Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I've Decided

(image from Buy Costumes.com)

I finally ordered Parker's Halloween costume. I decided on the spider. It was a hard decision for me. Like all of you, I preferred the spider over Humpty Dumpty (though that was darn cute), but Phillip had told me that some other guy he works with bought the same costume for his baby. That instantly put a spoiled taste in my mouth...I don't want some other baby in Parker's costume! But after much thought (and changing my mind every day), I finally decided to get over it. I will never see this "other baby" and the guy doesn't even work in Phillip's department. So I guess we will be safe. I will be holding my breath.

Apple Picking

This weekend we did a perfect Fall activity - we went apple picking! We drove out about 45 minutes to Applewood Orchard and met up with a group of families we sometimes meet up with. Even though the weather man predicted a storm, the weather was perfect - crisp and cool, with no sign of rain. We could not have asked for a more perfect day.
There were a ton of different varieties to choose from, but we were only interested in the Honey Crisp apples. Apparently, the Honey Crisp apples have been "created" right here in Minnesota. When we first moved out here, we heard A LOT of hype about these apples. But come on, what is the big deal? They are JUST apples. Let me tell you...unlike the much hyped Deep Fried Oreo, these apples DO live up to the hype. Phillip and I both flipped for these juicy temptations. (That is saying a lot coming from someone that has been burned out on apples ever since the third grade when she lived on an orchard and her mother made her eat anything that was made out of apples.) We made sure to pick a lot of apples since they are only available for a short time. I promise, if you are fortunate enough to find them in your grocery store, get them! They are worth the extra cash.
The day ended with Phillip juggling and a tractor pulled hayride. Now, what to do with all of the apples...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paper Tiger

I saw this on my friend Jennifer's blog, and it looked like fun. You use your ipod's shuffle feature to answer the list of questions. (Read through to the end so the title of the post makes sense!). Some of the random answers are pretty funny.

If someone says “is this okay,” you say? Heartbreak Beat
How would you describe yourself? Touched by the Hand of God
How do you feel today? Stay Now
What do your parents think of you? Laid
What do you often think about? Love Cats
What do you think of the person you love? I Want You
What is your life story? Should the World Fail to Fall Apart
What do you want to be when you grow up? Can't Feel a Thing
What will you dance to at your wedding? Tantalized
What is your biggest fear? Hope Your Happy Now
What is your biggest secret? Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid
What do you think of your friends? Mine for Life
What did you see outside your window today? Indian Song
What motivates you? Fade Together
How would you describe your high school years? Sooner Then You Think
What are your hopes for the future? Sour Times
How would you describe the way you look? Evil and a Heathen
What is the purpose of your blog? Souvenir
What goal are you currently working on? Firesuite
What will the title of this post be? Paper Tiger

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Video Wednesday

Morrissey - Every Day is Like Sunday

I was feeling a bit nostalgic when I selected this video. In high school, I was never on the Smiths' bandwagon (I am sure it is for a stupid reason...probably because everyone I knew LOVED them - so I chose not to). But when I was around 20 years old, I was lucky enough to go to a Morrissey concert at UNLV. I loved it and have been a fan ever since. I only regret that I was too stupid to have appreciated the Smiths when they were together.

Why Can't We Copywright Names?

(Picture from People magazine)
Sorry I missed the last two days...Parker has been waking up a lot in the middle of the night and I just can't seem to get enough energy to do much else other than function because of it.

Who does Clay think he is?? Naming his son Parker and all!! Now, I know that I did not dream up the name and such, but we know how it goes. As soon as everyone hears what celebrities name their kids, everyone wants to copy. I haven't met a bunch of Parker's in my lifetime, so I thought we might be safe just meeting one here and there over the years. But Clay had to go and ruin it! As it is, when people ask me what my son's name is, they always comment that they like the name and don't hear it that often...you can just tell that they put it in their "mental list" for later when they are choosing a name for their child. But thank you Clay - now it will be all over the media again. And with the latest accessory this fall being a little baby or a baby bump, you can bet that there will be a lot more Parkers. I swear it will be the whole Lisa Loeb and the eye glasses thing all over again (I said it 100 times before I had my eyeglasses WAY BEFORE Lisa anyone knew who she was when she came out with that stupid song "Stay" from Reality Bites).

Now about the article - who cares that Clay is gay? Didn't we know that all ready? Why does it even have to be an issue. Let him be and live his life. If some celebrity were to announce "Yes - I'm straight!" do you think it would merit a cover on People? It should only be news to people that know him and love him.

Besides all that - who really cares about Clay anymore anyway? I have always been a fan...but come on...he's doing Spamalot. I am sure Brittany is doing something far more interesting.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Have a Great Weekend!

Just a little bit of eye candy from Anahata Katkin. Check out her beautiful work...great color usage!

Have a BEAUTIFUL weekend!

Love, Brandie

May The Force Be With You

I am trying to organize my photos over the last few months so I can send them out to family and came across our Father's Day pictures. I really lucked out in planning this year's Father's Day! The Science Museum had a Stars Wars exhibit in Minneapolis that opened on Father's Day weekend - talk about perfect timing! My sci-fi husband was thrilled when he found out what his Father's Day would be. All of the original costumes and such were on display as well as all sorts of characters wondering around. I made sure to visit the OB1 costume since that will probably be the closest I will ever get to Ewan McGregor (sigh).
Now...how am I going to top it next year?

Pet Emergency Kit

(Picture of Pete, last summer, at the UP)

Hurricane Katrina was awful. But one of the good things that came out of it was the realization that the Emergency Evacuation Plan needed to be improved. One of the benefactors of this realization were pets. Because of Katrina, pets are now able to be included in emergency evacuation support. There is no longer a need for thousands of animals to be left behind because of an unexpected emergency situation. The next step as a pet owner is to make sure that we are prepared, not just for our family, but for our pets. I found this list from ASPCA of items that every pet owner should have in case of an emergency. And don't think an emergency is only a natural disaster...it could be a fire, robbery, anything that could - God forbid- happen to any of us. I know that one of my goals for myself this year is to not only have an emergency plan for my family, but to have one for my pets as well. I hope and pray that I will never need it.

The ASPCA would like to offer the following list of essential items to pack for your animal companions in advance, should you be faced with evacuation:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book
    3 to 7 days' worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food
    Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
    Litter or paper toweling
    Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
    Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
    Dishes for food and water
    Extra harness and leash
    Photocopies of medical records
    Waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires
    Bottled water—at least seven days' worth for each person and pet
    Traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
    Recent photos of your pet(s)
    Pet Grab ‘N Go Bag (can be crucial to protecting your pet’s paperwork)
    Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
    Especially for dogs: Long leash and yard stake, toys and chew toys, a week's worth of cage liner

For a more complete list of emergency planning tips and the Ready Pets brochure on pet-friendly evacuation, visit the Disaster Preparedness section of the ASPCA website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Video Wednesday

Another favorite new band of mine...probably because they have a bit of an old school, rough garage "Jan & Dean" sound (surf sound) mixed with a bit of Jesus and Mary Chain (another "vintage" band I have always loved). I have always loved both types of music and the Raveonettes gives me a good mix of both. I love this video -very Hitchcock feeling, with them both trying to kill one another.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Time in a Big Boy Shopping Cart

A couple of weeks ago, Parker rode in the shopping cart for the first time. You wouldn't know if from the picture, but he LOVED it. He was so happy the entire time he was in the store. He was swinging his legs and smiling at everyone. It was the first time that I didn't have to rush while shopping in the store.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Parker's Halloween Costume

(all costumes located at Buy Costumes)

I need your help! I am trying to decide what Parker should be for Halloween and can't make a decision. I want to order his costume by the end of the week because I am finding that all of the cute ones I am considering are all ready starting to go out of stock in his size. Yikes! Above are some of the ones that we thought were super cute.

(Image from Buy Costumes)

I think I have it narrowed down to the spider and Humpty Dumpty, but I keep changing my mind. Obviously, I would make sure that Parker had little white pants and a long sleeve shirt on under his egg costume. What are your thoughts? Which costume do you like the best? Please email me or comment...I'll be waiting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Memory Jar

(picture from Inchmark)

I swore to myself that when Parker was born that I would be good about writing down and remembering all of the little things that he does for the first time...or the silly things he does or will say. But, though my intentions were good, at the end of the day, I was always too tired and forgot. He is only 7 months old and I have all ready lost so much!

But I found this adorable idea on a new blog I discovered, Inchmark (love the name). She suggests writing down whatever adorable things your little one does at that moment on whatever scrap of paper you have in your immediate access and then placing it in a jar to read later. Simple right? Why didn't I think of that! Duh!! Thanks for the brilliant idea Inchmark! I am SO doing that!

I'm Going Batty!

I found this j'adorable (as Jonathan Adler would say) bat garland at Martha Stewart online. It looks so easy to make! I can't wait to try to make it. I think it would look great in my entry way and on my fireplace mantel (if I can only get Phillip to move all of his tools for the porch project out of my way).

By the way, have a great weekend!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Big Poop Explosion of 2008

This is what I getting for being a little bit "cheap"...

Phillip brought home some diapers from work that he got for free (he sometimes gets to bring home so freebies). The diapers were of various sizes. In the mix, he had a few size 2 diapers. Now Parker is wearing size 3 nowadays, but since they were free (and diapers are sooo expensive) I tried the size 2 on Parker. They were snug, but not obviously too small. I figured that I could use the size 2 during the day - you know, save a couple bucks and use the freebies. Well...

Parker took his afternoon nap. After a bit of time, he woke up like he always does, happy and in a great mood. I walked into his room and saw an awful sight - poop was EVERYWHERE!!! It was NASTY! The mess was all over his bed sheets, in the crib bars, all over his clothes... in order to take his clothes off of him, as hard as I tried to prevent it, he got poop on his little face. And don't feel sorry for just Parker. While dealing with all of this, I got plenty of poop on me too! It was disgusting!! Nasty!! Stinky!! I thought I would vomit!! As soon as we was stripped, into the tub he went.
Parker took the whole thing in stride...he thought it was funny.
That is what I get for trying to save a buck. Naturally, I no longer have the size 2 diapers anymore.


I am SOOOOOOOO excited! Today I registered for a beginning sewing class. Hopefully, I will soon be able to create some of the adorable and lovely things I am always admiring from other people. My first class begins October 7. Once class begins, I will keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Video Wednesday

(Silent Sigh - Badly Drawn Boy)

One of my top 5 movies of all time is About a Boy with Hugh Grant. Not only does it have great music from Badly Drawn Boy, but the story is so sweet and funny. It isn't the normal boy/girl story, but rather a story between a man and a little boy and how they have such a strong impact on each other's lives. I never tire of watching this movie - it makes me laugh, cry, and always puts me in a great mood. Definitely Hugh's best movie ever. If you have not seen it, I strongly suggest renting it soon and let me know what you think.

If you haven't seen the movie, you might wonder what the deal is about the duck in the video. The duck is in the scene in the movie where Hugh Grant and the little boy actually bond for the first time. The boy, Marcus, throws a loaf of bread that his mother made (she is a very "organic" and "natural grain" type of mother that happens to be a bit kooky) into the pond. The bread is so heavy, that it knocks out and drowns the duck that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The scene is hilarious and very witty. Anyway, the fact that the duck is in this video cracks me up (this song was one of the songs from the movie if you haven't figured it out by now). I guess that duck comes out a winner in the end.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Paper Art

I am constantly amazed and envious of other people's talents. As I was reading some of my favorite blogs this past week, Design*Sponge and Decor8, I came across these amazing pieces that I just had to share with you.

I discovered Justine Smith on Decor8. Justine is a British artist that used paper currency as her design medium. At first glance, these flowers are so intricate that you would swear that these are real. I can not even imagine how much patience and care went into making these delicate buds. Justine must have nerves of steal and a very steady hand to be able to cut and design something this beautiful.
(image from Decor8)

On Design*Sponge I discovered Zoe Bradley. This woman is AMAZING!! Zoe is a sculptural artist that creates the most beautiful dramatic silhouettes I have ever seen. And they are created from paper!! Among the many beautiful projects Zoe has created, some of what I found the most interesting is the amazing window installations for Missoni, Donna Karan, and Harrods (to name a few).

(images from Design*Sponge and Zoe Bradley)

"Stick" it to Me!

More about the State Fair...first I must begin by saying that this post is NOT an exaggeration. ..

It was painstakingly obvious that the main thing the fair was about was the fair food. Now, I do love fair/carnival food. It is usually fried, greasy, and generally bad for you (IE. deep fried Oreos). There is something about the fair environment that makes it fun to eat something so greasy and bad for you. It isn't like I would ever dream of eating this Lard filled food on a normal day. But on a fair day...you just have to participate in the gluttony.

In these sorts of environments, you will usually find little kiosks or carts selling different foods. Once in while, you will come across a vendor that went a little "arty" and has some sort of cute display or striped awning and such. But at this fair...well, it was a bit like the Las Vegas strip...and I can say that since I was born and raised in Las Vegas.

You can't tell in the photo, but there were lights all over this sign. It was crazy big and glitzy! (The fries were pretty good too)

The craziest thing though was the obsession of food on a stick. Yeah, yeah...fairs always have food on a stick - corn dogs, cheese sticks...but do they have spaghetti and meatballs? Pork chops and sweat potatoes? Seriously - I am NOT kidding! It was like everyone was trying to come up with the craziest idea and putting it on a stick.

(Pork chops on a stick, pizza on a stick, fruit on a stick, Scotch eggs and meatballs on a stick)

It was so ridiculous that Phillip and I made it our mission to find the weirdest thing on a stick. We narrowed it down to two:

Teriyaki Ostrich on a stick and boulders on a stick (an advertisement for a local landscaping company).

Of course, the food vendors wouldn't be complete without good old Spam...


MN State Fair

I have been meaning to share with you our trip to the State Fair. I know that I all ready filled you in on the disappointment I experienced over the deep fried Oreos, but the State Fair was more than just that. Apparently, according to the MN State Fair website, the MN State Fair is the largest and most attended State Fair in the country, and after spending the day there, I am inclined to believe it. The place was massive! We spent 6 hours there and still didn't see everything. I was certain that Parker would only want to be there for a couple of hours, but he was a real trooper...he just kept watching what was going on. I imagine that it had to be really interesting to him with all of the sounds, smells, and sights.

First, we stopped at all of the different agricultural barns. Parker got to see pigs for his first time.

He even got to see some baby animals. Our favorite were the baby pigs that were only 1 day old. The people kept the little piglets in some sort of incubators to keep the babies warm and prevent the mama pig from accidentally stepping on the piglets...they are so cute!

The area with all of the baby animals was called the birthing room. Of course, it was one of the more crowded buildings in the agricultural area. A ton of kids were very excited to see all of the baby animals. And as great and important as I believe it is to teach kids to respect all living creatures and to teach them at a young age about animals, I had some problems with the room. Again I will say it - this building was VERY crowded. I can only imagine how stressful it was for those cute piglets that were only 1 day old. I am just not certain that the best interest of the animals were there. But the real issue I had was the poor cow that was in the middle of labor. She was in a pen, smack dab in the middle of the building, with a bunch of bleacher seats in front of her. Many people and children were all around her pen as well as sitting in the bleachers. She was in the middle of labor. Your could tell she was uncomfortable. Not only was she having to deal with the pain of labor, but she had to do it in a warm, noisy area with tons of people watching her and kids screaming. I am sorry, but since I just gave birth, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be this poor cow...I had drugs and privacy, she had nothing! Labor is stressful enough as it is. Wouldn't this environment not only cause more stress to her, but to her unborn calf? I appreciate that they were trying to be educational. I also appreciate how awesome it would be for a child to see something so special. But isn't there a better way to do it? A way that wouldn't cause extra stress to the animals? It really bothered me. The last ting I wanted to do was take a picture of her with flashes and such, so I don't have a picture to show you. (Actually, besides the food pictures - which will be a separate post - all of my other fair photos did not come out well.)

All in all, we had a great day. The weather was perfect. Parker was an angel. There was lots to see. We just had fun hanging out.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Missed Last Week

Sorry for not posting last week. As I mentioned before I vanished, Parker was not feeling well. Not only was he teething bad, but he also had his first cold and fever while we were out of town. He still has a running nose, but he is finally getting over it. Needless to say, last week was a bit of a mess. Not only was Parker not feeling well, but I had multiple migraines last week.

But that was last week - I have a lot to post this week!