Saturday, February 14, 2009

i finally dyed my jacket

as i mentioned in my current projects post http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-current-projects.html, i have been meaning to dye a stained jacket for months. by months, i sadly mean i needed to redo this jacket for almost a year. i bought the dye back in november but was deterred when my previous dye job didn't turn out as well as i hoped. the first problem was that i was hoping to dye a white cotton shirt burgundy to match the deep auburn i had dyed my hair. it turned out a heathered pink many shades lighter than the burgundy i had hoped for. then, there was the dye stain i got from my hair from trying the shirt on while dying my hair to see how the color looked on me. i have a problem with patience.

i figured out the main problem was me not thoroughly reading the directions. I used rit dye which has special recommendations for dyeing dark colors. apparently, not only are 2 boxes recommended but so is dyeing the garment on the stovetop. would have been helpful if these suggestions were on the exterior not the interior. i bought black dye for the jacket orginally firguring that's what i needed. after bleaching the jacket a few more times since buying the dye, i thought maybe i could do charcoal grey. i have way too much clothing that is black anyway. i think it turned out well looking almost a purplish grey. i didn't expect the thread not to take the dye as dark as the rest of the garment but i think it actually looks modern and intentional. seems like dyeing clothes is a good way to change the look of and item of clothing or saving a stained item of clothing.

before

after


happy valentine's day

this was part of my valentine's day gifts from my boyfriend. it was so sweet i had to take a pic. he works at a pizza joint, and since we weren't going to be able to go out to dinner tonight, he brought this home made especially for me. he had to shape it into a heart by hand which is why its sort of lopsided, but its the thought that count. mushrooms and black olives are my favorite toppings not his, so its really sweet that those were the toppings he made it with along with tons of extra cheese.
here's hoping everyone else had a wonderful valentine's day as well.

100 posts and going


this is post number 101 for me. i can't believe its been only 3 weeks, and i've hit 100 posts. pretty proud of myself and how things are going. i hope everyone else is enjoying my blog as much as i am. i hope y'all can leave some comments about what you think so far, how i can improve, and anything you'd like to see more of. i really do look forward to hearing from everyone.

like i need a reason to party

i subscribe to the belief that you don't need a reason to have a party or celebrating. i'm always up for a celebration. tired of the same old themes, i decided to look up theme holidays. i found a few listings of weird and wacky holidays.
just so you know, in addition to being valentine's day, february 14th is national cream filled chocolates day, ferris wheel day, read to your child day, national have a heart today, national call in single day, race relations day, quirky alone day, league of women voters day, national condom day(kind of funny since i just got one in the mail for free today), world congential defect awareness day.
the first is a listing of food only holidays such as national popcorn day http://www.tfdutch.com/foodh.htm
here are some more places to check out some theme holidays
http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/weird_holidays.html
http://www.brownielocks.com/month2.html

a sweet treat


when my boyfriend came home tonight, he brought me home a treat, 2 peppermint patties. this may not seem like a big deal, and that sort of is the point. peppermint patties are my favorite candy. he didn't bring them home because tomorrow is valentine's day. he brought them home to my just because. he just felt like doing something nice. and, he does little things like this all the time. i would say he brings home small treats like this from the store on his way home once a week or every other week i would estimate. and, he does a pretty good job of getting things i really like or things i've never tried before that he thinks i might like. these little random acts of genuine kindness just to make me happy that make relationships worth while.

most expensive shoes i have ever heard of

i was watching the soup tonight on the e channel. after the soup, i caught the beginning of a show called most expensive. i am a bit of a shoe horse, but i am still a bargain shopper. i was blown away when i heard about the most expensive shoes. the most expensive shoes featured were the cobra shoes. the cobra shoes feature diamond, rubies, and sapphires. the price though is absolutely outrageous at almost $126,000. for more info, check this out http://www.shoeblog.com/blog/cobra-shoes/

my thoughts on ibunex


as i mentioned in my post http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/02/freebies-i-received-in-mail-today.html, i received a sample of ibunex topical ibuprofren. i knew i would use it eventually since i regularly have muscle pain especially being a waitress. having some pain in my arm the other day, i decided to give it a try. i was highly underwhelmed. i felt nothing. absolutely no decrease in my pain. i've used other products like bengay and aspercreme for relief. i find topical products not to be not the most effective, but somewhat relieving. i was really hoping this would work since it doesn't have the nasty smell most topical products come with.

Friday, February 13, 2009

insensitivty to those grieving

i found out some horrible gossip about my coworkers the other night at the wake that i realized today still is bothering me. i was told that another coworker decided to tell one of my grieving coworkers that committing suicide means you go to hell. so, our friend who has passed is in hell. on top of that, other people who were not named have been saying the same thing. i know this may be seen as idle work gossip, but knowing the party involved i tend to believe it to be true. personally, i am pissed to hear that someone is so insensitive to say that. regardless of someone's religous beliefs, when someone is grieving, it is not the time to preach something so hurtful. i feel what was said was beyond hurtful and frankly unchristian. someone grieving needs empathy.
even though i was not witness to what was said, i found it colored my attitude towards the woman i was told made the statements. i avoided interaction with her. while she and i are not close, we regularly talk and i always make it a point to say good morning. i didn't today and could tell she was upset by this when she irately said good morning to me after i had been there for a while. i just wanted to avoid her all together not only because i was disgusted by the possibility she said these things, but also for fear i might blow up at her telling her how cruel i felt she had been.
beyond that, this attitude leads to the shame and misinformation associated with mental illness. i know the danger of this from personal experience. being indoctrinated with the believe that killing oneself is a damning sin leads people to believe that suicidal thoughts are sinful not just a result of a chemical imbalance. people then hide within themselves instead of getting the help needed. i feel victim to this trap. the first time my parents spoke to me about seeing a therapist or psychiatrist was when i was a sophomore in high school. the first time i finally sought out a therapist was at the age of 24 almost 9 years later. in the meantime, i developed an eating disorder, alcoholism, attempted suicide, as well as numerous other addictions. i can only imagine what might have been prevented had i felt comfortable to seek treatment earlier.
in addition, i still find there is stigma associated with mental illness. even i feel victim to this stigma. i remember the first time i had a therapist tell me i was bipolar. i flat out told her she was wrong. i told her she could say i was chemically depressed just not manic depressive. i refused to see her again. it took another year for me to accept the diagnosis.
for these reasons, i am very open about my mental illness and battle with alcoholism and addictions. i find that the more people who talk openly about mental illness and addiction the more people not only seek treatment but are understanding.

my search for president's day food

i love holiday themed food. so, i try to do it up for most holidays. however, i hate cherries. cherries seem to be a huge party of any president's day food ideas. makes sense since every child here's the fable about not telling a lie and dear president george washington chopping down a cherry tree.
one of my brightest memories of president's day as a child involved me arguing with my mom. i know how sad. we were at another family's house that we were friends with when i was in sixth grade for a special president's day breakfast. we were supposed to be having waffles topped with cherries. i wanted the waffles but begged and pleaded to have them without cherries. my mother was furious at me for making a scene. she threatened to not let me to go to school if i didn't eat the cherries. unlike many children, i was devastated at the idea of not being able to go to school. my mom relented a bit and let me go by just eating a cherry. i remember acting like it was absolute torture.
so, for me cherry ideas for president's day is out. i went looking online for other food ideas for president's day. several places recommended fricassed chicken as it was supposedly one of lincoln's favorite foods. i'm a vegetarian, so that's out. other places noted that chess cake also known as chess pie was a favorite of george washington and traditional for president's day.
now, being from the south and having read some wonderful books on the south such as the grits(girls raised in the south) guide to life by deborah ford, any of the sweet potato queens books by jill connor browne, and new times in the old south or why scarlett's in therapy and tara's gong condo by marlyn schwartz. i loved all these books. all generally humorous and quick reads. the topic of chess pie comes up in most of this, but i hate to admit i believe i have neither seen nor eaten a chess pie. intrigued, i decided to look it up. i started by looking up chess cake. every recipe seemed to be based on using a box cake mix as a base. this may be easy and what i end up doing since they seem to make excellent bars when cut up and freeze well. and, there are still several boxes of cake mix i want to use up. i swear every time i got a box of cake mix another coupon for free cake mix came out. so, i kept getting boxes of cake mix. for the nickel i spent on taxes on my free cake mix for each box, i figured it was worth it. i think i ended up though with at least 20 boxes of "free" cake mix in a variety of flavors.
the recipes, though, feel less than authentic. so, i thought i would do a little digging. i began by looking it up on my favorite online version of an encyclopedia wikipedia. no luck looking under chess cake. chess pie got me the following http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_pie. it seemed lackluster as an explanation. so, i did a search for the history of chess pie on google. of all the listings, this one seems the simplest http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PieHistory/ChessPie.htm. basically, i garner chess pie was originally a cheeseless cheesecake, but, now is sometimes made with cream cheese. i am culling through my options to find one that suits me. no promises i will make it unless all these cupcakes manage to dissappear by monday.

free silver necklaces for those who've lost jobs or homes

not sure how i feel about this story. fox fine jewelry is giving away free silver necklaces valued at $99 to those who have lost their jobs or homes, so they too have something for valentine's day. not sure that a silver necklace makes up for their situation, but the sentiment truly is sweet. debbie fox owner of fox fine jewelry was moved by all the people in these difficult times selling family heirlooms to get money they need to get by. i have to admit the stories she has on her website really are sad. now, several other jewelers throughout the country are doing the same thing as part of this program. i looked at the list and there is even one in my town. so, with just your termination slip or foreclosure notice, you can valuable jewelry to most likely pawn to pay bills. for more info check out their website http://www.foxfinejewelry.com/inthenews.php

today's free stuff 2/13/09

free download of quick books for accounting http://smallbusiness.intuit.com/small-business/free-business-tools.jsp?xcid=soc_intm_StPack__3ff

free sample sarah jessica parker fragrance http://www.sarahjessicaparkerbeauty.com/

free digital subscription to pregnancy magazine http://www.coverleaf.com/pregnancy#library

friday the 13th

so, its friday the 13th. i have to admit being a bit twisted and excited when the calendar allows us a friday the 13th. having the possibility of something a bit creepy happen is a tad intriguing to me, nothing like the movie though. that's too much of a good thing. sadly, nothing wacky has happened yet here. just the same old trials and tribulations here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

my current projects

i know just from growing up with a crafty mom how easy it is to get ton going especially in your head at the same time. i currently have fallen prey to that disorder. sadly, most of my projects have only made it to the point of gathering the materials and not even beginning them. first, i have boxes and boxes of coffee mugs i got from my work when we changed our color scheme for our mugs. i literally have about 40 some coffee mugs i got from my work. i have probably 50 or more coffee mugs in my cabinet that i have collected over the years. pretty funny for someone who doesn't even drink coffee. i thought i could decorate these mugs and use for gifts, but til now have done nothing with them. the boxes have been sitting for months taking up space. i really need to work on these.


from work, i also have a ton of chopsticks we no longer needed after a stir fry promotion. i orginally got them to make a satellite chop stick bowl. since, i have seen a ton of chopstick folding backs that i want to figure out to make.


i have a white cotton pea coat that i liked terribly when i got it despite the fact that my boyfriend seems to think it looks like a chef coat.


sadly, last spring i left a pen in my pocket for unknown reasons; and of course it leaked leaving a few grey spots around the front right pocket. in november for my birthday, i bought some dye to change the color of a shirt that being white was see thru and picked up some black dye hoping to color the jacket as well. still haven't dyed that jacket but thought about with this week's warm weather.
my boyfriend being an ex dj has tons of records that are too scratched up to be play. i asked if i could have them for craft purposes, and he said i could. i want a record bowl like i've seen in a ton of decorator magazines. it seems like it would be simple to make, but i just need to get around to making.
since looking online, there are several other projects i've finally got directions for that i want to make such as a string lantern, recycled sweater pillow, candy wrapper purse(i'm thinking this might be a good use for the hundreds of magazines i've accumulated and can't bear to just throw away.), and a dammit doll.
hopefully, after looking at the ridiculousness of this list, i can get off my butt and get to work on some of these.

freebies i got in the mail today 2/12/09

yesterday, the only freebies i got were magazine subscriptions. i did use the free diet dr. pepper coupon as well as a free coupon i had gotten for super pretzels when i went to walmart. today's mail though brought some good stuff.
they had other flavors too. i originally posted this freebie here http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/01/todays-free-stuff-12809.html. can't wait to try this, but i'll wait since i have the cupcakes.
a cute notepad from pur through walmart with a sticker to remember when to change your filter.
a better view of the notepad portion. the writing on the top is some handy conservation tips.
sorry, this is a sideways shot; but i am having trouble righting it. some lightdays samples from walmart which are definitely useful.
all in all, good mail day.

today's free stuff 2/12/09

coupon printout for free slice of pie thru the 15th at bob evans http://www.bobevans.com/website/homepage.nsf/Download/BEValentinesDayCoupon_LemonPie.pdf/$File/BEValentinesDayCoupon_LemonPie.pdf?open i highly recommend the oreo pie.
free recipe book from seapak http://www.seapak.com/index/smarterseafoodbookform enter code E1M2A3L
free sample of maybelline mousse foundation http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid65952.aspx
free sample of tide total care https://tidetotalcare.safeprocessing.com/?sw=1&utm_source=identitysite

looks like one crafter may have taken it too far

i grew up with a mom who was a quintessential crafter. she knit,crochetted, embordiered, cross stitched, tatted, sewed, well the list goes on and on. i learned early if you stand still too long you will be crafted. i immediately thought of that when i saw this http://www.craftycrafty.tv/2009/02/embroidered_valentines_condoms.html where the link name says it all. good for a laugh.

i've been waiting months and finally, carl's reopens tomorrow

carl's is reopening tomorrow. this happens every year, and every year i am filled with anticipation. carl's ice cream is a fredericksburg, virginia landmark. its such a big deal that it even has its own wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl and has made it on the national historic registry.
the first time i ever came to fredericksburg was on a history trip my junior year in high school. the way these trips worked was that we would visit historical spots as well as a college in the town we visited. the college was mary washington, and i was so smitten that i knew that would be where i was going to college. and, i did. our last stop before heading back home was carl's ice cream or as those who live here call it just "carl's". they feature frozen custard(note not enough egg to be called such but higher than traditional soft serve ice cream), malts, and shakes. that is all nothing else just the good stuff. they have an insanely devoted following leading to long lines regardless of weather and a fan page and group on facebook. i admit to having waited in line in the rain for carl's. no matter how long the line it always moves quickly. i become part of the devotees in college where walking trips to carl's are regular for students. in fact, my first date involved a trip to carl's. post college, i once worked at a bar as a poker hostess within quick walking distance of carl's and had my players regularly bring me carl's as a treat. as an added bonus, carl's is still quite cheap. a sugar cone is only about $1.
carl's always closes around my birthday and reopens around valentine's day. the actual dates it closes are the weekend before thanksgiving and the weekend of presidents it reopens. but, i like my way of remembering better. i hate that i've lost the pics i have of carl's. but, i hope to take some more and hopefully include one or more in my show in april. i'm super excited about it reopening tomorrow and hope to visit some time this weekend even if its supposed to get cooler this weekend. if you're ever in this area, take the time and get some carl's.

i was blown away


ok, so i wasn't really blown away, but the insane wind we've been experiencing here in virginia the last two days has actually done damage to our house. i think what has been blown off is part of the gutter. guess i'll be calling our landlord since we rent once this wind dies down some. and to think i was joking about being in kansas yesterday.

my valentine's day cupcakes

after buying the red hots, i was stuck with the idea to make some chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting topped with red hots. here's the results:




. to make the frosting pink, i just added a few drops of food coloring to regular white frosting. i save old frosting containers to hold frosting since i always have extra when i frost cupcakes.

the cupcakes cooling

topped with yummy pink frosting


the finished product




ok, it looked so good i had to eat one.


look at the cross section. who could say no?



all packed up and ready to take to work tomorrow of course minus the one i ate. i love my cupcake carrier.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

paint chip bookmarks

reading how about orange blog's post about paint chip bookmarks http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2009/01/paint-chip-bookmarks.html which seems to be circulating all over the net. she was super crafty and added a tassle and rounded the corners. for me, tassles on bookmarks are a dangerous thing since they seem to tempt my cats just a bit too much. i read in bed most frequently so having a kitty claw coming towards my face is less than my idea of a good time. frankly, while some decorative edging may jazz these up a bit, i think they look just fine as is.
as a note, i saw several websites recommending using paint chips for cutouts for scrapbooking. this is not an idea i would recommend as they are not acid free.

i got my red hots

as i mentioned in an earlier post, i have totally been craving red hots for valentine's day. so, when i was walmart today, i got myself some red hots. they even had this cute bow with rubberband attached for easy reclosure. i actually think this is a pretty cute idea for reclosure of bags especially at this time of year.
i'm feeling a bit inspired and think i may use some to top some cupcakes for valentine's day. completely appropriate since cinnamon imperials which is what red hots are were originally used for decorating baked goods.

today's free stuff 2/11/09

free subscription to living the country life magazine http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/

free box of clairol perfect 10 haircolor 1st 500 http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sweepstakes/6400

free sample of philosophy fragrance unconditional http://www.facebook.com/pages/philosophy/53006362456

free clean and clear dissolving wipes text nomkup to 467467

free vido rental at redbox in walgreens wgreen2

free sample aquafresh extreme clean https://www.aquafresh.com/FreeSample.promo?mn=cmVnaXN0cmF0aW9u
free subscription to american baby https://secure.americanbaby.com/bhg/store/checkout/partner/?promoCode=I406VADF1&ordersrc=earthsbest0604

a brief night out with my friends

after a quite long and taxing day and week, i was looking forward to my tuesday night tradition with my friends at karoke at the colonial tavern. i struggled to stay awake and made it out. thought i'd share the pics from tonight cause every girl needs some time with friends. jermaine singing
my buds paul and trav
paul singing queen of the night
more of paul singing
me patiently waiting to sing
drew messing with me as i'm singing






Tuesday, February 10, 2009

cheap yarn

i want to get back to knitting. i really do miss it since it is super relaxing, plus you get the joy of creating something useful. i remembered that last year the dollar store had speciality yarn that i thought would be perfect for making some scarves. of course, now that i want to buy some they no longer have any. i can't justify spending a ton of money on yarn. so, i thought i would look on the net. i found a couple of sites that have some cheap yarn.
http://www.elann.com/productlist.asp?ProductType=5&Cat=Bargains&OrderBy=Bargain,Desc this seems to be limited, and from what i can tell, they go fast. the yarn all seems high quality.

http://www.smileysyarns.com/ they have yarn as cheap as $.77

worn out

i am feeling completely drained right now. i just got back from kim's visitation/wake/not quite sure what the right term would be. as any memorial is, this was difficult and uncomfortable. actually, my whole day was a bit trying. when i got the obit info online yesterday, somehow my mind went out and i forgot it was today. i got to work and everyone was asking me if i was coming to the memorial tonight. i was flasbergasted. how could i have gotten confused and forgotten. the memorial was 6-8 and was not scheduled to get cut til 5pm. some people were planning on getting together to eat before at 5:30. there was no way i could make that especially since i had no clothes to change into with me. we were absolutely dead at work which stinks cause i wasn't making money, but gave me time to scramble and get everything together. luckily, my friend brian got off work at 2, and we could make plans to go together. i abhor memorial services, but having gone to more than i wish just in the last 3 months, i am getting used to it. of course, my last table sat forever taking forever to make their way through their meals since i had some place to be. i hurried home, bathed, and changed as quickly as i could. nothing i put on seemed quite right. when i got there, it was open casket which completely creeped me out. its so sad though that times like these give us an opportunity to see people we often haven't seen in a while. now, though after a long day at work and emotional evening, i feel completely worn out.

blogs i love 2/10/09

i decided to add a feature to my blog entitled blogs i love. i can't promise if it will be weekly, or sporadically, or how i will do it. i just got into blogging a few weeks ago, and have been inspired by so many cool blogs. i want to share some of these and not just in my blog roll.
the first blog i decided to feature is my friend tricia's not just because i have known here forever. actually, to define forever, i've known her since middle school; and we even ended up going to the same college though i was cool enough to go there first since i'm a year older. tricia's is a mom blog, so i can't relate to everything she blogs about especially regarding pregnancy. she usually has some good tips though that us non mommy's out there can use. in fact, i was totally blown away by her tip yesterday on how to revive limp celery http://mattmorgan.typepad.com/reston_mom/2009/02/quick-kitchen-tip-celery.html. she features everything from recipes, to kids activities, to parenting hints and frustrations, to book reviews. i definitely recommend checking out her blog especially for the mom's out there at http://mattmorgan.typepad.com/reston_mom/2009/02/quick-kitchen-tip-celery.html.

today's free stuff 2/10/09

free sample aveda's shampoo for men http://www.avedathanksman.com/
free rubber ball for your child's school to celebrate national recess week http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/promos/getanimated/index.html
free italian bean coffee sample use the check/money order option http://stores.italianbeandelight.com/-strse-Free-Samples/Categories.bok
free printable coupon for today only for med size fries at jack in the box http://coupon.hangintherejack.com/seasoned-curly-fries.php#
free heinz reusable shopping bag, child's growth chart, and full size sample of formula http://www.heinzbaby.com/english/newsletter/

i'm posting this early, so the jack in the box coupon good only for today gets out to people

obama's presidential speech

due to my satellite issues, i missed some of obama's speech. i should preface my brief discussion of obama's speech by saying i voted for him. so, in general, i'm a fan. however, my background in public speaking seems to take over whenever obama opens his mouth. anything is an improvement over george w. bush and his stumbles with the english language and constant coining of new words when generally unnecessary. obama seemed to spend the majority of the part of the speech i saw struggling to remember what he was supposed to say next. c'mon. you are the first african american president. all eyes are on you. please don't screw this up. it literally was painful for me to watch. practice more, get a teleprompter, do something. he was talking about the stimulus package which is quite controversial. now is the time he needed to be convincing, and i didn't feel i could listen to what he had to say. perhaps, i am overly critical. i certainly hope so. i am still unsure how i feel about the stimulus package, and his speech did not help sway my opinion.

all i want for valentine's day

my darling boyfriend and i came to the topic of what we're doing for valentine's day tonight. part of the problem is that valentine's day falls on a saturday. for many people who work a monday-friday job, falling on a saturday is a perfect day for a holiday. however, we both work in restaurants meaning we both work weekends. on top of that, he and i work opposite schedules with me working mornings and him evenings. in fact, saturdays tend to be fraught with us having brief, as in less than an hour, time together as one of us is in someway preparing for work. he wants to know what i want to do for valentine's day. now, i have terribly lowered my standards as we are struggling to pay our bills in this difficult economic environment. all i can think though is that i want red hots. he wants to simply reschedule our valentine's day for a different day either thursday or next monday and go out to dinner and possibly a movie. i am trying to nix the idea since i think it is outside of our budget. for some reason though he thinks my idea of bringing me home red hots won't cut it. he is frightened i will bring up us not doing something romantic for valentine's day come may. to me, i know he hasn't a romantic bone in his body; and i just want red hots that remind me of when i was a child. when i was a kid, valentine's day was exciting including cupcakes, lollipops, red hots, and all sorts of other decadent sweets at school for our party and another excuse to avoid real school work for a day doing crosswords and word searches. some people have a thing for conversation hearts. i think they're pretty but for me my valentine's day candy of choice is red hots. i can't remember the last time i had some, but i swear somehow i must get my hands on some this year for valentine's day.

as part to my obssesion, i found the website for ferrera pan the maker of red hots since 1930 http://www.ferrarapan.com/html/redhot.html. it features the history, games, and virtual tour of the making of red hots. and look guess who has red hots on sale but cvs http://cvs.shoplocal.com/cvs/Default.aspx?action=browsepagedetail&storeid=2363691&rapid=656695&pagenumber=3&listingid=-2090287885. only $.99, guess i know where to get them now.

Monday, February 9, 2009

in honor of read in the bathtub day


according to http://www.brownielocks.com/february.html, today is read in the bathtub day. i love this holiday since it combines two of my favorite things reading and taking baths. so, i started reading as seen on tv by sarah mlynowski.
for more on her books, check out her webpage http://www.sarahm.com/. it's published by red dress ink a part of harlequin books. red dress ink publishes contemporary chick lit and is perfect brain candy for me. see http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=252 for more red dress books which as a general rule i recommend. i am a big fan of wendy markham's books which are also part of this line and recommend slightly single as a good starting point.
let me give you a brief synopsis of what i've read so far. sunny langstein, the main character, works for a beverage company down in florida when her long distance boyfriend talks her into moving in with all the way up in new york city. she met her boyfriend in nyc while visiting her dad who lives in nyc which explains the at least to me odd long distance relationship. like many people, she has a complicated relationship with her family which plays out intermittenly through the book. she gets a job in new york city so she can make the move. but, days before her move the job falls through. i've just gotten to the point where she and her boyfriend are dealing with the awkwardness of living with someone else for the first time. this part is something i can all to readily understand and can't wait til she gets to the uncomfortable and irritating difficulties of having the opposite gender invading your space to the point that you feel the need to have some place to escape even if it is just your work.
well, i'll be sure to give you my final review when i'm done with this.

cute, free storage for books


i am totally hooked on hgtv and decorating magazines. i look to them for inspiration since there is no way i can afford most of the products they use. a repeated technique i see especially on small space big style on hgtv is the idea of stacking books up sometimes quite high to store them. i have quite a collection of books and have long since run out of space on my bookshelves. so, i decided to try stacking some in my living room to see how it would look. please forgive my ecru walls, but i rent. i only used hard back books since i thought the paperbacks would look a bit cheesy and less intentional. i think i like it and may do more since i have tons more books and think it will add to the intentional look in my living room.

candy cane hot cocoa


now that valentine's day is fast approaching its time to finish off any leftover christmas candy. if you're like me you buy and receive tons of candy canes. i always immediately after christmas store them in the freezer cause i know i will be using them. in fact, i am so hooked on candy cane hot cocoa i don't even really like regular hot cocoa anymore. many places including my work now offer peppermint flavored hot cocoa, but i am still partial to doing it this way. i simply extract a candy cane from my freezer and places it in the warm cup of cocoa. then, stir the cane around. most of the cane excluding handle will melt in the cup if you place it in the way i have it in the picture. so, to melt the handle, i suggest placing the candy cane in the mug with the handle at the bottom of the mug. added bonus, you get a stirrer for your cocoa no spoon required.

tweeks on the 5 minute chocolate cake in a mug


i originally posted the 5 minute chocolate cake in a mug recipe with my results here http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/01/chocolate-cake-in-mug.html. since then, it has become insanely popular treat for me to make this at work. since then, i've come up with my own tweeks to the recipe as well as some add-ins.
my take on the 5 minute chocolate cake in a mug:
9 heaping teaspoons(i just use a regular dining spoon for everything in the recipe.) hot cocoa mix
3 teaspoons of flour
1 large egg
4 teaspoons water
4 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons sugar
i stir the dry ingredients together to make sure they are thoroughly mixed before adding the wet ingredients. then, zap in microwave for 3 minutes. usually after 2 mins i have to start and stop it every 15 seconds to prevent run over.
yummy add-ins
a few drops of your favorite extract my favorite being peppermint
chocolate sauce or fudge sauce makes it even more like a brownie
peanut butter especially yummy if you stir it in after everything else is mixed up leaving it looking marbelized
strawberry jam
not a lot of room for toppings, but if you spoon it onto a plate you can top it
sprinkle with powdered sugar
a little cocoa or hot cocoa
drizzle with chocolate sauce
drizzle with your favorite icing
my friend sam's fave topped with a bit of peanut butter

looking for adult uses for crayons



as you can see, i have a few hundred crayons in this box all blue, green, red, and orange. i have these because my work gives away 2 crayons with each kids menu to keep them busy. generally, the crayons get left behind, and i can't stand to see them thrown away. so, i collect them with the hope that they will come to good use. i tried giving them away to friends who teach small children, but i don't see them enough to hand them all away. so, i'm looking for adult craft uses for my excess crayons. i'm sure they exist. any ideas let me know. and, if you're in the area and need some crayons in just these four colors, please let me know i'll be more than happy to hand some over.

a little under the weather

you may have noticed that i have more posts on my blog today than usual. i'm glad that i have been able to get more done today on here but wish it hadn't been under these circumstances. having gone to bed early tired after a rough day,i was then awoken ill at 1:30am. for four hours, i was prisoner to my bathroom desperately wishing i could sleep. over 2 hours before i was supposed to be at work, i got a phone to not come in to work due to lack of business which normally would have upset me terribly but today may have been a blessing. the thought of being around food caused my stomach to turn. between the cable being out and my boyfriend playing video games since none of his web browsers working(if anyone has any ideas how to fix this, i will be eternally grateful since we can't live long sharing my laptop to get on the web.)., i have spent a lot of time on the web. thankfully, i have been able to keep down my lunch; but i still feel a bit queasy. my satellite is back up, but i still can't get the guide to work. down side of the guide being down is that my dvr won't tape its normal programming since it doesn't recognize any upcoming shows. erghhhhh:(

at least, i had a companion posted happily above me in my loving cat, belle. this is her seated on the back of the couch not her best pic, but i thought it was too cute with her tongue sticking out. and, yes, the blinds do need a good cleaning.

button picture frame

a few years ago, i was inspired when i saw a coworker with a picture with buttons on it. she had received it as a gift from an aunt and had no idea how it was made. i knew i could piece something together on my own that would be just as good. i have made several through the years since but these are my two most recent that have their home in my office. for others i used novelty buttons depending on the occasion ie baby shower done in blue and white with baby bottle buttons as accents.

i bought the unfinished frames in packs of three at ikea (only available in stores) for $2.99. then just hot glued the buttons til the whole frame is covered gluing buttons on top of other buttons to cover holes where wood shoes through.

for the pic of my kitties, i tried to choose brightly colored buttons to go with the orange chair which is the background for the pic.
something to make sure of when adherring the buttons is to make sure the bottom layer of the buttons are not so low that will prevent the frame from sitting flush.

i've also tried some variations using colorful puzzle pieces(a great way to reuse a puzzle that is missing peices or garage sale finds) and beach sand accented with beach finds like shells as seen below.
i applied the beach sand with wood glue, let it dry for 24 hours, and then hot glued the rocks, shells, and beach glass to corners.

my latest ebay win

my latest win arrived today in the mail. thought i share some pics here since i am so in love with these shoes already. i paid $5.94 including shipping and handling for these colorful, strappy heels.

today's free stuff 2/9/09



not sure how i have forgotten to post this but all month long mcdonald's is giving away free coffee from their new mccafe line including a free med size premium roast, vanilla, or hazelnut or free regular sized iced coffee between 5-9am.

2 free issues of family circle no billing or future mags will follow http://www.valuemags.com/freeoffer/FamilyCircle-BBS.asp

free subscription to metropolitan home http://www.freebizmag.com/emailmetrohome02welcome.htm

free valentine's day flashing led magnetic pin http://dailysteals.com/

today's free redbox code good for one free video rental 25CH63

free subscription to harper's bazaar http://www.mercurymagazines.com/pr1/101/101209

2 free 17 x 22 cessna prints https://www.flycessnaforfun.com/

coupon printout for free breakfast at ikea til 10:30 am february 13th-16th except ikea hicksville, pittsburgh, and houston http://info.ikea-usa.com/seizethedays/


free printable coupon for glucerna cereal https://glucerna.com/offer/coupon.aspx?s=ruby

free sample of simply discrete sanitary product http://www.simplydiscrete.com/11.html?sm=68313

free sample of rachel ray's nutrish dog food http://switchtonutrish.com/

free sample of norweigian gold omega fish oil http://www.renewlife.com/fishoil/default.aspx



the freebies i received in the mail today

i'm sure some people wonder if the freebies i post really are free, and if they actually come to you after you fill out the information. so, i thought i would post the freebies that i got in the mail today just to show you how for real this stuff is.


the first thing was 6 photo valentine's cards i posted here http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/01/some-of-my-fave-freebies-i-found-today.html. here's my version: with matching envelope.
and, here's the closeup of the front cause i am impressed with how cute it turned out.

finally, the back: i inserted a pic i had taken of daffodils adding some fading around the edges that way i could give my loved ones some flowers for valentine's day, but you can write a note instead in this area.
the next thing i got was a coupon for a free 2 liter of dr pepper i originally posted http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/01/great-free-stuff.html i am super excited about this one since diet dr pepper is my favorite soda, and my boyfriend has promised to go the grocery store tonight. i'd go myself, but my tummy is still not feeling quite right.
i also got these samples of nexxum shampoo and conditioner which i sent for before i started this blog. i checked but this sample has already expired.
finally, the ups man brought me 2 oz sample of ibunex a topical ibuprofen for joint and muscle pain something as a waitress i can definitely use.
i originally posted the link for this here http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/01/todays-free-stuff-13009.html