Sunday, November 28, 2010

Running the Distance

Now that I am equipped with a running stroller, our daily run will be so much better.  We are going longer and further than normal.  Now that I can go further distances, I need to know just how far I am going.  I think for Christmas I am going to ask santa for a running gps watch with heart rate monitor.  I love great gadgets, and this one is so useful.  I like to know where I have gone, how long it has taken, and how many calories I likely burned.  Of course, Garmin makes great GPS items, and their watches are no different.  They are the perfect mate for running, and they aren't too bulky.  I can't wait to have an accurate account of the distance that we have run in an easy to use gps watch.  What do you use to track your runs, walks or other exercises?  Do you prefer handheld devices or watches?  I would love to hear your feedback!  Gotta run, literally!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A little something for myself

With all the holiday shopping going on, I find that it is important to remember yourself.  In the midst shopping for family gifts, I did a little search for shoes for myself.  I enjoy browsing the internet for the perfect pair.  It is almost a calming venture when looking for a new pair of running shoes, or even some sandals.  I like knowing that I am carving out time for me now as I shoe shop, and time later to go running.   It is a great way to relax and also keep the holiday pounds at bay.  Of course, you can search for any kind of shoes you want.  That is not the best part.  The best part is you can narrow your search in many different ways, like my favorite price!  Depending on my mood I like to sort my shoe search by color.  That way I can see all the blue running shoes first.  How do you like to shoe shop?  Are you a brick and mortar shopper or do you prefer the solitude of online shopping?  I know that I prefer the online shopping, no crowds, no hassle returns, and I love to get packages in the mail.  It is a win-win situation for me.  The added bonus of  shoe therapy is that it is one way to calm my nerves, it is like the reset button.  Once I am done browsing, I can go back to the task at hand, in this case shopping for family holiday gifts.  Maybe I could get some shoes for a few people, two birds one stone!  Perfect!

Monday, November 22, 2010

No Fail Gift Giving

I think we have all given someone a present and watched them open it.  Have you ever seen the face of someone who did not like the present, but suddenly realized they needed to make it seem as if they did like it?  I am sure.  It is hard to find gifts for a person that has everything.  How about that co-worker that is new and you just happened to draw their name in secret santa. There are a few presents that are no fail, one of them being my eco friendly coffee cozies, the other being chocolate.  Except for the rare few that are not chocolate fans, there is something to be said for good candy.  First it is consumable, so it is not going to be sticking around until next year, secondly you can always share it with your friends!  I know that there are several people on my list that will be getting candy this year.  I have one or two friends that are not chocolate fanatics like me, so they will be getting a fun bundle of peanut brittle this holiday season.  If you can't find the perfect gift this year, try some candy, it might surprise you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just a big kid

Guest post written by Jeramy Sparks
When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was go outside and have some fun with friends. We would either have a pick-up game of baseball or basketball or make up a new game. It just all depended on who was there at that particular time and how active or lazy we were all feeling. The older we got, we all started to assume more responsibilities and our pick-up games started to decrease in frequency. College studies, new careers, marriages and finally having our own children sort of got in the way of our quality time with friends. Not long ago, I was stressed because of work situations and my husband losing some hours at his own work. We talked about it one night and decided that we were part of the problem. We redid our budget, cut back on a few things, and added fun back into our lives as well. We both joined our community's adult baseball league. Since not too many participated, it was open to both men and women who were above the age of 25. This was one of the best decisions we could have made. We would load the kids up in the car after we set the home security alarm from Once we got to the field, a volunteer group of parents would watch all the kids while the rest of us practiced or played. We have been doing this for the last six years now and we couldn't be happier!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A place to reflect.

My garden is growing at a record pace.  Being that it is finally a place to hang out, I need a place to sit and relax.  I was thinking that on the path that winds through the flowers would be a perfect place for a few garden benches.  That way I could sit on the stone benches and watch the butterflies float by.  I love to just sit and reflect on the day during the peaceful mornings or in the late afternoon.  The mornings are cool enough to want a warm cup of joe while enjoying the garden.  There are many types of benches you could choose for your garden, I like stone garden benches.  I like that they don't require any maintenance and over time they get a great patina.  There are memorial benches at the park that are amazing.  They look like they have been there for ever, and they have this sort of greenish patina in the detail crevasses.  It is so earthy, and natural.  I would love form my benches to look like that some day.

A place to reflect.

My garden is growing at a record pace.  Being that it is finally a place to hang out, I need a place to sit and relax.  I was thinking that on the path that winds through the flowers would be a perfect place for a few garden benches.  That way I could sit on the stone benches and watch the butterflies float by.  I love to just sit and reflect on the day during the peaceful mornings or in the late afternoon.  The mornings are cool enough to want a warm cup of joe while enjoying the garden.  There are many types of benches you could choose for your garden, I like stone garden benches.  I like that they don't require any maintenance and over time they get a great patina.  There are memorial benches at the park that are amazing.  They look like they have been there for ever, and they have this sort of greenish patina in the detail crevasses.  It is so earthy, and natural.  I would love form my benches to look like that some day.


We have been holding on to our car, not wanting to buy a new one.  We bit the bullet and took it in for repairs.  We were prepared, or so we thought, for how much it was going to cost.  After it sat in the shop for a day they called back and told us they could not fix it.  Everything they needed to do required bolting something to the subframe, which really doesn't exist anymore.  I guess that is what you get for living in the snow belt for 10 years.  So we have driving the car literally into the ground, there is no hope.  They said it would take  10,000 dollars to fix everything that was wrong with it, and frankly it is not worth it.  So our car hunt continues, as we limp along with one vehicle for a few more weeks.  This, if you have read previous posts, has been going on for sometime.  We are always on the look out for the best car for our needs.  We knew this day would come.  Now for some decisions, do we go high with the Cadillac Cts  or do we stay on budget with the more affordable Hyundai Azera.  I am not sure what car is best for the sonatas replacement, do you think we need more seating, or something cute and fun like the VW Jetta.  Since we are doing ok with one car for now we will do some research, I need more info before I can make the correct decision.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Catching Up

Guest post written by Ann Helsing
My neighbor and I both have daughters around the same age, so we like to give them ample time to play together when we can. WeÕre old friends (I've lived on the block for years we both have, even before we both got married and had kids!) so we appreciate the time to get together for ourselves, too. Well, last night Sherri came over and brought her daughter, as usual. We had a great time catching up as the girls played house.
As we got to talking, Sherri mentioned that she and her husband had been up to a pretty intensive redesign over at their place. She said they'd been going to sears home improvement nearly every day! Their project sounds pretty fun, though, they're hoping to give their home a whole new, sophisticated feel. I told her that sounded like a great idea, and that I was kind of jealous! I'll have to start working on Peter to see if he'd want to do something similar. Either way, sounds like a fun project!


What is your toddlers favorite snack?  I am on the search for some good snacks for a 1 year old.  In the beginning he was the best eater ever.  He would eat avocado, squash, zuccini, cauliflower, peas, carrots, and hummus to name a few.  Then in the last few weeks he has gone from trying everything and liking it to snubbing almost everything.  Applesauce is our go-to food right now, but we really want him to branch out.  So at each meal time we try a few different items, if he "says" no (with his crazy head turning) then we move on to apple sauce, which he eats until we stop giving it to him.  I am convinced he would eat an entire jar in one sitting (we don't try that though).  So we want to try some new things, any suggestions?

Video Troubles

We love to shoot video of our almost 1 year old to share with the out of town relatives.  However, sometimes we have a difficult time converting it to a format in which everyone can view.  Everyone has different technology when it comes to watching the videos.  Some on Macs, some on PC, netbooks, and some just have a good old DVD player.  So I will have to try out a video converter so that I can make videos and movies easy for everyone to watch.  Since most of the computers our families have are mac's I will look into a video converter for mac, and make all these precious moments viewable for all!  I also want to try the iPad video converter, I think the iPad would be great for storing, editing and bringing along all my favorite videos.

Latest Hosting reviews

Do you need a new web hosting site?  Don't know where to turn?  Well, there are places you can find the right site for your needs.  Each business or blog has certain "needs" when it comes to their domain, and you need to research that when you are starting out, or when you are on the move (virtually that is).   A personal blog page is going to need something entirely different than a business that is trying to market and sell their goods.  Where as a blogger might want something that is quick and easy to set up, while the business owner wants something they can control every aspect of the page and its set up.  Learn all about web hosting before you start out, it makes it easier to brand your product without having to change servers, and hosting companies mid year.  If you are looking for the latest and greatest, keep your eye on webhosting news.  You will be able to find out the newest things that are on the market, and how they can help you grow your site.  Check out the news from google about buying and selling domains and parking regulations.  There is so much to learn about the internet and the interworking of it all, very interesting, and makes great lunch time reading.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do you like CheeseBurgers?

Then you will love this!  Last night I made the best meatloaf you have ever imagined.  WAIT!  Don't stop reading just because I said meatloaf.  I don't even like meatloaf, but this was great.  We shall call it BBQ Bacon cheeseburger loaf.  The word loaf kind of makes it sound icky, but it's not.  Moist, cheesy, and it has BACON!  So here it is in all its glory.

What you'll need:
1.5 lbs ground beef
half an onion
2 green peppers
a few carrots
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup bbq (separate 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 cup bread crumbs
5 strips bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

Cook bacon and remove from pan.  Use food processor chop finely the onion and transfer to the pan with bacon grease to caramelize with the balsamic vinegar.  Then chop the peppers and carrots finely.  Chop bacon in the same fashion.  Mix bacon with all the veggies (including the onions which should be sweet and caramelized).  Add the sweet pickle relish, breadcrumbs, mustard, BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix in the ground beef, gently mix until all ingredients are incorporated.  Then transfer to a loaf pan.  Spread the remaining BBQ sauce on top and cook in a 350 degree oven for an hour (give or take a little time depending on your range).  The loaf will pull away from the sides, and that is a good indicator that it is done.

We really enjoyed this dish with red skinned mashed potatoes and green beans, it was a real comfort dish for a cool Florida night!

Clothes for my boy

As he lays in his crib, suppose to be napping, I search the internet quickly.  I have to do some shopping for clothes.  It is much easier, for me, to shop online when he is napping.  Otherwise, we have to fight the crowds, fight off a nap, or some other catastrophe.  I would just rather have the items I want shipped directly to my door!  Clothes at the local stores leave much to be desired when it comes to clothes for boys. I am always on the look out for something fun, new, and of course perfect for my boy.  Boys clothing can be fun to shop for when you know where to look, so skip the big box, and search the net.  Exchanges, and returns are just as easy (if not easier) online than in the store, for many of the reasons I listed for shopping online in the first place.  Also, the customer service levels of online retailers I have found to be far superior!  I know that I will have my babe's outfits mail to me in no time flat!

Mailboxes beauty or beast

Everyone has a mailbox, well, unless you have a PO Box, but most suburban homes have one either wall mounted mailboxes or one that is out by the road at the end of the drive.  What are your thoughts on the mailbox, are they beautiful, or are the strictly utilitarian.  I am in the beauty camp, they can give a little hint to your style, and give a little curb appeal.  Recently, we have been told that our mailbox is  not in the beautiful category, and we might need an upgrade.  I do agree too, the one we have is plastic, white, and covered in some sort of moss.  It might be time to upgrade.  I was thinking that I would like to have a wall mount mailbox, not only would it be easier to check the mail, but I really like the way they look when they are hung just under the outside light.  It gives me that warm fuzzy feeling.  A house mailboxes might not work here, since the mailman does his run in the truck, and not on foot, but I am still a fan of  wall mount mailboxes.  We had one when we lived up in Chicago, and it was really great, and looked fabulous!  What do you consider your mailbox to be beauty or the beast?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

House Guests

Yes, this time of year, is not only time for shopping, but time for the guests to arrive.  Having mild temperatures year long has its perks.  Everyone wants to come here in the winter to visit!  I love having visitors, especially when it is time to makeover the guest room.  I love picking out bath accessories and bedding accessories to make the room look fresh, fun and just like home.  There are so many things to choose from, the first thing I have to do is narrow down the style I want in each of the rooms.  Then I get to  search the internet for just the right things.  One of my searches took me to they have great styles and great prices.  The Donna Karan Home bedding is great, it is the perfect fresh look that I want for the guest room.  We are going for a light and bright color scheme that will leave our guests wanting to come back.  For those of our friends that are coming from the dreary midwest, it will be the perfect retreat in Florida!  All I have to do now is wait for the mailman to bring me my packages and start decorating!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hawaii Five O

Posted by Arden Wallace
When a television show is remade, it is often not well received. I have never seen any of the original Hawaii Five O episodes, but my mother has. We decided to watch the 2010 series since she was a fan of the old show and I am a fan of the actors in the remade version. We meet at her house on Monday nights and after a tasty meal, we will turn on the satellite TV from to watch a few shows. We always end our night with Hawaii Five O. Though it has only been on a handful of times so far, we are both fans of it already. She said it doesn't compare to the original very much, but the plots and actors have won her over. It's the same for me. The team of four has enough diversity to keep the team interesting and enough closeness already to make them feel like family. Not every story has a happy ending on every level, but that keeps it real. Another thing that has won me over is the scenery. The setting is Hawaii and it is absolutely gorgeous! I have always wanted to go there. I want to go even more now, so maybe I will buy those tickets sooner rather than later. One of the best parts of this show is the bonding time that I get to have with my mom. This show's a winner no matter which way you look at it.

Car trouble

Oh Sonata why can't you limp along for just a few more months.  We are in a bind with the car, the deal said it is unsafe to drive, but we don't want to buy a new one, not this month.  We will get one, but we did not plan for it this month.  We are rebuilding our credit score, and I don't think it is to the point we want just yet.  For any of you out there that are trying to rebuild your credit, you well know that it is a difficult task.  We never are late, but we had a lot of debt, and it takes time to bump up your score to a stellar mark.  Once a year we search for our free credit score to make sure we are on the right track.  So far, so good.  We want to have the score as high as we can before we make the jump to purchasing a car.  We will try the one car household for a few weeks and see how that goes.  I will keep you posted!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Etsy for Christmas

Shopping seems to be on my mind today.  I just relisted a bag in my Etsy shop, and noticed that the views are really low for these weeks leading in to the biggest shopping time of year.  I was hoping to see more traffic through the online storefront, and wondering if more people are shopping in retail locations vs. online.  I hope though they will be checking out Etsy for unique presents.  Reusable coffee sleeves and reusable bags are the perfect gifts for your office secret santa, or if you need something special to wrap up that unique gift you just purchased, try a reusable bag to make your gift giving a little more green.
Mostly have fun, and don't forget to check out Threadbeaur for some great gifts.

Deals to be had

The shopping season is upon us.  What is your favorite way to shop?  Will you be headed out to the retail stores, or will you be surfing the internet in your PJ's at 2 A.M.?  I know that I personally love shopping online and this shopping season will be no different for me.  I will use my favorite online stores and hopefully I will find a few new ones during my shopping endeavors.  In my opinion one of the best benefits of shopping online is getting a great deal.  There are many places where you can find coupons.  However, I really like the deals that you can find at  They have such a variety of coupon codes that you are bound to find a deal for something you want to buy.  Even if you are looking for some travel coupons to get away  you will be able to find coupon codes there.  Coupons and deals from entertainment to baby items, you can search for codes for your favorite shopping websites.  Shopping is always better when you can get a good deal, or use a coupon to get free shipping or a great deal.  So check it out and make your shopping dollar go a little further this holiday shopping season!

In the Know

Over the weekend I spent some time at a flea market in Central Florida.  It was eye opening to say the least.  People there were selling all sorts of things from trinkets to signed letters by Ed Sullivan.  Though there were a few vendors that were selling gold.  Perhaps the were in the know about gold bullion and the price of gold, but maybe you could get a good deal on it.  The internet is a great place to research how to buy gold bullion, and become one of the people in the know about investing in gold IRA's.  Knowing a thing or two about gold is most important when you are considering whether or not to buy bullion.  Is the price up or is the price down, it can make a difference in making some money, or making a lot of money when you do finally sell.  So do you research first before you invest, or before you head out to a local flea market in search of a good deal.