Saturday, January 31, 2009

There's No "I" In Team Work

I've had a rinky-dink bedside table since I bought it at an unfinished furniture store in Brighton, MA, many years ago. Last week, I finally decided that I wanted to upgrade. So Martin and I went to IKEA.

After a plate of Swedish meatballs, we wandered the store and found the perfect thing. We promptly returned home and set to putting it together. Martin is a bit of a veteran of IKEA furniture building. (I think it's a required course in all European High Schools.)



And of course, since we consider ourselves a team, I wanted to help.


So I got the tools.

and I took pictures (very important!).


My bedside table slowly took shape and then was quickly filled.



So, like I said, There is no "I" In Team Work. (However, if you move some letters around, there is a "me".)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sometimes It Pays To Respond to Unsolicited Email

I received an email a few weeks back from a project called Purple States asking if I wanted to represent Washington State in a video blog about the economy. Being my utterly cautious self, I of course googled it immediately and was pleased to find it was a legit thing.

I thought about it for about a week before saying yes. I filmed some b-roll (that's background video work) of things in town that I thought represented Vancouver, WA and then did about 20 minutes of filming myself answering questions.

So, here it is. Missburrows on the economy. (The finished video is only 2 minutes and 30 seconds long, so there is no need to get a snack...unless of course you want one.)





Yes, I said learn how to use a gun. There is a shooting range around here somewhere...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Have a Treasurelicious Tuesday (Dwell, May 2008)

It's Treasurelicious Tuesday, a day where I review items that I have found in a magazine/online or from one of our Treasurelicious users!

This week's review comes from the May 2008 issue of Dwell magazine. Items come from the In the Modern World, section.



100 Piazze Firenze Tray
Call me crazy, but I think a tray's purpose is to hold stuff. Anything I put on this tray will just slip right through. It does however look like a (very expensive) neat place to play with dolls.

Cage placemat
Call me crazy (yes, again) but I think a placemat's purpose it to catch crumbs, etc. This one would MAKE me crazy.

Clean Well Soaps

Clean well soaps are made out of Thyme. They don't seem to be super expensive, but I'm just not being grabbed by them. Eh.

Gift-wrap set
If you are so desperate that you are trying to impress people with the gift wrap you buy, I really cannot help you.

Round Wire Basket
Yes, it looks like it was my Grandmother's. I still don't want it.

Trio Glassware set
Cute. Elegant. I have no idea on the price. Looks like a cute gift idea.

I'm feeling quite underwhelmed by Dwell's selection. Perhaps next time??

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Get Your Bag of Hope

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes back in 1989, I was fixated on a leather jacket I had seen in a catalog. I figured, that if I had to go through all the medical crap, I at least deserved a leather jacket. But I never got one. All I ever got was a Pink Panther coloring book.

Well apparently, newly diagnosed kids with Type 1 Diabetes will now have it better than I had! If they (or their parents) contact their local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation chapter, they will get a free BAG OF HOPE!

The one I just saw contained some good stuff, including Rufus the bear and an awesome Carbohydrate Counting book.

If you live in the Portland, Oregon area please contact 503-643-1995, or email oregon-washington@jdrf.org (Please supply your full name, mailing address, telephone number, name, birth date, age at diagnosis and gender of child.)

Everywhere else, please find the information here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Twitter Isn't Just Useless Blabber

Twitter.

If you don't know what it is, please read here. If you do know what it is and are rolling your eyes because you think it is useless, please read on...


Last week, my lovely and talented friend, Christina Williams, of Page One Public Relations, tweeted that Greenbox was featured in this month's Forbes magazine.
Having just found the newest issue of Entrepreneur Magazine in my mailbox, I tweeted to Christina (@seeger)



and thus there was a bit of an exchange.







I also mentioned that the newest edition of Fast Company magazine was out:



About 2 hours later, I had a new follower on Twitter, Ellen McGirt, Senior Writer for Fast Company Magazine. (@ellmcgirt). (I'm guessing she found me by doing a Twitter search for "Fast Company.")

We had a nice exchange.





and about 5 hours later, I got an email from an employee at Greenbox asking if I could take a picture of the magazine and sent it (they were having trouble finding a copy.) Which I promptly did.

So. Twitter useless? No way.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Treasurelicious Tuesdays (Self Magazine, November 2008)

It's Treasurelicious Tuesday, a day where I review items that I have found in a magazine/online or from one of our Treasurelicious users!

This week's Treasurelicious Tuesday features the lovely and talented actress, musician, author, mom and wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, in an interview in Self Magazine, from November 2008.






7-UP
Jada mentions 7-Up because she says she uses it for making 7-UP pound cake. Having never heard of this before, I've now heard of 7-Up pound cake 2x this week. And here's a recipe I found, in case you want to try and make it yourself.

Carol's Daughter Haircare Products
Jada fully admits that she is both an avid user and investor in Carol's Daughter. I've never used these products myself, but it looks like one of it's products, Hair Milk, just won a Best of Sephora award.

(Although, I'm sure those awards are probably created just to sell more product.)

JBrand Jeans

At this point, I was thinking to myself, hey Jada seems like a reasonable person. She gets in a little promotion for her business, she seems so non-Hollywood. But $178 jeans? Hell no.

Surfing

Ok, that's better. She states, "Surfing is like yoga on the water. You engage your mind and spirit." I like that. That's good.

Under Armour Shorts

Pinkett Smith says "I live in Under Armour shorts. I love being active with my kids."

Is this like how I want to wear pajamas all the time? Maybe I'm destined to be a Hollywood star after all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

You Can't Win If You Don't Play: A Follow Up

Well, I didn't win Masterbacon. But that's O.K. Fun was had, bacon was eaten and fingers were wiped on napkins over and over and over.

Here's the recipe, if you'd like to make my entry for yourself.



Tart and Tangy Broccoli Salad with Bacon Rosebuds

2/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large head broccoli (1.5 pounds, cut into florets)
6 oz. bacon
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries


1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat a medium sized pot of water to boiling. Add broccoli to water
and cook 3 minutes until tender, but still crisp.
3. Meanwhile, make Bacon Rose Buds
or just cook strips of bacon in microwave and then cut in to small pieces.
4. In a large bowl add cooled broccoli, red onion, cranberries and
bacon. Toss with sour cream mixture to combine. Serve or refrigerate
until serving.

Substitutions: light mayo can be used instead of sour cream, and raisins
or golden raisins can be used instead of dried cranberries.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You Can't Win If You Don't Play

Today, January 17, 2009, it seems like any other day, right? Well, here in the Portland, Oregon area, today is Masterbacon. (Yes, you read that correctly. You can thank Verso for that name!) Contestants bring their favorite bacon dotted dishes and compete for bragging rights and the silver Pig trophy.


So yesterday, I began my prep work for my dish. First some broccoli carnage:



Then, the creation of the bacon rose buds. (I was actually trying to make bacon curls, but that didn't quite work. I realized that they looked like rose buds, Portland is the city of roses and viola! bacon rose buds!) To make your own, just cut the bacon lengthwise and cross wise.



Then roll up, stick a toothpick in it and microwave it for about 2 minutes on high.




See! Bacon rose buds!



And here, the finished product: Tart and Tangy Broccoli Salad with Bacon Rosebuds.



Will I win? Stay tuned....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Improve Your View

All the ladies do it (or at least they should be!) Once a year, or maybe every two years, we sit naked (except for that lovely paper gown) on an examination table in anticipation of getting a Pap & Pelvic exam. For those of you not familiar with a Pap & Pelvic exam, here are a few hi-lights:

"The Pap test (sometimes called a Pap smear) is a way to examine cells collected from the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the uterus). The main purpose of the Pap test is to detect cancer or abnormal cells that may lead to cancer. It can also find noncancerous conditions, such as infection and inflammation.

In a pelvic exam, the uterus, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum are felt to find any abnormality in their shape or size. During a pelvic exam, an instrument called a speculum is used to widen the vagina so that the upper portion of the vagina and the cervix can be seen."

(From Cancer.gov)

Not my idea of fun. But certainly necessary. So, lately I've been thinking of ways to improve the exam. And I have a few stellar ideas:

1. Silk or bamboo robes, cushy slippers, scented candles, soft music. Make it more spa and less Ahhh!

2. Install a flat screen on the ceiling with rotating pictures of hot actors/actresses/handbags/shoes. (This will be a big improvement over the Hang in There posters normally tacked on the ceiling.)

3. Have special socks that the patient can write on to remind her why she is there, "I like sex" and "I love my ovaries" are some phrases that come to mind.

I don't see these improvements happening anytime soon, so I will just have to bring an old copy of Playgirl, GQ, or the latest Crate & Barrel catalog until they do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Have a Treasurelicious Tuesday (Everyday with Rachael Ray, July/August 2008)

I'm pretty sure you know the drill by now...but for you newbies:

It's Treasurelicious Tuesday, a day where I review items that I have found in a magazine/online or from one of our Treasurelicious users!

This weeks review comes from the June/July issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray. Items are from the Shop section (p. 202) entitled, The Life Aquatic.

(I thought we could use a little warm up from this cold weather.)



Camellia Student Watercolor Set
$3? Sure, sounds great. I used to put watercolors on my face instead of make-up, when I was little. You be the judge on whether or not I turned out O.K.

Dinghy Drain Stopper
The editors at EveryDay, say, "Little sailors won't complain about bathtime when they can navigate the waters of Bathtub Sea." Yet, the web-site selling the item clearly states: "Not intended as a toy. Not for children under 6 without supervision."

Good luck telling your kiddo that they can't play with that cool floating boat in the tub.

Durabooks Waterproof Books
I didn't understand this. I think that if you are sunning, you should be sunning, if you are swimming, you should be swimming. Not doing both at once. Seemed like a gimmick.

But then I found Aqua Erotic: 2. I get it now. Moving on...

Fred Ice Kabob
I will freely admit that I think this is stupid. But let me give a chance. Ok, 3 swizzle sticks come with the mold, so I can make 3?? Yippee. And when the 3 sticks are lost, then what? No, I was right, this is stupid.

Nautical Swim Ring
I've never met a swim ring that helps anything really float. I suppose it might be useful if you were going to play a game of giant ring toss.

Woman's Active Cami
As long as you don't define "active" as doing any real exercise with jumping involved, you should be fine.

Sigg Water Bottle
I've been over this already.
I am however, very impressed with the Sigg PR team. (They've gotten their product featured in lots of magazines.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

If you don't like moss, don't move to the Pacific Northwest

You know that scene in Austin Powers 3, when he can't stop saying Mole? Moley, moley, moley, moley!

Well, here in the Pacific Northwest, it's moss. Mossy, mossy, mossy, mossy!

When we bought our house, the roof was covered in moss. I'm pretty sure I amused the house inspector with my blank stare when he informed me that you just, "Throw some Tide with Bleach laundry detergent up on the roof to get rid of the moss."

(We ended up getting a moss removing service to do the roof, since my arms are not 77 feet high.)

And, apparently moss is quite hardy. This mat sat under 2 feet of snow for about a week, and as you can see, the moss still looks happy and content.



One of these days I will actually do what I keep threatening to do: gather the moss and sell in on the Internet to rich people in Connecticut that want, "All natural moss from the Pacific Northwest!"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Save some green


You all know I love being cheap, and I also love not having my house full of stuff I don't want. So today, I share with you

5 ways to save some green:


1. Max Out Your Library Card:
My library lets me check out magazines, DVDs, books on Tape or CD and books. Although I haven't hit the limit yet, I always try to check out as much as possible.

2. Cut the Cord:

I refuse to pay for cable TV, it's just too expensive and a big waste of time. Instead, I watch TV on Hulu.com. They don't have all shows, but they have enough for me to get my TV fix. (You can also try borrowing DVDs from friends.)

3. Don't Buy "THING" Gifts, buy "DO" Gifts:
Unless I know exactly what the person wants, I will try and get them a "DO" gift: tickets to a play, a massage gift certificate, movie tickets, etc.

4. Stop Buying Giftwrap:

What a huge waste of money! If I do give a present (which is rare) I will wrap it in a cool old map, an airplane chart or white butcher paper.

5. Check out Consumer Reports Magazine First:

At the library, I look up ratings for the item I am looking for. I photocopy the page I need and bring it with me to shop. It has saved me money and frustration every time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Have a Treasurelicious Tuesday (@AirRock)

I bet you didn't think I would profile and actual Treasurelicious user, but I did (and you may be next, so fill up your list!)

Please meet the handsome, @AirRock, aka Erik Saatela of Portland, OR.



The straight, 26 year old, is 5' 6" and in a relationship (sorry ladies). He works at every one's favorite Swedish retailer, IKEA and declares that Fight Club and Amelie are some of his favorite movies.

But let's dissect part of his Treasurelicious list...



Aeropress Coffee Maker
Now, I don't actually drink coffee, so I can't quite judge whether or not this is a stellar item. However, "total immersion of grounds" reminds me of a nice big hot tub, and I enjoy those. I just wonder how Erik gets his coffee now.

ASUS 1000h eeepc
This is easy. I own and love the younger brother to this model. My favorite part (besides speed and cost) is the ability to tuck it under the arm as if it were a clutch purse (but I have a feeling that Erik isn't going to enjoy that feature as much as I do).

Audubon Soda Bottle Bird Feeder

Very cute. I bet the birds around here are starving after SNOWPOCALYPSE 2008. However, Erik might want to try and find it at a different store. Design Within Reach deems it, "not available at this time" (and therefore, very much NOT within reach).

Botanicalls DIY Plant Twitter Kit
I'm not sure if this is a joke or not. I taught all our plants morse code anyway, no need for them to bother me another way. ;)

Candela Guardian

Very cool. And not a fire hazard. Seems like Erik is a very practical man. I like that.

I hope this has helped you get a taste of Erik. Still hungry for more? Check him out on Twitter, MySpace or dive in to his full Treasurelicious list.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Declare your crushes!


In November, my husband informed me that he would have one week of vacation around Christmas. I know that he's not one to lay around for days and do nothing, so out of the goodness of my heart, and my true and strong love for him, I created a project for him to work on. (What a wonderful wife I am!!!)

A few weeks before, when I was putting laundry in to the washing machine, I started thinking about how a friend of mine had told me that he had HAD a crush on me, but that he had a crush on someone else now.

I started wondering what it would look like to see a list of all the people that said they had a crush on me. I turned around and started writing ideas down on the enormous (15'x5') white board we have in the laundry room and thus, Twitcrush was born!

Twitcrush is a twitter web application, so you need a twitter account in order to use it, but then you can declare your 3 crushes and check out your cluster (those who have declared a crush on you).

You can CHANGE YOUR CRUSHES AT ANYTIME, or you can choose your 3 crushes once and then leave them be. It's up to you.

Have fun and let me know how it goes!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Block the blue

Having a hard time falling asleep at night? Get in bed and then stare up at the ceiling for hours, trying in vain to fall into a deep sleep? Try blocking the blue. The blue end of the light spectrum is emitted by light bulbs, computer screens, cell phone screens and televisions.




The blue light suppresses melatonin "the hormone of darkness" making your body think it's time to get up and play.

(It's basically like drinking a Red Bull energy drink.)

Try turning off all blue light emitting electronics at least 2 hours before bedtime.

See how much I love you, dear readers. I am telling you to turn off the computer!

Just be sure to read my blog earlier in the day and we will all be happy!