Tuesday, December 29, 2009

93 days of Lent

Didn't know Lent had 93 days in it did you? Neither did I! Until I felt God calling me to do something pretty sacrificial and challenging. I was at work...a little bored because the week of New Years is not busy at all. I started thinking about common New Years Resolutions and what people strive for so much at the beginning of each year...lose weight, work out more, save money etc.

Saving money definitely is probably the top of everyone's list in this recession, so it got me to thinking, maybe I should give up spending money for Lent. The more I thought about it the more it seemed to become a clear image in my mind. Then I thought...well why just lent? It seems silly to know what I want to give up but wait until the middle of February to start, so we're going from January 1st until the end of Lent which is April 3rd.

Rules: I cannot spend money on anything other than regularly occurring bills right now, example: Rent, Electricity, Food, Car, Gas, Insurance, Day Care etc. etc.

So, no more: Eating out, Movies, Clothes, Scuba gear etc.

My goal is to put at minimum $350 in savings each month, which will total a minimum of $1050. And on April 4th I will make a check of 10% of that total $105 to Life 102.5 our Local Christian Radio Station as my saving tithe.

It's not going to be easy in the least, but I think it will be good for me. Wish me good luck, and all prayers are appreciated!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Baking

I know I haven't posted in a while. With Christmas coming up so quickly and everything at work I think everyone has been busy!

Ava and I have had a nice couple of weeks though, and Larry is coming today!! Woo hoo!! We are so excited!

We had a Christmas Party at work...of course you can't call it that anymore so it was a "Holiday Party" anyways...I was asked to bake some homemade cupcakes, cake pops and cookies!

So I decided to do Santa hat and Christmas Tree Cake pops with chocolate cake and butter cream frosting. Gingerbread cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting (I make a REALLY good cream cheese frosting) and shortbread window cookies with homemade raspberry jam!!

Everything turned out really well, and we had a lot of fun! Pictures are below!



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Twin Birthday's!

Hello!!

It was Belinda and Betsy's birthday this weekend. I made them each their own cake. Belinda is a Nurse so hers had a medical theme. I am pretty happy with my swine flu and medicine bottle.

Betsy is a dentist so she had her own tooth cake! The teeth were so cute and fun to make. She called them bicuspids, so hopefully I did it right!

Lastly a shot of all four of us having fun!!




Monday, November 9, 2009

Lens Crafters...you do not want to piss me off!

An email I wrote to Lens Crafters Customer Service.

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to inform you that you will be losing my family as a customer. I have been overall underwhelmed and completely dissatisfied with Lens Crafters. Not only in the area of customer service, but with Eye glass quality.

I am working on my second pair of glasses in the last two years. The first pair of glasses I took into the West Towne Mall store to be adjusted, as they kept sliding down my nose. The woman, albeit accidentally, broke my glasses. To “make up for it” she tried to show me a small (less than 6 pairs) selection of hideous glasses to try and replace my chic and feminine one’s simply because I had been lucky enough to find a pair I liked that were on Sale. After much frustration on my part they finally widened the selection, slightly. The glasses I chose have now just broken. The arm of the frame has simply slid off, seemingly for no reason as they have been working fine before then.

Furthermore, the customer service at your West Towne Mall is simply atrocious. Perhaps multi-tasking might seem like a good thing to do, but if your reps would actually see the look on their customers faces they wouldn’t see someone happy for multitasking they would see a customer who does not feel important enough to be given the individual time. Today a female sales rep went to ring up a charge for a gentleman customer. When she arrived at the register she saw that a repair man they had obviously hired to do some work was standing there. Instead of choosing to deliver the change and finish up with her customer, she decided to take care of the Repair man first! Does she not understand that Lens Crafters is the Repair Man’s Customer? I could visually see the transformation on the gentleman’s face of being slightly satisfied with the level of service to completely unsatisfied.

I feel badly for your company, your shiny ads will be seen through soon enough if you don’t focus more on Customer Service to keep the limited customers you currently possess. This is the reason that people purchase goods online, and from other countries the current United States Business Plan apparently has no room for Customer Service.

Do you realize how detrimental negative Word of Mouth Advertising can be? I’m sure the West Towne Mall Lens Crafters will soon find out…

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cake Pops in the Shape of Turkey's...

Yes, they are cake pops and they are made of cake and yes they do look like Turkey's. Apparently when I say Turkey Cake Pops people think I am using real turkey meat...not sure how they have that idea...but anyways!

I made these last night, they are a lot of work. But they are pretty adorable so I'm good with it :)


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Picture/Update Galore!

Hello!!

I know there are a ton of pictures and I apologize, but wanted to get everyone and update of what has been going on the last few weeks!

I had my craft fair at work. It was a very long and hardworking 2 days but a lot of fun. I was able to really be as creative as I wanted to be with all of my cupcake and cake pop decorating. I made the following:
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Smores Cupcakes
Chocolate with Buttercream
Vanilla with chocolate shavings with buttercream
Chocolate Cake Pops (Christmas trees and cupcakes)
Pumpkin Cake Pops (ghosts and Pumpkins)
Handmade truffles
Chocolate milkyway cookies

I was able to network with a lot of nice people and have even had some repeat orders. The Halloween cupcakes below were for a woman I work with. I made gravestone, bleeding brain and mummy cupcakes! Those were a ton of fun!

I even have a 72 cupcake order for November 20th! Along with a ton of turkey cake pop orders.

We had so much fun on Halloween, Ava did so well trick or treating. She was very polite to everyone and had a lot of fun. Michelle dressed as the Mad Hatress, Justin as the Austronaut and myself as Robyn Hood had a very fun time on Halloween. We went down to State street where they have this huge party every year. It was fun to see all of the different costumes. We had a DELICIOUS meal at 5 guys, and then headed back to a dance club. They had more of a concert going on so we played pool for a bit. It was very fun. All in all we had a great couple of weeks!

We're looking very forward to seeing all of our extended family in Georgia in a few weeks!

Have fun with all of the pictures!



















Friday, October 30, 2009

I am a Bacon Activist

I wrote this email to my Mother after hearing the tragic story of my sister being unable to persuade our mother to wrap her Filet Mignon Steak in Bacon.

Enjoy!

Dear Miss Giordano,

I am emailing as a representative of my client Melissa Couto.

The only thing that she wishes for her birthday is filet mignon wrapped in Bacon. I understand that you are refusing her one birthday request. We are asking for your cooperation in reconsidering the addition of Bacon to the Filet Mignon Steak.

In the case of Mrs. Mulberry (plaintiff) vs. Mr. Duneberry (defendant), Mr. Duneberry was found guilty for not complying with Mrs. Mullberry’s birthday request of wrapping Filet Mignon in bacon.

The charges in this case were quite large and included:
-One new Skirt or Dress of the Plaintiffs choice
-One new pair of shoes of the Plaintiffs choice
-Two new pairs of earrings of the Plaintiffs choice

Note: In addition to the above my client will choose to exercise her right to bring up a certain “short coming” that you currently possess.


If you do not wish to be penalized in the same fashion I would suggest ensuring my client that there will be bacon wrapped around her filet mignon steak tonight.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Regards,

Sarah
Bacon Rights Activist
Bacon Attorney At law LLC

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Motorcycles, Spelunking, Cake Pops, Pies and Pumpkins, Oh My!

I apologize that the pictures are in no particular order. Blogger imports pictures in reverse order that you load them. But I'll write a little something about each!

Motorcycle: Our new friends love pretty much everything Larry and I do. Scuba diving, Motorcycles and Sky diving! Everything our parents want to hear eh?
But I was able to ride on the back of Justin's Motorcycle, he and Michelle were racing and it was so much fun. Then we stopped on a deserted road and Justin and Michelle taught me how to ride a motorcycle in first gear. Not to worry I didn't go over 25 mph! It was a LOT of fun though.

Spelunking: We went to Mt. Horeb this weekend to a coworkers party. We had a lot of fun. We went on a cave tour, which was fun minus the three year old. Ava wanted to keep moving and the tour guide kept stopping so yeah...that wasn't so fun.

Cake Pops: Have you heard of cake pops? Neither had I! They are officially my new favourtie thing though. I made Ghosts and Pumpkins for Rogers Party.

Pies and Pumpkins: Last weekend (Oct 3rd) we went to a pumpkin farm and picked a lot of pumpkins. Somehow I ended up with 7. Ava was obviously cute that day. We also grabbed a big bag of apples and I made three delicious apple pies out of them!









Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ava's Birthday Cake

Since Ava is three, it's only fitting that she have three birthday cakes right? That's how it works eh? Or that's how it should work...

I made a White cake, with chocolate shavings folded in. I'm kind of a genius like that...

I will post more information about her actual birthday when Ava stops being so incredibly sick to her stomach that she can actually enjoy her cake!





Productive meetings...

Coworker: "Okay, let's think of an example. Let's say we have customer from Indonesia, and they are from the university of...uh...What's the capitol of Indonesia? -pause- Bangkok! So they are from the University of Bangkok blah blah blah..."

Me whispering to coworker: "Bangkok is the Capitol of Thailand..."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Petting Zoo

Ava and I went to a petting zoo today to see all of the animals she was all excited. video

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Florida Scuba Diving Extravaganza

Larry and I had such a wonderful time together! Thanks so much to Larry's uncle Jim for letting us use his absolutely beautiful Condo.
The Sunday morning after I arrived we woke up very early to go to the charter boat and on our dives. It was an absolute blast! Our first dive was on a boat called the Red Sea, I can't even explain what it feels like to jump off the boat into the water. That rush of sea water filling your line of vision. You feel disoriented at first and start kicking toward the surface so you can find your way back to the line. After giving everyone a goofy grin I let the air out of my BCD so I could swim down and toward the line. Grabbing hold of the line and swimming down, I started looking for Larry. Once I knew he was behind me we started swimming towards the bow of the boat. It was incredible. Imagine swimming down 20 feet, 30 feet, 40, 50, 60 feet and stepping onto a sunken ship. All the while shimmering bait fish are creating waves all around you. It was absolutely breath taking. Our dive master showed us a lovely octopus snuggled into a port hole. He graced us by sending some tentacles out to see if we were tasty.
The second ship we dove was a Naval ship called The Strength. The bow has actually separated from the Stern. There was a slight current in the water, but we saw a lot more fish, some Jelly's and sea cucumbers.
For the rest of the week we did some snorkeling and then eventually the next Saturday we made it out to dive again. This time it would be just Larry and I.....

For the record, it doesn't matter how much you know the person above water. Below water is a completely different story. I think I can honestly say Larry and I both experienced some frustrating moments underwater where we wanted to say something but couldn't. But it was magical all over again. To my absolute delight as soon as we dropped down into the jetty I found a huge beautiful sand dollar.
For those of you who don't know I adore sand dollars and have always wanted to find one on the beach. I made some high pitched girly noise through my regulator. Larry actually found another for me, and we continued to drift along in the current. Or at least that was our intent. But see the current had other plans. It decided it was bigger and better than us, and carried us way off course. When Larry and I decided to surface because we couldn't see much we stopped at our safety stop of 20 feet for three minutes. Apparently Larry was wearing some sort of fish cologne because as we were waiting this fish...who looked somewhat like a baby shark. With the dive flag holder in one hand Larry desperately tried to get the fishark to leave us alone, he would not relent. He would swim away, then come back, swim away and come straight back. I decided to surface as I thought we seemed off course. Sure enough when I popped out of the water we were VERY far away from shore. Desperately trying to tug on Larry's dive flag line, I was finally able to get him to surface. We realized we were far from shore so we started swimming towards it.
The dive boat that we had been on last Sunday ended up driving by us and asked if we were okay. We made our signals to let them know we were okay, but they asked us to come aboard because we were sort of in the middle of a boating highway.

After we arrived back on shore and took a quick break we were back in the water looking for a rum runner that had just been discovered off of St. Andrews bay only a few months ago.
Isn't that amazing? Who knows how long it has been there, it's only 25 feet off shore, and no one knew about it until it started to surface a few months ago. There were fish everywhere feeding off of algae and playing. We saw some sting rays, and Larry indulged me in finding baby Sand dollars.

We had a wonderful vacation together. I hope you enjoy our pictures!

Our mystery fish. It was a Remora Suckerfish!


Chocolate Mousse Cake I made


Fish!!


Sand Dollars


Going on our Jetty Dive


Beautiful view from Uncle Jim's Condo

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Exerpts from Coworkers

Me: "Do you calculate your miles per gallon?"
Debbie: "No...I just fill up my tank and go. Why?"
Me: "I've been caculating mine, I save all of my receipts and calculate the MPG, then every so often I tally all of the receipts to see what my overall MPG is...What?"
Debbie: "You're a freak of nature. I think you need Larry to move up here because you're obviously bored."
Me: "That's not true! Larry calculates his MPG...well he started doing it..."
Bill: "It's okay Sarah we all know you have OCD."
Me: "I do, I fully admit and embrace my OCD."
Bill & Debbie: "We know"

Apparently my OCD is that bad. I always thought I had it slightly under wraps...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Get over yourself!

You know what I am tired of? People complaining. I am so effing tired of that. Someone just told me that a comment was made that I should be coached when speaking to managers.

You know what I say to that? Suck it up and get over yourself! I really don't care who you are or what you do. I work just as hard as you do at my job and you don't see me throwing my title in your face.

People are so effing sensitive. If you tell me you want to add something, or change something at the last minute I don't care. It is YOUR responsibility to get it to me on time. Telling me you want to add something a week before it's due is completely irresponsible. I'm not a flipping babysitter.

I hate people today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Adventures in Scuba Diving!

This weekend I finished up all of my Open water dives, which means...I am now officially PADI certified and can dive anywhere in the world.

It was a truly wonderful experience. There's nothing quite like it. The weightlessnes, being able to breathe with your head completely underwater. Coolest thing ever! While sitting at the bottom of the lake doing all of our exercises small mouth bass would come up to watch and hang out with us. They were so close and some even let us touch them before swimming away.

We all had so much fun and I've met some really great people. We even learned that a company doesn dives every Sunday and Tuesday for $25 which includes all of your gear! That's a great deal, trust me!

Enjoy some lovely photos of the group!

Justin and Michelle pose for the camera!























Myself and my dive buddy Sarah!












Tired from Diving