29th Oct2010

“I Voted” Badge on Foursquare

by Daenel
Foursquare:  I Voted Badge

Photo Courtesy of Foursquare

Currently, I’m teaching American National Government at Misericordia University, and this has been just as much a learning experience for me as it has been for my students.  When the class first started, I told my students that along with meeting the University’s goals, I have several outcomes for the course too.  I want them to:

  • Vote
  • Know the issues
  • Evaluate their sources of information
  • Understand the values that they bring with them to the polls

In each of my classes (I’ve taught two so far), I explain not only the foundations of the government and the political process but I also explain the origins of the Articles of Confederation and the evolution of the Constitution of the United States, with a focus on the events that lead to the right to vote for women and minorities.

This semester, one of the more interesting discussions in this course has been about how social media has changed politics.  People who were not otherwise engaged in politics have become more involved due to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and, now, Foursquare.  Foursquare is a location~based mobile application that allows users to “check in” to venues and collect virtual badges.

On Wednesday, Foursquare announced that it’s offering an “I Voted” badge for everyone who “checks in” from their polling place on Tuesday,  2 November. In order to unlock the special “I Voted” badge, users have to give a “shout out” from one of the 107,000 polling places using the “#ivoted” hashtag.

According to the announcement, Foursquare created the badge for three reasons: “to encourage civic participation, increase transparency in the voting process and develop a replicatable system for the 2012 Presidential election.”  No matter what your political affiliation, I ask you to please take the time to vote.  Do not let the “talking heads” on television or the radio make you believe that your vote doesn’t count.  It does.  And after you vote, check in with the hashtag #ivoted so everyone knows that you made a difference.

28th Oct2010

Breast Cancer Awareness: 3~Day for a Cure

by Daenel

Click here to donate to Team Cardona as they walk in the Susan G. Komen Dallas/FT. Worth 3~Day for a Cure!

Thank you on behalf of my friends as well as all of those who have fought and lost the battle against breast cancer as well as those who continue to fight.

Disclosure:  This post is in no way endorsed by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  I have known Mylynka and Lupe for over 20 years and I want to support and encourage them in the best way that I know how ~ through my words.

27th Oct2010

A Letter to My Husband

by Daenel

Photo Courtesy of Barnes and Noble Website

Dear Tony,

By now you’ve heard me exclaim ad nauseam how much I love love love that I took the plunge and downloaded the Nook app to my Droid.  In fact, you’ve benefited from my download immensely.  You know how we have different sleeping habits, and how I used to want to keep the TV on even though you were sleeping because I didn’t want to get up out of our warm cozy bed?  Well now, I just whip out my phone and read.  It doesn’t even disturb you, does it?  Well, the problem is that I kill my battery because sometimes I forget to plug the phone up before I go to sleep (which leads to you yelling at me because, well, my phone is dead).

I’ve discovered a solution to both our problems:  me being able to read at night and you being able to get in touch with me whenever you want.  It’s the Nookcolor.  You’ve seen me at Barnes and Noble and you’ve seen the way I gaze longingly at the Nook whenever we’re there…

Cue cheesy eighties teen classic “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany….

Honey, I would LOVE to receive a Nookcolor for Christmas.

The Nookcolor offers:

  • a 7 in color touchscreen
  • holds up to 6000 books (without the memory card)
  • access to full color magazines and newspapers
  • as well as a social aspect (I can lend you books free of charge for 14 days)
  • built~in WiFi

All for $249 (much less than those tires you want to buy for your car)…

So please, let’s save our marriage and purchase the Nookcolor.

All my love,

Disclosure:  I didn’t receive any compensation for this post, I just really want a Nookcolor.

26th Oct2010

Monday Mingle: It’s All About the Shoes!

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants. Afterall, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions were submitted by Jendi from Simple Vlogging Tips, and they are:

1. ‘Fess up – how many shoes do you own?
2. What is your favorite type of shoe to wear?  Sneakers, stilettos, kitten heels, ballet flats?
3. Do you have a shoe story you could tell us?

The Shoe Shop on Facebook

Next week’s questions were submitted by Alexes from One Cluttered Brain and they are:

1. What is your favorite way to spend your time during the day?
2. What do you think about guest posting on other people’s blogs?  Have you ever done it before?  Did you like it?
3. What is the craziest item in your purse?

23rd Oct2010

I Love My Hair Courtesy of Sesame Street

by Daenel

Hair.  How is it that those strands of protein can cause so much angst? Especially for black women.  Seriously, I wish they’d had videos like that when I was a kid.  Do you know how many young black girls might have embraced instead of rejecting their hair?

Last year I decided to go “natural” and stop chemically straightening my hair.  That was a big step for me, I’d been straightening my hair since my mom first gave me the go~ahead at 13 or 14.  I didn’t need to but I wanted to because my sisters were doing theirs.

Anyway, I loved my natural hair ~ even when it didn’t do everything that I wanted it to do.  But just discovering what my natural curls looked and felt like was an amazing thing.  I enjoyed being able to wash my hair and go.  Do you know how much time I gained by not having to worry about blow drying and flat ironing?

A few months ago, I found out that my husband wasn’t a big fan of the natural hair look so I made the decision to go back to relaxing my hair.  I have mixed feelings about going back to the “creamy  crack” but, for right now, this is one of those compromises that one makes in marriage.  For a year I had the chance to see my natural self and to gain a confidence that I never knew that I had.  Maybe someday I’ll go back to my natural self, until then I’m going to strut my stuff and love my hair in all of its states!

21st Oct2010

Lisa Wants to Win!

by Daenel

Normally I don’t write posts for contests but I had to do this for my girl, Lisa, at It Keeps Getting Better.  She’s been so supportive of me since I started blogging and I just want to offer her some support.

In order for her to win, she needs votes.  This is a viral campaign, meaning that the individual who gets the most votes wins a $2500 shopping spree from Bluefly.

To vote, all you have to do is click on the picture where it says “VOTE”.

Bluefly Sweater Weather Contest

Sponsored by Bluefly

Thank you and good luck, Lisa!

Disclosure:  I do not in any way benefit from this contest.  I just think Lisa’s an awesome person and she deserves to win.

20th Oct2010

The One Where I Try to Help My Bloggy Friends {CLOSED}

by Daenel

Help WantedI think I’ve mentioned this before, but it never hurts to repeat yourself, especially when you’re giving people props for good stuff:

  • My friends, Mylynka and Lupe , are raising money so they can walk in the Susan G. Komen 3~Day Walk for a Cure.  If you’d like to donate, please click here.  Remember, no amount is too small.
  • Mocha Dad is doing Comments for a Cause for organizations that help victims of domestic violence.  For every comment he receives during the month of October on Mocha Dad or Making It Last Forever, he will donate 50¢.  He will also add another 10¢ for each tweet with the  hashtag #stopdomesticviolence.
  • Nirvana Mamma hosts Blog for a Cause each month to raise awareness about pressing social issues.  If you’re a blogger, consider joining.  If you don’t blog, show your support by leaving a comment.
Thank you for helping my friends out, they’re truly wonderful people who deserve your support.

19th Oct2010

And the Winners Are…

by Daenel

Yay!  Elizabeth and Kia won the Isotoner smarTouch Gloves are….

Winner 1

Congratulations to Winner #1

Winner 2

Congratulations to Winner #2

15th Oct2010

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

by Daenel

The Help by Kathryn StockettBOOK DESCRIPTION

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town…


From the moment I downloaded this book to the Nook for PC, I couldn’t wait for the chance to pick it up again.  As of matter of fact, I ended up downloading it to my Droid just so that I could read it when I was waiting in line or something and didn’t have my netbook available.  While the book isn’t overly preachy or moralistic, it does capture the frustrations of women (on both sides of the color line) dealing with issues such as race, gender, class,  family and friendship.

The relationships between the different sets of women ~ black women with each other, black women and white women, white women towards each other and employer to employee ~ were so interesting and complex.  Within the group of white friends, even between the women who had known each other since grade school, there seemed to be this undercurrent of mistrust and dishonesty.  I’m not sure if Stockett did that on purpose to demonstrate that relationships within the middle and upper classes were fragile and superficial or not, but it was an interesting peek at class elitism.  She counterbalanced the negative relationships of the white women with strong relationships between the black women ~ even when they didn’t agree with each other, there was a sense of support and unity.  Perhaps, Stockett idealized the relationships between black domestics in the 60s a little too much?

According to interviews, Stockett wondered about her ability to capture the voice of black women and her “right” to do so as a white woman.  Honestly, I think she did an incredible job.  As I stated before, she may have romanticized black womens’ relationships a bit too much and pulled a little too heavily from liberal white guilt but I think that’s what made the book all the more interesting.  Honestly, the interplay between Minnie and Skeeter was incredible.  I loved the way the relationship developed from downright antagonistic to mutual respect.  Truth be told, I wanted to offer Minnie a shoulder to lean on, have Abileen over for coffee and befriend Skeeter.

I also enjoyed the historical and pop culture references that were scattered throughout the book.  Lucky Strikes, anyone?  For example, Aibileen casually mentions that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others are planning the March on Washington but you get the feeling that she’s far removed from the action because she’s more concerned with making it from day~to~day.  To me, this is probably an accurate portrayal of the way some blacks felt about the civil rights movement.

I wish the conclusion of the book was a little more definitive but the muddled ending is preferable to everything being wrapped up in a pretty pink bow.  After all, real life doesn’t always end so neatly, nor do we always find out what has become of the people who pass through our lives.

I would definitely recommend this book and could see it being used in a literature class where the topic is womens’ relationships.

About the Author

Kathyrn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. This is her first novel.

Website:  Kathryn Stockett
Facebook:  Kathryn Stockett ~ The Help

Disclosure:  This review refers to the electronic version of this book.  I did not receive any compensation for this review.

13th Oct2010

Like Keystone College Miller Library on Facebook

by Daenel
Keystone Library on Facebook

To Like Keystone Library on Facebook, Click the Picture

A few days ago, I created a Twitter account for the library and then went about promoting it e.g. putting up signage, linking to the account from the library’s homepage, etc. but then I overheard some students talking…

Student 1:  “I have a Twitter account but I don’t use it.  I don’t think I’ve checked it in about a year.”

Student 2:  “I use Twitter sometimes, but I like Facebook more.  I’d probably follow the library if it was on Facebook.”

That little snippet of conversation told me 2 things:

  1. I’m incredibly nosy
  2. In order to connect with the students, we need to find out where they are

And our students are on Facebook.

Fortunately, the director and I had already discussed creating a Facebook page for the library, so it was just a matter of making it happen.  So that’s what I did.

As with creating an institutional account for Twitter, creating a Facebook page for a library is very different from creating a personal account.  First of all, I didn’t realize that you already have to have a personal account or be prepared to set one up prior to setting up the page.

Setting up the page was relatively easy, I simply had to decide what information we wanted posted and where we wanted to put it.  Now it’s just a matter of promotion and getting our students, faculty, staff and community members to like us.

How do you go about encouraging people to like your library on Facebook? For those of you who don’t work at a library, do you interact with your library on Facebook?  Why or why not?

12th Oct2010

The Banana Incident of 1978

by Daenel
Shontel and Me

My Sister and Me with Bobo, the Monkey

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love monkeys.  No, that’s not true.  I’m obsessed with monkeys.  And lest you think it’s just me, my cousin has informed me that her daughter also has an intense love for monkeys as does another cousin of mine.  A family thing?  Probably not, the rest of the family is totally repulsed by our monkey love.

Anyway, my love for monkeys began when I was quite young and continues to this day.  Just ask my loving and patient husband who has to stare at a monkey every time he, ahem, avails himself of the facilities.  Seriously, if you want to know the real deal with me and the monkeys, just read my post, Miracles and Monkeys.

As any good monkey lover knows, you simply have to love bananas.  And in 1978, I was one monkey~loving~banana~eating kid.  So much so that my mom used to keep the bananas on top of the refrigerator to keep me from getting at them.  One day I decided that I absolutely had to have a banana and my mother was taking too long to get me one, so I decided to help myself.  I pushed a chair over to the counter, climbed up and sssssttttreeeetched until I was able to reach the bananas.  I grabbed the bunch, took one, put the others back and ~ in my excitement ~ started unpeeling the banana and tumbling backwards at the same time.

I ended up with a giant knot on my head (if you rub the top of my head, you can still feel the bump).  To this day, I do not eat bananas and my mother does not keep them on the top of the refrigerator.

This post was written in response to Any Excuse for a Party by Mrs. TDJ  (y’all please check out her blog, she is hilarious).  Also I think she may possibly be my “real” twin.  Sorry, Shontel.  You know I love you and all that other sentimental stuff but, dude, read her posts, she’s like me ~ only funny.

12th Oct2010

Review and Giveaway: smarTouch Gloves by Isotoner (Closed)

by Daenel

Isotoner smarTouch GlovesLast winter, my family made fun of me because I wore fingerless gloves so that I could use my smart phone.  I tried using regular gloves but my fingers kept slipping and the touch screen didn’t register my taps.  It was most annoying.  Now Isotoner has solved the problem and I can save my fingerless gloves for fashion wear (you didn’t think I was gonna get rid of my fingerless gloves, did ya?).

This fall, Isotoner will introduce gloves with smarTouch technology.  Isotoner’s smarTouch technology gives you the ability to use touch screen devices (smart phones, ATMs, touch screens at gas stations, etc) while keeping your hands warm.  Yay!  Isotoner smarTouch technology uses:

  • Conductive thread on the index fingers and thumbs to convey electrical impulses to the touch screen
  • Non~slip material on the palm for improved grip
  • Stretch material for a great fit and increased flexibility
  • The gloves come in styles for both men and women


I received a pair of sporty black and teal smarTouch Gloves and I think they’re absolutely adorable.  The fit was nice and snug and I was able to grip my phone without worrying about slippage because of the non~slip palm.  It took me a couple of seconds to figure out the “sweet spot” on the finger and thumb pads so I could use my Droid but once I did, I was impressed with how quickly (and accurately) I was able to type.

I haven’t had the opportunity to try the gloves  in cold weather, but once I do, I’ll update this post to let you all know what I think.


Isotoner~Totes is providing me with 2 pairs of smarTouch gloves for 2 lucky readers of my blog.

Official Entry

Leave a comment for each entry

1.  Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about winter

2.  Like my page on Facebook

Extra Entries

Leave a comment for each entry

1.  Subscribe to my blog

2.  Follow me on Twitter:  @DaenelT

3.  Tweet about my giveaway:  Enter to win a pair of smarTouch Gloves from Isotoner and @DaenelT http://tiny.cc/uc6w4

Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you.

Contest is open to U.S. residents only.   Contests ends on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 at Noon.  Two winners will be randomly selected using Random.org.

Totes~Isotoner Sweepstakes

Coming 1 November, if you go to www.smartouchgloves.com, you can access the “Give the Gift of Touch” Sweepstakes.  Sweepstakes winners can win new smarTouch gloves and an Apple iPad!  To enter, send a virtual pair of smarTouch gloves to a friend via Facebook, if your friend clicks on the gift, both of you are entered to win.

Isotoner smarTouch Gloves will be available this Fall at most department stores and mass merchants nationwide.  Approximate retail price $29.99.

Disclosure:  I received a free pair of Isotoner smarTouch Gloves courtesy of Totes~Isotoner to review.  Totes~Isotoner has also been gracious enough to provide me with two pairs of smarTouch gloves for a giveaway for my readers.

11th Oct2010

Monday Mingle: Lovin’ the Sweater Weather

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants. Afterall, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions were submitted by Louise from Mom Start, and they are:

1. What is your favorite thing about Fall?
2. What is your favorite Fall/Winter thing to cook or eat?
3. What do you like to do with the kids outdoors during the Fall?

Next week’s questions were submitted by Robyn from Robyn’s Online World and Paula from Thrifty Momma’s Tips and they are:

1. What do you vlog with? What software or handicam, webcam, etc?
2. How long have you been vlogging and what is your best tip for a newbie?
3. Do you upload instantly or upload to Facebook, YouTube, etc? Which works best/faster?

11th Oct2010

Keystone College Library is Tweeting

by Daenel

@KeystoneLibrary on TwitterLast week, the director of Miller Library, where I serve as the Technical/Public Services Librarian, asked me to start a Twitter account for the library.  My eyes sparkled and I almost became giddy with excitement because I seriously heart Twitter.  I adore the connections that I’ve made with various information professionals, moms and bloggers.  I also consider myself a bit of a Twittervangelist (I’ve written a tutorial for Twitter as well as a post about the benefits of Twitter) but I’ve never started a Twitter account for an institution before. Should I have let my boss know this before hand?

Goals and Objectives

Even though the director asked me to set up the Twitter account, we still needed to decide why we wanted our library on Twitter and what we hoped our patrons would gain from interacting with us (and what we hoped to accomplish).  Then there were the “minor” details:

  • Who would be responsible for updating/maintaining the account?
  • Would there be rules for following people?

When I use Twitter in my personal life, I use it as a way to connect with others who share my interests or are knowledgeable about something that I’m interested in, I also use it as a way to share information from my blog.  But institutional accounts operate a bit differently than personal accounts.

Therefore, our goal, though similar to my personal goal, is to use Twitter to connect with our patrons without being invasive (in other words, we won’t actively seek them out but we’ll encourage them to come to us).  We also want to use Twitter to promote new books and movies and highlight services and events that our community members may not know about.  One of the cool things about our library is that we act as a branch of the local public library too, so we don’t just serve the college community, we serve the local community as well.

Getting the Name Right

Next, I wanted to get the name right.  All institutions have an official name and then they have their AKA (also known as), which is similar to your birth name and then the name that everyone calls you.  Our institutional name is Harry K. Miller Library but everyone tends to identify us with our institution, Keystone College.  So I did a bit of research to find out how other academic libraries handle the name game and found out that many identify themselves by their institution and then put their actual name in the bio section of their profiles e.g. Weinberg Memorial Library at The University of Scranton.  After talking it over with the director, I settled on @KeystoneLibrary for our Twitter handle.

Making It Fancy

After establishing goals and getting the name right, I set about customizing our Twitter page.  Some people access Twitter via mobile devices or desktop applications such as TweetDeck and Seesmic but many people still use the website, so I wanted to make sure that our image is inviting as well as representative of who we are.  I did a search for free (we’re a library, we heart free) Twitter background and selected one with reference books.  For our icon, I used a picture that I took of the library with my handy dandy Droid.

If You Tweet They Will Come

Well, we all know that’s not necessarily true.  Connecting with followers requires good marketing skills, a need (on the side of the patron) and a bit of luck.  The goal isn’t simply to collect followers, the goal is to connect with library patrons and community members so now it’s all about marketing and promotion.

The marketing/promotion plan is to:

  • Put up signage in the library to let people know that we’re on Twitter
  • Post a link to our Twitter account on our library’s website
  • Announce that we’re on Twitter through the college’s newsletter
  • And Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

As I told my director, Twitter is free and if we find that it doesn’t work for us, we can always disable or delete the account.  The point is that we are trying something new and, hopefully, finding another way to connect to our patrons.

11th Oct2010


by Daenel

Daenel Got Pinked

I’d like to thank Stephanie at Shear Tease in Wyoming, PA for getting me PINKED in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Every year,  I go pink in the hopes that we will find a cure for this awful disease.  I do it to celebrate the survivors in my family:  my mother~in~law, Gloria, and my aunt, Aunt Sylvia.  I also do it to in memory of my great~aunts who did not survive.

If you know anyone who has been touched by this disease, please consider donating to my friends, Mylynka and Lupe, who are participating in the Susan G. Komen 3~Day for a Cure.  Simply click on my picture above to go to their donation site.

09th Oct2010

Shopping in NEPA: Earth and Wears

by Daenel

earth and wearsFor about a year I’ve been passing by a little sign in Dallas, Pennsylvania that reads: “Earth and Wears” and I’ve been dying to go inside to see what they have but I’ve always been in a rush to or from somewhere so I haven’t been able to stop.  However, yesterday, I saw the store was opened and decided to run inside and take a look around (even though I had 1/2 a gallon of ice cream in the back seat of my car).  Let me tell you, it was worth the risk…

I walked into a cute little shop full of handmade goods.  Lining one wall were shelves of pottery, jewelry and handbags and in the center was a table with soaps and other little trinkets and along the side wall and the front wall were other piece of pottery, headbands, bobby pins, etc.  Just about everything in the store was made by local artisans!  And y’all know I love the whole idea of buying local, especially when it comes to handmade accessories.

I talked with the owner, Lyn Carey, for a little while and discovered that the store has been opened for about 2 years now and that she makes many of the pottery and a few of the jewelry pieces herself (by total coincidence, the two pieces that I purchased ~ a coffee mug, that reminded me of one that my father used to own, and a funky flower ring ~ were made by her).  Lyn also sells her “wears” at local craft fairs and online.  One of the things I appreciated most about Earth and Wears is that Lyn also sells handcrafts made by other artisans, for example there were beautiful handbags, delicious smelling soaps and the cutest earrings made from playing cards…

Earth and Wear Coffee Mug and RingAs I mentioned before, I ended up purchasing a coffee mug (no, a girl cannot have too many coffee mugs) and a flower ring.  When my daughters saw my ring, they literally tried to rip it off my finger (so now I know where I’ll be going for some Christmas presents).  The prices were incredibly reasonable, ranging from a mere $15 for some of the rings to $20 for earrings and a little over $60 for a beautiful handmade capelet (that I’m going back for next week).

If you’re ever in the Back Mountain, please stop by and visit Earth and Wears, and tell Lyn that you read about her shop here!

Contact Information
Earth and Wears
68 Main Street
Dallas, PA 18612
Hrs: Tues ~ Sat 10 AM~5:30 PM (and by appointment)

You can also buy online:
Etsy: Earth and Wears
Facebook: Earth and Wears

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation from this post, I just love the idea of buying local and buying handmade.


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