Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Giveaway!

Please stop my new giveaway/review blog, She Said it First to register for a personalized box of Fruit Rollups from myfruitrollups.com!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

UPDATED: Special Announcements and Bloggy Love

* I am now through editing this post.

In order to keep my blog more streamlined, I have made a few small modifications to my blog(s). Most notably, I will be adding a new "Blogs of the Month" feature on Blogmania. Please note the following:


Blogmania is my personal blog where you can find out more about me, my interests, my family, etc. In addition you will find links to my constantly growing directory of other blogs - there are badges, a blog roll and directory to scroll and click through. Just remember to come back here!

Giveaways on other blogs are now posted at MB's Bloggy Sweeps. I will also be adding a Mr. Linky to capture new giveaways on a weekly basis.

Most of my own Giveaways and Product Reviews will now be posted at She Said it First.



BLOGS OF THE MONTH: Although it has been delayed for slightly over 3 months due to a move, settling in, schedules, travel, etc., I am finally ready to start sharing the bloggy love by highlighting other blogs. Please look out for for the featured "Blogs of the Month", relevant to that month's theme(s)
* I do not want to commit to a number of blogs to feature, so I decided against a blog of the month or a blog of the week. This will allow for flexibility in featuring blogs.

I made a difficult decision to change February's main theme to Friendship Month. I opted for a different theme than initially planned when I realized that I would be unable to honor all heritages properly and it would be unfair to focus on only one. I still intend to feature a notable blog/blogger in honor of Black History Month however. I feel that it is very important to do so, especially considering the recent inspiring and monumental US election of President Barack Obama.
February is Black History Month; March is Irish American Heritage Month; May is National Asian-Pacific American Month AND Jewish American Heritage Month, Mid Sept - mid October is National Hispanic Heritage Month AND German American Heritage Month, October is National Polish-American Heritage Month, October is ALSO National Italian Heritage Month and ALSO Filipino-American History Month, November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.


January - Arts and Crafts, Baking/Cooking, Beading, Reading. January is National Hobby Month! In it's honor, I am featuring blogs that focus on Arts and Crafts, Baking/Cooking, Beading and Reading which are my current favorite hobbies. Stay tuned!

January is ALSO

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these (including YOUR hobbies), please add your name to the Mr. Linky for the month of January.


February - Friends - International Friendship Month. February is International Friendship month. In it's honor, I am featuring blogs/bloggers who have made enduring friendships through blogging.

February is ALSO
If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the Mr. Linky for the month of February.


March - Women - March is Women's History Month! In it's honor I am featuring notable women bloggers - those who have achieved goals, educated others, and/or focused on a worthy cause through blogging while helping other women do the same.

March is ALSO


If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the Mr. Linky for the month.

April - Going Green! - April 22nd is Earth Day. I think the Earth deserves more than just a day in it's honor so April is unofficially Earth Month. Bloggers who embrace the going green philosophy and lifestyle will be asked to share their tips and tools of the trade to help all of us become a little more planet friendly.

April is ALSO

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to April's Mr. Linky.


May - Women's Health, Fitness and Nutrition - Ah, yes - we Americans like our themes, right? With so many categories to choose from this was a toughie but a decision had to be made. To honor National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, AND National Women's Health Month (in addition to the specific health related categories and the numerous foods of the month), Blogmania will feature blogs that focus on improving women's physical fitness AND nutrition.
* In addition, in honor of my dear friend Susan, I will be hosting a special event in support of Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

May is ALSO

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the Mr. Linky for the month of May.


June - Family and Safety - Featuring blogs participating in Home Safety Month and/or Student Safety Month with the intention of educate and motivate parents and educators to take actions to make schools and homes safer. June is also Family Month. Blogs dedicated to family life will also be featured!

June is ALSO

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the monthly Mr. Linky.


July - Fun! July is National Anti Boredom Month! Someone PLEASE tell my kids this. I constantly hear "I am bored" so to beat those boredom blues, I will be featuring blogs that highlight family fun activities.

July is ALSO

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the monthly Mr. Linky.


August - Art - August is American Artist Appreciation Month. In it's honor, I will be featuring blogs of artists OR dedicated to the arts. This can be fine arts OR any other sort of art (fiber arts, beading, drawing, painting, sculpture, woodwork, etc.)

August is ALSO

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the Mr. Linky for the month of August.



September - Frugal Living - September is National Coupon Month. Blogmania will feature blogs that focus on frugality, tips for saving money, increasing personal savings, etc.

September is ALSO:
If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the Mr. Linky for the month of September.


October - Children's Health and Breast Cancer Awareness- to honor blogs that participate promoting participation in and education of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month or Children's Health Month.

October is ALSO
If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the Mr. Linky for the month of October.


November - November is National Blog posting month! It will be hard to pick but I will select a few of my favorite blogs to feature this month.

November is ALSO:

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the montly Mr. Linky. Since November is ALSO National Blog Posting month, I invite you to add one of your favorite posts to the special "Favorite Posts Mister Linky".


December
- Holiday Fun - Blogmania will showcase many blogs with special holiday events occurring on their sites. This includes giveaways, extravaganzas' shopping guides, etc. and is not limited to one blog per week.

December is also:

If you have a blog or post that would be relevant in honoring or celebrating any of these, please add your name/blog/post to the monthly Mr. Linky.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tennessee Coal Ash Slide DISASTER

A couple of article links that ALL should read. A recent environmental disaster in TN was flying low on the news radar until bloggers picked it up.

An environmental disaster has occurred in the SE region of the US (TN) . The damages caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill pale in comparison to this recent even ( a coal ash slide) according to environmental experts. Sounds harmless enough but the material contains toxins at high levels and is covering a massive area . This is a huge disaster with potential repercussions for years to come.

Tennessee-coal-ash-slide

Tennessee-Coal-Ash-Slide 2

UDATE 12/28/2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Miss N!

8 years (and 1 day) ago I welcomed a darling, tiny baby girl into the world. She remained tiny but feisty and my dad coined the term "small but mighty". My petite Missy is intelligent, introspective and private. She can be predictable with some things but with others we are left scratching our heads.

We had a quiet, pleasant birthday celebration at home yesterday. We did not buy a cake in advance and for some reason my husband convinced me not to bake one. (Hey, my cakes are GOOD!). All of us settled for ice cream and cookies.

Today we celebrated by going to the mall and spending some of our gift cards. Miss N. spent $40 on Webkins and an eye mask. Ah, to be 8.... I am much more frugal and am looking for sale stickers that say at least 70% off.

When I was visiting my friend in the midwest, My DH took the girlies out to dinner at their favorite place, Red Robin. He took this picture from his camera phone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Cancer Cannot Do

I just returned from seeing my beloved friend Susan. Four other college roommates and I made the journey to the Midwest to spend time with and support Susan. It was a bittersweet weekend - full of warm memories, various exchanges of "what have you been doing", spending time with Susan and her family, fun, games, goofiness and dealing with the painful reality of why we were all there.

If you read earlier, Susan has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She has recently started Chemo and Radiation and at this point, despite being told of other potential outcomes, I am remaining stoically hopeful for the best. Several snapshots were taken and upon departure Susan presented us with a framed group photograph and following poem:

What Cancer Cannot Do
Author unknown
Cancer is so limited.
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I deleted....

I had some outdated buttons on my sidebar and sadly deleted a few, including some of the xmas party ones.  Your main buttons should still be on there but if you do not see your badge, please shoot me an email and I will be sure to add it.

Alternate winner

One of the winners in my giveaway did not respond so I have picked an alternate winner via randomizer! Congrats Betty C. Please check your email!

A night filled with Drama

I am tired tonight.  I got home at 5:30pm.  By 5:45pm we were out the door and headed to Miss C's school for their production of Annie.  Dropped her off and then waited in line for 1/2 an hour.   At 6:30 the doors opened.  On the upside we got great seats - in the front and smack dab in the middle.  The play started at 7:00pm and lasted about an hour and a half.  After that it was time for dinner but I had no time to cook.  We headed to Wendy's and make it home around 8:45pm.  The entire ride we discussed how fabulous the play was (and it really was - I was pretty impressed that this was a middle school production).  I told Miss C. that drama was her forte.

We get home and the other drama started.  One was hungry.  Drama until her food was finished.  One of the kids meals was missing a toy.  Drama.  One of the frostys was bigger than the other.  Drama.  All were tired.  Drama. 

After all the drama it was time for bed - baths will have to wait until tomorrow night.  I started some laundry, straightened up and now I feel like I am about to collapse.  And no more drama - just zzz's.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays
from Miss E. Miss C. and Miss N.!
2008

Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 15, 2008

today we baked

Time to bake again with Miss E. and Miss N. We made double batches of EVERYTHING. Although I intended for this to be fun we had a few accidents - Miss E. dropped a carton of eggs and Miss N. dropped both the mixer AND an entire bowl full of mixed batter. Miraculously all survived - the eggs were cracked but usable. The bowl dropped and slightly tipped but we were able to salvage the batter. The mixer still works fine. Miss C. was out and missed all of the fun.....

What did we bake?
- Waffles (yes again) - We replenished our supply and the freezer is now well stocked. This should tide us over for a week or two. These are SOOO much better than storebought frozen bagels. Plus 1 waffle does the trick for my kids. With the store bought ones, it takes 2 or 3 to satisfy their hungry tummies.

- Pizzelles - This was a work in progress. You can definitely tell which ones were the first in my batch and which ones were made after I got the swing of things. I froze a bunch - some for a pot luck at work later this week and a few more for when my parents come in next week. My dad loves these.

- And last but certainly not least, my famous Pumpkin Bread - Everyone loves this. My husband's boss kept harrassing him to have me bring in more so I have baked 4 batches this winter. I will post the recipe tomorrow. I have 2 that I use and both are fabu. Today I made a hybrid of both.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

UPDATE 12/14/2008 - Progresso winners!


Thank you so much to all who have visited my blog and entered the giveway. I wish I could give a basket to everyone. Progresso has been generous and offered everyone a coupon so please do not forget to print that up if you are interested in purchasing one of their Natural broth products.

The lucky winners have been drawn. Unfortunately I did not have any contact information for 3 winners and had to redraw numbers until I found a poster who had their email address public in their blogger profile OR posted in their blog post.

I would love to offer a great big congratulations to the following winners!:

jessiejaws

Tammy Marshall

ArtMarcia

Congrats to you all! I hope you enjoy this fantastic prize. I have sent you an email requesting your mailing address


Research Randomizer Results

3 Sets of 1 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 207 -- Unsorted

Job Status:




Set #2:

78




Set #3:

123



Research Randomizer Results

1 Set of 1 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 207 -- Unsorted

Job Status:

Set #1:

189

Saturday, December 13, 2008

social networking








There are several great social networking sites "out there" (meaning on the internet). I have a myspace page (LOSTcentric), Facebook (to keep up with family and friends), linkedin (professional). I also have an account with theBlogFrog. What makes theBlogFrog different? Quite a few things......
TheBlogFrog turns your blog into a social blog. As a member of TheBlogFrog, you can install "Social Add-ons" to make your friends a part of your blog. TheBlogFrog is also a personal blog directory - you can find blogs by High School, College, Email, and more. TheBlogFrog will suggest bloggers you probably know, just by looking at your blog! It is also a great way for you to connect with other bloggers, as well as family and friends.

find your friends at theBlogFrog.com

Want to find out more. Hop on over to check it out!

potential, possibility, promise and progress

http://www.bigtent.com and http://blog.parentbloggers.com want to know what your plans are for 2009. What will you do to improve your life - will it be busier? more organized? more relaxed? A new year brings promise.

BigTent is partnering with Compass Life and Business Designs CEO and founder, Kimberly Fulcher, to offer a special “Get your act together for 2009″ promo. For any group leaders who start a group on or move to BigTent by December 31, Compass will provide a free one month membership ($19 value) to Compass Coaching Network, and all new group leaders will be entered in a grand prize drawing for a “Life Makeover” private coaching series ($1500 value). Groups must be of at least ten members.

Write a post on your blog about how you’re going to get your act together in 2009. Post anytime this weekend -December 12 to Sunday, December 14 - you must link to bigtent and parentbloggers:

OK - so here are mine.....
New Years resolutions are made as we look to enrich our lives. Alas, these are often quickly made and quickly forgotten (at least my resolutions are). The best thing about a resolution though is the hint of lasting change.

Any milestone gives you a great stepping stone to assess your life, look for area of improvement and do it - 2009 brings me the big "40" thus now is the time to stick with those plans and resolutions. Life is short! I want to do so many things! Of course I will to continue on my journey of going green. I will also keep looking for activities that both the girls and I enjoy to give us more quality time together.

Travel is on the agenda - I plan to make it home over the summer to spend time with my family. My 40th will be spent in Vegas.

The old "lose weight" and "quit smoking" are sure to make the list. (Realistically, I am not even going to attempt adding working out). I also want to try new things - learn how to cook new foods, take up soapmaking, volunteer at the food bank, decorate my home or write a book. I am very organized at home (to the point where things are color coded and labeled) but my days are very unorganized and chaotic. I want to streamline my life - take better notes, keep appointments, remember simple things. I also would LOVE to open an ETSY shop - selling my artwork, beadwork and craft of the day (I am fickle so this changes frequently). Designmom had a post on how to make your own vanilla extract and vanilla sugar. Of course I want to try that too.

This time next year I will be doing a pulse check. Hopefully some resolutions will be kept and shared. If not, there is always 2010 and 41.....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Miss E.


Miss E., I am so glad you came into our lives. When I found out you were coming, I was embarrassingly less than thrilled. Not that we did not want you, just that we were not quite ready for you. After you were born, it took me longer to bond with you than with your sisters. I was overwhelmed with a HIGHLY active 7 year old and a toddler, not yet even 2. Slowly I realized that you were our biggest blessing - you completed our family and put a smile on our faces every day.

I love all of you girls equally, but you are the one that is most like me. You love reading, games, puzzles, cleaning, anything girlie and think you know the best way to do everything (even if you are wrong). Ah, yes, you are just like your mom. Routine, structure and the expected rule your life, but you can embrace change with a little convincing.

You may drive Miss N. and Miss C. crazy, but they love you too. Hey, it is your job to be an annoying little sister (x2!) As much as we are alike, you are first and foremost a daddy's girl. It is a bittersweet joy to see that you have him wrapped around your finger I am perched right up there with him.

Miss E., you crack us up with your expressions, responses, and musings on day to day life. When I need help around the house, you are the first to volunteer. When you have one piece of candy left, you offer it to whomever you are with. You rarely ask for anything and appreciate everything you are given. I hope life gives you as much as you give everyone else. Love you sweetie!

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