Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rose Colored Glasses

Tomorrow marks 2010.

If I may, I must add something to your list of things to do in 2010. See the Broadway musical, Memphis! This is a MUST see. I've seen my fair share of musicals and plays over the years, but few of them have made an impression on me in the same way Memphis did. If you can see it on Broadway, all the better. If not, track down a roadshow or even a version done by your community theater. Whatever you do, try to make it your business to see this thrilling show.

Now, for a favorite Beeny tradition.

Richard and I spent our first New Year's together in 1998. I returned from New York days earlier and unwittingly picked up a fun pair of New Year's glasses. It was the whole end-of-the millennium-thing, so 1999 New Year's glasses seemed especially cool.

I had no idea when I bought them, that snapping a family photo while wearing New Year's glasses would become a family tradition.

A year after our first New Year's picture, Richard and I sealed a capsule at our wedding, with the promise to break the seal at a black tie affair in 2024, surrounded by all the same people who attended our wedding. I became fixated on how great a pictorial display of family photos would be at our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party.

I don't know how many other photos we'll have, but we sure as heck will have at least one from each New Year's Eve. Before packing the photos and the glasses away each New Year's Day, I take a moment to type a short description of what we did and who we were with.

It's been fun to reminisce about how we've spent the past ten New Year's Eves. Some years festive and social - surrounded by family and friends. A couple other years Time Square and a Broadway show. Still others more subdued, joining neighbors for Chinese food and board games, and then of course there were a couple of years Richard and I had to set the self-timer on my camera because we literally did nothing but sit at home. Always something different, but always fun. Check out a few of our pics below.
So how about you? How will you be spending this New Year's Eve? Black tie and champagne or board games and Chinese? Or, is it something in the middle?

Pola, Matthew, and I arrive back in Dallas at 3:45, so New Year's Eve in our house will be Chinese with a dash of R & R. New Year's glasses included. How about you?

Signing off until next year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Shameful, I know.

Pola, Matthew, my sister, and I visited New York's infamous cafe, Serendipity, yesterday and I buckled.

I ordered the Forbidden Broadway Sundae. It's forbidden because it's a full blown slice of chocolate Blackout cake, ice cream, hot fudge, and topped with whipped cream!

What did I tell myself with each bite slipping past my lips?

"Next year. Next year I'll get serious and deal with the damage done in 2009."

With 2010 only two days away, what have you thrown your hands up at - promising to be better in the new year?

Lest you think I am only capable of enjoying sweet treats, take a look at a few photos I took inside this fun, wildly creative, space. It strikes me as the PERFECT meeting place for Highlowaha readers. Taste of USA, 2010? Anyone, anyone?

Signing off until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How Do You Measure?

It's getting closer to New Year's Eve. For me that always means at least a little bit of reflection.

Months ago Katie sent me my CD of the Month and on it was a song from the musical, Rent. The CD stayed in the disc player in my car for months and, believe me when I tell you, it wasn't uncommon for me to repeat the song six or seven times before finally giving in to the next song in the line up.

Somewhere along the line, I decided this song from Rent that I love so much - Seasons of Love - would be the source of a Highlowaha post somewhere around New Year's. With only two days left, today is the day.

If you've never heard the song, give yourself a treat and sit back and listen. If you know the song, give yourself a treat anyway and listen to the song. Then...

Tell me...

How do you measure a year in the life? 525,600 minutes, daylights, sunsets, midnights, cups of coffee, inches, miles, laughter, strife, or seasons of love?
Me? How do I measure a year in the life? I'd have to say blog posts (though Cinnamon Dolces are a close second)!

Now it's your turn. I'm anxious to hear your what you have to say.

Signing off until tomorrow...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Nooks and Granny's

This might be the shortest blog post in Highlowaha history. I arrived in New York yesterday and am about to embark on three solid days of sight seeing with my German exchange student, Pola.

Conserving energy is the name of the game.

I love returning to my New York home. When I walk in the door I am instantly reminded of how great my mother's taste is and what a knack she has for making simple things look beautiful. Since my sisters and I have grown up and moved out of the house, my mom doesn't embark on a full-fledged tree every year (thank goodness, since then she could relinquish her ornaments to me). Instead, she creates festive nooks and crannies in unsuspecting places around the house.

Take a look at a few...

This is on the coffee table in the living room
This is the front window of the study. Greenery, gold balls, and small gold trees.
This is a small lamp stand (I cut off the top of the picture). I love the look of overflowing jewels.
This was tucked away on top of the coat closet! Extra points if you notice the pot with the flower pens.
This is a picture of the window sill in the kitchen.
This chandelier is hanging over the dining room table. The picture SO is not doing it justice. Trust me when I tell you it is beautiful
This small bowl of glass ornaments sits in the corner of the dining room
I could go on. I didn't photograph the branches and red glass balls perched in the stairwell, the large icicles and snowflakes hanging from Pola's bedroom window, the Santa Claus on the dresser in my room, or the crystal wreath hanging in the bathroom.

My mother is one of a kind. She has a great sense of aesthetics and an amazing eye for that which is tasteful and elegant. Coming home to such a beautifully decorated home is one reminder of why my mom shines!

Before holiday decorations start being put away, tell me about one of your favorites. Me, I've gotta go. We have a 9:20 train to catch.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yellow Envelope Project: Grapevine, Texas

I've decided to high jack the plan for today's Yellow Envelope Project.

We'll still do the usual - recognize someone who lights up his corner of the world by shining brighter than those around him - or, in this case, her. Even our method of recognizing our recipient will be the same. A short note, sealed in a yellow envelope (or a white envelope decorated with yellow markers). The words, "Yellow Envelope Project" placed in the return address, and then mailed sometime within the next six days.

Easy peasy.

So what's different? Today we will take a short departure from the list of nominees we have been working our way through.

Today I've made an executive decision that Ms. Fowler must be this week's recipient of our Yellow Envelope Project. Ms. Fowler is the first grade teacher of my nephew, Anthony. She's been teaching for twenty-three years and, while twenty-three years might (for some) be code for burn out, this is not the case for Ms. Fowler. After twenty-three years, she is energy and experience personified! Ms. Fowler knows her stuff and has command over her first grade class in such a way, that General McCrystal would be suitably impressed.

But here's what really makes Ms. Fowler shine. Anthony wrote an essay for class and in the essay described his family's holiday traditions. Ms. Fowler not only read the essay, but is so attentive she wrote a personal note telling Anthony how wonder it must be to spend Christmas in a house where there are so many wonderful traditions. Anthony - thoughtful child that he is - immediately invited Ms. Fowler to spend Christmas Eve dinner in his house with his family.

SHE ACCEPTED! Ms. Fowler made a guest appearance at Anthony's house on Thursday night. And, as you might expect, Anthony felt like a rock star introducing her to grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. First grade teachers already hold a special place in most of our minds and hearts, so a first grade teacher who shows up to your house for Christmas dinner has got to be in a league of her own.

I spoke with Ms. Fowler for a period of time before dinner, but it was immediately clear there was something pre-ordained about her career as a teacher. She was positive, energetic, calm, and pleasant beyond measure. She is exactly the person with whom you would want your six year old child spending the day. Ms. Fowler and I would have spoken longer, but she had to excuse herself so she could watch Anthony make the dinner salad. She knew from previous conversations with Anthony that making the salad was his nightly responsibility and she wanted to be sure to catch him in action.

If I spent eight hours of my day with twenty three six year old kids, I'm pretty sure I would be "otherwise engaged" when an invitation was presented to spend Christmas Eve with anyone who was under the age of... say, 35.

Not Ms. Fowler. She showed up at Anthony's Christmas dinner and made him feel as magical as Santa himself. Join me in letting Ms. Fowler know she shines, because she makes time for priceless memories and makes young people feel important. I don't know her home address, but maybe the spotlight we shine on Ms. Fowler will be extra bright by sending it to the main office at her school...

Ms. Fowler
First Grade Teacher
Grapevine Elementary
1801 Hall Johnson Road
Grapevine, TX 76051

Signing off until Monday, when I'll be coming to you from New York.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Rayndeer Games

Ho Ho Ho. Can you believe we're having a White Christmas in Dallas? Yesterday it was 70 degrees. Today, snow. That's Texas. Gotta love it. I've been beaming on snow for a week now. I love the Law of Attraction. All you have to do is think it and low and behold it's snowing in Dallas. Claudia's inside doing last minute Christmas stuff. I had to come out, sip on my coffee and enjoy my handiwork. I can't stay long. I'm expecting my snow bunnies to show up any minute. You didn't think my only wish was snow did you? Dream big baby!

Did you check out my antlers? My boy Donner gave me a set. Donner means thunder? Blitzen means lightening. I've been telling everybody. It seems that I'm the only one that didn't know this. Even the kindergartners look at me strangely when I tell them. Oh well, what are you going to do? Oh, gotta go. I think I hear my snow bunnies. What about you?

What's Santa bringing you this year?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

That's A Wrap

So you think you can wrap? Apparently not.

Cheryl and Katie were my only takers for today's contest which pretty much means I have the floor to myself.

That would be great, but it presupposes that I have already wrapped my gifts. And since Christmas morning is more than my requisite twelve hours away, the assumption is not safe.

Lucky for all of you I do have a gift I'm giving this holiday season whose wrapping is not only done, but is worth talking about. It's for my niece Frankie.

Frankie loves Fancy Nancy. She's got the same curly hair, adorable smile, sassy personality, and above all else, fancy sense of style. I decided long about November, I was going to load Frankie up with all sorts of glitzy and stupendous accessories. If she's going to hang with Fancy Nancy, after all, she has to dress the part.
As cute as the rhinestone tiara, bracelets, compact case, clutch purse, necklace, rings, and other glitzy accessories are, the truth is gifts are only as good as their packaging. In this case, the packaging might exceed the gift itself. Joann's Fabric had Fancy Nancy material on sale, so I scooped up the last yard, gathered some trappings, and zipped over to my friend Judy's house. Judy is magical with a sewing machine, so look what she was able to whip up.
What l love most about this handmade Fancy Nancy Cone, hanging from lavender ribbon, and with a big bow, is that the packaging is functional. She can hang it over her bed post or inside her closet door and use it to store all kinds of chatchka, including things such as ribbons, hair bands, socks, Barbie Doll clothes, lip sticks, etc.... It's packaging that keeps on giving. It didn't photograph perfectly (I'm limited) and it still needs a luscious lavender boa hanging from it, but you get the gist.

Check out the accessory I am most excited about giving Frankie (made for toddlers!)....
Hello!?!?!! I want to be Fancy like Nancy!

The fun doesn't stop there. Check out the fun wrapping creations submitted by Katie and Cheryl....
Before signing off, either tell us about the coolest packaging you've seen this holiday season or... just tell us how you're spending the day. I'll be wrapping and enjoying a Starbucks.

Signing off until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wake Up Call

Wake up! Today is Festivus and we've got some complaining to do. A few weeks ago I announced Highlowaha would be celebrating this favorite Seinfeld holiday. Little did I know you would saddle me with a Fancy Flours ROOSTER cookie cutter to help get the party started.

The Christmas holiday gets snowmen, elves, Santa Claus, and Rudolph. Me? What do I get? A rooster. I want to lodge a grievance.

That's right. Festivus, according to Seinfeld is set aside for the airing of grievances and I've got quite a few

Why did I get stuck with a rooster? I'm a city girl. How come Tera, Julie, Maureen, and Montana Kelly never show their faces anymore? Whose reading this blog anyway? Why is my skin dry? Why do I have no sense of direction and a bunion on my left foot big enough to warrant its own shoe? Why are the hard boiled eggs stinking up my refrigerator, and why don't cashiers know how to make change?

I could go on. Why does my husband leave the "twist ties" around the hangers of his dry cleaned shirts? Why does my teenage son think cleaning his room means throwing everything in a heap at the base of his closet? Why must my youngest son strip down COMPLETELY each and every time he goes to the bathroom, and why does my laundry multiply...exponentially?

Why? Why? Why?
Cockadoodle-do-something! Share a grievance. And while you're at it, tell me this.... Which of our blog posts in the last year stunk like the eggs in my refrigerator? Don't try feeding me a cockamamie story about how they were all good and don't worry about ruffling my feathers. Come February, we're presenting do-overs for the 18 worst posts of 2009, as voted on by YOU!

Don't be a chicken. Lay it on me.
Think you could do better than me with the rooster? Well, lay that one on me too. Share another occasion when you might use the rooster and let me hear you slogan. The proud winner rules the roost and wins the cookie cutter.

I'm out. Ba Humbug.

Signing off until tomorrow....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Still searching for a fun gift idea?

I'm giving my exchange student, Pola, a fun gift this holiday season. Maybe you'll like it enough to share it with someone you know and love.

Pola loves Ben and Jerry's ice cream, so being in the states where grocer's freezers are fully stocked with all 57 flavors of ice cream, is like a dream come true. Thing of it is, Pola is so polite and unassuming she's kept her affections for Ben and Jerry a secret up until last week. With only five weeks left, before Pola returns to Germany, I must make up for lost time.

On Christmas I will present Pola with a coupon, entitling her to one pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, each week from now until she leaves. I've printed off a list of flavors, allowing Pola to rank order her top five choices. Of course her list will be perfectly packaged with

The Classic Tie Dyed T-Shirt AND...

(a must have when you live in a house with me)
My idea for an ice cream lover's Pint of the Week (or should it be "weak") is fun, but certainly no more fun than...

Peggy's Card-of-the-Month (COTM): For the very reasonable price of $36.00, receive a handmade card a month in your mailbox. Once received, you make a date with yourself to send the card to someone in you life with whom you would like to stay in touch. As I said last year, it's like the gift that gives twice - first you get a fun envelope in the mail from Peggy and then you get to pass the handmade card along to the recipient of your choice. I did it last year and I've already signed up for my 2010 allotment. This year I asked that each card have a coffee motif, as I am going to use them when I invite 12 strangers to coffee.


Katie's CD of the Month: I love music, but I stopped keeping track of who sings what and which band is which long about time Billy Joel hit the scene. Katie on the other hand... Katie could moonlight as a DJ. She has a pulse on all the latest and greatest music, and as an added bonus, we have similar taste in music. Last year for Christmas she agreed to send me a CD a month with an array of different songs and musicians. Like clock work the CDs arrived each month and immediately I would pop them in my CD player and head out for a long drive. My year is up, but thanks to her generosity, I was able to renew for another year.

How about you? What ideas do you have for an Of-the-Month gift you can give? Or, maybe not of-the-month. Maybe it's six times a year, quarterly, or even semi-annually?

Do tell. Some of us might still be looking for gift ideas and heck, you might even get a taker!

Signing off until tomorrow...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Second Annual Give 'Em The Boot

Cassie P. Come out, come out wherever you are!

Today we set the stage for the Second Annual Give 'Em the Boot Contest and you've got the coveted prize. The contest is compliments of a creative and long lost reader, Kristen. We're not sure where Kristen ran off to - or her sister for that matter, but no worries, they left behind this fun Highlowaha tradition.

The "Give Them the Boot Award." goes to the reader who has the funniest, most outrageous, or most hideous holiday story... about a family member or holiday guest! It could be anything from a crazy family feud, an aunt or uncle's distracting quirk, an office mates horrible display of table manners, and everything in between.

Today is Monday. That means family will start rolling into town any day now or... you will be loading up your cars, knowingly and willingly driving toward family mayhem.

Here's how your family drama can actually pay off.

Be on the look out for a great, but unfortunate, holiday story about the family you love to hate (or is it hate to love). Feel free to even stir the pot in search of the perfect story. Monday or Tuesday of next week, we will open the floor for readers to share their best - meaning, most hideous - holiday story from the season. The story readers deem most unfortunate/unbelievable will be named winner.

The winner is presented a beautiful, glass ornament shaped like a cowboy boot. You get to be its keeper for the year - displaying it in your office, your kitchen, your entrance way, or stuffing it in your box of ornaments until next season. Whatever you decide, handle it with care. For, the boot must get passed along to next year's winner in early January 2011.

Today is National Ba Humbug Day, so let's get busy celebrating and, at the same time, warm ourselves up for this year's Give 'Em The Boot Contest. What friend, relative, or co-worker are most sure is going to push your buttons this holiday season and why?

Let her rip.

Signing off until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yellow Envelope Project: Indianapolis

Running late today. Last night Richard and I were out later than normal doing a little Christmas shopping and taking in a movie. I love weekends in December!

And yet, I know there are a lot of people for whom life is not is not as simple - especially at this time of year. All the more reason to participate in this week's Yellow Envelope Project, a project dedicated to recognizing people who shine in their corner of the world. Think of it as taking a name from an Angel Tree and then generously giving a gift (only for this there is no trip to the mall, it only costs $0.44, and it takes less than 10 minutes).

If you are new to our blog, the rules of play are simple. Write a short note to the person's name listed below.
  • Read the short excerpt below, written by the person who nominated Ann for the Yellow Envelope Project.
  • Write a simple note thanking Ann for shining,
  • Put it in a yellow envelope or a white envelope decorated with yellow markers or stickers
  • Address using the address listed below
  • Place the words, "Yellow Envelope Project" in the return address, and
  • mail sometime between today and Christmas Eve.
Here we go...
I would like to nominate Ann Hannan. In addition to Ann being a wonderful wife, daughter, mother, daughter-in-law, sister, and cousin, she takes extra time to be with her friend Angela who is going through cancer treatment. Angela used to help take care of Ann's son Ben who has Spina Bifida. Now Ben is old enough to be in day care while Ann works part time.

On her days off, Ann might be seen taking Angela to her Chemo treatments, or taking her out for a day in a pretty park or just out to lunch. Ann also helps with Angela's 6 yr old son, if the chemo leaves her weak.

Ann's address is:
Ann Hannan
5036 E 68th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46220-3927

Signing off until Monday...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Free For All Friday: So You Think You Can wRap!

I'll be quick. Take a seat. You'll need it for today's video. Word.

  • Snack Throw Down: We will not vote on a secret ingredient this week, as we are giving Kate and Lauren two weeks off, so they can tick something off their holiday lists. We will resume our Snack Throw Down in time for post season play.
  • Shine Ball: Brian won the Shine Ball by coming closest to guessing the number of Christmas lights on my tree, without going over. There are a total of 2000 lights on the Beeny Christmas tree. Cassie, you were pretty darn close.
  • Click Below: Click below to hear about our latest contest.

Pick yourself up off the floor and stop laughing! Today is the 18th and we're waiting to hear your high, low, and aha for the month. I bet I can guess at least one of your highs... or is it a low? Hmmmm....

Signing off until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Making Change

I've been thinking about it. The reaction to Monday's post, that is.

Reactions were mixed. I, of course, was the most unforgiving - proclaiming all high school graduates should be able to add and subtract, even when feeling pressure from a long line of holiday shoppers. At the other end of the spectrum were generous readers, filled with grace, and happy to give Ms. Borders the benefit of the doubt.

Some highly evolved person could probably reconcile the whole thing. But, me? I'm just curmudgeon - intent on not lowering the bar, just so no one has to feel bad.

Then on Tuesday something happened. I got insight.

Richard and I walked around the block with Matthew, in order to make good on an agreement we made with him a few weeks back.

Matthew is an entrepreneur in the making - a mini Warren Buffet, if you know what I mean. It started about a year and a half ago with a lemonade stand. Then it was $1.00 an hour for helping grandma clean her pool. After that it was a bake sale, then selling blown up latex balloons, and then dog treats. He's even taken to roaming our house with a brown bag, picking up unused toys and chatcka hoping to set up his own garage sale... or variety store, as the case may be.
This month it was pine cones. Grandma New York came to visit and showed him how, by adding glitter and a silver cord, pine cones could be turned into beautiful, environmentally green ornaments that catch light. Matthew and Grandma made a batch and immediately he was intent on selling them.

Richard and I put it off as long as we could. Both of us are self conscious and neither of us was too excited about standing along side Matthew as he knocked on doors selling his wares.

Kids have a funny way of getting us outside our comfort zones.
Matthew barreled up to neighbors doors - fearlessly! "Want to buy a pine cone?" he said. "Fifty cents or you can give me more." Embarrassed at his suggestion the pine cones could be worth more than fifty cents, I quickly qualified... "No, Matthew. The going rate is $0.50 and if you buy the little ones, we'll give you two for fifty cents."

He was upset with me and made it perfectly clear. "Stop it mom. What happens if they want to pay me more? Stop telling people the pine cones are only fifty cents!."

And, he sold to everyone and anyone who would listen. Gardeners busily working along side the road; teenage boys, who clearly could care less, but were caught walking toward their tricked out trucks; little kids playing ball in the culdesac; business men working from home; stay at home moms; and the list went on. There was no one Matthew wouldn't ask and it never occurred to him to be nervous, self conscious, or that anyone should be anything short of thrilled to buy one of his priceless pine cones.

Matthew was fearless in a way that Ms. Border's was not.

When did Ms. Borders, like the rest of us, stop being fearless and start being fearful? When did the change happen and why? Was she seven, ten, twelve, eighteen, twenty? At what point along the way did we go from being fearless like Matthew to being too fearful to make change?

I don't know when fear set in for Ms. Borders (or to me for that matter), but I don't like it.

Matthew made $22.52 cents on Tuesday doing it his way. Left up to me and my more timid approach he would only have made $8.50. You don't even have to do the math to know Matthew had the right idea. But... I know you will...
Signing off until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

S'more Please

About a month ago I received this Micro S'more Cooker from a friend who met the inventor. She thought I might get a kick out of using it with my family. Boy, was she right.

If you are still looking for a fun, but inexpensive, gift idea for neighbor; distant cousin - twice removed; mom with whom you share car pool; or your child's class holiday exchange, then read on.

Only $9.95 makes it worth hearing s'more.

The Campfire Classic... graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker artfully placed on the base of the Micro S'more Cooker.
Place top of cooker over the ingredients onto the base. Place in microwave. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
Done! The boys loved watching the marshmallows expand in the microwave and there was virtually NO mess. They gobbled them up and begged for s'more.
Even better. The Micro S'more Cooker comes with a Recipe Guide. Below is the Maple Syrup Swirl - the s'more of choice for Pola, my exchange student. Vanilla wafer cookies, maple syrup, cinnamon, and marshmallow. Yum.
We all agreed it looked like an egg, sunny side up.
Pola said it tasted way better and she wanted s'more.
My s'more of choice was Peppermint Kiss - 2 graham crackers, Peppermint Patty, Marshmallow, and chocolate kiss. Yum, I had s'more.
Ricky had the Peanut Butter Choco Cup (Graham Crackers, marshmallow, and broken up pieces of a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup) and Richard had the Raspberry Kiss (2 graham crackers, raspberry preserves, marshmallow, and chocolate kiss). They couldn't believe how yummy the s'mores tasted and how easy they were to make. They both had s'more... and then s'more again.

For $9.95, the Micro S'more Cooker "stacks" up well against other fun family gifts.
Wait, there's s'more. According to this Micro S'more Cooker ad, you can get 2 Cookers for $9.95. What s'more could you ask for?

Still wanting s'more? Join us in the comment section and share a s'more recipe we could add to the Recipe Guide. Mine? Banana Split. Graham crackers, slice of banana, chocolate, marshmallow

Signing off until tomorrow... when you can come back for s'more.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Get Cooking

If you were around last year, you remember me saying Christmas stockings are where it's at. I love them. I love the challenge of finding relevant, creative, and useful chatchka that fit within the measurements of a Christmas stocking.

This year I had an idea I thought I would share.

A pack of yellow note cards, a book of stamps, some stickers, and pen tied together with yellow ribbon, and an invitation to join Highlowaha's weekly Yellow Envelope Project. It's the perfect gift for so many people - people who have everything they need; people who appreciate the art of letter writing; people who shine; and people who get into a great Random Act of Kindness like we do. Any one of those people would love this bundle of good will all wrapped up in a yellow bow.

But the idea is half baked.

I tried and tried and tried to come up with an inspiring note card explaining the Yellow Envelope Project gift. I ditched inspiring for a rhyming poem and then, unable to get my creative juices flowing, finally settled on a recipe card. But, it was an hour and fifteen minutes later and, by that time, I was already tapped out.

I need help.

Lend me a creative hand and let's see what we can cook up. I'm looking for a clever recipe card, explaining our Yellow Envelope Project gift. Or, take a shot at writing a rhyming poem or an inspiring note card.

Below is my, I've-been-at-it-far-too-long-and-need-to-get-on-with-it, attempt. I know you can do better.
Recipe for Shine
1 package cards with yellow envelopes
1 book of $0.43 stamps
1 sheet of return address labels, reading “Yellow Envelope Project”
1 pen
Dash of fun stickers
Pinch of bright markers

Set yourself up for a bright new year. Check each Saturday and receive the name of that week’s recipient of the Yellow Envelope Project. Take 1 card, mix with fun markers and write a note recognizing the recipient for shining in his/her corner of the world. Put in envelope. Add one stamp, one return address label, and place in local mailbox. Let be delivered to one unsuspecting, but pleasantly surprised person. Enjoy. Serves up to 52 people.
I have a Yellow Envelope Project package all wrapped up and ready to go. If someone comes up with the winning recipe, I would be happy to send the cards along to the person of your choice.

One more thing.

My stocking is empty. Fill it for me today, by sending the first name and address of someone you think would be a worthy recipient of the Yellow Envelope Project. Remember, we don't worry about awarding all the people already being recognized on the news, in the newspapers, or winning awards in their communities. We focus on recognizing all the little things people do, that going unnoticed by most, but that make a big difference in their corners of the world.

Get cookin'. Send his/her name to

Signing off until tomorrow...