Tuesday, November 30

The Holidays are coming....The Holidays are coming...

Are you intimated by the technology? Do you feel like your walking around with the bag phone from the 1990's. I had one..and I thought I was so cool. It cracks me up just thinking about it.

Where do you go to find the best tech gifts? How do you keep up with the bells and whistles? Who can you count on to provide you with as many details as you need to make the right purchase?

To start with there are countless websites available for you....it's just about finding them right.
Let's start with cnet.com. There you will find answers to questions you wouldn't even think to ask. Just click the "reviews" and there you have everything listed into specific categories. (E.g. camcorders, cell phones, desktops, GPS, cameras) What about Engadget? Yup, they are helpful too. Read reviews, look at photos, listen to podcasts they are all available for you.

Honestly, it can take a little work to find the best tech item to fit your needs. Going to a retail store like Staples is another great idea. There you can see and feel the product. For example right now they have an interactive display for the Kindle. It's one thing to read about an item it's another thing to actually experience it first hand. They also have trained staff members bubbling with facts. They are usually very eager to share the features and benefits.

How about watching Oprah? I'm not kidding. Did you happen to catch either of her Favorite Things shows. She has the latest and greatest that's for sure. She also has a nice gift guide on her website. (Click Favorite Things) Can you imagine being one of the lucky audience members? Do you know anyone who was there? I would love to hear their story.

Ask around...talk to friends, read some blogs...get that nose in there and snoop around. Find out what and where. People are posting reviews, gift ideas, discount codes and sharing their stories for you. They want to make your shopping experience easier. Whether they received the item for free as a thank you for a review or just wanting to talk about something they just bought, they are still taking time to share it with you..that should count for something. I know I've appreciated many reviews already this year.

One thing is for sure you....it is so much fun giving someone a gift with meaning. It's so amazing to see their face light up when you actually took the time to find the right gift. Researching will be rewarding. You will not only feel prepared to make a purchase you will be able to find the items you need at the best price. Knowledge is power!

Start now by making a list of people you need to buy for. Set a budget....I know there's that "b" word, but it was bound to surface this time of year. It's not necessary to go over board. Big isn't always better. Unless we're talking about diamonds. Just kidding....

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

The Burning Question

It's been a while since I've posted a question.

With the holidays here in full swing it seems only fitting to ask a few questions about them.

Do you have a lot of gifts to purchase this year?

Have you cut back in recent years?

Who is the hardest person to buy for?

Me: Actually, it doesn't feel like we have a lot of gifts to purchase. Even though I haven't been "Christmas" shopping yet I feel in control of the shopping that needs to be done. I am not planning to go to the mall unless I have to...

When I worked in retail it was too easy to buy things at "great prices". That was the problem, I would see a great price and add on to peoples gifts because of the price. It wasn't necessary, but I hate to pass up a great sale and I love giving presents.

The hardest person to buy for is usually my dad.

Your turn....
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 29

Narcissus papyraceus


Another reason to welcome the holidays.

Have you ever tried to grow them?

Thursday, November 25


You...are on my mind today.
You...are someone I am thank for.
Share your laughter...your smile...your heart...it's Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 23

Going for Good!

I'm going to let me feet touch the ground. I will replacing the hooves that have me clomping through my day with feathers.

I'm going to listen instead of trying to remember
what's on my to-do list while politely nodding.

I'm going to mix and stir with tender strokes.
Instead of grunting four letter words while whipping and turning.

The next few weeks have "good" tucked into the closest
drawer while striving for "perfection".

I'm going for good enough because there are
so many moments I don't want to miss.

Monday, November 22


(Something I saw on Facebook today....)


When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outsidethe door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you. If you do, you just might save a marriage.

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Real? Not real? I'm not sure I care. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did.

Saturday, November 20

Douglas and Fraser

The smell of pine. The sparkling lights.

I'll leave out stepping on the pine needles and the string of lights
that magically stop working after you've checked them twice....

Christmas is on it's way.

When do you put your tree up? Is it real or not?

Thursday, November 18

36 days....

One very good idea!

Some people do not need anything for the holidays.
Those people haven't been properly introduced to

L & V Sweets
A Canadian luxury.
With just a little more than a year under their spatula,
Lara and Vanessa have made their passion a reality creating
custom cookies for every occasion.

• Holiday Elegance Gift Box 14 cookies includes;
3 Snowflake cookies
3 Tree cookies
3 Ornament cookies
3 Gift cookies
2 Mini Snowflake cookies
Price: $48.00

• Holiday Elegance Gift Box 28 cookies includes;
6 Snowflake cookies
6 Tree cookies
6 Ornament cookies
6 Gift cookies
4 Mini Snowflake cookies
Price: $84.00

Order your gift boxes early to ensure availability!

Place your order

How stinken' cute are these.

Santa...you better watch out because
I might have to fight you for these cookies. (Wink)

No compensation was received for sharing these tasty treats with you....
I will continue to post fantastic finds. xoxo

Tuesday, November 16


Addicted...Yes, I am addicted to cards!
That's why I decided to share once again some special greeting options.

Listen closely, because they do more than "care to send the very best"... Shutterfly conducted a survey to find out what YOU want in order to make the seasons very best cards. While you were soaking up the last bit of summers they were doing their homework.

Yes, Shutterfly is a household name when it comes to making cards, photo books, personalize gifts, holiday gift tags and a leader in their industry. That championship belt is something they plan to keep snug around their waist. I was fascinated by their survey and thought it would be fun to share bits of it with you. (500 people surveyed..senders and receivers...people like you and I.)

While money is tight for many 85 percent of those surveyed have decided to send the same number of cards if not more this year, keeping the almost 200 year tradition going.

Photos, photos and more photos....people like to see what's going on more than they want to hear what's going on. Now, let me clarify that. They love to hear what you are up to, but the lengthy letters are becoming a no-no....less is more people. Photo card link

Shutterfly's solution, the Holiday Story Card.
Story Cards feature spaces for one or multiple photos, with corresponding text space for sharing highlights of the year. On many Story Card designs, there is space for 10 lines of additional text, the perfect amount for sharing without over-sharing. In addition to Story Cards, Shutterfly offers nearly 1,400 new holiday designs to warm people’s mailboxes this year. Pricing starts as low as $0.40 per card for greetings on photo paper and $1.29 per card for premium card stock.

I think their solution is fabulous. Outside of making my annual holiday photo book for my parents I'm thinking about following their advice and making a photo card. Now, I'll just have to convince my husband to say "cheese".

Do you send Christmas/holiday cards?
How many do you send?
How many do you receive?

Just as you would imagine Switzerland to be...

Cold rain slapped on the windows. Heavy eyes shutter all around me. The quiet morning train indicated a great weekend....leaving everyone around me ill rested. Last night my body thought it would transition back to North America, but today was all cheese and chocolate. I wasn't about to let my lack of sleep stand in my way.

All aboard the "Chocolate Train".

The scenery changed as did the weather.
Thankfully, the train went back down and out of the snow.

Maison du Gruyere is a working dairy.
This well informed tour was fascinating....and a bit smelly.
As they say, the smellier the cheese the better it tastes.

Gruyere Cheese
330 million kg of milk are processed into 27,500 ton of Gruyere cheese
in approximately 200 cheese dairies.
400 tons of Gruyere d'aplage is produced in 56 dairies situated
in the high mountain pastures.

Area of production: The cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchatel,
Jura and some communes in the canton of Berne.
2/3 of the production is consumed in Switzerland with the
remaining 1/3 exported to the European Union and North America.

Chateau de GruyeresResting within the hills in this picturesque medieval town
is this historical castle.


Constructed in the 13th century and home to a
succession of Gruyeres Counts.
Then bought by the Bovy and Balland Families.

Artists such as Corot and Menn found inspiration in the
surrounding natural beauty. With two left thumbs I even
considered taking up painting here...

In 1938 the Canton of Fribourg purchased the castle and
founded the present museum.

Lunch.... fresh bread, Gruyeres cheese and Swiss wine.

Chocolate will have to wait until the next post....
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed Gruyeres, Switzerland.