Monday, June 30, 2008

Ramblings of a Road Trip Mama

Our family has always chosen the comfort of road trips over flying for our vacations. When the children were younger, we didn't have to worry about how noisy they were, if they were bugging the other's on the plane, we have the travel trailer so we can rest assured that nobody has left anything gross in the hotel bed, we can stop at multiple places along the trip and really see some of the great nuances of our country. Oh, and our SUV has a dvd player, so the kids can watch movies or plug in the playstation to stay busy while my hubby and I get hours of wonderful conversation time.

This year the gas prices are going to really cause vacation cut backs, not just for us, but for just about everyone. We are excited to see some of the wonderful spots around Colorado that we've missed in our 18 years here, though. And, I'm researching ways to help us save money and gas on our short stateside trips.

I found a link to some gas saving tips (along with some other helpful info and checklists for road trips) from prestone

Click here to view the gas saving tips

An Island Life is hosting a series of summer giveaways, and you can enter to win a road trip prize pack

Click here to read An Island Life and enter the giveaway

Good luck and Happy Road Tripping!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ramblings of a jewelry making fool!

So, I started this fabulous new business earlier this year .... Gems to Jewels!! It combines my love of crafting with my love of beautiful jewelry.

I have been making handmade jewelry since 2005, and shortly after starting I had several people ask if I could teach them. Well, I did several little classes for friends and fellow mom's clubbers, but really wanted to turn it into a viable business. I began searching for a good vendor or two where I could get everything that I wanted I began to feel like the industry falls hugely short. I don't want a huge beading store, and it seemed like I would need to purchase large minimum orders from several manufacturers in order to have the variety that I need.

Well, I thought, maybe a direct sales company so I can benefit from their larger purchasing power and advertising. Off on that search I went - I found about 5 companies that offer in-home jewelry making parties/classes/workshops, and contacted each. Within just a few hours Gems to Jewels had called me back (BTW - this was in January and I'm still waiting to hear from all but one of the others)

I did my research on the internet, since the other companies really weren't interested enough in having any more consultants to send information, and found that one of the 5 is really a boutique type business that offers a few of their products in kits that you can put it together yourself. The other 3 are pre-made make 'n take type.

Gems to Jewels really stands out - they offer real gemstones and sterling silver components, all sold by the component. This means that you can attend a workshop and create a meaningful piece or set that reflects your personality using gemstones that are special to you, at a price that suits your budget. You can design and complete or the consultant can finish for you. And in the end, you get a one of a kind piece that is heirloom quality!

Anyway, I obviously chose Gems To Jewels, and am loving it!!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ramblings of a wife who knows men can be idiots

Well, It's been an eventful week and a half since my last post. Sunday after my last post the family all headed off to church. We arrived, got Chris off to sunday school and gathered in the espresso cafe to enjoy lattes and donuts. We enjoyed the service and headed back home, with Bri driving and Louis playing the roll of the responsible license holder. We got out of the parking lot and headed home, and Louis started coughing and sneezing. By the time we got home, his eyes were starting to swell. Of course, you know, he is a man, so here's how the conversation went.

Me, "Get back in the car, I have to take you to the ER."
Him, "No, I'll just wash my eyes and wait it out."
Me, "Are you out of your stinkin' mind - get your butt in the car!"

By the time we got to the ER (which, BTW, is in our neighborhood and takes about 2 minutes to get to from our house) his eyes were swollen shut and he was having a hard time breathing. I pulled up to the front door and sent him in while I parked. I run into the building and they already have him in back processing him - there are people in the waiting room bleeding, but for this severe allergic reaction, he came first. At this point he can no longer see, is struggling to breath, and can hardly talk. They shot him up with epinephrine, plus benadryl into an IV they've stuck in his arm, and admitted him to the hospital. When they get him settled in his room he's looking a bit like Mr. Magoo and I tell him how much better he looks (he can now actually open his eyes and see) and he looks in the mirror and finally realizes how serioius this all was - "this is better!?"

Anyway, they release him the next afternoon (Memorial Day monday) after keeping him overnight for observation and give him instructions to follow up with his primary care physician. Friday I'm looking in the calendar while he's off playing golf and don't see that follow up appointment, so I make one for him, and stronglly reprimand him when he gets home.

Oh, and by the way, they don't know what caused the reaction.

The 25th was our granddaughter Laila's 5th birthday, and we had planned a trip to chuck e cheese with her, her 3 year old brother, her 21 month old brother, our son's 4 year old daughter and 18 month old daughter, and our 6 year old Chris. Of course, that was overruled by the trip to the ER, so they all celebrated at home while Louis and I were at the hospital.

What else has kept us busy? Let's see ....
~ our daughter and her 3 kiddo's arrived back from Florida/Texas and have been staying with us
~ school is out so our three minor children are home most of the time
~ I worked for D11 through the school year, so now there are numerous studio and jewelry related tasks that I need to catch up on
~ summer is almost here and there are so many yard/houshold chores that need to be done so that we can enjoy the season