Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Seventh Generation is a great company!

When I first started blogging, I found Susan over at her blog http://my2boyzboeldt.blogspot.com and really enjoyed reading her Green Tips every Tuesday.
Trying to achieve a green lifestyle myself, I found her tips informative and easy to understand. And great for a beginner like me.
One week, she was having a giveaway-and hers was one of the first I'd entered. I was so surprised when she told me I'd won! A few weeks later, UPS arrived with a HUGE heavy package for me... and there was the Seventh Generation kit I'd won! Now to be honest, I don't have little babies at home anymore, but hubby's daughter Laura in Guatemala is due next month with her firstborn. Guatemala, while beautiful, has a lot of pollution in the city from all the factories and there are places where people live in the dumps, trying to recycle what they can---but it is a dangerous place to be, and a worse place to live. Laura is luckier than most, living with her inlaws and working in their flower shop (actually a booth in the local market) AND having a dad who lives here who can send her nice things for his first grandchild. While disposable diapers are a luxury for her, as well as wipes, we wanted to make sure that she had the very best. Seventh Generation products are chemical free, providing your little ones with protection when they need it the most.
So to start out life as a new mom, she will be getting the diapers, wipes, and detergent, all free of dangerous chemicals which could harm her precious little one. We're preparing a new mommy package for her, to be sent sometime in late August or early September, and we think if you are expecting a little one, or know someone who is---or just want to keep your little one safe from harmful chemicals---you really need to check out Seventh Generation http://www.seventhgeneration.com/ for all their products. (not just for baby, but lots of nice natural household cleaners as well) Don't forget to sign up for their newsletter for special savings! And be sure to visit Susan's blog, where you can get the Green Tip on Tuesdays! Stop by and say hello, she loves to get comments! Thank you Susan, and thank you Seventh Generation for sponsoring this giveaway!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Welcome to My Fantasy Island

I am thinking vacation thoughts today---Cool, gentle ocean breezes, lush tropical climate, a wonderful dinner and drinks, and gazing at the stars overhead while hearing the surf pounding away on the beach. So relaxing!

Shucks! Back to reality-and today that reality is the hum of the air conditioner, Spongebob and Patrick on the TV, dinner burning in the oven and I'm out of Diet Coke.

Hubby will be back in 2 days, I am behind on cleaning, washing, watering the garden (no biggie there, those torrential rains we got a couple days ago kept it nice and watered) and grocery shopping. My guess is he will come home to a dirty house, piles of laundry, and an empty fridge.

The cat will be delegated to the foot of the bed again (she loves sleeping with me, right up in my face, if he isn't around) the toilet seat will be left up constantly, the bathroom sink will have razor stubble in it, and I will have to cook again. Not that I do much cooking anyways, but more so when hubby is home. I've been enjoying my laziness-the it's too hot to turn the stove on, let's go to McDonalds mentality. Deja didn't mind, she has the whole pet shop collection now. Yesterday was Pizza Hut day-didya see the new chocolate dippers they are advertising? OMG, I did and had to try them. Show a woman chocolate during PMS and she is hooked. Yup, they're good-take it from one who knows.

Back to my Fantasy Island, I can almost hear the sound of Tattoo shouting to Mr. Roarke, "The Plane! The Plane!" And today, I am most definitely on that plane.... wishful thinking, huh?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ready for School yet?

I didn't think so. I am so NOT ready, and to think, in a few short weeks the kiddos will be back in school! Land's End is a really great company, with quality merchandise. Their backpacks are durable and won't fall apart after a few weeks.

Land's End was nice enough to give Ginny over at A Mom to 2 Dancers blog 2 backpacks-one to review and one to give away to one of her readers! Hurry on over to her blog at http://scrappyd.blogspot.com/2008/07/review-giveaway-lands-end-backpack.html and be sure to sign up to win before August 3rd at midnight! Good luck!

I feel BEE-utiful!

Awhile back, I entered a blog giveaway to win one of several Burt's Bees Radiance kits over at www.girlmeetsmakeup.com and I won!

Fedex showed up last week with my lovely travel sized kit- (perfect for my San Antonio vacation next month!)

Now, me being me, curiosity took over and I had to open it up as Deja was right there wanting to smell and try on everything, as any normal 6 year old girly girl would want to do. To keep her happy, I told her we would try a small bit of the Radiance body lotion on our arms to see what it was all about.

We tried the lotion, and it went on smoothly, leaving behind a very pleasant smell and a smooth shine. I am very light skinned so the radiance for me was soft skin and a glow if I held my arm the right way in the sunlight. But for Deja, with her tanned, brown skin (I am SO jealous btw!) the radiance was much more noticable. It left such a pretty shimmer on her arm, and she will be using that on our trip, I'm sure.

What was really neat was I mentioned to a couple of my friends, the two Rhondas-about my win. Believe it or not, they know Burt! Before he was rich and famous, and to see him now, eating in the local diner, they say he hasn't changed a bit. Seems Burt lives up that way, and is a very down to earth guy. You might want to head on over to www.girlmeetsmakeup.com sometime-I love the way she tries different colors, looks and reviews the products and does the tutorials. Thanks to both Girl Meets Makeup and Burt's Bees for hosting such a great giveaway and for letting us know just how important bees are to our environment.

Didya know my bro was in a rock band????

Probably not. Most people don't. (scroll to the bottom of my blog for the youtube video of him) Andy is actually my half brother, (same dad) but we were always the closest of the 3 other kids my dad had. Andy and his lovely wife April moved back to Maine for about a year after Hurricane Katrina hit their town of Biloxi, MS. Luckily, they were just fine-but the scenes of devastation they described were beyond my imagination. Their house had some damage to the roof but it was covered by insurance. They kept the house in Biloxi, renting it out after it was repaired. It was great to have Andy back in Maine for a little while, it'd been years since we had seen him. Sometimes we heard from him on the road, he was in Nashville, Branson, Vegas-and mom said he was on CMT playing backup for some of the artists as well. He can play ANY kind of music on his guitar, but his true calling was rock/metal.

In Biloxi, when his band wasn't touring, he would play in the casinos and other venues. Here in Maine, he just didn't have that type of opportunity-so eventually they went back to MS now that the casinos are open-plus since the other band members live in the southern states, he needed to be closer to them as they are releasing another album and just came back from a tour in Brazil and will be heading to Europe again soon. They are REALLY big in Europe and South America. I am really proud of him, he is a great guitarist and a nice guy. He's also pretty shy, so I don't know how he can get up onstage in front of thousands of people and play-but he does.

He has 3 beautiful children, daughter Zoe from a previous relationship, and Rhapsody Jade and James Guy (the newborn) with wife April. Do you have anyone famous or semi famous in the family? Have you ever met anyone famous? Tell me about it, I'd love to hear it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Does your baby wear Prada?

If you love high fashion, designer names and cute kidstuff made by those designers-go now to sign up for the VIP list of http://www.babywearsprada.com/signup.html Once the site is active, you will get an email to head over and check everything out.

To launch the site, they are giving away a designer $300+ diaper bag to one lucky mama and more designer gifts to another 5 mamas! And, if you post on your blog, you can get extra entries too!

Whatcha waiting for? Go sign up now!

We Love Storyland!

I so want to go back! This was taken last year, it is such a nice little park in the White Mountains of NH. The scenery is beautiful, as you look around, there are mountain views everywhere! For this trip we spent the night at a resort in NH, and after a tiring day at the park we were able to go back to the hotel and rest and swim in their indoor pool! I really want to go to Santas Village too, haven't been since I was little-and we are thinking of heading there during fall foliage time, to take some photos of the scenic views. Summer seems to get over so fast, and then it is the long, snowy winter months. I am not a snow person. Give me falling snow for Christmas and I am happy. But other than that, I can do without it. And black ice. Have you been to Storyland? Santas Village? Six Gun City? Check out their websites, you might have a nice place to go not too far from where you are as well-and sometimes the best vacations are the ones you can take locally.

Storyland: http://www.storylandnh.com/index-flash.html
Santa's Village: http://www.santasvillage.com/
Six Gun City: http://www.sixguncity.com/index.html

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Take a look at this.....but enter by August 1st!

How pretty! Check out that lovely cross made out of shells! Wouldn't you love to have that in your home? I know I would. And that is just ONE of the things Dawn is giving away to celebrate her 200th post.

Head on over, and congratulate her on her milestone. While you're there, be sure to enter her giveaway! http://gahangirls.blogspot.com/2008/07/200th-post-giveaway.html

An apron, a book, some cute fabric and a catch all bag, Oh My!

You have got to check this out: http://sewtakeahike.typepad.com/sewtakeahike/2008/07/little-beauty-o.html

She's having a cute little giveaway, and you know you just want to enter! It ends on Sunday at midnight her time, so make sure you go and visit Penny and be sure to enter!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What pretty necklaces! Ends tomorrow, hurry!

While reading one of my blogs that I visit occasionally, I noticed that she was having a giveaway of one of her beautiful hand stamped necklaces. She even gives you two designs to choose from if you are the winner! Take a look: http://cinnamonsticksboutique.blogspot.com/2008/07/whoo-hoo-another-give-away.html

Now I don't know about you, but these are gorgeous! But you have to put on your thinking cap a bit, folks-and give her some ideas and inspiration for new designs. Do you have a favorite saying that you wish you could put on a necklace? Let her know! As many of you know, my hubby is from Guatemala and I would love jewelry with sayings in Spanish. And I bet others would too- so I sent her a few ideas I had, and who knows? Maybe when she goes to craft fairs and local artisan shows she might just have something in Spanish!

Come up with any ideas yet? While you're thinking, why don't you head on over and take a look? But be sure to enter quickly, since she is drawing a winner tomorrow! Good luck!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What an adorable print! Hurry!

Summer, over at Artfullife is having her first giveaway! And she is giving away this cute print of Flower the Duck in that adorable frame. (quilt not included folks) It would be perfect for your little one's room, wouldn't it?

But if you want it, you'd better hurry because she will be choosing a winner on Monday, July 21st!

Fly Strike Claims yet another Victim....

Today was a difficult day for my dad. About a year ago I gave him my "dwarf" rabbit Cookie to care for as it was getting to be too much for me with the three cats and work, and my son with his own issues. Dad is retired, lives alone, and had a dog and another bunny I had rescued from an apartment after it had been abandoned by its owners. We figured the bunnies could keep each other company by being in the same room (though not the same cage, one is male, Cookie was a female)

The signs of trouble began a couple days ago, my dad said he heard the bunny making a strange noise, and he assumed it had gotten its foot caught in the holder I had kept on the side of its cage for its lettuce and hay. Now Cookie had always been a piglet as far as food goes, and even the groomer (yes, he took the bunny to the groomer!) said she was very overweight. And even when she lived with us, she had lots of feces stuck to her hindquarters which I had to loosen up and remove. So dad took her to the groomers a few times a year to keep the area shaved and cleaned along with having her toenails clipped.

She had a great cage from Petco, lots of treats and a plentiful supply of food and water. All in all a pretty good life. But since the incident where she supposedly got her foot caught he said she'd become skittish and would often run at full speed in her cage, as if chasing something. He had no clue as to what was up, and just thought, as mom did as well-that the bunny was just nervous.

Mom called me today and said dad called her (my parents live apart as my mom lives with her 90 year old mom to make sure she doesn't end up in a nursing home) and told her he thought Cookie had died as she was lying on her side and very still.

I asked her if dad had had flies in his mobile home recently. She told me she was always killing them (Cookie and the other bunny are INDOOR rabbits) when she went out to visit, so there had been a few of them in the last few days. The weather has been warm and humid, Cookie had feces stuck to her behind, Dad wet it to loosen it off, all perfect elements for Fly Strike. But he didn't know that. Sparing more of the gory details, fly strike happens when the fly lays eggs on either an open wound (she could have had a wound from her leg getting caught that he didn't see) or in the fecal matter or the wet butt. Once the eggs hatch, which is quickly, the maggots begin to eat. Enough said. Fly strike can kill a rabbit within hours, and I only pray she did not suffer much. I believe she went into shock from the toxins released by the maggots and mercifully went to the big rabbit hutch in the sky. I had read about fly strike, but never thought to tell my dad about it-and now I feel a bit guilty about it. I just never thought that it could happen in his house, as I'd never seen a fly in there and both bunnies never went outside.

Her funeral is today-they will bury her in his backyard and Deja will put flowers on the grave later this week. The other bunny is sensing the loss and moping a bit. Dad is upset that one of his pets has died and the dog and cat are wondering what is going on as well, sniffing all over the house, looking for Cookie. I am writing this so that others who don't know about fly strike and who have bunnies (even indoor bunnies) read about it and check their bunnies constantly, so it doesn't happen to them. If caught in time, perhaps the results won't be as tragic as what happened today.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Michele P./micaela6955-time to change things around a bit!

Well, I have found that there are other bloggers who also are named Michele/Michelle and while I only have one "L" I am not the only Michele P. out there. I am seriously thinking of when I leave postings, for giveaways, or just to say hello to a blogger whose blog I visited-to change it to micaela6955 instead. Micaela of course is my name in Spanish, and 6955 is when I lived in RI, 695 Pine St. Apt. 5, even though no longer there, the name just stuck.

Since I just started blogging, out of fairness to bloggers who have had their blog names much longer than I, it would probably be a wise thing to change things around a bit. So, if you see micaela6955 posting instead of Michele P. rest assured, it is still me!

Quick, ends tonight! Hurry!

Look at these cute letter and number ice cube trays-you can do just so much with them, use them for ice cubes, jello molds, etc... What's great is that these trays are oven and dishwasher safe too, making for more ideas on how to use them and quick cleanup afterwards.

Hurry, run over now to http://www.lifeislikechampagneblog.com/2008/07/ice-will-never-be-square-again.html and enter to win a set!!!! Don't forget, it ends tonight.

And, if you are reading this a little too late you can always stop by the sponsor's site http://www.spoonsisters.com/ and order some of your own!

Pick your Prize!

Wow, with this giveaway Kelly is offering you the chance to pick what you'd like if you are the winner! You can choose a $20 credit to her Etsy store, a cute little placemat that catches the crumbs before they hit the floor (great idea, no more sweeping crumbs up under the table or highchair!) or 500 pellets of play corn. Lots of cool choices, but you'd better hurry and enter-it ends July 28th her time (France). Good luck, and have fun checking out the great choices she has offered!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Look at this giveaway!

Vanessa over at http://inevergrewup.net is having a great giveaway-she is giving away an adorable little boys hat and mom and girls headbands... You just gotta check it out, and be sure to say Michele P. sent you!

Take a look now and good luck! http://inevergrewup.net/?p=230

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Utterly Exhausted...

As I am sitting here in front of the computer I know that I am nodding off-and I always seem to catch myself, jerking my head upright suddenly right before I plunk myself face first onto my keyboard. Amazingly, I haven't gotten whiplash yet.

These last several days have been hard, going from a mostly nocturnal sleep until noon schedule to a sleep at midnight or 1 am and wake up at 5:30 am deal. I keep fighting the sandman, but God help me, he is winning. My husband called me from Guatemala tonight. I didn't answer my cell (it was on vibrate so I didn't know it was ringing, plus remember what I said earlier about not wanting to see another phone for as long as I live?) so he called the house-- repeatedly.

I finally picked up, convinced it wasn't a telemarketer and figuring it was someone who really wanted to talk to me. Yup, it was. He asked how I was doing. I think he detected that I was tired by the sound of my voice, because he asked me if I'd been sleeping. Umm, maybe. Then he started talking about his garden, and asking a zillion questions about how everything was growing. He knows me, knows I could kill a cactus if need be. But this year I have had my flowers flourish and the veggie garden is going great. However not wanting to take any chances, I headed outside after we got off the phone, still in a zombielike trance, and hosed down those veggies.

I am doing a wash, clothes piled up the last few days and the floor of my laundry room was a mess... my stove, well, it stopped working, I dunno why. I have my ideas though, and they go back to last week when I was doing a wash, drying some clothes, and turned on the microwave, all at the same time. Our circuit overloaded, and I had to head down to the basement and the land of -shudder- spiders and turn it back on. Only this time, unlike the many times before when this happened, the stove failed to turn on. Everything else is working just fine though, so not sure what is up. So it is the toaster oven and the microwave for me for a couple more weeks.

Well, Deja has drifted off into dreamland and I am waiting for the wash cycle to finish out so I can put some stuff in the dryer. Mr. Sandman is lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce as well. Good night one, good night all-and to everyone, A Good Night!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Christmas in July and Hair Goodies Too!

This past week, I won the weekly crafty items giveaway over at http://artgirlblue.blogspot.com/. My theme was Christmas in July and it included all kinds of neat stuff. Deja, my little artist, is still pondering what to make with these goodies. This week her blog is giving away another little baggy of crafting swag-the theme is "It's a Girl Thing" and it is filled with girly goodies. But you'd better hurry and enter because she is drawing a winner tomorrow night!

While there, I happened to check out her Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5224058 and found the cutest bobbi pins ever! Since Deja's hair is shorter now, clippies and bobbi pins are gonna be the way to go for awhile. So, I bought those bobbi pins for her, those cute little butterfly ones you see pictured-and she was kind enough to send me an extra clippie set as well! Wow! And right now her Etsy shop has these really cute Halloween clippies-they would look so cute with a costume! She's also having a B1G1F sale, so you'd better head over quickly before they're gone! I'm very pleased with everything I got, and I know you will be too!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meme Monday

I found this on Just Talk's blog http://dana-justtalk.blogspot.com and thought I would try it out myself!

Use the first letter of your name to answer each question. Must be places or names…Nothing made up. Can’t use own name for boy/girl’s name question. If can’t answer, skip to next one.
1. Famous Singer: Madonna
2. Four Letter Word: Mama
3. Street Name: Main St, Waterville, ME
4. Color: Magenta
5. Gifts/Present: money
6. Vehicle: Mazda
7. Things in Souvenir Shop: mobiles (like those shell ones you find at the seaside shop)
8. Boy Name: Michael
9. Girl Name: Madeline
10. Movie title: Meteor
11. Drink: milkshake
12. Occupation: mailman
13. Celebrity: Mandy Moore
14. Magazine: More
15. City: Madrid, Spain
16. Sports: motorcross
17. Fruit: Melon
18. Reason for Being Late to work: Must have slept late
19. Something you throw away: meal scraps
20. Something you shout: Move it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I am just overwhelmed!

Overwhelmed because I have been so very, very lucky and very fortunate to have won quite a few blog giveaways since I started blogging. I've posted pics of a few but plan on posting pics of every single one-I have just been so busy getting ready to start work again tomorrow... it seemed all the housework creeped up on me at once, and we all know how that is!

I've met many new friends, and subscribed to lots of blogs-because I want to keep reading about everyone! I may not be online as much as I would like now that work is starting again, so subscribing will at least let me know new stuff is going on and I can read it when I have the time. I still haven't figured out the link thing yet, but I will!

I also have a few things coming from Amazon so I can do my own giveaways. I am not a crafty person, so it won't be anything handmade. Unless you all want Deja to make you something :) because I know she'd love to, she's a little artist, that one.

I thank each and every one of you for sponsoring and having such great giveaways. It is alot of fun to enter, and I love being able to check out Etsy and the sponsor websites to see their beautiful work. I am in awe of all the different things that are out there, and all the different styles and ways to make things. I get inspired to try some new things with Deja when I see a post showing how to make something and the instructions look simple enough for even me to try it.

So, a big thanks to all of you! I will be posting a giveaway within the next couple of weeks too, something to give back to all you generous folks-so be sure to watch for it!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Look at this! Isn't this cool?

Look what my refunding buddy Yoshiko from CA made using plastic bags!!!! Great way to be green AND to recycle, huh? I think they look great, and I will be saving my plastic for her from now on-instead of tossing it in the trash, where it can be harmful to the environment. And maybe Yoshiko will be nice enough to send me a sample (hint, hint) of her cool looking bag! Yoshiko isn't a Blogger, but does read my blog when she has time. Just wanted to share with all my friends in the blogosphere her cool recycled bag!

Friday, July 11, 2008

SMP of Kellogg's Cereals-Watch for it!

While shopping last week at my local Shaw's Supermarket here in Maine, I noticed a large box of Froot Loops going for $3.99, they also had the same size box in Frosted Flakes as well.

It was a quick trip, and I'd left my cereal coupons behind-so was hesitant to buy cereal at that price but quickly changed my mind when I saw the back of the box. This specially marked package (SMP in refunding code) had the following coupons:

FREE any ONE 8ct. pkg of Pop-Tarts Splitz (up to $2.50 value)
Buy one get one free Orbit chewing gum
FREE 8ct Crayola crayons
Buy one get one free Dannon Danimals Drinkables yogurt 8pk (up to $4.79 value)
and finally:
FREE one 48 oz. or larger Ocean Spray Grapefruit juice or juice drinks

with 3 free items and 2 B1G1 deals, the box of cereal was looking pretty darn good, and would have looked alot better had I brought my coupons (that would double).

All of these coupons expire 12/31/08 so be on the lookout for them! I also saw a 16 ct. Strawberry poptart box with the same coupons (and probably the same price too). Just wanted to give you all heads up on this great deal!

UPDATE: I guess the regular price for this huge box of cereal is $5.49-last week it must have been a special promo of $3.99 (maybe unadvertised store special?) Still a good deal though, considering what you get for free. Also, the poptarts 16 ct pkg. has the same exact coupons on the back but does NOT have the free poptarts pkg. Bummer. That box was 3.49-3.99 as well, I went by quickly so didn't really get a good chance to look at the price, I was more interested on what freebie coupons it had!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What would you do if it happened to you???

Back in Mid-May I ordered some Topsy Turvy tomato planters from Amazon.com. I had some Amazon gift certificates on my account, so the cost with shipping was only gonna be a little over $12.

I waited. And I waited. Amazon usually is so good about sending out notices to my email telling me my product has shipped. But this one just sat there as an open order. And then it said, product to be shipped between June 5th-10th with arrival no later than June 20th. And June 20th came. And went. And my order just sat there open. Until July 1st-when I received a message saying Amazon had cancelled my order because the seller failed to comply with regulations to ship within 30 days.

Ok, I figure-it's getting a bit late to plant those tomatoes anyhow. I will just buy some, earlier next time, the following year. On July 2nd, I got a UPS notice saying something had shipped from Home and Beyond (the company that fills orders for True Value on Amazon). I called Amazon and spoke with a nice CSR. He told me my GC balance had been credited to my account and he showed nothing being charged to my card or even shipping out from said company. I explained my concern, thinking my card would be charged the full $37.07 from this company, and again he assured me that no, it wasn't possible-they don't have my card number, only Amazon does and Amazon cancelled the order.

On July 8th, a rather beat up baggie arrives from Home and Beyond and I open it. Inside were two pretty beat up boxes of Topsy Turvy tomato planters. Though the boxes are both crushed in on the sides (why they used a baggie for shipping these, I don't know-couldn't they have afforded a box?) I inspect the planters and thankfully they are undamaged. Inside was the number to call Home and Beyond. I call and am on hold for about 10 minutes, all the time listening to elevator music and the automated voice saying "thank you for calling Home and Beyond. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. There are currently 0 callers ahead of you." Ok, so if no callers ahead of me what were they doing? And why weren't they answering the phone? I was kind of perturbed with the whole thing, because I think (and still do) that they got the cancellation from Amazon and rather than refund the money pulled a fast one and sent it out the next day.

So, finally the phone is answered by Monica. Who explains to me that the item was on backorder and it wasn't HER fault Amazon didn't tell me this. She said she showed no record that Amazon had cancelled the order on July 1st, and that when the products finally came in on July 2nd (yah right!) they shipped them out to me immediately. (again, because they'd been paid by Amazon and didn't want to refund the money) She told me the item was paid for, and said Amazon had paid them. I told her Amazon had cancelled the order, and told me my GC balance and card were not charged. (which I confirmed by looking at my Amazon account and saw the GC balance was reinstated.) Monica said they'd been paid and that was pretty much the end of that, and if Amazon didn't charge me then Merry Christmas! I could keep them. Wow! Basically telling me she didn't give a s%&t about it and it was out of her hands. Oh, I could return the stuff, but since I'd opened it, I'd have to pay to ship it back to them-um, that wasn't what I had in mind.

I called Amazon immediately afterwards and spoke with a another friendly rep. I explained to her what had happened and like me, she was shocked that the Home and Beyond rep. actually told me to keep the stuff and hope Amazon didn't notice. I know, being in accounting, that somewhere, somehow, someone down the line will do an audit and find this error, and I will be made to pay when I can least afford it... so better to pay less when I have the GC balance to use up. I told the Amazon rep. I would keep the planters for next year and by then I had a $40 gc balance in my account so told her to charge that for the whole amount and the items would be free to me. She was happy that I was honest enough to call, and was putting the request in to the accounting dept. and also they were going to do an investigation of the vendor, to find out what happened. Perhaps they will monitor them a bit better in the future, because I read several negative comments about them on the Amazon feedback page.

First, the planters weren't damaged, just the boxes. And the cost out of pocket to me would have been $12.07 originally after GC's used. By the time the error was resolved, cost out of pocket to me was $0. (due to additonal GC's I had added to the acct.) I would have had to pay for shipping (they refused to send a label) and besides, it was an item I can always use next year. I could have just shut up, spent my GC balance on something else, and had my debit card charged the full amount later on down the line when they discovered the error. Or I could have paid for it (even the $12 amt would have been fine) and felt honest, and better about myself in the end. I chose to go with option #2. And I can live with it. What would you have done? Don't worry, I don't judge anyone, my teen son was like "Mom, just keep it. They'll never know. " To him, it wasn't really a big deal. Would you have done anything differently in dealing with Monica, the rep. who told me to keep the item? Sounds like she has the same way of thinking as my son.

What a nightie!

Last week Jo-Lynne over at Musings of a Housewife http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/musings_of_a_housewife/ was having an awesome blog giveaway sponsored by Linda Levine of My Baby Pajamas. Now, my baby is 6, going on 7 in December and I was so pleased to see that My Baby Pajamas has PJ's and nightgowns for older kids too!

When Jo-Lynne emailed me to say I'd won, I was so happy! Deja had been upset since her favorite Dora nightie ripped in the wash. And it was great emailing back and forth with Jo-Lynne, it seems she has family in Maine and was familiar with the area where I live-we had a great time reminiscing about a favorite restaurant now long gone that we both loved to visit in Bangor-Miller's-it had the greatest buffet and I can remember making a special trip up to Bangor just to eat there. Have any of you ever been there?

So, I let Deja sit down with me and we headed to http://www.mybabypajamas.com/go/index.php for the final selection. She chose a pretty pink Claesen's nightgown with butterflies. Deja is tall for her age, much taller than other kids in her class---so when Linda contacted me, I advised her a bigger size would be great. I got her the size 8-9 and it fits wonderful! What I love about it is the adjustable straps, so I can make it a bit longer as she gets taller. Right now, its down to her knees. The thing I love is that the material is soft and stretchy and grows right along with her. Linda was really pleasant to work with, and shipped the item very fast too. I highly recommend My Baby Pajamas for all your pj needs-they have sizes ranging from infants to big kids, and all at affordable prices. Big thanks from Deja and I to Jo-Lynne for having the giveaway on her blog and Linda for sponsoring it!

Picky eaters? Needs more flavor? Then try Poprs!

Right now I'm sharing the comment love here on my blog about Poprs. http://www.poprs.com/
If you have ever had a kid who is a picky eater or just needed a little bit of extra flavor on their food-this is perfect for them. And they are GOOD for you, who'd have thought that sprinkle on food flavorings are also infused with healthy vitamins? I think we'd really enjoy the taco flavored one in my house...

And right now over at http://poprs.blogspot.com/2008/07/share-comment-love-well-share-poprs.html Veggie Mom is giving away a complete Poprs set of EIGHT different flavors to TWO grand prize winners! Now, to me, that sounds like a GREAT way to try them all out and find out which are your favorites. Heck, you might even love them all! Better hurry though, you only have until 6 pm on Monday, July 14th to enter. Good luck!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I was the Tango K Design $25 GC June Winner!

You know, my 6 year old has been asking for big girl dangly earrings for some time, rather than just plain old studs. Nothing wrong with studs, but when your bff's at school are wearing hoops and dainty dangles, well, you just wanna do the same. And now that you are gonna be a FIRST grader in the fall, you let mom know on a daily basis that you are ready-NOW.

So I decided that the time had come, and let Deja pick out a couple of things from Tango K Design's Etsy shop. Of course it HAD to be pink, or a shade of pink and lucky for me she had several things there that Deja just loved. Not to mention mommy too, but this one was for Deja-I'd promised her something special for the past couple of weeks as a Kindergarden graduation gift, and this would be just perfect!

When we got these earrings a few days ago, I let Deja open the package and lemme tell ya she squealed with delight! These earrings are so cute, dainty, and very, very pretty. Cindy does a great job-and they are even prettier than the pictures we saw! If you have a little lady like Deja, or if you like pretty dangle earrings-these are for you. I've taken a couple pics to show you the designs we got. Try not to notice the bad haircut- Thanks so much to Tango K Design for sponsoring such a great giveaway. And don't forget to check it out, they are giving away a ring on their blog for the month of July! http://tangok.blogspot.com/ Better yet, just go to her Etsy shop and check out all the cool stuff she has! http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=21329 Good luck!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What cute aprons~hurry, go enter!

I just came across a really neat giveaway-they are giving away an apron of your choice. But hurry, you have to enter before 10 AM EDT on Saturday, July 12th!

Just think, the summer heat may have you out of the kitchen now but pretty soon the cool weather will be back and with that comes the holidays. Don't you want to do all your cooking and baking in style?

Here's the link: http://certainlycharmed.blogspot.com/2008/07/giveaway.html and be sure to check out the rest of the blog too!

Ah those were the days!

A very old pic of hubby and myself-when we first were dating. Boy don't I wish I looked like that again! Back then no digital cameras, or if they had them they were too expensive for me! This was taken with one of those old Polaroid instants, when I went down to RI for the weekend to see future hubby.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Deja, Deja continued...

Continuation of the post below, just added another pic of Deja in front of the garden and a couple of her on her swing set last night. Just finished watering the garden, ooops...think I got the neighbors bedsheets too! My bad.... it was either that or hose down her whole family's clothes earlier in the day...

Deja, Deja, how does your garden grow?

We live in a neighborhood where the houses are all thisclose to each other. What I hate is that my next door neighbors seem to think they have 4 ft. on the side of their house-and that they have a back door opening up to my yard from their porch. The wife loves to hang her clothes out to dry, running the line right across my yard. And right over my garden, taking away needed sunlight to the tomatoes in the back rows. And watering my garden? Um, sure if I wanna hose down her laundry she stuck out there to dry. Granted, she did ask if it was ok THIS year, the prior year she didn't even talk to us. Our daughters got friendly, and Jose and I bought Deja a swing set so the kids could play together. But one day, things changed, and the girls don't see each other anymore. Their house is now up for sale-guess who is cutting that damn line down when they sell? And next summer putting a 6 ft high fence within 2 feet of their house?

The man who lived in the house previously was nuts. We'd just moved in in 2005 and Jose wanted to put up one of those huge metal sun shades that a friend had given him. He likes to work on his cars and friends cars, so thought this would be a way to keep cool while tinkering. As he was putting it up, the man burst out of his house and started screaming (literally) about how he had 2 feet on our side. I stood there with my mouth open, we weren't even within the 2 feet of his house. Jose had just temporarily laid the poles down to sort them out before putting them in the pavement of our driveway with railroad spikes.

So, the next day a man in a suit comes to knock on our door. Seems our friend called the city on us. The man from the city kind of chuckled because he said he didn't usually get calls for temporary sun shades/awnings to be taken down, but since our neighbor was being anal about it, it had to go. He explained a fence max. 6 ft high could be placed within 2 ft. but any other type of structure had the 4 ft setback. Now, Jose could have taken it down and done it within regulations, as he had enough room to do so. But as pissed as he was he tore the whole thing down. Now, I dunno where our neighbors are getting the idea they have 4 feet but they were -NOT- pleased we made a garden. See, she gardens too. And her yard is very small, hardly anything-but in all due respects, she has done a great job. To keep them happy, I said we'd left the 4 feet so they could put their grill there and she could get her clothes. Now that they are selling, I really want to put in a fence before the new neighbors think they can just take over the backyard. And run their clothes across it. I plan on telling her, nicely, that when they move to take the line down or we will, because I don't want other neighbors running clothes lines across our property. Especially since we plan on having a garden again, and I don't want to have to wait until their clothes are dry before I can water my plants. And I really don't wanna look at someones undies hanging from any line, no matter how clean.

So here are pics of the garden. Notice Deja's new haircut. Home done of course-but will be getting it fixed by the beautician later this week. I keep cutting nits out left and right, and did find a few newly hatched buggers last night. Slathered conditioner all over her hair, and suffocated them. Just got back from CVS, bought Nix-gonna try that probably tomorrow as that is supposed to be better than RID. She needs a second treatment, last Monday used RID but she now has a few (1-2) live ones on her I am guessing. I saw one this morning, but couldn't get it-it slipped thru my fingers and the tweezers. Planning to get the flashlight out tonight and wage war. Also, got some nice natural non-toxic stuff if the chemicals don't work and 2 weeks later she gets re-exposed. I've been putting stuff in trash bags, spraying, washing-so dunno what more I can do. I do know she can't seem to sit still, so I think that the live ones that I saw were from me not being able to see the nits because she was moving around and I lost my place in my battle for supremacy.

About the pics: The green house is the neighbors house I was mentioning earlier. The other house is a huge nasty ass apt. house where a slum lord rents to god knows who. In the evenings the smell of them partaking of the herb wafts across my yard, and the music, drinking and merriment always seem to coincide with the first of the month or the full moon-and not necessarily in that order. I've lived in urban areas in Rhode Island, so as long as they keep to themselves I am fine with it. And so far, they haven't bothered me much-I actually think their late night drunken hooting is pretty comical. Anyways, the tomatoes are doing good, radishes as well, cilantro, onions, all thriving-with hubby gone I thought for sure I'd kill everything but so far, so good.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wanna see a pretty butterfly?

I was the winner of the Caught Red Handed giveaway a few weeks ago, and was thrilled yesterday to receive my pretty pendant from the Caught Red Handed gals, Amy & MaryBeth! Unfortunately, my freshman year in high school I WAS caught red handed... and posted the tale on their blog here: http://www.shopredhanded.blogspot.com/

Boy, was I surprised to see how heavy this pendant was, and very well made too, I might add. Now all I need is to go and get a nice silver chain and I will be all set. I'm heading to a convention in San Antonio at the end of August, and will be wearing it around my neck during the banquet for sure! It's been awhile since I've gotten a nice piece of jewelry for myself-too busy being a mom and wife and everything else in between. You might want to splurge a bit as well, and head on over to their site and pick up something for yourself, so many colors and designs-I'm positive you will find something to your liking. Thanks so much ladies, I really love the pendant!

Scribbit's Wonder Woman Writing Contest!

Hi all! I am so new to the blog thing, but wanted to tell you that Scribbit http://scribbit.blogspot.com/ is doing a July Write-Away contest! You still have time to enter, and the prize is a ZUNE! Yes, a ZUNE! The topic is Wonder Woman-my own entry is right below this post.

Here's the entry page: http://scribbit.blogspot.com/2008/07/julys-write-away-contest.html

Hurry, get those thinking caps on-she needs to have it by July 16th! Good luck!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Does Wonder Woman Really Exist?

How do you define a Wonder Woman? Does she even exist in today's world? Would you consider her to be someone who is able to accept things thrown at her from all directions, both good and bad-and be able to make sense of it?

Work, Home, Family-all cherished, all with unique challenges. She knows how to combine them all together and still come out smiling. Stress, you ask? Why, she is just able to deflect it away from her using her superpowers, keeping everyone happy. Because if Wonder Woman ain't happy folks, ain't nobody happy. Energy? She has tons of it-enough to work eight hours a day, come home and cook a huge dinner, help with homework, kiss the kids goodnight, pop a few loads of clothes in the laundry AND rock hubby's world in the sack. All in the SAME DAY.

And superpowers? Her kids KNOW she has eyes in the back of her head. She always seems to know when they threw their veggies in the trash, or were feeding table scraps to the dog, even if she was facing the other way. She knows when little Johnny is tormenting baby Annie in the next room, that x-ray vision works wonders through walls. She can hear her teen daughter on her cell phone in her room upstairs with the stereo blaring telling her best friend Jane she's sneaking out of the house Friday night to go to that party that Tim's having where there will be drugs, alcohol, and NO parental supervision. Darn, that supersonic hearing works wonders, doesn't it?

At work, she's the model employee. Excels at her job and is the best she can be. So good, in fact, that unfinished projects and other employee's work often falls to her desk-because her supervisors know if anyone can finish it before the deadline, she can. Her co-workers admire her, the slackers LOVE her, and the office busybody spreads rumors on how she must be sleeping with the boss.

At home, you could eat off the floor. Literally. There are no piles of dirty clothes on the floor, no dirty dishes in the sink. Lunches are made the night before, the next days clothes are laid out-no rushing in the morning. The white picket fence is spotless, her yard the envy of the whole neighborhood. She entertains every week, from barbecues, to Tupperware Parties to potluck suppers on hubby's poker night. She doesn't need an interior decorator, she has the uncanny ability to put everything together and make it look just right.

She loves her family unconditionally, and never raises her voice. Even after she has reminded her husband for the hundredth time that week not to leave the toilet seat up in the bathroom, or trips over one of the many toys that her children left on the floor and forgot to put back in their toybox. She even enjoys it when her mother-in-law comes to visit-and stays for three weeks. She's the supportive wife, always lending an ear to her husband's woes at work and giving him a neck and back massage just because he needs to feel loved.

I think there is a little of Wonder Woman in all of us. We all strive to be the best that we can be, professionally, spiritually and in the home. Wonder Woman is perfect, unable to make mistakes, knowing all, seeing all, doing all and feeling all. Can anyone ever achieve perfection like that? No, but we CAN try to be the best that we can be, be it the best wife, mother, worker etc... and live happy, fulfilled lives. Wonder Woman is a myth, a fantasy-a cartoon character created to fight for justice and good in the world. We are Wonder WOMEN, bravely fighting the battles that occur in our lives on a daily basis-and living to tell the tale.

A few things you don't know about me...

1. I can speak, read, and write Spanish fluently. Studied it for 5 years but never figured I'd end up using it on a daily basis!

2. I am scared to fly on a plane-and haven't been on one since 2000. Until this August, when we head out to San Antonio over Labor Day weekend. Wish me luck!

3. I love to bargain shop and use coupons and refunds to sweeten the deal further. In this time of economic uncertainty, it has been really helpful.

4. I bite my fingernails, and have since childhood. My nails are one ragged mess, and I am too embarrassed to go to get a manicure-besides, I'd probably ruin that too!

5. I gained weight, lots of it, after Deja was born and haven't been able to get much of it off. I am a fast food junkie, so that doesn't help. Plus I have a desk job-not much exercise there.

6. We bought our first house in 2005, prior to that I'd always lived in apts. or mobile homes-even as a child never really had a "house", but we always had a home!

7. My fave foods are tacos, tamales, chiles rellenos, pizza, fried seafood, and burgers, hotdogs and fries. See, told ya I don't eat healthy!

8. My children both understand and speak Spanish, as we are bilingual here at home. They have always heard it growing up, so are quick to understand it, less quick to speak it.

9. My husband is 4 1/2 years YOUNGER than me. Ok, so am I robbing the cradle or what?

10. I am somewhat of a pack rat, and keep things that I have no use for far longer than I should. I'd rather have it for a rainy day, or just in case, than not at all!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Random Ramblings

Ahhh, finally some peace and quiet! I sent hubby back to mama today- for about a month. He will be happy with her cooking: tortillas, tamales, beans, cheese, cream, chiles rellenos, soups-actually he will be in HEAVEN with her cooking. He will come back having gained 10 lbs and have to resort himself to tv dinners and Burger King again. He knows the routine, and what type of food I am capable of cooking. He prefers Burger King to my cooking any day-so I let him have it his way.

Since mama lives so far away in Guatemala, he tries to visit her once a year for a couple of weeks. This is the longest he's been gone-and we will miss him-but his dad has been ill lately, so he is going just in case something happens later down the road. His 17 year old daughter from his first marriage is also pregnant, due in late August-with his first grandchild. He doesn't want to be reminded, he thinks he's too young to be a grandaddy at 37. Unfortunately, he won't be there when the baby is born, but hopefully will get to see photos.

I've been dilligently working on Dejanera's hair. We tried alcohol today-it worked ok, got a few more nits out. I did find 2 very small live ones and got them out, and I have been cutting, tweezing, pulling and pinching. It has not been a fun procedure. I coated her with lots of nice conditioner today, her hair is very shiny and slippery. I see where some of the nit glue has loosened up, and I am able to just slide the nits down and off the hair. Tomorrow we do it by sections, with bobby pins-grandma found some of those in her dresser drawer and brought them over earlier. Everyone's comments on my "lice post" have been helpful and encouraging. My own scalp is sore, fried I think from keeping that RID on way too long. I am thinking of olive oil or mayo next. I am paranoid. Even Brujita the cat has been looking at me suspiciously. She knows putting concoctions of stuff in people's hair is not a GOOD thing. She remembers when Deja was about three, how she got into a tube of Avon hair remover while I was napping and gleefully began to put it all over her hands. Daddy came home about ten minutes later, and followed the path of clumped hairballs to my bedroom. Deja was so darn proud of herself, but had bald patches all over her head. Seems she thought she had mommy's mousse and felt it necessary to run it through her hair. The room reeked of chemical hair remover, Daddy caught her just as "Here Kitty Kitty" became hairless kitty as she was about to rub her hands all over the cat. It was not pretty, and bathing a toddler at midnight was not fun, as more hair fell out in the water. The cats were nowhere to be found, probably in hiding for fear they were next. From that day on, no more hair remover in the house. Funny thing is, it wasn't even for me, it was a customer's order!

I've had luck with blog giveaways this past week, actually so many nice things coming I am so excited! Once I get the lice issue under control, I want to take pics of the wins and post them for all to see-and I want to try to learn the link thing too, not necessarily for extra credit, but to give credit where credit is due in case someone stumbles on my blog and saw that I won something they would just LOVE to have, they'd know where to go to get it. To me, it would just be easy typing up something with a photo and putting their web address right in my post. People have just been so darn nice, and I am spending lots of time reading blogs, getting ideas, checking out new recipes-I will miss alot of this when I go back to work FT in a few weeks.

Speaking of work, I might occcasionally post a "happening from the front." We are on the front line, folks-in regards to the war against high oil prices. We hear the good, the bad, the ugly. We see the sad, the happy, the overjoyed. I can still remember a call from a few years ago, a client called us to tell us he had run out of kerosene. It was a Friday, late in the day-and all emergency deliveries had been called in. There was no way we could help this man until Monday am, first thing. Even in an emergency delivery, the oil company can only accept so many per day as they have to deliver within 24 hours. We told this man, go to the local store, get a 5 gallon jug of K1 and use it sparingly. Lots of our clients do this, we call it lugging. Given the price yesterday at the cheapest dealer in town was $4.84 gallon for K1 I predict ALOT of lugging this winter. Anyways, this guy did as we said and used his last few dollars for K1. But then it got cold, real cold. He called us on Monday and told us his dog froze to death. Inside his trailer. What do you tell this man? What can you possibly say? That still haunts me to this day. So you may see a post or two, maybe more, depending on the daily happenings. If you do live in cold weather country, like I do-start preparing now, while the weather outside is 90 degrees and you are sweltering from the humidity. You won't have that option as the weather gets freezing cold outside.

Ok, enough of my ramblings today. I have more laundry to do and will check back later! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The pitter patter of little feet-

I know I should have heeded the warning. The writing was on the wall-posted to the afterschool program door. Flyers were distributed in every parents inbox, and I threw mine out.


So I checked, and saw nothing. I don't even know what lice LOOK like, I've never had them, my son didn't have them, other than a few dandruff flakes everything looked just fine. So I stopped checking. School got done and the kids had a week off before the afterschool program became the summer camp program. My daughter wasn't itching, or complaining of anything in her hair. I brushed her hair daily, but lately it'd been a mess. Her hair is somewhat fine, and knots up very easily. I've been using detangler but ran out, so she had Daddy, who is somewhat more gentle than me-brushing her hair. With my brush- this morning.

Deja sleeps with me most of the time, Daddy works nights and she feels comforted with me. I don't mind, we'd been having thunderstorms in the evening and I know that they scare her. This morning, all went well. She got up and got her hair brushed by Daddy and off she went to summer camp.

It wasn't until early evening that we noticed the insane itching. Hubby and I looked at each other and thought the same thing. And suddenly I began to feel a little tingling in my scalp, and an uncontrollable urge to itch. It's still going on, which is why I am still wide awake at 2 am. Plus I am still digesting my pizza from Papa John's.

I discovered the critters around 9:30, as she was settling down for the night and Daddy was getting ready to go to work. I had him look, sure enough, there were things walking around. We looked on the internet and it said to check behind her ears and by the neck. Mmmm... a gold mine. Eggs, live critters, I could have started a farm in her hair from the looks of it. Grandma had her the day before, and put a hair tie in for her, and she didn't mention anything. Grandmas are supposed to know these things-but my mother never had lice, I never had lice, so she's never even seen one herself.

At 10 pm I was on my way to Walmart, the only place open at that time. I got 2 shampoos, I wanted spray, gel, combs, the whole kit and kaboodle, but my options were limited. The Rid shampoo came with a nit comb, a pretty purple one. I started applying the solution and the live ones, the bigger ones were looking for a safe haven. There were a few, and it wasn't pretty. The lighting was dark, it was nighttime, but I had to do something to get these things out. My daughter patiently stayed up way past her bedtime as I tried to comb out what I could see. I know more still exists. She was so tired, I was tired, my son was freaking out and hubby was not too worried, he'd seen them before in his native Guatemala.

Today is another day, another day to kill those ugly looking things. Another trip to CVS, loads of hot laundry on an even hotter day, more combing to do. Deja is totally freaked out about bugs in her hair, any 6 year old girl is usually freaked out about bugs. Today I will shampoo as well, and hubby too. My son has a pretty much shaved head, so while he's grossed out, he's not worried. Time to get the sprays, the plastic bags, the more effective combs, and some solution that is supposed to loosen the glue that these nits have on the hair and wash them right off. Oh, and buy new brushes, pillows, and anything else I might have thrown out in my mad rush to rid the house of creatures.

Brujita looks at me like its not a big deal. I mean, after all, she has fleas, right? Yup, and that is why she gets the once a month treatment so I don't get fleas. With 3 cats, every month gets downright expensive. Well, I am going to try to get some sleep, for a few hours. No summer camp this week, no wonderful Fourth of July-I've got my own battles to win here, and I have every intention of doing so.

I just feel so grossed out and dirty, but I know it's not something I had at my house before and I am mortified that this could happen here. Even embarassed writing about this, but realize it is not something that I could control. She got lice, she may even get them again in the future, who knows? But next time, I will be prepared...

UPDATE: After $100 spent at CVS this morning and my paranoia getting the best of me, I continued in my quest for total hair domination. No alien parasitic lifeform was getting the best of me and my family! I do understand why they say only leave RID on for 10 minutes... I swear my scalp is on fire, and I didn't have any nits or so hubby says-in the first place. But 50 minutes just because you are paranoid is a big difference from the 10 minutes max. Deja still had some live creepy crawlies today, moving albeit more slowly-we combed 3x today. Outdoors. I sprayed the bed, laundry still has to be done-tomorrow we try rubbing alcohol with cotton balls, or mayo-those little suckers are GLUED on to the hair shaft pretty tight, but I did get tons out
today and they are getting harder to see now. Progress is a wonderful thing.