« November 2008 | Main | January 2009 »

23 posts from December 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

10 Great Resolutions & 50 for you ...

10goodthings

So did you have enough time to reflect on those things you want to do in 2009 that will improve the quality of your life?  Did you take the time to maybe read some of the comments and be inspired?  I know I did!  I absolutely love anything - contest or not - that makes me think, reflect, improve.  Mental aerobics is what I call it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your "10 Things" for 2009, and some of you even offered up more.  I didn't even think the goals and resolutions were unreasonable either.  I mean, with each one that I read, I thought that you were reasonable in your expectations for reaching those goals and resolutions successfully.  Now, you better be careful, because this time next year we are going to have to revisit this to see how we all did.  Deal?  Good.

>> Keep Reading

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Well, I'll be Walking a Little Taller Today!

The 2008 Weblog Awards

Thank you to the Judges at the 2008 Weblog Awards for nominating Raisin Toast as one of 14 Finalists in the category of "Best New Blog!"  Wow, what an honor! 

"The Weblog Awards is one of the most reputable blog award competitions on the web.  It is considered to be the world's largest blog competition with over 545,000 votes cast in the 2007 edition alone, and nearly 2 million votes cast in all Weblog Award competitions since 2003.  If you look back at their history of competition and winners, you can easily distinguish this competition by the integrity of its voting, the quality of its judging, and the winners from years past.  This year, the 2008 Weblog Awards opened for public nominations in 49 categories on November 3, 2008.   Voting for selected finalists kept the judges up nights I am sure, as the competition was tough this year with approximately 5000 blog nominations.  I am honored and humbled to be in such great company of bloggers.


>> Keep Reading

Monday, December 29, 2008

Want to Learn to Draw and Paint? ©

CharlotteSummer

I have had a number of readers and friends ask me for my recommendations for instructional material to learn to draw and paint.  I hear often "I wish I could paint like you" or "I wish I knew how to draw."  "It really is not all that difficult," is what I tell them and that usually gets me a reply - "That's easy for you to say!" 

>> Keep Reading

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Movie - The Family Man

TheFamilyMan

Sometimes I just like to kick back and watch a good movie, especially on a Sunday afternoon.  It's quiet here.  The kids are upstairs playing.  Big Bear is cleaning up his office.  Adolf and Hannah are asleep at my feet.  I think I'll watch a movie.  You want to watch it with me?  I love sharing a movie.

This is one of my favorites.  I've seen it about 5 times already, but I love watching it again, especially with you! 

>> Keep Reading

Saturday, December 27, 2008

10 Good Things - and 50 for You

10goodthings

Have you given much thought to this coming year?  Do you have a list of goals that you would like to reach in 2009?  Have you thought much about your 2008 resolutions and goals, and were you able to make them happen? 

Well, I'll tell ya, I'm a bit of a slug myself when it comes to reaching those goals and resolutions, but that only served to make my resolve even stronger because I will be 50 this year and daggone-it I really want to look good and feel good when I turn the big 5-0.  It doesn't seem possible.  I mean, I'm still 25 and I act like I'm 17.  So how is it that I'm almost 50?  The gray hair is a dead giveaway, though, and so is the need for a daily afternoon nap I suppose.

>> Keep Reading

Friday, December 26, 2008

Here's To A Wonderful Year Ahead ©

HD_DaveBarnhouse

There have been a lot of good memories in 2008, and although the last quarter of the year has been tough due to Big Bear's layoff from Avaya, we've been healthy and we have each other and, well, we're doing okay - for now.

Big Bear has been working in the garage and working on his bike.  Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees here in Charlotte and he really wanted to go riding.  Today, however, it is so cold I have 2 quilts over my lap and some fluffy socks on my feet to keep my toesies warm.  Oh, and of course a fire in the fireplace. 

>> Keep Reading

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Word of Hope - A Hand of Friendship

Wordofhope

It may only be Christmas Eve, but knowing that today and tomorrow I am going to be very busy with my family and friends, I wanted to wish everyone who stops by here to know that I wish you a very Merry Christmas. 

I know that this year, more so than years past, has been, and still is, especially difficult for so many of you out there, and I understand.  It is a tough year for us too, particularly considering how my Big Bear was laid off over 3 months ago and still has not been able to find a good job.  We're getting down to the wire here financially, and have about another 3-4 months to go before we completely hit a wall, start biting off our nails, start selling our clothes, our cars, or whatever we have to sell to stay afloat in our home and feed our family.  For some reason, though, I don't think it will come to that.  I honestly believe that Bob will find the right job for him when the time is right and that we will be okay.  My Big Bear has never let us down, and we have the good Lord looking over us, too.  We've been blessed in this life, and most importantly, we have each other and we are all healthy.

>> Keep Reading

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dancing Queen Winner!

AdobeCS4&Lightroom.jpg by you.

So, you want to go dancin'?  I've often wondered why there are no longer any good places to go dancing.  Especially since I grew up in the 70s and 80s and that is, it seems, all I ever did for fun - dance.  And I was good at it too.  I made the "hustle" look good - let me tell ya - in heels, miniskirts, and all.  But, that was a long time ago.  Now I just hang out in my pajamas with no makeup, slippers, and messy hair.  Such is age I suppose - and motherhood - and cleaning toilets - and picking up after everybody - and doing laundry.  Okay Already!  Let's get to the winner for goodness sakes!

>> Keep reading

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dancing Queen & Photoshop - a Marriage Made in Photography Heaven

img256_Original&Final.jpg by you.

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  And sometimes what you gotta do ain't pretty.  Take this before and after photo for instance.  What was I thinking?  I mean, I had my hand on the tush of a male model and I was listening to my own heartbeat.  You've got to be kidding right?  Nope.  Let me tell you, that when I was in my 20s I was sowing my oats - and lots of 'em.

And you better read the rest of this post if you want a chance to win Adobe Photoshop CS4 - oh, and Adobe Lightroom too!

>> Keep Reading

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Waltzing the Splendor Winners!

Waltzing

I am happy to announce the winners of the wonderful Jazz CD by Accomplished Jazz musician and composer, Claire Ritter!  You will enjoy the music for years to come. 

>> Keep Reading

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Starting the Day Off with Santa ... and a Jazzy Gift for You after the Concert!

Santa

Well, sorta.  It was the day that our children, Sarah and Matthew were going to be entertaining the masses (albeit small masses) at Claire Ritter Studios, and we thought it would be a good idea to start their day - and ours - off with a wonderful breakfast.  So, we went to one of our favorite breakfast spots - The Big Dog Cafe, in Waxhaw, NC - and who do you suppose was cooking up the eggs and bacon?

>> Keep Reading

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Very Special Friend ... She's the Beth-est

SpecialFriend

Today is a very special day for 2 people in my life.  One is my dear friend, Beth, and the other is my grandson, Glen.  They share a birthday.  Today, however, I am going to share a story with you about my friend, Beth.  Today is her birthday.  She is "choke, choke, cough, cough, see no evil, hear no evil" - years old.  She has been the bestest (is that a word?) friend ever - ever since - now I have to think about this - since - uh - 1983?  or is that 1984?  Oh well, who cares about that, she is one very cool chick, let me tell you all about her.

>> Keep Reading

Sunday, December 14, 2008

De-Light-ful Gingerbread with Butterscotch Sauce - and another Contest for YOU!

Waffler

I'M READY TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNER(S) OF THE WILLIAMS & SONOMA ALL-CLAD 4-SQUARE WAFFLER!

>> Keep Reading

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We've Got Our First Date Winners!

FirstDateWinners

Are you excited?  Are you biting your nails?  Are you coming back to your computer every 5 minutes to see if I posted the winner yet?  Ahh, come on - you know you are!  There is only one hitch - you can't unwrap it until Christmas - deal?  I know you're wishin' I would just get to the point - right?  The winner?  Who's that?  hee hee.  I love giving you all a hard time.  It makes my day.  Well, I suppose you'll just have to read on to see who it is, but first ...

>> Keep Reading

Friday, December 12, 2008

Frontgate - Not the Place to Buy a Christmas Tree

Frontgate Noble Fir

Where do I start - how about in 2004.  We purchased a Noble Fir from Frontgate for about 700.00.  Christmas 2004 the tree was beautiful.  Christmas 2005, we had some issues with the lights and tried to correct the problem ourselves.  Christmas 2006, I got shocked pretty bad - the electricity went thru my right arm.  We called Frontgate right away and took down the tree, and Frontgate told us to box up the Noble Fir and return it.  They, in turn, would replace the tree with another Noble Fir.

Continue Reading in Home & Garden ...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Date Jitters - and a BIG Nikon Surprise at the End For You ...

Firstdate

Can you remember your first date?  Your first kiss?  That first tingle up and down your spine?  Can you recall the feelings of excitement and nerves because you didn't know how to act or what to say without sounding - uh - stupid and childish?  I know I sure can, and last night, my daughter Sarah was standing in the driveway holding her puppy, Hannah, waiting for me to get home from a girl's lunch out with my friend Alison - to share some exciting news with me. 

>> Keep Reading

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Time for Gift Giving

VFA

It's time for gift giving - and this year I am making sure that I am prepared - for you!  So, I created a little storefront at Zazzle so that you might be able to enjoy my paintings on note cards and a 2009 Calendar.

>> Keep Reading
 

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My Scoop on Blogging

Blogging

I recently had a college student contact me with questions about blogging, and I thought it was a great subject for today's post since I have had a number of people email me with questions about blogging and how to start a blog.  I've even tried to help a few of my readers start their own blog and have enjoyed helping them and others.  I agreed to help Yudy with her questions and in doing so, was so impressed with her questions, thought that this would be helpful information for some of my readers who want to start their own blog.  Hope it helps!  This is what she wrote:

>> Keep Reading

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Yummy! Platinum Blondies Holiday Goodness and a Surprise for You at the End!

DSCN2453_2.jpg by you.

Don't they look delicious?!!  I want one.  Now.  How about we bake them first.  And I'll bet if you bake them on Christmas Eve, Santa will love you for it.  By the way, those Tomato & Mozzarella Skewers were such a big hit at Thanksgiving, that we took some more with us to a casual get-together of friends and they were a big hit again.  Thanks Beth!  So let's get to the kitchen and whip up some Platinum Blondies.  How about it? 

>> Keep Reading

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNER!  Click the link below to see who it is ...


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sarah Plays Scott Joplin

Sarahplays

Well, sorta.  Welcome to our Saturday afternoon.  Big Bear is working in the yard, kids are running in and out of the house, and occasionally, they will sit down and play the piano among all the ruckus going on - constantly. 

>> Keep Reading

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Are You in the Doghouse?

Doghouse

Well, are you?  Lately, there has been a surge of internet advertising that involves short movie clips, and this one has got to be the best one I've seen yet for the holiday season.  I also want my Big Bear to avoid being thrown in the doghouse as he has a number of times.  Oh, this is going to be fun telling you these stories.

>> Keep Reading

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Take Control of Your Identity - Before Someone Else Does

Takecontrol

In other words - learn from my mistakes.  As of last week, I had my identity stolen, and some Blast-turd hacked into my PayPal account and then my bank account and tried to convert 5 transactions totalling 1845 dollars into cash.  Wrong.  "We don't have any money, dude - and you messed with the wrong person.  I hope you fry in hell and justice finds its way to your back door.  And, if you haven't heard before now - Stealing another person's identity for any reason is a Federal Crime!!! You Fool!"  What a mess it made of our life just after Thanksgiving too.  As if we don't have enough issues right now, having to deal with understanding identity theft wasn't exactly on my list of priorities - until now.

>> Keep Reading

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Blonde & Blue - Moving Forward

Blondeandblue

Many of you have asked how Alison is doing and it was time for me to give you a Blonde & Blue update on my dear friend, Alison.  The move was long and exhausting, but it was the best move she has made.  Alison is with family - us - and although we have been "friends" for 34 years, I feel like she is family.  I believe that when you treat your friends like family, and your family like friends - well, you can't go wrong. 

>> Keep Reading