Monday, May 31, 2010

San Antonio Discounts and Giveaways



Visiting San Antonio this summer?  You can get coupons and discounts on various attractions at the S.A.V.E (San Antonio Vacation Experience) section of the VisitSanAntonio.com.

You can also enter to win a San Antonio Vacation including theme park tickets and hotel stay (but not including travel expenses and not open to San Antonio residents) at Theme Park Mom.  Contest ends May 31st at 9:00 pm.

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Memorial Day - Remembering

CNN put up an interactive map detailing the casualties in the wars with Afghanistan and Iraq. It's eye opening, and I encourage everyone to take a look at it. As well as offering an overview of the loss of these two wars, it also allows you to take a more detailed look at individual soldiers. You can click on every dot on that map and read more about the individual men and women which are represented there. If you've lost a loved one in either of these wars, you can share your own stories about them which will be added to the information about them included there.

Considering the many military bases both in Texas and California, I was not surprised to learn that the largest number of US casualties in both of these wars came from these two states (in the Afghanistan war the highest number of casualties were from English and Canadian troops, followed by Texas and California). My prayers go out to all people remembering loved ones today, wherever you're from.




Memorial Day Poppy - Cards card



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Souvenir Saturday - My Five Favorite Flowers

I've decided to mix my Souvenir Saturday today with a meme called Small Talk 6. Their topic of the week is your 6 favorite flowers, and since I was doing flowers for Souvenir Saturday this month, I thought, how perfect! Of course, not all of my favorite flowers come from Texas or California, so this will be slightly off the normal topic, but still fun!

Lisianthus
I discovered this one when I worked at a nursery in California.

Lisianthus Blossom print
Lisianthus Blossom by moonrisings
Browse other art at Zazzle


Queen Anne's Lace
I fell in love with this flower visiting my grandma in New England as a little girl. I also love the poem by that name by William Carlos Williams.

Queen Anne's Lace 1 (Wild Carrot) mousepad
Queen Anne's Lace 1 (Wild Carrot) by LivingNature
Browse more Bright Mousepads


Columbine
These flowers decorated the edges of trails I went hiking on as a child in Sequoia National Forest.  I thought they looked like shooting stars.

Red Columbine 09 card
Red Columbine 09 by TPossum
Create a note card online at zazzle


Foxglove
Another beauty I found while working at a nursery.



Morning Glory
I love these because I can actually grow them, and because of their lovely flowers and vining vining leaves!


Mexican Evening Primrose
My favorite Texas wildflower, which I've waxed on about enough already here.













Pictures are from artists at Zazzle.com. Links to Zazzle are made in association with Zazzle.com (that's code for: I can make money if you buy things through these links).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sky Watch Friday


"What are you taking pictures of?" the little girl next door asked.

"That!" I replied, pointing towards the setting sun.

"That?" she said. "Oh, it does that all the time."


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See more of what the sky does "all the time" over at  


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Angelic Baby Creations Bib - A Review

My boys are big...not "fat" just big.  They each weighed around 10 lbs when they were born, and then just kept growing.  That's why my littlest, who just turned two, fits into size three clothes (and even a few size 4 items).  He has grown out of most of his bibs (they're either two tiny or too snug at the neck), but hasn't grown out of needing them.  That was why I was so happy to get a chance to do some bartering from my shop for some large hand-made, long sleeved, pocketed bibs from Angelic Baby Creations.    Here's my little guy modeling one:


Cute huh?  But we need an ACTION shot...


Ah...PIZZA!  That's more like it!


Yeah...check out the fingers.  There we go!

Actually, he was being quite neat for this photo shoot,  but I have no doubt this bib would keep his clothes clean during much messier meals.  The bib was a size large (for ages 2-5), and fit him perfectly.  I'm not sure if it would fit a 5 year old, but then I'm basing that off my little one who, while he fits a size three, still has more baby fat than an actual three year old, and certainly a 5 year old, would.  The sewing is well done--I put the bib through the washer/dryer and it held up fine. 

When you order a bib from Angelic Baby Creations you can pick from a fun selection of fabrics , or choose pre-made styles from her sale section.   Angelic Baby Creations also carries invitations, birth announcements, custom candy bar wrappers, hair bows, mother's bracelets, and pearl charm bracelets.


(I was not payed to write this review, though since the item I traded her for was a little less than the bibs cost, she she did give me a small discount for reviewing her bibs on my blog.).



Caterpillars!

 There were 6 lovely caterpillars on my dill plant.


This was the lone dill that survived all winter...but honestly
I don't mind them munching on it.  It had already flowered, 
so it was a little late to use the leaves anyways.




When we first found them they were tiny and fuzzy
...just slightly bigger than a dill flower.
But they grew!



My kids have loved watching them.


If you tickle their back with a blade of grass these slimy orange antenna come out 
of their heads and they will bend back and try to hit you with them...


 You can see those orange antenna a little bit in the picture above.  It gets longer and comes out further than that but this was the best picture I got of it.  I originally thought it might be poisonous (couldn't think of another reason it would it do that) but I found out it's actually a gland that releases a foul smell to repel predators.

Unfortunately, some neighborhood boys came by and smooshed all but two of our caterpillars .  :-(  But, still hoping to see the last two turn into cocoons and then butterflies.  I just found out they'll turn into Black Swallowtail Butterflies!  (Thanks Laura P. from Lavendar, Literature and Lace).




This post is listed in the following memes:

Worldless Wednesday
Kludgymom Wordless Wednesday




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Monday, May 24, 2010

Giveaway and Interview With Texifornian Author

Tailor-Made Bride, A  

Today I stumbled on a giveaway for the book Tailor Made Bride - a romance set in Texas an written by a Texifornian!  When asked why she set the book in Texas, the author, Karen Witemeyer said...

"I grew up in California, but I came to Texas for college, married a Texan, and never left. I fell in love with the glorious sunsets, frontier spirit, and the friendliness of the people. I knew I wanted to set my stories in this great state. Living here, I'm also able to bring authenticity to my writing since I can research the setting firsthand."

You can read the rest of that interview at the Giveaway Lady Blog.  You can read more about Karen Witemeyer and her books (and find some other giveaways too) at her blog:  http://karenwitemeyer.com/books.html.

 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Souvenir Saturday - California Poppies

Every Saturday, ok...almost every Saturday (alright, alright...on an occasional Saturday) I feature stuff I find with a California or Texas theme. For the last few times the theme has been Texas flowers, so I thought it was time to feature some California beauties...namely, the ever photogenic California Poppy!

Isn't she lovely?





They're even lovelier when they're together!

I loved seeing them covering the hillsides when we would go on roadtrips...they'd make the hills look like someone had splashed them with orange paint.


They look pretty combined with other flowers too! This looks like bluebonnets, but it's actually Lupine, a related flower (bluebonnets are in the Lupine family too...but there grow taller and a little less thick, at least the ones I remember).





Links to Zazzle are made in association with Zazzle.com (that's code for:  I make money if you buy things through these links).

Primrose Sky - Waco Texas

This is my first time participating in Sky Watch Friday and Garden Bloom Day.  Usually I'll be doing them separately, but the flowers I was going to post for Garden Bloom belong with these sky pictures....

Primrose Sky

IMG_1213

IMG_1202

IMG_1211

See what I mean?  These pictures were taken the same day, and the sky just matched the flowers so exquisitely.

These Mexican Evening Primroses about the only thing blooming in my yard right now, except some dandelions and clover and some lovely little purple flowers...but that's fine with me.  These beauties are my favorite Texas wildflower (as I've mentioned a time or two before here). 

If you want to see more gorgeous sky pictures, visit Sky Watch Friday and see more, or check out some more beautiful blooms around the 15th of every month at Garden Bloom Day.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wildlife in Our Backyard

My kids found a rabbits nest in our backyard last week! Didn't get great pictures of the babies, but we got a really good video. The first part is the only part with the babies...the rest is the mommy rabbit trying to cover up the nest so we couldn't peek anymore!  Unfortunately, the You Tube embedded window is a little big for the blog so you might want to view it on YouTube.



Here's another picture of the mom:
Mommy Bunny

The lil' rabbits are gone now (not GONE, gone...just left the nest). What a neat experience, though!

This post is listed in the following memes:

outdoor dremaer Outdoor Wednesday is a meme all about the outdoors hosted by A Southern Dreamer.








Camera Critters

I listed this on Camera Critters , a fun meme about animals to explore with your kids!








And, even though it has a few words, I'm including this on  Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vegetable Garden - Attemp II

My husband made us a raised planter box for us to do square foot gardening in. It was great fun mixing the potting soil and amendments and planting the seeds with our kids. But, then I gave it a good watering and the bottom fell out! Just didn't make it strong enough (wood too thin, not enough supports underneath, etc.).

Well, in the weeks afterwards while we tried, and failed, to find ways to fix it, the seeds started growing in the dirt anyways (even though the dirt was on an angle, tipped where the bottom gave way and spilling out).

So, I decided before the thing collapsed completely (it was only a partial collapse) I would find a place to move them. So, I sectioned out a square of earth, poured boiling water over it to kill the grass and weeds, and started tilling the ground today. (If this sounds like I'm making up this plan as I go you're exactly right--I was.) I gave my middle son a spade, and he was a hugh help digging and mixing. Later his brother came home from school, and him and the neighbor kids came to help. We mixed the some vermiculite and peat moss in...and I was kinda glad they had to leave before we got to the compost (didn't want to have to tell their parents why they would need a bath). Then we moved the surviving seedlings over and planted some more. The water looked like it was pooling up when I watered it, so I don't think I mixed it right. OH WELL! I figure whatever plants survive my gardening attempts are the hardiest (and any seed collected can tout the lable "Hardy Enough to Survive Gale's Garden!")

Texas Roads Giveaway

Found another blog giving away a copy of Texas Roads by Texas author Cathy Bryant. Visit the Giveaway Lady for a chance to win this story about a disillusioned woman’s quest for home.




Texas Roads

Friday, May 07, 2010

MAY 9: The Easiest Food Drive EVER!



Stamp Out Hunger is easiest food drive ever! Seriously, you don't have to take the food anywhere but your mailbox--and the post office will pick it up for you for free! How easy is that!

This is also a great time to do some spring cleaning of your cabinets. Do you know that canned food, and boxed food, expires? Yes, it does. So, take a look in your cabinets...check the expiration dates on that food, and ask yourself, am I really going to use this before it expires? If you don't think you will, why not toss it in a box and put it by your mailbox May 8? (And if it's already expired, toss it out, for your own safety).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Peace, Love, Swap

Have children? They grow out of everything so fast, don't they? Well, if you're in California, you might want to check out peace, love, swop, a site hosting local swop events for baby item (They aren't just in California, but most of their events are there. No events in Texas so far...doh!). Peace, love, swop's mission is to keep gently used baby, kid, and maternity items out of our landfills, and to donate to local charities by producing fun, affordable, family friendly swaps on an ongoing basis! How cool is that!

Texas/California Giveaways

Now and then I stumble on a giveaway related to Texas. This time I have one on my site:

Waco Coupon Giveaway (Includes free McDonalds Frape and others I hate to see go to waste).

No one has entered, and though it actually ends May 3rd, I'll give it to the first person who claims it after that if no one enters--unless they've expired already.

And, this one is remotely related to California (I mean, anyone can name perfume anything...if you win you'll have to tell me if this really smells like Santa Barbara).

Santa Barbar Eau de Parfum
- 4/30


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Souviner Saturday - Bluebonnets

The bluebonnets have been blooming...though they've started to fade now. Always beautiful!

Here's some bluebonnet photography I found on Zazzle.