Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Winner, Winner....Chicken Dinner

Ok, we have a winner, but you don't actually win a Chicken Dinner. Which is good though cause you really don't want me to mail a chicken dinner to you if you're a winner right? It would be pretty icky by the time it gets to you.

So anyway...I'm trying to drag this out like Ryan Seacrest does on American Idol before I tell you who's going home. Or Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice before I tell you who's fired. (I really need to quit watching so much TV!)

So, like I said...I was going to use some type of vessel to put the entries into..here you go. I used my trusty, at work coffee mug given to me by my daughter this past Christmas. I love this mug!

And to make it all official...here's all the little entries inside the mug!

And now...without further ado.......the winners are..................... (remember, there are two books, two winners).

Yay!! Brittany Gale and Blue Creek Home. Please contact me to get details on how to claim your prize!

Thanks to all who entered. I wish I could give each of you a book. But never fear...I'll have another giveaway coming up in the next week or so.

Monday, May 23, 2011

On a Cruise

Today my sister left on a cruise. I'm so happy for her and I hope she and her husband have a wonderful time. She sent me these great pictures before the ship left and a couple after the ship left. Wish I were there with them *sigh*

My sis Lisa and her husband, the best brother-in-law in the world...G! It's great to see them so happy :-D

Don't you love the sunset? I'd love to be sitting there at that table with a glass of wine or a Margarita enjoying it with them!

Just a reminder, this is the last day to enter my giveaway. Just click HERE or you can click the image at the top of the sidebar over to the right. Good Luck! Hope you Enter!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mother's Day Mosaic

I've been meaning to get a mosaic put together of the pictures I took on Mother's Day this year and I finally had a chance today. Good thing too cause it's Mosaic Monday over at the Little Red House.

In this first mosaic I present our littlest Princess, little Melissa, the youngest grandchild in our family. I can't believe she's going to start school in the fall!! It seems like just yesterday that she was born. They grow up so fast.

This little lady loves, loves, loves the camera and the camera loves her as well. But she definitely has inherited her photogenic qualities from her Nana, my mom in the bottom right photo. What a beautiful moment captured on film! Melissa loves to come to my house and spend time with her Nana and they go out into the backyard and gather roses. My mom has worked wonders with my roses as you can tell by the bouquet Melissa is holding. Melissa loves roses!

In this next one Melissa's brother joins the photo. This is little Fred, or Fred Jr or as we call him Piquito. Their dad, my brother and my mom's eldest son is pictured with our mom in the bottom right of this mosaic. We had a great Mother's Day and I know my mom felt very blessed to be surrounded by her family.

And my giveaway is only a couple of days away, so please head over there and enter. Follow this link or click on the image of Abby Rike's book in the sidebar over there on the right. Have a great week!

It's my 3rd Blogoversary

It's been three years now that I've been blogging.

I've had a lot of fun and gotten closer to so many people because of blogging.

I've also made lots of new friends through blogging.

I've learned a ton of new things blogging.

I've learned more about people from different areas of our great country and from different areas of our great world!

Through blogging I've learned to look at life differently because as a blogger your mind is always on how you're going to blog about this :-D

Most of all through blogging I've fulfilled a life long dream of being a writer and being constantly in the company of other writers.

Please don't forget to go over and enter my giveaway, just click here for the details on where and how to enter.

Thanks of stopping by and don't forget to show me some love by leaving a comment!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Did you know there is a Giveaway Directory?

Don't we all love a giveaway? I know I've won some pretty awesome things. But how does one go about finding said giveaway's? Well there's a blog that allows US, bloggers...to link up when we have a giveaway so that everything is in one central location. Pretty darn cool huh?

You're probably wondering where this place is? Well I'm gonna tell ya, but first I want to remind you about my giveaway, just click HERE for the details and go enter!

Wow, I'm so bossy huh?

Ok, so now where can you find more giveaways? Why here of course.... Click that little icon below! Simple pimple huh? I'm also a bossy poet (and not a very good one at that!)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giveaway!!! And American Idol, my thoughts

I'm right in the middle of watching American Idol, actually right in the beginning and I'm just so thrilled with the final three!

But first I have to do a little housekeeping on my lil ol blog. I want to remind you guys that I'm having a giveway! Heyyyy! Yep, that's right. And I want YOU to win, so click HERE and go over to the post that gives you the 411 on how to enter or just click the giveaway icon over there to the right on the sidebar and good luck to ya!

Baby I'm Amazed by YOU!

Scotty McCreery...I'm amazed by you sweetie!
Wow, that opening song to start the show set the bar pretty darn high. I fell in love with Scotty right from the beginning. That beautiful low, mellow tone in his voice just melts my heart!

She's a wild child with an Angel's face, she's a woman child in a state of Grace!

Lauren Alaina.........
Wow...I love this child as well. She's got such a purity to her voice and I adore her accent. And the innocence and joy in her laugh and her smile...she blows me away! This young lady is gonna go far!

Haley Reinhart.......
I don't even know the name of that song she sang but it was P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N!!! I was mesmerized! I love Scotty and I love Lauren........but this young lady should win. She was born to do this, to entertain, to sing, to shine, to WIN American Idol! Wow!

Are you into it? Do ya have Idol Fever? Who's your fave? Do tell and do go enter my giveaway!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Giveaway, A Blogoversary, A Book Review

On May 21, 2008 my little blog was born, and in a few short days, it will be three years old! Hard to believe that I'm still blogging after all this time, or that I even still have anything left to say! But those of you that know me well, know that it will be a cold day in hell when I am left with nothing to say!

In January of this year, I was offered the opportunity by Sarah Reck, a Web Publicist with Faith Words at Hachette Book Group to review a book entitled Angel Harp. I loved the book so much that I did a giveaway so I could share the book with one of you. You can check out that book review here.  Now I have been sent another book to review and in honor of my blogoversary...I'll be giving away two copies of said book to two of YOU! Yay! You are gonna love this book! I know, cause I loved it!

The book is called Working It Out, A Journey of Love, Loss and Hope.

What immediately caught my attention when I read a description about the book was the fact that Abby was on the show The Biggest Loser and lost 100 pounds. Because I've recently been trying to lose weight myself I thought this would be the perfect book to read in order to get some tips and ideas on weight, food and exercise. But oh my gosh! Did I get way more than that!

Abby is one of the most inspirational women ever! And the most important thing to me is that she's just like us. Just a normal woman, living a normal life.

Abby was married and had two children, a little girl and a newborn son. But in 2006 her husband and children were involved in a car accident that immediately took the lives of all three. Abby who was not with them at the time was spared. She lived. Without her family.

Just sit for a moment and imagine that. You're just living life. Going on about your business and in one quick instance the life you knew and loved and at times took for granted is gone. Just like that. Can you even begin to imagine that? I know that I have a hard time with it.

The first thought in many of our minds is that there is no way we would be able to live through something like that right? But the hard part, the impossible part is that we HAVE to go on living. We don't have a choice, life goes on. Even now just imagining this I have tears running down my face...I just can't imagine how Abby felt. We don't have to imagine it; she shares it with us.

Abby has a website at abbyrike.com and I hope you will go and visit and listen to Abby, in her own words read Chapter One of her book, just click audio here

Abby struggled with her despair, sadness and loneliness. But Abby had the love and support of her parents, her many friends and coworkers and a relationship with God that helped her to fight through the darkness and find hope again. She refused to just get through life, she wanted to give meaning to her life and she did as a contestant on the show The Biggest Loser. She knew that in order to live a healthy life she had to have a healthy body. So many of us when we're sad, lonely, depressed, stressed turn to food for the answer. Abby did the same thing. And when you start eating and your body feels heavy and your heart is heavy...well that's just the kiss of death isn't it?

The story of healing and living that Abby shares is incredible. You can't close her book and not feel that your a better person for having read it. Even if you don't win one of the two copies that I'll be giving away, I hope that you go out and buy the book.

So how do you win it? Simple. Leave a comment and you're entered. If you are a follower of mine, leave another comment letting me know and you're entered again. If you aren't a follower...well c'mon then, just click the little follow button and become one...then leave me a comment. See, three easy ways to enter. Easy as 1...2...3 right? I will pick a winner randomly out of a hat, or a mixing bowl, or a box...some vessel or another, and announce the winner one week from today, Tuesday, March 24th. Good Luck and thanks for visiting my blog, for being a follower, for subscribing in email for just generally supporting me for the past three years, I love ya guys!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Makes you stop and say...Hmmmm, what the heck!?!

Warning....bathroom photos about to be published!!

Not icky ones, just ones that make you wonder about people and what they do in the privacy of those little stalls.

Can you guess what's pictured in the photo below?

Do you need a close up?

Yep...that is a peanut husk....sitting on top of the sanitary napkin receptable....in the bathroom....in the stall! Doesn't it make you wonder? This is a bathroom in the building where I work where dozens of women use the same bathroom.

Why would someone be eating peanuts in the bathroom? And why the need to leave the evidence on top of the sanitary napkin receptable? And why am I taking pictures of it?

Any thoughts? Ideas? Please someone explain this to me!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sunday Favorites - A Tribute to the one and only...my Mom!

Linking up to Sunday Favorites and wanting to share with you this very special post I first did on January 8, 2009 about my mom. Being that this Sunday is Mother's Day! Yay! I thought it would be very fitting. Please visit our lovely hostess, Chari from Happy to Design to see other Sunday Favorites! And a very Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful bloggy moms out there. Hope your day is filled with love and laughter!

A Favorite Post
January 8, 2009

It's been a while since I've done a Reflections from a Mother's Heart post, so let me bring you up to date on what this is about.

Several years ago, I found this really great journal and I bought it thinking how much fun it would be and how well I would use it. The journal was entitled "Reflections from a Mother's Heart" Your life Story in Your Own Words. Each page has a different question or idea to help you write. Sad to say I only wrote on the first page and never picked it up again. It's just been sitting here for years next to my PC.

I decided when I started this blog that Thursday's would be my "Reflections" day and I did do a few posts, but sadly, I didn't keep up with them.

The 1st one was about why I'm named Alicia and you can go here to read it.
The 2nd one was about describing my childhood bedroom, read all about it here.
The 3rd one was about being baptized as a child and can be found here.
The 4th one was about my first memories of going to church, and you can read it here.
The 5th and last one I've done has been about my dad and where he went to work and what he did and you can read that one here.

That last one was a really hard one to write, so many great memories and sadness in knowing my dad gets older and older every day and one day he won't be here anymore. I think thats why I haven't written anymore because the next one that's in the book is "How did your mother spend her day? Did she have a job or do volunteer work outside the home?

If it's hard to write about my dad and think of him someday not being a part of my everyday life, how much harder is it to write about my mom?

That brings me to my 2009 resolutions for the new year and gives me resolution #3:

#3 Faithfully do a Reflections from a Mother's Heart post on each Thursday in 2009.

So that's what this post is about, my mom. I had also put off doing this post because I wanted to have pictures of all the quilts she's done, but if I waited to put up pictures of all the wonderful things she's done and made, well there wouldn't be enough memory in all of Blogger.com to post it.

My mom didn't work outside the home, but she sure worked in it! My earliest memories of my mom revolve a lot around the Catholic Church and religion. My mom is the one that taught us our Catholic faith. She took us to church every Sunday and I very rarely remember my dad being there with us. I do remember that she would take us to her mom and dad's house and in one of the bedrooms there was a "ropero" that had a cabinet that would open and my aunt had a bunch of hats and bonnets in there and we would get to choose one to wear to church that Sunday because in those days you didn't enter the House of the Lord with a bare head if you were a female! And on those days when we were running late and we didn't have time to get a hat at Mama's house my mom would use a bobby-pin to pin a Kleenex on our head! I swear to God, she did that! I remember wishing I was all grown up so I could wear a veil like my mom did.

I can't smell the scent of Pine-Sol or beans boiling without thinking of my childhood and of my mother. Our home was always spotlessly clean and smelled great. She took a lot of pride in her home and in us her children. We were never rag-tag or dirty. She loved to sew and would make matching dresses for my sister and I and sometimes would even make a dress out of the same material for herself.

Whenever we went on vacation, my mom would spend weeks sewing new outfits for us girls and purchasing new clothes for the boys. I don't know how much money she and my dad had at the time, but we never felt poor, we always were well dressed and had new shoes and sweaters!

My mom was also the keeper of the records and not just the household records, but the record of our lives. She took lots of movie camera films of us and pictures. A lot of the memories that I have of my childhood I probably have because I've seen the film of it, not because it's an actual memory.

Mom was also very good at making any house our home. I've already written in reflection on my dad that we moved around a lot, but each home we lived in was our home and it was comfortable, clean and safe. I remember once when we lived in Yuma in a rental home that one of my brothers for some reason turned on an iron and left it on the carpet and it burned a hole in the exact shape of the iron. My mom being ever resourceful cut a piece the exact same shape out of the carpet in the very back of one of the closets and sewed it in. When we moved and the landlord came to inspect, she put a box on the patch (even though it was in no way noticeable) and sat my brother Jaime on top of it so the man wouldn't move it!

My mom was the disciplinarian in the family and the one that made the decisions about what we could and couldn't do and where we could and couldn't go, but for some reason I don't remember the No's she gave us. I only remember the Yes's.

I remember her immediately saying yes when I called her one day from school and told her I had forgotten we were having a potluck in our math class and I had forgotten to tell her and could she make some sandwiches and bring them to my class. My mom said YES. Now mind you, we lived 8 miles from the school and from the nearest grocery store. I don't know if she had the ingredients at home or if she went to the store, then back home, then back to the school, but I know that the lady at the office brought us a big tray filled with sandwiches, bologna, ham and tuna! I don't know how my mom even knew to make tuna sandwiches because it was something we never ate at home as she HATED fish and the SMELL of fish!

I remember telling her I wanted to be a cheerleader and that I would need money for uniforms, shoes, pom-poms and cheer leading camp...oh, and a ride home every day after school because of cheer leading practice. My mom said YES. I don't know how tight money might have been, but she made my wish come true and I went to cheer leading camp and had all the other cheer leading equipment all the other girls had!

I remember telling her that I had told all the other cheerleaders that my mom would make our uniforms for basketball season and that my mom would take us to El Centro shopping for the materials and thread and pattern we would use. And once again, my mom said YES. And she made us the most awesome cheerleader hot pants ever! And she made one for each of the girls and I believe there were 8 of us!

I remember during the awful parts of my marriage calling my mom in the middle of the night, or the middle of the day or whenever and telling her I wanted them to come and get me, that I was ready to leave my husband and would she come get me? And she always said YES.

I remember telling my mom that I wanted to go back to my marriage and try again for the sake of my kids or because I loved my husband or for whatever idiotic reason I felt I had to go back and she always said YES.

My mom is a miracle worker. I've always said that my mom was the brains in our family and my dad was the brawn. (I said that once in front of my dad and boy did he get mad, he thought he was the brains!)

There was nothing my mom couldn't do. She could sew and she still does. She taught us to embroider and crochet. She loved to do puzzles and arts and crafts. She make quilts, rosaries, bracelets and tons of other things. I remember one time, she made a peacock using Styrofoam egg cartons. It was a white peacock on black velvet and it was beautiful! I wish we still had it, but it was just like this one.

My mom crocheted a beautiful scene of the Last Supper that measures about 5' x 6' and is framed. It took her a long time to do this but my mom's hands were always busy. That's why we all have a quilt she had made us and each grandchild had a baby blanket my mom made for them.

Many years ago I took a bible study class and I came across a chapter in the bible, Proverbs 31 and when I read it, I read the story and life and love of my mother.

Proverbs 31:10-30 (NIV)
10 A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;

she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;

out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor

and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;

she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Iwanna Wednesday........finally!

Ha! Guess what today's post is? It's an Iwanna Wednesday post. Yay!!!! For those of you that have been reading me for a while you know what Iwanna Wednesday is all about. For those of you that might be newer visitors to Titere con Bonete allow me to fill you in.

I am a shopping addict. I just love stores and stuff! Whenever we go into a store, it doesn't matter if it's a drug store, grocery store, lumber store, paint store...well you get it...it doesn't matter what kind of store, I can find something I want.

And it doesn't even have to be a store. I can drive by someone's house and see something in their yard that I want. Decorative rock, wind chime, windsock, picture window, etc, etc., I will say "I want that"!

I want so many things that my sister and my mom call me Iwanna, cause Iwanna everything I see! The good thing about being Iwanna is that you can wanna anything in life. Iwanna Keanu Reeves, Iwanna Ford Mustang convertible, Iwanna be on Dancing with the Stars. See, get it? I can Iwanna anything, no one can take away my unalienable right to Iwanna. I breathe, therefore Iwanna!

So I've picked Wednesday to be "Iwanna Wednesday"...the day I share something Iwanna and today Iwanna something that we've all seen a lot of since this weekend and that's FASCINATORS!

You do know what a Fascinator is don't you? Sure you do, you saw plenty of them on television and all over the web at the wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate. This is probably the most talked about, most famous, most unique Fascinator ever!

The Fascinator is the headpiece that is being worn in this picture by Princess Beatrice. This Fascinator got so much interest that it has it's very own facebook page!

Ok, so this one is a little extreme right? Not sure I have the panache Princess Beatice has to pull off wearing this not only in public, but to the very public wedding of Royalty! Wow, kudos to her!

But Iwanna wear Fascinators. I think they are so cool! There are so many different styles and so many different things you can make them out of...love them!

For instance, Iwanna one with feathers. Like this one! Or maybe those are leaves? Not really sure, but I love it anyway. Don't you?

Here's another one with feathers. Feathers are really popular for Fascinators. This one is also my favorite shades of green. Iwanna this one with the long, flowing feathers! And I'm pretty sure Iwanna those earrings too!!!

Then there's this sweet one worn by the new Bride and Princess. Awwww! Don't you love it? Looks like a soft, fluffy, furry kitten just all snuggled up on head right? Beautiful!

Seriously there is just something about Fascinators that I find absolutely fascinating!

If you aren't a big fan of feathers (which I am), then maybe you might like this next one that's just a beautiful flower, a huge beautiful flower. Don't ya love it?

Or maybe something a little more demure and sexy, like this little red heart one. I know I "heart" it!

And in case you want feathers, flowers, a veil and a little top hat...how about this one? I think we should all start something like the Red Hat Society and call it the Fascinator Society. Any takers?

So which is your favorite? Would you wear a Fascinator? Do you wanna join my "Fascinator Society"? Happy Iwanna Wednesday to you and may all your Iwanna Wishes come true!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Winchester Mystery House

In March I accompanied my sister to a Conference for the California Association of Public Cemeteries. The Conference was held in Sacramento and you can read more about the actual conference and costume party they held HERE. But today I want to share with you a side trip my sister and I made to a place we have longed to go to for years! The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.

If you've ever driven anywhere North in California on Highway 99 or I-5 or Highway 1 or 101 you will see signs for the Winchester Mystery House. Every time we would see one of these signs we would say how much we've always wanted to go there, yet we never had.

San Jose is about 120 miles from Sacramento, so it wasn't just a side trip, we actually took the whole last day with the thought in mind that we were going to make this trek and finally get this out of our system.

The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion that belonged to Sarah Winchester, who was the wife of William Winchester who was the son of Oliver Fisher Winchester who was the manufacturer of the Winchester repeating rifle. Mrs. Winchester was married to William in 1862 and they lived in Connecticut. The couple had one daughter named Annie. Annie unfortunately died in 1866 of a mysterious childhood disease and William died in 1881 of tuberculosis, leaving Sarah alone and in a deep depression.

Legend has it that Sarah sought the guidance of a spiritualist who told her that the reasons for the death of her loved ones and for her being left alone was because of all the spirits that had been killed with the rifles manufactured by the Winchester family. She convinced Sarah that she was next, but that she might be able to appease the spirits by moving west and building a house for them and if the house were to be continuously built then the spirits would leave her alone and she might even have eternal life.

So Mrs. Winchester moved to California and in 1884 she purchased a lot with an unfinished farmhouse about three miles west of San Jose. Building then began and non-stop for the next 38 years! Sarah did not hire an architect to build this house, she was her own architect and that is perhaps why this house has 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens! She had doors that led into ceilings and doors that opened out into nothing. In the very top picture of this mosaic you can see double doors. If you were to open them from the other side and not pay attention you would drop down into nothing!

The tour that we took included the inside of the house, but not the gardens, which was a shame because the gardens were beautiful and I wish we could have gotten photos of them. We did walk around the back of the house after the tour and took photos of the back part which had some pretty gardens, but nothing like what we could see out the windows during the tour in the front of the house.

We had a good time touring the house and hearing more about the history of it. It's out of my system now and while I would never pay to see this again, it was worth it the first time just to know that we did it! Now we just need to visit with World's Largest Ball of Twine and we'll be done!

Just kidding...it's a memory my sister and I will always have and I thank her so much for taking me and I thank her husband for staying home so I could go!

Have you ever visited the Winchester Mystery House? If you would like to go and need information on pricing and directions, or just want to read more about it, please click HERE.

And I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.