Monday, March 28, 2011

Famous People in History visit Sacramento

Last week on Thursday my sister Lisa and I headed to our state capitol for the annual conference for the California Association of Public Cemeteries. My sister is the District Secretary for our local cemetery and they held the conference in Sacramento. Normally she takes her husband to these conferences and meetings. But once a year she likes me to go with her to the one that hosts a costume party and dance. Last year we went to Seaside and the costume theme was the "70's", you can see those pictures HERE.

This year it was a little tougher to come up with costumes as the theme was "Famous People in History". The theme was fitting since the conference was being held in Sacramento, our state capitol, a city filled with so much history.

Lisa and I went through a lot of research trying to find a female person in history; keeping in mind also how easy/difficult it would be to create the costume. Lisa decided to go as Helen Kane. American actress and singer Helen Kane may best be remembered as the original "Boop-boop-a-doop" girl. A native of the Bronx, born Helen Schroeder, Kane got her start in vaudeville working with the Marx Brothers at age 17. In 1927, she made her Broadway debut in A Night in Spain, a musical. In 1928, Kane appeared in the musical Good Boy the show that produced her signature song "I Wanna Be Loved by You" with its boop-boop-a-doop tagline that Kane sang in a little girl's voice. She eventually became a contract player with Paramount and appeared in a few films. While at the studio, she became the inspiration for the animated cartoon character Betty Boop and launched a whole new series for animator Max Fleischer. Boop was first drawn by Grim Natwick who used Kane's face and physical features and combined them with those of a French poodle. In 1950, Kane was played by Debbie Reynolds in the feature biography of songwriters Kalmar and Ruby. When Reynolds sang "I Wanna Be Loved by You," Kane dubbed in her famous line.

Helen Kane battled breast cancer for more than a decade. She had surgery in 1956 and eventually received two hundred radiation treatments as an outpatient at Memorial Hospital. She died on September 26, 1966 at age 62, in her apartment in Jackson Heights, New York. Her husband of 27 years was at her bedside. Her remains were buried in the Long Island National Cemetery. Lisa based her costume on the fact that Helen battled breast cancer and she wore pink (as you can see in the picture to the left) as part of her costume along with a breast cancer awareness pin.

We arrived on Thursday thinking that we were going to take a tour of the Capitol before the Meet and Greet that day. Unfortunately it was raining cats and dogs in Sacramento and as Lisa and I are made of sugar and would melt in all that rain we stayed in the hotel and had a drink and popcorn at the bar and whined about the rain!

That evening we went to the Meet and Greet where the vendors in cemetery products had set up booths and displays. After the event we met up with my sisters boss, Tim and four members of the cemetery board to head over for dinner at a very popular restaurant in Sacramento called Aioli Bodega Restaurant. They have a varied menu and specialize in Tapas and Short-ribs. (I had the chicken, what can I say, I'm not the bravest of diners.)

The next day dawned bright and beautiful and poor Lisa had to attend seminars and classes but I had the whole day to do whatever my little heart desired. So I went shopping. I had wanted to take the Capitol Tour but the day got away from me and I headed back to the hotel to help my sister get herself ready for the costume party. Here are some photos I took to capture the evening. Whenever they ask me if I'm going to dress up I tell them I can't as I'm the official photographer!

Getting ready in the has to be perfect!

Then we had to take some pictures before we headed downstairs to join the other famous people. Here's Lisa sitting in the window, you can see the view. We were on the 7th floor.

 Lisa really loved the pink gloves that she was able to find to match the long string of pink pearls. She said she felt like a Flapper Princess!

And here's one of the two sisters ready to head out. Everyone kept asking if we were twins the whole time we were there. We don't see the resemblance but I guess a lot of people do. What do you think? Could we be twins?

There were lots of people dressed up, I didn't get a chance to take pictures of everyone. I did get group pictures but because the reception hall was so dark the pictures didn't come out very well.

Here's Helen Kane and Wyatt Earp. Isn't he handsome? Love a cowboy!

And here's Helen Kane with Benjamin Franklin...he left his kite and key behind because of the bad weather. Good thing because we didn't want lightening to strike him while we were partying!

Helen Kane with ...yes, you guessed it!! Little Miss Shirley Temple! This young lady was adorable as Shirley Temple! She had tap shoes on and just tapped her way around the whole night! She was a lot of fun on the dance floor!

Helen Kane with Athena, Goddess of War. Let's hope she was there to defend California against more taxes!

Helen Kane with Ben Franklin again and now they've also met up with Albert Einstein. A trio of great minds!

Can you guess this next one? She's the wife of one of the characters above. No clue? It's Josephine, wife of Wyatt Earp.

We had a couple of Julius Cesar's in the place, here is one of them with Helen Kane of course! Helen Kane was just everywhere "Boop-boop-a-dooping"!

Here's another Julius. This one is also my sister's boss Tim, and of course Helen and Josephine.

Helen Kane and Shirley Temple with Cleopatra! Isn't she regal and beautiful? I just loved her costume and her eye makeup. the way, you can click on any of these photos to enlarge them and see more detail.

There was one very special couple that joined us that evening. They are members of the Cemetery Board for the cemetery my sister works for. This couple came as Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower. The costume that Dwight is wearing is the actual uniform that this man wore when he served his country! Can you believe it still fits him? He just added the four stars since he only made it to Liutenant and not General.  Mamie's costume is also original. The hat, glasses, gloves, jacket, pearls and brooch all either belonged to Beebs aka Mamie or to her mother! How sepcial is that? To save all these items!

Oh and one other special thing I want to mention is that this beautiful couple is celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary this year! 60 years....can you even imagine that? How blessed are they! Congratulations Dave and Bebes!

Here's General Eisenhower with Shirley Temple. What's the connection here? They are the winners of the Best Costume female and male! I think Lisa should have won for the females, but I may be a tad prejudiced. These two really did a wonderful job. Mamie was a runner-up!

These next pictures are of the other two members of the board with Dwight and Mamie. Can you guess Superman? I'm pretty sure he is one of the most famous people in history (no one said they couldn't be fictional). And beautiful, sweet Florence Nightingale was there to nurse us if we needed and to provide the best bubble blowing in the room!

Such a cute picture! Florence Nightingale blowing tiny bubbles for Julius Cesar! How fun are cemetery people?

Here's the group shot. My sister Lisa as Helen Kane; her boss Tim as Julius Cesar; Dave and Beebs as Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower and Kathy (Mayor of the City of Shafter) and her husband Bill as Florence Nightingale and Superman.

After the socializing, the contest and a fabulous buffet dinner we danced our butts off...literally! I've never had such a good time and seen such great dancers!

I had to add this one last picture because I played around with it and tried to make it look like the era of the Flappers. Isn't this a great shot? Thanks for taking me Lisa! I had the best time ever!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sunday Favorites - Elephant Beach

For Sunday Favorites this week I'm sharing a little trip I took last year in March with my daughter. I was just telling a new friend about this place and it made me remember it. Hope you enjoy it and please travel over to visit Chari at Happy to Design for more Sunday Favorites!

 Favorite Post that was originally posted on 
March 28, 2010

Last weekend my daughter April and I and my grand-puppy Chorizo took a day trip to the coast, which is about 2 hours from Shafter. I've been to Pismo, Morro Bay, Cambria, Cayucos, Avila Beach, all those little coastal towns a million few times, but I'd never been to Elephant Seal Beach at Piedras Blancas in the southern range of Big Sur, near San Simeon. Count on April to show me something new, she loves to explore and visit new places.

She took me to a wonderful spot on scenic Hwy 1 to Elephant Seal Beach. Why I had never known this place existed is beyond me!

First off, the drive from Morro Bay to Elephant Seal Beach is gorgeous. Hwy 1 is known for it's beautiful ocean and mountain scenery. It seemed like the temperature changed every 5 miles. First it's foggy and overcast and cold then all of a sudden it's sunny and green and gorgeous. The drive alone was worth going.

But what was really amazing is that there is a small strip of beach known as a Rookery where these fascinating mammals come to birth, breed, molt and rest. Depending on the time of year that you are there you can watch  the males battle for breeding rights, you can watch seals give birth, and you can watch them sun themselves on the beach.

That's what we witnessed, the sunning on the beach, and it was awesome! I couldn't believe it when I first saw them. They looked like dead lumps of flesh that had washed up on the beach. But as we got closer we saw that they moved. The most hilarious part is while they lay there on the beach every once in a while they flip sand onto themselves with their flippers. There are several signs along the beach explaining facts about these seals and they say that while they don't know for sure why they flip sand it's probably to keep themselves cool from the sun blazing down upon them. (Click to enlarge)

It was so funny to watch them. When they moved they kind of just bounced around on the beach to get to where they wanted to go, not that they ever went very far. My daughter April said that other times when she has been there the beach is so packed with seals that you can't even see the sand!

If you ever get the chance, please visit this beach, it's worth it and if you have kids they will love it! We only had Chorizo and she loved it as you can tell in the mosaic below. If you would like more information I found a great website that gives lots of details and has an awesome slide show. It's from the Friends of the Elephant Seal and you can visit it here.  (click to enlarge)

And the view is awesome as you can see in the mosaic above. Chorizo just didn't know what to think. She would look at her momma and then back at the seals and you can tell she was just overwhelmed by all the different ocean smells. She loved it! She's a true water dog.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mosaic Monday - Chorizo all Dolled Up with A Lil' Bit of Glam!

That little Diva...Chorizo (my daughter's Shih-Poo puppy) had another photo shoot recently. She's now the first and only doggie model of the beautiful bow, clippies, headbands and flowers created by A Lil' Bit of Glam!

A Lil' Bit of Glam offers really beautiful, handmade hair products for your little girls, for big girls, for all girls and puppies too! Go visit them and let them know Chorizo sent you, just click HERE to get there!

And now my precious little Chorizo, the most feminine puppy I know (even though she does have a masculine name!).

Isn't she adorable? She has so much attitude and she's such a patient little girl! Isn't that hair bow beautiful? I wonder if she'll let me borrow it?

As usual when the Diva is tired she just plops down and that's it! She's not posing anymore...she's all done! You can click on the mosaics to enlarge them to better see the detail of the hairbows. Please do go visit A Lil' Bit of Glam as they have lots of pretty, feminine, girly hair items!

Don't forget to go visit Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday as well. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Changing my eating habits

Like everyone else (99.9% of women) I've spent my life dieting and despairing about my body and how my clothes fit (or don't fit), about exercise (or lack thereof). As I've grown older wiser, I've realized that my body doesn't like carbs. My mouth and my head and my heart L.O.V.E. carbs, but not my body. My body hates carbs so much that it hangs on to them with this death grip and doesn't allow them to just give me energy and get burned out of my body. Oh body insists on holding them hostage until in futile despair they turn into fat and decide to permanently set up camp on my butt, my arms, my shoulders and my back! (For some reason my legs always stay super skinny and if you combine super skinny legs with a chunky little body, well I look like a baby chick!)
So since January 17th I've been cutting down my carbs to only about 20 per day. You would think 20 carbs would be plenty but one slice of wheat bread has 10, one medium apple has 17, one home-made pancake has 20! And that's without adding syrup! My beloved tortilla chips have one carb per chip and I've been known to eat the whole bag...oops, did I just tell the world that? Well no, cause only about 7 of you really actually read what I write, so it's all good!

So if I can't eat carbs what do I eat? Well lots and lots of lean meat, especially chicken which I adore! My favorite way to eat it is in chicken salad; chicken, dill pickles, hard boiled egg, mayo, tiny sliced up fresh jalapenos, onion, salt and pepper...Yum! I could eat buckets of it. I've also been eating quite a bit of cheese, in cubes and string cheese and my favorite Babybel cheese rounds. Have you tried these? Delish!

I've also been eating lots of vegetables, zucchini, celery, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and a really odd one that I'd never tried before but find that I absolutely love it. Jicama!

Doesn't that photo look like a big, round, crusty piece of delicious, warm, fresh bread....*sigh*. But no, it's actually Jicama. Jicama is a root vegetable that looks like a turnip. I eat it raw, but I understand it can be cooked. It has the consistency and crunchiness of an apple so I'm finding myself wondering if it could be baked with cinnamon and perhaps some Splenda (to keep those evil Warlord carbs in check)? Anyone know?

I'm finding myself addicted to it. It's not sweet, but not without flavor either. It's hard to describe. In order to get to that white goodness you have to watch a youtube video instructing you on how to prepare it (at least I did cause I had no clue). Lots of people douse it in lemon juice and chile powder and salt, but since lemon has carbs and chile powder and salt would just add sodium (which I don't need) it's best just to eat it naked! Eat the jicama naked I mean... not me! Wow, somehow that still sounds bad doesn't it?

Eating this Atkins Diet based way has been fairly easy for me, but then again I'm not a sugar/chocolateholic, I'm more a popcorn/chips &salsaholic. I've lost 13 pounds so far and I've been riding my bike about 4 miles per day. I could probably do more than 4 miles but I tell myself I've given up chips & salsa, do I also have to do an extra mile? I find I can talk myself out of almost anything!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sunday Favorites - Spring Thriftstore Treasures

I haven't joined in on a Sunday Favorite in a few weeks, it's just been too cold to sit at the computer. But today was super-delicious-gorgeous and I wanted to share a post I did in Spring of 2009 in which I went thrifting and found some treasures. I went thrifting again today with my mom but unfortunately I only found one treasure which I'll try to photograph tomorrow. So enjoy this blast from the past and be sure to go say hi to Chari at Happy to Design and see what other favorites you can find.

Sunday Favorite
March 23, 2009

Saturday I woke up and debated...should I spend the day cleaning house and doing laundry or should I go hit all the Goodwill's and some yard sales and see if I can find any treasures? Guess which idea won out?
If you guessed Goodwill and yard sales you win! So what do you win? Well the only thing I can offer is a peak at all the treasures I found and some pictures on what I did with them.

My first stop didn't prove to be too fruitful, but I did find these little gardening bunnies. All total they came out to $2.52 and the funny thing was that was exactly how much money I had in my purse!

After leaving that Goodwill and heading to the next one I kept an eye out for yard sales. I only found one on my way and almost didn't stop at that one...but I'm glad I did, look at what I scored:
When I got to the yard sale I saw a lady pick it up and ask the man how much he wanted for it and he told her $3.00. She walked around with it for a bit and then put it back down and I snatched it up and went and asked the man how much he wanted for it...and he told me $1.00!? Kind of weird huh? But I didn't ask any questions, just figured it was my lucky day and snatched it up.

Here's a picture of where I hung it in my bedroom. I love this wall because it's the one I look at when I first wake up in the morning. The picture that says "It's a Wonderful Life" was a gift from my sister in law Connie and family. It's just what I need to be reminded of every single morning. The little bunny picture was a thrift find which I found at the American Cancer Society Discovery Store.

At the next Goodwill I found a set of dishes with a grape design that I haven't photographed yet, but I will once I get them hung up in my kitchen and another bowl that I bought just because of the beautiful colors, but I also didn't photograph it. It's more autumn colors.
Then I went to my favorite Goodwill. This Goodwill has mostly books, but a few knick-knacks and pictures. I found a few more things for a Spring and Easter display.
First this aluminum bucket I guess is what it is. Here it is empty...

And here it is after I decorated it with some Easter grass and small colored eggs.

Then I found these beautiful nesting boxes. The all fit inside the big one and you can display just the big one, or all three of them. These are yours April...I remember how you once told me you wanted Russian Nesting Dolls and these are sort of the same thing, but different. But you can't have them yet :0)

I also found this little bunnies tree house decoration...

These bunnies I picked up on my lunch hour Friday at Dollar Tree. Their faces look a little big more like sheep than bunnies, but they have ears and sheep and bunnies are both for Easter so that makes the Easter Bunneeps or Sheennies.

And here's my Easter Mantle display. For less than $20.00 I was able to put this together. The Easter Bunny Garland in the background was purchased last year at an after Easter sale and this is the first time I've used it.

Tomorrow I'll show you my Easter Tablescape.
I love thrifting. These are all unique items that I will enjoy for years plus I spent a great day searching for them.

Oh, almost forgot. I also found these beautiful butterflies that match the colors in my bathroom which are baby blue and baby pink for some reason. I just hope they don't fall off the wall when we close the bathroom door...they seem so fragile.