Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shadow Box project

When our friends E and JKB got engaged in Paris, my friend J and I decided we wanted to get them a gift, to help commemorate the happy even. I mentioned that it might be fun to make them a shadow box. She was all for the idea, and suddenly our minds put together the most awesome plan ever.

There was a picture of them taken in front of the Eiffel Tower, and we found a large glittery Eiffel Tower sticker so we decided to overlay that on the picture to make the Tower come to life. Then, we found a scrapbooking kit that was engagement themed and in E's favorite colors. It was all coming together.

J painted the shadow box black, to make everything stand out and make it versatile for any room decor. Then, we got to work, laying out the design, making decisions about placement and theme. Finally, it was finished, and today, we got to give it to her, so I can finally post pictures for you all!

Congratulations you crazy kids, we love you!

If anyone wants more details about how we made this, let me know!

Home improvements- Part II

So, after Pappy (my dad) and Hubby finished my beautiful floor, they moved on to the next project. A fence.

In the past we have had problems with people randomly cutting through our yard. Not only do I find this incredibly rude, I also think it unsafe, as this is a liability for us. And now that we have Dexter, a fence just makes a ton more sense. So, because both our neighbors on either side have fences along the side property line, all we needed was to put one across the back, and across the small sides along the house, to use our neighbors fences and make a large, square, fenced in back yard. Both neighbors gave us permission, because they are awesome neighbors and not at all the ones we have had issues with.

After a day and a half, my fence was done! I love it, it looks so.....English. I told Hubby I was going to start telling people I lived "down the lane".

The neighborhood kids were sad to see it go up, because they all want to see Dexter. If I see them out, and they are talking to me, I will ask them if they want to come in the yard to see him. So far they have been really good about asking and not just coming in, but I always remind them to ask, and only come in if they see us out and we say it is ok. They are good kids, and love to play with the dog, so I do not mind one bit, I just want to make sure everyone is safe, and Dexter does not get loose.

So anyway, we have a nice fenced in yard now, complete with doggie pool and new table and chairs. We have lots to do still, but we are slowly getting there!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It Made My Day- Livin Aint Illegal

So, I am about to reveal a dirty little secret to you. I. Love. Lady. Gaga. Is she weird? Yeppers. Is she outrageous? Most definitely. Is she suitable for children. Probably not. But me, I love that Monster! I think she is so talented, and unique, a true artist and visionary. Hubby has been a self professed hater, saying terrible things about her. That is, until he went on vacation this week. And being stuck in a house with me for the last 8 days, well, he walks around humming Bad Romance and Paparazzi. We even sing it to our dog (who LOVES it). I run around the house doing Bad Romance dance moves.

Tonight, because Hubby spent the majority of the day helping his mom, we had no dinner prepared. So we decided to hit up the Micky D's. We were dressed in ridiculous working around the house clothes, so we looked like a hot hot mess. And we turned down the window, and sang, yes, sang, Lady Gaga songs, as we rolled through K-town in our ultra cool super pimp Chevy Cobalt. The sandy colored one, I have to clarify because we are SO pimp we own two. And then, the dancing started.

AND THEN.....Flo Rida's low came on my Pandora. And all heck broke loose. I was dancing, Hubby was dancing, it was nothing short of amazing.

So, if Kittanning had cameras installed on the light posts the way some cities did, or if the Golden Arches actually monitored the drive thru via camera, this is what they would have seen.....two chubby white 30 somethings dancing in their car to Flo Rida. It. Was. Awesome.

After we got our food, the singing and dancing continued, and we even took to yelling out the car windows. Hello, Hubby and I are apparently 16 again.

As we drove toward home, I said, any minute a cop is going to start following us. And Hubby's too cool for school response:

Let em. Livin ain't illegal.

Good lord I love this man. When I met him, there is no way in creation he would have ever cut loose and acted a fool like this. But with me, he does. Because we are in love, and we bring out the best in each other.

So, I hope you enjoyed reading about our ridiculous tomfoolery. Because I enjoyed engaging in it. So much so, that it made my day.

If you ever roll through K-town and spot us driving along, getting our groove on, smile, and dance along with us.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Picture Collage Maker- A Review

As a get a little further into my blogging career, I notice I want to make my posts look better, cleaner, more professional. I have used online collage makers a few times, and I really like doing that, but I still has not found one I was set on.

I did a little more searching today, and found the Picture Collage Maker software, a trial of which can be downloaded for free. I decided to try it, and already, I am in love! It is so much easier to use than many of the other collage making tools I have tried, and there are a lot of good template options. They even offer you tutorials to help you become a pro. And it is so versatile, you can use it for all types of projects, including scrap booking (and I know some of my readers just love scrap booking!), calendar making, greeting cards, and even making a photo address book!

The first thing I noticed when I went to the site is all the different templates there were available. This made me so happy, but I knew it would be a while (so I thought) before I was skilled enough to use them. However, within a matter of minutes I had made 2 collages, one with a template and one on my own. It was really that simple. From a user standpoint, this software is quite user friendly, and my favorite part is how easy it is to load pictures into it, and move them around in the collage design. This is something I have found lacking in the many tools I have used in the past. And once you have a template loaded, you can still manipulate the picture and their locations. It is so simple to use, it can make anyone look like a pro. Seriously, if I can do this, you can do it too!

It seems the possibilities are endless, and even with the free 15 day trial version, there is just so much that you are able to do, it makes me want to spend the next 5 hours doing nothing by making collages!

I really highly recommend you check out the Photo Collage Maker, as it is a wonderful tool. I even made a sample one to show you guys. I used my wedding photos and one of the jumble templates, and in less than 5 minutes (seriously) I created this:

So, do yourself a favor, check out the link I posted above, and play around with the free trial. I really like this software, and I think that you will too!

Bathtub conversations

(I hope my readers take this in the spirit in which is was intended, and do not find it scandalizing)

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved taking bubble baths. I would see those bubble bath commercials on t.v., and be magically transfixed by the idea of sinking into a tub full of those velvety little spheres. Bubble baths are my small indulgence when tired or stressed. Some women shop, some women drink wine. I soak.

Sometime, I take a book into the tub with me. Many a book in my library has water spots on the pages, or some corners swollen with the memories of being dropped among the bubbles. But then, there are other times, when I am in the tub, that I just want to, well, talk.

When I lived alone I would call my best friend almost daily, and often we would chat while I was having a soak. Sometimes it was my mom I would talk to. Now that I am married, I often talk to Hubby. Sometimes I call him into the bathroom to talk to me, and sometimes, when he is in a nearby room on his computer, we just carry on a conversation from different rooms, all while I lie in the calgon-take-me-away utopia of my tub. We have laughed, we have cried, all during the course of these bathtub conversations. Sometimes, I think it is in these moments when I am most real with my thoughts and feelings. Hubby never seems to mind being called into a steamy hot bathroom, just to chat with me.

Lately though, I have found myself talking to someone else while in the tub. God.

Having been raised a Catholic, for a long time, I thought prayer had to be scripted (and memorized), and would be afraid of getting it wrong. That good little Catholic girl does not know how to pray the rosary? The horror! As I got older, and became friends with many Christians whose ways of worship were different from mine, I realized, prayer is less about getting the words in the right order, and more about getting them from our hearts to God's.

Do not get be wrong, I still love lofty flowry prose filled prayers about me falling before the throne of the Lord, and lying down in verdant pastures. I think, for me personally, there is a time and place for such prayer, and many times those prayers have carried me through spiritual dry spells.

But then there are times when I just want to, well, talk. Everyone throws around the phrase "personal relationship with Jesus". Sometimes I think people forget that the phrase contains the word relationship. So, if I am going to have a personal connection with God, I am going to approach Him personally, as me, in the way that I relate to people. Sometimes, we talk about my day. Sometimes, I tell Him my fears and struggles, sometimes my blessings and thanks. But when I have these bathtub conversations with God, I always feel peace. Some people may think it irreverent, but I find it to be a way for me to come to Him honestly, stripped of the Pharisee like pomposity that some rote prayers seem to have. We talk, each listening to the other. That is what a personal relationship is to me.

So, the next time you are stressed, and feeling like your prayers are going unanswered, or you do not know if you are even praying for the right thing, just try drawing a bath, adding some bubbles, laying back, and talking to Him. What do you have to lose?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New project and Welcome Wednesday

First of all, I want to tell you all about a cool new project am participating in, thanks to one of my friends. It is called 365 Project and it is a site where you make a profile, and each day you upload a picture of something that you did that day, or that happened, or you made. Basically, a picture of each day in your life for a year. I have been looking for an excuse to take more pictures, in the hopes that maybe Hubby and I will have reason to get a new camera. So, this is the perfect start.

So, please check out my profile and if you join up, follow me, and I will follow you back, so we can see each others pictures. I think it is going to be really fun!

Now, on to Welcome Wednesday!

If you do not know what this is, it is a blog hop, and here is how you join in the fun:

1. Follow the Welcome Wednesday Host (Take It From Me) as well as the 2 Spotlighted Blogs of the Week. (These will make up the top three slots on the Linky)

2. Link up your blog name and URL with our Linky. (You only need to add your info once for it to be seen on all the blog hops)

3. Grab our Welcome Wednesday button and include it in a post about the event on your blog.

4. Go to as many blogs on the MckLinky as you want and Follow them. Be sure to tell them you are from Welcome Wednesday!

5. Be sure to Follow back any followers you have gained from our Welcome Wednesday event!

So, I hope to make all kinds of new friends here and over on my 365 Project!

*waves hello to new friends*

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Just wanted to let you guys know that my Chocolate Sandwiches were featured on the most awesome blog:


Please go over and check out Under The Table and Dreaming, so many amazing ideas and projects over there.

Thanks Stephanie for thinking of me!

Thankful for..... a lack of privacy

I am still going to be as vague as possible to try to protect the privacy of the people involved, but I want to explain to you why I am so thankful for the extreme visibility of social networking sites, as evidenced by a situation that reached it's pinnacle at 1 am this morning.

My very good friend E is the kind of girl who knows, well, everyone, and the easiest way for her to keep in contact with her large numbers of close friends from various circles is to use social networking web sites. And she is good at it! We have all come to wait with breathless anticipation for her next update. When a her aunt became ill, she used these sites to update friends to her aunt's condition, the highs, the lows, she used the sites to express her varying emotions, and to gather strength and support from her friends.

E and her boyfriend were planning a very big and exciting trip out of the country when her aunt got sick again. After much deliberation, and by her aunt's very strong wishes, the decision was made that they would go ahead and take the trip, and keep E's aunt updated on all their doing via said networking sites. For the first week, it was fine, and E and her boyfriend J got engaged, so of course the sites all exploded with well wishes. But then, at 11 pm Sunday night, E posted that she needed to immediately come home, and we all feared the worst. There she was, in a foreign country, with limited internet and phone access, in desperate need of a flight. Immediately, 35 comments popped up, people from various friend circles getting her flight info, making arrangements, emailing her AAA info, from clear across the globe.

Within 8 hours, we found out she got a flight, and was on her way home, so that she could come see her aunt, who was very sick. Then, she got stuck in the foreign airport with a sick passenger on the plane and tire trouble. She posted frantic messages, and the prayers poured out. After an hour stalled on the tarmac, they got in the air. We made arrangements to go and get E and J at the airport. Last night, three of us traveled to the airport, got E and J and their luggage, and hurried them back to town, as her aunt's condition by this point was looking pretty grave. They desperately wanted to make it in time.

At a little after 1 am this morning, we dropped them off at the place where her aunt is being cared for, took their luggage home, and dropped their car off for them in the parking lot. While I have not talked to E, the updates that I have gotten are that her aunt was relieved to see her, because she had been waiting for her. Today she gets to celebrate E and J's engagement, and talk about wedding plans with them.

All of this occurred because of the extreme visibility afforded by social networking sites. I have, in the past, caught a lot of flack for sharing so much of my life with people via these sites. In the wee hours of the morning, I remembered why I do. Real connections can be made, and maintained, through sites like these, and blogs like mine. In the past 24 hours, prayers poured forth from hundreds of people, many of whom have never met each other, and people were able to spring into action to get E home, all because we choose to share ourselves. So, I, for one, am not going to stop sharing myself. And I hope you do not either.

Do You Remember....your Senior Prom?

Hair, nails, tulle, jewels, limos, flowers, I reflecting on my wedding day again? No, rest assured I am not. Its prom season. I see all the young girls flouncing out of the tanning salons in town, looking like Jersey Shore rejects, and shake my head thinking, was I ever like that?

Sadly, dear friends, I was. I attended 3 proms when I was in high school, each more important that the previous (in my mind). But Senior Prom, well, Senior Prom was the highlight of my high school social scene. It was the last hurrah before graduation, when old arguments were mended (on the surface) and summer romances were started, all in the name of enjoying our last few days as peers, before we scattered to our respective colleges like petals in the wind.

At my high school, we were served dinner at the Prom, so we all ate together, then the dance, then we had an After Prom Party, usually a lock in. For my Senior Prom, we were at a different location than years past for the dinner and dance, and honestly, I do not remember most of it. My senior year was not the greatest for me, and I was just ready to move on. So, I do not remember the food, or the dancing, or even the theme, but what I do remember is how beautiful I felt.

Prom, in my opinion, is an excuse for girls to practice for their wedding day. So much effort goes into finding the right dress, getting the perfectly matching shoes and jewelry, getting hair and nails done, making sure your tan is perfect, fussing over flowers, pictures, and everyone wants a limo. Me, I wanted to look pretty, and feel special, but I also wanted to be cost effective. No surprise that same theme was echoed for my actual wedding I guess. So, I found a dress when visiting relatives out of state, and it needed some minor repairs, so we got a huge discount, it was like $70. I got inexpensive shoes, and jewelry. I did tan and get my hair done, but both were reasonable. My mom sold Mary Kay at the time, so she did my make up and nails. And I am pretty sure we rode to the dance in my date's father's pickup truck. All in all, I looked exactly the way I hoped, without spending a fortune, which was important since I paid for it all myself with my wages from Ponderosa (what a glamorous job).

I really did not enjoy the Prom, but it is one of those things that everyone says you have to do, it is a high school tradition, so we did it. The After Prom Party was more fun I thought, it was a lock in at the YMCA put on by parents. Usually everyone then went to the lake, but my parents were too strict to let me go, which I did not mind, because it kept me out of trouble.

So, what do you remember from your Senior Prom?

I remember I thought I looked like a princess.
One last thing....if anyone finds my stick thin high school body shape, could you please return it to me as soon as possible? Many thanks!

Sleepy Tag A Long

Tuesday Tag-Along
I apologize for the delay, it has been a crazy 24 hours, but I am most certainly tagging along again this week!

Here's how it works:
  • Create a new Tuesday Tag-Along blog post. Include the Tuesday Tag-Along button by copying and pasting the code above. (You are also welcome to copy and paste these instructions in their entirety, or any portion of this Tuesday Tag-Along blog post!)
  • Add your blog name and the URL of your TTA post to the MckLinky below.
  • Follow Twee Poppets, the hostess blog listed in the first slot. Twee Poppets will follow you back! (Note: If you want Twee Poppets to follow you back, you MUST leave her a comment saying that you are a new follower and leave a link to your blog!)
  • If you can, please follow the blogs in the three slots before you (e.g., if you're number 20, follow numbers 19, 18, and 17). This is not mandatory, but it will help ensure that everyone who signs up gets a few new followers!
  • Follow as many other blogs as you want. The more you follow, the more that will follow you back! Be sure to tell them that you're following from Tuesday Tag-Along! You may also want to leave a link to your blog so they can return your follow more easily.
  • When you get a new follower through Tuesday Tag-Along, be sure to follow them back! It's just common courtesy. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Home improvements- Part I

The floor in my dining room was crap. I mean CRAP. Hardwood, yes, but beat up, missing chunks, discolored, paint splattered, from the minute we moved in. It looked awful, but what with moving two people in the house, then finishing the wedding planning, then the wedding, then the thank yous, then holidays, then the snopacalypse of 2009-2010, we just were not able to make it a priority.

So, since we got that nice first time homebuyer tax break, Hubby and I agreed that first order of business- new dining room floor.

We settled on laminate, and between 11 am yesterday and 2 pm today, my Daddy and Hubby put the floor in. And here are the absolutely perfect and gorgeous results:

Click the picture to see it bigger and get the full effect. It is breathtaking, it is like a whole new room. I can not wait to go buy special cleaner for it and make it shine!

Thank you Daddy and Hubby for making me a very happy housewife!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Explorations: Crooked Creek

Today, I took advantage of the beautiful weather, and the fact that Hubby and my Daddy were doing home improvements work, and took the dog out for some exploring at Crooked Creek Park, past Ford City. It was a great day for it, but it was still a little muddy from yesterday's deluge.

I was sad that the Tunnel Beach area does not allow dogs, so we could not get out there, and had to settle for taking pic from the car, but Dex and I got to explore other areas, and even got to play in the water in the Outflow area. He met some other dogs and got to play, so he was happy as a lark. I got some exercise and some awesome pictures, so I was too.

My only regret, that I could not take Dexter to Pitzers for some wings.

Enjoy the pictures of my exploration!

I blame Barbie

I am a total sucker for things that "magically" change color. It started in childhood, and continues today. You want to sell me a product? Make it a quick color change artist, and I will buy 2, especially if there is a dachshund pictured on the packaging, then I might buy 3, but I digress. Seriously, color change cool aid, mood rings, Michael Jackson (what, too soon?). It changes color and I am SOLD. P.T. Barnum had me pegged. But where does all this color change magic madness stem from?

I blame that tart, Barbie.

You see, as a kid, I had one of those Barbie heads. You know, those large ones, that look like some one decapitated a Real Housewife of Orange County?

I need my alimony check to buy more botox!

Well, somewhere along my childhood path, I had one of those, and if you swiped a sponge with warm water over her face, her make up magically appeared. And she was instantly better, prettier, praise-worthy. So, change, especially magic color change, is good, that is the lesson I learned. Also probably why by 5th grade I was wearing full make up, foundation and all, usually better than most of my teachers, but I digress again.

In early high school, color change became all the rage in the form of clothing called HyperColor. Basically, your shirt would change color based on body heat, which was awesome, and also prevent the boys from getting too handsy.

That handprint is a little high there mister quarterback.

I loved them so much, I had 2. Of course. And I thought I was the coolest kid in town.

Well nowadays, I am too old for toys, and clothes are for mostly worn for comfort not hipness, so I needed something new to fulfill my color change needs. Enter.....KABOOM!

Billy Mays would have been so proud of me.

Kaboom Foam-tastic shower cleaner sprays on blue and -are you ready for it- turns white when it's clean. WOO HOO. I do not even have to think with this stuff, it pretty much does the work for me. I spray it on, and it comes out a lovely periwinkle color, and within minutes, the foam is white, I wipe it off, and the tub and shower are dazzlingly clean. No scrubbing, no fumes, it is AWESOME. I knew I wanted it as soon as I saw it on t.v. but we had a problem finding it. We finally found some at Target, and I of course had Hubby get 2. Incidentally he calls it Captain Kabooms foaming Smurf Putty.

I just used it for the second time, and my shower looks wonderful. And once again, I am left feeling better about myself, all because of a color change product.

So, here I am feeling better about myself, and it all stems from Barbie. Darn it. Oh well, I still say she is a tart.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Food, Friends, and Fashion!

Who among us does not get sick of seeing the same old clothes in our closet, or who among us does not have a tub or two (or in my case about ten) full of clothes in various sizes that we swear we will some day fit in to, because they are just too darn cute to part with? Well last night I took part something that was the perfect solution- a clothing swap!

The premise was pretty simple, the woman in charge invited a few of her friends, and gave them the green light to invite a few of their friends, but the idea was to keep it somewhat small, since this was the first time trying it. Each person was supposed to bring 15 or more items of clothing, jewelry, shoes, accessories, or housewares to swap. The women were all different sizes, which meant a variety of sizes would be available. (I took some clothes from when I was much much thinner, knowing that by the time I would fit into them again, they may not be as much in style).

When I arrived with my friend J, who had been the one who invited me (thank you so much by the way!!!) the location was decorated so cute, in the color scheme of black, white, and hot pink.

There were all kinds of refreshments, and we had plenty of time to set all of our stuff out according to size, then browse the other items.
There was lots of time to eat, drink, and socialize, during which I met the nicest set of sisters, they were both so funny and warm, we talked like old friends!

When it came time to start the swap, everyone's name was thrown in to a container, and first choice of item was luck of the draw. You will never guess who got first pick- ME! I picked this adorable pink Prada purse!

We went through everyone twice, so that everyone got to carefully select 2 items, and then, it became a free for all scavenge. It was all very civilized still, but just look at all the great stuff I came home with! It also made me so happy to see my unused clothing going to some great ladies.

All the clothes and other items that were not selected are being donated to Goodwill, so everyone wins.

I know a lot of ladies and mommies recently started reading my blog, and I would encourage you to consider organizing a swap, either of your own clothes, maternity clothes, or kids clothes. It helps you save money, it is a creative green solution, and everyone walks away with something new.

As I write this, I am wearing one of my "new" shirts, and feeling like a whole new woman!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A true love story has no ending

This week, my god parents are celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary. I can only hope and pray that Hubby and I will also be blessed with fifty (or more) years of wedded bliss, as they have been.

A few short hours ago, our very wonderful friends Erin and Jason got engaged in Paris. How wonderfully romantic! My heart literally swells with joy for them, as they enter this truly wonderful time in their lives. It makes me so happy to see Jason find such love, and I have gained such a beautiful friendship with his bride to be.

In all my years, I never really understood what it was like to feel this supremely happy for someone else, and the reason is because of Hubby. I never could feel happy for anyone else, because I had never been this happy in my life.

So, with all this talk of marriage and engagements, I thought I would share our engagement story with you, as it will soon be one year since Hubby changed my life forever by asking me to marry him.

When Hubby and I went on our first date, we went to dinner, then went over to Borders to look at books. We somehow ended up in the children's books, and I started picking up books and reading them out loud to him.

I found a book called Your Personal Penguin.

It was all about this little penguin talking to this other animal, asking to be his personal penguin. She wanted to go with him where ever he went, and how wonderful their life could be together. It was a precious moment, innocent and sweet, me standing there asking him if I could be his personal penguin. Best memory ever.

Well, one Sunday, Hubby (at the time just Boyfriend) decided he was going to come see me (he said he had gotten me a gift). He tried to convince me to meet him at Borders, but I did not feel like driving. So he came to my house, and I was getting ready to go out. He sat on my bed, as I rushed around getting ready, and then finally, I went and sat next to him, and kissed him. He asked me if I wanted my present and I said sure.

So he pulled out the book, Your Personal Penguin. I of course let out a big awwwwwwww. And then he said, will you read it? So I said, sure, and read the book out loud. The last pages of the book say "Look at these wings so perfect to hold you, I'd like to say again what I have already told you. Let me be your personal penguin, imagine me, your personal penguin, I want to be your personal penguin from now on. Please?"

When I finished reading it, he said, honey will you be my personal penguin, and I said, oh honey of course.

And then he said, no, I actually mean it. And he got down on his knee, with the most gorgeous ring, and asked me to marry him. And of course I said yes.

The thing is, he and our friend L had been duping me for 2 months. Boyfriend had gotten the ring when I was in Atlanta the previous March. But instead of letting on, L fed me bad information that he was refusing to go ring shopping, and that he was not ready to make any kind of move on anything until the end of the summer. So, when this happened I was caught completely off guard. So they had cooked this up, and kept this a secret this whole time. But you know what, I do not mind one bit. It was the best surprise ever.

So that started our love story. And it will never ever end. Just like my god parents, and Erin and Jason.

It's a Social Parade

Smart and Trendy Moms

I am trying yet another blog building activity today. It is called the Social Parade. I am not sure if I honestly did it right.

This week I am supposed to link up with my facebook fan page.

Here is the link to the original post on the Social Parade, complete with submission form so you can join in. If you found me through the Parade, please follow me, and leave me a comment, so I can follow you back!

If you fan me on Facebook, let me know where to find your blog!

Hello new friends!

Update: I found another one!!! Welcome Wednesday

If you want to be a part of Welcome Wednesday, just follow these 5 simple steps:

1. Follow the Welcome Wednesday Host (Take It From Me) as well as the 2 Spotlighted Blogs of the Week. (These will make up the top three slots on the Linky)
2. Link up your blog name and URL with our Linky. (You only need to add your info once for it to be seen on all the blog hops)
3. Grab our Welcome Wednesday button and include it in a post about the event on your blog.
4. Go to as many blogs on the MckLinky as you want and Follow them. Be sure to tell them you are from Welcome Wednesday!
5. Be sure to Follow back any followers you have gained from our Welcome Wednesday event!

Small Town Elements: Special Election Edition

Do you live in PA? If so, did you get out and vote today? I DID!

That's right, for the FIRST TIME since I moved to the Keystone state back in 2004, I was able to vote. For a while, I never changed my registration from OH to PA on anything, so I just never voted at all. Then when I did change things over, I never really bothered to register to vote. But when I got married, and went through all the name change hassle, I added voter registration to the list, and here we are!

Being married to a political science/economics geek, er, I mean guru, there is no way for me to avoid politics being a part of my life. The funny thing is, I like it. I mean, I hate arguing politics with anyone, but civilized discussions, meant to broaden opinions and inform the masses, that I just thrive on. I always thought I was politically stupid, until Hubby helped me realize I actually do know a thing or two. And, truth be told, our views are more alike than they are different.

But I am NOT going to use this entry to preach my personal political platform. I have my views, and they are mine. If you want to share any of the same ones I have, great, if not, that is great too. Just no name calling, and we will get along fine.

What I do want to encourage all of you to do is GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!

I missed out on so much by not voting for those 6 years. Every presidential election is historical, and I have up a chance to help make history. I gave up chances to make my voice heard. I know a lot of people say all politicians are liars, and while many do and say things I disagree with, regardless of party affiliation, there are many many good people involved in politics.

For example, tonight, I had the supreme honor of voting for Hubby, as well as my good friend J, for positions on local and state committees respectively. Both of these people are intelligent and honest; they care about people, and not the political games.

If you are not registered, please consider registering to vote for the next election. In a small town like mine, every vote counts, especially for local offices. Change starts at home.

Mahatma Gandhi said it best when he said "Be the change you want to see in the world".

The change I want to see is hope, so in order to see hope, I must have hope, and be hope to those who need it. And so I start, by raising my voice.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Who does she think she is???

I am getting all kinds of new readers thanks to a Tuesday Tag Along blog hop I joined *waves hello to all my new friends* and it occurred to me that I never really properly introduced myself. To any of you. I just jumped right in to talking about Hubby and trying to be witty, and never laid the proper foundation.

So, after something like 60 posts (can you believe it, already that many!!) I finally decided to introduce myself. If you already know me personally, feel free to skip this post, but you never know, you may learn something new about me.

So, I am Tiffany.

Small town girl, obviously. I grew up in Ohio, in a tiny coal mining town that no one ever heard of unless they actually lived there. I went to a small school, with a graduating class of like 70 kids. Everyone knew everyone else, and EVERYONE knew my last name, because it was the same last name as a hometown hero. My maiden name is Niekro, and for anyone not in the know (which is pretty much anyone not from my town or not a rabid baseball fan), my cousins are Phil and Joe Niekro, former major league baseball players. Phil is in the baseball Hall of Fame, and both were famous for throwing killer knuckle balls, so being a Niekro in my home town, kind of a big deal Everywhere else, not so much.

I lived at home with my parents and put myself through college, then immediately moved out after college graduation to go to graduate school in yet another small town. I put myself through grad school to get a degree in something I did not want a career in, yet find a way to use the skills in everything I do. I have my masters degree in counseling, which pretty much qualifies me to be a....professional friend. I moved from small town to big city and became an official Pittsburgh girl, a title I will forever hold no matter where I live.

I have one brother, Dennis, who lives in Ohio with the love of his life Paul. Paul is a famous artist, seriously, he has painted celebrities ya'll. Dennis just became an RN, and this little sister is uber proud if him!

I also have a sister, Kimberly, who is going to school to be a teacher, again, so proud! What smarties we are! She and her husband Rob recently sold their home, and are building a new house on the property we grew up on, where they will live with their kids, my super fantastic nephew Austin and ultra awesome niece Abbie. Clearly, I love them lots.

My parents now live across the street from where we grew up, on property that used to belong to my Grandmother. As the baby of the family, my parents have helped me out tons, and supported me through so much, but luckily, they got to pass me off not too long ago, because I *finally* got married, much to their relief.

I have the world's best Hubby. No joke. He waited for 2.5 years to even get me to go on a date with him. He listened to all my bad date stories, he heard me cry about other guys, and work, and friends, and EVERYTHING because I am a girl and that is what I do. Once I finally went on a date, with him, I knew it was true love, and so we got married, and I moved to yet another small town, this time it is Kittanning PA. While I did not grow up here, it is now and forever "my town". Hubby also blogs, you can find his blog here.

I have a cranky cat named Nora, and a dappled dachshund named Dexter. I write a totally separate blog just about them, located here.

I have met so many wonderful friends through my husband, so now we have a nice little crew to hang out with. It made the it much easier to leave everything I knew in the city and move out here to restart small town living.

Since I got married, I have been a stay at home wife, and just recently started blogging again. I also write book reviews on a blog located here. My hope is that all this crazy writing will eventually result in some freelance writing work, which is my dream job. Getting paid to read and write? That is the end all be all job for a nerd like me :)

I am, in a word, ridiculous. I am a clown, a drama queen, an old soul, an airhead, a romantic, and a giver. I get hurt easily, I laugh loudly, I sing badly, and I make my pets dance. I love lipgloss and blankets, I hate cooked spinach, I will be the best friend you ever had, my Hubby is my hero, and I think I am the luckiest girl alive.

So, that's me. Tiffany. Nice to meet you.