sick of wordpress

because it’s not self-hosted and I don’t feel like shelling out money to host it, wordpress is a pain in the ass.  i’m moving back to blogger.  it’s restricting being here and i can’t stand it.  Here’s the new address, http://writtenjen.blogspot.com

There’s also a new subscribe option or if you have a google account you can follow it that way if you want.  I’ll be taking this one down within the week.  As for the other one, the three of you that stop by on a regular basis just bear with me until I get it looking like I want it. Thanks

-Jen

Giveaway – Friends of Mel bracelet (Breast Cancer Awareness)

from the Friends of Mel Foundation:

Who We Are

 

It was Mel Simmons’ unique talent to lift the spirit of everyone who came in contact with her. She touched many other cancer patients and their caregivers. As a tribute to Mel, the Foundation was created to continue her work.

The mission of the Friends of Mel is to provide quality cancer care for the whole patient by funding cancer research, education and support.

Our goal is to support creative and promising projects that impact patient care at both the grass root and institutional levels. To date, through donations received for Mel’s Bracelet, over $2,000,000 has been gifted to programs that support our mission.

Leslie Loves Veggies is holding a WORLDWIDE (hear that Rach?) giveaway – 6 winners!!!  Three people will win the Special Edition Friends of Mel  Bracelet and three will win a Friends of Mel Bracelet.

 

Friends of Mel Bracelet

 

 

Special Edition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Friends of Mel Bracelet retails for $15, the special edition for $45.  Click over to Leslie Loves Veggies now to enter for your chance to win one.  Would make a great gift for someone special.  If you’re not in the mood to enter the contest but want a bracelet, Click over to Friends of Mel Foundation and make a $15 donation and receive the bracelet as a gift.

I like…

…that no matter what side of the bed we sleep on, Gizmo puts her head on my pillow – and her butt in Todd’s face.

(and what I don’t like is waking up after less than three hours’ sleep, stepping in cat puke in the dark and then realizing that some cat exploded not six inches away from the litter box…)

teenager

He’s a pretty good kid.  This year he’s even one C away from the honor roll.  He’s funny and laid back, generally easy to talk to but I can’t help wondering with every sigh, every condescending remark or statement, anything that comes out of his mouth in an “I’m better than you” tone of voice….I wonder if that’s going to be the moment I lose him to being a full fledged teenager.  Or if that moment’s just a hiccup.  Just him testing his wings, figuring out what kind of man he’s going to be.  Or maybe he’s just in a bad mood.

Lord knows I have enough bad moods for three families.  But I’m mom.  I run on two settings.  Fine and pissed off.  There’s really not a lot of middle ground.  I’m stable at those settings, dependable.

He’s a teenager which by law states that he’s never stable at any one setting at any one given time of the day.

So will tonight’s mumbling and sighing and stomping be the end of the mostly peaceful coexistence with a teenage boy?  Will it be next week’s attitude?  Were the endless smart ass comments last week a sign of worse things to come?

Please let it just be a bad mood.

GiveawayS – Chocolate, Scarves, Games & more

Happy Saturday, have a couple great giveaways to share.

First, head on over to New Age Mama.  I haven’t been able to stop by and not enter one of her contests!

Here are just a couple of the ones I’ve entered:

Singing Scarves -

A chance to win this gorgeous Lily Scarf.

click for your chance to win this gorgeous lily scarf

Chocolate Nation -

I want this.  Okay, I’d give it to someone I love, but I’d eat this little dino up for grabs in less than the time it takes me to get it out of the wrapper.

click the picture to win this delicious little dino

Trivial Pursuit Steal

This looks pretty neat – like Trivial Pursuit but easier (to play with the kids) and faster.

click the picture to enter the contest

Lazy Lizards Yoga -

Click the picture for a shot at winning the Lazy Lizards Yoga mat and instructional DVD for kids

click to enter the contest

Izzie & Friends -

These dresses are just too cute, especially the Batik collection.  You pick the size, the company picks the outfit.

click to enter to win a cute dress like this!

and finally (I think)

Scare Me Nots -

how cute are these freaky little animals?  I might want one for myself, and Alyssa whispered in my ear, “I’d really like one of those, no, really”.

click to enter

While you’re over at New Age Mama, make sure you subscribe to her blog, or like her on Facebook so you can get the new giveaways when they first come out.  Enjoy!

how i spent this friday

The man who lives across the street is a good friend.  He’s like a surrogate grandfather to my daughters.  He’s always looking out for the girls and I.  He’s not exactly elderly, but he’s no spring chicken, either.  He works nights and that’s a rough schedule for the youngest of men, let alone someone his age.  A month or so ago he had some branches cut back on a tree and for some reason the guys who cut them down left the limbs behind.    My neighbor got a good start on getting them chopped to workable pieces but work and life called him away.  Plus, it was nasty hot.  So one day when I knew he’d be sleeping I snuck into his yard and got to work cleaning up some of the debris.  I got most of it finished.  This morning I finished off the rest.

His daughter and grandkids are coming to visit…”some time in October”.   He really wants to get his basement picked up so they’ll have somewhere to sleep and hangout.  I told him I’d help him, no problem.  He’s strong but doesn’t need to be hauling trash and furniture up and down the stairs.

Today we got started.  By the end of the few hours we put in, I was depressed, overwhelmed and filled with such a feeling of disbelief.

My neighbor is quite seriously ONE piece of paper away from being a hoarder.

not his house, but a pretty close representation

I could easily see why he hadn’t gotten very far in his own efforts to work on the house.  It was quite daunting walking down the stairs and into what can only be described as the biggest pile of stuff and crap I’ve ever been faced with.   He was a DJ for 20 years so has equipment stacked everywhere.  I was able to convince him to let me play with Google and see what he could get for some of it and was able to insist he throw out an amp that wasn’t worth what it would cost to fix.  He has enough CDs and records to open his own store.

I am not an aggressive person.  But when it came to doing this with him, I found the inch of assertion I needed to nudge him along.  He seemed embarrassed and frustrated and laughed nervously about wondering where all this stuff came from.  He wanted to haul a 5-foot long, 2-foot deep plastic bin full of CDs up the stairs.  I told him there was no way I could lift that, we were going to have to sort the box.  I set him about the task of sorting through papers (because I can’t very well go through his papers and know what’s important/what’s not) and I started getting his CDs into a more moveable arrangement.  He has a stack of vinyl taller than I am, so I had him sort through those and he got through about four boxes before he needed to get up and move onto something else.  Many of them were his mother’s and I could tell he didn’t want to think about getting rid of any of them.

To make a long day shorter, we took several pieces of furniture, computer monitors, CPUs, over half the CDs and a few other things to his rental house and stored them in the basement there (which, by the way, is just as bad as his own basement).  By the time we finished for the day – I insisted he go get something to eat and go to bed – you could tell we had started in the room…but you sure couldn’t tell we’d done very much.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the one room.  There’s a bedroom and a storage room in just as bad shape.  Possibly worse.

How does it get like that?  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I was completely depressed when I left.  I wanted to cry for several hours afterward.  (I wanted to cry when I was there).  There’s so much.  And I just kept thinking that when his time comes, his children are going to have to sift through mountains of papers, CDs, furniture, DJ equipment, hats, shoes, gloves, plastic bags (yes, plastic bags; he refused to throw away any of them), books, VHS tapes, DVDs and more.

There’s no way we’re going to get this done by “some time in October” for his daughter’s visit.  Not when I have to [understandably] hold his hand every step of the way.  I could get it done in a weekend.  At least make it easier for him to sort through things.  But I really don’t get the impression that he’s really up for that.  His job this week is to go through the papers so that when I’m off again next Friday we can really make a dent.  A tangible dent.

I will, however, never underestimate the feelings of hoarders or the families of hoarders.

My Wins

Frustrated with my job (more specifically the mind-numbing lack of) and annoyed with the oodles of hours I’ve been spending seeking other, more gainful employment (what?  the recession is over?  unemployment rates are dropping? PFFT!) I started seeking out sweepstakes and contests.  Christmas is coming and with a big family gathering on the way, there’s lots and lots of little ones (well, teen & under) who need some loot.  Sweeps seemed the way to go.

And it’s addicting.  And, honestly occasionally time-consuming.

But SO MUCH FUN to get that “Congratulations!” email first thing in the morning.  And as someone who’s rarely lucky, never wins anything and is pretty sure if it’s going to rain, it’ll be on me, it’s really REALLY REALLY exciting to get those emails.  I’ll keep a list of my wins & hope I inspire you to go do some sweeps yourself :)

10/7

Another book win and I’m really excited about this one.  I originally wanted to give it to one person but now i’m thinking someone else…decisions, decisions.  Haven’t really entered any for today.  Don’t feel fantastic and lack the concentration or desire to sift through what I want to enter blah

10/6

I don’t actually recall entering this but what the hey.  The Wave by Susan Casey from A Musing Reviews

Choice of Jewelry (up to $35) from Fantasy Jewelry Box.  This will be a Christmas present too, now I just have to figure out what to pick!

*on a separate note, the Namaste foods prize pack arrived today with Taco Pasta & Blondie mix to try out.  Can’t wait!

10/5

Ugh.  I missed an email.  It didn’t come with the regular congratulations; I missed my 48-hour respond or die cutoff but am still listed as a winner on the site so we’ll see.  It’s another book…will most likely be a present as well.

HOWEVER

On my facebook feed I see a “We have a winner” post from a site and figured I’d click it just to see.  I hadn’t gotten an email so I didn’t figure it was me.  IT WAS!  It’s a really cool necklace from Michelle Chang Jewelry on Etsy.  I won’t tell you which one, but I’ll tell you which it wasn‘t and which I just LOVE:

click to see the full description

10/4

Today was another double-win day.  Both are going to be Christmas presents but since I don’t think my cousin Hazel surfs much web quite yet, I can say that one of them is for her – a book and a music CD.   Yay!

10/3

Won TWO things today but I’m not posting either as they’re both likely to be Christmas presents :)

9/29

From The Cartoon Lovin’ Momma I won this sack of Namaste Foods.  I actually can’t wait to try this because I’m curious to know if [expensive] gluten-free  foods might be a little nicer to my Crohn’s Disease.

9/28

From a goodreads contest for first-read books.   The site is pretty neat too, since I can’t ever think of something I want to read, and am always scared to pick a new author.  This site has lots of ways to interact and the books have reviews from “real” people, not just the ones boasting how great a book is.  My first win.  Yay

..to be continued…

ps – i won’t be posting any Christmas present wins, that’d defeat the purpose, i’ll just post if I won something I intend on using for Christmas :)

Giveaway – Barefoot Books (ages 3-7)

Lots of you have toddlers and these books would be a great Christmas or birthday gift.

You can go here to sign up for the contest (contest ends 10/14)  or here to check out other Barefoot Books

Giveaway – Scentsy CANDLES

My update from Sweeps4Bloggers made it through my spam filter thankfully.  I love candles.  I also love anything that can cover up the smell of the teenager, the daughter, the dogs, the cats and the husband!  (I smell like a rose…all the time!)

So check out this post on Sweeps4Bloggers and subscribe to them as well so you don’t miss out on good smelly stuffs!

This is the cute warmer being given away:

Cute, huh?  For more info, head over to Sweeps4Bloggers.  You can check out other cute stuff from Scentsy as well.

Giveaway – Lawry’s Seasoning

New Lawry’s seasoning mixes & marinades:  (Entry Link below)

Marinades

  • Szechuan Sweet & Sour BBQ gives meat a delicious sweet and sour flavor with a touch of Szechuan heat
  • Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato includes extra virgin olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet red bell peppers and the perfect blend of herbs

Seasoning Mixes

  • Asian Style Beef & Broccoli – This easy to prepare stir fry meal will remind your family of their favorite Asian restaurant. The dish combines beef, broccoli and seasonings with a hint of garlic. Serve it over rice and you have a complete, satisfying meal.
  • Chimichurri Burrito Casserole – Lawry´s gives the familiar Burrito casserole a new twist with this traditional Latin American sauce. With a few simple fresh ingredients, mealtime just got a lot more exciting.
  • Mediterranean Sundried Tomato & Garlic Chicken – Add a taste of the Mediterranean to your family´s casserole. This easy to bake casserole combines chicken, pasta, tomatoes and Feta cheese to easily make a flavorful meal any night of the week.
  • Tuscan Style Chicken Marsala with Garlic and Basil – Chicken Marsala is a restaurant favorite, but it might not make the menu at home. This effortless version comes together on your stovetop with just a few fresh ingredients. Flavorful garlic and basil gives this meal its own Tuscan flair, perfect for serving over pasta or rice.

You can go here to New Age Mama’s blog for the sign-up information.  Enjoy!

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