Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad Bag Tuesday

Today we focus on the ultimate Bad Bag... the diaper bag. When I was having babies diaper bags were really ugly. So ugly that I refused to buy one and ended up carrying a mint green vinyl bag with bunnies on it that the hospital gave me as a baby gift after my first baby. After that I didn't have an official diaper bag. I had a permanent diaper box in the back of my van with all the important, non-perishable, baby items in it. I'm really too practical to be fun.

Nowadays there are better choices for your diaper bag needs but they are still bad bags simply because of what they are. After a few weeks even the nicest bags will have spots of milk and baby barf on the outside and the unmistakable odor of forgotten dirty diaper on the inside. However, new parents want to provide the best and apparently there are many designers willing to help them give junior's diapers an appropriate bag.

There is the basic model. They have improved a lot in nineteen years. $36 at Target.

There is the model designed just for Dad. $65 at

After that we get a bit more extravagant with a woven seat belt bag. $204 at

And, for the Banking Executive's progeny there is this little number.

$4650 at Neiman Marcus. It's made of Python hide so you can't buy it in California but I'm sure you could have it shipped to your summer home in the Hampton's, or the chalet in Vail...

Oh, by the way, the mortgage check is in the mail.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I have had such a productive weekend! I honestly can't remember a weekend that I have accomplished so much in the last year. I did tons of laundry, sorted clothes and toys to go to Goodwill, and cleaned a bunch of places that don't get cleaned often enough. It feels good to finally be getting on top of some of the things that needed to get done.

We have a busy week with several meetings to plan dinner around so the menu is going to be pretty simple, or as simple as it can be with one kid who doesn't like much of anything, two who are vegetarians, and two parents who are trying to lose weight. Yikes! I haven't planned out WW points but I'll be tracking them. Wish me luck!

Monday - Mini Turkey or Falafel Burgers, Baked French Fries and Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday- School board meeting- Ravioli Casserole, Garlic Bread
Wednesday- Pork Chops, Tomato Basil Gardenburgers, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Peas
Thursday - High School Open House- White Bean Soup, Chicken Apple Sausage, Smoked Apple Vegan sausage
Friday -Hot Dogs, Veggie Dogs, Baked Beans, Tater Tots
Saturday - Bob cooks something yummy
Sunday - Fajitas and Football

One of the neatest things I did this weekend was finally setting up my office so that I have my own place to write. I've taken over the dining room, which is way too small to be a dining room, because it's never been anything but a place to store stuff that doesn't have a home. In this room is Bob's great-grandmother's round oak table and I will use that for my desk. When I was in college I used to go to Bob's mother's house and use the computer (which was far better than my Commodore 64) to do assignments for my creative writing course. The computer was in his mother's bedroom on top of his great-grandmother's table. It was then, when I was young and anything seemed possible, working at this table, that I decided I wanted to be a writer. I'm really happy that it's in my office now. The room still needs some work but yesterday I banished everything from it that isn't mine. It feels very weird and selfish to have taken a whole room for myself but I'm going to get used to it.

As always.. thanks go to Laura at for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Check out her site for tons of really good ideas.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bad Bag Tuesday

I know I'm going to get myself in trouble with this one...

I'm sure it's no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I am not a fashionista. Not just because I am a size 10 (times two) but because I simply don't get it. I love fabric. I love reading about fashion. I have read Vogue since I was 16! But.. when it comes to buying clothing I just can't figure out what makes one wool skirt worth $78

and another worth $850.

Knowing that I am somehow fashion impaired, I usually keep my mouth shut and just admire those who do understand... and wonder how in the world they can afford it. So, I really debated about this week's bad bag.

There is no denying that plenty of women are willing to pay to carry a bag by this designer. Even I have made the pilgrimage to worship at the Fendi counter in Nordstrom... but after careful consideration I had no choice.

Today's bad bag is the Fendi Paint-Your-Own Baguette. This little bag is a classic Fendi Baguette but instead of embossed leather it's made of coated canvas and comes with ten markers so that you can personalize it. Sort of like a Doodle Bear for grown-ups!

Now my complaint about this bag isn't just that you have to be an artist to create a handbag that you won't be ashamed to leave lying on your chair while you peruse the Sunday buffet brunch at the yacht club. Rather, I am astounded that a "regular" Fendi Baguette, made of leather and available in a multitude of colors, will cost you a mere $995, while the do-it-yourself canvas model costs $1300.

Curious, isn't it? I suppose it's something akin to paying for billboard space. The Fendi bag adds value to your artwork rather than your artwork decorating the Fendi bag? Perhaps it's better that I don't understand fashion...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday, Monday... la la la lala lala

It's supposed to be hot for the first few days of this week and then the rains will come.. and it will probably rain until June. So I'm going to try and get the last of my outdoor tasks completed (the ones I should have been working on for weeks) and I'll be keeping dinners simple and quick.

Monday - Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Enchiladas and Corn and Black Bean Salsa (this was a huge hit last week so I'm doing it again!)
Wednesday - Hamburgers, Veggie Burgers, Potato Salad, Baked Beans
Thursday - Tuscan White Bean Soup, Chicken Sausage, Field Roast Smoked Apple Sausage
Friday - Make your own Pizza
Saturday - Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Steak, Tempeh, Cheese, Broccoli, Mushrooms... and anything else I think of.
Sunday - Chili and Corn Bread

Thanks to Laura at for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Check out her site for hundreds of menus.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A pig of a different color...

"If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side."
Orson Scott Card

The difference between a pig and a voter is the ability to analyze the issues.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad Bag Tuesday

It's time to introduce something new and silly to this overly serious blog. It started two weeks ago with the Penguin Tote and it was as if my eyes were opened. I tried to fight it but I just keep finding bags that need to be featured somewhere. So I will feature them here... On Bad Bag Tuesday..

This week we have another celebrity designer Eco Friendly Bag.

Designed by Stella McCartney this lovely bag is made of recycled polyester and is available at Nordstrom for just $85 dollars. It's unique shape will make you feel as if you are wandering through an endangered forest somewhere with your best deer friends... Just remember to watch out for Governor Palin!

Of course, if you want to spend $85 dollars in a way that will actually help a deer, may I suggest that you make a donation to Friends of the White Deer an organization dedicated to saving the Fallow and Axis deer population in Point Reyes California.

Or if you just want a big dead deer head you should check with your local homeless shelter or food pantry to see if they want the rest of it to feed the hungry.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I really do love having a menu planned out in advance but today I'm having trouble working up much enthusiasm. I hope I'm feeling a bit more creative when I start cooking!

Monday - Cheese Enchiladas, Chicken Enchiladas, Black Bean Salsa
Tuesday - Teriyaki Steak and Tofu, Rice, Vegetable Stir Fry
Wednesday - Spinach Frittata, Chicken Apple Sausage, Bread
Thursday - Stuffed Shells, Chicken Parmesan, Salad
Friday - Hamburgers, Veggie Burgers, Potato chips
Saturday - TBD
Sunday - Steak, Vegetarian Sausage, Baked Potatoes, Salad

For more interesting menus check out Menu Plan Monday at!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fall Fabric Swap

I joined the Fall Fabric Swap hosted by Sarah at Marvellous Mouse Designs and it has been a lot of fun. I had a great time shopping for the person who was assigned to me and I really hope she loves the fabric I picked out for her. Today I received a package filled with fabric, way more than the one yard we committed to swapping, from Dawn. Isn't it pretty?

But even prettier are the things that Dawn makes. (That's a photo of one of her dolls sitting on the fabric above) Her website and etsy stores are amazing. I'm just hoping a little bit of her talent rubbed off on the fabrics she sent me!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to school

Yesterday was the first day of school and my house is so quiet. No tv or video games, no tennis balls bouncing against the wall, no visiting friends or kids out on the street for the dogs to bark at. It's not just my house either... every house on my street is quiet. Even the toddlers in the house behind us are quieter with their school aged siblings gone. There are a lot of kids in my neighborhood so after the noise and chaos of summer the quiet is a bit unsettling.

I'm trying to make this week a new beginning for me too. I started working through The Artist's Way with a group of people online and I'm setting aside three hours a day to write. Really write, not just blog. I want to continue working on the book I started last year but I'm also going to do some writing for a few local businesses. I think I snagged my first client the other day. A landscape company that my neighbor is starting. He has a very organized business plan, a year to build his business before he retires from the Army, and he has money set aside for advertising. I'm looking forward to working with him.

I want to thank everyone who had such kind and supportive things to say in the last couple of weeks while I was trying to climb out of my depression. I'm feeling better and I'm trying to keep myself focused and busy enough that I don't have time to feel bad. I have also recognized that one of the problems I'm having is that I have been avoiding conflict for a few years and that has gradually changed me. I didn't realize how much I had changed until last week when a fairly good natured political discussion, with a friend who I have always butted heads with over political issues, left me positively shaken and feeling ill. This isn't me. I have always loved a good political debate. But the volatility of having a child with problems can cause you to tiptoe around the small stuff for fear of stepping on a landmine and after a few years of tiptoeing it can become a habit. So I think I need to try to break the habit. This doesn't mean I'm going to start stomping and pontificating but I think I need to push myself to be a bit more open and honest.

So... here's an opinion. I watched the Republican Party convention last night and I think that Mitt Romney is a hateful and scary man who needs to get his facts straight. "Is government spending - excluding inflation - liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980? It's liberal! " Um... yeah.. Mitt, considering the fact that Republicans have been in office for all but 8 years of this 28 year time line maybe what we really need to do is stop calling things liberal or conservative and vote for something different. Oh.. and John McCain has been in Washington voting for these "liberal" increases for 26 of those years.

And here's another opinion. It took me days to figure out who Sarah Palin reminded me of... and then I watched her speech last night.

I admire a woman who can give a speech that will compare and contrast her views with that of her opponent without giggling and ridicule. Sarah Palin didn't do that. Mean girls don't get my vote.

But she does have adorable children.