Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Student Loan Consolidations

I went to a private college and racked up a tremendous amount of debt in the form of school loans. Let's just say it is over $20,000 and leave it at that! The sad thing about this debt is the amount of interest I am paying on it over the next few decades. One way that I have managed to cut down on some of the interest and pay only one bill to one is company was a student loan consolidation. I consolidated my loans a few years ago, and it was probably one of the best decisions I've made. In the long run it saves money because it locks in a low interest rate and it gives you that one payment to one company!! A
This post sponsored by secureloanconsolidation.com

Slowing Down

Does it seem like I'm not putting out the posts like normal? Yeah, that's because I'm not. I've been swamped the last few weeks. I've actually been working (yeah my bills are getting paid!), and I was working down at my church for a couple of weeks helping get contribution statements done, and oh yeah, I'm leaving Sunday for Asia. Did you know I was going to Singapore and Bangkok...yep I am. Hard to believe we are leaving in just a few short days. I haven't started packing, I haven't even taken my clothes out ot look at them....I don't know what is coming and what is going! I have gone to Walmart and bought some essentials, so hopefully I'm not missing anything...oh well, too bad if I am!

So anyway, if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks, you know why! Although I have a few days free during the middle of our trip due to scheduling flight snafus so I will try to get online then.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Who's Calling You?

Do you ever get cell phone calls where the caller ID says unavailable? I do...all the time! What do you do when you get them? Answer the call and hope it isn't someone you didn't want to talk to? Do you let it go to voicemail and hope that they actually leave a voicemail? I'm the person that lets it go to voicemail and hope that it wasn't someone I really did need to talk to! Now you can do reverse cell phone look up to see who is calling you from all those unavailable numbers.

This is a sponsored post, see sidebar disclosure


What a great day today! I got tons of stuff done....stuff that I haven't had time to do over the last few weeks due to working my regular job and working down at the church. I'm not complaining about working....I definitely need the money and I really do like to work! But I haven't had a lot of extra time to get ready for my trip. So I slept in (I was working yesterday and didn't get home until 1am!), went to church, had lunch with Rodney and Holly (yummy pizza that was free as Holly and I both had free pizza coupons!), and then shopping with Holly and Barb....got all my stuff bought for my trip (thanks to a friend who gave me some money for my trip!). It felt good to have a Rachel day...ya know you need days for yourself sometimes, and the people that take time for themselves feel so much better.

So take the time to pamper yourself a bit this week!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Boston Condos

Sometimes I think that owning a condo would be so much easier than owning a house. Mainly because there is no yard upkeep. Now keep in mind I don't have children yet, and a condo is perfect for a single person or a married couple with no children. I have not yet visited Boston, but is definitely on my road trip must visit cities. And I think living in a condo in Boston would be spectacular!!! But how do I, living in Seattle, find great Boston condos? I go to this site: boston.condocompany.com where they have realtors, owners and developers listing condos for sale daily. A potential buyer can then go through all the listings, pick out the ones they like and then contact the seller directly. No middleman! And we all breathed a sigh of thankfulness, because we all know the middleman takes way too much money, time and energy! It's simple and way so easy. Go on, take a look around see if there is something that you like and then contact the seller directly. It will be more efficient for you, less time consuming and less draining on your emotions and pocketbook! Are you one of those people who are looking to live in luxury high rise condo? Well, boston.condocompany.com can help you out there too....as they have "building specialists" who deal with those condos specifically.

This post sponsored by boston.condocompany.com

George Strait

Look who I get to go see in concert tonight? Yep, that's right I'm heading down to the Tacoma Dome to see George Strait. Of course I have to work for six hours or so outside the Dome before I get to go in. I guess that is the trade off for free concerts...you work then you play. I just wish we weren't working in the cold! Oh well....
....so he is bringing an odd combination with him for his starting acts. Taylor Swift, she is the 16 year who sings about Tim McGraw...personally not a favorite of mine, and Ronnie Milsap....yeah, Ronnie Milsap hasn't been heard of in years....but I'm looking forward to seeing him (if I get in there quick enough) because he's good. Old timer, yes, but good!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Free IT Training

I'm smart, at least I think I am! However, when it comes to computers and how to actually get them to work besides hitting the power button I get so lost. On my church computer I have great IT guys who come running everytime something goes bonkers. But now I have the opportunity to learn some of the details they know in an online free network+ training. They are giving free training to showcase some of their topics! What a way to learn IT information, plus they have practice exams so you know if you are "getting" it or not!

This post sponsored by trainsignaltraining.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Burn Baby Burn...Word of the Day: FUEL

As a word junkie I love checking out words in Webster's Dictionary....I have a small FREE space on FUELMYBLOG.COM. The creators of this totally tubular (I can use that word as I actually lived during that era!) site that is free for bloggers....you go to the site, pick the square you want (hurry, there are only 175 spots on the front page left), submit your information with a picture and there you go...FREE advertising. You can then run your mouse over pictures and a brief synopsis of that blog comes up! Cool.

Ok, ok, back to my Webster Dictionary fetish: The word of the day is FUEL...let's see what they say....

fu·el /ˈfyuəl/

1. combustible matter used to maintain fire, as coal, wood, oil, or gas, in order to create heat or power. fuelmyblog.com is is the matter mainting my fire! The help me and other bloggers burn baby all over the internet community!
2. something that gives nourishment; food. Yep, fuelmyblog.com gives great nourishment, in that they are nourishing the amount of people who visit me!
3. an energy source for engines, power plants, or reactors: Kerosene is used as jet engine fuel. Once again, fuelmyblog.com is a powerful energy source...the horses underneath the hood!
4. something that sustains or encourages; stimulant: Our discussion provided him with fuel for debate. –verb (used with object) Do they encourage? Of course they do.....they encourage readers to visit my blog!
5. to supply with fuel. –verb (used without object) One final Hurrah for fuelmyblog.com.

In other new news....they are starting a new weekly live radio show where those of us who owns blogs on the site get to talk about our blogs! What a great opportunity for someone like me who loves to chat! Do you want to chat? Just ask, I'll chat!

Nope, this isn't a sponsored post!

6. to obtain or replenish fuel.

Days of Our Lives

Come on admit it...you watch soap operas now or you have in the past! I have...in fact, I started watching "Days of Our Lives" when I was just a young child. One of my favorite aunts (Helen...love you auntie) watched it all the time, and when we visited her house in the summer we would watch it together. I then moved onto watching it more and more as I went through junior high; however, I haven't had much time to watch it the last few years. I distinctly remember the summer that Patch and Kayla got married....ahhhh, it was the stuff dreams were made of! How do you keep track of all the ins and outs of of the soap opera Days of Our Lives? You read the Days of Our Lives sections of soaps.com...you can get daily recaps and updates, latest breaking news, info about the actors and actresses as well as spoilers. Anything and everthing you need to know about you favorite soap opera. Sit back with your afternoon cup of coffee and enjoy escaping from reality for an hour or so!

This post sponsored by soaps.com

The Patriarchs

So Marcie and I made an accountability pact this last week that we would start going to our church's women's bible study that was starting up tonight. We went, and found out that we will be studying The Patriarchs, a weekly study and video series by Beth Moore. Honestly, it started out a bit slow (especially after finding out that we had to pay $20 for the book) and we were having a hard time committing.....but our church's word of the year is "Go Deep!"....so we are GOING DEEP.....

....Yeah Marcie for making a hard decision to go deep with me. I apologize in advance for having to miss four weeks in a row...you know those mission trips, they just get in the way of everything.

Encouragement for everyone else.....GO DEEP!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Goji Berries

Have you heard of Goji Berries or Goji Juice? Well, I hadn't either; however, there is this site that explains what they are, what they do and how they benefit you and me. I am always open for new information, so that I can better understand things and so I can pass information along. This site does a good job explaining the health benefits of this berry, and the information has been researched by an individual who is a health researcher...who better to give us accurate info?

This post sponsored by gojiberriesjuice.com

Jelly Bellys

You know you should never go to the store when you are hungry...you should especially never go to Costco when you are hungry! So Barb and I went to Costco last night and we were going through the candy aisle...normally we don't go down this aisle but I was looking for Mentos for my trip! And low and behold we came to the big, huge, gigantic container of Jelly Bellys...um, these have to be some of the best jelly beans in the whole wide world!
...obviously some people have way too much time on their hands as this picture is made out of Jelly Bellys....check out other pictures in the Jelly Belly Art Gallery!
So, I googled the story of jelly bellys and here you go:
The Journey

Back in 1976, a Los Angeles candy distributor had an idea for a jelly bean made with natural flavorings. So he called up the candymakers at Jelly Belly (formerly known as Herman Goelitz Candy Co.) who had a reputation for making the very best candies.
Creating "true-to-life" flavors was, well, a natural evolution. The candymakers cooked up a recipe for a new kind of jelly bean -- intensely flavored throughout, with natural ingredients for flavoring whenever possible. In 1976 the first eight Jelly Belly flavors were born: Very Cherry, Lemon, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Root Beer, Grape and Licorice. Funny enough they are still some of the most popular flavors made.

The rise to the top, or, what a long, tasty trip it's "bean." A furor arose when people tasted Jelly Belly beans for the first time. Wow, what flavor! Soon Jelly Belly became the favorite candy of President Ronald Reagan, who made the beans a staple in the Oval Office and on Air Force One. (President Reagan's passion for jelly beans inspired Blueberry flavor, which was cooked up so he could serve red, white, and blue beans at his inaugural parties.)

Diplomats and world leaders clamored to have Jelly Belly beans. And guess what? Jelly Belly was also the first jelly bean in outer space. Free floating, weightless Jelly Belly beans were sent on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 as a presidential surprise for the astronauts. Coincidentally it was the same mission that boasted another bit of history -- the first American female astronaut, Sally Ride.

Today, Jelly Belly is the world's #1 gourmet jelly bean, the bean of choice for all those with the most discerning taste, and made in 50 amazing and tasty flavors (I like them all except for buttered popcorn...ugh!).

Monday, January 22, 2007

Thailand Flights

As most of you know, I am heading to Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand in just a few days (13 to be exact!). Since I am flying with a group of 30 people, my travel reservations were made by our group coordinator; however, if I was coordinating travel by myself for for a flight into Thailand I would use this new site, dialaflight.com. You can find great deals on this site for flights all over....flights to New Zealand, Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Canada and even the USA!

This post sponsored by dialaflight.com

Healthier Lunches at School

LODI, N.J. (AP) -

The cafeteria lunch line at Columbus Elementary School moves quickly as students grab portions of -arrots celery, apples and oranges. French fries and hamburgers, once cafeteria staples, aren't even offered.''I eat carrots or apples every day,'' said 10-year-old Alan Espino. He said he didn't notice that the bun holding his all-beef hot dog was whole wheat. Even the pizza available in the cafeteria has whole wheat crust.The school cafeteria looks radically different from those of his parents' generation, and it appears many kids aren't turning their noses up at the new offerings. In fact, according to a survey of food service directors, french fries are decreasing in popularity and interest in carrots is skyrocketing.As choices on the lunch line change, many children are accepting them, said Martha Conklin, an associate professor at Penn State University who conducts research about school nutrition programs and school food service.''If you present these healthy offerings to children, they may turn them down the first time, but you can't give up,'' she said. ''Children will adapt. Choice is important, but they can make those selections from healthy offerings.''The School Nutrition Association's annual survey given to food service directors around the country shows just that. Among students in kindergarten through 12th grade, french fries dropped in popularity from 1998 to 2006, while carrots and fresh vegetables rose in popularity.''We are dealing with much more sophisticated audiences now, and we working hard to meet their needs in a healthier way,'' said Janey Thornton, the association's president.More states are enacting nutrition standards to ensure healthy food and beverage options are available to students, said Amy Winterfeld, a health policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures.A 2004 wellness program requires school districts receiving federal reimbursements for school meal programs to develop policies that promote the health of students and address the growing problem of childhood obesity.In 2005, at least 17 states enacted some form of school nutrition legislation and at least 11 more approved them last year.A New Jersey law requires that, by next fall, snacks and a la carte items sold or served contain no more than 8 grams of total fat per serving and two grams of saturated fat per serving. Candy is banned and so are foods and beverages with sugar as the major ingredient.The law is an attempt to establish a culture in which eating nutritiously is the accepted social norm, said Emma Davis-Kovacs, acting state director for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's division of food and nutrition.''The leading health authorities are all recommending that schools take an active role in this area of nutrition to prevent disabling chronic health conditions,'' she said.Mark Vidovich, president of Pomptonian Food Service, which runs programs in 11 north and central New Jersey counties, recalled that students were turned off by whole wheat bread just five years ago.''The children wouldn't eat it. It didn't look right to them,'' he said. ''Now their dining preferences have changed and they're now accepting of making healthier dining options.''Pat Johnson, food service director in the Maplewood and South Orange district, said she started reforming her cafeterias before the new state law. The district is renovating its kitchens to remove fryers and add grills and ovens.She said younger children seem more open to tasting healthier foods and are likely to continue the patterns to middle and high school.''If you put it there and make it look appealing to them, they like it,'' she said.

Meribel Chalets

Do you like to ski? How about skiing in an area that is bigger than the six (yes, 6) largest USA ski resorts put together? That is remarkably huge.....and sounds like a great place to go visit. The Chalets Meribel, in Europe are an excellent way to spend a vacation...by yourself, with your spouse or a big group of friends together! Get away and enjoy some time in the snow...or if you are like me some time at the ski lodge sipping hot chocolate and reading a good book!

This post sponsored by supertravel.co.uk


I know I usually pump out 3-5 posts a day...since I do blog for payperpost; however, I have been super busy! I've been working at school, working at church, doing MC events, and trying to get ready to leave the country in 13 days! Yikes....13 days. I'm not ready! I need to get all my clothes out and start packing to make sure I have everything. I need to go shopping to get new socks, sports bras and undies! On top of all this, my sister and I are still planning a trip to Eastern WA....we were going to go yesterday and today; however, I needed to work and Dajia has been sick. In fact, if you think about it, please pray a prayer on Wednesday for her. She is going in for surgery to have her adenoids taken out and tubes put in her ears, and fluid behind her ears drained....and she is just 2! The doctors say that she will be raring to go within two days and feeling tons better....so that should make for a better car ride to Eastern WA!!!

I hope all of you haven't been as busy as me!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bird Flu Vaccination

As I am getting ready to travel overseas to SE Asia, the whole bird flu thing has been crossing my mind. So I decided to see if there was a bird flu vaccination or something that would help in the extreme situation that one of us was to come in contact with it. Alas, there is currently no bird flu vaccination; however, it is in the works. Until then...I'll just be careful in my travels.

This post sponsored by encyclocentral.com

Saturday, January 20, 2007

MC Intensive

Yesterday we took our MC students on an intensive...that is an all day event that teaches them some type of lesson. This intensive is our team building one....we do it just before we go on our mission's trip so that they definitely know the importance of being a team...especially when in a foreign country together. So our intensive is basically an mini version of The Amazing Race...Puyallup Foursquare Style!! We call it "Lost in Washington". They start at 6am and have 18 hours to go through 18 different checkpoints, and ever checkpoint has some type of physical or mental task to complete. They had to kayak, find statues at the legislative building in Olympia (this was actually harder than it sounds), find clues in a fountain and perform tasks, ice block, jump from raft to raft at American Lake (Yes, this event is freezing cold...especially in January), eat dinner Fear Factor Style, and eventually find their way back to the church after being dropped off some eight miles (give or take a few miles) away.

The object is to unite together as a team, and a family. Recognize strengths in others and utilize them. And beat the previous years' times! Did they? They did!!! Congratulations. I don't have any pictures, but when I get some I'll post some.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Event Planning

I love planning events...from conferences, to retreats, to simple day outings....from 5 people, 100 people or 13,000 people (yes, I helped with an event that big!). Of course, events take lots of work the day of; however, there is so much work that goes into a project before the event even takes place. There is planning, there is booking spots, there is getting money, sponsors, etc, etc. Then there is the paper trail that follows you around like a little lost puppy. The most important set of papers is probably the event registration...you need to know who is coming and who has paid their money!!! Wow, there is a site that helps with event planning, and even does event registration forms for you online! It's simple for you, it's simple for you event goers and that makes everyone happy. How much easier is it do all your registration online then on paper? I've spent hours re-typing names into a database, and then re-sorting them and then re-sorting them again. This site is bound to save my hours of time and headaches. If you do any event planning for church, schools, cubscouts, girlscouts or any other group then this is the site to help you out.

This event sponosored by regonline.com

So much to do....

.....and not enough time to do it in! Oh my, what a busy weekend ahead of me. I have an MC event planned for all day tomorrow...shhh they don't know about it yet! I have to work all day at the church on Saturday (I mean ALL day) and then my sister and I are driving to Eastern WA on Sunday to visit our Grandparents in LaCrosse. And then we are headed back home on Monday. Yep, it is a quick visit, but our grandfather hasn't been doing well the last few months so we are going over to say Hi. I will probably try for a longer trip sometime later this year...definitely before I move to California.

I don't know what you have planned for this weekend, but I hope that you have some time scheduled to get some rest...unlike some of us!

Jokes, Jokes, Jokes

There is this great site that is dedicated to making you laugh! Whether you like funny videos, funny pictures or simply love to read a great joke...this place is for you! Seriously, who doesn't like to laugh? I think one of my favorite funny videos is the snippet from the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson where Mel Blanc (the voice behind Bugs Bunny) was doing funny voices...umm...can I say Nazi Pig! Hmmm.....funny!

This post sponsored by jokeroo.com

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

American Idol

Did you catch the American Idol tryouts from Seattle tonight? Wow! I had a hard time believing all the hype before the show about Seattle being the worst city ever, but after watching tonight I almost have to agree. So sad and so humiliating! But yes, I was laughing my butt off...except for when Simon criticizes how people look...this isn't a beauty contest. Anyway! We only sent like 14 onto Hollywood...and quite a few of those weren't actually from Seattle, but simply chose Seattle as there tryout city....I hope that at least one gets on the final show (after all the Hollywood cuts).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kayaking Anyone?

Just imagine....it's summertime (that means weather above 30 degrees!), you are on the lake or some other body of water and you are having the time of your life. Or you could be kayaking around Western WA in January (more on this later....Marcie you will definitely want me to tell you about this!) You could be this person....this summer....as you kayak around Western Washington. It is a great sport that tons of local people in and around Seattle do every year. You don't know what to buy or where to buy it? Well, I have a site for you! They specialize in helping you shop for kayaks, inflatable rafts, or any kind of inflatable boats and much more! Where do you buy, how much do you spend, what kind do you buy.....questions, questions, questions....let the kayak specialists help you out. Do you know how to choose the perfect inflatable watercraft? Well, this site will tell you how from where you're going to use it; how you're going to use it; how many people do you want it for; and much more! They also have links to articles about watercraft, rafts, pontoons and more. All you've ever needed to find out if a kayak is perfect for you, or some other type of watercraft is right here on this site.

This post sponsored by best-inflatable-boats.com

Models Needed

Do you have a Tuesday or Wednesday open and need a haircut, color, highlights or corrective coloring done? How would you like to get these services for FREE! My sister Camille works for the Paule Attar salon in Bellevue, and is looking for models to perform the above services. They are free, with the exception of the color services...you have to pay for the product; however, it isn't expensive at all.

If you are interested call my sister Camille at the salon at 425-453-3288 to schedule your appointment.

Missing Overtime Pay?

Have you ever looked over your pay stub and wondered why you weren't paid properly for those overtime hours you put in? Do you have questions about what constitutes overtime, and what the law is concerning overtime pay? Then check out this site about overtime laws that will help explain everything you need to know! Don't be missing out on any more overtime pay you desire and earned.

This post sponsored by paymyovertime.com

Freedom Writers

Wow! I went and saw the movie Freedom Writers afternoon. It was simply incredible. Erin Gruwell, a new teacher with high hopes and expectations of her school, her fellow teachers and the simple process of teaching highschool student, was thrust into a setting that she never expected. She was put into an integration program at Wilson HS in Long Beach, CA during the time period following the Rodney King story. She took a group of unwanted, low self-esteemed, gang kids and made them into writers who believed in themselves. Most of these students would not have probably even graduated if not for Ms. G loving them and showing them that they can learn and that they do have a future. They, the students, went on to write a book out of the diary assignment in Ms. Gruwell's class that was published in 1999 as "The Freedom Writer's Diary". This is definitely a must see movie. Beware though....you should probably bring kleenex. If you want to read more about Erin Gruwell, her students and the foundation they have set up visit their Freedom Writers Foundation Website.

Free Phones

OK, Ok I like to talk, in fact I would go so far and say I love to talk. Maybe that is why I like blogging so much! I can talk and talk and talk (via typed words) and get it all out of my system. However, it is 100% better to actually have someone to talk to! You get on the phone, dial someone's number and have a meaningful, or not so meaningful, conversation. You have a visual of who you are talking to. How would you like to do that with a FREE PHONE? Yep, you can now get some of the most popular cell phones out there for free. Of course, my favorite would have to be a free phone from Verizon, as they are an awesome carrier (that is who I have). But you can get free phones from Cingular, T-Mobile, Sprint and more. How do we know all this information? Well, emediawire.com is a site dedicated to press releases, and Wirefly put out a press release of the top 10 free phones. They are simply gathering the informatin and passing it along to us...the great consumers that go and buy these goods. Seriously, these people are doing us a great service...they are doing all the legwork and informatin gathering. They are comparing the data, the pros and cons of each, and they are finding which companies are willing to share their merchandise with us for FREE. Then we simply read the well put together press release and choose which one best fits our lifestyle! So, have fun talking to friends, family and even strangers (but be careful!).

This post sponsored by emediawire.com

Monday, January 15, 2007

Golden Globes

Yeah America Ferrera and the whole cast of Ugly Betty!

The show won best comedy on TV and America won best TV actress in a comedy! How exciting. I love this show. It airs on ABC on Thursdays at 8pm. The whole cast does a great job (except that I'm a little tired of Salma Hayek...I mean she does produce the show, does she need to be on it as well?) Check it out this Thursday and see what the buzz is all about!

Car Refinancing

Before paying off Freddy the Ford Explorere, I was seriously considering refinancing my car; however, I was totally clueless when it came to having any knowledge on car refinance. I wish I had known about this site rategenius back when I was trying to figure it all out! They answer all sorts of questions for anyone who is looking to refinance their car, truck or SUV!

This post sponsored by rategenius.com

Yeah Susana!

Here is an article written in the Fayettville Observer Newspaper (North Carolina). The Prietos mentioned are my good friends...Susana in fact being my best friend! I'm so excited to see their coffee shop open so I can get tortilla de patata! So if any of you are ever near Fort Bragg, NC stop in and have a great cup of coffee! I bet if you were to ask for a Raquel Mocha they would make you a great Coconut Mocha!
Published on Sunday, January 14, 2007

Shopping center caters to Hispanic crowd
By Jennifer PlotnickStaff writer

Seemingly by accident, a shopping center in northwest Fayetteville is starting to cater to Hispanics.

The four Hispanic business owners at 500 N. Reilly Road’s Bragg Shopping Center are thrilled to have loyal Spanish-speaking customers. But they also want the English-speaking mainsteam to learn about their businesses — especially as a new one gets ready to open.

Originally from Spain, Jose “Pepe” and Juana Prieto own the center, said their adult daughter, Susana Prieto.They opened Pepe’s Wood Carving in the center five years ago. Since then, two more Hispanic businesses — Sabor Latino and La Borinquena — opened.

The Prieto family plans to open another business by mid-February called Cafe Espana. The cafe will feature coffee and pastries from Spain.

The center’s businesses already receive a lot of driveby traffic as people head to Fort Bragg. The Prietos hope those passersby turn into customers and experience flavors they haven’t tried before, said Susana, who will run the coffee shop.

“We’ll have stuff that will appeal to everybody, but we’ll introduce them to new flavors too,” she said.

As it finishes construction, Cafe Espana is importing a churro machine to make “authentic Spanish churros,” Prieto said. And for lunches, customers will be able to try a tortilla de patata (potato omlet).

“It’s a very common lunch and dinner item,” she said. “Every Spaniard knows how to make it.”
The cafe will also serve espresso and other specialty coffee drinks, pastries, muffins and American sandwiches and soups.

Plans include stocking specialty meats and cheeses. Later in the spring, Prieto hopes to offer outside seating similar to what customers would see at a traditional European cafe.
Pepe’s Wood Carving is next door to Cafe Espana.

The Prietos first opened Pepe’s in Georgia in the 1970s and opened a second location near Fort Bragg once it started receiving frequent orders from Fort Bragg.

Susana’s sister and brother-in-law still run the Georgia location, which handles the large custom orders. At the local shop, the business has evolved into mostly laser-engraved plaques, although large wood-carving orders are still accepted.

“We do a lot of custom work,” Susana Prieto said.

Around the corner, Sabor Latino offers cuisine native to Dominican Republic and other Caribbean nations.

La Borinquena used to be a grocery store, and now its filled with pool tables and games.
Clustering stores that appeal to the same customers is smart marketing, said Rosimar Melendez, director of the Women’s Business Center.

It’s why shopping malls with stores that sell similar goods are effective, Melendez said. Customers will browse in all.

“It’s a one-stop concept,” she said.

Vacation Investments

If you are like me you are ready to move South for the winter because of all this white stuff on the ground we call snow! But you still love it here in Washington and this is home. So do this....buy one of these great Cave Creek Condos in the Arizona Sonora Desert. Live there in the winter months and come home in the summer. And the investment part? Rent it out while you are not there living in it! Doesn't warm desert weather sound great right now?

This post sponsored by scottsdalefineproperties.com

Celebrating Martin Luther King

Tomorrow we, as Americans, take time to celebrate an important man in history. His name was Martin Luther King. He had a vision of blacks and white living together in equality. He had a vision that our country would one day give freedom to those who were not free. His words have been heard around the world, and I believe they are still pertinent to today!

This is his "I Have A Dream" speech delivered on August 28, 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. What are your dreams?
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only."* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Amazing Refund

Have you ever bought something online, and then a few days later see it go on sale and drop in price? And then you are sitting there thinking that if you had just waited a few days more you could have saved some money? I have! Now there is a site that gives you refunds on items if you purchase through them and the price drops within thirty days. The Amazing Refund site is limited to those items that you would be on Amazon.com and the refunds are actually refunded from Amazon. What an awesome deal is that? Now you can go browse through all their selections and feel comfortable that you are truly getting the best price deal out there available! This incredible deal is also available for UK buyers at Amazing Refund UK. Have fun shopping!

This post sponsored by amazingrefund.com

Beat the Bears!

Come on Seahawk fans, 12th man unite! Let's root the Seahawks on to victory. They play against the Chicago Bears today at 10am...I'm sure there are going to be a lot of empty seats all around the greater Seattle area churches. But all for a good cause!

Go Hawks!

Let's Make A Deal

Do you want the deal behind curtain number three or what's inside of box number 1? I used to love watching that old game show, "Let's Make A Deal" where everyone dressed up in costume like they were going to a Halloween party. I wish they had this show now. Anyway I digress....you can still get great deals without dressing up and buying the contents of a box! You can find deals and bargains at wubee.com...they specialize in great deals! You can find coupons for free shipping, money off and more on items such as apparel, automotive, baby, office supplies, hobbies, books and magazines and so much more. It is also worth checking them out for the Deal of the Day! You never know what you will find for today!

This post sponsored by Wubee.com

You, Me and Dupree

Have you seen this movie yet? I watched it tonight after church with Rodney and Holly. It is a good movie. Fairly typical characterization of Owen Wilson...he seems to play the same roles over and over! And Matt Dillon, how can you not like someone who was in the movie "Outsiders"? And Kate Hudson is a cutie in it! All in all I'm glad I didn't pay to go to the theaters to see it, but it was good to watch on a cold...and STILL SNOWY night!

Road Trip

My best friend Susana and I have talked about taking a road trip someday from Seattle to Georgia (or vice versa). On this trip we want to hit all the tourist attractions that you can find! The oddball ones, the sane ones, cemeteries (yes, this is a favorite place of ours), you name it we'll visit it. And one thing that I do when we are on vacation is play a few dollars in the casino! I never win, but it is fun all the same. So I was thinking we could combine both of those...travel and casinos and hit the Biloxi Casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi! They've done a lot of rebuilding in Biloxi since Katrina and they are looking to rebuild tourism.

This is post sponsored by biloxi.cruzino.com

Friday, January 12, 2007

Payperpost Love

Just a little ppp (payperpost) statistics for you folks...and some encouragement to get started on blogging for money!

rachelannmac (that's me)
Posts Taken:143
Posts Approved:137
Posts Rejected:0

Have Been Paid: $565.91 (yes, I've really received all this money in my paypal account! I just started in October)
Will Be Paid: $359.37 (this is how much will be paid to me over the next 30 days)

If you add those two numbers together you get (drumroll please....) $925.28....that's right almost a $1000 made since October! It's easy...I only do two blog posts a day in between my other posts and it makes me money! So if you visit payperpost.com and sign up use me as a reference: rachelannmac@hotmail.com.

Yeah for me!

This is NOT a sponsored post, just me showing love!

Wine Cellars

Ok, Ok...I'm not a lush, but I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. And I think that wine collecting could be a totally fascinating hobby; however, I would need to know a lot more about wine. Starting with how to keep your wine, and the wine cellar equipment I would need to start out my collection. This site helps even newbies like me figure it all out, plus shows a software program system that keeps track of your collection...I would love this as I am anal about organization!

This post sponsored by cellaryourwine.com

Apples to Apples

I know I have a strange sense of humor; however, I didn't realize it was so weird that I would totally lose at the game Apples to Apples. If you haven't played this game you have to try it, it is totally hilarious. We played tonight after dinner.
Basically, one person picks a green card which is a description card. Everyone else quickly chooses a red card from their hand that they think matches that green card. The red cards are people, events, things, places, etc....tons of stuff. Then the "judge"--the person who chose the green card reads all the red cards and picks the one they think fits the best.
So as I said my sense of humor is quirky, and I pick a lot of my cards to match based on funniness not common sense. So Holly won a green card from me that said "DEMANDING" because she but "IN A COMA" in the pile. Yeah, I know...but I laughed hysterically and she won! If you want to have fun with this game you will definitely invite me over to play!

New Beach to Visit

My favorite place in the world is somewhere that has a beach, which obviously means that I'm on the water! The beach is just a little piece of heaven on Earth. So this time, I am looking at the beaches in Bulgaria...Bulgaria you say?! Yes, I know I wouldn't have thought it at first, but they are on The Black Sea Coast just under Romania and above Turkey. What is even better is that my money is going to go further there as they were just accepted into the EU....which means the Euro is spent there! So if I were rich (which I might be someday) I would consider buying a piece of Bansko property in Bulgaria!

This post sponsored by bulgarianventure.com


Yum, look what we had for dinner tonight! Quesadillas....and they were oh so delicious! Barb, Charlie and I headed down the hill to Rodney and Holly's for dinner. Holly got this nifty quesadilla maker for a wedding shower gift.

It is fast, it is easy to clean and it makes great quesadillas. We made ours with just chicken and cheese but you could make it with anything you wanted inside. And I bet it is faster than making them on the stove. How much fun and how easy would this be if you had kids!

I think that I will be buying one of these when I have my own kitchen!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snowball Fight


Wet snowballs, snow forts that keep you protected, a good throwing arm, a whole passle of people to play...what do you need all these things for? A SNOWBALL FIGHT of course!!

No, I did not go outside and have a snowball fight with anyone today! Although when I drove to the church today I saw lots of snowmen sitting out in front yards looking out over the traffic keeping an eye on all those people who think speeding on snow and ice is ok...but I digress! I'm sure that there were hundreds of kids and adults (who act like kids) out in the greater Pacific Northwest having a blast throwing snowballs at one another! Now you can have a snowball fight online, in a totally cool interactive internet game. Tapeonline.com, a company who sells blank dvds, video tape, disc media and more has created an online snowball fight game! Whoo--hoo! The characters that you get to hit (don't you love creaming someone with a big 'ol snowball right in the face!) are all Tapeonline employees. They have the top forty scores, the top twenty recent scores AND the top twenty employee scores. Hmmm, what are these Tapeonline employees doing while they are supposed to be working?? I guess everyone needs to take a break once in awhile. So if you live around the Seattle, but don't want to have a real snowball fight in the snow come inside with a cup of cocoa and enjoy a fight while staying warm. And for those of you wishing that you had snow, here is your chance to enjoy a bit of the white stuff!

This post sponsored by Tapeonline.com

What are my chances...

....of going to work tomorrow? Hmmm, the Puyallup School District is already closed (Marcie, I'm sure Noah is jumping for joy!). So it is almost safe to assume that the Sumner School District will be closed, and I will be out of work for three days in a row. Well, it is a good thing that I am doing some data entry at the church and getting paid for it!!! No complaining! It is all good.

FYI: for those of you who do have children who have missed numerous days of school, there is a vote happening sometime in the next week or so about schools making up missed days. The vote is that those counties whom Gregoire declares a state of emergency may not have to make up the missed days. Unfortunately for those counties that haven't been declared a state of emergency you will have to continue and make up days at the end of summer...bummer!

Music to My Ears

I love music...mostly country, but I do branch out into Jazz, Soft Rock, some Hip Hop, some Rock....I know a little bit from all genres. There is this great new site that has unsigned artists who are looking to be discovered. I think it is great that someone is giving them a little exposure, plus I think it is great to hear bands before they hit the big time! You can listen or you can sign yourself up as an artist...what a way to be discovered.

This post sponsored by unsigned.com

No More Christmas

I know it is kind of late; however, Christmas is officially over in our household. We hadn't taken any of the Christmas decorations or the tree down yet. And since both Barb and I didn't work today we packed everything away, and cleaned the house. It is kind of empty in our living room now...makes me wish that Christmas went on all year long...at least the decorations. But then again, I would probably rethink that in July when it is hot outside!!!!

Remember though, Christmas does live on all year long in your heart because it is truly a season about celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Saving Money

As you know I am going to Thailand; consequently, I am missing work for a minimum of three weeks! During that time I'm obviously not working, but I still need to pay bills! Hmmm...how does that work. Well, as like most of you, if you have a major trip, event, surgery, or just simple life expenses you have to save your money. How do you do that? I'm bad in that I don't save long term, but I save short term. Meaning I cram all I can into a short amount of time, and the rest of the time I don't save very well. I know, I know not very good. But when I am not saving I am putting all my money to paying off credit cards. I also have a new banking system where they round off my purchases on my debit card and put it into my current savings account. There are many of you that take out secured loans to pay off debt in order to save money, there are those of you who take on extra mortgages, and some who rely on other methods. No matter how you save your money, you need to save it!! The links above are to a site that can help you start saving money, and help you with home insurance. Start saving people!!

This post is sponsored by thriftyscot.co.uk

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


We are headed over to SE Asia in just a few short weeks. This will be my third visit to Asia (Singapore), but my first visit to Bangkok, Thailand. Our MC council had a meeting tonight and we were told that we were able to connect with people in Bangkok to help us get child prostitutes off the street.

Let me give you a little background:

* 20% of children aged 11-17 are child prostitutes, that is 1 out of 5

* there are 250,000 children who are child prostitutes

* Bangkok is the child prostitution capital of the world

* there is no hope for these children

* there is no where for them to go

* they feel as if no one loves them

I don't know exactly who we have connected with, but we have found a place that is willing to take children that we find and house them, feed them and protect them. This is a major answer to prayer. As we want to go there and help everyone we can; however, we cannot go make a presence and then have no local help to back us up. This is a great opportunity to love on these children, show them someone loves them and that God loves them, and put them in a safe place. We don't know exactly how this is going to work or how many we are going to be able to help. But God knows. We prayed tonight that there would be children that we would come in contact with that we would be able to help, and that God would begin pointing out those children and know exactly who were to go help. Yes, this seems like a huge undertaking, but with the Lord on our side how can we go wrong.
While there we will also be doing some prayer walking, simply covering the city in prayer and breaking strongholds that cover the city. We will be visiting temples such as the one on the left...this one in particular is Wat Arun: Temple of the Dawn. Honestly, it is fascinating to visit these places; however, we know that we are going in there to do battle. There are so many lost and hurting people in these temples praying to gods that do not exist. Essentially, the have given their lives over to false gods and ultimately the enemy has them right where he wants them. They worship these gods because that is what their parents did and their parents before them and so on and so forth. Then there are the tourists that are in these temples as well who have no idea of the battle that is being held in the very place they are standing. We often get the opportunity to talk with people...usually we strike up conversations about what their religion means and such, and then we steer the conversation to Jesus. Sometimes there is no response, sometimes we talk for awhile...but ALWAYS some seed is planted!
We also see many images of Buddha where ever we go. Some of the temples have Buddha imagaes that are huge...I'm talking like 20 feet tall or so. We know that these images are wrong, and we go in doing battle once again. Once in a city we pray over the five doors to a city: Religion, Government, Finance, Communication, and Education. We walk the streets of these cities and pray over every area. We go to temples, churches, government buildings, the financial district, colleges, schools, media sources and more. We know that we can't move a mountain in a day unless God is doing it, but we can make a difference by being a spiritual presence.
We leave on the 4th of February and are returning on the 21st. If you remember, please pray for us while we are gone. We are taking 30 people on this trip. We are having to apply for visas into Indonesia/Borneo (where a group is going for part of the trip) before we leave and need to have them in our possession before leaving. We are flying to Singapore than into Bangkok and Indo respectively, then flying back to Singapore where we are trading groups then back to Bangkok and Indo...and then back to Singapore for our final few days. Then home through California. It can be exhausting just travelling there as it is 24 hours or more in airports and airplanes...and then we get there and go, go, go! Every year is such a blessing though and quite amazing to see what happens.


Do you have a hobby that includes using great binoculars? Such as bird watching, hunting, whale watching or something of the like? I like to attend PBR events and sometimes my seats are in the back forty, so having a good pair of binoculars is a must. My dad is a great hunter and searching out those elusive deer and elk are sometimes only done by a good binocular. The folks over at Eagle Optics are the folks for you! They let you search for binoculars by price, by manufacturer, by features, by magnification, and by size...so many options for you to chose from. And get this...you can get free 90 day financing on orders over $200! The have some great pricing over there, and anyone and everyone who needs great binoculars can find what they are looking for!

Snow and Driving

I just talked to my sister. She lives in Issaquah, up on the plateau and she works in Bellevue. She left work at 4:30 this afternoon, and is still at least a half mile just from the exit she takes off the freeway to her house!! She still has to navigate off the freeway, onto Front Street and then pray that the HUGE (and I mean HUGE) hill is driveable. If she can't get her car up the hill, her only choice is to walk up it! Please pray if you are reading this tonight. Then she has to walk quite a bit more (probably a couple of miles in all) before it is safe enough for her husband to come get her (the have a 2 year old that has to come with him as well). This is way too out of control. I pray that everyone out there is driving safe and arrives home safely!

Sidenote: My sister arrived home safely at 11:45pm...over 7 hours after she left work tonight! I pray that the rest of the drivers out there get home safely!

One big happy family!

Are you into tracing your family roots? How bout making those totally fascinating family trees? Wouldn't you like to get beyond the family roots that are only here in America and trace them across the sea and into the country (or countries) that your forefathers came from? Here is your opportunity. Zooof, The Family Network has a new site that is opening to the public for free on February 14th. This is a site that is allowing you to creat a virtual family tree, and the more family members you connect to your tree from different countries you will be given more tools to use in your quest. I think once you get started you will be amazed at how many of us are actually connected to one another in some fashion. If you'd like to check this site out before the open date of February 14th you can mail them: your name, e-mail, country and gender to: invite@zooof.com were you will receive a personal invitation link. Have fun with this and who knows who you might be related to and remember you are helping unite the world into one family.

This is a sponsored post, see sidebar disclosure

Snow Again and Again

Wow! Another day in Western Washington where schools are closed, roads are icy, and people are grumbling (that would be me) while the kids are shouting with glee....yep it is another SNOW DAY. We were watching the news last night, and for the past few days, and all they've been saying is snow, snow, snow. I truly didn't believe that it would snow again, and that schools would be closed again!

Normally, I wouldn't be so agitated...but I got a call to go into work this morning...and it was great because it was a two hour late start day (but I would've gotten paid for the whole day), then I was waking up to actually go in I got a call that school was cancelled. Yuck, there goes a good chunk of change. I like days, I really do, but I haven't worked for a few weeks because of Christmas break and I have no regular source of income coming in...I really needed todays pay. Oh well, God knows that He will provide for me...of that I have no worries!

So for all of you who didn't have to go to work or used the snow as an excuse not to go to work...HAVE FUN!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Do you take the time each new year to re-evaluate your Car Insurance and Home Insurance? I do some degree. I'm currently thinking about whether to keep full coverage for Freddy (that is my Ford Explorer) or just go to Comprehensive. He is paid off, but isn't in the best condition so that makes me think that I'm spending too much on insurance...hmmmm. Maybe the folks over at Insure 121 can help me make the right decision.

This post sponsored by insure121.com


Main Entry: head·ache
Pronunciation: 'hed-"Ak
Function: noun
1 : pain in the head
2 : a vexatious or baffling situation or problem

Main Entry: mi·graine
Pronunciation: 'mI-"grAn, Britain often 'mE-
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English mygreyn, from Middle French migraine, modification of Late Latin hemicrania pain in one side of the head, from Greek hEmikrania, from hEmi- hemi- + kranion cranium
1 : a condition marked by recurrent severe headache often with nausea and vomiting
2 : an episode or attack of migraine

Why do I give you these two definitions? This is what happened to me today! And unfortunately happens quite frequently. It started about Noon, I took four Aleve after school, went home and went to bed. I was hoping that I would only need to sleep for an hour or so, OH NO...I went to sleep at 3pm and woke up at 7pm. It was so bad today that I even turned my phone off so no one could bother me. UGH...I don't understand why my body does this. It is something I have suffered with since I was a child, but it doesn't get any better as I get older. I've learned to live with it and realize it is a part of my life, but man oh man does it SUCK. So it is feeling a bit better now, but there are still some tendrils of pain threading through out the front of my head.

I suppose having headaches like this isn't great when you are trying to wean yourself off of coffee and caffiene?

US Web

Do you ever get on the computer and use the internet (well of course, if you are reading this!). Are you someone who is looking for better web marketing strategies? How about creating more revenue, profit, customer loyalty and simply your name out in the big, big world in internet searching? There are so many individuals and companies who have great products to share, but are unable to jump that chasm of how to market their online services. Well here you go...US Web is the place for you! They help you do all of this and more. They will help you identify who you are trying to reach, implement the proper strategies and target the correct people groups. Let them help you help yourself.

This is a sponsored post

Please Pray

Most of you that are locals to the greater Seattle area have heard over the last week the story of the young girl who died and wasn't taken to the hospital until the following morning. The young lady who died was 16 year old Danielle McCarthy from Puyallup. She was with two other friends that evening. All three girls sneaked out of the house to attend a party in Edmonds, from there the details are kind of sketchy; however, it is coming out that drugs were involved and that is what killed Danielle. The reason I'm asking for you to pray is that one of the friends involved is a young lady from my church. Needless to say she is going through some difficulties right now, and there is some legal issues now arising. I don't feel at liberty to say the families name or what all is happening, but just now it is very hard for them right now and there is a long road to go. Thank you and God Bless.

Scooby Doo Creator Dies

This post is for my friend Susana and my niece Brittany....both of them love Scooby Doo. Susana has a room of collectibles...most of them Scooby related (now tell me why I keep sending her stuff for this collection? :0 ).

By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Iwao Takamoto, the animator who created the beloved Scooby-Doo and directed the cartoon classic "Charlotte's Web," has died. He was 81.Takamoto died Monday of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Warner Bros. spokesman Gary Miereanu said.In a career that spanned more than six decades, Takamoto assisted in the designs of some of the biggest animated features and television shows for Disney and the Hanna-Barbera animation team. They included "Cinderella," "Peter Pan," "Lady and the Tramp," "101 Dalmatians," "The Jetsons" and "The Flintstones."But it was his creation of Scooby-Doo, the cowardly dog with an adventurous heart, that captivated audiences and endured for generations.Takamoto said he created Scooby-Doo after talking with a Great Dane breeder and named him after Frank Sinatra's final phrase in "Strangers in the Night."The breeder "showed me some pictures and talked about the important points of a Great Dane, like a straight back, straight legs, small chin and such," Takamoto said in a recent talk at Cartoon Network Studios."I decided to go the opposite and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, big chin and such. Even his color is wrong."Takamoto also created other famous cartoon dogs such as Astro from "The Jetsons" and Muttley, the mixed-breed that appeared in several Hanna-Barbera animations. He also directed the 1973 feature "Charlotte's Web."Born in Los Angeles to parents who had emigrated from Japan, Takamoto graduated high school when World War II began. He and his family were sent to the Manzanar internment camp in the California desert, where he learned the art of illustration from fellow internees.Despite a lack of formal training, he landed an interview with Walt Disney Studios when he returned to Los Angeles and was hired as an apprentice.Takamoto worked under the tutelage of Disney's "nine old men," the studio's team of legendary animators responsible for its biggest full-length films before moving to Hanna-Barbera Studios in 1961. There he worked on cartoons for television, including "Josie and the Pussy Cats," "The Great Grape Ape Show," "Harlem Globe Trotters" and "The Secret Squirrel Show."Takamoto was survived by his wife, Barbara, son Michael and stepdaughter Leslie.Funeral arrangements were pending.

Dentist Anyone?

I know that I so need to go to the dentist, as I've been having pain in some of my back teeth...I'm sure it is a cavity. Do you know any good dentists in your area? Well, if you live in the greater WA DC area, over in Virginia than you are in luck. Charles Brown DDS pc,one of the regions top dentists as listed by the Washington Area Consumer Council, is a dentist at the Hayfield Dental Care Clinic. He is available by calling 703-971-2220. Of course, I know all of you do research on the doctors you visit, but rest assured Dr. Brown has had zero complaints on his record at the Virginia Board of Dentistry. Pretty impressive seeing as he has worked for the Hayfield Clinic for 10 years...this seems like a man that can be trusted.

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Monday, January 08, 2007


QueenChris...one of the great PPP posties did my a great favor and did a little post about me (and other newby ppp posties) on her blog. She is great to do this in order to help us newbies increase traffice and page rank! On the plus side, I've totally enjoyed reading her blog...and she is from WA...how much better does it get than that?

Happy Birthday!

OMG! I can't believe I didn't write anything earlier than now! Me...the one person who absolutely adores Elvis Presley and I didn't even mention that today...January 8th is his birthday!

Umm...yeah I really like this cowboy look he was going for!

Do you know that he would have been 72 today? Hmmm, I wonder what he would look like know at 72...'cuz ya know he wasn't looking so hot when he died. And speaking of his death, I think it is all a conspiracy theory...I think he never died and he is truly roaming the Dairy Queens and Walmarts of the greater United States of America :)!

Or....how about this one....the reason so many people "see" Elvis out and about is that his twin brother Jesse (who supposedly died at birth) never actually died, but was given away or kept hidden and he is who you see at DQ and Walmart. Hmmm....yeah, I think so. Actually I saw this Twilight Zone episode once where they went into the whole thought process of Jesse never dying, but when Elvis was still alive, and the Elvis died and I think Jesse took his place or some weird thing like that....come on it was Twilight Zone and I was young, so I'm probably not remembering correctly.

Anyways...HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVIS! You could've shaken your hips my direction anytime!

Beach Cruisers

Isn't this cute! It is a beach cruiser, and I think I might like one. They remind of olden days and when things were a bit slower, and people actually rode bikes on vacations, along the beach and just for fun. Since my favorite color is blue, this is the one I would have to have if I were to buy one! And actually they are quite reasonably priced...this one is only $130 and is a 24" Urban Lady Beach Cruiser....ohhh la la! They have beach cruisers for everyone....men, women, and children. They have classic beach cruisers, multi speed cruisers, and choppers. They are touted as lowrider bikes, which means (in my opinion) that they might actually be easier to ride than other bikes. I know lots of people who like to vacation along the beach (Marcie!!!) and these look like they would be fun to cruise along early in the morning or in the afternoon watching the sunset. They seem to be a lot sturdier too...which means I might actually stay on the cruiser instead of falling on my keister! :) Even though Christmas is past, these are great for those of us who are making New Year's goals to get in better shape through diet and exercise.

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Fuel My Blog

Are you a blogger who wants free advertisement? Of course you do, silly question to ask! There is this great site fuelmyblog.com that is giving away free advertising blocks....and your site stays up for 5 years! For FREE!!! Basically it is a grid of small squares, you pick the square you want, fill in some info, upload some type of picture and the spot is yours! In fact, I picked out two squares....you can find me in the first spot on the left on the fourth row down AND you can find me at the last spot on the right two rows up from the bottom!

Have fun, get some attention and free advertising!

Hotel Reservations

Hello...do I love to travel? Do I travel alot? Well, yes I do. I love to travel all over the US and abroad...in fact I am heading to SE Asia (Singapore and Thailand to be exact) in just a few weeks. Besides airfare, what is probably the biggest thing you have to worry about when traveling? Hotel reservations of course! Everyone knows you need to do this early in order to get good rates, but I admit it is frustrating to go from site to site looking for the best deal and hoping that a nice hotel pops up with a decent price. There is this great new site called hotelreservations.com...how convenient and easy to remember! Not only do they hook you up with great hotel reservations, but you can also look for vacation packages, flights and cars....one stop vacation shopping. Amazingly they are doing hotel reservations in over a ton of couuntries right now. You have to know that if you travel overseas booking hotels can be quite frustrating. You have a language barrier, you may not be familiar with the location and therefore not know what to book, there may not be websites to book on (and who wants to sit on a long distance phone call overseas), and you truly don't want to pay a travel agent to do something that you know you can do at home. Here's your answer....hotelreservations.com has got you covered. And my favorite is that they have listings in Espana (Spain), Singapore (we usually stay at the YMCA, but someday I know I'm going to get to stay at The Raffles...a snazzy place), and Greece (where I plan on going for my 35th birthday in 2.5 years!!!). So come one, if you are traveling anywhere that requires a hotel stay...from Motel 8 to the Hilton...check this site out!

This post sponsored by hotelreservations.com

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Yep, more pics!

Yes, I know I should be sleeping (since I have to get up and teach Sunday School tomorrow), but I seriously have a computer addiction. These are the last ones I'm putting up tonight. As soon as I'm done, I'm off to bed...so good night in advance (as I wait for my pics to load)!

So in all the times I've been to Disney or Disneyworld, I've never taken the time to see the "Tike Room" show. This time we took time, and it was quite cute!

Me and Maddy outside of the Tike Room!

This is some statue that sits outside. I'm sure they had some sign saying what he represented, but I wasn't paying much attention!
Here is Mason inside eating ice cream...in December, and the room was freezing cold! It wasn't so bad eating ice cream outside as it wasn't terribly cold out, but the inside was like a freezer. Isn't he one of the cutest kids you've ever seen? I love him!

And this is one of the main birds of the show, Jose! I had to take a picture of him as my nephew Josh likes to go by the name Jose! This is for him!


Here are some pics from our visit to Disneyland. We went on Sat, December 30th...yes, it was BUSY!! This is me, Madalyne and some lady called Minnie Mouse all dressed up for Christmas. Isn't she cute?

This is Nathan, our "cruise director" down the River Nile...aka...our jungle cruise. He was quite funny, but the thing is I think I've been hearing the same jokes for a few years now. At least he still made the trip exciting.
Maddy and Cassi wondering what Nathan is going to point out next. Is it the wild gorillas, the bathing elephants, the menacing piranhas? Hmmm....one never knows...watch out!

Of course every jungle cruise has some wildlife...here we see the great gorillas with some Zebras down below. I was nice and didn't put the picture of the lions eating the zebra!

And finally, some Hungry Hungry Hungry Hippos! Remember that game? Yeah, well I wouldn't want to really run into one of these in real life, but here they are fun!

More Pictures

Here is Josh and Mason, they are wearing crowns because we were at the Medieval Times Dinner Theatre! Don't they look cute together?!?

We are calling this the Ramirez Family Picture 2007! The tree is one that was decorated at Medieval Times. The reason they didn't have one in front of their own tree is that between the cat and Mason the tree didn't survive! It had lights up and looked pretty with the lights, but there were no ornaments. People would put ornaments back up and then a few minutes later they'd be back on the floor!

This is the only half way decent picture that Brittany would let me take of her. She isn't one for taking pictures, and in fact I had to trick her into all the pictures I did manage to get! I don't know why she doesn't want me to take pictures, she is awfully cute.

Finally, we have my bad bad mexican. Of course, it is Madalyne. She is getting so big! I can't believe she is already 8!