Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013 - It's a Wrap!

We had a very quiet Christmas - just like I like it!  Here is a photo of VC with some of  his loot. Makes me smile that a teenager is content with his Dr. Who scarf and some new Rubik's cube configurations. He was actually ecstatic - even though he was the one who ordered the cubes for me ;-)

He had this to say about his gifts, "I got a lot of great presents. Dude, this scarf man, it is like my proudest possession right now."

....warms a mom's heart! Hope your holidays were just as memorable.
...and Pumpkin's gift - let's just say it was a huge hit!!  The Whack-a-Mouse has taken quite the beating. It is already in need of a nose repair....


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crying All Night? Seriously???

By now we have all heard the story of Tracey Sole who ordered an Android tablet for her daughter and the UPS Guy decided to put it "safely" in her black garbage container, at which point it was picked up by the sanitation folks.

Sad story. I can understand that she saved up for weeks for this surprise for her daughter. I can understand that the UPS guy could use a lesson in proper delivery procedures....

What I can't understand is that she was reportedly "crying all night" over the loss of the tablet.

Wouldn't it have occurred to her that she had proof the tablet was left in the garbage can, which should give her some leverage in having the tablet replaced? Wouldn't that have taken a phone call or two???

I have heard a lot of sad news lately, such as a high school classmate who suffered a major debilitating stroke this week. He is my age and still had plenty of living to do. Or the relative of a friend who's daughter has been diagnosed with cancer - at age 11.

Tragedies worth being distressed about.

The loss of a tablet which most likely would not be a loss, especially since chances are that it would be replaced....When did we get to the point that things are valued so much as to spend the night crying about them?

Glad the story had a happy ending. Not glad that I need to keep hearing about it every 20 minutes on the local news station. Life is short. Let's get to living, not buying. Or fretting over buys that are lost but likely to be replaced and do not warrant contacting news agencies...

Ahhhh, happy to see that some good has come of this after all: People offered donations to purchase a new tablet for her, but since the company was replacing it, she requested that those donations go to Toys for Tots. As they say in the South : "Good on her."

*oh, and the freaking out because the replacement Android may not arrive in time for Christmas???  why not print out a photo of it and wrap that up. I ordered a gift for MB over a month ago but it is backordered and will not arrive in time. Guess what I'm gonna do?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Loud and Proud!

A friend posted this on Facebook and it made me smile...

I'd like to say I LOL'd but I don't like to throw the term around causually, especially if I literally do not LOL ;-)

I spent 26 years in the great Garden State. And yes, there were plenty of gardens. We had one. The common stereotype of New Jersey is Newark Airport and fumes being spewed into the air from factories. That is not ALL of New Jersey. There is so much more...visit sometime....

Twenty-six years as a Jerseyian, and I was ready to leave the state. I became a Southerner.

I may have left Jersey but the Jersey never leaves. Even after 20 years, I still have some words that I pronounce distinctively "Jersey-like" - such as Dog. My son likes me to say "Dog" to his friends and he giggles. To me, I am pronouncing it just like everyone else does....

Have you also moved to a new state- yet everyone can still detect after many many years later, your state of origin? Do you appreciate your old state a lot more now that you no longer reside there?


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Easy Canvas Prints: A holiday contest for you to enter!

I have had partnered with Easy Canvas Prints in the past and have been incredibly pleased with their canvases. They provide an excellent quality product at a much lower price than you would expect.

My mind is spinning with ideas for new canvases as I peruse my photo gallery. Three come to mind: my sweet Pumpkin snoozing in a pottery bowl that I made, my sun juggling in front of a colorful funnel cake stand and an owl flying through the crowd at the Renaissance Festival. So difficult to choose.
One thing that will not be difficult though, is getting the photo printed on canvas. Easy Canvas Prints makes the process just that: EASY. I like easy....

Easy Canvas Prints is hosting a contest with a $300 gift certificate up for grabs! Fans will upload any photo they would like to print on canvas to gift to someone this holiday season to enter. Here is the link to the Give the Gift of Canvas blog post where you can enter the contest. The photo with the most votes will win a grand prize of a $300 credit to Easy Canvas Prints! The 2nd and 3rd place winners will win a $100 credit to Easy Canvas Prints. Anyone who enters will be sent a 60% off Sitewide + Free Shipping coupon code as well, so everyone wins!

The contest is open to those in North America and will run from 12/15/13 to 12/20/13. The winner will be announced on our the Easy Canvas Prints blog on 12/22/13. So, head on over and enter! You can also visit on Facebook.

Full disclosure: I received a cavas for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was provided.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Looking for a Last Minute Tasty Treat to Bring to a Holiday Party?

I totally cannot take credit for this recipe, as it is floating around the internet in many forms, but when a friend was in a panic a few weeks ago as to what to make for her son's cookie exchange, I blurted out:

Oreo Truffles!!



The recipe is right up my alley since it consists of only TWO ingredients but tastes like it contains far more:

You will need 1 Package of oreo cookies (approximately 40 cookies) and one 8 oz. package of cream cheese.

Toss 9 of the oreos in a blender and set aside.

Crush the remaining oreos. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and add the crushed oreos. Beat until well mixed.

Form into 1 inch balls and then roll the balls in the crushed oreos.

Refrigerate until firm.

Warning: these are HIGHLY addictive!

I brought this to the neighborhood cookie exchange last year and the kids went nuts. Made me feel good since my cooking is in no way comparable to what the fancy ladies brought. However, I make food that kids like ;-)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cat Problem: Solved

Being the "softie" that I am, I was all set to put only soft ornaments on the tree so that Pumpkin could continue with her tree climbing adventures, but MB was insistent that we put the breakable ornaments on the tree. He is a man of tradition (aka stubborn German). He recalled seeing the Sunbeam Egg during one of our trips to Petsmart.
He installed the "egg" - and after two bursts of air (cat activity is determined by motion detector), Pumpkin decided it was not worth messing with the tree. If you have a similar cat problem that needs solving, the egg sells for $40 at Petsmart. Drawback is that you need to buy refillable cartridges ($12 each) - so it can get pricey. She still loves playing with the train, though:

VC is wondering at what point I morphed into crazy cat lady. What can I say, she has stolen my heart :-)

Please don't let this dissuade you from visiting the blog though, I promise more non-catcentric posts to come. A lot has been going on outside of cat news...

How are your holiday plans coming along?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cat Advice Wanted - STAT!

Well, the tree is up - and so is my dearest sweetest Pumpkin - up in the tree!!


I am having a little thing on Tuesday where people will be coming in part to see our already lame decorations - and now I am puzzled as to how I am going to decorate the tree other than with our soft handmade ornaments that are not very showy...

Any advice?

MB read about a machine that makes a noise to deter the cats. From what I can tell it is rather pricey. Spray bottle water is not making much difference, nor is the remote control monster truck located behind the tree... 

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Please Restrain Me the Next Time I Contemplate Participating in a 12 Hour Twitter Party

Off the bat, I know you are wondering what made me think to participate in the first place- and when was this party.

As it happened, I was perusing blogs that I haven't visited in a while on Sunday night. Not the normal handful of blogs I visit, these were blogs that I wondering whether they were still active. It had been that long. I visited a certain lifestyle blog and the most recent post happened to mention a Land's End Twitter Party on Monday from 9 to 9.

I did a double take. Surely they must have meant 8 pm to 9 pm???? I re-read it. No, the party was indeed from 9 am to 9 pm - as in 12 Freakin' Hours!!!!!!!!!!!

That should have been my first indication to run away fast from my computer.

But, oh nooooooooooooooooooos, I am never that sensible :-(

Long story short. Guess who did work while intermittantly checking the computer and tweeting from 9 am to 9 pm on Monday?

Guess what I won?

Ah, well, yeah, that would be NOTHING.

Things I could have done accomplished in that time:

(1) gone for a workout
(2) cleaned bathrooms
(3) gotten out the Swiffer
(4) written about 90 new blog posts to have at the ready for future posting
(5) experimented with new makeup to make my eyes look less old lady-like
(6) practiced my juggling
(7) nagged teenage son about not procrastinating (although come to think of it I did do that)
(8) caught up on laundry
(9) cooked a new dish instead of the 4 I have in the normal rotation
(10) pet the cat more- and be at her beck and call when something got stuck under the closet door more (did do both of those but could have done a better job of it)

Moral of the story: Please remind me of this the next time I get super-geeked to do a 12 hour twitter party. THERE WILL BE NO NEXT TIME.

Congratulations to Renee, winner of my NOVICA giveaway!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

In Blog We Trust- Recommended Reading!

From time to time, I like to pass on book recommendations that I know my readers will enjoy. This latest read is especially intriguing as the heroine is one of us: A blogger...



As I explained to Mr. Infinito when I decided  to review his book In Blog We Trust, I accomplish most of my reading on days I spend substitute teaching. Some days can feel especially long, so an "energetic" read was what I was hoping to find.

Michael Infinito has woven together a fast-paced thriller that has action from the get-go. I opened the book, started reading and my excitment rose, when I realized there was already a death on page two of the book! Not that death is a good thing but it does make for a great read, especially for others who may be fans of real life (or fictional) crime dramas, such as myself.

I have written before of the high brow book club that I had the unfortunate experience of being a part-of, since the books were all dreadfully drawn out and dull. That is NOT the case with Mr. Infinito's book. I would describe it as part mystery, party mystical thriller. If you enjoy a book that has relatable characters and a plot that keeps moving, I encourage you to pick up a copy of In Blog We Trust.

Many of you may be familiar with Mr. Inifinito's writings on his popular blog, The Wizardry of Otin.  (Is it a coincidence that one of the characer's works at "Otini Brothers?") As we have come to expect from his writings, they are not the "run of the mill" but rather are a little off-beat, which is also true of the characters in his book. Among his lead characters are a rock star, a blogger and a high school student. Their lives are interwoven in a plot that has many twists and turns, deaths, ancient symbolism, as well as some vodoo in an epic battle of good vs. evil.

I spent 4 hours the Saturday following Thanksgiving completely engrossed in the book. The ending *WOW* it caught me by surprise. I don't want to give anything away - but you will not see it coming!!!!

*The book contains adult language so if you are planning on gifting this book to the blogger on your gift list, it is best for adult bloggers :-)

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Post Where I Catch Some Heat...or hopefully not...

I already caught some flack on Facebook when I posted this photo of me and MB *gasp* in line at Old Navy at 6 pm last night.




So why not post it here and catch further grief ;-)

It is not as if I am a regular Black Friday shopper. I reluctantly joined a friend for the first time last year because she wanted some company. As a result, we did get a shiny new Kitchen Aid mixer...

This year we decided to brave Old Navy, and truth be told, it was not as crazy as everyone had been predicting. Everyone was very nice and patient, including the employees whom it was suggested would be absolutely miserable after being required to work the holiday.

We didn't leave to go shopping until after we had our traditional holiday dinner:


so it was "all good" tradition-wise.

And here is why you never want to eat cranberry sauce at our place. I filmed this Vine after I overheard MB explain his foolproof method to VC:




well now, what was more disturbing - that Vine or our indescretion in shopping on Thanksgiving? Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Perfect Line

I recently stumbled upon a product that I am absolutely nuts about. I wanted to share it with you, especially this time of year when many are dressing up for holiday parties.

The product is Laura Geller Eye Calligraphy Liquid Liner Kit:

Despite going to a "look 10 years younger" makeup seminar last year where the makeup artist touted using only eye shadow, never using liner (WHAT??? I know, you are shocked too ;-) ) I went back to using liner.

I missed the dark defined line on my upper lid. Problem was that I never got a perfectly drawn line. Problem solved.

The kit comes with three Lip liners for thin to thick lines. I am still using the "classic" liner - and loving it.

Another perk is that the liner dries very quickly, which is good news for those of us with hooded triple lids :-( I no longer have to clean up smudges that would occur when my lids creased before my older liners dried.

*This is NOT a sponsored post in any way.  Just a product I am deliriously pleased with :-)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

In Time for the Holidays: A NOVICA giveaway!

I have written in the past about the incomparable artisans who fuel their passion and creativity as artists for NOVICA. This is the perfect time of year to again check out their website featuring a gift guide For Him and For Her.

Why give your friends/family ho hum gifts that everyone else has seen before? Embrace the uniqueness that comes from handcrated gifts from artists all over the world.

This year NOVICA has added premium gift wrap - so the gifts make even more of a statement.

Here are a couple of my favorite gifts on my wishlist:

Of course, as someone who is obsessed with her rescue ginger tabby, I am in love with this wooden tabby cat that rests on the edge of a table - precious:

Then there are these gorgeous green onyx earrings to match my eyes:


What's in it for you? A $25 gift code to NOVICA to pick out your own favorite gift:

To Enter: Leave a comment with a special item from the NOVICA catalog that caught your eye. For an extra entry, tweet about the giveaway and paste the link in a separate comment.  Giveaway ends Wednesday, December 4th at 8:00 pm. Good Luck!

Full Disclosure: I received a gift for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Well That's a Bunch of CR*p!

I was just catching up on my morning Huff Post reading. If you do not have the Huff Post app, I recommend installing it today, so you can read intriguing articles, such as the one I just read.

Did you know there is a profession called a "scatomancer" ?

Well, there is. What is a scatomancer? It is a person who analyzes poop to predict the future. Your poop.

Not sure if  you ever had the unfortunate experience of donating a stool sample for analysis. I had to do this several years ago. And I thought I'd vomit on the car ride to the clinic from the delightful aroma - and my poop was sealed in a container.

This dude actually puts his hand in the poop and smells it up close. The stronger the aroma, the better.

And now you know why this profession never comes up on the Yahoo Top 7 list of Most in Demand Jobs...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Premature Wrinkles and Turkey Neck??? NO THANKS!

As I was googling "does running cause a bad back," I came across many articles stating that running leads to premature wrinkling and turkey neck due to the constant pounding that drags everything downward.

Lately I have been doing my very slow jog - can you say 10-11 minute mile? and concidentally or not, my lower back has been very achy for 3 weeks now. I am taking it easy in an attempt to put off a visit to the orthopedist since I am averse to unnecessary x-rays.

Now that I have read this alarming news, I think I will stick to Zumba class with the 70+ year olds. Much safer, plus I will look young. Not only will I be surrounded by older people, thereby making me look young by default, but I will be avoiding the harsh pounding that could lead to turkey neck.

This is a photo of me after I ran several laps around the track at the finale of VC's Track and Field season last year. I hope to look the same 5 years from now, by avoiding the track.


*Oh, I am tickled to see that the nose to the left is a girl who is a local recordholder as well as winning her age group in the triathalon in London a few months ago. It is kind of like the Tortoise and The Hare, me being the Hare.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Incredibly Disturbing

I saw this video yesterday on Facebook -- and it is still troubling me today. If you live in the DC area - please be extra-vigilant.

These misguided youths think potentially killing a person is a lot of fun.



Senseless...Sad....Stupid.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holiday Greeting Cards - GAH!!

After pouring about 4.16 hours into picking out the design for our yearly photo greeting card, I have come to the conclusion that it has gotten insanely out of hand - the crazy amount of options!!

Makes me long for the good old days when we picked up a box of cards - and that was it. But then how much fun would we have? No fun kitschy Carma Sez card.

Very excited about this year's card - since it features awful pictures of us - but a super fantastic image of Pumpkin photoshopped into the background - photo to come...

As I was persusing the cards, I came across a "Happy Christmas" card - I mean, who says that? "Happy Christmas?" "Happy" should be reserved for birthdays and Halloween.

So much to do so little time - that I am spending making Vines lol.

Hope you are having a fantastic fall weekend. xxoo

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Normally I Don't Make it a Habit of Siding with Convicted Criminals

...but I'll make an exception in this case. I heard on the news this morning that a prisoner on death row who is about to be executed wants to donate his heart/kidneys to his mother and other organs to others in need. His request is being denied because of "logistics." Logistics? Seriously? there is no way to arrange for it. I doubt that is the case. There is NO way? This may be the only altruistic thing the guy has done in his life. Surely there is a way. Is it that he should not be granted any "privileges?" I would say since he will soon be DEAD that is not really a concern. What are your thoughts? Should he be allowed to donate his organs? WOW - as of tonight it looks like the state is going to re-evaluate and hold off on the execution.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Just Can't Help It!

I am having too much fun making Vines of my adorable Pumpkin. This one has got to be my favorite one so far. It is less than 6 seconds long - worth a look. I cannot begin to tell you all the joy that having a kitten has brought into my life. Never pictured myself to be a "cat person" - but now I can't imagine not having a cat. She talks to me and is a welcome companion. As I told VC when I was contemplating his move away to go to college next year: "I need to get myself a fuzzy friend." And he ended up being the one who wanted a cat. It is "technically" his cat, but since I am chief caretaker, she has taken a liking to me too :-) Hopefully you will be inspired to make the trip to your local pet shelter and adopt your own friend in need.... In the meantime, my latest Vine:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What's in a Name?

I was catching up on local news this week and I came across a naming phenomenon that struck me as a little odd. A couple just had a baby & the baby's last name is a combo of both their last names. (mom goes by her own last name) Strange. For example, let's say the Mom was "Jane Thomas" and the father was "John Newman" - the baby's last name would be "Thoman" This was an actual story. I am not making it up. How the heck are relatives in the 3000's going to trace back the family history on Ancestry.com after they come across this combo name? Good or bad idea?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Vine: "Why Can't I Catch the Elusive Ladybug?" featuring Pumpkin

If you like cats and for gosh sake, who doesn't like cats??? I made a cute vine that showcases Pumpkin's raspy voice and exuberance:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Be Good To Your Mom"

That is an expression I often use with VC and I think he has finally realized it is good advice. After all, who is gonna stick by you more than good 'ole mom? That is one of the few constants in life. So it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to hear that Eminem, who famously dissed his mom in the song, "Cleanin' Out My Closet" has a song on his new album, MMLP2, where he apologizes to his mom for his harsh words in the past. If Eminem of all people can have an epiphany at this point in his life - and reach out to his mom, there is hope for all the moms out there who may not have an ideal relationship with their kids. It may take some time, but they will come around. Be there with open arms - and food.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Makin' Some Vines

I've been working on some Vines wherein I talk to my cat in a really annoying voice. This is a good one, though, since I do not speak. It features Pumpkin the Juggling Connoisseur:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

48 Hours - Breakup Violence

Wow - Just finished watching last night's episode on "Breakup Violence." Incredibly tragic and moving, especially to see the father who lost his daughter speak.

It boggles my mind why teens are dating so early - exclusively dating - for years...

I would think that kids would be wanting to get out and meet/date and not be tied down to one person bordering on engagement at such a young age.

It is almost as if we are going back to the fifties. Strange.

And worriesome.

If you have a teen, especially a daughter, I encourage you to check out this episode.

You can watch it in full here.


P.S. Congrats to my giveaway winner, Charlotte :-)

Friday, October 25, 2013

I'm Exhausted!

But not in the way you think. Sure I have been going to the Y again, pulling a muscle here, and a muscle there - and sure I have been staying up too late...but what really is exhausting me is keeping up with all VC's activities, knowing he has so many things to get done, and he is only one person, and deadlines are coming up, and he is not moving along fast enough, preferring to go to lunch with his girlfriend....while I sit around and fret.

Yesterday we toured a college that he seems to like. That is a relief because up until now there was not much excitement coming from him as far as colleges were concerned.

Many students at his school are already locked into their colleges and he has only applied to one, clear across the country.

Do you also spend an insane time worrying about your teen not getting anything done, knowing that they have a limited amount of time and that Minecraft and YouTube are probably not the best choices when they work full-time all weekend, every other Friday at their second gig and one to two times a week at their third gig??? and that when they are home they are not making the best use of time?

The feeling of being powerless because so much  hinges on him and he is not around to complete what needs to be completed is absolutely wearing me thin.

I must hold tight - less than 8 months, and it will no longer be my problem ;-)  Hopefully those words won't come back to bite me!

P.S. Today is the last day to enter my giveaway. Adorable ornaments up for grabs (or jewelry or other cute stuff)


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Guess Who is Now on Pinterest!

A dear bloggy friend and fellow "Jerseyian" has convinced me that I am missing out by not being on Pinterest. I was worried it would suck up more of my time - but I am all for inspiration - considering the funk I have been in lately...let the pinning begin!

If you  have any suggestions, I'm all ears :)

**if you haven't had a chance to check out my giveaway yet, there is still time - the ornaments are adorable works of art**

-carmasez

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pick Your Poison: Fiction or Non-Fiction

Lately I've been reading a lot of the drama behind the casting of the 50 Shades movie. Now that I am officially a tv extra, I keep up on this kind of thing ;-)

On my facebook page, two friends were debating the merits of the book. One advised strongly against wasting my time reading the series, the other enjoyed the books. Last week we were discussing writing/reading as she is currently working on a book and some erotic short stories since there is a market for that these days!  As an aside, I doubt I would ever be qualified to write one of those books. It might put people to sleep...

Anyway, she asked if I read a lot, and I had to be honest, that I do not, since I spend so much wasted time puttering around the internet instead. But the fact is that I am not a big reader of fiction.

I spent my first year working at the art gallery (2007) passing the time away reading books. It all started with The Memory Keeper's Daughter - EXCELLENT BOOK if you haven't read it yet. Then I fell into the mystery/thriller category - books by JD Robb, Harlan Koben (quite good), Patterson, Cornwell, etc.

Eventually they got to be very predictable. I also read several books recommended by my boss at the time, since she was a voracious reader and liked to discuss the books. Most were not my taste, but I muddled through any way: Three Cups of Tea (meh), Eat, Pray, Love (tolerated it), The Help (this was an unexpected treat), The Red Queen (actually turned out to be an interesting period piece), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (pass on this one-I've already whined about it in a previous post). Then a couple good picks of my own, such as The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner.

After that first year, I discovered there was a wi-fi connection available, which lead to countless hours blogging and tweeting instead of reading. It became very addictive.

From that point on, I've stuck mainly to non-fiction reading, which is what I really enjoy. Lots of magazines, Radar Online, books on finding fulfilling work, thoughts on living a happy life, oh, and medical ceu credit books!

I think I may start posting some of my favorite thoughts/quotes from some of those books on this here blog just to jog my memory the next time I get in a rut. Ignore the posts if they are not your cup of tea, but you may find some of the material interesting. When I get a chance, I will dig through my "flow (inspiration) folder" (yes, I have one of those)

After all, the blog is not exactly deluged with blog traffic (especially now that my name has been pilfered) to the point that I can't post a few posts here or there for my own self-improvement purposes ;-)

***I have a very nice giveaway going on - please scroll down to the previous post to enter - all it takes is a comment!***

-carmasez

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gifts That Give - A Giveaway!!

As the  holiday season quickly approaches, you may want to consider some alternative gifts that can make a significant impact on the lives of children in impoverished countries as well as in the U.S.

World Vision's Gift Catalog offers a unique set of gifts designed to do just that. Among their top 10 most popular gifts:  5 Ducks (for a $35 donation), A Goat and 2 Chickens ($100) and $350 worth of medicines ($35).

If you choose to support families right here in the US, an $18 donation can feed a family for one day and $22 provides a backpack and school supplies.

There are also over 30 handcrafted gift items in the catalog, including this beautiful Thai bracelet:

This piece of jewelry was part of a project that helps protect vulnerable girls from exploitation.

The Giveaway: One reader will win their choice of one of the gifts listed below.

Colors of Africa Bracelet & Earring Set: This gorgeous Zakale jewelry set is handmade from recycled materials by Kenyan artisans reclaiming their own lives from poverty.
Cinnamon Box: Created from the dried inner bark of Cassia (Cinnamon) trees by skilled artisans in Vietnam; these boxes help families receive social and health insurance as well as the opportunity to apply for scholarship funds.
Hand-woven Headband: This beautiful, 100% cotton headband woven by skilled workers in Lake Atitlan in Guatemala helps address urgent needs of children, families or communities that might otherwise go unmet.
Ornament Set: This set includes three handmade Zakale wire and bead animal trio ornaments from Nairobi.
Gertie the Plush Goat: Gertie is available exclusively through World Vision and represents farm animals that are donated to children and families around the world and provide a steady supply of nutritious food and the surplus can be sold for extra income.


To Enter: Leave a comment which gift you would like to win. For an extra entry, tweet about the giveaway and past the link in a separate comment.  Giveaway ends Friday October 25 at 8:00 pm. Good Luck!

Full Disclosure: I received a gift for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received.

-carmasez

OMG. I am bummed!!!!!

When I stopped using self-hosted wordpress and decided to go back to blogger, I decided to let my domain name go since I didn't need it on blogger and I was all over the place with it - twitter, facebook etc, and now it seems someone has picked it up. GRRRRRRRR....It strikes me as a bit sneaky and snively (made up that word since I am so ticked off). I own another domain, currently for sale, and now I know not to let that one go - EVER...*sniffle, sniffle*

Maybe this is all just one big sign - that I need to spend less time on the internet!

When you spend 5+ years building something up - only to see it snatched in this manner >:-(


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Making a Spectacle of Myself

I recently purchased a new pair of glasses for VC. Luckily his vision is very good and his vision correction is minimal.

Unfortunately, I was not so lucky in the eye department, so I am very particular about getting thinner lenses for my eyeglasses and other fancy add-ons. One of the most difficult things is finding the right frame to flatter my face. Having a long-ish face rules out the narrow oval lenses that have been popular the past few years.

While I was shopping with VC for his lenses I decided to try on a few pairs for myself, since my glasses are 10+ years old!  Amazingly my prescription has remained the same all these years. I have such a hard time finding frames I like that it has prevented me from settling on a new pair.

At times I have had someone else with me, I have asked them to take a photo of me in the frames. It is a good way to ensure the frames are flattering before making the purchase. I have also looked online. I figured shopping for eyeglasses online would be difficult since I would be unable to see a photo of myself with the lenses before I order glasses. Enter GlassesUSA.com and their "try on" feature. I simply uploaded a photo of myself, re-sized it, and "tried on" lots of frames.

You can see my results here. I was especially drawn to their wayfarer style of frames:

The virtual mirror application is very easy to use. Here is a sample of what the screen looks like:


GlassesUSA.com is offering a 10% discount for my readers on prescription glasses. Enter code: Blog10 at checkout. Also be sure to check their site for other generious sitewide discounts!

They also offer a 110% lowest price guarantee and 100% money back guarantee, so your purchase is virtually risk-free!

Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GlassesUSA.com

-carmasez

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Life's Not Fair!

We went to see VC at the RenFest this weekend. This possibly being his "swan song" year - we are going to make the most of it and will see him perform another time or two.

He currently performs 3 stage slots with his partner as well as roaming the streets and street performing. He works up quite a sweat - especially opening weekend when temps were close to 90 degrees and he was juggling wearing an upholstered costume with knee high socks and a sash and hat.

...which brings me to the subject of this post.

MB came home the first weekend raving about a new street guy who walks around and looks uber hot. That is his talent, looking HOT...

...so when we bumped into him this weekend, MB encouraged me to get a photo with him. He has a Jack Sparrow vibe and is very tall as you can see.

And of course, I had to tip him...



Moral of the story: you can have all the talent in the world (among other things juggling 8 balls as VC does as part of his act) -

or you can be born HOT and get much higher tips without working up a sweat or having to learn a skill.

Yep, life's not fair, but it does provide a good photo op!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Sudsy Matter

Did you see the recent uproar over the Babble blogger Claire Goss who copped to only bathing her baby once a week - sometimes less - on average, every 10 days? She says the baby still smells nice. Hmmmm...not being there to do a smell test, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt on this one. Not something I would do - as I am a regular bather. I recall bathing my son several times a week when he was an infant.

One thing I do agree with though is her assertion that too much soap is inhibiting our resistance. After developing a thyroid issue, I removed all antibacterial soap from our home. One of the big culprits is the chemical Triclosan, which is something I also discovered was in the toothpaste I had been using for 10+ years!! You never know what products these chemicals can sneak up in.




*also look for check for phthalates - I am not asserting that any of these chemicals are in the picture above..

For a while I was using a black licorice soap from the local healthy market. Now I am just avoiding antibacterial soap (less expensive this way). I am also trying to cut back on my hand sanitizer addiction, after I realized it was destroying my nails. I almost thought I had a horrible disease that was causing them to constantly split and break, and then I saw a video about how the alcohol causes the nails to dry out and peel.

All of our vigilance in avoiding bacterial seems to be backfiring...

Have you also cut back on your antibacterial products amid the recent news reports?
What do you think about bathing a baby so infrequently?

-carmasez



Friday, October 4, 2013

Not Gonna Let Anyone Get the Best of Me! (effective now)

Last night I was working at one of my freelance assignments. I have done at least 20 of these events - and for the most part, everyone has been quite friendly...

Until last night - when I came across my first "hostile" individual. To my amazement, despite his attempts to throw me off course, I kept my composure and did my job without blinking.

Years ago this type of encounter would have sent me into major stress mode. I probably would have turned red and broken out in hives.

So this was quite a personal achievement for me. Maybe there are a few perks to getting older, like not letting anyone get the best of you. To throw in a Katy Perry cliche, "no more "agreeing polite-ly."

Have you had this happen? Are there any other perks of middle age yet to come? Please tell me some good news!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Time to Dust off the Blog...

What's this? I still have a blog???

Pitiful how lax I have become in updating things. Does it seem like blogging jumped the shark about 2 years ago? Did anyone you know go to BlogHer? Some days I feel like there is really no point in continuing to blog. May as well change my name to "The Relulctant Blogger." Facebook takes up enough time - what with sharing all those videos of cats ;-)

What have I been up to? I can't recall anything that fascinating...

I am back to substituting at the middle and high school level. I am also continuing with my per diem medical work. This week I had several days scheduled- one until midnight. Exhausting, but I want to keep my toes in the industry.

VC is back at school and it is very bittersweet, this being his last year of High School. I am already starting to get bummed. He brings a lot of life to the house; also much teenage angst, but mainly a lot of life that I am going to miss.

We had always thought he would be going to school in-state, but a few weeks ago he said that he is considering applying to a school in UTAH!!  Let me see, that is only 32 hours away by car!!  I have to admit that it is probably a great idea for him to spread his wings like this, but it will take some gettting used to.

I joined the YMCA in February and since then I have had all sorts of pulled muscles. Took a week off last week to try and un-knot. Seems like I was in much better health before I started with the workouts!!

Contemplating doing a 5K run in the near future if I can get the balls to do it. I last ran one 10 years ago and it wasn't pretty...

Getting older is positively freaking me out lately. Working with people 20 years younger than you only helps to remind you of how much little time you have left to make an impact. I have also noticed that so much emphasis in the workplace is placed on speed vs. quality interactions. Sometimes I feel like I just don't fit in anywhere.

Other than that, things are going splendidly. How's by you? (said in Christopher Walken voice)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Doin' a Bit of Ghost Hunting and other Stuff

WOW! I never figured so many of us were on the same page with the hair cut thing! This is good news :-)

Although I am reminded that I never posted pics from Niagara Falls, it is time to move on to Charleston, SC. We just got back in town from our annual 3-day trip to Charleston,. The beach at Isle of Palms was as beautiful as ever. Aside from donating my CK Sunglasses (purchased at a deep discount) to the ocean when I was boogie boarding, the trip was delightful!


We discovered you are never too old to make a sandcastle:

We ate at our favorite pizza place Andolinis:


This being VC's last summer before he heads off to college *sniff sniff* we are maximizing family time and we decided to throw a Ghost Tour into the mix.

Here's the sad part. The guide who took us on the tour *may have been* suffering from some type of early-onset dementia. He couldn't have been much older than me - but he repeated himself to the point where it was starting to make everyone concerned and uncomfortable. This is a kind of touchy thing where no one wants to alert him that the reason we know what an object is was that he told us approximately 1.5 minutes ago!!! :-( He was very knowledgeable and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour - it's just sometimes he got caught in one of those loops...

I felt so badly. Do you step in and say something at the end of the tour? His memory lapses were so frequent within the hour and a half that we were with him that it was very disconcerting. We didn't say anything but it left me wondering  how to handle this type of thing.

We didn't see any ghosts but one member of our group did take an amazing photo with about 20 orbs floating around a gravestone. While I realize a lot of  this can be explained by the flash reflecting off dust in the air, it would be neat if it was an actual ghost!

ahhh - here's an orb in this photo (above the M):


We were equipped with electro-magnetic detectors like the real ghost hunters used, which was a hoot! There was a guy in the group who was having a blast testing everything as we were walking and would explain "I think I've got something here!"

Have you ever come across a ghost? I'm uber skeptical about everything but it is fun to ponder...How would you have handled the situation with the tour guide?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why My Hair Looks Ho Hum

A lot of you probably get super excited about a visit to the salon. Not here. Nope. I go maybe every 2 months or so when I drag myself there - to one of those walk-in joints.


I decided to go on a slow day: A Monday. There was only one stylist there when I came in and then walked in another one who I've seen there several times.

She isn't very smiley. A little standoffish if you ask me.

And guess who I ended up getting? You guessed it!

As she was cutting my hair she was talking to the other stylist making fun of a guy who comes in to flirt with her - because he was wearing in her words 'flood pants' - with white socks - that she said made him look like a Michael Jackson wannabe. After laughing loudly a couple times - at the same thing - it got old quickly.

Her making fun of the guy was interspersed by terse reminders to sit up straight and keep my chin down. That was the extent of her conversation with me.

Then she was done. Didn't even bother to ask me if I wanted to get my hair blown dry - she probably assessed my lack of attention to my hair and figured why bother.

As I was checking out she remarked on my T-Shirt (the one with the girls I designed) - I couldn't even feign much enthusiasm at that point...

Anyhoo, I always feel a little awkward at the hair salon. Now I know why.

It is a good thing I did not go for a high maintenance pixie cut like Beyonce that would require regular salon visits. Besides, the last time I could pull off a pixie was when I was 16...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

All Excited for Nothing

Where I live there are lots of local free magazines that I always stock up on when I'm at the grocery store. One is a fairly decent publication that features articles, tips, etc. for woman in our area.

This month's issue they featured successful professional women and at the end of the magazine a profile of a "Woman who Personifies What Makes (my town) Women so Great"

It was a one page feature of a woman who sells body wraps (Ultimate Body Applicators). Being interested in health and staying fit, I was impressed especially after she said she quit her wedding photography business to focus on being a distributor of ItWorks! products. After 7 months she was able to earn a "very tidy monthly income."

Well, I set the page aside meaning to look up the specifics of her business on the computer.

For some reason I had never heard of the company before. And then it clicked, this company is a MLM company. GAH!!

Of all the successful local women who have opened their own businesses they chose to feature someone who is looking to schedule "wrap parties."

It seems some folks have found a measure of success with using the wraps. Google ItWorks! wraps for images of all sorts of saggy bellies that were supposedly transformed into tighter bellies.

After searching keywords ItWorks! MLM Scam, my eyebrows were raised. And after seeing the product can be purchased on Amazon, I couldn't quite grasp how an independent distributor such as this woman could be making beaucoup bucks. Maybe I'm missing something here...

Another turn off was that with the product you coat the wrap with a gel that contains, according to what I read, some unhealthy ingredients...although I have not  verified this is the case.

Have you had any experience with this company? Am I the last one to hear of it? Have  you transformed your sagging belly?

Do you hear MLM and run for the hills???

Now let me go back to earning pennies from my lucrative blog ;-)

P.S. I no sooner hit "publish" when I saw an email from a local savings website - selling Skinny Miss Wraps- and these are only $15 and promise results for 6 months! Color me skeptical - but it seems wraps are the product du jour!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Outbid!

After spending the better part of the day on Sunday trying to coax Pumpkin into allowing me to trim her nails - and then doing an awful job since I had to clip them so quickly in order not to get bitten,

the heavens opened this morning when I was working out and flipped the channel to America Now, where they were testing the Pedi Paws:

I was so geeked that I logged onto ebay, only to be outbid 1 hour and 36 mins later.

The product is very inexpensive. I am not deterred. I will get my 'paws' on one :D

But, before I bid again, have any of you tried this out on your cat in particular?

With reviews like this, how can I go wrong? ;-)  If all else fails we can use it on ourselves when we get elderly:

"Suggested by a neighbor who likes it. I tried it, and liked it. We elderly use it not for our pets, but to trim our toenails!"

"Before you can actually use this product you first must accustom your pet to the PediPaws. Unless he or she is in a coma, your pet will absolutely despise the sound and vibration of it."

"It wasn't me that hated it. It was the cats. They wouldn't get anywhere near it. Bad owner. Bad. Sit."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Back from our Roadtrip with a Hankering to Become Pickers - and maybe Swamp People!

We got back in town last night from our road trip to Niagara Falls. In all my many years, that is one place I never visited. We stayed in Ontario. Beautiful spot. More on the trip later.

My son, who is 17, loves a good road trip. He prefers this type of trip to any other type. We saw many sights in our 7 days - but one of the highlights for him besides setting up his own technical lab in the car, and eating out, was watching the History Channel.

We don't have cable, so we get approximately 3.5 channels. The big benefit of this lack of cable is that it frees up lots of time.

After one night on the trip spent viewing American Pickers, we were hooked and by the last night we had to force ourselves to turn off the TV after the 3rd episode that night.



It is a very addictive show.

We stopped at Pickers Paradise on the way home after I saw a sign on the highway. I think we will need a lot more educating before we are ready to become official pickers, plus I am a minimalist, so there's that...but it is awfully fun to look!

When not watching American Pickers, we were lured in (pun not intended) - by Swamp People. Very intriguing waiting to see if all of the teams would tag out for the season (they did).



Next year I am thinking our road trip needs to be History Channel themed. Maybe we could go to Indiana to visit the American Pickers at their shop Antique Archaeology and then head to the bayou to see the Swamp People in action...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Great Weight Debate

Well, MB and I have entered into a debate this morning about if it is ever appropriate to ask a chick her weight.



This was on the heels of someone asking me this question yesterday. I say it is never appropriate. He says it is fine.

This same person went shopping with me a week ago and had to look at my pant size so now I have to hear over and over again, "Well it must be tough being a size ____ , Hello Ms. Size ____" etc.

Don't get me wrong this is a kind-hearted person, but it is starting to make me very uncomfortable as if it is some kind of competition.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Truth Hurts

We had a very busy Fourth of July yesterday and I hope yours was great too.

I joined my husband and VC for a morning at the swimming hole for the yearly celebration. VC brought along his gf and they frolicked until it was game time, so that he could continue his reign as the "best dive/trick" champion.

Not much for swimming or pools, I hung out on the side in my chair and watched the action, in between nagging him to put on more sunscreen and videotaping his dives.

Later we went to the fireworks celebration in another town. We haaaaaad to get there 4 hours early because this my regimented husband MB insists this must be done. We parked in the same parking lot they always park in, but not in the same row of parking so I had to hear all about the benefits of trying to squeeze into the spot on that row that I did not want to try backing into.

It was a long night. I drove home to the sounds of snores.

I went up to talk to VC at night to encourage him to GET TO BED since it was after one.

It was at that point that I got to hear how he views me as "unhappy" because I didn't go in the pool and merely sat on the side in the shade. He pointed out that I didn't speak to any of the people there. A-hem, maybe because they were all there with their own families and I did not know any of them although there were over 100 people at the pool.

He said that he wonders when I am going to be happy and pondered if there is ever going to be anything that makes me happy.

It is truly sad to hear this from your child. I know I am not the most bubbly person, although I am still very sociable when I need to be.

He has said this over the years in passing (the unhappy part).

And it hurts.

Maybe because it is the truth.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Hope all you dads out there have a wonderful day :-)  pet dads included now that I've become a crazy cat lady lol

Here's a photo of me and my dad from 20 years ago.


We've had our ups and downs. Many. But as time goes by you come to realize you will only ever have one dad....

Make it a great day.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Meet the Newest Addition to our Family!

Pumpkin has arrived!  She is a 4 month old rescue kitten. VC is a cat person and he finally convinced it me it was time to adopt. I read some studies indicating the best time to own kittens is when you are a college student or senior citizen.

Since he will be a college student next year and I am rapidly approaching the arrival of my AARP card, it was time.

She was incredibly shy at the shelter so the officer felt she would be a difficult adoption, but she already seems to be warming up incredibly well to us and our home.

I promise not to inundate you with cute kitty pictures (maybe) - but here are couple (that's VC holding her - look how big he (VC) is!)





He is a little jealous that Pumpkin seems to have taken a liking to me. What can I say, I'm irresistible ;-) so I have to play with her on the sly when he is out so he won't get annoyed lol.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Which Would You Choose?

I've been having a little debate on my FB Page, after reading an interesting article that posed the question: Which would you choose (if you could only choose one) Fortune, Fame or Power?

I am not going to answer yet or reveal the author's thoughts on what each means about your personality since I don't want to bias your answer.

On this Memorial Day, lets remember those who deserve all 3...


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's Not Easy Being a peri-Senior Citizen!

Lately, it has been dawning on me that I am approaching that age where people brush you aside as being old and irrelevant. It's sad. I feel like there is still so much more I need to accomplish but it is also time to get realistic.

I was taking a cardio fitness class at the YMCA last night. It is basically a combination of kickboxing, strength training and interval training.

There were about 12 people in the class at the beginning but the number tapered off a bit when the instructor continued to ramp up the workout.

Well, it came to the part of the class where she has us put two of those stretchy exercise resistance tubes with handles around a partner and try and pull them back as they attempt to run. Apparently this is a good ab building exercise? It is also a form of torture.



There is a girl who I have seen in several classes. Never spoke to her but she seemed friendly enough. So it was time to partner up and she and I were the only ones near each other. She immediately said, "you may want to find another partner because I like to pull really hard." - translation - you look like an old weakling who will cause me to have a sucky workout.

She asked the instructor if the instructor would partner with her but the instructor balked since she was having abdominal pain. (She actually  had to leave the class early it got so bad - hopefully not appendicitis) But I digress. That left me with the twentysomething. Ends up I was able to hold her back just as well as those who weighed more than me and were younger.

Bottom line: Never underestimate someone's strength - or intelligence. "Old people" need love too. Chances are I'll see her again. But will not partner with her :P

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kittens on the Brain - Redux!

Happy Belated Mother's Day! My mom is in town for the week - we met up at a festival on Saturday where VC was juggling. A very hippy festival. Full of happy people. Convinced me that living life on a treadmill of stress is not the way to live. We shouldn't take everything so seriously - and we should embrace color!!  More on all this later....

VC is pushing for us to adopt a kitten. If you recall, we went through this over a year ago, but ended up deciding not to adopt, in part because of a psychopath that was exerting an influence in our lives that imploded during the kitty adoption period and was related to the kitten adoption. Long story.

Anyway, VC loves kittens/cats. He has become something of a kitty whisperer. He reallllly wants a cuddly pet of his own, now, at age 17. He has never had a pet beyond the fish that lived for less than 24 hours. I have not had a pet since my pet fish and gerbil close to 40 years ago.

This is a BIG decision. Which cracks me up since we have given more thought to getting a pet so far than we did when we were deciding whether or not to have a child!!

Here's where you come in. All kitten advice is welcome. Do you have a cat? What have been your biggest joys since adopting. What have been your biggest frustrations? Can a recovering anal person like myself adapt?

It will in essence be VC's pet, but I will obviously be in charge whilst he is away at college. In all honestly, I have been looking for a "fuzzy replacement VC" to keep me company when he leaves. A new "little buddy." Could this be the perfect companion - or is a kitten likely to give me the brush off??

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Matron of Honor Duties Executed Flawlessly - but with one BIG wrinkle!

Months ago I wrote about being asked to be a Maid of Honor for an acquaintance who I met through my husband. (and then one of my wise blogging buddies reminded me that it is technically "Matron of Honor") Her and her new husband's reunion after many years apart is quite a story. They originally met when she was 13 and he was 18. Fast forward 40 years and they reunited and got married yesterday. Obviously they were destined to be together.

The bride gave me free reign to pick out a dress as you may recall, but in the end - when I realized it was going to be a small outdoor ceremony (ended up being 25 guests), I got up my courage to ask her if I could wear a satin Calvin Klein dress that I already owned.

Luckily she was agreeable, so I wore it yesterday. I remembered how easy it wrinkled the one other time I wore it, so I thought maybe I could put it on when I got to the location, which was a campground meeting revival place. The wedding was to take place in the arbor on-site.

Knowing there was no running water, I wasn't sure if the "tents" that look kind of like cabins out of a wild west movie would still be shuttered.

MB convinced me to go ahead and dress ahead of time.

Well, by the time I got there the dress looked like this:

Holy Wrinkle Batman!


I had no idea it was so wrinkled until I saw the photo :-( not that there was anything I could have done about it... Aside from this, it was a beautiful ceremony. Here is a photo of the wedding party


I rested my broken toe during the week so I could wear my fancy new shoes!  And another good thing: My hair that has a mind of it's own
didn't look too shabby!!

I am sensing a new Facebook profile picture!

P.S.congratulations to Lindsey D (comment #14) - the winner of my NOVICA giveaway!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Labeling a Review a Review: No Trickery Here

A week ago, Dooce wrote this post about houses she had purchased and renovated in the past - the gist of which was whether she should buy another home to fix up or consider a new home. After looking at the beautiful photos of her handiwork on previous homes and a recap of some of the money she sank into the homes, she ended the post by posing a question to readers - asking about their experiences buying a new existing home or building one of their own.

All sounds fairly mundane, right?

That is until you get to the comment section. I love a good comment section. As we all know, comments are much more entertaining than actual blog posts.

Many of her readers felt cheated when they realized the post was in fact a *gasp* sponsored post!!

photo credit: Greencolander

They were unable to discover this until scrolling down to the bottom of the post.

Some felt that she should have identified in the header that it was a sponsored post.

One thing that I am careful with on this blog is to always identify in the blog post title if it is a review post. That gives folks the option of skipping the post entirely if they so choose.

Maybe they will read it. Maybe they won't. But at least there will not be any hard feelings.



*My Mother's Day NOVICA giveaway is still open for entries!! Beautiful hand crafted unique items perfect for mom :-)


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WOW Those are Some High Aspirations!

This is exactly what I was referring to in my A Sobering Poll post. The future looks fairly bleak when our teens have discovered it is much more work to study and work hard at a job than it is to make a sex tape and get a quick buck instead.

It was announced today that "teen mom" Farrah Abraham sealed a 7 figure deal to distribute her sex tape with PRoN star James Deen.

Seven figures??? Assuming she is telling the truth - but even if it was more like six figures, it is sad that she had to resort to this level to keep her name in the news and to avoid having to possibly put to use her culinary degree.

Is this what we are teaching our kids? To take the easy way out?

So much of what made the "Good 'Ole Days" good was the lack of comparisons via the internet. Now it is not enough for a kid to be a good singer, dancer etc. because one click of the internet and you can always find someone who is infinitely better at something than you are - or someone who has achieved quick fame. Back when the world was a whole lot smaller there was a lot less to compare yourself to. Perhaps it was easier on the self esteem and perhaps it kept us focused on going to school and trying to get a job the old-fashioned way, which worked for decades...

Up until this generation of me, me, me, me. I want it now!! kids...

That combined with the general lack of respect - for anyone - including themselves, makes me think the best days may really have been in the past. Sad.

Hey, while you are here, scroll on down to yesterday's post and enter my fabulous giveaway!!




Monday, April 29, 2013

A NOVICA Giveaway! In Time for Mother's Day YAY!

I always enjoy the opportunity to highlight NOVICA's unique handmade items from around the world - not only because of the uniqueness and expert craftsmanship, but also because of the opportunity to support these talented artists so that they can continue to do what they love.

In time for Mother's Day, I've handpicked some of NOVICA's handmade Mother's Day gifts that your Mother (or mother of your kids) will love:

First, this cotton hobo handbag "Summer Sonnet" - perfect for spring/summer - makes me smile!


Another great gift idea for the Mom who appreciates fine art, a blown glass vase "Saint's Day" - beautiful!

and for the mom who loves jewelry, these cheerful gemstone flower earrings 'Andean Bouquet'
Did you notice how well these gift suggestions coordinate with each other?? (pats self on back ;-) )

Hurry and enter the giveaway - for a $40 gift code to NOVICA:

To enter:
(1) Leave a comment about something not shown above from NOVICA''s Mother's Day Gifts that you would like to give as a gift

(2) Tweet about the giveaway and provide the link

(3) Subscribe to my blog feed

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry

Giveaway ends: Sunday May 5th at 8:00 PM

Full Disclosure: I was provided with a gift code for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Sobering Poll

Watching CBS Sunday Morning (as I've written about plenty of times before - me and the 80 year olds) - and there was a very sobering poll this morning - on the Future themed episode:

Best days are in the:

Future  35%
Past  49%

There are plenty of days I think that I was meant for simpler times...so I have to agree with the 49%

What about you?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why the Bias?

You may be assuming this post is going to be about racial profiling in wake of the Boston terror tragedy. It is not.

You may be assuming it is about a bias against people who are left-handed and wear unseemly clothing from the 70's.

Nope. Wrong on both counts....

I am speaking about the bias against PREPAID CELL PHONES!!!

I am not a tekkie (nothing new there) or someone who has to have the latest gadget, but I am positively drooling over the (cue drum roll) Samsung Galaxy:

NOTE: The one I really like is the bigger Note, but this outdated model is the one that is available on prepaid (as luck would have it :P )

The cell phone I am using now is one of those $30 Samsung's with pull out keyboard that I pay $15 a month for service via Net 10 prepaid. It has served me well, assuming I never need to (a) check and email (b) type a lengthy message since once you hit the alt key you have to consciously remember to hit it again or you type out a line that looks like this:

&&%^^^ (#@;;;

seriously, I typed a message to a friend last week that was 90% gibberish because I chose to hit the alt key to make an exclamation point. I did  not realize this until the message had been sent!!!  This is the same friend that I have at least 5 times sent a message intending to send it to VC. So I look like a complete texting fool!!

(c) Get directions easily while out and about and (d) do anything other than making a phone call.

So as you can see, I am in need of an upgrade.

VC knows I have been drooling over the Galaxy, so last night when we attended a performance at his school and the woman next to me placed down her phone - and he noticed it was a Galaxy - he gave me the eye. I asked how she liked it and she mentioned she purchased it because it was now marked down to $50 at Best Buy. I immediately said I was thinking of getting one - but without the contract since I we only use prepaid phones.

Cue immediate embarrassment on my part after I realized what I blurted out. I knew she might judge me as someone who cannot afford a phone plan, who has bad credit or is a ne'er do well.  Why is that? She probably thought nothing of the sort (she did) - but why is there such a stigma against prepaid phones?

They sure are cheap on a monthly basis without all the hidden fees. You can make up the price of the phone within a month or two with the low monthly cost for service.

I just don't get it....

As pointed out above the model is a little outdated, but I've never been one to follow the latest fad. Aside from that I can't see any drawbacks.

Enlighten me with fun stories about all that you can do with your contract cell phone service that I will be unable to do with my prepaidphone (said quickly so you won't realize it is prepaid).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Disturbing and Perplexing Things in the News

I first wrote about this topic in 2009 when a teenager died of diabetes since her parents refused medical treatment -- and it has reared its ugly head again: a couple has lost their second child because they decided to pray for healing instead of seeking medical attention. Yep, not one but two kids killed due to their negligence. Doesn't matter what your religious beliefs are, if you see an innocent baby dying - GET MEDICAL ATTENTION!!  Pray too if you are so inclined but get medical attention first!!! Pathetic!

Secondly, I can't get this picture off my mind? What the heck happened to this model's butt? A fallen implant perhaps? Disturbing.

Hope your week if off to a great start!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Floors

For those of you interested in seeing the outcome of our  new bamboo floors:

Not sure that I am down with the carpet, but it is one that we already had :)

Cleaning will be a breeze from now on!!  My Swiffer is calling me....

Friday, April 5, 2013

Good Riddance Spring Break!

Boy, am I ready to get back into the normal swing of things. Our new bamboo flooring was finished at 1:30 in the morning on Monday. It was a grueling few days but everything is reasonably back into place. The house is a bit of an echo chamber...but it looks really really nice :-)

Does anyone have any suggestions as to some good rug gripper strips??? I was going to order some Ruggies but then I saw the bad reviews....and further bad reviews on just about every rug strip on Amazon....

I already broke my toe last night in an unrelated incident so the last thing I need is a slip and fall on the rug!

Did I write about my husband's trip to the ER with the horrendous stomach bug a week ago. We were turned away at Urgent Care, probably because they did not want to stay too late with the IV - by the time they saw him it was 7:00 pm and they closed at 8:00 - the doctor made some ridiculous excuse and then sent us on our way to the ER.

The upshot: What would have been a $25 copay at Urgent Care has turned into a $5,300 ER bill so far - and that doesn't even include the ER doctor and radiologist from when they did the unneeded CT Scan.

Luckily we will "only" have to pay around $1500 - but what a joke. This was for a stomach bug - he was not giving birth!!!!

The system is completely broken. What an utter waste.


The Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

It's that time of year again! UBP Time!

I am not much for hopping after I broke my toe the other night, but I will still be participating - from my seat with my foot elevated...

You can learn more than you want to know about me by clicking on the aptly titled "About Me" tab.

Facts such as:

1. In many of my baby pictures, I resembled Suri Cruise.

2. I recently blew out the inner lining of my eyeball and the doctor suspected it was due to my recent Pilates obsession!!

3. My "backside" was nominated for the Best of my High School Graduating Class!! Quite an honor ;-)

4. I do a good Keith Morrison impersonation and am a proud Dateline groupie. Not very happy with the new change from Fridays to Wednesdays though!!

Thanks for stopping by - Happy Hopping!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Not a Bad Suggestion

I hope those who celebrate the holiday had a Happy Easter!  We spent the day lugging around applicances, dismantling furniture and preparing the main floor for our bamboo floor installation which starts today - right now. I am holed up in the guest room upstairs to escape the noise...

My aching back and legs are happy for the respite!

Oh, when I say "we" spent the day lugging around furniture and appliances, that is because my able bodied teen son spent the entire day up until I picked him up at 11:30 PM with his girlfriend and her large family at her grandmother's house. It really is difficult to get a teen to do any work these days!!!  I worry for our future.

...which brings to mind the article by the mom who is a Princeton University graduate, whose two sons currently attend, who had the gall to recommend in a letter to the editor that female students snag a male student before graduating to make for a rewarding future and to avoid dating potential idiots once they are out of college and in the regular dating pool.

Well, that was the impression I got from reading the article. Others felt it had set woman back a generation and/or that she was begging for dates for her sons. It caused complete hysteria.

To me, it seems like reasonably sound advice - and I wouldn't label myself as an extremely old fashioned convervatie mom.

Others are pointing out that the school is a snob-fest and who wants to end up with someone like that. I know of someone who's son attended and they strike me as very down to earth people. I'm sure the school attracts all types - but either way, they are intelligent types, and that is not a bad thing to look for in a spouse.

What are your thoughts?


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another Totally Bizarre Health Incident

Well, as you may know, I have been doing Pilates for a couple months now and enjoying it. I have only been attending a few classes a week but I was getting psyched at the prospect of my new longer body LOL. I like that they claim your muscles lengthen when really your bones would need to be able to lengthen as well.

But I digress. As part of the exercises, we do a lot of rolling back with our legs over our heads,


... which may or may not be the cause of my latest health incident.

On Monday I got up early and checked the computer to see if I had been called in to substitute. I noticed a flickering of light at my peripheral vision on one side, and chalked it up to using the computer in a completely darkened room. I thought maybe my eyes did not have time to adjust properly.

Well, same thing happened on Tuesday. Odd, but still not cause for alarm.

Fast forward to Thursday and we were driving home from VC's track meet and my eyes were flashing and there was a huge floater in the middle of my field of vision.

I told VC that he had better stop asking if he could go see his girlfriend as I had already said no and my eye was completely wonky.

Thursday night I started doing some research on the interwebs and started getting that uneasy feeling that you get when you realize your retina may possibly be torn and that to be on the safe side I had better schedule a doctor visit for Friday.

So Friday after school, I went to the eye doctor, who excitedly showed me the picture of my eye, with the hemorrhage behind the eyeball and parts of the inner layer of the eye floating around. The diagnosis: Posterior Vitreous Detachment. Luckily my retina was fully intact. He asked if I had done anything new recently and then all of a sudden my eyes lit up - the Pilates!!  We do a lot of head movements and many of them put pressure on the head and neck, as in the photo above. He said there was a good chance that is how this damage occurred, but said I was OK to continue.

I attended class this morning and spoke to the instructor after class and she agreed that many of the poses can put pressure on the eyes :-(

....which means I am going to take a self-imposed hiatus, and lift some weights in the meantime...

I'm sure that will be safer ;-)  but seriously, I am just got out my weight belt (circa 1991) and weight gloves...stay tuned...

I have a feeling I will soon be back to the only exercise I have done consistently for years: Walking!!!

P.S. Thank you for all your recommendations regarding the Matron of Honor dress. (My friend Lisa kindly reminded me that I am old and married so it is "matron") I have yet to even go to the store to look at them and time is of the essence!!! Not a big shopper especially for dresses I may never wear again which is why I'd better go with the least likely Matron of Honor looking dress...
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