28 February 2010

Need stronger coffee?

Once again I had broken sleep.
Up at 1:50 am.

I walked around the house.
Checked the doors
and the oven.

Checked on daughter and her friend.

Fell back asleep.

Woke up at 6:50am.

Laundry. 2 cups of coffee. Breakfast.
Softball meeting.

Nap. errrr.
Dang it!

Beautiful flip flop wearing sunny day
and I needed a nap.

There went a good hour.

Soon off to the inlaws for dinner.

Happy Sunday!

27 February 2010

Saturday Wake Me Up

I have been so tired lately.
Not sleeping well (I think I have some level of insomnia athough never medically diagnosed).
Lately I have been a napper. True story.
I NEVER used to nap. Not even while pregnant. Another true story.
Because of my 'naps' I feel like I am not getting enough done SO I have decided to revive the coffee/expresso machine!
Thanks to my SUPER DUPER big brother. He got me this (photo above) for my birthday, oh 5 maybe 7 years ago.
I am embarrassed to say I haven't used it since about 6 months after I got the goody. (Pretty accurate guess)
Lazy? Probably. :). The great thing is it's still like brand new! Wink wink
I also like to think of this whole making my coffee at home thing as one more step towards our budgeting efforts. And I like it!
Well, back to the bacon. Enjoy your day.
(First post ever from my blackberry. I hope it comes out ok.)

Liz Leppanen, Realtor (916)275-5511 VGC Real Estate Group #01820535

26 February 2010

Just me...Prep Shirt & A Salad

I like all types of styles.
Not a certain one.

Depending on the day I will feel like:
Dressing up. Dressing down.
Dressing ‘frilly’ with ruffles & flowers & such.
Wearing denim (a fave).
Wearing slacks.
Wearing a skirt or dress.
Uggs on my feet or stilettos.
Belt. No belt.

I just like being me.

The other day I saw this white sweater in my closet.
I hadn’t worn it for a long time.
Next to it was the striped shirt. (closet NOT organized)
Hadn’t worn that in a long time either.
I thought, “self, you should put those together
and see how it looks.”
I did and added a pair of trouser jeans and
black (low heel) pointed shoes.
This was a belt day.

I was comfy and I loved it.

At the time of the above photo food was on the brain so...
Salad was for dinner. YUM!
Veggie mix with cucumbers and turkey
& my favorite dressing sprinkled on top.
(Safeway brand Eating Right Garlic Red Wine Vinaigrette)

Happy Friday!  Be comfy & just be you!

25 February 2010

Simple exercise. Sweet breakfast. My rules.

I am back on my exercise kick. Again.
Starting out slow so I don't get bored with it.

I am also eating better too. 
Yesterday morning I had
cheerios = good for the heart. blueberries = good for the soul.
organic 1% milk = perfect.

My slow start is this ~
25 minutes of my evening are spent doing the following:

pilates stretches

Yep that's it. Just 25 minutes right now.
Actually I bumped to 35 minutes last night.

Thank you Rubios for serving me those
carnitas nachos @lunch.
So yum at that moment.

My tummy said YES while my body was
trying to figure out a way to smack
some sense into me. myself.

Last night = salad and a small portion of lasagna
then cheerios and blueberries again today.
Maybe eggs tomorrow.

One snack: chocolate with oats fiber bar.
It was good. Didn't taste like dirt
so I will have another one today.

Lastly, 2 cups of green tea. Maybe 3 in one day. Who knows.
Just playing this by ear so I don't feel
forced.  I do better that way.

24 February 2010

The Thrift Store Experience

I went to a thrift store!
Yes I did and I LOVED it.

I have heard over and over how great they are.
How you can find treasures.

I could have spent hours in there
but husband and daughter were with me.

We did find some great things.
In my opinion.

Our finds include some
pretty lovely picture frames.
(by the way I am seeking more for a project)

For display only. Not even the cats will use that comb.

and then

Wait! One more..
In our house we ask that you
remove your shoes.
This was a perfect find for the entry way
and a steal, I might add.

Husband laughs at this but
I think I might be addicted.
Can you say, "budget decorating?"!

One of my Facebook friends suggested going
to thrift stores in San Francisco.
I can only imagine the goodies to be found there!

So once the weather gets better a friend and I are
gathering a few more ladies and are heading to
San Fran!

Stay tuned...

23 February 2010

Colorful Inspiration

Whether your room is small or large.
Has lots of natural light or is a little on the darker side.

You can add some color. Some Energy. Some smiling faces.

Do you want to walk into your house,
your room after a long day and smile?
Do you want to feel relaxed instantly and
let all of the daily havic leave your mind?
You can do it by adding a little color to
any room.
Start with the room you spend the most time in.

That makes sense.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once.
A step at a time.

Kids need this too!

Kids room
I haven't seen green toned down this well before.

Intersting Pink/Mauve
Never thought about using so much of this.
This pic makes them look nice.

1) Paint a wall, or two, or three. 
2) Add colorful pillows. 
3) How about showing Mother Nature some love. Get green with it.
4) How about a whimsical lamp. A focal point.
5) Reflect your lovliness with a mirror.
6) If you have a small chair like desk or rocker -
cover or change the cushion. Or add a pillow.
7) Get artsy.  Be bold, put up a painting.
8) Bookshelf? No problem. Paint the back of it a bold color.
9) Add a blanket or a throw.

Have fun with it! I would love to hear about your decor!

22 February 2010

Want to Buy a Home? READ THIS!

The home buying process can be
stressful or not so stressful.

You may be getting out-bid over and over
and you may be looking for 5 months.

You may find THE home in a week.
Or two weeks.

A short sale may take 7 months.
It may take 2 months.

Bottom line is it's crazy out there.
Find THE right agent.
One you can trust.  One who will help you stay positive and patient.

You need to be in the loop at all times.
Good or bad news.  You need to know.

Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you:

Find your Realtor. 

 Be an informed Buyer. Ask questions.

 Familiarize yourself with the mortgage process.

 Get pre-approved before you start looking.

 Determine the specifics. What are you looking for in a house?

How much work are you willing to do on a house?

Don't be afraid to ask your Realtor questions.

Don't be afraid to ask your Realtor questions.

Don't be afraid to ask your Realtor questions.

Get the point? This should be an exciting process for you.
Let ME, your Realtor do all of the work.

I look forward to working for you.

20 February 2010

Mani/Pedi with Munchkin

Date with daughter.
Mani/Pedi. Please.

Akward salon flip flops to boot.
I LOVE daughter's nails.
Yes, she did take 10 bottles of polish
to her girl
and yes her nails match her toes.

Hmmm yep, that's MY girl!

Then dad came home and we went to dinner.

19 February 2010

The Peeps from Podunk, NV

So they don't really live in a town called Podunk.
It's just what I call where they live.
Small town. No stop lights. One school for:
elementary, middle and high schools.
Seriously all in one.

We were so happy that they came for a visit.
Our dear friends,
Amber.  Darin.  Austin.  Trent.
It had been a while since we saw them.
Too long really.

Here are a few photos I took from the weekend:

Austin and Trent - ADORABLE!
miss them already

We had a great dinner with them and another great family,
DeAnna. Josh. Kaylei.

Great friends, yummy dinner
and a fantastic time! It was awesome.

DeAnna brought her amazing homemade ice cream pies

Kaylei decided to sleep over with the kids
so Sunday morning we made the
Choo Choo Cupcakes (from previous post).

Amber and I made this one...


Another fabulous weekend has passed
but there are so many more to come.

18 February 2010

It's the simple things...Today

Sometimes the simple things are all I need.

I am feeling really simple today
even though I have on this amazing shirt
that is a pewter color
and just long enough to cover
my denim bottom.

The fabric is so soft.
Not sure what
it is though because I don't
really read the tags.

Anyway, today my simple goodness comes
in a cup.
Mocha with soy milk please.

17 February 2010

THE Necklace Debut

As posted September 15, 2009
My crafty oh so talented friend Sara
made me a necklace.

She saw it in a store for mucho dinero and decided
she could probably make one.

Well she did. I loved it. She made me one too!

Today I am finally wearing my adorable necklace.
Thanks Sara!

I bought this shirt special for the occasion.
Actually I wanted to debut my pretty
necklace in October in New York but the weather
would not allow me to wear THE shirt.

I absolutely had to debut my necklace with the perfect shirt.
And I'm so happy I did!

12 February 2010

Class Valentines Via 4th Grader

Of course there are Valentines.
It's the last day of school
before the day of candy and treats and
class parties if you are a kid.
(The day of LOVE if you are an adult)
wink wink

Any hoo Miss Munchkin
made her Valentines out of

Oriental to go boxes
Silver ribbon
Festive pencils
Beige card stock

She did everything ~
Filled the boxes.
Wrote the name tages.
Tied them all up.


Happy candy, treats and class party day to you all!

11 February 2010

Lesson of SHIST

"Did you know that SHIST is a rock?
It is. It's true.
But you have to be careful when saying it
because if you leave out the S it is
the S H I T word."

Yep, straight out of the mouth of a 9 year old.

I love that munchkin.

Valentine Treats - Some FUN stuff!

It is so important to stay engaged with your kids.
It may seem hard at times,
especially in this economy.
We are so busy. Or stressed. Or tired from being busy.

Well pull the kids away from the t.v. or the video games
and get making!
Here are some cute treats you can do together.
& I bet they taste pretty yummy too!

Cupid Cupcakes
Aren't they cute?!

So here is what you need:
A cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe)
Pink- or peach-tinted frosting
Large marshmallow
Thin pretzel stick
Crisped rice cereal (a handful)
Decorators' gel
Candy heart
  supplies are per cupcake. Increase as needed.

And this is what you do:
Frost a cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with pink- or peach-tinted frosting.

For wings, use kitchen shears to cut a large marshmallow in half vertically, then snip each half widthwise a few times for a feathery look. Press a thin pretzel stick against the sticky side of each marshmallow half, then stick the pretzels into the cupcake.

Press a handful of crisped rice cereal along the top of the cupcake for Cupid's curly locks, then add a decorators' gel mouth and eyes. Finally, set a candy heart in place and pipe on frosting fingers, if you like.

Choo Choo Cupcakes

Here is what you need:
Prebaked cupcakes
Frosting (enough to ice the cupcakes with a little left over for building the engines)
Tootsie Rolls (the short kind, not the long kind)
Red licorice
Serrated knife
  Small peanut butter cups
 Cinnamon Red Hots
  Red gel icing
 White paper, markers, and tape

And this is what you do:
Frost the cupcakes, reserving a little icing to build the train engines. For each one, unwrap a Tootsie Roll and slice off one third of its length (the Tootsie Roll is actually scored into three sections). Firmly press this slice atop the back end of the remaining piece so that it sticks in place to create the train engine's body.

Use a toothpick to anchor a 1/2-inch piece of licorice to the top of the engine for a smokestack. With a serrated knife, gently saw a peanut butter cup in half (a parent's job). Then attach one half, turned upside down, to the front of the engine to form a cowcatcher. Use frosting to stick three cinnamon Red Hots for wheels along the bottom of each side.

Set the engine on top of the cupcake and press it slightly into the frosting. Then use red gel icing to draw a train track in front and in back of the engine. Finally, cut out a paper steam puff. Print on the message "I choo-choose you!" and tape it to the toothpick.

And wa la! Seems easy and definitely looks F-U-N!

10 February 2010

Getting Valentine's Day Crafty - Kid Style

I LOVE to create with my daughter.
She loves it too and we have
FUN doing crafty creative things together.

While searching around for different projects to keep us busy
I found these:

Tissue Flowers
This is what you'll need...

Pastel colored tissue paper - check 
Chenille stem - check  
Scissors - check
Ruler - check

This is what you do...
1. Cut tissue paper into rectangles of desired size (5x7 is the size pictured)
2. Stack 4-6 pieces of tissue paper. Use the same color or different colors.
3. Accordion pleat the tissue paper working from the long side.
4. Wind one end of the chenille stem around the middle of the accordion pleated tissue paper.
5. Gently separate each layer pulling upwards toward the middle of the flower.  Do the second side.

Hand Hearts
Isn't this the cutest?

Just get some of this stuff...
1 sheet pink construction paper
9" x 12" piece of white poster board or cardstock
Crepe paper streamers in festive colors cut into 14" lengths
18" piece of yarn
Acrylic paints (we used light blue, red and pink)

and get busy.

Both inexpensive and seem easy to do.
Perfect for kids! & some moms too. ;)

Find more craftiness here.

09 February 2010

It's Real Estate - SHORT SALES

What is a Short Sale?
A short sale occurs when a property is sold and the lender agrees
to accept a discounted payoff, meaning the lender will release
the lien that is secured to the property upon receipt of less money
than is actually owed.
If you qualify.
More than half of my business last year involved short sales.
That's how prominent they have become.

Don't be afraid.
There are many ways to lose a home but signing away ownership
in a manner that destroys credit, embarrasses the family
and strips an owner of dignity is one of the hardest.
For owners who can no longer afford to keep
mortgage payments current,
a short sale could be an alternative to bankruptcy
or foreclosure proceedings.

Truth is a lot of people who are behind on their
mortgage have no idea what to do.  Or what they can do.
There are options.

Are you in this situation?
Do you have questions?

If so, give me a call.
All discussions are confidential & kept between the parties involved.

Are you looking to buy a home?
If so, don't be afraid of short sales.
Give me a call, I can help you.

Liz Leppanen, Realtor
VGC Real Estate Group
(916) 275-5511
dre# 01820535

08 February 2010

What a GAME!

Pronunciation: \ˈsānt, before a name (ˌ)sānt or sənt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French seint, saint, from Late Latin sanctus, from Latin, sacred, from past participle of sancire to make sacred — more at sacred
Date: 13th century
1: one officially recognized especially through canonization as preeminent for holiness
2a: one of the spirits of the departed in heaven b: angel

Fantastic game. Great food. Wonderful people.
The day could not have turned out better.
The game. The commercials. I do have a favorite!
"smack...don't touch my momma. Don't touch my dorritos."
HA HA HA Still giggling at that one!

I must admit at first I was a little worried.

Normally if one of our teams are not playing we just
go with the flo. Pick a team but not get too involved.
This year was different. Even if one of our teams were in
we would have rooted for the Saints.
It's a sentimental thing.

So here we go...

My attire. Don't you LOVE it?!

Our food contribution

One batch thanks to...
THE perfect day to make the shrimp.

And we brought

In closing...
We left the party with smiles on our faces and full bellies.
What more could you ask for?

05 February 2010

The STRESS Message

Pronunciation: \ˈstres\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English stresse stress, distress, short for destresse
Date: 14th century

1: constraining force or influence: as a: a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; especially: the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch b: the deformation caused in a body by such a force c: a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation d: a state resulting from a stress; especially: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium
e: strain

It's a fact, this economy has done a number on a lot of people.
-Brought out the ugly and the dishonest.  Boy I know I have seen some true colors.
-Made some rethink.  Are material things necessary?
-What makes me happy? How can I survive?
-But that's my house. Yes it was your house.

It's a fact, we are as strong as we want to be.
It's easy to get frustrated. We need that release sometimes.
Yell. Get it out. Write out your feelings.
It's easy to blame others for how we feel.  For what we are going through.

Take ownership. Be responsible. Get through it.
People aren't perfect.
There is a better way.  We just need to find it.
Some situations will take longer then others.
Make the change.  Change is one of the hardest things people do.
It takes time, in most cases.  No one said life was easy.
Don't be embarrassed.
Combustion happens when you hold things in.
Find someone to talk to.
Someone you trust.
Find a release.

Most importantly, try try try not to STRESS.

My newfound release:
Blogging. Keeping a journal. Documenting.
& I love it!

04 February 2010

Let's Dish...We did it again!

Daughter and I once again cooked dinner.
For us. Appetizer included.

She hearts devilled eggs so that's what we made, with a twist,
& stroganoff for our main dish.

I boiled eggs to make egg salad and for her to have
devilled eggs. Hoping maybe with an egg to spare for breakfast.
No breakfast egg but the lots of fun and
creativeness of daughter made it OK.

Notice the two colors?
That's because daughter decided to try
egg salad in the eggs too. Devilled eggs
with egg whites (in the egg white), yolk mix, tuna & onion.
Not bad actually and she loved them.
Notice her 'thumbs up' in the pic.
Of course the regular recipe eggs are more yellow.

After we enjoyed our eggs, some batting practice and
homework we moved on to the main dish -
stroganoff. YUM!

Made with turkey meat, chopped onion, some spices
& pasta we made
Wa La!

This cooking thing isn't so bad after all.

Stay tuned for more...

03 February 2010

Some Goood Eats!

We had dinner with the inlaws recently.
It was sooo very good.
As usual.

We had a few items we have not tried before.
That's how it is at their house.
They love to cook so every meal is a surprise.
New recipes all of the time.

A typical meal consists of:
appetizers (at least 1)

This appetizer...
Artichoke Pepper Dip

The directions

Good wine
not pictured
It goes too fast. HA! Just kidding.  Ok yes, really.

And the main grub...
This meal included goat ribs, butternut squash & risotto.
Yes, you read correctly - GOAT RIBS.
They were delish!

I know. I know.
A ton of food on that plate, right?
So my eyes were bigger then my tummy.
Who cares! It was good!
Oh and I ate it ALL. Yes I did. True story.

Father-in-law puts some yummy rub on his ribs.
Very yummy.  Never a bad meal in that house.

And of course, we brought home leftovers. 
Thank goodness!