Thursday, November 29, 2007

Aloha!

I'm back from Hawaii and am missing that warm and wonderful sunshine. It's cold up here- burrrr! I have lots to tell you about the beautiful wedding on the beach and my mini vaca after Hawaii in Hotlanta (where it was not at all hot, btw!) with bestie. But I have not yet downloaded a single photo so that will all have to wait another day. I am still trying to get myself back on track after being away for close to two weeks.

Happy belated Turkey day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pretty In Pink....Finally!

OK, I think I am one of the last people in the world who has never ever even touched an MP3 Player, let alone use and own one. But seeing as how I have more than 30 hours of flying time ahead of me in the coming week, I decided it was high time to get one of those little gems for myself. I figured it would help keep me sane after sitting for sooooo LONG! "Sane" being the key word in this story.....

So on Saturday I went to my very favorite store, Target (location A), and purchased my my very first MP3 Player. I knew that I didn't need anything to hold 2000+ songs or movies or crap like that. I mean, pretty much the only time I will use this puppy is on this crazy long flight to Hawaii. I don't run, as evidenced by my enlarged waistline. And I can't imagine sitting at home with ear phones on - that just seems silly to me. So my point is that I was not willing to spend a lot on this product. I settled on the Momorex MMP8585. It wasn't a fun color but it had the visible screen like the big iPod and I like that feature. For the price, under $60, it seemed to totally fit what I was looking for. Now the Target guy tried to convince me to buy the big iPod of course for $200. But for something I can only see myself using a few times, that just seemed silly. I did look online before I went to Tar-jay and the review of this product claim that it only took 1-2 mins to install. Great, exactly what I need as my week is so insane and hectic.

I rushed home excited to play with my new toy. It came with 100 songs already on the thing. So I first listened to them to see if any of them were fun. They were not. One of the first songs was called something like "Plastic and Concrete" and it literally sounded like someone was rolling wads of plastic wrap on a concrete floor. Bad. Anyway, I spent hours trying to install all the software and get the computer to even recognize that the device was plugged in. Hours! I finally gave up and tried again on Sunday. To no avail.

So Monday I returned it to Target (location B) when I was running another errand. I actually exchanged it for the same product because when I spoke with the help line, they said the first one had issues and another one would be easy to get working. I am such a sucker! It was a pain in the ass to exchange something at this Target too for some reason. But I finally left with a new but same MP3 Player. Monday evening I tried again, thinking this would be ready to download music to in just minutes. After an hour or two I decided to go to bed and start over on Tuesday. I spent SIX BLOODYHOURS trying to get the damn thing to work. I talked to a variety of people at the help center who were less than helpful. Each one began by saying they were not allowed to tell me how to download music. Um I just wanted to know how to make the thing work before I took the time to delve into music downloading. Then they also all followed up by asking me why the guy before them had me do such-and-such. Um, y'all work for the company, not me. I don't know- I just did what y'all instructed me to do. Anyway, long story longer, after six hours and even a few tears shed out of frustration to one of the many unhelpful helpers (I should say that they were all nice - just not helpful), I decided to finally abandon the ship.

So I drove back to Target (location A- because it is closer to my house) to return the sucker and get the iPod Shuffle in hot pink. It doesn't have the screen to look at but it is pink and that is just so fun. After returning the Memorex MP3, I walked to the back to buy my tiny pink Breast Cancer Awareness iPod Shuffle. But they were out of stock. Oh, they had every other color there but not the hot pink one. And dammit, I was beyond frustrated at this point and wanted that fun pink cutie. I remembered seeing it at Target Location B on Monday so I booked it over there. At this point I didn't care how much time I was devoting to this stupid project because I was a woman on a mission. Target (location B) had several left (and it comes with a $15 gift card for i Tunes too - fun!) and I left crossing my fingers and arms and doing a dance in hopes that this sucker would work. Pleeeeaaaasssseee let it work. Three times is the charm, right??

It took close to 20 minutes for me to get it out of its turbo plastic packaging and I was on the verge of tears again seeing this as a bad sign. But wouldn't you know, I had it working in just minutes! MINUTES!!@! It is sooo cute and totally makes me smile. I have full faith that my little baby Apple iPod Shuffle will serve me well this weekend. It's not fancy pants - it doesn't do tricks and has only the very basic features. But I am a basic feature kind of girl. I mean, it took me FOUR days, a total of FOUR trips to TWO different Target stores, and three MP3 players to get one that works. Yes, basics....in pink.....suit me just fine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blog Speak

I have a quick question for y'all. I cannot figure out for the life of me what the two following terms mean and it is driving me batty. I am sure once told I will feel like an idiot - they must mean something very obvious. So bloggers, what the heck does "NaBloPoMo" or "Meme" mean/stand for? Help a girl out, will ya? Thanks in advance!

I Love...

I have noticed that a lot of bloggers are doing cute little lists of things that they currently love in life. So I am totally copy catting that idea today in order to profess my love for the first item on my list!

1. My Crock pot! Oh-My-Goodness! I love, LOVE my crock pot. I use it at least once each week during the colder months. But I used it a good bit too during the summer this year. When you think about using it during the summer, it's genius (OK, maybe not genius....but it is at least a "good thing.") because it does not put extra heat into your house while cooking you a yummy meal. At the moment I have a whole chicken stuffed with lemons, apples, garlic, fresh rosemary and onion sitting on red potatoes, carrots and onions in my crock pot. I can't wait for dinner!

2. My new electric blanket! I am using an electric blanket for the very first time this year and am wondering why I never jumped on this bandwagon before. When I lived in DC, my apartment had very old heating and there were many nights I was just totally unable to get really warm. And this will be my third winter in Upstate NY/Antarctica. It just never occurred to me that I would need it before this week. My brand new blankie has 10 setting options so I can make it super warm before I hop in bed at night and then turn it down to around 2 or 3 for sleeping. Sooo delightful!

3. Caffeine Free Diet Coke! So I still love regular Diet Coke but too much caffeine in life gives me breast pain (I also drink decaf coffee (which still contains some caffeine btw!) about 90% of the time). And since too much breast pain is not very fun because well, it just doesn't feel good and it then leads me to have to go get sonograms of my girls just to be told to cut out caffeine, I have taken to the Caffeine Free DC this year. It was similar to my switch to DC from Regular Coke a few years ago. After a few weeks, I could hardly tell the difference. (Um...I do drink mostly water in life- this makes it seem like I only ever drink soda.)

4. Fabric and Ribbon! I know I have mentioned this obsession several times in passing but you should know just how deep my love is for pretty much anything that my very favorite website, JCaroline sells. I found her blog a while ago too - so fun to put a face with the company that I adore soooo much! I could spend forever looking at all of her beautiful fabric and her prices are awesome! I have yet to find a website that has anything close to her selection of fabrics or reasonable prices. For years I actually tried NOT to tell people about her website because I felt like it was my own little secret spot. But since her ads are now all over the place in mainstream media, my secret is out and I am free flowing with my compliments these days. I do not allow myself to enter a JoAnn store anymore if I do not have a very specific game plan. Sort of like how many people shouldn't go to a grocery store without a set-in-stone list in hand. Oh I am fine in a grocery store but a fabric store is pure danger territory for my checking account. I lose myself in the walls of fun fabrics and ribbons. I come home with stuff that I have no idea when or if I will ever use. But I fall in love fast and furious in there - especially with anything in the Michael Miller or Alexander Henry section. Be still my heart! I would bring them all home if I could! I am about one yard away from needing a 12-step program I think!

5. Quirky cable TV shows! Oh sure, I love Thursdays on ABC as well as Gossip Girl on Wednesday. But the rest of the week I could pretty much care less about the major networks. I am loving several new(er) shows on TLC right now. Have you watched Little People, Big World or John and Kate Plus Eight? Sooo good! My cousin's youngest is a little person and since his birth almost eight years ago I have been minorly obsessed on the topic. He is just the coolest and funniest kid ever. Not that these traits are due at all to his short stature. But I do really hope to one day adopt a LP daughter. I just think it would so neat to have more than one LP in our family. John and Kate is also an adorable show. They have twins in kindergarten and three year old sextuplets. I don't always love the way Kate talks to John- she talks down to him a lot. But she/they always apologize and I think that is an even better life lesson. They really do a great job of making life as normal as possible for the tots. Of course I also love shallow shows like The Hills. I feel like throwing up ever time I see Spencer's big head. Does he not work? How can they afford that fancy apartment? And why is he always wearing an ugly, over-sized t-shirt? Do they not sell polo shirts in California? Or even a t-shirt that fits? Oh I love (and am still not yet sure why because truth be told, it is not a great quality show) Living With Ed on HGTV. It makes me want to make my life "green." Iron Chef America, Ace of Cakes and Semi-Homemade are my Food Network favorites. And I am giddy with excitement knowing that my very favorite Cable show will be back on November 14th, Project Runway! Another bonus about my cable shows is that I don't have to every watch them (or even know in my case) when they originally air. They all run repeats (and I think Bravo runs their shows in a loop- you can catch PR every other hour once the season gets going usually) so I can find one of my favs whenever I have free time. They are great to listen to while sewing or cutting fabric. I didn't have cable TV when I lived in DC because I was never home so I figured I would never watch it. Now that I have it again I don't think I could ever go back. I love it!

So there you have it. Five things that are my current obsessions. Also five things that are subject to change as my obsessions often rotate to other areas of interest. Such is life I guess.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sleeping Beauty

I never used to let the baby girl up on furniture. But lately she has decided that she strongly disagrees with that rule. Royalty, like her highness, should be allowed to rest their heavy heads wherever they see fit. And she has taken it upon herself to correct my mistake about every other day. Of course, it doesn't help that instead of scolding her, I take a picture instead. She's so cute and she totally knows it!


Self Heating

OK, so for a few years now I have seen these funny cups of cocoa and coffee that are "self heating." Well curiosity finally killed the cat on Saturday afternoon because as I was running errands and whatnot, I saw this cup of hot cocoa for $2 at Wally World. So you know I ran right home to "self heat" myself some hot cocoa with marshmallows. And in my efforts to be a better blogger, I documented the entire EIGHT minute process with pictures.


So first this thing weighs a lot. I have no idea how much exactly but trust me- it is not light. It sort of feel the weight of two cans of soup. There are all sorts of directions and diagrams and my personal favorite, the long list of warnings which include bold letters insisting that this entire process be done on a heat proof surface. That begs the question of where is this actually intended to be used?


Step 1: Turn container upside down. Pull off metal bottom (like a soup can again!).



Step 2: Place on flat surface. With thumb, firmly push button downward until green water drains. (This freaked me out a little bit. I mean, what kinds of crazy chemicals was I playing with here?!) After 10 SECONDS, turn container right side up and place on HEAT PROOF SURFACE.


Step 3: This spot change color from PINK to WHITE (5-8 min) when beverage is hot. After spot is white, twist lid to align opening. Shake, open and enjoy!


OK, so seriously I have no idea when one would use this product. I mean, it was fun to try it once for giggles but it is hardly practical. You would get into an accident if you tried to do this in a vehicle. And most homes and offices are supplied with coffee makers that take less time to make an entire POT of coffee. And if you don't have a coffee maker handy, every corner store sells coffee these days. I guess maybe if you lived like at the top of a mountain or something and you lost power frequently....then maybe? But I am guessing a person rugged enough to have that sort of lifestyle would not require crazy coffee products.


So the results....it was tasty. I did not see or taste a single marshmallow as the label claims. I was expecting to throw half of it away, thinking it would be just too much to drink. But with all of that magical green liquid inside, it was not a huge cup of cocoa. It was also not super hot. I actually like hot drinks to be quite hot. So if you wanted to get this to have a fun treat with your kids, go for it. I don't think I will be making more purchases of this product but it amused me for a few minutes anyway.

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