Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Power of Suggestion

This weekend some friends and I went up to Luis' hotel to scrapbook - it was kind of a pre-birthday celebration. We checked in Friday night, and after 3 complimentary Margaritas, I thought that my creative juices would be flowing - but yah; not so much. I tortured myself for I don't know how long, trying to make one lay out; and when I couldn't pull that together I then attempted another and failed just as miserably. My Margaritas had worn off; I had cheated and eaten the bun with my burger at dinner; so I guess you could say I had lost my mojo. I went to sleep around 330 am and all I had accomplished the whole night was to mat 2 pictures. For all you non-scrapbookers, that translates to - I didn't do SQUAT!

Saturday morning we all went to breakfast; we made a Starbucks run, and headed out to Scrapbooks Etc - which is a FABULOUS scrapbooking store. I was thrilled when I walked in, because as part of my b'day gift Jackie had given me $20 to spend specifically at this store; but as soon as I started to look around, my creativity was drained. Nothing made sense to me. I actually walked around thinking to myself "Maybe I should just give scrapbooking up." (And teh crowd gasps) I know scrappers, it was DEFINITELY time for an intervention. Well then I heard Jackie say "Remember Paige; this is supposed to be fun." God, I knew she was right, but somehow I was just stressing myself to the max. I had set a goal for myself to create 4 layouts over the weekend. For me this would be HUGE; but I REALLY wanted to do that, if not more in order to feel that my weekend was a success.

Before we left the room to go to the complimentary cocktail reception, I actually started getting a layout together. I was feeling optimistic. I had a really strong Margarita and I had to go back and ask for a weaker one; (because yes, I'm a wuss and I barely drink;) then I just switched to Diet Coke.
Well, they called Last call and my friend Lori cajoled me into going up to get 2 more drinks. We were standing on line, looking at a TV, and all of a sudden this BIG guy tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, and he pointed to his friend and said "He's been trying to say hello to you." Well, I was shocked. I looked at the guy, (who I immediately thought was a cutie - but of course that could have been the Margaritas talking) and I said "Hi;" and he couldn't have been cuter, blushing and everything. I then turned back and said to Lori "I think I'm old enough to be his mother; what's he doing saying Hello to me?" I went back to the table and told Luis that a guy had been flirting with me; and he gave me a high five.

Well, I'll tell ya, this guy (who was probably a gigolo, trying to make some money) boosted my ego like there was no tomorrow; and I went back to our suite dancing on air and yah baby, I knocked out those 4 layouts in record time. Let's hear it for the Queen - I STILL GOT IT!! Who would of thought that a little attention from a male stranger would bring my scrapbooking mojo back. I bet he's never done that for a woman before. LOL I swear if I would have seen him at breakfast, I would have given him a big ole thanks. (I bet that would have been EXACTLY what he was looking for.) But alas, my scrapbooking genie was not to be seen.
Maybe next time I need to hit a local bar before I scrapbook.... Who would have thought that ego and scrapbook production were so directly related? I bet Heidi Swapp doesn't use this technique. (sorry non-scrappers. I'll owe you one.)
Till next time...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

FREE Movie Tickets

I LOVE going to the movies!! Not just any movie mind you. I'm pretty particular about what I see. Which is not to say that I am a movie snob by any means nor that I see all the epic films; because for the most part I DO NOT. I could run off a laundry list of classics and blockbusters that I've never seen, never will and yet I set Girl's day/night movies months in advance for such classics as "Connie and Carla" (ever heard of it; yah...) or more mainstream films like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" or "Hairspray;" which some of you may recall I actually wrote" I cried the first time I saw the preview." Michelle (One of these days will become legally) K had a field day with that one. And then of course there was "Sex in the City" which although I NEVER saw on HBO, I've seen the G rated version on regular TV and I RAN opening night to see it and have since seen it again - MMMM; Mr. Big!! Now, on the "Scrapbooking from the Inside Out" message board, I mentioned that I got my first ticket for "Sex in the City" by buying the Season 1 DVD at Blockbuster. The DVD sold for $19.99 and actually came with a movie ticket. Well, you know that I just thought this was TOO good a deal to pass up; and I must say that I was awfully proud of myself for making such a wise purchase. So, if you have yet to see "Sex in the City," or you want to see it again and again; and you have any interest in owning any of the seasons of the show on DVD; take yourself over to Blockbuster and see if they still have any for sale - you can't lose.

Now, another must see film for me will be "Mamma Mia." It comes out tomorrow July 18, 2008 and I emailed my girls about seeing it a couple of months ago; after the first time I saw the preview on "American idol." In case I haven't mentioned it before; I am a HUGE ABBA fan. Just call me, that's right the "Dancing Queen." LOL Anyway, what could be better than seeing "Mamma Mia" Saturday morning with my girlfriends? How about seeing it for FREE?? Yep, you read that right and I'm gonna tell you how to do it. Why? Say it with me, "Because I'm all about the GREATER GOOD!!"

OK, so I wish that I could take full and total credit for this find; but credit actually has to go to my pal Patti. It seems that Ponds has a little postage stamp sized "coupon" (for lack of a better word) on their packages of moistened face towels. There are a few different kinds of face towels, varying from Microdermabrasion to age defying etc, etc. They're also great just for taking your make up off (got that guys?) Anyway, all you have to do is purchase a package of the towels but make sure it has this little "coupon" stamp on it. I happened to buy mine at Target and guess what? This gets EVEN better; they were on sale. I paid $5.49 plus tax, I got the towels (which I will definitely use;) and a FREE movie ticket for "Mamma Mia" or any Universal pictures release.
Here's what you do. Go to and you'll need to register; but big deal. Then I think you go to spotlight or something like that. It will ask for your reward code, and ALSO the UPC off the box. You'll need to type in the full UPC, but it will guide you. Then just follow the couple of simple steps, and Presto! you will have a free movie ticket to print. You can do up to 3 per household; so for instance I bought a second package so that I could get Luis a movie ticket too. No, not for "Mamma Mia;" he wouldn't be caught dead; but remember I said "ANY Universal pictures release." So now, Luis Ramos is registered on hahaha, well, he'll be taking his newly cleaned face and laughing all the way to his free movie; just like you can.

Now, for those skeptics out there; I printed this off of the Hollywood Movie Money website

Can't find a participating theater within 30 miles? No problem. Just go to the theater closest to you, pay to see the movie and send us your receipt and the original certificate. After verification we will reimburse you.

Did a theater mistakenly turn you away? No problem. Just send us your certificates along with the theater manager/employee name, the theater you attended, and the date and time it happened. After verification we will reimburse you.
Refunds/reimbursements MUST be postmarked within (1) week of the certificates expiration date in order for them to be honored. Please be advised that if you were turned away from the theater because your ticket was expired you will not be eligible for a refund.
I hope that some of you are able to take advantage of this little tip. The tickets are good until October; so get em while they're hot.
I know I'll be singing all the way to "Mamma Mia." and maybe I'll even provide you with a little review - MAYBE. I wouldn't want to put anyone in shock by posting more than 2 blogs a month. HAHAHA"

Till next time...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Camping In Style

Disclaimer: This is going to be one long RIDE; so you might want to get a drink, get a snack and settle in for a while. Fasten your seat belts....

On July 28, I will turn 41. Boy, how time has flown. I can't believe that just a year ago I was getting ready for my 40th birthday Scraptacular weekend. I've been reflecting a lot over the past few months and I'm happy to say that during my 40th year I've made some very positive changes in my life - namely going to the gym and eliminating carbs at dinner and after (can you say "Broken Record"?) Well, now I've lost 27 lbs so I'm a little more than a quarter of the way to my goal, and I'm just as determined as ever. See, I really am the Queen of DETERMINATION.
I know that many people, ladies in particular have concerns about turning 40 and they tend to want to examine what they've achieved in their life thus far, and compare it to what they thought they would have achieved; I don't personally recommend this. I had no concern at all about turning 40; no, for me the magic number is 43; since both of my parents and my paternal grandfather - Wolf Howell (Yes, that was his real name - Richie Howell's father - go figure;) passed away at the young age of 43. Well not me I tell ya. That's NOT going to be me!! I'm DETERMINED to live well past 43. I've got too much living to do, and 2 more years just won't cut it. When I think about this I always seem to think of that Tim McGraw song "Live like I was dying." I always try to think of what it is that I would want to accomplish in these next 2 years - just in case. This slightly morbid notion does have a way of giving one some awesome perspective; and for this ONE in particular, I have decided that I STILL have many changes to make. I am DETERMINED to become a better person (not that who I am right now is so bad, ) but I want to be more patient, more tolerant, less anxious, less insecure, less fat, less annoyed, less critical, and more self-fulfilled. So you know what that means; more blog, more blog, more blog.
So to those of you who have yet to turn 40, I'm here to tell ya - ain't no thang but a number! Live, Live, Live; reflect and live some more!! Everyone goes at their own pace, and that's what makes our stories different; that's what makes us unique, individuals. I say embrace who you are, where you've been and where you're going AND if where you've been was not so great, then get the hell outta Dodge (if you haven't already) and DON'T GO THERE AGAIN.

Now that I'm down off my proverbial soapbox, I'm sure you're wondering what the hell this blog has to do with camping. Well folks, that's why I call it "The Bumpy Ride;" and away we go...

Some of you may recall that I previously stated emphatically "Jews don't camp." For those of you who don't recall this; it's time to yield. Stop right here - go to my archive and read the July 11, 2007 blog entitled "My Disorder;" then come back. For all others; let's move on. OK, so I previously stated that Jews don't camp; but now, this Jew does!! I LOVED camping and I can't wait to go again; and this was a decision that I made (to camp) and something that I discovered (that I love camping,) when? When I was 40. That's right, another major life change for the Queen during her 40th year. Get it now??

So let's talk camping... Luis and I took our time to purchase our tent, air mattresses and cooler - of course we did ; I'm the Queen of Making sure I got the best deal possible. When all was said and done, we had a FABULOUS 14x15 tent with a screened in patio, (I know it must be absolutely hysterical to my nearest and dearest to hear me use the word "fabulous" to describe a tent of all things.) I got us a smokin' deal on an Aero bed (air mattress royalty.) If you're in the market for an air mattress; whether it be for home use or camping (though you'll need to buy an adapter if it's for camping;) I HIGHLY recommend the Aero bed - it Rocks! Well actually it doesn't which is part of what makes it so fantastic. Luis and I had the pleasure of sleeping on an Aero bed when we visited our friends Hollie & Daniel in Colorado almost 2 years ago. We knew that the Aero bed was the Mercedes of air mattresses - and about the same price. Well, not really; but relatively speaking. Anyway, when we'd seen them in the store, they were typically around $200, but in early June I had the good fortune to see it in Costco for just $130. Knowing what a good deal this was; I bought one immediately; and then as luck would have it, about 2 weeks later I received a coupon flyer from Costco and they were offering the Aero bed from 6/23-26 only for $99 - OMG!! Well, you must know by now that I waited until the 23rd, took my unopened Aero bed and coupon (no receipt) right over to Costco; and after a little persuading (because I didn't have my receipt;) they refunded me for the difference. Woohoo!! Now I truly was a "Happy Camper."

I don't have a story about my coolers; but I will say that for novices, Luis and I packed them up perfectly and EVERYTHING stayed cold for the duration.
Now for those of you who were expecting some crazy story about me falling in the lake or getting sprayed by a skunk or anything verging on the bizarre and outrageous, like what I'm usually up to; I do apologize; but I have nothing to report. I was safe other than tripping over a rock or six. I didn't have anything to complain about, other than the enclosed hole in the ground that they called a bathroom; and I did something that I have done very few times in my life - RELAX!!

For me going camping was a lot like going to "The Pines." The Pines was a hotel in the Catskill Mountains (NY). I liken it to Kellerman's in "Dirty Dancing." My Nana and Papa, would check in on Memorial Day weekend, check out on Labor day weekend, and since I only lived about 2 hours away; I'd go up to visit EVERY chance I got. My major activity at The Pines (other than hooking up with a waiter or lifeguard,) was sitting. LOL Well, not JUST sitting; hanging out, sitting and talking. I'd meet my friends for breakfast, eat and talk; adjourn to the couches in the upper lobby, where we'd sit and talk till lunch; where we'd eat and talk, change for the pool, (sit & talk - occasionally swim.) Shower and get changed for dinner, meet friends in the lobby, sit & talk till dinner. Go to dinner (s&t) walk up to the nightclub - AKA theater where we might see a mediocre performance at best. Let's just say it would not have been unusual to see a "Mambo Madness" type performance or we'd go into the lounge to listen to the vocal styling's of Speedy Garfin and the Garfin Gathering (thought you'd like that BIG V - she was a BIG fan;) then we'd sit on the couches outside the coffee shop where we'd eventually have to go because it had been over 3 hours since anyone had eaten - ha ha ha. Is it any wonder that I had 100 lbs to lose? OK, anyway my point was - camping was a lot like The Pines; a lot of sitting, talking and eating; and I loved it!! I had some wonderful "Scrabble" games with Michelle (It's July and she's still not legally) K, I got to read, play poker, have some cocktails and enjoy my family and friends without having to rush off somewhere - What's not to like? OK, the bathrooms. The bathrooms at this particular campsite were not to like; but next time we will camp in a place with flush toilets. My bed was comfy with a capital C. My "Survivor man" husband showered me and treated me like the Queen I am - OK, yes I said he showered me. Yes, I stood outside naked on a large rock, (it was dark and no one could see; at least I hope so;) and he poured water over me so that I could get clean. My hero!! Luis AKA "Survivor man" (SM) was AMAZING to watch in action. He practically put up our tent by himself at nightfall, in the rain (I had kids to trek to the bathroom.) He blew up our air mattresses to help make our comfy, stylin' camp. He cooked 3 packages of bacon, he made pancakes AND eggs, cooked to order. He chopped wood, took the kids fishing, bathed the kids, bathed me, secured our tent when it rained, he grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for 15 people, he helped me with everything and anything and even got our tent back into its original bag. Watching SM at his best just convinced me more than ever that he truly is "survivor" bound.

Before we even left the campsite I was already trying to plan our next camping trip. Heck, I would have gone again that weekend but I knew we wouldn't be able to get a reservation due to the holiday so we're now planning to go on August first because July is a busy month for us. Not only will I celebrate my birthday, but Luis and I just celebrated our 14th anniversary. Upon reflecting I am thankful for every day that we've had together during my 40th year as well as ALL others. I have come to the realization that no one is perfect (especially me,) and marriage is the toughest job that you'll ever have; but at the end of our very busy days it's all worth it and I'm glad that we've got each other . I have a feeling that we've got many more camping trips ahead of us; and you just have to know that an accident or mishap is bound to happen - so please stay tuned.

Till next time...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why Scrapbooking Matters

Disclaimer: The Bumpy Ride is NOT becoming a Scrapbooking only blog - Not by a long shot; so for those of you non-scrappers who like to take the ride; please indulge me one more time. This is actually a tale of yet another twist and turn in the Queen's journey...

Well, that sounded a little ominous, but you know me, I don't want to scare away any of the few readers that I have. LOL Now, last I wrote I alluded to a piece that I had written that was almost published and BOY am I glad that I had held off in telling you all about this (even though everyone who personally knows me, already knows) because in the long run; I would have had to have written a blog explaining why my publication NEVER happened. How's that for a Bumpy Ride - It almost doesn't even make sense to me; so I guess instead of talking in circles; I'll just start from the beginning.

On February 5, 2008 Rachel forwarded me a "call for writers." Basically, this new craft magazine that was being published in the UK was looking for writers and they asked for a submission of 50 words or more, entitled "Why Scrapbooking Matters." Well, I wasted no time, because this just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to submit a writing sample AND on Feb 22 I received the following email from the editor:

Hi Paige,
I would LOVE to use your words below in our first issue – and wondered if you had a picture of yourself that can go along with it?

Becks x

OK, well I don't think I have to tell you how EXTRAORDINARILY excited I was to receive this email; but I will. I was ESTATIC, I cried tears of joy, I just was so overrun with emotion and I thought that I had finally arrived and that I had a shot at actually getting paid to do what I REALLY want to do - WRITE. Hence the picture that I put up on my blog a few months ago was the one that I emailed to Becks per her request. Well, I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that my picture is being put to good use on "The Bumpy Ride" and now on "Scrapbooking from the Inside Out;" but it shall never grace the pages of "Creativity Life," ( that's the name of Becks magazine.)

I'm sure that you're all as confused about this situation as I am because it was absolutely shocking to me to go from her asking me for a picture and asking my thoughts on how she might compensate me (since I reside in the US) to her COMPLETELY blowing me off. Had I not (ultimately) been persistent, in contacting this SOB (that's S.O.B - not sob, sob as in crying) I would never have found out that "yah, things changed and ultimately they just decided not to use it." I think this Brit needs a little lesson in courtesy and etiquette because she showed NEITHER to me. Nothing like a bitter Queen I tell ya.

Well, I am trying to move on and trying not to let this discourage me; and as I believe that what I wrote REALLY is worth sharing (not to mention that I want to see these words in print one bloody way or another) I present you with my submission of "Why Scrapbooking Matters."

Scrapbooking matters because it gives me the opportunity to teach my children who we are through art. By scrapbooking I am able to recreate our holiday and vacation memories as well as capture all of the nuances of their personalities; their triumphs and joys, their worries and quirks. Scrapbooking enables me to portray who we are as individuals as well as a family; and to illustrate all of the dynamics that go with each. Scrapbooking matters because it is a way for me to give my children road maps to themselves. Scrapbooking provides me the opportunity to pass down pictures, stories, emotions and wishes all wrapped up in a canvas of my own design.
Scrapbooking matters because it is my time to reflect, embrace, create. It is my outlet, my passion, my time with girlfriends and dessert; my gift to myself and my family. I scrapbook because it is a way to satisfy the artist in my heart, and the writer in my soul. Scrapbooking matters because it is my legacy; my work of heart.

And there you have it; my first ALMOST published piece of work. Oh there will be more to come, I promise you. If Diablo Cody can do it, SO CAN I. So for now just think of me as the Queen of DETERMINATION. There are stories in me just begging to be written and well, as soon as I can find the time, they will be written, so help me they will be written!! Maybe sleep is overrated??

Till next time...