Tis Time, Tis Time For Xmas Cards! A Holiday Card Giveaway!

wreath-i-made

One of my favorite winter holiday traditions is the giving (and hopefully receiving) of xmas cards.  Whether your holiday greetings are for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, Solstice, or the upcoming New Year, there most likely is a card for that.

Increasingly though, eco-conscious folks are swapping out their paper (aka dead tree) cards for spiffy new online versions!

I’ve been asked to host a giveaway for a very forward-thinking stationary website that in addition to its traditional paper offerings, also has some absolutely lovely online greeting cards as well! Paperlesspost .com!

Just a few quick minutes of clicking and I was ready to go with this whimsical online card for 8 coins per recipient (I added some fancy backdrops, fancy virtual envelope options and a reply card that are not shown here) ūüėÄ

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They also have online versions of photo cards as well!

To make the giving of holiday cards even more exciting, I’m hosting a sponsored** giveaway for a prize of 1000 coins from Paperless Post! ($90 USD ARV)

Method of entry is a piece of cake: Simply write a comment below with your favorite holiday story! Touching, hilarious, shocking – let’s hear it! ūüėÄ

My own favorite story is the tale of the Great Rice Pudding Massacre!ūüėÄ

Way back over a decade ago, I lived in Japan and decided to host a potluck holiday party for my ESL students. My husband had just finished his third go-round of wiping and mopping our dining room floor when disaster struck!¬† I had just taken a rather large tray of rice pudding out of our mini-oven (Japan usually doesn’t have either baking ovens or rice pudding!) and set it on top of the oven to cool while I finished stirring a pot on the range. While my back was turned, the ENTIRE TRAY of rice pudding slipped off and fell – SPLAT!!! – face down on the floor!¬† We madly scooped it back into the tray, sprinkled it with more cinnamon and re-wiped the floor just before our first guest rang the doorbell! I was mildly concerned that someone would find something weird in it, but that was very unlikely considering how thoroughly my husband had cleaned the floor beforehand. ūüėÄ

**RULES:  Just one entry per person, and a winner will be chosen randomly from all who comment.  Entry period ends 11/28/16 at 11:59pm and a winner will be chosen on 11/29/16. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hrs to respond before a backup winner will be chosen. This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of 1000 coins for Paperless Post ($90USD ARV).  Open to US residents, age 18+.

family

Have You Done Your Research? Car seats! A Giveaway!

car toys - can't leave home without 'em!
car toys – can’t leave home without ’em!

If you’ve ever had to transport a baby or small child from Point A to Point B in a motor vehicle, they you are no doubt well-acquainted with the reams of research needed to pinpoint the safest car seat for your chosen price-point range.

Whether you decide on a well-known brand like Graco car seats, or any of the other manufacturers out there, you’ve probably spent hours scouring Consumer Reports, government safety regulation websites, or parent review sites or possibly even social media parenting groups focused on the subject.

car seat
OMG – it’s got cup-holders!

To make the chore a bit more exciting, I’ve been asked to host a sponsored** giveaway for a $50 USD gift certificate!

Method of entry is a piece of cake: Simply write a comment below with your favorite funny or disastrous child + car story! (If your child hasn’t been born yet, or you really don’t have any stories then simply let me know if you’ve ever seen a movie at a drive-in theater and what decade that was! – I saw my first drive-in movie in the 70’s ūüėÄ )

Whether it’s a mention of how your children were talented in arching or bowing their backs to inhuman angles and then locking their body in that position so you absolutely could not buckle them in, or the relentless ear-splitting shrieks for repeated renditions of ‘Old MacDonald Has A Farm’ while you were trying to drive, or the revolting diaper fail that called for a haz-mat team to disinfect your car, we want to hear it! ūüėÄ

**RULES:  Just one entry per person, and a winner will be chosen randomly from all who comment.  Entry period ends 11/25/16 at 11:59pm and a winner will be chosen on 11/26/16. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hrs to respond before a backup winner will be chosen. This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a $50 gift certificate.  Open to US residents, age 18+.

The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowin’ In The Wind…

It seems like politics has practically become a form of religious zealotry with all the mud-slinging, name-calling and vitriol being tossed around! Think how much good could be done for the world if all that negative energy were instead transmuted into positive energy and channeled into everything in the world, society, “the system” that we know needs some fixing?

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Reserving our ire for only the figureheads of the myriad ills of our nation is worse than useless. What are we personally doing on a day-to-day basis to remove the scourges of racism, sexism, human exploitation/trafficking, abuse, homelessness, hunger and rotting infrastructure, environmental destruction? Petty squabbling and name-calling like children? Not too sure that’d be effective.

Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, MLK Jr., JFK, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Elizabeth Blackwell, Joan Baez, William Wilberforce, Nelly Bly, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Erin Brockovich, the Standing Rock Water Protectors and so many others were not special snowflakes. They saw the injustices right there in front of them, they rolled up their sleeves and they waded right in, whether it was by use of their occupation, their voice, their pen, their pulpit, placing their body as a blockade, or their outpouring of compassion for their fellow human beings, they certainly made a difference in the world around them with reverberations that are still felt today and which will continue to be felt for generations to come.

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“With Malice Toward None, With Charity For All…”

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The only real thing that matters is that now, even more than ever, we should treat everyone with love, respect and kindness.
 
Basing our treatment of others upon which politician they’ve chosen to swallow the propaganda of, doesn’t do much for generating the positive energy needed to move forward in spite of the political machinery that profits from blocking all progress that does not favor its oligarchical masters.
 
There’s no guarantee that any politician will keep their campaign promises once they’ve gotten elected and now have access to the lobbyist gravytrain. It’s rather like the cliche (sorry, fellas! „ÄÄ ) teenage boy who promises to love and respect a girl if she’ll sleep with him, and the next day she finds that he’s bragged all over school about how ‘easy’ she was and was just another notch on his bedpost. Between the corporate-sponsored political propaganda and cult-like vitriol for any other than their chosen “savior”, people give their power over to these political demi-gods they’ve built up with their worship.
 
We tend to forget that in day-to-day, feet-on-the-ground living, it’s us that make the difference. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the ones who march against Monsanto, we are the ones tweeting and fb’ing love over hate, we are the ones passing along the mainstream-media-ignored news of Standing Rock, we are the ones with the real power to make the change, and it doesn’t matter what political idiot occupies the corporate-owned throne in Wash D.C. There’s more of us than there are of them, and with a will and a heart for spreading love, respect and kindness for all, we can make the changes needed for the ills that pervade society, no longer waiting for “elected” “representatives” to save us and do it for us, because they just won’t.
 
Enough time and energy and effort has been siphoned away by this political farce, from the folks who make the *real* changes in the fabric of our society. We don’t need the politicians, we never did. Everything we need to effect real and lasting change is within us. WE are our own saviors and we are the ones we have been waiting for. We just have to uproot ourselves from our complacency and comfort zones and step out there and commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty, and liberally slather on a heaping serving of love, respect and kindness for all.
 
We are the universe made manifest and we are made of starstuff.¬† We have much more power than we realize and too many make their living off of trying to hoodwink us that that is not so and that somehow we need them. The truth is that we don’t need them, they are a non-functional, obsolete, antiquated relic of the past. We’ve grown beyond the dubious ‘security blanket’ of “elected” “leaders”.
 
There are now, more than ever, so many of us waking up and coming into our own power to sculpt the future into what our hearts know to be true. “With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right…let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” – Abraham Lincoln
 
Love. Respect. Kindness.
No more waiting.
Our time has come and we are mighty. „ÄÄ
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