Thursday, February 28, 2008

Things On My Desk

Here are a few things that grace my desk. Flowers I got for my birthday from my in-laws, very beautiful - they have cheered my week very much! And a picture of my brother, father and I taken by my aunt at my most recent birthday shindig at Arni's. I think it is a great pic of us!

A Few of My Favorite Blogs

To update you on the status of my Google Reader use I checked my trends today and found this short overview about my usage: "From your 324 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 14,388 items, starred 177 items, shared 35 items, and emailed 43 items."

Needless to say, I like Google Reader. I find it to be a very useful way to keep track of my favorite blogs, to find new blogs through my favorites and to organize and compile of my favorite posts through starred items and tags. I am keeping a tagged list of posts about gardening to help me out this spring with the new garden my husband and I are planning, tags about crafts and things I would like to try to make eventually, tags about cool design ideas or resources, and on and on.

Here is a list of my favorites:

Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary - it always brightens my day to read about Steve and Alayne's latest efforts

Hostess with the Mostest Blog - great for entertaining tips and ideas

Robin's Nesting Place
- great gardening ideas and inspirations from a fellow Central Indiana resident

GiggleSugar - always good for a laugh or a pick me up during the day

Worst.Mama.Ever. - I am not a mom yet, but these stories still make me laugh :)

Itty Bitty Kitty Committee
- another great website to warm the heart

Design Sponge - amazing

Creative Curio - Learn, discuss and explore the realm of Graphic Design.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Discover Franklin Indiana: 2008 Calendar of Events

Having recently discovered Franklin, Indiana - I have become quite enamored. This sleepy, quaint, little town is tucked away on about 20 minutes or so south of Indianapolis. They have a dreamy little square in the center of the town with an amazing collection of shoppes. I love to go here for my gift shopping. Here are some great events for 2008 listed on the Discover Downtown Franklin website -which is amazingly hard to find - took me 2 Google searches and about 5 clicks till I finally got there. (not sure if their homepage should be primarily a list of events - but at least they have a homepage)

2008 Calendar of Events

Friday, May 23rd
Strawberries on the Square
Classic Car Cruise-In
Lion's Club Fish Fry
Concert on the Courthouse Lawn
Forest Gump @ the Artcraft Theatre

Friday, June 27th
4th Friday
Concert on the Courthouse Lawn
Classic Car Cruise-In
Grease @ the Artcraft Theatre

Friday, July 25th
4th Friday
Concert on the Courthouse Lawn
Movie @ the Artcraft Theatre

Saturday, July 26th
Snowflake Ball @ Beeson Hall
Fundraiser for Holiday Lighting

Friday, August 22nd
4th Friday
Concert on the Courthouse Lawn
Movie @ the Artcraft Theatre

Saturday and Sunday August 9 & 10
IKS Go Cart Race

Friday, September 26th
4th Friday
Concert on the Courthouse Lawn
Movie @ the Artcraft Theatre

Saturday, October 4th

Monday, February 25, 2008

Currently Loving: Madarin Lime Aromatherapy

My newest love in the realm of Bath & Body Works products is Mandarin Lime Aromatherapy Body Lotion. Recently received a body wash and lotion for my birthday and was pleasantly surprised by the refreshing crisp smell. Quite delightful! True to the bottle's description it lifts my spirits. Mandarin Essential Oil stimulates your senses to help wake you up. Lime Essential Oil helps lighten your mood to instill a sense of optimism. (definitely a must for the office!)


My newest discovery and latest addiction - Stumbleupon! According to Wikipedia StumbleUpon is a web browser plugin that allows its users to discover and rate webpages, photos, videos, and news articles. These webpages are typically presented when the user—known within the community as a Stumbler—clicks the "Stumble!" button on the browser's toolbar. StumbleUpon chooses which new webpage to display based on the user's ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. i.e. it is a recommendation system which uses peer and social networking principles. There is also one-click blogging built in as well. Users can rate, or choose not to rate, any webpage with a thumbs up or thumbs down, and clicking the Stumble button resembles "channel-surfing" the web. Toolbar versions exist for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite and Internet Explorer, but also works with some independent Mozilla-based browsers.

This web browser plugin is very handy for moments of boredom on the internet. If you want to find something cool but do not know where to start - start with Stumbleupon. You sign up for a free account, enter in your interests, download the plugin for your browser, and then it the Stumble! button and it takes you to a website that matches one of your interests. Very cool! You can also rate the sites that pull up as being good or bad...etc. I found some pretty interesting things this way and saved myself from boredom on several occasions. :)

Here are my latest finds!

The Story of Charlie the Cat - very heartwarming!

A Real Fairy Tale Home


Forget E-vite, Think Pingg!

I have always shuddered a little when I received an e-invitation via E-vite and just about fainted when I actually considered using the program myself. HORRID - that is all I have to say - horrid by way of design and there is NO WAY to work around their terrible templates - I've try to customize my way out of it and ended up giving up and just sending a jpg of my printed invite via email to my friends.

But TechCrunch enlightened me to today about a new free invitation website out there called Pingg and, boy, does it look a world of a lot better than anything E-vite could ever create.

Finally, a simple, easy AND well-designed e-vite system. Can't wait to try it out for myself!

This Why I Pack My Lunch

This is EXACTLY why I brown-bag it for lunch everyday at work, because temptations like this lurk in the mall food court where my fellow coworker's go to get their grub. I recently fell ill to the temptation last Thursday when feeling particularly blue about my brown-bag lunch contents (we were running low on groceries at home and so the pickings were slim). Instead of going all out and replacing my lunch, I decided to merely supplement my lunch contents with a spunky little treat from Cinnabon. Yeah, I ended up leaving with the above pictured monstrosity of a cinnamon roll. I do not even want to know the calories involved in this thing. I ended up only eating half and feeling so guilty that I have taken the stairs everyday since.

Note of correction: My HUSBAND packs my lunch in the morning - not I. I am loved!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Garfield Park Conversatory & Sunken Gardens Spring Events

Picture from inside the conservatory - note my husband hiding in the foliage.

Keeping in theme with my spring fever - I thought I would post some garden themed events happening around Indy - for those fellow Central Indiana Hoosiers who are getting cabin fever like me!

The Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens located on the near-southside of Indianapolis is a perfect weekend trip to cure those winter blues! Their green-house is filled with tropical plants and flowers in full bloom. They also have many great events going on to lure you out for a visit.

Yoga at the Conservatory
Ages 12+, Cost $12/ Class, $80 Entire Session.
Yoga is an exercise that incorporates stretching, mindful breathing, strengthening and total relaxation. It can help to quiet the chatter of our minds as we honor our bodies and connect with our own sprirt. Please wear comfortable clothing that you are able to move in. Class fee will be paid directly to the instructor.
Session Dates: Meet every Saturday from 9:00am - 10:00am
Feb 2 - Mar 22


Seed Starting Workshop
- Saturday, March 8, 1pm - 2:30pm, FREE - Come learn techniques for starting your own flower and vegetable seeds. This is a great way to prepare plants for a summer garden. Get a jump start on the growing season! Please pre-register for this program, as space is limited. ( Age 18+).

African Violet Show - Saturday, March 8, 10am - 5pm, FREE - The Indy African Violet Society presents their annual show featuring a variety of these common house plants, including some for sale. Society members will also be available to answer questions.

Escape to the Tropics - Friday, March 14, 6pm - 8pm. FREE - Bring the family to enjoy a tropical festival at the Conservatory. Grab your favorite floral shirt and come enjoy crafts, refreshments, games and more! Learn what life is like for people just like you who live in the tropical rainforests. Please pre-register for this event.

Spring Bulb Show - March 28 - April 4, 10am - 5pm Daily - It’s springtime at the Garfield Conservatory! Come see our stunning display of tulips and other spring blooms against the backdrop of our permanent tropical collection. The bulbs will be for sale beginning April 5th at 10AM. Flowers are sold on a first come, first served basis and prices will vary. Admission is $3/adult, $2/seniors and youth, or $5/family

Click here to visit the Conservatory website and for more information on events, programs, hours and directions.

Spring Fever

Right about now is the time of year that I get antsy for spring to arrive. Especially since I just received the March Special Gardening Issue of Martha Stewart Living (my complementary subscription since Blueprint will no longer be running as a print magazine - just their blog Bluelines). Now, I know our garden will never be like hers - for one her garden is larger than the lot my house and yard sit on, etc. And my husband and I are really picky and wouldn't eat half the vegetables she grows. No, we are aiming more for a basic garden.

Our basic garden plan:

One row of 6-8 sweet corn stalks
Half a row of tomatoes
Half a row of peppers (green & hot)
Lettuce (maybe just in containers on the patio)
A row of cucumbers
A row of pumpkins (the baby white ones and maybe the gray kind)
Blueberry & Raspberry Bushes

Our herb garden plan:
Lemon Balm

Here is a pic of our yard plan...we have lots to do this year...putting in the patio, garden, herb garden, a raised flower bed and getting our grass really growing well in our backyard.

Helpful Gardening Resources:
Seed Starter Plan from You Grow Girl

Animals Have Feelings

It is moment's like this captured on film that really answers the question on whether or not animals have feelings. Personally, I believe they do.

These men rescued Christian when he was a cub, then hand-raised him before he was returned to the wild. After a year, they met again. This is their reunion.

Originally posted on:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Glorious Wall Decals

I need this for my office....after it is has been repainted of course! Right now it is institutional-white-gray. yuck!

Possible Prints For My Office

I have been wanting to revamp my drab office for the longest time and I think this year is the year! I have already replaced my hideous bulletin board with this jazzy number and replaced my standard black pen holder for this little delight. With having taken down my huge bulletin board I now have lots of blank space on my wall to work with. Here is what I have in mind to fill in that space a little.

I found these great prints on

Happy Valentine's Day!

Some of my favorite photos of my love and I!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yucky Weather

I cannot stand Indiana weather - the cold, the slush, uck! Just look at what the result of a four block walk in the city does to my pants in the winter! Ew!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thinking Outside the Office Chair

My Gaiam Ball Chair

When I started my job I began spending a large amount of time at my desk in front of computer. This of course has led to a few problems, - first my wrists and forearms began to hurt - solved that by ordering various ergonomic wrist supports. Then I began experiencing pain in my shoulders and lower back. I tried various different chairs in the office and even brought in one from home - nothing seemed to help. With a little research I found a view products that would help and dutifully added them to my Christmas list. Thankfully Santa showed up and delivered a marvelous Gaiam ball chair under the tree that year. Ever since then, my back and shoulders have felt marvelous. I can sit for hours and not feel cramped or slouchy. But what I gained in posture and relief from back pain I also began getting funny looks from my fellow office inhabitants. Then I found this great little video clip of a new kind of chair even worse than the one I have in my office. I was sure to email it out to all my coworkers and show them I could be sitting on something even more odd. I have had the chair for about a year now so most people are used to it, but when we get the out-of-office visitor it always a highlight of convo. :)

I love tights!

I used to HATE wearing tights when I was younger and would dread when my mother insisted I wear them. But now, I cannot get enough of them. They are essential to keeping me warm on the 2 block walk I have from the parking garage to work each day in this awful Indiana weather. The thing about tights is that I am rough on them - snags and holes are bound to appear and this winter my favorite black tights finally formed a hole. Sniff! Luckily, hubby and I were browsing Target yesterday and stumbled upon a motherload of black tights on sale for 50% off! I came home with 3 new pairs of black tights and two colored pairs (hey, the colored ones were 75% off). Needless to say this Monday morning when the thermometer outside is barely making it to 10 degrees not to mention the -15 windchill - I am very happy to have new snug and warm tights on!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008

Commerical That Breaks My Heart

I have to literally look away when I see this Pedigree Adoption Commercial - that or burst into tears or rush to the nearest humane society and adopt 10 more dogs!

I am proud to say that our first dog came from a humane society - Showbiz.

Our second one was a little unplanned - our neighbors had a litter of chihuahua puppies and being the evil people that they are they let the puppies romp around in the yard outside our apartment all the time and I fell in love with one little white one and had to have her - that is how we got Lola. Our cats are both rescues and any dog we get in the future will be rescues.

This commercial really cuts to the heart of the issue - though and definitely pulls on the heartstrings. Our society needs to stop looking in the pet shops for their next family pet and instead help an animal out in need - who is just as loving (if not more so) than that puppy in the window and what matters the most is that the puppy you don't see in the window - the one that is behind the cage door at the local animal shelter - he need YOU more. It is shocking and saddening to know the actual number of euthanasized dogs and cats - the daily number is astounding - all because there isn't enough room for them so they give them a number and so many days and if they aren't adopted out in those number of days then they are done for.

I need to go home and hug my doggies right now!

Thinking about adopting? Here are some great links to help you out.

  • - this site posts dogs who have only days left - help them


  • Or look up your nearest humane society.

  • If you are interesting in a particular breed - find a rescue and help those in need instead of buying from a breeder.

  • If you can't adopt but want to help - donate to your local humane society. Often they have a wish list of everyday items that they are in need of - things like towels, blankets, leashes, etc. All simple ways to make a difference.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Morning

    Picture 1 = My Normal Route Picture 2 = My Route This Morning

    Ok, so I had a marvelous morning this morning - started out with freaking out on my husband for leaving the clothes iron on all day and all night, after fuming all morning I finally cooled off and apologized on my way out only to get all bent out of shape over how he was precariously wrapped in a blanket on the couch with his cup of coffee filled to the brim on his lap while he was bending over to read his blogs on our laptop...images of disaster flashed through my mind and I flipped - again. Considering we have two rambunctious dogs in the house - one whose tail has been known to wag so wildly and with so much force that it has knocked over whole cups of red koolaid from our coffee table onto our floor and the other is a 7lb pipsqueek but is known to leap unannounced onto your lap on the furniture to vie for your attention - all scenarios could easily result in the cup of steaming coffee being tossed in the keyboard and screen of our only surviving very expensive laptop.

    So I left the house ticked only to run into a HUGE traffic mess on the interstate -GGGREEAAATTTT.

    As soon as I get onto the on ramp I notice that traffic is backed up for miles and all of a sudden my radio station chimes in to let everyone know about the accident blocking the center and right lanes.....nice timing - no really. Wait until I get onto the interstate to warn me - that's great.

    So after sitting on the on-ramp for 10 minutes we finally creep onto the I-65. Knowing the next off-ramp is only a mile a way I follow another car's lead and start driving on the side of the road - I get off I-65 only to run into a snarl of traffic doing just the I had to by-pass them by taking the long way to where I wanted to go - which still didn't stop me from running into even more traffic snarls from the tons of people trying to do the exact same thing I am - and here I thought I was being cunning by making all these short-cuts.

    So instead of taking a half an hour to get to work this morning - it took me a good hour....

    And apparently my day isn't getting any better. AARRRRGGG.

    P.S. Remember that book when you were little - Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Loved it - and of course it is very applicable to my morning this morning. Sigh.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008

    Commercial I Cannot Stand

    Yes, so I hate this commercial. An icy mint snow storm in heaven??? Give me a break!

    See's Candies

    So I think I fell in love at first bite! Matthew and I received a box of these delectable See's chocolate candies as a Christmas present from one of our favorite people. I had to hide them already because hubby broke into them and once open - then begins the temptation. Which I fell into tonight after dinner - I picked a delightful little nugget of Bordeaux - a heavenly blend of brown sugar and buttercream, rich and creamy - Yum! Now I know why they are famous and why Matt insisted I hide them from him - but now who is going to hide them from me??

    Tuesday, February 5, 2008

    What kind of cookie are you?

    If there is one thing I love - it is sweets! I would skip dinner entirely just to make sure I got dessert. So comes the love-hate relationship with cookies. I love cookies because they taste so good - but I hate the way I feel after I eat too many.

    Well, I finally found a good meeting place in between.

    Pepperidge Farm Cookies

    They are expensive and come in relatively small quantities - so my husband and I feel a little more guilty about buying and eating them all and they are extra delicious being premium cookies and all.

    Our most recent favorite are the Chocolate Chessman cookies! Yum!

    I even took their little quiz online to see what kind of cookie I am and lo-and-behold I am a chessman cookie!

    Find out what kind of cookie you are today!

    Sunday, February 3, 2008

    Currently Loving...

    Cara Cara Red Navels!

    These are the best oranges I have EVER eaten! So sweet and juicy with a gorgeous pink fruity center. Over the years I have been disappointed with my orange selections from the supermarket - they are always too tart and dry - but happened to come across these at Meijer and fell in love! Looks as though they have a very short season - though which may be why it took me so long to find them.

    "...Cara Cara Oranges are also known as the red navel orange, it originated at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela. Cara Cara Oranges have a bright orange peel and pink - raspberry colored flesh. Its taste is sweet with undertones of sweet-cherry, with a low acid profile. Very juicy and best when eaten fresh out of hand, Cara Caras are also popular with chefs for use in cooked sauces." -from Melissa's

    More info about different types of oranges:


    Speciality Produce

    Nest Shopping for the Near Future

    Being on one income has delayed our "nesting" for a few months - but hopefully we can start back up again soon. Here are few little additions we have been looking into for our home.

    1. Replacing our old-slightly unstable glass-topped coffee table that we bought for $25 at an Antique Store in Angola, IN for this:

    Mission-Style Coffee Table - $57.26

    (and we plan on keeping the glass table - but moving it upstairs to our game-room)

    2. Two matching end-tables to put our new lamps on! Right now our cool new pineapple styled lamps are resting precariously on random objects in our livingroom.

    Mission-Style End Tables - $36.04

    I really like the simple design and the price!

    For our bedroom we are looking to get Bali Cellular Cordless Shades - the rest of the house needs curtains/blinds or shades of the similar color to our bali shades.