Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Blessing

To any of you who are reading this blog here is a card for you (it will take you to crosscards.com):


New Year's Blessing
   click on above

Happy New Year and may 2010 be a wonderful and blessed year for you and yours.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Boots

See these boots that I wrote about here...



well, I didn't win any BUT I found this exact pair on the Soft Moc website at a discounted cost! So...Mrs Clause (aka Mom) told me to order them and that her and Santa (aka Dad) will cover some of the cost. Woohoo! I had to wait a few days for them to arrive, and I saved shipping and handling by having them delivered to the Soft Moc store at the mall instead of to my address which would've ended up with me taking a trip to the mall anyway to the post office to get them. LOL. So I'm so happy. I still need to spray protect them before I wear them out anywhere but my feets are happy they have nice new non-leaking boots. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Little Inspiration and an Easy Christmas Craft

I'm having a hard time these days and coming up with anything to blog about hasn't been at the top of my priorities.

I wanted to take time though to share a couple pics.  One is from the calendar hanging in my bedroom:


give thanks for all that is good - kindness, patience, trust, laughter

It reminds me to be thankful no matter what, in all circumstances, good and bad and to praise the Lord anyhow.  But boy, oh boy, that sure isn't easy some days.  Sometimes the best I can do is thank Him that I'm not where I was this time last year...but I still catch myself grumbling about how awful *this* (depression) feels.  I'm trying to stay positive though.

The craft I mentioned is a really simple one.  My sister used to make them and I used to be fascinated with them when I was little.  They are Candy Cane Reindeer.




You can find a tutorial with a quick google search for candy cane reindeer or just click here.  You'll see that I did the antlers different the pretty any of the tutorials you can find...but it's simple.  Just put the pipe cleaner on the reindeer...make sure the candy cane is in the middle, then twist the pipe cleaner a couple times to make sure it will stay put and each "antler" around a pen and remove the pen.  Also, a lot of tutorials recommend hot glue...I just use regular white glue.  You do have to watch though...sometimes the eyes will start to slide or the nose will fall off.  Once they've stayed put for about 30-60 seconds they usually are okay.

Hopefully that made a little sense but I'm thinking the picture should be fairly self explanatory.  Sadly, this is one of the few things I'm managing to accomplish these days and at times it's even a struggle to do these but at least I'm working at it.  That's more then I could say last year.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Supporting TWLOHA and a Celebration of Sorts

I know, at least I think, that in a past entry I mentioned my struggles with mental health, depression, crisis, suicidal thoughts, attempts, self harm...all that kind of heavy stuff that right now I'd rather shove under the blanket and not mention again...especially with the holidays coming up.  However, knowing that the holidays are often the toughest time for people I think it's that much more important to bring these things into the open and talk about them.

There is a cause I want to help raise awareness of that helps people that struggle with some of the above issues and more...like addiction.  You'll notice I added a little something to my left sidebar asking you to help me support To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA).  Here is a copy of their mission statement copied and pasted directly from their site:

MISSION STATEMENT:
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.



And here is a link to their story and how the TWLOHA movement got started: STORY


If you'd like to help support this cause, and I hope you do, please follow my link and complete the however many of the activities you are able.  By using my link you'll help me gain points which will in turn help TWLOHA.

http://www.socialvibe.com/?r=721493


In my title for this entry I mentioned a celebration.  You may be wondering what I meant by that.  Well, I will be honest...I am celebrating because since April 2008 I have been keeping track of when I've cut.  Yeah I know, gruesome topic, but so many do this and hide it that I want it to be in the open...I want their to be awareness. 

Anyway, in that time I've had multiple "relapses" but today marks 157 days since the last time I cut and in my time of tracking this that is the longest I have gone so it is quite an accomplishment.  Self harm is something that at one time had a lot of control over my life.  I didn't know how to cope with emotion of any type, happy or sad, and as a side effect of that I would find ways to hurt myself.  The smallest thing would upset me to tears, and it would be stupid really, but because of that emotion I thought I needed to be punished, I thought I should die but the only thing I could do was hurt myself.  I have attempted suicide, I have been close to death, I've been told I shouldn't still be alive, but I AM.  And while I still struggle it's not to the same degree it once was.  So because of my experiences I want to make sure to raise as much awareness of these issues as possible and to make sure I support causes such as TWLOHA! 

I want people to know that there is hope and that yes, the journey is painful, but it is worth it.  Life is worth it, YOU are worth it!  But it takes work, even when you feel like you have nothing left to give and for me it took prayer and acceptance that yes their is a God who cares but that some things happen to make us stronger and to prosper us.   "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

My celebration is just that, a celebration of life, of each day even if it is a struggle, a celebration that I can say it's been 157 since the last time I cut and nearly 11 months since the last time I needed to be in the hospital because of my depression.  A celebration that with each time we awake we can start again.  And even as I'm writing this I am struggling with another depressive episode but I can look back and acknowledge that progress has been made and that while the feelings I have right now are horribly uncomfortable they will pass in time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simply Soy Candles Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway

Simply Soy Candles is a company based in Miramichi, New Brunswick, a big yay for a Canadian company!  Up for grabs is a Holiday Gift Basket which includes:


1 Room Spray
2 Oval Hex jar candle 3oz
1 Body Spray
1 Body Lotion
1 gingerbread man soap
1 angel soap
1 egg nog mug with gingerbread man cookies candle
*all in Christmas scents!

How awesome is that!?!  Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift or you could even keep some and gift some.  :)


For your chance to win, head on over to Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous' blog and see what you have to do.  I promise, it's not hard. 

Bearpaw Giveaway at Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous

Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous is hosting yet another great giveaway!  This one is for a chance to win your choice of any pair of shoes from the entire BEARPAW website

They have a great selection of winter boots, slippers, and more for Women, Men, Children, and Infants so basically something for everyone.


This pair is my favorite!  :)  I know my feet would be very happy to be wearing them here during our lovely Canadian winter.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

J.R. Watkins Giveaway at Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous

If you haven't heard of them, check them out here at J.R. Watkins.  These are wonderful products and they are natural.  I was able to try the Lemon Cream Body Cream this past summer and fell in love with it.  I actually ended up buying it a week or two after trying it I loved it so much and just HAD to have it.

Over at Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous there is a giveaway for a Head to Toe Kit which includes:


  • Mango Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.)
  • Aloe & Green Tea Hand & Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.)
  • Peppermint Foot Cream (1 fl. oz.)
  • Aloe & Green Tea Body Cream (0.70 oz.)
  • Lemon Cream Body Cream (0.70 oz.)
  • Lavender Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.)
  • Lemon Hand & Cuticle Salve (0.25 oz.)
  • Natural Beeswax Lip Balm (0.14 oz.)
 Wouldn't it be awesome to win that?!  It would also make a great gift.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2010 Olympic Torch in Halifax

I think it just took me over 30 minutes to figure out how to upload a video to youtube so that I can embed it here.  Ah well, but I did it...I think.



The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay was in my city...right by my apartment building in fact.  I didn't know this until moments before and in my excitement during the taking of the video I didn't realize how much I was shaking the camera around, but this was really neat to see in person. It's not everyday the Olympic Torch comes for a visit. 

I watched most of the days events live online and couldn't seem to pry myself away from the computer long enough to get anything else accomplished but hey, it's only one day. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Back :)

I finally got my computer back and it is all fixed up.  Still trying to get it back the way I like it but right now I'm just glad it's back.  Thank goodness it was still under warranty.  I hope to get back to posting soon, but right now I can't even seem to stay caught up on reading blogs and emails.  I don't know how you all do it.  You may have (or not) noticed I had computer access while my computer was being repaired...but it just wasn't the same.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Operation Beautiful

I know I've been absent a lot lately, it's because my computer is still being repaired.  I have had access to a computer so some of you may have noticed I'm still attempting to keep up on emails, facebook, and commenting on the occassional blog. 

Today though, I really wanted to take the time to post about a site that I've been trying to check almost daily.  I don't think I could even begin to express in words how much I love this site.  It's called Operation Beautiful. I swear, every time I look through it at least one of the pictures or stories gets my eyes misty...but in a good way.  It makes me feel happy and inspired and I just love the message that it spreads.

Have you come across any operation beautiful posts in your daily life?  I haven't...yet.  Have you posted any of your own out there for the world to see?  Again, I haven't...yet.  But I love the idea so much that one of these days I'm going to get a post-it notepad and start spreading the word about how beautiful you are! 

Monday, October 26, 2009

AWOL

Sorry to say I've been absent and likely will continue to be for awhile. I will post as I'm able over the next little bit but definitely not on a regular basis, nor will I be able to comment on other blogs with any regularity for a bit. My computer went caput and is in the shop....not sure how long, possibly a month or more. Hopefully my warrenty will cover everything. Anyway, until I have my laptop back I'll be accessing the internet through whoever is willing to let me use their computer...and mostly that will be to check email, however if I'm able to do more I will. I miss you all!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sears Granting Wishes

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Arrival

There's a new arrival at my house.


Isn't he adorable!?

I won him from a blog contest over at Kira's Crafty Life Blog and got to choose what colors I wanted my little owl nubbin to be.  As you can see I picked brown and green.  I just love this little guy and he's so well made...probably safe for most children.  The only reason I am not saying definitely is I'm not sure how the eyes are attached, so without knowing I'd say 3 years and up. 




If you're in the US you can check out her great shop on Etsy.  Generally her creations are shipped only in the US but I got lucky.  Thanks Kira! 

Now I just need to give this guy a name...any suggestions?  I think he needs a cool boys name.  :)


Friday, October 16, 2009

Giveaway Reminder and a Blog Makeover

Hey, you may have noticed changes to the appearance of my blog once again. I just found a three-column layout that I liked better then what I had. I still need to change my header though. Ah well, in time.

On another note, The Queen of Clearance has extended the deadline for signing up for her "Sweet" giveaway!

Head on over to here blog and see what you can win and what you have to do to enter! It's Sweet-tastic! Oh, and don't forget to mention that FoundProdigalDaughter sent ya. :) Thanks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thriftacular Contest

In celebration of their 100th post Toronto Yard Sale Snoop is having a great little contest. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Early Bird Entries to 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Head on over to This Bird's Day to find out how you can get up to 5 extra entries in for a chance to win some amazing giveaways!  There will be 12 reviews and giveaways running from November 1 - 12, 2009 for various items.  Early bird entries must be done before October 30, 2009.

12dayeb

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Contemplating

I didn't write much earlier, instead I just posted my skirt pictures to conclude the challenge.  I was, and still am, so behind in emails and blogs.  I'm realizing though, as much as I want to be caught up...I've spent the day focusing on the wrong priorities.  I feel a little guilty about this even though I did more today then I would've done on a typical day 2 months ago. 

I really feel like I need a lady, a positive, encouraging lady, to take me under their wing and teach me about cooking and baking and housework.  I need someone to help me out as if I was just a child learning...as that's basically what I am...except a little older.  I let fear get in the way of me trying and experimenting with even the most basic of household tasks...but I know and desire to learn how to be a better housekeeper. 

I want to prepare myself for when I have a family and be able to look after my husband, children, and house.  I feel I missed out on many learning opportunities because of my past health...but things have changed and I'm doing so much better.  I want to serve God, live for Him and please Him in all I do...but I keep getting stuck.  That fear, it's something I think is holding me back from life.  So instead, I fall back into a routine of computer surfing, and pretend all these things that I should be doing don't exist. 

I want to start attending church again...I'm planning to go to one this weekend and am hoping it will be the right one for me. 

I want to start planning out some meals...even if it's only one a week, or every other week for that matter.  I want to get more done around the apartment.  I want to learn to sew.  I want...I want...I want...

Let me stop myself there.  I need to ask what God wants...what do You want Lord?  I want to serve You.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Skirt Challenge, Day 7

Sorry for the delay, I was away from home a little longer then I expected and had no way to post the final day of the skirt challenge.



I was also only able to get the one picture.

Will post another entry as soon as I can...just wanted to get that up. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Received Gift and Skirt Challenge, Day 6



Aren't these beautiful?!  They're gorgeously painted rocks/pebbles turned into magnets.  I think they are beautiful and I received them as a gift from the owner of zamzam design.  Thank you so much!

~~~

Onto today's challenge.  Here's what I wore...


 


...my green skirt again...and a green long sleeve shirt with a flower pattern on it.  It was a bit cooler today and since I had to get ready to go out I had to put on tights and a pair of socks since the tights are footless.

I just have to say that I had debated doing this challenge for a couple weeks before it started and I really felt that I was meant to take on the challenge, even if it was just for half the time.  So much has been happening since this challenge started, some really amazing things.  Some things are starting to make sense, other areas are improving, my perspective on things has changed, I am drawing closer in my walk with the Lord...there's just so much that words can't even explain...and too many things to just be coincidence.  I'm really excited and a little bit scared to see what's in store this next little while...but mostly excited.

I'm going to have unreliable internet tomorrow and possibly the next day as I'll be at my parents house and my Aunts.  Just wanted to say that since there will likely be a delay in me posted tomorrow's challenge photo's.  There's so much I want to write but right now there are no words that will even come close to explaining things. 

I also want to say a Thank You to Miss. Antoinette K. over at Practical Simplicity for hosting this challenge!
 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blog Candy Giveaway at Twinkles Glow with Stamps

Twinkles Glow with Stamps is celebrating their birthday with a fabulous giveaway!

And there will be not just one winner, but TWO as she's giving a second prize as well.

Here's a little previous of what the first blog candy prize is:



 Doesn't that looks awesome?!  You like?  Why don't you head over to their blog and see what you have to do to enter.

A Little Inspiration and Skirt Challenge Day 5




Endless opportunities to make a difference

That is what is on my calendar for the month of October.  I saw it when I was trying to decide what shirt to put on with today's skirt.  It got me thinking what can I do this month to make a difference?  And a challenge to you, what can you do to make a difference?  Just think about it, you don't have to tell me what, or if, you did anything...you don't have to blog about it, just think about it...and if there's anything you can do, no matter how small...do it!  :)  Something as small as smiling at a stranger, or holding a door open for someone, or anything at all really.

Onto today's skirt challenge.  It's another day stuck at the apartment.  We are having one heck of a stormy rainy day here so on leak patrol (this apartment leaks) and trying to continue tidying up.  Oddly enough, one of the "side effects" of wearing a skirt every day has been that I've felt like doing more around the apartment...cleaning, tidying, and all that sort of domesticated stuff that I usually don't feel like doing.  LOL.







 Yup, that's my green skirt again...what can I say...it's comfy.  :)  And yes, I'm wearing a Grumpy Bear shirt...I kinda have this thing for Care Bears...lol.  :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Skirt Challenge, Day 4

I wasn't feeling all that great today so I just kept it a low key day and put on my favorite skirt...which we saw back on day 1.



Stayed around the apartment and got some things accomplished online that I've been needing to get done for a few days, as well as a few things around the apartment.

Oh...also remembered to take a pic of the slipper socks, which I was wearing again today.


Hoping tomorrow is a little more productive day but at least I got some things finished up today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Skirt Challenge, Day 3; A Giveaway, and a New Look

Hello Readers :)

Today I put on a simple green skirt and just a regular black t-shirt. I'll be honest, since I was just planning on staying in the apartment today I went more for comfort then anything. It worked out well because I think for doing chore around the house I couldn't have been any more comfortable. Since it's cool here and we have hardwood floors I decided to put on my cute little slipper socks too. I wish I could say they are homemade but truth is they're store bought.




I just realized I didn't get a pic showing off the slipper socks. Ah well...maybe another day.

I've noticed that many of those doing the challenge are posting pictures of their hairstyles...and I must have missed that as being part of the challenge. I have short hair though and no real accessories so trust me, it would be pretty much the same each day. The only thing I can really do with it is tuck it behind my ears if I want. *shrugs* I'm also not comfortable with the idea yet of posting my full pic to my blog so I wouldn't really be able to share my hair very well anyway.

Onto a giveaway by a local artist.


Check out her blog here. Her name is Shelagh Duffett and she's giving away one of her cookbooks and a surprise goodie! I'm not sure what that "goodie" is but if it's any of her artwork then the winner is in for a treat. Here is a link to the actual blog entry about the contest.



You may have noticed I've made some changes to the look of my blog. I'm not sure if I am going to stick with the background that is there now (I really liked the previous one) but I am loving that I have the three columns (the previous background didn't work right with the 3rd column). I found a great little tutorial on how to get a 3 column template over at The Cutest Blog on the Block. They also have some other neat little goodies...so if you get a chance definitely check out the rest of their site.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Skirt Challenge, Day 2 and Other Randomness

Day 2 was a little more challenging. Last night I tried on the skirt I was planning to wear today to make sure it fit....it...didn't. So tried another one...same problem. Guess that's what happens when you haven't worn them in a few years. It worked out, two skirts made their way in to my pile of donations and I found another one that fit and it was one I've been wanting to wear.




It was a little windy out today...so keeping the skirt down while walking outside was tricky but I survived and did most of the activities I would have anyway. My psychologist was surprised to see me dressed up and thought it was great.

Both days so far while I've been out I've been feeling a little more self-conscious but that's probably just because normally I'm in jeans. I think that will be less of an issue as time goes on. I do think it's kind of fun to put a little more effort into what I'm going to wear and it does make me feel different...in a good positive way...I don't know the word I'm looking for though.

In other news I recently contacted a local organization about volunteering and I heard back today and will have an interview on Oct 20th. The woman who does the interviewing is going on vacation for a bit otherwise it would've been sooner. That's fine though, gives me a chance to get some other things done. I'm also planning to attend a local photography club meeting next week. So there's a few new things going on in the next little while.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Skirt Challenge, Day 1

Today is day one of the challenge to wear a skirt or dress every day for one week. I decided to stick with one that I am super comfortable in for my first day, but added a pair of tights underneath as it's a little bit on the cool side today. I cropped out my head because I'm not overly comfortable right now with the idea of posting a full pic of me on my blog.

Please excuse the fact it looks like I have a tail...lol...I had a hard time trying to figure out where to position myself and the camera and this spot worked out the best overall for both.

I thought maybe if I was sitting I wouldn't feel so posed in the picture and could get a more natural picture. No such luck when I'm taking my own photo and on an auto timer...makes me all nervous and fidgety. I have never really been one to like getting my picture taken.


Above is the kitty necklace I decided to put on today. My aunt made it for me years ago out and I haven't worn it in awhile.

Looking forward to tomorrow...I wonder what I'll wear....and how I'll feel...

A "Sweet" Giveaway Celebrating 100 Posts and 100 Followers

Congrats to The Queen of Clearance for making it to their 100th post and for passing the 100 followers milestone! Keep up the awesome blogging!

Here's a peaksy at what is up for grabs:


Head on over to The Queen of Clearance's blog to find out how you can have a chance at winning these "sweet" goodies.

Oh, and if you happen to sign up for this giveaway please mention that I (FoundProdigalDaughter) sent ya. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Day, Another Goal (Challenge)

While browsing through a blog by Practical Simplicity with an interesting challenge on it and after days of consideration I've decided to go ahead and accept the challenge.

This shall prove interesting with my track record of actually taking pictures and posting them here but I'm going to try.

What is this challenge, you ask? One week in skirts.


The challenge is to wear only skirts/dresses for an entire week (7 days.) Post some pictures on your blog and show us some of your outfits. If you don’t have exactly 7 different skirts, that’s alright. Mix and match with different shirts.


Go to Feelin' Feminine to see the rest of the details.

This will be interesting given the climate here is cool and lately very very very windy so there may be times that I will be forced into my regular day to day clothes but I'm hoping to participate at least 4 out of the 7 days. Or, alternatively, wear a skirt everyday for at least part of the day. We'll see how it goes.

On another note, I did get my hands on a copy of The Great Gatsby today. I ended up buying a brand new copy for less then $10 with the taxes in so I went with that option since the options didn't turn up any leads....and I much prefer new books to old ones...for reading.



Goals, Reading List

I have many goals that I am working on but thought keeping track of some of them here may be kind of fun. I came across a list today (oh no, not a list) and so my newest goal is to read every book on this list in order. The list is by the American Library Association and it's a list of 100 Banned and/or Challenged Classic Books.

From their page:

Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms.

According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 42 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.

The titles in bold represent banned or challenged books. For more information on why these books were challenged, visit challenged classics and the Banned Books Week Web site.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

13. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
23. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

...........

There are another 75 on the list, so if you want to see the rest click here.

That said, the hunt now begins. I did read The Great Gatsby and many others on the list back in my school days however I'm wanting to approach this goal as if I've never read any of these classics. So, now....to get my hands on a copy of The Great Gatsby. Hmmm.

Some options... the library (will be fine for some of the books, but this one I actually wouldn't mind owning), freecycle, bookcrossing, kijiji, craigslist, ebay, and of course local bookstores (both with used and new books).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Foot Spa Giveaway

The Foot Spa Gift Set:
Makes a great gift or save money over buying individual products for yourself.
Natural and effective ingredients. Everything you need for softening dry skin and maintaining soft feet all year long.

  • Our all natural Hand & Foot scrub is made with dead sea salt, and raw shea butter. It's sure to soothe dry and cracked skin on hands and feet.
  • Use the Peppermint/Eucalyptus Hand &Foot Lotion to soothe tired feet and help to heal dry skin throughout the day.
  • The pumice stone is great for sloughing away calluses and rough skin.

  • Most lotions have ingredients that actually dry out the skin, causing your skin to need more frequent applications.
  • Once you try our lotion, you will experience the difference, and in the end actually save money.
Above is the description about the Foot Spa Gift Set you have a chance to win. Head on over to Trying to Stay Calm's blog to see how you can win. The gift set is from The Homestead Company.

Karma Organic Nailpolish Giveaway!

Trying to Stay Calm is having a great giveaway on their blog for Organic Nail polish and Nail polish remover. The nail polish and nail polish remover are organic, non-toxic and are free of toluene, formaldehyde, and phthalate (DBP). If you like organic products this is the giveaway for you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unplanned Coincidence

Okay, so I'll post a semi-normal entry. This is a photo I took while sitting on the plane waiting to take off on my trip to Ontario....I was just killing time while sitting there and snapping random pictures. Anyway, I didn't notice this until days later when I loaded the pictures onto a larger screen, and totally cracked up laughing....


...that's my suitcase! Not planned at all...totally awesome coincidence. I love when things work out like that....I know, I know...I'm very easily amused. :P

You may need to click on it to enlarge the picture to see how I was able to identify it....bet ya can't guess. LOL.

BTW I can't figure out the transparency thing on my watermark anymore so just stuck the image on as is. I thought I had saved it as a transparent image...guess not. *shrugs*

Orange2LA's First Giveaway!

Orange2LA is having a great giveaway. She's even offering up two different prize packages so that means there will be 2 winners! Both packages are makeup packages and some of it is super cool. Go check it out.

Timex Fitness Watch Giveaway

Head on over to a Mom's Focus on Cyber World to see what you have to do for a chance at winning one of these great watches. Also, check out the other giveaway's on her blog if you get a chance.

These watches are great and might just be that little extra incentive to keep you moving. I know it sometimes helps me if I can see the numbers.

Ends September 30.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lost In Creativity blog candy giveaway

Head on over to Lost in Creativity's blog for a chance to win an amazing amount of blog candy. Here's a preview:

Doesn't that look exciting!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reminder

Just a friendly reminder that this giveaway is over in a few days so click the link and get your entries in!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm Back

I'm officially home from vacation and from my friends wedding. I had such a great time and the wedding was beautiful. I believe in my last post I included a link with a few pictures...if you care to take a peak. The wedding had a Fall theme and every since I got to my friends place I've been wanting to change my blog layout to a Fall theme....hmmm...I wonder why.

Anyway, hopefully you can see the new look. I like it, however, is it sad to say I'm already looking forward to a new layout for Winter and for Christmas?! LOL.

I'm still behind on things and slowly getting caught up and trying to get the unpacking done and various things around the apartment and my city. My roommate had a nasty fall the other day down some hardwood stairs and is quite sore so I'm also trying to help out a little extra around here. Back injuries suck.

Also, while away, I decided to splurge and got a game for my Wii that I've wanted since way before I ever owned a Wii. Zelda: Twilight Princess, so needless to say I've been dedicating a little bit of time to play that as well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Best Friend's Wedding

I'm still on vacation for another day and a half but am sneaking online to update a little and share some of the wonderfulness of my best friend's wedding day. Since I was in the wedding party I wasn't able to take my own pictures but luckily the professional photographer has her own blog and has posted some of the pictures of the beautiful bride and her husband. Click here if you'd like to see.

I've been having a great time and enjoying my time here but I always do look forward to being back home. Nova Scotia, I believe, will always be my home. But I do love to travel and visit other places and hope to do much of it in the future.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Packing

Want the good news or the bad news? Hmm...I'll start with the bad. I'm not going to post any pics yet again, just don't have the time. The good news is, I'm almost done packing for my trip. I leave tonight to go to my parents and then tomorrow morning I leave for the airport. Yay! I'm not sure how much I'll be on over the next 2 weeks but I'll be on if I can. I'm going to miss you all.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bad Blogger and randomness

I haven't been doing very good at keeping up on this blog regularly and to be honest, it'll be awhile before I am able to. Things have been going well, but I was away from reliable internet for a bit and now I'm super busy getting ready to go to Ontario for my friends wedding. I am in the wedding party so trying to get last minute things together and trying to figure out what I'm taking as well as trying to get the regular every day things done is proving challenging and exhausting.

I just got back to the city yesterday after visiting with my parents for a few days. It's always a shock to the system going from city to their place or from their place back to the city. They don't live in the country by any means but they do live in the sub-urbs of the city...and I just find it so quiet and peaceful when I'm there that all I want to do is lay around and sleep and just relax....and munch on all their yummy foods. Back in the city, it's noisy, really really noisy, so as much as I want to just lay around and sleep and just relax...it's not happening. Also, the food choices are limited in my wonderful little apartment. So anyway, needless to say, the change of pace changes dramatically.

So today, I have a psychology appointment, I need to go to the piercing shop to pick out a new barbell or something for my eyebrow piercing and to pick up a plastic one as well (just in case, I want some different options for the wedding). I also need to get more cleaning solution, yeah okay it's just purified water and sea salt but I'm hoping I can pick up another bottle from them so I don't have to buy the purified water and sea salts and make my own, just don't have time right now. Then I have to go to the stationary store (Duly Noted, I think it's called) to look for a few things, and then I need to pick up some eyeshadow and eyeliner and different things. Tonight I'm hanging out with my roommate watching a movie and enjoying some wine.

Tomorrow is another appointment with my Occupational Therapist and any other running around I didn't get done today. Plus I need to try to clear off my camera's memory stick and reformat it so I won't have to buy a new one for taking on my trip. Money, money, money! Ack! Oh plus I need to get to the bank to pick up money for bills to give to my roommate and money that I owe my neighbor for a Mary Kay order I put in. And a few other odds and ends if I don't forget.

So, that said, I'm off. Just gotta finish my box of Lychee juice and then brush the old teefers (teeth) and get moving. I'll try to write another blog and show some pictures of some neat things before I go.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Storm update and another Giveaway

Well, Hurricane Bill was quite the let-down but I suppose that's a good thing. Hurricane season is just beginning and there's already another major storm (Danny) in the forecast for this coming weekend. Mostly Bill was just a bunch of wind and rain, no major damage, no real news to report on that.

That said, I have news of another great giveaway. Head on over to Que Sera Sera to see what great goodies you could win and how to enter. Here's a hint, there is something to read, something yummy to eat, and a gift card to a very popular place. Now go, go quick, hurry!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Bill

So it looks like potentially we could be in for quite a storm here in Nova Scotia, Canada. Some say it will hit us straight on, others say it will miss us and we'll just see a lot of rain and wind. What will really happen is yet to be seen...but just in case we're without power I thought I'd better write a quick entry. I'm really not all that worried however the last comparable hurricane we had was Hurricane Juan and it wrecked havok around here and shut the city down for days so I guess we'll just have to wait see.

Here's links to 2 other local blogs who have mention of Bill:
daysgoby
Once Upon A Feast

Friday, August 21, 2009

Invisibelt Giveaway at Mommies Angels

Check out this cool belt, I can't believe someone didn't think of this sooner!

My current belt annoys and I think this will be the perfect solution. Head on over to Mommies Angels blog to see a review and find out how you can enter for a chance to win one of your own.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Watermark Woes

I finally managed to create something I am happy enough to use as a watermark for now, however...I'm having some transparency issues. I can't figure out where I'm going wrong. I've followed tutorials for the program I am using, currently a demo of Corel Paint Shop Pro because I'm semi familiar with the program as I've used a different version in the past. Watermarks have always tripped me up...every single time.

This time I did manage to get it so that I don't mind using it...but it still needs work.

Anyway, here is what I have, I'm using it on an image that I posted a few days ago of my beloved Chloe. If you know anything about watermarks I'm sure you'll see my problem (bottom right corner).


I would rather not have that square. It didn't seem to matter what I did by the time I'd have to save the watermark image it would mysteriously appear again. So frustrating.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nillas' Blog Candy # 4!

Head on over to Nillas' blog to check out the goodies you could win.

Here's a peak:

Song for the Prodigals - Brian Doerksen

This is a song I only found about either last fall or this past winter, I can't quite remember. It means a lot to me. It partially played a role in my blogging name, or well, to be honest...the "found" part of my blogger name. I've very much been the "Prodigal Daughter" in my journey called life.

~~~
Taken from yourdictionary.com:

prodigal Usage Examples:

Modifies a noun

  • son: He is a lost sheep, a prodigal son, a storm tossed ship in a wild sea.

Preposition: in

  • parable: God makes us go through hard times, like the Prodigal in the parable, to bring us to our senses.
~~~

I've struggled with depression and anxiety since childhood. During my teenage years it became severe and by the time I was 19 I was in and out of hospital frequently. Partially because of my despair and extremely intense suicidal thoughts I behaved recklessly. I often took life-threatening overdoses and engaged in other self-harmful behavior. I pulled away from many people except for a few close friends, I would cut myself on a regular basis, I experimented with drugs and alcohol, I had run-in's with the police, and various other problems. I'm happy to say most of that is in the past, thanks to therapy, the right medications, a lot of hard work, and deciding finally that I want to follow my Lord and Savior. I, however, will be the first to admit my relationship with the Lord is nowhere near where it should be and I still make poor choices and have crap days. Afterall, I am human. It's been less then 2 months since the last time I engaged in cutting. Choosing to live God's way doesn't automatically make things easier...in fact...often things get harder. It just changes your perspective and outlook.

The last month or so has been the best I've felt in years! Yes, years! And it was earlier this year I made my mind up that yes, God was going to be a part of my life. And for the first time in years I am actually happy that I'm alive and looking forward to things.

Going back in time a few years, uh...okay...back to the teenage years...when I started to really struggle. Well, I probably first started struggling before I was a teenage, while I was still in elementary school. Around 14 I tried to drop out of school, I got involved in mild drugs and drinking, I got caught shoplifting, I was angry often and would fight with any one close to me. I'd kick holes in the walls, baracade myself in my room or the washroom for hours on end. I would take whatever pills I could get my hands on in the hopes of having a break from the pain I felt inside. Thankfully I got caught doing many of those things early on and so started my experiences with therapy. High school was much the same...except that if I went to school I would spend more time in the office because I would get so anxious about going to classes that I couldn't go.

I did take a year off of school after I graduated from grade 12 and then did a one year program at a private college. I struggled through it but managed to stick it out until I graduated. Got a good job...and things really started going downhill from there. While I'll never take back my work experience, working in the Emergency Room definitely took it's tole on me. I was so scared of what I might face at work that I started missing shifts, I started taking extreme overdoses, because in my head it made more sense to take an overdose to avoid going to work then to quit. I became very ill, doctors and nurses still tell me I shouldn't still be alive. Especially with no major damage. I also developed a life threatening allergic reaction to one of the medications that is used to conteract the medication I often took. It wasn't that I was looking for attention, it was just that I didn't know how else to escape the turmoil I felt inside. I would often be discharged and then be hospitalized again within 48 hours.

My parents finally made an ultimatum. If I took another overdose, if the paramedics had to take me to the hospital again, then I was no longer aloud to live at home. My behavior at home was out of control anyway...I am horrified that I acted the way I did towards my parents. When I was 19 I was officially kicked out. I didn't know how to stop my behavior...it was how I coped. I ended up living in homeless shelters for a few months before eventually getting a place on my own with a roommate. That was back in 2003.

The problems didn't end there. I was still often in and out of hospital. I still struggled with overdosing and self harm and would regularly have the police on wild-chases through the night and eventually they'd get me and take me to the hospital. I can't even imagine being that way now. I ended up off work on disability in 2006 and have been ever since. I'm hoping in the first half of next year I'll be able to return to work somewhere. I am in the process now of setting up some hours volunteering at a local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

The last real bad spell was only this past fall and winter. It started last spring or summer but by the fall it was out of control and meds were not helping. So things were really rocky again and there were some close calls. The differences was that I knew when to get help. The problems were exhaserbated by the trial and error of medications (and being on and off the various ones) and trying to find one that worked without severe side effects. Finally this past January, around the time of my last hospital admission I was started on a med that has helped. The dose has had to be tweaked a few times but it has made a huge difference. I have physical problems (not related to my behaviors) that made the trial and error a little more difficult because it eliminated a large group of medications that would normally have been used. Also, over the last few admissions I had too many things happen to simply be coincidence. Things I can't explain but proved to me that yes there is a God and I needed to make a choice whether I was going to let Him into my life or shut Him out. Well seeing as I wasn't liking how things were going without Him in my life I knew what decision I had to make. It was not an easy choice for me. I'm stubborn, I want to do things my way on my timeline...but that's not how it's to be, although it still does happen.

So...that there is a bit of my history from the mental health side of things. I mentioned there are physical issues as well which actually play a role in the mental health part of things but I will save that for another day.

I've chosen not to write my diagnosis in this blog entry but if you're curious (or nosey) don't hesitate to ask. I don't hide it. It is a part of who I am but it is not who I am. If that makes any sense. Oddly enough, as much as I'd like to be able to say that I didn't go through those things, I'm thankful for the experiences. I've met some really interesting people because of what I've been through and I've learned a lot along the way and I now like the person I am turning out to be. Without my experiences I may not be able to say that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blog Candy Giveaway at Th-INK-ing of You

What a great message and a great giveaway to go along with it.

Here is what you have a chance to win:


New Box of EK Success Fibers
Tube of gem stones
Several new ribbons
New Fiskars Decorative Scissors
New Fabric Designer Brads by Spare Parts
2 Studio G clear acrylic mini Stamp Sets
1 Sheet Inkadinkado Christmas Stamps
1 New Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Happy Birthday
1 New Pack of the newly released BasicGrey 6 x 6 "June Bug" Paper
48 NEW PRISMACOLOR PENCILS! (These are the ones you use with Gamsol for a fantastic look!)

Head on over to Th-INK-ing of You's blog to see how to enter.

$150 Blog Candy Giveaway!

I've been alerted to another great giveaway. This time it is for $150 US in the form of a gift card, the best part is you get to choose any giftcard you want! Head on over to Where'd All My Money Go's blog to see how you too can get in on a chance to win some dough.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cutest Cat Photo Contest

I may be a little biased but I do tend to think my dear kitty Chloe is the "Cutest Cat". I loves her, even if I don't get to see her much. Every day I call my mom (Chloe's "slave") to find out how Chloe is doing and to see if Chloe wants to "talk". Yes I seriously do, no joke. Mom has a range of tricks up her sleeve that can often get Chloe to meow a few words, or at the very least purr loud enough for the phone to pic it up. Some of the tricks aside from the obvious of offering her kitty treats or her favorite of grass, lettuce, or spinach, are reading out loud (she especially likes the bible), saying the Lord's prayer out loud, or just simply saying "s's" out loud. S, s, ess, S, Chloe ssss. LOL. She's so funny.

Anyway, through facebook I found out about a contest taking place through The Animal Rescue Site's facebook page and naturally I had to enter.

Here's her pic:
See, she's a cutie! :) If you think she's cute too feel free to go over and vote for her. And if you have a cat you think is the "cutest cat" feel free to enter as well, and let me know the link so I can vote for yours as well. :)

Grand Prize: $250 Gift Certificate to The Animal Rescue Site Store

2nd Prize: $100 Gift Certificate to The Animal Rescue Site Store

3rd Prize: $100 Gift Certificate to The Animal Rescue Site Store


Contest Ends August 16, 2009 @ 11:59 pm (PDT)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just an Update on My Life's Journey

I know none of you know my history yet, or at least not much of it...but I'm going to copy and paste something I wrote tonight in another forum that has been following me for months. It's an update to let them know how I'm doing. I will take out a few parts that don't apply to here but otherwise leave it intact, if you see anything in a [ ] it will be something I added specifically for here.

~~~

Hi, just thought I'd drop in and say hi. I've been doing really well the last little while, Praise God, probably the best I have in years (10+ years)...not saying I'm not going to have struggles anymore but saying that the Lord is really blessing me this summer with a new outlook, increasing abilities and energy, increasing interest, motivation and I'm excited, truly excited, to be able to be enjoying things.

My relationship with the Lord is still a work in progress, and always will be...as is any relationship. My relationship with the Lord is similar to many human relationships I have in the fact that in most cases I will be all out and doing everything I can and trying to spend all this time with the individual, and then I get overwhelmed and pull away. I'm working on this with His help and I know He's with me every step of the way on this journey...and a journey it sure is. It's just going to take time but I'm on the right path right now I think.

I'm not on the computer nearly so much anymore and am having a bit of a challenge learning to balance getting things done in the day with computer time and household responsibilities so until I get it figured out a little better I won't be around much at all. [I do plan to continue blogging, just not sure what direction it's going to take yet.]

The computer was a blessing for me for a season but now it's time to transition and change and focus on other things. But being able to have my various internet friends over the last 10+ years has been a huge blessing and encouragement (and at times a source of frustration but we won't focus on that) and also a distraction from all the pain and things I wasn't ready to learn how to deal with. [I look forward to many more years with internet friends, just in balance now with everyday living and adventures.]

I'm kind of rambling a bit...I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I'm just really excited to see what going to happen over the next few weeks as the transition continues...what does the Lord have in store for me?! I have some ideas, but only He really knows and it will all be revealed in His perfect timing.

Oh...I saw the most amazing rainbow tonight! I didn't know what my friend who I share an apartment with was so excited over and then looked out the window! Wow! The brightest, biggest, fullest rainbow either of us has ever seen. We could see from end to end. God knew we both needed to see that today, for different reasons, His promise. I believe good things are ahead. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Majorly (sp?) Awesome Blog Candy Giveaway!

I've just been alerted to yet another great giveaway! Yay!

Head on over to The Hovey Hut to see all the goodies you could win. Super awesome for most any crafty person...and for a beginner like me it looks like Heaven!

~~~

On another note, I am feeling compelled to write an entry soon with a bit of "my story". I haven't quite figured out how to go about it yet. I don't want it to be too heavy, and I don't want it to drag on, but I feel like it's meant for me to share a little about who I am now and what the journey of life has entailed for me so far. So, I'm going to work on that over the next little bit. Maybe for some it will be an inspiration, maybe for others it will be a turn-off and you'll never want to look at my blog again. Whatever. I am me and I'm learning to be happy despite all the challenges this journey holds. :) After all, isn't my blog called...Life's Journey's?! :) Or should it be Journeys (no apostrophe?)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gorjuss Giveaway!

Layin' Rubber Ink is celebrating their 1 year BLOGIVERSARY and 20,000 hits with a giveaway! Congrats!

For this blog candy giveaway they are giving you the choice of one of three sets of Gorjuss stamps. Go on over and see what ya gotta do. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mr. Potato Head Giveaway!

I think it's time for a little reunion with an old friend. Maybe even time to introduce your kids, nieces, nephews, cousins, to this old friend (or one of his buddies). Mr. Potato Head!

I never personally had one as a child, but I think all my friends did and I loved to play and see what kind of silly faces I could create. Recently I picked up a special Mr. Potato Head as a gift for a nephew. It's the Spider Spud (Spiderman/Peter Parker) one. His birthday isn't until September so I'm anxiously awaiting the day I get to give it to him.

Anyway for your chance to win a Classic Mr. Potato Head head on over to growingyourbaby.com and see what you need to do to enter. It's not hard I promise.

If I was to win, I would probably hang on to my Mr Potato Head. Not out of greed though, no, never...it would be because I need toys for when my nephew or my friends kids come to visit. Seriously, that's why. Really. :P Okay...so maybe I might play with it a little...for old time's sake, ya know. :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fit Flop Giveaway at FFF

Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous has yet another amazing giveaway going on! This one ends shortly, like within a few hours of me posting this so get on over there quick. This one is for a pair of Fit Flops...specifically WALKSTAR III JELLY in your choice of color, subject to color availability. Check it out!

Watermark Help

Hello fellow Bloggers...I have a question for you.

Is there anyone out there who knows what they're doing when creating watermarks for photo's? I can do text no problem, what I'm thinking is some people have cute little images as part of their watermark. For the life of me I can't seem to figure out how to get it to work. So my question, or questions, are these:

I currently only use Gimp and Picasa since they're freeware, someday I'll have photoshop but not yet. Does anyone have a fairly straightforward tutorial on how to make a watermark with an image in either of these programs (Gimp or Picasa)?

Or

Does anyone have any interest, if it isn't too hard or a problem, in creating a cool little watermark for me to use? I'd kind of like something with some simple little stars or something, at least that's what I keep picturing. As for the text with it there are 2 things I want included..."Ello" and below that on a seperate line "FPD". No quotation marks though.

I don't want anyone to go out of there way, just this whole watermark issue is part of what is holding me back from sharing my photo's. And I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure it out. I would love to know how, really I would. So if you have a tutorial that would work with either program that's really preferable but I'd be eternally grateful if someone made one as well or could at least get me going in the right direction.

Okay...that's all for now, thank you for reading. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bamboo Sleepwear Giveaway at FFF

Have you ever felt anything (a towel, a sheet, a t-shirt, anything?) made of bamboo cotton? If not, you seriously don't know what you're missing. If you have, you know what I'm talking about. For your chance to win a super-comfy, ultra-heavenly sleepwear set (cami tank top and shorts) head on over to the blog of Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous and see what you have to do for your chance to win.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seventh Generation giveaway on Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous blog

Do you *heart* the environment? Conscious about recycling and chemicals and what-not? Have allergies or sensitivities to chemicals? Have children or pets? Just like a good giveaway? Then head on over to Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous and see how you can win some great products from Seventh Generation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

God's Chisel

If you ever take 9 minutes to watch a video, make sure this is the one (at least listen to it). Originally I wasn't going to watch it. 9 minutes is a long time for me to sit and watch a video (yeah I know, kinda pathetic). And for the first couple minutes of it I was skeptical but I'm so glad I hung on and watched the entire video. This carries such an important message and I think, no wait...I'm pretty sure, that at least someone else out there needs to hear it as well.

God doesn't make junk!

Problems with Comments

It's come to my attention on a few occasions now that some people are having problems posting comments to my blog. I'm not sure what the problem is exactly, but have been playing with the settings trying to figure it out. It seems to be working now, *fingers crossed*.

If you have any problems leaving me a comment fire me an email at nbarteaux(at)gmail(dot)com

If you have any ideas or suggestions that will help avoid the posting problems in the future, or what settings are best to use, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Thanks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dilemma

I'm wanting to be here so much more then I am. I want to write. Problem is, it seems when I wake I'm too tired, during the day I'm too busy, and by night I'm too tired. How do you all do it? I currently am on disability which means I'm not working and I don't have any kids or pets or a husband and yet I can't manage to post on a semi-regular basis. It's my dilemma. I'll figure it out one of these days if it's meant to be. If it's part of God's will. I'm not feeling overly bad about it, or down on myself or anything, it just really makes me wonder how busy working mothers and wives (fathers and husbands if it so applies) are able to successfully blog.

On the plus side, seeing other blogs has helped motivate me to take more pictures and seek out new sales and discounts. So I guess it's a start. One of these days I'll actually upload some pics and talk about the treasures....or show something of the day. But for now, it's just going to be random thoughts and random posts and with any luck there will actually be some regularity.

Please bear with me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kristen's 100th post, Giveaway!

This is a pretty neat giveaway I must admit...and yes I'm turning into quite a sucker for these blog giveaways, they are just so exciting!

What is she giving away you ask? Well, head on over to hear blog here to find out. It's totally awesome and I love it!

Oh, okay, here's a hint...it's a Vera Bradley handbag. Now hurry up and head over to Kristen's blog to see some pic's and find out how to enter this fabulous giveaway!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Enchanting Giveaway!

Have you ever been to the Enchanting Quotes website? If you have you know how awesome their products are. If not, what are you waiting for, go check them out! Hurry!

Did you see?

*picture taken from their website, enchantedquotes.com*


Okay, just in case you were too lazy, tired, busy, etc to go to the site, the above picture is an example of what you might find there. So now that you've seen how cool the vinyl words and pictures are how would you like a chance to win a $30 gift certificate to their store?

Head on over to Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous' blog to see what you have to do. It's not hard or complicated at all, I promise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Look

I changed the look of my blog, I'm sure if you've been here before you've noticed. I just came across this layout that I really liked at jellypages.com. So, what do you think? I think I like it. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blog Surfing and Art

While reading some of my favorite blogs tonight I came across a neat little application/program. It's called Wordle. Check it out.

I provided a link to my previous blog to see what the image would look like. Here it is:



Something else I've recently discovered is fractal art. It's a type of art using mathematical formula's and it's really interesting. I used a program that already had formula's so I could just play around. Here is a site which tells more about fractal art and has links to some programs you can download if you wish to try it out yourself. The cool thing is these patterns occur in nature, in Creation, naturally. Isn't God an amazing artist! If you get a chance to a google search for fractal art nature images, I'm sure you'll be impressed!

Here is an example of the art I created:




The program saves the images as .bmp files so I had to convert it to .jpg and it's lost a little bit of detail...but you get the idea. I have no idea what mathematical equations I used to get this, I was just playing around but I love the result. It makes me think of wind, earth, water, and fire, but also of an unconditional love and acceptance. I've called it Love Unconditional. I think of it as a representation of God's love for us, His children.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Serenity

I had the chance to reflect on a poem I memorized as a child. It used to hang on a plaque on the wall directly across from the toilet and I'd read it every time I would use the washroom. Little did I know then how much the words, how much that prayer, would help me as a teenager and adult. Even during the days when I wanted nothing to do with the Lord I would say the prayer, omitting the word God from it. And while I left Him out, He was still there to answer my simple prayer in ways I could not, and still don't, understand.

I'm sure you are familiar with it, or at the very least have heard of it.




On the off chance you can't see the image above, I'll type out the words:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

What I wonder, is if you've ever really thought about those words. Off and on over the years I have. I mean, I know what the words mean, but do I *really* know what the words mean.

There are a few especially important words that really stand out to me in this. Accept. Courage. Change. Wisdom.

Accept - receive willingly something given or offered; tolerate or accommodate oneself to

Courage - a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear

Change - an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another

Wisdom - the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight

I'm not quite sure where I was going with this post. I do know I recite this often and that it has meant a lot to me over the years. I guess I just wanted to encourage others to think of what this (and other phrases, poems, verses) truly mean to you. Do you just say the words or do they have a deeper meaning. Is there something that you say over and over that helps you that you'd like to share, post it in the comments.

Here's something else I found while looking for the image above:


You should be able to click on the picture to go to a site where you can read it, but just in case you can't I'll type it out below:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lil Monster Getter


Oh my! I absolutely adore these little critters. And some day I hope to adopt one but for now I can just look at their pictures and dream. Go to 2ofMindand Spirit's shop by clicking here or on the picture above.

*Update September 14, 2012*  New link to this item on Etsy: here

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cricut Machine Giveaway Contest


See Create4fun's blog to see how you can have the chance to win a cricut machine! This is one awesome contest for any one who crafts or scrapbooks. I'm so excited for whoever wins this!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Photography

I'm thinking I'd like to get back into photography and share some of my work here. However, my laptop is not liking the memory stick that I'm currently using so it may take me a bit of time before I'm actually able to do this. I'm still very new to photography and basically point and shoot using the auto settings but am starting to experiment a bit with some of the manual settings. I tried changing the shutter speed the other night while playing around and really like the effect, although for awhile I thought I broke my camera, lol.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Everything Is Going to Be Alright

TEACHINGS - Everything Is Going to Be Alright
When you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel, remember, everything's gonna be alright!

Once upon a time there was monastery of monks that enforced a vow of silence – the monks were forbidden to speak - except every ten years, they were allowed to break their vow of silence and speak two words only. Well ten years went by and it’s one monks first chance to speak. He thought for a second, looked at the head monk in the eye and said, “food bad.” Ten years later, it’s his turn to speak again. He went to the head monk and said, “bed hard.” Well, sure enough, ten years later the big day came again. The man looked the head monk straight in the eye and after a long stare said, “I quit.” “Well, I’m not surprised,” the head monk said, “you’ve been complaining ever since you got here!”

Maybe today you feel just like that monk did. You are tempted to say, “I quit.”

God’s Word for you today is "Don’t quit. Keep going. Don’t give up. Everything’s gonna be alright."

Do you believe that?

As we run this race of faith, there will be times when we wonder if these legs will hold out unto the finish line. Our muscles will cramp, the body will sweat profusely and ache terribly, At the moment we feel like a truck ran over us or someone has taken a piece of lumber and beat the life out of us – or the moment we feel like “I can’ take anymore” - that’s when we’ll be tempted to just give up and quit.

DON'T DO IT! DON'T GIVE UP!

“Continue to run the race!" Run the race, don’t quit and don’t give up. Everythings gonna be alright. Who in this place today believes that running the race of faith would be easy? Raise your hands. My brothers and sisters, it’s not going to be easy. There will moments in our lives where nothing seems to go right – there will be times when it never rains but pours torrential rains day after day. There will times of weariness – there will be times of stress – there will be times when we don’t know where the next penny is coming from - there will be times of testing – there will be trials – there will be persecutions – there will be times when the devil will do his best to back you in the corner – there will be times when Satan will do his best to frustrate you and discourage you - there will be times when the pressure is on BUT the worse thing you can do is give up and quit. Don’t do it!

What has got you to the place where you want to say, “I quit”

What has got you down today?

What has got you frustrated--------discouraged?

“I don’t know how I’m going to pay the bills”

‘I don’t know what we’re going to do with my son (my daughter)”

“I can’t take the pressure of this job”

“I’m so tired. I’m worn out”

“I’m so stressed out. This is making me crazy”

“This is too hard, I’ll never make it.”

“I don’t know if I can take any more bad news”

Little do you know that when you think that way, Satan is right there to accommodate you and make all those curses you spoke come true. The devil will make sure you’re good and tired, you’re good and stressed out and good and financially broke.

Discouragement is a thief – it is one of Satan’s biggest distractions to get us off the racetrack. Discouragement steals your vitality, your zeal, your joy, your peace, and your contentment. If discouragement dwells long with you, its friends will soon join. Their names are fatigue, hopelessness, despair, self-pity, depression, doubt, and bitterness. Sometimes, discouragement can be so strong that you even don't want to go on living.

WHAT CAUSES DISCOURAGEMENT AND FRUSTRATION?

A. Conflicts Within The Family.
B. Giving God Second Place In Your Life.
C. Not Being Content With God's Blessings or
- Place of Service
-Talents & Abilities
- Job --- Salary

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE GET DISCOURAGED?

A. We Pray The Wrong Prayers:
B. We Say The Wrong Things:
C. We Begin To Think The Wrong Things:
D. We Do The Wrong Things:
E. We Begin To See The Wrong Things – we see all the difficulties, all the giants, - we see all the bad things.
F. We End Up In The Wrong Place.
G. We Even Get Into The Wrong Spirit:
- Spirit of Defeatism,
- Spirit of Murmuring,
- Spirit of grouchiness,
- Spirit of criticism.

Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is the result of blindness. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of God, unconcern for the needs of our fellow man, and unbelief in the promises of His Word. If we have nothing to rely on, or we forget our blessing and look to our circumstances, then that is when discouragement begins to take hold.

Brethren, what do you need to do? Kick the devil of discouragement, get back on the racetrack and continue to run the race with confidence. Running the race with endurance, perseverance, and faith is something we must continue to choose day after day.

Running the race requires endurance. This race is not like a 100 meter dash; it is like a marathon. It starts the moment you receive Christ and lasts until you die or Christ returns. And the path is not level ground; it leads through all kinds of hills and obstacles. Such a race does not require blinding speed; it does require endurance.

But we must endure. We must hang in there. Jesus is the example of what it means to run with endurance. He has gone before us into every kind of suffering we'll encounter and endured it victoriously. When you're sunk in self-pity, consider what he endured and why he was willing to endure it

We must persevere ? What is perseverance? – It is stick-to-it-tiveness, refusing to quit in spite of fatigue or pressure to do so. Endurance, means to be patience, to have long-suffering.

Most of us have moments when there are good stretches in the race, but the fact is that few of us run consistently and finish well. There are many reasons for this but here are a few:

1. WE REFUSE TO LEAVE BEHIND OUR EXCESS BAGGAGE

If you're finding it difficult to stay in the race, the first thing you should check is what you're carrying. Are you carrying any excess baggage? Is it possible that you are asking God to give you more power to carry excess baggage when he is calling on you to lay aside sinful attitudes, practices and habits which you believe you can't do without, but which are in fact depleting your energy to run the race. Get rid of that excess baggage you’re carrying and stay in the race.

2. WE LOSE OUR FOCUS

The devil takes advantage of us when we are weary physically, mentally and emotionally so we need to maintain a proper focus by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. When you let your mind go where it wants to go, you wind up getting distracted and pretty soon you’ll be focusing on how tired you am, how much your muscles hurt, how far you have to go, and how far ahead others are ahead of you. This always results in greater fatigue and a greater desire to quit.

There are all kinds of distractions which will grab your focus and convince you to quit if you let them. Here are a few:

CIRCUMSTANCES OVER WHICH YOU HAVE NO CONTROL
"Look how rough my situation is! No one knows what I have to put up with. And look at the people I have to put up with! No one can be expected to serve God and grow in this environment!"

FEELINGS OF DEFEAT
"I feel so defeated, so lethargic, so unmotivated. I obviously can't be expected to endure when I feel this way. God will have to change my feelings before I can go on."

PERSONAL BONDAGES AND STRONGHOLDS
"Look how messed up I am! I have been deeply damaged by wrong choices and relationships in the past. I've got deeply ingrained character weaknesses which have affected me terribly. I can't possibly be useful to God in this state; I need to drop out of the race until I am more healed."

OVERCOMING YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
"Look how far ahead they are! Look how much longer they've been running than I have! They’re so much stronger than I am. What's the use of running since I'll never be able to catch them?"

Are you focused on the wrong things? The Christian who wants to run the race with endurance has to learn how to choose and maintain proper focus. This involves not only identifying and turning away from focusing on wrong things and ourselves but also developing the habit of focusing on Christ. Focusing on Christ does not mean visualizing a picture of Him in your mind – it means looking away from everything else in order that you can concentrate on Christ alone – Concentrate on being His bride – on being submissive to Him and loving Him; concentrate on finding out what pleases Him and makes Him happy; concentrate on the words He is saying to me.

3. WE REFUSE TO BE DISCIPLINED IN GOD'S TRAINING PROGRAM

Even if I showed up at a marathon with no excess baggage and properly focused, I would still give up long before the finish line. Why? If I want to complete a marathon, I must be willing to undergo training. In fact, I must cooperate with a very extensive training program. I will need to be willing to let an experienced runner design a whole training regimen that would seem in many ways irrelevant to the race. That would be Jesus Christ – the ultimate trainer.

Taking my own physique and physical shape into account, he would design exercises carefully calculated to produce pressure and strain on various muscle groups. By cooperating with this frustrating and sometimes agonizing training program, I would gradually become hammered into shape for a marathon. The biggest reason why people are unable to run marathons is not because they are physically incapable of it, but because they are unwilling to undergo the necessary training.

Brethren, now that we have entered the promised land, the race we are running will not be any easier. The training was difficult before – and we have endured. Our muscles are stronger, our endurance has increased but the training does not stop there. God is committed to hammering each of us into shape to run his race. And to that end he has a training program designed for each of us individually. He knows exactly what roles we are designed to play in his race; he knows exactly what qualities are lacking in our lives which we will need in order to finish; he knows exactly the right amount of stress and strain to put on us to develop those qualities. He calls this training program "discipline" and he is constantly doing just this through all sorts of suffering which he sovereignly allows us to experience.

What do we do when God disciplines us in our training program? Do we cave in and threaten to quit because of the pain. Do we envy and resent others who are not suffering like I am. Do we complain that this suffering is hindering rather than helping my ability to serve God. Do we accuse God of neglecting me or being too rough on me? Some of us have reacted to pain as the ultimate evil for so long that we have virtually no capacity to take it.

Remember why God disciplines us. Discipline is painful now but its reward comes later. It wouldn't be discipline if it was easy to take. God wants to transform our characters so we can fulfill his purpose for our lives. Remember your response to discipline is the key to its effectiveness in your life. Only those who submit to the training reap the benefit.

God has the ability to engineer circumstances to fit His plan. He takes events of our lives and constructs something useful out of them. He works for good in our lives if we trust Him to do it. Romans 8:28 clearly states that God causes all things to work for good in the lives of those who trust His guidance. Proverbs tells us that a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Jeremiah 29 declares,

I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

He has a future for you. He knows what is needed to give you a future. Where might God be engineering your circumstances today? Are you just trying to endure them and get through them or are you trying to escape them, or are you being encouraged spiritually to know that God is at work in your circumstances for your good and seeking opportunities to let those 'goodness' things come out of your life.

"He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us." "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." God never gives up on you. God has engineered circumstances to shape your character, to adjust your priorities, to purify your faith. James tells us that the testing of your faith develops the perseverance necessary for the developing of a mature Christian faith.

Remember most of all that you are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with you. He will guide, strengthen, comfort – He will never leave you." He will give you the strength to get through what you’re going through.

Don’t give up! Don’t quit! Everything’s gonna be alright!

http://www.allianceholyfellowship.com/teachings_everythingisgonnabealright.html

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The above is from a website I came across tonight. I've been feeling very overwhelmed with urges and basically just Lost. This was exactly what I needed to read, exactly what I needed to hear and God knows it. He's just reminded me that I've been focusing too much on how overwhelmed I feel right now and how I just feel like quitting, but He's telling me it's okay, it's gonna be alright, don't give up, don't quit! Give it to Me, let me train you how to live My way, not yours. *sigh* I gots me a lot a learnin' to do...but this article at this particular time may have just kept me from giving quitting this time. Thank you God for bringing these things to my attention and showing me how to get through it.