The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2011-11-20

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Operation Quiet Comfort is another reason I love Freecycle...

A few weeks ago I listed a whole garbage bag of Ben's old jeans on Freecycle; a ton really.   I was clear about them being a variety of conditions, some pretty good some virtually shredded.

I got a response almost immediately and after we worked out the details and I reconfirmed that some were pretty rough she wrote me back to tell me why she wanted them.   She wasn't going to patch them up to wear, she was going to cut them up for quilts.  She makes them for Operation Quiet Comfort, an organization that provides quilts (and other things to wounded soldiers).



From their website:  Our sick, injured, and ill troops often arrive for medical care direct from the battlefield and without their belongings. It can take weeks before those belongings catch up with them - sometimes they don't arrive at all. Our efforts are designed to provide quality of life items at their first stop for medical care. In this way, we demonstrate we've had them in heart and mind all along.


If you SEW, you can warm the heart of a sick or injured hero. Join the Operation: Quiet Comfort Yahoo Group (here) to learn more about the Four Freedoms Gratitude Quilts. These recognized tributes are highly requested, much appreciated, and require the participation of a nation who truly honors the sacrifices made by those who are injured while serving in harm’s way.

OQC provides small quilts (3’ x 5’ finished) to comfort our Wounded Warriors who are medically evacuated to a higher level of care, as well as for those troops who are sick or injured and recovering in place. We have specific project requirements and ask that you follow them closely.


Operation: Quiet Comfort is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, charitable organization registered in the state of Michigan. We graciously accept financial contributions that will help us continue this work. We have your help during this time of war. Donations are an essential part of how our work is accomplished at home and abroad. Your gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult your tax advisor with questions.



Donations can be made via Pay Pal or by mail to the following address:
Operation:  Quiet Comfort
c/o Jan Hogg
307 Palmer Ln.
McCormick, SC  29835

Donate using paypal HERE 


Your contributions of time, talent and resources help us provide meaningful support to our Wounded Warriors during their time of distress far from home. And we have it on good authority that these efforts are of great comfort to their loved ones, too.



I can't sew but I feel like I was a part of the comfort provided by a quilt.


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Ventura has a Thanksgiving run around

Ventura loves running around my dad's backyard and his leg doesn't seem to bother him when he's running.



He starts running at about a minute twenty-seven...

It's amazing to watch a greyhound run for the sheer joy of it.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Filofax Karma

For the last twenty years I've used same  Filofax.  My personal Portland has greatness about her; she feels  buttery soft,  lays flat and even when full doesn't weigh as much as an A5 ( a full one anyway).


Portland filofax and cross pen


As a calendar she's tops.  As the keeper of my To-Do and shopping lists, Great!  She's a wonderful catchall for receipts, notes, Post-its and random thoughts...   And she only takes up a small space in my (very large) purse.   

But she's not perfect ( no Filofax is, I suppose).   What's been missing  is the ability to write long, prose-type notes comfortably on pages that are 3 3/4 inches by 6 3/4 inches.   I've tried, it's awkward.   It feels like trying to write a novel on an index card.


It squishes my creativity. 

I decided to get an A5 a few months ago and then didn't; price got in the way.  The two I liked; the Malden (at $145 US) and the Finchley ($170 US) each cost  hundred plus bucks too much.  And eBay was no help, no buys to be found there.   I coveted a well-worn  A5 but that size in anything but new doesn't happen much on eBay (Perhaps once you try A5 you never go back....)


I looked every day for a bargain and at the beginning of November found an A5 Malden for $115 (with another 10% off thanks to a coupon code) and free shipping.  It was more then I wanted to pay but the best price I'd found so I ordered and then ..... Nothing.  Seems they were out of stock but I was promised they would be coming any day.


In the meantime (make that in the two plus weeks I sat around pining for my still out of stock Malden ) one of my favorite blogs, Philofaxy, posted that  Filofax Sweden (Google Chrome translates) was having a sale, a GREAT sale, and in fact the Finchley could be had for $28 dollars and change  (most of that was shipping from Sweden).  The hitch was supplies were limited.


Since my Malden didn't seem to be coming I thought I'd order the Finchley.  Surely my Karma was good enough that one would show...

A5 Filofax Box

Seven days later I had a package from Sweden.

A5 Finchley wrapped up


The unboxing was very exciting.

A5 Finchley, Imperial Purple


Imperial purple makes me feel positively royal.


The day I received my Finchley I got a note, my Malden was on it's way.  Seems my Filofax Karma is pretty excellent.  I'm going to end up with the two A5 Filo's I wanted and if I average the prices together I paid about $65 each...    

Filofax finchley A5 first page with menu art

I toyed with the idea of only keeping one of them but then thought, What are you crazy?  When am I going to get the opportunity to get (a new) one this cheap again?   So I set up the Finchley and await the Malden.

Filofax Finchely A5 inserts


Personal sized inserts fit.

Filofax finchley A5 zip pocket


Here is a personal sized insert compared to my iPhone....  But see how much more room for rambling creativity the A5 has?


Filofax finchley A5 inserts

I can't say which one I will use as a daily Filo but I'm tickled with all my new creative space!



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Pink, pink, and more pink nail of the day




nail polish(es) of the day



Sinful Colors Beautiful girl is a  nice option when you're looking for bubble gum pink. I have a lot of Sinful Colors Nail Polish and they are a bargain.  At my local Rite-Aid they are $1.99 retail but they can be found online.  Cherry Culture  has lot of the line for $2.50 a bottle as well as make-up by Sinful Colors (that Rite-Aid doesn't have).



How Sinful Colors applies depends on the color.  I have two coats of this but needed three.  Had it applied smoother I wouldn't have minded doing a third but by the time I finished the second I was pretty much, C'mon already!  

*As an aside many Sinful Colors apply like a dream...

I added an accent coat of Opi Nicole You're an Angel over one nail. This Opi color works much better over another color. It's pizzazzier that way. I almost never buy nail polishes over $5.00 but the magenta shimmers (that aren't picking up in thephotos) got to me.




The color is more hot pink, less watermelon then it looks in the bottle.  Maybe I'm just not in a pink mood but this isn't doing it for me at the moment.  It's okay but nothing I would run to do again. 






Score:  ♥ ♥  out of five hearts.


*I bought this myself.*

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude and Nutrisystem

For this week's  update I wanted to copy something directly from  Nutrisystem because while a few things are  Nutrisystem specific, much of it just makes good Holiday-eating sense.
 Nutrisystem Holiday Survival Smarts

10 Diet-friendly Strategies for Thanksgiving and Beyond



The holiday season is a dreaded time for many people on a weight loss program, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 10 easy ways you can enjoy the celebration days without feeling punished or sacrificing your Nutrisystem progress.




1. Have a plan.  Think things through before you get to the actual holiday meals and parties. Maybe your strategy is to take tiny portions of different dishes; that’s okay. If you’re cooking, you might want to have your bottle of water with you in the kitchen, so you’re less tempted to snack. Do what you can to stay away from the appetizer table. Plan to avoid anything that’s not homemade. The point is that if you go in with a plan, you’ll be less likely to get caught off-guard.

Utilize “The Low GI Cookbook – Nutrisystem Edition,” for cooking up some delicious holiday meals such as the Roasted Pumpkin and Mushroom Lasagna or Pork With Honey Glazed Apples, while staying on track and not depriving yourself of the holiday festivities. The cookbook is available for purchase over the phone or on
 Holidays are not the time to skip meals in an attempt to “bank” calories. That’s a strategy that can backfire miserably. Instead, eat everything on your meal plan leading up to thenutrisystem.com.

2. Stay on track. Holidays are not the time to skip meals in an attempt to “bank” calories. That’s a strategy that can backfire miserably. Instead, eat everything on your meal plan leading up to the holiday event, and make sure you’re drinking all your water. You’ll be less likely to overindulge at the big event.

3. Set a goal. There’s something about holidays that makes people forget what they do the rest of the year. Do you already have weight loss goals set up for November, December and January? If not you can start today. Once you’ve set a short-term goal, decide on a way to reward yourself once the goal has been reached.

4. Drink smart. Face it, overindulging during holiday events—whether it’s an office party, a family gathering or a neighborhood open house—can add a lot of extra calories to your day. In addition, when you’ve had too much to drink, it tends to weaken your previous resolve and derail any strategies and plans you might have had. Besides, you don’t want to end up as that karaoke-singing family member or neighbor
everyone will be talking about for the next month.

5. Trim the calories.  This tip is especially useful if you happen to be the primary cook for an event. In baked items, replace the fat with an equal amount of applesauce and the sugar with a sugar substitute; substitute a quarter cup of egg substitute for every egg called for in the recipe; replace butter with low fat margarine; replace whole milk with 1% milk and sour cream with yogurt; reduce the amount of nuts called for by half. And don’t forget both veggies and salad.

6. Enlist support. Trying to maintain your Nutrisystem program can be hard at the holidays, but there’s no reason you have to go it alone. Ask for your family’s understanding or even their help, so nobody’s trying to foist “seconds” on you. Nutrisystem counselors can help you strategize, based on your individual circumstances. Or you can go to the Nutrisystem Discussion Boards, where you’ll find people who definitely understand what you’re trying to do. Discuss your concerns;
share tips of your own, or join one of the many weight loss challenges. Some of them are specifically geared to the holidays. Introduce yourself well before the event, so you have that support already in place.

7. Keep moving. Instead of just sitting around after dinner, suggest a
family walk, or organize a touch-football game. Most people will be grateful for the chance to move around, and it can keep you on-track with your exercise plan.

8. Quality not Quantity. If you do plan to indulge in some of the traditional Thanksgiving favorites, use these portions as a guideline: Turkey—3 oz. white meat, no skin (about the size of a deck of cards) Mashed potatoes—1/3 cup (about the size of half of a baseball) Gravy—1 Tbsp. (just drizzle it) Relish made with sugar—1 Tbsp. Stuffing—2 Tbsp. Dinner Roll—if not homemade, skip it Pie—1/12 of a 9” pie

9. Eat Before You Go. Whether you are hosting or just attending a holiday function, be sure to eat your Nutrisystem entrĂ©e before the festivities begin -- that way you won’t be tempted to overeat during the meal and will be able to stay on track.

10. Embrace the holiday spirit.  This last tip may just be the most
important: You can get so caught up in all the planning and hoopla that you lose the whole meaning of the holiday season—coming together with friends and loved ones. It’s the time that’s really valuable, not the food and drink.


And I love the last one.   A lot.   That's been something I've worked on since I started Nutrisysytem - The food isn't the event.  Granted, Thanksgiving is a lot about the food but only because it's become that for me (and many people).  

I need to remember it's about seeing my family, and enjoying the time spent together.  And gratitude for what I have.  

Gratitude can be expressed in many ways and has been by many people:

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men, but be careful that you do not take the day and leave out the gratitude." ~ E.P. Powell

"We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction." ~ Harry A. Ironside

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.  ~Edward Sandford Martin

And because it's about the food unless you look deeper, this last one...


What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?  ~Erma Bombeck, "No One Diets on Thanksgiving," 26 November 1981


Check out the Nutrisystem website, they have some great specials going on and take a look  if you haven't, the forums are fab and their Facebook page is terrific you don't have to be a member to ask questions!  

And don't forget to check they out on Twitter @Nutrisystem.  Follow them for hints, tips, motivation and specials.  And of course they can answer your questions.  


If you want to lost weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem click HERE! or call 1-888-853-4689



*This post was sponsored  by Nutrisystem who is providing me with the food and program materials in exchange for blogging and I'm truly thankful for them.  


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