Thursday, November 29, 2007

A different approach to gift-giving

If you're like me, I have started running out of things that I really "need" for Christmas. And, sure, there are things that I want but many are either a little too pricey to pass along as gift ideas or I've already bought them for myself. I find the older I get, the harder it is to answer that question when my mom and sister ask me, "What do you want for Christmas?" Unlike my childhood days of rattling off toys and wants, I've started to become a bit more practical and, even still, find it hard to really come up with too much that I need or don't just get for myself.

A coworker of mine is giving her grown daughters (and anyone else on her list) gift certificates to Kiva this year for Christmas so they can select a business to "sponsor." She says, like most of us, they already have enough "stuff" and they're both moving again so who needs more "stuff."

Kiva was founded by an American couple who noticed that people in developing countries could be successful with small businesses to support themselves and their families if they could get very small business loans. Kiva allows people to pick a small business (often just 1-person or family business) featured on the Web site and loan from $25 up to help them improve their businesses. The loans are made online, handled by a microfinance institution that disburses the loans, and then repaid to the lender(s). When a loan is repaid, the lender can use the money to make a new loan to another small business if they wish, or simply get their money back. The loan repayment rate is extremely high (in high 90s percentage). The photos of the entrepreneurs and their small businesses, along with their stories are on the Web site, so people can select which person/business they would like to help. People who make loans get email updates of how the business is doing if they wish.

Although I already have my shopping lists made and will probably continue to shop as usual, I really liked this thought. What a unique gift idea for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Someone to eat cheese with

Meagan alerted me to this movie which is playing here in Dec. She thought I'd like it. I think it was the title that tipped her off but watch the trailer, it looks pretty funny.


I just read this article about letterboxing. I had never even heard of this hobby before but I find it strangely intriguing. Maybe that's because my not-so-secret-alter-ego is Nancy Drew.

That's who

Has everyone seen the cover of Sports Illustrated? I seriously can't recall the last time I was this excited about was probably during high school long, long ago. And never have I planned my week around a football game.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Amy the elf

In the same spirit as Nichole and Becky, I have "elfed" myself. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday wrap up

Aside from a trip to see my family, I've spent much of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend playing Scrabble and watching movies. In fact, Joe and I went to see both Lars and the Real Girl and The Darjeeling Limited. Darjeeling is definitely my favorite Wes Anderson flick; I really liked it. And the movie marathon has continued from there as we have watched on dvd: Talk to Me, The Groomsmen, Fracture, Ratatouille, Mr. Brooks and Chalk. I have also rediscovered my competitive side while playing many games of Scrabble. It's been a great few days. Joe is leaving first thing in the morning and for now we are watching (and enjoying) the MU/KU game. So far so good for the Tigers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Thanksgiving 2007
Clockwise: Bryon, Cathy, Adyson, mom, dad, me and Joe. Aunt Amy and Adyson Joseph and Adyson

Monday, November 19, 2007

What happened?

In this crazy world some things are so hard to understand. I'm trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense at all. Isn't anything true and sacred anymore? What I'm talking about is what I'm calling, "the biggest upset in Bachelor-history."

Let me break it down for all of you who don't watch the show. The bachelor dates all sorts of women and throughout the season he continues to eliminate girls until there is only two left standing. At the final rose ceremony he is to give one rose to the girl he wants to get engaged to. This would be Option A. Now over time some bachelors have mixed things up a little and have decided not to get engaged but to continue to pursue the relationship (Option B) with the chosen gal (who still gets the rose, just not the ring) and the couple live happily ever after...or until the credits stop rolling.

Last night Brad sent Jeni home. Then--and this is where it really gets hairy--instead of giving the final rose to DeAnna he decided to send her home, too. (Newly elected - Option C.) Brad, have you never seen the show before? You don't have to get married. You can pick one girl you like best and continue the relationship. And although history tells us it's not going to last anyway, please induldge us with that scenario. The entire point of me watching for the past two months was to see who got the final see who you liked best. Brad, you can give the final rose to Chris Harrison for all I care. Just give it to someone. Anyone. I want my money back.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Incessant talking

One of my pet peeves is when people talk through movies. And I don't mean the casual comment or two. I mean when you sit in front of people who feel the need to narrate an entire two-hour movie. I went to see Dan in Real Life tonight which, by the way, was very good and was sitting in front of three or four older ladies. They felt the need to explain every joke or make a comment about every single thing. "Oh they're on the east coast." "She's not very happy." "He said..." Argh!! Why do people have to talk (loudly) through an entire movie without even the slightest concern that it might be interrupting those around them. And why is it that I seem to always sit in front of these people? It's like when I get in what I think is the shortest line it turns out to be the longest. When I take a short cut and then get stuck in traffic and when I go to a movie I always sit in front of the people who talk through the entire show. Am I alone in this?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gals night out

I met some friends here for dessert tonight. Turns out the CBS national news was there filming a segment for their Sunday morning show about dessert and wine bars. Stay tuned!

P.S. The creme brulee was amazing!


Happy Birthday, Joseph. I hope this is an amazing year for you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's back!

Project Runway is back. The first episode of the new season airs tonight on Bravo. I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Getting back to my roots

I've been on a ramen noodle kick. It's been years since I've eaten ramen but one thing never changes, you really can't beat 6 for $1.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

KC fun

I had a very fun Saturday. Breanne, Monica and I trekked to Kansas City and met Kim, who made the very long four-hour drive from Great Bend, at the Country Club Plaza. We had a great time catching up with Kim and shopping, eating, shopping and eating (bannana creame cheesecake!).

Monica and Breanne

Kim and me. We miss you Kimmy!

Me rubbing the nose of the boar replica which is supposed to bring good luck. Somewhere there is a photo of me rubbing the real boar's nose in Florence, Italy.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cathy and Adyson

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baby Graham

Alex and Nichole's Baby Graham has arrived! Graham Wyeth was born at 8:27 a.m. today and weighed 8 lb 6 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Congratulations!

Cristin's stuff

Above are photos from Cristin's craft show booth on Sunday. I've somehow become both her agent and her publicist. If anyone is interested in a hand-made tutu, kimono, bib and burp cloth set, knit hat, booties, etc. she's your go to girl. Isn't her stuff so cute?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

SJP responds

A little over a week ago, I wrote about SJP being cruely named the unsexiest woman alive. Well she speaks out. And frankly she doesn't seem to mind. Sticks and stones may break my bones...Read her response here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Goodbye bad friends

During the week, I usually only watch one or two television shows consistently. I do, however, keep up with several different shows on dvd. Over the years, one of those shows has been The Sopranos. I finally watched the series finale late last night. I had heard all the talk ahead of time surrounding the ending to which I had mixed emotions. It's always a little weird when you've watched a show for several years and then you finally close that chapter.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I love Hello Kitty and I love black cats so it's no wonder why I love Chococat (Hello Kitty's black cat companion). Since I travel so much, I've been on the lookout for a really cute luggage tag. I've passed up many because they didn't stand out enough or just weren't that cute but tonight I found a Chococat luggage tag and had to have it. I know, I know, it doesn't take much to make me happy, huh?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

First Halloween

I hear Adyson slept through her first Halloween but when it was time to go to bed she was up all night. Her entire wardrobe was courtesy of her Aunt Amy. You'll notice another pumpkin hat by Cristin. (This one a little different than Wesley's hat.) And I just love the black kitty on her pants!

What a day

Today instead of going to work, I was going to attend a conference. On the way to my conference my mind was elsewhere. I was half-driving, half-day dreaming about all the things I had to do and all the things going on in life. If you live here, you're probably aware of a section of Providence near campus that narrows and a section of the curb really sticks out. I realized I was running straight into the curb at about the same second it happened. I hit it. Hard. I immediately turned, got out and saw that not only was a few chunks of metal gone from my hub cap but also a few chunks were missing from my tire, too. I was supposed to be at the conference soon. And this was already shaping out to not be my day. I went to a nearby automotive shop and left my car while frantically trying to reach a coworker to pick me up. I spent the rest of the day at the conference distracted and worried about money. It turns out that not only did I need one new tire and an alignment, I needed four new tires. So $525.18 later, I'm at home and I'm calling it a day. Yesterday I got paid. I also meticulously budgeted for the month in order to buy Christmas presents. Is it possible that we're never really supposed to get ahead?

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