Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lunch Date and Parental Guidance


We ended January with a darling lunch and movie date. We bought tickets, then with some time to spare had lunch at Olive Garden.


I do like Italian food, but have never really gotten overly excited about Olive Garden. Exceptions aside we shared a sandwich and salad, how does anyone eat all that to themself? We ended up with leftovers for Sophie and Oscar, and they were happy about that.

So the movie we went to see was called Parental Guidance...
 

 
We absolutely loved it. It made everyone in the theatre chuckle, especially at the innuendos!
 
Best part of going out to eat?
 
A clean and tidy kitchen when you get home.
 
Ahh, Life is good.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ginnifer Goodwin's Home in Elle

Ginnifer Goodwin from the show Once Upon A Time, opened her doors to her Hollywood Home.

Fairytale pad: Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays Snow White in ABC's Once upon a Time, opened up her two-bedroom Whitely Heights home in the Hollywood Hills

Casual chic: The 34-year-old actress poses in this month's issue of Elle, revealing the 'cozy, unpretentious' interiors which decorate her nearly century-old Los Angeles home

History: Miss Goodwin, who has starred in He's Just Not That Into You, Walk the Line, and HBO's Big Love, bought the place in 2007 from Busy Philipps, and previous tenants include Rachel Bilson and Rose McGowan

Safe and secluded: 'This is my sacred space, my heaven, my oasis,' she said of the Hollywood Hills enclave where Charlie Chaplin once resided

Bright touches: Ms Goodwin also decorates with Kathleen Lolley¿s 'wonderful and whimsical' owl art, revealing that she loves her steam-punk fixtures, and photos of her vaudevillian great-aunt

Living easy: Highlights, she says, include a tufted purple ottoman in the living room, cultivated with the help of designer Amy Kehoe

What say you?
 
The pictures are from here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Homemade Burgers and Sterlings

 
For some bizarre reason I craved a homemade burger recently. I surprised my fiance, I'm sure. We made turkey burgers with pico de gallo, and provolone cheese. I used chopped spring onions and lettuce to fill the buns and make it a little healthier. It was delish!
 
 
We also shared a lobster and steak platter at Sterlings a few nights later...
 
 
...let's just say I was very full, no idea how anyone could eat all this to themselves. It was our first time at the Queensgate Sterlings, they opened recently, and overall it was a nice evening out.

A young Kathie Lee Gifford

 
Who would you guess this may be?
 
kathie lee gifford high school yearbook photo young 1971 senior year Bowie high school before famous maryland
Source unknown
 
It's Kathie Lee Gifford, host of the 4th hour of the Today show.
 
You can read about her home here and here. Also the swap she did with Hoda Kotb here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Be Kind & Enjoy Your Day

 
Happy Sunday, my dears.
 
I have felt so inspired and refreshed lately.
 
Perhaps it's the company I keep, or lack of (in some cases).
 
Enjoying the simple pleasures...
 
How about some music?
 

 
It bothers me terribly, how some go through life...thinking of nobody but themselves.
 
A sprinkle of kindness wouldn't hurt, would it?
 
How about sadness.
 
It's a pity we all feel sad at times.
 
I'll be polite and say please...
 
Whether it's taking time to be kind,
 
listening to a joyful song,
 
pinning on Pinterest,
 
appreciating what you do have,
 
or choosing...to just be the best you can be.
 
Have a good day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hello January

This month we have stayed home a lot, alas we haven't ventured too far.
 
My dad, although in remission...has to continue his treatments every other week. Chemotherapy, and drainage every week. This past week though, his blood pressure was too low, and so after his chemotherapy and a visit with his oncologist, he was sent to the hospital for a blood transfusion.
 
Anyways, I've been to the hospital a lot, and each time I come home, I'm reminded how lucky I am to be healthy.
 
So, for entertainment...we've eaten out a few times, we usually chit-chat the whole time.
 
 
Atomic is one of Cory's favorite places to share a pizza and have a beer. Here we are on January 5th.
 
Since last Fall, we haven't had beer at home, besides on one occassion. So we only drink it every once in awhile when we go out to eat.
 
 
I didn't get pictures from PF Changs from yesterday...but I assure you we love it there.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Updates and Blogs Roll

So...drum roll please...Today I updated my website, my pages, my pictures and now my blog.
 
See, I'm on a roll.
 
Also, I found some other lovely blogs which I'd like to share with you.
 
The first is, The Charm of Home. Sherry has such adorable pictures, like this:
 
 
That you'll want to stay awhile and read, perhaps with a cup of tea.
 
A second favorite is, The Vintage Farmhouse. Nicki has such a knack for creating a home
 
inexpensively. Her home is light, bright, simple and has vintage finds displayed.
 
 
 
Beautiful, don't you think?
 
 
Also a friend of mine Nadia, started a new blog for the new year. It's called Walking in Beauty.
 
 
There are so many more.
 
 
Last but not least, I must share The Style Sisters. Oh my goodness, they are so creative, and take the
 
loveliest photos.
 
This:
 
 
From this:
 
 
Happy updating and hope I didn't give you too many disruptions with all these blogs to check out :).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Middle Class America, One Superstore at a Time

Just the other day a friend of mine posted this photo on Facebook, with a posting about how she feels about both welfare recipients as well as corporate giants. I typically don't get involved in such discussions, as we all have formed opinions based on our life experiences, and more often than not it's often difficult to change another person's views. I just hope to highlight what I see as an economic issue on our economy, that doesn't involve the government, it involves us, the families of America. 
 
Thank you to Maddie Johnson for sending us this pic!!
 
So, I went ahead and posted my thoughts:
 
"We can all make a difference to the world in our very homes. Raise children who are self sufficient, and want to give and help others. Be educated on the world, its politics and money and make well informed financial decisions. It's the hypocrites who could blame the government and yet they aren’t able to micro-manage within their own households. Be smart consumer, and support mom and pop shops who are trying to raise their middle class families by hard work. If every household in America stood by those old fashioned values, we wouldn't have so many mega superstores; instead we would have small businesses that are focused on family, and the local community. I have tried to instill these values into my life, and am all the more happier shopping at local stores. Look up project 3/50, and you’ll see what I mean. Spending money in your community, ensures it stays in your community."
 
the 3/50 project
One reason for our economy having such in-balance is how each American household chooses to spend. For this reason, I have been a proud supporter of the 3/50 project.
 
Did you know that when you buy from a local brick and mortar store, or a family owned and operated restaurant that $68 of your $100 will go back in your local community. That's money they can then continue to use on other brick and mortar businesses, and so on. Here's ten reasons that support locally owned businesses.
 
When we buy from mega superstores, we are putting money in big corporations pockets. Many retail or fast food workers can barely afford to thrive, have low work morale and don't have the means to support their families. Only $48, from $100 spent in chain stores goes back to our communities. Also, it promotes low income work, and outsourced jobs.
 
Here's a really interesting article, called 'Is Wal-Mart Destroying America?'
 
"America absolutely loves Wal-Mart. 100 million customers visit Wal-Mart every single week in this country. But is Wal-Mart good for America? That is a question that most people never stop and ask. Most of us love shopping in big, clean stores that are packed with super cheap merchandise, but the truth is that Wal-Mart is destroying America in a lot of ways. As you will see below, Wal-Mart has destroyed tens of thousands of small businesses and countless manufacturing jobs over the past couple of decades. Wal-Mart has become a gigantic retail behemoth that sells five times more stuff than any other retailer in the United States. Unfortunately, a large percentage of all the stuff sold at Wal-Mart is made overseas. What that is costing the U.S. economy in terms of lost jobs and lost revenue is incalculable. But Wal-Mart is a perfect example of where our economic system is headed. Our economy is becoming completely and totally dominated by highly centralized monolithic predator corporations that ruthlessly crush all competition and that will stoop to just about anything in order to cut costs. In the future, will we all be working for gigantic communal entities that funnel all of the wealth and economic rewards to a very tiny elite? That sounds very much like how communist China works, and red-blooded Americans should want no part of that. America is supposed to be about free enterprise and competition and working together to build up this country, and Wal-Mart is destroying all of that.
 
The following are 20 facts about Wal-Mart that will absolutely shock you:
 
#1 The average U.S. family now spends more than $4000 a year at Wal-Mart.
 
#2 In 2010, Wal-Mart had revenues of 421 billion dollars. That amount was greater than the GDP of 170 different countries including Norway, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.
 
#3 If Wal-Mart was a nation, it would have the 23rd largest GDP in the world.
 
#4 Wal-Mart now sells more groceries than anyone else in America does. In the United States today, one out of every four grocery dollars is spent at Wal-Mart.
 
#5 Amazingly, 100 million customers shop at Wal-Mart every single week.
 
#6 Wal-Mart has opened more than 1,100 "super centers" since 2005 alone.
 
#7 Today, Wal-Mart has more than 2 million employees.
 
#8 If Wal-Mart was an army, it would be the second largest military on the planet behind China.
 
#9 Wal-Mart is the largest employer in 25 different U.S. states.
 
#10 According to the Economic Policy Institute, trade between Wal-Mart and China resulted in the loss of 133,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States between 2001 and 2006.
 
#11 The CEO of Wal-Mart makes more in a single hour than a full-time Wal-Mart associate makes in an entire year.
 
#12 Tens of thousands of Wal-Mart employees and their children are enrolled in Medicaid and are dependent on the government for health care.
 
#13 Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-Mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.
 
#14 Amazingly, 96 percent of all Americans now live within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart.
 
#15 The number of "independent retailers" in the United States declined by 60,000 between 1992 and 2007.
 
#16 According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wal-Mart spent 7.8 million dollars on political lobbying during 2011. That number does not even include campaign contributions.
 
#17 Today, Wal-Mart has five times the sales of the second largest U.S. retailer (Costco).
 
#18 The combined net worth of six members of the Walton family is roughly equal to the combined net worth of the poorest 30 percent of all Americans.
 
All over the country, independent retailers are going out of business because they cannot compete with Wal-Mart and their super cheap Chinese products. Often communities will give Wal-Mart huge tax breaks just to move in to their areas. But what many communities don't take into account is that the introduction of a Wal-Mart is often absolutely devastating to small businesses....
A study of small and rural towns in Iowa showed lost sales for local businesses ranging from -17.2% in small towns to -61.4% in rural areas, amounting to a total dollar loss of $2.46 BILLION over a 13-year period.
When we buy stuff made by people working for slave labor wages in China, we destroy good paying American jobs and we make America poorer. 
 
Wal-Mart often tells one thing to the public and then does another thing in private. Sadly, the truth is that Wal-Mart does not care about U.S. manufacturing jobs. Wal-Mart just wants to get products as cheaply as they possibly can, and most of the time that means getting them from China.
 
Just check out this first-hand testimony from an 81-year-old retired apparel manufacturer....
I was president of the Southwestern Apparel Manufacturers Association. There was a meeting sometime between 1985 and 1990. Walmart had contacted our organization and asked if they could meet with us at our beautiful Apparel Mart we had here in Dallas, which has now been razed, because all the independent merchants don’t exist that used to come to it. Two people from Walmart came down and they said they were going to be sourcing goods from overseas and we would have to meet those prices for consumer products and to get ready for it—we are going to be sourcing the world. Walmart was the only company that came out and said this.
It was sort of shocking: I was selling them some merchandise at the time. On the back of their trucks it was saying “Bring it Back to America!” They had the big “keep it in America” program going at that time on the big signs in the stores. Meanwhile when I reminded the buyer of that, she told me, “that is just for domestic consumption, we’re going to buy at the cheapest we can anywhere on earth.”
As I have written about previously, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
 
We are losing millions of good jobs that cannot be replaced. If you can believe it, the United States has actually lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
 
Last year, the U.S. trade deficit with China was the biggest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world, and Wal-Mart played a huge role in that.
 
In fact, Wal-Mart has actually been forcing some U.S. manufacturers to pack up and move overseas. The following is from a recent article by Amy Traub....
Walmart’s market power is so immense that the even the largest suppliers must comply with its demands for lower and lower prices because they cannot afford to have their goods taken off its shelves. Companies that used to manufacture products in the United States, from Levi’s jeans to lock maker Master Lock, were pressured to shut their U.S. factories and moved manufacturing abroad to meet Walmart’s demand for low prices.
Unfortunately, the vast wealth that Wal-Mart is sucking out of our communities is not put back into our communities. The profits are funneled out to Wal-Mart executives and shareholders. We may enjoy the low prices, but very little of the money that we give to Wal-Mart gets recycled in our local areas.
 
In the old days, you could actually support a family selling electronics or running a general store. But you can't support a family working at Wal-Mart. The vast majority of the jobs that Wal-Mart creates are very low paying. Large numbers of Wal-Mart employees are actually on welfare, and this is part of the reason why we have seen such an explosion in the number of the working poor in America.
 
At this point, more than 40 percent of all jobs in America are low wage jobs and the middle class is rapidly disappearing.
 
If we do not support American jobs and American manufacturers they will continue to go away and the welfare rolls in this country will continue to explode.
 
There is not going to be any prosperity in this country without jobs. Unfortunately, most Americans simply do not understand how good jobs are being systematically destroyed in America every single day.
 
The path that America is headed on today is only going to end in complete and total disaster. We are being transformed from a wealthy nation into a poor nation. In the end, we will be dominated by a very tiny elite and everyone else will either be among the working poor or will be totally dependent on the government.
 
Our system is supposed to be about open, honest competition. But that is not what Wal-Mart is about. Wal-Mart is about crushing small businesses and manufacturers here in America and getting us all to buy their super cheap Chinese-made goods.
 
Just something that has been of interest to me. If it tempts you to shop local, eat local and buy handmade then I feel like the I have done a glimpe of highlighting an issue.
 
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