Wednesday, December 30, 2009

YouTube Music

Do you like to watch struggling and not so struggling musicians on YouTube? Here's three to try:

My favorite Christmas Carol:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Did you know the cell phone companies are the number 1 complained about companies in Canada? If you have a cell phone, you know that's true, b/c we are the most gouged country in the world. Enter Wind: we have high hopes Wind, so don't let us down!

"Simply put, we want to create the most unforgettably positive customer experience in Canada.

How? By speaking with you, not at or over you. By making every site you visit, every store you set foot in and every call you have with us into a meaningful conversation to help build something better - together. We'll make it as easy as possible to be a customer. You'll have more control over your mobile experience than you've ever had before. And you'll get all this at a price you can afford.

The result of this vision, the core of what we all believe, is how it affects you...our customers, our partners.

Dialogue. Simplicity. Control. And Value."

"Why WIND?

WIND is an established and growing brand with a successful history of over 10 years in two large European markets (Italy and Greece). WIND is a brand of Wind Telecomunicazione, an operating unit of Weather Investments s.p.A., and its customer base shares a very similar profile with our primary target segment.

By choosing the brand name WIND, we’re not only leveraging its legacy as a challenger, but also its operational intelligence and global experience, bringing global standards for value and service to Canada. This provides us with a solid launching pad as we enter a very competitive and closely held market."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shopping in Tokyo

I was in a shop today for the first time since Tokyo, so I got to pick up a few necessities.That was exciting for me! Time has been at a premium, truly not enough hours in the day (my sweet cousin is sick and so we have been trying to be there for her). In Tokyo it's easy to be in a shop...the shopping and eating never stop, and can be done every few feet! Too bad the yen is up up up, and dollar is down down down. We hardly bought anything there except these super cute alarm clocks that wake you up with tiny little birdie tweets. But for Mark, we bought a ginormous alarm clock with bells the size of biceps on each ring a ding dings!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My poor ignored blog...

I have things to say, but no time to say them. Maybe in a day or two.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Make Your Own Bias Tape

This may not seem like a useful tutorial, unless, like me, you are making sweet little hobo bags for your grandchildren for Christmas, and you are faced with yards of teeny tiny strips to make long narrow ties...then this information becomes of paramount importance! Believe me, it works like a charm - I made the first bag without the benefit of this little trick, and the then next 3 with...and I am a much happier seamstress now.

Is it Possible to Get Enough of these Books?

There is a link to view the Coralie Bickford-Smith designed Penguin Classics in greater detail...these books seriously make me happy. Here is the link:

The latest ones, seen above, are now available in the UK, and I have managed to find 5 of them at my local Chapters (Canada) for a paltry $14.99. In chatting with a sales person there, these books are wildly popular with upwards of 60 units per title being ordered. There are only a trickle of titles remaining from the first set - Kamoops and Sherwood Park are good locations for picking up some of that first set. What a find.

I tried to surprise my niece with a title from the latest offering - me thinking that with a new pregnancy, work, and distance from the city, that I could delight her with a copy of Little Women, in the mail. But no way jose...she was all over the new ones, and had one that I did not find...blast, as Sarra would say. Sorry Royall, but I sure did try.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Iranian sister

Isn't this pretty? My sister-in-law, while on vacation on the Caspian Sea this last month, created this birdie in the sand. As a graphic designer she has designed book jackets and posters etc. She is lovely and super talented. I miss her:-(

We need our burdens lifted from time to time...

Click this link to see a sweet, tender video about the Saviours love for us.

Monday, October 19, 2009

CM Love at Pigeon Lake

Just came home to some very sad personal news...truly tragic. I have upset sons, reflective and heavy hearted - not in our own family but close friends. Can't delve into that, but it has kept me thinking tonight about what I do with and through CM. I've been at my CM Pigeon Lake retreat (2/year) where not only do I work on my family's albums, stories and histories, but I have forged friendships with my peers and clients, that have been very long lasting, and important to me in my life in and outside of CM. Many of these ladies are dear friends that I have known for years long as 15 years or so. I love them, and appreciate them. We have so much fun together, and we learn from one another. We laugh a lot all weekend, and this last one was no exception. It's balm to my soul and this Sunday evening, with my own heart heavy laden for dear, dear friends...I have drawn on that balm from the weekend. I hope that this week, I will be able to share some of that comfort and love with my friends who are hurting tonight. I am very thankful for my business, for the blessings it has brought in the form of lovely friends, as well as completed albums.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

One Story - Birthday Sweetness

I love this idea!! My B-day gift from Sarra is a subscription to One be described below. This is a thoughtful and creative gift - I can't wait to curl up with the very first one.
I also received yummies from Lush, and a gift too fancy pancy to show here from Jared:-)

One Story is a literary magazine that contains, simply, one story. Approximately every three weeks, subscribers are sent One Story in the mail. This story will be an amazing read.

Each issue is artfully designed, lightweight, easy to carry, and ready to entertain on buses, in bed, in subways, in cars, in the park, in the bath, in the waiting rooms of doctors, on the couch in the afternoon or on line at the supermarket.

One Story is available only by subscription.

We believe that short stories are best read alone. They should not be sandwiched in between a review and an exposé on liposuction, or placed after another work of fiction that is so sad or funny or long that the reader is worn out by the time they turn to it.

The experience of reading a story by itself is usually found only in MFA programs or writing workshops. This is a shame.

Besides, there is always time to read one story.

Maribeth Batcha, Publisher
Maribeth Batcha is the publisher and co-founder of One Story. She has worked in magazine circulation for over 15 years for titles including Diabetes Self-Management, Lingua Franca, University Business, The New York Review of Books, Working Mother, andThe Progressive. In addition to circulation consulting, she currently does marketing and development copywriting for not-for-profits, including the 92nd Street Y and the National Academy Foundation. She has a BA from New York University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College, teaching a revisions tutorial in their MFA Program.

Hannah Tinti, Editor
Hannah Tinti developed her editorial skills working at literary agencies and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, Boston Review and Washington Square. She earned her MA from New York University's Graduate Creative Writing Program. Her short story collection, Animal Crackers, was sold in sixteen countries and was a runner up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her first novel, The Good Thief, will be published in September 2008. For more information, please visit

Devin Emke, Webmaster
Devin Emke has been programming for the web since 1996. In addition to One Story, he has worked as webmaster and custom software developer for Rapaport Publishing and Viacom Interactive Services. In 2002 Devin built the custom web-based submission management system for One Story magazine that he later developed into Submission Manager.

Tanya Rey, Managing Editor
Tanya Rey is from the Miami area. She holds an MFA in fiction from New York University. Her work can be found online atMcSweeney's.

Pei-Ling Lue, Associate Managing Editor
Pei-Ling Lue was born in Oshima, Japan and arrived in New York at the age of five wearing a red hat. She holds an MFA from New York University and was a finalist for Fiction Magazine's contest for new writers. She teaches creative writing in Westchester County. In her other life, she is a Website Content Manager for Pei-Ling takes time every day to save the short story.

Marie-Helene Bertino, Assistant Editor
Marie-Helene Bertino's stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Pushcart Prize Anthology XXXIII, The North American Review (Kurt Vonnegut Award 2007), Mississippi Review (2007 Story Prize), Inkwell, The Indiana Review and Hotel Saint George Press. She received an MFA and The Himan Brown Award for Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. She is one of those people who never pipe down about being from Philadelphia.

Elliott Holt, Reading Series Coordinator
Elliott Holt's short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in various places, including The Bellevue Literary Review and online at theKenyon Review and Esquire's Napkin fiction project. She is a 2007 graduate of the Brooklyn College MFA program, where she won the Himan Brown Award. She has been a recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and has been a resident at Yaddo. She is working on a novel.

Andrew Crocker, Reader
Andrew Crocker is from the Washington D.C. Metro Area. He attended Harvard University and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at New York University. His interests include subway systems of the United States/world, the Lucky Strikes logo, and cruciverbalism.

Jesse Hassenger, Reader
Jesse Hassenger was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, NY. He attended Wesleyan University and graduated in 2002; currently he lives in Brooklyn and is completing his MLS at Queens College. His short fiction has appeared in Brooklyn Review, Dirt, and Me Three; his film criticism appears in The L Magazine, PopMatters, and on For information on what albums he may or may not be listening to and how recently he's eaten cake, visit

Yuka Igarashi, Reader
Yuka Igarashi has worked as a researcher, a copywriter, and a book reviewer. She is currently pursuing an MFA in fiction at Columbia University, where she also teaches undergraduate academic writing. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Aubrie-Ann Jones, Reader
Aubrie-Ann Jones was born in Illinois, brought up on the East Coast, has traveled to more than 40 countries, and now lives in Brooklyn. She is a mentor with the PEN American Prison Writing Program and an MFA candidate in fiction at The New School.

Sara Batkie, Intern
Sara Batkie grew up in the wilds of the Midwest, which she left almost immediately after graduating from the University of Iowa. She is now an MFA candidate in fiction at New York University, where she also teaches undergrads and helps coordinate the Emerging Writers reading series. She is working on a collection of short stories.

Look at all the awards!!

Best American Non-Required Reading 2009:
Best American Non-Required Reading 2009, “Notable Stories”:
Best American Mystery 2009:
New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2009:
O. Henry Awards 2009:
Puschart Prize 2009: Best of the Small Presses:
Pushcart Prize 2009: Best of the Small Presses “Special Mention”:
Pushcart Prize 2008: Best of the Small Presses “Special Mention”:
O. Henry Awards 2007:
Best Non-Required Reading 2007, Shortlist:
Best American Short Stories top 100 “Notable Stories of 2007”:
Best American Fantasy 2007:
Best American Non-Required Reading 2006:
O. Henry Awards 2006:
Best American Short Stories 2006:
Pushcart Prize 2006: Best of the Small Presses “Special Mention”:
Best American Short Stories top 100 “Notable Stories of 2006”:
New Stories from the South: The Year's Best 2006:
Winner, Fountain Award 2005:
Runner up, Fountain Award 2005:
Best American Short Stories top 100 “Notable Stories of 2005”:
Best New American Voices 2005:
Pushcart Prize 2005: Best of the Small Presses “Special Mention”:
Best American Short Stories top 100 “Notable Stories of 2004”:
Best American Non-Required Reading 2004, short list:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm in Love...thanks to Royall

Royall, where ever did you ever find these lovelies? Why don't I know about these beautiful books! Needing to know that these books could be obtained, I panicked as I first checked out the UK store, where they are mostly sold out, then I checked eBay - no dice, then the US - Barnes & Noble with spotty results....and then Chapters online...sold out on line, every single copy, but they ARE available in store, various locations. Whew. Seriously, I was hyper ventilating! I actually own most of these titles, some in leather bound...but that hardly matters at all.
They are too beautiful to pass up.

I found this funny blog interview on the Penguin website about Coralie Bickford-Smiths book sets - here it is:

Designing classics

A couple of months ago, I interviewed Penguin designer Coralie Bickford-Smith in a video about her covers for the Gothic horror series. This last week we had another conversation, this time by email. I'd send her an image file with a question at the top, and then she'd fill the rest of the picture with anything she wanted and send it back, and then I'd send her another one.

This is the conversation, and that's me in the Helvetica:








The hardback classics are exclusively available at Waterstone's and through the Waterstone's website. Here's the full list, with a link to an image of each book:

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
Tess of the d'Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

Coralie is too modest to say so, but she also just won an award for best 'Brand or Series Identity' at the British Book Design and Production Awards. She won for the Classic Boys' Adventures series, which you can buy as a complete set with an exclusive poster right here. (Is this not the greatest cover ever?)

And she designed this luxurious three-volume giftset of our new translation of The Arabian Nights (published at the end of the month), which are perhaps the most handsome books I have ever touched:

3volume Arabian Nights

(Note for possible future misery memoir: Coralie designs books so nice that touching them makes me feel inferior.)

I suppose what I am getting at is that if you were to follow Coralie around and buy every book she designed, you would have a very beautiful library. No doubt her ability to make books so desirable will turn her into a figure of hate during this economic downturn, as she renders people unable to resist buying elegant hardback books, when they should really be eating instead. I am hungry, Coralie! Please stop this! My infant child needs shoes! Coralie, I ate his shoes!

Still, good work.


......................................................................Then, look at this fantastic set for boys literature, oh to have boys again; maybe I will get this set too, for my grandchildren when they come to visit Grammie's house:

The latter half of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth, were the heyday of the modern adventure novel. In these stories ordinary men pitted their brawn and wits against foreign spies, terrific monsters and strange lands.

The twelve classic adventure stories that make up the Boys' Adventure stories set are timeless tales of young men of action risking their lives against dark deeds and impossible odds.

» Click here to view the Boys Adventure exclusive poster

Friday, September 18, 2009


Anyone that knows the way I dress, knows that I don't know beans about fashion, and do not even, really, have much of a real fashion style I am sad to say. Sarra does...she is definitely au natural boho style. I am 'i like cotton' style.

But all that aside...I saw this picture today, and even though it's supposed to be all about the runway, I began to wonder...what shoes would I wear to a fashion show? You can't tell me that the women and most of the men didn't run out and buy new shoes to wear to this event. Half the fun would be to see what shoes everyone was between models that is.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Office Hum

Today was a productive, and fun day as Eli and I worked on our respective jobs, he in the office and I worked in the library. There was a constant buzz of activity while we jockeyed for the fax
machine and line one (line 2 doesn't go long distance so no one is a fan) - with breaks for food, and Bill O'Reilly. Talk about whistling while you work...there is a constant audible stream of how it's going for him emanating from upstairs...I wish he would work here every day!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I can't get enough of yellow...yellow makes the world go around. These pretty pics can be found on a cool part of Martha Stewart's website under 'Decorating by Color'. They have hundreds of rooms organized by color - it is really helpful to see the finished rooms for the decorating ideas also.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Love this...

Another reason to be a seasoned may end up with enough pretty luggage to use these lovely ideas. Mano and I are booked to go to Japan this November, finally - it took a lot of prodding to get him to set these plans in motion. We have been invited to take the trip for 2 years now, and though I am always game to travel, he is a homeboy. We are also thinking of stopping in Dubai for a week, to meet Mano's family - as many as can come. That would make the trip especially wonderful.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clear Skin

Wow, I'm a week away from 49 and my skin is suddenly perfect! What can I attribute this miracle to? Good old fashioned ProActiv. I should have tried it years ago, but I somehow thought is would be too harsh for my sensitive skin. I listened to a gal on YouTube talk about her skin care routine, and she recommended ProActive, in fact said she'd been using it for years...and so I picked some up to give a try. My skin was clear in three days, and it's now been a week and a half. Perfect skin! I can't stop touching it - which could be cause for more breakouts, so I should probably curb that impulse. I could do a commercial:-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Love

These are photos of the most beautiful rooms in peoples me. Oh, if I could expand any room in my own house, it would be my library.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

and I quote...

"You get a lot more done when you get up early" this revelation came from Mano, who has discovered this gem after 53 years of life on earth.

"What do I know." Auntie Y - this is uttered as a Shakespearian aside in the midst of many a discussion - it is not a question.

"I didn't know what was going on." This is the funniest to me...all of these are subtle so will only be funny to those that know them best - this is what Timmy remarked to Sarra after coming home to say that he found some fun things at the store that he thought the kids would enjoy. When asked why he didn't pick them up, he gave this line. What it meant was that Sarra wasn't there - Tim doesn't really buy anything much other than formula and such, so he was in unfamiliar territory. Mark could teach him a thing or two.

The most famous in our family, and about 1 year old now is this one:

"Well, I like you, but I didn't learn about you." Charlie in response to my question of whether he had learned about grammies in Primary class. He didn't want to hurt my feelings.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Sewing Room

My sewing area is actually pretty nice, it's upstairs where I have a beautiful view, and I have lots of shelving and table space... so I can't complain, but this room is just so lovely! Maybe instead of sewing, I should decorate my sewing room? See more at

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Hot Summer Day

It' s hot outside, with a very light breeze...couldn't be better weather. Unbeleivably we haven't had any mosquitos this year. We have had instead, some very funky weather though - funky enough that we have stocked up on kerosene fuel, flashlights and water!
Did anyone watch the finale of SYTYCD? My favorite did not win, but my second did, I was for the girls all the favorite being Kayla. Jeanine won though, and she is really nearly as perfect for me, so no matter. I was not a fan of either of the boys. It was a really terrific finale with redos of some of the best routines of the season. Fortunately for us, the Canadian version starts next week:-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009 - young, brave, & beautiful Iranians

Kabab 0 Matic

Can you believe that this exists? I am going to buy it for Dad:-) The video is long, once you've seen them make 10 or so, you've seen them make 100, so just watch for a bit, in awe, and then shut it off:-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pretty Pretty

These are a couple of pictures swiped from  Just a glance through will knock your socks off. This girl has exquisite taste. I love everything. Just to look, you know, we can't have everything, but we can look. And anyway, where on earth would one wear this? 

This crocheted collar necklace is so so pretty with this portrait neckline. From Irregular Expressions, on Etsy.

This photo makes me think of pretty Sarra...

Mark is home!

I picked up Mark from the airport tonight, and I was so excited I was actually jittery and weirdly distracted. It was so fun - we talked for two hours about everything - he is pure eye candy right now. He had some exciting adventures and took lots of pictures, a couple of which I hope to snag. I am so thankful that his trip was fun, and safe, though he was approached by a wierdo in the Paris train station.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ash e Jo (Persian Barley Soup)

I was checking on line this morning for a recipe for Veal Scallopini, and found that Ash e Jo is the Recipe of the Day at Must be their way of showing support for Iran:-)
Check it out; this soup is delicious!

Free Iran!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Mark is coming home on Monday and I am so excited to see him - he has been galavanting across the globe, Tunisia, Paris, London...I will be happy to have him back home, safe and sound. He is smart, so I try very hard to NOT worry, and hope that he is using the beautiful brains that God gave him to their maximum potential. Hopefully I will have some photos soon.

Teeth Whitening on the CHEAP

How did we live without YouTube? I found this really great way to brighten your smile...I tried 7 days worth of Crest Strips once about 6 months was a bit of a pain, I really wanted them for Mano, but he is against all things that taste bad, with the exception of cigs...that's another story, so I tried them. I think they worked a little. Some people have naturally whiter teeth, and you know, as you get older they can yellow a bit, so this seems like an easy and INEXPENSIVE way to whiten teeth. I'll try it and post the results, but here is the vid:

Friday, July 24, 2009

My friend Gwyneth

Gynneth writes a blog that is actually quite good. I am including her recipe for Quick Roast Chicken & Potatoes here. To view her blog, go to and click on any of the topics - Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, or See, or click on the upper right 'view this weeks newsletter'.

Quick Roast Chicken & Potatoes

By removing the back and thigh bones, which is a lot easier than it sounds, you cut your cooking time in half. Also, this is a flexible recipe — you can vary the herbs and substitute any hearty vegetable for the potatoes.

TIME: 1 hour

  • 1 3 to 4 pound chicken, washed and dried
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • a few sprigs each fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 dozen fingerling potatoes (or any small potato), peeled

Preheat the oven to 450ºF (on convection if possible).

Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, remove and discard the backbone of the chicken (or save it for making stock). With a sharp pairing knife, remove the thigh bones — simply follow the bone and let your knife do the work for you. You can also ask your butcher to do this.

Lay the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting tray and press down with your hands so that it flattens. Squeeze over the lemon, getting the juice on and around the entire chicken, and throw the lemon halves into the tray. Toss in the garlic cloves, being sure to tuck a few underneath the bird along with the fresh herbs. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken and drizzle over enough olive oil to coat — about 3 tablespoons.

Meanwhile bring a saucepan of water to a boil and season with a few pinches of salt. Boil the potatoes for 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes, put them back in the pot with the lid on and shake vigorously to ‘fluff’ their exteriors. Put the potatoes in the tray with the chicken and drizzle with olive oil to coat (about another 3 tablespoons) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover the tray with tinfoil, roast for 20 minutes, remove the tinfoil and baste with the juices that have collected on the bottom. Roast for an additional 20 minutes, uncovered, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers at least 165ºF and the skin is browned.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beautiful Routine - So You Think You Can Dance

Not much needs to be said, we have all been touched by Breast Cancer, and cancer in general. I thought this dance routine was beautiful, and very moving. I lost my sweet Aunt Bev to breast cancer, and my Dad to lung cancer, but I am far, far from alone. Too many of us have lost loved ones to cancer. Enjoy this touching depiction of a troubling topic.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My CM Virtual Open House

For those who take photos and make albums:

I know your summer is busy, and that’s why I am offering a fun new opportunity for you to see our summer product launch without having to leave your home!

Beginning today I am offering a Virtual Open House that will allow you to see all the new products we are releasing for summer, along with some page ideas, product specials and more!

What is a Virtual Open House? This is a recorded media presentation that you can watch from your PC or Mac, at your convenience 24/7. The presentation is about 25 minutes in length, and can be paused so you can jot down page layout ideas. This audio/visual presentation is best viewed with a high speed internet connection.

How do you participate? At any time during the next 3 days you can click on the following link to watch this presentation. Then when you are finished watching, send me an email and let me know you have seen the presentation.

Get 25 FREE Memory Keeper Club points when you let me know that you have seen the presentation – and Get 50 FREE Memory Keeper Club points when you also place any order! Get your Free exclusive gift sooner!

I am excited about this fun, new way to showcase our new summer products in a way that works with your busy summer schedule!

Remember to reply and let me know when you have watched the presentation for your Free Memory Keeper Points.

Talk to you soon!

Heroism is still Alive

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Dad

It is nearly a year that my Dad passed away, I called him 'Daddy' all my life...I miss him very much. I always think of him with love and memories of his kindness and endearing personal traits and habits - he will come to mind spontaneously often, when something reminds me of him. I remind my self of him some times, and oh brother is looking more and more like our Dad.

I am thankful to Karen Dawley, my step sister, for this photo taken at his gravesite - I will visit the site myself hopefully this Fall - it is at the Fort Rosecrans Cemetary in San Diego, CA. A fitting resting place as my Dad spent much of his life in the area. Oh how I wish I could hug him one more time, and that I could hear him tell me that he loves me, and then I could say...I love you too.