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Archive for May, 2012

Locks of Love

This past Sunday I did something that I am very proud of.  I donated my hair to Locks of Love.

The minimum length of hair they need for a wig is 10 inches.  It took me about 2 1/2 years to grow my hair as long as it was and it was still only 10.5 inches!

It was definitely a little bittersweet cutting off my hair because I did love the look of my long hair but I had to remember that it was going to go to someone who needed it more than I did.  My hair, that made me feel beautiful, would now be going to make a child feel beautiful…that made it worth it 🙂

Here we go!

Since there were no mirrors around I wasn’t able to watch the transformation process so once I saw myself, it was so strange!

My wonderful hairdresser, Dawn, who has been cutting my hair once I finally grew it (I was at least 2 years old before I had any hair!)

I love my new hair cut and it couldn’t have come at a better time (it was 85 degrees on Sunday!).

What’s the best thing about having short hair, you ask?  NOT HAVING IT GET CAUGHT IN THINGS!  Every time I put my purse over my shoulder I’d have to pull my hair out of it!  Every time I sat down I’d have to sweep my hair over my shoulder so I wouldn’t lean on it!

Close to $350 was raised for Locks of Love to help them offset the costs of making the wigs, not to mention the 8+ hair donations!

Even though I was able to cross this off of my bucket list, I know that I will be doing it again.  It’s such a great cause 🙂

Scam, Scam, Scam, Scam…SCAM! Wonderful SCAM!

I am SO SICK of all the scams that are going on out there.

My husband and I are currently in the process of finding another place to rent.  We’re looking for duplexes or homes but we’re on a bit of a tight budget.  So far, all but two of the places that I’ve found on Craig’s List have been scams.  What is with that?!

Usually the red flag goes off when they ask for your credit report and to click on the link that they’ve added in the email.  Well that’s pretty much a no brainer for me that it’s a hoax.  However, those have stopped being sent and now the emails that I’m getting back are from people who are ‘off doing God’s work in Africa’ and they’re going to be gone for several years so once I fill out the application they’ll send me the keys to the place. Oh, but I’m able to drive by it! HA!  It started off that you could spot the scams if they didn’t list the address on the post but now they’ve even started listing the address and having pictures of the place inside.  They’ve wised up, but I hope the public has too.

Poor Kid…

A person I work with’s Grandma actually had someone call and pretend to be her grandson.  The person calling was hysterical saying he’d gotten in a car accident and was in jail and the police wouldn’t let him get any medical attention.  He needed money for bail and even had another man acting as his lawyer talk to the Grandma.  She hung up the phone fully ready to go to the nearest Western Union and wire money but the only thing that made her stop was that the man on the phone called her ‘Grandma’ and she’s usually called ‘Noni’ or ‘Nona’.

It’s just awful the amount of scams that are around now.  The internet, while it’s brought us access to a vast amount of information and knowledge, has also brought more hoaxes and, it seems, more gullible people.

SWEET! All I need to do is put in my account information?! Totally worth it!

Every single time one of those (^) pops up, no matter what company, IT’S A SCAM! Don’t click on it.  There is never a  ‘maybe it’s real this time’. Every time it’s a scam.  EVERY TIME.

It just makes me really sad that people try to take advantage of other people.  What makes them think that they are able to skip getting a job and manipulate people and take their hard earned money?!  I understand they need money and they are probably desperate.  How can a person feel good about that?  How can someone find something that dark inside of them that would allow them to do this to another person?

I know this is going to sound like ‘duh’ advice but people are still falling for this crap so here it goes:

Never under ANY circumstances, give out your personal information (SSN, Account number, Credit Card numbers)  if you are not absolutely positive that they are who they say they are.  If you didn’t call them yourself, there is no way of knowing who they are.  It doesn’t matter if their caller ID says they’re Master Card and they say their Master Card.  Tell them you will call them back and then find their toll free number on the back of your card (or your statement) and call them from there.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  ‘Make $2000 a week from home!’  Sounds amazing, but so does super powers and flying just by flapping your arms.  That’s because, in this world, it’s NOT REAL.  I don’t care how bad you want it to be true, it’s not.  Don’t buy into it.

When renting or buying, if you can’t meet the person face to face don’t trust it.  This stems the scams from my rental experience of ‘I’ll mail you the key once I get your deposit’.  They will NOT mail anything to you once they get your money.

Most important of all…think logically.  The biggest and easiest way they get your money is by tapping into your emotions.  Advertisers do this all the time.

Just take it; just take all my money.

Why do you think those ASPCA commercials that Sarah McLachlan endorses are so effective?  Or the Christian Children’s Fund showing pictures of emaciated kids who don’t have enough to eat?  Because they were designed to do that.  Advertisers have found out that the most powerful tool is emotion (I should know.  I have a Bachelors Degree in Advertising).

The people who create these scams know this too.  Above all else, they want your money and they will do anything to get it.  They will act like all your money is gone; they will act like everyone you love is dying, they will act like the world is ending…whatever it takes to get your information.

That is why it’s so important to think logically about what is going on.  Put your emotions aside for just 5 minutes and think about the situation from all sides.  If it’s real, then do what you need to do.  But if it’s fake, you’ll be glad that you took the time to think about it.

The Better Business Bureau has a write up of the most popular scams here.  If you’re not used to scams, take a second and read it.  It could save you a ton of time and money. If you have any doubts, step back (or hang up the phone) and think; talk to someone you trust and see what they think.  The best thing you can do, is take just a few minutes to think about it. That’s what can make the difference between falling for a scam, and figuring out it is a scam.

Most importantly always remember to Do Unto Others.  Treat others as you want to be treated.

If You Think Reading is Boring, You’re Doing it Wrong

I’ve always loved to read.  Ever since I was little, I was able to immerse myself in a book.  I would get lost in this world; create pictures of it within my mind (that’s actually what I don’t like about movie versions of a book-the pictures look different than what I created).  I can loose all sense of time when I’m reading a book I really enjoy.

These are SO going to be my kids (at least I can only hope!)

There was actually one time in high school that I got into an argument with my English teacher over reading.   We were required to keep a reading log and write down the time that we started reading, the time we finished and how many pages (I guess to help prove that we actually read).  I really got into this one book (All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark) and I spent 6 hours one Sunday reading it.  When I got to class the next day and had my teacher check off on my reading log, he looked at me and said “Really?  I’m supposed to believe that you actually read for 6 hours?”  I was SO mad at him!  “Call my parents and ask them.  Do you really think that if I were trying to fake this that I’d write that down?!”  (Having helped many of my friends fake their reading logs I knew how to fake them without him knowing they were fake).  He begrudgingly signed off on it and never did call my parents but the point is, if I like a book, I’ll read it for as long as I can.  There are some days that I only stop reading because I’m starting to fall asleep and didn’t comprehend the last two pages!

My parents (especially my mom) always supported us reading and tried to get my brother and I to read as often as possible.  When we went shopping, my mom never had an issue spending money on books (as opposed to movies).  That is one thing that I obtained from my mom.  I never have issues buying books but always think longer about other purchases. Maybe one reason is that one of the biggest series of all time came out when I was 11 and continued to adulthood:

Harry Potter! My cousin and I actually had a competition on who could read this the fastest!

For some reason, things start to not be as cool during middle school/high school anymore.  Reading, unfortunately, becomes one of them.  It’s not cool to read books anymore; Cliff Notes are what we use for school and reading for fun is unheard of.  While the number of books I read on my own significantly dropped once I was in high school, I never stopped completely.  I was actually one of the best readers within my English classes, and had I not been so shy, I would have read out loud more.

I still think that reading is a very important thing and I feel it’s something that is lacking within my age group.  Video games have overtaken reading, and it’s sad to me.  I feel, video games close your mind, they don’t increase creativity or imagination.  They just have you search a different room and let you chose your weapon (will it be a machine gun or flame thrower?).

I can still sit for hours and read a book. In fact, it took me 4 days total to finish all 3 of the Hunger Games series (5 hours for Mockingjay).  The cool thing for me, too, is that if I really love a book, I will read it over and over again and still be just as enthralled in it as I was the first time.  That is another reason I tend to purchase my books.

Rarely do I ever get rid of a book, but that also means that I am very picky about the books that I do read.  If you’re having difficulty finding books that you want to read here are some of my favorites that I’ve read multiple times (by the way, these are just the ‘adult’ books. I LOVE kids books! Dr Seuss is still my favorite!):

One of my new favorites!

Love Harry Potter

The Time Travelers Wife By Audrey Niffenegger, The Horse Whisperer By Nicholas Evans, Girl With a Pearl Earring By Tracy Chevalier, A Dog’s Purpose By W. Bruce Cameron, The Other Boylen Girl By Phillipa Gregory

Another HUGE Favorite: Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials including: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

Oh I also loved (and didn’t think I would) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (I’ve got an issue with the circus and I don’t like anything related to it but I was pleasantly surprised with this book).

There are books out there for everyone (have you been to a Barns and Noble recently?! They’re huge!) If you don’t like one, there’s not a rule that says that you have to finish it…move on to another.  All I can say is try it, you may be surprised at how much you like it!

And remember:

Did I Miss The Memo?

I feel like I’m so out of touch with the current trends sometimes.  I’m usually so up to date, even if I don’t follow them, I at least know about them.  Or I guess I know about them but I don’t understand them.   Maybe I’m looking for meaning in things that don’t really have any but I just don’t understand some of the current ‘cool’ things.  Two in particular seem to have appeared out of no where and I just don’t understand them.  Where did they originate from and why are they so popular?

The first one is the mustache trend.  I just don’t get it.  It started overnight and then exploded into everything.  There’s mustache clothing, mustache accessories, mustache home decor…it’s become a mustache meme.

An example of how far mustache’s have grown.

Ok, I do have to admit, this is pretty funny 🙂

*UPDATE 5/13/12*  I Figured out where the mustache’s came from!

“There’s a lot of reasons why a man would wear a fake mustache to work” The Office Season 7, Sex Ed.

Another trend that I’ve seen on Pinterest is the “keep calm” posters.  I just don’t understand where they came from or why they’re everywhere.

The ‘basic’ poster

It’s also gone into popular culture books and movies (I do love this series though!)

Even into the Mustache Phenomenon!

I just don’t get it.  Did I miss the memo on why these are around? Or am I just getting old?  I don’t feel like I’m getting old but maybe I’m too boring (if that’s the case, don’t tell me-haha)…If anyone can explain it to me I’d love to know where these originated from!

HAHAHAHA!

Finally! A Clutch For Every Outfit!

I found a DIY on my favorite website (ahem Pinterest) for a place mat clutch purse (Original Here).  Since I went to visit my parents on Saturday, and my mom is an excellent sewer, I twisted her arm and we took a trip to Hobby Lobby and Kohls.

I wasn’t sure what I’d find at Kohls for place mats but I fared better than I expected.  I picked out a blue place mat.  I then came to find out that it was on sale for $3.99 AND that it was made from 100% recycled plastic bottles!

(Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of our work while it was being created but here’s the finished product.)

The Finished Product:

Makes me a little loopy from this angle

So the short version is to fold your place mat in thirds and sew up the sides.  My mom and I decided to do the long version which was to get extra fabric and make some pockets (the third picture).  We attached those using no sew tape that is activated by heat.  Once the pockets were ironed on, then we (my mom) sewed up the sides.

The clasp is called a ‘frog clasp’ and was found at Hobby Lobby (along with the tape) and we decided to hand sew that on.  Since my mom kept grabbing the pins we’d put in the clasp to secure it, instead of grabbing the needle, I took over hand sewing and just attached the top loop(on the top flap) and the bottom loop(on the bottom flap) and also the middle. (I was planning on sewing the entire clasp on but it started to run into the pockets and I didn’t want to maneuver the needle through the pockets too).

And Voila! It is done.  With a lot of help and thanks to my mom, I have a very cool new purse that cost around $8!  I plan on making more of these to match other outfits and now have an excuse to go and look in the Home sections!

Happy Crafting!

Can I Quote You?

So I’ve been on a bit of a quote kick recently and wanted to share some that I found that really resonated with me. (I found them all on Pinterest).

Things that I have seen in others that have made me change myself: complaining (actually straight up bitching), negativity, being judgmental, talking bad about others. Learning from others has actually helped me be a better person…at least that’s what I hope.

Nothing is perfect but yet it is.

People often say to me “I could never do that” but the truth is, you can. It’s easy once you know what you want and believe in.

It’s so funny to think about this. I know I’m still pretty young but it’s amazing how much life has passed and how much I still have to look forward to.

These last two quotes represent me the most.  I feel that it’s not good to dwell on the negatives; it’s not going to change anything, so why not deal with it and move on (and I’m talking about those little bumps along the road).  Life is about dealing with issues as they present themselves.  Not everything can be great 100% of the time, but the true test is how you handle it.

So Smile, Love, and Laugh.

What are your favorite quotes?  Are there ones that help get you through the tough times or ones that inspire you?

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