Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Still sick. I think I have a sinus infection because my head feels like it's going to explode! Not the vacation I had in mind...

As we (meaning me, Bailey & Carson Daly) get ready to count down to the new year, I've started thinking about resolutions. This year, I'm keeping it simple - I resolve to cherish myself. This starts and ends with being healthy and happy.

May the new year be an amazing journey for us all...




Monday, December 29, 2008

vacation, day 3

sick. sick. sick.
Not sure what I have, but it feels an awful lot like a head cold/sinus infection. It totally caught me offguard, especially since I didn't get sick at all last winter. I guess it's a combination of not enough sleep, stress at work, the holidays and the absolutely frigid weather we've had for the last couple of weeks.
I spent the first two days of vacation in the house. Although I should have been resting, I just couldn't bring myself to waste the days. So, Saturday I took down all of the Christmas decor and hauled it out tot the garage. Then, I power-cleaned the whole house. (This was brought on by the fact that I noticed an awful lot of dust all over everything.) A couple of errands later and I was spent.
Sunday was a wasted day. I can't even remember what I did? I think a lot of my time was spent in front of the computer, mindlessly surfing the 'net...
Today was not much better. I went out to Sundown for awhile, but felt like crap and came home after about three hours. Then, I spent nearly 6 hours downloading music from Limewire and loading it onto my MP3 player... http://www.limewire.com/ ;-) (Okay, another wasted day, sort of...)
Now, at 9:17 pm, I am exhausted and can only think about bed. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside!

1:24 pm - Eleven degrees below zero? Not a joke. We are experience blizzard-like conditions with blowing and drifting snow and a windchill factor of -37 degrees. No one in their right mind is going out today. What am I doing? Going to work, of course! More later...
9:00 pm - It's very windy. There are areas of blowing snow everywhere and there's a chance of flurries overnight with a near record low around 16 below. Wind chill readings to 39 below... Hope the car starts in the morning!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

saturday

After an incredibly full week, I am spent. Inventory at work came and went, and, although hugely stressful, everything came out great in the end and we met our goal and earned bonuses for everyone, including me! The only problem is that we have to wait until March for the check. :-(
Yesterday morning brought 12" of snow and I am very grateful that I did not have to go to work. In fact, I spent the entire day in bed, mostly due to the post-inventory celebration hangover from Thursday night... (Most of you know that I am not usually one to drink to excess, but things just got away from me and the empty stomach did not help.) But, hey, who doesn't deserve a day spent in bed napping and watching bad TV?
Today, much to my dismay, I have to go into work. There are a lot of things that got pushed aside due to inventory and I need to catch up. So, It will be a day spent in my office with the iPod headphones in, tuning out the world and plowing through paperwork...
Have a wonderful Saturday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

sunday afternoon

I spent the day at the scrapbook table catching up on pages that have been waiting to be completed. I finished three new layouts, and, although I'm not entirely happy with how they turned out, I know that there will never be a perfect page.
Here they are:




Now it's time to hit the shower and into bed early tonight. (It's inventory week at work and I have to be there by 5:30 am every day!) Can't wait for it to be over.
Goodnight!

holiday baking, part 3

I just finished making the last of my holiday treats. These meringue cookies are super simple and taste delicious. There are three important things to remember - 1) you must line your cookie sheets with aluminum foil or cover with a silicone baking sheet, otherwise they will stick; 2) crush the candy canes up really good because a fine dust is much easier to sprinkle over the tops and looks a lot better; 3) do not over bake, because you will ruin them. Here's the recipe:
Teresa's Peppermint Kisses
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar
6 candy canes - crushed into dust
Beat 3 egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar while beating until glossy. Continue beating until peaks form when beaters are lifted up. Place mixture in a large baggie and cut off a small corner. Pipe "kisses" onto a foil-lined or Silpat-covered cookie sheet. Sprinkle kisses with crushed candy canes. Bake 1 hour, 15 minutes in a 225 degree oven. (Time varies with humidity - check often after 1 hour.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

holiday baking, part 2

Today was another day of holiday baking. For the very first time, I attempted to make Grandma Pete's Date Pinwheels. I got the recipe last year, but ran out of time before I could make them. You have to cook the filling, make the dough and then roll it out, spread the filling on and roll it up like a jelly roll. After chilling the rolls for a couple of hours you just slice and bake them. It's a bit of a project. My cookies taste like Grandma's, but they do not look as perfect as hers did. I guess that was either from years of practice or the fact that she had Papa to slice the cookies with his electric knife. Here's the recipe:
Grandma Pete's Date Pinwheels
2 cups dates - cut fine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups flour
Make filling first - chop dates finely, add water and sugar and cook until thick. Set aside to cool.
Make dough - Mix shortening and sugars; add 3 beaten eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Flour hands and surface well. Roll 1/2 of the dough into a circle. Spread 1/2 of the filling onto dough. Roll up like a jelly roll and chill. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Chill both for a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice and bake on cookie sheets for 10-12 minutes.

this guy

My nephew Jacob is an amazing kid. At thirteen, one minute he's a silly little boy and the next minute he's a maturing young man. He's smart, funny and incredibly talented. He plays the cello in the school orchestra and sings in the church choir, two choirs at school and was just cast as 'Rum Tum Tugger' in 'CATS', the school's spring musical, a character usually portrayed as the feline equivalent of Elvis Presley or Mick Jagger.
Here's a video clip of one of Tugger's songs from the Broadway production: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4G8WMbmCJY&feature=related
It's a huge part and we're all very excited. Jacob has a really 'big' personality and loves to perform, so I know that he can pull this off. Can't wait to see him in action!

Friday, December 12, 2008

holiday baking, part 1

Today started with laundry, some quick housecleaning and a couple of errands to get out of the way so I could move on to the big project for the day - making Grandma Pete's version of Pfeffernuesse - small, hard, round cookies that have been a family favorite since before I was born. (The name translates into pepper nuts in German, Danish and Dutch, describing their spicy blend of cinnamon, cloves and anise.) The process involves bringing the wet ingredients to a boil, then cooling it off before adding the spices and flour. The, you have to chill the dough for a couple more hours before rolling it out into ropes, cutting and baking them.
I finished making the dough at about 2:00 and started baking about 5:00, finishing right around 7:30. My family is pretty excited that I have revived this holiday tradition and I received a couple of phone calls this afternoon to check on my progress...
Grandma Pete's Peppernuts:

1 cup molasses
1 cup dark Karo syrup
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon (not quite) ground cloves
1 teaspoon (a little more) cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground anise
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 T. vinegar
6 cups flour (more or less)
Heat 1st four ingredients to boiling point, then chill to cool. When cool, add spices, the soda dissolved in vinegar and finally the flour. Mix together to make a real stiff cookie dough. Chill.
Take pieces of the dough and roll into rope lengths. Slice ropes into 1/2 inch thick "peppernut" pieces. Spread pieces on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

rock star

Tonight was (my niece) Shelby's Winter Band Concert. I am so proud of this girl! She plays the bass guitar in the Jazz Band, the flute in the Concert Band and she's learning keyboard in her spare time! (In addition to that, she sings in the church choir, two choirs at school and was just cast in one of the leading roles in 'CATS', the school's spring musical.)

Anyway, they apparently did the same concert four times yesterday - once in rehearsal, twice during the day at school assemblies and again last night for friends and family. By the time the night was over, my little guitar hero had blisters on the middle three fingers of her right hand from playing the bass all day! She toughed it out though. What a little trooper!

Monday, December 8, 2008

thought for the day...

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
- Lao Tzu

Sunday, December 7, 2008

random

Long weekend. Yesterday was my last real day off for awhile. We have inventory next week at work, so the next two weeks will be spent working, eating and sleeping. Can't wait for it to be over...

I spent yesterday making the last of my Christmas cards, addressing envelopes and getting about 50 cards ready to mail. Not sure why I always send so many because I never receive that many in return. Habit, I guess. Either that, or I just don't want to leave anyone out. Not sure.

Weather has been super cold for December. Feels more like January or February. I can't seem to get warm. We're expecting a major snowstorm tomorrow afternoon/evening, either 3-5 inches or 5-7 inches, depending on how the storm tracks.

I'm starting to get a bit of a runny nose and feel a little achy, probably a sign of a cold or something coming on. It figures, with two super stressfull weeks coming up. Plus, the cold weather has every bone I've ever broken and every injury I've ever sustained throbbing. How much Tylenol Arthritis can you take before you puke?

I should have gone grocery shopping yesterday. The fridge is looking pretty bare - not much in there to pack for a lunch, I'm almost out of coffee creamer and there's only a couple of dog treats left, a sure sign it's time to panic. By the way, Coffeemate's Peppermint Mocha creamer has to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. If there was ever anything that could motivate you to drink and entire pot of coffee in under two hours, this is it! They should make it all year long; I wonder if it freezes...
I'm worn out. Time for a how shower and a warm bed. Goodnight.

Friday, December 5, 2008

my family

FAMILY [fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] - noun
1.parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.
2.the children of one person or one couple collectively
3.the spouse and children of one person
4.any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins
5.all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.


front row: niece Marqui, nephew Jacob, Mom, niece Shelby, niece Mallory
back row: brother John, brother-in-law Jeff, sister Mary, Me, brother Jim, sister-in-law Eydie

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melodie Beattie
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

everyone needs a little bella and edward in their life...

I read the books (all four in about a week); a modern day love story with a supernatural twist. I finally got to see the movie this afternoon and I love, love loved it! Can't wait for the next one!
Go see 'Twilight'!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

proud aunt

My niece Shelby had her band solo night last night. Here's a clip:


I couldn't be more proud!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

today...

  1. I stopped by my sister's house to look at the damage to her SUV - she hit a deer on the way home last night. (She's okay, but the Highlander's gonna be in the shop for a few days.)
  2. I went to work from 8am 'til 1pm - got a lot done; I love Sunday mornings - nobody bugs me.
  3. I ran some errands on the way home - PetSmart for dog food and Dress Barn for 3 new shirts.
  4. I wasted the whole rest of the afternoon doing absolutely nothing.
  5. I had shredded BBQ pork sandwiches for dinner.
  6. I took a long, hot shower.
  7. I procrastinated some more - the Internet is evil, LOL.
  8. I am now laying on the bed, watching 'Desperate Housewives'...

Monday, November 10, 2008

twilight







If you have not (or are not currently in the middle) of reading one of these books, you should be! Not since the Harry Potters have I been this into a story!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

game over

I was on pins and needles as the final seconds of the Iowa football game ticked away yesterday afternoon... My beloved Hawkeyes were down by 2 points and it did not look good. But, with one swing of his leg, a walk-on, part-time kicker from Iowa City kicked himself into Hawkeye history. Daniel Murray’s 31-yard field goal cut through a 25 mph crosswind and through the uprights with one second remaining, lifting Iowa to a stunning 24-23 victory over third-ranked Penn State.
It's a great day to be a Hawkeye!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

back to 'school'


It's official. I'm all signed up. In an effort to take my scrapbooking hobby to the next level, I've enrolled in an online class at www.JessicaSprague.com. Jessica is a contributing editor to Creating Keepsakes magazine, owner of a digital and hybrid scrapbooking education site, wife, mother and computer geek. I think she's amazing!
The class is really not about scrapbooking or about writing, but about the gathering process. About the remembering process. About collecting the experiences, big and small, that shape us and make us who we are. The stories worth telling. I can't wait!

tagged

I've been Tagged by my friend Rachelle, so here goes:

6 TV shows: Heroes, My Own Worst Enemy, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Survivor and The Unit
6 Things that happened today: my dad died 10 years ago, I talked on the telephone until 2 a.m., I watched a bunch of old home movies, I baked peanut butter cookies, I made chicken & dumplings and am now watching the Iowa Hawkeye football game
6 Things I am looking forward to: seeing the new 'Twilight' movie, Thanksgiving, getting past inventory @ work, Christmas and then, vacation
6 Things on my wish list: to lose 25 more pounds, to cure my Diabetes, to meet Mr. Right, to find a job that pays more and to win the lottery
6 People to tag: LouAnn, Amanda, Steph, Nikki, Jennifer S. and Erica

Sunday, November 2, 2008

what's for dinner?

Easy Layered Chicken-Black Bean Enchiladas

2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken from the deli
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 15-ounce can black beans drained & rinsed
1 4-ounce can chopped green chili peppers undrained
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack-colby cheese
1 8-ounce carton sour cream

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 11 x 7 inch glass baking dish with Pam. In a medium bowl, mix chicken, cilantro, black beans and chiles.
Spread 2 Tablespoons of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping as necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas; sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spoon half of the remaining enchilada sauce and half of the sour cream randomly over the cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, 1/2 cup cheese, the enchilada sauce and sour cream.
Cover with foil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

great news

Had some great news from the doctor today. It's been a year since I was first diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and, as many of you know, I have struggled with getting things under control. Finally, some positive results:
  1. I have lost 22 pounds since July!
  2. My A1C is down to 7.2 from 7.9 in July. (A1C is a picture of your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months and gives you a good idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.)
  3. The doctor says that if I get my A1C down below 7.0 I can reduce or cut out one of my medications.
  4. The doctor predicts that at my current rate, and if I'm 'fairly good over the holidays', I can lose 40 more pounds by the time I see him again in April. (We'll see about that one...)

So, in typical Teresa fashion, I came home and celebrated with pizza and a handful of Dark Chocolate M&Ms. (Oops!)

Back on the diet tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's okay, I'm from Iowa...

You know you're from Iowa if...

  • Vacation means driving through the Amanas or going to Adventureland.
  • Down South to you means Missouri.
  • You have no problem spelling or pronouncing "Des Moines".
  • You know the answer to the question: "Is this Heaven?"
  • You know where all the Yoders live (or Andersons, or Van den Bergs).
  • You know what "Hawks" and "Clones" are.
  • All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit or vegetable.
  • You can locate Iowa on the map.
  • You've ever been on a "Geode Hunt".
  • Your idea of a really great tenderloin is when the meat is twice as big as the bun and is accompanied only by ketchup and a dill pickle slice.
  • You say "catty-wampus" instead of "kitty-corner".
  • You've never taken public transportation.
  • You know what "uff-da" means and how to use it properly.
  • You know what "Amish Country" is.
  • The only reason you go to Wisconsin or Missouri is to get fireworks.
  • You know exactly where "Field of Dreams" was filmed.
  • When someone says they are going out for dinner or supper, you know which meal they are talking about.
  • You're pulled over and asked by the cop, "Had a little to much to drink, (insert your first name here)?
  • You can use the words, 'crik', 'holler', and 'skunk weed', all in the same sentence.
  • Your Christmas gift when you were ten years old was a shotgun (a BB gun if you were a 'townie').
  • You've had sex in the back of a truck ... amid cows.
  • You know that cows don't sleep standing up.
  • You're concerned about the rates of corn growth in Illinois as compared to that of Iowa's.
  • You believe that trees in Iowa lean towards Nebraska ... because Nebraska sucks!
  • You know several people who still refer to Japanese cars as "rice-burners."
  • "Styx" plays a concert at the county fair, and people actually show up.
  • You don't get nervous when you walk into a biker bar (unless you're an Iowa City cop).
  • You judge distance by the time it takes you to get somewhere instead of by miles.(Example: Des Moines is about an hour from Creston.)
  • You say pop instead of soda.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

it's a new car!

Remember how the announcer on The Price Is Right yells out, "It's a new car!"? Close your eyes, hear it in your head, and then have a look at my new baby! After many test drives, too many opinions of friends and family and some serious financial haggling, I finally brought home a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe. It's black w/ gray interior, has 65,000 miles on it, power everything including a sunroof/moonroof and a 6-disc CD changer. Both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates rank it really high on their list of best used vehicles. I love it, love it, love it! And, isn't the car salesman cute?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

crash and burn

Okay, nothing really caught on fire, but it might as well have. Last Tuesday I was 't-boned' at an intersection on my way to work and the Kia Sephia was totalled! Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, although I did make a trip to the hospital, as my head received a severe smash to the door frame. [I still wake up with a headache.] Two days later, I was salvaging my little baby at the junkyard for $300. How depressing! I made a visit to the bank, got approved for a car loan (tricky business in these economic times), and am now car shopping - yuck! Stay tuned for pics of my new ride...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

10 Albums to Hear Before You Die

  1. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
  2. U2 - The Joshua Tree
  3. Michael Jackson - Thriller
  4. Madonna - True Blue
  5. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  6. Billy Joel - The Stranger
  7. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
  8. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
  9. Prince - Purple Rain
  10. The Beatles - White Album

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Parade

Everyone headed downtown today to see Shelby march in the Labor Day Parade:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

8.23.08

Okay, if you want to watch a movie that's just so funny that you'll pee your pants, "Talledega Nights" is the one. I could watch it over and over again. Here's a clip from the bonus features:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

crafty weekend

I spent the afternoon getting caught up on the scrapbook. Here's my latest page:

rock the reception

I am now addicted to watching those crazy first dances at wedding receptions. I must have spent over an hour on You Tube today... (I know, I need to get a life.) There is even a TV show called "Rock the Reception" that helps people make it happen (http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/rock-the-reception/rock-the-reception.html).

Here's a look at my current favorite:

Friday, August 15, 2008

8.15.08

Wow! It's been awhile since my last post. I guess life sometimes gets in the way. Well, I have a new friend that I've been spending a lot of time with so that has kept me away from the computer. Plus, I'm going through a little bit of an 'injury crisis' - my left knee had been hurting for quite awhile now and the pain finally became unbearable, so I went to Urgent Care, only to find out that it's probably the early stages of degenerative arthritis. I followed up with Orthopedics, where they drained 2 full syringes of fluid out of my knee and shot me up with some Cortisone for some temporary relief (not much). I have to do 4 weeks of physical therapy and then back to the doctor to see if I'll need surgery. In the meantime, I'm supposed to rest it and ice it. This sucks! I hate being hurt!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

at the movies...

Went to the movies last night with my friend Jason and saw THE MUMMY 3: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR. It wasn't as good as the first one, of course, but still pretty darn entertaining. Have a look:

Friday, July 25, 2008

christmas in july


So, I stopped in Hobby Lobby after work and what before my wondering eyes did appear, but eight big fat aisles, jam-packed full of Christmas gear! 'Tis the season to begin thinking of the holidays, I'm afraid. Well, at least that's what our local retailers want us to believe. Personally, I want to savor the Fall before I even contemplate the Winter holidays.
What do you think? Are retailers way too quick to push the holidays on us? Or, is it okay to start thinking and planning this far in advance?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

at the movies...

Jacob and I went to see "The Dark Knight" last night and, in my opinion, this is the movie of the summer. Heath Ledger is just AMAZING as the Joker!
Warning: Rated PG-13, some images in this film are pretty disturbing. Even at 12, Jacob covered his eyes for some parts...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

7.13.08

Sunday morning. Vacation, Day 8. It's back to work for me tomorrow. I woke up this morning in a panic, wondering if I had done everything on vacation that I had wanted to do. Nothing jumped into my mind, so I guess the answer's 'yes'. Still, where has the week gone?
Today will be a regrouping day, getting ready to settle back into the routine of work. Today also starts the new and improved, low-fat diet, with pre-planned dinners of grilled lean meats and lots of fresh vegetables.
That being said, I need to start regrouping the laundry. Have a peaceful Sunday!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

7.12.08

Vacation, Day 7. Today was a typical Saturday. The Farmer's Market was in full swing with the biggest selection of vegetables so far this year. I loaded up on lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, radishes, fingerling potatoes, zucchini, green beans and sweet corn. The Amish lady that makes the most amazing jam was there and I couldn't resist - even though it's bad for my diet I brought home a jar of her strawberry/rhubarb jam and it's so yummy! As always, Bailey was with me, the weather was beautiful and we both enjoyed our morning adventure.
After I dropped Bailey and the vegetables off at home, I headed to the regular grocery store for some incidentals, stuff for lunches, dairy items and a trip to the meat counter. I stocked up on lean cuts of meat, chicken, chops and salmon fillets. On a side note, I paid $3.99 for a gallon of milk - ouch!
The rest of the day was uneventful. For some reason I was tired and felt the need for a 3 hour nap. Dinner was grilled salmon and fresh green beans, followed by a movie. How boring! But , very relaxing...

Friday, July 11, 2008

7.11.08

Vacation, Day 6. Last night was opening night for the latest "Kids-for-Kids" Musical at the Bell Tower Theater. This year, it's Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Jr., featuring Jacob as the King of Hearts and Shelby in an ensemble role.

The production was lively, witty and thoroughly enjoyable.

Of course, today I am busy scrapping pages for everyone to frame...








Thursday, July 10, 2008

7.10.08

Vacation, Day 5. My lazy day at home today started off with a breakfast of eggs, sausage and sourdough toast, followed by a nap. For lunch, it was a BLT on the same homemade sourdough. I know what you're thinking - sausage and bacon in one day? Well, guess who's in seventh heaven? (Actually, right now she's in a bacon-induced coma...)

The sky is overcast and clouds are looming again - we've had rainstorms on and off all day and, according to the weatherguy, a severe thunderstorm is approaching. Fine by me; I'm spending the afternoon with a book and a Beagle!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

7.9.08

Vacation, Day 4. I started with a visit to the doctor for bloodwork results - good news/bad news scenario. My 'A1C' (http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes/a1c-test.jsp), which is an average measurement of your blood sugar and should be around 6 if you are normal, is down to a 7.8. (Keep in mind that it was a 12.9 last October when I first found out that I had diabetes.) My doctor is very pleased and expects us to hit our target of 7 in three months. Yay! The bad news is that I've gained 7 pounds. Ouch! I have been so focused on carbs that I think I let fats and other things (peanut butter, cheese and veggie dip) get me. So I will have to focus on more exercise I think. I'm going to look into joining a gym if it's financially feasible. Then, it was a stop at the dentist to get a permanent crown cemented on and receive a bi-annual cleaning. Done deal, see ya in six months.
Had a bit of a toothache after the work on the crown, so it was home for a couple of hydrocodone and a nap! Dinner was a salad of spring greens, strawberries, mandarin oranges, almonds and cranberries - dressed with a creamy poppyseed dressing. I followed that with a grilled ribeye steak and baked potato. YUM!
Now I'm off to settle down with a book and a Beagle. Good night!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

7.8.08

Vacation, Day 3. Niece Shelby spent the night and we ran some errands this morning, picking up nephew Jacob on the way.
It's official, Bailey the Beagle is no longer a 'fugitive from the law'; we went to City Hall to get her a dog license. (Rumor has it the park rangers have been issuing tickets to unlicensed dogs at the Bark Park, so I thought I'd better make an honest dog out of her...)
Next was lunch at 'The Naughty Dog Coffee Bar & Deli'. This is a little cafe' downtown that has three different patios/decks for outdoor eating that are all pet-friendly. So, the 4 of us had a lunch of absolutely delicious homemade soups, salads and sandwiches. Yummy! Bailey, of course, enjoyed the whole experience - new people and other dogs to sniff and everyone was eating - a win-win situation for her! She was quiet in the backseat the whole way home, LOL.
We dropped Bailey off at home and headed to Bed Bath & Beyond for hangers of all things. (Okay, I cleaned out the closet the other day and donated a bunch of stuff to the Flood Relief Effort, but then went and bought some new shirts so I needed more hangers.) We finished up with a quick trip to Michaels, mostly to just kill a little time before I dropped them off at 'Alice in Wonderland' rehearsal. I've just had a short nap and a little snuggle-time with Bailey and now I'm off to go pick them up and take them home.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 7, 2008

7.7.08

Vacation, Day 2. I spent almost the entire afternoon today at the craft table. Every time Jacob & Shelby are in a play or musical, I do a scrapbook page that gets framed and hung in the family room at my sister's house. Well somehow this has snowballed and now both of the grandmothers need pages to frame and hang as well. So, I did three of the same page and they are ready to go. Thank goodness, because we have 'Alice in Wonderland' at the Bell Tower Theater this week!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

7.6.08

Vacation, Day 1. Today starts my 8 days of vacation and if I must say so myself, they are well deserved. I had to start the day at Lowe's for a quick meeting, but that's it until Monday, July 14th. Stopped at Perkins for Sunday breakfast with work-buddy Jason, a quick stop into Target for some health & beauty necessities and now I'm home and not afraid to admit that I'm going to go lay down on the bed and watch TV for the entire day. So, until tomorrow, dear blog readers...

Friday, July 4, 2008

go fourth and celebrate

No matter how you feel about the war, our president, the price of gas, or whatever may be bothering you - it doesn't matter today. Take a minute and think about how fortunate we are...

God Bless America and the men and women who defend her!

Monday, June 30, 2008

video of the day

The Evolution of Dance

(I know, it's an oldie, but still a goodie.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

paradise in a cup

Sitting here this morning and relaxing with a cup of 'Bananas Foster Float' coffee, part of my most recent shipment from Boca Java. It tastes like flamed bananas with cinnamon, brandy, and brown sugar!

For those of you who are wondering, "What the heck is Boca Java?", well it's a company in Florida that was "founded out of the pursuit for the perfect cup of fresh-roasted, gourmet coffee." I found out about it from my sister, Mary, who sent me a gift package from them when I still lived in Arizona. Whether your beverage of choice is coffee, tea, or chai latte, Boca Java has a great selection of quality products, including delicious gourmet coffees and teas in rich, exotic flavors.

You can purchase directly or join the Connoisseur Club, which is what I did - all you have to do is maintain a minumum order of 2 bags of coffee, which is automatically sent to you every 4/6/8 weeks, depending on what you want. Prior to each delivery, you get an email reminding you that a shipment is scheduled for delivery and a link to your account page in case you would like to update any information. You choose your coffee, delivery date and delivery frequency online. Best of all, you get a 10% membership discount and every time you order you earn 'Boca Bucks', which will translate into deeper discounts as you go along... My new thing is ordering gifts online, so this company fits the bill perfectly.

Here's a link: http://www.bocajava.com/

Now, on with my day!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

all about me...

These photos answer the following questions about me:

1. What is your first name? (Teresa)
2. What is your favorite food? (anything Cajun)
3. What high school did you go to? (Wahlert High School)
4. What is your favorite color? (green)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Johnny Depp)
6. Something you collect? (craft supplies)
7. Favorite dessert? (cupcakes)
8. Favorite flowers? (roses)
9. What do you love most in life? (my family)
10. One word to describe you? (dog-lover)
11. Dream vacation? (Disneyworld)
12. Your favorite holiday? (Christmas)


Okay, I cheated on question 10 and hyphenated... Thanks to my friend Jennifer Stewart for the idea! Visit her blog at http://www.jenniferstewarts.blogspot.com/

Here's how to do your own photo mosaic:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr Search.

b. Pick an image you like of the ones that pop up.

c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.(make sure your mosaic is 3 columns, 4 rows)

d. Right click on your mosaic and save it to photobucket, or your favorite hosting place.

e. Share it on your blog! The mosaic maker gives you the html to put under the mosaic on your blog so all of the links will show up....

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Photo credits:

1. The Shape Of My Heart, 2. crawfish, 3. Bus Gals, 4. ♫ YO Yo yo, there's no place like a green penthouse... so i told the genie i wanted to be well hung. ^o^ ♫ nah... wildlife from singapore♫, 5. Johnny Depp, 6. Art, 7. vintage tea set with cupcake, 8. rose, flower, 9. Day 27/365: Two years, 10. Jimi, mi perro - my dog, 11. castle, 12. candy tree

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

guilty pleasure

Here's something that's going to be just pure entertainment for me this summer. I have been watching the previews for the last month and laughing my ass off every single time. It's called "WIPEOUT" and premiers tonight on ABC:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

thought for the day...

My friend Leah sent this to me. Take a minute to read through it; it really makes you stop and think. Have a wonderful Sunday!
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Excerpts from: A Message by George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; fancier houses, but broken homes.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
- George Carlin

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

wednesday

As I continue to get caught up on my scrapbook I've completed another page this morning. This year my niece Shelby took up the challenge of playing bass guitar with the school's Jazz Band. I wanted to do a page to commemorate her first 'real' performance:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the power of a second chance

From msnbc.com:
"It’s a dog’s life. And for Leo it couldn’t be better.

Leo, rescued from heavy chains that confined him as one of the pit bulls in former NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring, is a lover, not a fighter. He now happily frolics in a clown collar as he makes the rounds at the Camino Infusion Center, where he brings comfort to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Animal advocates are divided over whether fighting dogs can be trusted to have new lives as pets or working dogs. It’s the age-old story of second chances. By living his, Leo helps tear down entrenched stereotypes that pit bulls are irredeemable killers."

> the complete story can be found at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25214356

Monday, June 16, 2008

I get around...

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

I'm quite the U.S. traveler, aren't I? Looks like I need to head southeast.
I have also been to Canada and Mexico (several times).
But, no matter where I'm going or where I've been,
I'm always happiest here in Iowa.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

crafty weekend

Here are my latest scrapbook pages...
Planning this page cracked me up. We were at a buffet on Mother's Day and my nephew Jacob decided it would be fun to take a picture of everyone taking a bite, so I let him have the camera and decided I'd work with whatever he shot - this is what I came up with. I decided that since there were so many pictures I would keep the embellishments simple.


This page was tougher. I wanted to commemorate the kids' school play, but didn't have good pictures of the production, so I focused more on them being in the cast with all of their friends.

Happy Father's Day!

I miss you Dad!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

lazy day

It's a beautiful day and we just got back from the Farmer's Market. Bailey is already down for the count and I was just inspecting my 'loot' from the morning - bread from the Sinsinawa Dominican nuns, a mini rhubarb pie from Moundside Bakery, fresh baby lettuce, tomatoes, radishes and green onions, honey from the apiaries in Potosi, WI and sour dill spears from the pickle guy. Whoo-hoo! Now, I honestly think I need a nap as well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

the race to higher ground

It just keeps getting worse! Rising water forced the evacuation of a downtown Cedar Rapids hospital Friday night after residents of more than 3,000 homes fled for higher ground. A railroad bridge collapsed, and over 400 city blocks are under water.
The water supply is at a critical level. The Cedar Rapids Water Department is currently only able to produce water at 25 percent of normal operation. City officials are urging residents to use water only for drinking, to use paper plates and avoid doing dishes or running a dishwasher. Residents are also being urged not to flush the toilet after each use, to use hand sanitizer rather than water to washing hands, and to avoid operating a washing machine.
Flooding also closed Interstate 80 from east of Iowa City to Davenport. The flooded Cedar River crosses the interstate in Cedar County, about 20 miles east of Iowa City. This re-routed interstate traffic is now coming through Dubuque. Gov. Chet Culver declared 83 of the state's 99 counties to be state disaster areas, and nine rivers were at or above historic flood levels.
Take a look:

Once again, please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Iowa Flooding

Dear Friends,

Sorry for not updating the Blog in over a week; I've been so busy. Many of you have called or emailed in the last couple of days to check on us. I just wanted everyone to know that we are absolutely fine! Yes, we have experienced several severe thunderstorms over the past few weeks, including a couple of real good tornado scares. But the flooding in Eastern Iowa that's all over the national news is not hitting Dubuque like many other nearby towns.

Downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was submerged Thursday by the rising Cedar River.
Around 100 blocks were under water, forcing some 10,000 people to flee.

The sad part is that many of the rivers have not even crested yet, meaning that it's not over by a longshot. I think the worst is yet to come... Anyone who wants to help should donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster you can say so at the time of donation.

Please keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Twister!

The National Weather Service said that the tornado that tore up half a town in northeast Iowa and killed seven people was the strongest to hit the state in 32 years. The weather service ranked it an EF5 - at the top of its scale.
Sunday's twister, three-quarters of a mile wide with winds of up to 205 mph, tore a path through Parkersburg, leveling over half of this little town 120 miles west of Dubuque. The storm continued on, with tornadoes touching down several times, with the last big funnel cloud being seen near Manchester, about 45 miles west of my house.
Bailey and I spent the better part of the night listening to the sirens, watching the storm track on TV and wondering if we were seriously in danger. (I actually started packing an emergency bag!) Luckily, the storm veered north and all we got was a severe thunderstorm.

Please keep the storm victims in your prayers...

Memorial Day

Sunday, May 25, 2008

in the kitchen...


I love my crock pot! Here's what's cookin' today:


Slow Cooker Pot Roast

1 T olive oil
1 (3#) chuck roast
4 carrots, sliced
4 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3/4 C water

1. In large skillet, heat oil & brown roast
2. Arrange vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker; top with roast.
3. Combine soup mix with water and pour over roast.
4. Cook on LOW 8-10 hours.
5. To thicken gravy, stir in 1/4 C water, blended with 2 T all purpose flour. Cook on HIGH until thickened.

at the movies...

It's been 19 years since Indiana Jones has lept across the big screen, but it was worth the wait! Go see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! Although it was no Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was still great entertainment. You'll love it!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pet Diaries

I got this from my sister, a 'cat person'. I have no idea where she found it, but I think it's hilarious!
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary:
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Diary:
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards! There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage. Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

Friday, May 23, 2008

my niece, the rock star

Shelby had a Jazz Band concert this afternoon. They were supposed to play downtown at the Town Clock Plaza, but relocated to the mall due to the threatening rain clouds.
It was so fun to see her play the bass guitar! Of course, I was snapping photos, envisioning the next scrapbook page... (She's the one on the right.) If you look over her right shoulder, you can see our family front and center!
What fun!

Monday, May 19, 2008

in the kitchen...

This was last night's dinner. Fifteen minutes of prep time and bam, dinner! It was good; not too spicy...
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Speedy Mediterranean Chicken (serves: 4)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 16-ounce jar thick & chunky salsa
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup honey
1 deli rotisserie chicken cut into pieces, skin removed

1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in curry powder. Cook over medium heat 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken. Add chicken; turn to coat.
3. Cover; cook over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes, turning chicken occasionally, until sauce is bubbly and chicken is thoroughly heated. Serve with brown rice or couscous.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Guys and Dolls

Last night was the local middle school's production of 'Guys and Dolls'. I attended because (niece and nephew) Shelby and Jacob were in the cast and had been working on this for almost the entire school year. It was a fun evening and all of the kids did a great job. Now, here's the part I don't understand: before the curtain rose the director made an announcement that no photographs or video would be permitted during the performance because "the contract we signed with New York forbids it". Apparently, when they bought the rights to produce this musical, they got a cheaper deal if they promised not to allow photographs or video... It's junior high, for goodness sakes! These kids have been practicing for the last seven months. Entire families have rearranged schedules to work around rehearsals. For the last two months the kids have stayed after school until 5:30 pm every day to work on this production, causing families to pick them up at school because the bus is long gone. The kids have worked hard and parents have sacrificed and nobody gets a picture of the kids in action? Doesn't seem fair to me... What do you think?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

at the movies...

Go see Iron Man. It's hip, funny and action-packed!
What a comeback for Robert Downey, Jr. He was amazing!


Friday, May 16, 2008

What a week!

Okay, I'm a bad blogger, but it's been a mentally draining week, mostly because of work. Let me recap for you:

Saturday - I worked half the day, but left at noon because my computer was jacked up and I couldn't really get anything done. (Brother) John came into town that afternoon and we met up at 4:30 Mass to see the last performance of the kids' choir. After that, we picked up some pizza and hung out at (sister) Mary's house for the evening, eating pizza and watching 'Cloverfield' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloverfield).
Sunday/Mother's Day - I worked another half day and then the entire family met for brunch at Catfish Charlie's (http://catfishcharliesdubuque.com/). Yummy! Afterwards, we hung out at Mary's for the afternoon. I headed home about 4:00 to spend time with the Beagle (yes, I was feeling a little guilty), and then, of course, there was the season finale of Survivor: Fans vs Favorites... I cannot believe that Parvati won, but I guess she was the most devious and manipulative, wasn't she? After all, wasn't it her idea to get rid of Ozzy?
Monday - Without boring you with all of the details, let's just say that work is kicking my ass these days. I am incredibly busy; I feel like one of those people who spins plates on sticks and is running back and forth to keep all of the plates spinning... The tech from NCR came to fix my computer, so at least that's back on track. Home, exhausted, early to bed.
Tuesday - Work, work, work. Then, it was off to Shelby's band concert. She played the flute in the regular band and this was her first performance playing the bass guitar in the jazz band. She was pretty good; my little niece is turning into a rock star! Home, exhausted, bed.
Wednesday - My day off, so of course it was laundry and cleaning the house first thing in the morning. My friend, Leia, drove up from Worthington with Chopper, her 2-year-old male Beagle and it was off to the Bark Park. It was a beautiful day, so we let the dogs run for almost 2 hours. Then it was home for a much needed nap.
Thursday - Work, work, work. Home, walk the Beagle, dinner, 'Ugly Betty', 'Grey's Anatomy' and then pass out.
Friday - Work, work, work. Today was a good day; I got a lot done and made a big dent in the pile of research that I'm working on. Home at 7:30, walk the Beagle, and now I'm looking forward to my weekend off. This is the weekend of the local middle school's production of "Guys and Dolls", featuring, of course, (niece & nephew) Shelby and Jacob. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guys_and_Dolls {Watch for my complete review later this weekend.}
Well, faithful readers, that's my recap of the week. I know it doesn't seem that busy, but that work piece is wearing me out, causing everything else to seem hectic.
Good night!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday morning...

Another day off, another load of laundry. I'm pretty tired this morning. Last night was (nephew) Jacob's final orchestra concert of the year and after that I decided to go grocery shopping. I haven't done a 'big grocery list' for quite some time so I hit every single aisle and really stocked up. I got home at 10:30 but then had to carry all of the bags into the house. What was I thinking? I was exhausted! Bailey was pretty excited to see about a month's worth of her favorite dog food pouches though. I can always count on her, LOL. She was right there with me, bag for bag, while I brought it all in and put it away. She loves to look in all the bags and I think she's convinced that I'm going to just slap a steak or roast down onto the kitchen floor for her. Silly little girl!
I finally collapsed into bed around midnight, but then remembered that I had to watch 'Survivor'. Did you see it? Erik giving his Immunity Idol necklace to Natalie had to be the absolute dumbest Survivor move ever! OMG! What an IDIOT! Here's a look at list night's Tribal Council:


Enjoy your day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Soggy Saturday

Another chilly and rainy morning. Yuck! I decided to go to the Farmer's Market anyway, just to get Bailey out of the house. What a dissappointment - there were only about 10 vendors set up in what is usually several blocks crowded with booths. We did visit each booth, though, just to see what vendors were offering this morning. Most of the selection involved greenhouse plants to take home and start your garden with. There weren't many fruits or vegetables yet - (obviously the growing season is just starting), but there were plenty of homemade baked goods, LOL! I broke down and bought a little mini rhubarb pie, which I will savor, bite by bite, for the entire weekend.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 2, 2008

TGIF!

Whew! Long week! Now I remember why I like working a couple of days and then having a day off and then working a couple more days... I am dead tired. Still, it's 7:15 pm and I've got the laundry going and have already made a trip to the grocery store for milk, bread, etc. Tomorrow will be a big day:
  • It's opening day of the Farmer's Market (Bailey and I will be heading out first thing)
  • It's Mary's birthday and she wants a family afternoon @ the movies (I think we are seeing Ironman)
  • Birthday festivities will continue with dinner out somewhere...

I'm afraid to lie down before the laundry is done because I think I will probably fall asleep immediately! I guess I'd better get up and straighten up the house while I wait for the dryer. Have a good evening...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Wow, May 1st! Hard to believe that it's May already... I'm working a mid-shift today, so I'm spending a little time at the computer (with a cup of coffee, of course.) CoffeeMate has come out with a 'Special Edition' flavor - Cinnamon Buns. It's my new favorite!
Last night, Mary, the kids and I went over to Mom's to help her move furniture and vacuum all of her nooks & crannies. Personally, I didn't see any dirt, but she can't move the furniture by herself and I think that watching us clean makes her happy in some sick, twisted way, LOL. (I remember when we were little we used to have to clean up before the cleaning lady came...)
I'm off to get ready for work. Have a great day!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Simple Sunday

It's another lazy Sunday. I got up early, 'kidnapped' Jacob and Shelby and took them to breakfast at Village Inn. After that, we took Bailey some leftover eggs and then decided that she would like to go to the Bark Park. So off we went. We let her run for a good 45 minutes and then Bailey and I dropped the kids back off at home and headed for home ourselves. Bailey immediately started her morning nap and I started making some greeting cards. Mary's birthday is later on this week and I realized that I'm low on cards. Plus, I'm thinking of wrapping up a stack of cards to give to Mom for Mother's Day. (You know how moms love that handmade stuff!) So, I've been sitting at my craft table all afternoon, making cards and watching movies on Lifetime... (Yes, the Lifetime Network!) Here's a sample of what I've done so far:

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!