Invicta Adventures

1375991_10201259939885853_1848613689_nThe definition of Remote (distant/unlikely to occur) aptly describes Evine’s “Invicta Remotes.” Not only do we travel to distant/exotic locations, but when you see what has to happen from a cliff on the far side of a near deserted island, it is astonishing that our crew is able to pull off a live broadcast from these remote destinations.  These remotes are a metaphor for what Inivcta has been able to offer customers at Evine for the past 15 years. Prior to our partnership, high quality watches had been unattainable and unaffordable by other brands and were unlikely to find their way into customers collections…Invicta via Evine is making these quality timepieces available and incredibly affordable to our customers!

Blue Stallion FarmInvicta remotes have taken us to Invicta’s headquarters in Florida where we’ve broadcast from Invicta’s Warehouse, the Invicta Marine Pavilion on the Intercostal, and the Blue Stallion Farm.  The most difficult to plan for were the Farm remotes as the temperatures were often over 100 degrees during the day and in the 40’s at night. We never knew if we would be outside in the blistering sun or freezing rain. They were also the most difficult as the beetles and mosquitoes were relentless at night.  The freakiest thing that happened one night on air was when a screeching hawk with a frog in its mouth flew right above our heads!

CaboThe most luxurious locations we have traveled to are Cabo and the Riviera Maya areas in Mexico.  Our most difficult broadcast by far was from Staniel Cay in the Bahamas where the crew worked around the clock everyday pulling miles of cables to remote cliffs and beaches around the near deserted island.  They spent hours lighting shark invested waters for our night broadcasts.  I liken this remote to summer camp…the roughing it kind!  We braved the elements of extreme heat and rain (we escaped the day before the hurricane hit and destroyed the island) and bonded the same way I did with my fellow girl scout campers as a teenager.

I can not say enough incredible things about the remote crew…the lighting crew, floor directors, camera operators, models, stylists, visual staff, sales managers/producers, control room, directors, etc. who all work tireless hours in difficult conditions without ever a complaint.  I also want to thank Eyal Lalo and the Invicta staff for the amazing experiences, hospitality, and opportunities they have offered us at Evine.

Invicta Cruise1For the first time ever, Invicta is giving our customers an opportunity to join us on our next remote as we broadcast LIVE from the middle of the ocean on our February Invicta Cruise!  Our customers will have a chance to be a part of our live show and meet Eyal Lalo, Invicta Designers, Ambassadors, and Collectors.  If you can’t make it, join me on my Facebook page for photos of the day from February 10-13th!

You Are Sweet Enough Just the Way You Are

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?  Maybe yours is similar to mine.  I resolve to limit processed foods, and artificial sweeteners from my diet.  I have been 60 percent on plan for several months, but the holidays were tough on me.  I’m aiming now to up my efforts and go from 60% to 80% of the time to eat as clean as possible.

Easier said then done.  So I will start with the basics.

 I will try to eat as much “real” food as possible and if I am going to indulge in a sweet treat from time to time,  I will aim to get my sweet fix from fruits, and natural sweeteners like honey and agave nectar.

The good news is that I have found dozens of recipes for naturally sweetened treats.  I have included my latest find.  The most delicious, moist banana bread ever.  It’s FABULOUS!  The recipe is free of all  processed sugar and can be made dairy free and gluten free, if you wish.

I hope you love this yummy bread as much as my husband  and I did.

Here you Go…

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  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of milk, almond milk, or water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (gluten free flour if you like)
  •  Optional, 1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, carob chips

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and grease 9 x 5 loaf pan

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In a large bowl, beat oil, honey, eggs, mix together then whisk in bananas and milk

 

Add baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and flour, (and extras if you i.e. nuts) use a large spoon and mix all ingredients together….don’t over stir, leave a few lumps in the batter.20160907_201307

Pour batter into your greased pan, sprinkle the top with more cinnamon

Bake for 55 to 60 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean 

One loaf gives you 10 servings

Per serving: Calories 215, Fat 8.7 g, Sugars 16 g, Protein 4.3g,

Enjoy!

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Winter Wonderland

As we dip into sub zero temperatures and much of the country gets covered in a powdery blanket of shimmery snow, I am rejoicing!

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However, I didn’t always harbor this level of joy and exuberance. Quite the contrary, I had downright disdain for anything and everything winter.

I am a Minnesota native, however, my parents were transplants from warmer climates and their only solution for frigid temperatures was to hibernate for the winter.

Not very sustainable, I must say.

Anyway, as soon as I graduated high school, I flew the coop, so to speak, to the sunny shores of Florida. After a few years, the charm of the Midwest called me back home and I returned without so much as owning even one pair of socks. I did my best to adjust, but my friends nearly disowned me each year, from November through March, because I did nothing but complain about the cold weather. 

skiingEnter my outdoor loving, skiing fanatic husband. At first, it was a lifestyle difference that I thought we would have to agree to disagree upon. Soon enough, he opened my world to the wonder, magic, and whimsy of winter. Snow is sparkly. Of course it’s awesome!

Once I learned the basics of “dressing for winter”, (it is somewhat of a science to do it right) and spent some time learning how to cross country ski, I was hooked.

Yes, I admit that the grimy, dirty snow we deal with while driving to and from work is little more than a nuisance. But freshly fallen flakes in the woods create a gleaming wonderland. winter-fatimaTypically, cross country ski trails are in parks or around lakes, and removed from the hustle and bustle. Gliding across the snow in an area that is quiet and the pure, white, snow is pristine all throughout the season, is a truly uplifting experience. 

Cross country ski racing is an Olympic sport for a reason…it’s really stinking hard! However, learning the basics of shuffling along and staying upright is just a smidge more difficult than walking. Anyone can do it!

I learned to ski by practicing on a frozen lake. The key to success? No hills! It was completely flat, and that minimized any falling so I left each day out on the lake with a smile on my face and no snow tucked in places that it shouldn’t be. As you get more and more comfortable, you begin to fall into the rolling rhythms of the trails and it’s effortless and smooth!

Besides the sheer beauty of the scenery, skiing gets you fresh air and exercise. Breathing in the crisp air, as you go gliding through the woods and raise your heart rate, feels so energizing. Because you are active, you stay toasty warm, and the chilly air on your cheeks is a perfect compliment to the warmth you feel down to your core.

If you ever had an inkling to try it, do yourself a favor, grab a buddy, head to your nearest park with ski rentals, and try something new. I promise, you’ll be a lot happier to see temperatures dip and the first snowflakes fly. If nothing else, winter will go by faster than ever before. 

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmastime is my favorite time of the year!  The romantic snow, the homemade Christmas cookies, the family get-togethers, the holiday food, the plaid!  Everyone is cheerful and gives thoughtful gifts to show friendship or appreciation and people gather to celebrate with hugs and gifts.

I do tend to get caught up in the shopping and gifting, wanting to show my love or communicate how much I care for someone through gifts.  I guess you could say my love language is giving gifts!  I find that I’ve bought too much when I start wrapping, most of the presents under the tree are from me!

Last year I decided to experience Christmas in a different way. I committed to a 25 Days of Kindness- starting December 1st, I volunteered or gave back to one charity each day through Christmas day.  I played games with children at the Crisis Nursery, rang the bell for Salvation Army, packed blessing bags for homeless teens, and donated toys to the Children’s Hospital to name a few.  On Christmas Eve, my family and I made fleece blankets and drove downtown to hand them out to the homeless in zero degree weather.  This experience gave me a gift of appreciation- to be grateful for what I have and to give a small piece of happiness or importance to someone else.

This year I thought, “why not have a 5 Days of Kindness at Evine where employees can work together as a team and give back to others while having fun in the process?!”

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Day 1 we all wrote cards to those serving overseas for our military with “Holidays for Heroes”- over 100 cards were sent!

 

 

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Day 2 we made sandwiches for the homeless for The Sandwich Project, created by a former teacher and he literally feeds the homeless every night! Captain Sig Hansen even made a few!

 

 

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Day 3: Everyone donated over 100 toys for Toys For Tots for needy children in our area. The 3 Amigos had fun being a part by donating presents on air.

 

 

 

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Day 4: Employees of Evine chose a senior or a child to buy a gift for with “Be an Angel” project and all 80 names were pulled right away!  We will have to find more names to choose next year!

 

 

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Day 5: Over 50 fleece blankets were made and donated through “Project Linus” which distributes the blankets to children in local hospitals.

 

 

Color all of this giving with a sense of loss of a friend and former host, Connie Kunkle at 58 years old, and it makes me reflect upon the true meaning of life–what we spend our time doing.  We hear it said over and over again—life is about relationships and making an impact in others’ lives.  I hope we have done that this year through the ‘5 Days of Kindness,’ that we have inspired you to give your time to someone in need and in turn, to feel a sense of purpose and community.

I wish you all gratitude for what you have in your lives, and to show your appreciation by making a difference in another’s life who may need it most, that is what the holiday season is all about.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah!

With Gratitude,

Wendi Russo

Norton Family Merriest Moments Christmas Tradition

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Norton clan! 

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We kick off our family holiday season by sitting down as a family; me, John (hubby), Connor (26) and Alec (22), to get our Christmas card together.

It starts out as a time to reflect on the past year and recall what we are grateful for and what have become our Norton Merriest Moments. 

We started this tradition rather than writing a Christmas letter, it was hard enough to get the boys to sit down and think of their Merriest Moments, much less get them to commit to write part of a Christmas letter….

Let me give you some background on this…so when we sit down as a family to eat a meal, we started sharing what we were grateful for for the day.  Now it didn’t have to be a life-altering, earth-shattering thing to be grateful for, all it was was a moment to find goodness in that day.  This way if it was a particularly hard day at school for one of the boys, or a trying time at work for us, we would have to pause and find gratitude in something, anything, for the day.  It could be, “I am thankful for the dessert mom made,” or, “I am thankful for my friends,” even, “ I am thankful that Cooper the Wonderdog didn’t poop in the house today!”  This tradition continued when friends joined us for dinner as well.  At first the guest would be self conscious about the whole grateful thing but after time, returning friends and family were looking forward to the “what are you grateful for today” moment at the Norton table.  So many times this opened up conversations that would not have been had. One special moment for a friend of my son’s and his mom who were at our house for dinner, for the first time in a very long time, the son said he was grateful for his mom.  Seems small right?   Not to that mom who was so happy to hear something other than grunts from her teenage son.

OK and THEN it morphed into “Sunday Steak Nights.” That, has taken on a life of it’s own at our house.

The Norton table is open every Sunday night to friends, family, coworkers, strays and people needing a fix of love.  Some Sundays there are 2 at the table some Sundays there are 12!  And the “what we are grateful for for the day” goes on and on and on.  So fun!  The more people at my table the more grateful I am!  And there is always somehow enough to go around, a little like the tale of the loaves and fishes.

So back to the holiday tradition…we wanted to have a family holiday card to be about what we were grateful for, since it’s kind of “our thing” now but we wanted it to be what we were grateful for for the YEAR!

It got crazy long so we shortened it for the holidays to: The Norton’s Merriest Moments

 

For 2016 the Norton Merriest Moments are:

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2016 Merriest Moments Continued

Past Norton Merriest Moments

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2014 Norton Merriest Moments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2013 Norton Merriest Moments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2010 Norton Merriest Moments

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapped Up in Love

When it comes to wrapping presents, there are two types of people in this world: Those who LOVE to gift wrap, and those who HATE it.   I’m in the LOVE it category. I rarely use gift bags, and shopping for ribbon and paper is as much fun to me as shopping for shoes and bags.  I adore the prepping, the doing and the giving of beautifully wrapped gifts.

When I was in my twenties and pursuing a career as an actress I would take on side jobs to help pay the bills.  Well, you can imagine how over the moon I was when I found a part-time job wrapping gifts at Dayton’s Department store in downtown Minneapolis.

I remember going in for the interview, the interviewee ask me a few obligatory questions, then walked me to the wrapping counter where all the wrapping supplies were, she handed me a gift box and said “wrap this”.  I said, “Game on!” I love to wrap and I had been doing it for years, so I felt confident in my abilities.  She walked away, came back in a couple of minutes, right when I was finishing up.  She picked up the wrapped gift, examined every angle, she looked unimpressed and said “It’s ok, we can work with this, if you want the job, you’ve got it.”  I started my new job wrapping gifts 2 days later, got a lot better with her help and experience.

I worked 4, 6 or 8 hours shift (depending on my availability and seasonal demands) 2 to 3 days a week for several years, and I had the dry hands and paper cuts to prove it.  All these years later I still love to wrap presents.  I thought it would be fun to share a video with a few tips and tricks I learned from that job.  These tips will make wrapping fun, easy and impressive at the same time.

Tools You’ll Need

Sharp scissors, clear gift wrap tape, tape measure, sturdy box,  ribbon ( 1.5 inch wide wired ribbon is my favorite), stapler with staples loaded, and gift wrap (I like a thick premium wrap, but any will do), find a clean table top, counter or kitchen island.

Sit back, relax & wrap!

Once your you’ve got the tools and space you need, put on some holiday music, pour your favorite beverage and get in the holiday spirit.

Deck the Halls!

For me the sounds of Christmas from my childhood are my sister Kate excitedly clapping because she can’t sleep or the sound of my Little Nanny whispering to both of us as we cuddled up on the sofa and she told us how Christmas would begin; who would arrive, what they would bring. The clapping isn’t something my sister does anymore – as she’s a full grown woman with two kids. But I do. I love Christmas so much that I can’t help but clap spontaneously at the thought of it and every Christmas starts with decorating. I love nothing more than getting up when it’s still dark and gazing at the magic and beauty of the twinkling lights.

One of the most exciting things about spending my first holiday season here in the US is how many people but up their decorations right after Thanksgiving. I usually wait until the 1st of December – mainly because I like a real tree and I want it to still look good come New Year’s Eve (we used to have some epic parties in London!) but as any of my former flatmates would attest, I continue to decorate and add more every day until then. It’s basically like living with Buddy from the movie Elf.

This year is my first year alone at Christmas time. Usually I get to trim my tree with my flatmates and then my family. We ice gingerbread cookies with our names on them and trim the tree together. I once went full Elf and made popcorn garlands – it took me all night to make one that only went once around the tree and then the whole house smelled like a stale cinema – #christmasfail.

The last real tree we had was called Eric. My flatmate Rowls and I got up early to go and get the best tree in the whole of London. As we stepped out of our apartment building we were greeted by two rather worse-for-wear elves selling Christmas trees right outside the pub at the end of our street. We got the best tree we’ve ever had for a steal of a price but the Elves insisted we name him, so he became Eric. If you’ve ever had a real tree you’ll know, some don’t drop down, or they’re too wide at the bottom or too tall and skinny at the top. One dark night I bought a tree that was so lopsided I had to decorate every night because it would always fall over whilst we were out at work. Eric was, and will for ever be, the best Christmas tree ever. In fact, I’ve just realised I haven’t had a real tree since then.

He was perfection!

My Mum and Dad always wait for me to come home for Christmas for me to trim their tree.

We put on Johnny Mathis ‘When A Child is Born’ which has been THE Christmas album all our lives and it’s like I’m five years old again. Last year was really emotional because I knew that I wouldn’t get to spend Christmas with them next year. I decorated the dining room but made it my mission to use every single decoration in the box. It was an awesome Christmas grotto by the time I’d finished. Christmas is the one time of year when more is more!

When I moved to Minnesota at the end of January this year every house was covered in snow and still had their decorations and lights up. It was like touching down in the North Pole! So this year I’ve decided to keep my theme generic and seasonal (so I can keep it up for as long as possible!;) I’ve decorated my balcony with a swag and Mother nature herself has gifted me icicles.

Inside I’ve kept my theme festive but versatile so I can keep it up for New Year and beyond into 2017.  I’m off to the UK in January and I’ll be too excited to spend a belated Christmas with my family to be putting the decorations away. I’ll be listening to Johnny Mathis and looking forward to eating mince pies!

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Here’s my quick guide to creating a seasonal theme that will last all winter:

The message of the season

Peace, love and joy. Signs that capture the spirit of the season work all year and remind you what’s it all about!

img_0707Be bold!

If you want to create a contemporary theme that extends beyond December 25th step away from the red and green. I LOVE pink! Think outside the box and embrace your favourite colours. I just used some spare glass jars I had in the kitchen to create this look.

 


Stars & snowflakes

They are an easy way to create a theme that gives a Winter Wonderland feel for the whole season and that you can add to easily.

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Metallics & holographics

Metallics maximise your lighting to create more magic and are perfect for parties.

 

 

Poundshop, dollar stores and party stores

Some of the most effective decorations are the cheapest. Ikea are great for fun pieces that won’t break the bank and party stores for ceiling decorations you can re-use every year.

img_0701Fruits of the season

Pine cones, cinnamon sticks, oranges slices and berries are a feast for the eyes and fill your home with a wonderful, welcoming smell. This is an easy how-to guide I found online that I used to make these orange slices.

 

Lights and candles

Twinkling lights look magical all year-round. I have a timer on my balcony lights so I don’t have to brave the cold and it’s lovely to come home to.

Keep it safe with battery operated candles. These are great value at 6 for less than $20 and are remote controlled!

You’ve Got Mail

When I first began my work as a host I was just out of the boardroom and filled to the brim with nerves. I was working late hours—or early hours, depending on how you look at it—and cutting my teeth in the new, glossy world of television. I remember my boss coming into a meeting we were having and starting to talk about getting email from customers.

Well, I actually got nervous.  I had just started in the television business, fell into the job (a story for another time) and I was in training to become a host.

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Then it happened.  The first email, one I will always remember.

My daughter was home with a cold, and I was uneasy leaving her for work. I spilled coffee across my newly washed blazer and found myself frantically rummaging through the modeling wardrobe at the network. I prepared to present a digital camera, but when the camera rolled, it immediately malfunctioned. Needless to say, I really struggled that night to get anything out quite right My day was out of focus, and by the time my show ended, I thought I might cry.

The next night when I arrived at work and combed through new messages I spotted an email from a viewer:

“Allison, I was watching you last night on air and decided to reach out to you. You were offering a camera and talking about the last vacation you had with your mom and daughter.  How you wished you had a camera to capture all the memories.  I wanted to send you and email to tell you that you are such a joy to watch.  You are always real, honest and really funny.  But it means more to me than ever because I lost my daughter last year and haven’t been able to smile much lately, but you remind me of her and last night I was smiling.  Thank you so much for being with me every night and making me smile again.”

allisonThis message will forever be one of my most cherished notes from a viewer. Since I started my work in television, viewers continue to reach out and share their own stories, comments about a show, or a simple note to say “hello!” Today we have new vehicles for  communicating —Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With these changes, I get to connect with more viewers and they have graciously allowed me to be a part of their homes and families.  It feels like the world is moving so fast some days and you begin to realize it is all a result of kindness.  One person, one note, one moment, and now through the keystroke on a keyboard, we are all connected.

When you have a bad day, I hope you’ll find me on-air telling a story, sharing something new, and sending some happiness your way. You’ve given me so much support and encouraged me, even on my worst days. I hope I can continue to be there for you too.allison2

 

Me? Married?

It took me 36 years to find the right guy and I still have to pinch myself when I think about the fact that I am actually engaged to be married! Bouncing from state to state, I was always so focused on my career that love was not really something I even thought much about. Sure, I dated here and there and have enough horror stories to fill a novella three times over, but as far as an actual real relationship that just was not in the cards.

When I moved to Alabama I started thinking again about possibly trying to meet someone. I had great friends and a great job, but something was obviously missing in my life. I had just gotten out of a rocky relationship and was not sure I wanted anything too serious to happen (Plot twist-that is always when it DOES seem to happen)

So I did what any other 30 something woman in a small town would do, I went online.

Next came the prospects of various men. Some were too old, some were too young, some lived as far away as India and others were just plain too weird.

I was trying to narrow my search to Atlanta which was just about four hours away from me. I figured that would be the easiest way to meet someone without it being terribly far away.

Sohail messaged me one day, and quite honestly, I didn’t think too much about it. I accepted his request and moved on with my life. True he checked the box as far as living in Atlanta but there were many guys who were messaging me from there and at the time he just seemed to be another one!

But there was something different from the get go. One night after going out with my friends I happened to log on to the dating site and there he was online! He asked if we could Skype and we did. I thought he was cute and funny.  We had a great, relaxed conversation and I ended up giving him my phone number. He started texting me after that and I looked forward to hearing from him daily.

This was one of our fist official dates!
This was one of our fist official dates!

We finally arranged to meet and I didn’t think too much of it. I wasn’t nervous in the slightest and I was in the process of moving to a new place so I had a ton going on! Boxes were everywhere and I was scrambling to get everything done in one weekend. I guess that is what happens, right? When you are busy with your life is when life happens to you!

Sohail showed up with flowers and a present. He had driven the four hours from Atlanta and dressed to impress. In the meantime I had thrown on some lipstick and threw on the only clothes I could find that were not in a box. What I noticed before anything was how easy he was to talk to. He had me laughing the entire time. We had a few glasses of wine and got to know each other. He was a Software Developer and seemed like he had a lot of his life together (ladies we all have dated those guys who don’t!).

I could have sat there for hours talking to him but I had moving to do. The poor guy drove back to Atlanta another four hours at the end of our date. From then on we set another meeting and another. He always showed up with flowers and a present and it was always him coming to meet me. I appreciated that he was such a gentleman and I started to learn more about his caring nature. He had that old fashioned way about him where he always opened doors and texted me to make sure I was home safe.

Soon I knew I didn’t want to be dating anyone else. I took my profile down and focused on him. We had the BEST time together. After a few months I decided it was my turn to drive to Atlanta to see his life and he planned the most amazing weekend for us with a stay at a beautiful hotel in Downtown. We started taking weekend getaways together and life was amazing! I felt safe with him and I was falling for him hard.

We had been together only a few months when I was offered the job at Evine. My how crazy life can be?! There I was with a man I could see myself with forever and here was this job I had dreamed about for years. What would I do? I thought long and hard about the decision and knew that I had to move forward with my life. If me and Sohail were going to work then we would find a way to be together. When I finally told him I was moving I braced myself for his reaction. He was silent for several minutes before he said very matter of fact, “Well, we will have to work this out won’t we? Because I can’t be without you.”

Just what I needed to hear.

After I moved I worried so much about our connection staying strong and it has beyond my wildest expectations. He came to see me in Minnesota several times and eventually even met my family!

He asked me to marry him!
He asked me to marry him!

We decided to take a magical cruise vacation together and to my complete and utter shock he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

I will never forget the date: May 21st!

Now we are planning a wedding and Sohail is moving to Minnesota next summer. I never would have thought my life could have gone in this direction. I truly thought for many years that I would never find someone to spend my life with, but life always seems to surprise us, doesn’t it!

Life may not happen how you thought it would but it always seems to happen just how it should.

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My Favorite Childhood Toys

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s was vastly different than the experience of kids today.  No internet, bluetooth, cell phones, apps, or PlayStation.   In fact, it was’t until 1982 that the Commodore 64 computer came onto the scene.  Yet, like in every era, the toys of my childhood were accurate indicators as to how our young minds were focused by the times, our parents, and toy makers.
camaroMimicking our parents was a big theme because we just wanted to be like our parents. For my brothers and me, it was tooling around our patio in metal cars and fire engines like these in the pictures.  For other kids in the neighborhood, it was making cakes in the infamous Easy Bake Oven.

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Plastics played a huge roll in toy making as many new types were in their advent.  From softer plastics used for the somewhat flexible Barrel Of Monkeys pick-up game to the heavily molded and mechanical Rock Em Sock Em Robots, designed to help kids take out their aggression in a game versus on each other.

mr-peanutMake and Do was one of my favorite genres as I like making things and using creativity to make one-of-a-kinds.  From snow cones portioned for Lilliputians, to peanuts we pulverized into butter with little help from Mr. Peanut (that was soooo hard to turn.  No wonder the crank handled busted) to the wildly fun Creepy Crawlers and shrunken heads we baked in our basement using the Mattel “Mystery” Goop.  Oh, and were those bottles ever really tested for toxicity? This was during the time when asbestos was in it’s heyday.  At the same time, how lucky was I that my dad was able to formulate endless supplies of  the Goop at work in the chemistry lab and bring home lots of colors for FREE!

 

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Building things was another favorite.  Like the Lincoln Log sets made out of real wood.  Or learning about leverage and a tension fit from the
Don’t Break The Ice Game.  But there was a limit to the amount of dont-break-the-iceattention I was willing to give things even back then. For example: Model Cars.  I loved them, and bought many of them.  But I never put more than 1/3 of a car together before I threw it all back in the box and put it back on the shelf.  The all-too-many extra pieces made no difference to me.  I just wanted to get to the good part of painting and detailing. Ever hear of the Real Wankel Model Engine? We never opened it.  Nope.  It would take a patient saint to read all those instructions and a special kind of kid that would even care to build an engine.  I’m sure the real value of that unopened gift will come to surface the day I put it in New, Unopened Condition on Ebay!!  monopolyMonopoly was fun but only for a while.  I don’t know any 10-year old with the patience for either.  By the time you started making some money, it was time for dinner.  Oh and battleship.  Talk about a game designed for twin boys living on a farm 250 miles from other children.  Boring!

 

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Lastly, there was the big casino table top pinball machine our Grandpa Jim bought us one year at Christmas.  We just couldn’t believe it.  So cool. And so electrified with no less than a dozen D-size batteries.  Wish we would have taken care of that.  It would be worth a fortune today.

 

My two brothers and I were lucky kids.  We didn’t get a lots of toys, but we did get even the slightest of skills from the ones we played.   My mom, to this day, covets and keeps all the vintage toys under lock and key, as they are a source of fond memories she has of us when we were young.  I think she still doesn’t fully trust us with them.  “Our Lincoln Logs are the real ones made of wood”, she likes to remind us.

lincoln-logsWhat was your favorite toy?  Leave a picture of it below if you still have it.  Or grab one from Google images and post it with a memory.  Everyone can relate.  I hope you can remind me and others of toys we might have forgotten.