Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh, the shame!

I've been baaad, bloggy friends. BAD! A bad blogger, a bad bloggy buddy, a bad... well... enough alliterations for one post, no?

I'm once again in a funky place where I don't know what to write about. During any given day, you can catch me moping around the house, sighing and thinking, "Dangit! I don't know what to write about!" Ok, not really. Well, maybe the moping part a little. Or a lot. Moping is what I'm good at these days. I have a lot of deep things weighing on my mind lately with no real resolution for them and it's getting old.

I know all three of my faithful readers are missing my wit, my charm, and my ability to make them laugh with a single act of locking myself in the bathroom... naked. I'm sorry I've been neglectful of this most important duty. I'm also sorry I have not been visiting your witty, charmy, funny blogs and commenting as much as I should.

So what's been going on in Crystal land lately? Not much, really. I'm getting my hair cut next week. I haven't cut it in a long time. It's about at my shoulders right now, and I think I'll cut it to my chin. That's my favorite length. I'm not fond of long hair.

I have nothing new to report on the adoption front. In fact, we have not done anything on that front at all. I'm having some big feelings about it that I can't quite get past. Not about adopting in general, just the route we're considering taking and the lack of control I will have there in certain areas that are important to me. It's NOT a route I particularly want to take, but my husband does, so we are at a stand still. Plus, there is simply no time to pursue it at the moment, so who knows when it will happen. If it ever happens. At this point in time, I have great doubts about whether or not we will ever really become parents. I'm sorta leaning towards no on that one, but I guess time will tell.

Also, in the past year, I've had a major shift in thinking in many areas. I'm totally not the same person I was two years ago. Except for the phobias. Those are still there. No matter what changes, rest assured, the phobias will be there to keep me grounded! *rolls eyes* One of the things I have dramatically changed my thinking on is how I feel about certain aspects of parenting and disciplining. My beliefs on the matter no longer conform to what most of my family believes - including my spouse. And I feel so strongly about them that I am unwilling to waver from them. So this should be interesting (if we ever become parents, which, again, probably not ever going to happen!). But hopefully these things have a way of working themselves out... right?

At this point in my life I feel very much stuck in limbo. And to be quite honest with you, I don't like it so much!

I've been staying up way too late and sleeping late too. I reorganized how things are categorized on our website last night, and started working on paperwork for taxes. I baked bread from scratch for yesterday's dinner for the first time in a very long time. It was ok, but kinda crunchy on the outside.

We watched the first season of Heroes last month and loved it. We also watched last season's Lost and are very excited that the new season starts tonight (and are VERY excited that we love DVR so much). And did I tell you that we bought a friggin huge TV? Yeah. Right before Christmas, we found a 37" flat screen LCD HDTV and decided to treat ourselves. Apparently playing XBox on an HDTV is a lot better than on a regular TV. Do they even make regular TVs anymore? At first I felt really guilty about all the money we spent in the second half of last year. But then I remembered how hard we've been working the past several years, and how much we cut back and saved and scrimped and then I didn't feel so bad anymore. It took us years to get out of debt and build up a good bit of savings. We're FINALLY able to reward ourselves a little... and there's no shame in that, right?

But no more big spending for a while. Or at least until we decide to rip out the floors, which I'm hoping will happen around spring break. We've been planning that the entire time we've lived here (almost two years!) and have not yet done it. Well, I'm getting very sick of it not being done, so I am making a point this year that it WILL get done before my birthday in June. Even if I have to hire someone to come and do it, it WILL get done.

So maybe I have a little more to talk about than I thought...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hey, it's a bloggy giveaway!

**Contest is now closed. Winner will be announced soon. Thanks for playing along!**

Shannon at Bloggy Giveaways is hosting a bloggy giveaways carnival! There are hundreds of people participating, so go check them out and enter to win some really cool stuff.

I decided to host one too because the last time I hosted a contest, I met a lot of really great bloggers. And who doesn't love a good contest? And who doesn't love free jewelry?! So the prize I am offering is a $10 gift certificate towards any purchase from Two Belles & a Bead! If you're new to my blog, Two Belles & a Bead is a jewelry business that my mom and I started last year. We make handcrafted jewelry specializing in gemstones and semi-precious metals. We love what we do and here on my blog I often talk about our latest creations like these and this.

We have several pieces on our site that are $10 and under, so if you are the winner you can help yourself to some fabulous jewelry made by none other than The Belles!

Here are the rules:

** Leave a comment on THIS post to enter.
** Visit the Two Belles & a Bead website and in your comment, tell us what your favorite piece is so we know what you'd like to see more of!
** You do not have to have a blog, but if you do not link to one, please make sure to leave me some way to contact you in case you win. If I cannot contact you somehow, you cannot be the winner.
** Have fun and be sure to visit some other bloggy giveaway participants!!

The contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, February 3rd and announced on this blog shortly after. Feel free to stay a while! I haven't been blogging a lot lately, but I love it when people stop in to say hello! :o)

Cutest Earrings EVER

Just in time for Valentine's Day, this new Momma Belle design is the cutest thing ever!

She hand forged the sterling silver circles and then picked the most perfect copper heart beads to hang in the middle.

Can I say I'm IN LOVE with these earrings? I think a matching necklace is soon to follow too. :o) Enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sittin' Pretty

I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business when I looked over to my right and saw this:

and why was she sitting like this, you ask? A belly rub from grandma, of course!

We got a kick out of her sitting like that. :o)

P.S. Please ignore the hideous couch material. The slip cover was in the laundry room!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Photo Hunters: Important


I was going to post a photo I took of the American flag a couple years back to represent freedom which I feel is very important. But it's on my external hard drive and like always, I don't feel like fooling with hooking it up. Sooo, here is a photo of a pendant I made recently when I first starting playing around with making jewelry components from clay. The pendant is one of my first, so it's not very pretty but like freedom, it is also an important message.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ever had one of those days

where you're SO proud of yourself for taking the time to bake a few dozen cookies... that is until you realize you forgot to add the baking soda?

But hey, it's not all bad. I just watched two episodes of How Clean is Your House? on BBC (just discovered that channel and show recently!) and my slightly messy/cluttered house suddenly feels immaculate.

For those of you that are wondering, I made these cookies.

Only I don't cook with shortening, so I used extra virgin coconut oil instead, added a little extra flour, substituted some cinnamon instead of vanilla, and added 1/2 cup chopped pecans and a dash of salt. They're pretty good, but I highly recommend you don't forget the baking soda.

I has confeshun

I'm a loser.

For the past few nights, I have spent entirely too much time visiting websites that have absolutely no value other than cheesy entertainment. I haven't felt up to doing much else, and yet I can't sleep, so here I am reading funny customer service stories** and looking at lolcats.

I.Can't.Stop. Now, I admit that the purposeful misspelling of words and the use of bad grammar gets annoying, but some of the photos are just too funny. I don't even like cats! But anyone can find humor in shake-n-bake cat or invisible tango cat and invisible karaoke cat. To make matters worse, there's also a loldog site!

I don't know what it is. Animals are just funny. I've also wasted a lot of time in the past on Cute Overload.

I cuhd has problum?

**Warning: some stories contain offensive language.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fun in jewelry land

My parents bought me a really cool jewelry tool for Christmas. It's a disc cutter and, well, as you might guess, it cuts discs from sheet metal. I've been wanting one for a while but had not yet taken the plunge. It was on back order and it finally came in this week! I did a happy dance. Or at least I did in my head. It's kind of fun up there sometimes.

Anyway, so this is it:

Isn't it loverly? And this is what it does:

"Ooooh! AAAHHH!" I know! You're so impressed. I mean, who wouldn't be? It freaking cuts perfect circles from metal! I'm in love. But don't worry, Mr. Torch. You're still my main hottie (cheesy pun intended).

Now I know you're wondering what that awesome looking surface is in the background of these photos, right? Well, it is none other than my very own new workbench! Made by none other than my (dad's) very own hands!

If you promise to ignore the mess, I'll let you take a peek:

Nice? Huh? No, it isn't pretty, but it's functional and very sturdy (I think I could do jumping jacks on it) and that's just what I wanted. It's not finished yet. We're going to add a shelf underneath and a hutch on top, but I couldn't help but move some of my junk out there already. I can't wait until it's finished and I can really set up shop! Don't you love the circular saw decoration under there? Yeah, I thought it was a nice touch. Oh, and the blue painter's tape? Jessica knows I have a knack for decorating with painter's tape. After I painted our master bath, the tape stayed up for a few months before I took it down. She dared me to leave it up. Sorry, Jess, it is now gone. But you can enjoy it on the floor of my garage! I promise to leave it down there a while...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Greatest country on earth, huh?

What little faith I had left in the US is now gone. I promised myself I would not get involved in this year's political stuff. I'm a cynic. I do not agree with the electoral college or the two party system or the mudslinging and general "politicking" crud that goes on in our government. It's not for the people, it's for $$$$$ and $$$$ alone. *gag* I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I don't know what I am, but I don't believe that either of those parties has it right.

I had decided months ago that I was not voting in this presidential election (yes, I realize that puts me right up there with Saddam Hussein himself, but whatever, I'm not supporting a candidate I do not fully believe in and let's face it - they're all crooks! I will not vote for a lesser of two evils, nor will I vote for one person just "to keep so and so out of office". I just won't. That, to me, is a cop out and I don't swing that way.) However, there is one candidate that the more I read about him, the more I'm thinking I might just vote after all. He probably does not stand a chance at winning, which is unbearably sad because in my opinion he's the only one with a good head on his shoulders and the only one who will actually fight for Constitutional rights. He's the only one that seems genuine, has a record to back him up, and the only one that doesn't scare me to the point of wanting to move out of the country. He COULD stand a chance. He has an incredible number of supporters. But the media (oh, that unbiased media... "Fox News - Fair & Balanced" - excuse me while I laugh my butt off) is burying him. Ignoring him. Why? Not because he's not newsworthy, that's for sure.

The past few years have been the first time in my entire life that I have been ashamed to be an American. And it just keeps getting worse. I fear for the future of myself and my (hopeful) children if most of these people get into office. *shudders*

Sunday, January 06, 2008

"Look what I have created!"

*said in best "Cast Away" Tom Hanks voice, while beating chest*

"I have made beads!! I HAVE MADE BEADS!!"

So maybe not quite as impressive as creating fire while stranded all alone on an deserted island with nothing but a bloody volleyball to keep you company, but still super cool and pretty nonetheless, no? Yes, I made these beads and the matching pendant! Then I stuck them on some sterling silver stuff and declared that "it is good". (Ok, stealing a line from "Cast Away" AND one from the Bible all in one blog post is probably a sin, but hey.)

I think both Tom AND Wilson would be proud.