30 December, 2008

Celebrating Laziness, Kwanzaa and New Year’s

CELEBRATING BEING LAZY
I guess it's important to celebrate lazy too! I must because that's what I've been for what seems like the entire month of December. I had such a plan for all of the blogging that I was going to do leading up to my favorite annual celebration---Christmas...but what happened? I didn't even post my pretty new picture to wish you all a Merry Christmas. And I didn't even start on the 26th with information about Kwanzaa. Not to mention that I didn't find out anything about celebrating Chanukuh.

Well, obviously everyone made it through the holidays...fortunately my lazy posting came at a time where people are used to celebrating so I can only be grateful for that.

CELEBRATING KWANZAA
Let me tell you al little bit about Kwanzaa. It's a week long celebration which starts December 26th and ends on January 1st. It's a daily celebration of family, community and culture. These daily celebrations each have a specific purpose, based on the Nguzo Saba, The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa:

  • Umoja (Unity) To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
    Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

  • Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

  • Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

  • Imani (Faith) To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

I think Kwanzaa is at a perfect time. It comes at the end of the year and is set up to allow a lot of personal reflection. The last day of Kwanzaa is January 1st…the first day of the new year…what better time to put things in perspective and get things in order and start off the new year right. While Kwanzaa is traditionally a celebration to uplift African Americans, EVERYONE can celebrate it and find elements to personally embrace!!

For more information about Kwanzaa click here.


CELEBRATING NEW YEAR’S
Snopes, has a great list of New Year’s Superstitions (http://www.snopes.com/holidays/newyears/beliefs.asp) including:

  • Kissing at midnight – not only to celebrate, but to ensure the ties of affection continue through the coming year
  • Stocking up – no bare cupboards so the year will not have bear cupboards; also every wallet should be filled with money to ensure prosparity

  • Paying off bills – should not start off the new year in debt

  • Nothing goes out – nothing, including garbage is to be taken out on the first day of the year; but in recent years this has been changed so that if something comes in first, it’s okay to take something out. The general premise is the year must begin with something being added before anything is subtracted from the household.

  • Food – lucky foods are listed below, but from Snopes, I’ve learned that chicken or turkey aren’t to be eaten on the first day of the New Year because your year will be spent like that animal…scratching in the dirt all year for your dinner.

  • Work – you should do (and be successful at) something related to your work on the first day of the year (but not too much…serious work is unlucky)

  • New Clothes – wear something new on New Year’s day to get new clothes during the year

  • Money – don’t lend or pay back money or you’ll be paying out all year

  • Breakage – try not to break things or cry…sets the tone for the coming year

  • Letting the old year out – open all the doors at midnight to let the old year out before the new year can come in

  • Loud noise – scaring away evil spirits

  • The Weather – depending on the direction of the wind, the following year’s weather is determined

Check out the link Snopes for more detailed information.

Throughout history, people have eaten certain foods on New Year's Day, hoping to gain riches, love, or other kinds of good fortune during the rest of the year. Here are some food traditions that celebrate the new year:

  • Several cultures believe pork is lucky. Pigs are known to be “plump” and get plenty to eat. Also, they push forward when feeding (as opposed to birds which scratch backwards). Also because of it’s rich fat content, pork signifies wealth and prosperity.

  • In Japan, herring roe is consumed for fertility, shrimp for long life, and dried sardines for a good harvest.

  • Cooked greens resemble folded money and are symbolic of economic fortune.
    Peas, beans and lentils look like coins and are symbolic of money.

  • The Dutch eat donuts on New Year’s day for good fortune because they, along with many other cultures, believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck as it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle.

  • The Spanish ritual is to eat twelve grapes at midnight on New Year's eve to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.

  • And of course here in the US we drop the ball in Times Square in New York. We also eat special foods meant to bring good luck and fortune Eat black eyes peas on New Year's day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year.

    (taken from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearcelebrations.html, http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/newyearsday/luckyfoods and http://wilstar.com/holidays/newyear.htm)

Here are some sites that lists several New Year’s traditions from several US states as well as all across the world.

http://www.fathertimes.net/traditions.htm
http://www.123newyear.com/newyear-traditions/

However you decide to ring in the new year, may you have a great celebration!! Here’s wishing you the best of the best in 2009!!


Celebrate!! Love Ya'll!!

Pixxa

15 December, 2008

Celebrating the Season!!

Sorry that I haven't written in a bit...I've been a little preoccupied---It's Christmas time!! My favorite time of the year!!! People are a little nicer...there are sparkling twinkle lights everywhere...Christmas carols...classic cartoons...special Church services...parties and get together with friends...and my all time favorite---shopping!!

Speaking of classic cartoons...when I was little, there were 3 cartoons that were always played on our local network, WGN. I've found them on YouTube in case you'd care to share in the fun!

SUZY SNOWFLAKE (courtesy of the Museum of Broadcast Communications)


FROSTY THE SNOWMAN (courtesy of the Museum of Broadcast Communications)


HARDROCK COCO AND JOE (courtesy of the Museum of Broadcast Communications)

There are so many ways to celebrate during this time of year. There are the formal holidays...Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve/Day; and you can just celebrate the simple things. I went to a cookie party yesterday. It was a small, intimate get-together of 7 people of all different kinds of backgrounds and we came together to taste cookies. As we shared time together, we found many other things in common and everyone had a GREAT time!!!

Something else that I am planning to do for the season...visiting the Museum of Science and Industry for their annual Christmas Around The World Christmas Tree display. I think there's about 50 trees decorated to represent various countries around the world. The trees are beautiful and it's a cultural walk as you learn various traditions from all around the world.

Another way I'll be celebrating this season is by doing something I've never done before. I'm going to a movie theatre with some friends for a Christmas movie double feature and sing along. The movies are "It's a Wonderful Life" and "White Christmas". I've never seen either of these movies before (yea, go figure)and I am looking forward to it. The last time I did audience participation was Rocky Horror Picture Show and I LOVED that, so I know this is going to be fun!!

Well, I've taken a long enough break. Just wanted to check in. Now it's back to the Christmas preparations...


Take a little time everyday to celebrate this wonderful season!!

Luv Ya!!
Pixxa

26 November, 2008

Gobble, Gobble!!

Happy Thanksgiving!! Yes, it’s the time of the year when most American families look forward to the turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, greens and sweet potato pie. It’s up early to get everything on the stove for the big family dinner. While the food is cooking, there’s time to turn on the world famous Macy’s Parade and watch all of the giant balloon characters bounce down the streets of New York. After the parade, it’s time to set the table (or tables, depending on your gathering) and start putting the food out. Most families bless the food and go around the table so that everyone can say what they are thankful for. Several forkfuls later, tummies are poufed out, belts are loosened and everyone sits back to relax and revel in the feeling of being full.

As for me, I plan to make a few phone calls to out of town friends, watch a few movies, and chow down on my favorite…Gino’s East pizza! For me this year, it’s the simple pleasures.

Speaking of simple pleasures…I found something so cute that I just had to share.


Turkey Cupcakes (from Betty Crocker)

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil’s food cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs per the cake mix box
2 – 1lb containers Better Crocker Rich & Creamy milk chocolate frosting
1 – 4.25oz tube Betty Crocker white decorating icing
1 – 0.68oz tube Betty Crocker brown decorating gel
Candy corn
Chocolate candy sprinkles

Heat oven to 350°F. Make and cool 24 cupcakes as directed on box. Frost. Place remaining frosting in a zip seal freezer plastic bag. Snip off small corner of bag. To decorate each cupcake, pipe 1-inch mound of frosting on one side of cupcake to look like the head of a turkey. Make eyes with white icing and brown gel. Add candy corn for beak. To make feathers, pipe frosting on opposite side to hold candy corn. Place candy corn to look like feathers. Sprinkle chocolate candy sprinkles near head and at base of feathers. Add candy corn for feet. Smile at how cute they are and eat!!

Tomorrow is the day now commonly referred to as Black Friday! The name of the game is sales, sales, sales for the start of the Christmas Season. Stores are opening early and offering great discounts to those who are brave enough to face the time, temperatures and the crowds. If you are one of the ones who will be out in the fun, I wish you much luck in finding everything you are searching for and more!! I would love to be out in the fun, but unfortunately my economy won't allow it.

There are so many things to be thankful for that most of us rarely even scratch the surface. So many things that we take for granted. There are so many things that I am grateful for…and so many things that I need to be more grateful for. But right now I am thankful that you have taken this time with me reading and supporting my blog! Thank you!! I really am grateful for you!!

No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope that you find a few moments to really think of all of the things you have been blessed with and express your gratitude. And it's also a GREAT time to tell those that you love that you do love them!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Luv,
Pixxa

20 November, 2008

HELLO!!

Friday, November 21st is World Hello Day. What a fun day---to participate you simply say "hello!" to 10 people. How easy is that? Well, now that I think about it, maybe it's not as easy as I think. I am a city girl, but I do remember the "good 'ole days" when people would greet each other on the street. I try to do this now in my neighborhood...when I walk past people I smile and will say "good morning" (obviously if it's morning). Most people will reciprocate with a smile and a quick “morning”, but sometimes the responses that I get are laughable. My favorite is one man who thought I was flirting and he ended up following me for half a block and asking for my phone number. Too bad he wasn’t my type!!

The origin of this “holiday” started as a result of the conflict between Egypt and Israel in the Fall of 1973. Since then, it has grown and is celebrated annually in more than 180 countries. The main purpose of this celebration is to show how important communication is especially for preserving peace. And how simple is speaking to 10 people and becoming a contributor to making world peace happen!!

And how can we talk about hello without mentioning "Hello Kitty"? You can check out all things Hello Kitty at their website: http://www.sanrio.com/

So tomorrow, Friday, November 21st, make sure you say “Hello!” to 10 people and help to make world peace a reality. For more information on World Hello Day, please visit their website. And if you'd like to spice it up, here's a site where you can learn to say hello in many languages.

Say HELLO and celebrate!!

Luv Ya!!

Pixxa

10 November, 2008

Let's celebrate...HAMBURGERS!!

Even though May is National Hamburger Month, I thought today would be a great day to celebrate hamburgers! This is probably because I've been craving a really good hamburger lately. And can you believe that I haven't been able to find it? You'd think that would be an easy feat in Chicago, but I am still in search of that wonderful burger.

originally posted to Flickr by hellochris at http://flickr.com/photos/65459962@N00/202508906

According to Wikipedia "A hamburger (or burger) is a sandwich consisting of a cooked ground meat patty, usually beef, placed in a sliced bun or between pieces of bread or toast. Hamburgers are often served with various condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish etc. as well as lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and cheese."

My perfect burger is a nice fresh beef patty between a toasted bun, dripping with cheese, ketchup and mustard. If there's a pickle on board, I'll pluck it off and eat that first. Sometimes grilled onions are okay (never raw) and hardly ever will I eat lettuce, tomatoes or mayonnaise. I prefer good old fashioned, greasy ground beef as opposed to chuck or round. It's gotta be juicy!!

While history can't say with certainty when the first hamburger was created, we do know it was long ago. This site will give you an interesting history of ground meat and burgers. And if you'd like to make your own special hamburger this site claims to be THE place for hamburger recipes. The one I found most interesting is the bacon and banana burger. I don't think so! But as of late, and without a doubt, the most expensive burger sells for $5,000 in Las Vegas' Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay. The burger, (a kobe burger stuffed with foie gras and black truffle, served on a brioche truffle bun and garnished with Chef Keller's special sauce) is so good that it comes with a free bottle of 13 year old wine (Chateau Petrus 1995...the real reason for the price tag).

Back down here on earth, I recently visited Red Robin (touted as America's Gourmet Burgers and Spirits). I had the 5-alarm burger. It was good (I like spicy), but it just didn't hit the spot. I regret that I didn't try something super cheesy.
So I will keep looking for that perfect burger...but until I find it, I will celebrate the journey!! (It's definitely yummy!!)
And who could celebrate the hamburger without a tribute to the Top 11 Weirdest Burgers!! My favorites are the Sneaker burger, the Hamburger dress and best of all the Beef Font. Check them out.

I couldn't close out this celebration of the hamburger without the most famous hamburger line of all...





Until next time...CELEBRATE!!

Luv,

Pixxa

05 November, 2008

YES WE CAN!!!


Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama!!!
YES WE CAN!!!

03 November, 2008

Happy November!!

Where has the year gone? Only 2 more months before 2008 is gone. Time to start thinking about your plans for New Year’s Eve. I have always wanted to go to Times Square in New York City but have never gotten around to it. Most people think that’s a crazy notion, but I think it would be a blast!! Never too early to start planning a celebration…and New Year’s Eve is one of the most celebrated occasions.

November is I am so Thankful Month. The creators want November to be dedicated to giving thanks and counting your blessings daily. And by all means don’t keep it to yourself. Share with others the things that you are thankful for.

I googled this topic and found a blog entry on Beautiful Mind from last year (I think) that has some really great advice. They list 6 points and I think #1, 2, 4 & 6 are bits of advice that we can all adapt.

I also found an entry on writing.com of a person’s thankfulness. It’s a great read that makes you think about things. The author started this in 2001 and to date (last updated in 2004) lists 77 things they are thankful for.

Yesterday (11/2) was Plan Your Epitaph Day. Although it sounds rather morbid and like nothing to celebrate, PYED is dedicated to the proposition that a forgettable gravestone is a fate worse than death. So while this doesn’t quite seem like something to celebrate, it would have been fun to have a small dinner party celebration with a contest to write the best epitaph. Hey…we’ve all gotta go sometime, so you may as well enjoy the ride!

Tomorrow (11/4) is Use Your Common Sense Day. Now that’s a day that A LOT of people need to celebrate. Yes, sometimes I question whether or not some people actually use their common sense. You’ve seen the shows that prove this…police chases, funny videos, crazy theft attempts… Let’s celebrate those of us who use our common sense!!!

One of the things that I will soon be celebrating is the end of the Presidental election season. I hate the crazy commercials putting down opponents and the lack of conversation on the real issues. Lots of put downs and media buzz, but nothing of sunstance to help make one of the most crucial decisions of our time. But tomorrow is Election Day!! The end to the stupid commercials and commentary. Hopefully you will do your civic duty and get out and vote (especially if you’re voting for Obama)!!

We’ve touched on yesterday and tomorrow, but what about today? Today is Sandwich Day. You guessed it, today is the day to recognize the inventor of the sandwich, John Montague. Montague is said to have invented the sandwich as a time-saving nourishment while engaging in a 24-hour long gambling session in 1762. Now that’s a true gambler!!

I have 2 favorites. My favorite sandwich is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Bread, butter, ham and cheese and nothing more. Coming in second is a spaghetti sandwich. Two slices of bread, left over spaghetti and a slice of American cheese…warmed in the microwave until the cheese is melted. YUM!! What’s your favorite? In case you don’t have one, here’s a few “unique” ones to try.

Breakfast Sandwich
Tex-Mex Club Sandwich
Ruben Sandwich
Muffuletta Sandwich
Crunchy Sandwich
Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

So in honor of Sandwich Day…guess what’s for dinner? (smile)

Find something to celebrate!! And don’t forget to VOTE tomorrow!!!

Love,
Pixxa

30 October, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Well...tomorrow is Halloween!! Time for spooky ghosts and goblins to roam the streets playing tricks and begging for treats! Halloween is a holiday that I kind of like. I like the cute costumes, the fun decorations, and the candy. I don't like the scary, the gore and the evil parts.

Halloween is a GREAT occasion to celebrate. I will be celebrating at a party my friend has put on for 6 years, BOOvie Night. Each year she makes a big vat of chili and invites friends over for themed movies. This year we're watching vampire movies. Hopefully we'll have the old ones that I won't get scared from.

As you prepare for whatever Halloween festivities that you will have, I wanted to share something that was passed on to me. It's a site where you can carve your own virtual pumpkin. It was rather fun and very easy to do.

Here's the link: Carve your own virtual pumpkin Just click START on the lower right side of the screen and the site walks you through the process.

Looking for some last minute tips, ideas, costumes, menus?


Check out my favorite girl, Martha Stewart. And here's a listing of some of her fun projects and tips.

Okay...that's all for now. I'm making chocolate covered pretzels for the party and I've got to get things laid out for tomorrow.

Happy Halloween!!

Pixxa

24 October, 2008

Celebrate Autumn...with Chili

October is quickly rolling to a close and since the temperature has dropped and the leaves are turning pretty colors here in Chicago, I am starting to enjoy my favorite season of the year, Autumn. I LOVE autumn!! As a kid, I always looked forward to when the leaves started falling off of the trees. The apartment complex that I grew up in used to have the janitors pile the leaves into HUGE piles and what fun to jump in them (though I’m sure they didn’t think it was fun to have to re-rake them!)!! I’m too old to jump into leaf piles (at least where other people can see me), but I certainly love a walk through the park having the leaves crunch beneath my feet at each step. The cool, crisp air wraps around you and it’s time to pull out the comfy, cozy sweaters and the cute little jackets.

Have you ever noticed how pretty the sky is when the sun is shining brightly on the vibrantly colored leaves in the late afternoon of Fall? This time of year always makes me want to go out and take pictures. As a kid, I had a teacher, in fact she was the Librarian at my grammar school, who had us bring in all different kinds of leaves from all different kinds of trees. My Mother loved and dreaded this because we would walk all around the neighborhood to find all kinds of different trees. But it was special time for us to spend together and now brings back special memories for me. This is probably why I always look down at the leaves and occasionally will pick up one or more of the really pretty leaves. And surely you remember the art project where you sandwiched a leaf and crayon shavings between some waxed paper and ironed it to make a masterpiece. Those were the good old days!!

Yes, October is drawing to a close and yet another year I’ve not gone pumpkin picking at a pumpkin patch, or apple picking on the farm. I haven’t even had any apple cider and Halloween is next week. After Halloween it will be time for the weather to start getting worst and also to start gearing up for Christmas and then the heavy snows and cold biting wind of winter. But since we’re not there yet, won’t you join me in celebrating my favorite time of year?

October is National Chili month. Do you have a favorite chili recipe? If so, why not make a big pot and invite a few friends over for a Fall Feast. Bake some cornbread, bake some potatoes, make some rice and put out some Fritos and let your guests serve it up the way they like it best---don’t forget the Tabasco!! Don’t have a favorite chili recipe? You can have a different kind of get together. Find some recipes and make a few different kinds for all to try. Or have a chili contest. Have each person you invite bring their favorite chili and have a taste test. If you’re very organized, you can have a chili cook off and offer a fabulous prize (like a cast iron kettle like the ones the cowboys used to cook in) to the chili that gets the most votes.

If you need some ideas for chili recipes, check these out from my favorite on-line recipe source, Recipezaar.com:

Not for Sissies Red Hot Chili – Crock Pot Chili
Rachel Ray’s Chili Dog Chili with Spicy Mustard Cornbread
Chili Lover’s Chili
Low-Fat Turkey Chili with Black Beans
Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Another way to celebrate is to go for a walk in the park. Maybe grab your camera and take a few shots while you are walking. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it will be magical to take a little time just to enjoy just being!

Or, you can be like me…pack a nice lunch and find someone special and go for a picnic.

And if no one’s looking, pile up some leaves and J U M P ! ! !


Enjoy Autumn!!
Celebrate...Luv Ya!!
Pixxa

18 October, 2008

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!!

Today (for the next few moments) is October 18th...Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!! I know that I am late posting this, but what’s a day or two when you’re talking about celebrating?!! And let me tell you…chocolate + cupcakes…that’s definitely a reason to celebrate!! And in my research for National Chocolate Cupcake Day, I found the perfect way to celebrate. Yes, send them to ME!! Isn’t this the cutest cartoon?!!

While I’m sharing…here’s a recipe for you to enjoy! . If you get a chance to try it, let me know how they come out!!

Yes, I did a Google search and found A LOT of posts for National Chocolate Cupcake Day!! One post that I found (from last year) asked how people plan to celebrate this glorious “holiday”. I really liked the idea of a chocolate cupcake tour. I might have to modify this one a bit and get a few friends on board for a Cupcake Tour of Chicago for National Cupcake Day (December 15th). KEH and J9, are you in?

Dieting? Well you don’t have to feel left out. I found a few ways for you to celebrate too! Etsy has all kinds of listings for chocolate cupcakes, so if you can’t eat ‘em…buy something else! There’s soap, pendants, charms, piƱatas, cards, and even a purse. And if you are in the mood to eat some chocolate cupcakes, there’s plenty for you too! There are a gazillion cupcake websites and blogs and recipes, but the most interesting thing I found was a different kind of cupcake. (Regarding the listing of these items from Etsy: This is not an endorsement of any of these products. I don't know anything more than wha is on the link about any of these sellers/products, so I am not encouraging you to purchase any of them.)

Finally, the best posting I read was this one.

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!!! Enjoy!!

Luv ya!!
Pixxa

14 October, 2008

Celebrate Inspiration!

A friend passed this on to me and I thought I would pass it on...

Stress and a Glass of Water

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20g. to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day,
you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it,
the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.
When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home.
You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, set them down and
don't pick them up again until after you've rested a while.

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that on some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. (good advice!)

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to be kind to others.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because you won't have a leg to stand on.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once. (LUV this one!!)

* We could learn a lot from crayons...
Some are sharp,
some are pretty and
some are dull.
Some have weird names and
all are different colors,
but they all have to live in the same box.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. (this one is my fav!)

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today... I did.


I don't know who wrote this, but it is very good advice, in my opinion. And there is so much in it to celebrate---so find at least one of two points to focus on today and CELEBRATE!! I think I might go for a walk...and detour off my normal path...and celebrate seeing something different!!

Enjoy today and celebrate!

Love,
Pixxa

07 October, 2008

My how time flies!!

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve last posted. Let’s see…what have I been up to?!! Celebrating of course!! I went to a weekend Women’s Church retreat and had an absolutely fabulous time!! It was a great experience with lots of self-discovery, planning, and spiritual growth. I even completed a treasure map (if you don’t know what it is, this site might help you to understand (http://www.creatavision.com/articles/make-treasure-map.htm), and it’s working!! It’s helping me to visualizing the things I want of my life.

During the weekend, we had some free time for self-reflection, self-discovery, or (dare I say it…) shopping. I chose to go to the movies to see The Women. http://www.thewomenthemovie.com/index.html. It was a cute, feel-good, movie – perfect for an afternoon break during a woman’s weekend.


Yes, it was a great weekend celebrating me, my spirituality, and being a girl!!

The week following the retreat was filled with work by day and purging “stuff” by night in preparation for a Saturday Yard Sale. I pulled out clothes and collectibles and dust catchers…5 plastic bins and 4 big garbage bags full of “stuff”. Yes, I am celebrating getting rid of “stuff”!! Unfortunately, I only sold one item all day, but hopefully the charity that picked up the stuff will be able to help others with it. Celebrating getting rid of the clutter and the help it may be to others!!

Did I mention that I have been enjoying all of the new shows? I am a tv addict and have been spending way too much time watching television. My favs...Boston Legal, America's Next Top Model, Ghost Whisperer, The Unit, Amazing Race, Grey's Anatomy, Dancing With The Stars, Private Practice and Criminal Minds. Celebrating the fall tv season!!

Yesterday (actually 2 days ago since it’s already Tuesday), I helped a friend at a craft fair. She sells check book covers (her company name is soooooo cute…Cover My Checks), ID holders, keychains, compacts, bookmarks and luggage tags. (Here’s her website if you’d like to see her products http://www.covermychecks.com/ ). It was fun meeting people and talking to them and seeing all of the creative things that people make and sell and buy. And boy…I had THE BEST chocolate covered pretzel while I was working…YUM!!! (email me and I will send you their contact information)



Well, as you can see, just because I’m not blogging, doesn’t mean that I’m not celebrating!! But since I’ve shared some of my recent celebrations, I think it’s only fair that I share some reasons for YOU to celebrate!!

  • October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month (http://www.popcorn.org/). The purpose is to celebrate the wholesome, economical, natural food value of popcorn, America’s native snack. Go pop some popcorn!!
  • October is also Spinach Lover’s Month (http://www.ilovespinach.com/). Think Popeye!!
  • October 5th-11th is The Magic of Differences Week. This week is devoted to affirming the wonderous discovery and adventure, learning and expansion that are only possible through experiencing the value of our differences. (http://www.judithandjim.com/)
  • October 8th is International Top Spinning Day (www.topmuseum.org/20.html). Celebrate by spinning a top wherever you are.
  • October 8th is National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work (and School) Day (sponsored by Teddies are the Answer; San Mateo, CA). Celebrate the help, stress relief and joy that teddy bears bring into the lives of people of all ages.

And now’s the time to start planning your celebrations for:

  • International Skeptics Day, October 13th
  • National Grouch Day, October 15th
  • National Boss's Day, October 16th
  • Get Smart About Credit Day, October 19th
  • Sweetest Day, October 21st
  • Cranky Co-workers Day, October 27th
  • National Candy Corn Day, October 30th
  • And of course, Halloween on October 31st

So get planning to get celebrating!!

As for me…I’m going to celebrate going to bed…


Love,

Pixxa

18 September, 2008

Let's Celebrate Too Much To Do!!!

Why is it that when you have one thing planned, it seems like three other things come up at the same time? I am celebrating too much to do!! This weekend I have a church retreat, which means that I am going to miss some other things...a friend wanted to go to the movies, there's a program going on at the museum, etc., etc. BUT...I WILL be able to make a doll show on Sunday after the retreat. Yea!

So today I am celebrating being too busy...don't fight it---embrace it. It means that you are taking advantage of life and living it to the fullest. So as you are rushing from here to there, doing this and that, take a few seconds to smile to yourself and know that life is as it should be. And celebrate!!

Have a GREAT weekend!!!

Pixxa

13 September, 2008

Happy International Chocolate Day!!

So having your computer in the repair shop is no fun! There's definitely no celebrating that!! Hopefully they can figure out what is wrong and get my computer back to me soon.

Anyway...I had the chance to finally download my birthday picture.


As I mentioned before, it was cupcakes from Molly's. YUM! And yes, that's the Italian Vogue, all Black issue in the background. Thank goodness for friends...one of mine found a newsstand that had this issue and it was awsome!!

Speaking of celebrating (that is what I am doing here afterall), I am celebrating a bit of local celebritydom (yep...new word). I was featured in a local magazine, Time Out Chicago. It was a photo contest and I was one of 5 honorable mentions. Go me!!

Here's the (honorable mention) prize winning pix...



The theme of the contest was transit in Chicago, and here's me going for the bus. To see the other pix, here's the link. I mention this because yesterday, my prizes arrived. Not too shabby...in addition to a city guide and a restaurant guide from Time Out Chicago, I won a bicycle tour for 2 and a $25 gift certificate to an upscale pizza restaurant. Celebrating!!

Here are some more things to celebrate:

  • Today (September 13th) is International Chocolate Day...need I say more?
  • Monday, September 15th is the Harvest Moon. If the weather participates, what about celebrating with a nice moonlit stroll?
  • Thursday, September 18th is International Women's Ecommerce Day. Do some on-line shopping and celebrating!! Any excuse for shopping!!!
  • Friday, September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. There's so much you can do with this one!! Have a treasure hunt...wear a stuffed toy parrot on your shoulder...eat some Chips Ahoy cookies---see, celebrating doesn't mean alot of work.
Happy International Chocolate Day!!

Love,
Pixxa

07 September, 2008

Let’s Get Ready to RUMBLE!!!

Yes sports fans…this weekend marks the official start of football season!! From now until Superbowl XLIII on February 1st, the boys of the NFL will be pounding the pigskin for bragging rights to be THE best team. I love football season!! My favorite teams are actually playing each other on Sunday: The Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts.

With football season comes the start of the tailgate season. Tailgating has been taken to a whole new level in the past few years. What started out as throwing some hotdogs on a grill and having a beer has manifested itself into the most serious of cooking occasions. Now there are gourmet meats and wine and fancy table clothes too!

I remember a long while ago there was a tv show on ABC (I think it was called the HOME Show). They showed a party set-up that was 2-die-4!! They took the fake grass that you buy at home improvement stores and crafted a mini-football field to use as the buffet table. There are so many themed items you can buy and make for football celebrations. Just look around from now until Superbowl and you’ll find all kinds of cute ideas.

So what a perfect opportunity to celebrate…the start of football season---and every weekend from now until Superbowl! You can do it simple or complex…for football fans or not…just have fun!! And throw a hotdog on the grill for me!!

Celebrate!

Pixxa


01 September, 2008

Happy birth day!!!

It’s my birthday so what better time to start my blog---especially since it’s about celebrations! Not that I have anything special planned for my birthday…just deep dish pizza from my favorite pizzeria, Gino’s East, here in Chicago, IL (http://www.ginoseast.com/). I’ve loved this pizza since high school…and that was well over 20+ years ago. They have a really interesting crust…kind of like a corn-bread. The crust is topped with a nice thick layer of cheese and then it’s topped with a giant sausage patty…that’s right, there’s sausage in every bite! Finally, it’s topped with a sweet but tart chunky tomato sauce. YUM!! And to round out my birthday dinner…I’ve got a cupcake from a place called Molly’s Cupcakes (http://www.mollyscupcakes.com/). It’s such a cute place!! They have bright, colorful tables, old school games like Jenga and Connect Four, a ton of wonderful cupcake flavors (including build your own) and swings! Yes, that’s right…swings…like the kind you find at a playground. I found this place listed on one of the cupcake blogs that I frequent, went there and fell in love with 3 flavors…key lime (has a tart lime filling inside), build your own with a yellow cupcake and their brown butter icing, and the ultimate…Chocolate Decadence…oh my!

Well, blogs are supposed to be brief, which will be challenging for me---I’m rather long winded, but before I end my first entry, I just wanted to outline what I want my blog to be. I plan to share interesting little tidbits, fun (and unknown) holidays, ideas to help celebrate life and references to some of my favorite things. I want it to be a fun place---a place for you to take a little get-away to, to learn from and to share with others…and most importantly, a place where you learn to celebrate life more often. My plan is to post once or twice a week---so please stop by at least weekly to celebrate with us. Please feel free to share your celebrations…everyday celebrations as well as fancy, special ones. I’m not-so-technical so this blog will grow as I become more familiar with setting things up and adding things. Finally, I will be writing this blog thru my alter ego…my Barbie doll named Pixxa (pronounced PICKS-za). I love Barbie (I’m sure I’ll share more about this later) and Pixxa is a doll that I often travel with. Pixxa’s world is perfect…so who better than her to help us learn to celebrate life!!

That’s it…I’m officially a blogger! Happy Birthday to me!! Happy birth day to The Occasion of Celebration!! Welcome!!

Celebrate…and have a FANTASTIC day!!

Stephanie