Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Roll Awards

(Part 1) by Amy Platon

Ok, I’m not sure what this says about my standards, but there is something rewarding about stumbling into a clean, well-kept, well-designed public restroom. So I thought I would return the favor with this little rinky-dink award ceremony.

Before these awards began, I was just as unassuming as the skirted stick figure on the door of the women's bathroom (minus the brail dots). Now I’ve turned into, well, a bathroom snob. Don’t worry I always use my powers for good and not evil.

What good you ask? Well I'd like to present, Dun dun nah, the Scribble Ink Cafe list of the top three public restrooms in O-town, complete with honorable mentions. Welcome to the one and only: Roll Awards.

I figure most people have been, or will be in the future, traveling to Orlando at some point in their childbearing life. If not, well keep reading, cause this story is funny and all the winners are national chains so you may have one near you to visit on your own.

At the very least, the one thing we all have in common is that we have, or will have to, at some point, use a public restroom. If you have not and don’t intend to use one in the future, then you are dismissed - but don’t think we won’t talk about you when you leave, cause that’s just weird.

So here’s the first award. In third place and with much debate, the Empty Roll Award goes to...Ikea!

(Ikea could not be with us today to accept their award, so I will accept it on their behalf.)

What I loved about this bathroom:

It’s clean!
They have bathroom checks throughout the day and the best part is that they do them.

The bathrooms have a neutral color pallet.
It’s white. And why is this important? There’s nowhere for funky stains to hide. This way I figure I know just what I’m stepping into.

Their toilets offer flushing options.
Ikea is eco conscious so you flush up for pee and flush down for poo. The toilet only uses the water it needs to flush the appropriate waist. The only thing I question is weather ladies actually flush accordingly. Cause let’s be honest, they call it a flush handle but we use it like a pedal. So, if you’re in Ikea and trying to pedal the flush then you’re poo flushing every time. Hmm.

The bathrooms have short sinks for the little ones.
They have sinks that are kid height. That just putts them at the top of my list. Cause no matter what happens in the stall, a good hand washing can cure it. I love that I don’t have to nearly break my kids in half to help them to reach. Bonus: the water got hot too. How can you kill any germs without hot water?

The thank you gift.
Ikea goes above and beyond by offering the use of a hand lotion dispenser to protect the layer of skin you just scorched off during hand washing. It's just like getting a lollipop at the bank, thanks for depositing with us! Have a wonderful day.

The experience is Fabuloso. You emerge all ready to shop, empty bladder, clean (and soft) hands for both you and the kiddos!

Ikea: Well thank you. Ikea is honored to receive this prestigious and limited award. We look forward to serving you and your bum at any of our national locations….Alright, alright, times up! Off the mic.

Visit again for my second place winner, to see just who will have the honor of receiving the Half-Used Roll Award.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome Blog Partiers!

Thanks for stopping by! The one thing I've noticed as I have been blog hopping is that each blog CEO has a dream. It's so inspiring to be around so many uplifting people all in one nifty little, week long, my cheeks are gonna hurt (as in smiling), event. So stay a little, and post your comments. This is your chance to write on the wall and not get in trouble for it!

Thanks & party on!

Throw it to Me!

by Amy Platon

Have you made a perfect stranger smile lately? Well I have to say, since it’s my night job, I’ve not really felt compelled to try doing it on my days off. So, I guess I was in an especially smiley mood when I did what I did.

As usual, this story takes place in my local grocery store. *Imagine if I really had a life? Oh the stories I could tell.* I was planning to use a competitor coupon that gives me BOGO on fish fillets. To do that, I had to have the fish guy wrap up my three fillets separately. And he did, cause that’s his job.

And, I’m not really sure what came over me, but when he finished wrapping my first fillet in paper, I clapped my hands and held up my palms. He peered over his glasses at me. As if it wasn’t obvious, I shout, “Throw it to me!”

He looked to his left (over his glasses) then launched it right at my chest. I caught it and threw it into my buggy.

My smile was so big that infectious would be an understatement. He had made my day. “I’ve always wanted to do this!” I shouted. PS: Don’t ask me why I was yelling at him.

He laughed (out loud) and tossed me the second fillet. “This is just like the fish market!” I shout. In hindsight it really wasn’t. I'm in Orlando Florida after all, not the Seattle fish market, but I was totally in the moment.

He threw me the third fillet and smiled his own really-big-infectious-smile and told me to have a good day. “Thanks!” I said and really meant it. “You’re the best!”

And he was the best. Because he played! Like kids, we played. Perfect strangers and complete adults - we played.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a little crazy - right out in public and all. But this was the best time I’ve had in a while. And even if it’s not your style to do something so bold, I say try it! Just once, try it! (Sorry, I'm yelling again.) It’s super-fun.

I told you mine, now you tell me yours! Post your comments (here) and share what you’ve done to make a perfect stranger smile!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Partying for a Cause '09

by Amy Platon

Welcome Blog Party hoppers! I want to use this soapbox for a good cause! If you want to take a moment (warning: this may be highly addictive) and test your vocab by playing a game where your winnings feed the hungry, (it costs you nothing to play) then click here and answer away.

Then report your fun at the comments here! (Your words pass along the encouragement so please post back here!)

It means so much to me!
You're the best blogger in the whole world!!!!

Oh, and feel free to read some more fun posts below. They're about general topics and daily life as it relates to wifeology, mommyhood, couponing and much much more. I can promise you'll be entertained!

If you likey you should subscribe and/or follow!

Take Care,

This post is dedicated to Belinda (wink to you love! Cuddles to the boys for us.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Home Sweet Home

by Amy Platon

So many of us are “stuck” in our homes for the long haul, we’ve had to hang up our ruby red slippers and quit house dreaming.

Many of us thought we’d only be here for a couple of years. Back when the market was hot (in my area anyway) we took what ever we could get. We were consumed by a tornado of fear that the house we wanted would be lifted up by it's roots out of our reach. Buy now, lock in your rate, so what if you don’t love it, you can always upgrade later…spun in our heads as we signed on the dotted line.

But here we are, another year in the house we rushed to buy - Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Things aren’t perfect, but definitely workable.

And nothing can make you fall in love with your home all over again like a cute redesign. I think we did an effective job at making our cookie cutter home right for us. But, I have that one room I’m out of ideas for. And no matter how many magazines I flip through, I can’t think of an easy solution.

That room, for me, is my kitchen. I want it to feel like the rest of my house. It feels hollow, blank, and cold even.

Here’s a tour – come in, and follow the yellow brick road.

When you walk in our front door you are greeted with the subtle feel of water, or the ocean. The tropical beach theme is totally us. Hubby is from the Pacific Islands and I grew up on the coast.

Then our dining room is themed after a sandy beach. I call that my driftwood dining table.

Here’s our patio. It's like a lagoon, which Todo completely approves of.

And I wanted our upstairs living room to feel like a treetop, so green, green everywhere!

It was all moving along so nicely. Once we got to the kitchen, we painted the wall like a sunset (or sunrise) and then I ran out of ideas. I had a bad case of decorators block. I’ll stand over here with the crickets while you take a look at the picture.

I think we can all agree, this tin man needs a heart! I would like a suspended horizontal cabinet over the bar with glass doors that open on either side so it feels light but tucks the room in a bit. And I guess we should break down and buy some handles for the cabinets. An area rug is out of the question though. We have a dog and two kids remember.

Hum, what else?

I’m not replacing the cabinets. They are new and I would never tear them out to add to a landfill unless they were rotting. I don’t think I can refinish them because they are coated in some sort of slick material and that makes them super easy to clean.

…So, maybe a cool light fixture over the sink?

Anyway, you see my problems… I’m totally indecisive. Oh, if I only had a brain... And just when I was coming to terms with having a kitchen I don’t love. (Is that so bad after all?) I realized that Layla (my Dream Catcher) offers her services for just this kind of dilemma.

Well then, back on the bicycle Dorothy, because we're off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of OZ.

I’ll keep you updated. I’m so excited to have her input. I’ll post here with her results. And if you need a little sprucing up, then you need to consider her. She’ll work in any budget (even $0) and her ideas are complete treasures.

Auntie Em! Auntie Em! I’m finally home!

UPDATE! The pictures are in from my consultation: Kitchen Inspiration

Related Posts:
Dream Catcher: Lalya Palmer
Swimming in Circles
My New Stray
Tales From the Sidelines

Monday, March 16, 2009

If You Seek Amy

by Amy Platon

Funny, I got a new phone over the weekend and the first thing I did was buy a new ring tone. (What, that’s not the first thing you do?)

So as I was shopping the ring tone store I thought for a minute that Britney Spears was making customized ring tones when I found her latest release “If you Seek Amy” as an option. I played the sample, which was new to me cause I don’t have her new album (CD, whatever) Circus. I was totally amped when I played it. Not only is it a catchy tune and just perfect for a ring tone, but bonus - I have a new song!

A little back story: before now, I would introduce myself to a room full of people, and I was guaranteed to be serenaded a solo in “my song.” Go ahead, sing along if you’d like. It’s a karaoke gem. “Aimee, whatcha gonna do? I think I could stay with you, for a while maybe longer if I do.”


And although I don’t necessarily love being associated with a “girlz night hook up” cause that’s so not me - I welcome the change of tune.

Now I can retaliate as I break into dance with, “Love me, hate me say what you want about me, all of the boys and all of the girls want to if you seek Amy.”

My uncomfortable there-take-that, post dance-off stare, is sure to have the beer breath soloist, wishing he had never mentioned it.

So thanks B. You my girl! Psudo gang symbols here. No matter how controversial your song may be, I for one, am happy to have it around.

Related Articles:
Throw It to Me
My New Stray

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Branching Out

I wanted to share an advertorial I did for a local business. If you or someone you know does advertising and may be looking for a fresh way to catch some eyes in an ad placement, then please pass this along and/or email me. Something like this would run about $50 depending on the level of circulation. This ran in print for the Narcoossee Navigator which has a three zip code circulation of about 10,000 homes.

Zoning In

by Amy Platon

If you’re the parent of a toddler, then you’re thinking about schools for your child. A tense nervousness arises as your child approaches the free voluntary pre-kindergarten age of four. Because, if you know any parents of VPK students in the Nona area then you’ve heard how challenging it can be to get your child enrolled into a school near your home. And that has you off-center because, up until now, there have only been a handful of schools near us that offer the free VPK program, so they fill up fast. But you've had that yoga class– Ohm.

We are fortunate to have access to some of the best schools in the district and now you can add another school to your list. Discovery Zone Preschool has just opened their doors to the Nona/Vista Lakes area, and is now enrolling for summer camp and fall.

This curriculum based education center is equipped with two three year-old classrooms, four VPK classrooms and a two year-old classroom. They offer full and part time schedules between the hours of 9-3 Monday through Friday and flexible VPK schedules starting in August ‘09. Alright, so hands up, and stretch.

In addition to large spacious classrooms, the school is also proud to offer separate rooms for art education and introduction to music. They also have plans to incorporate daily yoga classes as well as ballet.

Ok, now roll your neck and take a deep cleansing breath in. Because this is great news to all the parents on waiting lists to get into other area pre-schools, as well as parents who want to secure a VPK slot for their child. You ready? Discovery Zone offers priority VPK placement to all current students. And, they make it even easier by offering a summer program, so your child can glide seamlessly into VPK without missing a beat.

“Our summer programs are fun and laid back with hands on summer themed learning, that offers children a soft introduction to the more structured school year program.” Says the school’s director.

Discovery Zone Preschool is centrally located in the Shops at La Vina at 9145 Narcoossee Road. To register your child for current classes, summer or fall, call 321-235-3003 or stop by to take a tour. And then exhale, because you’ll be one of those sparkling, ultra-calm parents who has it all figured out.

If you or someone you know does advertising and may be looking for a fresh way to catch some eyes in an ad placement, then please pass this along and/or email me. Something like this would run about $50 depending on the level of circulation. This ran in print for the Narcoossee Navigator which has a three zip code circulation of about 10,000 homes.

Scribble Ink Cafe Home Page

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blog of The Day Award

by Amy Platon

Huh? What? Who me? Well, thank you.

And welcome fellow bloggers-who came to see what the fuss is all about.

Come in, browse around, everyone's very friendly (Cause I'll delete if I have to, but I haven't had to yet). The stories are fresh and hopefully inspiring.

Stay a while, but BYOC (bring your own coffee). If I could provide it, I would!

Above all, thanks for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you subscribe, I mean around... more. Often.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Laying Off the Tears

by Amy Platon
As published by the Orlando Sentinel 3/8/09

It’s the impending swing of the hatchet that has workers in the largest company in Orlando ducking for safety. If your family is like ours, then you’re sweating pixie dust right about now.

And to hear “you’re not alone,” isn’t all that helpful is it? It’s like there is a corkscrew angled into your finances on a slow twist.

My husband and I have had a plan for a while now. But so far we haven’t had to implement it. We’re flying through Tums though.

Recently, we’ve been talking about it a lot - the what-if factor. And then he brought it up again. “What would we do?”

“You mean if you came home on a Monday with nowhere to be on Tuesday?”


And even though, that thought had me feeling like a princess all dressed up, trying to plug the leak with a cork that is too swollen to fit.

“Well,” I said, “We would open a bottle of wine.”

‘Cause crying is not in the plan, and really, for that moment nothing changes. Flash flood? Yes, but only if we let it happen that way. The reality: we have to break it down by minutes. He’ll get one more paycheck at least, if not a package, and we would enjoy not having to be up in the morning. Cause we don’t do that enough. We’d get the kids off to school, and we’d get to work on finding him another job.

I laugh at the irony, jobs in general: we hated them for one reason or another last year. But this year, we’re grateful for them. Pay reduction, ok. Crazy boss, fine. Long drive, it’s cool. It’s the same logic we use when we invest into a Money Market, sure were only making eight dollars a month but it beats losing $20,000 a year in stocks.

At my restaurant, I have noticed that employees are working a little bit better too. They’re nicer even. Dare I say? It’s a pleasure to be there.

People have shed entitlement like a down jacket in spring. When I for one say "thank you" to my guests at the bar, I mean it. I certainly don’t feel like it’s my right to work. Even though the state tells me it is.

But for my husband and me, if he were to loose his job, our life would not end. We would hang on to that cork and float until we hit dry land. We would have to look at it like an opportunity, a chance for change. It’s an excuse to do that thing we were always too afraid to start when things were comfortable.

And how would we toast? “Here’s to moving on!” Ting.

Related Articles:
Confessions of a Housewife
Patriotically Impaired
Slowing Down

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Swimming in Circles

by Amy Platon

Why is it that when I cook for my kids, I see beautiful perfectly diced food with a spotless presentation on monkey plates with matching sippy cups, while they see this?

As if I would feed them something that I myself don’t love. Come on, I’m totally on their side. I remember having to eat pea soup as a kid. In fact, when my mom had heard enough of our complaining she actually let us bury it in the backyard!

Not only do I lay off the seasoning when I’m making a meal for my children, but I also delete some ingredients. The ones I know turns them off. Basically I am swimming in circles trying to make their food, not just yummy, but as close to what they are willing to eat as possible. My boy, great eater. My girl, if it ain’t pancakes or chicken nuggets then mommy’s out of luck. Mommy’s out of luck? Yes, because I usually end up making her something else. Alright, I’ll say it! I cave. Wouldn't you?

Then I remembered what my vet once told me about our dog not eating. She said, “Just leave it there for ten minutes or so, and if he doesn’t eat, pull it up. Don’t feed him again until the next mealtime. When he’s hungry enough, he’ll eat.”

Brilliant! That’s it! If she doesn’t eat dinner, then no food till morning - that’s the plan.

So, out comes the grilled chicken and veggies. No funky seasoning. No weird ingredients. Just chicken and veggies steamed in butter. Yummy right? Nope.

“I don’t want this!” She says.

"Well princess, you will eat this, 'cause Mommy’s not going to fix you anything else. If you don’t eat, then no dessert and you won't eat again ‘till breakfast."

She shrinks into the worst posture ever and eats a mere two bites of chicken. “I’m done.”

“Very well.” I say. “Go get into bath.”

Later on that night as I’m laying with her in bed telling her, her bones. She turns to me, “Mommy?”


“I’m ready for breakfast now.”

Related Articles:
Tales from the Sidelines
Confessions of a Housewife