Welcome to the newest little Bauman!

Everyone, say hello to my totally cute little nephew, Michael Graydon Bauman, Jr.
Who shall be known to all his family as Junior . . . except for maybe Aunt Danyelle who's trying to sneak in Mikey, but Junior's Dad isn't quite warming up to it yet. :)

Mama & Junior

The very proud Daddy (my brother Mike), his daughter Chastity, and little Junior.

Aunt Danyelle and her little Mikey!

A really excited MJ holding her new little cousin.

Big sister Felicity holding her new little brother. Isn't she so cute?

Dad, Felicity, Chastity, and Junior - a very happy family!

Easterfield by Anna Jones Buttimore

Anne Bradshaw is giving away a wonderful book on her blog. If you like Jane Austen, you'll enjoy this contest! Stop by and check it out!

Summer Time Give Away: Winner of The 13th Reality: The Hunt For Dark Infinity by James Dashner

I received 42 entries for this week's Summer Time Give Away. Thanks to Random.org for picking the winner of an autographed copy of The 13th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner . . . Entry #4!

A huge congrats to

Taffy Earl Lovell

Taffy, please email me your snail mail address and I'll ship your book ASAP!

Next week's Summer Time Give Away item is a totally awesome set of puppets and props. See y'all on Monday!

Crazy Eights Tag

I've been tagged!!!!

Thanks, Christine!

Here be Da Rules:
1. Mention the person who tagged you.
2. Complete the list of 8's.
3. Tag 8 other bloggers.
4. Tell them they have been tagged.

Eight Things I Look Forward To:

  1. No more diapers to change.
  2. Finding a publisher for Teaching Special Spirits
  3. My very first book signing!!!
  4. Reading books with my kids.
  5. Singing funny songs with my family.
  6. Snuggling with my hubby at the end of the day.
  7. Reading emails and status updates from my friends.
  8. Girls Night Out!

Eight Things I Did Yesterday

  1. Slept in until 8:30 am!
  2. Talked with my girlfriend, Heather Justesen, four times! Oh yeah!
  3. Editing
  4. Laundry
  5. Added entries to my QOTC contest spreadsheet!
  6. Watched Bedtime Stories with the kiddos.
  7. Checked out our new family pictures for our church congregation directory.
  8. Went to bed early - 9 pm.

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do

  1. Attend all the awesome writer workshops and conferences in Utah. Kansas is really just too far away.
  2. Attend my critique group in person instead of online. Again - Kansas vs Utah, too far.
  3. Go to Chantell's wedding - And again, Kansas is just too far away from Utah!!!
  4. Figure out how to plant a garden without killing all the poor plants.
  5. Kidnap my hubby for an anniversary vacation this August.
  6. Take my family on a totally fun summer vacation.
  7. Be super patient while we pay off our debts . . . only eight more months to go. Patience, please!
  8. Go back to college and finish my degree.

Eight Shows I Watch

  1. Food Network Challenge
  2. Ace of Cakes
  3. American Idol
  4. Good Eats
  5. Storm Chasers (hey, I do live in Kansas!)
  6. Monk
  7. Um . . . Dora the Explorer
  8. And, uh . . . Wow Wow Wubbzy.

Eight Friends I Am Tagging:

  1. Daron Fraley
  2. Leslie Cheret
  3. Cindy Beck
  4. Amy @ What a Kick in the Pants
  5. Kathy @ Kathalog
  6. Cheryl @ KC Kanenwishers
  7. Josie @ The Poor College Students Guide to Raising a Baby
  8. Bre

Autism Awareness Wins Berkely Stakes

Apryl is a horse trainer and she sent me the link to this following article. If you click on the link, you can read the full article and watch the video of the race. Thank you Apryl!

Autism Awareness Springs Berkeley Shocker

The 4-year-old Autism Awareness, who is owned by Johnny Taboada, won his first stakes since his 62-1 shocker in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Bay Meadows in March 2008. Bringing just $1,000 as a yearling, the California-bred son of Tannersmyman was ridden to victory by David Lopez for trainer Genaro Vallejo in a time of 1:43.17 for 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic Tapeta racing surface.

It was an emotional group in the winner's circle that surrounded Taboada, whose son, Renzo, has autism. The owner has dedicated his life to fighting the illness.

"Odds don't mean anything to us," said Taboada, whose son, Renzo, has autism. "There's nothing like winning the El Camino Real Derby, but this is very close. A lot of people around the nation have paid attention to this horse, but they've kind of lost interest. I think they'll be noticing him again."

Book Review: Previously Engaged by Elodia Strain

As I slipped into bed Friday night, my hubby was reading a book on his Blackberry. This usually means he's going to be up for a while. So before I got too comfy, I ran down to my living room and grabbed one of the books I purchased at the LDS Storymakers conference - Previously Engaged by Elodia Strain (which is the sequel to Icing on the Cake). I thought I'd read a few chapters until John was ready to turn off the light for the night.

Twenty minutes later, I was laughing and so into Annabelle, Isaac, and Alex I just couldn't put the book down. I kept reading, barely noticing as it got later and later. I'm normally at all a night person. In fact, I'm usually asleep by 9 pm, but when I closed Previously Engaged and looked over at the clock it was a little past 2 am! And my thought wasn't about sleep . . . I was wondering if my hubby would be generous enough to let me sleep until noon if I re-read the book that night!

I absolutely love a book that weaves humor, romance, and intrigue - and let me just say that Elodia Strain has set a perfect example of it with this fabulous book. I highly recommend it to anyone else who loves books in this genre!

QOTC Summer Time Give Aways!!!

I'm so excited to announce the Queen of the Clan Summer-Time Give Aways!

This is a weekly give-away series. Each Monday from today until August 31st, a new item will be available for my readers to win. There are lots of ways to enter, so be sure to read all the rules carefully!

The Rules:

Each Monday, a new give-away will be announced. You have until Friday at noon (CT) to enter the contest. The winner will be chosen by using the generator at Random.org and announced Friday afternoon. The winner has one week to claim the prize by emailing me his/her address at queenoftheclan@gmail.com. If the prize isn't claimed within that time, a new winner will be drawn. Prizes will only be shipped within the United States.

How to Enter:

You have the opportunity to receive up to 5 entries per Give Away!

Receive 2 Entries - Email me the answer the weekly question. Answers can be found on the prize donor's website/blog and must be emailed to me at queenoftheclan@gmail.com.

Receive 1 Entry for each of the following:

- Add my QOTC button (on my sidebar) to your blog or website & leave a comment with a link.

- Become a QOTC follower. Leave a comment to let me know if you are new, or if you are already a follower.

- Mention this week's give away on your blog (linked back to my blog) or Facebook (Search for Danyelle Bauman Ferguson and add me as your friend.) and leave a comment here with a link.

And now, to kick off the Summer Time Give Aways . . .

Enter to win
An Autographed copy of
The 13th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity
by James Dashner.

Weekly Question: What is the name of James' upcoming book release?

This contest ends Friday, May 29th at noon. Good luck, everyone!

Summer Reading Thing 2009

Last summer, I participated in LDS Publisher & LDS Fiction's Summer Reading Trek. It was so much fun . . . and always fun to win more free books! They just announced their new read-a-thon - titled Summer Reading Thing 2009! Here's my current reading list:

  • Abinadi by H.B. Moore
  • Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston
  • Bone Warriors by Bron Bahlmann
  • Fool Me Twice by Stephanie Black
  • Ghost of a Chance by Kerry Blair
  • Mummy's the Word by Kerry Blair
  • No Time for Love by Nancy Campbell Allen
  • Pick Up Games by Marcia Mickelson
  • Previously Engaged by Elodia Strain
  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  • Shadow of the Crow by Jeri Gilchrist
  • Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
  • The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
  • Torn Apart by Diony George

I don't know if I'll get through all of these and I'm certain I'll add others that aren't on the list, but either way, it's going to be one totally awesome summer filled with books and fun in the sun!

For more fun summer stuff, be sure to check out my Summer Time Give-Away contests!

Beware of Restaurant.com

Sprint has some really neat benefits and programs available to its employees. One of which is the Sprint Portal which is an online website where employees and their spouses can search through their favorite online stores for deals on purchases. Some offers are pretty good, others are awesome!

One of the Portal's often highlighted businesses is Restaurant.com. This company offers gift certificates at a reduced price. For instance, they generally offer $25 gift certificates for the price of $10. I've often been tempted to purchase a certificate or two, but the restaurants are generally locally owned businesses I'm not familiar with.

Today, Restaurant.com offered a screaming deal - $25 gift certificates for only $2, for a limited time, limited number of certificates. I hopped out to the portal, clicked on the link, and decided to try out some of the restaurants. Most of the restaurants were high-end places where a couple would spend anywhere between $50-100 just for two meals and drinks. These restaurants had a little blurb on them that said a minimum order of $50 or so was required. So I thought, Cool, I'll get four $25 gift certificates with our date night money and we'll try out something new while exploring the Kansas City area. What a fun date night!

I purchased gift certificates for four different restaurants. Then, I called my sister cause this was a great deal and I wanted to share. She picked out a few places back in Pennsylvania for her and her hubby and I added them to my cart, too. I spent just under $50 for $620 worth of certificates.

Have you ever heard that saying that if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is? Yeah, I wish I would have remembered it before clicking the purchase button . . .

After finalizing the purchase, I went to my account to print out my gift certificates, already thinking ahead to calling for a babysitter for sometime this weekend. I clicked on the print your certificate button, it brought up the certificate and there, below the $25 certificate amount, was 2/3 of a page full of restrictions . . . such as,

-Limit 1 redemption per party, per month, per restaurant. (huh? So I'm only allowed to eat at the restaurant once every 30 days and use my PURCHASED gift certificates).

-Limit 1 gift certificate per redemption. Only one gift certificate can be used per party, even if the party is seated at separate tables and/or receives more than one check. (So I can't treat my friends out for dinner with us even if they sit on the other side of the restaurant AND I can't use more than one gift certificate at a time, so that $100 meal that I bought 4 gift certificates to cover - nope. Instead I'll have to go FOUR times and get a $25 discount, while spending $75 per visit.)

- Gift certificates cannot be combined with any other restaurant certificates, third party certificates, coupons, or promotions. (So if someone gave me a gift certificate to Ari's Greek Restaurant and I purchased a gift certificate for them on this site, I can't use both together to pay for my meal. That really, truly stinks!)

It was at this point I realized something else - I just spent money to buy COUPONS!

Remember the requirement that a minimum purchase amount must be met to use the gift certificate? Yep, that amount is ALWAYS more than the value of the gift certificate. So I basically just purchased a COUPON for $25 off a $50 purchase.

Definition of Gift Certificate: A voucher entitling the bearer to a free product or service, intended to be purchased as a gift (from Wiktionary).

Definition of a Coupon: In marketing, a coupon is a ticket or document that can be exchanged for a financial discount or rebate when purchasing a product. (from Wikipedia).

The other truly annoying factor of this is that at the bottom of my "gift certificate" it says certificates cannot be refunded, only transferred to another Restaurant.com gift certificate. So I can't even get my money back.

I'm quite perturbed. I feel like I got a bad deal from a slimy car salesman. What upsets me the most is we've been on a super tight budget as we've been paying off student loans, etc and I thought I was making a wise choice for our very meager date night funds. I thought we'd have the opportunity to do something we rarely get to do these days - splurge on something that costs more than our $5 weekly budget allows. I've been saving those $5 amounts up to do something really fun together. Now we can't even do that because even if we ate out using one these "gift certificates," the amount we'd have to pay would still be more than our date night budget.

This whole experience has taught me two things: 1) Don't trust "too good to be true" offers, even if it does look like it comes from a reliable and established company, and 2) as Dave Ramsey says, It's just better to pay with cash.

Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win!!!

Some friends and I have put together an exciting contest to kick off your summer! Beginning June 1st, we will be giving away a prize a day. That’s right: 30 days, 30 treasures! There should be something for everyone: romance, mystery, historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction; children’s picture books; a variety of non-fiction; and just to liven things up even more, we’ve included a few exciting non-book prizes: a free 30 page manuscript edit, for you aspiring authors out there; an e-bay gift certificate; and a gift-certificate for a Vinyl Expressions Quote.

How can you win one of these fabulous prizes? Follow the rules below:


You can send in an entry for each day’s prize, or only for those prizes that strike your fancy. The rules are simple:

(1) Go to the website or blog indicated for each day, find the answer to the question for that day, then email the answer with your name and mailing address to jdipastena@yahoo.com.

(2) Please send a separate entry for each day and type the day you are entering in the subject line. (Such as: June Treasure Hunt, Day 1; June Treasure Hunt, Day 2, etc).

(3) Deadline for each day: Midnight PST

(4) The winner will be contacted and announced on the day following the deadline.

You do not have to wait until the designated day to enter. You can start sending in your entries right now, or begin entering at any point along the way. And check back here each day between June 2nd-July 1st to read the names of the winners.

If you have any questions, feel free to email Joyce DiPastena at jdipastena@yahoo.com.

And now…let the treasure hunt begin!

June 1

SPONSOR: Aubrey Mace

PRIZE: autographed copy of my new YA fiction book, My Fairy Grandmother.

QUESTION: What is the title of my upcoming book to be released Fall 2009?

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.aubreymace.com


June 2

SPONSOR: Rachel Rager

PRIZE: By Love or By Sea, romance, autographed copy

QUESTION: What question does the stranger ask Alice? (Hint: Read excerpt of By Love or By Sea on the “Reading Room” page.)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://www.rachelrager.com


June 3

SPONSOR: Josi S. Kilpack

PRIZE: An autographed copy of culinary mystery Lemon Tart OR a pre-ordered copy of English Trifle (release date is August 2009)

QUESTION: How many original recipes are included in the culinary mystery, Lemon Tart? (Hint: click on “Lemon Tart” tab on website)

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.josiskilpack.com


June 4

SPONSOR: Cindy R. Williams

PRIZE: Arizona Glyph Award Finalist: Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today Children’s snuggle, giggle picture book. Autographed by the author and the real Chase McKay.

QUESTION: What is the name of the dragon book Cindy is completing?

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.cindyrwilliams.com


June 5

SPONSOR: Kersten Campbell

PRIZE: Autographed Copy of the Motherhood humor book: Confessions of a Completely (In)Sane Mother

QUESTION: What does the dog beg for when he escapes into the neighbor's house in the book Confessions of a Completely Insane Mother? (hint: if they click on the book they'll find the answer)

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.kerstencampbell.com


June 6

SPONSOR: Lara Niedemeyer

PRIZE: $20 gift certificate towards merchandise and shipping at my store—8pizza on eBay

QUESTION: What is the lowest priced item and what is the highest priced item listed in 8pizza’s store? (Hint: use the “Sort By” feature).

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://stores.shop.ebay.com/8pizza


June 7

Sponsor's name: Kathi Oram Peterson

Prize: Autographed copy of The Forgotten Warrior, YA Inspirational Time travel

Question Who is Tarik?

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.kathiorampeterson.com


June 8

SPONSOR: Donna Hatch

PRIZE: Autographed copy of paperback of the Regency Romance, The Stranger She Married

QUESTION: What is Cole accused of doing?

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.donnahatch.net (Hint: read the excerpt under “Bookshelf” tab for The Stranger She Married)


June 9

SPONSOR: Diony George

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Torn Apart, a fictional novel based on a true story. "If it could happen to Alyson, it could happen to anyone..."

QUESTION: What TV station interviewed Diony about her book? (Hint watch video for the answer)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http:// diony-george.blogspot.com


June 10

SPONSOR: Tina Scott

PRIZE: autographed copy of Coyote's Grand Adventure - children's picture book

QUESTION: What did Coyote always dream of doing? (Hint: Look under “Library” tab)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://tinascott.net


June 11

SPONSOR: Cindy Beck

PRIZE: Winner's choice of one of the following anthologies featuring Cindy's stories (autographed copy): My Dad is My Hero, Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors, or Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers.

QUESTION: What was the name of my horse? (Hint: You can find the answer by going to the website and clicking on the button marked "Books."

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.bythebecks.com


June 12

SPONSOR: Valerie Ipson

PRIZE: $15 gift certificate and free shipping for a Vinyl Expressions’ Vinyl Lettering quote (check out http:// vinylsignsanddesigns.blogspot.com for examples of prize)

QUESTION: What is Valerie’s personal writing quote? (Hint: see quotes in right sidebar under “OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF WRITERLY PEOPLE: Valerie’s “personal quote” means just that…her very own quote!)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://valerieipson.blogspot.com/


June 13
SPONSOR: Joyce DiPastena
PRIZE: 2007 Whitney Award Finalist: Loyalty’s Web, medieval romance, autographed by author
QUESTION: What is HelĂ©ne’s prayer when Gunthar brushes her cheek with his thumb? (Hint: Click on “Excerpt” tab on website)

June 14

SPONSOR: Joan Sowards

PRIZE: LDS Word Puzzles

QUESTION: What is Bednar?

WEBSITE: http://joansowards.com/node/110


June 15

SPONSOR: Anne Bradshaw

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Please, No Zits! & Other Short Stories for LDS Youth, but non-LDS will enjoy it, too! - YA genre (12 upward)

QUESTION: What does author Jeffrey S. Savage say about Please, No Zits? (Hint: scroll down right sidebar on blog)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://annebradshaw.blogspot.com


June 16

SPONSOR: Laurie LC Lewis

PRIZE: an autographed copy of BOOK ONE of her Free Men and Dreamers series, Dark Sky at Dawn.

QUESTION: What current political situation has caused a verse of the Star Spangled Banner to be nearly forgotten? (Hint: click on “news” link on website)

WEBSITE: www.laurielclewis.com


June 17

SPONSOR: Jaimey Grant

PRIZE: FREE download of the eBook of your choice (Betrayal, Spellbound, Heartless, or Redemption)

QUESTION: What was the title of the very first Regency romance that Jaimey wrote from beginning to end? (Hint: Check out the post titled: "My Mind : What a Twisted Place to Live")

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://www.jaimeygrant.blogspot.com


June 18

SPONSOR: Danyelle Ferguson

PRIZE: Free 30 page edit of your manuscript ($30 value)

QUESTION: How does Danyelle's business card describe her? (Hint: check right sidebar on blog)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://queenoftheclan.blogspot.com/

OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: Danyelle says: “If they live in the USA, I will print their 30 pages, hand edit, then mail back. If they live outside the USA, I will edit the .doc file and email back.”

June 19

SPONSOR: Walnut Springs Press

PRIZE: I Can't Believe It's Food Storage by Crystal Godfrey (non-fiction)

QUESTION: What is the most recent new release listed on our blog? (Hint: check out post for April 13, 2009)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://walnutspringspress.blogspot.com


June 20

SPONSOR: Caroline Gregory and Shawnette Nielson

PRIZE: Puppy Stew, Children’s Picture book. Finalist for Foreward Book Of The Year award. (NOTE: not an autographed copy)

QUESTION: “In order to stay warm, what do you wear underneath your shoes?” (Hint: look under the “Witchisms” tab on website)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://puppystew.net


June 21

SPONSOR: Marion Webb-De Sisto.

PRIZE: An autographed copy of her ground-breaking book, Crystal Skulls.

QUESTION: Does this book explore ancient crystal skulls or contemporary ones? {Hint: Take a look at “Books” in the main menu)

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.marionwebb-desisto.com


June 22

SPONSOR: Inglestone Publishing

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Counting the Cost by Liz Adair

QUESTION: What is the name of the main male character in Counting the Cost?

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.inglestonepublishing.com


June 23

SPONSOR: Cecily Markland/Inglestone Publishing

PRIZE: Autographed copy of children’s picture book, If I Made a Bug, by Cecily Markland

QUESTION: Who is the illustrator of If I Made a Bug? (Hint: the “bookstore” tab)

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.inglestonepublishing.com


June 24

SPONSOR'S NAME: . Jacquie Rogers

PRIZE: Faery Special Romances (YA novel)

Autographed in USA, not autographed elsewhere.

QUESTION: Why does our family support Neurofibromatosis research? (Hint: Click on “Neurofibromatosis research” link and read Mercedes Rice’s story)

WEBISTE: http://www.jacquierogers.com/faerysr.html


June 25

SPONSOR: Terry Deighton

PRIZE: Cup of Comfort for New Mothers (non-fiction, anthology)

QUESTION: Name any two titles from the Cup of Comfort series. (Hint: Look in the store.)

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.cupofcomfort.com


June 26

SPONSOR: Leatherwood Press

PRIZE: Messiah: The Little-known Story of Handel’s Beloved Oratorio, by Tim Slover

QUESTION: Who was the art designer for Messiah: The Little Known Story of Handel’s Beloved Oratorio? (Hint: see post for May 15, 2009)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://jdp-news.blogspot.com


June 27
SPONSOR: Dawson Publishing
PRIZE: Copy of The No Cussing Club by McKay Hatch
QUESTION: How many members of the No Cussing Club are there to date

June 28

SPONSOR: Nicole Zoltack

PRIZE: Woman of Honor (fantasy romance ebook)

QUESTION: What color is Caelan's eyes?

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://nicolezoltack.blogspot.com/


June 29

SPONSOR: Sarah M. Eden

PRIZE: An autographed copy of the Sarah M. Eden Regency romance of your choice

QUESTION: "Name all 7 Jonquil brothers." (Hint: check out "The Jonquil Brothers Series" tab)

WEBSITE/BLOG: www.sarahmeden.com


June 30

SPONSOR: Marsha Ward

PRIZE: LDStorymakers Writing Secrets

QUESTION: Who is Rulon? (Hint: Click on “Man from Shenandoah” under “Novels” link on website)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http://marshaward.com


Want to Win some Jessie Clark Fun CD's?

Anne Bradshaw is hosting a great contest to win two Jessie Clark Funk cd's. Hop over to her blog to check it out!

Locks of Love

In honor of my three-year-old cousin, Trenton - who has leukemia - I chopped off all my long tresses and donated them to Locks of Love today. It was not only a heart-warming moment, but also a teaching opportunity for the second through fifth graders at my local elementary school.

You see, I let our elementary school's Presidential Service Committee in on the fun of getting my hair ready to be cut . . . and my own eight-year-old had the honor of wielding the scissors. Here's a fun collage of pics from this afternoon . . .

Before we began . . .

Measuring 6 1/2 inch ponytails . . .

The girls and the boys both got in on the action.
One of the boys was the photographer with my camera. He did a great job!

One last goofy shot before we pulled out the scissors!

The first cut! Go MJ!

Yep, that's definitely my hair . . . 7 inches worth!

Ponytail #2 - 8 inches! I love Laura's worried expression!

Only two more to go! Ponytail #3 - 6 1/2 inches . . .
I love the teachers' expressions in the background. There were actually several teachers who came out to share the excitement. It was actually more like they couldn't believe I was actually letting kids cut my hair! :)

This was the only oopsy of the haircut.
MJ really got into it (look at that grin!) and while she was cutting, she starting going up on a diagonal. Oopsy! Not that I was worried . . . I just sat back and smiled, telling her she was doing a great job and not to worry - it's only hair. It'll grow back.

Ponytail #4 - 7 1/2 inches!
Notice Laura holding the ponytail so MJ keeps the cut straight.

My Locks of Love . . .
A combined total of 29 inches of hair!

The after pictures . . .
When I took the bands out, it was pretty uneven which gave me a very choppy-style bob.

Partners in Crime . . .
Me & MJ

Lucky me, my girlfriend Amy came all the way out from Utah just to cut & style my hair . . .
Um, that's just wishful thinking. She actually came out as part of her vacation - but she was kind enough to cut my hair and make it look pretty again. It's not styled, but it's totally cute and I love it! Thanks to my two chicks - MJ and Amy.

I had a lot of fun donating my hair. Now I'm going to start growing it back out and do it all over again. Next time, it will be at my elementary school's 1st Annual Locks of Love event in February 2010. What an incredible tradition to start which will benefit children like my cousin who are battling horrible illnesses and losing their hair. I love the Locks of Love program and am grateful to be a small part of it!

Free Honeymoon Trip, Anyone?

Wedding Paper Divas has partnered with The Islands of The Bahamas to offer unique wedding suites give a chance to win a dream honeymoon escape to Kamalame Cay, an exclusive private island hideaway located just off the coast of Andros in the Out Islands of The Bahamas. The contest starts today and runs through June 12, 2009. Prize winnings include:

  • Roundtrip airfare for two
  • Six nights accommodations in a Beach Suite including breakfast each morning and use of resort amenities, including golf carts, snorkeling equipment, kayaks, tennis courts, pools and more
  • An indulgent Bath Butler service and a rejuvenating couple's massage at The Spa at Kamalame Cay
  • A private picnic excursion on a nearby deserted cay
  • A romantic beach-side dinner for two
  • And more!

I'm thinking it must be time for the hubby and I to renew our vows. This counts for second honeymoons, too - right? :)

Hop on over to Wedding Paper Divas to check out this awesome opportunity!

Project Linus: Blankets for Autism

I just received information from a lady at my church about this event. It sounds awesome!!!

Kansas City Project Linus, Cass Co MO, Johnson and Wyandotte Co KS, will hold a Blankets for Autism blanket day on June 13, 2009, 9am to 1 pm. It will be 13720 Roe Ave, Leawood KS 66224, in the East building, suite 300.

During this event we will be making weighted blankets for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 1 in 150 children are affected by Autism in the general public and 1 in 88 children in military families. Children with Autism have a hard time calming themselves and these blankets have a calming effect on these children. They enable them to sleep through the night and are used during the day to calm the child.

Things to bring: Everyone should bring 1 ¼ yard of child friendly fabric. If you have any of the following you should bring them: sewing machine, basic sewing supplies, iron, ironing pads, and extension cords!

Remember that Autism affects 4 boys to every 1 girl! So when purchasing fabric please keep in mind that we will need many more boy blankets than girl blankets. At this time we have a waiting list for these blankets. NOTE: If you don't have fabric, but would like to sew please come help! Vice Versa, if you can't sew, but would like to donate fabric, please contact Patty (info below).

This will be the first event for our new chapter and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and teaching you about making these blankets. They are very simple to make and it will be great fun.

If you plan to attend please call Patty at: 816-331-9101 or email her at jgpg2@yahoo.com

Free Chocolate Friday!!!

I just discovered something that every single woman in the United States will jump for joy over.

Free Chocolate.

Yes, I totally said FREE. Let me repeat: FREE CHOCOLATE!!!

Right now, women in chocolate desperation are grabbing their monitors and screaming in delight. I can hear them all the way in my humble little Kansas home.

Here's the deal my choc-a-holic friends . . . Mars is hosting a Real Chocolate Relief Act. They are giving away coupons for free "Real Chocolate" every Friday starting at 9:00 am EST and ending at 11:59 pm. Each Friday the first 250,000 people who register for coupons will get free chocolate!

There are a few restrictions though (which I totally understand cause without restrictions, Mars is going to have a Chocolate Stampede on their hands!) The Chocolate Relief Act ends September 25. That gives us moms with kids home for the summer something to look forward to each Friday, right? Also, there is a limit of a total of 4 coupons per household, but you can only get one coupon each Friday. After you sign up for your coupon, it will arrive in your mailbox approximately 6 weeks after winning them. Coupons are good for a free single-size package of M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix or Dove.

For your chance to win free chocolate, just go to http://realchocolate.com/ and keep reloading until you can fill out the registration form. Every Friday the free chocolate will go faster and faster as more people find out about it. So bookmark the page and set your alarms for 8:45 am to be sure to get your four coupons for some chocolate relief!

Thank you to Freebies4Moms for letting me know about this awesome offer!

It's Me . . . In Ink!!!

Okay all you Deseret Book catalog subscribers, pull out that brand new catalog from your mailbox (mine came Tuesday afternoon). Quick! Turn to page 19! I'll wait . . .

Great! Now check out the advertisement for The 13th Reality: The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner. Looks like a darn good book, eh? If you notice, right next to the book is a blurb by yours truly. Yep, I'm talkin' about me!!!

Can I just say that was the most awesomest surprise I've ever received when browsing my DB catalog? This one definitely is NOT going into the recyle bin. Nope. It's getting framed for my office. Oh yeah . . .

You may all now return to your reguarly scheduled activities. :)

Adults with Autism

Did you know that Utah has one of the highest rates of autism in the United States? 1 out of 133 children in Utah are diagnosed with autism. On the flip side, research from the University of Utah's Autism Research Center shows that individuals with autism thrive better in Utah when compared to other states.

Recently, my friends Karen & Don Fairchild were interviewed with their son Matthew, who is an adult with autism. Utah's KUTV news aired the following segment spotlighting Matthew and another adult with autism as well. You can view the video here.

Women of Virtue Book Giveaway

Michele Ashman Bell interviewed Jodi Marie Robinson, author of Women of Virtue, on her blog. As part of the interview, the author is giving away two copies of her book, as well as two decorative Women of Virtue tiles. This sounds like a wonderful book. Stop by and check it out.

Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston & Contest

Tristi Pinkston has a brand new book coming out and I'm sooooo excited!!! It's called Agent in Old Lace and sounds very intriguing. Once I get my hands on a copy, I'll post a review here for y'all.

Until then . . . Tristi is running a contest on her blog where the readers get to do some of their own detective work and enter to win a free autographed copy of Agent in Old Lace. Hop over and check it out!

If you live in Utah, Tristi's Book Release party is this Saturday, May 16th from 3-5 pm at Provident Book (661 W. State Street, Pleasant Grove). Tristi has promised LOTS of awesome prizes! I want to hear from anyone who attends! I totally wish I could be there!!!

Tiny Prints Contest Winner!!!

First, I'd like to send a great big thank you to Tiny Prints for donating a $50 gift certificate for this contest! They are super generous and awesome!!!

The winner of the totally awesome gift certificate is . . .


Congratulations! Please email me with your snail mail address and be on the look-out for your fabulous prize!!!

Life is Tough Winner!!!

Life has been very crazy and hectic at our house . . . and I totally forgot to announce the Life is Tough by Stacy Gooch Anderson winner.

And the winner is . . .

Marta O. Smith!!!

Congrats, Marta! Please email me your snail mail address and I'll get the book out to you!

LDS Storymakers First Chapter Contest Results

And the winners are:


1st Place - “Repentence” Terry Montague

2nd place – “Fisherman’s Daughter” by Melinda Sanchez

3rd place – “Girl from Gurian” by Jewel Adams


1st Place - “Dance the Ghost (With Me)” by David West

2nd place – “Funeral Procession” by Linda Peterson

3rd place – “The All New George McDonald” by Don Carey


1st Place - "Lost: One Sheep” by Danyelle Ferguson & Heather Justesen

2nd place – “Teaching Special Spirits” by Danyelle Ferguson

3rd place – “Welcome to the Motherhood” by Cindy Williams


1st Place - “Where Safety Lies” by Frank Holdaway

2nd Place - “Sign of the Owl” by Kathleen Perrin

3rd place – “The Neighbor” by Susan Tietjen


1st Place - “Space Corp General” Don Carey

2nd Place - “Fairy Dust” by Tina Scott

3rd Place - “Stone Still” by Laura Taggart

4th Place - “Natura” by Jennifer Jenkins


1st Place - “Wind Song” by Rachelle Christensen

2nd Place - “Take Back the Night” by Danyelle Ferguson

3rd Place - “Tess” by Terry Montague

4th Place - “Butter Diggers” by D. D. Hunt


1st Place - “Lunaratus”

2nd Place - “Danny the Undead”

3rd Place - “Fields” by Jennifer Jenkins

4th Place - “Dragon Unchained” by Susan Tietjen

5th Place - “Matched” by Allyson Condie


“Newtimber” by Karen Hoover

Karen won an Alphasmart Neo & Content Edit


“Sonya Silent” by Rebecca Birkin

Rebecca won an Amazon Kindle II

Tiny Prints and a Contest

Today, I am spotlighting a totally fun invitation company called Tiny Prints.

I became acquainted with Tiny Prints through their sister company, Wedding Paper Divas. You can learn more about my history with WPD and my wedding contest on this post. When Wedding Paper Divas asked to partner up for a give-away on my wedding blog, we also thought it would be fun to host a contest over here for all my family readers!

Tiny Prints has the most unique stationary I've seen! And their quality is superb! Vibrant colors, excellent paper and texture. As I browsed their website, I found myself opening new windows to save my favorites. At the end, I had over thirty windows open!!! It was quite difficult to narrow them down to the ones I'm going to share here.

Let's start from the beginning.

First, most of us are women who love something pretty that represents us.

Then eventually we get married. Come see my contest on my wedding blog for Wedding Paper Divas.

Next, we become prego. I'm not talking about the spaghetti sauce, ladies. I'm talking "It's baby time!" Check out these totally cute pregnancy thank you cards!

Then, the joyful bundle arrives . . .

Picture Frame: Bloom

. . . and of course, we get no sleep for several months (well, years actually - but who's counting). And before you know it, you're arranging play dates.

OK - this is totally the most awesome thing I've ever seen! It's a play date card with a schedule inside you can fill out when you before you hand it out!!!! (see below)

I would LOVE to have a set of these for when I meet knew families at Kindermusik or The Little Gym. It would be so much easier than trying to keep our kids from running wild while we Mamas get out our planners and try to write down each other's info and times we might be able to get together. Are these cards just awesome or what?

Then there's the annual celebration . . . BIRTHDAYS!

Super Hero: Azalea
Oh yeah! Girl power!!!

Blast Off!
My four year old loves this birthday card. I see a Space Themed party in the near future.

Life continues this cycle of babies, birthday parties, and play dates for the unforeseeable future. During that time, every family needs a little something fun . . .

Beach Stripes
I know I certainly dream about somewhere relaxing and calm during crazy family days. :) I love the way each family member's name is listed on the front of the card.

And finally, the day we dream of . . . and dread . . . for eighteen + years . . . Graduation

Varsity Athlete

Once again, we're back to two little love birds in an empty nest . . .

Sweet Chicks

Now, don't you agree that those are some cards and invitations? Aren't you totally excited to enter to win some moolah for your own stationary set?

Tiny Prints' Contest!

One lucky winner will receive a Tiny Prints gift certificate for $50!

There are three ways to receive a contest entry (which means you could earn up to three entries!) All entries need to be received by 12 noon (CT) on Monday, May 11th. The winner will be announced later that afternoon. When you comment, be sure to leave your email address or blog link so I can contact you. The winner has until Wednesday, May 13th to send me their mailing address or another winner will be chosen. Good luck, everyone!

1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me which Tiny Prints card is your favorite.

2. Become a Queen of the Clan follower. (Please leave another comment letting me know you became a follower or if you are already a follower.)

3. Announce this contest on your blog, with a link back to this post. Be sure to leave another comment so I can stop by to check out your announcement!

Enjoy & good luck!