you got chocolate in my peanut butter!

NaBloPoMo Day 26:
Tell us about the last thing you hid.

This is cracking me up. If I am trying to hide something, would I tell God and everybody here on the internet? Rest assured that I have things hidden in my mind, in my home, in my car, pretty much everywhere… and I can’t confess to any of them. Especially not so close to Christmas.

I guess I will have to go with the last thing I hid that was found out. Prepare yourself for something dreadful. I hid a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the middle console of my Subaru. Not an ordinary pack, but a two-pack of the Big Cups. This was discovered by Quinland when I broke into it on the way to pick her up one day and left the wrapper in semi-plain sight. “Leave no trace” is not my motto in day-to-day life, let me tell you.

Why am I hiding candy? I blame Halloween. It is hardly possible to resist the lure of the peanut butter cup once their little mini brethren invade our home in someone’s trick-or-treat stash, so the next time I was at the store I picked a package up in the checkout line and stashed it in my car in case of future emergency candy need.

But I am not an orthodox peanut butter cup eater; I flip them upside down and eat the peanut butter part off and throw away the flat chocolate top. The lure of the Big Cup is now perfectly clear: the same amount of chocolate to dispose of… and twice the amount of peanut butter. YUM.

out of the consultant protection program

NaBloPoMo Day 25:
Tell us about the last thing a person or advertisement convinced you to buy.

On Saturday, my friend Deb and I went to a Preview Party for our friend Sue’s new business opportunity, Ahni & Zoe. This is the latest venture by Creative Memories, the company that brought scrapbooking to the masses.

Let’s start by saying this: I love scrapbooking. I consider myself a scrapbooker. I was, in fact, a Creative Memories consultant – not once, not twice, but three separate times. The first time was in 1995; I was a consultant for six months, but student teaching got the better of me and I gave it up – but not before I got hooked! Thankfully, Deb became a consultant so I still had easy access to products. When Deb moved to Germany almost five years later, I signed up again and stayed a consultant for eight years. I finally quit when the amount of product I was buying far exceeded the amount of product I was selling! I missed it, though, and signed up one more time – briefly – before I knew it was not for me.

I was intrigued to find out what the new Ahni & Zoe model of scrapbooking would look like. I was pleasantly surprised!

The new program is based around the following premise: people are taking more photos than ever now that everyone has a camera (their phone) with them at all times, but nobody is printing their photos or jotting down what any of the details. I can relate to that; even before I got a smartphone, as soon as I started taking digital photos, I stopped printing them. We were all compelled to have photos developed when we had film cameras, because that was the only way to see your pictures! But now, unless we post them to Facebook or show them to someone one-on-one, many of our photos never see the light of day. Even the ones shared on social media will only be available as long as those sites are up – and someone knows our passwords.

Ahni & Zoe starts with an app that lets you edit your photos and jot down notes about them, right on your phone or computer. You tag the ones you want to print. You sign up for a prepaid photo plan and your tagged photos are sent to you automatically. (I love the idea of not having to remember to print them!) The new A&Z scrapbooks are all pre-decorated, so when your photos arrive, you just use your Tape Runner to stick them into an album or slide your photos into photo-safe pocket pages. Instead of the weeks or months it might have taken to do a scrapbook in the past, you can get all your photos in an adorable album in one night of watching TV. Amazing.

So… what was I inspired to buy? The Consultant Kit.

Why am I doing this again? Let me count the ways.

  • I truly believe in getting photos off of digital devices. As the old saying goes, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be jpgs!” That goes for two-legged and four-legged kiddos!
  • I feel that it’s important to know even part of the story behind a photo. I treasure the one-line notes in my mom’s handwriting that are on the back of my childhood photos.
  • Ahni & Zoe albums have gone back to the doable, easy way of scrapbooking. There are no tools for sale, just Tape Runner and basic pens. Yes, I like creative scrapbooking, but 95% of picture-takers don’t. Those people deserve photo albums, too!
  • The minimum order requirements are really low, and print packages count toward them!
  • The new plan does not involve keeping inventory, which is what killed me during my longest stretch as a CM consultant, as inventory was taking over my house. Instead, orders are placed on a per-party basis.
  • The new system will take credit cards directly, making ordering sooo much easier for customers and consultants.

I’m excited about the new opportunity. Kits for new consultants won’t be shipping until January 1, 2014, so I’ll have time to learn all about Ahni & Zoe. I’ll be poring over every page of the new catalog and dreaming of the quick, easy albums I’ll be making.

full Indian meal, meat and vegetarian

NaBloPoMo Day 24

Our family meal plan has been going strong now for three months!

Quinland was busily doing KP this morning when she poked her head into the dining room to ask, “Is this scheme the longest one we’ve ever done?” I assured her that it was definitely the longest meal plan we’d ever done, and quite possibly was the longest we’d ever stuck with any scheme, ever. While I’m not proud of what that says about my consistency as a disciplinarian, I am glad that Q will be getting a taste of meal planning, cooking, and responsibility before she grows up and moves out in a few years. (Lest you think that she has never had chores, you would be mistaken; she’s always been in charge of loading and unloading the dishwasher, but all other tasks have been assigned on an as-needed basis, not regularly scheduled.)

I’ve been especially pleased with how Quinland is developing as a cook on the nights that she is the Chef. She’s been an excellent baker for years, but she’s expanding her skills. Tonight, she cooked a sweet potato-and-chicken curry, added a number of pre-packaged Indian sides and two kinds of rice. She modestly said she “just heated things up,” and while that was true for the sides and the rice, she also orchestrated the whole meal and got it all on the table at the same time, HOT. I didn’t begin to learn that until I was 40, and I’m still not good at it. All that was after planning the meal and shopping for it at two stores. (I even dropped her off at Fred Meyer, and she shopped, scanned, paid, met me outside, and loaded the bags in the car herself.)

Tomorrow morning, Q doesn’t  have school, and she’s planning on making orange-cranberry scones for breakfast (from scratch, of course). I can’t wait.

Bonus points today if you can name the film the title of this post comes from!