Dec 31, 2008

Resolutions – December 2008

Note to Reader: I have NEVER done New Years resolutions before! In the past I’ve thought they were sort of silly. Why wait till the New Year to make changes when you could be progressively improving yourself all year long. However, for some reason, this year, I feel differently.

So here’s my first attempt at resolutions. In no particular order, all of these have a theme of self improvement.

  1. Make eating a healthy breakfast a priority. - Chips and a can of Coke is NOT healthy! (A side note on this one is that I am also giving up caffeine!!!)
  2. Stop biting your finger nails! – For the nine hundredth time!
  3. Exercise more. - Start walking or running at least 4 days a week and start taking ballet classes again.
  4. Cook more. – This cook book should help Supper’s on the Table – Come Home by Rachel Masters
  5. Stop forgetting to put my receipts in the folder so they can be entered into the spreadsheet. - This drives the Hub CRAZY!
  6. Start cutting coupons! – Katie says that she saves a TON of money by doing this and saving money is GOOD!!!.
  7. Read the paper each day (or at least on the week days). – It’s important to know what’s going on in the world beyond Prez Hilton.
  8. Read the Bible and pray more often. – These are more important than the news paper!
  9. Do more craft projects! – The feeling of accomplishment surprised me. I honestly feel that crafting has boosted my self esteem.
  10. Learn to be a better listener and STOP interrupting! – Other people like to talk and it will do me good to shut my mouth and open my ears with an open mind.

I think that I will try to revisit this list through out the year to make sure I’m on track, or to recommit to ones that I’ve strayed from. Wish me luck!

What are your New Years Resolutions?

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Dec 29, 2008

Elevator Poot!!! - December 2008

Note to Reader: There are some things you just shouldn't do... This is one of them!

Additional Note to Reader: This subject, as my parents would tell me when I was little, is not conversation for the dinner table. My response was and still is, "It depends upon whose dinner table you are eating..." But I digress. ..

A couple of days ago I was returning from my last meeting before leaving for the weekend. The meeting had been on the 5th floor, and I was standing in the elevator lobby waiting with one other person, we’ll call him “B”, to be picked up and returned to our respective floors. The bell rings, the doors slide open and three men hurry out laughing. One wave to me and smiled and I recognized him as the manager of one of my good friends. I said “hey”, waved back and then followed “B” onto the elevator. We pressed our floors, his B2 and mine Lobby and just before the doors slid shut we saw those three men, still laughing, turn to take the stairs. We looked at each other in confusion, but in less than a moment we realized what we’d stepped in to… LITERALLY!!!

Instinctively, we both cupped our free hands over our nose and mouth. Without thinking I pressed the button for the 3rd floor.

“This is just WRONG!!!” - “B” said.

All I could do was nod my head in agreement as my eyes began to water. It was AWFUL!!!

FINALLY the doors slowly opened onto the 3rd floor and we tumbled out, and before the woman waiting had the chance to enter the car, “B” put his hand on her shoulder, looked her straight in the face and said “You’re gonna want to take the next one.” She nodded somewhat bewildered. “Trust me,” he said, and repeated “You’re gonna want to take the next one.” I’m sure that woman will never understand the full extent of what “B” did for her that day, but let this be a lesson to others.


Those guys getting off the elevator knew good and well what they’d done. That’s why they were laughing when they made their speedy escape. How hard would it have been to say “Stan pooted in that one you may want to take the stairs”? Or, they could have blamed it on someone else if that floated their boats. “Someone, which definitely wasn’t one of us, pooted on that elevator. For your own health and safety, do not go in there.” How hard would it have been to give a little Public Service Announcement?

We have these things at work called ERT codes standing for Emergency Response Team where they get on the loud speaker and say “E.R.T. Code – Whatever (number one through 10) ---”. Some codes mean someone has collapsed. Some are just a test. There are all sorts. Then someone on the Emergency Response Team does what is needed to fix the emergency. There should be an E.R.T Code for this sort of thing, because let me tell you… or do I even have to, Poot and runs should be against the law!

Till next time!
Bon Voyage

Dec 28, 2008

Crafty Christmas Cards - December 2008

Note to Reader: Okay, as you may know, I’m a pretty creative person, but I’m not always the best at turning creative thoughts into actions. A lot of times they stay thoughts, but every once in a while, I like to “get my craft on!” This Christmas was one of those times. Contributing factors may have been that I haven’t done anything crafty in some time, combined with the fact that due to interviews, the Hub has been away more than he has been here.

So there I was admiring my good friend Nancy’s Christmas card from this year (which BTW I received on December 5th… Dude, she was on the ball!) And also admiring my friend Sarah Dime’s card from last year (handmade and SUPER cute) and I got to thinking; this can’t be too hard to do myself. My criteria were that I wanted it to be handmade (like Sarah’s card), look very classy yet simple (like Nancy’s card), and have a photo of the hub and I, like both inspiring cards. Another reason for the photo is that my dear friend Robyn told me the she never keeps christmas cards unless there are photos of the couple on them and to be quite honest... I wanted her to keep our card! Oh and one more thing, the handmade cards must cost less than printing photo cards at XXX’s Club.

So after outlining a tentative design in my head, I got up early Saturday morning and hit the XXX-Mart, printed 75 photos (the Hub and I have big families and lots of friends far far away that we hardly ever get to see). After happily and leisurely wandering through the aisles for about an hour and a half (something I NEVER could have done while shopping with the Hub), I not only had all the tools necessary for my project I’d come in UNDER budget by $10.00! I really had a TON of fun making these cards. The best part was that when my sister arrived for the holidays I put her to work and after a last minute run to the store for tape and after calling several relatives for addresses that were nowhere to be found. The project was a HUGE success!

So here’s my first attempt at a tutorial.
I used:
75 pgs Black Card Stock
75 pgs White Card Stock
75 3x5 photos
1 Holiday Themed Punch (I chose a snow flake)
2 rolls Double Sided Scotch tape
1 Red Sharpie Marker
1 Green Sharpie Marker
1 silver gel pen
1 Glue Stick
1 slide paper cutter

Start with 1 page of black cardstock.

Fold in half and smooth fold so card lays flat. (The side of the Sharpie Marker works GREAT for this.)

Punch a design into the front of the card and set aside for now. (This design will eventually show through as a white design.)

Using a paper cutter, cut one page of white card stock in half. (One half will be the Photo Mat and the other half will be the white insert inside the card.)

Stick photo to half page of white Card Stock.

With paper cutter, trim the cardstock around the photo leaving about a ½ in. boarder. Then stick matted photo to the front of the card above where the designs were punched.

Trim ½ in. from around the edge of the insert page. (I also punched an additional snowflake into the top center of the insert page.)

Glue or tape the insert page to the inside of the card.

Write a colorful message on the inside of the card.

Add any additional personal touches. (I added our monogram in silver gel pen on the back. Oh so PRETTY!!!)

The card is now ready to be slipped into an envelope, addressed, stamped, and mailed off for friends and family to enjoy! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Dec 24, 2008

WE WON!!! WE REALLY REALLY WON!!! - December 2008

For the last three years, The Hub and I have played in a Fantasy Football league. Our team is called the Knoxville Rods. Even though we don’t live there anymore, the Knoxville part is because we feel that it is very important to pay homage to the place we met, a city we love and to all of our friends that are still there. The Rods part is because we are silly and if you’ve been reading this blog long, you’ll know that one of the many nick names we have for each other are J-Rod and T-Rod. (I REALLY can’t remember where these names came from.)

Note to Reader: Truth be told, The Hub actually does all the work on the team. I am really just a cheerleader, which is a pretty important job I think!
Anyhow, in case you can't read the text in the image:
“The Knoxville Rods won the Etons Finest Championship by a score of 86 to 75 over Who Am I. Phillip Rivers led the team in scoring in the championship round and he also led the team in scoring for the season. Congrats again to the Knoxville Rods on a terrific Fantasy Football season. Hope to see you all again next year!”

Keep watching for updates on other football related news that matters to our little family. Every year there is a friendly wager between the Hub and I on who can pick the most wins throughout the NFL season and play-offs. The one of us with the most wins at the end of the Super Bowl wins. This years wager is that the looser must, from their spending money, take the winner out to The Melting Pot and wash the winner’s car.

Additional Note to Reader: Currently I am 5 games up… Stay tuned!!!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Dec 22, 2008

Adventures in the Windy City! - Chicago, IL - December 2008

Note to Reader: I need to start by saying “Thank You” to everyone that gave me tips for the City of Chicago. With as busy as my work schedule was I really didn’t have very much free time, but because of all of the great tips I got, I was really able to see more than I thought I would. But a big thanks to Manuel for recommending that I swap my hotel the last night and stay in the city. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have had time to do any of the tourist stuff. My total Chicago experience would have been in the stores of the company I work for and through the windshield of a car, which, as you can see, doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

After chatting with M, I got on and found a GREAT rate on the hotel that he and another of our co workers stayed when they came here last, and so for the final night of my stay I switched from the Country in and suites on the outskirts of the city to the Club Quarters right in the heart of downtown on W. Adams Street. One of the neatest looking hotels I’ve ever stayed in. VERY European (I think, but I'd have to defer to Mrs. Sabbe Spot the interior designer to be sure)! Check out the pics. There were watter bottle dispencers in the hall way!?We had dinner at the Elephant & Castle restaurant in the lobby of the hotel and called it a night a little bit early because I had a mission for the next morning. My plan was to, at the crack of dawn, head down to Millennium Park to find “The Bean”. So I set my wake up call for 5:00am and hit the sack. It took about 2 hours to actually fall asleep because I kept jumping up to study the walking map and plan my rout. I’m not kidding; I was almost as excited as a kid the night before Christmas. I was going to explore the city!!!

The ringing of my wake up call pulled me from my dreams and I was jolted into action. I had 3 hours before I was being picked up from the hotel and I had a lot to accomplish. I leapt from the bed and on my way to the shower I discovered that somehow, my conditioner had lost it’s cap (were talking completely disappeared off the face of the planet) and had spilled all over my plastic airport regulated clear plastic 1 quart reusable bag, but it didn’t even phase me. I was too pumped to let something like that get me. I just ran a sink full of warm water and dumped the contents of the bag in to soak, trashed the bag and jumped into the shower and used the complementary watered down 2-in-1 stuff the hotel left for me in my room.

Once out of the shower I flipped on the local news for the weather and dressed in the warmest clothing I brought. I glanced at the clock 5:45am, looked out the window, still pitch black. Hummm… “Come on sun, time to get up!!!”

FINALLY!!! At about 15 till seven the sun began peeking, and I was through the beautiful lobby and out the sliding glass doors. Four blocks east under the ‘L’ tracks (which by the way I NEVER got to ride) to Michigan Ave., turn left and up one block and into Millennium Parkthey said, “you cant’ miss it” hmmmm… looks like I am missing it… Granted it’s still so early that the faces are sleeping, but where’s the BEAN? Up a set of steps, down a set of steps I still can’t feel that it’s cold out because I haven’t stopped moving since I left the hotel, and then I spot it…! Through the trees it’s peeking out at me. I can honestly say that my heart leapt. I was so worried that I’d built this thing up to be so glorious and then when I saw it in person it wasn’t going to hold up to what I’d created in my mind, but it did! It really really did!!!

I was snapping a couple of pictures when a nice park employee in a GIGANTIC yellow coat came up to me and said, “Would you like a picture taken with the sculpture?”

“Yeah, that’d be great” I said.

“Well ma’am, if I take your picture, I’m going to have to ask that you put your glove back on” he said.

“Oh,” I said, slightly surprised. “Well, it’s a mitten, but sure”. I slid my hand deep into the warmth of the mitten and practically skipped (yes like a little girl) over to the enormous mirrored bean. After trying to find a cool way to stand, which I discovered doesn’t exist when you are dressed in a puffy winter coat, snow boots, and a hat that makes you look like you are about to go rob a bank, I put my mittened hands on the shiny surface, smiled, and waited what felt like 35 min as my teeth froze together, for the dude to snap the picture.

When I reclaimed my camera, he informed me that the reason he’d asked me to put my mitten back on is because when the temperature gets this low, they have had several people freeze themselves to the bean. OH MY!!!

Come to find out, it was four degrees!!! With the mention of the temp I began to shiver a little, and a glance at the clock, revealed that I needed to get moving. I snapped a few more pictures in the park and started walking toward the lake, but by the time I got within a block of it, the wind was blowing so bad that I had to hold onto the street light post to keep from being blown back. By then my legs were completely numb, and I decided that this was close enough for this trip. I glanced at my watch again and not for time sake, but in order to keep moving, I pretty much ran the almost eight blocks back to the hotel.

Even now, as I am sitting in the airport gate, with the sum pouring through the windows warming my still slightly numb legs, I can’t help but smile as I remember the adventures of this morning. Waking up early was worth it, and even though it really was just under an hour, it was enough to get a taste of a really great city that I’d love the chance to get back to. I think I’d like to go back with The Hub in the warmer months, but to be quite honest, even in the cold; this city is one of the coolest cities I’ve gotten the chance to visit.

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Dec 16, 2008

More Wandering Hubby - Baltimore MD - December 2008

This came to me by way of the hub's blackberry while he was on a tour of the facility. Enjoy!

"What are they studying at Hopkins anyway?"
I literally laughed out loud. The funniest part to me is that over half of the name / number slips are torn away! What's up with that? Hmmmm...???

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Dec 8, 2008

The Wanderer gets Tagged – Houston, TX – December 2008

This one was actually a pretty cute one. I was tagged by my friend Kristin check her blog out HERE.

Here’s how this one works.
1. Choose the 4th picture folder on my computer
2. Choose the 4th picture
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag 4 people to do the same

The 4th folder in my Picture folder is titled “Kitties”. This picture is titled “Lovin’ the New Rug”. This picture is one of my four legged babies, Malchik (means “boy” in Russian). About 6 or so months ago I bought this rug from my friend Anna before she sold it on Craig’s list, and I wanted her to see for herself how much the kitties liked it. Although this is the 4th picture, I feel that to be fair I have to include the 5th. This is Kitty Sticks lovin’ the new rug. They both say “THANKS ANNA!!!”

And now for the fun part,... I tag Sara Dime, Sarah S, Suzanna, Mrs. Sabbe Spot, Manuel, and Thomas! (I couldn't choose just 4... I suck at rules!)

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Dec 3, 2008

"My New BFF" - Chicago, IL - December 2008

Note to Reader: Please don’t judge me for this blog. Please remember that I’m over 300 miles away from the Hub and it makes me a little crazy and I don’t always have the best judgment when it comes to my choices in television shows.

Additional Note to Reader: Again, please please please don’t judge me!!!

So there I was sitting in another totally upgraded hotel room eating my dinner at the coffee table and there is nothing on television. I mean NOTHING!!! I’m flipping past PBS, some sort of nature channel, Spanish soaps, American soaps, The local news… normally this is seriously depressing stuff, so I don’t like watching it in the city I live in, so being in Chicago, I’m not about to watch someone else’s depressing news.

So there I was, without anything to watch and flippin’ channels like an addict lookin’ for a fix and I stumbled upon a girl crying her eyes out as she is staring into a television screen. I freeze. It’s like a train wreck. I can’t turn away! What is wrong with this poor girl? Is she in jail? Has she lost something important? Did her dog die? Did she loose her engagement ring in a hotel down the shower drain? (That really happens you know!!!) Maybe she is on one of those spouse swapping shows… Hmmm…???

Immediately, I start looking for context clues. What channel am I on? Hmmmm hotel channel 18… that’s no help! The channel guide is across the room and I am so not getting up off my couch to go all the way to the desk and look up channel 18. So I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to wait for a commercial to figure it out when my cell rang. IT WAS THE HUB!!!

So with the volume down I am happily conversing with my better half, who BTW has had laryngitis for is past two interviews. (Total suckage!) So it’s probably not hard for you to imagine that I was doing most of the talking. I was really only half watching what was going on on the screen while we were chatting it up, when all of the sudden, 8 letters appeared in pink in the bottom left corner of the screen. “My New BFF”.

Did you realize that Parris Hilton created a reality show to try to find a new best friend!!!??? What on earth is this all about? There’s a fan club and a web site. The show comes with a thrown and all the Pepto pink carpet and drapery they could find on earth. So there was a marathon this evening that lead up to the final show where she has to pretty much break up with one of the two BFF finalists and by doing that, she announces to the world who is going to be her new BFF. My head hurts with the drama and tension. But as I said before, it was like a train wreck I couldn’t change the channel!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!! Lets just say that while I was finding out that Britney was Parris’s new BFF and she was kicking Natalie to the curb, (which I think was the total wrong choice on principle alone), I crocheted two brand new sections into my baby blanket. It seams that mindless television is good for something. Lord please help me!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

The "L" - Chicago IL - December 2008

Tomorrow I ride the "L" for the first time EVER!!! I am SOOOOOOOO excited!!! Today I just saw it from a far through the snow, in the night... (see image for proof)
Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Dec 2, 2008

Wandering Hubby – Baltimore, MD – December 2008

Got a text from the Hub today with the below message. It made me laugh out loud!!! I couldn’t help but share. I honestly think this is more fun than Gossip Girl!!! (Not that I watch it… ummm… yeah… =)…)

“Baltimorians are so nice. Here is a nice man offering to wash windows for pennies outside my hotel window. “ – The Hub

The cool part about the Hub being on the watch for great blog material is that it's like being in two places at one time. Plus, I really think he’s better at this than I am.

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!