Monday, March 31, 2014

And the Winner is....

Jane! Congratulations!

Just email me your address and I'll get your Easter banner in the mail to you!
orgnz4u@comcast.net

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Weekend Alone

Butch left to go fishing with his brother on Thursday. I had no responsibilities except to feed Butch's fish. That doesn't happen very often---where I get a weekend to myself. I planned to take full advantage of it.

 I had my friends over on Friday night. We watched Dallas Buyer's Club. I'd heard nothing but how good it was. Personally, I thought it was pretty depressing. I agree that Matthew M. was excellent---even though I don't particularly care for him. It was a good movie, but not the type I would consider great. I'm in the minority on that.

I scrapbooked on Saturday and organized some photos. I read quite a bit in the afternoon. I'm reading The Hiding Place---which is excellent---true story about a family that hid Jews during WWII. I hope to finish it today.

I didn't make my bed and I stayed in my pajamas all day, yesterday---except for when it was actually time to go to bed. I put on some clean jammies to sleep in. I just couldn't get in to bed with the ones I wore all day. Wearing them all day made them more like regular clothes.

I watched/listened to a couple of episodes of Upstairs/Downstairs while I was scrapbooking. In the evening, I watched The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I like anything Dickens. While watching the movie, I messed around updating my Gypsy and did some stitching.

Today, I plan to do a little more scrapbooking, pay the bills and print a few photos. Butch should be home mid-afternoon. I've thawed spaghetti sauce, so dinner is covered.

Oh, and don't forget, Season 3 of Call the Midwife starts tonight at 7p.m. It's another show that I love. Even if you've never seen it before, you can start watching it. Each episode is an individual story. You can get to know the characters going forward. It's based on the journals of a nurse/midwife during the 1940's in London (actually, I think we're in the 1950's now). It's on PBS.

Here are a couple of recent layouts---although they are not the ones I did yesterday.
 One of my Project Life layouts. I'm going to do my March layout tomorrow.


All in all, it was a fun weekend---actually, an ideal weekend. If you could do anything you wanted for a whole weekend, what would that be?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Little Easter Project and a Give-Away!

Tomorrow night is when my friends are coming over for a girl's night. Originally, I had planned to teach them "arm knitting." But, when I tried to teach myself, I found it a bit too confusing for some of my "non" crafty friends. Plus, I did not like the finished results. I decided to scrap that idea.

This week, I came up with something else. I decided to make an Easter banner. I had a picture in my mind of bunnies frolicking. The first thing I did was to go to my Gypsy to see if I had an image of a bunny on one of my Cricut cartridges. I didn't.

Next, I went to the internet and typed in: "bunny images." Thousands popped up---many had a charge associated with them. I changed my search to "free bunny images." I still had pages to go through. I finally found this one and sized it the way I wanted.
I printed it out and made a pattern. I headed off to JoAnn's to find fabric.

Now keep in mind, I do not sew. I have a sewing machine that I bought specifically for my scrapbooking. I used it and enjoyed it until the bobbin thread ran out. It was like that for a year because I knew I needed to get the book out to figure out how to fill the bobbin. I just never seemed to get around to it. Last December, a friend was here browsing around my scrapbook room. She's a major "sewer" so she asked about my machine. I told her about my thread-less bobbin. She sat down---and WITHOUT the book---she filled my bobbin! I'm good to go for another year.

Anyway, back to the story. I went to JoAnn's and picked out fabrics.  I carried them up to the counter and started with, "I know nothing about sewing and fabrics. This is what I want to do and I need you to tell me how to accomplish that." Turns out, I picked out all the right stuff. The sewing department lady did the math for me and sent me on my way.

When I got home, I made another pattern for the pennant part of the banner. I traced all of the bunnies---50 of them and 50 of the pennants. I enlisted the help of my friend, Karolyn to help with the cutting out. Some of the friends coming are not crafters, so I plan to have everything ready so they can just assemble.
 I cut all the ribbons and tied all the bows.
I decided that the bunnies needed a little more dimension, so I outlined them with a fine-tip black Sharpie. Of course, sewing would have been better, but given my lack of sewing skills, I knew it would take me way too long to stitch them.
 I added a button for the eye and a little bow at the neck. I used Tacky glue to attach it to the banner.

Not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. It turned out pretty darn cute.

And now, I have an extra to give away. Leave a comment below and I'll draw a name on Sunday. I'll send it out next week!! (Sorry, this give-away happened already!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Okay

Now this is just plain ridiculous! We don't get snow all season long and it's March 25th---now we get snow! 

Not a measurable amount---just flakes, really---but come on! It's supposed to be spring! I'm ready!

Thought you might like to see that we had wedding crashers. We had no idea until the photos came back.
I hope they didn't drink too much!! You know it's a fun party when strangers want to crash it.

Yesterday after AYM, we went to Pei Wei for lunch. I thought these little peas were the cutes thing I've ever seen. I don't usually like raw, crunchy vegetables such as this, but it was so cute, I had to eat it. It was crunchy. And raw.

I'll be posting the layouts from yesterday's meeting on the AYM blog.

I've seen several movies lately---my friends and I go every week. Last week we saw In the Air with Liam Neeson. Oh My Gosh! It's unbelievable what crooked people can do. Definitely worth seeing.

Today we're seeing Hotel Budapest. It looks to be quirky and funny with lots of cameo appearances. 

Books---I've been on a roll. Last week I finished The Goldfinch. I liked it, but didn't totally love it. I gave it a 7 at our book club meeting last night. Our other book---Still Alice---was great!! Sandy had recommended it to me a few years ago. Even though it had bee that long since I read it, I was able to remember quite a bit. That's how I can tell if a book has made an impression on me---if I still remember it years later. The group as a whole gave it a 9. 

This month we're reading---The Invisible Wall. The second book is another that I read several years ago---Cutting For Stone. It's a good one!

In between finishing my book club book and our meeting I read---Blaze---recommended by my sister, Jeanne. It's written by Stephen King under his pen name Richard Bachman. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I figured out why he writes under a pen name---and it's a good reason for all Stephen King. The written as Richard Bachman are shorter than a regular SK book which run at least 1000 pages. That's nice when you just want a little something. Blaze was about 350 pages and a quick read---about 5 days. 

Currently, I'm reading The Hiding Place. It's a true story about a Dutch woman who hid Jews during WWII and ultimately wound up in a concentration camp herself. 

Ahhh, so many books, so little time....

I'm having lunch with my friend, Sally tomorrow. It's been awhile since we've had any one-on-one time. We used to get together every Friday morning for tea and to stroll through each other's garden---or in the afternoon for a glass of wine and a stroll. We need to get that started again! How is it now that the kids are gone, we seem to have LESS time?? We've been talking about another mother/daughter trip to New York for a couple of years, but now that the girls are working, it hasn't happened. Maybe we'll have to just go by ourselves! We'll have to talk.

I've got a fun little project planned for my "girl's night" on Friday. We're starting with Happy Hour---everyone is bringing and appetizer which will serve as dinner. After, we'll do our project---which I'll be designing today. Then, I'm going to "rent" Dallas Buyer's Club for us to watch. I'll make something for dessert to have during the movie. 

And that's about how my week is stacking up!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New York Report

I hate posting after the fact. It seems a little anti-climactic. Here goes anyway.

Thursday
*Arrive LaGuardia, pick up Sandy.
You know you've arrived when you see the naked cowboy!

*Check in to the Westin Times Square (our favorite hotel---perfect location.)

*Lunch at the Shake Shack. The best burgers in the city. Standing room only.
*Shopping at the Time Warner building. Pick up picnic foods from Whole Foods.
While I was shopping I felt like I was in another country. I have never seen these vegetables or maybe they are fruits. This is the size of a watermelon.
This is what the inside of that thing on the top looks like.
 I do not shop Whole Foods here at home. Maybe these are found here too.


*Drinks and appetizers before the show.
*If/Then---the purpose for this trip was to see Idina Menzel's return to Broadway. Her co-star, Anthony Rapp was an added bonus.
We loved Idina, but didn't really love the show. We felt like it was too confusing. When it was over, we all had a different idea of what happened. Also we didn't think Idina's voice was used to the best advantage. We were hoping that this would be her next iconic role---and we would have seen it. But, sadly, not. We predict that when her run is through, it will close.

*Picnic in our hotel room.

Friday
*Breakfast at the hotel.
*Movie and tv bus tour.
One of our stops was Washington Square Park. You can see the Empire State Building far in the background.
Mindy left our "mark."
While shopping in SoHo, we saw this little cupcake shop. Actually, it was just a window in the side of a building. The room itself was tiny---to match the cupcakes. These are all minis---and were delicious.
When the tour was over, we were dropped off in front of "Soup Man"---made famous by Seinfeld.
I walked back to the hotel for a nap while the girls did some shopping.

*Carmines for dinner---with Paige
This is our favorite Italian restaurant. Since it was a Friday, we couldn't have meat. At first, we were "bummed," but then we had the most amazing shrimp parmesan. It was soooo good. The food is all served family style.

Paige is a family friend---she was just a toddler when we came to Nashville. It was so much fun hearing all about her life in the city. She has invited us to come back and watch the Macy's Day parade from her office in the Time Warner Building. We just might!!
 Stephanie, Paige, Mindy and Sandy.

*Newsies
We LOVED this. The costumes were great, but it was the choreography that blew us away. I'm always amazed at how so many people can be on stage and flipping around without bumping in to each other.

Saturday
*Breakfast at the Plaza Hotel.
This was something new for Sandy. She had never been to The Plaza. It's so beautiful. Afterwards, the girls went to Bloomingdales while I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 The plan was for me to scope out the best exhibits. Also, since my book club is meeting on Monday---and we just read The Goldfinch---I wanted to photograph the painting. Turns out, it has never been there. The painting resides in Holland.
The plan was for the girls to meet up with me at noon. This was the best thing I saw. It made me realize, we are NOT art museum people. I just knew that the girls would not really like this. Heck, I browsed around for about an hour and a half and had seen enough. The place is huge and would probably take a week for art lovers to see the whole thing. An hour and a half was enough for me. I called the girls and told them we were skipping it. We met back at the hotel and set out on foot. We did a little more shopping before the show.

*Motown
I missed the first part of the show due to a huge commotion near us. People were talking and being so loud. I've never experienced anything like it. Finally, someone yelled out, "shut up!" We were shocked. Stephanie had a theory after the show---and we think she was correct. A huge bus with at least a hundred people on it arrived late. All of those people were trying to figure out where their seats were. As a result, we didn't hear anything for about the first 10 minutes of the show.

Still, it was a fabulous show. I loved Motown growing up. All I could think of was how I wished my cousin, Chrissy was with me. We danced to the Temps, Marvin Gaye, Smokey, the Jackson 5, the Supremes---all of them. I wanted to text her during the show, but couldn't. When it gets to St. Louis, I'll have to go with her!

Sandy, Stephanie and Mindy loved it too. They were familiar with all the music. Mindy even has some of it on her iPod.

*Frankie and Johnny's Steak House for dinner.
*The Magnolia Bakery for dessert.
Standing in line. There are some things worth waiting for.
This is the only thing I bought this trip. I don't have a cake cutter, so it was the perfect souvenir. At $5.00, I bought one for Sandy and Mindy. Steph doesn't bake.

We took our cupcakes back to the hotel. Sadly, it was time to pack up. We had the best time. It had been over two years since our last trip to New York. Every other year is just about right!!



Friday, March 21, 2014

Reasons Why I'm Not Posting....

From New York:
1. My photos are not syncing with the cloud at the moment.
2. I have a terrible cold---which cold medicine does not seem to be touching.
3. I'm too busy trying to keep up with all of our activities when I feel like crap.
4. I'm choosing to nap rather than blog.
5. And that's why I'm not posting.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Five Things Thursday

Five Reasons Why I Could Never Be on Survivor:

1. I don't do bugs, and snakes--I could never deal with the constant bug bites.
2. I could never do a rice diet---I don't like rice much---especially if it has no flavoring or chicken to go with it.
3. I don’t have the patience to hunt for stuff or stick my hands in creepy places---which means I would never find an immunity idol.
4. I can’t eat horrible stuff---I'd give up on this challenge right away. You won't find me eating live bugs. If it's a matter of eat or be eaten, I guess I'll be eaten!

5. I’m too bossy---I'd definitely be voted off right away.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bossy and Proud of It!


A few days ago, it was all over the news about trying to ban the word “bossy” as it has a negative connotation when referring to girls. They are saying that girls who stand out to become leaders are disliked by others for being too bossy---which then becomes "bitchy" in the workplace. Hmmm. I don't know about that. 

I'm bossy---no doubt. I was raised that way. I'm the oldest of seven. From as far back as I can remember, my parents told my siblings, "Listen to Barbara, she's the boss." It has worked in my favor many times through the years as they expected me to take charge. I also think I have the best siblings anyway---and not just because they let me boss them. They have no problem putting me in my place. There have been times when I go too far that someone will say, "Everybody, everybody, listen to Barb---she's the boss!" That's all it takes and I'll realize I'm being too bossy. We all laugh---done. Then I'll boss them about something else.

But, really, someone has to be the boss. And by that, I mean someone who will step up and take charge. Someone who will organize things and get things done. I remember back during all of my volunteer endeavors, someone once said that I could take any nasty situation and handle it "nicely." I took that as a compliment. It also meant I got dealt a lot of crap no one else wanted to deal with. Nobody likes confrontation, but sometimes it has to happen. That's okay, somebody has to do it. And if I'm known for doing it "nicely"---I'm really good with that.

Maybe it's a good thing I was a stay-at-home mom for all most of my life. I certainly would not have wanted to be known as a "bitch" in the workplace. 

Yeah, that's it. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Few Things

I had the most productive and FUN weekend. We started with Happy Hour on Friday night. It was just Stephanie and Nicky this week. We caught up on everyone's news. Then I went to dinner with my girl friends. 

Saturday, I spent the morning in my scrapbook room---and part of the afternoon. I read for a couple of hours and then back to scrapbooking. I tried a new technique---that will get it's own post. 

Sunday, I spent a little time in my room and then it was time to cook for Nicky's birthday dinner---spaghetti, polenta, salad, salciccia, garlic cheese bread and Connie's Chocolate Eclair Cake for dessert ---Nicky requested it. Everyone enjoyed the meal, but probably the leftovers I sent them home with---more! Nothing like having a ready made meal during the work week.

I have a pretty busy week---all fun. I, know, I have a tough life! It end with (as Mindy says) our Eads' girls Spring Break trip to New York. Restaurant reservations, 3 plays, trip to the Met, The Plaza for brunch, and a bus tour round out our itinerary. I'll try to report from the "Big Apple." We'll see how much time I have.

On to a few things.

While scrapbooking on Saturday, I watched Season 1 of a recent Masterpiece production---"Upstairs/Downstairs." Linda B. gave it to me for my birthday last year. It is AWESOME! I already order season 2. I'm disappointed to know that it has already been cancelled. Do any of my UK friends know if there was a 3rd season? I saw something somewhere that lead me to believe there was. I hope so. I'm liking it just as much as Downton---and that's saying a lot!

 Is this not the cutest little camera you've ever seen? Well, it's  not a camera. Can you guess?
It's a flash drive!! What a perfect way for a photographer to deliver your wedding pictures! They are amazing! Steph's friend, Sam took them. We're not surprised that they are fabulous. After all, he does work for the newspaper!

That's it for now. Off to get ready for "Movie Monday." I hope you have a great week planned too!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Recipe Share

I'm scrapbooking today. Cooking tomorrow. The family is coming over to celebrate Nicky's birthday. Jordan is going to be in town, so I decided to make something she can take back to school with her. I found this recipe that I had never tried before. They are easy and delicious---my favorite types of recipes.

Nutella No Bake Cookies
½ cup butter
½ cup milk
1 ¾ cup sugar
4 T. cocoa powder
2 t. vanilla
½ cup Nutella
3 cups quick cooking oats


In a saucepan, combine butter, milk, sugar and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes (the original recipe called for boiling 1 minute---experience tells me this is not enough---5 minutes worked perfect). Remove from heat. Add Nutella, vanilla and oats. Drop by spoonfuls on to  waxed paper.

Enjoy!