Stop. Wonder!

This really is an age of wondrous things. 

. . .


mp3 players

ear buds


text messaging


. . .

The list is endless. Just think, 100 years ago, people could not imagine what we accept without question as reality. Miracles are part of our daily lives, but we rarely stop to wonder at the intricate blessings of technology.

My foster-niece, Izzy (who I usually call Bizz) is not even two years old yet. She hasn’t had time to grow bored with what we call “modern convenience”. She really does watch the world with glittering eyes . . . and it really is like magic!

So, my advice for the day is to follow Bizz’s example. Find the magic in your surroundings!

Good Ideas For Thanksgiving: Part Two

Every year in the school where I work, all the students and faculty crowd into our small cafeteria and everyone has an opportunity to say what they are thankful for. It might sound hokey or clichéd, but at a school where every individual student has struggled with a multitude of unique challenges, there is a beautiful depth to the tradition. In fact, the day before Thanksgiving has become my favorite annual work day.

It is a beautiful reminder of how precious life is; how much we have been given and how valuable the people in our lives are . . . all obvious realities that tend to get lost in the day-to-day shuffle!

Every year it leaves me dwelling on how much I have to be thankful for . . .  so this year I thought I might get a little more specific. I should always take time to count my blessings, so that I can remember them on days I’m not feeling particularly blessed! Its amazing how much I notice when I stop to actually look for things to be Thankful for! Now, combining this with the timeless tell-what-you’re-thankful-for Tradition,  I found two different artsy people who shared their thankfuls in crafty ways and I am on the hunt for a fun way to share my own!

Exhibit A: Illustrations

Exhibit B: A Pinboard!

When people do this, it gives a cool visual to a sometimes-trite tradition and reminds us of how much we have!

So I am brainstorming concepts, but also starting my THANKFULNESS LIST with you all! Now, I’m not going to list all the obvious ones . . . it should go without saying, but, Faith, Family, Friends, and safety are always at the top of my list. Beyond the essential life needs, I am thankful for the following blessings:

1.)    Laughing so hard it almost hurts when something funny happens (usually this occurs on a daily basis!)

2.)    Calculators – because I’m allergic to math, but still pay bills.

We Hate Math

3.)    The ability to recognize (although, true, it is sometimes somewhat delayed) when I am being ridiculous.

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4.)    Re-reading good books: Everything from Trixie Belden to the Bourne Identity!

5.)    Costume Parties. I just enjoy them, okay?

6.)    My cat. (Judge me. I would if I were you.)

7.)    Puns. Because they are HYSTERICAL.

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8.)    Being able to touch-type. Talk about practical! Mrs. Green, I forgive you for the half-year hell of high-school typing class.

9.)    Dr. Rhodes, the dentist who reconstructed my front teeth when I was five, so now I can eat corn on the cob, which is MAGNIFICENT!

10.)  Other Peoples’ Babies.

And there you have the beginnings of my Thankful-list!

What are you thankful for this year?

Good Ideas for Thanksgiving : Part One

This is my first Thanksgiving.

Well, not really. I am 24. But this is my first Thanksgiving MEAL preparation, which has left me feeling something like this zebra:

Pinned Image I have made dozens of pies before and I am a prolific stress-baker, so that part is not too bad. . . but a TURKEY??? Somebody hand me a Giraffe, I think I’m gonna climb up and hide until Thanksgiving passes.

THANKFULLY, I have found some helpful websites which should give me a little guidance in this fowl endeavor!

For example, this one seems to give a lot of details. . . but its also a little confusing. Whole Foods provided a nice little set of tips and tricks which could come in handy on Turkey day, too.  The last article I read was called “Cooking Turkey for Chickens“, which seemed pretty a propos. These will be my consultants in the impending festivities.

We’ll see how this goes. It feels a little, you know, ME v. TURKEY. Like a final showdown, but I’m not sure who will actually be the victor! Do you know what I mean? Any advice is, of course, coveted.Pinned Image

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As far as the sides go, I’m feeling a little more confident. . . and even inspired! I just “found” this adorable turkey veggie platter plan, which I hope to execute nicely.

Actually, I already have some nice recipes that fit my Thanksgiving needs, which I am still (eek) in the process of  choosing from. But if there is some lack of inspiration, I’ll always have Martha.

Suffice it to say. Sides will include the following CONTENT:

We’ll see how it all turns out! Shoot me any suggestions you might have!


Party like a BOSS(ton Terrier)

Growing up, my family was never much for birthday parties. Celebrations tended to require extensive house-cleaning, rendering parties less attractive by the relative unpleasantness of the preparation.

Now, I am not a rebel. Ask anyone. I’m a traditional, rule-following kind of girl. I am not one of those kids who left home and did everything their parents forbade during their youth. But, as far as birthday parties (or any parties, really) and family practices, I am a rebel. With any celebratory cause I can get my hands on.  No joke. Fact: I may be the last single almost-twenty-five-year-old who is also a die-hard Valentine’s Day fan.

So, it was with only momentary pause (because let’s face it, the concept is still a little . . . lovably ridiculous) that I threw myself into planning my roommate’s dog’s first birthday party. That’s right.

For you visual learners, that’s:

For such uncharted territory, I needed some definite (P)inspiration to get me started.

Once sufficiently inspired, next came some organisation and a little of the detail-oriented work I enjoy! I set about baking, detailing decor and hanging streamers like it was inter-office feuding and I was Dwight Schrute on the warpath.

Apparently, through the decades, some wonderful people have said wonderful things about dogs. I figured I would post a few of their thoughts for general appreciation, since most puppy-party invitees are confirmed dog-lovers!

My mom makes the most incredible cut-out cookies. In all honesty, I’m not a very inherently patient person, so making cut-out cookies is not the best job for me. I do love to decorate them, though! These are not my most intricate of creations . . . but I think I was maxed out after the  cake pops. . .

 With all of the sweets and treats abounding, we needed some refreshing drinks and savory snacks too!

DRINKLE = Lemonade (If you are thinking “oh-my-dear-sweet-Lord-in-Heaven . . . then I think you get the concept!)

Side note: We had to have these little fire hydrant cookies to go with the “Drinkle”. . . which was officially the nastiest, but most hysterical idea (birthed from a conversation with my darling,gourmet sea-salt-loving friend Katelyn!).

Puppy chow (chocolate peanut-butter chex mix) has to be one of the most-loved party treats of all time. . . and it just happens to look just like dog food while still tasting like MANNA! 

“Devil Dogs” are the perfect treat to help celebrate Winnie; They’re sweet, black and white, much-appreciated and 100% appropriately named – devilish!

In the end, all of the food, tasty treats and decorations were a mere backdrop for your average kids – ahem: puppy’s party. . . complete with presents, singing “happy birthday”,  and one exhausted post-party pup!

Even Winky-the-cat enjoyed herself!

Harry Potter & The End (Times?)

Lots of people are saying that 11-11-11 is going to be a big day.

Some are even saying that the world will end and it will be the apocalypse. Yeah. We’ve heard it all before. But amid all of the ridiculous e-mails and bizarre add campaigns, there is one announcement that surpassed them all and grabbed my complete attention. There is one ending that I have no doubt will be taking place.

That’s right: The FINAL Harry Potter film officially comes out on DVD on November 11, 2011. . . TOMORROW!!!

Since this is a decidedly BIG DEAL, I hope you all mix up some home-made butterbeer and stroll down Memories-of-Potter Lane with me tomorrow.

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In the mean time, in honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I would share a slew of Potter-related tid-bits that might get you in the mood for tomorrow’s big event! Or at least get you laughing. shuffling

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(If you liked these, I found them all on!)

So, KUDOS if you read them all. You’ve officially channeled your inner Hermione.

Happy Harry Potter End Times to you all. . . and don’t worry. No need to shed tears or gnash teeth. For the faithful, it is not the END . . .  if you share my eschatological view, we’re really looking at this as a redemptive thing; the birth of a new era.

So . . . not an ending at all, but a glorious beginning.

Car Accidents and Criminal Minds

All it takes is an instant.

Today. 4pm. An accident up the street slowed traffic. A Beverly High School biology teacher was driving slowly  towards Wilmington and as the sun glanced off her mirrors and she slammed on the breaks, the silver honda civic behind her, my silver honda civic, didn’t manage to stop in time. I rear-ended that nice teachers car and slammed back and forth as the car behind me added the the circus and I became the sandwiched bumper-car. One accident report, 3 kind bystanders, a tow-truck ride, a whiplash-induced migraine and a whole slew of tears later, I sat stranded in the mall feeling like my life just got a kick in the groin (apparently my life is male?).

In moments like these, when crappy events cause us to wallow in Anne-Shirley-ish depths of despair, sometimes all we need is a little perspective to jolt us away from negative self-absorption. Nothing like serious horror to render a bad day less abjectly miserable.

Enter my recent fixation with Criminal Minds.

In retrospect, I think I may have had a little concussion following my run-in with the other car. Call it a hunch, but I think the nausea and the headache after my head slammed back and forth between the seats are fairly reasonable indicators. Concussions are not fun, this is true. Thankfully, I have Criminal Minds to put things into perspective. Prentiss, Hotchner, JJ, Penelope, Spencer, Ross and Morgan open the minds of serial killers on a daily basis. Clearly, this would be shocking in and of itself, but its their personal lives that give the real perspective needed.  Take Prentiss: What’s a headache in comparison to being beaten and branded by a homicidal sociopath before being forced to fake your own death and go into hiding, abandoning everyone you care about to avoid being hunted down by the American-based Irish mob?

See? Perspective. I can now add this to my growing list of reasons for loving this show.