Archive for April, 2010

Yes, it is Wednesday, but I forgot to post this yesterday….even though I had it all ready, a day ahead of time. So, here it is: “10 On Tuesday” on Wednesday.

1.  Think back a decade, do you remember what your first cellphone was? Was it as cool as Zack Morris’s phone?

I didn’t have a cell phone a decade ago (it was 9 years ago). I got my first cell phone when I was 18 and had just graduated high school. My parents figured since I was going to college, it would be a good idea for me to have one. It actually wasn’t a hideous phone as far as cell phones go….it was relatively small. I do remember my dad having a cell phone so big, it needed its own case and battery pack….that was a LOOONG time ago.
2. What is the first children’s book you remember being read to you?

This would be impossible to figure out….my parents read to me pretty much since I was born.

3. What was your first car? Did you love it or hate it? 

I got a lovely 1991 (or 92…I don’t remember) Pontiac Grand Prix, when I was 17 and a senior in high school. I still miss that car sometimes….it was paid for! Lol. It was a good car….however, my sister toaled it a few years later.
4. Who was your hero growing up?

Probably my dad. What can I say? I was a daddy’s girl.
5. Think back to your first kiss. Was it everything you dreamed of?

At the time I thought so….in hindsight, no not at all. Then again, dating that boyfriend in the first place was a horrible experience.

6.  What was your first BAD hairstyle choice? (Extra points for embarrassing photos) 

I can only remember one hairstyle that made me cry, and it actually wasn’t MY choice….It was my mom’s. For some reason, she thought it would be a good idea to cut my hair herself (this is not something she really had ever done before, so I’m not sure why she made me her experiment). I was 7 or 8 and it was hideous.
7. What was your first realistic dream? (One where you had to think “Oh dang, was that a dream?”)

No idea….I don’t think I’ve ever had any like that.
8. What was the first phobia you remember developing?

I refused to sit in ripped booths at restaurants when I was little. Apparently I was a little snob for a brief time when I was young. My family loves to make fun of me with that story.
9. Which character on Sesame Street do you most identify with?

I’ve never really thought about it….they’re muppets….
10. What was the hardest goal you ever accomplished? 

Oh goodness…..I’m actually not sure.

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Pour Your Heart Into It

I’ve found myself reading a lot of books lately, that I wouldn’t normally pick up. I’m trying to be budget conscious, so I’ve picked up a lot of books from the clearance table at Border’s (where all the books are $3.99) and of course Half Price Books. I’ve always loved nonfiction, and I’m finding myself reading a lot of it lately….It has been great!

I recently picked up “Pour Your Heart Into It” by Howard Schultz and Dori Jones Yang at Half Price Books, and I just finished it today. For those of you under a rock, Howard is the CEO of Starbucks. Now, I LOVE my Starbucks and my boyfriend worked there for about a year and a half at one point, so I thought it would be fun to read about it. It was an EXCELLENT book. It was interesting and well thought out….I absolutely loved it. It was interesting to learn that Howard Schultz didn’t actually start Starbucks (I always just assumed he did). He actually joined when it had already been around for a decade or so. Starbucks sold quality whole bean coffee—they didn’t actually sell drinks back then. Howard decided to start his own line of coffee shops, because he wanted to be able to serve coffee and give customers more of a “coffee bar” experience. He went on to start “El Giornale” (which I actually had never heard of). He tried to make it as much like the coffee shops in Italy as possible. The owners of Starbucks eventually went to Howard, wanting to sell him Starbucks. He bought the company and kept the name….let’s face it, Starbucks is catchier and easier to say than El Giornale!

Starbucks may be a huge company now, but I would say it is definitely a quality company. My boyfriend loved working there. I haven’t met very many people who have hated working at Starbucks. Most food service or retail jobs are minimum wage and have no benefits. Starbucks definitely treats their people well. I may be a little biased, considering I am from Seattle, and think of Starbucks as a local company, but I really do think it’s great. When David and I were in San Francisco for a month, I would go to Starbucks when I was missing Seattle. It’s comforting.

I was down in Seattle the other day, walking around. I was killing time before meeting David after he got off work. I love Pike Place, so  I happened to walk by the first Starbucks store and was amazed by how many people were crammed into that little tiny store! People had their cameras out and everything. I went in there once just to see, but I’ve never wanted to fight the crowds again (especially since you can get the same exact coffee at who KNOWS how many locations right down the street!). Since I was in the middle of reading the book, it was kind of cool to see again where it all started.

Excellent book! Starbucks skeptics should especially read it….they may come away with a whole new appreciation for it. I love my Starbucks!

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I just had an interesting conversation with one of my co-workers. We’re the same age and even graduated from high school the same year (2001, in case you were wondering). We were talking about how different kids are “these days”. And in case you were wondering, yes we realized we must have sounded kind of silly….since we really aren’t all that “old”. The conversation started with how awesome cartoons used to be: Duck Tales, Tailspin, etc….you get the picture. The conversation then shifted to toys. We actually used our imaginations and **Gasp** played OUTSIDE! I rode my bike with the neighbor kids, climbed trees, even built forts. When it came to our toys, we actually had to use our imaginations! They weren’t all electronic or computerized. I am convinced that the children of today don’t have attention spans….they have to constantly be entertained and “wowed”. They’ve never known a time without computers, elementary schoolers have cell phones (I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was 18 years old and done with high school), and video games are everywhere. They don’t have to use their imaginations….and that was the best part of being a kid. I remember, in the summertime, going out to play and staying outside until after it was dark.

I sometimes worry that we’re raising kids to be unable to interact with people on a personal level. When you constantly use technology to interact with people in your life (Facebook, text messages, email….) it seems to be getting harder and harder for people to maintain relationships in real life. Commenting on someone’s “wall” on Facebook is NOT the same thing as going to coffee with a friend. People more and more seem to be neglecting the people in their day to day lives….because they are living their entire lives online or through technology. It’s annoying to be sitting at dinner with someone and have them constantly checking their phone, texting, surfing the internet, or whatever. If I am taking the time out of my life to spend time with this person, they should at least give me their attention. Basically what you’re telling someone in this situation is that the person you are communicating with on your phone, is more important than giving the person you’re with, your undivided attention.

Sometimes I like to have days where I don’t get on the internet and I leave my cell phone in my purse. I like to be “off the grid” sometimes. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I must say it really irritates some of my friends. When I don’t respond right away or don’t answer the phone they get offended and annoyed. Since when did it become a rule that everyone needs to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Sometimes I don’t FEEL like talking on the phone. Sometimes I’m in the middle of spending time with my boyfriend or my family and I don’t want to be talking on the phone or texting when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I think it’s rude.

Don’t get me wrong, technology is great….my boyfriend writes software for a living (so needless to say, we don’t always see eye to eye on these issues, lol). There’s just a time and a place for it. The dinner table isn’t for emailing. It’s for connecting with the people who are oftentimes the most important (and for eating of course!). People didn’t used to have cell phones, or even computers at home, so when they left work they left it behind. They then went home and focused on their families. I just think there needs to be a better balance. Yes it’s fun to see what everyone is up to on Facebook, and what all the people I went to high school are up to these days. It’s fun to hear from friends I haven’t seen in years. But that should never become more important than the people who are there for me everyday.

I could go on and on about this subject, but I will stop. Sometimes I just miss the “good ‘ole days”. I long for simplicity sometimes!

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I recently joined another book review program for bloggers (Tyndale House Publishers) and I just finished my first selection today. The book I had the opportunity to read is titled: “Divanomics” and is by Michelle McKinney Hammond. The premise of the book is “how to still be fabulous when you’re broke.” It sounded good to me! I am definitely NOT rolling in the dough (to say the least!). I’m always looking for ways to save my money and I LOVE a good bargain. I have never read any other books by this author (though apparently she has written 45 books), so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was an easy read (I finished it in less than 24 hours), with a lot of catchy phrases thrown in.

I definitely enjoyed the book, I think I was hoping for some more substance though. It is a light-hearted book and isn’t intended to give serious financial advise (as the author warns at the beginning). I was also hoping for some NEW money saving tips….I didn’t really learn anything that I didn’t already know. I also felt like the book was a little more for people who had had a lot of money at one time (she talks about owning various properties and spending tons of money on expensive clothes) and not necessarily for those of us “normal” people.

All in all, it was an enjoyable uplifting read that I would recommend to friends. It IS good to know that I’m not the only person struggling in this lovely economy!

*Disclaimer: Book was received for free from Tyndale House Publishers, in exchange for an honest review on my blog and on a consumer website.*

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Birthday Time!

Last weekend (April 16th) we celebrated my sister Lindsey’s 24th birthday. Birthdays (along with any sort of holiday) are a HUGE deal in my family, so it’s always a fun time. I had the day off, so I went with my mom on a birthday quest, up to Burlington. Lindsey wanted a specific watch at Target and the only locations that had said watch, were Burlington and West Seattle. My mom does not enjoy driving in Seattle (believe me, it is not a pleasant experience) so she decided Burlington would be a better choice. It was GORGEOUS out, so we had a nice drive up there.

My mom and sisters (and Kelsey’s boyfriend Gary) went to a movie. I had to pick David up at the train station, so I opted out of the movie. I stayed behind and ran over to Target to grab a few things. After picking David up, we went back to my mom’s and I decorated. It has sort of become a tradition in recent years, that I decorate the table with pictures.

We headed to Red Robin to meet everyone else for dinner. Lindsey was completely horrified over being sung to….which was funny.

Mom and Lindsey

The sisters

I am obsessed with pictures….I’ll admit it. David doesn’t QUITE share my love for them, but he does humor me usually. A lot of times, my attempts at getting a picture of us, result in some weird expression on his part….but it does make for some funny pictures!

Yes....he purposely looked away. Lol.

Attempt #2:

A goofy smile! I actually like this one though. It's appropriate. 🙂

Back at the house, David and Lindsey brought goofy faces to another level….


Apparently, Gary too wanted to get in on the goofy face action….Kelsey looks annoyed.

Grandma then showed up, and I gave her a hard time for going to Starbucks and not getting me anything!

No birthday would be complete without photo opps of the birthday person by their cake and presents!

Lindsey loved all her presents. I must say, I did really good at picking out the perfect gift. Not to sound conceited, but I do seem to have a natural gifting in that area. 🙂 It wasn’t something she asked for, but I saw it and knew she had to have it.

Socks was at the party too.

It was definitely a fun day! My mom is already gearing up for next month (Kelsey’s and David’s birthdays are only two days apart).

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Bonhoeffer Review

My latest book for the Thomas Nelson blogger review program (otherwise known as “Booksneeze”) was Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. I have to say, this is probably my favorite so far. It’s a really long book (over 500 pages) so it took me awhile to finish, but it was worth it. I absolutely loved it. It’s no secret that I LOVE history, especially World War 2, so this book was definitely right up my alley. I have to be honest, I hadn’t really ever heard of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, before reading this book.

It was really interesting to read about the religious struggles that went on in Germany during Hitler’s reign of terror. I was very moved by Bonhoeffer’s selflessness and sacrifice. It would have been so easy for him to lay low and appease the Nazis (and really, who would blame him?) but he stood up for what he believed in. He could have remained in America and stayed safe, but he felt drawn back to his native country. How many of us would do that? I have to be honest….I would probably stay where it was safe.

I have seen the movie “Valkyrie” (this book made me want to watch it again), so it was interesting to hear that it was because of that failed assassination attempt that gave the Nazis what they needed to execute Bonhoeffer. I found the entire book extremely interesting and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys history.  There was a lot of good stuff in this book!

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Wanna participate? Go here.

1.  What two cities should be moved closer together?

I definitely think Anaheim needs to move closer to Seattle. Why? Well, because then I could live close to Disneyland! On second thought, Seattle should probably move closer to Anaheim….otherwise Disneyland would only be enjoyable for a few months out of the year! Lol.

2. What was the first plane ride you took?

I went on a ministry tour when I was sixteen. Technically my first plane ride was to Chicago (where we had a layover before continuing to Baltimore). What’s funny is I ended up living in Chicago years later.
3. What continent would you most like to visit?

4. What’s your favorite place to window-shop?

Window shopping is not something I enjoy. If I don’t have money to spend, the last thing I want to do is go gaze at all the stuff I want but can’t actually buy….it’s kind of like torture. If I did decide to torture myself it would be at Target or Barnes and Noble.
5. What’s the least fun you’ve ever had at a place specifically tailored for fun?

Ice skating….I am horrible at it and it was awful. I hated every minute of it. Now ROLLER skating I can do!
6.  You’re stuck on an island with plenty of food, a companion, and a relatively stress-free lifestyle. What do you say when the rescue ship comes?

“That was a nice vacation, I guess it’s back to the real world now.”
7. Which day of the week do you look forward to most?

Any day I don’t have to work.

9. What’s on your “to do” list this summer?

Moving, starting school, getting a couch, work out, etc….

10. Which natural disaster freaks you out the most?

Earthquakes, definitely. You can’t really hide or run from them.

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