Sunday, March 8, 2015

It's the Little Things in Life


On my cookbook shelf above my kitchen sink sits these little white swans.



I have been known to place a ring around one of the swan heads while doing dishes. I like to see these and be reminded of the time I bought them. When I look at them they remind me of my Mom and Dad.

Sometime after my parents retired, they bought a small house in Washington, Utah, just outside St. George. Living in Washington state with all the rain in the winter time, I decided that visiting my Mom and Dad for a weekend in February was a great idea.

On one of my visits, my parents and I stopped at a garage sale (no surprise there). It was at the garage sale that I saw these cute little nested swans. They are actually measuring cups. I bought them, packed them in my suitcase and brought them home. I don't remember what year that was.

My Father passed away in June of 1998, so I'm guessing these were purchased in 1997 or
1998.

It's the sweet, little things in life that sometimes have a lot of meaning and hold a lot of memories. Look for the little things and find joy in them.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

That's Entertainment

My husband and I listen to the radio while eating dinner in the evenings. Sometimes a song comes on that we either don't recognize or one that we really like. We get curious about the artist so I get my cell phone and I Shazam it. (I'm pretty sure Shazam has just become a verb.) That will bring up the song title, artist and many times the lyrics.

It's surprising to me how catchy a song can be and I can listen to it over and over thinking how great it is. Until we look up the lyrics. I was laughing as I was reading them out loud the other night to my husband.

It would be interesting to observe a song writer at work. I had no idea how many times the chorus is repeated in a song, with most songs only lasting a little over 3 minutes long.

I'm grateful for the innocence of my youth when I listened to the music of the 70s but really had no idea they were talking so much about drugs.

Two songs I like that we recently looked up were Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars and Sugar by Maroon 5. They just sound a little funny when you read them out loud. Enjoy!

Uptown Funk Lyrics
 
Doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh
Doh doh doh, doh duh (Aaaaaaow!)

This hit
That ice cold
Michelle Pfeiffer
That white gold
This one, for them hood girls
Them good girls
Straight masterpieces
Stylin', while
Livin' it up in the city
Got Chucks on with Saint Laurent
Gotta kiss myself I'm so pretty

I'm too hot (hot damn)
Called a police and a fireman
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire, man
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Say my name you know who I am
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Am I bad 'bout that money
Break it down

Girls hit you hallelujah (whuoo)
Girls hit you hallelujah (whuoo)
Girls hit you hallelujah (whuoo)
'Cause Uptown Funk gon' give it to you
'Cause Uptown Funk gon' give it to you
'Cause Uptown Funk gon' give it to you
Saturday night and we in the spot
Don't believe me, just watch (Come on)

Doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don't believe me, just watch

Doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Hey, hey, hey, oh!

Stop
Wait a minute
Fill my cup put some liquor in it
Take a sip, sign a check
Julio! Get the stretch!
Ride to Harlem, Hollywood, Jackson, Mississippi
If we show up, we gon' show out
Smoother than a fresh jar o' Skippy

I'm too hot (hot damn)
Called a police and a fireman
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire, man
I'm too hot (hot damn) (hot damn)
Bitch, say my name you know who I am
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Am I bad 'bout that money
Break it down

Girls hit your hallelujah (whuoo)
Girls hit your hallelujah (whuoo)
Girls hit your hallelujah (whuoo)
'Cause Uptown Funk gon' give it to you
'Cause Uptown Funk gon' give it to you
'Cause Uptown Funk gon' give it to you
Saturday night and we in the spot
Don't believe me, just watch (come on)

Doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don't believe me, just watch

Doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Hey, hey, hey, oh!

Before we leave
Let me tell y'all a lil' something
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up
I said Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up

Come on, dance
Jump on it
If you sexy then flaunt it
If you freaky then own it
Don't brag about it, come show me
Come on, dance
Jump on it
If you sexy then flaunt it
Well it's Saturday night and we in the spot
Don't believe me, just watch (come on)

Doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don't believe me, just watch

Doh
Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)

Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Hey, hey, hey, oh!

Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up (say whaa?!)
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up (say whaa?!)
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up (say whaa?!)
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up (say whaa?!)
Uptown Funk you up
Aaaaaaow! 
Songwriters
BHASKER, JEFF / GALLASPY, DEVON / LAWRENCE, PHILLIP / RONSON, MARK / MARS, BRUNO / WILLIAMS, NICHOLAUS
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, IMAGEM U.S. LLC

 
 "Sugar"
I'm hurting, baby, I'm broken down
I need your loving, loving
I need it now
When I'm without you
I'm something weak
You got me begging, begging
I'm on my knees

I don't wanna be needing your love
I just wanna be deep in your love
And it's killing me when you're away, ooh, baby,
'Cause I really don't care where you are
I just wanna be there where you are
And I gotta get one little taste

Sugar
Yes, please
Won't you come and put it down on me?
I'm right here, 'cause I need
Little love and little sympathy
Yeah, you show me good loving
Make it alright
Need a little sweetness in my life
Sugar
Yes, please
Won't you come and put it down on me?

My broken pieces
You pick them up
Don't leave me hanging, hanging
Come give me some
When I'm without ya
I'm so insecure
You are the one thing, one thing
I'm living for

I don't wanna be needing your love
I just wanna be deep in your love
And it's killing me when you're away, ooh, baby,
'Cause I really don't care where you are
I just wanna be there where you are
And I gotta get one little taste

Sugar
Yes, please
Won't you come and put it down on me?
I'm right here,
'cause I need
Little love and little sympathy
Yeah, you show me good loving
Make it alright
Need a little sweetness in my life
Sugar! (Sugar!)
Yes, please (Yes, please)
Won't you come and put it down on me?

Yeah
I want that red velvet
I want that sugar sweet
Don't let nobody touch it
Unless that somebody's me
I gotta be a man
There ain't no other way
'Cause girl you're hotter than a southern California day

I don't wanna play no games
I don't gotta be afraid
Don't give me all that shy shit
No make-up on
That's my

Sugar
Yes, please
Won't you come and put it down on me (down on me!)?
I'm right here (right here), 'cause I need ('cause I need)
Little love and little sympathy
So, baby, you show me good loving
Make it alright
Need a little sweetness in my life
Sugar! (Sugar!)
Yes, please (Yes, please)
Won't you come and put it down on me?

Sugar
Yes, please
Won't you come and put it down on me?
I'm right here, 'cause I need
Little love and little sympathy
Yeah, you show me good loving
Make it alright
Need a little sweetness in my life
Sugar
Yes, please
Won't you come and put it down on me?

Songwriters
POSNER, MIKE / KASHER HINDLIN, JACOB / LEVINE, ADAM / GOTTWALD, LUKASZ / COLEMAN, JOSHUA / CANALE, PEDRO
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

in-cen-tives

Merriam-Webster defines incentive as "something that encourages a person to do something or to work harder, something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action".

Synonyms:
boost, encouragement, goad, impetus, impulse, incitation, incitement, instigation, momentum, motivation, provocation, spur, stimulant, stimulus.
 
Turns out I need some encouragement, incitement, momentum and motivation in my life. Especially when it comes to my efforts to lose weight. So I created my own incentive plan.

It starts with a goal. My goal for now is to lose 30 pounds. In previous weight loss attempts the first 10 pounds is a worthy goal. For my incentive plan I broke it up into the number of pounds lost. It starts with 10 lbs., then for every 5 lbs. after that I receive an incentive envelope.

There are a total of 5 envelopes. My original plan is to hit 10 lbs., maintain the 10 lb. loss for 2 weeks then reward myself with the contents of the envelope. However, as I'm getting close to the first incentive of 10 lbs. and for how hard I've worked, I may forego the two weeks of waiting, we'll see.

What is inside the envelopes you ask? Well, it starts with a note to my future self. It's like a vision statement for how I see myself in my future. I praise myself, I acknowledge the struggles I may be having and I offer myself words of encouragement.

Stimulus and incitement is the goal. Also, inside each envelope is a surprise for me. I involved my daughter in this incentive plan by providing her the envelopes and an amount of cash. Her job was to divvy up the cash anyway she wanted and fill the incentive envelopes with gift cards, cash, notes, whatever she wanted.

I provided her a list of suggestions for the gift cards. Now I have my incentive plan in place. I have the first envelope hanging on a kitchen wall as a constant reminder of my goal.


Baby steps, 10 lbs. to start, then a reward for each 5 lbs. after that. Once I hit my 30 lb. loss I will evaluate if I want to go further.

I'm close to my first envelope, I can hardly wait.



 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Avoiding Ground Hog's Day


Do you ever feel like this:  doing the same thing over and over again every day?

When my alarm goes off in the morning, all I can think about is, didn't I just do this exact same thing yesterday? I'll get up, maybe go to the gym, commute to the office, work, commute home, make dinner, clean the kitchen, watch a little TV and then get up the next day and do it all over again.

Don't get me wrong, I love routine. When I'm off my routine things just don't feel right. But sometimes I think I need to shake my routine up just a little bit. That's one thing I'm going to work on this year. I don't want that dreaded thought in my head that I'm just getting out of bed to repeat the same day I had yesterday.

Instead, I will great the new day for what it is. A brand new day. It's not yesterday and maybe today I can change things up a little bit. Maybe I try something different at the gym, maybe I listen to a new CD on the commute to work. Perhaps I eat my lunch in the cafeteria dining room instead of at my desk like I do most days.

Maybe when I get home from work I do something fun before I make dinner. We can eat dinner an hour later once in awhile. And when I feel frazzled by too many changes I just go back to my regular routine for awhile.

Instead of going to bed at night thinking, "I have to get up and do it all again tomorrow." I'll be telling myself, "I'm blessed to have tomorrow, to try something new, to make someone smile, to live another day." Each day should be a new day to look forward to, full of possibilities and challenges.

Time to face it head on, one step at a time and sometimes step off the paved path for the one less traveled. Be adventurous and embrace this moment in time.

For in the end I want it to be said of me, "she did not waste a single day by wishing it was a different day."

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

Just wanted to start the year off with a blog post. But I'm not really sure what I want to say. 2014 was a pretty decent year. It wasn't without it's share of issues, but we made it through. We were greatly blessed with the birth of sweet baby Amoura in July. My year was spent doing a lot of traveling. Between work and family visits I wracked up some mileage.

I made multiple trips to Utah to visit with my sisters, and both my children and their families. For work I traveled to Long Beach in August and Washington, DC in October.

Natalie and I had fantastic trip to New York City in August. It was such a great trip. Now when I watch TV or movies, I love to see the sights of NYC and say, "hey, I've been there!" We also were able to spend some time outside the city with my friend Gail and her husband Wayne.

So now this post has turned into a review of 2014. That's quite alright. I have enjoyed taking lots of photos this year and have some posted on my Camera Capture page of this blog.

In 2015 I need to blog more (helps me keep track of the events in my life), I need to do more with my food blog. I love cooking and taking pictures so that's a perfect combination for me.

At work we are  moving into a newly remodeled area of our same building the end of January. We are also getting a new Director. All of that will change up the dynamics of our group. Should be interesting.

2015
I will do more of some things
and less of other things.
Here's the start to the More and Less lists

More - sewing, writing, blogging, photography, time outdoors, exercising, talking on the phone to family members, card sending, listening, Skyping with the grand daughters, relaxing, hula hooping, fabric, knitting, going to movies, trying new recipes, reading, dusting, vacuuming, sleeping, positive thoughts, saving money, downsizing stuff, fruits, vegetables, and more floating. I'm sure there will be more to add to this list.

Less - gossiping, complaining, whining, buying things, wasting food, wasting time, piles of magazines, paper, clutter, dust, weight, procrastinating, negativity. There will definitely be more added to this list also.

I like this idea of a More and Less list. Think about it, what would you put on your lists?

Pictures for the New Year. I love the Christmas holiday, the lights, the feeling, everything about it. On my recent jaunt to Utah I was able to visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City and see the Christmas lights. It was absolutely gorgeous. Here is just a glimpse.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Art Makes Me Happy - NYC

While in NYC we had the opportunity to visit many museums. It does involve a lot of time and a lot of walking. But they do not disappoint.

We started with the Guggenheim. We took the Subway and caught our first glimpse of Central Park. From the web site: "An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums."

Not to mention the movie scenes that get filmed there, like Mr. Popper's Penguins. Director Mark Waters relates about going to the actual Guggenheim Museum, "We had to kind of shoot everything at night in between the time that the museum would close and reopen in the morning.  We'd have to bring in the entire carnival of people and light the whole place and shoot the sequence. And Angela Lansbury is 85 years old and it's 4:00 in the morning, and she's dancing around with Jim Carrey, getting spun around.  And I'm saying to myself, I can't believe this is real. They actually let us in here to shoot? Are they out of their minds?"



After viewing each floor, getting told not to take photos on the ramp and using the tiny rounded bathroom where you can hit your head on a column while getting up from the toilet, we then went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met.

As like so much of the city there was construction going on so part of the front of the building was blocked.

The Museum mission statement: The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870, "to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction."

This place was huge. You had to actually use the Museum map to get around in all the various exhibit rooms. It was multiple floors packed with so much to see. It was quite amazing.







Photo taken from the rooftop garden at the Met.
Remember the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, where the painting was stolen from the Met? Well, a set was built to look like the museum.
 
From Wikipedia: Filming took place throughout New York City, including Central Park. The corporate headquarters of Lucent Technologies stood in for Crown's suite of offices. Due to its being nearly impossible to film interior scenes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the producers' request was "respectfully declined"), the production crew made their own museum on a soundstage. Artisans were hired to create a realistic look to the set. Another scene was filmed in a different city landmark: the main research library of the New York Public Library.
 
After viewing these two museums we made our way across Central Park to Shake Shack for lunch.

The City That Never Sleeps

There is only one city I can think of where I can be in the M&M store at 11:30 p.m. and the store clerks are monitoring the number of people going up the escalator to the 2nd floor. It was that crowded. That would be New York City (maybe Vegas too).

On August 6th, my daughter Natalie and I flew to Newark, New Jersey. From there we spent three nights in midtown Manhattan and two nights at my friend's home in Middletown, New York.

For this post I'm going to keep it simple with some helpful tips and facts about the trip.

When: August 6 - August 11th. The weather was perfect that week. We were lucky.

How: Flew Alaska Airlines nonstop from Seattle to Newark, New Jersey. We used my companion fare. It's a good perk of having an Alaska Airlines credit card. From Newark we had a prearranged shuttle bus that took us into Manhattan from the airport. I would highly recommend it. There are other airports but we picked this one for convenience.

Hotel: Club Quarters Midtown Manhattan. We found the hotel through Alaska Airlines webpage. I believe it goes through Orbitz. It was a great location. We were literally on the back side of Radio City Music Hall. No matter where we went it was easy to find out hotel coming back.

Discount Tickets: New York Pass. We bought a 3 day pass online in advance, and discounted. And we had the booklet mailed to us. Great maps, great way to organize what you want to do.

Transportation: 1) my two feet - wear socks and good walking shoes, by day 2 I had blisters; 2) Subway - buy a metro card from the machine; 3) taxi - convenient; 4) train - Grand Central Station to go out of the city; 5) New York Water Taxi - very fun and discounted in New York Pass; 6) bus - we didn't do this option but it looks like a good idea around town. A coworker told me today that when he goes there they do they Subway for north and south and the bus for east and west travel. You can also rent bicycles, (maybe in Central Park but I would not ride them around the city). And there are Pedi cabs but they look to be quite expensive.

I observed a pecking order in traffic. Starting with who has the most power to the least power on the streets. This is my observation: tour bus, city bus, emergency vehicles, town cars, taxi's, personal vehicles, Pedi cabs, bicycles, and pedestrians.

Broadway: We bought our discounted tickets (courtesy of New York Pass) from the box office on Thursday for the Saturday matinee. We wanted a particular show. Otherwise (and next time I go) you can go to Times Square in the morning and get half price, same day tickets for many shows. The people sitting next to us on the 6th row had bought their tickets that morning. We saw a show called Once. It was very good, a really fun time.

Times Square