Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Secret is.... I'm controversial!

I have been reading the book, "The Secret." It's been amazing what I have been able to "manifest" into my life by using some of the concepts contained therein. I have read other books before about the power of positive thinking, but this one has proven to work more powerfully in my life. Since I have been reading the book I have been able to bring some exciting things into my life with my thoughts.
Ham and mustard
I was reading a book about a poor, young, teenage girl who lived in a decrepit castle with her family. A neighbor gave them ham and mustard for a Christmas meal. It was the best meal they had had in months. When I read that I thought, "Ham and mustard, that sounds good."
A week later, we went to dinner at a friend's house. What did they serve?! You guessed it! Ham and mustard!
Member of an Advisory Board
I recently recieved an e-mail from an up and coming on-line clothing store I purchase from. They asked me to be on their Advisory Board for a new clothing line! In return, free clothes! Woot! Thank you, Universe! When I told my sister, Fashionista, about it she said, "How did they know you were opinionated?" I don't know. I guess I just "manifested" it. Oh yeah!
Made national news
I wrote, what turned out to be, an edgy post for the Mile High Mamas blog. My post was picked up by an associate producer at She called me and asked me to do a follow-up for an article she was writing.
I am super excited about having made national headlines. But, my mom is all upset at some of the comments I have been receiving. Apparently, my quotes have made me, in the eyes of some, a "disgrace to the human race."
How does Kathy Griffin's mom deal with her daughter being controversial? Kathy always jokes about her mother and her boxes of wine. I guess it's too bad my mother doesn't drink.
And for my next manifestation...
Seeing how applying certain principles from "The Secret" has brought some exciting things into my life. I decided to test the waters even further. I put on a water-skiing vest and threw open my front door and yelled for the Universe to hear,
"I want a boat!"
Apparently, the Law of Attraction went a little off kilter, because I noticed a new boat in my neighbors driveway instead of my own.
Maybe in need to "manifest" a little harder.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm "Parenting with Altitude!"

I'm the top post at Mile High Mamas today. My kids have gone back to school and my twin boys have a man teacher! Click here to check what I have to say about that! Apparently, I've hit a nerve! Go see what all the fuss is about.
Scroll down to help me with an upcoming Home and Garden article and don't for get to take my new "Cindy McCain Picture of the Day" poll.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Calling all my Homies

Hello, my fellow Home and Garden enthusiasts. I would like your input for my next article. I want to know about your household chores that need to be done every so often, but tend to get over looked. For instance, vacuuming your mattresses, deodorizing the waste disposal, washing the outside windows, or changing the batteries in the smoke detectors. What are your every-so- often" chores and how do you do them? Do you have a system in place to remind you to do them? What chores have you been putting off until you have more time?

Thanks for the help. Don't forget to check out my new poll on my sidebar!

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's nice to be loved!

Yesterday, I received flowers from Aubrey . Now if only she were here to stage them perfectly for me. The flowers took me completely by surprise. It's not my birthday or my anniversary. I was about to give Secret Agent Man big props from being super romantic. Haha!
And I got a wedding announcement from Cutie Lauren! I want to go to her reception sooooo bad. At least I got a preview of the wedding dress. Try not to be jealous. Talk about Good Mail! That was too good to be true! Thanks Ladies. Smooch!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It's been 31 days since I have quit my dear friend, Diet Coke, cold turkey. I white knuckled it for the first week and a half. It seemed to get a little easier after that. They say it takes 28 days to change a habit. I very nearly fell of the wagon on Day 28. We went to Fiesta Guadalahoochies for lunch and I wanted to throw back a soda with my chips and salsa and Picadillo Burrito like there was no maƱana, but Secret Agent Man pulled me back from the ledge, i.e. staged an intervention, prying my death grip off the icy glass and away from my quivering lips. I have decided to quit caffeine and carbonation altogether in an effort to make healthier choices. Since I am not buying so much soda, I have more money in my pocket: Upgrade. But, I have replaced my Diet Coke with fruit juices, therefore I am drinking some of my calories: Downgrade. As certain as I am that I have done a good thing, I will miss my D.C. ::Tear::

Monday, August 18, 2008

If you see her...

...tell her I love her.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two bloggers collaborate for a Home and Garden article

While at the blogger party in Oregon, Aubrey and I collaborated for my latest Home and Garden article. We wrote about her home staging business and bringing the beach home. Here are two scanned pictures of the article.

Here is the full text of the article:

CANNON BEACH – I have gone from coast to coast in a week’s time. My last article was written from Boston. Now, I am writing from Cannon Beach, Oregon.

I am here for a blogging convention where I have met, for the second time, my BFF (Blogging Friend Forever), Aubrey Petersen. Aubrey is a Colorado native that now resides with her family in Bellevue, Washington. She is not only my BFF, but also an ASP, Accredited Staging Professional.

I’ve been inspired by the beauty of the northern east and west coasts of America. But, how do I take the beach home with me without it looking like Captain Ahab is having a rummage sale in my living room?

Sitting in the cute, cozy, and clean kitchen of our rented beach house, Aubrey and I had a Q & A session about her business and her advice on how to bring the beach home to the Western Slope.

Annie: Tell me about your home staging business.

Aubrey: There are various aspects to my business. I stage homes to sell, I stage homes to live, I stage offices and retail shops. I can travel to you and do it for you or I can give a consultation over email if you would like to do the work yourself.

When staging a home to live, I get to know my client, their personality and style and ask them what their ideal home is, complete with the kind of feel they want in their home. I am also careful to make everything in their home as functional as possible. So, for instance, when my client says that he has a hard time figuring out where to put all of his video game equipment in a way that is pleasing to his wife, I search for the perfect way to organize that, whether it is a shelf or a cabinet.

When staging a home to sell, I stage it just like how you would market a product. I declutter, de-personalize, rearrange furniture and generally accentuate the positive in your home so that prospective buyers can see themselves living in your house.

Whether staging to sell, staging to live or staging an office or retail space, I can work entirely with the furniture and accessories my client currently has or, if my client has more of a budget, I can bring in additional furniture and accessories.

Annie: Do you have a personal philosophy when it comes to home staging?

Aubrey: My philosophy on staging is to keep everything uncluttered, functional and classy. Most people, right now, could look around their home and see furniture or accessories that they either don't like or don't use. When you free up that space and then arrange your remaining furniture in a pleasing and welcoming way, along with adding beautiful accessories, you will create a space that you love and feel comfortable in or for those who are looking to sell their homes, a home that will attract prospective buyers.

Annie: Colorado is a land-locked state. I love the beach, I love the sand, I would like to create a space in my home with an Oregon coast-feel, but I don’t want it to look like Bob’s Fish and Chips. What do you suggest?

Aubrey: Well, the northern coasts of the U.S. have more muted, light colors as opposed to the more tropical locations with bright colors and a surfy feel to them. I would suggest keeping the wall colors light. White, tan or even a pale blue would work. The same goes for the furniture, keep it light or earth-toned.

Annie: What about window coverings?

Aubrey: I like the idea of something flowy and natural. You can hang white voile or linen curtains or even some earth toned roman shades or bamboo blinds.

Annie: What if I have only a small space to work with?

Aubrey: Don’t be intimidated by small spaces. Using mirrors helps add depth and brightness to your smaller beach space. Pottery Barn has some great frameless mirrors. They can be hung alone or with a natural rope or raffia for a more organic feel.

Annie: What about accessories? This is where a lot of people go “overboard,” so to speak.

Aubrey: Once again, I suggest keeping it natural. Bring in nature: Large table corals, small pieces of driftwood and green, leafy plants. And don't forget seashells and sand! Keep it simple and uncluttered by filling various sized glass vases or bowls {which can be found easily at thrift stores} with shells and sand. You could even bring in a nautical touch if that appeals to you. A pretty model sailboat perched on the mantel next to some large shells would look great. But not too much! Remember that you are channeling the seaside here. Clutter will not help you achieve the airy, relaxing feel that you are wanting. So, less is more! Keep your accessories to a minimum.

Annie: What about hanging things on the walls, like a captains hat or a life preserver from the S.S. Minnow (jokingly)?

Aubrey: While I was window shopping in Oregon, I found an overabundance of shops aimed at tourists wanting to bring the beach home. I paid close attention to what you could decorate your walls with. Everything from wooden plaques with seaside sayings painted on them, to enormous framed paintings of the beach. I even saw various sizes of beautifully polished ships helms. I personally enjoy going into someone’s home and seeing photographs. It adds a personal touch to a space and is a great conversation piece. If you took some great pictures of the kids playing in the surf, frame them. Or if you took gorgeous pictures of the sunset, frame those. Keep is simple and uncluttered. A pretty montage of 2 or 3 pictures with the same earth toned frames, placed on a certain spot on the wall is perfect. More than that, it gets too chaotic. So, paintings or photos, black and white or color, pictures of the kids on the beach or just a shot of the ocean. Bring the beach into your home through pictures you have taken or have bought.

Annie: I think I am ready to put some of your advice in the practice and put a little of my beach vacations into my home. Do you have any more advice?

Aubrey: Whether you want a strong coastal influence in your home or just a touch here and there, the main thing to remember is to keep it simple, uncluttered and comfortable. Anyone can achieve this look and feel, even on a tight budget, but keeping the clutter to a minimum will make all the difference.

For more information about Aubrey Petersen ASP, Accredited Home Staging Professional, visit her website at or e-mail her at

This article is also available to read online at

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Cap is on the Summer of 2008

I'm the top post at Mile High Mamas today. Click here to see what this ↑ is all about.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Second Annual Summer Blog Party `08!

I' ve been at the Oregon coast for the Summer Blog Party `08. 15 women, 2 vans, one Impala, and a beach house. I am bad, I mean, really bad at the recap. All I can say is that a good time was had by all. Here are a few pictures.

This is where we stayed.

This is what we saw.

When bloggers get together, it's like Christmas. This is what I gave to the bloggers. They didn't survive the plan ride in my suitcase too well. Most of the beads fell off. Downer!

Multnomah Falls

It wasn't a one woman blog convention, there were other bloggers there, but I have to get their permission before I can post their photos. Some bloggers like to keep their identities super secrety if you know what I mean.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stop the presses!!

My dad, Big Rich, thought it would be funny to play "cut and paste" with my last Home and Garden article.
He handed me this copy of The Daily Sentinel and told me that half the newspapers in Grand Junction went out with this picture from the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival, instead of the expertly posed and primped for picture I submitted. (See below.)
After some crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth, I noticed that the picture of the person in the corn eating contest had been glued over the original.
Bad Daddy! Bad!
See what I mean about "protecting the brand?"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tablecloths, place mats, and napkins: Dressing the table from a wardrobe consultant's perspective

Here is the text and picture from my latest Home and Garden article! Enjoy! For more information about Lori Wynne, visit her website at
BOSTON - I am writing this article in Boston. My family and I are here visiting my sister, Lori Wynne. She is a wife, a mother, and a wardrobe consultant.

Along with a having a passion for fashion and a soft spot for good causes, she also has a harmless addiction to table linens. Lori loves dressing her kitchen and dining room tables almost as much as dressing herself or her clients. This being said, she has amassed quite a collection of tablecloths, runners, placemats, napkins and napkin rings. In fact, she has more placemats than bath towels. Lori’s double-door linen closet has one shelf for towels and two shelves filled to the brim with table linens. She counted 21 sets of napkins, 14 sets of placemats, 16 runners, and 20 tablecloths.

Table linens serve double duty; protecting your table from damage and they serve as decoration. Table linens appeal to both Homies (Home and Garden enthusiasts) and Foodies (Food and Dining enthusiasts) alike. Both would agree that a well set table makes a meal more enjoyable and appetizing.

Lori’s personal philosophy on setting a beautiful table is, “Presentation is everything.” One or both of her dining tables are always decorated with linens and centerpieces. In an effort to be “green,” Lori says, she will leave her tablecloth on the table two to three days until laundering becomes necessary.

“I use cloth napkins instead of paper. In my house, the napkin stays at the family member’s place at the table. After each meal, the napkin will go back in the ring until its next use. When the linens get dirty, once or twice a week, I change them. It’s like redecorating in a minute’s time.”

Our mother set our feet on the path of appreciating a nicely set table. Growing up in the Clark household, the use of table linens was commonplace.

As children we understood that a formally set table signaled the advent of something special. Eating at the dining room table, as opposed to the kitchen table, we sat up a little straighter, held our forks delicately and properly, instead of the dagger position, and only caught the disapproving eye from our mother when we tried to compose a symphony by circling the rim of our water goblets with wet fingers.

Lori doesn’t believe that you need to sacrifice civility or style just because there are children in the home.

She says, “You may think that tablecloths and napkins are not appropriate for your current lifestyle. On the contrary, I have used cloth linens since the day I was married, then had two small, messy eaters and now dine with a couple of voracious teenage boys. The solution is clear plastic placemats over the cloth placemats when feeding toddlers. Whether in fashion or dressing your table there’s no need to forgo style when living with young children.”

She adds, “As a mother of two sons and the daughter-in-law of a woman who wrote an etiquette book, I feel it my duty to teach my sons the proper use of cloth table linens and to not be intimidated by them. Equally important, I have taught them to set a proper table. Just like jewelry and shoes, dishes and napkin rings are the accessories for the table that complete the look you are trying to convey.”

Visiting Lori and perusing her collection of table linens has rejuvenated my own interest in making a better effort to set a nice table for my family. She has always believed in making her dinner guests feel special.

“I want to present my home in the best light possible. Just like the perfect outfit can make a great first impression, table linens can make your family and guests feel like you were expecting them, and their presence makes every day a special occasion.”

Lori’s tips for table linens

For a casual dining setting a tablecloth should have an overhang of at least 8 inches. For a formal setting the overhang could be anywhere from 15 inches to all the way to the floor. is a website that has instructions and pictures on how to fold cloth napkins.

Use a rod in your walk-in pantry or hall closet to hold hangers filled with tablecloths. This keeps tablecloths from getting wrinkled.

If your collection of napkins is small, keep them rolled up and upright in a basket on the counter near the table. They will be decorative as well as close at hand.

Keep napkin rings in drawers with dividers, much like how you would store jewelry.
Store vinyl or plastic placemats in the same upright cupboard as you store your cookie sheets. When they are no longer used to protect your nice linens, use them as cutting boards. They can easily be washed in the dishwasher.

Don’t be intimidated by table linens. If you have never collected linens, start with one set of at least four place settings of coordinating mats, napkins, and napkin rings that can be easily maintained by laundering or wiping clean. They are widely available at many price points.