Diamond Award!

I have been given a Diamond Award by Happy Daily. I would like to pass this award onto Julie at Green Eggs and Hammes, because really her blog makes me laugh out loud!

The second reason I am nominating Julie is because she is a very talented and creative woman! She has recently begun making aprons out of beautiful fabrics. I just got mine in the mail last night! Here is what my package looked like:
The adorable packaging makes the apron even more of a treat to open!

And here is Julie modeling the apron before she sent it:

If you are interested, visit Julie's site: Simple Reflections to find out how to contact her about your very own custom made apron! Or you could just leave a comment here and I can put you in touch with her! Hooray Julie!

PS Check out photos of aprons she has made here: Simple Reflections Aprons

Test Your Color IQ

Click on the picture above to test your color IQ. This is a pretty cool quiz.

Are you Ready for Some Football?

Its football season. The weekend will be rainy. An Autumn chill has now entered the air. Mama Schreiber's Chili recipe has been pulled out and is now officially plastered to the Fridge where is will remain until January/February. What better way to spend this weekend than watching some football?

Here are the games I am excited to watch this weekend:

The Redskins travel to Dallas this weekend for a huge NFC East game. I am rooting for the Redskins, the 11.5 point underdogs. I think the Skins have been strong a causing turnovers this season, something that they have not traditionally done well. This will give them good opporunities against Tony Romo and T.O. who tend to give them up. Hopefully the skins will take advantage of these oppotunities and knock the Cowboys (3-0) off their winning streak. Aside from cheering for Coach Zorn, I also really don't like the Cowboys so cheering for the Red Skins will be easy this week.

The big game this weekend is the Eagles on Sunday night. If the Eagles are able to play their deffensive game they way they did last week against the Steelers, this should be a good game for Philadelphia. The Bears have had some close losses and are probably itching for the win so the Eagles need to stay on their feet and play smart. McNabb shouldn't have a problem making solid plays against this team.

I hope you enjoy some good football this weekend. Do you have a favorite team? Or do you get more excited for quality football eats? What are your favorite fall recipes?

I've Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by a blogging friend from Pink Maple Design to share 7 random facts about myself.

So here you have it:

1. I am a sports fanatic! Think: Remember the Titans - Coach Yoast's Daughter It can be quite intense!

2. This is magnified by the fact that I am 100% Extrovert on the Myers Briggs Personality Test.

3. I love to cook. People love the food I cook. But I am by far the worst cook in my family. I swear they could all be considered culinary geniuses!

4. I am part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) also sometimes referred to as a Farm Share. I pay a set price for a set number of weeks of produce from a local farm and get a bag of what ever is in season and ready for the picking. It is exciting to see what I will get each week and has helped me branch out with my culinary skills. More to come on this one later!

5. I love to write. I am not a writter. I just love the art of writting. Hense my other blog: Calligraphy by Shannon.

6. I love a full house and therefore want a big family (7 kids?). My husband says that the obsessive compulsive nature in me and the fact that I am easily stressed do not bode well for a full house. But I still love it anyway. I love going home to commotion. I love hearing a house full of conversations and laughter. I love to entertain, mostly just to fill my house.

7. I love Starbucks so much! I collect their mugs. When I moved to DC I had to enlist the help fo friends because a week had gone by and I still had not found a Starbucks near my work. It was tragic.

I enjoy reading so many wonderful blogs. Here are the 7 that I have tagged and hope will participate:

Green Eggs and Hammes
Everything Glorious
Life. Liberty. and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The Happy Daily
Victoria with Roses
Always Organized
Calligraphy by Shannon*
*(yes I am tagging my other blog - but there is a whole host of things I can share about the calligraphy side of me)


A Giveaway from Dingbat Press!

Get a whole bucket of adorable kid themed stationery which includes:
Baby Shower Invites in both the Girl and Boy designs
Giraffe 3x5 flat notes
Shark 3x5 folded notes
Polka Dot Girl 4x6 flat notes

In order to enter:
1. Blog about the giveaway on your blog.
2. In your post, create a linkback to the Dingbat Press giveaway.
3. Comment on the giveaway post at Dingbat Press to let Dingbat know you want the prize!

Eagles vs. Steelers

I have quickly learned that arguing about the Eagles/Steelers with many of my PA friends can be dangerous territory. One of my best friends is married to a Steelers fan - their son is going to have a difficult time growing up! This past weekend, I abstained from my trash talking. Pittsburgh fans traveled East, and it turned into a great day for Philadelphia! What a game! McNabb, Westbrook, Buckhalter, Dawkins - the whole team showed up and showed up BIG!

E - A - G - L - E - S

Photo Fun

This website: Dumpr allows you to do amazing things with your photos. You can have all sorts of fun using reflections, LOMO, and changing the shape of your photo into puzzle pieces or even a Rubik's Cube! Check it out when you have a chance (and some time to waste). Here are some of my creations from a picture of Mark and I at the National Zoo earlier this year:


Photo in a Photo



There are all kinds of fun ways that you can enhance your photos. This would an especially useful tool if making a scrapbook or photo cards, but want more than your standard point and shoot image. P.S. Have you seen enough of us this post?!

Boordy Vineyard

Last weekend, Mark and I drove up to Baltimore to visit friends for what was supposed to be breakfast...

...cinnamon buns, a movie, grass cutting, pizza, a vineyard tour with wine tasting at Boordy Vineyards north of Baltimore, a spaghetti dinner, games {including farkle...more to come on this later!}, and Sarah Palin...I mean Tina Fey and Michael Phelps on Saturday Night Live...led to a full day of fun plus a sleep over! I think the highlight for Kami and me might have been the the trip to Boordy. Mark definitely was most excited about getting to mow their lawn:

...and I think Phil might have been most excited about NOT having to mow the lawn!

We love Phil and Kami, but never get to see them enough. It was great to spend some quality time with them and relax for a leisurely weekend!

To read more about the Vineyard, check out my Calligraphy Blog!

It's Monday Night: Eagles vs. Cowboys

...in Dallas! Two NFC Powerhouses will show down tonight. The Eagles with Donnovan McNabb and the Cowboys with Tony Romo. Two quarterbacks who are known for their versatility on the field, but tonights game will come down to defense.

E - A - G - L - E - S

I Will Always Remember...

...I woke this morning with a sickening feeling. Mark left early to participate in a moment of silence and the White House. I did not know how to act today, so I moved forward in my own silence. I drove to work in silence, not wanting to listen to the radio. I did not want to read a newspaper. I could not explain my emotions. All I know, is that I never want to forget.

I initially avoided all news/media this morning, and then I read my friend Carrie's blog post. Carrie always had the right words. Reading this was as if Carrie and I were having a conversation and she was speaking directly to my heart, consoling me.

I want to share with you what she wrote, so eloquently:

"This morning I woke up before my alarm and peaked out my window at the morning-gold striped clouds... searching, grasping, for a mourning that was just not there. And when I realized it wasn't, and knew how important it is to me that today remains meaningful and alive, I prayed for the privilege of carrying my portion of our nation's grief for one more year.

Tears came following a silent Amen.

I'm not a masochist. It's just that on September 11, 2001, I remember knowing in my very core that I would not - could not - ever be part of the masses that would let it go. I could not be part of the camp that thinks we should not pause on this day every year; that perhaps America's resolve is best displayed by moving on. I see this argument. I see why people think this. But I will not be one of them. Ever. I want my grandbabies to be able to see the same tears well in my eyes 50 years from now that did 7 years ago and do today.

So pardon me if my red striped shirt and lapel pin flag are over the top. Excuse me if "America the Beautiful" from my car on the commute to work is irritatingly loud. Please forgive my inability to pull away from the 24 hour news network images from that morning.

And if I'm quiet, please leave me to remembering Mom waking me up in a panic that morning and pulling me into the study to see what none of us could understand. Allow me to remember what it felt like on September 11, 2002 to walk around the White House when a helicopter passed overhead and stopped every person on the street in their tracks to look up and reassure themselves it was allowed to be there. Let me reflect on Speaker Hastert's speech on the Southeast Steps on 9/11/06 when I really grasped that my colleagues and the Capitol dome overhead was still there thanks to the "Let's Roll" attitude of Flight 93. And for today, let it be okay for me to desperately want to remember what I was worried about forgetting."

You can read more from Carrie on her blog: Everything Glorious

Recipe: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Mmm...I made the best dinner the other night. Mark had to work late so I got creative with dinner from left overs and here is what I cam up with:

Sautee 1 chicken breast - cut into small pieces - in a bit of peanut oil. Once the chicken browned, I added honey and soy sauce, crushed cashews, and crushed pine nuts. Then I cooked it all a bit longer to warm the extra ingredients. I put it all in a bowl to spoon into my lettuce, roll up and eat! I chowed this meal down!

Lessons learned, pre-wrapping the hot chicken in the lettuce leaf makes the lettuce wilt - I didn't realize this at first for some odd reason.

This was a great (even healthy) meal. Now I cannot wait to make a big batch!

Shelf Life

I love shelves! They are great for putting things on and can totally define a space. Living in a tiny apartment, Mark and I have MORE shelves than we could imagine, but never enough space. I am constantly searching for new and innovative shelving/storage ideas. This often brings me to incredibly beautiful and inspiring shelving solutions. So here in what I am going to call"Shelf Life" I will share some of my shelving finds with you. Keep and eye out for "Shelf Life" and I may even throw in some pictures of my own!

Here is an idea that I am seriously considering for my own apartment. I face only 2 problems: I live in a rented apartment and I don't want to invest in anything permanent that I cannot bring with me. Do you think I could do this and make it semi-permanent?

Anyway, I just love it! I am already calculating in my head the different places I could do this in my own apartment (and what items I could store!). Enjoy this...and what I hope will be many inspirational editions of "Shelf Life."

Vote Apparel

Check out these awesome t-shirts for the 2008 election!

Vote Apparel, a company co-founded by a friend of mine, is striving to help encourage our generation to vote. In this vein, they redesigned the Philadelphia LOVE sculpture into VOTE t-shirts representing each major political affiliation: Democrat, Republican, Independent, and Green. Shirts cost $20.08 each and can be purchased by visiting www.voteapparel.com.

When you purchase your t-shirt, you are literally able to “wear you vote.” Plus, with every t-shirt purchased, a vote is tallied on the website, and the winning party will receive a donation from Vote Apparel.

Visit Vote Apparel today to get your politically inspired tee!

Are You Ready for Some Football? Eagles vs. Rams

Philadelphia Eagles take on the St. Louis Rams today.

E - A - G - L - E - S

Lilly Pulitzer True Fall Catalog

I am so excited about the Lilly Fall Collection. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

I love great sweaters and dresses in this collection. The rich chocolate browns look great with their standard pink. These pictures hardly do the whole fall catalog justice. Go check it out! All of these photos are from the Lilly Pulitzer True Fall 2008 Catalog. Happy Shopping!

Are You Ready for some Football? Tonight: Redskins Season Opener

Tonight the Washington Redskins kick off their season against the defending Super Bowl Champions, NY Football Giants. Go Redskins, and best of luck to new head coach Jim Zorn! We will be cheering for you!


Carly Fiorino speaks out against Palin attacks:

And Sarah Palin rocked her speech last night!
Here is what the left has to say:

"Alarmingly Strong" [Mark Hemingway]

That's how Michael Crowley describes Palin's performance over TNR:

Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing—few if any would ever vote for McCain—but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked.

I completely misjudged how negative she would be. Her lines about Obama were brutally cutting and possibly over the top in places. But she's a far better messenger than an angry white man.

And even some at Talking Points Memo are stunned:

Yet if you didn't sense last night how deeply Sarah Palin channeled some of the country's deepest, most powerful currents of pent-up indignation and yearning, you don't sense the trouble we Democrats are in.

Rhetorically, she was the anti-Obama,. She was stirring precisely because she was so artless, matter-of fact, and "American" — with no cadences or grand, historic resonances, but with plenty of mother wit and shrewdness. Credit her as much as the speechwriters.

North of the Border, Andrew Coyne at Macleans isn't necessarily predisposed to liking Palin, but he admits he witnessed something very impressive, calling her "the best natural speechmaker since Reagan":

It was that good. No, she’s not qualified, and the substance was thin, but my God — that was perhaps the greatest bit of political theatre I have ever witnessed. Her critics in the media and in the opposition may regret having piled on quite so enthusiastically, and with so little heed for who they hurt — or angered. Watching the tumultuous, ecstatic reaction in the hall, I was reminded of the famous words of the Admiral Yamamoto after Pearl Harbour: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve."

If you were unable to watch Sarah Palin's incredible speech last night, I would recommend viewing even a few short clips on YouTube.

The Palin Family

I feel for the Palin family. I am not quite sure how to express my thoughts on this matter, but fellow blogger My Living Canvas articulately laid out her Thoughts on Sarah Palin. I agree with much of this and appreciate the time and effort put into writing this piece. I encourage you to read this post.

Unfortunately, tabloids have gone over the top with smearing this family. I am tempted to share with you some of the things that have been written and posted, but I do not want to give any more traction to these attacks. I cannot imagine what life is like in her shoes, being the wife of a commercial fisherman is a tough life, raising 5 children could never be easy, serving in public office is trying both physically and emotionally, and facing the reality of giving birth to and raising a child with downs syndrome takes strength that many women could not muster. I want to praise this family for their strength and character. I encourage you to think of your own family struggles before you join the bandwagon in casting judgement on this family.

First Day of School Fun

For many of you, today marks the first day of school. I always found the first day of school to be very exciting. One of the highlights in elementary school was the new fresh box of crayola crayons. *Who am I kidding, that is still a highlight in my life. I actually still have a tupperware container of crayons in my desk drawer for those times when I feel inspired.* Crayola has defined many of our childhoods. I am in a reminiscent mood today, so here is a bit of Crayola fun! Can you guess your Crayola colors? Or {gasp} have you forgotten?

Crayola Color Quiz

I got a lot of "Ooops" answers, but had fun anyway. Enjoy celebrating the first day of school, even if it isn't your first day! And before you start the quiz, you might want to (cheat) and check out the new colors listed below.

Labor Day

In honor of labor day, here is a little bit of history. Did you know that...

Labor day is the celebration of the value and dignity of work.

The first labor day parade (held in 1882) was actually a group of union workers gathared in protest.

Ironically for many of us today, labor day symbolozes going back to work and the end of summer. The long holiday weekend has become known for long lines of traffic heading to the beach, hot dogs and hamburgers from the grill, and savoring the last bits of summer.

This year Mark and I spent our long weekend on the Eastern Shore. We were fortunate to avoid the traffic, but dove head first into the traditional BBQ! Mark's cousins drove down from PA to go sailling and we had a blast. Amanda drove through with friends on her way to Georgia. It was great to see Amanda, and say {goodbye} until we are able to visit her in Africa. Sunday evening Phil and Kami, Tommy and Fallon and baby on the way joined us at Mark's parents for a cook out and some low key fun. It was an incredible relaxing weekend on the water and hanging out in his parents yard. Here are a few photos:


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