Friday, January 29, 2010

Aloha Friday - Nervous Habits

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays I will take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

Do you have any nervous habits?...(such as biting your nails, etc.)

When I am stressed, I have an awful habit of chewing and picking at my lips. It drives my husband crazy.

If you would like to participate in Aloha Friday, visit Kailani at An Island Life. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dinner Appreciation

I have mentioned before that my husband works as a firefighter. The firehouse where he is stationed is in one of the worst parts of the city. He enjoys working there because "that's where all the action is" and it's a pride thing - you know you are a kicka$$ firefighter if you are put in charge of a station in that area.

Often, he will tell me things that happen while he is on duty. He told me one story in particular last night and it broke my heart - I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. They work 24 hour shifts, so, each day that they are on duty, they make a trip to the grocery store to buy food that they cook for lunch and dinner. When he was working the other night, they were just about to sit down to dinner when the doorbell rang (they generally keep the firehouse doors closed and locked so that people cannot just walk in from the street). At the door was a little boy, around 11 or 12 years old. Kids sometimes hang around the firehouse, so it wasn't unusual for him to be there, although this particular boy was not familiar to them. They let him in the firehouse and he simply asked one question: "Can I have something to eat?" He sat down with the firefighters and enjoyed a dinner that included pork chops, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. Not once did the boy turn down anything that was offered to him. I think of my kids and how just about every night at least one of them will complain about not liking something I am serving for dinner - "Mom, that's gross! I'm not eating that" - They truly do not realize how lucky they are to be able to have a place to sit down with their family and eat a meal. I don't know this boy's story or anything about him. But, if he is having to go to a neighborhood firehouse and ask for something to eat, you can bet that maybe his situation is not that great. There's definitely a message here for me to share with my children.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Persuasion

Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen stories and I love this film adaptation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Share-A-Smile Saturday! #3

Just a few links to share with you...hopefully they will make you smile!


Here's a spoof on the Twilight movie about "How It Should Have Ended." Hilarious!

What kid (and grownup) doesn't like to jump on the bed every once in awhile. Check out these funny photos of bed jumpers, and see if it doesn't make you want to go jump on your own bed. Go'll be fun!

I'm a sucker for cute and funny photos, especially if they involve animals. Take a look at these sights you may not see in a lifetime. I love the second one, with the little bear whispering in his mommy's ear.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January Is National Hot Tea Month

I happen to be a big fan of hot tea, often drinking 3 or 4 cups per day. Whether it's while I'm curled up reading a book, or sitting down for a chat with my mom, there's just something so comforting about a nice hot cup of tea. My favorite is Earl Grey, and I like my tea plain - no sugar, honey or lemon for me. I also enjoy Lipton Orange, Passionfruit & Jasmine Green Tea. Drinking hot tea is something that has always been a part of my life. My parents are both hot tea drinkers. We've even tried to pass the tradition along to my kids. My youngest son, in particular, loves to enjoy a cup of tea with us. He likes a tea made by Bigelow called Sweet Dreams Herb Tea. It's a chamomile and mint tea that is all natural and caffeine free. There are black teas, green teas, white teas, and herbal teas; so many flavors available that you are sure to be able to find one you like.

Tea contains antioxidants, which can reduce oxidative damage in the body and help to maintain healthy cells and tissues. More and more we are hearing of the benefits of drinking tea. Here are just a few ways that adding tea to our daily diets may help us:

*increase our body's immunity to colds and flu
*aid in helping to lose weight
*reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
*green tea, in particular, is thought to have anti-cancer properties

There are many other benefits, as well. Check out 25 Reasons Why We Should Start Drinking Green Tea, and The Top 10 Benefits of Tea, both found on the Bigelow Tea website (actually, their entire website is awesome - a wealth of information as well as an extensive selection of tea varieties). I think you will be amazed at what you read. You will probably want to run right now and make yourself a cup of hot tea. That's what I'm going to do.

Are you a hot tea drinker? What's your favorite tea? Did you know that there were so many health benefits from drinking tea?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. Products mentioned are items that I have chosen to purchase and use on my own.

My Reading Goals for 2010 (January-March)

Do you see this pile of books? These are my "to be read" books that have been piling up for quite awhile now. Actually, this is not even all of my to be read books - there are about 10 more sitting on the bookshelf in my living room. The books in this photo were stacked haphazardly in my closet and since I have been thinking about my reading goals for the next several months, I decided to get them out and have a look.

I love to read, I always have. Lately, I just haven't had as much time as I would like to devote to reading. And, it seems like everyday I keep adding more books to my stacks. It stresses me out, knowing that I have all these books just waiting for me and that the stacks keep growing. I think I have some kind of disorder that compels me to get more and more books. For the next several months, I'm going to concentrate on completing some of these books. (*Note to self: Must not buy or borrow any additional books - read only what I already have*) A few of the books I already have will work for The Take Another Chance Challenge that I'm participating in, so that is an added bonus to help me with my goal.

I have to think short-term here, because I'm not very good at sticking to long-term lists. So, this is what I plan to read now through March (in no particular order):

Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier - This is one of my very favorite authors and it will count for The Take Another Chance Challenge.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I bought this for my middle-school-age kids. My daughter loved it and told me I should read it. I think there are plans to make this into a movie as well. This will also count for The Take Another Chance Challenge.

Be My Valentine by Debbie Macomber - Should be a fun and easy read and perfect timing with Valentine's Day around the corner.

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman - I got this one from I have heard good reviews about it, but, I've never read any of Alice Hoffman's other works.

Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll - I received this book back in 1977, when I was 8 yrs. old. I don't know why I have never read this classic tale. Maybe now I'm finally inspired to read it since the movie version is about to come out (starring Johnny Depp;o)

It's not much, but it's a start. What about you? What are you reading right now?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Avatar

Some of you may be tired of hearing about Avatar by now. But, I couldn't not mention it. I've heard mixed reviews - most either love it or hate it. We went to see it last week and were all in the "loved it" category. Yes, maybe there was a little bit of liberal propaganda. Yes, the ending was somewhat predictable. Yes, at some 2 hours and 45 minutes it was a very long film. But, I still loved it! We saw the 3-D version and it was spectacular. The effects and imagery were absolutely stunning and I really liked the story line. In my opinion, it was a great movie. Have you seen it or do you plan on seeing it?

Monday, January 4, 2010

My First Blog Post of 2010

Happy New Year to everyone! During the holidays, I decided to take a break from posting on my blog. Actually, with my four kids off from school during Christmas break, it was just about impossible to find any computer time for myself. It was nice to get away from the computer for awhile, but, it amazed me how quickly I started to miss blogging and feel out of the loop. Now, I'm back and I thought I would start by listing some of my goals for this year. I really hate to say "resolutions" because you know how that turns out - I never follow through with "resolutions." So, here are a few general goals I hope to work on for 2010:

1. Get on my treadmill at least 5 days per week
2. Stop eating junk!
3. Lose weight (see #1 and #2)
4. Read more (I'll be doing a separate post with more specific reading goals)
5. Be a better housekeeper
6. Find more one-on-one time to spend with each of my kids
7. Work on paying off some debts
8. Take more photos of my family

Okay, those sound a lot like resolutions, don't they? Whatever I choose to call them, they are the things that I really want to work on this year. What about you? What are your goals/hopes/resolutions for 2010?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Take Another Chance Challenge

Jenners, over at Find Your Next Book Here, has come up with another fun and creative reading challenge for 2010. The Take Another Chance Challenge is all about taking chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. It involves 12 challenges in all - you choose your level of participation - commit to completing 3, 6, or all 12. It's up to you. It runs the entire year and each challenge you complete and link up in the correct Mr. Linky spots will earn you entries into a prize drawing at the end of the challenge. The prize is a book of the winner's choice from Amazon (worth $25 or less).

I'm excited to be participating again. Last year's challenge was a lot of fun and I discovered some really great reads. For now, I'm committing to the "Small Gamble" level of participation (to complete any 3 of the 12 challenges). If you would like to sign up or learn more about the challenge, head over to Find Your Next Book Here and check out all the details.