Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Run Forest (umm...Nubia), Run!

Well, after writing my post last night, I noticed that my cousin Patty was on a mission to make her body a lean mean machine.

First - let me say that Patty is already lean and gorgeous.  She loves working out and actually trained to possibly become a certified fitness trainer.  I don't know if she ever went through the actual certification process but she's all about motivating folks to start moving.  This is the adorable Coach Patty:

So....I told her that I had every intention of getting up to run this morning.  She promptly asked me what time I wanted to be out the door.  I knew I was in trouble - a phone call and/or text was sure to come.  So no dilly dallying for me this morning when the alarm went off.

I was literally getting dressed when the first text came through.  I kept getting texts until I was out the door.  LOL!  I love her for that.  My favorite text was this one: "Goal time to be out the door:'s 3 minutes past!".  How awesome is that?! did it go?  Well, I knew that I hadn't hydrated well enough to do this well, but at least I got out there!

It took me about 30 minutes to run a little more than a mile.  By the end of it, I had a side cramp and a terrible shin cramp.  Ugh......I felt old and totally out of shape!

My goal is to run the half marathon in August in 3 hours 30 minutes.  I'd like to finish the race while I can still get a medal :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My new blog....

If you were following me on this blog because of my scrapping ideas/posts...I would actually like to encourage you to check out to my solely scrapbook dedicated blog.

I just started it on Sunday and already have 5 posts!  Trying to post some of my more original stuff, along with any great ideas that I see.

Check it out and send me any ideas/requests.  I'm up for challenges!

Some home cooking

I don't know if I ever mentioned how much I enjoyed watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  I have many friends who are chefs and/or foodies, and I've always thought that I didn't have enough time to cook meals every night and/or from scratch.

This year, especially with the launch of the Let's Move campaign by the FLOTUS, I suddenly felt an extra burden to start doing something about my physical fitness habits and my lack of fresh cooked meals.

So what was the first crazy thing I did?  I signed up to run a half-marathon. read that right!  LOL.  This is going to be really funny.  I don't run at all!  I have until August 1st to get my butt moving.  Gonna try to get out of bed early enough tomorrow morning to at least take a long walk.  Haven't hydrated well this week (lots of caffeine and some alcohol), so I don't think running will go so well for my legs tomorrow. 

The one thing that I have done is to actually try to make fresh meals each night.  I had somehow convinced myself that it was too much work.  Well, I've been foolish.

Last night....I left work at 4:45p...ran to the supermarket...made a fantastic veggie pasta...and was sitting down for dinner by 6:30p.  Seriously...why did I think this was going to be so hard?

My pasta last night was delicious.  Whole wheat pasta, spinach, onion, zucchini, orange bell pepper (for color), and a light vinegary dressing to top it off.  It was so pretty to look at.  Check it out!

If you have any other quick, simple, not so calorie-rich meals to share...please do!

Arizona's new immigration law

I have been fuming about the new immigration law in Arizona for days now......well, when thinking of Arizona and immigration, I think I've been fuming for years.

Now, don't get me wrong.....illegal immigration is most definitely an issue that our country needs to deal with.  I'm not denying the many cons associated with illegal immigration.

However, creating a law in which local police officials, as opposed to federal agents, are given the responsibility of enforcing a federal law is just plain foolish.  I know that there are many more urgent local issues that I want my police to attend to, as opposed to the almost all law-abiding (albeit the illegal crossing of the border) person who is walking down the street.

The idea that racial-profiling will not be used in a state that is mostly Caucasian and where most of the illegal immigrants are of Mexican-descent, is hard to believe.  Though I often state being Latino is not a race (it's an ethnicity), I am not naive enough to think that brown-skinned individuals will not be targeted by this new law.

And how exactly are law officials going to verify documents?  If employers haven't had the chance to do it when hiring individuals with fake documentation, how is joe-schmo cop on the street going to do it?  Businesses have been trying to figure out how to deal with illegal immigration for years with no real answer.

I can only begin to imagine the number of people who are going to be incarcerated unfairly. 

Today....I'm happy to say that I do not live in Arizona.  I'll keep my snowy Illinois winters.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My first nerdy flower!

I couple of posts ago, I mentioned that my friend's daughter had asked me if a flower could be nerdy.  It all centered around the fact that she had been tasked with putting together some beautiful flower arrangements for the staff dinner her mom was making my team.  Her mom, Mel, is apparently not a fan of baby's breath.  However, just look at how beautiful these arrangements were:

The arrangements were in chinese take out boxes because our meal was a fantastic blend of asian flavors that resulted in a make your own take out box.  This is what the spread looked like (still makes my mouth water):

To say the least, we feasted that night.

However, back to the purpose of this posting....Ms. Emma asked me if I thought it were possible for a flower to be nerdy.  Well, instinct told me to say no....last thing I would have wanted to do was to make her feel bad about her flower choice.  However, Emma (and Mel) inspired me to think of ways to create nerdy flowers.

Well, I'm happy to report that I've created my first data-rich flower.  LOL.  It's made out of recycled floppy disks.  Though Emma might not understand why it's data-rich, I think most adults will think it's a clever/silly idea.

For a step-by step guide on how to make one yourself, check it out at my other blog!

My new blog!

After some serious consideration, I've realized that I need to separate my personal life blogging from my business life blogging.

This blog was supposed to be more about my business, but I slowly let it become more of a way to share my thoughts, my dreams, and my life.  So, I thought it best to create a separate blog for my scrapbooking business.

I will more than likely share a little bit of that world here, but this other blog will be the place where I organize my thoughts about where I want to take the business next.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"How can a flower be nerdy?"

On Saturday, April 10th, I had the pleasure and honor of attending a dinner at the Elsmo household.  The dinner was hosted by my boss and his wonderful wife to celebrate our staff.  Knowing that Mel was going to make us a feast (she's a chef)...we were ecstatic for the invite and couldn't wait for the day to arrive.

I wish I could tell you that we were not impressed....because then maybe Mel and Leif wouldn't have to wait for our request for another dinner!  The food......OH THE FOOD.....was absolutely delicious.  Poor Mel had to try and figure out how to feed a large staff that had a lot of food issues (people don't eat fish, someone is almost a vegan, etc.)!  We didn't mean to be trouble at all, but I can only begin to imagine how stressful it was to try and come up with something that was easy to feed a large group and that could feed all of us.

So what did we eat?!  An Asian-inspired delight.  There were Vietnamese rolls, wontons, shrimp toast, etc for appetizers...and then the main meal was a Chinese box make-your-own-meal.  I have no idea what to call it, but I hope you get the picture.

I keep forgetting to upload the pics I took with the office camera, so I'm stealing the pics from Mel's blog.  Here is what our dinner table looked like!

Isn't this just deliciously ridiculous!

There are no words to describe how much we all ate...and how late some of us stayed.  I will confess that I was shocked when I realized that I was leaving their house at 2AM!  Wow!

During the course of dinner, the beautiful 13 year-old Emma Grace was encouraged by her mom to ask me: "How can a flower be nerdy?"  I thought it was the silliest of questions, and asked why she wanted to know.  I was promptly informed that her mom thought Baby's Breath was a nerdy flower.  Ha!  Inside I kinda agreed, but I had a sneaking suspicion that the beautiful flower arrangements I saw by the appetizers might have been assembled by Emma (and yes, they had Baby's Breath).  So rather than outright agreeing with mom, I remarked on the positives of the's delicate, tiny qualities.  This seemed to please Ms. Emma immensely :)  I will definitely post pics of her arrangements soon - they deserve their audience.

However, Emma has no idea that she has in fact created a challenge for me!  I vow to try and find ways to make flowers "nerdy," in my I also put the challenge out there for my readers.  Show me how you make flowers nerdy.  Emma Grace might one day get a mini-book with all the examples of nerdy flowers I can think of :)  She has a backyard recital (she's a ballerina) in June, and this might be my form of "flowers" to celebrate the amazing show I'm sure to watch!

Lastly, I mentioned that I was working on a secret project for one of my readers.....I chuckled at the thought of Mel reading my blog and wondering if I was talking about her.  OF COURSE I was talking about her.  My department does not have a small staff, so I knew that Mel and family were going to be getting ready for us all day.  I tried to come over early to help, but I was banned.  So I wanted to give her a small token of thanks for the amazing night and for her new friendship.

I scrap-"lifted" the idea from someone at (I'll look for the original pic to share).  The original design was a trifold thank you card.  I decided to take the overall design and modify it into a mini-album for my friend.  I also took some pics of the album, but was stunned to see how beautiful the images she took of it were.  I should have let her show me how to take some pics when at the house, but the batteries were dying on the camera and I wanted to make sure I took a few shots of the book for future "replications."

Anyway, here is the small and quick token of appreciation that I was all too happy to make!  This is a 4x4 mini-album.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My secret project is finished!

Oh how I wish I could show it off but I have to wait until it leaves my possession.

I'm actually quite tickled at how it turned out.  I "scraplifted" an idea off a posting on  Someone had designed this concept as a card, and I played with the layout and turned it into a cute little mini scrapbook.

Only drawback in doing this is that other folks are going to expect something similar :)  It's a good thing this was a super quick item to complete.

I promise to post pics soon!

Hee hee hee

I'm working on a special little something for someone that follows my blog. 

Figured I'd put the teaser out for fun.

I'll show pics later!