Dec 9, 2007

My "Snow"phie

This week, Sophie saw her first snow. This is the result of her first venture into it:

Just one paw out and then she jumped back in the house. (The other marks are from icicles dripping). Then...

Just a few minutes later she went crazy. Can you spot her in the snow? Look for the cute black nose.

It's so much fun watching her "first" everythings. She is my sweetiepup!

This is her favorite sleeping position:

On her back, front paws folded over, back legs spread eagle, lol.

And here's a close-up of my cutie pie:

She LOVES laying under the Christmas tree and it is the most adorable thing ever. I really need to get a picture of that.

Every night, she walks up to me in bed, runs right to my shoulder, lays flat on her belly, puts her chin on my shoulder, sighs, then falls asleep.

Okay, I'm done bragging. Now I'm going to go cuddle with my furbaby.

Dec 5, 2007

Christmas Giveaway

Ugh....I can't believe how busy I get this time of year! Okay, once again, I'm behind on responding to comments. And blog visiting? I forget what that even is. I have NOT forgotten you guys and I still stand by my promise to get around to see you all as soon as I can. I really, really, really miss you all!

If you're still here reading me, first of all THANK YOU! Secondly, I have a giveaway going on that's close to my heart over at my other blog.

It's for my friend Bruce Littlefield so I'd appreciate any and all shout-outs you can give it. Not only is his latest book a blast, but Bruce himself is just the sweetest guy you'll ever meet so I really want to get the word out on this for him.

And, get this. He's offering something from his very own tree along with an autographed copy of the book! (Bruce, if you have any extra pickles, I'll take them! LOL)

All the details can be found here. Thanks and good luck in the contest! Oh and here's a video of Bruce's latest appearance on The Today Show:

Nov 29, 2007

I'm the Mother of an Adult Daughter!!!

This can't be real. My oldest can NOT be turning 18 today. An adult daughter? Me? No freakin' way!

Happy birthday, Amanda! I love you, big or small.

And yes, you still have a curfew. :)

(There's a YouTube video below that might take a minute to show up. As soon as I heard this song for the first time years ago, I knew I would play it on her 18th birthday. Have lots of tissues ready. I can't even swallow after watching it!)

Nov 25, 2007

I Got to Test Drive the New Dodge Grand Caravan!

Thanks to a connection in the DC Metro Moms Blog, I was given an opportunity to test drive the all-new Dodge Grand Caravan (the one on all the commercials and television shows like The View). Only 50 moms in the DC area were given this opportunity so I was very lucky (wooo hoo!)

From the start, I felt like I was cheating on my mini-van. I had a fling with a definite upgrade, and only came back to my van because I couldn't keep the Dodge Grand Caravan. My Chevy Venture was pretty ticked because it decided to no longer provide me heat when I drove it again (hubby's working on making it feel better and I think it might be coming around).

All those commercials that say the Caravan is a home on wheels? So true! You can eat, play board and/or card games, video games, watch television, eat on a table, watch movies, tailgate, use GPS navigation, make phone calls from a built-in dashboard phone service, and more.

The middle sweats swivel to face the back row and you can put a table up in between for games and eating. This picture is bad because there was no flash, but this is after a trip to McDonald's and my kids are eating using the table:

There are TWO...count 'em.....two pull down screens with two separate, wireless headphones. I can listen to Sirius satellite radio in the front, Matthew can play Playstation or watch a DVD in the middle, while Natalie watches Sirius Satellite television in the back (it comes with three channels....Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon).

Even the puppy enjoyed the ride. :) We took her along on a trip to my Grandma's too (an hour and a half away) and it was like packing for a newborn! But everything fit perfectly in the spacious trunk:

There was plenty of room for the dog's crate, supplies, groceries (for lunch) with room to spare.

And those back seats? With a push of a button they automatically fold down into the floor to make even more room, or you can have one side up and one down, favorite setting...they fold back and down to provide tailgate seats! Again, all with just a push of a button.

There's also storage in the floorboards if I had needed more room, a feature I used when I had a few grocery bags to toss into the van (closer to me in the front and easier to get to than the trunk).

The side doors automatically open and close and the windows on the doors automatically roll down, as well. I can't tell you how many times my kids wanted the windows down in the back in my old van. I really loved this feature! There were also pull-up screens for when the sun was shining too brightly, something you usually have to purchase separately and install with an ugly suction cup on the window.

The only problem I had with the van was with the passenger-side back door. My driveway slopes uphill a bit and there was one day that I could not get the door to shut automatically. I sat outside in the cold for about twenty minutes trying to get it to close.

I finally got it to shut by hitting the button and waiting until it was almost closed, then hitting it with my butt so that it was forced close. That wasn't fun! I thought it was because of the hill but when it happened again, I pulled into the road (which was a level surface) and tried to close it there with no luck (and had to go back to the button/butt trick again).

I have heard that mine was not the only one with this problem so hopefully Dodge does something to fix it.

Despite the one flaw, I would still buy this beauty if I could. I'll take a little door trouble for all the entertainment it provided to my kids and for all the features I personally loved.

Look how perfect the van looked in my driveway:

It was totally my trophy van! We were meant to be! How could it leave me?

Devra and I were *this* close to running away in the van together but she didn't want to miss reruns of Punky Brewster. ;)

Natalie summed up my feelings pretty well with this expression the morning that it left us:

Nov 4, 2007

No-Slip Hair Clips Winners!

Congratulations to Paige from Superpaige's Pad who won a set of 7, no-slip hair clips! I'll be getting your clips out to you as soon as I make them.

For those who entered but didn't win, I'm offering a special deal. Normal price is $5 per clip (which includes shipping), but you can purchase 5 for $20 and 10 for $40. I'm including close ups of the patters I had posted, plus pictures of a couple of new patterns.

Orders will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and if I run out of materials for a particular pattern you are interested in, I will do my best to get more of that material to make that pattern for you. I will also be adding patterns on a constant basis, so be sure to check back.

For now, here is what I have to offer:

In honor of the Fall Y'all Giveaway, I'll call this one...."Fall Y'All!"

This is from my new collection (ha!...don't I sound so designerish?). These we'll call "Christmas Clips." You can select a floral topper, or the jingle bells (and they really do jingle!)

Okay, I'll give these names after the girls in my life. From top to bottom: "Amanda," "Natalie," and "Sophie."

From top to bottom: "Chocolate Rose," "Candy Stripe," and "Diva Dots."

These are also new and are from my "Pastel Princess" collection. You can choose a floral topper, or the sequins.

All clips feature a small piece of velcro inside of the clip that prevents slippage. Ends are heat-sealed to prevent fraying. Clips measure 3/8" wide and a 1 3/4" long. They are two-pronged alligator clips.

If you would like to order, simply email me at ablondeandherblog AT yahoo DOT com And if you would like to be put on a mailing list to be notified when new patterns are available, send me an email at that address with "mailing list" in the subject line.


Oct 29, 2007

Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Remember the awesome Bloggy Days of Summer giveaway this past summer, hosted by Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer? It was such a huge hit, that I wanted to take part in it again.

I have one contest going on over at my review blog, but wanted to host one here, too.

So, I'm offering a set of 7, handmade (by me), no-slip hair clips, pictured here:

The colors don't come through very well because I need a new memory stick in my camcorder, but you get the general idea.

If you don't win the contest, but are in the market for adorable AND affordable no-slip clips, you can purchase them from me for only $5 (includes shipping and handling). Just email me at: ablondeandherblog AT yahoo DOT com I will have new patterns coming soon.

To enter the contest, just leave a comment on this post. Deadline will be 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 3. Winner will be drawn at random and announced on Sunday, November 4.

Good luck!

Oct 12, 2007

Meet Sophie

I am in love. Meet Sophie, the new addition to our family. She is the most precious thing EVER. She's a teeny-tiny, 8-week-old Bichon Frise.

There are two things I've had little of lately...time and money. Now, I'm going to have even less of both, but oh my gosh is it worth it! She has filled a deep void in my heart that was left after Copper passed.

She is my new furbaby and I love her with all of my heart! My camera does not do this gorgeous girl justice. Not even close. I really need a new Memory Stick.

For instance, her dog bed is an adorable pink and brown but you can't tell very much with these photos.

Anyway, it's all I have to show her off to you so enjoy! She is just a little furball of love and just wants to cuddle all the time. If she's alone, she cries until she can cuddle up to you. She romps in the grass and tries to jump over the tall blades. It's hilarious.

I'll tell you all about my cell phone disaster last night and how it almost kept me from getting my sweet baby girl. Long story so I'll save it for another post.

Oh my gosh I am so in love. Here is my sweetheart, Sophie:

Can you spot the puppy in this one? LOL She's so tiny, that her stuffed animal is bigger than she is! She's buried in there so you have to look closely to see her. Even my bunny is bigger than she is!

Sep 29, 2007

I Heart Elizabeth Edwards

The meeting with Elizabeth Edwards (see my post below as well) went very well. As I said in my previous post, I already admired her for her strength, courage and dedication to her family.

Now? I wish I could make her my new BFF!

Everyone who reads me knows I'm a Republican (at least I think they do) but there are some things that transcend politics and this is one of them. How can you not admire a woman who is fighting such a courageous battle against cancer, and supports her husband and children all while juggling so many things at once.

Here I sit, complaining about my health problems and not having any time. How does Elizabeth do it all?! I am in awe of her energy and strength.

There was something that she said at the meeting that made me breathe a sigh of relief. And that was that if John Edwards becomes president, only those making over $200,000 would face a tax increase.

One of our family's biggest concerns is being considered "rich" and being saddled with taxes we can't afford to pay (again, click here for my previous post on this issue). Knowing that we will be considered middle class was a HUGE relief.

The cost of living in our area is so tremendous, and that added with our health care bills makes it very hard to get by these days. We are by no means "rich" despite my husband's three-figure income.

I'm glad that the Edwards campaign realizes that families like mine are struggling and will not burden us with lessening our income through taxes. And I believe her and trust her when she says this.

It (being considered middle class) was promised before by another certain Democrat *cough* Clinton *cough* and that promise was broken. And my husband's salary was WAY lower at that time. That broken promise almost caused us to lose out on buying our first home.

On a personal note, Elizabeth was SO very down-to-earth with a wonderful sense of humor and in listening to her, she was no different than your friendly, next-door-neighbor. She even had a brief memory lapse and jokingly referred to it as a mix of "chemo brain," "mom brain" and her age.

I've been having a LOT of mom-brain moments myself, so that made me laugh and nod my head vigorously.

I just loved her. She's just real. And so is her husband. No flash, no glitz, just real people.

And I can say that of all the Democratic candidates out there, I like John Edwards the best and I wouldn't want any other Democratic first lady than Elizabeth.

I so look forward to meeting her in person when she comes to visit us DC Metro Moms!

Aug 29, 2007

Remembering Copper

Her last night with us.

A smile and a wink, despite her pain. She was always smiling like that.

In our old house, when she was younger, Copper would flop down in the yard and sun. It was the cutest thing ever....she would be totally out.

The younger Copper, enjoying all the love from Amanda and her friends.

This came from the vet who put Copper down. She was wonderful and so compassionate. I didn't expect to get Copper's pawprints, so this was a nice surprise (although it made me cry again). We're still waiting to receive her ashes.

Close up of Copper's pawprints. She had such cute, little, puppy paws.

Again, thank you to everyone who has shown me such kindness and comfort. I wish I had the time and emotional energy to respond individually to each of you and I feel so guilty that I don't.

I promise to get back to my regular blogging soon and to visit each of you in return.

I tried to get out of the house on Monday in an attempt to escape from the sadness. But as soon as I got in the van, I remembered what happened the last time I was in it...that I had taken Copper to the hospital.

Call me crazy, but I actually pet the air in the space she had laid in, in between the two front seats, crying and telling her I love her.

I was waiting for another sign as I drove, in the form that I usually receive

The first song had no meaning to me, but I felt compelled to leave it on. Then they announced the band....Toto. Toto was my parent's and sisters' dog who recently passed away and one of Copper's buddies.

I changed the station and heard, "I'm gonna run to you...." And I smiled and cried.

Next song was the new one, "Who Knew" by Pink and again, I just left it on not knowing what it was about. Then I heard:

"I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I'd give anything

When someone said count your blessings now
For they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong
They knew better"


"I'll keep you locked in my head
Until we meet again
Until we
Until we meet again
And I won't forget you my friend
What happened

If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
Cause they're all wrong and
That last kiss
I'll cherish
Until we meet again
And time makes
It harder
I wish I could remember
But I keep
Your memory
You visit me in my sleep
My darling
Who knew
My darling
Who knew
My darling
I miss you
My darling
Who knew
Who knew

So by the time I got to the post office, I was sobbing uncontrollably and thought I'd have to go back home. But I sat in the parking lot letting it all out for about ten minutes and then got myself together.

I headed to Home Depot next and had to pass the animal hospital and Petco. And lost it again.

There are just so many things that make me cry. Going up the stairs for the first time without her. I usually had to carry her up when I went to bed and I literally could not walk up the stairs that first night. I had to turn around, pace the hall crying for awhile, then use every ounce of strength I had to walk up without her.

Tonight was the first night I've had to cook dinner since we lost Copper. Usually, she is right under my feet when I cook, something that used to annoy me to no end. Tonight, I would've given anything to have her back there, begging for food and tripping me up.

But I smiled a big smile for her and said, "Copper, can you smell this dinner? I know you'd love this one, and I bet wherever you are right now you actually get to eat it!"

We're waiting for her ashes to be delivered to us. I don't know what I'll do when that day comes. Every time the doorbell rings (and it rings alot), I freeze and fear overcomes me, but so far it's always been someone else.

I've moved her blankie out of the corner of our bedroom, her bowls out of the kitchen, her sleeping bag out of her favorite chair. It was just too hard to look at those things, but now the house seems even more empty than before.

I sleep hugging her collar to my face at night and every time I hear her tags make a clinging sound, for a split second, it feels like she's there and then I remember all over again.

Right now, I seem to be stuck in do-over mode. I want to go back and do it all over again. I want to turn the van around and come back home and see if she could hang on for longer, even though I know that wouldn't be the right thing to do. I just want to take it back. I want to wake up and have it not be true.

I just want her back so bad. :(

Aug 26, 2007

I've Lost My Coppergirl

I knew it was coming. Yet I can't stop bawling as I type this. This morning at around 4:30 a.m., Amanda and I were at our beagle Copper's side as she was put to sleep.

It is so hard to have had her fate in my hands. To be the one to make this decision. I've been putting it off for so long, but the past couple of weeks, she was going downhill fast and I knew I wouldn't be able to wait much longer.

The vet said that our pets will hang on for us. I think she did that. She'd lost all bladder control and was bloated. Her organs were enlarged and she was having breathing problems.

But, as I contemplated whether or not to put her down, something strange happened. The past two days, she didn't have one accident. She slept up against my side of the bed, which was not her usual spot. She followed me around the house. She curled up next to the couch on the floor when I was sitting on the couch.

And tonight, as she became distressed with breathing, panting, shaking and anxiety, she looked up at me with eyes that said to me, "Please help me. I can't do this anymore."

Yet, even though I knew/know I was doing the right thing, I still feel so guilty. It's bittersweet though because at the vet, she lost all bodily control. She vomitted, defecated and urinated. She was shaking and panting uncontrollably. She was just so miserable.

So when they gave her the injection and she peacefully fell into my arms, I felt the strangest of emotions. Relief mixed with extreme grief. How can you feel both at the same time? I was so happy that she was at peace and not suffering, but I wanted her to get up again, wag her tail, and sit by my side.

The vet assured me I was doing the right thing. I do feel, logically, that I did. I feel like she is grateful that I let her go. That I did her a favor, not that I betrayed her.

But another part of me feels the opposite of all those emotions. It's just such a confusing mess of emotions. I can't believe she's gone.

I look at her empty chair, her empty bed, her dog bowls. I hear the clink of her collar as Amanda moves it around in her hands. It's just so.....empty. There's a void that is so deep.

Amanda didn't want to leave her. I told her she was going with us. "Just wait," I said. "We'll get a sign."

When I went out into the reception area, hanging on the wall was one of those tacky dog pictures. The ones where they're dressed up as humans as if they're a person.

It was a beagle. In full regalia. Happy. Head held high. It was my sign.

This poem below is for Copper. Please read it and pray, send good vibes, whatever you feel is appropriate. Anything to make sure she's crossed the rainbow bridge. Thank you.

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Goodbye my sweet baby girl. I will love you forever and always.

Jul 29, 2007

Bruce Littlefield Latest Gig on The Today Show

Thanks to all of my readers who shared your ideas with Bruce Littlefield for his gig on The Today Show.

Click on the You Tube video below to see Bruce talk about "things Americans hoard."
And, it would be GREAT if you could comment, rate and favorite the video to help Bruce out.

You can also read another great review of his book Garage Sale America, over at where a comment and rating would also be greatly appreciated!

And don't forget that another "Treasure Hunt" contest is in the works and will be posted here soon, so if you didn't win last time, you'll have another chance again...yay!

Now watch Bruce shine once again on The Today Show:

One of my bestest blogging buddies, Cindy from Taste the World just became officially engaged!

Go see how her fiance proposed to her, but prepared to be jeaaalous! I love her and hate her all at the same time after seeing that, lol!

Jul 28, 2007

Name Your Tune Winners!

Oh my goshness! Can you believe how many comments are down there on the Name Your Tune Giveaway? Thank you to Shannon from rocks in my dryer for hosting such a fun event! It was like Christmas in July..weee!

I LOVE her idea and I think rumor has it that she may do this again in the fall. She's VERY brave because I know this was very hard work for her. It was hard for me just to manage my own little corner of this whole party! There were over 100 entries into the contest!

And that was nothing compared to some of the other contests that had 300 to 400 entries!

What? Oh, yeah! The winners. Like you all cared about anything else I had to say, lol. Okay...the winners for the Name Your Tune giveaway, for a personalized children's CD, are...

Congratulations winners! I will be emailing you to get your contact information. Enjoy the CDs and let us know how you like them!

Jul 27, 2007

Name Your Tune Giveaway

~Note: This post will stay at the top of my blog until the end of the contest on Friday evening, 11:59 p.m EST. Scroll down for my latest posts. Thanks!

Also, if you have an anti-spam function on Blogger, I was most likely at your blog this weekend but unable to comment. For some reason, a good majority of the anti-spam codes would not show up for me no matter how many times I hit "refresh" or "show picture." (Shelli, I had the same problem with your blog even though it's not on Blogger) Sorry!

I was recently contacted by Name Your Tune, which makes personalized CDs for children. They offered to send me a CD for Natalie and we LOVE it!

The CD has 14 children's songs, like "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "Wheels on the Bus," all with Natalie's name sung to the tunes. Our favorite is "Little Natalie Had a Farm."

In every CD, the child's name is repeated more than 80 times! How cool is that?!

The CD cover and the CD itself are so cute, too. You can even have the writing on the CD personalized. Ours says "Special Songs For You Natalie, Love, Mommy."

The CD case is environmentally friendly and made out of recyclable materials. And....I think this is the best part....a portion of each sale is donated to Hear, Here, a non-profit charitable foundation that purchases hearing aids for children, and is administered through The Hospital For Sick Children.

All of my blogging friends know how much I love celebrities. So imagine how excited I was to see the list of celebrities who have received these CDs! They include:
    ~Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
    ~Matt Damon
    ~Reese Witherspoon
    ~Gwenyth Paltrow & Chris Martin
    ~Adam Sandler
    ~Colin Firth
    ~Gwen Stefani
    ~Liv Tyler

Holla!!! That REALLY caught my attention, lol! Here's a quote from Eric McCormick from Will and Grace on Name Your Tune CDs:

    "Thanks so much for the 'Finnigan' CD, although it just confirmed his belief that the entire world revolves around him. It's great fun and I wish you well with the whole venture. Cheers!"

AND, Name Your Tune has been invited to include their CDs in the "O is for OSCAR" gift baskets - "an exclusive bundle of must-have swag for celebirity parents and their children!"

Now, YOU have the chance to win a personalized CD from Name Your Tune for your child, and join the ranks of Brangelina! :)

Candace and Eric, the husband/wife team who owns Name Your Tune, is offering TWO prizes so there will be two winners!

They are also offering a discount for readers of my blog (they are so generous and wonderful to work with). Anyone wishing to place an order at Name Your Tune can just enter the code "NNHOL2005" (without the quote marks), and you will receive $5 off your order.

The contest for a free personalized CD (again...two winners), will run from today until 11:59 EST on Friday, July 27. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and I will put your name into the drawing.

If you're worried about protecting your identity, you have the option of contacting Candace or Eric directly with your information, rather than sending it to me. They will only use your information for sending your prize and will not share it with anyone.

As before, I'll be using to select a winner. First name or blog names are the only information I enter, and none of it is stored at or used by

Have fun and good luck! :)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This contest is part of the "Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway". There are LOTS of contests going on, so be sure to click on the picture of the doggy to find out where they are and enter away!

Jul 22, 2007

The Treasure & Second Chances

If you're anything like me, get ready to be jealous. As you all know, Jane from Pinks and Blues Girls blog won a spice rack that Bruce Littlefield found for her at the Brimfield Flea Market as her prize for winning our Treasure Hunt contest. She also won an autographed copy of Bruce's book Garage Sale America.

So without further ado, here is the adorable 50's style alumnium spice rack that I want to steal from Jane:

Don't you love Bruce's sense of style? He's not only a garage sale expert, he's also a designer and he's decorated his adorable country farm house in this style. You can see gorgeous photos and get style ideas for yourself in his book Garage Sale America.

Now for the most exciting part for those of you who didn't win the last Treasure Hunt. Here is a note from Bruce with the details:

    dear blonde blogger dawn!

    hey it’s me bruce littlefield at garage sale america back to my computer... after a week of adventure. i started out the week at the brimfield flea market near boston on a HUNT for a treasure for my favorite blonde blogger! (truthfully i was there because the boston globe invited me to boston for me to hunt for treasures and give tips on the hows, whats and whys.)

    popular boston dj christopher muther is writing the piece. he’s fun and hilarious (and collector of lunchboxes, mcdonald’s toys, and such)...

    anyway, my own personal mission for the adventure was to find something for your “garage sale america” treasure hunt. (thanks for doing that! and to everyone who went on our hunt.) i decided to see what fabulous find i could grab for five bucks.

    and i found it! a fifties aluminum spice rack for five bucks. and i hear that jane at pinks and blues girls won. that makes me happy on several levels.

    first, she’s obviously cool AND her parents happened to be at brimfield at the same time. i just wonder whether her parents would have bought the fifties aluminum spice rack or would of said “we had one of those.”

    honestly, had jonathan (a boston globe cameraman, and incidentally, a hunky lester holt lookalike) not been following me around... i most likely would have kept it for myself and sent something else! she’s getting that and a signed book....

    hey dawn... it’s so fun... let’s do it again....

    everyone dawn and i will be announcing the next contest... SOON...(as soon as we decide what it is).

    happy hunting everybody!

So there you have it! Another Treasure Hunt coming soon! Weeeee! So don't despair if you didn't win! A second chance will be coming soon. How cool is Bruce for doing that?!!

Thank you, Bruce! :)
Note: Be sure to "tune" in tommorrow (I'm so good with these hints..haha!), for an exciting giveaway that you won't want to miss! And keep an eye out for the next Treasure Hunt contest, too!

Jul 17, 2007

And the Winner Is.....

.....Jane from Pinks and Blues Girls Blog! Congratulations, Jane!

Bruce has been traveling for a Barnes and Noble book signing and has not had computer access. As soon as he gets back to me (which I'm guessing will be sometime today), I will announce what the secret treasure is.

If you didn't win, but still would like to own the book Garage Sale America (and who wouldn't?!), you can order it here.

My thanks to Bruce Littlefield for his generosity in sponsoring this contest and for making it so much fun!

He is such an awesome guy and he's lucky he doesn't live near me, or I'd stalk him until he agreed to be my best friend, lol.

Seriously, though, he's a great guy and I feel privileged to have worked with him for this contest. Thanks, Bruce! :)

Treasure Hunt Contest

NOTE: This post will stay at the top of my blog for the next week. Scroll down for my other posts. Thank you!

Update: If you tried to email me by clicking the link in this post and it didn't work, you can manually type in my email address instead: ablondeandherblog AT yahoo DOT com

Also, if you're worried about protecting your identity should you win, you have the option to send your mailing address directly to Bruce (who will not share it with me or anyone else), instead of to me. And I won't be the least bit offended because I am *extremely* protective of my identity as well.

A contest, a contest……yay! I’m so excited to offer this contest and I’m not even going to win anything myself, lol! But I think you all are going to LOVE this and have a lot of fun with it.

Bruce Littlefield, author of the book Garage Sale America (the book that I reviewed here a few weeks ago) has offered to give away an autographed copy of his book to one of you, PLUS one of his garage sale treasures.

Bruce will be hunting for the treasure in a garage sale this Tuesday, with all of you in mind. How cool is that?! I will udpate with information on what the "treasure" will be once he finds it.

(I previously said it was this past Saturday, but was wrong. Apparently, I'm calendar-challenged lately because I also thought his Today show stint for "the things America hoards" was this past Sunday. It's actually Sunday the 29th. Sorry if you Tivo'd the show on Sunday for nothing!)

The treasure will be worth far more than what Bruce pays for it, something he's very good at (as you'll see in the YouTube video below).

All you have to do to enter this contest is go on a fun and easy "treasure hunt" and answer three questions. In order to make this fair, PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENT SECTION! When you find the answers to the three questions, email them to me instead at this address. ( ablondeandherblog AT yahoo DOT com )

If you get the questions correct, I'll enter your name into, which I'll be using to select the winner (this is only a tool to make sure that selecting the winner is fair and random. Your name is NOT stored at

And if you mention this contest on your blog, you'll get a bonus entry! Just put your link either in your email to me or in the comments section.

The contest will run for one week (ending at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17.) I will announce the winner that Tuesday.

Okay, ready to play? Hint: The answers to question 1 and 2 can be found here. The answer to question 3 can be found in the YouTube video below.

Happy hunting! :)

Question #1: How did costume jewelry come to be called "costume jewelry?" (Answer found on the landing page of Garage Sale America's website. Place your cursor over the items pictured there and a box will pop up with fun trivia and tidbits of information).

Question #2: Where is the World’s Largest Garage Sale? (IMPORTANT: We're looking for the LARGEST garage sale, not the longest).

Question #3: In the YouTube video below, what is Amy Robach from the Today show wearing that Bruce says will get her a bad deal at a garage sale?

Jun 18, 2007

Garage Sale America

It’s been years since I’ve been to a garage sale, but I still remember the thrill I had when I picked up a stair stepper with a Jane Fonda step aerobics VHS (yes, it’s been that long, lol) for $5. What a steal!

Those memories came flooding back when I received Garage Sale America by Bruce Littlefield to review for Mother Talk’s Blog Tour (Disclaimer: I am not making any money on the sale of this book, or through Amazon).

The book is filled with stories about the author’s adventures in garage sales across the country, as well as tips for how you can make the most out of either hosting a garage sale, or shopping at one.

The book is filled with fun and interesting photos of the author’s finds, along with information on what to look for of value (down to the red rim on the tires of Hot Wheel’s vehicles).

Littlefield's writing style flows so well that I found myself reading more than I had planned to each night (I was reading two books at once and many nights never got to the other book because I was so captivated by his writing.)

I brought the book with me when I got my hair done recently and showed it to my stylist. She was just as taken in as I was by the photos and prose and sat down on her break to read it. Unlike me, she avidly seeks out garage sales every weekend, so the book had a huge appeal to her.

Even if you haven’t or won’t be going to a garage sale, the facts, photos and tidbits of information are so fascinating that you’ll wish you were heading to a sale right after you finish reading. I know I want to try to get to one now, even though I'm not a morning person (which appears to be essential to successful garage saling).

Check it out, and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Jun 1, 2007

Mamasource - A Review

The following is a website review for MotherTalk's Blog Tour.

Imagine a large circle of local moms, gathered together to ask questions, give advice, share tips, and more without ever having to leave their living rooms. That is the concept behind Mamasource, a unique website created for mothers.

Unlike other websites for mothers (at least ones that I’m aware of), Mamasource focuses on community…..YOUR community. When you register (for free) you simply type in your zip code and voila! You have a network of moms living near you at your fingertips.

Loved a visit you had a to a pediatrician? You can post a recommendation so that other mothers can benefit from your experience. Want to find out where other mothers have enjoyed having their children’s birthday parties? You’ll find that information, too.

You can sign up for email updates and see what questions moms near you may be asking, and if you know the answer or have a good suggestion, just log in and post. If you have your own questions, on anything from toilet training, to adolescent angst, you’re free to post that as well.

Here's a description of the site right from "the source:"

Mamasource is a safe and easy way to connect with other moms in your local area. Find the advice, referrals and insight you need, in a supportive community of moms helping moms.

I really enjoy Mamasource simply because of the close-knit community of moms. I’m sure many wonderful friendships will develop between moms who would’ve otherwise been complete strangers. Never before have I come across a site that has this local, homey angle to it.

If you’re a mom, head on over and check out Mamasource. And if you know a mom who could benefit from such a site, share the link with her, too. Enjoy!

May 22, 2007

Book Review - Late Night Talking

The following is a book review for MotherTalk's Blog Tour.

When I received an invitation to review Leslie Schnur’s new book Late Night Talking, I was very intrigued. As a lot of my friends and readers know, the subject of judging others was a hot topic here on my blog not that long ago. So when I heard that the main character in this book (Jeannie Sterling) was a judgmental behavior cop, I knew I was going to enjoy this read.

The difference between Jeannie and “real life” behavior critics, however, is that you can’t help but love her. She’s coming from a good place in her heart and even learns the hard way that judgmental behavior comes with a price.

Jeannie is a late night talk show host and her program, “Sterling Behavior” deals with pet peeves such as people who leave pee on the toilet seat, litter, cut into the front of a long line, don’t clean up their dog’s poop, and other irritating behaviors.

Quick to chastise such anti-etiquette criminals, Jeannie soon finds that her own behavior (of judging others) has an affect on her relationship with others.

How far will Jeannie go with her policing antics? Will she make the changes she needs to salvage friendships, love and family ties? Or will she decide to give her life a complete overhaul to honor who she is?

Read Late Night Talking to find out.

Check out the the author's bio here and scroll down to see "Milo" the dog, who was the inspiration behind "Mouse" in the book.

Mouse, a Beagle/Basset Hound mix is the exact opposite of Jeannie - mischievous and just plain rotten. He not only eats Jeannie's panties, he buries them in her plants, then digs them up again. Plus, he has a poop fetish and loves to roll around in it. But, he's even more lovable than the main character! And everything that the fictional Mouse does, the real-life Milo has actually done himself.

You'll also discover that Schnur wrote the book based on her own "obsession with rude behavior." Click here to read a hilarious list of her pet peeves.

You can click around her site for in-depth information on the book, excerpts, and questions and answers with the author.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When it arrived (hardcover edition at that), the cover design alone had me hooked. It’s so beautiful that I want to leave it on my coffee table even though I’m finished with it.

It is a PERFECT chick lit book to take to the beach or pool this summer. In fact, my only regret is that I read it before my pool opened up because it would've been so fun to read it pool-side.

The book has a lighthearted, airy, fun feel to it that goes perfectly with summer. If the thought of being on a beach, sun beaming down on you, pina colada in hand, waves crashing in front of you, with a light breeze blowing your hair, appeals to you, then I promise you'll love this book. It's the literary equivalent to all of that and more.

If you read it, I'd love to hear your comments! Enjoy! :)

May 7, 2007

Pretty Little Mistakes

Note: I am not being paid for this book review, other than having received a free review copy. I am also not profitting from the sale of any copies.

I found out about this book while flipping through my Redbook magazine a few weeks ago. I went to buy it online and found it wouldn't be available until May 1 (this was back in April). So, being a writer, I decided to contact the publisher (Harper Collins) for a review copy, figuring I'd write a review of the book here and try to pitch it to a few magazines as well.

Just a few days after contacting them, a "pretty little package" came by UPS. It was the book. And it really is indeed pretty! I am in LOVE with this book!!

I think the author's bio is very compelling and will inspire other writers out there, so I will be writing a separate post on her in the next few days.

You might be a crack whore, a volcanologist, a thief, married-to-the-mob, or any other number of crazy idenities. The one thing you won't be when reading Heather McElhatton's Pretty Little Mistakes is bored.

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books you read as a kid? Well, for the first time ever, there's now such a book for adults.

Do you go home with the kind German stranger you just met in a bar? Do you invest in a stock that might get you arrested for insider trading? Or do you kiss a man that you love, but are repulsed by because of his deformed face?

So many pretty little choices. 150 possible endings to be exact. But, the one decision I keep finding myself facing is, "Do I finally put this book down and go to sleep, or do I keep reading?" (I usually keep reading)

Be forewarned: it is not for those who are easily offended. Throughout most of the book you will be a total whore. A sense of humor is definitely needed to enjoy the book. If you're an uptight prude, you'll want to pass.

Fortunately for me, I am not a prude, so I was able to get a good laugh....over and over again.

The book is perfect for when you need to kill a little bit of time, such as a doctor's waiting room. You might go from college to being dead within ten minutes, so you can read it in easily digested little chunks.

Just like a computer game where you can save and do a "re-do" if you die, this book allows you to see what your fate would have been had you taken one or several different paths.

I found the best method for reading it is to bookmark each page where you have to make a choice. As you end your journey, go back to the last bookmark and take the other road and see where it leads you. Keep doing that again and again until you get back to where you started. Then, start on another new path all over again.

No matter what decision you make, and no matter how awful your fate is (I've died in several ways so far- choking on a peach pit, mistaking sharks for dolphins, and being run over by an ice cleaning machine at an ice rink), you will LYAO!

Want proof? Take a look at this little excerpt for a taste of McElhatton's type of humor:

The dry cleaners is run by a small albino called the Tomato Man. He's no more than four feet tall and he sits on a small padded stool as he runs the register. He's called the Tomato Man because of his chubby cheeks and the fact that his fingers are alway bright red from the pistachio nuts he eats. You ask for your laundry and he frowns at the ticket. "I got your order in the back - one of those dresses had a stain so bad they sent it out for special treatment." The he sighs and looks down at his legs. "You mind stepping back there to get it?"

So just what does the Tomato Man have planned for you back there? You'll have to read to find out. :)

Apr 29, 2007

My Little One...

We've all had a little virus going on around here. Matthew had it, I had it last night, and now Natalie seems to have it. I was very nauseated last night, my throat felt like someone shoved a meat grinder into it, and I had a low-grade fever. Today, I'm much better.

Natalie, however, is worrying me to death. As most of my friends know, she has ketoacidosis. (Natalie's ketoacidosis is a rare, non-diabetic form, but just as dangerous as diabetic ketoacidosis. The cause is different, but the symptoms are the same.)

Usually, I know by now what to do with her. When she becomes listless like she is right now, with dark circles under her eyes and is really out of it and sick to her stomach, we'll find high ketones in her urine.

But, she only has a very small fever and no ketones. She's on the verge of vomitting and that's always when we knew to head to the hospital before. But now, without any ketones showing up, I don't know what to do.

I have two other children and I know they can get really out of it when they're sick. But with Natalie, it's just different. It's hard to put into words.

I'm by her side right now keeping a close watch on her. If she starts to vomit, I guess I'll call her pediatrician on call and ask if I should take her to the hospital or not. I'm afraid maybe my ketone strips aren't working for some reason.

I'll update when I can, and, just so you all won't have to bother leaving more comments feeling sorry for me (I hate being a whiner and I don't want anyone to feel like they have to keep leaving me comments on posts like these. It must be really annoying to leave those constantly!), I'm turning comments off on this post.

I have a fun post up just below this don't feel sorry for me and go ahead and have a laugh at that other post! :)

Apr 17, 2007

Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed to Speak

Natalie had her friend over playing one day and they were talking about the movie Charlotte's Web. Thinking that Natalie's friend looked a little bit like Dakota Fanning, I said to her, "You look a lot like Charlotte!"

She gave me a weird look, and I couldn't figure out why, until I relayed the story later to Amanda.

"Mom. Charlotte is the spider."

Oh my gosh. DUH! I totally knew that! So why did I say that?!!

I basically told Natalie's friend that she looks like a spider! No wonder she looked at me like I was a freak!
My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!

HELP!!!. Not only am I not on page one yet, I'm starting to slip back to page three. Other blogs are getting vote after vote and I'm stuck in a slump. Please help me get to page one....or stay on page two at the very least. Just click here.

You have to register first, but it only takes a second. I swear! And I'll owe you big time! Make sure you click on the confirmation link in the email you receive once you register. Then you can vote for me, and anyone else you may know who's up for nomination.