Wednesday, September 30, 2009

500 Days of Summer *Movie Review*

Summary :

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel star in director Marc Webb's wry, non-linear romantic comedy about a man who falls head over heels for a woman who doesn't believe in love. Mark (Gordon Levitt) is an aspiring architect who currently earns his living as a greeting card writer. Upon encountering his boss' beautiful new secretary Summer (Deschanel), Mark discovers that the pair have plenty in common despite the fact that she's seemingly out of his league; for starters, they both love The Smiths, and they're both fans of surrealist artist Magritte. Before long Mark is smitten. All he can think about is Summer. Mark believes deeply in the concept of soul mates, and he's finally found his. Unfortunately for Mark, Summer sees true love as the stuff of fairy tales, and isn't looking for romance. Undaunted and undeterred by his breezy lover's casual stance on relationships, Mark summons all of his might and courage to pursue Summer and convince her that their love is real.

From Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide(viewable Here)

My Thoughts:

My thoughts---MY. NEW. FAVORITE. MOVIE. EVER! Seriously! It is amazing (and I've already seen it a total of 3 times). For those of you who are into realist movies, I would take the time to see 500 Days of Summer.

I mean don't get me wrong, I love a good cozy, love-story-happy-ending as much as the next person, but there comes a time where you just have to say Whoa-Hold the happily ever after and give me a dose of reality(I think all these happily-ever-after movies are twisting our sense of what's real and what's not). This movie gives you that good dose of reality check, and while doing so, makes you really think about life in general(the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly).

Of course I wanted to see the movie when I first saw the trailer-Zooey and Emily Deschanel are two very talented actresses(Bones is my favorite T.V. show) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in 10 Things I Hate About You(nuff said). Maybe I was a little bias because I'm into the Indie movies, and maybe I was conditioned to like this movie because of the actors in it, but that doesn't make this movie less amazing.

**This is an opinion solely based on my thoughts and opinions of the movie in question and no one elses. I was not influenced one way or another to write the subject matter in this review, so if you don't like it or don't agree with it, that is your choice and I fully respect it so please extend me the same curtsy**

I Gotta Feeling: A Video {Amazing}


Now I totally want to do something like it :D


Monday, September 28, 2009

Babies Got 'Tude: A Video!

Warning: This baby is UTTERLY. CUTE. May cause you to involuntarily go 'Awwwwwww,' 'Ooooooooooh,' or anything of the like.
You have been warned.

**Notice at the beginning this baby has a little 'tude with his little hand wave/head bob**

I love that part! He he

Mailbox Monday(9/28)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...


1. I haven't really experimented with getting food-like freebies in the mail, but I made the plunge and requested a cereal sample from Bare Naked-A company who specializes in natural and organic food products.

I hope to do a review in the future(keep fingers crossed)!

2. I got an AMAZING care package from a lovely person and fellow Etsian who goes by Kimberly of Bluebell(whom I did a review for this past week where you can Read Here). It was so kind of her to think of me and I just wanted to send a shout out and a big thank you to her ^.^

If your a vintage lover, I urge you to pay a little visit to her shop!

3. Okay, so this is how stupid my Lyme brain is-I got confused when I was doing a freebie the other day and accidentally ordered a full year subscription of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

First, I denied the fact that I had done the stupid mistake. Then comes the flipping out mode where I call myself stupid and contemplate how much this is going to set me back. After I was done beating myself up internally, I looked for a way to fix it and to my utter delight, there was a 'cancel your subscription' option. **Whew**

But apparently, I was sent one anyway(don't worry, I checked that my sub was actually canceled).

So what did you get in the mail this week?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Featured Blogger Friday

I'm very lucky to have met Lynette of My Wee View!

Actually, it was pure happenstance that I came across her site-I had read something about her site and decided to check it out.

Right away, the energy of her site caught my attention! Hopefully, it will catch yours too :D

Q. What's your name and your blog? What other information would you like to share?

My blog is called My Wee View.

Q. Why did you choose that name for your blog?

My blog used to have another name (which I loved), but for legal reasons, had to change it. I wanted the new name to be close to the old name so people would still know it was me! I don't care as much for the new name - but it's cute - I guess. Wee View sounds like Review and Wee means tiny, so I guess it's a play on words. It's what I could come up with in a time crunch.

Q. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I wanted people to know about these wonderful WAHM diapers I had bought. I also thought it would be a fun release for me. Being a new mother, there is not too much time to get out and do things, so blogging was my way of reaching out to other people.

Q. What kind of stuff do you cover with your blog? Is there a specific genre you write about or is the sky the limit?

My blog is a product review and giveaway blog. I write about family friendly products. I have received a few questions from PG 13 companies for reviews, but I think I still want to keep my blog G rated. Most of the products are baby related, but I know that Moms and Dads like to win things too, so I throw some fun things in there for parents too.

Q. Name one thing that you love about your blogging job.

I love meeting wonderful people. So many wonderful people visit my blog everyday. Some I keep in contact with regularly and it is so nice to meet these people.

Q. Name one thing your not so fond of about your blogging job.

It is very demanding. It takes up a lot of my time. I spend my evenings responding to emails, writing reviews, and posting giveaways, and I rarely get much time to visit other peoples blogs. I wish I had more time.

Q. What's one random fun fact about you?

Hum, I can wiggle just one toe - my 2nd one, without moving the other toes. Try it, it's really hard. The weird thing is, I can only do it on my right foot.

Q. Inspiration comes in many forms for different people. What inspires you?

My Mother and Grandmother are my inspirations. They are both amazing and strong women. They have come over some huge obstacles in their lives and manage to stay positive and forward thinking. I don't know how my Mom does it, but she always takes the high road in every situation, and she has more patience and love to give to everyone than anyone I have ever met. People stop me on the street to tell me how lucky I am to have her as a Mother. Even if I become a 10th of what my Mother is - I will be a very successful Mom.

Q. Any advice for other bloggers?

Keep at it! Sometimes things can really feel low, but just keep plugging away. People will come and they will follow if you keep it coming. It may take time, but in the end - it's worth it.

Q. Where else can we find you(Etsy shop, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc)?

I would love to be creative enough to have an Etsy store or enough time for another blog (but I'm not and I don't). However, you can catch up with My Wee View on Twitter @myweeview and on Facebook. Hope to see you all there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Down for the Count

If you noticed, I haven't been posting like I normally do through the week. I have good reason guys, I promise!

This new treatment I went on that's 8 days long has totally kicked my butt and put me into herx status(finally).

I'm going to do one or two more posts, but besides that I'm going to lay low until this can blow over-As we speak (or type), I'm in some pretty serious pain and just took some nice (and merciful) drugs to knock me the eff out.

Thanks for understanding guys! Catch ya'll soon.

Love and energies.

Cuteness Unleashed

How cute is this little baby goat!? A farmer friend of ours who we get organic milk and eggs from had a litter (is that the right word?) of kids a week or so ago and Monday afternoon was the first time I got to actually go see them!

It was amazing-The only sad part is that little one above was born apart from the others, and whether that was the trigger or it was something else, the mother abandoned it =/ Therefore, no other goat, baby or adult, wants anything to do with it.

I was all for taking the little guy home, but unfortunately, my father refused (damn). So if you know anyone who is is the Rockford/Roscoe/Rockton are of Illinois who has a farm or just wants a pet goat, contact me :D

Love and Energies.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday(9/21)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...


1. I keep getting these damn magazines! I don't know how and or why, but I get at least 3 different business magazines in the mail each month-I wish they interested me to where I could sit down and read them, but I can honestly say they just sit on my shelf until I either throw them away or give them to the library...

Maybe one day one of them will have something of interest.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Featured Blogger Friday(9/18)-Maria's Space

I heard about Maria from someone who sent me an email detailing a project she was doing for fellow Etsians-Of course being an Etsy enthusiast myself, I had to go and look!

I'm very impressed at what she is trying to do, so I thought I would help her spread the word about her blog and what she is trying to accomplish.

So everyone, welcome Maria of Maria's Space!

Q. What's your name and your blog? What other information would you like to share?

My name is Maria and my blog is called Maria’s Space.

Q. Why did you choose that name for your blog?

I started it after I had two babies in 23 months and needed something that belonged to just me. My whole life was based around my children who came from my body, ate from my body and I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, with less than 5 hours of broken sleep a night I seriously needed a sanity outlet and this was a little place all my own.

Q. Why did you start blogging?

Also, my mother died when I was 12 and I have spent the past 31 years searching to know any tidbit about her as a person, a women, a friend! I wanted to leave a legacy for my children so they would never have to wonder what I thought about, wished for or how much I love them.

Q. What kind of stuff do you cover with your blog? Is there a specific genre you write about or is the sky the limit?

The sky is absolutely the limit. I love so many different things and believe variety is the spice of life.

Q. A friend of yours contacted me about doing about something your doing for the Etsy community-Can you share some information about that with The Eclectic Element readers who are also Etsians?

Sure, my blogger friend Lorie (who is the sweetest person by the way) is always thinking of others and I appreciate her friendship so much. I started an Etsy shop after being inspired and awed by the endless talent of the artists on Etsy. I have hosted so many amazing artists on my blog and they are really amazing people. After losing an earring I decided to take the other one apart. I created a necklace and thought wow, I can do this. I have always been somewhat creative, and figured why not try. So Street Angel was born but I still love shopping and finding amazing creations to show my readers. Collaboration rather than competition is a motto I picked up one day from an amazing women. She is so right! There is room for everyone and we all have our special, talents that may or may not appeal to others. That is why I decided to start an Etsy Linky Love Meme for Saturday. Etsy artists can feel free to leave a link to their shop, their sales, or their favorite items. I love to shop Etsy and so do many others, why not allow the artists to showcase their creations?

Q. Name one thing that you love about your blogging job.

I love being able to take one of my photos and journal about it. I have always loved writing and this allows me to be current, keep up my computer skills, and meet amazing people. I also love comments. I appreciate all the product reviews I am able to participate in. I pray to eventually create books for my children of my posts relating to them. I have saved every post on a running Word document and hope to see that happen.

Q. Name one thing your not so fond of about your blogging job.

There is absolutely nothing I am not fond of. If I didn’t love it, I would stop! Even negative comments are good. We are all different and not everyone is going to agree with something I have written. However, I appreciate those who feel the need to comment in an unfavorable way. It is not something I would do, I would choose not to comment at all but I believe in a live and let live attitude.

Q. What's one random fun fact about you?

I am 4’11”

Q. Inspiration comes in many forms for different people. What inspires you?

My children are my biggest inspiration. They are the reason I have a purpose. They made me a better person. I also get inspiration from movies, books, art, poems, and of course Etsy artists!

Q. Any advice for other bloggers?

Write what you love! Never be afraid to take on a subject. Map out time for blogging. I know that sometimes it is hard to get to it, but re-reading my past posts especially about my children, remind me of the little things that I have forgotten. Creating and writing in your blog is leaving a legacy for everyone who loves you, especially if you have children.

Q. Where else can we find you(Etsy shop, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc)?

My Etsy shop is Street Angel
My Twitter is
My Facebook is Maria’s Space
My photos are on Flickr

I also have one other blog called Chotskies

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Educating Esme Blog Tour*Interview*

I had the very unique and extremely special privilege of receiving Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year and being a part of the Educating Esme Blog Tour this past month!

Which means I got to interview the author herself: Esme Raji Codell! And let me tell you, this is the most exciting thing that's happened to me so far in my blogging 'career...'

Educating Esme, the true story of a teacher's first year, was first published in 1999, and 10 years later is still going strong with a newly vamped 10th year anniversary edition featuring a new Foreword by Katherine Paterson, author of "Bridge to Terabithia", a brand new guide filled with Codell’s invaluable advice and practical tips for teachers and a fantastic shopping list of must-haves for a teacher’s first classroom.

Here is a little information about the book from the back cover:

"Welcome to Esme Raji Codell's diary of her first year reaching in a Chicago public school. Fresh-mouthed and free-spirited, the irrepressible Madame Esme-as she prefers to be called-does the cha-cha during multiplication tables, roller-skates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library. While battling bureaucrats, gang members, abusive parents, and her own insecurities, this gifted young woman opens a window into a real-life classroom."


My interview with Madame Esme:
Me: Welcome to The Eclectic Element-We are extremely happy to have you on! For my first question, I was wondering if you could you tell us why you decided to write this book on your personal accounts as a first year teacher?

Esme: Educating Esme is the real diary I kept during my first year of teaching in the Chicago public schools. I have always kept diaries, but I decided to try to have this particular piece published because I believed It could help start a conversation about urban schools and the profession of teaching. I think there is a widely embraced, antiquated version of what classrooms are like. I hoped that by sharing my experiences, it would get people talking about what works and what doesn't work in a modern classroom.

Me: In your opinion, is too much importance put on high test scores in today's school systems? If so, what affect do you think that pressure is having on children?

Esme: Yes, absolutely, way too much importance. High stakes testing lowers the self esteem of average children and has shanghaied the best practices of teaching. I think high stakes testing is ridiculous, embarrassing, and indicative of a lack of faith in American values. In our country, we are inspired by competition, but we are supposed to believe that we can make changes in our lives based on our will, our inventiveness, and our ability to make the most of our opportunities. America is about individualism, and meeting our personal best. Our schools should reflect that, instill that, but instead, high stakes testing teaches children in this country that there are no second chances. It's like someone wrote elementary school education policy while listening to Eminem's 'Lose Yourself.' High stakes testing tests the teacher's ability to teach a test, and reflects bias towards children with support and other resources at home, and is oblivious toward what we know about child development. Year of No Child Left Behind and other policies that still quack like that duck discourage creative teacher talents from staying in-or even entering-the field, and the children lose out there, too. I am deeply committed to accountability and I am not against assessments, but we need to use those tools to discover how children are doing and how we can support them, not create a system that punishes children for our failures. It's hard to believe we don't have anything better to do, like ending socioeconomic segregation in schools, maybe? Just a thought...

Me: In your classroom, what kinds of activities do you like to implement in your lesson plans that get kids interested in school instead of dreading it? Why do you think those particular activities help kids get higher scores on their homework and tests?

Esme: I treat every child as if they were gifted (even if we are waiting for some children to unwrap their gifts), and I expect that they can and will engage in enrichment activities. I read aloud every single day, and children learn to listen and participate in discussion. I value the arts and integrate them whenever possible. Kids preform well when they exercise critical thinking, and that reflects pretty considerably on work and tests. But children can't think critically when all they are doing is remediation and worksheets...They needs hands-on, cooperative projects; The chance to make mistakes and learn from them. There's always some practice involved in improvement and even in a very scintillating classroom, sometimes kids are b-b-bored(I can't even say it), but kids need to know it's not a TV show, the teacher is not there to entertain them. I think the expectation that they are also responsible for making school interesting helps children join the party.

Me: What goes through your mind when your criticized for your unusual teaching practices by fellow teachers and other employees?

Esme: I'm not usually criticized to my face, just over the internet ha-ha. What goes through my mind is, "Who is saying this to me?" Followed closely by, "Is this true? Is this something I can work on?" I'm actually a very traditional, old-fashioned teacher in practice; Multicultural bend and roller-skating notwithstanding, I probably have more in common with a public school teacher in the 1950's then that I would with a in a modern, progressive setting. I set a lot of boundaries, and try very hard to stick with them, and work hard to help children achieve basic skills. Most of the criticism I receive is because I hate when everybody is trying to do the same thing at the same time. I'm not a Rockette, I'm on the Soul Train. Sometimes that frustrates people who prefer more alignment, and I can appreciate that....If your the sort of co-teacher or administrator that likes to know everyone's on page 42 at 9:47 am on Tuesday, I'm not fun to work with. But in general, my co-workers have known they can depend on me to meet the same objectives. When I think of my co-workers, I don't think critics-I find my fellow teachers to love new ideas, share good ideas, and they join me on the Soul Train line quite a bit themselves, when they aren't feeling threatened or trying to please others.

Me: And last but not least, do you ever question if your doing the right thing when it comes to your classroom, your kids, and your teaching methods?

Esme: Of course! Yes! You Bet! All the time! Every day! I think your supposed to. But there are some things I don't question: I have faith in read aloud that verges on the religious, and I know that students and I are there to teach each other. I also know that every day is a new day and a chance to do better. I'm not the same teacher as I was when I kept the diary that is Educating Esme, but I feel fortunate that I have that window to peer into and learn from. I hope others can find something in that window as well.


Thank you so much Esme and Julie for allowing me to be apart of this amazing Blog Book Tour!! If your interested in more of Esme and her book Educating Esme: Diary of a First Year Teacher, you can check out her Blog Tour Page for more Q&A from other bloggers like me, pictures of Esme working with her kids, and much more fun and enlightening information.

You can also purchase the book at Click this Link)!

Esme's Bio

A nationally renowned advocate for literacy and literature-based instruction, ESMÉ RAJI CODELL is today “one of the nation's most sought-after voices for empowering teachers" (People Magazine) and a “Superstar of Education” (Scholastic Instructor). She is the recipient of a prestigious Patterson Pageturner Award for spreading the excitement of books in an effective and original way and has been a keynote speaker for the International Reading Association, The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, and the American Library Association, and a featured speaker at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Esme has been interviewed on CBS This Morning, CNN, CSPAN's Book Talk, and NPR. The author of "How to Get Your Child to Love Reading" as well as numerous award-winning books for children, Esmé lives with her husband and son in Chicago, where she spent many years as an educator in Chicago public schools and now runs the popular children's literature web site PlanetEsme, and the unique literary salon, The PlanetEsme Bookroom.

Room Renovation: Before Pictures

I have lived in Illinois most of my 19 (almost 20) years of life-The only time we ever moved away was to Kentucky when my father's work transferred him there. Even then, we only stayed about 18 months and were transferred back to where we live today.

I believe August 09' marked our 10th year in our current house.

Anyway, within those 10 years, I have moved into 3 different rooms. Technically I have moved 4 times into 3 different rooms because of my 10 months in bed, but you get the point. I loved, loved, LOVED my room downstairs when I moved in over two years ago. Before that, I had a tiny room upstairs that was just a big eye-sore-Guess where I ended up?

Yup. The eye-sore room. Don't get me wrong, I do like this room, but it's really too small to do much with and the walls are all scuffed up. The closet is too small and there is no storage space what so ever. Unfortunately, my parents have put the kabash on a 5th move so I'm stuck with it until I move out.

So I figure I can't move out for at least a year because of health reasons, and even then that's the bare minimum estimate. But even if I could move out within the next year, I wouldn't due to the fact that I'm flat broke and don't have any money to go away with. My plan is to go to the local community college when I get better for the next two years to get an Associates Degree and work my butt off in between so I can afford to leave when I graduate.

The whole point of that long winded explanation: If I'm stuck her (and I say 'stuck' with the most endearing sentiment) for a minimum of 2 years, I sure as hell am going to have a place of my own that I actually can stand to be in!

This is the whole reason I want to redo my current room-Of course I'm going to blog about the whole process!! I took a few before pictures (I really wish I would have taken pictures before I cleaned, raided and threw out to show you the WHOLE process from start to finish):

The entry to my room-Not much, but it's mine. Hey, at least I have the bathroom right next door(take a sharp left from the picture and your in the bathroom).

My queen size bed in the corner. I know, if my room is so small, why have a queen size bed? I REFUSE TO GET RID OF IT! Lol

My 'reading corner.' I hope to cover that chair in a more neutral tone and move a bookshelf in the area.

Were going to get rid of that big ass piece of 70's furniture so my room is more open.

You can't tell from the picture, but that shelf is such a horrid piece of crap! Hopefully I can revamp it into something amazing. I think that will be another post though ;-)

My closet. Nuff said.

Where I stored all the stuff that I ended up keeping-Lol-Although you all would be proud of me! I got rid of A LOT.

Hopefully you will follow me along this fun journey and offer some advice and expertise.
I know I'm going to need it!

Love and Energies.

Health Update Thursday(9/17)

Good news! This week has been a pretty damn good one for me-The only thing is my chronic insomnia is pretty bad. I probably have only gotten 30 to 40 (really crappy) hours of sleep this past 7 days...

But I try to look on the positive side of things so hey, at least I'm able to do a lot of things, blogging and otherwise, when I'm awake. Lol The other night at about 3 am, I went through my jewelry box and got rid of a whole bunch of stuff I don't wear. Productive, no?!

I started a new treatment regimen yesterday and we will see how it goes; I'm only on it for 8 days until I switch to the next regimen and within that span of 8 days, I'm supposed to go to see my M.I. who will break up calcium deposits within my body.

I have seen somewhat of a difference on this new stuff: Flu like symptoms, achy joints(more so then usual), and exhaustion and fatigue(hopefully I can sleep!!). If this stuff helps me sleep, I will be ECSTATIC!

Other then that nothing too eventful-Hopefully I get to go to my M.I. soon, so I'll be able to tell you about that experience, and I'm sure you will be seeing me up and about if my sleeping doesn't get under control.

Love and Energies to Everyone!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RIP Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze, better known for his role as Johnny in the movie Dirty Dancing and Sam in the movie Ghost lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2009 and passed away peacefully in his sleep with his family at his side. He was 57 years old.

When I heard this, I was stunned. Completely and utterly stunned. I knew Swayze was fighting cancer, but the last I heard he was doing fine! This just goes to show you how fast things can change and life can be lost...

For some reason, his death really affected me. I was never really a 'big' fan like my sister and mother(who are both devastated), but ever since I heard of his passing, I have felt very sad and a little depressed.

My heart and thoughts go out to his family.

Love and Energies.

Rest in Peace Patrick Swayze.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's Okay, I'm Buying Her a Bra!

I love my friend Breanna.

The other day, a bunch of my friends decided to hang out at a local place in town called Crazy Penguins-It's a gaming place where kids can safely go to play the latest and greatest in computer and video games of all kinds(not to mention they have a half dozen pool tables just ready and waiting for me when I show up).

I know the owner. Which isn't relevant to this story, but I just wanted to point it out ;-)

Anyway, she brought both her little brother and cousin who are about the same age, and our other guy friend. We decided to meet a few other people there as well. Apparently, their mother only gave them $20 for the both of them, so they spent most of it at Penguins.

We decided to grab a bite to eat afterwords, so we went to an all night place that we knew was open(at this time, it was only about 10 pm which is pretty early for us). She was worried because she didn't have enough to buy herself something to eat so I told her no sweat, that I would pay for her and she could pay me back.

Rewind earlier that week: My mum bought me an AMAZING bra at Kohal's that fits like a dream(I can NEVER find one that actually fits) and was inexpensive because of a sale-Well you can imagine my urgency to get 1 or 5 more!! Lol

Now, earlier that day, I had called Breanna up because she works at Kohal's and they were supposedly having another sale on bras. I asked her to pick me up one, but they weren't having a sale that day and it would have been about $30 regularly, so she called me back telling me she would just get it for me when they were going to have a special, which was in a couple of days.

Do you see where I'm going with this....?

Apparently, she felt really bad about borrowing from me, and wanted to let everyone know that she was going to pay me back one way or another because she then announced to the whole table-Her little brother and male cousin, our guy friend, our other girl friend and her boyfriend-and I quote:

"It's okay, I'm buying Kayla a bra."

Yes, you read the above line correctly-She announced to the table that she was Buying. Me. A. Bra. LMFAO!!!

You would think someone would be mortified that that happened in front of a table full of guys, but I just looked at her for a few seconds to make sure that actually came out of her mouth, then nearly busted a gut from laughing so hard. I still randomly fall into sporadic giggle fits ever time I think about it!

I love my friend Breanna.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ponyo *Movie Review*


Found on IMDB:

"The son of a sailor, 5-year old Sosuke lives a quiet life on an ocean-side cliff with his mother Lisa. One fateful day, he finds a beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach and upon rescuing her, names her Ponyo. But she is no ordinary goldfish. The daughter of a masterful wizard and a sea goddess, Ponyo uses her father's magic to transform herself into a young girl and quickly falls in love with Sosuke, but the use of such powerful sorcery causes a dangerous imbalance in the world. As the moon steadily draws nearer to the earth and Ponyo's father sends the ocean's mighty waves to find his daughter, the two children embark on an adventure of a lifetime to save the world and fulfill Ponyo's dreams of becoming human."

My Thoughts:

It is no secret that my favorite director is Miyazaki, and when I saw the preview trailer for Ponyo, I nearly flipped my lid(my mother was quite confused, too, as it was when she was having a conversation with me). I was excited to watch it the other day, but(and yes, there is a bit but) I was disappointed.

Most of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's other films are:

1. Longer
2. Not so rushed
3. Meaningful

I think that's why I was disappointed the most-The movie seemed extremely rushed through to me. If they had taken just a little more time, they could have contributed so much more to the story line! The other thing that I wish they would have done was add more meaning to the story line-Yes, we know true love is a very powerful thing, but where is the journey? The mechanics of the emotion? The danger? I guess my question is what drove these characters to fall in love and why. If you know Miyazaki's other films, you know what I'm talking about...

Although, by all means it's not NOT a good movie-It's a great story and the best part is it's family friendly so everyone no matter what age can watch it.

**This is an opinion solely based on my thoughts and opinions of the movie in question and no one elses. I was not influenced one way or another to write the subject matter in this review, so if you don't like it or don't agree with it, that is your choice and I fully respect it so please extend me the same curtsy**

Mailbox Monday(9/14)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...



This past 3 weeks have, for lack of a better word, sucked mail-wise.
I guess I just have to keep up my hopeful thinking for this week...

What did you get in the mail this week?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Slapdash Sunday(9/13)

Slapdash Sunday is a day for your proverbial week 'leftovers.' Is there something you wanted to say, but just forgot? Is there something you want to write about, but isn't worth a whole page? Do you have a random thought, funny or otherwise that needs to be written down?

That is what Slapdash Sunday is for!


1. I was just visiting my friend Grace over at Sandier Pastures and a post she just wrote caught me off guard-Now I'm flipping out!!! As you all know, my favorite director is Hayao Miyazaki who specializes in children's anime(although, the films are much, MUCH more then children's anime). Well to my complete and utter delightful surprise, I was informed that in Mitaka Japan, they have a museum dedicated to his films and the company that publish them!!!


Five words can only sum up my feelings at this moment: I. Want. To. Go. NOW.

2. I realized something that's quite...Important? I don't know if that's the right word I'm looking for, but It will do for know. Why do people buy knick knacks? I think I'm going to divulge into this topic more in depth in a later post so keep checking back.

3. I'm trying to sell some stuff to raise money for a bedroom makeover!! Exciting I know :D
So does anyone want a purple bowling ball?


Friday, September 11, 2009

Featured Blogger Friday-Sandier Pastures

I know, I know, I'm sorry about not having a Featured Blogger Friday last Friday-Whether it was laziness or forgetfulness, I couldn't find a blogger to feature in time...I mean seriously, one minute I'm thinking, "I need to find someone for Friday,"and the next thing I know, it was Friday(and obviously too late)!

Anywho, I was MUCH better this week and I got you one amazing blogger! Not to mention one of my blogging friends :D

All the way from Dubai, meet Grace from Sandier Pastures!

Q. What's your name and your blog? What other information would you like to share?

Sandier Pastures - it's a blog about my expat life in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and everything in between.

Q. Why did you choose that name for your blog?

I chose the name "Sandier Pastures" because we practically moved halfway across the world from Japan but contrary to the saying "moving to find greener pastures", we are not better off here financially (although we are generally happier) so our newfound pasture is not greener, only "sandier", literally, with Dubai being a desert place.

Q. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in 2005 but got more serious with blogging when we relocated to Dubai in January 2007.

Q. What kind of stuff do you cover with your blog? Is there a specific genre you write about or is the sky the limit?

I write about my expat life here, being a working mom to a 5 year old, living in Dubai, taking lots of photos to share with everyone, talking about Japan where we previously lived before coming here and just from late last year, hosting giveaways and contests too.

Q. Name one thing that you love about your blogging job.

The chance of "meeting" people from all walks of life, from places I've never heard of, from like minds. All the real life socializing that I couldn't do due to time and location constraints I can do online via blogging!

Q. Name one thing your not so fond of about your blogging job.

Hmmm, this is difficult since there's almost nothing about blogging that I don't like.

Q. What's one random fun fact about you?

I wish I could say I am a member of the synchronized swimming team but I'm not that cool.
Oh my God, I may not have a random fun fact about myself at all! Except if you count these: I am okay with not going to the salon for the entire 12 months, I love telling jokes (pretty good at it, if you ask my friends) and that once when I was 12-15 years old, every summer, I walked the streets of my tiny town selling floor wax in can, fried bananas and vegetables from our garden. All proceeds did not go to charity but used to buy for my school pencils!

Q. Inspiration comes in many forms for different people. What inspires you?

I am inspired by other bloggers who are great writers. I read blogs from people who write well to get inspiration.

Q. Any advice for other bloggers?

Don't write a post that's too long. Not many people have the luxury to spend the entire 10 minutes in your blog. If your post is too long, chances are, readers will read the first two or three sentences and jump on to the next one in their feed reader.
Next, develop a relationship with your readers. They took the time to visit and read your blog. You should at least read theirs (if they have a blog), leave a comment on it or reply to the comments they left in your blog.
Keep a blogging schedule. Write posts daily so people know that they can expect something new and fresh when they come back to visit and they will!
Lastly, I've read somewhere that for a blog offering information, friendship or entertainment are the ones that last long in the blogosphere. Think which you could offer.

Q. Where else can we find you(Etsy shop, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc)?

I am fairly active in Twitter!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Dangers of Gardasil: The Damage is Done

I am just amazed at how heartless people can be-Namely the CDC and FDA when it comes to drugs, doctors and western medicine in today's society. Before I got sick about 5 1/2 years ago, I had NO IDEA at what was going on like many people who don't have to deal with this kind of stuff on a daily basis-Now that I know, I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or if I would be happier staying in the dark.

As many know, Gardasil is a vaccine for girls that helps prevent cervical cancer. What many may not know is that along with preventing cancer, Gardasil has many adverse reactions and more and more people with the shot have been seeing those reactions.

Here are some stats on the Gardasil vaccine:

  • Over 7 million people have already received the Gardasil vaccine already
  • More then 12,000 people have reported minor medical problems such as dizziness, headaches, fainting, etc.
  • There are over 800 reports of serious side effects such as blood clots, autoimmune disorders, and even death
  • A reported 32 woman have died from the vaccine
Of course 12,000 to 800 might not seem like a lot to some people, but that number is growing and personally, I don't see the risk being 'worth while.'

Thank GOD my primary wouldn't give me this vaccination. Even though I probably wouldn't have gotten it anyway because of my medical history and current medical status, I'm glad that he was educated enough to say he refused to give that vaccine to me.

I wish I could just run up to people getting the shot and say, "NO. STOP. DON'T," but unfortunately, it's not my decision to make-I just HATE to see people suffering after they realized what happened...

Please get educated before even thinking about getting any vaccination! Do research, get family and friend's opinions, and most of all, listen to your gut. That's the biggest advocate of all when it comes to your own body.

Love and Energies.

P.s. Fun Fact: Did you know they are now going to give Gardasil, a WOMAN'S vaccination, to men now?

Yup. It's true.

Health Update Thursday(9/10)

Another week has passed and it's Health Update Thursday already-I have no idea where the time is going, but it seems to be passing like a speeding train(sorry for the metaphor, I couldn't come up with a better one)!!

Anyway this week is just so so-The first part of the week was horrible, but as the week progressed, it just became eh. But now, we face a different problem-I'm falling back into my depression phase(which usually happens every year around my birthday in November unfortunately). When I talked to my Medical Intuitive, she said since I'm moving into a different set of treatments, the die off from these new treatments is going to be causing the depression and emotional 'episodes,' which makes sense, but I'm still scared the depression has made an appearance 2 months earlier then expected...

This year after Christmas, I'm hoping(and mentally begging) for a mini vacation-Maybe a month or so? We shall see what happens though.

Anyway, besides my horrible week and emotional phase, I'm still up and moving! It's incredibly painful most days, but I try to work through it. Even though there are a lot of other things wrong mentally and physically, I take comfort in the fact that no matter how tired I am or how much I over do it, I'm still up ^.^

Um, what else? Oh! I need to start myself exercising. Not only do I need to lose a few pounds from my months in bed, I need to build back the muscle tone I lost(and I lost A LOT).

Hopefully this week will prove better!

Love and Energies.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Crazy-Insane Week(Photos Included)

I realized I never told you about my insanely busy week a few weeks ago! From visits with friends and midnight outings to out of town mall trips, Rock and Gem shows, and bonding with your mum. Of course, we can't forget apple orchards, traditions, and lots of family time!

I feel bad because I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to(okay, I only took pictures of the McD's we ate breakfast at). Tsk tsk Kayla!! I need to be better about pictures from now on! But in my defense, this McD's was like THE coolest I have ever been to...

Me sitting in the backseat of a 50's car(how cool is that!?)

Anyway, forgive my Lyme fried brain, but I don't remember a lot from that week-Actually, I'm still taking it easy since I started walking a month ago and that much go-go-going threw me for a loop! When we would come back home, I would collapse into bed for hours at a time and wake up not remembering a single thing from that day...

Of course my mind unhazed a bit, but I still can't remember everything from that week. Some
things I do remember:

  • My dad had business to attend to down in Southern Illinois, so he kindly offered to drop my mother and I off at an amazing outlet mall. O.M.G-I was in my glory!! Even though I had to sit in my wheelchair *sigh* the stores where amazing. I bought a pair of shoes that are going to end up being the death of me(photo to the right) and a couple of killer shirts that I <3!
  • I will spare you all the drama and gory details, but there was a bad break up with one of my friends(although I can't say I'm all too sad it happened). I love my friend with all my heart and she deserves to be happy, which she wasn't in this particular relationship. After my first break up about a year ago, we made a tradition to go out to eat after one of us had any sort of break up so with that in mind, that night you could find is sitting in Steak n' Shake at 12 am having a burger and a nice, big shake.

  • It happened-For the first time in my LIFE, I got to go to the annual Rock and Gem Show in Chicago, Illinois. All I can say is HOLY.MOTHER.OF.GOD. I walked in and pretty much fell over in giddy joy. With that said, about 2o minutes into it, the vastness of all the possibilities was too overwhelming and my mind just shut down. I only ended up getting a few natural rocks for my collection *hangs head in shame*

  • I got me a haircut that I actually love! I promised myself that after I was up and moving, I would get a haircut, and I did =]
Thaaaat's pretty much all I remember. Of course there are little tidbits here and there, but I won't bore you with those. I just wanted to let you know I wasn't M.I.A that whole week-I was pretty darn busy!

It felt nice to actually be human again-It kind of felt like my life hadn't been put on hold for a whole year(practically). Unfortunately, that is both a good and a bad thing. I still have a lot of emotions to work through, people to talk to, etc.

It's still a long journey ahead.

Love and Energies.

P.s. Our new friend Elvis watched us eat breakfast!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dear Tom: I Hate Your Guts

Dear Tom,

This letter is being written under extreme duress-Namely, your unwanted and extremely unwelcome visit last night and throughout the day today. I can honestly say that I despise your woman-hating, chauvinistic attitude towards all girls and women between the ages of 12 through 50(although, I'm not discriminating-There are others you 'attack' beyond those ages, too).

I believe I speak on behalf of all women kind when I say if we could put a hit out on you, we most definitely WOULD, and with big smiles on our faces at that. Unfortunately, since we don't know where you are from day to day, it's a little impossible.

Even though I talk big, the truth is I'm scared shitless of you and your 'visits.' I never know if your going to be nice and leave me(somewhat) alone, or if your going to be completely ruthless and internally beat me until I'm a crumpled mass on the bathroom floor.

Thank GOD this visit was an "okay" one-Even though I ended up on the bathroom floor, there was minimal writhing around in pain and no throwing my guts up like usual. For that and ONLY that, I can say thank you.

I mean who's idea was it to give woman excruciating pain and suffering every month?!? Probably a cosmic joke....Just so you know, WE AREN'T LAUGHING! I would love to get a group together and have them kick you in the stomach a few hundred times and see how you fare.

Bets anyone?

I just wanted to write this letter to show you my true feelings about you and your visits. I hate you and I hate them more then I can show and or write in a single letter. Let's just say I hate you with a fiery passion that consumes my soul.

Yeah-That much.

Regrettably, until next month,

P.s. Tell your friend Mr. M that I've seen some of his work and I too dread his visit in, oh, about 30 years or so.

**Note: Tom is not a real person, so those named Tom, this is NOT about you. In this letter, Tom stands for Time Of Month as in a woman's 'time of month.' And Mr. M stands for Menopause if you didn't get that either.**

Mailbox Monday(9/7)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...


1. O.M.G. Do you know how EXCITED I am!? Actually, it's more liked awed shock, coupled with undeniable excitement. Awhile back, I had won a contest(yeah, yeah, I know that's how I start all my stories) for one of my favorite artist's newly released CDs-Paolo Nutini's Sunny Side Up. I actually thought they had forgotten about me because I hadn't heard hide nor hair about the CD-Until it came in the mail. Not only the CD mind you, but an autographed CD booklet by Paolo Nutini himself!!!!!!! Eeeeeeeeek :D

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Slapdash Sunday(9/6)

Slapdash Sunday is a day for your proverbial week 'leftovers.' Is there something you wanted to say, but just forgot? Is there something you want to write about, but isn't worth a whole page? Do you have a random thought, funny or otherwise that needs to be written down?

That is what Slapdash Sunday is for!


1. Here is another original quote from my father:

"Let's noodle an idea."

2. I'm thinking of starting a new blog for my spiritual/paranormal/psychic 'adventures.' This is a big part of my life and I would love to share it with people. Even though I would love to share this with like minded people, I'm not doing this for anyone else but myself because I ultimately would like to record my thoughts, progress, feelings, etc so I can grow and learn.

Any thoughts?

3. Is it sad to want to go Trick-or-Treating even if your turning 20? Lol (technically, I'll only be 19 if I go).

4. We have another mouse...Whether it's the same one we let go the other week, or a new one that found it's way into our house via some random little hole, we keep finding mouse droppings in our kitchen when we wake up in the morning. I tell you, if it runs over my toes when I'm in the kitchen, I'm going to Flip.My.Lid >.<

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Health Update Thursday(9/3)

Hey people! As you know, it's been a crazy few weeks since my sister moved into college(actually, today marks two weeks since she has been moved in). Some reason beyond me, I just haven't felt inspired to blog =/

I know. Very, very sad.

There have been a few days in the past two weeks where I have hit spurts of energy and have gotten a lot done(like the beginning of this week), but other then that, it's just....Blah-blah-blah. I have been doing better the past day or so, so maybe my 'funk,' if you will, is over?

Anyway, I'm still up and walking(thank GODDESS), but it depends on the day if I'm walking Good or not. There is quite a bit of pain, but I kinda figured that would be included in the recovery process since I have all but deteriorated over the past 10 months. The old phrase 'no pain, no gain' comes to mind whenever I get tired of the pain.

The good news is that last week was JAM PACKED with stuff that I did-It was insane! Hanging with friends, going out to eat, traveling, two different malls...Sheeeeesh. Even though it was nice to feel normal, I overdid it sooooo bad >.<

Let's just say I don't remember a lot of last week. I would overdo it and then come home and just crash-Sleep for hours then wake up and not remember much of anything I did t hat particular day. By Sunday, I was like no more! Lol

Anyway, that's pretty much all that has happened-Still walking. Still in pain. Doing more stuff but balancing between that fine line of getting out and about or totally overdoing it.

Love and Energies.