Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CSNStores.com Upcoming Product Review

I've talked many times before about CSNStores.com and how much I love shopping their site. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be swingsets, fitness equipment, furniture, or kitchenware.  With top brand name products and free shipping on many items, you just can't go wrong shopping at CSN Stores. If you've never shopped with them before, I urge you to check out their site.

I'm so pleased to once again have the opportunity to work with CSNStores.com. Check back often as I will soon be posting a CSN Stores product review here on my blog.

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Appaloosa

Random fact #147 about me - I like westerns. Not the old-school stuff, but modern-made westerns. Appaloosa is one such film that happens to be a favorite. The terrific cast includes Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen (ahhh Viggo! I love Viggo!), Renee Zellweger, Jeremy Irons, and Lance Henriksen.

From Netflix:
When a malicious, land-hungry rancher (Jeremy Irons) has the marshal and deputy of Appaloosa killed, two gunmen (Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris) blow into town to restore law and order. But the stakes are raised even higher when a beautiful widow (Renée Zellweger) of uncertain convictions enters the picture. Harris also directs this gritty Western -- his first time at the helm since Pollock -- based on the novel by Robert B. Parker.

Harris and Mortensen have such an easy chemistry. And, Zellwegger, who plays the young widow Allie, well she's a real character. Check it out, even if you think you're not into westerns. It's so good!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bane Of My Kitchen Existence

Internets, meet Thorn. Thorn In My Side!

This is one of our kitchen counter areas that's off to the side, next to our refrigerator. As you can see, it's a catch-all for various things all of which most of which belong to my husband. (I will take responsibility for the little prescription bottle and old browning bananas.)  I love my little cookbook stand (hubby made it for me) but I hate that this area is basically unusable for kitchen counter space because it's always full of stuff. Stuff that shouldn't be there. We do not have an abundance of counter space to begin with, so I feel like this is wasted space.

Whenever my husband comes in from work, he goes straight to this spot and starts emptying out his pockets and piling up papers and receipts, etc. It's where he plugs his cell phone charger. It's where I place his mail (even though it may sit there for days and days before he actually looks at it). There just isn't another spot that's convenient for him to put his things. I'm not sure if you can see it buried beneath the rubble, but, there is a basket in the corner. That was supposed to be the basket for his stuff. I'm sure you can see that his stuff has overflown the basket (is "overflown" a real word?).

Even when it's semi-straightened up, it's still a mess to look at. Someday in the near future, I am hoping to own a pretty, shiny, colorful KitchenAid mixer. And, I think this little corner would be the perfect home for said mixer. So, I have to figure out how and where to relocate my husband's stuff.

Just beyond this kitchen counter to the left, you enter our dining room. (I say dining room lightly because we don't actually own a dining room table and chairs. Which is a bummer. But someday we will). Right now, it houses my antique bow-front china cabinet and dishes (passed down to me by my grandmother). And, it's where we have our computer desk. So sometimes we call it our dining room. Sometimes we call it our computer room. Anyway, I'm rambling. Back to the subject. In this corner right now there's a little table that I use to display some magazines.

I'm thinking I could ditch the table and maybe find a really small secretary-type desk to put in the corner instead. It would have to be fairly compact and slender to fit this space. But, it might be a nice option for his stuff. He wouldn't have to walk any farther to drop things off and I could close up the desk to keep things looking more tidy. Maybe something similar to these....




So, what do you think? Sounds like a plan to me. I think I'll start keeping any eye out for something whenever I'm at a thrift store or consignment shop. I'll let you know if I find anything.

Do you have a spot in your house that seems to be the catch-all for stuff?  How do you keep the clutter off of your kitchen counters?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My 7 Favorite Sounds

There are some sounds that I love to hear. Sounds that are comforting, soothing, relaxing; sounds that make me smile; sounds that make me happy. Here are 7 of my favorite sounds:

1) Babies/children laughing - Who doesn't love this sound? It has to be one of the sweetest things ever! I will always smile whenever I hear a baby laughing. Even though my own children are no longer babies, I still love to hear them laugh.

2) Rain and thunder - While I'm sorta a scaredy-cat when it comes to severe storms, I do love the sound of rain and thunder. Grey skies and thundershowers are one of my favorite kind of days.

3) Violin music -  My dad was a bluegrass fiddler. While I'm not necessarily a fan of bluegrass music, I do love classical violin music. Hearing a violin always makes me think of my dad.

4) Piano music - As a child, I took piano lessons for about three years. It's one of my biggest life regrets that I didn't stick with it. Piano music moves me so much and is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world to me. I've always thought I would pick it up again someday...

5) Someone speaking a foreign language - Is that weird? Probably, but I just find myself fascinated with foreign languages. Never mind that I can't understand what they are saying. The Russian language is just so mysterious and sexy-sounding to me. And, I think French is so pretty.

6) Total quiet - Does that count as a sound? With four kids, a husband, a dog, and multiple televisions and/or video games systems that always seem to be blaring at my house, I rarely find myself in total silence. When I do, it's something to cherish.

7) Ocean waves - This is probably pretty popular as a favorite sound. But, it is soothing and relaxing. I just wish I got to hear it more often.

What about you? Do you have a favorite sound?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Aloha Friday - Which Charity?

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer - nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

If you could donate one million dollars to any charity, which one would it be?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Are You A "No Reply Blogger"?


Whenever someone leaves a comment on my blog, I get a handy dandy little email of the comment. I love this feature because it's a quick and easy way for me to read my blog comments as well as ensure that I don't miss any comments. I almost always try and respond to my commenters. After all, that's what blogging is all about...connecting with others. I like to personally reply to commenters via my email notifications. But, many commenters are listed as the dreaded "No Reply Blogger" which makes it impossible to simply reply to them in this way. Of course, I can click on their profile and search them out to leave my reply on their blog. But, to be honest, I'm kinda lazy. I'd much rather just hit my email reply button as I'm reading their comment and send them a quick note. Then, after taking care of my email replies, I can spend a little more time visiting the blogs of my commenters and getting to know them a little bit.

Are you one of those "No Reply Bloggers?" Maybe you are and you don't even know it. Well, Mammarazzi has started a bloggy revolution of sorts - The Enable Email Movement. Click on over to her site (Dandelion Wishes) for all the details. She explains in super-easy steps how you can enable your email so that you won't be a "No Reply Blogger." Do it now. It will make me happy. It will make other bloggers happy. It will make you happy. Seriously, it will!

Get Organized For Tax-Time With Smead Products

January is just rolling by and we are well into the new year. And, with this time of year comes a task that most of us have to tackle - getting organized for tax-time. I don't know about you, but, I always seem to start scrambling come late January. Where did I put those receipts? How much did I donate to charity? Did I remember to keep track of all my deductions? Every year I tell myself I'm going to be more organized, but usually I just end up stuffing all those miscellaneous papers in a drawer or envelope. Then, right before our appointment with our accountant, I'm feeling a little frazzled as I try to get it all together.

Smead generously provided me with two products to help me get organized for tax season. In case you are not familiar with Smead, they are a leading provider of quality document management supplies and tools. This woman-owned company has been around for over a century and is committed to helping you stay organized.

The Income Tax Organizer is a 6 pocket folder that provides compact and secure storage for your tax-related documents. There's a printed checklist and notes area on the inside cover that will be very helpful as I'm getting all my paperwork together. There are also pre-printed and blank labels so that you can customize your document filing as you wish. I especially like this feature because I want to be able to file things my own way.

The Jan-Dec File Organizer is an expanding 12-pocket file with protective flap and elastic cord closure. It's perfect for sorting large amounts of paperwork while providing portability. It can hold 900+ sheets and is quite sturdy with double-thick front and back panels and heavy reinforcement liner board. This will provide a quick and easy way for me to stay organized all year long.

You can find these items at WalMart, Office Depot, Amazon, and at many of your local office products dealers. And, check out this great article on the Smead website which offers more tips and advice on helping to make tax-time easier.

Smead and Buttoned Up, Inc. provided me with the free products mentioned above. In exchange for trying out the products and sharing my review on my blog, I also received a gift card. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Aloha Friday - Fill In The Blank

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer - nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Fill in the blank:

I wish I didn't have to ___________________

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Savvy Mom Is Having A Nutrisystem Giveaway

One Savvy Mom

If you are like so many (myself included) who always resolve to lose weight in the new year, then you should check out this giveaway. One Savvy Mom is giving away 30 DAYS OF FOOD FROM NUTRISYSTEM. Nutrisystem is based on the proven science of the Glycemic Index, and eating low-GI meals 5 to 6 times a day helps keep your blood sugar and metabolism stable, so your body burns calories more effectively. I took a look at the Nutrisystem site and was surprised to see what a great selection of foods that they offer. The Ravioli Formaggio and Black Bean Tortilla Soup looked especially yummy.

Visit One Savvy Mom for all the details. There are several entry options and the giveaway ends Feb. 25, 2011. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Flame and Citron

You know how I love a good foreign film. This WWII drama is based on actual events. It's compelling, dark, and intense. It's hard to imagine living through a war, much less playing such an integral part in it. Spies, assassinations, resistance fighters...these are the ugly truths of war that this film shows us. I'm a huge fan of Mads Mikkelsen (I've said it before and I'll say it again, he's a beautiful man!) I thought he was great in this role.

Rated TV-MA: Suitable for mature audiences only

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Aloha Friday - The Movie Of Your Life

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer - nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

A movie is being made about you and your life. You can choose any actress/actor you want to portray you. Who would you choose? And, who would you like to see playing your spouse/significant other?

Pink Is So Pretty

This past summer, we totally redecorated our 14 year-old daughter's bedroom - new paint, new furniture, new bedding. When she was choosing a paint color for her walls, her first choice was a dark hot-pink color. My husband quickly vetoed this choice, saying he did not want any pink rooms in his house. I'm not sure why he reacted so strongly to the color pink, but he certainly put his foot down. And, since he was the one actually doing the painting, I guess that gave him final say. She ended up choosing a bright blue wall color. It turned out very nice and I have been meaning to post pictures for months and have yet to get around to it. I'll try my best to do that very soon

So, back to the subject of pink. Nowhere in my house, that I can think of, is there any decor or color splashes of pink. For the most part, the colors in our home are neutral, earth-toned colors - a lot of taupes, olive greens, browns, etc.  But, I do love pink. If I had a secret posh getaway-pad that I could decorate for myself (you know, a quiet place where I could escape by myself and lounge lazily, drinking wine and reading books, and soaking in the tub...) If I had a place like that, I'm quite sure I would utilize the color pink.

Whenever I come across photos of rooms or home design/decor that I like, I save them in a "pretty design pics" file. Here are some of my favorites that I've come across with the color pink...

-from Style At Home

-from House Beautiful

-from Traditional Home

-from Fine Living

-from mydeco.com

-from Traditional Home

-from Design Sponge Online

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beautiful Doors

I love a beautiful and unique front (or back) door. It can add so much character and charm to a home. While I'm staying in and recuperating from my headache/sore throat/earache/cough/achey-all-over/pink-eye, I thought I would share some pretty door pics with you....

-from House Beautiful

-from Traditional Home

-from House Beautiful

-from Southern Living

-from hookedonhouses.net

-from emeraldsg.com

-from doorweather-glaze.com

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Triage

Here's the latest movie I watched from Redbox. Colin Farrell stars as a photojournalist who sets out on a dangerous Middle East assignment with his best friend and colleague. When he returns home, injured and without his friend, his wife tries to uncover what really happened. Farrell's gaunt appearance lends to his brilliant performance.

Rated R for war violence, disturbing images, language, brief sexuality and nudity


Monday, January 3, 2011

Random Stuff

Hello and Happy New Year! My New Year wishes are a little belated because I've been sick since New Year's Eve.  90% of my time since midnight on New Year's has been spent in my pajamas, lying in bed or on the couch. I've had general all-over achiness, sore throat, headache, earache, the worst cough ever! and now I think I have pink eye. EWWW! I don't think I've ever had pink eye, but my eye is red, burning and seeping some nasty gunk out of it (sorry, is that TMI?) My doctor's office is booked but I'm hoping they can fit me in tomorrow.

While I'm whining and complaining, I just have to mention this...I called my cell-phone service today to upgrade my son's phone. What an ordeal! Have you seen that funny credit card commercial where "Peggy" the customer service rep is really some old guy on the other side of the world? I'm talking about this one:

Well, that's exactly what it felt like when I called my cell-phone carrier today. There was definitely a language-communication barrier. Not only could I barely understand a word he was saying, but we had a bad connection full of static. A simple call to upgrade my son's cell phone ended up taking almost an hour. On top of it all, I kept having huge coughing fits and I'm sure the guy was just as irritated with me as I was with him. As he went through his entire spill about our cell phone plan and service agreement, I did my best to comprehend what he was saying. But, I may have agreed to sign over a kidney or something; it was that difficult to understand the fellow.

On a positive note, we had a very nice "white" Christmas and I will try to post some of our photos soon. My mom gave me a Keurig Coffee Brewer and I'm head-over-heels in love with that. From my hubby and kiddos I was given a tv/dvd/cd player - the kind that mounts under your kitchen cabinet. It's great! And, my sister-in-law gave me a new blender which also thrilled me (we've had the same blender that we received as a wedding gift 19 years ago, it's about time for an update).

That's all for now. I'm going to have to go back to bed. Last night my coughing kept me up all night. I watched back-to-back-to-back episodes of True Blood (can't wait for the new season!). Then I slept all day. The kids went back to school today and my husband is out of town on business, so I had a nice, quiet house. Tonight I'm going to have to hit the cough medicine with codeine - I hate to take it because it does make me quite loopy, but I really need to get some sleep so that I don't sleep the day away tomorrow. Talk to you soon!

Deep Down Inside I'm Really A Little Old Lady Who Likes Sweaters. And Heating Pads.

When it comes to sleeping attire, I'm not one who likes to don frilly lingerie or skimpy nightgowns. Give me an over sized tee-shirt and my faithful old cardigan sweater and I'm good to go. Soft and big and comfortable and warm are what it's all about for me. I have a boyfriend-style charcoal grey cardigan sweater that I bought at Target (probably at least 10 years ago) and it's my absolute favorite. It's soft and light-weight and warm...and, well, I really love my sweater! My husband? He doesn't really like my sweater. Every night when I come to bed and he sees me in my overly large tee and overly old cardigan, he sighs and/or rolls his eyes. He dreads the sweater!

I also hate getting into a cold bed. So to remedy that, I warm up my bed with the heating pad. I "preheat" my side of the bed and then crawl into my toasty warm spot where I wait until I've almost drifted off to sleep before I finally switch off the heating pad. More sighing and eye rolling from hubby.

And, this is where I should also mention that I sometimes snore (in my defense, I have a deviated septum and suffer from constant severe nasal congestion. It's a real problem).

I know these habits of mine aren't the greatest turn-on for my guy. I'm sure it's boring getting into bed with your wife (and her big ol' sweater and her heating pad). And, I feel bad. Sometimes I feel bad. Mostly I just love wearing my sweater and snuggling up with my heating pad. Occasionally I do make an effort to sleep in something silky and pretty. For the new year, I'm going to resolve to try and do this more; to come to bed looking a bit more appealing. But, deep down inside, I think I'm just a little old lady. I gotta have my sweater. And my heating pad.

me in aforementioned tee and sweater

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's to a peaceful and prosperous New Year for us all!