I started my morning by checking my email and since Memory Keeping is my business, I’m always on the look out for content, something I can post to my social media channels. I’d been writing blog posts the day before, so I really wasn’t looking for another one, but this one found me anyway.
Creative Memories is a Heaven for Crafters
Creative Memories has a blog and that’s where my email took me. If you’re a crafter, you’ll love it. You’ll need all kinds of tools and materials complete the beautiful things the blog features. These particular borders require 11 various items. Each border has 3-4 easy steps (ha), or at least it seems that way, until you figure out that each “easy” step also includes 4-5 steps. You could craft away a morning with these borders.
I have nothing against crafters. I’m happy they have both the skill and the time to do the amazing things they do. Crafters, please let me be your Creative Memories Advisor. I can point you in the direction of a lifetime of craft ideas and sell you everything you’ll need to complete them – including all the totes you need for packing up to go away on that crafting weekend.
Creative Memories is Also a Resource for Memory Keepers
However, crafters have given Memory Keeping a bad name and to be honest, I get a little mad at Creative Memories for obscuring the line between memory keeping and crafting. I get it, crafters who scrapbook are probably going to buy more product than your average person who just wants to save their memories in a traditional album. However, I’m one of those people who embraced the old CM taglines – “Everyone Has a Story to Tell” and “Simple Pages, Completed Albums.” “We Make Scrapbooking Fun,” the phrase on the back of a recent catalog, just doesn’t resonate with me.
So, as I was saying, I looked at the Creative Memories blog and my hair stood on end. Sure, the bear borders are really cute, but I’m not sharing the post on my Facebook feed without a disclaimer. Most of my clients are incredibly busy people who hire me to scrapbook for them. They want an economical answer to their Memory Mess, whether they’re attempting to tackle some of it themselves or they’re turning the whole project over to me. I offer them an affordable album package, which includes all labor and materials, and my clients love the results, but I assure you, none of these borders will be in one of my standard albums. My standard albums are simply beautiful and I can complete them in a couple of weeks, but they’re all Memory Keeping, with only a touch of crafting.
I’m a Devoted Memory Keeper Who Can Also Craft
That being said, if you’re a crafter, go visit the CM blog I mentioned, go to CMTV, soak up their YouTube Channel. There’s a lifetime of crafting there. Get after it. I love it, too.
I want you to know that if you hire me to do your albums for you, I can craft, but I also need you to understand, specialty albums have to cost more. I have stacks and stacks of papers, drawers of punches, boxes of stickers and a variety of other tools on shelves and in baskets. Heck, I even have a Cricut! No matter how simple the album, I find ways to use my toys in quick bites. I am a Closet Crafter, whose day job is Memory Keeping.
However, there’s no package price for a specialty album. I work on a time and materials basis, keeping track of every minute and every sticker. Elaborate titles and borders will fill every page, with thick layers of beautifully crafted paper enhancements. It’s the perfect gift for a bride or a new mother. It’s a vacation album you’ll cherish. However, the timeline for it could be anywhere from a month to six weeks. The materials used will add up, but it will be the time which takes the biggest bite of your budget.
Back to Basics
Here’s the bottom line. Memory Keeping does not require crafting skills. If you want to do this yourself. I promise you can do it. If you’re looking for an affordable way to get someone else to do it for you, I’m your girl. At the same time, if you are a crafter, there just aren’t any projects out there as meaningful as Memory Keeping.
In other words, Memory Keeping is job one, whether you do it or I do. Crafting is optional! So give me a call and lets get busy saving your memories!!
I hope Memory Keepers, Crafters and Travelers will keep coming back. Tomorrow I’ll have The Weekend Report, next Wednesday we’ll be traveling and then a week from now I’ll be keeping more memories.
So, sometime during the winter, Bill built a bunch of shelves in my attic. Yes, we have separate attics. What that means is that I get most of the larger attic. Now he built those shelves so he could navigate more easily to his stuff, but I’m not going to complain, because shelves are shelves and I love them.
However, winter is not an optimum time to reorganize your attic, so I used the shelves to make Bill a path to his stuff and went on with my life, waiting for better attic weather. While winter is not optimal for attic cleaning, summer in Texas is impossible, so when spring hit, I started on the project. I began with a corner of the attic with books and games, but lo and behold my shelves were broken. So, I unloaded everything on Monday, but Bill didn’t get around to fixing them until the last thing Sunday evening.
That left my guest bedroom looking like a storage room, but to tell the truth, it had already been leaning that way, which was the second impetus for reorganizing the attic. Frustrated in my efforts to complete that job, I started working on summer-izing my closet. A lot of my clothes can be worn year round, especially since this is Texas, but I do have seasonal stuff and I keep the off-season on a third row of hanging bar in my closet.
Switching out the season in my closet is a big job and I made it bigger this year by forcing myself to actually try on everything that was going to stay in the to-wear area. Last year I lost down to my goal weight, but before I had any time to enjoy it, I got a monster case of hives, which threw all my discipline out the window. I couldn’t exercise and the meds turned me into an eating machine. That made me angry, which caused me to eat more and for months I just hid beneath those finger tip sweaters and coats I love to wear, trying to ignore those extra pounds.
In March, I worked on a serious attitude improvement program and at the end of it, I bit the bullet and started back on Noom. I’d say I know at least ten health and fitness coaches, but I’m just not into smoothies and supplements, so I go it alone with a little app to make me accountable. I’m having a rough start with a lots of up and down, but that’s the nature of weight loss at my age, so as long as I stay on the plan and the overall direction is down, I’m trying to suffer the spikes with grace.
A lot of people go on diets so they can buy new clothes in a different size. I go on diets so I can get back into the clothes I already have. After my time in the closet last week, I have four feet of summer clothes I can’t wear and at least four feet of clothes that I wish were too big. Segregating the too small stuff saves me time when I’m getting ready, but also provides a great motivation to stay on track with my diet, because those clothes I can’t wear are my favorites.
But wait, just going through my clothes did not satisfy that urge to purge. Next, I attacked the drawers and cabinets in my bathroom. On Good Friday I woke up with the same organizing bug, decided to skip the new networking meeting I had intended to attend and headed back into my closet. The hanging clothes were all organized, but the rest of it also needed a purge. All of this resulted in more stuff for the attic. So, Saturday night I moved all that next to the stairwell and carried it upstairs on Sunday. No, you do not want to see my upstairs right now, but Bill finally fixed the shelves, so guess what I did with all my “spare time” this week!
When I was a little kid, my parents did the whole Easter thing, but somewhere along the way, my dad quit going to Christmas and Easter services. He said he went the rest of the year, so he was going to make room for all the visitors. For years, we stayed away from church on these big attendance days. Once I was on my own, I did not follow his lead, but this year I was going to.
If you’ve been keeping up, Bill and I are church shopping, again, a job we don’t particularly enjoy, but becomes necessary from time to time. We’ve visited several churches with varying degrees of success, but haven’t found the one. Last week, Bill just wasn’t up to it and this week I wasn’t. So, when my bestie called and invited us to join her for Good Friday services, that was a good way to work in some worship without visiting a strange church – her church is my old church. It was a great service and I enjoyed seeing my friends.
Afterwards, we went to Casa Mama, again. It’s her favorite. I’m on a diet, so I didn’t care.
My plans for Saturday underwent many changes. Initially, I was going to meet my Dot friends, of the local Polka Dot Powerhouse chapter, for a walk. However, the organizer got sick and I was the only “for sure” attendee, so I redirected my exercise endeavors to my gym. Then I came home and organized my earrings for a while, which was the last job in organizing my closet.
I had been going to go meet my bestie on the other side of town after my walk, which would have been at the end of her dance lesson, but without the walk, it made more sense for us to meet on our own side of town. So she came and picked me up. For lunch, we went to one of my favorites, Fable & Fire. Yes, I know the service is slow and they’re a tad bit expensive, but I love the vibe. It was my first Saturday visit, so I was pleased to discover they have live music on Saturday afternoon. It made for a pleasant lunch. I had the salad with the fruit and nuts – yummy!!
After lunch I got back to my earrings and finished up the closet job. Hubby was taking a nap on the sofa, so I sat down to read a little, which turned into a lot.
Since I always wake up early, so matter whether I need to or not, I used the time to get ahead on my weekday tasks by doing some social media stuff. Bill and I shared a quiet coffee time together, then we went out in the yard for some of that unpleasant, but necessary stuff that needed to be done.
Afterwards, I got cleaned up, because we were supposed to be going out to run some errands, but when I walked out cute and ready to roll, someone was relaxing on the couch. So, I started reading again. He changed couches and I moved to the couch he vacated to continue reading. I was getting chilly and thought about changing clothes, but it seemed as if we were going to have an at home day, so I decided to just change into lounging clothes. The minute I sat back down on the couch, he was ready to roll, so I changed again, but this time into something a little warmer.
We needed to buy a birthday gift for a nephew and the last time I’d been to the Dallas Museum of Art, the gift shop had a good assortment of cute kid stuff. So, we went there, only to discover all the cute kid stuff had sold out. Nada! So, we just enjoyed the museum for awhile. We spent most of our time in the European Art, something we hadn’t done in a while and I must say I liked what was on display. Some old favorites were in different spots and there were other items I either hadn’t seen in a while or didn’t remember ever seeing.
From the museum we went to Fadi’s. He likes the schwerma and I love the veggies. It was delicious as always. Next stop the grocery store, then home again, home again jiggedy jig.
For a girl on a diet I sure did eat well this weekend, but it was a lot of salad and veggies, so nothing to feel guilty about. Come back next week for some more of New York and the usual Memory Keeping 101. Then we’ll see how I did on my diet this week and if I got my attic back together!
My Saturday highlight was FOREVER’s Pet Milestones Online Event, but I started my day at the scrapbooking table. I’m working on a personal album, because I will have a client’s album to start soon, and I want to be caught up with my own stuff. Over the weekend I got up to October 2022, so I only have a few more pages to go.
My bestie is a Memory Keeper, too, so she joined me to watch the Milestones program. She doesn’t do it as a business, but she is her family’s historian and has been working with me on albums for years. However, I think she’s about to abandon the traditional scrapbooking route and embrace the digital side of things, because her sons have no interest in her carefully created scrapbooks, but they dig digital.
She enjoyed the Pets focus of the presentation, because even though she’s inherited all her family’s media and memorabilia, her phone is full of cat photos and videos. A number of the segments were devoted to auto print projects and we were both fascinated with how quickly they could be print ready. I still enjoy the creative process, but for those who just want to get it done, Auto Print is auto-amazing!
After the hour long program it was time for lunch. We decided to try the new seafood restaurant around the corner. The Anchor is a casual restaurant and bar. There’s a patio, but it was a bit brisk for that on Saturday, and there’s a bar, but we were there to eat.
You go to the counter to order, get a number to display on your table and then they deliver the food to you. I opted for a shrimp basket and margarita. The food is affordable, but the drinks are a little pricey in my opinion. I guess one makes up for the other. However, both food and drinks were great.
I’m sure they will do fine on that busy corner, but I found the layout a little disappointing. The primary view is the business end of the restaurant, including a peek into the double door leading into the kitchen and the utility sink. Very utilitarian and it certainly embraced the industrial décor vibe, but I’d rather not look at it.
Then it was time to go shopping. I still had birthday coupons burning a hole in my pocket, so we went to Firewheel, where I could use them all. First stop, DSW! I walked out of the store with a new pair of shoes for all of $10. Then on to Kirkland’s, where I scored a 20% off deal on the cute rabbit in the meme above. Next stop was Chico’s and they had a valentine-themed top on the clearance rack. I hadn’t had any valentine-themed clothes for awhile and decided I’d get it for next year. I only had to contribute a few dollars to go along with my coupon. Last coupon stop was White House|Black Market. My coupon would have almost covered a cute pair of earrings, but I opted for a gorgeous bracelet which would take a few more dollars out of my pocket, but guess what! I had earned enough in their loyalty program over the years to pay the balance! Score!!
You work up a thirst when you’re coupon shopping! Or maybe it was the fried shrimp? Anyway, we went to Sonic to grab a soda and the server overheard us talking about my birthday coupons and gave me a large drink for 99 cents. Another score! Then we made our way to the plaza to enjoy the fountain (and a little people watching!) Then it was time to go home.
Sunday was a quiet day. We visited Lutheran church and marked it off the list, which was too bad, since it is so close to home, but it didn’t meet any of our criteria, except perhaps for the decoration of their sanctuary, but that wasn’t enough to get us back.
We had a few stops to make before we went home. Deb and I had visited Tuesday Morning on the way home from Firewheel and I saw a few things I thought Bill might like. I was right and we did buy a Cuisinart frying pan, to replace the scratched up thing we needed to replace, a table cloth and Bill found a treat he wanted to try. Next was Costco for beverages and Bill found a few other things he wanted to try. Then we enjoyed some of our favorite fast food, Cane’s!
At home, Bill retired to the sofa for a little nap and I hit the scrapbooking table. And then the weekend was over.
The upcoming weekend I will be going to a dance competition with my bestie. She’s going to dance and I’m going to be her dresser and moral support. Come back next week for a report on the world of competitive dance, after traveling to NYC and enjoying some memory-keeping.
Get ready for a wild ride! It’s my birthday weekend!
My favorite restaurant in Dallas is Javier’s, has been forever and it was my top choice for celebrating my birthday, this year and every year, but on Tuesday the earliest reservation possible on Friday night was 9:00. That wasn’t going to roll.
Bestie suggested the new Sear Steakhouse here in Rockwall and I was really glad, because I have been wanting to visit. I just can’t think past Javier’s on my birthday. We made reservations for hubby, bestie and me at 7:30. Here’s how it went.
Let me say first the food is AMAZING. I loved every bite and so did everyone else at our table. I started out with Lobster Bisque to die for, moved on the the perfect porkchop and topped it off with creamed corn better than my mother used to make. Bill stuck with a Wedge Salad and Deb did have a steak.
Let me also say the service was impeccable. Brandon guided us through a wonderful meal and fielded every complaint with grace. Complaint? Yes, there were a few.
The décor has a cool, hip edge we really enjoyed and the chairs were even comfortable, something some restaurants seem to think is no longer necessary. So what’s the beef? Sometimes, the closer something is to perfection, the more the flaws stick out.
The first jarring detail was the fake red rose in the cheap vase on the table. Had there been no floral offering, we wouldn’t even have noticed. Even the cheap vase would have been alright. What wasn’t right was the cheap fake rose. Any fake flower would have been a disappointment, but this was one of those tightly rolled numbers Amazon offers in bunches of 24 for $12.99. It didn’t even pretend like it wanted to look like a rose. It just looked fake. Don’t want to pay for real roses? I get it. Carnations and lilies are nice. In fact, a more convincing fake carnation would have been passable. What they chose was awful.
So in a critical mood we looked around at the fake roses on all the tables and that’s when we noticed the big bouquet of fake tulips. I will admit these were a better quality silk flower than the rose, but they still looked fake. If they hadn’t been there, we would have had a better view of the lovely fireplace they must have spent a fortune on. And that’s my point. In this case, less is more. Give the fake flowers and cheap vases to a nursing home or something. Just don’t leave them in the restaurant to spoil what is otherwise a very delightful décor vibe.
Other complaints? Seven dollars for sauces. A good steak doesn’t need a sauce, but if you are going to offer sauces with your steaks, just add it to the price of the entrée or if you have to charge something (I looked at other steakhouses, like Lawry’s, and they do have an upcharge, but it’s $4, not $7). My creamed corn was $7. Why would a sauce be that price? We wondered if it was the size, but the corn was a generous serving and when our server showed us the size of the sauce plate, it was about the size of half a business card.
Bread was the final faux pas. They had bread and it was good, but we didn’t get any until we were almost to the main course. As we sat, enjoying our drinks, we asked if they had bread. The answer was yes and he’d bring it as soon as it was ready. We asked for it again when the appetizers were served. Then I got down right ornery about it when they started trying to remove my soup bowl. At that point it was a matter of principle. We had a reservation at 7:30 on a Friday night. If a restaurant is going to have hot bread, that seems the right time to put it on the table. When the bread finally arrived, I scooped of the last vestiges of the best lobster bisque I ever had and then I let them take my soup bowl.
We did have dessert. We shared some carrot cake and it was really good, but it wasn’t chocolate. They had chocolate bread pudding, but I don’t like bread pudding, and they had a flourless chocolate cake, but it was about as generous as the sauce servings and I wanted to share. The carrot cake slice was so big, we actually had enough to take some home, but I forgot the box on the table.
Super Sized Saturday
My birthday weekend was only beginning. I had a very busy Saturday. It started with some early morning scrapbooking and coffee with Mr. Bill in the sunroom. Then Deb and I headed across town. First stop was Sam Moon’s. Deb has a dance competition in a couple of weeks and nothing in her jewelry collection did justice to her Latin dress, which has flames sewn around the skirt. She also wanted brightly colors long gloves to go with her shimmery grey smooth dress. We found both and I managed to get out of there without buying anything. Sure I wanted to buy the very big white Easter hat which looked lovely on me, but Easter Sunday is not what it used to be. I’d need to have tickets to the Kentucky Derby or Ascot to justify it.
Next up was the Dallas Contemporary where her son Gino is the Director of Development. They were having an art book fair for the Dallas Library and Gino had a table selling some of his zines and such, with his girlfriend, who is also an artist.
Along with buying a surprise envelope from Gino’s old fashioned vending machine, we walked about the other tables, lingering at the Deep Vellum Bookstore offerings, where Deb showed me a t-shirt Gino had designed. When the girl behind the table started trying to tell us how talented the artist was, Deb said, “I’m his mom.” The girl got all flustered and excited like Deb was a celebrity.
The envelope is Gino’s work, the yellow lady was by another artist at the fair. I would have paid a quarter to get the envelope. I am a big fan of Gino’s work. I’m also a big fan of Shepard Fairey who is currently on exhibition is the galleries. Mr. Fairey’s beautiful and interesting work will be on display through late July and you should go see it. Those are his murals on the collage at the top.
So, for lunch, we stayed in the Design District and ate atEl Bolero. Now, this is a restaurant I can recommend with vigor. Is it perfect? No, but they also aren’t claiming to be Rockwall’s “local high end steakhouse” either. It’s just a funky Design District Mexican restaurant with great food and a really enjoyable patio. I had something called the Texas Peach Margarita. That’s reason enough to visit, right there. OMG good!! But then we shared the Nachos de Tejas and they are worth a visit, too. Just go, you’ll love it. We finished off the meal by sharing a Snickerdoodle Bundtlet from Nothing But Bundt Cakes, who had sent me a birthday coupon.
But my Super Saturday is not over! Then I left Deb at a dance lesson and picked up hubby for bowling. I don’t bowl. I hate bowling, but I love my Dots.Polka Dot Powerhouse is an international networking group for women. I belong to the Plano/North Dallas Chapter and I’ve got to tell you, it’s the bomb! Is there great business networking? Of course, take Sarah Head of Sarah K Photography. She and I connected, because Spot On Images does not do head shots and she doesn’t do real estate photography. Our meeting was just a couple of weeks ago and we’re already sharing leads.
However, what’s more important is that Sarah is a new friend. We don’t just see each other at lunch meetings, we also go bowling and we’re both looking forward to the pool party in July. And the same is true for a wonderful group of women I have met since November and have already begun to call friends. Want to visit? I’d love to host you one lunch or dinner meeting. You’ll be hooked!
Slow Down Sunday
After such a busy weekend, we were ready for a quiet Sunday. We visited another church. It was Church of Christ. While it was a good sermon and there were nice friendly people, the acapella music and the uber-plain sanctuary did not fit the model church in our head. We were going to try Lakepointe’s Classic Service, but it’s an 8 AM service. The goal is to get Bill to go with me more frequently and he was never going to attend at 8 AM. So, the search continues. We’re going Lutheran next week. Trying to find a mix that fits a born Baptist and a raised Coptic pair is not easy.
After church, a quick trip to In & Out, because we had a coupon. Because it was a coupon kind of day, we decided to visit a few of the stores who offered me birthday coupons. We picked up some stuff for the house at Target and At Home, but I saved the DSW, Chico’s and WHBM for shopping with my bestie. Mr. Bill was on the sofa for his nap by 3 PM. I read a little bit and started organizing photos for next album, but ended up just playing my favorite game on my phone.
And that’s it! Come and visit me next week when we’ll enjoy a little more Travel Talk about NYC and some Memory Keeping 101, before the next Weekend Report.
On Friday night I met some of my favorite people at a place which is destined to become one of my favorites, Rosini Vineyards. Friday night usually finds me safely tucked away at home, but this week I was invited to join a group of girls from my real estate world at Rosini’s, a couple of our favorite agents and some folks from the lending and title world. Names and stories will be forever a secret, but I can tell you about Rosini’s.
I have no idea why I haven’t been there before. I have been invited to several occasions hosted there, but I’ve always had more demanding things on my schedule. I added it to my list of things I wanted to do, but hadn’t gotten there, yet. Now I want to go every Friday. The thing is, the space is small and you need to make reservations and making reservations is one of my challenges. Hubby likes spontaneity and doing things by the seat of our pants. In his defense, when we do make plans ahead, something usually comes up and we’re scrambling to get to whatever plans we made.
Do plan on making a visit, however. Get out your phone and make a reservation, because it is so worth it. The ambiance is great, the food is good and so is the wine. They had a musician entertaining and he was smart enough to play in the background so there was good (and hysterical) conversation around the table.
I ordered a Charcuterie Board for us and it was both lovely and tasty. Most of my friends were sharing bottles, but I wanted to taste more than one wine. They don’t show it on the menu, but they also offer tastings. I’d hoped to be served a flight, but instead you have to keep going back to the bar to get the next taste. I didn’t buy up cases of anything to take home, but most of the selections I tried were quite nice.
Favorite Things on Saturday
I woke up early on Saturday (big surprise, right) and hit the scrapbooking studio (another big surprise). I’m doing my travel album for 2022 and the best news there is that there was travel. Covid kept us close to home. We weren’t afraid of the disease. We just didn’t want the hassle or the travel photos with of masks. I’d finished up New York and set out on our Club Med Sandpiper Bay trip and before the weekend was over, I had worked my way to St. Louis for Joyce Meyer.
But that was just the tip of my Memory Keeping iceberg. FOREVER was having their Family History Online Event. I wanted to watch it live, because if I didn’t, where else was I going to find three hours in my schedule. Some friends and customers were planning to come join me, but a variety of things got in the way. Still I hooked my laptop up to the TV and settled down for a wave of ideas.
There was a lot of good information there, but most of it really wasn’t applicable to my own memory keeping journey. I’m not a genealogy enthusiast, I no longer have an older generation to video and I haven’t quite embraced video as my own media. I get it. FOREVER’S Family Research Services are amazing and video freaks need their own streaming service. I’m not those people. At least not yet.
However, there was more. They walked through the digitization process and the advantages of their storage. They also dug deep into the Auto Print products, which are amazing, but just not in my thing. What I did walk away with was a new appreciation for QR codes. I’m always challenged by which photos and words to put on a Christmas Card. With QR codes, I can not only put a QR code which will lead to an entire file of photos (or a video), but I can actually add an audio file which would allow me to say what I wanted to say without having to fit all the words on the card. Watch this space later this year and see if I do it!
My ever faithful bestie did come by after her dance lesson for the final sessions of the Family History Online event and we shared a pizza. The information relit her desire for memory keeping which is the whole purpose of the event in the first place. It would be hard to get my fire to burn any brighter.
Sunday was an orgy of things I love to do. It started with Bill and I visiting my next door neighbor’s church. She is very active at First United Methodist Heath. While attending church is one of my favorite things, church shopping is not, but that’s what we’re doing now – again.
FUMAH is a happening place. I thought their photo-focused Lenten activities were genius and they have an active Women’s Group. There were several other things I really liked about it, but it’s not exactly the right fit for me. It’s a little on the liturgical side of things and the sermon was expository and topical, rather than exegesis. The music was lovely and they mix contemporary with traditional music, but they also broadcast the words on the wall without any music. I hate trying to follow some song I don’t know without being able to look at the music. I know this is the direction most churches are going, both in teaching style and music, but I’m looking for the unicorn.
From there we went for coffee and Bill wanted to try Dunkin Donuts. We both get tired of Starbucks, but Dunkin is not the answer. They don’t have a coffee fixing place. They just add the sugar and cream themselves, but not to Bill’s taste. The hot chocolate was a mix and they don’t have low fat or skim milk. However, the conversation was great and I did love my sausage and cheese kolache.
Next up was a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art and a stroll around Klyde Warren Park. We’d almost gone to the museum last Sunday, but had gotten distracted wandering around Deep Ellum and Uptown. Probably a good thing, because a new exhibition was opening and it might have been crowded.
I’m a member of the museum at the Ambassador level, but I’m not much of an Ambassador, because they’ve gone digital and I never know what’s going on. There was a time when my mailbox was full of all kinds of invitations and magazines from the museum. I loved it – but now everything comes to my email and email is just a lot of noise. They send me too much, so I just delete most of it and then when I want to know something, I have to go looking for it. If a subject line does catch my eye, then I have to print it out and it’s going to be in black and while and then it’s going to get lost on my desk, because it looks like everything else. So, the DMA & I aren’t really friends anymore.
Anyway, I did go and for some reason, they wanted to scan my membership card when I came in. I wonder what they scan if you aren’t a member. Then I had to go stand in line to get my tickets to the new exhibition. That is one good benefit of membership. I can take several people a day to the museum and get them into the exhibition free. You should call me and I’ll take you to this new exhibit, it’s gorgeous.
The name of the exhibit is Saints, Sinners, Lovers, and Fools: 300 Years of Flemish Masterworks. While I loved the art, I thought the first half title was hyperbolic. There are images related to all those nouns in the exhibit, but it is Flemish Masterworks, so there is no scandal. To my disappointment, the information on the wall is fairly sketchy and they have no audio tour or QR codes for more information. So, if you are not a fan of classical artworks, you’re going to have a hard time connecting the title to the artwork. You’ll be strolling through quickly and heading somewhere else.
However, if, like me, you love to see gorgeous figurative art from the past, you’re gonna love this one. Breathtaking altarpieces, intriguing portraits and even some vanitas. We went through it, double back to see it again and then enjoyed the third view also. After a quick stop in the gift shop we headed out to the park.
It seems there have been changes every time I go – probably because I don’t visit it often enough, but they’ve actually added new fountains at one end and upgraded the playground at the other. There are still lots of food trucks, but the restaurant is now Mi Cocina. Our visit was leisurely, but we didn’t really linger very much, because NorthPark was up next.
I love NorthPark. I wish I had a life that allowed me to go every day. I want to shop all the stores, look at all the plants and art and eat at all the places. Bill never wants to go, because it’s impossible to find a parking spot, but this time was different. They have reserved parking for low-e and hybrid cars. Bill has a hybrid. We parked next to a handicapped space and were right in front of an entrance.
I had a birthday gift card to spend and I wanted to go to Pandora. I upgraded my basic bracelet, because the arthritis in my thumbs just didn’t like the one I had. Now, I can get it off and on easy peasy. It will get a lot more wear. Their new thing is rose gold, but thank you, I’ll stick with my silver.
We enjoyed our stroll through NorthPark, especially the kid’s art they had on display in front of Macy’s, but I was dismayed to discover few things are where they used to be. It’s a big game of fruit basket turnover and while I didn’t recognize many of the new players, I fear some of my favorites my be out of the game, because something called Blue Nile is going up in the Brighton spot and I can’t find Brighton on the directory.
I came home from NorthPark very happy with my weekend. Next week we’ll have more New York, more Memory Keeping and another Weekend Report. Please come back to see me!!
It all started Friday morning when the photos arrived from the editors. I don’t want to go back there, but suffice to say, it did not go well and Saturday morning I was still chasing various shots. Granted, this sort of thing very rarely happens and everyone is granted the opportunity to make a mistake, but we had several humans making several mistakes all on the same day. How lucky can you get?
And speaking of being human, I had planned to crock pot a meal on Friday, which did not happen, so while I was madly emailing and texting on Saturday morning to solve all the problems, I loaded up my crockpot. As a start, I added the orzo at the beginning, rather than holding it until the last 30 minutes. So what do you do at that point? It had already sucked up much of my liquids and I wasn’t going to waste food, so I just cranked it up.
Then it was back upstairs to do battle with the editors and when I came down a little later, the crockpot had decided it wasn’t in the mood to cook. Thankfully, with a little technological encouragement – unplug/plug, off/on, try another setting – it decided it would cook my meal.
And speaking of On and Off – Bill had expressed a desire to go to a nursery and start shopping for spring planting. Between Snowmaggedon and the recent Ice Storm, we barely have anything alive in our beds. So, I totally understood the need, but visiting the nursery when the temperature is hovering between the high 40’s and low 50’s didn’t sound like much fun. He agreed it was probably too chilly, so I touched base with my bestie and planned on connecting for lunch.
But then he decided he wanted to run some other errands, which sounded OK. Except that he lollygagged around so long that my bestie finished up her dance lesson. That was not such a big deal, because we all just met for lunch, at Ephesus Bistro & Grill in Rowlett.
My second visit by the way. Ephesus is a great little local place to get Mediterranean food. The hummus has great chunks of chickpea in it, so you know it’s fresh. Bill and I shared a Beef Kabob and she had Chicken Roulade. Both were great. The only thing I warn against is the falafel. When I got it, the inside of the ball was not as done as I like – but that’s me. I prefer the patties over the balls for that reason.
After a morning of dancing and a big lunch, Deb was ready to go home and take a nap. Bill and I headed out to do our errands, but somehow ended up at Covington’s Nursery. It wasn’t quite as chilly as I thought it was going to be, but chilly enough. I think it should be nice and warm when I hang out at the nursery.
We try to shop at Covington’s whenever we can afford to, but they are a little proud of their merchandise. They are without a doubt the most knowledgeable in the area, so we do buy a lot there and we always go to them first for advice.
Sunday was not much better. After I did my greeting job at church, I did get a few pages of scrapbooking done. We also went out and bought each other the Valentine’s Gifts of our choices. We hit another nursery – less expensive, but also less stock and not much in the advice department. After that we hit Red Lobster for dinner.
Yawn, yawn and yawn! Come back next week for more travel, more memory keeping and another weekend report!
The week linking January to February was lost to the weather. It was supposed to be one networking event after another, but it turned into a very productive buttocks-in-chair week, instead. Every day on my calendar has events marked off and the notation ‘weather.” It was great for catching up on a number of things I really don’t like to do, but by Friday I was so glad to have a Zoom call to get on. By the afternoon, the weather had broken and the big melt was on. I took advantage of the break and jumped into my car, running one errand after another.
East Hampton Sandwich Company
On Saturday, I had a lunch date with my friend, Lisa. Our friendship dates from 2006, when I returned to Dallas from the California sojourn. I met Lisa at Northwest Bible Church Women’s Ministry and we just clicked. She was a great support while Mr. Bill was in Iraq and she’s continued to be a good friend until this day, even though our lives have gone in different directions, we make the effort to meet for lunch every couple of months.
Lisa lives just a couple of blocks off Snider Plaza and I’m over here in Heath, so we sort of take turns wandering to one another’s neck of the woods or connect at NorthPark, which is one of my favorite places on earth. It was time to meet somewhere near her, so she suggested the Snider Plaza East Hampton Sandwich Company.
We camped out at one of their tables and caught up on all the news. I had a burger with sweet potato fries, which was delicious and she had the Green Goddess Gluten-Free Wrap. She brought me a housewarming gift to celebrate our new sunroom and bought my lunch, because she said she wouldn’t be in town for my birthday. (She spoils me rotten.) The atmosphere at East Hampton is very laid back and no one seemed to mind us becoming a fixture. So, I drug out my latest scrapbook for her to peruse. My albums don’t seem finished until Deb and Lisa see them!
Most of my Saturdays are spent with my bestie, but Deb had a dance lesson and had another errand or two to run, so we weren’t connecting until after lunch. When Deb texted, Lisa and I were still chatting, so Deb came and joined us.
East Hampton had been great for grabbing a sammie with a friend, but it had one serious fault – no adult beverages. Deb was starving after her dance lesson, but it was time to move on. So, we vacated the space we’d been filling at East Hampton and crossed the street to Penne Pomodoro.
I am very fortunate in my friends. Deb and Lisa are both fixtures in my life and very dear to me. We’ve been sharing lives for a long time. While they haven’t spent a lot of time around each other, they both know all about each other from me and they’ve both been there for me through some pretty serious times. We all just picked up like we’d just seen each other the weekend before.
Deb chose to be healthy and eat a salad, while we bonded over wine. Like East Hampton, Penne Pomodoro was laid back about us taking up their table on a Saturday afternoon, so Deb and I ordered a second round. What a blessing those girls are to me.
What’s a girls’ day without a little shopping therapy? Lisa led us through some of her favorite stores. First, stop was Logos, a great Christian book store that’s been around ever since I can remember. They’ve moved around the center a few times, it seems, but I know the spot they are in is new to them. Lisa is a regular and the owner greeted her by name. Lisa introduced us and I noticed when we left, she called Deb and me by name as she bid us farewell.
Logos does have books, lots of them, but it is also an extraordinary haven for gifts. I saw dozens of things I’d love to give or get. Since Valentine’s is coming soon, I picked up a card for my sweetheart and found something else for him I couldn’t resist, but I can’t tell you, because he does read my posts.
Across the way, we wandered into the Christy M Boutique and I made the mistake of admiring a necklace. It was a mistake, because Lisa was soon handing me a bag, saying Happy Birthday. I told you she spoils me!
Our final stop, before heading over to Lisa’s was Suzanne Roberts. Like Logos, it made me want to buy a little of everything. It’s gifts and home décor, featuring a lot of MacKensie Phillips merchandise. I somehow managed to get out without buying anything.
Then we walked over to Lisa’s. Deb had never seen her home and Lisa had a photo album she wanted to show me. She was a little concerned it might not be photo-safe, but her mother-in-law had been a good little Memory Keeper. The photos were in a Webway album. Webway was the company which became Creative Memories, so I knew her mother-in-law’s hard work would be safe for generations to come.
All good things must come to an end and it was time to head back to Heath. It had been a lovely day. Sunday was uneventful. I went to church, did some scrapbooking and read some. Come back next week. On Wednesday we’ll be in NYC. Thursday is Memory Keeping 101. And of course, Fridays have The Weekend Report.
Forever has two free online events coming soon and you’ll want to know about them. If you don’t already belong to Forever now is a good time to join. It doesn’t cost a penny and there’s no obligation, but you will get a $20 off welcome coupon for your first purchase and you can enjoy these seminars live and/or at your leisure. Just be sure to use my link, https://www.forever.com/ambassador/jane-sadek or you might end up with a stranger as your Ambassador!! Once you belong, hover over the “Products” link in the top bar and choose “Forever Events” from the menu.
Family History Virtual Event
If you’re the Family Historian building your family tree one ancestor at a time, I applaud you! You might be interested to know Forever could be you best tool ever. That’s why you’ll want to participate in this event. After a welcome from our Founder, one of our Ambassadors, who is an expert on genealogical exploration, is going to talk about how she’s used Forever to collect and share her documentation. Then another Ambassador will talk about her experience with Forever Family Research. Yep, Forever has a whole division devoted to helping you with your research and you’re gonna love hearing about it. There’s more, but that should be enough to reel you in. Sign up here!
If you’re not the Family Historian – I’m certainly not – you’re still going to learn lots from this event. During the Family History session, they’ll go step-by-step through the digitization process and though they’ll be talking about genealogical materials specifically, most of those materials are the same ones you have: photos, video, slides, negatives, movies, audio and memorabilia. Then, while you may never dig into your ancestry, you have to admit those family tree people do discover some interesting things and learning how they do it might just inspire you to get busy on your limb, because someday you may have the leaves someone needs for their tree. Sign up here!
Family Historians and Non-Historians both will benefit from the balance of the program. The first session after a short break is “Using Forever.” This company was founded to make memory keeping easier. With us you don’t have to have a series of services and apps to do what you need to do. This session will walk you through the perfect integration of your memory keeping tools.
Perhaps the best part of memory keeping is sharing, so after learning how to use Forever, you’ll drill down into all the various ways you can share with “Auto Print” and “Design and Print.” Want to make a photobook in minutes? AUTO PRINT! You’ll go wild! And other print options will also be discussed. Then they’ll talk about the Friends & Family program for sharing and how you can keep your legacy alive long after you’re not here to do it.
Forever’s Family History Virtual Event will be February 25, starting at 11 AM,CST. Want more info, click here.
Milestones Virtual Event– PETS
Several times a year Forever has Milestones Virtual Events. Much like the Family History event in February, Milestones walks you through ways to use your Forever account and products to capture your memories and share them for generations to come. Past Milestone events have focused on everything from babies to weddings and lots of other things in between. March 11, the subject will be Pets.
The information shared during the event is good, even if you aren’t a pet lover, but pet lovers will enjoy it, even if they aren’t memory keepers!! It will be full of ways to capture and save memories of your pets, as well as how to use Forever in the process. You can sisgn up here.
More Information Than You Can Shake a Stick At
Online Events are just one of the ways Forever supports you in your memory keeping. On virtually every page of their site there are links to videos, FAQs and other content to help you with whatever you are doing. You’ll find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. They have a blog. With your Forever Club Membership, you can even be on a quarterly call with the founder to find out what’s going on. If digital scrapbooking is your thing, there’s the Pixels2Pages community. It really is almost endless. And yet, I was preserving memories seconds after I signed up, so it is also very intuitive.
So, that’s the memory keeping scoop for this week. Of course I will be sharing the weekend report tomorrow and next week I’ll be sharing more from the trip to NYC. Don’t miss it!!
Travel There – Just a Couple of Texas Girls in the Big City
As soon as we got our stuff stowed away we hit the streets of NYC. In just a few steps we figured out the Sheraton New York Times Square is the perfect place to stay. Don’t let them put you in the Four Points by Sheraton Times Square, that’s a whole ‘nother place and I am so glad a fought the battle to get where we wanted to be. We were right in the middle of everything without being in the insanity of Broadway itself.
Broadway, just a few blocks away, was insane and I am glad we had a buffer zone. They smoke pot everywhere in NYC, but on Broadway they smoke it a lot and they want to sell it to you. They also want to sell you fake designer bags. I could have done away with that whole vibe, but you just have to take New York City as it comes at you.
You also get mobs of people all the time. Later in the trip we’d be there on a weekend evening and we would really understand exactly how crazy it could get, but for our first day in the city, it was crazy enough.
We hadn’t scheduled anything specific for our day of arrival, because air travel is so unreliable these days. I didn’t want to have tickets riding on me getting there on time and we’re still stuck in the air somewhere. So the plan was to stroll Broadway and see what we could see…or eat.
Our first stop on our tour of Broadway was one of the best of the trip and we repeated it several times. I had read in my research that THE place to have authentic New York Cheesecake was Junior’s. I cannot speak to the authenticity, but oh my goodness, can I ever speak to how delicious it was. We both love cheesecake, but if possible we love Junior’s Cheesecake more than any other we’ve ever had. Deb liked it best topped with various fruits. I had mine plain, but there was nothing plain about it.
Our Key to the City
Broadway, Junior’s and a MetroCard. We were knocking it out of the park in the first few hours we were there. This was not Deb’s first NYC rodeo, so we decided we’d be brave and use the subway system. She had the app and I had the maps.
On our stroll down Broadway we dipped into the subway and purchased a MetroCard, loading it up with rides for the next week. We weren’t ready to use it, but we’d be getting up early the next morning to head to the Statue of Liberty, so we wanted to be ready!
The Biggest Department Store in the World
Confession, I am not a big fan of Macy’s. Well, to tell the truth, I’m not a big fan of department stores, with perhaps the exception of Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s – but I don’t even shop there. I just eat and browse. I am a bargain hunter, so most of my purchases actually occur at one of the stores at the outlet mall.
However, this is New York, the home of Macy’s, so I wanted to be able to say I shopped there. We’d timed our trip to attend a christening, so I planned on buying my gift at the famous store. It is big, ridiculously big, but just like the closest one at Firewheel Town Center, they are short-handed and you are going to have to help yourself.
We found the baby department and I found a darling pink cotton knit sweater with matching socks in the Ralph Lauren section. They were embroidered with the familiar logo in baby blue. They do not, however, have gift wrapping, so I ended up buying a gift bag and card a few stories up in the stationary department.
Deb and I went all the way to the top and rode all the way down on the escalators. Towards the top, they still had the old original wooden escalators. That was something to write home about.
Back Up Broadway
Our goal was Greeley Square and we made it. We tucked over to the Empire State Building just to say I’d been there. We saw Herald Square, Times Square and Duffy Square. We were ticking off the sites!
The evening had set in, but we were still full of cheesecake and the line at the Stardust Cafe was intimidating. So, we went back to the Sheraton, found the bar and celebrated our first day in New York at Happy Hour.
Here’s a few photos from our day. Come back next week and we’ll visit the Stardust Cafe.
TRAVEL HERE: BLUE MESA, CHUCK, ALFREDO’S & FERAH’S
Polka Dot Dinner at Blue Mesa
Rolling it back to Thursday, I have to tell you about Polka Dot Powerhouse. If you need an international women’s group in your networking mix, here you go. Yes, you can connect with women all over the US, as well as the rest of the world. I joined to get to know some Rockwall women better, but the Networking Gods intervened and now, twice month I travel over to the Stonebridge Area to connect with some of the coolest women you can imagine. Second Thursday is at Blue Mesa Granite Park and fourth Monday to Kelly’s Craft Tavern Stonebriar. Let me know and I’ll get you in.
Getting to Granite Park for dinner is quite a commitment for me. I wake up so early that I’m powering down by about 7, but for my Dots, I crawl in the car around 5 PM and drive to the other side of the world for the 6:30 meeting. I can usually make it in an hour, but since I have to go over the dreaded I-30 bridge, I must add half an hour, just in case.
Totally worth it! I’ll leave it at that, but it’s not all business. These women are fun and business is not the focus, but the result. The theme is, build the relationships and the business will come, and they’re serious about it. I do a lot of networking and they ALL say you should build relationships, but nobody does it better than the Dots. So join me for a lunch or a dinner and find out what I mean.
So, I don’t watch a lot of TV and when I do I usually hate it, but I love Chuck! Computer nerd working at the local big box electronics store inadvertently becomes a CIA asset when his brain is downloaded with a program called the Intersect. That’s the plotline, but it doesn’t begin to describe the fun you are about to have when you start watching it. There’s violence, but it’s obviously make-believe and they use tranq guns more often than live ammo. See, Chuck doesn’t believe in killing people. It’s sexy, but nothing you’d be afraid of your four year old watching. They do cuss, but it’s the light stuff for effect, not the shock treatment you get on most modern TV. So your four year old has already heard all of it.
Anyway, I won’t wear you down with more, but that was my Friday night, my Saturday night and the cliff hanger was so good, I watched an episode after church on Sunday. I have to slow down though. There’s only one season left and I have no idea what I am going to do without it. I don’t think there’s any other good clean fun designed for adults.
I wish it were not so, but the restaurant my car most frequently goes to is Alfredo’s in Forney. That’s where FANG (Forney Area Networking Group) meets every Tuesday. It’s the one networking meeting I try to make every week, because this is my gang. It’s really more like visiting family than it is going to a networking meeting, but over the years, I have gotten some darned good business from it.
It’s also where my friend Susan Bennett-White has her WWW (Wine, Women and Wealth) meeting. It’s a monthly financial seminar for women with great networking and the opportunity for spotlighting your business. I admit, I go for the networking. I am married to Mr. Finance, but the WWW tips are always good and I’ve racked up some good leads.
So, why in the world would I go there on a Saturday morning, right? Well, a lead I got at the November WWW suggested we meet there for breakfast and she’s so excited about Forever, I would have met her on the moon if she’d suggested it.
What a morning! First, I missed a turn on the way there and was forced to wander around the backroads between Heath and Forney – but I was only a few minutes late. Then my laptop totally failed me. For reasons unknown and totally unrelated to the Alfredo’s location, because not it won’t go online anywhere, now. Then she had her granddaughter with her, which in most cases would have been totally fine, but with no visual aids to assist me, I was going head to head with whatever the granddaughter was playing on her tablet, her complaint about the restroom being in use, her ginormous breakfast order and the side of sausage which was delivered later. Still, Forever won the day and I have a new client.
So, after a week with six networking meetings, five 1:1 meetings and a failing laptop, it was time to play. When I left Alfredo’s, I headed to meet my bestie at Ferah Tex-Med Kitchen. And no, that’s not a typo, Ferah’s fuses Mediterranean dishes with Texican favorites for something that will both surprise and delight you.
The first thing I ordered was a Sauvignon Blanc. Then we shared the Chef’s Sampler Platter with Falafel, Fried Goat Cheese, Crab Cake, Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates, Hummus and Pita Bread. How do you say delicious in TexMed? I’m not sure, but I am sure you’ll love it.
Instead of dessert, we chose shopping therapy. A little Ulta’s for some of life’s necessities, like a new mascara I didn’t really need, but the tube was so cute. Enough Chico’s to confirm we love their outlet store and DSW. I told myself I didn’t really need any shoes and I didn’t until I strolled through the clearance racks.
Now, if you love DSW, I don’t have to tell you about the clearance racks. I don’t even look at shoes which aren’t on clearance, but I have another filter. The shoes are tagged by colors indicating from 20-60% off. The percentage of the colors change week by week instead of having to re-tag them. Whatever colors are 50-60% off, those are the only ones I will seriously consider and they better be really good for me to even be interested.
I’m hard on shoes and my feet are getting more picky about what they will wear, so those off-brands you’ve never heard of, they don’t get much of a look either, but JLo’s and Jessica Simpson’s? I couldn’t name any of their tunes, but I love their shoes. JLo was really styling this time, as was Jessica and Adirenne Vittadini, she had a stunner, too.
I walked out with four pairs. Three of them were legit purchases based on things which fit right into my current wardrobe. This metallic orange number with the rhinestone aglets? No reason and no excuses. They just weren’t going to let me walk away without them. It won’t be long until they tell me what to wear them with, either.
So that’s the weekend. Sunday I went to church and then spent the rest of the day getting caught up with stuff, like this post. Keep coming back. Travel Talk and Memory Keeping 101 will keep coming at you, just like the Weekend Report!