Friday, July 30, 2010

Company Girl Coffee

Hello Company Girls, and all my other friends! I hope your summer is going well. Mine is coming to a close, unfortunately. I go back to teaching full time in less than two weeks. Bummer! The summer has been good, though. My twins turned 14, and we had awesome birthday celebrations, I got to go on vacation to Southern California for a week (during my husband's business trip), and I got a 2-day getaway with my sister. The twins return from their dad's house on Sunday, and I can't wait!

While I was out in California, I snapped this photo because I had never seen a flower like this. I had to touch it to make sure it was real! I asked some readers what it was, and they called it "Hen and Chicks." What was throwing me off was its color, a very deep purple, almost black. Very cool!

Rachel Anne will be back with daily "small things" at Home Sanctuary, and I've missed her! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Herman T's BBQ Sauce Review and Giveaway

Congratulations, Tammy!Here in Texas, we know a "little bit" about barbecue! My husband and I have made a goal to find the best barbecue place in our area, or even in the state, if possible. We think we've settled on one in Pearland, Texas (Central Texas BBQ) although one in Alvin (Joe's BBQ) comes in at a close second. Here in Texas, it's not only the meat and the grilling that has to pass the test, it's the sauce.

We also like to barbecue at home, and since I don't make my own sauce, we usually get a bottle at the grocery store. Recently, Herman T's sent me two pouches of sauce mix to try, one regular, and one spicy. You add water and ketchup to the mix, and heat the sauce on the stove. So easy, and it smells heavenly. We grilled some chicken and steak, basting it as it cooked, then topped it off with more sauce. It was delicious! My husband said he liked it better than the bottled sauce we get at the grocery store. The regular sauce is both sweet and tangy. And the spicy sauce has a little kick, which my husband loves. I even tried it, and it was spicy, but not Habanero-pepper-spicy, thank goodness! The great thing about the pouches is that they have a longer shelf life than bottles. Plus, you only need to make the amount you want for that particular meal, but if there are leftovers, they will keep in a closed container in the refrigerator.

Giveaway! Herman T's will give one of my readers two pouches of BBQ sauce mix, one regular and one spicy. US entries only, please. Giveaway entries accepted until August 5, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST. Here's how to enter!
1. Leave a comment on this post for your first entry. Make sure I have a way to contact you via email.
Extra Entries (do any or all)
2. Leave another comment on any non-giveaway post on my blog. Come back here and tell me which post you commented on.
3. Tweet this giveaway. Come back here and leave your link.
4. Follow my blog. Let me know if you use Google or another feed reader.
Good luck!

This post was written for Family Review Network & Herman T's BBQ Sauce who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's Just My Opinion

Wildwater Walking ClubWildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I stepped outside my normal reading genre with this book, and it was pretty good. I have read another of Claire Cook's novels, Life's a Beach, and enjoyed that one, so I thought I'd give her another try.

The Wildwater Walking Club was an easy, light-hearted book. It makes a great beach read for summer!

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wednesday Website

I'm back with yet another website to share with you: Yelp! This is a fun, interactive site where you can find information and reviews on just about any activity (dining, lodging, museums, boating, even casinos and events) in just about any city in the United States, maps included.
Recently, my husband and I were visiting Southern California. We needed a Target. Yelp helped. We wanted to find a "good" seafood restaurant in our price range. Yelp helped. Since we've been home, I've used it to look up museums and events in my area. If you choose, you can register so that you can add your own reviews, share with friends, send messages, and join conversations, but registration is optional.

According to the website, "Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great - and not so great, in your area." Give it a try! And I'd love for you to leave your weekly website in the comments. Thanks!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

The Bumbles Blog hosts a weekly movie meme. Won't you join us? This week, the Feature Presentation is The Big Draw as in animation. Share on your blog movies whose drawn, digitized, or old school clay figures rock your world.

This summer, I've seen three animated movies and loved all three!

Despicable Me (2010) - I hadn't planned to see this, but my sister and nephew (age 19) dragged me to it. I didn't think it looked funny. Yeah, the minions looked cute, but a movie about a criminal who wants to steal the moon? It just didn't appeal to me. Guess what? It was hilarious! My favorite line: "Ugh, I hate THAT guy!" (Mr. Gru) It's not funny in print; it's the way Steve Carell says it and what's happened in the movie when he says it. Go see this one, even if you don't have children to take with you. I did.

Shrek Forever After (2010) - I went with my son to see this movie. Since it was fourth in a series, I wasn't expecting much even though I enjoyed the other three movies. I thought perhaps it was overdone. However, I was pleasantly surprised. This time Rumpelstiltskin tricks Shrek into wishing he'd never rescued Fiona. I really enjoyed it.

Toy Story 3 (2010) - I didn't like the first two Toy Story movies that much, so again, I wasn't expecting much, but Disney delivered! The toys are delivered to a daycare center when Andy is packing up to go to college. The animation is so well done, and the storyline is clever. I was actually on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen. And the ending is perfect! I saw this with my husband and 17 year old step-daughter, so don't worry about taking a kid with you. Go see it anyway!

Some of my favorite animated films of all time are Madagascar (2005) and Madagascar Escape 2 Africa (2008), Over the Hedge (2006), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994), and The Little Mermaid (1989) The Aristocats (1970) and 101 Dalmatians (1961).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Scrappin'

Please join us for Sunday Scrappin'! We post our accomplishments and goals for the week. Everyone is welcome whether you make cards, digiscrap, or any type of paper craft.

I only have one two-page layout to show this week. It's from my twin's 7th birthday party.

Order prints from this summer's birthday parties and my trip to California.
Get at least one two-page layout done.

Optional Challenge
This past week, Christine asked us to scrap photos of flowers or use flower embellishments. Unfortunately, I didn't get to this. But I have an awesome flower picture from my trip. Does anyone know what this is?
Happy Scrappin'!

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Just My Opinion

These opinions are usually my book posts, but this time, it's about fast food. When I mentioned to some friends that I was in California, they said, "Eat at In-n-Out Burger. It's so good! Yummy!" Well, I haven't told them yet, but I will tell you, I'm not impressed.

We were hungry when we got here, and In-n-Out was one of the first places we saw. Since "everyone" raved about it, we decided we had to try it. My husband LOVES hamburgers. Me? Not so much. They're okay, but not something I usually look forward to eating. With all the recommendations, though, I thought it would be worth it.

Honestly, the hamburger was quite ordinary, and I didn't like the fries at all. They were very bland and undercooked. Frankly, I'd rather eat at Whataburger! Sorry, friends. In-n-Out doesn't make Forgetfulone's good list.

This post was not sponsored by anyone, anywhere, for any reason!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Last week, I wrote about 13 things I wanted to do on my visit to California. I haven't been here since I was a junior in high school 28 years ago. Here's an update on the progress I'm making on my list.

1. Take a picture of the Hollywood sign.
2. See the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
I'm going on a tour today and should be able to do both 1 and 2.
3. Go on a whale/dolphin watching tour.
Did this Sunday. We saw dolphins, but no whales, darn it!
4. Lay by the pool and soak up some California sun.
I've gotten some sun, but not from laying by the pool. The pool in our hotel is indoors. I still love it, particularly the hot tub.
5. Go to Disneyland and see my favorite characters.
6. Ride the California Screamin’ roller coaster.
7. See World of Color at California Adventures.
Sunday we did 5, 6, and 7. We actually rode California Screamin' twice, among many other rides, and I got pictures of me with Mickey, Pooh, Tigger, and Eyeore. I'm just a big kid! World of Color was awesome!
8. Attend a TV show taping. (I hear this is an all-day event with only the possibility of getting in, and that many shows are on hiatus for the summer, so this is very unlikely.)
This one isn't going to happen.
9. Go to the beach.
Check. We're going again on Friday, too.
10. Window shop on Rodeo Drive.
This will be part of my tour tomorrow.
11. Get a photo of Mickey’s All-Star Astros Baseball Statue.
The Astros Mickey was already relocated for auction, but I did get take a photo of the main All Star Mickey when we were at Disneyland.
12. See at least one famous person that I don’t dislike.
Got my fingers crossed for tomorrow!
13. Buy souvenirs for the kids.
This has been taken care of, over and over. I have spent two days shopping at South Coast Plaza and the District, and I will be shopping some more tomorrow.

Blogger won't let me upload any photos right now! Grrr! Well, I will try again later.
Visit more Thursday Thirteen!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Website

Here I am back to share a favorite website with you.
Unfortunately, to appreciate this website, you pretty much have to be a scrapbooker, card-maker or paper-crafter of some kind. I want to introduce you to Pagemaps. It is an awesome resource for those of us who don't feel very creative sometimes because it shows dozens of sketches every month with ideas for designing cards and scrapbook layouts. The design is usually the hard part, the most time-consuming part of scrapbooking for me, so this resource is invaluable. They also have a newsletter, blog, and contests. If you're the creative type, go check it out! I think you'll like it. Here's an example (copyright PageMaps).
Also, please play along with me. Leave one of your favorite websites in the comments, or write your own Wednesday Website and leave the link in the comments.
Here are previous Wednesday Websites:

June 30 - relates to reading

July 7 - relates to cooking

July 14 - relates to movies

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to my Wordless Wednesday! Sunset on the Pacific, July 17, 2010.
Click here to view other participants.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Just My Opinion

Theodore Boone, Kid LawyerTheodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

My rating: 3 of 5 stars (I liked it)

Grisham spins a good tale, and this one does involve a little guess work, but I think it's not as twisted because the main character is a 13 year old boy, and perhaps Grisham is hoping to capitalize on a younger audience. The ending left me satisfied, and I have no idea if Grisham had a series idea in mind or not, but it could certainly lead to one.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Monday Movie Meme - On Boredom, or Beating the Blues

Feature Presentation!

I'm guest directing over at The Bumbles Blog for the Monday Movie Meme!

Molly (Bumbles) looked around for a weekly meme about movies and did not have any luck. So therefore she decided to start her own! Andy will play along as well - hopefully you will too. Each Monday they will post a new movie related topic for you to comment on or post about on your own blog, linking back to The Bumbles.

July is National Anti-Boredom month, and in honor of that, what are the movies you turn to when you're bored. You know... those movies that pull you in and keep you from feeling bored. Those movies that keep you focused and attentive no matter how many times you've seen them? If you're feeling bored, what movie(s) are you going to pop into the DVD player?

Here are Molly's picks. Hop over to The Bumbles to see mine!

Stand and Deliver (1988) - As someone who was just beginning her major in education when this film was released, it was incredibly uplifting and inspiring and it always makes me believe in the human spirit. And it makes me want to get up and DO something productive - the best remedy for boredom there is.

Bull Durham (1988) - I was bored the other evening as a matter of fact. Sox game was over. Andy was falling asleep on the couch. Chores were done. Blogging wasn't doing it for me. So I found Bull Durham free On Demand and the time flew by happily, as it always does no matter how many times I watch it. Romance, humor and baseball. Movie heaven for this Bumble.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) - Pretty much any good comedy will do the trick when I'm bored. But I do get sick of seeing the same ones replayed on cable after a while. There are a few that will always make me laugh as hard as I did the first time around - like The Jerk, Best In Show or Meet The Parents. But the king of those for me is The Holy Grail. I bust out into giggles at just the thought of killer rabbits and knights who say Ni! Plus, when it is over, it makes me want to get up off the couch and gallop around the house with coconuts. That'll show boredom who's in charge.

Pink Floyd the Wall (1982) - Andy is Concert Boy and so of course we need to have music represented here. There are lots of musical movies to consider - traditional musicals like The Sound of Music, concert movies like The Last Waltz and plenty of movies with lots of musicality mixed in - but The Wall always promises a delight - even without outside influences ;0) Terrific sound, deep lyrics and incredible graphics make this one to pop in whenever the senses need stirring. It is like watching a graphic novel interrupt a movie. Sooooo cool.
Don't forget to visit The Bumbles for my selections! Why not join in, too?

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Sunday Scrappin'

I have a few ta-da's and to-do's to share. Won't you join us for Sunday Scrappin?

I did six pages in three 2-page layouts. I hope you can click them and make them bigger. Someone please let me know if that works. Thanks.

I plan to take lots of pictures while I'm on vacation. That is my only goal for this week.

Last week's challenge was to use several pictures on a layout, and I did that. I won't be participating in this week's challenge since I will be unable to scrap while I'm away.

Happy Scrappin' everyone!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Camera Critters

I'm going to miss my "baby" so much while we're gone! I wish I could take her with me. She's going to think I've abandoned her. Luckily, my step-daughter will be able to visit her and take care of her.
Visit more Camera Critters!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Company Girl Coffee

Hi Company Girls! Do you miss Rachel Anne's Small Things? I know I do! She keeps me motivated. But everyone deserves a break, and it looks like she's been busy with her mural. It's looking great!

I think I redeemed myself from the carrot cake disaster... at least somewhat. I made a simple yellow cake then I made the frosting that was supposed to go on the carrot cake (a lemony cream cheese concoction). The icing was delicious, but the cake was a little dense. I got the cake recipe from AllRecipes, and quite a few of the other comments about that particular cake was that it was dense, so I don't feel so bad.
I also made an awesome chicken salad. So easy. Chicken breasts, mayo, water chestnuts, pimientoes, celery, sweet pickles, garlic salt, and pepper. It was yummy!

No more cooking for me for a while, though. My husband has training to attend in Los Angeles, and I get to go along for fun! I'm really looking forward to my tour of Hollywood. I figure I'll get some time in the sun, too, but I'm taking some strong sunscreen because right now, I'm white as a ghost!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I haven’t been to Los Angeles since I was a junior in high school, too many years ago to count, but I will be headed out there pretty soon for a visit.

Here are 13 Things I Would Like to do in LA (but might not have time or money to do)

1. Take a picture of the Hollywood sign.
2. See the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
3. Go on a whale/dolphin watching tour.
4. Lay by the pool and soak up some California sun.
5. Go to Disneyland and see my favorite characters.
6. Ride the California Screamin’ roller coaster.
7. See World of Color at California Adventures.
8. Attend a TV show taping. (I hear this is an all-day event with only the possibility of getting in, and that many shows are on hiatus for the summer, so this is very unlikely.)
9. Go to the beach.
10. Window shop on Rodeo Drive.
11. Get a photo of Mickey’s All-Star Astros Baseball Statue
12. See at least one famous person that I don’t dislike.
13. Buy souvenirs for the kids.

Visit more Thursday Thirteen.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Website

Hi. I'm here again to share a favorite website with you, and I'd love it if you'd share one with me. You could leave it in a comment, or you could take my blog button (which is actually a photo of my lap top), post on your blog, and leave the link in a comment so I can visit you ( and I will! ).

Today's Website is Rotten Tomatoes. What a great site if you want to see a movie or get information about the entertainment industry! On the left of the home screen, you'll see movies that are tops at the box office, opening this week, and coming soon. You can read reviews, watch trailers, and see which DVD's were rented the most in a given time period.
There are also news, information, and photo galleries available about the entertainment industry.

You do not have to be a member of their community to use their site, but in order to use all the features of the community page, you must register. "Join for free to view profiles, connect with others, write reviews, rate movies, write comments, blog, create lists, create and join groups and participate in scintillating forum discussions!"
Doesn't it sound like fun?
Rotten Tomatoes did not pay me a penny for this promotion, but I sure wish they would!

Sunshine Award

My friend Jenn at My Kids are My World gave me this sweet, cheerful award! Thank you so much, Jenn! Her blog is one that I definitely keep in my reader, and one that I've been reading for a long time. I hope you'll go visit her!
Display the award on your blog, thank and link back to the person that gave it to you and pass it on to other deserving bloggers. I'm going to pass this on to some particularly "sunny" people!

Myya from Myya Says ( a new blog-friend I met through a swap)

Tamy from 3 Sides of Crazy and Always Eat on the Good China (a blogger I've known virtually for about three years who I recently became FIRLs with (Friends in Real Life)

Save Your Soul from She Sings Inside (I've been reading her for a while, first on her other blog, and now on this one. She's sweet and young and writes from her heart.)

Melanie from Through Our Children's Eyes. (I've been reading her a while, and she is optimistic and probably one of the most creative bloggers I know.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Miz B of Should be Reading. To join in, just grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!),

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.

Eat Mor Chikin, Inspire More People by S. Truett Cathy, the owner of Chik-Fil-A Restaurants

Page 67

"I carried only $25,000 worth of insurance on the building, far too little to replace it, so to reopen would mean a trip to the bank for a mortgage. Then came more bad news. I passed some blood, and Jeanette insisted I see a doctor about it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

Come over to The Bumbles Blog for a great movie meme. Terry Kate from Romance in the Backseat is guest hosting. Today's Feature Presentation: Hidden Gems. Fill us in on the great films you have discovered that most viewers don't know about. I usually stick to fairly mainstream movies, but here are a few that you may have missed.
5 Children and It (2004) - The premise is similar to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Four children must stay in their eccentric uncle's home for protection during World War I. The "it" is a sand fairy. Great movie! Stars Freddie Highmore.
Something the Lord Made (2004) - Based on the true story of cardiologist Alfred Blalock and his African-American lab technician Vivien Thomas who invent bypass surgery for blue babies in 1941 at John Hopkins, an institution where the Jim Crow laws are alive and well.
The Chosen (1982) - Stars Maximillian Schell and Robby Benson. This is a story of two Jewish young men growing up in the 1940's.


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