Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Great Starbucks! I'm composting!!

If you have a garden, or compost on a regular basis, then you know that Coffee Grounds are a GREAT addition. They are full of nitrogen and encourage earthworms. Here in NC we have dense, clay soil and coffee grounds are a great way to help break them up.

But I am not a coffee drinker. I can get used Coffee grounds from friends, but it isnt enough.

Recently I discovered Starbucks Grounds For Your Garden Program.

You can go into any Starbucks Coffee and pick up a FREE bag of used coffee grounds. A huge 5LB whole bean coffee bag stuffed full of the used grounds, at least 10 pounds worth. They dump their grounds into coffee bags, and once they are filled up they tape them up, smack a label on them and set them out in designated bins for anyone to take.

The Starbucks near my house fills MANY of these bags on a daily basis, BUT they are hard to get and FAST out the door. The two I happened to snag yesterday were still warm! They add a new bag or two every few hours(it is one of the busiest Starbucks I have ever seen)

Things you can do with Coffee Grounds:(from THIS website)

  • Sprinkle used grounds around plants before rain or watering, for a slow-release nitrogen.

  • Add to compost piles to increase nitrogen balance. Coffee filters and tea bags break down rapidly during composting

  • Dilute with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer. Use about a half-pound can of wet grounds in a five-gallon bucket of water; let sit outdoors to achieve ambient temperature.

  • Mix into soil for houseplants or new vegetable beds.

  • Encircle the base of the plant with a coffee and eggshell barrier to repel pests.

  • If you are into vermi-posting, feed a little bit to your worms

I do compost on a daily basis, I use it in my gardens, my flower beds, anywhere It need it.It was orginally thought that coffee grounds are acidic, BUT if they are used or spent grounds, the brewing process takes out a lot of the acidity and leaves them a fairly neutral pH.

Certain plants like Azaleas, rhododendron, camellias, evergreens etc REALLY love coffee grounds. So try a few scoops around the base of your shrubs and azaleas and flower beds.

In composting, according to the Starbucks Website "Coffee grounds act as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. They make an excellent addition to your compost. Combined with browns such as leaves and straw, coffee grounds generate heat and will speed up the composting process."

So Thank you Starbucks for recycling your coffee grounds for us composters and gardeners! It is saving the landfills and trash dumps a TON of space and helping our soil be the best it can be.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pictures of Peter

AS PROMISED! Here are just a few of my favorite shots from my camera.

Charles and Peter in the hallway of the hotel. I told them to smile "and for heavens sake Charles find something to do with your hands, you look like a hessian soldier."So he did his "jazz hands" right as I snapped. jerk.
Doesnt Peter look handsome in his little mini tux??

Here is a picture of Peter and I in the hall. I felt like a great white whale. I have been struggling to lose weight, so all I can say is "THAR SHE BLOWS!"

This is Peter out on the Butetrfly Bench in the Butterfly atrium during his photo shoot. He looks so pensive and serious!

Peter showing everyone "THE EYE". He can cross just one eye and he will do it at random times throughout the day, just to make people laugh. He is like Columbo.

Peter at the dinner table after dessert.

In a few days I will upload some of the official event photos.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Promises of Laughter Gala 2008

I will upload pictures and stuff later.
My in laws are in town for a few days so I am kind of swamped right now.

We had a great time, Peter was a hit in his little tuxedo!
Lots of pictures and fun things to talk about!!

But I will leave you with a quick blurb, nothing serious:
To the left is Kelly osbourne(daughter of ozzy and star?? of the MTV reality Hit the Osbournes)
Doesn't she know the rule?/ No white shoes after labor day!
tsk tsk tsk
my mother wold kill me if I showed up to a party with white shoes!! But my mom is a sticker for that kind of thing.
trivial and meaningless, I know. sorry to waste some of your brain cells on something so silly...
Picture is from yahoo week in photos OMG.

Friday, April 25, 2008

how clean is your house

Ok I dont have much time. In fact I have to haul bootie this morning.

Tonight we are going to a teacher appreciation activity at our church. Tomorrow morning I will be packing, picking up Charles suit from the Alteration Shop, steaming it, shaving my legs, and driving up to Chapel Hill for the Gala at UNC Childrens Hospital. It is a swanky black tie fundrising gala and since Peter is the new ambassador we get to go for free. The menu looks AMAZING!
We will be home Sunday afternoon at which time my in laws are stopping by for a visit of undetermined length.

I am frantic, stressed, sweaty and stinky. I need to clean the bathrooms, change sheets, take out the trash, and go grocery shopping.

I have my mother calling and harassing me "Is your house clean? Dont want people to know you live in a pigsty".

My mother is a clean freak. You can eat off of her floors. Seriously.
When I was growing up we would have to clean the house BEFORE the maid got there. Isnt that kind of their job?? To clean the house? So why do I have to clean everything before they come and clean? You are paying them all this money to sit around and PRETEND to clean!

I cant ever invite my mom over to my house. She always finds invisible dust and makes me feel like a slovenly bum who lives in filth. Onetime she actually showed up on my doorstep with a bucket, mop and million cleaning chemicals. She scrubbed and cleaned and swept and vacuumed... and left the house looking exactly as it looked when she arrived.
She is constatly buying me mops(because the mop I have doesnt work properly apparently), cleaning supplies(ignoring my preference for green and earth friendly cleaning solutions) and giving me hints and tips on how to maximize my cleaning prowess.

now, I DO have a fairly clean and neat house. but she will find the ONE piece of lint on the carpet and point the finger as if to say "J'accuse!" She always manages to come over after the kids have been playing and scattered their toys across the rooms. She doesnt realize that I dont follow them around and pick up everything as soon as it hits the ground. Eventually it will all get tidied up and put away. It isnt that big of a priority for me to have a spotless house and "everything in it's place" 24/7. As long as I go to bed with a tidy house and can wake up with a tidy house I am fine.
Whenever we have people coming over(such as therpists or teachers etc) she will always make a comment like "I hope your house is clean, dont want them turning you into DSS"(dept of Social Services)

So my to do list is a million miles long, so I guess I had best get started. Dont want DSS coming to take my kids away for living in "squalor".


Thursday, April 24, 2008

"earplugs" at the Journey concert incident

i had a request from Highdesertdiva to tell the story about the night I made Charles wear Tampons in his ears at the Journey concert. (the title of my upcoming hypothetical book)

i am a HUGE Journey fan (hello, 1983 called). i will always be a Journey fan, I dont care what anyone says. They rock my white bread world, and I am OK with that. An even BIGGER Journey fan is charles. Between us we own just about every Journey CD ever produced.


In March of 1999 my husband and I moved to Charlotte, NC. While working at Maersk-Sealand a few months later, my cubicle neighbor had her radio on. I heard a commerical for the upcoming Budweiser Summer Concert Series at the (then named) Blockbuster Pavillion. The opening act was Foreigner(I wanna know what love iiiiissssssss....i want you to show meeeeeeeeee), followed by JOURNEY! I called ticketmaster and got the closest tickets I could get, which was in the main pavillion about 9 rows back. I had never been to the Pavillion so I had no idea where section 2 was or where R put us. It was as close as i could get for the tickets remaining. i wasnt going to argue, whine or moan. i had 2 tickets to journey, thats all that really mattered.

the night of the concert rolled around. We got to the pavillion and found our seats. We were on the mainfloor, but over to the left side about 10 rows back...right next to a giant speaker. THE giant speaker with about 900 decibels pounding into our ears.
IT WAS SO LOUD! Foreigner opened. Cold as Ice, Juke Box Hero, Double Vision, I wanna know where love is...they were all so loud and I felt so old. I never had a problem at concerts before, why was I turning into a cranky old fart now? I knew I was already starting to get a headache and I REALLY wanted to enjoy Journey. I needed some sort of earplugs and I needed them BAD. i couldnt wait for Foreigner to get off the stage to get some auditory relief. I felt kind of mad that the ticketmaster guy didnt warn me where we would be sitting and that I may want to think about some sort of stuffing to go into the ears to save our hearing. Of course how do they know where the seats are...after all THEY HAVE A MAP IN FRONT OF THEM. Jerk.
FINALLY the main event. Journey. They came out swinging with "Separate Ways". Then followed it with "Lights"(When the Lights, go down in the Cit-tay). I was miserable. Charles was being a trooper, but I could tell he was hating having to listen to the concert with his hands over his ears. They went into a song from their new album, a song I hadn't heard so I made a retreat to the ladies room and tried to find somewhere to find earplugs. No one sold them, the toilet paper in the bathroom was like transparent tissue paper, there was no way that would absorb all the sound. What I needed was a cotton Ball or something foamy. I then remembered I had a tampon in my jacket pocket. i always carry an extra with me(ever since that Don Henly/Sting concert incident...another story) and I hatched a plan. I knew I wouldnt be needing the tampon that night, aunt flow had departed a week previous. So i stowed away into a stall and broke into the sanitary plug. I pulled it out of its protective cardboard cocoon and unfurled it. I pulled off two chunks, rolled then to fit into my ear canal and voila! They were PERFECT! I pulled off a few more chunks and put them into my jacket pocket, tossed the rest of the battered tampon and went back to the seat. They were up on stage talking and playing bits and pieces from their new album. I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out a few bits of cotton and handed them to Charles.

He took them and put them in his ears asking if they were giving out earplugs in one of the tents.

"Uh, yeah, thats where I got them" I lied.

The rest of the concert was fantastic. Open Arms, wheel in the sky, Faithfully, If you love a woman, Anyway you want it, Don't Stop Believing, Only the Young, Be Good to Yourself, Lovin' Touchin' squeezin, who's cryin now.... It was the greatest concert(almost as good as Styx and REO speedwagon with the wanna be harley hoggers and lesbians and a 9 month pregnant me threatening to give birth any moment...again another story)

The cotton batting in our ears was just perfect and we were able to enjoy the rest of the summer concert, singing along at the top of our lungs with the world greatest band.

On our way out charles again asked me where i had gotten the cotton plugs.

'The Bathroom", i said.

"Oh, they didnt have any in ours" he replied.

"Well, no , they dont sell those in your bathrooms" I said with a smile on my face walking faster now.

He stopped, a dawn of realization spreading across his face, watching my smirk.

"You mean i put a TAMPON in my ears?" he asked incredulously. He muttered to himself and shook his head disbelievingly the whole drive home. 'A tampon....cant believe it.. tampon in my ears...gross...tampon..."

I dont know why he was so upset, it isnt like it was a USED tampon.
sheesh. Show a little ingenuity with a tampon and never live it down for the rest of my life.

(The cover idea for the book is have actual full sized tampons sticking out of his ears, complete with the strings. HAH!)
So that is the night i made charles wear a tampon in his ears at the Journey concert.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is that for real?

i have had people ask me on a daily basis if the things I write REALLY happened to me, or if I was making it up. Yes, it is for real, it really happened and I dont make anything up. I may embellish a tad for literary license, but honestly I am the unluckiest person I know. i am like Bella from Twilight(Stephenie Meyer) that Accidents and bad luck are attracted to me like a magnet. But on the flip side, I tend to be the one that all the funny things happen to.

My Friend Lindsey and i used to write funny short stories, usually based on our lives(but of course the heroines were usually beautiful and smart and witty...kind of the antithesis of what we thought we were)
If they were about us I was always the one falling off a boat, snorting water through my nose, landing face first in a mud puddle, dating the guy who years later admits to being gay. I was always the one with the 14 last names from being unlucky in love and marriage.(although in these stories I had a great rack and long flowing locks of curling auburn hair). Generally i was Wealthy(due to divorce settlements, alimony and a lawsuit or two involving faulty products gone haywire). But all in all I was miserable and handt found "the meaning of love" blah blah blah. You know how 16 year olds can be so melodramatic.

She was always the one living in the mountains with a husband named "Jack" or "Luke" or something manly. she was usually successful(either an author to rival the likes of Danielle Steele, a musician/singer/songwriter with more #1's and grammys under her belt than mariah carey and Whitney Houston Combined. She was usually a green eyed beauty straight out of a Judith MacNaught Novel. Generally the ending was thus: she would pick me up, dust me off, give me advice and I would be on my way.(in love with her personal trainer or pilot or something like that. ) Finally finding TRUE love and FINALLY knowing the meaning of life. Lindsey and her husband would be staring off into the sunset and her husband would ask something like "Is she going to be alright?" and lindsey would usually answer with 'You know what? I think she will. i think she Finally found what she was looking for"

But in a way our stories WERE a little bit like us. I fell in and out of love so easily as a teenager(those hormones! those cute boys!). She was always the more level headed one with sage wisdom, the adventurous and outdoorsy one, whereas I was the more passionate, "jump-in-both-feet-first-without-looking" wild child.

But all in all the stories I write are true. I really do have a crazy life and have had a lot of crazy things happen to me. i have an inordinate amount of bad luck and uncanny ability to have things go wrong at the worst possible moment.
My friend Dana always told me "It could only happen to you. Only you, Sarah."
She is right.

Maybe I will get lucky and have some publisher stumble across my blog and offer me a book deal. The name of my book will be "The night I made charles wear Tampons in his ears at a Journey Concert"(I'll tell that one down the road. True Story)

Charles said i should title the book " Sarah is one lucky girl because Charles is so good looking."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Come get me out of this dress!

A few days ago my BF Lindsey wrote a hilarious Blog entry about the time we went on a post graduation cruise. Before we went our separate ways for college, we decided to have one last Sarah and Lindsey hurrah and go on a Caribbean Cruise to St Maartens, St John and St Thomas.
It was 1994 and we were 18 years old. We had smoking hot bodies and low self esteem.(a great combination dont you think?)
Anyway we knew that there were going to be 2 formal dinners, and several other events and fun things aboard the ship. So like two hot blooded teenage girls we set out on a shopping expedition of epic proportions. We bought Bikinis(which never made it to the cruise. They were strictly for pre cruise tanning on the top of Lindseys Roof. A bottle of Qwik Tan MAY have been involved. Dont ask)
We shopped for shorts, shirts, bathing suits, formal wear, sundresses etc.
One day we went to Marshalls. We were feeling good. We found 2 red brocade dresses, 2 black spandex hooker style slip dresses(which, looking back, mysteriously disappeared after my mom went through my closet "looking for old clothes to donate) and a few other goodies for the final touches to our Last Hurrah Cruise.
Well this particular day in Marshalls I found a cute sundress I really liked. It was a white with Pink and green and blue florals. It had kind of a flouncy skirt and a narrowed waist with a real June Cleaver sleeveless bodice with a shallow scoop neck.. It was just so cute and bright and cheery, and it was in my size. i took it to the dressing room to try on.. I unzipped the back, slid it on and had Lindsey zip up the back. It was really cute, but I have a very long torso so the skirt kind of ended ABOVE my waist, which was a real shame. So Lindsey unzipped and went back to her dressing room and I started to take the dress off. I started lifting from the bottom hem and pulled the skirt up over my head. The bodice started to follow, but was quickly caught on chest(which over that summer decided to show itself a little more prominently). I tugged again. Nothing. It wouldnt budge. I tugged ever harder and the bodice kind of flew up and stuck, right up over my chest and around my shoulders, pinning my arms into the air.
"LINDSEY!" I whispered as loudly as I could without the entire store listening in. "Lindsey, I'm stuck!"
"Whhaaaat? She asked, confused as to how I could get stuck in a dress. "what do you mean you're stuck? The zipper is stuck?"
"NO. I am stuck. Me. Stuck. Inside this dress and I cant move my arms. COme here and help!"
She finished changing and hustled over to my dressing cubicle. She took one look at me and lost it. She was convusling against the wall, laughing so hard she was crying. Every time she would try and talk her voice would get about 14 octaves higher(dog whistle register here) and she would just crack up again and again. She could only get about 3 words out at a time she was laughing so hard. And not giggles either. Loud everyone can hear us from 3 miles away kind of laughter. I was standing there, in this dress my arms above my head, stuck by this STUPID DRESS (I hated the dress by this point.). My hair had gotten a little caught on the zipper so it was sticking out the top like a flaming fountain.
I couldnt get my arms up or down to try again. I couldnt move. I had visions of having to call security and having people cut me out of this dress. Finally Lindsey sprang to action. I concaved my chest and hunched my back as best I could and she yanked. The dress came whooshing off and I was free. I was like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon.By the time the whole thing was over we were laughing so hard. We had tears streaming down our faces, I was standing there with my legs crossed so I wouldn't pee myself, and we had salesladies popping in and out asking "Are you girls alright in here??"
Now as some of you know Lindsey is a very talented artist. One thing she is REALLY good at is Charicatures and cartoons. In fact we have a whole notebook full of funny drawings from all our expolits, lists of inside jokes(257 to be exact) and funny poems and stories we have written.

I happen to be the keeper of the notebook right now, so i DO happen to have a cartoon of this funny event.

This Artist Rendition of events is copyright Lindsey Aramburu 1996 from the 2nd journal of Lindsey and Sarah. Please to enjoy.

I miss you Lindsey, cant wait to fly out to Spokane and see you nad the trip to Vegas in Feb!!
May we be able to add many more drawings to the Journal!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tagged...AGAIN. I AM pretty popular!!

So I was tagged again by Lindsey. But this time it is a little different. I actually had questions to answer. So thankfully I didnt have to try and come up with 7 more random items about my crazy self.

First, the rules:

1. Each blogger answers the questions about themselves.

2. Then tag five people. Make sure to let them know!

What I was doing 10 years ago - (1998):
I was married and pregnant with my first Child, Jillian. I was working part time at Discovery Channel communications in customer service, watching my ankles swell and morning sickness rear its ugly head.

Five things on my to-do list today:
1.Earth Day "concert" at Peters school
2. Give Jake a bath. He reeks of something dead. I dont know where he manages to find these piles of dead things to roll in!
3. Roll in the cash I made at the Garage Sale this weekend at my parents sub division(the homeowners community garage sale. They had an ad in the paper and everything. I got cleaned out! It was awesome)
4. Post office to mail out packages.(Balmshoppe items)
5. Start soaking wheat seeds for a new batch of wheatgrass.

Five Snacks I enjoy:
1. Baked Ritz crackers
2. Cheetos
3. A really good fruit salad
4. Ice Cream or Ice Cream by product(i.e. milkshakes, sundaes, know)
5. French fries from Five Guys

Five Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Travel around the world
2. Start my own foundation for children who have had transplants, helping their families defray some of the exorbitant medical costs..
3. Buy my friends and family new houses and cars
4. massages twice a week and pedicures every other week and One glorious spa day once a month
5. Get a boob lift and lasik eye surgery. I think i could be happy with that!

Five of my bad habits:
1. If I get really stressed or angry I have a tendency to have a bit of a potty mouth.
2. I am quick tempered with a short fuse
3. I am a vacation nazi. I micromanage every aspect of what is supposed to be a fun time for the family.
4. I am terrible with money in my pocket. I never know how much I have it is all crumpled and out of order and in various pants pockets, in every compartment of my wallet. I dont take the time and respect my money like I should.
5. I lie to my husband about how much something cost...on a regular basis.

Five places I have lived:
1. columbus, OH
2. Livermore, CA
3. St Charles, IL
4. Logan, UT
5. Fort Mill, KY

Five jobs I’ve had:
1.Waitress at Shoneys
2.Assistant Manager of So Fro Fabrics
3. Nanny
4. American Airlines Reservation Agent
5. Assistant Buyer for Maersk-Sealand

What I’d like to be doing in 25 years:
Hopefully living in a house on the beach in Kauai! Living in delightful retirement, solely on Charles insurance residuals and renewals(clients renewing policies)

I don't want to tag anyone, so anyone who is looking for something to blog about, say that I tagged you and link back to my site! Just copy and paste to your blog, change the answers and link back to me!

A recipe to die for

Last night I went to a womens Hodgepodge night at Church (enrichment or homemaking)
It was all about gardening and learning about composting etc. We also had a section on growing herbs and how to do it etc.
It was a great evening, very informative. Lisa and Tess did a great job and everyone had lots of questions and were able to swap tips and ideas etc.

It was topped off by refreshments. These refreshments were made with herbs and vegetables that can be found in any garden.
It was so great to see tomatoes being used in a way OTHER than Salsa or in a salad.

One of the refreshments was Fresh basil and Mozerella sandiwiches.(they were almost like a bruschetta). It was so good I wanted to devour the entire plate.
Here is the recipe for this amazing appetizer.
I would have taken a picture, but i didnt want people to think I was wierd for taking pictures of food.

2 Loaves French Bread(or you can use herbed bread)
2-3 mozzarella Balls(fresh Mozz cheese)
4-5 Roma Tomatoes
1 pack basil Leaves

1/4-1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Dry Mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil
combine all dressing ingredients until well blended. set aside.

Dice Roma Tomatoes, chop Basil leaves and slice the mozzarella cheese.
Toast slices of french bread. Top toast with cheese, tomato and basil. Drizzle dressing over the top and enjoy.

Tess made these with a homemade herbed bread(rosemary) They were so delicious. A perfect starter or a great pot luck item.
try it, yo wont be disappointed!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Random Random Random

#1- I redecorated my blog.(well the banner)
I was reading List Of The day (again) and he had a craptastic 80's video of the day.

Carl Carlton's "She's A Bad Mama Jama".
I had that song stuck in my head ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT. So Thank you for THAT List Of The Day.

#2- Peter and I have started James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. We just read the part where he finds the tunnel in the peach and meets all the insects in the pit. I had forgotten what a GREAt book that is. Our next chapter book will be the Bunnicula Series by Deborah and James Howe. Finn has no interest. He is only 4 1/2 and is more interested in reading Dr Seuss and the classics like Brown Bear, Bark George and Monster At The End of the Book.

#3- I got the most hilarious Email from Lindsey. I will just give you a condensed version. there were a few pictures of this boy holding the sign by the side of the road. This is the final picture that really sums it up:


I really wish more parents would do this reminds me of a story that I grew up hearing.
One of my older brothers is 8 years older than me. When he was about 5 years old he and his buddy stole som Bazooka Joe bubble Gum from a convenience store. My mother found out and taught him a lesson that he has never forgotten. She "called the police" and then put Patrick in the car, drove him to the police station and told him he was going to jail. He was so scared and crying and begging and pleading and promised to never do it again. He didnt want to go to jail. So she took him home and made him return the gum with an apology to the convenience store owner. He was so humiliated. He never did anything like that again. It always stuck with him what would happen if he started a life of crime. i am totally going to be like that with my kids.Call me cruel, but i would rather have kids who know exactly what happens to bad boys and girls.

and Finally...Random Story from my childhood.
When i was in 2nd grade(Easthaven Elementary School in Columbus ohio) I wanted to wear glasses so badly. Now that I am grown I know what I nuisance they are and why I was so eager to get started is beyond me. Anyway I wanted glasses, and I wanted them bad. My parents always told me "You dont want to wear glasses. You dont need them". So I was stuck in my normal existence. My Teacher Mrs Guzzino told me that I didnt need glasses, the school nurse told me i didnt need glasses. Well one day I saw my mom had thrown out a pair of her sunglasses. they were missing one of the arms. They were beautiful. Tan rims, big frames, tinted blue and brown like all good 1970's-1980's sunglasses are. I had a plan. They looked a little something like this:

I made myself a glasses holder out of a piece of Paper and 2,000 staples and slid them in. I smuggled them to class the next day. At SSR (sustained Silent reading) i pulled out my "glasses" put them on and started to read. All of the sudden i kind of felt silly. They were missing an arm, they were tinted sunglasses, not real glasses. so I kind of put my head in my hands and shielded my face. I had already put them on, I was commited to following through with my ruse. I could hear people kind of starting to snicker and giggle. I looked up and everyone was looking at me laughing. I was so embarassed. So I tried to say something like "Dont make fun of me for wearing glasses!" One of the kids in the class laughed and said "They are sun glasses dummy!". I wanted to die I was so embarassed and looking back i am still embarassed thinking about it.
Look at those Bad boys. No wonder it didnt work. Those frames were just way to big for my head size.(never mind the fact they were missing and arm and TINTED)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tagged, again

I was tagged the other day by MelissaKate. Thanks!!
So here are 7 more random things about me you may not know.

1. All three of my kids were conceived while on Birth control. #1 was on the Ortho Cyclen BC Pill(Perfect use). #2 was conceived on Depo Provera a MONTH before i needed my next shot. So I SHOULD have been covered. #3 was courtesy of trojan and some faulty period math.

2. I bite my nails...DREADFULLY. I can get them to grow a little bit, but once they start looking nice, I bite them to the quick. I cant help it. It is an obsession. Especially if one gets little tag on it, or splits...the whoe thing needs to come off.

3. My son Peter was just named UNC childrens Hospital Ambassador of the Year. Basically he is a name and face of UNC childrens Hospital. We get to go to different events and Galas and stuff like that. We will be doing a photo shoot and he will be in the UNC Hospital magazine etc.

4. I worry too much about everything. Money, dinner, kids, school, money. You name it, I have worried about it. No wonder my hair is starting to silver.

5. I think some of Oprahs book club picks are VERY overrated. Sometimes i just kind of shake my head and wonder about her sanity.Some of her club books have been great, but others were just so "UGH" that I have no idea why she picked them. Friends with the author maybe?? who knows.

6. I DVR all my television shows and then FF through the commercials. I can watch 3 horus of television in half the time. I fast forward through the contestant intros etc on American idol, commercials, through Samantha Harris "interviews" on Dancing with the stars etc. I have shows that i watch EVERY NIGHT. Now that the writers strike is over, I have even more. My kids go to bed at 730 so from 8pm on the TV and the remote is mine. If hubby wants to watch TV he will watch what I am watching. THATS how I have a hub who watches DWTS. All the other shows we both like, so it works out nicely. If he has a show he wants to watch he can record it and then watch it on Saturday while I am at work.

7. I am a super speed reader. i can get through a Harry potter sized book (4 through 7) in less than a day. I was reading when i entered kindergarden and was in a 5th grade reading class in 2nd grade. I have always been a great reader and tested in the 99th percentile in reading and comprehension. I got almost a perfect score on my ACT in the Reading section.

Now I am not going to pick people to tag, SO if anyone reading this wants to be tagged, then TAG you are it. List 7 things about yourself, then pick 7 more people. Just refer back to my page as the tagger and list my blog as a link.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Customized mini thank you cardlets

As many of you know I am the QUEEN of collecting paper. I have THREE of those large 3 drawer rubbermaid storage bins. They are the leaning tower of paper. Each drawer is jam packed full of paper. Scrapbook, cardstock, tissue, washi. It doesnt matter. I love paper.
So In order to get rid of some of it I decided to make little cards that you can customize for your etsy shop.

I just listed these yesterday over at my original shop Blueboygifts.
They are mini thank you cards(cardlets).

A pack of 20 various cards customized for your shop.
Each card measures 3 1/2 x 4 1/4. They are a solid cardstock or bazzill paper background with a coordinating scrapbook paper and a message for your buyers.
Each set of 20 comes with 6 or 7 designs, (2 to 3 of each type)

Each cardlet is tied off with raffia as a cuts finishing touch.
Hopefully this will help get some of my paper out of my I can buy more.

I am also thinking about making them into gift bag tags, or other little cardlets for packages, notes etc. They would make cute little event reminders if you put a magnet on the back of them.

I can customize colors, personalize messages etc.
So please check them out at

Also, I was tagged the other day by melissakate. I am not ignoring the request, I am just trying to think of something interesting that you guys dont already know about me. I am a pretty open book and there isnt a whole lot of mystery left to this old gal! So thanks to Melissakate for tagging me and I promise I will get to it soon!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tree pollen, springtime and allergies

Spring is in the air here in NC and the Pollen is flying.

Our house is surrounded by Pine trees and other coniferous timbers. Every spring the pollen flies freely from these trees, coating everything within its reach with a fine yellow powder.

Imagine a powdered sugar coating everything and turning it a sickly shade of chartreuse.

Luckily, it has been raining a bit so it has been able to kind of wash things away and keep the pollen levels in a manageable state. But we now have yellow crusted water puddles everywhere. Kind of gross to look at.

So thankfully that rain has been keeping my allergies to a minimum. Once a year I get really sick with allergies, which usually turns into bronchitis of some sort and a few weeks of snoring, dry mouth and sore throat. My eyes get so weepy and itchy and red. It usually turns into pinkeye from me rubbing my eyes. Allergy Season in the McBride house is NOT fun.
So this year I decided to outsmart my body. A few months ago I bought some raw local grown honey from a bee farm. I have been eating a little bit of it every day (unbeknownst to my husband). I used to do it as a kid with my dad, and it seemed to help. So I am trying it again.

So far so good. Mostly minor afflictions (slightly stuffy nose, dry eyes). Hopefully it is a combination of the local honey and the rain. I could get used to this.
knock on wood...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tha Phantom Earache

My youngest son Finn has a serious medical condition. It is called "Dontwannadoitearacheitis"(DWDIEI)

This earache always manages to appear when we have plans that don't mesh with what HE wants to do. He will be perfectly fine then the DWDIEI will flare up. Usually within a minute or two. We have tried everything, but DWDIEI always comes back, ruining plans and other peoples enjoyment.

Places where DWDIEI has flared up:

the grocery store
the doctors office
out to eat

This week is spring break. Wednesday my mom and dad took us to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. It is about a 80 minute drive from Charlotte.

Finn had it in his head that we were going to Monkey Joes or Chuck E Cheese or somewhere "fun". We were about 1/2 of the way there when we stopped for lunch at McDonalds and told them where we were going. Peter was elated, as he loves the zoo. Finn pitched a fit. As soon as his happy meal was scarfed down DWDIEI the McDonalds.

We got into the car. He cried the 35 minutes to the zoo.
Cried in the parking lot, cried at the entrance.
Cried at the sea lions, cried at the monkey house.
Cried at the elephants, flamingoes, petting zoo, tigers, tortoises, ape island, lorikeet feeding cage, baboons, bears, meerkats, playground, carousel etc.
The whole time complaining "My ear hurts!" holding his hand over his right ear (although sometimes it was his left ear. strange how it switches ears)
I have compiled a few collages of our trip to the zoo for your enjoyment.
All day at the zoo he cried. He whined and cried some more.

As soon as we left his ear felt better. We got home and he was jumping on the trampoline within minutes, his ear had miraculously healed itself.

Funny how that works.

My mom says he is just like me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My garden

Yesterday i made the hubby mow the lawn. It was a jungle out there. We have had so much rain and mild nights the grass has just sprung up.

Then we worked in the garden and got one of the beds done and planted our tomatoes.

We got an Heirloom plant (German Queen), A Bush Goliath(big tomaotes) and 2 of the sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. We are going to Renfrows hardware today to get some more tomato. They usually have the sweet olive tomatoes and romas. So we may get one of each. Maybe pick up a bag of ladybugs as well.

We are also planting Green beans (bush bean) i did a pole bean the past 2 years and I am TIRED of building trellises and stringing them with garden twine etc. so we are doing the bush beans that require no staking.

We got a jalapeno plant and an anaheim pepper plant. We also got Poblano Pepper seeds and are going to try some of those as well(Charles seems to think I know how to make rellenos)

We bought zucchini and yellow squash. I am thinking about basil and maybe some other herbs.

so I have a long day of planting ahead of me, i had better head out. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Vintage filigree

I just wanted to shout out to one of my favorite etsy shops, VINTAGE FILIGREE.

I do not know VF i am not in any way affiliated with VF or VF's shop. I am just a huge fan and feature them in like every treasury, and they ususally have a spot on my favorites list on a weekly basis. i think everything in that shop has a heart from me practically.

i LOVE this:

Most of the treasures at VintageFiligree are limited editions or one of a kind.

Each piece is hand made. You cant find anything like this at a department store, thats for sure.

Check out VintageFiligree. they are amazing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

50 odd things

I received this email from both Dawn and Lindsey.
I have nothing etsy to blog about today. My kids have been not feeling well, so I really have nothing tinteresting to write about. This seems a perfect opportunity to bring in the wuss out post:

50 ODD Things about you! Learn 50things about your friend, and let them learn 50 things about you!

1. Do you like blue cheese? Not especially. Even after living in France I STILL couldnt stomach it.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Do you think I am a complete idiot? NO!

3. Do you own a gun? Does a super soaker count?

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I dont eat at Sonic. If I do, I get a milkshake. Usually one involving chocolate of some sort.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? A little. Usually because I know they are going to weigh me and the doctor is going to jump on my back about complications from being overweight, especially with my family history blah blah blah. Dont really look forward to that.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Chiciago style, fully loaded. But they have to be REAL Chicago Dogs, not some cheap Mall imitation.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? The Bishops Wife with Cary Grant and Loretta Young. Although I do LOVE the kids Rankin/Bass movies like Rudolph, frosty, santa claus is comig to town etc. Oh and the Charlie Brown Christmas is a tradition. This is a hard question.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Juice of some srt. Usually I juice oranges, grapefruit and strawberries. YUM.

9. Can you do push ups? I used to. I have poor upper body strength. I always have. I have never been very good at push ups to be quite honest.

10. Age? 31. Although I usually tell people I am 29. Not to hide how old I am, usually I just forget my real age.

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My 3 stone past present and future ring. White gold with 3 round cut diamonds on a filigree band. It is gorgeous. I love it. Even more than my wedding ring.

12. Favorite hobby? Crafting of some sort. Scrapbooking, soaping, making body products, crochet, beading. Anything involving trips to hobby lobby or Michaels.

13. Favorite Actor? Christian Bale...established in 1992.

14. Do you have A D D? Nope.

15. What's one trait you hate about yourself? Hot tempered with a very short fuse. Guess it is the redhead in me.

16. Middle name? Lynn

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment

  • I cant wait for spring break to be over. My kids are driving me nuts
  • I need to work out in the garden while the weather is nice today
  • what am I going to make for dinner tonight?

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday/today.

  • Tomato Plants
  • Jalapeno Plants
  • Zucchini Plants

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?

  • Water
  • Orange Tang
  • Hot Chocolate

20. Current worry? Paying the bills, having enough know, usual things.

21. Current hate right now? The construction workers redoing the roads in our subdivision. All day every day. I feel like they arent making any progress and our roads are going to be all broken up and rocky for the rest of forever.

22. Favorite place to be? Nags Head or Disney World.

23. How did you bring in the New Year? Well my husband and I have this tradition, and it is none of your business 'cause a lady never tells...

24. Where would you like to go? I have always wanted to go to Madame Tussauds House of Wax. Ever since I was a little girl. We finally went to London when I was 14 and my dad said we could go. We saved it for the last day. When we got there the line was wrapped around the building twice. So we weren't able to do it. So that is still #1 on my list.

25. Name three people who will complete this? Probably none. I am doing this on my blog instead of sending it out as an email anyways.

26. Do you own slippers? Nope.

27. What shirt are you wearing? A Sage Green V-neck cotton Tee shirt.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No, they conduct static electricity like you would not believe.

29. Can you whistle? Well I can, but I used to be able to whistle a lot better when I was a kid and had bad teeth. Lindsey, yes there are people who cant whistle. Like my mom.

30. Favorite color? Pink

31. Would you be a pirate? YES! Although I am not sure it would be as cool and sexy as Johnny Depp makes Piracy look.BUT, All that booty and jewels and Gold. I would be right at home.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I usually dont sing in the shower. If I do, it is usually some stupid song that I heard that I cant get out of my head.

33. Favorite girl's name? Jillian Sarah.

34. Favorite boy's name? Peter Wallace or Charles Finn.

35.What's in your pocket right now? Don't have pockets

36. Last thing that made you laugh? Adam Corolla on Dancing with the Stars.

37. Best bed sheets as a child? Holly Hobby

38. Worst injury you've ever had? Broke my toe on a side table when it jumped out and bit me.

39. Do you love where you live? LOVE IT! I love the mild winters, the early springs, the hot summers and the beautiful fall. I love being halfway between the mountains and the beach. I love being southern. I love Charlotte.

40. How many TV's do you have in your home? 2

41. Who is your loudest friend? hmmm, I have so many loud friends. It is a toss up between lindsey, Kelly and Dawn.

42. How many dogs do you have? 1. A pit bull boxer mix named Jake. he's so sweet.

43. Does someone have a crush on you? Yep. My hubby. We have been together for 11 years and we are still in love.

44. What is your favorite book(s)? Morning Glory(LaVyrle Spencer), Harry Potter Series, Anne of Green Gables Series, Autobiography of King Henry VIII(Margaret George), Work and the Glory Series(Gerald Lund), Little House on the Prairie series, anything by laurie Notaro, anything by Barbara Kingsolver, Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, Wayfarer redemption series(Sara Douglass). I read a lot. I Love to read and have many favorites.

45. Where were you born? Cleveland, Ohio

46. What is your favorite candy? Skittles

47. Favorite Sports Team? Carolina Panthers

48. What song would you want played at your funeral?Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead. Just kidding. Probably Beethoven.

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? sleeping

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Darn kids, why are they so freaking loud in the morning??

Monday, April 7, 2008

We've got Owl's

Charlotte, NC is home to a booming Owl population.

The Barred owl (a.k.a. The Hoot Owl) has been making its home here in the Queen City for years, despite steady growth, development, urban sprawl and deforestation.
There is an interesting article here.

Ecologists can't figure it out. Usually in growing, booming cities the Owl population decreases. Not here. Charlotte has an abundance of owls.
We bought a house in an old neighborhood with lots of trees.
One of the older neighborhoods with big yards and lots of trees. Tall trees, small trees, Pines, Oaks, Maples Elms etc.
We have all sorts of birds, bats, squirrles, rabbits, insects...and of course the owls.
Right outside the master bedroom window we have 2 very tall, old trees.
Every night, without fail the Owls let loose. I know we have at least 2.
When I first heard it, I thought it was a goat, eating a cat, stomping on a chihuahua. It was the wierdest thing I had ever heard. I told my mom and dad about it and they said "Oh we have those too, they are owls!".
I thought owls were the soft little who-who-who, like you hear on TV and in the movies.
WRONG! Nowhere near that. (some are, just not MY owls)
These Barred Owls (hoot owls) screech. It is the wierdest thing. You can hear it here. Click on typical call, or variation call. Now it sounds pretty close, just imagine shorter yippier hoots, with a bit of a bleat added to it.

I guess I can get used to it, I kind of tuned them out, sort of like the train that passes through town and blows its horn at 3am.(But thats another blog...)
These owls may be nocturnal, but they definately are NOT shy. they roost wherever they feel like it, many times out in the open for the world to see. At night they will just come down and sit on out driveway, they will fly to the end of the streets and roost on the signposts. They have no fear and dont care.
So despite the fact they scared the crap out of me when I first moved in they can stay. I havent had to set out mouse traps for 4 years! Thanks to my little friends who live outside my window.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Some Moo Card Ideas

As many of you know, I am now obsessed with Moo Cards.
So I have been messing around in my photoshop and Illustrator, trying to come up with some cool Moo Cards for my shop. I just havent been able to come up with any. I will probably end up just taking pictures of my products and use those.

But while messing around I had an idea for a "Landmarks around the world" idea. I only have like 5 of them done so far. I am going to take recognized landmarks from around the world and photoshop them in cool ways. I dont know what I would do with them, but I had fun playing.

Here were just a few that I did.

Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Parthenon .

I am thinking about doing Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge,
St Louis Gateway Arch, Colosseum in Rome and a few others.
Like I said I dont really know what I would do with them. I just thought it would be cool to have little cards with different world landmarks on them.
But obviously I am not going to spend 20$ plus shipping for cards with landmarks. I will use that money for cards that are relavant to my business.
But I had fun making these and it isnpired me to save my money so I can go and visit(or revisit) some of my personal favorite landmarks.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Turn on the Water Works, dear

I am a crier. I am famous for shedding tears at things that are not even remotely sad.
My Best Friend, Lindsey, drew a charicature of me one at various movies with my varying degrees of sobs. Little tiny tears, more tears, bawling and Niagara falls.

But here are some things that I cry at, and have cried at in the past:

1. Harry and the Handersons. Yes the stupid movie about Bigfoot. In the end when they had to say goodbye and let him go back into the forest and he was back with his own bigfoot-ians. I cried. I was happy that he was back with his own. I was sure he missed them and rejoiced to be home.

2. City Slicker. Bad guys...gun...Norman the cute little calf. Need I say more? "Noooo! Not Norman!!!"

3. Romeo and Juliet (The old version with Olivia Hussy and Leonard Whiting). Cried because it was true love and they killed themselves. Now thats passion.

4. Titanic...well in all honesty Lindsey, Pam and I were all bawling like little girls in THAT one.

5. Lady Jane Grey(with Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes). Historical romance about the ill fated Lady Jane Grey and her husband Lord Dudly. Cried when they were executed after just finding love.

6. Hallmark Commercial: Take your pick. The one I cry the most at is when the young student comes in and gives his teacher a hallmark card to tell her thank you for all the extra hard work in helping him with his reading...and he is reading it to her. GAH!

7. A Baby Story. Every time a baby is born I cry. The mother is relieved and crying and happy, I am am crying because SHE is crying.

8. Extreme Home Makeover Home Edition. If there is a widow or a sick child, forget about it. I am toast.

9. A Kodak Picture: Kodak was running a photo contest and they had a whole slew of photographs blown up and on display at Good Morning America or the Today Show. There was one picture of a boy on a tire swing over a lake. The sun was setting, he wa swinging out over the lake and his fingers were kind of trailing in the water. Cried like a 2 year old.

10. Tombstone: Yes my favorite rock em sock em cowboy movie EVER. Cried when the brother got shot through the Billiard Hall Window.

11. Boys in the Hood. I had to watch this for my "Americans in Film" class in college. Cried when Ricky got Mowed down by a gang shooting. He had his whole life ahead of him and a football scholarship and a baby at home. He had just received word that his SAT scores were good enough to go to college. Then at the end of the movie find out that his brother was killed shortly thereafter as well. cried cried cried. Did I mention I cried?

12. The Nanny. Yes Fran Drescher sitcom now on syndicated reruns on Lifetime. I LOVEd this show and I DVR them and rewatch them. Well yesterday they had the Mothers Day Episode (from the 1st season). As you know the Sheffields mother died and a few years later Fran becomes the nanny. Mr Sheffield doesnt like to talk about his dead wife and kind of tries to keep the kids busy and otherwise occupied over Mothers Day weekend. Well they joined a country Club and Fran joins a mother daughter contest with The youngest and one of the contestants finds out that Fran is the Nanny and not the mother and makes a big stink about it, thus upsetting the little girl, Grace. Well Grace wasnt upset that she was remembering her mother and it was making her sad, she was upset because she DIDNT remember her mother and Mr Sheffield would never talk about her. So in the end Mr Sheffield puts in a video tape of old home movies of the mother with the kids playing Badminton together and Little Grace and the mother are hugging and waving to the camera and she remembers. I was BAWLING. Shoot I am crying right now as i type. Charles was like "Are you CRYING??? At the NANNY???"

Ok there you have it. I wear my heart on my sleeve. My emotions run high and I cry at the drop of a hat...and this is only the tip of the iceburg!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Moooooo, Mooooooo...Moo

I have heard nothing but Moo on etsy and in the etsy forums.
I found out they were a printing company and something about mini business cards or whatnot. i didnt think I would have any use for them.
Then on Etsy Resources they have a section specifically for Moo.
MOO IS FREAKING AWESOME! You can read about them here.
I INSIST upon you reading this article.

There is even an announcement that Moo and etsy have teamed up for a promotion.

The ideas that the etsy labs used for moo blew my mind.
My mind has been working overtime since I discovered this article.

i am thinking about applying for a spot in the upcoming crafting patch show here in charlotte.(thanks socaligirl!) I also have a show in October I am doing. I already have business cards that I love, but i really love the idea of stickers and using mini cards as garlands.

I am going to have to get my camera busy busy busy and get cracking!

Moo also has photos and designs already done for those who dont want to mess with their own photos.

You can get a pack of mini cards and have up to 100 designs! How awesome is that?
Sticker books are the same.

The prices are super reasonable.

So follow the etsy promotion link to Moo.
decide what you want to do and click on your product
it will ask you to enter your etsy username and password
then it will pull up all of your pictures in your listings and you can choose from those which ones to upload and print off.

IDEAS for moo:(on the etsy article)

Hang Tags
trading cards
playing cards
place cards
Backgrounds for your jewelry products
holiday tags

and more.

If you read the article, you will be so inspired. I am just amazed at the awesome things they did with the moo!

Dont have etsy?? You can go directly to
upload and fire off at will!

Well i am off to update some pictures so i can join the moo revolution.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Can i speak to Mrs McBridge?

My name is Sarah McBride. MICK-BRIDE.
How hard is that? Honestly?

Growing up my name was Sarah Koch. (any takers on the pronounciation of that??)
It was pronounced "Cook".

Growing up I heard Sarah Kotch, Sarah Couch, Sarah Cock, Sarah Coke, and a few other ones that some nasty boy in my neighborhood called me.

I went to College at Utah State University. I went to a church ward there and the ward clerk couldnt read his own handwriting when I said my name and spelled it for him. On the church roster I was immortalized as Satach Coch. SERIOUSLY??
To this day 14 years later my roommate and dear friend STILL calls me Satach.

How hard is it? S-A-R-A-H space K-O-C-H. try spelling your last name for any reservation agent and it takes ages.for example. Booking a flight from Salt Lake City to Chicago O Hare:

agent: Last name?
me: Koch. K-O-C-H.
agant : C-o-c-h.
me. No. K-O-C-H
agent: sorry K-o-c-k
me: NO! Koch. It is spelled K-O-C-H.
agent: Cooh?
me. K as in kangaroo, O as in octopus, C as in cookie H as in Harry. KOCH
agent: koch
me. yes.
agent: ok miss kotch...

But when my tickets arrived it was spelled Coch.Had to get them changed.

We would get phone calls from telemarketers looking for the Couches, the cocks, the Cooches, the Kotches. One day one man called and asked to speak to Mrs. Knock.
I said " I am sorry, there is no onw here by that name" and hung up.

A few years later I met my husband, with a nice easy last name. McBride. I though "woo hoo! an end to the misery and constant name correction."

Not long after I was married The phone rang.

me: Hello?
other person: Can I speak to Mrs McBridge?

I have heard Mc bird, Mc bridge, and my fave Mrs Mac Birdie.

oh well. I guess it never ends, no matter HOW easy your last name.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

ETSY, It's all about YOU!

1. I was sad to learn about the closing of etsytools.
There is always one idiot who has to ruin it for someone.
So whoever sent the death threat because you couldnt get your way on a FREE site, you are an asshat and I hope you get hit by a bus.

2. I am listing some of my photocards on Blueboygifts. I have one listed but will be listing more.
They are a 5x7 card with envelope. They can be framed or used as a card in general.
they sell for $4
Blank on the inside they are a wonderful all occasion card.

3. Why is it so darn hard to snag a treasury?

4.I found this little number from momscott over at etsy. Isn't it FABU?!?!?!? I put it on my fave's and am watching it with an eagle eye. It is Hill Tribe silver. I can see this on my wrist for casual, dress up and every day. I LOVE this bracelet. You can see the listing here.

5. Please buy 68$ worth of products from me so I can buy said bracelet. HAH!

6. Sew Gracious has done it again. I am sitting here having purse lust. I LOVE the purse I bought from here back in February. I take it everywere, I get compliments on it every day. I want one of each. So beware Sewgracious, you have a customer for life. Listing for this little beauty is here.

7. Now go buy $40 worth of products from me so I can buy said purse.

8. Check out The Storque. Their Etsy Success Stories are very inspiring. Makes us realize we can ALL be etsy success stories. They featured Moop, and I am ready to go gung ho!

9. No go buy all my stuff so I can be an etsy success story!

P.S. On a personal Note, HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY to my brother Patrick (sunshine)