Friday, September 7, 2007

Dance Slideshow

Kristen over at LoveShakBaby asked me to take a look at this new software for pictures. It is called Flektor & let me tell you it is a lot of fun & so easy to use. I really didn't have a lot of time today to play around, but I wanted to take a peek at what the site offered. I ended up putting together a really quick slideshow of my daughters at dance recitals/class. I was in a hurry, so I grabbed pictures that I had on my computer already from mainly this past year & then I found a few from 2006 & 2005.

Flektor: RULE YOUR MEDIA

It was really easy to make, normally I give up on programs like these because I get frustrated. There are a lot of great themes & I see tons of possibilities. Very easy to share also, you just select where you plan on sharing it at or who you want to email it to. One thing I liked is there is an Ebay option, what a great way to get lots of pics in auctions without paying the outrageous fees Ebay has!

Thinking about Halloween Costumes


Have you recovered yet from back to school shopping? Halloween is right around the corner already. I don't know about your kids, but mine are already thinking about costumes & ready to shop for some. My 6 year old wants to be a Mean Cheerleader & my 10 year old is still undecided, but is leaning towards being either Hannah Montana or a Diva Rock Star.

There are several great sites to shop at for Halloween without having to leave your home! Since costumes usually run 4 - 6, 8 - 10, 12 - 14 you usually don't have to try them on, so I prefer to shop online. Sometimes I will take the girls to the Halloween shops & let them decide. Then I will scour Ebay & the onlines sites to get good deals! I found a few today while browsing around.

You can get FREE UPS Ground Shipping on all orders over $100 from Halloween Costumes 4 U. Simply use Coupon Code #FSCJ when checking out!

You can also, save money with Half Price Costumes.com. They offer a huge selection of costumes including kids, pets, sexy adult costumes, adult costumes, and even plus sized costumes. You can shop for your entire family! Right now they have discounted shipping on several costumes & free shipping when you spend $70 or more.

Costume craze offers flat rate shipping. Halloween Costumes from Costume Craze

While you are shopping, don't forget to buy Fresh Dan's Chocolates
, yum!

Learn how to become a New York author


If you are a writer, like a lot of bloggers are, then you probably have had the dream of becoming a published author. Becoming a published author takes more then just writing a good book, it takes the right kind of marketing too. John Kremer, book marketing consultant and speaker, has developed a teleseminar program to help you do just that. He is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. The Teleseminar Program is called How to Create a New York Times Bestseller. It consists of 12-plus tele-sessions that answers all your book marketing questions and concerns. If this is something you have thought about or tried, head on over to BookMarket.com and see if you can become a New York Times Bestseller.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pledge Today to Junk Your Junk Mail and pass the word along

Carbon Conscious Consumer Logo

This is the easiest of C3’s monthly actions because you don’t need to make it a daily habit! Just spend a few minutes with their opt-out web forms, sit back, and enjoy the clutter-free benefits for years to come. Our climate will enjoy the benefits of less junk mail too. After all, the production and disposal of direct mail consumes more energy than 3 million cars!

C3 is as simple as 1-2-3:

1. Take the pledge to junk your junk mail. Click the banner above to join

2. Print and mail free forms from our website to cut your junk mail by two-thirds or more, save trees, and eliminate 108 pounds of carbon dioxide (paper production is very energy-intensive)

3. Invite friends to join in the carbon-cutting. Use the tell-a-friend tool after you pledge, then get creative. You can also download promotional tools at http://c3.newdream.org/more/kit.php and email them with your creative ideas for inspiring others (50 words or less please).


Thanks for all you do to establish daily habits that cut carbon and thanks for showing the world that big changes start with small steps!

Throwback Thursday

This is me one Easter, I have no idea how old. I'm thinking maybe it was like 1981 or 1982. My brother was born in 1983, so he probably would have been in the pic if he was around :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

DataBanq Media blog

DataBanq media have a Technology Blog whose expert bloggers share stories covering a wide range of topics. When I started reading this blog, I noticed a little bit down was an entry titled From our perspective, and I felt I should start there. It was written by the president, David Bayer. He gives the reader an idea of what the blog is about and where they are coming from.

There is a very interesting post about Internet Traffic Sources - Quality and Cost. In the post is a diagram of how traffic is driven across the web. It also compares cost and quality. The diagrams really help see how traffic works, and each type is explained.

This blog is new, with it's first post in August. They already are starting to cover a wide range of topics from The Future of Online Social Networking to How to Value an Internet Marketing Company. This is one Technology Blog to keep an eye on.

9 cent prints ~ Snapfish


9 cent prints

1st in a Series 2008 Book Challenge


My favorite books are series, so when I found this challenge, I was definitely up for it! Details of challenge below & my list of books (which needs updating & may change before the 1 st of the year)

WHO:
Anyone who would like to join me

WHAT: Read 12 books that are the first in any series
(new authors not required)
You may read your chosen books any time during the year; however, I plan to read one a month.

You can see her "Ever-Growing List of Possibilities" here.

WHERE: Mister Linky will keep track here on "Thoughts of Joy..."

WHEN:
January thru December, 2008

My choices & possibilities are:

Victoria Laurie
M.J. Holliday series
#1 What's a Ghoul to do?

Laura Childs
Tea shop mysteries
#1 Death by Darjeeling
* I have read her scrapbook series & LOVE it! *

Janet Dawson
Jeri Howard series
#1 Kindred Crimes

Susan Dunlap
Jill Smith Series
#1 Karma

Karen Kijewski
Kat Colorado series
#1 Katwalk

Margaret Maron
Sigrid Harold series
#1 One coffee with

Katy Munger

Casey Jones series
#1 Legwork

Keith Ablow

Frank Clevenger
#1 Denial

Clare Curzon
Mike Yeadings series
#1 I give you 5 days

Kathy Brandt
Hannah Sampson series
#1
Swimming with the Dead: An Underwater Investigation



More to come later :)

RIP II Reading Challenge ~ Book list

The RIP II Reading challenge officially started September 1st & will end October 31st.

I'm going to do

Peril the First:
Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

My book selections are:

1. Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, No. 1)
2. Season of the Witch
3. 2nd book in Harper Connelly mystery
4. Tithe

I have my other books picked, I just have to pull them out, I can't remember the name :)

I'm in the middle of reading a mystery book right now, trying to get that finished up so I can focus on this challenge!

RIP II Reading Challenge for Fall

Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings is hosting the RIP II challenge. (Readers Imbibing Peril)

R.I.P. II is a September 1st through October 31st celebration of all tales gothic, eerie, creepy, and dark. Tales that one reads in the dark of night, experiencing delicious shivers of terror and suspense at each creak of the floorboards or each gust of wind. As in previous challenges the definition for what type of books fit into this category will be very broad. I would venture to say that there is something for everyone that could count as a R.I.P. book.

Peril the First:

Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

Peril the Second (Otherwise known as the Obese Book Peril):

As you may know, some books are scary not just because of their subject matter but because of their size. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke is 737 pages of small type, for example, and Gordon Dahlquist’s Glass Books of the Dream Eaters is 637 pages long with type so miniscule it makes Strange’s look like large print!

For this peril simply read two weighty tomes during the challenge period.

Peril the Third:

If you think you have it in you, this third choice of perils is the Scary Sandwich Peril…choose two large books like those described in Peril the Second and read a smaller qualifying tale in between.

Peril the Fourth (Otherwise known as Just a Bit of Peril):

Some of you wonderful readers, or would-be readers, may have a tendency to shy away from this genre, thinking it is just not your cup of poisoned tea. However, it wouldn’t be a challenge if I wasn’t challenging you.

This peril is for those of you who want to take a chance. Simply choose one book that you feel meets the criteria for Readers Imbibing Peril II and, well, imbibe it!

Additional Perils:

For those of you who have never done so, or want those who want to do so again, choose one or more of the following books to read after you have completed your other peril of choice:

1.Dracula by Bram Stoker 2. A collection of tales by Edgar Allan Poe 3. The Mystery of the Sea by Bram Stoker 4. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

For those that are curious, I'm probably doing Peril 4. I plan to read Frankenstein. I plan to read Dracula. I may be adventuresome and seek out one or two more. But I'm only committing to those two at the moment. I may read Blood and Chocolate. The Island of Dr. Moreau I happen to have checked out at the moment. (I have the seven novels-in-one book of H.G. Wells.) May being the key word. I've already read and blogged about Coraline....and Twilight...and New Moon...and Eclipse...and Blue Bloods....and Masquerade....and a few others that would qualify.

I normally read more books from the mystery section, but I am going to give this a try. I have read a few Vampire books & I Love Laurell K. Hamilton's series about Merry Gentry. If you haven't read it, the first book is A Kiss of Shadows (Meredith Gentry Novels). I'm going to work on my list & will update!

eSign - sign mortgage documents electronically

Brought to you by Encomia

Encomia is a website that offers users three different ways to sign mortgage documents electronically. There are three different options to They offer a simple click to agree option that allows you to easily sign documents by clicking a simple agreement. Another option is the electronic signature pad. This is similar to the device used in most retail stores. The last option is the tablet pc. You can sign your name directly on your computer screen with a digital pen. The esign process allows you to save both time and money.

The website explains how each system works, the benefits of using it and the pricing. You can also view an easy to understand demo.

Did you know that an electronic signature is as safe and binding as paper documents. Encomia's software actually locks an encrypted digital stamp on each signature. They also have tamper seals to prevent any kind of alteration of the documents.

Encomia was founded in 1999. They are based in Houston, TX and work with many financial institutions from Fortune 500 to independant brokers.







School went well

What a long day, the kids bus finally dropped them off around 4:30, supposed to be home around 4:20 so it might get a few minutes better. The girls both had a great day. Aly is happy, she is the ruler of the school, lol. She got picked to help bring the kindergarten kids to the bus every day, so she is ecstatic. She loves her teacher, which is wonderful because we had a tough year last year. We wanted this teacher, so hopefully she will continue liking her :) They do a lot of fun activities, my biggest worry is that if homework is late it has to be turned in but counts as a 0. Aly is a bit on the flaky side, so I'm hoping this won't be a problem. Hopefully it will work out in her favor & she will be ready for middle school next year.

Cam really likes her teacher. She is new this year & this is her 2nd year teaching. She seems like she is going to do well. In the past I have preferred newer teachers because they seem excited about teaching, they have fresh ideas, new perspectives, etc. Aly had an older teacher in Kindergarten & any time a problem came up, we had to hear I've been teaching 17 years blah blah blah. She was not willing to try anything new, you could tell she was worn out. I found out later she had been trying to get out of Kindergarten for several years. Now I am not putting down older teachers, in 1st grade she had another older teacher & she was wonderful. She actually had the same teacher that my hubby had when he was in first grade. Crazy huh! Anyways, I just like younger teachers, lol.

She did have trouble finding her class. I'm not really sure how since it is 2 doors down from her old class & we just went to the school Wednesday? A mom ended up helping her, so that was nice. Aly was planning on walking her, but they got separated, which is probably what got Cam confused.

Overall it went great. Aly already had homework. She had to find 4 things that would fit in a paper bag & tell something about her. She put in ballet shoes for her love of dance, a cd for her love of music, a water ball ( she wanted goggles but couldn't find them) for her love of swimming & summer and then her heely wheels to represent roller skating & bike riding outside. She was having trouble remembering what to say, so I took some Karen Foster tags & tied them on each item & wrote a short sentence about why to help prompt her along. Yeah I use for all my unused scrapbook supplies, lol. I really have to do some pages this month.

Summer Reading Challenge


I just came across this & love the idea! I have luckily been keeping track of what I read, so I have my list going back to June 1st when this started.

Here are the guidelines:

This is not a contest. This is not a race. This is simply encouragement to READ more. It's not about quality or quantity so much. After all, when our kids see us read, we encourage them to read. And exercising our brains is good too. It's really just about celebrating your love of reading and trying to read more.

The challenge starts June 1 and will end on Labor Day (September 3). Respond to this post with the number of books you plan to read. Then post on your own blog about this challenge and invite others to join.

Ok, MY GOAL IS *** 20 Books

Since this started June 1st, I'm going to list what I have read up to date.

1. See Jane Die by Erica Spindler
2. Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
3. I Heard That Song Before: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
4. Killer Takes All by Erica Spindler
5. The 6th Target by James Patterson
6. Undead and Uneasy (Queen Betsy, Book 6) by Mary Janice Davidson
7. Step on a Crack by James Patterson
8. Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Novels)
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
10. Lucinda's Secret (Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 3)
11. Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life-- and How YouCan Get Back on Track
12. Purity in Death (In Death)
13. It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff

* Updated August 30th

1st in a Series 2008 Book Challenge


My favorite books are series, so when I found this challenge, I was definitely up for it! Details of challenge below & my list of books (which needs updating & may change before the 1 st of the year)

WHO:
Anyone who would like to join me

WHAT: Read 12 books that are the first in any series
(new authors not required)
You may read your chosen books any time during the year; however, I plan to read one a month.

You can see her "Ever-Growing List of Possibilities" here.

WHERE: Mister Linky will keep track here on "Thoughts of Joy..."

WHEN:
January thru December, 2008

My choices & possibilities are:

The Dark materials by Phillip Pullman

Laura Childs
Tea shop mysteries
#1 Death by Darjeeling
* I have read her scrapbook series & LOVE it! *

Janet Dawson
Jeri Howard series
#1 Kindred Crimes

Susan Dunlap
Jill Smith Series
#1 Karma

Karen Kijewski
Kat Colorado series
#1 Katwalk

Margaret Maron
Sigrid Harold series
#1 One coffee with

Katy Munger

Casey Jones series
#1 Legwork

Keith Ablow

Frank Clevenger
#1 Denial

Clare Curzon
Mike Yeadings series
#1 I give you 5 days

Kathy Brandt
Hannah Sampson series
#1
Swimming with the Dead: An Underwater Investigation

Victoria Laurie
M.J. Holliday series
#1 What's a Ghoul to do?

More to come later :)

Books Read 2007

Books I've read in 2007

. See Jane Die by Erica Spindler
. Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
. I Heard That Song Before: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
. Killer Takes All by Erica Spindler
. The 6th Target by James Patterson
. Undead and Uneasy (Queen Betsy, Book 6) by Mary Janice Davidson
. Step on a Crack by James Patterson
. Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Novels).
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
. Lucinda's Secret (Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 3)
. Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life-- and How YouCan Get Back on Track
. Purity in Death (In Death)
. It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
Murder With Peacocks (A Meg Lanslow Mystery)
As Dead As It Gets (Maggie Mars Mysteries)

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