Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Gradtitude Effect

"Thirty-six," he said, looking up at his mother and father. "That's two less than last year." (J.K. Rowling, The Sorcerer's Stone)

My first thought of a spoiled child, resorts to a chubby, young boy whom had the pleasure of getting everything on his birthday and Christmas list. Despite Dudley's boasting beginnings, in the end of the seven book series, Dudley still has a moment of gratitude on the last day he should ever see Harry Potter, his cousin who saved his soul from a dementor (an evil happiness sucking creature).

"Don't these people realize what you've been though? What dangers you are in? The unique position you hold in the heart of the anti-Voldemort movement?"

"Er-no, they don't," said Harry. "They think I'm a waste of space, actually, but I'm used to--"

"I don't think you're a waste of space."

If Harry had not seen Dudley's lips move, he might not have believed it. 


"S-so sweet, Dudders...." She sobbed into his massive chest. "S-such a lovely b-boy...s-saying thank you..."

"But he hasn't said thank you at all!" said Heatis indignantly. "He only said he didn't think Harry was a waster of space!"

"Yeah, but coming from Dudley, that's like "I love you,'" said Harry, torn between annoyance and a desire to laugh as Aunt Petunia contined to clutch at Dudley as if he had just saved  Harry from a burning building. (J.K. Rowling, The Deathly Hallows)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It promotes people coming together in spite of the differences, and thriving because of it. Overlooking the hardness of life to recognize that life itself, is a gift. Even with Dudleys inability to properly express gratitude, there is promise. Thanksgiving is a continuation of that promise.

Each day this month, I reflected on one thing to be thankful for. As for this day, with turkey and sweet rolls filling my house with fragrances, and filling chairs with family and friends, an overwhelming peace settles on me.

This morning, my mother ruined the deviled eggs. Some how, her train of thought lead her to believe she was making egg salad, and she smashed the eggs white and yolks together, while we chatted away.  We didn't notice until a hour later, that a mistake was made. We made egg salad instead, luckily we had all the ingredients. Grateful that it was not the turkey we mistaked on, our thanksgiving still continues. Had it been the turkey, I still have plenty of chicken breast in the freezer.

Happiness has never been about things going perfectly.  Happiness is the aftermath of gratitude , and gratitude is a conscience decision. I posted my thankful thoughts each on facebook. Each time I did I had to consciencely decide what to be thankful for. Gratitude is an art, and all art takes practice. Thanksgiving is a time to practice your art, so you will improve your ability to have gratitude.

In a sense, you can say Thanksgiving is not about gratitude at all... it's about learning to be happy. With that I would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving; whether you get everything on your Christmas list, or someone saves your soul, or even, if your deviled eggs wind up as egg salad.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cleaner Hatters: He's not Bae!

The long awaited moment arrived last sunday, and what was quite amusing is everyone anticipating my anticipation. The opening episode is fantastic, and much to the enjoyable torment of the ONCE fandom, we find a stranger in the opening scene which caused many of us to panic thinking we were watching the wrong show. This is the new 'Dr. Whale' (whose true identity will be revealed this month!), the mysterious man (as ONCE casted him, played by Michael Raymoond-James) yet to be identified.

You know I have a theory....but I'm gonna tease you a bit first.

The writers have revealed that this season they will introduce Henry's father. They have also promised a reunion of Baelfire with his father Rumplestiltskin (Mr. Gold). It's completely natural to jump to the conclusion that this man is one of those two. .... or both. While I still fantasize about Bae being Henry's father, much to the distaste of some in the ONCE fandom, if you depend on the ONLY true predictability of the writer's true nature, you know that they like to be unpredictable. Which is why I insist it is not Bae.

Now I'm going to blow your mind. The opening mysterious man is The White Rabbit.

In the sneak peek for Season 2 Episode 2 "We are Both", we see Jefferson talking to Prince Charming (David) that is a portal jumper, and his hat was his only portal. Which leaves me to question: Are there other portal jumpers? Of course there has to be!

In the end of the episode Hat Trick, His fairy tale history finds him trapped in Wonderland, and by the end of season one, we still have no idea how (or if he even did for that matter) return to fairytale land. We know, from the classic story, the Jefferson was present in Wonderland when Alice came through. Her appearance, outed to Jefferson that there is a portal jumper in wonderland when Alice reveals she followed The White Rabbit.

It is just my theory that this mysterious man, the white rabbit, is, infact a portal jumper (and I have the inclination his portal may be a pocket watch). He helps Jefferson escape to back to fairytale land before the curse takes place, which is how he ended up in strybrooke cursed. But it's also my theory that Jefferson and the White Rabbit had many meetings between his return to fairytale land and the curse taking effect- and hence The White Rabbit and Jefferson co-hearse a plan to help return to fairytale land after the savior breaks the curse (Because when the curse took place, Regina still had Jefferson's only portal--the hat).

I know what you're thinking...... "you're crazy! There is no proof of that!"...But anyone following the show knows that the writers LOVE to drop you all kinds of hints.....Are you ready for them?

Clue one: Opening Song. It's very unusual for the show to deviate from show's score. For some reason this stranger is accompanied by the song "Charlie's girl" by Lou Reed. Perhaps to subtle to make the connection; but Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is Written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka, Lewis Carroll.

Clue two: He travels underground (the subway). Now I know it's a stretch, but I also know that going into a hole is not a first for a rabbit, and we know the most famous hole the white rabbit went through in Carroll's book. Why not travel by holes in the ground?

Clue three: The sign in the apartment."Cleaner and Hatters".... I'm not even going to go into immense detail here, but I speculate that the sign has some association to his relationship with Jefferson.

Clue four: The Red Hand and the Heart pictures. At first sight, some speculate that the red picture (above) depicted red riding hood, but upon further inspection, I believe it is a red hand with fingers enlaced with scrollwork. It's not detailed enough to depict what the scroll says, but I just have the feeling that it has to do the the queen of hearts with leads me to the second picture near his window; a drawing/sketch of a human heart (below, near the fan by his shoulder).

Clue five: the apartment contents. clocks (duh), cameras record player, and everything in that apartment seems so outdated, it really doesn't make sense that a man is in a trendy updated suit, with an ipod (or iphone) would live here. Some fans have stated it looks 1970ish, but I think it's further than that: 1950s. Rotary phones, non-ditigal clocks, and leather cased cameras all come from the 1950s...and why is that crucial? Well.....this is ABC afterall...Disney property and all that........ And Disney's animated film Alice in Wonderland, came out in 1951.

In my theory, The white rabbit, who has not visited our world for a very long period of time since the 1950s, came to our world about the time Emma is to break the curse to help everyone return to fairytale land. Once the curse was broken, Jefferson, sent a postcard to Mr. Rabbit (see what I did there...) so he would know where they are.

Now I know that, for certain, I could be dead wrong. I could be seeing what I am believing, and not believing what I'm actually seeing (but if we find out I'm right about Dr.Whale being Frankenstien, you are going to have to deflate my head a bit). Regardless, Once will take turns and twist that will surprize us along the way, which is why we watch it in the first place. Whether he turns out to be the Rabbit, or Bae, or Henry's father, the theories are not important; They are just part of the fun!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

These Are The Best Days.

An OCD person would have an epic fit in our house right now. Paper covers the dinning area. The Kitchen counters are full of dishes, shoes are thrown about, and the hallway is cluttered with laundry. You would think I took the day off. In all honesty, I really have not cared about the mess. My hair is wacky from bits of hairspray still trying to hold onto some strands up for dear life. I small like a barn. I'm not planning on taking a shower either........

It's one of those days we took a break from life, and a huge leap with the three monsters we call children for a family outing. We chanced the germs, the heartburn, and the potty accidents (YES--we took the two youngest in underwear.). I chanced the terror of fighting Haley's sensory issues with noise, light, and sound. We chanced the Interstate Fair.

The animals really looked happy to see kids were happy to see the animals. I didn't see any-- I know I was around them...despite smelling like one, I have the evidence on my camera. Not that I am in any of the pictures--- but no one touches my camera but Rusty and I.

After the animals, we ate ridiculously expensive pizza, pretzels and corn dogs for the price of a family five meal at a sit down restaurant. If you have ever read First Comes Love, Then Come Money... I'm an security seeker and saver (the most uptight money personality there is!). By now my ears were burning from hearing the prices and calculating how much we had already spent.

We headed over to the produce and 4-H area, I told the kids to follow me to see the vegetables. At this point my oldest; a first grader, says (rather loudly I might add) "What are vegetables?".........Mortified, I replied with ample force "THE THINGS YOU REFUSE TO EAT AT DINNER!"

About noon we made it to the 4-H photo booth, Tyler (my youngest) starts his grumpy phase (it's nap time). That's where everything he does is with a frown, slumped shoulders, and head low. You'd think we told him Christmas isn't coming this year. In my attempts to take each kid's photo in the booth, I came out with some pretty priceless photos.......

YEP, Priceless. You know I'm showing this to his future girlfriends.

I am most impressed with how Haley did. She had no break downs. She tried new things. She sat for the entire lunch. She rode a horse.......twice. She tried honey. She rode a rollercoaster AND DID NOT FREAK OUT (Her older sister did, however.)! Probably the most precious part is her reaction to the goats eating out of her hand. She couldn't stop giggling and laughing!

I, on the other hand, lost my son's jacket, and had a strained neck by the end of the day. We came home, and aside from putting Haley in bath (I had to! She was covered in half melted cotton candy!), I did no cleaning what so ever. Then I went all Paula Deen on Rusty and made Apple Bake (I have to brag for a second..It is the best one I have made! Who knew that following a recipe could do that?!).....but I didn't put any of the dishes in the sink, or put the ingredients away(Nah---I'm joking...I put the butter away.).

I'm exhausted, and a little worse for wear in the wallet. The house is a disater. But it doesn't matter.  Years from now, I won't remember how much it cost, what the house looked like, or even how exhausted I am. These are the best days..The days when you create memories.

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to do the facebook Networking Ladder

Normally, I don't do business related posts, but I needed a way to visually explain how to do this for an upcoming local-based ladder I am hosting on my facebook page. I also want to take this opportunity to explain what it is, and how to work it.

What it is

A Facebook networking ladder is a tool for those who have facebook pages. Essentially it's a like per like exchange. We are all business people, and know how hard it can be to build a following. Exchanging like per like is a fast way to grow your fan count...but that's not all you are doing.

It is the first step in building a network referral engine for your company or organization. Connecting! From there you can build relationships. Then you can start exchanging referrals with each other to build your business!

How to do it

My first hosted ladder will be on my page "Whimsical Mai' but for example purposes, I used another page in my possession: all about playgroups.

Step One

Find the host page.

Go to the host page, and be sure to like it, so you can participate in the ladder.

Step Two

Find the Ladder, and share it.

Find the actual Ladder. It will be a post by the host (All About Playgroups, in this case) on their timeline. It will be titled, and list the rules/steps to participate.

Now here's a few notes.: Most ladders require you to network from your personal profile- this is the place facebook takes you when you are first signed in, and there are good reasons why.. see FAQs.

Also, most networking ladders ask that you share the ladder some insist your share it on your personal profile, while others insist you share it on your fanpage wall. I forgot to include this on the rules for the example.. but in all honesty, I don't care which one you share it on. But for arguments sake, if you are participating in the networking ladder on July 25th, please share it on whichever has more local spokane people on it. Why? Because we are trying to reach local business owners to continue growing our network. The fact is, you may not realize how many of your friends or fans have a fanpage of their own. I still find myself finding out this friend or that friend of mine has their own side business. Others have a non-profit or a cause with a fanpage.You just never know who could benefit from networking.

To share it via your facebook fan page through your personal profile. Click 'share'. A pop up box will appear. In the upper left corner, there will be a drop box "On your timeline" or "On your wall". Click on the box for the drop down menu, and you should find "On your page". Then it will prompt you to select your page, if you have more than one. Do so by typing in the name of your page, and then share! Thank you for helping our ladder grow! :0)

Step Three

Tag Your Business

Just as you would tag a friend, tag your business at the bottom of the ladder post, where you can comment. This can be accomplished by typing an @ symbol and then your page's name. A pop up box should appear and you can click on the page you are tagging. The link should highlight in blue.

It is helpful, when you tag your page, to write you number of fans beside your tag. This way you can see how many new fans you gained in 24 hours.
Step Four

Like the other pages listed on the comment thread.

It's really easy, but if you miss this tip, it will take forever to like all the pages.

Simply hover your cursor over each blue link. A pop up box will appear. If you have already liked the page it will say "Liked" in the bottom right corner. If you haven't liked the page yet, it will say "like". Click on it, and then move on to the next one.

Step Five

Come back tomorrow

After 24 hours, no more comments will be accepted. but our work is not done yet! we still have to come back and finish liking the pages that came after us-- it's only fair...they liked you! :0)

You're done!

Well, you're done with the ladder, but now the real work begins! Start networking. Comment on other business fanpage posts. REALLY be interested their business, and be sincere. This will get the attention returned, and hopefully; referrals!

Still have questions? Here is come FAQ

Why do I have to use my personal profile to network?

There are a couple of reasons. The main reason is we want you to see the number of your fanpage increase. If everyone liked you in their fanpage mode, they would not show up in your fan count. So this way it's easy for you to see, and us to monitor. Another reason is it gives you a double connection. We are not always in our fanpage mode, so we might miss posts from our network businesses if we didn't have a second connection. Other businesses might not see your posts, as well.

Can I do this on my smartphone?

Sadly, facebook has not granted fanpage tagging capabilities from smartphones yet. Also, the pop up boxes will not appear, and some smartphones do not allow you to share statuses. However, you can still participate, just kindly ask admin to tag your page. Then go to each link one by one, like the page, and then go back. It takes much longer this way, but it's your prerogative to do so.

I only gained "X" likes!! There were many people participating, shouldn't I have more?

Several things could be happening here. First, if it has not been 24 hours, the people at the top of the thread may not have come back to finish liking the latecomers. So please give it 24 hours. Second, it may be that many of these participants were already 'fans'. This is something that commonly happens when a ladder is routine, or you are a strong networker already. I will do my best to make sure everyone is being honest and returning the likes, but for the most part, that usually isn't the problem.

Do I really have to like all the pages?

Please do. Remember this is about networking, not 'likeability'. I do understand that there are some pages that you absolutely cannot follow for personal reasons, so I've asked that each participant like 99% of the other pages. We want this to be fair for you, and everyone else.

If you are a local Spokane area business. THANK YOU. Thank you for reading this, thank you for participating, and thank you for your support. Please share the event with businesses owners you know so we can be even more successful. Looking forward to networking with you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

On My Birthday, 28 things you didn't know about me

Twenty-Eight. Only four days left until I'm twenty-eight. I've got two years left of my twenties (. Last year, I finally felt like "I made it into adulthood". It was a series of events that year that lead up to it, but it feels very real. I don't know if it takes that long for the average to person to 'grow up', but there you go. Nevertheless, I'm still growing, but now I feel like it's more 'growing wiser' rather than 'growing up'. Geez...maybe I'm a bit full-of-myself. Oh well, I'm grown up now, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Despite my love of being the center of attention, and lack of shyness, I realized, I don't really have any friends. This is something I started pondering on about six months ago. I have people I adore, I have people I see regularly, and sometimes we do get together. The only people who REALLY know me are my mother, and husband. Whilst cleaning the kitchen last Sunday, I made the decision to jump start my blog with a birthday post : 28 Things You Didn't Know About Me.  Here is something special. I tried to make the majority of them things that either my husband or my mother doesn't know. Hello, world, This is me.

28 Things You Didn't Know About Me.

1. I believe in soul mates.-- my husband is the only one who knows this until now. Did you know we both lost our two front teeth in a bike accident at the same age? And we both have a scar on the side of our torso- which both of us aquired at age 23-- his is the shape of a cresent, and mine is in the shape of a star.--and this is only the tip of the iceburg.

2. I crave deep converstaion.-- You do not know how badly I want to talk about deep topics and express my feelings in an accepting atmosphere. --this is something I have NEVER confessed.

3.  I hate soocer. -- I think my father would disown me. My husband is the only one who knows this.

4.  I have a weird fear hieghts (husband knows). I'm not afraid of riding in an air plane for flying in a hot air balloon. but I am afraid of falling off a ladder, or walking on the top floor of the Mall near the clear see through railing. I think it's because I fear the pain, not the fall. If I fall from someplace high, I'm probably gonna die, so I won't be in pain for very long.

5.  At one point I did not believe in soul mates. (husband knows)

6.  I actually crave drama, but I am not a pot-stirer. I know that seems like an oxymoron, but it's true! I don't particularly like drama when it's happening, but I do enjoy the oppertunity it brings to deepen a relationship with someone. I've noticed that for the most part, when I have drama with someone it usually ends with a deep conversation (see? reference number 2?) and because I don't yell, and I usually listen first, it comes out rather well. I always walk away learning something. Most of the time it's something about myself, but sometimes it's just that the other person is a crazy bitch. *shocked simlie*

7. I'm the kind of person I would want as a friend. I'm proud to say that, but is it ironic that part of that is why I don't have friends? Here's the thing, I'm honest, I love deep converstaion, I'm loyal even behind your back, and even if I don't like you, I never make you look like a bad person; just a real one. I believe that everyone deserves compassion. I guess that even though I feel I make a good friend, I don't know how to make friends. I blame my mother. My kids will probably blame me as well.

8. I did have a happy childhood, but quite honestly, I don't remember ever having a 'happiest moment'. When I look back on my childhood, it's really all bland and grey. Nothings ever really sad or happy. It just....was. I find this ironic, being I really try to be happy now.

9.   My true feelings about losing wieght.. Yes, I'm fat. Yes I workout. But I don't workout to lose wieght. I do it for fun. That's all. You heard me.

10. Disney movies make me cry

11.  I actually don't mind being in the hospital. Ok, I don't care for the being sick part of it, but really.... Food gets brought to you (I actually don't think it's all bad), you don't have to get up for everything you want, people bring you gifts and flowers, and someone else takes care of the kids for a while. Most of the time I had some sort of pain, and if you know me, I wait until the last mintue to go. When I get there, I get drugs so the pain goes away. It's bliss.  I don't mean any disrepect to the people that go to the hospital with life threatening illness, but everytime I had to stay for health reasons, and I'd rather not go to the hospital, so don't get me wrong. But when I do wind up there, I take the oppertunity to enjoy it.

12.  I know my purpose in life, I'm just not fullfilling it, and I'm at peace with that because right now I need to be with my children and help them find their purpose in life.

13.  I regret not pushing myself in high school. In college, I had no problem getting straight As. I was lazy in high school. Plain and simple.

14. I sing my heart out when I'm in my car alone. OK, I suppose that doesn't surprise alot of you, but you did not know it!

15.  When I sing it's usually musical theater songs.

16.  I love sharing secrets, I'm a great secret keeper. There is only a handful of times I've broken a secret. 1. I had two friends in high school that vowed to share an apartment after graduation. But in time, they both realized that it might not have been a good idea. They both told me, but not each other. I broke the ice on that one....... 2. I broke a secret promise when it would negatively effect the relationship of someone I love. .... 3. When it was danger to someones health.

17. I'm actually a great listener. You wouldn't know it. I talk way too much. But I have alot of sympathy, and when someone needs an ear, I listen. It was more apparent during elementary, when I was shy, and didn't talk much. Teachers would even take me out of an activity to console a fellow classmate, believe it or not.

18.  I only became good at singing because my elementary music teacher cut me the first cut of choir try outs in fourth grade. I sang everyday for the next year. The following year at try outs, I'll never forget the look on her face.

19.  I still have dreams about being in high school. - NO ONE KNOWS THIS. I'm embarassed cuz I feel like it's silly. I don't why I dream about still being in high school consistantly.

20. I have no desire to be famous. Couldn't take all the critizing, despite the fact that I love being the center of attention.

21.  I come from various religious backgrounds. My father's side was Lutheran, and my mothers side is Jahovah Witness, but both my parents are theists. 
22.  My happy place- it's a lush forest with a small stream filled with rabbits, butterflies, and humming birds.

23.  I can't sleep with a body part hanging over the edge, I'm still pretty sure there is a monster under my bed.

24. If I read an informative book, I act like I'm an expert. I don't know why I come off this way, I guess I'm just excited about what I learned.

25. I can't handle naurcatics. Each time I'm prescribed them, I feel awful. I don't understand why some like it. Sometimes I prefer the pain that remains after taking tylenol.

26. If I won the lottery, I probably wouldn't donate it. Instead, I'd start a company, and give as many people as I could jobs, and try to put something into the economy.

27. I will always pose for a picture. Now you got me, try to find me at my worst, I'll still pose for a picture. I wanna be remembered as a real person.

28. Being Happy doesn't come naturally to me. I have to make a conicous choice to be happy, and frankly it's annoying. But when I do make that choice, life is more enjoyable. It is getting easier to be happy. Even when I don't have many friends. :0)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wonderful Wonderland

Today is Fairytale Friday, and I'm going to announce the fairytale in just a minute, but I'm saving the rest of the details for next Friday. First, I want to share some personal thoughts with you.

Yesterday was a glorious day for me. This is my middle child Haley.

She has Sensory Processing Disorder (formerly known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Sensory Integration Disorder), no diagnosis of the cause. It effects her daily life; Muscle development, coordination, speech, eating, and self help skills. It's one of those 'unvisible' disabilities. It was not until she was two that I really started suspecting something. It was not until she turned three that we were able to convince a professional she (we) needed extra help. Thankfully, the help we have received so far has helped her tremendously.

The biggest factor, which lead me to seek help, was that I was struggling to get her potty trained. Now, I know that for a lot of moms, potty training is a difficult task, so why would this bother me? Well, I kind of have a huge ego about my ability to potty train. I used to work with children at potty training age, so I have a lot of experience. Both of my other children (one older and one younger) trained in three days.

Haley is now four, and in a diaper size I swore my kids would never wear. (Boy, God sure does like to make you eat your words sometimes). The past six months I've tried potty training ideas, poured over potty training books, and sp. needs books, trying to come with a plan. I finally gave up and let go in February when another mom with special needs advised me to.

A few weeks ago Haley had her first success on the potty while taking a bath, her sister told her to go on the potty (I said nothing!) and she did! So when spring break came around I figured I'd give it a go again. The first day had little success, she really did not like the underwear. Yesterday, I tried a new approach. I allowed her to run around with nothing, and only reminded her that if she needed to go to use the potty. Otherwise, I left her alone. Well, I am happy to report that not only did things go well, but we had no accidents. In fact, she demonstrated so much control that I suspect the problem was not with her, but with me. I was approaching it all wrong, and Haley resisted only for control. Once I gave her the control, things went by with out a hitch.

I can't help but feel like I've won a marathon, a game I've been competing in for two years.Yesterday I kept thinking of ways I could celebrate- throwing a party for her (we have Easter this weekend, so a party is not necessary.), or having a mom's night out (but that doesn't really involve Haley, does it?). Then I thought of the perfect idea! I am giving Haley an underwear shopping. Since she has moved past 2T-3T underwear, and we don't have but three size 4 underwear, I will take her to buy a stock of underwear she can wear proudly.

You know I'm not leaving you out of this either. :0) You can enter code : CONGRATSHALEY  ** for a whooping 40% any item in my shop. You can be rest assured it will help pay for her underwear. :0)

Now with out further ado, I give you the fairytale of the month: Alice in Wonderland. You'll see a full post next Friday, but expect to hear more from me soon!

** offer expires April 9th, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fairytale Friday: Jack and the Beanstalk

It's friday, and the first Friday of the month, making it my favorite day of the the month! I get to intriduce a new fairytale theme, attend my favorite MOPS group, and the weekend is in clear view!

This month is Jack and the Beanstalk. I choose this tale because, while I look out my window, I see the earth is covered in snow, but the reminder that it is now March tells me that soon plants will be growing again! Granted, I have no magic beans myself, and winters seems to last until May here, but I can keep dreaming about the sun's return!


The basics of the story is a boy named Jack takes his cow to market to sell by request of his mother, who is too poor to provide needs. Jack meets a salesman that convinces him to trade the cow for magic beans. Disghusted with Jack's trade, his mother throws the beans out of th window which grows into a larger that life beanstalk reaching the clouds.

As boys are, Jack sees this as a challange and climbs to the top of the stalk. There above the clouds is a giant's domain. He visits the place three times, each time stealing one of the giants possesions. First, the giants gold, second the gold egg-laying goose, and third an enchanted harp.

Enraged the Giant follows Jack down the beanstalk, only to be defeated when Jack reaches the end first and chops it down. Jack and his mother live happily ever after in riches with the new artifacts of the giant's home.

My Thoughts

I really dislike the message this fairytale brings. Jack is a thief, and his mother comes off as a lazy unsupportive mother. The Giant is the victim.  For all we know, the giant is just a retired wealthy man who hates to be disturbed by these Englishmen.

Despite the message, it's still one of my favorites. I have to laugh at that. I am not sure what makes it endearing, but golden eggs, and a magic harp seem worth the wrong.


There are many versions of the beanstalk tale, but my favorite is the 1967 musical starring Gene Kelly.  But I'm biased, because Gene Kelly is one of the best nostalgic musical stars. I so was meant for that era!

Disney also has a version; part of the Fun and Fancy Free animated film. I'm not as impressed with it (Shame on me for being a huge Disney fan!), for some reason I just doesn't hold my interest. Then again, no Mickey Mouse Cartoon ever did.

So I've got a lot in store for this month, but it's going to be extremely busy! Bear with me if I'm not completely on top of everything! :0)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My first craft show!

Did you ever get the feeling like somethings are not meant to be? Last week my husband and I planned to make a family trip over to the west coast to the Woodland Park Zoo. My mother offered to take the kids a couple days earlier, giving me time to get ready for the JBF Sale this March. Yay! It's perfect timing because I also registered for my first craft show this March!

But things did not work out. Tuesday, I packed the kids up, and was ready to take the six hour drive with the kids. But twenty mintues beforw I was suppose to leave, Rusty called me. His engine blew up! Being that we just spent nearly 2K on the truck for regular maintance, and his truck is a `06 it is pretty upsetting. To our benefit, the engine blew up because the mechanic who worked on his truck ten days ago is at fault- but it means his truck stays in the shop for a few days.

Then it snowed...and snowed......and snowed. Rusty and I knew that going over the mountains in a 2wd van was not going to happen. It's frustrating because I do not have any way to getting four leaf clovers right now, other than going over to the west coast (It's too cold over here). I've run out of clovers that are the appropiate size for jewelry. With a show coming up; that's not a good thing.

It is a good thing that we stayed, because this weekend, Tyler had a fever. I think this is the first fever he was able to express how he is feeling through words. "I shaking" he said..."I icky".

*sigh* Less than a month left, I have to prep for JBF and the craft show. ....still trying to figure out how to cut costs without losing effects of a good booth. Right now, I've got it down to $160 for the supplies I need, but I'm hoping to cut it down even more.

So....if you're wondering where I've been! That's where I am at! Crazy! In the meantime, don't forget to enter the giveaway at Bacon Time ! One of the prizes is my four leaf clover necklaces! Also, take the time to bid on a few items at Luck O' The Irish Auction  including my clover locket and belt buckle!

I'll be in touch soon!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Elephants Never Forget

In honor of Alicia's (My brother's girlfriend), Today's themed party is Elephants. I'll admit I had a little trouble making this more age appropriate, so I apologize if this looks too babyish! Most elephant parties are held for baby's first or showers.


 These note cards are available at Petite Paperie


Naturally, most pick out gray and blue as color scheme, but I opted for something a little different. Don't let me ramble on about how badly I wanted to make the theme purple and gray after seeing these. But once I saw the napkins below a safari feel came about, and I am hooked.  I'm suggesting deep green table cloth, with cream place setting. Centerpieces containing long grass in a hand painted elephant on a clear vase.

If you have ever seen those ceiling banners with mobiles hanging down, I'm envisioning this from this photograph originally from velocity art and design. Sadly, this mobile is no longer available, but surely a talented estian could draw inspiration from it to make it come to life!

Napkins available from: Fly Trap


My food suggestions, surprisingly came easy! Animal crackers, peanuts, and cupcakes with elephant toppers all came to mind. I was overjoyed to find this on pinterest:


Elephant Never Forgets: Pretty simple memory game, won't need much to pull this off.


whole peanuts
feather (dumbo's feather)
small circus ball or elephant hat
elephant figurine
elephant napkin (featured above!)
Circus animal cookies
elephant necklace (featured below!)
Party Invitation (featured above!)
Elephant soap (Featured below!)
Something from the Guest of honor (like something from her purse)
Something from the Host (again, something she has on her)
A serving tray

Set all items on the serving tray, except for paper and pencils. Let guests view this for a full minute. Take away the tray out of sight. Hand each guest a paper and pencil and ask them to write down all ten items. Give them another minute to complete this task, if everyone is really struggling, you can add minutes.

The person with the most correct guesses wins!

The White Elephant Game: I know, I know, I'm not exactly original on this one. But Come on! No one plays this at a birthday party! What a fun way to get the guests involved with each other, and no more worrying about what to give the guest of honor. A basic google search will give you several variations of this game!


Here's the fun part where guests get to take home a little memory of the event! My pick is these adorable soaps made by soapsational favors.

Thanks for coming! Be sure to comment below and wish Alicia a happy birthday!

*if you would like me to design a birthday/bridal party/ wedding/ etc for you or a friend, please email me with the details at

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More lockets!

We've wrapped up, and now all our lockets are online!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Photo Album Covers

So, I had to take a week off, as I really started to focus changing my shop. I have to start over on alot of things, but not worry, I'm getting back into it, and more ready that ever!

Here's my tri chem post for the week. I'm not entirely sure if I am finished with this or not. I would really like a border around the picture frame.

Unfortunately I can't sell this one. It has a few spots of dirt smears on it, that I don't where from.

But nonetheless, It's fun to learn how to play with the trichem pens. I'm getting really close to have my first class!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Color the snow

Most of you have probably heard about filling spray bottles with water and food coloring on a snowy day. You take the kids and make colors in the snow. I wanted to have a little more control with the paint, so I decided to use eye wash bottles (they have smaller openings than dish soap and ketchup bottles.)

I didn't get any pictures of the kids playing with the paint, as I was too busy making sure they painted only the snow.... but I did have a wonder idea for my high school friends who recently got engaged. So what turned out to be playtime for the kids, actually turned out to be playtime for me too (BTW, the inconsistant lighting is due to the fact that I was taking photos in the eveing as the sun was setting.)

I think this would be similar to the idea of drawing on chalk and taking photos, so I'm kind of wondering, if we will get enough snow again for me to do more artwork. I'd like to try something like this!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stepping Out of Comfort

I'm a fairytale enthusiast, I'm not a fan of bittersweet endings, horror movies, or event natural disaster movies. Chuck had it's series finale Friday, to which I'm unsatisfied with the final scene: because it's bittersweet. Last week, I had a friend ask me for ideas on planning her birthday party, which of course, I was more than obliged to help with.

Then she told me the theme. My stomach turned in a knot. SAW. Yep, the horror movie of the physco Jigsaw, and his weird twisted ways of torturing people. I did my best from not ever seeing any movie like it, so I read the synopsis on Wikipedia . I couldn't stop my stomach from turning, I felt so uncomfortable even reading it.

BUT. This would prove to be an ultimate challenge for me. Pushing myself out of the comfortable zone and being creative for someone else. One more step to becoming an event planner!

The biggest problem she had was coming up with games to play. So I thought I would share with you the two games I came up with, and see you all could contribute more ideas!



Barbie Doll (Ken)
A symbolic hacksaw (you can get a mini minder saw at hobby stores, or home improvement stores)
A symbolic pistol
Bowls, or "Drawing Bags"
Index Cards

Object: Find their team's item and the hidden doll or out live the other team.


Count enough index cards (1 per every two guests), and mark an X on just one. Place in one of the drawing bags, and set aside.

With remaining index cards, separate into two piles. On one pile, write riddles or trivia questions. On the other, write out 'loses' (i.e. Your arm is chopped off: tie arm behind back, or acid poured on eyes or in mouth ; blindfolded or must be silent).  Place in another drawing bag.

Hide the saw, the gun, and the doll.

To play:

Separate into two teams, team one will team Adam, the other team Lawrence. Team Adam's object will be to find the pistol, and Lawrence is to find the saw. Ask one riddle/trivia to one of the teams, they have 30 secs to look for their item (more on that later).  If they fail, one of their teammates must die (cannot play anymore). To determine which teammate dies, have the team draw cards from the drawing bag. The person with the X bites the dust!

If the team answers a question correctly, they get 30 secs to search (you may want to adjust the time according to how well the items are hidden. ) for their item. But every time they do get question correct, one teammate must suffer a loss. Again, with the bag containing the 'X' is drawn by each teammate. The one who receives the "X" must draw from the loss bag. Whatever the card says, is what happens to that player.

When the team finds their item, they can then search for the doll (to set him free or kill him)

The end of the game will either be

a) when all players of one team is gone

b) When one team finds their item, and the doll.


This is a pretty simple game, popular at Halloween, but added twist.


handcuffs with keys
Bowls with sensory items (skinned grapes; eyeballs. stewed tomatoes; chopped organs, etc)

Hand cuff together and blindfold two players.  Set one of the bowls in front of them, and drop the keys inside. Tell them they must look for the key and unlock the cuffs before the timer runs out.

It may not be my cup of tea, but I actually do think these games would be fun, and might include them in a Halloween party one day. It was nice to get out of my comfort zone, but I'm still not planning on seeing a horror movie anytime soon.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why it's the greatest love story. EVER.

Everyone has a favorite. There's no doubt about that. I know why people would argue about why Beauty and The Beast is my favorite story....and why Disney is my favorite version. It came out during my childhood. It was nominated for best picture; it's every one's favorite. I am very much like the character Belle (in interests, not looks). But really; it's not any of that.
I was not planning to have a Beauty and the Beast Themed Wedding, until I saw these invitations. It was probably my biggest splurge aside from the food. Aren't they just beautiful?

The inside of the invitation reads : Love has the power to transform us. Boy, does it ever. Maybe not in the way the beast transformed, but I think there is a greater transformation that happens with true love: You want to be a better person. At least, I do. I feel so unworthy of the love I've been given that each day I strive better to be more deserving of the love I've already received.

In commentary of the 2nd edition of Disney Beauty and The Beast It's explained that the writers of the story struggled for a while of deciding who the story belongs to: Belle, or the The Beast? When based off the old tale, It's clear to see the hero (or heroine as it may be) is Belle. She learns the true beauty is on the inside. Only when Beast is on his death bed that she realizes it.

As the story developed for the animators and writers at Disney, they introduced new characters (such as Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth), new scenarios (such as Gaston, and Belle's love of books), and twists (such as the enchantress an the rose). With all the changes the viewer's attachment shifted from Belle to the Beast. He learns to love, firstly, but also learns how to treat others with respect (as Belle demands this), and change his behaviors. But what I'm most attached to is something some people fail to realize about Beast.

I didn't realize until a visit to Disneyland where I finally met Belle (in her yellow gown) for the first time.  (You know that Disney does intense Character development in these cast members; they have extensive knowledge on who the character is, and how they will act). In our short conversation, I told the cast member that we (my husband and I) are newlyweds. She responded with "You know, Beast has not asked me to marry him yet."

I honestly didn't know what to say; so I scoffed "Oh he's probably just in a bad mood."

She responds "No, he's just really shy, he doesn't mean to seem so put off."

It really made me rethink the entire character in the movie. Suddenly it occurred to me that Beast was never mean, he just didn't know any other way of provoking loyalty other than fear. His demanding Belle to come down to dinner was not because he is bossy, but because he was afraid a request would end in rejection (which it did, but only because Belle did not understand the roots of his behavior either), so he only knew how to demand. I understand his character now, and I have an explanation for every irrational thing he does.

This is beast's story, not of his physical transformation, but his behavioral/emotional transformation.

The musical version transformed the story once again. Beast once again learns how to love, but this time, Belle goes through a transformation of her own. With her head filled with daydreams and fairytale pinning, Beast teaches her that real love takes work but its far better than any fairytale. At the end, when Beast lay dying on the floor, Belle sings "Home" reprise, expressing to him how he has changed her. Belle finally embraces reality as her dream and casts away her pinning for a fairytale.

This speaks volumes to me as I can relate it to my own life: Being the daydreamer and fairytale enthusiast, I only came down to reality when someone (i.e. m husband) showed me real love is better than a fairytale. Love can transform you. That's why this is the greatest love story ever. It feels real.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Penguin Projects

One of my daughter's favorite things is a rubber duck. Her fourth birthday party was themed to rubber duckies, but as Christmas came she has taken on another favorite: Penguins. (Duckies are still her favorite, but she has a newer obsession).

She has a favorite pajama set, which she locates every time it's out of the dryer. By the time she started asking to wear it school, I knew I'd have to expand her penguin attire.

So this morning I did some doodling with my tri-chem pens. You only need four items to do this project:

White knit t-shirt
knit sticker
Tri chem black softlyflo paint
Tri Chem orange softlyflo paint

I started drawing a circle for the head, and an egg shape for the body. I added a little more definition to he bottom of the body. Two dots for the eyes, triangles for the wings, a triangle for the beak, and triangles for feet.

Turned out pretty cute IMO.

She's still sleeping at the moment, but I can't wait to show it to her: I'm sure she'll want to wear it to school.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Lion's Hand

I've been thinking about doing a handprint section in my store, and I finally got down to business. I went out and purchased canvases, and started drafting ideas. This one my daughter and I made last night, and it turned out great! You can have one made by me, and your little one (correspondence by mail) just drop me some mail at or stop by my etsy store!

Of course if you want a plain jane one to do yourself, here are some sneak peeks behind how to do it!

Start with your background painted. Note that mine has little grass sprigs on the horizon.

Place the yellow hand prints off center, they need to be behind the orange, and I personally like the orange part of the mane to be centered.

Place the orange prints between the yellow, giving you a total of eight handprints.

Add the face, shading, and details, and you're done!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Love to Party!

I have to say, I love this idea of a banner. Valentine's day hits at the tail end of winter, but it takes a little bit of creativity to put both together! Now I'm dreaming of a snowflake valentines party!!!!!!! hmmm.......:0)

love banner

Sew Not Easy!

Sew Saturday is brought late to you today because quite frankly, I never got off my bottom to pull my machine out, but I will be doing lots more sewing today in prep for next week. My first project is to sew on an applique, hence learning to sew a straight and curved line.

Last Thursday Rusty discovered one of Haley's pants has a rip in the knee and I said perfect! I can sew a patch on that!

Of course, I always have to make a challenge harder than it is. Sewing a patch on a small child's pant leg makes it harder to keep everything straight. I couldn't use the sleeve arm because the leg opening was too small so I had to turn the garment inside out.

Of course, when fabric bunched up, I couldn't move forward. Which results in inconsistent stitches.

Also, I couldn't put in alot of pins, and I couldn't see much of the patch so I had know idea where I was sewing....or maybe I just don't know what I'm doing.... either way, it ended up like this:

LOL. I've got more practicing to do.......maybe on something a little easier.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My favorite things

Without a doubt, you know I have a Beauty and the Beast collection, so I wanted to share one of my favorite pieces with you!

The rose from the broadway performance in New York. It's the first everlasting rose (and the last) my husband ever gave me, and rest comfortable in the center of my Beauty and the Beast display.

Desk Set- Oddly enough, I was unaware (or perhaps forgot) that there is a rose address box...which I don't have. Now I want it! I bought these all off of ebay because I wasn't quick enough to buy them when they went for sale on

10th anniversary doll- I actually remember looking at this doll several times on my lunch break just fighting with myself. I knew I didn't need another princess doll...but I have to say... I'm glad I did!

Belle bank- I know. It's cheap, it's plastic, and I bought it from walmart! BUT.......when else have you seen her wearing her green dress?! I mean, yellow is easy. Blue and pink are available. It's rare to see her in green, so this one stays forever!

Despite the fact that I still have many lenox statues and brass key dolls, I've become very picky about what I had to my collection. Here are a couple things I'm keeping an eye on...

Madmine Alexander Doll- I am sewing a life size version of this dress some day. That's a promise.

Miniature Castle- I already have one, but it's missing pieces and damaged from my kids playing with it. I bought at the Disney store while I was still in high school. I spent $40 and I have seen it on ebay from time to time, but if I see it again, I'm buying it--and putting it were it will never get broken!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snowed In

This week I've decided to lock myself up. Heavy snow is coming, and I'm not exactly looking forward to it. I ran errands at the beginning of the week for groceries, and some craft items. The snow started yesterday, and I can tell from the dim light this morning that we do have a descent amount added overnight.

So here are my updates!

1. Trichem- My stuff came in yesterday and I'm going to be practicing like mad. I'm reading the instructor manual and can't wait to absorb all the information

2. I finally completed a mid length class on zumba 2. I had to do it when Haley was at school and Tyler was taking his nap though. I could still feel burn from the day before workout, but pushed through. Today I have that satisfied tired feeling in the muscles, and guess what; I think I'm going to workout today too.

3. I've been organizing all week. So far I've managed to separate all the "keep" toys from the 'decide what to do with toys'. Let me tell you: No easy task!  Most of what I can sell I will sell in Just Between Friends, so I'm glad to start early. Before I know it, it will be here!

4. I am *looking* at my sewing stuff every day. I just haven't found the time to buckle down and do it! Ack!

5. I'm making my play dates a regular thing again. I'm so desperate for friendship. (I know, I can't believe I'm writing this for everyone to read). I  had a date with a friend yesterday, last week, and I have one next week too!

I am looking forward to next month: Rusty gets off swing shift, and I start my photography class. Valentines days is coming and I'm glad! It means I'm gonna stay busy! Tomorrow I'll be posting more about Beauty and the Beast, and you don't want to miss this!!!!! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Necklaces

Things are buzzing right along in the shop now, I'm hoping my lockets come in very soon as I am getting requests for them!  Now I want to share my bookmarks that were listed this weekend! You can see them all at