Sunday, August 31, 2008

Manic Monday - Iron

I am pretty sure that this gate at the Botanical Garden is steel which is comprised of iron and carbon no?????

Weekend Snapshot Tree Pose


Product Review - Yoplait Kids

Last week I purchased Yoplait Kids yogurt.

I was eager to see what my kids thought of it considering the one I buy for them is very expensive and coupons are never offered for it. BTW...head over to their site for a $1.50 coupon.

We got home and I asked as I was putting the groceries away if they wanted yogurt. They both said yes, I shook them up, opened them up, plopped straws in them. Two minutes later they said they were all done. They threw them away and asked for more.

Shocking! The like one brand and one kind of that brand. Now, here they are asking for more?

I gave them each another which they both drank all of.

For dinner I asked my daughter if she wanted pizza or chicken and she said, yogurt.

I went to take out their yogurt when she asked again for the new one.

Could it be the Diego picture on the container. I don't know. Could it be that it is new? Don't know that either. What I do know is that she loves it. It fits in my bento box and she would rather have it more than anything else.

Lunch in this house for the past 3 days has been a Yoplait Kids Yogurt and an apple. Sounds like a diet for adults but I think this is a terrific healthy lunch for kids.

Here is the nutritional value for the one my kids love.

%DV = % of Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet

mg %DV
Total Fat 1.5g 2%
Saturated Fat 1 g 5%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Sugar 10 g
Protein 2 g 4%
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin D

Scenic Sunday - Botanical Gardens

My daughter enjoying the last blooms at the botanical gardens last week.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Creative Photography - The Statue

Creative Photography

The Car Wash Can Be Scary If You Are 3

I took the two of them into a car wash the other day. My son was amazed, this was the 2nd time and he couldn't wait. The Goddess on the other hand was very nervous. She kept hiding behind her juice to peek out.

In this one she is saying, "no, no pictures".
Handsome loved the sudsy water that cascaded over the vehicle. He just kept saying, "the sun's going down. Look it's night time."

Tiny Video of the Car Wash

Camera Critters-Bird

Camera Critters

Sky Watch Friday

My very first Sky Watch.

Here is the Sky and they are watching it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photo Hunters - Beautiful

I watched this sunset on August 2nd. It was beautiful. I didn't photoshop any of the color but I did take out an ugly wire and fallen branch.

Come on over to Photo Hunt to play along. The theme this week is beautiful.
Sign up to get the reminder email sent to you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Accountant Is A Shithead

Yesterday, I explained what has been going on with my Accountant.

He was supposed to call me this afternoon according to what he said yesterday. I called him at 1:30 telling him that I expected his return call by 3:00 and that honestly, I was surprised that I had to chase him around for my amended return.

He called at 4:45. I asked him if my return was ready and he said he was printing it out as we speak. He wanted to check it out and would I be able to pick it up at 5:30.

I honestly didn't want to have to pick it up and felt that he should make some sort of effort since I have been the one contacting him since he admitted to his F'Up. I said yes because honestly I didn't want to wait any longer.

When I got there I told him the new office had a lot of character. The building was over 100 years old and charming. I had the kids sit down and he handed me the folder with my paperwork in it.

He started to explain what I would be getting back and I questioned him on the amount. He said, that he had messed up the return because of the cost of goods and I told him that I understood that because that was what started the whole thing rolling.

If you know me you know that this is totally out of character but I said to him, "I have to be totally honest with you because if I don't I will be upset when I leave here that I didn't say anything. What happened?' He again said, something about him leaving the cost of goods out and I told him I knew that but why did it take a week to get my return back?"

Then I said, that I felt it was disrespectful that I had to chase him down for a week to get my amended return back and "people make mistakes and you owned up to it but if this was your money that you were waiting for you would want it. You know our situation and how we are struggling, it isn't right that you took a week to get this return to me. If I were you I would have been in constant contact with my client to let them know what was going on. You never returned my calls or my emails and that is not good business. Word of mouth is a huge compliment and you could have totally rectified this problem by handling it professionally so what happened? Why did it take a week to get this to me?"

He said, "I have no excuse. I was planning for my ribbon cutting." I then told him that "he should have called me to tell me that he had something he was planning but that he would get to my return as soon as he was done. I got the amounts to you on Thursday and you had your ribbon cutting on Tuesday (name) there was plenty of time to either do my return and get it right back to me or to let me know that you didn't forget me and would get it to me as soon as your ribbon cutting was done."

He sat there with his arms folded, nodding his head because really, what could he say? It was all true. It was so uncomfortable. I know he was just waiting for me to finish but I just had to say something.

Waste of time? Probably! He thinks I am an idiot? Most likely. Honestly I don't really care. I never cursed him, I never raised my voice, I just spoke the truth and he can never say I disrespected him.

Some People Just Suck!

Friday Fill In

Come on over to Friday Fill In and play along. we go!

1. When I'm sick I'm a total martyr. No one is going to take care of me so why complain.

2. When I take a walk, I think about songs. There is usually a song in my head.

3. Money can't buy happiness but it can buy me a lot of fun things that will make me and my family have a ton of fun.

4. Cotton makes me feel comfy and leather makes me feel sexy.

5. The strangest person/character I've had lewd thoughts about was Goofy, you know he has got to be a wild man in bed.

6. My favorite color these days is Brown because it looks great with so many colors.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching Jurassic Park III, tomorrow my plans include heading to ballet class with my daughter and Sunday, I want to go to the park with the family if weather permits.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I so can't stand drama. Being a non confrontational person I have been put into a position that I am not at all comfortable with.

On this post I explained what is going on with my taxes.

Basically my accountant
F'd up my taxes costing me a ridiculous about of money that we have struggled to pay.

I told him on Wednesday, what the problem with the taxes were. He was rude over email basically telling me in three words that I was not looking at the return right. When I emailed him again explaining the problem he didn't respond so I wrote again that I would be calling him in the morning.

I did and he had to admit that he screwed up. He tried to put the
onus on me as we expected but that was not something I was about to allow. Basically he was informed that we hired an accountant and that if we were accountants we would have done the return ourselves. He asked for a list of everything we have paid to the IRS so far and I gave it to him the next day which was Thursday.

To be honest I had expected to hear from him on Friday informing me that he would be dropping the return off to us that afternoon. That is what I would have done if I screwed up as badly as this character. Nope, not this guy. Nothing on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. So Tuesday, I emailed him asking that he let me know when the return would be ready. Nothing! Wednesday morning nothing! So, this afternoon I called him by cell phone. He doesn't know the number so he picked up quickly. I heard a lot of noise behind him as he said his name.

I told him it was me and that I was wondering if the return was done. I mean really it is a one line item and the word amended. What is the problem????

He told me that he was having his ribbon cutting today and would have it ready tomorrow afternoon. "Oh your ribbon cutting?" Crazy since we are clients you would think that we would be invited to this new office ribbon cutting thing. Whatever, I digress.

"There is cake and wine here if you want to come down." Oh.
Ok. Um. No and No.

"Alright, tomorrow afternoon, you will call me and let me know when it is done? Yes he tells me.

Ok, go back to your ribbon cutting." He says, "thanks" and we hang up.

That was the conversation.

This is how I wish it had gone.

Him -
Errr...yes. hello.

Me- Hi, asshole it's me. The person you screwed out of 16,000.00.

Him - Oh, yes Maria. I was going to get....

Me - No! You are going to get here right now with my God damn amended tax return you get me shithead.

Him - Yes, yes...I will be getting that to you right now. Starting my car and pulling out of my spot as we speak.

Me -
Ok, that is more like it. Shit for brains. Drive fast and bring stamps because after I sign it I want you to run it to the post office and make sure you send this out priority. You hear me. I said, DO YOU HEAR ME???

Him - Yes madam. Pulling in front of your steps right now.

Me - Keep the car running and have a pen ready. Bye

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Angel

"Like a ghost through a fog. Like a charmed hour And a haunted song
And the angel of my dream" - Stevie Nicks
Wordless Wednesday participation can be found here.

ABC Wednesday - 1st Time

This is my first attempt at ABC Wednesday.

F is for Friends...

Tonight my girlfriend and her daughter took me and my kids out to Outback. I haven't been there in over 12 years. It was sweet to have someone take me out and sneak away to "wash her hands" or to tell the staff that whatever I ordered for dessert was to have a birthday candle on it.

She is probably my "newest" friend out of all my friends. We know each other for about 2 years but it seems oh, so much longer. We met when our kids were in Preschool together and spend a lot of time together during the school year.

She is someone I can count on and who I love very much. I adore her sense of humor, although sometimes she is a bit over the top. All part of her charm folks. If you really know her you would know that she is caring, sensitive, loving, affectionate, and loves her family and friends. She and I have a lot of things in common; we are constantly telling each other, "I do that too" or "I just did that, saw, that, said that, etc."

I adore her and I am so honored to have her in my life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ruby Tuesday - A Day At The Zoo

Head over to Ruby Tuesday to play along with Mary and her minions.

Always dress your kids in bright colors when heading to a very public place. It is so much easier to spot them in a crowd.

One Hundred Push - Ups

I didn't do 100 push ups but I have joined the challenge.

I was able to do 13 (perfect) push ups on the initial test. This means that I am in Rank 2 still not sure what that means.

Here is what this means for me based on the challenges plan for week 1:

Day 1 - I have to work my way down 5 levels of push-ups with a 60 second rest in between each level. (10, 10, 8, 6, 7)

Day 2 - (12, 12, 10, 10, 10) with 90 second rest period in between levels.

Day 3 - (15, 13, 10, 10, 15) with 120 second rest period in between levels.

Oh gawd, I don't know about this. I'll keep you informed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Check out my Week in Pictures

Memories Through Photography - A picture does say a thousand words or at least a paragraph or two.

Weekend Snapshots

Coming back from my daughter's dance class we made a u-turn only to spot this 500+ lb black bear sitting on someone's lawn and eating some flowers. If there was a way out I would have driven past it but I would have had to turn around at a dead end and with my daughter in the car this seemed like a bad idea.

Scenic Sunday

My very first submission to Scenic Sunday.

Camera Critters - 1st Entry

Camera Critters

I headed to the zoo this week with my kids. Here is my very first camera critter submission.

This penguin is so cute he looks ceramic.

Product Review - Unique Skins

I am in love with Unique Skins!

What is this you ask?

Well, this is a company that assists you in giving your products personality. Unique Skins is a vinyl covering that you choose or design. It is made of 3M material and leaves no sticky residue when removed.

You can apply a Unique Skin to your I-pods, Cell Phones, MP3 Players, Laptops, Game Consoles, etc.

You simply chose your device, the make and model, then design, design till your hearts content. There are thousands of themes, backgrounds, and designs to chose from.

You can use their backgrounds, or your own photos, and add text. I chose to use the headings of 2 of my blogs and one of their backgrounds.

These make great gifts too. I am already thinking about 4 people I can check off Christmas gifts for by getting them skins for their I-pods, cell phone or laptop. For my husband, I think I might get him 1 with his company logo on it and another of the kids for his second laptop.

The quality is great (My photo's looked great).
They are easy to use (Goes on easy and comes off easy too)
Price is fantastic ($25.00 for my laptop cover)
Shipping - Safe (nice big unbendable envelope), cheap ($2.95 for my laptop cover).
Delivery - It took 2 days from the time I ordered until the day it was delivered to my door. (Now that is fast!)

Purchase for you or someone you love a Unique Skin!

Warning: Extremely Addictive. Don't come yelling at me because you can't stop getting a new skin for your phone, laptop or whatever. You have been warned.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lens Day - Self Portrait

Lens Day - Self Portraits - Picture of my new nose bling

My Ballerina

Be still my heart. This morning I took my daughter to a free introductory ballet class for little 2-4 year old preschoolers. We went last year but she and her brother got bored when the instructors took too long to get things moving. We were the only people to show up and they kept hoping others would come in. We left and when I saw they were doing it again this year, I left my son home.

She was excited and we dressed in her pink tutu, leotard. She was excited and so was I when we walked in 5 minutes before class and saw 5 little ones already sitting on the floor with an instructor.

She was asked if she wanted to come sit with them; to which she said yes without even looking at me. I took my place against the wall with the other smiling parents. I felt bad that we had dressed up because no one else had. Not bad for my daughter, just bad for the other girls because the instructors made a big deal about her outfit. Thankfully the girls are so young I doubt any of them took it personally.

When the class started she took directions well and proceed to really enjoy herself while I (the only parent with a camera, of course), snapped quiet pictures (no flash to disturb) and some video.

She wants to go back tomorrow, but I told class isn't for a few weeks and that if she liked it we would see.
I really hope we can afford to send her because she did exactly what I would have wished. She walked right in, took direction, smiled, laughed and sparkled all day. She even dance counted a few times 6, 7, 8.

Since losing my mom when I was 12 this was exactly the memory I was hoping to be able to make with my own daughter. I took ballet when I was her age and I hope we can manage it for her.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Fill In

Friday Fill In - play here.

1. Dancing to the beat of my kids fighting while trying to maintain my blood pressure makes me feel silly.

2. The last time I called my Grandma I nearly told her I love her. It is not something we have said but we write it on cards.
3. When I drive I sing.

4. I saw him standing there by the record machine.

5. Give me love, give me laughter, give me life.

6. Next week I am looking forward to cramming in as much as possible before school starts.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include dance class for my daughter and Sunday, I want to go to the park.

Product Review - Sunny's Adventures

Friday, I received Sunny's Adventures by Leketha Marie Johnson in the mail and have read it with my kids at least 6 times in two days. The reason I mention that little tidbit is because this is a chapter book with adorable black and white illustrations, geared toward ages 9-12. My children are 3 and 5 and can mostly sit for a picture for about 10 minutes let alone a chapter book.

The main character Sunny is a very likable, smart, friendly girl who solves the problems or mysteries that come up in each of the 5 stories. Each chapter has a break down of clues that Sunny used to solve each mystery.

The book is great for reading comprehension, I was able to ask both my children a lot of open ended questions that allowed them to pay attention to the story and follow along, as Sunny solves a lost puppy case, a missing pie, a stolen class mascot turtle, and more.

The writer, Leketha Marie Johnson uses logic and children's natural desire to figure things out to write an excellent book geared to hopefully turning out some classic mystery fans as they get older.

What this mom liked the most about Sunny's Adventures, is that the main character was not precocious, or mischievous. There was never a time that I felt that the character belittled, poked fun at disrespected any of the other characters to make a point. Unfortunately, there are a lot of writers out there who do not realize that you don't need to create a mini adult to sell children's books.

Sunny's Adventures, is a book your children will love to read on their own or you won't mind reading to them again and again.

Honestly, I hope my children turn out half as respectful as Sunny is. I would be the proudest mommy.

Note: At the website you can also sign up for a newsletter, download a fun coloring book, get a recipe for Lemony Lemon Cake, or find links for other fun stuff.
Enjoy and keep reading with your children.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


So the past two days have been hell.

Things are tough when the only paycheck is from self employment.

We have been strapped for the past 3 years but lately things have been a little tougher. It could be the economy, it could be we don't really know how to budget, it could also be that there is a lack of communication on the bread winner's part of what the REAL picture is.

All I know is this; as someone who tries to always see the sunny side of things it gets a little scary when I am told that I just might have to sell my engagement ring to keep the house. least we are healthy I remind myself as I knock on wood.

Things can only get better.

Here is my silver lining, last night while meeting with an insurance broker who was nice enough to spend 2 hours speaking with me while knowing he would not be selling me anything (check for his business link on my side bar very soon), he noticed that my accountant made a humungo shall we say FUCK UP on out taxes. You see in April we were informed that instead of receiving a refund we were going to own the price of a mid size car. Well, this insurance broker took the time to pour over my tax return while we spoke and noticed a huge error on my accountants part. So, to make an already long story short, my taxes will need to be amended and we WILL be receiving a refund on the money we struggled for the past 4 months to pay!!!!

Dare I say it; HALLELUJAH and AMEN!

Thursday Challenge - Festival

The theme this week at Thursday Challenge is to present a picture taken at a festival such as a Fair, Exhibition, Circus, Midway, Parade, Party, Amusement Park,..

My submission this week, was the morning of the circus came through and set up the big tents. We watched the men and elephants raise the tents and walked around as the circus slowly came to life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Product Review - Tiny Prints

Early last week I received a bag of samples from a company called Tiny Prints. Isn't that the cutest name for a company that specializes in adorable birth announcement, party invitations, thank you cards, gift cards, etc?

I have already given the company's website out to 4 friends sight unseen and the 2 I was able to show the samples to, want to use them for their Christmas cards.

Why do we love Tiny Prints so much? I love it because they are price compatible with so many companies however, the work is beyond anything I have paid for in the past and I have used many over the years between birth announcements and Christmas cards.
I love that all the company uses 100 and 110 pound matte stock paper to ensure the highest quality on every order. What this means for you is that it is durable, like a greeting card.

You know those thin Christmas photos we receive each year to catch up with friends and family's children? Well, no more tearing the photo when you open the envelope or creases from them being stuffed into a mailbox. The photo will remain smear free due to there is no gloss on the picture. It is printed right on the card stock.

You will be very impressed with the quality of Tiny Prints. Adorable designs and hundreds of designs to chose from. I almost want to have another baby to use some of the announcements.

Tiny Prints also does mint tins, address labels, gift tags, and more. Use them for all your stationary needs.

I will be using them for my Christmas cards this year. They also do Business Christmas Cards.

Tiny Prints was nice enough to offer a discount to my readers until December 31, 2008. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Use Tiny Prints coupon code TPBR136508 to receive 10% off your next order of stationery, invitations and photo cards.
Expires 12/31/2008
P.S. I also hear that have a Halloween line coming out soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Come and join the wordless fun at Wordless Wednesday

Last Weekend Rocked!

Last weekend I headed out with my kids minus the husband to my girlfriend and her husband's version of Lalapalooza called Ozzapalooza.

These two go all out when they throw a party. The only thing missing was an outside bar. Come to think of it, I thought there was going to be one of those this year. Bek?

We get a hold the date thingy in the mail then the real package comes.

Included in the package

A concert looking ticket giving the date, time, location, admission price which of course states FREE (one of my favorite 4 letter words).

An RSVP card that asks you to call so that they can buy enough beer

Directions in case

VIP Card giving us access to all Ozzapalozza events like the VIP gazebo, etc. It says that we should present the card for Free Parking and Unlimited Use of the Bathroom.

A Water Alert Card - This is a child friendly party so the card tells us that the kids get use of her kids kiddie pool, water table, sprinkler so we are told to bring an extra set of clothes just in case.

The 08 Special Attraction List -
  • 3 Flags Amusement Park which is her daughters swing set.
  • The Cage which is her daughter's play room complete with totally cleaned the night before toys (because she is THAT kind of hostess.
  • The BatCave which is her husband's pride and joy - A ridiculous, everyone should bow down and scream they are not worthy upon entering the doors. The room features a 8ft screen, with 4 of the most relaxing, reclining chairs you will ever see, surround sound, HD viewing, Xbox 360, PlayStation and a DVD collection to make Best Buy drool.

It was great to sit with Bek's Aunt and talk for an hour I totally stole her forever. She was awesome.

Her father-in-law Columbus (not his real name) was the best. I loved how he was with my kids.

There were kids from last year that must have grown at least 2 feet in 1 year. Everyone seemed so grown!

To top a wonderfully fun, relaxing day off I won the raffle which was a Godfather Gift basket (colander, pasta, sauce and The Godfather DVD) which totally rocked.

On top of all this Bek loaned me 3 more books. I read Stephanie Meyer's Twilight and loved it she when I returned that one she dropped the next 2 plus the final book of the series into my arms. It was like she was giving me a whole set of encyclopedias. I thought I was going to need help getting the 3 books to the car but thank God I have been working out and handled it like a champ.

It was a rockin good time. I can't wait to see what the theme is next year.
Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures but I did get to help out a lot more than usual. How is this possible? Usually my husband is with me which means 2 sets of eyes on the kids and I can't but this time I could. Maybe it is just that the kids are getting older. Last year I was worried about my 2 year old falling or something. I guess! Ummm...I'll have to figure that one out.

Product Review - Skin MD Natural

Last week I received Skin MD Natural in the mail and let me just say there is nothing that I don't love about this product. The first thing I did when I received the bottle was open the cap to smell it. Is has a nice, fresh scent which was surprising considering the MD in the name. I expected it to be stronger.

Skin MD Natural™ is like a shield for your skin, it works by keeping natural or unnatural absorbents (i.e. the sun, dish detergents, antibacterial soaps from drying out your skin.

Their website says: This is an entirely new con­cept in skin care requiring a new classifi­cation: "Shielding Lotion". Skin MD Natural keeps moisture-robbing irri­tants away while proprietary "super" humectants hydrate the skin throughout the day.

Skin MD Natural is absorbed without leaving an oily feeling or residue, transforming the outer layer of skin into a hydrating invisible shield. I put it on my heels before bed and got right under the covers without having to wait for it to dry.

The cream smells fresh and relaxing and spreads easily on your skin with a natural and light feel. BTW...a little really does go a long way. You get maximum coverage with a very small amount of cream.

I used it on:

My daughter's knees which have taken a beating from going to the beach, they look beautiful.

My son's dry patches on his arms and legs from eczema that have been there since he was 2, they look amazing.

My heels (which I really have no right to display) from wearing sandals all summer are softer, without big, ugly dry patches.

My husband's hands which are all cut up from working in his field, never really look clean, are starting to look so much softer.

If you want to see more about this product go to their website where you can read more information about this wonderful product, see before and after photos, watch a demo video, read testimony from some of the country's well known Dermatologists.

Time Flies When You R Having Fun

Two weeks ago today I started a health plan (I totally prefer this term to diet) with my husband. If you were following along when I weighed in here.

I am very happy to report that I am down 6 pounds by following a very easy plan.

Ok, want to know the secret?

Come here...I'll tell you.




Ok, you reduce calories and work out.

There, now you know.

No seriously, here is what I am doing.

Breakfast choices - egg beaters with 1 slice of deli ham or cereal such as Wheaties or All Bran with blue berries.

Lunch - Turkey breast on wrap with lettuce, mayo or soup or Lean Cuisine meal, or salad with greens and some tuna on top.

Dinner - Turkey breast wrap again, or steam veggies with grilled chicken and a salad, or Lean Cuisine meal, or soup.

I have had some snacks/cheats but I average only about 4 a week. My snack might be a small Baby Bell cheese, berries, apples, I had a small breakfast sausage last week when my son didn't finish his breakfast. Also, there has been chocolate milk when my daughter didn't finish hers and a piece of almond, raspberry tart, and a burger at a BBQ this past weekend. I even had 2 cupcakes on my birthday and the remainder of my daughter's ice cream yesterday when she didn't finish.

These are my choices so I am not saying to follow by any means. I just mention it because my cousin, father and friends have been asking how I lost it so far. I would love to know what I would have lost if I didn't have the snacks and if my period wasn't just days away.

As for exercise, we work out 3 times a week but I am also doing Wii Fit which I do not calculate into my plan because I don't get to do it as much as I would like.

3 reps of each with resistance bands of

  • Overhead press

  • Bicep curls

  • Squats

  • Lunges

  • Lateral raise

  • Chest press

Also, 3 reps of push ups and sit ups.

The idea is to do as many as it takes to fatigue the muscle but never stop working. No long breaks if you need to rest the muscle work on a different muscle.

It takes roughly about 35 minutes.

Here are some examples and still more here

If you read this and you are trying to lose weight, leave your link. I am interested to see what other people are doing.

Monday, August 18, 2008