The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The lonliest holiday

We all celebrate as the last of the US troops left Iraq this past week, ending nearly 10 years of war. For over 4000 though there will never be a celebratory homecoming. I shared this photo a few years ago and I think of Mrs. Walton frequently. Her husband Lt. Col. James Walton was killed in June 2008, 2 days before their 4th anniversary. Every year while the world celebrates, she has only a cold grave stone to hug.

As you celebrate this joyous season with your family and friends, please take a moment to remember those who will never celebrate another holiday and their families who are left with an emptiness that even time cannot heel.  Hug your family and friends extra tight. While we celebrate the end of the war in Iraq and Christmas homecomings for their families, remember that there are still thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines standing guard around the world.

Monday, December 5, 2011

RTT: Bombs and St. Nicholas day


RTT!!!  They day I can let my hair down and be all kinds of weird (you know, more so than normal).

 *Indy has 2 advent calendars this year, a Star Wars Lego calendar and a chocolate calendar.  For those who aren't familiar with them, they are boxes that have a door for each day and behind the door is a surprise.  It starts on Dec 1 and ends Dec 24.  He opens the Lego one in the morning and the chocolate one after dinner.  It's one of his favorite holiday traditions.

*How do recovered/recovering alcoholics take communion? I'm not trying to be funny. I genuinely want to know. It's wine.

*They are STILL finding unexploded ordinance (bombs) from WWII in Europe. This past Sun, 45000 residents in Koblenz Germany (near Berlin) had to be evacuated due to an unexploded bomb that had to be defused. How crazy is that?  You can read the full story here.  I laughed at this: "People in Koblenz are used to bomb findings," he said.  Really?  How does one get used to that.

*Last year, while leveling some land to start a new construction project workers found a US bomb very near where we lived in Heidelberg. The PX and child care facilities had to be evacuated until it was defused. Weird.

*Oh, more on the above. When we went to Verdun, France (the site of the largest battle of WWI-more munitions were used in this 6 month battle than the entire rest of the war combined) the guides tell you not to leave the marked paths as there are many, many unexploded ordinance in the surrounding areas. When James Bond and his bro-friend T.O.M. went to Verdun over the Memorial Day weekend last year, the idiots left the paths and actually went down into the trenches. It's amazing they made it home in one piece.

*Today is St. Nicholas Day (yes, that's how Nicholas is spelled in this situation).  For those of you who don't know, St. Nick was a real person who lived from 270AD-343AD.  He is the forerunner of Santa Clause.  In his in his most famous legend, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes (yikes!). Hearing of the poor man's plight, Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest to help the man in public (or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man's house.
One version has him throwing one purse for three consecutive nights. Another has him throw the purses over a period of three years, each time the night before one of the daughters comes "of age". Invariably, the third time the father lies in wait, trying to discover the identity of their benefactor.  Nicholas learns of the poor man's plan and drops the third bag down the chimney instead; a variant holds that the daughter had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking.

*We decorate our tree on St. Nicholas Eve.  Actually *I* decorate it while Indy and James Bond decorate a gingerbread house and we watch Elf.  I have been frantically trying to make space for the tree.  This is not easy with all these boxes.  I swear we've emptied 200 boxes and there are still about 100 left!

*When I went down to the basement (which has another 200-300 boxes in it) I discovered that we had no Christmas lights.  Why?  Because we weren't supposed to be in Germany this year, so I got rid of all our 220v lights.  Fantastic.  This means there was not Christmas tree decorating this year on St. Nicholas eve.  There was ginger bread house decorating and the movie Elf, but no decorated tree.  That's okay.  I got to watch Elf sitting down instead of trying to see it between the branches.

*James Bond decided we could have a real tree this year for Han Solo's first Christmas (Indy had a real tree for his first Christmas back in 2002).  I was so excited I tossed out are fake tree so he couldn't change his mind.   He'll spend a long time looking at next year.  :)

*While I love real trees in theory, I realize now why people go with fake.  Those needles are sharp.  Also, I think I might be allergic to it.  I've got a weird rash on my hands.  Happy Holidays!

*We got a much smaller tree this year than our fake tree was 

*I was very, very specific with the packers about what school books I needed packed together (the current books we're using) and did they?  No, no they did not.  I am missing all of our science books, Indy's spelling test book, his handwriting book and fountain pen (he's learning cursive with a fountain pen!) and most important, my planner!!!  I plan 8 weeks of school out at a time and it takes me several hours to do it.  It includes a daily schedule, all my notes and several worksheets for the week.  I'm totally lost without it.  Of course all the "extra" books from the school room went to the basement and OF COURSE all those boxes are in the very, very back.  I'm so mad.

*Don't you hate it when you're in the car or in bed and come up with an amazingly random thought, but can't remember it when you go to post an RTT?   Yeah, me too.

*Do you ever get panicked after you come to a stop sign or red light and then your car doesn't move and you realize it's because you're not really pressing the gas?  No?  Me neither.  :)

*I went to the commissary (military grocery store) last week and was using one of the self checkout machines.  I don't know why I do because they hate me and I have all sorts of trouble.  The machines are constantly blocking me out and calling for help.  I get so mad.  Yes, I scanned the item I put in the bag!  It's not my fault that the weight is not correct on the canned item!  Stupid machines.  Anyway, back to the point (I do have one).  When I was there last week, the machine was really hating on me and the customer service guy (or whatever they're called) had to keep coming over to use his scan card and tell the machine everything was fine.  He was nice and polite and the second time he came over complimented me on how nice I smelled (people do this all the time, so I didn't think anything of it) and asked what perfume I wear (Philosophy Amazing Grace, in case you were wondering).  I was flattered the first 2 times he told me he liked the way I smelled.  By the 6th time, when he told me he could just stand there and smell me all night, I was creeped out and cursing the stupid machine.  I ran away as soon as my receipt popped up and he told me to make sure I walked past him the next time I came in so he could smell me.  WEIRD!!!

*Living in Europe, there are times when all signs look like this to me:

*Being that I've seen the movie more times than I can remember, this cracked me up:

I hope you all have a happy RTT.   I'm back to unpacking (again).  Think of me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RTT: Adventures (or Misadventures) in Moving


Hello my lovelies. Have you missed me terribly? I'll bet you have. I've missed you. Seriously, I have about 3 million boxes to unpack and I would much rather be blogging.  It's RTT though, so I'm back, baby.  For today.

*Moving = Ugh.  Moving the week of Thanksgiving = Double Ugh.

*I packed all my unmentionables in my suitcase because I don't want strange German guys handling them.

*Somehow our paperwork got screwed up and it read that we had 4000 pounds of household goods. The moving company sent 2 packers. You should have seen their faces when they saw how much stuff we have. It should have read 14000 pounds. They called for backup.

*It took 2 days to pack and load. Two very long days.

*It gets dark early (like 4:30pm) so they had their van light on to help see the truck while they packed. The van battery died and we had to jump them off. Unfortunately no one could figure out how to jump off of the battery in Ulrika as Volvo does crazy stuff with their batteries. Fortunately the Contessa came to the rescue with her Ford and was able to get them going again.

*My mom flew over to take care of the boys while we moved.  Thank goodness.   It would have gone far worse if we'd had to take care of them too.  She also cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  If she hadn't we'd probably have ended up at McDonald's.  I was too beat to cook.  See two asterisks below for part of the reason.

*They used an elevator platform attached to our balcony (we live on the 3rd floor AGAIN) to haul our stuff up to our new apartment. After about an hour and a half, the elevator stopped working mid-cycle. It was stuck up around the 2nd floor. One of the movers had to scale the ladder part and fix it. He was perched precariously for about 30 minutes.

*They all put our beds together after delivery. They did something wrong when they put our bed together. At 4:30am on Thanksgiving morning one of the rails fell off and our box springs slipped off and our mattress tilted to the side. We had to get up and put it back together. We were so deliriously tired we laughed our heads off. Good times.

*We bought anew sofa that was supposed to be delivered today. They couldn't get it up the stairs because they are too narrow and ceiling where the stairs above are is too low. They don't have an elevator lift. We had to go back to the store and "return" it (weird to return something you don't have) and get the loveseat instead. They refunded our delivery fee and are giving us free delivery of the loveseat. Let's hope it fits up the stairs.

*I seriously have about 3 million boxes to unpack so I should probably get off the computer. Sigh.

*This is how my week felt:

I hope you all have a wonderful RTT.  Hopefully I'll be back to regular blogging soon.  Miss me while I'm gone and think about me slogging through all these boxes.  Double sigh.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moving Day!!!!!

Oh, my peeps, moving day has arrived. Or at least it will in the morning (it's almost midnight as I type). I may be offline for a few days (GASP!). I'll be back soon though and I'm sure I'll have loads of stories about the movers, what got broken and what a pain in the arse it is to move. I may just have to spend the next few days with a few bottles of wine. Cross your fingers. I hate to move.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

RTT: Moving Day is coming


 Tuesday!  I missed RTT last week and since we're moving next week, I'll miss it then too.  Bummer.

*Except that I'd have to live in Florida where my hair gets HUGE from the heat and humidity, I totally want to live in one of the Disney houses/neighborhoods at Golden Oak.  $1.4 million for the lowest priced home?  Sure, why not?

*The Norwalk virus or Norovirus (the virus that causes the stomach flu) can survive on an uncleaned carpet for a month or more.  Think about that.

*Is it wrong that I sometimes watch Phineas and Ferb when Indy's not even around?

*Bacon flavored perfume.  Eww.

*We were going somewhere the other day and Indy told James Bond and I that he wanted...something (I can't remember what) that was fairly high priced.  I told him that we weren't getting it for him and he said he'd just have to buy it himself.  James Bond asked how he'd get the money and Indy responded without even pausing "Well, I'll just get myself a retail job!"

*Moving day is less than a week away.  Ahhhhh.  I've been scrubbing things.  Like the refrigerator and the stove.   Yuck.  I hate cleaning.

*I caved today and bought an iPhone.  Now if I can just figure out how to use it.  I have already downloaded Angry Birds though.  Don't tell Indy.

*Teething.  Yuck.

*Does it freak anyone else out that your web browser updates the ads for what you've recently searched for?

*It's freaking cold here.  Our high today was 38.  Brrrrr.

*Why doesn't Facebook have a "Dislike" button?

*Don't we all like it good and cheap???

I hope you all have a great Tuesday.  I will miss you next week.  Think of me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

This is (mostly) a repost of last year's Veteran's Day.  I should note that Frank Buckles passed away this past February 27, at age 110.   He was a huge lobbyist for a national WWI memorial in Washington D.C. which 93 years after then end of the war, we still do not have.

Sixteen year old Frank Buckles enlisted as an ambulance driver in the Army. The year was 1917. He sailed to France in late 1917 on the Carpathia, the ship that rescued survivors from the Titanic in 1912. He was just 17 and still serving in France on Nov 11,1918 when the Armistice went into effect.  With his death an entire generation is lost forever.   You can read more about him in this post I did just after his death.

It is estimated that of the 16 million Americans who served during WWII, less that 3 million are still alive today. Their stories are dying along with them.

Edited to add:  The gentleman in the red shirt is John Finn.  He passed away in May of 2010.  He was the last surviving Pearl Harbor Medal of Honor winner.  You can read more about him in this post.

The Korean vets are of an age with the WWII vets. Some of them were WWII vets.

The spunky, misunderstood, often angry, Vietnam Vets are now grandfathers.

One day, the young men and women serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will be old and have only stories and memories.

This is one of my favorite Veterans Day photos of all time.  It's also incredibly sad when you know the story behind it.

This was taken at the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial in 1982.  The man shown is John Ambrose.  He was 86 at the time and a WWI vet.  The flag he is holding covered the casket of his son who had been killed in Korea.  Not only are vets amazing people, but they often raise children who are patriotic and feel bound to serve their country.

If you know a Vet, your father, grandfather, mother, uncle, sister, whoever, talk to them. Ask them to tell you what they remember. Tell them you're grateful for their service and sacrifice. Honor those who came back. Remember those who didn't. Never, ever, ever forget.

There are many vets in my life, chief among them James Bond and my dad, and I am grateful that I know such amazing people.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Latest Captain Lacey Novel: A review

I love a good read. Love it. I love to curl up with a good book (or now with my beloved Kindle) and lose myself in it. I have an extreme fondness for Regency era mysteries with a dash of romance thrown in. Seriously, you should see how many are on my Kindle.  Or maybe not.  You might think I have an obsession.  Which I don't.  Mostly.

A few months back I was moping around waiting for the next book in one of my absolute favorite Regency mysteries to come out when I went to my Amazon recommendations. I saw a book I had not heard of, but was only .99 and thought what have I got to lose?  Aside from .99 and really, what's that?  I am so glad I laid down (or electronically transmitted) my .99 because I found a fantastic new series by Ashely Gardner.

The series follows Captain Gabriel Lacey, a former Army captain, home from the Napoleonic wars, injured, lost and suffering from bouts of melancholy (post traumatic stress, perhaps).  Lacey stumbles upon the mystery of missing girl, a grisly murder and uncovers corruption and dark dealings in the first book, The Hanover Square Affair. He finds that solving the mysteries somehow help him find his own way and deal with the dramatic change in his life from army officer to an unemployed and often penniless civilian.  There is also a great cast of supporting players, who each have their own secrets.  Sometimes the supporting characters are my favorites because I want to know more about them. 

The latest book, A Death in Norfolk, is my favorite so far (each book is better than the last!).
While traveling to his rundown ancestral home Lacey is tasked with delivering a message to a neighbor by a high end criminal named James Denis, who has been both friend and foe in previous books, only to be told by the recipient that he has just delivered a death sentence.  Lacey's strong sense of honor causes him to help his neighbor escape only to discover that the real mystery is just starting.

Lacey becomes involved in a hunt for priceless paintings, murderers, and thieves, as well as the  mystery of a missing girl and the local parish church's silver from 10 years earlier.  Along the way Lacey learns more of his own family's secrets, finds himself fighting for his life and making decisions that cause him to question his own honor, a character trait that has in the past defined him, and his sense of right and wrong. 

Ashley is a prolific writer who has more than 30 novels and novellas under her belt and of the several I've read, she crafts them well.  Her writing is smart and and her attention to detail vivid.  Another thing I really like (and appreciate) is that while she is descriptive, her prose isn't bogged down with too much detail.  I've read books that have entire pages dedicated to what the characters are eating.  Snooze.  Even when Gardner mentions the characters eating, which I don't really mind,  it's a sentence or two and then it's on with the story.

While the characters' problems are decidedly early 19th century, as people they are very relatable.  Lacey et al are complex (especially James Denis who is the most enigmatic of the characters) which makes them realistically drawn. They get tired, irritated, angry, jealous, and sad, like real people, ache when they are hurt (both physically and mentally) and are joyful, thoughtful and grateful when appropriate.  I dislike books where the lead characters are so perfect you'd probably hate them in real life.  Ashley has a done a beautiful job of crafting characters who are beautifully flawed.  Lacey's world is complicated, often dangerous, and terribly exciting. 

The mysteries themselves are well crafted and intricately woven.  One of the best things in my opinion is that I can't guess the "bad guy(s)" and their motivation within the first chapter or two.  I really hate when it's incredibly obvious who did it and why before I've even really met the main characters.  Gardner does the mystery aspect well.  I'm often genuinely concerned for the characters and hoping they'll make it.  It can be stressful!  There are twists and turns and multiple suspects in each book that keeps me wanting to read straight through to the end.

If you love a good mystery with a dash of romance, Regency styling or even if you're just looking for a good read, I highly suggest Gardner's series.  So far there are 7 complete novels and 2 novellas.  While each book could be read on its own, it's best to start at the beginning to get a true feel for the characters and to understand the overall plot arc(s).  And for .99-2.99 per down load, what do you have to lose?

***This is not a paid or sponsored review*** 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Giveaway winners

I'm a day late on this. Sorry. Here are the winners from the big giveaway week:

Signed book and $25 Amazon GC: Vandy J from The Testosterone Three and Me

$20 Gedanke GC: Tamara from Start Enjoying Life (and other blogs)

My Memories Suite Download:  LMA from Life of a New Teacher

Fascinator: Tia from Clever Girl Goes Blog  (this is one of my favorite blogs and I'm incredibly jealous she won because I love this fascinator!)

Tres Magnifique:  Julie from Momspective

Congrats to all the winners!  You will be contacted via email soon.  In case you're wondering, we chose very scientifically.  I took the number of entries for each giveaway and asked Indy to pick a number between 1 and the number of entries.  Whatever number he chose, I counted down on the comments (in order) and that was our winner.  He was very excited to help.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

RTT: The cookie candy bar


*In anticipation of our upcoming move (which we now know will take place on Nov 21), James Bond and I have been cleaning and tossing stuff we don't need. I was cleaning out the kitchen when I ran across an unopened box of Thin Mints I had squirreled away when I was pregnant. Rapture! I opened them and discovered that they had stuck together in one big Thin Mint tube. They had to be eaten like a candy bar. A delicious, chocolatey, minty candy bar. Yeah, I was covered in crumbs and it's not something I'd want anyone to film and put on TV, but it was so yummy. No, I didn't eat the whole thing. I wanted to, but James Bond came along and this time I don't have the excuse of being pregnant to scare him off. Darn it.

*The MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on my list of places to visit) has 18,000 doors.

*Han Solo likes it when I sing "Low" by Flo'rida.  He also likes the dance that goes along with it.  Clearly I deserve the mother of the year award.

*Did you know that when "It's a Small World" opened in Disneyland (CA) that Walt Disney poured water from each of the seven seas into the ride's water channels?

*Who's now singing "It's a small world after all" in their heads?  You're welcome.

*James Bond's mom is full Italian.  She was born in America, her parents were both born in Sicily.  The other night we were talking about something Italian and he called it Mexican.  I laughed and told him for someone who was half Italian he was clueless.  Indy asked what I meant by half Italian and I explained and told him that he was 1/4 Italian.  He looked at me totally shocked and said "What?  I'm not 100% American?"  JB and I laughed so hard.

*This morning Indy was feeding the dogs and when he stood up, he clipped his ear on the corner of the freezer.  There were a few tears, but after a minute, all was well.  About 10 minutes later I was making him a cup of tea and asked if he wanted milk in it.  Without missing a beat he said "What's that?  I can't hear well.  I have ear damage."

*Yesterday Han Solo fell off the sofa.  He was sitting with Indy and leaned over to grab a teething ring and tumbled off before Indy could grab him.  He was fine, but cried for about a minute.  Indy cried for 20 minutes.  It was awful.  He felt so guilty and was so worried Han Solo was going to have a "mild traumatic brain injury."  This is truly a military child.

*Approximately 17% of all humans are left handed (James Bond is).  The same percentage is true of chimpanzees and gorillas. 

*How true is this?

*I applaud their reasoning:

Happy RTT to you all!  Winners of last week's giveaways will be announced tomorrow.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Samhain!

Repost from a previous year.

Back before Halloween became a sugar induced candy grab populated by polyester wearing little goblins, it was known as Samhain (pronounced SOW-in).  Since there are soooo many misconceptions about Halloween (Satan, Devil worshiping, etc), I thought I'd share some information with all my readers.

Samhain, means "End of Summer", and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter part of the year commences on this day. The Celts divided the year into four quarters: Samhain (winter), Imbolc (spring), Beltane (summer), and Lughnasadh (autumn). The Celtic year began in November, with Samhain. The Celts were influenced principally by the lunar and stellar cycles which governed the agricultural year - beginning and ending in autumn when the crops have been harvested and the soil is prepared for the winter.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane (May 1).

Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead". Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. This has evolved into today's practice of carving Jack O'Lanterns. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

When the Romans made contact with the Celts, they added their feast of the dead to Samhain. The Christians subverted the recognition of Samhain to honor the saints, as All Saint's Day on November 1st and named October 31 as All Hallow's Eve. This latter became a secular holiday by the name of Hallowe'en. Although using different nomenclatures, all of these festivals and feasts are celebrating the accessibility, veneration, awe, and respect of the dead, not Satan.  And now you know.

Our community had trick or treating this past Saturday (why can't they just let kids get sugared up on a school night?). Here are some photos:

Don't think I'm not wearing a costume. I'm a Muggle!

The best Harry Potter ever:

James Bond is a Muggle too!

James Bond couldn't resist trying to take a bite:

I wish you all a happy and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giveaway extension!

Hello, my lovelies. I did a really dumb thing last week. I was editing my blog settings and somehow turned comments off for a while. I got several emails telling me this, but I was offline for several hours (WHAT? I KNOW!) so I was unaware. Because of this, I'm going to extend them all until this coming Saturday, Oct 29. If you tried to enter and couldn't, I apologize. Go try again. If you haven't entered, go! Enter now!!!

Monday: Signed Book and $25 Amazon GC

Tuesday: $20 Gedanke GC

Wednesday: My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software-$40 value

Thursday: Fascinator/Hat-$45 value

Friday: Tres Magnifique Etsy Shop Giveaway plus other German goodies!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Giveaway Day 5: My Etsy Giveaway

Okay, it's the final giveaway! Have you entered the others? If not, you need to.

Today I'm giving away something from my very own etsy shop, Tres Magnifique. Have you visited?  If not, you're missing out!  I've got treasures I've found in flea markets all over Europe.  I only pick good stuff too.  Much of it you can find on PB, but I sell for about HALF (most of the time less than half) what they charge.  They are ridiculously overpriced.  Me, not so much.

Today, I'll be giving away one of my most popular sellers, a 3 stack book bundle with reproduction post card:

AND a vintage apothecary  bottle (your choice of ONE):

AND a gummy pizza!  Don't you want that???  Indy got one for his birthday (this one in fact) and was in heaven.  Don't eat the chili peppers though unless you like spicy because they are HOT.

But wait, there's more!  More?  Yes, more.  You will also get a bunch of other yummy German goodies in your package!  You'll just have to wait and see what.  We have good stuff over here!

To enter, go to my store Tres Magnifique and tell what your favorite item is.

If you'd like extra entries, do any (or ALL) of the following(leave a separate comment for each):

Heart my store or an item on my store

Follow me (or let me know if you're a follower)

Follow me on Twitter @MominHighHeels 

Tell me how awesome I am.

Happy Friday and don't forget to enter all the other giveaways:





Thursday, October 20, 2011

Giveaway Day 4: Fashion Forward Fascinators

Are you still digging the giveaways? Yeah, you are!
Today I have an unbelievable giveaway for you. You know how a after the big royal wedding I vowed to bring back hats? No? Well, trust me, I did. I even wore one to Han Solo's Christening. I was having a hard time finding some though that didn't cost a fortune. Some small hats/fascinators were as much as $250.  You'd think they were made of gold! Then, the most amazing and serendipitous thing happened! My mom's cousin's wife (catch that?) started making hats! Not just any old hats; gorgeous hats! And she was selling them for incredibly low prices! Huzzah! She didn't know where to really sell them though, so I offered to set her up an etsy shop. It's called Hat Designs by Penelope and you will NOT believe her hats! I'm not kidding! Look!

 This zebra print makes my heart go pitter-patter.  Could you die???

Look at it from the side!  The poof in the back is swoon worthy.

 Oh, and look, look, look!!!  Wouldn't you feel as smart as Kate Middleton in this?

That's actually my hat!  Squeeeeee!!!! It hasn't arrived yet, but when it does, I will post photos.

I own 3 others (all available on her shop) too!!!  You'll have to forgive the photos.  Indy took them and well...

This is my favorite:

She makes them all by hand!   Would you like to know what she's offering up?  A giraffe print fascinator!

Dear heavens you need that hat.  I need that hat!  You will truly be the envy of everyone you know when you step out in that.

To enter, go to her shop, Hat Designs by Penelope, and then come back here and tell me which hat is your favorite.

For an extra chance to win (not required), you can do any or all of the following:
Favorite her shop on etsy
Follow me.  If you're already a follower, let me know.
Blog or tweet about this giveaway, andget an extra entry for each.

Let me know in separate comments.

Don't think you won't wear it.  Don't be fashion shy or self conscious.  We are bringing hats back.  Wear it with pride!  And make sure to send me a photo of you wearing it!

Don't forget to enter my previous giveaways:

Monday: Signed Book and $25 Amazon Gift Card

Tuesday:  $20 Gadanke Gift Certificate

Wednesday:  My Memories Suite Software

And come back tomorrow when I give away something from my own little etsy shop Tres Magnifique (I've got some fab new items!) along with some German goodies!

Linking to:

Featured At Serenity Now

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Giveaway Day 3: My Memories Suite

Hello my lovelies!  Are you excited about the giveaway week?  Of course you are.

Today I have something really cool for you!  I keep saying that don't I?  Like I'd give away something bad.
Have you heard of My Memories?  If not, you are missing out!  It's digital scrapbooking software and it is AWESOME!  Seriously.  James Bond is threatening to take my computer away if I don't quit messing around with My Memories Suite.  It's so much fun though and really simple to use.  Simple is good.  You can use it to create scrapbooks, calendars, cards, movies, a banner for your blog or etsy shop and whole host of other cool stuff.  You can also order a bound copy of your scrapbook (12x12, 10x10, 8x8, etc) but, but, BUT, here's the best part (in my not so humble opinion):  YOU CAN PRINT IT OUT AT HOME!  That's right.  You can make your own scrapbook/photo book and print it out on your own printer.  How cool is that?  Of course it won't be bound in a hardcover (which you do get if you order your creation from My Memories), but still, you can print it out at home!  You can then put it in your own album or scrapbook sleeves.  How sweet is that? 

So, what is the giveaway, you might wonder?  A free software download of My Memories Suite 2.  A $40 value.  Think of all the photos languishing on your computer just begging to be organized and printed!  Wouldn't the photo books or calendars make a great Christmas gift for grandma or that couple you know who just got married??  You NEED this software.  You know it.

I decided to play around with the software and do some digital scrapbook pages from the cruise we did last year.  Check this out (click to enlarge):

Isn't that cool?  I only showed part of the cruise photos here because I didn't want to jam Blogger up.  All the background photos are my actual photos, but as you can see on the second and third pages, you can use plain colored or even textured backgrounds (included with the software).

 I have to admit that I was really hesitant at first to do this, because I've been burned by software like this before and couldn't figure out how to use it.  It took me less than 5 minutes to figure out My Memories Suite 2.  Even if you're not tech savvy, you can make loads of neat stuff with this.  It also has a spell checker, which is genius.  I'm always spelling Mediterranean wrong (just did it again and blogger had to let me know) and the software caught it. 

My Memories offers tons and tons of different theme packs to keep your scrapbooks fresh and exciting and they even have some that are FREE (you know how I loves me some FREE).

To enter go to My Memories and look around.  Come back and tell me which digital theme pack is your favorite and what you would use the software for if you win.  And that's all you have to do!

IF you'd like extra entries (and why wouldn't you?)  you can do any or all of the following:

Become a follower and tell me in a separate comment.  If you're already a follower let me know.  I ♥ you all, BTW.

Follow the My Memories Blog

Follow My Memories on Twitter

Follow little old moi on Twitter. I promise I'm going to tweet more.  Soon.

Tweet and/or blog about this giveaway.

 Let me know in a separate comment for each one.

Even if you don't win the giveaway (winner announced early next week!), they are offering you, my dear, sweet readers, a special $10 discount on your My Memories Suite 2 download.  That makes it only $29.  Wooohoooo! When you check out, just put in the code: STMMMS44386.  I'll keep a button with the code over on the right sidebar if you decide you want it (and you do!). 

If you missed the other giveaways you can enter here:

Signed Book and $25 Amazon Gift Card

$20 Gadanke Gift Card

Check back tomorrow because I have a honey of a giveaway coming up.

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