Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, January 30, 2012

Love With Food giveaway and review!

Love With Food Giveaway 
and Review
by Brae Craig at

Love With Food is an amazing group of foodies, putting together adventurous tastes for all kinds of chefs, from beginners to the extremely talented!

Their website is full of delicious recipes and amazing products. The coolest thing of all are the subscriptions. I received a free subscription for this review, which is a box full of samples to try. If you sign up for the monthly subscription, for a mere 14.00, you get a box, like the one shown below, filled with delicious, healthy samples! 

The absolute best part of this is, when you buy a box, they will donate a meal to No Kid Hungry!!! 

Of course, I was waiting for my sample box, and when I got it, I eagerly opened it to find all these delicious goodies waiting for me! Of course, my children gathered round, ready to sample with me. 

We'll start with my FAVORITE!  Spicy Apple Ginger Cider Chews by The Ginger People. I didn't let my kids try this...because they were too delicious. LOL. Also, it was very hot, but very flavorful. I will be buying some of these on my own!

From the same company, The Ginger People, were Original Ginger Chews. I didn't care for these too much, because they were really really strong, and hot, and quite overwhelming. My husband, though, thought they were SUPER good. I'm also very curious about their affect on morning sickness. I have read that ginger can calm the stomach. I think, though, that these would be best cut into 4-5 pieces. A smaller bite might make it less overwhelming.

Sahale Snacks- Almonds with  cranberries, honey and sea salt. - EVERYONE in our family loved these. It was the perfect mix of sweet, tangy and salty.

It's also a given that my whole family thoroughly enjoyed the Plain Jane peanut Butter Granola from Nuts About Granola. It was, mostly, as one might expect, but with a delicious peanut butter flavor. My kids were very disappointed when it was all gone.

Somersault Snacks- Pacific Sea salt. As per the pamphlet I got in the box: These crunchy nuggets are made with sunflower seeds and toasted grains, making them rich in protein and vitamin E.

I really REALLY wanted to like these. I like sunflower seeds a lot, and so do my kids. Plus, it had a really super cute package. Alas, it wasn't in the cards. I did not like them at all, and two of my kids actually spit them out. Even my husband didn't care for them, and he likes everything.

Mighty Leaf Tea- Chocolate Mint Truffle.  I let my husband test this, as he is the tea drinker in our house, and, as it's a Rooibos tea, and he LOVES Rooibos, I felt he was a better judge than I. He said that he really liked it, though, it was more of a mint tea than a chocolate mint tea. It didn't taste like chocolate at all, though, there was a hearty, earthy flavor to it, which he suspected to be the "chocolate" flavor. 

Stretch Island Fruit Co- I actually buy these all the time, but i've never had the Mango Sunrise flavor. It was delicious. And I didn't share.

(The Somersault Snacks we didn't like)

(the Delicious almonds and cranberries with sea salt.) 

Now it's your turn! I have been given the ability to award FIVE WINNERS with a sample box similar to mine!!!  Enter to win on the rafflecopter below!

***DISCLAIMER:  I received one or more products for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally, and believe will be good for my readers. ***

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Music Monday!

Music Monday!
Enjoy my video of the week by Ingrid Michaelson. I just love her so much!!! Please, also, check out my sidebar to enter one of my MANY giveaways! On top of that, stay tuned in this week for THREE NEW GIVEAWAYS beginning Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday!!!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Fitness Regimen. How To Make Motherhood Work For You.

How To Make Motherhood Work For You.
My Fitness Regimen. 

1. Eat Healthy Foods.
           This means I only eat things that are left over on my children's plates. If you are like me, and you find nutritional information confusing, let your kids figure it out for you. There is no one more adept at picking out everything delicious, creamy, flavorful, and therefore unhealthy, as a child. They're also extremely good at getting every last bit of it. leave it to your children. Trust their judgement.

2. Exercise.
           I really despise working out. I don't like to exercise. However, if you ask anyone who knows anything, they well tell you that the most important part of a cardio work out is keeping your heart rate up. Since I don't like to exercise, I have found  that the best way to do this is to hide things around the house that scare the crap out of me. For example: late bills, letters from my kids' schools that are due with signatures 3 days ago, doctor appointment notices that I didn't mark on the calendar, notices stating that my husband has a warrant out for his arrest that really are for another guy with the same name, phone calls from unidentified phone numbers, volunteering to take on far more responsibility than I know I can handle, and leaving that all over the place too. Some would call this stress. I call it a successful aerobic workout.

3. Portion Control
          No matter what I am eating, my children inevitably want it. They're like little birds this way. I have a sweet tooth, but, if I want to eat an entire candy bar on my own, I only really get 1/5 of it. I have to share equally with my four children, lest they fight over who had more or whether or not I am practicing what I preach- to share.  Another tactic is applied with meals. Since I have so many children, it is difficult to be able to sit down before my food is cold, due to having to cut things up, pick out the healthy foods (see #1) refill drinks, find the favorite fork, and so on. It's easier to stop eating half way through a meal when it's cold and lumpy instead of steaming and delicious.

4. Time For Myself
          Two or three times a day, I am able to put my children on time out. This means they either put their faces on the wall, or they spend time in their room, thinking about the problem. For these few minutes, I can curl up on the couch with a good book, or watch 3 minutes of tv. It's very relaxing and makes all the difference.

5. Let Loose and Dance
       I have an aspiring drummer (2 if you count Teague) and an aspiring guitarist in my house. Not to mention 2 girls who think they're Taylor Swift. On top of that, nearly every toy my kids have makes some kind of noise or plays some kind of tune. There's lots of...ahem..."music" in my house. Amid the drums banging and the flat chords on the guitar, mixed with lots of "MARRY ME JULIET, YOU NEVER HAVE TO BE ALONE!!!!!!", and horns honking from Teague's toy truck, I have to stop and do a little jig.

6. Get a Good Night's Sleep
        If you have children, I recommend a lock on your door, and a good set of ear plugs. And possibly even a couple of doses of benedryl- for the kiddies. I don't know what all these mothers mean when they say they're up all night with their babies. Sheesh, mine sleep like..well, like babies!

7. Get Out Of The House
         I am extremely good at this. I spend several hours a day outside my house, driving kids to school, lessons, and doing the grocery shopping. Sometimes, I even need to stop for gas! It's good to be out in the fresh air.

8. Connect With Other People
         Facebook makes this a very simple feat.

9. Do Something Physically Active
         Believe it or not, this is different from exercise, and cardio work out. When I'm not taking care of #7 on this list, I am climbing several flights of stairs several times a day, rotating laundry, vacuuming and doing toe touches...well, picking up toys and putting them away is almost the same motion anyway. I'm pretty sure, too, that scrubbing toilets with that brush gets me some physical activity points too.

10. Establish A Relationship With A Doctor You Trust
         This guy's got me covered.

Disclaimer- Absolutely NONE of this is true. (Well...most of it's not) You should laugh, because it's supposed to be funny, rather than take offense. Fair warning.

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Jimmy Charles "Fan Jam" giveaway!!!

Artist Bio


A Soulful, Genuine and Passion filled Country Singer and Writer that brings amazing energy to all his performances! Jimmy has received Radio play for 4 of his songsincluding “Whatever It Takes” that played Nationally on Clear Channel Country radio. Season 9 “AMERICAN IDOL” Hollywood contestant, 2007 Top 50 “Nashville Star”, Guest judge for “Nashville’s Next Big Star” 2011 performed and interviewed live on Countless Radio Stations, Newspapers and Televised programing. Opened a side stage for Montgomery Gentry and Lady Antebellum. Featured Artist for the Mrs. North Carolina US Pageant in 2009 and 2010. Pageant Judge for Miss Southern Del (Picking the eventual new Miss Del.). Has Performed and supported many Benefits and Charity Events naming Cancer and Children as two of his Top priorities. Named "Nashville Artist of the Week" on the Billy Block Show 103.3 WKDF and has performed many Venues in Nashville and different parts of the Country with an Awesome 5 piece Band. Jimmy also has experience in film and modeling.

JIMMY CHARLES.Whatever It Takes by tropicheatstudios

You Can Enter On All 5 Rafflecopters

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lovable Labels Review and Giveaway!!

Lovable Labels Review and Giveaway!
By Brae at 
I am NOT a VOLCANO (and other such stories)

Okay, so, I'm a sharpie mom. Yeah. One of those. I have 4 kids, and, to avoid as much conflict as possible, whenever one kid gets something, the others get it too- you know, the same box of 120 crayons. The same package of pipsqueak markers, you get my drift. I write names on everything. 

And guess ALWAYS rubs off eventually- even the sharpie. 

Imagine my delight when I was approached about a new product. A label. A label that promises to be durable, waterproof" and to "withstand [my] dishwasher, microwave, washer, dryer, and - the greatest test of all- [my] child."

Indeed, this is what was promised. And I lapped it up like a kitten with a bowl of cream. Yes I did. Eagerly, I visited their website, and chose my little icon for my stickers, and awaited my wonderful labels. 

Several days ago, I received them. 

I'm going to spare you the wait, and I am going to just jump in and say that I absolutely LOVE them. 

I have not yet tried them in the washer and dryer, but I DID put a cute little sticker on one of my casserole dishes (one I often take to parties and get togethers)- and I washed it in my DISHWASHER!!!! This is what it looked like after: 

Good as new!!

I was also given a package of stickers for a friend- I chose my mom, and I got her stickers with her name on it with a little star decal because she runs a preschool called "I'm A Star Preschool". I asked her what she thought of it, and she told me that she thought they were such a great idea! She says it looks very professional on the inside of her little books she sends home with the kids. In the past, she has written her name in the books, or she has used a stamp. She says that with these stickers, it gives a very professional look, but gives it a personal flair. 

Honestly, though, I made a mistake. I only wish that, when filling out my form to receive my stickers, I had gotten my kids' names or something of the like. Now I have a whole bunch of stickers with my name on them, and only 3 casserole dishes! Oh well, I'm 100% sure that, with this amazing product, I'll find some way to put each and every one of them to good use!!! 

BUT WAIT! That's not all!

Lovable Labels offers MORE than just sticker labels! Please visit their website to browse through creative and cute shoe labels, clothing "Dots", bag tags, household labels, stationary, medical and vital ID wristbands, and even fundraising possibilities for your school or organization! 

Everything on their site is wonderful, and worth the look. 

Now, for the best part!!! Lovable Labels has generously supplied a "Friendship Pack" for one lucky winner! THANK YOU LOVABLE LABELS!!! Enter between now and February 1st! 

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Guess what! I've got a new button!

Guess what! I have a new button! I'll grab yours if you grab mine! Just copy and paste this html into a gadget on your blog:

Leave me a message telling me you've got it, and I'll grab your button too!

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Bonanza Giveaway!!!

$15 Target Gift Card & Fitness Book: 

Book Bonanza 

Review & Giveaway EVENT!

Sponsored by MamaLuvsBooks
(Picture from  

Book Review By MamaLuvsBooks: 
Weight issues have always been a problem in my family. We try and stay healthy and we've even had our own "Biggest Loser" family contests. For some reason though we always yo-yo back-and-forth with our weights. In the past I lost weight with Weight Watchers and was even a leader for a few years, but after having two kids I need to lose a few and get more fit. What I liked about reading "Fit Moms for Life" is that it is a "life goal." It's not just about losing a few pounds now, but more about caring about yourself as an individual and caring about your long-term health. 

Author Dustin Maher breaks down weight-loss into "5 Pillars of Fitness!" The book is centered around these ideas and he helps explain them to you and have you put them into practice in your everyday life. The pillars are: Mindset, Nutrition, Strength Training, Burst Training, and Environment. I was glad to learn that I didn't need to be running all the time and training for a marathon to lose weight!

My favorite things about this book are that it is easy to read, Maher seems to be speaking to YOU the reader, it gives advice that is doable, and the book has MANY stories and pictures from moms that HAVE already done it and continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Also, there are sections at the end to write up your progress!

I would recommend this book for any mom trying to lose weight and trying to be healthy. A healthier mom leads to a healthier family! You can see more about the program and the book at

(Pic from FitMomsForLife)


1.  Although it is titled "For Moms" it can really be for ANYONE!
2.  Has relevant real-life stories throughout the book you can relate to.
3.  Gives useful and practical information for busy Moms!
4.  Breaks down the steps into "Five Pillars of Fitness!"

5.  Helps to set your goals for "Life" - not just for "Let me lose 20 pounds right now!"
6. LOVE the eating habits tips and the "Dirty Dozen" and "The Clean 15" to help you when shopping for organic foods.
7. LOVE the recipes included and meal plans (and healthy snacks section).
8. The exercises are explained well and have pictures to go with them.
9. A section in the back for "New Moms" and "Moms-to-Be!"
10. Lastly, I like the section in the back to record your goals, data, and progress!

(Pic from

Here's how to get a copy:
WIN this awesome book in my Book Bonanza giveaway! The author, Dustin Maher, will send you a signed copy of this book. The more you do on the Rafflecopter the more chances you will have to win! Good Luck!!! Don't forget you can also purchase this wonderful book at

Tripple 3000 Fan giveaway!!!!


To celebrate reaching 3000 fans, some great bloggy friends of mine are having a great big giveaway!!! While you're here, enter the rafflecopter below to win lots of prizes, then, hop on over to visit their blogs (click the button above.)

Thanks everyone!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Mawige...mawige is what bwings us togevor today...." -The Princess Bride

Yeah...Like I'm going to take THAT advice. 

I got married when I was 21. Brandon was 22. Yeah, I know. We were young. So, of course, everyone thought that 1. We needed to be told how hard marriage is, 2. were we really sure we wanted to do this? It was okay to change my mind- before the wedding. And then they'd go on ahead and give us all KINDS of cliche advice that everyone has heard  since they were 5 years old. 

I was so  sick of it by the time we finally tied the knot. And half the people giving me the advice were divorced at least once, or weren't even married themselves. It was literally like I would walk into a room, and people would begin telling me not to go to bed angry (everyone thinks this is the best advice in the world, when really, it's one of the worst.) or some other seemingly wise advice and I would hear a droning "blah blah blah blah blah" streaming from their lips as I figuratively read "My marriage failed because I took this advice" written across their foreheads. 

Well, everyone was right on one thing. Marriage was hard. And it hasn't gotten any easier. BETTER for certain, but never EASY.  And trust me, we've had all the highs and lows that are expected. We've been married almost 9 years. NINE YEARS! Holy CRAP! 

Now, I know that, while 9 years is 1/3 of my life, so that seems like a really long time to me, we're still pretty "new" to this thing, and there are still challenges to come.  Still, though, I think I've been married long enough to have separated the good and the bad advice. 

Good Marriage Advice:

1. Laugh. Have a sense of humor.
       ~There is SO MUCH in life that ends up being a choice between sobbing uncontrollably or giggling incessantly. Choose the latter. Even if the situation at hand isn't terribly funny, it WILL be later. I have also read that inside jokes bring couples closer. In my time as a wife, I have found this to be true. Having fun little secrets that you laugh and share together but with no one else, adds to all those things that ONLY the two of you share. Something to think on. 

2. Communicate.
       ~Honestly, 100% true, just about every single one of the issues that Brandon and I have come from a lack of communication.  And this isn't just referring to the common courtesy of calling to say you'll be late from work- this is also all about letting the other person know how you're feeling. My husband works 2 jobs and goes to school. I don't see him often. And that means that sometimes, I get pretty lonely, and even feel a little bit abandoned. I have 2 choices. I can sit here feeling sorry for myself, and get madder and madder, and then I start to resent him, and then, without warning, there's a wedge between us. ORRRR, I can give him a call (since the cell phone is our main source of contact these days) and let him know how I'm feeling. He won't know if I don't tell him. From there, we can plan some time, one on one, so that we both feel better. 

3. Put your marriage first. 
        ~ I have had multiple arguments with online friends about this. A lot of women, particularly those with children, feel that their marriage takes the back seat. Of course, the reason is always children. (You know, all those perfect mommies out there who are so passionately in love with their kids that it becomes creepy?) Some women can't wrap their minds around this. Why would one EVER put her husband before her children? He can dress himself, right? He can feed himself.  He can drive and spend money and speak his own mind. Babies are different. And they NEEEEEEED us. Well guess what- in about 18 years or so, that baby who needs you so much is going to grow up, move out, have their own baby, and they're not going to need you anymore. Heck, by the time they're 7, they don't really NEEEEEED you anymore.  At least not in the same way. And you will be left with your spouse, just you and him. And either you'll have to start all over building that marriage on love and trust and, to an extent, necessary dependency, or, it's going to fizzle, and you'll be telling your college kid that you're getting a divorce. The thing is, putting your marriage first doesn't mean that you can't feed your baby. It doesn't mean that you can't meet your child's needs. It doesn't mean you have to choose between your husband and your child. (Believe it or not birth-board-mommies, your son is not your lover, and your daughter is not your girl-friend.) It DOES mean that, for example, even though you feel strongly about co-sleeping, if your husband ends up sleeping on the couch because of it, you make the decision to put your baby in her bed and  let your husband back into HIS bed so that he can feel like he has a place that belongs to the both of you and the both of you only. It means that even though your worry and don't want to be away from your baby, you suck it up and let grandma babysit so you and your husband can have a night free of children and talk about grownup stuff...and DO grown up stuff...if you get my drift. 

4. Have your OWN hobbies. 
        ~Of course, it's always good to do things together. Brandon and I share a lot of opinions. We love a lot of the same books, we love a lot of the same movies, we're both actors, singers, writers, and we, both extroverts, rarely have a quiet moment. We talk about everything and anything. BUT, we also do a lot of things on our own. I blog, and I create. I make all kinds of crafty things. Brandon supports me, but he isn't particularly crafty and doesn't really participate. Brandon is into comic books and video games and biological anthropology. Lots of times, we still talk about these things- but mainly, they remain our own. The point is balance. In addition to putting your marriage first, you also have to have your own identity. You need to be able to look at yourself and see a person of value that is valid even when separate from your partner....or your kids.

5. Marriage isn't always passionate. 
          ~ Sometimes, the romance isn't there. A lot of couples mistake this for falling out of love, and then the marriage fails. REAL love means sticking through that low part. Because it DOES get better again. Otherwise, there wasn't ever real love there. It was only lust. A marriage based on that isn't going to last long anyway. Something that's always helped us: Make-out sessions. No commitment necessary. Draw the line, and act like "it" is off limits. Believe me. It works.

6. Forgive.
           ~We are all going to screw up. Let's be graceful about it. Give forgiveness, and know you'll need forgiveness.

7. My husband's best advice for the guys- Help out without expecting her to put out. In fact, don't even expect a thank you. 
            ~Remember that, just because you may be the primary bread winner, or you might be tired from working, or you might be that really "normal" guy who just wants to get in his wife's pants, realize that, especially if she has kids at home, her day has been as rough as yours, if not rougher. Do the dishes, cook a meal, get the kids ready for bed- without asking, and without expecting her to sleep with you because of it. In my experience, it makes my chances better...but it doesn't guarantee anything. And that's okay. Women are different than we are. It's okay, admirable, and gentlemanly to pick up the slack.

Bad Marriage Advice

1. If you have to argue, do it naked.
       ~What?! I've never tried this, but I never would. I suppose the theory is that it makes you vulnerable, and therefore more likely to be open to the other person's ideas and solutions. I think it sounds humiliating. Not that I'm advocating total control or anything, obviously, in an argument, the end goal shouldn't be ONE WINNER, but a mutual solution. But humiliation is hardly the way to go either. Arguing about something that, obviously, you feel strongly about, comes with it's own set of exposure. Opening up enough to talk about it, to argue about it, to get it out on the table can be difficult enough to do. Don't make it harder by adding unnecessary stress. 

2.Don't  criticize each other. 
       ~Once, in a church lesson, someone told this story about a couple who loved each other so much that when they got married, they made a decision to never EVER criticize each other. However, the man had this way of peeling a grapefruit like an orange and eating it like an orange that just drove the wife crazy. But the years went on and she didn't say anything, until one day, she just got fed up. She said that, if she could address ONE thing that bothered her about him, he could say just ONE about her. The man agreed. So, the wife went off about his grapefruit habit, and complained and complained, and then, when it was the man's turn, he shook his head and said he loved her so he wasn't going to criticize anything.   To me, that is utter bull crap.  We are human. We are going to do things, in a marriage, that drive each other bonkers. It is unrealistic to think that we can actually NOT EVER criticize each other, and holding it all in because you want to be the perfect spouse doesn't actually MAKE you a perfect spouse. It just makes you resentful inside. The point is, criticism should be constructive. If you hate the way your husband peels his grapefruit and eats it like an orange, instead of saying "That is so stupid! EW! I HATE the way you do that!" it's much better to say "You know, that kind of drives me crazy. Could you maybe not do it in front of me? Maybe eat it while you're at work? Thanks!" - stuff that bugs us needs to be addressed. But it doesn't have to be mean.

3. Don't go to bed mad.
         ~Oh my gosh, I think this is actually my LEAST favorite of all advice. It's so utterly stupid, it makes me want to spit nails. I'm sorry, but some stuff isn't solvable in one night. More than once, I have stomped to bed on my own, given my husband the cold shoulder, and gone to sleep without talking to him. You see, after a good night sleep, in the morning, I have a fresh view on things. My opinion may not change, in fact, it rarely does. BUT, from there, I can rationally discuss the situation. Even if I have to go to bed mad the  next night. See, it doesn't do ANYONE any good at all if you're both exhausted from staying up all night because you're mad, and then going to work the next day, still seething, still tired. It just makes ME more likely to say things I don't mean, and to be even more angry later. What IS important is to not go to bed mad and then wake up and ignore the situation. Make sure you reopen the topic when you feel you are in control of yourself and your temper.

4. Never withhold sex because you're upset about something. 
         ~Again, I have to say WHAT!? This is so stupid. It isn't LIKE that. I mean, if I'm really upset about something, and my husband wants to get all up in my business, well, it's not going to happen. All that will do is make me resent him. Sex brings people closer together when things are good between them, when they feel safe, loved, and confident in their relationship. It makes things WORSE when things aren't good, when they don't feel safe, when they are closed off, and when things aren't good. I know. I've been there done that.

5. Just don't do it.
           ~Believe me, I am not a romantic. I mean, I like romance just like any weepy girl out there...but I am sometimes too realistic for my own good. NOT marrying someone you love- I mean REALLY do love- is a bad idea. That's only partially my religious Mormon-girl persona talking. But I truly believe that. Make the commitment to each other. That certificate saying you belong to each other really DOES mean something. Don't let your parents' bad choices and mistakes dictate what YOU do or how YOUR marriage turns out. Break the vicious cycle and be a good example to YOUR kids.

What is the BEST and/or WORST marriage advice YOU ever received?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thursday's Writer's Prompt - Lessons Learned from an extrovert

While you're here, don't forget to stop over  and enter my ***CUSTOM*** Upcycled Pullover Giveaway!!!!!! Also, check out my sidebar for other wonderful giveaways ending soon!!!


Thursday's Writer's Prompt
With Mama Kat

Since last week I chose the prompt: Lessons I've Learned from an Introvert, I chose prompt #1- 

Lessons I've Learned from an Extrovert

When I told my husband about this topic, he asked "So, what have you learned from yourself?" 

Har-de-har-har. Believe it or not, I actually do know people who are more extroverted than I am. Not many...but I do. Still, here are a few things that YOU could learn from ME- an extrovert. 

1. If you have something of value to say, say it. 
             ~Extroverts don't hesitate to say what they're thinking. This is scary for a lot of people. They may be                  afraid of confrontation, or worry that they might be wrong. A lot of people don't like to rock the boat, and strong opinions do that. The truth is, though,  if YOU are thinking it, many others are thinking it too. There is always going to be SOMEONE who sees your point of view. 

2.  You don't have to be drunk to let your guard down.
              ~ Extroverts don't have trouble letting go of their inhibitions. It's totally okay to dance in your kitchen by yourself, sing very badly in the shower, or  to get up and sing Harvey Danger's Flagpole Sitta at the top of your lungs when you're at a Karaoke bar.  You might be embarrassed, you might be nervous. No one else cares. Really. When they leave tonight, you will never enter their thoughts again. 

3.  Confidence is Key
               ~Extroverts have TONS of confidence. In themselves, as well as in people they love. Sometimes, the difference between getting a job/role/a warning instead of a speeding ticket is confidence...and probably a little fast talking. I'm not good at the fast talking myself, but I'm really good at stealing the spotlight.  I get their attention, they give me what I want. In essence, follow the Nike logo. "Just Do It"- if there's something you want badly, don't chicken out. Go for it. 

4. What you see is what you get. 
              ~Most extroverts don't have very many secrets. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, say it like it is, and generally don't sugar coat things. In a friendship, you know an extrovert will never lie to you. Your boyfriend's a stupid-head? She's not going to tell you otherwise. In a romantic relationship, the extrovert is most likely to be the first one to say the "L" word. Always know though, that extrovert or not, they are still vulnerable. They're not invincible or overly carefree. Try putting yourself out there- even if it's just a little bit. You might be surprised at how opening yourself up can get others to open up too. 

5. Sometimes, it's okay to trust a complete stranger. 
              ~It's not uncommon to find an extrovert chatting it up with someone they don't know- in the isle of a grocery store, on a plane, in a waiting room. Once, I made friends with my phlebotomist because I opened up and spilled my guts. We connected, and 3 years later,  she's still a great, trusted friend of mine. Don't spill it all. Awkwardness doesn't make lasting friends- it makes you creepy. But it's okay to admit to your hairdresser that your kids drive you crazy sometimes, and two days ago, your 3  year old said the worst of bad words in front of his grandmother...when you give people a chance to identify with you on levels that most people can easily understand, you'll find a whole world full of friends. 

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's FINALLY here!!! Upcycled Pullover giveaway from Vicious Upcycle!!!

Hosted by Brae Craig 

Due to my recently reaching 3000 "likes" on my facebook page, and 800 friends here on Google Friend Connect, I'm having a CELEBRATION  to say THANK YOU TO ALL MY FANS AND FRIENDS by giving away one of my UPCYCLED PULLOVER SWEATERS!!!

This will be a custom sweater in a size of your choice (Yes! I would be happy to make one for your child, if you prefer- SOOO cute!) and in colors you want!

Believe me, you are NOT going to want to miss out on this giveaway! Begins 1/18, ends 2/8 - 3 weeks to enter! Share and tell your friends!!!

Just a few examples: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What Exactly Does This Say About Me?

What Exactly Does This Say About Me????
Honestly, I'm curious. 

I have a bad habit of identifying with the bad guy. I mean, it's not so bad that I think their decisions are okay, but I find myself seeing from their point of view. 

For example, in the bible, when Moses is trying to free the Hebrews from the Pharaoh's control, and the Pharaoh keeps saying no, so there are all kinds of famines and whatnot, I can't help but empathize with the poor king. Obviously, the way the Hebrew people were enslaved is a terrible thing. The way they were treated, and beaten and starved was a terrible thing. However, from the Pharaoh's standpoint, you have to understand the panic he must have felt. 

1. The man who was raised in his home as his BROTHER, a person he likely shared secrets with, played games with,  and loved at least to some extent, blatantly betrayed him. Of course, we know it's because he's a prophet of God and the key to his people's deliverance. But, really, this family situation isn't any different from YOURS if your sibling was getting into situations you felt were dangerous and inappropriate. 

2. As the king, the Pharaoh had an explicit responsibility to his own people. To feed and clothe them. As of this point, the  Hebrew slaves were his kingdom's main source of EVERYTHING. Again, it's obvious that it wasn't a good or correct source. But, when you're looking at your kingdom and thinking "We're going to starve if they run out of here...." it can be terrifying. I know- I've faced the possibility of not being able to feed my 4 children...and that's just my family, rather than hundreds of thousands of people. 

I know. A lot of you lovely Christian women out there are thinking I'm missing the point and that I'm an absolute heathen, aren't you? Well, I promise you that my loyalties are always with the right side...I just can't help looking back with regret upon such people- people who are just trying to do what they've been taught, wrong though it is, and who may have been very severely tricked, the way Pharaoh was by his soothsayers and magicians. He was raised to believe in them. 

You'll recall the movie Letters To Juliet? I remember watching that with some friends who vehemently hissed at the screen while the heroine's fiance repeatedly ditched her for wine, cheese, and authentic Italian recipes. WHAT A JERK!!!  I kept my mouth shut- I'm too smart to start fights- but inwardly, I strongly disagreed. 

1. At the very beginning of this movie, it is made obvious that the fiance is opening his own Italian restaurant. There are so many obvious issues and hardships with this, but I won't name them. 

2. Our little miss Heroine also makes it plain that the trip to Italy that they will be leaving on IS SPECIFICALLY FOR finding places to provide cheeses, wines, and other delicacies for his new restaurant. It's NOT a honeymoon, it's NOT a romantic getaway. It's a business trip.

3. It's really SHE that ditches HIM. SHE is the one who asks if she can go do something other than taste cheese.  When a relationship doesn't work, TWO people have to take credit. 

4. She ends up with a guy that's better suited to her, but it's not because her fiance is a jerk. He didn't cheat on her,(though, it can be argued that she possibly cheated on him.),  he didn't push her around, and it's fairly obvious that he loves her. But if we all broke up with our husbands/boyfriends/fiances EVERY SINGLE TIME they had a responsibility to fill (in this case, he had appointments he needed to get to, and things to do to ensure success for his business)or we just got bored, then it'd be a very sad and lonely world, indeed. 

Lately, my sympathy has settled upon a dear old nemesis, Lex Luthor. 

Now, I LIKE superheros, but I'm not, like, INTO super heroes. My husband and my son are, but, while I think the movies are great, I don't get all obsessive over them...usually.

When I was growing up, though, I had uncles that were very near me in age, and they were Superman fans. I wanted desperately to be like them, and so, I  read some of their comic books, I wore super girl underoos, watched all the Superman movies, and I had a super girl costume.

Due to my worship of my uncles, I am very well aware of Lex Luthor, who he is, and that he is, indeed, a very VERY bad guy. (Though, admittedly, I don't know what the original Superman creators intended his past to be, or if it's anything like the way I perceive him now.)  Recently, though, my husband brought home the first two seasons of Smallville, and even though it never caught my fancy when I was in college, now, I really like it, though, I spend most of the time that I watch it wishing I could give Lex a hug and just tell him that everything will be alright, and, that even though everyone ELSE misunderstands him, I get it!

I am fully capable of admitting that my affection for him might stem from the fact that he's ridiculously handsome, and his uncanny resemblance of my husband. (I tend to be attracted to power. Not like, kings and rulers or even money or wealth, but a guy who is confident, in charge, organized and in control of a situation really gets me going. Not to mention, he dresses really well, which is also a big thing to me. Heaven knows why I married Brandon. He is disorganized beyond anything decent, and if he dresses well, it's because I bought him the clothes in the first place. But I love him dearly, nonetheless.)

(And really, it's not just 'cause they're both bald, though Brandon does look older than Lex here. He has the same self confidence as Lex in the series, and the same way of having a conversation, as well as some same mannerisms...)

(This one looks more like him,  but then, this is of Brandon when he would have been the same age as Lex in the series.)

You see, Lex has it a lot harder than his rich-kid demeanor betrays.

1. His dad is a total jerk. Over and over again, Lex rises to whatever occasion is given him, and every time his dad just tells him how he could have done better, or how he was wrong and how he is further disappointed him. Even in saving his father's life, Lex is demeaned by him because, though his life is spared, he is  now blind. Lex's father feels that he would be better off dead.

2. The whole town of Smallville has been gyped in some way or another by Lex's father. Of course, it's obvious why no one really wants to trust him. Clark Kent's father is the absolute WORST about this.  He even destroys a check that Lex gives him for the cost of land and cattle destroyed by one of his employees.  However, Lex proves his good intentions multiple times over, even saving Johnathan Kent's life. Still, he's snubbed by everyone.

3. Lex has a very obsessive nature. He has people investigating the meteor crash and the kryptonite too. Often, this leads back to the Kents, despite Lex's honest warnings for people to stay away from them. (And lets face it. We as NORMAL people in the REAL WORLD would probably be curious and interested, even to obsession, if there was a meteor shower that left the whole town full of mutants and it was discovered there was a space ship that fell in the middle of a corn field. This trait is NOT exclusive to Lex Luthor.)  As we all know, his curiosity gets the best of him, and that is the straw that breaks the camel's back. However, he does his very best to protect Clark and his best interests in the beginning. Clark is ridiculously bad at choosing who to trust and who not to. When his friends find out about him, they flip out like crazy for awhile, and luckily, they're loyal. I feel strongly, too, that if Clark had placed any small amount of trust in Lex (and probably even Lana- because that girl can smell Clark's lies 5 miles away. Maybe she wouldn't have turned rogue.) and told him his secret at a point where Lex was still trying his darndest to push past the image he inadvertently inherited from his father, while his intentions were still pure, then Lex, instead of becoming his arch nemesis, could very well have been one of his most valuable protectors, a person who would have had his back.

I may be wrong. And maybe it says something terrible about me that I feel so strongly for all of these "bad guys", but I wonder, if we all could take a step back and look through the eyes of our enemies, how many disputes would be thwarted in their tracks? How many misunderstandings would resolve before they began? Maybe compassion is more important than we let it be. Maybe I'm a rebel at heart...or maybe I have a gift. I don't really know. What do you think?


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