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!!


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!!

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!!

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!


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…