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11/12/2009

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TV's Take

Tonight was the first time we ‘really’ played hide n seek with our little one. One of us would hide, while the held her hand, counted, then sought. Might I say, she Loved it and dare I say we Loved it too! You could see the pure joy on her face when she would ‘find’ who she was looking for. I laughed so hard while hiding that my stomach still hurts. (no sit-ups or planks for me, thanks hide n seek) As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I wish we all played like we did when we were kids. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why most of us have children, an excuse to really play again. What games does your family enjoy together?

TV's Take

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 9th, less than one month away. We’ve all given our Mother’s flowers and candy but it’s always nice to get them something unexpected. This year I tried to think of something a little more creative to give to my Mom and Mother-In-Law. So this year I’m giving them personalized photo books with pictures and captions of each of them with their granddaughter. Since we so rarely print pictures these days, let alone put them in a nice photo album, I thought this would be a keepsake they would actually want. I created the photo books at www.kodak.com. Other important notes: Kodak has a promotion through April 14th on pricing and it takes up to 2 weeks to have the books created and shipped so if you like this idea you may want to start asap. Do you have any creative Mother’s Day gifts to share?

TV's Take

Do you like strawberries? If so, this is your time of year. Strawberries are so sweet right now that they are a great substitute for candy, really. Aside from the traditional shortcake, jam and fruit salad ideas here are two fun non-traditional things you can do with strawberries. Note: these ideas both involve the freezer. 1) Credit for this idea goes to the Four Seasons in Punta Mita, Mexico. Prior to freezing strawberries stick a toothpick in each berry and sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on them. Once frozen pull them out and you have a frozen treat with a kick! 2) Cut strawberries in half and freeze. Drop frozen strawberries into your favorite glass of champagne to keep it cold while enjoying the strawberry essence. Who knew strawberries could be so fun? Got any good and creative tips for strawberries that you’d like to share?

TV's Take

Has someone ever given you a ‘no special occasion’ gift and you just thought how incredibly sweet? I have been the lucky recipient of such thoughtful gifts and appreciate each of them. Since time is not always my friend and perhaps not your BFF either, I wanted to share two very simple ways to be ‘the giver’. 1) Bake cupcakes or cookies for someone you care about. This could be for a neighbor, elder relative or co-worker. Sweets put a smile on almost everyone! 2) Create a picture collage on Word or Publisher with fun photos of times you’ve shared together. I am sap for looking at pictures and remembering great times together. There is an endless possibility to what you can give (time, food, gifts), but remember to be ‘the giver’, at least some of the time. Got any quick and easy gifts to share?

TV's Take

Recently a friend of mine told me that he uses Picasa through Google to store all his photos. So I gave it a try and came to the conclusion that the site is generally good; it stores and organizes photos and movies. For Valentines Day I created a video for my husband on Picasa. He LOVED it! There were some kinks to the program but unlike Kodak where you need to take your pictures to the store and buy the slideshow and music, Picasa is free. You can also create these shows on Powerpoint and many computers have their own programs built in. There are many many programs out there that allow you to create photo/movie masterpieces but Picasa is a free download. These masterpieces make great gifts that your friends and family will enjoy for years. Do you have any dvd slideshow programs that you’d recommend?

TV's Takes

Massaging your Creative Passion. When we needed artwork for the walls of our new home I started shopping at the various home decorating stores. While I loved many of the prints available, the price tag for a simple painted canvas was ridiculous. Through inspiration of my sister, I went to Michael’s and purchased two canvases, an assortment of acrylic paints and brushes. Later that day I sketched out a few designs on paper. With my husbands help in measuring out the sections I created two pieces that are now hanging in our contemporary dining room. When guests hear that we created the dining room wall art, they are both shocked and impressed. In turn, we feel good about having created the art together as well as saving several hundred dollars. Done anything creative for your décor recently?

TV's Takes

Joking Around. Spending time with family and friends can be great this time of year but it can also be predictable. If you are looking for some fun new memories try incorporating humor into the mix. This holiday season we are planning all kinds of fun jokes on our family. Some ideas are: fake bug in an ice cube for my sister, wearing fake mustaches around the house, playing new board games and telling innocent tall tales to see who is gullible. Whatever your plans are this holiday, make sure they are fun and memorable. Got any fun ideas?

TV's Take

Holiday Recipe: Cooking and baking can be a fun preparation for the holidays. We all have our favorite traditions for food this time of year. One of my family favorites is Party Mix. This isn’t your average party mix – it’s so so much better. It’s a recipe my Mom has made every holiday. It makes a great gift for friends and co-workers. This is a must try for anyone who has a soft spot for salty snacks.
Party Mix Recipe:

Dry ingredients:
1 Box Rice Chex
1 Box Wheat Chex
1 Big Box Cheerios
1 Pkg Stick Pretzels
1.5 cans mixed nuts

Sauce:
2 ¼ cups butter
1.5 cups oil
1.5 Tblsp Celery Salt
1.5 Tblsp Onion Salt
1.5 Tblsp Worchester Sauce
1 Tblsp Garlic Salt
6 drops of Tabasco Sauce

Melt butter and add remaining sauce ingredients, stirring well. Add sauce to large roaster containing all dry ingredients, mix well. Bake at 200 degrees covered for 45 minutes and uncovered for 45 minutes stirring mix every 20 minutes. Cool and put into sealed containers for plastic bags. Enjoy!

TV's Take

Almost half of all Americans don’t cook. My guess it that many don’t have time or don’t know how to cook. Among my friends, I find many of them don’t have the time or only have a few token dishes and get stumped on how to expand on their family menus. My recipe collection expanded when a previous coworker suggested a site called www.epicurious.com. It’s a wonderful site that allows everyday cooks to rates recipes by forks. 4 forks is excellent while 1 fork is probably not worth making. Users of the site can also make comments on what they liked or disliked in a particular recipe and possible suggestions for improvement. My most complimented recipes come from epicurious.com. This means my kitchen cupboards are not loaded with heavy and expensive cookbooks. Instead I simply print out the recipe, put it in a plastic sheet protector and file it away in my “Recipes we Love” three ring binder. If you are struggling to expand your circle of meals I suggest searching on a site like epicurious.
Cooking for your family is a great way to reconnect and of course less expensive than eating out. It can also be much healthier because you know the exact ingredients that went into your meal. What other sources do you rely on for recipes?

Spa for the Soul

Just read TV Takes, funny about the zooming. I love photos, especially photos of those I care about in these captured expressions and moments. TV Takes on what you can do with photos is valuable information. Think how horrible it would be to lose all your precious photos in a fire. . . the mom is right! Transferring your photos to a canvas is a great idea and thank you for the tip and a place to start.

TV's Take

Photo Fun
I love professional photographs but have a hard time paying for them as well as taking the time to ‘sit’ for them. Now that we have a little one I recognize the importance of capturing these moments more than ever. While I think there are times when you need a professional photographer, most of us cannot afford to have a professional in our homes 24 hrs a day. Here are a few photo tips to capture special moments all on your own with a professional flair.

1) Learn how to use your digital camera by reading the instruction book. Today’s cameras have many setting options so spend an hour or so paging through the instruction book to maximize your investment.

2) Use light to your advantage. While I am not a professional photographer making sure the sunlight is on your subjects face or behind the camera will give your photos a more professional look.

3) Don’t be afraid to zoom in on your subject. My sweet husband is notorious for taking a picture without adjusting the zoom. We end up with cars zooming by or random people in our photos. Unless you are taking a wide lens scenic photo, adjust for capturing your loved one’s faces.

4) Download your photos onto a photo website. I always remember my Mom saying, “If there is ever a fire I’m making sure you kids are out and I’m grabbing the family photos.” Thanks to the latest technology we have the ability to store our precious snapshots on-line so that a disaster like a fire or flood won’t further devastate memories. These sites also have excellent templates for putting together photo albums.

5) If you have a favorite photograph, transfer it to canvas. It gives the photo a rich look and is also a great way to display fun family moments for all to enjoy. www.chiccanvas.com is a site I used recently with great results.

These are just a few ways I like to capture moments in a creative way. What are some of your creative tips to help capture special moments?

Karrie

Maria great point about cooking...That is definitely where my creative juices flow the most. When it appears that there is nothing to eat I some how make the most interesting and satisfying concoctions. Also I love cutting out recipes and I put them in a binder I have although I rarely make any of them I subconsciously understand what ingredients go well together.

Maria

Decorating, cooking, the mood I'm in and what I wear my daily costumes.

Daryl-Spa for the Soul

Hi there everyone! This is so great, love all your comments and I hope you keep them coming! Rhoades very well said and cool what you said about balancing, I bet you are an amazing musician too!

Creative Passion comes is so many forms, such little things as the first bird in the morning, sitting with a friend and having a meaningful conversation, connecting with others, laughing. . .and the list goes on!
Tell me your stories, tell me what creative passion means to you.

rhoades

My passion is music. I play guitar in a band with my friends. There is no other hobby that can give me such gratification. With hard work, a diligent mind, and focus, I can accomplish anything. But, I don't let it get in the way of my schoolwork, which is difficult because i have a pretty large workload. It's all abut balance.

Anonymous

What a great passion to have!

Sasha

My Message is to find a passion first of all. Then once you do live it out loud and change it up to fit where you are in your life. I like coloring with my kids and cooking for my family. Guess you'd say my passion is my family.

Anonymous

Here's a dilemma. I'm a creative professional. I love what I do but, don't have the time to really be personally creative. While in Art School many years ago, one of my professors told me you can't do both. I disagreed and really disliked him for telling me you can't be successful at both.

Anonymous

Hmm... what are the positive emotional messages you hear from yourself. . .self talk, when you massage your creative passions? Have you discovered your creative passions? Tell me what some of your creative passions are and how they sustain you? What does being creative mean to you? I find when I am involved creatively with anything from making jewelry to setting a table that I am very much in the moment. I am very much in the presence of joy and peace.

Anonymous

We are the only ones that get in our way. I think it is possible to do both remembering there is a time for everything. Are you in a time where your professional work is more ramped up? Life is like a circle and it all comes back around, so I bet you will have a time for your personal creative endeavors. Is it always there, your creative ideas with you. . .your creative passion?

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