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March 2012
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May 2012


This weekend mom and I bought and planted some very pretty (and hopefully tough!) flowers for our pots in the front yard and back garden. Originally we were going to buy some African marigolds because they looked amazing when we saw them inside the garden center at Home Depot a couple weeks ago, and the plant info indicated "full sun". However, when we walked up to Home Depot on Saturday, we saw a bunch of them sitting outside, in full sun, and ... wow, they didn't look so good. The flowers were smaller and looked kinda fried, and the leaves were really wilted and generally they were some sad-looking plants. The African marigolds we saw inside? In the shade? Looked amazing: huge, bright beautiful blooms and full, green leaves. Full sun? Really? Maybe not so much.

So we decided against those flowers, and started looking around for something else to put in our pots. It was hard. Everything said "full sun", but could we really believe it? This sun is brutal. Could these plants really take it?  We contemplated cactus, but the idea of planting the prickly beasts turned me right off. We contemplated ice plant, but it's really a ground cover not a container plant, so, in the end, I decided against it. We even contemplated decorative grasses, but, again, we need something for containers, and it's such a pain when stuff outgrows the pots.

le sigh!

Suddenly, we came across some minature roses, et voila! Problem solved! Roses do great here, expecially in the front. My Midas Touch rose has been blooming like crazy, and our neighbour's roses are exploding now, too. And, these roses were made specifically for containers!!! Score!! I grabbed a couple red ones that I thought would look good with my yellow roses and blue house.  We also grabbed a half flat of zinnias because they were so pretty and we still needed something for the back garden. 


We got everything planted Saturday evening, but we're going to keep all the pots along the side of the house where it gets part shade just to give everything a chance to adjust to their new living conditions. I figure I'll put everything in it's proper place on Tuesday after I mow the lawn. I'm pretty excited about my choices, and hope everything does well!


Next week: tomatoes and bell peppers! Yay!

Teaser Tuesday: Fear by Michael Grant #teasertuesday

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 so excited to be reading Michael Grant's latest Gone novel, Fear!! I really enjoy this series even though it's dark, depressing, and sometimes pretty gross. I'm emotionally invested in these kids, and while I certainly don't want it to end, I'm curious as to how Michael Grant is going to resolve the whole thing. Anyway, here are my teasers from page 60:

The facility had been set up before the coming of the FAYZ. The government had known of, or at least suspected, the very odd things beginning to occur in the months before the barrier. 

NaBloPoMo April 2012

Beautifying the Front Yard

Our front yard has been looking a bit ragged around the edges lately, so mom and I decided to replace the edging and freshen it up a bit. The old edging was just some plastic stuff we bought probably a hundred years ago, and not only were many of the pieces sunk down in the ground to the point of being totally buried and overgrown with grass, many of them were broken and faded and just plain nasty! So, I enlisted the help of my professional basketball player cousin (and his truck) to pick up seventeen concrete edgers, some black plastic edging, a couple bags of bark and a couple bags of gravel. 


This morning, mom and I headed out to what we thought was going to be a long, tough day of digging and sod cutting. We prepared by slathering on the sunscreen, chilling bottles of Vitamin Water, and donning garden hats and gloves. 


As it turned out, however, the whole process went smoother than we expected. The old, plastic edging pulled out of the ground super easy, and the new concrete edgers fit perfectly in the dug-out space. After just an hour and a half, we added the fresh bark and called it a day.



Oh, there's still more to do, but we're in no hurry, and also it's pretty hot out, so we'll take care of the other little project another time. Like, maybe next weekend. 

In the meantime, here's some pretty pictures:




Oh, and Happy Earth Day! It was two years ago today that we had half of our backyard landscaped and had our little Madrone tree planted. Here's what it looked like April 22, 2010:


And here's what he looks like today:


Everything looks really good; we only lost a couple plants, and we're not really heartbroken over them, so it's no big. We tested the drip system, and it's working perfectly! We just need to do a little trimming and we'll be set for the summer! Then we can spend our free time day tripping to SLO, the beach, or just chillin' in our own backyard:



Teaser Tuesday: Above by Leah Bobet #teasertuesday #above

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 Above by Leah Bobet. I wasn't too sure about this book when I first started it, but it's really grown on me now, and I'm really enjoying it. I hate to put it down and can't wait to pick it up again. Here are my teasers from page 74 of my nook:

The Whitecoat house in the park stands silent, window-broke and windblown in the middle of the overgrown field. Empty as  a bricked-off subway tunnel. The shadows flow into it, stripping the sparkel from the bits of broken glass. They puddle darkness on its rooftops like a growing sore: Whitecoat place. Bad place. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

NaBloPoMo April 2012

K is for Kangaroo #bloggingfromatoz


I've always loved this darling little ceramic kangaroo. It originally belonged to my dad, and now it's mine. I guess it was intended to store loose change or jewelery, and a man's wallet could fit in the little pouch the kangaroo is carrying. I don't know why he's wearing boxing gloves. 



I particularly love his smile. He's always so happy and he makes me happy, too!

And, no, he's not for sale. 


NaBloPoMo April 2012


I is for Igigi @weetacon #bloggingfromatoz

One of the super-fun activities we had planned for Weetacon was an Igigi fashion show. Yes, we had a real live fashion show, and some of us - yours truly included! - got to be models and strut our stuff down the runway in gorgeous designer clothes much to the delight of our applauding, cheering fans, and the ever-voracious paparazzi.

Or, maybe the runway was really  the Waterford Room at St. Brendan's Inn, and the cheering crowds and paparazzi were a bunch of our best friends who were armed with digital and/or camera phones. It was one of the two.  But, the designer clothes? That was real!  Our favourite plus-size fashion designer, Yuliya Raquel of Igigi , graciously supplied several beautiful dresses and outfits for us to wear and keep in return for our review of the items! 

I guess this would be a perfect place for a general disclaimer that I totally stole from Suzanna (who apparently stole it from KarenD):

 The jacket in this entry was provided to me for review purposes by Igigi. The content of this entry was not dictated by Igigi; I get to keep the jacket for my personal use.

I chose to model the Farrah Jacket in black, and paired it with a pink tank top and long, black skirt for the show. I'm not usually a jacket person, but I when I saw it on the website, I thought it was cute and would be good for work, and it turns out I was right on both counts! I went with my regular top size of 14/16 and it fit me pretty well - snug, but not too tight. I thought the sleeves were a bit short on me, but the stretchy jersey fabric allowed me to tug them up a bit, which I actually prefer to do with long sleeves anyway. 

Normally I am not comfortable with short or cropped items on top and I prefer to have a tunic top or cardigan that is long enough to conceal my ample bottom. However, this jacket, with the cascading front detail, was just so adorable I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give the cropped style a try.  It's fitted to the waist then flares a little bit on the hips which gave me more of an hourglass shape that was quite flattering. In the end, I was not self-conscious or uncomfortable wearing the jacket in public, and even got really wonderful compliments from a couple ladies at work!

This is a very versatile jacket that can be dressed up or down. I dressed it up for work with a light pink blouse and a pair of grey trousers, and I plan to dress it down with a pair of jeans and white tee-shirt for casual Friday. Just about any style of necklace - short or long, thin or chunky - would go with this jacket, but I probably wouldn't try a scarf with it. It goes very well with a lanyard and Official Work I.D. Badge, too, for what it's worth! I have a few floral pins I would like to try with it, too, to add a splash of colour. 

Overall, I really like the Farrah Jacket and I'm sure I will get a lot of use out of it. The jersey fabric is stretchy and comfortable and also makes it perfect for folding and travelling. When I pulled it out of my suitcase after returning from Weetacon, I just put it right on a hanger and it was perfect - no pressing required! The jacket retails for $88.00, but is very well constructed (I've got a BS in Fashion Merchandising, so I know what I'm talking about! :-)) and I believe it will last for a long time, so long as I take care of it. This is only the second Igigi item I have (The other is a long-sleeve black tee-shirt with a fabric rose at the neckline. I don't remember the name, but I bought it after seeing KarenD wearing it during a previous Weetacon), but I may have to add one or two more items to my wardrobe after wearing the Farrah jacket and seeing the other ladies modelling some beautiful dresses at the Weetacon Igigi Fashion Show!

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos I took of myself in the jacket, but you can still get an idea of how it fit on me. 


And, here's a front and back shot of the jacket on the hanger as well as a close up of the lovely cascade detail on the front. 



And now here's the best part: the CONTEST!!! Leave me a comment and good luck!

Want a chance to shop at Igigi on us? Just go to the Igigi website, pick out the garment you'd love to have for your very own and leave a comment here on this post, telling me exactly how you'd accessorize your new Igigi fashion and where you plan to wear it. One lucky commenter will receive a free $50 gift certificate. But wait, that's not all. Each of our Weetacon Igigi reviewers will be giving away a $50 gift certificate to Igigi, so you can enter by leaving one comment on each of those reviews too. Yes, you read this right: Weetacon and Igigi are giving away over $1000 in Igigi by Yuliya Raquel gift certificates! The only catch is that you must enter by May 15 and you can only enter once per review. Winners will be announced on Weetacon Igigi review page by May 18th.


NaBloPoMo April 2012


H is for Handmade @weetacon #bloggingfromatoz

One of the fun activities we participate in during Weetacon is the Charity Raffle. It began in 2008 as a small affair with just a few items up for bid that raised four hundred bucks. This year's raffle extravaganza included a bake sale, Pets of Weetacon calendar and Weetacon swag sale, and ultimately raised almost four thousand dollars!! Yay, us! All the money goes to Paul's Pantry, a local Green Bay non-profit food pantry.  

This year there were tons of amazing, awesome and wonderful items for us to fight over buy tickets for,  and I had my eye on a few of them. Most of the items I wanted I didn't win (but they did go to good, deserving homes, I'm sure!), but I did win two of the items I really really wanted. One of them was this:

A pottery set handmade by our very own Wendy Bix! (and, no, the other item I won is not the Hawaiian lava with a little surfer dude sculpture. my parents bought that on their honeymoon after they remarried in '79 or something like that.) She actually had a few pottery items at the auction, but this was the set I won. It's a lovely pierced tray with a small cup. The detailing on the tray is awesome! It must've taken quite a while to get all the piercings along the edges done so perfectly (and without punching through the edge, like I probably would've done!), and I love the design in the middle.

The cup is adorable, and there's something so medieval and rustic about it that makes me want to drink mead or ale out of it!

Wendy suggested this set be used for chips and dips, but I think I will use it to store some of my teeny tiny earrings, rings and other good jewlery so I don't lose or damage them. Because I'm pretty darn good at that!  

NaBloPoMo April 2012

G is for Green #bloggingfromatoz

For today's entry for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge I'm on the letter G and chose to feature the colour Green.  We didn't get all that much rain during the regular winter season, but have been getting some late storms this spring and are even expecting some rain to show up sometime this evening and continue through the rest of the week! A lot of people are grumbling and groaning about it, sick to death of the cold, wet weather, and longing for springtime and sunshine, but I'm excited! For one thing, if it really does rain, and we get a good soaking, I can skip watering the front lawn and backyard plants for another week, which will save me some money. For another thing, I love how beautiful and fresh and green the hillsides have become since we've had rain. Here are some shots of the surrounding area I took on the commute home last night and early this morning.  Enjoy!


NaBloPoMo April 2012

F is for Friends #bloggingfromatoz #f @weetacon @missingweetacon #friends

Recently I had the chance to spend some quality time with a bunch of my bestest friends (who also happen to be the coolest people on the planet!!) at Weetacon in Green Bay, WI. We took a hay ride in the rain, ate delicious food, had a charity auction and bake sale, went roller skating and partied down at a totally awesome 80s party. It was a blast and it was fantastic to see everyone again!






NaBloPoMo April 2012