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Month: November 2010


One of the best things about living so close to all of my family is that my kids get to be around their cousins so much.  There is rarely a weekend that goes by without the cousins all seeing each other.  Last weekend, while my oldest nephew celebrated his 11th (!) birthday with his friends, his little brothers came over for a sleepover at our house.  They all had so much fun together, and I was reminded, once again, why I will never, ever have four children. 🙂







Those last two were included simply because they show off the kids’ newly divided bedrooms.  Evie finally gets to have some girly decor in her room and Zach is simply thrilled that he no longer has to share a room with his little sister.  He was also pretty pleased that I finally caved and decided to let him have a TV in his room hooked up to the Game Cube.

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CD Review: Norah Jones

Featuring Norah Jones cover The newest release from Norah Jones is anything but ordinary.  I honestly don’t know of any other album that brings together so many artists from different genres so seamlessly.  The common denominator, of course, being the incredibly talented Norah Jones.

...Featuring, released on November 16, 2010, is an amazing collection of cameos, duets, and collaborations with music legends such as Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson, as well as more contemporary artists such as Ryan Adams, Foo Fighters, and Outkast. The tracks on ...Featuring span Norah’s entire career and reveal her musical versatility, from jazz to country, hip-hop to rock.

“A lot of the people on this record are people I’ve worshiped since I was a kid, and some of them are younger and more my contemporaries,” says Norah. “Even though the musicians are so varied, the vibe of the songs makes sense when we put them all together.”

If you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend you give it a spin as soon as possible.  You can find it at all the usual places, including Amazon.  If you’d like to keep up with Norah and her future projects, you can also find her on Facebook.

A copy of …Featuring was provided by One2One Network for review purposes.  All opinions stated above are the opinions of the author.  For participating in this project, the author is eligible to be entered in a gift card drawing through the One2One Network.

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My Very First Family Photo Shoot

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of doing a family portrait shoot for the Winfrey family. I was a little nervous for my first official family shoot to be a family of six, but they were so easy going that I calmed down pretty quickly and had a ton of fun.

Winfrey Family StoryboardThe best part was that I learned so much from doing this.  I have a couple more fun photo shoots coming up in the next couple of weeks (including trying to get some fun Christmas card photos of my own kids) and I can’t wait to try out all the cool things I’m learning!

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Too Tired To Come Up With A Witty Title

Well, there’s nothing quite like launching a brand new site and then not adding any new content, eh? Blame it on the plague that has taken over my chest. The coughing and hacking is lots of fun, let me tell you. I have a whole new appreciation for just breathing.

In between all of that, I’ve been doping myself up to keep the fever down and working my butt off. Zach has been really needing to have his own space for a while now. He’s actually been sleeping in our office/guitar/guest/craft/shove everything room for several weeks now, so this weekend we started moving him into that room and moving my stuff out. I have a LOT of stuff. So much that I haven’t figured out where in the heck I’m going to put it all so there’s still an extra pile of junk in the middle of his room.

What was previously the playroom is now the office/guitar/craft room. I’m doing my best to keep it nice and clean looking and not junk it up, so the pile of junk has no where to go. Which means that I probably need to get rid of most of it, right? As soon as I can find the time to sort, most of it will probably be trashed but there are still some things that need to find a new home somewhere. Sadly, looking at that pile just makes me want to go crawl in my bed and sleep for a week.

In other news, I did my first family photo shoot that did not include anyone related to me this weekend. I had the chance to shoot a friend and her family and even though the location I had carefully chosen was closed when I got there, everything turned out just fine. I got some great photos of the family together, and all four boys individually so I’m putting it in the win column. I’m still sorting/editing but can’t wait to share them with the family.

I have a few more photography-related opportunities coming up in the next couple of months and I’m really excited about it. My family is getting a bit tired of me always having a camera lens in their faces, so it is really fun to have other people to shoot for a change!

I feel like I’ve been playing a huge game of catch-up lately in every aspect of my life. There are just so many things going on and I can barely keep up. What I would really like is for someone to come take over all of the un-fun stuff so I could just hang out with my hubby and kids, blog, and take pictures. Any takers?

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Knit 1, Purl 1

After a long day of cleaning up messes, dealing with a sick kid, trying to keep the non-sick kid entertained, finally getting this site launched, cooking a dinner that nobody would eat, and not feeling so good myself, I settled into my chair and grabbed some yarn to work on while I watched my favorite shows. My hands quickly fell into a nice knit 1, purl 1 rhythm, and for two hours while I watched my favorite shows I was the most relaxed that I have been all week. It is amazing how something so simple can sometimes have such a profound effect.

(I’ve added a new category to this site titled “gratitude”. This is my attempt at a 365 photo project, though I’ve already discovered that I can’t keep up with it on a daily basis. I’ll be posting to this when I can and most likely the photos will be from my iphone, as I always have it with me. Each post will contain something that I’m thankful for.)

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It May Not Sparkle, But It Is Shiny and Bright

Welcome to the all new! If you are new here or have landed here from one of my other sites, please hit the orange button on the left to subscribe by RSS or e-mail so you don’t miss future posts.

This site has been a long time coming. I’ve been blogging since sometime in 2003 (I think, maybe 2002?). During that time I’ve had several different blogs, but the one that has always remained fairly consistent is my personal blog. For the last five years, my home base on the internet has been at Voices In My Mind.

Somewhere along the way, I was told that niche blogs were the way to go and started up a craft blog, a recipe blog, and a product review blog. I felt like each of these topics should be separate from my personal, diary-like blog. I had grand intentions for all of these, but the problem was that I was just too spread out. With a full-time job and two kids at home there was just no way I could keep them all updated.

So, my solution? To put them all back together in one spot, with a couple of exceptions. My recipe blog will stay put. I use it as my own personal cookbook and don’t want to have to search through tons of other posts to find my favorite recipes. Product review posts (for now) are pulled back in, but you won’t see them on the main page. They are included in the feed, but feel free to scan right on past if that isn’t your thing.

Another big change is that I decided not to put BlogHer ads on this site. I’ve had them for years on my other site, but to be perfectly honest, the restrictions they put on my posts just aren’t worth it for the pennies that I make from them. I will most likely bring in some type of ads in the future (they help pay for my camera equipment), I just have to decide what I want to do. The blocks you see under “Things That Rock My {Online} World” to the left are truly things that I use and love online, not ads. Some of them do have affiliate links attached though, so if you are interested in any of these, please click through my site to get there.

I’ve been working on this whole deal in my head for over a year now, so it is pretty exciting for me to see it all come together. The hardest part was coming up with a domain name that I felt comfortable with. I wanted something cute and memorable, but coming up with names is definitely not my strong point. I decided to go with because, well, it’s who I am and I couldn’t think of anything better.

I really hope everyone will keep following along over here. If you subscribe by e-mail or RSS, you’ll need to re-subscribe (just click that shiny orange button on the left) It means the world to me that I can share myself with you all here and each comment is deeply appreciated.

Please click around, check things out, and let me know what you think of the new place! I’ll still be tweaking things for a while I’m sure, so please let me know if there is anything not working correctly or you are missing something that should be here.

Lastly, that you all so much for making this little hobby of mine so much fun!

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