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Sergio’s sister is due to have a baby in about 2-3 months and I’ve been itching to throw her a baby shower since she told us she’s pregnant.  We’ve already set a date for the shower (March 1) which gives me some time to get some invitations and other party planning things together.  But, I’ve found that it’s never too early to start shopping for presents!  I’ve been looking online for some gift ideas that will be 1. Useful, 2. In my budget, 3. Super cool.  I think I may have found it.

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Enspira Convertible Carset by Safety 1st $98.99

Not only is it a cute color (let’s think stains resistant here) but it converts from an infant carseat to a toddler one too!  What more could you ask for?  It’s functional, looks sleek, and it has a cupholder.  Will you look at that.  Don’t underestimate how important a cupholder is.  I should know.

 

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I wish I thought of this!  I guess music really is every where if you are creative enough… Kudos Heita3!

Here are the Subtitles:

Then, let’s introduce the vegetable musical instruments that can have been done this time.
It is a carrot ocarina first.
And, it is an ocarina of a white radish in Japan that can have done this time.
The octave is geted down from the carrot ocarina.
The broccoli ocarina was made.
A good sound is not heard because only such a broccoli was obtained this time. And, a carrot ocarina of the slide type and this carrot ocarina is different the sound hole. When the breath is put here, something is heard. It shaped ..so…
The paprika was punctured. When the breath is put here, such a sound is heard. It is an owl. Carrot panpipe. When the breath is put in this, such a sound is heard. Similary asparagus panpipe was made. However, a good sound is not heard. It is a trumpet of the cucumber and the paprika in the end. There were musical instruments that looked alike also in the vegetable orchestra. Moreover, when musical instruments can be done, I introduces it. Thank you.

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Doris Day:  The Complete Standard Transcriptions $7.99

Yesterday at work, one of my co-workers was listening to some music on his computer while I was filing in their office and I couldn’t help but be swayed by his music.  He was listening to Doris Day and it was a nice departure from the Metallica, System of a Down, and other heavier bands I’ve been listening to lately.  I downloaded this album yesterday on Amazon and I’m loving it. 

I guess I’m in early Valentine’s Day planning mode because this album would be perfect if you’re cooking dinner for your loved one.  You can’t go wrong with the classics!


Kandy Kainz Lane

Originally uploaded by mywoodenrobot

I’m happy to finally have the holiday season over. Even though it’s a time to celebrate and be with family, all the party planning really took a toll me and my family. We’re exhausted.

I was so sad to see my sister leave back to Boston yesterday, but if all works out, I’ll be visiting her by Spring Break so it’s only a matter of a few months until I see her again. Then, she’ll be back for summer!

Last night, after we said our temporary goodbyes to my sister and her boyfriend, Sergio drove me over to this house that his mom told him about. He described it like this, “My mom told me we have to check out this crazy house over here.” It intrigued me.

We stopped by, and suddenly, I remembered what it was like as a child to feel the holiday spirit (even if it was New Year’s Day yesterday). There was a crowd of about 10 people outside of this house and everyone looked so happy and peaceful. It was as if it snowed on the desert we live on, Los Angeles. I think it was a great ending out the holiday season and I feel so refreshed and ready to make 2008 a memorable one.

My sister made these for her party and although she had her doubts in the beginning about the stuffing’s flavor, these bite-sized appetizers have an explosion of flavor.  It was the first thing that “sold out” at the party and who could blame our guests?  The mushrooms are stuffed with cheese and after you put them in the oven, the top becomes slightly crisp revealing a gooey center leaving everyone wanting seconds.

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Mouth Watering Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

12 Whole Fresh Mushrooms

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1 tablespoon Minced Garlic

1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, softened

1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/4 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel.  Carefully break off stems.  Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet.  Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic.  Set aside to cool.
  3. When garlic and mushroom misture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion power, and cayenne pepper.  Mixture should be very thick.  Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing.  Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes* in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

*If you’re preparing these the day before, you can bake them for about 10 minutes, cool them, set them in the refrigerator, and bake them again the next day for the remaining 10 minutes right before guests begin to arrive.

I check my blog stats everyday, and in the blog stats page, there’s a section there where it shows the search terms that people typed and found you on.  Most of the time, they’re searching for recipes, or mywoodenrobot, but I’ve found this at least two or three times a week, “Getting to know people questions.”

I know the art of a conversation is not an easy one, especially for the shy.  (Don’t worry, I’m shy too!)  But at times, conversation is necessary, so there’s no avoiding it!  Here are a few tips that I came up with that I’ve learned from others, but mostly experience.

  • Know the name of the person you’re talking to!  I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to somebody and they feel like they can get along a conversation without ever mentioning my name.  It feels impersonal and I don’t think I could have put it in better words until I heard this in Lars and the Real Girl [this is off memory, not an exact quote], “Why yes, that’s true Bianca.  Statistics show that a person’s name is their favorite word, so just keep saying it.”
  • Avoid questions that have a “yes” or “no” answer.  Questions with simple answers like those are conversation killers, especially for the quite, hard to talk to people.  Bad question:  “Do you like basketball?”  Better Question:  “What do you think of basketball?”  This question leaves room for answers that the conversation branches off into.
  • Unless you have a history with this person, avoid talking about “the good old days.”  Even though I’ve known my friends for a long time, I still didn’t go to all four years of high school with them, so I always feel left out of conversations when they’re all conversing about the horror teachers and classmates stealing each others’ souls.  This is always hard to avoid in group, but for the sake of others, try to avoid this unless it’s a good story that they’ll all enjoy.
  • Don’t keep the awkward silences in the back of your mind at all times.  Have you ever had a conversation with a person that was so afraid of this happening that they would begin fidgeting around praying to God that a conversation piece would fall from the sky?  I have.  *sigh*  I’m ashamed to say that I’ve also been that person.  It’s not fun.  Just let the conversation flow naturally.  If you run into an akward silence, look around your surroundings for something to talk about.  The simplest thing could spark something great.
  • LISTEN.  Your conversation will never get anywhere if you only want to hear yourself talking.  You can do that later, alone in your car…  (lol)

I hope this helped all of you that are terrified of human contact.  The internet makes it so much easier to communicate with others, but I think this is still relevant even in instant messaging or email! 

 Do you have any other tips?  Questions?  Comments?   Leave a comment below or contact me!

Here’s a story I saw on Hawty McBloggy that I thought you might find interesting.  Might make some good conversation with your firends tomorrow!

“I don’t know the specifics yet, but I can say with 100% certainty that something extremely fishy is going on over at eBay. Let me explain.

An eBay auction recently ended in which a “Halo 3 Xbox Live Friendship” was sold [Difference in Opinion]. It’s not the first time it has been done, and I am sure it won’t be the last either. The person selling this friendship was eBay seller lilperiwinkle, who just happens to not have any feedback whatsoever. This “lilperiwinkle” is a demure young blond who has this to say about the item that was for sale :

Here’s your chance to make a new Halo 3 friend on XBOX live! Yes I am a girl and Yes I do actually play. I have my good days of playing and my bad days. I’m pretty darn good with plasma grenades I must say. My favorite level is Snow Bound! I have a pink controller and a Turtle Beach X3 headset for surround sound. I’m all set for a good game!

This friendship will included: talking on XBOX live, Playing Halo 3, messaging, I can help you with unlocking achievements- finding hidden skulls. Also you will get a signed picture of me playing halo 3. This is a once and a lifetime deal- Hey maybe we can even level up together!”

[Read the rest of this story]

I thought it was pretty funny.  She mentions later that the friendship actually sold for $107.  Why didn’t I think of that?  I mean, I can throw in the autographed picture too!

I’m not much of a gamer, but it never hurts to learn a bit more…  Once you check out these sites and podcasts, you’ll be the star of all things video game conversations–you’ll make them wonder, “how does she/he do it all?”

A site called cheapassgamer.com is a good site to look for sales and deals on games.

All Games Interactive:  allgames.com

Orange Lounge Radio:  orangeloungeradio.com

and

Video Games Outsider:  videogameoutsiders.com

More of a hands on learner?  Check out CheapAssGamer.com for video game sales and deals you won’t find anywhere else.

 

*Thanks again to ajtwist for this video game info

The New Year’s Eve party theme will be Stars of the 80’s…Movie Stars/Characters to Rock Stars.  I can’t wait to put my costume together and see everyone else’s.  I hope someone comes as Rambo or Arnold in Commando…maybe Flashdance stars?  I’m already doing the dance.

I feel terrible for being away from my blog for a little over a day…  I was really trying to write in it everyday, but I failed.  I’ve just been busy baking, going to school, doing some homework, and running errands really.  Oh, and I’ve been having lots of fun with my friends, Jennifer and Sebastian.  I was friends with them in high school, but now we’re pretty close.  I saw them yesterday and today again.  =]

And right now, I’m trying to get into planning mode because we’re trying to throw a New Year’s Eve party with a theme and everything–what do you think of guests dressing as their favorite Action Stars?