Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday Website

I thought I might try something new on Wedensdays - a Website of the Day. Today, I want to tell you about Goodreads. I love to read, and Goodreads helps me keep up with what I have read, what I am currently reading, and what I want to read. It's hard to remember the titles of all the books I want to read, and Goodreads gives me a place to keep up with that.

Another feature is the ability to create "shelves" for the books you read. I have created a "shelf" for my book club books, 2010, fiction, nonfiction, young adult literature, and children's books. And I can classify each book into more than one category.

In addition, you can rate the books you read and write reviews if you are so inclined. Goodreads also allows you to automatically update twitter when you rate a book, again, if you so choose. And it allows you to post your reviews to your blog (like this one).

You can also connect with friends on Goodreads and share reviews, book lists, comments, and more, or you can join book discussions. It's quite a handy website for readers!
Do you have a cool website to share? If so, let me know in comments.

(I was not compensated in any way for promoting Goodreads, but I wish I could be!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Just My Opinion

The Guardian The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sparks attempts a twist in his signature love story book, a mystery. It's not his best work, actually quite predictable, and doesn't tug on the heart strings like many of his books.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, June 28, 2010

CSN Giveaway

I had to disqualilfy 8 comments because they did not leave a comment on a separate post (see #4 below, follow AND comment on another post). The random number (not including the disqualified comments) was #16, Katie. Congratulation, Katie!

I sure have enjoyed my products from CSN Stores, and now it's your turn to enjoy a great new product or two! And with over 200 online stores to choose from, you're bound to find something you want. They have everything from wall decor to dining room sets to cookware. They even have cribs, office supplies, and dog beds.

A few weeks ago, I ordered a stainless steel bread box since we have purchased new appliances. It's perfect for my kitchen. And I got this great lamp for my daughter's birthday. She loves it!
So, what do you have to do to be entered to win a $60.00 product certificate to CSN Stores? It's easy!

1. Leave a comment on this post telling what you might like to purchase with your $60. This first comment is mandatory.

For extra entries, do any or all of the following and leave a comment (with a link, if applicable) for each entry.

2. Write a post on your blog promoting this giveaway.

3. Tweet this giveaway.

4. Follow my blog (or subscribe in a reder), AND leave a comment on any other post on this blog. Comment must be left after this giveaway was posted.

Please make sure you leave a valid email address if one is not available on your profile. Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM July 5, 2010. Good luck!

This post is part of a campaign for CSN who is supplying the product certificate for giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Scrappin'

If you scrapbook (traditional or digital) or make paper crafts of any kind, won't you join us for Sunday Scrappin'? Post your ta-da's and to-do's, with pictures if possible. Link up, and visit other crafters!

I made a card for a swap (which I will show you next week after my swap partner receives it) and 8 pages (4 2-page layouts). I also organized all of my brads and embellishments and my scrapbook paper to make it easier for me to find what I'm looking for. I'm also in the process of getting completed pages into albums.

I want to make a few pages this week, continue to organize my scrap supplies, and finish getting the pages in two completed scrapbooks.

Optional Challenge
Last week, Christine asked us to show an unusual summer activity. Not your normal pool, beach, sunshine layout but something out of the ordinary. Mine are all about Arizona and Disneyworld, so I think they qualify for meeting the challenge. The challenge this week is to use stickers. I can do that! Happy Scrappin'!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

14 Years Ago Today...

My miracle happened... My twins were born, a boy and a girl, small, but healthy. He came first at 6:37 PM. She followed 8 minutes later after several unsuccessful attempts at turning her. No C-section for me. I think it would have been easier in many ways, but there are no do-overs.

They were 7 weeks early weighing only 4 lbs. 3 oz. (him) and 3 lbs. 5 oz. (her). Since I had pre-eclampsia, the doctor felt they would come early, so he had given me medicine to develop their lungs. It worked. They didn't need any breathing treatments or assistance. Due to their size, they were in the hospital for a while, 11 and 13 days. And boy did life change when they came home!
Like most parents, I've had many difficult, trying times, but I've had so many more that are filled with joy because of my twins. Happy birthday to my "babies." Yes, you'll always be my babies!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Company Girl Coffee

Happy Friday to all! Come on in and let's visit! This has been a busy week, but it wasn't all work and no play. Last night, the whole family (5 of us - hubz, my twins D & A, my step-daughter, and I) went over my step-son's house to play with the grandkids (2 1/2 year old twin boys). After they went to bed, we ate some awesome chicken spaghetti, my daughter-in-law's signature dish. Then we played Uno Attack. So glad Mattel invented this twist on an old favorite!Do you have a signature dish that you prepare for relatives or company?
How about a favorite game you like to play?

If you're keeping up with your small things at Home Sanctuary, good for you! I'm trying. Even if we don't do every small thing, I think we draw inspiration from Rachel Anne. Her posts cause me to pay more attention to the peace, order, and beauty we create in our lives. I think a night like the one we had at my step-son's falls into the "beauty" category of life. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Come play Thursday 13 with us!

In honor of my twins turning 14 in 2 days, I've written down 13 (mostly) pleasant memories (two that I just won't forget) about them. (This photo was taken six months ago.)

1. When they were born.
2. First steps.
3. First day of school.
4. Learning to tie their shoes.
5. Learning to swim.
6. When my son cut his head open and had to have stitches.
7. The time my daughter had over 104 degrees fever and had to get blood drawn.
8. Saint Patrick’s Day/spring break parties at the house with their friends including double sleepovers, games, and lots of fun.
9. Playing in the band at school
10. My son playing sports (football, soccer, baseball, basketball)
11. My daughter taking piano lessons and playing soccer and basketball
12. Birthday parties through the years, everything from McDonald’s, gymnastics, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Bowling, swimming, paintball, shopping, and Kemah amusements.
13. Both of the kids enjoying church activities.

14 years go by fast!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rayovac Powers Your Summer

Needless to say, I wasn't one of the first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer event, but I did go answer the question of the day, and you can, too. You might win a prize! Or, like me, not. It's fun to try anyway. And don't forget to visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion

We all need batteries for summer fun! Bubble blowers, flashlights for camp outs, and let's not forget the all-important CAMERA! Rayovac batteries wants to help you power your summer. Rayovac has teamed up with one of my favorite blogs, 5 Minutes for Mom, to offer some fabulous summer prizes! You can read ALL of the details here. The Rayovac events take place from June 21st through July 20th.

First, Rayovac is having a blogger promotion from June 22 to June 25. The prize will be a $50 Walmart gift card and a Rayovac battery gift package. Who couldn't use that?

Second, Rayovac is having a Twitter event which will feature 20 giveaways. Prizes include Rayovac batteries and Target gift cards. Who couldn't use that, too? The Rayovac Powers Your Summer Twitter Event is Wednesday, June 30th from 7-9 PM Central time.

You can follow Rayovac on Facebook here.

You can answer the summer fun question of the day here.

The first 99 eligible bloggers who follow the above requirements will win one Prize Package. For those who may not be able to electronically post, one additional Prize Package will be awarded by random drawing to those eligible and entering by regular mail without participating in the blog promotion. See Official Rules for details.

The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Twitter Event will win a prize package from Rayovac.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

Molly over at The Bumbles Blog hosts a Monday Movie Meme.
Today's Feature Presentation: Back to the Future, or movies about time travel.
This sounds like the perfect topic for The Time Traveller's Wife (2009), but since I haven't seen it yet because I want to read the book first, here are a few other movies involving time travel.

A Christmas Carol (1984, et. al.)- A little twist in time does Ebenezer Scrooge a lot of good. I prefer the version with George C. Scott, but the animated/3D version (2009) with Jim Carrey was pretty good, too.

A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) - Calvin goes back in time to learn some valuable lessons. Co-stars Kate Winslet before she was uber-famous.

Don't forget to visit The Bumbles and the other Monday Movie Meme players.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Scrappin'

If you're a scrapbooker (digital or traditional) or do any kind of paper crafting, won't you join us for Sunday Scrappin'? Post your weekly accomplishments, goals, and take part in a challenge if you wish.

My Ta-Da's
I finished a 2 page layout I started last week. It came out a little crooked, but oh, well. I did start and complete one of the altered notebooks I planned to do. It isn't exactly how I envisioned it, but I'm pleased with the result. I was able to give it to my step-daughter Thursday when she was having a rough day, and I'm so glad it made her feel better. My husband also helped me get the last 8 pages into one of my completed scrapbooks.

My To-Do's
I spent Friday evening scrapbooking with my sister, but I will have to take and post pictures of those for next week. One of my goals this week is to get lots of pages into protectors and into their books.

Last Week's Optional Challenge
We were asked to do something about our dad, since today is Father's Day, but I didn't get to this.

This Week's Optional Challenge
Show us an unusual summer activity. Not your normal pool, beach, sunshine layout but something out of the ordinary.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Great Day

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a great Friday planned. I got to see my sister, we were able to scrapbook for several hours, I picked up my kids after they'd been gone to Summer Excitement for six days, and...

I turned another IF into a FIRL! (translate: Internet Friend, Friend in Real Life)

When I was getting ready yesterday, it felt like I was getting ready for a date! But within a minute of meeting Tamy in person, I felt like I was talking to a long-time friend. But that's what we do with our blogs. We develop friendships. And you do feel like you know these people. And when you meet them in person, it feels very natural. After all, I've been reading 3 Sides of Crazy for maybe... three years? And getting recipes from Always Eat on the Good China. I've visited her at Our Crazy Kitchen and The Motivation Station as well. So, I felt like we'd been friends for a while.

We had such a great lunch at Cheddar's. I treated her because she was the closest guess on my "Creative Liar" post. The answer was #6, by the way. I've never met Luis Scola (darnit).

I couldn't have had a better day yesterday! Well, unless I'd won a million dollars or something crazy like that. But otherwise, it was a great day! Can't wait to see you again Tamy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Company Girl Coffee

Hi! Glad you're here! Let's visit for a while, and I'll tell you about my week. Sunday morning, I took my kids to church at 6AM to leave in a caravan to go to six days of Summer Excitement. It is youth leadership training (and lots of fun) hosted at Lubbock Christian University. They'll be coming home tonight, and I miss them! To compensate, Sunday evening, we went over my step-son's house and played with the grand-twins and played Uno Attack.

Even though it's summer, I went to school mid-week to do some unpacking in my classroom for next year. I had to switch rooms. But this week wasn't ALL work! I also went to my first Scentsy party and to a retirement lunch. And as you're reading this, I'm either having lunch with my long-time Internet friend who I'm meeting for the first time in real life (Tamy of 3 Sides of Crazy, Always Eat on the Good China, and Our Crazy Kitchen), or I'm scrapbooking with my sister. If you're up really late Friday reading this, I may be at church picking up my kids from the long ride home from Lubbock.

I have done some work around the house, too, though. I've weeded flower beds, washed and hung curtains, and bought and hung some wall art I've been wanting. I've reorganized a closet and I'm currently working on the book case, not to mention changing sheets, doing laundry, cooking, and everyday cleaning.
Summer is shaping up to be both fun and productive. How was your week? Keep those small things coming, Rachel Anne!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mamarazzi's Red, White, and Blue Swap

Red White and Blue Swap

Part 2! I have participated in several of Mamarazzi's swaps, including the Red, White, and Blue swap last summer, and I'm happy to say I get to do it again this year! I'm excited! Visit Mamarazzi to sign up.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


If you didn't see my post on thinning hair, I'd love for you to take a look at it and offer any suggestions you have.

Also, if you haven't had a chance to check out my six truths and one lie, hope you can take a look at that, too.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Miz B of Should be Reading. To join in, just grab your current read (or in my case, the one I am about to start). Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!),

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.

The Guardian
by Nicholas Sparks
Page 268

"Julie's cries brought Mike running inside.
She stood beside the machine, her face white as she hit the delete button over and over.
'What happened?' Mike demanded. 'Are you okay?'"

I am on page 122 of The Guardian. I'm enjoying it so far. I didn't really like the book I wrote my teaser on last week, The Lottery Rose, even though I realize it was a young adult novel. This one better written, at least, so far.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

Join us at The Bumbles Blog for some movie talk. This week's Feature Presentation is all about babies!
I'm not a huge fan of movies featuring babies, although back in the day I thought Three Men and a Baby (1987) and Look Who's Talking (1989) were pretty funny. There is a movie I watched on DVD recently that didn't actually feature babies although the word "baby" is in the title. Baby Mama (2008). I thought it was pretty good. It stars Tina Fey as a single woman who wants to have a child but can't. It sounds sad, but it's really quite funny! It's a light-hearted comedy, the kind you want to watch when you don't feel like thinking too much.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Scrappin'

If you are a scrapbooker (traditional or digital), card-maker, or do any sort of paper crafts, please join us for Sunday Scrappin'! The more the merrier!

My Ta-Da's
This week I made 2 birthday cards and 8 simple pages (4 2-page layouts).

My To-Do's
I hope to finish another 2-page layout and work on an altered notebook for my step-daughter.

Last Week's Optional Challenge:
The challenge for this past week was to finish a layout from your craft space and share it. All of mine this week were new layouts, but I can do this challenge this week. I have journaling to add to my layout.
This Week's Optional Challenge:
Since we are one week away from Father's Day our challenge this week will be Fathers! Share your card, your handmade gift or a scrapbook page or layout dedicated to dear ole dad.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Creative Writer"

I was "awarded" this wonderful award by my dear blog friend at LuLu's Petals. Thank you Miss Petals. Now to get on with the rules of this award which will involve a series of truths and one lie.
1. In my family, there are numerous sets of twins. My ex-husband's paternal grandmother was an identical twin. My paternal grandmother was a fraternal twin. My second cousin has identical twins. My ex- husband and I have fraternal twins. And my step-son has identical twins. Only one of these sets of twins was due to fertility treatment, while the others were just chance.

2. When I was 15, I almost died. I took a prescribed dose of ampicillan, and within minutes, my feet were itching like crazy. The itchies moved to other parts of my body into full-blown hives. My throat began to swell closed. The only person with me at the time was my boyfriend. He called my mom and we drove to her house then on to the hospital. I went into anaphylactic shock. I had to receive shots of epinephrine to keep my heart from stopping and several shots of benedryl for the swelling and hives.

3. Along the same medical theme, I'm the only person I know who is allergic to tetanus. We discovered this when I was about 5 or 6 walking barefoot on a new construction site where I wasn't supposed to be. I had blackmailed my sister into letting me tag along by saying that I would tell on her if she didn't let me come, too. So, off we went. I stepped on a rusty nail. I was rushed to the hospital where they attempted to give me tetanus after they removed the nail. I had a terrible reaction and haven't had a tetanus shot since! And who did I want in the exam room with me? You guessed it! My sister.

4. Speaking of when I was little... Growing up, we had a tree in the back yard that had this odd-shaped growth of bark on the side of it. My sister told me it was an alligator who lived in the tree. Gullibe little me! I believed her! I wouldn't go outside to my playhouse at all after dark. When I did go outside in the daytime, I would start running at the edge of the patio and get my feet off the ground the moment I reached the swingset or shut the playhouse door as quickly as I could. As I grew older, I realized how ridiculous it was, but old habits are hard to break. If my dad asked me to go get something in the little house where he kept his tools, I would balk at the request. Finally, years later, the tree came down. Then, and only then, did I let the secret out and tell my mom why I had always been scared of the back yard. By then, I was 18 years old. Thanks, sis.

5. I used to play bingo with my mom on a regular basis. I had as special board that allowed me to stack my card packs. I usually played 60 cards at a time. One weekend, we went to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. I won $1200 on a game of bingo and had to claim the money on my income tax return.
6. I got to meet my favorite Houston Rocket (basketball player) Luis Scola after one of the home games this year. He's huge! Like two feet taller than I am. And he said in his Argentinian accent, "Pleased to meet you Miss.....(insert name)." He gave me a big, sweaty hug.
7. I was born with aortic stenosis, a heart condition. The doctors thought I would need open heart surgery before I was a teenager, and they didn't think I would ever be able to bear the stress of childbirth. I was restricted from many physical activities as a child, and my dad used to worry that I would die. Fooled everyone, though! I'm still going strong with the same aortic valve and haven't needed a cardiologist in years.

Leave a comment telling me which of these you think is the lie. Six are true, one is not. If you're the first person to guess correctly, you'll get something! I don't know what you'll get yet, probably a small gift card, but soemthing!

The rules are as follows:
- thank the person who gave you the award
- copy the logo and place it on your blog
- link to the person who nominated you
- tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth, or vice-versa
- nominate seven "creative" writers
- post links to the blogs you nominated

I nominate these wonderful, creative blogs for this award:
*Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy who has been a dear blog friend for a long time and is about to become a friend in real life. I also love her recipes!
*Calico Crazy at Calico Contemplations, a newer blog friend who is fun to read.
*Jenn at My Kids are My World because she's also a dear blogging friend, and I love her blog.
*Barb at Skittles Place, who was also nominated by Lucy, because she never fails to evoke emotion, whether humor, empathy, love, and everything in between.
*Tammy at Queen Size Funny Bone, also nominated by Lucy, who is another blogger I've kept up with for years, because she cracks me up so often but can also make me cry.
*Rick at Myrtle Beach Ramblings, a former (and still occasional) Sunday Scribblings pal who never fails to make me laugh, think, or both.
* D2 at My Life is Based on a True Story because I love this gal, and she writes so well, but she has not blogged in a while. I miss her posts. Maybe this will get her back into it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

CSN Stores & My New Breadbox.

My husband and I have been in the process of re-doing our kitchen. This included taking out the cabinets, cleaning, sanding, and painting them, then putting decorative handles on them, and putting them all back. In addition, we had new countertops installed by Home Depot. They did a fabulous job! Last, we replaced all of the appliances: refrigerator, microwave, range, and dishwasher. We decided to go with stainless steel appliances with black trim.

What does this have to do with CSN? Everything! I had to replace my breadbox! I couldn't have a wooden bread box sitting on the counter next to all of my new stainless steel appliances! So, I ordered this:

In the photo, it appears a little gold-ish, but it's not. It's silver stainless with black trim, just like everything else. And it's large enough to hold a "Texas Giant" (which is a large loaf of yummy, thin, Sunbeam bread) and another regular-size loaf of bread, both. I'm very happy with it! My kitchen is stylin' now! And I'm impressed with the quality of the product. It is put together well, shipped to me in perfect condition, rolls open quietly, and looks great.

The hard part about ordering something from CSN is deciding what to get. I actually ordered a different product first, a fireplace screen. I wasn't pleased with it, but the folks at CSN are easy to work with. Although the manufacturer (Uniflame) had a restocking fee and required me to pay return shipping, CSN generously offered to reimburse me that amount so that I could choose something else of the same value.

If you haven't checked them out yet, visit the CSN Stores home page. From there, you will see that you can choose from so many products and over 200 online specialty shops including lighting, furniture, bar stools, wall decor, luggage, classroom supplies, and so much more! You can see why the hardest part about ordering from them is deciding what to get!

*This post was written as part of a campaign for CSN Stores who supplied the product for review. All opinions are 100% mine.


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