Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Avengers Trailer: In Theaters May 4, 2012

I'm definitely an Action flick kind of chick. I love the Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk movies. I'm so excited for this movie to come out in May! I just watched the trailer and it looks awesome! Check it out for yourself!

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Wordless Wednesday: Winter Weather

I stink at night time photos!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Next Cell Phone

I’ve been debating what phone I want to get when my eligibility comes up. I thought after a year I could get a new one. Turns out I have to wait until month 20 of my current plan unless I want to pay a $25 fee. At month 20 I’ll get $50 towards a new phone.

Wednesday after Bible Study, I headed to the Verizon store just to see what all 4 phones were like in my hand. I wanted to get my hands on them to see how I felt when I was holding them.

I don’t want some large bulky phone. I want slim and easy to hold. That’s one reason why I like my Droid 2. It’s small and easy to hold. I also liked having the keyboard. Yes, past tense. When I finally started using Swype I never went back. Swype does mess up my words quite often and I don’t always remember to edit before I text or message. Oops!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted another phone with a keyboard. The boys use the keyboard when they text their sister. That’s the only time it’s used. I think I’m nervous just thinking about not having it.

iphone _1 The first phone, of course, was the iPhone 4 and 4s. My niece has one and over Christmas all the cousins were having conversations with Siri! o_O I don’t ever use voice commands on my phone so I’m not sure I would want Siri. I’m going to have to talk to people who have the 4s to see what their thoughts are. Heck, the basic 4 is only $100! I’m not sure why, but it shows with Verizon, 4G isn’t available with the iPhone. Lame!

Razr_1Next there was the Motorola Razr and Razr Maxx. There’s a hundred dollar price difference and the battery life makes it well worth it! Almost 500 more usage minutes with the Maxx! Neither of these has a QWERTY keyboard physically. These are basically the same phones.Droid 4_1

Then there was the Droid 4. Holding this one felt very comfortable and since I have the Droid 2, it was easy to navigate and play with. As I was messing with it, I realized, do I really want a newer version of the phone that I’m ready to throw out the window as I’m driving down the freeway? I took a picture with it and it takes the same crappy pictures my 2 does.

So, the Razrs and the Droid are all made by Motorola. I’m thinking there isn’t going to be a huge difference between the three of them. The Razrs were huge in my hands. Bigger than I cared for. So awkward to hold, but a nice big screen for viewing.

When I left the store, I really felt like I’d probably end up getting the iPhone when May came around. I liked the way it felt in my hand. I really love the photos it takes, so clear and easy to see and of course, who can forget about Instagram? I know a couple of people who just got these as their new phones so I’m going to let them play around with them for a while and see what they think.

What do you have if you have a smartphone? Have you switched from Android based phones to iOS or the other way around? Does it matter really if it’s a 16GB or 32GB? That’s a $100 difference right there! And really, does color really matter? I know so many people want the white one. I’m just going to put a case over it anyhow! =)

*No compensation for this post. Just me and my ramblings!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Drums & A Cat

His shirt says, "I Rock"

Pearl loves hugging back

Paypal $25 Cash Giveaway

One of my favorite things about doing a giveaway is how easy they can be sometimes. Like this one. Need a bit of spending money? Who wouldn't want an extra $25 in their pocket! Well, now's the time to strike! Come and get it!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

F.A.I.R.I.E.S.: Baptism by Fire by M.C. Pearson Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author & illustrator is:

and the book:

FIRST Wild Card Press (December 5, 2011)
***Special thanks to M. C. Pearson of FIRST Wild Card Press for sending me a review copy.***


M. C. Pearson graduated from San Jose State University with a B. A. in art, served as a multi-media illustrator in the United States Army, earning the rank of sergeant, and spent four years as a house parent for at-risk youth. Now married over 20 years, she homeschools her two children, volunteers with her church youth group, and runs a book review blog alliance (FIRST Wild Card Tours) while writing and drawing. F.A.I.R.I.E.S.: Baptism by Fire is her first novel.

Visit the author's website.


Unwittingly chosen to join an army of fairies, who fight for the Light of the One, a teenaged girl learns about spiritual warfare as she attends a military academy with fantastical beings.


Here lies a most precious treasure,
Awaiting one Chosen to deliver.

Seek out the red cousins in the East,
For on this your greed mustn't feast.

The wealth of a species now in your hands,
Do with it as the light demands.

Give them your gift to unite,
For it is the darkness we all must fight.


"Imagination runs wild in F.A.I.R.I.E.S. Pearson brings young readers through a looking glass and into a world bursting with adventure, heroism, and fascinating creatures. Readers will be inspired to be true to the One and left with anticipation of more to come."
--Jill Williamson, award-winning author of
By Darkness Hid, and other books

"Sprinkled with delightful illustrations, and brimming with a full bestiary of magical creatures, F.A.I.R.I.E.S. is a fun, clever romp through the alternate landscape of the most magical world of all, our own. Read, and take up the call: 'Defend and Emancipate!'"
-- D. Barkley Briggs, author of
The Book of Names, and other books

"F.A.I.R.I.E.S. will appeal to readers who love the interplay of fantasy and reality. A rich cast of eccentric characters and exotic settings make this a fun addition to the folklore of the battle between good and evil."
--Mike Hamel, author of

"F.A.I.R.I.E.S. is one of those rare gems I want to tell everyone about. It's highly imaginative, packed with adventure, and full of hope. A must read for kids and for kids at heart. Even better than Narnia! I was thinking about Pearson's wonderfully memorable characters for days."
--C.J. Darlington, author of
Thicker than Blood

"Ms. Pearson's extravagant and imaginative F.A.I.R.I.E. kingdom will surely delight the young and the young-at-heart in this tale of good and evil, light vs. darkness. The fantasy-loving reader will not be disappointed!"
--Linore Rose Burkard, award winning author of
Before the Season Ends, and other books

Product Details:

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 482 pages
Publisher: FIRST Wild Card Press (December 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615530222
ISBN-13: 978-0615530222


Four thousand seasons shall pass while our swords grow rusty.

Where once one chose to divide, another shall be chosen to unite.

One changed the past, the other shall change the future.

One must emancipate the other to allow the light its dominion.

The realm, now torn, allows the shadow to abide, as humanity lies blind to its peril.

The bond of friendship must endure, for the army of shadows awaits another tear.

Dust off your swords.

Unite the realm.

Destroy the strongholds.

Foretelling of Didasko Gnome Digdeep






Off and Running

t was an accident!” Mellie yelled, not caring who heard or stared. Tears streaked her face as she fled down the Santa Cruz coastline, away from her family.

You don’t need them, a voice hissed in her ear, Escape. Run away.

Scorching sand burned at her feet and bitterness ate at her heart. Mellie pumped her legs as fast as they would go. Her feet pounded with the rhythm of her emotions, beating a tempo with the crashing waves. Run-a-way. Run-a-way. Run-a-way. Adrenaline pulsed through her veins, quickening her step.

Why did I have to be the youngest? Only 12 years old. Never smart enough. Never athletic enough. I just wish they loved me.

Once, just once, she wanted to do something that would make her sisters see that she wasn’t the stupid, awkward, ugly, little baby sister.

As she ran, she wiped away some tears with the palm of her hand. Her fingers settled on her large nose, a gift from her dad’s Hungarian ancestry.

Chelsea got the ski-slope shaped nose. I had to get Half-Dome. It just isn’t fair.

Her hand dropped to her side and she pinched at her stomach. It still had some of its baby fat.

Ugh, why are my sisters so perfect? What happened to me?

Pushing her short bangs from her forehead in disgust, she mumbled, “Maybe I’ll find treasure. I’ll be the rich one, and then they’ll have to accept me.” But she knew better. California didn’t hold any more undiscovered treasures.

The sand, hot and coarse, cut at her feet. I wish I had remembered my shoes. She wore only a black, one-piece swimsuit and a San Jose Sharks sweatshirt tied tightly around her waist.

Breathing rapidly, she began to tire. She slowed her pace to a walk and looked back across the beach. The sand was so hot that waves of heat rose from it and blurred her view. A lone seagull screeched overhead.

Her sisters were nowhere in sight.

Man, I thought for sure that Chelsea was going to chase me down and kill me.

She had to admit that it was a little gratifying to see the sand fly from her foot, covering Chelsea’s sub-sandwich and freshly oiled stomach. Grinning slightly, the tears stopped flowing. She rubbed her eyes.

Mellie looked in the direction of her sisters. “You guys can never take a joke.” Flipping her golden hair, she turned her head back toward her chosen path. She no longer smiled as she stomped her feet in the cold surf, remembering the hateful words that had been said.

“Oh, waa waa, you stupid cry baby! Go tell mommy! Maybe she’ll feel sorry for her ugly, fat baby. Why don’t you grow up? We don’t want you near us. Can’t you understand English? You are so dumb. Look at her mouth open. Oh wait, here she goes…come on, baby…cry!”

Mellie knew she couldn’t go back. They would only ridicule and torment her further. Her mom would never believe it was Chelsea’s fault. No, the evidence was on Chelsea’s side. Who was the one with the sand all over her oily, coconut-smelling body? Who was the one who had a sandwich full of sand? Mellie walked on.

After her temper finally cooled, it occurred to her that she had never walked so far alone.

How far have I gone?

A shadow passed over her, and she looked up. Nothing was there. A cool breeze from the ocean created a stark contrast to the scalding sand. She shivered but kept walking, lost in her loneliness.

Not until she stubbed her toe on a large broken clamshell did she look at the beach. A chill snaked up her back. Nothing appeared familiar. The sounds of the surf were still there, yet something was decidedly different. She felt dizzy. Looking around, she could not quite pinpoint the change. Then it struck her.

No people.

Where did everybody go?

Even though she could see no one, Mellie could swear that she felt eyes staring at her.

She looked inland across the sand, saw movement near some eucalyptus trees, but decided that the wind must have caused it.

Trees? So close to the beach?

Something shook the trees again, causing goosebumps to stand out on Mellie’s arms. Alarmed, she checked the skyline. The sun was close to setting. She hoped that the police weren’t out looking for her.

Suddenly cold, she pulled at the arms of the sweatshirt still tied around her waist. It fell to the sand. Bending to pick it up, she once again saw a blur of movement, except this time it came from a rocky outcrop by the waves. She shook the sand out of the sweatshirt and hurriedly tugged it over her head.

“Okay, I’m seeing things.” Mellie yanked at her hair, pulling it out of the sweatshirt. She stared at the sinister rocks. “Hel-lo?” Her voice cracked as she spoke louder. “Is someone the-ere? Hello?” No answer. The shadowy rocks seemed to quiver with excitement, beckoning her closer.

Hmm…probably just a seagull.

Even if it was a bird, she did not want to see it.

There’s no way I’m going over there.

The wind picked up and blew her hair into her eyes. The sand spun with the wind.

Yes, definitely time to move. I need to find a road.

She turned back toward the sweet smelling, oddly placed trees.

Mellie arrived at the base of the first, colossal eucalyptus tree. Without warning, one of the branches fell in front of her, then seemed to get up from the ground and pose its bottom stems in a military-like stance.

Mellie screamed and jumped back. “Branches don’t stand.”

“They do if they are walking sticks.” The eucalyptus branch chuckled, stretching to its full height, considerably taller than Mellie’s meager five feet.
She gasped, grabbed the branch, and threw it like a javelin, as hard as she could.

As she took off running, she heard a bark and halted. Turning, she saw a golden retriever bounding toward her with the stick in his mouth. The dog dropped it at her feet. She watched the dog run into the grove of trees and disappear before she fearfully turned back to the possessed stick.

It had already gained its footing again and stood over her. Mellie was too frightened to move this time.

A face emerged from the skinny twig and took on the characteristics of a male human, but none like Mellie had ever seen. He had hair made up in rolls as if it were a powdered, green-silver wig, the same color as the leaves that grew all around his skinny body. His face was long and his forehead high. The twiggy man smiled and said in a distinctly British, albeit breezy, accent, “Do not worry, you are safe.”

Mellie couldn’t answer.

“Ahh…I love new recruits. They are so easily addled.”

Feeling more confused than threatened, Mellie found her voice. “What? What do you mean, new recruits?” She rubbed her eyes, shaking her head. “Okay, I’m talking to a stick now. Yes, I have lost it. I have gone totally mental.”

“Oh, I say, am I to understand that I am the first to be revealed to you?” With round, leathery leaves, the branch resembled a toddler toy with rings stacked on one another.

She dropped open her mouth and nodded.

“Well, let me do this properly, then. Ahem. Mortal, made of clay, you have been Chosen to join the Fantastical, Aerial, International, Reasonably Inconspicuous, Emancipation Squads.”

“What? What are you? You look like a stick…but you can talk.”

“Yes, child,” the stick replied with a sigh. “But, I think we are quite past that by now. Have you not heard me? You have been Chosen.”

Mellie opened her mouth wider, closed it, frowned, and opened it once more. “Chosen? For what?”

“You did wish to be different? To change who you were? ’Twas an especially strong desire, yes?” The branch crossed its arms and tapped its twiggy foot.


“Dear me, this is highly unusual. You made a choice to run away from a miserable life and asked to be set free? Correct?”

“Well, I, ah…yeah. I guess so. What did you say about recruit for some squad?”

“Humph. I see that I was not understood. Yes? Let me elucidate. The Fantastical, Aerial, International, Reasonably Inconspicuous, Emancipation Squads , or shall I say F.A.I.R.I.E.S.? have accepted you into their organization. You asked. You were answered.” The branch attempted a smile, but looked impatient instead.

“Fairies? I don’t believe in fairies.” Mellie winced, half expecting him to fall down and writhe in pain until she clapped her hands.

“Quite right. You are not supposed to. If humans truly believed we existed, we would never get anything accomplished.”

Mellie laughed and looked around for a hidden camera, thinking this must be a joke. “Right. Ah…heh…okay, bud, brilliant costume,” she said, imitating the branch’s accent. “Where’s the zipper?” She reached toward him and touched a soft leaf.

The branch slapped her hand away and stamped its foot with a loud cracking noise. “I beg your pardon. I have not been a bud for over 800 springs!” He paced, his leaves crumpling, mumbling to himself about humans and why, in the One’s name, did he listen to that confounded gnome who told him that he needed to stand gate duty. With his rank!

“I’m sorry I upset you. Please, I’m very confused. I’m lost, and I just want to go home.” Mellie bit her lip.

The branch stopped mid-pace. “Home? Earlier, did you not wish for a new life? And riches? I know you wished for treasure, hmm?”

“How do you know that?” Mellie furrowed her brow. “Have you been reading my mind?”

The twig man didn’t answer her questions, asking his own instead. “Ahh, so, you admit this, yes?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Yes, but…well, this really isn’t what I had in mind.”

The branch threw up its twiggy fingers. “Oh, well, of course you did not have this in mind. After all, we are reasonably inconspicuous, especially to humans. How could you have this in mind? However, is it not superior of the One to think that this is what you would have chosen had you known about us? Anyway, ’tis irrevocable now. So, if you would just follow me, we shall get you signed in and enrolled for training.”

The branch marched off between the trunks of two large eucalyptus trees.

Mellie slid uncontrollably after the walking stick. She planted her feet firmly, refusing to budge, but she slid after him anyway. Grasping at branches of nearby trees, she panted heavily as she struggled to resist following the branch. Some kind of invisible tie connected her to him. He seemed to pull her along with his every step.

Mellie thought about her sisters and how mad they were at her. I’m dead meat if they find me. Mellie quickly gave up her battle and ran after the eucalyptus branch, barely keeping up with his stride.


The sand changed to coarse dirt, with pebbles and sticks. More and more trees filled Mellie’s vision. Bushes scraped against her bare legs and slapped her face as she moved deeper inside a forest of eucalyptus and redwood trees. She winced in pain as a razor-sharp rock sliced her foot. Stopping to nurse it, she wished once again for her forgotten shoes.

“Excuse me, sir?” Mellie looked around. She could not see the branch anywhere.

“Do not call me ‘sir’, I work for a living.” The branch peeked out from around one of the gigantic trees. “And please, try to keep up. We need to reach the gateway.”

Mellie limped up to him. “Sorry, sir…I mean…umm, what should I call you then?”

“Oh, well, we did skip that. Did we not? Yes, all right, an introduction then.” The branch man seemed to enjoy formal etiquette for he gave an elaborate wave and bowed. “My name is Regnans, family of Myrtaceae, born member of the F.A.I.R.I.E.S., Britannia Wing, rank of Master Nymph Dryad.”

“Nice to meet you, Reg…Reg?” Mellie chewed on the inside of her mouth. Never good at remembering names, she knew she would offend him with her lack of manners.

Sure enough, the dryad raised an eyebrow and pursed his lips. “Regnans.” He gave a hurt sniff, then drolly sneered. “If you find that a difficult name, you should meet the rest of my family, all seven-hundred thirty-four of them.”

“Sorry, I just…well, it is a lot to remember. It’s a nice name, though. My name is Maryellen Goodwin of Bret Harte Middle School, San Jose, California. But everyone calls me Mellie.” She stuck out her hand, intending to shake. Regnans stared at her.

“That is a strange curtsy. However, I guess ’twill do. We must get moving now. The shadows abound, you know.” Regnans made an about face and marched off faster than before.

Another hour passed, and still they strode along the forest floor. Mellie’s feet were now cut, blistered, and bleeding. She kept up as best she could with Regnans’s long stride. Whenever she tried to stop, he would pull her on with that invisible force of his.

Stupid, pompous, magical Star Wars freak.

She whimpered as she limped. Darkness and mist now covered the woods. As she was about to plead for a break, Regnans stopped. Except for her heavy gulps of air, all seemed quiet.

Regnans stiffened even more than usual. Nothing on him moved, apart from his eyes, which darted around quickly.

“All is safe, we may proceed.” He held up a twiggy finger to his woody mouth. “Please do not speak, and try not to breathe so abominably loud.”

Mellie nodded with a disgusted frown. Sweat dripped from her bangs. She tried to calm her breathing, even though her vision blurred, and her legs wobbled. Her blisters had popped by now and oozed wetness.

Regnans moved again, yet this time he took slow, deliberate steps, all the while scanning his surroundings. He walked up to a massive redwood tree and stroked its bark.

A breeze stirred up, rattling the leaves, sounding almost like spoken words. Mellie thought herself crazy again. However, the longer she stood there, the more she sensed that it really was the tree’s language, as if she had never listened to trees properly before. It said, “If you love, you will say the one true love that leads the way.”

Regnans whispered in a leaf rustling voice, “Ah-gaw-pay.”

A loud grumbling sound, as if someone awakened after a long sleep, shook the grove. The redwood tree opened two eyes, each the size of Mellie’s head, and blinked. A great fissure erupted below the eyes in the shape of a crescent, and redish-brown wooden teeth emerged. A long, knobby branch pushed its way out above the mouth and inhaled deeply.

The tree chuckled. Instead of the whispering leaves, a low, rumbling utterance of human speech came from the redwood tree. “Regnans? What brings you to my neck of the woods?” He blinked again. “And who is this? A new recruit? A human? A Chosen?”

Mellie knew she looked silly, standing there with her mouth in an ‘O’ shape, but she couldn’t move. This was simply impossible. There is no such thing as fairies!

“Yes, yes. Please open the gate, we must not dawdle here…they may be watching.” Regnans looked agitated.

A deep laugh resounded from the redwood. “Oh, Regnans. There are none who watch here.”

Regnans mumbled something about hamadryads and their pride, then proclaimed in a slightly louder voice to the tree, “We must be sober, be vigilant, because the shadow walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom it may devour.”

The hamadryad looked chagrined. “You speak true, dryad. Forgive me for acting like an arrogant seedling.” He glanced at Mellie, and with a lowered voice asked, “And what is your name, little human?”

Mellie managed to squeak out, “Mellie Goodwin.”

“Ah, ’tis always nice to have a Good Wind.” The hamadryad laughed heartily.

“Sorry to interrupt this lovely tete-a-tete,” Regnans said, “but would you please open the gate? I left Westside completely unguarded.”

An annoyed creak came from the base of the redwood, followed by a sigh. “Yes, Regnans. Agape you said, and agape it is. Go with the light, my friends.” The large, joyous eyes closed, and the hamadryad whispered in his leaf rustling voice, “Until we meet again, Good Wind.” His face disappeared, and his roots lifted and pulled apart, exposing a tunnel within his trunk.

Regnans grabbed Mellie’s hand with his rough, wooden one, and pulled her inside the opening. The tree closed itself abruptly and left them in total darkness.

Regnans cleared his throat and said, “Let there be light.”

A burst of dazzling brightness sparkled from the tunnel’s wall. Mellie glanced around and noticed a long, winding stairwell leading down into the ground.

“Shall we, then?” Not waiting for a reply, Regnans started down the steps.

Available at and Barnes &

My Review:

I have only read a few "fantasy" Christian genre books. I'm always a bit hesitant because I think it's a fine line between the "fantastical" and faith. Well, let me say for the record, F.A.R.I.E.S. combines both in a spectacular way.

When M.C. sent me her book and told me to be brutally honest, can you imagine my first thought? Oh boy, this isn't going to be that great if she wants my "honest" opinions! I proceeded with caution and was immediately swept into a new world following the journey of Mellie.

We're introduced to numerous creatures that all live below the earth.Each of these characters factor into Mellie's immersion into this new world. She learns about "fantastical" beings and that she has been "chosen", but she has no clue what that means or what's expected of her. Thankfully she makes friends with creatures of different shapes, sized and abilities.

Mellie is 12 and so is my son. I can't picture him acting as "mature" as she is so I kept imagining her more like a 17yr old. That was probably the hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around. Mellie has a lot of learning to do and her group of friends each add an element to her learning. She also has a lot of growing up to do and learning about putting others first and not being so selfish. Being young, you can forgive her lack of maturity.

It's wonderful that her instructors see her gifts of being the Chosen by the One (God). The One has given her abilities that stand out from others and with the help of her instructors and her friends she is able to hone those talents. I loved that part of this story. Her friends love her no matter what. They accept her just the way she is. There are so many wonderful underlying messages!

One of my favorite parts of this whole book is how M.C. adds scripture into conversation that sounds like it fits so well. It's not preachy, but encouraging. The scriptures are perfectly placed and directs the characters and the reader to Him.

The adventures in F.A.I.R.I.E.S. will appeal to adults and youth alike. I was excited to get to my reading every night and as I'd read, my thoughts would go to my boys and how much they would enjoy this. That's a great appeal for me, a book I can share with my kids. They don't like boring books and my 12yo wants to be taken on an adventure. M.C. definitely provides that throughout the entire story!

I also enjoyed the illustrations provided by M.C. I liked seeing what year she did each one and would look for those. I didn't see them in every single one, but you can tell she had this book in her head for a very long time!

Like I told M.C., the only part I didn't like was the ending because I have to wait for the second book! =) Don't you hate it when you finish a book you've thoroughly enjoyed and know you have to wait at LEAST a year before the next one comes out? LOL

If you're looking to go on an adventure, this would be the perfect book. If you're looking for a book that is family friendly and you can read with your tween or older, I would highly suggest grabbing this book and adding it to your reading list this year!

I want to thank M.C. for sending me her book for review. She knows I've been looking forward to reading her debut novel since she announced it at F.I.R.S.T.!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Divorce and Required Parenting Classes

In December I went to the courthouse to get some information about filing for divorce. Thankfully the girl at the counter mentioned something about parenting classes. I told her I knew about them, but we didn’t need to take them because my “ex” and I were in agreement about everything.


We were required to take the class, even though online it’s only “suggested” on the their website! Nice.

So, I immediately called the local class and they wouldn’t have anything until FEBRUARY! You’ve got to be kidding me. Then I called one in the next county. They had one the first weekend in January. That’s more like it.

Because what I also found out was we couldn’t get on the calendar until this class was taken! o_O

Happy as a clam, getting all my ducks in a row, I waited for the first week of January to show up. Yah, look at me go!


 divorce 2

I get a call 2 days before the class that they’re cancelling it but I can go the next Saturday (on the weekend I work). At first I said “no” until I found out they were canceling the one on the NEXT weekend I had off. So, I bit the bullet and swapped Saturdays with a co-worker.

The ex and I show up at the meeting time and it seems the class is too full and we have to go to the local University. Whatever, I just want to get the class over with. We all got into our vehicles and made a train to the college.

We get into a nice meeting room and find out we can only be there for an hour. We listen to the instructor for about 45 minutes and then we trek up into the library to a room smaller than the first one we started off in. So, we head back to the room we had just been in.

As soon as we got there we had a 10 minute break, which became a 15 minute break. At the top of every mind numbing hour we had a break. At noon we had an hour break.

In the midst of all of this, there was a guy who seemed to be the victim of his soon to be ex wife. As he continued to talk about his “experiences” throughout the ENTIRE day, he was getting on everyone’s nerves. Whenever we were allowed to share, the guy immediately spoke up. At one point, most of us started looking at each other and rolling our eyes and groaning under our breath. The guy was a total nut job.

If any of you have seen The Breakfast Club and how bored they all were. That pretty much explains how we all felt. Most of us were couples that resented the fact that we had to be there when we were in agreement to the divorce. The instructor at one point admitted to me that she felt the class should be 4 hours not EIGHT!

It seems at one point, my “ex” fell asleep. I spent most of the day being amused by my friends texting me things I could do to entertain the class like standing up and singing I’m a Little Tea Pot. One gal towards the front almost fell asleep and that had me in and her in a fit of giggles we tried to keep under wraps.

Towards the end of this torturous class, we were all just bored out of our skulls and found pretty much everything stupid and amusing. The whacky guy who just couldn’t stop sharing actually had me laughing out loud at the end. I couldn’t help myself. I’m telling you! What he shared about his future was my undoing. I won’t share it here because I don’t want to offend anyone in case their belief systems align with his, but we were all just dying.

One of the gals remembered that I had mentioned that it might come to a point where I needed to have a roommate to help pay the bills. She got my attention and nodded at the guy and mouthed, “Hey, there’s your roommate!” bwahahahahaha Over my dead body. I told her not to say a word!

The last half hour of class another group had to use the room so we once again marched up to the library and just sat around looking at each other. We literally had NOTHING to do, but legally, our instructor had to keep us there until 5pm. Of course, the crazy guy kept us entertained with his thoughts and sharing them. And to think his “ex” would leave him for a couple weeks at a time and not tell him where she was.

Now, I do have to say, that these classes would be beneficial to a young couple or those who are disagreeing about their parenting plan. There should be an option to opt out of the class if you’ve been separated like my “ex” and I have been (for over 5 yrs) or if you’re in agreement with the parenting plan. I honestly feel this was one of the most wasted days of my life. I’ll never get those 8 hours back.

If you’ve gone through a divorce, is there a part of the process that you felt wasn’t necessary or felt needed to be changed?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Olive Tap Review

Olive Tap If you are someone who loves gourmet gifts and enjoy doing tasting parties, The Olive Tap is a great way to go. I received a couple samples of Balsamic Vinegar and Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and fell in love.

Ok, I actually have no idea what to do with Balsamic Vinegar, but I plan on finding a recipe that includes it. The Olive Oil, I dipped bread in it. I have to admit, if I had been given a large bottle of the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, it would’ve been gone within a week I loved it so much.IMG_0322The Olive Tap uses 100% EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and they’ve won awards both here and abroad! A couple of their other Herbal Oils I’d like to try are the Garlic and Scallion. Those would be so great with zucchini! They also have a citrus line that would be so good with a main course like chicken, beef, or seafood!

They don’t stop there with their products. They offer Barbeque Sauces, Marinades, Vinaigrettes, and Culinary Sauces. If you have any special occasions coming up, they even offer Gift Baskets for personal and Corporate events.Olive Tap Tuscan Herb

Now, when I lived in Seattle, I went to the Chateau St. Michelle and did a wine tasting there years and years ago. I never imagined I’d find one for tasting oils and vinegars! They have several locations in: IL, OH, CO, and FL. I’m hoping the next time I go down to see the in-laws we’ll be able to head over to the Downers Gove location and try them out!

To stay up to date on all things The Olive Tap make sure you follow them:




Check out this recipe and see what you think!

Chocolate Chipotle Cake
1 cup plus ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa
2 ¾ cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon The Olive Tap® Cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon The Olive Tap® Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups lowfat milk
½ cup mild olive oil such as The Olive Tap®’s Arbequina or Mission
½ cup The Olive Tap® Chipotle Olive Oil
2 large eggs
3 tablespoon The Olive Tap® Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350◦. Butter two 8-in cake pans and dust with ¼ tbsp. cocoa in each. Discard excess cocoa.
2. Whisk remaining 1 cup cocoa, flour, sugars, cinnamon, soda, cayenne and salt in bowl to blend. Add milk, oils, eggs and vinegar. Whisk until smooth. Pour into pans, dividing batter evenly.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in each cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
4. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the cakes from pans with a metal spatula. Turn each cake out onto a plate and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar onto cakes.

Additional Options: Mix 2 tbsp Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar with cocoa and spread glaze over cakes. Or mix Balsamic Vinegar with 2 tbsp raspberry preserves and spread over cakes.

*I received samples from the Olive Tap for review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Goose Egg

It pays to watch where you're running when you're at recess at school!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & Chaske Spencer Interview

Twilight aka a movie and book I’ve never read. Not a single one in the series. Shocking, I know. I’ve seen a sliver here and there on tv I think, but never more than a few minutes.

So, when I had the chance to do a roundtable discussion with Chaske Spencer, I thought, “um, ok, why not? not sure what I’ll ask him since I have no clue about the movies or his role, but what a fun opportunity!”

The first question was about how he deals with the craze of the Twilight series. Chaske goes on long breaks and lies low: camping and road tripping. Now that’s what made him seem so down to earth. He likes to disconnect from his job.

My question was about him being one of the older cast members. He and the other older cast members have been around long enough to see things come and go. “Twilight will end.” But I also wanted to find out about his physical shape because he’s one of the werewolves, meaning he spent most of his time shirtless. He said he ate a lot of carbs and did power lifting to make himself larger. He wasn’t looking to be cut like the other guys, just bigger. He had to be consistent and disciplined to keep that shape.

Now the next question was about how his Native American history played into his character of Sam. What Chaske liked about Twilight was that it’s not your stereotypical Native roll and he didn’t “have to play a character designed by Hollywood to play Native American as they saw it.” I had to agree that they were exposed to a generation that doesn’t see them that way. How much do you love that?Breaking Dawn

It was good to hear that he turns down a lot of roles that would stereotype him. He can’t go back once he’s moved forward.

Life after Twilight is the next question and what roles is he going into. He wants to do the roles that scare him, that he thinks he can’t do. What a great answer! He really appreciates the actors who challenge themselves. I was surprised to hear he said he had nothing in common with Sam.

I loved the answer to the next question. It shows how much thought goes into creating the nuances of Sam. Chaske said he wanted Sam to be contained and Chaske is a pretty animated guy. In Breaking Dawn he said he lets go a little bit when Bella dies. I had no clue that so much went into this!

Then my last question was about any actors or actresses he’d really like to work with (lame I know, but I’m not a journalist)! He mentioned Sam Rockwell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mila Jovovich, Jeff Bridges, and Kate Winslet. It was clear he wanted to work with people who like to think out of the box, people who aren’t afraid to stretch themselves.

Right now a couple of the films he’s working on are in post production, so I’m excited to see what’s next. Chaske shared about a couple of the characters and they sound intriguing!

BREAKING DAWN- PART 1 will be released on DVD at Midnight on Friday, February 11.

Chaske Spencer-

*I have not been compensated in any way for this post

Friday, February 10, 2012

Clipix: Organize Your Life


I have to admit, I'm terrible at bookmarking pages I visit and want to return to at some point. I always just hope I'll remember and honestly, I know I won't! So, when I heard about clipix I was totally stoked! I immediately went to the site and created a few clipboards I knew I was going to use right away.

I was searching for fitness companies I wanted to work with! So, I spent the day searching online and when I found something I really liked, I clicked the new "Clip" button on my tool board and a little window popped up that allowed me to pick the picture I wanted and add it automatically added a description! So cool! I can also choose who I want to see the photo like everyone or to have it private. I know, don't you love it. I like having control of who sees what because sometimes there are things I'll want simply for my own viewing.

My Clipix Fitness Clipboard

I know my daughter would love this for recipes! She's always visiting one site or another to try something new. That way she could have a Recipe clipboard and as she's plugging along she'd be able to save them and go back to them when she's ready to make something at her dorm!

Here's a video to let you see how it works, but trust me, it's easy. I was Clipping instantly. They made this tool user friendly and I'm so excited to keep using it! 

I also like that when I'm searching through other Clips, I can see what site the Clip came from. I don't have to wonder if by clicking the link it's going to go to some random site that isn't safe or appropriate!  Now, the only thing I have to do is not become addicted to Clipping everything! LOL

Make sure to follow Clipix on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on all their activities! They're also working on an iPhone app! Hopefully a Droid app will be next!

What would you use Clipix for? Have you found a way to keep track of the sites you visit?

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Single Parents And Asking For Help

I’ve been a single mom for five years and one of the hardest things for me to do is ask for help. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or little thing. Unless it’s desperately something I need done, I’d rather try doing it myself or letting it go.

I dislike feeling needy. I hate asking someone to give up their time when I know we’re all so busy with our own lives. Really, doesn’t everyone feel crunched for time? And I’m gonna ask someone to come help me out when they’d be able to do something else for themselves or their family in their downtime?

I. Don’t. Think. So.

I have people offer to help me out all the time:

  • Can we come help you rake your insanely large yard with all the Fall leaves?
  • Want me to plow your driveway of snow since your snow thrower is broken?
  • Do you have anything in the house that needs repairs?
  • Would the boys like to go fishing/ice skating/swimming?

When someone does offer I tell them, “yah, that’d be nice,” knowing it probably won’t happen or “no, that’s ok,” because I just don’t want them feeling obligated.catch of the day

The boys fishing this summer

People always have such good intentions. Most come to me with the offers, but we never connect. If someone offers to help me out, I’m not going to be the one to call and say, “Hey you remember your offer?” because then it puts them in a position of having to make room in their lives to do whatever they offered.

I’m not going to be that person who makes someone else feel uncomfortable with their offer to help. I figure, if they really want to help out, they’ll get in touch with me.

Well, I had a friend offer a couple weeks ago to take my boys ice fishing. Of course, I said, “absolutely,” because I certainly wasn’t going to be taking the boys out. Now, when I said that, I really didn’t think it was going to happen. Good intentions and all you know?

I got a text Thursday from this friend asking if I had a couple of boys that would like to go ice fishing Saturday! I knew my boys were going to be so excited! I left the planning up to him letting him know the boys were available all day.

The boys were super excited to go ice fishing since they hadn’t been yet this year. I took the boys out there early Saturday morning and off they went. I figured a couple of hours later I’d be picking them up. I mean, you can only ice fish for so long, right?

As the afternoon rolled around I sent out a text to see if he was ready to bail cuz my boys were driving him batty. The opposite was true. They hadn’t caught any fish, but they were getting ready to head back to the house and get some lunch.lifting weights

Alrighty then! More free time for me!

Finally a few hours later, after massive amounts of guy time, I got a text saying the boys were ready to head home.

How do you thank someone for spending an entire day pouring themselves into your boys, for no reason but to be kind? I thanked him, but I don’t think he understands how badly my boys need to be in the presence of godly men, to have guy time, to just be around some good old fashion testosterone.

If you know a single parent, know that if they’re anything like me, they aren’t going to ask for help. It’s too hard. We can only swallow our pride so many times. If you can, make the first call. If you see a need, fill it if you can.

Not only will they be blessed, so will you!

Are you a single mom or single dad? Am I off the mark or do you find it easier than me to reach out to others?

Cash Cow PayPal $235 Giveaway

Welcome to the Cash Cow PayPal Giveaway! I have teamed up with some fellow bloggers to bring you a giveaway where you can win $235 PayPal cash! The contest is open worldwide, and anyone with a PayPal account can win.

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below, and good luck!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Pinteresting Week

Last week, was a total Fail with my Pinterest post. Sorry! Have you been pinning anything this week? If so, I'd love to see what your favorite was! If you have a Pinterest post of any kind, be sure to link up below! You can follow me on Pinterest at If you leave a comment share your Pinterest link with me so I can follow you!

This is who the boys and I are rooting for tomorrow!

My boys love LEGOS I love Say Anything

I've been trying to think of some fun & creative things to do for my walls like this:

We can all be used by God!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lucky Clover St. Patrick's Day Event Sign-Up

Trista from Anderson’s Angels and Courtney from Joy Of Momma Joyner are excited to host a FUN blog hop event called Lucky Clover St. Patrick’s Event! It will run from 12:02 am EST Saturday, March 17, 2012 through 11:59 pm EST Friday, March 23, 2012. It’s super easy to join in on the fun!
Rules to Participate:
  • You must get at least a $25 prize/package together to be given away during the event. It can be ANYTHING! (Ideas: All Green Things, “Green” Living, St. Patrick’s Day, Lucky Items, Spring Fun, etc.)
  • You must display the event button on your sidebar from now until the event ends
  • Participation is completely FREE! All you have to do is make sure the button is on your blog side bar, and write a post encouraging other bloggers to join in the fun! Put the link to your blog post in the form below.
  • If you would like to participate in a GRAND PRIZE CASH GIVEAWAY, you can send $5 (gift) via PayPal to This will get you TWO social media entry options! (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Email, GFC, Pinterest, Klout, etc.) The GRAND PRIZE CASH value will be determined when we know how many people are going to participate in that part of the giveaway. The GRAND PRIZE CASH GIVEAWAY will be hosted on Anderson’s Angels (linked) and Joy Of Momma Joyner (linked). We ask that you refer your readers to either of those two sites to enter the CASH GIVEAWAY!
If you have any questions feel free to email Trista at or Courtney at
You will definitely want to join us in this FUN Event! But you’ve got to HURRY! Sign-ups will end as soon as there are 75 blogs participating OR by March 10, 2012! Your spot on the Linky will be determined by how soon you fill out the form. We are so excited to spread the LUCK together! Don’t  forget, once you have your blog post up, fill out THIS FORM and put the link to your post in that form.

*This post is directly copied from Joy of Momma Joyner with permission

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.