Friday, July 25, 2008

"The Kingdom"

I saw this movie the other night, and if you are at all interested in our government, the Middle East, oil, and/or Muslim faction wars; then you should see this movie. Lots of violence (necessary to storyline, not random "get the rating" crap), so maybe the littles shouldn't be sitting around when you watch. But a good movie. Great cast - Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Chris Cooper.

Universal Pictures' Premiere Of "The Kingdom" - After Party

Premiere of Universal Picture's "The Kingdom" - Arrivals

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Basil Pesto

Just wanted to share a little recipe with you. People love my pesto and it's sooo easy to make. The best part is when your basil plants are going crazy right about now, you make this and freeze it for later use (like winter!)

Basil Pesto from Mama's Kitchen

For 6

3 cups basil, prepared (see below)
1/2 cup veggie or olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts (2 small packages)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
7-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1.5 tsp kosher salt

1. Prepare basil: pull leaves from stems, large and small ones, any that aren't brown or black and wilted. Thoroughly rinse leaves in a collander (salad spinner if you have it).

2. Put ingredients into the blender in the following order: oil, garlic, pinenuts, half of basil, red pepper flakes. Blend on puree using pulse to move the basil down.

3. Once it's fully pureed, add the other half of leaves, salt, and cheese. You may have to push the leaves in occasionally with a spatula.

Pesto tastes best when it's been slightly heated with the pasta or gnocci. So after I have drained my noodles or gnocci, I return them to the pan, spoon in the pesto until everything is fully coated. Leave it on the burner that still has heat, but has been turned off - only for a couple minutes. Be sure to stir to heat and coat.

Optional add-ons:
grilled chicken
andouille sausage
sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms
sun-dried tomatoes

Mama says, "Enjoy!"
Woman wearing oven gloves

Chef looks worried - yes?
Gordon Ramsay Launches BBC Australian Good Food

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Miranda gets a Gig!

I was browsing around Alchemy yesterday on Etsy. It's a classified ad sort of board that allows people to make a public custom request. I search the boards for some custom work that I can do and then bid on the job. I did win a bid yesterday for a custom wrap dress for a lovely person in Silver Spring MD. Can't wait to get started on that :)

But while I was searching around, I also found an ad for a someone who wants a hand drawn dinosaur that can be screenprinted onto a tee shirt. So I wrote her a note, and told her about Miranda and her 85 dinosaur drawings, and that she's only 8, etc. Well, lo and behold, the woman, Annie, picked her for the job! Miranda is about bowled over! Annie thought it was super cool that this little girl could draw some fantastic dinosaurs and chose her over 3 other graphic designers who bid for the job!

So, she'll make $5 and her artwork will be on a tee shirt. A paid artist - Mama's so proud :)

Strange Pictures

I'm trying to win a contest that requires me to post stock photos on my blog everyday for the 3 weeks. So if my pictures don't seem entirely relevant to my posts, that's why. It's hard to find pictures of the silly things I talk about.

Close-up of woman's mouth
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Thinkstock Images Single Image Set
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Socialization for Homeschoolers

My dear friend Jenny sent this to me in an email. I positively love it!

Apparently, the problem with homeschooling is the socialization of
children. In the Kolbe Little Home Journal (Fall 2005), there is a
brief item called "Homeschooling Family Finds Ways to Adapt to a
Public School 'Socialization' Program." Here it is:

"When my wife and I mention we are strongly considering homeschooling our children, we are without fail asked, 'But what about socialization? ' Fortunately, we found a way our kids can receive the same socialization that government schools provide. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie and take his lunch money. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the 'in' crowd,taking special care to poke fun at any physical abnormalities. Fridays will be 'Fad and Peer Pressure Day.' We will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, the most expensive clothes, and the loudest,fastest, and most dangerous car. Every day, my wife and I will adhere to a routine of cursing and swearing in the hall and mentioning our weekend exploits with alcohol and immorality.. .. And we have asked them to report us to the authorities in the event we mention faith, religion, or try to bring up morals and values."

Teenager Being Bullied
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So, for ye of little faith in homeschooling - stuff it!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I'm tired, it's hot, muggy, soupy gross. Virginia is NOT for lovers; it's for gills. Somebody please wake me when September ends! I have all these great designs in my head and am finding it hard to get motivated in the heat. Although I have been sewing clothes like crazy, I need to get back to the handbags.

Summer veggies are coming in nicely at the market - tomatoes, peppers, and patty pans. The basil is lush and so lots of pesto at my house. We've had Yellow Doll Watermelon for the first time ever and were quite surprised by golden fleshed watermelon.

Neighborhood kids have been driving me insane and public school can't start soon enough. Get all those little devils outta here! I've had to ban my kids from interacting with non-homeschooled kids because the info they pass on to my kids would make your hair curl. See mine in the picture from the convention - very curled, bad kids.

What else? Max is halfway through the second semester of First Year Comp. He takes his math placement test next week to see what math he will take in the Fall. Ronan lost his first tooth yesterday and another will follow very soon. Miranda and I start Girl Scouts in the Fall; I don't think she even knows, but I'm looking forward to it!

I'm gearing up for the classes I will teach at the homeschool center starting in September - Word Roots, Latin, Pre-Algebra and Algebra I. I'm offering Knitting, Crochet, Hand and Machine Sewing in my home.

See now? Aren't you tired too?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This Year's Girl

I am smitten! When logging into Etsy yesterday, right there on the front page was the loveliest romantic digital art I've seen in awhile that was affordable. So I began browsing this little shop, and fell in love.

Now, I like fantasy art a lot - fairies, dragons, wizards, space, bare trees, etc. But I never buy any because it would not "go" in any room in my house without it looking my bedroom when I was 13. Really? Should I care? Probably not, but I guess I kind of do. So when I saw this print on the Front Page, I was intrigued. It has the elements of fantasy - digital, dark and sort of monochromatic, ethereal; but there aren't any typical fantasy subjects.

So, what do you think? I bought 6. I couldn't help it. They will be gracing the walls of my craft room. I can't till they get here. Does anyone know how to mat?

Visit This Years Girl today for beautiful digital art that makes you feel like you are really there.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sew Good!

Well, it's official - I'm 'Sew Good'! That's what my new license plate says anyway :) I have been a sewin' fool this week! Sorry for the lack of posts. I have made two tops for myself and two dresses for Miranda. She's working on a neck pillow herself, so the creative juices are flowing around here.

Next week, I'll be including some preview photos from the Fall Collection that goes on sale August 1st.

Don't forget my FREE Shipping promo going on in my shop now. If I get enough sales from this promo, I will make it a permanent thing. Another newsletter will be coming up in a couple of weeks, so be sure to sign up here for the giveaway, specials and news found only there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Convention Escapades

Okay, so here are a few pictures of us at the convention:

We heard some talks on space from some supersmart guys who work for the Space Program. Max of course understood all of it. I just sat there with my jaw hanging open. We saw a few (maybe 10% of the attendees) costumed fans walking around - very imaginative people :) We also accidentally walked into a room where people play those really long strategy games like Dungeons and Dragons. Whoa! I was a little freaked out by the intensity of those guys! This is more than a hobby; it's a way of life for them! I won't say anymore so I don't offend anyone who might like that sort of thing - but dang! get a real life before you get sucked in too far!

More on another day...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wondering what's happening for the Fall?

Callidora is very busy in the craft room! If you didn't get a newsletter with all the fabulous news of Fall Collection, please be sure to sign up it so you won't miss out on any other news or specials.

I'm actually stress-testing one of the Fall travel bags this weekend while in Baltimore. Very exciting!

Friday, July 11, 2008

BaltiCon: Shore Leave 30

Alrighty! We're off to Maryland for the local Star Trek convention! We will be having a Klingon feast on Friday night, convention on Saturday, going to Masquerade to see all the costumed contestants, and partying in Ten Forward or Vic's Lounge on Saturday night.

Max and I will take lots of pictures (no, we're not dressing up! I would only do that if I had a PERFECT costume.) I will post them when we get back - oh happy day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Star Trek: the continuing saga

So I told Max about The Experience closing doors and gave him the option of going this year, before it closes and no big Vegas convention this year or next; or continuing with the original plan. He chose to go this year - to experience The Experience before there is no Experience to experience!

Many many thanks are extended to the Grandmas Deluxe for providing a Grandma Grant that will allow us to take this trip. My sister also happens to be in great need of assistance. She lives in eastern Mohave Desert California and expecting her 4th child in August. It seems no one is brave enough to take care of her 10 yo, 3 yo, almost 2 yo boys, 2 dogs, and 1 kitten for two days and nights while she and hubby are in the hospital. Enter Super Sister to the rescue! Able to corral creeping critters, soothe screaming siblings, and cook nutritional meals in a single skillet. (I can't keep the house clean though - that's up to Fly Lady.)

Max and I will depart for Las Vegas the second week of August and drive to California where my sister will promptly enter the hospital and have a silent, serene, swift delivery. We will entertain the pets and walk the children for a couple of days, ooo and ahhh over the baby for another day. Then back to Vegas we go to experience The Experience.

I'm a huge Hell's Kitchen and Top Chef fan, so we may try to eat a meal at Rock's restaurant. Definitely will be eating at Quark's and any Wolfgang Puck restaurant. We want to go up in the Stratosphere and be at the top and I don't know what else.

This time, when I take pictures with Klingons and Ferengi, I will have them actually printed and not stored on my computer like I did the last time. Only to have them all completely lost due to a lightening storm power surge computer crash 2 months after they were taken.

We are really looking forward to this trip! It will be wonderful to see family and my new niece as well as say goodbye to a very big part of our world. Those who are Trekkies would understand - there is a lot of emotion involved, sort of like a Playoff football game. My only regret is that Blaise won't be able to go and he is a huge fan.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Star Trek: The Experience is Closing It's Doors!

I was quite saddened to learn that Star Trek: The Experience will be closing its doors after 11 years of bringing the Gene Roddenberry universe to our doorstep. The annual convention is going on as usual and has been scheduled already for next year, but the themed attraction will be no more after Sept 1, 2008.

I can remember my first visit there in 1998. They only had the Klingon Encounter back then, but it was fantastic! The model ships, the costumes, the ride itself, and of course, Quark's. I was so thrilled to be there that I snuck a menu home with me - soon to be a collector's item, I'm sure. It was my first trip to Vegas and the only reason I went. I don't even like to gamble. It was only a 2 day trip, having driven from our then-home in Phoenix, and my feet were swollen from the amount of walking that had to be done there. No monorail at that time.

My second trip was in the summer of 2004 with my mother, a gift trip from her boss. She didn't want to go to Vegas, but I convinced that it was tons of fun and you don't even have to gamble. I just wanted to go to The Experience again. Thankfully, she had a great time there, and since we had 5 days, we saw lots and ate lots. I had all these fabulous pictures taken with Klingons; we spent time in Quark's. Borg Invasion 4D was a new ride (scared the patootie off me!) - price was double now; but no matter - it was Star Trek. Much to my chagrin, a manicurist told me that we had missed the convention by a couple of days and that she always did Marina Sirtis' nails. Bummer for me.

So, Max and I had planned to go there next summer for the convention and The Experience as a high school graduation present for him. We were going to fly part of the way, drive some of it, take a couple of weeks and do the whole thing right. Now, this sad news is upon us.

I know they had conventions for years without the Star Trek Experience, but now that it's been there - will it ever be the same? Who makes these decisions and why? 8000 tickets have been sold for this year's convention before this press release. Obviously, people love this!

Tune in later for the continuing saga....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th?

Hope everyone had a happy 4th! We had a great big cookout on Thursday with our homeschooling friends and we had the Grandmas spend the holiday weekend with us. It was good to see everyone and eat lots of good food :) The kids went to see fireworks and that left a nice quiet home for me! Ah - the sound of silence!

How was your 4th?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Did You Get Your Newsletter?

I hope so! It is the first time I've sent one out, so I just want to make sure that you got if you signed up for it. Check your Spam folder. If it's still not there, then please sign up for the next newsletter through the new link on my blog. Signing up also makes you eligible for the monthly giveaway.

Here's what will be given away this month:

a summery No Hurt Reversible Headband, a pair of threaded crystal earrings and matching bangle bracelets. Sign up now!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Computer :)

Have I told you how much I love my husband? What a wonderful man! We got our stimulus check a couple of weeks ago and we had already talked about how badly we needed a new front door. The frame is crooked and has been for years - letting in lots of hot in the summer and cold in the winter. We had 2 last windows to put in from last year's home improvement project. College to pay for, you know the list goes on and on. So, of his own accord, he asked me if I wanted a new computer. Me! Wow! A new computer? I said no, I don't really need it, we can use the money for new carpet, kitchen floor, etc. And he said, " I don't know how you can stand using that computer! You're trying to run a business and that thing is always frozen or hung up on something. You can time a page flip with a calendar!" This is all true, but I had been using it that way for so long I really didn't notice anymore. It's like I'm a computer enabler - I know it's trying and means well; I'll go switch over the laundry while it's trying to flip a page - yes, I'd make excuses for the computer.

So now, I type to you on my brand spanking new Gateway computer! It's beautiful, quiet, sleek, and blazing fast - everything you want new technology to be! It even has speech recognition, so watch out Computer- here comes Star Trek!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Monthly Giveaway Winner!

I have tried to notify Gae Gae by email that she is the winner, so please respond Gae Gae! I can't wait to send you this fabulous prize :)

Remember to sign up if you haven't done so yet. I have removed the NotifyList box and created a link going straight to my shop's newsletter sign up page. So if you had trouble signing up before, please sign up there. The newsletter has been sent this evening, so if you did not receive one, please follow the link to sign up.


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Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it. - Lady Duff-Gordon

Please visit my online shop, Callidora's, for clothing and accessories. I'm adding new items all the time and I'm always happy to do custom work in any price range. You can email me with any requests and we can create your unique, handmade item together.

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