Sunday, November 30, 2008

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I'm ready to get back in the groove

Well, we've (almost) made it through the long holiday weekend! Our Thanksgiving was fantastic. Baby brother and family came over for breakfast and, if a may say so myself, I made the most kick-ass bacon I've ever tasted. Whenever I cook ANYTHING right, it's a big deal. And it's not that I cook things and screw them up, necessarily. It's that I just don't cook things. Theory is that the more great successes I have, the more I may want to cook. So far, that hasn't really happened.

Anyway, Thanksgiving at the restaurant was great. It was fantastic to have everybody there (except for my BIL Dave, who is recovering from DOUBLE knee surgery) and the gigantic table in the middle of the table was overwhelming. There we were, all sitting at the one table (pretty much). That's the first time that ever happened. And I think it's the first time we all ate Thanksgiving Dinner from actual plates instead of disposable.

Right now I'm in the middle of kids birthday party mayhem. One yesterday at Giggles And Smiles at the mall. The Saturday after Thanksgiving. At the Mall. And one there today, too. The mall wasn't too bad yesterday when I got there, and I actually got a little bit of shopping done. But an hour later it had gotten crazy. So I grabbed the laptop and sat in the food court (Yeah! for free wi-fi) and got some work done. Today the party is at 4:00, which is the same time as the Steeler Game. So, I'm hoping it's not as crazy in there today.

So, enjoy your Sunday! Kids have one more day off school tomorrow, but I'll be working. Hopefully we get the Christmas decorations up today/tomorrow. We're starting to look like slackers. I promise to try for a more meaningful post tomorrow. Really. It will be thought-provoking and possible introspective. I think.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

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Happy Thanksgiving!

OK, I'm going to get a little bit sappy and sentimental, but here it goes. (You know, I'm a firm believer that if you're not thankful for what you DO have, the universe stops giving you cool stuff. But that doesn't explain why I keep buying stuff for my kids.)

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for:

  • My beautiful children and my strong husband
  • My home, my neighborhood and my neighbors
  • My entire family and their support
  • The opportunity we got to pursue Tony's our dream of owning a restaurant/bar
  • The fact that I'm healthy (I'd better get on the stick and start exercising and stop smoking, though)
  • That I have the opportunity to work from home.
I'm sure there's more, but I'm sorta on a schedule here. Gotta shower, clean up a little, do some payroll and get ready for family breakfast. Baby brother and family coming over for eggs and bacon/sausage feast.

Have a great day!!! And if you're going shopping tomorrow, be safe!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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Drive by Posting

OK, I have to be quick today. Becca's home sick from school, I have a big honkin' sinus infection, and it's the busiest bar day of the year. I do have a free shipping coupon from Cafe Press for ya. The code is FEMHOL10 and it's good on purchases over $50 up until November 28th.

Lots of stuff to do on the Print-On-Demand projects, too. Zazzle just made a bulk add tool available (so I can FINALLY get all of my designs up there) and CafePress just added dark sweatshirts and zip up hoodies. Looks like I have projects to last me for a while. That's on top of all the birthday parties coming up, Christmas shopping, decorating, and general everyday life stuff. I need a clone. OOH, like that movie 'Multiplicity' with Michael Keaton. The kids sure would have fun with the 3rd clone (or was it the 4th?). You know, the one who was....well...let's say mentally challenged.

OK, gotta bolt! Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

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Careful, Karma Might Bite Ya in the Ass

This link was posted on twitter today. And if you go and read this, you can see that this is a bitter, crabby guy just looking to get a rise out of people. Now, I'm going to be honest about a lot of things:

  1. The only time I ever read anything from Mike Seate was when PittGirl blogged about it
  2. I don't have a problem with his writing, exactly
  3. I don't like it when people don't understand something and then pretend like they do.
Mike says that he doesn't know why people blog when it's not for money. I'm going to say that (totally my guess) 90% of people blogging are doing it for money. It might not be money directly. It might be to promote something that they are making money on. A blog might have some great instructional content, and the writer may live off the affiliate links. Could be many reasons. And hey, there are people who just like to write. For whatever reason. Does it really matter what their reasons are? Ten years ago they may have been writing in a diary or a ratty old notebook. Maybe they have dreams of someday being paid to be a writer. Happens all the time. There are two blogs that I follow regularly, and Because I said So. Both of these bloggers sucked me into their writing. Their style was inviting and humorous. They BOTH now have books (one released recently, and one being released in April). There are many other bloggers that make a fantastic living from their blogs (quite possibly more than Mike Seate).

Now, I don't know the reasons behind Mr. Seate's column downing bloggers. There could be many reasons that he felt moved to write that column. Afraid of competition? Jealous that these writers are free to post whatever their little hearts desire? Who knows. And that's why I'm not going to judge his column, exactly. I just think that if you are going to throw your opinion around like that, please be informed. Or at least admit that you are not informed, and that your opinion is coming only from what you are currently aware. Can't everybody just play nice?


Now me? Well, I'm more of a numbers girl :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

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Really, is it Monday?

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the season finale of True Blood. But now I can't wait until summer. Not just for the next installment, but because I'm about sick of the cold already. But I digress...

You know, I've been thinking about some of my friends who are about to become parents for the first time. I just thought I'd post some of my thoughts about how it might change their lives. First, the good ('cuz I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of gal)
  • You can't even imagine the feeling of all that love. It's overwhelming.
  • You always have somebody to cuddle with
  • You get to play with toys again
  • When they're an infant and you have them in the grocery store, you can have a conversation with yourself and it looks like you're talking to your baby.
  • You get to buy cute little clothes
  • You don't get bored anymore
Next is the not so good. Not really BAD, but different
  • You will never (especially if you are the MOM) have privacy again. Ever. Unless you leave the house and go and hide in your car.
  • You won't get nearly as much sleep as you're used to. Ever. My kids are 3 1/2 and 5 1/2. I still don't sleep, and I don't have insomnia or anything like that. But, the silver lining is that you get used to functioning on less sleep. You just get a little more 'dingy.'
  • Your house will never be as clean as you want it to be. Ever. I could spend hours cleaning, and it would just get messed up right behind me.
OK, this is a short list. And as I'm sitting here with Chloe watching 'Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders' for the hundredth time, it's about as deep as I can go right now. But I wouldn't trade them for anything. Ever.

So, on a lighter note, I was using stumbleupon the other night, and I came across this site. And it really made me giggle. Here's the page (and I did pay the game, and did pretty well)

You can click on the link to play the game if you want to. That's completely a pet peeve of mine...the whole lose/loose thing. Really makes me crazy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

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Season Finale of True Blood

I'm so completely excited about the season finale of True Blood tonight. Now, hopefully I don't fall asleep in bed with Becca. But even if I do, the DVR is all set up. Can I just tell you that last week (don't read on if you haven't seen it!!!) when Bill jumped at Sam with those fangs all out, my heart just about leaped out of my chest!!! Unfortunately, Tony has to be at the bar tonight. We usually watch it together. But, I'll still enjoy the last episode. So, hope you had a great weekend! Talk to ya tomorrow!

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Yes, another blog

Hey! I started a new blog! It's completely in its infancy, but it's going to be a blog about different products and stores and such that I like. So, go check it out. I'll be adding something every day.
Here's the link: Stuff Heather Likes

Saturday, November 22, 2008

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Vampire at heart

As I sit here eating a healthy snack chips and dip, watching Saturday Night Live, I realize what I really miss the most about my 'pre-kid' life. I miss staying up late. It's not that I miss sleeping. I've adjusted pretty well to getting six interrupted hours of sleep a night. I mean, it took me five years to get adjusted to it, but I'm there now. It's almost midnight right now. I could easily stay awake until 2 or 3. But I know that I'll be getting up at 7:00 or 7:30. Six hours I can handle. Four or five, not so much.

I've always been that way. Never really a morning person. I've come to appreciate the mornings. I actually have a lot of energy in the morning, and get a lot accomplished. But I really have a feeling of peace late at night. And after tending bar for all those years, it just felt right to stay up late. OK, just needed to share. Sleeping rant over.

I'm actually really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. I always get together with my brother and his family on the morning of Thanksgiving. We catch the parade and chow on some breakfast. It's been at their house the past couple of years, but they're coming to my Grand Maronda Home (did you hear the sarcasm?). Then, we're going to have dinner with the hubby's family at the restaurant. It will be the first time that we will all be able to sit at the same table and eat. We're usually scattered throughout somebody's house, each of us with a Styrofoam plate on our laps. The restaurant is closed to the public, and we figured the clean up will be easier there, too. If I did my count right, there's the possibility of 40 people for dinner.

Here's my kid conversation for today. It's a short one. As Becca's getting out of the tub, she's rattling off names of shapes in Spanish. So, she asks me if I know what a quadrado is. (And I got it right!). Then she asked me how to say 'stripes' in Spanish.

Me: "I don't know"
Becca: "I don't know" means stripes in Spanish?
Me: "Smart ass!"

And as I finish writing this, Chloe just woke up screaming. Gotta go - looks like I have a cuddle buddy tonight.

Friday, November 21, 2008

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Um, There's No Snow

Well, my kids are royally ticked off at me. There's no snow. It actually caught me a little off guard. You know, this early in the winter you still trust the weather man and the 'Winter Weather Advisories.' Now, if it had been March, I would know that there would be no snow. And as I look at my WeatherBug app on my browser and it has a big ol' sun on the Sunday forecast I realize that it will probably snow that day. That's how they roll. I actually bought snow boots for the girls yesterday, so Becca wouldn't have to trudge through the snow at the bus stop in her sneakers. Oh well.

And shopping - I've really got to get on the ball (and get some cash!!!!). Looks like this entire shopping season will be paired with Mr. Chase Visa. And we're getting hammered with birthdays right before the holiday. Between now and Christmas I have 2 sister-in-laws, a husband and four (probably five) kids birthday parties. Aarrrgh! Of course, there's still a kid inside of me, and I think I've figured out what I want. I want a digital video camera. One of those cute little ones. I saw that Kohl's has one on sale today and tomorrow for $90.

Now, I have no idea on reviews and such for this thing, but for $90 bucks I think it's a deal. They just added Flip Minos at CafePress, and they're almost twice as much. Now, I know that they take a nice picture and I've heard great things about the Flips, but I'm into saving cash.

Well, I'm off to do some office work for the restaurant. Well, not really off...I'll still be sitting here at my kitchen table in my froggie flannel pj's, drinking my coffee, listening to Chloe spin on the sit-and-spin!

Playskool Musical Sit'n Spin: Musical Sit N' Spin

OH, I almost forgot! There's a free shipping coupon at CafePress for the weekend. The code is FCPHOL1 and it's for orders over $50. Here's the link to the CafePress Free Shipping Ad.

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Filling a void

Well, I have to say that my days just have felt a little 'off' lately. It's all about the morning routine. My mornings are not the exact same every day. Um, if you're a mom you know that NOTHING is the same every day with two kids. But, I usually have some time before noon to stop by and check on the blogs that are up above me as I type in my bookmark toolbar in FireFox. And I'm not going on and on, but since the Burgh Blog is gone, I've decided I'm on a mission to find another blog (or two) to fill that void. I have a few Pittsburgh bloggers I'm checking out, and I'll share after I stick with them for a couple of weeks.

So, speaking of mornings, I've finally convinced Becca to let me drive her to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Chloe has preschool those days, and we gain another 40 minutes in the morning if I just drop Becca off at school before I take Chloe to preschool. So, we enjoyed our little bit of extra time today. While Becca was eating her bowl of Coco Puffs (not the plain chocolate kind - they're half vanilla and half chocolate) she told me about her gym class the other day. I guess that some of the kids from the other team were making faces at her when she was having her turn. Now, I would guess that they were probably making faces at everybody, but Becca takes these things very personally. So, I asked her what she did when they were making the faces. She said that she didn't do anything. So, I tried to teach her about sarcasm. Probably not such a good idea for a five year old. I told her "Why don't you say 'WOW, that face you're making makes you look SOOOOOOOO beautiful.'" She laughed, and I think she understood LISTENING to sarcasm. But she said she couldn't say that. It would be lying.

Yes, my kid follows the rules pretty well. D@mn those rules.

Well, seeing that it's after midnight and the alarm sounds at 6:30, I'd better get going. Yeah! for the Steelers' win tonight. Boo! for the snow.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

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Today's CafePress Deal

Hey! Today's CafePress deal is pretty sweet, especially if you're just ordering one or two things. $5 off $25. The code is DEMHOL7. Here's the link to the coupon. Happy shopping!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

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Hey, we got nominated!!!

Hey, I need some help, please! I'd love for you to go and vote for Downey's House for best new bar of the year over at

Here's the post that I just made over at

Hey, everybody!!! We just got nominated for 'Best New Bar' at!!! Go and vote for us here:

Vote for Downey's House at Barsmart!

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Useless Tip

OK, I think I'm going to start putting some of my stupid little tips on the blog. So, here's Useless Tip #1: If you're trying to light jar candle and can't reach the wick with your lighter, just get a piece of spaghetti. Light the end, like a big ol' match and then light your candle. Burning pasta doesn't have the most pleasant smell, but it gets the job done.

OK, carry on.

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New CafePress Coupon for Today

Today's coupon from CafePress is free shipping on orders over $50. Not bad, not bad at all. Here's the link to the coupon. The code is FEMHOL6.

More later :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

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CafePress Coupon

Hey! CafePress has been sending out different daily coupons for t shirts and gifts. Today's coupon is $10 off $50 or more (which is a pretty good deal!) Here's the link to today's CafePress Coupon.
Really, I have more to write, but I've got to clean up this house a bit first. Pinkie swear I'll write more later today :)

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Goodbye PittGirl

My absolute favorite blog is no more. The Burgh Blog writer, who went by PittGirl in order to stay anonymous, has retired from writing her blog. I'm sure she has very good reasons, and I can only imagine that it was very difficult to keep her real name hidden. She will be missed. She made every week day a little funnier. And I'm sure her language will live on. Her extreme hate of pigeons, Love/Hate relationship with the Duke of Fug and the Earl of Gross and her "move forward' drinking game sure did make me smile.

Good Bye, PittGirl :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

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OH, I forgot about a couple of things that happened on Friday.  The bad thing?  My payroll company took the entire payroll amount ($7,000) out of my checking account and paid my employees.  Um, payday is November 2oth.  They took it out SIX days early.  I about threw up when I pulled up my online banking!!!  Luckily the money was in there, but there are a lot of checks floating out there waiting to be cashed.  They fixed their mistake (well, enough where my account would be ok), but that was just another bump in the day.

Later on Friday night, I got an email from Zazzle, and here's the graphic:

Well, I added the writing that says "Hey!  That's my design!"  Anyway, that was a nice little surprise.  OH, and if you're looking for aprons, they are $4 off at Zazzle if you use the code TURKEYAPRONS until November 25. (Just in case you can't see the pic).

Look at that!  Two posts in 12 hours.  I'm getting there!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

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I didn't fall asleep. Really.

Well, let's see.  Today is Saturday, and I said that I was going to write again on Thursday night, if I didn't fall asleep.  Well, the bad news is that I didn't write on Thursday (or, depending on whether or not you like to listen to my drivel - that might be the good news).  I did NOT, however, fall asleep with the girls.  I came downstairs and worked.  Yes, I worked and worked.  And not on restaurant stuff, either.  I worked on t shrits.  And it was fun.  I mada a couple of new designs, but this one is one of my not-so-famous quotes:

So, definitely not a wasted evening.  I stayed up until about 1:00 am.  The next night, however, is a different story.  Last night I didn't fall asleep in bed with Becca.  Came downstairs all ready to watch some grown up tv.  Ten minutes later...asleep.  Oh well.  

We went to the book fair at the primary school on Friday morning.  The girls really enjoyed picking out some books (of course they wanted more than the 3 each I let them get!).  As Chloe and I were in the car on the way there, we had an extreme 'Why?' moment.  If you are the parent of a three year old, I'm sure you know what this is.  Every. Single. Answer. Gets. A. Why.
Here's how the conversation basically went:

"Mom, can i feed Mackie (the fish) when we get home?"
"Sorry, Chlo.  I already fed Mackie today."
"Um, because he was hungry"
"Because everything needs to eat."
"Because if things don't eat, they'll die."
(deep calming breath) "I don't know Chlo.  Because."

Then it gets funny.  Really, Chloe just cracks me up.

'Mom, dead fish go in the potty."
"Right, Chlo"
"But not alive fish.  You can't put alive fish in the potty."
"No, Chloe.  You can't put alive fish in the potty."
"Yeah, because then they would get pee on them."
"Right, Chlo.  They would get pee on them."

Well that satisfied her.  We drive along, bee-bopping to the radio and enjoying the sunshine.  A few minutes later, I get this question.

"Mom, Do fish pee in the water?"
"Well, yeah, Chloe.  Fish pee in the water."

So, there is some Chloe conversation for ya.

Since this post touched on sleep a little bit, I'm going to share this really interesting stuff about polyphasic sleep.  Polyphasic sleep basically is sleeping for 20 minutes every four hours.  And that's it.  This gentleman actually slept this way for five months.  It was really interesting to read through how it went.  

OK, gotta snack before I go to bed!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

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Using Santa

I don't remember if I ever shared this little tidbit, but here it is. If you're a parent, you know that you can use 'Santa Leverage' this time of year. You know, the whole 'Santa is watching' really goes a long way. Well, I've taken this idea and brought it into the 21st century. My girls totally believe that whenever a light bulb is made a 'Santa Cam' is installed. So, wherever there is a light bulb in the world, there is a camera that is connected directly to Santa's computer. It's a very small camera. I have held Chloe up to the light fixture in my kitchen and said 'See, Santa! Do you see what she's doing? I can't believe it!' It's been working like a charm. My father occasionally will call from Florida (usually a bit closer to Christmas) and use his best Santa voice. I try to save that one for when they're REALLY being bad. I also try to use it if they're being EXTREMELY good. I make sure that I look into a light and say 'Santa, you'd better add another present on to the list!' Yes, I am twisted.

So, my plan for the past week has been to get the girls to bed, clean up the house for about a half an hour, and then sit down and blog/design/work. That hasn't exactly happened. The girls are still awake right now. They are dragging each other around in a large cloth hamper from Ikea. There is a great chance that somebody is going to get hurt. In fact, as I typed this, Chloe bonked her head off the ground, and she's not giving Becca her turn. SCREAMING, CRYING - 'MOMMY, CHLOE WON'T LET ME HAVE MY TURN!!! I WANT MY TURN!!! Excuse me, but the hamper is going on time-out.

OK, I'm back. They are both screaming and crying. What was I saying? And that is why I've been trying to blog at night when they are sleeping. (CHLOE IS THE MEANEST SISTER IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD). So, the reason I haven't been blogging at night is that I've been falling asleep while I put Becca to bed (Chloe is already sleeping by that point). So, tonight I've drank about 3 cups of coffee since 4:00, and I'm getting ready for another. Darn it, I WILL NOT fall asleep tonight.

Hopefully you hear from me again later!

Monday, November 10, 2008

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Monday already?

Well, here's how I started my week.  Becca forgot her lunch.  So, after I get her down to the bus stop and get home (and see the lunch sitting on the counter), we pack it up and head to the Primary School.  I have to say, she did look very cute in her little apple dress with her glasses on.  She's such a good little girl (when she's not at home!!)

Today is the first day of my new schedule at the restaurant.  Which is really my new schedule NOT at the restaurant.  We've decided that it would be more financially responsible for me to be home with the kids.  So, I'm only going to be at the restaurant on Mondays (when Tony can watch the girls) and Tuesday/Thursday mornings (when Chloe is in Preschool).  I really can do most of the work from home, I just have to make sure I always have a server there.  We had our server call off on Friday, and I really was a jack of all trades.  I washed bar glasses, stocked beer, waited on tables, made a delivery, rolled silverware, did dishes and played bus girl.  I just hope all of the work gets done when I'm not there.  ::crosses fingers::

We went and saw Madagascar 2 yesterday.  It was very cute (and funny).  The girls enjoyed it, also.  The trip cost us $50 bucks, though.  Between the price of getting in ($6.50 per person for the matinee) and the popcorn and drinks ($27 for 2 large Pepsi, 2 small Pepsi and 2 medium popcorn) it's a small fortune.  And that's not including the money the kids conned us into spending at the games after the movie.  Oh well, it's a rare treat that we all get to go and spend the afternoon together!

Well, off to wake up the hubby so I can leave.  Talk to everybody soon!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

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A Complete Waste of Time

Well, as if I needed something to suck up my time, I found this game to label images at Google. It is quite addictive. Google matches you up with another player, and you need to match tags for different images. Some images are pretty easy, and don't have any tags yet. But others already have some tags, and you can't use those words. I believe I've wasted at least a few hours over the past couple of days. It was easier to do that than clean my kids' play room. So, I've promised myself that I'm not going there today!!!! Here's the link: Google Image Labeler

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