Tuesday, November 30, 2010

hey, it's ok (tuesday)

hey...it's ok
(go visit amber for the original!)

... to put redi whip in your coffee if you're at a house that has it. it's just like creamer, riiight?

... to laugh at the words "sarah palin misspoke again" simply because you don't really think they are necessary anymore.  and that has nothing to do with politics, really.

... to watch phineas and ferb.  by yourself.

... to marvel about how people are obsessed with superficiality as you flip through a people magazine.  and then realize that the only reason you're looking through that particular magazine is because you're sitting under a dryer while the highlights your stylist just put in take effect...

... to really want to smack the wiifit lady in the face when she says "oh" in THAT tone of voice when you step on the board. 


Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with my lake

do you have one of those places that calls you back from time to time?
times when you're discouraged
at a decision point
that feel so much a part of you
that going there in the midst of chaos sort of sends everything scattering to the right place again?

when i first graduated college i moved
about 30 minutes north of the city
(logistically a nightmare, which is why i lived there for precisely ONE year)

the draw though
was that i had a ground floor apartment
that was directly across the street from a gorgeous lake
and i could literally step off my patio and walk across to it anytime i wanted

i have this thing about water
and this lake
was just special.

in november of 2008
just a couple of months after losing my job
i felt lost
without direction
nothing had materialized
and while i was "working" for a few families
i had no idea where to go from there
(little did i know the journey i was ALREADY on!)

i revisited "my" lake
and somehow
things seemed right again with the world
 if only for that 20 minutes.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday's Ten: thanksgiving '10

(you should all participate in this one. just sayin')

today i am thankful

- for the table we will gather at with anthony's family.  for them, their hospitality, and their immediate acceptance of me.  and that they asked me to bring something that's traditional in MY family today so i'm bringing green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.  and so incredibly grateful i didn't get a preparatory letter like this one with instructions. (read it.  you'll laugh)

- for the man i love and our time together so far...and for SO.MUCH to look forward to.  for future plans that excite me, for knowing that he loves God more than he loves me...so the balance is alllll gooooood.  and that he's a dork, just like me.

- for emi, who scrunches her face up into "her" chair, who sits on the piano bench more often than i do, who jumps up on the bed to be loved on as soon as i walk in the door, who runs to greet me when i arrive, who sometimes just runs around the house like a crazed animal, who is stingy (but rewarding) with her purrs, who loves to chase a laser light, and who most nights will cuddle with me at bedtime just for a little while.

- for life in the garden, in the herb planters.  and that i've managed to keep a cilantro plant alive for a whole month now.

-  for the fact that i just drove to anthony's apartment with my sunroof open.  on thanksgiving day, people.  it's in the 70s today :D
(and yes, it'll be cold tomorrow.  but i can be thankful for warm weather on thanksgiving!)

- for friends who get me.  and for those who don't, but accept that i'm a little crazy ;-)

- for the spiritual communities that have shaped my faith.  this journey has been a wild ride, for SURE  but i've told many people to buckle up and raise their hands because it's the ultimate thrill ride!

- for the privilege of being called to live this way.  so completely dependent on God for provision and strength that i pretty much live just like this quote:
"But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through"
(Francis Chan)

- for my wii, dvr, laptop and iphone that serve as distractions when i need them, entertainment when i'm lacking, exercise when it's hot/cold/rainy, and connections with those i love. yes, all of them have their downsides, but using them for their intended purpose has been a blessing

- for so many countless things in addition: my dog magnet that has dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds flocking to me and giving me affection.  for starbucks and my ridiculous collection of travel mugs.  for road trips with friends.  for snuggles on the couch.  for naps.  for worship.  for babies and the privilege of watching them grow.  for the families who have supported me and entrusted me with their most valuable possessions -- their children.  for learning about and beginning to operate more fully in my giftings.  for laughter.  for family.  for so.much.more.

and of course...for all of you.  who come here and read what i have to say, who humble me with the way you respond, who encourage me with your friendship.  i started blogging just for me, and i'm ever surprised and blessed that you hang out with me here in this small corner of the internet. so thankful that our lives (and blogs) have crossed paths.  :)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

recipe of the week: stuffed shells casserole

**please excuse the lack of pictures.   it was so good that we kinda forgot about that part.**

i LOVED the idea of this recipe
who doesn't love stuffed shells?
who doesn't get frustrated when making them because either they fall apart, leak all their filling, or just in general don't turn out the way you expected?
(ok, maybe i'm the only one who prepares to make 12 stuffed shells and ends up with 7 - 9 actual shells and 3 - 5 shells worth of ripped fragments)

but even if they work out perfectly
they're kind of a pain.  yes?

so this recipe from rachael ray comes in to make our lives a bit easier.
it's CERTAINLY not a 30 minute meal
more like three times that
but most of that is kind of passive time
so you can set the table, make other foodstuffs, etc while the sauce is cooking or the casserole is baking :)

stuffed shells casserole
for the sauce:
extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely (i minced)
3/4 of 1 large (or 2 small/medium) onion, chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated
salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano or marjoram
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed with the flat edge of your knife
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped (i only had dried since my thyme didn't survive all summer!)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry wine, white or red (i used white)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cans crushed italian tomatoes (i used diced this time around, use whatever.  also, the original recipe calls for 28 oz cans, but i used 2 regular sized cans.  it was the perfect ratio for us, but if you prefer a more tomatoey sauce, use the big cans.)

for the "stuffed" bit:
1 pound medium or large pasta shells
2 boxes frozen spinach, defrosted and wrung dry with a clean towel (i used 1 bag from trader joes because it's about the same)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
the other 1/4 of the large or two small/med onion
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano - reggiano cheese 
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

in a large pan, heat about 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.  add the garlic, onion and carrot.  season with salt, pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, and thyme and gently saute for about 10 minutes.  add in parsley and stir, then add wine and reduce a minute (unless you're me and forget that step), chicken stock and tomatoes.  bring to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer.  simmer sauce for 45 minutes.

after sauce has been heating for 30 minutes, preheat oven to 375゜

bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.  salt the water, and boil pasta for 5 minutes.
at the same time, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  add garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes.  add spinach, pulling apart and separating as you go. stir to combine well and add nutmeg, salt and pepper.  turn off heat.
(ok, to save time, i had the defrosting spinach in a bowl, wrung it out, and then went ahead and seasoned with nutmeg, salt and pepper while it was still in the bowl)

drain undercooked pasta and return it to the hot pot. add spinach mixture to pot, along with ricotta and parmigiano cheeses. stir to combine and then add egg yolks.
(erm, again, i saved time here by mixing the spinach, cheeses and eggs in the large bowl the spinach was defrosting in.  i then added the drained pasta and stirred it all up)

pour a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.  fill dish with pasta, and then top with another layer of sauce.  if you wish, you can save some to dish on at the table...i just dump all the sauce in :)  bake 30 minutes.
extra fresh parmigiano on the table is never a bad idea ;-)

enjoy!  just so you know, this recipe makes a TON.  anthony and i ate big helpings, i sent him home with 2 really large servings of leftovers for he and his roommate, i put aside a serving for his grandpa, an additional serving for me, and i STILL had 2 large servings to freeze.
we're taking another dish of this to a friend who just had a baby this week, along with a salad.  pasta and sauce is always a winner :)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

it's a great day to enjoy the weather

surprise!  it's gorgeous out there today!

funny. it's been cold here all week and today? gorgeous. i don't mind this trend of cold miserable weeks followed by a rewarding gorgeous weekend!

i've already taught a lesson this morning and i babysit starting at 5 -- first for a small group (at minimum 12 kids, but the parents will be right.there) and then when small group leaves i'll stick around.  tis the season for holiday parties, and the hosts of the small group have one to go to!
yay more monies :)

have a wonderful day out there -- hope you enjoy it immensely!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Fitness Friday: what your mother always told you...

may not be the case :)

this article gives detailed explanations of why the following (and other) myths are...well, myths!

cutting off bread crusts will make your meal less healthy/vitamin-ey
going out with wet hair will make you get sick
don't cross your eyes!  they might get stuck!
gum takes 7 years to digest, so don't swallow it
an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
as long as you wear a hat when it's cold you'll stay warmer, since most head escapes from your head
stay out of the pool for an hour after eating!
always, always, always take your vitamins

interesting, no?


Thursday, November 18, 2010

you'd beter believe it!

i'm SO taking advantage of this one.

yes please!


Thursday's Ten: the late but yummy edition

i sent out a tweet yesterday asking for suggestions for today
and got some good ones
unfortunately, most of them i have planned to do DURING the holidays
and in my estimation
those start NEXT thursday

as i was bookmarking yet another recipe to try
i thought i'd share some that are in my "to try" box
from other bloggers
(maybe you!)

1.  molasses cookies from a former teacher (and current friend!) of mine
(i've wanted a recipe since starbucks stopped carrying them...so this is high on my priority list to try)
(i'm going to see if i can make this with all organic ingredients...yummy!)
3.  meatball soup from the sporadic cook
(i love a nice hot comfort soup!)
4.  white chocolate pumpkin bread from jill (who i've known since birth pretty much :)
(she's so creative...and this sounds sooo good)
5.  southwest chicken wontons from marin's creations
(this has been in my files forever!  must.try.soon)
6. pumpkin pie spice cake from casondra
(she just posted this today -- what luck!)
(i'm a mashed potatoes purist -- just salt, pepper, butter and milk.  but this may change my ways once in awhile!)
8.  maple cream cheese frosting from la jolla mom
(yes please!)
9.  cilantro lime dressing from the double dipped life
(two of my most favorite things)
10.  strawberry lime shortcakes with coconut from our best bites
(mmm.  i may leave off the coconut, but they sound awesome)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wishing and hoping and planning and dreaming

such a fun song :)

i'm joining in on this one again

a simple wish for me today
would somehow be saved.

it's nashville's only "local" bookstore
been around for 30 years
and because the company that owns it went bankrupt 
they're closing it

here's wishing and hoping that a wonderful, rich person
(or group of people)
will be able to keep it's doors open!

(i mean, there's a facebook page and everything.  it could happen)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

hey it's ok tuesday

(visit amber, who originated this idea!)

hey, it's ok ...

... to only turn on children's programming that you can sort of stand unless it's an extreme emergency.  a nanny has to keep her sanity.  if that sanity includes strategically leaving out the options "word world" "barney" "cailou" and "yo gabba whatever" when reading off a list, so be it.

... to be thankful for so many things.  and to currently have VERY high on that list: pumpkin spice creamer.

... to be the crazy coupon lady.

... to consider it the success of your day to have turned the tears of a 3 year old who has just wiped out on the hardwood floors to giggles within 2 minutes.

... to be irritated by the dvr'd shows who say "stay tuned for scenes from next week's episode" because you know full well the dvr cut off those previews...

... to be completely weirded out by the idea of the new xray machines at airport.  i get and appreciate that they are amazing new safety things, but i can't say i'm going to enjoy walking through them!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with two special women

fall retreat, 2005 
martell, lajuana and i
two of my extra "mothers"
how blessed this time was with both of them


Saturday, November 13, 2010

it's a great day to go to the christmas village

simplicity in black and white this week:

christmas village: last year at fairgrounds!

anthony and i have gone to the christmas village (a great collection of artisans and crafters, and foodies, and etc that sell gifts and christmas themed stuff) every year since we started dating.  this is our 3rd time to go to the village, and we're honestly not sure if it will even exist next year, since the TN state fairgrounds are being closed :(  

this year i scored us cheap tickets that we bought from a friend who wasn't able to use them.  we are headed there in about an hour...here's hoping for good shopping!  it's always fun :)

it does seem a bit funny to go to the christmas village when the temperature is in the mid 70s.  but lovely :)

after the village we're meeting up with our friend laura and her baby toddler izzy for dinner.  she's recently vegan, so i'm kind of excited to try a new place with vegan options!

i hope you all have a wonderful saturday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fitness Friday: site highlight

today's version of fitness friday is a bit abbreviated.

i'd like to introduce you to a new discovery of mine.

they have recipes
a whole section on vegan living (which i passed on to my friend who is currently eating vegan -- great resource!)

what i REALLY like about this particular site, is that it's not preachy at all.  so many sites that fall into this vein of healthy lifestyle and living are honestly kind of judgmental about those of us who aren't quite as crunchy as others.  granted, i haven't read EVERY.SINGLE article on the website, but what i have seen is balanced and informative.

and that's kind of my thing.  as long as i'm well-informed about it, there's nothing wrong with once in awhile making the choice to eat a pop-tart or cheeseburger.

so visit the website or their facebook page and enjoy!

disclaimer: this is simply a site i stumbled upon this week.  i doubt the creators of the site know that i or this blog exist, and they certainly didn't ask me for a plug.  consider it a freebie, eat drink better gurus :)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

you can't make this stuff up: volume 14 (yet another tennessee edition)

do you have a local character (or 20)?

ours is a chicken.
or rather, a person in a chicken suit who protests...stuff. 

AND possibly best of all...
he has a twitter feed

so seriously -- who are the characters in YOUR town or city?


Thursday's Ten: random things you may not know about ...

(ok that sounds self-centered.  there really IS a reason though...read below :)

please join me for this one!  i think i'm going to make it a once in awhile thing (random things about...potatoes.  or penguins.  or random things that start with the letter "p" since i already have 2 on the list ;)

today i'm combining my thursday's ten with accepting a blog award from the lovely casondra

here's the specifics for this particular award:

Rules for accepting this award are:
1.  Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
thank you Casondra!

2.  Share 7 things about yourself.
done below.  with 3 bonus things :)

3.  Pass this on to 15 other great bloggers you recently discovered.
15 RECENT?  hmmm...

4.  Contact the selected bloggers and tell them about their awards.

So 7 things about myself...

1. pretty much if you offer me chips i'll take you up on that.  huge weakness of mine is crunchy or savory snacks.

2. i can give myself a mean french manicure if all the elements are right.  but i can't for the life of me paint my toenails without getting polish everywhere.  i'm not sure if it's thinking i don't have to pay attention, or a subconscious way to convince myself i should get a pedicure.

3.  i love, love, love my friends.  they're pretty amazing.  
(casondra, my things are looking an awful lot like yours but i SWEAR i didn't mean them too!)

4.  i own like 2 lamps.  i don't know why -- i MUCH prefer lamplight to overhead.  i should probably fix that and ask for a lamp or two for christmas.

5. i love telling people i teach at a studio on music row.  if you lived in nashville you would know that's not really a HUGE deal, although the studio being there is quite convenient for industry contacts and the like...but it sounds pretty cool to out of towners.  except you, if you are reading this and didn't know that.  now you won't think i'm cool. oops
(please, if you're a regular reader of my blog you know i'm a big dork anyway ;)

6. my girl crush is olivia benson (mariska hargitay's character on law and order: svu)

7. i can take a good shower in 3 minutes flat (which came in handy during our month of water rationing after the floods in may) and can get ready in less than half an hour.  you would think this would make me early to places.  instead, it means that i literally wait until the last.possible.moment to step into the shower, and i'm ALWAYS running out the door.  i'm getting better about being it, but that fast shower and getting ready bit most definitely works against me.

8. *  i'm kind of jazzed about my new tab at the top -- a link to every.single.recipe i've ever posted on the blog.  it's broken into categories in alpha order, naturally.  there will be many more added, and i'm going to definitely keep it up to date.  honestly, this is going to make it a lot easier for me to direct people to recipes they ask for, or for me to find it and copy/paste :)

9. *  i have discovered strawberry milkshake poptarts, and pretty much i love them.

10. *  i can't WAIT to have a few hours in the kitchen this weekend.  how i've missed cooking!

*bonus tracks ;)

mmmkay, 15 new(ish) blogs.  well, in no particular order (except alpha) here they are!

(oh how i love this blog :)  the song that starts when you visit is an old favorite of mine!)

(funny, funny, funny!  and satire.  and sarcasm.  and funny.)

(a fellow nashvillian, and coupon lover.  plus she has a separate blog just for recipes.  do love!)

(an online friend of mine for ages...military wife and mom doesn't even begin to sum it up!)

(reading her profile, i can SO see mine reading similarly in a few years.  awesome new blog friend!)

(i'm a sucker for anyone who puts "blessed" in their title and means it, and she is wonderful!)

(cheeky, fun and smart, this is a woman i could sit around and talk to for hours!)

(i met her through our friend casondra, and she's such a sweet, amazing new friend!)

(don't you love the name?!  and the blog is just as good)

(one of those like-minded in so many ways bloggers...and she's expecting her first sweet bebe!)

(i love love stories, especially ones like theirs, which is so marked by the Father)

(ahhh, another crazy liberal christian.  see?  we DO exist!)

(this is one of my oldest and dearest friends...and she has a brand new blog!) 

(fresh perspective, got her stuff together kinda girl :)

(what a fun life they lead!  so full of adventure and inspiration -- she's an awesome runner!)

i'll be notifying my winners as the day goes on...but if you see your name here, consider yourself served.  in a good way, of course!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

well, duh

one of my goals for the year was to become a true coupon lady
and i think i'm off to a good start
besides success at cvs last weekend
i also had mad success at harris teeter yesterday

113.82 worth of groceries for 53.98 
i saved 59.85!
highlights include:

2 packages of Martha White muffin mix: $.05 (reg price 2.36)
10 boxes of Barilla pasta: $6 (reg price $15)
7th Generation dish soap: free (reg price $2.99)
3 boxes of Hamburger Helper: $1.50 (reg price $5.55)
Bic Multi-Purpose Lighter: 1.29 (reg price $4.29)

that was with very little effort, so i'm excited to see what will happen as i begin getting into it a little more!  some coupon gurus save as much as 90% on an average trip.  over the last month or so i've been averaging 50% or so...i'm going to try to up it to at least 75% over the next month or two.

now onto my duh! moment, which does strangely correspond to the above :)

it occurred to me the other day
that my jobs (which i'm loving)
while by nature are "set my own hours" type gigs
are sometimes scheduled a little too tightly
for me to eat healthy meals
and definitely no time to cook them

and yes,
my clients are *wonderful* about saying
"please help yourself to anything in the fridge"
and i do

but there are days that there's nothing in the fridge that i like
or there's not much of whatever meal is left
or i don't want to open a whole new package of whatever freezer meal looks good
or there's a ton of junk food in the house and i wind up eating IT because nothing else appeals

this sometimes causes me to hit the drive-thru harder than i want
either between jobs because i'm starving
or after a job because what i had wasn't filling

so here's my future solution
i'm spending one afternoon a week in the kitchen
(besides cooking on other occasions)
where i'll make one from-scratch awesome recipe
that i can divide into a meal for that day, a meal for later that week, and a portion to be frozen
and at the same time
i'll make one "convenience food"
also to freeze into individual portions
so that i can stick it in the car on my way to a job
and if i get there and they have awesome options: fantastic
i have a meal for another day that week
and if they don't?
well, thawed out hamburger helper made with organic beef
is still much better than a 10 pm trip through mcdonalds.
(and cheaper too!)


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

hey, it's ok tuesday

one of my favorite bloggers, amber, has been doing this for awhile and today i'm joining her!

hey, it's ok

... to still type in www.cingular.com when going to pay your at&t bill, simply because you liked cingular better
(and it still works, so other people must think it's ok too)

... to sleep in on tuesday because you were up for 20 hours on monday
(that's more than ok.  that's *necessary*!)

... to cry on a fairly regular basis while watching ellen

... to be focused on getting your living area clutter free for the sole reason that you want to put a Christmas tree up stat
(and by "stat" i mean the day after thanksgiving, of course)
... to pretty much subsist on a diet of soups and other hot foods for the next 3 months

... to absolutely HATE the fall back time change.  
(seriously, these are the saddest months of my life. getting dark between 4 and 5 is just NOT ok)

... to literally roll out of bed and go to work in yoga pants and a tank top/sweatshirt most days, especially if you change into "real" clothing and put on makeup before you actually see anyone except the 15 month old and his parents -- who are good friends of yours anyway.  
(are you telling me you'd do anything different if you had to be at work at 6 am?!)

... to really, really, really miss having a bathtub instead of just a shower stall.  and to really, really, be considering posting a facebook status about trading an hour of free babysitting for an hour of tub time.

... to have loved the oprah show (which you never watch) with the sound of music cast reunion SO much that you're trying to figure out how to get a dvd copy of it since you watched it on someone else's tivo


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one where a relative actually comes to nashville!

for whatever reason, i normally end up visiting my family in their place of residence
instead of them coming here
this is for a two-fold reason
i love to travel, first of all
and their lives seem infinitely busy
(my parents have the 3rd reason of me not necessarily wanting them to make the drive more than necessary)

but once in awhile
someone actually comes here
and i love it :0)

way back in 2006, my brother's ex wife
who will always and forever be my sister in law
(my family)
called me to tell me that she was bringing a group of students to nashville
for a convention

at the time i lived right between the hotel they were staying in
and the hotel they were conventioning in
so it just made sense
that i take off work a couple of days
and play tour guide
and just hang out

it was a great time
and yes, in the picture above we are standing in a graveyard
an old, historic and cool one
(her kids had quite a fascination...they made us pull over for pictures and exploration)

her divorce was only a few months old
and i was grateful
to be able to spend some extra time with her

perhaps i should let my family come here more often :-)


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday's Song: I love Your Presence

one of my absolute favorite worship songs
this version from bethel church in california
(a church i hope to visit one of these days...)

and the words are so simple:

in the glory of Your Presence
i find rest for my soul
in the depths of Your Love
i find peace, makes me whole

i love, i love, i love Your Presence
i love, i love, i love Your Presence
i love, i love, i love You Jesus
i love, i love, i love Your Presence


Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's a great day to sleep in

and sleep in i shall

sure there's homecoming at my university right.down.the.road
and earlier in the week i thought i would go

but honestly?
i'm tired.

and i don't know anyone who's going anyway.


i'm loving this week's wordle

after sleeping in -- coupon shopping time!

yep, i have a plan for some cvs deals...and some kroger shopping as well.  saving lots of money while spending very little?  sounds like perfection to me :)


Friday, November 5, 2010

Fitness Friday: and the case for exercise gets stronger

in searching for inspiration for this week's fitness friday i ran across this cnn.com blog that gave me just that -- and just in time for colder weather and cold and flu season!
i've written before how studies have shown that exercise can help counteract lost sleep
and we all know it helps maintain/lose weight

but studies are now showing it might, just might
boost that immune system!

while the studies admit that people who exercise may just have a healthier lifestyle overall
it also concludes that virus-fighting white blood cells are boosted with exercise
by my count that's several points for regular exercise
and not too many for snuggling in on the couch


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday's Ten: to be a kid again

when's the last time you just acted like a kid?  sometimes we take ourselves waaay too seriously, you know?  so here's my little list for you today.

1.  go swing on the swings at a local playground, or play on the slides
2.  play tag.  or hide and seek.  or flashlight tag (the best of both!)
3.  dance in the rain
4.  actually PLAY with children -- yours if you are blessed with them...and if you're now, i'm certain you can find a parent who will gladly loan you a child or two for a few hours ;-)
5.  eat candy.  not a lot, but remember how you used to love ________ as a kid?  go have some!
6.  have a popsicle.  it'll bring back a rush of memories.
7.  read children's books.  sometimes there are truths in there that span the ages...and sometime they are just plain fun.
8.  use FUN dishes and silverware.  a touch of whimsy in your kitchen or other home decor is nice
9.  keep a few stuffed animals tucked away -- or use them in decor as well
10.  go to events at children's places that are meant for adults :)

(see, there IS a point for this post)

last week anthony and i went to the adventure science center for the "way late play date"
it's a 21 and up event, and yes there are 21 and up beverages served
(2 free drink tickets per person)
we played around with several exhibits
although we spent most of our time in the planetarium
once for a demo of the stars and stuff
and again for a separately ticketed laser show of U2 music
(i was *thrilled*)

pics you say?
here ya go
(all taken with my phone, so sorry they aren't crazy good quality)

 blurry pics of our entrance

 anthony makes a tornado
 we thought this was a green screen until we walked in front.  colors changed as we moved.  pretty fun.
 haven't played with one of these since middle school! 
 the heat thermal screens were way cool
 pretending to pick each other's noses because we're dorks
 we played this weird game
 and neither of us won. some random person came and joined and then left so we never saw our scores.
 we did giggle at this poster
 not the greatest shot, but you CAN see the skyline from the planetarium wing and it's uber-cool
so my point?  go have FUN today!