Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2 More Buttons

I really like both of these! My only problem now is that I was a little confused on what the term "royalty free" meant. So, now the question is. . .use them and assume my little blog will go unnoticed by the clip art police or pay for them (yeah. . .um, no), or find some suitable ACTUAL free images. Sigh. . .

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Need a Blog Button!

I'm not quite ready to pay for a URL or for anyone to design my blog for me, but using some very simple instructions found here, I was able to create these 3 within minutes.

They would all need some tweaking and I didn't check any copyrights or anything, just did a basic google image search to get some quick results. The final product will be of much higher quality (I hope). Thought I'd share my button making fun with you, though! Enjoy! And feel free to leave comments or suggestions on how you made your button or which direction you think I should go with mine!

Oh yeah, and I won 2 giveaways this week. That's right.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome To Your New Addiction

When I got my first tattoo, there was a sign posted in front of the chair I sat in that read "Welcome to your new addiction". As I sat through the excruciating pain I thought to myself, "Right! They are crazy this is my one and only tattoo and I'm not sure I'm leaving here with a complete one". However, the tattoo was (and of course still is and will always be) the Chinese symbol for strong, symbolic of Philippians 4:13 which states that 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'. So, I thought I'd better tough it out, lest I fail as a witness to the charming tattoo artists in a small town outside of  New York City of that very strength I was claiming to have. Alas, I made it through and while I wouldn't say it became my new addiction, I now have 3 and have thrown around thoughts of one more. Three in 12 years is hardly an addiction. No, an addiction is something you can't get enough of. Something which interferes with a healthy and productive lifestyle, something that leaves you yearning for more when you are forced to go without. My new addiction? The thing that I'm yearning for even as I sit and update my blog? The thing causing me to lose sleep at night, thus interfering with my daily productiveness? The thing I JUST.CAN'T.STOP?

Blog Giveaways.

Did you roll your eyes at me? Good. I didn't think so. This is seriously becoming a problem. More often than not I fall asleep at night face down in my laptop because I MUST get my daily tweets in or check the odds on this or that. Now, with all addictions, comes some sort of high. Otherwise, why would addicts continue to return over and over and over? My high? Why, WINNING giveaways of course! Most of you are probably thinking, "nobody ever really wins anything in those online contests, its such a waste of time". That's where you're wrong, my friend. I was surprised when I got an email stating I was the winner of my first prize and even more surprised when 2 or 3 followed that same week. Ever since then, the winnings have continued! And I'm coming back for more! Throw in a few glasses of wine on a Friday night and I have myself a little giveaway entering party on my hands...wait a minute, I just sounded a little pathetic. . .scratch that image from your heads immediately.

Let's get back to the topic at hand, WINNING! Because I'm a Winner! (no, really, I am) What have I won? Well, let me tell you! The first thing i won, which was actually pre-addiction and random (we'll call it the 'gateway prize to my future winning addiction) but shouldn't go unmentioned, was a Crystal Decanter and set of Olive Spoons. The decanter is lovely, a bit out of place in the apartment I share with my toddler, but lovely nonetheless. And while I don't sip martini's topped with olives retrieved with my lovely spoons, they have come in handy at SEVERAL tea parties in my living room.

Since  the obsession began about a year later, because I clicked on a mommy blog that linked to a giveaway blog that linked to another one that linked to another one. . . and so on, I have won the following:

And my favorite,
  • the Ultimate Camp Pack of Personalized Labels from Lovable Labels valued at $45
I also have about 6 items I am unable to list because they are tucked away as Christmas gifts for readers of this blog, as are a couple of the items mentioned above for my daughter, a non-reader of this blog.

Its important to go into giveaway entering with a strategy. You can't just enter giveaways all willy nilly. You must weigh the odds against the prize. Is the item worth taking the time to fulfill the entry requirements, which usually includes posting several comments, following, liking, befriending, browsing, subscribing, and tweeting. I admit my twitter account is for the sole purpose of winning giveaways. Facebook is mine, I won't risk deletion by others by filling my statuses with giveaway updates, but only follow me on twitter if you are prepared to know about every giveaway from a charm bracelet to the car of your dreams. Consider yourself warned. To find giveaways, you can do a number of things. You might begin with some general Google searches, such as "clock giveaway" and search for items you are in the market for anyway. I don't prefer that method for some reason. Its a little all over the place and can lead you strange places (yes, yes, I realize what you are thinking and ironic it is, indeed). It may be necessary to get you started, though. You can then stick to a few tried and true blogs which review quality products, book mark them, visit on a regular schedule, and enter until your heart's content.  Most have weekly link ups where other bloggers can link to their own giveaways. You can scroll through these and choose the ones you want to enter. This will lead to new favorites and your bookmark toolbar will become longer than ever intended by the inventor of the bookmark toolbar. I plan to take advantage of the folders one day. That day is not today though, my friends. The link up lists can become a bit redundant unless you manage to figure out which bloggers blog in the same "circle" and pick a top blog from each circle you come across. (No, I don't think this is becoming a little to involved. Why do you ask?). Or, you can use a site such as Prizey or Giveaway Scout, which will categorize giveaways for you and you can search in a more organized fashion. . .not really my cup of tea either.  There are treasures to be found when you aren't so directional in your blog giveaway thinking. The best is if you can find a newer giveaway blog (many found here) without a lot of followers  who has already landed some big giveaways. Why, you've just discovered blog giveaway gold!

I will probably begin mentioning a few of my favorite giveaways weekly on my blog. Why? So, that you, the reader, will have every opportunity to experience the joy that is winning just as I have. And, because it will usually allow me anywhere from 1-10 extra entries into the particular giveaway I am blogging about. ;0) Currently I have my eye on some real fine prizes. Check them out. . .I dare you.

Welcome to your new addiction.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What the Etsy?!? Spoon Rests

I've been in the market for a spoon rest for quite a while now.  You'd think this would be an item you could just pick up when your out running errands at Bed Bath and Beyond, Kirkland's, or any home goods store, but you'd be wrong. A good spoon rest is hard to come by. I even put it on my birthday wish list and. . .nothing. Several sets of lovely coasters, but, alas, no spoon rest. So, I turned to Etsy. I have found several cute ones which I will probably choose from when I get paid Friday. However, I have found several that are quite strange. So strange, in fact, that I found my self saying more than once "What the Etsy?!?!?!?!"

The Turkey Spoon Rest
The thing about this one is that is costs $25. And it may just be me, but it looks like something my child might make me at preschool around Thanksgiving. And if that were the case I would love and cherish it and probably display it proudly for a couple of months each year. I don't think I would pay $30 with shipping for it though. Sigh. . .gobble, gobble.

The Mini Fry Pan w/Mouse Spoon Rest

Well, This one, is odd because its, well, a mini frying pan with a mouse on it. Nothing about this goes together or makes me think it would be the perfect design for a spoon rest. I mean, what the etsy?!?!

This one was in the 'non-attractive' category as I scrolled through, but I started reading the description and it was then and only then that I exclaimed, "What the etsy?!?!?!"!
   'I have always believed in the strong relationship of the sciences and art/imagination. My first degree in Chemical Engineering and Microbiology reinforced my belief.
In this I have combined the most recognized formula of Einstein's Theory of Relativity over the image of a Turtle. The Turtle has world symbolism depending on the culture.
Turtles seem to possess an enviable and god-like resistance to aging, and so they came to symbolize longevity. Their link to heaven and earth made them a natural for use in divination. Turtles are also symbols of immortality.
The shell is a symbol of heaven, and the square underside is a symbol of earth. The turtle was an animal whose magic united heaven and earth. The turtle is a creation of nature that carries its round shell over the ground, like heaven, and has a flat bottom, like earth.'  

Therefore, I made a square spoon rest to depict this theory!  What.The.Etsy?!?!?

 The Hairy Spoon Rest
 Then there's this one. Look closely. Its actually hairy-and that's disgusting-especially as a kitchen item. What the etsy-who wants a hairy anything in their kitchen??
The Wishful Robot Spoon Rest
Then there's this little guy. Who wants to stand and ponder the longings of this sad little robot while they cook? Its sure to lead to the pondering of your own longings as you stand and wait for a pot of water to boil or the sauce to simmer. What the etsy? Who's trying to make cooking so sad?

Sexy Bitch Spoon Rest
Finally, there's the spoon rest that reminds you what a sexy bitch you really are in spite of it all! Flour all down your shirt-you sexy bitch! Hair in your face, sweating from the kitchen steam-you sexy bitch! Smelling like onions, garlic, and corndogs? Who cares! You are still one sexy bitch! Why? Your spoon rest says so. And spoon rests? Well. They hold a lot of clout around these parts. What the etsy?!?

There were many, many more to list. Like the roadkill possum (which I can actually picture in a few southern kitchens I've seen), the creatures with crazy eyes and missing teeth, goth spoon rests (they cook too!), and flattened dogs and cats. These are just the highlights. I encourage you to do your own Etsy search. Trust me. You'll be surprised, entertained, and probably spend way too much money all at the same time!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gotta have a Fiddler in the Band

Warning: The first few paragraphs are basically me venting about daycare. However, there is a nice little ditty to the tune of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" at the bottom. :0)
My daughter started a new preschool a couple of weeks ago and this was a big deal for us. I have always been a working mother out of necessity. She entered daycare at 6 weeks old. Daycare has been a necessary evil for us since day one. I won't go into everything, but I will briefly mention the time she was about 3 months old and the 80 year old nursery worker decided to use her age old remedy of scrubbing cradle cap off of her head. Apparently this also meant scrubbing her actual hair off of her head. She had about one third of the hair she had when I dropped her off that morning when I picked her up and her scalp was bright read for days. . .and the cradle cap came back. . .and she has an irrational fear of water and baths to this day. I blame the 80 year old daycare worker. I was horrified.

I will also mention the time she was barely 2 years old and she began pitching EXTREME fits which led to 2 hour mornings just to get her in the car and into the daycare center. After a few weeks of this, a daycare employee mentioned that she hadn't eaten again that day. I said, "really? Again? Did she not eat yesterday either?" Her reply? That she hadn't eaten  or engaged with another child while in their care for 2  weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Personally, I felt this was something that should have been addressed a liiittle sooner than 2 weeks of this behavior. 9 hours is a long time to go with out eating or interacting with anyone.  I worked with her pediatrician to make sure nothing was occurring developmentally or physically. There was nothing to note. So, I took her out of traditional daycare and placed her with a highly recommended woman who kept children in her home. It worked out beautifully, although it was a little bit of a drive in the opposite direction of my job. I probably would have driven to China,  though.

This arrangement lasted a little over a year. Drawing on Liliana's ques, as well as her caretaker's, I decided it was time for her to reenter daycare in a structured preschool setting with children her own age. So, I chose one. The first few days went wonderfully. She then started to have some crying spells. Understandably, the newness had worn off. Then the teachers started to point out a few things about Liliana's behavior in a really harsh manner, mainly crying, missing me, wanting to hold her stuffed animal. Then I noticed a few peculiar things such as extremely harsh grading of coloring sheets in her class. One child's had a huge frowny face with the words written in sharpy "DID NOT FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS". I mean, its coloring. What could the instructions be, other than 'Color'. I also witnessed a teacher argue with a 3 year old child for literally 2 minutes of back and forth "Yes you are" "No I'm not" to determine if the child's name was on the timeout list for the day. Is that the best way to handle that situation?

The next day, when I went to pick her up, they were still doing lessons. So, I stood at the door and watched. Liliana was sitting at a table all by herself and not participating at all whatsoever. Come to find out, she was in time out for crying because she missed me. I understand if she was disrupting the class or something, but that doesn't appear to be the case. I'm then told that the only way they got her to stop crying was to tell her that her mommy wasn't going to pick her up as long as she cried. Um, hello????? Are you seriously instilling the fear of abandonment in my child????????
Re-entering daycare has been such a huge challenge for her and I am so proud of the progress she has made. I remind her every morning that I will be back to get her no matter what. The LAST thing I need is her questioning or doubting that.

A couple of days later I get a note sent home. The most condescending note you can imagine informing me that "Pioneer kids are independent" and if Liliana has a pacie at home I need to get rid of it "immediately" and she needs to be able to pull her pants up and down all by herself every time because, again, "the rest of our kids are independent".  Now, I get the basic premise of this note is valid. She needs to work on going potty all by herself and she's too old for a pacie, its hard to console her when she wants it at school if she's still allowed to have it at home. I get all of that. But you don't get to tell me what to do at home and of course we are working on both of these things. And Liliana is 3 and has been in your program for 2 weeks. She will be able to do the things the rest of the class is doing, but jeez! cut her some slack! The majority of the time she does pull her pants up and down by herself, but sometimes they get rolled up and its hard. Help a kid out. And she misses her mom, her pacie is what she is used to having as a comfort item, naturally she is going to cry for it at first. Give her some time.

Finally, the clincher, what really irritated the crap out of me, was this morning. Liliana had to potty when we got there. Since her class was outside, I took her. Since we were there, we went by their rules. I encouraged her to do it all by herself. She started crying and a teacher came in and got her by the hand and led her to the playground without asking any questions or anything. One of the directors pulled me aside and started doing her arms like she was playing a fiddle. Then she proceeds to tell me that Liliana was playing me like a fiddle. That she was the boss and I was letting her win. She said I was no longer allowed to walk her in. I had to leave her at the door. We would nip this crying in the bud. And then she fiddled me on out the door. I was left standing there like "What the heck?!?!" You don't pull me away from my child! And you sure as hell don't fiddle me!

But, maybe they're right. Maybe she needs some tough love. I'm all for giving it a try. If she begins protesting, stops eating, becomes withdrawn, etc again. I'll form a new plan. I just hope I've sent her to a nurturing, developmentally inspiring, fun-filled place. . .and not a rigid boot camp.

I did, however, write a song inspired by the fiddle experience. Its to the tune of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". I hope you'll enjoy.

My child went down to Pioneer, she was lookin to be babied still
She was in a bind 'cos she was way behind: she didn't wanna make no deal
When she came across this teacher grading papers and grading em hard
And my child jumped upon the table and said: "Lady let me tell you what:

"I bet you didn't know it, but I take a pappy, I do.
I won't do it here, but when I'm home my mommy makes the rules.
Now if you say Pioneer kids are an independent group.
I bet a pappy of gold against your soul, 'cos I think I'm independent too.
Cuz I've seen their frowns, I've seen their fear, But I'm a little different fool."

The teacher walked her to the bathroom and she said: "I'll make the laws."
And fire flew from her fingertips as she pointed to a stall.
And she ordered her to do it all herself, she's a big kid, afterall.
When the teacher hushed, Liliana said: "Well, you're pretty good ol' friend.
But I'm just three so when my pants get stuck, my mommy gives me a hand."

Fire on the playground, run kids, run
Liliana's in the house of the risin' sun.
Pappy in her mouth, Red dog in tow.
"Honey, does your dog bite??"
"No, he's feaux."

The teacher bowed her head because she knew that she'd been beat.
She laid her giant sharpie on the ground at Liliana's feet.
Liliana said: "Teacher just come on back, we'll do it again, we will.
I told you once, you condescending twirp, I suck my pappy still.

And she sang, "Fire on the playground, run, kids, run.
Liliana's in the house of the risin' sun.
Pappy in her mouth, Red dog in tow.
"Honey, does your dog bite??"
"No, he's feaux."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

I grew up involved in church. Children's choir, Vacation Bible School, Youth group and retreats. . .I was even in a hand bell choir for a short while. Its much more fun then one would imagine! I wonder where I could get in with a good handbell choir today. I have time for that, right? It was in college at Auburn, however, that I really began to grow in my faith and explore myself as a spiritual person. Like many, after I graduated the "fire" wore off and I've been at many different places in regards to my faith and relationship with God since leaving college. While I've attended many churches, I haven't found that church home that I so relied on for support, accountability, fellowship, and consistency during my years in Auburn. So, I officially renewed the search today.  Three year old in tow. Obviously, Liliana has traveled along MY road of faith for the past 3 years, unable to choose the paths of her own. This is a responsibility I may have taken too lightly. You'll see why consistency is hugely important when it comes to children and raising them within a certain faith. Not just a consistent Christian lifestyle, but a consistent form of formal worship and fellowship with others.

Liliana was dedicated as an infant at the church I was attending at the time of her birth.

Such a happy day! I had good intentions, I really did. But then, I got tired. I could tell you about all of the things that have made me tired beginning about 3 months after she was born and continuing over the last 3 years. Some of you would sympathize or even empathize. Some of you would tell me that these are the times I should make sure I surround myself with a faith family because its when you need them the most. And you'd be right. I could then argue with you about my severe Anemia. And my body doesn't absorb iron and you'd shake your head empathically while thinking "Lame-O, get off your lazy butt and go to church".  I could tell you the woes of single parenthood, but you'd continue nodding your head and patting my shoulder with a kind, but questioning look on your face while you thought, "Listen, chick, we've all got a sob story." and I'd know that's what you were thinking and panic and probably burst into tears and yell, "DON'T JUDGE ME!! I'm doing the best I can". So, let's avoid that and pick up right where I left off. Let's recap and allow everyone to get back on track while I grab a Xanax and a glass of water: Liliana was dedicated, we've attended church, read bible stories and sang Jesus Loves me sparatically, but I've basically fallen down in my some of my parental duties of raising her in a the Christian faith, not all of them, but some of them, namely church attendance. Fast forward a few years and Liliana and I choose a church to attend and we set out on our Sunday morning adventure. Oh yeah, and somewhere along the line you began judging me, but now I'm properly medicated and all is right with the world. Everyone caught up?
During the car ride, we talked about how its going to be and I gave her the options of going to the kids room and playing with all the kids which will be so so so fun or if she wants to sit with Mommy the first time that's fine too, but there are certain times we have to be really quiet. We went over all of those. We wouldn't want a repeat of last Sunday's dinner when a sweet couple had us over and said a prayer before we ate. My child, of course, not used to this routine (parenting FAIL) starts freaking out and wanting to know why everyone is just standing there with their eyes closed. If you know my child, you know that things freak her out. Anything that isn't quite right requires immediate explanation. . . and good explanation. None of this "Just because" stuff. And if you don't answer quickly, she panics, and gets loud. So, I tried to explain to her what all would happen and how we needed to act. Some of the terms in there were "talking to Jesus", "singing and thanking God", "learn about God and Jesus".  I'll also insert that she is very well aware that when the people and animals (I know, I know) we love have died, they have gone to heaven to be with Jesus. As far as I could tell she was taking it all in and we were going to have a successful Sunday morning. Wrong. Somehow this baby at church

turned into this baby at church:

First, we were led by a nice young boy, who insisted on taking the eery stairs where they are storing VBS stage props btw, to the children rooms. We walked in and a couple of very nice youth were in her class, which was painted entirely like an ocean (she's a wee bit afraid of the ocean and all of the sea creatures it contains). There were no other kids in there so I inquired and the girl said all of the kids just moved up, so it'd just be Liliana. She wasn't having any part of this. Exorcism number one was performed and we eventually walked back upstairs. By this time the service had began. So, I thought we'd just slip in the back and join in the upbeat singing and have us a glorious time. One of the men I've coined 'the silent ushers' handed me a bulletin and I opened the door. I kid you not, all four of her limbs secured themselves on the door facing like a cat resisting a ride to the vet in a pet carrier. It wasn't happening. The silent ushers stood their posts, waiting for another straggler to hand a bulletin to. So, I peel her off and duck into the closest room I see. Luckily, it was the women's restroom. Exorcism number two is performed and we sit on a comfy little sofa and talk things over again. We read a book we'd brought along. I pull out 'Clifford' and even purple pappy (whole nother blog). And when I think we're ready again, we head back towards the sanctuary. The silent ushers both open a door for us this time (so helpful) and both extend a bulletin. We have one, thanks. As soon as we start to sit. The drummer gets going and everyone stands. Chaos breaks out in our corner and a three year old darts towards the doors faster than you can say 'what the?'. So, I follow. The door is already open (Thanks silent usher #1). I catch up to her in the lobby and we walk outside and sit on a bench to figure this out. I'm ready to call it quits and head back home with my chin to my chest. Feeling like a failure destined to raise an evildoer due to my lack of enthusiasm for church attendance. But, as avid as she is about not going in, she insists we aren't leaving either. Exorcist number three is performed and she gathers her self and states "Let's go in and sit on a bench". I say ok, not questioning at this point, and we do. As we pass a couple in the lobby, the man loudly whispers, "How much you wanna bet they'll be right back out here?, followed by an even louder "shhhhhhhhhhhhhh" by his wife. My patience far, far out the window and having blown up 65, and probably spread along Tennessee somewhere,  I swing my head around and give them the "I so heard you" glare. Ah, church, making me such a better person already. To my shock and awe, we sit this time and DO NOT leave again (Thank you very much doubting Thomases in the lobby). Liliana buries her sweet little head in my arm most of the time as I do the things I usually do when I attend a new church, scope out its wedding potential, scope out the congregation for groom potential, read the bulletin for a better understanding of the church's main focus, and pay attention when I see folks jotting things down rigorously on the sermon outline. During my perusing of the congregation, my eyes fell upon a big black window on the back wall of the room. I thought, huh, guess the sound guys are in there? And didn't give it another thought. During my perusing of the bulletin I read a paragraph that noted, "A nursery and sunday school program is provided for children of all ages. However, if you wish for them to attend the service, a sound proof cry room is available where you may tend to them without missing the sermon, worship, or prayer times." GEE, SILENT USHERS, would have been nice to know about this room 3 exorcisms, disruptions, and near nervous breakdowns ago! But thanks for the many bulletins you offered me.

When the service was over, everyone starts to get up and mingle. My darling child looks up at me with big huge eyes and in all sincerity says, " Now is it time for Jesus to come out?". Bless her sweet little heart. Of course she thought we were going to be seeing Jesus in the flesh this morning. And of course that would scare you when the things you associate with him include dead animals and really old sick people along with piece milled bible stories about whales swallowing people and having to fight lions. This whole time she was anticipating a face to face meeting with Jesus. I might be a little scared too had I a three year old's understanding of it all.

I'm glad today happened, though. I have been content at times in my life without having a church family and been able to sustain a close personal relationship with God. But as I often have to remember, its not about me alone anymore. I learn this in so many different ways every day. The things that a church can provide for a small child, the type of understanding of the Christian faith, of God, Jesus, and Salvation they can convey is something I can't do on my own. I'm not sure if we'll end up at this church permanently, but the search is on. And next Sunday, the first thing I look for is a cry room. . .and usher's with voices.

Friday, May 28, 2010



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Its my party and I'll be confused if I want to

OK, so I stumbled upon this Ultimate Blog Party a few days ago and I read all about it and thought it sounded pretty neat, so I decided to participate.

 Since then, I have returned and reread what I'm supposed to do and started to do it and done part of it or linked to more instructions or clicked on an interesting blog I noticed out of the corner of my eye. . .and here we are the day before the party ends and I've yet to complete the steps to be an active attendee of the party (aka qualified participant in the giveaways because I'm all about the giveaways. . .in fact, I'm considering hosting my own. Just for the sheer heck of it).

I've received a few comments from bloggers who have linked to my blog and I've in turn read theirs and started following, but I still can't wrap my overloaded little brain around this blog party. I admit I haven't given it sufficient time, mainly because the only person, place, or thing I've given sufficient time to in the past 3 years is, well, my 3 year old. . .and even she'd beg to differ on that one.

I've decided tonight's the night, though. I am going to blog party like I've never partied before (beware blogosphere. . .these nights sometimes end up a little unsettling). And I invite you to do so with me. Blogger or not.

If you participate, there are some fabulous prizes to win! My first choice would be the 2 night stay at a Hilton Garden Inn (US39), which I would enjoy with me, myself, and I. . .and maybe some room service and a bottle of wine. If I can't have that, however, the $50 Visa gift card would be nice (US104), then perhaps the Microderm abrasion creme package (US109), the "Get Fit Pack" (US 105), or any of the Paypal, Amazon, Target, or Walmart gift cards!

Click below to go as crazy as one can go by blogging the night away (Just make sure the kids are in bed first because, once you enter, the links are endless and the wit and wisdom is abundant!) Have fun!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

What the Etsy?!? Killer Rings

So, I thought it was time for a "What the Etsy" post. After all, to be a true variety show blog, I probably need to repeat some of my segments. I found this ring a while back. While I can see the convenience factor for, say, a chef. . .or a boyscout. . .somehow, I don't think these are the  targeted consumer populations. I could be wrong, but some of the other listings include the Sickle Ring, the ball and chain necklace, and several "Light as a feather. . ." items.

Can you imagine shaking someone's hand with a 4 inch knife covering their knuckles? Or getting into a bar fight, only to find out the person swinging back is Edward Scissorhands. Are rings like this even legal?

What if the love of your life proposed to you with this sort of ring? "Marry me or I kill you". I think my answer would be yes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Dog Two Dog Red Dog Blue Dog

Those of you who know me ( I love when I act like there are actually people who DON'T know me reading my blog), know that I am not a fan of anything 'character' or 'licensed' if you will when it comes to baby. This means no Winnie the Pooh nurseries, no Dora swim suits, no Elmo overalls and no Sponge Bob lunch box. Maybe it stems from seeing one too many healthy (uh-hum) women at Wal-mart flaunting Tinkerbell shirts a size or so too small as to show off the tasteful tweety bird tattoo peeking out from under them and man handling an unkempt toddler clad in a pair of dirty sweatpants and a seriously stained Barney T-shirt as they make their way back to a smoking 'Paw' figure who is showing off his suped up Chevy with the Yosemite Sam decals clinging to the back windshield.

Maybe that's where it stems from, maybe.

Wherever it stems from, I get anxiety when I'm presented with character themed items. I even forbade them at my baby shower. Now, I have made an exception or two. Like an authentic Disney Store or Theme Park item that's made of quality materials and is more of a souvenir than a bargain purchase. For example, a nice vintage Mickey Mouse print on a modern cut t-shirt or a sweet little generic princess gown (not to be confused with a scratchy poorly made replica of an actual disney princess gown) that makes my daughter feel like royalty. And, as my daughter gets older and has favorite shows and cartoons, I'll allow her to choose interactive toys and books based on these shows. I'm not going to deprive her because of my own hang ups.

Hang ups, which are not, after all, even the point of this post. The point of this post is a story of growth. In me. As a mother. As a person.

When Liliana was about 1 she picked up a little blue stuffed dog at a Carter's store. It became her favorite toy. She carried it everywhere. And everywhere, people would comment on the dog, saying, "Oh, you have Blue from Blue's Clues". Now, yes, this dog was blue. But, no, it was not THE Blue. And I made sure everyone knew. "Oh, this dog? No, he kind of looks like him, but we got him at the Carter's store". And everyone usually wondered why I was ruining the fun by refusing to let the dog be the Blue's Clues dog (the horror!!).

Well, a year or so went by and she moved on to other toys and had her favorites. Until about 2 weeks ago when Nana brought her a get well soon gift. A red dog. Made by Ty. Not made by the folks who market Clifford the Big Red Dog. BUT, as soon as she laid eyes on the dog, she called him Clifford. And, as soon as ANYONE lays eyes on the dog, they call him Clifford. And, while it is so very obvious that his snout is wider than Clifford's, his tail is shorter, and he's an entirely different breed, I too call him. . .Clifford. Why? Because my daughter loves Clifford and loves her Clifford stuffed dog and who am I to take that joy from her by revealing that it is a Clifford impostor?

Just don't expect me to send her to school with a Yo Gabba Gabba back pack. Its not happening.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My guest review of American Idol for onemattDOTcom

The following is a blog entry from onemattDOTcom. I joined Matt last year on several occasions to review American Idol and he's asked me back this year to do the same. I'm excited to get this thing going! Here's the review from last night's Top 12 girls.
Greetings all you Idol fans out there!  It’s time for this week’s Idol recap and review to begin…this year, I’m being joined by Jill Miranda, most recently of the Variety Show Blog.  Check her out when you can…she’s got some hilarious insight into life and many other things.

So last night was the first live show of the year, with the Top 12 girls performing.  Let’s get to Jill’s opening thoughts…

I never start to watch American Idol until it’s down to the top 12. However, I’m making an exception this year. I wonder how this will change my rankings. I know after watching tonight I will be amazed if some of these girls make it to the final 12. In fact, I’m not sure 12 of these girls have the talent to make it to the top 12. See? That’s why I don’t like to watch this soon. I don’t think they are yet showcasing who they actually are. They’re all trying too hard or either not hard enough. To me, it’s awkward for the most part.  And, well, it’s hard to break my attention away from my 3 year old and deny her the use of our living room TV for awkward. Yes, I DVR things. But, sadly, I don’t have enough time that is my own to leisurely view said DVR’d show. After all, I have a 3 year old, it’s hard to break my attention away from sleep for awkward just the same.

Let’s give it a go nonetheless.

Okay then Jill, thanks for that…my thoughts are a lot like Jill’s here…to be honest, I wasn’t really blown away with any of the performances from last night.  But still, I do think some of the girls have some talent.  I’m not with Simon here, I don’t think this is the girl’s year.  I can think of at least 3 or 4 guys I think could run away with this thing.  We’ll get to them tonight and tomorrow, but for now, let’s break down the performances in the order in which they performed, and let you know how we think they did!

Paige Miles
Song – “All Right Now” by Free
Jill – Simon thinks she the best of the girls. Eh, I don’t think I agree. She was good as far performances go tonight, but nothing stands out to me about her. I don’t see her making it to the top. Surry (In a short choppy British accent). Score – 5/10
Matt – I have to sort of agree here, although I was clearly a bit more liberal with the scoring that Jill was…she was good, but I didn’t absolutely love the “runs” during the song.  Cute girl though.  Score – 7.5/10

Ashley Rodriguez
Song – “Happy” by Leona Lewis
Jill – When she started out, she kind of came across as being a poor beggar about to make it big in a Come into your own dramatic musical. . .or Disney Movie. Her performance also seemed rather short to me. I think she’s good, but I don’t know if she has it in her to do something “different” like the judges recommended of her. I think the old school big voice area is her forte. Not sure she can stray from that, so she better start measuring up. Score – 5.5/10
Matt – Whoa…sort of brutal there…I think Ashley has a lot of talent.  In fact, of these first two performances, I think Ashley has the way-better voice.  Her voice did seem to go out on her a bit when she tried to really crank up the volume, and it was better (IMO) when she was singing softer.  I like her though, again, another very pretty girl… Score – 8.1/10

Janell Wheeler
Song – “What About Love” by Heart
Jill – I try not judge based on past performances and rate the contestants on a week by week basis. I will say, though, that I loved when she sang the Estelle song during try outs. I don’t think she pulled off Heart, though. But, that’s a really hard thing to do. Heart pretty much rocks. Score – 5.8/10
Matt – Dude…I’m right with you here, Jill.  Nothing spectacular.  This song was WAY out of her comfort zone.  Sure, pick a song you like, I’m with you there…you can easily relate it to the audience if you have a belief in the song you’re singing, but be smart.  Ann Wilson is sort of untouchable…almost anyone that sings that on Idol won’t even come close. Score – 7.2/10

Lilly Scott
Song – “Fixing a Hole” by The Beatles
Jill – I like her. I do. She’s kind of kickass. I’d like to see her with darker hair though. I’m a little tired of the “I lived in my car and sang on the street” story. Call it cynicism. It probably is. I agree with Simon on this girl. There are lots of people on the internet doing this same thing. She has the drive to be different and stand out. She needs to go for it. Score – 7.4/10
Matt – So every time she had her name called, I kept thinking I was watching One Tree Hill and this was some sort of storyline with Nathan having a second wife or a cousin or something crazy like that.  Lilly was good and I enjoyed her rendition of this song.  I gotta admit though…never heard the song.  So I have nothing to base it on.  Score – 8.2/10

Katelyn Epperly
Song – “Oh Darling” by The Beatles
Jill – I really liked her tonight, minus a couple of hip moves and shimmies. And I like her hair. And she pulls off that lipstick. That is all. Score – 8.3/10
Matt – Quick and to the point, I like it, Jill.  I’m with you here…a decent performance, and I think she’s marketable as a pop star…nice voice, big voice…Score 8.3/10

Haeley Vaughn
Song – “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles
Jill – Oh my. Oh, oh, oh. Hayley. I wasn’t impressed. What the hell was that? You lose. Sorry, sweet girl. Score – 2.1/10
Matt – Oooh….my wife isn’t going to like that score at all.  Yeah, there were some things about her performance that could be better, and yes, she might well be going home on Thursday, but I like this girl…I think she has a quality that several of the other contestants lack…originality!  Score – 7.9/10

Lacey Brown
Song – “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
Jill – She’s a little pixie fairy. I like pixie fairies. Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Jenna Elfman, girl named Lauren I worked with at Landry’s, Liliana before her hair grew longer—all pixie fairies. I agree with Ellen, I like her and she is waaaay better than that. And it made me giggle when Simon pretty much said, “Everything about you sucks. . .but you have nice eyes”. Hehe. I’m pulling for her. If she makes it through, she needs rock it out next week. Score – 2/10 with lots of potential
Matt – Nice one…Christy made the Martina McBride comparison (in looks) last night…I was expecting more from Lacey with her performance, and based on that and that alone, I think she might be in trouble. Score – 7.1/10

Michelle Delamour
Song – “Falling” by Alicia Keys
Jill – I think she’s gorgeous! And I think she sang the song really well. I think that’s her knack and she should stick with it and give it more and more and she’ll be good to go! You can’t expect everyone to create a completely different sound and vibe. Score – 8/10
Matt – Agree on the gorgeous for sure…it is a big song, and Alicia Keys is slowing making her way into the “maybe you shouldn’t sing her stuff because there’s really very little chance you can sound remotely good while doing it” category.  Did well though… Score – 8.4/10

Didi Benami
Song – “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson
Jill – Is that Brook White? No, wait, when I close my eyes, it sounds like Meghan Joy. Please don’t be another Meghan Joy. No, I think she’s better. I don’t think she will make it to the end, though. I think she’ll make it through, but no more than a couple more weeks. Score – 4.5/10
Matt – HA!  Very nice…yeah, again, apparently Jill and Christy are of one brain when it comes to this thing…she also made the Brooke (with an “E”) White comparison.  I didn’t get Meghan Joy out of her though…I enjoyed this actually, although like with Crystal who would sing later, she’s going to struggle to get out of that “coffeehouse” mentality and into pop superstardom… Score – 7.9/10

Siobhan Magnus
Song – “Wicked Game” by Chris Issac
Jill – A Dark Horse, indeed. This song has the potential to be haunting. Not sure she was haunting. I can’t quite figure her out just yet. I was surprised that the judges liked it so much. I’m a little with Simon, on this one. Didn’t love it, liked it though. Oh, hey, she just said she sang it because it was haunting. There you go. Score – 5.8/10
Matt – How quirky is this girl?!  Very much so…she’s got a big voice, here’s my thing…she’s so quirky that I don’t think she’s got what it takes to earn the votes of America for very long.  I’m sorry, but she’s just too dang quirky!  Score – 8.2/10

Crystal Bowersox
Song – “Hand in my Pocket” by Alanis Morrisette
Jill – I like her because she said “Mama needs a bigger paycheck”. We’re kindred spirits already. And I like her because she has a harmonica and dreadlocks (that are clean looking might I add). When people sing songs by Alanis Morrisette, you almost expect them to sound like they’re at a karaoke bar. Wait, or is that just when I sing Alanis Morrisette when I’m actually at a Karaoke bar? Anyway, I’d like to see her go through because she is so anti the typical Amercian Idol, and I think she can be good. And I think she would take her baby on the tour bus with her. More artists should do that...Britney!!!! Score – 7.3/10
Matt – Well, I’m not sure about the whole “raising kids on the road” vibe here, but I like Crystal.  Again, she’s original.  My problem is America doesn’t typically vote for “original”…but I loved her performance.  Who couldn’t see her singing this song way ahead of time though?  Kind of predictable, but good nonetheless.  Score – 8.4/10

Katie Stevens
Song – “Feelin’ Good” by Michael Buble
Jill – I thought she was good. Reminds me of a young Kathryn McPhee. Her voice is almost bigger than her, though. She’s young and she needs to hone in her look, get a style, come into her own. Merge that big voice with her young innocent look and somewhere in the middle, Boom! There’s a star! Score – 6/10
Matt – Ah, the McPhee…I miss her.  I miss that yellow dress.  Katie has a HUGE voice, and I think she did well.  I hate that the judges pulled the whole “you’re too old to sing that song” crap on her.  She picked a song that would help showcase her voice, which is great, and I think the judges are just giving her some negative criticism because they know she’ll make it through.  Damn judges.  Score – 8.9/10

And now, Jill’s wrap-up…

Whew! That was kind of tough. But I’ll see you again tomorrow to do the thing with. . .The Boys (In a sexy enthusiastic I can’t wait voice).

Yep!  Until tomorrow, we shall see you then!  Oh yeah, almost forgot…what are YOUR thoughts, America?!?  Who’s going home?  Who’s staying put?

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Blog Segment: 'And then I remember, I'm not mentally ill'

Not so long ago, I was disturbed by a story I read during my daily digging into the Crime and Justice portions of It seams a young mother struggled to gain weight during her pregnancy. Once the baby was born, the baby struggled to gain weight on her own. However, after the baby was hospitalized, she was placed with a foster family and seemed to put weight on rather quickly, despite the mom's claims that the baby previously refused to eat and spit up the little bits that she did get down her. When confronted with the information regarding the baby's weight gain, instead of becoming overjoyed with the news of a thriving child, the young mother, filled with horror, exclaimed "What? I have a fat baby?! My child is fat?!?" The mother was granted visitation 3 times a week and the foster family began to notice a change in the babiy's appearance and a strange odor in the baby's mouth after the biological mother would visit and feed the baby. Turns out, she was adding laxatives to the bottle to prevent the baby from gaining any more weight and thus enduring a life of obesity. . . or something to that effect. See the full story here.

So, fast forward about a week to me browsing children's clothes online and coming across this adorable little swimsuit.
I mean, how cute is that?? And how cute would it look on my fiesty little alligator loving, full bellied, wild haired bambino?!?!

The problem? It only goes up to a size 3T. My daughter is 3. Most 3Ts fit her fine, but I tend to buy a little big, Her budding spring wardrobe is all 4T, and with the belly, elastic in the waist is a must no matter what size! So, what were the chances of a 3T swimsuit fitting my daughter around May or June? Slim to none. . .unless . . . (mind briefly recalls the story of the mom who starved her baby). . .and then I remember, I'm not mentally ill.

Footnote: I bought the swimsuit anyway because I couldn't not. It arrived today and fits her perfectly. We will be enrolling in Swimwell classes asap and checking in to the Embassy Suites as time and money permit, solely for the purpose of justifying my swimsuit purchase.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Obnoxious AND anti-climactic

I've always been annoyed by people who are constantly trying to "top" your story. They begin telling you their experience before you even finish sharing about yours. It drives me crazy! This happens a lot when you become a mom. Everyone has the most outrageous labor story. Everyone's kid has said something similar, yet far more funny than your kid. And everyone has a schedule that makes your day look like a day at the park. I'd love to share some personal examples at this point, but those friends and family members who do this the most are most likely the very ones reading this post. I like to keep my passive aggressiveness to a minimum. So, I'll speak in generalities.

Now, I understand that the nature of a conversation is to share similar experiences, opinions, and perspectives, but its the uncontrollable eagerness to speak that you completely tune out your conversation partner's words, the total disregard for anyone else's experience, and the refusal to recognize someone's thoughts as legitimate that makes me want to smack a person upside the head and tell them to get over themselves because although they think they are, they are not, in all actuality, the winner of the conversation. There are no winners in conversation. Otherwise, it'd be called a 'conversation match' or a 'story bowl' or 'word race'. But its not. There is nothing competitive about a conversation.

I have discovered lately, however, that as much as this annoys me, as much as I can't stand it, I've started doing it!! Primarily when it comes to motherhood, because after all, I do have the most outrageous labor story and the funniest child in the history of children. The thing about me doing this, though, is that I catch myself. I see the person I'm speaking to looking at me with those same "I want to smack you" eyes. So, I quickly wrap my story up without getting to the good part, or majorly downplaying it. So, not only have I obnoxiously monopolized the conversation, I've done so with an anti-climactic, boring, mundane story, which leads to lots of awkward silences.

Friday, January 29, 2010

What the Etsy?!? Beach Pottery

OK, so this is a spur of the moment post. I happened to click on Etsy and this was one of the "Editor's Picks". I'm not going to say much, just that this is a piece of 'Beach Pottery' entitled 'Beach Pottery Owl'. It costs $18 and is done in charcoal.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Donation faux pas

OMG. . .did you hear that Jennifer donated to Haiti today? Can you believe it? Can we say YESTERDAY?!?! Nobody donates to Haiti anymore. Hasn't she heard, all the cool kids are giving to the Civil Rights Museum in honor of Black History Month, or something like that.

Ridiculous? I'd say so. But, I give you exhibit A that this conversation has taken place at some level. A quote from an article published on entitled 'Is Haiti just a passing fad? Donations are already slowing'.

"That's really the question: How long people's attention spans will last before moving on to the next thing," said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. "This is the really critical stage."

I think a better question is, "how long can people continue to give to a tragic cause such as the events in Haiti, while not neglecting the causes they have always supported or their own financial responsibilities". Now, I understand that there is an elite population that can give and give and give, as well as rally support for others to give. But as for the general public, I think its more a matter of, "we gave what we could and now we're broke" that's causing the donations to slow down.

I think if it were up to most of us, we'd continue to give to Haiti, Medical Research, Social causes, the fight against hunger, equal rights, and anything else you can think of. Fact of the matter is, however, there comes a time where we have to choose where we think our money will do the most good, as well as which issues weigh so heavily on our hearts that we feel driven to provide for them a voice amongst our community.

I found the article to be a bit of a stretch generally speaking. I remember following 9/11 many non-profit organizations faced dire straights because there was a shift in giving from local charities and organizations to the victims of that horrible day. I remember finding it difficult to take a politically correct stance on that issue. Maybe the article is right in that I don't feel a personal connection (although I do feel a human connection) to the victims in Haiti, and therefore find it easier to resume prioritizing the passion I have for other causes with less hesitation than I did after 9/11. Once again, though, I'm finding it hard to be politically correct.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Consider yourself warned. . .

I consider myself safe for the most part. I practice safety precautions when necessary. I wash my hands, wear my seat belt, and never ever swim in the ocean at night. I realized today, however, that I am putting myself in great danger of spontaneous combustion roughly twice a week. Each time I pump gas, chances are I will ignite into flames upon pressing the nozzle. Maybe God is watching out for me, maybe its just luck. For whatever reason, I'm glad to say I am walking and talking with no evidence of severe burns to be found on my being, except for the scar on my arm where some drunk jack a$$ carelessly let his cigarette rest on my arm in line at the fair, searing the skin before either one of us realized it.

While pumping gas, I began reading the warnings I always read. "We prosecute drive offs", "Turn cell phone and electronic devices off before pumping", "Apply for credit today and receive free gas for a year", etc., etc. Then, I stumbled upon a warning I have never noticed before. But there it was, written as plain as day. And having read it, I will now be the freak obsessively fondling metal prior to filling 'er up at the local Jet Pep. And you may no longer blame me if you spontaneously combust while pumping gas. Consider yourself warned. . .and chill out with the fabric softener.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Heaven's to Etsy, I like it!

So is born a new segment to the variety show blog, "Heaven's to Etsy, I like it!" There are sooo many amazingly talented artists on Etsy. But every once in a while, you stumble upon a product so incredible and different from the hand made clothing and accessories, art pieces, and one of kind gadgets and gizmos. And sometimes, when you find such an item, instead of exclaiming "What the etsy?!", you say, "Heavens to Etsy, I LIKE it!" Well, you may not say that, but for some reason I do. And I realize its a little odd. But these words rolled off my tongue like spanish from the mouth of Dora (Took me waay too long to come up with that analogy).

Now, I enjoy a good craft show, hence my fondnes of Etsy. There are certain boothes that I pass by, knowing that I will never purchase a painted gourd, a stone with a quote about sisters (ok, I did that one time, but it was back in the 80's and my sis still has it), or a teddy bear decked out in lace! That's why, when I clicked on the thumbnail for an image of a gourd, thinking it would be good for What the Etsy, I was shocked and amazed at the beautiful hand crafted lampshade made from a gourd! Check out Studio Tempera to see what I'm talking about. You'll covet one for your decor as well. . .Heaven's to Etsy, I just know it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blogger Brain

I've had pregnancy brain. I've had 'one too many' brain (not at the same time as pregnancy brain mind you). I've had mind numbing 4 hour exam brain. And I've had apathetic, lazy, I'm just gonna lie here and watch 8 hours of lifetime, soap operas and game show brain. And now, I apparently have 'blogger brain'. As I've mentioned before, I have been writing a daily blog for sometime now-the cleverest of clever posts have been created in my mind. Now that I've finally created a blog through which I plan to share my cleverness with the world, I can't come up with a clever, enjoyable post to save my life. I have coined this condition "blogger brain". I think it stems from trying too hard. Whereas before, I was internally blogging about everyday occurrences, I now find myself seeking out these occurrences and overly analyzing each and every interaction I have on a daily basis. Therefore, I feel my blog is going nowhere fast. And sense I'm not one to accept failure or defeat without one hell of a fight, I beg of you, my 3 loyal followers and anyone else who may stumble upon this site o' mine, stay tuned! It will fall into place. I just know it will. I mean, I am dedicated if nothing else. I found myself taking pictures of things such as a deer carcass on the side of the road, thinking, "this will make for a great blog entry--all about the time I was driving down a country road and came upon a deer carcass". Then, I took a picture of the minuscule amount of apple a coworker of mine left behind after devouring an entire apple in about 30 seconds flat (look for a future post regarding '4S' as to why this pained me in so many ways). I mean, my cores are usually about 2 inches long and the size of a nickel, if not a quarter, around. But his, his was about a half inch long and the size of a pen around. How do you eat an apple down to that? In my mind, this made for an excellent blog entry, but do you, the reader, honestly care about my coworker's apple core? or much less, the deer carcass I found on the side of a country road in Woodstock, AL? I think not. So, I will spare you any further details and tell you a little story about my visit to Woodstock, AL. . .post carcass discovery.

As many of you know, I am a single mom. Its not something I'm ashamed of. Its not something I seek out pity for. Its merely the place I've found myself in life. Is it ideal? No. Am I a "victim"? Not at all. Did many a mistake lead me to where I am? Most definitely? But, could Liliana's biological father have made better choices when all is said and done? Yes. 100 times yes! I refuse to walk around ashamed of my situation, though. I refuse to allow it to bring me down. I can't. I have a 3 year old life depending on me to show her the world, teach her right from wrong, encourage her amazing imagination, keep her safe to the best of my ability and meet her needs with every ounce of my being. . .period. And I'm not too humble to say, I do a damn good job. Motherhood is something I can do, something I can do well, gosh darn it.

So, why then, did the following conversation take place?

Patient Caregiver (pcg): (after I shared an experience I had with my daughter). So, what's your husband's name?

Me: (without missing a beat) Bill.

pcg: Oh, so its not Jack (hahahahaha).

Me: No, but we get teased just the same for our rhyming names.

pcg: What does he do for a living?

Me: He works for AT&T. . .in sales actually.

pcg: that's a hit or miss profession.

Me: don't I know it! He happens to be doing very well at the moment though, so no complaints here.

WHAT THE WHAT??? Why did I make up a completely fictitious husband and proceed to share details of his fictitious occupation and success at said occupation??

And how did I rattle off this false information so quickly without hesitation or skipping a beat? I mean, I have dated a "Bill". That much is true. But were I to recall all of my past relationships and fantasize about being married to one, it soooo wouldn't be him! He never could have swung a job at AT&T. None of my past beaus could have held down a job in sales for a reputable company such as AT&T. They couldn't have held down a job anywhere that required drug testing and consistent attendance. Hell, they couldn't hold down a job period. Especially not Bill!

So, I leave my experience today confused. Am I as strong and accepting of my situation as I claim to be? Or am I secretly ashamed and therefore, when put on the spot, feel the need to twist it into something society deems "acceptable"? I am an advocate for many things society tends to shun. If anything, I'm ashamed of lying about my situation as I did today. Its more than a feeling of being "ashamed" though. I can't quite pin point it. I'm suddenly questioning myself in so many ways.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What the Etsy? Baby Heads

Ok, so its What the Etsy again! What creative, handmade, yet kinda creepy item will we ponder today? As the title suggests, baby heads. That's right, apparently baby heads are quite the trend for a certain sector of that free spirited, rebellious, dare to live against the machine art community that we all secretly envy and long to be a part of. Who needs insurance? Not me, I stay well by a combination of herbal tea, vitamin A, E, and ZPPD! A 401K? How much money could I possibly need when I am 65, living in a camper in the mountains/trailer by the beach/cabin on the lake, painting nature and dancing barefoot around bonfires? I applaud those who actually take that leap, trusting it will all work out in the end. Meanwhile, I'll continue my 9-5, resting assured on the benefits that come with it while I do art projects in my mind (much like my blog for the past 6 months or so) until one day I can slow down and try my hand at a few of these crafts I so love. I will not, however, try my hand at making creepy art out of baby heads. It does nothing for me, except make my mind wonder into horrible places full of devastating things!

Warning: if you are in the early stages of pregnancy, or any stage for that matter, have a young child, or have experienced loss in this area, you may not want to view these. . .just saying.

Here goes. . .The Art of Baby Heads

Sea Creature Baby Head

Doll in Blue

Baby Sculpture

Babe Sapien

Pickled Baby Candle

Baby Face in Gold

So, there you have it. Baby Head Art. Dare you dabble in it?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Find Morgan

Find Morgan is a site dedicated to finding Morgan Harrington, a college student who disappeared following a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, NC. For some reason, this case weighs heavily on my mind. The victim, Morgan, seems to have been close with her family and reasonably intelligent. She attended a concert with her friends, where she may or may not have consumed alcohol, exited the facility by mistake and was not allowed re-entry. Now, I don't know about you, but I consider myself to be pretty level headed, yet can imagine this same scenario happening to me. I would feel bad about making my friends leave the concert to join me outside and I would tell them to stay while I found a way home. Knowing my friends, they would be a little tipsy too and take my word for it, believing that I would practice caution even after a few drinks. Morgan probably practiced the same tipsy caution. Now, I don't know what happened after that. Did she trust someone she shouldn't have? Did she wonder off further than she should have? Or has she fooled us all? I doubt the last one to be true. I read her parents thoughts and it breaks my heart. Yet, I relish in the same hope they have because no evidence has been found to suggest she is not alive. No evidence suggests the contrary either. How do you celebrate Christmas? How do you conduct your daily lives? Please, if you are in the area, search for Morgan or clues as to what happened to her. If not, pray for the family and love your own children and loved ones as if this is your final day with them. You just never know. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Harrington family. Whatever the significance of 2-4-1 is, I feel/pray/say it with you. 2.4.1.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What the Etsy?

I can tell this is going to be a favorite category of mine. I love the site, Etsy, I really do. In fact, I've purchased many a gifts from the handmade/Indie promoting site. I even strive to have an Etsy shop one of these days. Granted, my crafts need honing, but a pipe dream it is not! Some products I innocently stumble across while perusing the site leave me with my head tilted to the side and one eyebrow cocked saying "What the. . .". So, for lack of a better word to complete that thought, I have started saying to myself (in my ongoing dialogue of a blog), "What the Etsy?".

The first item I would like to throw out there is the Good Swimmer: A sperm cell Christmas Ornament for your tree.

Now, Christmas is a magical time. And, although its a stretch, I can see the relationship between a sperm cell (the beginning of life) and Christ (the beginning of everlasting life). However, I'm not sure that's where this artist's mind was. I'm not exactly sure WHERE this artist's mind was. 167 people have viewed this item, though. Surely 167 people don't relate sperm cells to Christmas. In fact, its quite ironic. There were no sperm cells involved in the first Christmas. That's what makes it Christmas. I'm just sayin. . .

Can't get you outta my head

I've had a blog for quite some time now. I write in it daily, hourly, sometimes constantly. I come up with clever titles, recap my days, share pictures with HILARIOUS captions and link my readers to the most useful, craziest, and zaniest of websites! I review tv shows, songs, products, websites and restaurants. I share my daughter's milestones. I confess my shortcomings. I rant about injustices and I pay tribute to everyday heroes. So, why is this the first entry you're reading? Why do I start afresh today with Variety Show Blog? Because, until now, all of my blogging efforts have been confined to the ever flowing slate in my mind. It all started with social networking. As I'm sure you've experienced, sites such as facebook and its more juvenile foe, myspace, have forced me to think in third person. "Jill is creating a blog", "Jill is about to slam into the slow moving moron in front of her if they don't get out of her way", "Jill wishes her daughter would stop asking 'why'". It didn't stop there, though. I am such a loyal friend (loyal, nosy, same difference) that I keep up with each and every blog written by my friends, their friends, their friend's great aunt, the girl I went to summer camp with, the complete stranger I linked to from the girl I went to summer camp with, the stay at home mom blog (or 20), the working moms' blogs, the girl I envied in highschool's blog, and of course the Pioneer Woman (because who doesn't keep up with the Pioneer Woman?). After following so many scripted life stories, I began to script my own.Problem is, I couldn't figure out how to confine my blog into one concise, organized site. I was all over the place. Then it hit me. I don't have to have a "mom" blog or a "critique blog". There are no blog police forcing me to choose one aspect of myself and only spill my guts regarding it. I don't know why it didn't dawn on me sooner. Some of my favorite things are variety based. The Soup, The Melting Pot, gossip magazines, Long Island Ice Tea, Chinese buffets, Sonny and Cher, Mrs Dash, Magic 96, gumbo, imitation crab meat, Britney Spears. . .you get the gist (yeah, I thought it was 'jist' too). I like things all mixed up, eclectic if you will. Thus is born "The Variety Show Blog". Original title? Maybe not. Will it work for now? I'm thinkin' so.

Now, I've seen many a blog with several "themes". "Wordless Wednesday", "Friday at 5", "Sunday Sermon". But, I'm afraid I can't be confined to blogging about a certain topic on a certain day of the week. I have several topics in mind (and clever names to match), but I might blog a tv review 2 nights in a row, or a product review twice in one day, I might even vent about an annoying coworker every other day. There is no rhyme or reason to the Variety Show Blog! Its a surprise everyday! I do have a backlog of etsy products I plan to review in a category entitled " What the Etsy?", so it may appear frequently for the first week or so. I also feel strongly about passive aggressive facebook statuses. So, you may see "analysis of a facebook status" more than once in the next few days. I may even lose some "friends" over it. I say, its worth it for the joy of sweet release.

I do hope you'll stay tuned. I promise not to bore you. And I welcome your interaction. It irks me when people disable comments. Challenge me, agree with me, laugh with me, be appalled with me-just don't be mean to me. Despite my tough exterior, I am quite the delicate flower.

Consider this the ground breaking ceremony for the next "Bloggie" triple threat, The Variety Show Blog!