I was just cleaning up some websites, and here I am on this one.  I’m going to leave it up, but I’ll let this post be a little update.  I like bullet lists, so here we go:

  • The girls, Becca and Chloe, are about to turn 10 and 8.  I’m no longer a soccer mom, but the girls have been taking drum and guitar lessons for about a year.
  • We still have the restaurant, Downey’s House, and it is doing well
  • I’ve become a life and business coach.  Go check out my website :)
  • I’ve stopped working on t-shirt designs, but all my old designs are still selling.
  • I haven’t gotten any younger :(
  • I may come and post some kid related stuff here.  Maybe.  I’m contemplating.
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Not Effective

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As I was playing my favorite game on Facebook (Bejeweled Blitz), I came across an ad on the side of the page.  THIS was the ad:

Let me just say, that it got my attention.  It DEFINITELY got my attention.  But, um, HELLO!?!?!?!  Looking at that mean, Exorcist-looking face does NOT make me want to become a social worker.  Not in one year, and not in ten years.  Now, as I look at that photo, I’m imagining that the photographer just told that sweet (she probably really IS sweet, and not evil) little girl to make the scariest monster face she could.  And that’s great.

But the sepia tones, added with the ad for becoming a social worker, makes the whole thing just creepy.  I did not click on the link.  For two reasons…the first reason would be that I very, very, very, very rarely will click on a Facebook ad.  And if I do, it’s only the ones that go to another Facebook page.  Secondly, I was afraid that the devil himself might jump right out of my laptop if I clicked there.

OK, just needed to share.  What’s the weirdest Facebook ad you’ve seen?

Categories : life, website
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Well, It’s A Salad

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There are many things I love about summer.  Sleeping in, sitting outside, going to the park…

and Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad.

ZOMG, it’s frickin’ awesome.  I distinctly remember the first time I ate this so-called salad.  It was my niece’s birthday party, at my brother’s Mother-in-law’s house.  We were outside, and I saw this concoction sitting in a pan.  My sister-in-law told me to try it, it was awesome.

That, it was.  I had never tried to make it.  I would just go to summer graduations, birthday parties and what not, and basically hover over it, making sure I got two pieces.  I was watching WQED a couple of weeks ago, and they were trying to get pledges.  If you pledged 60 bucks, you got a cookbook about what Pittsburgh eats.  Then, they made some recipes.  One was a burnt almond torte (again, ZOMG!  Soooooooooooooo good.  One of our friends had a burnt almond torte wedding cake.  I will forever remember that wedding because of the cake.  Such an excellent idea).  I was not about to venture into making a burnt almond torte.  It looked super difficult.  But, then they made Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad.  That didn’t look to bad.

So, last week I bought all the ingredients.  But I didn’t get the motivation to make it until last night.  Not difficult to make at all.  I stuck it in the fridge to let the jello set.  About 45 minutes later, I just couldn’t wait…I had to have a piece.  I asked the girls if they wanted some.  They absolutely refused to try something new.  Fine.  More for me.

All I can say is YUMMY!  I had promised my one sister-in-law, Anita, that when I made it I would bring some to her.  So, after I polished off THREE PIECES, I packed up four pieces for her.  I think this is my new thing to bring to parties.  Here’s the recipe from WQED’s website:

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted margarine
3 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 – 8 or 9 ounce package Cool Whip
1 cup sugar
2 – 3 ounce boxes strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
2 – 10 ounce packages frozen strawberries
Mix first 3 ingredients and press into 9×13″ pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes and cool. Beat the next 3 ingredients and spread over cooled pretzel mixture. Combine jello with the 2 cups boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Add frozen strawberries to jello, breaking apart with knife or spoon. Pour over top of cream cheese mixture and chill overnight or until firm.


Categories : recipe
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**Imagine me peering up at you, with my head still on the table**

I’m a soccer mom.

The girls are both going to be in spring soccer, and practices start next week.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they’re excited to be involved in some sort of team sport.  It’s good for them.

On the other hand, there are days I feel like I’m still 25 and I should be worrying about what adult beverage I’m going to have and where I’m going on vacation.

Now it’s about soccer shoes, shin guards, practices, games, and getting a good folding chair where I can place my ass while this is all going on.  It’s about getting homework done, not spoiling the kids but letting them have a fun childhood.  Bedtimes, baths, brushing teeth, eating good food, doing well in school, making friends, birthday parties and loving your sister.

This was my plan, don’t get me wrong.  But it feels like I created this plan just a few months ago instead of 15 years ago.  Time sure flies when you’re having fun…and taking care of two small humans.

Now, I just need to know…is it mandatory that I get one of those soccer ball stickers for my car?  God, I hope not.

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Good Intentions Count, Right?

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011, Donating Blood

Yesterday I followed through (sort of) on something that I’ve been meaning to do for about eight years.

When I was pregnant with Becca, I went through the normal tests and such that are associated with being pregnant.  Somewhere along the line, I found out that my blood type was O negative.  After my c-section, one of the nurses had mentioned that I should give blood, because type O blood can be given to anybody (Well, O negative can be given to anybody who is ‘negative.’).  At that point in time I told myself that yes, I would donate blood.  It’s just the right thing to do, and I remember when I was younger that my father donated blood all the time.

So, last week I made an appointment.  I headed to the Central Blood Bank office to give my share.  I realize that it had taken a long time for me to follow through on this.  But, oh well…such is life.  I was getting around to it now.  And it’s not like I have a fear of needles, or blood, or anything medical.  The only thing I can’t do is watch them actually put the needle in my skin.

I did what I was supposed to do…I ate breakfast, drank plenty of water, and had a good attitude.  After I finished up the medical questions, all of which I passed with flying colors, I was ready to go.  The nice girl sat me in a chair and prepped me.  As she was checking out my veins, I told her that I had some previous problems with nurses finding exactly where to take blood.  She assured me that it shouldn’t be a problem, and found a nice vein in my right arm.  She stuck the needle in (and no, I didn’t look), and off we went.  First they have to fill up three vials of blood (not sure why), and then they move onto the donation bag.  The three vials came out just fine.  They hooked up the bag, and it started to fill.

But then, it stopped.

It was like my body decided that it needed whatever was left in there.  She poked the needle around, trying to get it to start again.  Unfortunately, I watched that.  Bad decision on my part.  I got a huge head rush, and mentioned it.  They laid me back and put an ice pack on my chest.  They tried a bit more to get that blood flowing, but no go.  This sweet girl apologized that I would probably have a big, pretty bruise there.  She said that my veins were just small.  Meh, bruises aren’t a big deal.  They fed me some diet Pepsi and cookies, and told me that I could try again in 56 days.

I guess I will try again.  I felt bad that I couldn’t actually follow through on this plan.  If it doesn’t work the next time, then I guess I’m just keeping my blood to myself :)


Photo courtesy of RebeccaLK’s Flickr photostream

Categories : life
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