Sunday, December 21, 2008

Grandma's Birthday

Today was my grandmother's birthday and so we all went out to lunch and up to visit her to celebrate. We really had a great time. It was nice to get to spend some time with my grandmother and really nice to get to go out to Mary's for lunch, even if we had pretty bad service the food was good and the company even better. It was a dreary, rainy day but we still enjoyed it. Grandma received some nice gifts, including our of a new ornament (Clarice and Rudolph) and an SD card of her own with some pictures of the Tuk-Morace family from this last year for her digital photo frame. I also crocheted her this deer (yes it is a deer!) shown and she still loved it even if it didn't turn out that great (I did try but this is how the pattern turned out... I guess I need to modify it for the future). We ended the day with some birthday cake, actually carrot cake baked by my aunt (which just happens to be the best carrot cake in the world if you were wondering). All in all it was a fun day. Happy Birthday Grandma!

Oh and Happy Birthday to my cousin Patrick too! It is his birthday today but he lives far away so we didn't get to have him at the festivities. I hope he had a great day too!

Christmas Decor Part 2

So now I will move on to myself for some of my decor but I think this will take some time. I will start with my non-living room spaces. Namely we will see my Nutcracker displays. I have both in my stairwell. The first image is of the display at the bottom of my stairs on top of the furnace. These Nutcrackers are part of a set from the actual Nutcracker ballet. You can see my Fairy, Nutcracker Prince, and little Clara. These are my first Nutcrackers and include the Uncle and Mouse King too but the other two are broken from the move. I hope to fix them for next Christmas.
Then you can see one of my gallery shelves filled with Nutcrackers. Jason helped me with both shelves and I think he did an amazing job. You can see I own more Nutcrackers than I should but I am still collecting more. (Plus not all of them will be shown in today's post). This shelf is mostly my Pirates but has a few other adventurers along for the trip.
Lastly, you can see our other gallery shelf. Here are the majority of my soldiers along with a few other fun loving characters, like Noah and a farmer. Some of these date back to when I started getting Nutcrackers back in high school as they came from the Christmas store. They were broken so I got to have them since they couldn't be sold. I painted them a bit and then kept them to start my collection. You can also see that the Bombay Co Nutcrackers make up most of my collection. Too bad I won't get to have anymore of them now.

I hope you are enjoying this look into my holiday decor. Tomorrow will be the outside of our home. Jason did a great job with the lights outside and I think my wreathe is just darling. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Decor Part 1

Christmas is a time for decorating in my family. My family has always done very impressive Christmas decor but no one ever makes a big deal about it. Because of that I have decided to do a series on my and my families Christmas decor this year. I will start with my maternal grandmother's house, which I helped set up about a week ago. Please note I am not really very talented at taking pictures but I loved some of these.

My grandmother only had her living room finished when I left so that is all I have to show but it is very impressive. We will start with the sofa and back speaker which includes lots of music players and a display of Santa's (I forgot to take a picture of the deer display but it is impressive this year). Those lovely pillows you see were made by my mother. I am not as good as she is yet but I think you will like mine this year too. Below you see my grandmother's mantel (and some of the deer). The painting was done by my cousin.
And lastly here is her tree. It is a little pre-lit tree which we only add ornaments too (we can leave it up since she has room to store it, so much easier than fully taking it up and down). You can see that most of the ornaments are of deer. I think we did a great job with it and it was so much fun to go through the years of ornaments and recount the stories they all bring up. Oh and the tree skirt was made by my mom. We can see where I get my crafty side from ;)

I hope you enjoyed the first installment and come back for more. Next time will be the outside of my home... then maybe some of our inside. I am a crazy Christmas decorator. Oh and you need to see the presents I made this year... including a crocheted menorah. Happy Decorating!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life Update 12/16/2008... or why I haven't posted

OK so I sent out our Christmas cards and in them I included our new business card with our two big sites. After sending them I realized I haven't updated our photo site in months (I will try to get to that today) and I haven't blogged in a a week or so (maybe two). So here I am blogging again. This has to be short because I have so much to do but I promise some more stuff in the coming days.

So what is new... well this month we have done a couple of holiday related things included the Benicia tree lighting (which was fun and there is a post below about it) and have even set up our own home in the Christmas spirit, thought we still have a ton of work left to do. At least we are working on it.

As for jobs, Jason is about to finish his term and take a well deserved break. We don't know what classes he will be teaching when he returns nor has he really met with his new co-teacher so we will see how it goes. He finally has his own portable but it has no heat (and most days stay below freezing for a good portion of the day) and no computer nor over head screen. He does have a phone in his room now and it is his room. Today he hosts the department meeting and I sent him with baked goods. I hope it goes well. Also his grades have been moved from next month to Friday in due date so he is busy. I have turned in my subbing paperwork but have yet to get any subbing positions. I guess next year... but I have jury duty at the beginning of Jan so we will see.

We are making most of our Christmas presents and I am actually getting caught up but still have some to do. If it weren't for some other things I need to do (like household chores I would be done). Oh and I did a cookie exchange this month and it was a blast. I seem to be making some good friends. If only I wasn't such a slacker to the ones I have it would all be good.

Lastly, we are very excited about my brother and sister (in-law) visiting next week. It is going to be hard once all of the holidays are over and we won't have them coming down as often. I do miss them but this will be good times to spend with them. Yeah!

I think that covers everything. I am still reading, crafting, and quilting too and I will blog about that soon... hopefully. Take care all!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Benicia Christmas Tree Lighting

Last year was not much of a Christmas for Jason and myself. We spent it apart and even though we enjoyed our time with our families separately it would have been better together. Well that makes this year our first official Christmas and to jump start it we attended the Christmas Tree Lighting downtown tonight. Here is a picture of us with the tree (taken by Jason). Not the best picture but hey, at least we tried.

We also took a picture with Santa which I will scan in when I have a chance. Plus we ran into some friends while down at the tree lighting, just showing you how small of a town Benicia can be.

As for the rest of our Christmas spirit plans; today Jason bought me a white poinsettia (my favorite) and tomorrow we will (hopefully) buy our two Christmas trees, I have already removed all of our fall decor and started our wreath (pictures to be posted here and my other blog), and we are even listening to Christmas music now. Oh and we have our Christmas cards and letter all ready to go... they just need to be signed and assembled and they will be out the door to all of you soon. Maybe we will even have a Christmas party this year since we will have such a nice place to show off. I have a cookie exchange, which would help with hosting, and maybe a Christmas party too. As for Christmas itself, we spend Christmas eve eve with my immediate family, Christmas eve night with them for gift exchanges too, and Christmas day with my extended family. Jason will miss getting to spend this holiday with his family but money is tight this year and we don't have to fly to see my family, maybe next year for his.

Happy holidays all!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Ok this isn't much of a post but I needed something to do to make sure I did post tonight. I will add more later but just so you all know....

Yep that is right. I have written over 50,000 words in a novel and it is still not done (actually 50,032 words) and I posted everyday this month... even if some weren't that entertianing. I will be bakc later tonight with more but I wanted ot make sure the early to bed types got to know I finished both big writing goals this month... everything else not so much but at least this got done!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving and seeing the siblings

My holiday has been very full. My brother and sister-in-law came down to visit and we have been spending tons of time with them and my niece, Bunny. Here I have given you a picture of Bunny and yes she is adorable. If only my step-daughter could be that cute and loving. Well I am sure I should write more about what we did and I will, maybe next week but now I need to sprint to try and finish my novel. Too much family time is only a bad thing when you have more commitments than you are ready for. Enjoy the picture of Bunny and thank you for your patience on the update! Oh and yes we had a wonderful Thanksgiving without any problems!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday: Worth it?

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday as you all know and this year it really was. I heard news reports of people sleeping out waiting for the Black Friday deals starting on Monday and Tuesday. INSANE considering what was for sale. In a downturn economy I expected better deals but they were mediocre at best in most cases. I found some clothes and bought some materials for presents but nothing worth getting up early or camping out for. The HDTVs were not the top of the line but promotional models. Most of the clothing was just generic items. All of the game bundles were available at all of the stores and will continue to be available for the rest of the season. Plus there were NO bookstore Black Friday deals at any of the major bookstores near me (save Half Price which I still have yet to visit). Plus the fabric store had over an hour long wait just to cut fabric.... can you say ridiculous? I am glad I went and I did get some good deals but if retailers are hoping to make up for the bad ear with this weekend it ain't gonna happen on the deals they are offering. Good luck to all of my fellow shoppers and I hope you fared better than I did at times.

PS Michael's you need to offer your books and magazines (or at least the books) for your coupons. This is just ridiculous that I have to by pattern books for full price from you and I can get them cheaper somewhere else, if only they were in stock. Oh and stock safety eyes. Your a craft store, right?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

I just wantd to say a little Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends and family out there in cyber world. I hope you all have a wonderful day awith lots of food, family, and fun! I know we will! Oh and good luck for all of you Black Friday shoppers! It looks like there are a lot of deals out there this year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Under the Banner of Heaven

This month's book club choice was Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

This is a book about the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and a little background on the mainstream Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormons). The book provides a very well written account of the creation of the church that has the fourth or fifth largest following of all religions in the world. Being the only truly modern religion we know a great day about how it formed and it's background. The main portion of the book is devoted to a splinter group from the religion the FLDS who still practices polygamy. It also chronicles the murder and trial of the murderers the Lafferty brothers.

I only made it to page 84 and then I skimmed through most of the second part but never got to the last half of the book. It is an interesting story and I love the amount of research that must have gone into this. The book didn't hold my attention for long though. I am not a big non-fiction reader and really not true crime so take my review or leave it. I think Krakauer uses too many complex words to explain simple things and since I like to read right before bed this didn't work to my advantage. He made me think, which is generally good, but he made me think too much for the amount of effort I was willing to give this book. The only major problem I had was that I really do not agree with many of the practices of the FLDS and so I had a hard time accepting or even liking most of the people. I guess it is just a personal thing but some of their beliefs are very much against my own beliefs.

I give it two bookmarks out of five. It is just not my kind of book. I think it is worthwhile if you are willing to give it a full effort but it just didn't work for me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wedding Pics

So I have spent the last few days wading through my wedding photos and even though I am missing some shots I really wanted taken I still love them. There are even some more I need to print now! I thought I would give you guys one of my favorite pictures today since I totally don't feel like writing but I need to make it to a post a day.... only 5 more days and three of them... no wait make that four of them already have themes! Oh maybe all five if I am lucky! Enjoy he picture and I will have the rest on the website soon!
BTW, that is me and Jason and J's best man Bob sharing a laugh right after the ceremony.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not reading right now, boo!

So you might have noticed that last month I think I posted reviews about at least three (maybe four) books and this month I have only posted about one book. That is not because I haven't been blogging either. My to be read list is only getting longer but my reading time is getting shorter and shorter. With everything I have actually given up on my first two books in a long time. I gave up on Three Cups of Tea because I ran out of time with my checked out copy from the library. I was enjoying it so I think I will go back and finish it some day. And now I just gave up on Under the Banner of Heaven. I read most of the beginning and now that I know what it is all about and why they committed the murders and am through all of the creepy background on the fundamentalist Mormons I don't want to finish it. I hope to actually finish my next book The Borgia Bride, which I start tonight. I need a review soon or I might lose some of my readers I know and I promise one by the beginning of next month. At least I finished my wedding photo album tonight. Now just one more before Thanksgiving and then a break from pictures. Oh and I received the first set of my Christmas cards tonight and I love them! Just wait until you get to see them, I am sure you will love them. Ok must write another 500 words tonight and get some reading in. Night!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New blogs? Are you crazy?

Yes I just might be but good advice should be followed, no matter how hard it is to do. I have had a second blog for a while now (actually since I started this one) but if you look at it you will notice I haven't touched it in months (well almost). Since I have been crafting more and more I will be blogging about my crafts there soon. Sometimes I will even include patterns I have found somewhere (and are free to post) or ones I create (which will NOT be perfect). I am also about to launch a new blog (almost meaning in December) about something most people should find really interesting right now, my job search. I hope it will be a place for people to come and get advice or share advice about looking for a job. I will make notes about my own search and list anything I find helpful or hurtful on my attempts at being employed. I might even post jobs I have found that sound great but I can't apply for (not ones for me, do I really need more competition?). I hope this will up my readership, which I am sure it won't but at least I am trying. I hope you all enjoy it! Good luck in your own searches! Oh and I have now posted everyday of this month meaning I am right where I need to be for NaBloPoMo... maybe I can win that at least ;).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mini life update November 22

If you missed the messages this week (all of which are below but still) I have decided to make a min update today. Not everything new about us has been mentioned but most of the good stuff has. So Jason got a job working at AHS as an English teacher in some capacity, right now 9th through 11th grades but when the other teacher arrives this might change. We are also getting back pay from the district for unpaid health coverage, which is always nice. Lastly, in what you should know, we have received the wedding photos... the professional ones! I promise they will be online sometime soon and at Thanksgiving too.

Now about the stuff you might not know. So I have passed the half way mark for my novel in NaNoWriMo (about a week too late) but I am still in the running. I am now about 10,000 words behind but if I can make a big push the next couple of days I might make it. Jason is coming down with something and I still have a horrible persistent cough. Bianca is more and more difficult each morning when we put her out, meaning the cold weather has officially hit. I am still looking for a job with no reliable a leads, but good advice from my dad none-the-less. I am way behind in my book reading, so much so I didn't finish my book this month for the library book club and will probably not finish it for the Nest book club either. I have started attending a meetup group where there are lots of very nice women, we even crochet! However, the group might be disbanded soon :(. Oh and Jason has all of next week off for Thanksgiving break and my brother and SIL will be down to visit. I am way behind on everything but that is what December is for, right?

I think that is everything. I will add more as I think of it. Good luck and goodnight!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yay me! NaNoWriMo update...

With little more than a week left I am finally catching up in my word count. What with job searching and other activities I have not been finding much time to write, but today I only wrote (ok well I spent like three hours looking for a job and I know I will kick myself in the butt when I have to do five hours tomorrow to catch up but still). See even Oprah approves that I haven't given up on something I really want to achieve. Now to start work on my online store.... hmm... Oh and Oprah, can my book be in your book club, like maybe this summer? I think I can have it ready by then. Ok must crochet and see husband at some point today. Yeah 5000 words in one day. So doable each day this weekend too... then I will almost be caught up! Maybe 8000 a day, but we will see!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jason got a job!

Jason got a job today! We new he might be he actually did get it. We don't have all of the details yet but he will be teaching English at AHS back in our old district. The classes will some how be split between him and another teacher, who will come from out of state in January some time. We are so very proud of him and excited about this new avenue in our life. Next will be me getting a job... well let's just hope! So if you happen to talk to him let him know how proud of him you are. I married well!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good news and better news!!

I have been having a rash of bad or not so good news lately. A book I ordered got sent to MA (stupid Amazon) and so did a video game Jason ordered. I didn't get a job I really wanted. Jason was being overlooked for a position he would be perfect for. AND THEN... a light at the end of the tunnel! Today we both (Jason and I) got letters saying our old district owes us money!!! Actually a few thousand dollars! That is fantastic and makes our lives just a little easier. And now to top it off, I just got my wedding pictures! I will post one on here tomorrow maybe (may even add one to this blog but after the fact). I am so happy. I am finally getting things done and making friends and our lives seem to be heading into a good time. Let's hope we get more good news as this week plays out. Maybe tomorrow or Friday I will hear about my job! Fingers crossed!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Wedding in December and my new book club

This was the first book for my new Nest book club. It is a great group of women and we had lots of yummy food and drinks. Not to mention all of the great conversations and fun meeting so many nice women. However, no one seemed to like the book. Maybe we didn't pick a good one this time but maybe next time will be a good one.

This book is by a popular author but this one is not her best work. The book is written from three different points of view and has two sub stories (one that is actually related) and a main story that mostly consists of character development with a little lite plot. The premise is that an unlikely group of high school friends comes back together to celebrate the wedding of two of their friends who have finally reunited after all of these years. Ok sounds good. Now throw in some back story about a high school tragedy and compare it to a modern day one. Not to mention tons of marriages falling apart, more affairs and infidelity than I can shake a stick at, and mixed with lots of back story on each character since they were in high school. Oh and did I mention the side story that has NOTHING to do with the main story, but it more interesting than it? I think now you get my drift. This was a poorly written book with a few good parts but not enough to recommend it. Read some of her other books if you want to give Anita Shreve a try but this is a bust.

Because of the weak plot and over abundance of superfluous details I give this book one book mark out of five. It is interesting to see some of her other work if you are a fan but please avoid this if you are not out for forcing yourself to finish books. Now on to try and finish another book club book for tomorrow night, wish me luck!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall Decor

A few days ago I changed the decor in our home from Halloween to just fall. Somethings go to stay but most things were changed out. I have included some pictures so you can see what we have up that makes our home more festive. I am sure the Christmas pics will be about ten blogs long... hope you are all up for that.

First up I have the shelves above our staircase. The first one got the addition of a nutcracker (a harvesting one so it is fall like) and a book about harvests and food. The second one got transformed into a a bird's paradise with lots of things to peck in a fall wonderland. Aren't my birdies cute?

Then, on the wall that was the haunted house I have put up a fall wreath (curtsy of Michael's) and some fall leaves to cover up the whiteness of the wall.

Lastly, I have the pillowcases I have made for fall. They are not very complex but I am proud of them. I just bought fabric to do new ones for winter. This is a lot of fun changing out the decor to go with the seasons. It is making our little space feel more like home. Now I just need to catch up on everything else in my life, like the novel and books to read. Not to mention... getting a job!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NaNoWriMo Halfway Update

Yesterday was the 15th, which is halfway through the month of November. Why is that important? Well by yesterday I was supposed to be at 25001 words (at least according to this calender I was). I am at about 15475 words right now and it is the 16th. I have a long way to go if I am to actually finish this novel (about 11000 words if I want to catch up tonight or 13000 tomorrow night). I don't know if I can do it. I am just too involved with other things right now. Mostly, other social things most of which are in real life and not just on my own. I want to finish. I really want a copy of it, which you only get if you finish and verify by the 30th. I am just such a slow writer. I guess I just need to get my butt in action. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Kathleen!

So today is my Matron of Honor's Birthday! I know she probably will not read this (at least not today) but I thought I would give her a shout out for it (either that or discuss NaNoWriMo but I will save that for tomorrow). She has been totally awesome for me over the last few years and I only wish we lived closer together. I hope she loves her present an has a wonderful day!

Oh and I will list all of this month's birthday's next week, so you all know how many people I am trying not to overlook but my forgetfulness will win out on. Have a wonderful month, which we are now officially half way through!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Is a house too much for me???

Today I spent the day helping my grandmother around the house. It was fun actually getting out and doing some home improvement work. I fixed most of her stairs up the hill, replaced batteries in the smoke detectors, fixed a hose line, and even snooped on the neighbors ;). I have been thinking about wanting a house for a while. In fact, Jason brings it up all of the time. I want one but seeing how much work is involved and looking at how much I already do with an apartment I don't think I am there yet. My best friend has a new home and she is enjoying it but I see how much work that is and wonder if I could do it alone? I don't think so. I want a house but is it possible to be more than just not financially ready for one? I know I am not ready for a child (WAY too much work and stress for me right now). Can you be that way with other forms of responsibility? Do you just know when you are ready, like I knew when I was ready to get married? I hope so. I love helping my grandmother and even my parents. That will have to be how I live my house dreams for now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Suzy Homemaker

What does a wife do when she hasn't found employment yet? Well look for a job... but other than that? Oh yeah, she plays at being a homemaker. I feel really good about myself today. I have been sick but finally I am getting stuff done around the house. I got the floors swept and/or vacuumed most all of the floors, cleaned the sinks in the bathrooms (which I hate doing), cleaned up the dishes, baked cookies, and found a way to make most of our Christmas gifts for this year. I am so proud of myself!!! I know not everyone wants homemade gifts but I think they will be lovely and personal. I will even post some hints as to what I am making, either on this blog or on my other blog (which I haven't visited since I started this whole blogging experience.

I guess that since I am still trying to find a job I can be a great wife! Having purpose feels so good. I promise to post some pics of what I made today that has inspired my Christmas crafting plans!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My County Test

Today was my testing day for the county job I am applying for. I was nervous about it and have been practicing online for the last week or so. They have tests available through the local library website (as I am sure they do all over the country) for all kinds of subjects. I have been focusing on the civil service test, one which I assume my test is modeled on. I passed the practice with a 97% (not too bad) and I have practiced my math, reading comp, and spelling and grammar to make sure was ready for today. The practice helped. Today went well, I think I did very well and should rank high enough to get an interview!!! The only part I was not prepared for was the part on interviewing skills. Oh well! At least I will be ready next time... but let's hope this one works and there is no next time!!

Wish me luck! I think I have this one. Yay! A job for me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

No, I know I am not very patriotic. I used to be, but that all changed a while ago (and it is a long story) but right now I feel some pride in my country and today's holiday has helped reinforce it. Jason's best friend is in the military. We are all a little worried about his safety in these turbulent times but he is not. Bob's wife, Ellen, is handling it all very well, seeming to take it in stride. I think I finally understand the sacrifice she has to make, not completely like I have had to do it but like I can foresee what it might be like. I guess what I am trying to say is that today of all days I again appreciate what our armed forces are doing for us. They have to make huge sacrifices for us to be as safe and warm as we are. Thank you to all of our veteran's and I hope all of those who are still in the military get to retire from it unscathed. Happy Veteran's Day!

PS Thank you to my family who have served. My uncle, great-uncle, and grandfathers thank you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken Stir Fry

As we have been sick for the past two weeks I have not been cooking. Since we both felt better today I decided to start with an easy dinner. I made this stir fry in less then 30 minutes and only used what the sickies, us, had in the house. I will admit I cheated on the rice having Jason make it in our Pampered Chef microwave rice cooker but I think I get credit for the rest.
So to make this yummy, which my pictures never seem to portray but it is yummy and not yucky, dinner I broke out our wok and heated it with some Hosin sauce and a little dark soy sauce. I chopped up one large sweet white onion and a small red and orange bell pepper and added it to the heated wok. I also added a dash of Chinese Five Spice and some garlic, you can never have too much but I only did a little since we have been sick and I didn't want to over power it.
I cooked the onion and bell pepper for about five minutes just to get them cooking, we like very cooked onion. I then added two large chicken breasts, chopped up, and a little more Hosin and dark soy sauce to the chicken. I cooked for an additional ten minutes until the chicken was completely cooked through. I then threw in a bag of frozen mixed veges and cooked for about three more minutes.
Then just take off the heat and pour over rice and you have yourself a nutritious and easy meal. Jason didn't love all of the spices but I really enjoyed it. I guess next time just the dark soy for him, oh well. I hope you have some good times in the kitchen and I promise more exciting recipes in the future. I have a Stromboli and lasagna or cannelloni in my future.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Job search and life update November 9th

If you didn't know Jason and I have been very sick lately. Jason caught something when he first started subbing and subsequently gave it to me. I have almost completely recovered but Jason is still recovering. Apparently, Zicam really does work. I took it since I found myself felling poorly and I have progressed through the illness much faster than Jason has.

Our home is progressing quiet well though. I am just about to change the decor over to fall from Halloween and at the end of the month I will switch it over to Christmas. All of this will come with pictures in the blog if you want to see the transformation. I have been having a hard time keeping our home as clean as I like with our new illnesses but I hope to catch up on my cleaning this week as well.

In other news I think we will make all of our Christmas gifts this year. We are much poorer (not broke but we can't risk it) then we expected so I hope no one expected anything amazing and store bought from us. I will use all of my skills to make you all something you want but it may not be your dream gift. It is the thought that counts, right? Speaking of artistic exploits I have been busy with some other projects too. I am almost done with my first block for my quilting bee. I am also fairly well started on my Nestie exchange item too! I will not finish my blanket for fall though. I guess it will have to be done for next year. I do hope to buy some fabric to make some winter themed pillowcases this year. Lastly, we are still working on our Christmas cards but those should be made soon.

As for work, Jason has already begun subbing and is working most days. I take the test for the county this Wednesday, wish me luck, and did not get the community college job. I am disappointed but still looking. I am applying to almost anything I can find. I have started working towards subbing and hope to find a position in retail that is just seasonal. My mother seems pretty confident that I should be able to get the county job. Let's hope so because nothing else seems to be appearing.

In the kitchen you may have noticed I have been pretty quiet. That is because we have been sick and not in the mood for cooked food or for cooking food. I am hoping next week to cook again. We need some vegetables but I have tons of meat so I am thinking something exciting should becoming this week. Jason really wants Stromboli, so once he is well enough I will make it for him and post the recipe here for all of you.

What about your writing, how is that going? Well I am over 10K into NaNoWriMo but I needed to be at 15K today so I still have a ton of catching up to do. This does not help the cause but I do enjoy the therapy it gives me. I am also up-to-date on my blogging (you can check if you want) for NaBloPoMo, there at least I am on top of things. Sadly, I am very behind in my reading. I still have three book club books to read and now a full vampire series (which I have almost finished the first book of), the Outlander series to start, and an extra book for one of the book clubs. So much to read and write and only so much time in the month.

Lastly, I guess I will give a little update on the other parts of our lives... those we love dearly. Jason's uncle has a rare form of cancer and Jason is afraid that he may lose him. This is a sad time since we can not afford to go and visit but Jason's uncle seems very brave and untroubled by his illness. The rest of Jason's family is in good health though. Bob, Jason's father, is coming out in December to visit, which we look forward to. My family all seems to be in health. My brother and sister-in-law have settled well up north and love their new puppy very much. We are all looking forward to their visit this month even if it is only for a few days and we have to share them with Nicole's family. At least we will get to see them. I miss them both very much. As for friends they all seem to have legs and arms enough between them. We worry about Bob but we trust he should be fine until his return. Bianca, our lovely cat, has lost her collar, again! I guess this whole outdoor thing is not working with the whole collar thing. She does seem to be used to it by now. Once it really starts the bad weather we might have her live indoors most of the time.

Ok well that is all of us. I hope all of your lives are going well and we will update you again in a few weeks. Take care!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Today was the local library's monthly book sale, which is my favorite Saturday of the month usually but this month it was even better. Twice a year, in May and November, the library does a bag sale. In other words, a brown paper back of books/DVDs/CDs is only $5!!! I went with a list in hand and hoped for the best. Of course I did not get all of the books I wanted but I still came away with a huge stash of books, and so did Jason. We both filled our bags and with a totally of $10 we have feed our book buying addiction for the next little bit.

I am very happy about this for a few reasons. First, we are broke.. both being unemployed or underemployed we don't get to spend money on "luxury" items. So a book sale like this we could actually buy some things we wanted and not break the bank... in fact this was a our fun money for the month but it was well spent! Second, we got great finds we might not have bought if it weren't for the sale. They are not shown but we have started collecting some Young Adult books we loved as kids to have when our children, when we have them, will have books to read that we are familiar with. It is great to be planning ahead and yet we will have these books when we need a comfort book too! Thirdly (and lastly), we could buy some books we wanted to try out but might not get from the library (forget to order) or ever buy (not sure enough they are worth the money). I tried some new authors and Jason got some authors he hasn't read everything of yet.

All in all it was a great day. And on our anniversary no less... Yay for 3 months of wedded bliss and still going strong! I can't wait to curl up with these this winter. OH and the best find of all... an early, hard bound (not in the best shape but still) edition of Dracula!!! I know this is no one else's favorite but I do so love the book that started it all (in a sense). Happy reading!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christmas Lists

We just received our Target Christmas Book. It is amazing how styling can make anything look like an amazing gift for someone... it doesn't always work out that way but that doesn't change anything. I am so excited about the holidays this year. Yes we are as broke as folks can get and so the gifts will be "from the heart" instead of the pocketbook. I love the family togetherness and this year I will have my own family to think of. It is great to know I have started a family with Jason now. I know just the two of us and a cat is not much of a family but it is a start.

This is the first year we will do Christmas together. We had a tree last year but didn't see each other anytime near Christmas because of how far our families live apart. Unfortunately, this means Jason will not see his family for Christmas but will be forced to bond with mine (which he is totally cool with). I am just happy to get to have him with me. We will get our tree at the end of the month and the whole house will be setup with holiday love. I need to go buy some fabric to make a few pillows for it but that can wait. All I know is that I am incredibly excited about all of this. Yay Target for getting me excited!

PS. I am always into giving... so if you feel the need to get me something for Christmas find out if you can donate something to charity in the process... or skip the gift and give to something you care about. I am going to blog later about what I care about if you need some inspiration. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fallout 3 Review

So I am not a gamer, in general terms. I play video games sometimes, like Viva Pinata and mystery games. Jason loved RPGs (role playing games, like Dungeons & Dragons). He has been away from the XBOX for a bit but new games come out for Christmas and he had enough credit at the local video game store to gt a new game early. His choice? Fallout 3

To be honest, I don't usually like these games but this time I do. I am not playing it but instead I am helping him with it. I read over the maps and info online and then help him get to where he needs to go. I also help him make choices so he doesn't mess up his karma (he always wants to be all good). It is a gory game... a really GORY game. If you can get past that it is really kind of a cool concept. We are about to try and get the dog which should change the game a lot for us. It has a huge map and will take a long time to finish, which is the best part. Yes this is now taking up my free time that I should be writing and reading during but still... I love bonding with my hubby!

I give Fallout 3 five controllers out of five! It is a great game if you like RPGS. I just hope our next game is this fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Being sick and keeping up with life

As some of you know, Jason and I have been a little under the weather lately. He caught a cold while at his first day subbing. He then gave it to me. Well he had the whole weekend to be sick and taken care of (we even bought him Fallout 3, which is a totally awesome game... more on that later) but now I am sick during the week, which really sucks. I am so ill and foggy I haven't written a word for NaNoWriMo since this weekend. I have 4,799 words, but I want 20,000 by this weekend and I have not written for two days. On top of that I didn't get to go vote with Jason (yes I voted absentee but it is not the same) and now I am not going to make it out to help my grandmother with her yard tomorrow. I really do hate being sick. I also haven't read anything in my four books and I just got three more into the library and there is the library book sale this weekend, which means even more books.

Grrr... I hate being sick. So other than blogging everyday (which I have to do for NaBloPoMo, or I will lose and I don't want to do that) I have not done anything on my to do list (which is displayed on the side there). In fact, my house has become a den of disease and messiness! I can't wait until I am well enough to be exhausted from trying to catch up! I hope to either read some tonight or get another 2,000 words written. I feel like writing so let's hope that happens. All I can say is I hope none of you get sick anytime soon. This sucks and I hate it so very much! Stay healthy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

So I don't care if you voted for the "O" or Caribou Barbie, or even for another candidate. I don't care how many propositions you actually voted on. I only care that you voted! Jason voted today (I am so proud of him) and dropped off my ballot (I am considered 'sick' and in all actuality I am). We both voted! Jason even got his free coffee at Starbucks (which is not why he voted but it is a nice perk). Do your civic duty and show you care... or you can't complain if Donald Duck wins instead of Kermit the frog!

Also thank you to everyone who did vote! I may not be happy with the results (I have no idea yet if I will) but at least I know you all care and that is all that matters.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holiday decor

So I am doing an ornament exchange for one of the boards I am on on I have been having a hard time finding anything that would work for my person... until I walked into World Market. Not only could I find all of the ornaments I needed but I found tons I want for myself and for less than $5 each! I love the above picture of holiday decor but maybe in blue instead of red. Oh I love World Market oh so much... they are awesome and I only wish they had one closer to me, and more ornaments! Feel free to get me almost anything from that store, by the way!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Night

For Halloween, even though Jason was incredibly ill, we went out to help our friends The Sagans host their Haunter Cemetery. We arrived around 2 pm and were not done setting up until about 5:30 pm. It had rained off and on so the Haunt was a little less involved than usual but as my first 'real' Halloween event it was still fun.

Halloween is definitely Sagan's holiday. He gets really involved in it and even though he spends very little on it he does an unbelievable job. The cemetery consists of the home-made fence that surrounds the front lawn. You have to enter through the gate (which has hands for handles) next to the "Halloween Town" sign. There is a huge spider in a black web between the trees in the back. You will also find some half buried bodies and lots of gravestones.. some which are still being visited. Sagan also made a casket and a body to lie in it. At one point we did have an actual person in it but most of the time is was just the dummy skeleton. Sagan made his own mix of music (which was perfect) and dressed to scare. I think the whole thing turned out well and we were well feed on cornbread, chili, and candy... lots of candy.

Here is a picture of Sagan all decked out. Many times with the little ones he had to take of the mask or they wouldn't have made it up to him. He also had to turn off the fogger, which wasn't working that well anyway, to make it less scary.

Here is Jason playing dead, literally. He laid on the grass and would move only after children were leaving. Many times they walked far away from him but some must have thought once they got candy all would be safe... well until the dead body moved. I was so proud of him when he got a teenage girl to scream and run out of the yard full tilt. Such a trooper in this weather.

Lastly, this is my Jordi and her friend McKenna all dressed up for trick-or-treating. Aren't they cute!! I want one but not yet. Unfortunately, our evening ended early as the rain set in and Sagan wanted to clean up so nothing got too damaged in the rain. What had taken four of us the better part of the day to build we took down in less than ten minutes. All in all a great Halloween!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


So if it was not enough I am doing NaNoWriMo (look at the past post) but now I am trying NaBloPoMo. This is a monthly event where people try to blog everyday, including weekends, for a month. There are only 30 days in November and since I will need to be on a computer everyday to write my novel I thought this might be fun too. I don't know if I have enough interesting stuff to fill out a month of blogs but I figure with cooking, crafting, writing, and reading most of the days should be covered. On top of that we still have lives. I also hope to start working this month so I might run out of time to do all of these activities. I just want to make sure I have my life defined and figured out before I get too much further in it.

Well what does that mean for this month... I have all of the following: NaNoWriMo, Nestie Quilting Bee Month 1, NaBloPoMo, EB Book Club, Nestie Book Club, Library Book Club, The Borgia Bride to read for a Nestie discussion, D&R Nestie Ornament Exchange, Nor Cali Nestie Ornament Exchange, create a 101 in 1001, get a job (if nothing else part-time, seasonal), change seasonal decor twice, Kathleen's B'day, update Shutterfly, finish bio website, create a Xmas gift for mom (not telling but it is a lot of work), Thanksgiving, Nor Cali Creative Exchange, pass the county job test, create a workout routine, and clean the house!!! Plus I really want to catch up with some old friends and do some more dinner parties... goodness... can I do this? I don't know but I sure hope so. well now I need to go get started or I will never finish this all!!! AHHH!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ghosts of Eden

I decided to pick up a scary book for Halloween from the library. This was on the display and they didn't have the one other people in one of my book clubs was reading. This looked interesting and was. It is a short read and it only took me two days to read. At first it was very scary, a haunted house with evil, maybe even violent, ghosts. The main character was likable and had a horrible past. As she tries to release the ghosts from "the Serpent" she encounters many of the ghosts of the town as well as her neighbor with Down syndrome and his teacher. They are all destined to deal with "the Serpent" and the battle part as well as the actual haunting in the house is great. I had a hard time putting it down. However, part of it just didn't work for me. This may be a spoiler but oh well... "the Serpent" is an alien trying to take over a planet his race created. He is ancient and angry. I think the alien part is too much. I didn't need the history of him or what he was... the lack of info would have been better. However, i loved the description of the ghosts and how they died. I loved the movie 13 Ghosts because of the background given to each ghosts character, and it was similar here. The reason the main character is "the Impure" is just not enough though. She should have committed something worse to be considered that. I also appreciate how she made it historical with the legendary fire but it just took much away from it. The scariness was lost with the fire and that was sad... and the ending was a little too happy!

All in all a good scary book with some very gruesome parts. I might read it again some day but skip the parts about the aliens and the fire. I give it three and half bookmarks out of five.

Scary movies that aren't so scary

As a tradition Jason and I rent scary (or what he hope will be scary) movies to watch while we carve our pumpkins. This year was no different. Last years movies gave me nightmares for a week and that was the best part. However, this year did not work out so well.

The first one, my pick, was Suspect Zero. I have always loved crime movies and TV shows (especially Law and Order the original!!). I had heard of this when it came out and it sounded great. It was in the horror section so I thought, "Why not?" We watched most of it but just couldn't bring ourselves to finish it. It was very slow and a little disjointed. It was graphic and a little disturbing and the idea of a serial killer without any pattern and who kills tons of people without remorse is creepy. Also the idea of being able to see other people through their minds is creepy too. However, these two creepy factors where not enough to carry a story. The acting was not great and the story was a little disjointed. I didn't want the hero to succeed and I didn't care about catching the bad guy. A little gory but not worth renting.

The next one was Jason's choice. He had read some good stuff about Cloverfield. I was not very excited about this but we did try it. It is a typical monster attacks a big city (ie. NY) and causes much havoc. People die and the main characters probably will not make it out alive. The premise is good enough. Godzilla has always been popular and this should have worked. I guess part of the problem is that you don't care about the characters... they seem to privileged to us. The monster is also not the scariest. Yes it eats people and attacks people like nothing else. It is supposedly a baby though and we are supposed to feel bad for it as it is trying to deal with the world around it. All in all the way it was filmed, the moving between the past movie and the present, and the fact we already knew what the monster was ruined it for us. Interesting to see the concept of America's monster but not too scary. A little gory but not much of that either. Totally skip-able.

Cookies and Cupcakes, oh my!

We recently attended a Halo Night at our friend's house and part of what we do is I bring baked goods. I wanted to get outside of my usual box of just cookies so I made my grandmother's chocolate chip cookies and another blogger's (a friend) cupcakes. They all turned out very good and were almost gone by the time we left.
Above you can see the chocolate chip cookies. These are from my grandmother's recipe and turn out great pretty much no matter what. Mine are still a bit larger than hers but it takes time to get the perfect cookie. Here is the recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Grease a cookie sheet (unless they are non-stick then you can skip this). Shift, or mix, 1 cup and 2 Tbls Flour (wheat for me), 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl mix together 1/2 cup softened shortening, 6 Tbls sugar, 6 Tbls packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 tsp water until creamy. Then beat in 1 egg. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips (and 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired). Spoon out and drop on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes (I do 11 minutes to get them crispy but 10 or 9 will leave them a little softer). Let cool a few minutes then transfer to a wire cookie rack to cool completely, or to be eaten by your husband as you are trying to make something else ;)


And these are the delicious (should have used all-purpose not wheat flour but) cupcakes. I used the recipe a friend has on her site. Click on the link if you want it. It is just the Hershey's chocolate cupcake recipe with the addition of a peanut butter frosting (all homemade). They were pretty popular even if I am not a cupcake maven!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jason is subbing!!!

This is a picture of Jason off to face the work world of teaching. No he doesn't love the idea of subbing but what you gonna do? He is happy to fill in for an English position at RHS for his first stint (which is six whole days). We had hoped that he might get hired for the position but the admin doesn't like us much and so hired someone else. At least Jason has been really nice and teaching material and helping the new teacher with all of the information. I know this is going to be a hard time for us as we restart in the job world but it must get better! Anyway, doesn't Jason look so smashing on his way out the door. As you can see in the background I am busy cleaning the house while he is gone (go me finally being a good wife and taking some initiative!!)

Pumpkin Carving

Jason and I started this tradition last year on Halloween. We carve pumpkins and watch scary movies. This year was no different (except it didn't happen on Halloween). As you can see Jason is working away at one of his two pumpkins. He did two large, orange pumpkins this year. Both are faces (which you can see at the bottom). We still need real tools as our puny little pumpkin kinves did very little to make marks in the pumpkins. Plus we had to use my (our) new spoons to scoop out the pumpkin guts. EWWW!!! Thank goodness for dishwashers to get it all off.

This is mine. I only show it here because it is hard to see in the last picture. Last year I did an owl with a moon behind it. I thought it was good but I wanted something special this year. I had seen a lot of girls on the nest doing initial pumpkins now that they were married. I had Jason search and print out a really cool "M" and I put it on my pumpkin. I messed up a little bit and cut out more than I wanted to but Jason still thinks it looks like an "M". I am really proud of myself. We also still have a white one I think I will paint like some of the ones I have seen in magazines. We can also keep it until Thanksgiving to be part of the fall decor... before I get my Christmas on!

And here is the picture showing our front porach with all of the pumpkins a glow. I am really proud of Jason's face on the left. Very original!! (And yes you can see my cleaning stuff still out.. it takes time to clean).

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I, Mona Lisa

I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis was October's book for the nest book club (one of three I am participating in). I have not read a lot of historical fiction to this point so it was one of my first books. It is a little long (about 514 pages) but I didn't notice. It tells the story of the woman behind the famous portrait. Of course it is fiction but some of it is based in facts. I loved how descriptive it was. I could visualize the world Lisa lived in and imagine how limited her life must have been if it weren't for her independent spirit. The story has a lot of action and adventure with some romance but most of it is kept at bay. The storytelling is so compelling I actually mourned when one of the main characters was killed. Probably the best part was the description of the art world and the relation to one of my favorite artists, Leonardo di Vinci. I read it in a little over a week but probably could have made it through it faster if all I did was read. I think I will now go on to some of Kalogridis' other books, which I hope are just as good.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It is haunting but beautiful and really a very pleasurable read. I give it five bookmarks out of five. This is something I hope to own one day so I can reread it and pass it on to my children.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Drity Job

I have been back at my favorite hobby, reading. I have read a lot of books over the last few months and thought maybe I should start reviewing them here. I have no idea who reads this (probably just me and my mom at times, sad? I don't think so) but maybe more people will if I add more to it. With that said this will be the first of many book reviews. I have already done movie reviews and I will also do restaurant, store, and trip reviews as time goes on. I guess if nothing else I want to chronicle my life as best I can at this point. Who knows, maybe my children will find this interesting one day.

So the first book is A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. This is not the first book of his I have read but the first I will discuss. The story is about a Beta male who finds out he is actually Death (or one of several deaths). His job is to collect souls of the deceased to pass on to other people, thus completing the chain of life. Whether or not you believe that souls get reincarnated it is a very interesting book. The way Moore describes a beta male was what drew me to it first. My husband is a self-proclaimed beta male and seeing how the personality can be mocked in the book helps me to deal with some of his more trying traits (namely that he never wants to try anything new... kind of irksome but I guess I can't blame him now). The location is also special to me as I have always seen SF as a cookie kind of place, like it could be it's own little world and the story is well placed there with excellent descriptions that make me want to go visit. I also enjoyed the unusual characters, from squirrel people to the Emperor of SF (which is much better than being the Emperor of Oakland ;). The story is a little long in points and does drag but it is worth it. Especially for the final scene of the fight between the deaths and Death it's self (who it is you will have to read to find out). This book also overlaps with two of Moore's other books which I think helps to sell the idea of reading the others.

I think this is a worthwhile read if you like fantasy (or slightly fantasy books). I give it four bookmarks out of five, for the excellent story but the slow parts did hurt it a bit.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pasta Primavera

So since last night was such a heavy dish tonight was something much lighter, Pasta Primavera. I know this is probably very different than most of you make it but it works out great and I love it. Jason is learning to embrace pasta without a heavy sauce, but he liked it.

Here is what you need:
Brown pasta (spaghetti here)
Salt and pepper
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic (or 2 heaping Tbls of minced garlic)
Carrot, sliced
Red and yellow bell pepper, chopped
Broccoli, florets
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
Some fresh Thyme

Follow the directions and make as much brown pasta as you need. *I add salt to the water to raise the boiling point since brown pasta takes longer to cook. Drain the pasta when done and dry slightly (I do this by placing the drained pasta back in the pot on the hot burner for a minute. Be careful not to over dry the pasta).

In a skillet add EVOO to coat the bottom and heat over medium. Add the onion, garlic, and some Parmesan. Brown the onion slightly and then add the carrot, bell peppers, and broccoli. Cook for about 5 more minutes or until everything is cooked. Add the tomato and cook for a minute longer.

Lightly coat the drained, cooked pasta with EVOO and salt and pepper. Add a little fresh Thyme and Parmesan. Then mix in the cooked vegetables. Serve and enjoy!

This can also be made with any veges you like but Jason only would eat the ones I used. I really enjoyed it and have an apple for dessert. What a healthy meal! Happy Cooking!

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce

I made this for dinner last night (it wasn't the first time) and I thought I would share it here. It is originally from Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats book (link in title). I love this book for all of it's options but it is hard to get through with Jason asking for them to be repeated already!

Ok I have changed the recipe a bit and added some hints to make it work better.
You need:
4 Pork chops (best if they are thin and on the bone... I rarely do use on the bone but it is easier)
8 slices of ham (any deli sliced kind is fine)
4 slices of a soft white cheese (I use Jack)
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 lb of sliced white mushrooms
2 Tbls of butter
2 cloves of garlic (I use the pre-minced kind, so 2 heaping Tbls of that)
4 Tbls flour (if you use Wheat flour... only 2 Tbls with All-purpose)
2 cups chicken stock (I use bouillon)
1 cup dry white wine (you can use cooking wine)
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
Some fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper

To start slice the pork chops to the bone, making a pocket in the middle. Wrap a slice of cheese and a sage leaf in two slices of ham and roll to fit in the pork chop pocket. Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chop to your liking. Place in the pocket and hold together with toothpicks. Repeat for all four pork chops.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with EVOO (twice around the pan... just lightly coat the bottom). Add the pork chops to the hot oil and cook about 5 minutes a side. *Here I usually cover the chops to help them cook faster if I have thick chops. If they are thin they should be fine. Once the chops are fully cooked remove them from the pan and place on a plate. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest (but not get cold).

To the skillet you just used add the butter, mushrooms, a little Thyme, and garlic. Brown the mushrooms, about 3 to 4 minutes. Dust the mushrooms with 2 Tbls of flour and cook an additional minute. Add the chicken stock (or bouillon), white wine, and mustard. Stir well (or whisk) and cook an additional 3 to four minutes until it thickens. *At this point I usually add another 2 Tbls of flour. You don't have to but the wheat flour does not thicken well.

When the sauce is thick enough pour a little over each chop. Add steamed broccoli or other vegetable and some crusty french bread and serve. Enjoy!

I love this recipe but it is very rich so plan something light for the next meal. Let me know if this works for you. Happy cooking!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crafting with Sherri

I know that I am not the craftyest person in the world. I have often tried my hands at projects that only end in disaster. I can crochet, knit, embroider, sew, and sort of quilt. I can draw (but not paint) and I have beaded and done other crafty things like scrapbooked. But anyone who knows me well knows I will get all of my wedding albums from Shutterfly and that I will probably do the same with all of my kids albums too! I am way better online than in person at this stuff.

So what is the point well I am helping my friend (Sherri) start her craft business. She wants to make different things and sell them at fairs and online (maybe). So far we have made doggie treat/candy/craft supply/birdseed holders (pictures to come later). We have also been working on these beaded things. Now what are they you ask? Well they are actually a lot of different things.

The first picture shows the girly (and more childlike) zipper pulls. These are super heavy duty and can be used for purses or backpacks. They are totally child safe (since they might be used by children why use anything toxic?) and really cute. They will sell for about $4.50 each or 5 for $20.00.

Next you can see the sports zipper pulls. These are school related but there are also professional teams too! They are the smae price and even come in masculine ones so guys don't have to feel silly having one.

Then we have the cell phone charms. I like having a charm on my phone for several reasons. A) it helps me to know my phone from the 8 million other identical phones out there, B) it helps to find the phone in my purse... it is something to pull on if I find it and a way to hang the phone if need be, and C) They are just so darn cute! These are also $4.50 each or 5 for $20.00.

Sherri is also doing keyrings (that are a little less ornate and showy but very sturdy). We hope to have a ton by her first show in November and we will see how things go. I will post more information about show locations and times as I get them. If you want to order one, just let me know and I will get you all set up.

Ok enough pluging but they are super cool and I am helping so I feel even better about them. Got to go help Jason with a Fable II (as in the XBOX game) level.