Thursday, December 23, 2010

When the Christmas cards just don't make it out.

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This digital greeting made with Smilebox

 Who knew that the addition of one more child would frazzle me to the point that I can't even seem to get Christmas cards out. My daughter was 5 months old last year and around the week before Christmas I realized nope not going to happen. The first step is acknowledging you are in over your head right?? This year I thought for sure I will send Christmas cards to show of my 2 beautiful kids. And here we are 4 days away from Christmas with no cards in the mail. So rather than not show pictures of my kids again this year and miss the opportunity to wish my friends and family a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays I decided to do something different, E Cards!! I searched for ecards and  I found a lot of not so great sites and I also found Smilebox!! I love love love this site. It's convenient, easy to use, fun, cute, green and free!  If you don't know about it check it out. It has great designs for everything.

Here is the Christmas card I created. Enjoy!!

Why Yoga practice in the studio is so important to me.

Oh how I love my yoga class. And oh how I love my yoga studio. It's my me time. Mommy's time out, Andrea time. A minute to think or not think at all. I have practiced yoga on and off for 8 years. But not until about a year ago have I had a love affair with it. Before you have children you may think you need to relax, you may think that "me time" is important but now that I have a 4 and 1 year old I realize that I had no idea what I was talking about! The first time I walked into my house after my first class in about 2 1/2 years I stood in front of my husband, dumbfounded and said OK.... Ummmmmmmm.... LIFE CHANGING!!! and I was hooked. Thursday's I now had a date at 7:00pm at Dew Yoga with Jen. The infamous "Jen" who was an awesome instructor and who's class I enjoyed more than any class I've taken in the past. My husband knew how important it was so he would plan to be out of work at 6:40 so I could make it. He knew it was something special and that I was a better person because of it. I really appreciated how much he got it.

I wasn't interested in practicing at home amidst scattered toys, laundry that needed folded and an occasional "moooooommmmmyyyyy!!" interrupting my zone. Dew smelled like yoga, sounded like yoga with the most perfect yoga groove mixes and was intimate and cozy. I often thought that I'd like to actually move in to Dew. Or at least I'd settle for the occasional sleepover over in the corner in front of the bolsters and yoga bricks. But Dew was more than aesthetically pleasing, it is the yoga education I've received that has been invaluable. I of course have learned many new asanas (postures/positions) because practicing with an experienced instructor is invaluable. The leading that takes place, the adjusting and guidance and the teaching cannot occur by looking at a magazine or book or on line. I've also finally learned how important pranayama(breathing) is in yoga. I may not be able to practice asanas daily but I practice pranayama every single day. Being in a class learning the proper techniques for various pranayama is essential to learn it properly.  And when anxiety strikes I call on my beloved pranayama. I've also learned countless life lessons thought yoga that I plan on sharing with the readers of this blog. And the sense of community is so important. If for no other reason than so you don't feel totally nuts doing some of these things!

I am now confident enough to practice at home and flow in a sequence based on my feeling my way naturally through. But that would not be possible without my studio time where I am enjoying myself yes, but also soaking up the invaluable life experience of my instructor.

Is it Thursday at 7:00 yet??

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My review of "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

I am a member of a book club of 5 and I am the only member that read this one. Our track record isn't so great. I can actually only think of one book that we all read, The Secret Life of Bees, which we loved and it  inspired our name, The Queen Bees Book Club. So shout out to the QBBC, maybe this review will persuade one of you to pick this up and finish it!

So I just finished this last week. This book came out in 2009 and instantly became a hit. It is about 3 women that are working toward changing how things are in Jacksonville, Mississippi in 1962. Two are black maids and one is a white woman that has a maid herself. I hate a book review that re-caps the entire book so I won't do that but I will tell you if it's worth reading or not and it is. But I do have mixed feelings about it when I read the tons of raving reviews on Amazon. It was a good read but in my opinion not as exceptional or amazing as so many people claim.  I think the life of an African American maid in the 60's is new territory for many. An untold story. But for most black people we have heard this many times. It's our history. So I definitely think in this case your opinion may be different depending on your race. Either way, I think anyone would agree it's a great story. It is well writen and the format is nice, it's told through all three women, which I loved.

It was hard to get into but by page 100 it did become quite the page turner. I'm talking walk around the house toting it, fighting sleep to read read read kind of page turner. So read it! And let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I have had the daily devotions book "Ending Your Day Right" by Joyce Meyer for over a year now and I love it. I don't read it daily I use it more of a reference when I need some uplifting or just to reflect.  Last week just after I finished complaining about one of the things in my life that is just not happening fast enough for me or when I want it to, which is now, I picked up this book. And of course the day I chose talked about how we all need to stop complaining! It was exactly what I needed to read. I had to laugh. We complain about our jobs when so many people would love a steady income. We complain about something that isn't right in our house when so many people are sleeping outside in the cold. It was right on time. I love when that happens. Makes me pause for a minute and count my blessings and stop the incessant complaining!

A favorite frugal and delicious holiday gift.... the Christmas cookie.

Most people love a bargain when it comes to Christmas shopping. Giving gifts of food is always suggested as a frugal gift. And I think most people really enjoy getting them but grossly underestimate the time and effort that goes into making them.  Especially if you are not a baker yourself.  I am guilty of this myself. I am a new baker. I never really enjoyed it before because the rules and strict instructions made me shy away from it. But then I watched "Julie & Julia" the movie about Julia Child and a food blogger and I gave it a try and love it! So this year I am making my first ever gift of cookies! Yippeeeeeeeee I get to take part in this awesome and FRUGAL holiday  gift and realize how much of a labor of love it is. Speaking of labor of love, I think only 4 of my 7 bosses are getting any. 


My mom's recipe that she has made for years and that we all love. It's my first time making them. My mom has been making them for 35 years. This is definitely her famous cookie. Plenty of church events, bake sales, events for all three of her children and colleagues have enjoyed this simple yet delicious cookie.

Cherry Squares

1/2 lb butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 can cherry pie filling
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla and mix well. Add flour and mix well.

Spread onto a baking sheet. It will be thin. Lightly scor into squares. I usually do 6 horizontal and 8 vertical.

Place a cherry into the center of each square.

Bake for 20 minutes, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.