Tuesday, March 31, 2009

100 Posts: Under the Sheets-Shhh Anniversary

This is the Under the Sheets-Shhh's blog 100th post. Happy Anniversary! Boy how the time flies by. I want to thank you, my blogging friends for all of your support, comments, care, quick comebacks and suggestions. Our blogging community has taught me so much. My real life and thoughts have all started to bleed together.

You many want to know why I started blogging? Well.....

I have kept many journals in my life. I have written pages and pages in my journals starting at the age of ten. I use to love releasing my feelings out to forgiving blank paper that had no judgement towards me or towards my grammar. My journal was like a best friend. It saved me in the dark times, was an outlet for me when I was angry and made me laugh when I would reread my entries.

About 7 months ago, I was sitting with a friend over drinks after work when she suggested that I start a blog. "A blog?' I asked her "But what would I say?" She told me that I had been through so much in my life so I had a lot to write about. She also suggested if I felt more comfortable I could write anonymously. 

After my usual two glasses of wine and feeling a little tipsy, I realized that I liked her idea of creating a live journal, but under a pen name. Yes, ladies and gentleman I was Avery Jones for about 2 months. Doesn't the name 'Avery Jones' sound like she could have been a bond girl?

I went home that night and created this blog. Under the Sheet-Shhh was a name that honey and I had thought of for a boutique that I hoped to open one day. I still like how the name feels intimate and caring. At first I kept this blog secret and then one day told my honey about it. And then I started to write under my own name with little backlash from you:) Over the past months, I have been able to open up more and more to you. 

When I started thinking about creating this blog, I was told by my friends and articles that I read that I should pick one topic and write on it. Only one topic felt like a very difficult thing for me to stick to. Instead I just started writing. So far this blog has eight main topics: relationships, my manic depression upbringing, San Francisco, recipes, travel, advice, current topics and my memories.

The hardest topic for me to write about is my manic depression upbringing. These memories brought to the light of day feels very raw, but also very healing. I hope that in some way these posts are helping others. I have received a lot of supportive emails, but one from an amazing blogger who suffers with manic depression. She asked her daughter to read with her the post I wrote Chapter 4 Mini Me. How brave of this woman to be able to reach out to her daughter like that. How brave of her to then reach out to me to tell me her story! Thank you to you.

Let me let you in on a little secret. I love getting your comments. I get very excited every time I get a new follower and am taught by your creative words every day. If you haven't already subscribe on the right sidebar and become a follower to the Breakfast Club for future posts. 

I hope you are enjoying reading my posts almost as much as I am enjoying writing them. Here's to not sticking to one topic and thinking outside of the box.  Happy Anniversary and here's to the next 100 posts while we are all under the sheets-shhh! 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

He's Just Not Into You or Is He? Dating Advice

I was recently sitting with a friend over dinner, when she confided to me that she was going to stop seeing the guy she was dating. This was good news as she hadn't been happy with him. She then let me know that she had decided to try a dating service. It was at that moment that the trailer from the movie He's Just Not That Into You popped into my head. Drew Barrymore says something like, 'These days there are all these media outlets to get dumped. He can ignore me via email, text, voicemail, blackberry and facebook." When did dating change to this?

While I was growing up a guy either called you back or he didn't. There was either a message on your answering machine or not. The confusion came only if you were dating two guys named the same name. Plus I thought being able to screen your calls was a good thing :)

And now my friend is going to join a dating service where she decides to talk to a guy after numerous back and forth emails. At one point they both fill out surveys and ask each other questions. Maybe one day they'll meet. Dating has become so removed. Why commit to one guy when you are being sent so many 'connections' to your inbox every day?

A couple of years ago, I was dating a guy named 'Jeremy' that I liked a lot. We seemed to really enjoy each other's company and have a great time. It seemed that all of a sudden he started to not return my calls as often. I guess I should have known that he was no longer interested when he suggested I read the book 'He's Just Not That Into You: The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.' written by Greg Behrendt. He told me he wanted me to get stronger within myself. He also suggested this book to my friends so they too could understand when a guy wasn't interested in them. 

I confess that I did skim through this book while browsing in a book store and felt that the advice was pretty obvious. Some of the advice was 'If a guy doesn't call you back then he's not interested. If he doesn't call you back after a date, again not interested. If he forgets to call you after you meet his parents, then you deserve better.'

I ask you though, aren't woman practicing these rules already? Or do we all think that we can change him or there's been a mistake if we don't hear from him. Isn't one source better then seven sources to find out that he's not going to show up for a date? Should I encourage my girlfriend to try a matchmaking service?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Our Love Story: Getting Ready for Hawaii

We parked the car at a lookout point stared at the spectacular view and talked about our exciting trip to Hawaii. Honey suggested extending our trip for a couple of extra days and visit another island. I called my family and best friend right away to tell them the good news. They were excited for us and proud of Honey for his award. This was going to be my first real vacation in years.

During the next 2 and 1/2 months, I accepted a new job at an Advertising Agency. Everything felt like it was starting to turn around for me. During my agency interview, I let my new boss know that I would love to accept the job if it was OK that I leave on a trip in only 3 weeks. He asked me where we were going and then said I could go as long I went without pay. Since the upcoming trip was paid for by honey's company this felt to me like a win win. I got to start a new job and go on a great trip.

* Photo was taken over the islands.

But still the dark cloud over my soon to be umbrella drinks was Honey telling his parents. They were not happy with his decision that he was taking me and so Honey couldn't be completely happy with his award. We made the decision to be honest with them and we didn't want to keep our trip a secret.

In my first 3 weeks of my new job, I had a count down to vacation. I was enjoying my new co-workers and learning about the advertising world. I kept my secret Hawaii adventure secret until we only had three days to go. I confided in an executive assistant 'Tammy' my good news. She was supportive and I made a mental note to bring her back a thank you present.

Not a lot of things are needed to pack for Hawaii. A camera, dress, hat, suntan lotion and a new bathing suit. I really should have packed nothing and bought my necessities there. I wondered where I could find a perfect hula skirt?!

Our trip to Denver had gone well so I wondered how our first real vacation would turn out. We also booked to go to Kauai for 3 days before flying to the Island of Oahu to join the rest of Honey's company. What islands have you been to sweetie?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So So by Gary Go (live)

Gary Go is an amazing singer out of London and is starting to blow up in his music.  Boy can he wear a suit and a pair of glasses. Check out this song that he performed Live at the Bedford. Trust me he sounds this good on his recordings as well. Another amazing song of his is 'Wonderful'. Whatcha think? Tomorrow I will post a link back post to the contest Five Questions so post so your questions soon K? :

Monday, March 23, 2009

Can I Tweet the Question Ma'am vs. Miss?

Can I ask you something? When did I change from being called a Miss to a Ma'am? But I think that the bigger question is how am I supposed to accept being called a Ma'am gracefully?

I always thought you were called a Miss if you were a young woman or if you weren't married, called a Mrs. if married and wearing a huge rock on your finger and called a Ma'am if you were living or traveling in Georgia :) So the lady at my grocery store, the man at the coffee shop and the cable car driver must all be mistaken by calling me Ma'am. Right?

Maybe you can help me with my Miss vs. Ma'am rant. What's the hot topic on Twitter right now? Well let's try this status question. Tell me how can I be called Ma'am while wearing a pony tail, hoop earrings, mac lipstick, jeans and huge smile? But I still get mistaken for being just out of college, carded for buying wine and I FEEL not a day over 25. Well maybe the term Ma'am, is a term of respect while Miss is often used in more of a patronizing demeanor.

I have been told that being called Ma'am is a signal that your maturity is evident, not your age. But isn't this something that we tell ourselves so we feel better. Just like my favorite birthday card that I bought my best friend a couple of years ago that said 'Do you know what old is? Old is always ten years older then us."

I have known women who became Ma'am in their 30's while others are still Miss well into their 40's. I can appreciate the thought that I show maturity, but isn't this another thing we tell ourselves to hold on to our youth. (Please hold on while I go and slather to my face some more moisturizing cream.)

How did this rant start? Well let me tell you. I was recently shopping at my local grocery store which is just under my gym. I just finished a nice sweaty work out and remembered that I needed some items for dinner so I went to the grocery store. My pony tail was hanging out of my baseball hat and my cheeks were a rosy red from running on the treadmill. I noticed an elderly lady, probably in her eighties, needing some help in the dairy aisle. She saw me smile at her and came over.

And so she said 'Ma'am do you mind helping me look to see if they have some potato salad?' 'Of course and no problem' I replied.

What I was really thinking was, 'Oh look at the two Ma'ams talking in the dairy aisle!'

That's it I quit :) Can you twitter that? What is your definition of a Miss vs. a Ma'am? What's your biggest Pet peeve? Some of mine are nails on a chalkboard, road rage, towels left on the floor.....

The Five Question Link Back Contest

Happy Monday to you! So my blogging friends I want to get to know you a little better. So I am reaching out to you with five questions that I hope you will answer on your blog. Isn't this a fun game of backwards Jeopardy? Can you hear the Jeopardy music playing in your head or is that just me? Post these five questions and your answers on your blog, link back to Under the Sheets-Shhh and comment back to me when your done. I promise to link to your post. 

The Five Questions Are:

1) What gets you out of bed in the morning?

2) What scares you and how often do you think about it?

3) How important is making a home to you? For example do you like a home to meditate in, cook good food or have people over?

4) Where in the world would you like to travel to next?

5) (Just for fun...) *What's your favorite Anti Aging Skin Product?

Here are my answers to my own questions :)

1) Several things get me out of bed in the morning such as my alarm clock, my phone ringing or my need to exercise. Other mornings I am excited about going to work, writing something new or a coffee meeting with a friend. But my best answer is to see what the new day will bring. (Sorry I am such a morning person.)

2) I get scared when I think about losing my loved ones. This is something that I have learned to push out of my mind when I start to think about it late at night. I have experienced deep loss so it is my fear to feel it again. C'est la vie. Without dark there can be no light.

3) Making a home is very important to me and I need it to feel comfortable and safe. I want to smile every time I put my key in the door.  The best compliment is when someone tells me that our place feels very homey.

4) Next I would like to travel to Italy.  Italy has always been a dream for me to see. I identify with their food, wine, culture, clothes, care for family and incredible beauty. When are we leaving?

5) *I use Regenerist Deep Hydrating Cream by Olay as a night cream. This cream has a light scent and after two weeks my skin is really smooth and bright. Plus you can get it at grocery stores and pharmacies. It was just featured in this month's InStyle magazine.

Ok now its your turn to enter the five question link back contest and I am looking forward to reading your answers. Go on you can do it. Get rid of the Monday blues:)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Inspirational Weekend Quotes

Yes, the times are tough. I am starting to feel a little beaten up by the news and friends losing their jobs. So I wanted to share with you some inspirational quotes to help you this weekend. These quotes have always helped me put things into perspective. I hope they can do the same for you. Watch out Hallmark Cards here I come!

" Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of overcoming it." 
~Helen Keller

" The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." 
~Mignon McLaughlin

" Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without words
And never stops at all."
~ Emily Dickinson

" Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it."
~ Eileen Caddy

" It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
~ Ursula Le Guin

" A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone   you meet is your mirror."
~ Ken Keyes Jr.

" If one desires a change, one must be that change before that change can take place."
~ Gita Bellin

" Yesterday is but today's memory and Tomorrow is today's dream."

What are you going to do this weekend that can lift your soul? I promise to turn off the news if you promise to tell me how these quotes touched you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brazilian Shrimp Recipe

This Brazilian Shrimp Recipe from northern Brazil takes about an hour to prepare, but it's so worth the wait. If you like shrimp then you'll love this very flavorful dish. You should also be warned that your kitchen and home will smell amazing because of this dish for days. Trust me I am getting hungry just by writing this recipe to you.

Fresh or frozen shrimp works well.  If you want to use frozen shrimp, then I recommend you use the shrimp from Trader Joe's.

Hint: Try to let your shrimp sit in the marinade for half an hour so it can soak in the flavor. Reducing the time needed to marinade can make or break your dish.

2 pounds of large shrimp
3 garlic of minced cloves
2 tablespoon of lime juice
2 teaspoon of kosher salt (hint: I now only cook with Kosher salt)
2 tablespoon of canola oil
1 chopped onion
2 teaspoon of scallions
2 bell sliced bell peppers
6 chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of marinara sauce
3/4 cup of coconut milk

In a large bowl combine garlic, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cut the tails off of the shrimp and then place the shrimp into the bowl and let it marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Then place the oil in a large skillet and heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion, scallions and bell peppers and cook them until soft, about 4 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes into the skillet and cook them until softened, about 5 minutes more. Turn the heat to low and add the marinara sauce, coconut milk and the other teaspoon of salt. Allow sauce to simmer until it reduces slightly. Stir occasionally for about 10-12 minutes.

Now add the shrimp as well as the marinade to the skillet and cook the shrimp until they turn pink. About 3-5 minutes.

Transfer everything in the skillet to a dish accompanied with a side of coconut rice and a wedge of lime.  Tell me what you were going to make this weekend? What drink would you serve with this dish? Which recipe should I post next...Pao de queijo cheese balls or pink sauce pasta? 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cable Car Confessions: The Proposal

Ding ding all aboard. "Next stop Powell Street Chinatown. Tickets please show me your tickets please."  I have been getting a lot of requests for a new Cable Car Confession. If you haven't caught up on the past chapters read them here. This confession is about the most perfect and romantic cable car proposal I was lucky enough to witness.

I must be honest with you. I have never gotten into the ABC show The Bachelor. Maybe I am too practical to think that after knowing someone for only 6 weeks you can get engaged on TV only to break up months later out of the public eye. Do I believe in love at first sight? Absolutely, but love at first sight with a camera crew around you, not so much.

Let me share with you what happened last week while riding the Powell/Mason cable car line. I got onto the cable car with my arms filled with heavy groceries and a kind man gave up his seat for me to sit down. (I was very thankful.) The man, dressed in a suit, seemed to be nervous, stood and put his arm around a woman who was also standing up on the cable car.

Right away I knew they were tourists, as I could see there digital camera and map peering out from his pant pocket. The couple was staring out of the cable car window together and enjoying the sights. Then the man caught my eye and kept fidgeting for something in his other pant pocket. Now he really had my interest. He touched whatever was in his pocket and made sure it was still there. A couple of minutes later he checked again. His girlfriend seemed oblivious to his nervousness and was enjoying the ride.

When the man checked his pocket AGAIN I knew what was about to happen. As soon as the cable car went over the hill the man took a deep breath and got down on one knee in front of her. This is not easy to do as the cable car is in constant motion and so his girlfriend thought that he had lost his balance. With a concerned look on her face she went to help him. He had taken out of his pocket the box that he had been checking on.

The woman looked very confused until she saw the shiny ring inside of the box. The cable car conductor quieted the riders on the cable car. I asked the woman if I could borrow her camera to take pictures of their moment.

I could hardly breath and was a little shaky holding her camera. Just like in the movies after the man said some lovely things to her he proposed, she had some tears falling down her face and the ring was placed on her finger. We all cheered for them. 

Once the man stood up, they kissed and I gave my seat back so they could sit down. They were the celebrities for the rest of the ride. Once they had calmed down, I asked them a few questions. They told me they were visiting from New York City. His now fiancee had always wanted to visit San Francisco and she had never been on a cable car. He had been holding onto her ring for a couple of months and had hoped to find a perfect moment to propose. I wished them luck and congratulations. I also told them that they had made my day.

There is something so wonderful about a man still being able to plan out a proposal. Some say that the wedding and wedding preparations are mostly about the woman, but the proposal is all about the man. 

Do you think that this was their perfect cable car moment? Tell me about your proposal or your 'one day' perfect proposal? 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Moving from Canada to America: How do you surf?

We had been living in Newport Beach, Ca from Toronto for about six months when I was asked to go surfing. Uh surfing was not something that this Canadian girl had ever thought of, let alone tried to do. If I had been asked to go downhill or cross country skiing then I would have been totally ready. Instead, I smiled sweetly at my new friend and asked her "How do you surf?"

She gasped at me and wondered how anyone had ever lived without surfing in the Pacific Ocean. (I am pretty sure at this point, I also only had one piece bathing suits and no flip flops. Oh the horror.) 

When I went home to ask my parent's if I could go surfing with her family they asked me why? Wasn't surfing only for boys? Would I get hurt? Please could I put on a lot of sunscreen? Actually the sunscreen was a great point as my pale white Canadian skin was screaming to be burned. (Yes, we all get burned first before we tan, but I freckle and turn bright red first and then the brown comes.)

My parent's told me that if I go then I had to be very careful and get people to look out for me. I really had no idea what was in store for me. My friends parents picked me up in their convertible Mercedes (seriously) and they all (including her father) wore pony tails, flip flops, shorts and had their surf boards sticking out of the back of the car. Their dog was sitting with his head out of the window.

I was wearing my one piece bathing suit, with sandals, a lot of sunscreen and carried my towel. Her family let me know that I could 'borrow' one of their boards. We drove down to Corona del Mar beach and I was completely out of my element. Her family had probably been to this beach a million times. I was still trying to get my skin use to the new sun and keep the sand out of my bathing suit :)

Her family gave me a short lesson of surfing with the board on the beach. Words like surfing is simple, you'll be fine, you'll never know if you like it once you try, were all used. All I needed was a good 'don't be chicken' and I was ready to go.

I swam into the ocean with my new friend and paddled out to the waves. We were gossiping all the way so I thought 'surfing isn't that bad'. I was enjoying surfing so far. And then she grabbed her wave and rode it into the beach. She stood up on the board, hardly wiggled and smiled all the way. I swear to you that I saw a golden retriever swim by surfing on it's board.

My first time surfing was a little different and I truly learned what wipe out meant.

I saw my wave, paddled to it and then tried to stand on my 'pink' board. I slipped off right away and then flew hard into the ocean. This was pretty much how the rest of my day went. By the end of the day I was exhausted, had a lot of salt in my eyes and lungs and was starting to complain.

My friend's mother saved me when she then introduced me to a bodyboard/boogieboard. All you have to do is lay down on this board, not stand up and boogie your way in. I was officially an Orange County girl.  Have you ever tried to surf? Had an experience like this?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Brazilian Coconut Rice Recipe

In preparation for our trip to Brazil last year, we started to try to make AND eat as much Brazilian food as possible. We found one amazing Bossa Nova Brazilian restaurant in San Francisco that played live music and had tapas. Their classic Calpirinhas and the nut crusted goat cheese still makes my mouth water. I fell in love with the coconut rice and wanted to make it at home.
This coconut rice recipe has become a fast favorite side dish. When I went home to Los Angeles and made it for my family, my little sister asked me if it was a side dish or dessert. Now that's a compliment coming from an eleven year old.

1 tablespoon butter 
1 teaspoon brown sugar 
2 teaspoon of kosher salt 
2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained well 
1 can of coconut milk 2 cups water 
1/2 a cup of chicken broth (hint: this gives the rice a wonderful flavor) 
*1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS: First drain jasmine rice in a strainer for 15 minutes. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add brown sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Then turn heat to high, add rice and stir until all grains coated evenly. Add coconut milk, chicken broth and water. Stir occasionally to prevent grains from sticking to bottom. When boiling, immediately cover with tight fitting lid, turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. (Remember to stir the rice occasionally or it will stick to the bottom.)

Remove saucepan from heat, but do not open lid. Let sit for 10 minutes. If you want to add coconut flakes while the rice is cooking, now toast them on a dry skillet over medium high heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Remove the flakes from the skillet as soon as coconut is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Put flakes over the rice. Coconut rice can be served with so many things. Such as chicken, steak, with pineapple or with a side of shrimp.

Maybe you can try this great and yummy recipe this weekend. Would you like our Brazilian shrimp recipe next? Email me at shhh.under.the.sheets@gmail.com to swap recipes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Our Love Story: Valentine's Day

After arriving home from our trip to Denver, Honey and I settled back into our lives. And then I realized that Valentine's Day was only a couple of weeks away. I was excited to see how our V-day night would go. Honey made the plans and I would have never guessed the surprise he had in store for me.

We went to a lovely Italian restaurant in North Beach. This restaurant was a small, warm and intimate place with less then 15 tables. I remember the owner Bruno coming over to our table and greeting us. They had a Valentine's Day meal planned so all we had to do was choose our wine and settle in for the night.

Honey kept smiling at me through dinner and he seemed to have something that he wanted to say. 'Hmmmm,' I wondered. Did the owner Bruno know what Honey was thinking? Was there something shiny hidden in my dessert?:)

Now before you get all excited honey had a different surprise. ..

Scene: Honey and I talking over the table
Honey, "I have some great news to share with you."
'What is it?' I asked
Honey replied, " I was just given an excellence in service award for work."
'That is wonderful news honey. Congrats!"
'Well," he continued "Each year the awards ceremony is held in different places. The awardees get to bring one guest to the ceremony. It's an all expense paid three day trip. The hotel, food and flight are all included."
"Amazing. I am so happy for you."
And then he said, "I want you to come with me and be my guest."
"I would love to."
"Aren't you going to ask me where the trip is to this year? Will you go with me to Hawaii in May? Happy Valentine's Day."
I gasped and threw my arms around him, "Hawaii are you sure?"
Honey said," Yes and we're going to have a great time."

I was beaming the rest of the night. Saying that I was excited would have been an understatement. After dinner Honey had arranged to show me his favorite view of San Francisco. We got into the car and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands. The Marin Headlands is one of the most common photographs of San Francisco, the view of the city of the Golden Gate Bridge over the fog. The view is a panoramic view of the bay.

We parked the car at a lookout point stared at the spectacular view and talked about our exciting trip to Hawaii. Honey suggested extending our trip for a couple of extra days and visit another island. It was then that some doubt crept into my mind. How would his parent's react to the news that we were going away together to Hawaii? Do you think we would tell them?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Where Are My Crayons? How To Be Creative As An Adult

I was recently reading a creative manifesto called 'How To Be Creative' by Hugh MacLeod.  If you are ever in need of inspiration or reminding to 'think out of the box' then this article is for you. Hugh MacLeod was like most of us. He worked a corporate job, but still felt his creative juices flowing. So he started doodling cartoon characters on bar napkins. The 'doodling' became his inspiration and successful future business. 

Many things struck me about this manifesto. First, he says that as soon as you take the crayons away from children and give them pens to write with, their creativity is encouraged to stop. As children, we are taught to think outside of the box and then one day we are taught to live within. Why is it that we all went from wanting to be a firemen, a teacher or ballerina and to finance guy? We had to change out of necessity.

As adults, couldn't we still write with crayons? I know that I would be smiling when writing letters. Just think of my creativity as I try and decide which crayon to use?

The second thing that struck me as wonderful advice, was when Hugh said, "to continue at your day job. Creating a new creative business, like writing and designing cartoon napkins, should be done after you have your paycheck and stability. There's no need to drop everything as we still have those adult responsibilities."

I can remember when I was a little girl, being encouraged to freestyle dance to music. All I had to do was close my eyes and feel the music. I would sway, move and create. Could I still do this as an adult? Well I could, but I get self conscience to what I look like and what others are thinking.

If I promise to go and freestyle, will you promise that you will go and brainstorm this weekend. Go and find your crayons and markers. Put on some great music and remember what it was like when you were a child. Have a great weekend and color away. Tell me, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Slumlord or Landlord? Chapter 2 & Winners of What Makes You Smile?

Have you heard about the magical sidewalks of San Francisco? I only know that they exist from my own experience. After I had first moved into my apartment with Sarah, I needed to get rid of some of the excess things that I had accumulated from my move from Los Angeles. Sarah told me to put my computer keyboard and lampshade on the street. 

"Put them on the street in front of our apartment. Isn't that littering?" I asked.

"No it's not littering in San Francisco, but we all like to look at it like donating to the streets." I was very confused. So in Los Angeles and Toronto I would be littering, but in San Francisco it's an unspoken and accepted rule. 

I felt very skeptical and a little guilty when I placed my computer keyboard and lampshade on the tree in front of our apartment. By morning my things were gone. I have always believed in the saying 'that one man's trash is another man's treasure', but this was taking it to the extreme. I felt like I was playing a game with the magical street.

I have to tell you that this was only the beginning. Over my years in San Francisco, I have seen perfectly working T.V.'s (with it's remote tapped to the top of it) on the street, mattresses (too many to count) with signs that say 'almost new' and 'have some bugs' and perfectly working office chairs. Sarah found an amazing desk on the street and brought it back to the apartment like it was a lost puppy.

I thought to myself 'Between selling things on craigslist and putting things on the street, I will never have to use the garbage bins again!' 

I really put my 'magical' theory to the test when I finally moved out of my old apartment and left a mattress and entertainment center on the street. I returned the next day to find both the mattress and entertainment center gone. These were not small items and they had both *poof* disappeared. 'Darn,' I thought 'I forgot to a leave a note.'Well maybe I'll remember the next time I move. 
My Note
Dear magical streets of San Francisco,
Please take good care of the below items. I have taken great care of them, but are no longer in need of them due to _______. I  know that you will find a better home for them and rather quickly. If you need me you know where to find me.
Thank you so much,
The Winners of the What Makes You Smile? Giveaway contest are....drum roll please...

Please ladies email me (shhh.under.the.sheets@gmail.com.) your address and your lovely prize of Crest Whitestips will come in the mail. Congrats to you all!

Monday, March 2, 2009

What Makes You Smile? Giveaway Contest

Please enter the first ever Under The Sheets 'What Makes You Smile?' Contest. As we are all going through difficult times now, I wanted to cheer you up with a wink and a smile. Start thinking about what makes you smile so you can enter and win.

Believe it or not my nickname as a child was 'smiles'. We spent our summers at overnight camp in Ontario. Yes, I know how shocked you must be to find out my nickname, but I giggled every time I was called 'smiles' by my fellow campers. I was that kid at camp that would smile as soon as I woke up in the morning. Pillows were thrown at my bunkbed as I jumped out of bed to start the new day. I saw the good side of people, saw the glass as half full and made the most out of the day. My face would hurt at the end of the day for smiling so much. It still does.

So the lucky winners of this contest will win Crest Whitestrips samples. What do you have to do to win? All you have to do is to tell me by commenting on this post your top three things that make you smile? Three lucky winners will be chosen on March 4th, 2009 and can email me their address at shhh.under.the.sheets@gmail.com to receive their fabulous prize. (Sorry only winners can be from the U.S. and Canada.)

I'll go first. Some of my top twenty things that make me smile are:

1) Puppies
2) Drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows
3) The sound of a child laughing
4) I love rubbing noses like Eskimos
5) Eating a warm bowl of penne with pink (cream and tomato) sauce
6) Any kind of dancing
7) Birthday's (mine or yours. Bring some cake and I'm happy)
8) Putting on warm socks just out of the dryer
9) Music
10) Finding and drinking the perfect glass of Pinot Grigio
11) Taking pictures
12) Finding new boutique stores
13) The smell just after it rains
14) Finding a nearby bakery that has chocolate Eclair's
15) Going home to Toronto
16) Watching horses gallop
17) Pedicures
18) Going to the Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning
19) I smile every time I ride a cable car
20) When I speak French. Oui, oui!

I hope you feel cheered up and have a wonderful day. OK, now it's your turn to tell me what makes you smile from ear to ear. All I need is three things, but I would love to read more. I will go put on my Crest Whitestrips to read your comments :)