Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blog Peep Questions: Round 11

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What do you think Riley thinks about?

Does it surprise anyone that Ed came up with this question? I didn’t think so. :)

Honestly, I think Riley has more thoughts than I even give him credit for.


He is really the  most chill dog when it’s just him and me and all is well. But I so much as flinch and he is up, looking me right in the eye, surveying what needs to be done. He’s also ... how shall I say ... JEALOUS. He is chill as long as I’m not on the phone, holding Padma or typing on the keyboard.

Kid likes attention.


I mean, he can be so naughty. And he gets overwhelmed easily when things get loud or little kids startle him. He marks in my kitchen [insert multiple swear words here that I say at home but not on the blog] and takes 35mg of amitriptyline a day for his nerves.

Yes, people. I was not kidding when I told you my dog is on antidepressants. It’s true. He’s on a big dose of them. And we’re not ashamed to admit it.

He’s fighting the stigma for dogs everywhere. :)


But the nerves thing? That’s my fault. As I got more sick, my dog got more sensitive. I haven’t been feeling well lately, and he’s been throwing up from the stress of it. If I have a migraine for more than two days, he gets sick. When I do my breathing treatments, he hides under the couch and peeks out at me to make sure I’m ok.

He also makes me laugh a lot when he plays peek-a-boo, causes me to get up from time to time to play with him [which makes him my physical therapist], and he makes sure I’m never alone [which makes him my mental therapist]. He is next to me 24/7... if I shift, he shifts with me.


I know there are people who have trained seeing eye dogs and people whose dogs predict their seizures... to me, Riley is just as specially trained. He just happened to come that way. He loves me, cuddles with me, poses for pictures and keeps me sane.

He’s my guardian angel.


The kind that pees in the kitchen.

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If you have any questions you’d like me to answer... whether funny like Ed’s or something serious... ask away in the comment section. Anything goes :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gitz Bits 2010: Week 25

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Friday, June 18, 2010


I haven’t been in love with how much it’s rained around here, but sometimes storms leave the sky with the coolest clouds. This would have been a lot better photo if I could have gone outside to capture it, but I did what I could through my big window.

Don’t they look like you should be able to reach up and grab little bits of them like it’s cotton candy?

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Saturday, June 19, 2010


These are my absolute new favorite treat.

People. Seriously. So good.

There are a whole lot of great flavors you can try, but my taste buds never really matured much beyond twelve years old, so I love my trusty grape standby. Here’s why they are so fantastic... the flavor is amazing. I took a bite of the grape and it reminded me of that old Hubba Bubba bubble gum that squirted a juicy flavor out of the center.


And the strawberry? There are actual chunks of strawberry in them. Which is how I justify counting this as my fruit for the day. :)

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Sunday, June 20, 2010


Excuse me. Just wanted you all to know I’m still here... putting my nose in front of the camera every time it’s out. It’s my duty as the blog dog, and I take that very seriously.”

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Monday, June 21, 2010


Is it just me, or does it look like he’s whispering sweet nothings into the non-existent ear of the bone? He gives it this look every time he’s about to devour it.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Sweet Candy stopped by this night after work... I was having a day when getting out of bed wasn’t really an option with the pain in my hip, so she let herself in and chatted for awhile. I love that it took her all of 2 seconds to get comfortable here. And that it took even less time for Riley to fall in love with her. He didn’t even blink when she walked in... so much for my guard dog. :)

Anyway, she had this bottle of acai berry juice and I laughed at her because she said it was full of so much good stuff you could actually feel it making your cells healthy.

She’s a nut. A health nut, to be exact. I have to say I thought it tasted fine, but my cells didn’t make any sort of noticeable declaration. :)

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I hope you guys had a chance to watch some of this Wimbledon match last week. Mahut and Isner had a THREE DAY tennis match. It was insane. I think I took this right before they called a break for them to use the bathroom, and the second day of the match was called shortly thereafter. All in all, they played for 11 hours and 5 minutes before Isner finally won.


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Thursday, June 24, 2010


I realized last week that I have converted many a person to frozen Oreos via Twitter, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared about them here.

Life. Changing. People.

You just have to trust me. Buy a package of double stuffed Oreos, stick them in the freezer and share them with a friend. When Alece was here she confessed to me she’s not a chocolate fan so was sure she wouldn’t like them.

Then she tried one. And kept going back to the freezer for more. I guarantee you’ll be a convert after just one bite...

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Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:

Monday, June 28, 2010

YOU:create ... an introduction

I love that some of you are so excited about this little creativity challenge!!! Here’s what it’s going to be called:

Here’s why.

Every Thursday, you all [who are participating] are going to share one thing that you took the time to create that week. And that can be ANYTHING. Anything you took a moment to stop and do for you... anything that helps shape who you are as a person.

Because, here’s thing, as much as this is called YOU:create, it could just as easily be called create:YOU. When you stop for a minute and create something, accomplish something, finish a goal that would in some way fulfill a yearning you have inside, you are giving yourself the space to be you. To express yourself. To feel good about something you want to do rather than all those things you have to do.

That creates joy in your life. And you all know I’m all about the joy.

Personally, my health continues to make life more and more difficult for me. And, for the most part, I have to do what my body asks me to in order to function as well as I can. I rest a lot. I move even when it hurts in order to maintain some range of motion, but move too much and I do more damage. There are days I’m so exhausted that I have to give myself a pep talk just to get up and walk to the bathroom, and that’s after I’ve laid there and pondered how bad I really have to go.

It would be so easy for me to not accomplish anything. At all. There are a million different hobbies I have tried and loved, and one by one my body makes them impossible to maintain. But once a week, I am going to create something and share it here. Not because my body needs me to, but because I need to maintain a sense of me despite my body.

YOU:create = create:YOU

What can you do? Anything. You can:

  • make a scrapbook layout
  • paint on a canvas
  • make a card to send to a friend
  • bake and decorate a cake
  • write a poem or short story
  • work bit by bit on that book you always wanted to write
  • doodle in a journal
  • record a song
  • make sidewalk chalk drawings with your kids
  • paint a piece of furniture or a bird house

Whatever makes you feel alive and creative and YOU... I want to see it.

We’ll start on Thursday. I’ll share my creation for the week, and there will be a Linky at the end of the post where you guys can link up to your creations. If you have a blog, post about what you’ve done and link to it. If you don’t, take a photo or video of what you’ve done and upload it to a free site like Flickr and link us to that.

I am so excited to see what you all choose to do each week... mine will be different, so don’t feel pigeon-holed into one thing. And I’m hoping to be inspired to try some of your creations, too! Just have fun... find time to put some joy in your week, however creating that looks like to you.

If you want to use the little button I made on your blog or in your posts [that’s not my creation for the week, in case you’re wondering :)], there is a code for it over on the sidebar. Enjoy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Your Kick In The Pants

Do you know what the best part of giveaways are?

Announcing the winners!!! :)

Congratulations to:

Gay and Tracey

I’ll be emailing both of you with your codes for the free Don’t Blink class... and remember, if you didn’t win you can still get the class at a 20% discount by using the code blogblink at the checkout.

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Your comments about how many of you feel too overwhelmed to start your projects gave me an idea.

We need to give ourselves the freedom to be creative.

Some of you aren’t doing your scrapbooks because you’ve convinced yourselves there are better things you could be doing with your time... like the 743rd load of laundry for the week. But sitting down and doing something you really want to do is as important for your mental health as having clean jeans is to your wardrobe.

Some of you aren’t being creative because you’re overwhelmed by there being SO MUCH to do. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your projects don’t need to be finished in one, either. We need a way for you to start, but give you the freedom from the pressure.

I know, for me, my health and physical capabilities are in the way. This past month I have been sick, in a lot of pain and exhausted. My nurse came today, looked at me and said, “You look like someone ran you over.”

It’s true. I’m not cute when life beats me up.

But when I’m laying here and life is having its way with me, accomplishing something – anything – gives my spirit a much needed lift. I know I have been afraid of setting any sort of goal this past year because every time I have, life beats me up and I end up not meeting them. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that some of us just need an attainable goal so we can feel like we’ve accomplished something, even when life is beating us up.

Here’s where my idea comes in.

What if we all did it together?

It doesn’t matter what your project is. It could be that scrapbook. You may be a songwriter and need the incentive to get the tune in your head down on paper. Maybe you crochet or paint on canvases or write poetry. Maybe you sew pillows or purses or want to paint the chairs on your patio. I don’t care what it is...

... I want you to do it. Accomplish it. Put your energy into something that’s for YOU. Give yourself a break so you can remember that you have creativity inside of you.

Do you want to be creative with me?

I’m thinking that we could all do one thing a week. Just one. One scrapbook layout. One song. One poem. One sewing project. Whatever it is that tickles your fancy. Just once a week you make something that is just for you.

And then you show it to me. :)

I could set aside Thursdays [I’ll come up with a fabulous name if we decide to do this] and you can come here and link to your project for that week. If you have a blog, link us to a post that has a photo of your masterpiece. If you don’t have a blog, upload a photo of your project to a free Flickr account and link us to that.

It would give us all the kick in the pants we need to get started. And it’s only one layout or song or sewing project... so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by a whole book or album or wardrobe. It’s a no pressure option that keeps us motivated and moving. And seeing other people’s creative projects may give you new inspiration for your own.

What do you think?

Yay or Nay?

Are you ready for a little summer motivation? You know you wanna.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

HDG: Don’t Blink


How many of you love to scrapbook?

How many of you WISH you loved to scrapbook?

How many of you would love to scrapbook if you weren’t so dang overwhelmed with knowing where to start?

Oh, people. I have a solution for you. :)

My friend Jessica has an online class through Big Picture Scrapbooking called Don’t Blink: Scrapbooking Your Baby’s First Year. Here’s the awesome thing about this class... you download it and review it on your own time. You don’t have to schedule a time at your computer or get a sitter or feel pressured to meet at a big scrapbooking crop. You just get to discover her ideas, her methods, find out her favorite products and figure out how scrapbooking can best fit into your life.

Now, I have no children of my own – other than Riley, obviously – but I have five godchildren who I have made scrapbooks for. Godchildren who I plan to continue to make scrapbooks for even though I’m super far behind on them. And when I started out, in those babies’ first years, I was constantly telling their moms to remember to take pictures of the big events so I’d have something to scrapbook.

scrap page 1 [my godson Tyler’s first scrapbook page]

This class helps you figure out what kind of things you may want for your child’s scrapbook and what kind of things you may just want to put in photo sleeves. If you have boxes of photos in your closet and your baby somehow has turned into a ten year old, you can still take this class and figure out how to sift through that box and decide how to create the album you always wanted to start.

Sometimes all we need is a good kick start to get us going. This is just that.

Here's the class description:
Finding time to scrapbook amidst milestones and diaper changes can be a challenge, but it is possible! In the self-paced class Don't Blink: Scrapbooking Your Baby's First Year, you will receive tips, tricks and inspiration to complete your baby's first year album - while he or she is still a baby. And don't despair, if your baby is walking and talking, Don't Blink will still inspire you to complete his album before he graduates high school.
As a new mommy who works full-time, writes The Mom Creative blog and loves to scrapbook, Jessica Turner's life is a constant juggling act. After not finding any baby scrapbooking resources she loved and with a commitment to completing her son's first year album while he was still a baby, she developed Don't Blink: Scrapbooking Your Baby's First Year.


After taking Don't Blink, you will be inspired to create dozens of layouts for your baby's scrapbook. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of pictures you have taken and the layouts you could make, you will have the tools needed to create a scrapbook that will be cherished for generations by your child. AND, you will be able to get it done during naptimes, at night and whenever else you can squeeze in fifteen to thirty minutes to scrapbook!


Here’s where you get lucky!!!

Right now, you can get 20% off Don’t Blink at Big Picture Scrapbooking! At the checkout use the code: blogblink to redeem your discount. [This makes the class only $8 instead of the normal $10!]

*Disclaimer: This coupon only applies to the Don’t Blink Self-Paced class; coupon does not apply towards other Self-Paced Projects, Workshops or Gift Certificates. Good for one time use, per student. Expires December 20th, 2010 at 10pm PST. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Coupon must be entered in the “Promo Code” box during checkout and press “apply” button; discount will be applied immediately. Not applicable towards previous purchases. Other terms and restrictions may apply.


Here’s the EVEN BETTER PART!!!

[Why do I suddenly feel like an infomercial dude?]

Jessica said I can give away TWO FREE CLASSES!!!!

So, I’m going to leave this giveaway open today and tomorrow and let you know the winner on Friday. And I’m giving you two chances to enter:

  1. Simply leave a comment. Ok, to make it interesting, leave a comment telling me the age of the “baby” you want to make a scrapbook for.
  2. Either tweet a link to this post, or link it to your Facebook wall, and then come back and leave another comment telling me you did for your second chance at winning.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gitz Bits 2010: Week 24


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: I am bringing back Hump Day Giveaway tomorrow for a – you guessed it – giveaway! No, it’s not a canvas. I haven’t tried to make one yet, but it’s a great giveaway for all of you creative types!

So don’t miss it!!!!

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Friday, June 11, 2010


Yes, I kind of planned my posts weird by telling you all the story about meeting Candy yesterday, and then putting up the exact same photo for Gitz Bits today. But this was by far the most exciting thing that happened last Friday.

I mean, the doctor did come and prescribe the medication that Candy picked up and delivered for me, but I refrained from asking the doctor if I could take a picture of her for my blog.

That’s an awkward conversation just waiting to happen. “You see, I have this blog and I tell my readers every.single.detail. of”

Before I know it, she’d order a psych evaluation along with my blood work.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010


Did I mention Candy didn’t come empty-handed? She is the queen of all things healthy, and I’m the queen of frozen double stuffed Oreos, so this was her attempt to convert me to organic.

I have to say, it was a very good start. Because this picture was taken the day after she came, and you can probably tell the bag is half empty.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010


Every time that Jessica calls on her way home from work, I say “Hello.” and she opens with, “Sara. You sound awful.” This is Riley’s version of that conversation. Every day we lay in bed and every day he gives me this look. He doesn’t have the words, but I know he’s looking at me saying, “Sara. You sound awful.”

But dang, he is cute when he is sympathetic, isn’t he???

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Monday, June 14, 2010


These next two days’ photos are what I bought with an Apple gift card I got for my birthday from Susie’s family and her mom, Linda. This little Bluetooth keyboard that works with my iPad is d to the i to the v to the i to the n to the e.

[Ok, that was way simpler to say in my head than it was to type.]

When I’m laying in bed with Padma and I have something longer to type, like... say... a blog post, this keyboard is a life saver. It’s even lighter than the iPad to set on my lap and makes quick work of a lengthy post.

[Because, let’s not kid ourselves. I’m never short-winded.]

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This was the other part of the gift card... it’s the Padma cover, and it folds to give it more of an angle. This was on backorder and just came this past week... I have to say it makes an impressive difference in functionality when using the onscreen keyboard. Love it.

And it reminds me of a Trapper Keeper I used in junior high. I’m all about nostalgia. And let’s face it, Trapper Keepers are about the only thing I remember fondly about junior high.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I know, it’s redundant. But people... it rains way too much around here.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010


We’ll close the week with this sentiment from Riley about the lung infection I’ve got going on.

We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

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Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Round About

You know how you hear those crazy stories about people who meet through the internet, and they say it feels like they’ve been neighbors for years?

Well, I met someone through the internet, and it turns out we HAVE been neighbors for years. She lives seven miles down the road.

I’m not kidding.

I’ve made quite a few friends through the blog who live in Nashville, and that has connected me to CrossPoint church, and Pastor Pete’s blog. Apparently he’s pretty popular to Iowans, because at one point last year I saw a commenter refer to herself as being from my hometown. Before I knew it, Candy and I had taken over his comment section and I knew exactly who she was.

She is the wife of our local newscaster, Ron. And he used to co-anchor the news with one of my close friends, Bobbi, when she lived in town. We have connections of people all around town who we both know, we just never met each other.

Until we met on a blog in Nashville.

Then we started following each other on Twitter and the rest is history. Suddenly I wasn’t so alone on nights when I was sitting in my condo watching Panther basketball, because Candy and I were tweeting back and forth as our team would always keep us guessing until the final seconds.

As it turns out, she’s a nurse and was an amazing source of help and guidance when I had to revamp my entire doctor situation this spring, and she is a constant link to the outside world as she tweets me photos of her walks on sunny days. We’ve had a lovely friendship.

But we still hadn’t actually met.

But then, a week ago last Friday, my doctor had come and declared me officially sick [oh, the blessing of a doctor that makes home visits] and prescribed meds... but it was too late to have them delivered. Candy didn’t know about my pharmacy troubles when she tweeted, knowing I was sick, and asked if she could run and get me anything.

Yep, I totally made her do me a favor the first time we were meeting in person. Yep, that really drove me nuts. I kind of thought I’d have her over for dinner or something before I started bossing her around, but I guess she’s initiated now. :)


I’ll give you one guess as to whether or not she and Riley got along. :) People, that dog performed for her. He posed, he flirted, he pulled out all the big guns. I told her that I don’t exaggerate his crazy personality on the blog, and she corrected me, saying I don’t talk him up enough.

I’ll work on that.

In the meantime, I did look and find an old video that I took back when I had my old camera. This is probably about three years old, and I hesitate to put it up only because I am using the most obnoxious voice known to man with him.

But you need to see that I am not exaggerating when I tell you he does sign language for the word “please.” And if you don’t believe me, just ask Candy. He used his please sign on her, right before he moved her hand with his paw to scratch his chest in a more desirable location.

Poor woman has no idea what she’s in for.

Riley Please from gitzengirl on Vimeo.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Smiling Kate

Over the last couple of years, I’ve told you of my experiences with Relay for Life. I’ve told you about Kate, my friends Nick and Kelly’s daughter, who passed away from cancer when she was eleven.

You’ve already heard from me.

So this year, you are going to hear from Megan, Kate’s little sister. Megsie was 8 when Kate died, and at [almost] 16, she is still working hard at raising money for Relay in memory of Kate and her Grandpa Marv.

She creates luminaries that show her love for them...

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relay marv luminary

and she writes letters to let people know why she participates in Relay for Life.

I’m sharing one with you today:


Over 7.6 million people die from cancer each year. About 20,000 people die each day. Our goal is to help people celebrate more birthdays. Every donation helps towards having someone turn a year older.

As most of you know, we celebrate Relay in memory of my grandpa and my sister. My sister would have been celebrating her 18th birthday this year. She would be graduating, going to prom, and applying for colleges. My grandpa would be 77 years old. He would be outside, riding his bike, driving his Porsche, and enjoying life.

relay kateandmeg

We raise money so that one day we will be able to say that we helped people find a cure for cancer. No matter how big or small, every donation helps us take a step towards finding a cure for this terrible disease.

For the last 7 years The Smiling Kate’s have been the top fundraising team. With your help last year, our team was able to raise over $18,000 in memory of my grandpa, sister, all the other people who are survivors, and people who have lost their lives. It was great!!! This year we would love to beat that.

relay megandmarv

This year Relay is on June 18th and 19th at Hawkeye Community College. It is from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.

We would love your donation!!! To donate online go to, and then click “Donate.” Click “Search for participant,” type in Megan Evens. After that click on my name and then click donate!

We appreciate your donation! Every little bit helps!

If we can help more people celebrate their birthdays and get to do the things they look forward to in life, the world will be a much greater place.

Thanks again! Hopefully someday soon our work will pay off!

~Megan, Kelly, and Nick


Thanks for reading, and letting Megan have a voice here.

If you are so inclined, follow the link above and donate... Megan and her family will be walking through the night tonight in memory of those who have lost their battles, and in celebration of those who get another birthday.