Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Post: Ashley of After Nine To Five

My family is really important to I've gone off on a little vacation to explore my parents' new home state with them. You're in luck though, I've asked some super sweet gals to write guest posts while I'm gone.

Today I'd like you to meet Ashley of After Nine To Five. This gal makes beautiful jewelry, sweet pouches and fun prints. She also issues a weekly challenge in her 7 Day Push, which I'm participating in behind the scenes.

Be sure to visit her and let her know I sent you! [Blog] [Shop] [Twitter]


Earlier this year, I took the trip of a lifetime: I got married in Jamaica! It was by far the most memorable experience of my life and I can easily attribute this to the people I was surrounded by - my parents and my now husband.

I knew going into the trip that it would obviously be memorable. I hope to only get married once and it was my first time going out of the country so it was a pretty big deal from the start. But I had no clue how close I would become these three people after spending only four days there with my parents and a little over a week and a half with my husband. There's something to be said about stepping away from the daily grind and being in a warm sunny climate that makes everyone in a better mood. :]

In that short period, I spent more time with my family than I had since I was young and family time seemed more of a bore to me. I didn't appreciate it the way I should have when I was younger, but spending a few days on the beach and by the pool reminded me of how much it meant to be to have them so close to me on a daily basis. It reminded me that there should be more moments like this and it shouldn't take flying out of the country to have them.

Since then, we've stayed close and are planning a trip for the winter - just us four - to another sunny climate. A place for us to remind each other of how wonderful just the company of each other can be. Well, that and some drinks and sand. :]


Thanks Ashley for taking us to Jamaica with you! What a beautiful location for such a beautiful event! I've come to appreciate my family so much more recently too...isn't it weird how we realize as we get older that we had it all wrong when we were younger?

Don't forget, you can find Ashley here: [Blog] [Shop] [Twitter]



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guest Post: Leonora of Yellow Heart Art

My family is really important to I've gone off on a little vacation to explore my parents' new home state with them. You're in luck though, I've asked some super sweet gals to write guest posts while I'm gone.

Today I'd like you to meet Leonora of Yellow Heart Art. She not only creates awesome prints and necklaces but can also design pretty much anything else you need. She even dances to old school hits and posts the videos! (Vlogs are posted on Thursdays. You're welcome.)

Be sure to visit her and let her know I sent you! [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook] [Twitter]


Midge asked me to fill in for her while she's on Vaca (nice, SHE gets to have fun and *I* have to work…I see who made out in this deal huh?)

We first "met" when she emailed me bout one of my necklaces that I had for sale in my Etsy -- ever since then we declared ourselves BFF (Well, I think she knows we're BFFs, if not THIS is gonna be awkward…)

I've been dating Bub for bout 3 years now (Bub is my boyfriend, not my dog people) and when Midge said she wanted a post about "family" the first thing I thought of was that I had to do one bout Bub and I. Granted we're "just dating" and I dont have a ring on my fingah (if ya liked it then ya shoulda putta ring on it…sorry I tend to bust out into random song and dance moves while blogging, you'll get used to it) but he still is such a HUGE part of my life. That is, he is more than my Bub, he is my family :)

Every summer Bub and I try to do some vacation. Last year we hit up George's Lake (Or Lake George as some of you might know it better as…) and let me tell ya -- we.had.a.blast.

we stayed at this GORGE cabin overlooking the lake

we were out on the water practically every day. we paddle boated

we canoed

ok well Bub canoed, I was just told to STRICTLY "sit there and look pretty." Whenever I tried to "help" canoe we would just be at a stand still (Don't even ask me how that is possible but I made it happen)

while canoeing we came across this EPIC log that looked like a hippo

COME ON do you SEE IT?? The eyes, the nose -- the ears?! It's there I'm telling ya, it's there.

Lake George kept it old school with the drive in movie theater (suh-weet)

Bub also attempted to get me over my fear of heights…so with life preservers on we went for a ride to go parasailing!

Notice Bub's awesome pink bracelet? That's so we could get pics of us while up in the air -- the lady asked "Now which of you two want to wear it?" and I smirked and said "well pink *is* his favorite color, it would be a crime for me to take it from him" (girlfriend of the year right here)

The shot of our feet? Yeah I was having heart palpitations the entire time up there. Bub was holding my camera and I kept looking at him, looking at the camera, and looking down to the 1/2 mile drop my poor camera would take if he lost it.

Bub: "come on, let me get a pic of our feet"
Me: *insert audible noises of panic*
Bub: "Babe, I can't understand what you're saying so I'm gonna take your shrills of panic as a go for it"


So not only did we risk our lives by being towed around Lake George at the back of a boat by a bungee cord and two metal clips with a parachute behind us, we also decided to take a chance on this beaut:

side note: if you are in Lake George and see these awesome lil scooters to rent do yourself a favor and DO NOT RENT.


there are no shoulders in lake george so we had to drive in.the.road. going maaaaaybe 25mph in a 40mph zone. We were going backwards uphill.


but THIS scene is boo-tee-fool

Thanks Midge for having me! Smooches! Have fun on Vaca my love <3


Thanks Leonora for introducing us to Bub and sharing your trip! I'm putting Lake George on my list of places to go right now. We should go together sometime! Maybe we'd see the hippo log?

Me + You = BFF (and yes, I knew that before now)

Don't forget, you can find Leonora here: [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook] [Twitter]



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guest Post: Diana of :dianapantz:

My family is really important to I've gone off on a little vacation to explore my parents' new home state with them. You're in luck though, I've asked some super sweet gals to write guest posts while I'm gone.

Today I'd like you to meet Diana of :dianapantz:. This gal can knit, sew, cook, bake and takes amazing photos. She's also crazy active in an Earth-friendly way. And...she's my pen pal! Remember this?

Be sure to visit her and let her know I sent you! [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook]


hey everybody!
my name is diana and i blog over at dianapantz. i post about being vegan in the midwest, riding my bike to work, turning my passion into a career and sharing fun photos of the every day.

i feel so giddy that midge asked me to guest post for her while she is on vacay hanging with her family! for a few years, i lived across the country from my mama, so i can totally relate to her excitement!

lets talk about family, shall we?

this is my cute man-friend, blake.

[what a babe!]

the second week blake and i were together, i totally knew that he was my other half.
blake is amazing for a million and one reasons. [awww]
one of my faves?
like me, he wants to adopt.
from haiti.

we both have a history with haiti.
blake spent time there years and years ago. and last summer, we decided to leave everything behind for a month, and help rebuild.
we spent a month in haiti. no running water. very little electricity. rats the size of rabbits and the *most* amazing avocados i have ever had!
our days were spent working with a crew of haitian men; hauling huge rocks, learning creole, trying to teach english, eating tons of rice and beans and taking a million pictures.
the trip changed our lives. made us closer to one another and also reaffirmed that when we are ready to create a family, it will be through international adoption.
we talk about our little family-to-be all the time. we discuss the confidence to instill in a child who will look so different from his/her parents. we talk about relatives that don't quite understand what we are doing. we discuss the language and culture, and how important it is for us to celebrate the haitian culture and be fluent in creole.
i feel so lucky to have found an amazing partner that is so open-minded and ready to break boundaries and cultural norms to better his life and the people surrounding him!



Thanks Diana for introducing us to Blake and sharing your trip and your plans with us! Your family-to-be will be just as amazing as your story, I'm sure!

I can't wait until I can get back up to The Cities to visit...we'll have to get together!

Don't forget, you can find Diana here: [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook]



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guest Post: Karen of Celebrate Life

My family is really important to I've gone off on a little vacation to explore my parents' new home state with them. You're in luck though, I've asked some super sweet gals to write guest posts while I'm gone.

Today I'd like you to meet Karen of Celebrate Life. She's a new Mama who takes the most amazing photos and still makes some time to create handmade items for her shop.

Be sure to visit her and let her know I sent you! [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook] [Twitter]


Hi everyone... my name is Karen, and I'm so excited to be over here on your side of the globe today.

I'm a Jersey girl, born and raised... until my prince charming (his horse was really a plane in the Air Force), rescued me from there swept me off my feet. I've been following him around ever since (first to FL, then to Germany, and currently in South Korea.) Life is quite an adventure, and I celebrate it everyday... it's such an amazing gift from God. Just a little over a month ago, I became a Mama... but not by having a child "biologically"... but through adoption... It's been a whirl wind...trying to find time to craft, sew, photograph, and be a Mama at the same time. Over on my blog (I call myself a lifestyle blogger), you can usually find some posts about life as a Mama/military spouse/foreigner on the other side of the world... crafts/DIY tutorials... recipes... devotionals... and of course every post I post, MUST have some photos (since that's my true passion).

Today, I'd like to share with you what it looks like on my side of the globe... on a walkabout. Korea is a beautiful place... and although it's full of city life and traffic, there's also this other side, the side that is surrounded by beautiful rice paddy fields, and that is where I live...

So, put on some comfy shoes (really, just fill up your cup of coffee... because that's what I'd be doing if I was sitting here reading a blog post)... or in my case, slip on my wellies (it's monsoon season over here... tons of rain and puddles everywhere), and lets head on out!

One of the first things that happens along this journey... is that a dragon fly will land on you... they just want to let you know that it's "their" season, and that they are finally out and about... has anyone ever seen a dragonfly up close and personal? Well now you have...

Where I live, I'm surrounded by many many fields... mostly for rice production aka rice paddy fields. In June, they typically till up the ground and plant these little guys... then they let the rain do it's job... and it's amazing how tall they become! Usually in October they harvest the beautiful plants that grow about up to your chest... it's truly amazing. The only thing that isn't pleasant, is the smell of these lovely fields.

Sometimes the field workers get to work by riding their adorable bikes...

and here's just a quick look at the rice plants as "babies"...

What is pleasant... is the smell of the flowers and other greenery around here. I just love how green it is, especially this time of the year. You'd think with as much rain as we get, that it would be drab and dreary, but it's the complete opposite.

On the steep hill back up to my house, I pass by some of the farmer's homes, and their gardens... I just love seeing how simple they live here. Remember, this isn't city life (those Koreans tend to lead posh lives)... but the farmers... they lead my kind of life, and surround themselves with beauty (some of the flowers above are from their homes/gardens)...

And that dear friends, concludes our walk...

Thanks for letting me stop by Midge! Now I want to know... what does it look like where you live?


Thanks Karen for taking us with you on your walk. What a beautiful area, I can see why you like it. I'm sure your little one is soaking up all the new things around her! I'll see if I can come up with a walk to take you on when I get back.

Also, I'm going to need your wellies...mmkay? Thanks.

Don't forget, you can find Karen here: [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook] [Twitter]



Monday, July 25, 2011

Guest Post: Diana of Livy Love Designs

My family is really important to I've gone off on a little vacation to explore my parents' new home state with them. You're in luck though, I've asked some super sweet gals to write guest posts while I'm gone.

Today I'd like you to meet Diana of Livy Love Designs. She creates the most adorable prints, invitations and business cards and loves doing custom work! I can't just yet, but I'll post a picture of the print she made for me soon.

Be sure to visit her and let her know I sent you! [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook] [Twitter]


Hey everyone! My name is Diana Smith.  I am the blogger over at Livy Love.  I mostly blog about my little family of three, but coming December, we are having another one! We don't know yet what we are having as of right now, but come a week from now, we will!

As excited I am to have another baby, I am quite nervous. It's debatable if it's better to know what's coming than to not. I had a really easy pregnancy with Olivia. Never threw up, never got sick, and other than the normal pregnancy symptoms, I was great! However, my labor was pretty tough. I was eight days late and my doctor decided to induce me. Once I was induced, I was in labor for 17 hours. Still no progression. Because my daughter's head was stuck in my pelvis, they decided to do a C-section. I think that was my payback for such an awesome pregnancy. Haha.

With my pregnancy now, it's been a lot rougher! More aches and pains, but that could also be the fact that I have a little one year old to chase after. So hopefully, I will endure a tougher pregnancy and have a really easy birth! Haha. Oh how I wish things worked out that way.

Well it was so fun being able to guest post on Midge's blog!
Feel free to stop by and say Hi! :)


Thanks Diana for introducing us to your beautiful family! I can't wait to see what your new baby will be...I think it's going to be a boy!

Don't forget, you can find Diana here: [Blog] [Shop] [Facebook] [Twitter]




I find it interesting how pretty much every trip I take ends up packed full of plans.

This week is no different.

So...knowing I'll be busy, I've lined up some amazing ladies to write posts for this week. Enjoy them!

Here's a picture from today for you...

I'll be back soon to fill you in on my adventures!



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Feet on the ground, Head in the clouds

I've made it safely to Mama-San and Papi's house. We're lounging, watching a show off their DVR, something crime related.

Anyway, here's a picture for you from my travels today.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Confession: I Name Things

Remember when you were little and you had that stuffed animal, or blanket, or whatever thing you always carried around or slept with? I had a white monkey called Neemee. I can't remember where I came up with that name, or even if I ever spelled it out...but we had some good times.

Since then, I've had a tendency to name things.

Lots of people name their car, so that's not really too out of the norm, right? My first car (a van) didn't have a name...that I know of. "Red" was a Ford Taurus that matched her name. After that I had "The Periwinkle Pleaser," a newer Taurus with smoother lines that I later sold to my sister. Now I have a Toyota Prius, "The Magnet." I swear, I'll never buy a new car again. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it attracts moving things to it like crazy. (No, it's not my driving. I had the car for a week before someone side swiped it while parking.)

And I still name stuffed animals.

But naming my car and stuffed animals isn't where it stops:

Bart the Whale Necklace - Bartholomew Sunkist, the 3rd, used to live with Leonora. Now he lives with me and talks about how much he misses her and his cousins. You can find a couple of them in her shop.

He's from New York. I gain gangsta status just being in his presence.

Spike the Blow Fish Alarm Clock - He came to live with me in high school and has done well in a position many before him couldn't handle.

There are others that wouldn't pose for photos:

Melvin the Turtle Magnet from Cozumel.

George the Gecko on my cell phone screen.

Reginald (Reggie) my macbook.

Anyway, you get the idea...I name things. No big deal, right?



Monday, July 18, 2011

Burn, Baby, Burn

I woke up this afternoon to someone banging on my door. I was expecting a package so I thought nothing of it and threw on some clothes.

Imagine my surprise when the man at the door, practically beating it down, was from AT&T...

"You may want to move your car," he said, "The pole is on fire."

*** WHAT?! ***

Of course, I had to see what he meant before it clicked in my head to get my keys. Sure enough, the pole at the end of my driveway was on fire.

I moved my car further up my driveway, but by this time was covered in little orange drops of burnt plastic from some sort of wrap that had been around the top of the pole when they put it in. That's going to be fun to try to get off...

I should probably mention that this is the brand new pole that was just put there a week or so ago to extend fiber optic lines to the cell phone tower on the top of the hill at the end of our cul-de-sac.

Being that I work in dispatch and all, I called in on the super secret squirrel line to make sure the fire department was on the way.

More than 20 minutes later, the fire truck finally arrived.

I am a huge advocate for our agencies, especially our volunteer departments, but I find it disturbing that this is what the responding fire fighters did when they arrived...

Please forgive the grainy cell phone shot.

Now, maybe I don't know enough about fire fighting...but I do believe it is in the best interest of all involved to put water on a burning piece of wood...especially when it's so close to a transformer! (By the time they got there the top of the pole itself was burning, not the wire connection shown in the above photo.)

Instead, they let the neighbor continue to douse the smoldering plastic that had fallen to the base of the pole and let the fire burn itself out.

I'm not sure how I should feel about this. I know water and electricity don't mix well...and it's possible that's why they sat back and watched...but I guess I just expect more than what seemed like a "burn, baby, burn" mentality.


I've been trying harder lately to find the good in every situation.

While sitting outside (because my power was out and it wasn't much of a temperature difference by then) my neighbors and I talked about them taking care of my dogs while I'm gone and got that all settled. All I have to do is get them a key.

We also watched the hot linemen from the electric company while they fixed the problem.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Confession: Midge vs Me

This may come as a shock, but Midge isn't my real name.

Sorry, maybe I should've suggested you prepare yourself for that. You okay?

Midge is a nickname from an old co-worker. It has nothing to do with Barbie's stylish friend and everything to do with my height. (I'm five feet tall.)

The name was just a joke until I moved to take a new job. There were two others there who shared my real name. One had been there for years and the other was newer like me. We were both asked if we had nicknames to make it easier for everyone.

The other gal chose a nickname that sounds very close to her middle name - which we also share - so that made it even harder for me.

I didn't know what else to do so I jokingly threw out Midge as an option. It's something you don't hear often but also a little bit sassy so I didn't care.

Since then I've come to love the name and as weird as it sounds, Midge has become a part of me.

Sometimes I need a boost of confidence or a push to do something I otherwise would be afraid to do. It's then I have to turn to my reserves, to Midge.

You see, it's not so much Midge vs Me...Midge IS Me.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Boys

If you haven't already met my pups, here's your chance.

They see another dog...but don't realize they're at the vet.

Like every other being, they each have their own personality.

Moose sits for a photo.

Moose is the one that always wants everything in line. If I say sit and Max doesn't, Moose will eventually nip at him, as if saying, "Mom said sit. Do it!" He LOVES playing ball and could fetch it for hours. He's super smart but also stubborn and tries to push boundaries sometimes. I got him from a family who couldn't keep him any longer due to job loss. The poor little guy has some horrible allergies though, that's why he's so pink in the picture.

Max thinks hiding under my chair will protect him from thunder.

Max is the goofball. He jumps around in circles when I come home and when I let them inside. He always wants to play but loses interest and moves on quickly. He learns slower than his brother and is often nervous. He cowers if you move too suddenly and hides under the bed during storms. I got him from a rescue that pulled him from an abusive home.

It's no secret, I love my pups. They're my boys, my everyday family.