Random Christene-ness

{May 29, 2009}   Polyvore
I recently found the website Polyvore.com. ┬áIt’s the coolest thing ever! I’ve already made a few sets featuring a shoe from my sister-in-law’s collection (Carolina Pagano) and then started making some with accessories from my Zazzle and Cafe Press stores. The image below includes a military cap and Keds from two of my stores. :)

Red, White & Blue
Red, White & Blue by cr9245 featuring Dior sunglasses

I’m going to have to incorporate Polyvore into some of my Squidoo lenses. Yup.


{March 2, 2009}   A new blog!

I’ve just started an ‘all Squidoo all the time’ blog. I’m hoping to keep up with that one…really.
I’d love for you to check it out if you are a lensmaster…new or old.

You’ll find it at www.squiddicted.com

{October 9, 2008}   It’s almost Halloween!

Are you ready?

We’re not…haven’t decorated, haven’t gotten our pumpkins, haven’t got Lexi’s costume yet. And candy won’t be purchased till right before, or I’d eat it. :P

But, honest. I am in the holiday spirit! I’ve been sprucing up my two Halloween lenses from last year and created three new ones. :) I’ve also got an idea I want to try…hopefully it will work.

The first Halloween lens I worked on last year was Pumpkin Carving. It actually did so well that it was the most visited page out of all of Squidoo right around Halloween. This year I’m worried it won’t perform as well. Hope it proves me wrong! So if you need any ideas for your Jack O’Lantern this year please stop by the lens! I just added a link to free Barack Obama pumpkin carving patterns. ;) Love ’em.

The other from last year was Black Cats: Classic Icons of Halloween. If you know anyone who loves black cats point them in my direction. Oh…there is a poll on there to choose the best name for them. It’s in need of votes!

This year I’ve added Fairy, Pixie & Nymph Costumes, Pirate & Princess Costumes, and Baby’s First Halloween. I’ve included a ton of costumes to look through for everyone in your family. I scoured the web for my favorites and organized them for you. I’m good like that. HA The Baby’s 1st Halloween one has more than costumes too. Bibs, and onsies, picture frames…stuff like that.

I mentioned that I’ve got an idea I want to try. Well last year I took photos at each stage I while I was carving our pumpkin to put up on my lens. This year I think I want to record it on video, have some parts at real time and some on fast forward. I’d upload it to Youtube, and maybe iTunes, and add the video to my lens. I’ll give it a shot, but I’ll only use it if I like how it comes out.

Well, that’s all for now. If I don’t post soon, cause look at my record here…not so good, I wanted to say have a Happy Halloween!

{September 1, 2008}   Animals everywhere!

I feel like I’ve been living in a wildlife sanctuary the past few days! Oh my goodness. Two nights ago Jarred saw a raccoon in our yard, we think he’s a regular here…loves our trash. But this time the raccoon ran right at him…and couldn’t be scared away. Jarred put out our (humane) animal trap and the raccoon walked right in it before he could actually set the back so it wouldn’t open up. The raccoon figured a way to get out, Jarred set the trap correctly, put food in and the raccoon went back in. We called animal control to check out the animal, we weren’t sure if it was sick or not. The woman came, said he was healthy and wasn’t allowed to relocate it so we let it go.

The very next night, with the trap still outside, a skunk walked into it. We left him in it overnight and Jarred carried the cage over to his parents truck, and drove the animal across town to the woods and let him go there.

Our daughter was with him, and after they let the skunk go they were in his parent’s shop and found a teeny, tiny, few days old, baby mouse alone on the cold cement floor. Caring hearts that they both have they brought him home. I’m now grandma to a mouse. LOL Jarred started reading about how to care for orphan mice, went out to buy kitten formula and a tiny bottle and we’ve been feeding him every few hours, helping it go to the bathroom (I’ve learned more than I ever wanted about baby mice) and keeping it warm. He even came with us today when we went to visit family. I have the next feeding at 1:00 am (I’m up anyway) and Jarred set his clock to get up at 4:00 am to feed it. How sweet is that? But, dude. This is a big reminder of what life what a baby was like. I did not sign on for this second round of middle of the night feedings. He is awfully cute though.

{June 12, 2008}   Alright…where was I?

Oh that’s right…I started a blog. Then got side tracked…I’m good now.

Moving on.

You know I’m addicted to Squidoo. I think one of the lenses that people associate with my username is my first Webkinz lens. It was actually the 5th lens I created but it was the one that really took off.

So…how did I become a Webkinz expert? ;)

When my daughter was 5, and in her last year of preschool, she got her first Webkinz. They had already been out for a year or more when we caved and joined the growing trend. I was part of a small message board of moms whose kids already had them and new the ropes. Before I helped my dd (I’ll just use dd for daughter…it’s BB lingo and easier to type) register her first pet I read some of the threads on the subject and thought it would be easy to navigate. I’ve been on the web since the early 90s, I can handle a kids website.

But, dude, Webkinz can get sick! And when my dd’s little online Chihuahua turned green I didn’t know why or what to do. Thankfully, I had a board full of mom’s with experience share their knowledge with me. Then I thought…what do other parents do? The ones who aren’t armed with a personal Webkinz posse. I want to help those moms! And so I started with my friends’ best tips and started the lens. I played on dd’s account every night, (earning her KinzCash of course…that W Shop is expensive…and let’s not talk about the cost of exclusive items!), learning as I went.

Then dd got her second Webkinz…actually a Lil’ Kinz…and then a 3rd.
Then I wanted my own! I saw the Cheeky Monkey in a store and fell in love. So my dd and husband bought it for me as a late Mother’s Day present. :D
Now I had my own account and could play games with my dd in Webkinz World. Cool beans.

She got her 4th…I got my 2nd…she got her 5th…I got my 3rd, which was another Mother’s Day present 1 year later.

And I see a Webkinz in my husband’s future too.

I’ve been a Webkinzer for over a year now! And have not one, but 2 Webkinz lenses on Squidoo. My first got so long that I needed to start another. It’s called Webkinz Recipes, Pet of the Month, Clothing & More. I think it’s got the best collection of Webkinz Recipes online. Other people will say that about their sites too. But they are fibbing. ;) They might have the same recipes, but they aren’t presented as nicely…if I do say so myself. ;)

There ya go…If you ever have a Webkinz question drop by one of my sites and post in the Guestbook. I’m there everyday, unless I’m away on vacation. But I just got back from one so I’ll be around. Or, if you want to trade exclusive items check out that first Webkinz lens of mine. I don’t trade, but there are a lot of regular posters there who do!

{April 7, 2008}   Everyone should learn ASL

Before my daughter was born I knew that I wanted to teach her sign language. I had always loved knowing a bit of ASL and I had heard of it being used with babies even back then (2000). While I was pregnant I ordered the “Sign with your Baby” book and video and started learning signs I could use with dd and how to go about teaching a baby. I was also teaching dh so he could do it too. I knew we had to be consistent for it to work.

We basically started with her from day 1 and by the time she was 7 months old she was able to make her first sign. Then one at a time she added to her signing vocabulary and it was amazing! We added the Signing Time videos to our ASL learning library and she just took off with it. As she learned to talk she could combine words and signs and her vocabulary was doubled. It’s seriously the coolest thing ever. Little tiny people having these thought out conversations with you. While some toddlers their age still can’t communicate their needs at all. There was no such thing as the terrible two’s at my house. She didn’t have temper tantrums since her needs could be met. I think age 2 was one of my favorites. :)

Once she started preschool her teachers happened to use some sign with the class. Lexi was a big help with teaching the other kids…and even the grown ups. When she was 4 she had the opportunity to be filmed by the Signing Time crew. They can’t promise parents their children will make the final cut of the videos, and they don’t even tell you if/when they do. We got a great surprise when we received our set of Volumes 10-13 as she was in three of them! She’s only in each for a minute or less, but it was still pretty nifty. She continued teaching sign to her classrooms, and now in Kindergarten she’s been teaching other classes as well…even the principal.

She will be 7 years old this summer and all this time later we are still using ASL in our every day life. It isn’t something that has to stop when they become verbal. :)

If you want to find out more about my family’s signing adventures, or to just learn how to start with your own family take a look at ASL For Everyone.

{April 6, 2008}   I love surprises!

I should have written this the other day…but I didn’t have a blog yet…then I didn’t have time…then I hurt my neck/upper back and couldn’t sit at the computer very long.

Last Thursday, out of the blue, I got a phone call. Actually, Jarred got the call and he handed me his cell phone. Oh, wait…that was a coincidence in itself. I was at work and he happened to be there at lunch time.

It was one of my favorite old high school friends, Elissa, who moved WAY too far away. She lives in California now. Elissa called Jarred’s cell because she didn’t have my cell #. (My phone is always off so I don’t hand out the number to people. She had Jarred’s from the last time we got to see her. Follow? Super.) If she had called my phone and left a message I never would have heard it in time.

She was calling from a friend’s house the next town over from me! She made last minute plans to come to visit her grandfather, and had a few hours in the morning to see friends. She didn’t realize she was that close to me until her friend, Heather, mentioned my town in a conversation. As soon as she heard that she wanted to stop by.

They, and Heather’s beautiful little baby, came to my office to see me, and my boss…also known as my mother-in-law…let me leave work. :) We all went to my house for a few hours and got to talk and laugh and reminisce. It was so much fun. Her friend Heather is super cool and hopefully I’ll get to hang out with her again.

{April 4, 2008}   Short ‘n Sweet

I’ve been perusing various blog platforms and I really like the look of WordPress. The pages I’ve seen are clean and crisp and they offer so many beautiful templates. I won’t tell you how long I spent looking through them all. Over and over again.

Alrighty…so, I’ll see how this blogging thing goes.

{April 4, 2008}   The Happiest Place on Earth

I admit it…I’m obsessed with Disney World. I can’t help it, I’ve been going there my whole life. My first trip to Disney in Florida was when I was 2. I think my parents were crazy for bringing me so young, but having a grandfather living in Florida was an excuse for a Disney trip…and who was I to argue. LOL

After that 1st trip I went again at ages 4,6,8,10,13,15,16,20,24,29,30,31. :D

Now, my parents weren’t airplane people. We always drove…from MASSACHUSETTS all the way to Orlando. Again I say, Crazy. It was fun though when I was a kid. And being an only child I had plenty of room in the back seat of our car or mini van. And making the stop at South of the Border in South Carolina each trip was fun too HA

When I was 13 I got to bring my best friend with us. When I was 15 I got to bring 2 friends with us. I went for the first time without my parents when I was 16. I was on the Pom Pom Squad with my High School and we went to perform in a parade at MGM. That was so much fun! And it was also my first time on a plane…how easy is that trip! A few hours instead of a few days. Ya…no more driving for me thanks. When I was 20 I went for the first time without a chaperone…with only my best friend from college. Loved that trip.

Once I was an “adult” I just couldn’t stop wanting to go back. It’s in my blood I tell you. So at 24 I went with my husband…pre-baby. We had our photo taken and it’s still up in Epcot on the Leave a Legacy walls. As seen here:

Our Leave A Legacy Tile at Epcot

Then we had our daughter…and I knew I wasn’t going to do what my parents did. I wanted to wait until she was old enough to know what was going on…and have some hope of remembering her first trip. We had agreed to wait until she was 5. But, once she was 4 I couldn’t wait anymore! We planned our first trip for when she would be 4 1/2. It was SO wonderful seeing Disney through the eyes of a little girl. That was it…we had to go the next year, and the next. I’m thinking we’ll go next year too. :)

I want to get in as many trips as we can while she’s still small. When she’s big I figure we’ll be traveling all over the world and won’t have as much time, or money, for Disney trips. But we’ll have to fit a few in when she’s older too.

[We interrupt this post to bring you a message from our sponsor.]

I’ve never lived in Florida and I’m not a Disney expert by any means, but I’m pretty good with planning a Disney trip on a budget.If you’re going to Disney World soon and want ideas on how to spend as little as possible, check out my lens – Walt Disney World on a Budget for some tips.

[Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.]

So…I wasn’t sure if I should start out my blog with this post. Because, as I’ve only recently found out, there are some Anti-Disney World people out there. I’d have never of known that if it weren’t for a message board* filled with moms of varying ages from varying locations. I won’t post the link as I don’t want any stalkers. ;) But anyway…most of the women there have no “Happiest Place on Earth” thoughts when they hear mention of that place with the famous m-o-u-s-e. Who knew? You probably did…but I’ve been blissfully unaware that such grumpy parents existed. And they poison their children with these Disney is the devil thoughts. The horror.

That’s ok…really…it just means shorter lines for us happy go lucky, child at heart, parents and our kids. ;)

* No, not you! I would never call you guys grumpy! <3

et cetera