Tuesday, December 20, 2011


There are so many things I want to show you, but all the lovelies are going to those that may happen upon this blog in the next couple days.  Normally I wouldn't care, but some of these are just to obvious. 

Instead, I will show you some really cool ideas and happy things I found while browsing Pinterest in the past couple months.  When all else fails, browse Pinterest. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Gift

Late Sunday evening.

I finished frosting the cut out cookies with natural food coloring so that all members of my family can enjoy. The yellow is great. The blue appears as a vibrant purple. The red is lovely. The green, well, we still need to figure out how to mix yellow with purple to make green, not brown.

My tree cookies match our real tree. We picked a dud tree. It hasn't taken in any water since we bought it over a week ago. Needles are falling and it's lush green is a little bit like mixing purple with yellow.

Shopping is done, baking is done, the wrapping is nearly done, and it feels good.
Just before I sat down, I was wrapping a homemade gift for Sam when I smiled. Earlier, I read a friend of mine was overjoyed with an early Christmas present. A present that is from a high end shop, one in which we could never afford, nor particularly want.

I smiled at the simplicity of the object I was wrapping.  Just a little hand crocheted and felted starfish in red.  The color and size and shape was very important to Sam.  I hope it is exactly as he imagined.

Here's hoping for a boy that is as overjoyed with this "yarny" as my friend was for her gift. 

Remember what your mother always said, "It's the thought that counts."

So as you rush around this week, take a moment to smile and find joy in something simple.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo Class

My father and I took the "Nuts and Bolts" Photography class taught by Mary Frost at Campos Photography aka iprintfromhome.com.   This class was great.  We brought our cameras and our manuals and were taught a few simple techniques to get better photos out of our cameras.  It's amazing what a couple clicks can do for a photo.

I've fallen in love with my camera once again.

Our assignment was to shoot in Program Mode and adjust our light.  Couple clicks down and a couple clicks up.  But mostly, Mary taught us that if we take a photo, to always look at the histogram.  The black and white mountain graph.  If the black mountain climbs a wall, adjust your brightness.  Since last week, I rarely look at my photo, I'm mostly looking at the histogram.  This let's me know that I have captured all the information in the photograph and if I need or want to, I can edit the photo in software.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Our First Snowfall

We live in Buffalo.

Buffalo, NY.

The town with the bad rap when it comes to snowfall.  It is December 9th and this is our first snowfall of the year, aside from light flurries that melted before they hit the ground.

O was upset.  I had promised the grass would be covered by the time they got off the bus.  Alas, the weatherman was wrong...once again.  What a great job.  You can be wrong half the time and still be considered a good weatherperson.

These two boys are having fun, regardless of the amount on the ground.  They may have to move to the neighbors' yards for more snow, but that doesn't seem to matter much today.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


The big green machines.

I am lazy when it comes to rolling change in those wrappers.  The time I would spend is surely better spent doing something else.  And that is why giving 9.8% to CoinStar is okay by me.

I had planned on getting the cash back, until I saw they now have Amazon.com and iTunes gift cards for your money.  All of your money.  They don't take a penny.

Before you deposit your money, you select the gift card (basically a gift receipt) that you desire, and agree to all the legal language.  Once you complete dumping all of your change into the machine, a receipt prints out.  That code is available immediately.

This is a great opportunity to purchase items on line, if you are worried about your credit card.  You could put cash (yes, paper money works in CoinStar) into the machine, and get a gift receipt for Amazon.com, then make your purchases, feeling safe that your information is secure.  I haven't tested this theory of not having to enter a credit card number, assuming your certificate covers the full amount of your purchase, this should work.

Either way, when kids get money as gifts or allowance and would like to buy something from Amazon, they could deposit this money into CoinStar and get the receipt for no cost.

And for my coffee loving friends, Starbucks is no fee certificates, as well as ToysRUs, CVS, JCPenney, Land's End, Gap and Regal Cinemas.  A full list of the no fee certificates are here. 

You can even donate to the Red Cross through CoinStar.

Something for everything.  I'm looking at my coin jar differently these days.