After running longer than I have ever run before, a parkway full of chandeliers was well deserved! I'm half-way to my half marathon goal. It wasn't pretty, but we did it. The rest of the weekend? I was too tired to remember anything!
1) Twitter. Ok, I am late in coming to the party. But, I love it. I can actually "talk" with Mir, Karen, and even Neil Patrick Harris. It's easier than texting, and quicker than email. If you are not using this, sign up now. Remember how cool it was when you first discovered e-mail? That's twitter. My husband did tell me to stop reading him all the funny tweets I receive. I can't help it, Mir cracks me up!
2) Nutland nut snacks. *Not a paid review. I purchased all my packages of NutLand with my own money* These are so good. They are so good that I have driven or called around to most of the grocery and specialty food stores in Houston to find them. Only one store, Central Market, carries the line. I make special trips to Central Market to buy in bulk. Yes, they are that much better than anyone else's line-trust me. Gluten Free, Trans Fat Free, All taste. Yummy.
Happy Love Thursday everyone-embrace all the colors around you today.
Last week I attended part of the Mom 2.0 Summit. Unfortunately I was only able to attend two evening events. It actually worked out well since Mom 2.0 is really designed for bigger bloggers and marketers and I am not there yet. Also, if I am going to take several days off of work it’s going to be to go to Mexico, not to BlogHer. Full disclosure: despite being both a blogger and an avid photographer, I have relatively few pictures. I'm bound to leave people out of my summary. Forgive me, this was my first blogging event; I'm trying to do it justice.
I also met some crafty ladies who I love and follow like Marie and Laurie. Laurie was just like her site, full of great ideas, so natural, so perfectly perfect. Laurie, I am organizing a trip to Canton, you me and whoever will make the trip! Also, please can you tell me who made that headband (above)? I have been dreaming about it since Friday night! *Updated, she got it from Sweetgrass Mill on etsy.
Of course, I made it a point to meet Gabrielle. Her design aesthetic was clear in her Mad Men outfit; she wore this great vintage orange caftany thing. I would have looked like Big Bird, she looked like a Kennedy wife. I had to find her since my card designer (Pretty Smitten) said how much she admired Gabrielle. I thought, I have to show Gabrielle these cards because I know that would make Elizabeth happy. And I did, and it did. Mission accomplished.
Speaking of gorgeous, the ever gorgeous and perfectly coiffed Laura gets “Most Fabulous” not only for her absolutely fabulous effort in putting the conference together, but also because I have never seen her looking anything but fabulous. Never. If you can work a full length brocade jacket and come off looking that awesome, you have serious fashion prowess.
Friday night was the photo/art exhibition at FotoFest and it was amazing. The photos were laid out to tell a wonderful story; each image was captivating. Katherine Center's very powerful video was playing on a continual loop. I might have cried through it as it played...twice... I met the very talented Tracey Clark at the exhibition. I am going to sign up for Tracey's Spring photography class-you should too. I love meeting people who are following their passion, like Tracey and Karen. It makes me believe in the promise of possibility.
The photo exhibition really drove home the point that the blogging movement is a movement. We control our ideas and our actions. How we make the difference is our choice, but we can, and we should make a difference.
My only issue with the conference was from the marketing perspective. I met several marketers and was surprised at how little they seemed to know about these women. All of the bloggers in attendance have put their lives online for years; it is relatively easy to figure out who has kids, what their content is, audience, etc. I did not attend the day events, so it is entirely likely that the marketers were better prepared during the full day sessions. I know there were a number of events and promotions going on during the day, but I didn't get to witness those...this year. Next year I will be ready, prepared, and a full participant.
A few observations on the Olympics so far:
Snowboard Cross is my new favorite sport. Those athletes are crazy talented.
Moguls suck. Moguls and flips? Are you out of your mind. Alexandre Bilodeau, you earned it. I think that for every mogul/aerial skier born, another orthopedic surgeon is also born. The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons should sponsor the US Ski team from here on out!
This year's ice skating outfits are some of the most "interesting" I have ever seen.
Blades of Glory reject costume from the Ukrainian pairs team,
Exhibit (2) Wackadoodle country outfit worn by an Italian skater. He's from Italy, birthplace of about a thousand designers? Come ON! They actually made Johnny Weir's costume look tame. There were so many great/notable costumes. Did you have any favorites?
Speed skaters must be a little bit crazy. Have you seen how fast the really good skaters are? The skaters are all bunched up, just waiting for a major wreck. Also, the Koreans do not like the Americans, especially (apparently) Apolo Anton Ohno. Seems like sour frozen grapes to me.
P&G Proud Sponsor of Moms campaign. Oh, my heart. WAY better than anything in the Super Bowl. "To their Moms, they'll always be little kids." Love.
I've got some Half pipe to watch now!
Email from mutual friend:
Hey, I was at the card shop earlier this week and had this weird panic moment that I might be looking at a card I had gotten before. Did we know someone who did that or was that just a bad sitcom move?
Subject: Re: Valentines Card Question
Umm before the wife answers. I have, not once but twice given the Mrs. a card she received the previous year. She thinks it’s a big deal, I told her it’s one of my little quirks and it’s endearing. For the record however, please avoid doing so.
Another "helpful" friend chimed in with this email response:
You know, of course, that if you get her the same card THREE years in a row it shows you really care because now its a sentimental tradition.
Note: I actually have received the same card 2 years in a row for our anniversary and (I believe) my birthday. He did manage to get me a new card this year.
Has this happened to anyone else? Do you have a similar story we can all laugh and cry through? God love my husband, Hallmark is not his favorite place!
We traveled to Austin for my goddaughter's Baptism.
Such a sweet baby.
I am so honored her parents chose me to help her in this special way.
Also, there was bacon dipped in chocolate. Enough said.
Hope your weekend was full of sweetness!
We enjoy art projects and this project let Em and M create while I did the more mechanical parts. M loved the ladybugs so much that she insisted on making some for her teachers. I really love the way the ladybugs turned out. I just can't buy store-made Valentines. But, next year, I am doing these-awesome!
I started making these shirts last summer after looking at the numbered shirts for sale, but decided that I could make something just as good for less money. I use the tutorials from Ambrosia Girl and Bethany Actually and have made shirts as party gifts and birthday gifts. There are a ton of great tutorials out there, so I'll just add my suggestions gained from experience:1) wash the shirts before painting, 2) choose a bold, simple design, and 3) don't let your kids paint in white shirts-that was a rookie mistake! The most difficult part is finding solid color shirts in the right sizes.
Any Friday Favorites you want to share?
I’m also in the home stretch of my Family Rules canvas project that I started so many months ago it is embarrassing. Hopefully I'll be done by this weekend.
I'm writing my next projects down to keep me on track: Valentine's stencil shirts (freezer paper, so easy); Valentine’s Day banner; silhouettes; handprint art; Burlap/fabric wreath. Keep me honest here. Also, please tell me, does it always take you much longer to finish projects? I start one, then tinker about, then start another one. It's terrible. My house is home to the most unfinished projects ever!
1) Beer bread, originally from my friend Alex. I think her recipe varies slightly from this:
3 cups self-rising flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 12oz beer. Combine ingredients and place dough in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. You can add some melted butter at the end and cook it a bit longer, but I find that unnecessary. The bread comes out fairly dense, but very moist. While there is beer inside, it is perfectly safe for kids to eat. I suggest serving this with BBQ, cutting lengthwise and horizontally.
2) The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake (Pioneer Woman's recipe), renamed the "Almost a Pound of Butter Cake." I used to be known for homemade brownies, this cake has quickly supplanted my brownies in terms of requests from friends and neighbors. Make this today-but only if you have alot of guests. You need lots of people to help you eat it or you will be tempted to eat an entire cake. So good.
I hope everyone enjoyed an evening full of good friends and great food. What is your favorite football watching snack or food? I'd have to pick queso and chips-yum!
What really stands out to me is how great Karla and Travis have been to us over the years. We have enjoyed so many fun trips thanks to them. We've been fortunate enough to convince them to come with us on most of our hair-brained adventures. Travis is a huge motivating force in getting me to run the half marathon (Karla will accompany my husband in drinking the Napa grapes while Travis and I run-and hopefully T runs as well). It seems fitting then, that this Love Thursday is for the love of good friends, the friends that travel well; who support crazy, hair brained ideas. We pink puffy heart you Karla and Travis.
We started watching a bit of each American Idol episode with the girls after dinner and before bedtime. Normally we watch Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance, but they are not on. I haven't really ever gotten "into" American Idol beyond knowing who wins each season. I'll listen to the music, but that's about it. So, this will not turn into an AI blog. But, I had to share some observations. The auditions have featured a guest judge since Paula left. At first we didn't understand why they needed 4 judges, then Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) guest judged and we realized it's because NPH is awesome. During the auditions NPH judged, a former Barney girl came in full leather Dominatrix regalia. How do you get any better than that? When she said that she wanted to show people that Barney kids grow up and NPH said (paraphrase) "into bad girls." That was classic. Classic. That's just good tv. Our older daughter, Em, will decide in 2 seconds if she likes the contestant or not. Her judging for AI has kicked her up a notch since her dancing judging is usually based solely on the outfits. She gets really angry if a female dancer is wearing pants. She hates it!
*Please, someone, tell me you have heard this song! It has been stuck in my head for days now. darn you Ru Paul and your super catchy tunes! I have a guilty pleasure and I am going to admit it here and now, I like watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race. So Awesome. It is the best of Project Runway in terms of creativity with early ANTM (when it was good) thrown in and packages it all up with a lot of sass and quick wit. Good drag makes for great TV!! Observations on Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2: 1) Ru Paul is holding up very well and has extremely toned arms. Seriously, what exercises does he do? Fabulous. 2) The best contestants are really gorgeous women. My favorite from last season was Shannel. If she ever performs in Houston, I am going. 3) Ru is so witty and the queen of one-liners. 4) They selected some of the bit%hiest contestants, which makes for great TV. Love it.
Tell me, do you have a guilty TV pleasure? The Bachelor? Rock of Love (no, I don't watch either one). Are you an Idol fan?
What about you? Do you love awards season too? Do you watch for the awards, performances, or dresses? And, who was your favorite?