Wednesday, September 30, 2009

stay at home mom vs. work from home mom - a different perspective (part1)

vs.

My good friend Phnewfula (thats New-fa-la) over at http://shopturtlepie.wordpress.com/ posted this about a conversation we had this morning regarding her working from home and me not.
The gist of the conversation was that while she loves having the ability to do her job from home it is somewhat frustrating as her son is 16 months and very active!
(ahhh I remember what it was like to chase after a 16 month old!)
She was lamenting about how she feels bad about him being cooped up in the house with her while she's working and doesn't feel like she has enough time in the day to do "fun" things like play dates, walks, or going to the park.
And I totally get where she's coming from.
It is hard to try and get any work done,
be it housework, homework or work "work" when a toddler is involved!!!
I should know as I went back to work and school just after my Sweet Pea turned 2
I felt like a horrible parent because I went to work, picked her up from day-care/ pre-school , rushed home to heat up dinner and then went off to class 3 nights a week.
That being said I think there is a BIG misconception on what a SAHM does.
I for one do not sit on my duff all day.
It's actually pretty rare that I sit period.
From the moment I get up and get the family out the door I am off and running.
Wether I'm looking for a "job" that pays, planning the wedding, writing for the blogs/ book
and a million other things.
Then there is the housework.
Sweet Pea's homework
helping out at her school,
taking her to lessons,
running errands
and thats not including making time for Babe!

I'm sure that doesnt sound like a lot to those who have full time jobs but as someone who has worked full time while being a mom - for me, staying at home is a lot harder than going into the office each day.
Yeah technically I can do it at my own pace but unfortunately my days don't always go as planned and I am forced to re-arrange my plans.
Same as when I worked for someone and had to adjust my day to accomodate an "urgent" project or deadline.
And to be honest, I wouldn't mind working from home.
Oh to get paid and take care of my family!
Awesome.
Especially since Sweet Pea is gone from 8a.m. to 3p.m.

And the women who work from home do just as much as I do as they balance the demands of an employer against those of their family.
Now in Phnewfula's case, she has a toddler and I have a 7 yr. old.
The main difference there is my kid is old enough to understand
"mommy has to do some work right now, we will go play in a few hours".
AND
she goes to school so I don't have a little person in my face all day.
Also,I am super organized and OCD so I have a "schedule" if you will.
(Sorry Phnewf - I love you dearly but I've worked with/for you and we both know organized is NOT what anyone would call you.)

Now I know if you have an uber demanding job it's not possible to always set a deadline and stick to it but I feel its really necessary to make sure I am not so absorbed in the "work" I'm doing that I'm not doing my "real job".
As women we are so hard on ourselves to be great at everything we do. We like to look put together, make wonderful meals, have intelligent well -behaved children, a well kept home and adoring husbands/boyfriends/partners etc....

So,
to ALL of the moms out there:
whether you work from home, outside the home or are "just a mom"
hold your head high!
Everyday you tackle the most difficult job there is:
raising children
Yet you do it with such style, ease and finesse you make it look like a walk in the park.


Rock on Ladies.

It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

AMAZING GIVEAWAY!!! Wedding in a week!!

so you all know I am compeltely weddding obsessed right now and awhile back I found the coolest blog ever!
TheBroke-AssBride is a bomb chick who has wicked style and planned her recession friendly wedding on a broke-ass budget!
Her blog always has all these dope guest bloggers whenever she's out of town , suggestions and hook-ups and this week she is hosting a MAYJAH give away!!



She's gotten together with some of her favorite peeps and together they are giving away TONS of prizes that every bride dreams of for their wedding, including a custom couture gown,
photography, invitations, favors, veils , bouquets and more!!
Check her out and win some free stuff!!!
I know I will be!

Monday, September 28, 2009

weekend wrap up.....

what a lovely weekend we had!
didn't do a WHOLE lot but enjoyed ourselves none-the-less.
Spent most of the day Saturday at the movies.
We saw both "Fame" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"
Talk about a great day!
I have been dying to see "Fame" since, in my mind, I went to a performing arts high school and am on "So you think you can dance".
It was pretty good.
I was kind of hoping for more "performances" but I think overall, they did the original film, and tv show justice.
And "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"?
WOW!
we were so excited to see this movie as Sweet Pea and I read the book as part of our "Summer Reading adventure".
It was in 3-D and was too cute for words.
Truthfully I'm a total sucker for movies like this and am glad I have a kid who can go see it with me!
In her own words, " It was good. There were sad parts, there funny parts, there were uplifting moments and lots of food. It made me hungary."
Ahh out of the mouths of babes.....
After our movie going extravangza we hit up the local Chick-fil-A!
Talk about a red letter day!
Yesterday we hung out with our friends the Arrigo's.
Joe's Grandma just moved back from Wisconsin after 5 years.
Her husband recently passed away last winter and he will be dearly missed.
Grandma and Grandpa were key figures in Damon and I's lives in the late 90's and they will always be in our hearts.
Also Grandma is totally old school cooks like a dream!
So she made us a yummy dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and is going to teach me to make her famous sausage and peppers!!!
SO Excited!!!
Thanks for dinner Grandma!!!
All in all it was a lovely weekend spent with some my favorite people!
What did you do?

Scrub a dub -dub



Being that I am currently a SAHM (and have been for some time)

The household chores/ cleaning fall upon my shoulders (for the most part)

I generally take care of the laundry, cooking and cleaning and Babe helps out when needed. (read takes out the trash)

And with the wedding planning, job searching and homework helping

I find myself getting a bit overwhelmed at times.

Babe is always telling me I don't have to do it all myself and thats all well and good

but lets face it....I'm not letting him take on the laundry (not everything can be washed in warm water)

So, with that said, I am trying to come up with a better way to get the whole family involved in the clean -up process

So I'm asking all my peeps out there:

How do you clean? Do you have a set schedule?

Every two weeks tackle a major portion?

Do you clean daily?

Whats your least favorite task?
Are there any good websites that offer a schedule or advice?

Whats your favorite?

If you have kids, how do u get them involved???


Send me your schedules and resources!!

I am open to any suggestions and ideas!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Morning Light



when I came downstairs this morning there was the most beautiful light
dancing through the kitchen
my favorite candle holders sparkling like jewels
the prisms dancing on the ceiling
shining like stars
and I knew
today was going to be a great day
there will be light shining down all over the place
happy friday everyone =)

sweet pea's corner: shop, nosh, chat.....

sweet pea's corner: shop, nosh, chat.....
http://number17cherrytreelane.wordpress.com/

shop, nosh, chat.....

Hey Everyone!!!
My good friend Rachel is having a sale!!
She is a lover of all things vintage and is hosting an "attic sale" of sorts for all of her vintage items she has found at estate sales!
If you like vintage or just like to chat, shop and nosh on yummy snacks come by and see her!!!
Please check out her blog for more details!!!!



Thursday, September 24, 2009

change is in the air....and a thought for thursday

Be still my heart folks
I've reached over 100 posts!!
And I've decided a little pomp and circumstance is in order!!!
So I've made a few aesthetic changes to the blog!
ANNND it's almost October which is National Breast Cancer Awareness month so I'm thinking Pink!!!
Hope you like!!!
******* Thought for Thursday*********
"Fate is how your life unfolds when you let fear determine your choices. A path of destiny reveals itself to you, however, when you confront your fear and make conscious choices."
- Caroline Myss,is a best-selling author and medical intuitive.

Reception questions, ideas and thoughts ...ohh my!!




Appetizers vs. Buffet

So in the last week I've posted this and this about my wedding drama and revelations for the last few months.

And today I had a bit of an epiphany

well....... an idea

I know exactly how to make our reception fabulous

But I want to get a few opinions out there.

When my god-sister got married, it was in New Orleans and absolutely lovely

she had a few signature type drinks

absolutely yummy appetizers of some of New Orleans favorites

and cake.

Nothing more.

And I had a GREAT time.


SOOOOOO

I was wondering what your thoughts were on having a hearty appetizers and cocktails only reception.

There will be cake,

and dancing.

A candy station and possibly a photo booth

a bar of our choosing

and did I mention dancing?


I'm just wondering if this is "acceptable" for a sunday evening ?????


Granted I know its 2009

I'm not a "conventional" bride by any means

but do ya think people would be offended?


Holler back folks!!!
***** on a serious note any and all suggestions are sincerely appreciated****



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I decided....

i've been thinking
I love this man more than anything.
I just want to marry him.
I don't really care where or who's there.
I just want him.
BUT
I also would like to have a wedding.
A celebration of this love.
This union and bond.
And it doesnt have to be some super lavish affair.

It will be fabulous!

It will be more us.

I want to include all that we love and care for.

And dance under the stars

surrounded by their love and blessings

Therefore I need to re-direct my focus.

Start looking elsewhere.

Just because I like someplace doesnt mean its the one for us right?


Maybe I am secon guessing myself but I was feeling really uneasy the last week about this


I did a lot of thinking about why I was really holding onto this location.

yes its be-yoo-ti-ful

and we did really like it

but alas, it is out of our price range

and I know it

so I will let it go

and move onward and upward

I met with and old friend who's going to help me look at few other venues and I'm pretty stoked about it!
I know I will find something we love thats what we're looking for and within our price range

Cuz, hey I'm a budgety savvy frugalista bride who's quite a bit crafty and will make this day spectacular on shoestring.

Danggit!

The really cool part is in the last few days I have found some really great websites that have inspired me and excited me to new bounds!!!

Loving it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

FALLing into autumn

A couple weeks ago I posted this about wanting to decorate for the upcoming fall season.
I gave myself a budget and stuck to it.
Well here are the results!!!
I spent a lot less than I had anticipated
($25.00 to be exact) and I am pleased with the results.
Babe came home this afternoon and mentioned how warm and cozy it looked in the living room.
That made my heart soar!
I'm excited to have made the changes and our little house is all cute and cozy and can't wait for the weather outside to catch up with how it looks inside!
Soon we can build a fire!!!

But alas it's 100 + degrees and there will be none of that going on!
That's okay.
I can just stare at my candles and pretend! :)












**********************************


Ohh and here's a quick pick of my newly purchased wall applique!

It reads


"If music be the food of love, play on" - Shakespeare





A few more changes and my kitchen will be complete!

Monday Love

"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from."
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Ross was a Swiss-born psychiatrist and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying
**************************************
I know that today's quote is especially poignant for me.
My intent the last week has been to really listen in silence and figure out where God is leading me and what I am to do once there.
It's interesting, I lament some days because I do not have a "job" outside my home right now.
And believe me, we are struggling.
But whenever I mention this to others, usually older more wizened friends, they all say the same thing:
"there is a reason you are at home, trust in Him".
I believe this is true but have yet to discover said reason.
I wonder if I am not working because my intentions are not in the right place.
It seems like, from reading my previous posts, I am only interested in a job.
Not a career.
In making money to spend it , not to save.
To be able to purchase what I want when I want.
Not what we need.
I am going about this all wrong.
I have to change my attitude.
God does not make mistakes.
He knows exactly what He is doing and I need to focus more on the blessings and less on the shortcomings.
We have a lovely home.
An awesome kid.
A fabulous family
and best of all
we have each other!
So today, I challenge everyone to just be silent and be still.
Listen to that inner voice that guides you.
You never know where it may lead but chances are it's exactly where you're supposed to be!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

pay it forward


Yesterday, I had to do some grocery shopping but decided to first pop into the Dollar Tree

"just to see what they have" by way of fall decor.

Since I already have my budget I knew it wouldn't break my bank if I tucked in there right quick and checked out the goods.

I love that place.

So many goodies for such a low price!

It doesn't get much better than that.

I ended up just grabbing one item ( I needed a new diffuser and oil for downstairs) and headed to the checkout.

The couple in front of me was quickly wrapping up their purchase but were short .09 cents.

I offered them a dime.

It was no big thing to me as I had a bunch of change in my wallet and it just didnt make sense to me to waste the $5 bill they had just given the cashier.

The couple thanked me profusely and went on their way.

Unfortunately for me, the grocery store I went to was next to Michael's.

( I could spend hours in there)

So I popped in there before getting my grocery on and was super excited when I discovered they still had the vinyl wall quote I wanted for the kitchen!

Score!!!

It was $19.99 and had already been configured into my fall budget so getting it wasn't a big decision.

Not too mention they only had ONE left!!!

It was meant to be.

I go up to the register, and the cashier rings me up. $20.86.

Cool beans.

As I open my wallet, the lady behind me reaches into her purse and says "here, I have an extra 50% off coupon".

I was stunned.

Really? I asked.

Sure thing she replied, I have another.

My total changed to $10.86.

I was floored.

So this woman, whoever you are, THANK YOU!!!!

It was such a lovely moment that I had to post to FB and share my happiness!

Ahhh the kindness of strangers!!!

It just goes to show that you never know how your actions will affect others and come back to you as a blessing!

So Pay it Forward people!!!!

And see it work in your life!!!!




Thursday, September 17, 2009

wedding woe is me


we all dream of the perfect wedding when we are kids

where it will be

what we will wear
walking down the aisle
who will be there
what we don't dream of is all the stress that goes into planning a wedding

and the budget

I despise that word

I've found a FABULOUS location - and am ready to go ahead and book it even though its a bit pricier than I would have liked.


BUT ......It's everything I ever dreamed of for my wedding day.

And I am one of those people that wants to invite the world to her wedding

I am in love and happy about it!

Lets share it with the world right?

Wrong.

In this day and age of being a recessionista bride - we have to be practical.

Something I'm not very good at.

Everyone says "Even if you invite 100 people expect about 20% to not show up"

However, I'm not sure they had Babe and my's family in mind when they came up with that little gem.

See he has a HUGE family, lots of sisters and brothers , cousins, uncles and whatnot.

Mine not so much. But my extended familiy (i.e. people who have been in my life forever) is just as big.

And then there are the friends, former co-workers with whom I remain close to etc.....

So what to do when you're trying to save, one of you still doesn't have a job and you have no idea how you're going to pay for it all?

Trim the fat (read guest list)

Well last night we did that.

And I didn't sleep very well afterwards.

There are people that we cut that while its not imperative that they come.....I would like to see them there!

And this morning he kept going!!

I just don't know what to do!
I see his point but I also don't want to offend anyone who has played an important role in our lives.
sigh.

Since we are paying for a lot the cost burden falls on us.

We will get help along the way but at this point, we aren't sure exactly how much help we will get.....

It's rather frustrating.

I'm trying to focus on the bigger picture.

The wedding is about us joining together.

It's only ONE day.

But still...........

I just don't feel good about some of the cuts!


Anyone have any suggestions for how to compromise or how to include the folks we cut in other activities?????



ANYONE?????

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

busy bee


Somehow the day managed to get away from me again.

I have no idea where the time went!

I spent a lot of time updating and revising my resume

looking for jobs and trying to really focus on where it is I'm going and what I'm doing.

I had a GREAT devotional this morning, went for a 40 min. walk and communed with nature and tried to make it a point to really LISTEN to what God is trying to tell me.

I'm starting to realize that I have been so BUSY doing what I do each day that I haven't really stopped to listen and hear what the Lord is saying to me.
This past week I have resolved to go s-l-o-w.....and I can't wait to see what happens when I do that!

I've found that it's like this with friends and family too.
Sometimes we are so busy with all that we are doing that we don't take (read make) the time to listen to each other and what we are going through.
We are so BUSY with everyday life and "stuff"that often we miss a lot of the moments.

I'm realizing this as I mourn the loss of a friendship.

I realized I had not been taking the time to really listen to my friend and see things from her perspective. I also was not taking the time to just be there for her.
I was such a "busy bee" that our conversations were stagnant and superficial.

But no more.

I haven't officially lost this friend for good.
We are on "hiatus" until we can figure out how and where we fit in each others lives.
I can only pray and hope that when we reconvene we will be better women, better friends and better listeners.

But right now, this week, I am still busy little bee.
Taking care of my family but enjoying every minute!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a beautiful day???

the last few days have seemed like things were just out of wack.
A shocking revelation and accusations from a long time friend
A broken sprinkler head was gushing water
I woke up before the alarm went off
after not sleeping most of the night
Sweet Pea was home sick yesterday so my "to-do's" got moved to today
Had to move the cars as they were slurry slating the asphalt so couldn't drive up to my own house- that was fun.
I had no plan for dinner ,was at a loss as to what to make
and felt the beginings of a headache coming on.
so needless to say I was off my game
after dinner Babe turned on the TV and I plopped onto the couch totally spent.
We end up watching Kit Kittredge: An American Girl with Sweet Pea
absolutely adorable movie
Set in Ohio at the begining of the Great Depression it reflected a time similar to what we are going through now
People coming together to make things work
and figuring out how to live more simply.
Sweet Pea was astonished at what things used to cost (.15 cents for a dozen eggs???)
And how much fun the kids had actually playing outside!
what a novel concept!!!
It completely turned my attitude around.
We had a lovely family moment while watching the movie and let Sweet Pea stay up few minutes past her regular bedtime.
Then when she pounced on her daddy while saying good night and he squeezed her tight to his chest........ sigh
my cup runneth over
and in that moment I remembered what was really important to me.
My family
What a beautiful day

Monday, September 14, 2009

take a moment on Monday......


A few weeks ago I posted about Monday prayer requests.


Well we are in full swing and I wanted to give everyone equal opportunity to vent their requests and praises.


My wonderfully, amazing friend Rachel at No.17CherryTreeLane posts any and all prayer requets to her blog each and every monday.


If you have any requests you can simply email them to her at: justaspoonful@gmail.com or if you don't feel comfortable emailing a complete stranger you can send them to me at: btrflygoddess@yahoo.com


You can be anonymous, you can say your name- whatever you feel comfortable with.


But the more people we have praying the better for all!


Prayer works folks.

We have all evidenced this wether we choose to believe it or not is up to us.
Please check out this Monday's post HERE!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

today....I will

From my FB:
Amber got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
...
that tonight you can turn your worries to God, and have a good night's sleep.You've been worrying too much about the future lately. So tonight, go ahead, put your faith in God, and just have a peaceful evening and a restful sleep.


“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid“. - John 14:27
 
It seems like this message is right on time.

I have been worrying about the future a lot lately.

More so than ever it seems.

And really not worrying per se but it’s constantly on my mind.

In the last week I have done more job searching and hunting than I have the last month.
Simply because I am ready to work.
Ready to do my part and contribute to this family financially.
I have been so pre-occupied with “stuff” that I haven’t really let that thought take hold.

I’ve kind of psyched myself out of looking for employment because I’m “comfortable” being home.

And while it will be a big adjustment, I am confident that we can handle it and the good Lord will allow us to transition smoothly, when the time comes.


I was offered an artistry position with a fledgling cosmetics company but something is telling me to not get involved in that just now. I’m not really sure what it is but I know in my heart that is not the place for me.


I have a confession tho I have been procrastinating like nobody’s business about a LOT of things.
Consolidating my student loans
Going to apple one to get a temp job
Networking with former Alumni
Cleaning the house
Booking the ceremony and reception venue
Dealing with the wedding budget
Working on wedding plans
Seriously looking for a job


Just putting off the inevitable because I am afraid.

Of what?

To face the future and reality.

I am fearful of too much that is insignificant.

Today I will not be anxious.
Today I will let go and let God
Today I will bring my petitions before the Lord and know that HE is in charge and will light my path.
Today I will have more faith.
Today…..I will believe that tomorrow will be just as good.
Today I will take the time…….to just enjoy
Today I will remain in the present and not look to see what’s in store.
Today is a brand new day!.

little things

a few days ago I blogged about a new fall decorating scheme here.
Wondering how I was going to do all that was in my vision on a limited budget was a major concern.
And since I am an uber planner and like to know things in advance it was a bit frustrating to not really have a "plan" as to what I want to do and how to go about it!
So Friday I was up in my "study" pretending to work on my business plan and do some wedding planning when I looked over and noticed the random pillows on the window seat in there.
Well, the pillows have covers on them and I couldn't remember if they were the "regular" pillows from Ikea or the fluffy yellow (more like a golden-rod) ones from the old futon.
I open up the covers and lo and behold - they are the golden rod pillows!!
Score!!
Now I can put those on the couch downstairs and throw in 2 new slipcovers from Ikea, some candles and faux flowers from Michael's I will be set for fall!!
All for less than I had projected!!!
I love it when an idea comes together without a lot of drama on my part!!!
Thank you Lord!!!
Can't wait until the 22nd when I make my transition to observe autumn in our house!!
Yaaaay!!!
anyone have other inexpensive decorating ideas?

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Free" Speech?





On the political front, this has been a rather interesting and exciting week.
As a recenlty "middle -aged" individual, prior to the last year I have never really taken the time to get involved in politics and find out whats going on with the powers that be in my country.
However I have felt that now, more than ever, I need to pay attention to all that is going on.
And let me just tell ya, it's a lot of bullshit being flung around.
Pardon my french but there is.
Case in point, this week the President was set to give a "back-to-school" speech to the children.
Pundits, and parents were up in arms!
How dare he think that he can address my child!!!????
Umm welll .....he is the President.
He's going to poison their minds with a partisan speech!!!
Seriously?
As I remember it, George Bush Sr. addressed my classmates and myself when I was in jr. high, on Channel 1 and it was not an option to view it.
So what's the big deal?
Why do we have people who are trying to illegitimize the fact the Barack Obama IS the President?
I am seriously confused.
See I was always taught that even if we do not agree with someone in a position of authority it is our duty to give their position the respect it deserves.
To hear and see such a negative reaction to such a ( I feel) small issue was disconcerting.
The other fun thing was the President's speech to the joint session of Congress.
This was most exciting to me!
I feel healthcare is an important issue in this country and it must be addressed.
Imagine my surprise and astonishment when in the middle of the President's address a Senator from South Carolina shouted:
"YOU LIE".
It was response the Presidents remark about not funding healthcare for illegal immigrants.
WOW.
Have we seriously gone so far that a member of Congress has the audacity to heckle the man who holds the highest office in government?
I was shocked and appalled.
And then I got mad!
This is America and we value free speech but that was completely uncalled for.
Completely. Uncalled for.
I'm all for debate and bi-partisanship but the blatant disrespect was astonishing.
And then I thought of the children.
The ones many were "protecting" by taking them out of school so as not to hear the President tell them to study hard and never give up.
The ones to whom we are passing along our ideologies and prejudices.
Whether we realize it or not.
These kids listen to us.
They adopt our ideals and theories.
They are too young to pass judgement so we do it for them.
Then we are shocked when we hear an 8-yr. old exclaim; "I don't like Barack Obama."
I am not trying to get on my soap box but this is something I feel strongly about and had to get off my chest.

I cannot speak for everyone, and I know this will not speak to everyone.
But for the children's sake, let's get a handle on this.
The pettiness.
The lying.
The ugliness.
We have to do better by them.

Wether you voted for the man or not.
He IS our President.
His office is one that demands respect.



I REMEMBER.....


It's ironic they say you will always remember the most important days in your life.
and the most horrific.
My parents remember exactly where they were,
what they were doing and where they were going when JFK was asassinated
When Dr.King was gunned down.
When Malcom X was shot.
My grandmother remembers when Ms. Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus,
When the civil rights laws were signed into place.
And my generation?
We remember 9/11/01.
It was a school day.
I was newly pregnant and opted to stay home that day as my pelvis was expanding and it was extremely uncomfortable.
I got up.
Babe, was walking out the door on his way to class.
We kissed goodbye.
I turned on the TV.
Same thing on EVERY channel.
What the HECK????
I watched in absolute disbelief and horror as the 2nd plane crashed into the second tower.
I remember praying fervently that this was a dream.
That I would wake up any moment and it would be over.
But it was not.
When the first tower fell my heart sank.
I prayed to the Lord
What is happening?
Why?
As the second one began to fall, tears streamed down my eyes.
I simply could not believe what I was seeing.
I sat for several hours in front of the TV
Not moving,
barely breathing
my body wracked with sobs for people I did not know.
And then I got selfish...........
I thought of my unborn child doing flips in my belly.
What kind of world was this we were bringing her into?
How can we consciously raise a child in these awful, tumultuous times?
What is this world coming to?
Then reality kicked in.
As I watched the pure terror in the eyes of NYC citizens,
as two of their landmarks came toppling down
marveled at the bravery of the NYPD and FDNY,
for rushing into a dilapidated building to save lives.
I thanked the Lord for allowing us to even have these entities in place to respond.
My heart went out to those terrified individuals trapped in the buildings,
to their families.
I couldn't imagine what they were feeling.
I still can't.

Now, here we are
8 years later.

The memory as fresh as if it had happened last week.
But I remember.
the pain
confusion and disbelief
How could this have happened to us HERE?
Suddenly I was more greatful than ever for all my military personnel who were fighting to keep me safe.
Suddenly I "got it".
and I prayed again.
I am still praying,
still grateful
and
I will always remember.

What do YOU remember???

Thursday, September 10, 2009

thoughtful thursday

Food for thought on this Thursday:
"Cherish your visions.
Cherish your ideals.
Cherish the music that stirs in your heart,
the beauty that forms in your mind,
the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts,
for out of them will grow all delightful conditions,
all heavenly environment;
of these, if you but remain true to them,
your world will at last be built."
- James Allen, was a philosophical writer of British nationality known for his inspirational books and poetry.

Monday, September 7, 2009

labor day = lazy day....love long weekend

So this weekend was a nice 3-day'er

Since Labor day was Monday and the kiddies had no school, Babe didnt have to work and I even took the day off from "working at home".

We decided at the last minute that we'd BBQ for our "Soulful Sunday" this week in honor of the long weekend.

So we did.

Babe made a fabulous s'morgous board of chicken, ribs and hot dogs for the kiddies.

I made a pasta salad, followed his direction for the baked beans and tested out two new recipes!

Minted Iced Tea Lemonade and Key Lime Bars!

Both were so easy and a wonderful treat to add to our dinner!


Alas I have no pictures because I was starving and didnt think about the camera until after we ate.

sigh.

But suffice to say they were yumm!!!!


I slightly modified the Minted Iced Tea Lemonade as I didnt have any mint.

So really it was just a Green Tea Lemonade.....and it was so good!

I think I may just stop going to Starbucks all together!!


******Here are the recipes*******


Minted Iced Tea Lemonade:

steep 5 bags of black/green tea + 1/3 cup of sugar+ a handful of mint in 1 quart boiling water for 1hour.

prepare lemonade ( I used the Minute Maid frozen one)

Mix well and let chill

I add lemons for color, serve over ice and garnish w/ mint ( if I'd had it)



Key Lime Bars:


For the dough:

1 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

pinch kosher salt

For the filling:

4 large eggs,lightly beaten

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

(or bottled key-lime juice)

2 teaspoons grated lime zest

confectioners sugar for garnish

pre-heat oven to 350


spray bottom and sides of 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray

Crust:


combine butter and confectioners sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted w/ the paddle attachment*

Beat on med. speed until light and fluffy (2-3 min)

Add the flour and salt and mix another minute until well combined

Transfer dough into prepared pan and and pat out to even thickness.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. (varies depending on the oven)

Remove from oven and cool on baking rack


Topping:

whisk eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl.

add the flour and whisk until just combined, then whisk in the lime juice and zest.

Pour topping over cooled crust then bake for additional 25 minutes utnil the filling is set

Allow bars to cool completely.

Generously dust w/ confectioners sugar and cut into squares

For the neatees presentation use a metal spatula or butchers scraper to remove bars from pan

Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days at room temp. or for up to a week in the fridge!



*** if u don't have a mixer w/ the paddle a attachment you can use a regular mixer on low or spatula****


Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

1st week round up



As you may have seen here Sweet Pea started 2nd grade this week!
Of course Mommy was super nervous at the thought of her attending an all new school where she didnt really know anyone.
So Monday morning we were up bright and early getting our "first day" outfit on proper and rushed off to school.
Because SO many kids go to her school the morning parking scene is a bit nuts and it took me longer than I anticipated to get a spot.
We hopped right out and made it just as the bell was ringing.
Daddy & I picked her up from school , went to Target for some Converse and then treated her to a McDonald's dinner!
Tuesday -
Babe decided he would just take her himself since it was on his way to work.
No argument from me there!
Another cute outfit is picked out and they were on their way!
I pick her up and she has a band-aid on her elbow.
I ask what happened.
She replies, I fell tripped over the "wall" (read curb) and fell down.
Great.
When did this happen? At recess?
No. Right after Daddy dropped me off.
Apparently, her Dad didnt realize that she didnt really know where to go
(seeing as how she'd never been to that school before) in the mornings and hasn't really mastered the school's layout. It was only her second day after all!
So, he pulled up, she hopped out and started to walk towards her classroom, tripped on the curb and fell.
Tears ensued.
My poor baby.
Daddy was devasted.
To his credit, he didnt realize she was so scared about going in by herself and thought we had done the same thing the day before, until I explained that for at least this week, he needed to walk her in.
Wednesday and Thursday were a breeze.
Thursday was back-to-school night and that was fun.
We saw her classroom, re-introduced ourselves to her teacher and I volunteered for a couple of class projects!
By Friday she was whipped and ready to end the week!
Friday is spirit day and who ever wears "Spirit Gear" gets free juice bars!
What fun!!!
So we made sure we had our school shirt laid out for Friday!
Then I go pick her up and see all these little girls whose "Spirit Gear" is bedazzled!!!
Whaaaat????!!!!
Was there a memo that I didnt get?
Needless to say Sweet Pea has already asked if we can do that to her shirt.
Of course I said yes!!!
Now I have to get a bedazzler!!!!!


Monday: Fresh and ready to go!

Tuesday: rockin the pigtails and converse


Wednesday: stylin and profilin



Thursday: Hello Kitty!



Friday: Spirit day










ball of confusion

as many of you know I have been struggling with the whole "work for the man or for myself" issue for the last few months.

On the one hand - working for the man would be easy, and instant gratification of pay.

On the other hand- working for myself is much more satisfying but I need to focus my vision plan for my artistry business.

I think I've mentioned that before.

Anywho - this past week's adventures, conversations and laundry list of "wants vs. needs" has me really contemplating the whole "working mom" thing.

Again.

I realize that I am somewhat envious of other SAHM's as it seems their lives are filled with Target and Costco runs, dinners out w/ friends and generally seem to have a lot more room for "extras".

Now that may not be the case and I realize that perception is NOT reality.....but still.

I'm kind of longing for that sense of financial freedom.

Not that I KNOW that they have said freedom - but it seems like it.

I like budgeting my money and knowing that I got a good deal on things.

But I also don't really like being without or knowing that I can't really afford to get my kid or fiance a few "extra's just because".
Cause I don't have it.

So my latest idea is for part-time employment.

Maybe working 5 hours a day, everyday or a couple of days a week.

Just to help out and give us that "something extra" that I think we need.
Allow us to save for the wedding and pay down any debts we have or incurr until then.
And also to releive some of the stress off of Babe for being our sole financial provider.

I have already turned this problem over to the Lord and am looking to Him for guidance, but in the meantime.

It can't hurt to look right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

D.I.Y......a fabulous fall makeover

My friend Rachel has got me all fired up about this upcoming "Fall" season.
I have that in quotes because lets face it.
It's California.
It's September and its still 90+ degrees.
We don't really have a "fall" perse - more like we just skip straight to "holiday/ winter".
Kinda makes me miss living in Atlanta.
It was cold but at least we had seasons.
Anywho- I digress.......
So, like most women I know, I love to decorate my house.
And I want it to be warm and inviting to all who enter.
Not just in atmosphere but in decor too.
So I am thinking I would like to do a D.I.Y. project of some sort.
Clearly I'm not going to knock out any walls or put down new floors,
but I want to change the colors to make it more "warm".
The problem:
I am indecisive as all get out ...and I don't know what to DO
Seriously, I had to take a friend w/ me to Target to pick out lights for the veranda and it still took 40 minutes of hemming & hawwing to do that!
The Solution:
Ask my cyber friends!!!
So ladies - does anyone have any suggestions to spruce up my house in a more fall like atmosphere?
Here are a few pics of what it looks like NOW.
I really want to swap out the blue pillows in favor of maybe some orange-y red tones and possibly get some chair covers for the dining table, I have bamboo place mats but its "missing something!!
I also don't want to spend more than $175 for everything!
I need cute knick-knacks and jars for candy corn and other "decor".
And definitely more candles.
But I just don't know where to begin to look!!!
And if you know anyone who makes pillow /chair covers/ table cloths/runners/napkins - send them my way!!!!!
Since this won't be happening for at least 2 weeeks.
( I want to start about Sept. 22nd since that's the first official day of Autumn)
Please, please, help me out in this!!!
I really want to make this first year in our new place special and full of memories and I have a feeling this will help/guide me on quest!!!
READY???
SET???
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!







Thursday, September 3, 2009

a reason. a season. a lifetime

Since I hosted a ladies night over the weekend that was somewhat of a science experiment
this past week I have been thinking a lot about my friendships.
And I don't mean like crazy-blow-up in your face science experiment.
I mean like a scientific study.
See I have all different kinds of friends.
Ages, creeds, colors, races and religions.
And I love to bring them all together to see how people interact.
(I was a Mass Communication major in college , who's favorite class was organizational communication, so I am slightly obsessed with how people deal with each other.)
Sometimes I cringe, sometimes I giggle and sometimes I just shake my head.
I often wonder about how people become and remain friends as they go through life.
It seems we all go through stages when one of our friends is more dominant in our life either because of where we live, what we do or what we believe.
I truly believe people come into your life for a reason and you theirs.
You may not realize it at the time, but that person you go to lunch with everyday at work - needs that.
They look forward to that time with you and the "inside jokes".
The same can be said for lifelong friends.
YOU make think you have no room for them in your life now, or that you are in "totally different places" but they are still there for a reason.
Perhaps to remind you of who you were and to show you how far you've come.
Perhaps you are an inspiration to them!
Currently I am under the impression that we seek out people who fill a void in our lives or people who inspire us.
I have several friends now, that if asked ten years ago, I wouldn't have said I would be friends with and there are others that I would have sworn up and down would be the BEST of friends but haven't spoken to in years.
A reason, A season or a lifetime.
Cycle in and cycle out.
I think its up to us to decide who stays and for how long and to determine what if anything these friendships bring to our lives.
Because if at age 30 we are simply friends because "we've been friends for the last 20 years"
and there is NOTHING else there.......maybe its time to move on?
Any thoughts?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"good hair"





My god-sister posted a link on her FB page that struck a cord with me.
It's an article from the NY times entitled:

Skin Deep - Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics

Touching on the subject of African-American women and their hair.
It also discussed the First Lady's hair style and that of her children.
Apparentlythe eldest Malia, was wearing her hair in twists for the summer and some pundit deemed her "as unfit to represent America for stepping out unstraightened. "

Word?
That definitely struck a chord with me.

See as a kid I was never one of those girls who had "good hair".

Meaning my hair's texture had to be worked with.

It wouldnt just lay flat without the help of a pressing comb or a relaxer of some sort.

Or be soft and flowing when wet.

And I was always subconsciously aware of this "good hair" mystique.

I spent the majority of my life chemically relaxing my hair and destroying it in the process. Save for a few years ago when I grew out the "perm" and just press it straight.

The whole concept of "good hair" came about during slavery when certain individuals were given preferential treatment based on skin color and hair texture.

A lot of black women today have "hair issues" simply because of how they perceived themselves as a child or because some family member or friend told them their hair was "nappy".
They go to extreme lengths to make their hair look "more acceptable" to the viewing public.
Subsequently a lot of those women have other "issues" as well.

This distresses me quite a bit.

I have read a few books on the matter such as:

"Hair Rules - The Ultimate Hair-Care Guide for Women with Kinky, Curly or Wavy Hair" by A. Dickey and am excited for Chris Rock's production of "Happy to be Nappy" as I think it will really open the eyes of the general public to the struggles women of color have with their hair.



I have a child with what and older generation would classify "good hair".


Its soft. Naturally curly/wavy when wet and lays flat when pressed out.


And she does like to have her hair pressed out so it moves in the wind.


But she LOVES her hair in its natural and curly state.


That makes my heart happy.



I do not want my child to go through life feeling as though her hair is how she is perceived by the current world.


Especially when she looks up to the President's two young daugthers.


They are HER role models and the fact that they are showcased wearing varying hairstyles,


be it blown out and straight, braided, twisted or in ponytails,


it lets her know that she can wear her hair however she wants and her hair is NOT what defines her.
Even though most of the people she see's on TV or in magazines don't look like her or have hair like hers.
I want her to always be secure enough to rock whatever hairstyle she sees fit.
Any thoughts?

























































































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