Wednesday, July 27, 2011 is already update & some show-n-tell

Wow, I can't believe that it is already Wednesday...and it has been a week since I have taken the time to post. However, last weekend I was in Las Vegas for the Edible Arrangement Franchise Convention> It was a good weekend - the sessions and presentations from the corporate staff was very informative and inspirational. I met some other Franchise owners who also provided some great ideas and tips on running the store, especially during the big holiday times. Our manager who came a long with us, also enjoyed all the information and training he got and came back to the store on Monday inspired. Aside from the convention, we did find some time to walk the Las Vegas "strip" as they call it...where all the casinos are located. However, walking in 90-100 degree weather at 9pm is a little much. We walked through many of the casinos - to take a break from the heat & enjoy the air conditioning. If you have never been to LV, walking through each casino is pretty amazing. Forget the gaming areas for there is much, much more in each building. For example in The Venetian Casino, the area where all the shops & restaurants are is like a little Italian village complete with a canal running through it. was a great weekend!

Back home, this week is the last week for Robert's morning hockey clinic - all eight weeks of it. Once complete he will be able to focus on his summer homework for his honors & AP classes which is due the first week of school, in addition to a test they administer the first day as well (school starts up Aug. 22). Matthew is still busy working at the local city summer camp as a Junior Counselor, which he really is loving. He will continue this for the next few weeks, ending on Aug. 12; after which it will be time for school registration activities and preparation for the first day. Amazing how quickly the summer goes by.

Well enough of the updates...on to some show-n-tell. I have received 2 more ornaments from the Ornament Swap Group since my last post.

First up is the ornament I received from Sharon - it is absolutely beautiful....

Designer - Bent Creek
Design - The Holly Berry Sampler
Fabric - 28ct Tea Dyed Monoco
Fiber - DMC & Mill Hill Beads
Stitched one over one - very tiny :)

Look at the detail of the finishing on the sides - it is beautiful
 The second one is from Conny - it is lovely with the little charm and beads...

Designer - LHN
Design - Silent Night

Don't you just love the little snowflake charm and the
Holly Berry beading :)
Just one more to go and my 2011 Ornaments from the Ornament Swap Group is complete. Boy, I am so grateful to be a part of this group. Everyone does such a beautiful job on these! And adding in the ones I received last year, my Christmas tree this year is going to be full of lovelies :)

That's about all I have for you on this Wednesday morning. I hope that things are well with you! Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No Whining this Wednesday!

Once again, the mailman graces my mailbox with another beautiful Ornament from Angela of the Ornament Swap group...

So cute, don't you think? Angela wrote in the card that came in the package that this ornament represents her, for it is her favorite snowman design. The designer is Plum Pudding Needleart and titled "All the trimmings". She stitched it on 32ct mushroom jobelan using DMC. I love it...thank you so much Angela. I am getting spoiled; it is like Christmas in July - just a little warmer than it would be in December :)

Well, tomorrow afternoon I leave for Las Vegas. I am going there to attend the Edible Arrangement franchise convention. I am going in place of DH so that I can attend the manager certification class on Friday to be offically certified. We are also sending one of our supervisors from Store #2 so that he can officially be certified, too. Once certified as an EA Manager (or owner in my case), we can sign up for other seminars on Saturday. It should be fun. This is the kind of information/training DH received when he went out to Conneticut last November for his certification training. Between all the seminars and sessions, there will be a little free I could walk around the strip...but I will wait and see how the weekend goes before I make any non-convention plans.

That is about it for Wednesday. I hope that you are having a good day. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday's mumblings - a surprise in the mail and a review of a family day.

I will start off with a little show and tell today...lookie what the post person put in my mailbox today:

It is the first ornament from my ornament swap is from Lisa V in Austraila. Isn't it beautiful!!! It is stitched and finished so beautifully! And I thought that hanging it on my orange tree was the perfect place for a photo of an ornament...especially one from "down under" where it is winter (huh? anyone follow my train of thought?) Anyway, I am not sure who the designer is or what the pattern kind of looks like 3 different ones, but I am sure that Lisa will let me know :) Thank you again, Lisa, I love it!

Yesterday...Sunday...we had a family day and not all of it was spent at the store. My morning started out with a wonderful 12.9 mile jog/run. I went out about 6am and caught a mommy turkey and Jr hanging out on our street (which I tried to get a photo of with the camera on my phone - wish it turned out a little better). It has been a long time since we have seen the flocks of turkeys. Since we have moved here the flocks have definitely have grown in size and it looks like we have a new generation...
After the run, I came back home in plenty of time to get breakfast around for the family before going to get cleaned up so that we all could go into Store #1 together. There was a little fruit prep and one arrangement for early delivery that we wanted to help get out before...before we let our employees run the store.


We left the store in capable hands and took off the Half Moon Bay, CA to be exact. During the last two summers we use to take day trips to Half Moon Bay (it is only 45minutes to an hour away) to explore the rocky beaches and eat at our favorite restaurant: Sam's Chowder House. Home of the famous Lobster Roll:

...which is what DH and Robert enjoyed. Matthew had fish and chips while I had a Crab Louie salad - this is after we enjoyed the Captain's Platter (which had oysters, mussels, cocktail shrimp, tuna poke, etc), a Shrimp Cocktail and a Seaweed Salad for appetizers. It has been a long time since we have splurged like this, enjoying food and family time.

After the wonderful meal, we went outside to walk around on the beach and the rocky break (a wall of rocks built by man to create a little calmer body of water to keep boats). The boys liked looking in the cracks and crevices, spying starfish and crabs. It was a nice day to walk out on the beach - not too warm and not too cold (another not-so-good photo taken by my camera phone). Slightly overcast, but the majority of the morning fog had burned off. Perfect!
Between having a full stomach and a nice walk in the ocean was time to get back in the car and head home for a nap! It was so nice to get away, if only a few hours.

I hope that you had a nice weekend too! Until next time, remember:

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Day in the Life...the "Stop-OMG" moments

Many of you followers know how busy and crazy my life is and the most common comment I get is "I don't know how you do it." Most of you out there are just as busy as I - we just have to do what we do and it all seems to work out. But did you have stop at the end of the day, or sometimes around lunch time - just stop and look back at what you have just accomplished within that time?

Yesterday was one of those days - a days that I had a "Stopping - OMG" moment - where I looked at what I had done between the time I woke up and the time that I settled in and watched Julie and Julia with my family.

Thursday, July 14th looked like this:

6am - woke up (snoozed through the 4am exercise alarm; figured I would find time to get in a good sweat sometime during the day)

6:05am - woke up Robert and I headed down stairs to get breakfast around for him and Matthew; unladed the clean dishes from the dishwasher; made DH's lunch and Robert's lunch/recovery food for after his hockey clinic

6:20am - upstairs to make the bed and shower, throw in a load of laundry in the wash

6:45am - gathered up my backpack of "stuff" and my purse and headed for the car to wait for Robert, who had to finish packing his hockey bag and get in the car

7am - arrive at designated pick up/drop off place for the hockey clinic carpool; today was my day to drive down to San Jose so we loaded up the other player's gear and hockey sticks into my car and we were off for the 35-40 minute drive to San Jose

7:35am - arrive at San Jose rink to drop the boys off and then head back home

8:05am - not much morning traffic (thank goodness), arrive close to home, but decide to do a power grocery shop because we are out of some staples such as milk and ice cream

8:40am - arrive at home, bring in the groceries and put them all away; run upstairs to move the clean "wet" clothes to dryer and then pull together some food for my lunch to eat at work

8:55am - leave home with Matthew to drop him off at his Jr. Leader "job" at the preschool summer camp and then head to my part-time job

9am-1:30pm - at my part-time job where I help the office activity team ready some of the things we will be using for the office Hawaiian Luau bbq next week, I have a phone meeting with one of the product supervisors about a poster project for the upcoming sales conference meeting taking place in August, I start to work on some plans for a October trade show and so on.

1:35pm - depart from part-time job and head to the pick up/drop off place where I will meet up with the carpool and gather up Robert

2pm - home with Robert and Matthew (DH picked up Matthew from the preschool camp earlier).

2:30pm - after talking to DH about the afternoon plans for the 2 stores (he has to go to store #2, so I will need to finish the late deliveries for store #1), I determine I have time to get in my exercise and go out for a 8.75 mile jog

3:45pm - home from jog and showered, I sit for a few minutes before heading out the door to store #1

4:00pm - depart from home after giving directions to the boys about staying near the house when playing outdoors and a reminder about fixing themselves dinner just incase I get home late.

4:20pm - arrive at store; proof a coupon artwork for store #2 and authorize it to go to print; located the arrangements for delivery and mapped out the route.

4:40pm - depart from store and head to first house

5pm -  make first delivery and head to location of 2nd one; called store to see if any last minute delivery orders came in (orders for same day delivery can be made/accepted up to 2 hours prior to closing) more orders came in

5:35pm - arrive at location of 2nd/last delivery and then head back to store

6pm - arrive at store, put away all the delivery supplies; call in a Chinese food take out order to pick up on my way home. Check in with our employee who is doing fine and will be closing the store - so I depart

6:05pm - arrive at Chinese restaurant and pick up Matthew's favorite: fried prawns and white rice

6:15pm - arrive at Panda express and pick up Robert's favorite: fried rice, Kung Pao Chicken, Orange Chicken and some appetizers (Panda is less expensive than going to the other restaurant for what Robert wants and the portion size is better).

6:35pm - arrive at home; while the boys eat their take out food, I fix myself something from the refrigerator and then graze on other things while we talk. DH is still up at store #2, training one of the employees how to close as well as dealt with a complaint

7:45pm - kitchen cleaned up so boys and I retire upstairs in the tv/office room; turn on the movie Julie and Julia and lay on the couch until DH finally gets home

8:50pm - DH finally home; he tried to deal with the complaint issue but customer who placed order and complained wasn't home; which made the long drive from store #2 even longer.

10pm - lights out everyone in the household in bed. The end of the day!

Crazy huh? And just note that we don't have the evening hockey clinic we had in June to juggle amoung all the other stuff. Oh, well...I am definitely not looking for a medal or anything as we all seem to live these kinds of, you could almost label it "normal" or "routine". We do what we need to do, when we need to do it.

Well, won't have many "Stop - OMG" moments, for there is no hockey clinics...I don't have to go in on Fridays for my part-time job...Matthew doesn't have any jr leader obligations today. They both are sleeping in, DH is getting ready to go into store #1 and I am getting in a nice spin on my stationary bike this morning. I am planning to take the boys bowling or something today before I have to go into store #1 to fill in for a person who needed the afternoon off.

Thank you for visiting - hope I have some stitching news for you soon; while I haven't put needle/thread into Family Sampler in a couple of days I am hoping that little packages might show up in my mail box soon. For you see, it is my turn to receive ornaments - July is my month of the Ornament Swap and I am getting excited.

BTW...Robert made the hockey team he was trying out for, so the 2011-12 season is all set for us. Practices start up next month and the first tournament of the season is Labor Day weekend.

Take care...until next time,

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mid-Week Mumblings - my boys and my stitching

Well, we find ourselves on Wednesday - the middle of the week - "hump" day as it has also been referred to. We are equally from last weekend as we are to the upcoming one. Do you have plans for the weekend?

Boys News...
This week, Matthew (younger son) has had the privillege of being a Junior Councelor at a summer preschool and has been having a good time working with 3 and 4 years olds. That is what is wonderful about this Jr. Leader program the City of Dublin has created - not only do the kids receive an education about writing a resume & going through interviews, but they also learn how to work with all age groups. The first few weeks he worked in the afternoon camp with kids who are in 1st-5th grade, this week it has been the preschool. He will have an opportunity to work with both groups several more times before camp season ends and we start getting ready for school (hard to believe that we are already thinking about "back to school" things).

Robert (older son) is still attending his morning hockey clinic, which runs until July 28th; and tonight is his last skate for tryouts for the '96AAA hockey team. The list will be posted tonight. After that we should be set for the 2011-2012 hockey season.

On the stitching front...
I haven't put any stitches in Family Sampler the last few nights. Last night I was worn out from the dental work I had in the afternoon - I got 3 fillings that were located toward the gums (don't forget to floss regularly, brush with floride and make sure to rinse with anti-dry mouth rinse if you suffer from this problem!). I have to go back next month and have 3 more.

Anyway, regarding stitching...that is what we are talking about, right?

Are you a subscriber to the Gift of Stitching Magazine? If so, did you read the new issue?

July Issue of Gift of Stitching
I was so excited to get this issue, for the Designer Profile highlights Cindy Grayson of CindyMae Designs. I don't know if you remember, but a couple of years ago, Cindy and I met eachother through blogging. She is a cross stitcher who started designing and was looking for some model stitchers. She wanted to see her designs come to life, make sure that the colors worked together and that the patterns worked. So I contacted her and said I would help out in anyway that she needed. Some patterns I just stitched and sent her photos, most I finished off and sent her the finished product so that she could show it off...but throughout we communicated and started building a friendship. Here is an example of one of the things I stitched and finished for can also see it's counterpart in the article in GOS.
"Doggon Napping" by CindyMae Designs. Counterpart pattern: "Cat Napping"
It has been awhile since I have model stitched for Cindy, a busy life has gotten in the way - but we keep tabs on eachother through blogs and facebook. I am so excited to read that she is stitching again and being highlighted in GOS. Congratulations Cindy! I am so happy for you!

Well...time to get going. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Looking beyond the 'regular' and 'routine'

We know most days will be regular days.
Our lives will include some highlight days that stay with us forever, like family celebrations or personal triumphs, but almost every day this year will be a regular day, with nothing particularly astounding about it.
Yet within these regular days are many opportunities for enjoyment, many of which we don’t even think about or really appreciate.
Take a moment every day to think about the simple pleasures of your daily life.
~David Niven

This morning, in my inbox, I received my spiritual quotations for Monday from and the above quote from David Niven "hit home". I had just started surfing through facebook to see what everyone was up too and then started surfing through blogs. I saw that I hadn't updated my postings since Friday and thought to myself:

"Well, we really didn't do anything out of the those who read my blog find me boring if I write about my 'regular' days?"

But during my 'regular' days this weekend there were many blessings and pleasures - situations that I would like to remember and share with you if you are willing to read...

Saturday I worked at store #2 - worked with one of our employees who is still learning how to make the arrangements, as well as working on her courage to answer the phones and take orders. She has been an employee at the store since we opened on June 15 and has yet to answer the phone & take an order...that is until Saturday. She answered the phone, talked to the customer to find out what they were interested in ordering and processed her first order. "Now," as she said, "that I actually completed my first order over the phone, it isn't as bad as I thought it would be." I was very excited for her, because it does take some time to get use to talking to customers over the phone while working through the ordering system on the computer. She did it and I was there to witness...a moment in a 'regular' day, but an accomplishment for our employee which is exciting!

Sunday I worked at store #1 - giving DH not only a day off, but time to hang with our sons down in San Jose while Matthew (younger son) finished up the last day of tryouts. Since DH has been working 7 days a week - from open to close of the stores he hasn't had much opportunity to "hang with the boys" and watch them skate. He was a proud father as he watched Matthew take the ice and perform a wonderful tryout - showing that his hockey skills are at a much higher level this tryout summer than last. Matthew made the PeeWee 99 AAA team again this year and is very excited - and we are very proud of him! Being down at a hockey rink is part of a 'regular' day for our family...but Matthew had an awesome tryout, made the high level team again this year - he skated and passed at a higher level than in years passed...and DH & Robert were down there all together to enjoy the moment.
During the busy weekends we experience in our household - balancing the hockey activities and the business - we did find those moments this weekend, to bring out a board game so that the family can play together...found a movie on TV where the family could take time and enjoy good entertainment together. It is those moments, during the 'regular' evenings, that are precious and priceless.
It is those little moments -
the triumphs, the accomplishments the few moments together -
that should be recognized, appreciated...
as the simple pleasures of life!
"Happiness is enjoying the realities of life as well as the frivolities of life"
~Edward G Bulwer-Lytton
Ok, now as promised...while I didn't get an opportunity to sit my bottom down and stitch over the weekend, I wanted to make sure to get a photo of the little bit of progress I have made on Family Sampler since I picked up this project again a week ago (after I finished the Pineapple pillow)...

Here is the whole sampler..
the new part added since the last posting of Family Sampler is the alphabet on the bottom

Here is a close up of the alphabet on the bottom of the Family Sampler - the part I just finished stitching.
The "W, X, Y and Z" will be stitched below...soon.
Well, my friends...enjoy the little moments in your 'regular' day today and throughout the week. Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Life’s events move so rapidly we seldom relish the moments individually, but each day teems with tiny gifts divinely designed for our well-being.
The woman smiled at in the grocery store yesterday or the man acknowledged on the bus last week felt special.
And we were softened, too, by our expression. We change, and we change our world when we acknowledge one another’s presence in it.
The wonderful reality is that we are in another’s world because of the special qualities we each have and are able to share with one another.

It is! Although as I have figured out over the last 6, or so, months whether it is a weekday or the weekend, days seem to run together when one has a family business and 2 very busy kids. Gone are the days when Friday signaled the beginning of a weekend of R&R and an end to a week of craziness. Now all our days includes some sort of early morning activity, mid-day excitment and evening something-or-other.

Nevertheless, this week we have been blessed with quiet evenings and last night was not exception. Without evening hockey, the boys and I went down to our new (and small) farmer's market that the city has started to host on Thursday evenings in a local park. With about 12-20 food & farm booths and a stage for some fun entertainment, it is the perfect size for the it that small town, neighborhood feel. Summer time brings in all the delicious pit fruits - apricots, plums, pluots, aprums, nectarines (white & yellow), peaches (white & yellow)....all from the tree to your kitchen taste...yummy. After sampling the different kinds of "pit" fruits, we purchased a bag mixed with all the different kinds. In addition, many of the summer vegetables were also started to come in from the local farm fields (California has many areas where they grow all the delicious fruits and vegetables that many across the US get to enjoy - and this is the time of the year that it is plentiful fresh from the fields at the farmer's markets)...

I was excited to see the tomatoes, especially since I have been so busy that I didn't get a chance to clean out my little patch of land and plant any this year. I was also glad to find this stand, because they were selling their Heirloom tomatoes (in the back corner of the photo above) at the same price as their "on the vine" red tomatoes. Many time the Heirlooms are sold at a higher price; but I was able to purchase some delicious Heirlooms at a good price.
The summer squash is also starting to be harvested...I loved the way that this booth displayed all of their vegetables...with nice fabrics, straw baskets and fun chalkboard signs.

In addition to the fruit and vegetable vendors, there was also a soap maker, some bakeries and a honey booth:

This lady set up her stand with a live honeycomb frame, showing the bees at work (the frame was in a plex-i holder so there were no worries about being stung). She was giving samples of the different honeys she was selling - clover honey, sunflower honey, orange blossom honey, etc. Each one does have it's one unique flavor, believe it or not. White boxes of bee hives can be found in the fields of many citrus orchards, pit fruit fields and almond fields up and down the California fields. These bees help pollenate the flowers in the spring time.

After we loaded ourselves up with fruit, tomatoes and fresh Blue Lake green beans we went over to the food booths, where the boys got some grilled chicken kabobs, egg rolls and crab rangoon all of which was snacked on during our short ride home. Before jumping in the car, we ran into some neighborhood friends along the way. It was nice to have this opportunity to chat with them - to find out what they have been up to (they were one of many families who have been hit with "bad" times including foreclosure on their house, loosing money in a business and she was diagnosed with breast cancer) - that is where the neighborhood feel comes in...when you see folks you haven't seen in awhile and catch up. That is really what makes this farmer's market special.

- - - - - - - -

Tonight starts hockey tryout weekend. Robert has his first skate this evening. With any youth sport, trying out seems to bring out the loony side of the is no different. Worries of tryouts have been discussed even before last season was over with. It is amazing how obsessed we all get with regards to youth sports - who is trying out where, who are the coaches, who is manipulating the system so their child gets on the best team....ugh! On the flip side of tryouts, it does bring together the hockey community and there are many people we haven't seen since the season was over, so it is like a reunion. But, given all the stress involved in tryouts, the 'good' feeling of reuniting with the hockey families is sometime shortlived.

Anyway, like mentioned, Robert (older son) has his first skate this evening and Matthew (younger son) has his tomorrow morning. DH will have the privilege of driving down to the rink and emerging himself in the tryout stress for I will be at store #2 tomorrow and store #1 on Sunday :)

- - - - - - - -

Well, that is about all I have to share on a Friday morning. I didn't get in any stitching last night due to the late return home from the farmer's market, but I am hoping that I will tonight so I can finish the row I have been working on in the Family Sampler - then I can post some photos of the status of this project.

Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet on the way.
Appreciation is a wonderful feeling; don't overlook it.

During the second night at home...a night without hockey...a night where we don't have to jump in the car and rush anywhere...a night where the boys have already showered and have enjoyed a good hearty meal...a night that I can relax, can spin on my stationary bike for a while and enjoy some stitching time before I hit the sack...I take this time and feel overwhelmed with appreciation for this moment, a second night of R&R. My only wish is that DH was home sooner to enjoy this R&R time too. Nevertheless, I am enjoying my quiet time with the boys around.
DH had to run up to store #2 this evening to close it for our evening keyholder because he had a meeting to attend. At least the sun will still be up when DH starts home, making the 45 minute drive tolerable...also commuter traffic should be cleared up too.
Anyway...not much else going on, just thought I would stop by and say "hi". Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A night at home

The plate of responsiblity...of committment...never is empty, but there are just levels of fullness.

Today I went back to work, to my part-time job, after being off for 2 weeks in order to deal with all the hockey committments of the boys and all the changes to going from 1 to 2 family *stores*. When people came by my desk to say "welcome back" and ask "how was your vacation...what did you do?" It was hard to respond, for my so called "vacation" was not restful or relaxing; but by lessening my plate by one committment, my part-time job, it was easier to tolerate life. Now, while I add back in my job we are down one hockey clinic...the one in the evening, which means quiet evenings at home. Thus, we have a good balance of life again, something to definitely enjoy while we have it :)

Before going to my part-time job this morning, I got up at 4:30am in order to run into *store #1* to dip over 250 strawberries in chocolate. We received a wonderfully large order from an orthodontist office for chocolate dipped strawberry boxes for different employees who have been very supportive of whatever they have been dealing with. The person who was going to distribute all the boxes was coming in at 8am to pick them up, so they needed to be done and boxed before then. I was done at at my desk by 8am, so I didn't get an opportunity to meet the person who placed the order.

Well, the boys are eating dinner - fixed them spaghetti w/meatballs - and I am getting in an evening spin on my stationary bike...too hot to run this afternoon and still too warm tonight. I hope to get up early tomorrow and get in an early morning run.

Anyway, after I get in my spin, I will sit my behind down on the sofa and get in some more stitches on Family Sampler. I have been working on that a little bit each evening lately. I will try to get a photo posted of its status.

That is about all right now. Hope everyone out there is doing well! Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!