Tuesday, October 31, 2006

PayPerPost Wedding Bells

This is hilarious. Payperpost is sponsoring a payperpost wedding for some lucky couple in Vegas! I just got back from Vegas, and I'm here to tell you, it's fun. I suppose that could be the understatement of century. And we still have a lot of century left. At any rate, the lucky couple will need to be willing to be married on Saturday, November 18th, 2006.

Straight from the horse's mouth:

"Your Fabulous Wedding will include:

The wedding license and ceremony

One nights stay at a premium Vegas Hotel

$1000.00 hard cold cash yours to spend any way you want.

Your wedding will be taped and streamed

Crazy PayPerPost antics live for everyone to see."

With this crew, it's sure to be a zany time. For more information and to submit your story, go to http://www.payperpostwedding.com/.


Klassy Nails

I had an inside joke with myself (and, I suppose a few friends if they are reading this) in my last post about something being classy. Now, I really did think the font I referenced was classy. But the term classy has cracked me up for quite some time now. Honestly, it seems to me that if you use the term classy, by definition you are not. My favorite derivation is when you change the "c" to a "k" as in klassy.

There was a place where I used to live called Classy Nails that started all this musing on the word classy. To be fair, they were called Classy Nails, not Klassy Nails. However, it still makes me giggle. "I want some of dem dere CLASSY nails, Mabel. The ones with REAL rhinestones."


Urban Fonts

You know I love good design. I've even been known to dabble in design myself here and there. Download free fonts and free dingbats at this great site, Urban Fonts. They have over 8,000 free fonts and dingbats, categorized by name.

They also have fonts and web templates for purchase and a collection of articles on design. I really liked what I saw there-very hip. Check this out, if you're feeling classy. Here's one for Halloween. Oh, cool, the featured fonts on the home page are always changing, too. Ok, really love it.

Take a look at this screen capture of the site:

Now, go get some free fonts. Go. Now. Go. (See, that's what I said about the bunnies in my last post. Running theme.)


Organic Chocolate Bunny Grahams RULE!

Sometimes I buy things intuitively. I was intuitively drawn to these little chocolate bunny dudes for Zane. Little did I know, that I would love them perhaps even more than he does. They are super delish and only like 3 pts for 24 (for the WW people in the audience.) Go get some. Now. Go on. Go.

That reminds of a time when I was living with my friend Dori and we were watching some show (probably Party of Five or something) and we saw a commercial for Oreos and we ran to the store on the commercial to get some. That was some good advertising!

BTW, this is NOT a paid post for Annies Bunnies or Oreos.


Guy Gifts

Dudes like binoculars. I find that, first of all, I am surrounded by guys in my life (sometimes good, sometimes not so good). Second of all, it can be challenging to figure out gifts for men, especially if they seem to already have everything they want or need (like dads--dads can be especially hard to buy for).

As I said before, dudes like binoculars. They like checking things out. They like checking things out up close. They like checking things out up close from far away. And sometimes we'd like then to stay far away from the things they are checking out. Let's say, oh I dunno, if it's a poisonous snake or a cougar or something. This site has an AMAZING selection of binoculars. From the site itself: "Here at OpticsPlanet.com, we carry birding binoculars, astronomy binoculars, sports binoculars, military binoculars, marine binocular, hunting binoculars, theatre binoculars (opera glasses) and much more." I'm pretty sure I didn't even know that many types of binoculars existed.

If, you are like me and don't know all the specifics of the binocular world, they have a helpful how-to-buy binoculars guide. I think one of my favorites has to be the digital camera binoculars. Am I getting into guy things here?

The selection of brands is also outstanding: Nikon, Steiner, Bushnell, Leupold, Swarovski, Leica, Celestron, Oberwerk and ON SALE! And, any purchase of $29.95 has free shipping. Love that.


Monday, October 30, 2006

My Kid Loves Joel Grey

It's kinda weird, but ok. We have the Muppets TV Show, the entire first season. It's fabulous. Completely worth it. Zane has always been mesmerized by the Joel Grey episode. He loves Wilkommen, especially. I thought maybe I was imagining it. But now, when the menu comes up, he points to Joel Grey and says "Rey" I'm not sure if he his saying "Cabaret" or "Grey". Either way, it's pretty funny.


Organized Wisdom

There is a new site that is helping ordinary people take charge of their own health by encouraging them to share their health-related stories. We all learn important things about our bodies and ourselves as we move through life and accumulate experiences. Help others by sharing 1 piece of health wisdom at OrganizedWisdom.com

The idea is that your share your wisdom and also have access to an A-Z Library of stories other people have shared. I like the empowering nature of this idea.

As stated on the site, their belief is that "online health information has become too complex. Too much information. Not enough collaboration. Our site is less cluttered than the others – intentionally. We pay enormous attention to the details and the overall experience."

I was a little surprised not to see some sort of disclaimer about stories/advice posted by nonprofessionals. Then, upon closer inspection, I see they already have a vast library of "doctor-reviewed content" and are now looking to expand the real life stories that go with that content. The combination of doctor-reviewed information and personal stories sounds like a good match, and the site itself is attractive in its simplicity.


Ugh--Weigh In

I weighed in. Back up 2 pounds! Ugh, ugh, double ugh. I am having the biggest problem making it past this stupid 175 mark (back up to 177).

Guess if I would stick to the program, maybe I would do better. D'oh. This past week started well, but then I lost it. It seems that's the way I do it. Oh well, gotta just get back on the wagon. Need to write that goal on my wrist again.

I really didn't think I had done this poorly. Grrrr. I'm sure it's just PMS. Yeah, that's it. I'm sure Halloween will help. Maybe it was that Chocolate post I did. Maybe I DID gain weight from it. Ha ha ha. I crack myself up.

Click here to go to the I Crack Myself Up mug.

Click here to go to Shameless Humor main page.


But then, I took a bath later and weighed myself and was back DOWN those 2 lbs!!??!! Do I just have heavy clothes? My mom thinks my clothes could weigh two pounds, but I am skeptical. Oh yeah, Mercury is Retrograde. Yikes.


Gnomes, Gnomes Everywhere!

Things were getting a little too heavy on my blog for me (ha ha--didn't even realize I've been posting about weigh in.) I decided I should share some wee magical folk to lighten the mood.

There is a fun new site featuring garden gnomes. They have a lot of fun information on different types of gnomes, including German garden gnomes and naughty gnomes. They even have a whole page on the Travelocity gnome. AND, they have an entire gnome picture gallery. How fun.

I do have one "roaming gnome" story of my own to share. One of my friends at my last workplace had little gnomes that she stuck all over the place. You just never knew where they were going to end up. I think that's part of the fun of the roaming gnome: Surprise! It's a cute little dude. They can really brighten your day.

I love it! Very informational site. It's fun to learn the history of this icon. And the site is attractive and easy to navigate as well.


PayPerPost on TechCrunch Again NONPAID

I'm being paid to write this! [Later edit: Well, here's the funny thing: I'm NOT--all of the opps were gone when I went to publish. But I will leave this post anyway.]

Big issues like disclosure on paid blogging sometimes make my head spin. This post will prove how much my head is spinning on the topic. In fact, the opportunity might be gone by the time I finish!

I see some of the points of the people who are against PayPerPost. Too much Libra in me, I guess. I see all sides. It's a new sort of business. There are controversies. Everyone is still trying to figure out how it works and what is right.

I honestly believe PayPerPost is trying to do the right thing with their Disclosure Policy addition. They believe in disclosing. They urge advertisers to ask for neutral ads. They are providing an EASY way for their bloggers to disclose. And yes, they give you choices of what to say and maybe those choices aren't perfect, but it's EASY to edit, and you are encouraged to do so. This is about what each blogger feels comfortable doing with their space.

As posties, we are talking about things we see online. We provide links so other people can see these sites and products, too. Sometimes we are just paid to write about our personal experience and link to a site. Honestly, sometimes some of those posts feel a little bit deceptive--when you don't actually talk about the product, but still link to it. However, the reader has the CHOICE of whether to click or not. They don't have to. Big deal. I, personally, don't really like the opportunities that say "no mention of PayPerPost". But I see how advertisers feel it is undercutting your credibility to say that. I am still writing my own opinions. I don't take opps for things I don't like.

People like movie reviewers have tremendous power of opinion. And guess what? They are getting paid to give their opinion. They don't say that every time they write something. It's understood. No one thinks it's a big deal that they get paid to talk about the movie.

I think in time, this will all sort itself out. I believe companies like PayPerPost arouse out of the imperfect nature of pay per click. Are we polluting the blogosphere? Maybe. Or maybe it is evolving. It's hard to say. The great thing about the internet is we all have a chance to participate. The truth is, people aren't stupid. They can figure it out.

Now, I'll disclose some more. This is a $10 opp. Yes, and I was paid to disclose. That could just show that PayPerPost cares enough about the issue to put their money where there mouth is. Yes, it's a good business decision, but they didn't have to take a step themselves. I'm being paid to write 100 words of my opinion. I'm currently at 441. Yes, it's rambly. But that is my style. And I truly am just trying to think the issue out and see different opinions. I'm not just doing this for the money or I would have stopped some 300+ words ago.

PayPerPost is all over my blog. I've never made a secret of it. I think people who want to read the blog but don't want the paid blog posts will just learn to skip them. Sometimes they are intertwined, but that is part of the fact that I really am writing my opinion on things as I see them. And yes, I've made about $350 for it. For a LOT of work. It really is a job. I'm being paid for my time and my opinion. I guess that's not the question.

Should I say on each post "I'm being paid to write this!" I've considered it. But then it feels like maybe I don't really mean what I'm writing. I DO! Maybe I should write "I'm being paid to write this, but I STILL MEAN IT!"

Should I say if I'm being paid to be positive? Well, I don't know. That seems like it might be the bigger issue. But it's an endorsement. It's a choice for the advertiser. Do they believe that all press is good press or do they just want testimonials? They should be able to make that choice. See, I can understand PayPerPost's detractors until I think of things from the Advertiser's perspective. Obviously, there is a market for this. There are new opps all the time. And it's giving "the little guy" a chance to make some money. And it's giving "little advertisers" a chance too. I've already considered advertising Kevin's site on PayPerPost. It makes sense.

Ok, I think this post reflects that it's still such a new issue. I haven't really come to a complete and total decision on the ethical ramifications and choices as it pertains to my own blog. Still working that out. I definitely believe in disclosure. But the question becomes "How much disclosure is necessary?" What do we all need to disclose? Have other methods of advertising faced this much scrutiny? Some proponents of PayPerPost say, "What's the big deal?" I think it is a big deal. We are still just all trying to figure out the best way to be honest about it and still have the blogger, the readers, and the advertiser benefit. Because that's what this all about. And I believe that's truly what PayPerPost wants. AND I was paid to say all this. AND it's still my honest opinion. But for the 30 minutes I ignored my kid to write it, I can buy him about 3 boxes of cereal. [Later edit: I can buy nothing from this (unless the opp magically returns) and I am still keeping it posted.]


Waiting on a Weigh In

See, this is why I don't like that I don't have batteries for my scale. I don't know when my mom is going to be up so I can weigh in! Of course, I'm a little frightened of my weigh in, but I generally do it the first thing in the morning (gotta maximize on the "skinny" time). So, I'm just sitting here, blogging and wondering. I guess I could have real problems. Heh heh. Well, I don't want to think about that, because I guess I do have a real problem or two, but nothing I can't handle. Ok, tune back in later to find out how much I lost or gained (I know--THRILLING stuff!)

Hey, Halloween is tomorrow! Ba ba bock. Fuddy. Veen. Kevin still has to hem Caspian's pleather Neo costume. This should be interesting. I maybe should plan for something out of the house. Maybe that Japanese garden I just found out about.


Fancy Dress Costume

Going to a costume party sometime soon? Looking for just that special Fancy Dress Costume? This UK site has a wide variety of generic and well-known characters available. For the ladies, there are flappers, 50s costumes, nurses, peacocks, hippies, nuns and SEXY nuns! (That really cracked me up.) If you are interested in a character, they have Arwen from Lord of the Rings, Betty Boop, Betty Rubble, Bat Girl, Cat Woman, Marilyn Monroe, Clepatra, and Cruella de Ville, just to name a few.

They have a great variety over 80 costumes for women alone. They also have fancy dress costumes for men, other costumes for children, special animal costumes and a lot of accessories. It's lots of fun!


Sunday, October 29, 2006


So, Zane is going to be a chicken for Halloween. When we ask him, what he is going to be, he says, "Ba Ba Bock."

Then he says, "Fuddy. Veen." (Funny. Halloween.)

We have been visiting our neighbors' new puppies. At just over 3 weeks old, they live more or less in a little bed in a clawfoot tub. (The puppies, not the neighbors!) When we talk about the puppies, he says, "Tub" and laughs.

So today, he made the connection "Tub. Fuddy. Ba ba bock. Veen."

It's cool to know what that brain is up to.



We are a family of chocolate lovers. It is something we always have on hand. Kevin and I are primarily into dark chocolates, and we like the good stuff. We sometimes will also go for the average variety of chocolates. We will try almost any chocolate that looks good to us. We tend not to go for the fruit and chocolate combos. He is more into caramel and some nuts. I like truffles and mints. And we both like it just straight up. And fudge. Fudge is nice.

Thanks to the Belgians, I have an appreciation for chocolate and coffee. It's a great combination, especially living in the Pacific Northwest, where coffee if like a religion. Coffee-flavored chocolates are delightful, in my opinion.

My mom needs to have a variety assortment box of chocolates almost every week. I will ask her what she wants from the store (meaning "what do you want to eat for lunches, etc.") and she will say "chocolate". Oh dear.

We also seem to be passing this adoration on to our children. Caspian, 8, has been loving the chocolate for a while. Zane, 20 months, enjoys it as one of his favorite treats. And he really likes the good stuff, too. Connoisseurs. That's us.

I just discovered a site that offers "home fashioned chocolates made with fresh whipping cream and butter." I have not had them yet, but is certainly sounds and looks promising. The site is for Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolate. And they've been around a while: Since 1964. I'm proud to say, that's longer than I've been around. I imagine there's something to them. They even won "Best of State" in Utah in 2005.

They have a really great variety of chocolates. I love the Most Famous Chocolates selection as a gift idea. The site describes it as such: "To create this beautiful gift selection, we surveyed our customers to find their favorite chocolates, doubled each variety and now offer it as a 'you can't go wrong' special gift. " That might be a nice gift for Mom.

For me, I'd probably lean towards the Tantalizing Truffles. Mint, orange, almond, vanilla, peanut butter. Mmmmm. I think this post is going to be funny in the midst of my posts about my struggling with weight loss issues. Oh well, gotta live a little. I don't think I gain weight from writing about it (hope not!) Oh dear. They also have Fantastic Fudge. Again, Mom would love the Pecan Roll.

Ok, before I lose it, I will just give one last list of the different varieties available at this delectable site.

Here is the list in its entirety:
Traditional Chocolates
Famous Assortments
Nuts and Chews
Tantalizing Truffles
Chocolate Cremes
Pecan Cavaliers
Cherry Cordials
Crunchy Brittles
Roasted Nuts
Fantastic Fudges
Chocolate and Nuts
Sugarless Chocolates
Sandwich Mints

Happy shopping! This really was a labor of love.


Weight Loss Update: Hanging Head in Shame

Allright, I weigh in tomorrow. I will have to use my mom's scale, so I don't know how accurate it will be. I do know I lost it a little today. I stopped counting. It's never good when I stop counting. So, we shall see what we shall see. I guess I better start writing my goal on my wrist agin. That seemed to help. And it made me feel young. Like when I used to write my homework on my hand in high school.

Tune in tomorrow, for the exciting results...


Disclosure Policy 10/29/06

This policy is valid from 29 October 2006

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts cash advertising. However, the opinions expressed are still my personal and honest opinions of what I have seen and heard on whatever site or product is being advertised.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog would like to disclose the following existing relationships. These are companies, organizations or individuals that may have a significant impact on the content of this blog. We are employed by or consult with: PayPerPost. We blog about people to whom we are related. The most interesting such people are: My husband, Kevin. My kids, Caspian and Zane. We have a financial interest in the following that are relevant to our blogging: Shameless Creations and Shameless Humor.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

Thanks, Reader!


Disclosure Policy

There has been a lot of debate in the blogosphere about ads in and on blogs. What is ethical? What isn't? Should we be telling our readers that we are accepting money or gifts for some of our blog entries? How will advertisers feel about that? Will it undercut our credibility with readers?

These are all great questions. I certainly understand both sides and do support transparency for both ethical and reader trust reasons. I feel good about my blogging for money. I'm providing a service to both the advertisers and the readers by getting them together. I only say what I really think. I have no problem with my readers knowing this; in fact, I think they should. However, it has seemed a bit extreme to me to post a message on every single paid post. And some advertisers don't like it. One solution is that bloggers adopt a disclosure policy and post it on their blog.

To that end, there is a new Disclosure Policy Generator. I generated a disclosure policy, using their simple 6-step process. Here it is (There will also be a link to this post on my sidebar):


Thanks, Reader!


New Milestone: Gettin' Good with a Spoon

So, Zane has been obsessed with cups, bowls, spoons, and plates for a while. He has enjoyed pudding and yogurt with his spoon. And we have enjoyed cleaning up HUGE messes. However, we have started to notice that he is getting better. In general, we try to keep a spoon to feed him things like pudding and yogurt, but of course he says "Zane", meaning he wants to do it. Kevin noticed he was doing such a good job this week, that he just let him go for it.

He usually has Cheerios and fruit for breakfast. Today he wanted some of Caspian's frosted mini-wheats. I thought he needed milk soakin' for some food like that. So, I gave him a bowl of actual cereal with milk. And he did a pretty good job. We marked the occasion with photos!

(Now that Bedhead is over, we have more access to the camera! But go check out the Year of Bedhead. It's hi-larious.)


Payperpost, oh how I love thee

I've talked before about PayPerPost, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell my story.

As many of you know, we moved to a new home in a new part of the country this year. I had been working, but now my husband is to be the breadwinner because I want to stay home with the kids. But the work hasn't really been beating down Kevin's door. I had heard rumblings about PayPerPost on another site and then my friend Gina also told us she was doing it.

My friend, Heather, and I signed up around the same time. We've been enjoying doing it at the same time. It's a lot of fun writing for PayPerPost. I like the company: they are a hardworking startup, but with a lot of fun and creativity. I did my first payperpost opportunity on October 13th and I've done it every day since then. I have currently earned over $300, and it will start to be deposited in my paypal account in a couple weeks. I think my blog has actually gotten better since I started because I write more often and about a variety of things.

So, what am I gonna do with all that money? Well, exciting things like feeding the family and paying the bills. But maybe just maybe I won't have to look for a full time job. And that IS exciting.

Thanks PayPerPost!!!


p.s.: If anyone is interested in PayPerPost, I'm happy to answer questions. If you decide to sign up, use my email as your referrer: terri@shamelesscreations.com.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cleaning Up

Zane likes to use his broom and dustpan to help around the house...

He is very serious about his work:

He will go to any lengths to make sure he does a good job:


Handy Household Hints

We just bought a new/old home in June. We're talking 1890 here. We tried to avoid that. We tried to buy something from the late 20th century, as we weren't ready to take on any remodeling projects, but we fell in love and ended up with the late 19th century. Oops. As you can imagine, even though our inspection was supposedly spotless, we have been facing more than a few home repairs.

My husband spent the summer doing DIY home makeover projects. Mostly painting, removing wallpaper, and hanging things in necessary places. Now we're just starting to get into the fun stuff. Recently, we found out we have a termite-infested fence. And just yesterday, we learned that our furnace is leaking noxious fumes that almost got our gas turned off. We were let off with a warning and have to get someone out here ASAP.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to do around here. And, being first-time homeowners, we have a lot to learn about home repair. That's why it's great to have online resources like handyhouseholdhints.com. The dream, of course, would be to win their $50,000 Extreme Home Makeover. Ahhh...what a dream.

But, if we aren't THAT lucky, they still have in-depth and useful articles in the following categories: automobile, carpentry and framing, cleaning, decks and porches, electrical, flooring and carpet, painting and refinishing, pest and rodent control, plumbing, safety, tools and gagdets, and yard and landscaping.

I'm going to have my husband check out the pest and rodent control and yard and landscaping for sure! I wonder if they can help me learn how to keep my stepson from wanting a hamster.


Select-a-Size Rant

How about this new trend in paper towels: select-a-size? I can't stand it. I WANT to select-a-size: the STANDARD size they have been making paper towels since I've been alive. THAT is the size I would select. But it is very hard to find those anymore. And God forbid to find them without some total lame crap printed or written on them. I now have some semi-lame crap in my kitchen because it was difficult to decide between lame platitudes on my paper towels and paper towels that are either too small or too big with a perforation in the middle.

I would be all for select-a-size if the industry standard we had been using for decades were still readily available, but it hardly seems to be. Annoying.

Reminds me of another issue I've had for years: concentrated dish soap. Again, great, go for it, but for God's sakes, make some nonconcentrated as well! This is at the same time as those little dish scubbies that hold the dish soap are incredibly popular. Those of us who do a dish here or there, using the scubby do not NEED concentrated soap. In fact, it runs contrary to the process. You have to rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse. I know, I know: I should just fill up my sink and add my one measly little drop of soap and do my dishes that way. But I don't. I merely want the CHOICE of non-concentrated dish soap. Is that too much to ask? Are we not Americans? Let's have some paper towel and dish soap freedom, people!


RAZZ: Mouth Off!

Ok, this thing is so funny. Heather and I had a good time messin' around with it last night. The RAZZ mixer is a flash-based app that lets users record their voice, upload background tracks, and mix in RAZZ sound effects to create personalized greetings and comments to be used on blogs, MySpace, etc.

This is the screen where you do most of your work:

This is what the player looks like:

This is the box that shows you the code you'll copy to put on your blog, MySpace, or wherever you want to share your creation:

I made one this morning. There are so many options. There are about a bazillion sound effects you can use, you can upload music, and record your own voice.
I had a little trouble recording my own voice (as you will hear), but I think that might be my own microphone's fault.

Here is the RAZZ I made:

Make your own Razz!

Here is one of their samples (from someone with a better microphone, obviously):

Make your own Razz!

Try the RAZZ Mixer Yourself


Hangin' in GaGa's Room

Zane's new favorite thing is to hang with GaGa in her room. They do some sort of ni-night game with teddy bears in her bed. He is into being asleep and then awake. It's kinda nice. They are bonding. It takes a village. Check them out.

GaGa didn't think to try to get kisses out of the situation until I did. Think, GaGa, think!


More Health Topics

Working toward a healthy lifestyle can be challenging in the world we live today. We have so many choices, and everyone is vying for your purchasing power. How do you know that you really are doing and buying what is best for your family?

As I've said before, I'm a big advocate of making informed choices. The Internet is an amazing tool in helping us to research items on many topics, including health-related issues. There is a new site with loads of articles on health topics that also offers Free Product Samples. That sounds like a good deal.

Healthyfreestuff.com has product samples available in a number of healthy living categories:

Foods, Beverages, Vitamins, & Minerals
Sleeping Aids and Insomnia Products
Diet and Weight Management Products
Pregnancy and Women's Health Products
Vitamins and Supplements
Dieters Counting Calories and Carbohydrates
Natural and Alternative Health Supplements
Staying Active
Minerals and Their Effect on Health
Healthy Eating Habits
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Free samples are given of brand name products like O.B.® , Dove® , Nature Made® , Pfizer® , Ambien® , Tylenol® , Purina® , Kleenex® , Oral-B® , Robitussin® and Centrum®.

To enjoy the products and more in-depth articles, visitors are encouraged to join as members. With membership, you enjoy no shipping costs or fees. If you like getting free stuff, I'd say it's worth checking out.


Friday, October 27, 2006

A Weightloss Paradox

Allright, so even though I broke the scale, I can TELL I've lost. One thing that saddens me just a bit (in so many ways) is my belly. It has really held the baby weight. But, it makes sense to me that we would have been designed this way, when baby is both in and out. When they're in...I imagine it's nice to have a little extra padding to cushion from little bumps or worse on the outside. And when they're out, well, Zane just loves to lay his head on my little "bowlful of jelly".

Knowing that I am mostly likely a more comfortable landing pad for my sweet babe has made this extra poundage more bearable. I feel a little bit for him as I get "less comfortable", but I guess I'll just have to put a pillow on my rock-hard abs for him (when they arrive). ha ha ha ha ah ha ha ha hah... (not really going for rock-hard here--reasonably less bumpy is the plan for now. I don't even dare hope for flat.)


Speaking of Health

I've been blogging a lot in the past couple days about my weight loss goals. Many of us want to lose weight to feel healthy and look great. Most people also want to feel young, and live long, productive lives. But that is sometimes easier said than done. One of the biggest factors in aging are molecules called "free radicals", but science now believes it is possible to build up a tolerance to these molecules.

There is a new product called Proleva that is available at www.proleva.com. Proleva helps the fight against aging but protecting the body from free radicals at a cellular level. It is made from an all-natural blend of fruit and berry products very high in anti-oxidants. In fact, a 2005 study showed that Proleva reduced free radical damage to human cells by 700%!

The website details how Proleva can help prevent aging, improve cardiovascular health, strengthen the immune system, increase energy, and help maintain brain and memory power. This does sound a little bit too good to be true. However, the site offers a 90-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are interested in getting answers fast, they also have an option to talk to a customer service representative immediately in a live chat.

I encourage you to get all the facts before taking any sort of pill or supplement. To that end, www.proleva.com has entire sections on what Proleva is, how it works, success stories from people who have already taken it, and the option of ordering the product. And what if it works?


When You Think You Know Where Something Belongs, Maybe You Do

Just a couple of little anecdotes here. You know when you just have a feeling about something?

A friend of mine believes that if something of hers looks really good on someone else, or they particularly love it, and it's not her fave, she should give it to them. (Was that a terrible run-on? Good Lord, I hope Mrs. Rohde isn't reading this! I think it might have been ok grammatically, just long.) Well, I once tried on a pair of her sunglasses and they looked smashing on me. Funny word choice, that. She was torn, because she liked them. I really didn't know her that well at the time to know what was going on in her mind. She kept the shades. She broke them the next day and told me her story afterward.

On the flip side, last week I bought two bouquets: one for my mom's birthday and one for a friend's homecoming. The one for my mom's birthday was pink and would really only look good in her room, but she wanted to keep them out for her birthday dinner. The bouquet for my friend's homecoming was a color that accidentally looked glorious in our dining room. They felt like they belonged. But I bought them for my friend. So, I took the flowers to her house and left them with her housesitter, only to find out later that her trip home had been postponed a number of days and the flowers were most likely dead by the time she arrived.

Go with your gut about where things belong.


6-Week Body Makeover

I am blogging about health and weight loss these days! I believe it was in early 2002 that I first saw the infomercial for the 6 week body makeover. I had about 25-30 lbs to lose at that time, too, and I was at just about the same place as I am right now: READY to GET IT OFF. So, when I saw the infomerical, I thought it was fate. I hesitated a little, but then decided to order it.

I'm glad I did, because I really had great results with the product. The system is developed by fitness guru Michael Thurmond (of Extreme Makeover fame) and focuses on both eating habits and exercise to sculpt your body. They also have great tips about how to think about what you are doing and be inspired to reach the next level. I was able to achieve my goal and was very happy with the result. To me, it was worth every penny I paid.

You must know, however, that although it is a 6 week program, this is not a quick fix and it is not for someone looking for easy solutions. In order to really make this program work, you will most likely need to drastically change your eating and cooking habits. You will need to make most of your food from scratch. In my opinion, it is a very healthy and balanced way to eat, but it is not necessarily easy if you live the typical North American lifestyle (or if you have a toddler!).

I am not doing the program now because it is not appropriate for nursing mothers, who need more fat and calories. However, if I were not nursing and had the ability, I would definitely do the 6 week body makeover again.


I Broke the Scale!

When I was pregnant with Zane, I didn't worry about gaining weight. I gained it en masse. I think it was over 60 lbs that I gained in the final effort. Well, then I had him and the weight didn't really go anywhwere for a while. I had a long, arduous recovery but a healthy baby, and that's all I cared about. Then I lost maybe 25 lbs all on my own, just quite naturally.

Then I got stuck.

So, I joined Weight Watchers online and was doing great until one thing or another kept popping up to derail me. Mostly, I was (and still am) nursing him and providing milk was more important to me than losing weight. I found when I started to lose weight, I started to lose milk and that just wouldn't do. So, I put weight loss on the back burner.

Then we moved. Then we had no kitchen for weeks, months?

Now I am moved and at home and have a kitchen and a 20-month old who still nurses but certainly could live without it. I'm ready for the weight to be gone. (Also, for the astrologically inclined--Jupiter just passed over my ascendent for the last time at the end of September, so now I feel I have a fighting chance!)

I have about 25 more lbs to lose. It was daunting, and I really wasn't committing, even though I was doing Weight Watchers. I was doing it only half-heartedly. Finally, I decided to focus on 2-lb increments. This seemed to work last week and I finally stayed on program! I was so excited to weigh in on Monday, only to find my scale was broken!!!

Well, I think I made that goal (I weighed myself on my mom's scale.) I need to get new batteries for my scale, because I'd like to be consistent. I feel good about how I've done this week.

For added accountability, I thought I'd post about my goal here and my weigh ins. I have toyed with the idea of taking a picture of myself every week the day I weigh in (Monday), but I'm not sure. Don't worry, if I do, I only plan to do a face shot. Yet, I think the difference would be striking nonetheless.

I am really excited about the prospect of actually losing this weight I've held on to for so long. I can't wait to get to a size I'd actually like to stay in and build a wardrobe around. I would love to see a picture of myself and not be embarassed. I will be 35 on February 6th of next year. I'd like to be a hot 35-year old. Enough of this fartin' around--I'M GOING TO LOSE THIS 25 LBS!!!

Allright, thanks for listening.


N101 Nutrition, Health, & Sport

I was just thinking tonight that I would like to begin blogging about my weight loss journey. Of course, a big part of that is eating right and being healthy. I haven't explored health food stores, etc. in my new town yet, but I just found a site that could prove very helpful.

N101 Nutrition offers a large selection of vitamins, herbs, sports nutrition products, natural health & beauty products, and nutritional supplements. In addition to everyday low pricing, they offer volume discounts on many items and have a rewards program for all customers.

I was impressed by the name brands I saw and recognized right away: Country Life, Nature's Way, Burt's Bees, Avalon Organics (love their shampoo!), and Twinlab, to name just a few. You can save 30-75% on these well-known brands. What a deal. And they have a lot protein powders and nutritional bars to choose from--some of my personal favorite things to buy at health stores.

The site offers detailed information on each product and is dedicated to customer service, including keeping all information up to date.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lovely St. Lucia

I got interested in Petitioning the Saints earlier this week. I'd already had a little bit of success with working with Saints earlier in the year. When my mom was trying to sell her condo, she heard about how getting a statue of St. Joseph can help. It seemed slightly crazy, but it actually worked. The day she buried him in her yard, the people who bought the condo came to see it. Before then, there were really no buyers in sight.

We have a lot going on in our lives right now. My husband is looking for a job. We are both writers and have been doing some work from home as well. We've both been sick. I even lost my voice. When I started looking up saints in a website I found, I looked for saints who work with authors, hoping one could help my husband get some of his work published and perhaps ease our worries.

Someone had suggested St. Thomas Aquinas, but I had less than happy memories of him from college, so I decided to see what else was out there. A few saints came up, and I was drawn to St. Lucy. Now here is what's so cool. Turns out that in addition to writers, she is also the patron of sore throats, which I have had for about a week. She is also the patron of eye problems, which I also have. I have been drawn to the name Luke lately and it took me a bit to make the connection. And then the connection came that she is St. Lucia! And St. Lucia is the amazing island where I and my husband honeymooned. Plus, I have been talking about it a lot lately. So, that's all been coming together in a weird way. I just have to remember now to keep working with St. Lucia and see how she can help us.

Although I am no longer Catholic, I do believe that when souls pass over they can retain some of the knowledge and talents they had here, and perhaps even came here with those things. So, why wouldn't they specialize on "the other side". It reminds me of calling on the elements or your ancestors or the gods and goddesses of paganism, which I have all explored in the past. It is wonderful to me to see how even though we think we are all doing such different things, it really just is all ONE.

I wanted to post some photos of St. Lucia, the island, but it is not working (Mercury). Instead, you can to the site of Anse Chastanet, where we stayed while there. I hope St. Lucia blesses you as well.


Wedding Reminscing

Allright, it's been a couple weeks since my 4th wedding anniversary, and I can't seem to stop reminscing about my wedding and my honeymoon. I really have to say that we had things exactly as we wanted them, which was amazing.

First of all, my wedding dress: I simply adored it. I opted away from the traditional and had a dress from my closet altered. It was a faux-vintage dress that never really seemed my style because of some flouncy little sleeves. When I had the sleeves taken off, voila! Grecian Goddess.

The wedding was specifically planned for the new moon in Libra, as the new moon is a time of beginnings and Libra is the sign of balance and partnership. Being ruled by Venus, there is also a lovely social quality about it, and I have to say our wedding showed these traits.

My wedding theme had to do with the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. It wasn't over the top, but it was present in the ceremony, the surroundings, and the gift I gave my new husband--a tatoo with an ambigram of these words.

Even thought we didn't do all the traditional wedding rituals, we did have fun with a few of them. I stayed overnight at a friend's house the night before and did not see Kevin until I walked down our "aisle". We had a fairly unconventional wedding ceremony which I wrote myself and was performed by my friend Jeff, newly ordained for the occasion. I was, however, adamant about one thing: there would be polkas, or my Polish ancestors would have haunted me. So, we did all bop around to a couple of polka cds I brought along for the purpose. Who Stole the Keishka? is a favorite still. And, of course we had a FABULOUS wedding cake, baked by my friend Erika. Then on to our favorite Mexican restaurant for family-style dinner for about 15. It was great.

All in all, a very memorable day.


My Friend, Zach Braff

So, I've been pretty much in love with Zach Braff since I saw Garden State, perhaps one of the most fabulous movies ever. And an amazing soundtrack. In fact, after Zane was born, I had it in the cd player in my bedroom and we just listened to it over and over and over. Newborns spend a lot of time sleeping and nursing and we did it to the Garden State Soundtrack. Probably why he is basically a mellow kid.

Anyway, I bring all this up, because Zach is my friend on MySpace, and I check his blog occasionally. He's not a real regular writer, but he cracks me right up. Read this entry on Shark Fin Soup.

If you still can see The Last Kiss, you should go out and see it. It is not your average Hollywood-variety movie. It's very real and sometimes uncomfortable, but sweet and true. I highly recommend it. I know it may not be out everywhere right now, because it isn't anymore anywhere near me. So, maybe you have to wait to see it on DVD, but definitely worth a looksee. Also has an amazing soundtrack.

Check out the trailer:

Zach is uber-talented and also has great taste in music. Come, share my love of ZB.

(This post in no way takes away from the true love I share with my husband, Kevin Shamel.)


Keep You Safe

We all have important documents we need to have access to, especially in cases of emergency. Here is a service that I find interesting: an Online Safe Deposit Box. It runs on the same idea of a regular safe deposit box, but not only is it accessible in the case that something should happen to your home, but also if you are away. This safe deposit box can be accessed online from anywhere, should you need it.

The site lists product features as follows:

"Secure & Encrypted
Certified by HS™
Worldwide Servers
Protected from Disasters
No Software to Install"

They do seem particularly interested in the ease of the site, so that even the non-Internet savvy can enjoy their service. Sign up is said to take only 30 seconds and is free for a year, with a small-sized "box". After the initial year, customers pay $3/month, but get a larger box.


Crabby Baby Blues

Yikes. What is with my kid today? Whiny, whiny, whiny. This is not like him. It seems food helps, though. That kid loves the kitchen. Is it the forbidden nature? The treats? The smells? The colors? The plates, bowls, and cups? (pates, bowls, and cupfs?) He just loves being in there--of course, one of the few verboten places. Ahhhh babies. Now he's happily playing peek a boo with himself in the entertainment center. Go figure.


Blue Hawaii

I wrote about our fabulous all-inclusive honeymoon in a previous post. We got married stateside, but I can completely see the appeal of getting married on an island. First of all, only the people that REALLY love you will show up. But, more than that, it is just gorgeous and serene.

I've heard particularly great things about Maui Weddings. There's something magical about getting away from it all. And the weather and views are fantastic. You can get married on the beach, at sunset, in a beautiful garden, or any number of gorgeous settings. And, when you're done, you don't have to travel to your honeymoon--you're there!

When you use a site like hawaiianislandweddings.com, you get one stop shopping for all your wedding needs. Beauty, luxury, convenience, what more could you want for your wedding?


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Elbow Obsession

The other night, Zane pointed to my elbow and very clearly said, "elbow". I was impressed, because I had no idea he knew this word. It's just funny when your child, who you are with almost ALL of the time, knows something you didn't know he knew.

Now, he's really into elbows. Pointing at mine, "Elbow." Pointing at my other one, "Elbow." Pointing at his, "Elbow. Elbow." It's cute. He's doing this in bed at night. He's also recently into signing "daddy" and "mommy" while lying in bed. It's nice, because it really took him a while to be able to sign "mommy." It's on the chin, and he never could quite figure that out. Most chin signs just sorta float around his body, but not anymore!



Ok, so I haven't been big into biking in the past. But I do need some exercise and I do like majorly cute things. Check out these Beach cruisers. So cute. And you don't have live at the beach to have one! Although Zane would love to live at the beach--he says that's where he wants to go every time we get in the car.

This beauty is the Firmstrong URBAN CLASSIC LADY Beach Cruiser. It also comes in pink, red, green, purple, and vanilla. I think I'm in love. They also have other models for women, and models for men and kids.

This Firmstrong Urban Delux Chopper Cruiser is pretty cool, too:

Looks like a bad boy might ride it. Vroom vroom.

The prices are pretty reasonable and the bikes are said to offer a relaxing and comfortable ride. That sounds good to me!


The Best Enchiladas EVER

If I spoke any Spanish, I'd wax poetic in Spanish, but since I don't, I'll just say my husband makes the best enchiladas ever. Our whole family loves them and most of our neighborhood. Even our neighbor's 7-yr old daughter couldn't get enough. Now, my husband is an amazing cook. But part of it is the special enchilada sauce we use--Mi Vida. It really is the bomb. I wish I had a picture of the enchiladas. Anyway, it's not widely available in stores yet, but you can order online. They're also really nice there. So, check 'em out.

This NOT a sponsored post. Totally just my own desire to talk up Mi Vida Enchilada sauce. ENJOY!


Down Bedding

I love my bed. I have even mentored my child in the art of falling into bed and exhaling a lengthy sigh of happiness and comfort. And I'm a bit of bed snob because I used to work in a linen shop. One of the most comfortable materials you can have in your bed is down, but there are a lot of different choices on the market. How do you know what you need?

There is a very informational site on How To Buy Down Bedding that can help. They include info on the practicality of down, it's energy saving qualities, the different types available, how to look for quality products, and a very useful FAQ.

With this site, you can learn all you need to know to dress your bed in comfort and practicality.


Zanespeak-English Dictionary

We have been having so much fun with language around here. As I was sharing some of it with Heather, she suggested I post my Zane-English dictionary, so here it is. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Now, mind you, he has many other words that he pronounces just perfectly and even these words are getting better all the time. It's just too fun, though.

(Gosh I hope Blogger never goes down permanently. This IS my kid's baby book.)

ba ba bock=chicken
dow dow down=down
ga ga and ca ca= grandma and Caspian, but they almost always sound alike, which leads to comedy in our house.
guck=duck or clock or cup
henh=yes, but he also says “yeah” now
holdjyou=hold you=hold “ME”
wehwipe=wet wipe

I cannot even begin to spell what he does with “washcloth” and “glasses” It’s cute, though.

Mortgage Help

Having just gone through the house-buying process for the first time, I can tell you, it's overwhelming. I'm still not even sure about everything that went into getting us in here. So many papers to sign and fees for this and that and who can you trust?

I think one of the best ways to handle the situation is to educate yourself fully. Find out as much as you can about mortgages before you even start the process. If you're looking for a mortgage, personalhomeloanmortgages.com can give you all the information you need. They have sections with helpful industry content where you can learn more, find out about your local mortgage market through an extensive directory, calculate monthly payments, prequalify for a loan, and participate in an online forum to share information and stories with other borrowers.

If you're worried about your personal information, the site protects customer data through SecureTrust which guarantees compliance with FTC, DoNotCall & Can Spam regulations.

All in all, it looks like a great resource.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Food Oddities

Well, it's been an odd food day around here.

First, Zane requested a smoothie. It was odd that he didn't really drink it. Even odder, that somehow when we weren't looking, it exploded on his head:

Later in the day, Caspian considered donating these conjoined Fritos to science:

He ended up eating it instead. But at least we documented it.


Keeping Track of the Kids

Caspian just recently got a new/used laptop from his mom. Personally, I wasn't sure I was ready for the responsibility. He is, after all, only 8 years old. And there is so much happening online that I know I don't want him to access. (Heck, I just mentioned in an earlier post I don't want him seeing everything on MY blog.) We were given a little bit of a reprieve when the laptop unexpectedly crashed, but his mom just sent the recovery disks, so he's up and running again.

Now, I think it's just my fear talking, because of course, I know more than most what WONDERFUL things you can do and learn online. I am an internet junkie. But, of course, we still want to make sure the little ones are safe. To that end, SpectorSoft has come up with some great Keylogger software.

SpectorPro 6.0 automatically records their emails, IMs, chats, websites visited, keystrokes, programs launched, peer-to-peer file sharing, screen snapshots, and passwords. It is also the only keylogger that records all myspace.com activity.

Having software like this would really help me feel better about him using the Internet. This way we KNOW he is only frequenting the places we approve and communicating with people we know and trust.


New Game

Here are Zane and Kevin "pretending to be asleep". (Yes, Zane sleeps with his eyes open. Well, not REALLY.) They are surrounded by the remnants of the diapers I pelted at them after Kevin teased me for tossing some diapers across the room.

Ahhhh...diapers. Has everyone seen "The Diaper Dance"? I doubt it. But it's a favorite around here. This is just a clip. It's from our fave, Signing Time.


Looking for Networking Hardware?

Are you interested in some fabulous deals on networking hardware? Here is a website that has Used Cisco hardware at deep, deep discounts. They have Cisco routers, switches, and modules. Some of the discounts are up to 90% off of new hardware. That's amazing.

Now, I can sometimes be leery of used equipment, particularly electronics. But with these 30-90% discounts, all hardware also comes fully tested and backed by warranty. That makes it a little easier to relax about the great prices.

How can they afford to do this? They offer a large inventory of products. And what's even better? They offer IMMEDIATE shipping. One of the few things I don't like about shopping online is having to wait. Take that out of the equation, and I'm sold!


The Ham Update

So I sent a link with the original ham post to my friend Jen, and here is her memory of how ham samiches became funny to us:

"We got a huge kick out of it because they said either after or before the show they went home and had ham sandwiches...Then we cracked up because we couldn't figure out why ham sandwiches were so funny."

So, there it is. It seemed to involve someone's parents, a movie, and ham sandwiches as the pre- or post-date meal.

"Hey, you wanna go to a movie and stop by my house for a ham sandwich after?"


The Rain in Spain

Kevin has always been interested in owning a second home. Of course, we might have to finish up paying for the first one before we get into that. However, it's always fun to look, and it's especially fun to look at property in Spain. I have not ever been there, but I have heard it's amazing and would love to go. The culture, the sun, the architecture, the food. I seem to be dreaming of a getaway these days. Maybe it's this hacking cough I'm suffering. I'm sure it would go away in Spain.

If YOU start to look and get to the point of buying a property in Spain, this company can work with you to make it happen.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Mercury Retrograde is on it's way

Ok, everyone Mercury is about to retrograde again--This happens around 12:00 PDT this Saturday, October 28th. I'm not going to go into all the technical things this means. (If you want that, go to the link.) But we are in the shadow right now. And it's feeling pretty shadowy around here.

  • We are all sick.
  • I can't even talk, because my voice is almost gone.
  • My friend has been trying to get home for a LONG time and can't seem to get here.
  • We are working on a cafepress store and having lots of difficulties with it. Ha ha...was trying to go there now to pick up a link and the whole site is unavailable!
  • After being VERY good on WW this past week, my scale BROKE this morning so I couldn't weigh in and see if I got to the goal I wanted. (Ok, it just needs a battery, but it is sooooo mercury retro.)

I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of it right now. Remember people (and I include myself in this), patience and humor are the keys here. Mercury is the trickster, and generally for our own good. Things don't usually really go terribly wrong, or terribly broken, or terribly expensive. Just kinda annoying and ok in the end. At least that's been my experience.

I find it interesting that this year Mercury Retros right on the Time Change--Fall back. That will most likely mess with some people.


Costumes for after the trick or treaters have gone home

Well, it's costume time of year. But I'm talking about costumes for adults only. The ones that come from a lingerie store.

So, this is at least a PG-13 post. Caspian, if you ever get online and to my blog, don't read this. Hmmm...I wonder if I can have Kevin block this website. Have to make mental note. Dad and Tim, skip this one. Any family members, just move right along.

Anyway, thought these might be kind of fun for the adults in the audience:

First, we have a your typical Halloween costume. I believe there's always room for the basics.

But, as you look a little further, you find some things that are a little more interesting. Take this nurse, for example. Updated, yet still sexy. Nice. Ladies, I'm sure this costume will have your men saying "clear" to everything else on their agenda.

The little plaid skirt. Every man's fantasy. I think that's all that's necessary to say. This one does, however, have a nice updated feel to it. I will not even go to the puns I could from there.

If you're into the exotic, I think this little Japanese Doll costume is quite nice.

Ok, this was kinda fun. Maybe I should do more fashion blogging.

Have a good time, folks, and be safe!



Little sleepy bear is upstairs napping as I write this.

Language acquisition is so fun and interesting. Zane has really been into perfecting some of his words lately and also learning prepositions. Up, down, in, out, on, off. These are useful tools that he is currently enjoying. One thing that does have him a little confused is the whole "me" and "you" thing. I guess that's why people talk to toddlers in the 3rd person, huh? He really doesn't get it yet. My favorite part of this is that somehow, he's put two words together and when he wants us to pick him up, he imitates what he has heard us ask, "Should I hold you?"

So, now, when he wants to be held, he simply says "Holdjyou" with upstretched arms.


All-Inclusive Holidays

Kevin and I had a small wedding. But we had the most fabulous honeymoon ever. We relaxed at a luxury resort without a care in the world for about a week. One of the things that made it particularly wonderful was that we chose an all-inclusive package. Let me tell you, it was totally and completely WORTH IT!

In my opinion, All Inclusive Holidays are DEFINITELY the way to go. We didn't have to worry about a thing. We didn't have to carry money at all. We could eat as much or as little as we liked. We didn't make any decisions about what we were going to enjoy as far as food or beverages based on cost--we had what we truly wanted and didn't have to worry, because we knew the bill was already paid. What freedom! What fun! We could just sit on the beach under a little umbrella ordering fruity drinks. Oh yes.

Many resorts will also let you include things like water sports and other recreational activities as part of your package. That's a particularly nice option if you are looking for a more active vacation.

If you are looking to really get away from it all, I'd say give an all inclusive holiday a try. Do you think it would be as much fun with a tw0-year old?


Had to take another quiz

Ok, my (non) nerdy friend Heather had this on her blog, and I got curious about my own nerd score. I figured, somewhat correctly, that I am not a nerd. At least not the kind they were looking for. (but it does still bother me that I just ended that sentence with a preposition.) If my dad or brother are reading this, you should definitely take this quiz. Ok without further ado...

I am nerdier than 14% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


Office Space Contest

Heh heh...I love this. Offices2share is a great online resource to find short-term, ready to use office space. You can find office space or list office space.

Offices2share is currently running The Home Office From Hell contest. The contest is aimed at people who are currently unhappy in their home office space and would love to relocate to "real" office space. Since we do a lot of working from home, I can definitely see the appeal of this contest. The logo for the contest itself is worth clicking through--for some reason, I found it hilarious.

The site lists the Grand Prize as follows:

12 Months Rent in a Real Office (Maximum amount $12,000)

1 Dell Desktop Computer, 1 Dell Notebook Computer, 1 Dell Switch and Server (Approximate retail value $7,500)

Tuition For "The Entrepreneurship Mastery Program" at Trump University (Approximate retail value $2,500)

Trip to NYC and 2 night hotel stay (Maximum amount $2,000)

Lunch with George Ross and an autographed copy of his new book "Trump Style Negotiation"

Other prizes include a notebook computer, Trump University Audio tapes, and business books.

To enter, you have to come up with your top 10 reasons you need to move out of your Home Office from Hell. You can also include a video.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Conversation with Mom. 1:30 am.

So, my mom comes out of her room at 1:30 am. For the second time since we have lived together, I think she has said "Come in" to no one in the middle of the night. The first time, both Kevin and I heard her and were concerned there was a knock outside the door and she was letting some stranger in her room in her sleep. He went outside with a bat to find no one around and then my mom woke up and told us she had been sleeping but thought she heard a knock. So we said, "Well, don't tell them to come in!"

Ok, so that was a few weeks ago.

I am alone at my keyboard and I hear her do it again. "Come in."

I try to talk to her, but I get no response.

About 10 minutes later, she comes out, and I ask her about it. She confirms that she had been sleeping and thought she heard a knock. She said it sounded like me knocking, not Zane (who often knocks on her door).

I said, "Well, maybe you shouldn't just say 'come in' when you hear someone knocking. " (Now, I'm thinking it might not be under her control anyway, because she is asleep, right?)

This is when she tells me she thought it was me and maybe there was something going on.

So I say, "Maybe you should say 'Who is it?'"

And she says, "Well, I don't want to ask that and have a ghost answer me." (I wasn't expecting that.)

And I say, "Do you think you are better off just telling them to come in? If a ghost answers to 'Who is it?', then you can just tell them to go away."

Then we both cracked up for a couple of minutes.

Then she said, "You're funny in the middle of the night."


PPP Blue Monster 98

Oh you gotta love the payperpostbluemonster. If you are a regular reader of my blog (Kevin & Heather), you are quite familiar with this spiel already.

Payperpost, the company that pays bloggers to post blog ads, is running what I think is a pretty darn funny contest. People have to search around to blogs online to find puzzle pieces and put them altogether on their blog to win a chunk of cash. And it's a blue monster. That's funny. Maybe not as funny as ham (see previous post), but still funny.

Without further ado, here's puzzle piece #98:

Ooooooh, what COULD it be?



There is something funny about the word ham.

Is it because it is so short?

Is ham just funny?

Is ham slightly out of style?

Is it because pigs are funny?

Is it the way my 19 month old says it? (That could add to it, but we thought it was funny before we met him.)


Is it because it's funny to be a ham?




What about ham sandwiches. There is something funny there. I don't remember what it is, but me, Kevin, and our friend Jen just prattled on into the night one night about the utter hilarity of ham sandwiches. And we had no substances in us. Except maybe ham.


Kevin made a ham the other night.

I thought of giving some away.

Giving someone ham seems like a funny thing to do.

And what about ham spread? Good Lord, that's some funny stuff. Only people born before 1950 would touch it, I'm imagining.

Now go eat a ham sandwich and tell me why it's funny.

Personally, I love ham. But there is something funny about it.



PPP Blue Monster 72

I talked about the payperpostbluemonster puzzle in a post a couple days ago. Of course, by now you must know that payperpost is the company that pays bloggers for blog ads. (If you didn't know that, check out the link--it's so cool!)

Anyway, this fabulous company is running a contest to be announced in the near future with a bunch of puzzle pieces. The first person to assemble all of them and post them on their blog wins a nice cash prize. Here's puzzle piece #72:


The Blast Astrology Conference

Calling all students of astrology!

My friend Moses has been putting together a fabulous new conference, called The Blast.

This promises to be quite THE event. The website states: "Come see the brightest, up-and-coming astrologers (and some beloved veterans, too) present their most invaluable astrological methods. Keep reading to find out why this conference represents such a positive revolution for astrology." (You'll have to click the above link to keep reading.)

My favorite part of the marketing for this event is Moses' top 10 list.

The Top Ten Reasons to Come to The Blast ...
10) Sedona makes everything a lot more magical--inebriation completely optional.
9) You have the chance to see ALL 26 of our incredible speakers for over 24 hours of lectures and workshops. We think that's nicer than an event with 100 speakers when you only get to see a small number of them!
8) Five full days of lectures and activities. Most conferences (even the big ones) have the major events for four days. So there's no extra charge for pre- or post-conference workshops, and there will be three workshops for you to attend at the end of the conference.
7) Spending the conference in one hall together means no running around and stressing over what to do. It also creates a better sense of community, and you can keep looking at that cute guy/girl the whole time.
6) You haven't seen most of our speakers before, and they have an amazing level of experience and expertise. You'll hear tons of very practical and new information that you won't get anywhere else. We're going to make sure that happens.
5) When's the last time a conference took off half a day so everyone can hike through the red rocks together or visit ancient native american sites (or let you do your own thing in an amazing place)?
4) The perfect balance of speakers, from modern to ancient, from Western to Vedic, from Evolutionary Astrology to Locational Astrology, from Kepler students to international speakers. Hear the best from each tradition.
3) 10% of conference profits go to support charitable projects in India (where US dollars go much farther). And, as if that wasn't enough ... you get a free T-shirt!
2) LOTS of young people. LOTS of old people. You can't beat that!

And the #1 reason to come to The Blast ...1) It beats the crap out of sitting in front of your computer! (and you only live once, amigo)

LOVE it! Sounds awesome. Check it out!


Super-power=Night Vision

Living with three guys, I know guys love their toys. If you're looking for a gift for the guy who loves toys on your list, check out Optics Planet. They are the leading sport optics supplier and boast "the most complete selection of night vision equipment in the world" They have brand name deals on night vision goggles, night vision scope, night vision binoculars, and night vision rifle scopes. I know some dudes would just love to get their hands on these things.

But that's not all--they also sell telescopes, binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, digital cameras, and rangefinders. They offer a Best Deal Guarantee on Bushnell, Nikon, ATN, Leupold, Barska, Steiner, Meade, Celestron, Swarovski, Leica. Because it can be intimidating to make a choice on important equipment with so many options, they have support forums where you can learn more. And--here is what I love--FREE UPS on orders over $29.95. Now that's a great deal. Some places only do that on $50 or $100 orders.

The selection on this site is truly astounding. If you think the guy on your list would like some of these toys, but are somewhat stymied by the selection, check out their Holiday Gift Guide.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dip It

As I was laying in bed with my 19-month old son this evening, he started a conversation with a semi-unintelligible word.

I said, "What?"

He said it again.

"Did you say cracker?"

"Henh" (his version of yes.)

"You want a cracker?"

"Henh. Dipit."

"You want to dip a cracker?"

(Mind you, he is in bed for the night and asking to get out of bed to do this.)

"Henh. Pick."

"You want to go pick out a cracker that you can dip."


"Well, I don't even think we have anything to dip crackers in."




Cool Political Vid

Gettin' political here.

Check out this vid, called Take Back the Capitol!

The vid is part of a non-partisan political grass roots viral video. (What a mouthful.) Basically, people who have had enough coming together to voice their opinions in a way that can reach a mass audience.

Here are some stills:

The website describes the video as such: "A vibrant hip hop beat throbs to flash cuts of angry citizens voicing their dissent to the party in power. The camerawork is deft and the look sleek, with jolts of animation punctuating sound bites of disaffected voters speaking their minds. Dozens of man-in-the-street interviews build with increasing intensity toward an anthem-like crescendo."

The video is about 2 minutes in length, is interesting to watch, and makes a lot of good points about where we are headed as a country in the current climate.

I think it's amazing that this whole new medium exists for the everyday man to inexpensively voice his or her opinion. Perhaps real change is on the way? I, for one, hope so.


What Happened to Lazy Saturdays?

Well, I guess I haven't had any lazy Saturdays for a long time, since I used to work Tue-Saturday. It's business as usual for here, me blogging and working on other projects, Kevin upstairs working on an online store, and everyone watching out for little ZV.

Zane has taken to doing a lot of "cooking", mostly on a cabinet in the dining room. He opens it and closes it and bonks his head and needs kisses. It might not be the best system. And he is obsessed with picking out snacks and dishes from the the kitchen to the point where he is piteously crying and grasping my leg as I write because I won't let him in the kitchen right now. Luckily, his fits don't last long. He's a good boy.

My mom is helping with ZV as was Caspian, but now he's off playing vids and hanging with his friends. My mom doesn't usually play vids. She walks around picking up crumbs off the floor for fun. Or just because she is cleaner than we are.

Gotta go kiss Zane's bonked head...


Another SEO Blog

Maybe I should have taken that bipolar quiz I saw at blog things. Going between SEO blogs and goofing off. I guess we need a little goofing off between the business.

Well, I'm sharing this stuff because it's what I'm into learning right now. I think it's a great idea for everyone to begin to understand the internet and its marketplace. It's so prevalent and there are many opportunities for exciting entrepeneurism.

I found a lot of great Search Engine optimization and online marketing tips and lessons at SEO'Brien. This blog promises the following: "Discover how search engine marketing can deliver ROI and support your brand through paid and natural search optimization. Drive revenue while reaching targeted customers with advanced search marketing insights including comparison shopping, portfolio and integrated marketing, and affiliate search."

The writer of the blog is Paul O'Brien. He delivers a lot of in-depth marketing information from his 15+ years of internet marketing experience--first with Yahoo and now as head of Online Marketing for HP's direct to consumer business.

Feel Like Goofin' Off?

I feel like goofin' off, so I'll share it with you. :) I love these little quizzes.

Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino

Smooth and sweet, you fit in to almost any crowd. No one would suspect you of being a coffee tweaker!

Ha ha...don't know if the next one is true; I guess YOU could be the judge:

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate

You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

This is just weird:

Your Monster Profile

Twisted Darkness

You Feast On: Fried Chicken

You Lurk Around In: Olive Gardens

You Especially Like to Torment: Vegans

This is just silly:

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Quick Rage
Your Superpower is Radiation
Your Weakness is Kittens
Your Weapon is Your Rusty Battle Axe
Your Mode of Transportation is Sleigh

Heh heh...

Your Hillbilly Name Is...

Billie Jo Hogg

I'll end on a deep note. I liked this one.

You Are a Prophet Soul

You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone.
Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people.
Sometimes this faith can lead to disappoinment in the long run.
No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.

You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle.
Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people's feelings.
A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning.
You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul