Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Plates

Did you ever play the license plate game on road trips?

We aren't necessarily playing - rather just making note of the most far off plates.

In 230 miles:
Alaska: 2
Tamaulipas, Mexico: 1

What games do you play while your driving?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

TRA-dition!!! (installment 7)


The last few days I've shared some of my personal favorite Christmas traditions from growing up. I have to be honest with you, while they are really fun to look back on now, and we were "repurposing" long before it was the "hip" thing to do...most of our traditions were a result of necessity. We didn't usually have extra money for fancy wrapping paper or more gifts. By sending us on a scavenger hunt, the gift unwrapping experience took longer, making it seem like we got more than we actually did. I remember at the time, wishing for more gifts, wishing that we could afford new wrapping paper. Now I think, how would my memories of our traditions differ.

Would those be traditions?

And without those traditions, I wouldn't be able to make a brown paper bag look GOOD on a box! Enjoy today with whatever traditions you will share with your family. And remember, the best gift was presented to us, out of necessity, in a repurposed manger.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Friday, December 24, 2010

TRA-dition!!! (installment 6)

Repurposing: The triangular shaped hospital freebie formula sample box wasn't the only oddly shaped package under our tree. We've been known to use the oatmeal canister, the cylindrical tube inside the paper towel or toilet paper. And like the John Deere bag, we repurposed lots of other paper: newspaper, pages of magazines, possibly even homework, before it was the all the rage.



Maple Twist Rolls: I think that's all I have to say about that.


Are you repurposing anything for wrapping gifts this year?

After Christmas, I'll show you how I repurposed some broken Christmas lights!


What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

TRA-dition!!! (installment 5)

Sleep: It never failed, because of our anal-rententive unwrapping, my dad would fall asleep numerous times during the process.


Tape: One year, we ran out of tape by the time my brother got around to wrapping his gifts. And you don't just run and get more, when Wal-Mart is twenty minutes away. He improvised. He used black electrical tape. And wrapped that particular gift in a paper John Deere bag, strategically cut and taped with the JD logo centered on the front of the package.


Have you ever run out of supplies? How did you improvise?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TRA-dition!!! (installment 4)

Duped: The year my sister had a "present" wrapped for her show choir performance. While filled with textbooks for the performance, it was unwrapped, and rewrapped with a gift for my brother. For once, he had NO IDEA!


Scavenge: Because my brother and I were such good sleuths…my mom would send us on EXTRAVAGANT scavenger hunts. We're talking across town people. Last year I used the same idea for my mother-in-laws gift (a KitchenAid mixer)...it was HILARIOUS! That's a story for another time!


Have you ever sent someone on a scavenger hunt for a gift? If so, what was it like?


TRA-dition!!! (installment 3)

Anal Retentiveness: In our quest to not spend money we didn't have, we were pretty anal-rententive/uptight about not tearing wrapping paper. Typically we were each handed a steak-knife before opening gifts, to avoid any unnecessary ripping/tearing. (In recent years, I've definitely gotten my fair share of grief for this one.)


Paper: Because of the aforementioned aversion to tearing, there was wrapping paper older than me. And, like the aforementioned triangular shaped hospital freebie formula sample box, the same rolling commentary about what all had been wrapped in that paper ensued.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TRA-dition!!! (installment 2)

Disguising: The year my mom wrapped our presents in their "own" paper. My brother, sister, and I each had a "specific" paper all our gifts were wrapped in. She was hoping, in vain, that we wouldn't figure out what we were getting.


"The box": The triangular shaped hospital freebie formula sample box, that was kept purely for it's ability to disguise Christmas gifts. And every year there was a rolling commentary about who had a present in that box the previous years, and what the present was.




Be a Diva. Period.

If you don't want to read a post about anything related to "feminine needs" - STOP READING NOW!

This week I heard about a marketing firm that was looking for women to participate in a focus group. 2 hours on a Thursday night and $75 for your time!

Where do I sign up?

I called to get more information, and sure enough it was legit!

Focus Group Criteria:
  • first time mom
  • baby younger than 6 months
  • preferably started your cycle again
Well, for those of you breastfeeding moms, you know that last bulletpoint is just one of the advantages of breastfeeding, as it can delay your cycle for up to a year (SWEET!). But, they really needed women, so they let me participate.

The focus group was particularly related to your habits buying feminine products. (Like I said guys, you might not want to read this!) Interesting I thought to myself, besides post-partum needs, I haven't been down that aisle in YEARS. LITERALLY. (I'm not joking!).

I asked for a little advice from my marketing savy husband. How can I be a helpful member of the focus group if I don't necessarily fit the "average consumer" in that area. His advice. "Don't get on your soapbox and try to convert them all. Rather explain the reasons why you use what you do. Economical. Environmental. Health. etc."

There were six women participants. Our first task was to introduce ourselves, answer a few demographic questions including, "How often pre-pregnancy did you purchase feminine products?" Everyone else answered "1-3 months". I answered, "The last time I purchased feminine products was in 2007." (minus 1 replacement purchase as a result of a fire...that's a story for a different time)

A few eyebrows went up.

Please list on the notepad in front of you, what products you most frequently purchase, pre and post pregnancy.

My pre-pregnancy list was very short, in comparison, "The Diva Cup". (Like my savy husband recommended, I'll save my soap box for a different day.)

The evening continued, "We're going to vote on this list of 'features' of a variety of feminine products. Please vote for the three that are MOST IMPORTANT to you when deciding on a purchase. Lynette, I'm going to ask you not to participate."

Overall, it was definitely an interesting experience. I couldn't figure out if they were performing this research for a particular brand or a major retailer. Either way I left thinking the following things:
  • I'm not your average consumer.
  • I'm REALLY THANKFUL I'm not a regular visitor to "that aisle"
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE my DIVA cup. LOVE. Because it's economical, environmentally friendly, free of NASTY chemicals and WEIRD scents, is amazing for an active lifestyle, and gives me an emotional "freeness" every month (other divas know what I mean)







TRA-dition!!!

As Matt and I prepare for Christmas this year, we have spent less time at the mall (and by that I mean ZERO time at the mall wondering what we were going to get people)...and more time talking about our family values and the things about our childhoods that we remember with so much joy.

Over the next few days I'm going to be posting some of my favorite memories and traditions from my childhood.

The Tree: Waiting until Christmas Eve to scour the available trees (that were almost always free), for the skinniest/scraggliest tree we could take home and give new life!


Sleuthing: The year my brother asked for a gun. After calling Wal-Mart to see how much that particular gun cost, with tax, we scoured the "log" in my mom's checkbook to see if she had written a check for that amount. There were also numerous times that gifts were unwrapped and rewrapped, for curiosity's sake.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm going nuts!

...trying to finish the last of the homemade Christmas presents.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Family Love





Trix are for kids

and this kid's got a new trick




video

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bun-Off Run-Off


Yesterday I mentioned that Matt's office was hosting













So I got busy making Maple Twist Cinnamon Rolls

(please don't drool on your keyboard. I know, it's hard not too.)



























































The Bun Off Run Off (BORO) was a competition between the 2 departments housed in the Soderquist Business Center: the Business Department (Team - Business Buns) and The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics (Team - Leadership Loaves).


The competition included: Homemade Dough Nuts, two different White Breads, Pumpkin Bread, Oatmeal Molasses Bread, Blueberry Cream Cheese Braided Bread, a variety of spreads (butter, honey butter, balsamic vinegar/olive oil dipping sauce, and "I despise all olives and I thought it was delicious" kalamata olive hummus.)

Repeat after me, as you lick your lips! "Carb HEAVEN!"

















































Clayton, dressed in his dashing sandwich board, started the event by explaining the voting procedure.



























It was definitely a well attended event!
























































































Teams scores also included "extras" that were contributed.
Leadership Loaves: 1 Baby (aka Luke)
Business Buns: Coffee























Last call to get your votes in!
























Leadership Loaves SWEEPS the competition!!!
There was a tie between our Maple Twist Rolls and Ali's Blueberry Cream Cheese Braided Bread.





















(Luke posing with the "Awesome Buns" trophy...and it's hard to take an unblurry picture when your bouncing a baby the whole time!)


What do you or your spouse's office do for fun?




Thursday, December 9, 2010

Recipe for a fabulous morning


Swim
















I was keeping track of my distance until the Siloam Springs Swim Club came in, and the 15 year old next to me probably swam in 5 minutes what it took me 20 minutes to swim. Definitely a boost to my confidence. Grr.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.


I don't think I need to explain this one.















Why yes, I think I'll have a peanut butter chocolate chip dough ball minus the peanut butter for a post-swim/pre-breakfast snack.





















Breakfast: Cinnamon/Maple/Pumpkin/Oats/Cinnamon Pecan Butter Scramble over Rustic Sourdough Bread with maple syrup drizzled on top
















Scramble idea from here
Cinnamon Pecan Butter adapted from here


But the BEST part of my morning was this:


video

I promise, he's not that grainy in real life :)



Next up:

Bake Maple Twist Rolls for










Maybe they will fare better in competition than our chili

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The growing chair


Do I look bigger?

(mommy tried squeezing me in the same outfit again...but it just wasn't working. seriously mom, highwaters aren't cool. besides mommy says this blue really makes my eyes "pop"!)

12 weeks



















8 weeks



















4 weeks



Snug as a bug in a rug

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Tribute to Kix.


Kid tested


Mother approved

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hanging on

Matt bought me these flowers one month ago - from the Sam's Club fresh floral department. Can you believe how great they still look? Let alone that they are still alive and hanging on after a whole month!