Sunday, August 30, 2009

What not to say: Avoid these common conversational pitfalls

Don’t say: “You look tired.”Why:
It implies she doesn’t look good.
Instead say: “Is everything OK?” We often blurt the “tired” comment when we get the sense that the other person feels out of sorts. So just ask.

Don’t say: “Wow, you’ve lost a ton of weight!”
Why: To a newly trim person, it might give the impression that she used to look unattractive.
Instead say: “You look fantastic.” And leave it at that. If you’re curious about how she got so svelte, add, “What’s your secret?”

Don’t say: “You look good for your age.”
Why: Anything with a caveat like this is rude. It's saying, "You look great―compared with other old people. It's amazing you have all your own teeth."
Instead say: “You look great.”

Don’t say: “I could never wear that.”
Why: It can be misunderstood as a criticism. (“I could never wear that because it’s so ugly.”)Instead say: “You look so good in skinny jeans.” If you slip, say something like “I could never wear that…because I wasn’t blessed with your long legs.”

Don’t say: “That’s not my job.”
Why: If your superior asks you to do something, it is your job.
Instead say: “I’m not sure that should be my priority right now.” Then have a conversation with your boss about your responsibilities. In the past year, the rules of the workplace have changed.

Don’t say: “This might sound stupid, but…”
Why: Never undermine your ideas by prefacing your remarks with wishy-washy language.
Instead say: What’s on your mind. It reinforces your credibility to present your ideas with confidence.

Don’t say: “I don’t have time to talk to you.”
Why: It’s plain rude, in person or on the phone.
Instead say: “I’m just finishing something up right now. Can I come by when I’m done?” Graciously explain why you can’t talk now, and suggest catching up at an appointed time later. Let phone calls go to voice mail until you can give callers your undivided attention.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Express yourself with Color on your wedding day!!

Did you know that every color has a specific meaning or symbolism? Just like horoscopes, some people believe in these symbols and meanings and others do not. Whether you believe it or not, certain colors certainly do exude specific energies (red is hot, yellow is cheerful, etc) and the colors that you choose for your wedding theme can have a big impact on the overall success of your big day. Here is a closer look at what the specific meanings are behind the most popular wedding colors:

The color RED signifies passionate love: Red is the warmest color of all and is the most chosen wedding color for couples (or brides) with outgoing, confident personalities. Be careful not to overuse red or it can come across as garish and tacky. In Asian culture, red is the color of eternal joy and prosperity, and therefore red is a popular color for Chinese brides to wear on their wedding day. In Western culture, red is the color of passion and red roses symbolize passionate love, often making them a preferred choice for table arrangements and bridal bouquets.

The color PINK signifies calm, joyous love. Known as a quiet and soft color, pink symbolizes universal love and is a favorite wedding color for brides everywhere. Pink carnations symbolize ‘forever remembered’ and therefore, are a sweet flower to add to a grooms boutonnière or bridal bouquet. Since pink is the result of mixing red with white, the degree of white dictates the softness or shocking shade of pink achieved. The softer tones of pink, which are most appropriate for a wedding theme color, signifies tenderness, love and acceptance.

The color BLUE signifies true, sincere love. Blue Perfect especially if you are having a tropical, exotic or beach themed wedding, blue is the coolest color of all and represents the sky, ocean and twilight. It is said that in Ancient Egypt, blue represented heaven, and since it is a calming color, blue can be wonderful and symbolic as a wedding day theme color. Blue flowers are strikingly beautiful, such as the blue iris, which symbolizes the importance of a relationship and would be a good flower in a mixed bouquet or as part of the table centerpieces at the wedding reception.

The color WHITE signifies pure love. White is the universal color for innocence and purity - worn by brides at weddings and babies at christenings around the world. Depending on the country or culture, white has many meanings - it can mean kindness, wholeness, completion, openness or truth - all good qualities to include in a wedding ceremony. White daisies are a symbol of loyal love - white tulips, roses, calla lilies and gerbera daisies are all very popular with today’s bride. White can have a cold, stark quality so you need to be very careful with your wedding décor. Balance it out with a second color and use warmer shades of white whenever possible.

The color PURPLE signifies magical, mysterious love. It is said that purple is the color of good judgment and peace of mind - two qualities that are ideal to share with wedding guests to symbolize the couple’s love, feelings and commitment. Of course, all throughout history, purple has been considered the color of royalty and thus has been a very popular wedding theme color for hundreds of years, and remains so today. Wedding flowers in purple such as orchids, freesia, violets and forget-me-nots are a wonderful complement to a bridal bouquet or table arrangements.

The color ORANGE signifies creative, vital and warm love. Orange is truly a color of power, and is chosen as a wedding theme color by the strong and confident couple who loves life and is not afraid to share their vibrancy and energy with others. Orange has always symbolized vitality, endurance, sincerity and thoughtfulness - perfect qualities to showcase on your wedding day. Orange flowers such as daisies, sunflowers, tulips, marigolds, and hothouse roses can create a stunning floral display for table centerpiece arrangements, especially when set against crisp white linen.

The color GREEN signifies healthy and balanced love. Green In most cultures, the color green represents earth, nature, life and fertility. However, it also symbolizes balance, self-respect and overall well-being. Given its restful properties and its ability to harmonize with other colors, green is a common color choice for wedding décor and reception decorations. Since green represents change, life and growth, it is the perfect complementary wedding color, especially in floral arrangements using lush ornamental grasses, baby’s breath, green fern leaves and other greenery. Green is also a very popular color for bridesmaid dresses, with soft sage being the current shade of choice with brides in North America.

The color YELLOW signifies happy and wise love. Yellow is the color of happiness, joy and bliss. Yellow is also a color with high energy so use it sparingly as a wedding theme color. The beautiful yellow daffodil is the symbol of unequivocal love, and makes this flower a poignant wedding flower choice. Other yellow flowers such as tulips, roses, and wildflowers make wonderful flower arrangements and bouquets if you are going with a yellow color palette. For a spring or summer wedding, yellow is the perfect color choice with shades such as buttercup yellow, lemon yellow and soft corn yellow the most popular choices.

Source: Tracey Smith is an expert article writer on the topic of weddings, we hope you found this article on wedding colors useful for your wedding planning.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

School’s Back in Session…For Mom

This is from Debi Silber over at ME TIME.. I thought I would share this to all my mom friends.. i know we all get this way!!

Towards the end of summer, moms begin to think about the upcoming school year. While the summer may have meant lazy days without schedules or routines, the school year brings about something else entirely. Shopping for school supplies, instilling earlier bedtimes and a few last sleepovers are all being crammed into the next few weeks but at some point, new schedules, routines, clubs, play dates and commitments will all begin.

Brought to you by
Me Time Contributor
Debi Silber

Think about how things went during the last school year. Were you stressed, overextended and overcommitted? You can follow the path you took last year and if it worked for you, that’s great. If it didn’t work for you however, you have another choice. The choice is to reevaluate the decisions you made previously, keeping what worked and changing what didn’t.

Each time you stop and reevaluate, you give yourself an opportunity to come up with a better strategy. You give yourself a chance to think about your values and what really matters most to you. Most importantly, you send a powerful message to yourself and those around you that your happiness matters too. So let’s say that you were overextended and overcommitted last school year. How can you make a change?

First take a look at when you say “yes” and “no”. Chances are you’re saying “yes” to a task you’d rather not do leaving you to say “no” to things that would bring you greater joy, passion and purpose. Here’s an example. Your daughter has a classroom performance and she’s counting on you being there. In order to get there on time, you left work early, ate in the car and returned phone calls during the drive. You race through the doors of school where you’re stopped by an acquaintance who asks you help out at the next PTA fundraising event. Your thoughts are on your daughter and the look she’ll have on her face if she doesn’t see you this minute so you end the conversation quickly with, “yes.”

After the performance you hug your daughter, race back to work and realize that you just added a few extra hours to your already overly extended lifestyle by saying “yes” when your mind, body, and soul were all screaming “no.” Why did you say yes? Maybe you felt guilty that you haven’t participated as often as some of the other moms. Maybe you were afraid that you’d be accused of “not being a part of the team.” Maybe you felt you’d be disliked, rejected or perceived as selfish if you didn’t say “yes” and finally, maybe you just don’t know how to say “no.”

What are your priorities? While they may include many things, spending time with family is often found somewhere near the top of the list. If quality time with your family is important and taking on another commitment will only leave you with less time for those you love, is saying “yes” in the best interest of you, your family, your values and your priorities? Saying “yes” to another time stealer leaves you saying “no” to something else that could have been fun, enriching and fulfilling.

Many moms feel when they say “no” to a request they are rejecting the person who has asked for the help. You aren’t rejecting the person, merely the request. We all know what rejection feels like and hope to spare anyone from the pain it causes. However, by assuming the person is personalizing the request is an assumption and unnecessary burden on our part. The person asking simply wants to know the responsibility is taken care of so they can check one more thing off their to-do list if you say “yes.” Saying no to their request is nothing personal, it’s just another opportunity for them to ask someone else to do the job they’re asking of you.

Many moms say “yes” to avoid the confrontation or look of surprise they may receive if they say “no.” For these moms, it’s easier to take on the extra work than deal with the perceived unwelcome response or “wrath.” Here’s a thought. Yes it may be uncomfortable for a minute or two. You may feel tense, stammer and wish you were anywhere else. But that feeling is fleeting and the freedom you’ve retained by staying true to your values lasts much longer.

Many moms believe they’ll be perceived as mean, selfish or “above it all” if they say “no.” First of all, if someone is going to criticize, judge and critique you and your behavior, do you really care what they think? Secondly, is it mean or selfish if you use that extra time to cuddle with your kids, go on a “date” with your husband or catch up on some extra sleep so you’ll have more patience, energy and clarity? Lastly, you are your children’s greatest role model. They look to you to see how to feel, act and behave. If this extra commitment leaves you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and overextended, is this the way you want your children to always see you?

Many moms just don’t know how to say “no.” Maybe it just sounds too harsh or severe for you so a more subtle approach may work better. If this is the case, how about something like: “I need to think about it and get back to you.” This is a great way of buying time so you can make a clear decision after thinking it through. Another option may be: “I’d love to, but I have too much on my plate right now.” This is a straightforward, honest response that few moms can argue with. A final option may be: “Now’s not a good time but when I’m able to help, I’ll let you know.”

This approach keeps the door open for future requests while remaining true to your priorities and yourself. As the kids go back to school they will have another year to learn, grow and evolve. If we choose, we can use the opportunity to “go back to school” and take some lessons in self growth and development ourselves. This school term, let’s work on reevaluating old habits and unhealthy behaviors in order to help ourselves, improve our relationships and become the empowered moms we’d always hoped we’d be. It’s time to go back to school. Let’s make it a great year!

Will this work for you??

Friday, August 21, 2009

Love these toasts!

A friend forwarded this to me and I thought I would share... love these

Here's to lying, cheating and stealing
Lie to lie to save a friend
Cheat to cheat to cheat death
Steal to steal the heart of someone you love.

For better or for worse, but never for granted.

Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, Content, and Sufficient Champagne.
--Dorothy Parker

May you live as long as you want
And may you never want as long as you live.

May all your joys be pure joys,
And all your pain champagne.

I think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.
--Oscar Wilde

Here's to steak when you're hungry,
Whisky when you're dry,
All the girls (boys) you ever want,
And heaven when you die.
Here's to those that love us,
And here's to those that don't,
A smile for those who are willing to,
And a tear for those who won't.

Amor Vincent Omnia (Love Conquers All).

"Love doesn't make the world go ‘round,
but it sure makes the ride worthwhile."
--Mae West

Giving the perfect toast turns an ordinary occasion into an extraordinary celebration. But before you grab your pen and start crafting a twenty-minute speech, heed our advice and make it short, sweet, and snappy.

Northing ruins a party faster than a terrible toast-don't try and be the funny guy or write up a three-page acceptance-letter-cum-speech.

Make a fabulous statement by using a tried-and-true toast, a famous quote or poem, or even a line from a movie that sums up the moment.

If you need to say something incredibly special, a great starting point is finding a line or proverb that almost fits and making it your own by adding a memory or a personal thought.

But whatever you say, just get to the point, quickly! And remember, when you end the toast, raise your glass and look everyone in the eye. Clink, clink!

Here are some memorable toasts, quotes, and movie lines:

"Here's looking at you, kid."
--Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca

"Carpe diem, seize the day, boys, make your lives extradordinary."
--Dead Poet's Society

"When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I never tried before."
--Mae West

"For better or worse, but never for granted."
--Arlene Dahl

"Three be the things I shall never attain, /Envy content and sufficient champagne."
--Dorothy Parker

"The best and the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor even touched, but just felt in the heart."
--Helen Keller

"Love doesn't make the world go round, but it sure makes the ride worthwhile."
--Franklin P. Jones

"Here's to lying, cheating, and stealing. Lie to a friend, cheat to cheat death, steal to steal the heart of someone you love."
--Irish Blessing

"May you live as long as you want, and may you never want as long as you live."
--Irish Blessing

Take a cue from these celebs and give an eloquent and easy toast:

"I love you, and you are truly someone I can say is a real friend."
--Michael Michelle

"May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future."
--Sarah Michelle Gellar

"Dans les yeux!" ("In the eyes!")
--Molly Sims

"If you slide down the banister of life, I hope the splinters are kind."
--Lara Flynn Boyle

"Bottoms up-there's more where this came from."
--Billy Bob Thorton

"Here's to love, money, and health."
--Michael Kors

"To life, love, and happiness. Salud!"
--Rita Schrager

"Wishing everyone many blessings from God and good health and double happiness."
--Venus Williams

Summer Fun

There have been so many things going on... we have school starting on Monday.. I think we are one of the last schools in the US to start so late.. ugh! But yet I am excited too.. My eldest will be playing football, so this is going to be new to us.. and my youngest is going to be in the band, which again is new to us too... so this year is going to be a year of new things.. going to take some getting use to the schedules.. and the carpool is going to be an hour of here and back home then leave again then back home again then leave again.... yes that is 3 trips for carpool but two runs for PM for now.. Then in a month there are going to be days that I have to be at school after hours or football games... omgoodness there is so much around that is going to change..

Has anyone known of anyone that uses those sports glasses for football, how does that go? or was contacts better??

The summer was great.. we didn't make the AL. trip this year but that is ok.. we did things together.. bowling, camping, laser tag, video games, chuck 'e cheese, shopping.. let me tell you the boys are in their in between stages... they are starting to recognize the clothes that they want to wear from just plan tshirt and jeans.. I want this label, etc.. ugh.. that is such a headache..

We went through the long hair fight this summer, but we won! YAY US!

Boy scouts is starting back up again too so we are going to be busy.. I promise to write more about my experiences through the eyes of the mom of boys... LOL

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


G-Force Cookies

G-Force Cookies

This team of delicious peanut-butter cookies is inspired by "G-Force," the Walt Disney Pictures film starring a spy squadron of specially trained guinea pigs. Your mission: try not to eat them all!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peanut halves
Mini chocolate chips
1. Cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then stir them into the wet mixture, just to blend. Cover and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Heat the oven to 350°. Form level tablespoons of dough into cylinders, pinching the ends a bit to make rough guinea pig body shapes. Use a knife to chop the peanut halves in half, then add peanut-piece ears and mini chocolate chip eyes to each cookie. Place the guinea pig cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until firm, about 8 minutes. Makes about 28 cookies.

don't do on first date

1. If you can’t handle your alcohol, try not to get drunk.

We know alcohol is a social lubricant, and we know people drink to make things less awkward and nervous during dates. Go ahead and drink. Just don’t drink so much that you think it’s a good idea to cry in public, fall down the stairs, steal your date’s iPhone, and start a bar fight. We’ve heard some pretty wacky things in our community forums about drunken dates, and the overwhelming consensus is that they suck.

2. Don’t talk about your ex.

A cardinal rule of dating: it’s generally not okay to unleash your baggage on someone you barely know, so no sob stories about the ex on a first date. Honestly, people hate hearing about their significant other’s ex(es) even after years of dating, so why would anyone want to hear about one on the first date? Focus on the person you are with, not the one you used to be with.

3. Don’t talk about yourself nonstop.

It is so not fun to hear someone drone on and on about themselves. So you volunteer at an orphanage, a soup kitchen, and the animal shelter, you recently got a huge promotion at work, you have 2 PhDs and everyone says you look like George Clooney? Good for you. You might be impressive, but you’d be a lot more impressive if you ask questions about your date and show you’re a good listener rather than just a non-stop one man talking machine.

4. Don’t lie, and don’t hide important facts about yourself.

You will get caught. Even something as seemingly insignificant as saying you read a book you never actually read will get you caught. How? Because it always happens. Also, don’t hide important facts about yourself. Your date doesn’t need to know everything about you, but they deserve to know if you have kids, are married to someone else, are pregnant, live with your parents, or are currently homeless. What you divulge is up to you, but skeletons do come tumbling out of the closet eventually, so you might as well be clear up front.

5. Don’t use your cell phone.

We know you’re super excited about Zoosk Mobile (now you can flirt with Zooskers anywhere and everywhere you go!) but it’s rude to use your cell phone during a date unless it’s an absolute emergency. Being preoccupied on your phone is a sign you aren’t mentally present, which is a huge turn-off for the person you are with.

6. Don’t talk about money.

Zoosk recently conducted a study of over a thousand singles all across the United States, asking about sensitive issues like dating during a recession, unemployment, and going on dates that involve free activities as opposed to dining out extravagantly. What we found was that money can’t buy love, and that people don’t really let factors like money influence their decisions too much when it comes to dating someone they really like. For many, money is a touchy subject, and one that’s best avoided on a first date.

7. Don’t talk about your future together.

Even if you’re sure it’s love at first sight, don’t tell your date about your plans to Photoshop their Facebook pictures into fake wedding pictures and that you’ve always wanted two kids. That will only serve to make you seem creepy. And insane. Going into a date without any expectations is a good rule of thumb. Be pleasantly surprised if you and your date hit it off and make plans for the future, but it takes more than dinner and a movie before you get to marriage and kids.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sponge Ball Square Arms

Here's a reusable alternative to a summer favorite, the water balloon: colorful, multi-tentacled sponge balls.


For each ball:
3 plain kitchen sponges
Strong string

Time needed: 30 Minutes or Less
Sponge Ball Square Arms - Step 1 1. For each ball, you'll need 3 plain kitchen sponges fresh from the package and still slightly damp. Use scissors to cut each sponge lengthwise into 5 strips about a half-inch wide. Stack the strips as shown.
2. Loop a piece of strong string around the center of the stack and pull tightly. Double-knot the string and trim the excess.
3. For a fast cool-off game, have two players stand a few feet apart, each beside a bucket of water. See how many times they can toss the ball back and forth, taking a step apart and dunking the ball in a bucket before each throw.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Learn how to make a butterfly bouquet!

I saw this butterfly bouquet in the Summer 09 Martha Stewart Weddings magazine and just loved how beautiful and unique it was. When Laura Normandin married her husband Ben this year she created this lovely bouquet and we found instructions at Martha Stewart Weddings on how to make it:

Tools and Materials

  • Assorted floral butterflies, has a lot of options
  • White floral-wire stems
  • White floral tape
  • Ribbon

Butterfly Bouquet How-To

Floral butterflies come on wires, making this project super simple. Tape the wires close to the butterfly bodies with white floral tape to cover them and create a uniform appearance. Then gather together a few butterflies and tape their wires together using white floral tape. Stagger the spacing, or tape the wires only at the ends so you’ll have lots of wire to bend.

If the wires are short, or if you want the butterflies to be able to be bent farther apart, attach individual butterflies or clusters of butterflies to floral-wire stems (lay the wire from a butterfly alongside a wire stem with a 1- or 2-inch overlap, and tape the two together). Make several clusters, and tape them together to create the desired shape. Finish the stem by wrapping it in ribbon.