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Welcome to!

So I just barely got started on blogger when I decided it would be best to host my blog on my own domain. So, for those of you who have been reading, please change your bookmarks, feedreaders, and links to my new home: My blogger page will stay put, but I won’t be making anymore changes to it. So be sure to check here for new posts.

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Wonderfully Snarky

Snarky includes in its meaning sarcastic and impertinent. And these items I’ve found on Etsy are both, and wonderfully so. I mentioned awhile ago the “suck it up cupcake” cards I’d found and loved. I found those by chance, and I started to wonder if there might be other, similar items available on Etsy for the sarcastically minded. Turns out, there are.

Introducing, Maybe You Should Die, offering “new ways to express your feelings.” They have it all: note cards for every occasion, mean bags (that was not a typo), and, well ok, that’s about it. But their note cards really do cover every occasion. I particularly love the “Adios Muchacho” for those going-away parties or painful break-ups, the Good Luck Rabbit card, and the Feel Better Soon card. Maybe You Should Die is definitely a good alternative to Hallmark. Plus, they can be your Myspace friend. Hallmark doesn’t do that.

If Maybe You Should Die doesn’t quite meet your greeting card needs, there’s Porridge Papers (motto: “this ain’t your grandma’s handmade paper”). In addition to the aforementioned “suck it up cupcake card,” there’s “hey there fancy pants” and “hell to the no!” These are some really lovely looking cards (even the non-snarky ones) on beautiful handmade paper with crisp, clear lettering. They got some very pretty notepads, stationery sets, and wall art in their Etsy shop, too. Porridge Papers has a blog, so check it out!

Also from Porridge Papers

While I couldn’t find any other Etsy shops with such a variety of snarky and sarcastic items, I did find a couple who stocked the occasionally snarky item, including Tick Tick…, who has Mean Cards, and Smack of Jellyfish, who has the Good Riddance Card (which she describes thusly: “But make it pretty when you say it. The inside is blank for you to explain your harsh words.”) Smack of Jellyfish also has some fun items that teach the proper names for groups of animals (my favorite: A Murder of Crows. I want to be in a murder–and not the killing kind.)

One of the many cards from Smack of Jellyfish

Finally, a way to express ourselves through attractive greeting cards without sugarcoating! Got any more handmade sarcastic finds? Share them with me.

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More Winning – For YOU!

With all the contest entering and winning going on, I thought I’d let you know about one more contest that’s going on. It’s at Chia’s House of Stir Fry blog, and it’s open to anyone who blogs. Sign up to win a Target gift card and promote your blog at the same time (that’s what the contest is about!) So, even if you don’t win the gift card, you may still win in blog traffic. Don’t forget to mention that I sent you.

While you’re at it, go ahead and leave a comment and promote your blog here. I’m always looking for new things to read.

Also, there’s a contest going on over at 5 Minutes for Mom to give away a flat panel LCD HDTV. Who doesn’t need one of those? Check it out.

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Best Week Ever

So, if you read my previous post, you know that things have been going well for me this week. I’ve had a lot of good things come my way. But to top it all off, I just found out that I am a winner for the second time, in another very cool contest from the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway. This time, I won Desperately Seeking Sanity’s contest for bling. Talk about amazingly unexpected, and just plain amazing! I mentioned this specific contest a couple of posts ago. Thanks so much to Heather. I’m going to wear that ring everywhere. I’m going to wear it while I sip my Anne Shirley Almond Black tea and feel so lucky. *insert warm fuzzy feeling here*

Man, I really have to work on my dissertation while my life is going so well. If you read Harry Potter, it’s like I’ve had a bunch if Felix Felicitus to drink this week. (Wouldn’t that be cool?)

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I’m a Winner

This week has been all about being a winner. It’s turned out so much better than I expected. Let me delineate the ways:

  1. In the top two most exciting things to happen to me this week, I actually won something. You may have noticed my prolific blogging about the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway. I entered a pile of contests. I really wanted to win. And I did. Thanks so much to Tea Party Girl, I won a teapot, warmer, and looseleaf tea to test out in my new teapot. This is an awesome contest to win because I’ve really been dreaming about getting a teapot for ages without actually getting around to buying one. Plus, I have a stockpile of tea in my kitchen that is sadly neglected, and now it won’t be! Head on over to Tea Party Girl’s website to learn more about tea, tea parties, and to bask in the good feelings posts like this can give you:

    I also treat this blog as a place for you to come for a mini-break in the course of your day, reminding you of beauty, balance, elegance, and all that a daily tea tradition can represent.

    You deserve it.

    You deserve it not from being perfect or working too hard. You deserve it because you are worth taking care of. Your Creator thinks so, your loved ones think so, and it’s not selfishness but wisdom to discover what nurtures you. If tea breaks, parties, and brew are part of that, I want to show you how to make your teatime as beautiful and simple as possible.

    I am all for self-care. We do deserve it.

  2. Also in my top two most exciting things to happen to me this week, I made my first Etsy sale to a stranger! I’ve sold a couple items to friends, which is fantastic, but it’s an entirely different kind of fantastic to sell to someone who has no obligation to like you or to pretend to like what you make. So, thanks to my first buyer whom I don’t know. That sale really made my day.
  3. On my way to the post office today, to ship off my wristlet to it’s new home, I ran into one of my former supervisors. It was pleasant to see him (I don’t see many supervisors over the summer) and I found out that one of my reports is being used as a training aid (and not in the “what not to do” sense.) So that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
  4. I had a meeting with my advisor this week that I expected to not be so great, but was actually quite enjoyable. That was cool.
  5. I cleaned my office. A clean office is so much nicer than a messy one. And having my desk clean makes me think, with all the other goodness that’s been going on this week, I may actually get some work on my dissertation done. Let’s hope the good fortune continues.

Oh, but of course since I sold one of my wristlets, I felt compelled to make a new one. It’s almost done, and it makes me think of a breezy summer day. I’ll probably post about it soon. Stay tuned.

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Someone Else Knows How to Spread the Love

So, I’ve been blogging about the generous bloggers who are giving away something this week to people who only have to leave a comment on their post. I feel like I should mention one of these bloggers who decided to give away something every single day this week (and you’ve still got time to enter her contests, which don’t end until Friday night.) And not just anything–she’s giving away some pretty nice gifts, especially this one. Not only is she giving away cool things, but it sounds like she’s giving away things she already owns but doesn’t need. So, it’s generosity and recycling. That’s pretty cool.

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I Want to be a Winner

Anyone who knows me knows I want to be a winner. Can’t help it. Wanting to be a winner makes me a dangerous person to bring to Las Vegas. Because, I have gathered, people who want to be winners leave Vegas with no winnings. (Because, of course, they use any winnings they do get to try to get *more* winnings. And this is not an effective winning strategy.)

But it is my strategy. And I still want to win. Which is why I feel like I found the coolest thing tonight: Rocks In My Dryer is having the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway. Piles, and I mean PILES, of bloggers have signed on to give something to their readers out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re even paying for shipping. What wonderful people– both because they’re being incredibly nice, and because, whether they know it or not, they’ve given someone who desperately wants to be a winner the hope that she may actually win this time. And even if I don’t, I’ve checked out lots of blogs tonight and I’m pretty sure I’ve found some cool new ones to read.

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Reading Material

Playing around with Bloggers “Next Blog” feature this afternoon inadvertently led me to find a slew of books on Amazon that I’ve added to my list of books I need to read (probably to the detriment of my poor little dissertation.) Somehow, I ended up on a blog that mentioned The Wisdom of Crowds, which sent me off to Amazon to gather more information. Amazon then suggested several other books I might like, and several more once I clicked on those. Maybe I’m feeling highly suggestible today, but I added a bunch of them to my wish list to remember for later. Here are some of the books I’ve added to my to-be-read list:

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Clean: Zen Cleansing

I got a new little book this week that I’m pretty excited about. It’s Clean: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing by Michael de Jong. I put it on my Amazon wishlist awhile ago, not wanting to pay for it myself and not expecting anyone to buy it for me, but also not wanting to forget about it. Unexpectedly, my husband ordered it for me. (What a sweetheart. :))

It’s about cleaning mindfully. Or in other words, being present while you are cleaning, being aware of what you’re doing when you clean, and the impact cleaning has on yourself and your environment. As opposed to mindlessly cleaning (which has its charms sometimes, too.) In terms of being mindful of the effect your cleaning has on your environment, this book present an alternative to cleaning with harsh chemicals, which aren’t any good for the soil or the water, and probably aren’t good for your health, either. I’ve always wondered when I spray my kitchen counters with a bottle of some random “cleaning” chemical what sort of residue is going to end up on and in my food.

De Jong’s alternatives to chemical cleaning are the “five elements of Zen Cleansing:” baking soda, borax, lemon, salt, and white vinegar. I frequently eat 4 of those elements, so I’m guessing they are less harmful for me and the planet. And from what this little book says, I can clean anything with them! I’m excited to start tackling my stains more naturally.

This book is certainly not high literature. But it is a fun, brief, engaging discussion of cleaning. And it provides loads of tips for how to use each element alone and combined with the others to clean just about everything you might ever need to clean, from rings in your tub to dirty mudflaps on your truck.