Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Painting with a Twist

Last night, I went to Painting with a Twist.

As an apartment complex sponsored event, I didn't have to pay the full price, and it was an opportunity to check out something I'd want to try for a while.

At Painting with a Twist, you can paint with no artistic talent necessary! It's BYOB, so you bring your favorite beverage and snacks ... and it's all about getting creative and having fun. I LOVED it!

The instructor walks you through painting ...
the entire class is painting the same thing ...
although, of course, everyone's turns out different.

You start with a blank canvas. Here's mine:

Then the lady instructed us on how to start working on our background: Paint met canvas.

Ta da! The background is complete.

I know it looks like a 4-yr-old did it. It was still FUN.

And here you have it, the completed product!

(I won't quit my day job any time soon, let me tell you) but I had so much fun!!

 I plan to do it again soon ... and take my boys.
Or my grandmother.

Have you ever done a painting class like this?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Epic Battle of the Orange Sweatshirt

Sunday's Epic Battle with Remy was ...
over a sweatshirt.

Which I insisted he bring to his 1 1/2 hour outdoor batting practice in 40 degree weather.

I rushed home from work to attend his school Open House.
Then we rushed home to change clothes
and leave for his batting practice.

We loaded into the car and took off.
One block later, I realized he was in a t-shirt and shorts.
And it was COLD.
So, I turned around and went back home,
and made him run inside to get a sweatshirt.

He freaked out.
He didn't NEED the sweatshirt.
He didn't want to be late.
He hated me.
I was the worst mom ever

He ended up wearing it the entire practice.

Why does he fight me?
When I'm so clearly right?

After the practice, I got him to admit he was wrong.
and that I was right.
that he was GLAD he had his sweatshirt. 

Call me ridiculous, but I savored that moment
That moment of pure motherhood bliss. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Master Social Media Certification Scholarship Contest for U.S. Military Veterans

I'm so excited to be a part of something special for the men and women 
who have given so much for our country.

The company I work for, Splash Media, is giving away social media training 
to active and retired U.S. Military.

We're giving 50 scholarships to military veterans who want a career or training in social media.

 50 Scholarships!!

Our Master Social Media Certification is an 100% online, self-paced program offered through our accredited social media university, Splash Media U. 
Graduates of this program will become experts in content marketing, blog marketing, community building, and search engine optimized social media across the various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Blogging.

So, whether your wanting to learn more about social media marketing ... or wanting to embrace a career in social media, the Master Social Media Certification is the route to take.

 Go to the Splash U Scholarship Contest and check out the details.
You can nominate yourself or someone else 
(but the nominee must be an active or retired military vet or spouse.)

Good luck!

And if you're interested in writing a blog post about this contest, contact me 
and we can work out an extra scholarship 
to give away on your blog too!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

BlogHer Book Review: Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster was a wild book.

I didn't like it at first, but I was determined to finish it.
The character was unlikeable.
The tone was irritating.
I didn't think I was going to be able to keep reading ...
and then, after a while,
it grew on me,
as did the character.

The main character, Lissy Ryder, was a mean girl in high school,
popular, bitchy and completely self-centered.

And as she attends her 20th high school reunion,
we see she's still much the same,
but things start changing
and she's sent back in time to redo high school.

I'm intrigued by the thought of re-doing high school.
I enjoyed high school, it wasn't a bad time for me.
But, I definitely have things I wished I done different.

 I was too wrapped up in a guy (who I later married).
I wish I'd spent more time hanging with girlfriends and exploring life.

 But, I'd be terrified to change things
because I wouldn't want to lose the two most important things in my life currently, my boys.

This book was an interesting read,
and it makes you ponder your own high school years, that's for sure.

 Check out our BlogHer book club discussion.

And follow Jen Lancaster on Twitter!

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

BlogHer Book Review: Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner


Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner was an exciting read.

It's a book I would have read,
even if it wasn't sent to me for a book review.

I love mysteries.
Ever since Nancy Drew,
I've been a HUGE fan of reading fiction and looking for clues, trying to solve the mystery.

This story lived up to my expectations.

 In this pyschological thriller, a family is kidnapped for unknown reasons.
No ransom or reason is left for the cops.
The family is held in a remote, bizarre location with brutality and confusing actions.
As the reader, we go back and forth between the family and the cops,
and both perspectives add to the big picture ...
but the mystery isn't clear until the end.

Lisa Gardner is an excellent thriller writer, and this was one of those books that was hard to put down.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Despite my best intentions, I didn't ruin my 16-year-old's birthday

Yesterday, my firstborn turned 16-years-old. (How did that happen?!)

In Texas, this means you can finally apply for a driver's license.

Last summer, he took a driver's education course and a written test to receive his learner's permit. (Did I mention the 4 hours we spent at the DPS trying to get it? The DPS office in our smallish town is packed like that EVERY DAY!!)

Since receiving his learner's permit, he's been driving with me or his dad in the passenger seat ever since. (at first his little brother refused to ride in the car if his older brother was driving) 

It was stressful at first.
There were some near misses. (I stopped counting) 
With time and practice, he got better. 
He's a pretty good driver ... 

And then along comes his birthday, yesterday, when he was scheduled for the big driving test at the Texas DPS.***

***Side note - In North Texas, you have to schedule the driving test more than a month in advance in order to get the date you want. It's CRAZY. We called a month in advance and ended up having to schedule our appointment at a DPS on the other side of Dallas to make it on my son's birthday.  

The weekend before the test, he spent several hours practicing parallel parking in my grandmother's car, because it's smaller than my big ole boat-of-a-car.  (He took the test in her car also)

 The day before his test, I realized we needed a current VOE (Verification of Enrollment) from the high school. The one we had on file was from the summer and not valid anymore. That took some last minute calling and stressing.

And then the night before his test, I realized I didn't have the certificate of completion from his driver's training class.  and the driving school was only open specific hours. So, that induced more stress and calling and emailing and stalking the owner ...

Needless to say, we ended up making more than one trip to the DPS in Garland (almost two hours round trip) and a trip to the driving school as well, where we sat outside for a good thirty minutes in hopes they'd open early ...

(Waiting at the DPS, irritated with me for taking a photo)

You get the idea.
But, somehow, despite my intentions, we made it to the DPS with all our paperwork,
he was able to take the test 

(outside the DPS with his temporary license)

So, Texas, my firstborn is now on your roads.  

Please, please, please be gentle with him.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Things That Make Me Happy

A beautiful sunrise.
Taking photos of a beautiful sunrise.
Being able to share photos of a beautiful sunrise with family and friends
on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my blog.

A hot cup of tea when I sit down to my computer in the morning.
Cracking the spine on a mystery novel.
The delight on my Labrador's face when I walk in the door.
Curling up with a warm blanket on the couch to watch a movie or take a nap.
Walking through nature with my camera.
Spending time with and talking with my boys.
Laughing with my sisters.
Cooking over the holidays with my family.

What makes you happy?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Moments with My Teenager

Let me start by saying, my teenage son,
who's just weeks away from turning 16-years-old,
has been a responsible, trustworthy and pretty laid back teen.
(even when I mess with him)

However, there are occasionally moments.
Moments where he goes spacey ... or gets moody.

In the photo above, he's about to go into his bass lesson,
and he clearly has the moody bit going on.
I don't remember why.
Actually, there didn't need to be a reason.
He just was. Moody.

As for the spacey moments, here's the most recent example:

Monday, he left out chocolate (milk chocolate and caramel kisses. WRAPPED in foil),
which the dog promptly ate while we were gone, foil and all.

The same day, my teenager also almost started a fire in the toaster.

 I'm banning him from food.
All food.

 P.S. the dog is okay, thank god. (Chocolate is toxic to dogs, just in case you didn't know)

P.P.S I just scheduled his driving test at the DPS for his birth day.
(I may need to be medicated for that.)


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dogs Disocvered Social Media Before We Did

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to exercise my dog more,  
so, I've been going for walks around our local Town Lake with my sweet Annie.

It's peaceful, beautiful and calming.
There are big trees and lots of geese and ducks.


And I've noticed some patterns.
Annie always pees the minute she gets out of the car and hits the grass.
Then within the first 3 minutes, she has a bowel movement.
And then, as we walk a mile, so continues to pee every 5 minutes or so.


When she stops to pee the first time, I usually check in to the Foursquare app on my phone
and log in that I'm at the Town Lake Park.


And eventually, the correlation hit me.
The dog is peeing all around the park to let other dogs and animals know that she was there.
I'm signing into Foursquare to let my family and friends know I've been there.


We're not so different, her and I.
Maybe dogs are more advanced than we thought.