Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Little Change Is Good...In Some Cases

Notice anything different? I've changed my template...again. I'd really like to cut my hair, but since I told my family I wouldn't do that for five years (four now) I've got to look for other ways to change my appearance. That is until I can figure out what to do with my hair. I'm thinking dreads. However that is not totally what the change is about. I was looking for something that allowed the page to look fuller. Generally I go with the whole "less is more" mantra, but the former template left to much open space on the sides, and it just wasn't as appealing as I first thought. I'm still "green" don't worry about that, the blog just has a different skin.


Hmm....What if it really were that easy, get tired of how you look and just change "skins" oh what a life that would be. Honestly after watching "Black in America" I wonder if it would make any difference. Changing "skins" that is. If it were as simple as that would you change what you looked like, if it meant hypothetically you could change your life? In my own personal opinion the documentary didn't show anything that I didn't already know, and I felt like these are problems that are more class based than race based. Seriously, the problems that exist -especially with regard to education are inherent.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Team Overly Ambitious Yet Plausibly Possible (OAYPP)



Alright I'm on a team, and it has a wonderful name. Oh I'm sorry, I didn't say what this was about - Ravelympics, of course. Don't you love our little mascot, Team Captain Two Cables picked it....So far OAYPP is 36 strong and growing. I've got to finish the sweater that's been on the needle forever, unless I plan on entering the WIP's wrestling catagory.

Your starting lineup for the OAYPP roster for Ravelympics 2008

We are;
Del at Cozy's
Shanta at Life as I Know (you're here)
Gale at Gale and The Scale
Tammi at I Might be Wrong
CajTalk at 2Sistahsthatknit
CiCicarry at 2Sistahsthatknit
Angela at Angela's Crocheting Corner
Deb at Hakucho
DigitalLeaf at DigitalLeaf Studio
Ken at That Crochet Guy
Sandy on Ravelry (sgfone)
Daphney at For the Love of Stitches
Lisa at Knitty Kitty in the Tropics
AnnChie on Ravelry (pyttan)
Tamika at The Crazy Ranter
Amber at Knitted Sisters
Wendy at Knitting Infinity
Nicol at KnitChick
Sunny at Confessions of a Serial Knitter
Kim at Kim's Treasures and Snares
Nilda at Titnil Knits and Other Crafty Things
Monique on Ravelry (Knitdoodle)
La'Keesha at Random Screamers Patterns
Renee at Sassa Nova
Jenn at Guineverefree
Nicole at Nik's knits
Meg at Meg's Garden
Karen on Ravelry (Knutty)
Spiritknit at Spirit Knit
Carine at Rosie Knitted
Catty at Catty Crocheter
Nashe at A-K-A.....The Twisted Sistah
Traci at Traci Knits
Kathi at Ravelry (Knitnbabe)
Breefree7 on Ravelry
Two Cables at Two Cables n' A Frapp

I apologize in advance for any broken links, let me know if you encounter any. Until then...

Be Safe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Irresistable to Little Hands Brownies

Okay I made brownies for dessert yesterday. And if I must say so myself they were pretty darn good. The guests also liked them, and obviously so did the little goblins who did this:


Do you see what she did, she picked the tops off of the bottom three.......ARGH!

Well here's the recipe so you may partake of your own if you wish.

What You'll Need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp kahlua (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In double boiler melt 4 oz dark chocolate. Set aside to cool. In separate bowl beat two eggs and 1 cup of sugar. Gradually stir in cooled, melted chocolate. In a second bowl mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until well incorporated. Sprinkle in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread mixture into a well buttered and floured 8x8 pan. Bake for 25 mins. Let cool. Enjoy.


Be Safe.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yum-E!

Well, this was dessert Wednesday, and boy oh boy was it good. I mean absolutely De-lish. I just used my basic biscuit recipe and added a half cup of sugar. It was super quick and super easy.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Letter To My Young Sister

Kelada,
I have never known you not to meet a challenge head on, and I do not expect this next phase of your life to be any different. As you stroll off into the hallowed halls of academia, albeit nestled within a most urbane setting, I have no doubt that you will "sparkle". You have a beautiful personality and you are sooooooo special, with your own brand of wit. I only ask that you rememeber there is a place for everything, and to keep everything in its place. One must excercise some restraint of the tongue even in an academic setting. And should you slip, bridges may be burnt, but they can also be rebuilt, even if it takes some time.

You are gifted beyond measure, and it is not just your intelligence that I allude to, although you are quite smart. Your ability to make people smile cannot be measured with accolades. And speaking of smiles, yours could light up a room. I wish you friendships that last lifetimes, and experiences that bring you closer to yourself and those you love. Also keep in mind that "book sense" is good, but "common sense" is absolutely vital.

I have great faith in your ability to make the right decisions. It is my most sincere belief that you are going to be totally alright. And if ever you should feel the need to talk or ask a question I am here. It is possible to live a full life without compromising yourself, all the while learning valuable life lessons. You can have fun without getting into trouble; just don't get caught doing anything you shouldn't be doing.

If I were a better big sister, I would have given you Oh The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess, for graduation (instead of sheets). It was the last book he wrote, but filled with more wisdom (in my humble, yet accurate opinion) than all his previous works collectively. I'll read it to you :) when you come over.

Don't be anxious, know that you are not alone, and most importantly believe in YOU!

"Your life is an occasion, rise to it." - Mr. Magorium

Be Safe.

p.s. in case you all hadn't noticed, I LOVE Dr. Suess. I felt the world had lost a great treasure when he died ( I was 14) and I still feel that way.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ravelympics


Did I really need to join another group on Ravelry? Of course not. But I did it anyways, at the behest of Two Cables N' A Frapp. Wasn't like she had to do a lot of prodding, I went and read up on the events and decided that this would be the prime opportunity to get several gifts done.
I'm going to be participating in the Ravelympics in the Gift Knits Pentathlon. I'll be working on a few birthday gifts and some things for the girls. (They don't read my blog so I can post it here.) This is a very ambitious undertaking for me. I am somewhat a sloooowww knitter, so this is definitely going to be a challenge. I'm looking forward to it though, and I can't wait to start.
Let the countdown begin.




Be Safe.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Seeing Double


Well not quite, but close enough.

Lillie came over to take me out for my birthday (yeah she missed the party), and when I looked through the door, boy was I shocked. And although it was my birthday we were celebrating, she made ME change clothes -the nerve. Granted she didn't have any extra clothes just hanging out in her bag so I guess that wasn't such an unreasonable request (ahem- read: order). Oh girlfriends what would we do without them.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Made Detergent


I'm storing it in a crockpot that I don't use anymore. But its laundry detergent, and I found the recipe here. I must say I enjoyed doing it, and I can't wait to see how it works. I'll let you know.
I'm very excited to be using something that's environmentally friendly and cost effective at the same time. Oh how that gets me going.
I remember going to a laundromat (when I was younger), that had less than stellar standards for its waste water removal. I could see the suds and dirty water in a creek not far away. On days when there wasn't a lot of business, the water ran so clear, I'd think I could drink that, but when people were doing laundry en masse, the water ran grey. It was saddening.
Now at least the products I'm using can be filtered out during treatment.
ETA (edited to add): I used it Monday when I did laundry, and it worked great, I was very happy with the results and will see how the girls react to it. They have sensitive skin, and I don't want to use anything that would cause them discomfort. So far so good though.
Be Safe.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Surprise!


Fantastico! Super-di-duper. Oh my gosh, it was wonderful! I had the most supercalafragelisticexpialadocious day of my life. Thank you honey. To the most wonderful husband on the planet, who planned a nearly flawless surprise party (the guy at the door gave it slightly away). OH but it was great.


Let's see, I started the day as usual, me and the girls. I didn't really do anything, I looked up detergent recipes online and checked my email and blog and Ravelry for birthday messages, of which I got several- Thank you all.


The girls and I went to Target to pick up a few things, and I got birthday wishes from my friends there (yes, - I go to Target every week). We returned to the house where I began to get ready for the evening. BTW- Lani almost let it slip in the car that there would be a party. She said " I sure wish I could have some cake at your party Mommy." I promptly began shushing her and telling her if its supposed to be a surprise to "just be quiet". Crisis averted.


Ok, at home I check the web again and reply to as many well wishes as time permits, then I began to beautify myself for the big night, dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I didn't know what to wear because Michael didn't give me any clue as to the dress code, so I just got CUTE! I happened to wear the dress that Michael brought me from his trip to Miami (where I sent him for his 30th birthday). It was a very Carrie Bradshaw outfit so it fit fabulously with my "Grown and Sexy" birthday plans.


I fed the kids and got them ready to go to the neighbors (thanks Billy and Montrese). Oh yeah Althea said she was going to bring my gift to the house, but she was running late as usual. She called while we were on the way to the restaurant, at which point I teased about her timing and she said she'd bring the gift over in the morning.


Now we were supposed to go to Taqueria del Sol, however when we got there the line was out the door, and nearly around the building, so we decided to go to Ted's Montanta Grill, I'd been wanting to go there anyways so it all worked out. (I got a raincheck on the mexican though). Alright the game plan was laid out. We would eat dinner then leave for drinks and dessert at another undisclosed location.


I had the Barbecue Bison Spare Ribs, with garlic mashed potatoes and southern style green beans. It was de-lish. Um... I also had a fourth of a magarita, NEVER EVER AGAIN. Tequila is not my friend. Needless to say the ride to the party was interesting. However I quickly pulled myself together in an attempt to look respectable. We were at the Uptown Lounge, and maybe it was the tequila but I was still a little clueless. I thought we were going to see a comedy show or something like that. But back to the guy at the door - he said "oh yeah, Dino's in the back". Well Dino happens to be a party promoter with Metro Boyz Entertainment (and the husband of a fellow Mocha). So I heard his name and got my act together. Still I didn't know what to expect so I went to the ladies room and checked myself. Here is what I found upon my return:





I had a super great time, and I want to thank everyone who came out and wished me well, gave me a call, or sent me a message. You all helped to make my 30th birthday absolutely WONDERFUL! And to the most awesome husband ever-

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Be Safe.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Well today is my birthday, today is my day, I'm so excited hip hip hooray.

Birthdays are a big deal here. My husband has plans for me, and he has never disappointed, I am so excited.

Woo Hoo!!!

Guess who one of my favorite authors is: Dr. Seuss. I love him. Here is a book my daughter found last time we were at the library. Happy Birthday To You! Here are a few of my favorite lines.

"Wake Up! For today is your Day of all Days!"...

'"It's your Day of all Days! It's the Best of the Best!"...

"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"...

"Shout loud, 'I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I'm not just a clam or a ham! I am what I am! That's a great thing to be! If I say so myself,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!"

I hope you enjoy your day as much as I plan to. Happy Birthday to Me!

Be Safe.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What A Week


Full of ups and downs and twists and turns, its been a doozy. Last weekend we went to the coast for the 4th and had a very pleasant relaxing time with family. We came back home and hit traffic like you wouldn't believe. It was ridiculous, prompting my dear husband to reiterate his feelings of how people here "can't drive". Oh well, at least the next day we got to relax together and just be.

That means Tuesday was the day of bad news. Sometimes I just don't understand anything, especially how someone my age dies. My daughters god-mother called me, and asked if I knew so-and-so. "Yes". Well she wasn't feeling well and another of our friends took her to the hospital on Sunday, she died that day...."What?" How is this possible, her birthday just passed. She was only 33 years old. I just don't get it. Then my auntie calls..."have you talked to your uncle today?" "No." She proceeds to say, "he has big cell cancer". Its in his lung of course, he's smoked since I can remember (and that's pretty far back). I'm not surprised by this one though, he'd had a scare a few years ago (still didn't get him to quit). All I can do is pray about it.

Wednesday brought a brighter day. Hubby was home because his back was out, but at least we got to spend time together, even though he worked on the computer while in the bed. I must say, bringing your work home, doesn't exactly seem like taking time off. At any rate it was a lazy day for me, reading a book trying to block out all I knew to be real in the world, just too much negative for a minute.

Speaking of reading, hmmmmmmmmm how do I feel about that book? It didn't end the way I was hoping, but I wasn't disappointed. I can't say I'll never read another book by him, because I have one on the shelf that is waiting to be cracked open, and I'm waiting for another at the library. What I can say is Nicolas Sparks sure can paint a picture of love. Its beautiful, so true to life the emotions. (Gushing) It just feels so genuine. It was a great story of losing love, yet being able to find it again, however painful the road in between may be. Once upon a time, I told my husband I wouldn't want him to remarry if anything should happen to me, how selfish. Love is something that has to be given and received to be must fully enjoyed. I wish him a life filled with love and joy should we ever be parted prematurely.

On to lighter things. I finished a project this weekend. Of course it wasn't something on my list, something new I whipped up quickly. A shrug for Lani. I worked up super fast, I just need to work on my seaming. Other than that all is well, I will keep working on Zig Zag once I get more yarn. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to try to find the same color or just switch it up and make it a multi-color project (not really my style). I'm thinking of doing a poncho next for the baby. I asked for yarn for my birthday, so maybe I'll get something really great to make it out of. Until then I keep working on my sweater.



By the way in case you didn't know, my birthday is tomorrow, and I am totally excited about that. More good news, AKA's have a great deal to celebrate, as their centennial celebration begins this weekend in Washington, D.C. Along with that Mattel will be releasing a limited edition Barbie doll commemorating the occasion. It will be the first doll commissioned for any sorority. What a great thing (being an avid collector myself) I am very excited, seeing as how my mother, mother-in-law and several friends are members of the prestigious sorority, and my children want to be. Well that's it for now. Enjoy your weekend.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ain't Nobody, Leaving Nobody

Please excuse the vernacular, however that's how we say it in our household.

This post was originally dated November 2, 2006, but back in my none committed days, I didn't start it, so it didn't get posted. It was really just a title with some words of inspiration: "Ryan and Reese split up". I was upset about that, so many Hollywood couples not working things out, really a shame. And they were cute together, and seemed to be so in love, so where did the breakdown occur? I don't know, and really don't care (don't get me wrong-that's just not what this post is about). It's about options, or more exactly the lack of one in particular - D-I-V-O-R-C-E as Reba put it.

My husband and I have been together 12 years, seven of them dating, getting to know each other, getting tired of each other, loving each other, breakin' up and making up. But the last five, have been totally committed. Hence the motto " Ain't Nobody, Leaving Nobody". When we decided to get married we meant it for life, til death us do part, in sickness and in health, and all that other good stuff I'm sure the minister said but I didn't quite hear (that's another story). At any rate, there was no back door, no opt-out clause.

There can be no option, otherwise people get tired and they turn to it. If there isn't one, the only place they can turn is back to their partner, and they're forced to work it out. If things get bad, there's a guest room. If you don't have a guest room, I bet you've got a couch. Take some space and work it out; talk about what it is, get counseling, just don't give in.

There are exceptions of course. Reserved only for the most severe cases. In my circle of friends, the exceptions are "Beathin' and Cheatin' ", mine is beating, I do not condone physical violence against anyone. And although I know my husband would never cheat on me, I have already told all my friends that if they should happen to "catch him", I don't want to know. (Just think SATC movie -Miranda, I don't want to be her).

Of course when counseling other couples you can't just be like "look ain't nobody leaving nobody, so you may as well get it together." I'd love to say that, but there are things like tact and decorum. Although when it comes to saving a marriage no punches should be spared, between the couple that is. They must want to save their marriage, you can't want it more than they do. The mantra must be accepted before the troubles begin, its harder to adopt later on; its almost trite, somewhat cliche. However leaving that option off the table in the first place makes it necessary to work things out.

When we die these words will be engraved on OUR urn. Even in death "Ain't Nobody Leaving Nobody" and that's just the way it is in our house.

Go over and check out I Am Husband I'll be leaving a few tips for keeping things together.

Be Safe.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Girls Are Back....Again

Yeah!!!!!!!!!My girls are back...again; and this time for good. I am so happy. There really aren't words, at least not too many. Bella looks taller, Lynn looks tanned, and well Lani really didn't change much. One would think that after a week and a half of traipsing around MS the girls would want to relax a bit, but no, not these kids, The two older ones want to "make" dresses tomorrow. Cut from material and sew dresses. Hilarious. Even more so, I agreed to help. Good thing I didn't have anything pressing on the calendar. But you know, I wouldn't trade this time for anything. I get to be with my girls and help them do things that nobody else could, I get to share what I am passionate about with them. Hopefully at the same time I am imparting invaluable lessons of patience, creativity, and they can see love and devotion through the time we spend together.

My beautiful babies are back home, and I get to spend the rest of the summer with them. Yippee!!!!!!!!!!

Be Safe.

Working To Be A Consumer

I have been blessed to be a Stay At Home Mom for the last seven years, and I love it. I also love clothes, and shoes, and jewelry and yarn. So over the course of time I "worked" (read - tried to figure out) to find something that I could do from home and generate my hobby money. Well down through the years, I have done several things. I have made gift baskets, Handmade cards, soaps, bath salts, candles, you name it I probably did it. However it was when I came upon jewelry that I found something that I really liked, (I think its the tools) and could make a decent profit with minimal investment for quality materials. Silver was about half the price that it is now, actually less than half, I remember starting out and it was $6.32 an ounce. That's a steal.

So I came up with SLHayes Designs, and made up a blog for it, which has been sorely neglected since I started my website http://www.slhayesdesigns.com/ . I've tried different things to promote the business, going to networking sessions, being a vendor in different places, email campaigns, of course word of mouth, and even once or twice eBay. Alas, business was slow and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it much longer. You must sell in order to make more, or get custom clients ( which happens occasionally). Such is the case currently- I have a groom I am designing some pieces for,as a wedding gift to his bride, hopefully he likes them.

Custom clients come sporadically for me, I still need to get the word out. But every since I joined Ravelry, I've been seeing Etsy a lot, and I decided to check it out. Its a great place for people who make handcrafted goods to showcase and sell their products. I will of course be getting my own etsy later in the day and will promptly let you all know when it is set up. In addition I have taken the Buy Handmade pledge, which you can also link to via the button on the side panel.

All that to say, this past weekend we (the hubby and I) were out "shopping" with some friends and I felt the need to get a job, so I could shop. Shameful isn't it? First off we were in Banana Republic, mistake number 1, I haven't been there since before I had children, when I did have a job. Oh the beautiful things. That silk cotton blend skirt was lovely, but I can't justify $68 "on sale". In some instances it seems like a job would help out a lot, (I could buy more shoes and clothes and yarn). But I don't necessarily need more shoes or clothes and until I use my stash, not too much more yarn. All of my needs are met, we live a comfortable life, with activities for the kids and dates for us. So why do I feel the need to get a job...just to be another consumer. Sickening. I had to leave the store after that notion crossed my mind, because honestly I don't want a job, not right now anyways. And I especially don't want a job, just so I can buy stuff that honestly I don't have room for. ( For some strange reason, donating clothes to charity twice a year hasn't made any room in my closet).

Bartering, I've been a fan of it, since I learned what it was back in middle school. The concept made sense to me, but I could never really find others that felt the same way, until....the swaps. I make a lovely product, you make a lovely product, I have something you like/need and vice versa, let's make a deal. I will be swapping and buying handmade this year, because I refuse to work (a job outside the home) to be a consumer.

And though I didn't buy anything on Saturday, I did have a great time, and saw that kids still know how to have good clean fun.


Some kids put bubbles in the fountain. :)



Be Safe.