Saturday, November 13, 2010

What an incredible day

As mentioned in my previous post, a couple of friends and I had decided to take on a Friendraiser for our mutual friend, Elisa Watanabe.  She has been gravely ill and non-responsive for several week now :(

I met Elisa while taking dance lessons.  She is super adorable, genuine, entrepreneurial (she launched a business) and kind.  She also went to school with my cousin, and they remain friends to this day.  So you can imagine how heartbroken I was to hear that this beautiful young woman was struggling significantly.

Not knowing what to do...I knew that I had to do something. Soooo...I was inspired by the Scrapbook Royalty Blog that I've been writing for and asked some friends to help me host a crafting Friendraiser.

Today, I spent 12 hours making cards to sell at our dance studio.  My other friend Elisa (same name) and Katwanya cranked out as much as they could, and by the time we had left, we had easily made at least 100 cards to start our sales.  The proceeds from our participation fee at the 12 hour scrap also went to a local school - so it was a double dose of goodness.

We met several amazing scrapbookers who were so inspired by what we were doing that they gave us the first donations.  UNBELIEVABLY kind of them.  Although, I strongly believe that if you try to lead a happy and good life, that good will follow you.

Additionally, I have to chuckle at the way the world works.  This past week, I passed up an opportunity to purchase a Cricut Expression that was on serious sale. looks like I'm going to get one at an even better deal!  One of the women at this 12 hour scrap had bought a bunch of them (probably at an insane sale) and wants to sell me one at a ridiculously low price.  It's not only the machine but also two cartridges and some tools.  She's even happy to hold onto to it for me until December (where my budget allows me to purchase it without feeling guilty).  I think she was so touched by what we were doing that she wanted to help us do more.  Soooo amazing.

By the time the 12 hours of scrapping were finished, Elisa and Katwanya and I must have made at least 100 cards!!!!  And we're all still planning to make more this weekend.  Sales will start this week at the studio and will continue through the holidays.

To top it all off....I came home to the news that our Elisa has made significant progress today and that she was being responsive. 

I am not the most religious person in the world, but even I have to thank God for this amazing turn of events.

Elisa still has a long way to go, but a tiny step to a healthier path is all we ask for...may the forward steps continue!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Request for Help

Never did I imagine I would post a request for help from the members of this blog for something so personal, but I must.  I think the universe has an unbelievable way of putting you in touch with people who need to be in your world at specific times.

I want to introduce you all to a beautiful spirit named Elisa.

Besides scrapbooking, one of my other hobbies is Latin dancing (salsa, bachata, cha cha cha, etc), which is where I met Elisa.

A couple of weeks ago now, Elisa went into a coma unexpectedly from some serious health complications (as is always the case).  Knowing that there is nothing more that I can do for her health besides pray and support her loved ones, I am still left feeling pretty helpless.

So, rather than focusing on a larger sized crafting for a cause event (as I had planned for in the Spring), I asked the dance studio if they would be okay with me setting up a bin with homemade cards.  All proceeds from the cards sold would go directly to the family to at least help cover some of the medical bills.

And so, I have a call out to help me keep the bin full!

What kinds of cards can you make to donate:
- Christmas
- Kwanzaa
- Hanukkah
- New Year's
- Valentine's Day
- Birthday
- Get well cards (left blank on the inside)....people will then also be left with the option of addressing that card to Elisa so that we can deliver them to her at a later time.
- Than you

The possibilities are endless.....just create!

I would be humbled and very appreciative of your support!

Please email me at if you are interested in sending out a card or two.  I will gladly shoot over my home address.  

If you don't have matching envelopes...I will take care of that.  Just please make sure no card is larger than 5x7 inches.

And if anything, some prayers would also be welcome.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Silly rant!

Who complains about choosing to finish paying off their debts as opposed to indulging in something I want and NOT need!

It's that sort of whining (plus action) that put me on the bad financial path,  Hello, Nubia?!!!!

I would like to take back my previous post and instead celebrate the fact that, yes, I and my business will live without that tool.  It has so far!!!

Why must I be a responsible adult?!!!

Tomorrow, there is going to be a HUGE sale on the one scrapbooking tool that I have been dying to own but could not justify investing in just yet - while I pay off my credit cards.

And why did I start Christmas shopping early to save money......and buy my ticket to DC....and send my sister a couple of presents cuz she's poor and living away from all of us?!

Had I been the normal irresponsible adult I had been a few years ago (with my finances)...I would just charge this item, but alas....I won't.  I'm gonna be good.

I will instead one day pay the full damn price for the gadget.  LOL!

Stupid responsibility ;)

And in case any of you have been eyeing this tool....there is a 40% off sale tomorrow (only) at

Happy Holiday shopping, everyone!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A good weekend

I know it's only Saturday, but a lot of good stuff has happened since Friday morning and I need to share.

First - I received an email from Scrapbook Royalty asking me to please join their blog writing team!  The idea (if the other person accepts) is to have two people tackle the writing for the blog.  I'm super excited about this opportunity and look forward to receiving details on how to start posting.  I'm hoping my partner in crime will be awesome and easy to work with.  As we all know, life happens and it will be great to have someone to lean on in case I'm unable to meet my deadline (and vice versa).

Second - I've been given the clear to start my first column for Latin Webzine.  OF COURSE the first article is due on the 25th!  I have another album due for client on the 23rd, so this is gonna be funny.  Not to mention, my work week is kinda I'm going to lose 2 nights of potential work due to work events.  Eek!!!  Not sure what the readership is of the web magazine, but subscription is free.  Please join and check out my postings!

Third - I stepped on the scale today and am super happy to report that since I started actively cooking for myself, I have lost 11 pounds!!!  Madness!  Now I just need to find some time to include some workouts or yoga again.  I'm sure that would kick things up a notch, but I'm not sure I'm going to be getting much sleep in the next days, so working out might have to wait a bit.

Fourth - My parents stopped by this evening for a bit (which was awesome) and it was great to hear mom exclaim that my place was so clean :)  Ha!  Their visits always send me into a tizzy of cleaning, but I've actually been decluttering my house for quite some time....and less clutter always makes things feel more open, more organized and clean.  I still have a ways to go, but having mom's approval was sweet.  If you've ever been lucky enough to have my mom make a meal for you, then you know how spotless her home is! 

And lastly - I have been upgraded to my own office at work (nice change) and have officially moved into the new space.  Pretty spacious and quiet.  Here's hoping it will help me be even more efficient  (though I'm already pretty darn efficient if I do say so myself).  Regardless, it's nice to play my radio and not have it bother anyone but myself.  LOL

So that's the update...weekend full of good news and feel good moments.

I'll take this type of weekend any day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Have I lost my mind?!

So I am absolutely chuckling at myself right now.....I must think I'm super woman because I just responded to a shout out for another potential blogging gig about scrapbooking!

There is a great scrapbooking blog called Scrapbook Royalty that celebrates and encourages scrappers to use their creative energy for in community benefit.  They recently posted a call out for people who would be interested in being the blog writer.  I clearly enjoy writing, scrapbooking and community service - could this be a more perfect opportunity or what?!

I'm going to assume that a lot of people will be interested in this opportunity, but I just had to throw my hat in the ring.

We'll see what happens....

Regardless, I may have to force myself to find a way to be involved in giving back through scrapbooking.  Though I enjoy the "profits" I make from my clientele, the money isn't what feeds my soul (it just feeds my stomach).  I scrapbook because of the creative energy release, and it's nice to make a little money to pay off bills or buy new scrapbooking products.  But it would be a dream to be able to use the creative energy to benefit others too. Oh how the wheels are turning.

Article topics submitted

Okay, I did it!  I've officially submitted my article topics to the editor of the web magazine - here's hoping he understands and likes my vision.

Thank you to all my scrapping friends who helped me think through some very useful topics.  There is amazing value in reaching out to the folks who share a similar passion...they definitely reminded me of areas to focus on for the new scrapper.

Now if they could only write the articles for me too - ha!

I'll keep everyone posted :)  If I get to proceed, my first article would be on the general introduction of scrapbooking and a fun project.  I'm thinking of scrapbooking a page on the tamale making process.  I have an idea in my head of how to make a corn husk with paper to shape into little tamale embellishments.  this is gonna be fun :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Walking through an open door

There is the saying that when opportunity knocks, you open the door.  Well, I've finally opened the door, and I am gladly walking through it!

I'm so excited I can't contain my excitement!!!

Not too long ago, I had accepted a facebook friend request from a gentleman who was the founder and editor of web magazine.  We had some mutual friends in common, so I thought it would be good to support his efforts.  Little did I know that there would one day be an opportunity to benefit from this friend request.  And it is!

He posted a call out for potential columnists and bloggers.  Topic submissions were open to a variety of issues and so I thought - what do I have to lose?  I sent him an email about my scrapbooking and couponing.  I totally wanted him to say that he wanted to learn more about my scrapbooking, but I assumed he would be intrigued about the couponing due to the state of the current economy.  Who am I kidding - I honestly didn't think he would be interested by either topic.

Well.......I'm super excited to share that he wants me to consider being a regular contributor on the topic of scrapbooking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What?!!!!!

So now I'm thinking through what my first two articles will be.  I'm lucky to have many fellow scrapbookers whom I've reached out to for some guidance.  I've already gotten some amazing ideas on how to direct my first couple of posts - things I honestly didn't think about off-the-bat, but definitely great ideas.

Oh the planning!!!!!!!

I'm also working on two projects right now - one for a client that turns 40 at the end of the month, and the other project is my best friend's wedding invites.  Oh the creativity that is oozing out right now is energizing my super tired body!

Yoga might need to take a back seat for awhile...or at least studio based yoga. I'm going to try and at least go on the weekends and do my best to squeeze it in during the week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

To watch my weight or not watch my weight....that is the question

Well, I've slacked off on the yoga because I'm racing home to work on stuff or because I'm up late because I can't fall asleep.  I've been drinking a TON of caffeine and almost stopped drinking all the water I had gotten used to drinking. 

From my previous entries about hot yoga, you know that I need to be fully hydrated to survive the hour long heated session.  I honestly felt nauseous and light headed my first time, which taught me a huge lesson.  So starting tomorrow, I need to get back on track.

I've also decided to rejoin Weight Watchers.  Since I've been better about grocery shopping and cooking due to couponing, I might as well cook the healthiest I can, right?

One of my amazingly wonderful best friends is getting married in late March in Puerto the goal is to drop at least 30 pounds in the next 6 months!  I would love it to be higher, but let's start slow, right?  That's a 5 pounds per month weight loss goal....pretty reasonable if I really stick to my plan.

Here goes nothing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A quote that nails it....

"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind.  To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse.  To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better.  To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better."
- King Whitney, Jr.
I've been in a serious funk....a mostly unhappy, stressed out funk for the past couple of months. Personally and professionally, I've seen some changes - some pleasant and some not.
I haven't made anything creative in quite some time because I've let the funk consume me.  NOT FUN (If I were on facebook, I would be screaming for an unlike button). I'm not one to normally express my stress outwardly, but I've come unhinged a bit.

Has that really helped?  Hmmmm....I guess.  At least I feel heard.

Is it changing anything?  Hmmmm....not really.

So....what to do.....not sure.  What I do know is that I need to release creatively.  Sooooo this weekend...I'm gonna work on something scrapbooky, go dancing, and drink lots with my friends.  I just need a few, unrestricted giggles right now.

Then we can think about the change we need and hope it is, in fact, inspiring.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I think I'm falling in love with Yoga

Now that I have a "plan" on what I'm going to do about my work circumstances...I need to start doing something to take away the frustration and rejuvenate my burnt out self.  Though not the main reason for starting yoga last week, it has helped me ease out some of the tension I've been feeling for the past couple of years.

As you can probably tell, I'm fried.  If you've known for me for a long time....know that I'm totally fried, more than I ever have been :(  So something, right?!

Yoga was something I wanted to do for my health.  I literally need to get my fat butt moving and gyms do not work for me. I've tried taking a couple of aerobic classes in the past and I find that I get angry at the instructors who say. "5 more".....then follow it up with..."can you feel that?  let's do 5 more."  Rather than focusing on what's going on physically, I realize I start concentrating on how much I hate the instructor.  Totally makes me lose focus and makes working out less fun.

Working out with my more fit friends is also frustrating cuz I can't keep up.  Though they are super nice and encouraging, I know I'm just holding back their workouts.  So again - not fun!

I decided to do something alone and had a free week to try out yoga.  Low and behold...I think I may have found something that will work for me.  In fact, I think I may LOVE yoga! 

Don't get me is HARD....but the calming voice of the instructor and the insistence to listen to your body and take breaks (or modify moves) as needed is great.  I can take a breather, drink some water and get back into it.  I've also discovered that I have pretty good some of the poses aren't impossible.  My weakness is the lack of strength in my wrists and ankles.  But that should get better.  I don't buy into the spiritual aspect of yoga, but I like the quietness and stillness you have when working out.

Here are some of the moves I've done and how I'm doing.  Enjoy picturing me trying to position myself like this - ha!

This is a pose that I'm in A LOT.  At first, it's a pretty simple pose, but when you add a bunch of downward dogs, planks, stand up, etc. in a continuous motion, it gets harder and harder to do!

Though I have great balance, this move is deceivingly difficult to hold.  It starts to eat at your ankles and your start having trouble balancing.  Silly move....looks so simple.

This is another pose that looks soooo easy.  However, as your exhale and let your body release further into the fold, you slowly start to feel the burn on the outer edge.  The longer you hold it, the more you start to sweat.

Totally a move I enjoy the first couple of times.  I'm pretty flexible and this doesn't put too much pressure on one ankle. 

Oh the reverse warrior.  My oh my!  Totally manageable until the 10th time and your legs in the lunge position start to quiver and your stretched out side starts to burn.

Do NOT get me started.  I have no upper body strength.  After all the downward dogs, planks, etc....I have almost no strength to try and do this one right.  At the moment, I modify this move and put some weight on a bended knee.  I will one day be able to get to this point in the workout to do this move full out.

Dancer's pose....yikes!  For some reason, I have a hard time reaching back for my leg without a wall to hold onto.  It's kinda weird.  I fake it by balancing with my leg out and arm out (which is a different move), but I get some of the effect of this move.  It's weird that I can balance this out decently but that I have a hard time grabbing my foot.  I will conquer this move too someday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

Sunday, August 15th would have been Julia Child's birthday.  In true foodie form, many make sure to celebrate the anniversary by gathering fellow foodies and having an entire meal from Julia's cookbook - Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

As I have mentioned previously, I am blessed to have many chefs and fellow foodies in my life.  I consider myself a foodie in that I LOVE to eat great food.  Can I cook?  Sure...I get by fine, but I definitely do not own many cookbooks (yikes!).  I cook what I know and periodically venture into some new items.

So you can imagine my panic when I received an invitation to BE Julia for the day.

Having the week from hell work-wise, I knew that I would not be able to prep much or even have time to get groceries ahead of time.  So I proceeded to search for easy recipes that used few ingredients.  I landed on the Potato-Leek Soup and was so excited because all I need to buy was leeks and chives to finish my ingredient list.

I had NO IDEA that this was an iconic Julia dish!

Anyway, I thought I would share the process and the story of my dish.

I started with my 2 quarts of chicken broth.  Eek!  I deviated from the original recipe on this item only.....I knew that the chicken broth would help add a lot flavor to the soup.  So with great confidence, I proceeded boldly.

I then proceeded to chop the potatoes and leeks for the soups.

I found out too late that I should have used Yukon gold potatoes as they are naturally creamier.

I seasoned with the salt and let the potatoes and leeks simmer for about an hour.

An hour later, I used a potato masher to mash the softened potatoes and leeks.  I quickly realized that it was a good thing I started my soup early.  This is what it looked liked after some serious mashing.
There was about an inch of liquid on top of the mashed goodies.  OH OH.....I took the soup off the heat and proceeded to make another batch of potatoes (no salt, no chicken broth).  When they were cooked, I blended the softened potatoes with a bit of the stock from the original soup to help blend the flavors a bit.  I put the blended mixture in to the original soup and I let it cook together for another 20 minutes.

I came back to the soup and decided to stir it up a bit.  OOOOOOOHHHHH NOOOOOOO!  I could tell something was sticking to the bottom.  I was actually BURNING my soup!  I found another pot and transferred the non-burned soup mixture.  The soup didn't taste burned and it didn't look like any burned potatoes/leeks made into the soup transfer.  This is what the bottom of my pot looked like!

Disaster avoided!!!!

I had no idea if my soup tasted the way it was supposed to, but I knew that it tasted good and people would enjoy it.  I'm happy to say that it was a huge hit!!!

Low and behold the feast that awaited me upon my arrival!  Here are just a few samples of the yummy goodness I sampled on.

Everyone was asked to show up with aprons, hats, and pearls.  I love anything that requires a costume and will go full force when asked to participate.

Here's a quick peek at some of us enjoying the great summer weather in the backyard.
We are about to delight in some delicious chocolate mousse!!!!!  It was the perfect ending to a spectacular meal!

Oh and I can't forget to mention our youngest chef of the night, my buddy Emma, who came around and asked us all to take a little scroll.  Each scroll contained funny, fun, great Julia Child quotes.

Thank you Emma and Mel for a fantastic evening!  I can't wait until next year!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My family loves me

About two weeks ago, our area got hit with a lot of rain over night.  When I say a lot, I mean the kind that creates flooding issues on the streets and, unfortunately for me, in basements.  In my case, this translated into me waking up to a soggy basement apartment.  Oh my :(

I went into a severe panic as I raced around unplugging things and worrying that my cat was going to get sick from drinking anything.  I was also worried we would get electrocuted.

Thankfully, I only got about an inch of water in parts of my house...but that was enough to crush my spirit.

I picked up my cat and ran out the door.  I drove Charlie to the parents our of safety concerns and was lucky enough to have a momma who came back with me to help me clean my house.  Amazingly, by the time we bought a dehumidifier and got to my house, most of the eater was gone.  But there was still some cleaning to do....lots of drying to do...and lots of disinfecting to do.  I had multiple family members come to my rescue too -- it was very touching.  I couldn't resist taking pics of everyone as they worked hard to help me get my house back in order.

Thank you Azul and Marcy for your double mopping duty!

Thank you Andy for that major vacuuming action!

Thank you mom, Jacky and Lorena for helping me finish up!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I have a new obsession

And it has nothing to do with Scrapbooking but it could definitely benefit my scrapbooking.


I just learned how to do it, and I am still learning.  Take a peek at my new blog!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Coupons, coupons, coupons!

I took a break from my crazy weekend to attend a BBQ whose main point was to teach anyone who was interested how to save money by super couponing.

Yes,  I said SUPER couponing.

I'm a single woman with no dependents other than my one paying attention to how much I spend on household items and/or groceries is not something I do.

I quickly learned today that if I actually started to pay attention and used the available coupons out there, I could in fact MAKE MONEY!

 What?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I think I can almost see my money tree.....

It's going to take some time to learn how to do it well, but I feel a new blog coming your way soon:  Couponing for a Debt-Free Me!  

More to follow....

The drawback of living in a ground level apartment when a monsoon hits

This weekend Chicago suffered a mini-monsoon.  I was up late on Friday night/Saturday morning and had been reading through facebook that everyone was suffering with major flooding and power outages.  At 3am I commented that I was so lucky that nothing like that had ever happened to me.  I had no water in my place, so I went to bed.

Dum dum dum dum daaaaaaaaa......

Flash forward to 9:30am when I woke up screaming as I placed my feet onto the wet floor.
OH MY GOD!!!!!
I went into a serious panic as I'm trying to figure out how much water is in my house and how to keep my cat from coming onto the wet areas. I was frantic.  I couldn't even begin to prioritize what to look for/check on first.

After 20 minutes of crying and cursing over the inch of water in the majority my apartment (not the whole apartment), I started to worry that the water would continue rising and that both Charlie and I would be electrocuted in my house.  So I ran around the house and unplugged everything!  I also called my's always make you feel better.

Mom ordered me to bring Charlie to her house and to pick her up.  She was going to come and help me clean up.  Mom to the rescue!

By the time we made it back to my apartment with a dehumidifier, clorox, wet vacuum and old towels, most of the water had retreated.  My cousin and her twin 10 year olds also showed up ready to do what they could.  It was incredibly touching.  As I looked around and watched people sucking up water with the vacuum, walking around drying off furniture, etc....I realized how lucky I was.

Not only did I suffer minimal damage, but I got to see a glowing example of the incredible family I was born into.They are the best.

Thank you to everyone!

I'm still drying up the dampness in my house and I have a ton of stuff to wash.  Here's to a busy tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Emma's note

Today I received my first (and probably last) letter from camp.  My adorable friend Emma has been busy dancing and will be coming home soon, so I'm actually quite touched to have received a letter at tall.  I heard from her mom that she has been working hard and gets back to her cabin absolutely exhausted!  I'm actually going to get to see her next week, so I can't wait to hear all about what she's learned and the friends she made.

Anyway.....I was super excited to come home and find the adorable handwriting of a teenage girl-addressed envelope.  You know what I'm talking about....that slightly bubbled curvy handprint.  Soooo cute!

I was most touched by her opening sentences: 

"OMG! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the quote book thing you made me.  I can not wait to show you what I did with it!" 

The color added to the text above is an exact duplicate of what I see on the paper :)  I can feel the excitement and genuine gratitude.  Here's a sneak peek at what the book looked like:

You can see a full description of the book in my other blog.

Emma's reaction is what I love about scrapbooking the most!  The genuine surprise at receiving something handmade and custom designed can cause a fun response.  I'm happy I was able to surprise sweet Emma.

I absolutely can't wait to see what she filled it with!

I can't wait to have more moments like these with Emma AND Finn!  Here's to a lifetime of funnies and love, Elsmos.  See you soon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And another update (for my other blog)

I need to figure out how to best share my newest posts, but I wanted to make sure to make an update on both of my blogs this weekend (since I've disappeared for quite some time now).

Anyway, follow this link for a fun way to scrapbook photobooth strips for an event!

Scrapping for the Booths

A fun July

I have to admit, July has turned out to be a fun month with my friends and family (and their kids).

First of all, the Atluri clan has made their annual summer trip to Chicago.  All my godbaby's are in one city right now and I don't know what to do with myself.

First, we have M&M....Malena and Mateo who are now officially 19 months old.  Last time I saw them was in December for their first birthday, so they've grown soooo much!  Jaiden, their older brother, is in town too, but he's too busy running around to let me take a pic.  He's like the energizer bunny right now, and he's absolutely testing the limits with his parents.  Oh the joys of being three!  LOL!

Anyways, I took a Friday off from work so that I could spend sometime with the kids.  Jaiden ran around with his older cousins, so Jospehine (the mama) and I took to M&M to Target.  This was my view for the whole car ride:

How can you not want to eat these little faces!  Just adorable.  They are both getting over their stranger danger stage a bit, so it's been a little easier to steal one away from mom and dad to snuggle or go do something fun.  Malena has since gotten her ears pierced and loves showing off her earrings.  Such a diva already!

This past weekend, we all attended Noah's first birthday party.  All the parents are my friends from college, so it's a ton of fun when we all get together.  Here is my cutie pie, the birthday boy with his papa:

By next year's party, he'll have a little sister to contend soak up all the attention you can, Noah :)

Noah had a Noah's ark themed party.  There were kiddie pools for the kids to cool off in during the sunny portion of the day (it was boiling that day), then we had an ark-shaped cake (absolutely adorable) before the petting zoo arrived!  Oh my goodness was that fun.  Here are some fun shots of Noah, Malena, Mateo, Jaiden and new friends!

Jaiden and Mateo (in matching shirts) were sitting next to each other until this adorable little girl decided she wanted to sit in between them for cake.  LOL!  She got up on the bench and made them separate.

See the bucket of grain....Mateo and Malena had their little hands in there so fast.  They loved to feed the quack-quacks and baa-baas.  Squeals of delight!

Mateo and Jaiden also loved climbing the fence when no one was looking.  Someone had to race over to make sure they didn't fall in or fall off the fence!

The birthday boy and I had a little quiet time.  He was in such a great mood that day (except when everyone sang happy birthday - we startled him a bit).  I definitely need a little more time with him - he's growing so fast!

This butterfly stayed on Mrs. Farhan's shoulder for almost the entire time we were outside.  It was so content!

It's really hard to get Josephine to stand still for a bit for a photo (she's always running after one kid or another), but I was able to catch this moment with Mateo. 

Lastly, this is one of my favorite shots from the day.  Pramod called me over to see if I could catch this moment and I sure did!  Look at how brave Jaiden is in feeding the llama.  Super brave little boy!

I love my munchkins to death!  I can't wait to see you all again.  Hugs and Kisses!!!

The Backyard Ballet - June 17, 2010

 In mid-June, I received an invitation to attend a Backyard Ballet by the very graceful Emma.  This was the 2nd annual event whose proceeds benefited the Everybody Can Dance Workshop.  Here is a description of the workshop as noted on the back of the programs that night.

Each of our incredible dancers that night take classes at the Academy, and I was just amazed at how poised these young dancers were to celebrate this fun evening by doing good.  The donation basket was quietly placed near the popcorn.

Funny story about the popcorn: There was a cutie pie of  guest who was probably 3 or 4 years old.  He came running to the back to get some popcorn during the show, and at some point, he came back to talk to Chef Mel and announce to her that her popcorn was NOT right.  He proclaimed, "You're popcorn doesn't taste right. It's stale!"  I thought I was going to die of laughter.  I was officially crying because I was holding in my laughter so as to not disturb the dances.  Poor Chef Mel!  She had pre-prepared the popcorn and had it ready in the bags but the day's humidity seeped into the popcorn and made it stale.  It was pretty funny.

Anyway, here are some of the adorable dancers from that night.  It was incredible to see these little bodies fly through the air and float across the floor.  Just breath-taking!

Thank you so much for the invite girls!  I can't wait until next year's production!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nothing makes me happier/more calm than....

Well, my last post was about how I was stressing about a work situation.  I can't really change or determine what the outcome will be, so I decided I needed to unwind about the whole thing.  So what did I do?  I started (and finished) a scrapbook project for a special little friend named Emma!

Emma is the sweet daughter of my friend Mel and her hubby (my boss).  Emma and I have become closer in the last couple of months, and I have treasured the moments we've had so far.  My adorable new friend is an incredible dancer....a ballerina.....and she is currently at a dance camp in Michigan for the next couple of weeks.  I know her family is missing her dearly.

Here are a couple of photos of Emma and her friends dancing (some of which are at camp with her) in their 2nd annual backyard ballet.  It was AWESOME to watch the original choreography and experience the musical journey they created for all of us :)

[insert photo from backyard ballet here] - I was planning to insert some photos here, but I'd rather make a separate blog about the backyard ballet.  So take a peek's coming!

You can imagine how incredibly touched I was to get an email requesting my address so she could write to me!  How cute is that?!  I can't wait to get my first letter!

Anyway, I had had every intention of sending her a little something special for camp after remembering that her mom told me she journalled her experience - specifically notes on the techniques and new moves she is learning.  I remember thinking that this was incredibly mature for a 13 year old.  I mean, I don't ever remember being that serious about anything at her age.

Well.....we both have a love for So You Think You Can Dance, and last week's performance by Alex Wong made me too excited to wait to send her my special little something.  I had to write my first letter to her that night.  I hope she'll get to see the performance soon so we can chat about it.  I still have goosebumps when I see it.  Alex Wong is a classically trained ballet dancer who was completely out of his element when learning this routine.  He killed it!

You can watch the performance here!

Now that I've calmed down, I've managed to make the mini album that I wanted to make for Emma in the first place.  I wanted her to have a place where she could jot down the funny things her friends say at camp...this will be the mini silly journal to accompany her serious and larger dance journal.  I'll add pics of the quick mini book tomorrow.

I was so excited to use some of the ballet stickers I've had in my supplies for a couple of years now...I think it's just perfect that they'll be going to the beautiful and very graceful Emma!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No more bad car mojo!

I wrote a post awhile ago about my serious bad luck with cars.....I don't even want to get into all the drama that happened, but here's the shortened version.

2001 Kia Rio starts to go downhill last year (thousands of dollars of repairs later, I find out that it has a transmission issue that needs to be fixed in order to pass the emission test).  Clearly went to the junk!

In arly April, I buy my parent's 2000 Kia Sephia (which had no issues for them to date). Four days after I got the Sephia, it magically turns into a bumble bee which means the front converter and some ball joint needed repairing (ummmm....can you believe the quote was $1000).  Yikes!  Thank goodness my mom's high school has a mechanic shop and the shop teacher likes her.  He decided to make this a teachable moment for the students.  All I had to pay was for some donuts and coffee for the class.  FTW!

A week after I got the car back, I get into a car accident at work.  JUST SHOOT ME!  It was totally my fault...stupid me.  So in it went to the shop.

Maybe two weeks after I got the car back, I'm running around at one of our May events mentioned in the earlier blog.  Well, wouldn't you know.....the car stalls once on me.  I'm thinking maybe it's a fluke since it turned back on.  I keep going to my destination and it stalls again!  So now I know I should turn around and at least bring it closer to work.  Hmmmmm....if only things would go according to plan.  Stupid Kia Sephia starts to overheat (well the radiator temperature starts to go up).  Ugh...there is clearly no way I'm going to make it home.

So, I take the car into the mechanic by work to find out that I had to have the belts and radiator replaced.  Ummmm....that was another $1100 in repairs.  Are you kidding me?  I had no choice but to approve the repairs if I wanted to get home.

2 days later, I pick up my car (did I mention they had to order the part cuz Kia parts are crazy to find). It is now Monday. That Friday, my brakes start squeaking.  I think I need break pads (no biggie), but NO....not with my luck...I need new routers! Fine.  I pay for the new routers.  I'm thinking there is no way possible that anything else could happen to the car, right?
That Sunday (2 days later) I'm driving my car around and the check engine light turns on.  OF COURSE it did!  I hope you're laughing now...cuz that all I could do by then.  I take it in and the diagnostic says it was something with the coolant temperature.  So I take it back to the chop by work where I had the radiator work done cuz of course they didn't do something right so they are gonna fix my car for free.

Well.....turns out the sensors were failing and I now needed a new Coolant and Oxygen sensor.  That's another $500!

That's when I decided that enough was enough.  I picked up my car and prayed that it didn't explode on me for the remainder of the week cuz I needed to make it to Friday (when I purchased my new car).

So now ladies and gentleman, I am a proud owner of Certified Pre-Owned (can someone say Warranty!  Cheers all around!) 2009 Chevy Cobalt.  It's white and beautiful.  Finally! Say hello to my little friend:

Though I wasn't totally ready to buy a new car right now, it was definitely time.  It's the best thing ever.  I now actually have power locks and windows!  Ha ha ha!  I know this sounds basic to most folks, but I've never had them.

Also, I'm on the hunt for the right name for it.  Contenders right now:

CASPER - it made all my bad car mojo go away!
STORM TROOPER - just cuz it's funny!

I welcome any further suggestions and/or votes :)

crazy May

I've received a scolding not too long ago for having neglected my blogs.  I'm sooooo sorry folks :)

During the month of May, I had my butt kicked at work.  Early May is the toughest time of the year for my division.....huge events (multiple) with our tiny team of 3 as the main leads on all of them.  Thank goodness for great coworkers who pitched into to help in the wee hours.  We honestly were staying in the office till 10:30p on some nights leading up to the events.  And boy do I wish I could tell you we were procrastinating all day, thus forcing us to stay late.

Alas, we worked hard moving items and printing things ALL day.  While we waiting for batches to print, we did find some time to make each other laugh - partly out of sheer delirium from not having eaten. 

I present examples of our fun!

A little love nibble from my work BFFs....they crack me up!

Totally one of these moments where you had to be there to understand.  
Trust me....we were crying of laughter.

You know you're at work late when you have a chance to ask the 
cleaning crew to take a pic of you before they leave for the day.