7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 11)

November 28, 2008 | 48 comments

— 1 —

I’m so excited: a good friend and I are going to do a big Baking Day sometime in December where we bake up fancy cookies and treats to use as gifts. The idea is that each person bakes a few different kinds of things and then you each get some of each other’s so that you can create gift baskets with a large variety of homemade goods without having to make it all yourself. It should be fun, and also save a lot of money on gifts. (I should note that this is not my original idea — I got it from a very creative and clever friend of mine.)

For inspiration, I used an Amazon gift card to go on a little book buying spree and got all of the following books used for around $2 each:

— 2 —

Since Yaya was here this week, I was able to get out and go to the library to do some writing work. I emailed my husband to tell him I was there, and he responded by saying only:

watch out for pirates.

At first I didn’t know what he meant…but then I remembered. (See #2 here). My husband the comedian was still laughing about it when he got home that night.

— 3 —

Yaya spontaneously decided to give the baby a bang trim with kitchen scissors on Wednesday. “Wednesday” as in “Day Before Christmas Card Pictures” Wednesday. Though I wasn’t there, my guess from seeing the results is that she did it blindfolded with one hand tied behind her back. Or something.

Let’s just say I’m glad I’m good with Photoshop, otherwise I’d have to try to convince people that the “stair-step” look is in this year.

— 4 —

Elizabeth Esther’s recent hilarious post about Facebook trying to lure her back in after she quit reminded me of the most impressive unsubscribe guilt trip I’ve ever seen. I love FlyLady and used to get her routine reminders by email, but eventually unsubscribed as an effort to declutter my inbox. I immediately got this auto-reply:

Dear Friends,

Our members either love our reminders or get mad at them because they hear a nagging voice. These reminders are here to gently keep you from forgetting. They are said in our loving voice and not a negative voice from your past.

[People] join and get overwhelmed by the reminders. I know how much we all hate change. […]

We are here to help you and it breaks my heart that we are pushing away the people that need us the most.


Breaks her heart! She’s trying not to be a voice from my past! Ack! The guilt! But the unsubscribe notice wasn’t done. It then included an email from a reader who had herself unsubscribed a while back in which she shared the real reason she left the list:

I had joined in 2000 and quit after six months. I joined again in 2003, and quit after two months. Here’s why I quit both times: as I read your emails, I heard my mother’s voice. The negative, critical voice. I didn’t like being bossed around, and being reminded I was a failure. That’s how I read your messages, despite all your efforts to the contrary. [She ended up re-subscribing and all was well. -JF]

So if I don’t re-subscribe, FlyLady is going to think that I thought she was bossing me around and making me feel like a failure?! Should I contact her and clear things up, explaining that the issue wasn’t that I thought she was telling me that I was a failure but just that I was actually failing and too lazy to care? It was agonizing.

Although…if I ever start an email list I’m going to remember this tactic. 🙂

— 5 —

My husband and I are going to watch our annual movie this weekend. We only watch one movie a year, to play in the background while I work on Christmas card stuff. (And we actually haven’t been to a movie in the theaters since 2004!)

All that is to say, we don’t even know what’s out there. Any suggestions? What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past few years?

— 6 —

We did get Christmas card pictures taken yesterday, and we actually got one with all five of us that meets all of my Christmas card photo requirements:

  • nobody had their eyes closed
  • at least one person was looking at the camera
  • less than half of the people in the photo were screaming.

It was supposed to be photo taken in the wan afternoon light, perhaps with a sunset glowing in the background; by the time we got everyone dressed, groomed and out the door it ended up being a night photo. Maybe people will think we were being artsy.

— 7 —

We had a lovely day yesterday. My 94-year-old grandfather fixed up a feast and my mom made some wonderful pumpkin and apple pies. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

NOTE: Since many of us were away from our computers a lot this week, feel free to add your link later in the weekend if you can’t get it up by Friday.


  1. Isle Dance

    I’m so relieved to know that someone else has not been to the movies, nor do they know what’s going on out there. Phew! :o)

    P.S. I loved FlyLady, too.

  2. Kylie w Warszawie

    I am a subscriber of FlyLady too, and I have to say that the emails border on spam. I usually just delete everything which doesn’t really help. And I can’t quite get past the idea that she wants to help us get rid of clutter by cluttering up our inboxes.

  3. Debbie

    Oh I get to be first! I love that. Well, this will be my first “7 Quick Takes”. Thank you for thinking this up.

  4. Multiple Mom T

    LOL about the pirate thing!!

    If you haven’t seen it, National Treasure is VERY very good. National Treasure #2 is good (not as good as the original, but that’s very hard to do).

    The Princess Bride always works in any and all movie viewing situations.

  5. Elizabeth

    Artsy! LOL! I’m hoping folks will think that about my Christmas photo, too! 🙂

    p.s. i’m glad you enjoyed my FB post! It’s been a week and I still don’t miss FB.

  6. Starrball

    I linked up. That gift basket book sounds interesting. I’d love to see a sample Christmas photo lol 🙂 I’m pretty sure I’d insist no one was screaming. We’ll see that may change when I have more people to incorporate…

  7. Starrball

    Somehow I missed your #5

    I really loved Definitely Maybe.

  8. Tami Boesiger

    I’ve never had the courage to get mixed up with Flylady. I know I’d be a disappointment to her!

  9. Laughing Lioness

    I so enjoy your blog, Jennifer- as well as the other “Quick Take” posters! Have an awesome day = )

  10. Hope

    The best movie I’ve seen recently is an old one called The Spitfire Grill. It’s a beautiful story of redemption.

  11. Margaret in Minnesota

    I played along. It was lots of fun.

    Happy Black Friday, Jen! As you can see, I prefer blogging to doorbusters.

  12. Laura

    Either of the 2 John Paul II movies are good. We’ve watched one of them (can’t remember the exact name) and we are have the other one in our waiting to be watched pile. On the lighter side, if you like fairy tale like love stories try “Enchanted”. For a kid movie, it’s not bad. Of course it is definitely a chick flick, so I guess your husband might not like it.
    God Bless!

  13. Jen

    I’m loving reading everyone’s quick takes!! And I love your idea in #1.

  14. Tina

    Good movies:
    The Bishops Wife (the original with Cary Grant); The Nativity; Facing the Giants; Fireproof; Amazing Grace; Expelled; The Ultimate Gift; Martian Child; Lars and the Real Girl (the blow up doll isn’t what it might look like); The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Lord of the Rings trilogy; End of the Spear (true story); I Am David; A Knight’s Tale; School of Rock; Whale Rider.

  15. Kacy

    I fear my 7 quick takes are sometimes not-so-quick takes.

  16. Kacy

    Oh yes, and movies I would recommend:


    To End All Wars (amazing, but violent so not kid friendly)

    Anything directed by Frank Capra (though these aren’t recent)

  17. Elaine T

    A movie to watch that’s good… Well, our family favorite of the last few years is Pixar’s Ratatouille. And it’s about cooking, which fits with your #1.

  18. Anonymous

    Bella is one of the best movies ever!

  19. Sandy

    We watch a lot of movies as my husband is a huge movie buff. I read through most of them so only the best ones catch my full attention. Recent favorites: Wall-E (my 18 yodd and I went to the theater to see it and it was really cute), Atonement, The Lives of Others (subtitled), Pan’s Labyrinth.

  20. Sandy

    A few more movies: 3:10 to Yuma, Little Miss Sunshine, Beowulf.

    I think it’s great that your 94 year old grandfather fixed Thanksgiving dinner! What a blessing.

  21. Catherine

    There’s an Italian film company that’s been putting out great films about the saints recently. I have several of them reviewed on my blog but our favorite was probably Saint Rita–not the most historically accurate but a great story!

  22. TRS

    Ugh. What is it about grandmothers thinking they have a right to cut their grandchildren’s hair?? (Bangs specifically) I hear horror stories like this from my friends all the time!

    Seems like when you leave your kids with someone you have to have all the contact information, remind them not to shake the baby – AND say “Don’t cut any hair!”

  23. Amy

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jen!

  24. Rob

    Second vote for Bella!!! The best movie I have seen in a long time (and we have a netflix subscription so…) Be warned, it is a tear-jerker but my husband liked it too so not just a chick flick.

  25. Lady of the Lakes

    Oops, that was embarrassing. LOL I am on my husband’s computer and apparently he is signed in, go figure. Anyway that last post from Rob was actually me. 🙂

  26. Sarah

    Definitely see Bella. I’m a big fan of Pride and Prejudice, a new one came out a couple years ago.

  27. Anonymous

    Barchester Chronicles, a BBC series from a long time ago. Alan Rickman’s debut performance. Fabulous.

    Jane M

  28. Pam

    I linked up. What about Bella? We really liked that one here.

  29. Christine

    Hi Jen, I’m so glad you’re doing the quick takes today. I look forward to them each week -ummm I made a mistake and put the wrong link on #26 – that was last week’s – it auto put in a link, and not thinking I hit enter. Can you delete that one somehow? Sorry.

    The baskets sound awesome. So did you see any pirates? And I’ll never try to trim my daughter’s bangs again, after what I did last time. It seems so easy, and I couldn’t even blame her for the mess I made of it.

  30. Shelly W

    Thanks for the chance to give some quick takes about our Thanksgiving. What great memories.

    I used to subscribe to FlyLady too, but had to quit for the guilt factor too. I just couldn’t keep up. But I still check in on her every now and then. My, she’s come a long way!

  31. Jennifer

    Some movies I love this time of year are The Notebook and Love Actually–but a good romantic comedy you can just tune out (or sit and watch and still enjoy) is 27 dresses…Not sure how the hubby will feel about that one! :o)

    I linked to 7 Quick Takes–Now I have to go think of seven things to say :o)

  32. Whimsy


    Now that you have a child who is 4 years old, you have the equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree in Motherhood!

    Senior Thesis topic:
    Describe how you handle Christmas shopping for the kiddles. How do you tread the line between “getting what the kids get excited about in the flyer that came today” and “surprising them on Christmas morning with something they wanted all along but didn’t even know it.”

  33. Anne Marie

    Hubby and I like the movie Saving Grace. We enjoy the humor, the small town British setting, and the goofiness. It’s entertainment without any particular message, and well, lets just say the tie in with our past is funny too.

    If this comment came in twice, could you blow one of them out? I’m suffering with Oppositional Defiant Laptop Syndrome today.

  34. Stretch Mark Mama

    Those are gloriously wonderful standards for family photos. I make sure that at least one LIMB of each child is shown in the picture.

    I’m a FlyLady failure as well. I could keep up with the schedule when I had one kid. But with three? WHITE FLAG. I’m lucky if the toilets get cleaned once a month. But I always liked how she separated the cleaning of the house into chunks. It’s a great system, but woe is me, doesn’t collide with all the time-wasting internet time I have to do. Priorities, people.

  35. Anonymous

    See Bella and Juno. Better yet, buy them and share around.

  36. Eileen

    I think I am becoming addicted to this “7 quick takes” thing. Thanks for coming up with such a fun idea!

    Total FlyLady dropout here. When I was at my FlyLadiest, though, one of the older girls watched me in awe and said, “Wow, you’re cleaning things I would never even *think* of cleaning!” That’s when I knew I had probably gone too far.

    Sadly, the pendulum does swing …

  37. Amy @ Finer Things

    If you haven’t taken in your annual movie, I highly recommend Fireproof. I just wrote a post on it last week… we hadn’t been to the movies in nearly 3 years!


  38. Anna

    When I decided I couldn’t handle getting all the Flylady emails, instead of unsubscribing, I switched to a “web only” feature of yahoo groups, so that I don’t get the daily emails, but can still go look them up by going to the yahoo group webpage, if I want to. Apparently this saved me from getting the guilt-tripping unsubscribe email. 🙂

  39. Anonymous

    ditto on Barchester Chronicles..
    just as you imagine the novels to be

  40. Amanda

    I am planning on doing some baking for Christmas gifts this year as well. I think that I’ll be checking out The Perfect Gift Basket myself. Thanks for the reference!

  41. Keith

    I can’t imagine watching only one movie a year. But then I NEVER watch any movies without my kids, so they learn how to watch all kinds of stuff that would bore average children. I blog about stuff we watch at Family Films Off the Beaten Path. (Get something by Miyazaki)

  42. JackieD

    Love Actually is a great movie and perfect for Christmastime ^_^

  43. Justice Jonesie

    I just saw Wanted with Angeline Jolie. Although I’m on team Jennifer, it was a great movie. I would strongly recommend.

  44. Lyn

    #5 – There Will Be Blood was the best movie I’ve seen this year.

    The other movie I saw this year was 3:10 to Yuma; good, but it fell apart at the end.

  45. Anonymous

    Re: #6 Pictures

    the number of pictures you have to take to get a perfect picture increases exponentially with the number of people

    but the likelihood of any given child losing it increases with each picture taken

    The photographer took 4 group pictures (5 kids 6mo-10yrs, plus parents) and we said, okay there are two half-way decent pictures, now move on to individual pictures of each kid. She was stunned we weren’t going to keep going until we got a “perfect” picture. Apparently she gets a lot of people who insist on 50 different pictures of their child and then conclude their child is ugly.

    re flylady
    Every morning I go down the list in the folder and delete almost all the flylady e-mails. Then I read the 3 or 4 e-mails left. I look at it as decluttering practice. : )

  46. Anonymous

    I subscribed to Flylady for years, but never could get into the habits she was pushing. I finally realized it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t have a cluttered, disorganized home, and I am not a Sidetracked Home Executive. I just do things my own way. And also…I won’t wear shoes in the house!!!!

  47. 'Becca

    The best movie of the few I’ve seen since 2004 is Me and You and Everyone We Know.

    Is the “Bella” people are talking about A Wedding for Bella, released in theaters in 2002 as The Bread, My Sweet? I highly recommend that one!

    Something else you might like, as a geek, is the new version of “Doctor Who”. If you can rent or borrow the Season 1 DVD set, you’d have time for two episodes: the first one to introduce you to the characters (and it’s pretty good, anyway, and includes THE funniest line in the history of “Doctor Who”) and “The Unquiet Dead” which is one of my favorites so far.

  48. E

    “Bella” but don’t watch it with the kids! Someone asked which Bella

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