Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This one's for you Val.....

I just wanted to post a special message to my friend Valerie. She is the one who inspired me to start this blog and one of my few "blogger" friends. She always posts lil comments to me about the blog I post. None of my other friends really blog, so her comments mean the world to me! I know other "non-bloggers" read my blogs, but Val is the one who always comments. I just wanted to post a "THANK YOU" Val!!!!! You are the best!

Shopping Update

Val left a comment on my "Material Girl" blog. She asked me how I felt after not buying anything. You know what, I feel great. It is still difficult. When we were at the grocery store on Sunday I really, really, really wanted to buy the new Life & Style magazine (my guilty pleasure), but I resisted. My heart knew that I would not find happiness from buying, but my head just wasn't listening. I still think my head thinks that some form of happiness will come from things. I will be glad to get through 2 full weeks and notice the difference in my checkbook. :)

I haven't started my 'material purge' yet, but I did take 'before' pictures. After I have completed the purge, I will post before and after pictures so you can see the results. I am really excited to find a day to devote to downsizing. I told my mom that I was going to write a book about my experience and call it "Full Closet, Empty Life". (even though I don't believe my life is empty by any means, but the closets don't bring fulfillment)

I must admit, I still really want those shoes that I never bought online.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

M&M's

My M&M Personality

Go to http://www.becomeanmm.com/ to create your own M&M personality

Two thumbs down

Keith and I watched about a zillion movies last weekend. One of the movies we rented was 'Running With Scissors'. I wish I would have ran with some scissors and fallen on them before I wasted some of my Saturday afternoon watching this movie. I should have known better- I read the book and really liked it. There was no way the movie was going to do the book justice. As a matter of fact, the movie in comparison to the book, was a big disappointment. The book is very detailed and descriptive, with extremely developed characters. That would be very difficult to capture in a movie. We actually turned the movie off before it was even over.

I don't recommend the movie, if you want the real story (and it is a doozy of a story), read the book. It's worth it.

Time for a tune up

I hate putting money into my car. I know, I know, in the long run it is an investment. Blah, blah, blah. Doesn't matter to me, I still hate putting money into my car. I don't like buying new tires, I don't like paying for oil changes, heck, I don't even like purchasing gas!

Well, it is time for me to break down and make an appointment for my lil VW Beetle. I need an oil change, my right side break light is out, plus my brakes are squeaking, so I suppose my brake pads need changed too! Oh, and did I mention that I am about on "E"?! Talk about everything at once.

I guess the good thing about all of this is that I will only need to take my car to the shop once. One stop shopping!

PS. I still haven't bought anything new- it has been one week and one day now.

Monday, February 26, 2007

From our kitchen to yours.....

Keith and I had a great weekend! We were the laziest I can remember and it was fantastic!
I had the idea to make a lil "fondue" at home. I urge y'all to give it a try.....
We melted some chocolate/peanut butter chips on the stove. While that was melting, I cut up some bananas and put those on a plate. When the chocolate was melted (which doesn't take long by the way), I poured the chocolate on the banana slices. You could pour the melted chocolate in a bowl and dip the bananas, in typical fondue fashion. Mmmm! So good! We are going to be making our own fondue again, very soon. Next time, I'm going to add pineapple and strawberries too.

Oh, and for you smoothie lovers out there, this is our new favorite smoothie recipe- we take a banana, vanilla yogurt, tablespoon or two of peanut butter, and some chocolate soy milk- blend and enjoy! If you love peanut butter and chocolate, this smoothie is for you!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ode to Oscar Fashion

Since the Academy Awards are tonight, I just had to post some of my favorite Oscar dresses from previous years....























Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away

It is raining in St. Louis today. I think it is supposed to rain all day. My husband and I have had what I consider to be the perfect rainy day so far: workout, conversation and coffee, movie rentals from Blockbuster. We are home now, getting ready to settle in on our couch and watch some movies before we go to church tonight. We rented 3 movies for the rest of the weekend; The Departed, Running With Scissors, and For Your Consideration. Oh, we also watched The Illusionist last night and we highly recommend it! Here's to our perfect rainy day!

Material Girl

"Everyone is living in a material world, and I am a material girl".
Those lyrics could not apply to me more. My shopping habits are under much scrutiny for the next two weeks. Let me explain.....

As I have mentioned before, I am attending small group study on Monday nights. Every week at the end of our study we have to come up with an 'application' for our lives and report back the following week. The applications are supposed to fall in line with our topic of study for that week as well as be 'personal, specific, measurable'. This week it was difficult for me to come up with an application. I loved our study, but wasn't sure how to apply it to my own life. Well, we did talk about certain emotions or characteristics that we may not always be honest about, including self-absorption, discontentment and jealousy. I decided my personal application would have to do with that.

I think I have blogged something like this before, but in a much more light-hearted way-my shopping habits. I don't know if this stems from a form of self-absorption, discontentment or maybe even jealousy. I want new things, and I want them alot. My group asked "what kind of new things?" I said "anything-shoes, clothes, jewelry, books, dvds, candles, pillows, picture frames, cd's, furniture, you name it". Actually, not only to do I want new things, I purchase new things alot. I don't know why I do this. I am not sure if it is because of a form of self absorption- wrapped up in making myself, my home, my life, look a certain way. I am not sure if I shop because of discontentment. Am I trying to fill my life with certain objects that will never bring me happiness? I know in my heart that things will not fill any voids I feel, that I need to turn to God for happiness. Why don't I live like that? Maybe I shop out of jealousy. Not jealousy towards one particular person, but more along the lines of "we are almost 30 years old, we should have this and that by now". One of my group members said that she heard a speaker once and our generation expects to have things that took our parents 30 years to acquire. How true is that? That really hit a cord with me.

So, my application is not to buy anything new until our next group meeting. Normally this would be one week, but we aren't meeting this Monday, so I will go two weeks. I know this sounds so shallow- trying not to buy something new for two weeks, c'mon. When I think about buying something, I am praying to God to open my eyes and heart and truly understand why I feel this need to have new things all the time. I'm taking it to an extreme right now- only food and gas are my purchases. I really need new mascara, my old tube is almost completely dried up, but I am not even going to purchase that. And trust me, this is hard because Monday before I went to small group I was doing a bit of online shopping and had two pairs of shoes in my online cart. I didn't buy them before I left for group, so now they are just sitting in that cart, maybe never to get purchased!

I am hoping to learn so much about myself with this application. I would like to know where this desire for "things" came from. My mom certainly is not like this, I was not brought up this way. I suppose it has alot to do with my friends and society in general- wanting to keep up with a certain lifestyle. I also realize that I need to take it even a step further and do some "material purging"- going through our apartment and getting rid of those things that we do not use, including clothes, shoes, art, purses, decorations. I was talking to Keith last night, telling him that I like opening up my closet and seeing it stuffed full of clothes. How self absorbed is that? Why on earth does that make me happy? I wear the same 10 shirts in the winter, the same 10 shirts in the summer and the same 3 pairs of jeans year round. Why do I hold onto all the others? So just in case a friend comes over and opens my closet they can think "oh, Corie has so many clothes?". Who cares?!?! I am considering taking a day off of work, a personal day, to start this "material purging" process.

This has turned into a very long blog. I'll update you on the outcome of my application. I should really challenge myself and go to the mall with friends. It's easy not to shop when you are sitting at home!


Happiness is not having what you want, it is wanting what you have. ~unknown

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A thought for Tuesday....

This was a quote that we had in our small group notes last night. I thought I would share it with all of you~

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." ~ Henri Nouwen

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My Funny Valentine

what was left our our dessert plate.....nothing!

My husband told me that he was planning a late Valentine's Day surprise for me. He wouldn't tell me what it was, but told me that I would need to be ready to leave our apartment at 7:00 on Friday night and to have an overnight bag packed. I LOVE surprises! I am not good at keeping surprises, but Keith is. He didn't need to do anything else for Valentine's Day. He cooked me dinner and dessert on Wednesday, plus cleaned up afterwards! That would have been more than enough. But, I must admit, I was anxiously awaiting the surprise. I came home from work on Friday, packed my bag and got ready to go. Keith came home from work and told me we had 7:30 dinner reservations. He took me to my favorite restaurant of all time- The Melting Pot. We had a lovely, romantic corner booth. The food was good, the conversation was even better, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect meal. As you can see from the picture above, we ate every last morsel from our plate! (For those of you who don't know, The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant. You have four courses and you cook right there at your table.) After the Melting Pot we checked into our room at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark. This is a new hotel built overlooking the new Busch Stadium. It was a nice little getaway, to stay in a hotel in the city, even though we live in St. Louis.

I did manage to make a mistake while we were there. I was looking for music on the tv and came across a station where you can access all these cd's. I chose Norah Jones. The tv told me that we would get a 5 minute preview. What it didn't tell me was, if you didn't turn off the station after the 5 minute preview, you paid $14.99 for two hours of music! So, we were charged $14.99 for a Norah Jones cd that is sitting in our collection at home! I felt like such a dork. I had to take Keith to Uncle Bill's House of Pancakes the next morning to make up for that lil mistake! Lesson learned.

So, basically, my husband won major points this week/weekend. He is always amazing, but the last few days he has really gone above and beyond his normal "amazing-ness".

Thank you honey for wonderful Valentine's Days!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Creativity at it's best....

My Aunt Shelley sent this picture. It was such a cute idea that I had to share it. Her grandson's birthday was yesterday. She made this "penguin" for him. It is snow that she kept in her freezer, packed like the penguin's body. Tristin's present is in an egg that is packed inside of the snow! She told him that he cannot bust the penguin to get the egg out. He had to wait for it to melt or find another way to melt the snow (she suggested putting it in the bathtub with him). I don't know what the gift was inside, but this is the most creative wrapping job I have ever seen!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness Week

I just learned that February 12-18, 2007 is "Random Acts of Kindness Week".
What a great week. I wish I would have known this three days ago. (Not that I should need a designated week to do random acts of kindness)

I am going to try to commit a random act of kindness today and for the next 3 days.
I urge you all to try as well.....
If you are having trouble thinking of ideas- here are a few suggestions:

  • Smile at everyone you walk past
  • Send an anonymous bouquet of flowers to a resident at a nursing home
  • Give another driver the close parking spot
  • Donate blood
  • Shovel your neighbor's driveway
  • Write letters to your parents or children and let them know how special they are
  • Put change in someone's expired parking meter
  • Give hugs to your friends and loved ones
  • Give everyone a compliment
  • In a drive thru, pay for the car's order behind you
  • Adopt an animal from the Humane Society
  • Offer your time as a Big Brother or Sister
  • Make a special treat for co-workers or Bible Study
  • Call a loved one just to say "I'm thinking about you"
  • Make amends with someone you have been holding a grudge against

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." ~ Aesop

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Bonding Weekend!!!


My niece, Riley, is coming for the weekend tomorrow!!! I am so excited. Her dad is dropping her off in STL on his way to Tennessee. Keith and I get to have Riley be our guest all weekend. She has never come to STL by herself before. It will be our first time to have Riley all to ourselves in the city. We have lots of fun plans and she has no idea what we have in store for her. Everything is a surprise. I took a day off work tomorrow since she will be arriving around 8:30 am. We will just lounge around the apartment for awhile. Then I plan on taking her to see an afternoon matinee of Charlotte's Web (one of my all time favorite children stories!). After our movie (since Uncle Keith will be at work all day) we will be coming back to the apartment to make Valentine's Day cookies. When Keith gets home we are making individual pita pizzas for dinner and I rented 3 movies- How to Eat Fried Worms, The Chronicles of Narnia and Ice Princess. Or, we could always pop in one of the Harry Potter movies. I told Ry to pack a good book, so maybe we will read a few chapters before bed. Saturday morning she will come with me to the gym while I work out and then we are heading to The Magic House. This will be a first time for Ry and myself! I can't wait to touch the electric ball that will make our hair stand on end! Saturday night we are going to go to Forest Park and ice skate on the outdoor rink. Sunday will be our lounge day...maybe watch a movie we didn't get a chance to watch and just hang out.
I am seriously so excited for her visit. She is the most amazing little girl and I want to cherish the moments I have with her while she is still young. We've always had a very special bond. I can't wait to make some great memories this weekend!!!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

For no reason.....

Keith and I at the Children's Museum

I posted this picture because my blog needed a picture. It's been awhile. This was taken at my nephew's 1st Birthday Party. Keith and I had so much fun at the museum- just like a couple of kids!



Redemption Series Update

Oh, and if anyone is interested-

The Redemption Series I wrote about a few posts back- well, the other books have not disappointed. I have read the first 4 books now. I have the 5th book and will probably start it tonight. Seriously, if you read at all, check these books out!!!

Groupie

I am officially a "groupie" again! Oh, how I have missed it....

Ok, I better explain, as I am sure you might be confused by now. Our church does "small groups". Some churches call them "bible studies" or "lifebuilders". It's just a group of people meeting once a week to discuss the week's message more in depth or how to apply biblical principles to our every day lives. Plus, when you attend a church as large as Metro, it is a great way to get to know other members on a more personal level. If you aren't a part of a small group or chuch ministry, it is easy to "fall through the cracks" and never meet other members.

I was attending another small group over a year ago. Things changed, the group changed, and I ended up leaving the group. I hadn't gone to another small group since. I didn't realize how much I missed it, or how much my spiritual growth was "stunted" because of it. Until now....
My dear friend, Annie, and her husband, Roger, became a host home for a new small group this year. I thought- here is my chance to join group again. There were a thousand reasons for me not to go- too long of a drive to IL, the group starts late meaning I will have a late night on Mondays, Keith can't go with me,...... But, I went in spite of the reasons. The reasons I should be going totally outweighed the reasons not to go. I am so glad that I did.

I missed the in depth discussions. I missed the way that the topics make you really look at how you are living your life. I missed the fact that I know I can count on this group of people to pray for me and that I can pray for them in return. I just missed it........
Plus, it gives me a chance to spend quality time with my friend Annie.

Mondays used to be my least favorite day of the week. Not anymore.......