Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I broke out my Switchfoot CD this week to listen to on my way to work. I use it as kind of a "pep talk" to get me in the right frame of mind about life. My favorite song on the CD, A Beautiful Letdown, is This is Your Life. The lyrics remind me that "today is all we've got" and makes me think of all the ideals I have and make me strive to be a better person that day. The lyrics of the song are:

This is Your Life

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes
This is your life and today is all you’ve got now
Yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have

Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose

Yesterday is a kid in the corner
Yesterday is dead and over
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose

Don’t close your eyes Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes Don’t close your eyes
This is your life are you who you want to be
This is your life are you who you want to be

This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose
And you had everything to lose

My second favorite song on the CD is Meant to Live. I think the lyrics "We were meant to live for so much more" are so powerful! Here are the lyrics:

Meant to Live

Fumbling his confidence
And wond’ring why the world has passed him by
Hoping that he’s meant for more than arguments
And failed attempts to fly, fly

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside

Dreaming about providence
And whether mice or men have second tries
Maybe we’ve been livin with our eyes half open
Maybe we’re bent and broken, broken

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside

We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than the wars of our fathers
And everything inside screams for second life

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live
We were meant to live

This is your life. . . . .make it a great one!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Check these out

A couple of weeks ago Dave wanted to have lox & bagels on a Sunday morning. Wanting to make sure we had all the accoutrement's that went with them, I looked on-line for a 'recipe' and came across The Reluctant Housewife's blog. It has some great recipes---check out the Fall Salads link. Yum!

I took a class in December from a really talented gal named Katie who teaches classes at Cool Scrapbook Stuff. She has really creative ideas about how to create things on her Two Peas in a Bucket page. She is a design team member for Maya Road----I think they have cute scrapping supplies!

If you know anyone who is looking to buy a home in San Diego, my brother-in-law is selling his! Check it out! Mission Hills home


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Scrapbook * Your * Goals

Page 1: My Long-Term Goals
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
Pages 2 & 3 : Lose weight (working on it); See Oprah show (accomplished!)
Pages 4 & 5: Travel to Europe (accomplished!);
Get Master's degree
(working on it now)
Page 6: Be a speaker at a Women's Conference
(yep, that's one of my goals!)
Page 7: Catch up with my scrapbooking
Page 8: Become a published writer
(No, a blog doesn't count. . .I'm thinking magazine articles; maybe children's books)
Page 9: Learn to tap dance
(yep, another one of my goals that I bet you didn't know!)

Okay, confirmed scrapbooker or not, here's something everyone can do! Grab a small scrapbook --- a 6" x 6", 8" x 8", 5" x 7", whatever ---- and 'scrap' your goals. Write what you want, what you hope to do, what you've dreamed about doing. My GOALS scrapbook was written in 2003. I just sat down and made a list of my long-term goals, then placed a few visuals in a scrapbook as a reminder of what I wanted to accomplish. Then, as you accomplish each goal, put a picture of yourself in the book!

In 2005, I got to travel to Chicago to see an Oprah show! In June/July of 2007, I traveled to Europe (Greece). (Yes, I'm behind on this----I haven't yet placed my picture in my scrapbook of my travel to Europe). Two of my long-term goals are completed! I'm working on my Master's degree right now, and will be finished by this summer. Yeah--- three down! Some of my other goals are pretty doable --- after all, there are tap dance classes offered locally. Some are more of a stretch --- not so sure about being a speaker at a conference, nor if I'll have the time anytime soon to pursue writing --- but I have my goals all plotted out and documented in my 5" x 7" scrapbook!

It's an easy project, and fun to do. . . .and it helps keep me focused on what I want to accomplish in the future. Best of all, there are lots of extra pages still in the book so I can add more goals as I accomplish the ones I already have!

So get going ---- scrapbook YOUR goals!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Something great is going to happen today!

I was watching Joel Osteen yesterday,
and I was inspired by something he said. So I'm going to try it.
Basically, he said we should wake up every day and say, "Something great is going to happen today." We should expect great things to happen. We should be optimistic that great things will happen. We should be open and ready for great things to happen. It's not something to try for just a few days, and give up on if something doesn't happen. It's an attitude, a way to live, a way to greet each day. I like the idea. I like the positive tone of it.
I can't wait until tomorrow morning!

Charger's Fans

Well Charger's Fans, it's time to put away our hats
and t-shirts for another season. : (
Our loss to the Patriots yesterday was a real heart-breaker!
"There's always next year. . . . ."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Creativity!

I'm still taking my "picture a day" --- are you? Even though I am busy trying to write a paper for my Master's class, I am trying to get in my creative fix every day. : ) This picture is from my craft room, aka Mike's bedroom.

Go Chargers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Words to live by

Have you read The Four Agreements®? I highly recommend it. After talking with a friend today, I was reminded of its wisdom and words to live by:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Don Miguel Ruiz writes a powerful book about the agreements we make with others ----- and with ourselves. If you haven't read his book yet, pick one up. . . . it really makes you think about yourself and how you make look at the world. It is a constant reminder to look to myself first for the way I interact with others, and to monitor the way I conduct, and treat, myself in relation to those I interact with each day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Creative Fun

I love the 'barn star' I have on the front of my house. I was thinking about buying one because I thought they looked nice. Then Dave & I went to visit his brother back in Maryland. He and his wife took us through the Amish country in Pennsylvania, and there were all sizes of these stars all over. Once I saw how great they looked on all the different buildings, I knew for sure I'd get one when we got back home. I went to Home Goods and got a star for our house. But when I started to put it up, Dave asked me, in all seriousness, "Won't people think we're Amish?" I had a good laugh, and told him no, that the cars parked in our driveway would give us away. Luckily, these stars are now found everywhere, not just in Amish country! I think they look great!

My friend AJ has a link to a site that shows how to alter the stars using scrapbook paper. It is so cool! I definitely want to give it a try. I'm not sure how many more stars Dave will want me to hang inside and outside of the house, but I want to make one with Christmas papers for sure!

A lot of you know that I moved all my scrapbooking stuff into Mike's bedroom, but lost the space when he moved back in late last year. So, I still have all my stuff, but without the extra room to spread it all out and store it in. Since then, some of the cool new embellishments I'd get would soon get buried or hidden away in storage where I'd either forget about them or not dig them out when I needed them. I found a cool way to store some of them that I want handy: this 'picture holder' that I got at Container Store. I just clip on the embellishments, and things stay handy.... and looks kind of artistic, I think!

Next to my new, artistic embellishment holder is my Cricut machine. Do you Cricut? For all of my friends out there who aren't using theirs yet, here's some help for you: videos! If you're like me, you like someone to walk you through how to use something. . . . .Well, you can do what I did: check out this site ---- http://www.cricut.com/movies/ It shows you step by step how to use and maintain your Cricut. So what's stopping you now? : )

Monday, January 14, 2008

Words to live by

To get your creative juices flowing (and mine!) I'm going to turn to a gift a friend made for me last year. It was too pretty to use so I kept it and just looked at it. (Sorry, Michelle!) This year I decided that I should use it, as it will help me fulfill my desire this year to create. On the inside of this beautiful creation is a page per month, with things to journal about each month. For instance, here's January:

The journaling for this month says: List your personal mottos or inspired words you want to live by.

So here goes --- my first one is: "Be the change you want to see in the world." Now I need to sit and think about the other ones I want to list. What about you? What are your mottos and/or words to live by?

FYI ~ The quote that is featured on this January calendar page says: To do good things in the world, first you must know who you are and what gives meaning to your life ~~~ by Robert Browning.

Musings from my Starbucks cup

The Way I See It #288
by Losang Rabgey, Ph.D.

'My cousin in Tibet is an illiterate subsistence farmer.
By accident of birth, I was raised in the West and
have a Ph.D. The task of our generation is to cut
through the illusion that we inhabit separate worlds.
Only then will we find the heart to rise to the
daunting but urgent challenges of global disparity.'

(Losang Rabgey, Ph.D. is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer
and co-founder of Machik, a nonprofit helping communities on the Tibetan plateau.)

You've got to love a world that gives you things to think about while sipping a cup of coffee! I like that Starbucks started to put quotes on their cups, which quite often make me stop and think for a moment. If you haven't read your cup lately, please do so! Some will make you think, and others will make you smile. Some you won't like. But that's okay. That's what makes the world an interesting place ----- differences of opinion. But go ahead, read your Starbucks cup ---- it just might make your day more thoughtful and interesting!
For more quotes, go to: www.starbucks.com/wayiseeit

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Being Organized

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
~ Confucius

Those who know me well know that I am organizationally challenged. First of all, I save too much stuff..... (I did, after all, still have the 'Living Guide for 1997.') I'm also a piler, that is, I put my stuff in piles, rather than putting everything away.

I visited the website Zen Habits, which has some great ideas about living a simpler life. Specifically I liked the Four Laws of Simplicity about how to overcome clutter:

1. Collect everything in one place.
2. Choose the essential.
3. Eliminate the rest.
4. Organize the remaining stuff neatly and nicely.

Sounds so easy, and yet, so hard.
With the recent fires in Southern California, and personally knowing a lot of people who lost their homes, I know that it is just stuff. And stuff doesn't really matter. But I still have a hard time not keeping things I like or feel attached to or think I might 'need' one day.
(I know, I've read enough of the clutter 'self-help' books to know I must have some deep-seated fear/problem that I need to overcome.)
But I still keep too much, and have a hard time parting with things.

Feel free to leave a comment with any suggestions you have to help me with
this clutter addiction!

My friend AJ (Primitives~Life~Art) made these signs for me years ago. . . so ME! They make me smile . . . . and think about my proclivity to collect stuff.

Chargers Win!

San Diego Chargers beat the Indianapolis Colts!
Great game!
Next up: New England.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thoughts on Living Well in 2008

I was going through some papers this week, and I ran across a couple of pages of inspiration on how to live one's life. . . .which I'll post here, in case they inspire anyone else. The first one was entitled 'Living Guide for 1997' (yes, I save things for a long time!) but these ideas work just as well in 2008. : )

Living Guide for 2008

  1. Compliment three people every day.
  2. Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
  3. Be the first to say, "Hello".
  4. Live beneath your means.
  5. Treat everyone like you want to be treated.
  6. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen.
  7. Forget the Joneses.
  8. Never deprive someone of hope. It may be all he/she has.
  9. Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.
  10. Be tough-minded but tenderhearted.
  11. Be kinder than necessary.
  12. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
  13. Keep your promises.
  14. Learn to show cheerfulness, even when you don't feel like it.
  15. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years.
  16. Leave everything better than you found it.
  17. Remember that winners do what losers don't want to do.
  18. Don't rain on other people's parades.
  19. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.


. . . .and it's all small stuff

Make peace with perfection.
Develop compassion = open heart.
When you die, your "in basket" will be full.
Don't interrupt people or finish sentences for them.
Do something nice for someone else and don't tell anyone, ever.
Let others have the glory.
Live in the present moment.
Imagine everyone is enlightened --- except you. . . what
are they teaching?
Let others be "right", most of the time.
Become more patient; practice patient periods.
"Will this matter a year from now?"
Surrender to the fact that "Life isn't fair".
Allow yourself to be bored; relax your mind.
Set aside quiet time, every day.
Seek to understand and then to be understood.
Be a better listener; not just waiting for your turn to talk.
Pick your battles wisely; soon you'll pick not to battle at all.
Life doesn't cause problems, moods do.
Life is a test; try your best at this test.
Praise and blame are all the same.
Practice random kindness = better world.
Look beyond people's behavior.
Being kind is better than being right.
Practice being humble.
Don't know if it's your turn? Do it!
Be interested in others.
Develop helping rituals.
Compliment someone every day.
You have no limits; don't fight for them.
Everything has God's fingerprints on it.
Resist criticizing others.
Soften your stubborn positions.
Pretend it's your last day on earth.


Here's to an inspired 2008!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Top Chef

Have you watched Top Chef? It’s one of our favorite shows. We had dinner on Christmas Eve at Oceanaire, whose Executive Chef, Brian Malarkey, was on the show last season (season 3). I asked our waiter if he would send Brian out to our table, and he said he’d send him out if things slowed down in the kitchen. About 10 minutes later, Brian showed up at our table! He was really nice. I told him how we rooted for him last season! Since the Chargers were playing at the same time as our dinner, we started discussing the team. Brian started telling us which players had been into the restaurant and what kind of fish they liked to eat. He talked with us for quite a while, and it was fun to meet him after seeing him on t.v. for all those weeks!

So, inspired by watching all the cooking reality shows, I decided to try to create a “gourmet” dinner for my family. I used to cook a lot when Dave and I first got married, but haven’t done so much lately. Of course, I used my new camera to take pictures of my creations!

First course was an ‘experiment’ of sorts, but it turned out great! I took filo dough and cut it into about 3 inch strips. I melted butter and spread it on one side of the filo, and put another strip on top and added butter. Then I took a slice of feta cheese and a slice of tomato, put it in one corner, topped it with oregano, then folded the filo dough up in a triangular fashion. I popped them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 – 20 minutes. They were delicious! Dave said that it reminded him of the kind of pizza he used to have back in New York…nice and fresh. (We’ve been eating feta and tomato so much since our trip to Greece!)

Next up was a veal dish, with all kinds of ingredients like Italian parsley, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc. Served it all with mashed potatoes and broccoli. Yum. Dessert was warm apple slices with cinnamon, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It was a lot of fun to get back into the kitchen and create a special dinner for my family. . . . it beats the burritos, and the sandwich meals, that we've had of late!

Creativity in the kitchen . . . . gotta love it!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"Hometown USA"

The other evening our son called my husband and me outside to look at the sky. The three of us stood there gazing up at the beautiful colors. My husband said our street looked like "Hometown USA." I loved that description. . . .we live in such a nice place! And, although our house is 'small' by current standards, we have a great neighborhood and a comfortable house, and we feel very blessed. Hometown, USA. It has a nice ring to it!

Tomorrow the Chargers will play a playoff game against the Tennessee Titans.
Go Chargers!! I'll be watching my new favorite player, Clinton Hart (#42).

Clinton was one of three Chargers who recently came to my school to encourage the kids after the wildfires. He was articulate and funny and related to the kids, taking time to answer their questions and then going out into the crowd of kids to 'high-five' as many of them as he could. What a great representative of the Chargers he was; what a great person he portrayed to the kids!

I'm taking my picture-a-day. . . . . are you? :) 365 project

Friday, January 4, 2008

"It is what it is"

This week as I was packing up my Christmas things, I stopped to take a special look at my Christmas bears. Their little faces are so cute! You'll understand what I mean if, when you go in a store to buy some sort of stuffed animal, you look for the "right" one ---- the one whose face 'looks' at you & seems to talk to you. My bears were looking at me as I said goodbye to each one and gently put them in tissue paper and then into the red & green container that they'll live in until next Christmas. (Luckily, my other collection of bears, with their own sweet little faces, will come out to take the place of their Christmas counterparts!)

So my decorations are all put away, and of course, I'm thinking of the new year. And one of my sayings this year is : "It is what it is". My feeling is that a lot of times we're all getting worked up over things that just are. . . . .I mean, we're expending too much energy getting upset over things. They are what they are, and we have to know that, and accept that. We don't have to like it. We can still work to change things we don't like. But some things just are what they are. We need to start at that point and move forward. Let's use our energy to move forward, not to lament what already is.

Okay, for a creative fix, go to: http://timholtz.com/vid_grungeboard.html and check out the cool new product that Tim is showing. How fun does that look? I can't wait to get my hands on some!

Quote for today:
To do good things in the world, first you must know who you are
and what gives meaning to your life.
~ Robert Browning

Think about it! : )

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Favorite Books

What are you reading? The two books I'm currently reading are:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Life Artist by Ali Edwards.

I'm only through Italy with Eat, Pray, Love. Next is India, then Indonesia. My sister gave me the book for Christmas, and I'm really enjoying it so far. The author is easy to read; she throws in a lot of humor and is fabulous in her use of metaphors! I'll give an update after I 'travel' through India --- via the author's great descriptions.

Life Artist is very inspiring, with Ali giving hints on how to "scrapbook life's journey". She answers questions, gives examples, and has advice like, "It is okay" and "Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be". (Michelle, are you listening?) Again, since 2008 is my year to be creative, I'm hoping that this book will help keep me on track.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Favorite Blogs

I've listed some of my current favorite blogs. Let me tell you about a couple of them. . . .the first one is { A } Ali Edward's blog. Ali is an artist----she calls herself a "life artist". I love her work. In fact, she is one of the people who influenced me to try to be creative this year. Check out her blog, and you'll see how dedicated she is to preserving the everyday through her art ---- scrapbooking.

Another blog I love is Primitives ~ Life ~ Art. It is the blog of a friend of mine, who I went to high school with years ago. She owns a gift shop in Oregon (Sophie's Cottage). One of the things she does in her blog is share her ideas, and her how-to's, on how to make different items that she sells in the store. I think that is incredibly generous of her! She is SO talented and has such a great eye for taking 'things' and creating masterpieces! She was one of the original "green" people, taking items from "trash" to "treasure". She is an inspiration to me!

Hope you'll check out their blogs soon!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy 2008! We ushered in the new year with a wonderful dinner made by a friend of my husband's, then hurried back to our 2nd annual neighborhood New Year's Eve party with 15 minutes to spare before midnight ushered in 2008. Before we walked the 3 houses down to the neighborhood party, I grabbed the new camera I got for Christmas. We toasted the new year with our great group of neighbors.

I've been taking lots of pictures, trying to be creative. My word for this year is creative. (One of my words.) I want to try to nurture my creative side this year. I'm having lots of fun with my new camera. . . . .still getting used to it. I've been taking pictures of our cat, my husband and my sons, our Christmas ornaments, our neighbors----lots of things! It is a nice digital camera, one I can use on automatic mode as well as set it on manual and control certain features. They call automatic the 'basic' zone and manual the 'creative' zone. I'm embracing the "digital" side of photography, because when we took our trip to Greece, I took a "regular" camera while my husband took his digital. We both got lots of great pictures, but I've been having a lot more fun 'playing' with his pictures on the computer. So, I'm officially 'digital' now! I can't wait to play with all the new pictures I'm taking with my new camera! : )

I saw a cool project on another website called 365 project. . . .check it out. I'm not sure I'd actually post all of my pictures but I think the idea is really neat. Part of trying to be creative this year!