Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Katherine Plumer Fine Art

Crystal: I just came across this link on another blogger's site (alis grave nil) and was just checking it out and I'm amazed by how nice this product looks....

Katherine Plumer Fine Art: http://www.katherineplumer.com/index2.html

She can draw a picture of your pet by hand...with either colored pencils, graphite, charcoal, etc. depending on what you want, and it looks so realistic and beautiful...price doesn't look too bad either although it's priced per square inch and my math ain't so great....so maybe it's more than I think....but either way, an artist's work is invaluable. :)

I don't have any pets (nor do I want any) but it would make a great gift for someone who does have a pet...or maybe someone who lost a pet as she'll draw them from a photograph....

Jen: I was just about to give you grief for not wanting pets, but then my cat hacked up a fur ball, so I guess I get it ;)

This woman's artwork is phenomenal, but I just can't see myself paying $350+ (starting price!) for a portrait of my pet. My digital camera works just fine ;)

Crystal: I didn't do the calculations...that is a bit hefty, but for an artist's time I think it's reasonable. :) I think of it like the portrait of Avery that someone had commissioned an artist to do for me....a drawing, painting, etc. is so much different than just a picture....it just adds a different element to it. :)

Plus, if your beloved pet has passed away, you can't take any more photos of it...so like the drawing of Avery...it kinda just gives you something new to look at, even if it is a rendition of an old photo. :) That in itself is priceless. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett

Jen: I'm stunned after hearing about Michael Jackson's passing. I can't believe this happened the same day that we lose Farrah Fawcett. It truly is a sad day :(

Crystal: It's starting to sink in a little more now...the MJ thing at least. I wasn't as familiar with Farrah's work and so I don't think her death affected me AS MUCH as MJ's....

Dan and I were talking about it as we drove to the Palm Springs area this past Thursday as we were on the road and heard about MJ going to the hospital and then kept up on TMZ on my iphone to see the latest because I figured he was going to pass based on the reports.....this was basically like the Elvis or the Beatles of our generation....this was going to be one of those things 20 years from now where someone goes: 'where were you when Michael Jackson died?'....well we were driving to Indio, CA. for a vacation in the sun.

The one benefit from this whole thing is that I have re-fallen in love with so many of Michael's songs that I just haven't heard in ages. The whole weekend in Indio we watched videos on tv and listened to him on the radio...he was truly talented. I'm mostly disappointed that he will not be able to continue to make beautiful music for the world to hear...and that his children will grow up without a father...

...but otherwise, I feel that he lived a life that was filled with both good and bad....and that in his short 50 or so years he lived more than most of us....whether all of it was good is probably not the case, but perhaps he is happier now where he is. :)

Jen: Joe and I played his albums all day on Sunday, and I was a little surprised to find how much I still loved his music! I kind of figured that it was a phase when I was younger, but apparently not! I even tried my hand at Moon Walking (and failed!), and it hit hard that MJ was so very much like Elvis. Funny that he was married to Elvis' daughter!

What's truly sad was his horrid relationship with his father- the man who so obviously turned him into the idiosyncratic person that he was. It disturbs me that reports say his father was there when he died. I mean, MJ didn't even put him in his will, and that's coming from a VERY giving man! And now his father is using this publicity to plug his new record label. It makes me sick.

Crystal: LoL I would have loved to see you trying to moonwalk! :) And Dan said the same thing about his music...when we were listening to all the songs and videos he said he forgot how much he really liked MJ's music...he had thought maybe it was just a couple he liked, but then realized he liked just about every song being played. :)

I did find that really coincidental that he was married to Elvis' daughter....although a strange relationship and some think it was a publicity ploy...but who knows...she said it was real.

The whole father/son relationship between MJ and his dad is a strange one...I don't know what went on between them two...I've heard stories of abuse or just stage-dad drama....but sometimes I wonder if it went further than that just based on the way MJ was and his personality (what we could publicly see at least)....very strange, a little disturbing...mysterious, and we'll probably never know the true stories unless someone in the family publishes a tell-all memoir on their deathbed someday..............

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gumdrop Cookie Shop

Crystal: OK these are ridiculously expensive for someone of my status, but for those who can afford it or just want to splurge, these are absolutely ADORABLE...

The online store is called Gumdrop Cookie Shop...they also have cookies that the kids can decorate with edible marker colors called "Van Gogh Gumdrops".

The cookies are about $40 - $45 depending on what you get....but they are so darn adorable and great party favors! :)

They even have a couture line....gorgeous

Here's their link: http://www.gumdropcookieshop.com/

Jen: I am usually not a fan of these types of cookies, but the couture line is super cute! Definitely a fun party favor, but I wonder how they taste.

Crystal: Yea..not so sure about the taste...it might be one of those things better left to look at than to eat....but I can never eat things that pretty anyways! :)

And to some of the commenters...yes, they are definitely not cheap....for most of the U.S. population in this economy they're not even affordable....but based on their portfolio and business cookies they show, I don't think the average consumer is their target market. They're likely aimed towards the higher end clientele that can afford to pay $5 a cookie or whatever........that isn't me, but I sure wish it was. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

Crystal: So I'm guessing if you've been on AOL today you've seen this already...but just in case, pics from the upcoming Alice in Wonderland movie with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter have been released. :) :) Very Tim Burton-esque.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/life/l090623_alice_in_wonderland/flash.htm?gid=1057

Link: http://www.examiner.com/x-13447-Hartford-Horror-Movies-Examiner~y2009m6d22-Tim-Burtons-Alice-in-Wonderland-new-photos-released


So are Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter going to be in every Tim Burton movie going forward or what? I like the trio, but I'm starting to think it's getting a bit old...I'm not a huge fan of Helena's either....

What do you think?

Jen: I am thrilled about this movie! I feel like I've been waiting forever for its release! It love Burton and Depp, and am okay with Carter (although she looks dreadful in this Alice adaption)

Check out this fan-made trailer:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Busy Weekend

Jen: I'm pretty sure I can speak for both of us when I say this weekend is going to be complete chaos! Tonight we're going to Macaroni Grill for my brother's birthday dinner (he's bringing a huge group of friends, so I'll be surrounded by a hoard of teenage boys- earplugs please!). Tomorrow we're having a family BBQ at my mom's house. Then Sunday is Father's Day, so we'll be occupied then too! All of the events revolve around food, so I think next week is going to be a diet week ;)

Crystal: I love events revolving around food...I actually realized just recently that I think my whole life revolves around food. My sister is visiting from PA right now and we have been trying to figure out what to do in the evenings....and all I can keep coming up with is that we could go to a restaurant to have dinner...we could go to BJ's and get a Pizookie, we could go to Pinkberry and get froyo, Starbucks for Frapuccinos......and that's about the extent of my imagination. What else is there to do around here? lol

And busy doesn't quite explain my life right now. There needs to be a word that emphasizes something beyond busy. I'm about 10 photoshoots behind in editing, I have my sister from PA and Dan's daughter from PA both visiting, we're going out of town to Indio Thursday through the weekend and then I come back early Sunday for a photoshoot, not to mention I work a full time job during the day....then next week is Avery's angel anniversary and the 4th of July which I need to plan for..........


Jen: Hmm, what to do ... what to do. Well, of course there is Hollywood and all that jazz. See a movie at the El Capitan? Downtown Disney District. Universal City Walk.
Hollywood Park. And you have to take her to Venice Beach to see the "talent", lol. Have you checked out UCLA and USC to see if they have any events going on while she's here? Those are more like weekend events though.

Is she a mall rat at all? Ooo, and what about Redondo Pier? I'll keep thinking :)

Most importantly though, she MUST go to Sprinkles for cupcakes while she's here!

Crystal: She just hasn't seemed to be too interested in sight-seeing...I think she's more interested in boy-watching and making friends. She found a new friend...my sister's friend's sister and her friends....and she's been hanging out with them going to the beach and the mall....typical teenage things. We decided just to let her do her own thing and she can let us know if she wants our help.

I haven't even been to Sprinkles myself!! Although I have had one of their cupcakes at Blanca's bachelorette party when Carey brought some :) They were delish!! :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Jen: Okay, I have this issue that's freaking me out. I think I have sleep paralysis! I always thought I was a "DILD" lucid dreamer, but now I'm thinking it's sleep paralysis. Nearly every sign fits, and last night was the third time this year that it's happened for sure. You can read about it here.

I have always argued that I start to dream as soon as I fall asleep, even though experts say that it takes 30 minutes (I think) to hit the REM stage and start dreaming. Now, I find out that there's a correlation between sleep onset REM and sleep paralysis. Crazy!

Anyway, it's just about the scariest thing you can experience, and last night was the worst of any I've experienced thus far. I'm going to need to make some lifestyle changes and hope that it fixes this- a real bedtime, maybe some rearranging for a less chaotic ambiance, more exercise and maybe yoga.

Crystal: Uhmm...thats a bit scary....have you seen a doctor about it? Are there any risks or anything with this besides that it's really scary?

Jen: I haven't seen a doctor. They can't do anything unless it happens at least once a week, which it doesn't. There aren't any side effects though, so it's just a fear issue. And once you know what it is, it isn't so scary.

Lakers Parade

Jen: We've been pretty lax about discussing issues lately, and have gone product crazy on Beachy Keen. Let's bring it back to the debate floor for a post!

California just spent 2 million+ on the Lakers victory parade, and now Californians are angry because our state is in dire straights. They don't feel that our money should have been spent on a parade.

I'll hold off on my opinion and let you go first! What do you think?

Crystal: Well first off....I was a bit annoyed with the whole situation intially....but then I heard on the news that the Lakers were putting up half of the cost ($1m approx) and then there were a couple of private donors who donated a total of around $800K or so....I'm sure I don't have the numbers exact, but it was around there....

So in the end, the city still had to put up some money, but not as much as originally expected....so initially I'm thinking - well that's still ridiculous. We can't pay teachers but we can put up money for a parade....

BUT - then you think of what the money is going to....we're not just putting up a couple hundred thousand dollars so that we can give Kobe some extra pocket change....it's going towards the police force, vendors for decorations, the port-a-potty vendors (lol), trash pick-up people, etc. It's still going towards our local and/or national businesses and workers...it's keeping several people in work, it's paying our police officers overtime, it's stimulating our economy.

On top of that - it's bringing hundreds of thousands of people (aka customers) to the coliseum area where they will inevitably eat, buy souveniers, pay for parking, go shopping, etc.

This is a huge city stimulus that both gets money rotating in the economy AND raises morale in the city (minus the rioting and looting)...so in the end, yes - the teachers are losing out because what are they gaining? But there are many other people in our community that are actually benefiting from the government's spending which in the end doesn't turn out to be that much.

Your thoughts Jen?
Our readers thoughts?

Oh - and I wanted to add - I think there were like 90,000 people at the coliseum or something like that....if they would have just charged $5.00 to get in - I'm sure people would have paid the 5 bucks as it's not much, and the city could have made $450K!!! Uhmmm, this event would have paid for itself!!

Jen: Excellent point on revenue that the event itself brought in. I hadn't thought of that aspect, as I was focused on what the team brings to our community year round. At first, I was quick to jump on the "pissy" bandwagon because my mind couldn't wrap itself around spending that amount of money on a party while our state is struggling. My question was "why isn't the NBA paying for it's winning team to celebrate?" Shouldn't that fall under the umbrella of their responsibilities?

A minute or so later I allowed myself to backtrack because it dawned on me that the Lakers as a whole bring our city and state an incredible amount of money with ticket sales which are taxed, as well as all the merchandise sales which are taxed, not to mention the tourism that they generate.

Think of the hotels and restaurants that profit off of tourists, the airlines, etc. And look at the training facility that they use in El Segundo, and the Staples Center ... lots of jobs generated from there.

So if this team creates opportunity for our local businesses and citizens, then is it really so bad that we support/praise this commodity??

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Jen: I just wrote two posts over on Haute Whimsy (6 Years and Disneyland/California Adventure) about my anniversary trip to Disneyland over the weekend. Originally, we were just going to go on Monday, but we ended up going on Sunday and staying at the Disneyland Hotel.

Sunday was spent perusing Downtown Disney, and then we went to the actual parks on Monday. I know you were going to Disneyland on Sunday. How were the crowds? They were a nightmare on Monday!

Crystal: OMG the crowds were horrible when we went on Sunday....the Pirates line was all the way lined up by the water area...I've never seen it so bad. We got fast passes for a few things, but basically just tried to find the shortest lines at the best times and sucked it up and waited....

Normally we wouldn't wait for any rides if the lines are long - we would just walk around and trade pins, but we brought Emily this time and it would be the only time all summer she could come, and it was going to be the last time we would go til probably next year since we're blocked out all summer and expire in August and probably won't renew til next year.....so we wanted to get some good rides in.....we got to ride a lot still :) Emily and Dan rode a bunch of the big rides together and me and Caydan rode the little ones. :)

Jen: Did you know that they have a monthly payment plan for annual passes now? I'm thinking of doing that next year so I can get the premium pass. They keep raising the prices and it's so ridiculous the amount of money you have to spend.

And here's something crappy: in the past, if you had a pass and went on a blockout day, they would charge you $25 to get in. It's now $40!!!

Crystal: I think I remember you saying that it didn't cost much for the blockout pass - but I had remembered reading it somewhere and it was expensive (i.e. the $40) - which is why I thought it shocking when you guys were going to go on a blockout day awhile back I think...i can't remember the situation now.....

And I did consider the monthly payment plan....but I said that when i renewed i wanted to get the deluxe pass...and the monthly payment for that is like $35/month or something similar....which for 2 of us is $70/month....thats still a LOT of money.....I think i feel better about passes if I pay one big bulk sum, get it out of the way, then feel like i'm going for free the whole next year....vs paying every month and feeling like i NEED to go every month to get my money's worth. Takes the fun out of it. :)

Jen: Haha! I crack up at the mental games we play with ourselves!

The Story

Jen: Here's a little Jen and Crystal history ...

I went to Denker Elementary K-the beginning of 3rd grade, then switched schools. Crystal started Denker in the 3rd grade.

I went to Casmir Middle School. Crystal went to Magru
der Middle School. Our schools were rivals!

Crystal and I met at North High School our freshman year in
our Algebra class, and quickly became best friends. Odd, right?

Well, listen to this!

Both of our moms were single moms. Our dads lived out of state. We each had 2 younger siblings. Our siblings were the same ages!

Although our siblings started out at different elementary schools, they did attend the same middle school and now high school. That means that Crystal and I get to share in all the graduations together!!!

{Crystal and Jen @ Liz and Johnny's middle school graduation}

{Johnny and Lz}

{Jen and Crystal @ Joey and Michelle's high school graduation}

{Joey and Michelle}

I wish I could find Joey and Michelle's middle school grad pics. Do you have any, Crystal? And the last set will come in 2 years when Johnny and Liz graduate from high school!

Crystal: LOVE this post :) :)
And I definitely have pics from Michelle and Joey's middle school grad....that was when Avery was still here so I know I have them somewhere...I'll have to sift through my files and post them from home. :)

I love our friendship....and I love that we get to partake in so many family-type things...not just going out and having a drink or whatever....but the real stuff that matters. :) :)

Tooth Fairy Kit

Crystal: OK, how cute is this??


A tooth fairy kit for your child's first lost tooth.....talk about convincing your child that there really is a tooth fairy....

adorable. :)

Jen: This is so awesome!!! I've actually seen kits before, but none this extensive! I was obsessed with the Tooth Fairy when I was little. I always left her a note asking for her to leave me a photo of herself.

One night, my request was filled! I woke up next to a drawing of her, colored with my very own markers, and a note saying that I should tell my mom that I needed new markers! I was ecstatic!!!

Once I had that "in" with the Tooth Fairy, I thought I'd get a picture for every tooth I lost. Not the case! I wonder what ever happened to that drawing ...

Crystal: That is so cute...your mom is the best, seriously. And I love the comment about getting new markers! Did you get some???

You should totally find the picture and scan it and post it here...that would be awesome. :) :)

Monday, June 15, 2009


Crystal: OK - I'm trying...but I still don't quite get it.....for those who use Twitter as a marketing tool, can you please give me some tips on how best to utilize it...??

Do you "follow" any and everyone...? Or just people that do something you're interested in? Or just people you personally know? or....? What's your strategy?

Do you actually read other people's tweets?

What's the best add-on programs you've come across that help the twittering experience?

How often do you tweet? What do you tweet about generally?

How has it helped your business?

I see people who are following thousands of people and I don't know how you could even attempt to read all their tweets....but if you're not reading their tweets, and everyone is just following everyone to get more followers, then who's actually reading tweets??? What's the point of posting tweets if no one is reading them???

I just don't get it...........help....?

P.S. if you follow me, I'll follow you :) :) :) My twitter link is on the right side of our blog here (Jen's too).

Jen: I started my Twitter account because I wanted to keep up with my friends and favorite bloggers. I soon learned that these bloggers were inputting their blogs into their Twitter accounts, so I followed suit. It was a great way to reach out to new readers as more and more people start to follow you.

Then I fell head over heals for Etsy, and I began following Etsy shop owners to keep up with their new creations. Now, some of those people are following me, and have become new blog readers of mine!

Twitter is GREAT for networking, but the problem is that many people use it to sell, sell, sell. They are spamming their followers without giving them anything substantial to read. My rule of thumb is that for every "ad" you place in a Twitter update, be sure to tweet 3-5 personal updates as well. The great thing about Twitter is that you can learn so many interesting things and meet so many amazing people!

Waterstone Jewelry gave great advice in the comment section for this post- "
There's no way to read every tweet. I read what's on the page when I pull it up and respond to a few" I do the same! But because I started my Twitter account to keep up with my very favorites, I make sure I add an update of theirs to "my favorites", so I can easily find them at any given time.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Jen: I love Panera SO much! It's a bakery specializing in bread, but they also sell fabulous soups in breadbowls and amazing sandwiches. It's one of my favorite places to spend time, although Joe really doesn't care for it. I rarely go there now :(

My favorite thing to order is the Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a sourdough bowl, with a Dr. Pepper of course! They seem to have the best Dr. Pepper in town!

Another perk is that they have wifi, so you'll always see customers slaving over keyboards while stuffing bread in their mouths. It has such a great vibe!

And although I still haven't been, Crystal and I are lucky in that our local Panera is directly downstairs from Burke Williams spa, so a great massage is only steps away!

Crystal: So I am really not a sandwich fan at all...I do like Subway, but only Subway Melts pretty much....I like anything that's warm and has bacon on it. :) With that said though, I don't know how I feel about Panera......

I haven't been there yet, although I always see them around....I would probably like the soup bread bowls....but I don't know that I would ever make a special trip somewhere just to get soup.

Perhaps I'll try it sometime....maybe when my photography biz lets me work full time and I can leave my real full time job, then I might take advantage of the free wi-fi....but for now, working at the office and at home is enough for me without needing to go working during my lunch or dinner. :)

Burke Williams on the other hand.....that I do like. Costs a pretty penny, but oh so worth it....the only time I've gone was the day before Warren and Blanca's wedding....Blanca was going to relax and de-stress so I decided to join her.....we were a bit rushed since we went close to closing time....but I LOVED all the face products they had for you to use and sample, and I just loved the ambiance of the whole place.....I definitely want to go back. Special occasion type place though (unless I hit the lottery or something!) :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Survey - 1 word

Crystal: I know you had mentioned doing more surveys...and I wasn't super fond of the idea just because I don't think people would enjoy reading them....but as I'm still trying to catch up on my old email I have a few from you that I never responded to....so I'm gonna put yours here and fill it out for me....maybe it'll bring back some memories since it's from December '08. :) Then you can go ahead and fill it out again.......

AND...for our readers - if you would be so kind as to fill it out yourself in our comments section, that would be grand. I'm assuming blogger allows unlimited characters, but if it doesn't - perhaps you'd like to repost in your own blog and leave us a comment to let us know you did so. :)

Here we go :)

Jen's responses from December '08


1. Where is your cell phone? Kitchen
2. Your significant other? Joe
3. Your hair? Wet
4. Your mother? Sue
5. Your father? Jerry
6. Your favorite thing? Creativity (good one!)
7. Your dream last night? Strange
8. Your favorite drink? Dr. Pepper
9. Your dream/goal? Worldly
10. The room you're in? Livingroom
11. Your fear? Stagnancy
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Traveling
13. Where were you last night? Mom's
14. What you're not? Conformed
15. Muffins? Banana
16. One of your wish list items? Scarf
17. Where you grew up? Torrance
18. The last thing you did? Blogged
19. What are you wearing? PJ's
20. Your TV? Off
22. Your computer? Awesome
23. Your life? Happy
24. Your mood? Bored
25. Missing someone? Joe
26. Your car? Fixed
27. Something you're not wearing? Socks
28. Favorite Store? Borders
29. Your summer? Lame
30. Your favorite color? Orange
31. When is the last time you laughed? Today
32. Last time you cried? Yesterday
33. THREE OF MY FAVORITE FOODS: Al Noor, Mexican, roast
34. FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW: Disneyland, Big Bear, Vegas, Santa Barbara

And now for Crystal's responses:


1. Where is your cell phone? Here
2. Your significant other? Dan
3. Your hair? Scraggly

4. Your mother? Mom
5. Your father? Dad

6. Your favorite thing? "Stuff"
7. Your dream last night? Gone

8. Your favorite drink? Hotchoco
9. Your dream/goal? Happiness
10. The room you're in? Office
11. Your fear? Loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home

13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Thrillseeker

15. Muffins? Blueberry
16. One of your wish list items? Disneyworld
17. Where you grew up? SouthBay

18. The last thing you did? Blogged
19. What are you wearing? BizCasual
20. Your TV? NotHere
22. Your computer? Slow
23. Your life? Content
24. Your mood? Blah
25. Missing someone? Avery
26. Your car? Superb

27. Something you're not wearing? Jacket
28. Favorite Store? Target
29. Your summer? Busy
30. Your favorite color? Black

31. When is the last time you laughed? Today
32. Last time you cried? Recently

33. THREE OF MY FAVORITE FOODS: Pinkberry, Habit, MacandCheese
34. FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW: Home, Disneyworld, Hawaii, Canada

Jen: I'm a sucker for these! I remember doing them as often as possible back in the day with my friend Chris. That was way before Myspace, so they were hard to come by! I always love reading other people's responses :) One of the great things about these surveys is that they give you great gift ideas for your friends and family. You always learn the most interesting facts, likes and dislikes!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cheese Please!

Jen: Kudos to Emily for this amazing find! Crystal, you are going to flip!!!

Good Tastes
is meal delivery and catering company that offers a variety of rich and decedent foods. Everything looks amazing, from their Lemongrass and Ginger Pork Burgers to their Buttermilk Chipotle Chicken. I was also pleasantly surprised by their meal prices! I think their chicken was less than what I would spend at a fast food restaurant.

The bummer: they are based in Boston. If you want to order dinner, you'll have to live in Boston's North Shore.
The perk: They have a Mac & Cheese of the Month Club that ships all over the US! Is it pricey? Yes. Is it worth it? Probably!

I'm tempted to join simply because of the October selection: Pumpkin and Sage Mac & Cheese. Mmm!

Crystal: OK - that picture you put on this post alone is enough to make me drool like a mad woman, lol! I am a mac and cheese FANATIC and this sounds like it was made for me (besides it being expensive and my being a cheap skate!). :)

Sounds like a good gift though :) :) Too bad they're so far! I'm always ordering meals for people at my work and always looking for new places so they don't have to get the same things all the time. We use LA Bite a lot now which delivers food from local restaurants...super pricey though...I wouldn't order through them except on a company budget.

Jen: Joe and I have used LA Bites for dinner a few times, but it is pretty expensive. We use it on especially hard days at work at Sony! I'm not a full-time domestic goddess, so Joe enjoys ordering out when he can!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Crystal: Another interesting find I just came across in my email that I wanted to share...I love things that let me pay monthly...for whatever reason I feel like I'm getting a deal and also feel less guilty about purchases if I'm able to make payments on something instead of paying in one big chunk....
PLUS - I like things that allow CHANGE...I get bored of things easily so I need variety and I love to be able to create my own variety at the drop of a hat....

So this site I just came across called Maghound is pretty neat-o.

It's like Netflix for magazines basically...you pick your tier based on how many magazines a month you want to purchase, pay the monthly fee associated with that amount (starting at $4.95/mo. for 3 magazines), and get your chosen magazines in the mail.

The best part is that you can change your magazine choices online whenever you want...so you've already received Cosmo for a couple of weeks and decide you want to try some Elle instead...just log in to your account and pick a different mag...voila! So you don't have to purchase a whole year's worth of a magazine...you can pay as you go for the mags you want and get them cheaper than at the grocery store...plus you get them delivered to your door right when they come out.

Sounds awesome to me. :)

Only catch is that the "premium" magazines (such as People - one of my faves) cost extra.

According to their FAQs - eventually they will start allowing mags to be shipped to different locations, so at that point you could even split the cost with a friend.

Whenever I get through my mountain of magazines I have piled up, I think I might try this out. :)

Jen: Haha! That's the difference between you and me! You like change; I like collecting! I've saved each and every Harper's Bazaar that I receive and I'm oddly proud of that fact! I want a consistent and complete set of whatever it is that I like.

While I love Netflix because I can quickly watch and get over the "crap" I don't end up liking, I'll still go out and buy my favorite TV shows on DVD because I love having the complete series all to myself. Like Buffy and Angel! It gives me warm fuzzies to look up at my shelf and see every season.

Crystal: Oh but I do love collecting very much....but for some reasons magazines never made it to my list of things I like to collect....kinda like books and movies, I like to "collect" them in my head (translation - I like to read and watch all of them and collect the information in my head) but I know I won't ever go back and read/watch them again (I hate repetition) and so I have no need to keep things like that once I'm done with them....and I also don't have a need to read complete collections of magazines....I prefer a variety of magazines as I get bored with the same ones all the time (unless they're gossip mags like Us or People!)...

But I do like collecting just about everything else.................where on earth do you store all of your magazines??? They take up so much room!

And you could also utilize Maghound by subscribing to one or two of your faves, but then using the 3rd subscription to try different mags every couple of months. :)

Jen: I've been giving Maghound more thought, and I was thinking the same thing- subscribe to 2 of my faves and dabble with the third selection. Like I said before, I have to have Harper's Bazaar. I also like Vogue! But I would love to try out some photography magazines, or even enjoy a month or two of Rolling Stone!

As for my growing magazine collection, it's driving Joe insane! I'm even at the point where I can see his gripe. Not that it changes anything ;) I do need to get some magazine holders though. I plan on putting them in my closet on the very top shelf.

Crystal: LoL - good luck with the magazine storage issue....all solutions are only temporary though, you realize...? Unless you start renting a storage facility, at some point you will run out of room.....sorry to break it to you. :)

I have probably near 100 magazines sitting in a pile in a cupboard at home....I read one cover to cover (even if it's not interesting to me, I feel like I should just saturate my brain with an array of topics regardless of its appeal to me) and when I'm done I throw it away. I'm a few years behind on my magazines (sounds like my email!) so I read articles that are really old....which actually serves as kind of a nostalgic thing, lol. But right now I'm reading an Entertainment Weekly with a collector's cover from Heroes...and I'm so tempted to keep it....but I just don't want to start collecting more "stuff" that I don't have room for. I'd rather save the "room" for something I am more fond of...like figurines, pictures, albums, frames, clothes, etc. :)


Jen: I know I just asked you, Crystal, so I know that you don't watch So You Think You Can Dance. But wow, you should! I'm not a fan of American Idol at all, but I love SYTYCD even though it's the same setup. I believe that it's the passion and art of moving one's body that draws me in. Singing is cool, but it's not as personal to me as dance.

Anyway, in case you're interested, here's this season's Top 2
0! I love so many of them already!

Crystal: I think that if I still had a DVR, then this would be on my record list (it actually was when I used to have a DVR)....but since I don't, I just don't have the interest level to reserve time each week to watch. And I also think I prefer singing to dancing.....although I do like both. :)

I didnt even watch American Idol this last season, and I do love that show....I watched maybe 1 whole episode and portions of a couple other ones....but not having a DVR really does change your viewing habits! Lost was the only show I would make time for each week. :)


Crystal: So you know how much I love pictures obviously.....and I love things that can be personalized...and I'm always looking for unique gifts......and so I came across this company in my old emails today that I was going through (I'm still in early December for email reading!) and it sounds pretty awesome!


So basically, you upload a short video clip (15 sec.) and they make it into a pocket flip book for you....you know like those old school things I remember from when I was a kid where they'd have the Mickey cartoons on a flipbook and it looks like they're moving....pre-Pixar and all. :)

Super neat idea and super cheap as well (on sale for $7.99 right now!).

If anyone orders one, please let us know how it is when you get it!! :)

Jen: That is such a neat idea! Too bad my anniversary is just around the corner, otherwise I might order one for Joe. How cute would it be to have a flipbook of a date night?!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Jen: I've done a bit of dabbling with Etsy.com and have my own little shop selling my lomographic prints. I think that this site is absolutely wonderful! I've found the most amazing handmade and vintage items while browsing on there, and my home is slowly but surely coming together thanks to Etsy!

Another thing that I adore about Etsy is how helpful they are with their virtual workshops and sense of camaraderie (I bet you didn't know that you had an Etsy team in your community!)

I encourage each and every one of you to check it out and see if it's for you. You can sell your art, or buy someone else's handmade scarves. Your options are limitless on there!

If you do own a shop and would like to advertise with Beachy Keen in our sponsors section, leave us a comment here and we will send you our rates.

Crystal: I did a little browsing recently on Etsy....very interesting things on there. I didn't see anything I wanted for myself, and couldn't really find anything for an upcoming birthday....but I can see the draw of finding unique and vintage gifts for those who are into that.....I really like the handmade aspect as well............................I'll have to keep checking back to see if I find anything that appeals to me though :)


Beachy Keen Awards
(Thank you to everyone who thought of us!)

One Lovely Blog
{given by JoMo of peaceofpi}

Honest Scrap Award
{given by Carole of Art Plus}

Sugar Doll Award

{given by Kateyleigh of let.it.be}

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Child Quotes

Crystal: I know I haven't responded to any of the other blogs yet (and I will) but I wanted to document a couple of quotes from Caydan last night because I just don't want to forget them (I need to start compiling these somewhere!)....
FYI - for those unaware...Caydan is my 3 year old son :)

(Scenario: We are at Disneyland for my bday and Dan, Michelle, and I want to go on the Tower of Terror ride...since the park is almost closing they let Caydan go in line with us and we do a child swap at the ride itself instead of waiting outside...so he sees us get on. The whole time in line he's talking about how scary the ride is, etc etc....when he sees us get on the ride and that he has to stay behind with Dan he gets REALLY upset and starts crying and says he wants to ride...which obviously he can't because he's too little!
When I get off the ride I go to him and tell him that he's too little and that he has to grow taller so that he can ride it....)
Caydan's response: But I eat all of my tacos!!

This one is just so sweet it made both Dan and I cry last night:
(Scenario: Dan received some extremely upsetting news last night from his family back in Pennsylvania....he was really upset and crying for quote awhile....Caydan would keep going to him and just sitting with him and being really quiet...we went to bed after awhile and Caydan was sleeping with us...I turned out the light and when it was really quiet Caydan says...)
Caydan:Dada, I'm sorry I was a bad boy

::tear:: he had definitely NOT been a bad boy...didn't have anything to do with him...but he thought his dad was crying because of something he did...... :(

Jen: Awww, that last one made me tear up :( I'm sorry about the bad news that Dan got last night. I hope everything is okay. And poor Caydan! It's always so interesting to see how kids interpret situations. People sometimes forget that children are just smaller people, capable of analyzing situations just like us. It's so impressive to me because they don't have the knowledge base that adults have, and yet they still "get it".

And that is way cute about Caydan wanting to ride Tower Of Terror with you! Just keep eating those tacos, Caydan!

Crystal: Since so many people have been asking....there was an emergency with Dan's mother and she was taken to the hospital...she had emergency surgery and as of now (6/4) she is stable...but we don't know what's going to happen yet....hopefully everything will be fine....but things like this that happened in the midst of an otherwise great day at Disneyland for my birthday, just remind us all how fragile life is....and that life doesn't care if it's your birthday, or if it's too soon, or if it's "bad timing" or whatever....things happen and there isn't much we can do about it besides hope and pray for the best.

On a happier note...we are now able to convince Caydan a tad bit easier that he needs to eat all his food on his plate so he can grow big. He's convinced everytime he eats that he is now "big enough" to get on the ride....although he still has about 4 inches to go, lol. :) We told him we'll check when we go back to Disneyland next weekend. :)

Jen: I am SO happy that Dan's mom is stable now. As I said in our e-mail earlier, his entire family is in my prayers.

Sometimes life just sucks out loud. You're right that it doesn't matter when or where- stuff happens. I'm sorry it happened on your special day though :(

On the bright side, I have a gift for you! I know it's a few days late, but I figured it wouldn't be wise to bring it to bring it last Friday while we were out dancing! Maybe I can bring it by this weekend?

P.S. Is Michelle going to prom? (Michelle is Crystal's sister. She goes to school with my brother, who's the same age!)

Crystal: Awwww a gift :) :) Soooo sweet of you :) :) I don't know what we're doing this weekend yet but feel free to call if you're in the area and check and see if we're around. :) :)

I don't know if Michelle is going to prom or not....for some reason I'm thinking she's not...maybe she told me that or Lizzie did...I don't know though. She's just not into the whole school activity social stuff. Is Joey going??

Jen: Joey is, but with a group of guys. I don't think they even bothered asking anyone- they just wanted to go and party. As the older sister, I'm just happy to see him dressed in a tux and going :) He refuses to take pictures though, which irks me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dr. Pepper

Jen: I've learned so much about Dr. Pepper recently!!! It has always been my favorite soda, but it wasn't until this past week that I learned there is a Dr. Pepper museum, tons of Dr. Pepper jewelry on Etsy, and even a recipe for Dr. Pepper fajitas!

Crystal, do you remember the ham I made a few years ago for our "Friend's Thanksgiving" dinner? It was also made with Dr. Pepper!

Crystal: I do remember your yummy Dr. Pepper ham!!!! I thought you were crazy, but I was willing to try it! It was pretty darn good :) :)
And how exciting...I want to go to the Dr. Pepper museum! I have been holding back so much lately though on soda...trying to lose weight and all...but I'm always feening for some DP....once in awhile I'll give in :) :)

Jen: I've been much better about my Dr. Pepper intake! I soda'd out after a Costco trip a few weeks ago and am now glad to be rid of the sugary vice! For now ;)

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