Sunday, September 30, 2007

Microwave Caramel Popcorn ...
{A Sunday night favorite}
I remember as a teen loving Sunday nights ... My sister, Amy, would always make caramel popcorn in the microwave and we would sit around and eat and laugh and talk. I come from a family of 7 children and I have fond memories of our Sunday night chats together. We talked about school, our teachers, our cross country meets, our dreams, our Saturday night dates, and things we were looking forward to during the upcoming week. I have 4 younger sisters and often, we would tell each other to stay out of our rooms and out of our clothes (That was a big deal back then - NO sneaking off in my clothes - Got it?) Funny to think that that was the BIG issue back then. If I had any of my sisters home/close by tonight, I'd make them a huge batch of caramel popcorn and let them choose anything they wanted out of my closet. :) And I'm sure we would talk all night until sunlight ... What a fun thought!! Amy, Katie, Jennie, Robby & Erica - I love you. I am so thankful we are a family with fun memories that will last forever!

Below is a recipe for Microwave Caramel Popcorn: (YUM) -
4 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Place the popped popcorn into a large brown paper bag. Set aside.
In a 2 quart casserole dish, or other heat-proof glass dish, combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave, then take out and stir until well blended. Return to the microwave, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave, and stir in the baking soda. Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Roll down the top once or twice to close the bag, and shake to coat the corn. Place bag into the microwave, and cook for 1 minute and 10 seconds. Remove, shake, flip the bag over, and return it to the microwave. Cook for another 1 minute and 10 seconds. Dump the popcorn out onto waxed paper, and let cool until coating is set. Store in an airtight container.
Cheers to popcorn, brothers and sisters, and Chilly September Sunday nights ... :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Arts and Entertainment - Friday September 28, 2007

Did you read the Tri-City Herald this morning?
WE did! My husband (Tory Christensen) has two shows this weekend ...

Music & a Movie!
The first show is at Smoovies in Richland, WA at 6:30 pm (Friday, September 28, 2007)
Following the music, Madagascar will be playing on the BIG SCREEN - outside!
Bring your blankets and umbrella ...

(The paper says the concert is at Flat Top Park - it's not).
The second show is on Saturday, September 29th, 2007
3:00 pm at Howard Amon Park in Richland, WA
Bring your camera if you want to get a photo with Wiggles the Fish.

Both shows are free and open to the public.

See you this weekend! :)

Check out the Wiggle Like a Fish website:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mitt Romney - The Man, His Value, and His Vision

"Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values, and His Vision"
by Lisa Ray Turner and Kimberly Field
From the Publisher -
There aren’t too many people who have earned simultaneous Juris Doctor and MBA degrees from Harvard. Mitt Romney is one of them. But he has always liked the toughest challenges. He first made a name for himself as the brilliant turnaround miracle worker from Bain Capital. And he's the one who turned the debt-ridden, scandal-plagued 2002 Olympics into a marvelous success.

Now he is campaigning to be our next president. He is a staunch advocate of free market economics and a devoted husband and father who believes in traditional values. Can he win? Will voters give him the chance to apply his management proficiency to our federal government?

Authors Lisa Ray Turner and Kimberly Field examine Mitt Romney as a man of incredible ability and driving energy. They examine his history, his policies, his alleged flip-flopping, and particularly the controversy surrounding his religion. As a team, they offer a unique perspective on this last issue: Lisa is LDS (Mormon), and Kim is an evangelical Christian. You’ll find their insights fascinating.

"As a Democrat, I haven't made up my mind yet about the 2008 election - but I do think it's time people got over their prejudices and found out who Mitt Romney really is. Turner and Field's book deals candidly with all the tough questions, and gives you full information so you can make up your own mind. That's something we aren't getting from the national media."—Orson Scott Card, award-winning author of The Ender's Game series

Feel free to check out the Mapletree Publishing Website:

Note to Mitt Bloggers & the Media:If you would like a review copy of this book - please email me at ... (I am the Publicist for Mapletree). Please feel free to share your reviews and thoughts about the book via your blog(s) and/or websites.

Thank you.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I was driving along this weekend and a great, new song by James Blunt came on the radio. The tune to this song is ultra catchy and I’ve been humming/singing it all weekend.
... Singing here we go again

Do you want this song stuck in your head too? OK click on the link below and sing along …. (1973 begins playing soon after you enter this site).

PS: I think I like this so much b/c it’s the year I was born … That and the song is fantastic!

Cheers to 1973 ladies and gentlemen!

Below are a few fun facts from that year:
#1 Song: “You’re So Vain” … Carly Simon
Popular Movies: Paper Moon, The Last Tango in Paris,
The Sound of Music (reissue) and American Graffiti
Most popular fiction book: "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" ... Richard Bach. (Macmillan)
Most popular nonfiction book: "The Living Bible" ... Kenneth Taylor.
(Doubleday and Tyndale House)
Most popular Television Show: All in the Family (CBS)

"Johnathan Livingston Seagull" -If you have not read this book (please read it)!!
You can read the entire book via this site:
An exceprt from the book that made Richard Bach ultra famous -
And though he tried to look properly severe for his students, Fletcher Seagull suddenly saw them all as they really were, just for a moment, and he more than liked, he loved what he saw. No limits, Jonathan? he thought, and he smiled.
His race to learn had begun.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Do what you love -

I have this little book called: "What I know for Sure" and it's a collection of columns Oprah wrote for her O Magazine. I absolutely love this little book. It is so inspiring, motivating and thought provoking.... (How could it not be? We're talking about Oprah here).

Anyhow as I dashed out the door this afternoon to run my son to soccer practice, I grabbed this little treasure. It has been a while since I've had time to just get lost in the pages of a book. For me, reading is like taking a vacation! I put a blanket on the grass, let my kids play at the park and just devoured every word. By the time soccer was over, I had finished reading every word of Oprah's collection. I felt totally rejuvenated!

Page 39 was one of my favorite sections - (Below is an excerpt)

Ignoring your passion is like dying a slow death. Your life is speaking to you every day, all the time - and your job is to listen up and find the clues. Passion whispers to you through your feelings, beckoning you toward your highest good. Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, stimulated - what gives you your juice. Do what you love, give it back in the form of service, and you will do more than just succeed. You will triumph.

Cheers to LIVING a life of PASSION and PURPOSE!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Riding with Joann"
A sitcom - inspired by LIFE!

I do a lot of mailing at this mail stop around the corner. Special thanks to Warren for always being there to help me with the packages! Over the past six months, I’ve been in that mail place at least 25 times to ship CDs, books and other ‘dreams in the makings.’ One day, I was in there to mail off my film treatment to California – so it could get an official Writer’s Guild of the West number assigned to it. As usual, he asked, “What are you up to now?” And as usual I said, “Just chasing down my dreams!”

I was in the mail center today and he asked if my sitcom was being produced. I told him no and asked why he was wondering. He told me heard about a new sitcom on ABC called: “Carpoolers” and hoped it was mine! (For the record: It's not my sitcom).

The working title of the sitcom I wrote is: “Riding with Joann” – the idea was based on true events from my life. When my husband and I were first married, we only had one car. This very nice, kind lady offered to take me to work everyday. Her name is Joann and we carpooled for about a year. I learned a great deal from her and our daily commute!

My sitcom is clean, funny and suitable for audiences looking for good, inspiring, uplifting entertainment (packaged in sitcom form). If you know of a producer who might be interested, please send him/her my way!

The pilot episode is ready to roll … Let me know if you need a film treatment. It’s registered with the WGA (Writers Guild of America, West).

Cheers to our little moments that inspire bigger ones!!!
And to the daily ‘commute’ with its ever changing scenery, challenges and humor ...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Take time for YOU ...

Earlier this year, I was asked to teach a class on raising emotionally healthy children. This was a really great exprience and it caused me to to do some deep thinking and reflection on the importance of our individual emotional needs.

Below are a few of the points I shared:

It’s important that we KNOW ourselves and respect ourselves enough to maintain our ‘emotional foundation’. That way, we have a base to pull from in order to maintain the NEEDS of our children.

Each family unit (no matter how big or small) has NEEDS. And they are like the weather- always changing and not at all predictable! It's important to regulate our own emotions and needs so that we can deal with the emotional storms that arise from day to day.

The following quote helps us realize the importance of needs -
To reach his/her full potential, a person’s physical, mental, emotional,
social and spiritual needs must be met.
There is one word in that sentence that jumps out at me. Hopefully it jumps out at you too … it’s the word MUST. In order to reach our full potential, certain NEEDS MUST be met. And emotional stability can be achieved as we meet the needs in the above mentioned areas.

Take a moment now and write down three things you do each day to nurture your own emotional needs. Here’s some examples:

1. Call a friend and talk (social/emotional need).
2. Get outdoors - walk by the river or take a jog (physical need).
3. Say a prayer during the day or read something uplifting (spiritual).

The important thing about that activity, is identifying what needs are not being met and then finding a way to create ways to meet the needs. If this requires the help of another person – please don’t be afraid to ask for their support. Such as your husband, friend or children – kindly encourage them to add a degree of love to your life … maybe by listening, giving you a hug or taking a walk with you. We have families so that we can build emotional security. If you are out of the habit of caring for your own needs/emotions – make it a goal to create time for you. (Even if it is just 5 minutes a day)

As we care for our needs (which often requires those around us) we are better able
to raise emotinally healthy children.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Let your clarity define you ..."
~ Rob Thomas
(Lyrics from "Little Wonder")
Paper Airplanes ...
There is something very appealing about paper and things we can do with it! I have been fascinated by the art of origami for a long time. I love it when a person can grab a piece of paper and turn it into something magical in a manner of moments. It's a great talent!
I've mastered the jumping frog - it's a big hit with the kids!
Recently, I've been trying to find a good paper airplane folding recipe ...
I bumped into a website called: and found the below
instructions for folding a Deltry paper airplane!
Let me know if it works for you :) ...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Is for ...
{Fanny pack (n.) - a horrible fashion faux pa}

Warning! If you are wearing a fanny pack, own a fanny pack, collect fanny packs or happen to adore fanny packs - you won't like this blog entry.

I have nothing against people who choose to wear fanny packs. I believe you can't help it and have been abducted by 'fanny pack aliens' who brain washed you into wearing one. I don't know how they got here - the aliens or fanny packs, but they are here. Gasp!

Just recently, I read an article in the paper about how these horrible little things are coming back into style. Why? Please someone tell me - why?

Other names for fanny pack: "belt pack", "hip pack", "junkie pack", "body wallet" and "the pouch"

Whatever name it goes by, a fanny pack is still a fanny pack. Here's what I have to say to one the next time we meet:

"Farwell you sad, little pouch - go back to fanny pack planet."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Take a Front Row Seat ...

Check out the Ralph Lauren 2008 Spring Fashion Show. Simply click on the link below:

PS -A few of the dresses/outfits reminded me of Audrey Hepburn and scenes from: "My Fair Lady." I kept expecting Professor Henry Higgens to take a turn on the runway shouting: "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain."

Cheers to Ralph Lauren! And his style that never goes out of style...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Remember …

I love seeing all the flags out today. Six years ago our world changed ...
and it’s nice to see that we have not forgotten that tragic day and the lives that were lost.
To me, today serves as a reminder of how precious life is, how fragil freedom is
And that there are evil people in the world.

Take a moment today and say a prayer for America (and the world),
for freedom, for peace, for life, for our soldiers and for healing…

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Great hair in 4.2 minutes!

Have you seen the Suave Advertisement with the picture of a woman
wearing dirty dishes on her head? It's attention grabbing ..
The copy says:
The average mom devotes 87.9 minutes a day to meals and
only 4.2 minutes to her hair.
Hmmmmmmm ....
I decided I needed a faster, easier hair style (so I could make the most out of
my 4.2 minutes of hair time!! :)
Cheers to sassy, short, savvy hair!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

"Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten."
~James Russell Lowell

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An object regarded as having magical power
Just in case you wanted to know: A big part of publicity work involves research.
I spend a great deal of time checking things out online and researching the market
before I ever make a pitch. And tonight as I was clicking around,
all I could think about was ice cream.

I really need some! (To keep me awake and full of pep :)) ...

MMMM what shall I fill the sugar cone with?
-Mint Chocolate Chip-
PS - Check out the site below ...
(You can make ice cream in a bag!!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Did you know that more than 130 countries around the world have a legally required minimum vacation time (3-5 weeks per year?) And did you know that employees in America are lucky to get two weeks per year? That’s a thought to ponder …

Fast fact: In 2005, U.S. workers collectively turned down 1.6 million years of vacation time to which they were entitled. (Associated Press “Labor your days away: U.S. workers aren’t holiday takers”)
The article also said: Every one who has sacrificed work time to enjoy more vacation
said they were delighted with the choice. Those who put their career first and
didn't dare take vacation have bitter regrets.
Hmmmm - I guess we better use our vacation time and enjoy a few moments away from
the office!! Make a goal to take a trip and use your vacation time (before it slips away).

I really want to take a cruise to Alaska, spend a weekend in Vegas or sip lemonade in Hawaii ....
What are you doing with your vacation days? :)