Saturday, January 31, 2009

Feathered Friends

Today the sun was shining bright. I sat in the living room working on the Rosetta Stone for Chinese, and outside the front picture window, I saw my favorite bird. They only visit here once a year, or that is we have only seen them on a rare occasion.
The cedar wax wing. They have a storm trooper look to them, and their feathers never out of place. They look as if they are wearing a suede coat and a black mask. I quickly paused the chapter I was working on and grabbed the camera, suited up for the chilly weather, and Nilla and I went outside to photograph them. There were at least 20 or so hanging around in the mulberry tree at the corner of the house. The tree, bare, except for a few berries was the popular spot for the day. I was able to snap a few shots of the gorgeous birds. I did not want to disturb them, for in the winter, they need all the energy they can get. So I tiptoed through the snow, inching closer to the tree. The birds did not seem to mind that I was there, and then Nilla came crashing around the corner, but the birds were high above, and did not even notice the 80 pound dog running around below them.

Bigger and Better

My blog has really taken off in the last few months, with more readers and more daily hits. I even got my google page rank up to 3. So is it time for me to move on and get my own webpage, not on blogger? I have thought of spending a few coins to upgrade so that I can get better statistics about the traffic that flows through my page. Do I need more flexibility in my webage layout? I tried to read as many web hosting articles that I could to get the all the information about what is involved with the upgrade. I found there is a lot to know.

I found a ton of information on domain names and how to pick one that will stick in the readers mind. I am not sure that I am ready to take the plundge, but I am soaking up as much info as I can. Maybe having my own domain name with Threadbeaur would help to brand my products, and further increase my traffic, and searches. I don't know if Threadbeaur is ready for the big time. I would love to hear from any of you out there that do have your own domain name, is it all that it is cracked up to be? Web hosting is a new animal for me, one that I must learn all the ins and outs of before I try.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Delicious Dinner

Silly me, forgot to take pictures when the pork tenderlion was done. Tonight we shared a wonderful dinner of Pork Tenderlion with apricot and mustard, balsamic carrots, and corn bread.
Everything was delicious. The recipes for the pork tenderloin and the carrots are on
I found the recipe while I was browsing the site trying to make the weekly menu.

The pork was so tender and flavorful. The mustard and apricot balanced well. The meat went under the broiler for a short 15 minutes or so, making this dish quick and easy for a midweek meal! It got rave reviews here, my husband said it was the best pork he had ever had!
I hope the steak fajitas go over just as well tomorrow!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Computer Chaos

Computer chaos is something that my dear husband loves to create. He was off this week studying for the biggest test of his life, and on one of his breaks from the book he decided to do a little computer experiment. Thankfully it was his computer, otherwise this would be a not so nice entry about his computer craziness. He was in the process of partitioning his hard drive to have separate spaces for work, home, and the third I am still not sure what he was going to do with it. He got some new drivers for the experiment, not the kind of drivers that would take you to the store, these were the computer kind. The problem came in though when he went to re-boot after the partitions were complete, and what happened, well nothing really. The screen was black, I could hear the computer making noises, but not much else.

So this computer chaos that he created was the perfect distraction from the studying. He was able to research on the internet between the chapters from the review book. I think secretly he loves to tinker with the computer. He was testing out linux to see if he would like it since it can make his internet browser faster and more efficient. From time to time he would say what he was looking for, he started with hp drivers, and linux programs and ended with ibm drivers and back to studying. The things inbetween were lost on me. He seemed to be having fun, until he could not find his recovery disk for the computer. That is where I was the most helpful for him, I looked around and found it and then the chaos was gone the dust settled and the computer was back to normal, for now.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

To watch or not to Watch

The Tv that is. Does one really need 28 movie channels? That is what DirecTV offers, actually over 28 movie channels. I can't even imagine having that many channels. Currently, I have basic cable just so that I can have high speed internet. With the 30 channels I get, there is nothing on, so I can't picture flipping through hundreds of channels just to find out there is nothing worth watching!
Although if you are the kind of person that watches the day in your periferal vision fade from light to dark from the couch, you can find great deals on the internet. DirecTV specials are all over their webpage. I can not say that I am one of those people. I can only think that if we ( including myself), would spend just a little less time in front of the electronics, we might find ourselves in a better place.

I remember a time not so long ago, when I was young and watching a TV was a Saturday morning privilege, that was used as leverage to keep you on your best behavior throughout the week. Now we are bombarded with television everywhere we go in the car, the airplane, and you can even watch TV on a handheld, like your ipod touch! So I say turn off your DirecTV or cable and get outside, or take a class, or pick up a new hobby. See where life will take you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thanks for the Review

I would like to thank Tori over at Thoughfully Simple for the review of my coffee sleeves, and the giveaway that she has hosted on her blog with Threadbeaur products. Check out the giveaway to win your own fashionable Threadbeaur coffee sleeve. The contest runs to January 30th, make sure you head over to Thoughtfully Simple before that date to enter the giveaway!

Monday, January 19, 2009

American Cars

While I am on the subject of the environment lets talk about cars. I am very interested in the hybrid cars that are sure to flood the market within a few years. I just hope that our American Car companies will be around to compete. I have seen some ford escape reviews that say it has great fuel efficiency, but I feel that the car companies can do more to increase the efficiency or do away with the gas portion of the engine all together. While the Ford Escape Hybrid does have fairly good fuel economy for an SUV (28 MPG), I think they can do better. The consumers have to demand better, not just for themselves, but for the enviornment.
Ford says that the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is the most fuel efficiant SUV. When gas prices soared, the whispered rumors of the hybrid/electric cars became louder, but now as we are paying less that $2 a gallon, those rumors of an influx of those eco-friendly cars have slipped back into the shadows from which they came. My next car, will no doubt be American made, and if Ford ever comes up with an electric car/SUV, I will gladly pay out some money for an American made eco-friendly alternative to the gas guzzling SUVs.

GPS Tracking for the Environment

I was thinking about how businesses could increase their productivity when employees are out and about on company time. I think that GPS tracking of employees on the clock is one area that could really help efficiency. By tracking the employee they could make sure they were taking the shortest route, and not making any unnecessary pit stops along the way. I would think that if an employee knew they were being tracked via GPS they would not only be more cautious about the route they took, but also they may drive more conservatively, in turn saving even more gas. How would you feel if you were being tracked by GPS while you were at work?

GPS tracking of employees is not the only place to use GPS to be more eco-friendly. What about GPS tracking in your life how could we use it to make our daily routine a little more green? I would use it to make my errands route so that I would never have to back track to go to the grocery store. I would use the GPS to show me the shortest most direct route to the gas station. Can I take the route where I will only have to make right turns to avoid idling at stop lights, and stop signs. If you think that can't help, UPS used some sort of GPS tracking to implement routes that avoided left turns, and they saved 3 million gallons of fuel. Just think if we could all do that with our GPS units, we would really be on to something good. It is all about the little things we can do everyday that will make a large impact in the years to come.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blue Skies

The skies were blue today. The sun was bright, time for a little fun it the snow. With the temperatures rising to a balmy 24 degrees, I was able to spend some quality time in the snow. I was dressed for the occasion, with snow pants, boots, layers of clothes, big jacket, and of course water proof gloves.
The snow was not suitable for packing so my dreams of another snow animal were out of the question( last year snow bear). So I played with the Nilla, and took a break to swing in the hammock.
It was like a heat wave compared to our weather just a few days ago. On a day like this you have to get out and play and get a little fresh air!

We even let Snacks! the cat out to play in the snow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Economic Stimulus

In the news I heard that the market was down again today. The news seems to always be the same gloom and doom. I think one of the ways to get the economy going again is to invest in the market. Everyone wants to see the market recover so that we can get back to normal, and wave goodbye to the recession. One way to invest is through online trading, that way you have control over what you are buying and selling. It is faster and more convenient than calling a broker on the phone.
When you use an online trading company you can get the same guarantees as the large brick and mortar companies, and sometimes you can get lower trading fees and other bonuses. Stock trading can be lucrative, but you need to do your research first. It seems like so many stocks are down, but can you predict when they will rise again? This could be the best time to invest, but I am not a financial advisor and can not be held accountable for any stock market investing you do. I am just posing the question, and some of my thoughts. These online trading sites can be your online brokers, they are full of information and even have investment guides. Make sure you do your research before investing in the stock market!

I got my New Shoes

While the tempuratre dips to -14 and 45 below with the windchill, I still long for the summer days ahead. Today UPS delivered my new shoes. It might be early to be ordering sandals, but I could not resist.

I have a pair similar to these that my sister had given me, so I know they are the most comfortable pair of flipflops one could ever own. The keen flip flops are the Waimea in Pumice stone. The great toe protector is one of the greatest features to grace the flip flop. The fact that the footbed is so comfortable is another plus. They are perfect for a light hike, and a must have on the sailboat! These don't need breaking in, they just need a warm day to wear them. I can't wait until that day comes!

More Social networks

I am always on the look out for social networks where I can spread the word about Threadbeaur, and my eco-friendly shopping bags. I found a new one called Acobay. This network is based on "stuff", that is the things you use, or things you want to have. It is perfect for our materialistic world that we have created. Having said that, I did sign up and added a few of items that I use. This site is still in beta, and they say they will improve things as they go along, as with all sites, you have to start somewhere.

I did find it hard to navigate around through the different menu screens, I hope that will be resolved when they do an update. One of the items I added was my Sony Alpha A-100, there are a few other people that have added that same item. By adding an item, it shows others with that item in common, therefore making a connection with them. We have something in common. It is an interesting concept for a social networking group, but I think in order to make it thrive, they will have to work out some of the technical side to make it easier to navigate.

As with all social networking groups, you can fill out your profile with info about yourself, and your location. This is interesting though under the tab My Account, it will show you all the items that you have entered as "My Stuff". I am still working on uploading pictures, as the first few times I tried it said my format was wrong, and that I would have to try again. I got a little frustrated with that upload feature, so I will have to take a break and come back to Acobay later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Local is Best

I recently had someone purchase from my shop because it was local! I am very excited that more and more people are shopping local. There are many blog entries that talk about the benefits of shopping in your community. It is better for the environment and supporting local businesses is a good way to boost the economy. When you use you can find places nearby that you could even walk to, saving you more gas, which means you save money. If you like to search for places on the internet before you get in the car, a good place to start is You can type in your location and they provide you with the local weather (so you know what you are going to go out in) and with local shops from restaurants to businesses.
This page is like a one stop shop, they also have classifieds, and if you have a local business you can list it for FREE on there site. That is one thing I will take advantage of, it is a great way to get your name out in your local area. Since it is similar to your local yellow pages, just easier to use, you might just find something new in your own town. Searching for local restaurants is what I like best. From big city to small town your search results will come up with plenty of places to try. For me searching local is a great way to beat the winter doldrums, I love looking for a great small business that is just waiting to be discovered! Try local, it is eco-friendly!

Shopping at Home

Shopping can be so fun when you are in your slippers. The thought of going out to a mall on a day like today (temps hovering around 12 below zero), is not my idea of a good time. Work was cancelled due to the severe weather, so I will take this opportunity to do some online shopping. Shopping over the internet has become some much easier with many tools for searching you are bound to find just what you are looking for. I am able to search the entire internet for the items I want, and the results don't come back with just the paid advertisers. The search results are all sites where that particular item is available that is Wiki for you.

Today I am searching for a drum set. We have all sorts of musical instruments here ranging from an accordian to a zither, but we don't have drums. I have wanted a drum set with hi hat cymbals for a long time, and I am not taking about the kind to play on the Wii (though I would like that too). The problem was that I did not know what kind of drums I needed, so I turned to ShopWiki for their explaination on what sort of drums I would need, and how to choose the correct set for my skill level, which is by the way noivce. I used the clickable words in the drum article to find drums by playing style, jazz. I really liked the Mapex M Birch 5-Piece Jazz Drum Set. The birch wood gives a great sound, and I love the color of this one. I think I would want my drums to look great as well as sound great. If they are going to be in my house, they should be a fashion piece too. They showed other styles like rock, fushion, and standard. I was so wrapped up in this site one click led to another. The information regarding drums is vast. They have other instruments too, such as trombones, trumpets, and triangles. I think this might be a good present for my other half when we move! That gives me several months to choose what kind of drum kit we want. One thing I did decide on already is, the must have item when purchasing a drum kit that people other than yourself might play, the drum silencers! They will keep everyone in the household happy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

As Nature Intended

Eating foods that are good for you, is as easy as a quick salad. As I was searching the internet for some healthy foods, I ran across this webpage PhytoLife. The page introduces a new buzz word for healthy foods, phytonutrients. Maybe this will become one of the "IT" words of 2009. What they are referring to is plants as food, and they are naturally good for you. We may know this already, but this site presents it in a new way that was very interesting. They have many articles about healthy food, and the article on wine pairing is a must read. Ever wonder what wine you should drink with your rutabagas?

You may know that I like to cook, from previous entries, I find most of my recipes online. It is just easy to search and find an abundance of recipes. On PhytoLife, they have a recipe section, that has a few really interesting dishes. I can't wait to try the Ruby Reds, Feta and Watermelon. The recipe sounds intriguing with some great flavors and phytonutrients to keep you eating healthy. Eating healthy while running around can be hard, but armed with knowledge, it becomes so much easier. I am bookmarking PhytoLife so that I can follow the news on eating fresh, as nature intended.
Thanks PhytoLife

Coldest Temps in over 10 years

At least it is pretty outside with snow everywhere. As of yesterday we had about 6-8 inches on the ground. Over night it snowed and it is currently snowing. We went outside to shovel again this morning, the air was still, and quiet. When it snows I love to go outside and listen to the silence. It is the kind of silence that only happens when it snows. That is of course before every fires up the snow blowers. Even though we have lived here for 10 years we don't have a snow blower, we prefer the quiet shovel. Once the snow stops for the day the weather station has forecasted sub zero temps to follow, with a wind chill advisory slated at -30 degrees! The weekend shows a promising forecast of around 24. The snowshoes are calling, and I hope that we can get out and play.

For all of you out there that live in cold climates, stay warm and enjoy the snow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do you need Credit repair?

In these hard economic times, the credit cards seem to get a little more use than usual. It is easy to "just put it on the credit card" and worry about that next month. It is not a good habit to get into I am sure of that. I have often wondered about those websites that claim to improve credit scores, or repair credit. It can't hurt to read and get information if you think you might be on a sinking ship in regards to credit cards, and credit scores. I found this site recently to repair credit, it looked to have a ton of info on the subject.

I find it helpful just to read the testimonials, that way I will be motivated to stay out of credit card debt and try and keep my credit score clean. This company also seems to help you with a credit dispute too, which can be a pain to deal with. Over the holidays someone stole our credit card number, and purchased a computer over the internet. I was quick enough and fortunate enough to catch it quickly before any items were shipped, so it did not make it to the dispute stage. It is scary to think it is just that easy.

Be safe when it comes to your money and credit scores, get help if you need it. This post brought to you by

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Post Holiday Sale

Now that things are back to the regular routine, I want to clear the Holiday bags from the shop.
That calls for a sale. This sale is for the Holiday Section in my Etsy shop. The deep discounts apply to those fantastic reusable bags with the holiday themes. The Sale price for the bags are $10 that is a savings of $5 dollars a bag! It is a good time to stock up on reusable gift bags for next year. These handmade shopping bags are perfect for the grocery store. Check out the discounted bags in the Holiday Section. Get them while they last! Once you finish the transaction wait for the updated invoice to pay.
Happy Shopping!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Quilt Project

I purchased a jelly roll by Moda the blossom pack. I just love the fabric. I did not know what I was going to do with it, but I had to have it...and it was on sale. After a few weeks of just looking at it sitting on my table, I came up with a plan. With a few days off, I was able to bring it all together. Here is the first glimpse of the quilt top.

I have to back and quilt it still, but not bad progress for a few days. I still have more than half of the jelly roll to use for another project. I can't wait to get more of these, when they are on sale of course!