Saturday, January 29, 2011

If You've Got Mice, You Need Victor

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Victor Pest. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thmouseankfully, we do not have any mice in the house.  We do, however, get some kind of little varmints in the garage in the wintertime.  I've never actually seen them, but they like to chew through the corner of the cat food bag and help themselves.  This winter we started putting the bag of cat food into an old cat litter bucket.  That ought to stop them!   At least I hope so - and I hope they don't decide to come into the house.  We do have two cats in here, but I honestly don't know if they'd know what to do with a mouse.

We'd probably have to get some  Victor products.  Victor has been the
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name in rodent control since 1890.  They're the ones who invented the spring-based mouse trap 100 years ago, and these days they have some even better products.  Those old mouse traps always had me scared that I'd pinch/ hurt my fingers badly, and then there was the matter of having to deal with the dead mouse - which is why Jeffrey was the one who had to deal with them. Nowadays they have these Pest Chasers, ultrasonic repellents that emit high-frequency sound waves to keep rodents away.  Humans or non-rodent pets can't even hear the sounds, but the mice don't like them!  And, if they don't come into the house, there's no need for traps or poisons or anything like that.  Victor® Ultrasonic Repellents operate for less than 1 cent per day and last 5 to 7 years, so they're very cost effective.

Victor carries a full line of products for mouse problems that are highly efficient, safe for kids and pets, and non-toxic.  They sell several varieties of mouse traps - the original snap trap as well as electronic traps to kill mice, and traps that can be used to catch and release the mice - somewhere far, far away from the house, of course.  But with the traps, you have to deal with either dead mice or live mice, and that's definitely not something I want to do.  They say you don't have to see or touch with the electronic traps, but I'm still not wanting to.  I'm really liking the idea of those Pest Chasers and just keeping them away in the first place!

Of course, Victor recommends using a combination of products to help control your mouse problem and protect your space!  And right now Victor is running a special promotion on the Victor® Protect Your Space Combo Kit for $99.99 with FREE shipping!! The kit includes the following: 
(1) Victor® Sonic PestChaser® Heavy Duty Sonic, (2) Victor® Sonic Mini PestChaser® Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent, and (2) Victor® Electronic Mouse Trap.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Got These from CSN Stores

When I was offered the chance to review something from CSN Stores, I jumped at the chance.  The hardest part really was choosing what to order.  With 200+ online stores, CSN Stores has plenty to choose from.

I decided to use my gift code and order from a couple different stores - since no matter how many different stores you shop, you can check out in one transaction, and I just had to try that.  So, I ordered a Bodum Brazil 8-Cup French Press coffee maker because I've wanted to try one of these for years.  I've really been enjoying it.  I think it makes really good coffee, and when they say 8 cups, they mean 8 4-oz. cups, so it makes about the perfect amount of coffee for me in the mornings.  The only thing I don't really like is that it's a bit harder to clean up than my Mr. Coffee where I just have to remove the filter and toss it in the trash.  But that's OK.  I think the coffee is good enough that I'll deal with it.

I also got some of these Closet Shelf Dividers.  I really really like the idea of these, because my closet shelves could really use some help. The stacks of sweaters are always leaning and falling on each other.

After the divider:
Yeah, the stacks are still too high, but I think the dividers are going to help.  That is, if we can get them to stay.  The hooks on the bottom of these dividers aren't really big enough, and there's not enough tension in them to hold them securely to the closet shelf.  We tried pulling them apart so they'd spread apart a bit more, and that helped a bit.  Still, they don't work as well as I'd like.  The idea is great, but the design could use some work.  I'm going to keep them anyway and maybe tweak them a bit to get them to stay more securely.

It was hard deciding what to order, but I had fun doing it!  Gotta love CSN Stores and all they have to offer.

Collaborize Classroom a Free Online Learning Platform

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Collaborize Classroom. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've just been checking out Collaborize Classroom.  This looks like a really great tool for teachers.  It's a FREE online learning platform that allows teachers to extend their classroom discussions to a structured and private online community.  It's designed to complement and extend regular classroom instruction and to help teachers accomplish more with less.  Teachers can continue valuable discussions, facilitate online learning groups, encourage the sharing of resources, and provide students with a safe space to engage in collaborative learning.

Some of the key features include:
  • Attachments - teachers can attach photos, videos, PDFs, and Microsoft Office documents, eliminating the need for classroom handouts and saving on printing and paper costs.
  • Messaging - teachers and students can easily communicate with each other.
  • Participation Reports - teachers can track each student's activity on the site.
  • Privacy - sites are password protected and can only be accessed by teacher and students (or those invited to join the site) and No classroom data or information can be viewed online without a password and special access to the teacher's site.
  • Teacher Resources - free resources and lessons plans to help teachers get started using Collaborize Classroom.
  • and it's FREE - and easy to get started.  Teachers can create a site in a matter of minutes.  All that's needed is an email address.
The video explains it all really well:

"some need more time to formulate their responses" - that's me. You know I love teachers, and I believe in giving them as many tools as possible.  I also know that everyone learns differently, and using an online learning platform like Collaborize Classroom may be just the thing to reach those kids who aren't quite getting it in the classroom and take others to even higher levels of learning.  If you're a teacher, be sure to check it out.  If you have kids in school, share this with their teachers.

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Evie - Voice app for iPhone

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Evie. All opinions are 100% mine.

This kind of reminds me of Star Trek.  You know how they could ask the computer and get any information they needed without touching a thing?  Enter Evie, the voice app for iPhone.  Tell Evie what you want, and Evie delivers.  Call anyone on your contacts list just by saying his name or just say a number you want to call.  Examples: “Call Steve on his cell phone” or “Call 514-555-1212.”  That last could come in really handy for trying to win some of those radio giveaways - the ones where they rattle off the phone number while you're driving down the road, and by the time you've got the number punched into the phone and hit send, they've already got a winner.  But then, maybe that's just me.

evie-tips-mode-summary.PNG (27 documents)
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Evie can also play anything you have on your iPhone.  Just say the name of the artist, song, audiobook, or whatever you want to listen to.  You can also listen to your facebook feeds with Evie.  This could come in handy not just for keeping up with your friends, which is really important, but also for getting the latest traffic updates.  I heard on our local news this morning that they regularly post traffic updates to their facebook page, and I was wondering how that would do anyone who was actually out on the road any good.  Now I know.  Drivers with an iPhone and Evie can safely stay updated.

For ease of use, convenience, and safety, this sweet little app would be great for anyone, especially those who do a lot of driving because really, you should not be messing with your phone a lot while you are driving.  Busy moms trying to get things done and keep up with the kids could really use this app, too.  With Evie, you can still do what you need want to do - hands free.  Download Evie FREE from the iPhone App Store and try it for yourself.

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the Bank of Dad

Here's another comic from this past Sunday's funny papers that was right on.
It might not go quite that far, but it seems there is always something that boy needs money for.

Is it sad that I'm seeing my life in the comics?  Or is that why we read them?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sweet Hearts for Your Sweetheart

When it comes to getting gifts for special days, most girls love jewelry.  Flowers and chocolate are pretty popular, too.  Some girls are different, but guys can usually be safe choosing one of those three things.

So listen up, guys. If you really want to show that special lady how much she means to you, you might want to check out some Sweet Heart Jewelry for Your Sweetheart. Nothing says 'love' like heart-shaped jewelry.  Except maybe saving some money on that heart-shaped jewelry - so you can buy the flowers and chocolate too! (or pay the bills, even though that is not romantic at all in the traditional sense of the word)  Right now there are some sweet deals going on.  How does saving up to 75% sound?  I love a man who uses money wisely!  OK, I loved him before, but I love that he looks for the good deals now and understands the importance of coupons.  He also knows that there are very few things that I will love enough to spend full price on.

If your sweetie thinks that the amount you spend is directly proportional to the amount of love you have for her, you don't have to tell her you saved with these diViene deals. Or I suppose you could just buy 4 times as much jewelry and make her really happy.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Get Kids Active

When we were growing up, we spent a lot of time outside just playing.  (and working)  The point is, we were active.  Oh, I spent a lot of time reading books, but I also got a lot of exercise running around the pasture, playing in the creek, and riding my bike.  With video games, computers, movies, and so many other forms of indoor sedentary entertainment, today's kids don't seem to get as much activity and exercise.  Is it any wonder that childhood obesity is a growing problem? is committed to fighting childhood obesity and to promoting kids' active bodies and minds.  It's the largest online parent resource for kid's lessons, classes, and camps.  They make it simple for parents to find activities in their own areas by searching by area code and activity type to get contact information, web site links, interactive maps and activity descriptions for over 18,000 providers. Creating a FREE member profile lets them further narrow their activity search results by age of participant, gender, day and time of activity. Members can also sign-up for select classes with the easy, secure Click & Pay, organize and share calendars with myActivityTree, get directions to activities, join carpooling, and receive local Deals by email.

Parents can also join the Get Kids Active! Facebook Campaign for activity ideas and help in getting their kids active through social networking.  It's not as easy as just saying, "Go play outside!" but having all these resources will certainly help in finding some fun activities for the kids.

Right now is is making kids activities and camps more affordable by offering “Get Kids Active!” Scholarships. There are two ways to enter:
  1. Kids Scholarships Page
  2. ActivityTree Facebook Page via the Scholarships tab

Admitting Defeat

For years, I kept track of our finances with Quicken.  Somehow last year I got far, far behind.  I kept thinking I'd get caught up, but the receipts and bills kept piling up - and I just never got them entered into Quicken.  Oh, the bills got paid, and I kept an eye on all the accounts to be sure there were no unexplained charges or unusual activity.  I just never actually sat down and got everything entered.  I kept thinking I'd get to it, but I didn't.

And now, I'm finally admitting defeat.  I will never get caught up. 

It's January.  Time to file away all the stuff that never got entered and start fresh.  I'm giving up on Quicken and just keeping track of everything with Mint and Google Docs spreadsheets.  And yeah, I'm already 25 days behind, but that doesn't sound so bad right now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

To Color or Not

Had to laugh. This reminded me of that post I did a while back on whether I should just stop coloring my hair.  Decisions, decisions.  I waited a few months and colored it again.

Now, if my husband, who is older than I, would just get more gray hair...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Brilliant Screen Cleaning Wipes

I really hate smudges on my computer screen, so I was happy to try the Brilliant Screen Cleaning Wipes with SR-8 . 

About Brilliant Screen Cleaning Wipes:
Brilliant screen cleaning wipe with SR-8 provides gentle, superior cleaning to electronic screens and removes dust, dirt, finger prints and makeup while imparting an invisible, durable barrier that protects screens 50 times more from scratching. Helps protect against re-soiling to keep your screen brilliantly clean!
  • Cleans and protects monitors, electronics, eyeware and more!
  • No Alcohol or Ammonia
  • Added scratch resistance with SR-8
Brilliant Screen Cleaning WipesTM with SR-8TM  provides gentle superior cleaning while imparting an invisible durable barrier that resists scratches, soiling and water spots.
Treat Your Lenses with the protection of SR-8
  • SR-8 is a Polymer Additive that reduces surface tension making cleaning easier each time it is used.
  • SR-8 Coats the lens leaving a protective barrier
  • SR-8 Improves scratch resistance
  • SR-8 Will not dry out protective coatings

Since I get really upset with anyone who dares to touch my screen, the main problem I have is that it gets really dusty - and usually I don't notice until I open it when I'm away from home.  That dust really shows up when the computer is turned off and the screen is black!

These screen cleaner wipes are going to be really handy for that, because they come in handy little packs I can just tuck into my computer case.  Also, they come with a wet wipe and a dry cloth - so you can clean the screen with the wet one and then dry it right away.  Screen cleaners that I've tried before were always just the wet cloths, so you had to hope the screen didn't streak when it dried or just wait until the cloth dried and then use it.

I cleaned both my laptop screen, which was really dusty, and Jeffrey's laptop screen, which was dusty and had smudges all over it with one set.  It worked really well, and I know I'm going to be happy to carry these with me.  I'm also looking forward to seeing how long the clean lasts.  It's been a few days, and my screen is still looking really good.  I'm hoping that anti-static property keeps that dust away for a good long time!

You can try these Brilliant Screen Cleaner Wipes for yourself.

Giveaway: Sponsored by
  • Like Black Diamond Cleaners on Facebook , and leave them a comment about how much you'd like to try these screen cleaners, or whatever - just leave them a comment. (Then leave a comment on this post letting me know)
  • Follow Black Diamond Cleaners on Twitter. (Leave a separate comment letting me know)
You must do BOTH to enter, but each will count as a separate entry.

For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway with a link to this post.  (Leave me a comment with a link to your tweet)

Contest ends Friday 2/4/11.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Romantic Getaway in Branson

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

"There's just something about a luxurious hotel room that makes whispered sweet nothings sound even sweeter."

I don't know about those sweet nothings, but I do know there's something special about getting away from home and spending time with that special someone.  In my case, that's my wonderful husband Jeffrey.  Yeah, I still like him just a bit, even after all these years together.  We get to spend plenty of time together, and now that the kids are out of the house, it's usually just the two of us - but day-to-day life still gets in the way.
We're still trying to figure out what we want to do to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year.  I'm pretty sure it won't be until much later this year, but the Valentine's Day Romance Package at Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing sounds really nice.  It's available the whole month of February and includes:
  • In-room sparkling wine (where permitted by law) or cider upon arrival
  • Access to hotel health club, pool and whirlpool spa (where available)
  • Full American breakfast for two in the room or in the hotel's designated restaurant.
  • On stays beyond one night, buy one entrée and get a second one of equal or lesser value at no additional cost. (Choose from either lunch or dinner in designated restaurant)
  • Late check-out available upon request
It's a chance to get away from it all, stay in a really nice place, just relax and focus on the two of you.  I'm thinking sparkling wine and a hot tub in the room would be perfect.  They've even got a special menu for Valentine's Day, featuring some really fancy food.  The salad sounds interesting - Aged Balsamic Roasted Figs | Pancetta | Swiss Chard | Red Onion | Maytag Blue Cheese | Blood Orange Avocado Oil - and the whole meal would be quite an experience.

A touch of elegance, a hint of indulgence, and you've got the makings for a great Romance Package.  If you're looking for a Valentine's Day getaway with someone you love, check out the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. They may just have exactly what you're looking for.

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Financial Literacy Poster Contest

Did you know financial experts agree that starting early in life is one of the keys to later financial success?

In an effort to increase interest in financial literacy to our nation’s youth, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is once again sponsoring the 2011 Be Money-Wise National Financial Literacy Poster Contest and has chosen “Be a $uperhero! $ave Money!” as this year’s theme. The contest is a great way to get young students thinking about how to manage money effectively, and offers them a creative outlet to demonstrate their knowledge. The contest also provides the opportunity for local and national recognition for student artwork, and rewards the winners with US savings bonds as well as other prizes!

Do you have a child or children in mind that you feel has the talent and creativity to win? All school-aged children in grades 3-12 are eligible to enter with local and national winners to be chosen from each of three grade categories. Students from public, private, and home-schools are welcome. Entries will be judged by expression of the theme (above), artistic style, creativity, and must be submitted through an NFCC Member Agency for judging. *The submission deadline for poster entries is in February 2011, varying by each specific member agency.

National finalists will be judged in Washington, DC in mid-March and placed in contention for three national awards, one per each of the three grade categories. An overall national winner will then be chosen from the three category winners. The winner will be presented with the national award plaque as well as a $500 savings bond during Financial Literacy Month in Washington, DC at the JumpStart Coalition’s Annual Awards Dinner in April!

Visit to find rules, entry forms, and submission details.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Double Dream Hands

I should be doing something like watering plants, cleaning out cat litter, cleaning a bathroom, something. Instead I'm watching this Double Dream Hands video and a bunch of related videos.

Have you seen it? I hadn't seen it before, but apparently everyone else on the Internet has - or at least a lot of people, because there are all kinds of related videos. Videos of people doing the Double Dream Hands dance or setting it to different music.  It's kind of fun to see something that gets people up and moving.  Maybe the YouTube generation won't need to use the best diet pills after all.

Think Before You Ink

Did you know there's a site dedicated to the Ugliest Tattoos?  I just checked it out, and there are some crazy tattoos on there.  They leave you shaking your head and wondering what those people were thinking.  Or if they were thinking at all.  Also, you'd think the tattoo artists would have said, "No, Buddy, that's a really bad idea." and refused to do it.  But then, they gotta make a living, even if it means bad art.  Someday, these people will be using a lot of tattoo removal cream or getting laser treatments to remove that ugly 'art'work.

So, save yourself some trouble.  If you think you want a tattoo, make sure you think about it long and hard and make sure you love it.  Make sure it's something you will love for a very long time.  And, if you're known to change your mind a lot, stick with the temporary tattoos.

Using Online Recipes

A woman typing on a laptopImage via Wikipedia
I love all the recipes available on the Internet!  What I need is a wireless monitor embedded in a cabinet door.  That way I could refer to the recipes I want to use without printing them out or, like I'm doing now, setting my laptop on my kitchen counter.  At least I have a laptop, and I can do that!  Some days I don't even think of that.  Instead I run back and forth from the kitchen to the living room to check the recipe. Not the most efficient, but I guess that's a form of exercise, right?

Speaking of exercise, this bending over to type a blog post while I've got my computer on the counter is working some muscles I don't usually work.  I can feel it tightening up my backside.  Maybe I should do this more often?  I could write blog posts, domain name availability, update website, and all manner of things while standing in my kitchen.  Of course, if I didn't set my laptop in front of my toaster oven, I'd be able to angle the screen back a bit more, and then I wouldn't have to bend over.  The thing with putting the laptop in the kitchen is that I have to keep it away from the sink where it might get wet and away from anything messy - which brings me back to how nice it would be to have a built-in monitor.  I suppose they do have those, but they cost more than I'd want to spend.

Oh well, maybe I should just do my cooking (I'm making this Sweet Potato Chicken Stew Recipe - looks good, doesn't it?) and then take my computer back into the living room to my nice, comfy couch...
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Working Class Premiers January 28 on CMT

A couple weeks ago while we were watching the Top 20 Countdown on CMT, I kept seeing previews for this new show - Working Class
The new series, CMT’s first scripted sitcom, follows Carli Mitchell (Melissa Peterman), a single mom from a rough and tumble background, trying to give her three kids a better life by moving them to an upscale suburb. She quickly finds that making the transition to “the good life” is harder than she thought. She's unwittingly befriended by her cranky neighbor, Hank (Ed Asner), her only “career” prospect is a glorified deli job at the local grocery store, and the man she falls for not only already has a girlfriend – but he’s also her boss, Rob (Patrick Fabian). With her ladies-man brother, Nick (Steve Kazee), to help her out (when he’s not acting like one of the kids himself), Carli faces the challenges of parenting, dating, and making friends in her new community by doing more with less, staying true to herself and approaching each day with a touch of working class.
The show doesn't air until January 28 at 8pm ET/7pm CT, but thanks to One2One Network, I got a chance to view the premiere episode “The Buddy System” in which Carli’s old flame from high school shows up hoping to re-ignite his “spark” with Carli — even if it means humiliating her in front of her new boss.

Overall, I really enjoyed the show.  While the show is about Melissa Peterman's character Carli, Ed Asner was by far my favorite.  He is just wonderful and had me laughing out loud several times.  Melissa Peterman better watch out or he is going to steal this show!  She does do a great job of playing the ditzy blonde, trying-too-hard, nervous new employee, though I'd like to see her tone that down when she's at home with the kids and brother.  I think as she settles into the role she'll get better.

I'm also looking forward to all the great guest stars this show has planned - especially Reba (love her!!), whose on-screen reunion with Melissa Peterman will air in February. Additional guest stars include David Faustino (“Married with Children” and Not Another B Movie); Kathy Kinney (“The Drew Carey Show” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”); Martin Mull (“Roseanne” and “’Til Death”); John Schneider (“The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Smallville”); Ryan Stiles (“Whose Line Is It Anyway” and “The Drew Carey Show”); and Lesley Ann Warren (“In Plain Sight” and “Desperate Housewives”), as well as CMT’s own Evan Farmer from CMT TOP 20 COUNTDOWN.  This show ought to be worth watching just for the guest stars!  And Ed Asner, of course.

Be sure to check out Working Class on CMT as well as connecting with Working Class on facebook where you can watch a sneak peak of the show.  Then remember to watch when Working Class makes its network debut Friday, January 28 at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT, followed by a second, all-new episode at 8:30 p.m., ET/PT.  It's going to be fun.

Disclosure: The One2One Network provided a free pre-view of the show for the purposes of this review. I received no monetary compensation, although I will be entered for a chance to win a CMT prize pack and gift card.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Who's Supposed to Plan the Baby Shower?

Beth texted me this week and told me that one of Tim's sisters is planning a baby shower in March, and I'm supposed to go, and I'm supposed to buy her something for the baby.  Then she called tonight because the date is changing, and she's not sure it's going to work, and maybe that shower should just be for Tim's family, and there's not really room where they want to hold the shower for a lot of people, and isn't March early, and....

So I don't really know what's happening.  Who's really supposed to plan a baby shower?  Her friends?  A family member?  Her mom?  Yeah, that'd be me.  I don't even remember how it worked when I was having kids, and honestly I've never really been all that excited about showers anyway.  Maybe I can just stick with talking to her about pumping breast milk and reducing stretchmarks, and leave the 'fun' stuff to someone else.

Maybe a 'virtual' baby shower without the silly games and all the people.  That's possible, right?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Got Cory Back to Campus

Cory and I got out of here before noon to take him back to college.  Cory drove on the way over.  The roads weren't too bad - snow covered but manageable, and he's a really good driver.  I can't remember how much experience he got driving in snow last winter, but he did a fine job.  Me, I'd rather not drive in the snow, but you do what you gotta do.

Thankfully, Cory texted one of his friends before we left, and got her up and out of bed.  She and her roommate met us when we got to the parking lot and helped carry his stuff up all those stairs.  So it only took two trips instead of the 4 or 5 it would have taken if it had only been the two of us.  That was nice.  Very helpful.

When I headed home, Cory told me to call or text him when I got home so he'd know I was safe.  Isn't he sweet?  I usually ask the kids to call me when they get where they're going, if the weather's bad or if they're going somewhere new.  And now, he's turning it around on me.

I texted him when I got home.  Safely.  It was fairly uneventful until I got behind a really slow truck.   I'd been driving about 50mph most of the time, and that seemed fine.  This truck was going anywhere between 30mph to maybe 40mph once in a while.  Seriously?  There was no reason to be going so slow.  So, after I got behind the truck, it was still uneventful - just frustrating, and I really didn't feel like trying to pass.

But I finally got home and went ahead and shoveled the driveway before coming in, because the snow had really piled up while I was gone.  I didn't necessarily want to get rid of the boy, but I'm glad we went when we did because the snow just kept coming all day, so it was good to get it over with.  Besides, he needed time to put all that stuff away.

Welcome to Parenthood

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

It's hard to believe that our daughter is going to be someone's MOM.  How did she get big enough, and why was she doing things that could get her into this situation?  But that's beside the point, isn't it?  The point is, she's going to be a MOM.  I know she'll be a good one.

And, since she's going to be a mom, she can Take this survey for a 1/500 chance at $1000. That $1000 gift card would certainly come in handy for all those new baby expenses.  I remember when we were getting ready for Beth to arrive, we were amazed how one little person could need so much stuff.  The costs really can add up quickly, but it's all worth it!

Those odds (1 in 500) are pretty good, and all answers are kept confidential and used for research purposes only.  No spam and nobody will try to sell you anything.   So, moms watch this video to win.  Warning: if you haven't yet given birth, parts of this video may leave you wondering if you really have to go through with it.

The answer is, Yes you do - and it is all worth it! It is absolutely amazing and something you will never forget - and you get a brand-new little person out of the whole thing. So, watch the video, get ready for one of the most amazing experiences of your life, and answer 7 short questions for your chance to win $1000.

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Sweating for my health in 2011

Guest post written by Lesley Jefferson
A lot of the times I normally get in these big exercise kicks and completely give it my all until I get distracted by something else and basically just completely slack off from working out. But my resolution for 2011 is to make sure that I don't slack off any more and actually start a work out schedule that is a little more reasonable and doable than the ones that I've made in the past. I can't base my life around exercising, so I can't expect to create a schedule like that.
I used my Clear tv bundle to go online and come up with some sensible goals for myself, like I'm signing up at the YMCA and am going to go at least three times a week at the very minimum. I think that's pretty reasonable although I'd like to go more often than that.
I'm also going to challenge myself a bit and start trying out some new exercise classes at the gym as part of my exercise New Year's resolution. I've heard things about spinning.

Do I Want to Go Out Today?

No, I don't.  It's one of those snowy days when I'd rather stay home and watch the snow from inside my warm, cozy house.  And usually I do just that, because there's nowhere that I have to be.  But, today I must go out.

Cory needs to go back to school.    Classes start tomorrow, and winter break is over.    He's been gathering all his stuff and loading it into the van, and soon we'll have to head out.  It's actually supposed to snow all day, so I suppose it doesn't matter when we actually get out of here.  I don't think it's going to make much of a difference.  The roads will be the same, and when we get there, we'll still have to carry all that stuff up four flights of stairs to his dorm room.  So, I suppose I could just keep him a little longer...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Just What do You Mean Review?

I know it's a little late to be thinking about this, since I've already done product and book reviews on this blog.  It just seems like every time I start to put together a review post, I have a hard time figuring out what to write.  I think it's because I get distracted by other people's reviews, and they seem to use all the right words - or maybe just fancy words - and I start thinking I have to do it like that.  Only, I don't have any of those words.

I can read a book, use a new shampoo or toothpaste, try out a new Asus computer*, or listen to a new CD, and I can tell you if I like it or not.  The words might not be fancy, but maybe that's not the point.  The point is real people want to know whether they should read that book, use that shampoo, or listen to that CD, and I get to tell them whether I think they should or not.

Whether they'll listen to me or not, that's another question.

*OK, so no-one has ever given me a computer for review, but I wouldn't turn it down...

Money-making Opportunities Wanted

Have any of you tried any of these Franchise websites?  I am honestly not sure how they work, but I just added up all my blogging income from last year, and I'm thinking I need to either start blogging more, or I need to branch out.  I was watching the demo video on, and all that stuff about social networking, facebook integration, and website editing make sense to me.  It's all the rest I'm not sure about.

I'm guessing that's because the people who know about franchises and MLM and are looking to create all these user-friendly, customer-grabbing websites already know about the franchise and MLM side of it - but creating websites and controlling style and social media aren't what they want to spend their time on.  They'd rather let Freshout Web Product Development or somebody else handle it for them.

Me, I think I'll just stick to blogging and maybe baking?  How much would you pay for a loaf of home-baked bread?  Or to have me tweak your CSS?

Anybody Else Having Problems?

For some reason, this blog refuses to load all the way today - at least for me.  Has anyone else had any problems?  I should probably close my browser and restart my computer to see if that helps, but I haven't gotten that desperate yet.  At least the content loads, and I can still post.  It's just some of the sidebar and the sidebar images.  Still, very frustrating.

My other blogs seem to be loading fine...

Have You Thought About Final Expenses?

I went downstairs this morning to find that someone had left the toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom out.  We have to keep it under the sink or Weasley has too much fun with it.  He gets a hold of it just pretty much rips it to shreds.  Sometimes, the things that cat gets into!  He better be sure he's checked into final expense insurance rates, because he may not be around for long.

OK, that's not true.  He's cute enough and sweet enough that he can get away with a lot - and I'm pretty sure he knows it.  There won't be any kitty funerals anytime soon.

That brings up a serious subject - final expense insurance for seniors, or for anyone else, for that matter.  Funerals can be very expensive, and they aren't something people want to talk about or even think about.  But something as simple as planning ahead and getting burial insurance can save families a lot of money and heartache.  It's hard enough to lose a loved one and even harder to lose a loved one and go into debt to say good-bye.  Burial insurance is a basic life insurance policy that covers people up to age 100 and is fairly easy to obtain.  We have life insurance policies that should help cover any final expenses, but this sounds like a good option for those who don't have whole life or term policies.
For information about this or any other insurance, what it does and how it work, visit the Insurance Information Institute.

Easy T-Shirt Necklace

I saw this tutorial for making a necklace from old t-shirts a while back.  Actually, I think one of my facebook friends shared it.  Now, honestly, I'm not a crafty person at all, but this project looks kind of fun - and like something even I could do.  I'm sure I have some old t-shirts around here somewhere...

Doesn't that look cool? Just click the picture to get instructions on how to make one for yourself.  Basically you just cut 1" strips from the bottom of your old t-shirts, stretch the strips, lay them together and twist into a figure-8 to double the rings, bind them all together with an extra strip, and wear.  That does sound easy, doesn't it?

Will I ever get around to actually making one?  I don't know, but I'm sharing this with my mother-in-law who is very crafty - she's always making neat things - and I'm sure she'll be able to make some of these.  Maybe she'll even make me one?

Now, there was another craft I was going to share with her.  What was it, where was it?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Walking for Health

Weight-walkingImage via Wikipedia
Jeffrey has been walking with me in the mornings for a while now.  He took some time off early last year - I can't remember exactly when, but things were extra hectic at work, and he just didn't feel like he had the time.  But he started again in May, and he's kept at it pretty much ever since.  I'm really, really glad, because I'd love to see him lose some weight.  I don't want him to be the skinny little guy he was when I married him, but it would be nice to see a little less of him.  I know it'll be better for his health.  I also think that exercising, along with eating right, is a better way to lose weight than resorting to diet pills and hoping for a miracle.

Sure, there is a lot of information about which are the best diet pills and which ones should be avoided because of all the side effects, but I think the best thing is to avoid all of them altogether.  Of course, I'm one of those people who doesn't really like sweets and doesn't understand food cravings and all those other things overweight people have to deal with.  It's easy for me to look at junk food and candy and greasy foods and just say NO.  Yeah, go ahead and hate me!

Now that I'm more than halfway through my forties, I'm worried that it won't always be so easy to keep the weight off.  I've heard it works that way.  Thankfully, since Jeffrey's been walking for a while, he's started to pick up the pace, and if I don't work really hard, he leaves me behind.  That's good for me because it steps my workout up a notch, and it's good for him because it means he's getting in better shape - and good for both of us, because we shouldn't be needing weight loss diet pills!

Also, since he's mostly in front of me and not talking much, I get to listen to my books while I'm walking.
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10 Most Common FAFSA Mistakes

It's that time again - time to think about filing taxes as soon as possible, once we get all the necessary info, and then filling out the FAFSA.  Last year was our first time, so I'm sure there were some things we could have done better.  This year I'm going to be checking out's Free FAFSA Guide, a comprehensive resource on all things FAFSA, in the hope that we'll do better this time - and maybe get a little more help paying for college.’s Editor in Chief, Dean Tsouvalas, has consulted with the experts to determine the 10 most common mistakes that students and parents make while filling out the FAFSA form. This list is included in’s Free FAFSA Guide.
The top 10 mistakes (and how to avoid them) are:
  1. Leaving blank fields - enter a “0” or “not applicable” instead of leaving it blank. Too many blanks may cause miscalculations and an application rejection.
  2. Listing an incorrect Social Security Number or Driver’s License number - check these entries, and have someone else check them, too. Triple check to be sure.
  3. Using commas or decimal points in a numerical field - always round to the nearest dollar.
  4. Entering the wrong federal income tax paid amount - obtain your federal income paid amount from your income tax return forms, not your W-2 form(s).
  5. Listing marriage status incorrectly - only write “yes” if you’re currently married. They want to know what your marital status is on the day you sign the FAFSA, or renewal FAFSA.
  6. Listing Gross Adjusted Income as equal to total income – these are not the same figure. In most cases, the AGI is larger than the total income. This mistake is particularly common.
  7. Listing parental marital status incorrectly – the custodial parents’ marital status is needed; if they’ve remarried, you’ll need the stepparents’ information, too.
  8. Leaving the question about drug-related offenses blank – if you’re unsure of something, find out before you submit your FAFSA instead of leaving it blank. A conviction doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from receiving aid.
  9. Forgetting to list the college – obtain the Federal School Code for the college you plan on attending and list it – along with any other schools to which you’ve applied.
  10. Forgetting to sign and date – if you’re filling out the paper FAFSA, be sure to sign it. If you’re filing electronically, be sure to obtain your PIN from Your pin is your electronic signature and is assigned to you only.
Whether you're sending a son or daughter off to college or thinking about your own online business degree, hopefully some of these tips will be useful. Also, be sure to check out the rest of the Free FAFSA Guide for even more helpful information. I know I'm going to.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giveaway - $75 CSN Stores Gift Certificate

One lucky reader is going to win a $75 gift code from CSN Stores.  With over 200 online stores, you can find practically anything you want at CSN Stores, so this is a great prize!  Whether you're looking for new cookware, furniture, bedding, exercise equipment, or a leather briefcase, you'll find it at CSN Stores.  AND, no matter how many of those 200 stores you shop, you only have to check out once - until the next time, that is.  All those stores, one shopping cart.  I love that.  CSN Stores also has great customer service and free shipping on many items.  If you haven't heard of them before, it's time you checked CSN Stores out.

Giveaway info:
1 winner will receive a one-time-use $75 gift certificate to use at CSN Stores.  You can get something $75 or less, or apply your $75 to something more expensive.  The choice is yours - and did I mention that there are so many choices?   This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.  Please note that, while many items ship for free, there may be shipping charges or in the case of Canadian readers, international fees, for certain products.

To enter:

  • Visit CSN Stores and have a look around. (click the link for the leather briefcase or type into your browser)  Come back and leave a comment telling me what you'd use your $75 for if you win.  Don't worry, you can always change your mind later, and if you're anything like me, you will!  (This must be done first for any additional entries to count)

For additional entries: (leave a comment for each one)
  • Follow me on twitter (@bcmom) and tweet the giveaway link, you can tweet once per day and leave a separate comment for each.
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post and to CSN Stores.  Leave me a comment with your url.  I'll give you 5 extra entries for this one.  (leave a numbered comment for each entry)
  • Subscribe to my blog in a reader or by email, or Follow this Blog with Google Friend Connect.  Let me know which way you subscribed - or let me know if you're already a subscriber.
  • Link to Beth & Cory's Mom on your sidebar or add me to your blog list or blogroll.
  • Follow CSN Stores on Twitter (
  • Like CSN Stores on Facebook (
  • If you can think of any other creative way to spread the word about this giveaway, go ahead.  Just leave me a comment letting me know how and where you shared.
Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.  All entries must be received by 11:59pm Monday, 01/31/11.  Winners will be randomly chosen.  If you're the winner, you will receive all the gift certificate information via email, so be sure I have an email address for you.  Good Luck!

Thank you to CSN Stores for sponsoring this great giveaway!

How to Be Remembered

I think all the pens in my purse are custom promotional pens from the bank or a hotel.  I love picking up those pens, mostly because they're free, but also because I always have the information for the bank as close as the nearest pen.

I thought about ordering some personalized pencils or pens of my own one time, but I wasn't sure what to put on them, and I didn't really know who I'd give them to.  So I didn't.  If you have a business, I think they're a good way to get your name and information out there, where people will see it on a regular basis.  For an individual like me, I'm not exactly sure what I'd use them for.  It might be a good way to advertise my blog if I ever go to one of those blogging conferences I'm always reading about.  They say you definitely need business cards printed for something like that, and some of these custom pens might be nice to go along with that.

There are lots of other interesting promotional items to choose from too at sites like  I guess the key is finding something people will hold onto and use - that also has your information on it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Too Many Shoes?

Usually I agree with the sentiment, "You can never have too many shoes."  No matter how many shoes I have in my closet, I still have to look at shoes every chance I get - just in case there's a pair that needs me to bring it home.  Of course, any pair of shoes that wants to come live in my closet must not only be cute but reasonably priced as well.  I just don't get the whole designer shoe thing - no shoe is cute enough to justify some of those prices.  NO.  SHOE.

And it's not all about how cute a pair of shoes is.  Comfort and practicality is important, too - more so as I get older wiser.  I'm not going to wear ugly shoes just to be comfortable, but if the cute shoes aren't comfy, I'm not going to buy them.  When it comes to walking or running shoes, comfort is all important.  Nobody's looking at them, but they have got to carry me for a lot of miles, without making my feet or legs hurt.  While my other shoes get worn once in a while, the walking shoes get worn practically every day, until they're worn out, and I have to replace them.

Recently I was trying to find a particular pair of shoes, and I starting thinking about actually getting rid of some of my shoes.  *GASP*  But honestly, there are shoes in there that I haven't worn in ages, and I'm not even sure I think they're cute anymore.  I can't even remember how comfortable they are.  I'm just in the mood to purge.  Of course, if I don't get in there and do it soon, while I'm still feelin' it, I may not be able to bring myself to do it after all. 

I'll just have to remember the end result - if I get rid of some shoes I don't like or wear anymore, I'll have room to bring the new ones home when I find them!


While we were in Lexington, Beth posted a few pictures of herself and her pregnant belly.  Cory was sure she looked bigger than she should and that she was having twins.  Twins.  Wouldn't that be fun?  I always wanted to have twins - and then I had one baby at a time!  I don't know of any twins that run in our family, so it really would have been something if she was having twins.  But she's not; the sonogram only showed one baby - and one's enough.

It's been so long since I was pregnant that I couldn't really remember how big I was back when I was pregnant with Beth or when I had to start wearing Maternity Clothes - so I couldn't tell Cory that there was definitely only one baby in there.  And everyone's different, of course.  I should probably dig out some old pictures, just to see.

I'm not sure if Beth's wearing maternity clothes yet or not, but she's got this thing called a Bella Band that lets her wear her regular clothes a bit longer.  It looks like a really handy thing, and I wish they had this back when I was pregnant.  I had to go from regular clothes to some bigger sizes in regular clothes, not exactly plus-sized clothing, but bigger than my normal size - before I could find any maternity clothes that would actually fit me.  When she is ready for maternity clothes, the lady Beth works for is about the same size and has a bunch of clothes she says Beth can have.  And since she had her baby last May, everything should be for the right season, too.  She may not need to buy any maternity clothes at all.  So that's a real blessing. 

After the baby she might want to be able to buy some updated clothes, clothes more appropriate for a young mom than those skin-tight jeans and low-cut tops she always liked to wear, and start putting together a complete wardrobe that will last her for years.  Then again, maybe not.
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It's a Boy

For my birthday this year, I'm getting a grandson.  Never mind that I'm not old enough to be a grandma or be married to some old grandpa.  But, Beth didn't take that into account before she went and got pregnant.

She had a sonogram yesterday and found out that she's having a boy - and since she's sharing that with everyone on facebook, I figured it was OK to share with you.

A grandson.  I'm sure we'll love the little guy to pieces.  And Cory is planning to be the world's best uncle.

Monday, January 10, 2011

TABASCO® Original Red, So Much MORE than Hot

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

I had never even heard of TABASCO® Original Red until I went to college, let alone used it. Sad considering Original Red has been around since 1868.  It didn't take me long to try it and decide that stuff was pretty good!  I knew people who put it on their eggs and practically every other thing they ate.  I never got that serious with it, and I still can't decide whether I like it on eggs or not.  I do like it in soup, on pizza, on certain casseroles I make, and usually anything else I think to put it on.  It just adds that extra-special something.  Like they say, it's "So Much More Than Hot."

I'm going to tell you, it took me a while to realize that it wasn't just about the hot.  I'm a sucker for hot, but there's more to it:
TABASCO® Original Red is not about heat for heat’s sake. It’s about what heat does to the flavor of food. The simple combination of salt, red pepper, and vinegar are perfected in a 3-year aging process that produces a hot sauce with the uncanny ability to bring the most out of your food. Other hot sauces add their own specific flavor to food. TABASCO® Original Red simply enhances the flavor of food.
It's about the flavor!  Since I read that on the TABASCO® website, I've been paying more attention to what that Original Red does to my food, and I'm loving it even more.  Now if I can just convince Jeffrey that it's flavorful and not spicy.  I suppose that all depends on how many times you shake that bottle.

Since the Super Bowl is coming up, TABASCO® has put together the Game-Day Party Menu page for some simple ideas & recipes for food everyone will love, so I'm thinking I ought to try some of those.  The Albuquerque Bean Dip looks really good!  Also, they have some great ideas for fixing up delivery pizza on the Pizza Perfected page.  I'm thinking those ideas would work for frozen pizza too.

Also, that FREE huge 12-oz bottle of TABASCO® sauce with a $30 purchase they're offering on the bottom of the page?  It's sitting on my dining room table right now.  Cory insisted we buy it at Sam's.  He's a TABASCO® lover, too.  He keeps some in his dorm room, because you never know when he might need to shake some of that TABASCO® Original Red on something.  OK, I'm shutting up now - before I have to go find something to eat just so I can put TABASCO® on it.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Clean+Green Winner

The Random Number Generator on gave me the number 4.  Comment #4 was:

sassy2 Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 2:24:00 PM
would love the bird cage cleaner with our two conures it would be great!

Congrats, Sassy! I hope you like these products as well as I do.

Also, don't forget to enter my bow tie giveaway and look for a new giveaway coming soon.

How Important Are Birthdays?

Happy Birthday!Image via Wikipedia
Facebook is good for keeping up with birthdays.  When a friend is having a birthday, you get a reminder.   For a while, I tried to keep up with wishing all my friends a good day on their birthdays, but I wasn't very good at it.  Eventually, I just stopped altogether, figuring if I couldn't acknowledge everyone's birthday, then I wouldn't acknowledge anyone's birthday - except really close friends and family.  In the interest of fairness, of course.

When I was growing up, we didn't celebrate birthdays.  We might mention that one or the other of us was another year older, but we didn't make a big deal of it.  Now that I'm grown up, I still don't really do much when it comes to birthdays.  My kids thought they were really deprived. 
I know there are people who plan big, elaborate parties for every kid's birthday.  Not me.

We did put together a backyard party for Beth when she turned 6.  I can't remember why we did it that year, but we never really did anything for any other birthday.  I can't even remember if Cory ever got a party.  I'm sure he remembers though, and will be quick to tell me when he reads this.  There were a few special birthdays, like when they turned 18 or celebrated their 'golden' birthday (something I'd never heard of until we moved to Wisconsin), when we their father gave them something they'd been wanting, like an iPod, Zune, or gaming system.  Other than that, maybe they got birthday cards, a hug, or just a happy birthday wish on their facebook wall.

How important are birthdays?  Should I be putting more effort into them?
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Camera Critters (#144)


I took a couple videos of the birds coming and going at one of the feeders outside my mom’s back windows.  Here’s one:

the birds–they come and they go…

Since I don’t (currently) have any bird feeders of my own, I’ll just have to watch my mom’s birds on video!  They were so much fun to watch, I’m starting to think about where I can put a bird feeder or two of my own.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.  Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, January 07, 2011

I Guess He Was Supposed to “Take it Like a Man”

Jeffrey had his surgery in November, and the bills are starting to arrive.  It’s amazing how many different things you can get charged for when you have surgery!

We already got and paid the bill for the Doctor.  Insurance paid their part, and we took care of the rest.   Then we got a bill from the hospital – for $12,000.  They hadn’t taken any insurance info from us on the day of the operation, so they billed us for the entire amount.  Once they got the insurance info, they submitted it and sent us a new bill.  The new bill reflects the discount because we have the insurance, but it doesn’t take off what the insurance is actually going to pay.  We’re still waiting on that.

Today, we got a bill from the anesthesiologist – for the full amount, no discount, no insurance payment – just a note at the bottom saying that our insurance had denied the charge.  Really?  They paid the doctor for the surgery, but they’re denying the cost of anesthesia?  I suppose he was just supposed to suck it up, be a man, and have that surgery with no anesthesia.

Well, we’ll get this all figured out eventually.  It’s just funny and a bit frustrating in the meantime.  We pay to have insurance; the least they can do is pay when they’re supposed to.

After paying gor the doctor, I think Jeffrey pretty much hit his deductible for the year, so I’m hoping the final tally won’t be too bad.

Cold Fingers and Cold Toes

Now that winter is here, I am remembering how cold my fingers always get.  It doesn't seem to matter which gloves I wear or how heavy they seem to be, my fingers still end up freezing.  The other day while we were walking, I pulled my fingers up into the hand part of the glove so they could be together, and that really seemed to help - until I slid my fingers back down where they belonged only to find that the fingers of the gloves had gotten really cold while they were empty.  I'm wondering if maybe I ought to get me some of these Hand Warmers.  Maybe that would help.

While I'm at it, I could probably use some of these warmers for toes, too, because when my fingers are cold, so are my toes.  I keep thinking I need thicker socks or something.  So far I haven't done anything about it, though.  Since I'm only out for around 30 minutes when I'm walking or when I'm shoveling snow, I usually just deal with it.  These hand and toe warmers are for serious outdoor cold-weather enthusiasts, like people who wear L.L.Bean Clothing and go skiing or tubing or snowmobiling or ice skating on a frozen pond.

I did buy a pair of 'glittens' - probably not what they're really called?  They're fingerless gloves with a mitten part that can either be worn over the ends of your fingers, enabling the fingers to share heat, or they can be stuck to the back of the glove if it's not so cold.  They work pretty well for walking but not so much for shoveling the driveway, because the mitten part always seems to open up and leave my fingers exposed, and then they get colder than they were before.  I guess it's all about finding the right glove/mitten/sock/warmer for the job.

Happy Birthday, Honey

One of my friends posted this on facebook today.  I'd seen it before, but it still made me LOL so I thought I'd share:
A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, watching his wife, who was looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her birthday.
'I'd like to be six again', she replied, still looking in the mirror .

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Roller Coaster, everything there was.

Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down. He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake..

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted.

He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, 'Well Dear, what was it like being six again?'

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed.

'I meant my dress size, you retard!!!!'

The moral of the story:

"Even when a man is listening, he is gonna get it wrong."
What do you think?  Is that really true?  Are men really as hopeless and clueless as the media/movies/TV try to make them out to be?

Literati e-Reader Giveaway

There are several giveaways going on for the Literati e-Reader right now.  I've entered a few of them, and I'm hoping to win one. 

This one ends 1/11 - Blommi Literati Giveaway - so run on over and enter!

If I find any more, I'll link to them, too - and to the ones I've already entered if I can remember where they were.  Who's entering?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 80

Looking at the 

Sky on Friday
I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

On our trip to Lexington December 23rd, the sky was a bit difficult to see.  At least for a while.

I was quite thankful that I wasn’t the one driving.  It did clear up before too long, and the rest of the trip was blue skies and sunshine.

Update: This will be the last Looking at the Sky on Friday post, because Tisha has decided to say good-bye.  Something about having young children and a busy life…  Thanks for hosting as long as you did, Tisha!  It was a lot of fun to be a part of it.

New Year, New Computer

Now that I've got a new computer...  Oh, I didn't mention that I got a new computer?  Well, I did.  The old one was so slow, and the hard-drive was just so full.  I mean, what do you expect?  It was only 40GB.  At the time I got it, 4 years ago this summer, that seemed plenty big.  Nowadays the computers all come with 250GB hard-drives or bigger.  This one is 500GB.

Anyway, now that I've got a new, much faster, computer I can actually get things done, or so I'm hoping.  Blogging, photo editing, web product development, typing up minutes for the Library Board, downloading music from Amazon, whatever I need to do.  It's so much faster and easier.  Of course, I do need to take some time to organize and transfer all my files from the old computer.  I took care of my email and photos right away, but I have quite a few other files to go through.  Of course, I haven't needed those files in the last few weeks, so maybe I should just leave them on my portable hard-drive.  I'll probably just do that, but the problem is that I already copied most of them onto the portable hard-drive sometime, but I can't remember exactly when, and I'm not sure which files are on the hard-drive and which ones aren't - so I need to take some time to go through them.  Either that, or just copy all of the folders and deal with it later.  Then I could clean off the old computer and figure out what we want to do with it.  It will probably work a whole lot better if I take all the files off.  I might not even have to re-format the hard-drive to improve the functionality.

I really am enjoying having a computer that responds so much better and not having to worry about what I do with it or what I want to install for fear that I won't have enough hard-drive space.  I'm not ready to tackle a job with a San Francisco Web Development Agency, but I do need to update and re-design at least one website for our church, and I can play with some video editing, too.

While I'm at it, I think I'll download a new desktop wallpaper calendar from Smashing Magazine. These are so cool!  There are 65 free wallpapers to choose from for January, and I'm just having a really hard time choosing.  Actually, what I need to do is pick several and then have Cory show me how to get my computer to rotate through them all.  He told me he'd show me if I ever wanted to know.  Well, I want to know.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Free Reading Program

I saw this on facebook and thought some of you might be interested.

During the month of January, Funnix is giving away their reading program for FREE.  The Funnix sequence teaches 2 year's worth of reading skills and is regularly priced at $249.

The free version of Funnix is electronic. You download the entire package of 220 lessons and other material onto your computer, and you have everything you need to teach the program. The steps of what you do and how you do it are spelled out in Teacher’s Guide, which you review before presenting the program. Workbook and textbook activities, which you will print, accompany the lessons.

If you’ve got a little beginning reader, be sure to get your copy of the FREE Funnix Reading Program this month.  The program has been very successful with a large range of children ages 4-7 and can be used by parents for one-on-one instruction or by schools for small groups of students.  It sounds like it’s definitely worth checking out.