Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What I Learned This Week - Random

I learned this week that the Target bakery requires 48 hours to decorate a cake. Most grocery stores require 24 hours and do not have a cake decorator working on Sundays.

I learned that kids do not really care how the cake is decorated. They just want cake.

I learned that spending a weekend with my son will require me to play video games and watch movies about racing, kung fu and superheros.

I learned that boys - no matter what age - do not like to shop.

I learned that even though people will disappoint me that they are most likely doing the best they can.

I learned that saying no to a couple things this week allowed me to be a nicer mommy and wife.

I learned that when I don't blog, you will email me to see how I am doing. Thanks. :)

I learned that when I don't blog or Twitter or Facebook, I get laundry done.

For more lessons learned this week, head over to Musings of a Housewife.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not Me Monday - Forgot the Cake

Okay, so here it is - my first Not Me Monday! I thought the recap of the weekend would be fun to do this way.

It was Not Me that spent the entire weekend alone with my almost 5 year old son and watched Speed Racer and Mario Brothers while Hubby and B were on an Indian Princess camping trip. And it did Not rain the entire weekend on them.

It was Not Me that worried they would be hit by a tornado or shoot an eye out at the BB gun shooting range or catch pneumonia after falling into a cold river from a zipline. Or break some important part of their body.

It was Not Me that took my son to his Spring Carnival this weekend and he did not play one game, get his face painted or go on one ride. It was Not Me that pre-paid for all of these games, rides and face painting. So, it was Not Me that was a little aggrevated that he did not want to play.

It was Not Me that put my puppy in his crate 55 million times this weekend just to have some peace of mind that he was not chewing up something, namely my other dog.

It was Not Me that took the easy way out and held my my son's birthday party at a bounce house party place with 20 of his friends. It was Not Me that forgot to order his cake and had to improvise by buying Ben 10 action figures to put on a plain cake. And it certainly was not me that bought a too small cake for 20 kids.

It was Not Me that left the goody bags at home and had to send Hubby back to get them. And then it was Not Me that forgot to hand them out to all of the kids once they left the party. Nope, Not me.

It was Not Me that is almost finished redecorating my daughter's cute Paris Pink room this weekend and is giddy with how it is turning out. It's definitely Not Me that wants to move in there myself.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Updated: When I went to link to her carnival this morning, I instead noticed her story of their baby, Stellan. Please pray for them.
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Sunday Word - Things people Say

Lately, I have this renewed love for quotes from famous people. I like the way someone can sum up a thought process up in just a few words. Here are some new (to me) ones that I found recently that I thought were great.

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work." - Emile Zola (1840-1902)

"I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart."
- e e cummings (1894-1962)

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
- Henry Ford (1863-1947)

"Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'."
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

"If you are going through hell, keep going."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
- George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

"Women leaders offer a perspective, a voice, an entire world of experience that is essential for both men and women in the congregation to experience."
- Nancy Beach

My all time favorite is...

"There is nothing neither good nor bad. Thinking makes it so. "
-Wm. Shakespeare

What's your favorite quote?

sources: Good Quotations, Gifted to Lead by Nancy Beach

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Somewhere In The Middle

Good thing I don't care much about stats and such on my blog. But I do care about you! Thank you so much for those of you that emailed me to see where I've been. Wow, that is just amazing to me - you people really bless me more than you know.

Well, I am fine. No worries. I really did not intend to take a blogging break but my week got a little out of hand and I needed to let something give. I love blogging so much and most of the time it is a good place for me to release what is on my mind. Other times, my mind is such a jumble that anything I write would sound like another language, so I just choose not to write.

Basically, I'm in the middle of a weird situation. A situation where I am letting go of something comfortable while trying to embrace something else that is new and completely unknown. Letting go of something good for something that I hope is even better. Also, in the middle of this whole situation are a bunch of really good people and friends: some who are feeling confused and hurt and others that have great responsibility to look at a much bigger picture.

A friend sent me this verse this week to help me through a confusing day...

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NASB)
Do not call to mind the former things
Or ponder things of the past

Behold, I will do something new,
now it will spring forth,

Will you not be AWARE of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

Remember, my word for this year?

I decided in January to pick a word for the year instead of a new year's resolution. My prayer for the year was to make me AWARE.

My news year's resolution was instead a prayer to keep my pride in check and to help me be aware of the world around me and how it does not revolve around me.

Also, to make me acutely aware of how to act when I am in the middle of a situation. For instance, when I am making my family late to church because I've been on Facebook too long, that I be aware of how frustrated my husband must feel and how selfish I was being by doing that.

Or to be aware of how my children feel when they are the last kid waiting in carpool somewhere because I have been late. Do you see a pattern here? Being late is obviously something I struggle with.

So, that was my prayer back in January - that God make me aware in the midst of a situation.

Here I am in the midst of a big ole hairy intense complicated situation and am reminded to be aware of what I need to learn from it, where I need to grow and how I need to move forward. My hope is that I handle it all with grace and that my peace through it all is found through God. Maybe that is what he is making me aware of. Hold things of this world loosely - even things that seem good. Hold God tightly.

Well, I don't think I am going to figure it all out today. Maybe not even tomorrow. So, I'm headed to have some waffles and take the crazy puppy for a walk after that. I can figure that out. Maybe - this puppy is a whole other story!

So, how about you? What was your week like?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Easiest Bestest Blueberry Cobbler Ever - WFMW

One of my very best girlfriends gave this recipe to me.

It is Easy.
It is Good.
What else could you ask for?

Blueberry Cobbler

  • 2 - 16 oz. packages of frozen blueberries (thawed) or two large containers fresh (I like the thawed frozen because it gives a nice juice - so freeze fresh ones when you got 'em and use them later for this cobbler)
  • 1 cup Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 cup sugar or Splenda
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 stick of butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 8 x 8 or similar size baking dish.

While butter is melting mix the flour, sugar and milk.

Pour the blueberries the baking dish and stir in with the butter.
Pour flour mixture over the blueberries.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.


I'd love to show you pictures but it is all gone!

If you would like to see 289 more great ideas head on over to We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday.

I have actually tried for 3 weeks to link this up to Works for Me Wednesday. I guess you have to stay up until midnight or something to do that and honestly, it's just not that important to me. But, I really want to share it with you. Enjoy.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

It Might Be Hope

Sara Groves - It Might Be Hope
This song is providing so much comfort for me lately. I wanted to share it with you.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22 is World Water Day

Today is World Water Day. YouTube has chosen Charity: Water's video about the Central African Republic as it's featured video today. Check it out. Help them out.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Linked Up - Great Gardening Blogs

My heart just skipped a little beat when I found this blog: Backyard Gardening Blog

So then I was on a mission to find other great gardening blogs.

I need all the help I can get with gardening and don't even try to stop me when I'm on a mission.

I found these other gardening blogs. Just for you.

And me.

Well okay, mostly for me, but I thought you would also enjoy them.

First off, this site gives you a comprehensive list of gardening blogs in your area. Wow - they did a lot of work. That makes my job a lot easier today. Sustainable Gardening

I could really just stop there because...well...it is such a comprehensive list.

But, here is another site that gives a pretty vast list of gardening blogs:
Dig In Dirt - love that name!!!

These are some good Gardening Websites.

Organic Gardening
I Heart Gardening
Better Homes and Gardens
National Gardening Association
The United States National Arboretum
Martha Stewart Gardening

There are seriously HUNDREDS of garden blogs. But those should get you started. Find out your garden zone before you start planting. Planting something that your aunt in Florida plants might not work in Michigan. Or even Virginia. Find out what works for your area.

Most garden centers will only stock what grows well in your area.

Ways to save money on gardening:

  • Buy native plants.
  • Buy mark down plants at the end of that plant's blooming season. You will not get blooms until next year, but you will save about half.
  • Have a garden swap. I have a friend who has tons of Thyme growing on the side of her house. Last year, I dug up about an 8 inch pot of it and now it is going crazy in my garden. Cost: FREE. I plan to do the same with some Lamb's Ear in another friend's garden.
  • Some high priced garden centers and your local home improvement store carry the same exact plants from local greenhouses. Many times I will check out what I want at the garden center and then go to Lowes to buy the exact same item.
  • Go directly to the greenhouse. Last year, I bought a Japanese Maple for $20! A Hydrangea bush for $5. A pink dogwood for $8. I have to travel a bit out of my way, but it is worth the price. These greenhouses just grow rows and rows of plants, package them and sell them to your local garden centers. You might have to know what you are looking for in these places. There is little help and even less labeling.

Anybody know of any good Blog Garden Tours this year? If not, maybe I'll host one here. I would love to see your gardens!

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Care for your Colored Hair

I posted over at Chic Critique yesterday about L'Oreal's new Sulfate-free Color Care system for your hair. Check it out if you are interested. Free Sample included!
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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

If you are visiting from 5 Minutes from Mom, welcome to Dandelion Dayz! If you want to know why I chose the name Dandelion Dayz, you can read about that HERE.

If you are a regular reader be sure to hop on over to 5 Minutes for Mom Blog Party by clicking on the Party Box above and finding out about all the cool prizes you can win! You don't have to be a blogger to win them! So, go now - you know most of this stuff, anyway. :)

My name is Janel and I'm a stay at home mom that doesn’t seem to stay at home much. I live in a small suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina with my husband and two kids: an elementary age girl that wants to rule the world and a preschool boy that wants to grow up to be a superhero. A couple of years ago I started to blog as a way to clear my very cluttered mommy brain. Unbelievably, two years later, I'm still here.

I'm active in several roles at my church and find great joy in leadership and coaching other leaders. I love to identify leadership gifts in someone who doesn't even realize they have them and then helping them nurture those gifts. That is exciting to me! I'm an extravert, a sanguine and a true mess that is loved by a very patient family and a great big amazing God.

Being that my personality is a bit disorganized by nature, so is my blog. So, I tend to share my life by following a lot of carnivals like Wordless Wednesday and What I Learned this Week. I've also enjoyed Mom Missing recently.

I sometimes find great links that I will share with you. This Saturday, I will be linking up to some gardening blogs, so be sure to stop back by if you are a gardener.

I also blog about my experience in sponsoring a Compassion child and often help out at Compassion booths with my good pal to help more kids get sponsors. Sponsoring this little boy is a blessing to my family and it could be to yours also by going HERE.

In the colder months, I host a carnival called Souper Saturday where other bloggers link up with a favorite soup recipe. I got some incredible recipes this year for my family.

What else?
Oh! I blog about trends for kids at a local website called Triangle TRACKS and I blog at Chic Critique which is a blog where everyday women review beauty and fashion products for women just like you! I'm am blogging over there this afternoon about L'Oreal's new sulfate-free shampoo - check it out. Two very awesome women run those blogs.

Blogging is a hobby for me. I don't aspire to be the biggest blogger on the block and enjoy the followers that I have. I like getting to know them back and forth in comments and emails and would love for you to be one of my new bloggy friends.

Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Apple a Day - WW

They are just pure fun.

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What I Learned This Week - Grammar Lesson

Did you know that "can't help but..." is not proper grammar?

As in, "I can't help but think she is about to make a wrong turn."
Or, "I can't help but wonder if that skirt goes with those shoes."

I did not know this.
It sounds so right.
I know I've used this phrase before.

I guess it is just "I think she is about to make a wrong turn."
Or, "I wonder if that skirt goes with those shoes."

I mean, it's not like I am some Grammar Queen or anything. Spend some time on my blog and you'll figure that out pretty quickly. I was just surprised by this one, that's all.

BUT, never fear Amazon is here. I know the above statement is not proper grammar because of my handy dandy book The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need.

I like this little book because I keep it right by my computer to use when I have a question about the use of a comma or choosing the right pronoun. If I really dig into the book, it will even explain what a Gerund is. What is a Gerund? Well, I'm glad you asked. It is a word that begins with a verb and ends in -ing and acts like a noun. Like Running or Singing.

Are you impressed? Not really, huh?

So, what grammar mistake are you surprised by? Please don't include the 10 or so I've made in this post - my ego just can't take it.

What is your favorite book about grammar usage or writing?

Jo-Lynne recommended On Writing Well to me a year or so ago and it has been very helpful as well.

For more great lessons learned this week, be sure to visit Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife.
She's got a new look over there!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

My First Car was...

Today, I am sick. It started with Hubby. Moved to B. Now I have the wretched upper respiratory infection and feel like...well, not good.

So, I'm linking up to Kel from Girl in the Glasses and her question:

What was your first car? Yup, that's it. Well, it's the wrong color but the make, year and model are the same. My 1980 Honda Civic hatchback was silver.

It even shocked my husband to know that I did not actually get my driver's license until I was 17 years old. I was so terrified to drive! It was only when my sweet girlfriends told me they were done driving out to my house in the boonies (it was 15 minute outside of town) to get me. They were forcing me to get my license.

My mom told me if I got my license that I could have her car - the Honda Civic. That's the good news. The bad news? It was a standard. A stick shift. A five speed.

It was bad enough I was afraid to drive not to mention I had to drive a stick shift! I finally took my driver's test in my girlfriend's car and then my stepdad taught me how to drive my new car.

The only thing that went through my head the first time I was allowed to drive alone in my new car was not fear, but "Sweet FREEDOM!!!! Why in heck did I wait so long?!?"

I drove that car for another two years until a bad breakup with a boyfriend inspired me to trade in the very good running Civic, the one without a car payment, for this little number. My 1981 Volkswagon Rabbit convertible was red. The salesman saw me coming from a mile away. A young girl with a broken heart in late May. Sold.

Like any 19 year old who hasn't experienced a hint of the real world, I really thought that I "deserved" that car. While I relished, and I mean RELISHED, riding in that car with the top down it also came with a nice little car payment and lots of problems. Eventually it met it's demise in a flood that sent the Missouri River pouring over it's banks. I had the car parked at the restaurant in which I was working to pay for it. By the river.

I watched from a window as it filled up with water and there was not a thing I could do to save it.

I went through a couple more cars in my young adulthood until my Hubby bought me my very mostest favoritest ever BRAND NEW car. The smell alone has spoiled me for life.

A black 1997 Mazda Miata.

I cried the day I traded my Miata in on my first van. I was 7 months pregnant with B and it was pretty evident that my car was not made for a passenger that sits in a car seat.

Sometimes now, on a warm day, I open the sun roof in my beautiful van that Hubby bought me last year and imagine that I am driving the Miata.

Until one of the kids screams from the back that the sun is shining in their eyes from the sunroof and I'm scaring them a little by driving too fast.

With a quick jolt right back into reality, I slow down, close the sunroof, turn on some 80's music and think back to that day I first drove alone - Sweet FREEDOM!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Followers - Help?

Okay, call me dumb, but what is the deal with the Followers on Blogger now? I get that Blogger wants to create some sort of community with this. And if you have 400 followers it certainly looks cool - kinda like Facebook, I guess. But if you only have say 22...well, I don't know how that looks.

So, are we supposed to log in each time we visit a blog we follow? Oh, and I've lost a couple followers? Did I say something? If you don't blog on Blogger can you still "follow" a blog?

Why would we do this instead of just subscribing to a blog?

If Blogger wants to use this as a community tool like FB or Twitter then why not notify us when someone starts to follow or not follow?

So, is it a good thing to have on your blog sidebar or not? You tell me.

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunday Word - Vocation

Vocation...the place where our deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
-Frederick Beuchner

Today I was reading on a friend's Facebook page about how she was at work and that she didn't feel like she was working at all! I found that incredibly refreshing because I really don't hear that often.

I know that she does her job well. I interact with her weekly and I see her enthusiasm and love for the people she leads. God is truly working through her. She exudes energy and she does not seem tired from her job. And her job is not easy.

So, are you doing what you love? Do you know what your gifts are and are you using them? Tell me how - I'd love to hear!!! Really. :)

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My kids are very expressive. I guess being the children of a known Drama Queen, they are bound to carry on some of that.

This picture above is actually from Bubby's last birthday but it really reminded me of yesterday when he did the exact thing.

I was due to be in his class at preschool with the other parents for a Parent Lunch. That morning I was dealing with the guy putting in an invisible fence for our new puppy and I ended up running behind to get to the lunch.

AND I had instructions from my son to pick up McDonald's for the lunch because he was really wanting chicken nuggets in BBQ sauce...and the latest Spiderman toy. Dang blasted McDonalds - they really suck the kids in with those toys. When I arrived there the line was around the building. Of course it was.

Anywho, I was running late but only by about 5 minutes. When I walked into the classroom FULL of moms who were not late and sitting with their precious preschoolers, mine was sitting there with another lone kid. (I know, break my heart)

He sees me, puts his hand over his eyes just like in that picture above and loudly says, "FINALLY!"

I was not embarrassed at all. Not one bit as all the moms looked at me and snickered and the teachers tried to hide their smiles as they greeted me politely.

I guess I'm one of those moms. The late one. The one often not completely made up (or even showered) when I drop off my son...and sometimes even when I pick him up. I am often racing into carpool line as one of the last parents to drop off and pick up, along with the other moms like me. I love it when I actually see one behind me in line because I think to myself, "Well, at least I'm not as late as her! "

I do always make carpool on time. That's gotta count for something right? I'm just not the first person in line. There has to be an end of the line, right?

If you're the mom who is first in line, you will not get me at all. You might even be wondering just what in the heck is wrong with me. When we get that figured out, I'll be sure to let you know! My guess is that most of you are a little more like me, though.

So, back to this parent lunch. Actually, there were a couple kids who did not have a parent there at all. Some work and others just could not make it that morning. I love having lunch with my son and being in his classroom but I kinda think that they make such a big deal out of parent lunch day that the kids are crushed when a parent doesn't make it. I'm just not sure how healthy that is.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mom's Not Missing From This Picture! 2/52

Are you a mom? Are you also the family photographer? Does it seem like you are missing from all of the pictures??? Yeah, me too. So, I'm participating in Forever Blue Jean's weekly carnival where you post photos that you are actually included in! Easier said than done. But it is a good reminder to include yourself in the photos!

Anyway, this was taken at Christmas time at the Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker in front of the pink tree! It is a yearly tradition for B and I to go to the Nutcracker, so it is the one place I am always sure to get a picture of us.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mom, if God...?

Question from my 4 (almost 5) year old son yesterday. We were looking at a book of bible stories and He asked,

"Mom, are we happy that Jesus died on the cross?"

Well my friends...what would you say to a 4 (almost 5) year old? I mean, how do you explain what you know about this to a child?

Kinda reminds me of the one my daughter presented at that age. One day after a preschool lesson on how God created the world and everything in it, she asked,

"Mom, if God created everything, then did he create evil?"

Are they getting smarter or is it just me????? You gotta be on your toes with these kids.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wednesday Is Global Food Crisis Day

As little as $13 can feed a child for a month in some regions.

I read that and thought about how much money I spend weekly on groceries here. $13 probably equals the amount I spend on junk food. Maybe just for this week, I could let go of some of that food we don't even need to help a child that desperately needs just one meal.

Will you join me?

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I Learned That Life Will Go On If I Don't Blog One Day

I've been doing some thinking about the ole' blog lately. I try to evaluate my activities every so often when I start to feel overwhelmed.

Then I read this and have actually seen other bloggers all over the place evaluating their own blogs and the amount of media they participate in.

Let me back up a bit, though.

I was telling my husband about a week ago how I needed a new phone - a Blackberry. I recently got a new phone so he asked why I thought I needed another new phone and one that he will have to pay extra for each month.

My response was

To check email, Twitter, Facebook, my blog and to text properly of course. It's so hard to push all those characters over and over again to get the right letter.

He kind of chuckled.
Okay, he has an iPhone.
Ancient Chinese Secret: One that has iPhone should not laugh at one that does not.
So, whatever.

Then a couple days later I told him that I thought I needed a laptop computer.

Not ever wanting to deny me anything - he's good like that - he asked why.

I responded,
Well, so I can blog and check email and Twitter and Facebook in different places, like in front of the TV or at the park or outside while the kids are playing. And take it on trips.

No chuckle this time. But I am getting a little chuckle at myself looking back on my own words.

Anyway, after a little thought, he said yes but his reasons were much different than mine! He's a thinker and thank goodness one of us is. We'd be in big trouble, otherwise.

He actually said that if I wanted a new laptop, I could get one because the kids are using the desktop much more and he doesn't like to take his laptop on trips, so he could see the use in getting me one. Plus, he wants to support my little hobby here.

Yay, me! New Laptop!

So, it occurred to me that his reasons were sound in why we would invest in a new laptop.

It also occurred to me that my reasons were, well, so I could blog more and be on the computer more.

And then what finally occurred to me is that,

What I really needed here was a little perspective.

So, after about a week of himming and hawing, I decided to hold off on both the Blackberry and laptop for a bit. Oh, I see how this "thinking things through" works - it makes you do logical things that are no fun.

Here's a thought, Janel: Limit the kid's time on the computer. AND MINE. Don't take a laptop on trips. Really these things are much more in line with my value system and it is crazy how the increased time we spend on media just sneaks up on me.

So, I learned this week that it's okay if I am not on Facebook every day, if I don't Twitter my every move and if I skip a day blogging because my life is just not that interesting.

I'm pretty sure that life will go on and I will actually get to be enjoying it instead of just talking about it in every media forum I can.

I think Spring is getting to me or something. I might have just made a practical decision.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Daddy Long Legs

We nicknamed him Daddy Long Legs because he has pretty much doubled in size and it seems to be all in his legs. His ears seem to be perking up a little bit. It will be interesting to see what he looks like full grown. Isn't he cute?!?!? What kind of dog do you see in him?

He's a good boy - going potty outside, liking his walks and terrorizing Buddy less and less each day. We are all adjusting!

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sample Saturday - Music I Love Right Now

When I first started my blog, a good portion of it was dedicated to what music I was listening to. Music brings me a lot of joy and I just like to share it with others.

I think it has been a good six months since I posted a thing about music. It occurred to me a couple months ago that the only CD's I have actually purchased recently were ones for my daughter and husband. I like Miley Cyrus as much as the next mom, but I need some new music to call my own! So like any good consumer, I have done my part in recent weeks to simulate the economy by buying new music.

There are 3 kinds of albums to me.

  • Ones that I like a song or two and never listen to the rest of the album.
  • Then there are those that I listen to over and over and they just grow on me. I end up loving the entire album but it takes me some time to get to know it before I fall in love.
  • The third? Oh, these are the ones that you put on and almost instantly every single song just speaks to you in some way. It's pretty much love at first sight, or hear in this case.
So, let's start with those.

Jonny Lang - Turn Around. I remember when this 15 year old kid came on the scene playing his guitar and touring with the likes of Buddy Guy and the Rolling Stones. I instantly loved him and probably burned a hole in his album Lie To Me. His new album, Turn Around, is a bit different - the same guitar and soulful Jonny, but from the perspective of a guy who has been through some hard times, grown up a little bit and found his peace. Favorite tracks include My Love Remains, Only a Man and Don't Stop.

Bethany Dillon - So Far: The Acoustic Sessions. Mostly previously recorded music just in acoustic sessions. I love this girl's voice and not sure I could pick a favorite track. I enjoyed her cover of We Can Work It Out. I love the song Beautiful.

Recently purchased and getting into a little slower than I expected.

The Fray - I love these guys. I just heard them interviewed yesterday and think they are incredibly down to earth. I really enjoyed How To Save a Life and found their new release You Found Me to be a great radio follow up. Sometimes, when I love an album, it takes a while for me to warm up to the second one (even though they have 4 albums -something I did not know).

U2 - No Line On The Horizon
Well, what can be said about U2 that hasn't already been said by those more qualified to say it. I've grown up with this band and there is about no way I could not purchase their new album. I've only listened to it twice. I can't give a fair review yet but can say that I've enjoyed it so far. Honestly, I have so much respect for this band and what they do outside of their music that even if I didn't like it (which I do) you would never hear about it on this blog.
Here is a great review on the album.

What are you listening to right now that you love? Please share!

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Triangle TRACKS in the news.

I'd like to introduce you to Elizabeth Shugg and her Web site Triangle TRACKS. Beth was recently featured in a local news story.

This web site is your one stop resource to see what is happening for kids in the North Carolina Triangle area (and Charlotte soon!). It also offers tips about education and helps parents learn from one another. It is a fantastic place to find everything that is going on for your kids IN.ONE.PLACE.

You might remember that I blog monthly for Triangle TRACKS as her Trend TRACKER. Along with a team of 5 other people who blog about current events in education, food, travel, sports and health in our local area, I write about the current trends for kids. It really is an honor to be a part of this team because a few of them are real live authors and journalists! (Eek, no pressure there!) I just pretend to write! :)

Anyway, I love being a part of this web site that is growing by leaps and bounds and working with Beth is a joy. I cannot believe all she does. Whew - she's amazing.

She said this about creating Triangle TRACKS,

"I was trying to find things we can do together (as a family) and I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if there was a Web site that actually consolidates all that information so parents can just go and visit it and see what's out there?' I looked around and really didn't see anything like that so I decided to create the Web site myself."

To find our more about Triangle TRACKS, go HERE.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Win some Shoes and Shine On at Chic Critique

You should hop on over to Chic Critique today.

Megan wrote a great post on Summer shoes and you can try to win some from Lands End! Yay - free stuff! You've got to check out all the Espadrilles! I love me some cute espadrilles. I pretty much live in flip flops all summer, though and need to add some cuteness to my summer shoe collection for sure.

In other news on Chic Critique, I am posting about shine mists for your hair. It probably won't be the last time I post about a shine mist. As I grow older, I find the sparkle in my dark hair going bye bye. It's typical but I am not going down easily.

Shine On is my theory. Read about them HERE.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bella Sara's Newest Additions

I have posted for Team Mom once before about Bella Sara. For those of you that don't know, Bella Sara is a successful trading card product developed for girls, featuring horse-themed fantasy cards that offer positive, inspirational messages.

As a matter of fact, my 8 year old daughter loved her freebies from Team Mom so much that she started collecting the cards and got a huge tin of them from Santa for Christmas.

The problem was that something happened while she was logging in and out and she could not get into her account. The password didn't work for some reason and we tried to change it. I am not sure what happened but we could not get into Bella Sara for 2 entire months and my emails to customer service went unanswered.

So, when Team Mom contacted me to review them again, I was not sure. I told them why and Bella Sara fixed the problem within the hour. My daughter and her best friend were ecstatic! They played on the site for almost an hour. The site really is so beautiful. The color and graphics are awesome. My daughter loves taking care of her horses there.

And now for their newest additions:

The newest addition to the Bella Sara collection is the Miniatures Series. The Miniatures series is the first time fans get a chance to collect actual figurines of the Bella Sara horses.

This series retails for $1.99 and can be found at WalMart, Target and toy stores.

My daughter loved this feature! There are 20 velvety figurines to collect and she is looking forward to finding them all. She can also look forward to a random bonus code that reveals an animated horse statue online and a full color checklist to keep track of which ones she has.

Also this month, fans will get a chance to see what inspirational treasures are to be revealed with Bella Sara Treasures.

Treasures brings a new element to BellaSara.com with more printable activities including bonus codes, coloring pages, wallpapers, a poster and jigsaw puzzles.
This series features rare jewels, amazing natural wonders, historical artifacts and fantastic magical items to explore and cherish.

These cards retail for $2.99 a package and can be found at WalMart, Target and toy stores.

  • Starting February 27th through April 30th, the website, www.bellasara.com is offering kids a chance to win an exciting Treasure Hunt Party of their very own!
Well, that sounds fun! We will have to be on the look out for that.

I hate to give any negative review but I do feel like I need to be honest about my customer service experience. I think they could greatly improve in that area. Otherwise, I love them and more importantly, so does B.

In good faith to Bella Sara I am giving away a package of the Treasures and the figurine!
Just leave me a comment and tell me what you think of the site.

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Tell Me Thursday

Two moms decided that they were tired of seeing all the fun photos out there for Wordless Wednesday without the stories behind it. So, they created a blog called Tell Me Thursday where they feature some fun Wordless Wednesday shots and then ask those people to share the story behind the picture.

First of all, can I just say how creative some people are! I would never think of something like this. Kudos to these ladies.

Anyway, my WW shot from yesterday, It's a Good Thing He's Cute, was chosen. So, here's the story...

What's to tell really? He is a 12 week old puppy. I have two kids and a 10 year old dog and frankly, I am just not used to having a puppy around. To be even more honest, I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say, I think my infants were easier. Oh, I kid. But whew, puppies are a lot of work. Be sure you remember this before you go to your local pound or rescue and get one.

If your are sure, though...they will bring you way more joy than trouble. I promise. He is so cute. He tumbles over his paws, chases his tail and crashes into a heap and snores when he finally falls asleep. He is sweet and just wants to be loved by all of us.

So, the story. Oh, yeah - the point of this post.

I was having a day. You know the kind. Well, not really a day but more like 10 minutes in my day. After it was all said and done and I was posting about it here on the blog I heard a crash. I completely forgot that I had just changed the trash bag and left the can out in the kitchen. Normally, not a problem. That is, if you don't have a 12 week old puppy in the house.

Luckily, I didn't have much in it because I just took out the trash. No food - just some flowers scraps from the bouquet that my sweet hubby had just brought home and some paper products.

He can also actually open the cabinet to the trash can with his paw and climbs in there in attempt to knock it over again. Then he gets stuck and cries.

So, the cabinet to the trash can is now locked with a baby proof lock. And here I thought this phase of my life was over.

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