Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Multi-Level Marketing Company - AKA - The Pyramid Scheme

OK - so don't hate me. I signed up for my first "make your own millions," "work from home," "get in on the ground floor" etc. etc. opportunity. I promise not to devote this blog to hawking the product endlessly. It's a new MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) company selling, my favorite thing ever, coffee. Honestly, I don't have any grand plans of making millions, thousands or even hundreds of dollars. But, I have always been a bit fascinated by the concept of MLM's and this is a product in which I firmly believe, so I thought this was a great way to try it out. Now, mind you, I'm signed up only to receive the launch information and no product. That, of course, costs money.

Maybe I'm feeling particularly vulnerable to sales propaganda today. I also got a postcard for Holiday Inn's newest time share property in Orlando and actually thought about calling. This is precisely why I signed up for the Javita launch information. I had a sales trainer once say they loved sitting through time share presentations just to be a student of the sale. I'm thinking the same thing with this launch. Not sure what the initial "investment" may be, but I'm going to stick around long enough to check out how they try to sell this thing and see if I can learn something. It's interesting to me that this is a new product in a very tough new product market (beverages). It will be fun to see how they launch the thing.

That being said, there are always opportunities out there to be had. And, being passionate about a product will yield the best results. So, go find out more at www.reserveyourcup.com/sarajoyner and then sign up. I know, I know, I said I wouldn't use the blog to promote, but maybe just this once. Go check it out. Consider it a learning opportunity. You may just make millions...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Day at the Lake

What a fun two days we had at the lake! We're so lucky to have a wonderful place to bring the kids to kick off the summer. The weather was fantastic this Memorial Day and the kids were well behaved which really helped make the weekend spectacular. No time to blog about the specifics (but Tessa did LOVE big Mable and Jack did LOVE ice cream) - Tom and I are enjoying our wine and watching the boats float by. Here are some pics to mark the start of summer though!

Tessa's Birthday

Tessa had a great birthday! She's already acting so much older and telling us about how she's trying so hard to be good. It's a nice change from her normal, dramatic self.

We went to the pediatrician for her 4-year check up and he was in agreement with us that she didn't need to be put under for a scope. We're going to try Claritin to see if that clears her up. He did say it would be a long trial period - maybe months. I'm willing to try that though as opposed to putting her under for a couple thousand dollars.

Here are some photos from her birthday weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spring Weather is Finally Here

Well, we've had some nice weather but we are being hit with the storms that have been causing major problems throughout the midwest. We spent about 1/2 hour in the, very unfinished, basement. Tom had to sweep out the dead spiders before laying down a blanket and camp chairs. Although I will say it's better than hunkering down in the bathtub all together. As I type this, we're still under a warning, but by the looks  of the radar, we may just miss the brunt of things.

We went ahead and put the kids to bed and put pizzas in for dinner. I think we can judge by the sounds of things before we lose the house. Watching the TV and internet dopplers with baited breath...

Monday, May 23, 2011

5K - Maybe?

Found this today while contemplating my next move.

5K Training Plan - Intermediate

This is for people who run between 25-50 miles per week which is certainly not me. However, I do plan to run it between 22:00 - 26:00 minutes at the race. I think my goal will be 24:00 even. I've done one on the treadmill at about 26 and I know I always do better in an actual race. I wonder though with training if I could actually do it faster - maybe 23:30. I'm not sure what to expect.

In the meantime, I think I'll work on the pre-training which is 3M two days, then 5M one day, then 3M two days, 5M one day then a rest day. I'll start tomorrow. :)

I do need to pick a race though. I'm looking for something 13-14 weeks out which puts me at August 20-27 ish. Sounds hot... (and maybe too far away - I didn't train that long for my 1st half!)

Gotta Be on the Next Special Feature Sheet

Found this on Jeff Shore's Blog - best trainer out there! And, a great sense of humor. Check it out...


Josie's Pre-K Graduation!

Well, the big day was on Wednesday! Josie graduated from Pre-K! We took lots of pictures and videos. Josie was very proud of herself (as she should be) and treated the whole event with the seriousness that it deserved. I'm not sure if you can see from these photos, but she had a very serious face on most of the time and it was hard to get her to smile. I loved their caps and the songs were great too. I can't believe two years of preschool is already over. It really does fly by!

Here are the pics and videos:

OK - so I blew it

Here it is May 23rd and I've skipped 5 whole days of blogging. Let me tell you though, this was a much better start than I've ever had before, so we'll leave it at that. We've had an eventful few days and I'll try to sum it up as best I can.

Thursday - the 19th - Andrea's mom had a surprise 30th birthday party for her at the clubhouse with all of the homeowners. She was totally surprised and happy to have everyone there. I went to Bunco Thursday night and had a great time!

Friday - the 20th - Our 11 year anniversary! - We didn't do anything to celebrate today because we had a babysitter for Saturday night. After Tom got done with work, we went up to Fishers to pick up his race packet. We took the kids to Scotty's Lakehouse and split a burger. Their Bison burgers are the best! I told the kids we'd get ice cream afterward to celebrate our anniversary. We went to the yogurt place that is right next door. It was REALLY good! Apparently, it's very healthy and made from all-natural ingredients. You couldn't tell because it tasted yummy and the kids loved it. Jack had been acting just a little off all day - weird diapers and didn't want lunch or frozen yogurt. Well, sure enough, as soon as Tom takes Josie to the bathroom, Jack ralphs all over me. Out of all three kids, this was by far the worst throw-up experience. It just kept coming out! This poor family next to us tried to help and I think the dad held Jack for a while as I attempted to clean things up. What a mess! He seemed fine after that though.

Saturday - the 21st - Tom ran the Geist Half Marathon and the girls and Jack and I went along to watch. I got a great workout by pushing the double stroller (probably 80 pounds) around and wearing Jack on my back. Tom was totally spent after the race and took a while to recover. We went home and I worked on the house to prepare for a showing - our 10th in 10 days! Tom hit the hot tub for more recovery time. After a short visit to Timber Run, we went back home and got ready for our date night. We went downtown and started at Tastings, which is a really cool wine tasting bar. Then, we went to Harry & Izzy's. We shared a few things including the shrimp cocktail and a filet. Just as we were getting the check, I got a call from the sitter. Tessa was now sick. End of date night... :)

Sunday - the 22nd - The Lost Day - I felt funny through the night and early morning, but attributed it to the rich food, wine and worrying about Tessa. She was still getting sick, but I gave her a Zofran from the last time she was sick and suddenly she was a different person! It must have knocked the last bit of nausea away because she seemed great the rest of the day. This was right as Tom and I took a turn for the worst! So, we had two sick parents and three healthy kids. Not a good combo! Actually, Jack took two long naps and the girls were great for not being able to do anything fun all day. I perked back up around 6 but crawled in bed after the girls went down at 7. I was really worried about Tom and dehydration since he was probably already borderline after the race. But, he seemed a little better by night too.

Which brings us to today, Monday, the 23rd. Today has been spent at Walmart, Lysoling and Cloroxing everything in sight and doing mounds of laundry. Nothing is going unwashed or uncleaned. Josie has still managed to escape it all so I'm hopeful that continues. I feel great today and all of the kids seem great too. Tom said he feels a lot better and is talking about mowing tonight, so he must be getting back to normal! At least we were sick this weekend and not over Memorial Day!

OK - that's it for now. No more getting this far behind!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Long Days

I'm worn out. Really worn out. Nine house showings in eight days means that the house has to stay perpetually clean. Needless to say, with three kids, and being a clutter prone mother, this is more than difficult. The junk is beginning to spread to my car, as if it wasn't already bad.

I've been extra emotional today too because it's the last day of school and everyone us just growing up to dang fast. I've teared up top many times today.

We had a closing today which is always awesome and another should happen by the end of the week. So, my work week has been consumed by that and showings. I swear I could work 50 hours a week. Actually, I probably do just not in the office I guess.

Enough complaining. Looks like the weather is picking back up this weekend! And, with the girls done with school, it will really feel like a long weekend. I'll do a separate post on the Pre-K graduation tomorrow when I have my computer.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Monday

Here we are on another Monday! Today was special because Tessa got to celebrate her fourth birthday at school. Tom and joined her class to celebrate.

After class, we ran a few errands and picked up lunch. I snuck in a little nap in the afternoon while the girls were watching MegaMind for the millionth time. Gymnastics and dinner routine rounded out the evening with Tom and I both hitting the treadmill. I tackled my procrastination with getting back into a workout routine with trying a 5K. I hit 25:58 which is way better than my previous best of 27:15. I'm thinking of looking into a 5K this summer. We'll see!

Blago from Chicago

Well, we had a fabulous time on our girls trip to Chicago this weekend. How could you not!? We started the morning bright and early by piling into Jana's huge car (8 of us in total!) Starbucks in hand. We made our way up north hitting two more Starbucks on our way up. They turned out to be a nice place to take a potty break. 

We made it to the city by about 10:30AM, which was great. We checked into one of our rooms at the Renaissance and were pleased. To celebrate our arrival, we toasted with a glass or two of wine. Off to lunch we go! Here's Jana and I in the hotel lobby.

I'll say it just one time here - the weather was atrocious!!!! It was 40-50 degrees with spitting freezing rain drizzle and the infamous Chicago winds. Here's a photo and you can see the fog in the background.

So, we took a cab to the Purple Pig, a small plates restaurant not too far from the hotel. The concierge recommended it and I was happy to hear it because that was one of the places I had seen on Trip Advisor and was highly recommended. However, since they didn't take reservations, I figured it was out for a Saturday night party of 8. 

Anyway, check out the menu! We opted for the waitresses suggestions:

  • Salt-Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pistachio Vinaigrette - have to say I didn't try this - those who like beets said it was very tasty!
  • Charred Cauliflower, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Cornichons & Parsley - very good - nutty taste maybe from the charred-ness? Also, the cauliflower was green.
  • Salad - Asparagus & Hazelnuts with Arugula & Treviso - This was my favorite dish of the lunch and maybe the trip. The hazelnuts were so yummy and the asparagus were cut on a strong diagonal and very thin so they blended very well with the arugula. Delish!
  • Potato and Speck Croquettes with Calabrian Chili Aioli - This is a fancy way of saying fried mashed potatoes. This was also very good (how could it be bad?) - we ordered extras of these!
  • Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Mashed Potatoes - This was a main dish. The pork was unbelievably tender and seemed like it was probably slow cooked for three days. 
  • Bacon Fat Pork Belly Confit with Peas & Carrots - Yes, we tried the pork belly. My first bite, I have to admit, was absolutely disgusting. In fact, it was so bad, I'm not sure why I tried a second bite. But, I did and was pleasantly surprised. We all had about an inch squared piece and I think we probably busted our fat allowance for the day with that piece. It was actually good - I guess that's where bacon comes from but when it's slow cooked, it's very tender and flavorful. 
That was enough for eight of us. Here's what we passed on - pig ear, octopus, pig tail and roasted bone 
marrow. I also found a new Italian beer I like thanks to Monica! 

After lunch, we took off toward Water Tower Place and Filene's Basement for some shopping. Check out the flowers on our way. They were so pretty and seemed so out of place since we all had on winter coats and gloves!

On our way to Filene's Basement, which by the way, is part of the Schottenstein's holdings (aka - Value City), we stopped at Neimann Marcus just for fun. Jana tried on a $10,000 fur coat! She says she had no idea how much it was, but I saw the price on the belt ($285), not included by the way, and saw the writing on the wall!

We made our way to Filene's where I bought my annual pair of Teva flip flops. Summer can officially come now! Across the street were the Water Tower Shops and we spent a little time there. I was able to spend my Sephora gift card from Christmas so I was happy. We were all pretty spent so we hailed a taxi back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner and another glass of wine.

Dinner was a Quartino's. Wow - it was so good! We all got different things. It was also supposedly a small plate restaurant, but I think it's just their excuse to bring out the dishes whenever they're ready. It didn't matter because it was all great. Take note though that the roasted bone marrow was again on the menu. Again, we passed.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a little Bailey's and girl talk. It's been a while since I've done that, but it sure was fun. By 10PM, I was falling asleep (imagine that) so we hit the hay. I slept like a rock and didn't wake up until 9AM! No breakfast for me! We got going around 10:30 or so. Here's a picture of the new Trump hotel.

We took off walking which was probably a mistake. We slipped into a Chicago souvenir shop to get out of the rain and I picked up some things for the girls. Then, we took off to Nordstrom's. It was nice to see a lot of different stores in this mall too. We poked around in a few stores and then a few of us took off for Marshalls where I hit the mother lode! I spent $150 but got so many great things. I was happy! 

After a brief and awesome lunch at Cosi, we loaded up the car and took off for home around 3PM. It was a really wonderful trip, aside from the weather. I felt so rested when I got home last night from my 11 hours of sleep. I really needed the break and the girl time. So, we're already talking about the next trip! What fun!