Monday, January 28, 2008

Oh my!

So, I was a big fan way back when, but when I saw this, I thought, maybe they should just leave a good thing alone...

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Over the Christmas break, I had a woman who runs a candy making business out of her home called Sweet Wishes, come and teach the kids in the Extended Day program that I coordinate about cupcake decorating. I had her come in last school year during our Spring Break to show us how to make candy. Judy, the woman behind Sweet Wishes, is fantastic! She really knows her "stuff" and engages the kids totally into what they are about to do. And, the best part, she brings everything with her, so you don't have to go out and purchase supplies! (If you have kids, I recommend her for birthday or school parties.)

On the day she came in, we were able to decorate 4 different cupcakes. I even got into the action! Here is my favorite of the 4, a ladybug...

Isn't it cute? I was pretty proud of it! Here are the others...

There is a tie-dyed cupcake, the lady bug, a teddy bear's picnic cupcake and worms in dirt. So much fun!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I think she had something to do with it!

A few weekends ago, E and I were "up North" at our favorite B & B, Woodland Trails. It just happened to be my birthday, so we went out for dinner at a steakhouse in Siren, WI, that we go to when we are at Woodland Trails. We were early getting into Siren, so we decided to shop a little. We stopped at a store that was next door to an antique shop that we had been to before. When we visited the antique shop before, it was the dirtiest, smelliest antique shop we had ever been to. In fact E, with his allergies, walked out sneezing.

E decided he was just going to "peek his head" into the antique shop, and I warned him about the sneezing fit he could acquire while we visited. But, this time, the shop was clean, neat, wasn't smelly, and you could actually walk through the aisles! We mentioned how much we were impressed to the shop owner, and she said that she requires all of her sellers to wash their items. Then, she pointed to one area of the store, and said that the seller in that area has a hard time washing his stuff, but he was getting better. I looked over, and I couldn't believe my eyes! Not because everything was clean, but because there happened to be a blue cracked glass pitcher that matches a set of tumblers that were my grandparent's.

When my Grandma passed away last year, I asked for those tumblers, as I had always loved them when I was a kid. I didn't really want anything else, and I was lucky enough to get them.
(I did acquire a few hundred knitting needles, also, which is not a bad thing either!)

Sometimes, I think there are little signs from my Grandma, and I really think this might have been one of them. Especially since it was my birthday, I really do believe this.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

His name was Barry, he gave us glowsticks...

So, about 2 months ago, on our commute into work, E and I heard that Barry Manilow was coming to town. We were impressed when we heard that Barry wanted to reach a wider audience, and was offering tickets at a price of $7.99. I told E that secretly I have always wanted to see Barry Manilow in concert. After hearing this, I think he was a little surprised, but said to me, "if you can get tickets, I would entertain the thought of going with you." I am not really sure if he was serious, but, I ended up getting tickets and E was a good sport for going along with my closeted dream.

So Friday night came, and we ventured out to the Xcel Energy Center, a building that was made mostly for Wild hockey, but has surprisingly excellent acoustics for concerts. (In fact it was in that very building that E and met at a Barenaked Ladies concert.)

When we arrived, we waited for the elevator with 3 other people that happened to be about our age. That was refreshing, as I had a thought that we may be the youngest people in the entire building. When we were in the corridors, it was amazing to see many women, mostly in their 50's+, dressed in tight fitting, low cut dresses with big huge hair. E and I decided that the name for these women had to be "Mani-hos".

We went to our seats, and we were in the front row of the top deck. I thought they were going to be good seats, but we literally had to climb down the side of a cliff to get to the front row. I am not really good with heights, so this was a bit unnerving.

There was one open seat between me and the next group of "Fanilows", and so I thought that the seat would remain empty. No one comes to a Barry Manilow concert alone, do they? I was wrong. In walked a lady, probably in her 40's, ready to rock with Barry. (E leaned over to me and said, "Aw, she came to the concert Man-alone." ) Good one!

The usher climbed down the cliff to our row before the show began and started passing out individually wrapped yellow sticks that had "Manilow: Music and Passion" printed on them. If you cracked the stick in your hand, they glowed a fluorescent green. I am pretty sure the "Fanilows" were probably going nuts for their "Maniglow" sticks. It was kind of neat to see them all on the main level from our seats. E cracked his Maniglow stick in his hand and it lit up very brightly. He said, "There we Manigo". :)

All in all, the concert was good, but Barry brought a bit of cheese with him. He joked how he was Prince, and then said that he was kidding because he had a bigger nose. He called himself a "sex god", talked about drugs in the 60's while smoking a fake joint but then said the only drug he does is Lipitor, and few others that were seriously cheesy.

Even at 64 years of age, his voice still sounded good, and he was moving around alright, even after hip surgeries. My favorite part had to be when he ended up doing a duet of "Mandy" with himself, while they put up footage of his Midnight Special concert from 1975. That was actually pretty cool.

All in all, it was fun, and now I can say that I have seen Barry Manilow in concert. I know that most people my age would laugh at me for wanting to see him. Being that I was raised on many different kinds of music, I am ok with saying, I am a fan. Maybe not a Fanilow, but at least a fan...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Well, another year has come and gone, and I am actually happy to say that I am glad to see it go. It has been a really hard year. With the loss of my dear Grandmother and dealing with some infertility issues, I can say that I am truly looking forward to 2008.

My resolution for myself this year is to be a better budgeter. My personal finances are finally getting to where I want them to be, so I have some ideas to become better at planning a budget! Also, I would like to possibly open my own Etsy store, and with that I want to manage my crafting time more wisely (instead of leaving it all to a 2 month period and freaking out!). I have some of my stuff on Knot and Bauble but I think I am ready to expand.

E and I have decided to make a resolution together, also. We are planning on making a "menu for the week" for dinners together and sticking to it. We see this as a way to save money and calories! One of our favorite things to do recently is to go to Trader Joe's on Sunday mornings. We figure if we sitck to that routine, we can shop for the week and then come home and plan our menu.

I am never really that good at sticking to my resolutions, but I think this time may be different. (I am sure I have said that before!)

May you all have a healthy and happy 2008!!!