Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

From a cold place to a warm heart. Merry Christmas to all from the Carpenter's household.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Crazy Little Thing I did Last Weekend

Life here in New England has been a little crazy lately. Well, for the most part of it and I am speaking for myself only, by the way. The weather has nothing to do with it and please don't even dare to say the "S" word. Not yet. I am not yet ready.
Craziness has something to do with the Craft Fair that I finally joined recently. Yes, this is another new thing for me. Last Spring, I discovered that I can do cool stuff with play dough. I was just playing with some kids during the April school vacation when I found myself not only trying to get my kids involved and engaged in artistic activities but found myself a new passion. Next thing I knew, I was at Michael's, A.C. Moore and Jo Ann's buying all the tools and materials for polymer clay art making.
I spent the whole summer molding and making clay arts. That is when I was not running and training for my 5Ks. When summer vacation was over, I realized that I overdid it. I was too overwhelmed with my new-found passion that I became uncontrollable. I made tons of jewelries, magnets, key chains, deco boxes and whatnot. And yes, I also came up with a website for my craft. [Check out sample of my work at my website] Now, I am stuck with it.
So last weekend I finally let the public see the craziness in me. I joined the Holiday Fair and sold my stuff.
Well, I really did not sell a lot. But what is kinda interesting is that, people liked my stuff. I got good reviews and there were people who kept coming back giving me compliment for doing a really great job. And there was this old lady who's probably in her 80s who spent 10 minutes in my booth inspecting each item and whispering "Oh my God" every time she picked an item, then she would look at me and say "You are amazing".
Well, I blame the economy for not making well at the Fair. But I am not really upset about it because it's my first time and I only want to introduce myself to the public. There are some who took my business cards and I am hoping that "customized orders" will be my main thing. So for now, the left-overs will be "Christmas presents" for loved ones and friends. You don't have a choice!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Caught Laughing-Out-Loud

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Family Insurance for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Oh I love weekend. Who doesn’t? Working 12 hours a day… the weekend is always a day to look forward to. The weekend is my chance to take my sweet time in front of the computer to do my online stuff and hoping that one of my brothers will pop up so we can catch up.

This weekend, while I was waiting for either one of them to get online, I browsed and surfed the net and accidentally came across some cool and funny videos by AmFam - Stand Up For Family. They are stand-up comedy videos by some talented comedians. I watched each one of them and I found myself laughing out loud. Those videos are hilarious. One of my favorites is Mark Viera’s “In the Window” where he talks about his Granny. It was entertaining and utterly funny. It reminded me of my own Grandmother who knew everybody and everybody’s business despite the fact that she is deft. LOL.

As I watched all the videos though I found them hysterical, I realized what these comedians are trying to say in a comical way what real family life is all about. It is all about family values. It is all about the importance of family. And it is all about the influence our family in our upbringing.

Old values compared to modern ones are basically rooted in family values. I can understand the importance of having a family and the uniqueness of the family I belong too. And it being put in a very entertaining way is something people can really appreciate especially in this tough situation where family relationship is faced with crisis and challenges.

I love stand-up comedy. And I love family comedy simply because I can relate to it. It is a great way to see my own situation through other people’s take on life and family situation. And American Family Insurance truly brought out the best in family values in a light and entertaining way.

I was carried away by all the videos and didn’t realize that Hubby was already home and watching me with a bewildered face. Well, to save my face from embarrassment I handed him our Chinese diner. End of the story. But I was still laughing [quietly].

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Noon

It was one of those nippy November days at noontime...
when I took the kids at work for an adventure walk to the woods. They had fun looking for frogs inside the logs, chasing squirrels and watching wild ducks swimming in the pond.


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The Cuddly vs. the Cutie

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
PvB-CuteDar-Green-300x250-Backup.jpgA friend of mine asked me a favor I cannot refuse last weekend. She and Hubby celebrated their 2nd Wedding Anniversary and wanted to go on a date. She asked me if I could babysit her 9-month old little princess who happens to be my Godchild too. Well, what can I do? I so love the little one to pieces so I said – yes. But there is a catch. Together with the little one, she also asked me to watch their newly adopted puppy from the shelter. That – I cannot refuse too.

So there I was trapped in my home on a nice warm Saturday [where I was planning to go for a run] taking care of a cuddly baby and a cute puppy. It was such a wonderful sight to see them sleeping on the opposite ends of the couch. Too bad, I didn’t have a camera to take their photos. My Sweetest borrowed it the other day.

The awesome sight reminded me of the Puppies vs. Babies online contest where you can vote for the cutest photo of the puppies or the babies. Well, if only this opportunity came earlier and if I had the camera then, I would have taken their photos and join the contest. Who knows I might win the $5,000 cash prize. But since the submission of entries is already over I just voted and wrote some comments. The contest is open for voting till the 23rd of November only. For those who are dog and baby-lovers

I so love the photos of Puppies vs. Babies there. I actually voted for one baby who captured my attention for his captivating smile. He made me smile too when I saw his picture.

So if you are a dog and/or baby-lovers why don’t you check out their site and vote today. And while you are there, share who and why you are voting for in the comment section. Yes, we do love to hear from you. So come on because you still have time to participate in this awesome opportunity.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

The One


My Sweetest... at the East Swift river in Byron, Maine where we usually go for gold panning.


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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweetest Had a Date

My Sweetest had a date last weekend! Yes, last weekend Hubby dated this charming, irresistible, brilliant, interesting and awesome lady that I realized he was flirting with for over 4 years now. It was me! LOL

Well, I asked my Sweetest to go on a date with me last weekend. And yes, he was kinda playing hard-to-get but his stubbornness and football didn't win over my persistence and charm. wink* Glad he said yes because I miss him so much. No, we still live together. It's just that we don't spend more time together now since school started. I usually leave the house while he was sleeping and come home to find him already sleeping.

I work 12 hours now. No, I am not complaining either. In fact, it is awesome to have 2 part-time jobs in this tough economy when we all know that there are lots of people who are unemployed. And on some weekends, he would be out in the woods hunting [yes, it's hunting season here once again] while, I am on the road running.

And last weekend, we finally got the change to be home at the same time and had no special thing to do. I asked him to go out to eat. It took him a long time to get his bu*t off the bed watching TV because the Patriots were on. Finally, he said yes and we had a lovely night.

NOTE: Will blog detail of the date next time. I am really that busy. It's not an alibi. wink*

Monday, October 17, 2011

SuperMom writes too

I had a chance to get interviewed by blogger-children's book writer mom Anna Denskins a few weeks ago. And it was indeed a wonderful opportunity to be featured in her blog. So here I am returning the favor. Here is the excerpt of the said interview.

Your children's book, The Adventures of Smitty looks magically. Tell us about it.
It's the story of a magical island of little creatures called Smilies and the mischievous little main character, Smitty. He's such a naughty boy. Haha!  All the moms and kids I've shared it with have been giving me such a wonderful reaction. I cannot believe it.  I have to tell you how excited I am to finally have a life-long dream come true. Writing The Adventures of Smitty was really about finding a story that I would want to read to my children at night. It has to be exciting but not scary so that my two daughters can go to sleep.  Basically, I was looking for that perfect blend to read to my kids at night and decided, "Why not try writing my own?"

We've had a lot of changes in our life recently, so I want to make sure that when I put my daughters to sleep that they feel safe.  I have short chapters because I know how busy we moms are but if you can just sacrifice 5 minutes at night reading to your kids, it makes a world of difference.  Your kids will never forget it. And although we're running around the whirlwind of life, our kids grow up so fast, and that time that we'd rather finish watching what happened in our favorite soap opera instead of reading to our kids will never come again.  I hope that The Adventures of Smitty and books like it help moms do exactly that.
And it's only 99 cents this week. That's what I love about it. Now, You are recently divorced. How have you been able to continue writing when going through such a change?
Yes, it is by far one of the most challenging points in my life. To see a marriage you thought would last forever to not last forever was difficult for the two of us. I really learned a lot about myself and most importantly, it's brought me closer to my daughters.  I think that's what really motivated me to finish this children's book no matter what. When you're going through changes in your life like this, you need something to hold on to. There's a part of you that wants to prove that you can make it, that you will be a success even if it's not with the partner you originally imagined building a life with.  I had to keep writing, for my kids. I want to show them that they have to keep strong, no matter what.

We as women, as moms really need to stick together to support each other and our dreams. We're living in an age when I think we're finally realizing, although we want love, the men in our life aren't the answer to everything. We have to stand up on our own two feet and keep going. True love will happen, but until then, we have to keep moving forward. Our children depend on us and we depend on us.

In addition to being a children's book author, you're also a small business owner. How do you juggle taking care of two daughters and at the same time running a business?
Yes, I am a fashion designer and have a retail store. Any type of creativity is what I'm passionate about. That's why writing The Adventures of Smitty was so important to me.  Let me tell you, running a small business in today's economy isn't easy especially when raising two girls at the same time. But somehow, it seems someone's watching over me because my dreams are coming true no matter what. To have that many moms glowing about my children's book, means so much to me. And I know my girls are proud.

When do you ever have time to write?
You mean, in between laundry, running a business, chasing my girls around the house, cleaning the house, and flying back and forth from Miami to New York? Haha? That's one thing I've learned, when you really want to do something, you find a way.  Things fall into place if you just go for it and that's what I want to encourage all the moms who are reading this right now. Whatever your goal is, you can do it. Don't let the challenges in your personal life stop you from going for your dreams.  Just go for it and it's almost magical how things fall into place.

Where can we get a copy of "The Adventures of Smitty"?
Right now, it's available online by going to: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94655 You can also visit my website: http://www.AnnaDeskins.com where you can read more about my writing process, my recommendations for other books and my own adventures in Mommyhood.

I'm so grateful for your support and the support I'm getting from so many wonderful moms who dream of writing children's books one day too.  Writing The Adventures of Smitty has been such an emotional experience for me, a true journey as I was going through so many changes while writing it.  It's truly been a blessing in my life.  It, along with my daughters, and that guy upstairs have really pulled me through a challenging time.

Thanks for the interview, Anna. And let's go out and support a fellow mom by getting a copy of The Adventures of Smitty today. I know I will!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cars

This 1930 Ford Roadster is for sale for $16,000. But the memories of countless joyrides it brought is priceless.


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Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Get His Approval

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you love the idea of feeling richer? Can you imagine what you would do with the amount of money you can save by making a wise decision? And what you would you buy with all the savings you can get just from switching phone?

In this tough economy, everybody are looking for ways to save. Everybody are on a look-out for bargains. And everybody will do anything just to ease expenses. We can't be accused of being cheap by make good choices. We cannot be blamed if we want to make good decisions on money matters. And yes, we cannot feel guilty if it means that we have to sacrifice something very important to us.

The time has come for us to make crucial decision. It's time to choice the best thing that ever happen to mobile phone service. Yes, by just switching to Straight Talk, you can get connected and save a lot of dough. Why? Because you can cut your cell phone bill in half! And yes, you must be crazy to be on a contract these days when you can get everything you need without one.

Switching to Straight Talk is no brainer. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. Here are some facts to consider:

With Straight Talk…
There are no contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks. It has great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity. Finally, Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.
Their Monthly Plans:
The “All You Need Plan” meets even the needs of heavy phone users with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data.  The Unlimited Monthly service is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web. Plus, unlimited calls, text, picture messaging and web for a whole year, for only $499.00! 411 calls are included at no extra charge. And free from activation, reactivation, or termination fees
For their International Long Distance:
Straight Talk International Long Distance Service is a flexible prepaid calling service that enables you to make international calls from your home, cell or office phone at low rates.
And their Phone Selection:
Reconditioned phones are available from $10.00 with camera, mp3 player, mobile web access, and blue-tooth capability. Great for young users! They also have mazing smart phones; touch screen phones, and app capable phones with features like voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth®

Now check out this video from their real Straight talk customers to see my point.

And here is another real Straight Talk customer testimonials to stress my point.

Life is tough but it doesn't necessarily me we need to go unconnected and untouchables. Don't waste time in nonsense deals with other phone companies who are ready to suck your money out to the last penny. Don’t waste your time and decide now. Straight Talk is everything you need to call a friend no matter where in the world they are and no matter how long you want to get connected. Trust me, this is a mommy-proof advise. And as the saying goes mom knows best. And if you have a Hubby who is passionate about fishing – your savings can buy him Hook, line and sinker… and this is everything you need to get his approval on that stilettoes you are eyeing for. wink*

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Regular Weekend Rendezvouz with my Sweetest

I had to admit, I hated camping and gold panning. In fact, I applied and took a weekend job last summer so I can have a valid alibi not to go camping and gold panning with Hubby. But I am surprised with myself that this year... I am always looking forward to weekends and hoping that My Sweetest and I will be spending them up the mountain.
Well, there are many factors why things went differently this year. This year, I started enjoying nature because I can see how beautiful it is when you are looking at it from the top.
And since I started training for the races, I just love running on the trails.
whether it is unpaved... connected by a bridge....
or rocky...
or uneven...
or deep in the thick woods along the river...
that we have to make our own trail...
Oh boy, I am so glad that I got into running because it is  much easier for me to walk, jump or hop from one rock to another up and down the river with 20 lbs [more or less] gas can on right hand and buckets on the other. It's just like weight-lifting on balance beam. hahaha
It's nice to get out of my comfort zone once in awhile where I cook our meals on my tailgate kitchen.
and watching birds having their regular meals of...
bugs!
And it is indeed nice to be afraid once in awhile so we can both sleep cuddling and snuggle at each others' arms [wink*]
[This is the letter we found on our truck when we came back from gold panning. Someone pass by our camp site and left this message to warn us. So nice of him or her or them.]

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Converted Friends

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ever since I switched to Tracfone my friends are already thinking of following my lead. Yes, two of them already switched to Tracfone because they can’t really believe how much I save on my phone bill. Now they too are happy that they made the right decision.

Why not? TracFone does not only offer the least expensive way to own and use a cell phone in America but it also provides great nationwide coverage and excellent reception and connectivity. And just like me, they are happy that it has no contracts that will tie them up to the phone company, no credit checks that may cause embarrassment and no activation charges or cancelation fees that will give them huge surprise when the bill comes from the mail.

One of my friends said that her Tracfone is a big help during the summer because they are always on a road trip so she can stay in touch with me and make me jealous. LOL She is also happy that it costs very little so she was able to get her kid a Tracfone for a birthday present. Cool.

So, you - my other friends out there, are you looking for some help this summer with your cell phone bill so you can fit into your budget that gorgeous pair of shoes you were eyeing at the mall? Are you looking for a low cost phone for your kids so you can check on them anytime when they are way too passed their curfew? Wink* Or are you still in a dilemma finding the right phones to fit your family’s needs?

Well, here are some facts about TracFone that you may help you make a better decision.
Tracfone offers the following:
• Brand name phones from leading manufacturers like Motorola, Kyocera, LG, Nokia and Samsung. Choose from simple "Candy Bar" phones, to Bluetooth®-enabled "Smart" phones.
Monthly Plans:
• Pay as you go online or with cards available at thousands of retail stores across the country.
• 1 year service cards give you so much more. Receive double minutes for the life of your TracFone, and 800 minutes, for only $119.00
• “Double minutes for the life of your phone” is a feature that can be purchased separately for only$19.99, but some phones include it!
• Choose monthly plans with 200 minutes for under $30.00, and as low as $9.99 for 50 minutes.
International Long Distance:
• This is the only wireless service where you can call internationally, for the same price as any other call.
• Call over 60 international destinations directly from your TracFone at no extra cost!
• With the International Neighbors program, you can provide family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number in those countries to reach you at your TracFone in the U.S.
Phone Selection:
• Simple phones for simple needs, calling and texting capabilities for under $10.00
• Great phones packed with features like camera/video recorder, web access, app capabilities, mp3 player, and full QWERTY keyboard, for $29.99

There you go. Tracfone has so many features. If you want to know what are those features that they offer watch this video from these satisfied real TracFone customers:

And if you are not convinced yet, here is another video from another real TracFone customers who can attest to its convenience, reliability and coverage.

Yes friends, life is tough indeed and it's time to make a decision to make it a little easier by cashing in some savings where it is possible. Take it from the real TracFone customers - like my friends and I.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Gold

If you are my friend or a regular visitor of this blog... you should know by now that I am into gold panning. Well, Hubby is. I was just a unhappy camper who just tag along to escape house chores. LOL. And this is what we are looking for in the river when we do gold panning. This is 100% pure gold. Wish we could get a bigger nugget though.



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Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Weekend with the Runners

Yesterday, I had another spectacular experience. It was the 14th TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10k Road Race. It was the race I dream to join in one day. Well, I did try to make that dream come true right after my 1st 5K but I wasn't lucky enough to win in the lottery draw.

Anyway, I volunteered so I will be able to be a part of the event.

Here are some of the unofficial photos of the event.
This is where our Station is - the Water Finish.
It was indeed a hard job.
We laid out 6000 plus water bottles for the runners.
It was awesome to greet and congratulate the finishers first as they approach our table to get their water.
And yes, it was a wonderful and exciting way of spending one hot summer weekend. But most importantly, it was a great way to spend a day bonding with friends and families.



Our Weekend Memoirs

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Spotted

I went for a walk in the woods one weekend and I spotted these two spotted butterflies.


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Friday, July 29, 2011

Enormous

Can't get enough. Can't have enough. Enormous obsession to money can buy one more trouble than happiness.


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