Friday, January 30, 2009

Aloha Friday - Wacky Holidays

It's time again for Aloha Friday. Today is January 30. Apparently, it is also "Yodel for Your Neighbors Day" and "Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day". I have no idea what that means exactly, or what the celebrations might entail for these particular holidays. I think I will have to pass on any yodeling festivities. My neighbors would probably be a little freaked out if I showed up at their door and began to yodel. But, I do love me some bubble wrap. If I had any right now, I would jump up and down on it in honor of the day. So, here's my question:

If you could make up your own national "wacky" holiday, what would it be?

For more Aloha Friday, click here.

** Ok, I've since done a little more digging and have discovered that today may NOT actually be Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. So sorry to possibly mislead you about this important holiday. I have found conflicting information on the web (can you believe it?), so, it may be today. Or, it may have been January 26. Either way, if you are so inclined, show some bubble wrap love, won't ya **

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival WINNER

Thank you to everyone for entering. The winner of the Walgreens gift card, chosen at random, is


Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 11
Timestamp: 2009-01-30 12:09:30 UTC

I've sent an email to the winner. If I do not hear back from them by Monday, I will choose another entry. Thanks again. Please come back and visit anytime.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's On Your Nightstand? (January)

I constantly seem to have stacks and stacks of "to-be-reads" lying around everywhere - on my nightstand, in my bedroom armoire, on my closet's a sickness, I think. But, the stack on my bedside table includes the books that I really want to tackle now and/or in the very immediate future. Here's what's on my nightstand at this time:

The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart - About a French barber who suddenly finds that the people of his small village are no longer needing his services. He decides to make a drastic career change and become the town matchmaker, with not-so-successful results.

Cupid & Diana by Christina Bartolomeo - A 30-something woman wrestles with saving her vintage-clothing store, dealing with her family, and choosing between two very different Mr. Rights.

A Little Change of Face by Lauren Baratz-Logsted - All her life, things have come easy to pretty girl, Scarlett. But, even so, she has yet to find true love. So she sets out to have a little change of face; new look, new name, new job. She works on being dowdy and plain. Will she find someone who loves her for her or will it be a huge mistake.

What are you reading now? For more "What's On Your Nightstand" click here.

Movie Trailer Tuesday

You know what a big movie junkie I am. Check out these trailers for some upcoming flicks that I'm dying to see....

The Ugly Truth - starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler

The Proposal - starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds

All About Steve - starring Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, and Thomas Haden Church

How about you? What movies are you anxiously awaiting?

Come back every Tuesday for more movie trailers and/or trivia. Next time I'll share three of my all-time favorite movies that are on DVD.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival


It's time again for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. This is always a huge event with so many generous bloggers participating. Click here for all the details.

As for my giveaway, this time around I have a gift card to one of my favorite stores - Walgreens. I love Walgreens for several reasons: 1)there's almost always one nearby, no matter where you are 2)it's fun to peruse all their beauty and makeup products 3)it's the perfect place to pick up last minute gifts, they have a great selection of gift cards as well as many other items 4)I love to use their online photo service, it's so quick and easy.

If you would like a chance to win a $20 Walgreens gift card, leave a comment on this post. Please, only one entry per person and you must live in the U.S. Also, make sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner. I will announce the winner (chosen at random) first thing Friday morning, January 30. Good luck! Remember to go here for more Bloggy Giveaways.

Last, I want to say a big thank you to Melanie for hosting the carnival - I really appreciate all the time and work she puts in to make this such a huge success!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Aloha Friday - National Pie Day

Did you know that today is National Pie Day? I happened to hear about it on the morning news, so, I thought I would do a little research and find out about the history of pies. Here's a few things I learned:

*Pies have been around since as far back as the ancient Egyptians, early Romans and Greeks.

*Most of the earliest pies were made of meat. It's thought that fruit pies didn't come around until the 1500's. According to the American Pie Council, "The crust of the pie was referred to as "coffyn". There was actually more crust than filling. Often these pies were made using fowl and the legs were left to hang over the side of the dish and used as handles."

*Pie came to America along with the first English settlers. It went on to evolve into one of our favorite desserts. Another interesting tidbit from the American Pie Council -- "Pies became a common part of American life. A Vermont housewife, itemizing her baking for the year 1877, counted 152 cakes, 421 pies and 2,140 doughnuts."

How can you celebrate National Pie Day? Bake your favorite pie and share with your family after dinner tonight. Or, indulge and keep it all for yourself. Or, surprise a friend or neighbor by dropping off a fresh-baked pie (from your own kitchen or your local bakery). Happy National Pie Day!

This brings me to my Aloha Friday question:

What is your favorite kind of pie?

It's hard for me to choose just one. My favorites are coconut cream, cherry, and chess pie. What about you?

Click here for more pie related information. For more Aloha Friday, click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Family Photo

We had family photos made last summer. This is one of my favorites. It's a shot of all of us, from the waist down. I have the same image, but in black & white and blown up into 20x30, framed and hanging in our foyer. For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Photos by Julie Brock of

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'll take that as a compliment

Last week I went to my gynecologist for my yearly checkup. After completing my pap smear and pelvic exam, she looked up to me and said: "For having four kids, things sure look good down there." Hmmm...thanks for the compliment!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Boring Update

I've had a fairly lazy weekend. Here's what I've been up to:

  • Watched the new season premier of 'Friday Night Lights', which is one of my very favorite tv shows. I, personally, hated high school and I don't even like football, but for some reason I LOVE this show.
  • Have been comparing cell phone plan pricing. Hubby has finally given in and said that we can add texting to our plan. The kids are beyond thrilled because they say we are the only living humans in this country who don't text. I think that is exaggerating just a little, but, still they are thrilled.
  • Watched the following movies - The Family That Preys Together (very good); Failure to Launch (always good to watch); You Me and Dupree (always cracks me up); Yes Man (on one of those boot-leg internet sites, it was really funny); Catherine Cookson's Anthology:Tide of Life (loved it; great story, if you are into those British-type dramas set in Victorian era)
  • Went to the grocery (with three kids who were fussing and fighting almost the entire time)
  • Snow! We have seen some snow flurries and a very light dusting this winter, but, last night we finally got our first "snow" of the season. Not much at all, only about an inch, but, enough that the kids are out playing.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Aloha Friday - Who Would You Be?

It's Friday. You know what that means. Time for Aloha Friday.

Today's question is:

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be? It can be anyone, real or fictional.

I could think of a lot of people to be for a day. But, if I had to choose one, it would, without a doubt, have to be the fictional character of Bella, from the Twilight books. I could handle having a hot vampire boyfriend for a day;o)

This will be a fun one. I can't wait to read your answers. To find more Aloha Friday questions, or to participate yourself, go here.


School: 1958 vs. 2008

You may have seen this before. It's been floating around through emails for a long time. Someone sent it to me again yesterday, so, I thought I would share it here. I realize it's an exaggeration, but, it's pretty good....


SCHOOL -- 1958 vs. 2008
Jack goes quail hunting before school,
pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

1958 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun,
goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2008 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail
and never sees his truck or gun again. Counsellors called in
for traumatized students and teachers.

Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

1958 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2008 - Police called, SWAT team arrives,=2 0arrests Johnny and Mark.
Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it

Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students
1958 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal.
Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2008 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie.
Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state
because Jeffrey has a disability.

Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car
and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1958 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal,
goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2008 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers
being abused herself and their dad goes to prison.
Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1958 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2008 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations.
Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Pedro fails high school English.

1958 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2008 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state.
Newspaper articles appear nationally
explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist.
ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system
and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum.
Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up
mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July,
puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1958 - Ants die.
2008- ATF, Home land Security, FBI called.
Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents,
siblings removed from home, computers confiscated,
Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list
and is never allowed to fly again.

Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee.
He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1958 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2008 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.
She faces 3 years in State Prison.
Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ~ Baby, it's cold outside!

This is my friend's sweet baby boy, experiencing his first snow last year.

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Must Confess What I Like About "S"

After visiting fellow blogger blueviolet over at A Nut in a Nutshell, I volunteered to play along with a little letter game. She gave me the letter "S" and now I have to tell 10 things I like about that letter. So, here goes:

1. Shelby - This is my daughter, so of course it's my favorite "S" thing.

2. Sister - I'm blessed to have an incredible sister. She is the most kind, caring, generous, and giving individual I know. Even though she is twelve years older than me, we are extremely close. I'm so lucky to have her in my life.

3. Sleep - I totally love me some zzzzz's. I've always been a night person who loves to sleep in. Naps are great, too, even though I don't get to take them very often.

4. Santa Claus - I love Christmas and the magic of Santa Claus!

5. Shopping - Who doesn't love to shop?

6. Snow - (As long as I don't have to drive in it) It's great to watch the snow falling from my window inside my warm and cozy house.

7. Stephenie Meyer - She is the rockin' author of my all-time favorite books, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.

8. Songs on my iPod - I love music and my iPod has everything including rock, disco, oldies, country, and classical.

9. Surfing the internet - Blog reading, giveaways, etsy, ebay, celebrity gossip, and lately, the job ads....I spend way too much time surfing the internet.

10. Sanibel Island, Florida - When I was growing up, we would vacation in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. We would usually drive over and spend some time on Sanibel Island. It was so pretty and the seashells we would find were amazing.

~If you would like to play along, just let me know and I'll give you a letter~

Online Book Rental Service - Giveaway

Kailani over at An Island Life posted about a wonderful online book rental service called BookSwim. It works similar to Netflix, you borrow books and have them shipped free, directly to your home. Keep them as long as you want with no late fees. Return shipping is free as well. Membership prices start at 9.95 per month. In addition to stocking best-sellers, new releases, and classics, they even offer textbook rentals. I really love this idea. And, through Kailani, BookSwim is offering a generous giveaway -- a 3-month membership to one lucky winner. Head over to An Island Life and check out all the details.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Creative Writing

My youngest son, who is in second grade, brought home his school writing journal for me to see last night. The teacher gives them a few words or starting phrase as a prompt, and they take it from there. As I was looking through it, this particular entry really made me smile. Here's what it says in case you are unable to read it:

If I was flat I would get my friend a ask hem to fold me into a paper auer plan and thro me wae up in the sky and I would fel the aer and I would fel the wend

(Translation) -
If I was flat I would get my friend and ask him to fold me into a paper airplane and throw me way up in the sky and I would feel the air and I would feel the wind

Of course I am biased, but, isn't that creative and sweet? I just love it!


Aloha Friday - Dream Job

It's time again for Kailani's Aloha Friday.

"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response."

If you've visited my blog lately, you probably know that I am strongly considering returning to work after being a SAHM for the last 10+ years. My work background is in the healthcare field - nursing, hospital medical office, thus, that is the area I will probably go back to. But, let's pretend for a moment, that I could have any job in the world (and be successful at it). What would I choose? Hmmm....probably something totally out of my "real-life" realm. Maybe a museum curator or a concert violinist. Or an award-winning novelist. How about you?
What would your dream job be?
Be sure to go here to participate and for more Aloha Friday questions

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Phantom of the Cell Phone

Phantom cell phone ringing and/or vibrating....have you ever heard of such a thing? A few weeks ago, on my AOL home page, I saw a link to an article about just this phenomenon. I clicked over and began reading. What it refers to is this - a person thinks they hear their cell phone ring (or feel it vibrate, such as if it were in their pocket). But, when they retrieve their phone to answer it, it was never actually ringing (or vibrating). I searched "phantom cell phone ringing" on the internet and discovered numerous articles and stories on this topic. Check out these excerpts from this Associated Press story found on

Many mobile phone addicts and BlackBerry junkies report feeling vibrations when there are none, or feeling as if they're wearing a cell phone when they're not.

Some users compare the feeling to a phantom limb, which Merriam-Webster's medical dictionary defines as "an often painful sensation of the presence of a limb that has been amputated."

Research in the area is scant, but theories abound about the phenomenon, which has been termed "ringxiety" or "fauxcellarm."

Anecdotal evidence suggests "people feel the phone is part of them" and "they're not whole" without their phones, since the phones connect them to the world, said B.J. Fogg, director of research and design at Stanford University's Persuasive Technology Lab.

Maybe it's just because the subject has been fresh in my mind. But, I have come to the conclusion that I am definitely afflicted by this sensation. My cell phone is with me nearly 100% of the time, usually in my pocket, or on my bedside table at night. I can't tell you how many times I have felt that little vibration on my leg, pulled my phone out of my pocket, and nothing. I've even felt the vibrating sensation when my cell phone wasn't in my pocket at all. I have a basic cell phone that I use for making calls and sending an occasional text message. I don't use my phone for email or the internet at all. But, I am someone who feels lost when my cell phone is not with me. I guess I am one of those aforementioned "mobile phone addicts." I found this statement (from a story by Joe Orso found here via Columbia News Service) very interesting:

Spokespeople from Cellular and T-Mobile said they have never heard of the phenomenon, but Christine Rosen, senior editor of “The New Atlantis,” a journal of technology and society, speculated that phantom cell phone vibrations, or PCVs, are psychosomatic.

“Cell phone users talk about the reassurance of being constantly connected,” Rosen said. “It signals to everyone around you that you’re part of another community. So you’re not just a stranger in a public space, but you’re a person who’s in demand and who can demand the attention of someone else.”

That is so true. We all want to feel like we warrant the attention of others, don't we? And, doesn't if feel good to show others that we are part of something? Is that one of the reasons many of us have become so dependent on our cell phones and other mobile devices? What about you? Have you ever experienced phantom cell phone ringing? How attached are you to your cell phone? I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts....


5 Things I Would Like To Learn

There are so many things that I would love to learn. Some might be fairly feasible, others, not so much. Anyway, here's a little list of 5 things I would like to learn someday -

1. Sewing - I have always wanted to learn to sew. A couple years ago I even bought a brand new sewing machine (I'm embarrassed to say I've never even taken it out of the box). I started a sewing class once about 13 years ago but ended up dropping out after a few lessons (I was working night shift at the time and in my first trimester of pregnancy with lots of morning sickness). But, someday I hope to try again. My daughter (age 12) recently joined a 4-H sewing club and has been doing a few things on the sewing machine. It would be fun for us to do projects together.

2. Knitting - I know nothing at all about knitting but would love to be able to make some pretty scarves and hats.

3. Embroidery - Are you seeing a pattern here? I love "crafty" stuff even though I don't consider myself a crafty person. I used to do some embroidery with my Mom when I was little. There's so many cute things you can make. To help me learn more, I just picked up this and this.

4. Digital Scrapbooking - I'm a huge fan of the traditional "paper" scrapbooking. I would really love to learn how to make digital scrapbook pages as well. I know absolutely nothing, nada, zilch, about photoshop or any of that kind of stuff. Wouldn't even know where to start or how to go about learning it. But, I hope to give it a try someday.

5. To speak a foreign language - I took Spanish in high school and still remember some words and phrases, but, that's about it. I love to listen to someone speaking another language, it fascinates me. French, German, Russian, Japanese....I would love to learn any of them.

What about you? What are some things you would like to learn?


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Window Shopping

I came across this wig shop when I was downtown awhile back. There were tons and tons of wigs. Man, I would love to get in there and try them all on for fun, LOL!

For more Wordless Wednesdays go here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Word for 2009

Choose a single word to sum up what you want for yourself in 2009. I totally love this idea. Forget resolutions, I never stick with those anyway. I first came across this 'word' idea as I was visiting this blog. Then, later I came across it again, here. The original idea came from Ali Edwards. Here's a snippet of her article - you should really click over and read it all....

"one little word - A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow."

I thought about this today and came up with many words that could apply to what I want for myself in the upcoming year. But, the word that spoke to me the most was BRAVE. I have some things that I need to tackle this year, things that I want to tackle, and I know that I will need to be strong and brave to accomplish them. First, due to financial necessity, I am strongly considering returning to work after spending the last ten years as a stay-at-home mom. This is pretty scary stuff for me. But necessary. I will need to be brave. Second, once and for all, I need to make a serious effort to lose weight and get in shape. I need to be brave and just do it already. So, BRAVE will be my word for 2009. What about you? What word would sum up your goals for the new year? Go here to read about words other bloggers have embraced for 2009 and find out about a great giveaway.

Still positive

The positiveness continues! Today I am going to work on writing a resume. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I've never written a resume. Back when I was working as a registered nurse, I didn't really need one. I went straight into a nursing position at the hospital where I did my last school clinicals. From there, I went to another local hospital. Hospital nursing positions were pretty much always available and I was never required to submit a resume. So, I have spent this morning searching the internet for resume writing tips and samples, especially those that involve stay-at-home moms who are returning to work. I've found several useful articles including this, this, and this. Also, thanks for all the kind words of encouragement you've been sending. And, thank you Kerry for the helpful resume link. I appreciate it!


P.S. On a totally different topic, did anyone watch 'The Bachelor' last night? I'm afraid I'm hooked on that goofy show once again. I really like this guy and can't help but root for him to find his true love. Looks like it's going to be a drama-filled season.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I will stay positive

I will focus on staying upbeat and positive. At least I will try.

Today I took an itty bitty baby step towards the whole going back to work thing. I ordered a couple of at-home courses that I can use if I decide to renew my nursing license. It's not much (only 32 hours, I need a total of 120 hours). But, it's a start. Baby steps, people!

It was back-to-school for the kids today. Except for my oldest. He decided to come down with a stomach virus last night at bedtime. Looks like it was just a short 12-hr. case, he's feeling better this afternoon. Hopefully, the rest of us will not catch it.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been really stressed out. For the entire month of December I spent a huge amount of time reading. I always love to read, but, this past month, in particular, I think it was just a means of escape for me. So, in keeping with the theme of staying positive and using reading as a stress-reliever, I was wondering - is anyone up for a quick and easy book swap? I'm thinking something really simple. Share a favorite book and one little goodie or treat to help see your partner through the rest of the winter. What do you think? If I get a few people who are interested, I will set it up. Let me know....

That's all for now. I'm off to make potato salad. Remember, leave a comment if you want to do a book swap.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Returning to post

I'm back. Finally. After an unintended blogging break. It's not that I've been out of town, or too busy. I just haven't had it in me to write a single post. We've had a very rough several months financially, and my emotions have been all over the place. And, while I know my blog is supposed to be a place to share, I didn't feel right posting when all I could come up with to write about was so depressing. Christmas came and went. For the first time in my life, I couldn't wait for it to be over. I feel guilty even saying that because I know I have so much to be thankful for. My family is together and healthy and that is a blessing. But, still, it was a struggle this year. The new year came and went. It was just another day. Now, I have to figure out what to do from here. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I have to go back to work. After being a SAHM for the past 10+ years, this is such a scary thought. I wonder if other sahms feel this way, like you've lost a part of yourself after all these years at home? Like you won't even know how to go back to a "real job." Like you're not qualified or competent enough. A tiny part of me thinks it would be a good thing, to get back out there and enter the work force. It's just making that first step that is proving to be so difficult. I've spent countless hours scouring the internet and newspapers looking for jobs. I dont' even know how to write a resume after such a lengthy time out of work. The logical thing seems to be that I go back into nursing. But, first I would have to take a refresher course to reactivate my nursing license. That would be somewhat of a challenge because of the cost of the course and the time involved. Truly, I would prefer to find another line of work. Being out of nursing for this many years, it will be tough to get back into it. It's not like riding a bicycle in this case - everything in the nursing field has changed so much that it would be like starting anew. So, anyway, that's what's been going on with me. Wish me luck as I try to figure out what to do and how to do it, LOL!