Monday, September 27, 2010

Because I Don't Particularly Like Being Told What to Do...

IMAGE CREDIT: Google Images

It's BANNED BOOKS WEEK, people! To celebrate I'm picking a title off the American Library Association's Banned and Challenged Classics list and *gasp!* reading it! So do tell ~ What banned book are you reading this week?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Is It Just Me?

Or can the littlest things bring a smile to your face too? Mushrooms are cute. They just ARE. And if you let yourself daydream, just for a minute, you may just find yourself wondering whether this little mushroom village is home to a quirky band of gnomes who decorate their homes with pretty little star-shaped flowers.

Why not take a minute to enjoy something today that you'd usually ignore?
It's worth it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bits 'n Twits (I mean Tweets, I guess)

bits of fun~

So I was all pumped and ready for National Sewing Month, once no big dill brought it to my attention, of course. I got right to work on a cute little mini-tote for Katie's teacher (I plan to fill it with fun little items for Christmas. I like to incorporate a gift in the wrapping for as many gift-giving occasions as I can) and had a good time working out the details and the lining and such ~ I know, I know, it's not rocket science but still I'm used to working from a pattern and having someone else figure out how the pieces should be cut and where to account for the lining and when to stop the blah,blah,blah,blah... Anyway, it was lots of fun until I turned my head just so and proceeded to run my needle through my finger. Oh yeah! We're having Big Fun now! Thankfully I didn't get any blood on the fabric. (Eww...I know. The thought makes me woozy too. Sorry.)

Anyway, all's well that ends well and I think my first venture into a lined bag ended pretty well, y'think?

It's not Gussy-licious or anything but it IS cute and I think it will make a fine gift bag for a second grade teacher...even if she chooses to "accidentally" leave it in her classroom when she retires at the end of the year.

Maggie Whitley Gussy Sews And speaking of Gussy ~ love.Love.LOVE her shop, by the way, and I am not even the ruffle-y, frilly, girly-girl type, which makes my Gussy fascination a little odd but maybe my girls are rubbing off on me a little bit because Katie most definitely is the type and Mari is showing every indication of following in her sister's footsteps ~ she's giving away one of her tote bags today over on her blog. Says Gus, if you tweet/blog/facebook "I want to carry a #Gussy tote bag at the next blog conference! For every 100 comments there will be 1 winner!" you'll be entered to win. So go enter! As for me, my problem is two-fold: [1] I can't imagine I'll be able to attend any of the upcoming blog conferences until at least next year; and [2] I just don't get Twitter. Which brings me to

twits (of course I mean Tweets)~

Twitter is all the rage these days. Everyone from this celebrity to that elementary school gym teacher is tweeting about any ol' thing you can imagine. Some guy even made the news for tweeting his heart attack. Nice. I had a Twitter account a lo-o-ong time ago, before it became the coolest thing around. I didn't get it. I have this blog where I ramble on. I have Facebook to fill the cracks the blog leaves. Nobody I knew had a Twitter account and, really, does anybody care what I have to tweet about? I doubted it. So I deleted my account. Now, as I mentioned, Twits (I know that sounds like a mean word but I hear it and think of Violet Beauregarde yelling at Veruca Salt, "Can it you nit!" and I snicker) are popping up all over the place. I'm left to ponder: Do I slink back to Twitter with my tail between my legs? I still don't think anybody cares what I would have to tweet about...but maybe I could win a Gussy bag!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So There You Have It!

What better way to kick start my next [kinda] big thing than by joining Katy over at no big dill's celebration of National Sewing Month?

Says dill, September was declared National Sewing Month by Ronald Reagan in 1982, "In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.” Cool. I'm in.

And to top things off, while perusing her recent posts I came across a quote from Vincent Van Gogh (by way of Kurt W Knudson) and I love.Love.LOVE it. These fine gents said, "I am always doing what I don't know how to do, in order to learn how to do it." Yup; that about covers it. Off we go!

[And don't worry, all this random foreshadowing is leading up to something new around here. It's just taking a little bit of time to get it all together, that's all.]

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

Having read, reviewed, and loved The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews I was really looking forward to reviewing The Butterfly Effect. The #1 requested story of this New York Times best-selling author and public speaker, The Butterfly Effect conveys how the smallest, seemingly insignificant experiences in our lives can shape our futures and make a major impact and reminds us that EVERYTHING we do matters.

The premise of this book is terrific. Much like The Boy Who Changed the World does for children, The Butterfly Effect encourages adults and teens to appreciate that even the smallest choices and experiences in our life can lead to big things. The Butterfly Effect is a quick read with just a few words appearing on each page ensuring that each one packs a punch. Though I preferred the children’s version of the story overall, The Butterfly Effect’s ultimate message is one that will encourage and inspire most anybody to believe that they can make a difference, and that just can’t be bad.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy this book from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

BOOK REVIEW: The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews, illustrated by Philip Hurst

The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews is a children’s story that relays, in terms and situations that kids can understand, the defining principle that every choice we make and everything we do really does matter! Illustrated by Philip Hurst, and based on Andrews' The Butterfly Effect, The Boy Who Changed the World follows the story Nobel Prize winner, Norman Borlaug, back through history to show that the big things he achieved were started as a result of the tiniest actions in the past. Even some actions that took place long before he was even born!

Reading together with my little girl, she was captivated by the beautifully drawn illustrations of each scene and, as I hoped, easily understood the premise that these boys were able to take what they learned as children to make a big difference in the world as adults. We talked for a while about “how many boys have actually changed the world.” I have always wanted my children to believe that they can make a difference in the world we live in, but sometimes it’s hard to convince them that it’s not just their Mom who believes it. Andy Andrews has provided me with written proof! The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews just may be this year’s Christmas gift for all the kids in the family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy this book from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Guess I Really AM a Follower!

I have resisted. I don't really know why, but I have. I was quite happy with my Google Reader subscriptions and when all this Following hype started creeping over the web I didn't really understand why I needed to change. But I have. As of today, I have transitioned ALL of my subscriptions into full-on "Following" status (I think) and I am officially a Follower of many ~ some would say TOO MANY {pshaw!} ~ blogs. Not to mention I have added a Followers widget [hello, Jelly Nose!] to the sidebar of my blog too. (Okay so maybe I mentioned it but please don't make me desperately beg for you to become a Follower...)

What's more ~ thanks to a couple of great blogs this week I found a new toy that I love.Love.LOVE!! (And since I am rarely found on the cutting edge of anything technological this is probably not new to you...especially if we run in similar blog circles! But I love.Love.LOVE it just the same.) What is it, you ask? It's the "Google Reader NEXT" bookmark/favorites button, of course! Instead of going all the way into Google Reader and reading the blogs from there (and whining when the posts are truncated so that I can't read them there in their entirety anyway) I now have a button on my favorites bar that I can click whenever the mood strikes me and it will take me to the next unread item in my Reader. Not only that but it takes me to the actual blog, so I can see all the prettiness that exists there and I can easily leave comments without extra clicking if I am so inclined. So do you see why I love it? It's so cool.

For all its wonderousness, I especially love the fun little message that pops up when I finally make my way through my entire list of unread items:

Can't read it? It says "Congratulations, you've reached the end of this internet. Look for another?" teeheehee

So I know you're jealous! I know you want one all of your own. So why don't you head over to THIS POST where the step by step instructions are waiting. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Are YOU Doing October 17th?

I know what we're doing...and Mari's going to be the Team Leader! The Gold Coast Buddy Walk is coming up on October 17 ~ wanna join our team or sponsor our walkers?

{thanks again to the Bovas for a super-cute picture of Mari to use for our Buddy Walk info!}

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Do You See That?!?!

Up there! (In the address bar, silly!) That's right ~ starting today we have our own domain and the blog can now be found at! Hip hip hooray!! If you have the old blogspot address you should still get here too ~ the blogspot address is supposed to seamlessly transition to the new domain. If you experience a problem please let me know.

Oh! And stay tuned, too, because there's going to be some new stuff coming around the bend that you won't want to miss. I'm making some arrangements, doing some legwork, and trying to stay focused long enough to get some things accomplished so that I can post, but tonight I'm just sitting back with a sigh of contenment, since the transition to our new internet home was wa-a-a-ay easier than I expected it to be. [And: helloooo wannalottacommas!?!?]

What's All the Ruckus?!?!

I've donned my hard hat and I'm doing a little tinkering on my short stretch of the information superhighway...probably going to hit some potholes along the way. But if you see a detour, DO NOT BE ALARMED. That's the goal. We're creating a bypass over the "blogspot" to get us straight to our own ".com" so rest assured, you're not lost. But if it's all a big fat mess for a little while, well, I'm sorry for the delay. Drive safely.