Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Desperate Need of Some zzzzzzzzzzzzzz's

photocredit exfordy

Do you remember years ago, before there was Blogging, Facebook & Twitter - or back even further, to before Al Gore invented the internets. Back in the good old days of the non-digital age, I used to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

As I sit here typing this *gah, just spilled milk from my honey nut cheerios on the space bar* I am in a groggy stupor. Because, once again I did not make in into bed until around midnight. That wouldn't be such a big deal were it not for a little thing called a job, that I need to get up for.

When I get home from work everything seems to hit the fan: yesterday I had to call someone about a juggling gig, which then meant communications back and forth with VC's juggling partner and then there was that unicicyle sitting in the middle of the floor - the one I ordered from ebay with the supposedly 2.5" wide tire that was barely 1.25" wide. Naturally it was purchased from a huge ebay seller that was next to impossible to reach, except maybe by carrier pigeon. Then there was the National Academic League Party after school today, for which I was providing plates.

I won't name names, but someone who was near a store offered to pick some up for me, but neglected to hear that I said TWO packages and came home with only one, which meant I had to head out at 7:30 to get some more. yadda, yadda, yadda

I am someone who gets easily overloaded when too many things are going on at once. Lack of sleep only compounds the problem. Tomorrow being my day off I plan to send VC happily on his way (well, as happy as a teen can be going to school) and then I shall sneak back into bed and sleep until at least 10:30. *Please refrain from calling ;-)* If I can relax my mind, that is. Because the in-laws are headed here tomorrow.

photo credit Nate Steiner

What is your strategy to get to bed before the clock strikes 12???

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Add this to My Bucket List

By now you've probably all seen this photo of Ernestine Shepherd, the 73 year old weightlifter who is in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest female bodybuilder. She bench presses 150 lbs, runs marathons and looks day-um fine for a senior citizen.

But what I find the most inspiring is that she began her journey to uber fitness at the age of 56!!! Age really is more than just a number!! (I know I know, I've been getting a complex lately as I am entering *gasp* middle age.) This is absolutely something I'd love to try someday. So I'm adding it to my "to do" list - right above "Participate in Flash Mob."

Something that is Not on my bucket list, but would undoubtedly be on VC's -- build a waterpark in the backyard - just like Celine Dion has done (excess much???):

What a Girl Wants (but in Platinum or White Gold?)

I haven't talked much about my job on my blog for obvious reasons, but as an introduction to this post, I will mention that I work in an art gallery where I also get to handle all sorts of magnificent jewelry. I often get to model pieces for the clients. Many times they have questions about the materials used. You may not be familiar with platinum vs. white gold, so here is some information you may find useful if you are thinking of making a fine jewelry purchase:

Platinum has become the metal setting of choice for many celebrities. It's still much more expensive than gold, but the silver look of platinum with diamonds allows designers to create pieces that are both beautiful, sleek, and modern. Both men and women at red carpet events have taken a shine to this metal, probably because of its many great qualities. It is a very hard metal that doesn't wear or get scratched as easily as gold settings. It can be worn in environments that would be caustic to gold, like spas where chlorine becomes a factor. Of course, the look of platinum against diamonds is hard to beat too.

Katy Perry, at the 2009 Grammy Awards, was an excellent example of this fashion trend towards lighter colored metals. She wore six-stone princess cut diamond earrings, along with a “Sofia” bangle bracelet that was set in platinum. To complete the look, she wore a platinum and diamond right hand ring in a floral motif. The look was stunning and modern.

For those of us that can't afford to get a full ensemble of jewelry in platinum, there are other options to get the same look. White gold mimics the look of platinum, although the qualities of the metal are much different. It is less expensive upfront, but does require more maintenance to keep it looking new, unlike a real platinum setting. If you really have your heart set on a platinum setting, like for a diamond engagement ring, it is possible to the ring in platinum and the band in white gold, although it can cause some wear and tear on the band. Some people will weld the two pieces together to keep the platinum from wearing away the white gold band. The look is so similar, that only after some time and wear and tear, will it be possible for someone with an untrained eye to tell the difference.

*This is a sponsored post*

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Culinary Exploits Chez Carma Sez

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the kitchen, I whipped up not one, but two disasters all in ONE day yesterday.

First, I decided since we had a lot going on last night (my class, MB going to playoff game, VC going to guys reading group at library - which is a funny story in itself, because he headed there last Thursday, only to realize the library was closed on Thursdays due to cutbacks; I thought it was rescheduled for yesterday, but didn't realize it was the 26th of May!!!!! Which means he basically made two trips to the library for no reason. Good exercise though ;-)

Anymatter, I settled on BLT's since I could fix them in a jiffy. As you probably recall, I am a vegetarian/carbatarian, so I don't eat them, but every now and then it is good for the boys to get a nitrite laden meal.

I picked up that bacon which is precooked, yet not refrigerated-- basically an indication that it is 90% chemicals. Having not made BLT's since last summer, I couldn't recall the amount of time it takes to cook in the microwave. Come to find out it was 30 seconds, not the TWO MINUTES I cooked it for:
Here's an up close view so you can feast your eyes on the tastiness:
Having barely survived making it through dinner, I came back from class and instead of binge eating on Cheddar Whales, I figured a chocolate dessert was in order.

You may have seen those Cake in a Mug recipes bandied about various blogs. Let me preface this by saying that I am an estimator when it comes to cooking. No need to use the official tablespoon measuring spoon. VC saw this and figured he'd do the same substituting a regular teaspoon for the standard size one when it came to measuring the cocoa. Then I thought we'd better hold true to the quantities on the remainder of the ingredients, which meant finding the 1/8 tsp measuring spoon; which was fine, only for some reason I picked up the 1/2 teaspoon, so instead of 1/8 tsp baking soda, in went 1/2 tsp. I cooked it for 2 minutes - AGAIN WITH THE TWO MINUTES only this was the correct timing for this recipe.

It smelled like burnt popcorn, and VC advised that it tasted like chicken. Then he tasted some more and told me it wasn't too bad. The little turd :D

Which meant I had to taste some.
I get nauseous just looking at it.

After tossing that batch, I decided to do it right and made another -- only I goofed on the baking soda AGAIN, this time adding 1/4 tsp instead of 1/8. I quickly scooped out what I thought to be 1/8. Honestly, it didn't taste significantly better.

If anyone has not yet tried the recipe and wants to attempt it and maybe get it right, please let me know :D I think this is one I'm giving up on.

How have things been going in your kitchen???

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shimmy Shimmy, Undulation, Undulation - It's Recital Time!

Last night, after months of practice, we had our spring recital...It is one thing practicing and giggling on our practice classroom, another to be on stage. You'd be surprised how fear takes over!! The first few minutes I felt incredibly off balance. Then I took a deep breath, focused and made it through the performance.

Here are a couple of pictures (video was outlawed):

I only made one minor slip up, which will hopefully be unnoticeable on the video. But I'll admit that I am about as self-conscious as you get and looking at my scrawny body next to these sex-ay ladies, some of whom can really move, I seriously wonder if this is the hobby for me! However, since I'm almost a year into it and having fun, I'll just need to put on my blinders and suck it up. I am working with weights in the hopes of fleshing out my upper body some more- and hoping to improve my posture, too....

Not sure if you noticed how much better the costume fit than in the pic I posted a week or so ago. That's because I took it to a professional!!! Yes, I discovered something else I had no business attempting on my own, i.e. costume alteration. I couldn't believe the amazing job she did; I was almost ready to give up on the costume. (despite sending in my measurements, the costume arrived with about 6 extra inches added to the chest and waist). I've never had anything professionally altered before, but now that I see what a difference it makes, I'm sure to be getting more outfits altered in the future. These people can really perform miracles!!

Oh, I managed to get the fake eyelashes attached, but the closeup photos didn't come out so well. You could barely tell I had on lashes, being that I loaded up the eyeliner to cover up for the fact that I couldn't get the lashes close enough to my own lashes. I'll need to experiment more with this sometime when I am not in a rush.

But enough about me, how was YOUR weekend??

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another "First"

The other day I was in the store that everybody loves to hate, when I had a brainstorm.

The belly dance recital is tomorrow!!! And we are wearing our cabaret costumes. What's the one thing that would make such an outfit complete??


I have never tried them before. As I was checking out, the cashier, who was one of those tiny older ladies with orange hair in a bouffant perm with an overload of makeup -- kinda like this but tinier and with orange hair

looked me in the eye when she came to the eyelashes on the checkout belt.

In my conservative day to day attire *yawn*, I do not look like someone who would be wearing fake eyelashes. But she was unaware of my little hobby :D

All you fashionistas, got any tips on how to apply them????

For the next show, I am looking into these babies ;-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Open Letter to Anyone Else Considering Giving me the 'Silent Treatment'

It has come to my attention that I am now being given the 'silent treatment' by not one but two people simultaneously ("and at the same time" - that's one of VC's RenFest bits ;-)

So if anyone else is considering hopping on the bandwagon, it's a little late at this stage of the game.

I've been punished with the silent treatment for well over 30 years. I'm used to being ignored. If you think you can break me,'ve got another thing coming. I can give as good as I get. I've learned well.

As you can see, my interpersonal relationships are going along swimmingly. Hope yours are better.

Be good to the Earth, if not each other, on this Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Project Cheeseball & Giveaway Winner!

Project Cheeseball lives on! Karen, who blogs at Mommy I'm Home 2.0, surprised me with some wesome Project Cheeseball photos :-) If you get a chance, please visit Karen's blog. She had a sweet post yesterday about how to know if you have married Mr. Wonderful, that made me insanely jealous :D

Here's Karen:
Karen's husband is also featured in this cheeseball montage. He's the one offering the cheeseballs to the 6 month old (but of course!)

Oh, the photos were taken in Denver. Here's what Karen said: "Saturday my in-laws had a picnic in the park. Because I'm all crunchy granola-ish when it comes to food, I bought some "healthy" cheese puffs at Whole Foods for The Midge (Karen's daughter pictured below) as a treat...
Here's the offending "healthy" puffs - pffffffffffffffft Do you see how the mighty Utz dwarf them???

Karen added, "My father-in-law, who isn't crunchy granola-ish, decided no way was his grandchild eating preservative-free cheese puffs, so he somehow found this giant container of Utz Cheese Balls and surprised The Midge with them."

Here they are with a a bunch of my in-laws acting all goofy" (inlaws acting goofy always makes for a good cheeseball photo op):
Ditto cute kids and cheeseballs:

Looks like everyone enjoyed the Utz - aside from these grumpy geese who apparently have no taste. Go ahead geese; walk away; more for the rest of us :D

Thanks again Karen!!

And now, my Perricone Cold Plasma giveaway winner is *drumroll*

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-04-21 00:30:45 UTC

Congratulations SGS who said, "I would love to try it simply because Mother Nature has robbed my skin of it's suppleness and youthful texture, and I want them back!

DWTS: I bet Tony is breathing a HUGE sigh of relief today :D

Monday, April 19, 2010

Study Says I Shoud Be Successful and Agressive! How 'bout You?

You may have seen the studies that came out recently, the first from psych professor Marjorie Gunnoe which concluded that kids who are spanked before age 6 grow up to be more successful than those who have not been spanked.

(I'm sure the challenge was to find someone from my generation who had NOT been spanked for purposes of comparison.)

But, hold on, along comes the Tulane University study from last week where it was shown that kids who were spanked more often at the age of 3 were more likely to be defiant and prone to temper tantrums. They also got easily frustrated, and displayed physical outbursts.

I'll go on record saying that VC has never been spanked. Ever. Yet, he amazingly appears to be an excellent student* I guess he is defying the odds. And he is also not aggressive, so I'm perhaps more inclined to go with the second study.

Two different studies; two totally different conclusions....Which do you believe?

I have a feeling these guys may have been spanked many times at the age of three:

photo credit: basic_sounds

*my intention in mentioning this is not to be all "I'm great" - just pointing this out as it relates to the study; I realize that although spanking is not for me (although when I was little it apparently WAS for me ;-) , different methods work depending on the child and parents.

**the Perricone giveaway ends tonight - so please stop on over here and enter!**

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Serial Hobbyist Strikes Again!!

Look what I made. It's it's it's a


not intentionally meant to be that rippled...*sighs*

I see all these cute mommies with their etsy shops and think, one of these days I'll hit on something that is actually saleable!!

Guess I just haven't hit it. Yet.

I've made pottery (still have a closet filled with pots), I've painted -- and I enjoy crocheting. It's the "counting of stitches" that I have a problem with. But why let a "little thing" like that stand in the way of my creativity???

Counting aside, I've given many of these baby blankets as gifts and have received several messages about how much their kids love them. The most recent:

"I have been meaning to tell you, _____ LOVES that blanket you made. It is his "blankie." Whenever I take him out of the crib he grabs on to it, or if it is left in, he reaches through the railings to get it. Its so cute!"

Just warms my heart when someone actually likes something I've made for them. And luckily babies are not as discriminating as adults when it comes to "perfection."

One of these days I just may find something worthy to list in an etsy shop. Just you wait!!! Hopefully I won't be setting up the account while my bed pan is being emptied at the nursing home ;-)

What's something you enjoy doing that doesn't always turn out too stellar?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Has SITS Day Commenting Sunken to a New Low?

Firstly, I'll admit that I've been checking in with SITS a lot less frequently as of late, partly due to lack of time; partly due to other reasons. But that's not the point of this post.

I visited this morning and clicked through to the featured blogger. It was the blog of a woman who recently lost her son after only a few hours of his life. It featured pictures of her and her husband and the last photo was of her newborn's tiny feet.

I am not going to link to either site I mention as my goal is NOT to sensationalize anything.

I guess I was just shocked when I went to leave a comment with the featured blogger and noticed that the two comments above me were Happy SITS day!

On a post of this sensitive nature. Happy SITS day - and that's all - srsly????? I struggled with what to write. I am horrible with knowing what to say in situations like this. Which leads me to think; if you really don't know what to say, Don't Comment rather than leaving "Happy SITS Day!" But that's just my opinion.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Makeup?? BAH!

Let me preface this by saying I've been incredibly grumpy lately. Staying up too late with Twitter parties and the like and then spilling half a jar of rubber cement on the carpet last night didn't help.

So, anyway, in the mornings I like to waste time before work catching up on celebrity gossip taking my time getting dressed so I look uber professional.

Have you noticed the plethora of photos of celebrities without makeup? I like to look at those so photo galleries regularly. That way I can put my nose in the air and say "Hruuuummmmph - even I look better than that celebrity!"

And then I came across the one of Jessica Simpson from the cover of Marie Claire magazine. the one allegedly with no makeup.

The caption says..... Jessica Simpson..... sans makeup. "I don't have anything to prove anymore," Simpson told the magazine. "What other people think of me is not my business."

Only problem is that she definitely has makeup on in the photo; look at her eyes - is that not eyeshadow and liner???? I see this far too often in those photo galleries of celebrities without makeup. If it is really without makeup, then shouldn't the celebrity NOT BE WEARING ANY MAKEUP?????

Does this bother anybody else?

For those still tuning into DWTS: A week or so ago, I said to VC that Aiden would be voted off soon now that his wife and kids appeared on the show. To me that is the death knell - especially when there is a performer who is cute and fans prefer to think he is hot and single :D

***still time to enter my Perricone Giveaway ($150 value)

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Hairy Situation

I realize that I'll probably catch some flack on this one. Here's the thing: I scheduled a family photo shoot with a photographer last Friday. It's been almost six years since we had a "formal" family pic and I recently discovered a photographer who takes some unusual, edgy-type photos, which was exactly what I had in mind.

In other news, MB has been growing out his goatee, on my suggestion (what was I thinking- and do I not learn from my mistakes? I was also the one who suggested the pRon stache that ended up being featured in our engagement portrait) his own suggestion, he decided to color it so he would look younger and more hip. He was pretty enamored with his new facial hair and liked to brush it out. There came a point though when it was starting to get longer and he was looking like one of those WWE wrestling brothers with the beer guts and goatees.

Knowing that the photo shoot was coming up, I tried persuading him to shave it shorter - the way it normally is, just for the pic. It did take some persuading. "Some" as in "a lot" spread out over several weeks. But as you can tell from our trip photos, the beard is now gone.

Well, the photo shoot was on Friday and as of today, the beard and color are both back in action. I think MB fancies that his beard transforms him into this:

My fear, is that it will end up looking more like this:

...but with color.

Here's my question for you: Was it wrong of me to "stifle" his look for purposes of the family photo? or would you have done the same thing?

and should I buy him one of these until it grows back?

Now, you know it is hard for me to resist posting a Beardhead pic :D

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm Ready to Join the Revolution

Last night I decided to watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution with VC. I'd seen the previews and was intrigued. VC is at the age where he is interested in eating well and enjoys a good stirfry. To get a teenager to this point is a miracle in itself!

Jamie is so darn "cheeky" and contagious that if I lived closer I would have been one of the 1,000 participants to visit his kitchen as part of his bet with the local DJ curmudgeon turned ally by the end of the episode.

One of Jamie's techniques to attract and inspire people to participate was a flash mob (which is basically a choreographed production that unexpectedly takes place in the middle of a public place - like the Black Eyed Peas did on Oprah a while back)...

Which leads me to another one of my goals: To participate in a Flash Mob. I'll need to keep my ears open for local flash mob opportunities....

Flash mobs aside, if you have a teen who has an interest in healthy eating, or more importantly, a teen who eats only crap, you may want to consider watching this show together next week. I've even gone ahead and "signed" his petition online. I swear this guy could sell me dog poop at this point!! What he is doing makes complete sense. If you watched the young girl on the show who's been basically only given 7 years to live if she doesn't change her eating habits, you can see why young people in our country are in dire need of change. And it may be up to this quirky Brit to do it.

(I am typing this while munching on a carrot - no really!! disclaimer: I basically used the carrot to chase down the yellow Peep I ate beforehand)

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Can't Resist A Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

To be honest, I usually can, (I'm fun like that ;-) but not the Ultimate Blog Party 2010!! I participated last year and it was a wonderful opportunity to meet some mighty fine bloggers.

If you are not familiar with my blog, here are 24 Things About Me:

1. I am a product of the 80's where I was a "rink rat"
2. My son (VC) who is incidentally an awesome juggler - is teaching me to bounce juggle

3. I am an "aspiring" belly dancer
4. Although I am an Aquarius, I can barely swim
photo credit Kevin Dooley

5. I have a "man crush" On Jack Donaghy

6. I have lost much of the hearing in my right ear
7. We often refer to ourselves as The Addams family — because we do what we want to do; say what we want to say!

8. I am a city slicker at heart
9. I am married to MB, who plays the piano with two fingers (although he has 10)

10. I am not at all opposed to plastic placemats
11. I am a minimalist
12. I do a good Keith Morrison impersonation
13. I am deathly afraid of rollercoasters
14. In many of my baby pictures I resemble Suri Cruise
15. I know lots of useless facts. Just ask.
16. My artwork is more "who did it an ran, than Rembrandt"
17. I have had plenty of creative ideas; none of them lucrative!
18. I am a proud Honda Element owner. Mine’s kiwi green

19. I often obsess about minutae
20. I am prone to monkey bread mayhem!

21. I am a vegetarian/carbatarian
22. I like red doors
23. I've been told that my ass is "underrated"
24. I have been maced! ("accidentally" I should add....)

And that about sums things up. Let me know if you have any questions! :D

*****Please enter my Perricone giveaway - a $150 value*****


prize preferences: of course, the fantabulous grand prize first and then

US39 Be My Guest Certificate provided by Hilton Garden Inn & Bloggin2Noggin

INTL 2 – A custom Wordpress blog by Uniquehorn Designs

US75 Gift certificate to provided by StomperMom

if those are unavailable, then in order of preference: US101, USC13, USC8, USC35, USC39, USC37, US112, USC3,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Perricone Cold Plasma Giveaway ($150 value!)

In the ideal world we would be judged entirely on our cheerful dispositions. In the meantime, I'm not letting go of my quest for perfect skin..

As you can see from my beach photo, I believe in protecting my face from the sun at all times. In addition, I've tried my fair share of creams and potions that promise to help me look like a twenty-something blogger ;-)

I'm a bit of a skin care junkie, and I bet many of you are too, which is why I am thrilled that Perricone has offered one of my readers the chance to win
Cold Plasma.

The reason I selected this particular product from the Perricone product line was the phenomenal reviews I read about the product, including one from someone who claimed she is able to wear less makeup now that she is using Cold Plasma. I'm all for less makeup (except when I'm performing in a recital, in which case "more is more")

Cold Plasma works through a patented system to deliver optimal nutrition to skin cells to help skin achieve a healthy, glowing, youthful appearance. Heck yeah! Sign me up for that!!! *guys, enter to win for your girls- Mother's Day is just around the corner*

To enter the giveaway:

Please share why you would like to win Cold Plasma (this is the mandatory first step)

For extra entries (Please leave a separate comment for each entry):

1. "Follow" my blog on Blogger
2. Subscribe to my blog
3. Grab my handy dandy blog button (please let me know so I can reciprocate!)
4. StumbleUpon, Kirtsy or Digg any Carma Sez blog post that you've particularly enjoyed (4 entries per each)
5. Blog about the giveaway and link back to my blog (4 entries)
6. Tweet about the giveaway as follows:

Cold Plasma #giveaway from @perriconemd enter @CarmaSez ($150 value)

& send me the link to the tweet (you can tweet up to 3 times a day!)
7. Suggest an idea for a future blog post

**If you are already a follower, or already have my button, please still indicate this in a separate comment. Thanks!**

Giveaway ends onTuesday, April 20th at 8:00 PM EST. ***U.S. AND CANADA ONLY***

You may also be interested in Perricone MD's Super Berry Powder with Acai
which has essential fatty and amino acids and that provide an energy boost and helps provide an overall sense of well-being.

Also: avoid the dreaded Turkey Neck with Perricone's Firming Neck Therapy Cream.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back from Our Little Jaunt

to one of my favorite destinations in the whole U S of A -- Charleston, SC.

VC loves the beach. As soon as he saw the ocean on the horizon, he said, "My stomach did a little hop when it saw the ocean."

When he wasn't testing out his new skimboard, he was floating around on an inner tube (despite the 60 degree water temp). I played the role of Landlubber.

***********warning: hot-n-sexy beach pic to follow**************

as you can see, I put the "white" in "white" and sure- most of the chicks were wearing tiny string bikinis, but why would you want to do that when you have your LL Bean thermal zip up, denim capris and old lady sun hat? I was fairly easy to spot amongst the sea of scantily clad babes, which was my goal ;-)

I won't bore you with our downtown architecture and touristy pics, other than this one that was taken at The Battery because cannon balls are cool :D

Every trip to Charleston, we make a point of dining one night at our favorite Pizzeria: Andolini's. The 19" pizzas are huge and the boys look forward to it, as well as our yearly pizza slice pic:

To give you an idea of the scale, as well as the "ambiance":

As you can see, I was wearing my "beach attire."

What about you? Do anything special over the holiday weekend?
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