Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Album Review: Norah Jones ...Featuring

My ex-hubby and I discovered Norah Jones together while we were doing the long-distance-dating thing.  We fell in love to the beautiful sounds of her first album, Come Away with Me.  One of my favorite songs is Turn me on, truely one of the most sensual songs I have ever heard.  Come Away with Me and Peter Malek's New York City, on which Jones was prominently featured, got extensive play on our many road trips, as well as during my hours in the dark room in college.  Sunrise, from her second album, Feels Like Home, was my ring-tone for a couple of years.  I have grossly neglected updating my music library over the past few years, so I have missed out on the last 2 releases.  That will soon me remedied...

What I'm driving at here is, I love Norah Jones' music.  And when I heard that a new album was imminent, I immeadiately added it to my Christmas wish list.  Then, I was offered the opportunity to review it!  Merry Christmas to me!

The new album is called ...Featuring.  It is a collection of Jones' collaborations.  And it is amazing!  One thing I love about Norah Jones is her ability to compliment different styles of music.  There's country, like her duets with Willie Nelson on Baby, It's Cold Outside and Dolly Parton on Creepin' In.  She teams up with OutKast on Take Off Your Cool, and with The Foo Fighters on Virginia Moon. She sings the blues on Here We Go Again, with Ray Charles.  Here is the full track listing...

...Featuring Track Listing:

  1. Love Me – The Little Willies
  2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
  3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
  4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
  5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
  6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
  7. The Best Part – El Madmo
  8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
  9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
  10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
  11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
  12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
  13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
  14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
  15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
  16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
  17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
  18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward

You can pick up your very own copy of Norah Jones' ...Featuring in stores now (and on Amazon), just in time for the holidays.  How handy!

I love this album, and I am so glad I was given this opportunity.

Check Norah out on Facebook! And on YouTube!

This album review is my true and honest opinion.  I was provided a free copy of ...Featuring for the purposed of this review. I am a member of the One2One Network, and this review is part of the Norah Jones project.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All About Me in 30 Days: Day 26: My Worst Habit

I have a bad habit of talking over people.  I first noticed it at my last job, and my boss even called me on it once.  At my new job, I catch myself talking over people who I am talking to on the phone.  I think there are positives and negatives.   

Obviously, it is rather rude to talk while someone else is talking.  I tell C this almost every day.  It is disrespectful, and sends the message that what the other person is saying is not as important as what I have to say.  I'm working on it, I really am!

However....  I think it allows me to control phone calls at work.  I don't know if you have ever worked in a call center environment, but people like to talk.  And I think they often, probably unconsciously, feel they have a captive audience in a customer service rep on the phone.  This is someone who can't be rude, and can't hang up on them.  So, sometimes, gently talking over them can sort of steer the conversation back to the business at hand.  I think I just need to work on the gentle thing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

All About Me in 30 Days: Day 25: My Week in Great Detail

Last Sunday was Halloween.  We started our day by having Caleb's Halloween pictures taken at Target.  I wish I could share the pictures, but it seems they no longer allow you to download your sitting so I have to wait until I pick them up and scan them.  Bummer...

Anyways, after the pictures, we had lunch and went to play for a bit at the mall. Then we hit the Trunk or Treat at his school.  Ran into some friends.  Had a great time!  When we got home, we hit a few of the houses in the neighborhood, then ate a late dinner.  Halloween done.  Oh, he was Joe, from Blue's Clues...

Blue dressed up a Jedi Knight...

Monday through Friday were pretty routine and uninteresting.  Get up and dressed, get Caleb up and dressed.  Breakfast, off to school & work.  Come home, dinner, homework, bath and bed.  For both of us.

Well, I did make Caleb a costume for Book Character Day at school.  He was The Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George.  It turned out awesome!  If I do say so myself.

Yesterday's adventures can be seen on my last post, so I won't go into that again.

Today, I had to work.  Blah!  But, I got off early, after about 4 hours.  Then Caleb and I went to the movies to see Megamind. Caleb is a movie junkie.  Going to the movies together is a special time for us, and we always have fun.

After the movie, we attempted to go to the mall for a little playtime (it got cold this weekend) but it was way too crowded.  So we came home and Caleb watched TV while I worked on a project. 

Dinner and bath time were followed by puking.  Yep, Caleb told me his tummy hurt after dinner.  About 20 minutes later, it happened.  So far, it seems to have been a one time thing, like maybe too much junk today.  But we'll see. I don't see alot of sleep in my immediate future.  I never sleep well after Caleb gets sick.

So, that was my week in great detail.  As great as I'm going into it at least.  Here's hoping for a less stressful week ahead.

All About Me in 30 Days: Day 24: My Day in Great Detail

Yeah, I know!  I have been a little MIA lately, but things have been crazy lately.  Field trip, halloween, work... oh, and second costume.

Today was a very busy day.  Caleb and Mommy day.

We got up early-ish, stopped by Starbucks & the bagel place next door for breakfast and headed out to the middle of nowhere.  To a corn maze in the middle of nowhere, to be exact.

Once we finally got there, we immediately hit the maze.  And immediately got lost.  But, after hitting a few dead ends, and walking in several circles, we managed to find out way out. 

Next was the corn box.  Think sand box, filled with corn.  The only part Caleb remembered from our trip last year.  Honestly, odd as it may seem, I like sooo much better than sand.  I wonder how much corn it would take to fill our sand box...

After a quick visit to the stockades, and a jump off of a huge pile of hay, and we headed to the barn to visit the animals.  We saw a few ducks, a goat, a bunch of chickens, 2 peacocks, a pig, a couple of bunnies, a very opinionated bull, a shy donkey, and a mare with her foal.  The mare was my favorite.  She was so sweet, and amazingly calm around all of the kids.  Oh, and there was a huge rooster made of hay.

We walked through the demonstration area and caught a glimps of a couple of cool activities before heading over to the hay ride.  We saw a bunch more cows, even fed a couple (or tried to), and took a trip around the property.  It was so peaceful, in spite of the roar of the tractor.  As the hey ride was ending, we watch an older calf follow his mother around, trying to nurse.  Momma cow was having no part of that, and the little guy was getting very frustrated.  It was hilarious!

We past a couple more pigs on our way to the cow train.  Not real cows, of course.  They were actually made out of plastic barrels.  Pulled by a tractor.  Caleb had so much fun, he rode it twice.

Caleb then attempted the pedal carts.  Unfortunately, he was too small still for the big carts and a little to big for the small carts, so that wasn't so much fun for him.  Poor kid.

We then visted a fairly new calf, who pee'd as soon as we walked up, and a very old dog, who just slept while all the kids were pawing at him.  We also quickly checked out what was left of the pumpkin patch, and a small general store.  Before leaving, we had a snack of a fresh, hot ear of corn on the cob.  Oh-my-God, that was the best corn!  Ever!!

After we left, we got lost.  I missed my turn and wound up even deeper in the middle of nowhere.  Once I realized it, we got headed in the right direction.  Caleb fell asleep on the way back to town, when meant a nice peaceful ride home for mommy.

After grabbing some lunch, we headed to Hobby Lobby to grab some supplies for a birthday gift for a friend's little girl, and finally got Caleb some jeans that fit. 

And that was my day, in great detail.  How was yours?

Monday, November 1, 2010

All About Me in 30 Days: Days 22 & 23

I missed a couple of days... crazy, pre-Halloween days.  Catching up now:

Day 22:  A Website

One of my very favorite sites is Cake Wrecks.  Spend a few days  hours  moments checking out the hilarity, and I promise you will never look at supermarket cakes the same way again.  And trust me, you will not be able to resist looking at the cakes in the supermarket.  Jen, who is the brains behind the site (along with her hubby John), also has a fun crafting site called Epbot, filled with all kinds of geeky goodness.  I highly recommend checking it out as well.

By the way, they have a book, as well... hint, hint to those who may be looking for a Christmas present idea for me...

Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong

Oooohhhh... looks like there is a Cake Wrecks calendar too...  just sayin'...

Cake Wrecks: 2011 Weekly Wall Calendar

Day 23: A You-Tube Video

Ok, I have a little confession to make.  I don't really do too much in the way of YouTube.  Oh, sure, I look up a music video here and there (since MTV doesn't seem to show them anymore...) and I do sometimes look up something for Caleb.  But that is about it.  So, here is the last thing I looked up on YouTube...

Oh, yeah!

Friday, October 29, 2010

All About Me in 30 Days: Day 20: A Recipe

I adapted this recipe from a couple of others.  I was looking for a good mac & cheese variation that could serve as a meal.  Super simple, and I have found it bares a strange resemblance to one found on the back of the Kraft Deluxe mac & cheese box.  But I swear, it is a complete coincidence.


1 box Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese (or equivalent)
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1 lb ground beef
1 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce, any flavor
1 cup shredded cheese, any flavor or blend


1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Prepare macaroni & cheese according to package directions.
3. Saute onion and garlic over med/high heat in a small amount of oil or cooking spray until onion starts to become translucent.
4. Add ground beef to pan and brown. Drain off fat if desired.
5. Add spaghetti sauce to meat and combine thoroughly. Allow to heat through, stirring occasionally.
6. Add sauce mixture to prepared macaroni & cheese. Stir to combine thoroughly.
7. Transfer macaroni & cheese mixture to a lightly sprayed 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over top.
8. Bake in 325 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

I call it Mac & Cheeseburger, and it is T-A-S-T-Y!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All About Me in 30 Days: Day 19: A Hobby of Mine

Oh, yeah, hobbies I have!  Actually, I have 2 hobbies...

1. Learning stuff 

I have been in school, in one form or another, for most of the past 28 years.  That includes elementary through highschool, of course.  After I graduated, I jumped into college...  and nearly drowned.  I was totally burned out.  A few year later, I got a diploma in Gourmet Cooking & Catering.  Shortly after that, another diploma in Interior Decorating.  In 2004, 9 years after graduating highschool, I finally completed my AA.  A few years following that, I took a class or 2 in event planning.  Then I started working on a Business degree.  I didn't get far, but I plan on picking it up again soon.  Most recently, I started towards a degree in Crime Scene Technology, pretty much for fun.  I'm on a hiatis from that for a bit, until I'm back to a full time, permanent job.

That is just official education.  I love learning new stuff... which often ties into my other hobby...

2. Making stuff

Besides the photography, I dabble in sewing, jewlrey making, cooking...  I'm constantly finding new inspiration, things I want to learn and do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Blue Angels 10/24/2010

All About Me in 30 Days: Day 18: A Talent of Mine

Talent: n., a special natural ability or aptitude

I'm not so sure I have a "talent" to speak of.  There are several things I like doing, but I don't know that I am good enough at any of them to call them talents.

But, since that would seem like a cop-out, I guess I'd say I am somewhat talented at photography. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Patchin'

Ok, so we don't really have a true pumpkin patch around here.  There is a corn maze, but it is a bit of a drive.  We'll probably hit that after Halloween.

But, we did get to the pumpkin "patch" at a local church. 

Lovely gourds, yes?

We walked away with these two 2 beautiful pumpkins, and a handfull of little lovelies.  Yes, it cost more than the supermarket (in fact, we stopped at Whole Foods and picked up 3 more for less than these 2 cost) but these have alot more character.  Totally worth it.

We won't be carving any until a little closer to the big day, lest they rot in the Florida heat.  I'm not even 100% sure what I'll carve.  Caleb will be painting one.  Pictures will be posted.