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A Room with a sm00

a brief glimpse inside the mind...

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Auto Awesome is... awesome!
Oh LJ... I don't forget about you, I just forget when I have time.

I found an amazing new Google feature this weekend called Auto Awesome.  It takes photos I've taken and mashes them appropriately, all automatically and all awesome (fitting name, see?).

Example of Auto Awesome (and how I found the feature):

The guys at classic cup cafe

If you have a Google account and have photos associated with this account, click here to see if you have any Auto Awesome images!  I browsed through mine and found a few panoramic images from when we went to the Chinese Lantern Festival in January as well as a few other great motion mixes.

The above image was taken at the Classic Cup Cafe in Lancaster, TX on October 18, 2013.  Here, B and two friends are getting ready to drum (Caravan was the first song) with another friend during the break of a jazz session.  They were a bit of a switch but were certainly well received!  We had a great time.


Disney Dreaming... Tips and Tricks
awesome // Jr Sr Oh Yeah

We recently took a trip to Walt Disney World with my entire family. Planning was nearly as much fun as going, and now that the trip is over, I want to share what we learned. Most of these tips were gleaned from the many links I have pinned to my Disney Dreaming board, but some are tips we figured out on our own. This is what worked for us, and things we think we might do differently when we go back. Everyone is different! Pick and choose what you think would work for you, but also be willing to adjust on the fly.

We did not stay at a resort, though I've heard it's a great experience. Some of these tips might change if we did stay at a resort. We rented a house with a pool and six bedrooms instead. It saved us a ton of money but we missed out on a few perks such as the Dining Plan and Extra Magic Hours.


  • Photograph your tickets. Lost tickets can be replaced, but only with the ticket number.

  • Photograph your PhotoPass cards if you elect to use PhotoPass. Lost cards can be replaced, but only with the card number. This goes for any event photo card you might receive as well (such as a card from Enchanted Tales with Belle, etc.)

  • Photograph your child every day or multiple times a day if clothing is changed. In the event the child is lost or wanders off, the photo can be shown to security to help them locate the child.


Planning -

  • Scour the Disney site (note - it's usually pretty slow and not very user friendly at the time this entry was written) and decide on the attractions you want to hit.

  • Watch average line times for rides throughout the day to see how long of a wait you might have.

  • Install Disney apps on a mobile device and test them to see which is preferred.

  • Don't uninstall any app until at the park. What you think you like might not be the one that works best!

  • Squeeze in the viewing of some older Disney movies. Everyone knows the new movies, but it's frustrating to see characters you don't recognize...

  • Research the PhotoPass and decide if it's something you want to do.

Packing -

  • Plenty of sunscreen. Use it throughout the day.

  • Umbrella or parasol of some sort to block sun

  • Gum - Disney doesn't sell gum.

  • Autograph "book" - doesn't have to be a book with blank pages - the characters will sign nearly anything (ideas: pillow cases, t-shirts, story books, encyclopedia of characters, homemade autograph book, unfinished scrapbook or scrapbook pages, toys, etc. - bring your own permanent marker or fabric marker!)

  • Extra batteries or charge packs for phones or cameras

  • Backpack for water, snacks, souvenirs, sunscreen, etc.

  • Hats to protect little ones' parts from getting burned.

Parking and Park Entrances -

  • Parking is currently $14/day. The stub is good for all parks.

  • Parking lots have trams to take you from your car and back to your car. Use them.

  • Magic Kingdom must be entered by monorail or ferry from Tickets and Transportation.

  • It is possible to park at Ticket and Transportation and get into Epcot by monorail as well. Do it, even if it's just to see Epcot from the monorail.

  • Take the ferry to MK at least one way.

  • Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom have their own lots (as does Epcot).

  • Parking at Downtown Disney is free.

Playing -

  • Get Park Hopper passes. These allow you to come and go when you want.

  • Get to the park before it opens. Yes, before.

  • ALWAYS note where you parked.

  • High volume attractions should be planned for early in the day.

  • Get Fast Passes for any ride/attraction with a long wait time. Use the wait time to hit other attractions in that general area.

  • Depending on several factors, the main one being heat, take naps! Go for a quick swim, eat some lunch, take a nap, and recharge for the rest of the day. This is especially helpful in avoiding the hottest part of the day as well as serious grumpiness issues.

  • Take advantage of air conditioned shows when it's hot. Do not let yourself get overheated!

  • Hydrate!

  • Magic Kingdom has a train that will go to Frontierland and Fantasyland from Main Street (the park entrance). Use it.

  • Character dining is a great way to meet characters. They will come right to the table!

  • Character dining is also a great way to get into the park early.

  • Character dining generally requires advance reservations, as in MONTHS. Plan accordingly.

  • Other table service restaurants inside the parks will take reservations as well. Make them in advance if there's a place you really want to eat.

  • Epcot is a great park for finding characters - the lines tend to be shorter.

  • Look for Disney PhotoPass photographers, regardless if you're using PhotoPass or not. They will take photos with personal cameras as well!

  • When having characters sign autographs, be prepared! Have the "book" open to where it should be signed and the pen at the ready.

  • Ask for "magic shot" photos if using the PhotoPass.

  • Watch for Extra Magic Hours - these are for resort guests and can be before the park opens or after it closes. If you're not staying at a resort, avoid the EMH park that night and go the next morning. It should be less crowded.

  • If staying at a resort, research the Dining Plan.

  • It is possible for adults to order from the children's menu.

  • Interact with the characters. Talk to them, they'll talk back or play in character.

  • There are secret places to find characters. If you're looking for a wide variety, hit the web. There are lots of tips on how to find them.

  • It's possible to eat while waiting in line if you're trying to conserve time.

  • It's also possible to pack food to take into the park.

  • It is NOT possible to bring a cooler unless it is required for medication and even then it must be left at Guest Relations.

  • Stop at Guest Relations if you're celebrating anything and they'll give you a button to wear (birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, first visit, etc.).

  • The night shows all take quite a bit of time, but the night show at MK might be the longest since it's a parade, a show, and fireworks. While everyone is watching the parade/fireworks, the rest of the park is pretty quiet. Note close times of all the parks. It's possible to go back to MK after other parks close, but not always practical.

A bit about our trip:

  • We drove. It took us two days each way, basically. I loved that extra time in the car, too. It made for a fun adventure.

  • We rented a house with my parents and sisters and their families. 6 bedrooms. 4 bathrooms. 1 pool. 13 people. Absolute awesome.

  • We had four-day Park Hoppers. We hopped a lot.

  • We closed the parks twice, once on a day with a nap (perfect day) and once on a day without a nap (not as perfect, but not bad, either).

  • We took three vehicles each day instead of the four that were all driven to Florida. No need to pay for extra parking when it wasn't necessary.

  • We stopped in Clearwater on the way home to visit the Marine Aquarium and see Winter.

  • We tried to find local restaurants.

  • We asked for local or in season fish while near the Gulf.

  • We found Publix to be the most satisfying grocery store.

  • We loved MK, EPCOT, and HS. The Lion King show at AK was great, but otherwise was the park we spent the least amount of time in.

MK favorites:

  • Enchanted Tales with Belle (interactive story telling and pictures with Belle!)

  • Meeting Merida

  • Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor

  • Breakfast at Cinderella's Table

  • Electric Light Parade

AK favorites:

  • The Lion King show

HS favorites:

  • Disney Jr. (this was surprisingly cute and fun)

  • Beauty and the Beast (best show in all the parks)

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground (we almost skipped this and I'm SO glad we didn't)

  • Lights, Motors, Action! (the whole family loved this!)

  • Dinner at 50's Prime Time Cafe

  • Meeting Phineas and Ferb

EPCOT favorites:

  • Turtle Talk with Crush (AWESOME!)

  • Kidcot (get a Passport at the gift shop and get a stamp in every country)

  • Shopping and foods, of course

  • Duffy/Perry stick puppets - These can also be stamped at the Kidcot stations - also, they will add the flag for each country on the back

  • Agent P's World Showcase Adventure - DO THIS in at least one country. We wanted to do it in every country but didn't have time to squeeze it all in.

  • Fireworks

What we've been doing. :)
Sophie's room redo!  <-- link to Pin that goes to Flickr photos

so easy to forget...
jodi // window
When life gets busy, it's so easy for me to forget LJ is here. Facebook is so much easier to access and follow and post, but doesn't really give much substance. Eh... It is what it is, though.

Sophie has graduated kindergarten. She was quite proud of herself, as she should be. B and I both were very proud of her as well. We received her Bracken scores within the last week or two and it's basically set her at two years ahead of her age, which isn't surprising knowing how she thinks. She's started reading bigger books, including the American Girl books and Freckle Juice.

We've moved her into a new school since her previous school only went up through kindergarten. I would have kept her at Primrose for the summer so she could enjoy summer camp (part of me still wishes we had, too) but we're moving her to a Montessori style school and we wanted to get her a little used to the school prior to academics starting in August. I don't think she would have had any issues adjusting looking back, but hindsight and all that...

She's starting to develop a bit of an attitude, which scares me. I mean, she's only six years old! I think some of that is just age, some of that is other kids, some of that is us, and some of that is lack of nap. We're still trying to figure out consequences that work the best. Hopefully it doesn't take too long to get there. She really is such an amazing kid.

Work is work. I still love my job, even through random drama and such. It keeps me busy, is challenging, and pays well, and I enjoy the people I work with. I've been given more projects that keep my busy and I couldn't be happier, really. It feels good to want to go to work every day.

And with that... I'm spent. My life is consumed by family and work. Scentsy has taken a back seat, but that's ok. I still love it but just have realized it's ok to not devote every waking minute to it. I think family is so much more important than that. This is one of the main reasons I'm not online much. Family is always the most important thing.

Oh, and Pinterest. It is a total time sapper, but so useful! I actually use many of my pins, too. We've tried lots of recipes, have made a few crafts, and tried a few household hints. There's so much I want to try...

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Kritter Humor
misc // little miss chatterbox
We were all at my in-laws the other night. After dinner, there was a dessert of some sort of cake and ice cream. B's father set out forks for everyone.

While everyone else was getting their dessert, the few of us at the table had a little conversation about appropriate utensils for such a combination. My brother-in-law wondered about the fork and stated he would have selected a spoon instead. I agreed, as did my mother-in-law. I said B would most likely prefer a fork and my brother-in-law said the same of his girlfriend.

When I went into the kitchen to get my dessert and reached into the drawer for a spoon, B announced there were forks on the counter, confirming my earlier statement.

Once we were all around the table, we started talking about the forks and spoons again. Finally, B says, "I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!" and then Sophie pipes up with, "Use the forks, Luke!"

I nearly died laughing at her timing and response.
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Random bits
This weekend we took a little trip to Austin for the belly dance convention. The music ensemble B is in played for the opening acts, which was pretty cool.

He took a drum class the next day and we watched some of the other dancers perform. After that, we walked around South Congress Ave in the little shopping area south of the bridge. We got brats at Wurst Tex and cupcakes at Hey Cupcake and then chilled by the bridge and waited for the bats to fly. After that, we had drinks at Icenhauer's. Good times.

We're on the road headed home now. I did a little Scentsy work while we were down there, but not much. I posted about party baskets at holdtheflame.blogspot.com/2011/06/party-basket.html complete with pictures and info.

Things have been going well with Scentsy. It's difficult for me to really put myself out there, but I'm learning. I love it so much!

Sophie just graduated pre-k. To celebrate, I took her for a mani/pedi. She told B that because her nails are painted, she can't pick her nose. This is good to know.

Outside of all of this, there's not much going on. The next big thing coming up is our trip up north. I need to get that mapped and get rooms booked and meals planned. I just hope it's not hotter in Michigan than it is down here. I'm looking forward to the trip.

Posted via LjBeetle

Mmm Brains!
misc // fizzgig
B sent me this message after having a conversation with Sophie about brains... 

Benjamin: she just told me her brain has a beard.  LOL
Benjamin: crazy kid
Benjamin: she's trying to convince me our brains are swapped.
sm00bs: lol what the heck does that mean?
sm00bs: she's nuts
Benjamin: our brains are going to sneak out of our heads, meet in the hall and then pass by each other and get into the right heads
Benjamin: yah
Benjamin: cya
sm00bs: ROFL
sm00bs: INSANE

Yeah... I'm not sure what to think.  o.O
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Happy Birthday!!
love // proud mom
Today was Sophie's fifth birthday. I can't believe my baby girl is getting to be so big!!

Happy birthday, baby girl!!

A day in the life...
crafty // crafty girl
Today was one gigantic pendulum swing. Actually, that's not entirely true. All in all, it was an excellent day.

We started off early with a visit to the dentist for Sophie. She saw one of her classmates there, which excited her to no end. She was a super trooper during the cleaning and did everything the hygienist requested. I was pretty impressed. However, the dentist found a tiny abscess. Apparently when they put in the crowns, they hit a nerve with the front one. I feel awful for not noticing it. He gave us two options: remove it today (nitrous and numbing only) or give her antibiotics and remove it later (with general anesthesia). We opted for removal today and Sophie surprised me again with how well she handled it all.

After the dentist, I went to Michaels and bought a bunch of things to make flower magnets and pens (I'll have to post the pictures of the magnets I've already done - they're so cute!). I can spend hours in there, but I had an appointment to keep, so I think I limited it to just one.

The appointment today was with my hair stylist to get my hair colored. I have to say, I absolutely LOVE it!! I just had her add some highlights and some copper lowlights. It is so freaking cute I can't even stand it! I'll take a picture eventually, I think... ;)

After the hair appointment, I hit the grocery store, mostly so I could buy the necessary items for strawberry ice cream. I should have made it when I got home but really felt the need to get a pedicure again since it had been two weeks anyhow. I'm so glad I did. The massage chair is one of my favorite things, but I love the massage on the legs. It was absolutely fabulous. It even included a paraffin dip, a hot wrap, and hot rock massage.

The girls at the nail salon also placed orders for Flutter Room Spray. I had to take my sample basket in so it wouldn't melt in my car. Yay for Texas heat! I gave catalogs away there as well as at the dentist this morning.

After dinner tonight we made the ice cream. I don't think I'm ever buying ice cream again. Ever.

Now I need to go deliver money to the child for the tooth she has under her pillow. The tooth fairy had to scrounge for change, but I don't think the child will mind. ;)

So I don't clutter up the place around here...
well wishes // hello
Not that this journal sees much action these days. There are a million and one things I'd like to talk about, but finding the time to write is the issue I'm up against lately (when isn't it?). Sophie's starting kindergarten next year, we've taken on this whole Scentsy thing, B is on the board for the HOA now, and he's still as busy as ever with drums and that's only the tiniest portion of all that's floating around in my head.

In any case, I know I've had a few Scentsy posts here lately and it seems to be all I'm doing (mostly because it really IS all I'm doing... I'm trying to get this going for real). If you'd like to follow more, please see me over at my blogspot page or on Facebook. I will still post a random special here from time to time, but I don't need to drive away the few readers I still have.

Thanks for being so awesome for sticking around. :)

Scentsy Randomness
misc // scentsy

  • 12 more entries before THE DRAWING. If we hit 25 by tomorrow night, the drawing will be for a plug in warmer! Tell your friends and family.

  • Also, anyone needing samples, let me know. I can send samples of nearly any scent.

  • Interested in hosting a "basket" party? Basket parties are my favorite! There's so little effort on the part of the hostess this way. Just open the basket of scents at the office or in any group setting and let the scents do the work. No need to clean the house and entertain if you don't want to. My baskets always include samples of the scents in the catalog as well as sample products such as scent circles, room sprays, travel tins, fragrance foam, and even a plug in. People love to touch before they buy, so if you're interested in buying but haven't had a chance to touch yet, shoot me a message and I'd be glad to send you what you need for a basket party.

  • Did you know you can get free product from me by hosting a party? It doesn't matter what type of party. If you generate $150 worth of sales, you automatically qualify for 10% free product ($15 at $150) and a half price product. Go up to $250, and you get two half price products (and $25 in free credit). The best level is $400, which pays out three half price products and 15% free credit ($60)! Think of all the gifts you can save money on with that or all the rooms you could fill with Scentsy in your home or office or dorm room!!

  • Remember, Mother's Day is coming up. Scentsy makes a great gift for Mom.

  • April's warmer and scent of the month are favorites of mine. Baby's Breath is absolutely beautiful with the white flowers that stand out against the brushed blue background. Flutter is a very soft scent, a little sweet, a little flowery, and very happy. It's our favorite at the office now!

  • Bring Back My Bar voting will be open soon! I love BBMB months so much, especially when my favorite scents are revived!

  • April is also double punch month for me! Order through me and for every item you purchase, you will receive a double punch on your punch card.

Stay tuned for more great goodies!


Fort Worth Auto Show
misc // little miss chatterbox
B and I took Sophie out to the Fort Worth Auto Show this past Sunday. It was small compared to other auto shows I've been to, missing a lot of the smaller car companies. Hyundai and Kia had a pretty big presence which surprised me, though I know those companies are both growing quite rapidly here in the states.

I liked most of the cars I sat in, though there were some that were simply laughable. The Fiat 500 looks like it stepped right out of a cartoon. The Mazda 2 is way too uncomfortable to be enjoyable. The Mini Cooper has very minimal trunk space but otherwise isn't entirely terrible.

I loved sitting in the Mazda 3. If not for gas mileage, it would be at the top of my list for cars to purchase. I very much love the hatch on that car (I'm not really big on hatches). Of course, the cheese eating grin on the front of the car doesn't hurt it. It's a happy little car and makes me smile whenever I see one.

The biggest surprise of the day was my experience in the Ford section. All my life I've been against Ford, mostly because that's how I was raised. My paternal grandfather worked for GM and my maternal grandfather for Chrysler. Ford was an unspeakable word in my house. When I was old enough to make my own decisions about cars, Ford went through this period where every car they made was hideous. They're finally starting to break away from that. The new Taurus is a beautiful car, though I don't recall seeing one at the show. The Flex is a bit of a joke, but they've restyled that and it doesn't look quite as bad now. The two cars that impressed me most were the Edge, which would certainly be on the list of cars I would like to test if I was looking for a smaller SUV, and the Fiesta, which surprised all of us. I loved the way it felt inside, even though it is a bit smallish. The thing that impressed me most was the side mirror feature Ford has been adding to their vehicles. There's a little cutout in the upper outer corner of the side mirrors that allows you to view more area, virtually eliminating all blind spots. How clever is that? I intend to test drive one of these little cars to get a better feel.

The biggest impression left on me at the show was from GM. They offered test drives on various cars from their Buick, Chevy, and GMC lines. I drove three cars and am in love with all three, which is actually a bit depressing, since it makes buying a car in the future a lot more difficult. The first car I drove was the Chevy Cruze. I'm not sure which one it was, but I do know it had turbo. I put my foot in it at one point and the car went, but not as fast as I expected (more like my current Saturn). Two or three seconds later, it REALLY went, and I was nearly in the back seat. It was almost as if the car was asking if I was certain I wanted to experience what it had to offer by giving me time to let off the gas. It was a fun little car, very smooth, and not terribly small.

The last car I drove was the Buick Regal. This was another surprise to me, to be honest. Buick is not your grandma's car anymore. I was extremely pleased with the ride. Everything about this car just felt right. I don't have one complaint... outside of the Buick badge. Even though I know it's not my grandma's car, it still has the badge of my grandma's car, and that's a pretty powerful thing. I saw the car with the Opel badge on it and told B I would be happy to buy one. When he showed me the same car with a Buick badge on it, I told him there was no chance of me buying one.

The car I drove between these two is most likely my favorite car of all time. It's also the car I used to tease B for liking. However, it is the car that most appealed to my inner geek as well as to my dislike of rising gas prices. I have fallen in love with the Chevy Volt. It was quite zippy on the electric engine, not slow at all. It was so quiet! I don't think there's anything I don't like about this car other than the wait time and the actual cost. However, looking at this car, I think the cost is actually worth it. MSRP is $41,000 but it costs GM $40,000 to make it, so I'm impressed with the low markup. Of course, because of availability, many dealers are adding in their own markups, which is entirely too lame.

Anyhow, with my obvious lack of car knowledge, I should stop here before I get all rambly talking bout horsepower and torque when those really mean nothing to me. I want a comfortable car that has the ability to maneuver quickly and smartly in the horrid DFW traffic and that isn't going to break the bank when I go to fill it with gas. I think I have a pretty good list going here.
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News Flash
jodi // pink daisies III
Interesting bit of knowledge I learned the other day (or rather, something I probably knew but finally realized):

Heat changes things.

I know, it's a revelation, but it's true. I suppose it can apply to several areas in my life, some of them pretty obvious, and some of them not so much.

I walked into my manager's office the other day and immediately fell in love with the scent he had in his warmer. I asked which one it was and he couldn't remember, so I started digging through the bars on the bookshelf, sniffing each as I opened different bars. None of the scents matched what was in the warmer! I started naming names, and finally ran across the one* he had put in there. I was thoroughly unimpressed with the scent while it was still in the packaging, remembering disliking it while going through my testers, but in the warmer... Wow! It was an entirely different scent!

There was a lingering "after scent" in the packaging I didn't like that didn't at all come through when it was heated. I was pretty surprised by this, and it made me think. All of the scents I've shunned before for some reason or another, should I actually give them a chance? Should I allow them to warm up before I decide how I feel about them? I had noticed it working the other way around, where I'll love a scent in the tester and not so much in the warmer, but I hadn't anticipated this discovery of the opposite to be true at all.

Of course, this all made me think of the bigger lesson here, one involving first impressions. Perhaps I ought to apply heat to a situation to burn off the bad and reveal the good. Perhaps I ought to just realize not everything is always as it seems. Perhaps I should just go back to bed and not try to be insightful at 3:42 AM.

* For those of you wondering, the scent was "Lucky in Love" which is now on my list of favorites.

Two links to share and a little more
misc // scentsy
I don't think I've shared either of these links here yet.

- Hold the Flame is on Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, please click the link and then click "Like" and help me out. FB has this silly thing where you have to have 25 likes before you get a real username. Right now, my link has a bunch of random numbers in it.

www.HoldTheFlame.com - Right now it's a redirect to my Scentsy page, but it's easier to remember.

If you're looking for a gift, need to organize a fundraiser, are interested in getting free product, or are looking to add a little money to your income, please contact me. Scentsy sells in the US and Canada right now but is planning to move to the UK and Germany soon. I won't be able to sell to anyone in the UK or Germany, but you CAN sign up under me and then sell. I highly recommend getting in when it opens (April). The potential there is amazing!

I'm happy to work long distance with shipping things if necessary. If you'd like to do a basket party, let me know. I'll ship off a basket of testers along with a few sample products. If you work in an office setting, all you need to do is set it on your desk and the testers do all the work! The product is truly incredible.

Shoot me an email at jodi at holdtheflame dot com if you'd like to receive more information.

"Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived." - Helen Keller

Death Cab for Cutie
love // raspberries
Ok. The FB week in review thing was pretty lame. Most people here are already on my FB list anyhow. However, I do have to share this video because I love it so much.

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FB - The Week in Review (2/20 - 2/26)
jodi // subway
Sunday, February 20, 2011

I love using MyPoints. It's easy to earn points when shopping online, but they also give the opportunity to earn points through email clicks. The points add up pretty quickly and can be redeemed for gift certificates to various merchants, and even include PayPal and Visa Prepaid cards which can be used nearly anywhere. - I absolutely love MyPoints, to be honest. I currently have enough points to get roughly $100 or more in gift cards. I really did nothing more than a few mouse clicks to earn that. When I shop online, I can earn points at various merchants. Some merchants offer more points per dollar than others. During the holidays, they often have bonus points. What's even more awesome is I can turn around and make more online purchases with these gift cards and earn more points.


Vote for Young and fighting - team Texas Rangers and then pass it along! ♥ - Please, go and vote. Pass it around and have your friends vote.

Honorary Bat Girl Contest | MLB.com: sponsors/komen

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The thing I hate most about writing anything of content within a webpage is that so often when I'm writing, I have to set it aside to get something else done. More often than not, I wind up being logged out before I actually post and then everything I've written is lost. I should have figured out by now to type into notepad first, just so it isn't lost, but noooo. Poo. - I was pretty annoyed. I had been trying to come up with something to put on my Scentsy page on how I became involved in the company. I had even gone to bed but wound up getting back up because a light bulb clicked. I wrote out the story, and when I went to submit, it just disappeared. Come to find out, it was because I was no longer actually logged into the page where I was submitting it, but it hadn't told me the session had timed out so I never thought of that possibility.

Why yes, I *am* a Scentsy Independent Consultant. Why do you ask? ♥ - Now I just have to sell something. Let me know if you're interested in a basket party. I'll ship the basket of testers to you at no charge (will even let you keep it if you sign up to sell!) along with everything else you'll need, and you can earn free product!

Scentsy - We Make Perfect Scents!

Every time Sophie starts up, this commercial plays in my head. This is my life. All. The. Time. ♥ You might laugh, but I'm not joking. ALL. THE. TIME.

Pure awesome. I especially love the notes at the bottom. SO full of win on this one. Very creative.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I don't normally write notes, but I wanted to include these three links together. Please feel free to pass along this information.

Radiant Systems recently posted a few job openings in the DFW office.  Please feel free to pass this along. 

If you love candles but hate dealing with the flames or the wicks or the soot that clings to ceilings and walls, check out Scentsy! The warmers are electric, the wax never gets hot enough to burn, and the scent options are amazing. Click on like and spread the word! ♥ - I had an order placed on my website today, which excited me greatly! It was through my link on Facebook. :)

Hold the Flame - Independent Scentsy Consultant

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Click the link. Like the page. Spread the word. Find a cure. ♥ - Some friends of mine from summer camp years ago are raising money to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Help them out if you can. Please.

Team Cassie - Make CF Stand for Cure Found

Ooh. I have a live link! ♥ I do! Click it! ;) I'm very happy with the way things are going right now. If any of you would like to host a basket party, I will gladly send a basket of testers to you free of charge. You can earn free and half price products through having a party. If you decide it's something you'd like to do, I'll let you keep the basket of testers as one of your welcome gifts. Feel free to email me at jodi at holdtheflame dot com. :)


ups and downs
misc // scentsy
No sleep... nerves... excitement... migraines... I'm all over the place these last few days, from tears to giddiness to absolute fear to peaceful calm and assuredness that what I'm doing is the right thing. I'm all worked up over a silly little bit of wax. I don't get it. This isn't me or how I react to things. It's actually rather difficult for me to deal with myself at times. I can't even begin to imagine what others are thinking of me. I am a freaking MESS!

I received my starter kit today. More nerves, more excitement, more tears. I am on the craziest emotional roller coaster right now. I was pretty impressed and overwhelmed with the amount of product that was sent. This will certainly help get things started.

I've been making little scent samples today. My house smells insanely divine. The scent I'm working with is Cranberry Muffin... so very yummy!

There's so much to do and I've got to get started on my list making again. I can't keep my thoughts together half the time. I know this has such great potential. This can go farther than I can even imagine.

And.... here it is!
misc // scentsy
Nerves. LOTS of freaking nerves. This is a big step for me, very big. HUGE, in fact. I'm really stepping outside of my comfort zone on this one, but in doing so, I'm hoping this will assist me in accomplishing some of my goals for the year.

Here is my story, a little more about why I became a consultant:

I was introduced to Scentsy in early 2010 when one of my managers mentioned in passing his wife sold wickless warmers and wax. Being the candle fanatic I am, but also a slightly overprotective parent concerned about flames, I was immediately interested. I actually wound up developing quite a habit. I was sending her link to everyone, trying to interest my friends and family in something that interested me. Many people suggested I start selling it myself, but I couldn't do that. Direct sales is very much not my style.

Our summer vacation last year gave me a chance to spend some time with my sisters and mother. I took a basket of scents with me on our trip and shared with them my excitement over this product. We had such a great time sitting at the table after the kids were all in bed sharing our thoughts about the scents, sharing the memories the scents sparked, and creating new memories. For me, that was the most memorable night of our vacation.

As the year passed, I saw how greatly Scentsy affected people. I saw the tears and the laughter. I watched people who didn't really know each other come together over a few scents. I saw how much my family enjoyed their gifts. I learned more about the company and its practices. I saw the passion, the commitment, the spirit, the drive, all of it quite infectious. I found myself caught up in it and loving it.

I am still not a sales person. I'm not selling a product. I'm sharing an experience.

Please, feel free to visit and pass around the link. If you're interested in hosting a basket party, let me know. It's something that can easily be done long distance, and there's always the opportunity to earn free product that way.

Currently Scentsy is available in the US and Canada. Starting April 1, Scentsy will also be available in the UK and Germany. If you happen to live in the UK or Germany or know anyone who does and are interested, don't hesitate to let me know now so we can be ready.

I have a great support system and don't feel like I'm going to be left to drown with this. That is probably my favorite part about the whole thing. If this works for me, it will certainly help with my goal to be more social as well as my goal to work on paying off debt.

Thanks for being here for me, all of you.


FB - The Week in Review (2/13 - 2/19)
jodi // rainy day
Three posts last week, much slower than previous weeks. Even that is a lot for me sometimes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I was thinking the other cupcake recipe I posted would taste really good with a chocolate frosting. Here is a similar concept, but in reverse. I might have to make both just to see which one is better... ;) - I love raspberry and chocolate combinations and these cupcakes are beautiful. I just might have to make both for our next monthly directional. Om nom!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream | Good Life Eats

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This is what I made this weekend for B and I both to take to work. They're not really like pineapple upside down cake, but they're not bad. The cupcake part is more biscuity than cakey, but they still seemed to be a hit. - Everyone who had one raved, but I still didn't think they were all that awesome. It's unlikely I'll make these again since I would *much* rather have pineapple upside-down cake. They were cute and convenient, though.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes Recipe

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have fallen in love with Springpad. It's better than Evernote, I think. It's clean, shiny, organized, and awesome. And yes, there's an app for that. The website is easy to use, but the app on my phone is just as easy. ♥ - The more I use Springpad, the more I love it. The possibilities are endless with this!

Springpad: a free app that helps you remember

FB - The Week in Review (2/6 - 2/12)
jodi // pink daisies
I was a busy poster on Sunday, but the rest of the week was pretty quiet. I think I post the most the week I have on call since I tend to be at the computer more often then. I also post a lot if I'm sick or if I'm stuck at home for any other reason (snow days, etc). I think Sunday was a big posting day because I was on the laptop while watching the Super Bowl.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Zombocom! - I'm positive this was because of something during the Super Bowl that involved Zombo, but I can't recall what that was, exactly. I just couldn't help thinking when I saw his name, ZOMBOCOM! Welcome to Zombocom!

Thank you, Chrysler. - The ad for the Chrysler 200, while still not my favorite car company, was a very well done ad about my hometown. I actually got all teary and homesick watching it.

I updated last night. ;) - Angry Birds has an updated version. They've actually updated both the regular Angry Birds and Angry Birds Seasons, so of course, I've updated both applications.

New update! Angry Birds in Super Bowl! SMS payment coming for Android! Phew!

- This is pretty clever, though I can't help but think these people have just a little too much time on their hands...

For those of you who missed it... - I still get emotional when I watch this commercial.

One of my favorites.... Probably the most clever of all of the ads. - I loved the Darth Vader ad, really. It was terribly cute. This one, though... I love the details - the racing stripes, the song, the slides, the other bugs... it's just so well put together. I still have to go back and watch it from time to time because it impressed me so much. Of course, this doesn't mean I want a Beetle. VW just happens to have a pretty good reputation for making great commercials.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Does anyone know someone looking for a network management position? Please contact me if you do. - I found out one of our network guys quit. I also found out they're hot to fill his spot. If anyone knows of someone who might fit the bill in the DFW area, please feel free to pass this along. Links to various postings we have open are in this entry. The job hadn't been posted yet when I first posted this to FB.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feel free to pass along... - This isn't the job mentioned above, but another opening we have.

Sr. Spec. Computer Operations in Irving, TX

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is the posting for the job I mentioned above. Please feel free to pass this one along as well.

Mgr, Networking - Irving, TX - Indeed Mobile

I *really* want to make these. I was going to make them this weekend, but B put the kibosh on it, requesting I make something else instead. Boo. - I will be making these at some point, though I'm not sure if I would stick with the butter cream on top or if I would make a chocolate frosting for the top. This weekend, I will be making pineapple upside down cupcakes instead. I haven't posted the recipe to FB yet since it's a tiny bit of a surprise. Here's hoping they work out. I probably should have bought raspberries for a backup plan.

Raspberry Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream and Lacy Chocolate Hearts - Martha Stewart Recipes

FB - The Week in Review (1/30 - 2/5)
jodi // orange flowers
My apologies in advance. I was a posting fool on FB this past week. Snow days do that to me, apparently. We had FOUR. Yes, this is what happens when DFW is pegged with ice and snow and the temps never get above freezing. I can't wait for spring.

Snow days mean trouble around these parts... Collapse )

FB - The Week in Review (1/23 - 1/29)
jodi // brown &amp; blue
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Good job, Coach, for being a nominee! Lions Nominate John Herrington for Inaugural Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award - Coach Herrington has been at Harrison High School since the dawn of time, or at least since the school opened. He's been teaching and coaching there for longer than I've been alive by one year! That's a long time. I might have had him for one class, but quite honestly, I don't remember that long ago. Anyhow, he's had a pretty impressive career at Harrison. Here's to you, Coach. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Keybard surgery unsuccessful. Will need t find dnr fr transplant. - For some reason, my keyboard was acting up. I have no idea what possessed it, though I'm sure it could stand a good cleaning. I ran my hand over the keys (no banging, believe me, though I wanted to), and two keys popped off. The 0 key was fixable but the O was not. This nearly drove me nuts. It was even more aggravating because I managed to find the parts that fell off, but some super minuscule part was missing, thereby making surgery on the O entirely unsuccessful.

Keybard surgery successful except for the - key sacrificed to save the O. It's like a kidney, though. I'm sure we'll be fine with only one -. Outpatient surgery, very little recovery time necessary. - I just couldn't give up. I know I have a service agreement on the laptop but I didn't really want to mess with getting it fixed and not having an O key was driving me insane! I still might buy a replacement keyboard in the event this happens again, but that's $30 I didn't really care to drop at the time (nor did I want to wait to fix the key). I decided to replace the piece I needed for the O from another lesser used key. I would have robbed from one of the F# keys, but they're smaller than the letters. I decided to sacrifice the - key on the number pad instead. I figured it's out of the way and completely redundant anyhow. So, now the O is working again and I'm less stressed and can get the - key fixed at my leisure. For the record, I was able to grab the piece I needed from work for the key I sacrificed and the keyboard is entirely put back together again.

I might have shared this link before. I'm always surprised by the response I get to this whenever I make it. I suggest having it for dinner and get a bunch of "eh" with no excitement. Last night, Sophie even refused to try a bite. After trying it, the tune always changes. B actually packed his lunch today (this rarely happens) and Sophie asked for seconds! I served this with ham steaks and asparagus. Family Recipes - Zucchini Quiche - This is one of my all time favorites, and I knew we didn't have enough Dream Dinners meals to finish out the month without me cooking from scratch (which I love to do) so it seemed the perfect time to pull this one out of my hat. Typically I would have served this alone or with a salad, but it's just too darn cold for a salad these days, and I knew I would get gripes if there was nothing else to accompany it. The ham steaks were a last minute addition, but they were perfect (and quick to cook up). I cooked the asparagus in the same pan I used for the zucchini prior to baking, and just cooked it long enough so it was tender-crisp (no one here likes wimpy asparagus). There was an argument with Sophie over trying the quiche (table rules here include taking one bite before not eating the rest) which led to a time out. Thankfully that was over pretty quickly and everyone was able to enjoy dinner.

There are some great tips in here. Some of these are fairly well known, but not all of them. 40 Essential Facebook Tips - There are a few tips in here I already knew, but not many. Of course, there were a lot of tips in here that just didn't interest me. I don't use FB nearly as much as some people (that's not very evident in these reviews, is it?). I do believe FB is gearing up for the new phone they'll be offering, which accounts for many of the newer features. I was mostly interested in the external applications (I love Semagic for LJ, so why not have something for FB as well?) and archiving my FB posts since I was already aware of most of the security features, even the "super log-off" of deactivating the account.

It can't hurt to post it again, right? To all my techie friends, please pass this along to people you know looking for a job. Aloha knowledge isn't necessary, but certainly helps! PC Desktop/POS support position - I know I've posted this link in the past, but that's mostly because I'd like to see another person or two in our on call rotation. If you know anyone who is looking in the DFW area, please forward this along to them. Thanks!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What looks like another winner for the dessert arsenal... Lime Squares with Pistachio Graham-Cracker Crust - These just look too yummy to pass up. I'll probably make these right about the time I'm tired of waiting for spring to arrive. That might actually be next weekend...

And... If it doesn't have a tail, it's an ape. - Thank you, Veggie Tales. This song is stuck in my head nearly all the time now. I suppose I could have a more annoying ear worm. ;)

Better than you...
WTF // rant
Ok. I am completely fine with environmental awareness and doing the things we can to keep our planet healthy. We recycle. We try to prevent waste. We compost. We try to be energy efficient. We teach Sophie about all of these things because we think they're important.

This doesn't mean I believe global warming is real. I have no idea what to think about that since there are several camps of thought and supposed research to back up theories. Personally, I don't think it matters whether it's real or not. I think we need to do all we can to clean up after ourselves and leave as little impact as possible.

However... and you knew it was coming to this... I do have a gripe. NASA, what do you think you're doing? Take a look at the following image and tell me if you think the message on the bag is appropriate for young children (clicking the image takes you to the website where the image was found):

I know this bag is sold all over the place. I don't particularly like the message, but if some tool wants to buy it for carrying their books across campus, whatever. That doesn't mean this message is something that needs to be on a website geared for children. This image just embodies the feel of the entire page. As a parent trying to raise a respectful child, I'm quite disappointed to find this on a government website.

What bothers me more is this: What the heck does NASA have to do with anything environmental? NASA is supposed to be all about space, right? How much sense does this even make? There is a page on the EPA site geared toward children that appears to be a lot more appropriate with none of the attitude.

Shame on you, NASA.

FB - The Week in Review (1/16 - 1/22)
seasonal // snowman
I'm going to try something new. Since I do so much posting to Facebook these days, and everything I post is quick, but not always easy to find, I'm going to attempt to recap the week of posts here. Mostly it will be links spattered with a few photos or thoughts. Italicized bits are from the original FB postings.

Monday, January 17, 2011
Good to know for the next phone upgrade... I still love my phone, even without Froyo, and I'd much rather Samsung hold off on pushing upgrades than wind up with a brick or text messages that go to unintended recipients. It would be nice to see an update someday, though. Android upgrades: Which manufacturers can you trust? - My Samsung Epic still has not received the Froyo update. I'm perfectly fine with this, although there are a few applications I can't run on my phone because of this. Of course, since I've never used those applications, I have no idea what I'm missing. Along the same vein, near the bottom of the article there is a link for which carriers can be trusted for upgrades.

Locals: Please stand by. I'm going to be unloading a bunch of things, starting with Christmas decorations/supplies. We have way too much and need to get it GONE. Anything not picked up by friends will be freecycled or donated. Pictures will probably NOT be posted. - I have a ton of stuff to get rid of. I'm going to post this offer here as well. I don't plan on shipping anything, but if anyone is interested in looking through our crap (clothes, toys, craft supplies, Christmas supplies, etc.), I'll probably let most of it go for free. Some of it will be available to ship (my yarn or roving, for example), but most of it really just isn't worth it.

This is not your everyday version of Chopsticks... I would love to be able to play the piano this way.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Om nom! Double-Chocolate Cranberry Cookies - These cookies look positively amazing. The size of the cookie is a little insane and when I make them (and believe me, I will be making them), I will probably cut the size in half. Who drops cookies by the 1/4 cupful? o.O

Full time desktop and Aloha support position, Thursday - Monday. Aloha experience is not a necessity but is certainly a plus. Admin, POS Support Job in Irving 75062, Texas US - My department is hiring. If anyone happens to know someone local who has desktop experience, Aloha experience, and is willing to work weekends, please pass the link along.

Friday, January 21, 2011
This makes me nervous about using my card just about anywhere anymore. Report: Restaurants a big target for hackers - B has done a lot of work in his previous job and his current job regarding security, and we've been quite cautious because of his knowledge, but that doesn't make us immune to the dangers of using a credit card. At work, we're doing as much as possible to protect the guest. I have no idea what other companies are doing. I know there are companies that don't see the importance of this, and that's the part that scares me.

B's band performed at Dragonfly Studios a couple weeks ago. - The name of his band is Badrawn, which, if I recall correctly, means "in the basement," where they practice every Monday night. B is in the lower right with his drum.

Great idea! meal Train | Meal Calendar for New Mothers, Surgery, Illness, and More - I recently just made a few freezer meals for some friends who were dealing with a major surgery. I think I'm the only one who made meals for them, but had I seen this website prior to making the meals, I probably would have gotten a few other people involved. This truly is such a great idea!

Because I'm not already addicted enough... Angry Birds to receive Valentines Day edition on February 14th – Android and Me - Angry Birds is probably my favorite game on my phone. It's wicked addictive and really makes me nuts. I've completed all the levels in the original, but still have yet to get three stars on all levels. I imagine the Valentines Day edition will be added to Angry Birds Seasons.

Tucking this one away for the next brunch... Omnomicon makes » recipe: butterscotch-pecan biscuits - These look so tasty and so simple. This is definitely going to be tested here soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2011
Forget the lemonade... if life gives me lemons, I'm making these! Cheeky Kitchen: Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls - Holy moses, these look amazing! I can't say I love making cinnamon rolls because they involve so much time, but the end result usually makes it worth it. To find something like this, something so lemony and yummy looking, makes me want to try all over again. This might be something to tuck away into "morning foods for guests" arsenal.

Sometimes I go for days or even weeks without posting anything. This week was a busy week for me, really.

seasonal // hot cocoa
I find it mildly amusing, after my mini rant about spam, to find a few more spam comments. The most amusing comment was on the spam post itself, however.

The comment itself is not amusing. It's the fact that it's posted on the spam post that makes it amusing. I'm not sure if this person doesn't know HTML or opted to not use it so people could see the links. I don't really care, of course.

I would have disabled anonymous comments already if I didn't know anyone outside of LJ who read my journal. There aren't many, but there are a few. It might be time to lock the journal down again, or at least to disable anonymous comments. I'm tired of deleting.
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The Foodie in me...
cooking // whiskful thinking
I'm not sharing this because I think it's a good idea.  I am sharing this because I think it's nasty.  I cook because I don't want to eat grody things.  I make things from scratch more than I make from mixes because I can control what goes into what we eat that way.  It's one of the things I'm liking less and less about Dream Dinners, because some of the ingredients they choose are sometimes less than desirable. Some people say that makes me a food snob.  I say it just means I'm aware of what food does to us and for us, so why eat things that can be harmful if there are no benefits?

Using Coffee Mate in frosting

My first thought when reading this was, "Ew? Who does this?" and then I realized, probably a lot more people than I'd think. I know I'm in the minority here. I used to be the person who would use Accent as an ingredient and would buy frozen dinners or packaged meals. What's a little MSG or extra and entirely unnecessary sodium? How about a little high fructose corn syrup and some partially hydrogenated oils to go along with all the chemicals we can't pronounce? Thanks, but no thanks.

I could go on forever. Believe me.

Don't get me wrong. I love all sorts of ingredients that are bad for me, like butter and sugar and salt. I use them frequently, and often together. I will even buy things that have nasty ingredients in them like high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils. Usually, this is because it's a crucial ingredient to my recipe that can't be altered. However, people are using artificial cream instead of milk? What?

Of course, I know there are flavored creamers that do not have high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils. I don't remember what ingredients are in those creamers because we don't buy them. Who knows, they could be perfectly normal ingredients. I probably overreacted, but whatever. It bothers me that a large percentage of the people who read this article will think, "Hey, what an awesome idea! I'm going to do that!" and they'll start taking their cupcakes to work and passing them around and people will be dropping dead like a bunch of flies left and right. Now all I'm going to think when I see cupcakes brought in is, "Ew, did you use that nasty Coffee Mate in your frosting?" and worry about catching the cancers or dropping off from a heart attack.

Ok, not really. I'll probably forget about it after posting this, to be honest. Sometimes my initial reactions are a little strong.

But only a little... ;)

Spam is lame, mmmkay?
WTF // rant
LJ is loaded with spam these days, it seems. What's funny is people are spamming on MY account which gets like ZERO traffic. Better yet, all non-LJ accounts that comment on my journal are automatically screened. This makes it super easy to delete and mark as spam without these lame spammy comments annoying anyone other than me.
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Testing the photo upload...
misc // android
This is a photo of Chui I took with the phone the other day. Im really just testing the phone app now. My guess is the image is going to be rather large, knowing the way my phone takes photos.

Potentially large image...Collapse )

Also, apparently I can change user pics. I completely missed it the first go around. Now I just need a better andy icon.

Posted via LjBeetle

LJBeetle... Possibly more frequent posting?
The posts may not be pretty or filled with links or pictures or even very long, but I have located an app for posting to LJ from my phone that doesn't seem to suck. Yay!

I'm not sure I'll be able to even change my user pic, which is ok, but strange, since it said it was loading my user pics. Eh, who knows. This will do for now. :)

Posted via LjBeetle
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2011 so soon?
seasonal // happy new year
I don't normally do resolutions, but for some reason, they just started filling my head today. I will list them here and see how the year turns out. Perhaps I should look back a year and see if I said the same thing....

  • Be more social. I miss having friends who are close.

  • Spend less money. It would be nice to be out of debt and have a bigger chunk of money tucked away in savings.

  • Keep the house clean(er). I hate doing the mad dash to get things cleaned before company arrives.

  • Finish putting the house together. We've been here nearly five years and we still need to finish painting and putting up curtains, etc. If we keep going at this rate, by the time we're done, we'll be ready to move.

  • Cook more new meals. This means less Dream Dinners (though we've cut back on the order, so I think we're ok there) and a LOT less going out.

  • Bake more. B jokes that the Kitchen Aid doesn't see the light of day very often, but when I do bring it out, I put it in overdrive. I forget how much I love baking. Of course, my diet doesn't appreciate it very much.

  • Lose weight. This is always on the list, but I really need to make it happen this year. I can't claim the weight I put on during pregnancy as baby weight anymore since it's still here five years later.

  • Unclutter. I'm pretty sure I've said this one before, and we've been working on this over the years. I need to sell off the yarn I won't use as well as other things and just get everything gone. It's nice being able to send clothes off to my sisters for their girls so I don't have to worry about Sophie's hand-me-downs, but I'd like to get rid of her toys as well. Maybe it's time to start doing eBay or Craigslist again.

  • Play more piano. Now that we have one again, I need to play it more. I just picked up some books to help Sophie learn as well.

  • Blog more. Obvious, right? Facebook has made me lazy, but I've found I don't even post much to Facebook anymore. Mostly all I share are links and photos. If there was an excellent LJ app for Android (I know some exist, but excellent?) then I might blog more. Hopefully now that the office has been mostly completed, I will use it more and blog about my fabulous creations. Perhaps I will blog about my resolutions for this year. Regardless, it's silly to have a permanent account and not use it.

I think ten is probably overkill, but some of these are related so it shouldn't be too difficult. We'll see.