Sushi, a ring and a dinosaur. Perfection.
March 6, 2013. Itto Sushi – the location of our first date. Dave reserved the exact same table and arranged every detail of the big moment. Our dinner came out of the kitchen with a dinosaur on the platter with a small velvet bag and a ring box hanging from T-rex’s mouth.
He read me the most beautiful letter, got down on his knee and proposed. I said yes, of course.
I cannot wait to be Mrs. Dave Swoboda.
One of my newer Christmas traditions is to make Bourbon Balls and now you can make them too!
I typically quadruple this recipe, mostly because a large bag of walnuts can be divided into this ratio. You might want to start with only a single or double batch at first as they’re a little time-consuming to make.
Bourbon Balls ~ Delicious!
- 1 – 6 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips (half a bag)
- 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar + more to coat balls at end
- 1/3 cup bourbon whiskey (or orange juice)
- 1 cup walnuts, ground or chopped finely
- 1 – 14 oz box vanilla wafers, crushed finely
- Grind / chop walnuts and vanilla wafers. (I use a food processor.)
- Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler.
- Add corn syrup and sugar. Stir well.
- Blend in bourbon.
- Stir in wafers and walnuts (I stir them in by batches as my double boiler is small. You probably could transfer the mixture to a large bowl before this step.)
- Form into 1-inch balls.
- Roll balls in sugar.
- Let ripen in tightly covered container for 4-5 days.
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What’s happening to the quality of written communication? I’ve seen a lot of blog posts recently that were poorly written – not in regards to content or opinion but full of grammatical errors like inconsistency or misuse of commas, incorrect verb conjugations or sentences that end with prepositions. These are the little rules that are learned in grade school and junior high. Are we, as adults, really falling below that level?
I attended the Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference last week and my favorite takeaway was a quote from Peter Shankman:
It’s so true. People are using text lingo in emails and tweets (when there are plenty of characters available). Others omit necessary punctuation like periods at the end of sentences. I’ve even seen this on Facebook by people who run businesses! And how many times have you seen a “Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any typos.” disclaimer on emails? Is it really too much to proofread an email before sending it? Yes, I’ve fallen into this category several times and it’s one thing to have typos in an email to family or friends but not taking the time to proof emails that are sent to business contacts is just not professional. Where is the standard?
With blog posts, are we rushing so much to get fresh content out that they don’t take the time to proof or edit our work? I sometimes spend hours drafting blog posts, going over each paragraph several times to word each sentence perfectly, making sure they don’t run on too long but are long enough, using groups of three in a series to help enhance important points and looking at line breaks to make sure everything flows smoothly. Read the rest of this entry
People think that working from a home office is a dream job but in reality it’s just as hard, if not harder, than working in a normal environment. I found this 5 Tips On Working Remotely From A Guy Who Works Reaaaally Remotely post and agree with most of it.
What has worked for me?
I spent a week at the main office a few months ago and came back refreshed and feeling like one of the team. There weren’t huge meetings or a team building experience. Just a pretty normal work week. Except with people in the same room.
I get used to controlling most disturbances in my home office. I can listen to music or have it completely silent. If my dogs bark, they get a time out in their crates. If I really need to focus, I can sign off iChat and ignore the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way in a real office so every little distraction is augmented for me. I feel so out of control – like a kid hyped up on sugar. Nothing gets done so I have to wake up early and work in my hotel room every morning in order to get things accomplished. But being there in person is completely worth it.
I try to get together regularly (monthly) with other people who work from home offices. We’ve gone to Panera with our laptops and work remotely there for the day or part of the day. It’s still pretty new but has already proven to be extremely beneficial. I’m not as productive remotely but the social aspect of this arrangement is very refreshing and motivating.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This has been a huge issue for me in the past and I know it’s not perfect yet but overly communicating tends to help, at least for me. I try to document everything. I use Google Docs, Google Calendar, Wunderlist and a good old-fashioned notebook. As a team, we use Google+ Hangouts and iChat. Read the rest of this entry
Self-promotion. We all do it. I think we have to at some level. But when does self-promotion need to involve anger? And why do people think that being angry and ranting about people/places/organizations is ok?
Maybe I drink too much of the kool-aid but I don’t really see the point in being a rough and tough social media bully. It’s not funny. It’s not respectful. And it’s not professional.
So why does it happen?
I really don’t know. I think most social media bullies aren’t aware that they’re acting like that. They see themselves as powerhouses and maybe thrive on the fact that some people are a little scared to approach them. You know, because they’re a “guru” or something. Fear does not instill respect. They may have the best intention of helping others but many people probably do not approach them for help. I can assure you, it’s not because we’re all intimidated with their massive amount of knowledge. It’s because, at least for me, wooing them to notice me and my desire to learn is not worth the effort.
I really hope that I personally don’t come across like this at all but a few months ago, someone told me that all of my tweets and posts about being sick with mono made me more human and more approachable. And I’m so glad that this person connected with me. I’m learning so much more from her than I could have ever imagined. And, as I’m dealing with a lot of exhaustion again this weekend, this friendship comes to mind. Read the rest of this entry
Inspired by Ryan Nance’s 5 things I learned today posts on Google Plus, I’m starting a weekly post that examines new learnings. Some of these will most likely be educational, especially in the world of social media, while others will just be little life lessons, some of which will probably be saturated in sarcasm.
- It’s possible to create a Pinterest tab on a Facebook page. (More to come this week.)
- After months of being sick with mono, getting out feels INCREDIBLE, even if it set me back a little with the recovery.
- Dinosaurs affect Klout. (More to come on this as well.)
- Not everyone replies to emails as much as geeks do. If I email you, please make an effort to reply.
- When collaborations and partnerships actually come together, it’s a beautiful thing.
- Pin of the week:
It’s 4:30am and I’ve been up for nearly two hours trying to fall back asleep. Welcome to my new life.
I’m 34 and I have mono. Again. And the symptoms are much worse than when I had it in college.
Sure, many people make fun of mononucleosis by calling it the “kissing disease” but it’s nothing to laugh at.
- I’ve had a low-grade fever every day for the past three weeks. Every. Day.
- Slight nausea started before the fever and was extremely intense while on antibiotics.
- I’ve been on Amoxicillin, Azithromycin and even Rocephin via IV infusion. None of the antibiotics helped.
- My tonsils were so inflamed that I had problems swallowing and breathing.
- I just finished a course of Prednisone, which should have reduced my swollen tonsils but it’s still painful to swallow.
- I had migraines from a severe sensitivity to light.
- I still get horrible headaches if I’m awake for more than 4 hours at a time.
- I’m taking 3-5 naps throughout the day. The fatigue is unbearable.
- It takes me nearly an hour to fall asleep each time.
- I’m much weaker. My arms constantly ache, especially when trying to sleep.
- Gatorade is the base of most meals. A loss of appetite has resulted in forcing meals in between naps.
Now the good news:
- The swelling in my lymph nodes is finally starting to reduce a little.
- My eyelids are no longer swollen.
- The white patches on my tonsils have drastically decreased from the Prednisone.
- My thermostat is set 2-3 degrees cooler than normal, which hopefully will be reflected in my NISPCO bill.
- I’ve had a few days without nausea.
Yes, the list is short but not dealing with nausea on a daily basis is a HUGE plus for me.
Many sites say that the major symptoms last for 2-4 weeks, longer for older adults. It’s been 4 weeks since the fever started but I’ve only dealt with extreme fatigue and strep-like throat for 2 weeks. The fatigue seems to be getting worse so I’m hoping that things will turn around soon.
The physical symptoms are bad but the worst part for me is all the frustration that comes with the disease. I’m not big on watching tv and I get bored with movies. I’ll sometimes play on Pinterest while “watching” tv but that’s the extent of my online life now. For someone who built her professional credibility on twitter and in Facebook groups, it’s sad to see this decline but I just don’t have the energy to maintain it now. And for future reference, jokingly referring to mono as the “kissing disease” to those infected only makes things worse. I’m exhausted, irritable and frustrated. Please tread lightly.
I’ve always loved nature and consider myself lucky to have gone camping each summer growing up. My family had a motorhome so it wasn’t really roughing it but it still was camping. We would sit around campfires at night, gazing at the stars.
When some local photographer friends made plans for a night photoshoot, thoughts of those summer camping trips came to mind. Even though it’s been many years since those trips, I don’t remember ever seeing as many stars as I did Friday night. It literally took my breath away. The photos cannot even give you a glimpse of how incredible the night sky was but they may inspire you to travel away from light pollution and get a view of your own.
These photos were taken at Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area near Morocco, Indiana. I plan to go back so let me know if you’re interested in tagging along. Let’s just hope we don’t hear as many coyotes as I did the other night!
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I started collecting antique postcards about a year ago and just picked up two more recently at The Antique Market of Michigan City. These two were not chosen for their image or travel-related message. Their messages amuse me, especially since they’re each over 100 years old.
This first one has a sunset image from the Seattle area. The message reads “Dear Ava, What’s the matter with you, Why don’t you write” and is dated from 1909. Perhaps I’m adding more sarcasm that what was intended but that’s exactly how I feel when people don’t reply to my emails.
The second postcard has a lovely image of sheep in Washington Park, Chicago. The message reads: “Dear Art: – your wife is dangerously ill. We just gave her soup and hot-a-mollies, but she needs some tulip-salve. How about it, old fellow?”
It was sent to someone in Chicago, from Chicago. Obviously it was not travel-related at all. Even though the message is quite serious, I like the ending.
If you work in the tourism industry, please pick up some postcards the next time you travel. Here are some tips on writing postcards. We must keep this art alive!
If you’ve been to my house, you’ve probably noticed my wall of photos: a number of 11×17 framed prints of my favorite photos. I change them out regularly and always use Adorama for printing. They provide excellent quality and ship the photos in a flat box. I’ve never had any problems until last month’s shipment. UPS bent the box so badly that all of the photos had deep creases in them. I’ve tweeted to @AdoramaPix before and love their twitter efforts.
When I saw the bent UPS box, I instantly sent twitpics and tagged @AdoramaPix in them. After a few DMs, a new set of prints were on their way. I didn’t have to login to my account on the Adorama site. I didn’t have to contact customer service. I only tweeted. The results: a VERY happy customer as they communicated with me on my preferred platform.
Adorama’s print quality is excellent. I’ve recommended them to friends before and I will continue to recommend them, especially after experiencing their amazing customer service first-hand.
Thank you, Adorama. I will be a loyal customer for life. Read the rest of this entry