Flippin’ Flapjacks – It was National Pancake Day!

IHOP - National Free Pancake Day
IHOP - National Free Pancake Day (Photo credit: heyrocc)

Yesterday was IHOP’s National Pancake Day. My sister was kind enough to call and remind me. I already had plans with Jobin, but when those changed, I accompanied my sister and her friend on a pancake adventure! The deal was, if you went to an IHOP, you recieved a free short stack in exchange for a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network.The line was so far out the door, at both IHOPs we tried, we turned around and left.

I would love to see the numbers on this deal. How much are people actually donating to the Children’s Miracle Network? Are they giving net profits or total proceeds? Are the employee tips kept or donated as well? How much does restaurant traffic increase on National Pancake Day? Are there add on sales or are people just coming in for the free pancakes? And really, how much cost is associated with a pancake? It is mostly flour and water right?

I hope everyone who got a seat and a stack gave generously to the Children’s Miracle Network and didn’t just stuff their faces cause they were getting a free stack of flapjacks!

Books from the Past

Yesterday I was so sad to read that Jan Berenstein, one of the co-authors of The Berenstein Bears book series, sadly passed away from a stroke at the age of 88. It got me thinking about all reading all their books with my sister when we were kids. These were some of Ka-Ka’s favorite books growing up, along with the Strega Nona books. I started thinking of all the books I read as a child. My mom was really good about reading books to and with us. Even now as an adult, she is always picking up books for my sister and I, as well as all the children in our lives.

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

In my apartment I have a few of my childhood books, most are still at my mom’s. I have a set of Sesame Street books called “The Little Library” that my paternal grandparents gave me on my second Christmas. It is a set of basics – one is about Ernie and Bert counting, one is about Cookie Monster and the Alphabet, one is about Big Bird and shapes, and my favorite one – Grover and colors (not to spoil the ending but his favorite color is blue). I read these so much as a kid the pages have become unbound from the hard covers.

One of the others that I have with me is a little book called “Chicken Tricks” by Megan Lloyd which I received for Christmas from my parents when I was 5. I tried to find it on line and I couldn’t. I beleive it is out of print which is very sad. It is a wonderful little book about a group of hens and a farmer who wants them to lay eggs, but all the chickens want to do is go out and play. Every month they fill the egg cartons with something instead of eggs – snow balls, paper kites, mud, apples, acorns, beach balls and even Christmas ornemants. Its a cute little book and the verses rhymed which I always liked as a kid.

What were your favorite books from childhood? 

I’d Like to Thank the Academy…

Yes, that is me with a real Academy Award Oscar Statue.

I didn’t take the ettiquette class with Sir Cecil (see below) so I had to give it back.

Hopefully when Jobin wins hers, she will let me hold it – properly.

20 Things I Like About….

So as you hopefully read yesterday in Let’s Shake the Dust of the Bucket List, I mentioned that I thought the idea of writing a “20 Things I Like About You” list for someone in your life. I said how I thought how wonderful it would be to be on the receiving end of the list. That being said today’s assignement – I’d like everyone to write a 20 Things I Like About ME list.

Personally, It is easier for me to give compliments, than receive them. I give my friends thoughtful advice and encouragment but I will beat myself up for the same things I just told a friend not to fret over. So I understand that for some, this will be a challenge, but give it a spin. It was a challenge for me too! If you need some inspiration here is my list:

Author: Bagande
Image via Wikipedia

20 Things I Like About Me

  1. I love that I am a good cook – I can follow a recipe, improvise one based on what’s on hand, or just throw some random stuff in to a  pan and hope for the best!
  2. I love my audio recall abilities – I can recall movie lines or song lyrics after only a few listens.
  3. I love my feet – They are the perfect size for me.
  4. I love my thoughtfulness – It brings happiness to the people around me
  5. I love my loyalty to my friends – I support them through thick and thin
  6. I love being a great sounding board – I tend to be the friend people go to vent or hash out problems and I like that job.
  7. I love that I can be alone with myself and be ok with it – I don’t need to be with someone all the time or constant entertainment, I’m ok on my own.
  8. I love my hair – It can be straight (with a little time and a flat iron) or curly (it’s natural state) and look pretty good either way.
  9. I love my quirky sense of humor – It makes me unique and adds a little something extra to lackluster conversations
  10. I love that I can crochet – Sure it is only basic stiches but I feel it is a lost art and I’m glad I know how.
  11. I love that I have a unique and fascinating pet – how many of you have a turtle?
  12. I love my talent for analogies – I will say, I am not as good as Doc, but I think I have learned a few tricks of the trade from her
  13. I love my ideas of grandure – Sure they may not all come to fruition, but I keep dreaming
  14. I like my curves – They make me look like a woman.
  15. I love my willingness to try new things – how else will you know if you will like it?
  16. I love my ability to talk to anyone – It gives me the chance to make new friends and meet new people.
  17. I love that I have no problem telling people who don’t realize my awesomeness to fuck off – You don’t like me? Oh well, sorry you are going to miss out!
  18. I love that I am to be suroundded by good friends and family – Its a very fortunate things that many take for granted but not me. I know I am blessed.
  19. I love my tattoos – I know some people who regret them later in life, but mine are still awesome
  20. I love that I continue to improve myself in some way ever day – Whether it is working out, learning something, making healthy choices, every day I try to be better than the day before
What are the 20 things you like about you?

Let’s Shake the Dust of the Bucket List

As I was catching up on my fellow bloggers postings from this week, I came across a some inspiration. The source : Time for a new to do list « Maggie Mae’s Days. Lovely Megan, who I have been quietly following for almost a year now, posted how she was looking to revamp her “list”. This inspired me two-fold. First, she got me thinking that I should reevaluate my bucket list. I accomplished a heck of a lot over the past year. Incase you have forgotten I have already completed the following:

  1. Finished reading Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
  2. I beat Jobin at Words with Friend – I’ve only done it once, but I’ve done it!
  3. Ride a Zipline
  4. Attended the Mermaid Parade
  5. Get Certified in CPR
  6. Paint some happy little trees (ala Bob Ross / Joy of Painting)
  7. Eat at Blue Hill at Stone Barns
My Bob Ross Attempt

I also have a few things that are “works in progress” such as :

  1. Solving my Rubik Cube – I twist it around at least three times a week
  2. Getting to my goal weight – the scale has been going in the wrong direction since I started my new job but I am tipping it back the way I want it
  3. Attend the Opera – Jobin and I talked about going to the Opera so hopefully I can cross that off this year
  4. Visit my friends in San Francisco – I am headed West for work in another month, which means I am going to see my San Fran friends which I CANNOT wait for!
  5. On March 20th I will have maintained my blog for one whole year!

With all these accomplishments and WIPs, I need to add some fresh energy in to the list. I have a few things to add in so keep an eye out for some upcoming updates.

Second – Megan mentioned something that sounded like such a wonderful, generous gift to give someone. Megan mentioned wanting to make a “20 Things I Like About You” list for friends and family. I think this is such a beautiful idea. I am asking all of you, my dear faithful readers, to consider trying it for someone in your life. I know if I was on the receiving side of that list I would be truly moved. Wouldn’t you? In comparison to tomorrow’s assignment this should be an easy task (Dum dum dum – What does Souzapalooza have planned for tomorrow?) Just go pick someone off you friend list and give it a try! (Feel free to share the link to this post along with it so they know where you got the motivation!)

If you feel like sharing some of your thoughts and ideas on the assignment, please leave them in the comments!

And of course, please check out Megan’s blog Maggie Mae’s Days for great posts and beautiful crafts (she’s really talented) Thanks for the inspiration Megan!

I’m Good Enough for Me

Mini Souzapalooza in a stylin' track suit

The Brainbuilder posted a link on my Facebook page to this blog – 40 Days of Writing | Extra Buttons. The Blogger, Ms. Graham, is trying to start a 40 Days of writing community. This type of community enforces accountability, as well as stimulation, working off of each others thoughts, ideas, and topics. When I was reading her post there were two sentences that rang a bell with me : I detest practice. I want to be really, really, really good at everything the first time I try something new (actually, I want to be good before the point of try)

I often feel that way. I know it isn’t possible, it isn’t even human. It isn’t a competition issue, I don’t have the need to be better than people, but I am incredibly driven to do my best. I guess in a way I look to be recognized as being successful, but I think it is more of a desire to not suck. I don’t want to be embarrassed by the possibility of coming up short or worse – letting anyone down.

I know that I am not perfect. I hate doing dishes, I forget to take out the garbage on collection day, I rush my mom off the phone, I don’t talk to my dad as much as I should, and I print out a lot of reports single sided (sorry but it is really hard to look at number when you constantly have to flip pages front and back!) Why can’t I be happy with the fact that I have never bowled a 300, that I am completely tone-deaf, and that my jaw occasionally makes a weird clicking noise when I chew? The thing that I need to remember is that each of these things is a challenge I can over come (well except the jaw clicking thing – I’m kinda stuck with that). Isn’t it more rewarding to conquer a challenge?

My imperfections make me the perfect Souzapalooza? Being Souzapalooza is good enough for me!

You Have Something on Your Forehead

English: Atlantic Ocean (Feb. 6, 2008) Electro...
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday you probably saw people walking around with a black smudge in the middle of their foreheads. That is because yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Catholic season of Lent. Lent is a 40 day fasting period, mirroring the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert and being tempted by the devil, before taking on his public ministry.

During this time, Catholics are asked to give up a luxury or complete an actual food fast. Most give up meat on Fridays. However, a lot of people make changes like giving up chocolate or sweets, quit swearing, drinking, or another vice. Other people try to do something that will benefit them spiritually like attending mass as opposed to sleeping in, or giving back by volunteering to help others.

The lenten season is another chance to start again; to reset your mind, your body, and your spirit. We all need that every now and then.

When Good Things Happen…

While I was home sick last week, a great deal of wonderful things happened to people I know:

  • D1 recieved a promotion to a new position at work. Wonderful news! As long as I have known her, D1 has always been studying hard to keep up with the trends and knowledge of her field. This year, she took on a new challenge in a different department, but has now been promoted in to an exciting new role that will have a great impact on her community. I’m so proud of her and all her hard work.

    Me & D1 on her B-day a few years ago
  • Doc’s Sister-in-Law – The Firedancer – got engaged! I can’t tell you how much joy I had in finding out about this life changing event (one of the few times that Facebook was actually useful). I met the Firedancer for the first time at Doc’s Bridal Shower. She is one of the loveliest people I have ever met. She is warm, funny and you know when speaking to her, that she has so much love to share with the world. Doc has been saying for at least a year that Firedancer has found her dance partner… it was only a matter of time till they got engaged. I’m so happy she has found someone worthy of her fabulousness!
Me & The Firedancer at Doc's Wedding
  • Red Barn Bakery is going to be featured on The Martha Stewart Show! Randell knocked on my door Saturday morning to tell me the good news. Of course, not being able to talk, I couldn’t ask questions so I don’t have a lot of info to share. She said it was going to be on Wednesday – I don’t know if that is the taping date of the air date, but it is incredibly exciting either way. I know how hard Randell has worked to get her brand on the map and this is a big break for her and her amazing breakfast cookie!
Red Barn Bakery - Irvington, NY

Im so happy that there are so many wonderful things happening to the people around me! Happiness, positive energy, and good things are contagious… I hope that good things head your way just by reading this!