Friday, August 28, 2009

No Reason to Complain

I have no reason to complain. Ever.


Police: California Girl Kidnapped 18 Years Ago Kept as Sex Slave in Couple's Backyard


An 11-year-old California girl kidnapped in 1991 while waiting for a school bus has been found alive, and a convicted sex offender is accused of raping and fathering two children with her while he and his wife held her captive in their backyard.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,543640,00.html?test=latestnews

Horrifying.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

You'll Love this Article

About a month or so ago I was delighted to stumble upon a $5 year subscription to Real Simple magazine on Amazon. I was elated! Thoroughly thrilled. Whenever we're in Target or the like, I go straight to Real Simple to thumb through and always sigh when I remind myself we don't have the extra cash to put toward magazine subscriptions!
I received my first two these past few weeks. You should have seen the goofy grin on my face as I requested 'alone time' to read my stories.
:)

Now you all have to go out and purchase the September 2009 Real Simple if you don't get it. Either that, or go buy The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by A. J. Jacobs. It's not out until September 8th, but it's officially on my wish list.

There's a short essay called Stop the Madness! where Jacobs goes over a month-long experiment where he decided to 'unitask'. No more checking e-mail WHILE talking on the phone. No more eating and watching t.v. No more working and facebooking.

I fell in love with this article. You must read it. I'm so excited about the book mentioned above. Anyway, I have to share this paragraph so you're as hooked as I am:

"I've realized something else, though: If being in the moment is hard, being in the moment in a positive way is even harder. The late author David Foster Wallace gave a famous commencement speech about what we decide to think about during mundane tasks--waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in traffic. You can decide to give in to your brain's baser tendencies--to be annoyed, angry, or selfish. Or no. As Wallace said, instead of snarling at the guy in the Hummer who just cut you off in traffic, you can consider th epossibility--however remote--that the Hummer 'is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he's trying to rush to the hospital, and he's in a way bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am: It is actually I who am in his way.'"

Doesn't that just send your brain into overdrive? So many thoughts immediately came rushing to my head. I'll let you in on a little secret. I actually do think this way most of the time. And do you know what else? I've felt naive, too trusting at times when I've given people the benefit of the doubt. I'm constantly being called 'too nice', not selfish of my time, etc. But the truth of the matter is, I'm happier this way. When I let my grumpiness get the better of me, it snowballs and I have an awful week. When I CHOOSE to give other, seemingly rude, people the benefit of the doubt, I'm happier, more fun to be around, and have a much nicer outlook on life and on other people.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pedigree

So I logged into Photobucket this morning and was delighted to see this Pedigree background.

Now I just have to ask... Am I the only one that cries every single time there's a Pedigree commercial on t.v.? Seriously, I've probably gone through an entire box of tissues since they came out... and I don't even watch that much t.v.!
This is my favorite: 

I've always thought of myself as a 'dog person' even though I've been absolutely obsessed with the cats we've had for pets. We always had dogs growing up. They were just there--wonderful friends & companions, a playmate, part of the family. I don't think we'll ever have a dog, though. I enjoy dogs from afar now & love on every single one I see at the park and make a mental note that I love them when belong to someone else, but I can't make the time to care for one at this point in my life.
But these commercials make me want a dog SOOOO badly! Look at those sweet faces.
And I'm telling you it does NOT hurt that David Duchovny does the voice overs. Such a fan. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

SuperMom of Summer: Baby Things by Jessica

Well, our summer is coming to a close here. It sounds like we're hanging on a little longer than others! My sweet Bitsy #1 doesn't start school until after Labor Day! Lucky us! :)

I've thoroughly enjoyed my little excuse to get to know more work-at-home-moms! How inspiring! I wish I could have included more. There is so much knowledge out there from experienced work at home moms.

Today, I am 100% thrilled to bring you Baby Things by Jessica. Bitsy #2 wore these fantastic shoes for months and months until he grew out of them! I loved them so much! They kept his little feet warm & cozy and, of course, stylish! How handsome!

I've since found any excuse to pass along Jessica's name. Luckily, I'm at that stage in my life where it seems EVERYONE is having a baby. So guess what all my friends and family have gotten? Birth announcements from me! And then a little gift will arrive in the mail with these adorable little shoes. With so many different styles to choose from in Jessica's shop, I feel like it's such a personal gift! I get to choose the one I feel that particular family will love best.





Jessica is a work at home mom of two (4 and 1) and started her Etsy shop after her daughter (#2) was born. She says, "My husband was actually the one to suggest that I sell my little shoes there. He also designs the occasional shoe and has a welcomed creative male design perspective that I think my over the top girly side lacks. I really feel that he helps to balance my shoe designs and I often hear comments about the fact that I carry so many boy styles of shoes."

Jessica says she learned to sew at a very young age from her mom. What a wonderful lesson she learned. I, for one, am thrilled she makes these adorable little shoes, but I know I'm not the only one. Jessica humbly says, "I made about ten pairs and nervously opened [my shop] with dim hopes of success. I am still dumbfounded that so many have given me such a wonderful response. I am truly grateful to the Etsy community and feel proud to be part of such a cool hand-made movement."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Everyone Loves Free

Am I right or am I right? Everyone loves free? I know I do. It's such a nice little treat to WIN something!


Quick! Go! Check it out! Become a follower!
Now!

Please?


My dear friend Babyjewels & I have started a new giveaway website. It's going to be spectacular. We'll be launching the site in September, but become a follower now so you can receive updates! You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Let the giving begin!
Oh and tell your friends!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Watch out World!

"And the damsel was exceedingly beautiful, comely and intelligent, there was none seen like unto her for beauty and wisdom throughout the land."
Jasher 60:8

And now you have your obscure biblical reference for the day. No, that's not in the Bible, but it IS why we chose our daughter's name. That describes the princess for whom she was named.

I think all parents must believe their children are the smartest ones out there... but our daughter makes us stop in our tracks on a regular basis. Most of the time, her talents take form in little works of art or in innovative inventions. Lately, she's had the nasty habit of tying things up around the house. She'll take bits of whatever she can find--string, ribbon, shoelaces--and tie it onto furniture. It has driven me mad a few times, I'll admit... I cannot stand having to waste my time untying!!

Today, however, she figured out how to work around tying. Her latest kick has been inventing toys for the cat. Last week she tied a few toys to the end of a shoelace and then tied that onto his scratching post. Brilliance! I still wasn't thrilled about having to untie it, though. So today, she runs to me and shows me her long strings tied together with toys on one end and a paintbrush on the other!

More brilliance!
Take a look.
Watch out, world! Smarty on the loose! 
Oh... and did I mention she's only FOUR years old?

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Monday Miracle


I constantly feel blessed in my life. I try my best to thank those who need thanking. I offer many prayers of thanks. I'm sure it's not enough. Even through hard times, I know I have a very full life.
So when I need to ask for something more in my life, I feel incredibly selfish--Even if the need is great and truly needed. Today, on this Monday, I'm asking for a miracle. I wanted to express my gratitude as I did so and what better way than art? I hope you enjoy & I hope you make a few moments in your day to think on the own lovelies in your life.

Friday, August 14, 2009

SuperMom of Summer: Tilley Jewels

Well, Summer has almost come to a close & that means I'm just about through my SuperMoms of Summer feature! Today, I'd like to introduce you to Meredith of Tilley Jewels who has a wealth of knowledge to share!



Meredith is the mom of three daughters (16, 15, 8) and has a few shops on Etsy you must check out! The beauty of her work and VARIETY is astonishing. She also sells her jewelry wholesale and is trying to expand there to grow her business.
tilleyjewelsbride.etsy.com a new bridal accessories shop
tjdestashinstuff.etsy.com for supplies, of course (Um, p.s. We called our last cat "T.W. Muffinstuff" so I got a good laugh out of this name!!)

When asked about her business, Meredith said, "I make handcrafted jewelry and hair accessories, specializing in bridal and formal pieces. I can' t remember a time that I wasn't creating something, but since 1997 I've been working almost exclusively with beads and wire. I was raised in the craft show circuit by my basket-weaver mother. She used to let me sell my work in her booths (when it was allowed) so when I branched out on my own as an adult I started out by doing shows. We used to travel 2-3 weekends a month and after a while it got to be too physically demanding for me. I had many customers ask if I sold online so they could find my work between shows. I was trying to figure out how to start a website when I discovered Etsy in 2006, still in it's infancy. It became the perfect solution that allowed me to cut back on travelling and start concentrating more on online and boutique selling. Less travelling equals more creative time!"

This next story is one I have to share word for word. I think there are so many moms out there who could benefit from this:

"I'm a WAHM in more than one aspect. Yes, I run my business from home, but I am fortunate enough to have a “real” job that allows me to work from home also. I've been employed as a designer for a bridal manufacturing company since 1998. When I was expecting our youngest in 2001 I made arrangements with them to work at home for a few months after she was born. That was such a thrill for me because I didn't have that opportunity when the older girls were little. The day I was supposed to go back to the office was extremely emotional—I got there that morning and burst into tears. The office manager decided that I could keep working at home and we'd see how it went. She had plans that when Katie started kindergarten I would have to come back in to start working there again. Fortunately for me she left to start her own business and another lady took over running the office—her philosophy was 'If it isn't broke there's no need to fix it', so I continue to happily work at home."



Meredith has family close by and enjoys their help! She also offers this lovely piece of advice to other WAHMs: "Get your kids involved as early as possible. They need to know that Mom is doing something important and not just playing around or trying to get away from them. Even if it's something as simple as putting stickers on bags or color sorting beads into bowls they'll feel like they are a part of what you are doing and it will become important to them also. Some business things can be great learning tools also. For example, I have a map that we mark every time I sell to a new state or country—a simple visual geography lesson."

I'm off to find a map... Seriously, what a fantastic idea! (I'm a bit of a geography nerd, so please excuse my excitement!)



Can't get enough of Tilley Jewels? You can find more on the web here:
You can also find her oldest daughter's shop at auddities.etsy.com
 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I think I'll plant a money tree...

I've never given much thought to money. Well, I wouldn't say that. I'm good at managing money, paying the bills, knowing where it's spent, etc. But I've never been the type that walks around saying, "Wouldn't it be nice if money grew on trees?"

Sadly, as I've gotten older, I'm becoming that person. It's not that I've gotten greedy or want frivolous things, it's just that I've realized how nothing is free in life. (Well, almost nothing. I've recently become obsessed with Freecycle & got a lovely bed skirt for Bitsy #1 ABSOLUTELY free from my dear neighbor.)

But bill after bill comes and we try so hard to save and put money and food aside for an emergency... cars need fixing, doctor visits need to happen, etc.

Wouldn't it be nice if money grew on trees? Car breaks down? No worries, let's just grab a few hundred off the tree. Incredibly hot month so your power bill is higher? No problem! Grab it off the tree. We could even make it adorable like this:


Any biologists out there want to figure this one out for me? Oh wait, I'm married to a biologist. Blast! He's the type that knows about viruses... not plants. :( Speaking of husbands... Mr. Bitsy probably won't be thrilled with this illustration--it USED to be his favorite of mine. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet Rowan

Meet Rowan, the latest birth announcement from BitsyCreations.

Rowan is a beautiful selection for the natural parents. Its beautiful simplicity is also perfect if you're not into the traditional blues & pinks seen so frequently with baby items.

Rowan is a gorgeous 5x7" announcement (I love the larger size). You can purchase the design only for $10! Print yourself, send in an e-mail, or have printed elsewhere. You can have me print on matte cardstock, photo paper, or shimmer/pearl stock.
Rowan is available at BitsyCreations.com here and at Bitsy's Greetings on Etsy here. And please remember if you are looking for the perfect gift, BitsyCreations offers gift certificates (in any price range) so your mom- & dad-to-be can choose their own announcements. They can even have me design a custom announcement, too!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's Prayer

Dear God,
I feel a little silly asking You this because I am incredibly blessed in my life. Recently, as You know, we were blessed with a sweet baby boy. He has been a lovely addition to our family, even though at times he's been a trial, too!
I'm wondering if during the manufacturing process, something went awry. You see, Bitsy #2's volume seems to be set on a very high level. In all honesty, I'd say it's set to a 12 on a 1-10 volume scale.
Dear God, in all your wisdom, if there is a reason for this, please let me know.
If it was indeed a glitch, would you have time to fix?
Even when Bitsy #2 is happy, he seems to yell. Excitement, frustration, joy, anger, and sadness are all at volume level 12.
Love,
Joan
P.S. Yes, you did bless me with a fantastic sense of humor, but I'm actually not kidding.

**I do hope none of you were offended by this! Perhaps it came across as a little sacrilegious...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

By Popular Demand: Grammar & Spelling Lesson #5

Today's lesson is a short & simple one: 'of' vs. 'have'. I saw this frequently when I was in college student teaching. I thought it was mostly a children's issue & I blamed the laziness of the spoken American language. (Yes, I realize we speak English, but the more non-American English-speaking people I meet, the more I'm convinced Americans are lazy in our speech.)
What do we hear?
"I shoulda gone to the store."
"I could of done that."
Some people guilty of this may know better when they write:
"I should HAVE gone to the store."
"I could HAVE done that."

But sometimes I see 'of' in place of 'have' even in writing. "Have" shows that the action was in the past. There is never, ever a reason to use 'of' in this situation.
"I should have..."
"I could have..."
For the children's sake, make sure you're annunciating 'have' so they don't hear 'of'. :) Please! For the children's sake! hehe Now you feel guilty, don't you? :)

Bad Dreams

I'll be the first to admit that I'm under a lot of stress in my life right now. But if I can't figure out a way to stop having bad dreams, I'll either lose my mind or fall asleep standing up.
Seriously--I thought you grew out of having bad dreams! :(

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Funny Things...

I'm all for independence in my children. Really, I am. It's just hard for me to let go.

Bitsy #1 (4 yr.): "Mama, can we go upstairs and play in my room by ourselves?"

Me: "Yes, but you have to be nice to C (1 yr.)"

B #1: "Okay, I promise! I won't even smoosh his fingers or anything."

What. an. angel.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mondays

The funny thing about my husband and me is that we have a lot in common on the surface. When we started dating and quickly became engaged, no one was surprised. People who had known us our whole lives knew we were a good match.

One of the things we have in common is that we're both from families of eleven children. Yup, you read that correctly! 11. I'm the youngest, he's the second youngest.

On Saturday, we had the lovely opportunity to visit with all of his family! All the children were there & almost all the extended families (spouses & children) made it. As you can imagine with a family of 11, there were some I hadn't even met! It was such a joy. The little Bitsies enjoyed themselves although little Bitsy #1 had a very hard time with so many new people.

Back to Monday with a lot of work to catch up on! I love what I do, though, so I couldn't ask for a better full Monday. :)

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