Month: August 2008

Monday Morning Wrap Up

I’m not really here and you aren’t really reading this. I’m trapped in a swirling vortex of homeschooling goodness and mayhem even as you read (well, more than likely…unless you’re reading this at 6 am…in which case I’m still snoozing under the covers).

Happy Labor Day, everyone – hope you’re all fortunate enough to be able to take the day off from work – you’ve earned it. I will not be taking the day off, as I still have 3 loads of laundry to finish from this weekend…but that’s another story for another day.

A couple of quick notes before I start the day:

1. And we have a winner for Saturday’s Mystery Photo Contest! Bummer. Oh, I totally kid – I’m not bummed. Amber from Bringing Good Home – email me so I can get your “n”eat gift that I may or may not have in the mail for you.

Also — I’m revising my photo selecting process and I will not be blurring the photo next week…so be ready for something that doesn’t hurt your eyes, but that you still probably won’t guess. Bwuahahaahahaha. {that was supposed to sound maniacal, not evil…why did it sound evil?} Here’s last Saturday’s photo:

2. I am doubly excited about tomorrow’s Behind the Blog radio broadcast – we will have TWO guests on. Rick Calvert from Blog World Expo will be on first discussing THE blogging event of the year – Melanie is attending this year and I’m so jealous hacked off excited for her that I can hardly stand it. :)I know she’ll be bringing a lot of good information back to the table with her – but before she goes, why not join us and hear from the founder himself as to why he started the expo and what he expects from it.

Also joining us is Kelly Curtis from Pass the Torch. Kelly is an accomplished blogger and writer who has been published in Boy’s Life, Budget Travel, All You, Chesapeake Family Magazine, Wisconsin West, or Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Mothers and Daughters. Her new book, “Empowering Youth” is now out and she’ll be telling us how she went from blogging to mainstream media. I encourage you to check out her highly informative 8-part series “Becoming an Author” on her blog.

That’s it for now. Working on about six designs simultaneously…going crazy in between times. So if I’m silent on your blogs, or I’m not answering my emails…please don’t hate me. Understand that I’m human and this is a season in my life. I’m trying to be better, but all I can do is all I can do right now.

I’ll be running leftovers this week because I want to be able to focus solely on my kid’s first week of school. The first week is always the toughest for new adjustments, etc…so I want to be free to be “free”.

What’s happening with you this week? Anything exciting planned?

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The Breakfast of Champions

About once every two weeks, I make something for my kids that is totally unhealthy, makes them super-hyper and probably contributes to cavitites. (and then I send them to Grandma’s – oh I kid.)

I grew up on this particular breakfast treat – my mother used to make it for me on Saturday mornings and I can still remember sitting in front of my Saturday morning cartoons eating a hot piece of cinnamon toast.

Of course, I call it cinnamon toast because it sounds less threatening. My mother-in-law calls it sugar toast…which sounds like I’m a horrible mother if I feed it to my kids. Personally, I don’t see much difference between this and cake or say, pancakes for breakfast. A pancake is just a cake with syrup substituted for the frosting, right?

Cinnamon Toast

8 slices bread (your favorite kind – it does not matter)
8 pats of butter or margarine

~Turn your oven’s broiler on HIGH.

~Lay your bread out on a cookie sheet and spread enough butter over each piece so that you have a nice thin covering. (It’s hard to say how much – too much and your bread gets soggy, too little and your sugar doesn’t carmelize – so you might have to play with it)

~Sprinkle enough sugar to hide the butter (not a thick layer, but about the same thickness of the butter you spread – you want consistency if you can acchieve it)

~Sprinkly a generous amount of cinnamon all over the sugar- pile it on, because this is what makes it taste good. (would I lie to you?)

~Place in broiler and watch until the sugar starts to bubble (usually about 3-6 minutes) and the butter, sugar and cinnamon are carmelized.

~Remove and carefully place on a plate. Let it cool down before giving it to your kids, because even when the topside isn’t hot, the steam from the underside can burn.

~Enjoy! The breakfast of champions.

So I’m curious…have any of you ever eaten this or had a variation of this? What do YOU call it?

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Photoshop Fun – Karen Finds a new Plug-in

I am a die-hard Adobe Photoshop fan, and anyone that knows me knows that I love anything that makes my photoshopping experience more fun. In the upcoming months, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tools that I use when editing photos.

I recently discovered a Photoshop plug in called “Topaz Adjust” – and I’ve downloaded the 30 day free trial to see how I like it. So far, so good. While I haven’t done anything quite as spectacular as the examples on their site (you should check them out) I have had a lot of fun playing around with some of my photos.

Remember Myron? Here he is SOOC:

And here he is with one of Topaz’s filters applied (pretty artsy, huh?):

Here’s a lone cow from our farm SOOC shot:

Here he? she? is again, but with some major color boost and Pioneer Woman’s Vignette Action:

Just for fun, I thought I’d try it on some people I know. I started off with my friend’s son, Mavrick. Her husband cut his hair in a mohawk (she said she’s never felt more trailer-trash, and I laughed so hard) because, as her husband put it, he always wanted a mohawk as a kid and his dad would never let him have one and did she really want her sons growing up without the benefit of having experience, just one, what it felt like to sport a mohawk? (My friend SWEARS she’s cutting it soon…it’s growing on me…especially when she spiked it for Church last week.)

Here’s M SOOC(on an old broken down piano at church:

And here’s M looking like he just stepped off the pages of Baby Gap:

And before I show you the last photo…I must say that she is not my favorite. At all. And this photo is not my favorite. At all.

So here’s my baby when she was still a baby…but not my favorite, SOOC:

And here she is with a very soft filter (I am sorry, I didn’t record the name of it) applied – she looks positively ethereal, doesn’t she?

The actual program is moderately priced at only $99 and is downloadable from their site. If you own Photoshop, you should try the download and see if you like it enough to pay for it. I can already tell you, I’m sold.

Which is your favorite? And why?

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