Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


NaBloPoMo Fail

When I first found out about National Blog Posting Month, I was like oh, yeah, I can do thisI have a lot to say. I was so wrong. Somewhere along the way, I ran out of things to write about. I cannot believe I just said that. But it’s true. I didn’t want to write something just so I could say that I finished challenge, however, I hate failing even more. So you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna try it again. And this time I will succeed.

For the month of December, the theme is Mitzvah. There is also a challenge to go along with the blogging ~ give something to someone every day of the month and blog about it. Gifts can be in the form of donations, volunteer work, gifts, etc. Keep it clean, the idea is to be nice and charitable, the NaBloPoMo sponsors do not want to be responsible for any acts of violence.

To participate, you must be a blogger. Don’t forget to sign up, add your name to the blogroll and grab a badge. If you decide to join in the fun, leave a link to your blog in my comments section so I can check it out.

Have fun and good luck.


Blog with Integrity or the FTC Will Make You Pay

This is just a little reminder to all you bloggers out there who run contests, write product reviews or engage any sort of interactions with companies ~ beginning 1 December you must post a disclosure stating the relationship between yourself and any advertisers on your blog.

Although it may seem to be an inconvenience, this disclosure is for your protection as well as the protection of your readers. To keep it simple, the easiest thing to do is write a little note at the end of contest or product review posts, letting your readers know whether the products were given to you for free or in exchange for a review. You also need to let readers know if you are compensated in any way for products that appear on your blog.

I took the Blog with Integrity Pledge and posted my disclosure here. If you’re not sure about the wording, you can generate a disclosure policy by going to MomTV has also posted a information to help guide you through this process.

For the official stuff, check out the FTC’s website.

You can read my original post on the new FTC guidelines here.


Small Talk Six Things On My Christmas Wish List

Today’s Small Talk Six topic is to list 6 things on your wish list this year. You can answer this question with sentences, video, pictures, etc. If you’d like to participate, go here. Check here for the weekly Small Talk Six topics.

1. A full time job (a girl has shopping habits she has to support)
2. A better web cam (I would really like to do more vlogging)
3. Crawfish with potatoes and corn (I used to buy this stuff on the daily when I lived in Ft Polk, LA ~ delicious)
4. Popeyes Spicy Chicken with Red Beans and Rice (yes, I realize there’s two food based wishes, but if you’ve ever had either, you’d understand)
5. A pair of jeans that fit (I have a really hard time finding jeans that fit ~ long legs, belly and flat butt)
6. Sketchers Shape Ups (maybe if I got my butt in shape, I’d be able to find a pair of jeans that fit)
Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave a link to your post and comment on the posts of others.


And a Dress Becomes Wall Art

I guess it’s obvious by now that I love to decorate. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on the entry way (I’ve been told that it is actually amud room“) from the garage into my house ~ the room is basically a pass through that no one really uses but it still needed “something.”

So I started thinking and thinking and thinking… Then it came to me, the room needed wall art. By the time this lightning bolt hit me, I was already in my pajamas so running to the store just wasn’t an option. Anyway, I didn’t want to spend anymore money in this room because it’s really just a walk through to get to the rest of the house.

So what to use? My dress!

I have this beautifully funky bohemian dress that I absolutely adore but can’t wear. I love that dress but upon further reflection I have accepted that it is not the most flattering shape for my figure. So rather than toss the dress, I decided to hang it on my wall!

It was very simple to do and took about 30 minutes to make all three panels.

Needed supplies:

Fabric (it’s best to use something that has a little weight to it, like a stiff cotton ~ I used a thin stretchy material that was a little difficult to manipulate)


Spray Adhesive


Picture Frame

Simply stretch the material over a piece of cardboard (use spray adhesive to keep the material in place), cut off excess material and frame. I used clear acrylic frames so the material is visible from all sides. This is a quick and easy project that makes good use of fabric that you already have.


Creative Self Discovery

Growing up, I was an artsy kid. My dad was a talented artist and I like to think that I inherited my creativity from him. I used to decorate envelopes with elaborate drawings ~ some were abstract, a few were of every day scenes. My mother loved receiving letters from me, she would decorate her day care center with them, pointing out each new one to parents as they came to drop off or pick up their children. For me, the thrill came from figuring out how to integrate the addresses and the stamps into the drawings.

After I had kids, I started to focus my creativity less on my artistic pursuits and more on how to get four kids under the age of five to walk in the same direction. As they grew older, I became more and more focused on them and their lives…the things they needed to grow and develop. Slowly I lost myself and all the things that used to make me happy. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact that is the truth of any mother’s life.
A few months ago when I became unemployed, one of my biggest fears was that I’d go nuts from boredom or, worse, get shlumpy. Part of me is going a little stir crazy and I have been known to stay in sweats and a tee all day, but the other part of me is enjoying the opportunity I’ve had to rediscover my creative side. I’ve been doing all sorts of fun stuff like staining wood, redecorating rooms, sculpting food and hand sewing pillows. I’m hoping that some day soon I’ll get the nerve to pick up the pencils again but even if I don’t, it’s been fun and exciting to find that I haven’t been totally lost, just temporarily misplaced.

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