First of all

Friday, November 20, 2009


So many things to give thanks for!

* Buses that take the kids to and fro school
* Barilla Plus Pasta
* That I'm not lactose intolerant! I love gouda, edam, Dubliner cheddar cheese, etc. etc. etc.
* Working from home means I can go for a 1 or 2 hour run most every weekday morning whilst Anna is in school!
* That I am not injury prone and can run w/o pain.
* Bryce loves Cub Scouts, and Patrick isn't interested in it--meaning I don't need to take out a 2nd mortgage on a 2nd mortgage to pay for the scouting expenses for 2 kids.
* Earned a free Trip to Cancun with Tom
* All the great hosts who invite me into their homes which leads me to earning free trips!
* Going to Tastefully Simple's Leadership Wild Ride w/my Tastefully Simple friends.
* Earning the Leadership trip totally free!
* That I'll be in Florida in mid January.
* All the stuff that is only available during select times of the year:
Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Peppermint Bark, Sierra Mist Diet Cranberry Splash, the Dairy Queen Blizzard w/crunched up peppermint candy and chocolate chunks.
* That I lost 15 pounds this year
* Actresses who don't get botox or facelifts, it's so distracting when they do, they look weird.
* Patrick loving holiday traditions and party planning.
* being in walking distance of a Dunkin Donuts
* Tom having a job and HEALTH INSURANCE!
* All the great women that make up my Team! They ROCK!
* That Tastefully Simple redid their compensation plan so I make more money as a leader and at my parties, plus the hosts get more free stuff!
* Boots, it just makes the wintertime more livable when you can wear boots.
* People who shovel their sidewalks.
* That I don't have to fly on a plane to do the Chicago Marathon in 10/10
* Facebook, I love seeing how the people I know are doing!
* Aldi's and Trader Joes cheap food, cheese and wine!
* The kids not wanting 50 thousand things for Christmas.
* Anna asking for a Bruschetta Cheese Ball Mix in her Christmas Stocking.
* my iphone!!!!! Love that there is an app for Constant Contact
* Steve Dahl Podcasts
* A warmer than average November
* I can take a vacation from work when the kids have Winter Break
* All the moms who want to help w/Anna's classroom parties!
* My kids having great teachers and living in a great school district
* I like my family and they like me.
* Kids and the magic of Christmas.
* Good Babysitters
* Living in Chicagoland
* The internet
* the Kindle app on my iphone, finally the problem of a reading light to read in bed is solved!
* Good Friends and Great Family.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I am using MS word to write my blog post just to see how it works. I have a bad headache but don't feel like getting up to get ibuprophen, or is it ibuprofen? Ah, it's fen not phen. Though I don't think ibuprofen is going to fix my headache.



I feel bad for Prime Minister Brown of England. I too have dreadful handwriting. I think he probably should switch to sending email condolences.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In a perfect world

Perfect only exists in the dictionary, but just for fun, in a perfect world after all the wishes for goodwill on earth, this is my list.

1. a new laptop that runs super fast and never takes more than 3 seconds to load a page.
2. everlasting funds to purchase kindle books.
3. a second home in Hawaii
4. a new pair of running shoes 1x a month
5. 8 days a week.
6. a kitchen aid mixer with all the trimmings. :-D

and no flu bugs!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What do to with Halloween Candy

Just like the day of our family photos, Halloween was cold. And windy. and cold, finger and toe numbing cold. And while this weather didn't deter the Hamel children or their BFFs Sam and Owen, it did deter many of the kids for whom I had candy waiting for at my house. And that caused a major flood of candy around here. I did my best to make my way through butterfingers, Almond Joys and Reeses, but I gave up fast. I was so done with chocolate that the next day, when I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K, a race that promises all the chocolate you can stuff in your pockets at the finish, I didn't even take a handful of chocolate. Sad isn't it?

So I googled "candy for soldiers" on the internet and found the info below and boxed up a priority mail flat rate box full of Halloween Candy.

Halloween has come and gone: the costumes are put away, the kids have come down from the sugar high, and the jack-o-lantern is starting to wilt... and there are still pounds and pounds of candy all over the place! What to do?

Our military men and women deployed around the world always enjoy candy in their care packages, and this is the perfect time of year for shipping chocolate--the cooler weather means it's less likely to melt! Patriotic kids and parents can send extra Halloween candy to Soldiers' Angels, who will make sure it brightens the day of a service member far from home (please be sure to send "the good stuff,"--no crushed/melted candy or broken/torn wrappers, etc).

Soldiers' Angels asks all Angels to spread the word and get their community involved in sharing their Halloween candy to give our troops a taste of home.

If you live east of the Mississippi, please ship your Halloween candy to:
Soldiers' Angels
112 Greenhill Road
Ramseur NC 27316
(Dropoff avail. M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

If you live west of the Mississippi, please ship your halloween candy to:

Soldiers' Angels
914 Tourmaline Dr
Newbury Park, CA 91320

And if you wanted to cook with your leftover chocolate candy you could use this recipe from and make a cookie Pizza, and use chopped up mini candy bars in place of the various chips the recipes uses.



* 1 package (18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
* 12 assorted HERSHEY'S MINIATURES Chocolate Bars, unwrapped
* 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips, HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Chips
* 1/4 cup REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips
* 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Premier White Chips
* 1 bag (10-1/2 oz.) miniature marshmallows
* 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S MILK DUDS Candy made with chocolate and caramels

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Press cookie dough evenly onto 12-inch pizza pan. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, break or cut chocolate bars into about 1/4-inch pieces.

2. Remove cookie from oven. Evenly sprinkle surface with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chips and chocolate bar pieces. Cover "toppings" with marshmallows. Sprinkle surface with chocolate covered caramel candies. Return to oven; bake additional 5 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and lightly browned. Cool. Cut into triangles. About 12 slices.