I've been doing some research into the Adobe programs - Treehouse has a wonderful collection of videos for learning the foundations of Illustrator and Photoshop from the bottom-up. Mat Helme, who teaches Illustrator Foundations, does a thorough job of explaining every one of the tools available and how to use them. As a total newbie, this was exactly what I needed.
One of my new favorite ways to use Illustrator is as a tracing tool. As a kid, I would trace coloring book pages for my friends so we could all color the same pictures together (Lisa Frank, anyone?). Maybe I'm channeling my inner child, but it's a quick way to turn a photo or hand-drawn design into a graphic image. Cool, amirite?