Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


An Egg is Not a Baby

EggsRaise your hand if you remember getting an egg to carry around for a week during sex ed.  looks around Yep, I did too.  I also remember being a little put off because my egg wasn’t ethnically correct, so I took some crayons and markers and turned my little white egg into a little multi~culti oval shaped facsimile of me.  Lemme tell ya, that’s not easily done when you’re a high yellow glasses wearing braces having freckle faced black chick, but I digress.

For one week, Little Egglivia (See what I did there?) went everywhere with me.  I dressed her in a little tissue diaper, slept with her nestled on a pillow and made sure she survived for one week with nary a crack.  On the last day of the week, I happily showed up at school with my two page report on what I’d learned about taking care of a baby.


Yep, that was the assignment:  learn to care for a baby by taking care of an egg.  Hmmmm, now that I’ve had children of my own, I can state emphatically that an egg is not a baby.

Miss 16 and child

Enjoying the sweetness

But those creepy little crying dolls?  They’re as close as you can get without bringing home the real thing.  Yesterday, Miss 16 brought home one of those animatronic babies that they give to high school students to teach them what it’s like to care for an infant. Miss 16 is enrolled in a child development course at the high school.  This class is basically a first~year college course for students who plan to go on to college and major in Child Development or Elementary Education.

The girls with child

Miss 16 and Aunt Miss 14 Loving the Baby

Anyway, when Miss 16 brought the baby home, we were absolutely thrilled.  Yes, I realize that this was a doll but I was positively giddy ~ so much more exciting than an egg.  Aunt Miss 14 and Miss 16 named the baby Micaela Kate something or other, I called the baby “MK”.  Yeah, the girls and I were totally in to this baby thing.  About 20 minutes into the doll’s arrival, I’d had enough and booted the kids, the doll and all other noisy things away from me.  The girls, on the other hand, were still in baby heaven.  But Miss 14 bailed after a couple of hours and my son and husband refused to get caught up in our insanity.  That left poor Miss 16 on her own…

Miss 16 and Child 2

So ready to get rid of the baby...

That baby cried.  And cried.  And cried.  The hubs and I could hear Miss 16 pacing around in her bedroom all night.  By Thursday morning, she couldn’t wait for me to get her and Baby MK back to the school.  And, honestly, I couldn’t wait either.  Miss 16 definitely looked like the mother of a newborn ~ she had dark circles under her eyes, she was dragging and, at points, during various conversations, her eyes sorta glazed over.  Her plan for the weekend?  To catch up on the sleep she missed while playing mommy.

When you were in high school, did you get the egg, bag of flour or the baby?  Do you think these programs teach teens responsibility?


Work It! Express Business Suits

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Nearly ten years ago, I remember getting ready for one of my first job interviews, everyone kept telling me that I needed to get a black suit.  Inwardly I cringed.  I was so not a suit girl.  I always felt like a little kid playing dressing up. But I bought a basic black skirt suit with a white blouse and sturdy black pumps.  The only jewelry I wore was a watch and my wedding set.  Yikes.  I sat at my interview, fidgeting and tugging at my jacket, wishing that my skirt fit a little bit better, rethinking the whole white blouse and minimal jewelry thing…  I was so distracted by my clothing that I almost flubbed the interview.  However, my wit and charm won them over and I got the job but I’ve never forgotten how I felt in that suit.

Jump ahead to the year 2011 and suits have come a long way, baby.  Gone are the big ol’ shoulder pads, boxy cuts and boring colors of yesteryear.  Today’s suits are soft and figure flattering, they come in a wide range of colors from basic neutrals to bold reds and always classic blacks.  Don’t believe me, then you need to check out the women’s suits at Express.  They are seriously sexy and powerful while still being professional and feminine.  But more than that, these pieces can transition from office wear to ladies’ night by just mixing and matching existing pieces in your wardrobe  

Hands down, my favorite suit is the Women’s Tweed Jacket and Tweed Editor Pant.  I love the classic tweed material and the trendy lines of the suit.  Worn together, the suit is ultra chic but separately, the fitted jacket can easily be worn with a pair of jeans and a white tee with chunky jewelry for a glamorous look. For a boho look, simply tuck a billowy peasant top into the pants, add a few funky pieces of jewelry, a leather saddle bag and a pair of clogs.  

Do you need a power suit for work?  Or a subdued suit for church?  How about mix and match pieces that you can take from day to evening?  Express is offering someone the chance to win a $500 men’s or women’s suiting makeover.  

To enter the Express sweepstakes:

Where do you think you’ll wear your suit ~ to work, church or a social function?

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Word Filled Wednesday: The Apple of His Eye

Word Filled Wednesday

I’m linking up with Internet Cafe Devotions (click here to learn more about ICD) for Word Filled Wednesday (click here to see this week’s edition).  WFW is a way for participants to share the message of God’s love creatively using a photograph or graphic image combined with a Bible verse.

For more information about Word Filled Wednesday, go here.


Monday Mingle: Picture Taking and Holiday Celebrating with Bad Kids

Makeup Free MondayMakeup Free Monday is hosted by The Beauty Bean as an initiative for women to celebrate real beauty.  I love makeup almost as much as I love shoes but I also like encouraging women to embrace their natural beauty.  Confidence is beautiful, makeup is the enhancer.

If you decide to participate in Makeup Free Monday let me know in the comments.

Monday 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 kind of camera do you have? Do you consider  yourself proficient?

I have a GE X500 Power Pro Series which I absolutely positively love!  It’s a bridge camera, meaning that it’s a hybrid point and shoot and SLR camera.  You can read my review of the camera here.  If you’re looking to buy a camera, I’d recommend the GE X500.

I think I’m pretty good with the camera, I’ve been asked to take pictures at church events and to take family pictures for a friend.  I’ve also started submitting my pictures in various groups on Flickr after having others encourage me to do so.  One day, I’d like to take a class because I know there’s more to taking pictures than just being able to point and shoot, ya know?

If you like, you can check out my pictures on Flickr by clicking here.

2.  Are you doing any holiday events on your blog this year?

Ummmm, no.

3.  Fill in the blank: My child is an angel, except when he/she ____________________________.

Eat all the snack foods.  I mean, I don’t eat a lot of junk food or anything but when my body wants something sweet it can have a temper tantrum of two~year~old proportions until I feed it something sweet.  And that ain’t easy in this house.  With three teenagers.

Last Tuesday, the twins turned 16 and I had to threaten them with bodily harm so I could get 2 pieces of birthday cake.  I gave them life and I had to threaten to take it away for a piece of cake.  What is that?

Next week’s questions are:

1.  Have you bought your kids Halloween costumes yet?  If so,what are they going to be?

2.  Do you prefer texting or talking on the phone?

3.  How/where do you get most of your ideas for blog posts?


Who Has Two Thumbs, Is Pretty Cool and Has the New Facebook Timeline?

This girl.

Yep, I took the plunge and decided to give the new Facebook Timeline a whirl.  As much as I complain about the changes to Facebook and as much as I hate waking up to find that ol’ Zuckerberg has tweaked the settings, I admit to being perversely curious about the new Timeline format.  To get the new Facebook, I followed the directions provided here by TechCrunch.

I have to say, just from my initial look~see, I like it.  A lot.  I like being able to look over my history and see where I was, who I was with and what I was doing at any given time.  I know others think this may be creepy but I find it fascinating.  You can go in and edit your past so to speak by eliminating things or providing more detail through pictures and words.  As a former archivist, I find this sort of digital scrapbook of my life to be a gift for my children.


Facebook Timeline Cover

Above is what Facebook refers to as the “Cover”.  This is the picture that you choose to represent you.  You can choose any picture to serve as your cover, which is a nice change from the row of tagged photos that used to appear at the top of the page.  Honestly, I hated that people would tag me in random pictures of birds, flowers, pencils, etc and I’d have to go through and untag myself.  Yep, I’m one of those people that has their profile set so that I have to approve any tagging.  You’ll also notice that your profile picture is still in the corner, you can click on that or or on your name to go directly to your profile.



Facebook Timeline ~ Time Line

On the right hand side is your timeline, you can click anywhere on that timeline to see what you were doing, feeling, reading, whatever, from the moment you signed up for Facebook to the present.  Really, it’s much cooler than it sounds.  My first status update was a very profound “Dani Vaughn-Tucker is at home.”  Yep, I’m proud.  See where it says “Born”?  That indicates the day you were, well, born.  You can go in and add pictures of yourself, interesting tidbits and other ephemera to document that oh~so~important date.  My twin sister and I were born in a car accident, I plan to add the newspaper clipping to my timeline.



Facebook Timeline ~ Activity

The Activity area lists all your posts and activities from your first day on Facebook to the present.  This allows you to see all your information, pictures, the apps you’re using and other information all in one place.  By clicking on “update info”, you can modify information such as job, personal information, etc.  When you select “view activity”, you can see all your actions for the day or any other specified time.  To go back to your page, all you have to do is click on your name or your avatar.  ”Home” takes you to your news stream, which basically looks like the same Facebook stream that was rolled out a few days ago.


Top Stories

Facebook Timeline ~ Top Stories

This is where the magic happens!  All of your top stories area displays your top photos, stories and other events.  You can scroll back in time or skip around to specific dates and see where you were and what you were doing by clicking the timeline on the right hand side of the screen. So very cool.

You also have the ability to highlight (by starring) or deleting stories in your timeline by clicking the little pencil.

Other little changes:

  • Status ~ on the left hand side; features little icons that symbolize life changes (e.g. got a new job), romantic status, new living arrangements (e.g. bought a house), health and wellness (yes, seriously) and a flag for achievement (e.g. learned a new language)
  • Map ~ shows all the places you’ve ever checked in (it even breaks it down by restaurant, shopping & retail stores and county locations); this is a little creepy ’cause it narrows it down all the way to the time, date and location (I don’t even remember checking in to some of those places ~ guess that’s why this is a good thing)
  • Friends ~ You can tell each month how many friends you’ve added and what they’ve been up to
  • Albums ~ feature one prominent picture along with a couple of smaller pictures; love this, as a photography geek, I like being able to see my friends’ pictures prominently displayed and, well, I like seeing my own pictures showcased too

Right now the only way for you to see the new Facebook Timeline profile is for you to enable it as a developer.  This requires one of two things, either verifying your account using a credit card or by adding a cell phone number.  If you’re not all that gung ho about seeing the new Facebook, you can always wait until 1 October when (I believe) everyone will be getting it.

However, if you have friends who are early adopters (and I do because that’s how librarians roll), you’ll see that their page looks just like what I’ve shown you above except that it’s all about them.  The left hand corner will also display a box containing a list of people that Facebook says is “People to Subscribe to”. Ummmm, I probably won’t be following those suggestions, nothing against Snoop Dogg, but I’m not interested in subscribing to him.

For other opinions on the new Facebook Timeline, you can check out the following:

Are you excited about the new Facebook Timeline?

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