31st Mar2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

by Daenel

Daenel THi, welcome to Living Outside the Stacks!  Handing you a cup of coffee

About Me:
My name is Daenel and I have the research skills of a librarian, the preservation skills of an archivist, the organizational skills of a mother and the domestic skills of a Stepford Wife.  I’ve been married for sixteen years and have five children and two grandchildren.  We have a dog named Squeekerz who would sell out the family for a slice of bread or a box of Girl Scout Cookies (the shortbreads).

I have mad crazy love for monkeys and an irrational fear of birds and cats.  It’s best not to delve too deeply into that but let’s just say the bird thing stems from living in Italy for several years and, um, cats jump ~ it freaks me out. Before I became a librarian, I used to model.  My favorite gig was working at the Nascar races in the Poconos.  So.  Much.  Fun.  And so incredibly loud.

I enjoy kicking back with a cup of coffee and watching television when I have down time.  I love rocking out to Glee or getting caught up in historical mysteries, Brad Meltzer call me, or enveloping myself in conspiracy theories, Jesse Ventura ~ you’re the man!  My favorite tech toys are Vivi, my Vivienne Tam notebook and Dori, my Droid.  They go everywhere with me and, yes, I’ve named them.

What I Write About:
I write about a lot of things, some of them related to the silly things that my kids have said, like in the post called Mommy, What Color Were Our Eggs? Sometimes I write book reviews, so far Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay is my favorite book of the year ~ very emotional.  I’m also an avid vlogger, sometimes I simply prefer to talk, ya know?  Anyway, I invite you to look around and make yourself at home.  Feel free to look through my photo albums, listen to some music, grab a book from my library or just wander around my blog.  And please, leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Connect with Me:
Twitter:  @DaenelT
Facebook:  Facebook.com/LivingOutsidetheStacks.com
Flickr:  DaenelT’sPhotostream
Contributing Blogger:  Eighty MPH Mom

Ultimate Blog Party 2011Party Invitation:
Everyone is welcome to this party.  All you have to do is head over to 5 Minutes for Mom and follow the directions.  Don’t forget to grab the badge, leave a link to your post and then do some partying at your neighbor’s blog.

What I’d Like to Win:
I don’t enter contests very often but when I do, I hope that I win.  Really, why else would I enter, right? Anyway, here are the giveaways that I’ve entered and the prizes that I’d like to receive…

31st Mar2011

Family Movie Night: Truth Be Told

by Daenel

Family Movie Night:  Truth Be ToldEver since Adam first ticked off Eve, everyone’s been trying to figure out the secret to a successful marriage.  Books have been printed, advice columns written, television shows aired and hands thrown up in surrender.  No one knows why some marriages work and others don’t, the only thing everyone seems to agree on is that they’re a lot of work.

So what happens when a marriage counselor goes against her own advice that honesty is the key to a successful long~term relationship?  Find out in Truth Be Told, the next movie offering in the successful Family Movie Night franchise sponsored by Walmart and Proctor & Gamble.

Truth Be Told synopsis

When leading marriage counselor Annie Morgan (Candace Cameron Bure) is offered an opportunity to host a relationship talk show, she jumps at the chance. But fearful that being single might ruin her big break, she conspires with an old college friend and recent widower, Mark Crane (David James Elliott), to pose as a married couple with kids. Their story starts to unravel when Annie and Mark join her eccentric soon-to-be boss (Ronny Cox) for a weekend at his ranch in New Mexico. Comical misunderstandings mark the event as Annie struggles to keep up the ruse, finding herself emotionally invested and conflicted by her own conscience. Will she confess the truth about her marital status and her feelings for Mark… and will the truth set them free?

Sounds like an interesting movie, huh?  And how fun is it to see little DJ Tanner all grown up and married?  Yes, I’m having a moment… Anyway, I’m asking all of my friends to join me and my family on Saturday, 16 April at 8/7 C to watch Truth Be Told (check your Fox channel for the correct station).  If you plan to join us, let me know by leaving a comment telling me the best marriage advice you ever heard.

Family Movie Night is part of Family Moments, an initiative created by Proctor & Gamble and Walmart to bring families together by providing meaningful entertainment.  For more about Family Movie Night, click here.

You can also “like” Family Movie Night on Facebook.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  I just think Family Movie Night is a great idea.  However, my husband is employed by P&G.

 

30th Mar2011

What I Wore Wednesday #1

by Daenel

So I’ve decided to join yet another meme.  I think somewhere on this blog I mentioned how much I love them.  Anyway, this meme is called “What I Wore Wednesday” and it’s hosted by Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.

What I Wore Wednesday

  • Cardigan ~ Target
  • Blouse ~ Dots
  • Jeans ~ Old Navy
  • Boots ~ Target
  • Bag ~ Maxx New York
  • Bracelet ~ 3 Sisters

This meme was started by Lindsey as a way to force herself out of the stay~at~home/work~at~home mom wardrobe of tees and sweats.  Now others have joined in just because, well, it’s fun and it gives you ideas for different ways to mix and match your clothes.  And, seriously, don’t we all need a little inspiration? To join in, all you have to is take a picture of what you wore on Wednesday, post it to your blog and then let Lindsey know…

30th Mar2011

Blogging Through the Gospels

by Daenel

Today I finished the Bible in 90 Days Challenge and I’m so incredibly excited.  Seriously, y’all, I grew up in the church and had never read the Bible from cover to cover.  There is some crazy, interesting, jaw dropping, faith growing things in there! Anyway,  ever since I saw the end drawing near, I started wondering what do I do next?

I tossed around the idea of just reading a few scriptures here and there on my own or picking up a book from the bookstore and doing something that way but I wasn’t feeling it.  I enjoyed the structure, sense of community and support that I received while participating in this 90 day challenge so I’ve decided to join up with Amy from Mom’s Toolbox for Blogging Through the Gospels.

Blogging Through the Gospels is a 14 week program of reading, studying and blogging through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll write a post for each and every reading but if something strikes me, I’ll definitely share it.

If you’d like to join in, all you have to do is head over to Mom’s Toolbox and let her know in the comments.  I’d also like to know if you plan to participate…

29th Mar2011

Mommy, What Color Were Our Eggs?

by Daenel

Mommy, What Color Were Our Eggs?One of the things about having four children that I love and hate the most is that my oldest daughter has taken it upon herself to parent the younger kids.  Actually, it’s kinda cool that she mothers them because it’s less work for me. However, she has a bad habit of telling them everything she knows.  Even when I tell beg her not to…

When my oldest daughter was about ten years old, she started asking questions about babies and where they come from, how they get into the mommy’s stomach and all of those other buggy little questions that kids ask.  Now, I have always operated under the “use the proper words for everything” policy with my kids. So I sat her down and explained that we were going to have a mommy~daughter talk and she DID NOT need to share this with the younger kids.  She smiled and agreed

Well, as soon as we finished talking she must have gathered up the young ones and told them everything because the next day, as we were driving to the store, my little one said:  “Mommy, what color were our eggs?”  I looked in my rear view mirror quizzically and said “Huh?”  She replied “When we were in your tummy, what color were our eggs?”

Has your kid ever said something that made you slam on the brakes?

28th Mar2011

Monday Mingle: Music, Apps and Make~Up Free

by Daenel

Check out my new Facebook page here!

You can find a list of my favorite Droid apps here!

I share my favorite songs with you here!

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Jenn at 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. After all, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions are:
1.  What is your favorite song right now?
2.  How good are you about using coupons at the grocery store?
3.  Do you have a Smartphone? If so what are your top 3 games/apps?

Next week’s questions are:
1.  If you could choose a new career path, what would you choose?
2.  What is your favorite ethnic food?
3.  Are your kids involved in sports/activities?

26th Mar2011

I Received the Stylish Blogger Award

by Daenel

UK Stylish Blogger AwardPeople blog for a variety reasons, some because they need an emotional outlet, some because they’re looking for a side hustle and some because it’s a way to make friends who share a common interest.  I blog because my husband kept yelling “I’m not your girlfriend, quit sharing your shopping experiences with me!”  For some reason, he just doesn’t seem to understand the thrill I get from finding the right pair of shoes or stumbling across the perfect bag.  On sale. So I share my life with you and it’s good to know that someone enjoys my ramblings…

1. Thank and link back to the person/persons who awarded you this award.

Thank you to my friend, fellow librarian and fitness shero, Sarah from Uberlibrariana.  I can’t remember the circumstances under which we met but I do know that I’ve been inspired daily by your fitness tips and constantly amused by The Rowan.  Thank you for this award, I’m honored.

2. Share 7 things about yourself

  • When I married my husband I couldn’t boil water, now I love to cook
  • I’m terribly shy and have to prepare myself for social events, however, teaching/speaking in front of a group doesn’t bother me
  • When I was younger I wanted to be a globe trotting reporter
  • Birds and cats scare the living daylights out of me, for weeks I refused to use my garage because it was inhabited by a family of cats and then a flock of birds took over
  • Sometimes I’ll text my kids the following message: “Don’t tell the others, but you’re my favorite.”
  • Car dancing is my favorite hobby
  • I love monkeys and hope someday to be one of those crazy ladies who dresses my pet monkey in a dress and walks her around the park (Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have shared that much crazy)

3. Then award 5-15 blogs that you follow.

In alphabetical order (because I’m a wild and crazy girl), I present the Stylish Blogger Award to:

4. Contact the bloggers and let them know of their reward!

Taking care of it now.  I love introducing people to new bloggers.  I hope you find them as interesting as I do.  Please stop by and show them some comment love.  Thank you.

25th Mar2011

Book Review: The Global~Warming Deception: How a Secret Elite Plans to Bankrupt America and Steal Your Freedom by Grant R. Jeffrey

by Daenel

The Global Warming Deception by Grant R. JeffreyBOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM THE BACK OF THE BOOK)

The worldwide effort to combat manmade global warming is history’s most far~reaching hoax.  In The Global~Warming Deception, Grant R. Jeffrey documents the orchestrated campaign of political pressure, flawed science, and falsified data ~ all orchestrated to sell an environmental lie and bring the West to its knees.

United Nations agencies use the threat of rising ocean levels, crop failure, expanding deserts, and the extinction of species to convince western nations to surrender their sovereignty.  As these developments play out, we see the globalists consolidating their power.

In The Global~Warming Deception, you will find proof that:

  • Laws and regulations to reduce carbon emissions are designed to destroy the free~enterprise system and drain wealth from western nations.
  • The religion of eco~fundamentalism denies the existence of God and substitutes in His place the worship of the earth.
  • The coming economic collapse, hastened by global~warming laws, will lead to international chaos.  A one~world government will be presented as the solution, followed by the arrival of the Antichrist.

Your liberty is at stake.  Now is the time to learn all you can about the socialist~Marxist elite that is advancing the false threat of global warming ~ the most deadly deception in history.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Grant R. Jeffrey is the internationally acclaimed author of Shadow GovernmentCountdown to ApocalypseThe Next World War and more than twenty other books.  Recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on prophecy and apologetics, Jeffrey appears frequently on television and radio.  His popular TV program Bible Prophecy Revealed is carried on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.  He and his wife, Kaye, live near Toronto, where they serve in full~time ministry.

Website:  Grant R. Jeffrey Ministries

MY OPINION

I had a difficult time getting into this book.  I’m not sure if it’s because environmentalism isn’t of interest to me or if it was the Jeffrey’s writing style.  That being said, I do understand the thesis of his book which is that environmentalists have become so intent on preserving Earth that they are pushing people to the side and creating an opening for the usurpation of American sovereignty to environmental agencies.  These environmental agencies are creating laws that threaten to undermine the financial stability of the United States, which Jeffrey believes will lead to the ultimate ruin of America.

As a believer in the word of God, I see where Jeffrey draws his inspiration and I fully endorse his arguments, I just wish the writing was a little less dry.

RATING

★★/★★★★★

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me free of charge through Waterbrook Mulnomah’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review.  This does not in any way influence my review.

24th Mar2011

Want Well~Adjusted Kids? Teach Them to Control Their Anger

by Daenel

Image by Fotolia

My friends are always telling me that my husband and I should write a book on how to raise happy, polite and well~adjusted children. I tend to laugh and just sorta shrug it off because, well, there really isn’t much to tell.  The book would consist of one sentence that my husband and I have stressed over the years:  “Control your temper.”

Think about it, when you see a kid acting out, what are they doing?  Usually falling on the floor, yelling, kicking, screaming, crying or having some sort of a meltdown, right?  And it usually starts over the word “No.”  Kids hate that word because it denies them something they want.  Well, tough cookies, kid, life sucks and you’re not always gonna get everything you want

When my kids were little and I’d take them shopping with me,  I used to give them the following speech before we’d get out of the car:

Do not touch anything.  Do not ask for anything.  If I buy you something it’s because I want to and not because you’ve asked me to.  If you embarrass me, I will embarrass you.

I said this from the time they were little babies until my youngest was about 5 years old.  I also used to make them hold hands and walk two by two in the store (I had four little kids and there was no way in the world I was gonna be running around the store chasing after them).  It wasn’t the words that I spoke that meant much to them, it was the promise behind those words…

My kids knew if they acted up or showed out I would snap them back to reality.  Remember Bernie Mac’s standard response: “I will beat you ’til the white meat shows”?  No, I didn’t beat my kids but I did swat that heiny every now and then.  I didn’t tolerate yelling, kicking  or screaming.  I didn’t accept that children have to ask for (and receive) something every time they set foot in the store.  Yes, hearing “No” hurt their little feelings but, you know what?  I didn’t care.  Life is full of “No” and kids have to learn to accept it.  They simply cannot have (nor should they get) everything they see/want/smell…

Now back to controlling their tempers…  Yes, my kids would get angry and, yes, they would cry but the one thing they didn’t do was fall out on the floor (nor did they ever yell “I hate you!” or hit me).  Why didn’t they fall out?  Because they knew I’d yank them up just as quickly as they went down.  I don’t believe in ignoring tantrums, I believe in dealing with them quickly and effectively.

You see, if your children don’t learn to control their tempers when they’re young, it  just increases in intensity as they get older.  Now when your little two~year~old is swatting at you it doesn’t hurt but when your twelve~year~old is hurling punches at you?  Yeah, that hurts.  But it’ll hurt even more when Little Johnny gets himself arrested because he got into a fight at school…

I’m not telling you to teach your child to hold in their anger, what I am saying is that you have to teach your child to control their impulses and you do this by:

  • Not allowing temper tantrums in the first place ~ even two~year~olds can learn anger management
  • Establishing that screaming is unacceptable ~ no one that you support should EVER yell “I hate you” to you
  • Letting your child know that you are the parent ~ you are not his or her friend, Parent Up
  • Setting and following through with consequences ~ don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep

I’m not saying my kids are perfect but I will say this, they knew how to act when they were younger and I now have four teens in my house and have yet to hear a door slam.

How do you handle your child’s temper?

22nd Mar2011

Backpacks for the Children of Japan

by Daenel
Backpacks for the Children of Japan

Click on the Picture to go to the Donation Site

A few weeks ago, Japan suffered two of the most devastating natural disasters known to man ~ first the earthquake and then the tsunami ~ and now they’re dealing with the resultant damage to their nuclear power plants, as well as their infrastructure.  And I haven’t even mentioned the emotional, spiritual and financial toll that it has taken on the Japanese people as well as the foreigners who are living there.

Two of my high school friends, who are stationed in Japan with the United States military, have provided a group of us with daily updates on conditions in Japan and I can tell you, it’s heartbreaking to read…  What’s harder to read/accept is that there are children who are having to live with the loss of everything that they’ve come to depend on.

In an effort to bring some sense of normalcy, stability and comfort to the children of Japan, my friend, Christie Cowin, and her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop (Zama Girl Scouts) along with several other members of the Camp Zama community are putting together Backpacks of Comfort for the children of Japan.  These backpacks are serving as carryalls for children who have lost everything.  To create a backpack, all you have to do is put comfort items in the backpacks such as small blankets, toys, books, sanitary supplies and other items that children who’ve been made homeless may need. 

There are several ways you can help: create backpacks, send supplies for the backpacks or make a monetary donation.  No amount is too small…

For more information:

Website: Backpacks for Japan, Kids Helping Kids

Facebook:  Backpacks for Children of Japan

Email:  Leech3@hotmail.com

Paypal:  zamagirlscouts@gmail.com

Disclosure:  This charitable action is nonprofit and all monetary donations, supplies, etc will be given directly to children in Japan who have need.

21st Mar2011

Monday Mingle: No~Tech Fun, Fighting the Dog and Hiding Under the Bed

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Jenn at 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. After all, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions are:
1.  What would you do for fun if you had to give up TV and internet?
2.  What is your favorite breed of dog?
3.  What is under your bed right now?

Next week’s questions are:
1.  What is your favorite song right now?
2.  How good are you about using coupons at the grocery store?
3.  Do you have a Smartphone? If so what are your top 3 games/apps?

20th Mar2011

Ten Songs I’m Embarrassed to Admit I Like

by Daenel

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

I’ve been known to get out on the floor and shake what my momma gave me (much to the embarrassment of my children, I also like to break it down at stop signs and red lights), so when I saw this meme at Audra’s blog, Rediscovering Domesticity, I knew I had to participate.  These are the 10 songs that make me wanna dance, sing or flick the Bic…giggle and snicker if you must:

  1. Captain and Tenille ~ Love Will Keep Us Together
  2. Cynthia Free ~ Thank You for Being a Friend (The Golden Girls Theme Song)
  3. DJ Clue featuring Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh ~ Let Me Clear My Throat
  4. Gretchen Wilson ~ Redneck Woman
  5. Irene Cara ~ Flashdance…What a Feeling
  6. Kermit the Frog ~ The Rainbow Connection
  7. Lynyrd Skynyrd ~ Sweet Home Alabama
  8. Mylie Cyrus ~ Party in the USA
  9. Rupert Holmes ~ Escape (The Piña Colada Song)
  10. Will to Power ~ Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley

What song is on your oh~my~gosh~please~don’t~let~anyone~hear~me~sing~this list?

19th Mar2011

Saturday Fun on the Farm

by Daenel

Usually on a Saturday afternoon I can be found at home doing laundry or running the kids around because, well, that’s what my life has become ~ wash woman, taxi driver and cook.  However, today my husband asked me to ride with him down to our friends’ farm to pick up some tires for his car and I’m so glad I went.  Why?  BABY PYGMY GOATS!!!!

Orange Bearded Lizard

Orange Bearded Lizard

This has been a crazy week for me as far as animals go.  First I saw a Bearded Dragon (I would only touch her with one finger), then my dog ran off after some rabbits (I caught him after the longest game of chase ever) and today I held a baby goat.

Me Holding the Baby Goat

I'm Holding a Baby Goat!!!!

My friends’ son is a true blue animal lover.  He has several pygmy goats, rabbits, chickens, a couple of ducks and a horse.  I’ve never been much of a country girl but I do have fun at their house every time I go over there…

The Baby Goats

Triplets!!!

I apologize for the blurriness of the pictures but those little guys are squirmy! As soon as I put the baby down it literally started hopping around the pen. And the bleating was loud and incredibly cute…

For more pictures from my friends’ farm, check out my Flickr stream…

What did you do this weekend?

17th Mar2011

I Need Workout Music NOW!

by Daenel
Running on a Treadmill

Image by Microsoft Clip Art

This morning I was at the gym, minding my own business and sweating on the treadmill when what should assault my ears but country music!  OK, in my defense, there is some country music that I enjoy ~  Big and Rich, Faith Hill, Gretchen Wilson, Rascal Flats, Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins ~ but not when I’m working out. When I’m trying to get my sweat on, I need to hear something that makes me wanna move my body ~ something like Mercy by Duffy.  Y’all don’t know how many times I’ve been on the treadmill and had to stop myself from breaking it down in the gym when that song plays.  So today I went and picked up some headphones for my Droid and now I’m creating my playlist.  I don’t know if that whole working out to banjos was a fluke but I don’t wanna risk it, ya know?

Here’s the playlist so far:

  • Angie Stone ~ Rain Down
  • Beyonce Featuring P. Diddy ~ Summertime
  • Cher ~ Believe
  • Christina Aguilera ~ Ain’t No Other Man
  • Duffy ~ Mercy
  • The Four Seasons ~ December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)
  • Kirk Franklin ~ Brighter Day
  • Israel & New Breed ~ Again I Say Rejoice
  • Mary, Mary ~ Dance, Dance, Dance
  • McClurkin Project ~ Every Beat of My Heart
  • Natalie Wilson ~ Act Like You Know
  • Natalie Wilson ~ Brother, Sister
  • Natalie Wilson ~ Calvary
  • Natalie Wilson ~ The Rock
  • One Nation Crew ~ Hands Up
  • One Nation Crew ~ Unconditional
  • Raymond & Company ~ No Limits
  • T~Bone, Zane, Montell Jordan ~ To Da River
  • Vanessa Williams ~ Happines

I know that’s a lot of music but I want a wide variety of tunes to play while I’m walking on the treadmill.  If you’ve ever walked or ran on a treadmill, you know how monotonous it can get.  I think not knowing what’s coming up next will keep me going for the 30 to 45 minutes that I’m working out.

What’s on your playlist?  Do your songs play randomly or do you have them set to play in a certain order?

16th Mar2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mini Cupcakes and a Weird Teen

by Daenel
Daenel and Miss 17

Photograph Taken by Miss 15

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out Angry Julie, Better in Bulk, Mom Start, The Perfect Line and Resourceful Mommy.

14th Mar2011

Monday Mingle: I’m a Crafty, Allergic Non~Snorer

by Daenel

The monkey story:  Miracles and Monkeys!

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Jenn at 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. After all, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions are:
1. Do you sew, crochet or knit?
2. Are you allergic to any foods? Bee stings?
3. Do you snore? Please describe.

Next week’s questions are:
1.  What would you do for fun if you had to give up TV and internet?
2.  What is your favorite breed of dog?
3.  What is under your bed right now?

13th Mar2011

Mamavation Monday on Sunday

by Daenel

Mamavation MondayI don’t know how I’m feeling about this week…  I worked out twice a day every day accept for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday but I continued to eat well and kept my calorie intake between 1200 and 1400.  I haven’t had soda in about 2 weeks and I’ve been drinking a lot of water (most days I get in the full 8 glasses but I average between 5 and 7 glasses per day).  I’ve also cut back on my caffeine.  Y’all don’t know how hard that was for me, the headaches have been intense.  I used to drink 4 to 6 cups of coffee a day now I’m down to 1 or 2 per week.  I’ve replaced my coffee with Lipton Herbal Cranberry Pomegranate Tea ~ good stuff.

I didn’t lose any weight this week, in fact, I gained 0.6 lbs but I did notice some changes in my body.  For example when I go to pick things up, I’ve notice a little muscle pushing through on my upper arms (thank you to my daughter who snapped my EA Sports Resistance Bands forcing me to use 3 lb weights for my workouts).  And my calves are showing signs of definition, I’d even dare to say that I can flex a little bit (those daily 3 plus mile walks are starting to do their thing).  Now if I could just get my mid~section to be less flabby and my butt to be a little less, um, jiggly, I’d be a happy camper.

My Stats:

  • Starting weight:  163.2 lbs
  • Last week’s weight:  160 lbs (~3.2 lbs)
  • Today’s weight:  160.6 lbs (+0.6 lbs)
  • Goal weight:  145 lbs

Mamavation Monday Blogging Carnival

This week’s Mamavation Blogging Carnival is being hosted by Fit Studio.

This week’s question is:  “What time of day works best for you to be active?  How do you make sure you stick to those planned workouts?”

Last year I joined a gym and I went regularly for about 4 months or so and then I had a health setback and quit going.  After I felt well enough to go to the gym, I just didn’t feel like it so I stopped but I continued paying my monthly dues.  Yes, I’m an idiot.  Anyway, last week I saw the money come out of my account and thought What am I doing, I’m wasting so much money?  So the next morning, I took the kids to the bus stop and then drove to the gym and hopped on the treadmill for a nice walk.  It took me almost 45 minutes to walk 2 miles, last year I was able to walk 3 miles in a little under 36 minutes.  So a new challenge was born ~ get back to where I was last year.  To help get myself in shape, I’m combining the treadmill workout with the EA Sports Active workout as well as a couple of DVD workouts (for a total of 1½ to 2 hours a day).

Working out in the morning really works for me because I work evening shift and I like being able to get my mind “right”.  While I’m working out, I clear my head of everything so that when I finish I can sit at the table, eat my breakfast and devote myself to God’s word with the Bible in 90 Days Challenge.

How’d you do with your healthy goals for this week?  What were your successes?  Any challenges?


Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  Mamavation is a weight loss support group that uses social media to help women and especially mothers to lead a healthy lifestyle.  You can learn more about Mamavation by visiting the website, following on Twitter or liking on Facebook.  This particular post was written for the Blogging Carnival that is being sponsored by Fit Studio.

12th Mar2011

My Newest App Obsession: Photography Apps

by Daenel
Dani ~ Original Photograph Taken with Webcam

Original Photograph Taken with Webcam

Last year I started playing around with the camera on my  phone and realized that I kind of enjoy taking pictures.  You can check out my pictures here.  This discover led me to buy a point and shoot camera that I loaned to my daughter and immediately regretted (the camera was lost and recovered broken).  Anyway, I’m back to using my phone for taking pictures which is fun and convenient but also a little boring, so I’ve started using various photography apps on my Droid to spice up my pictures.

Here’s a list of 3 of my favorite apps with links so you can download them to your Android phone:

1.  PhotoFunia ~ This app is so incredibly cool.  There are about 200 effects you can apply to pictures you’ve either uploaded or taken with your phone.  Some of the effects offer cool tricks like flickering flames, dancing people and sketching artists…  My favorite is the vignette with the vintage television set.

Picture Edited with picplz, "The 70s" Filter Applied

Picture Edited with picplz, "The 70s" Filter Applied

2.  picplz ~ I discovered this app over the weekend and I’ve had soooo much fun playing with it.  Picplz is a photo app that allows you to upload photos and then style them with various filter effects.  There are four effects:  the 70s, High Contrast Monochrome, Instant Film and Russian Toy Camera (my fave).  You can also share uploaded pictures on Twitter, Flicker and Facebook.

3.  Retro Camera ~ This is a fun little app that lets you kick it old school with 5 vintage cameras:  The Bärbl, Little Orange Box (my personal favorite), Xolaroid 2000, pinhOle camera and FudgeCan.

I’m totally digging all of these little effects, they make taking pictures so much fun.

Do you have a favorite photography app on your phone?  What’s your favorite filter?

10th Mar2011

Today I’m Rocking the Red Pump Because I Care

by Daenel

Rock the Red PumpI care about the women and girls who will be diagnosed with HIV/AIDs. I care about the women and girls whose lives will be affected by HIV/AIDs. I care about the families who will be devastated by this preventable disease.

In the U.S. someone is infected with HIV every 9½ minutes.  And every 35 minutes a woman in the U.S. tests positive for HIV.  Staggering statistics, no? Women of color will be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDs. In fact, AIDs is the leading cause of death for Black women between the ages of 25 and 34.

Sisters (of all colors), we have to protect ourselves. Make sure you:

  • Know your status
  • Practice safe sex
  • Avoid risky behavior
  • Talk about HIV prevention with friends and family
  • Provide support to people living with HIV/AIDs

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDs Awareness Day, an initiative established in 2006 by the Office on Women’s Health to raise awareness about HIV/AIDs infection among women and girls. To help raise awareness, I have dedicated today’s blog post to The Red Pump Project, a grassroots organization that raises awareness about HIV/AIDs prevention and offers support for those whose lives have been touched by the disease.  The Red Pump Project was started by Karyn of The Fabulous Giver and Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie. The red pump symbolizes the strength and courage of women fighting HIV/AIDs or who have been affected by it both directly and indirectly.

I am honored to be an annual participant in the Red Pump Project’s Rock the Red Pump Campaign which encourages bloggers to rock red pumps and dedicate a post to raising awareness about HIV/AIDs.  Last year’s goal was to get 500 bloggers in 5o days, I think this year the campaign is over 1000 strong!

To find an HIV testing station near you, go here.

You can find out more about the Red Pump Project from their website, following them on Twitter, liking them on Facebook or checking out the red pumps on Flickr.

Be safe,

10th Mar2011

The Dramatic Story of Our Birth

by Daenel

Shontel and Daenel aka "The Twins"My sister and I have always known the dramatic story of our birth.  Mom used it as a way to highlight my our need for attention since birth.  And as I tell you the story, you’ll understand that we come by our dramatics honestly.  Thank you, Mom and Dad

It was about 2 AM on a Saturday morning in 1973 when  my dad went racing down the streets of Washington, D.C. in his little Datsun.  With dual horns blaring and my mother tensing up in labor, my dad violated every traffic law on the books.  Really, what do stop lights mean when your wife is about to give birth to your twins?  Motorists were moving over to the side, hand gestures of all sorts were flying and police sirens were screaming.  It was a scene straight out of a movie ~ a movie about a very pregnant woman being driven through the streets of Washington, D.C. by a mad man but a movie nevertheless.

At some point one of the police cruisers whipped in front of my dad’s car with the intention of forcing my dad to stop.  Panic stricken, my dad quickly assessed the situation…  What person in their right mind wants to hit a police car?  That’s just asking for trouble. Unfortunately, my dad had only two options ~ slam on breaks and hit the police car or slam on breaks and hit a metal telephone pole.  He chose to hit the police car.  Do you guys remember those big ol’ metal telephone poles?  Yeah, his chances were soooo much better with the car. As my parents braced for impact, my mother’s labor pains intensified and my sister started crowning.  Bet you didn’t think you were going to read that in this birth story, did you?

In the ensuing melee, Dad was put in the back of the ambulance and Mom ended up in the back seat of a police car where Shontel was delivered by a stranger.  We never learned the man’s name because he wasn’t supposed to be in D.C.  He had told his wife that he was going to be elsewhere for business, instead he was in D.C. with his girlfriend.  However, he did come to the hospital to check on us.  So, whoever you are, if you happen to stumble across this blog and you remember that day, I just want to say “thank you.”

About 45 minutes later, my mom was at the hospital and she started telling the E.R. doctors that “another one” was coming but they thought she was in shock and ignored her.  Lo and behold, between the emergency room doors, I came into the world.

We Were Drama Queens from BirthAs you can tell by the newspaper article, my dad was charged with multiple traffic violations, all of which were dropped.  But our story doesn’t end there….

My sister was released from the hospital after a few days but I was kept in the NICU because of respiratory problems.  Yeah, my dad wasn’t having that.  He felt like my sister and I had been conceived together and incubated together, therefore, we should go home together.  He started yelling at the doctors and threatening to take the hospital hostage if they didn’t release me. My dad was the original King of Dramady.  After a few hours, Mom and Grandma Vaughn were able to talk him down and he let me stay in the NICU and he took Shontel home.  But you better believe, my dad was at that hospital bright and early on my release date.

So there you are, the story of our dramatic entry into this world.  And someday, I’ll share the story of my twins’ birth.  Let’s just say it involved a car, contractions and a drive through three states.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHONTEL!

I’M SO GLAD WE SHARED A UTERUS!!!

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