Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rain Dance

Here's our baseball practice schedule for today:

Batting cage: 9:00-10:00

Batting cage: 12:00-1:00

Field practice: 1:00-2:30

Scrimmage game: 2:30

Field practice: 7:30-9:00

That's all for my two youngest sons. Is that a crazy schedule or what? Those ridiculous people in charge of our league have decided to do things a little differently this year. Instead of letting coaches sign up for their own practice times, I think they are assigning them to everyone at random. Like I really want to make four seperate trips to the ballfield today. Excuse me while I go do a little rain dance and hope that everything is cancelled for the day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Top Ten Thursday - Places I Like To Be

I'm participating in A Kiss & A Peck's Top Ten Thursday meme. Click here to say hello and play along.

Top Ten Places I Like To Be: (these are in no particular order)

1. At home - Really. This is my favorite place to be. I'm a big-time homebody. I like to have all my family at home, tucked away safe and sound.

2. In my bed - This goes along with being at home, I suppose. But, I just love my big comfy bed.

3. In a bookstore or library - I could spend hours browsing around looking at books. As a child, I always looked forward to going to the library with my mom each week.

4. At the beach - There's nothing better than walking along the edge of the water, looking for shells and listening to the waves.

5. Thrift store or antique store - It's fun to look around and see what treasures you might find.

6. In the dark - This might sound weird, but, I love the dark. I hardly ever turn lights on in the house. I want it to be really dark when I'm sleeping. My favorite days are dark, cloudy ones. And, my favorite time of day is after dark.

7. Chicago - I've only been twice, but enjoyed it so much. It's so cool and very different from where I've always lived.

8. My parent's house - I love the feeling of comfort and safety I get whenever I'm there.

9. At a movie theater - Going to see a movie is one of my favorite things to do. It's just such a nice little escape.

10. The mall - I can't say that I'm a big shopper these days, because our budget is always tight. But, I do love being at the mall.. walking around window-shopping, checking out the latest fashions or housewares, and even just people-watching.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review - MyPunchBowl

I was recently introduced to a website that I wanted to share with you. MyPunchBowl is a site that helps you out with party planning and birthday reminders. Their standard membership is free, but, you have the option to upgrade your MyPunchbowl membership to enhance your ability to personalize your events and customize your eCards. They have a great selection of ecards and e-invitations. But, what I really love about this site is their new birthday reminder feature. You can store birthdays of your closest friends and family, then, MyPunchBowl will send you reminders when those dates are approaching (you can personalize the settings to choose how far in advance of the date you want to receive the reminders). This is so helpful to me. I have been telling myself for the last two years that I really wanted to be more organized when it comes to remembering birthdays of my friends and family. Now, I will be much less likely to forget to mail a birthday card or pick up a gift and I also have the option of sending a free ecard. You can follow MyPunchBowl on Twitter or even link your MyPunchBowl account with your Facebook account. There's also a MyPunchBowl blog. For party planning tips and ideas, free ecards, birthday reminders, and upgrade options, you are sure to be pleased with the services offered by MyPunchBowl. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Movie Trailer Tuesday - New Waterford Girl

I'm such a movie-lover! I came up with Movie Trailer Tuesday to share some of my favorites as well as some upcoming movies that I think look interesting.

This week I chose the trailer for a quirky Canadian film called New Waterford Girl. It's a funny coming-of-age type movie that I really got a kick out of. I especially liked Andrew McCarthy in this one.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Book Review - The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

I'm on a roll! I just completed my second book from my Spring Reading Thing 2009 challenge. Here is the link to my reading goal list and this is where you can go to learn more about this challenge.

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever - by Julia Quinn

I've recently read two other books by Julia Quinn, The Lost Duke of Wyndham and Mr. Cavendish, I Presume. I loved both of those, so I was really looking forward to reading another of her works. After reading several negative reviews on Amazon, I was worried that The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever might be disappointing. But, I was wrong. I absolutely adored this story! I started reading it when I got into bed around 11 p.m. last night and I could not put it down. At 3 a.m. I finished the 370+ page book. I'm a sucker for a sweet love story with a dashing leading man and a sensible but clever herione. I also really enjoy stories set in this time period (1800's England). This book fit the bill perfectly.

Miranda Cheever is an unattractive, awkward girl of ten years old when she meets the handsome Viscount Turner - he is the older brother to her best friend. He treats her so sweetly, telling her that she will someday "grow into herself" and become as beautiful as she already is smart. He tells her she should start keeping a diary and indeed she does. Her very first entry is from the day she met him and it reads, "Today I fell in love." Years later, we find Miranda at the age of nineteen and Turner a hardened widower who was greatly wronged by a conniving, cheating wife. Miranda still has the same feelings for Turner and holds out hope that she can win his love.

I thought the story moved along at just the right pace. And, I enjoyed many "laugh out loud" moments. Miranda and Turner were both very likeable characters. You couldn't help but root for them to be together. If this sounds like your kind of story, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Book Review - Ana's Story A Journey of Hope

I just completed the first book from my Spring Reading Thing 2009 Challenge, hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days. You can go here to learn more about this challenge and you can go here to see all of my personal reading goals for this challenge.

The book I just completed is called Ana's Story A Journey of Hope, by Jenna Bush. This is a true story of a girl that Jenna Bush met while working with UNICEF. Ana, is a young Latin American girl living with HIV. Although the story is told in a very simple manner, it makes a very deep impact. From her earliest memories, Ana's life has been full of loss and secrets. She endures fear and abuse and is shuffled around between relatives and even a juvenile reform center. All the while, Ana struggles to look to the future and make the most of her life. She eventually finds a place to live where she feels totally accepted and welcome, a group home for people who are living with the HIV/AIDS virus. When she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl, Ana stays determined to make the best life possible for herself and her daughter.

This story was sad, but, also uplifting. I'm amazed at Ana's strength and what she had to endure. The reading was quick and easy, told in very short chapters in an easy matter-of-fact way. The subject matter does include topics such as sexual abuse, pregnancy, and using condoms to prevent the spread of HIV, but it is discussed in a very responsible way. I think any teen could benefit and/or learn something from this book. I have always been a fan of the Bush family and I applaud Jenna Bush for her work with UNICEF and sharing this story.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Hider of the Snacks

My youngest (he is 8), has developed a sneaky little habit. He takes snacks from our pantry and hides them in secret little hiding places throughout the kitchen. Tucked in a frying pan in the back of a cabinet, slipped behind a coffee mug in aother cabinet, and even way up on the very top of the cabinets (where he either had to throw the snacks or climb on the kitchen counter to get something up there). His favorite things to hide are Pop-Tarts and potato chips. He's also been known to hide cans of soft drinks. You have to get pretty creative to hide a can of coke in a refrigerator. Now, to be honest, I have been somewhat guilty of this myself - not really outright hiding things, but, putting some of the snacks "out of sight" so they don't disappear so fast. We have four kids, and they each have close friends living next door and/or accross the street. It's safe to say, that on any given day, in addition to my own kids, there could be two, three or four more hanging out at our house. That can lead to some big-time snack consumption. For the most part, as long as my kids have eaten well at meal-time, they are allowed to have a snack of their choice in between their meals and after school. Of course, we encourage healthy snacks, but, we do still buy goodies like Little Debbie cakes and chips. But, when he hides these things, it makes me feel kinda bad. Like he's going hungry or something. That's definitely not it, I promise we have enough food to eat around here, LOL. He's just my little hider of the snacks!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Reading Thing 2009

It's time for another reading challenge, hosted by Katrina, from Callapiddar Days. I love to participate in her reading challenges because they are very low-pressure, fun, and motivating. There are no hard and fast rules about what types or how many books you have to read. You simply post your own reading goals that you hope to accomplish during the challenge. Over the last few months, I have not been able to devote much time to reading. I hope that this challenge will help me get back on track and tackle at least a few of the books in my "to be read" stacks. My list is short compared to some others, but, I'm being realistic about what I can actually accomplish. This challenge runs from March 20-June 20. Here's what I hope to read within that time:

1. Ana's Story A Journey of Hope - by Jenna Bush
Completed! Go here to read my review

2. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever - by Julia Quinn
Completed! Go here to read my review

3. The Handmaid's Tale - by Margaret Atwood

4. Does She or Doesn't She? - by Alisa Kwitney

5. Summer at Tiffany - by Marjorie Hart

If you would like to join in Katrina's reading challenge or if you would just like to check out what others are reading, go here for all the details

*Note to self* Must not buy, borrow, or swap any more books until my own "to be read" piles are under control

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My week

I have had a few lazy blogging days, but, I'm back now and ready to go....

Baseball/Softball season has started for us. With three kids playing ball, we will be spending mega hours at the baseball park. This is the eleventh year in a row we've had kids playing at that park, so it's nothing new for us. It really ticks me off how political things can be in little league sports. My son's coach from last year (who we thought was a great coach and very nice guy) was "not chosen" to coach this year. Apparently, one of the powers-that-be (i.e. league president) doesn't care for him or something like that. This has happened with other coaches as well. Some people really get on a power trip over all that stuff and I think it stinks. Isn't it supposed to be about the kids and teaching them good sportsmanship and basic sporting skills?

My daughter had to have oral surgery this week (gum grafts and frenectomy -where they cut the little thingy inside your lower lip that connects to your gum), anyway, she handled it pretty well. They gave her some nice pain pills and excused her from school for the entire week. The most stressful part for me was the out-of-pocket expense we had to pay for the procedure UGH! At those prices, I'm telling my daughter maybe she should consider being a periodontist.

My mom had to have foot surgery last week. She now has to stay off her feet for three weeks. For probably the first time ever, my dad is having to really take care of her. I think he is driving her bonkers, that maybe he doesn't have the best bedside manner. I went over the other day to sit with her and see what I could do around the house for her. When she told me my dad had actually washed a load of clothes, I about dropped my jaw.

I'm still job-hunting. Just about every couple mornings, I get on to search local job listings. When you use their site for awhile, they will start sending you emails with job recommendations (based on, I assume, your browsing history). Now, I haven't worked at a "paying" job in eleven years. All of my past jobs were in the medical field - as a registered nurse and before that, an emergency room tech and a clerk in a hospital medical records office. So, when I browse on, I am almost always looking at those types of positions. Imagine my surprise, when they sent me my latest job recommendations email - and one of the positions recommended to me was - - - - - - - - - - - - "Auto Body Shop Manager". Hello? What the heck? Must've been a little glitch in the system, because I assure you I know absolutely nothing about vehicles. At all. I don't even pump my own gas (I am totally serious). That really cracked me up. Obviously, I passed on applying for that job.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Aloha Friday - Ballpark Treats

It's Aloha Friday time again. If you want to play along, visit An Island Life for all the details. (Thanks to Kailani for hosting!)

Baseball season is here once again. We have three kids that play (our two youngest sons play baseball, our daughter plays softball). So, it's a pretty hectic schedule we keep during this time - on any given night we might have three practices and/or games going on at the same time, or we might have three practices and/or games going on at different times at different locations. It can get crazy. Sometimes we feel like we live at the ballpark. Of course, one of the many good things about little league sports, is ballpark food. Nachos and cheese, hot dogs, corn dogs, pretzels with cheese, popcorn, grilled hamburgers, sno-cones....the list goes on and on.

my Aloha Friday question....
what is your favorite ballpark treat?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SITS Spring Fling - WINNER!

Yesterday was so much fun over at SITS (The Secret is in the Sauce). They had a spring fling of terrific giveaways going on all day. The generosity of everyone who participated is just awesome! I would like to say thank you to Tiffany and Heather at SITS for all their hard work. You girls totally rock!

My giveaway is for an order of gourmet popcorn, from the etsy shop, Double Dipped Sweets. Krista, the owner of Double Dipped Sweets, makes the most unbelievably decadent treats you've ever seen. I strongly encourage you to head over to her shop and purchase something yummy. You will love it!

The winner of the gourmet popcorn (chosen at random) is:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:91
Timestamp: 2009-03-11 16:05:25 UTC


Megan said...
Here's my tweet:
March 10, 2009 9:38 PM

I will contact you with details on how to get your popcorn. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered the giveaway. Hope to see you around again!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Online Poster Printing - WINNER!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-03-10 15:30:44 UTC


The winning comment was chosen at random using The 16x20 photo poster print from Online Poster Printing goes to:

Daddy Forever

(I will be emailing you with details on how to get your prize)

Thanks to everyone that entered.

SITS Spring Fling Giveaway

~This giveaway is now closed~

In case you are not familiar with SITS, it's a group of bloggers who are dedicated to supporting one another by visiting blogs and leaving comments. It's a great site, you should really check it out. Today, SITS is having a huge spring fling! You can enter to win all kinds of fabulous prizes. Not only are they giving away prizes all day and a grand prize later tonight, but, they have also invited bloggers to participate by hosting giveaways on their blogs as well. Go here to check out all the fun.

For my SITS giveaway, I have a yummy treat from an etsy shop called Double Dipped Sweets. Krista, the owner of Double Dipped Sweets, specializes in gourmet popcorn, caramel apples, and chocolate treats. She uses only high quality chocolates and caramels.

One lucky winner will get to choose an order of gourmet popcorn from Double Dipped Sweets. Here are just a few of the flavors that she offers:

Pina Colada Caramel Popcorn

Smores Caramel Popcorn

I bought the Cookies and Cream Caramel popcorn for my husband for Valentine's Day and it was delicious!

To Enter:

Go over to Double Dipped Sweets and look around at all her yummy goodies. Come back here and tell me which gourmet popcorn flavor you would choose (this is required for entry)

You may earn an extra entry for each of the following (leave a comment for each that you do):

1. Go to my sidebar and follow me through blogger

2. Go to my sidebar and get my button to place on your blog

3. Go to my sidebar to follow me on twitter. Then tweet about my giveaway

4. Blog about my giveaway with a link back to me

*Contest only open to U.S. residents
*When commenting, please make sure to provide a way for me to contact you
*One winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday

If you would like to make a purchase from Double Dipped Sweets, Krista has generously offered to give you a 20% discount if you mention my name/blog in the "notes to seller" section of the etsy checkout. You will love her goodies - go buy some right now!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Twilight Giveaway

If you are a Twilight fan (as I am), you must run over to To Think Is To Create and enter her awesome giveaway. She has partnered with WalMart to offer "the prize pack of all prize packs — $150 dollars worth of Twilight awesomeness that you can win".... Click here to get all the details. Good luck to you and to me!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Weekend In Review

  • Friday was sleepoverpalooza! Two of our boys each went to spend the night with a friend, my youngest son had a friend over here to spend the night, and our daughter had two girlfriends here spending the night.
  • The weather Saturday was so nice - warm, sunny, and breezy. The temperature was in the low 70's - I actually wore shorts.
  • I LOVE Friday Night Lights!
  • We are "springing forward" with the time change this weekend.
  • Grocery shopping with the kids on a busy Saturday afternoon at Walmart isn't all that much fun.
  • Just caught part of a story on the news about some circus accident (in Indiana, I think?). Kids waiting in line for an elephant ride were injured when the elephant knocked over the temporary stairway where they were standing. That is awful! I've always been freaked out by the circus - creepy clowns and wild animals - not for me, no thank you.
  • I think my dog was dreaming Friday night. We awoke to the weirdest moaning-howling sort of sound that she was making. But when my husband ran in the living room to check, she was sound asleep. I wonder if dogs really do dream? Do you think they have nightmares?
  • I'm really wanting to buy some new spring clothes. I've been looking at a new Lands End catalog all day. I love their clothes. And, for some reason, I've got it in my head that I want a dark pink springy trench coat. Or green. I also need a new purse. I'm thinking something like this from Vera Bradley (my usual fave) or this one from Kathy Van Zeeland.
  • I haven't mentioned it but I am trying to (semi)-follow The Flat Belly Diet. When it comes to dieting, I suck. Big time! I've been trying this one for one week now. I have strayed a few times (okay, quite a few times), but, am really trying to stay with it for the most part. I lost 3 pounds! And, the best can have chocolate on this plan.
  • Don't forget to enter my giveaway. You can win a 16x20 photo poster print made from one of your own digital photos. I will be announcing the winner on Tuesday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Online Poster Printing - Giveaway

~This giveaway is now closed~

I was pleased to be contacted by the folks at Poster Prints Online with an opportunity to tell you about their services and offer a giveaway! They are an online company where you can easily upload your digital photo and have it printed into a poster-sized piece of art. They have a quick turn-around time on your order - most are ready within 1 day. They use premium photo quality glossy paper and fade-resistant inks. They even offer a money back guarantee and live chat help, if needed.

I'm sure many of you, like me, have a lot of wonderful digital photos that are just taking up space on your memory card or computer. You keep meaning to do something with them, but never seem to get around to it. Maybe it's a candid photo of your kids, a family vacation photo, or even a fun picture from your wedding or other special occasion. Whether for yourself or to give as a gift, a photo poster print is the perfect solution.

Online Poster Printing has generously offered to give (1) 16x20 poster print to one of my lucky readers! Please visit their site and come back here to tell me how you would use a poster print if you won. I will announce the winner on Tuesday March 10, 2009.

*You must live in the US or Canada to be eligible for free shipping. All others must pay shipping, but print is still free!

Aloha Friday - Spring Shopping

Be sure to go here to enter my photo poster print giveaway, sponsored by Poster Prints Online.

It's time again for Aloha Friday. A short and simple post with a quick and easy question for you to HERE to participate.

So, spring is almost here. I don't know about you, but, I could really use some cute, new spring clothes. If you could choose any store (online or brick & mortar) to go on a shopping spree for spring clothes, where would you like to go?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Vanity Fair

This is the 2004 movie adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic novel, Vanity Fair. It's a bit long, but, full of beautiful costumes, set design, and scenery. Have you seen it?