Sunday, April 26, 2009

Old Is Cute

by Amy Platon

We just had a lovely week. My kids’ Auntie stayed with us for 7 days, which meant some much needed fun and relaxation. It’s the only thing I would change if I could do it all again, I’d live closer to family.

It’s funny what memory does. It’s like it holds out. My memory of Auntie had her pretty much stuck at oh, 45. So every time we get together, I’m surprised at how much older she has gotten.

The things I’ve noticed has me on the look out in my own life. For instance, you know you’re old when you use the window in your wallet (the one that’s meant for your driver’s license) for your insurance card. You also know you’re getting older when you spill your coffee on the floor as you walk, but you have no idea until twenty minutes later when you’re wondering who spilled coffee all over the floor. (And some of you know, I don’t drink coffee.) You also know you’re old when you say stuff like “What is a blog honey?”

I say all of this in love, and because old is cute-when it’s on someone else.

So while Auntie was here, husband and I took off for one night to relive our youth downtown. Oh don’t laugh like you haven’t done that.

Again, my memory left off when I was in my 20’s. But oddly, I didn’t feel old when we were out. We had some drinks and watched a cover band play songs older than us, and we had fun. Then we started saying to one another, "Hey, remember Barbarellas? Wonder if they are still playing the Smiths."

So we payed our tab and marched down to what has now been renamed Independence Bar. And they are still playing the Smiths! We got carded at the door (how cute) and our adrenaline was on the rise as we realized the place hadn’t really changed that much. We grabbed a beer at the front bar and made our way to the back of the club where all the dancing takes place.

We arrived to an entire club (I mean entire club) of people rocking out to Sister’s of Mercy - we were loving it. Although, as our eyes adjusted to the smoke and strobes, we began to sense something was not quite right. (No it hasn’t become a gay club – not that there’s anything wrong with that, I have friends who are gay.) But it turned out that everyone dancing was in their late 30’s early 40’s. And it was like the exact same crowd we remembered when we used to go there, only fifteen years older, fatter, and poorly dressed. Oh my god! Husband and I looked at each other and our mouths dropped. “It’s us!”

We drank our beer and he grabbed my hand - not a moment too soon. We hit the dance floor and danced like two birds splashing in the fountain of youth. We blended right in and had the best time we’ve had in forever!

Cheers - Here's to gettin' old! And having A Beautiful Life, hope I'm cute!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Super Dad and Captain Hell No

by Amy Platon

I’ve always known that I have some pretty amazing friends. But I had no idea that they were married to amazing men.

So, during all this economic “meltdown” stuff I’ve been hearing on the news, I have been in complete fear that if my hubby lost his job, we would be screwed. I had a plan, (here's my write-up on that one) but it had holes and I hadn’t tested it out. After all, this would be our first real family crisis. How do I know what’s gonna work and what’s not? So, all I did for a week straight as my husband’s company rolled through the layoff process was pray (or maybe it was more like begging). Anyway, I prayed that my husband would keep his job, and life would continue for our little family right where it was. Father, Son and The Holy Spirit (I think that's how it goes).

And we were spared. Husband has his job and layoffs are done! Shew, Amen and Hallelujah.

Unfortunately, my friend and her husband, we’ll call him Super Dad, weren’t so lucky. SD is the sole income for his little family of four, who came home on Friday with nowhere to be on Monday. My friend and I traded ideas from my plan, cause the way I see it, if she didn’t have one, she could borrow mine. Meanwhile, Super Dad locked himself in his home office and didn’t come out until he had two interviews lined up.

To make a long and scary 5 day story short, Super Dad went on two interviews and landed a job, right in his field. Out of work for a total of 1 week. Amazing!

And as if that weren’t amazing enough, I have another friend who is married to, oh we can call him Captain Hell No. He was miserable with his job. He was working for one of those bosses that couldn’t be pleased. And after just six months of employment, working OT out the A** and only coming home to kissing his kids goodnight, he chose himself and quality of life over his job. He submitted his resignation with no job back-up plan. He could not take another day of being away from his family. Crazy right? Captain Hell No, locked himself in his home office and didn’t come out until he had a job. Out of work a total of 4 days.

I am so proud of my friends and the men they have chosen to spend their lives with.

Those are my friends, and these are their husbands! Dun, dun…..

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sidewalk Art Explosion

Photo Phinish Phriday: It's quite the masterpiece huh? We're so proud! You have a photo to share? Come join the fun!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Finding My Stride

by Amy Platon
Our Family Photo by Judy Hills

So I found myself driving somewhere and thinking of all the things I have to do. That’s what driving does to me. I plan my life behind the wheel. (And under the showerhead and behind the vacuum handle.)

So on this particular occasion, I was going over everything, and I started to panic. Not like bee in the car swerving or anything, but I started to feel overwhelmed.

Like most moms, I have this ongoing list of core values. I want to be a good mom and wife. I want to be good at my job. I want to be a safe driver. I want to be a helpful person. Blah blah blah…. You know the list - you have one too.

So, I decided that all those expectations were starting to wear a hole in my jeans - because I’ve been falling down. For example, while I’m busy being a safe driver, I’m not being a good mom, or a good listener because the kids are trying to tell me about their day or pass me their trash or asking me to look at their Play Dough creation. All while I’m trying to focus on driving.

Or lets say I want to be good at my job, and I want to be a good wife, but if I bring work home with me, then I’m not paying attention to my husband. See what I’m saying, it’s all too crazy.

Ok, so back behind the wheel. I’m driving, and getting overwhelmed. But there’s nothing I can do that minute to make things any better for myself. I’m stuck behind the wheel after all. All I can do is drive. Then it hits me. Not the random street cone thing, I was able to avoid that, but this thought. I am driving, and that is the only thing I can do at my best right now. So I drive. 100 percent focused on driving.

Once I got to work, I put the keys in my purse, and I decided that I still can’t make the other stuff any better right now - but I can do my job well. So I gave my job 100 percent while I was there. When I got home, I put the keys in my purse, and hubby was home. I was able to be a wife 100 percent while he was there.

So, I learned that if I break my expectations down to manageable parts, and give 100 percent while I’m there, then I’m hitting all my goals. (Not the curb, haven’t hit one of those in a while since I figured this out.) And the driving with the kids thing, well I’ve just let myself off the hook for that one. Driving is more important, and I can be a good mom when were safely parked.

Just thought I’d share a little something from my Mommy Bag.

More mommy bag Stories:
What's Your Story?
Laying Off the Tears
Candy Land

Tweet, Tweet!

There is no denying that time moves on. Spring is in full swing!

Here is the beautiful proof of that. Meet little big brother:

We are enjoying the little nest that was made in our fence vines. We are so proud of mommy bird too. She is doing such a fabulous job with her new ones.

Here's the hungry family. Looks like three of five made it. Does anyone know what happens to the egg shells? They're not below the nest. Does mom fly them off for some reason?

Visit Wordless Wednesday for more posts like this.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kitchen Inspiration

by Amy Platon

Do you hear that? In case you cant make it out- that is the sound of my husband warming up the table saw. And it takes a lot of inspiration to get him to start warming that thing up. I mean, I can ask him for weeks to start something creative for me, which could turn into months, unless, I’ve now learned, he is given a picture of the finished product.

And if you haven’t guessed it, well then let me explain. I have this kitchen issue. It’s well, blah. But now, I have a plan for it, in the form of a photo consultation by Layla Palmer. And here it is folks.

I’m so excited to get started on this. The columns are a great option and we can build that our selves. I love the trough style sink and I’m looking into that as an option. The main focus will of course be the pillars and the bead board she has around the kitchen and in front of the stools. Love the stool covers too, but not sure if I can purchase them or have to make them. Either way, I’ll get it done.

So we’re super excited to get this spring project under way, and once it’s complete, I’ll post it back here. Then you’re all invited over!

If you decide to use Layla for a photo consultation, be sure to tell her you saw what she did here! It’s so worth the $50. Now go get to loving your home, we're gonna be in them for a while...

Wanna see how this redesign fits in with the rest of my house?

Monday, April 6, 2009

First Fridays!

Hey there fellow Bloggers. I would like to announce that on the First Friday of each month I will be posting a link to your best light hearted funny posts that have to do with wifeology, couponing, mommyhood, dreamcatching, or just plain interesting takes on life as we know it.

I have about five spots available each month and all entries must be submitted for consideration by the end of the month. To submit, simply email me your link and a short description of the post to adplaton1 [at] hotmail [dot] com. Then subscribe or check back on the First Friday of the new month to see if your post has been chosen. In order to be a winner you must have a link back to Scribble Ink Cafe. I have created this button for your sidebar but a text link is fine too.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing your posts!

Here are some examples:
Throw It to Me
Live Long and Coupon
Swimming in Circles
Still Learning

Today is First Friday of May, but I didn't have any submissions for my link post. So - No May FF. I'm gonna shoot for June. And to clear some things up, it doesn't have to be a new post. It should be a link to your "best" post. You can repost it as new on your site or you can link to the original one, up to you. But in honor of May FF, I came across this post to share. It's copy heavy, but super funny to any blog CEO: Run the Blog Cops are Here!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Coupon Anxiety

by Amy Platon

I had my first coupon anxiety dream last night. It was bound to happen, I do treat it like another job. You kind of have to if you want to maximize your deals.

My usual anxiety dreams as they relate to my real job go like this: I arrive at work and my bar is filling up with people and I can’t help them because I have forgotten my shoes. Then in my dream I begin to think that I could go ahead and help them so I don’t get weeded (that’s what we call busy). Yeah I’m willing to serve them anyway, I’m a go-getter that way. Then as I begin to approach the guests I get so self-conscious about not having my shoes, I can’t do it.

So last night, I made a last minute run to the grocery store, and pulled out a BOGO deal from a competitor grocery store. Hubby was with me and so were the kids. I was a little excited because my husband actually could witness how I work. The girl scans the groceries and then tells me “Uh, ma’am.” My eyes meet hers as I realize that I am the Ma’am she is speaking to. “You can’t use this coupon here, we don’t carry this product.”

Now, I’ve used this very coupon at this grocery store in the past, so I know they can do it. And I have a choice. I could argue my point, which my thoroughly embarrassed husband would be mortified over, or I can just suck it up and leave. I chose to leave. And because I didn’t get it out, I was boiling mad over it. I figure, I’ll go to the grocery store that actually placed the ad, after all they deserve the business, they spent the money to run it. Why should I risk my dignity for some teenage checkout girl who is going rogue? (Remember, I’m boiling mad.)

The inconsistencies were pissing me off, because this has happened once before. And then I learned that my neighbor was able to get the deal that they told me couldn’t be done. Ahhhhhh!

I thought about the incident all night. I thought about all the things I would have said if I were alone. I would have gone to the service desk, I would have talked to a manager, but I decide I will write the manager and possibly corporate.

So later on that night I somehow calm myself down, and fall asleep. But it was one of those nights where I was waking up with every turn. You would think I would have been continuing to reel over my grocery store event, but instead, I was in CVS compiling my coupons and going over the addition in my head. I was panicking because I thought my coupons had expired and I didn’t know what date it was. My watch didn’t have the date on it (which it does in real life). But the good news was that I was fully dressed and had my shoes on. Each time I handed the cashier my coupon I panicked that she would tell me I couldn’t use it. Ahhhhhh!

All I can say is that hardcore couponing, isn’t for everyone. You have to be ready to fight, you have to know all the rules (and print them out and keep them on hand) if you want to win. It’s rough (and sometimes embarrassing if you’re holding up the line). It takes dedication and perseverance because the stores are playing it tough cause more people are doing it. But in coupons, I’ve learned that only the strong survive. I’ve been knocked down (twice now) and I’m not too sure I like it.

Maybe I just need a little more training, perhaps a pep talk? What’cha got?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Roll Awards

(Part 2) by Amy Platon

Here’s the second in“stall”ment of the Roll Awards, the Half Used Roll Award.

(Hey if you're new to this event, I'm ranking public restrooms. Stop laughing, I'm trying to be serious here! Check out Roll Awards Part 1 and you'll be all up to speed.)

So anyway, I have a feeling you’re not going to believe this one. I didn’t see it coming either. However, that said, this recipient deserves this award (at the very least) for the sheer surprise of it.

The newest winner of a Roll Award is….McDonalds.

Ok. Ok. Stay with me! I live in a new area of town. And we are lucky to have the newest version of lots of chains. Our McDonalds is really impressive. There are granite countertops, flat screen TVs (the’re still called TVs right?), pendant lighting over each table, and stone walls. It’s cozy like a lodge and yet open and airy with lots of windows.

Well, the bathrooms are just as thought filled. It invites you in with stone walls, granite counters and there are decorative mirrors at varying heights all over the wall. Thick ornate frames hang like chandelier earrings as they surround the user. The lighting is subtle and the tumbled stone floors lend to its spa-like feel. We have automatic flushing sensored water faucets and waive-hi paper towel dispensers. (The trash cans even say thank you in this place).

Music plays softly, and the stalls are oversized. No shimmying around the toilet to close the door (ah, ah, Target. Oh, bless me.)

Lavender scented soap and lightly scented air freshener floats through the air, which seems to be kept a cool 76 degrees. Which I’ve noticed is an optimal temperature for bathrooms, anything warmer feels balmy. And there just isn’t anything cute about a balmy public restroom.

Just as you leave you are presented a full-length mirror, to check your totally hot McDonalds attire, cause don’t we all dress up when we go out to eat there? But hey, I might consider it next time. They earned it.

There aren’t any great kid perks with this restroom or it could have been a contender for first place. The first place winner is the package deal, and you won’t want to miss that presentation. So check back here for those results, and until then don’t be ashamed of your bathroom standards. Maybe I’ll see you around town. If I do, I’ll know it’s you cause people like us always leave the bathroom with our sterilized hands held up or lined with paper towels.

Congratulations Lee Vista McDonalds! Nice job.

Related Stories:
Roll Awards (Part 1)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday!

by Amy Platon

Welcome Bloggers. Do you have any "Get it done" solutions to add to mine? Please post your tips or a link in the comments section. And by all means stay a while and read around Scribble Ink Cafe (there isn't a bad table in the house!) If you like what you're reading, please leave me a "tip" by becoming a wall-flower (follower).

I did solve my own dilemma here, but I want to know what you do to get your stuff done fast! Thanks.

After dropping my daughter off at school, I came home to an empty house. And for a writer that is pure gold.

But today, I just had too much to do. So I couldn’t indulge. There were bills to pay, beds to make, clothes to fold (then put away). So when I got home, I knew I had to get busy fast in order to have a few minutes to write at the end of the day. Only fast didn’t feel likely, since I worked the night before, sluggish was a little more my mood.

So, I walked into the kitchen to the sound of the dishwasher working away at cleaning the dishes. I forgot that I had turned it on before I left, which I rarely do. Usually, I run the dishes at night.

But there was something consoling about the washer being on when I got home. It was the sound of - me too, you’re not alone, hey lady - we’re on the same team. That, for a mom, is pure platinum.

So I raced the machine. I tried to get my stuff done before the machine was done with its dishes. And it wasn’t that I wanted to beat the machine, that would be childish and I’m just not that competitive. It was more that I wanted us to be done together. Ok, so I did a teeny victory dance when I won.

But I think really, it’s a sound of things getting done, in progress, on their way that had me motivated to get going. Cause in my mind all I had to do was “finish up” the work, not “get started” on it.

And ain’t that the truth? Finishing up on the work is way easier.

So here’s a little nugget from my mommy bag of advice, if you can leave something for yourself, a little present for the future, then I say do it. Do it often. Start something before you go to bed so that in the morning you only have to finish it up. Leave the washer on, lay out your clothes, just make the sandwich for your kids lunch, so in the morning you only have to finish assembling it.

It’ll have you feeling rich!

Share the wealth. What’s your story?

Related Articles:
Still Learning
Throw It to Me!
My New Stray