Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Shopping Fun!

I was doing last minute Christmas shopping and headed down to Fogo de Chao to get a gift certificate. I was doing a no-no, talking on my cell while going down I35, and I missed my exit. Since we are working on updating our kitchen, I thought I would stop by Fabric Factory, because I don't get down there that often. On my excursion, I had brought a blue bag to put all the gift cards in that I was accumulating.

Got out of the car with the blue bag and my handbag, open the trunk, throw the blue bag in the trunk to keep it safe. A nano second before the truck closed, I realized I had the blue bag on my shoulder and can you guess the rest? My handbag, keys, cell phone, wallet and all my other worldly treasures were locked in the trunk! Yes, I am 22.1 miles and 29 minutes (40 minutes IF there is traffic - Galleria, 2 days before Christmas, no IFs here) ...just a little ways from another set of keys.

I go into Fabric Factory hanging my head like a dog that just lost his bone, and ask to use the phone, hoping that I get an answer on the other end of the line. My wonderful, loving husband answered and as I stumble through the story, thinking he is going to explode, he is fantastically unfazed by the new task that has been added to his busy day!

Thirty-five minutes later, my worldly treasures have been rescued from the dark and cavernous trunk!
Thanks to my knight in shining armor who rescued the day!
And thank you to all the great people at Fabric Factory that let me sit on a beautifully upholstered couch!  Rest assured that I will be back for my fabric on a less stressful day!
You can visit Fabric Factory at

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Husband's Daughter

There comes a time in every young girl's life that she wants her father. My husband and Kelly's mother were divorced when she was just a toddler. Her mom remarried. Even though, try as he might, my husband was unable to keep a constant presence in his daughter’s life. There were several attempts at different ages to become connected again with her. I am testament to one such attempt when Kelly was around 14 years old. She visited us around Christmas and I dressed my daughter and Kelly in matching footy pajamas. They at least acted like they were excited!

There comes a time in every woman’s life that she wants her father. My story is similar to Kelly’s in a lot of ways. My parents divorced when I was 11 and because of my circumstances, I was not back to a consistent relationship with my father until I was 30 something. We met one day and I got his side of the story and then realized that there are at least two sides to every story. As our relationship renewed, I felt closeness that I had rarely experienced with my father before and it was wonderful!

The love between a young girl or a 30 something woman and her father can never be as sweet as this moment captured in time!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pickled What?

My mother-in-law, Mama Lou, calls me on Friday to tell me about this great new recipe, "Pickled Grapes." OK, I have heard of okra, asparagus, and onions being pickled. Even eggs and one of my dad's after work snacks "Pickled Pigs Feet." That one I always declined to try!

So when Saturday dawns, I decided to try my hand at "pickled grapes." Mama Lou had told me the ingredients, so I went to the internet and found one that had all the correct spices, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes. I did all my Saturday errands and stopped at the local Tom Thumb last for groceries. Red, green, black grapes...check...rosemary, garlic...check...white vinegar, kosher salt...check. Sugar was in the pantry and we always have red pepper flakes.  Look for pint jars - none to be found. Jaclyn was with me and volunteered (I think) to go to Wal-Mart and get the jars.

While she was gone, I plucked the grapes off the stems and washed them well. When she arrived, we started making the pickled part. Water, rosemary . . . . . where's the rosemary? All three of us; I, Jaclyn and Ronnie looked everywhere, the fridge, the trunk of the car, the pantry, the microwave (I have been known to put items in there that belonged elsewhere). Looked at the receipt and I paid for it so . . . into the car and back to Tom Thumb. Customer Service was very nice and told me to go get another package.

Back to the house, add red pepper flakes. . . . NONE, I can't believe it, we have NONE.  This is a staple in the pantry and there are NONE.  Text the neighbor and a few minutes later her great kids show up with a baggy of red pepper flakes.  OK, we are ready but, did we put in the sugar, vinegar, kosher salt? Don't really remember, but we continued with the rosemary and garlic. Mama Lou's jars had a stick of rosemary, our recipe said to take the needles of a 4" stem of rosemary, so we did. Simmered this concoction and then poured over the grapes in the jar; made 3 pints. Let the jars cool to room temperature, and then into the fridge for at least an hour. By now it is time for Ronnie to cook our mini-steaks on the grill.

Bedtime. Ronnie and I decide to try the grapes - Mama Lou, REALLY? You liked these?!?!? Then I started thinking about the day. I think we may have skipped a few ingredients - mainly the sugar - oh, yea the vinegar was supposed to be white WINE vinegar. 

So come this Saturday, Jaclyn will be gone to the Citizen's Police Academy and Ronnie will be at Christian Brothers doing free oil changes for single mothers, and I will go the grocery store and buy more grapes, white WINE vinegar, stock up on red pepper flakes and check my bag before I leave to come home and make "Pickled Grapes Uninterrupted!"

The funniest part though was when Jaclyn came back over on Sunday. We told her how good they were and she tried one and promptly spit it out!

Here is a beautiful picture of Mama Lou’s “Pickled Grapes.”  Below is the recipe!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crispy Fall Weather - Fall Mantel Party 2010

It is so wonderful to finally feel the cool air and the renewal of my spirit. The 100+ temperatures in North Texas made me very “dewy.” I should have bought stock in P&G for deodorant alone!

As soon as the morning air was the slightest crisp, it was time to celebrate by decorating my mantel to bring this new season into my home.

The cornucopia was made several years ago. I bought “fall bushes” took the flowers and leaves apart and glued them to round stryfoam ball. Since orange is not my favorite color, I choose more of the purples and reds. The candle holders and candles I received a couple of Christmas’s ago from my boss (yes, she is a female).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Peter Piper Picked . . .

390 Peppers (Free) (13 strings X 30 peppers)
$20.00 of Postage - Ronnie’s dad sent them, plus detailed instructions, which I found (if you know me the simplier the better) a better way to string the peppers.
$11.63 - One hour and 45 minutes at $7.75 per hour, putting peppers on the string to dry out.
$15.50 –  After they dry, bake in oven two hours and put through food processor.
TOTAL = 1 jar of pepper flakes = $47.13

For $47.13 Sam's would have sold me enough pepper flakes to last a life-time!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reasons Why You Rock

I was fortunate to attend a 2.5 hour seminar by Kathy Light, author of “Reasons Why You Rock”, this past Saturday.   As she begins, she reflects –
"One Saturday, when my daughter was just seven years old, she came bounding down the stairs with her usual cherry smile proclaiming, ‘Mommy, you have to come see the Power Point I made on the computer! It’s called, “Reasons Why I Rock” and it’s about all the reasons why I rock. If I ever get sad, I’ll just read it and it will make me feel happy!’ "

WOW! What a statement!
WOW! What a wonderful way to make us all be better – focus on our positive selves! WOW! What a great way to spend a Saturday morning with good friends and a great teacher!

Kathy Light’s book  is all about what it says – Realize Your Greatness and Amplify Your Personal Power. With chapters devoted to How YOU Rock, with worksheets to complete; you actually take the time to reflect on aspects of your life where you ROCK. As you write down your thoughts, you get more and more introspective and realize that you do ROCK!
I would recommend this to all my girlfriends (and guyfriends) . . . go to her website to learn more!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

See Anything Out of Place?

I always put ice cream in the Microwave for about 20 seconds to get it soft – well, it works too well, if you get your 2 scoops out and then put the ice cream, not in the freezer, but back into the microwave.  The bright side - it gives me an excuse to try Blue Bell's "Cotton Candy" and "Blackberry Cobbler" flavors!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Yearly Breast Exam Unplugged

Picture this: Annual physical at the Doctor Gorgeous's office. Blood pressure check, draw some blood, pee in a cup (messy), EKG. Next comes the breast exam. Even though I passed through menopause 10 years ago when I was 30 (wink, wink), I am still hot as a firecracker most of the time. And no it is not the extra 30 lbs of fluff covering the slim body I see in the mirror! I have been hot since I was born! I digress...

Now to the breast exam . . . Did I mention that my doctor looks like he stepped out of a GQ magazine! Well, now I am laying down on the table with my right arm above my head and he starts the exam. Now to The Good Part, I say outloud, "Wow, your hands feel good!" If you know me at all, you know that this is not unusual for me to speak without thinking! (Remember I am hot as a firecracker all the time, well, I forgot to finish the statement... "because your hands are cold" . . . NO, I just say, "Wow, your hands feel good!"

Before I could explain myself, Doctor Gorgeous says, "Everyone likes to be felt up every once in a while."

I almost fell off the table and peed my pants at the same time! So here I am, breasts and all, and Dr. Gorgeous and I are laughing like teenagers on their first date!

If all yearly physicals were this much fun, I would petition the AMA for semi annual visits!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Housewives of NYC and JCPenney Manhattan

To cap off Earth Week, JCPenney Manhattan hosted a Denim Drive , benefitting Goodwill, at our Manhattan store with our Green Living partner Danny Seo. Excited customers started lining up at 6:00 AM to donate their denim and receive a JCPenney gift card and reusable tote bag as a thank you from us!

Within the first hour, we had accepted more than 100 donations, and by the end of the day, we were able to collect nearly 500 pairs of jeans for donation.

Special guests, Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon and Countess LuAnn De Lesseps of the Real Housewives of New York City,

joined the excitement, donated their jeans and autographed our reusable tote bags. Inside the store, one lucky customer was shocked to find Jill, LuAnn and Kelly behind the cash wrap ready to ring up merchandise! The Housewives made the unsuspecting and very happy shopper's day by also paying for her purchase and taking some photos with her.

While walking through the store, Jill picked up an Olsenboye tee, requested especially by her teenage daughter. Media was buzzing about the Denim Drive and Danny Seo as well as the Housewives' appearance. US Weekly interviewed Danny, Jill, Kelly and LuAnn. Of course, our Manhattan associates make it all happen! Special thanks to Assistant Store Manager David Garkawe and SET Execution Manager Lisa Wicka for helping pull together a great end to Earth Week!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Make Your Opinion Count!

Last month I was emailed an available study from Schlesinger Associates and was selected to participate in an hour long study in Dallas. So I took a couple of hours of Paid time off from my regular job and participated. I Made $100 and didn’t lose any of my regular pay from my job! Easy Money. :)

Many of you are already members of Schlesinger Associates or have participated in Market Research studies from them in the past. And if you haven't heard yet, they are making some changes.

Just this month, I was invited to join their new site Inspired Opinions. This is a site dedicated to providing a central spot for people all over the U.S to receive updates on studies. These paid studies can either be in person, online or via telephone.

Previously, Schlesinger Associates had locations in many areas but you need to apply for that specific location’s studies. Now with their new site Inspired Opinions I don’t even have to take Paid Time Off ! I can do it from the comfort of my own living room and so can you!

To get started with Inspired Opinions and Schlesinger Associates just enter your email address below and see how much you can add to your pocket book.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No Rest for the Wicked?

Weekends are wonderful times in the spring. The windows are open and the cool breeze makes for wonderful sleeping weather . . .NOT!

Saturday morning, Ronnie slips out of bed grabs Nitro and his bed and closes the bedroom door - Ahhh . . . I can sleep all morning if I want . . .NOT! Tweet-Tweet-Tweet...... Tweet-Tweet-Tweet.... Tweet-Tweet-Tweet.... Tweet-Tweet-Tweet. Oh, yea, the birds are waking up to this glorious Saturday morning. Where's the shotgun!

Sunday morning, 3:15 am, whiskers tickle my face. Nitro needs to go out. Ok, I'll be back in bed asleep in about 5 minutes, no problem.

Sunday 4:40 am repeat above. But this time I let the Elvis out with Nitro and went back to bed without letting them in. Ahhh, back to sleep with no other interruptions . . .NOT!

Sunday 7:49 am . . . RING, RING, RING! Text message. Jaclyn is texting, "R u up?" Guess what, I am now!

No Rest for the Wicked!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Contrasts of Life (Maybe)

You gaze at the world around you and get used to the sights, sounds and smells. You get on a plane and fly to New York City.

City Streets, street vendors selling food, handbags, jewelry. Buildings from the streets to the sky as far as you can see. Horns honking, the constant buzz of people talking, music drifting in and out of restaurants, not a quiet place to be found. Food vendors with pretzels, fresh fruit, chicken on a stick. Restaurants with stuffed flounder that melts in your mouth, restaurants that serves only chocolate (delicious chocolate pizza) and down home Chicken & Waffles in Harlem. Tastes, smells and sounds that make Manhattan a wonderfully blend of your senses.

You gaze at the world around you and get used to the sights, sounds and smells. You get in a red truck and drive from Lewisville, TX to the deer lease in Throckmorton, TX.

First stop, the feed store. The resident dogs greet us and the beagle promptly hikes his leg and pees on one of the truck tires. The crisp morning air smells of hay, sweet horse feed, fertilizer and corn for the deer. At the deer lease can see from the cactus splattered ground to the ends of the blue sky universe. The only sound is the rustling of the mesquite trees and the deep voice of a cow mooing to warn the herd of our coming. Stop along the way home in Graham and have a delicious steak burger, fries and mac&cheese while looking off the top of a hill into a valley of brown, tan and dots of green! Exploring the town of Graham and stop at a wonderful shop - full of jewelry, purses, candles. Meeting two wonderfully delightful women, Vickie and Audrey. Laughter feels the air. They look like they belong in NYC, not Graham, TX.

It is a lie about New Yorker's not being friendly, they were as friendly as the women in Graham. A world of contrast, but so much really the same.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Preparedness Has Been Achieved!

4 Pigs, 3 Deer and Me!
It's been a long hunting season (just as the wife), but a good one. I look forward to helping everyone with their gun and ammo needs and hopefully pick up a few new customers along the way. Give me a shout and let's talk "turkey" . . .that's the next season for hunting here in Texas!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Easy Lollipop Valentines

Easy Lollipop Valentines

This a very easy and cute idea for all you guys with school age kids. I think I'll make them for the office "kids"!