Diana Rambles: December 2008

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

credit: Raspberry Road Designs

Thank You!

I want to thank all the EntreCard users that visit my blog. A special thanks goes out to my top droppers (shown below.) The top droppers for December get extra advertising on my left sidebar this month.

Here is an award you can post on your blog if you want!



Wordless Wednesday: Wheeled Friends

Tues Ramble

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I feel a ramble coming on! (that's your warning! LOL!)

It was a good day today. Like I mentioned it in an earlier post it was a warm sunny day, so we got a walk in OUTSIDE. Now the wind is howling out there (we have a wind advisory), so I am sure it's going to be COLD tomorrow. I finished putting plastic on the upstairs windows this afternoon and it does not feel drafty at all. We have replacement windows (put in by the former owner) but they do let a little air through. We used to have our computers downstairs in a front bedroom, but since I got this laptop and then moved my Mac upstairs I don't go down much. So it's really chilly downstairs.

We had a strange dinner. When I was looking for recipes I saw the Coke Roast recipe with chicken instead of beef. I tried it out (actually with a combo of chix and turkey) with a few adjustments and it was just not as good. I don't think the adjustments were the problem. We are just going to stick to the original recipe with beef. It seems as if we haven't paid attention to details with several things we made recently and things just haven't been tasting as good. I am just sick of food all together...but why am I still so big???

Tomorrow night we have a party about an hour away. We don't like to be out driving on New Years, so we decided to get a hotel room for the night. We are going to head over early in the afternoon, check in, swim, hang out, go to the party a few miles away, and then go back and sleep at the hotel. We will wake up on Thursday, grab the comp breakfast, swim, check out, and then probably go out to lunch before heading home. About a week ago I posted that we wanted to get out of town to someplace warmer, but we realized we would have to drive a LONG way to find decent weather...and then we got some decent stuff here...so we've just been hanging out. So tomorrow night will be our little getaway. w00t! I've been tossing around the idea of not bringing my laptop with me (which would be about 24 hours offline!), but Eric has to take his cause he's on call for work...so I might just take mine. If I do, I will grab movies for the kids to watch on it. I really should grab a trashy novel to read, but I don't have any on hand!

I was busy with graphic orders today. Biz was pretty quiet between Thanksgiving and Xmas, but picked up after I lowered my prices. I just did a big post about it all on my Custom Blog Designs blog. My design queue is about a week long now.

I am still behind on my posts....

OK~ The year is almost over and I haven't even taken the time to reflect back on it. And I probably won't. LOL! Nothing big sticks out...so it must have just been a regular 'ole year.

Well...I *might* be offline for a little while. I do have my Wordless Wed set to post in the morning (probably LONG before I get up...we've been sleeping in til 9ish everyday!) and will check blogs if I am not too busy in the morning.

If I don't post...make sure you have a happy and SAFE New Years celebration!!!!!!!!!!!!

Walk On!

We just took a 30 min walk OUTSIDE! That is the 4th day in a row that we walked outside! w00t! The past 2 days were a little chilly, but not horrible. Today was GLORIOUS! I am surprised we didn't see others out...on none of the days. We try to take advantage of fresh air whenever we can. It is supposed to be sunny the next several days, but too cold to get outside.

New Award!

I created a special award for a special reader of mine, Jim H! Jim is a very interesting guy with a very interesting blog called Planet Ruth. Check it out here! Congrats Jim! Well deserved!

Sk8R Girl!

Monday, December 29, 2008

We went roller skating tonight! It was FUN! Eric grew up WT, so he skates well. I am not a fancy skater, but I can go backwards and I don't fall.

Meet My Friends Monday: Andreah

I don't have anything for Make Something Monday so I am participating in Meet My Friends Monday instead. This meme is hosted by Toni over at It Is Nap Time.


I would like to introduce you to a new blogger friend of mine, Andreah of Life's A Hoot. I recently stumbled upon Andreah as I was checking out blog giveaways. I really liked the look of Andreah's blog and appreciate that her blog is a combination of personal blogging and giveaways. So here is my little interview with Andreah.
Why did you start blogging?

I honestly started blogging because I enjoyed reading other blogs so much. I thought, I can make a fun blog that others would enjoy to read too!

In what way do you think blogging benefits you?

Besides all the great contests I get to enter!?! I also get to meet some of the most interesting women from the comfort of my home. I have anxiety problems when meeting new people so this is an easier way for me to talk to other moms without being anxious.

Has your blog evolved since you started blogging?

Well, I only started in November so it hasn't evolved much yet. But, I do have a cute new layout and design that I love. Props to Sweet Cheeky Designs and Traci for the design!

Is there anything more that you would like to get out of your blog than you do now?

I would like to start writing and posting more. I get nervous about what to say and then I hit a huge road block. I would also like to attract more readers. And, I hope to start doing more product reviews and giveaways very soon! Stay tuned for that =)

What is your best blogging advice?

Well since I am a newbie I don't have a lot of advice. I would say that I have learned that is good to put yourself out there. Comment on a lot of blogs and get to know people. Sign up on Twitter and tweet away!

Thank you for asking me to participate! I appreciate your interest in me and my blog =)

Andreah @ Life's A Hoot

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know Andreah better. Please stop by her blog and tell her HI!

Blog Readability Test

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I was responding to comments left on my blog and stumbled upon The Blog Readability Test via the Book Babie blog. You just go to the site and enter the URL of your blog and it will tell you the reading level of your blog. I would say it goes way beyond the blog and reflects the author too!
(apparently it will vary from day to day depending on your posts, but let's face it...a genius is a genius! LOL!)
blog readability test

What do you think?

Of the new look? I'll probably keep this one up through Winter, unless I get sick of it! LOL! Are the font colors/sizes OK? Any suggestions? I have a few little tweaks to take care of, but I think it's pretty cute!

BTW~ I changed the name slightly from Diana's Daily Ramblings to Diana Rambles!

Ramble Time

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hi! I've made the rounds with EC lately, but haven't done a good job of responding to comments. I've been busy the past few days with blogs. I redid a blog for Laura and I am happy with how it came out.I am also working on this blog. I uploaded the new template a few minutes ago, but the margins were all messed up and I didn't feel like dealing with that at 11:30pm...so I put this xmassy look back up. I'll get it all figured out and loaded tomorrow. Here's a sneak peek~I might just make this blog private for a little bit tomorrow afternoon while I get it all adjusted. So if you come knocking and the blog is down...don't get worried! I showed my husband the design and his first comment was when are you changing that pic? I told him never. He had this look and said that I am holding my mouth weird. Yup...weird...I like it. Dori took the pic!

Speaking of blogs, tomorrow is the last day to enter the New Look for the New Year Blog Makeover Giveaway. One lucky winner will get a fab new blog look done by ME!!! Head on over to I Am Harriet and get signed up!!!

I am behind on posting. I won 3 blog giveaways recently and I need to post about them. I already received 2 of the prizes.

Today we had really WARM weather. Monday it was zero and today was in the 60s. It was a little stormy at time, but we were still able to fit in a walk. How nice it was to get fresh air in December!!! Otherwise I am trudging away each day on the elliptical machine. I started yet another blog to track my progress, but I won't bore you with that.

Hey check this out~ a blogger (from a blog I designed) has been featured in a few newspaper articles. She's an 80 yr old blogger and really COOL! Here is an article from a Seattle newspaper: Octogenarian blogs with the best of them Her blog is very insightful and often humorous!

On the homefront...thing's aren't too toxic with everyone home. I've been doing a pretty good job of being calm with my teen (well except for today when I totally over-reacted and went off on him...but I will chalk that up to PMS!) DH seems a little bored (but not really grumpy!) and the 2 youngest are just their bouncy happy selves. The kids have been having a slumber party in Parker's room each night, but we were worried that Dori would not want to sleep in her bed again if they kept that up. So tonight everyone is in their own bed...except for me who is still up on the 'puter! Imagine that!

Sisterhood Award

I've created a new blog award called the Sisterhood Award (inspired by The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). This is a special award that should be given to your best bloggy girlfriend(s). Give them the award to thank them for their special friendship. No need to list favorites, addictions or what-not. You can even email them the award.

Here is the larger version (200x200 pixels)~
Here is the smaller version (150x150 pixels), which is perfect for sidebars.

I would like to pass on the award to my bestest bloggy/online buddy, Kim. We IM each other on a daily basis, so not only is her blog awesome, but she is a super friend and support in my life. I appreciate all the laughs and good advice that I get from her. We have not met IRL, but we will sometime. Maybe in 2009!!

Now grab the code and pass it onto your OLBBF (on-line best bloggy friend). LOL!

FFFF #7: Presents

Friday, December 26, 2008

Each Friday I will post a photo theme for the week. You will then post at least one photo that fits the theme on your blog along with an explanation. You can use a photo you took in the past, a photo taken by other family members, or a photo taken during the week to fit the theme. It is ok to use photos that you've posted on your blog before, but you need to put them into a new post. Please post the FFFF button (code in left sidebar) and link back to my blog. Once you've posted your entry on your blog, please come back and list your blog entry in Mr. Linky. Have fun looking at other blogs who have entered and leave some LUV! Feel free to contact me with suggestions for future themes.

As I gave a hint for last week, this week's theme is presents. Please post any photo(s) of presents from Christmas, Hanukkah, Yul, birthdays, or whatever. Tell us about the photo(s).

Here is a collage of my kids opening Christmas presents yesterday. We did not put gifts out until after they went to bed on xmas eve, so they were very excited when they woke up. Dori knew which ones were hers because I used Dora wrapping paper. Jake (oldest) got some tshirts and games, Parker got a Rip-Stik, tshirt, games, and anti-gravity car, and Dori got some dolls, a few clothes, toys, and a big container of crafts. They were very excited and had a fun game of playing with everything. Amazing how there was NO fighting or arguing for one day! You can click the photo to enlarge.
Now it is your turn. Please share your Present Photo(s). When you've posted your FFFF come back here and fill in the Mr. Linky below. You have until Thurs, Jan 1 to post your entry.
Family FotoFun Friday Participants
1. Kim
2. To Sing and Dance
3. Colleen
4. Cora
5. Wendy
6. sindy
7. Mendy
8. Lissa at Loving Lydia
9. Tammy

Learn more about Family FotoFun Friday here.

Get The Code

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Another Award!

Harriet at I am Harriet awarded me this~

Thanks Harriet!! I will email it onto another bloggy friend!

For You

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Dad's Boots


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I am quite late in posting most of these, but better late than never.

Sweet Mummy gave me this Kreativ award. With this award I am supposed to list 6 things I am thankful for and pass it onto 6 other Kreativ bloggers.
*my family
*our home
*abundant choices
*my friends
*my online buddies
*my health

Now I am passing this onto:
Wendy at Adoption & Fire
Dawn at Hummingbirds
Lisa at Maisie Eats Bento
Kristie at Cherry Blossoms
Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me
Kat at 3 Kids and Us

Melissa at Life with Two gave me this Fabulous award. With this reward I am supposed to list 5 things I am addicted to and pass it onto 5 bloggers.
*My laptop
*Photo Shop Elements

Now I am passing this onto:
Andreah at Life's A Hoot
Jamie at Mom to 3 Angels
Gina at The Clan McLeod
Toni at It is Nap Time
Tammy at Queen-Size Funny Bone

Lisa at Adventures of Jujuboo gave me the Christmas Spirit Award. I am supposed to list 5 things I love about Christmas and then pass this award onto 1-45 other people.
*gingerbread houses
*our annual party
*children's faces
*homemade goodies
*being with family

Now I am passing this onto:
Kim at Journey to Isabella
Faye at To Sing and Dance
Colleen at Crazy 8
B Boys Mom at Crazy Mom with 4 Boys

Added 12/24~
I was just awarded the Lovely Blog award by Kim over at Momma Momma.

Thanks for the awards and congrats to the new winners!!

My Living Will

Monday, December 22, 2008


Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her,

'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

She got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my wine.

She's such a &^+@}!!!!

Make Something Monday: Recycled Chair

Go Graham Go & Jolly Mom host Make Something Monday. For today's entry I am putting up a project we completed several weeks ago. I found 2 of these chairs out by a neighbor's trash with a free sign. They looked to be in good shape so I snagged them. The chair structure and finish is GREAT, it's just the ugly seat cushion that was worn out. For some reason pressboard was used and it just crumbled under someone. So after the chairs sat in our garage for nearly 2 months, we decide it was time to repair them. Turns out that we already had all the supplies we needed. Some nice weight plywood, thick foam, and some great upholstery fabric. First we took the old cushion apart and Eric traced the shape onto the new plywood (using the old foam as a guide). Then we used a serrated knive to cut the foam. Cut out a piece of fabric for each (making sure the print when the right way) and laid them out like this.Then we had Parker stand on the board to squish the foam a little bit and started stapling with the staple gun. Eric did the stapling while I held the fabric in place. We trimmed off the extra fabric beyond the staples. Then Eric had me sit on the cushions to hold them in place while he drilled from below.
Wa-La!! 2 new awesome looking chairs!! They came in handy for our party!! Such an easy project, not sure why we put it off for so long!!

Sunday Ramblings

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter is officially upon us, but it seems like it's been here for a while. The wind chill is -22 right now. The sun did peak out a little bit this AM and I was UP and ready to conquer the day. Now it's either snowing (flurries) or the wind is just blowing snow off things. Who knows? We are sitting here wishing for warmer weather. Eric has to work Mon & Tues, but then is off til the 5th. He is on call part of the time, but the likelihood he would get called and actually have to go in is slim. He can take care of most things online. SO...we are considering a road trip....SOUTH! Tennessee seems to be within a day's journey and the Titan's football game (on TV) looks gloriously sunny. But is it warm? Any recommendations of places that *might* possibly be warm (sunny is a bonus, but NOT required) in TN???? Please...suggestions????

Yesterday Eric took the kids to the library so that I could get presents organized and wrapped. They came back 10 mins early, but I was able to scramble and get eveything put away. We cannot put out gifts now cause they will peek (they take after ME!) With xmas cards done & presents wrapped, I am feeling pretty relaxed. We went spent about $5o per kid, which I feel good about. We are not getting anything for each other because we've spent too much money this year! (That new roof & siding is paying off with a much warmer house...our furnace doesn't run a lot! But it's kicked on today!)

I did take advantage of the Coco Bonbons sale and bought 4 things for Dori for less than $30. I ordered her fav pants in a bigger size. The 3Ts that she has now will probably last 2 seasons because they are long and we have the elastic in the waist pulled in. They have a sneak peak of their spring collection (which I have seen the catalog for) and I really like the owls and cupcakes!

I've slacked off on posting recipes. I am going to be lazy and just post links. Earlier this week I made Tater Tot Casserole and it was YUMMY! I double the cheese soup and used tots instead of crinkle fries. We will make this AGAIN! It tasted GREAT as leftovers. I also made Hickory Smoked Brisket in the crock pot. It smelled wonderful BUT I used corned beef brisket. OOPS! It was very salty. The recipe is not intended for that, but my guys didn't seem to mind. Eric finished the leftovers up for lunch today. Last night we had Maple Dijon Chicken that I made in the crockpot. I LOVED it! I used red potatoes instead of sweet and added carrots. I love cooked carrots. I gobbled it up for lunch today and it was good reheated! I love warm homemade mommy meals in the winter! We are going to my sister's for dinner tonight so I have no idea what we are eating, but it is usually online those lines. PLUS they have a bread maker! YUM!

My teen has been driving me NUTS the past few days. I've had a few online buddies who have helped me out and be very supportive. They both have experience with raising teen (boys). Jake is angry about many things and is blaming us. When I was gone this morning Eric had a talk with him about following my directions and putting in effort to get along with me. He's actually been polite. I am going to do my part and not obsess over the negative, stay calm, and try to spend more fun time with him. We are all going to be cooped up together for 14 more days, so I think every effort will help.

I won another giveaway. This one is for a Miss Gina's Car Carryall. I picked a cute print. I think it will come in handy in the car. Thank you Mommy's Idea for hosting and Miss Gina's for the great item! Don't forget there is about 9 hours left to enter my Coco Bonbons Penquin Outfit giveaway.

I should really get my duff off the computer and go clean. Bedrooms need to be cleaned by 5pm on Sunday and mine is in shambles! I can't tell the kids to clean theirs if mine is a mess. I'll have to assist Dori with hers too. I am sure I forgot to post something I was thinking about, but whatever!

Have a nice day!

Coco Bonbons Sale!!

OK...my giveaway ends tonight and I announce the winner tomorrow morning, but in the meantime check out the MASSIVE sale that Coco Bonbons is having this weekend.

This is the info from the Coco Bonbons website~
Dori just *LOVES* the style of her penguin pants, so I am going to go check out if they have similar pants in another collection.

Win a Blog Makeover by ME!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Are you dizzy yet with the new blinking banner?

Guess What? It's time for another giveaway from ME. It's called the New Look for the New Year giveaway and it's being hosted by I Am Harriet. One lucky winner will win a basic blog makeover + a blog button to match. This is a $50 value. This is only valid for blogger blogs and cannot be used on a commercial blog (review & giveaway blogs are OK!) Enter the giveaway and maybe you will be sporting a new look! A second winner will get a custom blog button. End Dec 28.

And if you haven't noticed...I lowered my blog makeover prices at Custom Blog Designs this week!! Check it out!

DON'T FORGET: My Coco Bonbons Penguin Outfit giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight!! Winner will be announced on Monday morning!!

AMAZING: Free Prints & Photo Book

Remember those photo books that were free for Oprah viewers? Well, I have something even better. Buy joining ArtsCow you can get a free photo book with 20 pages (each additional page is 50 cents) and 400 free digital prints (200 are 4x6 and 200 are 5x7). Please click this link to sign-up. When I registered and clicked on Credit & Discount I saw my free photo book + a free calendar (even more stuff than advertised!) I have 3 days to redeem them. You can get even more freebies by referring friends to join. Please sign-up using my referral, and then you can tell your friends about it. It's free to join, so please sign up. Here are their printing prices: 4x6 is 6 cents, 5x7 is 12 cents, 8x10 is 49 cents, 8x8 scrap pages are 1.99 (or less if you order more), and 12x12 scrap pages are 2.99 (or less if you order more). Plus they have LOTS of photo gifts. Shipping prices are very reasonable too! It's time for me to get off my duff and get stuff printed!!!!

So those of you who are snowed in with nothing to do...join ArtsCow and order your free photo book and get all those digital prints just sitting on a folder on your hard drive ordered!

FFFF #6: Pets

Friday, December 19, 2008

Each Friday I will post a photo theme for the week. You will then post at least one photo that fits the theme on your blog along with an explanation. You can use a photo you took in the past, a photo taken by other family members, or a photo taken during the week to fit the theme. It is ok to use photos that you've posted on your blog before, but you need to put them into a new post. Please post the FFFF button (code in left sidebar) and link back to my blog. Once you've posted your entry on your blog, please come back and list your blog entry in Mr. Linky. Have fun looking at other blogs who have entered and leave some LUV! Feel free to contact me with suggestions for future themes.

All the themes so far have been related to holidays, so I am going to pick more of an OT theme. This week's theme is Pets. Please post at least one photo of your pet or a pic of you with someone else's pet~ just something pet related. Let us know about the pets.

We have not had any pets for over 14 years, but I dug some old pics out and scanned them. We had 2 dogs when we lived in Hawaii. Our Whippet was named Debo (not sure why we spelled it that way as opposed to Devo...get it? Whip It! Whip it good!) and an Italian Greyhound named Piccini (we just called her Peeps). They had the same coloring so everyone thought that they were mom & pup. Both are smaller versions of greyhounds. People would tell us that we had skinny dogs and ask if we ever fed them. Sometimes we told them no. Even though it was warm in Hawaii they loved to pile under blankets. Peeps was 2# when we got her at 8 weeks and about 8# full grown. The dogs had some issues getting along so the Whippet went to live with a nice family that was moving to Michigan before our first child was born. I am 4 mos pregnant in the photo below (which was our xmas card photo in 1992). We moved back to the mainland in 1994 and Peeps went to live with a rich retired opera singer with a big house on the beach. She was spoiled. We kept in touch with that owner and even saw Peeps when we went to Hawaii in 2002. She ended up getting skin cancer. I guess all those days of lounging in the sun by the beach caught up with her. Now it is your turn. Please share your Pet Photo(s). When you've posted your FFFF come back here and fill in the Mr. Linky below. You have until Thurs, Dec 25 to post your entry.

**If you are entering my Coco Bonbons giveaway this counts as 3 entries! Make sure you enter here and post 3 comments with something like 'I participated in FFFF: Pets' in the comment section of the giveaway post. I will delete entries that do not follow directions.**

PS~ Next week's theme will be presents, so make sure you take some appropriate photos this week!



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