Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Just My Opinion

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anderson paints an extremely realistic view of high school from the young protagonist's point of view. The main character is depressed. She was at an end-of-summer party which became rather wild, and she was sexually assaulted. She called 911, and as a result, many of her friends were arrested. Now she is an outcast. And she hasn't spoken about her rape. The book is about her journey to "find her voice" again. The author's use of literary devices, figurative language, and symbolism that a young adult can relate to creates a well-written novel. There is a touch of humor, mostly in the narrator's descriptions of events in the school cafeteria or biology class, and this keeps the novel from getting too "heavy" due to the subject matter. I highly recommend this book.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My twins, dressed and ready to go to their first homecoming dance
(not together, of course).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Scrappin'

If you're a scrapbooker (digital or paper) or card-maker, please consident joining Sunday Scrappin'! We post our accomplisments, our goals, and sometimes Christine gives us an optional challenge.

Last weekend, I went to Archiver's to scrap with my sister and two friends. I got 8 pages done in 4 sets of double layouts. This week, I've been working on digital pages which I should be able to show you next week.

Next week, I want to try out my new cricut cartridges and keep up my momentum. Christine suggests we start thinking about what we might be crafting for Christmas. Sounds like a good idea! Happy Scrappin'!

Guilty Pleasures Swap

Mamarazzi at Dandelion Wishes hosted another swap, and I participated in this one as well. Guilty Pleasures. My swap partner was Ellen from Creative Passage. My package arrived Wednesday. Loved the cute box. Inside I found Mary Kay lotion, a Mary Kay bag with three items, a bath sponge, a bag of almonds, and some coconut candy. I sent my gifts wrapped.The gifts I sent included a coke can with $2 so she could buy her own favorite soda, body wash, People magazine, Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate with raspberry, cute box with a photo album, brag book, and journal in it, a mani-pedi kit and two nail polishes, a candle, and a $10 Barnes and Noble card since reading is one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

My Wednesday sucked. If you need a happy post, come back and see me next week.

1. Woke up late
2. Snobby “holier-than-thou” co-worker chairing my morning meeting
3. Flu shot
4. Same co-worker making a rude comment later in the day (and I work right by her)
5. Some teachers spent the whole lunch period complaining
6. Noisy students in my classes today
7. On my feet with intense lessons all day
8. Watching my daughter’s homecoming plans fall apart because of her so-called friends (this is the worst thing that happened)
9. One of my children mistakenly being counted absent from a class for the second time in five weeks
10. My son needing to stay after school for a project so I have to go pick him up later
11. Another disappointing swap
12. Co-worker with Pampered Chef book asking me to help her reach her sales goal so she can get a set of knives.
13. Finding out how difficult it will be to get a passport for my kids since their dad (my ex) lives out of state now and is not very cooperative and realizing that we won’t get to take our vacation in November. (the second worst thing that happened today)

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe I need to go over to Thursday 13 and read some happier posts!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 Giveaway chose comment #1, Jenn. Congratulations!
It's not even my birthday yet, but I received a gift! I received these gorgeous simulated diamond earrings! Aren't they stunning? They are so classy. I can see myself wearing these frequently during the upcoming holidays as well as to church and parties. is launching their new site. In order to get their name "out there," they are going to give one of my readers the same pair of simulated diamond earrings they sent me. Eventually the earrings (and other styles and varieties) will beavailable to purchase on their site.

Here's how to enter this giveaway:
1. Follow my blog publicly AND leave one comment on this post letting me know the name under which you follow.

Extra Entries!
2. Follow (Diamond1) on Twitter. (Just click the link and choose the button that says, "follow.") Come back here and leave a comment letting me know your twitter handle.
3. Tweet this post. This can be done up to once a day until the giveaway ends. Come back here and leave a comment with your link each time.
4. Leave a comment on one of my non-giveaway posts. Come back here and let me know about it.
5. For five extra entries, blog about this giveaway. Come back here and leave your link in the comments.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. This giveaway will end September 30 at 11:59 PM CST. Please make sure I have an email address to contact you. Good luck!
This post was written for a campaign for Family Review Network and who supplied the product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review.

Works for Me Wednesday

I can't believe I haven't shared this before! A product that truly "works for me" is the Rotato Express. I know... silly name! But it is such a lifesaver! My family and I love potatoes (mashed, rosemary, au gratin, etc.) but we prefer to use peeled potatoes.

The Rotato Express peels them for me! It's so easy! If I had to do it myself, we might never eat potatoes! And the Rotato will peel other vegetables. I ordered it from TV a long time ago, probably ten years or more, but they still make it! I don't know what I will do if they ever discontinue the product. (Too bad I'm not a paid spokesperson for this product.)

Visit more WFMW posts here. Thanks for stopping by today. Don't forget to enter my Ziploc and simulated diamond earrings giveaways!

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Just My Opinion

The Time Traveler's WifeThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was very hard to follow. It's a very interesting concept - time travel. But I never completely understood how the author envisioned it. Were there two of him? I would have thought there would be one being who occasionally disappeared from his present to travel to another time. But how does that explain there being two of the same person in the same room, which happens frequently in the book.

Actually, for the most part, it was interesting, but I just never completely understood, and the ending was sad. I'm going to watch the movie and see if it becomes any clearer. It's also got quite a few passages of a sexual nature that make me feel uncomfortable knowing that my step-daughter read it. Oh, well.

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ziploc Review & Giveaway selected comment #21. Melanie is the winner. Congratulations!
We have been back in the swing of things with school for four weeks now, and since we take our lunches every day (including me), this opportunity to review Ziploc products couldn't have come at a better time! Ziploc sent me a great package including sandwich bags, Quart Size Storage Bags with the Smart Zip Seal, Quart Size Slider Bags, and Square Containers with the Smart Snap Seal.

Ziploc has always been a company I trust. I love the tight seal on the sandwich bags so I don't have to worry about it coming open. The quart size bags are great when I buy those value packs of meat. I separate the meat into two or three freezer bags that are the perfect size for a family dinner. The quart sized storage bags are great for food, but they're also perfect for storing legos, marbles, coins that we are taking to cash in, and so many other things. The Ziploc containers with the Smart Snap Seal are fairly deep, and they keep my leftovers fresh. I can take them to lunch in the same container.

GIVEAWAY! The generous people at Ziploc, an SC Johnson Family Company, are going to give one of my readers a package of three products:

Storage Bags with the Smart Zip Seal

Freezer Slider Bags

Containers with the Smart Snap Seal.

Giveaway is open to US residents only. You may enter until 11:59 PM CST on September 26, 2010. Please make sure I have a way to reach you via email.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me one thing you use Ziploc products for other than school lunches.

Extra Entries:

3. Tweet this giveaway. Come back here to leave a comment each time you tweet. You may do this once a day until the giveaway ends.

4. "Stumble" this giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment with your link.

5. For five entries: Blog about this giveaway. Come back here and leave your link in the comments.

6. Follow me publicly. If you already follow me, let me know in a comment.

7. Visit Ziploc. Come back here and leave in a comment any tip or information that you found useful.
This post was written for Family Review Network and Ziploc who provided the product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest opinion.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday - Mexican Stack

Monday - Beef Stroganoff and Green Beans

Tuesday - Imperial Chicken (thanks, Tamy! We love this!), Mashed Potatoes, Carrots

Wednesday - We will eat at church

Thursday - Birthday Dinner. What will it be? I don't know because I won't be cooking it!

Friday - Pizza Night

Mexican Stack is a build-your-own type meal that I learned about at church. We each make our own main dish with whatever we choose from the following ingredients: Taco meat, tortilla chips, rice, Mexican beans, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Use all or some of these to make a great meal! It's kind of like a taco salad, but you can create your own. I like all of these ingredients "stacked" up on my plate. Mexican Stack!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting to Know Me

This week's Thursday 13 will help you get to know me better. This post is brought to you by the letter "T."

1. Texas - I have lived in the Lone Star State all my life and can't see ever moving from here, even though the summers get unbearably hot!
2. Twins - I have boy/girl twins who are 14, freshmen in high school this year. We're in our fourth week of school, and I still can't believe it!
3. Turkey - I take a turkey sandwich for lunch most days, and I'm tired of it! But I do like to make turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving.
4. Telephone - We don't have one, as in a land-line. My husband decided a couple of years ago that we didn't need a telephone anymore since we all have cell phones. He was right!
5. Tinkle - my children hate when I say this word meaning that I have to go to the bathroom. I don't know why they hate it. It's so much better than the alternatives.
6. Teacher - I've been teaching for 21 years. I like it, but I'm ready to retire. Unfortunately, that won't happen for a while.
7. Technology - I love technology as long as the technology works! I have used the following things in my classroom: laptop computers, internet, discussion boards, projector, presentations, Elmo, SmartBoard, and computer labs. I'm hoping to learn about more and more techie things to do with my students.
8. Tap - When I was younger, I could tap dance. I took dance for about ten years.
9. Tea - I prefer to sweeten it myself. The sweet tea at McDonal's is way too sweet, and tea out of a can isn't tea. I prefer to let it seep myself.
10. Truth - The truth is extremely important to me. I can't stand liars.
11. Tennies - I prefer my tennie shoes to everything else. My feel get so cold when I wear sandals or flip-flops.
12. Television - My favorite shows had their season finales: Lost and 24. I will be watching less TV this fall.
13. Tired - I'm tired. So tired. Almost all the time!

Click here to play along or view more Thursday Thirteen.

Our Krazy Kitchen

Come visit me at Our Krazy Kitchen today where I have a lowfat recipe posted that uses BEEF. Hope you stop by!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine Years Ago...

My political opinions and my perspective on many things completely changed. I'm talking about the attack on America, September 11, 2001. I remember it well.

On the way to school that morning, the silence was deafening. Planes usually flew over our area at very regular intervals, but absolutely nothing was in the sky. It wasn't until later that I found out why.

I was working in my classroom preparing for the school day when the teacher next door came to get me to show me what was happening on TV. I didn't understand it. Was it a movie stunt? A joke? What? It took a while for it to really sink in what had happened... terrorists changed the face of America in a matter of minutes.

I try not to blog about anything too controversial, so I will just end this by saying, I will NEVER forget 9/11, even though I wasn't personally affected. I also want to invite you to visit ExperienceProject to read stories posted by people like you and me about their 9/11 memories.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Random Wishes

Click here to play along or visit Thursday Thirteen!

Today I'm feeling random, so I'm going to finish this statement....


1. that my dad was still alive.

2. that I had a wildly popular blog.

3. I could be a stay-at-home-mom.

4. I could get my braces off right now!

5. there was another hour in the day that I could use to get things done.

6. I could function better on the six hours of sleep I usually get on weekdays.

7. I was skinny.

8. we could find a home for Jackson (the dog we saved from going to the pound).

9. I knew how to play the piano.

10. there was a cure for cancer and other debilitating diseases.

11. I had more time to scrapbook.

12. I could completely forget the past.

13. that every weekend was a 3-day weekend.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Wednesday Website

Boy, do I have a "different" web site for you today! Have you ever stopped at the gas station for a cheapuccino? I bet you're sitting on your suction seat if you're reading this. And when is the last time you had to book google something?

No, I'm not making this up! Perhaps you've heard of Urban Dictionary? It's the dictionary that YOU wrote! Do you ever wonder what your teenagers mean when they say a certain phrase that obviously can't be taken literally? Urban Dictionary gets you in the know! Do you simply want to impress people with your hipness? Urban Dictionary could increase your coolness quotient. Check it out! It's mind-numbing, time-wasting fun!

Do you have a web site to share with me? Write a post, come back here, and leave your link so I can visit you, or simply leave your favorite URL in a comment.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

I'm a little late posting (Labor Day, you know), but at least it's still Monday! In light of recent events in the US, today's topic is all about STORMS. Here in south Texas, we know about storms. We're coming up on the two year anniversary of Hurricane Ike, and there is still so much evidence of that storm. Here are some movies about storms:

Twister (1996) - Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton star as tornado chasers. I would NEVER do that!

Poseidon (2006) and the original The Poseidon Adventure (1972) - a luxury ocean liner is capsized by a wave, and the survivors have to escape a flooded, sinking ship. Love Shelly Winters and Gene Hackman in the original.

Evan Almighty (2007) - Evan must build an ark in preparation for a great flood. Steve Carell is great in any comedic role!

Come play the Monday Movie Meme at The Bumbles Blog.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

It's Just My Opinion

Once Upon a MarigoldOnce Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cute twist on the typical fairy tale. It's a little predictable, but not completely. This was one of the books my sixth graders could choose (there were two others) to read over the summer before school started. I especially like the ending since the author crafted the plot for a sequel. It's on my list of books to be read now!

View all my reviews

Friday, September 03, 2010


My husband and I decided that since our daughter was color guard captain, it might be fitting for us to chaperone the band and color guard a couple of times this season.

Wow. What a day! We got to the school an hour before the busses departed because that's when they said to be there. The trip to the stadium took about an hour and 45 minutes. There is much to do! (instruments, students, props, etc.). When the band and color guard come out of the stands second quarter preparing for half time, the rain starts. There's a mad dash to get the delicate and expensive items out of the rain, but it was the most unorganized mess I've ever seen.

They didn't get to perform, but it stopped raining shortly after halftime ended, so we had to stay for the rest of the game. Another long bus ride home, more unloading, and finally, we're free, almost 8 hours later. Whew! That's hard work! I'm disappointed we didn't get to see a half time show, but there's always next week.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Envyderm for Eyelashes Review & Giveaway chose comment #3, Ferret Finds, as the winner. Congratulations! I've been using Envyderm Eyelash Growth Serus for a little over two weeks now. I don't know how to measure the length of my lashes, but they do appear a little thicker and darker. I'm not sure how much you can tell from the before and after photos, either. I'm going to continue to use it since it may take 4-6 weeks to see the best results.

Before picture on the left. After picture on the right.

I have sensitive eyes, so I was worried it would bother me, but I've had NO side effects from it. Envyderm is easy to apply, just like liquid eyeliner. Just use it once a day after taking off your makeup.

Envyderm guarantees results. This eyelash growth serum uses peptide technology along with vitamins and proteins to naturally lengthen and strengthen eyelashes.You could see up to a 72% growth in length and/or thickness within six weeks. It's environmentally safe and has not been tested on animals. Unlike other lash serums, NO PRESCRIPTION IS REQUIRED.

Envyderm sent me an extra tube to share with one of my readers! This giveaway is open to US residents only (since I will be paying for the shipping myself) and will end on Sept. 9, 2010 at 11:59 PM. Since this prize is a $100 value, there is a three-step entry requirement.

1. Follow my blog publicly.

2. Tweet this giveaway.

3. Leave a comment on this post sharing your tweet link and follow name.

For FIVE extra entries, write a post on your own blog about this giveaway. Come back here and leave a comment with your link.

This post was written as part of a campaign with Family Review Network and Envyderm who provided the product for my honest review.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

13 things I enjoyed as a child.

1. My doll Tatters which I inherited from my sister. My mom made a dress for her, and her hair was styled in two braids. She had a string on the back that you pulled, and she sais some phrases. That is, until I threw up on her and she had to be washed. After that, when her string was pulled, she sounded like the teacher on the Charlie Brown cartoons (wah, waaahhh, wah, wah, waaahhh.) I loved her anyway.
2. I had another doll, Chrissy. She was a big doll, about the size of a six month old but not as heavy. You could make her auburn hair short, medium, or long by pulling the ponytail out from her head.

3. Playing house. We had a “little house” which was really a house with lights, electricity, just no running water. We set up our play house in there. I would also play house during recess by I forming borders at the edge of the woods with the pine needles.
4. For some reason, I really enjoyed making mud pies. Until my sister told me it would taste like chocolate, and I tried it. It didn’t!

5. Barbies. I had regular size Barbies (my favorite had the dark brown, shoulder length hair), medium size Barbies (such as Skipper with the two, long, curl ponytails) and the little ones (like Dawn with the pretty party dress). I could play with them all day!
6. I also enjoyed playing with Lite Bright.
7. Spirograph was fun, making different designs with different colors.
8. I loved to play school. I would set up in our formal dining room. My dolls were the students. I would have lessons for my students, and I would grade their work. No wonder I grew up to be a teacher!

9. I loved playing with my friend’s Easy Bake Oven. My parents never bought me one. I bought one for my daughter, and I still enjoyed playing with it.

10. Pollyanna was a great board game that I still enjoy playing.
11. I enjoyed the Game of Life, mostly because you could get married and have kids as part of your adventure through Life.

12. Freeze tag was a fun game to play outside with the neighbors.
13. I liked riding my golden-colored bike with the glittery banana seat. Ah, childhood memories!
Visit more Thursday 13! Thanks for stopping by!

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