Saturday, February 28, 2009

Standing Out

Standing out in my old company seemed to come really easily to me. I worked hard, did well, and people noticed. The way it should be. If they wanted something done well, done right, done quickly, I was their girl. It has been a little bit more challenging in my new job. In a bigger company, there are so many great people and so much talent - it has taken me some time to show them what I can do and to make my mark. I found out on Friday that my store has the top ranking cooking classes and technique classes in the entire company. Pretty amazing...And to top it off, I have been asked to speak on a regional conference call on Monday. So, I really want to stand out. Conference calls can be really flat lining and sometimes people talk and are so, well, forgettable. I want to make a mark. I thought about doing something funny - like asking for a show of hands...get it...on a conference call, you couldn't see the hands. Or telling them that I got a ball gown for the occasion - just to break the ice.
What do you guys think? Any suggestions to really make it memorable?

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Little Debbie

I love the people I work with. I don't think anyone goes to work every day with more amazing people than I do. One of my most treasured work friendships is with Debbie. She is funny, kind hearted, and incredibly talented in the kitchen. This woman can make about 100 different things with a brick of cream cheese and don't even get her started on making paninis. Seriously.
She reminds me a lot of my own mom. I think that is why I get such a kick out of her. I lovingly refer to her at work as "my little Debbie."
Little Debbie's daughter was blessed with a little girl after many years of trying for a baby. Little Riley Grace was born about a week and a half ago. Debbie's daughter experienced some complications, which landed her in the hospital, and that landed Debbie at home with her grandbaby for the first few days. Debbie is thrilled to have her daughter back home where she belongs and we are thrilled to have Debbie back at work where she belongs.

So to celebrate, we are having a little surprise "Grandma Shower" for her tomorrow.
I made the favors tonight - pretzels dipped in white Guittard chocolate and sprinkled with chocolate. Over 50 pretzels dipped and bagged!

They look so cute - don't they? This is the blanket that I ordered for Riley off of Etsy. It has a yummy layer of chocolate brown minky. And I love that pattern.Some of the decorations that I put together. My friend Jonathan is bringing a few boxes of "Little Debbie" brand cakes and other work friends will bring surprises for Debbie.
I put this frame together. I found the framed mat at Target on sale for $3.00 - I added the pretty gerber daisy embellishment. And then, I went online to find the perfect quote to put in (since I don't have a photo of Riley. So perfect for Debbie who loves to cook.
"Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies."
Isn't that the truth.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Where does the time go?

You know that saying "where does the time go?"
Well, the answer to that question is here. It goes here. I spend an embarrassing amount of time on facebook. Imagine all of the time I could be out exercizing, feeding the poor, doing worldly good...Not to say that being an avid facebooker doesn't have its perks.
Facebook has given me the chance to find old friends and people who I have lost touch with. It feels so good to reconnect with people and I am so thankful to facebook for bringing some very dear people back into my life.
Tonight, while playing around on facebook, I found one of my all time favorite people - who we'll call Judi. Judi was so much more than my 6th grade teacher - she was a mentor, a role model, and a friend to me. I remember meeting her for the first time as an anxious, awkward 12 year old on my first day of Junior High. She must have sensed my "lost in the shuffle-ness" because she sort of took me under her wing. She helped me find my locker and showed me how to open the lock. She let me do things like make copies for her and run errands - she just knew how to make me feel important. All throughout Junior High and into High School (where she began teaching), she was a friend to me. We lost touch after I left PV to go to college, but I never forgot the kindness that she showed me. And I can hardly wait to thank her for it - eighteen years later, it still warms my heart.
I think Maya Angelou said it best -
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Valentine's Day yet!

We had an amazing Valentine's Day and I hope you did too. Whether it is a big surprise or some thoughtful little touch, it seems like a great day to show someone you love them. Tim and I had agreed not to do presents this year - just dinner and dessert. But of course, neither of us actually stuck to that pact. Tim bought this bag and didn't even realize it played music. Isn't he a hoot. It plays "More than words" from the band Extreme. Do any of you remember that song? And look at what I got!
An ipod.
I may be the last living person under 80 to own one. Cool, huh?
Tim went and got Indian food for us to enjoy. It was amazingly good as usual. For dessert, I took my first stab at Red Velvet cupcakes. I love getting out my Kitchen Aid mixer and I look ever so color coordinated since it is red and it is Valentine's Day. I actually am saving up for a silver one that I can leave out on the counter. The red clashes with my granite. Oh well, back to the cupcakes...It starts out looking like chocolate...

Then, voila! Red Velvet. Isn't is just gorgeous looking!!And the finished product. The only thing I would change is the cream cheese frosting recipe. This one was more like whipping cream than cream cheese. Not that its a bad thing. I just like that extra thick cream cheese texture on my red velvet.
Want a bite?
There is so much love in this house. And since Tim isn't so keen on posing, I found another willing participant.

XOXO, from our house to yours!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Things I learned after spending 10 Valentine's Days in a card store.

So, most of you know that before I went to work for Williams-Sonoma, I spent 10 years working for American Greetings. AKA the center of the universe on Valentine's Day. Here is a list of things that I learned while I was in the epicenter of Valentine madness: 1. All that glitters...
Men think that buying a very expensave card with a lot of glitter and accoutrements is always the best way to go. For them, it is more about the way it looks than what it actually says. I promise you. For us girls, I think it is the exact opposite. Men, save your $7.00 and write a nice note. Seriously.
2. My Fuzzy Valentine?
Big bears with a heart sewn to them are king. No matter how many other classier (and less furry) options are available, some people just can't help themselves. They see the bear and the card and they just have to have them. Who are the girls (women?) that actually hope to receive a big furry bear.
3. One for my baby, and another one for the...
Mistress? I know this is hard to believe, but I actually witnessed men picking out a card for the wife AND a card for their mistress. Gross. Really gross.
So, my poor Tim has it tough because I don't really like ANY of the trappings of your traditional Valentine's Day. No red roses or bears or balloons for this girl. Luckily, he knows me well enough to know that Indian food take in, a movie, and some heart felt words really do the trick. And for him, a fun gift and a surprise dessert.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

For Cora

Where do I start. About a week ago, while checking out Julie's blog (Joy's Hope), I was touched by her post about a little girl named Cora who had just passed away. I went to Cora's mom's blog and read about her story and my heart ached for this sweet family. In lieu of flowers, the family wanted any donations to go towards building a playground in Cora's honor.
So, being the amazing person Julie is, she created a network of talented Etsyans who listed items that would benefit Cora's playground. I just know you will find something you have to have...
like this bracelet that I bought for myself tonight! So very cute. And at the same time, I know that I did something small to send love across the country and pay tribute to little Cora. If you would like to peruse the Etsy items that benefit Cora's playground, please see the pale pink button on my page.
Julie, you are my hero.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dating is awful...

But not quite as awful as this movie was... Not to say the message in it is not the real deal.
Dating is anything but fun and stress free.
It is lonely, desperate, calculating, and often disappointing.
I have been the girl waiting for the phone to ring.
And I have gone to bed with the phone just in case it rang.
And given up hope. And made an idiot of myself in the name of love.
And then, when I was least expecting it found something that was, as the movie says,
the exception and not the rule.
And the only dating advice that I could ever give is something I heard once on Oprah that I have kept with me ever since. And that is to "remember what yes feels like." Yes doesn't feel like maybe or kind of. Yes doesn't have a gray area. Yes is yes.
Oh and if you haven't seen the movie, I would pass.
I, pardon the pun, "just wasn't that into it."

Thank heaven...

For some long awaited time off to spend as I please.

Being true to my New Year's resolution means using this time to do things that I really want to do. That means no obligatory things this week! Hooray!

So, you might ask, what is on the agenda for the next few days?

I'm going out to dinner tomorrow night with Tim, his mom, and his sister Erin.

Then, we are going to see this movie. Have you seen it yet?

I also made plans to go up and see my mom. I am going to take her to lunch and then, we are going to go antique shopping at one of our old haunts.
I haven't been to Memory Lanes in years - maybe even decades actually. I remember it as an absolute relic. This is the place where my love of antiques was born. The sheer randomness of it all was enough to occupy me for an afternoon. I remember there being a kid area up front that resembled a jail. I was so afraid of it as a kid. Luckily my mom never would have left me there. I wonder if the kid jail still exists? I will give you a full report.

I'm also planning on doing lots of walking and relaxing. I love just getting out in my neighborhood and exploring. It's my favorite thing to do these days. So far, I have had 3 deer sightings.

Dove Canyon Cottage is nestled in the heart of this amazing scenery. I am so blessed.

And since I will be walking so much, I will be able to indulge in this comfort food meal that I have been craving all week. I told Tim that I don't care what we do on Valentine's Day, but I want really good fish and chips for dinner. Oh, and tartar sauce. Lots and lots of tartar sauce.

And I think I will be hosting a giveaway since I have so much free time on my hands. More details to come on that, so check back with me this week.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Life is good...

I can hear rain falling outside
and my whole house smells like chocolate.

Calories, Shmalories, right?

Friday, February 6, 2009


Staying up late. Waking up late. The smell of rain and the sound it makes.
Long walks. Fall. Leaves changing color. Pearls.
Snuggling with my cat.
Desserts. Slot machines. Memories. Pictures. Junking. Long baths.
Reading. Topiaries.
Solvang. Crafting. Cooking. Baking. Babies. Chippy paint. Baskets.
Believing in magic. Tim. Gardening.
Warm Blankets. Old Friends. New Friends. Family.
Old Music. Maple Donuts.
Scarves. French writing.
Yep, that just about sums it up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. In the midst of wasting free time blogging today (come on, you know you do it too), I came across this blog Her story is really incredible. She spent quite a while battling infertility and now that her miracle baby is here, she is very ill. You should grab a few tissues and head over to her blog. Her baby Harper is just adorably sweet. It makes me afraid that I will have trouble having kids when Tim and I finally come around to deciding that it is the right time. So many people that I know have been battling infertility. It seems like such a heartbreaking journey.
2. I have been working like crazy with inventory at work. It is over and it went great. Hence, my day off to sleep and catch up.
3. I am taking about a week off over Valentine's Day. I haven't decided if I want to go anywhere or just spend the time soaking up the time to myself.
4. I have an itch to go antiquing on Sunday or next week. I am overdue for my fix!!
5. My little neice Zoe Rose is due in the next month. I can't wait to hold a new baby. Sigh..
6. We are starting up cooking classes at work this week - we haven't had one since November! I miss my cooking class regulars and all of the delicious food and inspiration. Thank goodness life will finally be back to normal after the holiday madness.
7. I am throwing a big Easter Egg hunt and bash at my house. I am going to start putting away fun things for the kiddos and collecting dollar bills to put into the eggs along with fun candy. Won't it be so fun! Time to get the garden ready.
8. Do you like going out on Valentine's Day? Tim and I are having this debate. I guess it was all of my years running greeting card stores on Valentine's Day that makes me want to enjoy this day in a peaceful, quiet way. Tim wants to "go out to dinner like everyone else." I like the thought of going away somewhere for the evening or eating in. I hate the idea of going out just to go out and being with massive crowds. What say you?
9. Jonathan gave me some beautiful meyer lemons. I am looking for a fun recipe to use them in. In the meantime, I sliced one up and put it in my water. Mmmm...
10. Tim has been travelling a lot for work. It makes me really appreciate the time we have together and how much I enjoy just sharing my life with someone.
What are you guys up to this week?