In an effort to make my Christmas easy and stress-free this year, I ordered photo Christmas cards though picnik.com and QOOP.com. I chose a beachy California shot from our vacation to Pismo Beach this past September and used the "Ortonish" effect to make it all soft and dreamy, then went step-by-step though picnik + QOOP's greeting card maker to create & order the cards. It was super easy and FAST; I got the box of cards in about three days! I did just a brief Christmas letter this year incorporating photos from my trips to Green Bay, Vegas, Pismo Beach and Morro Bay as well as a before and after shot of the newly landscaped back yard (using picnik.com's "Vignette" effect which is one of my favourites!). My new printer did a great job on them even though it's not specifically made for photos, and the whole thing was simply a piece of cake! Now I'm all done and can just sit back and relax! Merry Christmas!!!
It has been raining constantly since Friday afternoon. Sometimes it's just sprinkling, sometimes it's a freakin' delugue, but it's been wet, wet, wet for days! When it's really pouring we will get standing water in our dry creek bed and some "ponding" in the gravel patio, but when it lets up a bit, the water drains pretty quickly away. This is very good news since it appears that the rain will not be letting up until at least Thursday. Maybe.
The point of this blogfest is to share an excerpt of your NaNoWriMo novel. It can be any scene but try to keep it at 500 words so we can all get around to as many blogs as possible.
Honestly, I'm not signing up for this Blogfest just because the graphic is adorable (but it is, isn't it?!). I'm doing it because even though I didn't finish NaNoWriMo, I still kinda like the story I started writing, but I wonder if it's worth completing. So, what better way to find out if it's crap or not than to put 500 words of it out there for all the world to read and see what people think!
Or something like that. Anyway, if you're curious about my latest creative failure effort, stop by on January 3rd and be sure to let me know what you think! Cheers!
Ahh, this picture makes me all nostalgic for the chilly joys of WeetaCon! Sadly I will be missing the 2011 gathering (due to a Big Awesome Trip in the works for next spring or summer), but I can always look forward to 2012!
Yeah, I know I said I probably wasn't going to do any challenges this year since I pretty much failed to complete the ones I had this year, but I found a few that sound fun, so I couldn't resist! (The E-Book Challenge is just a maybe right now because while I'm thinking of getting an e-reader of some kind, I haven't fully committed to the idea of them, yet!) I will post with an update when I have some titles to share! Cheers!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week I'm reading the third book inthe Maximum Ride series, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson. The first two books were very exciting and fun reads, and so far this one is as well. I love Max's snarky voice and the action-packed story makes it a really fast read. Here are my teasers from page 134:
"Is it time for us to die?" Nudge asked.
"I don't know, sweetie," I told her. "But if it is, I'm taking a bunch of 'em with me."
I know that for most people doing yard work isn't on the to-do list during the month of December, but this is the central coast of California, and our mild-to-warm days coupled with some gentle rain showers made it necessary for me to pull out the push mower today and deal with the shaggy front lawn as well as the scattering of leaves on the sidewalk and in the gutter.
Luckily, I only have to do the front yard, as this past spring we had our backyard completely redone so it's very low maintenance! It's also looking fantastic and I think all the plants survived the hard freeze we had a week or so ago (and by hard freeze I mean our overnight lows were 17 to 20 degrees). I was particularly concerned about our little Madrone tree, but as you can see from the top photo, it looks good. Also looking good is our little iris garden (especially since mom cleaned out all the white flowers and trimmed off all the dead leaves).
While you can't really tell from the picture, trust me, this rosemary plant is COVERED with bees!
And, I was pleased to see some lovely new growth on the Oregon gooseberry plant:
But I think my favourite thing in the backyard right now is our birch tree which still has most of its leaves, all of which have turned a beautiful yellow colour:
Mom and I were really happy to have such a beautiful Saturday to get the yard work done, as it looks like there's more rain coming this next weekend! Of course that means more yardwork in my future, but I don't mind. It's great exercise and is so very satisfying when we're all done mowing, raking, blowing and sweeping, and looking over a beautifully manicured front lawn!
Tonight we had our Annual Toys for Tots party at work. We make a game out of our charitable gift-giving by randomly choosing the name of a co-worker who has been given a kids age. For example, I got E.D. at age 12, so I purchased what I thought E would have played with when she was 12-years-old. I picked a Bohemian bracelet-making kit and a YA book (Radiance by Alyson Noel). I wasn't 100% happy with my gift when I bought it (I really wanted to get one of those cool digital journals by Girl Tech, or even just a nice paper diary and fun pen, but Target didn't have either of those), but it turns out it was perfect, as E told me she was really into the bohemian/hippie stuff when she was young, and in fact was still into it today!
Turns out I was 8 (a totally awesome age, in my humble opinion!), and got two great games and some colourful sidewalk chalk:
It was a fun little party - it's always nice to have these "down times" when we can all just relax and just enjoy hanging out together without having to worry about work! And, best of all, there are now lots of great presents for some kids who might otherwise not have had anything!