Saturday, July 31, 2010

Self Portrait Sunday - July 31, 2010

Oh, my poor little meme has never quite caught on. So sad. Funny, people just don't like taking pictures of themselves but when we are old and gray and have a lot of people pictures of obscure things what then. I much prefer to think I am going to live into my Golden Years and will cherish all photos of me looking younger and full of life's promises.

Here I am after coming back from dinner with my little family in town. We went to a "new for us" place. It was just Ok. Nice view, OK food but the atmosphere was a bit old and pathetic.
Picture 139

Join me this week and show your smiling face.

Weekend Winner Announcement

The winner of the National Geographic Kids Summer Boredom Buster giveaway is:

Dear Readers, Sorry it took me so long to run the numbers!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
49 - Justine Pierson
Timestamp: 2010-07-31 22:14:39 UTC

Ahhhh....took me forever to make sure Justine had "liked" National Geo Kids on Facebook. I will have to change this to asking you guys to grabbing a link of a comment or something.

Anywhoooooo, congrats Justine. I will be emailing you, please contact me with if you do not receive one.

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Camera Critters - The Mutant Fly

Camera Critters

For the past 3 years, Goddess has had a fascination with insects. It could be all the bug catches I got them from the age of 1 because I wanted to show them their world but whatever it is, Handsome does not have the same fascination.

We catch everything we spot outside in a bug catcher so Goddess could get a better glance at it.

Teach and Goddess came rushing in last weekend while I was on the phone with my girlfriend Teresa (funny, she actually tossed a drink one day while here to capture a bee for Goddess to see. It was strictly instinct because she runs from bees usually). The fly was huge. It was bigger than a horse fly and just ugly.

The bug catcher had been outside and was full of moisture so it was hard to get a good photo.

Here is one I took of it in the catcher.
Picture 129

Teach is a bit braver (hell he is the one who caught it) and opened the lid and snapped these.
The Fly

Picture 126

So, I did a bit of researching and I believe what we have here a March fly, horse fly, deer fly.

BTW...I had no idea!

Saturday 9: Bad Day

1. Is there anything that you tend to do to cheer up when you are having a bad day? I just hang around my kids. My kids never really see me in anything other than a good mood but if it happens, getting hugs from them or just listening to them talk changes everything. However, if they are the ones who put me in a temporary bad mood, like my daughter and her little while lies lately, all bets are off. Reading a trash mag usually does the trick.

2.What’s the last card game you played, and with whom did you play? It was Go Fish with Goddess. She can't hold the cards so I see all of them and have to ask for things I she doesn't have because that would be cheating to always win.

3.What’s the last board game you played, and with whom did you play? Lauri and her son brought over the Twilight board game last week. 

4.What’s the last computer game you played, and with whom did you play? It was Webkinz and I played all by my little lonesome. It has been over 4 months. I  really need to check those animals.

5.Is there somewhere you’d like to visit but have not, and where is it? I would love to visit so many places. Not a good flyer but I would love to see Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Canada but only for the opportunity I want to take pictures.

6.Think of your favorite movie (or a movie you really like, if you can’t think of a favorite). Some people say that the reasons you love your favorite movie are related to what you value in romantic relationships. How is this true or untrue in your case? I don't know about any of that mumbo jumbo. I like The Notebook because even after his wife couldn't remember who he was, he remained devoted to her and he felt finding the memory for her was his duty. He loved and adored her enough to remain with her even after she couldn't remember him, even as a "friend" until the moment she knew him.

7.What physical attributes do you find the most attractive? Body height, eyes, jawbone, lips, teeth, flat, muscular stomachs, and strong arms and shoulders.

8.How many people live in your house? Tell us about them. There are 4 of us here. My husband/friend. My son and daughter.

9. Ever punch someone in the face? Never!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dracula, My Love The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James

Picture this, 1992, Jersey City, NJ I headed out to see a movie entitled Dracula, starring, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins.  I loved it and saw it 2 times before finally buying it on VHS.

The story of Mina and her betrothed Jonathan, the costumes, the score, the castle, Dracula! What was not to love? The movie won 3 Oscars and with another 8 wins & 12 nominations was a fantastic movie. If you have not seen it, see it!

Now, here I am almost 18 years later reading Dracula, My Love which is based on Bram Stroker's Dracula.

Book Description
Acclaimed author Syrie James approaches Bram Stoker's classic Dracula with a breathtaking new perspective—as, for the first time, Mina Harker records the shocking story of her scandalous seduction and sexual rebirth.
Who is this magnetic, fascinating man? And how could one woman fall so completely under his spell?
Mina Harker is torn between two men. Struggling to hang on to the deep, pure love she's found within her marriage to her husband, Jonathan, she is inexorably drawn into a secret, passionate affair with a charismatic but dangerous lover. This haunted and haunting creature has awakened feelings and desires within her that she has never before known, which remake her as a woman.

Although everyone she knows fears him and is pledged to destroy him, Mina sees a side to him that the others cannot: a tender, romantic side; a man who's taken full advantage of his gift of immortality to expand his mind and talents; a man who is deeply in love, and who may not be evil after all. Yet to surrender is surely madness, for to be with him could end her life. It may cost Mina all she holds dear, but to make her choice she must learn everything she can about the remarkable origins and sensuous powers of this man, this exquisite monster, this . . . Dracula!

What I Can Tell You: This was a fantastic read. Was it because I loved the movie so much? Ummm...hard to say. Usually it is the other way around; you love the book and hate the movie because the movie comes out after the book, usually! It was fun to read because it stayed very close to the movie. The storyline was the same, the secondary characters mostly the same, however we learn so much more about Mina.

While Mina is deeply in love with her "Jonathan", she just can't get Dracula out of her mind.  Like the movie, I am also left unsure as to whether Dracula is a good guy or a bad guy.  Syrie James has done an incredible job with Mina's turmoil, decisions and thoughts; the information we could not get from the movie.

The book is passionate and powerful! Perfect read for those who love historical fiction, romance, contemporary vampire fiction, or adventure.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Check out the Syrie James website and find out what else she is up to.

Syrie is going to be interviewed on Blog Talk Radio on August 16th at 7:00p.m. Check it out if you have a chance, she is an author with loads of promise.

To Buy:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Harper Collins for my honest review.

Public Service Announcement from My In-Box

Head over to Harper Collins Children's Books (Awesome Adventure Books) and enter for your chance to win The Billionaire's Curse by Richard Newsome and an Apple iPad. The sweepstakes end August 4, 2010.

Beside this amazing giveaway, Awesome Adventure books for kids allows you to take fun quizzes and read free samples from Warrior Cats books, books for boys and more great books for kids by the best children's book authors including Erin Hunter, Avi, Megan Whalen Turner, and Frank Cottrell Boyce. Plus so the hottest book trailers. Really awesome site for your young readers.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Memory Rewind - 2008 Goddess

Here is Goddess and me enjoying a quick moment at the park while Handsome was at preschool. Can't remember if she was cold or if this is strictly Goddesstude because she had to leave the park.

Judging by this one, it may have been right after she told me how much she didn't want to leave. Finger pointing, Umm....I'll have to ask her when she wakes.
April 11, 2008 skye, park black and purple (5)

April 11, 2008 skye, park black and purple (3)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Happiness Project - What Makes You Happy

This is so easy but also so very hard. There is a ton of stuff that makes me happy.

A good sale
Amazing weather with a slight breeze
A good hair day
A good book
My husband in a good mood
My kids asking me to lie down with them
My girlfriends phone calls
Ahhhhh the list goes on and on

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. I call it scene stealer and it is from 2008. I was taking the picture of Handsome but after downloading the photo, it was Goddess that caught my attention.

April 10, 2008 (42) jesse b n blue accent, skye midair

Back To School 2010 Deals

TigerDirect Back-to-School 2010

I am always so surprised how quickly back to school supplies from out every year. Hell, I am already seeing Halloween decorations and candy at some stores. Talk about getting a leg up on things.

One of my favorite stores Tiger Direct, has started their Back To School sales with some great deals.

They also have some great tips to get you started as you prepare for a new year of school or maybe you are off to college this year.

1 - Create a wish list

2 - Tell everyone you want gift cards. They fund the card and you shop for what you need.

3 - Have a Facebook account. Like a bunch of items and who knows, maybe Aunt Milly will send you a big box from your wish list.

4 - has great products at incredible prices that can save your parents hundreds of dollars! Show them your financial IQ by sending them how much $$$ they’ll save!

5 - Get added to the mailing list at Tiger Direct, so you know just when the best deals will be hitting.

6 - Get lucky and win a Super Back to School PC featuring Microsoft Office 2010!
(Must be 18 or older) Ends September 14th. A new winner every week. ENTER HERE

7 - College Students - Apply for a Tiger Preferred Card during checkout to help establish credit. (Must be 18 or older)

New Month Has Started For the Top Commenter Prize

My Top Commentor section has rolled over to a new month. Last months winner as of yesterday was Clary with 41 comments this month.

Clary, please head over to the Best of 2010 section here and select a prize. Thank you for being my friend and my top commentor.

To all my readers, the floor is open for someone else to take the top seat. I have been remiss in picking top commentors because we never knew when the tally rolled over. Now we know for sure because yesterday the top commentor was Clary and she had 41 when I shut down at 9:30 last night.

BTW..entering comments on giveaways do not count unless they are strictly a comment about the giveaway not entries. Giveaway entries should be in the form not in the comment section.

Bring Story Time To Life And Your Child Will Love Reading

Thankfully I have children who love reading, we read all the time, Handsome reads on his own and Goddess has loved books read to her since she was under a year old. It might have something or nothing to do with the fact that mommy and daddy forever have a book under their nose or arm.  However it wasn't always like that. Handsome preferred to flip all day through picture books but if I ever tried to get him to sit down so I could read one line he was out of there!

What worked for him were books that included characters he could hold while we read them.

I recently was able to review a book called Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue by bestselling author Molly Coxe, BraveMouse Books. It's funny because Handsome's love of reading started with another mouse book; If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff.

Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue is about friendship and bravery, ingenious plans, humorous situations and surprising twists make this endearing tale of Benjamin, a fuzzy mouse and Bumper, his true-blue elephant friend, an instant bedtime classic.   

Here is the amazing book trailer teaser(excuse my silly video at the end, it was totally unnecessary after seeing this).

When Benjamin and Bumper embark on a harrowing mission to rescue Benjamin’s mother, their travels take them from the floor of a wooden wardrobe, to the heights of a lofty kitchen table, through a dangerous garden path and up-up-up a castle tower to the lair of Sir Pouncelot, the book’s foppish villain. Skillfully photographed by Olivier Toppin, Coxe’s uncommonly endearing felted wool characters are wonderfully alive, and her carefully gathered props of buttons, antique toys and cracked dishes are perfect for kids who delight in searching the illustrations for all of the tiny details that reveal themselves at the turn of every page. 

What I Can Tell You:

The photographs are colorful, fun and incredibly detailed. We loved each picture. The first time you read, I suggest not reading the book and just going through the pages. Goddess wanted to talk about each page and what she was seeing in the middle of my reading. I had to stop every two words. Best to let them look at the book and then bring on the story. Benjamin Middlemouse, Bumper and Sir Pouncelot (tee hee) will make you smile.

This will undoubtedly be a classic, order your signed copy today.

Now for the best part, you and your child can make their very own Benjamin just by using a sock and some supplies. This is such a great way to use their little baby socks that you have kept (ok, maybe that is just me). Creating a child's very own Benjamin helps the story take on a whole new life and it is super easy.

Here is a video of the author Molly showing us how to DIY a Benjamin of our very own.

Since the story is to inspire young artists to create their own imaginary world I have a surprise. One of my readers will win copy of Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue, we’ve put together a Make-a-Mouse kit that contains everything needed to create two mice – including fabric for clothes and a few props for these hand-made mouse characters to use when performing risky rescues. Isn't that fun?

Looking for inspiration for your very own Benjamin, check out the BraveMouse Book’s Facebook Page  to see Supa Mouse, Mermouse and Vampire Mouse (so cute!!). 

The Giveaway: One of my readers will get a copy of Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue, and a Make-a-Mouse kit

The Sponsor: Brave Mouse Books

To Win: Friend Brave Mouse Books on Facebook , and leave a message on their page linking to this giveaway by Midnight, August 11, 2010.

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this, and leave me the link for (3 extra entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Subscribe to my newsletter/email (3 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Follow my blog (2 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Subscribe to Chotskies

*Follow me on Twitter, leave your Twitter name

*Enter another giveaway on my blog and let me know which one.
*Comment on a non-giveaway post and tell me which one.
*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook

*Post this giveaway on your Facebook page
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link
*Follow me under networked blogs (on my left side bar)
*Add my main button to your side bar
Do not leave entries in the comment section, 
those are for comments about the post only!!!!!

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of Benjamin and Bumper. The opinions are my own.

Thank you to the sponsor for providing the review and giveaway copy and make a mouse kit.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ABC Wednesday - B

Link up at ABC Wednesday

Yeah I know, it's gross but it's different.
B = Bloated
Picture 109
Goddess was very interested in this dead fish. "Mommy, can I poke it with a stick? I want to see what it feels like!"

B = Beach
Picture 098
This is where you will find the kids and I on most days.

B = Blurry
July 3, 2010 Fireworks (4)
Here is a blurry picture of the fireworks this past July 3rd. I headed down to the beach to take some photos. I was alone and afraid of stepping into someone so I never really took the time to settle the camera before snapping.

B - Bounce House
Picture 241
It's been too hot to have it up lately but we love the bounce house.

Introducing the Pinkest Kittens Ever From Aurora World + A Giveaway

Picture 134
In February, I had the opportunity to review and host a giveaway for YooHoo & Friends™ which were created by Aurora World Inc.

Here we are in July and I am so happy to once again host and review Aurora's newest line called Milly!  As part of the Elite Aurora Focus Group, we received two samples of many types of Milly available from the Aurora World Milly line.

Description from Aurora
8" MILLY WANNA BE FAIRY is perfectly pink! The sweetest fairy you will ever find, Milly is adorned with roses and a cute fairy dress. This adorably girly kitten is available in a variety of styles, so collect them all today!

You can purchase her here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Lonely Munchkin

Post some Ruby Red pictures over at Mary's Work of the Poet meme, Ruby Tuesday.

July 5, 2010 munchkin (2)

Street Angel Earring Giveaway - Etsy Shop

As some of my readers know, I am Street Angel on Etsy.Com. I really enjoy making jewelry and especially seeing it on someone other than me.

You can see why I started Etsy on my interview with myself (tee hee) here.

Because it
is summer and the last giveaway I hosted for Street Angel was in March, I think
it is time to offer my readers a chance to win a pair of earrings of their choice.

Maria's Space followers/subscribers get a 30% discount until August 31, 2010

The Sponsor: Street Angel (me)

To Win:  Head over to Street Angel and tell me another item you like by Midnight, August 9, 2010

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this, and leave me the link for (3 extra entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Subscribe to my newsletter/email (3 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Follow my blog (2 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Subscribe to Chotskies
*Heart Street Angel on Etsy
*Follow me on Twitter, leave your Twitter name

*Enter another giveaway on my blog and let me know which one.
*Comment on a non-giveaway post and tell me which one.
*Tweet this giveaway (linking to this post and Street Angel) come back and leave your link
*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook
*Post this giveaway on your Facebook page
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link
*Follow me under networked blogs (on my left side bar)
*Add my main button to your side bar
Do not leave entries in the comment section, 
those are for comments about the post only!!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Eternal Home Shadow

More Shadows shots at Hey Harriet

The stone made of pink quartz is interesting but for this particular meme, it is the shadow cast by the massive eternal resting place I am focusing on.
Picture 463

Unique Exposure's Photo Challenge - Blue

More Blue at Unique Exposure's Photo Challenge.

Freda at Day One created the Unique button I am using. Check out her Blue picture.

I snagged this picture at my girlfriend's daughter's birthday last weekend.

Blue Mnday & Mellow Yellow Monday Meet at the Beach

Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday always look good together.

Picture 091

I took Goddess and Handsome's beach shovels and took a combo photo for two great Monday memes.

Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part Three

Sunday Stealing: Cheers to all of us thieves!
45. Favorite color? I love all the blues

46. Have you ever slapped someone? Yes, my son. Not something I am proud of but he had just thrown paint all over, I was on 3 hours of sleep and the baby was screaming in my arms after over 6 hours. I just lost it.  I cried for about 2 hours after that and had Mommy Guilt for about 3 days.

47. Is your hair curly? It is wavy!

48. What was the last CD you bought? Embarrassing! Probably the CD from the very first American Idol

49. Do looks matter? Uh duh...yes...the key here though, is what you find hot someone else may not like?

This guy from the Zoosk commercial is Thierre Di Castro and he is smoking hot!

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? This is hard because while we all tend to say NO. Never! I know a lot of woman who thought they knew how they would act but then acted differently.

51. Is your phone bill sky high? No but my cable bill is!

52. Do you like your life right now? I love my life.

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? I prefer it off but my husband would love to leave it on. I have a sensory issue and find it hard to not concentrate on the TV.

54. Can you handle the truth?  Everyone has a problem with the "truth" in a way. We don't want to hear what people think is their truth about us. Perception is key. So, personally, I don't care to hear your truth of how you perceive me.

55. Do you have good vision? I am legally blind and have to wear contacts or glasses to walk.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? No. I dislike one person these days. He has never said anything to me personally, I just don't like him because of how he is to his wife and kids. He is just a bad seed.

57. How often do you talk on the phone? I used to be able to answer this often. Now, it is rarely.

58. The last person you held hands with? My daughter walking to the car this morning.

59. What are you wearing? Clothing!  Black shorts and a army green top

60. What is your favorite animal? I like horses, eagles, owls and cats the most.

61. Where was your favorite picture taken at? My son's baptism

62. Can you hula hoop? I used to be really, really good at it. Now I think I would be lucky if it stayed up for 30 seconds. Have to try.

63. Do you have a job?  Yes. I am a mom

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? Food

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? Yes...sadly enough a few times to open older neighbors doors when I was younger and than in my 20's when a guy didn't answer the door, I crawled though his sisters window, crept through her apartment and up to his. Crazy Bitch.

Join Sunday Stealing!