Diana Rambles: February 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

March Madness is Upon Us!

Tomorrow starts March Madness...not the basketball variety, but reviews, giveaways, daily memes, & fun. Sited and Blogged is the headquarters for March Madness, but I will be focusing on reviews and giveaways here at Diana Rambles. Come back for reviews of some awesome products throughout the month. You will have your chance to win many of these wonderful products! I'll post a new review every 2-3 days.

Top Droppers for February

How did this month go so fast? I guess it's the 28 day thing. Thanks to everyone who dropped this month. My top droppers can grab the blinkie below!! (This is the stats from the last 30 days.)
LifesPerfectPictures

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Diana Rambles

Friday, February 27, 2009

FFFF #16: Home Sweet Home

FamilyFotoFunFriday
The theme for this week's FFFF is home sweet home. Please post at least one photo of your home. You can post a pic of your current home, a place you grew up, or maybe your vacation home (OK...if anyone has a vacation home...I wanna see it! LOL!) Then come back here and fill out the Mr. Linky with the direct URL to your post. Detailed directions for participating in FFFF and how to do get the direct URL to your post can be found here. **Heads up~ March FFFFs are going to be a series of childhood photos. Dig out some photos and start scanning. Week 1 will be a baby/toddler pic of YOU!**

I am posting 2 pics of our current home. The first is a pic of Eric out front the day we bought the house 7 yrs ago.The next is a pic taken late last summer after we did some major home improvement. We sided, got a new front door, and a new roof. We really need to paint the garage door WHITE!

Now is your turn! Post your home sweet home photo(s) with a link to this site then add the link to your post to the Mr. Linky below. PLEASE put the direct link to the post in the Mr. Linky. Direct link is best so people don't have to scroll through your blog to try to find your post. You have until Thurs, March 5th to post your entry.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Join the Fight!

Look at this adorable baby and watch the video.
Learn more about Hannah and Gaucher's Disease at
Little Miss Hannah
.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reality Wrap

OK...I have been swamped and have neglected my own blog and visiting others, but I will take a few minutes to review the past week's reality shows I watch.

True Beauty~ Dumb, predictable!

The Bachelor~ ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz episode. Sure looks like they are wanting Jillian to be the next Bachelorette.

Survivor~ OK...if someone told me that the first person off each team was the going to be the girl with the biggest uhm...tatas, I probably wouldn't believe it. Looks like momentum is switching to the other side. I really want to get to know more people on the black team, but they didn't show much more than Brendan. Looks like he will go far. I think I like Jerry, but so far we've not seen much of him. Dumb move on Taj's part to say she's married to Eddie George. She's expendable. She better keep her mouth shut about her music career or she's out SOON. Looks like she and Brendan will play the others for a little bit. The challenge was lots of fun to watch. Don't you wonder why the weather always seems to be just so perfect (meaning rain, heat, wind) for a challenge? I wonder if they keep the teams hidden out in the forrest waiting for a turn in the weather. I mean it's OK before and after the challenge, but torrential rains during. The little bro-mance between JT and Stephen cracks me up. Good move on Stephen's part. I just didn't get a real feel for contestants this episode, so I am sticking with JT for the million.

AR14~ OK...we just LOVE this show. Epi was not as good as 1, but still fun to watch. I can't believe that all those teams chose to jog down the hill for an hour instead of wait for the wind to die down. Mel was golden on that! And it was SOOO obvious that Linda & Steve would be out, although those ditzy blondes came close. They need to step it up or they won't last as bottom feeders. This video of Steve & Linda is so funny! If I were on I'd have a hard time choosing between the Segways and Pies. Mark & Michael were just too relaxed on this leg. Looks like Tammy & Victor will dominate the entire race.

OK...not the most exciting reviews...but I am TIRED. Until next week....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Make Something Monday: Doctor/Hospital Toys


My daughter is having surgery soon and will need to say in the hospital a day or so. She's already had a battery of tests and is not thrilled with going for her appointments. I am trying to ease her anxiety through books and play. We have a doctor's kit, but it doesn't have some of the things we need. So I created some. Some things were simple: bandages, hospital bed, mask, but the IV was more involved. I took an old Rx bottle, filled it with popcorn kernals for weight, modge-podged it with some white fabric, ran & glued a wire through the lid, added a bag & ribbon...for a somewhat realistic looking IV. Here are some pics of her playing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Tonight we were over at a friend's house playing games and the group Bay City Rollers was an answer to a question. We all broke out singing S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! We recalled when we used to get together like 10-13 yrs ago and play games, call the radio station for wild requests, and just have fun. We all had fun tonight...but we are all older and there are a bunch of little kids around...so we've toned it down a little bit. And we just don't stay out as late as we used to. We would get together nearly EVERY Fri or Sat night for cards & games. We are now trying to resurrect that...but with a once a month get together. Fun times!

It's been a long, but GREAT day. In addition to the games, I helped clean a classroom at Dori's preschool. I got the job of dunking the toys in bleach water. Next time I will remember to bring some rubber gloves. I had been doing a good job of keeping my hands from cracking this winter, but today was a set back. No fear...I have my Skin MD. It was nice to socialize with other parents and the kids had fun playing in the next classroom.

I also had the FIRST birthday of my Custom Blog Designs business today. I posted 2 fun games and we chatted on the blog. I had no idea how many people would actually show up and play, but we had a great group going and I think everyone had a great time. I've had a lot of experience planning parties and fun events, but with this being virtual...I wasn't sure who would show. We had people from from 4 continents participating. How cool is that?! Thanks to everyone who came out today and to everyone who made the birthday celebration special this week. I've had lots of business ideas over the past 10 years (since I stopped teaching to be home with the kiddos) and they don't seem to last. Some ideas I never more forward on and some I start...and then lose interest. (Can you say ADD?) Designing blogs has sparked and kept my interest. I just love creating and using PhotoShop Elements. I started Custom Blog Designs without a plan...and it's worked! Thank you Mendy for planting the seed and helping me grow a business! I also want to thank Kim who has promoted me, encouraged me, and ordered lots of custom graphics. Your support is a great inspiration for my business, Kim. (I should probably post this stuff over there!)

Winter returned...YUCK! I think we were lucky to have the nice weather than we did for a few weeks. Even though it's bitterly cold, I think we can realistically count down to spring.

OK...I am heading to bed. Hope you had as good of Saturday as I did!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

FFFF #15: Computers

FamilyFotoFunFriday
The theme for this week's FFFF is computers. Please post at least one photo of your computer (home, work, laptop, old one, whatever OR even a pic captured by your computer) and come back here and fill out the Mr. Linky with the direct URL to your post. Detailed directions for participating in FFFF and how to do get the direct URL to your post can be found here.

I picked this theme because I got a NEW laptop this week!!! I have only used it a few days, but I love it. It's so much faster than my old laptop. I bought it as a gift to myself to celebrate Custom Blog Design's first birthday.You can see my old laptop in the background of the top pic. This new one is so nice and WIDE!

Here is a pic of our first computer from 1993. It's a Mac Color Classic. As you can see, Baby Jacob loved it! LOL!

Now is your turn! Post your computer photo(s) with a link to this site then add the link to your post to the Mr. Linky below. PLEASE put the direct link to the post in the Mr. Linky. Direct link is best so people don't have to scroll through your blog to try to find your post. You have until Thurs, Feb 26 to post your entry.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Thursday

Which usually means I do a ramble, but I am not feeling it at this point. Let's see what it is by the time I hit publish.

I've been very busy this week with my Custom Blog Designs birthday celebration. I've put plan into place for the party on Saturday which includes games & a chat. Hop over to CBD to see the details. Hope you can make it! (I'll post about MY CBD birthday gift as part of FFFF tomorrow.)

I've managed to get lots done this week...important paperwork, taxes (actually Eric did them), and some other things around the house. I was STRESSING out this afternoon about my teen and Dori's impending surgery. Nothing some exercise & brownies couldn't take care of. I *LOVE* the recipe from The Mom with Brownies blog.

OK...that's all I have to say...so NOT a ramble!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reality Wrap

OK...it's time for my new weekly feature~ Reality Wrap. Each week (hopefully) I will give you my observations/opinions of the reality shows that I watch. Feel free to comment~ I just LOVE talking reality TV!

This week I am starting with True Beauty. Yup...this is a dumb show...and has gotten dumber lately. I am surprised that I still watch, but it's on after The Bachelor, so why not. The boot of Laura last night was not surprising. I don't think that Joel has a chance of winning now either. The judges are split on Billy. Julia (I think that's her name) has kind of flown under the radar. She's passed most of the tests and hasn't made any major mistakes. Aston's mom said that Julia & her mom seemed insincere, but she probably just doesn't understand Texans. So it comes down to Billy & Julia. Billy has the underdog card going for him, but I'll say Julia wins.

I was so sad to see Jillian go on The Bachelor last night. I thought they had potential of something lasting (yes, it might have just been a friendship), but I don't see the showmance between Jason and either Molly or Melissa lasting. I think he liked Jillian for her spunk, individuality, and intelligence. I know Molly's eyes just mesmerize Jason, but I see her as the 'she's the one he should pick because they make an attractive couple' pick. Yes, her family visit went well...but I just don't see them lasting. Melissa is his sex-appeal pick. He is very attracted to her. Her 'togetherness' just seems sort of fake. And there is something strange about the family situation. I can understand them not wanting to appear on TV and then see their daughter's heart broken, BUT when Jason talked to her bestfriends...they had barely met her family. What are they hiding? So at this point, I really don't care who Jason picks cause it's just a showmance that will fizzle by May. The girls tell all should be fun next week. They showed a preview of former contestants and I didn't know any of them except Trista. I only watched a few of the first seasons. Not sure why I decided to watch this season.

Survivor~ I have to admit that I watched it twice. We had lots of distractions on Thurs night and just didn't take it all in. I struggle to keep up with everyone on those first few episodes of a new season. So before Eric & I rewatched it online, we read up on each contestant. It was nice to know everyone's name and schtick as we watched. Sandy is such a crazy weird-o, but to her credit...she knows that and she rocked on the challenge. What is a pace? The lone palm tree??? It was quite obvious that the red team was going to tribal because they didn't show much of the black team at all. In fact a few players on that team didn't get more than a few seconds of face time. Players that I don't care for/will drive me nuts~ Tyson & Coach! I mentioned that I've had about a 40% success rate of picking the winner after the first episode. I am not feeling strong about this AND they only really showed one team...but for now I am picking JT for the win. What do you think? Next week's challenge looks down & dirty! FUN!

I saved the best for last~ The Amazing Race. We've been SO excited about this for weeks. We got home late on Sunday and then our DVR messed up...so we didn't get to watch. UGH!!!!! So we got up early on Monday and watched online. The quality of CBS's video is EXCELLENT, but I still prefer to watch this live. Going in I predicted that Linda & Steve will be the first team out, followed closely by Jennifer & Preston...but I was close. I seriously don't see Linda & Steve making it far. BUT they were so smart with making sled out of their cheese backpacks and going down like that. That challenge was so much fun to watch. When we studied up on the contestants I thought the flight attendants (Christie & Jodi) would do well, but it looks like they might be bottom feeders and then up out mid season. OK...let me run down the rest of the teams. Amanda & Kris- bug me (I'll just leave it at that). Brad & Victoria- Surprised by them, I think they will go far. Gingerbeasts (Cara & Jaime)- Kind of gag me, 4th or 5th out...if that. Lakisha & Jennifer- I like them and they have potential to do very well. Margie & Luke- Like them, strong team, final 3. I liked how Phil signed to them on the mat. Mark & Michael- I thought I would not like this team, but they are fine~ possible top 3. Mel & Mike- Some of their lines really cracked me up, probably out mid season or sooner. Tammy & Victor- Their agressiveness is a little much, but they have potential of being top 3. So that puts Margie & Luke and Mark & Micheal in the top 3, which the potential of Tammy & Victor or Brad & Victoria. What do you think???
Don't forget that CBS.com had the Elimination Station & Phil's Dairy videos which are fun to watch. Watching the first ES makes me glad that Jennifer & Preston are OUT!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Custom Blog Designs



Unless you are a new visitor to my blog, you know that I run a custom blog makeover business called Custom Blog Designs. CBD offers blog makeovers, headers/banners, blog buttons for $6, blog signatures, graphics, digital scrapbooking, and blog management services. CBD is turning 1 on Saturday and I have a week long celebration going on. Head on over to CBD and enter to win a custom blog makeover. Entry is easy! Each day this week I will be posting a blogging tip/trick which will help you to become a more savvy blogger. And on Saturday there will be games & prizes. Come join the fun and see what Custom Blog Designs has to offer YOU!


Make Something Monday: Homemade Playdough


For my MSM I am sharing 3 recipes for homemade playdough. I am all for easy...so there is no cooking involved in these recipes.

Chocolate Scented Playdough
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup cocoa
½ cup salt and
½ Tbl. cream of tartar
1 ½ Tbl. oil
1 cup boiling water
Mix all dry ingredients together and then add in wet.
Kool-Aid Playdough
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
1 Tbs. alum (I used cream of tartar)
2 pkgs. unsweetened Koolaid
3 Tbs. oil
2 cups boiling water
Mix all dry ingredients together and then add in wet.
Knead until well mixed. Let cool.
May feel sticky at first, just keep working with it.
I added in glitter.Easy Playdough
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1-1.5 cups water
food coloring (added to water)
2 Tbs. cooking oil
Mix all dry ingredients together and then add in wet.
We added glitter.
Enter your entry into Mr. Linky below. Please participate in my Family FotoFun Friday meme. Theme is posted on Fridays and you have a week to participate.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Ramble *UPDATED: 9pm~ish*

First off I wanted to share a star sighting from yesterday! LOL!As stated earlier this week, we are excited about the start of The Amazing Race 14 tonight. Last night we watched all the pre-show video clips at CBS.com and learned who all the teams are, where they are going, a preview to tonight's episode, and Phil's Diary (which is really cool! He's got the BEST job ever!) The interview clips were all in a studio so everyone was on their best behavior, so it is hard to say if we will like the teams or now. I anticipate that Linda & Steve will be the first team out, followed closely by Jennifer & Preston. I'll be back on Tuesday to do my new weekly reality wrap. We actually studied up on all the Survivor teams and rewatched the first episode, so I have some opinions to share.

We've been a little overwhelmed with parenthood lately. We are dealing with lots of teen-angst and found out this week that our daughter needs surgery for a congenital kidney condition. We have a great pediatric urologist that we've been seeing and he will be doing the surgery. We are not worried about the procedure itself, but the emotions that go with it. It will probably worse on us. It's going to be done during spring break, which gives us a little time to prepare. We wanted to take a little trip over spring break...and now we get to. To the hospital!!

We have been enjoying the warmer than normal temps lately. We were able to talk walks outside and enjoy some fresh air. We even turned off our furnace for several days. It's back on now, but hardly kicks on. We have been having more normal temps the past few days, but it just doesn't seem too bad. I think of February as a miserable month...with dreams of spring, but maybe the little warm up helped keep those feelings away. I haven't looked at the forecast lately...so maybe arctic conditions are on their way. Just so the sun is shining...I won't complain.

Today I have some symptons of a migraine, but I am doing OK. I have the aura and pressure when I bend over, but not much of a headache itself. When we were coming home from church around noon the light seemed ultra bright and I realized that a migraine might be coming on. I took some Excedrin and rubbed some Head-On on my forehead...and I am OK. Funny thing is that if I keep my brain occupied, I forget about it.

Eric is doing taxes today. Once again we maxed out on our return amount before we entered all our deductions. It's nice that we are getting back over double what we paid in federal taxes, but it's kind of a bummer that we don't earn enough for all our deductions to count. This is our 3rd and final year of the adoption tax credit. That should have been 11K spread out over 3 years, but we only got 7K of it. BUMMER!!

I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day. We are very low key around here and don't do any thing special for it. If you haven't seen it yet, check out my Custom Blog Designs blog for a great giveaway and celebration of it's first birthday. And PLEASE participate in Family FotoFun Friday below. Even though it's not Friday...you have until the following Thursday to participate each week. This week's theme should be EASY...it's LOVE!!!

**UPDATE: Had the DVR all set to record AR14. We got home late and when we went to watch it...the DVR went all crazy on us and we didn't get to see it. BOO HOOO!! I think we are getting over it...and plan on getting up early tomorrow to watch it on CBS.com before Eric has to work!**

Friday, February 13, 2009

FFFF #14: Love

FamilyFotoFunFriday
I honor of Valentine's Day, I've picked the theme of love for this week's FFFF. Love could mean a pic of someone or something you love. Maybe the photo just depicts love. Whatever it is, please post at least one photo with a love theme and come back here and fill out the Mr. Linky with the direct URL to your post. Detailed directions for participating in FFFF and how to do get the direct URL to your post can be found here.

I've decided to put pics of the people I love most, which is my family. This photo was taken on Thanksgiving day. Now is your turn! Post your love photo(s) with a link to this site then add the link to your post to the Mr. Linky below. PLEASE put the direct link to the post in the Mr. Linky. Direct link is best so people don't have to scroll through your blog to try to find your post. You have until Thurs, Feb 19 to post your entry.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let's talk reality...

We are excited that Survivor Tocantins starts tonight. We've watched EVERY Survivor, even though they aren't as good as they used to be. In fact, most reality seasons start well and then fizzle out. We call ourselves reality junkies, but I know we watch less shows than others. Our very favorite is Amazing Race, which starts Sunday! Others we like are True Beauty (but it's getting dumb), Beauty & the Geek, and The Mole. We've been watching The Bachelor this season, but with all the crazy girls eliminated it just isn't as fun. Have you noticed that Jason's nostrils flair when he's uncomfortable to turned off my something? Cracks me up!!

OK...so Survivor. I just watched a preview online and I like the idea of them playing up first impressions. Might prove to be a fresh spin on a recycled show. I used to read up about the players before the show started and form favorites, but I'll just take it as it is tonight. I like to make predictions and have guessed the winner for about 40% of the seasons after the first episode. I have not been very successful lately (although I did pick Todd in China), so let's see how I do this season. I will post my predictions sometime this next week...and maybe even do a weekly wrap of my fav shows.

We are VERY excited about AR starting. I just downloaded this cast pic.I haven't read up on this cast at all, but Eric told me that Ned Sneebly (from School of Rock) is in it with his dad, but I think that it's the only 'celeb'. I know that these reality shows are full of mactors (model-actors)...but I still enjoy it. We like to go to Survivor Sucks and see what others have to say about reality shows. People are pretty mean there, but I like the chops (photo shop crops of photos). I usually participate in the AR chops. I think that Eric & I would do great on AR! We love Amazing Race Asia too. It's only shown in Asia on AXN, but we watch online. We even started to watch AR Brazil once, but the language barrier and their cheesy host was too much.

Do you like reality shows? What do you watch???