Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blood, sweat, and tears. Oh, and yoga too.

Y'all may ( or may not) have noticed my absence on your front door as of late, don't take it personally. I trying to build an inventory for my new online sewing business.
I have had people tell me for years that I should sell my sewing projects, so I'm giving it a go.

Except that I realized yesterday that I'm not as brilliant at it as I thought. Yesterday, I tried my hand at a new project, one that varied a bit from the purses I have been making. Let me just say that I don't really believe that I am brilliant, but all of my designs I have come up with through visualizing in my head how to make it, then putting it down on paper, sometimes as I go and sometimes before I even start.

Recently I found some cute panels on clearance that I think are for making pillows, but I decided that they could be made into cute tote bags.

Exhibit A:
While I planned to sew this pretty much the same way that I sew my purses, there actually was a thick batting material involved to make the bag sturdy. I pictured in my head how it should be sewn... and I pictured wrong. I cut 2 pieces of material wrong, and had to recut them. Luckily I had extra material. I goofed up the desing and it woldn't go the way I had planned because of the batting. So I ripped everything apart and started again. Annnnnnnnd again. The flap I had made to close over the inside pocket was not going to work, since the batting was too thick to sew through with it, and after the thread bunching on me 3 times, I scrapped it. I finally finished the bag off with polka dotted ribbon handles and a double stitched edge at the top only to totally screw up the stitching just as I was making the home stretch on each row.

John said that the stitching was barely noticeable but being that I am anal about anything I make whether it be art or craft, and the fact that I would love for people to see the quality of what I do and want to be a repeat customer- I just had to redo it. So, I ripped apart the top and finally, after working on it for almost 5 hours, I finished.

I held up my labor of love to check out the fine, very fine stitching. I checked out the stitching inside and out, and though there was a small section where the top row of stitching missed the inside material, I was very pleased with what should have only taken me 45 minutes tops to make. *sigh* That's what I get for working with thick batting instead of a thinner interfacing.

Anyway, I'm looking and admiring, silently praising myself for having made a very nice piece indeed... when what do I notice on the inside of the bag? A blood stain. My hands are so dry right now because of the cold, that I bled on the very labor intensive prototype Dora tote, with polka dotted straps and inside divider and velcro closure. Not cool, SO VERY NOT-FREAKING-COOL! I wanted to scream in agony, in anguish... in despair!

But I didn't. Instead I made John run out in the cold, dark night to get me some peroxide, while I stayed home and freaked out over the possibility of losing a whole days work because of my own body fluids. I was able to get the stain out. Thank the goodness, but not without neurotically going over the possibilities of what would happen to my nice neat work after getting wet, and wondering if the peroxide would bleach the material.

Did I mention that I obsess? Anyway, on to the yog-ahhhhh, which turned out to be more like yog-ouch. I borrowed a watered down version of yoga from a friend. I don't mean that in a negative way, the book was very doable, the exercises were adjusted by the author for people of any age to be able to do. I finished the 15 minute workout on Monday, in about 40 minutes (ROFL), and promptly took a nap (LMAO!).

Tuesday, I was busy cutting material and doing laundry... then yesterday I rolled out of bed. EVERY SINGLE joint on my body aches. My joints and cartilage complain as I stand or walk. It sounds like Snap, Crackle and Pop are falling down a flight of stairs. I have never been more aware of my age as I am right now, and I feel like someone beat me with the arthritis stick while I was sleeping. My hands are stiff and swollen.

Maybe that was my problem yesterday. It wasn't the damned batting at all, it was my hideously misshaped and gnarled hands that are to blame.
Has anyone else had this experience with yoga? I read online that yoga releases the toxins in tissues and your organs, so I am wondering if this is why my joints are screaming. Maybe the toxins dissipated throughout my body and accumulated in my joints. Well, that combined with the cold we have had here in the Midwest lately. I'm curious to know if anyone else has experienced this kind of discomfort with yoga yog-ouch. Anyone? What did you do to ease the discpomfort

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Ultimate pH Solution: a book review

As you guys might know, I currently review books on my blog. While doing my reviews, I try to remain as objective as possible, meanwhile retaining my integrity. When reading a book about self improvement, whether it be physical or mental, I feel that it wouldn't be fair for me to review the book without trying out out at least a few aspects of the book, especially if the book contains recipes.

When I first started reading The Ultimate pH Solution: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Prevent Disease and Lose Weight, it gradually made a lot of sense. In the book, the author Michelle Schoffro talks about how the Standard American Diet is wreaking havoc on our bodies and how it is creating the perfect acidic environment for acute and chronic illnesses to survive. The author, who is a doctor of natural medicine, acupuncture and is a biofeedback therapist- also talks about how the majority of our food is processed, and that all of the preservatives, dyes and sweeteners are to blame for the steady decline in the health of much of the westernized world. She also describes the chemical affect that food has on our body and blood when digested; making us either acidic or alkaline.The book also offers basic information that I already knew; drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day, but she goes on to explain why exactly so much water is needed on a more physiological and scientific level. On a side note, I found it very interesting that it takes 32 glasses of water to counteract the negative affects of all the acid, preservatives, dyes and sugar in one can of soda!

Though the book made a lot of sense to me, at first I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of changing the dietary habits of my family. We are already on the road to healthy living and I have started to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet, but I was a little daunted by the list of foods that the author (as well as many studies) has proven over the years to be harmful.

She goes on to talk about how dairy products and a diet consisting of more than 30% meat (especially if it's not organic meat) is causing our bodies to maintain a perpetually acidic state. According to her research and the research done by studies, dairy products cause the body to be acidic. The body compensates by leeching calcium, sodium and potassium from the bones in order to attempt to bring the blood back to an alkaline state. So instead of adding calcium to the bones and "doing the body good", it actually has the reverse affect.

This was a little hard for me to digest, but reading further on just the first few pages, she explains that despite the US and Canadian citizens consuming over 18 gallons/13 gallons of milk a year, plus 12 pounds/13 pounds of cheese a year, that osteoporosis is on a steady rise in both of these countries. She goes on to say that in contrast, a typical Bantu woman in Africa consumes a diet devoid of dairy products, and receives "her calcium intake solely from plant sources", and that even though she only receives one half the amount of calcium that Americans and Canadians do, osteoporosis is relatively unknown to Africans eating a traditional diet. You can't argue with numbers.

Michelle also talks about how she has treated people for all kinds of illnesses over the last 20 years, including: Lupus, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and allergies. Through years of practice, she has seen her patients conquer almost all of their symptoms, if not the illness in it's entirety. I find that truly amazing.

I wondered to myself how exactly I was supposed to feed my family since they practically lived off of dairy products. When discussing the many negative affects of the American diet with John, he agreed that the information in this book is mind blowing yet daunting. His first response? "I'm not giving up cereal." To which I responded, "Yeah, coffee is my problem".

As with any information that goes against the very grain of our society, and the very foundation of everything we have learned about proper nutrition since grade school, I remained interested yet skeptical. My brain just didn't want to believe that despite knowing the numbers and the results of many studies on what dairy products actually do to our body, our government still chooses to perpetuate the myth that dairy products are a necessary component to healthy living.

It is amazing what one voice can do, the power of knowledge. John and I decided that despite our reservations about radically changing our lifestyle, we would give the pH Solution a try. We both agreed that a steady and gradual shift was the best course of action as far as moving towards nondairy products, and that an immediate change was called for snack foods in the house. I cleaned out the cupboards and left only a small amount of emergency chocolate, and we went grocery shopping for more natural foods like organic fruits and vegetables. We are trying our best to change our diet to one that consists of 30% healthy acidic foods, and 70% alkaline foods as listed in the book.

Though finding organic eggs and meat is a bit of a problem for me where I live, we have gone organic, meaning that we have cut out 90-95% of soda (cola or pop), coffee, dairy, artificial sweeteners, processed sugar and salt, foods with high fructose corn syrup, and we have incorporated the all natural herbal sweetener Stevia into our diet. We're not perfect, but we are trying. My kids still drink milk but are finding that they really enjoy the taste of soy milk as much as I do, and we have enjoyed nibbling our way through a 2 gallons of natural and organic trail mix in the last 4 weeks.

Since then, my girls haven't been sick once, which is a miracle, they usually get sick during the winters months frequently. I realized last night, after a weekend filled with crappy fast food ( I told you, we aren't perfect) that the constant aches and pains in my joints, and the sharp stabbing pain in my left arch had been gone for almost 2 weeks! That is until we ate the crappy fast food this last weekend. I had soda 3 times in 2 days, and my knees and foot began to hurt again last night. So I can honestly say that using the guidelines in this book helped improve my feeling of overall health.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is striving for a healthier body and lifestyle. I have had more energy, and after detoxing from coffee and the cravings my joint pain dwindled away to an occasional twinge. And I lost another 3 pounds. I guess what they say is true; you really are what you eat.

*** All the book reviews done for HarperCollins or Collins Publishing (an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishing) are done with one stipulation- I receive the book for free and read it. If I like it, I review it on my blog. These are not paid reviews per se, except for receiving the book.***

The old one-two punch

Last night Anna and I were playing a fruitless game she likes to play called "I'm stronger than you, mom". One day, when I'm old[er] and gray[er], I'm sure she will actually succeed, but for now my "mom guns" continue to win out over her wiry, almost-7-year-old biceps.

I could let her win, but I'm a firm believer in letting your kids experience the agony of defeat on occasion. It builds character ;) And it teaches them that life is not free buffet; you have to earn most things in life.

Anyway, back to bedtime. Anna is trying to move my hand to her face so she can stick my finger up her nose. I fight her with hardly any effort at all, and So, Anna decides that in order to lift my right arm off of her bed that she will need to counter my strength by throwing her whole body backwards... into my face.

I was moved, so to speak, and my right hand moved alright; it moved to my mouth and nose in pain. I learned a thing or two last night as Newton's Laws of Motion played themselves out in WWE-esque musical of pain.

I groaned "Ahhhhhhh! Oh my God!" while clutching my nose. I got up and flipped on the light after the stars subsided and checked out my face in the mirror on her closet door. Anna started to tear up as I calmly said that I had bitten my lip, and that my lip was starting to swell. Then I noticed a piece of something gritty on my lip as I licked back a tiny bit of blood.

Me- "Oooh, I think I chipped my tooth."

Anna- "Waaaaaah! It's all my fault!...."

Me- "I'm OK... that tooth was already chipped anyway."

Anna- *sniff* "I'm sorry I hurt you mommy." *cries a little bit more* "I didn't do it on purpose."

Me- "I know you didn't do it on purpose. It's OK, stop crying. If I thought you had done it on purpose I'd be really mad right now. Do I look mad?"

She shakes her head no, and sniffles a bit more.

Me- "See? I'm fine." I tilt my head back because I feel something wet in my nose, and I have a gander in her mirror, "Oh man, I think I have a bloody nose..."

Anna- *her eyes get really big* "....Waaaaaaaaaaaah!"

I chuckle as I stuff a tissue up my nose, then give my girl a hug, all while trying to convince her that I'm not upset and that I have survived much worse than this. I realize that life really is like a buffet, you just have to decide if the last chicken wing is worth the bloody nose and chipped tooth.

I'm guessing as I get older that I will give up the last chicken wing in hopes of getting a table closer to the bathroom. Besides, by then I will have had all my teeth knocked out and will be opting for pudding instead.

But for now, that darned chicken wing is all mine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The Dear, Sweet Lord does answer prayers, even if they come in the form of blog posts. ;) Thank you, Lord! :D No new baby boogers for me. I've never been so thankful for cramps in my life!

The old adage "He never gives you more than you can handle"... well, I think He has tested me on that one a few times and I was hoping that this wasn't one of them. I think a lot of lovely ladies and gents out there have had at least one scare like that.

I need to take the hubby to get fixed. That's that. ;)

Thank you for all of your funny, kind and concerned words. I'm just sick I guess. Motrin is helping much more than Tylenol now. I didn't take Motrin the first few days cuz I thought I was knocked up. Motrin, TYSVM!

And on to much sadder news, I was talking to my brother yesterday... While trying not to barf. Not because I was talking to my brother, though he has had that effect on me in the past ;) He is my younger brother ya know.

Anywho, he had just heard about Heath Ledger. I couldn't believe it. I had to actually do a google because I just didn't want to believe. It's so sad that another one of Hollywood's most promising actors is gone. Just like that.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed watching him in every role he played, from 10 Things I Hate About You to Brokeback Mountain. He brought depth, honesty and vulnerability to each and every role he played.

I know there are more pressing matters going on in the world, and that people die every day... but for me, it's always heartbreaking when someone who has brought happiness and joy into our lives has their life cut short whether it be by accident or other means.

My prayers go out to his family. Heath, rest in peace.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I have a hang over, and I'm gonna blow!

An icky sicky hangover that is, without the benefit of imbibing. I acquired a bug and came down with chills, fever, dizziness and NAUSEA! Hooray for me! This morning my 101.3 fever was gone but my eyeballs still felt like they wanted to pop out of my head. Actually, they still feel like that.

Aside from sleeping on and off during the day while Emma sat next to me playing or watching the Disney channel. My eyes were still achey but I felt better. until about 45 minutes ago. Fever is back, nausea is back, dizziness is back, 24 layers of clothes to stave off the chills... yup, back.

I thought I had kicked a 24 hour bug in about 20 hours because of my recent health kick (soy milk, fruits and nuts, leafy greens) but apparently I was wrong.

The only other explanation TMI ALERT!!!! could be the recent "contraceptive wardrobe malfunction" during a recent conjugal visit with my cell mate. To which I say- I'm getting too old for this sh*t (meaning gestating).

I mean really, I loves my chil'rens, but two is our limit since they both have a double dose of the stubborn, loud and sassy genes. TWO IS GOOD. Last night John and I were talking and I told him I hoped I was sick sick not morning sickness sick, and that I was going to lose it over the smell of the chicken nuggets he was cooking for the girls.

I said, "You better start praying..."

And he said, "What's God going to do? Make us unpregnant?"

So, I'm going public with this because in the bible it says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4).

Ok, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't exactly been delightful lately. I haven't been to church in ages and though I am a Christian I don't advertise it, not because I am ashamed but because I'm not an example of a GOOD one. ;) Not lately... I need to work on that.

But still, Dear Lord, you know I have my hands full. If you would like me to stay sane with all that I am blessed with, please keep the 'Vich brood to just the four of us if you don't mind.

Kay, thanks. I know, I need to go to church and talk to you more and usually I don't mention You and the words
"contraceptive wardrobe malfunction" and sh*t in the same blog post or conversation, but I'm hoping that you are listening with a light heart. And yes I realize that my blog post chock full of complaining and whining has somehow turned into a prayer... but You know how I do.

Oh, Dear Sweet Lord, one more thing... If John happens to read this post from work, please don't let him be mad that I mentioned the "contraceptive wardrobe malfunction". Three times now in one prayer/post.

Your not so "delightful" servant,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Did I just make a big mistake?

In typical Mert fashion, I am doubting myself for switching my blog over to Wordpress. Don't get me wrong, I think I can benefit from having a different blog for my reviews over there. One feature that I love about Wordpress is that I can write a post and have it post at a certain date and time.

BUT, I'm thinking... Maybe I should have just registered my sewing business domain name. Right now, the url is My new blog has a zero page ranking, my old one is a 4. Having links from my old blog could potentially get me more business. Also, if someone does a search for positively delightful baby quilts, will they even find me since my current set up is a sub domain, because my business doesn't actually have it's own domain name?

I had heard that other people had businesses on the Wordpress format, but now I'm not even sure that this will work for me. I think I am having buyers remorse in a way. Though I am proud of myself for taking the plunge, I think I should have done a little more homework in running a business online.

Another issue and benefit to having a 4 page rank is that sometimes my blog posts have ranked higher that big websites. Say for instance the book How To Eat Like A Hot Chick that I reviewed recently. In a Google search my blog post recently ranked one spot below an product listing link. Not too shabby. See what I mean? See what I could be giving up?

On top of all of that, I just read a blog post today about how changing your URL could be one of the biggest mistakes you make as far as readership and traffic. And the link was delivered to my email in box. Coincidence?

The good thing is that experience seals knowledge... you learn from your mistakes, right? So, as much of pain it has been to set up 4 new blogs (changing feeds, transferring blog posts...)- and as much of a pain I have been to you guys for making you resub to a new feed, I think that 2 are coming down because I don't think either is going to work for the big picture. I hate to say that it comes down to numbers but as far as trying to get my new business of the ground, but it has A LOT to do with numbers. Starting a new business is a major life change, and I don't know if you have noticed but I'm kind of nervous.

So, If I could as you to bear with me until I get this all sorted out meaning my doubts, worries, concerns, fears LOL, I will be keeping the blog here at Blogger. I think that I'll end up keeping my main blog here, but still have my review site at the new URL, and just buy a new domain name for my business.

I think. I'm Almost Somewhat Positive *wink*. Change your book marks back to this blog please. I'll be updating this one forevah and evah, I promise.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's news to me!

First off...

You know what to do, frisk like there's no tomorrow! For tips on how to do breast exams properly, you can click here, here and here.

I finally have a hosted website for Wordpress.... wooohooo! Now I just need to get my stuff together and organize all my subdomains including my sewing site , review site (thanks PBN for accepting me!), weight loss blog and me regular blog, mateys!

Recently I won a book called Calamity Jane Goes to College from the lovely ladies at The Long and the Short of It. Thanks Judy and Marianne! I love books and free books even more :D

In an attempt to provide my family with healthier foods and healthier bodies (since my poor kids have been chronically ill this winter) this weekend, I spent a huge amount of money at the grocery store trying to find organic fruits and veggies, cooking oils, soy milk, cereal, nuts... I cannot believe how expensive it is to eat healthy. When I told John how much I spent on nuts alone, he thought I WAS nuts. For lack of a better term, he said that organic was the new scam and that we basically got *technical term for being sexually assaulted* at the check out stand.

He nearly had a panic attack but then I reminded him that we are eating out less and that I calculated how much we were spending on fast food a month by eating out 3 times a week... are you ready for this? Roughly 300 smackaroos, give or take. Holy crap! That's a lot of money to be paying for food that is making my kids sick.

On a lighter note, the girls are actually taking to this better than I thought. I made them a trail mix with organic: granola, nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate chips. They love it! Emma even tried soy milk today and drank it down in a few minutes and asked for more. I love it too, but the hubby- a cereal killer ;) -is not convinced that soy milk is going to taste good in his Total.

We'll see how it goes... I honestly don't know when the last time was when we had so much produce in the house, but it's a good thing. My kids are discovering and enjoying how sweet fruit really is. Last night I made Chicken Ragu ( out of Giada De Laurentis' Family Dinners) over wheat pasta and Anna said "it was so good it was like falling in love". I really should enroll that kid in an acting class, she's a natural drama queen :)

I also recently bought myself a day planner, looks like I'm going to need it to balance family time, cooking healthy meals, working ( getting a job soon, and yeah, I know I've been saying that but the holidays are over and jobs are opening up), working from home on sewing and blogging. 2008 looks like it's shaping up to be a very good (and busy ) year!

So what's on your plate for this year? Have you set any goals for yourself? Are you tackling a new project too?

Friday, January 11, 2008

8 random things about Emma

Emma was tagged by Baby Bug to do a meme regarding 8 random things about her life. Baby Bug's mommy is the lovely Kailani at An Island Life.

Emma is going on three years old (end of March), and has quite a bit to say about her life:

1. My favorite number is "2 year old", I have a feeling it's going to change soon.

2. My name is Emma Whoas Rahvitch, I'm two yee-ah ohld, and I love to steal my sit'sters toys.

3. I also like to duller in my dullering books, and play with my new dahl house I got for Dhismas.

4. At bedtime I try to think of as many was I can to try to get out of bed. At bedtime I suddenly become very hungry, thirsty, and usually need one tissue per boager. Sometimes I need medicine for hurts like sudden headaches and bely aches at bedtime, that myster-wee-usly disappear the moment the Tylen(ol) hits my tongue.

5. I usually obsess about one toy for a week to a week and a half. I cannot sleep if I don't have my toy, even though it changes every week.

6. Mommy says that Anna is her Mini Me (with a few of her own twists thrown in, for sure), and I am Anna's Mini Me, plus some. A Mini Mini Me makes for lots of laughs. And sometimes a grumpy mommy. Sister thinks it's very funny and is sometimes proud that I make the same smooshy grumpy faces, and roll my eyes exactly the same.

7. I love my kitty cat and I call her Baby Zo. She sometimes bites me, and even though mommy says leave her alone i still like to pet her... then run complaining to mommy that Baby Zo bit me. the last time Baby Zo bit me, I told mommy what she did. A few minutes later I told mommy why Baby Zo bit me. I don't understand... all I was doing was brushing her with my old baby brush.

8. Lately, daddy is my favorite. I like to watch him get up from his xbox 360 chair to come and wipe my butt after I go potty. Also, even though mommy is sitting in the living room right next to me using her laptop, I like to have daddy put down his controller every few minutes to get me the things I really need like snacks, milk, and one tissue for each boager.

Dis was fun! Who should I tag? What is a tag? Oh, OK I get it now.

I tag Spider Boy or little Monkey, their daddy is Daddy Forever. Mommy says he is very funny. he is on a bloggin break? But hopefully he will have time in a little bit.

I love babies, so I also tag Leila or Alexis. Mommy says a that their mommy Ash uses all the words she wishes she could use on her blog. I'm not sure what that means. Mommy also says that Lexi's mommy doesn't like Memes, but she might not be so mad cuz I'm cute and I smeel like flo

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Glamour, Interrupted: a book review

I recently got the opportunity to choose from a wide assortment of books at Collins, and I jumped at the chance to read Glamour, Interrupted: How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood by Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru. I have been a fan of his for a while and have always loved watching him on Entertainment Tonight or during Red Carpet events. His particular style of wit while critiquing the rich and famous is chicken soup for my sarcastic soul. In short, I feel a certain camaraderie. ;)

Cojo's book is filled with humor and sarcasm, and as I read his book I realized that I'm not sure that I could even be that upbeat if I had gone through what he did. In his book he talks about the exact moments he suspected serious health problems, later becoming diagnosed with a life threatening kidney disease, and his ongoing struggle to stay afloat in a cold and not so sterile world of kidney transplants and dialysis.

Steven's book chronicles his struggles and triumphs, and eventually acceptance that life isn't perfect no matter how hard you work to make it appear that way. Through his illness, Steven learns what real unconditional love is in the form of friends, fans, and family and he puts a very human face to kidney disease in spite of his fame and celebrity.

I applaud him for writing his story, and despite suffering so much, being able to do it in a way that is so honest and open... and so very, very funny.

I really enjoyed reading Steven Cojocaru's book and I would recommend it to anyone, especially fans and anyone who has hit rock bottom and thought that there was no way up; his book clearly proves that you can overcome with the love and support of the ones around you.

Glamour, Interrupted
is scheduled for release January 22nd, 2008. You can click the links for more info.

*** All the book reviews done for HarperCollins or Collins Publishing (an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishing) are done with one stipulation- I receive the book for free and read it. If I like it, I review it on my blog. These are not paid reviews per se, except for receiving the book.***

Monday, January 07, 2008

ha. ha. ha. *Emma-isms*

Today, just a few minutes ago:

Emma- Mom, run with me! *She shouts as she dashes off towards the kitchen*

Me- Nope, not going to run.

Emma- Why, you too many year old or sumpin? *blink-blink*

Me- eek Umm... why yes, thank you for noticing. rolleyes Thank you so very much.


John- Ummmm... what 'cha got there Em?

Emma- BOOBS!

I don't know what is more wrong... the fact that I posted this, or the fact that we all found this hilarious. First date fodder, folks. That's all I'm going to say about that. wink

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I WANT THAT: win a Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer at A Cowboy's Wife

A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

The Prize:

Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow

The winner will receive a brand new
Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow

About the mixer:

From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.

I WANT THAT: momAgenda desktop calendar

One of my online BFF's is hosting a giveaway at her blog for momAgenda's desktop calendars! I don't know about you, but I can use all the help I can get right now... Life is getting a little cah-razy. Sometimes just putting something down on paper is enough to motivate me to get things done.

If you would like to enter the giveaway, head over to Kailani's blog An Island Life to enter. For extra entries you can subscribe to her feed or write a blog post like this one.

It's a shiny, brand new year

I WANT THAT: 100 dollars a month for a year!

I heard about a blog giveaway for 100 bucks a month for a year and I was so overjoyed to hear about it, it actually brought a tear to my eye! This last couple of months have been interesting since taking over the responsibilities of the finances.

Though my poor hubby is relieved to be free of the nightmare that is our check book, I am once again acutely aware of the misery that I had handed over to him over 4 years ago. It's no secret that John and I suck at money management... it's just that I suck a little less ;)

Anywho, digressions aside, I'm going to do everything within my powah (said in Darth Vader-ish tones) to win this puppy. I sit here typing with crossed fingers and eyes. :B

Here are the ways to enter (quoted from The Big Bald Blog):

It’s easy to enter! To enter the contest, just do any of the following:

1. Subscribe to RSS via email (2 entries per blog)
2. Write a useful comment (1 entry per comment on each blog listed below)
3. Write a post about this contest on your blog (25 entries if you link to this post as well as mention all of the other sponsors)

That is it! Feel free to leave your comments on this post and earn an entry and possibly the easiest $100 you have ever won. If you really want to increase your odds, make a blog post and subscribe to the sponsoring blogs and contribute comments actively on them. Who knows… making new friends might just earn you some more moolah!

Here are the blogs you need to visit for extra entries:

1. Mixed Market Arts
3. Link Bait
4. Gorilla Sushi
5. CK Marketing
6. The Big Bald Blog
7. How 2 Blogger


Thursday, January 03, 2008

How to change your desktop icons

So you want to change those blah Windows icons on your desktop but you don't know how? I know I have been wanting to post this for a while, but kept forgetting. ;)

The first thing you need to do is to go shopping for some icons, obviously! When I say shopping, I don't necessarily mean that you should pay for icons; there are plenty of sites out there with high quality icons, free for the taking. Check a few of these sites out:

David Lanham
Fast Icon
Flameia Design
Martin Laksman™
The Iconfactory
Icon Archive
Yellow Icon

Be sure to download sets that have a Windows icon next to it or actually say Windows in the download because Mac icons aren't going to work on your PC. After you have found a few sets that you like, unzip one using what ever zip program you usually use such as Winzip or Stuffit. Place the icon folder on your desktop so that it's easy to find.

1. Next, right click on your desktop and scroll down to the bottom of the menu and click on Properties. A widow named Display Properties will open, 2. then click on the Desktop tab, then click on the Customize Desktop button.

Another window named Desktop Items will open.
3. Select an icon in that window, let's start with the My Computer icon. Click on it to highlight it, then click the Change Icon button and yet another little window will open.

4. Click the Browse button (as pictured above) and find your icon folder on your desktop, then select an icon from the folder that you would like to change the icon to.

5. Highlight your icon then click Open. I'm going to go with strawberry.ico .

6. You will be taken back to the Change Icon window, just click the OK button.

This will then take you back to the Desktop Items window.
7. As you can see in the picture above, the icon is changed for My Computer. If you are finished and do not want to change any other icons, click OK and that window will close.

8. To finalize the icon change click Apply in the remaining open window, Display Properties, then click OK to close the window and you should see your icon change immediately on your desktop. Here is my new My Computer icon :D

I'm not finished changing all of my icons so I'm going to skip steps 7 and 8. I'm going to repeat steps 3 through 6 until all of my icons are changed.

I have a folder marked NEW DL'S for all of my new downloads to go, instead of them junking up my desktop. I think I want to change that folder icon too, to match my new Fruity heart theme! If you would like to change a folder icon, hang in there with me for a few more steps. ;) Come on... just a few more steps, I promise! You want your desktop to look cute, right?

OK, right click on the folder you want to change, then scroll down and click on Properties. You should see a Customize tab, click on that.

Click Change Icon at the bottom. Now you are going to browse for your icon folder just as you did before. Click the icon you want, then click Open. That will take you to a Change Icon window, click OK and that window will close. Click Apply in the folder Properties window to finalize, then OK and that's it!

Oooooh, purty! For you fellas, I'm sure your desktop looks totally MANLY now, not cute or purty. ;)

I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial on how to change desktop icons. If you don't get it at first, keep trying. It's pretty easy after a few tries.

Later taters!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year['s Resolutions!]

Happy New Year!

I hope all of you are off to a wonderful start for the New Year! :D

In the past I had never been one for resolutions, mostly because I lacked the intestinal fortitude to keep the pessimism at bay AND because I procrastinate too much. As part of my Positivity Regimen for the last year I vowed to overcome my fear of failure. So far so good. ;)

I also made a promise to myself that I would start a new sewing business online (more about that later). I also managed to finish Nanowrimo and I plan to continue writing my novel. Also, I need to set up a new blog on Wordpress because Blogger has pretty much outlived it's usefulness for me, I need a separate blog page for reviews since I have been accepted into the Parent Bloggers Network, and I need to put up a sewing section on the new blog.

Also, since we have financially challenged recently and we have stopped eating out John and I have managed to lose about 7 pounds (Anna has lost a few herself). I want to establish a workout schedule with the MISU and stick to it because our 20th (gasp) anniversary is in a year and a half. I wanna look GOOD!

So, there you have it.

1. Online sewing business
2. Continue writing/editing novel
3. Set up new blog with main blog, review and sewing sections
4. Work out a workout schedule with the hubby and stick to it

Elizabeth at Table for Five has a new blogroll for those of us who want to keep ourselves accountable, and so that we can cheer each other on during our progress reports! So if you would like to join, head over and leave a comment and a link to your New Year's Resolutions. Care to join me? Come on, lets make this New Year a fulfilling one. :D

Pocorn and a movie... FOR A YEAR!

Oh yeah, you heard me right! Elizabeth at Table For Five was offered an opportunity to host a giveaway on her blog... A years supply of Orville Redenbacher’s Natural Popcorn and a years subscription for Netflix!

Recently we had to cut back a little and unfortunately Netflix was the first thing to go, so when I saw Elizabeth's blog post I immediately began to drool over the prospect. ;) My daughters are voracious popcorn eaters so I know they would be just as excited as I am.

Elizabeth only has a few guidelines, so it's as simple as writing a blog post just like this before January 5th, AND she changed the rules a little so that you can enter each of your blogs if you have more than one.

What are you waiting for? Hurry on over and write that post :D