Time out.

14 Jan

Our blog is undergoing some reconstructive surgery this week in preparation for things to come. Please forgive us. We’ll be back on Monday. 

lesson learned.

11 Jan

A few months ago I had a life changing experience. An experience that shifted my perspective. It occurred at the entrance of CVS and involved a display of trucks and cranky 2 year old.

I just had to run in and grab a few things and no, a $6 truck was not one of them. One look at the display and my 2 year old was determined. If I wasn’t going to let him play with the trucks it was still going to cost me.

Then it happened. The meltdown. Screaming. Thrashing. Kicking. He had nothing to lose.

screaming child

I could feel everyone around me saying to themselves “Wow, that mother really needs to control her child. He’s probably not disciplined at home.”

After wrangling the screaming child into the car I made a vow. I will NEVER judge a parent based on their kid’s behavior.

I used to be one of those people. One of those people who starred in horror at a child having a public tantrum. I would say things to myself like “MY kids would NEVER act like that in public” and “maybe that child should be told NO more often.” HA! Lesson learned, father time, lesson learned.

I discipline my child. I try to help him understand and control his emotions. But most of the time, despite my efforts, a 2 year old is going to do what a 2 year old wants to do.

Whether you are a parent or not, next time you witness a public meltdown, have a little compassion. Raising a child is not easy and most parents are doing the best they can.

And as for you, CVS, is that a covert sales tactic? To put your truck display at the entrance of the store for all the children to see? I’m on to you.

Meals on Wheels

9 Jan

Today is Wednesday the 9th and what does that mean? It means today’s the day I deliver meals for Meals on Wheels.

Most people have heard of Meals on Wheels but aren’t exactly sure what the organization does. To put it simply, Meals on Wheels plans and delivers meals to individuals who are physically or mentally unable to shop or prepare meals for themselves. Without the support of volunteers, this organization would not be able to accomplish their mission.

Over a year ago Monroe County Meals on Wheels approached Kelly and I about redesigning their website. After working closely with the director and learning more about how the organization supports our local community, Kelly and I wanted to contribute more than just graphic design. I have served on the board of Meals on Wheel for over a year now and I also deliver meals monthly. Each month I   am thankful for the experience and I’m reminded to be grateful for my health.

So, what does volunteering include? It’s easy. You pick up the meals at the scheduled pick up. Follow the route on the sheet provided. Deliver the meals to each person. Drop off the coolers at the assigned location. Done. Piece of cake. Well, not cake, more like a deliciously nutritious meal of chicken or pasta.

The Monroe County Meals on Wheels is always looking for more volunteers. If you have 2 free hours once a month then you can help! To learn more visit their website or contact me through our Facebook page. Or, you can visit Meals on Wheels Association of America to find your local organization.

Screen shot 2013-01-09 at 8.06.02 AM

let’s do the time warp.

7 Jan

This weekend I got sucked into the time warp called Pinterest. Up until now Pinterest and I had a good relationship. We had a healthy respect for one another. This weekend we took it to a whole other level. I’m now the obsessive girlfriend with serious jealousy issues. I mean, do you see some of those living spaces! And those DIY projects! I want more, more, MORE!

My husband and I bought our home about 2 years ago and…it’s old. We’ve updated the bedrooms, knocked out some walls to make more space, but there are still so many things that need to be updated. To give you an idea, here are 3 of the different types of wall coverings in various rooms of our home…

Wallpaper

Nice, right? I hope those photos didn’t make you jealous.

After Pinterest-ing all weekend, I’ve got some serious plans for this place. Here are a few photos that I plan to use as inspiration.

(Source: kayla-dae, via the-design-nerd)

Photobucket

(Source: Inspiration for Decoration)

Home office

(Source: Fieldstone Hill Design)

let’s go to The PourHouse.

4 Jan

Who needs a drink!? It’s Friday! And I know just the spot…The PourHouse, of course.

For those of you who aren’t from around here, The PourHouse is a local bar and restaurant located on Route 390 in Mountainhome. They’ve got everything you need to blow off some steam after a long work week – food, drinks, entertainment, and good company.

What I like most about The PourHouse is that there is always something going on. You go out for a quick drink and the next thing you know you’re singing karaoke or in the middle of a beer pong tournament. My “let’s go grab a quick drink” days are limited with the little ones and all but when I do make it there I always leave with great memories…and a hangover.

Kelly and I hold The PourHouse close to our hearts – not only was it the first full marketing campaign we designed but it was also one of our very first clients.

We started with their logo…

PourHouse Logo

Designed their menus…

PourHouse Menu

Created their website

PourHouse Web

And we regularly design graphics for the slideshow on their TVs…

PourHouse TV

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend visit The PourHouse and you’ll be sure to have a great time. Happy Hour Monday thru Friday from 5 – 7!

let’s get organized.

2 Jan

It’s 2013. The beginning of a new year. This year is going to be a good one too – I just know it.

How do I know? Well…I don’t. But I’m determined to make it a good one. And that goes a long way.

To ensure that this year starts off on the right foot, I have to do the same thing I do every year. Organize.

I love organizing. I love throwing things away. It’s like the clutter in my house is directly linked to my brain and with each manilla folder I label and old receipt I throw away more space becomes available in my brain. We all know about that mental illness I have so the more space in there the better.

This year I’ve kicked my organizing up a notch thanks to the help of my fellow bloggers. There are so many great ideas out there – I just had to try them out.

Here are a few of the things I’m doing to start my year off right…

1. Filing Cabinet. Clean that puppy out! This is where my talent for throwing things away really has a chance to shine. I save important papers for 3 years so see ya 2009!

Gosh, I feel better already.

2. Refrigerator. I do this more than once a year but not to this extent. Goodbye half used bottle of barbeque sauce. See ya old jar of salsa. How long has that lemon juice been in there? Too long! Then, I like to clean it. Here’s a website I like to use that offers great cleaning tips – Brightnest.com.

3. Closet. This one takes awhile and I like to do it when my pack-rat husband isn’t around so I don’t meet any resistance when getting rid of his hideous sweaters.

I enjoy reading a blog called I Heart Organizing. Jen has great tips for organizing all areas of your home. I’m particularly interested in this post about Conquering Clothing Clutter: Kid’s Closet.

We would love to hear about how you prepare for a new year. Leave a comment and tell us about your routine!

184999497162602774_9YzS9xlE_c

Some organizational inspiration for you by Better Homes & Gardens.

let’s get ready for 2013.

28 Dec

Can you believe the last Friday of 2012 is upon us? If it weren’t for the 7 month old sitting next to me eating Gerber Puffs all by himself, reminding me he’s no longer a newborn, I might not even have realized how quickly time has passed.

2012 has been a great year full of new clients, new ideas and new babies. Kelly and I both couldn’t be more thankful for all of our blessings.

But 2013 will be here in the blink of an eye and I’m excited.

Rather than make a resolution or create a list of all the things I want to accomplish in 2013, I’m taking a different approach. Here is a list of a few things I’m NOT going to do in 2013.

1.  I’m not going to leave the house unless I’m prepared to run into someone I know. You think, I don’t need to brush my hair, I’m just running to the store. Bam. You see an old friend from high school. No one will notice this spit up stain on my shirt, I just need to stop at the post office. Oh, hello ex boyfriend. It never fails.

2.  I’m not going to try to give my dogs away anymore. Listen, dogs and babies just don’t mix. Dogs wake babies up. Dogs knock babies over. Dogs lay on the ground looking all soft and furry and then get mad when babies lay on them. I love them but gosh, they’re such a pain.

3.  After the kids go to bed, I’m not going to spend hours on my computer. Instead, I’m going to spend more time snuggling with my husband. 

4.  I’m not going to let my two year old play on top of the dryer. Cody loves the dryer. Or he just loves throwing the change from the jar above the dryer all over the room. Either way. That just sounds like bad parenting. What kind of parent would let their kid play on the dryer or with change? Not this one….anymore.

5.  Although there is not enough time in the day, I’m not going to let that stop Kelly and I from accomplishing our goals. Everyday we can take steps towards completing our goals, even if they are small steps.

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year’s and create resolutions of your own that will make you happier in 2013.

Oh, and one more thing, the winner of the $20 Callie’s gift card is… Diane Price! Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

let’s make candy canes plus a GIVEAWAY!

24 Dec

What better way to kick off Christmas vacation than with a candy cane demonstration at Callie’s Candy Kitchen, a landmark in our small community.

Not familiar with Callie’s Candy Kitchen or their equally delicious Pretzel Factory? I’m so sorry. You’re missing out. Sometimes I go to the Candy Kitchen just to raid the sample tray. Or I visit the Pretzel Factory to get a whiff of their everything pretzels. Both are well worth the trip.

Callie’s Candy Kitchen has been around since 1952, and today Mr. Callie himself can still be found making chocolates and helping with live demonstrations like the one I saw this weekend.

Do you know how candy canes are made? It’s pretty amazing. A pot of sugar, water and corn syrup goo turns into a beautifully stripped holiday treat. Just watch…

 

Did you know that the stripes on a candy cane don’t have any flavor? The flavor is actually in the base. And did you know that taffy, ribbon candy, lollipops and cotton candy are all made the same way? That is, with a few modifications.

Not only did I get to watch this live demo and take in all the aromas, but they also gave me a $20 gift card to GIVEAWAY to one of you fine folks. What a great Christmas present!

To win this $20 gift certificate you need to follow our blog via email or RSS feed and share our most recent Facebook post about this giveaway. We will announce the winner on Wednesday morning.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

lets talk about amanda.

21 Dec

Let me tell you about my partner & friend, Amanda.

If someone told me a few years ago that I would own my own business I would’ve thought they were crazy! I couldn’t have imagined taking this step in my life but I did and it wouldn’t have happened without Amanda. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do it with! We go together like peanut butter and jelly. Amanda handles all aspects of our business (which is no small task) except for design. Well, that’s not fully true, she also has her own creative side that she uses everyday. I’m not nearly as good as putting things into words as Amanda (even though I try) I quickly find myself turning to her for creative flair of the written word. Amanda’s background is in International Business & Management and boy am I happy that she stayed local to use that talent!

I had one of the hardest and most painful things in my life happen to me last year, only a few short months after starting our business. I needed A LOT of time to overcome what instantly became the worst thing that has ever happened to me. But through it all, and quiet a rocky road, Amanda stood by me. She never pushed me and allowed me the time I needed. I found myself coming home to home cooked meals made for me and my family on my doorstep, straight from Amanda’s kitchen. I am so grateful for ALL that she did for me and for ALL that she still does for me. There is not a selfish bone in her body. Who could ask for a better friend?

But wait there’s more…

She runs lengths around town, she has a mild unsweetened iced tea addition, loves buffalo chicken wraps (no blue cheese) and doesn’t like cheese! That’s right you heard me… doesn’t like cheese. Kinda sounds like a singles ad right? Well sorry gentlemen, Amanda is married to a wonderful and handsome man named Dave and together they have two very handsome little boys Cody and Dylan. I’m sure we’ll be playing match makers when they get older. With a full work load and two kids, how does she manage her time you ask? Well, honestly, I’m not sure. She amazes me day to day. And that’s not all… to add more to her already busy life she is also Vice President of the Rotary Club of the Pocono Mountains, on the board of the Friendly Community Center and Monroe County Meals on Wheels AND delivers meals monthly to the needy in our community. Now try to tell me she isn’t amazing! Amanda is extremely easy going, sweet, generous and kind hearted.

I’m so lucky to be able to call her one of my Best Friends! And she is quite right, I will take out anyone that messes with her!

One last thing… I have to share (the best gift ever) my christmas present from Amanda this year…

DSC03538
LOL! Lovely isn’t it!? Every year for our Rotary Club of the Pocono Mountains Christmas party we do Secret Santa. Amanda got my name. Suspicious right? The difference this year though is that we all voted to save our money and re-gift something that we had already gotten at one point or another. I think it started as just a frame and the Scooby Doo change sorter but Amanda had to add to it! In case you can’t see what she is pointing to, it’s a button that says “I’m the Smart One!”

let’s make it a tradition.

19 Dec

When I was little my mom used to take me to the city to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular – a tradition that I loved. Like every other little girl, I wanted to be a Rockette. (If that didn’t work out I was also willing to accept top of the water ski pyramid at Sea World, guard for the WNBA or Amish farmer.)

The last few years I’ve been dragging my husband to see the show…which he hates. This year, I was able to find 6 loved ones who actually WANTED to go. I was very excited. The best part? One of them, Korie, has never been to the city!

Let me tell you a little about this group. All female. All blonde. All can count on one hand the number of times they’ve been to the city. Does that scare you? It scares me. And the best part? We decided it would be best to DRIVE there. That’s right. 6 blonde women in one car, on the way to The Big Apple. It sounds like the opening of a blonde joke to me.

Surprisingly, we made it there in one piece although Korie was scared and trembling like a beaten Chihuahua. We practically had to lure her out of the car with a treat.

Upon arriving, we ran into this guy…

IMAG0654

How nice of him. I think he saw the sea of blonde moving through the crowd and ran in our direction.

After walking around for a few hours, getting lost, seeing the sites, trying to get Korie to eat a hot dog off the street, we decided we should just find a bar and wait for the show. Which we did…for 3 hours.

The show was great, as always, and we made it out alive. We did have a brief run in with two men trying to give us “hand sanitizer” outside a McDonald’s bathroom but our street smarts kicked in and we said no thanks.

I had a great day with my friends/family although I did miss my other half. (Kelly, that is, not my husband.) I’m looking forward to celebrating this tradition for many years to come.

What holiday traditions do you look forward to?

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