Sunday, May 10, 2009

Book Review--"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie could very well be the Harry Potter of YA mystery books. Set in 1950 England, the book's heroine, Flavia de Luce is sure to steal your heart.

A precocious eleven-year-old with a love of chemistry, Flavia finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery. She sets out to solve the crime and clear her Father's name. In the process, she discovers more about her parents and about herself than she had bargained for.

The writing is excellent and flows with great ease. The Advance Reading Copy I received was 370 pages long, but moved at such a quick pace that it felt half that. This book was one that lingered in my thoughts even after I'd pause and put it down. The humor is perfectly adapted to be well in line with Flavia's character. The mystery unfolds expertly, never divulging too much, keeping the reader interested, and all the way seeming absolutely reasonable. I dislike crime novels that string a plot along until the mystery is solved and everything tidied up in the last 5 pages. This book is nothing of the sort. Bradley delivers snippets of information in small doses, so the reader feels that they, along with Flavia, are uncovering the truths in a natural way. I, for one, cannot wait for Bradley's next book featuring more adventures with Flavia.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a great read, one I'm positive that both my mother and my 11-year-old nephew will enjoy as much as I did. I am getting this in the mail right out to them, so that they may be entranced with Flavia and Bradley's writing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti" by Giulia Melucci---Book Review

Chick Lit with a helping of Roast Chicken. That's what you'll find in I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci. Her memoir focuses on her failed relationships, where the main attraction lays in the meals she cooks and not between her and her lovers.
Melucci finds herself drawn to the wrong type of men. They are unwilling to commit, and Melucci mistakenly hangs on, constantly feeding their bellies while they neglect to feed her need to be loved.
Interspersed in between her tales are some pretty interesting recipes. They are simple yet sound delicious. The writing, itself, though, left me unsatisfied and wanting more. I wanted to see Melucci reflect on her past dating disasters in a way that would allow her to grow from them. Instead, she seems stuck repeating the same mistakes over and over. In the end, it becomes merely frustrating. It might be forgivable for young girl, but for a woman in her 40s, it just becomes frustrating.
I read this book on and off over four days. There were times at the beginning when I really wanted to keep reading so I could find out that the author had finally found true love, but after realizing that it just wasn't going to happen, the novelty wore off.
I'll keep the book for the recipes. I'd recommend it for a long flight or a mindless summer read. Chick lit fans might like the light-hearted reading, but I just can't see this book making a serious reader's "favorite" list.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns---Book Review

As a Christian believer on her way to be "reborn", I began reading "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns expecting to be given pause in my faith. The title seemed to depict a critic's view of Christianity. I was hesitant to start, since my recent re-entry into the church was still edged with doubts as to whether or not this was my spiritual destination. Right off the bat, though, I became engrossed into Stearn's story and message, and soon found that instead of weakening my faith, it strengthened it immensely.
Stearns weaves his personal story into a call for Christians to question "What does God expect of me?". His journey from CEO of Lenox (the formal dinnerware company) to President of World Vision is amazingly told. I related to his struggles to enter into God's service, and was relieved that his story wasn't sugarcoated. Stearns issues out a challenge to Christians to spread the gospel ("good word") to the world. He pays special attention to third-world countries, where the gospel has touched many lives even in the face of great struggles and overwhelming obstacles.
Stearns weaves his personal story and beliefs on faith and our churches with stories of real people touched by God, and brilliantly backs his beliefs with scripture.
The "hole in our Gospel" is that Christians falsely believe that their personal salvation is enough to ensure their entrance into the Kingdom of God. Stearns makes valid claims that we, as Christians and as humanity, have ignored the poor, sick, and downtrodden. The Bible, however, is filled with references to helping those less fortunate out. Stearns points out, for example, Matthew 25:31-46, where the Bible clearly states that only believers who have acted in tangible ways to help the "least of these" will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God. Our faith alone cannot save us. Our words, if spoken without being followed by good deeds, will not stop us from being banished.
The message is clear, and Stearns does a remarkable job of opening our eyes to the world's sorrows, while still planting seeds of hope, and a belief that his call to action will be answered. It's a challenge that most readers will be sure to take on, and one which I am applying to my life, so I may be a better Christian as well.

This book was reviewed as a part of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"The Noticer" by Andy Andrews---Book Review

From the author's site,
Orange Beach, Alabama, is a simple town filled with simple people. But they all have their share of problems – marriages teetering on the brink of divorce, young adults giving up on life, business people on the verge of bankruptcy, and many of the other obstacles that life seems to dish out to the masses.

Fortunately, when things look the darkest – a mysterious old man named Jones has a miraculous way of showing up. A man of indiscriminate age and race with white hair and wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and carrying a battered old suitcase, Jones is a unique soul with near angelic qualities. Communicating what he calls “a little perspective,” Jones explains that he has been given a gift of noticing things about life that others miss. In his simple interactions, Jones speaks to that part in everyone that is yearning to understand why things happen and what they can do about it.

Based on a remarkable true story, The Noticer beautifully blends fiction, allegory, and inspiration. It provides simple, yet powerful distinctions about love, relationships, value and integrity and will inspire readers to take that first step towards a major life change.

I am a new member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program, and received The Noticer as my first book to review. I normally don't read much "self-help" or "personal growth" books, as I tend to find that they normally just repeat the same advice as the others, all the while sounding as though they've discovered some new secret to magically solve our problems instantly. "The Noticer" attempts to break that mold, and while it did cause me to pause and reflect momentarily, in the end, it amounted to a nice read that left me feeling as though something was still missing.

The book centers on an old man named Jones. The author, Andy, meets him while he is living under the pier and feeling pretty miserable about his life. Jones, with his infinite wisdoms, helps Andy to see things from a different "perspective" and enables Andy to walk down a path which ultimately leads to success. Jones is a mysterious drifter, and he happens to show up right when people need to hear his guidance. By some never-mentioned ability, Jones is able to see what areas of a person's life need a new perspective, and is always there to guide that person. He helps a couple on the brink of divorce and fixes their marriage in an astonishing few minutes. He reminds a very old woman that there is still much for her to live for, something which she hadn't learned in her many many years on Earth, but which Jones reminded her of, again in mere minutes.

While the surface lessons may have been good, the book lacked quite a bit of substance. It just didn't go deep enough for me, and the tidy ends to every story made this nonfiction work border on the too-good-to-be-true edge. The writing is a bit TOO simple at times, and conversations between characters did not feel real, but rather contrived and rephrased too formally.

Certain parts of the book which could have been developed into "AHA!" moments instead became "Duh!" ones. For example, Andrews writes, "If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don't have, you will soon be concentrating on other things you had forgotten you don't have- and feel worse!" It took some self-reflection and personal insight to really grasp that statement, because the author didn't continue delving into this. There are gems in this book, to be sure, but Andrews throws them at the reader in a drive-by of wisdom, and does not attempt to offer more than just short quotes we can refer back to.

The book is only 156 pages long, and while this does help it to move along at a steady clip, it also feels very rushed. The conclusion almost made me groan out loud at its saccharine-sweet closure. Yes, it does give great nuggets of insight and advice, but for me, it was too stiff, too perfect, and entirely too focused on saying way too much in too few words. Or, perhaps, Jones might suggest I just need a new "perspective".

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ten on Tuesday---Geritol, anyone?

Time for another meme. Today's comes from Ten on Tuesday.

10 Signs That You Are Getting Older

1. When yelling at your children, you start out with, "Mary...Kelly...Jessica...WHOEVER YOU ARE!!", because you just can't remember their name!

2. You wake up feeling hung over, but haven't had a drop of alcohol in weeks.

3. You throw a party and get annoyed when the guests haven't left by 9 p.m.

4. You plan trips to popular locations so that you minimize having to deal wth crowds.

5. Hair. In places it does NOT belong.

6. Your vacation ideas center around what spots have the best sightseeing/buffets, not the best clubs/alcohol prices.

7. Sandals are becoming increasingly appealing, even during winter, only because bending over to pull on socks is too painful!

8. Your children no longer take naps. You do.

9. The newest "Oldies" CD features songs you danced to at your high school prom.
(No...this isn't MY prom pic.)

10. You can answer this meme without even pausing to think of the answers.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Great Book Giveaway!

Grand Prize: $100 GC to
Runner Up: $25 GC to B&N and a box of surprise paperbacks and other goodies (like chocolate, bath goodies, ect). This is going to be a NICE prize!
Runner Up: $25 GC to B&N and a box of surprise paperbacks and other goodies. (same as above)

Plus chances to win books (almost) every day for a month!

Go to for details on how to enter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ten on Tuesday--Yucky Eats

Time for another meme. Today's comes from Ten on Tuesday.

10 Least Liked Foods" list

1. Mustard. It's way too bitter for me. Plus, it looks like baby diarrhea.

2. Pickles. Always ask for my burgers without them. If they forgot, it's like the taste permeates the whole burger.

3. Chicken In a Biskit.

I was told it was the greatest thing ever. It wasn't.

4. Mole Poblano. A Mexican dish. I'm a fan of Mexican foods (kinda goes with being Mexican, huh?) but mole?? It has chocolate in it, and you pour it on meat. Chocolate...on meat....ick.

5. Ketchup. Funny, because I love tomatoes. Considering #1, what do I put on my burgers and hot dogs? MAYO!

6. Balut. Never had it, but ewwwww. Need convincing?

7. Green beans. Unless they're breaded and fried.

8. Brussel sprouts. No need to explain. I'm sure they'll be a popular addition on this week's lists.

9. Yams and sweet potatoes. They go hand-in-hand. I don't get why people love making dishes with them during holidays. Way to ruin a festive meal, guys!

Last but not least...ok...I take that back...yes, absolute LEAST!!...

10. Peanut butter. I HATE PB!!! I don't like peanuts either, but peanut butter is sticky, thick, and icky. Plus, it is the same color diarrhea.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Warmer Weather=Outside Exercise!

I can feel a change in the air, and I'm EXCITED!! Being a SoCal girl most of my life, I love being outdoors. As a transplant to the NorthEast, though, I find my time outside limited. They have this thing here called *gasp* weather!!! And it's cold, rainy, and even white stuff falls out of the sky sometimes.
One of the things I like is taking my daughters on nature walks. I show them the trees, leaves, birds, and bugs. They love it and I get exercise. That's why I'd REALLY like to win this bad boy:

Cat at 3kidsandus is giving away one of these lovely Bumbleride strollers to a lucky reader. I can only hope it's me. What a huge help it would be with my two monsters! Check out the site and enter (or don't and give me better chance at winning!!).
Cat always has the best giveaways, so explore her site. You'll thank me later, I'm sure!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I love poking around etsy, seeing what awesome creations are being sold out there. I love finding gifts through there, as it avoids the suckiness of getting someone a gift they also receive from someone else. Through my explorations, I've found numerous gems, and thought I'd share a few here. The theme today? Cool Kids and Time Machines!

This pretty mini-rockabilly dress is offered by Lover Dovers Clothing. It sells for only $27.75, AND there's a sale this weekend!

Oh my gosh! Remember this guy? Are there any of us who didn't have him in our home before, either as your own toy or that of your children? This dress is guaranteed to spark smiles of recollection! Vintage Lucy sells it for $48!

Prefer the 60s? Pair this kid's dress with patent white boots and you've got yourself a Go-Go Baby! $30 is all you need to buy this from Tiny Modernist!

And this one I saved for last:

For the last 2 weeks, almost, I have been following the story of Stellan, a.k.a. MckMuffin. While his Mom was pregnant with him, he developed a severe case of SVT, a heart condition which can be deadly. He overcame statistics and was born healthy 8 months ago. Now, though, he is again fighting for his life, as the condition returned. Colby Lane Designs is donating proceeds of this bib (a bargain at $8!) and others to go to the fund set up for Stellan. Other etsy sellers have come on board, as well. Just type in Pray for Stellan in etsy's search engine.

Hope you like my picks this week. Have you found any "timeless" treasures on etsy?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday Thunks---4/2/09

Come join me in answering these sometimes intense, often funny, always interesting questions from Thursday Thunks.

1. Did you play any April Fools jokes on anyone or have a joke played on you? I had a Pap Smear yesterday. I'm convinced it was the appointment scheduler's idea of a joke.

2. If you could be on any non-reality TV show as a guest star or star, which one would it be and why? House. I think I have the same style of sarcastic humor as Hugh Laurie's character.

3. Do you crack your knuckles? Definitely not! In fact, it's my pet peeve. I hate the sound of cracked knuckles. I think it's disgusting!!!

4. If you remember your first day of kindergarten, were you scared or excited? If you have kids or grandkids, were they scared or excited?I was super excited. I couldn't wait to drop them off! They were finally out of my hair while they were at school...oh..wait. That's not what you meant?

5. If you are in the shower, hear the fire alarm going off and smell smoke/see flames, will you just run out of the house with a towel on or grab some clothes & dress as you run out?I usually change in the bathroom after showering and place my clothes in there before getting in anyways, so I'd be covered....literally. Ha!

6. Last week the Thursday Thunkers asked about your Daddy (twice), so this week tell us a little about your Mom.

She is an amazing woman. She raised my two sisters and I by herself after she and Dad divorced. She is a high school ESL teacher, loves to go to casinos, has many strong friendships, and supports each of her daughters 100%!

7. Which search engine do you use most often? Swagbucks! Try can earn Amazon GCs and MORE!!

8. Did you participate in Earth Hour? Oh crud...when was that again?

9. What was the last new-to-you movie you watched? Was it in the theater or on DVD? Was it good? Marie Antoinette on DVD. It was good as far as costuming, but they really left key historical points out.

10. If you do something embarrassing, do you laugh it off, or sit & worry about it? I pretend to laugh, but my face will turn red and I dwell on it for a bit.

11. Where is your favorite spot in your home to sit & relax? Our couch has a chaise on it that I love to curl up on.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Heart Faces---Week 12 (Pouting)

I came across this Photography Challenge blog, and found that I have the PERFECT picture to match it!
According to their "About Us",
I ♥ Faces was founded by two women, Angie & Amy, who met through blogging. As moms, our photography usually centers around our children... and the wonderful emotions that their faces convey. We realized there wasn't a photography sharing web site for people's beautiful and unique faces. That's when the idea for I ♥ Faces was born.

The theme for this week is Pouting.

Here is my submission:

Note the irony in this pic. She was pouting because we wouldn't buy her a Thomas backpack (she has about 5 backpacks...and she's not even in school!!) Now notice what her shirt says!! "What Baby Wants, Baby Gets"... I love it!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

365---Day 27

This one is all about texture. The challenge--Try to incorporate 3 different methods of adding texture to the paper on your card.
Here's what I did:

I incorporated corrugated cardstock, satin ribbon, a metal brad, and layered chipboard. The colors didn't come out too good in the pic, but it was a good challenge in that I finally used the cardstock, which has been sitting in my stack for quite some time!!

Check out 365 Cards for other creations!

Small Talk Six---Getting Nekkid

Over on Mom Blogs, they have what they call Small Talk Six. Every Saturday a new topic is announced and you respond to each topic with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, or 6 photos, whatever your heart desires. You can check out the Small Talk Six announcement to see all of the pre-scheduled topics for 2009. Don’t forget to stop by and see this week’s responses!

This week:
6 things you would do naked if you lived alone

1. Sleep. Right now I wear pjs because I get up at least once a night for the monsters.
2. Make-up. It would make it so easy and ensure I don't get any on my clothes!
3. Exercise. In front of a mirror. It would be kinda cool to see my muscles (ok...fat) ripple.
4. Dance. With Ellen DeGeneres while her show is on.
5. Sunbathe! Of course, I'd have to have a privacy fence around my yard, and throw in some hot, young male neighbors for good measure.
6. Spy on the neighbors. I don't know!! I can't think of a number six, but if I WAS a voyeur or peeping tom, I guess I'd do it nude. Isn't that what they do? Hello? Anyone??

Your turn!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Fragments---3/27

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

--Surgery on Monday went well. Three tendons were stuck to the plate, one was badly frayed and had to be stitched. Now I begin recovery...

--Had my first physical therapy following surgery. OMG. It hurts soooo much! Everytime I move my thumb up (using the repaired tendon), it feels like razors are cutting the inside of my wrist. Owwwwwww!!!

--Went to IKEA and spent way too much to redo my bedroom. I'm going with red/black/white colors. It better look badass!

--Mom has been a huge help here. She's made DELICIOUS food and has really helped with the monsters, too.

--Speaking of monsters, I went to watch Monsters vs. Aliens with the monsters and my Mom and hubs. I saw 15 minutes before Monster #2 wanted to walk out. We ended up leaving about an hour into it when Monster #1 decided she had enough too. *sigh* Remind me again why I even leave the house with them?

--This is funny:

--This is not:

Hmmm...maybe I should put a warning up before posting that pic.
Then again, I've seen MUCH worse out here in Blogland, and really...I'm assuming you have SOME sense of humor if you read my blog. Beides, I need to generate as much pity as I

Until next time....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Thunks #4

Remember last weeks last question? Well... every question submitted is this week's Thursday Thunks.

1. What is your favorite type of soda (if you drink soda)?
I drink Coca-Cola. Don't really like any other kind of soft drink. I'm a Coke-head!!
2. Do you believe in astrology? If so, what does your sign say about you?
Leo are warm of spirit, eager for action and are driven by a desire to be loved for what you bring to others. Leo are a magnanimous leader and a faithful servant. Once scorned in love, however, Leo will withdraw your affections and the light, once brilliant, can go cold.

Leo motto might be "What you see is what you get." You tend to live your live straightforwardly and with a flair for drama. In fact, many Leos are attracted to the theater, the performing arts and public relations, for you truly understand the importance of putting on a good presentation. As you blaze gloriously through your life, remember to take time to acknowledge the feelings of those around you. If you forget, you could unconsciously hurt someone you love. But, if you remain aware your impact, others can benefit from your presence.

3. Who is John Galt?
OK...I cheated. I had to look it up. He was a novelist, but is also the name of the hero in Ayn Rand's book "Atlas Shrugged", which, incidentally, I have always wanted to read but keep forgetting about.
4. What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep at night?
Close my eyes. *groan* No, really, I usually read a book.
5. Who's your Daddy?
Rest In Peace, Daddy!
6. Jelly beans or Jelly Bellies?
Jelly Bellies all the way. You can make combos that are out of this world!!
7. What do you think about yellow car? Why car manufacturer actually made yellow cars?
I wouldn't buy one, personally, but they do look neat on Lamborghinis and Ferraris.
8. Holding on or Letting go?
It depends. Hold on to the memories, let go of the pain.
9. What kind of underwear, if any, do you wear?
Usually boy shorts, unless my pants are tight. Then I do the butt floss thing.
10. Who is your daddy and what does he do?
My Daddy's name is Bill Duran. He did a lot of things in life, from a Navy sailor to a ship electrician to a realtor.
11. Spring - is it here yet??
Supposedly, but I'm not quite convinced.
12. Does Google Streetview scare you?
No! It helps my stalking quite a bit!
13. What is your favorite brand of ice cream?
Ben and Jerry's. Specifically, creme' brulee!! Heaven in a carton, I tell ya!

14. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Ummm....see above?
15. Do you ever get tired of your everyday routine?
Yes, I do. That's why I like to change it up so much!
16. What inspires you?
My children, fellow Marines, my family, God, nature.
17. It’s springtime-do you spend more time outdoors?
I would if I didn't live in Boston a.k.a. The Frozen Tundra! I miss San Diego sunshine!!
18. When do you think Bud will let us see the DVD of him and the french twins?
I think Bud is lying and there is no DVD. Or French twins, for that matter. (Pssttt..who the heck is Bud??)
19. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you, and why?
Thailand. The people are AMAZING, it's very very cheap, and there are amazingly beautiful areas.
20. Why do you blog?
To kill time, to appease my narcisstic tendencies, to keep in touch with friends, to document my life, to do reviews soon, to be me.
21. What are electrolytes and why are they good for us?
They are salts and minerals that conduct electrical impulses in our bodies. There! Now I have a headache from thinking.
22. Do you twitter? Why or why not?
I do to spread the word about contests. Thats about it.
23. What did you dream last night?
I cannot recall, actually! I remember my dreams about half the time. Last night I knocked out, though, and slept like a rock.
24. What is the strangest thing you've eaten?
This was my question!!! Me---escargot, frog legs, dried grubs, gator tail. I'm an adventurous eater.
25. What was the last picture that you took?

26. what is your favorite part of spring?
The colors..everything looks so soft and pretty! Oh..and little girls' spring dresses!
27. what is one thing that you did this past week that no one knows about?
Bought more scrapbooking/card stuff from Michael's. "My name is Estela and I'm a craft addict."
28. What kind of bandages do you typically have in your household?
Band-aids, usually with characters!

Your turn. Let's see what you thunked!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ten on Tuesday: Vacations!

Time for another meme. Today's comes from Ten on Tuesday.

10 Things You Like Doing On Vacation

1. Try out new restaurants.
2. Take trolley tours.

3. Sleep in!
4. Buy souvenirs (shot glasses/snowglobes)
5. Take lots and lots of pics.
6. Go to amusement parks.

7. Order room service!
8. Visit museums.
9. Walk around downtown.
10. Do a lot of reading!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Surgery pretty much stinks...

Went under the knife AGAIN at 0730. A 60-90 minute surgery turned into over 2 hours. *sigh*
So today they went in and found that THREE tendons were stuck to the metal plate they used to fix my broken wrist. Totally explained why I couldn't move my thumb!
One of the tendons became frayed from the adhesion, so the surgeon stitched it up, and it should be fine after it heals.
They didn't put me under completely and they didn't do a nerve block this time, just Novocaine and a mild sedative. I woke a few times during surgery. THAT freaked me out! SERIOUSLY!!
But because I only had the Novocaine, I am now feeling some major pain. I am resting at home, my Mom (visiting from San Diego) is babying me (THANKS, MOM!!!) and I might just take a nap with Monster 2 when she takes hers.
I just hope I'm done with this surgery nonsense!! LOL

365 Cards---Day 22

If you love cardmaking like I do, check out 365 Cards. They offer up a challenge every day...and the people are amazingly talented!

Here's my entry for yesterday...I actually made it yesterday, but didn't post it then.
The card was supposed to follow this sketch:

And here's my interpretation:

And a close-up:

I wish I had a corner punch to round the edges, but overall, I like it.

365 Cards

Thursday, March 19, 2009

365 Cards: Day 18

I've been following a blog called 365 cards for the past 3 weeks. Every day, they put up a new card challenge.
I've seen so many wonderful creations, and decided finally to play along. (I suffer from the crafty version of stage-fright.)

I made a card for yesterday's challenge (I also suffer from procrastination), and wanted to share it for your comments. Let me know what you think.

Make a Card with Green as the Dominant Color

Keep in mind, I'm a newbie, so be gentle! LOL

Thursday Thunks #3

Here's my third edition of Thursday Thunks. It's my way of offering a glimpse into my thoughts I've thunked. ;-)

1. The last flight of stairs you walked up/down - were they carpeted?Yes. I was coming downstairs after having to run up and get Monster #2's baby doll that she was crying for!

2. Green or purple grapes? Green. They don't shrivel quite as much as the purple ones, I think.

3. Do you like Peeps? Ehh...they're OK. I'm very partial to Cadbury Cream Eggs though!

4. The smell of Vicks - like it?Oh yes! If it weren't so greasy, I'd rub some under my nose every morning!

5. Do you put decorative cling-ons on your windows for different holidays? No. It just doesn't look very 'nice' to me. A bit sloppy, haphazard, cheap. Just my opinion now!

6. Finish the sentence - I spent too much money on ________ . My crafting supplies that I don't use hardly enough.

7. Which celebrity should be flown into outer space or placed on a desert island? I can think of so many. Miley Cyrus was the first to come to mind. (And her Dad should follow right behind her.)

8. Would you support schools changing the "open" time? Such as 10am - 5pm, for example? Since my girls aren't school age yet, I'm not qualified to answer, really, but I have read that teens especially benefit from a later start time.

9. Do you go fishing?
I used to with my Dad off of the piers in San Diego. Haven't been in a long long time. I have always wanted to try sportfishing though!

10. What question should we ask next week? What is the strangest thing you've eaten?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

For the Women...

God doesn't give you the people you want, He gives you the people you

NEED. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you

into the person you were meant to be.

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men.

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about

a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they

think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss

can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what

makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideas.

They give moral support to their

family and friends.

Women have vital things to say

and everything to give.



Please pass this along to all your

women friends and relatives to remind them just

how amazing they are.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Starting from scratch? Yikes!

Over on The Secret is in the Sauce (SITS), bloggers converge to give each other support on all things bloggy and to make new friends.
One blogger needing our help now is Scary Mommy. Just as she was about to hit her one-year mark, her feed got messed up and she lost everything. 700 SUBSCRIBERS!!! All gone. Poof.
Heck, I have 10 followers, and it seems like forever until I'll hit 20, much less 100...or even 700!!! I can understand her being upset. We blog partly to reach others, hoping we can expand our audience. She had done so well...and now she starts from scratch.
She's looking to get back to 700, but I'm sure she'll reach even more. She has a great blog. Plus, she's throwing in GORGEOUS diamond earrings that a new subscriber can win.
So go HERE to check her out and help her reach great numbers once again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog Party Coming Up!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I'm pretty stoked right now. If you haven't guessed, I LOVE entering giveaways and contests. It's a great way to get exposed to new products, and hey...we all love feeling like winners once in a while! 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting the 2009 Ultimate Blog Party from March 20 - 27th. There will be prizes (WOOT WOOT!) including Gift Certificates, jewelry, clothing, books...all things to make my heart pitter patter! Be sure to head over to their site to discover all of the amazing blogs that will be participating.

Last year, the Ultimate Blog Party 2008 had over 1500 bloggers participating and 5 Minutes for Mom's UBP related pages had over 72,000 page views, with the actual party post receiving over 20,000 page views. Unfortunately, I missed last year's party, but I'll make up for it this go-round! LOL

So how do you join the party?
Both BLOGGERS and NON-BLOGGERS can join the party (and be eligible for the prizes) at the Ultimate Blog Party.


Invite your friends
Host a party at your place
Sign the Mr. Linky over at 5 Minutes for Mom
Get out and PARTY!
Have an After Party

If you want to find out more scoop, check out the original post over at the 5 Minutes for Mom website.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Riding On Instinct Contest

Small Talk Six...speaking of GREEN

Note: Thought I'd published this post yesterday, but somehow I only saved it as a draft.

Over on Mom Blogs, they have what they call Small Talk Six. Every Saturday a new topic is announced and you respond to each topic with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, or 6 photos, whatever your heart desires. You can check out the Small Talk Six announcement to see all of the pre-scheduled topics for 2009. Don’t forget to stop by and see this week’s responses!

This week:
6 things you love that are green

1. Frogs. My Dad loved them, and he passed it on to his daughters. We always remember him and his humor when we see frogs!

2. Green beans. I thought I hated these until my neighbor Erika made them breaded and fried. Now, they're one of my favorite appetizers. Especially from TGIFriday's. Yummm!

3. Grass. I LOVE walking on a nice lawn in summer, feeling the grass under my bare feet. The smell of freshly-mowed grass always takes me back to my childhood, too.

4. Money. That's a duh answer! While it may not buy love, it sure does buy a lot of the THINGS I love!

5. Green Mile. The movie always makes me cry. Oh goodness..the compassion and pain and love in this movie. One of my all-time faves.

6. Green lights. When I'm driving in the city, I LOVE hitting all the green lights. It's like it becomes my lucky day. I have zero patience...totally Type A. Green lights are my friend! LOL

So there's my 6. What are yours?

About Me

My photo
I first joined the Marine Corps in February of 1999. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton for three years and in Okinawa for one. I left active duty in 2003 and joined the Reserves that year. I had my first daughter in 2005, and moved from California to Massachusetts in 2006. I left the Marine Corps at that time, and had my second daughter in 2007. I reenlisted in the Corps in September of 2008 and went Active in 2009. I'm currently stationed back in California, loving the weather and the life!