christmas to go on for 3 weeks. So, the day we celebrate with my in-laws we do an appetizer meal. They need to make appetizers that are hot & meaty. Now, my family still likes to do and "eve" & "day" even if it is not the actual days. So, on the "eve" (and we do it in the evening) we have appetizers, which in my family tend to be more dips & spreads & sandwich stuff. Then on the "day" my mom makes the big Christmas dinner & usually my paternal grandparents come over. Now for the real eve & day, it is the three of us. We do take & bake pizza on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas Day I am making a Ham dinner with all the trimmings (my mom tends to make turkey usually (although sometimes she does both), but I like Ham and welcome to oppotunity to have it.

* Gift Exchange - Andy, Isabel & I wil all exchange our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve...day is reserved for presents from Santa. Our gift exchanging has changed among our families this year. For Andy's family, everyone is just buying for the kiddos & his parents. And for my family we'll buy for the kiddos & my parents & then those who wanted to have exchanged names.

* New Year's Eve - For several years now, we have been celebrating New Year's Eve by having dinner with friends. We like that. In years past, we have been invited to a friends' house, but since we have moved we needed to do it at our house. So, we have invited another family over (we spent Thanksgiving with them) to have dinner with us at a kid-friendly hour (they have three boys, actually the twins are Isabel's age and she has then as her two boyfriends -- she prefers them over the oterh boys in our playgroup -- anyways, at Thanksgiving she was sitting on the couch with one watching Dora & holding hands, and then at our Cookie Exhange & luncheon she was eating lunch by the other and he was feeding her grapes -- I've never had anyone to feed me grapes!) So, we'll have dinner & maybe Andy & I will watch a movie afterward, but I am pretty sure we'll be in bed before midnight. We got old.

* Church - I don't want to be C&E people, but I do think it is important to go to church on those holidays. Actually, church on Christmas Eve was the reason we started our pizza on Christmas Eve tradition. Last year we had an hour to drive to get home from church and knew we wuoldn't have time to cook anything & have time to open our presents, so we got take & bake. I'd liek us to go as a family, but I am not sure how it will work out with Isabel right now. So, I might just need to go by myself.

What am I missing? We don't do anything for the Winter Soltice, but I think it would be neat to at least dine only by candlelight on that night. We watch Peep and have watched the episode several time where Paz & his mom celebrate the winter solitice. I send out Christmas cards & usually try to write some kind of creative letter (this year I scanned in a drawing of Isabel's & did our ABC's of 2007 on top of that.) I like to get the tree up the weekend of Thanksgiving & decorate it. We did that this year, but because all my xmas stuff is in MN we did some different things this year. I also like to put out my manager & figurines that my great grandparents made/gave to me, but that too is in MN & it probably is wise not to have that out this year otherwise Isabel might have broken some of the figurines. Although this year, I did by a small figurine that is harder to break that has Mary, Joseph, & baby Jesus and we have been reading xmas stories from her Children's bible and talking about baby Jesus. Usually I bake a bunch of cookies & make a bunch of candies, but this year we did the cookie/candy exchange with our group.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The New & Revised Plan

WW worked well for me when I did it before getting pregnant. I have been working out a couple times a week and that is going well for me. But now I need to step it up. I have been trying to eat more by reading labels once again and making healthier choices and stocking the house with more healthier choices. But I just love all the holidays sweets so much and the holidays get-togethers are yummy. So, after the new year I am going back on WW. I am also adding in another day of exercising.

I will be taking three classes with other moms. The social aspect is a huge notivational factor for me. The classes I am taking are: Spinning on Monday, Group Power (weight lifting) on Wednesday, & Yogalaties on Friday. The GP class is a new one for me and is in the evening so Isabel can stay home with daddy. All the classes are an hour long. I don't want to tak any more classes than that (because 1- I can't afford additional classes & 2- I don't want Isabel in kid care more than 2 hours a week and there are other things we want to do together.)

So, that's the new plan. Basically just an extra class and starting WW again.

I do this the current classes are working well. I certainly do feel stronger, which is a nice feeling.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hairclips & Bows


I buoght some alligator clips and bought a bag of ribbon & trim scraps and made some pieces for Isabel's hair and some to give. I made a few sets of the purple pom-poms and we are giving two sets away as gifts. I really like how the adrk green bow turned out. She will wear that with her Christmas outfits.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snowy Day Collage


These are just some pictures I took out the bak door yeaterday. We go near 6 inches of snow here yesterday. Plus rain & sleet, so we stayed indoors all day. Most schools around us were closed for the day.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I Can Hear the Bells on Christmas Morn....

How well do you know your Christmas songs? Take this quiz to find out. I got 10 right and 1 wrong. I shuld not have followed my gut on the one I got wrong and instead should have went with my second choice. I didn't really know the song I got wrong.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Things to Make/Do for Isabel

Hair Bows
So, I was looking at buying some on eBay and decided I could try to make my own. Then I saw the "pay" patterns on eBay and I knew I could find them online somewhere for free. This website is the jackpot. There are so many bows on there. My favorite are the boutique bows & pinwheel bows. I am going to try to make a couple as stocking stuffers. I thought I would share this with my fellow crafters. The instructions are step-by-step with pictures -- which is REALLY nice. And it doesn't look at that hard for some of them.They even have a pattern for scrunchies......I remember making my own in high school (as I wanted many different ones and just couldn't afford to buy them all and just buying the elastic and using leftover fabric I made MANY scrunchies for less that I would have paid for 1.) I will only be able to make the pinwheel kind (if I have time) as I don't have my glue gun here. I may have to remember to bring that back with my during xmas time.

Paper Dolls
I printed this off for her and I will cut it out some night while she is sleeping and take this out when we need something to do. Although, last time we went to the book store they gave us these paper dolls punch-outs. So I can add to her collection (although this is more flimsy since it is just on regular paper, it would have been better if I had card stock to print it out on.)

Salt Dough Ornaments
I don't know that we will make these this year as we already decorated some ornaments, but it is a good idea for next year. I made these when I was in kindergarten and my Aunt Mary still has a couple of them. We're talking that these things are 25 years old. So, they do hold up if they are well cared for.

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
I actually made these with the kids I used to work with. It made the room smell so great. Although it can get pricey to make since it needs so much cinnamon.

Here are a couple of crafting blogs I am going to start checking out:
Sew, Mama, Sew
WeeWonderfuls

And one final things - Doll Patterns - I haven't looked at too many of the links yet, but I wanted to post this page here so that I remember.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sunrise in the Morning


I am normally up in time for a sunset, but rarely do I get more than a couple seconds to look at it. Every morning when I get up I look out the window at the lake & when I go to bed too. It is very calming. But usually a look is all I get. I was up earlier than Andy & Isabel by 2 hours this morning. So I did get to enjoy it much longer & got a few things done. Lazy bones were sleeping in.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Free Shipping @ Aveda

I received this email the other day that was Free Shipping on All Orders on Aveda (until November 26th).

If I have family trying to find me a gift, I am very fond of Aveda products.

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Since most of our stuff is still in MN and we are stuck in our relocation to the Milwaukee area, we don't have all of our Christmas decorations with us. When we went back last, I did grab our homemade stockings & holders & some beads, but other than that I didn't bring anything else.

So, I was reading my Natural Home magazine and it gave ideas for a greener Christmas. The first thing we are doing is buying a live, potted tree. We are buying it from Z Farms in Watertown, WI. They are actually the closest to us and had the best price. We are buying a 3.5 foot tree. You don't want much taller than 3.5-4 ft., because the taller the tree, the larger the rootball (which means it takes up more space and is heavier).

I did call a couple other places and you can get a potted Alberta Blue Spruce from Ebert's Greenhouse in Ixonia and you can also get some potted Christmas trees from Noffke Tree Farms in Meqoun. I am sure there are other places out there, but those are the three I contacted and they all had some options. Z Farms is digging the tree out today or tomorrow for us and they do live trees as they are ordered and they said that once we have some freezing days during the day the ground will be too hard to dig in (& the weather is calling for Th & F to be that cold this week.) So, I ordered our tree and will pick it up tomorrow.

The other two places only have a limited number already potted and once they are gone, that's it.

And then in the spring we can plant (@ our new home hopefully) or we can donate it to a park. Or a mom I workout with said she's got the perfect spot for it.

I'll use the beads we have and I am going to buy a strand or two of lithium christmas lights. I guess lithium lights use much less energy, last longer, and don't give off heat so they are less of a fire hazard than traditional lights. So, it sounds like a win-win situation all around. And with a smaller tree, we won't need as many lights. I am thinking 2 would be the max we would need. We might only need one strand.

As for ornaments -- this is my own idea -- I am using the xmas cards we get from people. I will cut out the picture on the front of the card & glue their name to the back,three-hole punch my ornament and string some yarn through. So, this way I decorate the tree and can still display the cards I get.

And for wrapping presents, I did bring back the leftover rolls I had, so I will use that up. But for the rest I bought some fabric gift bags (reusable) and have been saving the comics from our Sunday papers, and finally I have a bunch of packing paper that Isabel & I can paint designs on it I need more to wrap in.

That's it for now, but I think that's a pretty good start for a green Christmas.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Giving Green Specials

These were advertised specials in my Nov/Dec issue of Natural Home.

Organic & Biodynamic Wine
3-bottle special @ Frey Vineyards (just to give you an idea of the savings, the first 3-pack listed costs $29 and would normally cost $33 if you bought them individually)

Bath & Body, Home & Candle
15% off your custom gift basket @ Bumble & Bee Organic (Promo Code: 11)

Skincare
10% off your first purchase at Apothena. Coupon Code: HOME10 It also says on their site that you get free s/h with $65 and you get samples with every order

Lawncare
10% off you order at Natural Lawn of America. Coupon Code: NH10P1207

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Nephew



Blake's daddy frequently sneds out pictures he took on his camera phone to us. This is Blake today. I wonder who he is cheering for.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Think Green. Think Bamboo.

I am not sure why I didn't blog about this before, but my dear friend April started her own company this summer called Naturally Bamboo. Her collection is not very big at this moment (shirts, pants, socks, & totes), but it is expanding all the time. As she gets more business she can add more items. She runs every step of this business from picking out the design & fabric & the partners she does business with to fulfilling the orders & shipping them out. There is no warehouse involved and it is not someone else's line that she is selling. This is her business from the ground up.

She works with a company that does fair-trade, so even though the shirts are being made in China, they are getting paid a fair wage.

She has gotten different samples of fabrics to make sure she has the fabric she wants. So, she buys the fabric form one company and then another company makes the clothes, etc. There seems to be a lot of work involved for her in starting up this company from the ground up in every way. She even made sure that she is using an ISP & web design company that uses solar power. She wanted to make sure that every part of her company is as green as possible.

She seems to be adding stuff every day. It was only a month ago that she only had 2 colors of t-shirts and no socks and she didn't have XXL then either and now she does.

She has been getting a lot of interest locally for her product. And she already has her product on Think Pink Collection , which is based in the Cities. 30% of her sales on that site go to Breast Cancer Research (her husband's mom died of breast cancer.)

So, if anyone is looking for an idea for a Christmas present for me. I would like a t-shirt from her line. (Size L, & color does not matter, I like them all.) And if more than one person gets me a shirt from her business, that is ok with me. They are so versatile and can be work with anything.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Updates on the Housing Situation

Selling:
We are lowering our price again to try to generate some interest and get it coming up again on people's saved searches. Our next open house will be next Saturday. Our realtors now also have a deal with a bank that will offer a 0% origination fee on the purchase of our house, in addition to the $2K realtor bonus and our commission.

Buying:
Oconomowoc #6 - Great size for a yard. Enough space. Not sure on the ceiling height in the basement. Dated, but workable. Old windows & no CA. So, it needs updating. Has storage shed, playground, & hot tub & tree lined yard. Might be a good place if they come down on the price.

Oconomowoc #7 - A 1-car double deep garage does not mean 2 car to most people. Small lot & shared driveway. Very cute & updated inside. Lack of outdoor space means we are not interested.

Oconomowoc #8 - Small lot. Very dated. No DW & no space for one. Yikes! Lots of rooms in basement, but smallish room upstairs. Too many cons. Not interested.

Oconomowoc #9 - Updated 2-story with MFS, CA, & fenced in yard. Nice lot size. Small bedrooms & only a partial basement. Updated kitchen. Maybe.

We have now looked at all the houses in Oconomowoc in my saved search. We will now move onto another suburb.

House Count: 23

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This Week's House Hunt/Sell

Oconomowoc #4 - Enough space, fenced in yard, slanted Roof/walls making it hard for Andy to get uspatirs. Not interested

Oconomowoc #5 - Enough Space, gravel driveway with plenty of park but no garage even though they put garagin listing. Not interested.

Vernon #1- plenty of yard, has a cellar :( , out in the middle of nowhere, Not Interested.

These ones below, we just went to the houses & examined the exterior & yard to see if we could rule out that way.

New Berlin #1 - Nice yard, everything looks ok, we'll have to check the insde on this one.

New Berlin #2 - Kinda small yard, but is fenced in, Andy doesn't like the gigantic pine tree in the front yard, possible maybe.

New Berlin #3 - Nice lot size, has CA & garden shed, on a busy street. Probably not.

New Berlin #4 - Has a for sale sign out from (then remove your listing!!!!)

New Berlin #5 - gravel driveway, crappy exterior, busy street, bad location, Not interested.

As for our house, had one person come to the open house and one call for more info. Still have not sold it yet. I still worry it will never sell. We sent the realtor an email telling him we want to drop the price again. Grrrr!

Tomorrow, Isabel & I have appointments with the realtor to visit 3 more houses in Oconomowoc and one on Tuesday. Then I will have seen all the houses on my saved search list in Oconomowoc.

Also found out that 2 on my saved list in Cedarburg & Grafton have offers on them. So, they are out. Also, MF #2 also has an offer on it.

House Count - 19 (that we have seen either exterior or interior/exterior)

Ok - off to mom's night out.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This Week's House Updates

** This will be updated throughout the weekend as more things occur **
*** All updated now***

Well, here's what is going on:

House Selling

Today (Saturday) there is an open house from 1-3pm (it's over now and we are just waiting for a call from our realtor.) We had a friend of a friend go there today and tour it (unknowing to our realtor) to see how good of a job he does and what she thought of how it was presented.
** Our realtor's partner called and said two groups went through (one was our plant I am assuming, so that only means on possibly interested party). He said the feedback was good and didn't say much else and that we'll get a call once we hear from the buyer's realtor about the private tour (below.)

*** Found out that the party that seemed the most interested was out plant. Guess this week was a bust. The other party thought maybe the house was too big for them.

Also, right now there should be a private showing of or home. We got the call to approve a showing from 3-4pm. So, let's cross our fingers. It would just be such a stress relief to get an offer on our house. Even if it is contingent. I would like it to be a straight out offer, but we'll take a contingent one. If and when we get an offer, we will be more agressively looking at homes.

*** Feedback from private showing - they are not interested. It's not what they are looking for.

House Buying

Earlier This Week

Menomonee Falls #1 - Sounded good on paper, but seller's realtor told ours it needed $60-$100K worth of work. Andy went there to check out the exterior before we hauled everyone there to see all of it. Just on the exterior he could see that it needed a new roof, nt just new shingles, but new framing, and as a result of a falling roof it needed a new chimney. So, you can just imagine the work inside too. So, no thanks.

Today - Saturday

Oconomowoc #3 - decent amount of space, stainless in the kitchen, clean and move-in condition, has separate circuit box in garage just for garage, but has small kitchen and small yard. It is a maybe. We'll keep it on the list.

Tomorrow - Sunday

Hartland/Delafield #1 - I put both because it's kinda right in both. Anyways, it's bank-owned and the price seems too good to be true so I called that realtor and the price is accurate. We drove by today and it looks great from the outside. Tomorrow AM we get to see the inside.
** Well, just got a call from our realtor. This house was not meant for us. They dropped the price so much that they already got two non-contingent offers above the new asking price. We would have to be contingent and wouldn't have been able to go over the price. So, it was not meant to be.

Cedarburg #1 - Hardly any yard, very outdated kitchen and bathrooms, weird light switches that would need to be replaced, outdated scary light fixtures, no central air, lots of room & a big garage. Asking too much for the amount of updates needed. Not interested.

Grafton #1 - Went there, saw the outside and then found out an offer was accepted last night. Another one it wasn't meant to be I guess.

Grafton #2 - Nicely cared for, big updated kitchen, nice yard & landscaping, nice deck, low basement ceiling, maybe not enough space. A strong maybe.

After all of these, our house total is at: 11

I have probably 60 or so houses saved in my search that we have not viewed (these are among them).......but we are only looking at the ones right now that sound like what we are looking for on paper.

I just wish that when we talk to our realtor later today, that he has some really good news for us.

I have to be honest that I am worried there will 8 more months of waiting for our house to sell and looking at houses that we will never buy. I just get so stressed about this house situation. My fear is that our house will never sell and then we will be right where we were last April/May (we have to move out of hear on May 31), which was Andy looking for a job (would have to be in MN then) and us living in Medford. It would not be the worst thing in the world to move back, but it's not fun living in limbo. I was initially resistant to moving at all, but decided to take the risk and convinced myself to be positive about change.

But the planner in me has such a hard time with things not being lined up and having no plans. The only real plan we have is that we have to move out of the lake house rental on May 31. I feel completly out of control in all of this. I can't make anyone buy my house.

I should go take a nap now. I get sleepy when I get stressed.

*** I started getting an eye twitch today (I get that when I am very stressed.) Not cool. Right now I have our realtors doing some homework for us. We have 2 from the same agency, but since the locations are are looking at can be an hour apart, they are each taking their respecive locations. East side realtor (ESR) is going to do some reeseach on Menomonee Falls House #2. And I asked West side realtor (WSR) to set us up with a weekly appointment to see a house in this town. I gave her the one I want for this week, which will be Oconomowoc #4.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Updated Food Blog

I have been putting some recipes lately on the food blog. Just thought I would let you know that. They are all baked good (muffins, cake, pancakes.)

House Hunt/Sale Update

Home Sale Update
Well, last weekend's open house was a bust. My neighbor said a bunch of people drove through but no one actually stopped & went in. Our realtors are now offering a bonus to any realtor that brings in an offer, to see if that will get some interest. I posted a finder's fee offer on Craigslist and sent it to a bunch of friends. We have open houses set for this Saturday & next Saturday. I also made a vflyer and that gets posted to a bunch of websites and posted it on zillow.com as well.

House Hunt Update
Isabel & I went to two open houses this past weekend. And here are my thoughts:
Oconomowoc #2 - awful realtor, tiny closets and bedrooms, whole house is dated, great garage and nice location down a DE rd. That all said - not interested.
Brookfield #1 - plenty of updates (MFE, CA, new appliances), plenty of floor space, nice yard & great garage & storage shed, but the wall on the 2nd floor only go halfway up straight and then are slanted with the roof and that won't work t all for tall guy. Not interested.

We have tours for all 3 of us to go to one in Menomonee Falls (this place might be going to a short sale soon, so there might be no wiggle room on price and I think we need it to wiggle) and another one in Grafton (this place has load of character, but I don't know if the lot will be too small for us and the houses too close together.)

So - nothing promising on either buying or selling.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Getting a Workout

Well, today it was on my calendar -- I was going to go to the Y and take a class. I haven't taken a fitness class in a long time. And a cardio class was very long, yoga classes were not quite as long ago.

I kept wanting to get stuff done before we went and time was passing quickly and I almost let myself convince myself I didn't have time to do it, but I went.

I dropped Isabel off at kidcare, her first time. I wasn't too nervous about it because the aerobics studio is right across the hall from Kidcare.

I took Cardio Stretch. After it was over I found out the instructor was subbing in and the regular instructor would be back next week. So, I am not sure I experienced the real class. I guess I will find out next week.

I kept up and the instructor offered low-impact and hi-impact versions of moves. So, I did some of each. The class numbers were small.....only about 8 of us chubby mommies. It was an hour long and I made it.

I think it was good for me and I think I will keep doing a class. I need the class to push me, otherwise I will fall into a routine, plus being scheduledlike that is good for me too.

I sweat ALL Over. My shins were even sweating. I don't remember the last times my shins sweat. Every square inch of my body was covered in sweat.

I feel good, but it's only been 2 1/2 hour after the class. We'll see how I feel tomorrow when the delayed-onset muscle soreness sets in. I think I might also like to try water aerobics again, but I think I need to wait a week since Andy won't be home (has his class) on Monday night.

A Great Bra Fit

So, like a lot of other people, I like to watch "What Not To Wear" and from time to time I learn something and I change that about how I do my hair, makeup or clothes. Well, the newest thing I finally did was get a really good fitting bra for me.

I have always bought nice bras from Victoria's Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood, but this time I was looking for something to hold these D's up in place and not have the strap cutting into my shoulder.

And what I learned was to look for thicker straps for the larger breasted woman. So, I finally did that. I looked around a few place, including my favorites, and nothing was jumping out as what I wanted. Then I went to Onehanespace.com and I was even able to put "comfort straps" into my search criteria. It was nice. They have good prices. Right now all their Playtex bras are $13.99, which is basically half price. I thought I would start with two different ones and try them out. I never wore Playtex before.

Well, they are wonderful. They fit so comfotably. There is no cutting in on my shoulders and the deflated, now slightly lower, empty size D's are held up into place. I am very happy with my purchase.

I also bought a 2-pack of Hanes Body Creations micorfiber panties. They are the kind that have no VPL. I haven't worn then yet, so I can't attest to is they live up to their claims. But I do like that I get 2 pairs for less than I bought one pair at VS.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Home Search

Well, our home search isn't starting out too great here. Here is the status.

Thiensville #1 - Too short of ceilings, not interested.
Cedarburg #1 - A dump! And on the corner of 2 busy streets, not interested.
Oconomowoc #1 - Sold. (I think. I just checked the realtor website and it was taken off and we were supposed to tour in 45 minutes. I am waiting for the realtor to call me back to confirm.)

Nothing else lined up to view. Maybe I will take Isabel out with me to an open house this weekend if there is one at a place on our list. Andy has a motorcycle class, so he is gone all day both days.

As for our house - no offers yet - plenty of positive interest though. There is another realtor tour this Thursday and another open house this weekend & and an ad going in the Star Trib for the open house on Saturday.

Sometimes I think our house is never going to sell and we are going to end up moving back. Everyone who tours our places, loves it, but they are ALL in the same boat - they need to sell their house. It's all very frustrating.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Another Art Project


You can see two stages of these. We made little cards to send to people for Halloween. The size of the card depends upon how the feet were and how I was able to cut them out. These are Isabel's feet for ghosts and then we used her fingers to make the eyes. I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine. I know this ruins the surprise for a couple people who will get these and read this blog, but you don't know what your finished card will look like. The one you see is the one we are keeping for ourselves on our fridge.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Today is mine & Andy's 6 year wedding anniversary. We've been married for 6 years, but have been together now for 10 years. Seems like a long time to put up with each other. :)

Anyways, our plans involve getting massages at Heaven on Earth Massage. I just finished with mine and Andy is at his now. We had to take turns so that someone is home with Isabel. She napped through most of mine and is still napping. It's great that she is taking a good AM nap, because she won't have much time this afternoon.

This afternoon we are going to look at two houses that are on the top of our list. We still have not sold our house (actually, there is another open house at our MN home going on today - cross your fingers and/or say a prayer.) I thought we would at least rule these two in or out. On paper they seem the best fit for us. It would suck if we do like one of these houses and someone else buys it before we can, but the good thing is that it is a buyers market and something else perfect will come along. Although, the buyers marker sucks for trying to sell a house.

After the tours, we are having dinner at Antigua Restaurant in West Allis. It is a Mexican restaurant. We are a big fan of Mexican food.

Then we will come home and crack open a bottle of our favorite wine, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. We're actually more of a red wine couple, but we love this wine. And after that - we'll just have to wait & see.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Funny Sign


As we were leaving Concord Zoo (& BP gas station) for our playgroup outing, there was sign at the exit. I thought it was funny.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Exploring the Town

Well, Isabel & I went out on the town for a little bit so that we could find the bank witht he conference room where the mom's group meets at, find the park we will have our first WI playdate at (I met some people on Milwaukeemoms.com and we have been emailing), found where the Farmer's Market is, stopped at Brownberry Bakery Outlet (it's made here, did you know that!) and bought a ton of stuff (if you spend $15+, you get double stamps!) and found the Sausage Haus (it's across from the park where our playdate on Thursday will be.) The Sausage Haus is a deli & Meat Market. I made sure to buy some bratwurst, because you can't try the Sausage Haus without getting some sausage, and I also bought some sliced ham, Italian Seasoned Chicken, & Deviled Eggs.

We never made it to the grocery store today, but we know where it is and between the 2 places we did stop today we have some food for a couple of dinners.

Enjoy It While We Have It

Well, I decided to look up the tax info on the lake house we are renting for 9 months (well, 8 3/4 months). And we certainly cannot afford it if it were for sale. It is taxed on just over a half million dollars. The house only makes up about $170K of the tax amount, the rest is the land, which is 2 acres on the lake. Actually, our rent for the time we are hear is just about what they pay in taxes.

So, we won't be buying this house or anything similar to it. I am afraid we may have to settle for deeded lake access if we want to live near a lake.

There are tons of squirrels running around and lots of birds and Molly has been enjoying running after them.

BTW - for family who reads this, mark on your calendar that we will have Isabel's birthday party next May out here. It will be on the Saturday before her birthday.

We may have a new place (hopefully) by then, but I think it might be fun to enjoy the lake since it will actually start getting warmer then. They have a fishing boat that we can use or maybe we can even see what places rent things in town. We might change our minds on the location, but we will have one that Saturday before he birthday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Megabus.com

My MIL told me about this and she thought we might be interested in it, in case we decide to use it or someone else wants a cheap way to come visit us. I had never heard about it, but i's Megabus. I just picked a ramdom weekend to see how much it cost to go from Mke to Mpls and it was $8 each way, so $16 total. That is crazy cheap. The route from Mpls actually goes to either Mke or Chicago.

And if you go to Chicago there are tons of other cities you can go to, but if you are trying to go from Mpls or Mke to one of those other cities, you have to do your own coordination of schedules.

There are lots of Cities in Midwest & heading East, and then also stops in CA, AZ, & NV. Very Cool.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Prime

Apparently, I am just about Nursery Rhymes and movies these past few days. Anyways, I just finished watching Prime. It only got two and a half stars, so I wasn't expecting anything that great. But the thing I wanted to comment on was the ending. I am not sure what I wanted. I kinda wanted them to get back together - because that would be the 'trained' happy ending - you know - in the end the guy always gets the girl type ending. But honestly, would that have been the happy ending. She had a point. She was 14 years older and what she wanted wasn't what he was ready for or wanted. He wanted her, not a family. So, if the guy got the girl it would have not have necessarily been a happy ending.

The other thing is that the therapist should have immediately talked with her client and made a referral once she found out that her client was dating her son. No question about that. But still it would be awkward to have your son dating a former client.

My movie for tomorrow is Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story. It got 3 stars.

Nursery Rhyme Thoughts

Ok - so I'm a mom and Isabel likes when I sing nursery rhymes to her. And some of them make me think.

So, here are my thoughts:

Old King Cole - I swear it's all about smoking pot. He wants his bowl & pipe....what else could it be.

Rain - When we were getting all sorts of rain the past few weeks, we sang this often and I couldn't help thinking that our family in Spain would not be fond of us sending the rain we were getting to them.

Little Jack Horner - You know, he's really not such a good boy if he is ruining the pie for everyone else. I make motions to this song and Isabel does them with the rhyme now.

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep - Andy asked me if this rhyme was about slavery

The Old Woman in a Shoe
- When Andy read this to her this weekend, he added in some comments about her going on welfare to support her children.

Jack Be Nimble
- Are we trying to encourage dangerous behaviors in our children? I like the Jill addition in the link.

Just some thoughts......

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Beerfest

Last night, Andy & I watched Beerfest. It is by the same guys as Super Troopers and it was very funny. It was the kind of funny that gets funnier every time you watch it (although, this was the first time.) This would be a movie that my BIL would watch and quote all the time. Steph - Jason should watch this if he hasn't already.

Bad Singer

One of the little nursery rhymes I sing to Isabel is Little Tommy Tucker.

"Little Tommy Tucker

Sings for his supper:

What shall we give him?

White bread and butter."


Well, one day, Andy says to me (after I finished singing it) - Hmmm, white bread and butter, he must not be a very good singer.

I thought that was funny and every time I sing it to her I think of that.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stay?

So, I just finished watching the movie Stay tonight. As the movie continued on & on, I started to get more & more lost. Well, not lost, just confused. And when it ended I was left wondering what was "real" and what wasn't. I did some looking online and found this review relating it Christ. This was the first review I read and it confused the shit out of me. At this time of night I am not prepared to look at symbolism of Christ in this movie. This synopsis was better.

I am not the type of person that likes to be confused by movies. Maybe I should stick with comedies or sappy chick flicks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cry Baby.

I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants this afternoon. I thought it was a very good movie and I cried through half of it. I'm such a baby. I tried not to cry because I didn't want to confuse Isabel, but I couldn't but cry. And then she did the sweetest thing, she came over gave me a hug and gave me her dolly. Such a sweetheart.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Little Ant with an Overactive Bladder

Well, when you are a mom and end up listening to the same songs over & over again, you brain starts to give the songs new words.

So, as I am listening to The Ants Go Marching On on our Wiggles CD, I came up with some new (improved?) words......

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three,
The little one stops to take a pee.
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six,
The little one stops to take a piss.
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine,
The little one stops to pee in time
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten,
The little one stops to pee AGAIN.
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Steve and Barry's

So, Andy has shopped at Steve & Barry's numerous times and the clothes there are cheap (the clothes were actually cheaper when they first opened and didn't have these stars with lines there.) I didn't have this overwhelming desire to go for a while because he said the women's section wasn't very big. But then it was announced that they were carrying Sarah Jessica Parker's line Bitten and I wanted to see what that was like. I ended up buying 2 shirts and 1 pair of jeans for myself and a hoodie and visor for Andy. I love the jeans. Actually, I tried on a different pair, but I wanted them in a Tall. Being 5'7 I am kinda in-between Regular & Tall, so I tend to go for the talls if possible. I like to wear heeled shoes, so I need a tall for my pants to looks right, otherwise in a regular it might not look as nice in taller shoes.

Anyways, I tried on a Regular Straight Leg (after waiting for the 1 big changing room - I had Isabel with and needed something that I could fit the stroller in) and then found the "Boyfriend Jean", which fit Sooooooo much better and feel so comfortable on and was in a tall. I had switched pairs and just figured if they don't fit I will return them (they have a return policy of 1 year!).

I hope they hold up in the wash and still feel great on after washing. They were only $14.95 and were from the Bitten line (yes, that's regular price). The shirts were from the Bitten line as well and both were under $10. You know, it feels weird to buy something for regular price, but when it's that cheap regularly, you don't need to look for sale & clearance.

BTW - the cashiers told me to buy tops in a size bigger than what fits when I try it on. They said that after washing all their tops seem to shrink a whole size. So, that's what I did.

They do have a kids section, but I didn't even go over there (for once since having Isabel). This was actually about finding something for me. I saw the kids section and said I would go over there after I tried on my clothes, but then I was bent on trying to find a tall (which there weren't many of in any size), that I forgot about going to the kids section.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Discounts on Restaurant.com GC's

Just got this in my email today and for TODAY only, you can get 50% off restaurant.com gift certificates in your area.

Ok- if you never bought from them before, you just get a discount on a certificate, but they have rules around it.

So, you might get a $25 gc for only $10 (only $5 today), but the rule on it is that you have to spend $35. I guess that's so the restaurant doesn't lose their butt and at least can break even or whatever.

So, the code you need to enter is: MEMBER

If you don't enter the code, you still have to pay their price and don't get the 50% off.

I bought some of these when we went to Chicago a few years back and used them. A couple places took them, but one place decided they weren't going to take them anymore (which kinda sucked because we took a cab to get to that part of town.) Anyways, restaurant.com did refund my money and apologized.

I had not bought any in a while until today and they had several in the MKE area, so now we have some places to try at a discount.

There are plenty of places there for the Mpls/STP area as well.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My New Favorite Blog

I stumbled across this as I was searching for something, and now I have it bookmarked.

It is called Savingadvice.com Blog. It is an interesting read and I have already learned of a few things.

This is Why I Don't Like to Make My Bed

well.......it sounds like a good reason why not too.....I don't make it out of sheer laziness....why make it when no one else will see it and you are just going to get back in it later and mess it up anyways.....I do make it when we have guests over......

Anyways - in Wondertime Magazine, they wrote this:

"Recent studies indicate that unmade beds often allow more air to circulate than made beds, which can help banish dust mites and the allergens they produce."

Interesting.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Free Museum Admission

On Saturday, September 29th it is National Museum Day and a variety of museums across the country are offering free admission that day.

You can get all the details here. Make sure you print out the museum card, otherwise you won't get free admission that day.

As a note, there are none in WI - which is where we'll be then. But for my friends still here in MN, you can go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, or Stearn Cty History Museum (St. Cloud).

Oh - I guess after looking at the MIA website, they are always free anyways.

For my known readers in NY or CA or IL, there are A LOT to choose from. Have fun at the museum that day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Any Idea What Kind of Bug This Is?

This bug was in Isabel's cube climber. It just stayed right where it was the entire time. She did not notice it or disturb it. The ball I am holding is a tennis whiffle ball, to give you an idea of size. In the other picture that is some other smaller bug next to it. So, does anyone have any idea what kind of bug this is?

Lately I have been seeing huge bugs around. I killed this HUGE cricket. I am sure it made huge noises too. And I flicked this huge beetle of some sort off her cube climber the other day.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Papa Murphy's Coupon

Here a coupon to Papa Murphy's.

Our current plans

So, I just posted about the change in realtors......well, I think Isabel & I are moving out there as of Sept. 1st......

Andy is currently staying with my sister & her husband and it is working out fine, but we miss each other and driving back & forth 5-6 hours sucks. Big time sucks!

And when you figure in the cost of gas both ways each weekend, plus the little bit of money we pay to my sister for the extra cost of having Andy around -- well, we could all be living out there in an apartment or something.

Although, finding the right place is not easy. Turns out after you live in a HUGE house of your own for so long, you get a little picky. Well, I guess I am not too picky. But we are not going to give up our animals for temporary housing. My sister said she would take the dog for a while, but we don't want to impose anymore. So, we want the animals with us. So, we have to find a place that takes dogs & cats. More places take cats than they do dogs, but we have found a few places. Plus, we don't want to sign a year lease -- only 6-9 months and then month to month after that (or sign up for another 3 months if we know we will need it.) But if our house hasn't sold after being on the market for a year, then we will need to re-think what we are doing anyways.

We looked at a few places this weekend when we went there to visit and Andy will continue to look at places this week (& continuing) if we need to to find something for us to move into on September 1st. We did find a nice sxs duplex that was well-maintained, but we would like to find something a little cheaper if we can and has a little bigger yard for the dog to run around in.

So, that's the scoop. We hope to know more very soon.

You're Fired!

Andy fired our real estate agent today. She was just not doing enough or what we wanted. If she was getting people in here and they had comments about why they didn't want to buy our house, then we knew it was something here we needed to change. And it's not the price, because even our starting price was $10K below assessed value and now since we dropped the price it is even lower than assessed value. So, it wasn't the price.

Our agent just was not aggressively marketing to prospective buyers. She was marketing to other agents, which obviously was not doing us any good. Plus, she was really reluctant to market in the area where we believe our buyer is going to come from.

So, she's gone and through the help of Andy's aunt (who works for the relo division of a real estate company {she'll get some commission through this deal as well once it is sold}) we have another realtor lined up. This guy sounds like he will do some of the things we want done. So, it goes off the market tomorrow (Wednesday) and will hopefully be back on again on Saturday.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Before & After

We needed to replace the garbage disposal, so we decided to go ahead and update the sink and faucet as well. We also decided to paint the very retro light fixture in the eat-in kitchen area black just to update it a little.

Sink - BEFORE


Very plain & dated looking.
Sink - AFTER

Ooooooh! How Pretty.

Light Fixture - BEFORE

Ugly!

Light Fixture - AFTER

The glass shades on there are the same, which dates it a little, but I think it looks 100% better painted black.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hardees Coupon

Go to the Hardees website and under the picture it says Patty Melt Thickburger Click Here to Print Coupon. And they will give your a $1 off coupon for a Patty Melt Thickburger. Good until September 23, 2007.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Coupons to Favorites....

Free appetizer @ Timberlodge.

Half Price 8x10's (8x10.6 or 8x12 as well) at Winkflash - which they have the cheapest rices out there already, this makes it even cheaper. I order all my prints through them. Coupon code:WE32TG42 Expires: 7/31/07

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Milwaukee Here We Come!

Andy has accepted the offer with Harley Davidson and will start in a couple weeks. We are very excited about this change (but it's scary at the same time).

There are still so many details to sort out, but two details are firm now - he has a job & we are moving to the Milwaukee area.

Now we just need to sell our house and find a new place to live.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Who Goes to Wal-Mart After Midnight?

Well the answer to that question is - who was buying what at the Super Wal-Mart?
1) a grup of Mexican women buying clearance bras & tops
2) a couple of stoners (yes, I could tell they were stoned) buying a bunch of snacks & beverages
3) someone buying $20 worth of burn creams and gauze
4) a high school couple (w/ bitchy girlfriend) looking for a movie (since at that time of the night the theaters are closed, as well as the video stores) (BTW - he recommended they get a movie "they" saw before, only it wasn't her and she wanted nothing to do with that movie after that. Funny.)

Both of Andy's Hands were Wrapped Up Like This

Andy had a brain fart while we were having a bonfire in the backyard and grabbed on of the firepit brincks that had fallen out. He burned 5 of his fingers (2 on one, 3 on another.) I happened to have some burn gel in our first aid kit, but we used it all so I ran out to Wal-Mart to buy some more stuff. We weren't sure how the burns were going to play out through the night & next day. He woke up and his hands felt fine this morning, still had blisters but not the pain.

The Neck Brace was Just for Fun.
Our neighbor is a First Responder for the local Fire Department and went to grab his bag (since they were there to witness it all) for First Responder calls and he offered up other things to use as well. Turns out it was good he went through it, because the neck brace was broken and it would have not been good if he went on a call and needed it. Andy looks like he was having a good time, but he was in pain.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Making our New Home Greener

As I was reading my Natural Home magazine, it made me think of a couple things we've done here that I may or may not want to take with us.

The bat house will be staying -- we can't take the home away from the bats. But if I want to make one just like the one I purchased previousy I can used scrape pieces of plywood and make a new bat house.

The other things is my compost bin. I had done a lot of research to find the one that I wanted & could afford and worked most efficiently for us. I suppose I can empty put the compost all onto the garden and then clean up the panels. I remember it was relatively easy to put together and won't take up as much room in the moving truck when we finally move. The compost bin I bought is relatively attractive, well, not really attractive, but easily disguisble and not an eye sore. So, I think I will clean it out & clean it up and bring it along. And if we live in the middle or suburbia, then I don't want an eyesore, but I still want to compost.

I wish we could take along our new energy efficient windows.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

News on the Job Front

Well, I am only using intials of the names of the company. Those that know what's going on will know what they are.

HD called and they are considering him for all the positions he applied for (he applied for 3 more after the interview.) They said he interviewed well and think he would fit in well with the atmosphere of the company. 3 of the 4 jobs are with the same manager he interviewed with, the 4th is a different manager. He may have to do more phone interviews or possibly go back there again for the other positions. We should hopefully know something by the end of this week or beginning of next week.

RWS called and set up a second interview for next week. They told him at the first interview that the second interviews would be the top 2 candidates.

BS was a company he did a phoner with this week. They have two positions open. We'll have to wait and see what happens there.

RS is out of the picture.

He got a call from a company to do contract work. The contract is for a year. He told them he was seeking a permanent position, but would keep the option open.

There are other irons in the fire and resumes out there, but that's what going on for the more active ones.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sometimes Things Just Don't as Planned.....

Which is tough for me...because I'm a planner......

I'll just start with today. If things went according to plans, Isabel & I would have been at storytime at the library this morning, someone would come to look at the house this evening, and we would go swimming at the city pool while they toured our house. But things change and plans change and so we must adapt. So, we went to the library, but they were taking a couple weeks off from storytime and would start again next week. So, we just stayed for a while and played, picked out some books and puzzles to check out and bring home. Then we went to check if the new Dollar store was open (of course, it opens tomorrow) and then instead went to Kohl's (which has been here for a year and a half and I had not gone there yet.) Isabel is a good little shopper and like to look at all sorts of new things, so it's fun to take her with. When she sees something she thinks is neat she just squeals. As we were going towards the outdoor stuff, which was all brightly colored she was giggling so much, it was cute.)

The people cancelled there showing for tonight and now can't get here until next week. We have only had one showing so far; we had a different showing that got cancelled because they put an offer on a house the night before they were supposed to tour ours - they should have waited, maybe our house was even better (they were looking for a house to do a B&B with.) So, we have halted on all the little tidying up since they are not coming, but it was good that we did a lot of cleaning and packed up some more boxes and did a couple more little projects - so it was not a loss at all.

And we plan to go swimming this afternoon yet, rather than so late in the day. So, that's good too.

If things would go according to plan, we would have sold our house right away and were free to relocate wherever we choose and that great job where everything fell into place (pay, benefits, perks, relocation package, location, job duties, industry.) And we would find a great house that was big enough, but not too big, with character but not everything outdated, and a nice size yard, in a great neighborhood, with a great school system, at a price we can afford would just fall into our lap.

Instead, I am really having to learn to control my patience, because none of those things have happened yet - doesn't mean that they won't, but we're still waiting. My patience is really all I can control because all the rest if of my control. I can't make someone come see my house and buy it, I can't make that great job get offered to Andy, and I can't even find us a new house until the first two things happen.

I try - to find a new place - but then I have to stop because the places he is interviewing at are in so many locations throughout the Midwest, that I just don't know where we'll be.

I want people to know that we appreciate your concerns and interest, but I get a little stressed out saying we STILL don't know anything. And when we do, everyone will know. When our house sells - You'll Know. When he accepts a job somewhere - You'll Know. Why? Because I will be so excited that we (I) can start planning for something.

I joke with people that I have taken to reading my horoscope to provide me with some guidance. But it's really no joke. Although, now that school is let out and we don't get the paper I don't know where I will read my horoscope. I'll have to find it online.

Now, I think we are going swimming this afternoon, but things don't always go as planned.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Andy has Pink Eye - Poor Guy


He woke up this morning with the right eye glued shut. I am hoping Isabel doesn't get it back from him and I hope I don't get it. I keep washing my hands a lot, but who knows if it is already in my system. His infected eye is all swollen & everything. Isabel's never got swollen, just a little bit of gunk when she had it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Dumbass Hooch!

So, for the past few weeks I have listing & re-listing items on Craiglist that we need to get rid of since we are downsizing......

I figure 90% of the contacts I get don't pan out for one reason or another.....of that 90% half will say they are going to come buy it and never show. Very frustrating!

So, of course I am not going to hold anything for anyone because whoever gets me the money first gets it. I need to make the sale and it get it out of the house.

Well, I just got off the phone with this dumb hooch who wasn't going to come until 9/9:30 tonight. She is apparently 3 hours away at college, but has family that lives only an hour away from us. She said she was going to be taking a bus to Mpls and then a friend was going to bring her our way and "IF" she wanted it she would give me the money and then go to the family's house and not pick it up for 2 more days.

In the meantime, someone else called and was only 30 minutes away and was coming right away to look & possibly buy. I called the hooch and let her know someone else might be buying it and I would let her know and that it goes to the first person who gives me the money. She leaves me a message saying she was just leaving work (in Duluth, still not on a bus yet) would appreciate if I called to let her know if it was gone.

These people actually show and do buy it. I called the hooch and she starts screaming at me saying I cost her an $80 bus ticket and gas money for her friend. Does she think I'm dumb? She was coming this way anyway....she was not spending $80 for a bus ticket "IF" she was interested in the couch & chair and then gas money. She was doing all that on her own to go by her family (& purchase other furniture she told me). I explained I did not know if she would actually show and I have to make my sale. (She has still never left Duluth, so it's not like she paid the person the gas money yet.) She kept yelling at me and I hung up on her. What a fuckwad!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Our house is listed.....

Once we get the MLS number from our realtor, I will post it. But this morning we signed all the paperwork and listed the house. We really hope it sells fast, as Andy got his first offer (a nice one!) yesterday.

Here is the first listing out there, on Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors.

Here are some changes/updates we made to the master suite. We should have re-done this bathroom years ago.

In the bathroom we took out the old sink, faucet, & medicine cabinet and replaced it with these. So much nicer. I also painted the walls, put a new valance on the window, put in a different trashcan (which was needed since this vanity was larger and we didn't have the space for the old one) and put a new toilet seat on. The glass shelf was there previously, but we painted the hardware white to match. And I put a new white storage thing behind the door instead of my clear plastic one.


In here we just put up valances instead of our room darkening shades....which if you watch the home shows you know you need to let in as much light as possible (plus we show off the nice new windows we put in last year) and I put a duvet on that was not as busy as the comforter was. And I moved the small desk & chair to the south wall, so there was a better flow through the room, it seemed to open it up. Oh, and I removed the room darkening shade off the french door leading to the three season porch off this room. I need to get some new pillowcases, as I don't like the silver ones w/ the gold throws (which I do like a lot), but these were the best I had here. The other ones were not fancy enough or were too busy. The room looks so much better in person that in this photo, but isn't that how it usually goes.

Kudos to Alliant....

This morning at precisely 6:57am, our power went out. After sitting around in our bed playing with Isabel for an hour, we finally called Alliant and asked What's Up? The showed up in around 15 minutes. Turns out a squirrel (now deceased) has chewed through a wire going to the transformer. It was all fixed with 5 minutes. We were impressed with their service today.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Start of Something New

With all the changes going on in our life, including relocation and job changes. I have decided to be a WAHM, well, in a way work at home. I plan to use my talents and knowledge and start my own business as a Holistic Life Coach. The details of my service will be worked out when we have made our move. I am very excited about this. I did like running a business previously and I really do like working with people and helping them be successful, so I believe that this will be a great career path for me. One of the main benefits for me is that I get to do something I love and earn money doing that. I also can maintain a balance of work & home. I can grow my business as large as I want to. But initially, I just want to keep it small and be home with Isabel as much as a possible. I will approach my life is the same holistic fashion I will coach others on.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Stress Management

Boy am I going to have to practice what I preach right now. My stress level is sure peaking right now. So, to fill everyone in -- Andy left his job 3 weeks ago, but had nothing lined up. He does/did have 6 weeks of vacation (which is now half gone). Now, I just found out today that my contract position is not being renewed. My position will be replaced by some at my contracted place of employment. There were funding cuts and as a result there were several positions cut that can fill my contract position. So, get rid of the contracted position. So, in 3 weeks I will be done working. Both of us will be unemployed unless Andy finds something soon.

We had been talking about him possibly taking a position out of state if a good position was offered to him -- which means moving. But without me having a job in this area, there is no reason we need to stay in our house if Andy does get another job in the Cities. I have alway loved our house, Andy - not so much. He's been begging to move for about 3 years now.

So, it looks like no matter what we are moving. So, PLEASE if anyone has any boxes please send them our way, as I do not have any since I used them to give away stuff on Freecycle.

I think what I am most freaked out about is having to move and leave our home. I know "home is where the heart is", but it's still hard to leave a place I worked so hard on. I like the idea of deep roots, although I married a man with roots that can be easily transplanted.

So, I have no idea what the future holds, where we will live or what we will do for a job. It's all uncertain.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wine-O

Andy & I like to tour wineries and vineyards when we travel or if they are nearby. It's just something we do. Here is a link to find out wineries all over the place rather than having to do a lot of searching.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Radio Flyer Present: Before & After

BEFORE

AFTER

The wheels were on it when I got it, but I didn't think to take a picture until I started taking it apart. Anywyas, this is one of the presents we are giving Isabel for her birthday. I did all the work on it. It wasn't really that hard. Just many little steps.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Grocery Delivery Discount

You can get groceries delivered completly free 2 times. Use code PEOPLES. The code used at Cashwise Delivers will allow you free delivery (which to my home is $6). Also if you purchase at least $50 in groceries you don't have to pay the shopping fee (which is $5.)

So, I bought about $65 in groceries and used the code and all I have to pay is the $65. It is fantastic because I don't have to spend money on gas to drive there & back and I save my time as well.

The code is good until the end of 2007, but you can only use it twice. I usually have groceries delivered twice a month. I don't mind paying the $6 delivery fee, but getting it free a couple times is wonderful.

I know there isn't many local people who read this, but if you do. Hope this is helpful.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wine Season?

Seems like there were a lot of ads in the paper pushing wine events or specials. Here's what I found:

Sportman's Grill (Owatonna) -- Four Course Wine Dinner on Thursday, May 10th. AND Moms get fre glass of champagne, wine or mimiosa on Mother's Day (May 13th)

MGM (Owatonna) -- Wine Tasting this Friday (April 27th) 5-8pm

Haskell's (Faribault & the Cities) -- Nickel Sale ends this Saturday (April 28th)

Now, if they would only combine a wine tasting with a Greenhouse open house....we'd be in business.I could kill two birds with one stone.

Greenhouses are OPEN!

There are a bunch of open houses happening.....Below is what I saw advertised in the paper today.

I think I may go buy some stuff......

Turtle Creek Nursery (Owatonna) - Free Hot Dogs & Pop this Sat. & Sun from 11-2 and Free Cookies & Coffee all day, specials include $3 hardy rose shrubs, 99 cent annual packs, anD discounts on bird baths and pond supplies.

Donahue's Greenhouses (Faribault) - This Saturday is Kid's Day (10am-2pm), kids get to pot their own Wave Petunia, Herbie the clown is there twisting balloons, free Freezees ice pops for kids, and a coloring contest. The specials include Garden Mums for 99 cents, 4.5" pots of perennials for $4.88, Begonia pots for $3.33, and 4.5" Geranium pots for $2.33.

Souba Greenhouse (Owatonna) - I didn't find a website for them. I did buy stuff from them 2 years ago (herbs & strawberries) and was very impressed with the quality. They just have an ad, no specials listed in the ad.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Finished Products

Fairy Flower Crown
I thought this turned out beautifully. I tried it on Isabel and it fits perfectly. She is fond of the handles (ribbon).
1st Birthday Hat

It is not very tall, but I think it will be the perfect size for her first birthday. I watched an episode of Creative Juice today where they made party hats (using a 12x12 piece of card stock and twisting it into a cone) and those hats were nice & tall. Maybe a tall one for next year. I still have to add the elastic cording to this and it will be complete.

Tutu

The colors are a dark raspberry & white. I finished it after Isabel went to bed for the night, so I used Lulu as the model.

All of Them

Now you get an idea how big the hat really is. It's not very big. Besides all the birthday portrait props, I was also working on doing a little refurbishing to a baby trike I bought. I bought this vintage Radio Flyer baby/toddler trike (powered by their feet) from eBay. It was in relatively remarkable condition, but the wood had discolored and the handles had rusted a little. So, today, I took it all apart, painted the handles, gave a new stain to the wood and put a coat of poly on (that is currently drying). It will be one of her birthday presents from us. I thought it was neat and I don't think they even make it anymore. And we all know that Radio Flyer stuff is not cheap, so I think I got a good deal on it. And the paint, stain, & poly was stuff I already had leftover. So, really it was just a little money to buy & get it shipped here and my time to make it look nice. I took a before picture (mainly to make sure I put it back together correctly) and I will post that and a picture of the finished product after is gets all put back together.

We also went to a carnival sponsored by the student council today. Andy played the games to win us some prizes, Isabel mainly just watched.

Oh, and I made Andy his birthday cake. Yesterday was his birthday. Yesterday we went to a play and then to Applebee's for a couple of lemonades and half-price apps. Our neighbor Cindy babysat for Isabel.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Stuff to Make (Fairy, Princess)

Well, we are doing these 1 year pictures of Isabel with Skye. Skye sent me some ideas for fun photos and I started to look for others. Up until this point I only had thought about an outift I wanted her to wear. But as I started looking at pictures of other little toddlers I got ideas about fun props/costumes. I thought I would put all the links here for free patterns for tutus, birthday party hats, fairy flower crowns, and fairy wings. I'm not planning on wings, but maybe someday I will. But I thought I would have them all here, because if someone is looking for free patterns they can find the whole costume here.

Tutu – version 1
Tutu – version 2

Tutu – version 3 (this is the one I plan on making, it seems easiest and there are step by step photo instructions)

Fairy Wings

Fairy Flower Crown

Birthday Hat

I was looking at buying some of these things, but they get very expensive, so I will make them. The birthday hat I plan on making the base out of cardstock and then covering that with fabric and them embellishing it with pompoms & glitter. I think I have everything at home to make the hat and the crown, maybe even the tutu (I will have to check on that.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Stupid Cell Phone Service

You know, I haven't complained about T-Mobile much. For the most part I like our service, but this was the 2nd time in 2 weeks that my service was shut-off (no fault of my own.)

The first time was because they thought I was using the new SIM card - duh! why would I use a new SIM card if all my stuff is on the current one? This time it was because they forgot to take the "automatic shut-off date" off my account from when it was temprarily stolen (by temporarily I mean one of my kids took it and hid it and I didn't know where they put it, but found it after 15 minutes of searching.)

They are giving me 100 bonus minutes to use over the next 3 months, which does me no good because we never use all of our minutes anyways.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Neat Things I Want

I don't know if or when I will get any of these items, but I thought they were neat and wanted to share them with you.

Aerogarden -- I would get this, but at $150 it's kind of pricey. You can buy it on Amazon though for free shipping.

Water Powered Clock -- Now at $13, this I could afford. I think the idea is neat and it is good for the environment because it doesn't use electricity. Good for in a power outage too! This one doesn't have an alarm. To get an alarm version (with other bells & whistles) it will set you back $20.

Water Timer -- This would be great to have when I am watering the garden and forget about it. I would probably save myself at least the $30 cost on it on water bills by not forgetting.

Digital Photo Frame -- At $80 it is too expensive for my taste. I'll just wait a couple years for the price to come down.

Toddler's Busy Book -- This is only $10. Affordable. Doesn't look like the library has it, but maybe I will see if the library has something similar. I am sure they do.

Happiest Toddler on the Block -- They don't have this at the library (only the baby version, which we loved and was VERY useful!) This is only $10.50. I would rather not buy it because I would probably read it once and that's it. I tried to see if anyone on Freecycle had a copy for me to borrow, but I didn't get any emails. I'll have to see if the library takes requests on suggested books to buy.

Thinkgeek.com -- This site just has lots of neat things in it. I think Andy would enjoy many of them.

Friday, April 13, 2007

On the Move

I am participating in Owatonna on the Move for Walk Across America. We start tracking our steps next week. The Wellness Committee paid for half the price of a pedometer, so I got a new one. I might try to get to some of the Community Walks on Mondays. They also have a 15 minute presentation with it before we start walking. A friend of mine is coming over twice next week to go walking after work. We're going to try to get together at least once a week to walk/talk together.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Alex

He invaded my camera when we asked him to take pictures during the actual baptism, so now he gets his picture on my blog. Funny guy.

Easter at Our House

Dining Room Table
The dining room table is all set for our Easter lunch. I like being able to use all of our nice dishes. I have a nice collection of dishes and serving pieces for dinner parties and holidays.
Easter Cupcake Cake

My mom made this as one of our desserts. It is mini cupcakes and regular cupcakes that she made, frosted, and decorated it all. I also made a Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Pie for dessert too.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Living Green Expo - May 5-6

The Living Green Expo will be in St. Paul on May 5-6, 2007 from 10am-5pm.
It is free admission and is located in the Grandstand at the State Fair Grounds.

We went last year when I was pregnant and we really enojyed ourselves. There were lots of food to sample and coupon booklets (which we used at the Co-op to buy food later) and food to purchase - Mmmm! Yummy. One of the great resources we learned about was low-VOC window & door caulking. We did buy it and had the window installers use it when we had our new energy efficient windows put in last year. The window guys didn't even know something like that existed, but were happy to use what we bought rather than what they were supplying. We were impressed with it because there was no odor on all those windows, not like when we replaced the windows in the master bedroom & they used their own caulk (Awful smell.)

So, it will be interesting to see what we take from it this year. So, mark your calendars and head out there.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Free/Cheap Things to do in the Cities

Most of these are in the Cities, but some aren't. I started typing this for this mom forum I go on and then decided I should put it somewhere for myself. So, there may be editting going on as I add links and more things:

Free Admission:

Como Zoo
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Walker Art Center (1st Saturday of the Month & Thursday 5-9pm)
Sculpture Garden
State Captiol Tours
(Free, but $2 for the self-guided brochure)
American Swedish Institue (1st Wednesday of the Month)
Bell Museum (Sundays)
MN Children's Museum ( 3rd Sunday of Month)
Musuem of American Art (Thursdays)
Science Musuem (for father's on Father's Day & Mother's on Mother's Day)
Weisman Art Center
Landscape Arboretum (all day Thursdays until April 26, After April after 4:30 on Thursday)
Schubert Club Musuem of Musical Instruments
Woodbury's Central Park (indoor park free, see below for Lookout Ridge Playground)
http://www.burnsvillecenter.com/shop/burnsville.nsf/webpages/special+events (mommies w/ strollers, lead by an instructor, Tuesdays @ 9:30)
Icebreaker Music Event @ Minnesota Music Academy (end of September)
Summit Brewing Company
ACME Comedy Club (see local comedians free on Mondays)
Heart of the Beast (free puppet shows on Saturdays, check calendar, schedule runs Oct.-Mar.)
Home Depot Kid's Workshop (1st Saturday, ages 5-12, pre-register)
Lakeshore Learning Stores (free craft activites on Saturdays 11-3 anytime, SLP or Maplewood)
Creative Kidstuff (special events & storytimes)
Toddler Tuesdays at MOA (they also have meals free for kids that day too)

Speaking of free meals, I found a whole listing here: http://twincitiesmom.com/freestuff.html or here http://twincities.parentzone.com/linkinfo.asp?lid=202354&prid=647

Here is a listing of gardens and many say free admission: http://www.gardensites.info/states/mn.htm

Free Play Areas or Storytimes for Kids:
Tiny Town at Ridgedale
Saturday Live! at St. Paul Public Library
Storytime at St. Paul Public Library
Sovereign Grounds Coffee Shop
Forest Adventures at Brookdale Center (I guess it's inside Macy's)
ChooChoo Bob's (storytime at 10am on Wed. & Sat., see schedule)
Children's Soft Play Area at Eden Prairie Center
Hennepin County Library Storytimes
IKEA Smaland Play Area (free supervised play for potty-trained kids, & craft time on Saturday 1-3pm)
Children's Soft Play Area at Northtown Mall
Spring Sing Alongs @ Pottery Barn Kids (Check Schedule for locations & times)
Book Club @ Pottery Barn Kids (every Tuesday @ 10am)
Telephone Story Line (call 952-352-1350 anytime to have a story read, new stories start Sunday @ noon)

Free Admission (outside the Cities):
Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo (Byron)
River Bend Nature Center (Faribault)
SPAM Museum (Austin)
Cabela's (Owatonna, has huge animals displays and aquariums)
State School Orphanage (Owatonna)
Owatonna Arts Center (Owatonna)


Discounts/Cheap:
St. Paul Fun Card
State Capitol Art Treasures Hunt (Fee: $2 for booklet)
Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground ($3.20-$5.33, depending upon day/time, parents free)
Imagination Saturdays @ Michaels Craft Stores (ages 5-12, $2 per craft, 30 min. session)
Ted Mann Concert Hall (you need to volunteer as an usher to get a ticket for free)
Thrify Hipster
Lake Harriet Bandshell (summer concerts may be free, but you have to pay to park)
Minneapolis Coupons
Bloomington Coupons
TC Tix