February 29, 2008

Beyond Gift Wrap: A Fun Look at the Versatility of Curling Ribbons

If there was one skill that I learned from being in a sorority during my college days, it was how to curl ribbon. But, if you think this skill is only useful for wrapping presents...boy are you wrong! True, the curled ribbon is not as "classy" as the much favored fabric ribbon...but you gotta admit, it's still a lot of fun, and...to boot...all you need is some cheap ordinary ribbon, a pair of scissors and some masking tape, and walla--party decorations:

Surprise from the Sky

Back in the day, every year when it came time for sorority rush, we used to cover the ceilings of our sorority's entryway, living rooms and den with curled ribbon. I have always wanted an excuse to mimic this decor, because cheesy as it may sound, there is nothing like curled ribbon hanging from the ceiling to shout "CELEBRATION!"

I finally got my chance to do it up ribbon-crazy this past New Year's Eve, but I think that this idea would work just as well for birthday celebrations (just use bright colors or primary colors instead of the black, white and silver).

If you really want to go all out: in addition to hanging the actual ribbon, you could also hang other theme-related decor from fishing wire or clear thread. For an example, for the New Year's Eve theme you could hang cut outs of stars, or for an under the sea themed party, consider hanging decorative fish from the sea of blue ribbon (I don't have kids yet, so you may have to wait another 7 or more years till I get to take this baby out for a spin), or for a butterfly or garden themed party, you could go with butterflies (small or large) amongst pastel curled ribbons (or shades of green would work equally as well).

The one downside is that the process can be a bit time consuming. However, if you are pressed for time, you can always choose to decorate one prominent area, like the area above a dining room table or the area above a cake or buffet table. The positive side is that you do get a lot of bang for your buck, and let's face it...after the party is over, all that hard work will pay off when you won't have to curl ribbon for presents ever again!

Ribbon Table Runner:

Instead of using a traditional fabric runner, embrace the festivities, and create your very own table runner made out of curled ribbons. Simply curl long strands of ribbon in your choice of colors, and gather and shape in the middle of your table until you have achieved the shape of a runner.

To take this party decoration a step further, consider strewing additional decor on the runner. For a New Year's Eve celebration, add tea light candles (in proper candle holders, because ribbon catching on fire is never a good thing) or add some colorful New Year's Eve horns into the mix.

For a cake table, instead of making a runner, you could use a small round table and shape the ribbon to the size of the table top, and then place the cake on top of the ribbon. The same could be done for a buffet table.

Happy curling!

February 27, 2008

The End of an Era

My hairdryer died this morning. We have been together through bangs, bobs and layers--and both curly and straight hair phases. It's a sad, sad day.

February 23, 2008

This Girl Loves Her Pearl

Every 2 years, my cell phone contract is up, which means that I "qualify" for all the necessary discounts to make a cell phone affordable. Sure, I realize this is no gift from my cell phone provider…because every time I buy a new phone I have to sign another 2 year contract. So this year I tried to hold out. Tried really hard. Two years came and went, and I stood by my schizophrenic Treo.

But, alas, it was finally time to trade in the old leash for a new one.

I considered moving on to the newer model of the Treo, but my husband, a gadget guru, pointed me in the direction of the Blackberry Pearl. The IT department at my firm (who I had gotten to know really well since they were always fixing my Treo) also suggested the Pearl. I was hesitant at first, because although my Treo had it's kinks (OK, it had many), I was used to it's touch screen, and separate menus for e-mails, text messages, missed calls and voicemail, and although it liked to turn on and off spontaneously, it was an old friend.

It's only been a week since I've had the Pearl, and it is a whole new world. I feel bad about discarding my Treo, but the Pearl is for this girl! Here are some of my favorite features:
  • Calm Awakening: The blinking red light in the corner, no longer means that I don't have service. Now it means that I have a message of some sort awaiting me in my inbox. This has made waking up more pleasant. No longer do I have to abruptly grab my Treo and go to the e-mail inbox to check whether I missed anything important—now I gently roll over, and if there is no red light, I am in the clear. If there is a red light, I pick up the Pearl, and on the main screen it forewarns me, by telling me exactly how many messages I missed.
  • It's A Phone Too: My job mandates that my cell phone must function first for e-mail (well, it's not technically a requirement (that way the firm doesn't have to pay for it), but it is, nonetheless, an implied requirement). Thus, I have had to watch my friends play with their sleek cool cell phones, while all I had was functionality. Now, I no longer feel left out. The Pearl is small and sleek, and works equally well as a phone and an e-mail device. It's pretty too! (It even comes in pink.) Best part though is that it is much smaller than other e-mail devices, and my hand no longer cramps up every time I take a phone call.

  • The Touch of a Button Outweighs the Touch of a Screen: I no longer have to go through 3 screens to get to a dial pad. I can just press buttons on my actual phone, and the Pearl figures out that I am trying to dial (at first it will guess who in my contacts I want to call, and then as I keep going, the number will show up). Even better—I can do this from the main screen, I don't even have to go to contacts. On my Treo, the only way to dial was through the touch screen dial pad. This was annoying, not just because you had to go through 3 screens to get there, but because you couldn't put your face up to the phone without getting rid of the pad--or you would have to suffer the consequences. Every time I checked my voicemail, I had to check it on speaker so I could press the keys to delete and save messages or otherwise my cheek would accidentally delete important messages. Even worse, that dial pad prevented me from being able to call 911. I had to call 911 a couple months ago for an emergency, and when 911 answered, they wanted me to press "1" if it was a real emergency (which it was—more on my strict definition of what constitutes an emergency to come in a later post), but I couldn't bring up the dial pad, and so I couldn't press 1. Luckily someone else had a real cell phone—but, regardless, I am happy to have a phone that doesn't rely on a touch screen dial pad.

  • Voice Command That Listens: This is the first phone I have ever had that has a voice command that actually understands what I am saying…'nuff said.

  • Trading Psycho for Psychic: My new Pearl knows what I'm trying to say, before I even say it. I thought that having 2 letters on each button would be a disadvantage, but the Pearl knows exactly what I am trying to type, before I finish typing it, and I've been able to type a lot faster! My Treo, didn't much care what I wanted. It worked when it felt like working, it let me get my e-mails when it felt like showing them to me, and about a year ago, it spontaneously dialed people from my contacts and then hung up on them (I know others who have had the same problem—crazy huh). I would much rather have psychic than psycho.
Reliable, user friendly and more, I think the two of us have a long friendship ahead of us…well, at least until the next technology comes along.

My new Pearl...
By Day:

By Night:

A Whole New World!

Testing: 1, 2, 3 ... Testing.

Hello new world!

After only 2 years in the work force, I am finally starting to get the hang of balancing a hectic work week with a much preferred personal life (well, I'm sorda getting the hang of it anyway), but for some reason I feel the need to throw yet another task on the "to do" list--and, thus, I am attempting to start my very own blog.

I am not sure where this blog will end up taking me, but I can't wait for the journey to begin!

Stay tuned...