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Enter to win a Rubberband Loom kit from Simply Creative Boutique!


Rainbow Looms are all the rage right now with girls and boys alike. I mean who doesn’t want a creative bracelet handmade and fashionable? : ) you won’t want to be the uncool parent not having one under the tree this year. So Simply Creative Boutique has stocked the shelves with Loom Kits and rubber band refills to help make you the cool parent!  (This was not an easy thing to do as everything is back ordered everywhere for these items) but I managed it!


Ok so here is the deal… I’m going to giveaway one loom kit (includes loom, rubber bands, hook and directions) all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and like my FB page. It’s that simple. Winner will be chosen at random thru rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For anyone wanting to purchase a loom kit here is a link to purchase from

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iGoogle left, so I got Symbaloo

When iGoogle retired, I really wasn’t sure what to do.  I had had iGoogle as my browser homepage for years, I loved opening it up to see the latest RSS blog feeds.  Since I’ve known it was retiring for quite some time, I decided to be prepared.  I moved all my RSS feeds to Bloglovin, which at first I was happy with.  But then it got to the point I was getting 2 emails a day with blog post summaries.  Who has time for that?  And I started to detest scrolling through each email because it was so hard to see what I might really want to, all at one time.

I searched for a replacement to iGoogle and came upon this comparison article at Gizmo’s Freeware.  Check it out if you still haven’t found a solution you like.  It pointed towards a few that are similar to the capabilities of iGoogle, and a few that were different.  I decided to try something new.

I’ve been using Symbaloo for a month or so now and I love the layout.  This is how it looks before you add any content.  Its completely customizable, you can change the background color from black to other solids or various photos.  You can increase the size to add more links or RSS feeds.  If you’re adding links (I’ll show a photo of that layout), you can change the block color and image, and choose whether or not it shows the blog name.

symbaloo start

How it looks before you place any links or RSS in it.

Webmix Collection

The Webmix Collection: searchable by subject

I haven’t really used the Webmix Collection yet, but I clicked on it once and it searched within the subject.  So if you were looking for something new to read about, that could be fun!

Home Webmix

The default home page with links to “frequently used” sites.

News page

The news page, mouse over to see the headlines, click to read the stories.

Blogs tab

My blogs page, a list of the ones I follow to just open up their website.

My blog links page, its just a square per link, you click and it opens into a new window.  For awhile I had them color coded, then I decided to switch more to all RSS feeds so I could actually see whats going on every day on the blogs.  However, there are a few websites that will NOT incorporate themselves into the RSS feed style.  Not sure why.  So those I have to keep like this, it really just means I don’t visit quite as frequently.  I’m not done moving the blogs over to RSS yet.

RSS tab

RSS feeds tab

This is what the RSS feeds look like.  Each feed takes up 9 blocks, plus you can increase how many blogs you see per tab.  The max viewable all at once is 10, after that you need to start scrolling.  Sometimes feeds are not available, usually that only lasts for a short time.  I do not know why or at which end the problem is.  But it never lasts very long, so it doesn’t bother me.

adding an rss

How to add an RSS feed or website link

The adding an address form looks the same whether it is an RSS feed or just a website.  See how customizable it is for the website options?  If its RSS feeds, nothing but the website address matters.

Overall, I am very happy with the service and wanted to share my experience with you all incase you never found a replacement or wanted to try something new!

Nope, I am not being compensated in ANY way for posting about Symbaloo. I actually really like the service and wanted to give my real opinions about it!

The Big Moving Sale!

Craft Schmaft is having a Moving Sale! She has all of her items in her store 50% OFF!! She sells printed patterns, softie kits, fabric panels, etc!! Check it out. Her owls are too cute. Hot air balloon mobiles? She’s got them!

Craft Schmaft

The time has come to clear all of the Craft Schmaft stock. Here it is peeps, the Craft Schmaft moving sale with up to 50% off printed patterns, softie kits, fabric panels and more. You heard it here first:

Craft Schmaft Moving Sale

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Life Got Busy….Again

I haven’t really felt motivated to write a post in awhile, obviously you can see the last time I actually posted something I wrote.

Finals week was crazy during school, last quarter I had practicals I needed to pass, and the last one had me really nervous!  I did great on all my practicals though and I think my final exams went well 🙂  I won’t know my grades until the first day of next quarter….thats tomorrow btw!  My break week was this past week and I spent the entire time (well mostly) planning and progressing through an extra large painting!  Still working on it, I have a total of 3 weeks to finish it and be happy with the final result.

I changed a few colors and painted over a few things that weren’t quite right.  I’ve been watching plenty of YouTube videos to perfect my painting and learn a few new techniques.  I’ve had to relearn some color theory which has really improved the composition.  I’m pretty happy with what I have so far, and overall in sense of space its more than half done.  But in sense of time and detail- not so much.

Luckily this first week should be fairly light on homework, so I should progress a decent amount this week and hopefully will only have to do a few touch-ups and apply varnish the 3rd week.  I don’t believe I should share the painting with you all yet, because I am making it for a restaurant (HELL YEAH!), and since its basically a commission, I should really wait until it is finished and in place.  So be excited for that, I will share finished photos and some of my progress photos if you are interested.

I’ve also been keeping busy with some babysitting the babies, my niece and nephew have both started rolling over, its so cute!  They are going to be 5 months old on October 4th!!!  Yay!  They are both growing big and have started drooling like crazy!  haha And just this past week have started on rice cereal!  Always an adventure with those kids 🙂

I went to a local festival and found these cute little handmade necklace terrariums!  Have to share, I did not pick one up, but I thought they were adorable!  Check out her Etsy Shop: CraveJewelryDesign and another shop: Sparkover that is repurposed circuit board jewelry.  Maybe the terrariums are a new line, they aren’t listed in her Etsy shop.  Either way, I love that they are upcycling items into jewelry, and thinking differently.  That right there, is a win!

Oh, and one last thing, have any of you ever heard of Garage Sale groups on Facebook?  They are my new favorite things!  I might be addicted, but I’ve already sold a bunch of things on there.  Better luck than Craigslist sometimes!  Anyway, just search “your city Garage Sale” on Facebook and I bet you’ll find some groups!  Also try, yard sales, sales, Christmas sale, craft sales, etc.  I have joined quite a few in the area and even sold some of my handmade items there!  I am hoping to sell more before Christmas too 🙂

A Symbol, A Gesture

Allowing Myself

I never forget, but it’s hard to remember.

Was caught of guard last night when I saw the date was September 10th. Here in Los Angeles, where “your feelings change but seasons never do” (Sherwood) it’s difficult for me to feel the date. Is it August or March? It’s hard to tell. I grew up on the east coast, where that one week of shifting sun in August leads to the brisk breeze of September. You can feel it, in the sun, in the wind, in the noises at night.

Even after 7 years here in LA – I don’t.

But this morning I was reminded of the importance of the date when I saw this flag hanging from a neighbor’s balcony. Didn’t take her as a political person, but then again, neither am I. And I appreciate the symbol, the gesture, the recognition.

So, I send…

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Five Ways David Letterman’s First Broadcast After 9/11 Helped New Yorkers Start Healing

High Five THIS

One of the biggest challenges New Yorkers faced after 9/11 was returning to normalcy without disrespecting the lives lost on that day. Six days after the attacks, “The Late Show with David Letterman” gave us the strength to face this challenge for these five reasons.

1) The Candid Honesty – Letterman began his monologue asking for “patience and indulgence” because he needed to “hear himself talk for a couple of minutes”. And talk he did… with honest emotion, in a voice that shook, but that also conveyed strength. Addressing our pain, he commented, “You can feel it, you can see it… it’s terribly sad… terribly, terribly sad.” He vocalized the anger and fear we were all sharing and he did it with great care and integrity, two qualities he maintained throughout the broadcast. This is exactly what New Yorkers needed in a time of confusion: raw honesty in a time…

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Usually, I don’t dwell on the anniversary of 9/11. But our youngest son has now entered the US Military Academy Prep School, at West Point. So 12 years after the fact the personal impact of that day has arrived. The attacks came on Raymond’s first day of first grade. Just as Watergate and Nixon’s impeachment shaped my world view and the path I took, Sept. 11, 2001, defined Raymond.

If you are a runner at West Point (I suppose everyone’s a runner at West Point), you join with hundreds of others on Sept. 11 for the Patriot Day Flag Run – when dozens of teams keep American flags moving the entire day.

patriotda2That’s a run I’d love to do.

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