Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paper Cuts

There are a handful of things that have happened to Abby over the past year that have been difficult to explain. 

1.) Describing what was going to happen to her when she had her blood drawn this past winter

2.) Trying to explain that vacation was three weeks away.  Three weeks was not a concept she was able to grasp easily. 

3.) The latest was a paper cut she received last night while getting a book out for me to read at bedtime. 

Those paper cuts hurt so darn bad!  The pain made her scream and the when she saw the blood she screamed more.  After 5 minutes, a cold cloth, some pressure on the wound followed by two (not one, but two) Tinker Bell band aids she was at least able to catch her breath. 

Her bedtime routine was a little longer than normal today, as we talked a lot about her paper cut and her band aids.  She kept asking me why the paper cut her, thinking the paper did it on purpose. 

15 minutes after she fell asleep she woke up and belted out "thank you for my special band aids", then went right back to sleep.  She earned those special band aids for her very legitimate "ouchie". 

Here's hoping everyone has a paper cut free day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Royal Wedding Goodness

Yes, I'm Royal Wedding obsessed.  I would get up to watch it live, but because I'm on the West Coast of the US, it will be at 1AM my time.  A DVR version of it will have to do!

Eleni's out of Chelsea Market in NYC has some fantastic cookies all decked out for the Royal Wedding.  I had the pleasure of eating Eleni's cookies recently (Easter themed) and they were wonderfully delicious! 

If you are in the Bay Area stop by one of these Tea place's for some Royal Wedding scones or tea sandwiches.

The English Rose in San Carlos, which is now serving 'A Royal Tea'.  The Tea includes a scone, mini quiche, sausage roll, a tart, sticky toffee pudding, a wedding favor and a glass of champagne (as well as a couple other items). 

Lisa's Tea Treasures in Menlo Park - no mention of anything Royal Wedding related, but a nice spot for tea.

Sweetea's in San Mateo is serving a special Royal Wedding Tea on April 19th and 30th. 

I may still order some of that 'No More Waity, Katie' nail polish...  The name alone cracks me up! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gearing Up For the Royal Wedding

I'm not sure why I am so interested in the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, but I am.  As mentioned previously, I have an addition to reality shows.  I am sure, since this is 'real', I'm really drawn to it.

So, if you are like me, let me help feed your addiction.  Here are some great sites with all the latest news on the Royal Wedding:

The Washington Post - Great overall coverage

The Today Show - Great overall coverage

Highlights from the Guest List - Celebs and Dignitaries

iPhone Apps related to the Royal Wedding - I'm off to go download one now
Schedule of Events Apps
Everything you need to know about the Royal Wedding App

Minute by minute schedule of the days events - Scheduled with military precision

What will be served at the reception immediately following the wedding - Who knew there wasn't going to be a sit down lunch, but passed canapes?

Want to buy Royal Wedding mementos?

Did the Butter nail polish line really create a color called "No More Waity Katie", crass name, but I like the color.

They sell both nail polish and lip gloss in this color.  The great thing about the Butter line is that their products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens, bonus!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Aftermath

Oh boy, this one was tough!

As I might have alluded to before, I've been busy at work.  A lot of the work my team and I have been doing came to a head this week.  We had meetings, we presented budgets.  Overall I would say it was a success.  We improved relationships with our business partners, which will go along way to making our jobs more effective and meaningful.  I took many hits and received many bruises (figurative, not literal), fighting for my team and the things we needed. 

I finally see progress and I am very excited about our near term future and we continue to make an impact.  What made it all worth it, was my team.  They are all fantastic, skilled, curious and mature.

What the last 2 months caused was quite the aftermath in my home life.  I have not been easy to deal with.  I have been overworked, tired and stressed.  Our house is totally disorganized (with the exception of what our nanny has graciously helped with).  My laundry is scattered all over the place (bathroom, laundry basket, floor of closet, laundry area, etc.) the fridge is bare, I'm sure there are some overdue bills and official looking notices I need to tend to after I find them.  There are clothes that are too small in my kids dresser drawers and I have no idea what I am going to serve for Easter brunch. 

Somehow, I'll get our lives back in order and under some level of control.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. If you celebrate Easter, I hope your time with family and those you love is wonderful.  I'll be enjoying time with my family and cleaning up the aftermath.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

Yes, I'll be in meetings for the next few days.  Stressful, entertaining, possibly with lots of conflict between the parties involved.  Thankfully I am just an innocent bystander, trying to extrapolate a budget for next fiscal year from all the conversations that will take place.  It might be as entertaining as an action film.... 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Conversations with Abby

Abby and I had a very special morning this past Saturday. We went to the farmer's Market and then to the mall. I loved it.

(Taken before going to a ballerina birthday party this past weekend.  Note the slouching.  This is the best of 5 pictures I took).  

Abby has always been a very verbal child and now that she's a little older and her comprehension of what is going on around her has increased, the things that come out of her mouth crack me up. Here are just a handful from my time with her on Saturday...

This morning at breakfast as we were talking about what we were going to do for the day.
Abby: "Is it a Marissa (nanny) day or a mommy/daddy day?"
Me: "It's a mommy/daddy day"
Abby: pause and I could tell she was thinking about something
Me: "Do you like Marissa days or mommy/daddy days better?"
Abby: "Marissa days"
That made me feel both happy and sad!

Out of the blue, while we were on our way to the farmer's market:
Abby: "Mommy, did you know that squirrels don't have eye lashes".
Me: "really"
Abby: "yes mommy, they don't". In a tone that insinuated I should have known better.
Me: "Abby, where did you learn that?"
Abby: "From the squirrels"
So I came home and looked it up on line and squirrels DO NOT have eyelashes. Hmmm..

After taking a big swig of water, Abby let out a huge sigh, followed by "I love germs"
Me: "You know what, I think they love you to"
Abby: "what?", I think my sarcasm was lost on her.
I am a little concerned she loves germs though. I will see how this one plays out over time, because with Abby, it is sure to come up again.

At the farmer's market...
Abby: "Mommy, can we buy some flowers?"
Me: "Sure, I think that would be nice"
Abby picks out two bunches of tulips and says "these are for daddy"
I'm feeling the love, feeling the love.

Later in the day right before bedtime...
Abby: "Mommy, I want a brother"
Me: "But you already have a sister"
Abby: "I know, but I want a brother, my friend 'C' has a brother, so I want one too"
Me: "Sorry, Abby all I could find was a sister"
Abby: "Ok, Mommy, maybe next time"

I really hope to continue these conversations with Abby. I hope that during the teenage years, she still feels like she can talk to me. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Not Saturday?

I messed with my schedule a little bit this week and now I'm paying for it.

If I work from home, it's typically on a Friday. This week I worked form home on Thursday and for the entire day I thought it was Friday. I thought about staying up late that night and organizing my home office, sleeping in a little bit on Saturday morning. I had big plans for my Friday night and Saturday morning and was very excited it would start that evening. I even told numerous people to have a good weekend, on Thursday.

Bummer that I still had another day to go before the weekend started. I'm reliving my Friday all over again today. It feels like Groundhog Day.

Happy Friday!

"Extreme Couponing" - I Just Don't Get It

My name is Susan and I am a reality show junkie. There I said it. I like mind numbing TV. It's an escape and a way to wind down at the end of the day. It takes much less brain power to watch reality shows than it takes to watch CSI.

I watched a couple "Extreme Couponing" episodes this week. I was really hopeful I was going to learn a thing or two.

Two episodes down and I think I'm done. It's a bit weird how these people buy as much as they can with the coupons, to the point where the so-called 'stockpile' was taking over the house for one family. One woman was feeling very anxious as her groceries were being rung up, it's grocery shopping people, not a job interview or open heart surgery. Another had to call friends to the grocery store in order to save more money.

I do understand these are hard times, I do. People are doing what they can to get by. There is however a limit. I'm not sure I spotted one organic item, and very little fruits and veggies. I am still wondering what one family can do with the 60+ bottles of mustard they purchased in one outing. And 5+ boxes of Texas Toast, who needs that?

A show that highlights it takes some women 6 hours to plan a shopping trip isn't really all that tangible for me, I barely have 6 minutes to draw up a list for the store..

"Extreme Couponing" reminded more of "Hoarders" than anything else.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Perfect Sleep Aid - Drug Free

No disparity meant toward the author of this book (it's actually pretty good) but I found the perfect sleep aid:

I spend a disproportionate amount of my time at work dealing with compensation (comp) plan issues. Coming into this job, comp was the one aspect that I didn't have a lot of experience with. The learning curve has been steep and painful. Because of this experience, dealing with comp plans is something I wish I could shy away from (which is why this book put me to sleep last night, I just couldn't take it).

From the pieces I've read, this book is full of very helpful and insightful information. The explanations are fantastic and easy to understand. I know I need to buckle down and read the book. It will go a long way toward helping me be more effective when dealing with comp plan issues on a day to day business.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Taxes, Taxes, Go Away...

And please don't come back another day!

I am our family's tax accountant and know enough to get our taxes done using Turbo Tax.  Typically, our taxes are done in February or March.  We turn them in early if we get money back and mail them on April 13th or so if we owe.  This year, I have procrastinated like I've never procrastinated before and have just barely started them.  In addition to that, I've offered to do another persons taxes. 

Tonight, I'm going to dive head first into the file folder of official looking documents, receipts, W2's, etc,.  I'm going to put a flotation device on to lessen the chances of drowning in all the paper. 

glurg, glurg, glurg.....

April = Grilled Cheese Month?

Really, a month dedicated to grilled cheese?  I do love a good grilled cheese so I'm going to jump into this month (from this point forward) honoring the grilled cheese.

Nutella and Brie grilled cheese

Gruyere, Prosciutto, Arugula and Tomato grilled cheese (Martha always delivers, well almost if you excuse the boxer shorts Easter eggs - one of these days I'll get over it).

Italian Grilled Cheese and Tomato with smoked mozzarella, "yum-o" (yes this is a Rachel Ray recipe)

I'm going to hit the grocery store on my way home from work and get some grilled cheese makin's..

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dying Easter Eggs & Boxer Shorts

Martha is doing Silk Dyed Easter Eggs.  It doesn't appear to be too involved, other than perhaps having some silk boxers on hand???  Oh, or silk ties or shirts or dresses.  The silk boxer thing stuck out for some reason.  Who wears silk boxers and who wants them wrapped around something people might potentially eat?  I digress...

They are beautiful though!

If you want to go the green route, here is a technique for Vegetable Dyed Easter Eggs.  I wonder if using onions makes the eggs take on the scent of onion?  Anyone know?  Please note in these instructions, when they suggest putting the vegetables in a pan of water, it means one vegetable per pan.  I am so darn literal, I likely would have put all veggies in one pan, and made funky colored eggs and vegetable soup at the same time. 

If you want a different spin on eggs, try tie dying them.  Seems fairly easy, probably better with older kids (involves squirting food coloring on eggs).  I can't imagine my 3 year old doing this. It would be a big mess, but they sure look nice.

We will likely use an egg dying kit from PAAS.  They have over 20 different types of (very easy) egg coloring kits. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Getting Ready for Easter V2.0 - Charming Free Printables

I am getting excited for Easter for 2 reasons...

1.) The meaning of Easter is very special to me.

2.) It's wonderful to see holiday's through the eyes of children.

Every year we hold a small neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  This year is no different.

To get ready for the Easter egg hunt party, I was browsing around and came across free Easter printable downloads at Shindig Parties TO GO.  A small sampling of the free printables are below.  Could they be any cuter? 

The great thing about the downloads is that they are free, with the hopes that you will make a donation to Operation Shower.   

Operation Shower is about celebrating and honoring military families. Operation Shower is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides joyful baby showers for military families to ease the burden of deployment.

Some of you may not know this, but my Dad was in the Navy for 20+ years.  All of his service was done before I was born.  He retired with full benefits so I was born on a military base and all my Dr's growing up were military Dr.s'.  Who knew?

You don't have to be crafty to use the printables (print them on card stock and cut out the shapes) and a simple donation to Operation Shower sounds like a fantastic idea!

Shindig Parties TO GO also has other birthday party themed printables for sale on Etsy here.  I've got my eyes on a couple options for both Abby and Emily's birthdays later this year.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuscany - This Takes the Cake

I've been to Tuscany once, in 2000 ( I think that was the year).  I went with my friend Liz and it was one of the best vacations I've had. 

I'm drawn to most things 'Tuscany' as everything about my prior trip was perfect.  When I came across A.Party Style's Tuscan dessert table post, many wonderful memories came flooding back and I started drooling.  Wow, take a look at all these wonderful desserts.  I'd start at one end of the table, work my way to other and start all over again! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Easter

I scrapped a few of the things I had planned for the weekend, so we could start getting in the Easter spirit.

Instead of making healthy strawberry - kiwi muffins, we made Easter themed rice crispy treats:

Instead of shopping for outfits for birthday parties Abby will attend over the next 3 weeks, we made an Easter egg garland (sorry for the poor lighting):

Instead of going to the Farmer's Market, we just purchased all of our produce from Whole Foods (we were going anyway) after the kids were asleep, so we could decorate this Easter tree.

We splurged on some silly bunny ears at Walgreens (complete with a forced smile):

We also hit the park, rode bikes, played in the back yard and spent some good quality family time together.  Both Steve and I even worked a bit to (boo, hiss, but we have to pay the bills)... 

My favorite part of the weekend was Abby saying over and over again while decorating the Easter tree, "wow, this is beautiful".  So pure and from her heart, it was awesomely perfect! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Week in Review

There were highs and lows.  Overall, I'm glad this week is over, because we are going to have some much needed family time this weekend.  Abby and I are going to go shopping for outfits she needs for upcoming birthday parties (think ballerina, princess and gymnastics parties).  We are going to go to the farmers market and make some healthy strawberry kiwi muffins.  The four of us are going to try to hit the park together and take Murphy on much needed walks.  I can't wait!!!

Back to the topic at hand - The Week in Review.  The week started off with trying to reconcile the same revenue #'s across four different data sources and nothing was making sense.  The good news is that my excel skills are back up at stellar level, the bad news is it was all for nothing (one of the data sets I received was wrong, so I had to scrap all the work and need to start over).  I'm having trouble delving back into this head first.  I will pick it back up on Monday. 

Thursday night, as I was getting my hair hair cut, I read an email on my iPhone stating that we were being given 6 more weeks to do our budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.  I almost fell out of the chair.  Literally, the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders.  The data issue mentioned above meant I was going to have to work all weekend.  I don't need to anymore, whooo hooooo! 

The 6 week extension happened the same day I took my Buddha statue to work, is there a correlation? 

Organization changes that will make my team more effective are taking place.  I am looking forward to being able to share the news with them!  I've taken a beating on several occasions to get this in motion and I am hoping the rewards are worth the battle scars!

Steve's work schedule was intense.  He was at work until 7:30/8:00pm every night for the past two weeks and got home at 12:45am this morning after closing out another quarter.  He is typically around to give the girls their baths in the evenings, so they really missed him. 

Earlier today, I got word that Abby was being sassy, wasn't listening and was whiny.  We learned that she misses her Daddy.  I was happy to let her know that she will have a Daddy filled weekend (and Mommy too). 

I hope my weekend lives up to my expectations.  I am really looking forward to it!

My Favorite (online) Fabric Store

It takes less time to buy fabric than it takes to make anything with it.  I found a place that makes shopping for fabric very fun! Cynthia Mann's Fabricworm websites are fantastic.  Cynthia has a website at and also a shop on Etsy.  

I love that there are combos of fabric by designer in similar color ways and also custom combos.  It makes it easy to buy coordinating fabrics, without having to spend the time trying to do it myself.  You are not always limited to the yardage stated in the bundle offering, Cynthia can usually accommodate more yardage in her bundles if you so desire.

Below are a few of my favorite bundles Cynthia sells on her website now.  Thank you Cynthia for making fabric shopping so easy and fun for me!