Archives for November 2011

Finding Ways to Let Memories Live On

Finding Ways to Let Memories Live On

Thank you to LiveOn for this sponsored opportunity to blog about storing and sharing my most important memories with those closest to me. Although story ideas were provided, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Our Family Tree

 The Best Things In Life Aren’t Things

It is Thanksgiving which means that we are spending time with family, telling tall tales and sharing somewhat obscure childhood memories.   For instance, I recall that my grandmother, Anne, would tell me the story of a small dog named “Mewflu” who traveled the world and went on great adventures.  This was a story that she used to tell her students when she taught school in the 1930’s and early 40’s.  As I got older, I stopped asking her to tell me the story and eventually I just forgot about it all together. Now that I have a child, I wish I could remember the story of Mewflu.  I’ve asked my mother and my sisters if they can recall the tale but everyone comes up with a different version (thus the obscured memories.)

Wouldn’t be wonderful if there was a way to capture the story of MewFlu as well as all of the fantastic stories my grandmother told me when I was a child?  Instead of relying on the recall of someone’s memory, the original storyteller (in this case my grandmother) could tell the story herself.

Fortunately the creators of the newest virtual scrapbook, LiveOn, website thought of that! Now you can create your own life timeline (birth, grade school, high school graduation, marriage, children etc) by either using the site’s suggested life milestones or by creating your own.  I created one for Adam and my 2010 anniversary trip to Italy. Not only was I able to upload ALL of the pictures we took, I also included some video we shot.  For each picture, I recorded the date that the photo was shot, where we were and what we were doing.  You can make the memory as simple as you want (just pictures from the event) or complicated (adding music and interesting graphics.)

You can also record (via video or written word) favorite memories. We asked Kayla to tell us her thoughts about Santa Claus this year.  When she is thirty, she’ll be able to connect to LiveOn and see herself as a child talk about the things that were important to her (like Santa Claus).  I  would like to ask her to video tape herself on the same day each year until she graduates from high school discussing topics relevant to her life.  Another idea for a great timeline!  K’s thoughts and feelings through her years at home!  Not only will she get a kick out of hearing/seeing herself over the years but her children will love listening to her as well.

There are so many options available to the user that the choices get a bit overwhelming.  For an avid “scrapbooker” like me, having a virtual/interactive site is both a dream come true and a nightmare: too many choices! Since the site was introduced a few weeks ago, I have spent a lot of time perfecting my photo memories and playing with the various presentation choices (which picture did I want to be the for the title picture on the timeline?  Where do I want to insert the video?  Do I want to record a new video talking about the experience?)  If that wasn’t enough, I also invited all of my sisters to log on to the site as a member of my “tribe” and upload their own pictures and video.

LiveOn also features a second called “Smart Questions” in which the  site’s visitor (or admin) can answer personal questions that might lead a reader to understand or even to appreciate her ancestors.  I am sure that it would be great to hear my grandmother tell me her about her favorite holiday tradition and compare my answers to hers.  My daughter and her daughter can continue the tradition to the joy and benefit of future generations.

As the weeks and months progress, I’m confident that my “tribe” will continue to upload pictures/videos of our children, our parents and each other at various stages of childhood.  It is exciting to visit their perspectives of the various incidents in our collective lives.   Despite living in different parts of the country, LiveOn gives us a chance to collaborate together to record our history.  As a result of our efforts, we will leave a memory legacy to our children, grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren that can truly transform how our family celebrates Thanksgiving for years to come.

My Wedding October 29, 2000

Thank you again to LiveOn for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here LiveOn to learn more about storing and sharing your most special memories. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

DAWN OXI Dish Soap: The Perfect Hostess Gift!

DAWN OXI Dish Soap: The Perfect Hostess Gift!

It's All About the Turkey

This is a Sponsored post written behalf of DAWN  dish soap. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are off to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for Thanksgiving this year and I have to say that I am quite relieved.  Being one of 4 daughters, the responsibility for clearing the table and helping to clean the pots and pans naturally falls to the women (and sister-folk) of the house while the men enjoy college football.  Since my mother usually hosts the meal, well….let’s just day that I dread dessert and not for caloric reasons.

I feel obligated to provide the “perfect” hostess gift as a token of empathy and appreciation  for my aunt. Initially, I purchased a Talbott’s Holiday tea set for Kathy but quickly changed my mind because (a) I have no idea if she even likes tea and (b) I really like tea, especially Talbott’s.  Although I have known that we were going to my aunt’s for quite some time, I haven’t been able to find the perfect gift that blends humor with functionality.  If only they were smokers and then I could get them an ashtray or two!  (Just kidding. Really, I’m kidding!)

But then, like a boomerang hitting me in the head, I got an idea this morning; one that no one will have thought of: dish soap!  It’s weird and therefore laden with humor but also quite functional. What does any Thanksgiving hostess really need on Turkey day? Surely not hand mixed tea created by Oprah Winfrey’s former hair colorist!  Not when there are  greasy pots and pans as well as the china that needs to get cleaned!  But it has to be the best dish soap. I called my mother and she suggested that I try DAWN; her neighbor swears by it.  Strange?  I never thought of my mother as someone who sits around discussing soap with her friends. Even stranger and perhaps cosmically linked, P & G had just sent me some great samples of the product.  But I digress…

To test my hypothesis that dish soap is a great gift for the holidays, I decided to conduct a little experiment with the breakfast dishes.

8:15 a.m.   Today’s breakfast was none other than the stickiest of the sticky: oatmeal.  K insisted, of course, that she should have warm apple cider to complement her warm breakfast.  A minute in the microwave and the stuff was boiling and clinging to the side of her mug.  Yuck.

Presenting: After Breakfast Mess!

Dried Oatmeal! That will never come out!

8:30 a.m.   Fifteen minutes later we were out the door–the pot full of oatmeal still on the stove (with the burner off) and K’s food sitting relatively untouched on the table.  The cider has congealed into a disgusting mass at the bottom of her mug. So much for breakfast today.

8:45 a.m.  I came back from dropping K off at school and decided to face the mess in the kitchen.  Based on the evidence in front of me, I estimated that the plates and the pots would need to soak in hot water and soap for at least 2 or 3 hours.  Even then, there was no guarantee that I will be able to get all of the food particles off of the pot.  So I poured a bit of DAWN dishwashing liquid which guaranteed “overnight soaking power in 5 minutes” on the guilty offenders, um, dishes.

Dawn Power Cleaning with Oxi


See the timer?  I really was going to put the soap to the 5 minute test.  Suddenly I felt like one of those pretend commercial moms who is euphoric to be cleaning her kitchen!  Who knew that dish soap had such power over my mental health?  <Hello? Sarcasm?>  But I do enjoy a challenge once in a while.  I had a spin class at 9:30 a.m. and really didn’t have time to be scrubbing pots and dishes when there were water bottles to be filled and bikes to be ridden.

Eeeh! That's just too gross!

A Timer: Good for Product Testing and Giving Time Outs!

8:50  The timer went off.  The dishes were in the sink for only 5 minutes.  I grabbed the sponge because, to be quite honest there is no way that mere dish soap was going to get the grime off of K’s plates.  I am happy to report that I was WRONG!  With a mere swipe of a sponge, her plate is grime free and clean enough to scoop oatmeal.  The pot is clean as are the rest of the breakfast dishes and pots.

So clean, it's says "Hi"

I do have one complaint/comment/warning: My hands are really dry from rinsing off the soap.  I almost never use gloves when I wash dishes.  (I think that I may have dropped one or 2 or 10 when I was a child while wearing gloves and am now scarred by the experience.)   In any case, without gloves, my hands felt much dryer than they did prior to using the DAWN Oxi.  So, if I do, indeed, decide to gift DAWN as a gift, I will need to include a set of funky, cool gloves as an accompaniment.  No sense in saving the hostess cleaning time if my gift leads her to spending additional time moisturizing her hands.  I love these, don’t you?

Mustn't forget the "make-me-happy" gloves!

At 9:00  a.m. I was out the door and off to the gym. The dishes were clean (for a change) and spotless.  I was really relieved that I wouldn’t revisit the breakfast dishes later that day to scrub and ensure that none of the food etc. was “lingering”.

So, now I am off to the mall to find some cool gloves for Aunt Kathy.  I am totally sold on the dishwashing soap and my friends think that I am a bit more off of my rocker for getting excited about something that they take for granted.  Obviously, my mother’s neighbor knows a thing or two.  I really need to meet this awesome woman.

One question, how exactly does one get dish soap on an airplane if she’s not checking bags? Carefully?