Friday, February 26, 2010

Blogging 101 - Two posts in one day!

My goodness this little hobby of mine is so much fun! Like many of you, I am new to the blogosphere! But, I LOVE it! I appreciate all of the reader support. Your phone calls, comments and emails really make me feel like the Queen of Blog and honestly, I don’t know much! I am learning just like you. I believe I am accomplishing what I set out to do…… If you read my January 1, 2010 post, I wrote: If this blog creates a shared moment for you & me – paper, family, hopes, wishes, frustrations or dreams it will be worth it.

Many of you have asked how to comment…. Unfortunately, I had some little glitch in the comment process until a few weeks ago when I realized it wasn’t working. If you are interested in commenting just click the comment portion at the end of the post. A box should appear allowing you to make a comment. Go ahead, practice. Say hello, check in, comment…. It makes reading so much more FUN!

Five for Friday

Five great things about this day:

1. It is the World’s Greatest Husband’s Birthday Weekend! I love that man!

Last year I surprised him with a birthday get-a-way. We went to an amazing (seriously amazing!) restaurant, spent the night in a heavenly hotel and enjoyed a kid free weekend. OK LADIES – MY FIVE For FRIDAY IS ALL ABOUT QUICKLY COMING UP WITH A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!!!!! I have nothing planned. I need great birthday ideas and I need them now!

Five for Friday is a bust…. Help me out! I need your romantic and CHEAP ideas –

Just to not disappoint- Here are five for Friday: 1. Birthday weekend 2. Hubby doesn’t have to work at the hospital this weekend 3. I have a plan for a meatless dinner(I am really trying to remember no meat Friday this Lenten season) 4. Found an excellent blended family blog – blissfully blended (can’t wait to explore them further this weekend). 5. I picked up Martha’s “Good Things for Easy Entertaining” at the library. Gosh, that lady & her team always make it look amazing! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Slow your Motor...

One day a week our amazing child care provider visits for the morning. This allows me to be in the office for 6 straight hours. She brings her two toddler boys and they hang out with our kindergartener and put him on the afternoon bus for school (1/2 day kindergarten stinks for any parent who is trying to hold a job!) So Tuesday mornings are a bit more hectic here because I need to be showered, dressed and ready to walk out the door too. Well this past Tuesday, I put on my button down Liz Claiborne smart striped business shirt and it felt weird. I took a double take, I examined my buttoning process for a moment, I felt like something wasn’t right but kept moving… at this point - I still had kids to get on a bus and make my lunch. Two minutes before the Amazing Child Care Provider walks in, it dawns on me, maybe my shirt is inside out, maybe the buttoning process felt wrong because MY SHIRT IS ON INSIDE OUT! Sure enough, I examine the stripes and they seem a bit dull, not as bright as they should be. This simple problem made me laugh and I quickly fixed the issue. We had a good giggle as I walked out the door late for my 9am arrival. But, as I drove to work I thought….. Paper Mom, slow your motor….. if you can’t take the time to process weird shirt buttoning…. It is time to slow your motor…..

Slow your motor is a term that Grammy taught me. I have heard her say it to my kids over the years. It means “stop being so wound up, it is time to be calm and relax.” I have adopted the phrase, especially at bedtime when all our kids are singing or dancing or taking extra long to relax for stories…. I will say…. “What would Grammy say right now?” They will often in unison say… “slow your motor” I realize that this is one of those family phrases that they will one day say to my grandchildren, I have no doubt! So my simple advice for today…. Slow your motor. Feel free to adopt the phrase in your own family.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Magazine Junkie, Yep- they are made out of PAPER!

So of course, being a paper obsessed mom, you can understand my obsession with magazines? I lead a very busy life. Five kids, a job, a darling World’s Greatest Husband, our life is non stop! I find magazines to be the best source of relaxation. Sometimes I find committing to a book is a bit overwhelming, although I do love to read books (Nicholas Sparks, Anita Shreve, Sarah Strohmeyer). Magazines are snappy and entertaining. I subscribe to “O, Rachel Ray, Food Network, Woman’s Day, Entertainment, Inc., Sandra Lee” and just sent my check for the magazine for those turning 40, “MORE” (ok, just reading that long list makes me feel a little over the top) but it really is my only relaxation! An indulgence? Maybe. I love when the kids are tucked in tight and the World’s Greatest Husband and I are snuggled up both reading for 15 minutes before we can’t keep our eyes open any longer. I love that a magazine is a quick read, I love the stylish photography, I love the quick tips, the recipes and the advice. You can never read enough articles that reference Delicious $2 meals for the entire family, or how to walk off 15 pounds before Easter. This stuff is real life. I recently read a happy little snippet in the March issue of Women’s Day, it talked about …. Happiness. It referenced Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. A portion of the article encouraged women to take five minutes out of the day and focus on being happy. The article gave a long list of 5 minute fixes for a better day. Strive to be a happiness projector. Here are my suggestions:
  1. Blast “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield while driving in the car. Belt it out like the 13 year old you once were.
  2. Say a Hail Mary.
  3. Write a personal note or letter.
  4. Make something.
  5. Plan a vacation (preferably to Italy for two weeks with no children)
  6. Call your best friend.
  7. Take a deep breath, in through your nose, hold it, relax, blow it out through your mouth.
  8. Visit your local craft store, write down all the craft books that you would love to own, then go to your local library and find them. Come on, we all know those books have 3 trillion crafty ideas which boil down to three or four that we would really tackle. Save your pennies, check them out at your library.
  9. Think of that time that you almost peed your pants you were laughing so hard.
  10. Kiss for five minutes.

A Paperly Shout Out!

A BIG thank you to Paperly hostess with the mostess, JULIE!  I had a great time visiting with other paper obsessed ladies yesterday!  Thanks Julie!  Your order, chock full of fun, free and discounted items will be on its way soon!  I appreciate your business.  If you attended the paper love fest yesterday, sign on to follow me.  More fun prizes and contests on the way, but you have to be a follower to be entered.....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Five for Friday!

My Five for Friday
Five great things about today:
  • I enjoyed a free FaceBook workshop this morning. Social media is truly amazing, we all need to pay attention.
  • I have 2 and half hours of “ME time” this afternoon.
  • Getting ready for a Paperpalooza Paperly week! Three parties! What Fun!
  • I lost two more pounds for a total of 37.
  • Making a sweet and sour shrimp and veggie yum yum for dinner tonight.
Those are my five. Do you have any great things about today that you would like to share? Have a great weekend.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

78 Years!

Yesterday my friend celebrated her 78th Birthday! She is a woman of distinction, a woman of style, grace and strength. I admire her in so many ways. I love her seasoned take on life. She boils it down to the important stuff like a magician. She can tell me “how it is” or “how it is going to be” in 12.5 seconds! I respect her position and advice, she has raised three boys, loved and lost her dear husband, managed a home, job and business. I trust her.

I am not sure she knows how much I learn from her as she is often simply sharing her life experiences, but to me…. My goodness…. The lessons learned… real life lessons….
  • My kids will only be little for a short time
  • Value all that my husband and I share, not everyone has our love
  • It is only a job, get over yourself!
  • Be polished, care for yourself, people notice
  • Be gracious, be brave, say what you mean, apologize when necessary
  • Be nosey, ask questions, follow up
I could go on and on because with almost every single visit we have, I learn something about myself or our world.

I hope at 78 years young I am just like our birthday girl!

  • Speaking about my husband with deep fondness.
  • Reading, visiting, doing puzzles and passing them on
  • Seeing the goodness in life and in others
  • Helping those who have less than me
  • Golfing in Florida
  • Wearing trendy jeans
  • And projecting a sparkling spirit of confidence that touches those around me.
I hope at 78, I am just like her – a woman of style, grace and strength. Not afraid to tell some almost 40 mom, wife and sister what is truly important in life ( in less than 12.5 seconds…..) Happy Birthday Friend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Six word Memoir

Recently I heard a fun NPR story about the six word memoir project. Have you heard of this? Visit to learn more. It is based upon a simple statement and a question.
Everyone has a story. Can you tell yours in six words?
Its fun to play with…. Here are a few of my first thoughts:
  • Love/chaos - figuring out blended families.
  • Partners - His loving keeps me sane.
  • Make your own f**** dinner!
  • Where did YOU put it?
  • In the blender surviving & thriving

Think about it and post a few of your rough drafts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Creative Ideas for Love on a Budget

The World’s Greatest Husband and I joked that our only date for the next 9 months will be a trip to the movies with the 6 out of ten free movie coupons we have left from his sister’s birthday gift last March. We did our taxes, and the results are not pretty.

While looking for cute, CHEAP Valentine ideas on the internet, I found the best source for fun, sassy and sexy ideas…. Love Check it out, you are going to love it!

Speaking of “cheap dates”…. Here is my real life, love actually tip for the money part of marriage…. The World’s Greatest Husband and I have what we affectionately call “money dates”. Honestly, I hate them, they are painful but they keep us on the same financial page. When we were first discussing marriage we identified money as an issue that we needed to partner on. We brainstormed and came up with the “money date”. Here are the rules: Have a money date once a week (ok, I am stretching that… I do try to avoid them if I can) Light a candle. Sit at the kitchen table. Balance check book, create a budget for the next week, look at bills, pay bills, discuss bills and yes on very rare occasions fight over the bills. And, although I don’t look forward to the business part of our little “money date” the social part that we promised to end with makes it all worthwhile. Wink…Wink….

Friday, February 12, 2010

The step mother is sometimes the last one to know...

On Thursday’s I leave work early to shuttle five children to several different activities. Here is a quick glimpse:
2:30 pm leave work 3:00 pm pick up kids 1,2 and 3 from school. 3:15 pm Zip home to change for gymnastics and pick up 8th grader who arrived by school bus. 3:30 pm  Fly over to the high school to pick up teenager and equipment from music club. 3:40 pm Deliver teenager back home to start homework. 4:00 pm Drive like a crazy mom to gymnastics with four out of five children. Make sure our little gymnast feels supported, wave and provide several thumbs up from the parent viewing area, manage homework for the three other kids, think about dinner, text World’s Greatest Husband for ingredients and his ETA. 5:15 pm Arrive home, read mail, start applicances any appliance – dishwasher, oven, washing machine – anything but the margarita maker. 5:15 pm Start dinner, in another post I can get into the specifics of this task- 7 people, picky eaters, you get the drift. 5:30 pm Referee a fight, a discussion, or a dilemma, this may be child 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or children 1 through 5. 5:45 pm Finish cooking and absolutely ask for homework progress reports as this determines if we will be up late with tears.6:00 pm Eat dinner as a family. 6:30 pm Convince children to participate in a chore while getting basketball uniforms on, school clothes picked out for the next day and backpacks packed for any additional homework that needs to be completed while watching the basketball game. 6:45 pm Arrive at gym for basketball: One game at 7p and another at 8pm. 9:00 pm Back home to start the bedtime routine. 10:00 pm Collapse into bed, kiss World’s Greatest Husband and snore.

Ok, so you think that is a full day, right? Well this past Thursday just to add a bit of blended family spice to our life… I couldn’t locate a kid….. Yep, you read that right. I couldn’t find one of our 4th graders. Standing in line at parent pick up – child one? Check. Child two? Check. Child three? Child three? Child three? Where is child three? Have you ever lost a kid at school? Let’s just say... a lot of people get involved … and do so lickety split.
Check the music room, maybe she is practicing recorder.
Check the office.
Stop the buses.
Call the classroom.
Call the wrong class.
Call the right class. … and then I hear the secretary say “Oh, that is right, double ear infection.” She hung up and said, "Oh yes, she was absent today." Why is it that the step mo is always the last to know?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Snow go away....

It’s coming… I guess we won’t be spared with this next storm. The only kind of snowman I really want to see is the kind you build on the beach. I’ll post “real pictures” as we experience the predicted WINTERPALOOZA!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Craft Space

The Craft Nook is ready for action. Okay, so it isn’t SPARKLING CLEAN but it is picked up and somewhat organized. I have been making book marks like a crazy woman. I’ll send you one if you are interested. I think I will be crafting during the super bowl. By the way, who is playing?
Don’t forget we are in the final days of the Paperly Gift Certificate Give-a-way! Sign on as a follower and be entered to win.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Creativity Keeps me Sane

“Craft time - is me time”... When I spruce up my little creative nook over the garage, I’ll post a photo. Most days the space would scare you. It’s never clean but I truly do know where everything is. It drives me crazy when my kids try to take over this sacred space, I can tell when a magic marker is moved or a piece of pretty paper is misplaced. It is the only place in this house that is “all mine” and honestly, I don’t want their paws on my expensive watercolors or colored pencils. We live in a big house; they can have the rest of it but give me the craft table please! I wanted to share my new little trinket …. Paper clip bookmarks. I’ve made dozens for friends and family. It is the creative therapy that I crave. On Saturday evening the World's Greatest Husband is working at the hospital, my kids are with their dad, my step children will be with their mom after we have dinner, and I feel a serious crafting session coming on…..

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Paperly - I hope YOU WIN!

Still time to win a $25 Paperly gift card. Sign on to follow me (over there on the right hand side) by Valentine’s Day and be entered to win a gift certificate. With many parties booked for February, a $25 gift certificate would be a great PRIZE to win!   

Karma is Boomerang

I am reading The Girl’s Guide to the Big Bold Moves for Career Success. It is a cute, quick boost of strength for a girlie that needs a little career coaching. My favorite little line in the whole book is “Hey, Girly Karma is Boomerang.” I love that and subscribe to that thought all the time!

Here is my personal example…. When experiencing the pain and heartache of divorce I traveled down the ugly road that many women have traveled. I felt paralyzed with fear and anger. I was looking at the world as if it failed me and my kids. It was not a happy time. With all the changes I struggled professionally, financially, and personally. That being said, sometimes divorce really is for the best. What I have now learned through experience is that a marriage and a relationship, are meant to bring out the best in you and children are more resilient than you think.

Ok -- fast forward… through each day I became stronger, less angry and more positive. It is sort of sad to admit, but my divorce allowed me to breathe deep again. My mother once described me as being robbed of my spirit, that was painful to hear but it was the catalyst to find it again. I felt change taking shape and one thing seemed to lead to another…. I was amazed at how situation after situation allowed me to stand taller, be braver, reflect and continuously move forward. I felt the Karma working in my favor.

For a woman who once thought she would never date again (who would be interested in me, mid thirties, two kids?) Well, BOOMERANG - I had one most spectacular Valentine’s Days of my life with three flower deliveries from three different men (Shhhh don’t tell the World’s Greatest Husband – it was early in our dating). BOOMERANG – I was feeling pretty darn desirable that day.

For a woman who once thought she was sort of stuck in a professional place for a while – Boomerang – new job, more money. – BOOMERANG – I was feeling smart and sharp that day.

For a woman who once felt tired and worn out…. BOOMERANG – more and more people started to see my spirit shining and I had more co-workers, family and friends telling me – you look so happy. Hmmm, I think that one was BOOMERANG LOVE and probably a little afterglow….

For a woman who was once afraid of owning a home on her own, I fixed things in my house. BOOMERANG – I can do anything. I can manage the snow, the grass, a broken washing machine and painting the basement.

I am not sure if any of this is truly Karma, is that even the right word? I guess my feeling is, when my life started to change for the better, I felt it and others did too, that lead to more strength and more positive things. Eventually I got my spirit back. When we put forth a positive spirit it returns in a big, big, way. If you approach the day with a positive outlook, knowing it is going to be a great day, making it a great day, most likely…. It will be a great day. LET THE KARMA BOOMERANG.


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