Thursday, September 27, 2007

20 Questions

I am so excited to be participating in the Sweet Sister Holiday Swap! It's three months long and really gives everyone a great opportunity to get to know their swap partner, as well as everyone else participating. The swappy organizing gals are so creative to come up with this unique extended swap! And I am thrilled to get to know my swap sister Gigi! Take a look at her pictures- her cookies are about the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I had so much fun with the last swap and love that it resulted in a fabu crafty buddy, sweet Cindy. This swap is sure to be just as fun and exciting!

To start off the swap experience, we are all asked to help our swap partners get to know us better by answering the following 20 questions....

1. Favorite Color: pink and green
2. Chocolate Lover? Milk, Dark, White, or none of the above? Honestly, none of the above. Well, that's not true. I like cookies and brownies. But as for eating chocolate candy, no thanks.
3. What is your favorite craft hobby? sewing, painting, cooking, baking
4. What is a craft/art hobby that you would like to start? I used to scrapbook but I have not done any in years. One of these days I will get back to it though because I have an obnoxious amount of scrappy supplies stored away for future use. And I would love to learn to needle point one of these days too.
5. What craft do you NOT have an interest in or just not great in ( so your partner doesn’t send something you wouldn’t use)? Well I already have a ton of scrap stuff. And I don't have much interest in knitting.
6. Do you have any allergies? (we don’t want to send anything with peanuts if it’ll make you blow up like a balloon!) nope
7.What’s your favorite part of Halloween? Decorating, candy eating, costumes, or something else? oh I just love everything about both Fall and Halloween- candy, decor, kids in costumes, Fall flavors and big pots of yummy soup
8. Do you decorate for Thanksgiving/Fall? for fall- with squash and fall leaves
9. December Holidays--what holiday do you celebrate? What type of decorations do you like to put up in your house for that holiday? Christmas- the usual fresh tree with beautiful ornaments, stockings, garlands, and hours of Christmas Cd's
10. Do you have any children, if so what are their ages, boys/girls? one furry little girl with four paws, Sadie Kate, age five
11. Do you have any pets, if so what kind? one furry little girl with four paws, Sadie Kate, age five, Sheltie
12. Are you a reader? If so, what type of books do you like? I love to read and am all about fun, light-hearted chic lit. And Harry Potter (though BB I am still refusing to read the last book- I am just not ready and feel it is my prerogative to wait!)
13. Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary in October, November, or December? If so, what day and what is the occasion? nope
14. Do you collect anything? If so what type of things do you collect? not really. I love many things like aprons and various baking items. But I don't necessarily have a specific collection.
15. What type of things do you like to cook? Are you an appetizer person, cookie maker, dessert freak or a take out type of person?? Oh it totally depends on my mood. I love LOVE dips and appetizers and will happily make a meal out of them if I can. I love to make holiday cookies but rarely make them other times of the year for some reason. I am an excellent pie baker. I take a lot of pride knowing my crust tastes great and my filling is huge. They are rustic and I personally find that so much more exciting that the perfect pies in the grocery store. I love to make foods according to the season and find that I cook savory dishes a lot more in the colder months. Nothing I make is fancy, but it almost always tastes delish.
16. What is your favorite scent? Is there one that you can’t stand? Fresh coffee, baked goods, cinnamon, apple cider. I don't really care for floral scents- they make me sneeze.
ok, after reading a few blogs I realize this is asking what scents I like to wear. And that answer is very few. Something very light if anything- I have allergies.
17. What’s your favorite song? Just one? "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter Paul and Mary. When I was a little girl my Dad would let me stay up late to watch them on PBS because they would always end with Puff. To this day I can probably sing you most of their songs. But Puff is just one of those special childhood memories that never fails to make me smile.
18. What’s the last movie you went to see at the movie theater? Um...I have no idea. That's so sad that I really have no clue. Clearly I am not much of a movie buff. When the Oscars roll around I am lucky to have heard of more than 5 of the movies up for awards.
19. What’s your favorite Candy? OMG, while I don't care for chocolate I do have a HUGE sweet tooth! I love all that bad-for-you-stick-in-your-teeth sugar crap like Twizzlers, Hot Tamales, Swedish Fish, gummy worms, Dots, and Smarties.
20. Tea or Coffee or other? Decaf coffee- mmmmmm!

Friday, September 14, 2007

LL Bean comes to Upstate NY

Today was the day. LL Bean officially opened this morning at 9AM here with a weekend packed full of festivities to celebrate. They were giving away gift cards (denominations ranging from $25 to $500) to the first 200 customers to start things off this morning. Thinking that no one would go to a mall at 9AM on a weekday, I ran over there at 9:40AM. The mall is across the street from both Target and Joanns, where I needed to pick up a few random items anyway.

How very wrong I was! The parking lot was so over-packed that there were police directing traffic (I have never seen this up here in small-towns-ville). I was overwhelmed so I turned my little self around and drove across the way to Dunkin Donuts. I rarely allow myself to indulge, especially since I have yet to do so much as a sit up to lose even an ounce of the major lbs I have gained over the last two years. Mind you, I will be on a beach in Hawaii in less than three months and I am still sittin' fat and pretty. But I digress. I was lacking caffeine and felt that I "needed" a sugar buzz to match. So I went through the drive thru, declined the zillion options of random new shit they are trying to push, order my coffee and all it's specifications and order my two chocolate frosted donuts. I am all but drooling at this point over this fat and calorie and sugar insanity. AND THEN....Dunkin Donut intercom drive through buddy had the nerve to tell me the most distressing sentence ever. "Oh, we actually don't have any donuts because our shipment didn't arrive today. Would you like a muffin or egg bagel instead?" WTF?! Are you kidding me? Your name is not Dunkin Muffin or Dunkin Egg Sandwich Bagel Crap. Your name is Dunkin DONUTS dammit! I was almost in tears. I didn't even want the donut until I got parking lot stressed 5 minutes earlier. And now I was on the verge of a meltdown. Since I actually don't really love DD coffee, I cancelled my order and left. I decided that I would park on the other side of the mall, go in and get coffee and then check out the Bean.

Now this mall is very small. And it used to be the crappiest of our malls (sense the longing for a city with good shopping?!). But over the last year or so this little mall has been revamped. We just got a Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs comes in just a few weeks. They are adding on a new movie theater and fun new stores like Bean. The little mall that once had (and truthfully still has a fair share of) all of those crappy random stores that size everything in odd numbers and are better suited to working the avenue than working in an office (don't even get me started on the lack of peppiness!), is really very pretty now with a fabulously renovated inside. The big mall still has all of the better stores but I have a feeling that a few might make the move to the little mall as it is attracting a much higher end crowd. Shoot, I forgot my point. Oh yes, coffee. I needed coffee. Fast. So there used to be two no name coffee places and neither of them were there today. They were just gone. Poof! Not a single place to get a cup of joe in the stinkin' mall. By now it was almost 10AM and I was cranky, but considering how long it took me to park I was going to see that store if it killed me.

Well I am sure you can guess that I did not get my gift card for $500 Bean Bucks. Apparently people got there at 4 and 5 AM to line up around the mall. All for a gift card. Who has the kind of time and determination? Not I said the fly, that's for sure. I walked in and was so incredibly overwhelmed that I had to leave less than 3 minutes later. I really wanted to see the new canvas totes that are all those yummy fall color stripes in person. And I did make it that far- they are beautiful by the way. But both check out lines were AT LEAST 100 people deep. The store only opened an hour earlier, remember! Oh and what struck me as funny was that the return line was just as long. It brought back memories from years ago when I worked retail and opened one of the pilot stores for Pottery Barn Kids. Customers would come from all over the country both to shop and return. Oh and to complain in person about whatever was wrong with their catalog order. I do not miss those days!

All in all, I spent a lot of time to accomplish nothing. Including a cup of coffee- that just never happened today. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. And the internet will always (or as long as my internet provider is up and running properly) be here for me to just order a new monogrammed bag online and avoid the hassle of standing in line for an hour. It is getting cold up here and tomorrow will be rather chilly according to my local weather man. I will be making my own fabu cup of coffee to take with me when Daddy and I go on the Tiffany Stained Glass Window tour. Yes, you read that correctly. While my area is lacking lovers like Bloomies and Saks and Neimans oh-my, we have one of the largest Tiffany glass collections in the country. Fancy that!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

When Momma's Away...

I ran out the door to make a few returns the other day. But when I got in my car, I realized that I forgot to actually bring with me one of the things I was intending to return. So I ran back inside the house to get it. No biggie. Apparently little Miss Sadie was not expecting me home so soon. This is what I found....


She just froze and looked at me like, "well you said you were going to be a while so if you kept your word you would not actually have to witness this and therefor this is all your fault." She knows she is not allowed on the furniture and knew she would be in trouble for being up on the leather arm chair. But I was so thrown off guard at how silly and cute the situation was, instead of fussing at her, I took a picture (my camera was sitting just a few feet away at the time). I am a bad momma! I can only imagine what goes on when I am not here. Even when I am here, her little nose finds its way into all sorts of places it is not supposed to be in. The bathroom trash can with cotton balls and tissues is her all time favorite. Nothing says puppy mischief fun like shredding a few used cotton balls!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Favorites

I have been tagged by Buford Betty to share some of my favs...

Sound - rain at night.

Late Night Snack - frozen fruit bars

Smell - coffee

Color Combination - pink and green of course! This time of year I also love red and black too!

Nut - pecans or frozen macadamias

Time of Year - Fall!

Books - I love love Harry Potter. But anything chic lit is up my ally too. Nothing too serious though.

Vegetable - artichoke, acorn squash, asparagus, spinach

Male Actor - Matt Damon and Josh Jackson

Female Actress - Reese, Gwyneth, Jennifer and Anne

Flower - peony, Gerber daisy, hydrangea, and tulip

Vacation Spot - Steamboat, Aspen and NYC

Pizza - spinach and mushroom

Subject in School - English, Math, Art and Religion

TV Channel - Food TV, HGTV, History, CNN

Radio Station - I'm a flipper. So no station in particular. I will flip until I find something I feel like listening to at that moment.

Holiday - Halloween, Fourth of July

Perfume - Salvatore Ferragamo

Shoes - ballet flats, loafers

Candy - Oh I have a huge sweet tooth! Swedish Fish, Sour Gummies, Hot Tamales, Twizzlers. It's all about the sugar crap for me. No chocolate please- just not my thing.

City to Shop - Not Upstate NY, that's for sure! NYC, Georgetown, Atlanta, Seattle, Boston .... anywhere but here pretty much!

Beauty Products - As prissy as I am, I am not at all into beauty products. I use concealer and blush every day. But I am not brand specific. I am however a sucker for packaging. Those ad companies see me coming a mile away. So put your $2 product in a $40 box and chances are I will buy it.

Item to Shop For - shoes, handbags, fabric, stationary, clothes, prezzies, home dec, .... I don't think there is much I don't enjoy shopping for besides items inside a Home Depot or a Grocery Store (I really really dislike grocery shopping!).

I tag Cindy and anyone else who feels like a fun little blog topic today.

County Fair

Giant pumpkins.

Crazy squash.


The other day my Daddy asked me if I had ever been to a County Fair. I sort of looked at him sideways, confused, and said "well yes, Dad we went to the county (in South Florida) fair many times growing up." He quickly proclaimed that the Florida fairs were not true county fairs. He then insisted that he take me to the Schaghticoke Fair. To say I was hesitant is being mild. A county fair? Why? How is that fun beyond the age of 10? And he went on and on about how 4H groups (I am still not really sure what 4H is. I gather it is sort of like girl/boy scouts meets farmer. I hated girl scouts and am still scared from the summer I went to girl scout camp!) show their animals and farming whatevers at the fair. Again, why would this be of interest to me, Dad? But he was so excited to show me what a true fair was like so I really felt like I had to say yes. He was just too sweet trying to give me a new experience and no matter how odd I thought it was, this Daddy's girl was not about to turn down the offer. Plus, once in a blue moon a day filled with yummy fair food is good for the soul (albeit horrible for the waistline!). So off we went on Monday to the County Fair.

Baby moo!

First, Dad was right. It was nothing like the fairs we went to growing up in Florida. This fair was smaller but a bigger deal. I'll elaborate. In FL, fairs are something you may or may not attend. You go as kids to ride the crazy rides and eat junk food. Sometimes there were school art exhibits (I was always entered and usually won ribbons and never cared because fairs were just no big deal). This fair was smaller in size but was talked about profusely over the radio, TV and every other form of media for weeks in advance. In a way, it was exactly like something you would see on a Lifetime or TV movie. It was small town.

What every garden needs....a toilet turned flower pot!

Moo!

Barns and barns and more barns with various animals. Two of the biggest animals I have ever seen were the oxen. The pictures do not do them justice- they were mammoth! I also could not figure out for the life of me why you would want an ox. It's not like you would actually use it to plow or anything in this day and age. At least four barns full of cows. You could pet the cow if you so desired. It should not shock you to know I did not feel it necessary to pet any of the animals. Ew. Then there were all sorts of contests and demonstrations. Milking demonstrations. Cow milking contests. The frog jump olympics was a personal favorite, though I didn't get a decent picture to post. Dog shows and square dancing and llama exhibitions oh my!

Oxen Demonstration

Up close and person with an Ox.
Blacksmith demo.
Machines thru the years. NOT my highlight of the fair.
My favorite animal barn was hands down the chicken and bunny barn. I have never been so close to chickens before and had no idea how beautiful they are up close. I remember years ago when Martha first debuted her paint colors and told David Letterman that they were all inspired by her chicken eggs. I thought that was sort of cool and also a little nutty. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Martha. But chicken egg paint colors? Turns out MS was right. Of course! Those chickens were so diverse and beautiful and their eggs were just as diverse and beautiful. I want chickens now. Don't worry, I'm sure my mild chicken obsession will soon pass. I mean, as much as I profess this new found love for them, I didn't actually touch them. Ick. The bunnies were adorable. But the black and white feather chickens were my favorite! Sooo pretty!!
Chickens and turkeys. Gobble gobble gobble!

Pretty, pretty chicken.

Cute bunny.
And the fair food did not disappoint. Sausage and peppers, kettle corn and my childhood favorite...a frozen chocolate and peanut covered banana on a stick (this would not be for you BB). Mmmmm good!
Roosters and hens. The white chickens were fluffy and beautiful!
Award winning garden goodies.

I don't know that I would go back to a fair without children ever again. But it was fun and really cute to share this with my Dad. He went on and on telling me about entering his chickens and goats (he didn't actually grow up on a true farm but in my opinion, any house with chickens and goats is a farm) and tomatoes in the 4H contests and displays. It was awesome to hear childhood stories and a little bit more of my family history. Especially since I am going on record here saying my gosh-I-hope-one-day-maybe-please children and I will never own a goat. And a chicken is unlikely too. Definitely not an ox or cow. Or turkey. Yeah, I a pampered pooch girl and that's it.

My favorite chicken- isn't she beautiful?!

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