About Me

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What is a PRG?? PRG is something someone started calling me long ago - almost in another lifetime. It stands for "Puerto Rican Goddess." Most days lately, I just feel like a Pretty Regular Girl. So this blog will journal my days as a PRG. Some days that will mean my adventures as a Puerto Rican Goddess; other days I'll just be a Pretty Regular Girl. I hope you can find entertainment in both.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ordered Chaos

I've been so busy lately, that I've been a little sporadic in my blogging. I've been trying to keep up with work, which has been insane.

I've also been busy with school. Since we're a few weeks into the semester now, exam season has begun. I'm also rushing a fraternity (it's co-ed, so it's called a fraternity), Phi Chi Theta. I had my rush interview on Monday, so now I'm just waiting for my phone call. If they want me, our pledge ceremony will be this Monday.

We've been ramping up for the holiday season in our candle shoppe, too. We've already started to get busy, and we're branching out to new products. Don't forget to check us out at SJ Candle Shoppe. We'll be adding new fragrances from now until Christmas. We've also changed the containers to something a little nicer, so the candles have a new look. Also, we're going to be adding tarts to the lineup soon. I hope to have some up by the beginning of next week.

So that's what's going on with us right now. Enough to keep me busy, but not enough to make me crazy - yet!

*S*

Monday, September 22, 2008

Test #1

Tonight I had my first exam in my Statistics class. It wasn't really that hard, and I was happy that I knew all of the formulas.

When I got home tonight, Jay and I made some more candles. I am still working on getting them all listed. It is just so tedious to type out the description! I mean, I want people to want to buy our stuff, and I know it takes effort on our part. I am just so tired by the time everything gets made that there's no energy left to post!

Fortunately, I will have some "quiet time" tomorrow. Jay is closing, and I don't have any homework that needs immediate attention. I will have at least a few items up in each shop by the end of the day tomorrow. That's my goal.

It's going to be a lot of work, so I should get some rest. Good night!

*S*

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good Day

Today was a busy day. I met with my Stampin Up! demo today. She is really great, and SUPER talented! I spent over two hours at her house, playing with her stuff and checking out the new catalog.

Tonight, my sister and I took the kids to the Rangers baseball game. Jay came along with us, and got a little taste of what we do every Saturday. He was exhausted by the end of the night!! I made sure he understood why I come home tired every Saturday night. We're pretty high maintenance, and it's always an ordeal to take two young kids anywhere.

So that was my day today. Tomorrow, Jay and I are working on a few Christmas projects and trying to finish up the guest bath. I can't wait to post pics when it's finished!

*S*

Friday, September 19, 2008

More Progress

Well, we made several more batches of candles tonight. I got a couple of orders from work, so we were working on those. Then, we made more to list in our Etsy shops.

Tomorrow we are going to a baseball game with my sister and the kids, then Sunday we will start on the Christmas craft projects. I am going to meet with my Stampin Up! demo tomorrow, hopefully, so I should have some new goodies in the next several days.

Keep checking our Etsy shops for more updates!

Cupcake Toujours

SJ Candle Shoppe

*S*

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We're Up and Running!

I have officially listed my first item on Etsy. Technically, it's my husband's first listing. He insisted on opening his own shop, because he didn't like the name I chose for mine. So I decided we would list the items on both sites and see who gets the most sales!

Here's a link to Jay's shop: http://www.sjcandleshoppe.etsy.com/

Mine is here: http://www.cupcaketoujours.etsy.com/, although I haven't listed my items yet. I was so busy helping him, that I didn't get a chance to do my own! I will have my site up and running by tomorrow night, though. Be sure to check back for more exciting items!

*S*

Another Chaotic Day

Today was another crazy day at work. The market closed down another 449 points, so we've been really busy.

On a high note, I got to see my babies tonight! My sister asked me to come over tonight, and I got to spend time with her and the kids. My niece is such a good helper. She is really growing up and loved her little brother very much. My nephew is growing by leaps and bounds, too! He's just a little more than three months old, but already so big.

My sister and I like to do crafty things together, when we get a chance. I plan to post a couple of projects we're working on, but I'll have to do that over the weekend. I have homework to catch up on, and I'm getting sleepy.

*S*

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!

So today is my last birthday in my twenties. I turned 29 today. It was a really good day. Jay and I went to the candle supply store and bought a bunch of supplies. Then we came home and made several batches of candles for our etsy shop.

Tonight, we went out to dinner at Texas de Brazil. We shared a great bottle of wine, but I drank most of it! As a result, I am really tired and am ready for bed. I promise to update more tomorrow. For now, suffice it to say it was a really good birthday.

*S*

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bear Market

Today was a crazy day. The stock market closed down 504 points, so work was insane.

Some days I really like being a financial adviser. Today was not one of those days. Everything was chaos, the phones were ringing off the hook, clients were panicking. No one really knew what was going on, or where the market would end up.

After work I had a workshop to attend, then class. My first Statistics exam is next Monday. I think I am getting the hang of it, just have a few more things to work through. Other than that, not a lot interesting happened today.

Jay and I both have off tomorrow. We are going to do a few things around the house together, and work on a couple of projects. I've been dying to get started on the Christmas projects, so we're going to do that tomorrow.

I'll be sure to post pics f our progress tomorrow!

*S*

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Casual Sunday

I love Sundays. Most Sundays lately Jay has had to work, but he got his schedule back to normal and was off today.

We slept in a little, then got up and went to breakfast. Sunday morning breakfast is somewhat of a ritual in our house, so it was nice for things to feel "normal." We sat, drank coffee, and talked. During the week, we just cross paths a lot due to different work and school schedules. We need this time to just relax and catch up with one another.

After breakfast, we headed out for birthday shopping. I surprised Jay by telling him I wanted to wait to get my new camera. Crazy, I know. But I actually really do like the one I have, and don't mind waiting.

Instead, we headed to Williams-Sonoma, my favorite kitchen store. I got a bunch of really cool stuff, including The Great Cupcake Pan:

I also got a new cake decorating kit and some other goodies. We're going to one of my favorite restaurants on Tuesday (my actual birthday). It's a Brazilian steakhouse, and it is *so* good! It's been a while since we've been, so I'm really excited to go.

*S*

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Not So Bad After All

Well, the worst of Ike has past. The storm hit Houston pretty hard, and there is a lot of damage. They say some people will be without power for up to 3 weeks. Fortunately for us, the storm changed its course before it got to us. It was really windy this afternoon, but we didn't get a direct hit.

That was the good part of my day. The not so great part was the 8 hours I spent at the dining room table doing Statistics homework. Although it took me a long time, I got most of it done.

Tomorrow Jay and I are going shopping for my birthday. I think I am going to get a new DSLR, so I'm really excited. My mom sent me a new cookbook, so I'm going to try out a few new recipes for dinner, too. I'll be sure to update with my results.

*S*

Friday, September 12, 2008

Only 12 more weeks to go!

So here I am, my second Friday night in a row, sitting in front of my computer. Nothing new, but right now I am exhausted! I just spent the last six hours working on homework.

There I was, sitting at my dining room table (I really do need to buy another desk), both laptops out in front of me. I had two film reviews due for my Cultural Anthropology class, "World Cultures Through Film." On one laptop, I was watching the films, on the other, typing my film reviews. Each film was one hour and fifteen minutes, documentary-style. Not exactly my idea of a good time on a Friday night.

The good news is, though, that there are only 12 more weeks left in the semester. So only 12 more Friday nights like this one. YAY!!

Other than that, not much exciting happened today. I didn't have to go in to the office today, as I had some training to do. Since I have my stockbroker's license, I am required to take continuing ed classes every few years. Well, today was my day, so I had to go sit and watch a bunch of different scenarios and take a bunch of quizzes. I passed with flying colors (I should!) and I won't have to do it again for three more years.

Since I got to take the whole day off, Jay and I went to lunch, then I went and got a pedicure. Of course, after that, he had to go to work,which is when I got down to business with my homework.

It's getting pretty late here now, and Hurricane Ike is expected to hit Houston in the next hour or so. We're far enough away that we won't get a direct hit, but we will see some impact. They have even predicted winds of 45-100 MPH here tomorrow! I expect that this weekend and early next week we will see a lot of rain. That is usually all we get, but the warnings on Ike are making me a little nervous.

I'll try to keep my blog updated throughout the day tomorrow. I expect that is when we will see the worst of it. Keep Texas in your thoughts!!

*S*

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Will Never Forget

So today, obviously, marks the seven year "anniversary" of the September 11 attacks. This is such a sad day for me every year.

I was raised in a military household, and never knew when my dad or my brother would be called up to serve somewhere. Waiting to find out if my dad would be shipped out during Operation Desert Storm was one of the worst days of my life.

I think it is beautiful that the memorial at the Pentagon was dedicated today. There is also a steel cross at the crash site in Shanksville, PA. It is made out of steel that was recovered from ground zero.

I don't have any eloquent words to say today. Nothing witty or smart to make you laugh. I only ask that you hold the events of that day in your hearts. I know that I will.

I will never forget.

*S*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just Some Things I've Noticed

~I love it when someone greets me with an unusual greeting or says goodbye in an unusual way. Today, when signing off a call with a client, he said, "Be well." Love it!

~Security tip on the company calendar: 'Do not bring weapons (including handguns or other firearms, dangerous instruments or material) onto company premises.' Rats - foiled again!

~I have no idea why I am so hungry. I've been taking vitamins with weight loss support in them that speed up my metabolism, but now it's *too* fast and I want to eat all the time!

~I saw this quote from Tim Russert in one of the other pea's signature lines: "Study hard. Laugh often. Keep your honor." These are great words to live by. Tim Russert was a very honorable man, and he will be missed for a very long time.

So until the next time our paths cross, my friends...be well. : )

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lost...

I "found" this video on YouTube today. It is a new Michael Buble' song called "Lost." I am such a huge fan of his. I bought his first CD and have been hooked ever since. I keep hoping he will come out with a Christmas album, but haven't seen one yet.

video

So who is your current favorite? Who else should I check out?

*S*

Monday, September 8, 2008

: (

If you are ever in a position to take an Elementary Statistics class, I encourage you to do it. After all, everyone should know real pain. It builds character.

So I just got back from class. My head is swimming with all of the "to do" items for this class. There are three different online programs, not to mention the in-class exams and, of course, lectures. Yikes!

Aside from being overwhelmed, though, I really do like school. In other news, I have signed up for another swap on 2 Peas. I was doing a bunch of swaps, always had a couple going on at a time, and I just got overwhelmed. I've since taken a break, and since I've been feeling so crafty lately, decided to join one. This one is for a Christmas tag swap; I'll be sure to post when they're completed.

Not much else to blog about today. I'll be testing another recipe tomorrow night. Here's a hint: apples + cinnamon + ice cream = YUM!

*S*

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Christmas Progress Report

The blog challenge on 2 Peas today is "Have you started making Christmas presents yet?"

Of course, if you've read my blog in the past month, you're probably laughing right now. I happen to be keeping track, and there only 109 more days til Christmas!! I've been preparing for the last several weeks.

In fact, as I am writing this now, I am testing out one of the recipes I will use as gifts. My girlfriend, Tracey, and I were talking about those candied nuts you get at Christmastime. They are on my top 10 list of favorite things, and I was dying to find a good recipe! I did find one, which I am posting on my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours. They smell wonderful, are pretty easy to make, and are sure to make a big impression!

The second thing I have done is bought the materials for my main gifts. I plan to post pics when I'm done, but I'm still developing the idea, so don't want to give too much away.

The thing I am having trouble with the most is the cards. Even though I love cardmaking, I know there are others who are so much better at it than I. Most of the time, I cave and just end up buying something. In an effort to keep my handmade pledge, I will be making all of my cards this year.

What about you? What gifts/projects are you working on? Any idea how in the world I can make 20+ handmade cards without losing my sanity? Let's hear what you have to say!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So excited

I got a great email tonight. It was from my best friend whom I haven't seen for almost 5 years. She moved back to our hometown with her husband, and just joined Myspace. The email I got was her friend request. YAY! : )

I haven't been back to our hometown in a few years, since all of my family has moved away. I have been found by several of our old friends, though. I know I should go back - I just missed our 10 year reunion last winter. I'm really excited to hear from her; Sarah and I were inseparable in high school. I may have to plan a trip home next spring.

I also got to visit my husband at work tonight. He called me and asked me to pick something up for the restaurant, and I stuck around to have dinner. Every time I see him at work, I am amazed at how good he is at his job. I know running a restaurant is hard work, but he does it with such ease. It was great to see him in his element and get to spend a few minutes with him.

Overall, it was a very good night tonight.

*S*

Friday, September 5, 2008

Loooooong Day

Whew! I am finally done with homework! I came straight home from work today to work on a film review for my anthropology class. I just submitted my review, and am feeling very relieved.

I had both laptops out in front of me, the syllabus, my notes, and the text. Meantime, I am trying to come up with something that makes sense and will dazzle my prof. I'm actually pretty pleased with myself, but glad I'm done. The first one is always the toughest, since you don't really know what to expect.

So that's all the big news I have to report. I just have a few things to finish up before I call it a night. First I need to email my siblings about our Christmas arrangements. I also want to check out the new Stampin Up! catalog one more time. I finally found a demo in my area, and I am going to call her tomorrow. After that I'll probably go to bed.

Good night!

*S*

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Less-Than-Stellar Day at Work

I will admit, I like for people to think of me as a happy person. Most of the time, I am really happy; sometimes, however, there are things I just have to get off my chest. Today is one of those days.

As probably anyone in a sales or service job knows, there are certain metrics and goals you must meet. In my position, those goals are used to (partially) determine our annual bonus.

I have been working my tail off since I got this promotion on December 15. We got a new CEO in April, and ever since then there has been increasing pressure put on my department to perform. Well, I found out today that, although I thought I was doing fine, a lot of my sales won't count!

I have yet to get a really good explanation as to why. Between my manager and his assistant, all I keep hearing is, "We'll get it figured out. Don't worry about it." Umm, sorry...I'm worried! If I miss out on this bonus, we won't have another one for a year. I'm trying not to get upset, but that's easier said than done.

So I'm sorry to be a Debbie Downer today. I just needed to vent for a minute and get that off my chest. I'm sure it will all work out. At least I hope so!

*S*

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Some things that make me happy

1) Spending time with my niece and nephew
2) New tires on my SUV
3) Feelin' crafty!
4) Talking to my mom
5) Baking
6) Food Network
7) College football!
8) Bon Jovi (*sigh*)
9) Vanilla Coke from Sonic (with the good ice!)
10) Hangin' out with my husband

This list is in no particular order, of course. I would never put college football before my husband - would ?!?

*S*

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

114 Days from now...

It will be Christmas!!!

I can hardly wait. (Obviously, since I've been talking about it for over a week now!)

*S*

Monday, September 1, 2008

Taking the Plunge

Well, I did it. I have finally signed up for Etsy. I plan to sell many of my crafts (of course), and hope to do well. We have always done well with online selling, but that was before I tried handcrafting. We bought wholesale items and sold them on ebay.

Yes, I'm a little nervous; I know Etsy is becoming a lot more popular. While that is a good thing for exposure, it's also intimidating bc I don't want to get lost in the crowd.

Be sure to check me out: http://www.cupcaketoujours.etsy.com/ Check back often, as I hope to have my store up and running very soon!

*S*

Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Finds

Well, I did manage to find a few more things I had to have yesterday. I have just about everything I need now to start my Christmas projects. I will wait until December to buy the baking products, but most of the craft items I have now. Here's what I found yesterday.





I found the exact storage containers I was looking for, Making Memories scrapbook embellishment storage jars. These jars are plastic, with metal lids. I wanted something plastic bc I plan to give them to some of the younger niece and nephews. The inspiration for my idea is here: Goodie Jar


I also picked up the Fiskars dandy doodles punch, a new heat embossing tool, and some more stamps. I went to the library and got some books on Christmas crafts and a few cookbooks to get some baking ideas. I can't wait to get started!


Has anyone else started planning for Christmas yet? Please share your ideas with me!


*S*

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Busy, Busy Day

I got a lot of things done today that I had been putting off. Not all of it was fun, but all of it needed to be done.

1) Get new tires on my truck
2) Make a deposit at the bank
3) Go to Joann's
4) Get pictures developed
5) Stop by Michael's
6) Return books to library
7) Christmas planning

I think I was very productive today. I was certainly busy, and managed to get a lot done. Tomorrow's to do list includes:

1) Laundry
2) Lowe's
3) Organize craft stuff
4) Clean out car
5) Homework
6) More Christmas planning

Another day full of things that need to be done. My hope is that I can get all these things done tomorrow, and then have Monday to relax before I have to go back to work. Also, on-campus classes are cancelled Monday bc of Labor Day, so I only have to keep up with my online discussions.

I look forward to checking everything off of my list tomorrow and having a full day to relax. Wish me luck!

*S*

Friday, August 29, 2008

The New Face of the Republican Party

Today John McCain named Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate for the upcoming election. So who is Sarah Palin?

a The youngest person and first female to be elected governor of Alaska
a Began her political career in 1992, when she was elected to the city council of Wasilla, AK. She ran on a platform that would crack down on wastful spending and high taxes. Once elected, she followed through on campaign promises to cut her own salary.
a Served as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission. Blew the whistle on fellow commissioners for legal violations and conflicts of interest. Later resigned due to a "lack of ethics" among fellow Republican leaders.
a Supports environmentally-friendly drilling in Alaska
a Staunchly pro-life. Gave birth to her fifth child in April 2008, despite genetic testing that indicated the baby had Down Syndrome.
a Staunchly against same-sex marriage. However, she signed into law legislation that allows benefits to same-sex domestic partners.
a Lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and Feminists for Life

I am looking forward to learning more about Sarah Palin in the days ahead. There has been little to excite the Republican party since John McCain became the forerunner and most other competition fell by the wayside. I don't lean entirely to the right, but it is good to see a shake-up every once in a while.

The next 67 days should be very interesting.

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Feel Good Song

She likes chocolate in the morning
She drinks her coffee late at night
You can sense that she is guarded
But that's alright

She'll fall asleep while your still talking
With unfinished books beside her bed
She'll cancel all of her appointments
And go shopping instead

CHORUS:
And in spite of what is right
Far beyond what she'd except
When the moon begs the question
Will you have the answer yet?

Can't you just adore her?
Can't you just adore her?

She loves to watch the sunset
But she is partial to the rain
With those tears and that umbrella
Her allure goes unexplained

You made dinner in your apartment
You both assume that she'll be late
She always has the best intentions
Her goodness is innate

CHORUS:
And in spite of what is right
Far beyond what she'd except
When the moon begs the question
Will you have the answer yet?

Can't you just adore her?
Can't you just adore her?
Why can't you just adore her?
I like chocolate in the morning
I drink my coffee late at night

~~Performed by Mandy Moore
"Can't You Just Adore Her"
(CD: Wild Hope)


I just love this song! It makes me happy for my "quirks" and what makes me, me. I was having a not-so-great self-esteem day today, and this song instantly made me feel better. If you haven't heard it, I suggest you check it out! I bought mine on iTunes.
*S*
Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blog Challenge 08.27.08

Today's blog challenge is "Tonight, before I go to bed, I'm going to..."

1) Work on homework
2) Plan some Christmas presents
3) Blog
4) Delete all the Olympics stuff off the Tivo and make sure it's set

I've already worked on some of my homework, and obviously I am blogging now. I'm pretty proud of myself, bc I wanted to commit to blogging on a regular basis. I have been doing a pretty good job since we got back from vacation! Granted, it's only been 10 days, but that's something!

I need to go check out my stash and start planning my Christmas presents. After that, I'll check the Tivo and head to bed. Only 2 more days left until the weekend!!!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Just Around the Corner

Did you know that Christmas is in 120 days?

Hanukkah starts in 116 (December 21 this year).

I am so excited! I really love Fall, but the holidays are so festive!!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OK, I'm Done. I Promise!

I should have gone home and cooked dinner.

I could have played Wii with my husband after dinner.

Iwould have stll had plenty of time afterward for homework.

Shoulda, coulda,woulda. I didn't. Instead, we went out to dinner and went shopping afterward.

In my defense, we bought a bunch of stuff to start making Christmas presents. I have been really anxious to start ever since I got a bunch of good ideas from the peas. We are actually a little bit ahead this year, and not playing "catch up" like usual. Therefore, I decided this would be a great year to make gifts for everyone.

I can't reveal too much bc some family reads my blog! However, I can show you some of the supplies I've purchased so far. As you can see, I'll be doing a lot of stamping!

Oh, I almost forgot the blog challenge today! The topic is "Why is creativity important?" For me, creativity is important so I can express myself. One of the reasons I have chosen to make gifts this year is that I feel they mean so much more than when they are bought. I can put my own personality into it, and put the recipient's personality into it, too. I haven't made gifts for my family since I was in grade school, so I'm excited to show my family how much I've advanced!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Monday, August 25, 2008

In My Own Little Corner of the World

...just as in many others, children went back to school today. Once again, playgrounds were filled with the sounds of children's laughter, crossing guards dusted off their orange vests, and millions of multi-taskers had to hang up the cell phone in school zones.

I went back to school today, too! I am taking Business Statistics I (required) and World Cultures through Film (elective Social Anthropology course). I was considering taking another Government class, but once I received the syllabi for these two, I decided against it. I am going to have my hands full already!

I had hoped to be finished with my plan by next Spring, but at the pace I'm going, who knows when I'll be done!

So, who else headed back to school today? Any special first-day rituals? Feel free to share!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Shopping Bug Bites Again!

Well, Jay and I went shopping again today after he got home from work. And guess what - I got a new laptop!!! Jay thought that with school starting again tomorrow, I could really use an updated one. He's right, and here it is:



Of course, this one has a Vista operating system, and I've been using XP for the last 10+ years, so it's already driving me crazy! I will have fun learning all the ins and outs, I'm sure.

Also, I can't believe I forgot about one of my best finds yesterday! Stephanie and I stopped in to Kirkland's Home during our shopping outing yesterday, and Steph found the perfect painting for my new media room.

I love it; it will fit in perfectly with the theme and color of the new room (black and red). I'll be sure to post pics when it's hanging in its new home.

As I mentioned, I start school again tomorrow. I can't wait! Although I am taking a couple of challenging classes this semester, I look forward to it. I always feel like I am doing something useful when I am in school. Do you have any big plans to celebrate the new year? Please share!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog Cupcake Toujours

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shopping Finds

My sister and I went shopping today, and did we ever luck out! I was on the hunt for some scrapping/cardmaking supplies, and I really hit the jackpot! Here's what I found:

Cutter Bee circle cutter, on clearance for $12.48(!), K & Company tag book, heidi swapp clear acrylic "thank you" stamp, corner rounder punch. The only thing I paid full price for was the corner rounder, which was $3.99


I needed to pick up just a few basics, and found these while I was at Wal-Mart. The tote is very roomy and has plenty of compartments inside and out. The markers are acid-free metallic markers, which I have never seen before. I thought I would give them a try. The stencil is a set of three; one of them is a large background stencil. I thought it would be nice to try with some glimmer mist. Obviously, the colored pencils are self-explanatory and a must-have item.

OK, so here we go with all of my Michael's finds (deep breath): cardstock in white, black, and neutrals. Four-pack of scissors, different sizes. Seven different spools of ribbon (dollar bin - YAY!) Bone folder and large acrylic block for stamping. Also one set of blending chalks and a tag-shaped mega punch.

Mike's finds continued: One pack each Pop Dots and Mini Pop Dots, plus a roll of regular adhesive dots (Dotto removable - I make mistakes!). One jet black Staz-On pad, set of 4 Tsukineko Brilliance pads, and 4 Versa Magic pads, plus Staz-On stamp cleaner. One bottle of white embossing powder, and one bottle of Martha Stewart turuoise glitter - this stuff is gorgeous! Eleven rubber stamps for various occasions, and 4 sets of clear acrylics from the dollar bins, along with a small acrylic block.

All told, I spent a lot of money, but it was worth it! I was able to use a few coupons, and most of the other items I got on clearance or on sale. I really needed to beef up my supply, as I feel I have been trapped doing the same old thing lately.

What good finds have you had lately? What projects have you accomplished? Come on over and share!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Something Nobody Knows About Me

So the blog challenge this week at 2 Peas is "Something nobody knows about me is..."

I like to think I'm a pretty mysterious gal, so coming up with just one thing nobody knows was kind of difficult. Not only that, but I had to think of one thing that was not widely known that I am still comfortable revealing here.

So the big secret is... I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I went back to school a year ago, ten years after I first entered college. The first time around, I studied video production and, while I was good at it, I got burned out quickly. It's a very competitive industry, and it's hard for a woman to make a name for herself. (Believe me, this is not an excuse. I hate to pull the "gender" card. It's simply the truth.)

This time around, I am majoring in Financial Services, and upon completion, will be ready to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (R) exam, which is a very big deal in the finance world. Truth is, while I love the work that I do now, working as an investment consultant for a privately held financial firm, I am terrified that I might be right back here in another ten years.

I guess it's a good thing I'm usually up for change! I would love to have a successful career in this field; I can only hope the industry embraces me, too!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sister Time

So, once again I invited myself over to my sis' house to hang out tonight. I was feeling inspired to create something, and didn't feel like hanging out by myself.

So my sister had this great idea to take empty water bottles and repurpose them to create a bowling game for my niece. We used patterned paper and ribbon to wrap the bottles, then filled them partially with water. She can use a small ball to hit the "pins."

I'm so thrilled with how they turned out!


And since I'm in the mood to post pictures, here's one of my new haircut. I got it cut two weeks ago, right before we went on vacation.


Well, that's all for tonight. I'm exhausted and need to catch up on some sleep. I promise I will get around to posting more pics from our trip soon!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today Was a Sad Day

I found out this afternoon that my last living grandfather passed away. He actually passed away about 2 months ago, but he was living in Puerto Rico, and we don't have much contact with the family still living there.

I am so sad. My heart just hurts. Meeting my grandfather was on my "short list" of things to do. My mother and I were planning a trip to Puerto Rico for my 30th birthday next year. I was so looking forward to meeting him; now I'll never know this man that my mom describes as "so funny" and "a wonderful father."

I had originally planned to post pictures from the Grand Canyon. I just can't get past this news today. I felt it was important to pay homage to this man who changed my life (without him I wouldn't be here), yet whom I never had the privilege to meet.

I called my Mom back tonight to talk and cry some more. I also made myself a rum and coke that I drank in his honor. (Hey, we're Puerto Rican, it's what we do!) Will you have a drink with me, and toast his legacy?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

San Diego Zoo
















So here's a picture of me at the San Diego Zoo, complete with camera and giant souvenir cup! We looked like total tourists, but we had a great time. We took a bus tour, which covered about 75% of the zoo, then took the "Skyfari" air tram to see more of what we missed.

We loved getting to see all the animals, and we learned a lot about the Zoo's conservation efforts.
They are widely known for their efforts, and are very proud of their accomplishments.
We also got to see two of the baby pandas in the Panda Research Facility. They observe the pandas very closely, and monitor their behaviors and eating habits. The San Diego Zoo actually has the most successful panda breeding program outside of China! Here's a video of the youngest panda eating. Unfortunately, the zookeeper monitoring the pandas kept shooing us along, so please excuse the amateur video and the abrupt ending.
video
I do hope to post more photos soon. I just haven't had time to get that film developed since we got back. These are stills Jay shot using the video camera. I shot many more with my camera, but...well, we're still waiting on those. Enjoy!
*S*
Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Monday, August 18, 2008

...And We're Back!

Well, we made it back fro our whirlwind adventure. We had a great time, and soon I'll have the photo evidence to prove it. I am one of the few people who still uses 35mm film, so I am waiting for my prints to be developed and the photos put on CD. Once that happens, I promise to post pics. So where did we go, and what did we do? I'm so glad you asked!

We left Monday afternoon, and headed to Albuquerque, NM. We got in very late, but ended up staying at a really nice casino hotel, the Route 66 Casino Hotel.

Tuesday morning, we headed out bright and early toward the Grand Canyon. We stopped along the way at the giant Meteor Crater, which is somewhere in the desert of Arizona. We finally made it to the Grand Canyon, just in time to watch a beautiful sunset over the gorge. We then continued on our route, settling in for the night at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

We spent much of the day Wednesday gambling in the PH casino, walking around Vegas and checking out the sights on The Strip. Wednesday afternoon, we headed out again, this time with our sights set on San Diego, CA.

The Casa Granada was our home-away-from-home while we were in San Diego. During our stay, we ate a ton of good food, and saw some cool sights. We went to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. We also found an awesome place that specializes only in breakfast, called Richard Walker's Pancake House. I live for breakfast, so this was a real treat for me. If you are ever in San Diego, you *must* go visit Richard. He was there to personally greet us at the door and make sure we were comfortable at our table.

I realize that all of this is useless without pictures, which is why I promise to get some posted as soon as I can. Stay tuned and let me know what you think!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Introducing Cupcake Toujours!

I've been known to have a little bit of a sweet tooth. OK, honestly, I've been known to forgo an entire meal so I will have room for cake! But that's beside the point.

Because of my love of cake, and specifically it's miniature offspring, the cupcake, I have decided to create another blog. This blog will be dedicated solely to my love of a good morsel of moist delicious cake, topped with a mouth-watering mound of sweet, delicate frosting. Along the way, you'll find a few surprising ingredients, interesting cupcake facts (admit it, who doesn't love useless trivia?), and hopefully a recipe or two you can make your own.

I'll share some of the resources I use to create my recipes, but I can't give away all my secrets! You'll have to stay tuned to find out just what's next out of the oven. Enjoy!

*S*

Craving something sweet? Bring your appetite and head over to my baking blog, Cupcake Toujours

Saturday, August 9, 2008

All My Bags Are Packed...

OK, that's a little bit of an exaggeration. If you know me, you know my bags won't be packed until 11:45 on Monday, since we're supposed to pick up our car at noon.

We're headed to California!! Jay and I are taking a road trip. We're heading out Monday at noon, then making a stop at the Grand Canyon. From there, we'll head to Vegas for a day, then on to San Diego, where we have booked a beautiful bed and breakfast. We'll be staying at the Casa Granada for three nights before we head back.

Our return trip will include a stop off in Tucson, where we will explore the old mission churches. We'll then stay in Carlsbad, NM for one night. Next morning, we'll get up and take the tour of the Caverns before we head back to Texas.

Whew! It's going to be a busy trip. We're both really excited to be going. It's been three years since we've had a real vacation together. We've definitely earned this one!! I can't wait to post pictures when we get back.

*S*

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So Close I Can Taste It!

AT 4:17 Central Time on Sunday, August 3,2008, I submitted my final project for my computer programming class.

This is the first time I have taken a summer course. It is 5 weeks long, so for our fifth class session, we had our mid-term exam. For our tenth and final class, this Wednesday, we will take our final exam.

It is so much to cram into five weeks, but it is so worth it. Now I can focus on more of my major classes. This class was a prerequisite for the statistics classes I am required to take.

Final grades are due by Monday, so that should be a good way to start our vacation!

*S*

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Great Recipe from a Fellow Pea

Several of the ladies on the board I frequent, twopeasinabucket, keep cooking and baking blogs. I found a great recipe for Apricot Balsamic Chicken on one blog (I'll add a link here as soon as I get permission from the owner.) and tried it out when my sister was over last night. Even my husband, the pickiest man God ever created, liked it. Here's the recipe I used:

Apricot Balsamic Chicken

2 T butter
1/2 c apricot preserves
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t rosemary leaves
pinch of sea salt

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Once melted, add the remaining ingredients. Lower the heat to medium-low and let cook until sauce thickens.

Remove from the pan and pour in a bowl to let cool. (Can be prepared a few days in advance if you prefer. Just warm in the microwave before use to thin slightly.)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put the chicken on a hot grill. Make sure the heat is on low so you don't burn the chicken on the outside and have a raw center.

When the chicken is cooked (it should be slightly firm in the center), brush on the glaze. Turn chicken over and coat the other side. Keep turning and coating until you've used all the glaze and the chicken is nice and caramelized. Remove from grill and serve.

Notes
~~We served this to my niece, who is two, so I was afraid to use the red pepper flakes. When I make it again (and I will) I will be sure to add them.

~~I also omitted the rosemary, but that's just because I don't like it!

It was a big hit for us and I hope you enjoy it, too!

Friday, July 25, 2008

You Have *GOT* to Try This!

Well, as I last posted, I have started baking again. I tried this out on some willing subjects (read: my family) and garnered rave reviews. Hope you enjoy it, too!

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 (10 oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 c white sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 c white sugar
1 T ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten one tube of crescent roll dough and press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Mix cream cheese, 1 c sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough in the pan.

Unroll the remaining crescent roll dough, and place over the top of the cream cheese layer. Spread melted butter over the top, and sprinkle the top with the mixture of 1/2 c sugar and the cinnamon.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is lightly toasted.

Cool and refrigerate before serving.

A few tips:
I wanted to give the recipe as it is written, but to be fair, I also wanted to show a few things I did differently.

~~First of all, instead of regular vanilla extract, I used French Vanilla. It added something amazing to the recipe. I have never tasted a cheesecake like this before!

~~Also, I misread the recipe for the cinnamon/sugar topping. Instead of 1/2 cup, I mixed 3/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon.

~~Finally, the recipe says to refrigerate and serve cool. It was a unanimous decision that it was best served slightly warm with vanilla bean ice cream.

Now run - run! - to the grocery store and get started baking!!

*S*

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bad, Bad Blogger

I have been meaning to write this post for, oh, about two months now! It had dawned on me that I have not been keeping up. For some reason, though, I let two months go by before updating again! Here's what I'm working on:

1) Classes start of Monday! I love going to school. It makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile.

2) I have gotten interested in baking again, and am reading every cooking blog I can find. My husband and my father-in-law make willing test subjects. My first project is to recreate Sopapilla Cheesecake that I first tried about 3 years ago. Updates to follow.

3) My nephew was born about three weeks ago. He is growing by leaps and bounds. Big sister couldn't be happier, and mom and baby are all doing fine. I've taken him shopping three times already. I intend to train him well, just as I have his sister!

I also got a fabulous haircut recently and have continued on my weight loss journey. So far, 8 lbs and counting. I'm going to Weight Watchers meetings and also tracking my progress on thedailyplate.com .

My roommate from college is dropping by to see me tomorrow. She is in town visiting her brother's family. I can't wait to see her!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Moving Day

It's finally here!!!!!

*S*

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Shout Out to SheetLoad

Have you checked out SheetLoad of Cards yet? The name always makes me laugh, but they are serious about their free downloads! I love how the design team creates new and exciting cards every month. For example, check this one out from April: http://sheetload.blogspot.com/2008/04/april-issue-of-sheetload-is-ready-to.html

You can sign up for your free subscription on their blog: http://sheetload.blogspot.com/

Check it out!

*S*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Resolution

So there I am, sitting in the hairdresser's chair. It's 10:00 in the morning on a Saturday. She has just combed out my curly hair, and has gone to mix my color. I glance up, and staring back at me from the mirror is an aging, fat Puerto Rican with gray hair sticking out in all directions.

It's then I realize that I have let myself go. It happens to most of us, at one time or another, I suppose. But this time I have let myself go too far. Funny how we can almost talk ourselves into believing we're doing ok. But I think I've known for a while how unhappy I've been with myself. So I resolved to do something about it.

Thursday was my first weigh-in for Weight Watchers. It was, in a small way, a good day for me. It was the last day that I will see that number when I step on the scale. My resolution is to lose 28 lbs. The Weight Watchers program is 14 weeks. If I average 2 lbs per week, I will be at my goal by July 10. Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Taxes have been filed

We're getting a refund. YAY!

I feel so much better now that it is done. We have been so focused on getting the house ready that we haven't been paying attention to anything else. I don't EVER wait until April 11 to file, but I do feel better now that it's done.

As Jay said once we got the numbers, "That's going toward the hardwood floor fund." One step closer. : )

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Regular Stuff - YAY!

I have been pretty busy lately trying to get the new house ready. We have painted most of the downstairs, and got the first coat on the gameroom upstairs. I plan to have pics up soon. We are going to take our dog out to see the new house this weekend. She has never had a yard to play in (except when we take her to the dog park) so she'll be so happy!

My sister, brother-in-law, and my niece came over to see the house on Sunday. My niece was so cute going up and down the stairs, running in circles in the (still-unfurnished) rooms, and sharing her jelly beans with us. I love spending time with her. She's going to be such a big helper when her brother comes along.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What is a PRG?

PRG started out as something my husband used to call me, long before he was my husband. Shortly after we started dating, he started calling me "Puerto Rican Goddess," or PRG.

Most days lately, I just feel like a Pretty Regular Girl. So this blog will journal my days as a PRG. Some days that will mean my adventures as a Puerto Rican Goddess; other days I'll just be a Pretty Regular Girl.

I hope you can find entertainment in both.

*S*